Life is always going to be bringing us challenges, twists and turns, but no matter where you are on your journey, here are 3 powerful reminders that are always worth remembering-
1. Stay Hydrated
Stress and anxiety can put a lot of strain on the body. While exercising, meditating and eating well is always important, it can be hard to keep on top of these things when you are going through a rough patch.
One quick solution to support your wellbeing however, is staying hydrated. Drinking lots of water is not only beneficial to your body’s cellular processes but it can also boost your energy levels and clear your mind.
Water can also help to flush out heavy emotions and help to detoxify any stagnant energy that may be lingering in the etheric body.
If you are going through a challenging period remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
2. Don’t Think, Feel
Part of our human gifts in this life is being able to understand and rationalize things using our logical mind.
While this is an incredible skill to have, sometimes it is important to remember that not everything can be understood from this place of thinking.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try things are just not going to make sense on a logical or practical level. When this occurs, it is important to stop thinking and start feeling instead.
Our feelings are powerful guidance tools that can actually be far more effective than trying to understanding things from a place of logic. The trick with using our feelings as a guide is to not let our logical mind analyze or interfere with the process.
To do this, simply calm your mind using your breath and then tune into your true feelings. You may just be surprised as to what comes up and how you can use it to guide you.
3. Know Everything Will Make Sense in the End
When you are in the midst of a challenging life period it can be tricky to find the gratitude and understand why things are unfolding the way that they are.
Often the most challenging periods of our lives lead us to the most rewarding places, but it can be hard to see this when going through the motions.
When life is no longer making sense to you, it is often a sign that huge growth and transformation is underway. During this process it is important to step out of the chaos for a moment or two and acknowledge that things will all make sense in the end.
There is always an ending and always a resolution that will arise and the more you can trust that, the easier it will be to moving through the process.
Remember that things always work out and there is already a resolution to all of your problems, all you have to do is keep moving forward.
Yesterday, you’ll recall, I blogged about my high octane speculation, or perhaps one might even call it a high octane suspicion, that the human trafficking scandals that have erupted in almost every country of the west and which have spilled over into other countries, might be a large component of what I have been calling a hidden system of finance. And as China, Russia, and other nations of the BRICSA bloc have been buying up bullion, and negotiated bi-lateral currency and trading agreements, something else has been happening, quietly, and far from the attentions of the lamestream presstitutes of the corporate controlled globaloney media. And no, I’m not talking about the efforts of Germany or other countries to repatriate, and get an accurate audit, of their gold reserves on deposit in foreign central banks.
I’m talking about the quiet “revolt of the states” taking place in the USSA.
The Empire of the United States is in a bit of an economic quandry, for it doesn’t make much that other people want to buy any more. Agriculture remains one of the USSA’s primary non-military exports, but much of that food supply is now tainted with GMO products, and the growing revolt against them around the world might conceivably dent that in the future. Other than this, America doesn’t export much that other people want to buy. If one has a few billion dollars of pocket change laying around, then one might want to buy an aircraft carrier, but increasingly, with new and much less expensive Russian missile technologies about to come into operational use, these big behemoths might end up being nothing but “missile magnets,” as a US Navy friend of mine put it to me once during a recent conversation. Tanks? Well, Germany has an equivalent one, so why feed your hard earned defense dollars to the American beast when you can feed it to the smaller German beast? And for that matter, Russia has a better tank than either the USSA or Germany. They probably aren’t selling, but at least you can try.
What about energy? Natural gas and such? Well, the USSA’s sanctions game with Russia has as its unstated and hidden goal the sale of energy to Europe, a nice way to keep those pesky Frenchmen and Germans under the American thumb. The problem there is, it’s more expensive than getting it from Russia, and the Germans are, understandably, not too happy about that. Even Frau Merkel woke up from her multicultural slumber long enough to tell her lackey, Mr. Junker, to express some profound displeasure. Go back to sleep now, Angela. All is well, Europe continues to crumble.
Aircraft? Well, sure, for a few tens of millions, one might want to buy an F-35. Trouble is, its performance is far below what was touted making it an expensive waste. How about a very expensive Aegis class missile frigate? The problem there is, obsolescent Russian Sukhoi fighters appear to be able to turn them off, completely. What about a nice Patriot anti-missile system? The problem there is, the new class of Russian ICBMs can defeat it, since they can change flight paths even in the descent stage, as can their 24 MIRVed warheads. But fortunately, the never-to-be-trusted-always-Byzantinely-scheming-Russians aren’t selling that on the open market. (“Park it in my back yard, guys. Thanks!”)
As all this is happening, I recently blogged about the Pentagram study that acknowledged that, yes, since 9/11, everyone in the world has pretty much had it with the USSA’s unipolarism. Their solution? Double down: more arms, more militarization of the American economy, and, of course, more surveillance of Americans.
Perhaps the Pentagram’s study was motivated by the growing revolt of American states against the cultural and political swamp of psychopathy that Washington, District of Cesspool, has become. It’s a story we’ve covered here before: more and more state legislatures are passing resolutions recognizing bullion as legal Constitutional tender. Texas took an even bigger, bolder step, by creating a state bullion depository, a move which was followed by discussions of similar measures in Utah.
Now, Arizona joins, according to this article shared by Mr. B.H. (copy and paste into your browser):
The backing of the USSA’s Federal Reserve notes is, of course, nothing but American military power. And if that military power is increasingly looking like a “risky” investment to foreign nations, then the dollar’s days as a reserve currency are numbered. And some American states are seeing this, and acting. Hence, the Pentagram’s recent study might be casting a nervous glance, not on foreign violence, or even random domestic violence, but at the growing movement of quiet revolt in the states themselves.
… it makes one think, just for a moment, that it was a shame General Beauregard didn’t march into Washington, as some of his subordinate commanders urged him to do after the First Battle of Bull Run, but in any case, with all the new and abhorrent human trafficking going on, one wonders if, in fact, the South really did win…
Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted
Documents released in US cancer litigation show Monsanto’s desperate attempts to suppress a study that showed adverse effects of Roundup herbicide – and that the editor of the journal that retracted the study had a contractual relationship with the company. Claire Robinson reports
Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.
The study, led by Prof GE Séralini, showed that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide had toxic effects on rats over a long-term period, including serious liver and kidney damage. Additional observations of increased tumour rates in treated rats would need to be confirmed in a larger-scale carcinogenicity study.
The newly released documents show that throughout the retraction campaign, Monsanto tried to cover its tracks to hide its involvement. Instead Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to orchestrating a “third party expert” campaign in which scientists who were apparently independent of Monsanto would bombard the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), A. Wallace Hayes, with letters demanding that he retract the study.
Use of “third party experts” is a classic public relations tactic perfected by the tobacco industry. It consists of putting industry-friendly messages into the mouths of supposedly “independent” experts, since no one would believe industry attempts to defend its own products. Back in 2012, GMWatch founder Jonathan Matthews exposed the industry links of the supposedly independent scientists who lobbied the journal editor to retract the Séralini paper. Now we have first-hand proof of Monsanto’s direct involvement.
In one document, Saltmiras reviews his own achievements within the company, boasting that he “Successfully facilitated numerous third party expert letters to the editor which were subsequently published, reflecting the numerous significant deficiencies, poor study design, biased reporting and selective statistics employed by Séralini. In addition, coauthored the Monsanto letter to the editor with [Monsanto employees] Dan Goldstein and Bruce Hammond.”
