Spirituality


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Philosophy of mind
The problem of mindfulness

Mindfulness promotes itself as value-neutral but it is loaded with (troubling) assumptions about the self and the cosmos

Sahanika Ratnayake

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Stories and literature
Sweetness and strangeness

In our image-saturated, over-sped world, we are losing the imaginative power to create and find meaning through metaphor

Heather Altfeld & Rebecca Diggs

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History of ideas
Against disenchantment

The move away from myth and toward reason is an ancient human impulse. But must enchantment be the enemy of enlightenment?

Jason Josephson Storm

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Rituals and celebrations
Daily grace

Everyday rituals are ephemeral prayers, a hint to the gods for protection, encircling life like a fragrant garland

Jay Griffiths

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Subcultures
The big empty

How an impossibly flat expanse of absofreakinglutely nothing inspires creativity and transformation at Burning Man

Graham St John

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Spirituality
Does meditation work?

It’s hailed as the panacea for everything from cancer to war. Does research into its efficacy meet scientific standards?

Ute Kreplin

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Philosophy of religion
What is nirvana?

Liberating oneself from rebirths might seem irrelevant to the non-believer. But nirvana is also a profound psychological goal

Robert Wright

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Death
The rise of the creepynet

With the rise of the internet has come a popular surge in people looking to be freaked out. Why?

Rhian Sasseen

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Ecology and environmental sciences
Climate of doubt

Devastated by years of drought, California farmers hire dowsers to locate their water, exposing the power of belief

Lois Parshley

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Cognition and intelligence
Immortality instinct

We have this powerful sense that death is a transition, not an end. Why can’t we imagine a world without us?

Natalie Emmons

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Death
To heaven and back

Is the heaven tourism memoir spiritual kitsch for the superficial seeker, or an earnest attempt to wrestle with death?

Mya Frazier

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Gender
She wants to be alone

When even a simple stroll down the sidewalk is an exercise in self-loathing, why don’t more women run away to the woods?

Rhian Sasseen

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War and peace
The unforgiven

When soldiers kill in war, the secret shame and guilt they bring back home can destroy them

Kevin Sites

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Ethics
The God decision

Christian parents teach their children to believe in God, atheists teach them not to. Who is doing the right thing?

Michael Ruse

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Death
Life after death

The idea of life after death lives on in near-death experiences and messages from beyond the grave. What’s the evidence?

Jesse Bering

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History
The mummy’s curse

It came from an Egyptian tomb… Well no, actually, it didn’t. But once a myth lurches into life, there’s no stopping it

Jo Marchant

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Childhood and adolescence
The wanderer

My grandfather was a legend – a holy vagabond whose life spanned India’s 20th century. Why did I let him elude me?

Samanth Subramanian

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Religion
Ladder to heaven

I have turned away from the church but, up on Mount Athos, I turned on to the mysteries of Orthodox meditation

George Zarkadakis