The Secret of Consciousness: How the Brain Tells the 'Story of Me' by Paul Ableman - review by John Clay

John Clay

Voyage of Discovery

The Secret of Consciousness: How the Brain Tells the 'Story of Me'


Marion Boyars 160pp £10.95 order from our bookshop

Paul Ableman has come up with a well-rounded theory that challenges many assumptions about the mind. A few years ago, he had a dream in which he was eating at a restaurant with friends and then, in the dream, he became suddenly detached, and saw himself from above at the table. Afterwards, he wondered which was the real 'I', the diner or the observer? Eventually this led him to look more closely at the nature of consciousness, both in dreams and in waking life.

He moved from seeing the mind as chaotic, as in his surreal-type dream, to a more ordered, logical state, and then, through recognising the human need to make sense of ourselves, to discovering the 'story of me'. Consciousness, he concluded, was made up of an 'intensely dynamic, perpetually self-modifying confluence

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

The Incomparible Monsignor

Kafka Drawings

Follow Literary Review on Twitter