Category: Metaphysics


by Jeff Street, Contributor, Waking Times

Understanding the origin, purpose, and true nature of the earthly reality that you are experiencing can be instrumental to transcending your current level of consciousness and moving up to the next level of the game. For some, especially the unawakened, this information might be a bit overwhelming or hard to believe but it could prove to be very important to the future course of your life both, during this one and the next.

Within the Construct

As with all realities created within the One great cosmic mind, and there are multitudes, our earthly reality is simply a mental construct. There are many individual parts/aspects of the One who have chosen to put their focal point of awareness within this construct — to dive into, and play the Earth game. And they all chose to do this for the same fundamental reason — because it provides extremely interesting and formative experiences that drive the evolution of consciousness. And this is the point of all realities because the foundational stuff of existence IS CONSCIOUSNESS.

YOU are one of these aspects of the One that is playing the Earth game right NOW. Whether you know it or not, your true essence IS, and ALWAYS has been, a thread of the universal consciousness. And you, and the higher levels of you, on behalf of the One, have been exploring the nature of yourself and existence by creating a multitude of realities and playing a multitude of roles (lives) within those realities.

The Separation Game

In most of the multitude of realities that we created and played within we knew, to varying degrees, what we were — creator beings that are integral parts of the One creator being — Source consciousness, prime creator, God, or whatever else you like to call it.

But within this great diversity of realities, there were none in which we completely forgot what we were — and this possibility intrigued us immensely. What would that be like? And what could it teach us? It certainly seemed like it might be very interesting, to say the least.

So in our eternal quest to know ourselves “we” (e.g., higher levels of ourselves) set out to create this new type of reality — one where we would completely lose our connection to our divine source, forget that we are creators of our reality, and forget that we are all one. A reality where we would think we were separate from the creator and each other — a reality that could aptly be called “The Separation Game.”

Our entire Universe is a manifestation of the separation game. It’s like a huge multi-stage set where the separation game is playing out on many worlds and at many levels. It’s an immensely fascinating multi-level game that I will be exploring further in future articles, follow the blog to stay tuned. One of the worlds where the separation game is in full swing is our very own planet Earth.

Even though the separation game isn’t limited to Earth, I’m focusing on its manifestation on Earth for two reasons; (1) For the obvious reason that everyone reading this article is currently immersed in this game right here on Earth — I doubt many ET’s are following my blog, and (2) The state of the game on Earth is fast approaching a great transition point which should be of great interest to all the participants — it certainly is to a wide array of non-physical beings as well as ET’s that are observing and even assisting.

Players Within the Game

Some of you may object to my characterization of our earthly reality and lives as “a game.” And that’s because you have forgotten the real you, and become deeply immersed in the illusory drama.

The term “game” is actually quite appropriate — just as both kids and adults choose to play games for fun, entertainment, and to learn so do our souls choose to play within the earthly reality construct.

In fact, our experience of the earthly reality works in a way very similar to how our computer games work. In a computer game, you are the player and your consciousness controls an avatar within the game world. You perceive, experience, act and react within the game world as your avatar — the character you are playing. But because you can’t completely forget that the “real you” is outside the game, you never get completely lost in the game and think that it is “real” — you know that it’s an illusion.

In a very similar way, your soul is the consciousness that is directing your avatar (your body) within the earth game world. The big difference is the earth game was designed is such a way that we would forget that we are souls playing within an illusory world. And so we get deeply lost within it and begin to believe that it is “real” and that there is nothing else. And our souls willingly CHOOSE to play the earth game just as people willingly choose to play computer games.

Designing and Creating the Separation Game

It was not at all obvious how to create a reality where we would feel completely separate from our source and each other and forget we are creators. We experimented with many designs before hitting on something that worked. The key elements that allowed the objective to be achieved were the “veil of forgetting”, the role of “the adversary”, our limited physical senses that perceived the world as discreet and separate objects, the substantial delay between our thoughts and their manifestation into reality, and the very strong contrast between the polarities present…

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About the Author

Jeff Street awakened about a year and a half ago, after having been an atheist/agnostic scientist type with absolutely no spiritual beliefs for most of his life. After many ‘magical’ new experiences, he is now passionate about learning and sharing his insights about spirituality and metaphysics on his blog www.divine-cosmos.net. You can also follow Jeff on Facebook via

This article (The Origin, Purpose, and Destiny of the Earth Game) was originally at Divine Cosmos and is posted here with permission.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/19/origin-purpose-destiny-earth-game/

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Art by Alice and Martin Provensen from a vintage pop-up children’s book about Leonardo da Vinci

“In all of nature there is nothing so threatening to humanity as humanity itself.”

