The Mind Unleashed Channel

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The Mind Unleashed Channel

Post by John Clees » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:21 am

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Not all are terrific : however I thought I'd share a few ones I enjoyed...
perhaps others could share if they choose to join..




FB : https://m.facebook.com/TheMindUnleashed

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/05/sci ... -told.html

Scientists Studied What Psychedelics Do to the Brain, And It’s Not What You’ve Been Told

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It turns out that psychedelics aren’t just good for turning into an elf and jousting a car. Psychiatrists, psychologists and specialists in addiction and recovery from traumatic experiences have been investigating the use of hallucinogens in treatment programs, and the results indicate that psychedelics actually have practical therapeutic uses.

And one drug has proven particularly useful. Repeated studies have found the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, can help people move past major life issues — like beating alcoholism and becoming more empathetic.

The research: One study concluded that controlled exposure to psilocybin could have long-lasting medical and spiritual benefits. In 2011, Johns Hopkins researchers found that by giving volunteer test subjects just the right dose (not enough to give them a terrifying bad trip), they were able to reliably induce transcendental experiences in volunteers. This provoked long-lasting psychological growth and helped the volunteers to find peace in their lives, all without side effects. Nearly all of the 18 test subjects, average age 46, were college graduates. Seventy-eight percent were religious and all were interested in finding a scientific experience.

Fourteen months later, 94% said their trip on magic mushrooms was one of the five most important moments of their lives. Thirty-nine percent said it was the most important thing that had ever happened to them. Their colleagues, friends, and family members said the participants were kinder and happier; the volunteers had positive experiences ranging from more empathy and improved marriages to less drinking.

Lead author Roland Griffiths told TIME’s Healthland that “The important point here is that we found the sweet spot where we can optimize the positive persistent effects and avoid some of the fear and anxiety that can occur and can be quite disruptive.”

What’s more, the researchers say that those changes in personality are highly atypical, because personalities tend to be pretty set in stone after the age of 25-30. According to postdoctoral researcher Katherine MacLean, who contributed to the study, “This is one of the first studies to show that you actually can change adult personality.”


“Many years later, people are saying it was one of the most profound experiences of their life,” she continued. “If you think about it in that context, it’s not that surprising that it might be permanent.”

This is strictly do-not-try-this-at-home. Maclean says that “in an unsupervised setting, if that sort of fear or anxiety set in, the classic bad trip, it could be pretty dangerous.” But “On the most speculative side, this suggests that there might be an application of psilocybin for creativity or more intellectual outcomes that we really haven’t explored at all.”

More research: Within the past few decades, interest in hallucinogens has expanded from the counter-culture to dedicated, methodological research. For example, another study published in 2010 conducted research into whether psilocybin can lend some comfort to terminal cancer patients — finding evidence that it reduced death anxiety and experienced significantly less depression. According to study researcher Dr. Charles Grob, “Individuals did speak up and tell us that they felt it was of great value.” NYU’s Dr. Stephen Ross, who conducted a similar study, told SCPR that “To me it’s been some of the most remarkable clinical findings I’ve ever seen as a psychiatrist.”

Psychologist Clark Martin, Ph.D., who participated in the study as a volunteer, describes his experience below:



AS WELL AS PARTICIPANT JANEEN DELANEY:

As a result of the studies, a joint UCLA, NYU and Johns Hopkins team is conducting large-scale phase three trial next year.

Cluster headache patients say (with the backing of some doctors) that psilocybin and LSD provide them with significant relief, which researchers argue need further study.

A 2012 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found evidence that psilocybin “enhances autobiographical recollection,” suggesting psychiatric uses in “the recall of salient memories or to reverse negative cognitive biases.” A review of the pyschiatric research performed on psilocybin concluded that the risks of therapy were acceptable and that “most subjects described the experience as pleasurable, enriching and non-threatening.” And this year, Zürich researchers released a study in which they administered psilocybin to 25 volunteers. The treatment was found to be associated with an “increase of positive mood in healthy volunteers.”

So basically, there’s at least some hard evidence that this:



… Has the potential to be helpful, leading to introspection, self-reflection, and relief from psychiatric conditions.

Other drugs: Other illegal drugs have been linked to positive psychological outcomes. Trials with MDMA have had positive results in patients suffering from PTSD. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies founder Rick Doblin, who works with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, discusses why MDMA might be the first psychedelic to “open the door into traditional psychiatry and psychology”:



So why isn’t there more evidence? The federal government is only now beginning to loosen its restrictions on medical uses of mind-altering substances, and it’s doing so very cautiously. In 2013, a group of psychiatrists released a review saying government restrictions made even researching psychoactive drugs “difficult and in many cases almost impossible.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom McKay

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Re: The Mind Unleashed Channel

Post by John Clees » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:42 am

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Re: The Mind Unleashed Channel

Post by John Clees » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:44 am

About 8 years ago, an electrical engineer and his counselor wife started throwing around an idea to replace asphalt on highways and byways throughout the US with electricity-producing solar panels that were tough enough to be driven upon. The idea blossomed into a project.. Where the panels featured built-in LEDs that could “paint the road” with markings and warnings, and could be heated to prevent snow and ice build up. For the reasons I am following this project, I believe solar roadways can literally change the entire world!

