Further Perspectives
on Altered Consciousness

May 25-27, 2001

Visionary Plants & Drugs
Virtual Reality, Psi Phenomena
Trepanation, Spiritual Inspiration
Out-of-body and Near-death Experiences
Kitchen Chemistry, Mind Machines
Art, Music, the Internet
and more . . .

Held at The International House in Berkeley, CA.
For more information about the venue, see

Click for Tentative Schedule
Click for Ticket Info


Erik Davis - Earth Erowid - Fire Erowid
Amanda Feilding, Lady Neidpath - Lawrence Hagerty - Jon Hanna
Clark Heinrich - Michael Horowitz - Laura Huxley - Karl Jansen, M.D., Ph.D.
James Kent - Stephen Kent - Jean Millay, Ph.D. - Cynthia Palmer
Dale Pendell & the Oracular Madness Choir - Mark Pesce
Nicholas Sand (tentative) - Ann Shulgin - Sasha Shulgin, Ph.D.
Huston Smith - Myron Stolaroff - K. Trout (tentative)
Zoe7 - and more . . .

ERIK DAVIS is the author of Techgnosis: Myth, Magic & Mystery in the Age of Information. As a freelance journalist, his articles and interviews have appeared in Wired, The Village Voice, Gnosis, and other publications. He currently pens “The Posthuman Condition” column for Feed magazine (, and he has lectured internationally on the topics of techno-culture, visionary drugs, and the fringes of religion. See

"Psychedelic Culture: One or Many?"

Though still underground, today's psychedelic scene is no longer exactly counter-cultural. Even as consensus reality grows increasingly trippy, the psychedelic scene itself has diversified. There are scientists and religionists, pagans and transhumans, policy wonks and pranksters, historians and hardcore psychonauts. What does this diversity say about the role that psychedelics now play in society? And how do the psychedelics themselves help us navigate and understand the contradictions that can sometimes arise between these different perspectives?

Mr. Davis will be the event's Master of Ceremonies, and the Moderator for the "Panel of Elders" discussion forum.
EARTH EROWID co-created The Vaults of Erowid ( in 1996. For five years this non-commercial site has collected high-quality data and published original research on the topics of visionary plants and drugs. The site currently receives over 250,000 unique visitors per month and has over 7,000 public documents and over 2,500 images. Earth has written and edited hundreds of documents published online and his writing has also appeared in print publications such as The Resonance Project and The Entheogen Review.

"Psychoactive Information: The Complexities and Ethical Challenges of Publishing Data about Mind Altering Plants and Chemicals"

Earth and Fire will be speaking together on this topic, see description below.

FIRE EROWID co-created The Vaults of Erowid ( in 1996 (see description above). She has been the primary designer and chief editor of the Erowid site since its inception. Fire has innovated and developed drug information designs and language that have been emulated throughout the net. Her work can be found in newspapers, books, school education programs, college classes, and professional seminars around the world. Her well-referenced article “70 Common Drug Myths,” which appeared in The Resonance Project, exemplifies the dedication to straight-forward, factual information that has become the hallmark of the Erowid web site.

"Psychoactive Information: The Complexities and Ethical Challenges of Publishing Data about Mind Altering Plants and Chemicals"

Over the past century, a small but zealous prohibitionist minority has shaped people's choices about psychoactives by influencing legislation, education, and popular media. As the War on Drugs collapses under the weight of its promises and failures, and the Internet catalyzes dramatic changes in publication and communication, we are faced with a difficult transition to a world where information about psychoactives is available from a wide variety of independent sources. Erowid ( and other drug information web sites make choices that affect people's lives, and the struggle over what to publish is challenging and complex.
JAMES FADIMAN, Ph.D. has been involved in both teaching and facilitating creative problem-solving with and without psychedelics for more than three decades. His experience ranges from early experimentation with Ram Dass and Tim Leary at Harvard to government-sanctioned legal research with Myron Stolaroff and Willis Harman at Stanford. He co-founded the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology where he now teaches, is the co-author of Essential Sufism, and has just released a novel, The Other Side of Haight.

"Skillful Means: Using Psychedelics to Solve Technical and Scientific Problems"

Most of us are familiar with the use of psychedelics as entheogens in sacred settings as well as informal, recreational uses. These are both settings that encourage individuals to bypass "linear thinking" and leave reasoning and analysis behind. Recently, there has been renewed attention focused on using these substances to catalyze or enhance creative problem-solving. This presentation will review a range of results in a variety of scientific areas and then lay out manners in which to use these materials to maximize the possibility for similar breakthroughs.
AMANDA FEILDING, LADY NEIDPATH created The Foundation to Further Consciousness (, and is the founder of The Trepanation Trust ( Feilding believes that an increase in the brain’s blood supply may underlie changes in consciousness, and that low doses of psychedelics can be used to enhance cognitive functioning. She also believes that trepanation (drilling a small hole in the skull) can alter the brain’s blood supply, increase brain metabolism, and may be useful in the treatment of various disorders. Feilding performed a self-trepanation in 1970, and has since been at the forefront of modern research into this ancient technology.

