Susan Blackmore
Psychologist, lecturer and writer

Illusionism and the psychedelic experience.

Illusionism should, some say, be the default theory of consciousness. Instead of trying to solve the ‘hard problem’ illusionism replaces it with the meta-problem – of understanding why we are so deluded about our own minds. We may feel as though we are a self that lives inside our body and has consciousness and free will, but this cannot be true. Psychedelics, especially DMT, dismantle the brain networks that support our false sense of self. Can their trips, visions, and transformations of self thereby help us to see through life’s illusions or do they just give us new illusions to struggle with?

Sue Blackmore is a psychologist, lecturer, and writer researching consciousness, memes, and anomalous experiences, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth, UK. She is a TED lecturer and often appears on radio, television and podcasts. She practices Zen and plays in a samba band. She is author of about 15 books, 60 academic articles, 80 book contributions and many book reviews. The Meme Machine (1999) has been translated into nearly twenty other languages. Her most recent books are Seeing Myself: What Out-of-body Experiences Tell Us About Life, Death & the Mind (2017), and Consciousness: An Introduction (3rd edition with Emily Troscianko, 2018).