The world’s always ending (or how I stopped worrying and learned to love the end of the world)

The world’s always ending (or how I stopped worrying and learned to love the end of the world)

When I say the world’s always ending, I don’t mean that in an individual sense, that we’re all going to die – but that is true too, sorry about that. Hopefully not too soon. I mean it in a culturally conditioned sense.

At some point, every generation likes to feel that they’re the last one, that they stand at the fulcrum of history, their backs to the golden afternoon of the past as they face the dusk and apocalypse and the rapid slide of everything that they hold dear into the abyss.

Things fall apart. The end is nigh. No one here gets out alive.

We’re no different. Generation X, Y and Z are the same as the rest (do you know which one you are? If you’re a baby boomer you know it. But what if you’re a millennial, a post-millennial, or just a bit in the dataflow of the iGeneration? Are you, like me, a millennialist?).

In fact we feel it more acutely now, glued as we are to media outlets all day long.

Every minor movement becomes a seismic shift in the geopolitical landscape. The food chain’s been collapsing since the 60s and is now made entirely of GM HFCS, pesticides, steroids and plastic. Fingers that send out inflammatory and usually factually incorrect tweets have until recently hovered over nuclear buttons. Antibiotic resistant superbugs are cooked up in hospital bedpans by your local government. Terrorists’ only motivation is to terrorise. Viruses are species hopping, undetected and latently active, shutting down a city in the morning, the whole country by the afternoon. Take your pick.

That’s not even taking climate change into account, because of course that doesn’t exist, unless it’s a hoax made up by the Chinese in their downtime from creating the latest superpandemic or cyber assault. And what about the massive asteroid slingshotting in from Alpha Centuri that our scant telescopic coverage of the Southern hemisphere is failing to spot? The comet fragments from the Pleiades floating in from behind the sun? And is that distant rumbling the super volcano that’s about to shake the San Andreas fault apart?

The doomsday clock is ticking, and each second it ticks closer to midnight is heralded with the explosion of a new headline in the continuous media bombardment.

Maybe it stems from the fact that life has always been precarious. How about this: as us humans evolved, and hacked our way out of the natural world, over the carcasses of sabre-toothed tiger and megafauna, into the blue-lit glare of civilisation, we lost one of our fundamental anxieties – being eaten by something bigger than us. That’s a fairly basic fear, predatory death anxiety, a fear that anyone who’s seen Jaws and has been swimming in a less than crystal clear sea can relate to. Maybe we’ve replaced the fear of being something’s lunch with the fear that the world is coming to an end.

Now that we’re firmly at the apex, and no other species can knock us down, all that’s left to fear is that everything’s going to collapse out from underneath us.

Food for worms

Or maybe it’s simpler than that. Maybe it’s just that we can’t quite get our heads round the idea that our life is finite, that our consciousness which is so remarkable, so currently mysterious and apparently unique will suddenly and unexpectedly, according to science’s best guess, blink out of existence forever. A fear of the end of the world is just a placeholder for our basic anxiety about death.

Ernest Becker puts it like this:

“What does it mean to be a self-conscious animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. It means to know that one is food for worms. This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression and with all this yet to die.”

Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

Maybe this terror has compounded and found its expression in a kind of shared end of the world anxiety. It’s more of an obsession than an anxiety. But it’s a way of giving the most unknown and least predictable part of your life – its end – some excitement and meaning.

When you’re young and if you’re lucky, you dream of a life of adventure and purpose. The reality is rent payments (or mortgage statements if you’re really lucky), pension contributions, and your transformation into an unexpectedly accurate impression of your parents. All you’ve got to look forward to is physical deterioration, cognitive decline and the loneliness imposed by the inability to adapt to technological advancement. Our global market-driven culture doesn’t really value old people: they don’t drive growth, they don’t like change and they’re usually not early adopters of anything except for mealtimes. 

So the end of the world holds the possibility for a last chance at adventure, albeit one that might involve a lot violence, sickness, starvation and/or a slow death from radiation poisoning.

But popular culture has given us countless ways to romanticise it, constructing endless narratives through the End Times, dangerous roads that we can walk if we survive, giving us ultimate meaning to existence: the need to perpetuate the human race.

