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Mind, Energy and Consciousness – The Best of TEDx

How 2015 turns out for you will be largely determined by your consciousness, how you perceive and process what we usually call “reality”. So, naturally, understanding your brain, mind and soul and the interrelation of these key elements can be a huge help in your quest to excel over the next 365 days and beyond.

Every day, YouTube’s TEDx channel adds new talks on a wide variety of topics, and it would take hundreds of hours to go through all of them. But here is a selection of videos that bring to light information on human mind and human consciousness that’s absolutely critical for personal resilience.


The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

There was a time when we believed that as adults, our brains are relatively static- not so. Motivated by her childhood coping with severe learning disabilities, Barbara Arrowsmith-Young has been a student and exponent of applying the principles of brain plasticity to the developmental challenges of children.



How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains

Sara Lazar was as skeptical as many other neuroscientists when she heard her yoga teacher’s claims about the benefits of meditation for brain function. So she set up a series of studies, using MRI neural imaging to see up close how meditation changes the brain.



The Science Delusion

In a talk so provocative that TEDx censored it, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake lays out the hidden ideological assumptions of the Newtonian materialist worldview which contaminate the objectivity of science in dealing with any sphere of inquiry that intersects with what even science calls the “Hard Question” – consciousness.

An interview discussing the ban on this talk and the ideological dogmatism that led to it can be found here.  More from Rupert on the same topic here.



Do we have a quantum Soul?

Dr. Stuart Hameroff used his background in anaesthesiology to demonstrate the influence of quantum physics on human consciousness and the startling implications for how we think of our existence in the wider context of the universe.



The groundbreaking material in these videos and the many others like them give us new ways of thinking about who and what we are, and what our possibilities are. They unlock us from the mechanistic materialist world, or rather put the material world in its proper perspective as a function of something much deeper.
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Intellectual Resilience: Why Today’s Graduates are Less Educated, Literate and Sophisticated than their Great Grandparents

We often hear that educational standards are slipping, but news media coverage often gives the impression that the problem lies with inadequate testing requirements or sloppy teaching.  The unfortunate truth is that it isn’t anything so simple; rather, it is the symptom of a vast cultural shift in teaching, intended to produce a more standardized and homogenous citizen.  In other words, the education system is designed to stop us from learning, and thinking, on our own.

John Taylor Gatto, three-time New York State Teacher of the Year, has researched the history and development of illiteracy in America, and his findings are astonishing.  In the 19th Century, the United States was probably the most literate country in the world.  Works of literature sold like hotcakes, newspapers sprung up by the hundreds, and even in the absence of a public school system, literacy was seen as the way up in society.  Even those who hadn’t been educated would still make the effort to learn to read.  Education, in short, was based on wide reading, and discussion and interpretation of that reading, and so the level of cultural discourse even in popular media was quite high.

With public education came school textbooks, and textbooks, Gatto maintains, are not designed to make children think, but to make them think in the ways that the publisher and educational authorities approve of.  The texts are doctored and carefully selected, the questions at the end of the chapter all have set answers.  The same applies to standardized tests, and teaching students how to take these tests (usually involving injunctions to avoid critical thinking or any deviation from the norm) has come to take up an ever-larger proportion of classroom time.

“Old-fashioned” classical education was structured as an exercise in thinking.  Colleges required their students to learn philosophy and history to fill out their knowledge, and taught rhetoric so that the students could articulate their insights.  Learning was based on the reading of great books.

The “scientific” approaches that replaced classical education eliminated philosophy and history and rhetoric from the average curriculum, and later, the classical method of teaching English.  Students were the subjects of scientific study for the production of tractable citizens.  This philosophy of education was laid out by University of Wisconsin sociologist Edward A. Ross as far back as 1901 in his book called, not coincidentally, Social Control.

