Do we matter in the cosmos?

Image edited by W. Investigator – image by F. Kaskais 

Humanity is nothing more than a microscopic blip in the universe. But does that mean we are insignificant?

by Nick Hughes is an Irish Research Council postdoctoral research fellow at University College Dublin. His research focuses on epistemology, ethics and the philosophy of mind and language.

Humanity occupies a very small place in an unfathomably vast Universe. Travelling at the speed of light – 671 million miles per hour – it would take us 100,000 years to cross the Milky Way. But we still wouldn’t have gone very far. By recent estimates, the Milky Way is just one of 2 trillion galaxies in the observable Universe, and the region of space that they occupy spans at least 90 billion light-years. If you imagine Earth shrunk down to the size of a single grain of sand, and you imagine the size of that grain of sand relative to the entirety of the Sahara Desert, you are still nowhere near to comprehending how infinitesimally small a position we occupy in space. The American astronomer Carl Sagan put the point vividly in 1994 when discussing the famous ‘Pale Blue Dot’ photograph taken by Voyager 1. Our planet, he said, is nothing more than ‘a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam’.

And that’s just the spatial dimension. The observable Universe has existed for around 13.8 billion years. If we shrink that span of time down to a single year, with the Big Bang occurring at midnight on 1 January, the first Homo sapiens made an appearance at 22:24 on 31 December. It’s now 23:59:59, as it has been for the past 438 years, and at the rate we’re going it’s entirely possible that we’ll be gone before midnight strikes again. The Universe, on the other hand, might well continue existing forever, for all we know. Sagan could have added, then, that our time on this mote of dust will amount to nothing more than a blip. In the grand scheme of things we are very, very small.

For Sagan, the Pale Blue Dot underscores our responsibility to treat one another with kindness and compassion. But reflection on the vastness of the Universe and our physical and temporal smallness within it often takes on an altogether darker hue. If the Universe is so large, and we are so small and so fleeting, doesn’t it follow that we are utterly insignificant and inconsequential? This thought can be a spur to nihilism. If we are so insignificant, if our existence is so trivial, how could anything we do or are – our successes and failures, our anxiety and sadness and joy, all our busy ambition and toil and endeavour, all that makes up the material of our lives – how could any of that possibly matter? To think of one’s place in the cosmos, as the American philosopher Susan Wolf puts it in ‘The Meanings of Lives’ (2007), is ‘to recognise the possibility of a perspective … from which one’s life is merely gratuitous’.

The sense that we are somehow insignificant seems to be widely felt. The American author John Updike expressed it in 1985 when he wrote of modern science that:

We shrink from what it has to tell us of our perilous and insignificant place in the cosmos … our century’s revelations of unthinkable largeness and unimaginable smallness, of abysmal stretches of geological time when we were nothing, of supernumerary galaxies … of a kind of mad mathematical violence at the heart of the matter have scorched us deeper than we know.

In a similar vein, the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in Pensées (1669):

When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in an eternity before and after, the little space I fill engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces whereof I know nothing, and which know nothing of me, I am terrified. The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.

Commenting on this passage in Between Man and Man (1947), the Austrian-Israeli philosopher Martin Buber said that Pascal had experienced the ‘uncanniness of the heavens’, and thereby came to know ‘man’s limitation, his inadequacy, the casualness of his existence’. In the film Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983), John Cleese and Eric Idle conspire to persuade a character, played by Terry Gilliam, to give up her liver for donation. Understandably reluctant, she is eventually won over by a song that sharply details just how comically inconsequential she is in the cosmic frame.

Even the relatively upbeat Sagan wasn’t, in fact, immune to the pessimistic point of view. As well as viewing it as a lesson in the need for collective goodwill, he also argued that the Pale Blue Dot challenges ‘our posturings, our imagined self-importance, and the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe’…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/just-a-recent-blip-in-the-cosmos-are-humans-insignificant

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Does Dying Need to Be Traumatic?

Does Dying Need to Be Traumatic?
Photo by Bistrian Iosip | https://tricy.cl/2s9sKgV

How preparing for death while we’re still alive (and well) can prepare us to feel more liberated and less traumatized when the time of death comes.

By Lauren Krauze

Need dying be traumatic?

This was the guiding question during last Wednesday night’s discussion at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City for the second meeting of the Tibetan Book of the Dead Book Club, which encourages attendees to consider what the ancient text can offer us in the modern era. In this conversation, Dr. Mark Epstein, a renowned psychiatrist who explores the intersection of Buddhism and psychology, and Dr. Ramon N. Prats, a leading Tibetan scholar, discussed the relationship between trauma and death.

