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Exploring the Anomolous in Psychedelic Therapy, from neurodivergence to the transpersonal

This Month’s Psychedelicacies, our very own Co-host and Maitre d’ of the Psychedelicatessan, Dr David Luke, will be providing the night’s talk

Now that the psychedelic renaissance has found its way out of the birth canal and enters its childhood there is an ever-increasing need for psychedelic psychotherapy, integration, sitting, welfare and aftercare. While many therapists and counsellors are well equipped to provide containers and practice for processing the autobiographical material that arises there a number of unique dimensions to the transpersonal nature of psychedelics that warrant special attention and treatment. This talk explores some of the range of transpersonal experiences that may arise, their ontological complexities and challenges, and the metaphysical shifts that may arise. Some consideration will also be given (if time) to the nature of neurodivergence and the use of psychedelics. Topics likely to be covered include inter-species communication, eco-consciousness, mediumship, possession, entity encounters, near-death and out-of-body experiences, psi, alien abduction experiences and lycanthropy, alongside blindness, aphantasia, synaesthesia, HPPD and autism/ASD.

Speaker Bio

Dr David Luke is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Greenwich, UK, where he has been teaching an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience since 2009, and he is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London, and Lecturer on the MSc Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology for Alef Trust and Liverpool John Moores University. His research focuses on transpersonal experiences, anomalous phenomena and altered states of consciousness, especially via psychedelics, having published more than 100 academic papers in this area, including ten books, most recently Otherworlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience (2nd ed., 2019). When he is not running clinical drug trials with LSD, conducting DMT field experiments or observing apparent weather control with Mexican shamans he directs the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness salon at the Institute of Ecotechnics, London, and is a cofounder and director of Breaking Convention: International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness. He has given over 300 invited public lectures and conference presentations; won teaching, research and writing awards; organised numerous festivals, conferences, symposia, seminars, retreats, expeditions, pagan cabarets and pilgrimages; and has studied techniques of consciousness alteration from South America to India, from the perspective of scientists, shamans and Shivaites. He lives life on the edge, of Sussex.

‘Blossom’ by Erik Thor Sandberg.

This Psychedelic series is Curated by Maya Bracknell Watson and Dr David Luke

Maya Bracknell Watson is an interdisciplinary artist, poet, performer, retired cult leader and psychedelic and parapsychology researcher. Having just graduated from Chelsea College of Arts, her work over the last six years has been informed by her concurrent shamanic training, work with the Wixárika (Huichol) tribe from Mexico, and role as a research assistant under Dr David Luke of Greenwich university in the study of the psychedelic compound N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and other worlds. Walking between the worlds of the arts, science and the occult, she combines media and investigative techniques from each to inform and articulate one another in the exploration of ontology, consciousness and altered states, mytholopeia and mythology, ecology, the human condition and its relation to the environment, otherness and mortality. She describes her practise and research as contemporary Memento Mori (‘remember you will die’), and explores what that means in a time of mass ecocide and species extinction.

Follow her on the crooked path on Instagram @maya_themessiah