Perhaps the greatest hubris of historical hindsight is knowing that everything we call progress has been made by systematic trial and error, yet tending to dismiss — even scoff at — the errors as embarrassments to the process of progress rather than essential parts of it. Take, for instance, Joseph Weber, whose spectacle of failed experiments made him the most derided scientist of his time yet paved the way for the detection of gravitational waves — one of the most monumental discoveries in the whole of modern science, as full of potential for revolutionary knowledge as the invention of the telescope. We rarely know which missteps will become stepping stones in the advancement of knowledge, for the pursuit of truth requires a certain discipline of deferring judgment for periods longer than our appetite for instant answers allows.

That’s what the great physician, etymologist, poet, and essayist Lewis Thomas (November 25, 1913–December 3, 1993) explores throughout his timelessly rewarding 1983 essay collection Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony(public library).

Although Lewis was educated at Harvard and Princeton, served on the President’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and presided over the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, he wrote humbly and poetically from the self-described position of “a citizen and a sometime scientist.” In one of the essays, titled “Alchemy,” he starts someplace unlikely and leads us someplace monumental:

Alchemy began long ago as an expression of the deepest and oldest of human wishes: to discover that the world makes sense. The working assumption — the everything on earth must be made up from a single, primal sort of matter — led to centuries of hard work aimed at isolating the original stuff and rearranging it to the alchemists’ liking. If it could be found, nothing would lie beyond human grasp. The transmutation of base metals to gold was only a modest part of the prospect. If you knew about the fundamental substance, you could do much more than make simple money: you could boil up a cure-all for every disease affecting humankind, you could rid the world of evil, and, while doing this, you could make a universal solvent capable of dissolving anything you might want to dissolve.

With an eye to our haughty hunger for deriding yesteryear’s errors, Lewis reminds us that every error inches us closer to the truth, but not all errors are created equal — those undergirded by a great deal of scholarship and earnest scientific effort are more likely to yield byproducts that can eventually be transmuted into some proto-truth. Noting that the alchemists were serious professionals in their time, who honed their skills through “long periods of apprenticeship and a great deal of late-night study,” he writes:

We tend to look back at them from today’s pinnacle of science as figures of fun, eccentric solitary men wearing comical conical hats, engaged in meaningless explorations down one blind alley after another. It was not necessarily so: the work they were doing was hard and frustrating, but it was the start-up of experimental chemistry and physics… They never succeeded in making gold from base metals, nor did they find a universal elixir in their plant extracts; they certainly didn’t rid the world of evil. What they did accomplish, however, was no small thing: they got the work going… As time went on and the work progressed, error after error, new and accurate things began to turn up. Hard facts were learned about the behavior of metals and their alloys, the mathematics of thermodynamics were worked out, and, with just a few jumps through the centuries, the helical molecule of DNA was revealed in all its mystery.

[…]

[Now] alchemy exists only as a museum piece, an intellectual fossil, so antique that we no longer need be embarrassed by the memory, but the memory is there. Science began by fumbling. It works because the people involved in it work, and work together. They become excited and exasperated, they exchange their bits of information at a full shout, and, the most wonderful thing of all, they keep at one another…

more…

https://www.brainpickings.org/

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by Makia Freeman, Contributor Waking Times

Reincarnation is frequently rejected as impossible by those who worship at the altar of rational materialism and mainstream science. Yet, for those with an open mind who realize that logic and reason cannot possibly grasp and account for all the phenomena existing in the Universe, it is amusing to see how perplexed those with “scientific minds” are when presented with information which is beyond rational explanation. Beliefs in reincarnation have been around a long time; reincarnation is still widely regarded as real in Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism, and even the Catholic Church held reincarnation as true before the 4th century AD (when its doctrines become standardized at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD).

Evidence of Reincarnation

Reincarnation researchers such as Dr. Ian Stevenson (3000 cases) and Carol Bowman (1000 cases) have collected impressive (at the very least) evidence of reincarnation, if not outright proof of reincarnation by compiling thousands of cases of children who have demonstrated accurate past life recall. The accounts are truly incredible. Many of them have similar themes, such as children being able to fluently speak other languages (which they never learnt in this life) and describing how they died in graphic detail (e.g. being injured or shot in a certain part of the body, and then synchronistically having an ailment in that exact part of their body in this life). In some cases their stories can be proven in black-and-white: some children even remember the military colleagues they served with, whose names match those on veterans’ lists.

