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19 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Oh, before I forget, one of the studies showed that remote prayer lowered morbidity but not mortality. I like thinking about that.

Yep, our species is designed for 100% mortality. Strange how most people don’t “get” that.

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20 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Yep, our species is designed for 100% mortality. Strange how most people don’t “get” that.

It's not quite that. The research showed that, although remote healing might make people feel better or reduce complications, it didn't delay or reduce their chance of dying from whatever was ailing them. That seems like a pretty particular healing benefit to me. If you remotely pray for 500 of 1000 people who underwent some kind of serious surgery, and found a significant improvement in outcomes and reduction in complications for those 500, you'd reasonably expect them to survive a wee bit longer.

The "designed for 100% mortality" is an interesting idea. Biologists wonder if immortality is possible. Under the right circumstances, they think organisms, or at least the cells within them, might live significantly longer than we see in nature. So, why do they die prematurely? Is there an advantage to keeping lifespan short so that genetic selection can run fast enough to keep up with environmental changes? A thing that lives forever can't be reproducing very often, or it would fill up the space available to it. It really does seem that death is an essential part of life.

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I listened to a recent talk by my guru, in which he was trying to explain some recent research he heard or read on the Placebo Effect. I had not heard this before and have not googled it:

Apparently, it has been found that for some drugs (medications), including some Placebo allowed the researchers to achieve the same effect with a lower dose of the medication. (Less bad side effects, etc.) So far, I follow. 

Here’s where I become skeptical. The way it was explained, in this case the body manufactured the drug itself.

“Why” he was discussing the Placebo Effect is probably off topic.

While we don't understand the placebo effect very well, we're making progress. Feeling like you are being helped can reduce stress, and reducing stress can improve health. So, even if you're not actually getting the medicine, you believe you are, and you benefit. I'm unaware of any evidence of a body producing any drug (that doesn't normally exist in a body) that has been replaced by a placebo. There are cases of bodies altering production of drugs (endorphins, serotonin, etc.) in response to outside influences, including placebo effect. That's different.

The apparent increase in the power of the placebo effect in the US has researchers scrambling to understand what's causing it. While we know that reducing stress improves health, we don't know the myriad ways the mind can do that for the body. One theory is that public awareness of the placebo effect has increased over the decades, so it's easier now to imagine that you'll benefit from a drug even if you don't get it. Thirty years ago, before the placebo effect was pop culture, your subconscious might have said "Oh, there's a 50% chance I'll get the benefit of the medicine and a 50% chance I'll get nuthin'." There is comfort in that thought, you benefit from that comfort, we detect that benefit, we report it widely in the press (and now on the internet) and "placebo effect" enters pop culture. Today your internet educated subconscious says "There's a 50% chance I'll get a benefit from the medicine and a 50% chance I'll get a benefit from the placebo effect, so I win either way!". Don't you feel better than you did 30 years ago?

And yes, we are able to co-opt this improved placebo effect to reduce dosing of drugs with deleterious side effects. The placebo effect is a wonderful example of how our thinking can affect our health. I'm all for exploring this, and I'm all for prescribing it. Whether it's meditation, yoga, viewing art, listening to music, if it works, go for it.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 4:05 PM, Love Zhaoying said:

There’s a story told to me often, about 2 yogis who went to heaven and stole a sacred cow. The one who stole the cow was sentenced to rebirth and a long life. The one who only helped steal the cow was given a much lesser sentence of being reborn, but dying at birth and immediately returning to heaven.

I was reading more about Sheldrake and came upon something disconcerting -- he seemed to believe Yoga does not care about the suffering in the world or feel a need to do anything about it, all from some interaction with a farmer in India who appeared to only be interested in changing consciousness in order not to be reborn. Anyway, he ended up going back to Christianity, although still incorporating many Yogic practices.
This characterization of Yoga seems so untrue to me, as the Yoga group I was in had such a focus on helping others through a myriad of programs -- everything from food collection for the poor, to preschools for disadvantaged populations, to homes for women leaving abusive partners (I worked in the latter one for awhile). I never experienced Yoga as only being concerned with one's personal benefit. Likewise, another Yoga group I'm interested in meditating with (https://www.amma.org/ ) is all about helping others through various social service programs. There are so many 'sects' of Yoga, and so many Guru's.
Anyway, would like to know just which branch of Yoga Sheldrake was put off by.
I do like the general Buddhist idea of reincarnation and its emphasis on compassion -- basically saying that all Bodhisattvas should come back to the world to help others until all have ceased the cycle of death/rebirth. This reminds me of the King quote where he said "no one is free until we are all free."

