How the mainstream medical industry is embracing the stigmatised substances of the 60s.

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I remember my first psychedelic experience. I was in my late twenties regularly experiencing bouts of depression, drinking most days and losing myself in anxiety and purposelessness.

In a safe and nurturing environment, I took a medium to high dose of magic mushrooms and I was transported through an atmosphere of intricate, metallic, bronze and copper mandalas. Whilst marvelling at the beauty and luminescence of colours unseen in normal waking consciousness, I was struck by the benevolent guidance of the experience.

Suddenly, I realised what ancient cultures probably understood God to mean, an overwhelmingly kind and accepting force, not the…


A look at what we’ve lost and how we can reconnect.

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There’s a common consensus that society progresses. We face blips and setbacks, but it’s generally assumed that overall quality of life increases the further we move along our historical timeline.

Yet regarding mental health, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Rates of depression are higher than ever and children of younger and younger ages are reporting anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness.

Some have been keen to explain this away in terms of the increased awareness we now have of mental illness and a greater willingness to medicalise. There may be some truth in those explanations. …


A unifying principle to take on the 1%.

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It has always amazed me that the white working class so often identify with and vote for politicians that have lived lives so far removed from their own experience.

In England, Boris Johnson, a living symbol of privilege and cronyism, managed to win the last election by gaining the support of many poor, working-class, and lifelong Labour constituencies. Equally, in America, Trump managed to convince many of the countries most economically desperate whites that the solution to their problems could be found under the guidance of a man who had only ever known wealth and privilege.

Those same people were…


How to stop seeking answers from others and become your own guru

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Go on to social media on any given day and there will be a cavalcade of psychologists, yoga teachers, and life coaches prescribing solutions to your problems. From spotting narcissism or toxicity in our partners and friends to sure-fire steps to ensuring the healthiest, most productive life possible.

There is a lot of value in some of these methods. It’s great to use other's routines and philosophies to inspire. …


The balance between striving and gratitude

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the relationship between striving and gratitude. I have spent big chunks of my adult life arduously working towards a few particular goals, and in many ways it has served me well.

I have dedicated the last few years to building my jewellery business, working in the evenings whilst also holding down day jobs until I reached a point where I could go full-time. …


A cross-cultural celebration of the strange.

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We no longer have the language to understand fully what madness is. We are unable to see the forces of change that can reside in crisis, we’ve lost touch with the symbology to find truth in the dark mutterings.

We often take madness to be an objective state. Yet what we deem to be insane or normal is culturally relative. Many societies throughout history have had a framework to understand all kinds of behaviors that in the modern Western world would be deemed insane.

Whether it be those who commune with spirits or declare themselves God, many cultures are able…


Our treatment of boys creates mentally unwell men

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I have noticed that there has been a cultural push recently towards an open discussion of mental health, particularly with regards to men. With the shocking rates of suicide amongst young males, it’s becoming harder to ignore the insidious nature of depression and mental illness in our culture. And yet as we’re all being encouraged to open up and talk about our emotions, cross-culturally the archaic, masculine archetype continues to be proliferated and promoted in films, music, sports and culture as a whole.

None of us are immune. I was raised by very progressive parents who allowed me to express…


Making meaning from our greatest hardships with the philosophy of Amor Fati.

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‘The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.’ ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

This quote is perhaps one of the most poetic examples of what Friedrich Nietzsche termed ‘Amor Fati’ or the ‘love of one’s fate’. A Latin maxim, that reframes the hardship and suffering we all experience in our lives.

Nietzsche believed…


‘Like a wave from the ocean, you are not a stranger here.’

Consciousness, our individual, internal experience of reality, is still one of the greatest mysteries of our time. Scientists and philosophers continue to argue about its origins, its importance, and even its definition. Yet I find one of the most compelling theories to be that of the British philosopher Alan Watts.

Watts, inspired by Eastern philosophy and theology, often described our individual consciousness as being similar to a wave in the ocean. We appear out of the void, rising up into an individualized self, make our journey across the seas and then return back into the whole. …


Maybe the Garden of Eden is available through a simple shift in consciousness.

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I’ve always been interested in the idea that heaven and hell symbolize particular psychological states rather than places we go after death. That those stuck in compulsions of greed, hatred, judgment, and envy are occupying a hellish mind state, whereas those who work to cultivate compassion and kindness appear to exist in a heavenly realm.

I’ve certainly experienced the vast difference. Those days that you step outside and the world seems to be hard, dangerous, and bleak, or the times when everything appears bright, cheerful and your interactions are filled with joy. …

Josh Chandler Morris

A jeweller by day, wanting a space to share my love of philosophy, poetry and literature. www.harshrealm.co.uk

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