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Wed, 29 Mar 2017
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit


Don't be a helicopter parent! Autonomous tots have higher cognitive skills

© TheOtherNate
Researchers look at how mothers support their babies' autonomy and the effect on executive functioning.

This news release is available in French.

Higher cognitive skills are found in the children of mothers who are consistently able to support the development of their baby's sense of autonomy, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Montreal. The researchers specifically looked at executive functioning, which refers to a range of cognitive processes that are essential for cognitive, social and psychological functioning. "We have shown that the child's executive functioning is linked to the mother's ability to support his or her autonomy.

Autonomy support includes things such as teaching children problem solving skills and involves taking the child's perspective while ensuring he or she takes an active role in completing tasks," said Célia Matte-Gagné, who led the study. "Importantly, the study shows that it's not just about getting off to a good start. While many studies have confirmed that a mother's support are critical, few have looked at how these skills might change over time and what effect that might have."

Eye 2

Blinded by Darkness: The collective denial of evil and its impact

A therapist advises a woman who's been stalked and harassed by her psychopathic ex-husband to meet him over coffee to address co-parenting. A young woman with severe somatization of trauma is told by her therapist that her psychopathic brother was engaging in sexual "play" when he was raping her vaginally with objects as children. A young man avoids necessary treatment because his perpetrator, his father, is an iconic philanthropist.

Why is the burden of proof on the victim to establish a legitimate case for his/her suffering? Why aren't these victims believed, and why are facilitators of an empirical science denying the psychological reality of evil?

Comment: From Andrew Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology:
If societies and their wise people are able to accept an objective understanding of social and sociopathological phenomena, overcoming the emotionalism and egotism of [assuming we are all capable of good and empathy] for this purpose, they shall find a means of action based on an understanding of the essence of the phenomena (of evil). It will then become evident that a proper vaccine or treatment can be found for each of the diseases scourging the earth in the form of major or minor social epidemics.


Got the smarts? IQ helps protect against schizophrenia

© Gioia De Antonlis
High IQ could protect against schizophrenia amongst those at genetic risk from developing the condition, a new study finds.

The findings are in stark contrast to the conventional wisdom that those with high intelligence are at increased risk of developing schizophrenia.

The largest study of its kind to date found that intelligence actually had a protective effect.

The study's lead author, Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler, said:
"If you're really smart, your genes for schizophrenia don't have much of a chance of acting."
Published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study was conducted by researchers at Lund University in Sweden and Virginia Commonwealth University (Kendler et al., 2014).

Comment: For more on schizophrenia, see: Smarts may help, but so can leaving the SAD (standard American diet) behind and going keto!


The shadow side of the McMindfulness craze

© Jared Rodriguez / Truthout
In case we had any doubt after watching Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, mindfulness is the new yoga - and we are in the midst of a mindfulness revolution. It's been embraced by celebrities, business leaders, politicians and athletes; and recommended by doctors, clergy, psychotherapists and prison wardens. Apps and bestselling books touting the benefits of meditation proliferate. Google "mindfulness" and you'll get over 24 million hits.

It's not surprising that with unbridled enthusiasm about mindfulness come exaggerated claims and problems that are eclipsed. Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the architects of the mindfulness revolution, claims mindfulness "has the potential to ignite a universal or global renaissance that . . . would put even the European and Italian Renaissance into the shade . . . [and] that may actually be the only promise the species and the planet have for making it through the next couple hundred years."

Comment: While practice of mindfulness certainly contains many benefits, it does not eliminate the necessity of emotional processing and work on the self. Using meditation as a tool as a way to avoid reality and the lessons contained within does not get us anywhere.

The Éiriú Eolas breathing/meditation technique, available for free online, is a powerful framework to aid the processing and releasing of "negative" emotions, and helps people to face the reality of themselves and the world without falling into despair.

In addition, detoxing and dietary changes can aid in clarity of thought, and can remove many of the emotional or psychological issues that are actually just faulty brain/gut signalling caused by chronic inflammation.

Eye 2

Mind control: Dr. Ewen Cameron and 'psychic driving'

© unknown
"It's important to understand that the professionals who put the most emphasis on the brain as the source of consciousness are also the people who drug it, sedate it, coerce it, and try to control it. They're going mad trying to reduce life to purely physical terms. They're agents of destruction." (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

This is what happens when you put Materialists in charge of human life. They destroy themselves and everything around them. It's their only option, because their understanding is Zero.