"Blood and Consciousness: The Search for Expanded Consciousness from Palaeolithic to Modern Man"

Traditional and modern societies have used entheogens and trepanation (drilling a hole in the skull) as a means to enhance cognitive functioning and improve health. The hypothesis exists that one's level of consciousness depends on the blood supply to the brain, and that the upright position caused a loss of brain blood, due to gravity (in mythology the Fall of Mankind). To compensate for this loss man evolved an internal system of control: the ego, a conditioned reflex mechanism based on word recognition. This presentation will examine the effects of the shortage of blood in the brain on the evolution of man and his society, and his struggle to overcome this disadvantage.
LAWRENCE HAGERTY is a writer, keynote speaker, and Internet /e-Commerce consultant, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor (law) degree from the University of Houston. Larry has had an eclectic career including sailing instructor, Naval officer, hot air balloon pilot, engineer, lawyer, and motivational speaker. He has worked with small businesses and Fortune 100 companies. His first book, The Spirit of the Internet: Speculations on the Evolution of Global Consciousness, has been making waves in the “entheogen community,” due to its embracing of psychedelic thinking. See

"Psychedelic Thinking"

As the new millennium dawns, we find ourselves confronted with ecological havoc on a global scale. Each day it becomes more apparent that our species can no longer continue over-populating and over-consuming the limited resources of this planet. To change humanity's course requires more than a change of heart--it requires a change in our thinking. In this presentation, Lawrence Hagerty proposes the adoption of "psychedelic thinking" as the first step on our journey into a precarious future.
JON HANNA is a free-lance writer, editor, and graphic artist. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art, and has written for High Times, The Resonance Project, Morbid Curiosity, and has a regular column titled “Sources” in The Entheogen Review. He is the author of the third edition of the Psychedelic Resource List, and recent editing projects included the book Ketamine: Dreams and Realities by Dr. Karl Jansen, and a guest co-editing stint (with Sylvia Thyssen) for a special issue of the MAPS Bulletin that focused on the intersection of psychedelics and creativity. In 1997, along with Will Beifuss and Richard Glen Boire, Hanna produced the first Mind States conference.

"Visionary Art"

Drug-use has had a creative effect on numerous art forms throughout the ages. The use of psychedelics in current times has greatly influenced the visions depicted by modern artists, from the 1960s to today. This slide presentation will introduce and discuss works by visual artists who have been inspired by their drug use, primarily focusing on contemporary art and the various twists and turns that it has taken on the psychedelic path.
CLARK HEINRICH is the author of Strange Fruit: Alchemy, Religion and Magical Food—A Speculative History and co-author (with Carl Ruck and Blaise Staples) of the recent book The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist. He is one of the foremost living researchers on the Amanita muscaria mushroom, from both historical and psychonautical perspectives. His writing has appeared in periodicals such as the German Integration and the Italian Eleusis, and he is on the board of directors for the forthcoming biannual English publication Entheos: The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality.

"Hidden in Plain Sight: The Fly Mushroom in Alchemical Art" (a slide presentation)

The only thing more obscure and bizarre than the writings of the alchemists was their artwork, a type of visual riddle called a rebus. They claimed that alchemy's most closely guarded secrets were openly displayed in these drawings and paintings, yet the riddles posed by the pictures have remained unsolved for hundreds of years--until now. Clark Heinrich has discovered the key that unlocks these "open secrets," and will reveal all in this colorful and unusual presentation. You may never look at artwork in the same way again.
MICHAEL HOROWITZ is co-director (with Cynthia Palmer) of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library (the nation’s largest psychoactive drug library), and co-editor (also with Palmer) of Moksha: Aldous Huxley’s Writings on Psychedelics and Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including High Times, Integration, and Robert Forte’s festschrift for Timothy Leary titled Outside Looking In. Horowitz was Leary’s archivist, and in 1988 he published An Annotated Bibliography of Timothy Leary. Horowitz also operates Flashback Books, a rare book venture geared towards drug titles.

"Panel of Elders"

Participating in the "Panel of Elders" discussion forum. (See description below.)

