Consciousness, Neuroscience and Cosmology

October 1-14, 2018

Bernard Carr, Cosmologist

Franz Vollenweider, Neuropsychopharmacologist

Ede Frecska, Psychiatrist and Psychopharmacologist

Dale Millard, Naturalist

Luis Eduardo Luna, Anthropologist

carr-beardless

Lectures by Bernard Carr

  • The Cosmic Uroborus: Microphysics, Macrophysics, and the Search for Unification
  • The Cosmic Consciousness Connection: Linking Matter, Mind and Spirit
  • Higher Dimensions of Reality: Making Space and Time for Mind and Psychedelia.

Bernard Carr is Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London. His professional area of research is cosmology and astrophysics and includes such topics as the early universe, dark matter, black holes and the anthropic principle. 

For his PhD he studied the first second of the Universe, working under the supervision of Stephen Hawking at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology. He was elected to a Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1975 and in 1979 spent a year traveling around America as a Lindemann Fellow before taking up a Senior Research Fellowship at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. In 1985 he moved to Queen Mary College and he became a Professor there in 1995. He has also held Visiting Professorships at Kyoto University, Tokyo University, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. He is the author of more than two hundred scientific papers and the books Universe or Multiverse? and Quantum Black Holes. His monograph, Cosmological Gravitational Waves, won the 1985 Adams Essay Prize. which is one of the UK’s most prestigious mathematical awards.

Beyond his professional field, he is interested in the role of consciousness in physics, regarding this as a fundamental rather than incidental feature of the Universe. In particular, he is developing a new psycho-physical paradigm, linking matter and mind, which accommodates normal, paranormal and mystical experiences. This has been described in his monographs Worlds Apart: Can Psychical Research Bridge the Gulf between Matter and Mind? and Hyperspatial Models of Matter and Mind. He also has a long-standing interest in the relationship between science and religion. having been the coholder of a grant from the Templeton Foundation for a project entitled Fundamental Physics, Cosmology and the Problem of our Existence. He was President of the Society for Psychical Research in 2000-2004 and Chairman of the Scientific and Medical Network in 2011-2016 and he is currently a Vice-President of both organizations. 

 

 

Lectures by Franz Vollenweider

  • “Neuroscientific Approach to Altered States of Consciousness/Psychedelic Experience and  Clinical Implications”

Dr. Franz X. Vollenweider is currently Co-Director of the Center for Psychiatric Research, Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology and Brain Imaging Unit, and Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, University of Zurich. He is also the Director of the Heffter Research Center Zürich for Consciousness Studies (HRC-ZH), which he founded in 1998 and incorporated in his research group.
Dr. Vollenweider received his MD degree at the University of Zurich. He completed his doctoral thesis in experimental medicine at the Institute of Toxicology of the University and ETH of Zurich, was trained in neurochemistry at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich, and in neuroimaging at the PET Centre of the PSI-ETH. In 1994 he became certified in the specialities of psychiatry and psychotherapy. His research interests encompass the area of psychopathology, cognitive neuroscience, and behavioural psychopharmacology of psychotic and affective disorders.
Current research focuses on the investigation of the functional networks and transmitter dynamics underlying the experience of self, visual perception, cognitive and emotional processes and the dysfunctions of these processes in human models of psychoses and psychiatric patients. Multiple approaches including measures of information processing, event-related potentials, and brain imaging techniques are used for studying these functions.
Dr. Vollenweider has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, many of which addressing the mechanisms of action of psychostimulants, hallucinogens, and entactogens in humans. His research is supported by multiple grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Federal Health Office, and the Heffter Research Institute (USA), and by multiple AWARDS from the NARSAD and the Fetzer Research Institute USA. He has received the Achievement Award of the Swiss Society of Psychiatry (1990), the Heffter Research Institute Award (1997), the Götz Prize of the University of Zurich (2000), and the British Association of Psychopharmacology Prize (2002).

Lectures by Ede Frecska

  • Parmenides, the Two Ways of Truth and nonlocality.
  • The therapeutic potential of DMT in ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Microbiota: a tropical rainforest inside you.