The reason, according to Gatto, is simple:

“If you think about it, schooled people, like schoolbooks, are much alike. Some folks find that desirable for economic reasons. The discipline organizing our economy and our politics derives from mathematical and interpretive exercises, the accuracy of which depends upon customers being much alike… People who read too many books get quirky. We can’t have too much eccentricity or it would bankrupt us. Market research depends on people behaving as if they were alike. It doesn’t really matter whether they are or not.”

As H.H. Goddard, architect of standardized testing, put it in 1920, the purpose of schooling is “the perfect organization of the hive.”  He advocated standardized tests explicitly as a means for the lower classes to confirm their own inferiority.

The United States Army tests its inductees for literacy.  A soldier must be able to read maps and signs and instruction manuals, at about a fourth grade reading level.  These tests, because of their practical focus, change less than standardized tests.  In World War II, 17.28 million of the 18 million men conscripted passed the test, a 96 percent literacy rate.  By the time of the Korean War, literacy in the draft pool had dropped to 81 percent.  By the end of the Vietnam War, it had dropped to 73 percent.  This is perhaps the clearest evidence that something was going terribly wrong.  Back in the 19th Century, data from numerous states suggests that functional literacy was usually above 90 percent.

The decline of sophistication in popular cultural production parallels the decline of reading: 19th Century “popular” literature is something only the literate elite of today dare to tackle.  As Gatto wrote about Last of the Mohicans (1826), such books were “a dense thicket of philosophy, history, culture, manners, politics, geography, analysis of human motives and actions, all conveyed in data-rich periodic sentences so formidable only a determined and well-educated reader can handle it nowadays.”

The decline in the level of popular culture has inevitably led to the decline in sophistication of political discourse.  When former French president Mitterand passed away, the incumbent President of the Republic, Jacques Chirac, appeared on national television to announce the death of his predecessor.  Chirac’s ten minute discourse and tribute to his former political opponent was of such intellectual sophistication and nuance that no public figure in contemporary North America would dare to replicate it.  Sadly, almost none of our own politicians have anything like the education or cultural sophistication to do so even if they wanted to.  Most remarkable, though, is that the French public and the broader European public still expects their leaders to be people of demonstrable intelligence, whereas on this side of the pond, even an obvious village idiot can find himself in the White House.

The public acceptance of an educational system that dumbs people down leads inevitably to the public acceptance of mediocre and agenda-driven leaders of low personal integrity who make disastrous decisions and yet are barely even reprimanded for it.  In other words, the lower the educational level sinks – and with it, the levels of popular culture and political discourse – the more easily manipulated the society as a whole becomes.

As you think about your children’s education, or even your own, be conscious that this is not a system that is trying to make you smarter.  It is trying to make you tractable, measurable, sortable, and most of all, uncritical and ignorant – in other words, easily manipulated.  The good news is that the solution is available at your local library, and you won’t have to write a test afterward.

If you want your children to become genuinely resilient people or you wish to become such a person yourself, then start with your own level of education.  Start reading more, especially non-fiction.  Read widely in fields such as personal development, health and wellness, history, political affairs and current events, finance and economics, theology and spirituality, etc.  The more you know and the more you carefully analyze and think through what you’ve learned, the less easily manipulated you will be.

And when you DO tune in to the popular culture in 2013, whether it be television, radio, newspapers or online, be aware of the various corporate, political, religious and ideological agendas that are being systematically pushed on you.  Education, literacy, cultural sophistication and awareness are a KEY ELEMENT of your personal resilience, so make the decision now that you’ll use 2013 to cultivate yours.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Your Energy Body – the Science is In…

For a long time now you’ve been hearing people talk about raising your vibration and frequency.  And ancient traditions constantly speak of the light emanating from holy / enlightened beings.  But what does the science say?  What can the latest, cutting edge research tell us about any of this?  Is it true or just ancient myth mixed with New Age nonsense?  Keep reading to find out…

Caution: if you’re firmly wedded to the Newtonian world view, then for you this post is rated well beyond “PG-13”.

