A psychologist in Italy has figured out how to induce a drug-free altered state of consciousness by asking 20 volunteers to sit and stare into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes straight.
Not only did the deceptively simple task bring on strange ‘out of body’ experiences for the volunteers, it also caused them to see hallucinations of monsters, their relatives, and themselves in their partner’s face.
The experiment, run by Giovanni Caputo from the University of Urbino, involved having 20 young adults (15 of which were women) pair off, sit in a dimly lit room 1 meter away from each other, and stare into their partner’s eyes for 10 minutes.
The lighting in the room was bright enough for the volunteers to easily make out the facial features of their partner, but low enough to diminish their overall color perception.
A control group of 20 more volunteers were asked to sit and stare for 10 minutes in another dimly lit room in pairs, but their chairs were facing a blank wall.
The volunteers were told very little about the purpose of the study, only that it had to do with a “meditative experience with eyes open”
Once the 10 minutes were up, the volunteers were asked to complete questionnaires related to what they experienced during and after the experiment. One questionnaire focused on any dissociative symptoms that the volunteers might have experienced, and another questioned them on what they perceived in their partner’s face (eye-staring group) or their own face (control group).
Dissociation is a term used in psychology to describe a whole range of psychological experiences that make a person feel detached from their immediate surroundings. Symptoms such as a loss of memory, seeing everything in distorted colors, or feeling like the world isn’t real can be brought on by abuse and trauma; drugs such as ketamine, alcohol, and LSD; and now, apparently, face-staring.
“The participants in the eye-staring group said they’d had a compelling experience unlike anything they’d felt before,” Christian Jarrett writes for the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest.
Reporting in journal Psychiatry Research, Caputo says the eye-staring group out-scored the control group in all the questionnaires, which suggests that something about staring into another human being’s eyes for 10 uninterrupted minutes had a profound effect on their visual perception and mental state.
“On the dissociative states test, they gave the strongest ratings to items related to reduced color intensity, sounds seeming quieter or louder than expected, becoming spaced out, and time seeming to drag on. On the strange-face questionnaire, 90 percent of the eye-staring group agreed that they’d seen some deformed facial traits, 75 percent said they’d seen a monster, 50 percent said they saw aspects of their own face in their partner’s face, and 15 percent said they’d seen a relative’s face.“
The results recall what Caputo found back in 2010 when he performed a similar experiment with 50 volunteers staring at themselves in a mirror for 10 minutes. The paper, entitled Strange-Face-in-the-Mirror Illusion, reports that after less than a minute, the volunteers started seeing what Caputo describes as the “strange-face illusion”.
“The participants’ descriptions included huge deformations of their own faces; seeing the faces of alive or deceased parents; archetypal faces such as an old woman, child or the portrait of an ancestor; animal faces such as a cat, pig or lion; and even fantastical and monstrous beings,” Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik write for Scientific American. “All 50 participants reported feelings of ‘otherness’ when confronted with a face that seemed suddenly unfamiliar. Some felt powerful emotions.”
According to Jarrett at the British Psychological Society, while the eye-staring group of this most recent experiment only scored on average 2.45 points higher than the control group in their questionnaires (which used a five-point scale where 0 is “not at all” and 5 would be “extremely”), Caputo says the effects were stronger than those experienced by the 2010 mirror-staring volunteers.
So what’s going on here? Martinez-Conde and Macknik explain that it’s likely to do with something called neural adaptation, which describes how our neurons can slow down or even stop their responses to unchanging stimulation. It happens when you stare at any scene or object for an extended period of time – your perception will start to fade until you blink or the scene changes, or it can be rectified by tiny involuntary eye movements called microsaccades.
Information’s and image from : Science Alert
Sometimes the truth can hurt, so will these painful truths today.
The main reason we read this is because we need to appreciate things more now than ever. Things are changing every minute, and we might not be able to adapt if we don’t know couple of generally painful truths.
I remind myself of these every day, and I must confess these are some of my personal motivational factors when I usually don’t have a tiny bit of power to work.
Time is limited
Before you say “I know it” you might take a look over your life again. However old you are, looking back on your life experiences you’ll notice that it has no ‘time’ in the formula. Everything seems like it happened yesterday.
So appreciate every minute you spend. Most cancer survivors and people who were tiny step away from losing their life begin to know how important is to live well and appreciate things we already have around us.
You live the life you create
When you go out and see all the vibrant things, cars, people, animals, birds around you, endorse that they have massive impact over our life. That’s why we are together in one world.
And the paradox is, that neither of those things can affect you, as long as you don’t react upon it.
The point is, that every person creates a world on his own derived by his/hers decisions and actions.
