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Sensitive Soul

The Unseen Role of Emotion in Extraordinary States

Michael A. Jawer, Christine Simmonds-Moore (Foreword by)

Paperback

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Description

Explores how emotion underlies personality, triggers the development of non-ordinary states and perceptions, and connects all life

• Shows how the flow of our emotions shapes individual minds and personalities

• Reveals the significant role of emotion in PTSD, alexithymia (not knowing what one is feeling), autism, savantism, synesthesia (overlapping senses), déjà vu, phantom pain, migraines, and extreme empathy

• Looks at the emotional lives of animals, demonstrating how life-threatening emergencies can trigger amazing sensitivities and abilities in them

Emotion, as it exists within and between people, underpins personality, spirituality, and a range of extraordinary perceptions, conditions, and experiences. These include déjà vu, phantom pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and extreme empathy, where people instantaneously feel the physical or emotional pain of another. Many gifted children, those with synesthesia, and people with autism--not to mention highly sensitive people in general--report forms of innate “knowing” and even paranormal experiences. In this exploration of the role of emotion in non-ordinary states and abilities, Michael Jawer shows how the flow of our emotions and those of the people around us greatly influences the development of exceptional capacities and sensitivities.

Drawing on a range of scientific studies, Jawer explores how 5 remarkable kinds of people--individuals with autism, synesthesia, savantism, child prodigies, and children who remember past lives--are linked through the biology of emotion and how a hidden emotional intensity underlies both autism and anomalous perception. He examines the psychological concept of thin and thick boundaries and how those with thin boundaries--those who are more environmentally sensitive--have a greater predisposition toward empathy, synesthesia, psi abilities, and extraordinary states of perception. Sharing extraordinary examples, the author explores how strong emotion may endure through time and space, possibly even after death. He also looks at the emotional lives of animals, our soulful connections with them, and how life-­threatening emergencies can trigger amazing sensitivities and abilities in our fellow creatures.

Revealing the unseen role of emotion in mind and personality, Jawer shows that emotion is the binding force that connects us with one another, with all of life, and with nature itself.


Praise For Sensitive Soul: The Unseen Role of Emotion in Extraordinary States

“Cosmologists tell us the vast majority of the universe consists of dark matter and energy--‘dark’ because we cannot observe them, but they are vital to how the universe works. Jawer reminds us that the same is true of our personal universe--we, too, are permeated with forces we cannot directly observe but are vital to how we work. Sensitive Soul is a fascinating tour of the hidden influences that make us who we are and that hold the clues to some truly extraordinary abilities.”
— Dean Radin, Ph.D., chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences

“Jawer’s articulate writing, lucid descriptions, and remarkable case studies make this book not only a pleasure to read but a possible roadmap for people who always sensed that they lived in a different reality than their family and peers. Sensitive Soul’s compelling perspective will reassure emotionally sensitive people that they possess a gift, not a curse.”
— Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., coauthor of Personal Mythology

“Jawer is onto something vitally important: the astonishing individuality with which we think, feel, and process information. Backed by meticulous documentation and excellent science, Jawer weaves new threads in the tapestry of what it means to be human.”
— Larry Dossey, M.D., executive editor of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

“. . . invites us to put aside our preconceptions and approach the world of unanticipated influences with a sense of wonder. Jawer ties together research from seemingly disparate areas of study--from synesthesia to past-life memories to the feelings of pets--to demonstrate how emotion can align with sensitivity to unseen aspects of reality. The result is an important work filled with fresh insights.”
— Jim B. Tucker, M.D., Bonner-Lowry Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the Univer

“Jawer brings together many accounts of non-human animal sensitivities, suggesting that a connection with emotion may help explain some puzzling anomalies. His provocative ideas will no doubt spur readers to think more about these questions.”
— Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ph.D., coauthor of When Elephants Weep

“This book takes up everything from ecology and child prodigies like Greta Thunberg to children who manifest birthmarks indicative of a previous death to the emotional, spiritual, and telepathic lives of cats, dogs, elephants, dolphins, and whales. What Jawer shows with such clarity is that the secret trigger to this hyper-connected cosmos is danger, distress, trauma, and, above all, embodied empathy, a kind of sixth sense that feels across space and time. Consciousness, it turns out, is not just conscious. It is sentient. In human terms, it is sympathetic, it cares, it loves. My response to this book was perfectly resonant with its extraordinary content and spirit. I wept. You will too.”
— Jeffrey J. Kripal, Ph.D., associate dean of faculty and graduate studies and J. Newton Rayzor Profes