Solar Roadways: An Idea That Can Change The World?

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/04/sol ... g-lot.html

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About 8 years ago, an electrical engineer and his counselor wife started throwing around an idea to replace asphalt on highways and byways throughout the US with electricity-producing solar panels that were tough enough to be driven upon. The idea blossomed into a project, where the panels featured built-in LEDs that could “paint the road” with markings and warnings, and could be heated to prevent snow and ice build up. The US Federal Highway Administration paid for the couple to produce a working prototype, which they did, and then again to expand the concept into an operational parking lot setup. As the latter contract comes to an end, the Solar Roadways project has released photos of the (almost) completed installation at its Idaho electronics lab. Now the team is dipping into crowd-funding waters with a campaign to raise funds for the move into commercial production.

Many roads, highways, parking lots or driveways can spend much their daytime unused. Sunlight can even break through gridlock to the road below. In 2006, Scott and Julie Brusaw hatched a plan to make use of all that untapped energy by replacing asphalt with toughened PV panels that would also include embedded lighting to act as road markings and driver alerts, as well as communication and power cables to replace overhead lines. The project received funding from the US Dept of Transportation to the tune of US$100,000 in August 2009, and work began on the first proof-of-concept prototype.

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By February 2010, the first 12 x 12 ft (3.7 x 3.7 m) road panel (made up of 16 smaller connected panels) was ready, complete with embedded LEDs that could be programmed to deliver custom messages. The proof-of-concept Phase I prototype didn’t include any PV cells and lacked the custom-hardened glass with integrated heating element for the upper face, but it served to demonstrate that the proposed electronics worked as promised. The team also built smaller crosswalk panels featuring load cells to test a pedestrian/wildlife detection mechanism, which would flash instructions to slow down when a weight was detected on the surface.

Around this time, Scott Brusaw was invited to give a TED talk in Sacramento (which is worth a watch as it details much of the project’s inspiration, history and aims), and the project went on to win first prize in two of GE’s Ecomagination challenges.

The first hexagonal panels are installed outside the Solar Roadways electronics lab
After entertaining the world media circus for a while, and traveling around the country to deliver talks on the project, funding was secured in June of 2011 for the second phase of development – to create fully functional parking lot.



Work on the electronics began immediately, and a site next to the electronics lab prepared for ground breaking. The Brusaws and their small, but dedicated, team of volunteers revealed a new hexagonal road panel design in July 2013, that would allow them “to handle curves easily and we designed the shape, macro and micro textures for stability, traction, strength.” The first batch of the completed new panels were ready for installation and testing by September.

Spin forward to the end of last month, and the first photos of the now operational Solar Roadways parking lot were released. Each of the new panels features PV cells and circuit boards, 128 programmable LEDs, a heating element to help deal with ice and snow, and are topped with “super-strength” textured glass (which has exceeded expectations in load, traction and impact resistance testing).

“Half of our prototype parking lot is mono-crystalline, while the other half is poly-crystalline,” Julie Brusaw told Gizmag. “The parking lot is equivalent to a 3600-watt solar array. The power collected is dependent upon the amount of sunshine received. So as with all solar, it will produce more in some parts of the country and world than others.”

“We’ve moved power and data cables to a Cable Corridor alongside the road/parking lot,” she continued. “This provides easy access the power/data companies. It will give the cables a home and eliminate the need for overhead wires that are unsightly and subject to ice/breakage. The other way the power companies are handling it now is to bury them (sometimes right next to gas lines) in the dirt and dig them up with a shovel for access. So we can make utility companies’ work much easier and safer. Our system can also eliminate cell phone dead spots by installing a ‘leaky’ cable in the Cable Corridor. Our corridor can be a home for all kinds of cables including TV, fiber optic for high speed internet, phone, etc.”

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A section in the installation’s Cable Corridor has been included to store, treat and redistribute storm water, and the Brusaws sourced recycled glass and were able to incorporate 10 percent in the aggregate of the base layer of the prototype.