And it’s Meaning on a cosmic scale. What can be more important than the continuation of the species? It all suddenly makes sense why everything has been created and refined through millennia of natural selection if you and your motley crew, the Survivors, the Afflicted, have been selected by Fate to make sure it all carries on. That’s enough meaning to make sense of whatever petty trials and tribulations that you might have faced in your life so far, all the bad first dates, boring office meetings and missed birthday party invitations.

It’s got a biblical and mythological president, so even though it’s still with us in popular culture it’s not a new thing. There are stories of terrible floods and their survivors in many ancient cultures.

Death anxiety has a fancy academic name, thanatophobia, from Thanatos Greek god of death. Everyone has it to a greater or lesser degree.

Freud, however, writing on the brink of World War One, was convinced that no one could believe in their own death. He believed that this went down to the level of the unconscious, “the deepest strata of our minds,” which “knows nothing that is negative, or negation,” so death, the ultimate in negation was impossible to conceptualise. Any fear of death, he purported, “is usually the outcome of a sense of guilt.” 1 Typical Freud. Of course he’ll bring your parents into it next.

The Afflicted

From a yogic perspective, death anxiety or thanatophobia is a “poison.” It is one of the kleshas, which literally means poison, but is usually translated as “causes of affliction”, and although the word has earlier precedents and has parallels in Buddhism, they feature heavily in the Yoga Sutra and its commentary.

Death anxiety is the last on a list of five kleshas. In some ways it’s the culmination of the other four. The Sanskrit is abhinivesha, which is most often translated as “the will to live,” or sometimes more piously, “clinging to life,” rather than “fear of death,” and it appears in the ninth verse of the second pada. Translations of the Yoga Sutra tend to use the idiom of their time, so even if you take apart the Sanskrit, it can sometimes help to look at how others have pieced it back together to make sense of it.

स्वरस्वाहि विदुषोऽपि समारूढोऽभिनिवेशः

svarasvāhi viduṣo-‘pi samārūḍho-‘bhiniveśaḥ

Yoga Sutra 2.9

B.K.S. Iyengar’s translation in Core of the Yoga Sutras is, “The subtlest of all afflictions is attachment to life and fear of death… This type of attachment does not even leave the wisest of the wise men.” 2

“Abhinivesha” doesn’t contain the root words for “fear” or “death” even, but denotes a quality that is completely penetrating from all sides, and one that even the knowledgeable are dominated by. The inference is that it doesn’t matter how smart you are, everyone is afraid to die.

The psychology of death

The branch of psychology which looks at why humans fear death has the catchy name of Terror Management Theory. It’s based on the work of the above quoted Ernest Becker, a Pulitzer prize-winning cultural anthropologist, and Otto Rank, a contemporary of Freud. It was developed experientially in the 1980s.

Fear of death is apparently rooted in self-preservation, or a survival instinct, something that we share with all other species. Unlike any other species, however, we’re aware that we’re going to die, and that our attempts at self-preservation will ultimately fail. The incompatibility of these positions creates the potential for paralysing terror. 3

I don’t know if I entirely buy this, but let’s stick with it and see. Who knows what your unconscious is doing?

Most of us aren’t afflicted by a paralysing terror that we’re going to die on a daily basis and, according to the theory, this is because there are mechanisms in place which act as a kind of buffer – a cultural worldview and self-esteem. The cultural worldview is exactly what it sounds like: a set of beliefs about the nature of the world (in the sense of the whole of reality – not just Planet Earth) shared by a group of individuals which provide meaning to the experience of living life. It may include something about an afterlife – whether by legacy, or promised paradise, or whatever. Self-esteem is one’s sense of self-worth, partly in relation to how well life is being lived in accordance with the standards of the worldview.

Proponents of terror management theory have done experiments to show how self-esteem is negatively correlated with anxiety (both general and death-related), and how reminding people of their own mortality makes them more likely to evaluate those that support their worldview positively.

In other words, people with higher self-esteem are less anxious in general, but also specifically less anxious about death, and if you’re reminded that you’re going to die, you feel more inclined to want to hangout with people who share your view of the world. 4


Interestingly (at least I hope you find it interesting, because presumably if you found it boring, you’d have stopped reading about a thousand words ago), self-esteem is connected to another of the kleshas, asmitā. Asmitā is often translated as “I-am-ness” or “ego,” although the latter is a term too often loaded with the inflexible legacy of Freud’s psychoanalytic triumvirate or the cabin carry-on baggage of modern spiritual one-upmanship to be that useful.



