A world at once familiar and unimaginably strange exists all around us, and within us – it is the vast realm of consciousness. In The Head Trip, science journalist Jeff Warren explores twelve distinct, natural states of consciousness available to us in a twenty-four-hour day, each state offering its own kind of knowledge and insight – its own adventure. The hypnagogic state, when our minds hover between waking and sleeping, can be a rich source of creativity and even compassion. Then there’s the Watch, an almost magical waking experience in the middle of the night that has been all but lost to electric light and modern sleep patterns. Daydreaming and trance, lucid dreaming, the Zone, and the Pure Conscious Event – from sleep laboratory to remote northern cabin, neurofeedback clinic to Buddhist retreat, Warren visits them all. Along the way, he talks to neuroscientists, chronobiologists, anthropologists, monks, and many others who illuminate his stories with cutting-edge science and age-old wisdom.
On this trip, all are welcome and no drugs are required: all you need to pack are a functioning cerebrum and an open mind. Replete with stylish graphics and brightened by comic panels conceived and drawn by the author, The Head Trip is an instant classic, a brilliant and original description of the shifting experience of consciousness that’s also a practical guide to enhancing creativity and mental health. This book does not just inform and entertain – it shows how every one of us can expand upon the ways we experience being alive.
Jeff Warren has lived and worked in Paris, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco and London. He has published articles in the Globe and Mail and the National Post. His two hour-long documentaries on sleep and dreaming for CBC Radio’s Ideas became the springboard for The Head Trip. He is an on-again, off-again producer for The Current, and is researching his next book.