A new hexagonal road panel was revealed in July 2013
Currently, some 69 percent of the layer directly under the glass of each hexagonal unit is made up of photovoltaic cells, but that will increase to 100 percent prior to commercial production. Before that can happen, though, the Solar Roadways project has hit Indiegogo (starting, appropriately enough, on Earth Day) to help raise enough money to hire a team of engineers and other professionals, streamline the production process and move into manufacturing proper.

A lofty funding target of $1 million has been set, and the project will receive all funding, even if the campaign goal is not met. Rewards include t-shirts, coffee mugs, a backer’s name engraved on one of the prototype’s 396 mounting hole covers, and samples of the toughened glass.

The campaign video below brings the Solar Roadways story bang up to date.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNMFKKyFU60#t=43




***UPDATE!

As of May 30th, The solar roadways Indiegogo campaign has reached almost 2 million of their 1 million dollar goal, over two weeks ahead of schedule! This is HUGE! The overwhelming support that has come in over the last week I think can be credited to this humorous and informative viral video that is posted below. Check it out:



TO DONATE TO THIS PROJECT AND FURTHER THE DREAM OF A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE THAT MOST OF US I’M SURE HAVE, YOU CAN CLICK THE LINK HERE.

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Re: The Mind Unleashed Channel

Post by . » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:32 am

Colorado Sells $19 Million in Cannabis in March: $1.9 Million Goes to Schools and Crime Down 10%

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themindunleashed wrote:All the naysayers who were against marijuana legalization are eating crow about now. Colorado’s weed sales just keep trending up, and with the sales of legal weed, they are improving their schools and reducing overall crime rates.

Not counting medicinal weed sales, Colorado sold nearly $19 million in their recreational weed market in the month of March, and $1.9 million of that goes straight into government coffers and towards building schools. At this pace, according to PolicyMic, Colorado will make $30 million this year in pot taxes alone.

What’s even more promising is that these numbers are still low estimates, as the recreational and medicinal marijuana markets (coinciding just fine, take note Washington) are likely to keep trending upward. Many say that a figure closer to $60 million in weed tax revenue is a more likely assumption. Medical marijuana is also not as heavily taxes as recreational marijuana, and hopefully it will stay that way.

The cherry on top of this tax-generating cake? Crime rates are also down in Colorado, so while kids are hopefully going to get a better education, the government (idealistically) will spend more money improving infrastructure and other business opportunities for Colorado citizens, and unemployment rates are plummeting. The Colorado police can take a little rest from their duties.

Crime rates in Colorado have dropped by 10.6% while Dunkin Donuts has begun expanding its brand in the state (really). It looks like a really good future for people living in Colorado, or any state that legalizes both medical and recreational marijuana – though it is admittedly too early to tell.

Is it ludicrous to conclude that perhaps happy, smokers of marijuana have no time for violence and expend their energy elsewhere? Probably, but it’s looking more and more like a reality. When you legalize this plant, people have less to be angry about–and less angry people means less crime.

The only draw-back of legalization in Colorado? It’s snowing in May. But only Nancy Grace would attribute that to ganja and not global warming. And whether Nancy and the haters like it or not, more recreational dispensaries are coming to Denver, Boulder, and beyond.

According to Weedmaps, there are currently 97 recreational dispensaries in Colorado, and that number should hit 100 in the next few weeks – likely climbing higher. And higher. And higher.
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Re: The Mind Unleashed Channel

Post by John Clees » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:01 am

How to Beat a Photo-Enforced Speeding Ticket (or Red Light Ticket)

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Last year I received a letter in the mail from the Washington D.C DMV claiming I was speeding. As you can see it was one of those Photo-Enforced Speeding Tickets and they had multiple pictures of my CAR. I knew better to just submit and pay a fine like the majority of people do in this country, unfortunately. I am in the habit of not taking “plea deals”, and I am always in the habit of fighting my tickets and NOT pre-paying them so I don’t have to go to court – like many folks do. I just about always record my interactions with the police, whether it’s a traffic stop or not, that way it keeps the entire situation objective, transparent and I can hold the public servant accountable if he/ she violates my rights.

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As you can see these criminals issuing these tickets are hoping that the people will just get scared and pay, or not want to waste their time with it. However the government has to provide evidence that it was actually ME driving, it’s their burden of proof. Just because they got pictures of my car doesn’t mean I was driving. So, in response to the first letter, I mailed them back the following letter (copied and pasted):

To Whom it May Concern,

I received a letter claiming I committed a violation of a speeding law in the District of Columbia on 04/21/2012. As per the instructions, I am writing to plead ‘not guilty’ to this charge. Although this option is said to result in this matter going to court; it is my suggestion that the charges simply be dropped. This suggestion comes out of respect for tax payers, and my request that their hard earned money not be wasted in such proceedings. As there is no evidence of my involvement with this alleged ‘crime’, as well as the fact that I am not granted my 6th amendment right to face my ‘accuser’ (a camera); I see no way the government could prove my guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I also see find no legal requirement for me to implicate someone else in this process, as it is the government’s responsibility to prove a person’s guilt. It is also my 5th amendment right to remain silent on the matter.

