THE MIND FIELD by Robert E. Ornstein


Email this review


An argument for pursuing a new mode of consciousness--through Sufism--which extends Ornstein's psychology research (into the functions of the two brain hemispheres) into human behavior. He finds our Western outlook analytic, segmented, and egocentric rather than intuitive, holistic, and based on relationships, a distinction that has some correlation with the right-handed person's dependence on the left cerebral hemisphere, the language center. Wary of the most common alternatives to Western rationalism, he dismisses psychoanalysis as reductive; believes parapsychology has a future although most contemporary theories are ""laughable""; faults Castaneda for a failure of approach; and tears into guru-of-the-month clubs and ""franchised"" meditation groups which fail to distinguish consciousness from cultural style. What's left for those seeking Wisdom? Sufism, a relevant ""spiritual psychology for the mainstream"" which makes no promise of instant relief. Those who follow the Sufi Way know the difference between ""the container and the content."" Ornstein reprints several teaching tales and aphorisms, primarily from the works of Jallaludin Rumi and Idries Shah, to point up his message: ""The guide exists because the path is rough."" This has more weight than the self-improvement books, more substance than many appreciations of mysticism, but Ornstein is more convincing finding flaws in the beliefs of others than describing the essence of the Sufi way.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1976
ISBN: 1883536006
Publisher: Grossman/Viking