Saltmiras further writes of how “Throughout the late 2012 Séralini rat cancer publication and media campaign, I leveraged my relationship [with] the Editor i[n] Chief of the publishing journal… and was the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal.”
Another Monsanto employee, Eric Sachs, writes in an email about his efforts to galvanize scientists in the letter-writing campaign. Sachs refers to Bruce Chassy, a scientist who runs the pro-GMO Academics Review website. Sachs writes: “I talked to Bruce Chassy and he will send his letter to Wally Hayes directly and notify other scientists that have sent letters to do the same. He understands the urgency… I remain adamant that Monsanto must not be put in the position of providing the critical analysis that leads the editors to retract the paper.”
In response to Monsanto’s request, Chassy urged Hayes to retract the Séralini paper: “My intent was to urge you to roll back the clock, retract the paper, and restart the review process.”
Chassy was also the first signatory of a petition demanding the retraction of the Séralini study and the co-author of a Forbes article accusing Séralini of fraud. In neither document does Chassy declare any link with Monsanto. But in 2016 he was exposed as having taken over $57,000 over less than two years from Monsanto to travel, write and speak about GMOs.
Sachs is keen to ensure that Monsanto is not publicly seen as attempting to get the paper retracted, even though that is precisely what it is doing. Sachs writes to Monsanto scientist William Heydens: “There is a difference between defending science and participating in a formal process to retract a publication that challenges the safety of our products. We should not provide ammunition for Séralini, GM critics and the media to charge that Monsanto used its might to get this paper retracted. The information that we provided clearly establishes the deficiencies in the study as reported and makes a strong case that the paper should not have passed peer review.”
Another example of Monsanto trying to cover up its involvement in the retraction campaign emerges from email correspondence between Monsanto employees Daniel Goldstein and Eric Sachs. Goldstein states: “I was uncomfortable even letting shareholders know we are aware of this LTE [GMW: probably “Letter to the Editor”]…. It implies we had something to do with it – otherwise how do we have knowledge of it? I could add ‘Aware of multiple letters to editor including one signed by 25 scientists from 14 countries’ if you both think this is OK.” Sachs responds: “We are ‘connected’ but did not write the letter or encourage anyone to sign it.”
A. Wallace Hayes was paid by Monsanto
The most shocking revelation of the disclosed documents is that the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, entered into a consulting agreement with Monsanto in the period just before Hayes’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini study. Clearly Hayes had a conflict of interest between his role as a consultant for Monsanto and his role as editor for a journal that retracted a study determining that glyphosate has toxic effects. The study was published on 19 September 2012; the consulting agreement between Hayes and Monsanto was dated 21 August 2012 and Hayes is contracted to provide his services beginning 7 September 2012.
The documents also reveal that Monsanto paid Hayes $400 per hour for his services and that in return Hayes was expected to “Assist in establishment of an expert network of toxicologists, epidemiologists, and other scientists in South America and participate on the initial meeting held within the region. Preparation and delivery of a seminar addressing relevant regional issues pertaining to glyphosate toxicology is a key deliverable for the inaugural meeting in 2013.”
Hayes should have recused himself from any involvement with the Séralini study from the time he signed this agreement. But he kept quiet. He went on to oversee a second “review” of the study by unnamed persons whose conflicts of interest, if any, were not declared – resulting in his decision to retract the study for the unprecedented reason that some of the results were “inconclusive”.
Hayes told the New York Times’s Danny Hakim in an interview that he had not been under contract with Monsanto at the time of the retraction and was paid only after he left the journal. He added that “Monsanto played no role whatsoever in the decision that was made to retract.” But since it took the journal over a year to retract the study after the months-long second review, which Hayes oversaw, it’s clear that he had an undisclosed conflict of interest from the time he entered into the contract with Monsanto and during the review process. He appears to be misleading the New York Times.
The timing of the contract also begs the question as to whether Monsanto knew the publication of the study was coming. If so, they may have been happy to initiate such a relationship with Hayes at just that time.
A Monsanto internal email confirms the company’s intimate relationship with Hayes. Saltmiras writes about the recently published Séralini study: “Wally Hayes, now FCT Editor in Chief for Vision and Strategy, sent me a courtesy email early this morning. Hopefully the two of us will have a follow up discussion soon to touch on whether FCT Vision and Strategy were front and center for this one passing through the peer review process.”
In other email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel, Daniel Goldstein writes the following with respect to the Séralini study: “Retraction – Both Dan Jenkins (US Government affairs) and Harvey Glick made a strong case for withdrawal of the paper if at all possible, both on the same basis – that publication will elevate the status of the paper, bring other papers in the journal into question, and allow Séralini much more freedom to operate. All of us are aware that the ultimate decision is up to the editor and the journal management, and that we may not have an opportunity for withdrawal in any event, but I felt it was worth reinforcing this request.”
Monsanto got its way, though the paper was subsequently republished by another journal with higher principles – and, presumably, with an editorial board that wasn’t under contract with Monsanto.
Why Monsanto had to kill the Séralini study
It’s obvious that it was in Monsanto’s interests to kill the Séralini study. The immediate reason was that it reported harmful effects from low doses of Roundup and a GM maize engineered to tolerate it. But the wider reason that emerges from the documents is that to admit that the study had any validity whatsoever would be to open the doors for regulators and others to demand other long-term studies on GM crops and their associated pesticides.
A related danger for Monsanto, pointed out by Goldstein, is that “a third party may procure funding to verify Séralini’s claims, either through a government agency or the anti-GMO/antl-pesticide financiers”.
The documents show that Monsanto held a number of international teleconferences to discuss how to pre-empt such hugely threatening developments.
Summing up the points from the teleconferences, Daniel Goldstein writes that “unfortunately”, three “potential issues regarding long term studies have now come up and will need some consideration and probably a white paper of some type (either internal or external)”. These are potential demands for
• 2 year rat/long-term cancer (and possibly reproductive toxicity) on GM crops
• 2 year/chronic studies on pesticide formulations, in addition to the studies on the active ingredient alone that are currently demanded by regulators, and
• 2 year rat/chronic studies of pesticide formulations on the GM crop.
In reply to the first point, Goldstein writes that the Séralini study “found nothing other than the usual variation in SD [Sprague-Dawley] rats, and as such there is no reason to question the recent EFSA guidance that such studies were not needed for substantially equivalent crops”. GMWatch readers will not be surprised to see Monsanto gaining support from EFSA in its opposition to carrying out long-term studies on GMOs.
In answer to the second point, Goldstein reiterates that the Séralini study “actually finds nothing – so there is no need to draw any conclusions from it – but the theoretical issue has been placed on the table. We need to be prepared with a well considered response.”
In answer to the third point, Goldstein ignores the radical nature of genetic engineering and argues pragmatically, if not scientifically, “This approach would suggest that the same issue arises for conventional crops and that every individual formulation would need a chronic study over every crop (at a minimum) and probably every variety of crop (since we know they have more genetic variation than GM vs conventional congener) and raises the possibility of an almost limitless number of tests.” But he adds, “We also need a coherent argument for this issue.”
EU regulators side with Monsanto
To the public’s detriment, some regulatory bodies have backed Monsanto rather than the public interest and have backed off the notion that long-term studies should be required for GM crops. In fact, the EU is considering doing awaywith even the short 90-day animal feeding studies currently required under European GMO legislation. This will be based in part on the results of the EU-funded GRACE animal feeding project, which has come under fire for the industry links of some of the scientists involved and for its alleged manipulation of findings of adverse effects on rats fed Monsanto’s GM MON810 maize.