Epstein opened the dialogue by sharing a provocative perspective on trauma, which he defined as any event that threatens our physical integrity and incites fear, terror, and shock.

“Trauma gladdens the heart,” he said. “Maintaining a realistic view of trauma can help many people.”

While Westerners largely consider death a traumatic event, dying is not something that is generally feared in Tibetan culture. This is likely because many Tibetan Buddhists engage in lifelong practices to prepare themselves for death, such as meditating on impermanence and cultivating a keen awareness that death is inevitable. Then, at the actual time of death, the Tibetan Book of the Dead is traditionally read to the corpse by a lama [Buddhist teacher], fellow disciple, or close friend. These words are meant to guide the individual’s consciousness through the in-between states after death and before rebirth [bardos] toward liberation.

“The teachings aren’t new to the person,” Prats said. “The officiant is reading the text in order to remind the dying person of what they have spent years studying, what they already know.” 

Prats also discussed the importance of engaging in practices that cultivate awareness, such as meditation and dream yoga, which uses lucid dreaming to transform our waking lives. These methods can encourage us to resist distractions and stay present as we experience other states of consciousness.

“Tibetan dream yoga is like a dress rehearsal for death,” he said. “If you’re capable of being aware of your dreams while in the dream state—which is also a bardo—then you’re on track.”  

A discussion about dukkha [suffering] placed a Western explanation of trauma in an Eastern context. When we move closer to topics that are difficult to experience—such as old age, sickness, death, or other traumatic events—we are bound to suffer. However, when we look directly at our suffering and work through it, we can experience growth and freedom.

“The Buddha taught us that dukkha has to be acknowledged,” Epstein said. “When you allow yourself to acknowledge the presence of death, or another aspect of life that’s hard to face, something moves in the heart. The heart opens a little bit.”

In his book The Trauma of Everyday Life, Epstein positions trauma as a foundational component of our psychological development. He also offers an analysis of the Buddha’s early childhood trauma—the loss of his mother when he was five days old, a primitive knowledge that he said the Buddha “held in his body.” He also integrated stories from his practice as a therapist, as well as his own personal experiences.

“The Buddha reminded us that our minds are a precious instrument that can be tuned,” Epstein said. “He taught that our work is in cultivating ourselves, not in subduing ourselves. That kind of thinking was revolutionary.”…

more…

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/dying-need-traumatic/

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ELITE TV NEWS ANCHORS ARE GONE – HYPNOTIC EFFECT CRUMBLING

by Jon RappoportGuest Waking Times

There are many reasons why viewers are deserting mainstream news. This article is about one reason that has been overlooked. One vital reason…

Elite television news anchors are absolutely essential to the hypnotic delivery of fake news. They have always been a mainstay of the mind control operation.

From the early days of television, there has been a parade of anchors/actors with know-how—the right intonation, the right edge of authority, the parental feel, the ability to execute seamless blends from one piece of deception to the next:

John Daly, Douglas Edwards, Ed Murrow, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Harry Reasoner, Water Cronkite, Dan Rather, and more recently, second-stringers—Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Scott Pelley.

They’re all gone.

Now we have Lester Holt, David Muir, and an as-yet unannounced permanent replacement for Scott Pelley. Muir and Holt are decidedly junior varsity; they couldn’t sell water in the desert.

Lester Holt is a cadaverous timid presence on-air, whose major journalistic achievement thus far is interrupting Donald Trump 41 times during a presidential debate; and David Muir has the gravitas of a Sears underwear model.

The network news trance is falling apart.

The networks have no authoritative anchor-fathers waiting in the wings. They don’t breed them and bring them up in the minor leagues anymore.

Instead, armies of little Globalists and ideologues who don’t realize they’re working for the Globalists have been infiltrating the news business. At best, they’re incompetent.

This is one reason why mainstream news has been imploding.

When gross liars don’t have hypnotism, they don’t have anything.

And lately, things have gotten even worse for the mainstream. Their ceaseless attacks on Trump are backfiring. More members of the public are seeing through the puerile throw-ANYTHING-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach; and more important, the style of these attacks is breaking the time-honored rhythms and pace of traditional news presentation, and thus are failing to put the viewing audience into passive brain-states.

