Then I Am Myself the World: What Consciousness Is and How To Expand It

Basic: Perseus. May 2024. 288p. ISBN 9781541602809. $30. PSYCH
“Consciousness” implies a state of being aware of oneself and one’s place in the world. This state happens when complex bodily systems involving the brain and nerves continually work together throughout a person’s lifetime. Neuroscientist Koch (The Feeling of Life Itself) examines many angles of consciousness. For example, he discusses how emotions and perceptions begin, how humans rely on their own realities as they evolve, why near-death and mystical experiences are important, and the potential benefits of psychedelics. In one chapter, he speculates about the potential of computers to replicate human consciousness and to be programmed for use beyond a person’s death. His extensive research supports his ideas and conclusions. For readers who want to learn more, there’s a huge notes section at the end of the book that details the sources of Koch’s research.
VERDICT Easily the most current, thorough, and helpful exploration of consciousness available. Koch’s light, simple, yet authoritative writing style will appeal to general audiences as well as scientists and researchers. An essential, highly recommended purchase.
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