Temple Talks

Saturday 24th June 2017 – The Common


Professor David Nutt 14.00 – 15.00 The Temple
Psychedelics – the past present and future

David Nutt’s presentation will explore the history of psychedelic & other ‘’illegal’’ drug use from the 18th century when it was seen as a key way to obtain insights into the brain and mind, through to the 20th century when the war on drugs made them impossible to research. He will then give an explanation into our fight back against this censorship and how it is leading to new insights and new treatments and hopefully a new Enlightenment.

David Nutt is a psychiatrist and the Edmund J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology in the Division of Brain Science, Dept of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London. Here he uses a range of brain imaging techniques to explore the causes of addiction and other psychiatric disorders and to search for new treatments. He has published over 400 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and books chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 28 books, including one for the general public, Drugs: without the hot air, that won the Transmission Prize in 2014.

David broadcasts widely to the general public both on radio and television; highlights include being a subject for The Life Scientific on BBC radio 4, several BBC Horizon programs and the Channel 4 documentaries Ecstasy and Cannabis Live. In 2016 he was advisor to the BBC Religious affairs dept on their groundbreaking programme on psychedelics in religion.

In 2010 The Times Eureka science magazine voted him one of the 100 most important figures in British Science, and the only psychiatrist on the list. In 2013 he was awarded the Nature/Sense about Science John Maddox prize for Standing up for Science and in 2016 an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Bath for contributions to science and policy.

His 2016 Temple talk can be found here

Ben Sessa 15.00 – 16.00 The Temple
Psychedelics, MDMA and the Future of Psychiatry

As a child psychiatrist I take a developmental approach to adult mental disorder and addictions. The lack of efficacy of traditional pharmaceutical industry-driven treatments is failing patients.

My work with abused children, seeing them grow into damaged and addicted adults, has brought me to the door of Psychedelic and MDMA Therapy as psychiatry’s best opportunity for a therapeutic breakthrough.

I will illustrate my talk with descriptions of my involvement in recent UK research studies, in which I have both administered to adults, and been legally dosed myself, with MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ketamine and DMT; substances that can be safely harnessed in a medical environment to help shift patients towards clinical recovery and personal growth.

Dr Ben Sessa (MBBS BSc MRCPsych) graduated from UCL medical school in 1997 and works as a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist in addiction services and with adolescents. As a senior research fellow at Bristol, Cardiff and Imperial College London Universities, he studies the developmental trajectory from child maltreatment to adult mental health disorders and is currently conducting the UK’s first clinical studies with MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of PTSD and alcohol dependence syndrome. He is the author of several dozen peer-reviewed articles in the mainstream medical press and has written two books exploring psychedelic medicine; The Psychedelic Renaissance (2012, 2017) and To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic (2015). Dr Sessa lobbies for change in the current system by which drugs are classified in the UK, believing a more progressive policy of regulation would reduce the harms of recreational drug use and provide increased opportunities for clinical psychedelic research. He is a co-founder and director of the UK’s Breaking Convention conference.

Here is a link to 2016 TED talk

Hassan Akkad 16.00 – 16.30
Exodus: Our Journey to Europe

Hassan Akkad arrived in the UK after 87 days of traveling fleeing his home and job as an English teacher in Damascus, Syria. He shares a story and experience of many refugees fleeing conflict, a story that we hear reports of on the news but that the majority of people have no experience of.

Hassan has told this story in a ground-breaking way. Production company KEO Films provided Hassan and five other refugees with camera phones to record their tumultuous journeys to seek refuge in Europe pieced together in the documentary Exodus: Our Journey to Europe on BBC2. This film recently won a BAFTA Award in May this month, and now Hassan joins us in The Common Temple Talks on Saturday to share his stories.
Click here to learn more of Hassan’s story.
Click here to see the team behind Exodus: Our Journey to Europe win their BAFTA.

