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Dr. Paul Pearsall's Books are available in bookstores and on-line at Amazon.com.

Dr. Pearsall was hospitalized for some tests, due to be discharged, became unresponsive and died of a spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage July 13, 2007.

Awe: The Delights and Dangers of Our Eleventh Emotion
June 12, 2007

Dear Publishing Colleague:

Awe has changed the way I perceive myself and the world around me. As a self-help editor, it is unfortunately rare that I am affected by an acquisition in the way that Awe: The Delights and Dangers of Our Eleventh Emotion has affected me. Amid all the pop psychology and unoriginal ideas out there, you and I have seen it all, packaged and repackaged. Awe, contrary to its brief occurrences in our lives, has long-lasting, hard-punching impact on our health, our psyche, our beliefs, and our exploration into the meaning of life. Awe’s ability to have actually changed my daily interactions with the world around me – and with enduring, positive effects – has compelled me to write to you personally. I cannot in good conscience have this book fall on blind eyes.

On Friday, while multi-tasking to the 6 o’clock news, I consciously made an effort to stop and watch the space shuttle Atlantis lift off. Before Awe, I would never have done this. And what happened during the final countdown, scared and exhilarated me. My eyes welled up with tears, and I felt chills and the calming realization that the laborious and tedious week I had just completed was truly behind me and ultimately so much less significant than the moment I was experiencing in front of my television. It was totally freeing. I was in awe. I chalk this moment up to what I learned while editing Awe: The Delights and Dangers of Our Eleventh Emotion and to my intense conversations with the book’s author Paul Pearsall, Ph.D. Finally, a book that helps me prioritize, de-stress, find security, reacquaint me with myself -- all of the things that so many self-help books that have come before Awe claim to help us do.

Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., who you may already know as the bestselling author of The Pleasure Principle and The Heart’s Code (to name a few) and the author of the controversial book The Last Self-Help Book You’ll Ever Need, contends in his signature anti-self-help style, that the meaning of life is exposed to us every time we experience awe. In Awe: The Delights and Dangers of Our Eleventh Emotion, Dr. Pearsall explains that humans are hardwired to experience awe and that awe, if experienced and interpreted correctly, can save us (literally) from a state of languishing and launch us into a much-needed state of flourishing. He’s right. I could’ve continued to languish in my Friday night multi-tasking mode, but because of Awe, I now have the ability to not only stop and see what’s going on around me, but possess the consciousness to recall the feelings of that awe-filled moment when I need them.

This book is filled with proof and justification using philosophy, religion, politics, sociology, neuroscience, mythology, and psychology, that awe is, indeed, a primary emotion that we do not know enough about, and thus, do not know how to experience to its fullest potential.

  • Is awe a message from a higher power that enlightens us about “what it all means” or is it simply a physiological response that comes and goes?
  • What do our leaders know about awe that enables them to use it against us?
  • How do religion and politics and even the current media trends depend on awe and its emotional impact on us?
  • Can awe be a healthy or hurtful emotion, and what happens when awe falls into the wrong hands?

Just as Eckhart Tolle delved into the mystery of living in the moment in The Power of Now, Dr. Pearsall teaches that “the moment” – whether tragic or triumphant - is only worth living “in” if we are willing and able to be in awe of it.

I hope you enjoy Awe as much as I did and believe in its powerful message, as I do.

Thank you for your time and for your support.

Michele Matrisciani
Editorial Director
HCI Books

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