Steve Taylor – How Oneness Leads to Goodness: The Spiritual Source of Compassion and Altruism
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How can we move from a sense of separation to interconnectedness?
Join Steve Taylor to explore the roots of goodness in a sense of connection,
and of evil in a corresponding sense of separation and lack of empathy.
Discover how best to transcend our sense of separateness and attune to our fundamental oneness – and thus develop an altruistic outlook.
In this session, based on his recent book Spiritual Science, Steve Taylor explains how human goodness – as manifested in qualities such as compassion, altruism and justice – is related to a sense of connection. Conversely, what we think of as ‘evil’ is related to a sense of separation. A sense of separation brings an inability to empathise, or take other people’s perspectives, and a preoccupation with one’s own desires and goals. A sense of separation also creates a sense of lack and vulnerability, which leads to a strong desire to accumulate power, status and wealth. Personality disorders such as psychopathy and malignant narcissism are extreme forms of separation, and so lead to extreme forms of ‘evil’ behaviour. This issue becomes especially urgent when people with a severe lack of empathy – who are egocentric, ruthless and even psychopathic – occupy positions of political power. As the concept of ‘pathocracy’ shows, this is depressingly common.
Steve then discusses whether separateness or connection are fundamental to human beings. Our culture assumes that separateness is fundamental, and this has had a disastrous effect, emphasising and encouraging individualism and selfishness. As Steve’s philosophy of panspiritism suggests, human consciousness is a manifestation of a more fundamental universal consciousness, which is ‘transmitted’ into us via (primarily) the brain. When human beings experience our interconnection, we feel empathy and compassion. Altruism and social justice result from this. Our sense of separation is superficial and aberrational. One of the goals – arguably the main goal – of spiritual practices and paths is to transcend the sense of separateness and attune to our fundamental oneness. In this way, spiritual development is intimately connected with altruism and social justice.
⦿ Please note: this is a donation-based event.
Steve Taylor PhD is the author of several best-selling books on psychology and spirituality, and is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University. He is the current chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. His books include Spiritual Science, Waking From Sleep, The Fall, Out of the Darkness, Back to Sanity, The Calm Center and The Leap. His books have been published in 20 languages, and Eckhart Tolle has described his work as ‘an important contribution to the shift in consciousness which is happening on our planet at present.’ His new book The Clear Light has just been published. His articles and essays have been published in many academic journals, magazines and newspapers, including Philosophy Now, The Psychologist, The Journal of Humanistic Psychology and The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. He writes blog articles for Scientific American and for Psychology Today. Steve lives in Manchester, England with his wife and three young children. Click here to visit his website.