Alterations of Consciousness is a refreshing and richly analytic investigation into the nature of cognitive reality. Imants Baruss explores various manifestations of consciousness with rational and empirical rigor beginning with more ordinary states such as thinking, sleeping, dreaming and continuing on into hypnosis, trance, psychedelic experiences, transcendence, and experiences related to death. This comprehensive overview of altered states examines consciousness from the physiological, cognitive, and experiential points of view. Readers will gain from this engaging text an enriched understanding of consciousness, reality, and the scientific endeavor.

Table of Contents



  1. Introduction
  2. Wakefulness
  3. Sleep
  4. Dreams
  5. Hypnosis
  6. Trance
  7. Psychedelics
  8. Transcendence
  9. Death
  10. Conclusion



About the Author

Author Bio

Imants Baruss, PhD, is a professor of psychology at King's College, University of Western Ontario, where he has been teaching undergraduate courses in consciousness for more than 15 years. His research focuses on fundamental questions concerning the nature of consciousness, with academic papers having appeared in psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and science journals. He is the author of two previous books, The Personal Nature of Notions of Consciousness and Authentic Knowing.

Reviews & Awards

This book is a user-friendly map of states of awareness as they are scientifically and experientially understood. This book would be a useful text to aid students of psychology.

A splendid overview of this topic, this volume covers its bases in a way that is both comprehensive and entertaining. Highly recommended.
—CHOICE Magazine