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Love works its magic in mysterious biochemical ways | Aeon Essays
"Huxley’s hypothesis that the doors of perception can temporarily swing open wider than usual — even seemingly spontaneously — is now confirmed by brain imaging experiments. Importantly, however, you don’t need drugs, hypnosis, or lofty spiritual experiences to open those doors. Sometimes all it takes is a little love. But to understand this you will need to set aside your preconceptions of what love is."
LoveFirst  love  important  science  research  psychedelics  Aeon 
yesterday by KuraFire
To know ourselves, we must first know the Neanderthals | Aeon Essays
Homer, The Minotaur, 300 spartans, Greek theatre, Parthenon, democracy — everything that you once knew, but forgot, in a crash course video by Arzamas
history  people  aeon 
5 days ago by robward
The Evidence in Favour of Antidepressants Is Terribly Flawed
In meta-analyses that include as much of the evidence as possible, the severity of depression among subjects who receive antidepressants goes down by approximately two points compared with subjects who receive a placebo. Two points. Remember, a depression score can go down by double that amount simply if a subject stops fidgeting.
medical  depression  longread  aeon 
11 days ago by elfwreck
Can a vow of silence last forever? The paradox of Thomas Merton | Aeon Essays
"Merton struggled with his desire for the purity of silence and with the need to break it, to the end of days."
ThomasMerton  JaneBrox  Aeon  Trappists  Catholicism  silence  isolation  literature  religion 
23 days ago by briansholis
Lee Humphreys, "The urge to share news of our lives is neither new nor narcissistic," Aeon
"Diaries are not the only media that people have used to document lives and share them with others. Scrapbooks, photo albums, baby books and even slide shows are all ways in which we have done this in the past, to various audiences. Together, they suggest that we have long used media as a means of creating traces of our lives. We do this to understand ourselves, to see trends in our behaviour that we can’t in lived experiences. We create traces as part of our identity work and as part of our memory work. Sharing mundane and everyday life events can reinforce social connection and intimacy."
LeeHumphreys  Aeon  diaries  SocialMedia  identity 
10 weeks ago by briansholis
Ross Andersen, "The Vanishing Groves," Aeon
"The burning of books and libraries has perhaps fallen out of fashion, but if you look closely, you will find its spirit survives in another distinctly human activity, one as old as civilisation itself: the destruction of forests. Trees and forests are repositories of time; to destroy them is to destroy an irreplaceable record of the Earth’s past. Over this past century of unprecendented deforestation, a tiny cadre of scientists has roamed the world’s remaining woodlands, searching for trees with long memories, trees that promise science a new window into antiquity. To find a tree’s memories, you have to look past its leaves and even its bark; you have to go deep into its trunk, where the chronicles of its long life lie, secreted away like a library’s lost scrolls. This spring, I journeyed to the high, dry mountains of California to visit an ancient forest, a place as dense with history as Alexandria. A place where the heat of a dangerous fire is starting to rise."
Aeon  RossAndersen  DeepTime  trees  ClimateChange  dendrochronology 
10 weeks ago by briansholis
Why is English so weirdly different from other languages? | Aeon Essays
"English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is its spelling, which is indeed a nightmare. In countries where English isn’t spoken, there is no such thing as a ‘spelling bee’ competition. For a normal language, spelling at least pretends a basic correspondence to the way people pronounce the words. But English is not normal."
JohnMcWhorter  Aeon  language  English  spelling 
10 weeks ago by briansholis
Siobhan Phillips, "Should you feel sad about the demise of the handwritten letter?" Aeon
"Physicality feeds the letter’s distinct appeal. Words on paper bring something that one person has touched to the touch of another; they metonymically figure the human body by transporting its combination of persistence and perishability."
SiobhanPhillips  letters  handwriting  correspondence  Aeon  PublicSphere 
10 weeks ago by briansholis
Frankincense and myrrh were not only holy but heretical too | Aeon Essays
In the traditional Christmas narrative, wise men from the East brought gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold for the infant Christ. Many explanations exist for the choice of these three items. Most centre on the idea that frankincense was for the birth of a divinity, myrrh was for his embalmment after death, and gold was a recognition of his status as king.
aeon  theology  religion  culture-religion 
10 weeks ago by lorenzck

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