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Mind of the Outsider

In 1956, author Colin Wilson set about studying the mind of various artists, writers and philosophers, which included Vincent van Gogh, H. G. Wells, Franz Kafka, William Blake, Albert Camus, T. S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway. While investigating the personality of these men, Wilson observed that they possessed psychology quite different from the people around […]

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Suffering from memories

Dr Bessel van der Kolk, a leading expert in the study of trauma, suggests that post-traumatic stress is a widespread problem in our society and that the solution to this problem may lie in going beyond traditional treatment. The symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are well known to most. People with PTSD suffer from […]

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The fear of knowing

The American psychologist Abraham Maslow suggested that there exists, in many of us, a general feeling of dread towards being curious and acquiring knowledge. Maslow stated that to avoid anxiety, many people refuse to learn about the world and their place in it. He called this phenomenon the ‘Fear of Knowing’. According to Maslow, there […]

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The psychology of self-actualized people

A theory of mental health In Toward a psychology of being, the psychologist Abraham Maslow puts forward a theory of psychological health that is predicated on the fulfilment of human needs. Maslow believed that fellow psychologists tended to focus too heavily on the symptoms of people who are mentally unwell, and not enough on the qualities of […]

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A sacred need for Silence

In the Christian religion, speaking in a way that is unrestrained and indiscriminate is considered morally evil. According to the bible, for “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”. But Christianity is just one of the many religions that have a bleak assessment of those […]

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The essence of Agnosticism

A misconception In the myth of Adam and Eve, one of the first privileges granted to Adam is that of naming all the animals in the Garden of Eden. With the ability to name things, Adam has the power to think about, and differentiate between, the other inhabitants. Naming is a potent ability as for […]

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The quiet power of introverts

A life of the mind Our personality greatly shapes who we are as individuals and influences nearly every aspect of our life. Our place on the introversion-extroversion spectrum, in particular, seems to have the most impact on the choices we make in life. Where we lie on this spectrum affects the friendships we make, the […]

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The obligation to think with effort

The flawed mind When we think about human nature, the idea that we are rational beings is one that is generally accepted. Every day we are bombarded with a sea of situations which we must face by making decisions. However, research shows that we aren’t actually the author of our choices and actions that we […]

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What the Stoics thought about Anger

The philosophy of Stoicism focuses on minimising the amount of negative emotions in the mind. One of these undesired emotions is anger, which the Stoics believed to be a state of brief insanity. One that does damage to our mental health. Everyone experiences anger and there are some situations where anger seems the only way […]

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Stoic techniques for tranquility

Stoicism is a school of philosophy that was founded in ancient Greece in the 3rd century BC. Members of Stoicism, also known as Stoics, teach that by using one’s rational mind to understand our role in the natural world and how to act in it, we can be virtuous individuals. The founder of Stoicism, Zeno […]