Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 20 Apr 2018
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit

Che Guevara

7 primal tips to get your ego out of the way and be a better leader

6 traits humble leaders
Everywhere you go these days it seems like there's big talk about leadership. Schools build curricula around it. Businesses feel the need to train their employees in it, including those who aren't in management roles. Whereas leadership used to be seen primarily as a function, it's now touted as a virtue. We're told everybody should want to be one and is, of course, in need of whatever x, y, z leadership program is being sold that day. I guess I see both sides of the coin here. While I think pushing leadership ad nausea demotes other equally valuable skills and roles like the specialist and artisan (among others), I also believe there's purpose in cultivating a deeper command of one's own life and in understanding how to bring self-management to bear in leading others.

The thing is, most "rules" you'll read for improving your leadership skills focus on other people—how to understand them, how to persuade them, how to manage them, how to move them the way you want to go. While modern social organization is a far cry from our hunter-gatherer roots (and at times requires different skills), there's something essential and timeless in the model of primal era leadership. It's a case where cutting edge management strategy can add to but not replace enduring principle. See what Primal leadership principles speak to you.

Ice Cube

Healing with water: An Indigenous approach

healing water
For the Desana people, speaking to the Water is a key to healing

The science of cymatics literally shows us that sound influences the structure of water, but there are many who believe in the scientifically controversial idea that water can hold a 'memory' from the influence of light, sound and even human intention. In recent years many people have been captivated by the work of Masaru Emoto, with his images showing the world precise details of how intention may be affecting water on a structural level. For the first time we were able to clearly visualise what a particular intention, such as gratitude, may look like in the form a single snowflake-like structure, photographed under a microscope.

The list of different photographs that could be taken using Masaru Emoto's technique is as long as as the list of different emotions and all the different sources of water on planet earth combined. In fact people have believed in our ability to influence water since the days of antiquity, with the Christian tradition being the obvious example, with the ongoing performing of rituals they claim turns regular water into holy water. Vibrational essences and the water from flower baths are just a few other examples of people believing in the capacity for water to be affected intentionally for healing purposes.

Comment: Health & Wellness Show - Feb 19, 2016 - Water: What Do We Really Know?
Water: it makes up the majority of our planet and our own bodies, filling everything from the earth and skies to our own cells. Yet what is actually known about this mysterious substance, so vital to life? It may surprise us to find that, despite its prevalence in our lives, scientists admit that there is still a great deal to learn about water. Does water have a "memory"? Are there really only three phases of water (liquid, solid and vapour) or is there a "fourth phase of water?" Does water create energy? When we speak to water, does it listen? Is there a structure to water?

People 2

The beauty of tears

tear under microscope

Reflect Tear: Harvested after cutting white onions
Science says that every tear has a different viscosity and composition. All tears contain a variety of biological substances including oils, antibodies and enzymes suspended in salt water. But how does this relate to the "real world" and how do tears have such far-reaching effects?

Why Do We Cry?

Since crying is the primary means of communication for very young infants and continues to be an important part of the emotional repertoire of adults, it has received a good deal of attention from researchers who wish to exploit the most natural instinct in an attempt to diagnose and medicate.

"There is demonstrable evidence that clinicians often develop diagnostic tools which lead to early and unnecessary medical intervention, especially relating to the psychiatric allopathic model," said pediatric specialist Dr. Marta Gonzales.


How the brain memorizes places and routes

 Arne Ekstrom
© University of California, Davis
Neuroscientist Arne Ekstrom uses virtual mazes to explore how we learn to find our way around.
Technology may not have caught up to the teleportation devices of science fiction, but now we have some idea of how the brain handles "beaming up" from one location to another, thanks to research by neuroscientists at the University of California, Davis, involving some specially wired volunteers.

The work is published online Feb. 25 in the journal Neuron.

Arne Ekstrom, associate professor at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience, wants to know how we memorize places and routes, and learn to find our way around. It's long been known that as a rat navigates a maze, its brain gives off a rhythmic oscillation, Ekstrom said.

This also happens when humans travel around a virtual landscape on a computer screen. Most models of brain function assume that the oscillations, emanating from the hippocampus deep inside the brain, are at least partly driven by external inputs.

"There is this rhythmic firing in the brain during navigation and while remembering things, but we don't know if it is triggered by sensory input or by the learning process," Ekstrom said.


Getting off the fast track: Decelerate and improve your quality of life

slowing down, wind blowing seeds
No one would argue the fact that the pace of life has rarely been more frenzied than it is today. It's not just that we're busy. Time seems to be constantly of the essence. As Carl Honoré, author of the book "In Praise of Slowness," quipped, "These days, even instant gratification takes too long."

That's clever, but not too many are smiling because, unfortunately, it's true. You can't spend more than a few minutes on social media without encountering a meme lamenting the fact, such as Mahatma Gandhi's quote, "There is more to life than increasing its speed.".

Why is it that whenever there's a so-called "idle" moment, we often feel a need to "redeem the time?" How many of us, while making our coffee in the morning, look for something useful to do to in the meantime?

Honoré asserts, "As we hurry through life, cramming more into every hour, we are stretching ourselves to the breaking point." Besides causing stress, he even suggests that our compulsion to do more in less time may have become an addiction, an idolatry of sorts.



Movement awareness: How listening to our bodies can change our lives

body cosmos
Right now, whether you are aware of it or not, your body is adjusting to meet the demands of the moment, like shifting positions in your seat to get more comfortable, while reading this blog. Yet, most of the time we have no idea of what our body is doing or what micro messages it is communicating to us and to others. What's miraculous about us as human beings however is that we have the ability to catch and influence these movements and either adapt, ignore, resist, or even move against them.

By being aware of your body movements you can increase your intelligence, alter your mood on demand, and improve your communications to others.

1. Movement awareness can help you think more clearly and turn up the dial on your smart meter.

Research shows that the brain can take cues from body movements to understand and solve complex problems. In 2009, University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras, along with Laura Thomas of Vanderbilt University, conducted a study on problem solving and body movement. They set out to test if a person's ability to solve a complex problem could be influenced by how he or she moves. They tested fifty-two University of Illinois students. The results showed that body motion affects higher order thought and complex problem solving. Lleras and Thomas reported, "People tend to think that their mind lives in their brain, dealing in conceptual abstractions, very much disconnected from the body. This emerging research is fascinating because it is demonstrating how your body is a part of your mind in a powerful way. The way you think is affected by your body and, in fact, we can use our bodies to help us think."

Comment: Further reading:


Pema Chödrön: 5 Reasons to meditate

© Photo by Liza Matthews
Yes, it's a strange thing to do — just sit there and do basically nothing. Yet the simple act of stopping, says Pema Chödrön, is the best way to cultivate our good qualities. Here are five ways it makes us better people.

The mind is very wild. The human experience is full of unpredictability and paradox, joys and sorrows, successes and failures. We can't escape any of these experiences in the vast terrain of our existence. It is part of what makes life grand—and it is also why our minds take us on such a crazy ride. If we can train ourselves through meditation to be more open and more accepting toward the wild arc of our experience, if we can lean into the difficulties of life and the ride of our minds, we can become more settled and relaxed amid whatever life brings us.'

Comment: Learn more about Meditation and Its Benefits: The Éiriú Eolas Stress Control, Healing and Rejuvenation Program is an form of breathing and meditation techniques designed to be informative, effective and life changing! Interested in learning more about the numerous benefits of a breathing and meditation program like Éiriú Eolas? Check out the program here and try it today!


Why did humans develop the ability to feel shame?

© r n o/Flickr
Feelings of shame are universal in all cultures, and new research could explain why. Studies in the US, India, and Israel suggest that shame, like pain, evolved as a defense.

Says Daniel Sznycer, lead author of the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
"The function of pain is to prevent us from damaging our own tissue. The function of shame is to prevent us from damaging our social relationships, or to motivate us to repair them."
Adds John Tooby, a professor of anthropology at UC Santa Barbara and a coauthor of the paper:
"Our ancestors lived in small, cooperative social groups that lived by hunting and gathering. In this world, your life depended on others valuing you enough to give you and your children food, protection, and care.

Light Saber

Legendary locks: Can hair act as a sixth sense and protect us from danger?

© Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
Hairstyles as depicted on an ancient sculpture of women in the Louvre, France.
Humans have ever styled their hair in a multitude of creative and symbolic ways, and the various cuts, colors and presentations reflected across the ages are nearly unlimited. But does hair serve us in more ways than providing simple warmth and good looks? There are some who believe that hair is directly associated with sensory power and it serves as an extension of our nervous system.

Depending upon the time and place on earth in which one lives, the hair on one's head (or the lack thereof) has had intense significance. Belief systems and folklore have long dictated how hair was to be handled and worn: tied up, covered up, grown long, cut short, shaved off, crimped, colored and curled, decorated, twisted, braided, and more. But for many societies, the longer the hair, the better.


It's what you do that counts: Study suggests most people stay true to their intrinsic moral colors

kindness, giving

Kindness and generosity elevates all our morals
When judging the character of a friend, co-worker or potential romantic partner, pay attention to little acts of kindness or cruelty because these are likely part of a consistent behavioral pattern.

U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been criticized for their seeming willingness to cut corners on core principles when they consider it necessary to make some progress toward a laudable goal.

While philosophers and voters can debate the pros and cons of situational ethics, new research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that most people stay true to their intrinsic moral colors -- good or bad -- when dealing with day-to-day choices, regardless of extenuating circumstances or well-intended reform efforts.

"Our studies provide new and important evidence for the stability of moral character," said Kathryn Bollich, lead author of two recent studies exploring how evolving personality traits and competing ethical quandaries influence moral behavior.

"Using naturally observed, everyday behaviors and self-reports of moral decision-making, we demonstrate that one's morality is stable," Bollich said. "These findings suggest that efforts to modify moral character may not be so simple. For example, efforts to make a roommate or romantic partner more helpful and sympathetic, or less condescending and critical of others, may be met with slow and minimal success."