If it is the government’s decision to move forward in this matter, I would request copies of any evidence the prosecution may have of my involvement in the “offense”; as well as, all maintenance records for the camera(s) involved.

Sincerely,

Nathan Cox
United States Army Veteran

HUGE thanks to super activist Meg McLain. I was slammed with work and was about to miss the deadline to mail the rebuttal letter in. She was my roommate at the time, I told her about how I needed it to read and she came up with a fantastic piece. I HIGHLY recommend Meg for any of your Graphic Design or Video Animation needs – She’s stellar!
After sending that letter I received this post card:

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PLEASE, NEVER EVER opt to pay these Photo Enforced Speeding AND Red Light tickets! You do NOT have to incriminate yourself OR implicate anyone else. It’s the government’s responsibility to provide evidence that YOU were the person driving, don’t help them in their “investigation”. ALWAYS go to court and fight your tickets, if there is NO VICTIM.. there is NO CRIME!

This write-up was first posted to VirginiaCopBlock.org by Nate Cox on May 10, 2013.

http://themindunleashed.org/2013/12/bea ... icket.html

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Re: The Mind Unleashed Channel

Post by John Clees » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:14 pm

10 Spiritually Transmitted Diseases

http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics. ... -diseases/

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BY STEVEN BANCARZ JUNE 2, 2014 SELF HELP, SPIRITUALITY

As written by Mariana Caplan, Ph.D. It is a jungle out there, and it is no less true about spiritual life than any other aspect of life. Do we really think that just because someone has been meditating for five years, or doing 10 years of yoga practice, that they will be any less neurotic than the next person? At best, perhaps they will be a little bit more aware of it. A little bit.
It is for this reason that I spent the last 15 years of my life researching and writing books on cultivating discernment on the spiritual path in all the gritty areas–power, sex, enlightenment, gurus, scandals, psychology, neurosis — as well as earnest, but just plain confused and unconscious, motivations on the path. My partner (author and teacher Marc Gafni) and I are developing a new series of books, courses and practices to bring further clarification to these issues.
Several years ago, I spent a summer living and working in South Africa. Upon my arrival I was instantly confronted by the visceral reality that I was in the country with the highest murder rate in the world, where rape was common and more than half the population was HIV-positive — men and women, gays and straights alike.
As I have come to know hundreds of spiritual teachers and thousands of spiritual practitioners through my work and travels, I have been struck by the way in which our spiritual views, perspectives and experiences become similarly “infected” by “conceptual contaminants” — comprising a confused and immature relationship to complex spiritual principles can seem as invisible and insidious as a sexually transmitted disease.
The following 10 categorizations are not intended to be definitive but are offered as a tool for becoming aware of some of the most common spiritually transmitted diseases.
1. Fast-Food Spirituality: Mix spirituality with a culture that celebrates speed, multitasking and instant gratification and the result is likely to be fast-food spirituality. Fast-food spirituality is a product of the common and understandable fantasy that relief from the suffering of our human condition can be quick and easy. One thing is clear, however: spiritual transformation cannot be had in a quick fix.
2. Faux Spirituality: Faux spirituality is the tendency to talk, dress and act as we imagine a spiritual person would. It is a kind of imitation spirituality that mimics spiritual realization in the way that leopard-skin fabric imitates the genuine skin of a leopard.
3. Confused Motivations: Although our desire to grow is genuine and pure, it often gets mixed with lesser motivations, including the wish to be loved, the desire to belong, the need to fill our internal emptiness, the belief that the spiritual path will remove our suffering and spiritual ambition, the wish to be special, to be better than, to be “the one.”
4. Identifying with Spiritual Experiences: In this disease, the ego identifies with our spiritual experience and takes it as its own, and we begin to believe that we are embodying insights that have arisen within us at certain times. In most cases, it does not last indefinitely, although it tends to endure for longer periods of time in those who believe themselves to be enlightened and/or who function as spiritual teachers.
5. The Spiritualized Ego: This disease occurs when the very structure of the egoic personality becomes deeply embedded with spiritual concepts and ideas. The result is an egoic structure that is “bullet-proof.” When the ego becomes spiritualized, we are invulnerable to help, new input, or constructive feedback. We become impenetrable human beings and are stunted in our spiritual growth, all in the name of spirituality.
6. Mass Production of Spiritual Teachers: There are a number of current trendy spiritual traditions that produce people who believe themselves to be at a level of spiritual enlightenment, or mastery, that is far beyond their actual level. This disease functions like a spiritual conveyor belt: put on this glow, get that insight, and — bam! — you’re enlightened and ready to enlighten others in similar fashion. The problem is not that such teachers instruct but that they represent themselves as having achieved spiritual mastery.
7. Spiritual Pride: Spiritual pride arises when the practitioner, through years of labored effort, has actually attained a certain level of wisdom and uses that attainment to justify shutting down to further experience. A feeling of “spiritual superiority” is another symptom of this spiritually transmitted disease. It manifests as a subtle feeling that “I am better, more wise and above others because I am spiritual.”
8. Group Mind: Also described as groupthink, cultic mentality or ashram disease, group mind is an insidious virus that contains many elements of traditional co-dependence. A spiritual group makes subtle and unconscious agreements regarding the correct ways to think, talk, dress, and act. Individuals and groups infected with “group mind” reject individuals, attitudes, and circumstances that do not conform to the often unwritten rules of the group.
9. The Chosen-People Complex: The chosen people complex is not limited to Jews. It is the belief that “Our group is more spiritually evolved, powerful, enlightened and, simply put, better than any other group.” There is an important distinction between the recognition that one has found the right path, teacher or community for themselves, and having found The One.
10. The Deadly Virus: “I Have Arrived”: This disease is so potent that it has the capacity to be terminal and deadly to our spiritual evolution. This is the belief that “I have arrived” at the final goal of the spiritual path. Our spiritual progress ends at the point where this belief becomes crystallized in our psyche, for the moment we begin to believe that we have reached the end of the path, further growth ceases.
“The essence of love is perception,” according to the teachings of Marc Gafni, “Therefore the essence of self love is self perception. You can only fall in love with someone you can see clearly–including yourself. To love is to have eyes to see. It is only when you see yourself clearly that you can begin to love yourself.”
It is in the spirit of Marc’s teaching that I believe that a critical part of learning discernment on the spiritual path is discovering the pervasive illnesses of ego and self-deception that are in all of us. That is when we need a sense of humor and the support of real spiritual friends. As we face our obstacles to spiritual growth, there are times when it is easy to fall into a sense of despair and self-diminishment and lose our confidence on the path. We must keep the faith, in ourselves and in others, in order to really make a difference in this world.
- See more at: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics. ... Mh5Oa.dpuf

