May 23, 2013
“I think the hunter-gatherers here saw some of their dogs as being nearly the same as themselves, even at a spiritual level.”
By Jennifer Viegas.
An analysis of ancient dog burials finds that the typical prehistoric dog owner ate a lot of seafood, had spiritual beliefs, and wore jewelry that sometimes wound up on the dog.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, is one of the first to directly test if there was a clear relationship between the practice of dog burial and human behaviors. The answer is yes.
"Dog burials appear to be more common in areas where diets were rich in aquatic foods because these same areas also appear to have had the densest human populations and the most cemeteries," lead author Robert Losey, a University of Alberta anthropologist, told Discovery News.
The discovery negates speculation that dogs back in the day were just work animals brought along on hunting trips.
"If the practice of burying dogs was solely related to their importance in procuring terrestrial game, we would expect to see them in the Early Holocene (around 9,000 years ago), when human subsistence practices were focused on these animals," Losey continued. "Further, we would expect to see them in later periods in areas where fish were never really major components of the diet and deer were the primary focus, but they are rare or absent in these regions."
For the study, Losey and his team researched dog burials worldwide, but focused particularly on ones located in Eastern Siberia. Siberia appears to have been an ancient hotbed of dog lovers, with the earliest known domesticated dog found there and dating to 33,000 years ago. Dog burials in this region, however, span across a more recent 10,000-year period.
The researchers found that most of the dog burials in this area occurred during the Early Neolithic 7,000-8,000 years ago. Dogs were only buried when human hunter-gatherers were also being buried. When pastoralists later came through, they did not bury dogs, although they did sacrifice them from time to time.
"I think the hunter-gatherers here saw some of their dogs as being nearly the same as themselves, even at a spiritual level," Losey said. "At this time, dogs were the only animals living closely with humans, and they were likely known at an individual level, far more so than any other animal people encountered. People came to know them as unique, special individuals."
“...human and dog diets, burial practices and more often paralleled each other, revealing how close the dog-human bond has been for thousands of years.”
The burials reflect that association. One dog, for example, was laid to rest "much like it is sleeping." A man was buried with two dogs, one carefully placed to the left of his body, and the other to the right. A dog was buried with a round pebble, possibly a toy or meaningful symbol, placed in its mouth. Still other dogs were buried with ornaments and implements, such as spoons and stone knives.
One of the most interesting burials contains a dog wearing a necklace made out of four red deer tooth pendants. Such necklaces appear to have been a fashion and/or symbolic trend at the time, since people wore them too.
"The dog buried wearing the necklace was buried in a region where human diets were relatively rich in riverine fish," Losey said. "The dog, however, was consuming relatively little fish, having a protein diet with more emphasis on terrestrial game. This suggests the dog was likely a recent arrival in the region, and its body chemistry had not yet adjusted to the local fish diet."
All of the hunter-gatherer dogs were similar in appearance to large varieties of huskies, similar to today’s Siberian huskies.
Erik Axelsson, a researcher at Uppsala University’s Science for Life Laboratory, has also studied prehistoric dogs. He too found that human and dog diets, burial practices and more often paralleled each other, revealing how close the dog-human bond has been for thousands of years.
Axelsson said, "Dogs and humans share the same environment, we eat similar food and we get similar diseases."
Based on the number of burials, we also often spend eternity together too.
Image credit: A dog buried in a resting position. Robert Losey
May 20, 2013
“...the field of energy medicine is poised on the cusp of revolutionizing our approach to healing and disease. Energy Psychology, though still a nascent field of study and practice in the West, is a core component of this emerging model, and the story below explains why EP is getting more and more difficult to ignore.”
In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.
— Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel laureate in Medicine
From Noetic Now, “Energy Psychology: The Future of Therapy?” Institute of Noetic Sciences
by John Freedom
Modern psychotherapy’s enfant terrible, Energy Psychology, has been alternately praised and ridiculed, extolled and rebuked....
The term energy psychology describes a new field of innovative interventions that balance, restore, and enhance human functioning by stimulating the human subtle energy system. These techniques have spread throughout the world—largely via the Internet—and have been observed to catalyze rapid, dramatic, and lasting changes in feelings, beliefs, mental states, and behaviors. Just as we have a physical anatomy—consisting of our skeleton, organs and glands, muscles and connective tissue—we also have an energetic anatomy—consisting of the acupuncture meridian system, chakras and nadis (energy centers and channels), and the human biofield/s. The common denominator underlying EP techniques involves stimulating energy, whether by tapping, touching, or intention.
