Précis of Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

Philosophy East and West 66 (3):927-933 (2016)

Evan Thompson
University of British Columbia
The central idea of Waking, Dreaming, Being is that the self is a process, not a thing or an entity.1 The self isn’t something outside experience, hidden either in the brain or in some immaterial realm. It is an experiential process that is subject to constant change. We enact a self in the process of awareness, and this self comes and goes depending on how we are aware.When we’re awake and occupied with some manual task, we enact a bodily self geared to our immediate environment. Yet this bodily self recedes from our experience if our task becomes an absorbing mental one. If our mind wanders, the mentally imagined self of the past or future overtakes the self of the present moment.As we start to fall asleep, the...
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DOI 10.1353/pew.2016.0059
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