Saturday, 30 January 2010

Consciousness, creativity and the quest for human happiness

Well at least I have an excuse now for my general lack of content here at psychopraxis recently. For the last few months I’ve been a busy cyber-elf helping source articles for the new edge cutting blog and website on consciousness, creativity and culture –

Established and created by the UK’s leading charitable foundation for research into altered states of consciousness and drug policy, the Beckley Foundation, the excellent (imho) new site features hard-hitting articles, films and documentaries on everything from parapsychology and ecology to drug policy, politics, the internet and the future of reality itself. Check it out.

According to the Beckley Foundation’s founder and director, Amanda FeildingOur world is changing fast, to adapt successfully we must have our wits about us. We must both maximise our access to the most useful and interesting information and optimise our consciousness, loosening the mind in the quest for better solutions. The Beckley Foundation was set up to investigate consciousness and its full range of altered states. It has a strictly academic, scientific approach to consciousness, how better to understand it and thus how to manipulate it in the quest for enhancing human happiness. The purpose of the new site is to expand the Beckley’s reach, to be an Exchange, thereby covering new areas not currently included in the scientific approach of the Beckley Foundation, and reaching new audiences, particularly the young.

The website will be an exchange of interesting information and ideas with the purpose of exploring love, creativity and the quest for human happiness. It will aim to be entertaining and illuminating. We expect it to evolve as it goes along. We see it as an information exchange for people interested in consciousness, evolution and a better world. We hope that with the collaboration of friends and fellow travellers, we will bring together a stimulating train of knowledge and ideas.

Around the world, there are many millions of people who are looking for commonsense solutions to the urgent problems facing humanity. But to see these solutions, we must free ourselves from the constricting shackles of redundant concepts. aims to provide a platform on which new ideas can be explored. It can be seen as an intellectual Go-board, an evolving web for the exchange of fresh thoughts at the frontiers of our cultural outreach.”

Saturday, 23 January 2010

And did those Beats in ancient time, trip upon Englands mountains green?

Ronnie Sandison brought it into the UK in 1952 and pioneered the psychotherapeutic treatment of mental “illnesses” at a Gloucestershire hospital using it, calling it psycholytic therapy. The following year Francis Crick supposedly gained enough insight from taking it at Cambridge to discern the double helix shape of DNA. How far has LSD traveled across the genes, neurons, minds, imaginations, songs, tongues, tastes, fashions, passions, protests, peace marches, parties, happenings, discoveries, ideas and cultural changes of Britain in the last 58 years? Come and take a trip down memory lane, and (turn on, tune in and) find out.

The Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness lecture series, in association with the Scientific and Medical Network presents:

LSD in Britain: A Cultural History

Andy Roberts

Tuesday, 26th January, 2010

October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AL

(Tel: 44 (0)20 7831 1618). – email: rentals “at”

RSVP so that we can anticipate numbers – Please book in advance by credit card to guarantee a place or pay on the door.

Entry £7 /£5 Concessions, Arrive 6pm for a 6:30pm Start - Wine available

Andy's book, Albion Dreaming: A popular history of LSD in Britain (Marshall Cavendish, 2008) was born from a desire to chronicle the history of this intriguing drug. Andy's talk, illustrated by powerpoint and DVD takes you on a history picnic to sample everything from the drug's arrival on these shores in 1952, through the medical and military experiments, the counterculture, to the sad death of Albert Hofmann. It is probably the only talk on LSD in which you'll hear the words of the Reverend Ian Paisley.

Andy Roberts is the author of several books on folklore, UFOs, cryptozoology and popular culture. His overall interest is in the strangeness of the multiverse and what and why people choose to believe. Besides his books Andy has written for numerous magazines including Fortean Times, where he currently co-writes a monthly sceptical UFO column. His magazine articles have dealt with cults, the Grateful Dead and telepathy, the search for the Death Ray and a great deal of other weirdness. He once edited an Incredible String Band fanzine and is really quite obsessive about the Grateful Dead.

His interest in LSD stems from his first acid trip in 1971 when the ultimate force of evil foretold the future to him. He's still waiting for that particular future to manifest but followed the Prince of Darkness' strange invitation into the labyrinth of 1970s counter culture to see what he could find.