Amanda Feilding, Lady Neidpath, has had a life long interest in consciousness and its altered states, and is dedicated to furthering the understanding of this still elusive subject. In the early 1960s she studied mysticism and comparative religions at Oxford with Professor R.C. Zaehner, and has since been engaged in the independent study of psychology and neurophysiology.
Amanda originally set up the Foundation to Further Consciousness in the 1990s. In 2000, it was superseded by the Beckley Foundation, which focused more on the science of drug use and the related policy dilemmas, as part of a broader investigation of consciousness and its changing states. The work of the Beckley Foundation reflects Amanda's own position of being interdisciplinary, respecting no borders between science, religion, philosophy, history and politics.
Psychoactive substances have been used since the beginning of human culture as a means of altering consciousness. The use and misuse of such substances has been increasing exponentially in nearly all modern societies, demanding more research into:
The Foundation aims to conduct scientific research into the effects that these substances have on the human brain (a field long restricted by their illegal status), and to analyse the effectiveness of current policy with a view to identifying improved methods of regulation.
Recently, at the Exploring Consciousness conference in Bath (June 2004), Amanda gave a talk discussing these issues, entitled 'How Altered States of Consciousness Shape Society'
Amanda runs the Beckley Foundation from her Oxfordshire home, Beckley Park. She is married to Jamie Neidpath and has two sons, Rock and Cosmo.
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