Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do Your Thoughts Become Things?

Your thoughts become things. Don't fight it. Don't think there's anything else. Don't entertain the false premises of fate, luck, or a God who judges, withholds, or decides. You decide. You manifest. You rule. This is why you are here. This is what you came to discover. You were born to experience your absolute dominion over every flimsy, malleable illusion of time and space; to have, do, and be anything.

Truthfully, it couldn't be any easier. All you have to do is think of what you want and refuse to deviate from that thought. This will, invariably, set you into motion, stir up the magic, and unleash the full force, power, and majesty of a Universe conspiring on your behalf.
It's worth everything you've got, brandon. Be strong, be vigilant, take action, and the Kingdom of Heaven shall appear at your very feet.

I've got your back,
The Universe

from Totally Unique Thoughts Daily Messages

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are you an arrogant asshole (Find Out)? Pt. 1

What is arrogance?

The arrogant assumes his views and opinions are The Truth. In arrogance, natural confidence becomes perverted. Rather than the self-assurance born of knowing his own strengths and limitations, arrogance admits no limits.

The arrogant admits no weakness and may even secretly rejoice to find flaws in others. But imperfections are inherent in being human. Thus fearing exposure, the arrogance forms a hard shell masking the inner emptiness.

The arrogant sees himself first. Rather than offering respect to all, arrogance demands respect from all. Dismissive, arrogance poisons all relationships by worshipping the grand but empty edifice of the ego, the self-important sees others as less human, as cardboard cutouts.

Like so many self-centered traits, arrogance in others activates the arrogance in us, or its opposite of timidity and self-doubt. Confronted with arrogance, we might erupt indignantly or we might lapse into dwelling piteously on our own limitations. We then infect others and the vicious cycle continues.

What is Spiritual Arrogance

This form of arrogance takes at least two forms. In the first, the victim concludes that he has made progress, perhaps due to having a few deep experiences. Or he prides himself for being part of the in-crowd, or for being friendly with the teacher, or for being the teacher.

Whatever the reason, the spiritually arrogant mistakenly determines that he or she is special and then vaunts that assumed eminence over other people. This may be explicit in his outward behavior or implicit in his inward self-image.

In another form of spiritual arrogance, the true believer aggressively preaches, pushing his own path as the one and only way, downing others by claiming that they will not be saved without the chosen path.

In reality, there are many valid and effective paths. The appropriate path for any particular person is a highly individual discovery, and cannot be decided by anyone else. It sometimes happens that when people first enter a path, an obsessive infatuation sets in. They may see their path as the one true way and attempt to convert others, even over protests of disinterest.

Freedom from arrogance begins with a deeper and more accurate understanding that we are on the same level of importance as others: not higher, despite our gifts, and not lower, despite our defects.

In part 2 of this article I will explore in greater depth some of the causes of arrogance. I will also explore some solutions to help liberate one from arrogance.

Are you smart enough to get smarter? Pt. 1

What is intelligence?

Intelligence is the dynamic capacity for learning and adapting to one's evironment.

Intelligence is the constantly evolving community (collection / aggregate) of recursive processes for:

INPUT - perceiving information (messages) in one's environment,

PROCESS - transforming and integrating information (through memory, imagination, reason and interpretation of meaning, relevance and value) into knowledge, and

OUTPUT - applying knowledge to change one's environment (technology) or the transformative processes (thinking).

Ultimately, all intelligence is systemic since the OUTPUT of each PROCESS becomes the INPUT into other processes.

Learning is the transformation of information (input) into knowledge useful for predicting future events (output)

Knowledge = information + transformation (imagination, reasoning and idiosyncratic construction of meaning, relevance and value).

Technology is the application of knowledge to the environment

Innovation is the process of introducing new technology into an environment for use by others.

Creativity is the application of imagination to produce something new.

Reasoning is the systematic process of comparing facts (differences in information) to reach conclusions (motives, decisions, convictions).

Given these definitions, learning, knowledge, reasoning, imagination, creativity, innovation, fun, evolution and technology are sub processes of intelligence.

Other definitions of intelligence

Alfred Binet (1857-1911): The most important and fundamental faculty of intelligence is "judgment, otherwise called good sense, practical sense, initiative, the faculty of adapting one's self to circumstances. A person may be a moron or an imbecile if he is lacking in judgment; but with good judgment he can never be either. Indeed the rest of the intellectual faculties seem of little importance in comparison with judgment" (Binet & Simon, 1916, 1973, pp.42-43).

Hans Eysenck (1916-1997): Recognized three types of intelligence: Intelligence A: the biological substrate of mental ability, the brains' neuroanatomy and physiology; Intelligence B: the manifestation of intelligence A, and everything that influences its expression in real life behavior; Intelligence C: the level of performance on psychometric tests of cognitive ability

Ray Kurzweil (19??- ): Intelligence is "the ability to use optimally limited resources, including time, to achieve a set of goals (which may include survival, communication, solving problems, recognizing patterns, performing skills). The products of intelligence may be clever, ingenious, insightful, or elegant."

Renato Sabbatini (19??- ): Intelligence is the "ability to adapt effectively to the environment, either by making a change in oneself or by changing the environment or finding a new one" and "intelligence is not a single mental process, but rather a combination of many mental processes directed toward effective adaptation to the environment."

Six ways to increase intelligence

Increase the diversity of input (varieties of sensory perceptions)

Increase the diversity of transformations (multiple meanings / interpretations / metaphors)

Increase the diversity of output (expression / application)

Improve the conditions of the physical support systems (body, environment)

Remove or reduce the environmental factors which inhibit intelligence (labels, bureaucracies, etc.)

Increase the environmental factors which support intelligence (trust, communities, unpredictability, communication technologies, etc.)

On a side note

Bureaucracies are designed to reduce intelligence by limiting information (input) and conditioning pre-defined interpretations of value, authority and procedures (transformations) while increasing obedience and efficiency (output). Fixed hierarchies remain fixed through force (or threat of force = terrorism).

Natural hierarchies reflect the intelligence of a system by constantly changing, emerging and dissipating relative to the needs of specific situations.

Communities are designed to increase intelligence by presenting new information (input), discussing new perspectives (transformations) and offering new actions and tools for sharing, participating and fellowship (output).

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Deepak Chopra on Collective Creativity

Memory Training Shown to Increase IQ

A new study has found that it may be possible to train people to be more intelligent, increasing the brainpower they had at birth.

Until now, it had been widely assumed that the kind of mental ability that allows us to solve new problems without having any relevant previous experience — what psychologists call fluid intelligence — is innate and cannot be taught (though people can raise their grades on tests of it by practicing).

But in the new study, researchers describe a method for improving this skill, along with experiments to prove it works.

The key, researchers found, was carefully structured training in working memory — the kind that allows memorization of a telephone number just long enough to dial it. This type of memory is closely related to fluid intelligence, according to background information in the article, and appears to rely on the same brain circuitry. So the researchers reasoned that improving it might lead to improvements in fluid intelligence.

First they measured the fluid intelligence of four groups of volunteers using standard tests. Then they trained each in a complicated memory task, an elaborate variation on Concentration, the child’s card game, in which they memorized simultaneously presented auditory and visual stimuli that they had to recall later.

The game was set up so that as the participants succeeded, the tasks became harder, and as they failed, the tasks became easier. This assured a high level of difficulty, adjusted individually for each participant, but not so high as to destroy motivation to keep working. The four groups underwent a half-hour of training daily for 8, 12, 17 and 19 days, respectively. At the end of each training, researchers tested the participants’ fluid intelligence again. To make sure they were not just improving their test-taking skills, the researchers compared them with control groups that took the tests without the training.