Yoga Sutra 2.6

Edwin Bryant’s translation of 2.6, the above sutra which discusses asmitā, is “Ego is to consider the nature of the seer and the nature of the instrumental power of seeing to be the same things.” 5 In other words, it’s a kind of over-identification with sensory input and the patterns that the input forms in the mind as a whole.

Self-esteem in itself isn’t “ego”. It’s a part of the psychology of self-identity, the part that evaluates your self-perception. For instance, if part of your conception of yourself is that you think you’re good at planning for the End of the World, it’s the part that tells you that you feel good about how well organised your bug out bag is. So it’s definitely a component of your ego, and part of what the Yoga Sutra says is a misidentification of the “seer” to the “instrumental power of seeing.” The body and mind, the “instrumental power of seeing,” the agent that bought all that 60% alcohol hand sanitiser and the extra high voltage taser isn’t the same as the “seer.”

One of the big questions of Yoga and Buddhism is what is the identity of the “seer.” (spoiler alert – they come up with slightly different answers. You have to come up with your own answer. Or just copy someone else’s).

But an increase in self-esteem, a strengthening of asmitā seems to reduce abhinivesha, the fear of death. You increase one klesha, another one goes down a bit. One poison acts as an antidote for another.

If you take Terror Management Theory at its word (even though we shall see there are good reasons not to), does it seem that there’s something incompatible with the idea that the kleshas are sources of affliction? What about the rest of them?

Attachment and aversion

There are two which are complementary to each other, rāga and dvesa, and they’re also prominent in other spiritual traditions. They are two of what Mayahana Buddhism refers to as the Three Poisons, and constituents of the Unwholesome Mental Factors that Buddhist psychology identifies – aspects of the mind which have the ability to negatively impact the state of the mind. In other words they’ve always been red flags from a spiritual standpoint.

As always, the way the words are translated makes all the difference. Rāga and dvesa are usually translated as attachment and aversion. Language being what it is, these two same words have been used to describe aspects of human (and animal) psychology. Aspects which, since the time of the writing of the Yoga Sutra, have both been found to be incredibly important to the development of a healthy psyche. Furthermore, they have played a part in the successful adaptability of countless species from an evolutionary standpoint.

At their root, these two poisons are fundamental to human interaction, rather than causing affliction.

Attachment theory in psychology rests on the basic idea that for a child to develop normally in social and emotional terms, they need to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver.6 It was a theory developed by John Bowlby, based in part on an experiment on mother-child bonding conducted on monkeys in 1958 by Harry Harlow. The famous and never to be repeated experiment overturned the prevalent Behvaviousralist idea of the time, that a child gets attached to its mother only because that’s who feeds them. It ended up producing a lot of neurotic and unhappy Rhesus monkeys in the process. Forced maternal deprivation is pretty harsh all round.7 The vegans have a point here.

As the mind is developing, it needs a sense of connectedness to someone else in order to be able to establish healthy connections or relationships in the future. It sounds like it makes a lot of sense. If you’ve ever spent any time with a small animal, human or otherwise, that seems really obvious.

Bowlby saw attachment as a product of evolutionary processes. If a child was inclined to maintain proximity to a caregiver and to seek them out when frightened or anxious, they’d be more likely to survive.

The power of aversion is also part of our evolutionary make-up. Mark Schaller has coined the term the Behavioural Immune System which, he puts it, is “characterized by mechanisms that facilitate adaptive psychological responses to perceptual cues connoting the presence of pathogens in the immediate perceptual environment.” 8 Don’t worry if that didn’t make sense to you in one read through.

In other words, as well as having an immune system that fights off infection reactively when it shows up in the body, animals (humans included) have a proactive kind of immune system whereby they actively avoid things which look like they might be a source of infection. It’s based on the emotion disgust, a prime factor in aversion. That’s why you instinctively turn away when someone coughs on a crowded train without covering their mouth. This reaction happens in normal times, but has been supercharged during the time of pandemic.

