• John Higgs: William Blake vs the World

    Online event

    Join us for a wild journey through culture, science, philosophy and religion to better understand the mercurial genius William Blake in the twenty-first century.

    This is an ONLINE event on June 17 at 8pm. Tickets cost £10 and can be got here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/william-blake-vs-the-world-with-john-higgs-tickets-157229689233

    Poet, artist, visionary and author of the unofficial English national anthem 'Jerusalem', William Blake is an archetypal misunderstood genius. His life passed without recognition and he worked without reward, mocked, dismissed and misinterpreted. Yet from his ignoble end in a pauper's grave, Blake now occupies a unique position as an artist who unites and attracts people from all corners of society, and a rare inclusive symbol of English identity.

    Blake famously experienced visions, and it is these that shaped his attitude to politics, sex, religion, society and art. Thanks to the work of neuroscientists and psychologists, we are now in a better position to understand what was happening inside that remarkable mind, and gain a deeper appreciation of his brilliance. His timeless work, we will find, has never been more relevant.

    In this talk from cultural historian and novelist John Higgs, we will return to a world of riots, revolutions and radicals, discuss movements from the Levellers of the sixteenth century to the psychedelic counterculture of the 1960s, and explore the latest discoveries in neurobiology, quantum physics and comparative religion.

    Taking us on wild detours into unfamiliar territory, John will place the bewildering eccentricities of a most singular artist into context. And although the journey begins with us trying to understand him, we will ultimately discover that it is Blake who helps us to understand ourselves.

    Praise for John Higgs’ William Blake Vs The World:

    Rich, complex and original, Higgs takes us to places that even Blake himself might have found surprising – Tom Holland, author of Dominion

    Absolutely wonderful! This book managed to make Blake's mind and mythology understandable to me at last - for that I am truly grateful – Terry Gilliam

    This is an alchemical dream of a book, a compelling, observant and deeply profound insight into William Blake, his life and work, his endurance and inspirations. John Higgs has recorded a life beyond myth. It is a beautiful book, his writing glittering with Blake's visions, soulful creativity and resilience – Salena Godden, author of Mrs Death Misses Death

    John Higgs's work is always revelatory and WILLIAM BLAKE VS THE WORLD is no different. It is a dynamic book that makes Blake vivid and relevant but which also tells us a great deal about all human imagination. The subject is not only Blake, it is ourselves – Robin Ince

    John Higgs is a writer who specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives, hidden in obscure corners of our history and culture, which can change the way we see the world. His books include I Have America Surrounded (2006), The KLF (2012), Stranger Than We Can Imagine (2015), Watling Street (2017), and The Future Starts Here (2019). He has also written two short novels under the name JMR Higgs, The Brandy of the Damned (2012) and The First Church on the Moon (2013).

    Again, this is an ONLINE event and tickets can be got here:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/william-blake-vs-the-world-with-john-higgs-tickets-157229689233

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  • Jules Evans - art and culture in times of crisis

    Online event

    This is a joint event with Liminal Compass. Tickets are on a sliding scale from £5 to £20. They're available here:

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pathfinder-gatherings-jules-evans-art-culture-in-times-of-crisis-tickets-136804839959?utm_campaign=post_publish&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eventbrite&utm_content=shortLinkNewEmail

    What is the role of art and culture in navigating times of crisis? And how can philosophy help people suffer less and flourish more?

    Join Tayos directors Eileen Hall and Tamsin Cunningham in conversation with practical philosopher Jules Evans.

    At a time when many people feel in the midst of political, health, financial and environmental crisis, we'll be looking at how art, culture and philosophy can help us navigate chaos and confusion.

    There will be a short talk from Jules, followed by a discussion with Eileen & Tamsin and a Q&A where attendees have a chance to enter discussion on the points raised.

    Jules will discuss
    - how arts and culture can help us achieve 'perspective flexibility' on adversity
    - how history can teach us a deep time perspective and what we can learn from Iggy Pop
    - whether we can find beauty and meaning even in the face of suffering and death

    This event is part of the Pathfinder Gathering series included in the Liminal Compass: an online journey of art, music, meditation, photography, poetry and storytelling inspired by Ecuador's Tayos Caves.

