Does meditation work?

Stop and think. Hand of an old statue of Buddha in Laos. Photo by Nicolas Beaumont/ASAblanca via Getty It’s hailed as the panacea for everything from cancer to war. Does research into its efficacy meet scientific standards? by Ute Kreplin is lecturer in psychology at Massey University in New Zealand. Her research has been published in Nature and Neuropsychologia, among others. Edited by Sam Dresser Among the promised psychological and physical benefits of meditation are the elimination or reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as bipolar disorder, eating disorders, diabetes, substance abuse, chronic pain, blood pressure, cancer, autism and schizophrenia. It is a panacea … Continue reading Does meditation work?

The deep roots of writing

A clay impression of a cylinder seal from Nippur, Iraq. Akkadian civilisation, 2330-2150 BCE. Photo By DEA/De Agostini/Getty Was writing invented for accounting and administration or did it evolve from religious movements, sorcery and dreams? by Michael Erardis writer in residence at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Edited by Pam Weintraub Recent scholars of the history of writing describe what was first and foremost an administrative tool. According to their ‘administrative hypothesis’, writing was invented so that early states could track people, land and economic production, and elites could sustain their power. Along the way (their … Continue reading The deep roots of writing

The Unbearable Dudeliness of Quests

Bro Bibles: ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho by Miles Klee Author of the novel IVYLAND and the story collection TRUE FALSE: Greetings and welcome to Bro Bibles, a series in which I ruin my summer by reading the books your worst ex-boyfriend holds dear to his heart. It’s my hope that by engaging with these often problematic and rarely rewarding texts, I will save everybody else the trouble — and perhaps learn why they are so popular among my cursed gender. Facing elimination by the Boston Celtics in this year’s NBA Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James tried to project an air of serenity by reading … Continue reading The Unbearable Dudeliness of Quests


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

Truth is also a place

In 1966, Clair C Patterson joined an expedition to Antarctica to see if lead pollution had made its way to the ends of the earth – it had. Photo courtesy Caltech Archives Throughout history, people found truth at holy places. Now we build courts, labs and altars to be truth spots too Thomas Gierynis a sociologist at Indiana University Bloomington. His most recent book is Truth-Spots: How Places Make People Believe(2018). Edited by Sam Haselby Some places make people believe. For nearly a millennium, archaic Greek city-states and diverse cultures throughout the Mediterranean world sought truthful accounts of the future from the Oracle … Continue reading Truth is also a place

Did Jesus use cannabis oil to perform miracles?

Ear restored. Image credit: Herbert Ruben, 2012. Flickr (  by PHILIP PERRY In the US over the last couple of decades or so, the outlook on marijuana has undergone a complete paradigm shift. According to the most recent Pew Research Center poll, 61% of Americans back legalizing cannabis on the federal level. This goes across generational and to some extent, party lines. Lots more Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, for serious, legitimate illnesses. This new outlook is even filtering down into some unexpected places, such as among a couple of fringe Christian groups. Consider Deb Button. She’s the founder of Stoner Jesus Bible Study. Button … Continue reading Did Jesus use cannabis oil to perform miracles?


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