We are electromagnetic beings.  Thanks to the research of people like Gary Schwartz, Fritz Popp and many others, we know that human electromagnetism is expressed on many different levels.  Russian scientists Kirlian and Korotkov developed technology to photograph the so-called “aura,” the bioelectric fields surrounding the human body, technology widely used in Russia for diagnostic purposes.  Schwartz, amusingly, began his interest in the field when he discovered at the age of seven that he could substitute him own body for the rabbit-ears on his television set and achieve perfect picture.  And if you’re old enough to remember rabbit-ears, you may have done the same thing!

You Transmit Information Constantly

Tests of energy healers, for example, have revealed that healing is accompanied by much higher than normal electrostatic and magnetic fields emanating from the healer.  The implication is that humans can be trained to use their intention to manipulate electromagnetic fields.  But that is not all.  Healers also register higher than normal emission of photons- light.

I say “normal” because all living things do emit light.  Put a plant in a darkened space in front of the right camera, and you get a perfect image of the plant in its own light.  A similar procedure carried out on the hands of a healer showed coherent streams of light emanating from them.  Fritz Popp has been able to show that DNA is the control mechanism for the frequencies at which this light is emitted.  What makes light from living organisms extraordinary is its counter-intuitive tendency toward coherent oscillation.  Ordinary light is not coherent.  It interferes with itself and thus is limited in the distance it seems to travel.  Coherent light, like that produced by a laser, travels much farther.  In a phenomenon dubbed “super-radiance,” the light emitted by a living thing acts like a single frequency.

German biophysicist Herbert Frohlich created a model showing that complex dynamic systems, like living organisms, tend to organize energy coherently.  Subatomic particles which have become coherent become electromagnetically linked and resonate together rather than separately.  Living energy is the highest form of coherence discovered in nature.  Coherence of this kind was postulated in matter by Einstein, and may be a key to superfluid and superconductive materials- matter that, respectively, flows and allows electricity to flow through without losing energy.

And You Are Receiving Information Too…

So, we are beings of light and our intention is expressed as light.  We are transmitting information, but are we receiving?

Cleve Backster was a leading expert in lie detection.  In a moment of bored experimentation, he hooked a lie detector up to a plant, with the idea that by measuring electrical conduction at different points he could measure the rate at which it absorbed water.  And then, prompted by a misinterpretation of his own readings, he thought he had registered a human-like emotional response from the plant.  He then threatened the plant with a match.  This reading was not a mistake.  The moment the thought entered his head, the needle jumped.  Backster would spend decades designing controlled experiments through which he managed to show that plants are both receivers and re-transmitters of feeling and intention.  And it’s not only things like plant-mold and yogurt bacteria that react to human emotional states.  Once two organisms become attuned to one another, it doesn’t matter how far away they are; they will react to the emotional state of the other.

So, plants do receive.  What about animals?  Fritz Popp discovered that fleas transmit, receive, and retransmit light to each other, as though providing updates.  But it was Korotkov who used his equipment to monitor the reaction of humans to intention transmitted by other humans.  The light discharge of the recipient of the intention changed markedly according to the emotion being broadcast.

You’ve Been Kept in the Dark for Decades

Unfortunately, the scientific community never really listened to Backster, not because he was not meticulous in designing his experiments, but because he lacked formal credentials – and of course because it didn’t want to accept his findings.  To accept any of the findings we have talked about in this post individually is a stretch for the Newtonian worldview; to accept that they have transformative implications for understanding how life relates to other life, to accept that there is anything here that changes how we understand the human experience, is something that the materialist mindset cannot abide.  Korotkov, a physicist, repeated these experiments with more advanced equipment, and, building on the work of others, was able to explain the effects.

So the data was in decades ago and much of the more recent experimentation has simply validated that data, expanded on it and begun to uncover even more intriguing things about this wonderful world and how we relate to it.  Yet you will seldom see anything about this in the mainstream because the implications are HUGE, far too huge for most people to contemplate.

