English / Deutsch

29.4.2008 | KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin


Lecture by Joachim Koester

Hypnagogia is defined as the state between wakefulness and sleep or, put differently: dreaming while awake. One theory on this altered state is that when the frontal cortex (associated with logical thought and the perception of a well-defined "external" world) is inhibited through sleep, deep relaxation, or trance and a minimum cortical arousal is maintained, it is possible to experience and observe the consciousness of other parts of the brain. Although the hypnagogic state is commonly associated with the esoteric terminology of astral travel and the out-of-body experience, it is revealing to view it as a model or threshold where repressed ghostly matter, imaginary topographies, and other ideas become physical as they seep into culture. In his lecture, Joachim Koester will touch upon this and other ideas from the (secret) history of consciousness as well as sketch out various entries into the everelusive "astral," or subtle, realms.