But what is this purported “energy” that is being “stimulated”? And who are we under our skins, egos, and subpersonalities, beyond neurons, synapses, the prefrontal cortex, temporal lobes, and limbic system, and beyond auras, meridians, and chakras? Are we souls or spirits or merely a complex system of oscillating neuropathways? As we explore ever-deeper levels of our beingness, moving beyond tissues, molecules, atoms, and particles to waves, strings, and fields, we enter the realm of very subtle energies. Thus, if we wish to interact with, touch, and heal others and ourselves on the most fundamental levels, we need to do so on an energetic level. If we are indeed energetic beings, perhaps we can heal at the speed of light.
The etymology of the word psychology is revealing. It comes from the Greek logos, meaning “word, reason, or principle,” and psyche, or “the soul.” For our intellectual forebears, psychology was literally the study of the soul....With the advance of scientific reductionism, psychology was reduced to the study of rats and pigeons and later to neurotransmitter interactions in the brain. Indeed, these castrated versions are what many scientists still think of as modern psychology.
These excesses have been partially corrected by the fields of humanistic and cognitive psychology (which have restored the study of mind and its attributes as legitimate objects of inquiry) and by parapsychology, transpersonal psychology, and noetic sciences (which acknowledge psychic, spiritual, and transpersonal experiences as real phenomena, deserving consideration and investigation). The Institute of HeartMath has been instrumental in restoring interest in the role of the heart in human emotion and behavior as well. Even so, many neuroscientists believe that consciousness is nothing more than an epiphenomenon of neurological processes in the brain. Yet with the anomalous evidence we have for out-of-the-body experiences and near-death experiences as well as evidence for the survival of consciousness after death, the hypothesis that consciousness is but a function of neurological processes simply does not fit the facts.
Energy Psychology has historically focused on psychotherapy. But there are bigger questions and larger issues at play here.
• Who or what are we most essentially?
• Is there, analogous to the physical body, an energy body/ies? If so, what is the nature of the relationship between the energy body/ies and the physical body, and between the energy body/ies and the spiritual body, or soul?
• What is the nature of body, mind, and spirit? Are these separate but interactive entities, or are they one? What are the specific nature and pathways of the body-mind-spirit connection?
• What is the nature of health/wholeness and illness/dis-ease? Are these fundamentally physical phenomena, energetic phenomena, field phenomena, or all three?
• Just as there are electromagnetic, gravitational, and strong and weak fields, are there energetic fields, noumenal fields, or both? Are these fields individual biofields centered around each individual, or as Rupert Sheldrake has suggested, are there group fields for different species? If so, what is the relationship between these individual fields and the larger group fields, and between what we call our “selves” and the underlying energetic matrix?
...Energy Psychology modalities include therapies such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Thought Field Therapy (TFT), Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT), Advanced Integrative Therapy (AIT), Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), Heart-Assisted Therapy (HAT), and Healing from the Body Level Up (HBLU). Beneath this panoply of theories and techniques, EP modalities combine intentionality with imaginal exposure and energetic stimulation, energetic balancing, or both. Seemingly simple in technique, the results can be rapid and surprising.
When I observe a number of suffering patients who did not respond to our usual treatment modalities suddenly get better after TFT algorithms are given, I don't need a double-blind controlled study to tell me the value of TFT.
— James McKoy, MD; Kaiser Permanente Pain Clinic, Hawaii
...The different EP modalities are behavioral desensitization techniques. The theory about them, first proposed by Roger Callahan, holds that negative emotions are caused by perturbations in the energy field, and tapping on specific meridians reportedly resolves these perturbations. Another hypothesis about the mechanism at work involves resonance, a phenomenon in which different parts of a system oscillate at the same frequency so that their wave frequencies reinforce each other.
...A healthy body is a body in resonance. Trauma is not only energetic, but as James Oschman and Melinda Connor have pointed out, trauma causes physical blockages that obstruct and dampen the free flow of energy and information through our tissues, causing us to feel blocked, cut off, and dissociated, both physically and psychologically....
...Energy Psychology is growing up and already changing the conversation, changing how psychotherapy is being practiced and expanding the limits of what we think is possible.
