Founder and Director of the Beckley Foundation
Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics is an annual forum that examines the role of psychedelic drugs in science, medicine, culture and spirituality.
More information at HorizonsNYC.org
Biography: Amanda Feilding is the founder and director of the Beckley Foundation, and is widely recognised as one of the driving forces behind the current renaissance of psychedelic research. By establishing key research collaborations with some of the world’s most prestigious universities, she has propelled the field forwards over the last 20 years, conducting several landmark studies, such as the world’s first LSD brain imaging study (carried out as part of the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme).
Since establishing the Foundation in 1998, she has set about assembling an international network of scientists, politicians and drug policy experts in order to build a scientific evidence-base upon which to reform global drug policies. Advocating the establishment of legally regulated drugs markets, she has performed an advisory role for several governments and produced a number of highly influential drug policy reports. She has also co-authored over 50 scientific papers.
"From The Mystical Experience to Microdosing"
Psychedelics have been used for millennia by cultures around the world as a powerful source of mystical wisdom and healing. Yet over time, the ritual uses of these sacred medicines have been lost or suppressed, and we now find ourselves ill-equipped to deal with a rising mental health crisis. With an unacceptable proportion of patients failing to respond to available treatments, the need to regain access to the prohibited domains of the human psyche is more pressing than ever before.
This talk will address the latest developments from the Beckley Foundation’s Research Programme, revealing how the use of cutting edge brain imaging technology and clinical trials are allowing us to scientifically validate the healing power of altered states of consciousness that was self-evident to the ancient mystics and shamans. By increasing our understanding of how substances like LSD, psilocybin, DMT and cannabis produce their effects in the brain, we are combining the technological insights of modern science with ancient healing wisdom, and fast-tracking our way towards more effective treatments for mental illnesses such as depression and addiction, as well as towards enhanced emotional wellbeing and creativity.
The talk will also describe how Amanda’s personal childhood interest in altered states of consciousness and the mystical experience developed into a passion for the science underlying these experiences, and the setting up of the Beckley Foundation to further explore these states and integrate them into society.