Meshuggah, Transhumanism, and the Allure of Cults

In one of Meshuggah’s most well-known tracks, New Millennium Cyanide Christ, we find an exploration of the themes of transhumanism and cults. Drummer Tomas Haake, who writes the lyrics for the band, said of the track in an interview with Greg Prato: That’s more of a dystopian take on a sectistic or extremist kind of…

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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…

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Secular Ecstasy: Mystical States Without the Supernatural

It is possible for anyone, regardless of his or her religious or metaphysical beliefs, to have a mystical experience. These mystical states of consciousness have been accessible since time immemorial. You can find accounts of profound altered states in ancient Hindu and Buddhist scriptures and in the descriptions of the Eleusinian Mysteries, those secret rituals…

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Pessimism and Pandeism: Philipp Mainländer on the Death of God

Philipp Mainländer (1841 – 1876) was a German poet and philosopher, born in Offenbach am Main. He was a disciple of Arthur Schopenhauer’s philosophy and one of the patron saints of 19th century German pessimism (other notable figures belonging to this curious philosophical trend include Eduard von Hartmann and Julius Bahnsen). Unlike these other pessimists,…

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Book Review: After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry (2000) is a book by Jack Kornfield, a renowned Buddhist and meditation teacher. This is the second book I’ve read by Kornfield, the first being the best-selling A Path With Heart (1993), which I’d highly recommend as an introduction to Buddhism and a practical guide to Buddhist meditation, including the…

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