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Re: The Mind Unleashed Channel

Post by John Clees » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:18 pm

Child Prodigies and the Assault on Creativity

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http://themindunleashed.org/2014/05/chi ... ivity.html

When you think of a child prodigy, you usually think of an exceptional young talent which has been recognized in a person’s early life and nurtured by those around them, who encourage their latent abilities to blossom and grow. Mozart, of course, springs immediately to mind – a rare and gifted talent in music who, on account of the culture and environment in which he was weaned, was able to develop into one of the greatest composers of all time. And while it could be said that such an upbringing was overbearing and destroyed any chance of young Mozart leading a “normal” life, without it, it is highly unlikely that his incredible potential would have been fully realized.

The same can’t be said for the system in the present age. For some time now, the education system has been geared increasingly towards controlling children in an authoritarian environment (much research has been conducted into the comparison between schools and prisons), preparing them for a regimented series of arbitrary tests to make them suitable for a particular vocation – it’s hardly surprising, given that one of America’s wealthiest industrialists, John D. Rockefeller, was instrumental in the establishment of the General Education Board, which many believe was designed not to elevate the American people towards a position of creative, free-thinking individuals but compliant workers. G. Edward Griffin stated that “the goal was — and is — to create citizens who were educated enough for productive work under supervision but not enough to question authority or seek to rise above their class.” He continued, “True education was to be restricted to the sons and daughters of the elite. For the rest, it would be better to productive skilled workers with no particular aspirations other than to enjoy life.” Indeed, this is precisely the kind of stratification we see in contemporary education to this day.

By definition, child prodigies are not “normal” children – often, early age genius is intrinsically linked with conditions such as autism and Asperger Syndrome, and it is this intensity of interest in a particular subject or field which leads the child to excel. This higher function in one respect is often contrasted with other behavioral issues, particularly an inability to function in social circumstances. The psychiatric profession inevitably came to diagnose this as a disorder or disability, and despite a growing movement to have this removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostics and Statistical Manual, much in the same way that homosexuality was eventually removed, the identification of these personality and cognitive traits as a “problem” continues to this day.

This over-identification of mental health issues as a problem which needs addressing, rather than something which needs understanding with a view to nurturing a person’s inherent talents and abilities, is increasingly being ascribed to children across the spectrum. For years, restless and agitated children who rebel against the boredom-inducing regimentation of the classroom are being prescribed powerful anti-psychotics previously only given to adults with extreme cases of psychosis. Not content with fabricating new disorders to justify this assault on the minds of children (a number of prominent researchers have gone on record to state that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is “not a real disease”), the American Psychiatric Association continues to expand its list of mental disorders, with each volume of the DSM significantly larger than the last.

