by Susan Blackmore (2009; the paperback edition has just been published under the sexier title “Zen and the Art of Consciousness”). Short, pithy, engaging and incisive travelogue by the British psychologist, scholar of the mind-body and long-term meditator, of her exploration of the true nature of her conscious experiences and how this relates to Zen Buddhism. While sitting in quiet but attentive restfullness throughout several decades of meditation practice, Sue explores what is meant by such seemingly straighforward questions as “Am I conscious now”, “What was I conscious of a moment ago”, “How does thought arise”, “What am I doing” and “What happens next”. Her suspenseful account of how something that could conventionally be called Susan Blackmore comes to what one could call a decision is striking. In an act of extreme depersonalization, she comes to doubt her very existence. She strikingly concludes “There is nothing it is like to be me”, “I am not a persisting conscious entity”, “Seeing entails no vivid mental pictures or movie in the brain” , “”Brain activity is neither conscious nor unconscious” and “There are no contents of consciousness.” While I have the utmost respect for her valiant attempts to plump phenomenology, they also vividly demonstrate the limit of introspection and why so much philosophy of mind has remained barren. Evolution has not equipped brains with conscious access to most of its modules. Self-consciousness is much more limited than we all realize. That’s why a mechanistic, neuronally based study of the mind-bod as is happening now is of the essence.