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Showing posts from August, 2014

STAY GOLD

In Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, which I'm currently (re)reading, the wise woman Sophia (philosophy), dressed in a beautiful dress woven by her own hands, consoles the author who has been falsely accused of treason and sentenced to death - and, understandably, is overwhelmed by grief. Eventually her pep talk is enough to lift him of his black mood and he is able to meet has fate with equanimity. This was written in the 6th century AD.

In the course of the dialogue, Sophia tells of old times, before Aristotle, before even Plato, when she "fought many a great battle against the reckless forces of folly." In other words charlatans who went about speaking the truth in order to extract money from followers. In these dark times Socrates was put to death by skeptics, and with that the unified school of philosophy was torn apart. After that mobs of Epicureans and Stoics and other philosophical schools did all they could to seize for themselves the inheritance of wisd…

TELL HER (OR HIM) ABOUT IT

We all have things we're not saying to the ones we love. But taking the plunge to disclose can be emotionally safer and more productive than you may imagine, is the gist of a feature article in this month's (October) Psychology Today.

This is not to say that every little thing needs to be discussed with your partner, and topic avoidance can be a form of compromise which features in the healthiest of relationships. Although the reason an issue is avoided may be more important than the issue itself, so what you choose to say and not to say reveals a lot about you and your significant other. Elements of the so-called power chat include clarifying internally why you're disclosing something before opening your mouth. Speaking for the good of the relationship can be preferable to just venting for yourself. And be aware that you always have the right to speak up. If you don't, you may not be as close as you think. And approaching topics with mild humor can bring a sense of b…

ONE LOVE

Advaita Vedanta is the school of thought propounded by the 8th century spiritual leader Adi Shankara and furthered by such recent spiritualists as Krishnamurti, Eckhart Tolle, and Adyashanti. Advaita means "not-two" in Sanskrit, referring to the identity of the true Self, Atman, which is pure consciousness and beyond duality, the oneness that pervades everything and is the essence of all forms. Advaita Vedanta draws upon the Vedas, ancient texts in some cases dating back 5000 years to the time of Krishna which predate most scriptures from around the world.

Today modern science is supporting the truth of this notion of unity, that despite apparent differences of body, place, degree, time, etc., all is one. New research has come out which shows that giving to others boosts the donor's mood as well as the receiver's.

A study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that people who pursued a specific altruistic goal - making a someone smile, for instance -…

HAPPY BELLY

Much is made of the importance of probiotics found in fermented foods such as yogurt and certain specialty drinks. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help to synthesize nutrients and break down fibers, offering an array of health benefits. But eating dairy foods, despite probiotic content, brings health hazards due to exposures to hormones, growth factors, and chemical residues. Prebiotics get less attention, and being the food of probiotics, they are arguably more important.

This from the National Institutes of Health.

A prebiotic is "a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well being and health.". . . They are dietary fibers with a well-established positive impact on the intestinal microflora. Other health effects of prebiotics include prevention of diarrhoea or obstipation, modulation of the metabolism of the intestinal flora, cancer prevent…