Accepted conference abstract for Breaking Convention, 10-12 July 2015 in London

I just got an email that my abstract for the Breaking Convention conference on psychedelics to be held in London in July this year has been accepted. I am delighted to return to London after my first participation in 2013 about DMT, DNA and consciousness. This time I will be speaking about the influence of psychedelics on the perception of time. Here is the full abstract:

Background

Time is one of the fundamental categories of human experience and perception. It is one of the defining aspects of psychedelics that they have the potential to shake up our most fundamental beliefs about the nature of ourselves as well as the nature of reality. It is thus not surprising that many trip reports bear witness to a confrontation with the nature of time and often report apparently anomal experiences of time.

Research question(s)

The main question will be : How does the use of psychedelics influence our phenomenological perception of time? However, since time is a fundamental category of human experience, it has to be expected that insights related to this concept will also result in new beliefs about the nature of self and/or reality.

Data

Research on psychedelics is heavily restricted by the fact that most of these substances are illegal and thus almost no studies on its effects can be conducted. However, the internet offers to a certain degree a substitute since there are several websites which collect experience reports from users of psychedelic substances. My analysis will be based on all trip reports which can be found on https://www.erowid.org/ that include the term ‘time’.

Method

The data will be analysed using the Empirical Phenomenological Psychological Method which is perfectly suited for analyzing first-person accounts.

Expected results

Based on a preliminary analysis, the following categories can be expected to frame the users’ experience of psychedelics in relation to time: Reality vs. Irreality of time / changes in the velocity of time / important insights into the nature of time and several more.

Furthermore, it will be especially interesting to find out whether a radically different view on time results in changed images of the self.

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