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Tue, 27 Sep 2016
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit


'Gardening' children vs micromanaging them

Parents today have the highest conditioning of fear in the history of humankind. They are scared of everything and it reflects in their children. They jump at the opportunity to drug them, vaccinate them and intoxicate them with all types of pharmaceuticals for diseases they are told are a threat by scientific doctrines based on fear themselves. The loving care, informed by tradition and human experience, has now become a management plan in crises intervention. They fear for the child's friendships, socialization, education, opportunities, nutrition, health, treatment, but most of all their for their life. The life of the child must not follow any unknown path that the parent perceives as a threat. In short, we have a micromanaged a generation of robots whose fear programming then materializes in their reality.

Parents of young children are often overwhelmed by advice. The degree of generational differences in health, medicine, food, safety, and general well-being of children is colossal today in comparison to just 40 years ago.

Comment: See also: Paradigm shift: The Difference between children who grew up in the 70's vs. today


The psychology of tattoo acquisition

Tara Day is a trauma therapist and has pursued a specific interest in tattoos within the context of her work.

She considers the perspective that tattoo acquisition can be adaptive behaviour or a process addiction and considers what conclusions can be arrived at by studying it in detail

'Our wounds serve to remind us where we have been they need not dictate where we are going" (Davis & Dunkle, 2009).

For centuries, sub-cultures ranging from ancient warriors to those on the fringes of society have organised themselves around symbols etched into their skin. Tattoos are ritualistic, permanent and defining. They are seen as an unspoken symbolic language that are said to echo the experiences of the individual by way of coded messages hidden within layers of imagery.

Comment: A theory for tattoos


Seeking physical and emotional healing? Try a sweat lodge

It's pitch black and sweltering. What do you do? Breathe.

People have compared sweat lodges to saunas but they are much more healing and spiritually beneficial than just stepping into a sauna for 20 minutes. In Ecuador, I recently sat and sweated through my third ceremony, here called a Temazcal, and it was amazing. Let me tell you why.

Every culture and tradition has their own version of a Temazcal but they all have the basic premise: emotional healing and health through song and prayer. Last month I sat in one that was led by a man ordained by the Lakota tradition. This time it was led by Alejandro Beltran, an Ecuadorian Shaman in the beautiful Yunguilla Valley.

Life Preserver

8 exercises for building the confidence to achieve your aims

When it comes to going Primal, there's lots to enjoy. But on the way to success, it's inevitable we'll hit some dips in the road. Life intervenes, challenging our newly minted Primal routines. At some point or another, we're bound to reach a confounding impasse and lose our mojo. When it happens, we're presented with two choices: take it as an intractable character flaw (not recommended) or take it in stride, recognizing the inherent need for a reboot. Many readers write in for a pick-me-up, a pat on the back and some reassuring words of support to keep them going (keep those coming, since I learn from every person's experience). So how can we find a confidence foothold to keep climbing on these days? Or, to put it a different way, how can we mentally fortify ourselves when we're feeling our weakest?

First off, I don't want to trivialize confidence or treat it like some kind of emotional accessory. Confidence, as most of us understand it, is more of a complex psychological experience than a one-dimensional feeling. It's not something you either have or don't, and the nature of it can vary for different people. Some people (for a host of reasons) might have an easier time feeling it than others. Yet it matters for all of us. True confidence is more substantive than bravado. It can be a centered comfort with oneself, a relative perception of self-efficacy, a grounded sense of self-reference, or all of the above.

Suffice it to say though, a lack of confidence can naturally present a big obstacle when you're trying to overhaul your diet and lifestyle or take up new fitness challenges. No matter what your specific goal, a healthy dose of self-confidence is pretty key to getting the job done. For the days when it feels like the motivational well is dry, let's look at some ways we can shore up our store of confidence.


Use it or lose it: Over-reliance on internet searches makes people less likely to rely on memories to answer simple questions

People are relying on digital devices rather than memorising information
More ammunition for those claiming that the internet is making us stupid.

Using the internet to look up facts makes us more reliant on it in the future, new research finds.

The more times people look up facts online, the less they prefer to rely on their own memories for even the simplest questions.

Psychologists have called this 'cognitive offloading'.

Effectively the internet is taking over from human memory.

Dr Benjamin Storm, the study's first author, said:
"Memory is changing.

Our research shows that as we use the Internet to support and extend our memory we become more reliant on it.

Whereas before we might have tried to recall something on our own, now we don't bother.

As more information becomes available via smartphones and other devices, we become progressively more reliant on it in our daily lives."


