"What could we not do if we were truly awake?" asks leading consciousness researcher Charles Tart in this provocative and revolutionary book. Based on the ideas of rogue philosopher G.I. Gurdjieff, this book offers both a diagnosis and helpful prescriptions for addressing the fundamental yet unrecognized problem of humankind: we are not truly awake, aware, and making use of our full capacities.
Gurdjieff taught that we are little more than entranced automatons sharing a "consensus trance," controlled by mechanical habits of thought, perception, and behavior. Tart clearly presents the evidence for how deeply asleep we are and identifies its consequences, then describes methods for becoming more awake, less asleep, and less mechanical, allowing us to realize our full potential. Problems with spiritual teachers and groups along the way are sensitively analyzed and ways given to avoid them, so we can become more intelligent and compassionate human beings while avoiding the traps of cultism.