Science of the Spirit
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Heart - Black

The baptism of grief

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Angel of Grief
We human beings are what we are in and through our relationships with an extensive and perhaps even infinite web of beings. This is a fragile and tremulous web, and our belonging to it means that any rupture in it, any loss, any passing, any tearing, wounds us. When these ruptures are deep and intimate, we suffer more than wounds. Relational creatures, faced with rupture, are compelled to die--die to their former selves. That is just what it means to be creatures who are made up of each other. We must learn to die often and die well.

Confronted by this irrevocability, we must grieve. Grieving is a baptism and tears the font in which we must be immersed. It is the work of experiencing loss when we would rather bypass it. Grieving is the work of dying to what once was and will no longer be again. Without suffering that baptism, there can be no new life.

Book

Book review of Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work

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© dauhieuthoidai.blogspot.com
I cannot recommend enough, to enough people, the book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Paul Babiak and Robert Hare. These authors, both highly qualified on the subject of psychopathy, walk us through, and so richly illustrate, not only with cutting-edge theory and research, but also vivid case studies, the "ABCs" of Psychopathy: No Anxiety; No Bonds; No Conscience. They also illustrate how the corporate world is increasingly a "target rich" environment for psychopaths. By the term "corporate world", they mean not only corporations, but other entities and institutions we increasingly find corporatized: politico-legal, sociocultural, educational, religious, etc..

As Robert Hare, inventor of the PCL-SV and PCL-R Checklists for Psychopathy put it:
"I always said that if I wasn't studying psychopaths in prison, I'd do so at the Stock Exchange."
The authors begin with explaining the typical behaviors and proclivities of what is referred to as the general "Anti-Social Personality Disorder" (APD) a diagnostic category found in the American Psychiatriac Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition" or "DSM- IV" and found among about 3% of the populations of most—not all-- cultures. They then go on to differentiate, through illustrations and case studies, psychopathy and sociopathy. According to the authors, psychopathy and sociopathy are closely related and overlapping: malignant narcissism; shallow affect; lack of empathy and remorse; sense of entitlement and being destined to rule others; grandiosity; predation; avoidance of taking personal responsibility when things go wrong; adept at manipulation, schmoozing, networking and conning; see other people as objects to be used and disposed of when no longer useful; charismatic; thrive on the edge but also calculatingly cautious; megalomania; cynical and facile deceit; inability to manifest a normal range of human emotions; etc.

Comment: To really grasp how a small number of psychopaths in positions of power can infect certain personalities and an entire society, see:


Sherlock

2,000 brain scans reveal vital structural differences in people with schizophrenia

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© Shutterstock
The brains of 2,028 people with schizophrenia were compared to healthy controls.

People with schizophrenia have smaller volumes in critical areas of the brain, a new study finds.

The research supports the idea that schizophrenia can be linked to disturbed brain development.

The areas affected include the hippocampus, which is involved in the formation of long-term memories.

Along with a smaller hippocampus, the amygdala and thalamus were also smaller in those with schizophrenia.

The amygdala processes emotion, while the thalamus regulates consciousness, sleep and alertness, amongst other functions.

The research compared brain scans of 2,028 people with schizophrenia with 2,540 healthy controls.

Comment: See also:


Bulb

The 'Muscle of the Soul' may be triggering your fear and anxiety

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The psoas muscle supports the spine as guide wires support a main tent pole." - Liz Koch, The Psoas Book
The psoas major muscle (pronounced "so-as") is often referred to as the deepest core, or as yoga therapist and film-maker Danielle Olson states, the "muscle of the soul." This core-stabilizing muscle located near the hip bone affects mobility, structural balance, joint function, flexibility, and much more. In addition to its function to help keep the body upright and moving, the psoas is believed to allow you to connect with the present moment especially when it is stretched out and tension is released from the body.

Research indicates that the psoas is vital to our psychological wellbeing in addition to structural health. Liz Koch, author of The Psoas Book, states that our psoas "literally embodies our deepest urge for survival, and more profoundly, our elemental desire to flourish." This means that there is a lot more to the psoas than one might initially think. It is entirely possible to harness healing pranic energy and improve mental health by keeping the psoas healthy.

Die

First Sight: Interview with parapsychologist James C. Carpenter


John C. Carpenter
In this, the second of the series of author interviews, I have the pleasure to interview Dr. James C. Carpenter, a clinical psychologist and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, who has a long track record in parapsychology. I met Jim some time in 1983 when I was visiting, I think in the Summer, the Institute for Parapsychology, part of the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man (now the Rhine Research Center).

Jim has published over the years many important experimental studies of ESP exploring psychological variables. In this interview I focus on what is probably his most important contribution to parapsychology, his First Sight Model. This theoretical model has been briefly discussed in articles (here, here, and here) and in greater detail in the book referred to in this interview: First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012; to order the book go here). While there have been other psychological models of ESP proposed before, Jim's is the most comprehensive one published and one that is well connected to the research literature of parapsychology as well as mainstream psychology.

2 + 2 = 4

What is character? Its 3 true qualities and how to develop it

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© Walt Stoneburner/Flickr

Character
. Like honor, it's a word we take for granted and probably have an affinity for, but likely have never really had to define and may struggle to do so when pressed. It's a word most men desire to have ascribed to them, and yet the standards of its attainment remain rather vague in our modern age.