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I'm unaware of any evidence of a body producing any drug (that doesn't normally exist in a body) that has been replaced by a placebo.

I saw what you did there in your edit :)

Originally you said this had not been proven and so it is fantasy. So what do you really believe? Is anything not proven to be true actually false or fantasy in your conception of reality, or is it simply 'unproven' and so neither true or false, as true Science advocates?

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4 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I was reading more about Sheldrake and came upon something disconcerting -- he seemed to believe Yoga does not care about the suffering in the world or feel a need to do anything about it, all from some interaction with a farmer in India who appeared to only be interested in changing consciousness in order not to be reborn. Anyway, he ended up going back to Christianity, although still incorporating many Yogic practices.

This sounds like Sheldrake's dismissal of the global warming debate. He doesn't think the science is sound, but he also doesn't think humans care about the future after their death, even though that's where their children will live. He thinks we should give up trying to solve that problem and work on something more tangible and immediate, like feeding hungry children today. We're actually already making progress there, but not so much on global warming. I suppose I could argue that this means Sheldrake is right, but I think he's underestimating us.

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6 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I saw what you did there in your edit :)

Originally you said this had not been proven and so it is fantasy. So what do you really believe? Is anything not proven to be true actually false or fantasy in your conception of reality, or is it simply 'unproven' and so neither true or false, as true Science advocates?

Yes, I mis-explained and fixed it. I'm unaware of any evidence that a human body has produced a chemical not normally found there, to replicate a chemical that would have been administered but was replaced by a placebo. There are many examples of the human body producing natural chemicals in response to perceptions (see a spider, produce adrenalin) or way of thinking (meditate, reduce cortisol production).

Any claim that a body produces Prozac if it believes it was given Prozac is... fantasy. That's what I thought Love was getting at, but on further consideration, backed away to a broader interpretation. We routinely administer drugs that are produced naturally in the body.

ETA: As to what's fantasy and what's not, it's a matter of probabilities. The probability of a human body producing Prozac because it was told it was being given Prozac is fantastically small.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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2 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

This sounds like Sheldrake's dismissal of the global warming debate. He doesn't think the science is sound

I would like to listen to that video or read the article...do you have it per chance?

While I believe we're headed for a major meltdown with climate change, I'd still like to have some glimmer of hope that we're going to survive...I guess on some level I don't want to believe what's going to happen is absolutely the truth :(

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13 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I would like to listen to that video or read the article...do you have it per chance?

While I believe we're headed for a major meltdown with climate change, I'd still like to have some glimmer of hope that we're going to survive...I guess on some level I don't want to believe what's going to happen is absolutely the truth :(

I share your beliefs here.

I Googled "sheldrake climate hunger" and didn't find what I described, so I either misremembered or heard him in a YouTube video, for which there is no transcript.

ETA: I'm actually finding indications that Sheldrake supports the idea of anthropocentric climate change, so I must be misremembering.

ETA2: This is gonna drive me nuts. I can pretty clearly remember that someone (probably not Sheldrake) thought the climate change science was too political to be trusted, people were too short sighted to care, and we should feed hungry kids right now. This is why I don't trust the human brain. I have one myself and it's soooooo broken.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters

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19 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

ETA2: This is gonna drive me nuts. I can pretty clearly remember that someone (probably not Sheldrake) thought the climate change science was too political to be trusted, people were too short sighted to care, and we should feed hungry kids right now. This is why I don't trust the human brain. I have one myself and it's soooooo broken.

Haha well I must have a broken brain too, as I frequently can't remember what I read where and who said what :(  Maybe it's more that we're trying to cram more into our brains than is possible..lol.

