Ocean of Self
Dr Mark Spencer, FI ’97, has just published a book Ocean of Self (subtitled: An ocean diver explores the nature of consciousness), which is currently available as an eBook through Amazon and Kobo, and should soon appear on iTunes and other eBook platforms. It will hopefully be available as a printed book around June this year (10” x 8” hard-cover about 400 pages). Mark has been ocean diving for nearly four decades now and for almost the same time he has been a regular practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation technique. His familiarity with transcendental consciousness has resulted in a curiosity about the nature of consciousness – essential awareness – that notion of ‘self’ we all take for granted. Mark soon noticed that many of his experiences diving under the ocean seemed to match the experiences he had in meditation. To give a couple of examples, the ocean diver might experience silence and tranquillity, yet remain highly alert. The diver typically feels “in the moment” with an altered sense of the passage of time. These are experiences frequently reported in transcendental consciousness.
This correlation of experiences intrigued Mark and led him to a decades-long inquiry into the science of consciousness. Although Mark assists in the teaching of anatomy at a nearby university and is familiar with the gross anatomy of the brain and its basic physiology, he does not believe that consciousness emanates from the brain. He believes instead that consciousness is a far more fundamental aspect of nature found at all levels, and that a brain is required to integrate awareness into a functioning nervous system that in-turn allows us to experience the material world and engross ourselves in it.
Heavy stuff? Much of the book is autobiographical and comprises interesting sea yarns and anecdotes. The book does demand a bit of concentration in the middle chapters, which cover modern science and Vedic science, but you can study those chapters closely or skimp over them to get to the concluding chapters, which Mark feels might generate some comments.
This book offers possible explanations as to why we are attracted to the sea. It also provides a model of consciousness – which the author has dubbed the ‘unified field model of consciousness’ – to help explain some of the big questions of life, like God, life and love. Is Mark moving into territory no sane person should tread? That’s what explorers do – don’t they?