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The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness Multimedia CD – November 27, 2007


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Product Details

  • CD-ROM
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio Inc.; Unabridged edition (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433206773
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433206771
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,211,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Warren, a Canadian science journalist, combines the rigorous self-experimentation of Steven Johnson's Mind Wide Open with the wacky self-experimentation of A.J. Jacobs's The Know-It-All in this entertaining field guide to the varying levels of mental awareness. Beginning with the mild hallucinogenic state that comes just before true sleep, he tries to hone his skills at lucid dreaming, subjects himself to hypnosis and joins a Buddhist meditation retreat, among other adventures. Along the way, he begins to realize that dreaming and waking are equivalent states, and that we can learn how to induce the subtle gradations of consciousness within ourselves. This could come off as New Age psychobabble, but Warren is well versed in the scientific literature, and he provides detailed accounts of his own research. (During one three-week period, for example, he goes to bed at sundown to recreate a period of wakefulness before returning to sleep that used to be common before electric light reconfigured our sleep schedules.) His self-mocking attitude toward his inability to achieve instant nirvana, along with a steady stream of cartoon illustrations, ensures that his ideas remain accessible. More important than the theories, though, may be the basic tools—and the visionary spirit—that Warren hands off to those interested in hacking their own minds. B&w illus. (Nov. 27)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Jeff Warren has done a great job with The Head Trip. Writing about any aspect of consciousness is treacherously difficult, but his take on the subject is clear, original and -- amazingly -- funny!" Rita Carter, author of Mapping the Mind and Exploring Consciousness"The Head Trip is an amazing book. Jeff Warren manages to be funny while packing in tons of fascinating science. Rather than sticking to conventional boundaries, Warren follows his own formidable curiosity, producing a book that is quirky, refreshing and nothing short of groundbreaking." Tom Stafford, co-author of Mind Hacks"What makes Head Trip so exhilarating is that, rather than merely tell us about such weird states as the hypnotic trance or the meditative pure conscious event, Warren actually dives in and tries to experience these consciousness states for himself.""Ultimately, it's Warren's engaging first-hand experience that brings all this to life. As he undergoes hypnagogic experiments, SMR training, lucid dream classes in Hawaii or meditation in the Scottish Highlands, you're right there with him. You'll never look at waking, sleeping or dreaming the same way again." The Independent on Sunday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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He has a very creative style to present his research.
AsInfo
Jeff Warren takes an interesting approach as he journeys into consciousness, mind, and sleep.
Patrick
Really - it is much more interesting than it sounds like it would be.
Michael P. McCullough

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There has over the past few decades been an increasing interest in something which we all take for granted: consciousness. Just how the inert molecules in the brain manage to make us conscious, or just what consciousness is, or what the different states of consciousness are, hits on huge questions within philosophy and neurology, questions that remain mysterious. To heck with all the mystery; let's just have some fun! That seems to be the attitude of Jeff Warren, a writer and broadcaster who specializes in science themes, in _The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness_ (Random House). Not to be too grandiose: in the illustrations in the book, that's the "Wheel O' Consciousness". Warren sets out to pursue consciousness, not just the waking, sleeping, and dreaming that we all go through (although his nocturnal adventures are among the most interesting), but also hypnosis and meditation and more. He does have fun throughout, and doesn't mind telling us about it in jocular, enthusiastic prose (and his own cartoon illustrations), although anyone who thinks about consciousness for a long time will wind up, well, thinking about it for a long time. There is thus a lot here to chuckle over and to contemplate.

Just dreaming is not enough. Warren has to pursue different types of dreaming, like hypnagogic dreams, the ones that last a few minutes just as you are falling into sleep. Warren writes about how to use hypnagogia for problem solving, and it produced the idea of this book, but some of the ideas he had were real lemons ("... this isn't magic, it's still your fallible human brain operating.") In a lucid dream, you know you are dreaming and you can play around in the dream world, pushing it to do what you want.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra Shimo on December 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jeff Warren moves through the latest thinking on consciousness, mind, and sleep, with ease and zany wit and humour. Written from the perspective of a culture vulture trying to figure out what's going on inside his own head, he effortlessly synthesizes much of the latest thinking about the brain in fields as diverse as psychology, neuro-biology, immunology and others. Thomas Kuhn, Sigmund Freud, Steven Johnson, and many other great thinkers show up in this bold, adventurous journey through the mind.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon Anderson on January 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This one was fun; and it really changed the way I think about consciousness. The author is very entertaining, and the style and delivery of the content is unique. The fact that he did all of these things himself (experimentally) added a whole new level to this book's importance. If it had just been a dry documentary, it wouldn't have been the same.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who's willing to take a wild journey into themselves, and who isn't afraid to change the way they see the world around them (or dream it!).
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Domestic Wolverine on January 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The concepts here may not be new for those who've gone of the way to get experienced with their consciousness, but the level of detail (dig that bibliography!) and attention to recent developments in various fields -- sleep science, neurofeedback, even hypnosis -- is enough to inspire all sorts of new inquiry.

For the "layperson," however, or "non-freak," this condenses what it took your average freak ten years of living to explore and confirm on his own. Read it and save yourself the time!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Books on dreams and dreaming seem to fall into one of two types. Either it's an academic study with white-coated researchers measuring brain waves and chemistry, or it's personal accounts with perhaps a bit of counselling thrown in to establish credibility. Jeff Warren has made a sincere effort to combine these two methods. He's interviewed a number of brain/consciousness researchers as well as undergoing their testing procedures. The result is a highly personalised account of dreaming research as it stands today.

Don't be put off by the "pop-psych" title. Warren makes a serious attempt to bring to the lay reader some of the issues in consciousness studies. Except that much of this work involves the periods when we're not "conscious". His mechanism is to provide readers with a breakdown of consciousness, which he depicts as a wheel. A neat dozen segments are portrayed representing the chapter subjects to follow. The topics are enhanced with images of "passports" to explain where you are going and something of what you will learn. The passport gives the name of the topic, how to go there, what you might find and a personal example. "Passport" may be misleading - it's not a trip to a physical segment of the brain you are undertaking, but a tour of a condition.

The conditions have been the subject of many studies in recent years. Although much of the narrative is a list of Warren's personal experiences, those events have been done with the assistance of brain scientists. Warren carefully recounts the various theses proposed about what the brain is doing during sleep, dreaming, in "trance" state and other periods when it's more-or-less operating on automatic pilot.
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