Consciousness from Zombies to Angels

The Shadow and the Light of Knowing Who You Are
By (author) Christian de Quincey

Other books by this author

Consciousness from Zombies to Angels
The Shadow and the Light of Knowing Who You Are
By (author) Christian de Quincey

Availability: In stock

plus minus
$18.95

Free Shipping on orders over $18 (within the U.S.)

Pages : 320

Book Size : 6 x 9

ISBN-13 : 9781594772535

Imprint : Park Street Press

On Sale Date : December 15, 2008

Format : Paperback Book

Illustrations : 23 color and b&w illustrations

Consciousness from Zombies to Angels presents a practical, step-by-step, "owner's guide" for the mind, explaining what consciousness is, how it works, and why it's important. Christian de Quincey offers seven steps for understanding consciousness and how it can lead to spiritual awareness.
Description

About Consciousness from Zombies to Angels

A user-friendly, step-by-step guide to understanding the mind

• Presents a practical journey into understanding consciousness--philosophy’s hardest problem, science’s final frontier, and spirituality’s deepest mystery

• Offers 7 steps to transform your life using the shadow and the light of consciousness

Consciousness from Zombies to Angels presents a practical, step-by-step “owner’s guide” for the mind that sorts out philosophy’s hardest problem, science’s final frontier, and spirituality’s deepest mystery--what consciousness is, how it works, and why it’s important. Christian de Quincey presents seven simple steps for understanding consciousness and how it can lead to spiritual awareness: observe your language, identify the problem, learn how to look, recognize your patterns, know yourself, embrace your shadow, and practice transformation.

All of us exhibit both shadow and light, aspects of ourselves we fear and deny (our inner Zombies) as well as qualities we admire and want to radiate (our inner Angels). The key to a creative and fulfilled life is to integrate both. De Quincey reveals that the way to transformation is to accept ourselves exactly as we are--a work in progress.

Readers will learn the difference between “energy talk” and “consciousness talk”; how the body affects the mind, and vice versa; and where to go for help to develop consciousness, heal emotions, or grow spiritually. De Quincey shows how to recognize and break habits and patterns that run your life, how to find out who you really are, and why facing up to your darkest fears will liberate your brightest light as you learn to embrace all of your humanity and experience the power of transformation.
Excerpt

Book Excerpt


CHAPTER 2


Fishing for Consciousness


Consciousness, as we all know, is our most intimate reality--yet, paradoxically, once we think about it, it is also our deepest mystery. Like all experience--but even more so--consciousness is ineffable. As soon as we begin to talk about it, it slides from our grasp like a slippery fish. Yet, using the net of language, we will go fishing, and the promise of this book is that you will leave here with something to fry (or to throw back).
     The task will not always be easy, but neither will it be uninteresting. It will challenge us to think, to question some of our deep assumptions about the nature of the world and ourselves. We will cover well-worn ground as we survey different perspectives on consciousness. But we are also explorers, probing our own world of experience, of lived, related, consciousness. To give you an idea of the journey ahead, I’ll begin with a couple of quotes from previous adventurers in the study of consciousness.

Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written about it. (Sutherland 1989)

Consciousness is a word worn smooth by a million tongues. Depending upon the figure of speech chosen it is a state of being, a substance, a process, a place, an epiphenomenon, an emergent aspect of matter, or the only true reality. (Miller 1972)

     I once compared trying to define consciousness like walking on an Escher stairway: if you keep walking down, you eventually end up where you started. If you try to define consciousness, sooner or later, you need to use the concept of consciousness to explain what you are explaining! It’s a circular paradox, a tautology: Consciousness is . . . well . . . it’s consciousness!
     When I teach Consciousness Studies, often on the first day of class I ask the students what “consciousness” means to them. They call out, popcorn style, words that run the gamut from “being awake” and “it’s who I am” to “nothingness.”
     After fifteen minutes the blackboard is littered with multiple, often contradictory, meanings. I point to the tangled word salad and say, “Take a look. This one simple word means so many different things to different people. No wonder we get confused when trying to talk about it.”
     Typically someone then asks me: “Well, how do you define consciousness.”
     “I don’t,” I respond. “Notice I didn’t ask you to define consciousness. I specifically asked what it meant to you.”
     I then explain that I avoid offering a definition of consciousness for a couple of reasons. First, to define means to “put a boundary around” or “to limit” something. I think it is premature for us to decide in advance whether consciousness has any limits. Certainly, we learn from many of the world’s great spiritual traditions that it is infinite, totally free, and without constraint. Second, definitions are statements of (presumed) objective fact. A dictionary definition is fixed and public. But consciousness is not objective; it is subjective. Furthermore, if you look up the definition of a word, it tends to carry authoritative weight, implying this is the correct or right meaning. But who decides?
     I think defining consciousness, therefore, is a little arrogant. I don’t assume that I have the one and only “right” meaning or that mine trumps yours. Not at all. However, if we wish to communicate, I do think it is important to be as clear as possible about the meaning we do use. And so I tell my students that I will spend the following class giving a presentation that clarifies what I mean when I use the word “consciousness.” They don’t have to agree with me, but it is important for them to understand what I mean.
     And so it is here, too.

