What other people have said about the book
March 6, 2017
But Spencer lightens the story line with many anecdotes, some humorous, some heart-wrenching and some just plain scary. I loved the story about riding Manta Rays; while diving near the San Benedicto islands in the Pacific, these giants would stop, wait for he and his wife to hitch a ride on their backs, tour them around a submerged volcano, and deposit them back at their starting point.
If you like stories of encounters of the mysterious life forms that inhabit the world’s oceans and waters, this book is full of them, each more startling than the last. Amazingly, Spencer also illustrates them with stunning photos. Not such a surprise really as most of the encounters took place while on the job as a professional underwater photographer.
Spencer, prompted by his oceanic enlightenments, then plunges deep into several theories about consciousness itself. In the second half of the book, he discusses many philosophies like unified field, string theory and how they fit with transcendental meditation. He clearly is searching for the common thread that will answer our biggest questions. Who am I – really? Why am I here? What is reality? Are we truly all connected as one? in God?
As a result of his explorations, both oceanic and spiritual, Spencer concludes that consciousness is not just a simple waking state, but possibly “the unified field of all the laws of nature”. Woaahh. Spencer’s last chapter has an interesting conclusion, but like the movie, I don’t want to give away the plot. Best to read it yourself.
This is certainly a book for the deep thinker. This is not a “light” book, easily digested in one or two sittings. But anyone who likes to study spirituality, consciousness and existentialism, especially comparing it to the substantial or scientific point of view, would enjoy engaging with Spencer’s explorations. At the very least, you would enjoy a colourful tour of a world underwater with one of the pioneers who has explored its many secrets.
Beautiful, unique and fabulous. This book is a must read for every one. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. You emerge better for reading it.
By Andrew Lawson Kerr (Maharishi Purusha – Himalayas; Andrew’s Facebook page)
This is a great book by a remarkable friend of mine. As a courageous deep sea diver (& onshore caving diver) with incredible life experiences with whale sharks, manta rays, lost submarines and ocean wrecks, he has synthesised his long term exposure to the transcendent as a Sidha and in the book used diving as a metaphor with the transcending process. Detailed & intelligent chapters in quantum physics and Vedic science are interspersed with delightful stories of his underwater adventures. This book is a treasure and highly recommended.
I loved the premise of this book – “exploring the notion of a universal ocean of consciousness” using diving and ocean exploration as a metaphor. However, for me, it just didn’t quite deliver the goods as it didn’t seem to move enough away from diving and more into spiritual exploration.
This is a beautiful book, with gorgeous imagery, but I really did find it geared very much toward diving and ocean exploration which couldn’t grab me.
There is breathtaking underwater photography, and the book is I loved the premise of this book – “exploring the notion of a universal ocean of consciousness” using diving and ocean exploration as a metaphor. However, for me, it just didn’t quite deliver the goods as it didn’t seem to move enough away from diving and more into spiritual exploration.
There is breathtaking underwater photography, and the book is well-written. Highly recommended if you are a diver, snorkeler, boater who may also be interested in exploration of our universal unconscious.
Thank you, Netgalley and Mark Spencer, for providing me a complementary copy of the book in return for a fair and unbiased review.
By Margaret Holmes – 5/5 (NetGalley.com reviewer)
May 30, 2017
There is peace underwater, away from the hustle and noise of everyday life. The experiences related are inspiring and in some places frightening, but always real. Diving gives you a different perspective of the world and what is important. Allows time for introspection and a sense of belonging to a much larger picture, and life. Extremely well done.
By Pam Thomas – 5/5 (NetGalley.com reviewer)
May 30, 2017
Lovely book to read about finding yourself whilst diving in the ocean, a new way of finding relaxation on another level of consciousness.
By Dr Graham Craig AM, MDS, PhD, FRACDS (formerly Assoc. Professor, Fac. of Dentistry, Uni. of Sydney; now editor of Dental Outlook)
June 1, 2017
I am taking the unprecedented step of recommending a book, outside dentistry, written by one of our colleagues. It is called “Ocean of Self” by Dr Mark Spencer. Mark is an outstanding ocean diver and he has come up with a book that is part autobiographical, part science and part philosophy. My words simply do not do it justice when I describe it as a connection between the ocean and our real selves. It is truly amazing and absolutely fascinating!!