But about not trusting the human brain as it relates to the paranormal, I believe most experiences are malfunctions of the brain (I just don't believe all are). Probably I would have distrusted myself more had I not had the support of other strange people at the time I had the paranormal experiences..lol.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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Just now, Luna Bliss said:

Probably I would have distrusted myself more had I not had the support of other strange people at the time I had the paranormal experiences..lol.

I understand this, but that's confirmation bias! Ten people sharing a common misperception doesn't make it a correct perception.

I get uneasy when people agree with me, partly because I'm well aware of confirmation bias and I routinely detect it in myself.

My Sheldrake recollection might be an example of this. My memory of his climate change stance helps me dismiss him. But it's looking like I'm wrong. My brain may have assembled some nearby recollections into a narrative that fit the position I'm trying to advance.

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45 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I was reading more about Sheldrake and came upon something disconcerting -- he seemed to believe Yoga does not care about the suffering in the world or feel a need to do anything about it, all from some interaction with a farmer in India who appeared to only be interested in changing consciousness in order not to be reborn. Anyway, he ended up going back to Christianity, although still incorporating many Yogic practices.
This characterization of Yoga seems so untrue to me, as the Yoga group I was in had such a focus on helping others through a myriad of programs -- everything from food collection for the poor, to preschools for disadvantaged populations, to homes for women leaving abusive partners (I worked in the latter one for awhile). I never experienced Yoga as only being concerned with one's personal benefit. Likewise, another Yoga group I'm interested in meditating with (https://www.amma.org/ ) is all about helping others through various social service programs. There are so many 'sects' of Yoga, and so many Guru's.
Anyway, would like to know just which branch of Yoga Sheldrake was put off by.
I do like the general Buddhist idea of reincarnation and its emphasis on compassion -- basically saying that all Bodhisattvas should come back to the world to help others until all have ceased the cycle of death/rebirth. This reminds me of the King quote where he said "no one is free until we are all free."

 

 

 

That’s complicated. Very narrow interpretation could lead to a focus on yourself. But some paths, and the Western embrace of Yoga which I was taught focuses on the idea that each individual’s progress uplifts the entire world. Makes it easier for everyone to reach enlightenment; which was how my guru presented Sheldrake’s theory.  How each individual chooses to practice it according to their own influences and teachers, may differ to the outsider. The core message remains the same, you have everything you need inside of you. Everyone has that same inner self, but different access to it and a different experience on the spiritual path.

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10 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I understand this, but that's confirmation bias! Ten people sharing a common misperception doesn't make it a correct perception.

Isn’t this how Science works? A bunch of scientists test a hypothesis, agree on test results, and then it’s “part of scientific knowledge”? 

I fail to see the difference, besides the methods used.

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1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

While we don't understand the placebo effect very well, we're making progress. Feeling like you are being helped can reduce stress, and reducing stress can improve health. So, even if you're not actually getting the medicine, you believe you are, and you benefit. I'm unaware of any evidence of a body producing any drug (that doesn't normally exist in a body) that has been replaced by a placebo. There are cases of bodies altering production of drugs (endorphins, serotonin, etc.) in response to outside influences, including placebo effect. That's different.

The apparent increase in the power of the placebo effect in the US has researchers scrambling to understand what's causing it. While we know that reducing stress improves health, we don't know the myriad ways the mind can do that for the body. One theory is that public awareness of the placebo effect has increased over the decades, so it's easier now to imagine that you'll benefit from a drug even if you don't get it. Thirty years ago, before the placebo effect was pop culture, your subconscious might have said "Oh, there's a 50% chance I'll get the benefit of the medicine and a 50% chance I'll get nuthin'." There is comfort in that thought, you benefit from that comfort, we detect that benefit, we report it widely in the press (and now on the internet) and "placebo effect" enters pop culture. Today your internet educated subconscious says "There's a 50% chance I'll get a benefit from the medicine and a 50% chance I'll get a benefit from the placebo effect, so I win either way!". Don't you feel better than you did 30 years ago?

