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"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Friday, August 31, 2007

Influential Women: From Hefner Daughter to Globe-Trotting Queen

Assilah, Morocco. Photo Courtesy Ignacio Martel
My eye was caught by yesterday's Forbes Magazine article about the world's 100 most influential women in 2007. (For complete list, click here).

Queen Rania of Jordan, who to my knowledge is taking enormous strides to improve the plight of women and the poor in her country, was in position number 82, followed almost immediately by Christie Hefner, Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises, daughter of Playboy Magazine owner High Hefner, in position number 85.

I found this somewhat mind-boggling. Now mind you, I have nothing to say against Ms. Hefner, nor against the magazine and the conglomerate born of it. Each to his own, and all that, you know. It's just that I find it amazing that two such juxtaposed women in two such juxtaposed positions from a global, political, economic, and social point of view, should arbitrarily be placed - by Forbes - so closely into positions of world influence.

I leave you to think about the implications - and while I make no judgements - I do ask myself, where are we at in this world of ours, if this positioning is what happens?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Intuition Has Great Value After All!

El Teide, Tenerife, Canary Is. Photo Courtesy Ignacio Martel
Gerd Gigerenzer, a German social psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, known for his cutting edge studies on the nature of thinking, has just written a new book: Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious. In it he essentially states that despite the bad reputation that gut feelings (intuition and instinct) have in our society, we might be wise not to neglect them. (See also a closely related topic I dealt with in my May 2006 Newsletter: Introducing Our Second and Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct).

Indeed, in a recent NY Times article about his book, he states: "My research indicates that gut feelings are based on simple rules of thumb, what we psychologists term “heuristics.” These take advantage of certain capacities of the brain that have come down to us through time, experience and evolution. Gut instincts often rely on simple cues in the environment. In most situations, when people use their instincts, they are heeding these cues and ignoring other unnecessary information." read more

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Meaning and Retirement

Chefchaouen, Morocco
CNN recently had an insightful article about how to put some meaning into the retirement years, pointing out that what may appear to be a dream while you are still working, can turn into a nightmare if you don't plan properly. Free time with nothing to do that really means something to you is not fun. Aging should be fun! Read on.


By Kristi Keck (CNN)

When it came time for Sally Jennings to retire in 1989, she didn't know what to expect. Sally Jennings took early retirement trips to Australia but the novelty soon wore off. "It was kind of a shock to my system," she said. "I would go out shopping in the daytime and I felt like I was playing hooky at school."

Jennings was just the third woman to earn a chemical engineering degree at the University of Kansas when she graduated in 1963. She served in the Air Force and then went on to enjoy a decades-long tenure at Texaco Chemical.

The transition from the work force to retirement is often measured in financial and career-centric terms: When is the time right? How big is the nest egg? How to spend it?

But often overlooked in that transition are emotional challenges like a change in identity and questions over self-worth and purpose, which can undermine the golden years.

The emotional balance for those approaching retirement is a "combination of excitement with underlying trepidation," said Dr. Dwight Moore, a psychologist and the president of LifeShift, a program that helps professionals prepare for retirement.

The transition has various stages, he said. The first stage, which lasts about a year, is excitement. Retirees rest, go on trips, downsize their homes or do the things they've always wanted to do.

"I went to Australia a couple of times, Japan a couple of times, I went to Europe more times than I can count," Jennings said.

"The first sense of emotion is loss, [particularly a] loss of identity," he said. "The second is a sense of fear of 'how am I going to replace the kind of affirmation that I got.'"

With the absence of affirmation professionals get from their careers and with no boss or business demanding their expertise anymore, retirees are often left searching for self-worth. "You lose who you are. You lose the work identity and the work context," Moore said. Retirees who adjust the best don't think of the transition as retirement because the word carries a passive and negative connotation, Moore said. "They think about it as their next career, the next stage, the next chapter in my life," he said.

John Crawford, a former vice president with American Express, said he began preparing for his retirement years in advance. "The bigger focus was on the psychological part rather than the financial part," he said. "The financial part was what the company and I had already worked on." "It's easy to think about trips you want to take and things like that to do, but just the shift in the everyday pattern is a big challenge," Crawford said. It's important for retirees to use their newfound freedom doing things that match their interests, Crawford said. The problem is not necessarily finding things to do, but finding things that are satisfying, he said. "There was a tendency to think like school's out," Crawford said.
Reminding himself that not every day was Saturday, Crawford took Spanish classes, headed up a church committee, joined a book club, studied history and began leading his grandson's Cub Scout troop. "I can contribute the things I learned in the business world to things I do here," he said. "Now rather than make checklists for work, it's things I want to accomplish today, tomorrow and the next day, even into next year."

Jennings also tapped into her interests, taking up photography, literature and starting her own blog. She adjusted to her new pace. "I enjoyed my freedom," she said. "I enjoyed being out of the corporate life."

Another aspect of retirement often overlooked is the amount of time retirees share with a spouse or partner. "The cute quote is, 'I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch,'" Moore said.

Morag Orr-Stevens retired at 47 to be with her husband and focus on her painting. The adjustment was difficult because her husband had retired first and wasn't used to having her around. "He had to adjust to me because he had been home all day alone, doing his thing and then I was there all day," she said. "He had me all day telling him what to do."

Crawford and his wife make sure to spend time apart each evening. She goes upstairs to read and watch television; he goes downstairs to work in his office. "Then we come up at about 10 o'clock and meet in the middle," he said. Despite the adjustments and difficulties, retirement is the payoff he had worked years for, Crawford said. "What I really worked for through the years was the independence of choosing what I want to do and part of it was choosing not to work," he said. "It's kind of like being a child. You can go and color the book any way you want to right now." <>

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Carl Jung III: Wisdom of the Dream Part 2



Here is the second portion (8 minutes) of the video in which Jung and dreams are explored.

Previous videos about Jung are here:

Carl Jung II: Wisdom of the Dream - Part I
Carl Jung I: Death

Animating Dormant Lives

The Medina, Chefchaouen, Morocco
Listening to a Caroline Myss, Ph.D. tape recently in the car (as I have often recommended that my readers do as well...i.e., listen to any thinker you may find valuable, not necessarily anyone in particular that I might recommend, but one that interests you specifically, this serves not only to inform, but also to maintain your energy, your energetic frequency on levels you might not achieve on your own at the beginning...it is a wonderful tool to make use of).

