Dr. Mark Solms is one of the leading neuroscientists in the world, best known for his contributions into the mechanisms of dreaming, and his use of psychoanalytic methods in modern neuroscience. His new book The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness offers a comprehensive understanding of why we feel a subjective sense of self and how it arises in the brain. Here we discuss the dawn of consciousness, the essential role of feelings and emotions and where they come from, the role of the cortex to make predictions in an uncertain world, and how that relates to our complex behavior. We’ll discuss the basic drives of all organisms, and how these drives relate to the development of the brain and central nervous system. We’ll get into the elementary physics of the Free Energy Principle, entropy, and homeostasis and how this all relates back to why we behave as we do. We’ll get into the discussion of voluntary behavior, free will and choice and how to properly conceptualize what these terms represent. We’ll talk briefly about the origins of self, the relationship of all living things, his thoughts on the possibility of constructing an artificial mind, and much more. Solms breaks highly complex concepts down throughout this book and synthesizes these concepts into a clear, unified theory of consciousness. Solms is the Director of Neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, South Africa where he lives, and honorary lecturer in neurosurgery and an honorary Fellow with the American College of Psychiatrists. He has received numerous honors, has published about 350 journals, articles and book chapters, and authored eight books. He is the editor and translator of the forthcoming 24-volume Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud and the 4-volume work of the Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud. We had a lengthy conversation exploring many of the concepts in his book, but we begin our conversation with a fascinating story related to his experience growing up in the pits of apartheid in South Africa, and how this influenced him to do his part in redressing racial and class disparity in his own country.