Deviated Transcendence

Deviated transcendence is a form of false transcendence that seeks transcendence in the wrong places—it is an immanent transcendence, like looking for God within the confines of one’s own fishbowl. It comes from an inner void that opens up when human desire seeks its fulfillment in places other than its divine and metaphysical origin. Real […]

Cancel Culture

So-called “Cancel culture” could be thought of as a modern-day form of bloodyless scapegoating—a scapegoating mechanism which, having lost its power because it has been exposed by Christian revelation, is a victim-making machine. No sooner than one person get cancelled and hashtags start trending on social media then another scapegoat is sought. Cancelled victims only […]

Mimetic Appetite

Mimetic appetite is a way to describe the power of mimesis as a kind of passion, to take a category from classical metaphysics. According to Thomas Aquinas, humans and the rest of creation have appetites that drive them toward their telos, or ultimate ends. Humans, though, are more complicated than any other kind of being […]

Positive Mimesis

The idea that there is such a thing as positive mimesis is a somewhat controversial one. Girard himself used the term “mimesis” (derived from the Greek) rather than “imitation” partly to disambiguate it from mere imitation. Mimesis is something that is usually, but not always, hidden. It easily and often leads to some sort of […]

Mimetic Decelerator

Things that decrease the speed and intensity of mimetic escalation and contagion: social distancing, human-centered technology design, and most long-standing cultural rules, prohibitions, and taboos. For the most part, democractic capitalism—at least when functioning well—has acted as a decelerant to mimetic violence to the extent that it has channeled mimetic desire into value-producing activities.

Mimetic Accelerator

Things that increase the speed and intensity of mimetic escalation and contagion: social media, addictive technology design, and the imprudent removal of necessary constraints such as long-standing cultural rules, prohibitions, and taboos. Certain forms of laissez-faire libertarianism act as mimetic accelerants. 


In mimetic theory, misrecognization refers to the tendency of people or groups caught up in the throes of mimetic desire to have their perception distorted and to misidentify people or things as the cause of their problems, as in the scapegoat mechanism. Girard uses the hard-to-translate French term méconnaissance. It means something like misrecognition, miscognition, […]

Thick Desire

Less mimetic desires which have had time to form and solidify over many years or during a formative experience that is at the core of a person’s life. Thick desires are more likely to have meaning. The core motivational drives revealed in Fulfillment Stories can help a person identify and cultivate thick desires.

Thin Desire

Thin desires are rooted in ephemeral, superficial things. They’re fleeting, mimetic desires that dominate most of life when it is lived unintentionally and easily infected by news, opinions, temporary emotions, and other less-permanent things.

Motivational Pattern

The pattern of cover motivational drive revealed in Fulfillment Stories. A person’s motivational pattern is the thread that runs throughout all of their Fulfillment Stories which, on the surface, can seem unrelated and unconnected. The motivational pattern is the hidden thread of motivational energy that has been running through a person’s life.