Every town needs a library! So this is Dharma Town’s place to come for recommendations on books….both new finds and old favorites. It’s still under construction, but for now, I’ve decided to highlight a Featured Selection here on the Library Home Page, and to start filling in the categories above as books come to mind, or I stumble upon them. Suggestions are welcome. Contact me here if you have a favorite you’d like included.
I’ve chosen the categories above because the books I have in mind seem to fit into them. I’m sure this will change. Stay tuned.
Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness
by Alva Noe (contributor to NPR’s science blog: 13.7 Cosmos & Culture)
The author doesn’t use these exact words, but it sure sounds like he’s talking about the Buddhist understandings of dependent origination and non-self when he describes consciousness as something that arises from the interconnectedness of our brain, our body, and the world.
“We are out of our heads. We are in the world and of it. We are patterns of active engagement with fluid boundaries and changing components. We are distributed….
“The brain plays a starring role in the story, to be sure. But the brain’s job is not to ‘generate’ consciousness. Consciousness isn’t that kind of thing. It isn’t a thing at all…
“Brain, body, and world–each plays a crucial role in making us the kind of beings we are…”
“If we are to understand consciousness–the fact that we think and feel and that a world shows up for us–we need to turn our backs on the orthodox assumption that consciousness is something that happens inside us, like digestion…
“Consciousness, like a work of improvisational music, is achieved in action, by us, thanks to our situation in and access to a world we know around us.”