Maya Levanon (Israel)

27/03/2020

Maya Levanon (Israel) - PhD, Beit Berl College (Informal Education Department), Visiting Lecturer at Ludwigsburg Teacher University (Germany), National Louis University (USA), Montclair State University (USA) (Philosophy for children, department of educational foundation).

Philosophical Guidance for the Reflective Psychonaut (Lecture) 

Reflective art journal (Workshop) 

The Conscious Stylist, a Philosophical Guide in age of Instagram (Presentation) 

Presentation Language: English

Philosophical Guidance for the Reflective Psychonaut (Lecture)

As psychedelics doing their way back to academic research, supervised therapeutic practices and public discussion, new questions and needs arise, one of them is what I identify as the need for a philosophical guidance, during a psychedelic intentional journey, reflective dialogue after the journey, and in the realm of micro-dosing. Within the context of a psychedelic journey, while we find guided, supervised therapy to work with PSTD patients, others, who do not necessarily suffer from a diagnosed mental illness, do enter the journey with an intentional purpose of growth, even transformation, can also benefit from working with a person who will enable them to find their authentic self through questions and deep, caring yet critical reflection. The typical psychonaut who enters the journey not with the local intention of "having fun" but rather with the courageous intention of remembering (and sometimes finding for the first time) her meaningful purpose in life, the one that echoes her true self while following her true values, will indeed get a glimpse into all that, the question many face though, is what happens to that glimpse once the journey seems to end? Can we refer to this end as the actual beginning of the real work? This is where the philosophical guide enters. Through this very door, of no fear but courage, courage to peel off the mask, the social persona we worked so hard to glue to our inner self, the courage to enter our hidden consciousness and face what is in there. The philosopher will approach the psychonaut's insights and questions not as neurosis or momentarily insanity, but rather as true philosophical concerns: time and space, self and consciousness, authentic feelings and socialization and so on. While during the journey ("trip") psychonauts can experience extreme angst, they usually also experience an extreme sense of joy derived from a series of deeper insights related to one's deeper sense of life, as an individual and as an entity that is part of something much larger and benevolent. In fact, many report that their psychedelic experience/s were the most meaningful experience they had. But as a philosopher of education I can also argue that not only that not all experiences are equally beneficial for our development, even the experiences we do find extremely meaningful, if we do not do anything with them, they tend to fade. The metaphor I like to use for it is the one of a syrup: the first dose you mix with water is delicious, the more you dilute it, its original taste becomes dull. For the experience to remain meaningful in the sense that it has a lasting effect on our life, we must anchor it, and we do that through understanding it and later implement it on different life aspects. A philosopher is trained exactly for that: connecting with the experience, and make a sense out of it, so it can be useful in a trustworthy way.

Reflective art journal (Workshop)

In this workshop we create our first page in an art-journal: a format that combines philosophical reflections over a topic, concept or a question of value, followed by a creative activity that is taken from the art world: collage of words and shapes, ideas and colors. The workshop end with shared discussion over the artifacts created throughout the workshop that serves as a text for an ongoing community of philosophical creators. As philosopher we investigate concept and inquire ideas, we raise questions and take the journey to find some answers. But what if we try to do that without the read and written word? What if we try to communicate our philosophical mental structure using other medium? Can we approach concept, theories and ideas in a verbally limited way, preferring images, shapes and color?

The Conscious Stylist, a Philosophical Guide in age of Instagram (Presentation)

Fashion is not only about buying cloths and post selfies on Instagram. It is first about creativity, communication and identity. Fashion enables us to create and communicate our complex identity; it invites us to make active choices, communicating, practice creativity, and act as an agent of change in the world. With that said the fashion world confronts many of us with values and practices that go against our values as individuals. The beginning of a change start with educating people, giving them the fact about the mal practices of the industry and then brining people to believe that despite the fact we no longer perceived as citizens but rather as consumers, even as such, and perhaps especially as such, we can vote with our credit card! And so after learning the facts about this industry from a social and ecological perspectives, following the Pragmatists tradition - to provide, if not a solution, then an alternative - I examine some of the practices we can all, including "fashionistas" take to make a change, to be an active agent. Within this conversation, I raise the important value-based question: Can a stylist serve as a philosophical counselor? I argue that not only that she can, she must! While many stylists focus on "trends" and "sales," this stylist offers a new outlook and raises questions that I identify as critically philosophical, questions from the realm of ethics and aesthetic, identity and value, agency and passivity.