Huxley, Jung and the evolution of the self

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A full day of talks exploring the science, psychology and evolution of the Self.

NB This event is in partnership with the Weekend University. You need to buy your tickets at this link:

Have you ever felt you went beyond your ordinary self and felt connected to something bigger than you? In a 2016 UK survey, over 84% of respondents (including atheists, agnostics, Christians, and Buddhists) said yes to this question.

So what’s going on?

In the complex web of modern life, we’re conditioned to embrace our rational minds and spend every second of our conscious hours in search of opportunities and threats. We are encouraged to get ahead, win friends, influence people, attract praise, avoid blame and generally focus on satisfying the individual everyday ego.

Indeed, the idea of a “self”, as a unique and coherent individual, has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable.

But is this egoic view of ourselves scientifically accurate?

Or is there something more to the human experience? And could our most basic assumptions about who we are be wrong?

In this series of talks, we explore the psychology of the ‘Self’, drawing on perspectives from Jungian psychology, neuroscience and the work of Aldous Huxley - to question our most basic assumptions about who we are, and our place in the world.

Lectures & Speakers
Aldous Huxley & Self Transcendence - Jules Evans

Jules Evans is Policy Director at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London and a leading researcher into ecstatic experience. He also runs the world’s biggest philosophy club, the London Philosophy Club, which has over 10,000 members. Jules’ first book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations was published in 19 countries and was selected by Matthew Syed as a Times Book of the Year. He has written for The Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Spectator and WIRED and is a BBC New Generation Thinker.

Carl Jung & Individuation - Dr Kevin Lu
Dr Kevin Lu, PhD, is Director of Graduate Studies and Director of the MA Jungian and Post-Jungian Studies in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Jungian Studies.

Dr. Lu’s publications include articles and chapters on Jung’s relationship to the discipline of history, critical assessments of the theory of cultural complexes, and Jungian perspectives on graphic novels and their adaptation to film.

The Evolution of the Self - Will Storr
Will Storr is an award-winning writer. He’s the author of five critically acclaimed books, including the novel The Hunger and The Howling of Killian Lone. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The New Yorker and The New York Times. His prizes include a National Press Club award for excellence and the AFM award for Best Investigative Journalism. His work on sexual violence against men earned the Amnesty International Award and a One World Press Award. He’s also been presented with the AIB Award for Best Investigative Documentary for his BBC radio series.

He teaches popular storytelling classes in London and has been invited to present his Science of Storytelling workshop all over the world, from Bangkok to Istanbul to the European Parliament. Will is also an in-demand ghostwriter whose books have spent months at the top of The Sunday Times bestseller chart. You can follow him on twitter @wstorr.

Event Schedule
10:00am – 12:00pm: Aldous Huxley & Self Transcendence - Jules Evans
12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch break
1:00pm – 3:00pm: Carl Jung & Individuation - Dr Kevin Lu
3:00pm – 3:15pm: Afternoon break
3:15pm – 5:00pm: The Evolution of the Self - Will Storr
5:20pm – 7:00pm: Attendee Social & Networking (Optional)