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…

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The Return of the Philosophy of Psychedelics (and Why It Matters)

The ‘psychedelic renaissance’ is typically framed in terms of the resurgence of scientific research into the effects of psychedelics, covering aspects like neuroscience, psychology, psychotherapy, and mental health. However, in recent years, we’ve also seen increasing interest in the psychedelic experience from a philosophical perspective.  The philosophy of psychedelics has a rich history. Yet there…

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Rational Explanations of Ecstatic Experiences Can Still Be Awe-Inspiring

I have previously written on the topic of naturalising mystical states (see here, here, and here), arguing that the phenomenological character of these experiences can fit into a naturalistic worldview, that is, the view that only the natural world exists, or the view which rejects the existence of supernatural realms, forces, laws, principles, and entities.…

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Defining Naturalistic Spirituality

Over the last 50 years in the UK, the proportion of the population identifying as non-religious – often referred to as ‘Nones’ – has been on the rise. The British Social Attitudes Survey from 2019 found that over half (52%) of the UK population regard themselves as belonging to no religion. Hannah Waite, from the think…

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DMT and the Sense of the Impossible

A commonly reported feature of the DMT experience is that of impossibility. In the DMT space, one can be left astonished to witness objects, events, and beings that one regards as undeniably impossible. But does impossibility mean exactly in terms of the DMT experience? And are users correct in their apprehension (if that’s possible) of…

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