About the author—
John Freedom, CEHP, is a long-term student of meditation, consciousness, and the healing arts. He currently serves on the board of directors and as research coordinator for the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. A former radio talk-show host and magazine editor, he teaches seminars in EFT, EP, and related topics throughout the United States and Europe. Learn more at www.JohnFreedom.com.
May 16, 2013
“I had no movement, no voice, no breath. But I had everything I needed within me; I had my mind and my faith.”
The author's account illustrates one of Bob Monroe's best-known quotations, "The greatest illusion is that mankind has limitations."
From the ARE Blog.
By Suzette Faith Foster —
We all hold, whether tapped or untapped, the healing and manifesting potential of the mind, body and spirit. It took one experience for me to validate the depth and power of this potential in myself.
I had met up with my friends for our weekly mountain bike ride, which involved leaning into curves, riding over obstacles, and jumping piles of logs.
We reached a familiar teeter-totter, one we had mastered many times, riding up one side and down the other. Then we stopped and contemplated one much bigger that was new to the trail. I wanted to try it.
In mountain biking, speed is your friend. I pressed forward.
My front tire made contact with the teeter-totter. But next, I found myself barreling headfirst into the ground.
My neck snapped!
“Caught between life and death...I had the opportunity of a lifetime to walk my talk.”
Lying there, I tried to move—but couldn’t. I tried to talk, but no sound came out. I was totally paralyzed.
Then I stopped breathing—the imminent death sentence.
Caught between life and death, my training instinctively emerged. Daily, I had practiced, as I now help my clients practice, spiritual and holistic healing principles. In that moment, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to walk my talk.
I had no movement, no voice, no breath. But I had everything I needed within me; I had my mind and my faith.
A short, powerful mantra that I used daily rushed forth. Still on the ground, motionless, breathless, I willed my body, emphatically: “I refuse to accept this limitation—God is my Source!”
Boom! What felt like a huge, pain-free lightning bolt coursed through me. I repeated, “I refuse to accept this limitation—God is my Source!”
A second bolt instantly went through me.
Miraculously, I regained my breath! My lifeless form had accepted the dance of my mind, body, and spirit.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived after 17 minutes and transported me to Duke Medical Center. An ER doctor told me that my full paralysis was the result of my totally severed C2 neck vertebra and a very serious spinal cord injury, the same injury that the late Christopher Reeve had suffered. Soon, friends and family arrived. I told them, “This is temporary. See me dancing.”
The surgery to reconnect my C2 was successful. But I was still left a quadriplegic. Unbeknownst to me, my doctor, Robert E. Isaacs, Director of Spine Surgery at Duke, prepared a friend by telling her, “Don’t expect much improvement in Suzette’s condition.”
I knew the profound healing I desired was my responsibility from the inside out. I did affirmations, visualizations, and meditations. I also listened to CDs that bathed me with healing-sound frequencies.
When I awoke from surgery, I refused pain medicine. I experienced no pain. They said I would be in ICU for 7-10 days. I said I would be out in two, and I walked out two days later. They predicted my hospital stay would be three weeks, minimum. I said I’d be out in a week, and I was. Appearing perplexed, Dr. Isaacs said, “People like you don’t exist.” He explained that most people with severe spinal cord injury die at the scene, because they stop breathing. I had stopped breathing. He said even the surviving few who don’t stop breathing are left quadriplegic. Yet I walked out of the hospital.
My passion and belief in the teachings and tools that I had learned thus far along my spiritual journey directly influenced my outcome. In hindsight, it was my commitment to my spiritual deepening that literally saved my life and allowed for my unexpected healing. I’m grateful for my practice of having energy healings and going within to shift my old programming, limited thinking, and emotional wounds. All these had raised my vibration; a vibration that magnetized me to my remarkable healing.
Within months, I was fully functioning: enjoying dancing, hiking, and yoga. I am blessed that I am living the emotional and physical freedom that mind, body, and spirit principles allow.
A year later, Dr. Isaacs wrote, “Considering Suzette’s spinal cord damage, her results surpassed medical expectations. The rapidity and completeness of her improvement is more than would be comprehended. So I’m trying to make sense of it in my mind.”
Suzette Faith Foster is a life coach, distance energy healing facilitator, transformational author and speaker. To read her full story and many other personal and client stories and to get inspired to delve deeper into your own spiritual journey, read Suzette’s book, Calling Back Your Power. Her Web site is Choose2Thrive.com.