A far more troubling development came last year, when the APA introduced “oppositional defiance disorder” into the DSM-IV. ODD – which is characterized as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behaviour” – takes the notion of labeling childhood behavior as a mental health problem to disturbing new extremes. With symptoms which include questioning authority the writing is on the wall – non-conformity and free thinking is taboo to the establishment. Free and critical thinking is a crucial component of any society or culture which wishes to progress, and many historical developments which have improved both our understanding of the universe around us and improved our condition have arisen from those who are willing to challenge orthodox thinking. But conformity demands compliance, and in defining non-compliance as a mental illness in children and proceeding to medicate them with psychotropic drugs, the social engineers ensure that their authority – be it intellectual, political or ideological – remains unchallenged.

The rapid rise in mind-altering medication being prescribed to children, coupled with the effects of other toxic compounds found in food and water (a Harvard study recently confirmed what many have been saying about fluoride for many years, that it reduces the IQ levels in children) can only lead to a diminishment of critical thinking, creative children in society. And the contrast between how the state react to such children compared to the individual couldn’t be much clearer than in the following two cases. Jacob Barnett was diagnosed by doctors as suffering from Asperger Syndrome who placed him on medication and into therapy – after being kicked out of school for allegedly not being able to learn, he went on to learn high school mathematics in two weeks before attending university.





By the same token, another home-schooling family in Alabama recently opened up about their children, six of whom had began studying for their college degrees by the age of 12. Several of the siblings went on to become a doctor, a spacecraft designer and an architect. Their parents attribute their incredible success to focusing on what it was they were passionate about, much like the scenario for child prodigies throughout history. Remove a child from the education system, it seems, and their latent abilities will flourish, realizing their true potential.

This assault on genuinely creative and original modes of thinking is inevitable, given that the ruling elites of the system are characterized by psychopathy, a personality trait which is inherently incapable of creative thought. This is ironically perhaps the most significant psychological characteristic when it comes to negative impacts on the well-being of any given society, but one which is rarely discussed and ultimately encouraged in the halls of political and corporate power. As long as a system which demands obedience to the state and conformity to its rules continues to exist, the assault on the free-thinking and creative spirit in children will continue unabated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Dilks writes on culture and politics at orwellwasright.co.uk. He is the author of Goliath and Flow. His newest book Prehistoric Highs: Mind-Altering Plants and the Birth of Civilization will be available in 2014.

Credits: ***Waking Times, where this was originally featured.

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Re: The Mind Unleashed Channel

Post by . » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:40 pm

This ain't from TMUC but it fits well in here (?)
What a Shaman Sees in A Mental Hospital

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The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. “Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field,” says Dr. Somé. These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

One of the things Dr. Somé encountered when he first came to the United States in 1980 for graduate study was how this country deals with mental illness. When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to “nervous depression,” Dr. Somé went to visit him.

“I was so shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village.” What struck Dr. Somé was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself, “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted.”

Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening. The result can be terrifying. Without the proper context for and assistance in dealing with the breakthrough from another level of reality, for all practical purposes, the person is insane. Heavy dosing with anti-psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual who has received these energies.

On the mental ward, Dr Somé saw a lot of “beings” hanging around the patients, “entities” that are invisible to most people but that shamans and psychics are able to see. “They were causing the crisis in these people,” he says. It appeared to him that these beings were trying to get the medications and their effects out of the bodies of the people the beings were trying to merge with, and were increasing the patients’ pain in the process. “The beings were acting almost like some kind of excavator in the energy field of people. They were really fierce about that. The people they were doing that to were just screaming and yelling,” he said. He couldn’t stay in that environment and had to leave.

In the Dagara tradition, the community helps the person reconcile the energies of both worlds–”the world of the spirit that he or she is merged with, and the village and community.” That person is able then to serve as a bridge between the worlds and help the living with information and healing they need. Thus, the spiritual crisis ends with the birth of another healer. “The other world’s relationship with our world is one of sponsorship,” Dr. Somé explains. “More often than not, the knowledge and skills that arise from this kind of merger are a knowledge or a skill that is provided directly from the other world.”

The beings who were increasing the pain of the inmates on the mental hospital ward were actually attempting to merge with the inmates in order to get messages through to this world. The people they had chosen to merge with were getting no assistance in learning how to be a bridge between the worlds and the beings’ attempts to merge were thwarted. The result was the sustaining of the initial disorder of energy and the aborting of the birth of a healer.

