The Illusion of the Self

No one really doubts that there is a self. In our day to day lives, it always appears that there is an ‘I’ who is thinking, perceiving, and interacting with the world. Even the language we use assumes that there is a self – a distinct, separate entity – which exists. When we talk to…

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Hypnagogia: The Experience of Being Half-Awake and Half-Asleep

Hypnagogia is the experience you have when you are falling asleep (but not quite asleep). When you’re waking up (but not quite awake) this is known as hypnapompia. Other terms for hypnagogia include: ‘visions of half-sleep’, ‘the borderland of sleep’, ‘half-dream state’ and ‘dreamlets’. The hypnagogic state can be characterised by many sensory experiences. These experiences can range…

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The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? UFOs, Area 51, the Illuminati, 9/11, New World Order, ‘chemtrails’, the moon landing – there are conspiracies about all of them and many people believe them. I’m not really interested in debunking all of these specific conspiracy theories. Since I don’t think there’s a shred of evidence for…

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The Long-Term Effects of Mystical Experiences

It’s difficult to define a mystical experience. What exactly does it involve? Do they all share some basic elements? It’s probably a good idea to broadly define mystical to include the different kinds of experiences that people report as being mystical. What’s also interesting is that it is common for mystical experiences to have lasting effects,…

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Carl Jung and the Archetypes

An archetype is a universal symbol, which other more specific symbols are based on. The word archetype has its root in ancient Greek and roughly translates as an “original pattern.” Archetypes are understood differently from the point of view of different disciplines. In psychology, archetypes are understood to be models of the personality, whereas in philosophy…

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