And I think you understand what I’m getting at here.  If life and all living systems are interconnected transmitters and receivers of coherent light, if life itself tends toward empathy and coherence, that insight has tremendous implications for our view of the world, for our thought processes, for our individual behaviors.  It means that meditation, energy healing, and all of the marvelous claims which ancient traditions have always made about the potential of human consciousness need not be seen as remote and improbable, or the unique achievements of a few gifted individuals, but an obvious and logical response of humanity to the way the world really works. 

Ultimately, of course, it means that your consciousness has an affect on the material reality around you, and that is the final nail in the coffin for the Newtonian worldview.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger 🙂

The Awesome Power Hidden in Your Mind-Body Organism

The human organism and its real capabilities go far beyond what most people think of as the frontier of the normal.  While ancient traditions have always known about and sought to access this potential, scientific studies have begun to show us just how vast this universe of potential might be.

The intriguing thing is that, as far as brainwave patterns go, the way to hyper-consciousness lies through null consciousness.  Although meditation as practiced by most people slows down brainwaves (Alpha or Theta waves), this is only a preliminary stage.

In a study by Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin, a group of Tibetan monks in meditation first slowed their brainwaves and then rapidly accelerated (into the Gamma spectrum, associated with heightened awareness, which is higher in frequency than most waking brainwaves).  In other words, meditation yields a brain operating at peak capacity.  This process has also been found to stimulate the portion of the brain associated with joy, giving us an insight into its effect on emotional health.  As well, it heightens communication between the two sides of the brain.  Meditation yields an intense state of attention on the present moment, and with it an intense awareness of one’s surroundings, as a number of studies using external stimuli have shown.

Sara Lazar’s fMRI studies of meditation have shown that meditation permanently alters both the function and structure of the brain.  The portions of the brain associated with attention and sensory processing increased in thickness according to the number of years spent practicing meditation, defying the usual age-related thinning of these areas.  There was also significant activation of the intuitive part of the brain, showing that both kinds of perception were being stimulated.

Nor is the physical impact of meditation confined to the brain.  Herbert Benson, a Harvard cardiologist, has studied Buddhist monks who are able to generate intense heat with their bodies while meditating in sub-zero temperatures.  He witnessed these monks being repeatedly draped in wet blankets which they dried with the heat from their bodies.  Benson documented temperature increases of up to 17 degrees Fahrenheit combined with lowered metabolism, by up to 60 percent.

 All of this represents what could be called the passive side of the equation, the changes that occur in the practitioner.  The active side is even more interesting. 

A series of academic studies have focussed on Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems or DMILS.  It turns out that under a number of conditions, the electrical signals in two human brains can become synchronized, even at a distance.  An experiment at the National University of Mexico tested brain to brain transmission using flashes of light as the stimulus.  The receiver was isolated in an electrically-shielded room.  This study and others like it found that, providing there was an existing connection between the participants (in this case established by meditating together for twenty minutes), the EEG readings of the receiver spike identically and in tandem with the sender.

Distance healing has also been the focus of intense study.  One study at the California Pacific Medical Centre recruited a population of established healers and a group of AIDS patients.  The study’s objective was simply to demonstrate the effectiveness of healing, and so every patient in the test group received help from every healer.  The health of the patients in the test group measurably improved, while forty percent of the control group died.

In another study, energy healers of different schools were brought together to work on AIDS patients.  The patients who showed the most improvement were treated by healers who operated, as the great Lakota holy man Fools Crow put it, as “hollow bones”, which is to say that they did not regard themselves as the sources of healing.  The common steps in successful healing of this kind (there is a distinction to be made between intervention of this sort and methods designed to improve health on a long term basis) are that the healer unite mentally and emotionally with the person to be healed, and then, with belief, call upon a higher power and ask for the healing.  The healer needs to get him/herself out of the way and become a conduit.

The studies we’ve looked at here barely scratch the surface of the realms of human possibility.  Tune in next week for more!

