death

Artatomical: Joel-Peter Witkin's 'Harvest'

Reincarnation Blues

The metaphysics of reincarnation are nothing short of enthralling, from the notion of an immortal soul drifting through myriad life forms to the intimidating Wheel of Samsara with its heavenly and hellish realms. Why does this version of immortality appeal to us? And what, if anything, can science tell us about the survival of the soul? Join Robert and Julie for a rich discussion on the reincarnation. Image source: Godong/Universal Images Group/Getty

The Problem of Immortality: Terror Management Theory

Humans are haunted by death. It awaits us all with open arms and all we can do is dream of its blissful antithesis: immortality. And so we've constructed a fortress of ideas to protect us against the terror of impermanence: astral bodies, bodily resurrection, reincarnation and the immaterial soul. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie discuss the Terror Management Theory, which holds that fear of death and the quest for immortality command every facet of our lives. Discover how reminders of mortality affect or personal ethics and decision making, from the cash register to the voting booth.

Art Spotlight: Böcklin's Self-portrait with Death

Our podcast episode "The Problem of Immortality" explores the manner in which the terror of death and the quest for immortality define every facet of our lives. As such, I thought Arnold Böcklin's "Self-portrait with Death Playing the Fiddle" served as an excellent cover image.

The Meaning of Stonehenge

The Meaning of Stonehenge: Stonehenge remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of the ancient world. Was it a burial ground for aristocratic families, a Druid temple or pilgrimage for those observing the seasons?

Normalcy Bias and Psychogenic Death

Normalcy Bias and Psychogenic Death: Why do some people continue on with their normal lives when reality comes crashing down on them? Why don't they run for cover or try to jump ship? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Thanatosis: Playing Dead to Survive

Thanatosis: Playing Dead to Survive: There's more to playing dead that meets the eye. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the science of tonic immobility and thanatosis.

Behold the Life-Preserving Coffin

Robert considers an awesome 1843 casket design.

Is the human soul a bird, a chair or a teenager?

Robert blogs about the 1990 film "Soultaker," the mind-body problem and philosophy of the soul.