Transcendent Mind: Rethinking the Science of Consciousness
American Psychological Association, 2017
Julia Mossbridge and I decided that it was time for a post-materialist book about the nature of consciousness, so we wrote one. This is it! We like it a lot! The following is the description of the book from the back cover, along with some endorsements and reviews:
Where does consciousness come from? For most scientists and
laypeople, it is axiomatic that something in the substance of the brain —
neurons, synapses and gray matter in just the right combination — create
perception, self-awareness, and intentionality. Yet despite decades of
neurological research, that "something" — the mechanism by which this process is
said to occur — has remained frustratingly elusive. This is no accident, as the
authors of this book argue, given that the evidence increasingly points to a
startling fact: consciousness may not, in fact, reside in the brain at all.
In this wide-ranging and deeply scientific book, Imants Barušs and Julia Mossbridge utilize findings from special relativity and quantum mechanics, modern and ancient philosophers, and paranormal psychology to build a rigorous, detailed investigation into the origins and nature of human consciousness. Along the way, they examine the scientific literature on concepts including mediumship, out-of-body and near-death experiences, telekinesis, "apparent" versus "deep time," and mind-to-mind communication, and introduce eye-opening ideas about our shared reality. The result is a revelatory tour of the "post-materialist" world — and a roadmap for consciousness research in the twenty-first century.
Transcendent Mind is a landmark text in the history of western
psychology. It is perhaps the first postmaterialist psychology textbook of the
21st century. It offers a rational analysis of theories of consciousness and a
rigorous discussion of essentially all the data collected in western science
that speak to the possibility of shared mind, and mind without brain. It is
data-driven yet open-minded and scholarly, yet accessible. It should be required
reading for a new generation of consciousness investigators.
—Leanna J. Standish, PhD, ND, LAc, FABNO, Professor, School of Naturopathic Medicine, Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA; and School of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
Few people on the planet can match Imants Barušs and Julia Mossbridge in
their familiarity with and understanding of the relevant research and in their
perspective to put that research into context. Transcendent Mind stands
out among other books on consciousness in its consideration of all the data both
for and against various interpretations, and in its rigorous scientific thinking
about mind–body interactions.
—Bruce Greyson, MD, Carlson Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville
Here is a breath of clean fresh air for the serious explorer of
consciousness. I've waited my whole career for such a book, given to us now by
two of the foremost researchers in the field.
—Allan Leslie Combs, PhD, Doshi Professor of Consciousness Studies and Director, Center for Consciousness Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco; President, The Society for Consciousness Studies; author of Consciousness Explained Better: Towards an Integral Understanding of the Multifaceted Nature of Consciousness
Should be compulsory reading for every student of parapsychology, the
paranormal, spirituality and life itself. The authors have done a magnificent
job translating scientific research to make a compelling case for consciousness
separate from the brain. They are both highly respected in their field and this
book is destined to become an important one for generations of students to come.
Shame about the price but for the amount of golden research collated and
articulated in there it is worth every penny. Simply brilliant.
—Book Lover, Amazon.com, September 6, 2016
I cannot rate this book highly enough! This is simply the most intelligent
consideration of this topic in print. The meticulous research, honesty even when
it is not in favor of the hypothesis, collection of data, and the absolutely
brilliant offering of multiple interpretations of data is unsurpassed.
—R. Pickering, Amazon.com, September 19, 2016
Transcendent Mind can be purchased from the publisher APA Books, from Amazon.com, from Amazon.ca, or from your favourite bookseller. Enjoy reading it!
The Impossible Happens: A Scientist's Personal Discovery of the Extraordinary Nature of Reality
Iff Books, 2013
I wrote this book because I have found that my students can often relate to personal experiences better than they can relate to scientific studies. In this case, these are some of the personal experiences that I have had that, along with empirical evidence from scientific studies, have led me away from materialism toward a transcendent view of reality. In particular, I describe the sequence of dreams that I had over the course of several decades that led me to realize that some of my dreams anticipate future events. In addition, I talk about some of my efforts at distance healing and my experiences with a medium who regularly produces correct information that was not acquired through ordinary means. It is my hope that my experiences can provide an inspiration for others to explore these phenomena for themselves.
