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Consciousness: Cultural and Therapeutic Perspectives

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Edited By Dagmar Eigner

In recent years the study of consciousness has gained considerable impulse through interdisciplinary approaches. Modulation and transformation of consciousness have been deployed for tens of thousands of years to obtain knowledge and to enhance well-being and health. In many societies, techniques based on exceptional states of consciousness have been used to maintain ecological equilibrium. The volume deals with historic, social, linguistic, philosophical, psychological, physiological, aesthetic, and creative issues of consciousness research. According to the integrative endeavours of the authors a variety of methods were applied; mostly, not only etic, but also emic perceptions were considered. The work of shamans, artists, and psychotherapists constitutes the main content of this volume, exploring different techniques for the induction of altered states of consciousness.

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Daily and Oceanic Consciousness: A Dual Modality. Renaud van Quekelberghe

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131 Daily and Oceanic Consciousness: A Dual Modality Renaud van Quekelberghe Introduction Duality is an important general theme that has manifestations in almost every area of mathematics (cf. Gowers, 2008). For example, there is a natural association in the projective plane: each point P is associated with the line L that consists of all points orthogonal to P, and each line L is associated with the single point P that is orthogonal to all points in L. Dual objects are to be found in numerous fields of mathematics (e.g., set theory, linear algebra, Fourier transforms, (co-) homology, Hilbert spaces). Duality is also present in quantum mechanics (Bohr’s “wave-particle” com- plementarity, Heisenberg’s uncertainty relations). Within the consciousness field, we can also observe an important dual modality: daily consciousness vs. oceanic consciousness. This dual modality can easily be characterized by a series of properties (dimensions, categories) as indicated in table I. Tab. I. Daily consciousness Oceanic consciousness *relative absolute dependent autonomous conditioned unconditioned *limited unlimited finite infinite 132 *movable unmovable changeable unchangeable temporal timeless mortal immortal *incomplete complete insufficient perfect mixed pure *dual non-dual plural singular manifold simple divisible indivisible individual universal egocentric egoless As already indicated in table I (*), we can reduce the many polarities to a handful of dimensions, such as: • relative - absolute • limited - unlimited • movable - unmovable • incomplete - complete • many - one Surely, each of these five main polarities can be conceived as hyper- dimensions that would be completely sufficient for a clear distinction between daily...

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