Psychedelics have been widely used for thousands of years nearly everywhere on the planet. Psychoactive plants have been central to most ancient sacred rituals and primitive medical treatments. They have been worshipped in all cultures as “Plants of the Gods” and considered as mediators between human beings and the universe, linking the physical to the spiritual dimensions of existence.
In January, 2006, the international symposium “LSD: Problem Child and Wonder Drug,” took place on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Albert Hofmann, PhD, the discoverer of LSD. Several thousand visitors and more than 200 media reporters from 37 countries gathered in Basel to hear lectures from scientists and historians, to exchange ideas and disseminate information. It was the biggest conference of its kind worldwide. For the first time since the turbulent 1960s, a wide range of issues and topics related to psychedelics has been brought back to public discussion and re-evaluation.
The World Psychedelic Forum will expand on this renewed interest, presenting a unique opportunity for experts, researchers, and interested persons from all around the globe to exchange views and hear presentations on the latest research investigating the value of these remarkable substances in medicine, psychology, science, religion, culture and the arts.
At the World Psychedelic Forum more than fifty experts from all over the world will bear witness to, and shine light upon the multi-dimensional psychedelic experience with its tremendous potential for expanding consciousness and for self-awareness. We will hear of the renewal of research that foretells a promising future when psychedelic plants and their synthetic derivatives will reclaim their destined position as incomparably valuable tools for individual and collective evolution and thus supporting the needed consciousness change for humanity.
The general headline for Friday, March 21, will be “The Psychedelic Experience: Opening the Doors of Perception.” On Saturday, March 22, we will shed light on “The Legacy of the Shamans: Ancient Traditions and New Dimensions.” Sunday, March 23 we will focus on the theme of “Change of Consciousness: A Challenge of the 21st Century.”
The World Psychedelic Forum welcomes the elite of the international consciousness researchers, among them Rick Doblin, Amanda Feilding, Stanislav Grof, Kathleen Harrison, Michael Horowitz, Dennis McKenna, Ralph Metzner, Jeremy Narby, Daniel Pinchbeck, Thomas B. Roberts, Christian Rätsch, as well as Alexander and Ann Shulgin. Also, prominent artists and contemporary witnesses like Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia or visionary painter Alex Grey, and Columbian shaman Kajuyali Tsamani will come to Basel, to give account about their personal experiences with psychedelics and its influence on art and culture. In addition more than 30 papers and dissertations from rising researchers from various countries will be presented. LSD discoverer Albert Hofmann will attend the conference as a guest of honor.
Each morning will begin with a “Tune-in,” a meditative-musical start into the program. Afterwards, as well as in the early afternoons, plenary events will take place with short talks, a moderator, and several speakers that will illustrate the day’s topics in order to give the audience reference points for easy navigation through the dense program of the day. Before noon, in the early and in the late afternoon, 40 and 90-minute seminars, panels, and workshops will be staged. There will be three blocks of 3 to 4 presentations each. At the end of most lectures the speakers will be available in the foyer of the Congress Center for follow-up discussions or individual conversations.
A rich supporting program will be presented in the foyer of the Congress Center from Friday to Sunday, with discussions, exhibits, shows and films. On Monday, March 24, day- and half-day seminars will take place with Alex and Allyson Grey, Stanislav Grof, Ralph Metzner and Manuel Schoch.
The World Psychedelic Forum will be hosted by the Gaia Media Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the communication and networking of information for a holistic and up-to-date understanding of our existence, and the potential of human consciousness, and its expanded states. Under the motto “The Spirit of Basel,” the foundation organizes local and international events. MAPS is one of the main sponsors of the event and a patron, along with the UK’s Beckley Foundation and the Swiss Medical Association for Psycholytic Therapy (SAEPT).
Welcome! Together with Albert Hofmann, we very much look forward to seeing many of the participants of the 2006 LSD Symposium again at the World Psychedelic Forum 2008, and to welcoming many new visitors.