The Mystical Entropy Workshop

October 12, 2023 - October 14, 2023
Cognitive Psychology Unity, Leiden University



  • Templeton Foundation


Leiden University

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This is the first of three (in-person) workshops that are part of the Mystical Entropy project funded by the Templeton Foundation and hosted at Leiden University. Motivated by recent results from the science of psychedelics and meditation, the project seeks to develop a mathematical theory of mystical experiences using the information-theoretic concept of entropy.

In this first workshop, we will explore how entropy-like notions figure in the world's various mystical, religious, and spiritual traditions. To illustate, the notion of shoshin — often translated as "beginner's mind" — features prominently in Zen Buddhism, and the process of cultivating it can be understood in terms of the maximisation of entropy. See the bottom of this page for some more examples. 

If you would like to participate in the workshop, please complete the application form. The number of available registrations is limited and the due date for applications is August 9, 2023 (at midnight).

About Open Space Technology: 

The workshop will span three days, and we expect approximately 30 participants from a variety of backgrounds. Whereas traditional workshops are designed in a "top down" way, with speakers and schedules determined months in advance by the organisers, the Mystical Entropy Workshop will be organised according to the "bottom up" principles of Open Space Technology (OST). One of the central ideas behind OST is that participants self-organise the workshop's agenda during the event.     The OST approach has been used successfully for all kinds of events, including corporate retreats, international conferences, collective negotiations, and academic workshops since the 1970s. Moreover, since mystical experiences have been associated with the relaxation of top-down processes in the human brain, we think the "bottom up" approach of OST is a wonderful fit for the workshop theme.    Each day of the workshop will include a catered lunch and tea, coffee, and light snacks throughout the day. In the evening, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy drinks and dinner together –– all included in the registration fee.

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August 9, 2023, 11:45pm CET

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