Failure is part of success
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
I’ve learned that it seems like life is playing with us sometimes. It gets you to the ground, with your head, in the mud and tells you:
“This is the bottom, it’s the worst it can happen. This is how people feel sometimes, and even worse than this. You can be here your whole life, complaining how life happens to you, or you can go wash your face, and start taking things in your hands.”
Dare to make mistakes, and fail hundreds of times, until there’s no gap in your actions that will give you another fail on the road.
Busy and productive are two different things
Being busy doesn’t necessarily makes you productive.
Success doesn’t come from busyness. It comes from productivity + best use of time. Sometimes it can be 3-4 hours a day.
Over-busy people are scattered everywhere. They have no aim, nor balance in their life. We should never forget that life is not about work, money and burdening ourselves with baloney things and forget that this is actual life.
Thinking and doing are two separate worlds
They are two different worlds because it’s the disparity between success and failure, and living and dying. They are so close, and yet so far. This may be the number one painful truth we forget.
Imagine how many things would be done if you just started doing things, instead of wondering and thinking. The first thing we should do to keep on the thorny road is action. Without action you will create a state where you’ll be mind-shackled.
Without applying the thoughts in the physical words, we create a state of self-prison. We create a person inside our head that doesn’t allow any thoughts to go through the hands and legs.
If you want to do things, you must apply your thoughts in the physical world. It’s not the stupid people are not full of doubts, as Charles Bukowski says; it is the ones that don’tdo.
Some people should be removed and nothing else
People around us, especially the ones we contact with, play crucial role in how we live our life. They can be the biggest blessing or the biggest mistakes we have. Jim Rohn says that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It looks pretty true to me.
Toxic environment is invisible cage. Even a whole society and circle of people can be toxic.
If you belong to a toxic environment you will spend your life being unproductive, switching from failure to failure. Then you may think “you’re an introvert.” No, you are person who is in the wrong environment. You are individual who still haven’t found his/hers soul mates.
Forgive before you get an apology
Holding grudges rents a place in your head and keeps you busy with something that shouldn’t last a second in your life.
Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got. Life is all about experiences, positive or negative. They are all part of the life lessons. When you forgive someone you promise yourself not to hold the irreversible past against your present self.
As the saying goes, it is always mind over matter. The quality of one’s life is determined by the state of the mind. If the mind is at ease, one is able to manage all activities whether household, professional or social with ease.
If the mind is disturbed conflict arises even between spouses who have married after years of intense romance and courtship! And if the mind is calm, one can even smile to an enemy.
The mind is the most powerful instrument in the universe. It can transcend space and time and go the farthest reaches of the Universe.
Management begins in the mind. When the mind manages itself better, it can manage anything.
Management is about managing minds, diverse thoughts, tendencies, diverse perception. Both positive and negative thoughts emanate from the very same brain. But when we do not know the mechanics of mind and its influence on life, it becomes hard to manage. Being better aware of our own mind helps us to understand life and its dynamics better. It makes management easy.
Human life is structured just like an atom. At the center of the atom is the nucleus, with the neutrons and protons, and a field of negative charges orbits it. Similarly, we too have virtues at the center of our being. However, if we have not reached the core, we roam the outer orbits.
Spiritual techniques like meditation help one reach there. It gathers the chattering mind into a focused stream of energy. A torch sheds dim light, and does nothing more. If the same light is concentrated to a very high degree, it becomes a laser beam, which can cut the hardest metal. A dissipated and unfocussed mind cannot achieve anything. A focused mind can move the world.
The question is how do we keep the mind focused when it keeps flitting between the past and the future. There is a built-in mechanism to calm the mind in each person, but seldom one is taught how to use it. Attending to it is spirituality. The key to managing the mind is meditation and silent contemplation. If we invest a few minutes in meditation and silence every day, a whole new dimension of life opens up.
Author: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
“The tao that can be told, is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.” this is the quote from Lao Tzu that gave me clarity and made me think. The depth of this is hard to put in to words, however suffice to say I continue to be myself and live in the moment. Not every day will be same to face and it can get more challenging but all you need to do is, to be yourself.
“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is
the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.” ~ Lao Tzu
“Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.” ― Lao Tzu
“My teachings are easy to understand and easy to put into practice.
Yet your intellect will never grasp them, and if you try to practice them,you’ll fail.
My teachings are older than the world. How can you grasp their meaning?
If you want to know me, Look inside your heart.” – Lao Tzu
“Not-knowing is true knowledge. Presuming to know is a disease.
