Can We Change? Mystics Say Yes, Science Says No - Or Does It?
by Ian R Thorpe.
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: science, religion, faith, belief, brain, change, injury, prayer, ritual, superstition, healing, placebo
30 June 2010
by Ian R Thorpe
This is not so much a post on 'losing your religion' as 'finding your belief.' It arose out of a thread on an earlier LYR post in which one contributor of comments, a Buddhist, said her belief system required a daily act of faith that people can change. I did not really understand that as people demonstrably can change themselves; their personality, attitude to work, relationships, the way their brains work and even physically change the brain. Though psychologists believe therapy can change people there still seems to be a widely held view that such notions are unscientific, that we are programmed in our DNA to be what we are.
In my reply I mentioned a number of properly conducted studies recently published in the UK that demonstrate:
Meditation can change the way the brain works.
Nerve pathways can be rewired after brain trauma. (I can vouch for that one)
Brain plasticity can be used to change the way we react
Rituals and Superstitions do actually work.
The placebo effect is a powerful healing force if patients believe a therapy is helping them
Prayer has a beneficial effect in healing for people who believe in a god.
The British Novelist Jeanette Winterson commented in a teleision discussion recently: "Once again we see science finally getting its head round what mystics have been telling us for thousands of years."
Here in the UK we have had a little war going on for a few years; militant athesists, an intolerant group who seem to have dedicated themselves to shouting down any argument from the religious or people tolerant of relifion, and have attacked anybody who even dared to suggest that science cannot exlain everything and has not even understood the great questions of life. They hurl abuse at those who are not religious but take the view that the view humans might be something more than biological computers and life something infinitely more interesting that a mere chemical accident, will deny that people have a prefect right to attend communal worship, pray in private, kiss lucky charms, avoid walking under ladders, say 'white rabbits' three times on waking on the first of any month or anything else they feel somehow helps them so long as they do not try to impose their beliefs on others. These science lovers have in fact started to behave in the manner of followers of the most fanatical religious cults.
Militant Atheists want to put an end to 'superstition' and 'magical thinking' (Richard Dawkins' phrase not mine although unlike many of his less famous supporters Prof. Dawkins, a polie and humane man, is willing to defend peoples' right to believe whatever helps them make sense of the world..)
Fortuitously for those of us who have been trying to oppose this blatant bullying, in the studies mentioned below results show that prayer, superstition, ritual and meditation have a beneficial effect. In fact we can use such practices as tools in changing the way our bodies and minds work. So here specifically to help one Buddhist relieve herself of that daily act of faith required to believe people can change and perhaps many other people who want to change but have been told it is not scientifically possible, or just for your entertainment perhaps, is a reading list of scientific evidence from studies aimed at improving neurologists' understanding of how our minds work, that there is indeed more going on in our minds (whatever our minds are) than current scientific knowledge can explain.
I have not read all the actual articles, linked here, in many cases I have traced an informative article from humourous references in my own blog and others. You should not find any links to self help books or other irrelevant material or blatant scams to part you from your hard earned but I can;t guarantee nothing has changed since I checked. I will not be commenting much (only replying to people I know or who say something funny or interesting )in the thread. For the purposes of this post I do not agree or disagree with what you will find at any of these links. They are for information. Chat among yourselves but I would like to think it is a topic more suited to quiet, personal consideration.Please don't ask me for information or opinions, I'm only the delivery man, I can't help.
There was another study published last year that has been excluded from the list because I feared it might set the wrong tone for discussion. It showed that even among people who think they are logical and rational, emotions play a far bigger part in our choices and decisions than logic and reason.
CHANGING THE BRAIN AND THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF PRAYER, RITUAL OR SUPERSTITION.
CHANGING THE BRAIN THROUGH MEDITATION AND MENTAL EXERCISE
Science Explores Meditations Effect On The Brain
People who meditate say it induces well-being and emotional balance. ... The neuroscientists hypothesize that regular meditation actually alters the way the brain is wired, and that these changes...
Changing The Way The Brain Works
Nevertheless, it was clear that the brain can change the way it does things, and that important dormant areas of the brain can be turned on.