Fundamental and tested means for trance-induction are going out the window. When you add in rude and contentious interviews and thinly disguised editorializing by “news reporters” who have no business being within a mile of a broadcast studio, who spout random shots of venom, the news-production techniques that enable an ongoing illusion of oceanic authority collapse like magnetic fields that have been suddenly switched off.

The selective mood lighting, the restful blue colors on the set, the inter-cutting of graphics and B-roll footage, the flawless shifts to reporters in far-flung places…it’s as if all these supporting features have suddenly been overcome by actors in a stage play who are abruptly stepping out of character. The spell is broken.

Humpty-Dumpty is off the wall and lying in pieces on the floor.

Elite mainstream news is committing suicide. And in a fatuous attempt to save themselves, they are trying a democratic approach. Anchors are sharing more on-air minutes with other reporters. But this is counter-productive in the extreme. The News has always meant one face and one authority and one voice and one tying-together of all broadcast elements. It’s as if, in a hypnotherapist’s office, the therapist decides to bring in colleagues to help render the patient into an alpha-state.

Network news executives are clueless. News directors are clueless. The whole lot of them are too young and too foolish to remember what once made news dominate the public mind.

Plus they are swimming in shark-infested waters. The sharks are independent media.

Bottom-line?

This is a cause for celebration.

The movie called fake reality is packaged rolls of footage in the back of a very large truck moving slowly toward a graveyard.

The elite standard has always been: can we hypnotize the viewing audience and keep them hypnotized? And now the answer is leaning further toward NO on both counts….

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About the Author

Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALEDEXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29thDistrict of California.

This article (Elite TV News Anchors are Gone – Hypnotic Effect Crumbling) was originally created and published by Jon Rappaport’s Blog and is re-posted here with permission.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/27/elite-tv-news-anchors-gone-hypnotic-effect-crumbling/

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When You Should Stop Trying to Push Through the Pain of a Workout

Injuring yourself while working out sucks. You’re finally starting to get where you want to be and BAM: a twinge in the neck; a sharp pain in the back; a dull throb in the knee. Whatever it is, it means your workout schedule is going to get derailed, and the last couple weeks’ progress is going down the toilet. It’s such a frustrating feeling that many of us are tempted to try to push through it, but then you face the risk of being out of action for months, rather than weeks, if you make the injury worse. So how do you know when to keep going and when to call it a day?

The answer really depends on the nature of both the pain and the exercise in question, according to physical therapist and running coach Michael Conlon, owner of Finish Line Physical Therapy in New York City. His advice on figuring it out is as simple as it is practical:

“I use two basic rules with my patients when it comes to exercise, because it’s such a gray area, and people don’t know what’s okay to do. First, if you’re feeling moderate to severe pain at the start, don’t even exercise. If you’re limping at the start of a run, for example, that’s not going to warm up or get better with time, so I’d tell you not to run.

“Second, if your pain is increasing with activity, meaning with each step — or each repetition if you’re weightlifting — that’s your body’s way of telling you something’s not quite right, and you’re better off not doing that particular move.”

Still, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop, Instead, Conlon recommends modifying your moves in some way. For example, in the gym, if the pain subsides after you decrease the weight slightly, just do more reps at the lighter weight that day. Failing that, do another activity altogether — something that won’t irritate what’s hurting you. “I’m a big believer in keeping active, so try to find something else that you can do,” Conlon says. “If you’re into weightlifting, maybe do cardio that day. Or vice versa — if you’re a runner, maybe go do some strength training.”

If you think you can comfortably play through the pain, go ahead and give it a try. The only thing Conlon says you should definitely not try to play through is a stress fracture — the pain is both severe and highly localized. (It’s typically an overuse injury, often in the shin for runners, and sometimes mistaken for shin splints.) Any health-care professional will tell you to rest a stress fracture — if you don’t, you could be sidelined for a really long time.

Overall, you should always stay focused on the future. Because if you’re just competing for fun, winning doesn’t mean actually winning the game — it means being able to play again next time.

https://melmagazine.com/when-you-should-stop-trying-to-push-through-the-pain-of-a-workout-6846564d64b3

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Why We Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Suffering

Why We Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Suffering

Instead, we should fear not knowing how to handle our suffering, according to Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.

By Thich Nhat Hanh

We should not be afraid of suffering. We should be afraid of only one thing, and that is not knowing how to deal with our suffering. Handling our suffering is an art. If we know how to suffer, we suffer much less, and we’re no longer afraid of being overwhelmed by the suffering inside. The energy of mindfulness helps us recognize, acknowledge, and embrace the presence of the suffering, which can already bring some calm and relief.

