The Meaning-Enhancing Effect of Psychedelics Can Be Both Helpful and Harmful

During a psychedelic experience, everything can appear more meaningful and significant – everything in both the outer world (what we are perceiving) and the inner world (all the thoughts and ideas we are having). Geometric hallucinations can appear deeply significant, as can spontaneous insights about ourselves, the world, and fundamental reality. Psychedelics have long been…

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How Psychedelics Can Affect People’s Career Choices and Attitudes Towards Work

An underexplored effect of psychedelics is how their use can affect both the career choices someone makes and the attitudes they have towards work in general. The LSD guru Timothy Leary famously told a countercultural audience – 30,000 hippies who gathered at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in 1967 – to “turn on, tune…

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Experiencing the Sublime Through Travel

The sublime is a concept in aesthetics that stands for the quality of greatness that leads to experiencing positive and negative emotions (e.g. fear and wonder) at the same time. This paradoxical emotion is often experienced in natural surroundings, during confrontations with natural phenomena that overwhelm oneself due to their size or power. This is…

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Arterscham: The Phenomenon of Species Shame

Shame and embarrassment have long been considered uniquely human emotions since, as psychologist Marc D. Hauser has argued, these feelings “depend critically on a sense of self and others”, giving us “a moral sense that no animal is likely to attain.” Without self-awareness, in other words, there can be no shame. However, biologist Marc Bekoff…

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The Criminalisation of Psychedelics is an Affront to Cognitive Liberty

Cognitive liberty refers to the right or freedom of an individual to determine their own mental processes, cognition, and consciousness. Champions of this right argue that is an extension of, and really the fundamental basis of, the right to freedom of thought. Sovereignty over our minds and bodies is a basic freedom that all individuals…

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