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Altered states of consciousness Paperback – January 1, 1990

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 691 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 3rd Revised edition (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062508571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062508577
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness, particularly altered states of consciousness - as one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology - and for his research in parapsychology. His two classic books, "Altered States of Consciousness" (1969) and "Transpersonal Psychologies" (1975), were widely used texts that were instrumental in allowing these areas to become part of modern psychology.

Dr. Tart was born a few years before the Second World War and grew up in Trenton, a mid-sized East Coast city. An episode of rheumatic fever when he was 9 kept him from school and in bed for months, but a visiting teacher gave him a love of learning that he is eternally grateful for. While still a teenager he fell in love with science, especially electronics, He was active in ham radio (call letters K2CFP), and learned enough electronics to work his way through college as a radio engineer (First Class Radiotelephone License). He was raised as a Lutheran, and his personal struggles with the conflict between religion and science he experienced as a teenager created his lifelong career focus of trying to build bridges between genuine science and genuine spirituality.

Charley, as his friends call him, went to college to study electrical engineering at MIT, but while there discovered that he could become a psychologist and thus, he hoped, pursue his deep interests in the nature of the mind and parapsychology. He received his Ph.D. in psychology, with research on influencing night time dreams by posthypnotic suggestions, from the University of North Carolina in 1963, and then received two years of postdoctoral training in hypnosis research at Stanford.

He was a Professor of Psychology at the Davis campus of the University of California for 28 years, where he conducted his research and was a popular teacher, and is now a Core Faculty Member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California, a unique Ph.D. granting institution that believes you should educate a person's body, spirit and emotions as well as their intellectual mind. (Note ITP has now become Sofia University as of 2012) In the 1970s Dr. Tart consulted on the original remote viewing research program at Stanford Research Institute, where some of his parapsychological work was instrumental in influencing government policy makers against the funding of the proposed multi-billion dollar MX missile system.

In addition to "Altered States of Consciousness" (1969) and "Transpersonal Psychologies" (1975), Dr. Tart's other books are "On Being Stoned: A Psychological Study of Marijuana Intoxication" (1971), "States of Consciousness" (1975), "Symposium on Consciousness" (1975, with co-authors), "Learning to Use Extrasensory Perception" (1976), "Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm" (1977), "Mind at Large: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Symposia on the Nature of Extrasensory Perception" (1979, with H. Puthoff & R. Targ), "Waking Up: Overcoming the Obstacles to Human Potential" (1986), "Open Mind, Discriminating Mind: Reflections on Human Possibilities" (1989), "Living the Mindful Life" (1994) and "Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality" (1997), which looks at the implications of hard scientific data on psychic abilities as a foundation for believing we have a real spiritual nature. His 2001 book, "Mind Science: Meditation Training for Practical People" (2001) presents mindfulness training in a way that makes sense for science professionals, and his most recent book, "The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Science and Spirit Together," integrates his work in parapsychology and transpersonal psychology to show that it is reasonable to be both scientific and spiritual in outlook, contrary to the widely believed idea that science shows that there is nothing to spirituality.

He has had more than 250 articles published in professional journals and books, including lead articles in such prestigious scientific journals as Science and Nature.

Not just a laboratory researcher, Dr. Tart has been a student of Aikido (in which he holds a black belt), of meditation, of Gurdjieff's Fourth Way work, and of Buddhism. He has been happily married for more than 50 years and has two children and two grandchildren. His primary goal is still to build bridges between the genuinely scientific and genuinely spiritual communities, and to help bring about a refinement and integration of Western and Eastern approaches for knowing the world and for personal and social growth.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Zadius Sky on January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There has been a number of debates, ranging from psychologists to philosophers, from scientists to theologists, from shamans to neuroscienctists, over the concept of "consciousness" for a long, long time. But, the "consciousness" is usually defined as a state of awareness or perception of one's surroundings and one's own state of mind - of being conscious. Now, we have a different concept that is related: altered states of consciousness (or ASC, for short), which Tart has defined as "qualitative shift in his pattern of mental functioning, that is, he feels not just a quantitative shift (more or less alert, more or less visual imagery, sharper or duller, etc.), but also that some quality or qualities of his mental processes are different" (p. 1). This usually means that a person would experience a different perception in space-time or distortion of one's visual perception or dissolution of one's sense of self.

Now here we have a book, as edited by Charles Tart, that is a collection of essays, first published in 1969 and updated by 1990, that explores the concept of ASC and covers the effects of drugs, meditation, hypnosis, and dreams. These essays were written by a number of well-known figures, including William James, Arthur C. Hastings, Milton H. Erickson, Wolfgang Luthe, and even include four essays by Dr. Tart himself. This book, consisted of 650+ pages, goes on for thirty-five chapters with eight sections. These sections focus on a general discussion on ASC, hypnagogic state, dreams, meditation, hypnosis, psychedelic drugs (both minor and major), and the psycho-physiology of ASC. Most of these essays can be technical but interesting while others are less and more insightful.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dr. Charles T. Tart (born 1937) is an American psychologist and parapsychologist, and one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology (he formerly taught at UC Davis). He is currently a Core Faculty Member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He has also written The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together, Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality, Transpersonal Psychologies, etc.

He wrote in the Introduction to the First Edition (1968) of this book, "An altered state of consciousness for a given individual is one in which he clearly feels a QUALITATIVE shift in his pattern of mental functioning... This book is concerned with those states of consciousness in which the individual feels one or more qualitative ... shifts in mental functioning, so that he believes himself to be in an ASC."

Here are some additional quotations from the book:

"When I created the first edition of (this book) back in 1968, I had some ambivalence about including this paper... I had some concern about its factuality... What mainly convinced me to include the paper, though, was the fact that as a child I had independently discovered and practiced the essence of dream control work..." (Pg. 202)
"Some ...
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9 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This selection stirred my couriousity and sparked my interest in finding the ultimate reality. We are all on a quest man. A quest to reveal what we lies in our thoughtless minds. An informational and enjoyable read.
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