“The Western culture has consistently ignored the birth of the healer,” states Dr. Somé. “Consequently, there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention. They have to try harder.” The spirits are drawn to people whose senses have not been anesthetized. “The sensitivity is pretty much read as an invitation to come in,” he notes.

Those who develop so-called mental disorders are those who are sensitive, which is viewed in Western culture as oversensitivity. Indigenous cultures don’t see it that way and, as a result, sensitive people don’t experience themselves as overly sensitive. In the West, “it is the overload of the culture they’re in that is just wrecking them,” observes Dr. Somé. The frenetic pace, the bombardment of the senses, and the violent energy that characterize Western culture can overwhelm sensitive people.

Schizophrenia and Foreign Energy

With schizophrenia, there is a special “receptivity to a flow of images and information, which cannot be controlled,” stated Dr. Somé. “When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy.”

What is required in this situation is first to separate the person’s energy from the extraneous foreign energies, by using shamanic practice (what is known as a “sweep”) to clear the latter out of the individual’s aura. With the clearing of their energy field, the person no longer picks up a flood of information and so no longer has a reason to be scared and disturbed, explains Dr. Somé.

Then it is possible to help the person align with the energy of the spirit being attempting to come through from the other world and give birth to the healer. The blockage of that emergence is what creates problems. “The energy of the healer is a high-voltage energy,” he observes. “When it is blocked, it just burns up the person. It’s like a short-circuit. Fuses are blowing. This is why it can be really scary, and I understand why this culture prefers to confine these people. Here they are yelling and screaming, and they’re put into a straitjacket. That’s a sad image.” Again, the shamanic approach is to work on aligning the energies so there is no blockage, “fuses” aren’t blowing, and the person can become the healer they are meant to be.

It needs to be noted at this point, however, that not all of the spirit beings that enter a person’s energetic field are there for the purposes of promoting healing. There are negative energies as well, which are undesirable presences in the aura. In those cases, the shamanic approach is to remove them from the aura, rather than work to align the discordant energies

Alex: Crazy in the USA, Healer in Africa

To test his belief that the shamanic view of mental illness holds true in the Western world as well as in indigenous cultures, Dr. Somé took a mental patient back to Africa with him, to his village. “I was prompted by my own curiosity to find out whether there’s truth in the universality that mental illness could be connected with an alignment with a being from another world,” says Dr. Somé.

Alex was an 18-year-old American who had suffered a psychotic break when he was 14. He had hallucinations, was suicidal, and went through cycles of dangerously severe depression. He was in a mental hospital and had been given a lot of drugs, but nothing was helping. “The parents had done everything–unsuccessfully,” says Dr. Somé. “They didn’t know what else to do.”

With their permission, Dr. Somé took their son to Africa. “After eight months there, Alex had become quite normal, Dr. Somé reports. He was even able to participate with healers in the business of healing; sitting with them all day long and helping them, assisting them in what they were doing with their clients . . . . He spent about four years in my village.” Alex stayed by choice, not because he needed more healing. He felt, “much safer in the village than in America.”

To bring his energy and that of the being from the spiritual realm into alignment, Alex went through a shamanic ritual designed for that purpose, although it was slightly different from the one used with the Dagara people. “He wasn’t born in the village, so something else applied. But the result was similar, even though the ritual was not literally the same,” explains Dr. Somé. The fact that aligning the energy worked to heal Alex demonstrated to Dr. Somé that the connection between other beings and mental illness is indeed universal.

After the ritual, Alex began to share the messages that the spirit being had for this world. Unfortunately, the people he was talking to didn’t speak English (Dr. Somé was away at that point). The whole experience led, however, to Alex’s going to college to study psychology. He returned to the United States after four years because “he discovered that all the things that he needed to do had been done, and he could then move on with his life.”

The last that Dr. Somé heard was that Alex was in graduate school in psychology at Harvard. No one had thought he would ever be able to complete undergraduate studies, much less get an advanced degree.

Dr. Somé sums up what Alex’s mental illness was all about: “He was reaching out. It was an emergency call. His job and his purpose was to be a healer. He said no one was paying attention to that.”

After seeing how well the shamanic approach worked for Alex, Dr. Somé concluded that spirit beings are just as much an issue in the West as in his community in Africa. “Yet the question still remains, the answer to this problem must be found here, instead of having to go all the way overseas to seek the answer. There has to be a way in which a little bit of attention beyond the pathology of this whole experience leads to the possibility of coming up with the proper ritual to help people.

Longing for Spiritual Connection

A common thread that Dr. Somé has noticed in “mental” disorders in the West is “a very ancient ancestral energy that has been placed in stasis, that finally is coming out in the person.” His job then is to trace it back, to go back in time to discover what that spirit is. In most cases, the spirit is connected to nature, especially with mountains or big rivers, he says.