OK, I'll start over...listening to Caroline Myss recently (a keynote address at the Omega Institute), she referred to the concept of dormant lives waiting to be animated. She was talking about seeing clients, people who had come to her for a myriad number of reasons, mainly concerning their health (Myss is a medical intuitive)and referring to the fact that many of these people were so supremely unaware of the dormant seeds in their lives that carried so much promise.

These were the dormant lives she referred to, that were waiting to be animated by some well-aimed phrase, or some workshop, or some session with a healer, etc.
And it got me thinking...how many of us are holding dormant seeds, frequently unknowingly? The germination process has not begun because water is missing, or sunlight, or because the seed lies too deeply embedded or too shallowly placed. But what little it would take to bring out the greatness! To let the first budding leaves emerge! A realization, a desire, a commitment, an inspiration, inner growth, motivation, a search for meaning in life, some persistence, faith and belief in ourselves.
Let's not live our lives and die with the seeds that lie within us still in a dormant state, or, as Wayne Dyer would put it, let's not die with our music still inside us.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Carl Jung II: Wisdom of the Dream - Part I



This 6 minute portion of the beginning of a video made about Carl Jung's manner of understanding dreams. It is a video I used to show in my dream interpretation classes in Miami, and if dreams are of interest to you, I encourage you to see it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lincoln Again

Abraham Lincoln


Further to my post about success and failure of a few days ago where I used Abraham Lincoln's life as an example, I have just come across this quote accredited to him:



"I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day."


Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dream Symbols 14: Murder

Long Ogun Machete. Photo Credit
Murder in dreams can have many different symbolic meanings, but the one I would like to concentrate on today is the one that implies the self.

Let's examine two scenarios: in one you are being murdered by someone, and in another you are murdering someone. In either instance you may or may not know the other person or persons involved. Let's say you are being smothered, choked, hung, or otherwise having the very breath of life forced out of your body. Symbolically this may indicate that something in your environment that you are not being vigilant about, is figuratively choking the life out of something that means something to you. Perhaps you are working on a project and it is dying a slow death because of this symbolic choking that you are permitting, or not fighting against.

You may find yourself being murdered in your dream by being sliced open with many small wounds that will cause a slow and painful death. Horrendous and horror movie-like that it sounds, on a symbolical level, this dream may indicate that in waking life you are losing your life's blood...your energy....your vitality...due to someone else's machinations in your professional or creative life.

If, on the other hand, it is you who are murdering someone else in the dream, it may be of prime importance to first determine whether the person is an adult or a child or a baby. This size may symbolize the relative importance of that which you are murdering. In other words, if it's a baby, you may be symbolically destroying something you have barely gestated, something that is barely standing on its own two feet. Try to remember the feelings you had while you murdered it. Were you in a rage? Perhaps the project is thwarting your skills. Were you sad? Perhaps your project is something you would dearly love to complete, but for some reason feel you must put an end to it...perhaps other obligations stand in the way.

In the instance that you were murdering an older child or an adult, or even a very old person, you might look for the symbolism of something that has already been in your life for a while, or perhaps even a very long time. Perhaps you are killing it because you no longer want or need it, or perhaps the murdering is taking place because it is a negative element in your life. On the other hand, reasons such as those elaborated in the previous paragraph may also apply.

Previous posts in this series are:

Dream Symbols 1: Pregnancy and Birth
Dream Symbols 2: Death
Dream Symbols 3: The Snake
Dream Symbols 4: The Butterfly
Dream Symbols 5: Flying
Dream Symbols 6: The House Part 1
Dream Symbols 7: The House Part 2: The Kitchen
Dream Symbols 8: The House Part 3: The Bathroom
Dream Symbols 9: The House Part 4: The Bedroom
Dream Symbols 10: Marriage
Dream Symbols 11: The Spider
Dream Symbols 12: Sex
Dream Symbols 13: Exams

You may also be interested in viewing some of the recommended dream books and books on symbolism on my website, as well as some of the dream links on my links page.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Life, Living, and Love

Jasmine, Hindu symbol of love


Love is a subject I have touched upon in posts here quite frequently, and you can find some of these by clicking on emotions or love.

Life is meant for the living (nothing new there), and living - really living - implies loving. Loving implies showing you love, which we all do in a myriad number of ways, by physical demonstrations, by kindnesses, by gentleness, by nurturing, by giving gifts, by giving help, by caring for someone in times of illness or ill fortune, by saying certain words and making certain gestures, by showing joy when we reunite with people we love whom we don't always see, by doing unexpected loving things for someone who is not always at our side, and so on.

We know all this...so what's the point???

Do it.

That is the point. We know it all and yet we so often neglect to do it simply because we don't have the time, or we're tired, or something else comes in the way. And yet a loving smile or gesture can mean so much to the one who receives it.

Do it. Never stop doing it, Show your love to those you love.

And you know, there is an added benefit...it makes you feel better too, and, according to all the studies I have mentioned in previous posts here and in articles on my website, the mere action of being loving gives you happiness as well.

One final point that you may wish to consider: if you have read previous posts here about intertwined molecules, you may have come to realize that we are all indeed one...humanity is not a mass of separate beings (rich, poor, black, white, first world, third world, young, old, good neighbourhood, wrong side of the tracks, and so on), but a mass of intertwined molecules...we have cutting-edge quantum physics to thank for these insights, and that of course, begs the question: why only love those that we love? Could we not conceivably love all?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Carl Jung I: Death



This brief YouTube video (4.29 min) consists of a series of answers Carl Gustav Jung, the renowned Swiss psycho-analyst, gives on the subject of death.

He was a humanistic and holistic thinker who chose to think about life in a way that encompasses every instant and all aspects of it. Hence he also encourages man to look forward to this next step of existence that is called death in order to live life much more fully, than one might by fearing death.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Your Limitations

If you continue to argue for your limitations, you will continue to stay in that place, rather than growing towards a new place.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More on Self-Actualizing People

Republic of Mali, Western African nation bordered by Algeria, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast


Another thing Maslow often repeated to Wayne Dyer (see post of two days ago about self-actualizers and Maslow) about the kind of person that self-actualizes was this:

They are different from others in that they:
  • are independent of the good opinion of others, i.e. they do whatever it is that they do because they are convinced of it, and because it drives them, not because someone else approves or disapproves, praises or criticizes

  • are detached from the outcome, i.e., they do whatever it is that they do because there is a meaning in it for them, and not because it will bring them money, fame, or good will, respect, prestige, or position in society

  • have no investment in power or control over overs

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Two Kinds of People

El Teide, Tenerife, Canary Is. (over 12,000ft), as seen from another island within the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria, over an ocean of clouds. Photo Courtesy Ignacio Martel


"There are two kinds of people, she once decreed to me emphatically. One kind you can tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keeps moving, changing. They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing."