LAURA HUXLEY was an accomplished concert violinist in her youth. She later produced documentary films, played in a major Symphony Orchestra, was assistant film editor at RKO, and studied health, nutrition, and psychology. She worked as a psychological counselor, a lecturer, and a seminarist in the human potential movement. In 1956 she married Aldous Huxley, and together they explored ways of opening the mind to new levels of consciousness. After his death in 1963, Laura wrote This Timeless Moment, a book describing her life with her husband, and she later penned You Are Not the Target, Between Heaven and Earth, Oneaday Reason to be Happy, and The Child of Your Dreams (with co-author Piero Ferrucci). In 1977 she founded Our Ultimate Investment (OUI), a non-profit organization dedicated to the nurturing of the possible human, and in April 1994 in Los Angeles: Laura's Foundation sponsored the highly successful four-day Conference entitled, Children: Our Ultimate Investment ( This event honoring the centenary of the birth of Aldous Huxley addressed the issues of children's conditions in our present society. Laura has received widespread recognition for her humanistic achievements, which include an Honorary doctor of Human Services from Sierra University, Honoree of the United Nations, Fellow of the International Academy of Medical Preventics, and Honoree of the World Health Foundation for Development and Peace, from which she received the Peace Prize in 1990.

"Panel of Elders"

Participating in the "Panel of Elders" discussion forum. (See description below.)

KARL JANSEN, M.D., Ph.D., is a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the world’s leading expert on ketamine. He has studied ketamine at every level: from photographing the receptors to which ketamine binds in the human brain, to publishing numerous papers on his discovery of the similarities between ketamine’s psychoactive effect and the near-death experience. His writing has appeared in over 30 medical journals and popular magazines. Jansen’s recent book, Ketamine: Dreams and Realities, is a tour de force, and the authoritative tome on the subject. Dr. Jansen is currently a practicing psychiatrist in New Zealand; e-mail

"Ketamine: Dreams and Realities"

This is a wide ranging talk about the remarkable effects of this drug, including the induction of near-death and spiritual experiences, the possible meaning of those experiences, and the nature of psychological dependence on ketamine.
JAMES KENT James Kent is a writer, programmer, DJ, publisher, and underground media specialist living in Seattle, Washington. He is the Publisher at Large for TRP: The Resonance Project (, which will relaunch in the summer of 2001; is the former Editor of Psychedelic Illuminations magazine; is Chief Archivist for the Shaman Cancer Research Institute, an organization dedicated to the collection and propagation of anecdotes, information, and protocols relating to the treatment of cancer and chronic viral infection through traditional shamanic methods (; DJs and produces House and Downtempo music under the name Genetic Imperative (; and programs Resonant Radio--a 24-hour Internet broadcast featuring only the best in underground psychedelic music, sponsored by Radio Free SLAM (


Mr. Kent will be hosting the ENTHEOJEOPARDY game show, during the second hour of the dinner break each night, where conference attendees with the most trivial knowledge can compete for cash and prizes by matching their wits in numerous drug-related categories.

STEPHEN KENT is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has become one of the most acclaimed didjeridu players on the contemporary global music scene. Kent grew up in Britain and East Africa, and learned to play didjeridu while working in Australia during the early ’80s as musical director of Circus Oz. After spending time among Aborigines in the Northern Territory, the didjeridu became a focal part of his music. He has performed in the groups Lights in a Fat City, Trance Mission, The Beasts of Paradise, and Megadrums, as well as with Steve Roach, Kenneth Newby, and Terence McKenna. Kent also programs a weekly World Music radio show. See

"Didjeridu Performance"

Close out Friday evening's talks with a relaxing, resonant musical presentation by world-renowned didjeridu player Stephen Kent.
JEAN MILLAY, Ph.D., taught parapsychology for eight years, served as president of the Parapsychology Research Group, and was an editor/contributor to Silver Threads: Twenty-five Years of Parapsychology Research. Her new book, Multidimensional Mind: Remote Viewing in Hyperspace, focuses on her 30 years of research into psi phenomena, hypnosis, trance states, channeling, shamanism, and the EEG effects of entrainment with lights, sound, and chemistry. She and Dr. Tim Scully created the Brain-wave Biofeedback Light Sculpture—the impetus for her research on the effects of brainwave synchronization. Her movie, The Psychedelic Experience, won a film festival prize in 1965.