    To find our more visit www.tayos.org

    ABOUT JULES EVANS

    Jules is a practical philosopher - he does academic research on ideas from different eras and cultures, then he tries them out in his life, and interviews others to see how ideas have helped or harmed them. From Stoicism to CBT, from Aristotle to ayahuasca, he searches for the best wisdom to help people suffer less and flourish more. He also offers one-on-one philosophy sessions - visit his website to find out more.

    ‘Jules reminds us philosophy is not just about analysis. It’s also about the good life.’ Matthew Syed

    www.philosophyforlife.org

    ABOUT TAYOS

    Tayos is an organisation working with conservation and creativity to explore our relationship with nature and its role in our wellbeing. Inspired by Ecuador's legendary Tayos Caves the work of Tayos seeks to raise awareness of the caves and support the campaign for their protection

    ABOUT THE LIMINAL COMPASS

    A journey of self-exploration, transformation and re-imagination through meditation, art, music, stories, poetry and community. Inspired by Ecuador’s legendary Tayos Caves and guided by our team of expert philosophers, artists, musicians, scientists and healers

    New topics each fortnight . Gatherings each month. Membership of Liminal Compass starts from £5/month and gives you access to all talks.

  • A Day on Third-Wave Psychotherapy

    Online event

    This is a joint event with the Weekend University. It's an online day-long event for which you have to buy tickets here:
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-the-third-wave-tickets-94989406873?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub
    Get 10% off with the code LPC.

    The first wave of cognitive therapy focused heavily on behaviourist approaches to change, such as classical conditioning (Pavlov), and operant conditioning (Skinner).

    The second wave came in the 1970s, with the arrival of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is based on the idea that thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to behaviours, and therefore the emphasis now switched to changing how we think.

    We are now in the era of ‘third wave’ psychotherapy.

    Interestingly, the focus of the third wave isn’t on changing thoughts or feelings themselves. Instead, these approaches aim to change our relationship to our thoughts and feelings, so we can enjoy greater wellbeing in day to day life.

    Integrating techniques from CBT with concepts from neuroscience, mindfulness, evolutionary theory, and the science of compassion, third wave approaches have the potential to make a valuable contribution to the work of any psychotherapist, counsellor, psychologist or coach.

    With practice, they can help us recognise how we become entangled in streams of worry, self-criticism and ruminative thinking, and break free from these patterns to improve our wellbeing and realise more of our potential.

    During this online conference, you’ll explore the rapidly developing evidence base for Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and explore how these pioneering approaches can offer an effective solution to many of the mental health problems we face today.

    Event Schedule
    10:00am – 12:00pm: Compassion Focused Therapy - Dr Chris Irons
    12:00 - 1:00pm: Lunch break
    1:00pm - 3:00pm: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy - Prof Michaela Swales
    3:00pm - 3:30pm: Afternoon break
    3:30pm - 5:00pm: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy - Dr Cinzia Pezzolesi

    Find out more about the speakers at this link:
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-the-third-wave-tickets-94989406873?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub

    FAQs
    How does the Online Video Conference Work?
    After you register on Eventbrite, you will receive an email with a unique link and instructions to join the video conference.

    Will I be able to ask questions?
    You will be able to submit questions to each speaker during the Q+A sessions.

    What if I miss part of one of the lectures? Will I have access to the recordings?
    Yes, the recordings will be emailed to all ticket-buyers (even those who can't attend on the day) approximately one hour after each lecture finishes.

    Refund Policy
    The Weekend University offer a full refund if you cancel within 7 days of the event date.

    This is a joint event with the Weekend University. It's an online day-long event for which you have to buy tickets here:
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-the-third-wave-tickets-94989406873?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub
    Get 10% off with the code LPC.

    1
  • Conspirituality - how the New Age and Wellness became swamped by conspiracies

    This is an online event.

    Conspirituality is the overlap between spirituality and conspiracy thinking. 2020 has been a vintage year for conspirituality, with wellness influencers and New Age gurus spreading everything from 'Bill Gates wants to control the world through vaccines' to 'Tom Hanks is a Satanic child abuser'. Conspiracy theories used to be a funny kooky fringe phenomenon. Now, president Obama describes them as 'the single biggest threat to democracy'.