Below is a selection of 3 cases of modern-day reincarnation, out of literally thousands that have been recorded, documented and compiled.

Reincarnation Case #1: Cameron Macauley

Cameron Macauley: the boy who apparently found a portal and got born again through the womb of another mother

The weird thing was that Norma had never been to Barra. Cameron’s desire to visit Barra and to see his former mother grew more and more persistent. One day he even told Norma that he wanted his “Barra mum (mother)”, and not her, to pick him up from kindergarten or school. Eventually the family went to Barra and found the white house just as Cameron had described.Cameron Macauley’s case is quite startling. Cameron was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to his mother Norma. Ever since he was 2 years old and first started talking, Cameron told his parents, relatives, friends and neighbors – anyone who would listen – the story of his other life in Barra (a tiny island in the northwest of Scotland). At first his mother just thought he was making it all up, but as Cameron got older, the story didn’t change – and he was able to fill it in with more detail. He talked about living in a white house with 3 toilets, seeing airplanes fly out his window and having a mother with long brown hair. Cameron even described the way his father died while crossing the road: “He didn’t look both ways”.

Cameron’s case is impressive evidence for reincarnation and past-life recall. What makes the whole thing especially fascinating is that he actually described the way in which he left his old family and was born into his new one. It appears as if he found some kind of magic portal that transported him through space and time, out of one body and into the body of a fetus in his new mother’s womb:

“Norma: ‘How did you get here to me?’

Cameron: ‘I fell through, and went into your tummy’.”

Reincarnation Case #2: James Leininger

Reincarnation? James Leininger recalls the exact details of being James Huston (WW2 veteran) Credit: http://www.brianstalin.com.

Although just a toddler, James drew numerous pictures of planes being gunned down in flames, signing his name as “James 3.” When his parents asked why he was putting a “3” after his name, James replied that he was the “third James”.The story of James Leininger is no less amazing. At the age of 2, James started telling his parents stories of not being able to escape from something. He was having nightmares about it. His parents Andrea and Bruce Leininger tell the story in his book Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot. What made James’ parents take him more seriously was when James produced 3 pieces of information which could be verified – the name of the boat he flew his final mission from (Natoma), the name of another pilot he flew with (Jack Larson) and the name of the place where he died (Iwo Jima).

Bruce called a veterans’ organization to check James’ information and it checked out. They were able to verify everything he said. James went on to divulge various names of WWII fighter pilots and more. Eventually after years of research, Bruce and Andrea tracked down the family of James Huston, who was indeed killed in a plane crash while on a mission near Japan.

The question is: did the spirit of James Huston somehow jump into the body of newly born James Leininger, carrying with it all the memories and trauma it had just experienced?

Reincarnation Case #3: Shanti Devi

Shanti Devi as an adult.

This case happened in the 1930s. Shanti Devi was born in India in 1926, and like many of these cases, started speaking about a previous life in great and vivid detail at the age of 4. She kept going on about her previous husband (a man named Kedarnath), son (named Navneet) and house which she said was located in another state in a village called Mathura. CarolBowman.com explains:…

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About the Author
Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance
**Sources embedded throughout article.
This article (Definite Evidence, and Maybe even Proof, of Reincarnation) was originally created and published by The Freedom Articles and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/14/definite-evidence-maybe-even-proof-reincarnation/

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https://www.theatlantic.com/video/iframe/515661/?auto=1&player=default

Video by The Atlantic

While many dream of an afterlife, people with apeirophobia are terrified of eternal existence. Where does this fear come from? “I suspect that, in apeirophobia, one comes to the realization that after death you will live forever—if you believe in the afterlife—and in simulating that experience in your mind, one realizes that there is no way to project ahead to forever,” says Martin Wiener, a neuroscience professor at George Mason University. “That experience is, inherently, anxiety-provoking.” In this animation that explores apeirophobia, people who struggle to grasp infinity confess their uncertainty about what happens after death.

