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Looking through a glass darkly – The paranormal, normal and bias

The Latin prefix para means beside or beyond. Like the word supernatural, paranormal refers to any phenomenon that eludes explanation through normal science or conventional wisdom. Paranormal can be a misleading term because what is ‘normal’ is open to debate … Continue reading


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Willard Quine – My unapologetic simplification

Willard Quine (1908-2000) was an influential American mathematician and philosopher who rejected Kant’s analytic-synthetic distinction¹ and advocated a form of holism. Quine argues that empiricism contains “two dogmas.” One dogma is the distinction made between intellectual constructs and facts. The … Continue reading


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Rona and other myths undercut our cosmological arrogance

Embed from Getty Images In Oceanic mythology Rona is a fierce female cannibal who eats her beautiful daughter’s lover.¹ Another Oceanic myth tells of a male god, Rona, who fights the moon to rescue his abducted wife.² According to this story, … Continue reading


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Jane Roberts and Seth – A look into the future?

Jane Roberts (1929 – 1984) was a trance channeler who wrote the Seth Books well before the idea of channelling became commonplace in New Age circles. Roberts also wrote several works of fantasy and science fiction. Roberts allegedly went into a … Continue reading


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Reversal – Beyond the clever machine

In psychoanalytic theory, reversal is a Freudian defense mechanism. A broader idea than turning against the self, reversal takes place when the ego converts an instinctual impulse into behavior appearing as its opposite. The miser becomes a philanthropist, the pervert … Continue reading


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Representation – A subtle power for good or ill

In the literary and artistic sense, representation refers to depicting a psychological, social, natural, political or spiritual idea or condition through language, music, visual art, multimedia, CGI or dance. In the sciences, abstract ideas like numbers and their interrelationships are represented … Continue reading


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Freud’s Reality Principle (German: Realitätsprinzip) – Is that all there is?

Embed from Getty Images Hanging man artwork, in Prague, Czech Republic, a work by David Cerny intended to depict Sigmund Freud. In Sigmund Freud‘s personality theory, the reality principle is a learned psychological function that seeks to gratify instinctual desires (id) … Continue reading


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Reductio ad absurdum – An old school way of saying “take the flipside” or “take it to the limit”

Reductio ad absurdum [Latin: “reduce to the absurd”] is a method of argumentation said to prove a statement to be true by demonstrating the contradiction, absurdity and therefore impossibility that would result if it were untrue or prove a statement to … Continue reading