SOME REFLECTIONS ON MY — States of Consciousness. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1975.
One of the amusing things I regret is having titled this book States of Consciousness when my Altered States of Consciousness book had already been published and was popular. Too many people who have read one of these two books think they’ve read the other because of the similarity of titles. Friends have kidded me that this second one should have been named named something like Son of Altered States, or Altered State Strikes Back, as is done in second movies on a theme. 😉
But seriously, Altered States was the broad view of the many different and fascinating things reported for a variety of altered states of consciousness, and while it’s rich and fascinating, it can be somewhat overwhelming and mysterious. How can the mind do all these sorts of things?
My own training was originally as an engineer. I like to figure out how things work, and had a lot of practical experience of this working with commercial radio stations. So I applied my knowledge of radio information processing systems to ASCs and came up with a systems approach to understanding what any particular state of consciousness is, what stabilizes it in the face of the changing world that we live in, how you induce an altered state of consciousness and then how to stabilize it. My understanding isn’t the final answer to anything, it’s a framework that makes sense out of a lot of scattered observations, puts them into a pattern, and suggest useful ways to research them further. It still is a major way that I think about it 45 years later.
Note: I have included links, usually to Amazon for convenience, as it leads to more formal information and reviews by readers. Most of my books are in print in some form, some may have to be found used.