Gail Godwin


The Finishing School

Friday, August 17, 2007

Self Actualizing People and Abraham Maslow

Nevado Huascarán, Peru's highest peak at nearly 7,000m

Wayne Dyer speaks a lot about the influence Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, had on him during his formative years at university, and of course Maslow is the psychologist who in 1943 came up with the the Hierarchy of Needs that has been taught in psychology departments at most universities ever since. The Hierarchy of Needs contends that as humans meet basic needs such as safety, food, sex, and companionship, they then seek to satisfy successively higher needs, growth needs, such as self-actualization.

So Dyer relates that Maslow often said that the difference between self-actualizers and ordinary people is that self-actualizers never put their attention on what is missing in their lives, or on what is in their lives (if they don't like what is), or on what has always been, or on what used to be (the past), but they put their attention on, and they keep it on what they intend to manifest (on their goals). It makes no difference to them what kind of negative evidence comes their way, or what kind of obstacles they run into, they never take their mind off that picture.

Henry David Thoreau had this to say about a similar subject: "If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with success unexpected in common hours."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Zeitgeist - The Movie



This nearly 2-hour long video is well worth watching. You may not agree with it all, but I suggest you take a look to be informed in order that your own opinions, whether pro or con, can at least take the story it tells into account.

If you want to see the movie in a larger format, or if you have difficulties viewing it here on the blog, click here.

Here is the information that was sent to me about it:

ZEITGEIST: THE MOVIE: Spirit of the Age Producer is Anonymous 2007 / Two-Hours Zeitgeist was created to inspire people to start looking at the world from amore critical perspective and to understand that very often things are notwhat the population at large think they are. Encyclopaedias often do notcontain the information in Zeitgeist. Although, what is being presented isbased on documented evidence. - From Anonymous Producer

I have been putting off watching this documentary mainly because of the incredible hype and the consistent "you must watch this!" commentary on every blog that covered it. But after seeing it just now, let me say "you must watch this". It's hard not to feel something after viewing this very ambitious documentary, be it anger, fear, hatred or confusion. Zeitgeist is about how information is fed to us and taken as fact. The topics of religion, terrorism and war are the primary focus. It's an excellent documentary worth watching. - Michael Ott, Rustylime (IT Politics)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Women and Children and Marriage and Success

Mother and Child. Photo Courtesy www.old-picture.com


Laura Vanderkam, a blogger at The Huffington Post, recently wrote about women who are successful in their careers despite being married and having children. And she refers most particularly to those women who did not wait to have the children in order for the career to flourish first.

She writes about those women who had the children in their twenties and then went on to grow in their professions and become successful without neglecting one or the other, and without driving themselves or their family crazy at the same time.

It's an inspirational article, and I hope you will take the time to read it.

The Little Secret of Women Who Have it All

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Making Happiness a Priority

Zimbabwe
How can happiness be a priority if I have to achieve my goal of being junior vice president of the company before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to be engaged to be married before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if fill in the blank has to love me before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to weigh at least fill in the blank pounds/kilos less before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to bench press at least fill in the blank pounds/kilos more before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to fill in the blank before I can be happy?

Thinking that way means your happiness depends on something or someone external to you. It means that your happiness will always be conditional on that premise having been fulfilled. And yet, happiness is something that should not depend on anything external to you for it to exist within you.

Happiness is something you are able to bring to birth within yourself by yourself without need for anything external to yourself. It is - as Barry Neil Kaufman so aptly puts it in his marvellous book Happiness is a Choice - something you decide upon, something that you choose to have in your life independently of outer circumstances.

The creation of this inner muscle is no more difficult than the creation of a leg, arm, back, or shoulder muscle...it merely requires constancy, and as you exercise it, you will see how readily you can use it in all situations, at all moments, without external circumstances having the strength to undo or weaken this muscle. Be persistent - this is just like success: those that continue moving towards the goal will achieve it.

Earlier posts that refer to happiness are:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dream Symbols 13: Exams

Photo Credit
Some years ago I dreamt I was working at a job and although I had all the letters after my name in the dream that I actually do in real life, I was told that I would need to return to high school for a few courses, and then to some undergraduate courses at university, and then I would need to complete another Ph.D. before I would be considered properly qualified to do the job I was working on for that particular firm. I was hugely embarrassed to be told that my already excellent qualifications were not sufficient, and furthermore angered, that I would need to spend even more time preparing and learning new aspects of my job.

In real life I was not working for someone else, but I had taken on quite a challenge, both professionally and personally, and as I woke, I realized that although I would neither be returning to high school nor to university, I was in for a steep learning curve in other areas. And so it was. The dream very correctly indicated the amount of learning I would be doing, and later, I have often referred to that time in my waking life as my second Ph.D.

As exams loom over us in dreams we may become extremely agitated and stressed, because in the dream we know we are not prepared. We know we will not do well on the exam, or may even be certain we will fail, and we know it has something to do with the fact that we simply did not do our work over time in order to be at the same level as the rest of the class.

In some instances we may in fact we very well prepared, but are not able to make it to the exam on time, and we know that if we are not there at a specific time, we will not be allowed to enter the exam room, and therefore will fail.

Or we may be on time, but not be able to find the room. Hence we are not able to write the exam, and hence we will fail. Or we finally find the room, but find we have not brought a pen, and we are not allowed to get another and no one will lend us one. Or we start answering the questions and realize that as time goes by, there are more and more questions, and that we are never going to get to the end of the exam in the allotted time.

Exam dreams can have many different interpretations, but clearly they are connected to something in real life that has either not been prepared properly, or sufficiently, or that needs some kind of enhancement. We may lack a sense of self esteem in some endeavour we are undertaking, a sense of self-confidence, and the feared exam in the dream attests to that. We may feel criticized or judged, although generally speaking, such criticism or judgement tends to rest with ourselves, rather than with someone in the outside world. In other words, the dream may be pointing us in the direction of preparation of matters that currently concern us, and of working on those parts of ourselves that may cause us such concern in real life.

