Shakespeare’s Genius Is Nonsense

ILLUSTRATION BY KATHERINE GUILLEN & ELEANOR DAVIS What the Bard can teach science about language and the limits of the human mind. BY JILLIAN HINCHLIFFE & SETH FREYILLUSTRATION BY KATHERINE GUILLEN & ELEANOR DAVIS You’d be forgiven if, settling into the fall 2003 “Literature of the 16th Century” course at University of California, Berkeley, you found the unassuming 70-year-old man standing at the front of the lecture hall a bit eccentric. For one thing, the class syllabus, which was printed on the back of a rumpled flyer promoting bicycle safety, seemed to be preparing you for the fact that some … Continue reading Shakespeare’s Genius Is Nonsense

THE SCIENCE OF MANTRAS: HOW SACRED SOUNDS HEAL BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT

by Paul Harrison, Contributor  Waking Times For more than 3000 years mantras (sacred sounds) have been chanted for the purpose of spiritual healing. During the early period of Hinduism, spiritual gurus became fascinated by poetry and began to write sounds in sacred texts like the Rigveda. Those same sounds have echoed throughout the East all the way to today, and are now chanted by billions of Hindus, Buddhists and spiritualists the world over. Today, mantras are chanted for myriad reasons. There are mantras to cure depression and anxiety, mantras said to create wealth, mantras used to attract wealth… for near … Continue reading THE SCIENCE OF MANTRAS: HOW SACRED SOUNDS HEAL BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT

Theory from the ruins

A man gazes upon the ruined city of Frankfurt, Germany, 1946. Photo by Werner Bischof/Magnum The Frankfurt school argued that reason is dangerous, mass culture deadening, and the Enlightenment a disaster. Were they right? by Stuart Walton is the author of several books about cultural history and philosophy, including In the Realm of the Senses: A Materialist Theory of Seeing and Feeling (2015), A Natural History of Human Emotions (2005) and Intoxicology: A Cultural History of Drink and Drugs (2001, 2016), as well as a novel, The First Day in Paradise (2016). His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The … Continue reading Theory from the ruins