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Beyond the Robot: Consciousness and Existentialism

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Event Series Event Series: What Is Consciousness?

June 19, 2021 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm CEST

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with Gary Lachman

Saturday June 19
9:00 PDT | 12:00 EDT | 17:00 BST  |  18:00 CEST

2-hour session

If you are unable to attend the live session the recording will be available.

Lachman will base his presentation on the work of Colin Wilson and his ‘new existentialism,’ a phenomenological analysis of the habits that keep us from experiencing consciousness as we should (that would be more along the lines of Maslow’s ‘peak experience’), the ‘dampers’ we unconsciously place over our perceptions that can lead to depression, angst, and existential despair. This ‘muffling’ of experience is the result of a necessary editing process, that allows us to maneuver through life successfully. But it does its work too well, reducing the complexity of the world to a drab pasteboard surface with which we can easily deal, but which leaves us with no idea of why we should… Wilson’s phenomenological approach uncovers the unconscious ‘de-valuing’ at work in our perception of the world and the mental acts that can reduce the unconscious editing, so that more of the world—and its inherent meaning—can enter consciousness. We can say that he developed insights that can lead consciousness from Sartre’s ‘nausea’ to mystical experience.

Gary Lachman is the author of many books about consciousness, culture, and the Western esoteric tradition, including The Return of Holy Russia,  Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump, Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, and Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson. He writes for several journals in the US, UK, and Europe, lectures around the world and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. In a former life he was a founding member of the pop group Blondie and in 2006 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Before moving to London in 1996 and becoming a full time writer, Lachman studied philosophy, managed a metaphysical book shop, taught English literature, and was Science Writer for UCLA. He is an adjunct professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He can be reached at www.garylachman.co.uk,www.facebook.com/GVLachman/  and twitter.com/GaryLachman

To see the full What is Consciousness Series and list of speakers click here

General Information 

All sessions will last for approximately 2 hours, and will be held over zoom.us. The session structure may vary from speaker to speaker, but in general participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter and in some cases there will be breakaway discussion groups.

Each session will be hosted by a member of the Pari Center Team, to ensure that the call is running smoothly and assist anyone experiencing technical problems.

All sessions will be recorded. The recordings will not include the possible breakout-room discussions, but only the speaker’s presentation, follow-up discussions and Q&A. If a participant does not feel comfortable being recorded, we invite that participant to turn off their video and audio throughout the session. These recordings are available to anyone who has purchased a ticket for an attended session, or for a session they have paid for but were unable to attend.


June 19, 2021
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm CEST