Previous posts in this series are:

Dream Symbols 1: Pregnancy and Birth
Dream Symbols 2: Death
Dream Symbols 3: The Snake
Dream Symbols 4: The Butterfly
Dream Symbols 5: Flying
Dream Symbols 6: The House Part 1
Dream Symbols 7: The House Part 2: The Kitchen
Dream Symbols 8: The House Part 3: The Bathroom
Dream Symbols 9: The House Part 4: The Bedroom
Dream Symbols 10: Marriage
Dream Symbols 11: The Spider
Dream Symbols 12: Sex

You may also be interested in viewing some of the recommended dream books and books on symbolism on my website, as well as some of the dream links on my links page.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Woundology

Woundology is a term I first came across in some of the wonderful Caroline Myss books.

In a nutshell, woundology refers to that which we hang on to from our past - our wounds, physical, psychological or emotional, and spiritual in order to use them to stay where we were when we were first wounded. So we talk about them, but we don't get past them. We use our wounds to define who we are. Sometimes we merely need to be confronted with that fact in order to understand how we are standing in our own way, and hence, to be able to move on to healthier and more successful lives, to healthier bodies, and certainly, to healthier and more successful relationships. Living in the solution rather than in the problem is what we might like to strive for.
The first chapter of her book Why People Don't Heal and How They Can was offered by the New York Times in the late 90's when the book first came out. Here is the link: WOUNDOLOGY AND THE HEALING FIRE

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Difference Between Success and Failure

Abraham Lincoln Photo Credit
There are many succesful people in the world, and there are many people who are not. The main difference between the two is this: the successful ones pick themselves up after failure again and again until they finally reach success.

In other words, before attaining success, most people go through different stages of failure on the way to where they want to go, but those that eventually do attain success, learn something from the failure and then make the choice to pick themselves up and continue pursuing their goal, consistently persisting in achieving it.

Abraham Lincoln is a wonderful and inspiring example to understand this:

In 1832 he lost his job and was defeated for the state legislature, but was elected company captain of the Illinois militia in the Black Hawk War.

In 1833 he failed in business, but was appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois and was appointed deputy surveyor of Sangamon County.

In 1834 he was elected to Illinois state legislature.

In 1835 his sweetheart died.

In 1836 he had a nervous breakdown, but was re-elected to Illinois state legislature (running first in his district) and received his license to practice law in Illinois state courts.

In 1837 he led the Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield and he became law partner of John T. Stuart.

In 1838 he was defeated for Speaker, but was nominated for Illinois House Speaker by the Whig caucus and was re-elected to the Illinois House (running first in his district), and served as Whig floor leader.

Between 1839 and 1842 he was chosen presidential elector by the first Whig convention, he was admitted to practice law in the U.S. Circuit Court, he argued his first case before the Illinois Supreme Court, he was re-elected to the Illinois state legislature, he established a new law practice with Stephen T. Logan, and he was admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court.

In 1843 he was defeated for nomination for Congress.

In 1844 he established his own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner and in 1846 he was elected to Congress.

In 1848 he lost the renomination.

In 1849 he was rejected for land officer, but was admitted to practice law in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1854 he was defeated for the U.S. Senate, but was elected to the Illinois state legislature.

In 1856 he was defeated for the nomination for Vice President.

In 1858 he was again defeated for the U.S. Senate.

In 1860 he was elected President.

Here is the formula he appears to have followed consistently:
  1. Choose your goals
  2. Undertake steps to go in that direction
  3. Failure
  4. Pick yourself up
  5. Learn
  6. Persist (continue doing whatever you can right now that goes in the basic general direction of your goal)
  7. You may need to repeat the loop from number 3-6 several times
  8. Success.
And remember this: many of the successful people that you see or hear about may appear to have reached the success they have so easily, because we typically hear nothing about the many pitfalls and failures they surmounted in order to reach their goals. As you look at that part of their trajectory, you may find yourself much more motivated to continue on in your own.

Friday, August 10, 2007

CD / DVD Review II: Candace Pert - Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind

Candace Pert, molecular biologist who participated in the movie The Secret, and who is the author of The Molecules of Emotion, has had an audio CD out for some time that I love listening to. Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind is a fascinating exploration into the mind-body connection. The website that sells this as a CD or instant download (I couldn't find it on her own website) has this to say about the CD:

Your brain is not in charge. This revelation by Dr. Candace Pert challenges conventional science – and everyone interested in total wellness – to reconsider how our bodies think, feel, and heal. As the leading pioneer in a radical new science of life, this bestselling author and world class neuroscientist has given us an inside look at the molecular drama being staged within every cell of the human body – and a glimpse into the future of medicine. Now, in her own words, Dr. Pert describes her extraordinary search for the grail of the body’s inborn intelligence with Your Body Is Your Subconscious Mind.

Dr. Pert first came to prominence when she dazzled the scientific community with her discovery of the opiate receptor in 1972. But this breakthrough event was only the beginning of a uniquely productive – and often controversial – career. On Your Body Is Your Subconscious Mind, Dr. Pert describes her efforts over the past two decades to actually decode theinformation molecules, such as peptides and their receptors, that regulate every aspect of human physiology. Her model of how these biochemicals flow and resonate, distributing information to every cell in the body simultaneously, has unlocked the secret of how emotions literally transform our bodies – and create our health.
Easily shifting from a bench scientist’s view to a spiritual one, she relates her research to past and present mind/body topics, ranging from AIDS and cancer to the chakra system. Dr. Pert’s personal and compelling voice makes this a listening experience that is part detective story, part spiritual odyssey – and entirely irresistable. From the wisdom of the body to the wisdom of the laboratory, Your Body Is Your Subconscious Mind takes listeners on a scientific adventure of the first order, escorted by this pathfinder, iconoclast, and goddess of neuroscience.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)



Watch this 7 minute EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) video by EFT founder Gary Craig in order to begin to understand how you can help yourself for a myriad number of problems by merely learning some simple tapping techniques. I have been a practitioner of EFT since 2002, and have seen some amazing results, both on the psychological and emotional levels, as well as on the physical one. EFT is an energy technique, part of a new field of energy medicine, that people such as Caroline Myss and Bruce Lipton speak about (there are previous posts about both of these thinkers, speakers, and authors on this blog. To see posts about Caroline Myss, Ph.D., click here, and to see posts about Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., click here.)

A few days ago I referred to Gary Craig and EFT in a post titled Neuroscience, Deep Brain Stimulation, Comas, and EFT.

If you want to download the free manual Gary offers on his website, click here.