    Why is spiritual / wellness culture so prone to conspiracy-thinking? And what can we do about it? How can we engage with friends or loved ones who have disappeared down rabbit-holes? What should governments and tech companies do to oppose conspiracies and fake news? And is there even something positive in conspiracy culture?

    Join Jules Evans, philosopher and author of books including Philosophy for Life and The Art of Losing Control, to explore this phenomenon. Jules has covered conspirituality in two viral articles this year - one called 'conspirituality' in April and one in August on 'Nazi hippies'. He's also spoken about conspirituality on podcasts and channels including Rebel Wisdom and the Commune podcast. Jules is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions and co-head of the London and Bristol Philosophy Clubs. His website is www.philosophyforlife.org

    Buy your ticket here:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/129793924121

    It costs £10, refunds available up to a week before the event.

    https://medium.com/@julesevans/nazi-hippies-when-the-new-age-and-far-right-overlap-d1a6ddcd7be4

    https://medium.com/@julesevans/conspirituality-the-overlap-between-the-new-age-and-conspiracy-beliefs-c0305eb92185

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  • Breaking Open: the philosophy of altered states and spiritual emergencies

    Can philosophy and wisdom practices help us make sense evening of highly altered states of mind - psychedelic trips or quasi-psychotic experiences? How can one tell if one is in a dream or a reality? Is our reality a collective hallucination, and if so, how does one wake up?

    Join philosopher Jules Evans and psychiatrist Tim Read as they discuss the philosophy and psychiatry of mysticism and psychosis, and the phenomenon of the 'spiritual emergency'.

    A spiritual emergency is a period of intense and extended disturbance to a person’s ordinary sense of self and reality, which can involve psychotic-like symptoms such as mania, ego-dissolution, a heightened sense of meaning, hallucinations and a confusion of inner and outer worlds. These experiences can be treated as symptoms of chronic brain disorders requiring psychotropic medication. However, they are better understood as attempts by the psyche to seek greater wholeness. If properly handled, they can be transitions to greater maturity, flourishing and wisdom.

    As more and more people take psychedelics and have ecstatic experiences, some of these experiences will be messy 'spiritual emergencies' and it's important that our culture (and particularly psychedelic culture) learns more about these experiences and how to navigate them.

    On this evening webinar Jules Evans and Dr Tim Read will gather together first-person accounts of spiritual emergencies and explore what they’re like and what self-care practices help people through. They will draw on their new book Breaking Open -Finding a Way Through Spiritual Emergency, which collects 14 people's account of their experiences and what helped them through.

    This online event is happening in participation with The Psychedelic Society. You need to get your ticket through this link. It's £20 full price or £10 concession:

    https://dandelion.earth/events/5ec95cb18ff2d60014caa84a

    Tim Read is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist based in London. He is consultant psychiatrist at Imperial College's psychedelic lab, and at Synthesis, a psychedelic retreat centre in Holland. He was Consultant Psychiatrist at the Royal London Hospital for 20 years leading the Emergency Liaison service and the Crisis Intervention Service. He has trained in psychoanalytic therapy (IGA) and in transpersonal therapy (GTT). He is a certified facilitator of Holotropic Breathwork and has a special interest in working with expanded states of consciousness. His book Walking Shadows: Archetype and Psyche in Crisis and Growth was published in 2015.

    Jules Evans is an author, broadcaster and academic philosopher. He is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He also organizes the London Philosophy Club, the largest philosophy club in the world. He is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations (2012) , The Art of Losing Control (2017). and Holiday from the Self: An Accidental Ayahuasca Adventure (2019). His website is www.philosophyforlife.org

    Refunds: Please note, we do not arrange refunds or exchanges. When possible we encourage reselling on Ticketswap.

    2
  • Philosophies for Life online course

    Needs a location

    Who are you? How can you know yourself, change yourself, heal yourself and grow to your full potential?

    This nine-session online course teaches you eight ways to understand the self, eight approaches to self-change, and how they can be integrated together.

    Feedback from the course: ‘Awesome. Intense. Interesting. Insightful.’ ‘Absolutely amazing. I've been on a real high since the course.’ ‘I felt I gained a number of insights that are immediately useful to my life and future.’

    Most courses only teach one approach to the self, one therapeutic or philosophical modality (mindfulness, CBT etc). But such an approach is inevitably one-sided and partial. In the words of Aldous Huxley, the original sin is over-simplification.

