Art by Bobby Baker from her visual diary of mental illness. “The brain does not simply represent the world in a disembodied way as an intellectual construct… Our mind is body-bound. We think, feel, and act with our body in the world. All experience is embedded in this body-related being-in-the-world.” BY MARIA POPOVA “There is, in sanest hours, a consciousness, a thought that rises, independent, lifted out from all else, calm, like the stars, shining eternal. This is the thought of identity,” Walt Whitman wrote in contemplating the central paradox of the self. And yet the most paradoxical feature of consciousness might … Continue reading Altered States of Consciousness: The Neuropsychology of How Time Perception Modulates Our Experience of Self, from Depression to Boredom to Creative Flow
Photo by (Kirk) Lai Man Nung | https://tricy.cl/2GfksZT Dying with compassion means having a plan in place for those left behind. A practitioner recounts how she navigated the process with her dharma friends. By Rena Graham As a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, I am constantly reminded that we never know when death might approach, but for years, I’d avoided dealing with one of the most practical aspects of death—the paperwork. I was not alone: Roughly half of all adults in North America do not have a living will. Then recently, I suffered a near-fatal illness that left me viscerally aware of how unprepared … Continue reading Emptiness and Filling Out Forms: A Practical Approach to Death
BY JESSE BERING Belief in a deity or an afterlife could be an evolutionarily advantageous by-product of people’s ability to reason about the minds of others One hot summer day several years ago, I lay holed up in a suffocating Fort Lauderdale hospital room—the result of an especially virulent bout of the flu. Having nothing but the buzzing of dying flies and the sound of muted television game-show applause to engage my interest, I turned my attention to the doleful lamentations of my elderly roommate, a handsome Navy veteran from World War II with a painfully defunct hip and, I gathered, … Continue reading The Cognitive Psychology of Belief in the Supernatural
Photo by Daniel Burka | https://tricy.cl/322UP7V Exploring our fear of the dark can reveal truths about death and what comes after. By Andrew Holecek In the following excerpt from the course, Holecek explains how looking into our fear of the dark can prepare us to face the unknown factors in our life and in death. I’m a spelunker of the mind. I love to explore the recesses of the darkness of mind and reality, because to me this is where all the goodies are. Many of us suffer from nyctophobia, a fear of the dark, which I believe is synonymous with … Continue reading What We Can Discover in the Dark Unknown
by Phillip Schneider, Assistant Editor Waking Times You are the bridge between Spirit and Matter, between Creator and Creation – Ken Carey That is my favorite line from a book called The Starseed Transmissions by Ken Carey, a spiritual teacher who published this particular book all the way back in 1982. I’m not much for some of the ideas expressed in his book, particularly the 2012 predictions because so many of them have been proven totally false given the passage of time. But nevertheless, I’m enthused by a lot of the spiritual teachings in books such as this. Think about the idea … Continue reading ARE YOU AND I FROM OUTER SPACE?
How supernatural beliefs allowed societies to bond and spread. BY BRIAN GALLAGHER Agod who knows everything, is everywhere, and wields impossible power, is a potent fantasy. Allegiance to it animates the lives of billions worldwide. But this “Big God,” as psychologists and anthropologists refer to it, wasn’t dreamt from scratch but pieced together, over thousands of years, paralleling humanity’s move from small- to large-scale societies. One burning question researchers want to answer is: Did humans need belief in a God-like being—someone who can punish every immorality we might commit—to have the big societies we have today, where we live relatively … Continue reading The Worth of an Angry God
by Jan Engels-Smith, Guest Waking Times “Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by its breathtaking moments.” -Michael Vance In shamanism, the belief that there is no death is a concept grounded in the belief of the soul existing in a never-ending process of regeneration. Our soul remembers our ancient past, engages with our current environment, and knows our future lives. We live forever and our soul is immortal. Our existence, however, is marked by numerous transitions—both between our many lives and sometimes even within the frame of what we view as the current physical life. Emotionally and spiritually, … Continue reading DEATH AND DYING FROM A SHAMANIC PERSPECTIVE