And yes, we are able to co-opt this improved placebo effect to reduce dosing of drugs with deleterious side effects. The placebo effect is a wonderful example of how our thinking can affect our health. I'm all for exploring this, and I'm all for prescribing it. Whether it's meditation, yoga, viewing art, listening to music, if it works, go for it.

On that fifth day, it seems the placebo triggers a similar response in the brain as the real drug. “You can see brain locations associated with chronic pain and chronic psychiatric disease” acting like there are drugs in the system, she says. For instance, Colloca has found that individual neurons in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease will still respond to placebos as though they are actual anti-Parkinson’s drugs after such conditioning has taken place.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/science-and-health/2017/7/7/15792188/placebo-effect-explained

Interesting article, lots of studies and effects referenced.

Edited by Love Zhaoying
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1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Don't you feel better than you did 30 years ago?

no, not really.  30 years ago my body was 30 years younger and didn't ache nearly as much.

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Just now, Love Zhaoying said:

Isn’t this how Science works? A bunch of scientists test a hypothesis, agree on test results, and then it’s “part of scientific knowledge”? 

I fail to see the difference, besides the methods used.

I didn't see Luna mention testing a hypothesis. She said that she would have distrusted herself more if it hadn't been for the support of other strange people at the time. I understand that. We all want validation, even scientists. The scientific method was created to reduce the possibility that we'll fool ourselves.

A quote from Richard Feynman...

"This long history of learning how not to fool ourselves — of having utter scientific integrity — is, I’m sorry to say, something that we haven’t specifically included in any particular course that I know of. We just hope you’ve caught on by osmosis.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that."

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34 minutes ago, kali Wylder said:

no, not really.  30 years ago my body was 30 years younger and didn't ache nearly as much.

...hands you a bottle of new and improved Extra Strength Placebo.

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1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I understand this, but that's confirmation bias! Ten people sharing a common misperception doesn't make it a correct perception.

I get uneasy when people agree with me, partly because I'm well aware of confirmation bias and I routinely detect it in myself.

My Sheldrake recollection might be an example of this. My memory of his climate change stance helps me dismiss him. But it's looking like I'm wrong. My brain may have assembled some nearby recollections into a narrative that fit the position I'm trying to advance.

   Every time we access a memory, we rewrite it. I managed in the past few recent years to find facts about some things I recollected, like who wrote a certain song, or what color the couch was that my sister and I got toothpaste all over when we were little. I was disappointed at the inaccuracies I discovered lurking in my brain. I have seen a picture of the couch, but I still can't change what that memory looks like today.

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49 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

On that fifth day, it seems the placebo triggers a similar response in the brain as the real drug. “You can see brain locations associated with chronic pain and chronic psychiatric disease” acting like there are drugs in the system, she says. For instance, Colloca has found that individual neurons in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease will still respond to placebos as though they are actual anti-Parkinson’s drugs after such conditioning has taken place.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/science-and-health/2017/7/7/15792188/placebo-effect-explained

Interesting article, lots of studies and effects referenced.

That article is familiar, I think I've read it.

A quote from it... "Belief is the oldest medicine known to man."

I couldn't agree more.

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6 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

That article is familiar, I think I've read it.

A quote from it... "Belief is the oldest medicine known to man."

I couldn't agree more.

Witch doctors, all.

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2 minutes ago, Ivanova Shostakovich said:

   Every time we access a memory, we rewrite it. I managed in the past few recent years to find facts about some things I recollected, like who wrote a certain song, or what color the couch was that my sister and I got toothpaste all over when we were little. I was disappointed at the inaccuracies I discovered lurking in my brain. I have seen a picture of the couch, but I still can't change what that memory looks like today.

Somewhere here in the forums, I told the story of inserting myself into a neighbor's recollection of a lunch date. She often mentioned this lunch, so it was clearly important to her. I collected mental notes about it, and eventually started telling the story back to her, but with myself also seated at the table. The first time I did this, she said she'd forgotten I'd been there and apologized. Since then, and I think since I told the story here, she has queried me for details of that lunch which she's forgotten. If I can recall the detail, I provide it. If I can't, I make something up. She can now remember the things I've made up.

