2012 in review

Well, here are the year-end stats for this blog. Thank you to everyone who visited. I hope that you found it useful. 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Nativity Code for Authentic Happiness

by Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D., C.Psych

The Nativity story reveals a divine code of positive psychology that resonates with people from all ages, regardless of their religious persuasions. It reveals a radically different set of principles of authentic happiness that brings hope to all those who are disfranchised, oppressed and deprived.

  1. Happiness is not a right, not a product but a gift. It can not be demanded, purchased, or earned. It is a gift that comes to us when it is least expected but most needed. The heavenly message of great joy and peace came to the terrified shepherds in their nightly watch over their flocks. We cannot predict what will make us happy or when we will be happy, but we are more likely to be surprised by joy when we are spiritually attuned.
  2. Every negative can become positive through the transforming power of faith, meaning and self-transcendence. The brightest light can only be seen in the darkest night. The shepherds’ fears were turned into joy. The disgraced Mary became the most blessed woman. The outcast became the most influential person who ever walked on the face of this earth.
  3. The good life is not about the pursuit of personal happiness but about fulfilling one’s calling, which often entails self-sacrifice. Authentic happiness is primarily not about me (my strengths and my successes) but about others (meeting their needs and making a difference in their lives). Christ was born to suffer and die on the cross, but he changed the world through his death and resurrection.
  4. The essence of authentic happiness is spiritual. It has to do with the awakening of our spiritual nature. At the core of spirituality is our yearning for oneness with God and our compassion for people. Authentic happiness flows from our spiritual character and transcends circumstantial constraints. The path to the good life, according to both the Nativity story and the Beatitudes, is through spiritual transformation rather than earthly acquisitions.

A spiritually oriented authentic happiness is concerned with only one essential question: Am I fulfilling my purpose and my destiny in this needy world? To me, happiness means the positive feelings and thoughts associated with the experience of oneness with God, peace with myself and others, and the realization that I have lived a worthwhile life in spite of my limitations and external constraints.

FULL  ARTICLE

nativityPicture credit

Your Brain in the Future

Cutting-edge neuroscience has escaped from the lab and is suddenly showing up everywhere, changing the way we practice law, go shopping—even, possibly, fall in love.
By Tim Jarvis
It’s been only a decade or so since the world got hardwired, “Google” became a verb, and texting turned into a lifestyle. But if you’re still struggling to thumb a message, brace yourself: A whole new revolution in neuroscience is about to shake up our world.

“Just as information technology has affected everything from the way we do business to human communication,” says Zack Lynch, executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, “it will be the science of the brain that drives the fundamental changes of the future.” You can already see it starting to happen, and it may affect the way we spend our money, choose our mates, and punish criminals. It could even change our concepts of guilt and innocence.

Five other predictions on how brain science may change the way we live:

Neurolongevity
We will see cures or vaccines for diseases of the aging brain, says Judy Illes, PhD, professor of neurology and Canada research chair in neuroethics at the University of British Columbia. In fact, better insight into brain function in general will lead to interventions for many diseases and an overall longer life expectancy.

Neuroentertainment
Current technologies (such as video games) will merge with future ones (such as those involving neural feedback), so gamers might wear EEG-type caps that read their brainwaves and pick up their emotions. Conceivably, story lines would move forward in real time, the plot changing based on each person’s responses, says Zack Lynch, managing director of NeuroInsights, a market research and investment advisory firm.

Neuroeducation
The more we understand the neurobiology of learning—how the mind develops, what to make of differences between individual brains—the better we can “sculpt” teaching methods. Lynch predicts that educational software will be tailored to students’ individual brain patterns to improve math and language acquisition as well as creative thinking.

Neurofitness
Drugs and devices that stimulate the brain to augment our performance and mobility (so that we can run farther and faster, for example) will someday help everyone from Olympians to paraplegics, according to Illes.

Neurospirituality
New tools such as real-time fMRI technology, Lynch says, promise to accelerate our capacity to access deeply meditative and spiritual states.

 

The Christian mystic in a nutshell…great post!

PrayerPunk

I write this today because it find that most people in modern mainstream America think that it is something out of Harry Potter.  A mystic is not a magician or practitioner of the occult.  Put simply a mystic is someone who thinks they can have a revelation directly from God, that God can, and does, speak to them personally.  Every religion has them, including Christianity.

Most people believe what they believe because they were taught it either from a church, their parents, or whoever.  They hopefully have then studied, put some thought into it, and prayed about it.  Some don’t put out that much effort and simply don’t want to be disobedient, so they buy the party line.  Either way, this is not the mystical approach.

Mystical Christianity can also be called experiential Christianity.  A mystic believes what they do based on an actual encounter with the divine.  They have…

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Documentaries on Everything

I don’t know if this is common knowledge, but I’m as psyched as if I’d struck gold….what I’ve found is a site with reams of documentaries on all kinds of topics. So, I’ll list a few that are relevant to this blog:

Religion and Spirituality

The History of Angels

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Way of Life

Mysteries of the Bible

The Story of God

Psychology

Pleasure and Pain

Human Instinct

The Secret You – on human awareness

Brain Story

Somewhere in Between

Mystical Brain

Life After Life

Secrets of the Psychics

Mind you, (I just realized that) there are entire sections on Psychology, Philosophy, Religion, Science and Health on the site itself…so, enjoy…you know what I’ll be doing over the next while…:D

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

Yes, slowly but surely there begins a recognition that what gets called mental illness cannot be explained with the bio-medical model.

From The Wilson Quarterly an article well worth reading with the recent history of how that which is called mental illness is considered in society and how that is changing since the psychopharmacological era has clearly failed:

In the 1990s, scientists declared that schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses were pure brain disorders that would eventually yield to drugs. Now they are recognizing that social factors are among the causes, and must be part of the cure. (read it here)

We are in the midst of a revolution in how those labeled with mental illness are understood and cared for. Many will remain stuck in the bio-medical model but the fact is the tide keeps turning and it’s wonderful to watch it happen. More and more people are…

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