How to Distinguish Between a Religious Experience and a Psychotic Episode

There are possibly many ways in which we can define a religious experience. We need to ask ourselves: What features should such an experience exemplify? There is also the issue of trying to ascertain whether a certain experience is pathological in nature. For reasons which will become clear, I will be using the term religious…

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How Self-Authoring Can Improve Your Career Development

Self-authoring is a writing exercise and psychological tool that helps you make sense of the past, gain a realistic perspective of your present situation, and plan for the future. It’s a way of adding narrative to your life – turning it into a coherent story. Have you ever really sat down and just written in…

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How Gender Influences the Career Choices We Make

Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are notable for their high levels of gender equality. Researchers from Leeds Beckett University and the University of Missouri have examined whether gender equality in these Nordic countries would change the proportion of women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at university. The scientists – understandably so – were expecting…

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The Dangers of Cynicism and Why Scepticism is the Better Outlook

We would all like to think that when we do something with good intentions and act on those intentions, we are behaving as purely morally upright people. We may believe that we can easily discern when we (or others) act altruistically and when the opposite is true. However, our conflicted and flawed nature means this…

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Sigmund Freud’s Perspective on the Mystical Experience

In 1927, the French dramatist Romain Rolland wrote a letter to the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, in which he coined the phrase ‘oceanic feeling’. It is oceanic because the experience seems to be “without perceptible limits”. Rolland believed that this feeling of ‘the eternal’ was a religious feeling independent of any organised religion, but…

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