It may sound paradoxical but this is meant to be an inspirational piece about the dark night of the soul. Those of you who have heard of the dark night may have an idea of the amount of pain and confusion there can be….Dark nights seem to be the result of events bringing unconscious material to light. Carl Jung thought that the psyche itself organizes these events in order that the individual grow. One of the definitions of enlightenment is to make the unconscious conscious. Dark nights are one way to get there. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
For instance, if canned goods were marked appropriately, virtually every canned food you find in the supermarket would carry a warning like this: this product contains chemicals which may increase your risk of cancer, cause birth defects or other reproductive problems, cause brain damage and disrupt the endocrine system. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Yes, the medicating of combat troops has been done in such a way that it constitutes a form of drug abuse. A year ago the Army Surgeon General warned that medications being widely used to treat PTSD risk making the condition worse. And the dramatic rise in suicides has been widely linked to the effects of suicide-triggering medications.
But there is a gaping whole in Friedman’s commentary: no recognition that the misprescribing of psychiatric drugs by military doctors does not so much contrast with the practice of civilian doctors — it is merely an amplification of already excessive use in the wider population. … [click on title to read the rest]
“Systematic differences in EEG recordings were found between three urban areas in line with restoration theory. This has implications for promoting urban green space as a mood-enhancing environment for walking or for other forms of physical or reflective activity.”
In other words, getting away from a frenetic office and city traffic and taking a walk in a peaceful leafy park is good for you. … [click on title to read the rest]
In the years since this dream came to me, I’ve gradually worked my way to a deeper, fuller appreciation and understanding of the circumstances of my father’s life, which has helped me heal myself in relation to my inner father, the father I internalized as a child and carry with me at all times. But my relationship with my outer father, the man himself, has never improved, and I don’t believe it ever will. … [click on title to read the rest]
The mealy-mouthed, equivocating, spineless New York Times reports on the devastating loss in bee populations caused by what is termed “colony collapse disorder.”
The insidious feature of this report is that while it highlights the magnitude of the problem, it implies that concern about the dangers from pesticides is prevalent mostly among beekeepers — as though scientists remain largely agnostic on how much harm derives from chemicals, as opposed for instance to naturally occurring viral epidemics.
The takeaway narrative is that humble beekeepers, perturbed by their losses are afraid of the chemicals, scientists are earnestly investigating the issue, while industry meekly awaits the results, happy to be guided by whatever science reveals. … [click on title to read the rest]
To ask whether animals have consciousness is often turned into a question about if and how they think.
That creatures as small as a fruit fly do indeed exhibit evidence of sophisticated cognitive processes is intriguing, but the question that engages philosophers and scientists less than what the brains of other creatures compute is the seemingly imponderable question of what they feel.
The experience of feeling — whether it is ones own feelings or the feelings of others — is the preeminent concern of humans in general when it comes to the question of consciousness. … [click on title to read the rest]
The vagus nerve literally activates the parasympathetic nervous system – the mechanism that controls involuntary actions and affects mood. Doctors sometimes implant vagus nerve stimulators into patients with treatment-resistant depression, but a Yoga practice can produce some of the same effects.. … [click on title to read the rest]
The reluctance to posit human traits in animals — for fear that one might be anthropomorphizing what are intrinsically non-human behaviors — is itself the expression of a prevailing anthropocentric superstition: that human beings are fundamentally different from all other animals.
When it comes to discerning human-like communication in non-human species there is an additional bias: scientific researchers tend to over-emphasize the function language has as a system of symbolic representation and understate its importance as a means for engaging in emotional exchanges.
Even though our understanding of dolphin communication is very rudimentary, I’d be inclined to believe not only that dolphins do call each other by name, but that they are also keenly attuned and adept in the combination of name and tone.
After all, the utterance of an individual’s name generally signifies much less than the way the name is called — unless that is one is sitting in a waiting room and being hailed by a nameless official. Lucky for dolphins their exchanges never need to be straight-jacketed like that. … [click on title to read the rest]