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Cartography of The Altered State – Matt Brown

February 5 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Cartography of the Altered State:
Developing a field guide through inner terrains to create transpersonal connectivity in the external world.

There are many similarities within the body of cultural signifiers of altered states among indigenous and religious groups throughout place and time. These symbols are seen in many cultures as sacred objects whose power and aegis could be routinely brought back from the altered state and put to use in the physical realm by significant members of that community; as healing mechanism or through invocation, for example. The topography of these realms is known among those assigned and methods of navigation have been honed and incorporated into the every-day by cultures throughout the ages. In this talk, I shall discuss my theory behind the similarities in signifiers of altered states and how our modern scientific understanding of the non-physical world could perhaps be converging on the same locale. which, in so doing, may allow us to develop, in modern times, our cartography for the altered state. From which we can retrieve meaning and methods for living and dying within our western culture, which for too long have been resigned to that of the mystical and thus non-functionary in our daily lives

About Matt Brown:

Matt Brown is an Astrophysicist and Educator by profession, who has had a longstanding interest in how spirituality, shamanism and other indigenous practices shape the relationship of societies to nature, time and the cosmos. Not only in terms of their rites and rituals, but also in terms of the cosmographies, heterotopias but also their usage of entheogenic substances, dance and song to access realms inaccessible to the scientific method. In his pursuit of an understanding of the cosmological beginnings of our universe, he has tried to unpack cosmography of many cultures, putting them into context through the lives of the people, within their societies and time frame.

As an outdoorsman, he has great reverence and respect for nature, whether experienced when paragliding above Mont Blanc, or during the seamless integration that occurs when moved by the mountains on a backcountry snowboard run. It is the attainment of what Zen Buddhism refers to as samādhi and what many cultures would loosely refer to as the connection with ‘The spirits of nature’, which are driving factors leading Matt on the path of research and discovery. Specifically, toward an understanding of how cultures in all times, develop methodologies of integration and how this amalgamation of man and nature could allow us to re-attain a state, (for which he coined the term ‘Ecoalescence’), toward a renewed harmony between man and nature.

Matt’s ethnographic research lead to him speaking on topics surrounding to the Indus Valley culture and Shamanism, at conferences such as Beyond Psychedelics in Prague, at Occulture, Berlin, Paradigm Talks, Madrid and at several academic conferences including those at the University of London and the University of Granada, Spain.

He has also been interviewed for podcast episodes and has recently been awarded an ‘Emerging Scholar’ award for his research into the signs of shamanism in the Indus Valley culture.


February 5
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Event Category:


The Marina Fountain
26 Caves Road
Saint Leonards,TN38 0BYGB
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