SYMPOSIUM ON CONSCIOUSNESS by Robert E.--Ed. Ornstein

SYMPOSIUM ON CONSCIOUSNESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This symposium was held at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February 1974. Eminences on hand, prestigiously muttering about the psychology of consciousness and ""ways of knowing,"" include the editor and Philip R. Lee, David Galin, Arthur Deikman and Charles T. Tart. What they attempt is nothing less than a synthesis of esoteric traditions with the latest ""implications of altered states of consciousness, the mystic experience, the 'two-sided' activities of the human brain, the role of consciousness in perception, cognition, and personality theory."" The point is to explore the ramifications for human health and social development. Alas, the new consciousness consensual jargon activates a fluctuating, in fact unflaggingly large drain on attention/awareness energy, with a superflux of multitudinous, automated, interacting lingual structures that constitute a relatively permanent investment in mental paralysis on the reader's part. General ideas glommable through the haze concern the need for restraint in assigning specialized activities to the left (analytic) and right (intuitive) sides of the brain; conversely, it is suggested that the brain may be trained to stimulate precise control over its patterns of activity. The main essay, about discrete states of consciousness, is by Tart: ""A d-SoC is a unique, dynamic pattern or configuration of psychological structures, a d-SoC is an active system of psychological subsystems."" They may be saying something but they write like five gravid elephants chasing a mosquito.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Viking