CD / DVD Review I: Caroline Myss - Three Levels of Power and How to Use Them

Binningup Beach, Australia
I've been watching a older Caroline Myss program (she is the medical intuitive that wrote The Anatomy of the Spirit, and Sacred Contracts and Why People Don't Heal), among others), that has to be one of her best...although they are all great and always insightful and enriching. In this one she speaks of her prescription for health and happiness, describing the external, internal, and symbolic levels of personal power and their interactions with the body's seven energy centers.

"Power is the common ingredient within the human experience... It is the common ingredient in health and certainly in the loss of health." --Caroline Myss, PH.D.
Caroline Myss shows how power and the loss of power is at the root of every health issue. Three Levels of Power and How to Use Them reveals how the nature and inherent energy of power can strengthen and invigorate (external, internal and symbolic ) and the seven energy centers in the body relate to one another. Through riveting stories from those who have undergone the transformation from illness to health, she unlocks the secret role that honor, faith and forgiveness play in the healing process.
Caroline Myss provides the key to preserve your power, enhance your creativity, and infuse your cells with vitality for more wholesome life. "Her work is preventive medicine at its finest and also represents the newest and most exciting leap forward in medical understanding." -- Christiane Northrup, M.D. Lecturer and Author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom.
While I was not able to find this particular program listed on her website, it is available via http://www.amazon.com/, at Three Levels of Power and How to Use Them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Dream Symbols 12: Sex

Tiahuanaco, Puno (Peru)
It's almost funny: what could sex be a symbol of? I mean, sex is sex, right?

On one level it is - mainly because most dreams should always be taken a face level as well as at the symbolic level, so if you dream about having sex, it could merely mean that you wish you were having it in real life, or that the person with whom you are having sex is someone you desire in real life, and so on.

However, on another level, sex also speaks to us of connection, or communion with our opposite gender self. In other words, it tells us about our relationship with the part of ourselves that is the opposite sex. If you have read or heard anything about Carl Gustav Jung, you will know that he often referred to the anima and the animus. The former refers to the feminine side of men, and the latter is what the masculine side of women is called.

So, if a man is having trouble having sex with a beautiful woman who is very much into him in the dream, but he is not quite able to manage, then it might be interpreted as the feminine part of him wanting to form a greater part of his outer identity, but he not being comfortable with it, and hence not letting it show up in public. This would be the symbolism of the sexual difficulty he is experiencing in the dream, and is not foreshadowing that he will soon be impotent! Unless...he has actually been having some problems in this sector...then the dream could be a night-time re-hashing of the real-life event that is most certainly causing some stress.

Or imagine a 70-yr-old woman dreaming that she is having sex with a young beautiful man. She might come to my practice, ashamed of her dream, asking me if this means that she secretly desires to have sex with someone half a century younger than herself. In all likelihood it is not that, but rather, an indication that she has just barely (hence the young man, rather than a middle-aged or even older man in the dream) begun to have a relationship with her masculine self, her animus.

How would she see a manifestation of that in real life? She might have been recently widowed and now, for the first time, she is taking care of bills, making financial and other business decisions, and in some way being more pro-active, in the way we think of men as being pro-active, independent, and entrepreneurial, than she has ever been in the past.

Or perhaps a woman who has become bitter in life due to failed relationships, and who has been in therapy, working on those matters, has now had a dream where she is making love to a faceless stranger, but the sensation she has is one of deep and tender feelings during the dream. The symbolic meaning might be that she has finally opened up her inner self to a new relationship in real life, and also has opened her inner self to make possible the merging (sex) of her feminine and masculine self.

Likewise a man who dreams of having sex with a witch, or a woman who in some way is trying to undermine him or hurt him, or who frightens him in the dream, might, in waking life, ask himself what it is he is afraid of regarding the expression of his feminine self in real life. The fact that he battles with the witch, or is frightened by the woman in bed with him in the dream, may symbolize that he rejects and fears his feminine side in real life, or that he feels if he expresses this nascent side of his personality he will be swallowed by it, suffocated, or in some other way lose himself. If, after some time, he begins to dream of having good or loving sex with a beautiful woman, rather than with a witch-like creature, it would possibly be symbolizing that he has begun the process of accepting his feminine side and is now more at peace with the expression of that in his real life.

Previous posts in this series are:
Dream Symbols 1: Pregnancy and Birth
Dream Symbols 2: Death
Dream Symbols 3: The Snake
Dream Symbols 4: The Butterfly
Dream Symbols 5: Flying
Dream Symbols 6: The House Part 1
Dream Symbols 7: The House Part 2: The Kitchen
Dream Symbols 8: The House Part 3: The Bathroom
Dream Symbols 9: The House Part 4: The Bedroom
Dream Symbols 10: Marriage
Dream Symbols 11: The Spider

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Neuroscience, Deep Brain Stimulation, Comas, and EFT

Brain. Photo Credit
Today's post has come together because of an email I received yesterday from Gary Craig, the founder of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), an energy-based tool many professionals (including physicians and psychologists) use in work with clients and patients, and of which I am also a practitioner, and an article I read today in The Philadelphia Enquirer, thanks to another email I received early this morning from American Scientist (in both instances, it was a newsletter email).

A.

Here's the thing: in For brain-injured man, new life after years of darkness, staff writer Tom Avril at the Philadelphia Enquirer (The American Scientist newsletter pointed me to the article) recounts the sudden and unexpected reversal of circumstances for a brain-injured man who lived in a minimally conscious state for years, and who thanks to DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) techniques, is now able to function in ways no one could have foreseen, least of all the doctors who told his mother years ago, that at best he would live as a vegetable for the rest of his life.

This man who had been mugged six years ago, and left for dead with a crushed skull, has now, thanks to the DBS technique whereby electrodes were implanted deep in his brain, regained a number of functions, including the ability to talk, chew, and swallow.

In the process of brain stimulation during the 10-hour operation, the thalamus was probed in order to find the exact parts of it which would allow the man to regain function, and once found, minute electrodes were inserted.

Thanks to advances in neuroscience something of this magnitude is possible, allowing not only this man and his family, but a potential host of other brain-injured patients to regain some functions and hence to be able to relate again.
The article states: The work took the scientists into a realm that was once exclusively the province of philosophers; they now have a better idea of the neuronal hardware involved in regulating consciousness - the very essence of being.

B.

