How psychedelics help you "die before you die"

The heart of the religious ritual is mysticism, argues Brian Muraresku in "The Immortality Key."

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  • The concept of "dying before you die" lies at the heart of religious tradition, argues Brian Muraresku.
  • This secret ritual connects the Eleusinian Mysteries with the origins of Christianity.
  • In "The Immortality Key," Muraresku speculates that psychedelic wine could have been the original Christian Eucharist.
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Are humans cruel by nature?

Historian Rutger Bregman argues that the persistent theory that most people are monsters is just wrong.

  • How have humans managed to accomplish significantly more than any other species on the planet? Historian Rutger Bregman believes the quality that makes us special is that we "evolved to work together and to cooperate on a scale that no other species in the whole animal kingdom has been able to do."
  • Pushing back against the millennia-old idea that humans are inherently evil beneath their civilized surface, which is known as 'veneer theory', Bregman says that it's humanity's cooperative spirit and sense of brotherhood that leads us to do cruel deeds. "Most atrocities are committed in the name of loyalty, and in the name of friendship, and in the name of helping your people," he tells Big Think. "That is what's so disturbing."
  • The false assumption that people are evil or inherently selfish has an effect on the way we design various elements of our societies and structures. If we designed on the assumption that we are collaborative instead, we could avoid the "self-fulfilling prophecy" of selfishness.
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'Muscular bonding': The strange psychological effects of moving together

Synchronous movement seems to help us form cohesive groups by shifting our thinking from "me" to "we."

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  • Muscular bonding, a term coined by the veteran and historian William McNeill, describes how individuals engaged in synchronous movement often experience feelings of euphoria and connection to the group.
  • Psychologists have proposed that muscular bonding, or interpersonal entrainment, is a group-level adaptation that helped early human groups outcompete other groups.
  • Muscular bonding can help people form cohesive groups, but it could come at cost.
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New bed, no sleep? First night blues

Heard about the phenomenon of FNE, or 'first night effect'?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Have you ever woken up in a new place and noted with disappointment that you are still tired?

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Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills

Schools have become captivated by the idea that students must learn a set of generalized critical-thinking skills to flourish in the contemporary world.

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Being an air-traffic controller is not easy.
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