REWIRING THE BRAIN AFTER TRAUMATIC INJURY
Rewiring The Human Brain
Rewiring the Brain: Inside the New Science of Neuroengineering ... Human beings worked out a few thousand years ago that the brain is where ...
Rewiring A Damaged Brain
The goal is to rewire the brain connectivity and bypass the region damaged by trauma, ... Definitions of Human Brain Components ...
Human Brain Plasticity
"Human brain plasticity: an emerging view of the multiple substrates and mechanisms that cause cortical changes and related sensory dysfunctions after ...
Neuroscience: What is Brain Plasticity? | SciSeek Science Blog
3 Apr 2008 ... The study of brain plasticity has profound implications in human learning and behavior, and as such, for mental health. ...
PRAYER, RITUAL AND SUPERSTITION
Athletes: Rituals and Superstitions
Why Do So Many Athletes, Have Superstitions and Rituals. Do Superstitions Give Athletes a Performance Edge? By Elizabeth Quinn, About.com Guide ...
NeuroLogica Blog » Superstitions – Not All Bad?
7 Jun 2010 ... Researchers looked at task performance and the carrying out ritual superstitions, like crossing one's fingers. They found: ...
The Healing Power Of Prayer
from Science Daily: 18 Jun 2009 ... Health and religion have always been intertwined, most obviously through prayer on behalf of the sick. Does intercessory prayer for sick ...
The Power Of Prayer In Healing
from BBC News: A massive study finds that patients admitted to hospital with heart trouble fare better if someone is praying for them.
Researcher Look At Prayer And Healing
24 Mar 2006 ... In churches, mosques, ashrams, "healing rooms," prayer groups and ... tools of modern science to test the power of prayer to cure others. ...
THE PLACEBO EFFECT
Placebos Are Getting More Effective
24 Aug 2009 ... It's as if the placebo effect is somehow getting stronger. .... the role of the placebo effect in clinical trials and healing in general. ...
The Placebo Effect Is The Healing Force
From The Cancer Journal: Placebo effect is the healing force of nature. Firstly, we ought to note that the placebo does not cause anything in the body, it triggers its natural ...
And just to lower the tone :-)
The Science Of Sexual Attraction
According to scientists, our powers of seduction are at the mercy of our genetic makeup. But there are certain little tricks you can do to give science a helping hand to attract member of the opposite sex ...
The First humans From Australia Not Africa?
Quantum Soul: Is Each Of Us A Part Of The Universe
Weez Allz From Africa? Sorry But Weez Isn't - another discovery throws doubt on the established narrative of human history. It would be no surprise to find the version of history told by academics and schoolteacher is wrong, but in fact we simply can't say. Given the movements of the eath's crust over millions of years, the first humans could easily be at the bottom of the ocean. All we know for certain is nothing can be proved for certain. here's the case for Australia.
Religious and secular philopsophers have argued for centuries about life beyond death, the nature of the human soul and our relationshi[p with God, the universe or whatever. Modern militant secularists have tried to claim we are nothing more than machines, others say life is a chemical accident but experience tells most people there is much more to our existence than that ...
Mathematics and RealityIn all of our blogs and web sites the Greenteeth team have been critical of those science fans who are turning science into a religion. Scientists deny this of course even in the face of the evidence. Here Ian R Thorpe shows you that the idea of mathematics as God is nothing new, it has been around longer than Christianity in fact.
Vilified' Christians 'fear arrest' as Neo Nazi Secularist Persecution Increases Says Former ArchbishopFormer Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Carey has again defended the richts and freedoms of Chistians against what he feels is persecution by militant secularists. In a submission to thre EWuropean Court Of Human Rights Dr. Carey has spoken of fears that political activist jusdges and lawyers are showing anti - Christian bias in their judgements.
Is War Inevitable? Unfortunately YesHippy thinkers often pose questions like this and then accuse realists of relishing war and slaughteing r. But it is the hippy attitude, "Let's all join hands and sing Kumbaya," that is more likely to lead to war as the signal it sends to enemies is a sign of weakness.
There Is A War Going On Between Religion And Science. Is A Truce Possible
The war, let's be honest, is between religious fundamentalists and science fanatics. Each is straying into the other's territory. But both are out of order and should leave the unanswetrable questions to philosophy. Can there be a truce, can the two coexist?