Consciousness

If you can feel anything, or have a point of view, you have consciousness (which rules out zombies). You are sentient, experiencing the world from your own unique perspective. Consciousness, therefore, includes experience, subjectivity, interiority. It is what-it-feels-like from “within.”
     Besides the capacity for (1) feeling, and (2) subjectivity, consciousness what enables any body (3) to know anything (the source of knowledge); (4) to be for anything or be about anything else (the source of intentionality); (5) to choose anything (the source of value); (6) for anything to have self-direction (the source of purpose); and (7) to be for itself (to have intrinsic meaning).
     That’s what I mean when I use the term. In short, it is the ground or context of all mental or psychic phenomena--such as feelings, sensations, perceptions, ideas, thoughts, desires, beliefs, wishes, intentions, and willing.
     That’s what it is. But it also gets its meaning in contrast to what it’s not.

Two Basic Meanings
I’ve noticed that whenever people discuss “consciousness,” they often find themselves talking in circles because they mean quite different things. It’s essentially a difference between psychological and philosophical meanings.
     For some people, “consciousness” means more or less being awake, alert, aroused, aware--or, simply, being conscious as distinct from being unconscious. This is the psychological-psychoanalytic meaning as used in Freudian, Jungian, and many other psychologies. It is the kind of distinction we each encounter every morning--the difference between being asleep and waking up.
     But if this is what we mean by “consciousness,” how then do we account for the difference between a sleeping person and, say, a rock (or a dead person)? It is not sufficient to say that both the sleeping person and the rock are unconscious in the same way. While it is true that neither is awake, it is not true to say that both lack all psychic or sentient capacity.
     The sleeping person is unconscious, but the rock is non-conscious. The unconscious person’s body still responds to stimuli, it still senses and feels--it still has a psychic life--but the rock does not.
Table of Contents

Table of content


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Preface:   
Stepping into Consciousness

Introduction:   
The Wizard’s Gift


Part I    The Philosopher’s Gift: What Is It?

1    Meaning and the Mystery of Life

2    Honing Consciousness

   Zombies and Other Problems

Part II    The Scientist’s Gift: How Does It Work?

   Hardwired for God?

5    A Likely Story

6    The Quantum Wonderland

   Quantum Consciousness

8    I.C.E. World: The Ultimate Story

   Science through the Looking Glass

Part III    The Mystic’s Gift: Why Is It Important?

10     Strange Attraction

11     I Think, Therefore, I Am a God

12    What’s Up with Creation?

13    The Shadow and the Shaman’s Gift

14    Spiritual Consciousness

Part IV    Consciousness Dialogues

Dialogue 1: Beyond Belief

Dialogue 2: Something for Nothing?

Dialogue 3: Consciousness, Energy, and Evolution

Dialogue 4: Rocks and Network Consciousness

Dialogue 5: Is Consciousness Spirit?


Notes

Bibliography

Index

Author Bio
Christian de Quincey, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy and consciousness studies at John F. Kennedy University; dean of consciousness studies at the University of Philosophical Research; founder of The Wisdom Academy, offering personal mentorships in consciousness and conscious evolution; and an international speaker on consciousness, cosmology, and spirituality. He is the author of the award-winning Radical Nature and Radical Knowing and a novel, Deep Spirit. He lives in Half Moon Bay, California.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

“In clear, accessible language, Christian de Quincey unpacks the mysteries of consciousness and how it works, taking the subject off the philosopher’s shelf and placing it into the hands of the masses. Anyone reading this book will likely experience a change of view and a shift in their experience of consciousness--bringing them one step closer to reconnecting with their authentic self and the cosmos. Take some time and savor this feast of the mind and heart.”
Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

“This is the guide to consciousness that millions have been waiting for. In clear, nontechnical language, Christian de Quincey guides us through the labyrinth of the mind. This is one of the best books on consciousness to emerge in years.”
Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words and The Power of Premonitions

“It’s a rare book that pushes the frontiers of science, philosophy, and spirituality all at the same time. Christian de Quincey has done just that. With an inviting mix of deep insight, compassion, and humor, he shows us how our inner light shines with brilliance only when we embrace all of who we are, including our darkest shadows.”
Gay Hendricks, author of Five Wishes: How Answering One Simple Question Can Make Your Dreams Come True and Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment

“This is an amazing book. Dr. de Quincey is the first among pure philosophers to intuit and understand the subtleties of consciousness.”
Amit Goswami, author of Physics of the Soul and God Is Not Dead