"Multidimensional Minds in Resonating Fields"

Since we are all multidimensional beings in an interconnected universe, we can see and hear things far away and can feel the body sensations of a distant loved one. We each inhabit a brain/mind/body as a projection from a higher dimension, and we have the potential to develop the internal software to establish conscious interaction with this higher intelligence, because the ability to do so is hardwired into our four-dimensional manifestation in spacetime. We can use our free will to choose a belief system to interpret what is received through that channel. Our brainwaves respond through resonance with other brainwaves, and with lights, sounds, and chemistry, as demonstrated by the results of the effects of Cannabis on the EEG before and after smoking.
CYNTHIA PALMER is co-director (with Michael Horowitz) of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library (the nation’s largest psychoactive drug library), and co-editor (also with Horowitz) of Moksha: Aldous Huxley’s Writings on Psychedelics and Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience.

"Panel of Elders"

Participating in the "Panel of Elders" discussion forum. (See description below.)
DALE PENDELL is a poet, software engineer, and long-time student of ethnobotany. His poetry has appeared in many journals, and he was the founding editor of KUKSU: Journal of Backcountry Writing. He has led workshops on ethnobotany and ethnopoetics for the Naropa Institute and the Botanical Preservation Corps. Pendell is the author of the books Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft and Living With Barbarians: A Few Plant Poems. He will soon release the much-anticipated second volume of his plantastic trilogy, Pharmako/Dynamis: A Guide for Adepts of the Poison Path—Excitantia and Empathogenica.

"Plant Spirit Suite"

Dale Pendell and friends of the Oracular Madness Choir--Laura McCarthy, Jacob Nasim, Crystal Awareness, Neil Redding, Scott Bodarky, Gary Bravo, and David Presti--will present a sound-art series of reveries, innovations, and invocations of various plant allies.

MARK PESCE is the Faculty Master at Annenberg House, University of Southern California, and was the founding Chair of the Interactive Media Program at the USC’s School of Cinema-Television. He is also the co-creator of Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), which distributes three-dimensional scenes over the web. Pesce’s writing has appeared in Wired, Feed, and Salon, and he has written several books, including VRML: Browsing and Building Cyberspace and VRML: Flying Through the Web (with George Maestri), as well as the recent release The Playful World: How Technology Is Transforming Our Imagination. See

"Becoming Transhuman"

"Becoming Transhuman" takes us on a 72-minute video/music/spoken word performance and tour from birth of the Universe to the end of History--and after, as Pesce ponders the mysteries of life, the problem of existence, and asks the unanswerable question, "What is to be done?" "Becoming Transhuman" blends science, art and language to create a symphony of experience.

NICHOLAS SAND (tentative) is an unauthorized chemist and low-profile hero of the psychedelic underground. For the last 4 decades he has been a student of yoga, the Kabballah, meditation, Krishna consciousness, Sufism, aikido, T’ai Chi, and Zen, as well as having studied the teachings Krishnamurti, Milarepa, Ramakrishna, Rajneesh, and other great philosophers. In the early years of psychedelic exploration, Sand was a guide at the Millbrook commune, where thousands of individuals were turned on. From 1996 until late 2000, he was a prisoner of the War on Drugs—first in Canada and then in the USA.

"Reflections on Imprisonment and Liberation as Aspects of Consciousness"

Nick Sand, one of the original psychedelic guides from the Millbrook commune, alchemist, yogi, spiritual practitioner, and drug war victim, will discuss the psychological states encountered as an underground chemist, a fugitive, and his five years in prison. The topics dealt with will be how attitude, intention, and time, reveal the reality of true inner freedom.
ALEXANDER "SASHA" SHULGIN, Ph.D., is a pharmacologist and chemist who has synthesized and bioassayed hundreds of psychoactive compounds. He has written the book Controlled Substances: A Chemical & Legal Guide to Federal Drug Laws, and along with his wife Ann, he co-authored the books Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved: A Chemical Love Story (PIHKAL) and the long-anticipated sequel, Tryptamines I Have known and Loved: The Continuation (TIHKAL). He is currently working on a forthcoming book that dabbles in cactus quinoline alkaloids, titled QIHKAL.

"Panel of Elders"

Participating in the "Panel of Elders" discussion forum. (See description below.)
ANN SHULGIN is a researcher and writer who—for a time, while they were still legal—worked with psychedelics such as MDMA and 2C-B as a lay-therapist. Her unique insight into the beneficial effects that psychedelics can have is invaluable. With her husband Sasha, she has co-authored the books PIHKAL and TIHKAL, and is currently working on a forthcoming book that dabbles in cactus quinoline alkaloids, titled QIHKAL.