Quantum physicists agree -- consciousness lives on after death

Does quantum mechanics predict the existence of a spiritual "soul"? Testimonials from prominent physics researchers from institutions such as Cambridge University, Princeton University, and the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich claim that quantum mechanics predicts some version of "life after death." They assert that a person may possess a body-soul duality that is an extension of the wave-particle duality of subatomic particles.

Wave-particle duality, a fundamental concept of quantum mechanics, proposes that elementary particles, such as photons and electrons, possess the properties of both particles and waves. These physicists claim that they can possibly extend this theory to the soul-body dichotomy. If there is a quantum code for all things, living and dead, then there is an existence after death (speaking in purely physical terms). Dr. Hans-Peter Dürr, former head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, posits that, just as a particle "writes" all of its information on its wave function, the brain is the tangible "floppy disk" on which we save our data, and this data is then "uploaded" into the spiritual quantum field. Continuing with this analogy, when we die the body, or the physical disk, is gone, but our consciousness, or the data on the computer, lives on.

Comment: Further reading:


The cardiovascular response to going against the crowd

Going with the flow might appear easier than sticking up for yourself when confronted with unanimous disagreement. But as uncomfortable as it may be to walk as the lone dissenter, it not only reinforces core values, it also creates a ripple effect where others take notice.

A new University at Buffalo study that assessed bodily responses suggests that standing up for your beliefs, expressing your opinions and demonstrating your core values can be a positive psychological experience.

Our happiness, and ultimately our lives, are defined by the choices we make. When we allow other people to tell us how to feel, they are making those choices for us, and we are giving away our truth. Since all truths are true, we must define if it is our ego we are standing up for or something more.

People 2

Dream scientists prove Freud partially right: We dream of things we try to ignore

© greg westfall/Flickr
It is the most well known - and perhaps infamous - theory of dreams in the Western world. At the turn of last century, Sigmund Freud published his book, The Interpretation of Dreams, arguing that our dreams are nothing more than wishes that we are looking to fulfill in our waking lives.

Some of these wishes are relatively innocent, and in these cases our dreams picture the wish just as it is. However, there are other wishes that are so unacceptable to us (such as sexual or aggressive impulses that we can't admit to or act out) that our dreams have to censor them.

Such unacceptable wishes are typically suppressed by the conscious waking mind but turn up in the dream in an unrecognisable and often bizarre way. But with the help of a psychoanalyst and methods like free association, Freud argued, the wish behind the dream could be discovered.

Eye 1

Meditation in virtual reality; French philosophy meets the Matrix

© Moxie Group
Simulation of the Bodhi tree under which Buddha is said to have sat. You can be Buddha too!
There's no paradox in finding your true self via virtual reality because everyday reality is a simulation, says self-help guru Deepak Chopra of his latest venture...

The cosmos swirls, wisps of purple, yellow and orange light flickering across the darkness of space, then across the visage of Buddha. An otherworldly plain fills the horizon, framed by the branches of a tree - the tree of enlightenment. A familiar voice intrudes. "What or who is having this experience right this moment, right now?" Pause. "It is your own being. It is your innermost being that is having the experience, your true self." The voice continues. "Live here, with no regrets, no anticipation, no resistance, and you will be free. Freedom is always now. Being is now."

Even if you enjoy psychedelic animation graphics you may struggle to live here, however, because visits last just 20 minutes and they are not real, not free and not quite now.

Welcome - if you have the headset or appropriate app - to Deepak Chopra's latest venture: virtual reality (VR) meditation.

Comment: Is this the 20 minutes enlightenment version of Pokemon Go? What could be wrong with a 'quick fix' meditation? This is about dissociation, often the incipient means to manipulation and indoctrination, bypassing the safeguards of rational thinking. While for some it might result in 'enlightenment' as presented, for others with lesser personal intent and mastery, it may constitute an 'opening' for uninvited results. Buyer beware. Is Chopra self-handedly evolving the age-old enlightenment process while manifesting a quick buck or two?

Cloud Grey

New study disputes the idea that optimism is fundamental to human psychology

© Luke MacGregor / Reuters
If you tend to look at life in a 'glass half full' sort of way, you may be in the minority. The belief that people usually view the future optimistically may be based on flawed research, according to a new study.

Experts have believed for decades that most people experience 'irrational optimism bias,' meaning they naturally expect good things to happen in the future and underestimate the possibility of negative outcomes.

But after re-assessing previous evidence, scientists now say that there was no basis to claim such positivity is fundamental to human psychology. Specifically, they believe prior studies have generated data patterns that looked like people are being overly optimistic, when in fact no such bias existed.