Dr. Cassandra Vieten is the president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, who’s current tagline is “Informed by Science. Transformed by Experience.” Dr. Vieten gave an opening keynote at the Consciousness Hacking’s Awakened Futures Summit where she talked about psychedelics, immersive technologies, and meditation techniques as “scaffolding” into this altered states of consciousness. The more that we get access to these altered states through these variety of different technologies, then the more that we build our innate capacities to achieve these states of being without the assistance of these tools. She also talks about the frontiers of research around gene expression, and how our environments and experiential context is actually a key epigenetic input to how our genes express themselves. So what does it mean to use technologies to shift and alter our environment and context? What type of latent human potentials might we discover once we’re able to more tightly control our environments that are mediated through digital technologies?
I talk with Dr. Veiten about the frontier science nature of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and where they started in 1973 and how much has shifted around the conversations around meditation, yoga, forgiveness, love, and other complementary and alternative medicines since then. UCSF’s Adam Gazzaley also presented at the Awakened Futures Summit about how he’s getting a video game approved by the FDA as a form of medicine, and so we’re in a phase where “experiential medicine” is starting to be officially recognized a scientifically-validated form of therapy. IONS is at the forefront at investigating the next way of experiential medicines that are based upon the modulation of consciousness, and they’re on the bleeding edge of pushing forward alternative paradigms for making sense of the nature of consciousness. The 18th IONS conference is taking place on July 18-21 in Santa Clara, CA, and I hope to attend again and cover it as I did two years ago.
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