Jeff Warren’s recent book The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness samples different states of consciousness like lucid dreams, daydreams, parasomnias, trance, “the zone,” and even meditative states like the “pure conscious event.”
Although there is a wealth of interesting and pertinent information about the various states of consciousness, it all points to a pretty broad conclusion: only collective consciousness can solve collective problems. This means that the analytic consciousness that has helped us survive as individuals is not suitable to solve the collective problems facing us now, such as exhausted resources, disappearing species, and nuclear war.
Whereas survival called for an “every man for himself” attitude before, our new collective problems require “a consciousness of the interconnectedness of life.” It is possible that a better understanding of consciousness, especially trance, neurofeedback, and meditative states, can help us in the effort to solve our collective problems. In the meantime, The Head Trip is a good introduction to the few states of consciousness we understand now.