It’s a completely instinctive form of aversion which has conferred fitness benefits on generations of all of our ancestors. Female mice respond aversively to the smell of male mice infested with worms. 9 Bullfrog tadpoles avoid swimming near infected ones, and wood ants collect coniferous resin to protect themselves against pathogens10 11.

Rāga and dvesa

I’ve used some quite specific concepts associated with the words attachment and aversion to suggest that, from an evolutionary standpoint, they’re quite important qualities and seem to prevent suffering rather than causing affliction. But is this a deliberate misreading of the text just to make a point? Am I twisting it up to play a slightly suspect devil’s advocate?

If we look at the original text, it might be possible to get a better understanding of what rāga and dvesa mean in the context of the Yoga Sutra. It might not be though. The Yoga Sutra is pretty hard to understand and is notoriously economical with its language. “Terse” is a word used to describe it most of the time.

सुखानुशयी रागः

sukha-anuśayī rāgaḥ 

Yoga Sutra 2.7

This basically translates as “pleasure or happiness” (sukha) “accompanying” (anushayi) “attraction” (rāga). You see: not a lot to go on. The same applies to the verse on aversion:

दुःखानुशयी द्वेषः

duḥkha-anuśayī dveṣaḥ

Yoga Sutra 2.8

“Pain” (dukha) “accompanying” (anushayi) aversion (“rāga”). So maybe the attachment and aversion aren’t inherently problematic in themselves, it’s just that the associated sukha or dukha that they generate are the sources of affliction.

Then you’re left in a kind of chicken and egg situation. Repeated pleasure or pain overtime conditions a response of either attachment or aversion on the most fundamental level. It’s hard to imagine how you could separate attachment from pleasure or aversion from pain. 

And perhaps this is what the Yoga Sutra is highlighting. By drawing attention to it, it raises the question of whether you can unlink the response. Can pleasure be experienced without becoming attached to it, and can pain be accepted without developing mechanisms to preemptively avoid it? Because living a life that is run purely by pleasure-seeking or pain-avoiding behaviour can quite reasonably be seen as life overrun by kleshas. It’s no fun for anyone involved. But it’s a complicated question, because these same fundamental drives provide evolutionary fitness benefits which have meant we’re the humans that we are. They’ve got us to this point.

And they’ll keep us going when it’s the actual end of the world . I mean if it is.

Terror Management Problems

It turns out Terror Management Theory might have a few holes in it anyway. It’s built on the idea that humans – and other species – possess a basic survival instinct. Sometimes this is how abhinivesha, that first klesha that we encountered, is translated in the literature. It’s the survival instinct butting up against the knowledge that life will end that causes the fear of death.

Evolutionary psychologists aren’t convinced by Terror Management Theory (are you?) in large part because of what it’s built on: from an evolutionary standpoint, a survival instinct doesn’t make sense. It’s one of those things that intuitively feels right – we tend to avoid the danger of death where we can – but in reality, it doesn’t hold up. The driving force behind evolutionary change isn’t that each generation lives a long time, rather that they can successfully reproduce and pass on their advantageous genes. It’s therefore implausible that natural selection would have created a generalised survival instinct. 

Of course living longer gives you more opportunities to reproduce, but rather than having a generalised survival instinct, humans have numerous specialised physiological systems and mechanisms designed to solve specific survival problems faced by their ancestors in their particular ecological context.12 What passes for a survival instinct in the poison frog infested marshes of the lowlands will be different from the windswept valleys of the high mountains. The main fears and phobias that modern humans have developed – snakes, spiders, darkness, heights and strangers – are a good indication of what the biggest hazards to survival were in human ancestral environments.13

However, fear of death, or abhinivesha, is a real thing, regardless of whether it is generated from a generalised survival instinct or not, and it seems there is some manipulation of it through changes in self-esteem. Evolutionary psychologists are more inclined to ascribe these manipulations, and the other part of the buffer against the fear of death, a cultural worldview, to the advantages of social inclusion. Acquiring social support would have significant fitness consequences in the face of the most common causes of death in ancestral environments: illness, disease, bodily harm and starvation.14 You’re more likely to die if you go it alone, especially if you’ve got a broken ankle, or are weak from only eating the bugs you’ve found curled up under rocks and nothing else for weeks on end. 

