Posts in Uncategorized
Kanye West and the five elements of creative genius

I went to see a publisher the other day, who said they had a project for me. The project turned out to be a series called ‘Great Philosophers’. Could I suggest any great living philosophers to write about, other than myself obviously? ‘How about a book about Kanye West?’ They laughed. Pause. ‘No, really. Make a series of little books about great cultural influencers. I’ll do one on Kanye West.’

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Invitation for submissions to book on spiritual emergencies / archetypal crises

The fundamental mistake was supposing that the healing process was the disease, rather than the process whereby the disease is healed. The disease, if any, was the state previous to the ‘psychosis’.  The so-called ‘psychosis’ was an attempt towards spontaneous healing, it was a movement towards health, not a movement towards disease . . .  it could be called mystical, a re-owning and discovery of parts of myself.

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The lazy mysticism of Alan Watts

The only thinker whose popularity on YouTube comes close to prophet-of-rage Jordan Peterson is Alan Watts, the British popularizer of Eastern wisdom. Watts’ talks from the 50s, 60s and early 70s have millions of views on YouTube, and are often edited to the accompaniment of orchestral or ‘chillstep’ soundtracks and jazzy collages of modern life.

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Integrating ayahuasca into western healthcare (part 2)

Here is part 2 of my interview with pioneering researcher Milan Scheidegger, who works in the psychedelics lab at University of Zurich. You can read part 1 here. In this half of the interview, we discuss how to translate aspects of indigenous ayahuasca rituals - such as the shaman or sacred plant songs - into the context of western healthcare. We also discuss Milan's plans to establish a psychedelic healing clinic in Switzerland.

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The best of times, the worst of times

This is the best time ever to be alive and human. Global life expectancy has doubled in the last century, from 31 to 71. A century ago, 20% of babies died in childbirth, now it's less than 7%. You're far, far less likely to die violently than in the Middle Ages, the 19th century, or even in the 1960s.

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What UK universities can learn from the US about promoting well-being

As regular readers will know, I've begun a new research focus, looking at well-being in higher education. British universities have started to focus on this issue a lot more, spurred by worrying headlines about an 'epidemic of mental illness on campus'. But, judging by the events I've attended so far, universities don't yet get the complexity of this issue, and see it simply in terms of increasing funding for counselling.

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The drumming circle

Arambol is a beach in the north of Goa, an old hippy hang out full of wizened old hippies and nubile young hipettes. Every night, there is a drumming circle as the sun sets. Last night, I danced in the circle, along with 30 or so other people, and worked up a sweat jacking my body to the syncopations, feeling my self dissolve to the beat. It was very pleasurable.

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