The results, published Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were striking. Although the control groups also made gains, presumably because they had practice with the fluid intelligence tests, improvement in the trained groups was substantially greater. Moreover, the longer they trained, the higher their scores were. All performers, from the weakest to the strongest, showed significant improvement.

“Intelligence has always been considered principally an immutable inherited trait,” said Susanne M. Jaeggi, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at the University of Michigan and a co-author of the paper. “Our results show you can increase your intelligence with appropriate training.”
Why did the training work? The authors suggest several aspects of the exercise relevant to solving new problems: ignoring irrelevant items, monitoring ongoing performance, managing two tasks simultaneously and connecting related items to one another in space and time.

No one knows how long the gains will last after training stops, Dr. Jaeggi said, and the experiment’s design did not allow the researchers to determine whether more training would continue to produce further gains.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/29/health/research/29brai.html?_r=1&no_interstitial

How to Live Courageously By Osho

"The word courage is very interesting. It comes from a Latin root cor, which means ‘heart’. So to be courageous means to live with the heart. And weaklings, only weaklings, live with the head; afraid, they create a security of logic around themselves. Fearful, they close every window and door - with theology, concepts, words, theories - and inside those closed doors and windows, they hide.

The way of the heart is the way of courage. It is to live in insecurity; it is to live in love, and trust; it is to move in the unknown. It is leaving the past and allowing the future to be. Courage is to move on dangerous paths. Life is dangerous, and only cowards can avoid the danger - but then, they are already dead.

A person who is alive, really alive, vitally alive, will always move into the unknown. There is danger there, but he will take the risk. The heart is always ready to take the risk, the heart is a gambler. The head is a businessman. The head always calculates - it is cunning. The heart is non-calculating."

The 3 most important aspects of courage I think to take away from this quote are…
1. Courage is Not Fearlessness: That’s right. Since you are going to be dealing with the unknown and with uncertainly, there is bound to be apprehension. That’s ok. Courage is to move forward despite this fear. So don’t feel like you lack courage simply because you have fear. Look at the fear as an opportunity to exercise your courage muscle. As Osho would put it, embrace uncertainty.

2. Listen to the Heart, Not the Mind: The mind will endlessly battle for security, it will wobble between the pros and cons. The heart, on the other hand, will help you to jump into the great unknown and help you to be true to your passions.

3. Courage Allows you to Live in the Present: This is the essence of courage. To allow the unknown future to take shape and be willing to move out of the mind and into the moment. So instead of trying to manipulate life to avoid uncertainty, simply take an innocent attitude instead. There are no guarantees here that things will go right, there is only danger and mystery, courage means to be willing to go forward nonetheless.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Meditations for Bliss by Osho

Feel Your Body as Empty

Suppose your passive form to be an empty room with walls of skin…but inside, everything empty. This is one of the most beautiful techniques. Just sit in a meditative posture, relaxed, alone, your backbone straight and the whole body relaxed ? as if the whole body is hanging on the backbone. Then close your eyes. For a few moments go on feeling relaxed, more relaxed, becoming calmer and calmer and calmer.

Do this for a few moments, just to be in tune. And then suddenly start feeling your body is just walls of skin and there is nothing inside, there is no one inside, the house is vacant. Sometimes you will feel thoughts passing, clouds of thoughts moving, but don't think that they belong to you. You are not. Just think that they are roaming in a vacant sky ? they don't belong to anyone, they don't have any roots.

Really this is the case: thoughts are just like clouds moving in the sky. They don't have any roots and they don't belong to the sky, they simply roam in the sky. They come and they go and the sky remains untouched, uninfluenced.

Feel that your body is just walls of skin and there is no one inside. Thoughts will still continue ? because of old habit, old momentum, old cooperation, thoughts will go on coming. But just think that they are rootless clouds moving in space ? they don't belong to you, they don't belong to anybody else. There is no one to whom they can belong ? you are empty. It will be difficult, but because of the old habits, nothing else. Your mind would like to catch some thought, be identified with it, move with it, enjoy it, indulge in it.


Just say there is no one to indulge, there is no one to fight, there is no one to do anything with this thought.Within a few days, a few weeks, thoughts will slow down, they will become less and less. The clouds will start disappearing, or, even if they come, there will be great gaps of cloudless sky when there will be no thought.

One thought will pass. Then another will not come for a period. Then another will come and then there will again be an interval. In those intervals you will know for the first time what emptiness is. And the very glimpse of it will fill you with such deep bliss you cannot imagine.

Think of Nothing

Thinking, you are separated from existence. Thinking is not a relation, it is not a bridge, it is not a communication ? it is a barrier. Non-thinking you are related, bridged; you are in communion. When you are talking to someone, you are not related. The very talk becomes a barrier. The more you talk, the further away you move. If you are with someone in silence, you are related. If the silence is really deep and there are no thoughts in your mind and both the minds are totally silent, you are one.

Whenever you are silent with someone, you are one.

When you are silent with existence, you are one with it.

This technique says be silent with existence and then you will know what God is. There is only one dialogue with existence and that is in silence. If you talk with existence, you miss. Then you are enveloped in your own thoughts.

Try this as an experiment. Try it with anything ? even with a rock. Be silent with it ? take it in your hand and be silent ? and there will be a communion. You will move deep into the rock and the rock will move deep into you.

Your secrets will be revealed to the rock and the rock will reveal its secrets to you. But you cannot use language with it. The rock doesn't know any language.Confined in thoughts you will be in misery. Unconfined, beyond thoughts ? alert, conscious, aware, but unclouded by thoughts ? you will be joy, you will be bliss.

Top Technology Breakthroughs of 2008

From Wired Magazine, a few highlights:

10. Flexible Displays

A sliver of the future can soon be tucked into your back pocket. For years, researchers have worked on thin, paperlike displays that can be folded, rolled or sewn into the sleeve of your hoodie. Flexible displays could change the way we interact with the info-universe, creating new kinds of cellphones, portable computers, e-newspapers and electronic books.

This year, the research moved from the realm of science fiction to plausible reality. With help from the U.S. Army, Arizona State University's Flexible Display Center has created a prototype for soldiers, and hopes to have the devices in field trials in the next three years. Startups like Plastic Logic and E-Ink have been developing similar technologies.

Meanwhile, Hewlett Packard announced a manufacturing breakthrough that allows the thin-film transistor arrays to be fabricated on flexible plastic materials, enabling manufacturers to "print" displays on big, newsprintlike rolls. Samsung showed off a mobile phone prototype with a flexible display that folds like a book.

Outlook: A Minority Report-style digital newspaper that you can roll up in your pocket isn't happening before 2010 at the earliest. But to quote science fiction novelist William Gibson: "The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet."

7. Flash Memory

When Apple blessed the iPod with flash memory, it gave new life to a technology that had long played second fiddle to hard disk drives. Now flash memory is a mainstay of most consumer electronics products, from ultralight notebooks to digital cameras and media players.

Next, the who's who of the tech industry — EMC, Sun Microsystems, Intel and Hitachi — are championing flash drives for larger business users.

The advantage? Solid-state flash drives offer faster response times than hard disk drives and they require much less power. The hitch is that they are almost eight times more expensive than hard disk drives. But with the star power behind flash storage, the prices have nowhere to go but down.

Outlook: More data centers are likely to move to flash storage in 2009, which is likely to drive prices down further. If this trend takes off, say goodbye to the hard disk drives in your house. It will be time to flash your drive.

1. Apple's App Store

Until this year, mobile app developers lacked an easy way to get their software into the hands of consumers, forcing them to make deals with finicky and power-hungry carriers if they wanted to get any distribution at all. Apple's App Store changed all that. It made creating and distributing mobile applications for cellphone users easy — jumpstarting the mobile-app development market and creating clones such as the Android Market. It even forced Research in Motion to offer a BlackBerry Application Storefront. For thousands of programmers, the cellphone is the new PC.