A. Wallace Hayes is no longer the editor-in-chief of FCT but is named as an “emeritus editor”. Likewise, Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto employee who was parachuted onto the journal’s editorial board shortly after the publication of the Séralini study, is no longer at the journal.
But although they are sidelined or gone, their legacy lives on in the form of a gap in the history of the journal where Séralini’s paper belongs.
Now that Monsanto’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini paper is out in the open, FCT and Hayes should do the decent thing and issue a formal apology to Prof Séralini and his team. FCT cannot and should not reinstate the paper, because it is now published by another journal. But it needs to draw a line under this shameful episode, admit that it handled it badly, and declare its support for scientific independence and objectivity.
Many aches and pains are rooted in brain processes that can be affected by your mental attitude and emotions. While the mechanics of these mind-body links are still being unraveled, what is known is that your brain, and consequently your thoughts and emotions, do play a role in your experience of physical pain.
For instance, meditation appears to work for pain relief because it reduces brain activity in your primary somatosensory cortex, an area that helps create the feeling of where and how intense a painful stimulus is. Laughter is also known to relieve pain because it releases endorphins that activate brain receptors that produce pain-killing and euphoria-producing effects.
This line of communication between mind and body runs both ways though, and physical pain, especially if it’s chronic, is a well-known trigger for depression. According to psychologist Rex Schmidt at the Nebraska Medical Center Pain Management: “Depression and pain happen to share a part of the brain that’s involved in both conditions, which means that mind-body techniques that affect those areas can be efficacious for both.”
Meditation and laughter are just two examples of a burgeoning new field of science that looks at mind-body therapies to address depression and chronic pain. Here are 13 such strategies…
#1: Add EFT to Your Self-Help Toolkit
The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a form of psychological acupressure based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles.
Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to transfer kinetic energy onto specific meridians on your head and chest while you think about your specific problem — whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, anxiety, etc. — and voice positive affirmations.
This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the “short-circuit” — the emotional block — from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.
Some people are initially wary of these principles that EFT is based on — the electromagnetic energy that flows through the body and regulates our health is only recently becoming recognized in the West. Others are initially taken aback by (and sometimes amused by) the EFT tapping and affirmation methodology.
But believe me when I say that, more than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, EFT has the most potential to literally work magic. Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, the body can often rebalance itself, and accelerate healing.
In the videos below, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman shows how you can use EFT to relieve your physical pain and depression.
Massage offers real health benefits, so much so that some conventional hospitals are making it a standard therapy for surgery patients and others. Along with promoting relaxation and improving your sense of well-being, getting a massage has been shown to:
Relieve pain (from migraines, labor, fibromyalgia and even cancer)
Reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and ease insomnia
Decrease symptoms of PMS
Relax and soften injured and overused muscles, reducing spasms and cramping.
Provide arthritis relief by increasing joint flexibility.
Massage affects your nervous system through nerve endings in your skin, stimulating the release of endorphins, which are natural “feel good” chemicals. Endorphins help induce relaxation and a sense of well-being, relieve pain and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline — reversing the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure.
Stronger massage stimulates blood circulation to improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to body tissues and helps the lymphatic system to flush away waste products. It eases tense and knotted muscles and stiff joints, improving mobility and flexibility. Massage is said to increase activity of the vagus nerve, one of 10 cranial nerves, that affects the secretion of food absorption hormones, heart rate and respiration. It has proven to be an effective therapy for a variety of health conditions — particularly stress-related tension, which experts believe accounts for as much as 80 percent to 90 percent of disease.
As reported by iVillage.com:
“[A] new study from Thailand suggests that traditional Thai massage can decrease pain intensity, muscle tension and anxiety among people with shoulder pain. Meanwhile, research from the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami in Florida found that when adults with hand pain had four weeks of massage therapy, they reported a lot less pain, anxiety and depression.
Another study at the Touch Research Institute found that when pregnant women who were depressed received massages from their partners twice a week, they had much less leg and back pain and fewer symptoms of depression during the second half of their pregnancies.”
#3: Remain in the Now…
Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. Rather than letting your mind wander, when you’re mindful you’re living in the moment and letting distracting thoughts pass through your mind without getting caught up in their emotional implications. Though it sounds simple, it often takes a concerted effort to remain in a mindful state, especially if it’s new to you. But doing so can offer some very significant benefits to both your mental and physical health.
For example, mindfulness training has been found to reduce levels of stress-induced inflammation, which could benefit people suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.
This makes sense, since chronic stress heightens the inflammatory response, and mindfulness is likely to help you relieve feelings of stress and anxiety. In one eight-week study, people who received mindfulness training had smaller inflammatory responses than those who received a control intervention, which focused on healthy activities to reduce psychological stress but without particular instruction on mindfulness. Similarly, according to iVillage.com:
“Mindfulness meditation — focusing on your breath and each present moment — can lessen cancer pain, low back pain and migraine headaches. Researchers at Brown University in Providence, R.I., found that when women with chronic pelvic pain participated in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program, their pain decreased and their mood improved.”
In many ways, mindfulness is similar to transcendental meditation, the idea of which is to reach a place of “restful” or “concentrated” alertness, which enables you to let negative thoughts and distractions pass by you without upsetting your calm and balance. This type of meditation is easy to try at home: simply sit quietly, perhaps with some soothing music, breathe rhythmically and focus on something such as your breathing, a flower, an image, a candle, a mantra or even just being there, fully aware, in the moment.
Researchers report that practicing mindfulness meditation for just four days affects pain responses in your brain. Brain activity decreases in areas devoted to monitoring a painful body part, and also in areas responsible for relaying sensory information.
In biofeedback, electrical sensors attached to your skin allow you to monitor your biological changes, such as heart rate, and this feedback can help you achieve a deeper state of relaxation. It can also teach you to control your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension through your mind. According to psychologist Rex Schmidt:
“Through focus and mental strategies, biofeedback induces the relaxation response and gives you a greater sense of control.”
Biofeedback is often used for stress-related conditions, such as:
#5: Free Yourself from Tension with Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is achieved by tensing and relaxing all the major muscle groups, one at a time, from head to toe. By learning to feel the difference between tension and relaxation, you can more actively disengage your body’s fight-or-flight response, which underlies most pain, depression and stress. As reported by iVillage.com:
“Studies show that whether PMR is used on its own or with guided imagery, it helps ease emotional distress and pain from cancer, osteoarthritis, surgery and other conditions.”
#6: Harness Relaxation with Tai Chi
The 2,000-year-old Chinese practice of tai chi is a branch of Qigong — exercises that harness the qi (life energy). It’s been linked to numerous health benefits, including improvements in the quality of life of breast cancer patients and Parkinson’s sufferers, and has shown promise in treating sleep problems and high blood pressure.
Often described as “meditation in motion” or “moving meditation,” the activity takes your body through a specific set of graceful movements. Your body is constantly in motion and each movement flows right into the next. While practicing tai chi, your mind is meant to stay focused on your movements, relaxation and deep breathing, while distracting thoughts are ignored.
Part of the allure is that it’s so gentle, it’s an ideal form of activity for people with pain or other conditions that prevent more vigorous exercise. You can even do tai chi if you’re confined to a wheelchair. Even respected conventional health institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School recommend tai chi for its health benefits, especially as a stress-reduction tool. However, there are more studies available than you might think; suggesting tai chi has an impressive range of health benefits. To browse through them, please see the WorldTaiChiDay.org web site. According to the study, A Randomized Trial of Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia:
“In a recent study at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, researchers found that when people with fibromyalgia participated in 60-minute tai chi sessions twice a week for 12 weeks, they had much less physical and mental discomfort. The researchers also reviewed the medical literature on tai chi’s effect on psychological well-being and concluded that it reduces depression, anxiety and stress.”