In the case of mountains, as an example to explain the phenomenon, “it’s a spirit of the mountain that is walking side by side with the person and, as a result, creating a time-space distortion that is affecting the person caught in it.” What is needed is a merger or alignment of the two energies, “so the person and the mountain spirit become one.” Again, the shaman conducts a specific ritual to bring about this alignment.

Dr. Somé believes that he encounters this situation so often in the United States because “most of the fabric of this country is made up of the energy of the machine, and the result of that is the disconnection and the severing of the past. You can run from the past, but you can’t hide from it.” The ancestral spirit of the natural world comes visiting. “It’s not so much what the spirit wants as it is what the person wants,” he says. “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

That call, which we don’t even know we are making, reflects “a strong longing for a profound connection, a connection that transcends materialism and possession of things and moves into a tangible cosmic dimension. Most of this longing is unconscious, but for spirits, conscious or unconscious doesn’t make any difference.” They respond to either.

As part of the ritual to merge the mountain and human energy, those who are receiving the “mountain energy” are sent to a mountain area of their choice, where they pick up a stone that calls to them. They bring that stone back for the rest of the ritual and then keep it as a companion; some even carry it around with them. “The presence of the stone does a lot in tuning the perceptive ability of the person,” notes Dr. Somé. “They receive all kinds of information that they can make use of, so it’s like they get some tangible guidance from the other world as to how to live their life.”

When it is the “river energy,” those being called go to the river and, after speaking to the river spirit, find a water stone to bring back for the same kind of ritual as with the mountain spirit.

“People think something extraordinary must be done in an extraordinary situation like this,” he says. That’s not usually the case. Sometimes it is as simple as carrying a stone.

A Sacred Ritual Approach to Mental Illness

One of the gifts a shaman can bring to the Western world is to help people rediscover ritual, which is so sadly lacking. “The abandonment of ritual can be devastating. From the spiritual view, ritual is inevitable and necessary if one is to live,” Dr. Somé writes in Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community. “To say that ritual is needed in the industrialized world is an understatement. We have seen in my own people that it is probably impossible to live a sane life without it.”

Dr. Somé did not feel that the rituals from his traditional village could simply be transferred to the West, so over his years of shamanic work here, he has designed rituals that meet the very different needs of this culture. Although the rituals change according to the individual or the group involved, he finds that there is a need for certain rituals in general.

One of these involves helping people discover that their distress is coming from the fact that they are “called by beings from the other world to cooperate with them in doing healing work.” Ritual allows them to move out of the distress and accept that calling.

Another ritual need relates to initiation. In indigenous cultures all over the world, young people are initiated into adulthood when they reach a certain age. The lack of such initiation in the West is part of the crisis that people are in here, says Dr. Somé. He urges communities to bring together “the creative juices of people who have had this kind of experience, in an attempt to come up with some kind of an alternative ritual that would at least begin to put a dent in this kind of crisis.”

Another ritual that repeatedly speaks to the needs of those coming to him for help entails making a bonfire, and then putting into the bonfire “items that are symbolic of issues carried inside the individuals . . . It might be the issues of anger and frustration against an ancestor who has left a legacy of murder and enslavement or anything, things that the descendant has to live with,” he explains. “If these are approached as things that are blocking the human imagination, the person’s life purpose, and even the person’s view of life as something that can improve, then it makes sense to begin thinking in terms of how to turn that blockage into a roadway that can lead to something more creative and more fulfilling.”

The example of issues with an ancestors touches on rituals designed by Dr. Somé that address a serious dysfunction in Western society and in the process “trigger enlightenment” in participants. These are ancestral rituals, and the dysfunction they are aimed at is the mass turning-of-the-back on ancestors. Some of the spirits trying to come through, as described earlier, may be “ancestors who want to merge with a descendant in an attempt to heal what they weren’t able to do while in their physical body.”

“Unless the relationship between the living and the dead is in balance, chaos ensues,” he says. “The Dagara believe that, if such an imbalance exists, it is the duty of the living to heal their ancestors. If these ancestors are not healed, their sick energy will haunt the souls and psyches of those who are responsible for helping them.” The rituals focus on healing the relationship with our ancestors, both specific issues of an individual ancestor and the larger cultural issues contained in our past. Dr. Somé has seen extraordinary healing occur at these rituals.

Taking a sacred ritual approach to mental illness rather than regarding the person as a pathological case gives the person affected–and indeed the community at large–the opportunity to begin looking at it from that vantage point too, which leads to “a whole plethora of opportunities and ritual initiative that can be very, very beneficial to everyone present,” states. Dr. Somé.
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