Outlook: App stores have changed forever the way we use our phones, turning them into personalized devices filled with utilities, handy tools and copies of Tap Tap Revenge.

Resource: http://www.wired.com/gadgets/miscellaneous/news/2008/12/YE8_techbreaks?currentPage=3

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Meditation on Gratitude - with Deepak Chopra

The word meditation comes from the Latin meditatio, which originally indicated every type of physical or intellectual exercise, then later evolved into the more specific meaning "contemplation."
Eastern spiritual teachings, including meditation, have been adapted and increasingly practiced in Western culture.

How To Change Your Life In 21 Days

Imagine that you can become a millionaire, you have all the money that you want, you can buy everything that you want and own everything that you ever dream of. Of course, becoming a millionaire is just an example. Maybe you’ve other dream and goal. Maybe you want to live a happy life and live healthily.

What if I tell you that you can achieve this kind of lifestyle all in 21 days?

What will you do then?

Pavlov, the man who discovered that you could make a dog salivate by ringing a dinner bell, said that it takes 21 days for anyone to develop a new habit. You’ll notice that if you move wastepaper basket to the other side of your desk, you’ll throw paper on the floor for about 21 days until you break your old habit and start a new one. If you move to a new home, it takes about 21 days before it starts feeling like home. If you start a new job, it takes roughly 21 days for it to feel as if it’s what you do for a living rather than a new job.

So here’s what you’re going to do in the following 21 days. You’re going to transform your life into someone that you always dream of, forever.

Before you make this decision, ask yourself, “Am I serious about changing my life? Do I really want to live a successful life?”

Once you’ve answered the above questions, it is time for you to be committed and ready to change your life. I bet that you knew what I’m going to ask you to do. Well, if you want to change your bad habit, you’ll have to do it consistently for the next 21 days.

If you want your goals to fully sink into your subconscious mind, you’ll have to write down your goals for the following 21 days. If you want to stop smoking, don’t smoke for 21 days and you’ll change the habit. If you’re going to lose weight by exercising every morning, wake up early and exercise for the next 21 days.

So if you get into the habit of looking at your objectives everyday for the next 21 days, you will have created a new habit, and what a difference it will make in your life.

Are you ready to change your life? In fact, you already know how you can change your life. Just do what you suppose to do in the next 21 days and you’ll form the new habit in your life. Here are some of the guidelines that will be able to help you in changing your life within 21 days…

1. Take 100% Responsibility

Within these 21 days, don’t make any excuses, don’t blame and don’t complain. Take 100% responsibility. This is the first thing that you must do to change your life. For things to change, you must first change yourself. Always remember this, nothing will change if you’re not changing.

You may say that you’re not responsible for the economic downturn. True, but once you take 100% responsibility, you’ll have the control over the situation. Instead of blaming the economy, you’ll learn how to cope with the obstacles you’re currently facing.

What I mean here is that you must change the response that you make in your life. For example, if you earned an extra $100, what you do with this extra $100 will be your response. You can choose to spend all of this extra money or you can choose to invest this $100 and increase your net worth. It is the response that you make that will change your life.

As you can see now, if you learn to take 100% responsibility, you’ll have the ability to control the situation and you are in charge of your own life. Therefore, in the following 21 days, don’t blame, don’t complain and don’t make any excuses in your life. Once you found out that you’re making any of these mistakes, stop immediately and focus on positive thoughts.

2. Focus In Where You Are Heading

You must live a directed life in these 21 days. So know what you really want to achieve in your life, write down your goals once every morning after you woke up and once every night before you sleep. You need to sink the idea of your goals into your subconscious mind and this is what you’ll have to do.

If you have your goals, you can then stay focused in your life and live your life in a direction. Goal setting is not a magic wand, it is something that allows you to be focused and know what you really want to achieve in your life. Can you imagine a life without goal?

Most people live a mediocre life because they don’t have a goal. They wake up every morning, get ready and go to work. They come back only after work, have dinner with their family, watch TV for the night and prepare to sleep. This is their day. Do you want to live this kind of life? It is a life without a clear direction of getting what you want.

Thus, make sure you follow through and write down your goals every morning and every night. By doing this for consecutive 21 days, you’ll experience huge change in your life after that.

3. Motivate, Learn and Improve

One of the reasons for causing inaction is because of the lack of motivation. If you don’t have the motivation, you’ll never take action. You need motivation to keep you going in your life, to achieve what you want, to earn more, to be a millionaire and to be successful.
Therefore, take a self-improvement book and read it for at least 15 minutes everyday. If you don’t have any, buy one.

You need to learn to grow.
If you’re not learning, you’ll stop to grow. Learning and keep on improving is crucial in bringing you to your ultimate success. Almost every successful person encourages you to learn because they know that learning will shape your mind, change your thinking and thus, change your life.
However, learning itself will not bring you what you want. You need to take action to get to where you want to be…

4. Take Action Everyday

Once you’ve your goals written down and your action plan created. It is time for you to follow through your action plan and achieve your goals. So take at least 3 action steps everyday for the following 21 days. You MUST do this. No matter how busy you are, take 3 actions even if you need to sleep late.

This is the most important habit you must develop during these 21 days. You must develop the habit of taking consistent action everyday. You know it very well that if you are just sitting right there doing nothing, you’ll achieve your goals.

Success is about getting things done. The more things you get them done, the more results you’ll receive. This is what separates a successful person from an ordinary one. Every successful person is a go-getter. So learn to be a go-getter in the following 21 days.

Resource: http://www.themillionairesecrets.net/how-to-change-your-life-in-21-days/

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don't.

Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input.

In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced in older than in younger people. That's intriguing because those sections of the human cortex, or thinking cap, normally get thinner as we age.

"Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being," says Sara Lazar, leader of the study and a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. "These findings are consistent with other studies that demonstrated increased thickness of music areas in the brains of musicians, and visual and motor areas in the brains of jugglers. In other words, the structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated practice."

The researchers compared brain scans of 20 experienced meditators with those of 15 nonmeditators. Four of the former taught meditation or yoga, but they were not monks living in seclusion. The rest worked in careers such as law, health care, and journalism. All the participants were white. During scanning, the meditators meditated; the others just relaxed and thought about whatever they wanted.

Meditators did Buddhist "insight meditation," which focuses on whatever is there, like noise or body sensations. It doesn't involve "om," other mantras, or chanting.

"The goal is to pay attention to sensory experience, rather than to your thoughts about the sensory experience," Lazar explains. "For example, if you suddenly hear a noise, you just listen to it rather than thinking about it. If your leg falls asleep, you just notice the physical sensations. If nothing is there, you pay attention to your breathing." Successful meditators get used to not thinking or elaborating things in their mind.

Study participants meditated an average of about 40 minutes a day. Some had been doing it for only a year, others for decades. Depth of the meditation was measured by the slowing of breathing rates. Those most deeply involved in the meditation showed the greatest changes in brain structure. "This strongly suggests," Lazar concludes, "that the differences in brain structure were caused by the meditation, rather than that differences in brain thickness got them into meditation in the first place."

Lazar took up meditation about 10 years ago and now practices insight meditation about three times a week. At first she was not sure it would work. But "I have definitely experienced beneficial changes," she says. "It reduces stress [and] increases my clarity of thought and my tolerance for staying focused in difficult situations."

Controlling random thoughts

Insight meditation can be practiced anytime, anywhere. "People who do it quickly realize that much of what goes on in their heads involves random thoughts that often have little substance," Lazar comments. "The goal is not so much to 'empty' your head, but to not get caught up in random thoughts that pop into consciousness."

