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Colored Inklings: Altered States of Consciousness and Literature

Cousins, Wendy (2011) Colored Inklings: Altered States of Consciousness and Literature. In: Altering Consciousness: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. (Eds: Cardeña, Etzel and Winkelman, Michael), Praeger, pp. 277-300. ISBN 978-0313383083 [Book section]

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URL: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Altering-Consciousness-Multidisciplinary-Etzel-Cardena/dp/0313383081


The phrase "stream of consciousness" to indicate the flow of inner experience was first used by William James in Principles of Psychology (1890) yet writers throughout the ages have described the altered states of consciousness which arise when this stream is diverted from its normal courses: from the visions and dreams described by mystics in the earliest religious texts, to the modern accounts written by neuroscientists. This chapter highlights the importance of literature for the study of consciousness and describes how the development of writing affected a shift in human experience second only to the development of language itself by extending our capacity to think beyond the here and now. It then goes on to explore how authors throughout the ages have explored altered states of consciousness in their personal lives and in their literary work with particular emphasis on religious experience, drug use, hypnosis and dissociative states.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:Altered States of Consciousness; Consciousness; Psychology; Literature; Culture
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
ID Code:18249
Deposited By: Dr Wendy Cousins
Deposited On:18 May 2011 10:32
Last Modified:18 May 2011 10:32

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