Transformations of Consciousness

A Totnes Consciousness Café Special Event: The Royal Seven Stars Hotel, The Plains, Totnes, UK
Wednesday 5th September, 7:00 arrival, for 7:30 to 10:00 pm

Dr Milan Scheidegger on ‘Mind in Nature: Towards a Molecular Epistemology of Consciousness’

The interfaces between mind, brain, consciousness and nature, remain exciting unresolved frontiers in science and philosophy: What is the nature of the human mind and how does conscious experience and meaning emerge in living systems? In the context of the renaissance of psychedelic research we are currently facing a paradigm shift in the understanding of consciousness. As Freud’s dream theory deepened the psychoanalytic understanding of the unconscious, psychoactive compounds could nowadays serve as promising epistemological tools for the scientific exploration of consciousness. Psychoactive plants have been used in ritualistic contexts throughout human history for shamanic, therapeutic and psychospiritual purposes. Beyond shaping social and cultural evolution, psychedelic states of consciousness also raise profound philosophical and existential questions about the nature of subjective experience and the creation of meaning in the universe. This transdisciplinary talk provides an integral approach of understanding the nature of human existence from its molecular basis up to the level of phenomenal consciousness. Interfaces between different epistemological perspectives such as pharmacology, neuroscience, biosemiotics, philosophy of mind, and deep ecology will be explored.