"Panel of Elders"

Participating in the "Panel of Elders" discussion forum. (See description below.)
HUSTON SMITH is an internationally recognized philosopher and scholar of religion. His book The World’s Religions has sold over 2.5 million copies, and his films on Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism have all won awards at international film festivals. The latest of Smith’s books are Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals, and Why Religion Matters. His other books include The Purposes of Higher Education, Forgotten Truth, Beyond the Post-Modern Mind, One Nation Under God: The Triumph of the Native American Church, and (with David Griffin) Primordial Truth and Postmodern Theology.

"Panel of Elders"

Participating in the "Panel of Elders" discussion forum. (See description below.)
MYRON STOLAROFF is one of the “great elders.” Active in the consciousness community for over 40 years, Stolaroff has published numerous papers relating to psychedelics, as well as two books: Thanatos to Eros: Thirty-five Years of Psychedelic Exploration, which details his own psychedelic explorations, and the recently published book The Secret Chief: Conversations with a Pioneer of the Underground Psychedelic Therapy Movement. Stolaroff is a strong advocate of developing a meditation practice to deepen and integrate psychedelic experiences, as described in his Journal of Humanistic Psychology paper ”Are Psychedelics Useful in the Practice of Buddhism?“

"Panel of Elders"

Participating in the "Panel of Elders" discussion forum. (See description below.)
ZOE7 is a multi-dimensional synergy personality cluster who inhabits the body and mind of consciousness researcher, Joseph Marti. (The other five personalities are: Max McCullan, Ebhrious, Jiebro, Kzark Prestidius, and Lee Steel.) His recent book, Into The Void Exploring Consciousness, Hyperspace and Beyond Using Brain Technology, Psychedelics and Altered-Mind States, depicts Marti’s experiments with mind machines, entheogens, and psychological time travel, how the Zoe7 cluster came to be, as well as new theories on parallel universes and probable Earths, the mechanics of reality and existence, and the mind of God. See

"Mind Machines, Entheogens, and the Expansion of Consciousness"

In this presentation, consciousness researcher and author, Zoe7, discusses the altered states that result from the combination of brain technology devices and pharmacological substances/plants. The author will also demonstrate the cutting-edge mind-altering devices used in the experiments depicted in his book, Into The Void. He will also expand upon the self-training undergone using this "pharm-tech" combo--neuroelectrical stimulation and dissociatives, in particular--together with specially developed neuro-visual and neuro-linguistic exercises that enabled his consciousness to not only perceive and explore the collective unconscious, alternate/parallel universes, and the Mind of God, but also allowed him to experience, understand, and write about the more extreme realms of the human psyche--psychosis, multiple personalities, and schizophrenia. See
Get acquainted with the latest projects and thoughts from our panel of elders. This 90+ minute round-table presentation will feature an informal discussion group followed by a question-and-answer session. With a primary focus on audience interaction, this will be a great chance for conference attendees to query the legends of psychedelia.

While not part of the event's "official" program, the "Philosophy Cafe" is planned for Saturday and Sunday mornings, from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm, at the International House Cafe. For those who enjoy getting up a bit earlier in the morning, with coffee and/or stimulating conversation. "Now that you have heard the heads talk, come to the philosophy cafe where you can express yourself philosophically on a topic chosen by the participants." The cafe will be facilitated by philosopher Alexander Kealey. More information about previous philosophy cafes that Dr. Kealey has facilitated can be found at:, and his biography can be found at:


A brief (and tentative) schedule of the three-day event:

Friday 3:00 pm to 11:30 pm

Saturday 12:00 pm to 11:30 pm

Sunday 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm

There will be a 2-hour dinner break each day, and there are numerous excellent restaurants within walking distance of the venue. A more detailed schedule listing all of the presentations will be available at the event.


Although there is no "official" hotel for the conference, many people will undoubtedly be staying at the Durant Hotel, which is a five-minute walk from the International House, where the conference will be held.

The Durant Hotel: (800) 2-DURANT; (510) 845-8981; Their rates run $150.00 to $175.00 per night.

Another alternative within walking distance is the BEAU SKY HOTEL at 2520 Durant Avenue. (510) 540-7688, fax (510)540-8089, toll free (800) 990-2328,

Rates start at $89.00, with parking only $6.00 per day. There are numerous other hotels in the vicinity (some quite a bit less expensive), but most others are not within comfortable walking distance. However, it can still be substantially cheaper to get a lower-priced hotel and take a taxi to and from the event hall. For info on other hotels, call the Berkeley Visitor's Bureau (800) 847-4823.

Also, you might check out

Mind States
POB 19820 (Dept. EW)
Sacramento, CA 95819, USA

Click here for more about our 1997 event:
Mind States: Current Perspectives on Visionary Plants & Drugs