Waking, Dreaming, Being : Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

Waking, Dreaming, Being : Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

Description

A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain. Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate-either in the waking state or in a lucid dream-we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self.
Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 1570627436
ISBN 13: 9781570627439

06 Feb 2001
Ken Wilber

ISBN 10: 026252936X
ISBN 13: 9780262529365

13 Jan 2017
Francisco J. Varela

ISBN 10: 0871564068
ISBN 13: 9780871564061

01 May 1995
Theodore Roszak

ISBN 10: 0674057511
ISBN 13: 9780674057517

04 May 2011
Evan Thompson

ISBN 10: 0465020690
ISBN 13: 9780465020690

27 Jul 2010
Thomas Metzinger

ISBN 10: 1614292841
ISBN 13: 9781614292845

13 Jan 2017
Ben Connelly

ISBN 10: 0967036259
ISBN 13: 9780967036250

01 Sep 2000
Stephen Wolinsky

ISBN 10: 1324000503
ISBN 13: 9781324000501

12 Jun 2018
Stephen W. Porges

ISBN 10: 1611801265
ISBN 13: 9781611801262

11 Mar 2014
Rodney Smith

ISBN 10: 009928362X
ISBN 13: 9780099283621

29 Jun 2011
Hermann Hesse

ISBN 10: 0805210512
ISBN 13: 9780805210514

01 Feb 1996
Gershom Gerhard Scholem

ISBN 10: 0061733520
ISBN 13: 9780061733529

23 Jun 2015
Kristin Neff