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14. Opiates That Civilize

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Chapter Summary

In terms of the hierarchical theory of time and stated in its shorthand, what people seek relief from, through the consolation of religions, is the tension between time felt and time understood. That tension is the subject of this chapter. The formulation that sees the tension between time felt and time understood as in need of “opiates of the people” permits the enlargement of the family of medications. The experience of time’s passage is intimately familiar, the idea of time is strangely elusive. The chapter examines the sources of that asymmetry in the evolutionary structuring of the cognitive capacities of the human brain. It draws attention to certain conflicts rooted in the differences between those cognitive capacities copresent in the mind and notes the importance of the humanities in the management of the conflicts.

Keywords: cognitive capacities; hierarchical theory of time; human brain



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