Science of the Spirit


Psi Co-therapy: Using Psi in the therapeutic process

If the overall goal for any therapist is to aid a client in understanding and managing psychological issues, let’s apply the same framework to the psychic “couch.”
In an exquisitely written memoir, Tales from a Traveling Couch, psychotherapist Dr. Robert U. Akeret begins and ends with a basic thesis: Did my psychotherapy practice truly make a difference in my client's lives?

With an in-depth exploration of five of his most memorable clients, Akeret takes readers through the trials and tribulations of each person, highlighting his approach during their therapy and discussing his choices throughout. By the end, having revisited each person and witnessing them firsthand in their present life circumstances, his conclusion is ambiguous: Probably, yes. There is evidence that therapy helped. But could Akeret "prove" that his therapy worked? Well, of course not. As with any experiential social science, there is no way to prove or disprove the validity of the practice, except to subjectively note "progress."

As any psi practitioner will explain, receiving and sharing psychic information will never be an exact science, at least not with our current view of what "science" means. Information comes through in imagery, often symbolic, as well as in perceived sound, smell, taste, or a specific feeling. Because these senses are intrinsically subjective, a psychic should be thought of as an artist who, much like a painter or sculptor, is responding to a unique, personal experience of inspiration and insight.

Comment: For more information, see 'Spirit release' is a different kind of therapy
"According to some psychiatrists or psychologists, this new therapy works better than what they learned in medical or graduate school. They tell us that too often drug therapy only masks symptoms, and talk therapy reaches only as deep as the patient's conscious mind can go. But "spirit release" usually heals, often permanently.Not only does it heal the client; it heals the attached (or "possessing") spirit."
See also SOTT Talk Radio show #50: Sunday, January 26th, 2014: Spirit Release & Soul Therapy: Interview with Patrick Rodriguez & Heather Hayes


Why verbal tee-ups like 'to be honest' often signal insincerity

James W. Pennebaker, of the University of Texas, Austin, says these phrases are a form of dishonesty
© Adam Doughty
Use of conversational 'tee-ups' can obscure what you are trying to say, but also may signal that you are being insincere
A friend of mine recently started a conversation with these words: "Don't take this the wrong way..."

I wish I could tell you what she said next. But I wasn't listening - my brain had stalled. I was bracing for the sentence that would follow that phrase, which experience has taught me probably wouldn't be good.

Certain phrases just seem to creep into our daily speech. We hear them a few times and suddenly we find ourselves using them. We like the way they sound, and we may find they are useful. They may make it easier to say something difficult or buy us a few extra seconds to collect our next thought.

Yet for the listener, these phrases are confusing. They make it fairly impossible to understand, or even accurately hear, what the speaker is trying to say.

Do schizophrenics live in a parallel universe?

The Anomalist posted a link to an article in Psychology Tomorrow titled Do Schizophrenics live in Parallel Universes?.

In Quantum physics, objects can exist in different states at the same time. You know, Schrödinger's cat and all that stuff. Today, psychologists are poking around with an interesting theory about schizophrenics and their mental states and the galactic complexity of Parallel Universe theories.

Do schizophrenics live in multiple Universes?

Dr. Joseph Valks' blog explains it a hell of a lot better:

Usually sufferers only have a single personality, but could they, in fact, be living in parallel universes? As we are not physically aware of other universes their existences is purely theoretical and, therefore, open to conjecture. Quantum objects can exist in different states and it can be argued that each different state belongs to a different world. This would imply a multiverse. This idea has been extended even further to cover actions with more than one possible outcome. If the theory is correct then each possible outcome is in a different but parallel universe. So could schizophrenics actually be spanning more than one reality-state at once?

String theory proposes that our universe is like a bubble existing alongside similar parallel universes and the parallel universes may come into contact with one another. This results in a big bang similar to the one that started our universe.

Two brains running: Thinking fast and slow

thinking fast and slow
© David Plunkert
In 2002, Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel in economic science. What made this unusual is that Kahneman is a psychologist. Specifically, he is one-half of a pair of psychologists who, beginning in the early 1970s, set out to dismantle an entity long dear to economic theorists: that arch-rational decision maker known as Homo economicus. The other half of the dismantling duo, Amos Tversky, died in 1996 at the age of 59. Had Tversky lived, he would certainly have shared the Nobel with Kahneman, his longtime collaborator and dear friend.

Human irrationality is Kahneman's great theme. There are essentially three phases to his career. In the first, he and Tversky did a series of ingenious experiments that revealed twenty or so "cognitive biases" - unconscious errors of reasoning that distort our judgment of the world. Typical of these is the "anchoring effect": our tendency to be influenced by irrelevant numbers that we happen to be exposed to. (In one experiment, for instance, experienced German judges were inclined to give a shoplifter a longer sentence if they had just rolled a pair of dice loaded to give a high number.) In the second phase, Kahneman and Tversky showed that people making decisions under uncertain conditions do not behave in the way that economic models have traditionally assumed; they do not "maximize utility." The two then developed an alternative account of decision making, one more faithful to human psychology, which they called "prospect theory." (It was for this achievement that Kahneman was awarded the Nobel.) In the third phase of his career, mainly after the death of Tversky, Kahneman has delved into "hedonic psychology": the science of happiness, its nature and its causes. His findings in this area have proved disquieting - and not just because one of the key experiments involved a deliberately prolonged colonoscopy.
Arrow Up

Discovery of quantum vibrations inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness

© MR McGill.
Is your brain connected to the universe at a quantum level?
The recent discovery of quantum vibrations inside neurons in the brain supports a controversial theory of consciousness.

