Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Consciousness Quest: Where East Meets West: On Mind, Meditation, and Correlates

Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Consciousness Quest: Where East Meets West: On Mind, Meditation, and Correlates

Article excerpt

J.P. Das (2014). Consciousness Quest: Where East Meets West: On Mind, Meditation, and Correlates, Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, xx+308, Rs.895/- _

It is a volume contributed by the author's long time association with eastern and western psychological thoughts. Prof. Ramakrishna Rao, in his foreword states that, "this book is remarkable and fascinating in at least two important respects. First, it indicates the maturity of psychology itself in the last 50 years. Second, it reveals the relevance of classical Indian thought to psychological discourse at this time beyond the borders of India".

In this Consciousness Quest, Professor Das packs a lot of pertinent information and raises many significant issues within 15 compact chapters. The neuroscientific discussions are deep, penetrating, and broad ranged. The philosophical and phenomenal coverage is selective, but focused. The western sources are widely cited whereas the material on eastern thought is somewhat limited in scope, but broad based ranging from Upanishads, Buddhism and Bhagavad Gita to Swami Sivananda and Gopi Krishna. Professor Das is fearless in raising embarrassing issues, even if he has partial solutions only. He is frank in admitting paradoxes and not hiding his biases. The result is an engaging and absorbing book that challenges the readers to think for themselves on rich, and diverse, but related issues concerning their being and destiny. The book leaves us with four hard problems to think about that humanity has inherited from ancient time: (1) Is there a self? (2) Does consciousness exist outside the body? (3) Do we have free will? …

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