VIDEO: Dr. Kirk Schneider – Awakening to Awe, A Personal Journey
Watch an excerpt from PsychAlive’s exclusive interview with Dr. Kirk Schneider.
Dr. Kirk Schneider talks about the power of awe.
Dr. Kirk Schneider – Awakening to Awe, A Personal Journey.
LF: What made you become interested in exploring the theme of awe in documenting people’s experiences? What inspired you to begin looking into awe?
KS: Well, I think it really started in my childhood, actually. I mean, awe doesn’t always go along with a completely serene and blissful experience, and for me it began with the death of my seven year old brother when I was about three. And I went through a great deal of upheaval and was really unraveling through a lot of my early years. And my parents were also , you know, just reeling and out of it and yet they had the presence of mind to refer me to an analyst. So I actually went to a child analyst at about six years old and probably had a life saving experience with this guy.
And to get back around to awe, I would say that, through that analytic experience I was able to move from abject terror about my world, about illness, the unknown to gradually a sense of intrigue about the world and about the unknown. And to a place of actually becoming fascinated by those things. Kind of developing a sense of wonder, even though this world just broke apart but when things break apart, they also open up. And there’s a real juncture there, there’s a real sort of decision point about whether one is going to collapse or one is going to be able to embrace or engage what gets cracked open.
And I was extremely fortunate through that process in this man’s presence to be able to develop more of a sense of presence in my own life. And a lot of that came
through some of my early television watching, actually. I used to watch some pretty strange shows like The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond. I mean, these are shows that often scare the bejeezus out of people. They scared me, but I also related to them in some way and they sparked a growing interest in, you know, peculiar states of mind, the creative process, and discovery of new and strange things in the world. A growing interest in, really, psychology and existence, very broadly speaking. So I think that’s where the roots of my sense of awe really started was with that kind of cracking open of my world through this huge hole of my brother’s death.Tags: child development, self-awareness, self-esteem, video