Dr. Pangloss Said All Is For The BestEver been irritated all those exhortations to "look on the bright side"and "be positive" Felt let down by hopey-changey stuff and people who say "lets join hands and sing kumbiya to create utopia" but fail to deliver. This article might be just what you need to readIf you liked this, please give it a boost
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A memoir of recoveryThe author's own story of how he recovered intellect and learned to walk again after a massive brain haemorrhage.
Are The Cultural Poles FlippingReligion and Science (which some people have turned into their religion) have failed to provide the certainties, the sense of security, that many people seek. First religious convicion was eroded by science and then faith in science collapsed when it's certainties dod not stand up to the logical tests of the real world. Can existentialims offer a third way or is its acceptance of uncertainty to challenging?
Flight From FreedomFleeing from freedom seems like a contradiction, after all we usually asdsiciate flight with escaping from captivity. In this first part of Existentialism for Beginners however the author identifies a human instinct that predisposes us to seek illusory safety by conforming and being part of the crowd rather than embarking on the lonely life of the free thinker, the person who truly makes their own decisions and follows their own path.
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Updated : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:30:04 GMT
An average of around one person per fortnight travels from the UK to Switzerland to receive help to take their own life, a new study suggests.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:47:26 GMT
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Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:50:38 GMT
Mental health services for young people in England are "stuck in the dark ages" and "not fit for purpose", according to a government minister.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:09:35 GMT
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Export-focused Indian drugmaker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd said it was in talks with a U.S. The company said any unfavorable outcome could result in "significant liabilities" and added that it disagreed with the allegations.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:52:42 -0400
By Clair MacDougall and James Harding Giahyue MONROVIA (Reuters) - Police in the Liberian capital fired live rounds and tear gas on Wednesday to disperse a stone-throwing crowd trying to break an Ebola quarantine imposed on their neighbourhood, as the death toll from the epidemic in West Africa hit 1,350. In the sprawling oceanfront West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia, at least four people were injured in clashes with security forces, witnesses said. It was unclear whether anyone was wounded by the gunfire, though a Reuters photographer saw a young boy with his leg largely severed just above the ankle. Liberian authorities introduced a nationwide curfew on Tuesday and put the West Point neighbourhood under quarantine to curb the spread of the disease.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 03:47:38 -0400
These technology firms all received mentorship and money from Silicon Valley's so-called startup machine, Y Combinator. Now, for the first time in its nine-year history, the accelerator program is actively recruiting health-technology startups. To attract top talent in healthcare and biotech, Y Combinator recently tapped medical executive Elizabeth Iorns as a part-time partner. Sam Altman, Y Combinator's president, told Reuters he expects to see a growing number of venture capitalists investing in early-stage biotech and digital health companies.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:24:21 -0400
By Krista Mahr and Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of volunteers fanned out across Afghanistan this week, braving deteriorating security and distrusting parents to administer two chilled drops of the oral polio vaccine each to millions of children. Keeping the highly infectious polio disease in check in any country is a daunting task. Afghanistan is one of only three nations where the polio virus is still endemic, along with Pakistan and Nigeria. Only eight new cases have been confirmed so far this year, compared to 108 in Pakistan.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:49:26 -0400
Russian food safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor will start conducting checks at McDonald's restaurants in the southern Krasnodar region next week, local watchdog official Irina Voronkova told Reuters. On Wednesday, the agency ordered the suspension of operations at four McDonald's restaurants in Moscow over what it said were "numerous" sanitary law breaches. It is also conducting unscheduled checks at McDonald's restaurants in the Ural mountains region of Sverdlovsk.
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What are US biowar researchers doing in the Ebola zone? That is a question being asked around the cyberosphere as the Ebola outbreak in Africa continues to spread and alarm grows in the western nations. The Tulane University researchers [and colleagues] in the US biowarfare research community, have been operating in West Africa for some time. What exactly have they been doing? Exactly what diagnostic tests have they been performing on citizens of Sierra Leone?
Mass Immigration Means Failing Hospitals, Schools And Overcrowded Cities
Another shock for the left as think tank Civitas reports that mass immigration causes enormous social and economic problems while the 'benefits' to society the left bang on about are very marginal. The left's real agenda of course is the genocide of the fair skinned races. As most of these stupid lefties are white Europeans or Americans this is a perfect illustation of how stupid and self important they are, How does that old joke go about turkeys voting for Christmas?