May 06, 2013
“Like a veteran racehorse, Hubble is hitting its stride — but that hasn't always been the case.”
From NBCNews.com. By Alan Boyle, science editor.
Astronomers have come out with a Horsehead Nebula of a different color to celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope's 23rd birthday.
The iconic nebula in the constellation Orion, about 1,500 light-years away, can be seen even through small telescopes. In visible light, it's a dark dust cloud in the shape of a horse's head, silhouetted against a backdrop of glowing hydrogen gas. But the Horsehead takes on a completely different look in the new view released Friday.
"This image was taken in the infrared," Joe Liske, an astronomer from the European Southern Observatory, explains in a video introducing the picture. "In infrared light, we can pierce right through some of the bulky plumes of dusty material which usually mask and obscure the inner regions of the Horsehead. The result is this rather fragile-looking structure, made of delicate, wispy folds of gas — very different to the nebula's appearance in the visible."
The infrared glow, captured by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, lights up the nebula's clouds from within. Liske says it's "a fitting celebration of an incredible 23 years of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope."
...Like a veteran racehorse, Hubble is hitting its stride — but that hasn't always been the case. The first couple of years of operation were hampered by a flaw in the telescope's main mirror. Equipment to compensate for the problem was installed during a crucial series of spacewalks 20 years ago, in 1993. The shuttle Atlantis paid a final servicing visit to Hubble in 2009, and the telescope has been working just fine since then.
Hubble operations have been extended through 2016 — and if the telescope remains in good working order, it's likely to continue being funded at least until 2018, when the $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled for launch. Eventually, Hubble will have to be sent down to a fiery doom. But who knows? Maybe the old telescope will hang around to experience life after 30.
Photo credit: NASA / ESA / AURA / STScI — The Horsehead Nebula shines in a Hubble Space Telescope image that marks this month's 23rd anniversary of the orbiting observatory's launch.
April 30, 2013
“...while his idea of the perfect diet may have been a bit strange, he clearly understood many of the things that 21st century Americans would value (like clean air, clean food, and our ‘thinking machines’) as we stumble into the future.”
From Smithsonian.com —
In the 1930s journalists from publications like the New York Times and Time magazine would regularly visit Nikola Tesla at his home on the 20th floor of the Hotel Governor Clinton in Manhattan. There the elderly Tesla would regale them with stories of his early days as an inventor and often opined about what was in store for the future.
Last year we looked at Tesla’s prediction that eugenics and the forced sterilization of criminals and other supposed undesirables would somehow purify the human race by the year 2100. Today we have more from that particular article which appeared in the February 9, 1935, issue of Liberty magazine. The article is unique because it wasn’t conducted as a simple interview like so many of Tesla’s other media appearances from this time, but rather is credited as “by Nikola Tesla, as told to George Sylvester Viereck.”
It’s not clear where this particular article was written, but Tesla’s friendly relationship with Viereck leads me to believe it may not have been at his Manhattan hotel home. Interviews with Tesla at this time would usually occur at the Hotel, but Tesla would sometimes dine with Viereck and his family at Viereck’s home on Riverside Drive, meaning that it’s possible they could have written it there.
Viereck attached himself to many important people of his time, conducting interviews with such notable figures as Albert Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt and even Adolf Hitler. As a German-American living in New York, Viereck was a rather notorious propagandist for the Nazi regime and was tried and imprisoned in 1942 for failing to register with the U.S. government as such. He was released from prison in 1947, a few years after Tesla’s death in 1943. It’s not clear if they had remained friends after the government started to become concerned about Viereck’s activities in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Tesla had interesting theories on religion, science and the nature of humanity which we’ll look at in a future post, but for the time being I’ve pulled some of the more interesting (and often accurate) predictions Tesla had for the future of the world.
Creation of the EPA
The creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was still 35 years away, but Tesla predicted a similar agency’s creation within a hundred years.
Hygiene, physical culture will be recognized branches of education and government. The Secretary of Hygiene or Physical Culture will be far more important in the cabinet of the President of the United States who holds office in the year 2035 than the Secretary of War. The pollution of our beaches such as exists today around New York City will seem as unthinkable to our children and grandchildren as life without plumbing seems to us. Our water supply will be far more carefully supervised, and only a lunatic will drink unsterilized water.