When a painful feeling comes up, we often try to suppress it. We don’t feel comfortable when our suffering surfaces, and we want to push it back down or cover it up. But as a mindfulness practitioner, we allow the suffering to surface so we can clearly identify it and embrace it. This will bring transformation and relief. The first thing we have to do is accept the mud in ourselves. When we recognize and accept our difficult feelings and emotions, we begin to feel more at peace. When we see that mud is something that can help us grow, we become less afraid of it.

When we are suffering, we invite another energy from the depths of our consciousness to come up: the energy of mindfulness. Mindfulness has the capacity to embrace our suffering. It says, Hello, my dear pain. This is the practice of recognizing suffering. Hello, my pain. I know you are there, and I will take care of you. You don’t need to be afraid.

Now in our mind-consciousness there are two energies: the energy of mindfulness and the energy of suffering. The work of mindfulness is first to recognize and then to embrace the suffering with gentleness and compassion. You make use of your mindful breathing to do this. As you breathe in, you say silently, Hello, my pain. As you breathe out, you say, I am here for you. Our breathing contains within it the energy of our pain, so as we breathe with gentleness and compassion, we are also embracing our pain with gentleness and compassion.

When suffering comes up, we have to be present for it. We shouldn’t run away from it or cover it up with consumption, distraction, or diversion. We should simply recognize it and embrace it, like a mother lovingly embracing a crying baby in her arms. The mother is mindfulness, and the crying baby is suffering. The mother has the energy of gentleness and love. When the baby is embraced by the mother, it feels comforted and immediately suffers less, even though the mother does not yet know exactly what the problem is. Just the fact that the mother is embracing the baby is enough to help the baby suffer less. We don’t need to know where the suffering is coming from. We just need to embrace it, and that already brings some relief. As our suffering begins to calm down, we know we will get through it.

When we go home to ourselves with the energy of mindfulness, we’re no longer afraid of being overwhelmed by the energy of suffering. Mindfulness gives us the strength to look deeply and gives rise to understanding and compassion.

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/shouldnt-afraid-suffering/

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Microaggressions?

Resultado de imagem para Photo by Jose Luis Pelaez/Gallery Stock

Photo by Jose Luis Pelaez/Gallery Stock

Prejudice remains a huge social evil but evidence for harm caused by microaggression is incoherent, unscientific and weak

Scott O Lilienfeld is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Emory College in Atlanta. He is a co-author of 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions About Human Behavior (2010) and his articles have appeared in Psychology Todayand Scientific American.

Across college campuses and the corporate landscape, a big idea has taken hold: the notion that microaggressions – subtle but offensive comments or actions directed at minorities or other powerless people – can lower performance, lead to ostracism, increase anxiety, and sometimes cause so much psychological pain that the recipient might even commit suicide. Yet despite the good intentions and passionate embrace of this idea, there is scant real-world evidence that microaggression is a legitimate psychological concept, that it represents unconscious (or implicit) prejudice, that intervention for it works, or even that alleged victims are seriously damaged by these under-the-radar acts. It is entirely possible that future research will alter some of these verdicts. Until the evidence is in, though, I recommend abandoning the term microaggression, which is potentially misleading. In addition, I call for a moratorium on microaggression training programmes and publicly distributed microaggression lists now widespread in the college and business worlds.

Context is all-important here. Despite impressive societal strides, racial prejudice remains an inescapable and deeply troubling reality of modern life. As recently as 2008, 4 to 6 per cent of Americans acknowledged in a national poll that they would be unwilling to vote for any African-American candidate as president. And this deeply troubling figure might be an underestimate given the social undesirability attached to admissions of racism. Indeed, a growing number of scholars contend that prejudice often manifests in subtler forms than it did decades ago. From this perspective, prejudice has not genuinely declined – it has merely become more indirect and insidious. There could well be some truth to this possibility.

Enter the concept of microaggressions, those subtle snubs, slights and insults directed at minorities, as well as women and other historically stigmatised groups. Compared with overtly prejudicial comments and acts, they are commonly understood to reflect less direct, although no less pernicious, forms of racial bias. For example, in attempting to compliment an African-American college student, a white professor might exclaim with surprise: ‘Wow, you are so articulate!’ presumably communicating implicitly that most African-American undergraduates are not in fact well-spoken. Last year, Shaun R Harper, founder of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, told an Intelligence Squared debate about meeting an African-American student whose engineering professor had expressed incredulity that he’d received a perfect score on an exam.