Pandemonium: UKIP Taken Over By Fiends From Hell?
UKIP are at risk of being engulfed in another "ism" scandal as Jake Baynes, prospective parliamentary candidate for Wells has resigned his candiacy and party offices, claiming the constituency party has been taken over by "Occultists"
Ukraine Government Fires Missiles At Rebel Held Targets
Leaders in Washington, London, Paris and Brussels continue to pump out the propaganda against Russia as they try to provoke a war over the alleged shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine by separatist rebels supported by Russia. But in spite of claims by Obama and Kerry that the US have evidence that proves it was the rebels wot done it, the more evidence we see, the more likely it looks that the Ukrain government in Kiew was responsible.
America's GDP Surges 4% in Quarter 2 - Jonathan Creek Shows How The Trick Is Done
This morning the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the Commerce department revealed Q2 GDP statistics which blew made nonesense of estimates, showing year on year growth for the second quarter at 4.0%. This was explained as the result of a surge in Inventories and Fixed Investment, while exports added only 1.23% to the GDP number. The full breakdown by component is shown below.
Why Do The 'Progressive Left' Support Those Who Use Rape As A Weapon Of War
Rape as a weapon of war and genocide is not a pleasant subject but it is one that needs to be raise, like the issue of Female Genital Mutilation. Why visit such unpleasant topics? To expose the hypocrisy of the modern political left who have more in common with Hitler's Nazis, Mussolini's Fascist or Stalin's brutal Soviet regime that the supporters of traditional left wing values of individual freedom, free speech and equality before the law.
Why Do The 'Progressive Left' Support Those Who Use Rape As A Weapon Of War
Rape as a weapon of war and genocide is not a pleasant subject but it is one that needs to be raise, like the issue of Female Genital Mutilation. Why visit such unpleasant topics? To expose the hypocrisy of the modern political left who have more in common with Hitler's Nazis, Mussolini's Fascist or Stalin's brutal Soviet regime ...
FUKUS axis imposes sanctions, Russian Oligarchs Shrug
You have probably read a torrent of arse dribble in mainstream media about "Russia is becoming increasingly isolated" It's a meme that political leaders in the FUKUS axis, EU and NATO would like us to believe. It isn't quite the whole story however.
Sensational Break From Official Lies - German Aviation Expert Says MH17 Brought Down By Air To Air Missile
The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine has triggered a war of words between the USA / FUKUS axis and Russia as President Obama, without any clear evidence to support him, tried to blame Russia and use the outrage to justify a military intervention in Ukraine that would certainly start a major global conflict. So far Russia has stood its ground but refused to be provoked as evidence like that below has undermined the western narrative.
US wants WWIII because its big banks are insolvent: Henderson
An American author and columnist says the United States wants to start a third world war because most of its big banks are insolvent.
Dean Henderson with the Veterans Today made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Monday as he commented on recent remarks made by White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes who said ...
Germany Axes Canada-EU Trade Agreement, This Will End TTIP Stitch Up Too
We are winning. Well today we are at least. News broke over the weekend that Germany intends to junk the Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA), a template for the much bigger and therefore more threatening to freedom and democratic rule Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP). So it looks as though the shockwave of the European Parlianment elections has awoken politicians to the anger of voters throughout Europe with the dicatatorial attitude of the EU.
Who shot down MH17? Black Box Data Reveals Nothing We Did Not Know
As the political and media war over responsibility for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 continues, here's a chance to view a report put together by the BBC Russia news channel (In Russian with English subtitles). Strangely the Beeb have taken this report offline now. Make what you will of that. The video shows the handling of the Black Box flight recorders, which
Smart Homes Reveal User Behavior, Prone to Hacks:
Our Internet-driven world filled with interconnected smart gadgets and computing applications is making us vulnerable to potentially life-changing hacks and tracking. Not only are modern cars open to being hacked, but also boats, planes, and GPS-driven weapons.
