Altering Consciousness

Altering Consciousness : Multidisciplinary Perspectives

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Altered consciousness is one of humanity's most mystical and life-altering aspects. These remarkable changes in mental state have understandably been a topic of general interest and scientific inquiry across time. Beyond simply satisfying our curiosity, however, studies focused upon altered consciousness can also bring valuable insights into our experience, biology, and culture. This unprecedented two-volume set will intrigue anyone interested in psychology, biology and neurology, science, history, arts and the humanities, and literature on consciousness, from general readers to scholars and researchers. An impressive collection of international contributors address altered states of consciousness from the perspectives of history, evolution, psychology, culture, literature, human biology, contemporary science, and society, seeking to illuminate the causes, effects, and meanings of altered consciousness. The first volume provides an introduction and centers on the importance of altered states in history, culture, and the humanities, while the second volume presents biological and psychological perspectives on altered consciousness and examines their potential for healing and pathology.

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  • Hardback | 800 pages
  • 162.56 x 241.3 x 68.58mm | 1,564.89g
  • 18 May 2011
  • ABC-CLIO
  • Praeger Publishers Inc
  • Westport
  • English
  • 14
  • 0313383081
  • 9780313383083
  • 366,033

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Author Information

Etzel Cardena, PhD, holds the endowed Thorsen Chair of Psychology at Lund University in Lund, Sweden. His empirical and theoretical work has received awards from Division 30 of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and the University of Texas. Michael Winkelman, MPH, PhD, received his doctorate from the School of Social Sciences University of California, Irvine. His published works include Praeger's Shamanism: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm of Consciousness and Healing, Second Edition; Praeger's Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogenic Substances as Treatments, Volume 2; and Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Approach to Religion.

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Review quote

"Each essay includes excellent references; the set as a whole has an outstanding bibliography that covers the vast array of topics related to ASC. Skeptics are likely to be dismissive of this endeavor, but ASC research remains important, and a scholarly treatment is welcome. Summing up: Recommended." - Choice "In summary, Altering Consciousness: Multidisciplinary Perspectives edited by Cardena and Winkelman provides an invaluable resource for the professional engaged in research, teaching, or clinical work on consciousness, altered states, hypnosis, dreams, shamanic healing, and a variety of other areas. The work is definitive, setting a new standard for research by clarifying concepts and paradigms; comprehensive, touching on research across the broad spectrum of the humanities, the arts, and the sciences; and relevant, guiding the reader to the scientific and existential importance of current research on consciousness. I recommend this book as a must read for the professional, a must buy for the library, and a must read for the graduate student. My compliments to Cardena and Winkelman for assembling this vast crew and bringing the book to press." - PsycCRITIQUES "These two very rich volumes are now necessary for anyone conducting research on the history of consciousness and its alterations. It remains a difficult topic, but these volumes will prove to be of great value for decades to come." - Religious Studies Review "Cardena and Winkelman have produced two valuable collections on non-ordinary states of consciousness ... There is much to learn here: no serious scholar of consciousness should be without these volumes on their shelf. " - Journal of Consciousness Studies

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