    This course, by contrast, explores the different levels at which our experience can be understood – and changed – and how these multiple levels can be integrated into a comprehensive philosophy of life.

    It will explore philosophy in the ancient Greek or Indian sense of a practical training to change the psyche and find flourishing.

    There are only 12 places on the course - six women and six men - so that we have an even number and gender balance. The course balances interesting content with lots of exercises done in pairs or as a group. It's a fascinating journey and a great thing to do during lockdown.

    The entire course costs £180 but you can get it for £160 if you book before May 30. To book your place, email me at [masked]

    Here’s the structure. Each session explores a way of understanding the self, and how we can transcend it.

    June 8,[masked]pm GMT: You are not just your thoughts (Stoicism / CBT)

    June 15: You are not just your emotions (Buddhist equanimity / Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

    June 22: You are not just your conscious rationality (The automatic mind, Jung and the shadow)

    July 6: You are not just your body (William James and the embodied mind, somatic therapy and body-mindfulness)

    July 13: You are not just your relationships (Bowlby and attachment theory, inherited trauma and family dynamics, authentic relating)

    July 20: You are not just your job (Status anxiety and burn out, how to work with non-attachment, the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai)

    July 27: You are not just your class, ethnicity, sexuality or gender (The social determinants of well-being and the impact of discrimination)

    August 3: You are not just your species (Eco-psychology in the Anthropocene)

    August 10: Well then who are you?!

    If you’re interested in booking a place, please email me at [masked]

    In addition, I am doing one-off 'philosophy safari's every Tuesday evening[masked]pm GMT, for £20. We'll explore a different idea and have group discussion and one on one exercises. Starting this Tuesday.

    About the course teacher:

    Jules Evans is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations (2012), which was published in 20 countries and was a Times book of the year. Adrian Edmondson said ‘this book saved my life’. Jules is also the author of The Art of Losing Control (2017) and Holiday From the Self (2019). He is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He was a BBC New Generation Thinker and a presenter on Radio 4’s History of Ideas series.

    You can watch Jules’ TEDX talk, ‘how philosophy can save your life’, here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuwYvFlNGns

    His website is www.philosophyforlife.org

    3
  • A Day on Resilience (video conference)

    Online event

    Learn how to improve psychological wellbeing during times of crisis.

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    **Please note: this is a ticketed event. RSVP on meetup will not get access on the day.**

    For information on the lectures, speakers, and tickets, please see: bit.ly/lpc-resilience

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    We’re at a pivotal moment in human history.

    As a global community, we’re in one of our most challenging periods since World War Two.

    The economy has halted, schools have shut, and there is widespread panic, fear, and uncertainty.

    Not only that, the nature of what we’re going through requires that we distance ourselves from our fellow human beings.

    Arguably, COVID-19 is going to affect us psychologically, as much as it does physically.

    And to get through it (both individually and collectively), it’s going to require heightened levels of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and mental strength.

    So, in this online conference, we’ll explore three evidence-based approaches to help you become more resilient during times of crisis.

    You’ll learn:

    - Acceptance & Commitment Therapy; how to use ACT to improve your psychological wellbeing during difficult times – Shamash Alidina

    - Existential Approaches to Crisis; how to apply existential ideas to thrive during your darkest hour – Professor Emmy van Deurzen

    - Using CBT & Stoic Philosophy to Overcome Adversity; how to combine ancient wisdom with modern scientific research to help you use adversity to your advantage– Jules Evans

    You’ll learn how these insights can improve your own wellbeing, but also your ability to help others too.

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    **Please note: this is a ticketed event. RSVP on meetup will not get access on the day.**

    For tickets, please click here: bit.ly/lpc-resilience

    3
  • Philosophies for Life course

    Psychosynthesis Trust

    Who are you? How can you know yourself, change yourself, heal yourself and grow to your full potential?

    This two-day course teaches you eight ways to understand the self, eight approaches to self-change, and how they can be integrated together.

    Feedback from the November course: ‘Awesome. Intense. Interesting. Insightful.’ ‘Absolutely amazing. I've been on a real high since the course.’ ‘I felt I gained a number of insights that are immediately useful to my life and future.’