Education, War and the Newspapers of Tomorrow
Tesla imagined a world where new scientific discoveries, rather than war, would become a priority for humanity.
Today the most civilized countries of the world spend a maximum of their income on war and a minimum on education. The twenty-first century will reverse this order. It will be more glorious to fight against ignorance than to die on the field of battle. The discovery of a new scientific truth will be more important than the squabbles of diplomats. Even the newspapers of our own day are beginning to treat scientific discoveries and the creation of fresh philosophical concepts as news. The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere ” stick ” in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis.
Health and Diet
Toward the end of Tesla’s life he had developed strange theories about the optimal human diet. He dined on little more than milk and honey in his final days, believing that this was the purest form of food. Tesla lost an enormous amount of weight and was looking quite ghastly by the early 1940s. This meager diet and his gaunt appearance contributed to the common misconception that he was penniless at the end of his life.
More people die or grow sick from polluted water than from coffee, tea, tobacco, and other stimulants. I myself eschew all stimulants. I also practically abstain from meat. I am convinced that within a century coffee, tea, and tobacco will be no longer in vogue. Alcohol, however, will still be used. It is not a stimulant but a veritable elixir of life. The abolition of stimulants will not come about forcibly. It will simply be no longer fashionable to poison the system with harmful ingredients. Bernarr Macfadden has shown how it is possible to provide palatable food based upon natural products such as milk, honey, and wheat. I believe that the food which is served today in his penny restaurants will be the basis of epicurean meals in the smartest banquet halls of the twenty-first century.
There will be enough wheat and wheat products to feed the entire world, including the teeming millions of China and India, now chronically on the verge of starvation. The earth is bountiful, and where her bounty fails, nitrogen drawn from the air will refertilize her womb. I developed a process for this purpose in 1900. It was perfected fourteen years later under the stress of war by German chemists.
Tesla’s work in robotics began in the late 1890s when he patented his remote-controlled boat, an invention that absolutely stunned onlookers at the 1898 Electrical Exhibition at Madison Square Garden.
At present we suffer from the derangement of our civilization because we have not yet completely adjusted ourselves to the machine age. The solution of our problems does not lie in destroying but in mastering the machine.
Innumerable activities still performed by human hands today will be performed by automatons. At this very moment scientists working in the laboratories of American universities are attempting to create what has been described as a ” thinking machine.” I anticipated this development.
I actually constructed ” robots.” Today the robot is an accepted fact, but the principle has not been pushed far enough. In the twenty-first century the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization. There is no reason at all why most of this should not come to pass in less than a century, freeing mankind to pursue its higher aspirations.
Cheap Energy and the Management of Natural Resources
Long before the next century dawns, systematic reforestation and the scientific management of natural resources will have made an end of all devastating droughts, forest fires, and floods. The universal utilization of water power and its long-distance transmission will supply every household with cheap power and will dispense with the necessity of burning fuel. The struggle for existence being lessened, there should be development along ideal rather than material lines.
Tesla was a visionary whose many contributions to the world are being celebrated today more than ever. And while his idea of the perfect diet may have been a bit strange, he clearly understood many of the things that 21st century Americans would value (like clean air, clean food, and our “thinking machines”) as we stumble into the future.
Photo credit: photo of Nikola Tesla that appeared in the February 9, 1935 issue of Liberty magazine.
April 18, 2013
Astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator Carl Sagan shares, in three minutes, a future vision, gazing back in time through humanity's possible positive evolutionary trajectory.
We were hunters and foragers.
The frontier was everywhere.
We were bounded only by the Earth, and the ocean, and the sky.
The open road still softly calls.
Our little terraqueous globe is the madhouse of those hundred, thousand, millions of worlds.
We who cannot even put our own planetary home in order;
Riven with rivalries and hatreds.
Are we to venture out into space?
By the time we're ready to settle even the nearest other planetary systems we will have changed.
The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us.
Necessity will have changed us.
We're an adaptable species.
It will not be we who reach Alpha Centuri and the other nearby stars.
It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses,
More confident, far seeing, capable, and prudent.
For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.
What new wonders undreamt of in our time will we have wrought in another generation?
How far will our nomadic species have wandered by the end of the next century?
And the next millennium?
Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system and beyond will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet and by the knowledge that whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the universe come from Earth.
They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies.
They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was.
How perilous our infancy,
How humble our beginnings;
How many rivers we had to cross before we found our way.
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