If you can find my original telling of this story, I suspect you'll find I'm telling it differently now. As you said, every memory access is a rewrite.

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44 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Somewhere here in the forums, I told the story of inserting myself into a neighbor's recollection of a lunch date. She often mentioned this lunch, so it was clearly important to her. I collected mental notes about it, and eventually started telling the story back to her, but with myself also seated at the table. The first time I did this, she said she'd forgotten I'd been there and apologized. Since then, and I think since I told the story here, she has queried me for details of that lunch which she's forgotten. If I can recall the detail, I provide it. If I can't, I make something up. She can now remember the things I've made up.

You don't feel guilty about lying to your neighbor, manipulating her, and basically turning her into an experiment?

You mentioned doing this to some other friends too, on this thread...they thought you had psychic ability due to you manipulating this outcome.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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1 hour ago, Luna Bliss said:

You don't feel guilty about lying to your neighbor, manipulating her, and basically turning her into an experiment?

You mentioned doing this to some other friends too, on this thread...they thought you had psychic ability due to you manipulating this outcome.

I don't feel guilty. It's an innocuous event and she's happy I remember details of it for her. I place this deception along with lies like "yes, that necklace looks good on you" or "I didn't answer your three phone calls this morning because my phone was dead".

She knows I'm a devil, I've told her so and proved it. I'm also an elf, but she doesn't know it. Things in her yard mysteriously fix themselves. (This is true for many of my neighbors.) After watching in frustration as she juggled a flashlight and a fork to flip chicken breasts on her grill in the dark, I purchased and installed an automatic LED floodlight on the grill handle while she was at work. I placed the instruction manual on the counter in her kitchen. Some time later, she cooked dinner for me on the grill and used the light. She made no mention of its mysterious appearance and I was happy to see her grill in the dark without juggling. It's all about me (and mirror neurons).

Some who began to believe I had a useless superpower (or humored me by saying they believed it, how can I know?!) were equally intrigued by my debunking of it. I even taught some of them tricks to impress others. Not everyone can determine, from a mile away, whether a car on the night time road ahead has LED or indcandescent tail lights. I can, and so can my disciples. The people who refused to believe my debunking have increased my wariness over claims of rational behavior, including my own.

ETA: I am the child of a fairly accomplished devil/elf, who I hope went to his grave wondering about a few inexplicable things, never once considering that his apprentice might be involved.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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8 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I don't feel guilty. It's an innocuous event and she's happy I remember details of it for her. I place this deception along with lies like "yes, that necklace looks good on you" or "I didn't answer your three phone calls this morning because my phone was dead".

She knows I'm a devil, I've told her so and proved it. I'm also an elf, but she doesn't know it. Things in her yard mysteriously fix themselves. (This is true for many of my neighbors.) After watching in frustration as she juggled a flashlight and a fork to flip chicken breasts on her grill in the dark, I purchased and installed an automatic LED floodlight on the grill handle while she was at work. I placed the instruction manual on the counter in her kitchen. Some time later, she cooked dinner for me on the grill and used the light. She made no mention of its mysterious appearance and I was happy to see her grill in the dark without juggling. It's all about me (and mirror neurons).

Some who began to believe I had a useless superpower (or humored me by saying they believed it, how can I know?!) were equally intrigued by my debunking of it. I even taught some of them tricks to impress others. Not everyone can determine, from a mile away, whether a car on the night time road ahead has LED or indcandescent tail lights. I can, and so can my disciples. The people who refused to believe my debunking have increased my wariness over claims of rational behavior, including my own.

ETA: I am the child of a fairly accomplished devil/elf, who I hope went to his grave wondering about a few inexplicable things, never once considering that his apprentice might be involved.

Sounds like you and Santa have a lot in common. Wait..devil..Satan..elf..Santa. Aha!

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10 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

inserting myself into a neighbor's recollection of a lunch date. She often mentioned this lunch, so it was clearly important to her. 

I can see reasons to want to do this. Let’s say, neighbor tells the story over and over and over. The temptation may be to say, “you told me that before, dear”. But, to say “I know, I was there”, allows you to become part of the story. And share in the joy of the telling. Because, you were there too.

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