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The Hidden Spring

A Journey to the Source of Consciousness

Mark Solms



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16 March 2021
'A remarkably bold fusion of ideas from psychoanalysis, psychology and the frontiers of theoretical neuroscience that takes aim at the biggest question there is. Solms will challenge your most basic beliefs.' - Matthew Cobb, author of The Idea of the Brain How does the mind connect to the body? Why does it feel like something to be us? For one of the boldest thinkers in neuroscience, solving this puzzle has been a lifetime's quest. Now at last, the man who discovered the brain mechanism for dreaming appears to have made a breakthrough.

The very idea that a solution is at hand may seem outrageous. Isn't consciousness intangible, beyond the reach of science? Yet Mark Solms shows how misguided fears and suppositions have concealed its true nature. Stick to the medical facts, pay close attention to the eerie testimony of hundreds of neurosurgery patients, and a way past our obstacles reveals itself.

Join Solms on a voyage into the extraordinary realms beyond. More than just a philosophical argument, The Hidden Spring will forever alter how you understand your own experience. There is a secret buried in the brain's ancient foundations: bring it into the light and we fathom all the depths of our being.
By:   Mark Solms
Imprint:   Profile
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Export/Airside
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   521g
ISBN:   9781788167628
ISBN 10:   1788167627
Pages:   432
Publication Date:   16 March 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mark Solms has spent his entire career investigating the mysteries of consciousness. Best known for identifying the brain mechanisms of dreaming and for bringing psychoanalytic insights into modern neuroscience, he is director of neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, honorary lecturer in neurosurgery at the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine, and an honorary fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists.

Reviews for The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness

Nobody bewitched by these mysteries can afford to ignore the solution proposed by Mark Solms in The Hidden Spring ... fascinating, wide-ranging and heartfelt -- Oliver Burkeman * Guardian * Rather extraordinary ... One of the worthiest efforts to come out of neuroscience in recent memory ... The thing about these rebel types is that, so much of the time, they're the ones most capable of making the wildest leaps. Not the patient, incremental advances of everyday science, but the world-historical, paradigm-shifting transformations in global consciousness. Or, in Solms' case, a new theory of consciousness itself -- Jason Kehe * Wired * A remarkable book. It changes everything -- Brian Eno Truly pioneering. This unification is clearly the direction for the future -- Eric Kandel, Nobel laureate and author * The Disordered Mind * To say this work is encyclopaedic is to diminish its poetic, psychological and theoretical achievement. This is required reading -- Susie Orbach, author * In Therapy * Convincing ... As with all returns of the repressed, Solms's exhumation of psychoanalysis is sure to be unnerving, especially for those who want to deny Freud's lessons about the workings of desire ... But given the capaciousness of The Hidden Spring, it's remarkably clear, accommodating and exciting -- Jess Keiser * Washington Post * Readers who stick with it will be rewarded with interesting ideas about what it means to feel, think and be -- Tali Sharot * New York Times * Important -- Carlos Montemayor * Psychology Today * Intriguing ... If he is correct, the implications are substantial -- Anil Seth * Times Higher Education * Fascinating and deeply affecting ... Solms argues that feelings, not cognition or perception, are the defining feature of consciousness * New Statesman * An extraordinarily ambitious undertaking ... Solms is successful, to my mind -- Joan Harvey * 3 Quarks Daily * Mark Solms is a serious player in neuropsychology and has contributed serious insights into the mechanisms behind dreaming - returning, interestingly, a degree of lost credibility to Freud ... He essentially posits that consciousness is a measure of our distance at any given point from homeostasis, and an index of the degree to which reality is failing at that instant to match our predictions. You are never more conscious, essentially, than when surveying the reality of life's hotel, with the brochure in one hand and a suitcase in the other -- Simon Evans * Spectator * Outstanding ... Solms has provided a valuable service with this bold, thorough, occasionally infuriating and always wildly ambitious book -- Charles Fernyhough * Literary Review * This treatment of consciousness and artificial sentience should be taken very seriously -- Karl Friston, scientific director, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging Takes aim at the biggest question there is. Solms will challenge your most basic beliefs -- Matthew Cobb, author * The Idea of the Brain * Solms' vital work has never ignored the lived, felt experience of human beings. His ideas look a lot like the future to me -- Siri Hustvedt, author * The Blazing World * At last the emperor has found some clothes! For decades, consciousness has been perceived as little more than an illusion. Solms takes a thrilling new approach, grounded in modern neurobiology but finding meaning in a fascinating reconception of the self -- Nick Lane, author * Life Ascending * Solms and his colleagues are making a brilliant, determined, scrupulous, and (one wants to say) tactful endeavour to approach, in a new way, the oldest question of them all - the mysterious relation of body and mind -- Oliver Sacks

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