Few would dispute that these remarks, even if not malicious, are almost certainly callous. Prejudice undoubtedly manifests itself in subtle and indirect ways that have until recently received short shrift in psychological research.

Given this sort of backdrop, the microaggression concept has acquired traction in recent years. The Global Language Monitor deemed ‘microaggression’ the word of the year in 2015, in recognition of its sky-rocketing prevalence in everyday language. A popular Facebook page, The Microaggressions Project, was launched in 2010 to document instances of microaggressions and to demonstrate ‘how these comments create and enforce uncomfortable, violent, and unsafe realities onto people’s workplace, home, school, childhood/adolescence/adulthood, and public transportation/space environments’. As of June 2017, a Google search for ‘microaggression’ and variants returned more than 700,000 hits.

Over the past few years, the concept of microaggression has made its way into public discussions at dozens, if not hundreds, of colleges and universities, with many institutions offering workshops or seminars to faculty members on identifying and avoiding microaggressions. In other cases, colleges and universities such as the University of California, Berkeley have disseminated lists of microaggressions to caution faculty and students against expressing statements that might cause offence to minorities.

Microaggressions, which impact workplace satisfaction, have captured the interest of the business industry, too. In response, a number of major companies, including Coca-Cola and Facebook, have recently provided training to employees to detect and avoid implicitly prejudicial comments and actions, including microaggressions.

All of these applications hinge on one overarching assumption: that the microaggression research programme aimed at documenting the phenomenon is sound, and that the concept itself has withstood rigorous scientific scrutiny. This is not the case. Microaggressions have not been defined with nearly enough clarity and consensus to allow rigorous scientific investigation. No one has shown that they are interpreted negatively by all or even most minority groups. No one has demonstrated that they reflect implicit prejudice or aggression. And no one has shown that microaggressions exert an adverse impact on mental health.

I am hardly the first to raise questions regarding this body of research. Over the past few years in particular, the microaggression concept has been the target of withering attacks from social critics, especially – although not exclusively – on the right side of the political spectrum. These writers have raised legitimate concerns that concepts such as microaggression and trigger warnings (warnings to people regarding distressing material to come) along with so-called protective safe spaces can at times discourage controversial or unpopular speech, and inadvertently perpetuate a victim culture among aggrieved individuals.

My major concern is the rigour of the psychological science itself. In no way do I deny that subtle forms of prejudice exist and are becoming more prevalent in some sectors of society. Nor do I wish to discourage, let alone reject, research into implicit, or unconscious, prejudice. Nor do I contend that microaggressions don’t exist (even if a Breitbart story on my work claims the contrary). Instead, I contend only that microaggressions must be studied properly before we can claim to know their impact or the best ways of reducing the pain that they might cause. Good intentions are a start, but they are not sufficient…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/why-a-moratorium-on-microaggressions-policies-is-needed

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THE EROSION OF EMPATHY IN MEDICINE

by Brendan D. Murphy, Guest Waking Times

…despite the obvious vital importance of feelings to the human condition, little can be found on the subject in modern and medical psychology textbooks. We are being held back by a structure that is ill-suited to our needs. What is needed is the energy and vision to support the emerging paradigm…It is clear that, as doctors, we need your help. –Dr. Robin Kelly, The Human Hologram

What Happened to the Doctors?

Something is drastically wrong with medical education as it currently stands1, and the effects flow into the professional arena. For decades medical students have been notorious for having abnormally high rates of illness, both physical and mental compared with the rest of the population. Depression is one problem that is well known. Dr Robert Mendelsohn stated in Confessions of a Medical Heretic (1979) that he saw a higher rate of illness in first year medical students than any other subgroup. At the time his book was published, medical students’ suicide rates in the US were reportedly second only to American Indian children who were sent away from their reservations to attend high school.

The sheer physical separation of many college/university students from their families and friends leaves them much more vulnerable to the adverse influence of teachers with agendas, toxic peer influence, and of course the pharmaceutical industry which controls medical education.

Problems in medicine are not restricted to medical students, however.

