• The Hidden Spring

  • A Journey to the Source of Consciousness
  • By: Mark Solms
  • Narrated by: Roger Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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The Hidden Spring

By: Mark Solms
Narrated by: Roger Davis
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Publisher's Summary

For Mark Solms, one of the boldest thinkers in contemporary neuroscience, discovering how consciousness comes about has been a lifetime's quest. Scientists consider it the "hard problem" because it seems an impossible task to understand why we feel a subjective sense of self and how it arises in the brain.

Venturing into the elementary physics of life, Solms has now arrived at an astonishing answer. In The Hidden Spring, he brings forward his discovery in accessible language and graspable analogies.

Solms is a fearless guide on an extraordinary voyage from the dawn of neuropsychology and psychoanalysis to the cutting edge of contemporary neuroscience, adhering to the medically provable. But he goes beyond other neuroscientists by paying close attention to the subjective experiences of hundreds of neurological patients, many of whom he treated, whose uncanny conversations expose much about the brain's obscure reaches.

Most importantly, you will be able to recognize the workings of your own mind for what they really are, including every stray thought, pulse of emotion, and shift of attention. The Hidden Spring will profoundly alter your understanding of your own subjective experience.

©2021 Mark Solms (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Hidden Spring

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

I'll admit most of this content was over my head, but I understood enough to follow most of the major principles and was blown away from implications of all of it, particularly the last chapter on AI.

Highly recommend for anyone curious about neuroscience, consciousness, the inner workings of the brain or answering the question about whether experience comes from the world around you or a reflection of the world inside you.

On a side note, don't watch The Terminator or The Matrix immediately after reading this. Trust me on this one.

14 people found this helpful

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Darwinian Goggles

Solms analysis of human feelings is interesting, thoughtful, and creative. I admire his attempt to locate the neural origin of feelings and his exploration of their functional value. However, I believe his view that feelings arise from multiple homeostatic mechanisms that govern our personal survival is incomplete. Some of our most intense feelings (eg. orgasms) have nothing to do with personal survival; they are concerned with gene survival. Indeed human feelings are better organized around the three essential elements required for reproductive success: survival to reproductive age (hunger, pain etc.), reproduction (desire, jealousy etc.) and offspring survival (eg. love, pride, etc.).
Human brains did not evolve to accurately represent the true nature of reality; they evolved for the sole function of enhancing the survival of our genes. Although the external environment is teeming with electromagnetic radiation and air pressure waves, without consciousness it is both totally black and utterly silent. Of course there is no sweetness in sugar and no noxious smell in old rotten eggs; these conscious evaluative feelings evolved to discriminate between threats and benefits to our reproductive success. In essence, we all see the world through Darwinian Goggles that add light, love, and meaning to the silent coin of being.
(See “Why We Feel; The Science of Human Emotions.”)

9 people found this helpful

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Links Psychoanalysis with Neuroscience

Groundbreaking integration of neuroscience with psychoanalysis which has significant implications for both fields especially around subjectivity. Freud's emphasis on the unconscious, dreams and feelings are given neuroscientific explanation. The pioneer in affective neuroscience, Jaak Panksepp, is prominent in Mark Solms' theory as is Karl Friston, the most cited neuroscientist living today. Solms' understanding of Freud matches his expertise in neuroscience. He critiques Freud as he critiques the cortex centered approach of neuroscience and psychiatry tracing the roots of this false centering back to the empiricist philosophers of the 18th century. Solms shares his journey from childhood to neuroscientist alongside the stories of his brain damaged patients. The book is groundbreaking and ten years ahead of our time, especially in an almost sci fi ending.

4 people found this helpful

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Solms for smart lay persons

Mark Solms is an extraordinarily intelligent man driven to understand the mind and brain from a perspective that is equally brain-based and emotionally-based (in the sense of emotion as driver of thought and behavior). This book is accessible to non-scientists but still a stretch in places. Worth the effort!

3 people found this helpful

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Greek Reason, Human Consciousness Explained !!

This changes, at least, the wording of most every nuero book I've read, that's lots in recent years.

This book, this writer, on every level delivers a coup de gras. The writer, like an Olympic fencing champion, swishes away a universe of creepy crawly consciousness seekers, at the same time, the blades tip is at science writing's
throat.

Switching from 8+hours of TV, to audible, taking advantage of hearing speed, by Brian & Body the writers bemoaning their inability to cope with consciousness is a steady stream This book is as a satisfying as it gets.

Weeks ago, on completing Hidden Spring, I looked outside, I expected a mega phone to be going down the street letting us all know, ...

Brian Doidge and plasticity, move over. Mr. Porges, polyvegal.., great stuff but go sit with Norman. Lay intellectuals are on top Swashbuckler Mark Solm, salivating for more and a writing community's answers.

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Amazing Book

I loved this book, i was abled to connect and understand it, welll narrated .

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YES!

YES!!! I predict it won’t be long before Mark Solms’ ideas will be commonplace and universally deemed accurate. Intelligent humans will laugh at so many of the current theories. Consciousness is as fundamental as life itself!

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His case well made.

While I don’t have the background in Neuroscience to follow all of the History that Solms cites to underlay his argument, I feel that he makes a substantial case for the Source of Human Consciousness.

I have read enough in the Field to bemoan the lack of attention paid to the role of Affect and Feelings in arousing Consciousness. Solms uses his Life Experience with real patients to destroy this omission by other “experts”. How can we possibly ignore the effects feelings and what I call the Affective Insight have on our day-to-day Human Experience? Whether the Source rests in the Brain Stem, Cortex or some combination of the two matters far less than emphasizing the role of this vital component in the reality of our Life Experience. Solms provides that necessary emphasis. .

This is not an easy read for us laymen but if the workings of the Brain interests you at all you should give this book a try. Four Stars! ****

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distracted self-boasting biographic narrative

I got this book to serve as a more recent update on the principles described in Self Comes to Mind. I didn’t find that. The author describes the field of neuropsychology and attempts to describe the concept of self realization in our minds. I did not find a definitive answer in this book.

What I found was a collection of anecdotal information and several distracting topic that did not lead to any logical conclusions regarding the major question.

The statistical thermodynamics approach was interesting but lacking. The author talked about the effects found in non equilibrium thermodynamics and mentioned terms familiar in and understanding of chaotic systems, e.g., attractors, but explains these in terms of anecdotal albeit visual effects but fails to light on fractal dimensions.

Being a physical scientists I have observed over extension of physical laws when applied to social sciences. It is a tempting to do so because of the finiteness of the physical laws. But one often has to stretch or redefine the parameter meanings in their application. There is virtue in trying but the one needs to accept the result of hypothesis testing and not continue to pound square pegs into round holes.

I grew weary of the anecdotal information generalizations to be accepted as truth by the reader and then glossing over review studies. The book is not a well-organized systematic approach.

I was also fatigued by the authors crusade to validate Freudian psychology. There are several places where the author applies an argument that goes something like this. ‘See Freud was right. Except he wasn’t. But he wasn’t because he didn’t have the information he needed.’ Well… I guess science marches on.

The summary chapters were a mess. A collection of anecdotal and philosophical concepts that do not address the main point. The author goes on to break his arm (patting himself on the back) and selling his latest project in creating artificial self awareness.

In sum, the book comes off as self-boasting designed to instill the thought of how brilliant the author is. What it lacks is a logical, evidence-based explanation of how the mind works.

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Terrible performance and writing!

The reader is terrible. The extreme volume modulation from near whisper to a few loud words at the end of a sentence makes listening impossible.
As far as the writing goes it's more like rambling through a compilation of short references to actual studies. I couldn't listen to more than one chapter.