First realize that you are sick; then you can move toward health.” – Lao Tzu
“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is
nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu
“Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle.” – Lao Tzu
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only
creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu
Do you have a favorite quote from Lao Tzu? If you do you can share your comment in the comment section below. 🙂
Till now everyone had talked about “What distinguish a successful man from others”, “What do they posses” and “what qualities they have”. This time, let’s take a look at 5 habits that are prevalent among unsuccessful people for now, and you’ll have a chance to add your own suggestions at the bottom of this page.
They are really good at playing “the blame game”.[caption id="attachment_967" align="aligncenter" width="570" class=" "] Credit: Shutterstock[/caption]
When something bad happens to an person who is unsuccessful, it’s almost never their fault. Do you ever find yourself blaming someone else when something doesn’t go your way? Maybe it’s So and so’s fault for not fixing the printer on time, or Such and Such’s fault that they forgot to warm you about a traffic jam on the way to work. You can’t control everyone, and other people are going to make mistakes that are going to affect you, it’s just bound to happen, so deal with it and accept responsibility when you fall short rather than thinking of ways to put that blame onto someone else.
They find it easy to procrastinate.
An unsuccessful person is unhappy with where they are in life, yet they don’t take any steps towards improving their position. Distractions and procrastination are the name of the game when you’re an unsuccessful person. Games, TV, movies, they’re all keeping you from reaching your goals. If you dream of starting a business but you already work 8 hours a day, you’re obviously going to have to cut into your free time – that’s just the price you have to pay for success. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
They always feel entitled.
Why should an unsuccessful person have to work harder than anybody else? You’ll often find them complaining about celebrities and rich people who don’t deserve what they have because they didn’t earn it, yet the unsuccessful person feels entitled to everything they want without having to work for it. Quite a paradox. Entitlement is a very unattractive trait to possess, although most people in developed nations feel at least some degree of entitlement.
They beliefs are based on an incorrect interpretation of reality.
The unsuccessful person will hide behind cloak of delusion rather than being honest with themselves about their situation. It can be very challenging to face reality, especially when one has built themselves up so much in their own head. It’s a lot easier to convince yourself that you’re doing better than you are than it is to actually put in the effort to make a change. The brain is a very tricky thing, and it will often work against you. In this case, the brain tries to protect you from feeling upset or disappointed in yourself by telling you that you’re doing just fine – even if you aren’t where you want to be.
They can’t relate to this list.
If you can relate to any of the aforementioned traits, congratulations – you’re human. Nobody is perfect, and even wildly successful people will see parts of themselves on this list. Most people will be able to relate to these traits at least a little bit, but having the self-awareness to recognize your flaws is a step in the right direction. It’s a lot easier to get over procrastination and entitlement than it is to accept full responsibility for your situation and overcome delusion, but the sooner you’re able to take steps towards working on these things, the sooner you’ll be living the life you want.
I started in the business world when I left the Marines in 1968. Since then I’ve learned a lot. Here are three things I wish I had learned sooner.
How to Balance People’s Concerns and Productivity.
The Marines taught me that a leader’s job is to accomplish the mission and care for the people. I got that. What I had to learn was how to do it.
Most of us naturally gravitate to one or the other: people or productivity. For me, it’s productivity. I’ll pay attention to helping the team be productive naturally. But I had to work at giving time and attention to the people and relationships. That’s still a challenge today.
I’ve learned that I need reminders and checklists and developed habits to help me give enough attention to relationships. My advice: figure out which you do naturally and develop systems so you do the other well. I wish I’d learned that sooner.
The Importance of Sleep and Recovery Time.
I’ve been blessed with a strong constitution and relatively high energy levels. I was able to get the job done even when I was tired. I thought that because I could get by on very little rest and sleep, that it was it a good idea. It wasn’t.
I learned that I do more good work more easily when I’m fit and getting enough rest. I learned that it’s a good idea to allow time for recovery after a period of intense work. My advice: get enough sleep and allow time to recover after an intense period of work. I wish I’d learned that sooner.
How to Keep Routine Things from Becoming Emergencies.
I’m good at paying attention to “the important stuff.” But, I often did that by letting routine things slide. Bad idea. For years there were cycles where I let routine things go until they turned into a crisis.
I learned that it’s important to get the routine things done routinely. My advice: set up systems so you do all those recurring and routine things on a regular basis. You can let them slip a little, but not much. I wish I’d learned that sooner.
Now It’s Your Turn
What things have you learned in your life that you wish you had learned sooner?
Namaste. As I’m sure many of you can relate, I tend to go in search of a few chuckles now and then by digging into the comments section on controversial posts that pop up on my grand’ole Facebook feed. Last Tuesday, I found myself a spectator in what I can only describe as a full blown comments war. The insults were flying, man. Memes thrown across the cyber-trenches like grenades. Feelings had been hurt and many a mother insulted. What started such a rage-fueled keyboard free-for-all?
