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Transformations in Consciousness: The Metaphysics and Epistemology (Philosophy) Paperback – July 6, 1995

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Transformations in Consciousness: The Metaphysics and Epistemology (Philosophy) + Franklin Merrell-Wolff's Experience and Philosophy: A Personal Record of Transformation and a Discussion of Transcendental Consciousness + Pathways Through to Space
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About the Author

After graduate work in philosophy at Harvard, Franklin Merrell-Wolff accepted a position as professor of mathematics at Stanford. A few months later, he abandoned a promising academic career in order to facilitate his quest for a third way of knowing--a way apart from sense perception and conceptual cognition. "I found myself in sight of the limits to which our present egoistic consciousness has reached, and also had found adumbrations of another kind of consciousness where alone, it seemed, solution of the subject-object consciousness could be found." He was the author of Franklin Merrell-Wolff's Experience and Philosophy: A Personal Record of Transformation and a Discussion of Transcendental Consciousness: Containing His Philosophy of Consciousness Without an Object and His Pathways Through to Space, also published by SUNY Press.
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Product Details

  • Series: Philosophy
  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (July 6, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791426769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791426760
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,190,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 1997
Format: Paperback
The experience of enlightenment, or of an unitive awareness beyond subject-object dualisms has often been basic for mysticisms in all traditions. It has also been vigorously debated by philosophers with a general consensus reached during the Enlightenment that reason or logic was the unique quality of consciousness. Even today reductionisms attempt to limit consciousness to some energetic metaphor. Merrell-Wolff's experience is all the more important for he comes out of a rigorous mathematical and philosophical background. When confronted with this nondualistic consciousness and its transformative effects, Merrell-Wolff was hard put to explain it. Taking on Kant's mirror dependencies of consciousness, being contingent upon perception and conception, Merrell-Wolff formulated important accounts all based experientially upon his own illuminate nondual consciousness. His most important work, and least known is Introceptualism where he sets out a formal epistemology and metaphysics for this basic transcendent consciousness. He also modifies some of his earlier statements, attempting to clarify his account of mysticism as well as placing his idealism into juxtaposition to modernist naturalism, realism, idealism and pragmatism. These books reflect a life time effort to formulate an adequate philosophy that can include such radical nondual consciousness as a present reality and possibility. Somewhat reclusive during his long life, he refused to guide or instruct others in what he felt was a natural condition of human consciousness when left to its own nature. In many ways these books provide a place where critical philosophy is strictly mystical. Highly recommended
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Online Learning on March 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure how to express my admiration for Merrell-Wolff's work beyond giving this book a "10". Cutting through the unfounded assertions of the major Western philosophical schools, while acknowledging some of their possibly valid assertions, Merrell-Wolff clearly establishes the potential of a third way of knowledge. This way Kant and his successors failed to fully elucidate. Merrell-Wolff was clearly inspired and writing from a direct experience of an extralogical recognition that lent itself to elaborate formulations of exhilirating beauty.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Plotinus on March 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Franklin Merrell-Wolff is a very unique breed among philosophers and mystics alike. I am not aware of anyone that has written such a brilliant synthesis of western philosophy and at the sime time was able to ground it in a profound experience of enlightenment. Compared to this, all the modern philosophical discussions of consciousness in western circles are conducted by blind men. Literally. If you are philosophically inclined, after reading this work almost every other philosophy will seem to stand in a smaller peak. If you are more mystical, you probably will find greater rapport with his other work, Experience and Philosophy, since this one might seem a bit too analytical.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sven on June 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I find this book to be perhaps the most difficult of FMW's works to understand and integrate, but it is well worth the trouble. The west is screaming out for litterature that can bridge the gap between our philosophical way of thinking and the eastern philosophical way of thinking. FMW's work and this book in particular is in my experience the best thing on the market in that account.

However, I would not recommend this book for those who are not well practised in reading philosophy of the heavier sort, because if you do not have this training you will probably become more confused than anything else. FMW does not deal with the topic in a light and accessible way, but since the topic is after all a complete philosopy of the supreme goal, enlightenment, nothing less is to be expected.

For my own part, FMW's works has helped shed light on many a mystery from the buddhist sutras. This is a profound work in the true spirit of Ekayana, the one vehicle.

If you are a philosophicaly inclined seeker, this is a must read along with all the other works of Merrell-Wolff. If you are not, I would recommend you go spend some more time sitting zazen/meditating and read other more easily accessible works. There are many paths that lead to the same goal.

This is one of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Halifax Student Account on November 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Franklin Merrell-Wolff isn't that well know and I don't know why. Imagine a Bertrand Russell who was less stiff and was able to look outside the bubble of life? We think that maths or logic genius' are all like Russell was. Well Franklin Merrell-Wolff is on the calibre of a Russell or even a Gödel, but he also has an interest in the East. WOW!!

Franklin Merrell-Wolff deserves to be taken very seriously indeed and if you have stumbled upon his name and checked out this review.... Then you are on the right path!

Peace!
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Transformations in Consciousness: The Metaphysics and Epistemology (Philosophy)
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