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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind

Psychology

Quotations

Sunbeams

In the main, and from the beginning of time, mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was logic.

G.K. Chesterton

The Sun Interview

Across The Universe

Stanislav Grof On Nonordinary States Of Consciousness

It became clear to me that consciousness is not a product of the neurophysiological processes in the brain, as I had been taught at the university, but something much higher, possibly superordinate to matter. The idea that consciousness somehow mysteriously emerges from matter didn’t make sense to me anymore. It was easier to imagine that consciousness could create the experience of the material universe by an infinitely complex orchestration. I was suddenly in the realm of the Eastern philosophies, where consciousness is a primary attribute of existence and cannot be reduced to anything else.

The Sun Interview

The Science Of Happiness

Barbara Fredrickson On Cultivating Positive Emotions

In general the epidemiological data show that only 20 percent of Americans are flourishing. The rest are either languishing or just getting by. Maybe they remember a time in their lives when things were coming together easily; there wasn’t a lot of self-concern, self-scrutiny, or self-loathing because they were focused outward and contributing to the world. But now they’re just doing the minimum necessary to get by. This “just getting by” mode is not depression or mental illness. It’s merely people living lives of quiet despair. Upwards of 60 percent of the adult population feel like they’re going through the motions. It makes me want to share the news about this work and get people back to those times when they were flourishing.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

These Dark Woods

When my son Tom was born, I was surprised that there was nothing physically wrong with him. I suppose this is the reaction of many first-time older parents. Proud and relieved to have a “normal” child, I had no aspirations for my son to become an artist or to graduate from Harvard or to conquer India. All I wanted for him was good health, sanity, and a shot at being whatever he desired to be.

The Sun Interview

Like Wandering Ghosts

Edward Tick On How The U.S. Fails Its Returning Soldiers

Certainly the Vietnam veterans were made scapegoats for many of the illegal and brutal tactics of that war. Then there are the veterans of all the little forgotten wars: Grenada, Somalia, Lebanon, El Salvador, the secret ops in Africa and Eastern Europe. They are like wandering ghosts, neither honored nor recognized. Many of them are not even classified as combat veterans. I worked with one man who’d been in Somalia and taken part in the fighting around the U.S. Black Hawk helicopter that went down there. He isn’t classified as a combat veteran, and other combat vets don’t accept him because he was “in the shit” for only thirty hours. But anyone who knows the story of what happened that day in Mogadishu can see that it was enough to traumatize anybody.

The Sun Interview

Through A Glass Darkly

Miriam Greenspan On Moving From Grief To Gratitude

Grief is a teacher. It tells us that we are not alone; that we are interconnected; that what connects us also breaks our hearts — which is as it should be. Most people who allow themselves to grieve fully develop an increased sense of gratitude for their own lives. That’s the alchemy: from grief to gratitude. None of us wants to go through these experiences, but they do bring us these gifts.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Giving Weight

One winter evening, when I was twenty-six years old and recovering from a long illness, I decided to go out dancing. I could have chosen another form of entertainment, I suppose — a movie or a meal out — but I chose contradancing because it would involve my body more than my mind, and my mind was what had gotten me into trouble.

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