She uses this example: Facing an important deadline, people tend to worry about what will happen if they miss it, or if the end product will be good enough to suit the boss. You can drive yourself crazy with unproductive "what if" worry. "If, instead, you focus on the present moment, on what needs to be done and what is happening right now, then much of the feeling of stress goes away," Lazar says. "Feelings become less obstructive and more motivational."

The increased thickness of gray matter is not very much, 4 to 8 thousandths of an inch. "These increases are proportional to the time a person has been meditating during their lives," Lazar notes. "This suggests that the thickness differences are acquired through extensive practice and not simply due to differences between meditators and nonmeditators."

As small as they are, you can bet those differences are going to lead to lots more studies to find out just what is going on and how meditation might better be used to improve health and well-being, and even slow aging.

More basic questions need to be answered. What causes the increased thickness? Does meditation produce more connections between brain cells, or more blood vessels? How does increased brain thickness influence daily behavior? Does it promote increased communication between intellectual and emotional areas of the brain?

To get answers, larger studies are planned at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard-affiliated facility where Lazar is a research scientist and where these first studies were done. That work included only 20 meditators and their brains were scanned only once.

"The results were very encouraging," Lazar remarks. "But further research needs to be done using a larger number of people and testing them multiple times. We also need to examine their brains both before and after learning to meditate. Our group is currently planning to do this. Eventually, such research should reveal more about the function of the thickening; that is, how it affects emotions and knowing in terms of both awareness and judgment."

Slowing aging?

Since this type of meditation counteracts the natural thinning of the thinking surface of the brain, could it play a role in slowing - even reversing - aging? That could really be mind-boggling in the most positive sense.

Lazar is cautious in her answer. "Our data suggest that one small bit of brain appears to have a slower rate of cortical thinning, so meditation may help slow some aspects of cognitive aging," she agrees. "But it's important to remember that monks and yogis suffer from the same ailments as the rest of us. They get old and die, too. However, they do claim to enjoy an increased capacity for attention and memory."

Source: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/daily/2006/01/23-meditation.html

Shopping is war.

The battle is not just among the jostling crowds at the sale bins and cash registers in these pre-Christmas days; it is also between warring factions of our own brains, some economists and neuroscientists say.

Recent studies suggest that each buying decision plays out in the brain as a fight between a pleasure center seeking the bliss of acquisition and an aversion center seeking to avoid the pain of paying.

In the hot field of neuroeconomics, MRI scans have turned up heightened activity in deep, primitive areas of the brain as subjects shop. The nucleus accumbens, a seat of pleasure, lights up when they are contemplating a purchase, and the insula, a seat of disgust and pain, lights upwhen they are thinking about how much that purchase is going to cost.

As such findings accumulate, they suggest potential strategies for spending less - or at least, more wisely - at this difficult juncture of dark economy and season of light.

"Your purchasing decisions are largely emotional, driven by very inarticulate feelings you have, this pain-versus-pleasure tug of war," said Jonah Lehrer, author of the forthcoming book, "How We Decide."

"So it's very important to impose a little bit of deliberation onto that emotional process, force yourself to think long-term, and rationally think through the consequences of what is ultimately a very emotional decision," he added.

How might that be done?

Cash is best: First and foremost, researchers

say, if you want to spend smarter, avoid using your credit card.

"One of the pernicious qualities of credit cards is that they anesthetize the pain of paying, which is ordinarily your first defense against overspending," said George Loewenstein, professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.

Need convincing? In a 2001 study, two professors at MIT's Sloan School of Management held an auction for tickets to a sold-out Celtics game, and divided subjects into those who must pay cash within 24 hours and those who must pay with credit cards. The credit-card buyers were willing to bid on average up to twice as much as the cash buyers, they found.

Know your feelings: Be aware that emotions that do not penetrate conscious awareness, and that have little to do with an actual buying decision, may still affect it. One study found that shoppers tended to spend much more when they were feeling down. Another found that men who had just been exposed to erotic pictures were more willing to take economic risks, and the trick seemed to be that the erotica set the nucleus accumbens, the pleasure center, on a roll.

"The idea is that if you can just change activation in these areas, no matter what the stimulus is, you might be able to push around financial decision-making," said Brian Knutson, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Stanford.

So how can you fight back against your unconscious emotions? Perhaps shop with a buddy who can supply reality checks, Knutson said. Others suggest shopping with a list and vowing not to deviate from it.

To avoid the stimulating atmosphere of stores, you might want to shop online. But that also has its dangers. "I would say one-click shopping on the Internet is a lot more dangerous than paying cash at the store," Loewenstein said. "You can do a lot of damage in a short time."

Lehrer also advises staying away from the free treats offered at Costco, Whole Foods, and elsewhere. As they activate the pleasure center, "they put you in the reward mood" for buying, said Lehrer.

Keep your distance: Avoid flirting with items you cannot afford, trying them on or carrying them around until they start to feel like yours, to avert what neuro-economists call "the endowment effect."

Knutson explains it like this: In his classes, he'll give a student a coffee mug, then ask how much he must pay to get the student to part with it. They usually reply that they'll sell it for $4 to $6. But if he asks the other students how much they'd pay for such a mug, they usually price it at $2 or $3. Though it makes no economic sense, we tend to value things more highly simply because they're ours. In a recent study, Knutson noted, brain scans bore out the phenomenon: the insula, the pain center, tended to kick in when subjects contemplated selling items they viewed as theirs.

Keep moving: Some researchers warn against buying too much in one store. "You may experience something called `decreasing sensitivity to losses,"' said Loewenstein. "Especially if you've spent a large amount, say $100, at a store, you don't want to start buying a bunch of small stuff, because it will start feeling free. If you go to another store, it won't feel free."

Tightwads, in particular, need to watch out for this, he said, because they are prone to spending binges when they finally loosen their pursestrings.

Beware of bargains: As with credit cards, studies have found that the feeling of getting a bargain blunts the pain of payment. Call it the "You can't go wrong at this price" effect. The insula lights up when people pay a price that seems high, and shuts down when they think they are getting a good deal, Loewenstein said: "That can interfere with rational decision-making just as much as the excitement about the good itself."

Know why we buy: We give presents to foster social bonds, points out Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at Duke and author of the recent book Predictably Irrational - and realizing that can help us refocus how we spend. Ariely says he tries to buy gifts that people wouldn't have bought for themselves, either because they would feel too decadent or because they lacked knowledge about the item.

Get over the idea that it's about money, Ariely said, and "You might be able to spend much less and get much more meaning out of it."

Source: http://www.dailynews.com/ci_11292187

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

FUCK Barbie & Ken 101

This is such a beautiful and accurate commentary on media, marketing, and our society.

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts on this below.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sugar = Heroine & Cocaine???

Sugar as addictive as cocaine, heroin, studies suggest

It's one addiction that won't land you in court or an inpatient rehab. But sugar - as anyone who mainlines sweets can attest - can be just as habit-forming as cocaine.

Researchers at Princeton University studying bingeing and dependency in rats have found that when the animals ingest large amounts of sugar, their brains undergo changes similar to the changes in the brains of people who abuse illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin.

"Our evidence from an animal model suggests that bingeing on sugar can act in the brain in ways very similar to drugs of abuse," says lead researcher and Princeton psychology professor Bart Hoebel.

In the studies, he explains, animals that drank large amounts of sugar water when hungry experienced behavioral changes, too, along with signs of withdrawal and even long-lasting effects that resemble cravings.

Some people experience powerful cravings for sweets - internal messages telling them to eat sugar even though they know it's bad for them - says Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "These people get strong urges to consume sweets, and these cravings border on addiction," he says. "When they eat sugar, just like when someone ingests cocaine, some people get that feeling of well-being, a rush that makes them feel good for a period of time. When the sweets are taken away, the people just don't feel right."

