Friday, July 22, 2016

The Rubber Hand Illusion - Horizon: Is Seeing Believing? - BBC

Scientists Discover We Have A ‘Force Field’ Around Our Bodies 

And You Can Feel It

Our personal space guides our hands when we reach out, causes us to duck when objects hurtle towards us and makes us acutely aware of the world around us. And now, for the first time, scientists have found a way to help us feel it.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have tweaked a well-known experiment called the rubber hand illusion for a study published in the journal Cognition. In the classic version, participants are shown a fake rubber hand while their own hand is hidden behind a screen. After a few minutes of simultaneous stroking of both the real and fake hands, the person’s brain starts to believe that the fake hand is actually their own. Here’s the proof:


 In the new study, which involved 101 adults, scientists repeated the test but applied brushstrokes in mid-air above the fake hand, rather than touching it. As in the classic experiment, participants start to believe that the fake hand is their own. But in this version, they also started to sense what feels like a “force field” between the brush and the rubber hand.

“We can elicit this bizarre sensation of there actually being something in mid-air between the brush and the rubber hand,” Arvid Guterstam of the Karolinska Institute, a co-author of the study, told New Scientist.

According to the study, the sensation continues as far as 15 inches above the rubber hand, which indicates the size of what scientists of our “peripersonal space”.

Neuroscientific evidence of the phenomenon first emerged in the late 1990s in animal studies. Princeton University’s Michael Graziano recorded the electrical activity of neurons in the parietal and frontal lobes of the brains of monkeys. They found that some neurons fired not just when they were touched by an object but also when it came near them.

Graziano continued his experiments into the early 2000s, discovering that electrically stimulating certain neurons would induce a coordinated behaviour that resembled ducking or blocking.

Graziano explained that the primary function of peripersonal space is defense, enabling us to quickly detect nearby danger. But it also helps us navigate a crowded shopping centre or find a seat on a packed train without bumping into people. Graziano told the Huffington Post US: “We now understand these peripersonal space neurons are important in monitoring the margin of safety around the body.”

“The space around the body is processed like a jello mold. Like a thick layer of space around the body, deforming and moving as the limbs move,” Graziano said.

The experiment has never been repeated in humans, but neuroscientists believe there is evidence to suggest that certain parts of the brain deal with peripersonal space. People who suffer strokes in the right posterior parietal lobe, for example, can’t detect peripersonal stimuli on the left side of their bodies.

“These people have no trouble processing distant space, but lose a sense of peripersonal space,” Graziano said.

Graziano suggests that this dynamic force field might also be extended to other objects, including bikes, cars and clothing.
Story by: Oscar Williams, BBC

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Transcending a Daunting World

From Annie Kagan, Author of 
How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death

Transcending a Daunting World

People spend lots of time on things that make them unhappy. 
To cultivate joy, pay attention to what you like.

So, with all the disturbance happening on Earth, I made a list of things Billy says can soothe the soul.

The light, colors, scents and sounds of the natural world bring pleasure to and heal the senses. Walking in the forest, planting a garden, or simply feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, help you tune to the miracle of creation.

Many spiritual paths promote the concept of gratitude. Saying "thank you" may be simpler than trying to feel grateful. Saying thank you to all the things that please you, silently or out loud, helps you notice the grace in your life. Thank you is an easy step down the road toward gratitude.

Take time every day to admire something of beauty. Beauty is evocative; it awakens something deep inside and transcends the noise and static of the world. Beauty reminds you of the awe at the heart of life itself.

Singing, dancing and listening to music connects you to the special pleasure of being alive. Have favourite songs on standby to enhance your mood or change it. Some music could be bright and upbeat, some slow and melancholy, some designed for healing. Melody and rhythm turn the ordinary into the magical.

A change in perspective is powerful. According to Quantum physics, the way you see things can actually change them. If something upsets or frightens you, look for what you like about it. When it comes to people, focus on their deep voice, their sparkling eyes, their quick smile, their unique wit. When someone senses positivity coming their way, they may respond in kind.

Joy comes from doing what we love simply for the pleasure of it. Keep a journal, learn to surf, sing in a choir, bake bread, plant a garden, feed the birds. Everything you do doesn't have to lead to an outcome. The doing can be its own reward.
                                                                                                             © 2015 annie kagan 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cosmic Action!
UTC Time Zone

Today there is some serious action in the heavily bodies that is going to support us tremendously in clearing old patterns, illusions, and delusions, especially those which we are not conscious of, but that continue to create a limited experience for us.This cosmic action impacts us far more than any of us realize. We are, after all, One with All there is.

We are being set up for a  complete New Beginning, in any area of our lives, if that is what is called for!  If anyone has been running a bit slow, or completely freezing up, this is perfect time to hit the restart button.  We have a Full Solar Eclipse, Spring Equinox, and a Supermoon (in new moon phase so even though it won't be physically visible, we will have greater access to subconscious/unconscious material). Receive this opportunity for yourself by spending some added time in prayer and meditation, and tune in to see if there is any ritual or ceremony you can do to intentionally usher out the old and welcome the New/Now happening from the Vision of Y/Our Heart and Soul.  

The Full Solar Eclipse, which will be visible in Europe, begins at about 1:30am Pacific time, the Supermoon is 2:36am Pacific, and Spring Equinox is 3:45 pm Pacific Time. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Faith and Action

We have been taught to have faith in a power external to ourselves. Yet you are the only one that can bring into your experience that which you desire. Until you have a knowing and deep understanding that YOU are the one that you need to have faith in, you will continue to pray, hope and wait for something else to deliver your dreams.

