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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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Participation Mystique – An alternative to secular materialism

Participation Mystique is a psychological and spiritual idea proposed by the anthropologist Lucien Lévi-Bruhl. It concerns the alleged mystical relationship that so-called primitives had with objects in their environment. In Lévi-Bruhl’s own words: In the collective representations of primitive mentality objects … 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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The Belief in Reincarnation – Man-Made Theory or Sacred Truth?

Also called metempsychosis and transmigration, reincarnation is a man-made theory usually presented as fact or sacred law by believers. Elements of the theory can be found in diverse religions and philosophies, including ancient Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Jain, African … Continue reading


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Realism – What is real, anyhow?

Realism is a term with several meanings. Here are three: 1- Creative work in arts and culture, known as “representations” that appear natural and accurate. The accuracy can be poetic or blunt, and may carry a political message. Like most … Continue reading


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Samkhya Philosophy – Another Golden Age Gone Wrong

Samkhya is one of the six main schools of Hindu philosophy. Most agree that it has conceptual roots in the Rig Veda but it is usually attributed to the legendary sage Kapila (circa 6th century BCE).¹ Kapila postulated a fundamental distinction between … Continue reading


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The Old Testament – Timeless wisdom or old, outdated operating system?

The Old Testament is a Christian name for the books of the Hebrew Bible. This is a problematic term because Jewish people could easily find it disrespectful of their holy scripture. The designation comes from a Christian perspective with the … Continue reading


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Psyche – More than a bundle of chemicals

Psyche (Greek: soul or spirit) is the personification of the soul in Graeco-Latin myth. The early Roman writer Apuleius looks at psychological transformation and the love between Cupid and Psyche in The Golden Ass, one of the earliest surviving Latin texts. Apuleius is … Continue reading