The Monroe Institute

In Search of Happiness

May 14, 2012



“'Happiness is a skill,'
says the happiest man in the world.”

 

From Shift magazine, Issue 22, published by the Institute of Noetic Sciences
by Vesela Simic

In Search of Happiness

...There has been an unprecedented explosion of interest in the pursuit of happiness. What are scientists learning? Is the quest for happiness appropriate and useful in a time of global instability? What’s missing from the discussion, and where is this quest taking us? Its pursuit is more—and less—complicated than we think.

...An explosion of interest in happiness has hit our collective consciousness—outnumbered though it may be by headlines on societal collapse. In a variety of popular magazines—Time, Discover, Science Now, Smithsonian, Wired, Home, Christianity Today—and books of most genres—The Geography of Bliss, A History of Happiness, This Is Your Brain on Joy, Exploring Adolescent Happiness, The Joy of Retirement—happiness is telling a multifaceted story. Psychology Today reports that 4,000 books on the subject were published in 2008 as compared to 50 in 2000. Although there’s an element of commodification in this trend (you can get a “sustainable happiness makeover” in just three months for $3,000), it’s also true that part of what’s driving this phenomenon is scientific interest in the investigation, and the findings are news.

...“Between 1980 and 1985, only 2,125 articles were published on happiness,” in academic publications, “compared with 10,553 on depression,” according to the Los Angeles Times. By 2005, the number of articles on happiness had increased sixteen-fold. Reflecting the multidisciplinary research and discussion under way, a recent conference in San Francisco titled “Happiness and Its Causes” brought together experts in psychology, neuroscience, neurobiology, internal medicine, and integrative medicine. They joined educators; public activists; artists represented by film, song, dance, drum, and judo; and scholars of philosophy and religion to shed light on the subject.

What is meant by happiness, anyway? The ancient Greeks were guided by the term eudaimonia, which translates to “human flourishing.” Eastern traditions, such as the philosophies of Buddhism and Yoga, speak of happiness as the “cessation of suffering.” From these perspectives, what is sought in happiness is not transient pleasure but rather a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment. So, where can we find it? How do we get it? “Happiness is a skill,” says the happiest man in the world, Matthieu Ricard. A Buddhist monk and close associate of the Dalai Lama, Ricard was pronounced “happiest man in the world” when extensive neuroimaging of his brain at the University of Wisconsin registered the highest level ever recorded (off the scale) in the area of the brain associated with positive emotions.

The science bears out Ricard’s understanding of happiness with its findings that 50 percent of our happiness is genetic, 10 percent circumstantial, and 40 percent in our hands to skillfully cultivate....

Ed Diener, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois and one of the leading and earliest researchers on happiness, has a list of important things science has learned about “subjective well-being” (SWB, or happiness). He notes, for example, the following:

• The components of SWB can be measured with some scientific validity.
• Temperament is an important predictor of a person’s SWB, but some conditions (such as unemployment or living in a poor nation) have long-lasting effects.

• Happiness correlates with desirable consequences, such as sociability, creativity, better marriages, better work performance, stronger physical immunity, and resilience in the face of adversity.
• Some cultures have higher levels of happiness than other cultures. One reason seems to be that in some cultures happiness is valued more.
• People in unstable and very poor societies avow lower levels of happiness.
• Most people are at least slightly happy, but everyone has up and down moods; no one is happy every moment. Even the happiest people sometimes get unhappy.
Enduring happiness comes not from running the hedonic treadmill but from working for goals that are consistent with our cherished values.

...In Bhutan, children’s well-being is a factor in the country’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) policy. “The dogma of limitless productivity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable and unfair for future generations,” says Bhutan’s Prime Minister Jigme Thinley. “Happiness is a very serious business.” Bhutan’s unique and increasingly popular economic policy, introduced in 1972, is based on Buddhist principles. True development is not merely economic or material but spiritual as well. What this translates to in Bhutan’s policy development is an emphasis on four guiding principles: promotion of equitable and sustainable socioeconomic development; preservation and promotion of cultural values; conservation of the environment; and good governance....

Read more ...


Vesela Simic is senior editor of Shift magazine. After earning a master’s in English literature and literary criticism at the University of Chicago, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to teach. Before joining IONS three years ago, her work in publishing included editorial roles at Yoga Journal, WestEd, and Conari Press.


Amazing Phenomenon Of Singing Plants

May 12, 2012



Researchers state that every living creature whether animal or plant, produces variations of electrical potential, depending on the emotions being experienced at the time.

