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Wed, 27 Jul 2016
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit

Brick Wall

The modern day school system: The incarceration of children

CAFOs, also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, are confined feedlots in which animals raised for food products are kept in confined prison-like conditions absent of natural vegetation. Here, animals are kept outside of their natural habitat and fed feed they would not eat in nature. The filthy conditions and poor nutrition make for sick animals, so the CAFOs depend heavily on antibiotics which are given prophylactically. Beef and dairy cattle, pigs, turkeys, and chickens are among the animals in the more than 257,000 AFOS in the United States.

Rather than eat native foods such as grasses, vegetation and insects, they are "fed" mostly genetically modified crops such as soy and corn, or cereal based feed made from these crops. Instead of eliminating waste naturally on the land, which acts as fertilizer, the waste is stored in anaerobic "lagoons". These cesspools of waste emit carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia into the air and leach antibiotics, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals and bacteria into the land. Without going much further in to the devastating science of why CAFOs are bad for human and animal health, and our environment, it is safe to say that animals do best in their natural habitat, living, reproducing, eating and eliminating as nature intended, and that we as omnivores do best when eating food raised in its wild or natural habitat.

Comment: The key to a real education: Self discovery


The content you consume can become your reality

© rolffimages / Fotolia
"A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind." — James Allen, As A Man Thinketh
I'm a ravenous consumer of content. I bet you are, too. If we are what we eat, for better or worse, the content we consume becomes our reality. It becomes the story we tell ourselves, the principles we believe in, and it may even determine our health. Some content is detrimental and some is beneficial. Because we're bombarded with information from every direction, it's never been more important to carefully curate what we consume.


Cultivating a sense of adventure keeps you motivated

It's inevitable. Sometimes in life we get stuck. We feel stuck. We get in a rut, and from there all motivation can fizzle and sputter until it craps out entirely. There's nothing inherently wrong with this scenario. It's the way of human nature, I'd say. Boredom can be a productive influence if there's space for it to inspire something new. Alternatively, it can be a deadening force if we've boxed ourselves into an uncompromising daily drill. A sense of sameness can numb us over time, lull us really, until one day we wake up and realize we're not having fun anymore in this game of life. In abandoning novelty and adventure, it dawns on us, we've also abandoned ourselves.

This isn't to disparage routine. After all, set structure often plays a critical role in stabilizing our core lifestyle changes, particularly as we shift toward a Primal take on eating, fitness, sleep and other lifestyle elements. If we're reinventing the wheel every day, we're probably expending too much energy unnecessarily. There are details of life that we can honestly work just fine, if not better, on auto-pilot.

For instance, we might find it easier to stay on our Primal track if we have the same breakfast each day during the work week. Alternatively, scheduling a set "green hour" for ourselves that's the same every day (or weekday at least) can help ensure we regularly get the sun/outdoor benefits we desire. If we see routine as a tool of self-discipline and wise efficiency, we apply it strategically. As a result, we more easily meet our goals and move into the life we want for ourselves.

The danger doesn't lie in employing routine, but in mistaking it for living.


How to shake your bad habits - for good!

Have you ever tried to break a bad habit, only to give up in frustration? The problem isn't that you're weak or that the bad habit is too ingrained; in all likelihood, you just gave up too soon.

Researchers at University College, London, found that it takes 66 days for a new habit to form. Likewise, as long as there is no physical addiction involved, it takes 66 days for you to shake a bad habit. But before you can develop the motivation to stick it out for that long, you need to understand how bad habits form in the first place.

Bad habits are formed and reinforced via the habit loop. First, something triggers you to initiate an undesired behavior. Maybe you're feeling stressed, so you decide to numb out on Facebook for an hour or eat a whole bag of Flamin' Cheetos. The trigger event is whatever puts this idea in your head. The second step is the behavior itself. Your brain says, "Sure, you deserve some Flamin' Cheetos," so you dig in.

The third step—and this part is crucial—is the reward. The behavior has to reward you in some way. That doesn't mean it's good for you or that it's smart, just that it does something that your brain likes. Numbing out on Facebook might help you forget your problems for a while or to put off something that you don't want to do, and we all know, all too well, the reward that comes from eating a bag of junk food. For better or worse, these rewards increase the likelihood that you'll repeat the behavior.

