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Altered States/Dissociation
Record Type: Review   ID: 368

Alternate States of Consciousness: Unself, Otherself, and Superself

Evans, Hilary

 The author, who directs the Mary Evans Picture Library [PAI: 888], has written two books in which he is mainly concerned with visions seen in various altered states [PAI: 725, 726], but in this book he concentrates on classifying the various forms of alternate states (his preferred term), their characteristics, triggers, benefits, and negative aspects, and in theorizing about alternate states of the self. Occasional reference is made to psi-based altered states. Example cases are given in all categories discussed. There are whole chapters or sections of chapters devoted to characteristics that recur in ASCs and to the several ways in which ASCs occur (spontaneous, externally triggered, mentally triggered, voluntary) as well as various types of "triggers" (physiological, environmental, psychological, cultural, do-it-yourself) and interactions between and combinations of the foregoing. A chapter is devoted to the types of motivation in alternate states. In a final chapter he discusses whether or not ASCs are "real," whether they are distinct from one's usual conscious state or from other ASCs, whether they are "better" than the usual state or some ASCs are "better" than others, and whether or not ASCs can be controlled. Evans has deliberately kept technical terminology to a minimum, so this book should be of value to laypersons, but his scheme and ideas can be pondered with profit by experts as well.
Publisher Information:Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England: Aquarian Press, 1989. 256p. Bibl: 244-251; Index: 252-256
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