“The insights of leading researchers and the accounts of highly sensitive individuals merge seamlessly, revealing human emotional biology as diverse, complex, and frequently uncanny. With his lively prose and intellectual curiosity, Michael Jawer has crafted a watershed volume on science, spirituality, and empathy.”
— C. C. Hart, founding member and secretary of the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists,

Sensitive Soul brings to life the sense of wonder suggested by its opening sentence: ‘Life is full of marvels.’ By exploring the theme of emotional sensitivity through multiple lenses, Jawer paints a fuller picture of what it means to be human. He’s not afraid to tackle such unusual phenomena as synesthesia (the blending of separate sensory modalities) or even reincarnation and relate them to such wide-ranging topics as autism and savantism. Sensitive Soul is an invaluable resource for explorers of these inner realms, and I recommend it highly.”
— Eric Leskowitz, M.D., codirector of the Integrative Medicine Task Force at Spaulding Rehabilitation

“In this insightful and thought-provoking volume, Jawer bridges the gap between clinical research on the human emotional landscape and the unquantifiable mysteries that lie beyond. He includes the reader in his exploration of acute sensitivities and their underpinnings and offers plausible explanations for experiences that verge on the paranormal. Fittingly, he asks more questions than can be answered--as one can only surmise at the depths and complexities of the human soul.”
— Nick Jans, author of A Wolf Called Romeo

“Jawer explores the relation between self, body, mind, and spirit, enunciating a view that they are not separate but are integrated. This book takes us to a deeper understanding of sentience in a nature and cosmos that evolved sentience.”
— Michael Fox, BVetMed, Ph.D., author of the nationally syndicated column The Animal Doctor and the bo

“Jawer has added a brilliant fresh layer and lens to sensory research. His work on thin boundaries should inform all researchers in the space, particularly those looking at synesthesia.”
— Maureen Seaberg, expert on the senses for Psychology Today and coauthor of Struck by Genius

“A wonder-filled exploration of the sensations that pulse within and compose our bodies, shaping our individual styles of empathy. Jawer induces a lucid attunement to the uncanny emotional makeup of our shared world.”
— David Abram, Ph.D., author of The Spell of the Sensuous

Sensitive Soul makes a beautiful evidence-based case for living a life of wonder and curiosity. You will never see people and nature in the same way again.”
— Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., host of The Psychology Podcast and author of Transcend: The New Science

“This is a remarkable, informative book. Jawer has assembled a wealth of wisdom from science, anecdote, and personal experience into a rich tapestry and presented it with an engaging, empathic voice. If you struggle with any number of psychological or physical ailments, or are just curious to learn how the body and mind work in concert, I urge you to travel with this sensitive soul as your guide.”
— Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., author of What a Fish Knows

“Jawer’s exploration of the lengthy list of diverse extraordinary states and the related emotions opens the door to greater understanding of how these experiences are related and can be explained, a new world showing the importance of emotional intensity and the thickness of boundaries. His many examples and stories bring alive this understanding of how these states are related, a fascinating and important read."
— Nicholas Brink, author of Ecstatic Soul Retrieval

“Overall, this pioneering book makes a strong case for emotion as fundamental to sentient life -including animals and plants - and helps expand the discussion of the nature of consciousness beyond cognition and in the direction of panpsychism”
— David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

"...my overall impression of this book is favorable. The cases described are fascinating and I applaud Jawer’s challenge to the mainstream medical model and his advocacy of a non-dualistic approach to psychology, science, and philosophy. But he does paint with a broad brush. In part, this may reflect his intention of reaching a large-market popular audience. Sensitive Soul is, after all, a trade book, so perhaps the implicit constraints of the business model may have placed the emphasis on engaging anecdotes, with the development of key conceptual issues kept to a minimum. Still and all, I found this book of value and I enjoyed reading it."
— Steven M. Rosen, The Journal of Mind and Behavior

Park Street Press, 9781644110829, 256pp.

Publication Date: September 8, 2020



About the Author

Michael A. Jawer is an emotion researcher and expert on “sick building syndrome.” He is the coauthor, with Marc Micozzi, of The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion. He lives in Vienna, Virginia.