Rory Spowers in discussion with US comedian and science communicator Shane Mauss, about the role that science, psychedelics and mysticism might play in reshaping our understanding of consciousness
The deeper we delve into the systemic crises of our age, many of us reach the conclusion that the ultimate crisis is one of perception, or even our understanding of consciousness itself. We have come to believe that human beings are inherently selfish, separated from nature and from each other, driven purely by ‘selfish genes’ and a self-interested consciousness generated by, and limited to, the inside of our skulls. But now scientists from many disciplines, from quantum physics to neuroscience and cosmology, are converging on an alternative notion of consciousness, many of which believe could prove to be the next Copernican shift in human understanding – namely that consciousness may in fact be primary, not secondary to matter. This perspective shares much with the so-called Perennial Philosophy, identified by Aldous Huxley as the single strand of truth that underlies all our mystical and religious traditions. The Re-Generation founder Rory Spowers will explore these concepts in conversation with US comedian, science communicator and psychedelic advocate Shane Mauss, asking whether new insights from psychedelic medicines to neuroscience, might support the insights of mystics throughout the ages, suggesting that we are far from separate from each other, from nature and even the universe itself, but are inherently and implicitly connected by consciousness itself.
Originally from Wisconsin, Shane Mauss had a fast rise early in his career landing him five appearances on Conan as well as appearances on Jimmy Kimmel, Showtime, and Comedy Central. Halfway through his career he turned away from the path of traditional stand-up comedy in pursuit of his interest in science communication and psychedelic advocacy.
As a science communicator, he has spent the past five years traveling around the world interviewing scientists about the workings of the mind and the meaning of life for his podcast “Here We Are” and it’s 50 thousand listeners. As a psychedelic advocate, he launched a popular 111 city tour with a solo show about psychedelics called ‘A Good Trip’ which became the inspiration for the new documentary ‘Psychonautics: A Comics Exploration of Psychedelics’.
This path has made Shane a unique guest on podcasts such as You Made It Weird, Marc Maron’s WTF, Duncan Trussell’s Family Hour, The Joe Rogan Experience, Never Not Funny, Bertcast, TOFOP, Crabfeast, and Keith and The Girl.
As well as this talk in the Round Room, he’ll also be doing his stand-up show (A Good Trip) on the Park Stage.