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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Practical Enlightenment

An Interview With Charles T. Tart

Dr. Charles T. Tart, one of the world’s foremost experts on altered states of consciousness, thinks that most of us walk around all day in a trance — a daze, a stupor, a sleeplike state wherein our behavior is automatically driven by neurosis and cultural conditioning, with little intervention by our conscious will. At the same time, this “consensus trance,” as Tart calls it, masks and neutralizes the higher powers of consciousness that should serve to distinguish the human being from, say, a state-of-the-art VCR.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Hunches On Childhood (Or Everything I Want To Say About World Peace)

1. I am a psychotherapist. That is to say, I am an archaeologist and midwife to the human soul. (“The unique role of the analyst, moving to the minutest detail of a person’s history, gives a perspective and clarity to the direct cause and effect — the reactive nature — of childhood experience on later adult behavior.” — Alice Miller) I believe, after fifteen years of doing this work, that what happens in our earliest years has a radical — root — effect upon all that we experience thereafter.

Roses On Fire

Feeling my way toward some understanding of the mystery of death, I find that I must begin by talking about my mother. She was my beginning, at least in this life. Her appearance in my room immediately after she died in a hospital, one-hundred­ eighty miles away, was the only time I can say with certainty that I interacted with a “ghost” while I was wide awake.

Fiction

Bobby D And The Boys

Robert DeNiro is getting into character. He’s been talking to his agent about doing some kind of working-class movie, something set in the steel mills of Gary, Indiana, or the factories of New Jersey. Something gritty that will show the fears and concerns of the men involved in America’s doomed industries.

I Stand Here Ironing

I stand here ironing, and what you asked me moves tormented back and forth with the iron.

“I wish you would manage the time to come in and talk with me about your daughter. I’m sure you can help me understand her. She’s a youngster who needs help and whom I’m deeply interested in helping.”

Readers Write

Heroes And Heroines

I have long been grateful to the voice inside my head that silences me from time to time, when I am about to put my foot in my mouth. Like the time I was about to tell a great aunt how beautiful her teeth were; I later found out she was very self-conscious about her dentures. Or the time in elementary school, when everyone was talking about who they would want to be if they could be anyone else in the world; they were all naming famous baseball players and movie stars, and I was about to say, “Margaret Mead,” except the voice told me to shut up.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
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