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Direction you walk when blindfolded reveals whether you are inhibited or approach oriented

People experiencing anxiety walk in this direction.

People experiencing anxiety tend to walk to the left, new research finds.

It results from more activity in the right-hand-side of the brain.

The conclusions come from a study in which people were blindfolded and asked to walk in a straight line.

The more inhibited and anxious people tended to veer to the left.

In comparison, people who experience more positive emotions tended to veer off to the right.

The more inhibited and anxious they were, the more people accidentally wandered to the left.



Earth and Fire: Anasazi style pottery done in the backcountry

"Earth and Fire" is a documentary poem about artist and primitive potter Kelly Magleby. Kelly went into the backcountry of Southern Utah with a knife and a buckskin for 10 days to try to learn about Anasazi pottery by doing it the way the Anasazi did it. Funded by Primitive Found (.org), music by Jason Shaw @ audionautix.com, check out Kelly's art at anasazipottery.net

Comment: Read more about the Anasazi people: Ruins Hint at the Benefits of Volcanic Catastrophe


Your environment is the hidden hand that shapes your behavior

It can be tempting to blame failure on a lack of willpower or a scarcity of talent, and to attribute success to hard work, effort, and grit.

To be sure, those things matter. What is interesting, however, is that if you examine how human behavior has been shaped over time, you discover that motivation (and even talent) is often overvalued. In many cases, the environment matters more.

Let me share an example that surprised me when I first learned of it.

The Shape of Human Behavior

In his award-winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, scientist Jared Diamond points out an obvious fact: different continents have different shapes. At first glance, this seems rather unimportant, but it turns out to have a profound impact on human behavior.

For example, the general shape of the Americas is north-south. That is, the land mass of North and South America tends to be tall and thin in shape rather than wide and fat. The same is true for Africa. The primary axis runs from north to south.

Meanwhile, the land mass that makes up Europe, Asia, and the Middle East is the opposite. This massive stretch of land tends to be more east-west in shape. Interestingly, the shape of each region has played a significant role in driving human behavior throughout the centuries.

2 + 2 = 4

How shame can mask as depression

How can it be that a seemingly depressed person, one who shows clinical symptoms, doesn't respond to antidepressants or psychotherapy? Perhaps because the root of his anguish is something else.

Several years ago a patient named Brian was referred to me. He had suffered for years from an intractable depression for which he had been hospitalized. He had been through cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, supportive therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. He had tried several medication "cocktails," each with a litany of side effects that made them virtually intolerable. They had been ineffective anyway. The next step was electroshock therapy, which Brian did not want.



Fear: A multi-dimensional creature that requires a multi-dimensional response

This is what the self-help books might be missing

Fear. It shows up in nearly every coaching conversation I have. Sometimes it's bold and in-your-face and can't be denied, and sometimes it's sneaky and disguised as anger or laziness and has to be coaxed out into the light.

Fear fills a lot of pages in self-help books. Everyone's trying to master it. Some tell you to befriend it, others tell you ignore it, and still others tell you to stare it in the face. Do an image search of fear quotes and you'll find endless memes about how you can conquer, befriend, embrace, or ignore fear. Or, if you'd rather, you can dance with it, kick it to the curb, or pray it out of existence.
The problem with much of what is written about fear in self-help books is that it is oversimplified. Diminish fear into only one dimension and it's easier to give you a meme-worthy quote about it.


What is the root cause of addiction, and how do you heal it?

How Emotional Pain causes Addiction

Addiction has become so widespread, it's nearly an epidemic in our modern world. Around 240 million people around the world are dependent on alcohol, more than a billion people smoke, and about 15 million people use injection drugs, such as heroin.

From sex addiction, technology, food, shopping, drugs and alcohol, to work addiction, nearly every person has their personal habit. And for each addiction, there is a human in pain, trying to escape from the torment inside of them.

Dr Gabor Mate says the root cause of addiction is pain, and the attempt to escape pain actually creates more pain. But we can heal addiction. Watch to learn how.

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