This is as compelling as one of The Hub's most popular posts, Angelic Cricket Chorus. Whether slowed-down cricket song or evoked potential translated into sound, the voices of our planet-mates speak to us with enchanting human-relatable music.

Thanks to Robert Bushman, grad and friend of TMI, for bringing this to our attention.

From MessageToEagle.com:

Plants are very much alive. Not only do they dislike human noise but they also posses the capacity to learn and communicate.

Perhaps even more astonishing is that plants can also make music.

Have you ever heard the incredible music of the plants? Plants can actually sing and compose music and listening to it is truly beautiful and relaxing!

Ever since 1975, researchers at Damanhur, in northern Italy have been experimenting with plants, trying to lean more about their unique properties.

Researchers use devices which they have created to measure the re-activity of the plants to their environment. The devices judge the plants' capacity to learn and communicate.

Using a simple principle, the researchers used a variation of the Wheatstone bridge, an electrical circuit used to measure an unknown electrical resistance by balancing two legs of a bridge circuit, one leg of which includes the unknown component.

This device has 3 fixed resistances and 1 variable one. Electrical differences between the leaves and the roots of the plant are measured. These differences can then be translated into a variety of effects, including music, turning on lights, movement and many others.

There is no danger to the plants as the researchers use very low intensity electrical currents.

Researchers state that every living creature whether animal or plant, produces variations of electrical potential, depending on the emotions being experienced at the time.

Read on ...

Hear the "Singing Plants at Damanhur" in this brief video:


http://www.messagetoeagle.com/singingplants.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Messagetoeaglecom+%28Message+To+Eagle+-+News%29" target="_blank">See full source article here.   

Twin Telepathy and the Illusion of Separation

May 07, 2012



"Despite substantial evidence validating psychic phenomena, the scientific community remains largely resistant. Enter the revolutionary phenomenon of telepathic communication between twins. Numerous cases have been accumulating since the late 1800s. If they can't be explained through synchronicity or genetics, what other explanation could there be?"

 

From: The Institute of Noetic Sciences, IONS Library, "Twin Telepathy and the Illusion of Separation"
by Diane Hennacy Powell, MD

Twins and Coupled Consciousness

Some of the most compelling evidence for telepathy comes from the study of identical twins. More than one hundred years ago, the eminent British scientist Francis Galton published a short article in which he commented that twins in the company of each other were witnessed to “make the same remarks on the same occasion” or “begin singing the same song at the same moment.” According to Guy Playfair, author of Twin Telepathy (Vega, 2002), as many as 30 percent of identical twins appear to experience telepathic interconnection.

...Telepathy happens frequently between closely connected twins during crisis. The term crisis telepathy was coined after several dramatic accounts such as the following: Martha Burke felt as if she “had been cut in two” one day in 1977 when a searing pain crossed her chest and abdomen. Hours later she discovered that her twin sister had died in a plane crash halfway across the world. Similarly, in July 1975, Nita Hurst’s left leg became agonizingly painful as bruises spread spontaneously up the left side of her body. She later discovered that her twin, Nettie Porter, had been in a car crash at the very same time four hundred miles away.

...The complex similarities between separated twins simply cannot be accounted for by science’s genetic model....Some researchers suggest that the phenomenon of twin telepathy can be explained by looking at what regulates genes, or causes them to turn on and off (the field of epigenetics). Genes are turned off by methylation, which is the addition of a small carbon-based molecule to the backbone of DNA by a substance called a methyl donor. Environmental factors can cause this methylation of genes at any time in life, including during critical stages of development in the womb....

Richard Rose, professor of psychology and medical genetics at Indiana University in Bloomington, has studied personality in more than seven thousand sets of twins. He believes that environment, whether shared or unshared, plays a larger role in their personality development than do genetics. Our genes only create the potential for what we could become, but our environments largely shape that potential into who we actually do become. For example, we could have a gene for alcoholism in our genome, but it wouldn’t be expressed if we lived in a culture without alcohol. We might have the genetics for a calm temperament, but experiencing severe trauma could leave us easily startled and afraid.

Rose examined a factor unique to identical twins that correlated with the degree to which the twins were similar: the length of time they were joined in the womb....

In the research to date, the twins who were the most alike were those whose cluster of undifferentiated cells separated one day before the biological deadline that would have resulted in their becoming physically conjoined. This made me wonder whether telepathic twins could be an illustration on the macro scale of what physicists see on the micro scale between electrons that have been entangled, or coupled. Entangled electrons must always have spins that are complementary, or opposite, to each other. If entangled electrons are allowed to travel light-years away from each other, they still maintain complementary spins. If the spin of one of them is altered, the spin of the other instantaneously changes. This “nonlocal” effect is due not to a signal between the two electrons but rather to the fact that in some way they have remained interconnected.

