Author Archives: Jangali

Does spiritual growth require hard work?

A recurring theme in pretty well every spiritual tradition is the arduous nature of the practices needing to be undertaken in order to achieve spiritual growth. Indeed, this tendency is so pervasive that it is even often to be encountered … Continue reading

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Shamanic residues in medieval Europe: a review of Ginzburg’s Ecstasies

In Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath (1989, tr. Raymond Rosenthal 1991, University of Chicago Press), Carlo Ginzburg argues that the practices of medieval witches in Europe, as testified to in the documentary evidence compiled by their persecutors, can best be … Continue reading

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Alan Watts on the perils and pitfalls for Westerners of attempting to follow Eastern spiritual paths

In this talk, Alan Watts explains the cultural presuppositions underpinning Taoism, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, and consequently some of the problems and contradictions often linked to their adoption by Westerners. Essentially, his argument is that these systems are designed to … Continue reading

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The urban shaman

In recent years there has been a considerable revival of interest in the West in shamanic practices, both those conserved by indigenous peoples and more syncretic forms such as Michael Harner’s “core shamanism“, Wicca and various nativist revival movements. Whilst … Continue reading

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Dealing with Life’s Decisions – (2) Innate Resources

In the previous article in this two-part series, I explained why, in a broad class of cases, the information we receive is likely to be a very poor guide to the actions we should take. This is the much-delayed part … Continue reading

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The fetishization of control

Here are a number of apparently unrelated behavioral conundrums. In general we take them for granted, but this in itself is curious. Why is it that there is so much uncertainty as to the basic physiology of female sexual arousal … Continue reading

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The cult(ivation) of self

The following video was recently shared by Glen Brauer of Philosophy Dinners. I think it is a good synthesis of mindfulness, philosophical enquiry and the state of knowledge in the neuroscience of emotions, and so it is a good starting … Continue reading

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