Hipster Intellectualism: When the Obscure Feeds the Ego

To make a selective effort to seek out the most obscure ideas, theories, thinkers, and books is, on the one hand, a sign of intellectual hunger. But a kind of ego-stroking tendency can suffuse this seeking too; the more obscure the material, the more self-satisfying it can feel to find it and tell others about…View Post

Why Are Some People More Sensitive to Psychedelics Than Others?

When different people take the same dose of any psychedelic, some will have a more subjectively intense experience than others. This is due to dose-independent factors, or what many psychonauts, psychedelic enthusiasts, and researchers call set and setting. Set is your mindset going into the experience, whereas setting refers to all the environmental factors that…View Post

The Art of Rhetoric: How Articulate People Cover Up Their Bad Ideas

There are innumerable ways to persuade others of an argument or point of view that don’t rely on solid reasoning and logic but instead employ persuasion tactics, either wittingly or unwittingly. This is rhetoric: the art of persuasion. Many arguments can have the appearance of being correct, but under scrutiny, the flaws start to appear.…View Post

Mescaline Revelations: Hume, Buddhism, and the Illusory Nature of the Self

One of the most interesting aspects of psychedelics is how the experience ties into philosophy. I am especially drawn to the notion that they can attract one to – or concretise – certain philosophical ideas, theories, and systems. For example, in The Subjective Effects of Nitrous Oxide (1882), the psychologist William James wrote how the…View Post

When Meditation Becomes a Chore

There are many obstacles and pitfalls when it comes to engaging in a daily practice of meditation, and one that I’ve noticed being a persistent one recently is when meditation feels like a chore, one more item on the task checklist to cross off and get out the way.  But meditation shouldn’t be a chore…View Post