#7: Breathe Easy…
Deep breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which induces the relaxation response. There are many different breathing practices that you can try, but here I’m going to share two that are both powerful and very easy to perform. The first one I learned when I attended a presentation by Dr. Andrew Weil at the 2009 Expo West in California. The key to this exercise is to remember the numbers 4, 7 and 8. It’s not important to focus on how much time you spend in each phase of the breathing activity, but rather that you get the ratio correct. Here’s how it’s done:
Sit up straight
Place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth. Keep it there through the entire breathing process
Breathe in silently through your nose to the count of four
Hold your breath to the count of seven
Exhale through your mouth to the count of eight, making an audible “woosh” sound
That completes one full breath. Repeat the cycle another three times, for a total of four breaths
You can do this 4-7-8 exercise as frequently as you want throughout the day, but it’s recommended you don’t do more than four full breaths during the first month or so of practice. Later, you may work your way up to eight full breath cycles at a time. The benefits of this simple practice are enormous and work as a natural tranquilizer for your nervous system.
The second is known as the Buteyko Breathing Method, which is a powerful approach for reversing health problems associated with improper breathing, the most common of which are overbreathing and mouthbreathing. When you stop mouth breathing and learn to bring your breathing volume toward normal, you have better oxygenation of your tissues and organs, including your brain.
Factors of modern life, including stress and lack of exercise, all increase your everyday breathing. Typical characteristics of overbreathing include mouth breathing, upper chest breathing, sighing, noticeable breathing during rest, and taking large breaths prior to talking.
Controlling anxiety and quelling panic attacks is one of the areas where the Buteyko Method can be quite useful. If you’re experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, or if you feel very stressed and your mind can’t stop racing, try the following breathing technique. This sequence helps retain and gently accumulate carbon dioxide, leading to calmer breathing and reduces anxiety. In other words, the urge to breathe will decline as you go into a more relaxed state:
Take a small breath into your nose, followed by a small breath out
Then hold your nose for five seconds in order to hold your breath, and then release your nose to resume breathing
Hypnosis, which is a trance-like state in which you experience heightened focus and concentration, can help decrease pain by altering your emotional responses to your body’s pain signals and your thoughts about the pain. Contrary to popular belief, you do not relinquish control over your behavior while under hypnosis, but it does render you more open to suggestions from the hypnotherapist. As reported by iVillage.com:
“Studies show that hypnosis can help manage the pain from childbirth and metastatic breast cancer as well as chronic low back pain. What’s more, cognitive hypnotherapy can lead to less depression, anxiety and hopelessness among depressed people than cognitive behavioral therapy does, according to research from the University of Calgary in Canada.”
#9: Soothe Your Mind and Body Through the Power of Music
If you’re a music lover, you already know that turning on the tunes can help calm your nerves, make stress disappear, pump up your energy level during a workout, bring back old memories, as well as prompt countless other emotions. When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simple auditory processing.
Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations. At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated, according to recent research published in the journal Science. Other research revealed listening to music resulted in less anxiety and lower cortisol levels among patients about to undergo surgery than taking anti-anxiety drugs. As reported by iVillage.com:
“…[R]esearchers in Cleveland found that when [burn] patients listened to music and used visual imagery as a distraction when their wound dressings were being changed, they experienced significantly less pain, anxiety and muscle tension. In a study in Norway, depressed people who had music therapy plus psychotherapy were less depressed and anxious and more functional than those who just did regular therapy.”
Musical preference varies widely between individuals, so only you can decide what will effectively put you in a particular mood. Overall, classical music tends to be among the most calming, so may be worth a try. To incorporate music into a busy schedule, try playing CDs while driving, or put on some tunes while you’re getting ready for work in the morning. You can also take portable music with you when walking the dog, or turn on the stereo instead of watching TV in the evening.
Yoga has been proven to be particularly beneficial if you suffer with back pain, but recent research also suggests it can also be of tremendous benefit for your mental health. Duke University researchers recently published a review of more than 100 studies looking at the effect of yoga on mental health, and according to lead author Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center:
“Most individuals already know that yoga produces some kind of a calming effect. Individually, people feel better after doing the physical exercise. Mentally, people feel calmer, sharper, maybe more content. We thought it’s time to see if we could pull all [the literature] together… to see if there’s enough evidence that the benefits individual people notice can be used to help people with mental illness.”
According to their findings, yoga appears to have a positive effect on:
Schizophrenia (among patients using medication)
ADHD (among patients using medication)
Some of the studies suggest yoga can have a similar effect to antidepressants and psychotherapy, by influencing neurotransmitters and boosting serotonin. Yoga was also found to reduce levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, blood lipids and growth factors.
According to iVillage.com, visualization techniques or guided imagery can serve as an important tool to combat both physical pain and depression by imagining being in “a better place.”
“Research shows it can help with pain from cancer, osteoarthritis and childbirth by providing distraction and promoting a state of relaxation. In addition, a study from Portugal found that when people hospitalized for depressive disorders listened to a guided imagery CD once a day for 10 days, they were less depressed, anxious and stressed over time, compared to peers who didn’t use visualization.”
Ideally, you’ll want to immerse yourself as fully as you possibly into your visualization, using all your senses: seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, and feeling. According to Dr. Schmidt:
“Using all your senses changes levels of brain chemicals such as serotonin, epinephrine and endorphins, and with regular practice you’ll gain more of a sense of control, which is often lacking when you’re in pain or depressed.”
#12: Repeat a Calming Mantra
The repeated incantation of a mantra — a soothing or uplifting word or phrase of your choice — in a rhythmic fashion can help you relax in a similar way as mindfulness training. The focused repetition, also called autogenic training, helps keep your mind from wandering and worrying, and engages your body’s relaxation response.
“A study at the University of Manchester in the U.K. found that autogenic training helped female migraine sufferers decrease the frequency and intensity of their headaches. And research from the University of Melbourne in Australia suggests that autogenic training may provide ‘helpful longer-term effects’ on symptoms of depression,” according to iVillage.com.
#13: Remove Pain and Dysfunctional Psychological Conditions with the Neurostructural Integration Technique
The Neurostructural Integration Technique (NST) is an amazing innovative technique developed in Australia. Using a series of gentle moves on specific muscles or at precise points on your body creates an energy flow and vibrations between these points. This allows your body to communicate better with itself and balance the other tissues, muscles and organs. The method of action is likely through your autonomic nervous system (ANS), allowing your body to better carry out its many functions the way it was designed to.
The main objective is to remove pain and dysfunctional physiological conditions by restoring the structural integrity of the body. In essence, NST provides the body with an opportunity to reintegrate on many levels, and thus return to and maintain normal homeostatic limits on a daily basis.
NST is done with a light touch and can be done through clothing. There are pauses between sets of moves to allow your body to assimilate the energy and vibrations. To learn more, please review the article, Gentle Hands Can Restore Your Health, by Micheal Nixon Levy who developed the technique.
PUBLISHED: 18:41 EDT, 1 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:14 EDT, 2 August 2017
As the limits of human and robotic space exploration stretch further than ever before, a small group of officials tasked with ‘planetary protection’ are hard at work ensuring contaminants from Earth don’t hitch a ride to other planets, or vice versa.
