Little Panic: A Literary Laboratory Exploring What It Is Like to Live in the Stranglehold of Anxiety and What It Takes to Break Free

Art from Emotional Anatomy: The Structure of Experience “This terrible truth binds us all: fear there’s a single, unattainable, correct way to be human.” BY MARIA POPOVA “Life and Reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you accord them to all others,” Alan Watts wrote in the early 1950s, nearly a quarter century before Thomas Nagel’s landmark essay “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” unlatched the study of other consciousnesses and seeded the disorienting awareness that other beings — “beings who walk other spheres,” to borrow Whitman’s wonderful term — experience this world we share in ways thoroughly alien to our own. Today, we know … Continue reading Little Panic: A Literary Laboratory Exploring What It Is Like to Live in the Stranglehold of Anxiety and What It Takes to Break Free

Composing Your Thoughts

RUBIN’S VASE: This image, developed by psychologist Edgar Rubin, is a famous example of visual ambiguity. Music that upsets expectations is what makes your gray matter sing. BY JONATHAN BERGER ILLUSTRATION BY GÉRARD DUBOIS 1. Unshaven and one bit short To death and taxes, Benjamin Franklin’s binary list of life’s certainties, add the expectation that this six-note sequence: Will continue with this: Although we ponder ways to avoid or evade Franklin’s list of unavoidable events, we generally accept this more benign certainty as immutable. To demonstrate, consider this: The penultimate note of the tune generates such strong and specific anticipation that you … Continue reading Composing Your Thoughts

Your Brain on Depression

image edited by Fernando Kaskais Video by Emma Allen Depression is a multifaceted and insidious disorder, nearly as complex as the brain itself. As research continues to suggest, the onset of depression can be attributed to an interplay of the many elements that make us human—namely, our genetics, the structure and chemistry of our brains, and our lived experience. Second only, perhaps, to the confounding mechanics of anesthesia, depression is the ultimate mind-body problem; understanding how it works could unlock the mysteries of human consciousness. Emma Allen, a visual artist, and Dr. Daisy Thompson-Lake, a clinical neuroscientist, are fascinated by the physical processes … Continue reading Your Brain on Depression

THE NUMBER ONE THING PSYCHIATRY CAN LEARN FROM SHAMANISM

by Dylan Charles, Editor Waking Times Something important is missing from the psychiatric model of ‘mental illness.’ It’s not a secret or anything, but rather more of an omission. It should be there, but by no accident it’s absent. You see, human beings are multi-dimensional. We are made up of mind, body and spirit. All three are utterly essential components of life, and until the transhumanists figure out how to disembody the mind, our wellness and happiness is fully reliant on the synergistic balance between these three elements. Sure, psychiatry along with the medical sciences has the body well enough figured out. And they’ve produced copious … Continue reading THE NUMBER ONE THING PSYCHIATRY CAN LEARN FROM SHAMANISM

WHY HAVING IT ALL DOESN’T WORK AND WHAT DOES

by Jonathan Zap, Guest Waking Times One of the most potent of spells or enchantments that can bind you into the matrix is to live under the compulsion of always having to imagine getting more in the future. Under this spell, you become a donkey forever hypnotized by an imaginary carrot just up ahead. The carrot, the ‘more,’ that ever glitters in your mind’s eye like a ring of power, could be many things–sex, money, power, fame, looks–often the imagined more is a vision of that more perfected life just up ahead, the one in which you have realized your ideal weight, … Continue reading WHY HAVING IT ALL DOESN’T WORK AND WHAT DOES

SHEDDING OUTDATED SKIN: BUILDING THE BRIDGE FROM MAN TO OVERMAN

by Gary Z McGee, Guest Waking Times “The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche If you would be alive –if you would choose to live an examined life, a fulfilled life, a self-actualized life, a life well-lived– then don’t fearfully choose the safe road, what Jung called “The Road of Death.” Choose instead the courage to face the trials and tribulations of an adventurous road, a road full of danger and risk. On the bridge from Man to Overman, there is no place for … Continue reading SHEDDING OUTDATED SKIN: BUILDING THE BRIDGE FROM MAN TO OVERMAN

The Smaller the Theater, the Faster the Music

image edited by Fernando Kaskais Philip Glass and Fredericka FosterChance Yeh / Getty Images; Ben Shapiro Composer Philip Glass talks time with painter Fredericka Foster. BY PHILIP GLASS & FREDERICKA FOSTERINTRODUCTION BY BETH JACOBS How is composing music of a given meter similar to painting flowing water? In this conversation between the composer and musician Philip Glass and the painter Fredericka Foster, two artists set out to tackle this question, before flowing into questions of memory, physics, and death. Glass and Foster met in the late 1990s through their mutual interest in Buddhism. They shared a teacher, Gelek Rimpoche, and … Continue reading The Smaller the Theater, the Faster the Music