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psychology
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The Insanity That Keeps Us Sane

We’ve got some strange ways of dealing with violent thoughts. Hey, want to hear a cool story? In the 1280s, the Mongol warlord Hülegü Khan was getting ready to make war on the city of Baghdad — which was, at that time, the epicenter of the civilized world. The Khan sent a threat letter to the Caliph […]

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In Praise of Roleplay

All of us play characters. Some are truer than others. When’s the last time you threw on an outfit you’d never wear in regular life, looked into the mirror, and tried out some phrases… “You talkin’ to me?” …just to see how those words sound coming out of your mouth?

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The Fascination of the Abomination

Why is the human mind so eager to explore the darkness? What do we hope to learn there? I. Paradoxes of the heart Have you ever watched a movie that was so scary you couldn’t look away? For as long as I can remember — and probably longer — I’ve been intrigued by monsters. At preschool age, I had what my […]

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All the Leaves Are Brown…

Death is the ultimate affirmation of life . People used to understand this. This time of year always gets me thinking about death. I mean death; not violence. The distinction is crucial. In fact, our culture’s fetishization of violence speaks volumes about the distance we’ve put between ourselves and death.

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Here’s How It Feels to Cliff-Dive With a Paralyzing Fear of Heights

I’ve had a phobia of heights for as long as I can remember. Not just a nervousness, but a muscle-clenching, gut-freezing full-body paralysis that stopped me as firmly as a brick wall any time I stepped near the edge of a canyon or a twentieth-floor balcony. And today, I went cliff-diving for the first time […]

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The Lure of the Abyss

What’s so fascinating about the dark? The word “abyss” may be one of the oldest words still in use. We can trace its roots with certainty back to the ancient Greek “abyssos,” and possibly back to the Sumerian “abzu,” which would make this word, at the very least, 6,000 years old. In all those millennia, its meaning […]

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