Book Review: I and Thou by Martin Buber

I first heard about the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber (1878–1965) and his book I and Thou (1923) from a therapist I used to see. I remember that out of nowhere and for a period of several weeks, I was feeling unusually elated and blissful, and I would have (what felt like) these very deep and meaningful…

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Metaphysical Insight: Psychedelics, Noetic Experiences, and Spinoza’s God

The feeling of gaining direct knowledge of something grand or important about reality is a common aspect of mystical experiences generally and psychedelic mystical states more specifically. This is known as a noetic experience, one of the four defining qualities of a mystical experience, as propounded by the American psychologist and philosopher William James in…

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‘Just Listen to Your Body’: How Pseudo-Wisdom Fuels Science Denial

In the realm of New Age spirituality/ideology, one reason to oppose medical interventions is contained in the phrase ‘just listen to your body’ – in a very specific sense. Listening to your body could, in one way, simply mean developing a mindful awareness of your body, such as whether you feel physically fatigued or if…

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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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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…

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