Authors: Caitlin Cadieux, Daniel Lombroso

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/515661/apeirophobia-fear-of-everlasting-life/

 

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by Christina Sarich, Guest, Waking Times

The matrix we live in is designed to rip all hope, power, and special talent from your conscious awareness. If you realized, no, remembered your true Self, this unfavorable reality would dissipate in a heartbeat. You’d either find yourself living in another timeline, in a different Universe, or you’d be living here and now, but under drastically different circumstances. If we really are living in a simulation, as even people like Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson attest, then that means we can change the computer program – our consciousness, and discover our latent gifts to truly topple the ‘ruling’ regime.

Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson are not alone. In fact, many of the world’s richest and most powerful people are so convinced that we live in a simulation of the real world, that they are funding scientists to help “break us out of it.” 

Whether you believe that we are living in a simulated reality or not, or what the ancients called maya, Tyson asserts that there is a 50-50 chance that our entire existence is a program on someone else’s hard drive. He argues that the gap between chimpanzee and human DNA is only 2 percent, but somehow we aren’t chimps. He states it is a surprise that we aren’t “drooling, blithering idiots,” and that “it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just a creation of some other entity for their entertainment.”

The theory of maya has been manipulated just as often as modern theories of universal reality. The word maya was first found in the Vedanta, then later again in the Upanishads, and then used once more by the Buddhists and Hindus. Some think maya means magic or illusion, others believe it means an ignorance of reality, as if a cloud was formed over our eyes, preventing us from seeing the Universe as it truly exists. Maya is not idealism or realism, but a simple statement of fact in its earliest form – that we are not what we see around us.

If we were to take Tyson’s advice, we could conveniently blame some other thing for what we’ve created here in this world. But what if the ability to change this computer simulation rests entirely in our own hands? What if we can change this holographic Universe to display another reality? What if we hold the keys to do that?

The Vedantists didn’t say it was impossible, only that the mind is limited because it has great difficultly seeing beyond time, space, and causation. Since no one can jump out of his own self, the limits that have been put upon him by the laws of time and space are practically a jail – a matrix – we could say. Every attempt to solve the laws of causation, time, and space seem to be futile, because the very attempt would have to be made by taking for granted the existence of these three.

But here is what is happening – people are starting to see beyond time, space and causation.  This has actually been happening for eons, but the tools that free us from the matrix are currently often hidden, or used for manipulation instead of the furtherance of freedom.
As Danny Hawley, PhD writes,

“Sri Aurobindo speaks of “a subtle change which makes the sight see in a sort of fourth dimension.” Lama Govinda writes, “If we speak of the space experience in meditation we are dealing with an entirely different dimension.” He continues, “Vision is bound up with a space of higher dimension, and therefore timeless.” He further explains, “An experience of higher dimensionality is achieved by integration of experiences of different centers and levels of consciousness. Hence the indescribability of certain experiences of meditation on the plane of three dimensional consciousness.”

Essentially, we have to move beyond 3-D consciousness – time, space and causality. Sahaj Ramachandran puts it this way,

“The concept of hyperspace is Amazing! Even “supernatural” phenomenon could possibly be explained with Higher Dimensional physics. For example, GOD, if he would ever exist, would do so in the 4rth Dimension. Even “Ghosts”, if real, would have the ability to walk through walls just because they would have access to a higher dimension. We humans live in the third dimension. However, there is a way to visualize objects in 4D.”

Ordinary consciousness is 3-dimensional. All we really see is the surface of things, as if we were watching a film in a theatre. We think we are seeing all dimensions of something in real life, just like when we watch a film – only when we watch the film, we know that what we are looking at is only representative of reality. It’s a flat screen with actors playing their parts up there, yet it seems so real, we even laugh and cry with them.

We also create ‘time,’ which is really the 4th dimension of reality. There is no past, present or future, but our minds slow things down so that we can experience Allness in one ‘frame’ at a time. Time, just like space, and causality are limits of our mundane consciousness.

