A world at once familiar and unimaginably strange exists all around us—and within us. It is the world of consciousness, a protean mental landscape that each of us knows intimately and yet understands scarcely at all. Despite the attempts of scientists and mystics, poets and dreamers, crackpots and geniuses, to map its contours and explain its secret workings, the mind remains mysterious—even more so the more we learn about it.
Yet, as gonzo science journalist Jeff Warren demonstrates in this provocative and entertaining synthesis of cutting-edge research and personal experience, just how much we do now know is little short of astonishing. And when Warren fits the pieces together, the implications of that knowledge are, well, mind blowing.
Beginning with the insight that consciousness is not a simple on-off proposition, with rigid demarcations separating waking awareness from sleep, Jeff Warren explores twelve distinct, natural states we can experience in a twenty-four-hour day, each offering its own kind of insight and adventure. He then sets out to experience for himself the seemingly miraculous, all-but-untapped potential of the human mind.
From the full-immersion virtual realities of lucid dreaming to the esoteric Eastern meditative practices that have reached outposts of consciousness far beyond the grasp of Western science, from techniques of hypnosis and neurofeedback to such exotic states of awareness as the Watch and the Pure Conscious Event, Warren takes us on an incredible journey through our own heads, conducted with a spirit of adventure and humor, curiosity and wonder.