And here's the other thing: EFT founder Gary Craig has just announced that in his next workshop in Boston he is offering an extra day: Watch Live EFT Sessions and See How Brain Waves Change, because he will spend a day doing live sessions with subjects on stage while they are hooked up to a brain wave monitoring device. This will allow everyone to see on a large screen how brain waves improve WHILE WE ARE DOING EFT.

EFT essentially involves tapping on major meridians located in the face and hands while verbally or mentally repeating some aspect of whatever it is that is the problem. Whether it is anxiety, phobia, stress, in some instances physical pain and other symptoms, the energetic blockage that causes the problem is frequently alleviated or eliminated altogether with this process.

There is already a great deal of documentation available about this (see the EFT website, among many others for further information), and the purpose of my post today is not to explain or defend the technique, but to comment on the similarities of the two items described here today.

Cutting-edge neuroscience is now capable of achieving such an incredible effect in the brain. Energy work is also able to have an effect on the brain. With one, sophisticated equipment, knowledge, and expertise are necessary in order for it to work, with the other, although some knowledge is also essential, basically anyone can do it at home in order to achieve results.

Don't misunderstand me, I don't pretend to say that the former can be imitated by the latter. Certainly not...they are totally different areas of expertise used for entirely different reasons. All I want to point out here is that science and energy are on the same side of the table, something that appears to happen more and more frequently of late.
See also a loosely related article: Your Brain and Morality (from which the above picture of the brain was taken), which addresses the issue of our morality, and how it appears to change depending on the state of our pre-frontal cortex.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Gutenberg Project

Photo Credit
This post is just to recommend a website I have been following since the early 1990's, when they began their impressive trajectory. The Gutenberg Project was designed in order to give the world free on-line access to all those books that were no longer under copyright laws (in some countries that happens 75 years after the initial publication date...check for your own country).

A huge project was undertaken, aptly named Gutenberg, books were scanned into the system and volunteer proofreaders from all over the world began the immense job of getting them online so that others could freely download them. Through The Gutenberg Project alone, 20,000 volumes are already available in many different languages. Through affiliates of The Gutenberg Project, over 100,000 titles are available.

Whether you want to download some of the richest material from the world's libraries, or whether you want to volunteer as a proofreader (even if you only do it once in a while, as I do, whenever I have a few spare minutes), you are helping to advance a project that is bringing books to the world in a way that is unsurpassed in known history.

Visit the site. Search by title, category, or by author in your preferred language.

Success & Lord Beaverbrook I

Canadian born newspaper magnate and politician, Lord Beaverbrook. Photo Credit


A small book - Success - written by Canadian newspaper magnate and politician, Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, has some interesting pointers to make, although it, as so many other books of this type, was written nearly 100 years ago as weekly newspaper articles. They raised so much interest that it was decided to collect them and print them in volume form.
I have chosen a few paragraphs from the first chapter, also titled Success, and offer them here. In successive posts, I will continue to bring some of Beaverbrook's thoughts in further chapters.

What are the qualities which make for success? They are three: Judgment, Industry, and Health, and perhaps the greatest of these is judgment.



In the ultimate resort judgment is the power to assimilate knowledge and to use it.


The true secret of industry well applied is concentration, and there are many well-known ways of learning that art--the most potent handmaiden of success.


The real trouble about industry is to apply it in the right direction--and it is therefore the servant of judgment. The true secret of industry well applied is concentration, and there are many well-known ways of learning that art--the most potent handmaiden of success. Industry can be acquired; it should never be squandered.


But health is the foundation both of judgment and industry—and therefore of success. And without health everything is difficult. Who can exercise a sound judgment if he is feeling irritable in the morning? Who can work hard if he is suffering from a perpetual feeling of malaise?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Andropause: Let's Get Ourselves Clued In!

Libya
Andropause, a topic I've spoken of frequently on my radio show and posted here on the blog in the past, continues to be a topic far too many men and women still know very little of. Partially because if menopause used to be (and still is to some extent) the big taboo, andropause - or at least what it implies, i.e., the waning of male sexuality some time in the 50´s, occasionally even earlier, but definitely in the 60's - is an even greater taboo, at least for many people, simply because most men are unwilling to be the one to say that this is affecting them, as long as other men aren't saying the same thing.

While menopause implies the loss of fertility and brings on a host of physiological and psychological symptoms, andropause implies the loss of virility, or rather, the loss of strong, easy sexuality, creating an enormous amount of tension, stress, insecurity, and fear in men, and also brings on a host of physiological and psychological symptoms.

I have posted here several articles about bio-identical hormones and conscious aging in order to circumvent false notions and also to help readers understand that much can be done. While women generally are not interested in continuing to bear children after menopause, they are nevertheless interested in continuing to feel good, vital, and full of energy, and to have richly fulfilled sex lives, and while men may continue to father children after andropause, often pointing to that as proof of their virility, they are, in fact, much more interested in reviving their frequently fading libido, in continuing to feel good, vital, and full of energy, and to have richly fulfilled sex lives.

In essence, both want something highly similar.

I have decided to post four current press articles today, that address the issue of andropause, and particularly the fact that most men are still unaware of it, what it really means, and what can be done about it.


Andropause is the male version of menopause. It occurs when there's a major drop in hormones, which wreaks havoc on a man's health, but there are some easy, effective ways to treat it.

Bobby Huerta, 43, knew something was wrong when he began to feel increasingly tired and grumpy.

"I was like a little old man. Cranky sometimes, and the fatigue was incredible," Huerta said. "I'd wake up in the morning feeling OK, but by noon, I was just worn out." read more


A 44-year-old South Florida professional thought some symptoms were just signs of middle age."I was feeling fatigue and depression, especially in the afternoons," the person says. "By 8 p.m., I couldn't get off the couch. But when it was time to sleep, I couldn't."

A 40-something woman seeking medical help for those symptoms would most likely be told she was going through menopause. But in this case, the patient was Fred Thompson, an otherwise healthy man who wasn't quite sure what was going on.

"I thought maybe it was depression, but I didn't want to just start taking antidepressants," Thompson says. After seeking medical evaluation, he was diagnosed with andropause, also known as the male menopause. read more


It was Freud who said men have an Oedipus complex and women envy a certain male organ. The description of one who overly loves his mother comes from the Greek myth of the young man who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. But what if the myth were missing the message and the headlines revealed the following instead?

"There is breaking news out of Greece today. According to mythical sources, Oedipus, the Greek king of Thebes who was once convicted and sentenced to life with a complex of overloving his mother, has come forth with a motive for killing his father and then marrying his mother.

