The Conference will consist of 7 tracks in 4 full days. Lectures, panel discussions, experiential workshops and many more led by legendary founders of transpersonal psychology and key figures of current transpersonal movement, as well as by young and progressive adepts.
You can check confirmed speakers here.
Transpersonal Psychology, Psychotherapy and Clinical Studies
Transpersonal psychology is at a critical phase of its development. The world has evolved through a major shift since the stirrings of a transpersonal approach in psychology in the 60s and 70s. The study of topics including spirituality, meditation, and compassion has come of age, with major research initiatives and growing applications in areas such as health, therapy, and the arts. Today—against this backdrop—transpersonal psychology is having to re-align itself, assert its claims to be a distinct branch of psychology, and to clarify the research methods appropriate to a transpersonal vision.
Schools of therapy are increasingly embracing transpersonal perspectives, whether acknowledged or not. Transpersonal approaches are recognized for their efficacy in restructuring human behaviour and understanding human relationships, resolving religious problems and re-conceptualizing world problems as manifestations of the ways in which consciousness may identify with possession, greed, ideologies and power. Transpersonal psychotherapy helps people find a sense of purpose through the knowledge and inspiration that arises through expanded states of consciousness. Clinical studies are critical for building an evidence-based approach. Studies are increasingly pointing to the value of non-ordinary states for deepening self-insight and cultivating mature emotions.
Inner Ecology, Collective Psyche and Social Transformation
Inner ecology refers to the resonance between our inner and outer worlds; the mirror that yearns for balanced harmony. We are the wholeness that embraces our environment, the earth, the cosmos. The illusion of separateness belies the wonder of psyche, which transcends individuality and is rooted in that wholeness of being that is eternally sacred.
Today we are confronting many challenges: physical, emotional, social, economic, political, ecological and spiritual. And, when the essential interconnectedness that defines being is acknowledged, it will be seen that all these challenges revolve around the evolution of consciousness. Adopting a transpersonal vision and actualizing transpersonal values are no longer options but have become imperatives. We must leave behind outmoded ways of thinking that compromise the beauty of our world, our societies, the collective psyche, and discover anew the ways of transformation—concrete actions appropriate to our age that may enrich all our worlds.
This track has been designed by EUROTAS, with the help of ITA.
Psychedelics – Science, Spirituality and Therapeutic Potential
Psychedelic substances played an important role in most of ancient cultures of the world. For thousands of years, they have been used for spiritual and healing purposes within shamanic ceremonies and rites of passage such as those associated with the death and rebirth mysteries of antiquity. Until the second half of the 20th century, these extraordinary substances remained almost unknown to modern western science. The discovery of the psychoactive effects of LSD, made by Albert Hofmann in 1943, drew the attention of scientists all around the world and initiated their interest in researching the group of substances that induce non-ordinary states of consciousness. The mass expansion of their recreational use in the 1960s and the War on Drugs that followed basically stopped their research for 40 years. At present, the ice is finally breaking and psychedelic research is enjoying a worldwide renaissance. For current consciousness research, psychedelic substances constitute an extraordinary tool, similar to the role of the microscope in biology or telescope in astronomy. The non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by psychedelics help us to understand the mechanism of psychological disturbances and contain great potential regarding their healing. The „Psychedelics – Science, Spirituality and Therapeutic Potential“ track will present important figures from the field of both historical and current psychedelic research and therapy.
New Horizons in Science and Cosmology
“The great discovery of contemporary science is that the universe is not simply a place, but a story – a story in which we are immersed, to which we belong, and out of which we arose.”
Brian Swimme, cosmologist, in his book Journey of the Universe
Despite the steady torrent of new discoveries and significant technological progress, modern science is not able to provide a satisfactory explanation for some of the fundamental questions regarding the origin and development of the universe, the nature of life and the nature of mind and consciousness. The currently prevailing materialistic paradigm appears to be too limited and incapable of providing a complete description. Is it time for a new world-view? What should it be like? What is the right interpretation of multidisciplinary scientific findings and what do they tell us about the nature of reality? Does our journey forward lead through a synthesis of the empirical and spiritual approach? Is the universe really an immense energetic and informational event interconnected on all levels, a creative process lasting almost 14 billions of years, as maintained by the proponents of participatory cosmology? Are we mere witnesses of this process, placed at the mercy of chance, or are we active co-creators as conscious beings? What do these new insights bring us and what evidence do we have for them?
Shamanism and Its Potential for Modern Man
When applied in the context of modern culture and people of 21st century, the ancient techniques of shamanism may bring an added resource for healing, personal growth and expansion of our consciousness. In many aspects, the ways and actions of current modern civilisation have brought us to the edge of sustainability. We are facing an overall crisis of values, as well as the erosion of spiritual qualities in human experience. Shamanic techniques possess the potential to connect contemporary culture with ancient wisdom and the knowledge acquired by our ancestors. In non-ordinary states of consciousness, we are capable of experiencing those contents of our psyche that are not accessible in our usual state of mind. These techniques and rites provide a key to opening the spiritual dimension of our life. Presenters in this track will show how the potential of shamanic practices may be explored through research in diverse areas, including anthropology, neuroscience and quantum theory.
Mystical Spirituality as a Link between World Religions
More than ever before, our modern age brings the need for religious dialogue. Mutual tolerance and understanding between world religions is necessary for humanity to be able to live on the Earth in peace and harmony. From the transpersonal point of view, there is much in common at the core of all religions, a universal quest that has been refined through diverse cultural and historical forms. A transpersonal approach seeks to draw from the insights in mystical texts and the associated mystical practices, distilling that which can be shared across traditions. Realization of this shared spirituality leads to recognition of the essential unity of humanity, bringing the potential for mutual respect and protection of life. Given the importance of the mystical branches of different religions for recognizing what we can share in this way, presenters in this track will explore the value of mystical traditions for building a bridge to mutual understanding that is so critically needed today.
Holotropic Art as an Expression of Inner Process
In therapeutic work, we are constantly meeting the human need to express one’s inner process outwardly through drawings, paintings, statues, prose, poetry, songs or other forms of art. Within this process, unique pieces of art are created, the ones that mirror the human psyche and often also possess considerable aesthetic or artistic value. The influence of holotropic states on human creativity will be illustrated by many examples. And vice versa, we will also illustrate the expanded cartography of the human psyche, as described by Stanislav Grof, with the help of the art. Holotropic art constitutes an as yet little explored area, yet it is one that certainly deserves attention.