The Human Predilection for Psychedelics May Be an Evolutionary Accident

Because psychedelics can have profoundly positive effects on people, this has led to the narrative that they exist for our consumption. Why else would certain plants and mushrooms have evolved compounds that foster better mental health, induce spiritual and transformative experiences, and lead to enhanced connection to others and nature? However, there is evidence that…

View Post

Soft Animism: Embracing the Aliveness of Nature Without Belief in Spirits

Soft animism is a term I use to refer to an acceptance of the animistic ethic, sensibility, and mode of perception but a rejection of the belief in spirits that reside in nature. Alternative terms for this position could include weak animism and naturalised animism (the latter emphasising that this is a form of animism…

View Post

The Anatomy of Cringe

What is the reason for the modern fascination with cringe? The past decade has seen the proliferation of cringe compilation videos (which can generate millions of views), as well as the growth of specific forums where such content is shared, like the various-cringe-related subreddits: r/Cringetopia (1.7 million members, at the time of writing), r/cringepics (1.4…

View Post

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…

View Post

Diet and the Evolution of the Human Brain

The evolution of the human brain has always been shrouded in mystery. This is because the organ tripled in size over the course of nearly seven million years, a pace of evolution that is unheard of in the natural world. Most of this growth occurred in the past two million years, during which time the…

View Post