They're trying to make thought and imagination and passion into material objects. Since that's an absurdity, they do the only thing they can do: try to control those "objects."

In this way, they become the perfect voluntary dupes for men who want control of the whole planet.

There is a whole brand of mind control that is little more than torture.


'Make Nice' Program: Is your kindness killing you?

© bethconklin.blogspot.com
"We all need to look into the dark side of our nature- that's where the energy is, the passion. People are afraid of that because it holds pieces of us we're busy denying." - Sue Grafton
I admit it. I am a "nice-a-holic." Its hard to share this because it is embarrassing, but I have learned that I am happiest when I tell the truth, when my mouth and my heart say the same thing.

My new year's resolution is to make them say the same thing always, to trust that if I tell the whole truth and do it with kindness (the real kindness which means telling the truth with integrity), that all my fears won't come true, that in fact the opposite will happen. My guess is I am not the only one who does this, and by sharing my struggles you'll be inspired how to fix yours.

It's all about fear really. Being nice and saying "yes" when I mean "no," or not telling people when I am disappointed, or not holding them accountable for things they agreed to or should be doing, at work or in my personal life, causes me all sorts of problems.

Comment: Do you have a 'make nice' program? Dr. Hyman asks: "Can anyone relate? Being nice when you are unhappy or disappointed or need to express what you need is a form of lying. Yet this is what I do, and what I know many do. And I am sick of doing it and the trouble it causes for me and those in my life."

Dr. Hyman's statements are spot on. It is a form of lying to not express your true emotions/feelings when dealing with others. Sacrificing our true selves among family, friends and co workers just to 'make nice' and avoid conflict. Is it more important to be accepted, loved by others and thought of as 'nice' at the expense of our own mental, emotional and spiritual well being? As Dr. Hyman shares above the 'make nice program' can literally make you sick! When emotions are repressed the body responds physically. Dr. Gabor Mate addresses such topics in video lectures and his book: When the Body Says No: How Emotions Can Cause or Prevent Deadly Disease
The point now is that the emotional centers of the brain, which regulate our behaviors and our responses and our reactions, are physiologically connected with - and we know exactly how they're connected - with the immune system, the nervous system and the hormonal apparatus. In fact, it's no longer possible, scientifically, to speak of these as separate systems, as if immunity was separate from emotions, as if the nervous system was separate from the hormonal apparatus. There's one system, and they're wired together by the nervous system itself and joined together by chemical messengers that they all secrete, and so that whatever happens emotionally has an impact immunologically, and vice versa. So, for example, we know now that the white cells in the circulation of our - of the blood can manufacture every hormone that the brain can manufacture, and vice versa, so that the brain and the immune system are always talking to one another.

So, in short, we have one system. The science that studies it is called psychoneuroimmunology. And scientifically, it's not even controversial, but it's completely lacking from medical practice.
When the Body Says No: Caring for ourselves while caring for others - Dr. Gabor Maté

Snakes in Suits

The type of people most likely to be manipulative, self-admiring psychopaths


The type of people most likely to be psychopaths, narcissists and manipulators.
People who have a tendency to stay up late are more likely to exhibit anti-social personality traits, like narcissism and psychopathy.

Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy - menacingly called 'the Dark Triad' - were all linked with the preference for late bedtimes in research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Jonason et al., 2013).

Dr. Peter K. Jonason, explained:
"Those who scored highly on the Dark Triad traits are, like many other predators such as lions and scorpions, creatures of the night.

For people pursuing a fast life strategy like that embodied by the Dark Triad traits, it's better to occupy and exploit a lowlight environment where others are sleeping and have diminished cognitive functioning."
The conclusions come from an online survey of 263 students which, along with their sleeping preferences, measured:
  • Psychopathy: Characterised by reduced empathy, antisocial behaviour and disinhibition. Psychopaths are often very good at influencing others.
  • Narcissism: Egomaniacs.
  • Machiavellianism: Tendency to manipulate and exploit others without regard to morality.

