SOAS University of London

Centre of Yoga Studies

Consciousness and Altered States

Matthew Clark, SOAS

Date: 4 December 2018Time: 7:30 PM

Finishes: 4 December 2018Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Wolfson Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Talk

In this lecture we will explore both ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ theories of consciousness and consider the ways they intersect. We will also consider mysticism and altered or ‘non-ordinary’ states of consciousness and see how such states are accommodated within general theories of consciousness. We will also look at Sankhya philosophy, which underpins the world-view of Patanjali’s yoga system, and consider the role of non-ordinary states of consciousness in the general practice of yoga.

This event is £15 per ticket (free for SOAS students). Registration is required for all tickets via Eventbrite.

Speaker Biography

Dr Matthew Clark (MA, PhD) has since 2004 been a Research Associate at SOAS, where he taught Hinduism between 1999 and 2003. Since 2002 he has been lecturing on yoga philosophy and history at yoga centres in the UK, Europe, Israel, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the USA. To date, he has presented lectures at yoga retreats, workshops and teacher-training courses for twenty-five different yoga teachers and organizations. He has published articles and books on yoga, soma, and sādhus (yogis). His PhD, on a sect of sādhus (saṃnyāsīs), was published in 2006. His recent book, entitled The Tawny One: Soma. Haoma and Ayahuasca was published in June 2017. Matthew has been visiting India since 1977; he has visited several hundred pilgrimage sites and trekked about 2,000 miles in the Himalayas. He first engaged with yoga in the mid-1970s, and since 1990 has been regularly practising a form of Ashtanga Yoga. Matthew also plays guitar and writes songs (as Mahabongo).