Medley

A Practical Guide to Death and Dying – part 7

John White – USA

[A Practical Guide to Death and Dying was originally published by QUEST books in 1980. This particular version was previously published in the Theosophical Digest, y1992 v4 i2-p90.] 

Out-of-Body Experience — The Ecstasy of Astral Projection.

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Out-of-body experience (OBE) is the experience in which you find your consciousness or your center of self-awareness floating in space exterior to your physical body. In the OBE condition, you are fully and normally conscious. The effect of having an OBE, parapsychologist Dr. Charles Tart tells us, is enormous. In almost all cases, the person’s reaction is approximately, “I no longer believe in survival after death — I know my consciousness will survive death because I have experienced my consciousness existing outside my physical body.” The conviction gained by OBE experiencers that they will survive death, Tart adds, has undoubtedly led to the concept of soul.

Read more: A Practical Guide to Death and Dying – part 7

Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 29

Leo Babauta – USA

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Distraction at the workplace

In a perfect world, you could learn to beat the urges that defeat you and create an environment of focus … and just focus. But we live and work in a world with other people, and that can make finding focus difficult.

Read more: Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 29

Animal rights – A spiritual view on how to treat animals - part1

Michiel Haas – the Netherlands

Introduction  

In three articles I want to provide an overview of how we treat animals and how things could be done differently. In our society, animals are used as an efficient production tool in a way that is no longer in line with the scientific view that animals are conscious to varying degrees, have feelings and can suffer pain.

Should we use animals? 

Who gives us the right to use animals as a production tool and often not treat them as living beings with feelings? Is that a biblical right? God said "Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground" (Genesis 1:28). But does it give us a licence to treat animals badly? No, definitely not. God even gave the Israelites laws for animal welfare. They had to get plenty of rest and food, to be assisted when in need and to be protected from injury (Exodus 23: 4, 5; Deuteronomy 22:10; 25: 4). The Koran is also clear about this. "He it is who made you successors in the earth. " (Quran 35:39), but still, He is clear that this responsibility is not unconditional. For those who fail to meet the conditions that limit this responsibility, the following applies: "Then we return him to the lowest of the low" (Quran 95: 5 ... ..). In short, although the sacred books make man ruler of the animals on Earth, those books are equally clear that such a responsibility is comes with duties. It certainly looks like today's society disregards those duties.

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This idyllic image of cows in a meadow is becoming increasingly rare (photo © MilieuDefensie)

Read more: Animal rights – A spiritual view on how to treat animals - part1

Dogs process numerical quantities in similar brain region as humans

Unique experiment explores canine 'numerosity'

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Dogs spontaneously process basic numerical quantities, using a distinct part of their brains that corresponds closely to number-responsive neural regions in humans, finds a study at Emory University.

Biology Letters published the results, which suggest that a common neural mechanism has been deeply conserved across mammalian evolution.

Read more: Dogs process numerical quantities in similar brain region as humans

How does language emerge?

New study provides insights into the first steps

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How did the almost 6,000 languages of the world come into being? Researchers from the Leipzig Research Centre for Early Childhood Development at Leipzig University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have tried to simulate the process of developing a new communication system in an experiment -- with surprising results: even preschool children can spontaneously develop communication systems that exhibit core properties of natural language.

Read more: How does language emerge?

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