From a higher-dimensional space (beyond even 4-D or 5-D), we don’t see the screen of our lives in the same way we do while living in a low-consciousness reality. All things become clearly part of a larger reality – a Oneness. Though ‘things’ come in diverse shapes, and colors, they are all working toward and from a unified field. Like space pioneers ripping through ‘time’ via a wormhole, we can exit the matrix into a whole new phenomenon…

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About the Author
Christina Sarich is a staff writer for Waking Times. She is a writer, musician, yogi, and humanitarian with an expansive repertoire. Her thousands of articles can be found all over the Internet, and her insights also appear in magazines as diverse as Weston A. Price, NexusAtlantis Rising, and the Cuyamungue Institute, among others. She was recently a featured author in the Journal, “Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and Healing Arts,” and her commentary on healing, ascension, and human potential inform a large body of the alternative news lexicon. She has been invited to appear on numerous radio shows, including Health Conspiracy Radio, Dr. Gregory Smith’s Show, and dozens more. The second edition of her book, Pharma Sutra, will be released soon.
This article (How to Find Your Way Out of the Simulated Matrix (Maya)) was originally created and published by The Mind Unleashed and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/10/find-way-simulated-matrix-maya/

 

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warrior

A famous depiction of the creation of man. Image credit: Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel ceiling, via Wikimedia Commons.

A famous depiction of the creation of man. Image credit: Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel ceiling, via Wikimedia Commons.

by Ethan Siegel, Contributor

There’s an argument that many people make: that the natural world, and humanity’s existence in the Universe, point towards a divine creator that brought forth all of this into existence. To the best of our knowledge, Earth exists with a plethora of conditions that allowed for our existence, and does so in a way that no other world can match.

We live in a particularly privileged place. We live on a planet that has all the right ingredients for life, including:

  • We’re at the right distance from our Sun so that temperatures are conducive to life.
  • We have the right atmospheric pressure for liquid water at our surface.
  • We have the right ingredients — the right balance of heavy elements and organic molecules — for life to arise.
  • We have the right amount of water so that our world has both oceans and continents.
  • And life started on our world very early, sustained itself for our planet’s entire history, and gave rise to us: sentient, self-aware creatures.

If you look at the other worlds we know of, the difference is striking.

The claim that’s often made isn’t merely that Earth is unlikely; it’s that our planet, with the confluence of circumstances that gave rise to us, is statistically impossible, even given all the stars and galaxies in the Universe. The emergence of intelligent life is so outlandishly unexpected, given all the factors that needed to occur in just the right particular order, that our Universe must have been designed specifically to give rise to us. Otherwise, the argument goes, the odds of us coming to be would be so infinitesimally small that it’s unreasonable to believe it could have happened by chance.

This is a very compelling argument for many people, but it’s important to ask ourselves three questions to make sure we’re approaching this honestly. We’ll go through them one at a time, but here are the three, so we know what we’re getting into.

  1. What are, scientifically, the conditions that we need for life to arise?
  2. How rare or common are these conditions elsewhere in the Universe?
  3. And finally, if we don’t find life in the places and under the conditions where we expect it, can that prove the existence of God?

These are all big questions, so let’s give them the care they deserve.

1.) What are, scientifically, the conditions that we need for life to arise?

In other words, things did occur in a very specific way here on Earth, but how many of them does life-as-we-know-it require, versus how many of them happened in a particular way here, but could have easily happened under different conditions elsewhere?

The things I listed earlier are based on the assumption that any life that’s out there is going to be like us in the sense that it will be based on the chemistry of atoms and molecules, occur with liquid water as a basic requirement of its functioning, and won’t be in an environment that we know to be toxic to all terrestrial life. For those criteria alone, we already know there are billions of planets in our galaxy alone that fit the bill.

Kepler 186f is one of a great many candidates for a very Earth-like planet. Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech.

Kepler 186f is one of a great many candidates for a very Earth-like planet. Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech.

Our studies of exoplanets — of worlds around stars beyond our own — have shown us that there’s a huge variety of rocky planets orbiting at the right distance from their central stars to have liquid water on their surfaces if they have anything akin to atmospheres like our own. We are starting to approach the technological capabilities of detecting exo-atmospheres and their compositions around worlds as small as our own; currently, we can get down to about Neptune-sized worlds, although the James Webb Space Telescope will advance that further in under a decade.

But aren’t there other things we need to worry about? What if we were too close to the galactic center; wouldn’t the high rate of supernovae fry us, and sterilize life? What if we didn’t have a planet like Jupiter to clear out the asteroid belt; wouldn’t the sheer number of asteroids flying our way wipe any life that manages to form out? And what about the fact that we’re here now, when the Universe is relatively young? Many stars will live for trillions of years, but we’ve only got about another billion or two before our Sun gets hot enough to boil our oceans. When the Universe was too young, there weren’t enough heavy elements. Did we come along at just the right time, to not only make it in our Universe, but to witness all the galaxies before dark energy pushes them away?…

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/01/20/can-science-prove-the-existence-of-god/#6d5cf2e21371

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Husein_BR-Dancer

EVERYTHING THAT CAN HAPPEN, DOES: In the multiverse, possibility is actuality. Multiple-exposure photograph of ballerina Margot Fonteyn.