Now Things Are Starting To Make Sense
It is now known that the uprising in Ukraine early this year that saw the elected government, which was cooperating far too well with Russia for the liking of the western powers overthrown and replaced by a US and EU sponsored gaggle of gangsters, thugs and neo - fascists whose task was to
Funny How A Few Days Good Weather Brings The Warmageddonists Out
Over the past few scorching hot days I have seen several members of the alomst defunct Warmageddonist society plugging their tired, discredited old "science" and trying to claim that mathematics proves that what is observably not happening is actually happening but only scientists are clever enough to understand that ... Hmm, is that so?
Military Veterans Opinion: Probably A Bomb That Took Down MH-17!
Funny how the left present themselves as the politics of peace and unity but are all out in support of Barack Obama's latest warmongering campaign in Ukraine following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. I suppose the pacifists enthusiasm for World War Three proves George Orwell was right when he said War is Peace.
America's Dumbest Move Yet: Hijacking A Foreign Bank
The financial markets seem to be getting more volatile, with share prices and currency values fluctuating wildly on the slightest indication of good or bad news. But when central banks start hijacking other banks on the basis of very flimsy evidence from a pariah state, we should befinding somewhere safer for our money
UK Government Report Confirms Huge Abuse of EU Free Movement Rules
After scream of 'racists' and 'bigots' from the left when common sense users pointed out that mass immigration does not benefit the economy, nor is it fair to the people shiioped here having been promised a utopian existence only to find they are living in foul conditions, doing menial jobs, and being paid under minimum wage and exploited by unscrupulous bosses.
, a report by civil servants confirms that the 'right wing extremists' was absolutely correct.
Malaysian Government and Opposition Call For MH17 Justice – Evidence Suggests Foul Play
Thanks to the sleazy political opportunism of Barack Hussein Obama and his bum boy David Cameron the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has been turned into a circus as the outrageous accusations (based on zero evidence, the USA told reporters to look on Facebook if they wanted proof the Ukrain pro Russia separatists did it) have spawned increasingly crazy conspiracy theories.
Poor white pupils put off school by multicultural timetable
Education, should it be about learning to read, write, spell and calculate? Or should it be about feminism, gay rights, black history and 'gender awareness' whatever that is? For many years we have had multiculturalism and politically correct thinking rammed doiwn pupils throats but noe a study by a local education department suggests this obsession with politicallly corret diversity is responsible for the failure of white working class pupils.
Israel maybe guilty of war crimes – UN Human Rights Chief(This could be the understatement of the millennium)
Israel maybe committing war crimes in Gaza, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says. Speaking in Geneva, Navi Pillay said house demolitions and the killing of children raise the "strong possibility" that Israel is violating international law. Opening an emergency debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, she citied cases of Israeli air strikes and shelling hitting ...
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 - Nothing is ever what it seems to be
Nothing is ever what it seems to be, I learned that doing top level consultancy contracts for government departments. Deception is the name of the game. So what of Flight MH17, certainly the plane was shot down and our sympathies are with the families of the dead. But the game of finger pointing that followed was not about justice but political opportunism. And by playing a waiting game the Russsians are winning again.
US State Dept. Annoyed at Press Questioning MH17 Narrative Spokeswoman Angrily Refers Press to Social Media for 'Proof'
The Obama Administration continues to reiterate its narrative on what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with more certainty (and often different details) every day, but there is a stark lack of evidence, beyond a handful of “authenticity could not be verified” images floating around on social media. With Russia denying the allegations, the US must have some really damning evidence to be so certain, right? Just so, insists the State Department, just don’t ask them to show any of it.
Diversity' Does Not Mean Quotas. Why Do The Left Have To Rewrite The Dictionary.
One might think, given the amount of screaming and shouting about diversity we hear from the left, they might take a little time to find out what it really means and stop applying their superficial and shallow meaning to it. The left however are hupocrites which is why they can claim to have a monopoly on truth and goodness while embracing the tactics of fascism in silencing opposition. Thus they have no problem reducing 'diversity' to a question of skin colour or sexual preference while insisting only one shade of opinion is acceptable.
What The Media Is Not Writing About Flight MH17
Only hours after the tragic downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians, led by the dickhead in chief Barack Hussein Obama were jumping up and down screaming "It was Russia wot done it." The sycophants in mainstream media were quick to join in, stating that ...