ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Quantum Change

When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives

Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 2002

“Quantum change [is] like waking up one morning to suddenly discover that your skin is a different color.” If a reader can imagine this visual for even a moment, perhaps they can glimpse what these people, quantum changers, have experienced.

This book, written by two psychologists, attempts to classify an event that evokes life change in the most personal, emotional, and spiritual sense. Miller bases his concept on the many people he has known who experienced sudden, dramatic life changes, often with spiritual overtones. He explains, “Quantum change is a vivid, surprising, benevolent, and enduring personal transformation.”

The authors have identified two types of quantum change: the insightful type, and the mystical type. The insightful types occurs when people come to new awareness, but “they tend to follow from the person’s development rather than being an intrusion into it.” The mystical type is an actual epiphany, a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.

Besides the psychological explanations and systemic study, the authors have included case studies of transformed lives. This is, by far, the most interesting section of the book. The transcribed stories allow the reader to hear firsthand, in ordinary words, exactly what the person was concretely doing at the time of their quantum change, what happened to them visually, what was in their thoughts, and the resulting changes in their beliefs. One quantum changer, who was simply driving across Oregon at the time, summed it up this way: “I have heard this described as the ‘drop in the ocean experience,’ where the ocean is God and we feel like a drop in that ocean… .”

The authors spent ten years interviewing people, researching, analyzing the data, and trying to make logical sense of this phenomenon, and identifying the two major types of quantum change. However, the qualities of the two types overlap and are therefore a bit confusing. It seems this is an area where psychology cannot neatly pigeonhole the whys and wherefores of behavior and the lasting change that emerges from personal illumination.

Miller and C’de Baca realize that this is an elusive world to pin down scientifically. Instead, they hope to assist in learning about quantum change for use in healing people who may have pain and trouble in their lives, and would benefit from the transformational and developmental leap of quantum change. It is easy to walk away from this book hungry for an equally transforming jolt to everyday existence.

Aimé Merizon