The Building Blocks of Personhood: Oliver Sacks on Narrative as the Pillar of Identity

Oliver Sacks (Photograph: Adam Scourfield) “Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives — we are each of us unique. BY MARIA POPOVA “A person’s identity,” Amin Maalouf wrote in his brilliant treatise on personhood, “is like a pattern drawn on a tightly stretched parchment. Touch just one part of it, just one allegiance, and the whole person will react, the whole drum will sound.” In thinking about how identity politics frays that parchment and fragments the essential wholeness of our personhood, I was reminded of a poignant passage by neurologist Oliver Sacks(July 9, 1933–August 30, 2015), the poet laureate of … Continue reading The Building Blocks of Personhood: Oliver Sacks on Narrative as the Pillar of Identity

Evolution unleashed

The food preferences of different groups of orcas are thought to be driving them to split into several different species. Photo by Mike Korostelev/Getty Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided? Kevin Laland is professor of behavioural and evolutionary biology at University of St Andrews in Scotland, and project leader of the extended evolutionary synthesis research programme. His latest book is Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind (2017). When researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained mice to fear the smell of almonds (by pairing it with electric shocks), they found, to their consternation, that … Continue reading Evolution unleashed

What’s In Your Mind?

image edited by Fernando Kaskais With a mind full of good, you have more to offer others. by Rick Hanson Ph.D The Practice: Be mindful of good. Why? It’s kind of amazing: right now, what you think and feel, enjoy and suffer, is changing your brain. The brain is the organ that learns, designed by evolution to be changed by our experiences; what scientists call experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Neurons that fire together wire together. This means that each one of us has the power to use the mind to change the brain to change the mind for the better; to benefit oneself and other beings. … Continue reading What’s In Your Mind?

A new book unlocks the enigma of the Japanese garden

‘The Japanese Garden’ by Sophie Walker explores the history of the unique Asian art form and its contemporary relevance. Pictured here, the Daikaku-ji in Kyoto, which dates back to 814, during the Heian Period in Japan. Photography: Travellinglight/Alamy Stock Photo ‘The Japanese Garden’ is published by Phaidon BY HARRIET THORPE Insight into the enigmatic nature of the Japanese garden is revealed beneath a dark green fabric covered book written by garden designer Sophie Walker and published by Phaidon. ‘The Japanese Garden’ covers the history, design and concepts behind this unique Asian art form through a charmingly detailed narrative that varies in pace from thematic chapters, to intimate essays … Continue reading A new book unlocks the enigma of the Japanese garden

For Longevity, Preventing Loneliness Is as Critical as Healthy Diet, Exercise

Unsplash/Ian Schneider Unsplash/Ian Schneider By Francesca Friday Loneliness obviously has a powerful role in mental health, triggering symptoms of anxiety and depression when feelings of social isolation take a toll on our emotional wellbeing. The need to surround yourself with loved ones and a fulfilling circle of friends in order to maintain a happy, positive outlook on life is self-explanatory, but what is not often discussed are the potentially damaging effects of loneliness on physical health, as well. One study published in the British Medical Journal found that feelings of isolation and loneliness in seniors between the ages of 65 and 86 led to a 64 … Continue reading For Longevity, Preventing Loneliness Is as Critical as Healthy Diet, Exercise

Eating Too ‘Clean’ Can Kill You

“Orthorexia,” the eating disorder when people fixate on healthy eating, is moving toward recognition in mainstream medicine by Zak Stone It’s impossible to read Amanda Chantal Bacon’s daily food diary, published in Elle last year, without wondering if, perhaps, the entrepreneur behind L.A.’s Moon Juice brand is taking her passion for healthy eating a bit too far. The day begins with “a copper cup of silver needle and calendula tea,” before she prepares her “morning chi drink” to slurp while driving her son Rohan to school — full of vanilla mushroom proteins, stone-ground almond butter, Brain Dust (a Moon Juice product), “cordyceps, reishi, maca and … Continue reading Eating Too ‘Clean’ Can Kill You

WATCH: THE SIMPLE EXPERIMENT THAT DEMONSTRATES THE POWER OF INTENTION OVER MATTER

by Vic Bishop, Staff Writer Waking Times At the very cutting edge of science and spirituality lies a simple experiment that proves how much power intentions have on the physical world. The experiment is from the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto, who developed a set of tests which illustrate the breathtaking connection between the molecular structure of matter and human intention. Human beings are essentially made up of water, and in his pioneering research, Dr. Masaru Emoto demonstrated that the molecular structure of water is greatly affected by non-physical events such as thoughts, words, and intention. In a series of ground-breaking … Continue reading WATCH: THE SIMPLE EXPERIMENT THAT DEMONSTRATES THE POWER OF INTENTION OVER MATTER