In the animals studied at Princeton, bingeing released a surge of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. "It's been known that drugs of abuse release or increase the levels of dopamine in that part of the brain," Hoebel said.

After the rats' sugar supply was withdrawn, they became anxious. Their teeth chattered and they grew unwilling to venture into the open arm of their maze. Instead, they stayed in the tunnel of the maze.

Deprived of their sugar, the rats displayed signs of withdrawal similar to the symptoms seen in people when they stop smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs.

Just as not everyone has the tendency to become an alcoholic or a drug addict, so not everyone is hard wired to be a sugar-holic, Aronne says. And there is certainly effective treatment for a sweet addiction, though it's not likely to go down easily among those who like their candy and cookies.

"If people eat starch and sugar in the morning, it's very difficult to get their behavior in control and they'll be craving sweets all day," Aronne says. "So we have people start out their day by eating protein and vegetables in the morning."

Broccoli omelet for breakfast, anyone?



Creating an Attitude of Gratitude

Creating an attitude of gratitude is one of the easiest steps we can take to improve our lives. The happiness that we create for ourselves by showing our appreciation has far-reaching effects, both for ourselves and for those we come into contact with. The potential for gratitude to spread beyond those people also increases significantly – it can be highly contagious. There are so many different ways that we can express an attitude of gratitude. Here are just a few:

Say “thank you”. This is the most basic and well-known way to show appreciation to others. Saying “thank you” is a great way to express your gratitude and can be done in several different forms. You can say it in person, over the phone, in a note, or in an email. Using this when it’s least expected can have significant results in lifting someone’s spirits. For example, a quick note to your child’s teacher thanking her for her hard work and patience might give her the boost of energy that she needs right when she needs it most. You may never know what effect this has had on her, but it will have an effect.

Stop complaining about your life. Even as tough as life can be sometimes, remember that there is always someone that has things worse than you do. Constant complaining about what is wrong in your life will keep you focused on that. The opposite is true as well – focusing on what is right in your life will keep you focused on that. Focusing on the negative will bring you down while focusing on the positive will lift you up.

Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. This is very closely related to not complaining about your life. Being grateful for what you do have keeps you in a positive place, whereas focusing on what you don’t have keeps you in a negative place. Focusing on what you do have, regardless of how little or how much that may be, is a great expression of gratitude.

Model your attitude. Modeling your attitude of gratitude is a great way to spread it to others. We’ve all heard the Golden Rule to “treat others the way you want to be treated”. Showing your appreciation to others shows them that you like to be treated this way too. An attitude of gratitude can be quite infectious!

Be satisfied with simple things and be mindful of little things. Being grateful for the little things in our lives is just as important (if not, more so) than being grateful for the big things. Our lives are filled with little things every day that we can be grateful for. What about that front row parking spot you found when you were running late? Or the beautiful weather outside? How about the store clerk that went out of her way to help you? This may take a little practice, but there are many little things throughout the day that we can be grateful for if we take the time to notice them.

Give to someone else. This is the best way to spread your gratitude of attitude. There are so many different ways to give to someone else. You could volunteer your time to help those less fortunate or give you time to children by mentoring them. The possibilities are endless but could make a huge difference in someone’s life without you evening knowing it. If they in turn give to someone else, the cycle could continue without end.

Keep a gratitude journal. Let’s just be honest here: there are some days when it is hard to find anything to be grateful for. Keeping a gratitude journal can help with that. There are preprinted journals so you can just fill in the blanks or you can make your own. The important thing is to find at least 5 things each day to be grateful for, no matter how big or small those things are. A gratitude journal can serve two purposes: it will help you stop and remember what you are grateful for or it can serve as inspiration on days when you find it difficult to find anything to be grateful for by reading over past days.

Practice random acts of kindness. This can be one of the most fun and rewarding ways to live a life of gratitude, especially when it’s done anonymously. Surprise someone with something unexpected. You may never know what it meant to them but it will likely make their day. Try putting a note in your child’s lunch or bringing treats to the office to share. Even a small gesture can mean so much to someone.

Living a life of gratitude is one of the easiest ways to live a happier life. It takes very little effort to show someone you appreciate them but will mean so much to them. There are so many ways to make gratitude a part of our life and to spread that attitude to others. Make today the day you start living a life of gratitude and spread your light to the rest of the world!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Recipe for Concentration


You don't have to shave your head, take a vow to celibacy, or change your religion to practice meditation. Entrance yourself with sound, something quiet and subtle that will pull at your attention and fill your senses with serenity (I like the sound of running water). Find a position that you can be in indefinitely without much discomfort or disruption of circulation to your limbs. Pay attention to your breathing and establish a comfortable rhythm. Empty your mind of the numerous thoughts flying about, and let your sensory experience engulf your mind. Tel your muscles to relax. Focus on your breathing; let it become the only thing you think of. This can paradoxically seem both impossible, and the easiest thing you could possibly do. Remain focused, lest you fall asleep. determination


It's easy to stray off the path. You can prepare yourself by having directions that will take you from wherever you back to where you need to be. For example, if you need to write a research paper, make a list of things you need to do (locate sources, read sources, extract excerpts, create outline, formulate thesis, etc.). Whenever you find yourself doing something that is not productive (read email, IRC, random WWW browsing, picking dirt off fingernails, etc.), go over your list of things to do and put yourself back on track. Done often enough, this process could become automatic.


Concentration requires being in a certain state of consciousness continuously for the desired amount of time. Music has a powerful effect on consciousness. Listen to any type of music that helps you be in whatever state you need to be in. If fast thinking is required, fast music is appropiate. If repetitive processes are required, repetitive music is optimal. If possible, make a CD or tape of the required music and put it on an endless loop...


Tell yourself you will never give up, and you will take yourself more seriously. I once struggled trying to learn a piano piece for 3 hours straight. It was frustrating at first, but it got easier once my brain realized I meant serious business and was not going to leave the piano for a few hours. The temptation of scrapping it all and doing something else is severe, especially if the task at hand is challenging. Having infinite patience is difficult, yet simple if one keeps one's priorities straight. One of my favorite original quotes: "The more patience you have, the less patience you'll need."

How To Think and Act More Efficiently

Mental Heuristics

A heuristic is a "rule-of-thumb", advice that helps an AI program or human think and act more efficiently by directing thinking in an useful direction.

Some of these heuristics are age-old wisdom, bordering on cliche, but most are actually helpful.

If you want something done, do it yourself

Comment: Obviously true, and doing it is usually very good for your self esteem. A surprising amount of work can be done this way, and experts are not always necessary. However, there is a risk of becoming overworked if you try to do everything yourself - we all need other people after all.

Never procrastinate anything you can do right now

Comment: Very powerful. There are many things that can be fixed or solved with a minimum of effort, but are often pushed aside as unimportant. Unfortunately they won't go away, and in time the feelings of guilt for not having done them will make you even less likely of fixing the problems.

When you have several things you could be doing and don't know which to do: Just do any one of them!

Comments: If you cannot decide between two or more possibilities, then there is a good chance that the differences don't matter. However, most people begin to hesitate in this kind of situation (Fredkin's paradox). If you are conscious of this, you can just choose one choice randomly or according to some standard method.

Always assume that you will succeed

Comments: If you don't expect to succeed in an endeavor, then you will not do your best and will not notice possible solutions, while if you feel that you will eventually succeed you will concentrate all your power at the problem. Of course, there is no point in attempting what you cannot do, a certain amount of self-knowledge is always needed.

If you can't find a solution, change the rules.

Comment: Remember that there are no no-win scenarios.

If you cannot do anything about something, there is no point in worrying about it.

Comment: Worrying is stressful, and in most situations doesn't accomplish anything - it just wastes energy. Instead of worrying about things, either do something about them or find ways around the problem. One useful idea is to write down your worries on slips of paper, and then put them away in a box. Regularly, once a week or so, you open the box and see what you can do about the worries that are still relevant.