Apparently, he was just trying to borrow her hormone replacement patch. Doctors close to the family say King Oedipus has been struggling with an insufferable hormonal imbalance, a condition called andropause, commonly known as male menopause."

Modern male jettisons his Freudian taleFreud would be fuming to find his mythical King Oedipus testosterone-deficient and organ envy turned hormone replacement envy. It seems men have watched from the sidelines long enough as their female counterparts run by in droves for hormone replacement injections, gels, patches and pills, all promising to perk up what Mother Nature has profoundly pruned.

In fact, 25 million American men between 40 and 55 are experiencing some degree of male menopause, according to Male Menopause by California psychotherapist Jed Diamond. In his book, Diamond explains that male menopause, scientifically known as andropause, is characterized by a loss of testosterone (the hormone that makes men ... men), resulting in a type of "reverse puberty." As if men weren't immature enough! read more

Ask any man whether they get as moody as women and you'll likely get the same answer, absolutely not. And if they do get moody, it's the women that make them so. When women feel stressed they may blame a lot of things, work, the kids, or the messy house. But what may cause a man to be moody may actually be the same problem in many women, hormones.

You see them in the movies and most women probably say they've seen it in real life too: moody men. Mike Brown is a personal trainer. If anyone should be feeling well he ought to. He works out daily and eats a healthy, well balanced diet. But he wasn't able to make it through the day without a nap. He'd get grumpy, tired and irritable. Mike Brown says, "The biggest frustration with me was just the constant fatigue, the waves of fatigue I would get throughout the day, pretty much daily." Mike kept visiting doctors to find out what was wrong but everything checked out okay. Brown says, "I just thought that was part of life.

You work hard. You work your shift. You work hard. You go home in the middle of the day and you take a little nap so you can keep going. I just thought everybody had to do that."

Finally he saw Dr. Robert Jones who knew exactly what the matter was. It's something many men begin to suffer once they pass the age of 35 or 40. Dr. Jones says, "we refer to it as andropause. That's like menopause in women. It's andropause in men." read more

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Book Review 7 - Inés of My Soul

Inés de Suárez. Photo Credit
Quite out of character, today's book review is about a novel by Chilean author Isabel Allende (among numerous other books, she also wrote The House of the Spirits that was eventually made into a movie starring Merryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder and Antonio Banderas), in fact it is a biographical novel: Inés of My Soul. As I read Spanish fluently, I did not read it in English, but of course the content is the same.
It is such a pleasure to read books by this author. In this case she has outdone herself, writing about Inés de Suarez (1507 - 1580), born in Plasencia in Spain, who eventually emigrated (unheard of in those years to do so as a woman on her own) to The New World in search of her husband who was already there, ostensibly fighting on the side of Pizarro, conqueror of Peru. In her search of him, she passes through Panama and Peru where she discovers he has died, and finally winds up in Chile.
Along with Pedro de Valdivia, with whom she maintained a long and close relationship, she helped to conquer Chile and was hugely instrumental in many ways during that process.
The reason this novelized version - written in the first person - of her life is so interesting and compelling, is because of the immediacy with which Allende describes life in that century, both in Spain and in the New World, for a woman, for a soldier, and for the Indians who were being conquered and deprived of their lands and culture. The fact that this real life woman - Inés de Suarez - was able to overcome the hindrances and prejudices and social and religious obstacles a woman normally was obliged to tolerate over the course of a lifetime, makes the book even more fascinating.
This woman was brave, pro-active, intelligent, tender, loving, strong, creative, self disciplined, resilient, strove to live a life with meaning, as well as an authentic life, and is well worth consideration. What a role model to spring out of the 16th Century! I highly recommend this book.
Previous Posts in the Book Review Series:

Friday, August 3, 2007

Book Review 6 - Healing Dreams: Exploring the Dreams that Can Transform Your LIfe

Chinese Character for Dream. Photo Credit
Marc Ian Barasch wrote Healing Dreams a few years ago, and I used to have it on the required reading list for the Interpretation of Dreaming classes I taught at university. There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of dream books available on the market, so why this particular one?

I could not say it better than two of the original reviewers of the book:

"Healing Dreams is destined to be remembered as a watershed event in the study and appreciation the psyche. Marc Barasch takes us on an intimate journey through the complex world of the dream and, with stunning clarity, distills for us the emotional and spiritual riches to be found there, leaving us stronger, wiser, and better equipped to bring the power of our dreams into our waking lives."

Joan Borysenko, author of A Woman's Book of Life and A Woman's Journey to God

"In all my years of working in the field of human potential there are perhaps only a dozen books that I would accord the status of 'critically innovative.' This is one! The writing is luminous, and speaks to everyone who has ever had an important dream. This book offers new pathways to self-knowledge. I myself am buying hundreds of copies for my students, and strongly suggesting that others in my general field do likewise. Healing Dreams could mark a revolution in the study of consciousness and its capacities. "

Jean Houston, Ph.D., author of Jump Time and The Mythic Life, founder of The Mystery School

The author's website offers a great deal of information, among others this:

"Most of us have had (or will have) a dream that stops us in our tracks, forcing us to question the major choices in our lives, offering a startling new image of a loved one, or provoking a greater awareness of our very existence. Such "big" dreams tell us that we're not who we think we are, and reveal dimensions beyond everyday reality. But even when we're certain we've encountered a vision of life-altering magnitude - something as vivid and memorable as anything in waking life--the question remains: what exactly are we to make of it? What does such a dream really mean? And, more challengingly, what does the dream want from us?

With breathtaking clarity, this book sets out a new, multi-layered method of dreamwork, and shows us how unlocking its mysteries can help us discover our greatest potential for authentic life.

Through hundreds of revealing examples of unusually vivid dreams, the author takes us through the fundamentals of interpretation and appreciation, focusing on the different aspects of life - health, work, relationships, and spirituality - that can be transformed through the unimaginable power of listening to one's inner experiences.

Healing Dreams shows us that, at their best, dreams can help us to embrace our own contradictions, and heal the rifts that arise around life's major passages. Drawing upon fifteen years of research, this book represents a major addition to the dream literature, and a bold new perspective on how dreams can be our greatest hope for finding wholeness.

Healing Dreams offers a bold new perspective on the power of dreams. It is a call to spiritual adventure, an invitation to stir up the soul and question our certainties. It does not guarantee easy answers; rather it is an invitation to begin a journey. "

The website offers chapter excerpts from the book for the potential buyer to peruse. I highly recommend you do so.