It's certainly not a word that's used as much as it once was. Cultural historian Warren Susman researched the rise and fall of the concept of character, tracing its prevalence in literature and the self-improvement manuals and guides popular in different eras. What he found is that the use of the term "character" began in the 17th century and peaked in the 19th - a century, Susman, writes, that embodied "a culture of character." During the 1800s, "character was a key word in the vocabulary of Englishmen and Americans," and men were spoken of as having strong or weak character, good or bad character, a great deal of character or no character at all. Young people were admonished to cultivate real character, high character, and noble character and told that character was the most priceless thing they could ever attain. Starting at the beginning of the 20th century, however, Susman found that the ideal of character began to be replaced by that of personality.

But character and personality are two very different things.

2 + 2 = 4

What if everything you knew about disciplining kids was wrong?

Negative consequences, timeouts, and punishment just make bad behavior worse. But a new approach really works.

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© Tristan Spinski/GRAIN
June Arbelo, a second-grade teacher at Central School, comforts a student who wants to go home during the first day of school.
Leigh Robinson was out for a lunchtime walk one brisk day during the spring of 2013 when a call came from the principal at her school. Will, a third-grader with a history of acting up in class, was flipping out on the playground. He'd taken off his belt and was flailing it around and grunting. The recess staff was worried he might hurt someone. Robinson, who was Will's educational aide, raced back to the schoolyard.

Will was "that kid." Every school has a few of them: that kid who's always getting into trouble, if not causing it. That kid who can't stay in his seat and has angry outbursts and can make a teacher's life hell. That kid the other kids blame for a recess tussle. Will knew he was that kid too. Ever since first grade, he'd been coming to school anxious, defensive, and braced for the next confrontation with a classmate or teacher.

Control Panel

Understanding the cognitive biases that make us irrational

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© Bite Size Psych
When we walk through life, making our daily decisions — small or large — we probably don't realize how many things are clouding our objective judgment. These are typically called cognitive biases, or a way of thinking that is illogical or irrational, preventing us from getting the full picture.

There's a huge list of cognitive biases that social psychologists have defined, but a new Bite Size Psych video focuses on the top four: self-serving bias, cognitive fluency, sunk cost fallacy, and confirmation bias. These biases can impact the way we think, view ourselves, and stay in relationships or jobs — for better or worse, but usually the latter.


Self-serving bias sounds like what it is: it's a person's tendency to believe that any life successes can be attributed to their own talents and inherent value, while any failures are the consequence of external factors that we can't control. While many times this is the case, it's a biased way of preserving our own self-esteem. Learning to recognize this and be self-aware, however, will provide us with a good basis to take initiative and change our negative patterns.

Cognitive fluency is second, and it's the notion that easier ideas are considered more "true." For example, words that rhyme such as "Woes unite foes" appear more "true" to people than the phrase "Woes unite enemies," according to a study. Just because things appear new, shiny, and easy (such as plenty of products that are marketed that way) doesn't mean they're best for you.

Comment: We certainly like to think we are rational human beings when science shows that we are prone to many biases that cause us to act and think irrationally - convincing ourselves of what we believe, despite evidence to the contrary.

See also:


Book

Review: "Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection"

© SOTT.net/Red Pill Press
If you ever wanted to read a treatise about the importance of seeing reality over illusion, seeking the truth over lies, then this book is a must read.

Jet Stream meanderings, Gulf Stream slow-downs, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, meteor fireballs, tornadoes, deluges, sinkholes, and noctilucent clouds have been on the rise since the turn of the century. Have proponents of man-made global warming been proven correct, or is something else, something much bigger, happening on our planet? While mainstream science depicts these Earth changes as unrelated, Pierre Lescaudron applies findings from the Electric Universe paradigm and plasma physics to suggest that they might in fact be intimately related, and stem from a single common cause: the close approach of our Sun's 'twin' and an accompanying cometary swarm. Citing historical records, the author reveals a strong correlation between periods of authoritarian oppression with catastrophic and cosmically-induced natural disasters.

Referencing metaphysical research and information theory, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection is a ground-breaking attempt to re-connect modern science with ancient understanding that the human mind and states of collective human experience can influence cosmic and earthly phenomena. Covering a broad range of scientific fields, and lavishly illustrated with over 250 images and 1,000 sources, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, is presented in an accessible format for anyone seeking to understand the signs of our times.

Comment: Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection


Pyramid

Maintaining power: Closing the doors of perception

© www.keen.com
Changes in thinking, changes in perception.
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern." -William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

We, the people, are the foundation of a vast human pyramid, at the top of which comfortably rests a world elite that manipulates the human population and world events to broaden and maintain their power. The main agents of this global cartel are the banking elite, the military industrial complex, the medical establishment, the mainstream media, the entertainment industrial complex, and the hundreds of corrupt and co-opted world governments that act as henchmen and watchdogs for the unelected world rulers.

Over our heads they hang the constant specter of war, financial collapse, terrorism and pandemic disease, and to keep us from reacting to their deeds they enlist evermore advanced forms of mind control, biological control and social engineering.

Comment: There seems to be a correlation between walking in a "mine field" and how we live in our "mind field." If we are aware of the increasingly detrimental pitfalls of our societal manipulations, self-serving influences, increasing corruption and the dictates of an elitist agenda, we just might be able to chart a different, better path, via observation and knowledge, and remain mentally, physically and spiritually healthy enough to survive. And, if we can act, despite the constraints, for the betterment of mankind, we can make a difference. We are not powerless. We are not slaves. There is only one road: Truth. Awareness is the key. What's in your reality?