On Saturday 13th July I gave a 45 minute talk about Art and Consciousness at PaganCon in Preston. I was also running a stall selling shinies, leftovers of which will be going on sale soon. It was a fun event and I enjoyed meeting lots of interesting people, as well as listening to the other talks and being entertained by some awesome Morris Dancers, Stone the Crows, as well as Cernunnos Rising and Damh the Bard. I was going to post a version of the talk here, but I’m currently negotiating getting it published as part of an anthology so… 😉
In summary, I presented the idea that the “Symbolic Revolution” that occurred in cave art around 30-40,000 years ago heralded the beginning of human civilisation and was brought about by altered states of consciousness that inspired visions that spurred a rapid evolution of various aesthetic endeavours – art, language, music, myth. I presented the idea that we require altered states of consciousness both to create and to break free of our own symbolic games and in order to better try to understand the nature of ‘reality’, the elements that these experiences have in common and some of the implications this may have for each of us. I particularly enjoyed the question and answer session after.
Overall it was a great chance to share ideas and I had a wonderful time.