Mind & Psychology - Comment

Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies (2014)
A group of neuroscientists and robotics engineers have just published a peer-reviewed paper on their research that proves telepathy actually exists. The paper, which was published in PLOS ONE, showed entangled interaction between two humans located 5,000 miles apart, evidenced by their ability to transmit the words "ciao" and "hola" brain to brain. To do this they used computer systems coupled with sensitive brain monitoring instruments which included EEG (electroencephalogram) and TMS (image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation) technologies, allowing the team to bypass the conscious subjective filter and "objectively" read brain-brain communication directly. This is the first time that mind to mind communication has been scientifically proven.

Jill Bolte TaylorJill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist who had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains and their structure define us and connect us to the world and to one another. Taylor's brain haemorrhage was in the left hemisphere, and as that part switched off, she had a unique experience of right side brain function. Feb. 2008



The FallBOOK: The Fall / Steve Taylor
A fascinating book where Taylor charts the role and insanity of the ego from a historical perspective and how it has caused so many of the problems that plague our society today. Taylor shows us that our ancient ancestors — pre 4000 BCE — lived in relative harmony and happiness, and that there is very little evidence for any wars in this very early period. Then something happened and man turned nasty, and Taylor compellingly argues that it was the rise of the ego that started our penchant for war, violence, male domination, theistic religion and social oppression. But Taylor is also an optimist and shows us that this ego-domination is starting to break down and that we are approaching an age when war, domination, violence and oppression may become a thing of that past. This is a must read!
Psychiatry: An Industry of Death (2007)
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a Scientology organisation, has produced a documentary on the shocking abuses of psychiatry. Without a doubt, psychiatry is the most brutal, cruel, immoral, uncaring and money-fixated profession that anyone can follow, responsible for the murder of millions of people in modern history — Hitler's eugenics programs that killed 6 million Jews and the more recent Balkan state ethnic cleansing were both driven by psychiatric agendas. And today, around 100,000 people are murdered annually by the psychiatry's chemical cocktails. Even psychiatrists themselves have the worst record of fraud and patient abuse of any sector of the medical profession. The psychiatrist's bible is the DSM which lists all the recognized psychiatric conditions that psychiatrists, in league with the $27b dollar pharmaceutical drug industry, can then treat. Of course, there is absolutely no objective test for these mental conditions — they are a result of pure conjecture, and their burgeoning numbers (the DSM gets alarmingly thicker with each edition) is due to the fact that the more conditions defined, the more money you make treating them. Shortly, the definitions will be so numerous that we will all be labeled mentally ill and therefore fair game for enforced treatment. And despite its scientific presentation, psychiatry has never cured anybody: the whole thing is a money scam and crime against humanity. Psychiatrists have the power to incarcerate you and your children for no crime and without trial (this happens every 75 seconds in the US) and drug you into a state of stupor so that they can milk your medical insurance (those with the best insurance tend to be kept longest). What can you do? Watch this dvd, join CCHR and oppose this evil. If you don't, who will? Remember, your family's lives are at stake. www.cchr.org
BOOK: Reality Isn't What It Used To Be / Walter Truett Anderson
Anderson gives an insightful and very readable excursion through the post-modern world, examining how the very nature of belief and our relationship to belief has rapidly changed over the last 50 years. Whereas the truth of beliefs were once (and still are by a huge proportion of the world) unquestioned, adhered to in a fundamentalist way, today those in Western societies are increasingly aware of the beliefs that they have and of the fact that they are "just" beliefs. This is especially relevant right now due to the current clash between fundamentalist Muslims and Western societies.
US Evangelist Confesses to Sexual Immorality (Nov 06)
When disgraced former US evangelical leader, Ted Haggard, recently confessed to "sexual immorality" because of his involvement with gay masseur Mike Jones, he stated that, "There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark and I've been warring against it my entire adult life." And that warring seems to have expressed itself in his fervent and vocal opposition to gay marriages. How many other political, social or religious leaders are being driven by their own repressed demons to attack on the public stage what they try to disown in themselves? Bush, for example, probably attacks terrorists because, at heart, he is one, and many a Catholic church leader has preached against sexual impropriety whilst being a closet pedophile. Of course, these leaders do serve a purpose. By fervently attacking this or that and then being exposed as complete hypocrites, they serve as a warning to the rest of us to stop being so judgemental and look at our own pet hates. Do we join anti-war rallies because, underneath all the rhetoric, we are war-mongers ourselves, baying for the blood of those who attacked Iraq or Afghanistan? Do we send threatening letters to vivisectionists because, at heart, we are as cruel as they are? Ted Haggard's fall from grace is a timely reminder for all of us to learn how to express our shadow selves less destructively by learning to accept different aspects of ourselves. And if you are not an introverted type of person who can do this directly, the best way is just to start accepting other people unconditionally.

