Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 28 Jul 2017
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit
Map

Hearts

Listening to your heart (beat) can help you become more empathetic

© Telegraph
Volunteers were asked to listen to the heart beat without feeling for a pulse.
When it comes to reading the emotions of others, "listen to your heart" may sound a meaninglessly vague suggestion.

According to new research, however, the advice should be taken literally.

Scientists have discovered that people able to hear their own heart beat are more empathetic and better able to navigate social situations.

Experiments at Anglia Ruskin University have for the first time proven a link between a person's own physiological awareness, and their psychological ability to "read the minds" of other people.

Info

The secret to honesty revealed: it feels better

© PA
The striatum is key to valuing decent behaviour.
It is a mystery that has perplexed psychologists and philosophers since the dawn of humanity: why are most people honest?

Now, using a complex array of MRI machines and electrocution devices, scientists claim to have found the answer.

Researchers at University College London discovered that at a physical level the brain finds decency far more satisfying than deception.

The trial revealed that, despite accumulating a large amount of money, most participants derived no deep-seated satisfaction if the success was gained at the expense of others.

Published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the study indicates that, at least at a psychological level, the old adage that "crime doesn't pay" is right.

"When we make decisions, a network of brain regions calculates how valuable our options are," said Dr Molly Crockett, who led the research.

"Ill-gotten gains evoke weaker responses in this network, which may explain why most people would rather not profit from harming others.

"Our results suggest the money just isn't as appealing."

The research team scanned volunteers' brains as they decided whether to anonymously inflict pain on themselves or strangers in exchange for money.

The experiment involved 28 couples of participants who were paired off and given the ability to give each other small electric shocks.

Hearts

Embracing vulnerability is the most powerful yoga

"Embracing your vulnerability is the beginning of creating a very different world that we can all live in," writes yoga teacher Donna Farhi.

We all begin life fully embodied, that is to say, connected to our sensate experience. My teacher Ray Worring used to describe this as "polymorphously sensuous," which is to say that every part of the body has the capacity for feeling.

He contended that we have been culturally indoctrinated to limit this heightened awareness and experience of the body to a few square inches of sexualized anatomy, while the rest of the body becomes dull, unfelt, and ultimately unheard.

When we restore ourselves to this whole-bodied sensuousness we are experiencing sensations such as warm air passing over the hairs on our arms, or cool water flowing down the throat, or a tiny sharpness in the back muscles. We start to feel ourselves in and as life—reconnected to the source of our own animation.
"Vulnerability is a requirement in sharing our true feelings, thoughts, and emotions with others, but it is also a requirement in opening to the feelings, thoughts and emotions of others."

Hearts

11 important steps for raising awareness and consciousness

What does "raising consciousness" actually mean? It is often portrayed as some sort of super-human accomplishment that will grant us spiritual super powers... but it is simply about becoming freer within ourselves. The freer we feel within — not "because" of this or that — the LIGHTER we are. Becoming enlightened is simply about lightening up. We can now forget about becoming something more "special." Raising our consciousness is simply the process of lightening up our load of baggage so we can move freely and fluidly as the light beings that we already are!

Here are 11 tips and insights that have personally helped me lighten up my own load and shift my consciousness.

Boat

Jon Rappoport: The free and independent individual

"Now we have a whole army of experts, whose job is to tell you success only comes with you being part of a group. Your status as an individual is transmitted to you through some diabolical portion of your brain that is loaded with false messages. Therefore, give up on the greatest adventure in the world. Take the elevator down to the basement, get off, and join the crowd. That's where the love is. That's where your useless courage dissolves into sugar, and the chorus of complaints will be magically transformed into a paradise of the lowest common denominator. Give up the ghost. You're home. The sun never rises or sets. Nothing changes. The same sameness rules." (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
Since the 1960s, many people have decided that, in order to create the future they want, they should engage in a certain amount of introspection.

Spiritual or psychological introspection.

I have encountered a large number of such people, who have swung the balance to the point where introspection has become indecision and paralysis.

There are "so many issues to consider."

Heart

Stimulate your vagus nerve for better mental health

"By developing an understanding of the workings of your vagus nerve, you may find it possible to work with your nervous system rather than feel trapped when it works against you." - Dr. Arielle Schwartz, Clinical Psychologist
Stimulating my vagus nerve has played a key role in the management of my mental health over the years.

What exactly is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in your body.

It connects your brain to many important organs throughout the body, including the gut (intestines, stomach), heart and lungs.

In fact, the word "vagus" means "wanderer" in Latin, which accurately represents how the nerve wanders all over the body and reaches various organs.

