Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction

Illustrations from: Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction by Susan Blackmore, Oxford University Press (2005)


  1. Jack
    April 25

    Your illustration entitled ‘Mapping States of Consciousness’ is being discussed on reddit on the r/psychonaut subreddit. There is much speculation about what the axes represent. You might find the conversation interesting.

    • jolyon
      April 25

      Looks like a great discussion (here).

      As I remember it was drawn more as a thought experiment than anything else, though I’m sure Sue has some idea of what the axes mean (I translated the illustration from a sketch she did).

  2. jolyon
    April 27

    Sue sent me this reply to the reddit discussion:

    “This conversation is great fun, and after meandering around wild speculations ends up with the truth. The axes are purely imaginary. I had no specific dimensions in mind when I asked Jolyon to draw it and to put arrows for the imagined axes. The drawing is just meant to illustrate the idea that there might be a vast multi-dimensional space of states of consciousness – with some being close to each other and others far apart. One day someone will create a real map. For now we have to guess. If you want to know more there are more of Jolyon’s drawings and a review of real attempts to map states of consciousness in my textbook Consciousness: An Introduction.”

    Sue also wrote an article on the subject here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.