How can electrons be light-years apart but not separate? Superstring theories propose that there are at least six more dimensions than the four (time and three physical ones) that we experience directly. Perhaps entangled electrons only separate in the dimensions we knowingly experience but not in one or more of the “higher” dimensions. What if the time that identical twins spend as “one” similarly keeps them from separating in one or more of these other dimensions?

Identical twins may just be one example of how those who are close to each other can tap into a “field of interconnection” and experience it as telepathy. Mothers and their children spend many months as “one” during pregnancy and later show a higher level of shared telepathic experiences with each other than they have with strangers. Increased experiences of telepathy also occur when people meditate together and synchronize their brain activity. Lovers who have moments when they feel they are “one” have also reported a sense of interconnection when apart. How frequently could we be experiencing the same thoughts as someone to whom we feel closely connected? It probably happens far more often than we’ve ever imagined.

See the full article.


Diane H. Powell, MD, was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, was director of research for the John E. Mack Institute, and now maintains a private psychiatry practice. Her new book is called The ESP Enigma.



Test Your Remote Viewing Skills Online

May 04, 2012



According to TMI veterans Skip Atwater and Joe McMoneagle, anyone can learn to remote view. It's an acquired skill. As early members of the US Army's Star Gate program Joe and Skip participated in thousands of remote viewing missions. The training is straightforward, methodical, and highly effective.

Whether you've accumulated remote viewing techniques on your own, attended TMI's Remote Viewing Practicum program, or are an RV wannabe, "practice makes perfect."

Aspiring remote viewers have opportunities these days that didn't exist years ago. One is a Website Joe recommends called Target Monkey. It gives you randomly generated practice targets and feedback on your results.

Happy hunting!

 

 

 



“They’re all imperfect. They’ve all made my life better.”

May 02, 2012



Bob Monroe was rarely without a cup of coffee.
Often his shirt fronts were festooned with cigarette ash.
He loved extremely rare hamburger.
And he made many of our lives extraordinary.

 

From "Stop Wasting Time Trying to Find Your Perfect Guru" on FoxBusiness.com. By Nancy Colasurdo --

My doctor is on blood pressure meds. I once went to a brilliant therapist who smoked. I’ve walked into people’s homes who I thought were way more together than me and been greeted with clutter and dust. Some of the music that touches me most deeply is by artists who were hopelessly addicted to some form of drug.

They’re all imperfect. They’ve all made my life better.

This is what I thought of when I read a piece in last week’s New York magazine about John Friend, “one of yoga’s biggest innovators” who came tumbling off his pedestal recently “in the aftermath of allegations about sex, financial mishaps, and drug use.”

“Friend is embroiled in the biggest yoga scandal of the past decade, involving wholesale defections and the collapse of his empire,” writes Vanessa Grigoriadis.

I had never heard of Friend until reading this article, but it sounds like he was inhabiting a --  self-created? -- world that fancies itself disciplined and compartmentalized. However, it’s pretty likely that the yoga I started enjoying in the past year traces itself to this man’s work.

Yet another example of an imperfect -- or perfect in its own way -- life that made mine and others better.

It got me thinking how we might be less inclined to gravitate to “organized” religion in America these days, but we’re still attracted to a mass message that gives us a glimmer of a clue about how to deal with all the stuff that comes up in our lives. Whether it’s the experts assembled on television to show us how to handle our money, pick out our wardrobes, cook our food and decorate our homes or those with a more soulful or holistic vision for living, we want tips, advice and even some tough love.

On many occasions and for many years, I have been the first one lapping up the stuff of gurus. Or, more specifically, people I’ve appointed as gurus. Show me. Inspire me. Heelllllllllp me. Your canned, branded message is just what I’m looking for, or better yet, it’s what I’m seeking. As seekers, we become pros at yearning, don’t we?

What I’m advocating now, here, is that we recognize that’s what we’re doing and keep it in a place that’s reasonable and beneficial. First, to understand we’re learning from other flawed humans. But also to see that sometimes seeking is a form of procrastination. We know what we need to do and we’re trying to find the courage to do it by seeking out others who have overcome obstacles or pushed through their fear. If that becomes sport, if an inordinate amount of time is spent going outside of ourselves for a push instead of going within, we’re deepening the chasm instead of climbing our way out.

Someone I love told me recently, “You are your best resource.” Seems kind of simple, pat almost. But it isn’t at all. Turning within – OK, maybe after a bit of seeking – is essential in living meaningfully...


Read more:



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