The vagus nerve is also a key part of your parasympathetic "rest and digest" nervous system. It influences your breathing, digestive function and heart rate, all of which can have a huge impact on your mental health.

Comment: The Neurobiology of Grace Under Pressure: 7 habits that stimulate your vagus nerve and keep you calm, cool, and collected
  • The breathing and meditation techniques of the Éiriú Eolas program are geared towards stimulating the vagus nerve. Stimulate your polyvagal system right away at eebreathe.com.



Family

Completely alone and utterly depressed

Do you ever feel like you have been completely abandoned by the world? Do you struggle with feelings of loneliness, isolation and depression? If so, you are far from alone. Thanks to technology Americans are more isolated than they have ever been before, and as you will see below, this is really starting to cause a major national crisis.

Humans were designed to be social creatures, and researchers have found that a lack of interaction with others can cause major mental, emotional and social problems. Not only that, it can also lead to premature death. We actually have a need to love others and to be loved by them, and if those needs are not met the consequences can be quite dramatic.

Comment:


Rainbow

The benefits of solitude: Balm for the harried urban soul

© goosie gander
On April 14, 1934, Richard Byrd went out for his daily walk. The air was the usual temperature: minus 57 degrees Fahrenheit. He stepped steadily through the drifts of snow, making his rounds. And then he paused to listen. Nothing.

He attended, a little startled, to the cloud-high and over-powering silence he had stepped into. For miles around the only other life belonged to a few stubborn microbes that clung to sheltering shelves of ice. It was only 4 p.m., but the land quavered in a perpetual twilight. There was—was there?—some play on the chilled horizon, some crack in the bruised Antarctic sky. And then, unaccountably, Richard Byrd's universe began to expand.

Later, back in his hut, huddled by a makeshift furnace, Byrd wrote in his diary:
Here were imponderable processes and forces of the cosmos, harmonious and soundless. Harmony, that was it! That was what came out of the silence—a gentle rhythm, the strain of a perfect chord, the music of the spheres, perhaps.

It was enough to catch that rhythm, momentarily to be myself a part of it. In that instant I could feel no doubt of man's oneness with the universe.
Admiral Byrd had volunteered to staff a weather base near the South Pole for five winter months. But the reason he was there alone was far less concrete. Struggling to explain his reasons, Byrd admitted that he wanted "to know that kind of experience to the full . . . to taste peace and quiet and solitude long enough to find out how good they really are." He was also after a kind of personal liberty, for he believed that "no man can hope to be completely free who lingers within reach of familiar habits."

Brain

Rewiring the brain can end the cycle of inter-generational poverty

You saw the pictures in science class—a profile view of the human brain, sectioned by function. The piece at the very front, right behind where a forehead would be if the brain were actually in someone's head, is the pre-frontal cortex. It handles problem-solving, goal-setting, and task execution. And it works with the limbic system, which is connected and sits closer to the center of the brain. The limbic system processes emotions and triggers emotional responses, in part because of its storage of long-term memory.

When a person lives in poverty, a growing body of research suggests the limbic system is constantly sending fear and stress messages to the prefrontal cortex, which overloads its ability to solve problems, set goals, and complete tasks in the most efficient ways.

This happens to everyone at some point, regardless of social class. The overload can be prompted by any number of things, including an overly stressful day at work or a family emergency. People in poverty, however, have the added burden of ever-present stress. They are constantly struggling to make ends meet and often bracing themselves against class bias that adds extra strain or even trauma to their daily lives.

And the science is clear—when brain capacity is used up on these worries and fears, there simply isn't as much bandwidth for other things.

People

8 (probable) signs you're being lied to

© Getty Images
How many people have you spoken with today? Chances are that most of them lied to you—and that they did it more than once. It's a hard fact to accept, but even your closest friends and coworkers lie to you regularly.

University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman has studied lying for more than a decade, and his research has reached some startling conclusions. Most shocking is that 60% of people lie during a typical 10-minute conversation and that they average two to three lies during that short timeframe.

Most of the people in Feldman's studies don't even realize all of the lies they have told until after the conversation when it was played back to them on video.

People lie in everyday conversation to appear more likeable and competent. While men and women lie equally as often, they tend to lie for different reasons. "Women were more likely to lie to make the person they were talking to feel good, while men lied most often to make themselves look better," Feldman said.

Comment: These tells may be a good starting point but there are people in this world who lie without giving anything away.
The Health & Wellness Show: Liar, liar, pants on fire!: The truth about lying