Between NASA and ESA, there are just two full-time Planetary Protection Officers in the world – and now, NASA is hiring for the position.
The space agency is offering up to $187,000 salary for whoever is selected to fill the sole vacancy, and will be accepting applications until August 14.
As the limits of human and robotic space exploration stretch further than ever before, a small group of officials tasked with ‘planetary protection’ are hard at work ensuring contaminants from Earth don’t hitch a ride to other planets, or vice versa
To be eligible for the position of Planetary Protection Officer, candidates must:
Have at least 1 year of ‘broad engineering expertise’ in a top level civilian government position
Be a ‘recognized subject matter expert,’ with advanced knowledge of planetary protection, and demonstrate experience ‘planning, executing, or overseeing elements of space programs of national significance’
Possess ‘demonstrated skills in diplomacy that resulted in win-win solutions during extremely difficult and complex multilateral discussions’
Have a degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics, or a combination of education and experience equivalent to such a degree
Currently, the title belongs to Catharine Conley, who has been NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer since 2014, Business Insider reports.
According to the job opening, which is offering $124,406 to $187,000 salary, the position is initially appointed for 3 years and has potential to extend another 2.
Whoever is chosen will be tasked with overseeing planetary protection and maintain the policies as they apply to NASA missions.
These efforts aim to ensure the prevention of any unintentional contamination.
‘Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration,’ the inquiry explains.
‘NASA maintains policies for planetary protection applicable to all space flight missions that may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies, and any mission employing spacecraft, which are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration.’
According to Business Insider, the PPO stems from the US ratification of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.
This states that space missions must have less than 1-in-10,000 chance of contaminating the planetary bodies being explored.
The job requires frequent travel, as the PPO may have to examine instruments and gear ahead of launches.
Whoever is chosen as Planetary Protection Officer will be tasked with overseeing planetary protection and maintain the policies as they apply to NASA missions. These efforts aim to ensure the prevention of any unintentional contamination
HACKERS REMOTELY KILL A JEEP ON THE HIGHWAY—WITH ME IN IT
I WAS DRIVING 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold.
Though I hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system. Next the radio switched to the local hip hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. I spun the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass.
As I tried to cope with all this, a picture of the two hackers performing these stunts appeared on the car’s digital display: Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, wearing their trademark track suits. A nice touch, I thought.
The Jeep’s strange behavior wasn’t entirely unexpected. I’d come to St. Louis to be Miller and Valasek’s digital crash-test dummy, a willing subject on whom they could test the car-hacking research they’d been doing over the past year. The result of their work was a hacking technique—what the security industry calls a zero-day exploit—that can target Jeep Cherokees and give the attacker wireless control, via the Internet, to any of thousands of vehicles. Their code is an automaker’s nightmare: software that lets hackers send commands through the Jeep’s entertainment system to its dashboard functions, steering, brakes, and transmission, all from a laptop that may be across the country.
To better simulate the experience of driving a vehicle while it’s being hijacked by an invisible, virtual force, Miller and Valasek refused to tell me ahead of time what kinds of attacks they planned to launch from Miller’s laptop in his house 10 miles west. Instead, they merely assured me that they wouldn’t do anything life-threatening. Then they told me to drive the Jeep onto the highway. “Remember, Andy,” Miller had said through my iPhone’s speaker just before I pulled onto the Interstate 64 on-ramp, “no matter what happens, don’t panic.”1
As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. That’s when they cut the transmission.
Immediately my accelerator stopped working. As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.
At that point, the interstate began to slope upward, so the Jeep lost more momentum and barely crept forward. Cars lined up behind my bumper before passing me, honking. I could see an 18-wheeler approaching in my rearview mirror. I hoped its driver saw me, too, and could tell I was paralyzed on the highway.
“You’re doomed!” Valasek shouted, but I couldn’t make out his heckling over the blast of the radio, now pumping Kanye West. The semi loomed in the mirror, bearing down on my immobilized Jeep
I followed Miller’s advice: I didn’t panic. I did, however, drop any semblance of bravery, grab my iPhone with a clammy fist, and beg the hackers to make it stop.
This wasn’t the first time Miller and Valasek had put me behind the wheel of a compromised car. In the summer of 2013, I drove a Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius around a South Bend, Indiana, parking lot while they sat in the backseat with their laptops, cackling as they disabled my brakes, honked the horn, jerked the seat belt, and commandeered the steering wheel. “When you lose faith that a car will do what you tell it to do,” Miller observed at the time, “it really changes your whole view of how the thing works.” Back then, however, their hacks had a comforting limitation: The attacker’s PC had been wired into the vehicles’ onboard diagnostic port, a feature that normally gives repair technicians access to information about the car’s electronically controlled systems.
A mere two years later, that carjacking has gone wireless. Miller and Valasek plan to publish a portion of their exploit on the Internet, timed to a talk they’re giving at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month. It’s the latest in a series of revelations from the two hackers that have spooked the automotive industry and even helped to inspire legislation; WIRED has learned that senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal plan to introduce an automotive security bill today to set new digital security standards for cars and trucks, first sparked when Markey took note of Miller and Valasek’s work in 2013.
As an auto-hacking antidote, the bill couldn’t be timelier. The attack tools Miller and Valasek developed can remotely trigger more than the dashboard and transmission tricks they used against me on the highway. They demonstrated as much on the same day as my traumatic experience on I-64; After narrowly averting death by semi-trailer, I managed to roll the lame Jeep down an exit ramp, re-engaged the transmission by turning the ignition off and on, and found an empty lot where I could safely continue the experiment.
Miller and Valasek’s full arsenal includes functions that at lower speeds fully kill the engine, abruptly engage the brakes, or disable them altogether. The most disturbing maneuver came when they cut the Jeep’s brakes, leaving me frantically pumping the pedal as the 2-ton SUV slid uncontrollably into a ditch. The researchers say they’re working on perfecting their steering control—for now they can only hijack the wheel when the Jeep is in reverse. Their hack enables surveillance too: They can track a targeted Jeep’s GPS coordinates, measure its speed, and even drop pins on a map to trace its route.
All of this is possible only because Chrysler, like practically all carmakers, is doing its best to turn the modern automobile into a smartphone. Uconnect, an Internet-connected computer feature in hundreds of thousands of Fiat Chrysler cars, SUVs, and trucks, controls the vehicle’s entertainment and navigation, enables phone calls, and even offers a Wi-Fi hot spot. And thanks to one vulnerable element, which Miller and Valasek won’t identify until their Black Hat talk, Uconnect’s cellular connection also lets anyone who knows the car’s IP address gain access from anywhere in the country. “From an attacker’s perspective, it’s a super nice vulnerability,” Miller says.
From that entry point, Miller and Valasek’s attack pivots to an adjacent chip in the car’s head unit—the hardware for its entertainment system—silently rewriting the chip’s firmware to plant their code. That rewritten firmware is capable of sending commands through the car’s internal computer network, known as a CAN bus, to its physical components like the engine and wheels. Miller and Valasek say the attack on the entertainment system seems to work on any Chrysler vehicle with Uconnect from late 2013, all of 2014, and early 2015. They’ve only tested their full set of physical hacks, including ones targeting transmission and braking systems, on a Jeep Cherokee, though they believe that most of their attacks could be tweaked to work on any Chrysler vehicle with the vulnerable Uconnect head unit. They have yet to try remotely hacking into other makes and models of cars.
After the researchers reveal the details of their work in Vegas, only two things will prevent their tool from enabling a wave of attacks on Jeeps around the world. First, they plan to leave out the part of the attack that rewrites the chip’s firmware; hackers following in their footsteps will have to reverse-engineer that element, a process that took Miller and Valasek months. But the code they publish will enable many of the dashboard hijinks they demonstrated on me as well as GPS tracking.
Second, Miller and Valasek have been sharing their research with Chrysler for nearly nine months, enabling the company to quietly release a patch ahead of the Black Hat conference. On July 16, owners of vehicles with the Uconnect feature were notified of the patch in a post on Chrysler’s websitethat didn’t offer any details or acknowledge Miller and Valasek’s research. “[Fiat Chrysler Automobiles] has a program in place to continuously test vehicles systems to identify vulnerabilities and develop solutions,” reads a statement a Chrysler spokesperson sent to WIRED. “FCA is committed to providing customers with the latest software updates to secure vehicles against any potential vulnerability.”
If consumers don’t realize this is an issue, they should, and they should start complaining to carmakers. This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone.
Unfortunately, Chrysler’s patch must be manually implemented via a USB stick or by a dealership mechanic. (Download the update here.) That means many—if not most—of the vulnerable Jeeps will likely stay vulnerable.
Chrysler stated in a response to questions from WIRED that it “appreciates” Miller and Valasek’s work. But the company also seemed leery of their decision to publish part of their exploit. “Under no circumstances does FCA condone or believe it’s appropriate to disclose ‘how-to information’ that would potentially encourage, or help enable hackers to gain unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems,” the company’s statement reads. “We appreciate the contributions of cybersecurity advocates to augment the industry’s understanding of potential vulnerabilities. However, we caution advocates that in the pursuit of improved public safety they not, in fact, compromise public safety.”
The two researchers say that even if their code makes it easier for malicious hackers to attack unpatched Jeeps, the release is nonetheless warranted because it allows their work to be proven through peer review. It also sends a message: Automakers need to be held accountable for their vehicles’ digital security. “If consumers don’t realize this is an issue, they should, and they should start complaining to carmakers,” Miller says. “This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone.”
In fact, Miller and Valasek aren’t the first to hack a car over the Internet. In 2011 a team of researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California at San Diego showed that they could wirelessly disable the locks and brakes on a sedan. But those academics took a more discreet approach, keeping the identity of the hacked car secret and sharing the details of the exploit only with carmakers.
Miller and Valasek represent the second act in a good-cop/bad-cop routine. Carmakers who failed to heed polite warnings in 2011 now face the possibility of a public dump of their vehicles’ security flaws. The result could be product recalls or even civil suits, says UCSD computer science professor Stefan Savage, who worked on the 2011 study. “Imagine going up against a class-action lawyer after Anonymous decides it would be fun to brick all the Jeep Cherokees in California,” Savage says.2
For the auto industry and its watchdogs, in other words, Miller and Valasek’s release may be the last warning before they see a full-blown zero-day attack. “The regulators and the industry can no longer count on the idea that exploit code won’t be in the wild,” Savage says. “They’ve been thinking it wasn’t an imminent danger you needed to deal with. That implicit assumption is now dead.”
471,000 Hackable Automobiles
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Viral content such as memes, songs, tweets, and videos really are the modern day plague.
A team of researchers who set out to learn how social internet phenomenons spread like wildfire discovered the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages.
The team from Eotvos University in Budapest discovered that, like the the plague, memes begin at a specific place and time, and because they transfer person-to-person, follow a ‘wavelike spreading pattern.’
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Geo-locations of Twitter messages containing ‘Gangnam Style’ showed how social internet phenomenons spread like wildfire discovered the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages
This wavelike form of spreading seemingly vanished in the 20th century when air travel suddenly allowed diseases to jump continents – but the researchers say internet content is the modern day example of epidemics like the Black Death, which traveled across Europe at about two kilometers a day killing between 35 and 200 million.
‘Our assumption is that only those online viral phenomena can show similarities to global pandemics that were originally constrained to a well localized, limited region and then, after an outbreak period reached a worldwide level of penetration, the researchers wrote in their paper, titled ‘Video Pandemics: Worldwide Viral Spreading of Psy’s Gangnam Style Video.’
HOW PSY WENT VIRAL
Psy released the video in South Korea on July 15, 2012.
Prior, he was relatively unknown outside of the country.
‘Gangnam Style’ was the first video in internet history to reach 1 million views.
It was also the first to reach 2 million views and, at one point, was the most liked video on YouTube.
It was the first k-pop song to top the UK charts.
It now ranks second in YouTube views after Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See you Again.’
The example lead researcher Zsofia Kallus and his colleagues looked to was Psy’s famed ‘Gangam Style,’ the 2012 k-pop video that organically spread across the globe and eventually became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. (Today it has nearly three million).
The spread of information is distorted by social media networks, which raises the question of whether it is really wavelike or fundamentally different – so to solve the mystery, they tracked the spread of the video by searching the historical Twitter stream for geolocated tweets that mention ‘Gangnam Style.’
‘Location information allows us to record the approximate arrival time of a certain news to a specific geo-political region,’ the paper reads.
‘In the real space this process looks indeed random, but the ‘local to global’ transition is also apparent as the messages cover a progressively larger territory.’
The data shows that after immediately becoming popular in Psy’s home country of South Korea, the video spread nearby to the Philippines.
The spread thereafter looks random, but that’s because ‘effectiveness distance’ – or the strength of links from one area to another – is they key factor rather than ‘geographic distance’.
‘Location information allows us to record the approximate arrival time of a certain news to a specific geo-political region,’ the paper reads, saying the seemingly random ‘local to global’ transition becomes apparent as the messages cover a progressively larger territory
When ‘Gangnam Style’ hit the Phillippnes, for example, it was able to begin spreading more quickly because it has stronger links to the rest of the world and deeper English language links
When ‘Gangnam Style’ hit the Phillippnes, for example, it was able to begin spreading more quickly because it has stronger links to the rest of the world and deeper English language links.
When the team crosschecked their results by searching Google Trends to see when people first searched for the term ‘Gangnam Style’ in different parts of the world., the results matched the Twitter finds exactly.
What consciousness is and where it emanates from has stymied great minds in societies across the globe since the dawn of speculation. In today’s world, it’s a realm tackled more and more by physicists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists. There are a few prevailing theories. The first is materialism. This is the notion that consciousness emanates from matter, in our case, by the firing of neurons inside the brain.
Take the brain out of the equation and consciousness doesn’t exist at all. Traditionally, scientists have been stalwart materialists. But doing so has caused them to slam up against the limitations of materialism. Consider the chasm between relativity and quantum mechanics, or Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and you quickly start to recognize these incongruities.
The second theory is mind-body dualism. This is perhaps more often recognized in religion or spirituality. Here, consciousness is separate from matter. It is a part of another aspect of the individual, which in religious terms we might call the soul. Then there’s a third option which is gaining ground in some scientific circles, panpsychism. In this view, the entire universe is inhabited by consciousness.
A handful of scientists are starting to warm to this theory, but it’s still a matter of great debate. Truth be told, panpsychism sounds very much like what the Hindus and Buddhists call the Brahman, the tremendous universal Godhead of which we are all a part. In Buddhism for instance, consciousness is the only thing that exists.
