I’ve recently watched Graham Hancock’s banned TED talk “The War on Consciousness”. Graham, during an interview on London Real, later said the only reason why it got banned was because his views “challenged a dogma of a particular faction of science”. The faction he is referring to is the faction that holds a materialist-reductionist worldview. Since I always thought TED stood for openly sharing a vast array of worldviews, so that one can approach a topic from different angles, I find it weird that TED banned his talk.

I went on exploring Graham’s website and watched a featured interview with John Anthony West, about “The Mysterious Origins of Civilization”. If you are curious about human history, I highly recommend it. You will notice that John is, well, a true character. Through Graham’s news section I stumbled upon a Fast Company article about a new project around ancient symbols. During the last three years an Italian designer named Michela Graziani has been doing research about the meaning of ancient symbols and is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for a digital library of symbols, hooray!

As some of you already know one of my current projects, VAU, is inspired by universal symbols that extend through diverse aspects of life, from nature to geometry to spirituality to art. I’ve already backed the project and I hope you will, too.

Symbols, rituals and consciousness

At least once per year I take a break from work, preferentially travel to a secluded place with little noise and go into self enquiry mode. It usually includes a lot of ‘me alone by myself’ time plus some form of learning process with other people, too.

Yesterday afternoon was the start of a five day research retreat. Its title is “Symbols, rituals and consciousness”. For weeks now I was very much looking forward to it.

It is something wonderful when curious people get together, sit in a circle, share personal stories and listen with an open heart. Music is an important part of this retreat and I have once more experienced that people who have never met before can create beautiful improvised music together. There exists a level of listening to and sensing what wants to arise from a group of individuals who make music that is pure magic.

All three domains that the workshop addresses are very much linked to what VAU stands for, a brand my team and I have launched at the beginning of this year. VAU is about everyday objects inspired by universal symbols. What we seek to explore is the divine in everyday life. Alternatively the divine we are referring to could be called the sacred, the mystical or the spiritual. Amongst the main topics that through VAU we speak about are precisely symbols, rituals and consciousness.

The synchronicity of, a few months ago, receiving an email about this workshop, just blew my mind. Sometimes the universe just conspires to help you and sends all kinds of good things your way. I feel lucky.