Medley

Mindfulness meditation reduces pain by separating it from the self

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[UC San Diego study reveals neural circuitry supporting mindfulness-induced pain relief]

For centuries, people have been using mindfulness meditation to try to relieve their pain, but neuroscientists have only recently been able to test if and how this actually works. In the latest of these efforts, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine measured the effects of mindfulness on pain perception and brain activity.

Read more: Mindfulness meditation reduces pain by separating it from the self

Recalled experiences surrounding death: More than hallucinations?

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Global scientific team publishes consensus statement and new guidelines

Scientific advances in the 20th and 21st centuries have led to a major evolution in the understanding of death. At the same time, for decades, people who have survived an encounter with death have recalled unexplained lucid episodes involving heightened consciousness and awareness. These have been reported using the popular -- yet scientifically ill-defined -- term "near-death experiences."

Read more: Recalled experiences surrounding death: More than hallucinations?

Disbelief in human evolution linked to greater prejudice and racism

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A disbelief in human evolution was associated with higher levels of prejudice, racist attitudes and support of discriminatory behavior against Blacks, immigrants and the LGBTQ community in the U.S., according to University of Massachusetts Amherst research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Similarly, across the globe -- in 19 Eastern European countries, 25 Muslim countries and in Israel -- low belief in evolution was linked to higher biases within a person's group, prejudicial attitudes toward people in different groups and less support for conflict resolution.

Read more: Disbelief in human evolution linked to greater prejudice and racism

Nature’s Secret Empires

Tim Wyatt – England

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The author

Unseen and unrecognised by the vast majority of people, there is a hidden commonwealth of invisible non-human entities creating, protecting and renewing life-forms in all nature’s kingdoms. These unseen empires are widely referred to throughout esoteric literature but are rarely discussed.

These kingdoms involve vast hierarchies of nature-spirits – or elementals –  operating in the four elements of air, earth, fire and water, principally on the etheric and astral planes. At a higher level there are even more powerful creative figures – the devas (translated from Sanskrit as shining ones) otherwise known as the angelic kingdoms which operate on the mental and astral planes.

Read more: Nature’s Secret Empires

Mars habitability limited by its small size, isotope study suggests

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Water is essential for life on Earth and other planets, and scientists have found ample evidence of water in Mars' early history. But Mars has no liquid water on its surface today. New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests a fundamental reason: Mars may be just too small to hold onto large amounts of water.

Remote sensing studies and analyses of Martian meteorites dating back to the 1980s posit that Mars was once water-rich, compared with Earth. NASA's Viking orbiter spacecraft -- and, more recently, the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers on the ground -- returned dramatic images of Martian landscapes marked by river valleys and flood channels.

Read more: Mars habitability limited by its small size, isotope study suggests

Brain circuit for spirituality?

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More than 80 percent of people around the world consider themselves to be religious or spiritual. But research on the neuroscience of spirituality and religiosity has been sparse. Previous studies have used functional neuroimaging, in which an individual undergoes a brain scan while performing a task to see what areas of the brain light up. But these correlative studies have given a spotty and often inconsistent picture of spirituality.

Read more: Brain circuit for spirituality?

The Artist’s Way

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan – USA

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Many years ago, my son attended a boarding school during his high school years. The school prided itself on the motto “Art Lives Here.”  As a mom of a student accepted to a rather prestigious school, I was enamored with this statement. My son was not. Every time we passed a banner or sign that stated, “Art Lives Here” he would say “Such nonsense!” I used to think it was just teenage angst until I finally asked him why he had such annoyance about the statement. His reply was very matter of fact. He said, “Art cannot be contained. It lives all around us. You can’t say “Art Lives Here” and then tell students their ideas are not art. It’s hypocrisy. If art lives here, so do artists and artists have a different way of looking at the world. In general, we don’t like being contained. But there are so many rules here that this where art comes to die.”

Read more: The Artist’s Way

Trajectories of Tyranny?

Tim Wyatt – England

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Tim on a hike ,.... 

A covert war is raging that few people see  – and which even fewer admit exists at all. This isn’t a new war but a battle as old as time itself. This perma-conflict never ceases. This is a long-standing spiritual battle played out on the inner planes but regularly erupting into the physical world in usually unpredictable ways. Its modern guise is very often digital.

Some are familiar with this eternal scenario in which the forces of light and darkness constantly clash in their bid to impede the development of the world. Since Atlantean times many varieties of authoritarian and anti-evolutionary force have stalked the earth and engaged in constant conflict with their enemies. This underground and internecine war has raged for countless millennia unseen by most until it erupts into stark physical manifestation in some way.

Read more: Trajectories of Tyranny?

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