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Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
Buddhist missionaries | Aeon
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essay

Religion

Buddhist missionaries

Buddhist monks have mostly escaped the label of proselytisers, but they’ll still spread the word to those who seek them out

Brooke Schedneck

Gloria’s call | Aeon
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video

Art

A mindbending trip that summons the forgotten women of surrealism

17 minutes

Tengri | Aeon
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Rituals and celebrations

In a Mongolian wind burial, a body falls on land before getting swept up to the heavens

6 minutes

EXCLUSIVEThe Japanese sword as the soul of the samurai | Aeon
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video

History of technology

A rare glimpse inside a samurai sword workshop, where ritual meets mastery

24 minutes

Pivotal mental states | Aeon
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Consciousness and altered states

Pivotal mental states

Spiritual highs and mental breakdowns are both products of the same evolved brain system granting us the power to transform

Ari Brouwer

Where the rivers meet | Aeon
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essay

Spirituality

Where the rivers meet

Pilgrims have long sought in India’s holiest city an antidote to the modern West, but Varanasi is more dream than reality

Manini Sheker

The divine Dante | Aeon
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essay

Stories and literature

The divine Dante

At 700, Dante’s Divine Comedy is as modern as ever – a lesson in spiritual intelligence that makes us better at being alive

Mark Vernon

Visitors | Aeon
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video

Subcultures

In a remote town near Area 51, UFO believers and locals contemplate the beyond

12 minutes

The four-fold imagination | Aeon
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Stories and literature

The four-fold imagination

William Blake saw angels and ghosts and the Hallelujah sunrise, even on the darkest day. We need to foster his state of mind

Mark Vernon

Now is the time | Aeon
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video

Rituals and celebrations

How a village’s first totem pole ceremony in a century sparked a spiritual awakening

16 minutes

Philosophy cannot resolve the question ‘How should we live?’ | Aeon
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Meaning and the good life

Philosophy cannot resolve the question ‘How should we live?’

David Ellis

A shepherd | Aeon
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video

Spirituality

A modern shepherd tending his flock looks for spiritual resonance in age-old work

10 minutes

How chasing solar eclipses opened me up to the awe of living | Aeon
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idea

Consciousness and altered states

How chasing solar eclipses opened me up to the awe of living

Kate Russo

What is the soul if not a better version of ourselves? | Aeon
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idea

Spirituality

What is the soul if not a better version of ourselves?

John Cottingham

Perennial philosophy | Aeon
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Philosophy of religion

Perennial philosophy

Aldous Huxley argued that all religions in the world were underpinned by universal beliefs and experiences. Was he right?

Jules Evans

Anti-climax | Aeon
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Sex and sexuality

Anti-climax

Coitus reservatus is an ancient technique promising bliss and longevity. Does orgasm data back up these tantric ideas?

Peter von Ziegesar

Santa is a psychedelic mushroom | Aeon
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video

Rituals and celebrations

Are mushrooms, shamans and ancient rituals at the root of the Santa Claus story?

7 minutes

The Tibetan research of Herbert Benson | Aeon
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video

Consciousness and altered states

How a scientific attempt to demystify Buddhist meditation yielded astounding results

7 minutes

The problem of mindfulness | Aeon
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essay

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

I have a small heart | Aeon
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video

Spirituality

What does pilgrimage mean in an age of instant communication and high-speed travel?

14 minutes

Sweetness and strangeness | Aeon
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essay

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

Against disenchantment | Aeon
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essay

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

How translation obscured the music and wordplay of the Bible | Aeon
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idea

Stories and literature

How translation obscured the music and wordplay of the Bible

Robert Alter

Daily grace | Aeon
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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