Such is the focus of the famous Zen koan, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” One must come to the realization that everything we experience is filtered through and interpreted by our mind. Without it, the universe doesn’t exist at all or at least, not without some sort of consciousness observing it. In some physics circles, the prevailing theory is some kind of proto-consciousness field.
Is consciousness derived from an invisible field that inhabits our universe? Getty Images.
In quantum mechanics, particles don’t have a definite shape or specific location, until they are observed or measured. Is this a form of proto-consciousness at play? According to the late scientist and philosopher, John Archibald Wheeler, it might. He’s famous for coining the term, “black hole.” In his view, every piece of matter contains a bit of consciousness, which it absorbs from this proto-consciousness field.
He called his theory the “participatory anthropic principle,” which posits that a human observer is key to the process. Of this Wheeler said, “We are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago.” In his view, much like the Buddhist one, nothing exists unless there is a consciousness to apprehend it.
Neuroscientist Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, is another supporter of panpsychism. Koch says that the only theory we have to date about consciousness is, it’s a level of awareness about one’s self and the world. Biological organisms are conscious because when they approach a new situation, they can change their behavior in order to navigate it, in this view. Dr. Koch is attempting to see if he can measure the level of consciousness an organism contains.
He’ll be running some animal experiments. In one, he plans to wire the brains of two mice together. Will information eventually flow between the two? Will their consciousness at some point become one fused, integrated system? If these experiments are successful, he may wire up the brains of two humans.
UK physicist Sir Roger Penrose is yet another supporter of panpsychism. Penrose in the 80’s proposed that consciousness is present at the quantum level and resides in the synapses of the brain. He is famous for linking consciousness with some of the goings on in quantum mechanics.
Dr. Penrose doesn’t go so far as to call himself a panpsychist. In his view, “The laws of physics produce complex systems, and these complex systems lead to consciousness, which then produces mathematics, which can then encode in a succinct and inspiring way the very underlying laws of physics that gave rise to it.”
In Buddhism consciousness emanates from the brain. Neuroscientists agree. Getty Images.
Veteran physicist Gregory Matloff of the New York City College of Technology, says he has some preliminary evidence showing that, at the very least, panpsychism isn’t impossible. Hey, it’s a start. Dr. Matloff told NBC News, “It’s all very speculative, but it’s something we can check and either validate or falsify.”
Theoretical physicist Bernard Haisch, in 2006, suggested that consciousness is produced and transmitted through the quantum vacuum, or empty space. Any system that has sufficient complexity and creates a certain level of energy, could generate or broadcast consciousness. Dr. Matloff got in touch with the unorthodox, German physicist and proposed an observational study, to test it.
What they examined was Parenago’s Discontinuity. This is the observation that cooler stars, like our own sun, revolve around the center of the Milky Way faster than hotter ones. Some scientists attribute this to interactions with gas clouds. Matloff took a different view. He elaborated in a recently published piece, in the Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research.
Unlike their hotter sisters, cooler stars may move faster due to “the emission of a uni-directional jet.” Such stars emit a jet early on in their creation. Matloff suggests that this could be an instance of the star consciously manipulating itself, in order to gain speed.
Observational data shows a reliable pattern anywhere Parenago’s Discontinuity is witnessed. If it were a matter of interacting with gas clouds, as is the current theory, each cloud should have a different chemical makeup, and so cause the star to operate differently. So why do all of them act in exactly the same way?
Jets out of cooler stars may be a conscious act. Wikipedia Commons.
Though it isn’t much to go on, the unveiling of the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope, whose mission it is to map stars, may provide more data to further support or weaken this view. On another front, Dr. Matloff posits that the presence of a proto-consciousness field could serve as a replacement for dark matter.
Dark matter supposedly makes up around 95% of the universe, although, scientists can’t seem to find any. So, for the sake of argument, if consciousness is a property that arises on the subatomic level with a confluence of particles, how do these tiny little bits of consciousness coalesce?
Neuroscientist and psychiatrist Giulio Tononi, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, proposes a slightly different take on panpsychism, called integrated information theory. Here, consciousness is a manifestation with a real, physical location, somewhere in the universe. We just haven’t found it yet. Perhaps this heavenly body radiates out consciousness as our sun radiates light and heat.
Dr. Tononi has actually puts forth a metric for measuring how much consciousness a thing has. The unit is called phi. This translates into how much control a being can enact over itself or objects around it. The theory separates intelligence from consciousness, which some people assume are one in the same.
Take AI for example. It can already beat humans in all kinds of tasks. But it has no will of its own. A supercomputer which can enact change in the world outside of a programmer’s commands, would therefore be conscious. Many futurists from Ray Kurzweil to Elon Musk believe that day is coming, perhaps in the next decade or so, and that we should prepare.
Over the past few years, there has been an explosion in awareness like never seen before. Worldviews have shifted dramatically and key issues have come into the spotlight which would have never met such a great audience just a decade ago, such as sustainable agriculture, contaminants in vaccines and in the water supply, and mass surveillance. Many people have abandoned the idea of partisan politics and the media which supports it. Thanks to the internet a people’s media emerged and started to clear the air of the lies and deceptions that the old media had been plagued with.
However, as this last election came to a close, the perspective shifted and took us a few paces backwards in many respects. Incidentally, the focus was placed on Trump rather than the issues which were being fought so hard throughout the Obama and Bush administrations. Once again, the debate has become about the integrity of those in power instead of actual real world issues that affect everyone.
Whatever you believe Trump’s motives are, it’s important that we don’t get so caught up in arguing over something we have no control over that progress made on real issues is lost. What the country needs right now is a massive healing, and I think the best way of doing that is to learn how to set minor differences aside and work together to solve our problems, instead of looking to government to solve them for us.
Whether you’re left, right, something in between or nothing at all, you can always become more informed and act to make a difference in the world we live in. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 5 problems which desperately need fixing and can be solved without government if enough people work together to achieve a solution.
1. Peak Oil Threatens Energy Security and Self Sufficiency
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the world’s supply of liquid oils such as petroleum can only meet our needs until around the year 2040. If this is to be believed, it should be concerning to anyone who plans on living for more than 20 years or so into the future. In addition to the fuel we need to power our cars, everything from credit cards, house paints, cameras, and more are created using petroleum.
However, this could all be a blessing in disguise if it urges us to move toward alternative forms of energy such as solar, hydro, or even more exotic technologies which are still in their infancy. If people worked together to bring these renewable energy sources into their communities, not only would we increase our independence from big oil, but individuals would be much more self-sufficient and prosperous.
“If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”– Nikola Tesla
2. Big Agriculture Seeks To Undermine Our Health And Food Sovereignty
It’s no secret that corporations like Monsanto are poisoning our bodies, but the switch to mass-produced, agrochemical dependent agriculture and genetically modified foods has been a slow disaster for the environment and our health, it also threatens our food sovereignty.
Many people are unaware that Monsanto, the company which produces several chemical pesticides and herbicides, such as Round-Up, and engineers most corn and soy produced in the U.S., also has an extensive century-long history of corruption. From mass-producing the worlds first toxic chemical sweetener known as saccharin, to hiding the evidence of PCB toxicity, there legacy is disturbing.
Unfortunately, instead of being held accountable, they’ve been granted the power to genetically engineer crops and place patents on the transformed genomes, effectively restricting anyone from growing genetically modified crops themselves without first obtaining a license.
Consequently, through a combination of cross-pollination, crops which don’t produce seeds, pollinators dying off and more, Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations are creating a monopoly over food production making it increasingly tough to grow even a simple garden without obtaining a license first, all the while forcing us to eat food which has been heavily doused with toxic chemicals.
