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Sun, 05 Feb 2023
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit


Remembering the Past Negatively Worsens Health

© Images.com/Corbis
Going back to work after the holidays is a nightmare for many. Can you improve your health by remembering the past in a positive way? A study by the University of Granada (UGR) reports that people's attitude to past events, present experiences or future expectations, influences their perception of health and their quality of life.

"We have observed that when people are negative about past events in their life, they also have a pessimist or fatalistic attitude towards current events. This generates greater problems in their relationships and these people present worse quality of life indicators," explained Cristián Oyanadel, UGR researcher and co-author of the study published in the journal Universitas Psychologica.

Researchers assessed 50 individuals (25 women and 25 men between 20 and 70 years old) from a randomized sample, using questionnaires and time orientation tests. The time orientation profile was measured by applying the "Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory", designed in the United States and validated in several countries including Spain. This test includes five dimensions that describe attitudes towards the past, the present and the future.


Psychopaths on Wall Street? You Betcha!

Is your boss egocentric, charming, manipulative and lacking in empathy? Take heed. According to a BBC documentary which aired last night, they could be a psychopath who has found their "perfect environment".

Bateman American Psycho
© Moviestore Collection
Christian Bale as investment banker Patrick Bateman in American Psycho
Are you good or evil, a BBC Horizon documentary which aired last night, examined what makes humans liable to violence.

The programme charts the research of criminal psychologist Professor Robert Hare, who developed the Pyschopathy Checklist, which is used to diagnose cases of psychopathy and to ascertain the likelihood of violent behaviour, and neuroscientist Professor Jim Fallon.

The two main factors in ascertaining whether an individual is liable to become a psychopath, according to the programme, are: the existence of the so-called 'warrior gene', the Monoamine oxidase A enzyme, and a violent childhood.

At this point, the TV cameras scanned to the New York skyline, with the narrator rather dramatically telling viewers: "Scientists could be looking for psychopaths in a place near you."

Comment: For more on the workplace psychopath, see:

Ponerology 101: Snakes in Suits


Your Brain on Politics: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Liberals and Conservatives

brain scan
© Unknown
Can neuroscience provide evidence for a liberal and conservative thinking style?

It may seem like a stretch to say that one could predict whether you lean left or right by looking at a brain scan - no questions asked, no opinions voiced - purely based on your neuroanatomy. However, this might not be too far from reality - at least insofar as predicting thinking style, which has been shown to be somewhat distinct based on party association.

Does brain structure determine your beliefs, or do your beliefs change your brain structure? What about those who switch parties at some point? How do they fit in to this model? We'll be discussing all of this. It's a complicated issue with lots of variables in play, so we're going to take a pretty deep look into this topic from all angles, so we can draw the most accurate conclusions.

Please keep in mind from the beginning that this is not an endorsement of any one political party. This is science - we'll just be discussing the data. Ready?

Light Sabers

When Men Become Truly Free

When men become truly free:

Heart - Black

Beyond PTSD: Soldiers Have Injured Souls

© Photo: United States Marine Corps / Flickr
John Fisher got his soul back when he visited a cemetery in Greece.

Shelley Corteville felt "rocketed" into healing when she told her story at a veterans' retreat after 28 years of silence.

Bob Cagle lost his decades-long urge to commit suicide after an encounter at a Buddhist temple.

Comment: For more information concerning the effects of trauma, read In An Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine.


Trust in your neighbors could benefit your health, study shows

© Unknown
Here's an easy way to improve your health: trust your neighbors. A new study from the University of Missouri shows that increasing trust in neighbors is associated with better self-reported health.

"I examined the idea of 'relative position,' or where one fits into the income distribution in their local community, as it applies to both trust of neighbors and self-rated health," said Eileen Bjornstrom, an assistant professor of sociology in the MU College of Arts and Science. "Because human beings engage in interpersonal comparisons in order to gauge individual characteristics, it has been suggested that a low relative position, or feeling that you are below another person financially, leads to stress and negative emotions such as shame, hostility and distrust, and that health suffers as a consequence. While most people aren't aware of how trust impacts them, results indicated that trust was a factor in a person's overall health."

In the study, Bjornstrom examined the 2001 Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey. Contrary to expectations, she found that respondents with a higher income, relative to their community, were more likely to be distrustful of their neighbors. Simultaneously, while taking into account factors such as level of education, income, and age, people who reported that "their neighbors can be trusted" also reported better health on average.


One in 25 Business Leaders May Be A Psychopath, Study Finds

© Lambert/Getty Images/Hulton Archive
The study says psychopaths are able to gain affection from both their superiors and subordinates at work.
Psychopaths use charm and manipulation to achieve success in the workplace, according to a US study

One out of every 25 business leaders could be psychopathic, a study claims.

The study, conducted by the New York psychologist Paul Babiak, suggests that they disguise the condition by hiding behind their high status, playing up their charm and by manipulating others.

