Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Biospheric States of Consciousness: Where ecology meets psychology

It’s been a tumbleweed-blown coupla months out here on Psychopraxis, ever since I took up co-editing Brainwaving.com, though I hope to try and squeeze out the odd post still now and then. In the past Psychopraxis ended up as a good spot to rant about the forthcoming talks at the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness lecture series, though I even managed to miss the last two, such as Dr Serena Roney-Dougal’s excellent talk on her 6 years spent living with yogis and lamas in India studying psychic abilities and Greg Sams’ cosmic delve into the consciousness of the Sun.

Now, back in the blogosphere again for a short spell, it’s a good time to big up the next lecture, having scored the ultimate heavyweight at the confluence of Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness: John Allen. The mastermind of Biosphere 2, the R/V Heraclitus ecological research vessel (“I sailed here what did you do?”) and the October Gallery, to name but a few projects, John Allen will be taking all on a journey from the geosphere to the noosphere, fusing biomes with psyches along the way in the discussion of “Biospheric States of Consciousness” on 27th April, the last Tuesday of the month – as are (almost) all talks in this series. Get aboard now for an adventure into the furthest reaches of human possibility.

Biospheric States of Consciousness

John Allen, FLS

Tuesday, 27th April, 2010

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

(Tel: 44 (0)20 7831 1618). – email: rentals –AT- octobergallery.co.uk

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

Join us for an evening with the luminous mind of John Allen. Described as a “visionary, engineer, adventurer, avant-garde theatre producer, systems ecologist and all-round unique individual” (R.U. Sirius), Allen has told his story in Me and the Biospheres: a Memoir by the Inventor of Biosphere 2, which will be a background to his talk. In it, John Allen unfurls “both a warning and a call to action” (Tim Smit) and navigates the reader through his engaging account of the largest laboratory for global ecology ever built.

Biosphere 2 covered three acres of Arizona desert and included seven model biomes: An ocean with coral reef, and a marsh, rainforest, savannah, desert, farm, and micro-city. Eight people lived inside this structure for two years (1991-1993) and grew their own food, and recycled all air and waste.

His talk will introduce you to his extraordinary way of thinking and approach to biospheric states of consciousness, referring to some key people who have provided essential sources of inspiration to understanding our world of life, including: Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hoffman, Yaqui Shaman, Amazonian Shaman, Anil Thakkar, Sergeant Jackson, and Hamid the Deaf and Dumb Magician. John will discuss how to distinguish different biospheric states of consciousness.

John Allen is an accomplished total systems scientist, poet, philosopher, and inventor who started making Biosphere 2 by assembling together five “smaller” projects: The creation of a ferro-cement sailing ship (R/V Heraclitus) to study ocean and river ecologies and cultures; the development of a rainforest restoration project; a savannah regeneration station; a theatre group that performed on six continents; and the October Gallery, venue of this talk series, showing transvangarde art from around the world, and others. These projects, whose success led to Biosphere 2’s awe-inspiring construction and operation, demanded the efforts of a diverse team of international scientists, engineers, artists and thinkers with whom John Allen worked closely for decades. They included members of the National Science Academies of Russia, Great Britain, and USA.