But successfully acquiring and maintaining social support is most likely enabled by an increase and consolidation of asmitā, I-am-ness, and allowing yourself to be pushed and pulled about by raga and dvesa.

In other words, how do you make sense of the kleshas when they seem to be so incoherent? Or why are the characteristics that the Yoga Sutra identifies as the causes of human suffering so inextricably connected to our evolutionary make-up?

The big one

By far the most column inches are given to avidyā in the Yoga Sutra. In fact Patanjali explicitly states that the other kleshas all emerge from this main klesha, avidyā, which is usually translated as “ignorance.” Ignorance, however, isn’t entirely accurate, but it packs more of a punch than the more literal translation of “non-knowledge” or a word that is rarely ever used if understood, “nescience.”


[ nesh-uhns, nesh-ee-uhns]
1. lack of knowledge; ignorance.
2. agnosticism.

First recorded in 1605–15; from Late Latin nescientia “ignorance,” from nescient-, the stem of nesciēns, present participle of nescīre “to be ignorant, not to know,” equivalent to ne- “not” + scientia “knowledge” (yeah – you have to pay $$ for the OED…)

To break it down: the “a” part of avidyā is a negation, and “vidya” means science, knowledge or learning and has the same proto-Indo-European root as the word “video” which we get from Latin, videre, “to see.” So you could think of avidya as meaning something along the lines of not seeing or misperception. Vyasa in his commentary on the Yoga Sutra is more emphatic: rather than being “non-knowledge,” it is “wrong knowledge.”  

The Yoga Sutra unpacks it as follows:

अनित्याअशुचिदुःखानात्मसु नित्यशुचिसुखाअत्मख्यातिरविद्या

anityā-aśuci-duḥkha-anātmasu nitya-śuci-sukha-ātmakhyātir-avidyā

Yoga Sutra 2.5

Which defines avidyā as seeing things which are anitya (“non-eternal”), ashuchi (“impure”), duhkha (“pain”) as nitya (“eternal”), shuchi (“pure”) and sukha (“happy”), seeing the not-self as the self.

This then makes sense of the deliberate confusion I’ve been making of all the other kleshas: anything that seems counter-intuitive can be put down to avidyā. Anything that values a worldly understanding of humanity can be considered a misperception, of taking something that is actually duhkha and thinking it’s sukha. The attachment of the mother-child relationship (or “primary caregiver-child relationship” which doesn’t have quite the same ring) that is so important for healthy brain development and the resulting stable adult psychology might seem sukha, but it’s really duhkha. It’s impure and non-eternal. In fact everything connected to the world is duhkha.

This is quite a hard lesson, and it is at the heart of the philosophy of the Yoga Sutra, expressed more fully in sutra 2.15, which Taimni translates as:

“To the people who have developed discrimination all is misery on account of the pains resulting from change, anxiety and tendencies, as also on account of the conflicts between the functioning of the Gunas and the Vrttis (of the mind).” 15

The people who have developed discrimination, the vivekinah, those no longer affliceted by the kleshas, see the world for what it is, a source of suffering. All the good stuff and all the bad stuff, it’s all a source of suffering. 

How far you want to buy into this ascetic worldview, one that champions the renunciation of everything you might otherwise value, depends on how far you’ve experienced the potential power of the underpinning of the philosophy. In other words, as an intellectual exercise, it falls flat on its face, you can’t make sense of it by trying to reason through it, and of course doing that, as I have been, is just avidyā in action.

It is a standpoint which lends itself to a world-denying aloofness and spiritual nihilism, which in the wrong context leads to the justification of much more suffering. But that’s the story of most religions, and definitely for another day.

The evolution of avidyā

The idea of avidyā, of misperception on a grand scale, is one that has been picked up by philosophers and researchers since Patanjali encoded it into the Yoga Sutra, albeit under different names. Kant’s transcendental idealism, expounded in the Critique of Pure Reason, proposes the view that we can’t experience the world as it really is. Objects in the world (which he calls “things in themselves”) provide the sensory data that our mind uses to construct the perception of the objects – but these perceptions aren’t the objects themselves. If we can only experience the world through these perceptions, through products of the mind, we can’t really experience the true nature of things in themselves, of the reality around us.

