What is self, and what can be known of and by it? What is the difference between the waking world and dreams? Why do the realest times of one’s life feel so unreal? Why do people without character exalt method and chaos? Why is philosophy so difficult and boring? What is quality and creativity, and why are they so elusive? What is consciousness, and why is it so often conflated with thought and awareness? Why are masterpieces so often ignored when they appear? Why do some faces seem mask-like, and why do we feel, talking with them, a curious sense of distance? Why are people who complain of boredom so boring? Why are comedy and horror so similar? Why do we love stories about sacrifice, resurrection and fateful abandon? What is the difference between animal and human consciousness? What is love, and why does it seem to be going out of the world? Why do great stories so often seem to involve horrendous suffering? What is the difference between the sexes? What is sex, and how is it different to making love? Why do women value ‘not taking yourself seriously’ so highly and what does it mean?  What is happening to the world, and why?

Self & Unself doesn’t just answer these questions, by providing new information and new ideas, it solves them, by expressing that which they all have in common. It presents a new model of the self and then takes the reader through a new, yet alarmingly recognisable, inner terrain, drawing together the mysteries of metaphysics, psychology, science, art, sex, history and pre-history into a new reflection of conscious and unconscious experience.

Self & Unself asks what the mind can know and what else can be experienced, what consciousness is and what it cannot be, where quality comes from and why it is routinely ignored and degraded when it appears, how fluid pathways of metaphor become totalitarian motorways of cliche and what this has to do with conversation, physiognomy, dance and love-making, how pre-conquest people fell into superstition and civilisation, how ego created and maintains the system (the unworld presented in 33 Myths of the System) and how to reclaim their transdimensional innocence in improv, insouciance, love-making and death. The common-thread running through the solution to these, and many other enigmas, is a new message of immortal simplicity and terrifying intimacy.

Self & Unself is a critique of Western Philosophy, a schematic guide to the self and an investigation into why that self cannot answer any meaningful questions it sets itself, such as what preceded time and space, what lies beyond the represented universe it presents and ‘Who am I?’ Self & Unself clarifies the traditional problems of metaphysics — consciousness, free-will, evil and why there is something rather than nothing — then guides the reader under the surface of ordinary experience to solve them, exposing the life and death struggles within creative activity, work, ordinary communication, love relationships and social life at the end of history, covering, en route, the history of the world, human development, the cause and outcome of all forms of madness and the true nature of love.


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