Do yourself a favour and have a look.
Graham Craig – Editor Dental Outlook
By Rose Pettit – 5/5 (NetGalley.com reviewer)
June 7, 2017
I absolutely loved the title of this book. I loved that the ocean was used as a metaphor. This is a great book for anyone who wants to find themselves.
By D.Donovan – Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review (USA) – http://donovansliteraryservices.com/august-2017-issue.html#oos
July 11, 2017
“Some memories pull you back again and again. It’s like being drawn to certain pictures on a wall, down a corridor that represents life’s journey.” Similarly, some books hold the same draw with an ability to bring evocative memory to life and pair it with an enthusiasm and appreciation for real-world experience. In the case of Ocean of Self: An Ocean Diver Explores the Nature of Consciousness, this life passion is the ocean, which the author plumbs as a dedicated scuba diver.
As readers surf through the diving career, friendships, and expanding skills of Mark N. Spencer, they are treated to vivid stories of ocean encounters that range from freshwater cave diving to wreck-diving and underwater photography, all carefully balanced with a dental career and educational process.
The author’s photos pepper a story which is about adopting and employing life skills whether they involve career, spiritual growth, or learning about shifting consciousness and exploration.
Ocean of Self isn’t just autobiography; nor is it a story of deep-sea diving experiences alone. Readers quickly come to understand it’s also an exploration of the nature of consciousness and how spiritual forces underlay reality, offering ties to the sea that quickly expand into a surprising blend of history, science, and the lessons learned from the author’s various dives and encounters with sea creatures and self alike.
What does the sea have to do with metaphysical reflection? Plenty: within exploration there is fear of the unknown, discovery, efforts to understand choices and how the world operates, and some of the sea’s best-kept myths, such as the legends surrounding mermaids and their basis in dugongs and manatees.
As literary references, lovely color photos of sea life, and discussions of sea lore and psychology evolve, readers are treated to a thought-provoking series of links between physical and spiritual worlds: “To dive into this “ocean of consciousness”, we don’t have to don heavy breathing equipment. All we need is an effective and proven technique of quietening the mind – meditation. The results – like diving into the watery ocean – are far from fear-provoking. The opposite, in fact, awaits – the discovery of a realm of our own nature that is peaceful, silent, alert, encompassing, integrating, beyond any notion of time, and promising of all possibilities. We don’t fear what we learn through direct experience, as opposed to what we learn second hand or what we conjecture.”
Like Proust, Spencer takes the time to fully describe the intricacies and beautiful moments of both worlds. Readers who come along for the ride, whether they are from scientific or spiritual backgrounds, won’t be disappointed in the blend of diving experience, science, and metaphysical reflection that links seemingly disparate worlds and unifies them.
Ocean of Self is highly recommended for scientists who like their science mixed with higher purpose and new age readers who appreciate their spiritual reflection well grounded in a form of science that celebrates facts, beauty, and stories about consciousness and depth in man and beast alike.
By Indigo Chang – 4/5 (NetGalley.com reviewer)
Dec 13, 2017
“The author starts with his experiences of diving with wondrous creatures and gradually segue into topics of science and spirituality.
I enjoyed photos of his diving trips at the beginning of book before he links the ocean with God, quantum mechanics and the like. You can see the later topics are more heavy and once in a while, you may think: what has this got to do with the ocean? I guess this book is for someone who wants to ‘see the big picture’ and is comfortable with topics in different areas.
*I got a free copy in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley “
By John – 5/5 (Amazon.com.au reviewer)
Jan 22, 2018
“This book is literally mind-expanding. Mark is a brilliant writer and explains complex concepts in a digestible manner. This book is to be read slowly and thoughtfully. I didn’t agree with everything but it gave me much to contemplate. Challenge yourself with some new concepts and ideas.”
By Audi Nissen – 4/5 (NetGalley.com reviewer)
March 7, 2018
“A very unique read. Comparing spirituality to the ocean really made me rethink certain aspects of my life. I would definitely recommend it.”