In this talk, we will consider the effects of psychedelic substances, particularly the Amazonian visionary medicine ayahuasca, on our conception of the brain as an expression of the greater universe. Many people who explore this these substances discover their mechanistic or materialist perspective on the nature of consciousness is challenged by phenomenological experience. These phenomenological encounters also have a nascent political dimension. They suggest that our current model of the world is delightfully incomplete, and there are future frontiers for humanity to explore.
Daniel Pinchbeck is an American author living in New York’s East Village. He is the author of Notes from the Edge Times (Tarcher/Penguin, 2010), 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006) and Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway Books, 2002). He is a co-founder of the web magazine, Reality Sandwich and of Evolver.net, and edited the publishing imprint, Evolver Editions, with North Atlantic Books. He was featured in the 2010 documentary, 2012: Time for Change, directed by Joao Amorim and produced by Mangusta Films. He is the founder of the think tank Center for Planetary Culture, which produced the Regenerative Society Wiki. His new book How Soon Is Now? will be published in February 2017 by Watkins Press.