Favourable environmental factors such as a happy childhood mean they can function in a workplace rather than channelling their energies in more violent or destructive ways. Revealing the results in a BBC Horizon documentary, Babiak said: "Psychopaths really aren't the kind of person you think they are.


Freedom of Association, Smoking and Psychopathy

Psychopath advisory
The short video clip below will set the stage for what I am going to write in this article. I also urge all of you who are reading this short piece to please read The New COINTELPRO: Cyberwarfare 'hacktivists' and the Subversion of Anonymous also (and click the links and check some of the evidence!). It looks like agents of all forms and sorts are being activated everywhere and it is not just SOTT that is targeted!

One person commented on the above linked article that they thought it was a waste of time for SOTT to chronicle and expose these sorts of things - it was a "distraction". Sorry, but we don't feel that way about it. From our point of view, exposing the ways and means of 1) conscious, paid government agents; 2) unconscious "useful idiots" that are covertly helped into positions of trust/authority in various movements, is extremely helpful for anyone who is engaged in social activism. It's the pathologicals in power who promote the meme "just ignore it, it will go away" or "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" and "it's not worth your time or effort" etc.

Psychopathology rules our world today; that's the bottom line and that's why everything is as screwed up as it is. But it can only rule if people aren't aware of it and exactly how it operates. That's why we present these "dramas". Besides, it's better than TV!

So, on to the video clip!

As I say in the video above, I've experienced more attacks due to my work to expose psychopathology in modern Western culture than any other topic I have ever researched and written about. Since we have created the Fellowship of the Cosmic Mind, a legally incorporated religion that is based on not believing in anything (or anybody) but rather basing our beliefs on objective reality, and its scientific stress reduction, healing and rejuvenation breathing program/techniques, things have gone absolutely NUTS in this respect. It really makes a person think that we must be on the right track for all the pathological roaches to come out of the woodwork at once! The big question is: are we going to survive it? I guess that depends on our readers and how much support we get and how far and wide they can spread the information that I'm going to share with you today.


Word Association: Study Matches Brain Scans with Complex Thought

© Francisco Pereira
Princeton researchers developed a method to determine the probability of various words being associated with the object a person thought about during a brain scan.
In an effort to understand what happens in the brain when a person reads or considers such abstract ideas as love or justice, Princeton researchers have for the first time matched images of brain activity with categories of words related to the concepts a person is thinking about. The results could lead to a better understanding of how people consider meaning and context when reading or thinking.

The researchers report in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience that they used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify areas of the brain activated when study participants thought about physical objects such as a carrot, a horse or a house. The researchers then generated a list of topics related to those objects and used the fMRI images to determine the brain activity that words within each topic shared. For instance, thoughts about "eye" and "foot" produced similar neural stirrings as other words related to body parts.

Once the researchers knew the brain activity a topic sparked, they were able to use fMRI images alone to predict the subjects and words a person likely thought about during the scan. This capability to put people's brain activity into words provides an initial step toward further exploring themes the human brain touches upon during complex thought.


Book Review: Women Who Love Psychopaths

© psychcentral.com
This book has many reasons to recommend it. Two are most powerful. First, its postulation through neuroscientific indications that the psychopath's brain is genetically different from his fellows and so he cannot change is paramount to letting go. Not understanding this, the victim is drawn, over and over again into the "vortex" of his power play. The term psychopath is used in the book to describe most of the "low/no empathy and conscience diagnoses" (p. 19). Further, the author delineates her hypothesis with a nature v. nurture debate regarding whether people become or are born this way. It is compelling.

The second, powerful hypothesis that Ms. Brown asserts is regarding the "Super Traits" (p. 206) of the victim that dovetail with the psychopath's. It would seem that the stronger and more independent the woman is, the more challenge and usefulness she provides for the man behind the mask. The psychopath is an opportunist as well as a sadist (in varying degrees). His parasitic lifestyle depends upon the strength of his victim and oftentimes her wealth. He will have many relationships to be certain that he always has a fresh supply of whatever he feels his needs are. The stronger woman will last longer. And yet, even after he has broken her, victims have reported that they have heard from these men a year or even ten years later. Many a woman will ask herself how this debacle happened; the book will give her a blow-by-blow description. And identifying the issue is a powerful way to begin a healing journey.

Comment: The author of Women Who Love Psychopaths, Sandra L. Brown wrote an excellent article in issue 13 of The Dot Connector Magazine titled The Unexamined Victim: Women Who Love Psychopaths . The article provides the reader with additional information and research about psychopaths and their negative effects on their victims.

In addition the following documentaries provide important information about psychopaths:

Defense Against the Psychopath

Documentary: Psychopath
"There are many psychopaths in society, that actually, we virtually know nothing about. These are the psychopaths who don't necessarily commit homicide, commit serious violence, or even come to the attention of the police. They may be successful businessmen. They may be successful politicians. They may be successful academics. They may be successful priests. They exist in all areas of society. There is a growing awareness that psychopathic behavior is around us in all walks of life."
For an in-depth view of psychopathy please see: Political Ponerology: The scientific study of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes