David Luke completed his PhD on the psychology of luck in 2007, and is now Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich where he teaches an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience, and is also guest lecturer on the MSc in Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness Studies at the University of Northampton. He was President of the Parapsychological Association between 2009-2011 and as a researcher he has a special interest in transpersonal experiences, anomalous phenomena and altered states of consciousness, having published more than 100 academic papers in this area. Dr Luke is co-editor of Talking with the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds (Daily Grail, 2014) and Breaking Convention: Essays in Psychedelic Consciousness (Strange Attractor, 2013), and is also coauthor of the undergraduate textbook Anomalistic Psychology (2012, Palgrave Macmillan). David is also director of the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness salon at the institute of Ecotechnics, London, and is a cofounder and director of Breaking Convention: Multidisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness. He has studied techniques of consciousness alteration from South America to India, from the perspective of scientists, shamans and Shivaites, but increasingly has more questions than answers.
Topic : Psychedelics and Anomalous Experience
” The individual differences and social psychology of beliefs about luck, magic and paranormal phenomena”.
The traditional use of psychoactive plants as sacramentals in spiritual and shamanic rituals has continued for thousands of years, while the use of these substances in the developed world has also grown steadily in the last century as ever more plants are discovered and new synthetic chemicals are created. Since the earliest clinical, anthropological and recreational reports of the use of these powerful psychoactive substances they have been associated with all manner of exceptional experiences, ranging from the mystical to the psychical. The question arises as to whether these transpersonal and ostensibly paranormal experiences are genuine and what can be gained from studying them clinically, psychologically, neurologically and indeed ontologically.