Psychedelic Rabbits in Switzerland

Author: sam
Date: Mar 25, 2008
Views: 2136

Meeting of the psychedelic leaders at "World Psychedelik Forum"

This eastern I went to Basel in Switzerland to visit a good old friend and to try the big chocolate rabbits that decorate the supermarkets there. And yes, besides I extended my knowledge about psychoactive substances and everything around them on Basel's second psychedelic fair called "World Psychedelic Forum".

The forum has been founded as a tribute to Albert Hofmann's 100th birthday two years ago. Dozen's of highly decorated ethnologists, pharmacologists, biologists, shamans, psychologists etc. were invited to hold speeches for a crowd of about 2000 interested people in the main congress center in Basel (check my corresponding article).

It took two years until the Gaia media team led by Dieter A. Hagenbach and Lucius Werthmüller called for the second edition of world's main psychedelic summit. Over 70 speakers gathered to a similar size crowd as the first edition. The event happened again in the congress center of Basel presenting four days of massive information about everything related to psychedelic experiences.

Christian RätschTalks were held in 5-10 places simultaneously which sometimes made it difficult to decide which one to attend. The panorama talks tried to help to orientate by having 10-minute introductions from speakers before their extensive presentations. Loads of the speakers acquired their knowledge by writing books and some of them were exiting like a sand-clock while reading their texts (like Stanislav Grof). Others were the born entertainers and fun even if you weren't interested in the subject (like Christian Rätsch). Therefor a good subject didn't guarantee a good speech and many people zapped between the different rooms while the seminars were going on. The first day brought a general introduction carrying the headline "The psychedelic experience". The second day was called "The heritage of the shamans" and focused on ritual use of different psychedelica. The third day was headlined "Change of consciousness" and focused on the use of psychedelica for personal healing and education. The fourth day is a type of extension day with full- and half day seminars. Some of the most interesting subjects for me were information about the study of LSD and MDMA supported psychotherapy in Switzerland, healing by the use of Ayahuasca and the future of drug politics. There were loads of other subjects, too much to mention here. It's important to note that most of the speakers think of the use of psychedelics in a ritual or therapeutic setting. Many of them believe that a trance party setting is rather a risk than a benefit as it lacks of security and distracts the person from his inner messages.

Information was massive and for sure there was something for everyone to learn. Question is just: Who is willing to spend a lot of money for three days of psychedelic knowledge. The ticket was 310 EUR and if you add travel, hotel and food you may have spend around 800 €. Well I guess this congress attracts a good number of people that work or might work with psychedelics in their jobs: Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Scientists, Shamans, Lawyers, etc.. It will also attract people that use psychedelics for personal healing and education (not just for partying). For them the congress is not only a base of knowledge but also a meeting point of the profound worldwide psychedelic scene.

Daniel PinchbeckProgress in the psychedelic scene has been extremely slow in the past 30 years and now this congress raises hope for an acceleration of this progress. While I have witnessed a quite depressing mood regarding the political future of psychedelic appliance in the 2006 event, this year's mood was much better, you could even call it euphoric. The allowance of LSD/MDMA psycho therapy studies in Switzerland and the USA has happened after the first congress and the congress might have it's share at least in the swiss allowance. Supportive Organisations like MAPS or Berkley Foundation furthermore help develop this progress heavily.

If you're interested in some of the speeches that were held in Basel, you can order DVD's on the events website

It was a great eastern and I guess all attendees are now longing for a proper psychedelic experience. Let's hope the organisers will be able to continue with the conference and see you there next time!

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