A shaman-healer prepares for an Ayahuasca ceremony in La Calera, Cundinamarca. Photo by Eitan Abramovic/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Consciousness and altered states
Caves all the way down

Do psychedelics give access to a universal, mystical experience of reality, or is that just a culture-bound illusion?

Jules Evans

Identical twins Johanna and Eva Gill at the 32nd annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio on 4 August 2012. Photo by Lisa Wiltse/Getty

Essay/
Neurodiversity
The autism paradox

How an autism diagnosis became both a clinical label and an identity; a stigma to be challenged and a status to be embraced

Bonnie Evans

Shanghai 1993. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Magnum

Essay/
Mental health
Their good life

Governments are now providing free psychotherapy to their citizens. Is there a limit to state-sponsored happiness?

Jules Evans

Larmes 1932. Photo by Man Ray © Man Ray Trust / Adagp - DACS

Essay/
Consciousness and altered states
The waterworks

Tears of sorrow, tears of joy, tears of incontinence or of ecstasy. Crying must mean something – but what?

Thomas Dixon