    Most courses only teach one approach to the self, one therapeutic or philosophical modality (mindfulness, CBT etc). But such an approach is inevitably one-sided and partial. In the words of Aldous Huxley, the original sin is over-simplification.

    This course, by contrast, explores the different levels at which our experience can be understood – and changed – and how these multiple levels can be integrated into a comprehensive philosophy of life.

    It will explore philosophy in the ancient Greek or Indian sense of a practical training to change the psyche and find flourishing.

    There are only 12 places on the course - six women and six men - so that we have an even number and gender balance. The course balances interesting content with lots of exercises done in pairs or as a group. It's a fascinating journey.

    The entire course costs £200 but you can get it for £180 if you book before Feb 9. To book your place, email me at [masked]

    The course takes place at the Psychosynthesis Trust near London Bridge station.

    Here’s the structure. Each session explores a way of understanding the self, and how we can transcend it.

    Saturday February 29 - 10.30am - 4.30pm

    Morning session:

    1) You are not just your thoughts

    (Stoicism / CBT)

    2) You are not just your emotions

    (Buddhist equanimity / Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

    Afternoon session:

    3) You are not just your conscious rationality

    (The automatic mind, Jung and the shadow)

    4) You are not just your body

    (William James and the embodied mind, somatic therapy and body-mindfulness)

    Sunday March 1, 10.30am-4.30pm

    Morning session:

    5) You are not just your relationships

    (Bowlby and attachment theory, inherited trauma and family dynamics, authentic relating)

    6) You are not just your job

    (Status anxiety and burn out, how to work with non-attachment, the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai)

    Afternoon session:

    7) You are not just your class, ethnicity, sexuality or gender

    (The social determinants of well-being and the impact of discrimination)

    8) You are not just your species

    (Eco-psychology in the Anthropocene)

    The course is taking place at the Psychosynthesis Trust in London Bridge, 92-94 Tooley St, London SE1 2TH

    If you’re interested in booking a place, please email me at [masked]

    About the course teacher:

    Jules Evans is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations (2012), which was published in 20 countries and was a Times book of the year. Adrian Edmondson said ‘this book saved my life’. Jules is also the author of The Art of Losing Control (2017) and Holiday From the Self (2019). He is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He was a BBC New Generation Thinker and a presenter on Radio 4’s History of Ideas series.

    You can watch Jules’ TEDX talk, ‘how philosophy can save your life’, here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuwYvFlNGns

    His website is www.philosophyforlife.org

    2
  • A day on consciousness: Rupert Sheldrake, Anil Seth, Iain McGilchrist

    Birkbeck, University of London

    Neuroscience, Hallucinations and Panpsychism; A full day of talks exploring the fascinating science of consciousness.
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    **Please note: this is a ticketed event. RSVP on meetup will not get access on the day.**

    For tickets, please click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-consciousness-tickets-90014121661?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub

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    Right now, tens of billions of neurons are working together in your brain so that you can read these words.

    How does this happen?

    For the longest time, consciousness was life’s greatest mystery; something we thought we’d never understand.

    Now, recent advances in neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry are beginning to shed some light on the inner workings of this mystery, and the findings are nothing less than astounding.

    In this series of talks, we’ll explore the fascinating science of consciousness; how it works, why it matters, and how understanding it, can improve your everyday experience of reality.

    You’ll learn:

    - Neuroscience, perception and hallucination; the latest cutting edge research in the neuroscience of consciousness, how consciousness emerges from the brain, and how changes to our brain can result in bizarre experiences of consciousness - Professor Anil Seth PhD

    - Matter and consciousness; the relationship between matter and consciousness - are they two things, or one? How necessary are brains to consciousness? And why do we have consciousness at all? - Dr Iain McGilchrist, PhD (via exclusive live video link)

    - Panpsychism and consciousness; the growing evidence for a ‘conscious universe’, how the world ‘out there’, including our planet, sun and solar system, may be associated with some form of mind and self organising system - Dr Rupert Sheldrake, PhD

    You’ll learn how these insights can deepen your own understanding of the world we live in, and enhance your everyday perception of reality.

    For information on the lectures, speakers, and tickets, please see: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-consciousness-tickets-90014121661?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub

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    **Please note: this is a ticketed event. RSVP on meetup will not get access on the day.**

    Get your tickets here:
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-consciousness-tickets-90014121661?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub