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Thu, 19 Oct 2017
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit


More than just folk wisdom: Immersing yourself in nature has a healing effect

© healingschizoaffective.com
The longer the trip, the more healing occurs,' says the geologist Peter Winn, who has been leading expeditions down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon since the 1960s. 'Healing happens for people almost without exception.'

The most dramatic transformations that he's observed have been in disabled military veterans on 16-day kayaking trips organised by a group called Team River Runner. 'One army communications expert came home from Iraq so full of shrapnel, he'd lost his ability to do even simple math, and would only say "Fuck you."' By the end of the trip, he spoke eloquently and at length, in appreciation of both the Canyon and his fellow boaters. 'Later his wife wrote to thank the crew and the river for getting her husband back.'

Comment: Why a walk in the woods really does help your body and your soul


New study says expressive writing can help alleviate stress and stop worrying

© Plaid Zebra
Writing down the things that cause anxiety can help to alleviate stress and concerns, according to a new study carried out by the Michigan State University. Through this study, the first neural evidence of expressive writing has been shown.

People worry a lot on a daily basis, which leads to stress, anxiety and related disorders and diseases. Most of the concerns are based on feelings or future events that might never happen. Sadly, it appears to be a condition that many people can't avoid suffering. However, this new research shows that there are simple things people can do to stop worrying. It backs up the research developed by James Pennebaker in the 80's about the benefits of journaling to reduce pressure and improve our immune system.
"Worrying takes up cognitive resources; it's kind of like people who struggle with worry are constantly multitasking - they are doing one task and trying to monitor and suppress their worries at the same time. Our findings show that if you get these worries out of your head through expressive writing, those cognitive resources are freed up to work toward the task you're completing and you become more efficient" said lead author of the study, Hans Schroder, who is also an MSU doctoral student in psychology and a clinical intern at Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital.

What does the field of psychoneuroimmunology study?


Ian Stevenson's legacy: A case for life after death

© Society for Psychical Research
Dr. Ian Stevenson
Over half a century ago, in 1966, when Prof. Ian Stevenson first published his seminal work Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (University of Virginia Press), it took the world by storm. It not only gave a tremendous boost to the religions that believe in reincarnation (and rebirth), but sought to provide a scientific foundation to the notion. After a scrupulous study of over 3,000 cases of "rebirth" Stevenson handpicked 20 cases of those to suggest, if not prove, the case of "reincarnation".

This fact was succinctly captured by Prof. Curt John Ducasse, parapsychologist and then Chairman of publications committee of the American Society for Physical Research, in the foreword he wrote to Stevenson's "Twenty cases ...". The closing line of his missive read as:
The twenty cases..., which Dr. Stevenson personally investigated, reports on, and discusses ..., are not claimed by him to settle that question; but they do put it before the reader sharply and, because of this, are fully as interesting and important as are the more numerous cases suggesting discarnate survival, to which physical research has given close and lengthy attention.

Comment: See also:

People 2

15% men, 34% women uninterested in sex: How to deal with mismatched libidos

© magen ilustrativa/ pexels.com
About 15% of men and 34% of women say they're not really interested in sex, according to a new study, statistics that few experts find surprising. In fact, low desire in one partner is probably the top reason couples seek out sex therapy.

When one of you has more interest in sex than the other, it's easy for the person with the higher sex drive to feel rejected, bruised and undesirable and for the partner who avoids sex to feel pressure, anxious and guilty.

Any number of factors can affect sexual desire, and most of them have little to do with your partner's attractiveness. In the study I mentioned, researchers found that for both men and women, physical and mental health had an impact on libido. But they may have different motivations for avoiding sex.

"For men, it's often the appearance of disinterest rather than actual loss of interest," sex therapist Deborah Fox said. "Men avoid sex frequently due to prior performance issues, such as erectile issues or rapid ejaculation. They may avoid it to escape the anxiety of these issues reoccurring." In women, hormonal factors and fatigue can contribute to low libido.

And sometimes, life just gets in the way. "In my practice, I see a lot of desire diminish due to interest in porn, boredom of the same sexual routine, the comfort of monogamy and relationship security, and the loss of couple time due to a focus on parenting time," sex therapist Amanda Pasciucco said.

Comment: Some more advice from Jordan Peterson:


Signs and symptoms of depression are easily missed in outgoing and highly agreeable people

The signs of depression are hidden in these type of people.

It is harder to spot depression in people who are outgoing and fun-loving, research finds.

Indeed, people who are extroverted may find it hard to spot the signs of depression in themselves.

People who are highly agreeable are also harder to diagnose with depression, the study found.


3-year-old boy from Uttar Pradesh, India says his real family from a previous life is in Punjab

© YouTube
The child's parents tracked down the family in Bholapur and took Jeetan to meet his real father
The boy named Jeetan first made the claim when his sister tried to tie a rakhi on his arm as he insisted his real sister is in Bholapur.

Reincarnation is among supernatural phenomenon which has captured the imagination of audiences in across the world. A large number of people are also known to believe in rebirth and such cases have often been reported from different corners of the country.

In a bizarre incident from a village in UP, a three-year-old child is claiming that the people he is living with aren't his real family and that his actual peers are in a village in Bholapur. The village he mentions is in Punjab and the boy's insistence that his father is a foreigner has left everyone baffled.


How parents pass anxiety and depression to their children

An over-active network of brain areas is central to how children inherit anxiety and depression from their parents.

The network consists of three regions in the brain which work together to control the fear-response.

Genes passed down from parents to children influence how these three regions function together, the new study finds.

Professor Ned Kalin, one of the study's authors, said:
"Over-activity of these three brain regions are inherited brain alterations that are directly linked to the later life risk to develop anxiety and depression.

This is a big step in understanding the neural underpinnings of inherited anxiety and begins to give us more selective targets for treatment."

Comment: See also:

People 2

The startling psychological and physiological after-effects of near death experiences

The conversation about near-death experiences (NDE's) is typically centered around questions about the afterlife and what happens to consciousness should you follow the iconic tunnel of light. Skeptics, of course, look at the various scientific angles, debating whether or not the patient was truly dead, or the research was legitimate, and so on.

Less frequently discussed, however, is what happens to people after a near-death experience, and what changes occur in their psychological and physiological makeup. There are thousands of recorded examples of NDE's that offer testimony to the possibility of life after death, but what about life after near-death?
"Around eighty percent of the people who experienced near-death states claimed that their lives were forever changed by what happened to them. On closer examination, though, a pattern of surprising dimensions emerged. Experiencers were not returning with just a renewed zest for life and a more spiritual outlook. They were evidencing specific psychological and physiological differences on a scale never before faced by them." - P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D.

Comment: Further reading:

Alarm Clock

Aging and the perception of time

Time perception is a construction of the brain. How fast we perceive time to be passing -- or "mind time" -- can be manipulated or distorted. Evaluations of time differ based on our state of being at the time of judgment. How you age and how long you live may depend on that perception.

People tend to see their will as more determinant of future events than of past events. When we contemplate the future we feel as though we have a choice and are likely to influence events but when we consider our own past we often feel like most of the things that have happened were out of our control.

When people see that their actions are tied to what actually happens around them then their perceptions of free will change, or at the very least activated.

If you're bored or suffering, every second counts, and time seems to expand or slow down. When you're ecstatic, moments glitter right through your fingers.

Mind time also depends on your projected future state of being. If you're counting down to a root canal, time speeds up as you wait. But if you're tallying days until the birth of your first child, time seems immeasurably slow.

What would happen to our sense of time if we knew we could to live to be 150? Or even 500?


Mysterious people who emerged from accidents with remarkable abilities

Since time unremembered there have been those among us who have stepped forth with skills, abilities, genius, perceptions, and attributes far beyond the norm. In many cases these have stemmed from some sort of genetic predestination, or even defect, leaving the bearer of these powers with significant shortages in other areas. Yet many are not born into these powers, but rather have them thrust upon them.

Just like any super hero origin story there are those nondescript individuals who have undergone some accident or life changing event which has caused them to go through a dark tunnel to emerge from the other side with powers they cannot explain. Far from the realm of comic books, this has proven to be a very real thing, and there are those out there who have gained remarkable skills and abilities from things that should have very well killed them.