Zoltan Torey's life story is dramatic and inspirational. Left
completely blind and barely able to speak by an industrial
accident when he was twenty-one, Torey's indomitable spirit
drove him to willfully focus his remaining senses—and
considerable imagination—toward the cultivation of unique
and powerful new ways to explore his world—both inner and
outer. Instead of rebuilding a mental picture of the world using
hearing and touch alone, he went in the opposite direction,
training himself to vividly picture the world around
him through his hypersensitive visual imagination.
But Torey's considerable energies have not been employed only
to compensate for his loss of sight. His remarkable inner
explorations have also been directed at the uncharted world of
the human mind, a personal passion that resulted, after
twenty-six years of research and study, in his magnum opus,
The Crucible of Consciousness. An intricate and highly
technical work, it employs data from evolution theory,
neuroscience, biology, and psychiatry in its quest to understand
the nature of the mind and what is perhaps the mind's most
elusive creation: self-conscious awareness.
Part 1: In the first part of this WIE interview with editor Ross Robertson,
Torey gives a detailed and riveting account of his early life
and the brutal accident that robbed him of his sight but
unlocked his destiny. Articulate and relaxed, he discusses the
careful process by which he transformed a life-threatening event
into a means of accomplishing great things, be they decoding the
mysteries of the human mind, learning to “see” in perpetual darkness, or climbing on his roof to replace the gutters of his many-gabled house.
Part 2: In the second half of our interview with Zoltan Torey WIE editor-in-chief Andrew Cohen enters into a lively dialogue with Mr. Torey about the future of religion, and the ultimate limits—or lack thereof—to our knowledge of the guiding principles and purpose of the universe.
Recorded on: 1/17/2006
Evolution of Consciousness