States of Altered Consciousness
Arriving at a deeper understanding of the nature of our mind and consciousness, and how consciousness relates to the rest of what we call physical reality, is perhaps the most profound question in all of science. It also necessarily spans the boundary between what we call science and what we call spirituality and religion. Non-ordinary or altered states of consciousness - often described in relation to mystical experiences, psychedelic plants and chemicals, meditation, and religious ecstasy - provide rich sources of information relevant to better understanding the connections between mind and reality. Where might we go with this?
David Presti has taught neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive science at UC Berkeley for more than 25 years. For the past 12 years he has been teaching neuroscience to Tibetan Buddhist monastics in India, and most recently in Bhutan. Previous classes with OLLI include "Your Brain on Plants," "Brain, Mind, Perception, and Consciousness," and "Dimensions of Silence in the Human Experience" (with OLLI Director Susan Hoffman). His first book, Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience: A Brain-Mind Odyssey, was published last year.
Admission is $10 for the general public. Free for OLLI members and UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students.