Do not rely on conscious decisions for speed - Just Do It

Comments: The conscious mind is surprisingly slow, conscious choices and actions are delayed for a significant time (a reflex acts within some tens of milliseconds, an unconscious reaction to external stimuli circa 100 milliseconds and a conscious choice several seconds). The duty of the conscious mind is usually to inhibit rather than start action, and if you become too conscious of what you are doing in a tense situation you will hesitate or slow down.

It is a good idea to learn to rely on your non-conscious mind, since our conscious mind is slow and has very low bandwidth while the other systems in our brains have a tremendous capacity and actually do most of the real work anyway.

Don't try to explain away your actions for yourself

Comment: While we often do things we do not want to explain our real motivations for before other people (out of fear of embarrassment, anger or loss of image), it is a bad idea to try to convince oneself that the motivation was anything different from what it was. It will only reduce your self-knowledge with deliberate misinformation, and it is often valuable to understand what motivations you have (even if you dislike them or would never admit them in public).

Listen to your intuition, but do not believe it unconditionally

Comments: Intuitive or emotional thinking, analogies, "gut feelings" or "flashes of inspiration" can sometimes give fantastic new insights or show problems from a new direction. Unfortunately such thinking isn't always reliable, and quite often completely wrong! Such insights should never be accepted because you admire their beauty or they are intuitive, only because they fit with reality.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to Reach Your Goals On AutoPilot

Think about the habits you have now and how they affect virtually every aspect of your life. Your weight and health are determined by your eating habits. Your relationships with people are determined by your social habits. Your success at work is determined by your work habits. You have sleeping habits that dictate how well you sleep. You have sexual habits. You even have buying habits; just take a look around your house and you will quickly see them. Our character, health and virtually every aspect of our lives are indeed determined by our habits.

If you ask ten people on the street what the word habit means, nine out of ten will tell you that a habit is a negative action that people do over and over again, like smoking, or procrastinating, or eating too much. Bad habits get all the press. Let's look at the results of just one bad habit: smoking. Every year, over 400,000 people lose their lives to smoking-related illnesses in the United States. Imagine then, the negative power that exists in just that one bad habit. It is staggering.

Now I want you to think about an even greater power, a power that can bring you success, health and happiness; a power for positive, permanent, and automatic personal growth: the power of positive habits. Let's look a little closer at the meaning of the word habit. Random House dictionary defines habit in this way:

Habit: An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.

The important words in this definition are acquired and almost involuntary. Let me ask you a question. When is the last time you sat down and said to yourself, "Today I am going to add a new habit to my life?" I would venture to guess that you have probably never said those words. As you read this article, you will see how easy it is to add positive habits to your life and the great power they have to change it. Think about the words almost involuntary. This means the habit is so powerful in your mind that it is almost unstoppable! With respect to bad habits like smoking, procrastination, and overeating, this is very bad. But with positive habits, this is very, very good.

What is a positive habit? A positive habit is simply a habit that produces positive benefits, actions and attitudes you want to acquire and make a part of your life. Why is there such great power in positive habits to effect change? Because habits, by their very nature, are automatic. After a period of time they can become permanent.

So how do we go about adding new positive habits to our life? It's really quite easy. You simply begin repeating an action, attitude or thought process every day for at least 21 days. Research has shown that an action that is repeated for a minimum of 21 days is likely to become a permanent habit. Remember that positive habits have positive benefits and you will reap those benefits for as long as you maintain that habit. So now that we know what positive habits are, and how to acquire them, let's look at some simple positive habits that will help you reach your goals and get more out of life.

Positive Habit - Make it a habit to set goals

Since we are talking about goals, what better habit could you have than the habit of setting goals? Did you know that the most successful people all share the common positive habit of goal setting? A study was done to determine the importance of goal setting. College students who had gone on to achieve great success in business were asked to list their habits. The students who had made a habit of setting goals were in the top 3% of earnings in the population! It is almost impossible to overestimate the value of goal-setting as a positive habit. Goal setting is simple, yet 97% of the population never do it. By making goal setting a positive habit, you can start placing yourself in the top 3% of the population of successful people.

Here are some simple steps to help you start making goal setting a positive habit:

Step 1 - Define your goals, write them down, and be very specific; capture your goals on paper. It is amazing how many people never take the time to write down exactly what it is they want in life. Remember, you can't hit a target if you don't have one.

Step 2 - Determine what the time line is for reaching your goals; set specific deadlines for each goal.

Step 3 - Identify any obstacles that may stand in your way, list them, and state how you plan to overcome them.

Step 4 - Make a list of the people.

You Get What You Focus On

Do you find yourself thinking mainly about the bad things in your life? Do you look at the future and assume that things will turn out badly for you? Watch out! It is likely that you will get what you focus on. Even the Biblical character Job, who suffered the loss of everything, made the statement, "That which I have greatly feared has come to pass." Is it possible that his disasters happened partly because his focus was on the negative instead of on the positive?

You don't have anything to lose by thinking positively and focusing on the beneficial things you desire. If your focus is on defeat and despair, you will be miserable even if it never happens. On the other hand, a positive, upbeat focus will have you in a good state of mind even if a mishap occurs. Ask any positive thinker, though, and they will tell you that you get good things if you expect good things.

Your focus can be increased in a variety of ways. Positive affirmations are a traditional approach. Whatever you hope to achieve or gain in life, turn it into a single simple statement. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you can tell yourself something like, "I am enjoying lighter meals and am satisfied with smaller portions." Try telling yourself your affirmations every morning several times when you first rise, and again in the evening before going to sleep.

Many people like to post their positive focus statements on the bathroom mirror where they will see them while they brush their teeth in the morning. You might like to write them inside your daily planner as well. Another idea is to write encouraging notes to yourself on each page of your planner or calendar. Keep those positive ideas before your eyes if you wish to improve the strength of your focus.

Some people have enjoyed creating a collage or dream box to increase their positive focus. A collage can be made of magazine pictures, words, and statements that point your heart to your desired outcomes. A dream box is simply a place to keep success stories, motivating pictures and other inspiring odds and ends you collect as you go through life.

Do you write New Year's resolutions? The beginning of the year is a natural time to evaluate your life and set goals. Don't follow the popular idea that resolutions are all broken withing a few weeks. If a goal is worth pursuing, don't give up on it. Believe you can achieve it. Believe you will achieve it. Write your resolutions down and look at them from time to time as the year progresses. They might be challenging, but by keeping them in your focus, you might reach some of them. Congratulate yourself for every small victory on your road to success.

Yes, you get what you focus on. Make sure you are setting your sights on success and achievement and not on failure. Whatever you set your mind to, you can accomplish.

How to use Desire to Achieve Your Goals

All of the great achievers throughout history have one thing in common. They have all been dreamers or desirers. If anyone is to achieve their goals in life then the first thing they need to do is establish what their desires are. That’s what makes people who are highly successful different from the rest – they know exactly what they want in life.

Simply wishing for success is insufficient. If anyone is to make any steps towards their definite objectives then they need to have a determined attitude, bordering on obsession, to fulfil that desire. It does not matter what your desire is. It may be a desire to excel in business, it could be a desire to learn a new skill, or it could involve a desire to change aspects of your personal life.

Whatever desire a person has, it will only be fulfilled if some of the following actions are taken. Firstly a person must realise what it is they need to make them content with their lives and give themselves step by step aims. Then they need to consider how much work they need to put in if they are ever to begin achieving those aims. Next they should set a deadline for reaching their final goal and then create a plan with a timeline highlighting how and when they will go about their tasks. This knowledge must be updated and read out regularly to keep a person on track to satisfying their desire.

