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The Desire to Know (Thyself)

r Lila Moore  speaks with Alef Trust director, Dr Jessica Bockler on her course ‘The Shamanic Spirit in 21st Century Art, Culture and Technology‘,

Dr Lila Moore speaks with Alef Trust director, Dr Jessica Bockler on ‘The Shamanic Spirit in 21st Century Art, Culture and Technology‘,a new course offering from Alef Trust starting in February. To learn more about this open learning online course please visit:

Have you ever felt a desire to know something which you sensed is intrinsically linked to the understanding of your Self, the Self beyond your Avatar and ID photo, and all those social biases projected on you from birth? The Self that you sense is the source of your creativity, agency, vocation, and sense of authenticity and well-being. It is the Self that in the ancient world was interwoven with your destiny by the Moirai, Goddesses of Faith.

Academic degrees today are mostly associated with getting a profession, which is often a compromising contract made between the Self and the Culture. Anglo-Saxon Runes propose a wiser solution. The Rune representing the Self is associated with the phrase: Be in the World but not of It. Thus, a different approach is advised which allows the Self to mediate between the inner and external realms of life. Not being part of the world does not imply becoming a hermit and retreating from life. On the contrary, it offers the Self independence, the freedom to conspire in secret against oppression and undesired domination by others. Not being part whilst taking part allows the Self to be critical of the world, saving itself from being carried along streams of unconscious and blind masses led by masters of manipulation, some human and some intelligent machines with agendas of their own.

My vision for the Cybernetic Futures Institute has involved fostering education, which enables the balancing of academic, theoretical thought and rigor alongside the experiential expression of creativity and speculative concepts. My ongoing aim has been to teach courses on topics which are not the primary focus of most academic programmes of study, thus, to fill the gap that the Self desires to occupy – the neglected treasure house of images and ideas that awaits the Self once liberated to roam. My research, including a forthcoming academic paper and article on spiritual, shamanic and occult aesthetics in 21st century art and culture, demonstrates a growing cultural desire to explore these themes, which were globally ignored by the academia and the art world in the 20th century. The 21st century is opening the doors to hybrids and hybridity, it re-releases the mythic impulse and the shamanic spirit through Nature 1 & Nature 2, through moist (organic) media and dry (digital) media as coined by Roy Ascott. In an article from 2018, I state that the 21st century belongs to the visionary shamaness of cybernetic futures, the techno-spiritual artist-witch as initially envisioned by Maya Deren in the 1940s.

I am therefore delighted to invite you to join a specially curated course on The Shamanic Spirit in 21st Century Art, Culture and Technology. This course is a golden opportunity as it is open to everyone (yes, to everyone) whilst it is also a standard academic course for MA students in a programme validated by Liverpool John Moores University.

A number of interdisciplinary artists involved in performance and installation contacted me with regards to the course, and I will address their needs and how the course can add value to their work in my next post. Although the cost of the course is beyond my role and influence, I must add that for the amount of knowledge and coaching learners will receive, it’s a good deal for 10 weeks of study. I’ll send more practical info about this course in a few days. Meanwhile, if you have any questions you may contact me via my website or FB. To enroll to the course, you may do so via the official course website.

The Alef Trust is a global leader in transformative education and training in the areas of consciousness, transpersonal and spiritual psychology. We provide postgraduate (MSc and PhD) education programmes and community programmes, which promote holistic psychological frameworks and perspectives, nurturing the development of human consciousness and culture. Visit us:

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