If correct, it might lead to new treatments for many different conditions, it is claimed in a new review of the evidence by Hameroff and Penrose (2013).

The theory - which implies the brain is connected to the universe at a quantum level - was first proposed in the 1990s, but it suffered extensive criticism.

One major point against it was that the brain was thought to be too "warm, wet and noisy" for coherent quantum processes.

Recent evidence, though, from researchers led by Anirban Bandyopadhyay has found the proposed quantum vibrations inside microtubules within brain neurons.

These microtubules are components of cell scaffolding - they help provide our cells with their structure - that are around 25µm in length.

New drug can erase memories

© filterforge/Flickr.
Researchers reported that an HDAC2 inhibitor could remove traumatic memories from rats.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition often caused by a traumatic experience that involves symptoms such as severe anxiety. One of the most common treatment options for PTSD is psychotherapy, which reenacts the traumatic experience for the patient in a safe and controlled environment. Now, according to a new study, researchers identified a drug that has the potential to improve the treatment of PTSD.

For this study, neuroscientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) examined the effects of a type of drug called an HDAC2 inhibitor. This type of drug can make the brain more malleable. The researchers found that when rats were given the HDAC2 inhibitor, the rats' traumatic memories could be removed. The researchers believe that if this drug were to be given to patients who did not respond well to psychotherapy, the effects of therapy would ideally be improved.
Eye 1

We all have three eyes - one of them is inside the head

© Shutterstock
A woman having a massage, with the masseuse working on a chakra long held by Eastern philosophies to have great spiritual power and also to be related to the pineal body in the brain.
The pineal gland in the human brain has the structure of an eye. It has cells that act as light receptors, as the retina does. It has a structure comparable to the vitreous - a gel-like substance between the retina and lens of the eye. It has a structure similar to a lens.

Scientists are still learning much about the pineal body, known in both Eastern spiritualism and Western philosophy as the seat of human consciousness. A bundle of nerve fibers connects it to the posterior commissure, another part of the brain that is not well-understood.

For many years, scientists have recognized the similarities between the pineal body and the eyes. In 1919, Frederick Tilney and Luther Fiske Warren wrote that the similarities listed above prove the pineal gland was formed to be light-sensitive and possibly to have other visual capabilities.

There's a monkey in your mind, and his name is Trevor

© CptnDerp,
'Fight your inner demons'
4 billion years of evolution is not easily overcome, but human history is littered with examples of individuals who said, "No", to their inner ape, their instincts. It can be done. The trick is to SEE it first. Then you can resist.

If you want to punch someone in the face for knocking your beer over, thy name be Trevor. If you want to punch someone because you're bored, you may as well wear a monkey suit. If you believe all the priest says and don't wanna think for yourself, it's not a coincidence that Trevor feels the same. If your heart is broken and you want your abusive ex-boyfriend or abusive ex-girlfriend back, that's Trevor messing with you.

He'll do anything, torture you if necessary, to get you to multiply (doesn't feel like that's what's going on, but Trevor's clever like that). The first step to easing a problem is admitting there IS a problem. And it's name is often "Trevor".

A comment that sums up what I was trying to say in just a few words.
"The more I learn, the more I think and reason, the weaker Trevor becomes. You can't kill Trevor, but you can become your own master."

¬ macnutz

Why psychopathic film villains are rarely realistic - and why it matters

© Unknown
Norman Bates: not the typical psychopath

Many of film's most memorable villains, from Tony Camonte in Scarface (1932) to Norman Bates in Psycho (1960) to Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men (2007), have been portrayed as psychopaths.

But just how clinically realistic are those portrayals?

Not very - with a handful of exceptions, according to a paper published recently in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

This finding is of interest to more than just film buffs. Other research has shown that films exert a strong influence on people's perceptions of mental illness.

And those perceptions are often wrong. A study published earlier this year found that almost half of respondents to two surveys taken last January believed that people with a serious mental illness are more dangerous than members of the general population. In reality, however, less than 5 percent of individuals with a serious mental illness become violent. They are much more likely, in fact, to be the victim of a violent crime.

Psychopaths in power: The Parasite on the Human Super-organism

I was reading another devastating commentary by American author Chris Hedges on the overbearing tyranny of the State, and it got me to thinking about this popular notion of "rising up against" oppressors. Hedges' analysis is on target, but I feel that his conclusion that we must "tear it down" in order to escape it is lacking something important.

To 'rise up against our oppressors', to 'take back the country', and to 'overthrow the ruling class' assumes that they are 'up there' to begin with. Yes, in many ways they are. Through their domination of industry, government, media, education and so on, they invariably influence - control even - just about everything material in our world; they possess most of the wealth, work in high-rise buildings, live in elevated suburbs and generally look down from their rarefied vantage point on the masses slumming it out below.

But when it comes to the important things - moral character, worldly experience, creative abilities, and basic intelligence - what do they really possess? Few, if any of these things. In fact, I think we can make the case that, psychologically-speaking, they are actually pretty far 'down there' on the scale of haves and have-nots.

Ok, so they certainly set no moral example to follow. Well, what then do we need the State for? Standard political theory teaches that the State is the final arbiter of contracts between people, without which there would be lawless chaos. Left unto themselves, claimed schizoids like Thomas Hobbes, life for humans would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." I'm not so sure. In fact, I'm beginning to think it's the other way around: life is brutish for most because of the State.