By Guest · Feb 3, 2004 ·
  1. Guest
    1) Entheogenesis Conference in Canada broadcast on the Internet • Jan. 31 - Feb. 1, 2004

    2) Erik Davis seminar • February 17, 24, March 2, 16, 2004

    3) Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, Annual Meeting • March 24 - 28, 2004

    4) Toward a Science of Consciousness • April 7 - 11, 2004

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    1) Entheogenesis Conference in Vancouver, Canada, held January 31 through February 1, 2004.

    I mentioned this conference in the last Mind States e-mailing. While there still may be a VERY small number of tickets available (get 'em fast), this mention is to let people know that the conference will be broadcast live over the Internet via Pot-TV. Check it out at

    Presenters include: David Aaron, Chris Bennett, Renee Boje, Rick Doblin, Marc Emery, Jon Hanna, Phil Lucas, Jean Millay, Thomas B. Roberts, Carl Ruck, Ethan Russo, Benny Shanon, and Blaise Staples.

    For more information about the conference, including talk descriptions and biographies of the speakers, please see:


    2) "The Altered State: California's Spiritual Frontiers," a four-week seminar by Erik Davis

    Tuesday nights 7 to 9:30 pm • Feb 17, 24, March 2, 16, held at the California Institute of Integral Studies, 695 Minna Street, San Francisco.

    Alongside its body obsessions and media dreams, California is perhaps best known for its spiritual eccentricity. For well over a century, the state has been host to a dizzying number of exotic religions,
    ad-hoc cults, and all manner of mind-and-body-altering fads and fantasies. California has been home to spiritual mavericks like Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley, to popular visionaries like Starhawk and
    Carlos Castaneda, to mystical nature poets like Robinson Jeffers and Gary Snyder, and to living nightmares like Jim Jones and Heaven's Gate. It cradles the Church of Satan and the Church of Scientology; looking east, it built the first Zen monastery and first Hindu temple in the western hemisphere. California is responsible for UFO cults and Esalen, for the Grateful Dead and Burning Man, for soul surfers and the Sierra club. If consciousness is truly evolving, than California has served as its American Petri dish.

    This four-week seminar, which will include slide-shows, film clips, and music, is devoted to the idea that California's alternative spirituality stands as a distinct religious tradition on its own--a kind of improvised and hedonistic Hinduism, full of contradictory sects, cultures, and spiritual techniques, but all speaking to our core predicament: how to rediscover spirituality in a modern world defined by technology, consumer culture, and a scientific cosmology. In the class, we will encounter unknown ancestors, sacred spots, and secret histories buried in the cultural landscape. Such discoveries may provide a regional sense of "rootless roots" at a time when so many of us are feeling unmoored. Indeed, many of our contemporary concerns with deep ecology, human transformation, body-positive spirituality, and the techno-science of mind are rooted in California's maverick tradition of spiritual innovation.

    The first class will provide an overview of California spirituality, and suggest some reasons why this peculiar sensibility set down roots here on the west coast. The remaining three classes will focus on
    major dimensions of the "California Tao": nature, the body, and the evolution of consciousness-a notion that, I will argue, is inseparable from California's unique technological experience. California, after all, has led the way towards a postmodern culture of media, subcultures, computer technology, aero-space, and rootless consumerism. Its alternative spiritual movements both mirror this process and attempt to compensate for its considerable problems. By understanding these dynamics, we can better approach the transformations and disruptions that lay ahead for all of us.

    About the lecturer: Erik Davis wrote the cult classic Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, which has been translated into five languages. He has given lectures at conferences all over the world on topics ranging from psychedelic culture to cyberspace to postmodern spirituality, including programs at Stanford, Swarthmore, Esalen, and London's ICA. He has given
    workshops on the I Ching and Technological Future. He is currently collaborating with Michael Rauner on a photo essay book about the history of California spirituality.

    For non-CIIS students, the fee for the four-week program is $225 per person. Folks may register on-line at, or call 415-575-6175. People may also pre-register up to the day before the first class meeting, or if space is available, at the door.

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    3) The Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness' Annual Meeting will be held March 24 - 28, 2004 at the Berkeley Faculty Club. This year’s theme is: "Altered Bodies/Altered Minds." Contact
    [email protected] for more information, or visit

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    4) Toward a Science of Consciousness will be held April 7 - 11, 2004 at the Tucson Convention Center in Arizona.

    Just a very few of the many speakers that are presenting who might be of interest include:

    Susan Blackmore
    Jon Hanna
    Stanley Krippner
    Stephen LaBerge
    Roger Penrose
    Thomas Ray
    Alexander Shulgin
    Charles T. Tart
    Franz Vollenweider

    The early registration deadline is FEBRUARY 1. Before the deadline, registration fees are $180 (regular) and $80 (students). After the deadline, registration fees are $230 (regular) and $130 (students). For more information, see

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