It’s not the immensity or inscrutability, but that it reduces physical law to happenstance.

At the University of Florida, Parkinson’s disease patient Russell Price undergoes surgery to implant a deep brain stimulation (DBS) lead that will deliver electrical impulses to motion-controlling parts of his brain, treatment which has been shown to provide substantial relief from symptoms in appropriately selected patients. Additional improvement in some patients may also derive from the mere expectation that the procedure will help—the so-called placebo effect. “It’s not a magical thing,” says neurologist Michael Okun. “It’s another part of the brain that is producing a beneficial effect not directly related to the action of our treatment.” Click image to play video.
PHOTOGRAPHED AND FILMED AT MCKNIGHT BRAIN INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Science is showing that how you feel isn’t just about what you eat, or do, or think. It’s about what you believe.

The pilgrim wasn’t sure he’d make it to the Chapel of Grace. It was agony to walk at all, let alone endure the 70 miles that thousands of believers trek each year to behold an enshrined wood statue: the Black Madonna of Altötting.

Richard Mödl had recently broken his heel, but in 2003 he was determined to complete his first pilgrimage from Regensburg to Altötting, Germany. He figured if the pain got too bad he could always hitch a ride. But he had a deep faith in the Virgin Mary’s ability to deliver him. So he walked. And walked. “When you are on your way to Altötting, you almost don’t feel the pain,” he says.

Today, at 74, Mödl has a warm smile and a wiry frame that looks as if it could survive a charging rhinoceros. Since the healing of his foot, he’s made the pilgrimage 12 more times, and he’s a passionate believer in its transformative power.

Mödl is not alone in his belief. Whether it takes the form of a touch of the Holy Spirit at a Florida revival meeting or a dip in the water of the Ganges, the healing power of belief is all around us. Studies suggest that regular religious services may improve the immune system, decrease blood pressure, add years to our lives.

Religious faith is hardly the only kind of belief that has the ability to make us feel inexplicably better. Six thousand miles from Altötting, another man experienced what seemed to be a medical miracle.

Mike Pauletich first noticed he had a problem in 2004. His aim with a baseball was off, and his arm hurt. His hand shook a little, and, strangest of all, his wife noticed he never smiled anymore.

Figuring he had carpal tunnel syndrome, he went to the doctor. But his bad aim wasn’t because of his arm, and the reason he wasn’t smiling wasn’t because his arm hurt. At 42 years old, Pauletich had early onset Parkinson’s disease. His doctor told him that within a decade he wouldn’t be able to walk, stand, or feed himself.

Pauletich didn’t deteriorate as much as his doctor predicted, but for years he struggled with the disease and with depression, as talking and writing became ever harder. Then, in 2011, he turned to Ceregene, a company that was testing a new gene therapy. Parkinson’s is the result of a chronic loss of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It had been shown in monkeys that injections of a protein called neurturin could halt the progress of the disease by protecting and possibly repairing damaged dopamine-secreting neurons. Ceregene’s experimental treatment was to cut two holes, one in each hemisphere of the brain, through a patient’s skull and inject the drug directly into the target regions.

Pauletich’s improvement after the surgery was impressive. Before the trial he had struggled to move around. He had to constantly explain to clients of his technology development company that his slurred speech wasn’t caused by drinking. After the procedure his shaking disappeared, his mobility improved, and his speech became markedly clearer. (Today you can hardly tell he has the disease at all.) His doctor on the study, Kathleen Poston, was astonished. Strictly speaking, Parkinson’s had never been reversed in humans; the best one could hope for was a slowdown in the progression of the disease, and even that was extremely rare…

more…

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/12/healing-science-belief-placebo/

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216342260_d4b816f8c1_oFewer and fewer people believe nowadays. It’s possible that in a generation there simply won’t be religion across Europe and large sections of North America, Australia and Asia. That’s not necessarily a problem. But it’s worth thinking about why people made up religion in the first place, and what we’re doing with the needs and longings that lead them to do so.

http://www.thebookoflife.org/what-comes-after-religion/

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