Cognitive science has developed this idea. The world we see is constructed by processes in the brain. Perceptual systems use Bayesian estimation, or suitable approximations, to construct the properties and structure of the world around us from sensory data. Vision, for instance, combines many probabilistic sources of information to come up with what we see.16 In other words, what we perceive is constructed from information that comes in, with a fair bit of mathematical modelling to fill in the gaps. The brain has to do a lot of work to turn a binocular input which has shading and textures and blind spots into something that seems like a seamless and perfectly edited movie.

The Interface Theory of Perception

Donald Hoffman takes this to a semi-logical conclusion in what he calls the Interface Theory of Perception, adding an evolutionary drive to what you could term our essential avidya. He uses the now quite well worn analogy of the graphical user interface (GUI) of a computer to describe the disparity between what we see and interact with and what is actually there.

When you open your computer, most of us are presented with a desktop covered in little icons which are the files and photos on your computer – this is the GUI. They look a certain shape and colour and are in a particular location on the screen, but the actual files are not that shape and colour or in that location. It is a system of representation that is very useful to manipulate the information on the computer, but isn’t an accurate representation of how the information is stored and interacted with.

Our perceptual systems are the same – what we see isn’t exactly what’s there, it’s a representation that’s easy to interact with.

Hoffman argues that the interface theory of perception predicts that each species has its own interface, and that the interfaces have been tailored to guide adaptive behaviour in each species’ ecological niche. Competition between and within species exploits strengths and weaknesses in the interfaces which eventually leads to their adaptive evolution.17 

The argument is that selection for the interface favours fitness rather than veracity. Evolution doesn’t make perceptual systems accurately represent reality, rather we’re shown no more than what has enabled us to survive and reproduce – and no less.

Our understanding of the world is therefore based, on “wrong knowledge,” on avidya, and is bound to cause suffering.

Is that why we’re convinced that the world is always about to come to an end? Is that why we’re currently and continually mid-apocalypse?

  1. Freud, 1915, Thoughts for the Times of Death and War
  2. BKS Iyengar, 2012, Core of the Yoga Sutras
  3. Eddie Harmon-Jones, Linda Simon, Jeff Greenberg, Tom Pyszczynski, 1997, Terror Management Theory and Self-Esteem: Evidence That Increased Self-Esteem Reduces Mortality Salience Effects, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  4. Eddie Harmon-Jones, Linda Simon, Jeff Greenberg, Tom Pyszczynski, 1997, Terror Management Theory and Self-Esteem: Evidence That Increased Self-Esteem Reduces Mortality Salience Effects, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  5. Edwin Bryant, 2009, The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary
  6. John Bowlby, 1969, Attachment and Loss
  7. Harry F. Harlow, 1958, The Nature of Love, American Psychologist
  8. Mark Schaller, 2011, The behavioural immune system and the psychology of human sociality, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
  9. Kavaliers M., Colwell D. D. 1995, Odours of parasitized males induce aversive responses in female mice, Animal Behaviour
  10. Kiesecker J. M., Skelly D. K., Beard K. H., Preisser E. 1999, Behavioral reduction of infection risk, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  11. Chapuisat M., Oppliger A., Magliano P., Christe P. 2007, Wood ants use resin to protect themselves against pathogens, Proceedings of the Royal Society B
  12. Lee A. Kirkpatrick, Carlos David Navarrete, 2006, Reports of My Death Anxiety Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: A Critique of Terror Management Theory from an Evolutionary Perspective, Psychological Inquiry
  13. David M Buss, 1997, Human Social Motivation in Evolutionary Perspective: Grounding Terror Management Theory, Psychological Inquiry
  14. Lee A. Kirkpatrick, Carlos David Navarrete, 2006, Reports of My Death Anxiety Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: A Critique of Terror Management Theory from an Evolutionary Perspective, Psychological Inquiry
  15. IK Taimni, 1961, The Science of Yoga
  16. Donald D. Hoffman, 2009, The Interface Theory of Perception: Natural Selection Drives True Perception to Swift Extinction, Cambridge University Press
  17. Donald D. Hoffman, 2009, The Interface Theory of Perception: Natural Selection Drives True Perception to Swift Extinction, Cambridge University Press

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