All who achieve great things adopt a similar philosophy when setting themselves goals. The best writers, artists, sportsmen, inventors, musicians and scientists, along with many other pioneers of modern professions, all follow the process of putting their thoughts into action successfully when backed by a burning desire. Everyone, no matter what their chosen path in life may be, will start in the same situation with nothing but their thoughts and desires to spur them on.
Many people lack self confidence and are unwilling to set their aims higher through fear of failing. This sometimes develops due to people close to them discouraging them because they feel they are unrealistic with their goals and life choices. It may be that friends and family do not approve and so use ridicule to prevent their loved one from making what they feel is a mistake.
However, these people need to realise that we live in a world that continually throws us new and unique opportunities. The world only became modernised with the efforts of the creative and productive generations before us. Without the burning desire that these people had we might never have discovered the power to travel abroad by plane, communicate with the other side of the world by phone, order something from overseas by the net. With the development of technology and the industrialisation of the world, we now have more job opportunity and diversity than we have ever had.

The time for everyone to realise their dreams is now. We must continue to follow the same methods of pioneers before us by taking the courage to act upon our thoughts with conviction and fulfil our burning desires. It is important that all negative influences are avoided. There is no excuse for procrastination, and laziness. It is easy for people to say they want to achieve but in reality they will only start to realise their goals once they take those first steps in which they make a plan outlining the route to success.

Everyone has to start somewhere and not everything will go to plan. What is fundamental to success is that a person is not discouraged by initial failure. Most people who have claimed to have ‘made it’ in life will also be the first to admit that they had failures along the way. With every failure comes the chance to learn something new for another opportunity.

All achievements no matter how significant they are to others begin with a burning desire to get the result intended. In the human mind there is a power that is hard to explain. It is the ability to focus positive thoughts on achieving the thing that is wanted most. Success is sometimes a thing that at first seems impossible. When a burning desire in a person is so strong the word impossible loses significance.

How to Transmute Sexual Energy to Help You Achieve More

To transmute means, in simple terms, to transfer or re-divert energy. In the context of sex being transmuted it means to transfer all energy that is wasted on thoughts and impulses that are governed by sex and not just the physical side to sex. It is the emotion of sex and its energy which when controlled can be used as strengths, and be focused on more productive activities.

When people harness the thoughts that drive them such as sexual desire they can learn to become more creative, develop their imagination and strengthen their will power. No matter what profession or service a person is involved in, all can benefit from this process. It takes a determined character for it to work because sexual desire is a natural emotion and so it should not just be suppressed or the energy may find a less desirable outlet. However, if it is expressed in a creative way it can enrich a persons mind.

It has been shown through scientific research that many successful people have very sexually driven minds. This is partially due to their ability to transmute their sexual energy and channel energy which would normally be wasted, towards more creative outlets. There are other stimuli that help the mind to be more creative and productive. Some may be seen as bad influences to people but that is really only if they overindulge in them. There is sex expression, love, desire for fame and fortune, friendships, fear and drugs, alcohol just to name a few. Sex expression can be seen as the more powerful because of its intensity and the way it forces thoughts to be put into action.

To transmute sexual energy takes will power and a different attitude to the subject of sex. Now that sex is not so much of a taboo subject, having a highly sexed personality is not seen as a bad thing and can be looked on positively. Sex emotion can only been seen in this way if it is used cleverly and not too often. Too much stimulation will have a destructive affect and take the fight out of a person.

If the sex is combined with love then the potential for a really productive period will be greater. When a person is motivated by love and the need to please their partner for extra reasons other than just sex then they will have the potential to achieve even more. Love sex and romance when combined allow people to discover things about themselves, giving them confidence and pushing the limits of their abilities.

Sex emotion can also be destructive if mixed with negative emotions such as jealousy. This has the potential to break people and take away all their motivation in life. Jealousy, along with other negative emotions, needs to be controlled especially in relation to sexual energy. This control comes through learning how to transmute sex energy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Videos you must watch or you will be clueless about the present and the future

a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.

Did you know???

Did you know 2.0??

The Machine is Us/ing Us

"Web 2.0" in just under 5 minutes.

Information R/evolution

This video explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information. This video was created as a conversation starter, and works especially well when brainstorming with people about the near future and the skills needed in order to harness, evaluate, and create information effectively.

A little Porn everyday keeps the Doctor away

Porn is a very touchy subject. To some it is a fun and pleasurable indulgence. To others it is the scourge of the earth. This is why I want to briefly go over what porn is, how old it is, the arguments for it, and the arguments against it.

Everyone knows someone who is really into porn. You may even be one of these people. Anyway you look at it, everyone is affected by porn. Something that is such an influence on so many lives, while also being a multi billion dollar industry, should deserve our attention.

What is pornography?

Pornography or porn is the explicit depiction of sexual subject matter with the sole intention of sexually exciting the viewer. It is to a certain extent similar to erotica, which is the use of sexually arousing imagery. Over the past few decades, an immense industry for the production and consumption of pornography has grown, due to emergence of the VCR, the DVD, and the Internet, as well as the emergence of social attitudes more tolerant of sexual portrayals. Performers in pornography are referred to as pornographic actors (or actresses), or the more commonly known title, "porn star", and are generally seen as qualitatively different from their non-pornographic counterparts.

The word derives from the Greek πορνογραφία (pornographia), which derives from the Greek words πόρνη (pornē, "prostitute"), γράφω (graphō, "to write or record"), and the suffix -ία (-ia, meaning "state of", "property of", or "place of"), thus meaning "a place to record prostitutes"

History of Pornography

The depiction of sexual acts is as old as civilization (and can be found painted on various ancient buildings), but the concept of pornography as understood today did not exist until the Victorian era. Previous to that time, though some sex acts were regulated or stipulated in laws, looking at objects or images depicting them was not.

The world's first law criminalizing pornography was enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1857 in the Obscene Publications Act. The Victorian attitude that pornography was for a select few can be seen in the wording of the Hicklin test stemming from a court case in 1868 where it asks, "whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscenity is to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences." Despite the fact of their suppression, depictions of erotic imagery were common throughout history.

Anti-pornography movement

Opponents to pornography claim:

pornography is essentially dehumanizing women and is likely to encourage violence against them

most pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation, and coercion of women, reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment, and contributes to the male-centered objectification of women.

sex is reserved for heterosexual married couples, to be used only in accordance with God's will, and assert that use of pornography involves indulgence in lust (which in Christianity is a sin) and leads to an overall increase in sexually immoral behavior.

Pro-pornography movement

Opponents to pornography claim:

It gives a panoramic view of the world's sexual possibilities. This is true even of basic sexual information such as masturbation.

It allows people to "safely" experience sexual alternatives and satisfy a healthy sexual curiosity. The world is a dangerous place. By contrast, pornography can be a source of solitary enlightenment.

It offers the emotional information that comes only from experiencing something either directly or vicariously. It provides us with a sense how it would "feel" to do something

Pornography breaks cultural and political stereotypes, so that each person can interpret sex for themselves. Authorities tell people to be ashamed of their appetites and urges. Pornography tells them to accept and enjoy them. Pornography can be good therapy. Pornography provides a sexual outlet for those who - for whatever reason - have no sexual partner.

Pornography is free speech applied to the sexual realm. Freedom of speech is the ally of those who seek change: it is the enemy of those who seek to maintain control. Pornography, along with all other forms of sexual heresy, such as homosexuality, should have the same legal protection as political heresy.

My thoughts on the matter

On the matter I take a basically Libertarian approach. I think if someone wants to watch porn, then they should be able to. If someone does not want to watch porn, then they shouldn’t have to. The individual should be free to choose. If we are to live in a free society then we are going to have to grow up and accept that people may or may not do things that we may disagree with. This just comes with the territory.

