Throughout history attempts have been made to explain who we are and how we came to be conscious beings. Until the emergence of evolutionary theory, most explanations were theological in nature. During the last hundred years, theorists have proposed a variety of explanations, including biological, sociocultural, psychological, and transpersonal. Unfortunately, these explanations have been oriented toward just one of these particular aspects of consciousness, and have generally excluded the others. When attempts have been made to incorporate all of these aspects, Arden asserts that the results have been flawed by a dualistic approach.
Arden provides a non-dualistic and multidisciplinary explanation of what it means to be a conscious human being. While full attention is given to evolutionary theory, physics, philosophy/history, and theology, Arden provides a coherent synthesis of all the factors affecting consciousness. The issues raised by the sciences of complexity, chaos theory, nonlocality, as well as new developments in neurophysiology are incorporated in a broad-based theory of consciousness. Consciousness, Arden asserts, is a fluid and non-dualistic process where function and structure co-evolve. Consciousness is the result of the same evolutionary process that affects all living phenomena. As such, it is both a part of and an active participant in the biosphere we inhabit. This is an intriguing volume for anyone interested in the underpinnings of consciousness, from psychologists and philosophers to laypeople interested in transpersonal ideas.
About the Author:
JOHN BOGHOSIAN ARDEN is Director of Training, Department of Psychiatry, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Vallejo, California. Among his earlier publications is Consciousness, Dreams, and Self.