Ede Frecska received his medical degree in 1977 from the Semmelweis University in Hungary. He then earned qualifications as certified psychologist from the Department of Psychology at Lorand Eotvos University in Budapest. Dr. Frecska completed his residency training in Psychiatry both in Hungary (1986), and in the United States (1992). He is a qualified psychopharmacologist (1987) of international merit with 17 years of clinical and research experience in the United States, where he reached the rank of Associate Professorship. During his academic years, Dr. Frecska’s studies were devoted to research on schizophrenia and affective illness. In his recent research he is engaged in studies on psychointegrator drugs, especially on the physiological effects of DMT in acute and chronic cellular stress like hypoxia. His theoretical work focuses on the interface between cognitive neuroscience and quantum brain dynamics. He is specifically interested in the mechanism of initiation ceremonies and healing rituals. He published more than 100 scientific papers and book chapters on these topics. Dr. Frecska is a member of several professional organizations (APA, ECNP, CINP), and has received grants and awards from a variety of sources (NARSAD, NIAA).

Ede Frecska is a co-author with Rick Strassman, Slawek Wojtowicz and Luis Eduardo Luna of Inner Paths to Outer Space and has chapters in Ervin Laszlo’s books (The New Science and Spirituality Reader and A New Map of Reality). A recent study lead by him, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, proves that ayahuasca increases creativity and another one in Frontiers in Neuroscience that DMT has neuroprotective effect in hypoxia.

 

 

Dale Millard is a naturalist and explorer with diverse interests and experience in fields ranging from herpetology to ethnobotany. He was curator of herpetology at the Swadini Reptile Research Institute for many years. His interest in the study of snake venoms for drug development, later led to his study of the chemistry and use of plant medicines. Dale has interviewed healers from many traditions, notably the Sangoma of Africa and more recently the Balians from Indonesia. His main interest of study relates to medicines that modulate immune function in chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and cancers. His work explores cost effective and alternative approaches to tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and typhoid. He has also maintained a lifelong interest in Entheogens and continues to document their use in poorly explored regions of the world. As an explorer he is regularly exposed to “new” medicines and healing modalities. Dale has a special interest in the cultivation of medicinal plants and medicinal mushrooms, and has taught numerous workshops relating to Permaculture and Plant Based Primary Healthcare. He has been involved in a number of documentaries and has authored a number of articles relating to plant medicine. He as advocate and campaigner for food safety and organic agriculture. He currently lives in Indonesia and works as an international ethnobotanical consultant.

 

 

Dr. Friederike Meckel Fischer was born in Germany in 1947. She lived in the US from 1970 to 1974. In Germany she trained as a nurse (1975-1978) and went to medical school (1979-1986). Dr. Meckel specialized in industrial medicine and psychotherapy. She worked in industry as a company doctor, and she was an assistant medical director in a clinic for executive addicts. Dr. Meckel trained as a Holotropic Breathwork facilitator with Stan Grof, with certification in 1991. She also trained in psycholytic therapy with Samuel Widmer (1992 – 1995). She has been a self-employed psychotherapist since 1997. She runs Holotropic Breathwork and systemic family constellation workshops. For some years she also gave psycholytic workshops. Dr. Meckel is married and has her residence in Zurich, Switzerland, since 1994. She has three children from a previous marriage.

Lectures by Luis Eduardo Luna

  • Animism in Amerindian Cosmology
  • Phenomenology of Ayahuasca Visions. 
  • On Intelligence in Nature

Dr. Luis Eduardo Luna was born in Florencia, in the Colombian Amazon region (1947). He studied Philosophy and Literature at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, earned an interdisciplinary Masters degree while teaching Spanish and Latin American Literature at the Department of Romance Languages of Oslo University. He is a former Senior Lecturer at the Swedish School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland, from where he retired, and a former Professor of Anthropology at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil (1994-1998). He received a Ph.D. from the Institute of Comparative Religion at Stockholm University (1989), and an honorary doctorate from St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York (2000).

Luna is a Guggenheim Fellow and Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. He is the author of Vegetalismo: Shamanism Among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon (1986), and with Pablo Amaringo of Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman (1991). He is co-editor with Steven F. White of Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine (2000, with a revised new edition in 2016), and co-author with Rick Strassman, Slawek Wojtowicz and Ede Frecska of Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys Through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies. In 1986 he co-founded with Pablo Amaringo the Usko-Ayar Amazonian School of Painting of Pucallpa, Peru, serving as its Director of International Exhibitions until 1994. He has lectured about Amazonian shamanism and modified states of consciousness worldwide, and has curated exhibitions of visionary art in several countries. Luis Eduardo Luna is the Director of Wasiwaska.