What do you think about this? How has porn influenced your life? Is porn an evil influence or a benign indulgence? What do you think?

The Future Of Blogging - As They See It

How do you see the future of blogging? Jeff Chandler interviewed some popular bloggers and asked them how they see the future of blogging. If you are curious about the future of blogging, read The Future Of Blogging - As They See It

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Robert Anton Wilson - Language, Reason & Reality

Robert Anton Wilson - Language, Reason & Reality

E-Prime, short for English-Prime, refers to a modified English syntax and vocabulary lacking all forms of the verb to be: be, is, am, are, was, were, been and being, and also their contraction

Examples of literal translation vs. translation "in the spirit" of E-Prime

In the original verse (Roses are red/Violets are blue/Honey is sweet/And so are you) the speaker expresses a belief in absolutes: "just as it is true that roses are red and violets are blue, it is true that you are as sweet as honey". But E-Prime seeks to avoid this type of thinking and writing.

Examples of literal translation vs. translation "in the spirit" of E-Prime

In the original verse (Roses are red/Violets are blue/Honey is sweet/And so are you) the speaker expresses a belief in absolutes: "just as it is true that roses are red and violets are blue, it is true that you are as sweet as honey". But E-Prime seeks to avoid this type of thinking and writing.

First example of literal translation

An E-Prime translation attempting to preserve the literal meaning of the original might read:

Roses look red;
Violets look blue.
Honey seems sweet,
And so do you.

Second example of literal translation

The following example sacrifices the metaphor implied in line 4 of the original ("You are honey-sweet") to preserve one literal meaning of line 3, namely that honey tastes sweet, and therefore replaces line 4 with simile meaning something close to the original: "honey tastes sweet, and something of your nature makes you as sweet as that."

Roses look red;
Violets look blue.
Honey tastes sweet,
As sweet as you.

(This example assumes the speaker does not mean the addressee of the poem "tastes sweet," but does mean something like "I find you sweet as honey," and attempts to preserve the meter and rhyme of the original while still avoiding any form of the verb "to be.")

An example of translation "in the spirit" of E-Prime

In an attempt to subtract the assumption of absolutes ("what is") in the original, and to illustrate thought and perspective more in the spirit of E-Prime, the following translation attempts to state meaning directly from a hypothetical speaker's personal feelings toward the addressee, and express that meaning through the filter of that speaker's perceptions of the natural world. Therefore, the translation below changes the meaning of the poem.

Roses seem red;
Violets seem blue.
I like honey,
And I like you.

That version attempted to say something close to "I perceive the natural world in the way most people do. (Few people would dispute that the most common rose-variety seems red to the human eye, or that violets can appear blue.) Therefore, when I tell you I like honey, I tell you I like a thing most would agree tastes sweet and may also perceive as a pleasing thing in other ways. Therefore by claiming to like honey and to like you, I claim to make that statement with a certainty as absolute as human perception allows."

The Evolution Of The Soul And The Nervous System

The Evolution Of The Soul And The Nervous System

The Nervous System Gives us Our Pictures Of Reality Subjective reality is the sum of impressions conveyed by our senses coded in periods of action/motion/change and rest which are oscillating electrical states of the nervous system.

Robert Anton Wilson Explains The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics

Robert Anton WIlson Explains The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics

The Copenhagen interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics. A key feature of quantum mechanics is that the state of every particle is described by a wavefunction, which is a mathematical representation used to calculate the probability for it to be found in a location, or state of motion. In effect, the act of measurement causes the calculated set of probabilities to "collapse" to the value defined by the measurement. This feature of the mathematical representations is known as wavefunction collapse.

Other Interpretations

# A system is completely described by a wave function ψ, which represents an observer's knowledge of the system. (Heisenberg)

# The description of nature is essentially probabilistic. The probability of an event is related to the square of the amplitude of the wave function related to it. (Max Born)

# Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states the observed fact that it is not possible to know the values of all of the properties of the system at the same time; those properties that are not known with precision must be described by probabilities.

# Complementarity principle: matter exhibits a wave-particle duality. An experiment can show the particle-like properties of matter, or wave-like properties, but not both at the same time.(Niels Bohr)
# Measuring devices are essentially classical devices, and measure classical properties such as position and momentum.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What is Maybe Logic? Who is Robert Anton Wilson?

This feature-length documentary is a hilarious and mind-bending journey into the multi-dimensional life of Robert Anton Wilson, one of the foundations of 20th Century Western counterculture and author of the Illuminatus! Trilogy. It features video spanning 25 years and follows Mr.Wilson as he penetrates human illusions, exposing the mathematical probabilities and spooky synchronicities of the eight dimensions of his Universe.

Understand Quantum Physics NOW

Author and Philosopher, Robert Anton Wilson, explains Quantum Physics in a way that anyone can understand.

This guy was one of the most influential people in my life. I have read and re-read his book hundreds of times. I have listened to his audio lectures over and over again.

If it weren't for this man I would not be where I am today.

He taught me how to understand the most complex and esoteric philosophies.

He taught me how to teach myself.

I encourage you to watch this video and to watch some of this other videos.

If you would like any more content from this man, please send me an email and i will hook you up!

Dalai Lama says Sex invariably spells trouble

On November 28th, the Dalai Lama made news by saying celibacy is good.

What he actually said -- in English without a translator was, "Sexual pleasure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often, that leads to more complication. Naturally as a human being ... some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those couples always full of trouble. And in some cases there is suicide, murder cases."

As for celibacy he said, "we miss something, but at the same time, compare whole life, it's better, more independence, more freedom. Too much attachment towards your children, towards your partner (is) one of the obstacle or hindrance of peace of mind."

My thoughts on the matter

I would equate sex to something like driving a car or electricity; when used properly, safely, and responsible, these are very useful and enjoyable things.

A car can be a very helpful thing to have, but if you put the wrong person behind the wheel it can become a weapon of mass destruction. Sex is no different from this.

The energy driving sex is very powerful. The power of electricity is equally as powerful. If either of these things are not grounded and wired properly then someone is going to get hurt.

The moral of the story here is that many things in life that we believe to be useful and pleasurable have the inherent potential for destruction. This is just something that we have to accept.

With power comes responsibility, so rather than completely abandoning something because it has the potential to be misused, we should instead take responsibility and learn how to use it properly.

My thoughts continued

There is truth to what the Dalai Lama has said. Sexual pleasure is very transient, in that the appetite is never satisfied for long. We spend a great deal of time and energy just to satisfy this appetite when we could be doing other things. This can be a very frustrating and consuming process.

It really comes down to a matter of prioritization and choice. We must choose which things we view as a priority in our lives. In this context the Dalia Lama is saying that it is either sexual pleasure or peace of mind.

I’m not sure exactly how I feel about this matter yet. I often go back in forth between both sides of this coin.

Sometimes I think that sexual matters are distracting and hindering to the progression towards peace of mind. Yet nothing disturbs your mind more than trying to make yourself forget about sex.

The reality of the matter is that either way we are stuck.

If we indulge too heavily in sex and become consumed by it, then our mind will be disturbed and we will become depleted. Yet if we do not satisfy our sexual desires then we will be consumed with the desire and hunger for sex, and thus spend our time and energy telling ourselves to not think about it.

If you are thinking about not thinking about something, then you are still thinking about it. Either way you are stuck with it.

In conclusion

My suggestion is to explore the varying ideas and possibilities on this subject and find which one works the best for you.

I don’t think complete celibacy is the answer.

I don’t think complete sexual indulgence is the answer either. I am still figuring this out for myself.

Each person must decide for themselves what they value and how they want to spend their time and energy.

Each person must find their own balance.

So right now, what are your thoughts and experiences on this subject?



Perry Belcher on Social Media Marketing