Monday, June 02, 2014

An audio excerpt from my recent live We Need To Wake Up workshop.
Topics discussed in this segment:

Shift in Humanity
Who Am I?
Everything is Energy
Energy Is Consciousness
We Are 3 "Entities"
Releasing Energy Obstructions/Limiting Beliefs

Friday, October 11, 2013

Money and Spirituality in the New Paradigm

This is a great article from this month's issue of OM Times Magazine. There is a link to the October issue at the bottom of the article. Enjoy!


By Jenny Griffin
So, ‘The Shift’ has come and gone, right? And yet money still exists and the world hasn’t come to an end. So what exactly has happened, and how do we make sense of working with old, existing structures in the new paradigm?

Too often lately I’ve heard people lament that they have to pay for services that they believe should be free – such as spiritual guidance from those who have chosen that as a career.  There’s some huge anger and resistance around the idea of paying when you feel as if your world is falling apart around you, and you ‘just want help, NOW!’ The other side of this equation is that too many people who’ve taken personal and financial risks to provide services and value that just cannot be found elsewhere are uncertain about charging for their work. This is very much tied into old paradigm thinking.

Money is not going to disappear, not in the way that some may have hoped or imagined. The energetic imprint of money, however, is changing constantly so that the old ideas of money as a means to freedom, success or power are being replaced with new understandings. The old structures were based on the distorted Masculine energy that stresses power over, competition and exploitation of those less powerful than yourself. The new energy is rooted in the Feminine, which stresses collaboration, receptivity and abundance for all. These energies were, under the old regime, disdained and made to be seen as weaknesses or failures.

(This is not to suggest that one is preferable to another, just that there are two opposing energies at play. Masculine energy in its right power is the perfect complement to Feminine energy. The distortion that has taken place over millennia has caused us to stray far from the original and beautiful energy behind the Masculine.)

The shift is not only a transition into new physical structures, but also into new thought patterns, new belief systems. So the resistance and anger that arises around the idea of charging for spiritual services comes from the discordance between money as tied to the old structures and money as connected to a divine exchange of energy. Money in and of itself is inert – it has no energetic connection to good, bad or anything in between.

If you remain tied to the understanding of it as something that controls your destiny, or your energy (as in, ‘the bank owns me, my house and everything in it, so I have to work 700 hours a week to make sure I don’t lose my stuff’), you will find that it keeps you tied to the old distorted Masculine (something outside of yourself has authority). If, on the other hand you see money as a way to maintain your own energy flow – it comes in and it supports the creative work you do to provide more value to those you serve, and then it goes out – you are working in a more Feminine energy.

The original intent behind money was to serve as a common understanding of exchange – if I took three sheep to the market, I could be more or less guaranteed the same exchange my neighbour received yesterday. Before money was the medium of exchange, horses, pigs, pebbles, or turnips may have been the currency of choice. So if we return to that concept, the one that existed before the distortion of the Masculine set in, we can see that it is simply a tool in the process of exchange – I have something you’re seeking, you give me something I can use in exchange.

So why is spiritual work so often viewed as something outside of this means of exchange? It may be that it’s often relegated to the ‘last resort’ category, when people are hurting so badly that they see it as their only option, perhaps depleted (energetically or otherwise) by their long journey to where they are. It’s a need for soul guidance, for emotional nurturing, both of which have fallen under the realm of the (weak) Feminine for so long that they have become de-valued. Characteristics that are viewed as inherently Feminine in nature (intuition, creativity, nurturing, healing, compassion, emotions) have been deemed value-less in terms of monetary exchange for so long that people have shifted their views of the world to incorporate that as the truth.

It is also related to old structures connected to those who took vows of poverty in order to follow a path that led to God. Somewhere along the line God/Spirit/Source became disconnected from the pursuit of wealth, which accordingly, was seen as the ‘opposite’ path. In the case of religious orders whose members gave up their livelihoods to serve, they were taken care of in every other way – food, shelter, medical care, education. In the case of modern spiritual practitioners, that is not the case. It is not possible to divorce the ideas of money and spirit unless you are willing to be destitute or live off the charity of others forever.

The Shift we’ve all been waiting for, in terms of monetary system changes, lies within each of us. If someone has something that you seek out, something you value, then you must be willing to offer an exchange for that. If the person is willing to exchange something other than money, that’s between you and them, but be upfront about it and be very clear before you begin.

If you’re not willing to offer an exchange, examine your motives – are you looking for a quick fix but not really prepared to do the work you need to do to heal? Do you want someone else to do the hard work for you (i.e. does being a victim serve you in some way)? Do you not believe you are worth making a commitment to (financially or otherwise), to advance your own life in some way? Would you, for instance, walk into a restaurant and expect food for free, knowing that their business runs on the production and delivery of food?

Many healers and spiritual people have been through the depths of their darkness to get to where they are today, which makes them embodied experts in their fields. You have sought them out for the unique gifts and value that they provide, and in order to honour that gift, an exchange is required. If they were to continue giving until they were depleted, they would not be available for you or others who come seeking their guidance. If you were to receive their assistance for nothing, the energetic value you assign to that help is also nothing. With that in your energetic memory banks, you proceed into the exchange with less impetus to honour and respect what you are receiving than if you had paid for it.

If you stand firmly in the knowledge that your life is priceless, you will understand that to make whatever exchange is necessary to protect and nurture that life is a gift to you. Recognize also that the person whose guidance you seek holds their life in the same esteem, knowing that their gift is to be honoured and valued as they deserve for their own protection and nurturing.

 You can find Jenny at: The Power of Change

Click Here to read this issue