Victoria Sinclair 16.30 – 17.30
Technoshamanism, Trauma and Tribal Unity Consciousness (The new wave of conscious rave culture and planetary alignment.)

In this presentation, Victoria will outline a brief history of the rave scene as technoshamanism and a valid alternative to mainstream Babylonian society. Technoshamanism enables us to ‘emember’ our role and our tribe and transform hedonism into magic. In this Global Shamanic Resurgence, partying can be a conscious act to eliminate trauma and planetary ‘dis’ ease to align, as the Ancient tribes have done, with the ecosystems and the Cosmos.

Victoria will offer an explanation of how psychedelics and natural Altered States of Consciousness (ASCs) can be tools for shamanism and transformation and how to navigate ‘psycho-spiritual emergences’.  She will also share some messages from tribal elders to show how indigenous science and quantum science agree on the important of the Dreamtime – the collective/tribal unity consciousness that can be attained through technoshamanism. And finally will contextualise this Galactic Mayan year of the ‘Storm’ as a catalyst year for seeing a new conscious rave revival. Together we can begin to party with meaning and solve problems and traumas on the planet!

This talk is dedicated to Keith Robinson from Desert Storm Sound System –  Technoshaman, de-Babylonification professor and free party pioneer extraordinaire.

Victoria is a healing facilitator from N.Ireland (curandera) with 18 years of experience working with numerous modalities and altered states of consciousness. Her training ground was in the European free party scene of the 1990s and early 2000s. She is a transpersonal (eco)psychologist, trauma and postcolonial theorist and plant medicine practitioner and has been journeying and working extensively in Central and South America and Australia since 2006. She is a Culture Bridge for several tribes in Australia and South America, permitted to represent and relay messages for wisdom keepers in order to assist collective healing and awakening. She comes from a lineage of herbalists and clairvoyants. Vicky is currently co-creating new healing blueprint models for trauma and consciousness awakening such as the Wounded Healer series which has been running in Manchester and Ibiza. She is co-founder of the Re-igniting the Ancient Ways initiative and works with indigenous groups around spiritual sovereignty and healing of self and eliminating planetary dis-ease to nurture higher vibrational being for the new age and evolution of homo luminous. She is also currently organizing a pilgrimage of Native American earth keepers from the Sierra Nevada (Colombia), Wixarika (Mexico) and Lakota and Hopi tribes (USA) to the Middle East later in 2017. For more information on the pilgrimage, click here.

William Hawk Birdshead and Doug Good Feather 17.30 – 18.15pm
Indigenous Uprising

A unique and interactive talk with William Hawk Birdshead and Doug Good Feather, Water Protectors from Great Lakota Nation Water Protectors from Standing Rock, North Dakota (Turtle Island / USA) about their struggles against corporate America and how the largest indigenous-led peaceful movement came to the attention of the world’s media. Including song, prayer, Q&A.

They are coming to the Temple ahead of screening their new film, Awake: A Dream From Standing Rock, (Premiered at Tribeca, 2017) at the Festival at Candlelight Cinema on the Ancient Futures Stage.

Doug Goodfeather:
Good Feather is the spiritual teacher of the Lakota Way Healing Center based in Colorado, and the spiritual leader of Spirit Horse Nation, which is a community of like-minded organizations, tribes and people from every background and school of thought working to elevate the consciousness of Mother Earth. Doug Good Feather was shown a life-altering spiritual vision where Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka/Creator instructed him to share Native Ways and Medicine with all of humanity in a good way. Today Doug Good Feather’s vision has become a world-wide movement of Spiritual Healing through Native Ways.

William Hawk Birdshead
William “Hawk” Birdshead of Standing Rock Reservation and Pine Ridge, founder of the Native American Suicide Prevention Organisation has been working with youth communities to help prevent suicide. He is an actor, filmmaker and indigenous activist working to bring healing to the world through indigenous wisdom and knowledge. A powerful traditional singer, he brings a presence of love and receptivity to audiences and communities wherever he goes.

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