Archive for December, 2008

Chapter 1 – Am I conscious now?

December 18, 2008

Am I conscious now?

This is the first question in the book, and in a way forms the basis for all the others. At first it seems the most obvious thing in the world. Of course I am conscious now. How could I not be?

But on deeper exploration this question yields strange effects.

I first discovered this when teaching “The Psychology of Consciousness” at UWE Bristol (there’s more about this in my book Consciousness: An Introduction).

You might like to try the students’ weekly task, that is, ask yourself the question, as many times a day as you can (preferably hundreds of times) and see what happens.

“Am I conscious now?”

It’s not easy to remember to do it, so you might like to invent tricks to remind yourself. I suggest that you try this for a few days (or at least a few hours if you’re impatient!) before reading the chapter and seeing what I found.

Am I conscious now?


I’m longing to hear what other people find. Do similar things happen to all of us? Does it depend on the sort of person, or how much we’ve meditated or done other things before this? What other questions does it inspire? Do join in with some answers  – or more questions.