Well, an article was posted by a large online news blog stating that Pope Francis allegedly denied the existence of a literal hell. Now, my research concluded the report was a hoax, but the flames of fury had nonetheless already been lit and the argument had escalated quickly. On one side you had those arguing that heaven and hell exist as real places, and on the other were those who say they are but metaphors. Others argued that they are tools used throughout history by those in power to dissuade the breaking of the rule of law, religious or man-made. There were, literally, thousands of comments from people truly furious at each other, angry at names on a screen that meant nothing to them. Angry to the point of letting their rage ruin their day…..all over over a fake post on heaven and hell.
So, on to my point.
This brought to mind another old zen parable that I would like to share with you, The Samurai and the Monk.
A big, tough samurai once went to see a little monk. “Monk,” he said, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience, “Teach me about heaven and hell!”
The monk looked up at this mighty warrior and replied with disdain, “Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dirty. Your blade is rusty. Why you probably couldn’t cut a branch with that sword! You’re a disgrace! An embarrassment to the samurai class!”
The samurai was furious. He got all red in the face and was speechless with rage and anger. He pulled out his sword and raised it above him, preparing to slay the monk in retaliation.
“That is Hell,” said the monk softly.
The samurai was overwhelmed. He slowly put down his sword, and filled with gratitude, bowed to the monk.
“And that”, whispered the monk, “…is Heaven.”
This little story teaches a huge lesson. No matter what you believe, the front lines of “heaven and hell” start deep within us, where the greatest battles are fought between love and hate, anger and joy, fear and hope, happiness and sorrow, self-importance and humility. The ultimate choice as to which we chose to manifest in our everyday lives is our own, and so we must be ever mindful of the power we give our emotions to lash out into the physical world to become reality. While it is healthy to express our feelings to others, there is a difference between a feeling and an emotion. When we give in to our primal emotions like anger or fury, we shift out of focus with the principles of mindfulness practice and become reactive to that which is created around us instead of being active in creating our own circumstances. Next time you’re on the verge of an angry argument with your significant other, your parent, your boss, or even a random troll in cyberspace, remember it is up to you to create more happiness than anger, more communion that division, more heaven than hell.
You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you? The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.
This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…
1. THE AVERAGE HUMAN LIFE IS RELATIVELY SHORT
We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.
LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive.10 Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.
2. YOU LIVE THE LIFE YOU CREATE FOR YOURSELF
Your life is yours alone. Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you. They can walk with you, but not in your shoes. So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.
Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Be productive and patient. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices. May your actions speak louder than your words. May your life preach louder than your lips. May your success be your noise in the end.
And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it. Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart.
3. BEING BUSY DOES NOT MEAN BEING PRODUCTIVE
Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect. Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time. We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.
Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days. Just take a quick look around. Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin. Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc. They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations. Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.
Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term. We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life
4. SOME KIND OF FAILURE ALWAYS OCCURS BEFORE SUCCESS
Most mistakes are unavoidable. Learn to forgive yourself. It’s not a problem to make them. It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.
If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful.6 The solution to this problem is making friends with failure. You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.
Bottom line: Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will. Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. (Read The Success Principles.)
5. THINKING AND DOING ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS
Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Knowledge is basically useless without action. Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals. Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.
And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.3
6. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT FOR AN APOLOGY TO FORGIVE4
Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got. The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative. It’s taking a step back and saying, “Thank you for the lesson.” It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.
Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep. When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self. It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.
7. SOME PEOPLE ARE SIMPLY THE WRONG MATCH FOR YOU
You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down. You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material. If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them. If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition. There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self. It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.
8. IT’S NOT OTHER PEOPLE’S JOB TO LOVE YOU; IT’S YOURS
It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth, even if they don’t.
Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are. Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU. (Read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.)
9. WHAT YOU OWN IS NOT WHO YOU ARE
Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person. Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need. That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.
You have to create your own culture. Don’t watch too much TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t read too many newspapers. Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences. The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Miley Cyrus (most obvious examples) or some other famous face, then you are disempowered. You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way. This is tragic, this kind of thinking. What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.
Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is. “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.” And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked. And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of manipulative media that wants to turn you into the perfect consumer that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that isn’t important. It’s a hamster wheel, think about it.
10. EVERYTHING CHANGES, EVERY SECOND
Embrace change and realize it happens for a reason. It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow. You never know. Things change, often spontaneously. People and circumstances come and go. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day. It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.
Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives. A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth. Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event. And these events are always happening to someone else right this second.
However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. So when life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better every second. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have while they have it.
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What else would you add to this list? What important life lessons do you often forget? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.