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Queen Mary University Of London, Mile End Compus
E1 4NS, London, United Kingdom
In this talk, author Jules Evans will explore the life and work of Aldous Huxley, a prophet of ideas and one of the most important influences on the psychedelic renaissance.
We will discuss questions raised by Huxley's work, including: what is the relationship between science and spirituality? Is a ‘mysticism for the masses’ possible, or is mysticism only for the spiritually adept? Are some experiences (mystical and psychedelic) more ‘true’, ‘real’ and ‘higher’ than others? How does spirituality relate to politics?
Huxley insisted that humans have a ‘deep-seated urge to self-transcendence’, which can take toxic forms – alcoholism, addiction, the intoxication of nationalism and war, the mindless hedonism of Brave New World. But self-transcendence can also take healthier forms, which help humans heal, connect, and evolve their human potential.
He championed what he called ‘integral education’ – an education that would work with all the levels of the human situation, from the ecological to the mystical. This vision was hugely influential on alternative education institutions like Esalen, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and Schumacher College.
His whole life, he wondered what was the proper relationship between mysticism and politics. Should the mystic withdraw from politics altogether? Could a form of spiritual training be vital to global campaigns like pacifism? Could psychedelics transform society? We will consider these questions via the talk and discussions..
Jules Evans is the author of Philosophy for Life and The Art of Losing Control. He is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions, at Queen Mary, University of London, and blogs at philosophyforlife.org
NB This event should not be confused with another talk I'm doing at The Psychedelic Society, on this topic, on January 16!
This talk will take place at the Mile End road campus of Queen Mary, University of London. It's two minutes from Mile End Road station. The talk will be in the Francis Bancroft building. (number 10 on the map at the link below). It will start at 7pm prompt. https://qmul.ac.uk/summer-school/media/summer-school/accommodation/Mile-End-campus-map.pdf