Gary Schwartz kindly wrote the following blurb for the book: "Sometimes the most convincing and meaningful data come not from the university laboratory but from the laboratory of personal life. Dr. Imants Baruss practices the integration of academic and self-science in an inspiring and compelling manner. This book stunningly illustrates how the trained scientific mind can help reveal the seemingly impossible in everyday life." - Gary E. Schwartz, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Medicine at the University of Arizona, author of THE AFTERLIFE EXPERIMENTS and THE SACRED PROMISE.
And here's a review: "Imants Baruss is not claiming that the logically impossible happens. He doesn't claim to have found a round square, for example, or a colorless blue disk. But he does claim to have experienced some things that seem to be physically impossible — things such as dreaming of a future event before it happens, healing someone at a distance through mental imagery, curing a lesion on his own liver by analyzing his dreams, and communicating with dead people. It is perfectly reasonable to be skeptical about such claims. What is so effective about the approach Imants takes in this book is that he shows that it is also perfectly reasonable to be open-minded about these claims, for he describes his experiences and explains his thinking about them in a way that is consistent with the basic principle of empiricism: try it and see for yourself. ~ Jack Call, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Citrus College, author of God is a Symbol of Something True
Here's an unsolicited e-mail that I received on January 10, 2014: "> ......just finished reading it. I wailed through it. It was surprising to me that I would peel through a book that fast. I could not put it down. What a journey! Thank you for choosing the courage to be vulnerable and exposing an experience that is difficult to prove scientifically as a scientist. An experiential component combined with discernment is worth a scientific investigation and measure. Human beings experience more than our brain can define. It was like reading a science project combined with the authors personal experience at the same time. I struggle not to write my own opinions, but I discern that through physical and psycho/spiritual experiences one discovers we are not just cognitive beings. Empirical evidence need not be proven within these experiences but rather living through the heart is evidence enough and ultimately heals us from within and without. In witnessing that, perhaps there is nothing to prove. Or is there?" --- Monica Antonowitsch
Copies of The Impossible Happens can be obtained from the publisher, John Hunt Publishing, or the usual booksellers. The book is also available on about 17 different e-book platforms, including iTunes.
Science as a Spiritual Practice
Imprint Academic, 2007
Science as a Spiritual Practice is in three parts. In the first part I argue that there are problems with materialism and that self-transformation could lead individual scientists to more comprehensive ways of understanding reality. In the second part I take on the contentious notion of inner knowledge and show how access to inner knowledge could be possible in some altered states of consciousness. The third part is an analysis of the philosophy of Franklin Wolff, who claimed that the transcendent states of consciousness which occurred for him resulted from his mathematical approach to spirituality. The following are the jacket blurbs:
"Science as a Spiritual Practice is a remarkable achievement, of which many of the patriarchs of science, such as Bacon and Newton, would likely approve. They would probably marvel at the banishment of spirituality from science that has occurred in the modern era, and the irrational tenacity with which it remains tabooed. Baruss's courageous, insightful book redresses this development. His perspective makes science more scientific, not less."
-- Larry Dossey, MD, author Space, Time & Medicine and The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
"Science is now recognizing spiritual change and higher transcendent conscious states. This book is at the cutting edge of neuroscience and spiritual practice. It is essential reading for any scientist seeking consciousness development."
-- Peter Fenwick, MD, President of the Scientific and Medical Network
I also received the following endorsement:
"Science as spiritual practice is a highly thought provoking book and is a must read for any open-minded scientist who is interested in the nature of reality."
Goswami, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Oregon, and author of
The Self-Aware Universe and other books
And from the reviews:
"The author is a true scientist, and one of the delights of this book is the way in which his scientific curiosity keeps bubbling out to descriptions of surveys carried out under his supervision to investigate aspects of deeper experience . . ."