~Dr. Symeon Rodger 🙂

Rid Yourself of Myths, Lies and False Assumptions

READING!  It’s a vital component in your quest for personal resilience.  When you engage with new information that challenges your assumptions and expands your horizons, you enter on a journey outside your intellectual comfort zone and embrace the great mysteries of life.

You may have heard me talk about how vital this is.  In fact, if you’re in the Resilient Life Code program, I’ve been going over this with you in some detail.  First, your personal resilience is built on TRUTH, where truth is to be understood as the way the universe works, the way things really are.  Get this wrong and you’ll have a really hard time growing and thriving as a person.  Fundamentally, there’s only ONE question that all of us individually and we as a species need to continually ask ourselves:

“What do we, as the collective human race, actually KNOW?  What can we absolutely prove, what can we definitively disprove and what appears, on the basis of all the evidence, to be very likely true?”

When you start asking that toughest of all questions and you’re open to the real answers, your life will change.  You’ll start to see how many false assumptions and sometimes outright lies we, as a civilization, have settled down to live with and, surprisingly, how those untruths are sabotaging your own life on a daily basis.

To help you along with that, I’d like to recommend you read this amazing book by best-selling author Gregg Braden.  It’s called:

Deep Truth: Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny and Fate

Gregg uses his own scientific background to break down the barriers between the various silos in the scientific community and between science and spirituality to produce a real tour de force on what we individually and all of us together will need to do to survive and thrive the massive changes coming down the pipe within the next 5-10 years.

The book brings to light 6 Deep Truths:

1. To deal with the crises threatening our world, we have to accept what the latest science is revealing about who we are and where we come from – about human origins.  As he puts it, “The false assumptions of long-standing beliefs regarding evolution and human origins make little sense in the face of recent discoveries throughout the sciences.”  This requires all of us to look at the big picture and to objectively evaluate the real evidence – something many people, including many scientists and academics, are notoriously reluctant to do.

2. The reluctance of mainstream education to embrace the latest discoveries is keeping us stuck in old ways of thinking that cannot address the problems we now face.  Instead, much of what is taught in our educational institutions was proven incorrect decades ago. The way we have thought about ourselves, each other and the earth for the last 300 years in particular (the era whose thought has been formed by Newton and Descartes) is based on outdated and incorrect science, yet we persist in living our lives and teaching our children as if it were actually true.

3. We need to work together and stop pointing fingers, because the multiple crises we now face are all reaching their tipping points at the same time (food, water, climate change, population growth).

4. New discoveries of advanced human civilizations dating back to near the end of the last ice age provide clues as to how we might overcome some of the same challenges our ancient ancestors did.  These discoveries also prove that our conventional 5000 year linear timeline of history is wrong.  Egyptology is one shining example among many of where the experts have spent the last century altering the facts to fit a preconceived theory.

5. A growing body of scientific evidence from various disciplines, gathered using the latest technology, proves beyond any reasonable doubt that humankind reflects a design put into place at once, rather than a life-form that emerged randomly through an evolutionary process over a long period of time.  In other words, the theory of evolution is wrong in several key areas – the scientific evidence is very much against it. [ However, biblical creationists should not take heart, because they are also mistaken].

6. More than 400 peer reviewed studies have concluded that violent competition and war directly contradict how the human being is wired internally.

What I Love about Gregg’s Book

Gregg looks at all the evidence dispassionately – he doesn’t have an agenda other than finding out what’s really true.  He integrates massive amounts of information and synthesizes it for you so you can readily understand the implications for your own life and for the planet as a whole.

So if you want to get the big picture – and it’s a lot harder to build your personal resilience without that big picture – I would strongly suggest you consider reading this book!  You’ll get the bottom line on the latest discoveries related to things as diverse as quantum physics, developmental biology, epigenetics, ancient history, climate change, evolution and the Mayan calendar ending in 2012.  Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be very well equipped to evaluate some of the other information you’re being exposed to by the media, you’ll be much more resistant to subtle manipulation and you’ll have a firm foundation in FACTS to move forward with your life.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger 🙂

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