I have a friend called Rob, who suffers from what is today called paranoid schizophrenia. He was diagnosed when he was 17 or so, after a psychotic breakdown on LSD. He and I had first taken LSD together when we were 15, and it messed us both up – I had social anxiety and post-traumatic Read more…

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John-Henry Carter is the most successful captain of Oxford rugby team ever, the only captain to lead the team to three successive victories in the Varsity match. The former flanker attributes that success not to his speed or his 6ft 3 frame, but to his training in psychodynamic therapy and existentialist philosophy. After graduating, John Read more…

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I’ve spent a pleasant couple of days reading Carl Jung, looking particularly at his ideas on the shadow and how symbols can act as mediators between the unconscious and conscious. The reading is in preparation for a Radio 4 thing I’m doing tomorrow, part of its History of Ideas series. The theme for the next Read more…

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I was watching Rev the other day. It’s a sitcom about a beleaguered inner-city priest, played by Tom Hollander. This series, Rev has been facing all kinds of trials. In the Easter episode, things get really bad. Adam’s reputation is rock-bottom, his church is facing closure, and he finds himself on a hill overlooking London, Read more…

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DH Lawrence was my favourite author when I was an adolescent, ever since my grandmother gave me my grandfather’s editions of his complete works. I loved the way Lawrence described ordinary Midlands life with an Old Testament reverence, the depth of inner life he accorded to Ursula in The Rainbow, how he followed her soul Read more…

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