-- Chris Clarke, networkreview, Summer 2007, pp. 47-48
"There is a mature outlook to the book, an awareness that spirituality can make your life more difficult . . . . There is no programme here, mind, but nor does the book consist of just discussion and chatter. . . . Overall, Science as a Spiritual Practice presents a thought-provoking discussion of the possible rewards and costs of a particular kind of spiritual journey. If you're at an existential crossroads, whatever they look like when they're at home, it could well be a catalyst for change."
-- Paul Kane, 2009, The Compulsive Reader
Science as a Spiritual Practice can be obtained from the publisher, Imprint Academic, or Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Waterstone's.
American Psychological Association, 2003
This book is an overview of alterations of consciousness such as daydreaming, sleep, dreaming, hypnosis, and psychedelics. I have included some less-traditional alterations such as sensory restriction, trance, transcendence, and near-death experiences. But also some truly controversial ones such as possession, alien-abduction experiences, and past-life experiences. Throughout, I have tried to give an even-handed presentation of the subject matter. While the book is primarily an academic book that I wrote for use as a textbook in my general level altered states of consciousness course, it would also be of interest to scientists looking for an overview of altered states of consciousness, and general readers with an interest in consciousness. I tried, as much as possible, to write the book in an engaging style. From the reviews:
"[Barušs] describes and critiques the various scientific approaches, all with a combination of brisk research summaries, a narrative sense of how one question leads to another and an engaging, almost conversational style. . . . Though billed as 'An Empirical Analysis for Social Scientists,' this volume should prove useful to anyone seriously interested in research on these subjects and on the questions left for future research."
-- William Kowinski, San Francisco Chronicle
"Alterations of Consciousness is the product of Baruss' keen insights, his focus on the ideas behind research, the many theoretical connections that he successfully makes, and his multifaceted approach to the subject matter. The book is quite interesting and engaging. It can intrigue readers who are looking for an introduction to the topic of consciousness, and still challenge those who have enough background knowledge to disagree or concur with some of Baruss' claims. This is a book that puts readers on a pedestal, gives them the tools to understand a complex subject, and then dares them to think deeply about it. At the end, readers may not always agree with Baruss' view of things, but they will undoubtedly savor the realization that they have learned a great deal about consciousness by reading this book."
-- Maura Pilotti, Metapsychology
For more information, see the publisher's web page: APA Books. This book has been taken out of print, although the Kindle version is still available for sale: https://www.amazon.com/Alterations-Consciousness-Empirical-Analysis-Scientists-ebook/dp/B003Q6CX1O/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=.
Purdue University Press, 1996
What I tried to do in this book was to show how science and spiritual aspiration converge on fundamental questions about the nature of consciousness and reality when authentically pursued. The book includes chapters about authenticity (what it means to be true to oneself), science (what happens when science encounters the sublime), transcendence (the promise of enlightenment), theory (a theosophical model of reality), and self-transformation (adventures and misadventures of a spiritual aspirant). From the reviews:
"All in all, the book provides enjoyable, enlightening, and thought provoking reading. . . . Throughout, the author proves to be a worthy and mature guide for a journey that contemplates both the spoken and the unspoken, the seen and the unseen, and keeps its sojourners within light's bounds."
-- Thomas W. Draper, Journal of Consciousness Studies
For more information or to purchase a copy, see the publisher's web page: PUP.
University Press of America, 1990
This book is my doctoral dissertation in which my supervisor Robert Moore and I tried to circumscribe the state of scientific knowledge concerning consciousness in the mid-1980s and to better understand the disparity of notions of consciousness of the scientists and academics studying it. What we found, both through theoretical and empirical investigation, was that there is a material-transcendent dimension concerning beliefs about consciousness and reality that underlies the Western intellectual tradition, which, in particular, colours the manner in which research about consciousness is conducted. From the reviews:
"[This book makes] a valuable first contribution to the important project of empirically establishing a typology of views of consciousness."
-- Roger Walsh, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology
For more information or to purchase a copy, see the publisher's web page: UPA.
© 2015-19 Imants Barušs