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Plant Consciousness Event in London
September 27, 2015 - September 28, 2015£89 - £139
Plant Human Coevolution Origins Of The Imagination (Day1)
Imagination makes us human. Yet we rarely stop to consider where the imagination came from. If evolution endows nature’s creatures with traits that aid in survival and reproduction, what may she have intended when she created the imagination? And from a physiological perspective, how may the imagination have come about? Dennis will discuss how our ancestors’ interactions with plants over millions of years may have laid the foundation for imagination.
The biochemical co-evolutionary relationship between plants and insects are well-studied. The same principles apply to co-evolution with herbivores, which includes humans. Interactions between plant chemical compounds and our complex neural machinery, which can trigger synesthesia – the nexus where sound, vision and symbol come together – may have been the stimulus for the cognitive evolution of the mind. Many have experienced these effects in the form of the psychedelic experience, but their impact on our culture predates the 60’s by several million years. In fact, plants may have given us the ability to understand meaning and abstractions, and therefore laid the foundation for language. And with language came the ability to share ideas across continents and centuries, which created the foundations for culture.
Perspectives On The Past & Future Of Ayahuasca (Day 2)
Ayahuasca has only been known to Western science since the middle of the 19th century. The antiquity of its use in New World shamanism is uncertain, but based on scant archeological evidence it probably came into use between 1000 BCE and 1000 ACE. This presentation summarizes some of the scientific history of ayahuasca, focusing on the important discoveries in the 19th and 20th centuries that led to the identification of the botanical ingredients and the admixture plants that comprise this multi-ingredient brew. It also discusses the history of 20th century investigations of the chemical constituents of Banisteriopsis and the discovery of DMT as a naturally occurring compound and a constituent of the major ayahuasca admixture plants. Finally, it addresses some recent developments in the relatively recent and on-going cultural evolution of ayahuasca as it emerges onto the global stage. What are the societal, cultural, and co-evolutionary implications of this accelerating symbiotic relationship, both for humanity and its plant teacher?
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