“Christian de Quincey delivers a masterful synthesis of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge insight, a warm and rare work revealing the secrets of self-knowledge. Read and awaken to the wondrous potential of your human consciousness.”
Obadiah Harris, president of the University of Philosophical Research

“Christian de Quincey has given us a rare gem of a book. It’s truly beautifully written, is simple and readable, and is profound and  meaningful. Anyone who has ever wondered about mind and consciousness, and about who we really are and how we are related, should read this book. It is informative and thought provoking. And that’s the classical mark of all inspired philosophers.”
Ervin Laszlo, author of Quantum Shift in the Global Brain and Science and the Akashic Field

“Finally, a book that unites the evolution of consciousness with conscious evolution. As we stand at the threshold to a new world, Christian de Quincey raises the conversation about consciousness to a whole new level. In clear and simple language, he educates, entertains, and inspires. Consciousness from Zombies to Angels is an owner’s manual to that final frontier where science and spirit meet.”
Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution

“The hard problem of consciousness has never been presented in an easier and more illuminating way. Christian de Quincey has achieved a miracle of popularization and has also broken new philosophical ground--and the combination is an even greater miracle.”
Nicholas Humphrey, professor of psychology, London School of Economics, and author of Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness

“In this breakthrough book, philosopher and spiritual mentor Christian de Quincey uses a rare mix of humor and intelligence to launch us on the way to personal and collective transformation.”
James Twyman, author of The Art of Spiritual Peacemaking and The Moses Code

“A must-read for anyone who wants to know more about consciousness. Lucid and comprehensive, profound and inspiring. Christian de Quincey tackles the hard problems of mind head-on, offering deep insights into our essential nature.”
Peter Russell, author of The Global Brain and From Science to God 

" . . . an excellent pick for psychology and spirituality collections alike."
The Midwest Book Review, April 2009

"Christian de Quincey is making a mark as one of the greatest metaphysical philosophers of our time. He has a great grasp of language and an expansive knowledge of the leading works and ideas in relevant fields. In this book, he explores how it becomes evident that Consciousness is primordial and an intrinsic aspect of the experienced reality that unfolds through the media of energy and information."
Jed Shlackman, reviewer, April 2009

"Writing for the layperson, Christian de Quincey makes you think about consciousness in a new way."
EnlightenNext, Issue 44, Jun-Aug 2009

"Besides suggesting changes in how we think and talk about events in consciousness (he really thrashes the common New Age formula that thoughts create reality), [de Quincey] puts forward some intriguing new notions."
Henry Reed, Venture Inward, Sept/Oct 2009

"Following the concepts found in this book, you will be able to recognize and break habits and patterns that run or even ruin your life."
Sonia von Matt Stoddard, Awareness, Vol. 16, No. 6, Nov/Dec 2009
Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

PSYCHOLOGY / SELF-HELP

“In clear, accessible language, Christian de Quincey unpacks the mysteries of consciousness and how it works, taking the subject off the philosopher’s shelf and placing it into the hands of the masses. Anyone reading this book will likely experience a change of view and a shift in their experience of consciousness--bringing them one step closer to reconnecting with their authentic self and the cosmos. Take some time and savor this feast of the mind and heart.”
--Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

Consciousness from Zombies to Angels
presents a practical, step-by-step “owner’s guide” for the mind that sorts out philosophy’s hardest problem,  science’s final frontier, and spirituality’s deepest mystery--what consciousness is, how it works, and why it’s important. Christian de Quincey provides seven simple steps for understanding consciousness and how it can lead to spiritual awareness: observe your language, identify the problem, learn how to look, recognize your patterns, know yourself, embrace your shadow, and practice transformation.

All of us exhibit both shadow and light, aspects of ourselves we fear and deny (our inner zombies) as well as qualities we admire and want to radiate (our inner angels). The key to a creative and fulfilled life is to integrate both. De Quincey reveals that the way to transformation is to accept ourselves exactly as we are--a work in progress.

Readers will learn the difference between “energy talk” and “consciousness talk”; how the body affects the mind, and vice versa; and where to go for help to develop consciousness, heal emotions, or grow spiritually. De Quincey shows how to recognize and break habits and patterns that run your life, how to find out who you really are, and why facing up to your darkest fears will liberate your brightest light as you learn to embrace all of your humanity and experience the power of transformation.

CHRISTIAN DE QUINCEY, Ph.D.,  is a professor of philosophy and consciousness studies at John F. Kennedy University; dean of consciousness studies at the University of Philosophical Research; founder of The Wisdom Academy, offering personal mentorships in consciousness and conscious evolution; and an international speaker on consciousness, cosmology, and spirituality. He is the author of the award-winning Radical Nature and Radical Knowing and a novel, Deep Spirit. He lives in Half Moon Bay, California.

The Lost Art of Heart Navigation