But none of this has to be. If people come together to reject GMO’s while defending local and organic agriculture, we can retain food sovereignty, strengthen relationships through community gardening, and eliminate many toxins which are causing so much death and disease.
“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” – Henry Kissinger
3. The Federal Reserve Has Unlimited and Unchecked Power to Print Money
Something most people don’t want to think about is the fact that the Federal Reserve bank of the United States, a private bank which came into being through a collaboration of powerful business interests, including the Rockefeller and Morgan empires, has unlimited power to print money, unaudited.
Using this power, in conjunction with the ability to lower or raise interest rates at will, the bankers at the Federal Reserve are in a powerful position over the government of the United States. By using a system of debt-based currency, the central bankers are able to create an economy which ultimately directs real wealth back to them while leaving the people with less than a fraction of what they’ve earned.
This system of fiat currency inevitably ends in a collapse of the money supply because of a need for ever-increasing levels of the currency to pay off the debt attached to each dollar printed. Our founding fathers understood this, but in 1913, the same year the Federal Reserve was created, the constitution was amended to allow for the printing of debt-based fiat currency.
Learning about this issue and spreading awareness can help oust the bankers by garnering support for movements against the central banks like the Audit The Fed bill introduced several times by Senator Rand Paul and former Congressman Ron Paul. The following films offer a more in depth look at this issue: The Collapse Of The American Dream (an animation on the creation of the federal reserve) and The Biggest Scam In The History Of Mankind.
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” – Thomas Jefferson
4. Corrupt Politicians Are Making It Illegal To Feel The Homeless – Demanding Dependency on Government And Outlawing Compassion
If you haven’t heard about this yet then you may or may not be surprised at the lack of compassion that plagues the government. In many major cities around the country it has become a crime to feed the homeless. As reported by EconomicCollapseBlog.com, cities such as Houston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York have all outlawed basic human decency
Not only that, but at the time these laws were passed the amount of Americans on food stamps was at an all-time high. It seems the government would rather demand dependence, having you turn to them for food instead of taking it from well-meaning people in your community. Michael Snyder lays it out when he says, “Do we really want to have a nation where you have to get the permission of the government before you do good to your fellow-man?”
“When elites see a homeless person in the gutter, they assume he’s saving a parking place.” – P. J. O’Rourke
5. Just 6 Companies Control 90% of What We See and Hear in the Media
By now most are aware that almost all major media outlets are owned by a handful of corporate conglomerates. The current number is 6, but several of these parent companies have been attempting to merge which could reduce the number to three or four in time. Currently Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp along with the Wall Street Journal; MSNBC is owned by Comcast along with NBC and so on. Outlets like PBS and NPR are funded partially by the government itself and partially by people like Bill Gates.
This is why you will never see an unbiased view on issues like taxation or vaccines from places like these. Just spend five minutes watching the commercials on mainstream news shows and you’re bound to see ads for pharmaceutical/vaccine companies, GMO food brands, weapons manufacturers, and more.
At some point you have to come to terms with the fact that the majority of what you see and hear ultimately comes from just a few sources – maybe even one. Now, no reasonable person would think that they have anything resembling an impartial view by only listening to one or two sources of information and perspective all the time. That only leaves you with what one group wants you to know. The only way to reasonably understand something is to seek out information that you don’t already agree with and be open-minded about it. You won’t agree with everything you hear, but at least you’ll be listening to as many sides of the story as possible before making up your mind.
The best way to combat this issue is to support the independent media. The most likely place that you’re going to find truthful information on a consistent basis is not from big name news companies like Fox News or the New York Times, but from smaller media outlets with a strong code of ethics which are willing to diverge from the status quo.
Clearly being engulfed in partisan politics is not getting us anywhere. We’re going to have to start listening to each other again and break the political molds in order the start caring about real issues again.
“While we continue to argue over smoke and mirrors, reality works its magic.” – Unknown
The other day a friend mentioned that he’s looking forward to autonomous cars, as it will help lower the accident and fatality rates caused by distracted driving. True, was my initial reply, with a caveat: what we gain on the roads we lose in general attention. Having yet another place to be distracted does not add to our mental and social health.
Little good comes from being distracted yet we seem incapable of focusing our attention. Among many qualities that suffer, recent research shows creativity takes a hit when you’re constantly busy. Being able to switch between focus and daydreaming is an important skill that’s reduced by insufferable business. As Stanford’s Emma Seppälä writes:
The idea is to balance linear thinking—which requires intense focus—with creative thinking, which is borne out of idleness. Switching between the two modes seems to be the optimal way to do good, inventive work.
She is not the first to point this out. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin made a similar plea in his 2014 book, The Organized Mind. Information overload keeps us mired in noise. In 2011, he writes, Americans consumed five times as much information as 25 years prior; outside of work we process roughly 100,000 words every day.
This saps us of not only willpower (of which we have a limited store) but creativity as well. He uses slightly different language than Seppälä—linear thinking is part of the central executive network, our brain’s ability to focus, while creative thinking is part of our brain’s default mode network. Levitin, himself a former music professional who engineered records by the Grateful Dead and Santana, writes:
Artists recontextualize reality and offer visions that were previously invisible. Creativity engages the brain’s daydreaming mode directly and stimulates the free flow and association of ideas, forging links between concepts and neural modes that might not otherwise be made.
Engaging creatively requires hitting the reset button, which means carving space in your day for lying around, meditating, or staring off into nothing. This is impossible when every free moment—at work, in line, at a red light—you’re reaching for your phone. Your brain’s attentional system becomes accustomed to constant stimulation; you grow antsy and irritable when you don’t have that input. You’re addicted to busyness.
And that’s dangerous for quality of life. As Seppälä points out many of the world’s greatest minds made important discoveries while not doing much at all. Nikola Tesla had an insight about rotating magnetic fields on a leisurely walk in Budapest; Albert Einstein liked to chill out and listen to Mozart on breaks from intense thinking sessions.
Paying homage to boredom—a valuable tool in the age of overload—journalist Michael Harris writes in The End of Absence that we start to value unimportant and fleeting sensations instead of what matters most. He prescribes less in the course of a normal day.
Perhaps we now need to engineer scarcity in our communications, in our interactions, and in the things we consume. Otherwise our lives become like a Morse code transmission that’s lacking breaks—a swarm of noise blanketing the valuable data beneath.
How to disconnect in a time when connection is demanded by bosses, peers, and friends? Seppälä makes four suggestions:
1. Make a long walk—without your phone—a part of your daily routine
2. Get out of your comfort zone
3. Make more time for fun and games
4. Alternate between doing focused work and activities that are less intellectually demanding
That last one is also recommended by Cal Newport, author of Deep Work. Newport is not on any social media and only checks email once a day, perhaps, and even that time is strictly regimented. What seems to be lost in being “connected” is really irreplaceable time gained to focus on projects. Without that time, he says, you’re in danger of rewiring your neural patterns for distraction.
Spend enough time in a state of frenetic shallowness and you permanently reduce your capacity to perform deep work.
That’s not a good sign for those who wish to perform creatively, which in reality is all of us. Research shows that the fear of missing out (FOMO) increases anxiety and takes a toll on your health in the long run. Of all the things to suffer, creative thinking is one of our greatest losses. Regardless of your vocation a flexible mindset open to new ideas and approaches is invaluable. Losing it just to check on the latest tweet or post an irrelevant selfie is an avoidable but sadly sanctioned tragedy.