Previous Posts in the Book Review Series:

How Important Is It To Be You?

The Maldives
Funny question. How important is it to be you?

And I've mentioned this topic before in these posts:

But it is such an important topic that I can't help but bring it up again. And anyway, just as in marketing, where a message needs to be seen an average of NINE times before the potential consumer will react to it, so also in topics that refer to our inner self, it may be possible that we need to see the message many times before we react and do something about it.

Being you is a frightening concept to many people. They may define themselves by their professional situation, their academic prestige, their social position or family background, their finances and material well-being, their political party or religious convictions, they may define themselves by the people they know, the places they frequent, they may even define themselves by their looks and their physical attributes.

While all of the above is in fact, part of who we are, it does not necessarily define us. If a man is given professional recognition as a lawyer and is part of a conservative party due to his family's leaning over generations, and it is expected that he follow that political line, we might say that he is living an authentic life if we don't scratch beneath the surface. What if this man is gay? How much of his mode of living can be true to himself if he needs to hide or is afraid to show that most important aspect of his being? Or what if he is a closet liberal, politically speaking? What if he is a lawyer because it was expected, or because it would give him a good income, but at heart he wanted to write or paint? Or be a travel journalist?

You clearly see what I am driving at. Not being you implies potential tragedy. Not being you implies a life half lived. Not being you may erode your health...physiological, psychological or spiritual.

There is another important facet to not being you. Many of us simply don't know who we are. Not necessarily our fault, you know. Schools teach us so much: reading, writing, mathematics, history, geography, etc., but when are we ever taught about ourselves, and how important it is to get to know ourselves...this person with whom we will live all our lives? When are we shown the importance of taking the journey within?

This is a topic I would like to explore at greater length - perhaps in one of my newsletter articles, because we tend to gloss over it - not because we are necessarily shallow materialists, but because it is not emphasized to the degree that it could be done, if we as a society placed as much importance on the inner quest as on the outer search for excellence.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Water Has Memory?

Niagara Falls. Photo Credit
Science Blog is one of those blogs that I often check into. Recently a post referred to findings about the memory of water, which, although it is unrelated, immediately made me think of Masaru Emoto and his own fascinating findings about the changes provoked in water crystals by mere thought and intention.

At any rate, this research about the memory of water is somewhat less esoteric, but due to its apparent implications for homeopathy, seems to be quite important, nevertheless.
A special issue of the journal Homeopathy, journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy and published by Elsevier, on the “Memory of Water” brings together scientists from around the world for the first time to publish new data, reviews and discuss recent scientific work exploring the idea that water can display memory effects. The concept of memory of water is important to homeopathy because it offers a potential explanation of the mechanism of action of very high dilutions often used in homeopathy.

Guest editor Professor Martin Chaplin of the Department of Applied Science at London South Bank University, remarks: “There is strong evidence concerning many ways in which the mechanism of this ‘memory’ may come about. There are also mechanisms by which such solutions may possess effects on biological systems which substantially differ from plain water.”

The concept of the memory of water goes back to 1988 when the late Professor Jacques Benveniste published, in the international scientific journal Nature, claims that extremely high ‘ultramolecular’ dilutions of an antibody had effects in the human basophil degranulation test, a laboratory model of immune response. In other words, the water diluent ‘remembered’ the antibody long after it was gone. His findings were subsequently denounced as ‘pseudoscience’ and yet, despite the negative impact this had at the time, the idea has not gone away.
In this special issue of Homeopathy (http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/623042/description#description), scientists from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, USA as well as the UK present remarkably convergent views from groups using entirely different methods, indicating that large-scale structural effects can occur in liquid water, and can increase with time. Such effects might account for claims of memory of water effects.

Commenting on the special issue, Professor Chaplin said: “Science has a lot more to discover about such effects and how they might relate to homeopathy. It is unjustified to dismiss homeopathy, as some scientists do, just because we don’t have a full understanding of how it works.” In his overview he is critical of the “unscientific rhetoric” of some scientists who reject the memory of water concept “with a narrow view of the subject and without any examination or appreciation of the full body of evidence.”

Professor Chaplin and Dr Peter Fisher, editor-in-chief of the journal, agree that the current evidence brings us a step closer to providing an explanation for the claims made for homeopathy and that the memory of water, once considered a scientific heresy, is a reality. “These discoveries may have far reaching implications and more research is required,” comments Dr Fisher.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Dream Symbols 11: The Spider

Black Widow Spider. Photo Credit
The spider has always fascinated me in its diverse symbolic meanings in dreams. What does a spider do? It enmeshes its prey in a silky web of death. It appears to do so gently, because the web is silky, but of course, in the end, it strangles.

There is something of the gorgon, the medusa, in the spider, and similar to those, it also implies some of those symbolic meanings with regards to its relationship to its offspring in real life. In other words, dreaming of a spider, may frequently imply the real-life mother, and the dreamer's relationship to her.

There may be something in that relationship that is perceived (whether it truly is so, is another matter, but the mere perception of it being so is enough for the dreamer), by the dreamer to be suffocating, enveloping, deathly. Perhaps the real life mother wants to control the offspring's life, or a sector of the life, such as the marital relationship of a son, or the studies that a daughter pursues.

The dreamer may come across a dream spider that threatens to kill, that is highly frightening, that will annihilate, if one does not find a way to get around it in the dream, or to avoid crossing paths with it. That may imply that the dreamer needs to proclaim some kind of independence from the real life mother, and I have seen instances where the dreamer has several dreams in a series about spiders, and where in each consecutive dream, the dreamer is able to remove him or herself more and more from the dream spider, and in so doing, is able to achieve something similar on some level with regards to the real life mother.

As always, I urge you to acquire a book or two on symbols, not necessarily dream symbols, as books on symbolism per se are rich in cultural and mythological content that will often lead you to the renowned aha that we seek when we are trying to understand dreams, and that tells us that we have hit on some kind of meaning that may help us unravel the dream. Many of such books are listed in the recommended books section on my website.

Previous posts in this series are:

Dream Symbols 1: Pregnancy and Birth
Dream Symbols 2: Death
Dream Symbols 3: The Snake
Dream Symbols 4: The Butterfly
Dream Symbols 5: Flying
Dream Symbols 6: The House Part 1
Dream Symbols 7: The House Part 2: The Kitchen
Dream Symbols 8: The House Part 3: The Bathroom
Dream Symbols 9: The House Part 4: The Bedroom
Dream Symbols 10: Marriage