If today we doubt the value of the modern medical ethos and the effectiveness of current mainstream medical practice, we have decades of context backing us up and no shortage of statistics. Even as early as 1979, when Mendelsohn was eviscerating the medical profession for its brutality, incompetence, dishonesty, etc., the health status of the professional medical community (in the US) in itself was reason enough to doubt its methods. 1 in 20 physicians were deemed psychiatrically disturbed, more than 30,000 were alcoholics, and around 1% were narcotics addicts. A thirty year study concluded by finding that almost half of doctors were either divorced or unhappily married, over a third used drugs such as amphetamines, barbiturates, or others, and a third had suffered emotional problems severe enough to warrant a minimum of ten trips to a psychiatrist. Suicide rates for doctors were double the average for white Americans. For female physicians, the rate was four times higher than normal for women over age 25.[iii]

Is this what “healers” look like?

Mendelsohn attributed most of this disaster to the cutthroat moral and psychological climate of medicine, its power politics, bribery, and corruption. He believed that by the time students got to pre-medical training, they had already learned the cheating, vying for position, and competitive practices needed for medical school. He further pointed out that the admissions tests “virtually guarantee” that the students who do make it through will be bad doctors1, funneling through personalities that are autocratically leaning, and unable and unwilling to communicate with people, having the drive to succeed but not the integrity or will to rebel when they should.[iv]

Judging by the real-world results, it is clear that medical schools are geared to churn out automata-like drug and surgery pushers with few scruples, little nous, truant empathy, and no originality, who are willing to sell their humanity out to the Church of Modern Medicine. When you factor in that in 1979 the half-life of medical information/education was regarded as being a mere four years, you have the recipe for an autocratic and severely outdated profession (and industry) that is eminently resistant to important new information, truth, and, perhaps above all, change.

 

Student Stress and the Erosion of Empathy in Medicine

There has been some recent research done into the impact of medical training on undergraduates. The results are not flattering. In White Coat, Mood Indigo, an investigative piece by fourth year medical student Julie Rosenthal and her co-author Dr Susan Okie, we find that medical students are more prone to “depression” than their peers, with around 25% reportedly having it. Psychiatrist Laurie Raymond believes that students’ coping strategies and health worsen as they linger through medical school. They are overworked, stressed, socially isolated, and sleep deprived.[v]

Angela Nuzzarello, a psychiatrist and dean of students at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago comments that “all medical students aren’t sleeping.” “They are overwhelmed, they are working hard, and they aren’t having fun socially…Of course they are fatigued.”[vi] Is this how to create healers?

In a study by M. Hojat et al. called The Devil is in the Third Year: A Longitudinal Study of Erosion of Empathy in Medical School the question of empathy was investigatedThe results:

…consistently showed no substantial change in empathy between orientation (year 0) and the end of year 2. However, a considerable decline in mean empathy scores occurred in the third year of medical school. No significant trend toward improvement in empathy scores was observed in the fourth year. The decline in mean empathy score from year 0 to the end of year 3 is greater than one-half standard deviation unit (0.54), which is considered substantial and practically important.

Conclusions: It is ironic that the erosion of empathy occurs during a time when the curriculum is shifting toward patient-care activities; this is when empathy is most essential.[vii]  (emphasis added)

To repeat: right when medical students really need a good handle on empathy and “bedside manner,” they are reaching a point of stress and burnout that has significantly eroded their empathic capacities.

The coldness of many doctors and nurses has reached legendary proportions. The 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls (1985-1992) featured a memorable scene in which the character Dorothy rebukes her dismissive ex-physician for not taking her seriously and making her feel like a fool for thinking she was sick. Seeking answers, Dorothy was eventually diagnosed with CFS, re-assuring her that she was not in fact neurotic or delusional, and did have something going on physically. Subsequently she happens upon her ex-doctor in a restaurant and interrupts his dinner to deliver an impassioned and scathing monologue, stating acerbically at one point: “I don’t know where you doctors lose your humanity but you lose it.”

We can tell Dorothy now that we know doctors effectively have their compassion schooled out of them – if they even have much to begin with. Whatever embers remain into their professional years are effectively neutralized by legal restrictions and the code of practice which prevents doctors from being allowed to advocate the most humane, cutting-edge, intelligent, and effective remedies.

more…

About the Author

Brendan D. Murphy – Co-founder of Global Freedom Movement and host of GFM RadioBrendan DMurphyis a leading Australian author, researcher, activist, and musician. His acclaimed non-fiction epic The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science & Spirituality – Book 1 is out now! Come and get your mind blown at www.brendandmurphy.net

This article (The Erosion of Empathy in Medicine) was originally  published and is copyrighted by Global Freedom Movement and is published here with permission.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/27/erosion-empathy-medicine/

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