Thursday 24 June – Saturday 26 June, 2004

The Sophia Centre at Bath Spa University College and Psychonaut UK are holding a joint inter-disciplinary conference on the theme of Exploring Consciousness. For future updates see: http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/historical-and-cultural-studies/sophia/conferences.asp

Venue: The Forum, Bath, UK.


Booking details to be announced shortly.

Speakers to include:

Freya Aswynn, Françoise Barbira-Freedman, Dr Philippa Berry, Dr William Bloom, Bernadette Brady, Jude Currivan, Dr Erik Davis, Rick Doblin, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Piers Gibbon, Dr Liz Greene, Dr Susan Greenwood, Rob Hand, Dr Andrew Letcher, Dave Luke, Robin Mathews, Kelly Morris, Dr Serena Roney-Dougal, Hilary Rose, Stephen Rose, Anja Saunders, Alexander Shulgin, Ann Shulgin, Julian Vayne, Max Velmans, Hattie Wells, and others.

The connection between the cosmos and consciousness has fascinated and inspired human beings for thousands of years. It has given us rich mythologies and cosmologies. Is the cosmos alive and intelligent? Or is consciousness the bi-product of brain chemistry? We invite papers which will address the twin themes of cosmos and consciousness through the arts, psychology, poetry, science, mythology, archaeology, pharmacology, history and, philosophy.

The question before us concerns the purpose of consciousness. What is the point of being aware of ourselves, our world and the cosmos? Ultimately, what is the purpose of life? Bath Spa University College’s Sophia Centre for the Study of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, together with Psychonauts UK, proposes a forum to be held on the 24th-26th June 2004 to address and discuss the teleology of our conscious minds. How and why do we explore consciousness? Is consciousness simply a survival tactic? Or is it something more than this? In what states of mind can we look at our minds: the detached position of the scientific observer, the ecstatic state of the pagan enthusiast, the psychotropic condition of the inner traveller or through the enchanted eyes of the observer of the starry heavens? The venue will be The Forum in the City of Bath, England and will be a dialogue between cosmological, pharmacopoeial, academic and Gaian spiritual perspectives among others. If our universe can be seen as the spontaneous reflex of a cosmos wishing to see itself, what is the function of consciousness and how do we investigate its various potentials and possibilities?