Beyond Oneness: Challenging the Dominant Narrative of Mystical Experience

For many of the influential philosophers and psychologists who have studied mystical experiences, the feeling of unity or oneness is an essential feature of these states. Thinkers have described the unitive experience in different ways: as the unification of opposites or the union of oneself with the outside world, the entire universe, ultimate reality, or…

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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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Book Review: Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

Star Maker (1937) is a sci-fi novel written by British writer Olaf Stapledon. It describes the rich tapestry of cosmic evolution, surpassing in scale his previous novel First and Last Men (1930), which details the history of humanity from the present day back to two million years ago. Star Maker tells the story of a…

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The Psychedelic Nature of Islamic Art and Architecture

Islamic art and architecture are often called psychedelic in nature – and rightly so. Both the art and architecture from the Islamic world feature vibrant colours and intricate, geometric patterns; much like the kaleidoscopic patterns one can see during a psychedelic experience, either with eyes opened or closed. During psychedelic experiences, people may report seeing…

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