Comment: More food for thought:


Meditate to become a healthier, happier and more compassionate human being

© Namita Azad
Meditation is excellent method to maintain our physical and emotional health and well-being
The Challenge: Stress, work and life challenges can get the best of us.
The Science: Research shows that meditation is linked to a host of benefits from happiness to health!
The Solution: Meditate to feel calmer, happier, healthier, more productive and more in charge.

Trying to find a New Year's Resolution that's really worth it? How about one that will boost your resilience?

This coming New Year will hopefully be full of wonderful surprises, but undoubtedly - like every year - will also throw some challenges at us. I started meditating soon after 9/11. I was living in Manhattan, an already chaotic place, at an extremely chaotic time. I realized I had no control over my external environment. And I realized this would always be the case. No matter what we do, we never have full control over our jobs, partners, health, or environment.

However, there is one place we can have a say over: the state of our mind. As a friend once said to me "When my mind is ok, then everything is ok." This statement is so simple yet also so profound. When I started meditating, I realized I was clamer despite any situations I encountered. What I didn't realize, was that it would also make me healthier, happier, and more successful. Having witnessed the benefits, I devoted my PhD research at Stanford to studying the impact of meditation. I saw people from diverse backgrounds from college students to combat veterans benefit. In the last 10 years, hundreds of studies have been released.

Here are 20 scientifically-validated reasons you might want to get on the bandwagon come Jan 1 (if not today!)

Comment: Carl Jung once said that "There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."

These meditation studies show that when we process our minds we can have better health and more understanding of ourselves. Meditation is not about imagining figures of light, but making the darkness -the unconscious mind- more conscious. These studies show that when we increase our understanding of ourselves we'll have more compassion towards others too; we learn to think with our hearts. Try out our meditation program Éiriú Eolas to get the full benefits of meditation.


Mind over matter: Mental imagery minimises loss of immobilised muscles

Regular mental imagery exercises help preserve arm strength during 4 weeks of immobilization, researchers have found. Strength is controlled by a number of factors -- the most studied by far is skeletal muscle. However, the nervous system is also an important, though not fully understood, determinant of strength and weakness. In this study, researchers set out to test how the brain's cortex plays into strength development.

Anyone who has worn a cast knows that rebuilding muscle strength once the cast is removed can be difficult. Now researchers at the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI) at Ohio University have found that the mind is critical in maintaining muscle strength following a prolonged period of immobilization and that mental imagery may be key in reducing the associated muscle loss.

Strength is controlled by a number of factors -- the most studied by far is skeletal muscle. However, the nervous system is also an important, though not fully understood, determinant of strength and weakness. Brian C. Clark and colleagues set out to test how the brain's cortex plays into strength development. They designed an experiment to measure changes in wrist flexor strength in three groups of healthy adults. Twenty-nine subjects wore a rigid cast that extended from just below the elbow past the fingers, effectively immobilizing the hand and wrist, for four weeks. Fifteen subjects who did not wear casts served as the control group.


Use the power of check lists!

In the modern age, we know more than ever before, and the information has never been so readily available.

And yet individuals and organizations often fail to deliver on the promise of all this knowledge. In fact, we are often the victim, and the architect, of head-slapping displays of incompetence when it comes to delivering what's been promised, or forgetting routine things that have no business being overlooked.

Why is there so often this mismatch between potential and application?

As our knowledge about the world increases, so too does its complexity. And as complexity goes up, so do the opportunities for failure.

Medicine is a great example of where our increased knowledge has made things better, but also more complex, with more possibilities for snafus. Before the mid-20th century, medicine was pretty simple. There wasn't much specialization; when you went to the hospital, there was usually one doctor and a few general nurses overseeing your care.

Now when you go to the hospital, you can have several teams taking care of you. Nurses, nurse technicians, radiologists, dieticians, oncologists, cardiologists, and so on and so forth. All these people have the know-how to deliver top-notch healthcare, and yet studies show that failures are common, most often due to plain old ineptitude. For example, 30% of patients who suffer a stroke receive incomplete or inappropriate care from their doctors, as do 45% of patients with asthma, and 60% of patients with pneumonia.

It's not ignorance or ill-intent that causes these failures. Knowledge abounds among our healthcare practitioners. The problem is that because medicine is more sophisticated and specialized, applying that knowledge correctly across several teams is harder. There are multiple streams of information to remember and manage.