Insight 20223
August 31 – September 3 in Berlin

Forum Bewusstseinskultur: From Illusions to Solutions – (How) Could Psychedelics Make a Contribution to Solving The Planetary Crisis?

  • 03/09/2023
  • 11:00 - 13:00
  • Auditorium (Langenbeck-Virchow Haus 2nd floor)


Click to read an excerpt in German

Rethinking psychedelics is the motto of INSIGHT 2023. We do this for therapy, science, and society – in order to define how an enculturation of meditative and psychedelic experience could look like. Today, there sufficiently clear enculturation processes for medicine and science exist – we know what to do in order to approve psilocybin in the mental health system. But, we face greater challenges when we look into our societies as whole.

In the Forum we take Thomas Metzinger’s concept of a culture of consciousness as a starting point for the discussion about the role of meditation and psychedelics at the societal level. Thus, we would like to address the important questions of individual versus societal transformation.

1. HOW might a culture and an ethics of consciousness influence the development of lifestyles and social norms in a 21. century society? And could a mature culture surrounding the use of psychedelics even play a role in tackling the global crisis? By global crisis, we actually address multiple parallel crises: the rapid decline of the environmental conditions for life on earth, the multiple dangers for human dignity in relation to technological disruptions like AI, and also the “crisis of meaning”. How can a positive influence of socio-mental technologies be seriously claimed without falling back into illusions, escapism and pre-modern forms of thinking – as observed in a “privatized experiential religion”?

2. Are there serious THEORIES OF CHANGE (Veränderungstheorie) for an effect of psychedelics and meditative practices on the macro-societal level? And how could it be scientifically investigated?

3. HOW EXACTLY, for example, would meditative practice or a psychedelic-inspired spirituality be able to have any positive and measurable effect on ecological behaviors – or the culture of a company?

4. What would a consciousness-sensitive PEDAGOGY address “spiritual by-passing”? This describes the tendency of people to lull themselves into illusions, to avoid real-life problems and to remove themselves from their responsibilities through self-soothing practices.

Many more questions will be gathered throughout the INSIGHT 2023 conference. And the Forum Bewussteinskultur is also the place to include and address open questions from the audiences that emerged in the last three days.

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