Exhibition – The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and The Cosmic Tree

The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and The Cosmic Tree was originally conceived as a trans-generational group exhibition, but has been postponed. In the meantime, we have launched this complimentary online programme of new artist commissions, podcasts, films, texts, images and audio, expanding on and enriching the ideas and issues informing the show over at www.botanicalmind.online.

Drawing on indigenous traditions from the Amazon rainforest; alternative perspectives on Western scientific rationalism; and new thinking around plant intelligence, philosophy and cultural theory, The Botanical Mind Online investigates the significance of the plant kingdom to human life, consciousness and spirituality across cultures and through time. It positions the plant as both a universal symbol found in almost every civilisation and religion across the globe, and the most fundamental but misunderstood form of life on our planet

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Art & Spirituality – Eleanor Heartney

In a recent article for Artnet, Eleanor Heartney argued that ‘spirituality is at the heart of the established canon and that mystical and occult ideas run through the works of artists as diverse as Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian, Beckman, Miró, Dove, and Klee.’ She then noted a ‘new receptivity to spirituality’ that reflects our current state of upheaval including a ‘widespread recognition that materialism has produced a climate crisis that may spell the end of life as we know it.’ As at the turn of the last century, ‘a search for alternatives has manifested itself in a surge of interest in spiritual and spiritualist concerns.’ The Botanical Mind sits neatly alongside Heartney’s article by surveying similar ideas and artists while drawing attention to contemporary artists linking spirituality to the environment and the climate emergency.

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Mountains of the Mind – Robert Mcfarlane

The basis for the new documentary film, Mountain: A Breathtaking Voyage into the ExtremeCombining accounts of legendary mountain ascents with vivid descriptions of his own forays into wild, high landscapes, Robert McFarlane reveals how the mystery of the world’s highest places has came to grip the Western imagination—and perennially draws legions of adventurers up the most perilous slopes.

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Permaculture and the Edible Forest Garden: a Critical Analysis

ON  BY GRAHAMIN FOOD AND AGRICULTUREPERMACULTURE

I’ve been interested in the edible forest garden idea for over twenty years and have planted and designed several myself in Ireland in that time, and visited several others. But they have never lived up to my expectations and were largely unproductive, despite sourcing as many perennial vegetables and other interesting edible plants as I could. Here I review the claims made for them and what evidence there is to support the idea- and conclude that, as Permaculture founder Bill Mollison said in the first place, in temperate regions you are far better growing your fruit trees and vegetables separately.

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Characterization and prediction of acute and sustained response to psychedelic psilocybin in a mindfulness group retreat

Abstract

Meditation and psychedelics have played key roles in humankind’s search for self-transcendence and personal change. However, neither their possible synergistic effects, nor related state and trait predictors have been experimentally studied. To elucidate these issues, we administered double-blind the model psychedelic drug psilocybin (315 μg/kg PO) or placebo to meditators (n = 39) during a 5-day mindfulness group retreat.

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