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Six points to ponder

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Commentary on ‘The View from Within’, edited by Francisco Varela and Jonathan Shear

[opening paragraph]: On page 2 of this volume our co-editors set admirable goals. They seek ‘method- ologies that can provide an open link to objective, empirically based description'. Moreover, they want ‘explicit examples of practical knowledge, in case studies'. My comments will address these words and goals. I too prefer the case-method approach, and seek practical ways to access states of consciousness. Then, at the top of page 4, Professors Varela and Shear define ‘nonconscious phenomena’ as those the subject is not aware of. In order to comment further on this issue of awareness and non-awareness, I'll first need to pick up on their other key word -- ‘blindness’ -- as introduced in their section VII. I'll then redirect it. For surely a central topic to confront is our own self-imposed blindfold. Which subterranean region of consciousness are we most unaware of? What thwarts our efforts to study all of its regions? Our own covert self.

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 2445 Moscow Mt. Road, Moscow, ID 83843-9132, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 1999


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