Jill Bolte TaylorKen Robinson says schools kill creativity - TED Talks
Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. Creativity is the most important thing that we can teach our children, especially when we have so little idea of what the future will bring, and yet creativity is the one thing children are born in abundance with and yet it is educated out of us by the modern educational system. This is an absolutely inspiring talk and very funny! Feb. 2006



BOOK: Influence: Science and Practice / Robert Cialdini
Packed with psychological insight backed up with documented research, Cialdini has produced a book that every marketer dreams about, and one which everyone who does not want to be manipulated by marketers should read. If you are interested in the psychology behind much of modern life, then this book is essential reading.
UK Outlaws Possession of Magic Mushrooms (18 July 05)
Today, legislation came into force that places magic mushrooms into a Class A category of illegal drugs, along side heroin and cocaine. This means that anyone found in possession could potentially be given seven years in prison and a fine. Why was this legislation rushed through? According to ministers, it is because mushrooms could have a negative effect for some people with existing mental health problems; they have also been known to induced vomiting and anxiety in some cases. Of course, alcohol, which actually kills 33,000 annually (stats from Alcohol Concern) and no doubt is extremely harmful to those with existing mental health problems remains legal because the government makes such healthy profits from its sale. So if you are out wandering in the woods on a beautiful Autumn day and happen to come across something that looks suspiciously like an innocent little magic mushroom, don't pick it! Big Brother is watching you and you could end up in jail for your crime.
BOOK: The Power of Focusing / Ann Weiser Cornell
The subtitle of this book is "A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing" and that is exactly what this book can do for you. Cornell is one of the best instructors for Gene Gendlin's psychological technique (very NLP-like) called Focusing, which was developed from studies to see why some patients benefited from therapy and some didn't. Basically, the book shows us how to enter into a relationship and dialogue with our own bodies. You will find the essence of this technique in many New Age and personal development books, but this book probably is the best encapsulation that we have seen.
How Cults Silence Their Critics
Scientology is a cult that was started by a science fiction writer called L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard was quoted in Readers Digest as saying that, "If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion," and so he did. Dianetics or Scientology as it came to be known, was born in the 1950s — a strange mixture of science fiction, pop psychology and technology (resistance meters are used as stress instruments). Members who join the cult are sworn to secrecy and fork out thousands of dollars for courses on how to be "clear". The problem with Scientology is that it is unable to tolerate criticism… the standard response invariably being to slap lawsuits on anyone who dares question or divulge its hidden agendas and activities. Over the years, only a few individuals have had the courage to stand up to this sort of intimidation… one of them being Andreas Heldal-Lund who now runs an anti-Scientology website. This site should be of interest to anyone wanting to see how some cults try to silence critics.
BOOK: The Way of the Superior Man / David Deida
Some might see this book as stereotypical diatribe towards traditional gender roles, but Deida's book is welcome relieve against the current ideology of equality which satisfies the mind but not the body/emotions. He even uses the phrase "your woman" throughout the book which is both annoying and refreshing. This is certainly a book for men who want some understanding of women (Deida's message is simply that you can't understand them so just love them). If you are a feminist, don't bother reading it.
BOOK: Going to Pieces / Mark Epstein
This book could be put in the "mind" section of this site, but it seems to have such a spiritual focus that it has ended up here. Epstein is a Buddhist psychologist who shows that the standard practice of modern psychology of trying to build or strengthen the ego or sense of self is actually counterproductive, and that letting go and relinquishing control is actually the only true way to happiness and fulfillment.
BOOK: Blink / Malcolm Gladwell
After the enormous success of his book, The Tipping Point, Gladwell has written a fascinating book on how we make split-second decisions. He shows us that these sorts of rapid gut-instinct type decisions can be advantageous: for example, rapid gut-instict evaluations made by art experts often turn out more accurate than protracted scientific examination made by a team of experts. These sorts of fast and unconscious decisions, however, can also reveal unconscious prejudices: for example, a policeman in a predominantly white society shoots an unarmed black man because he is believes that he is likely to have a gun. Overall, the book is an interesting one.
BOOK: The Betrayal of the Self / Arno Gruen
Gruen is a Swiss-German Jungian analyst who has written a very good book on how most of us are brought up to choose power over love. And in making that choice, the life-long pursuit of power blocks us from experiencing an authentic inner life and corrupts our relationships into ones bases on hierarchy and domination. The net result of this push for invincibility is, paradoxically, that we are unable to develop true autonomy because we end up denying our feelings, especially feelings of vulnerability and fear. We come to depend upon those that we dominate to express those feelings instead, and society suffers as a result.
BOOK: We / Robert A. Johnson
Based around the myth of Tristin and Ishalt, this book is about understanding the psychology of romantic love. If you have ever wondered why romantic love is so painful and short-lived, then you will find some of the answers beautifully written in this short book. Johnson is a Jungian psychologist and so the book is written from great depth and understanding. This is not a self-help book by any means.
BOOK: The Age of Manipulation / Wilson Bryan Key
Key is the world's leading authority on subliminal media strategies and in this highly recommended book he exposes the methods used by advertisers and governments to manipulate the people without their conscious awareness. Subliminal messages, he argues, are one of the causes of many of societies ills. But this is no ordinary psychological tour. Key has a sublime understanding of reality and our relationship to it, and how much of our naivety stems from our assumption that we all live in a single objective world. Startlingly thought-provoking.
BOOK: Mindfulness / Ellen Langer
A very interesting book which shows the power of the mind over the body and the brain. Engage the mind, and the whole physiology of the body changes; really believe that you are younger and your body will be younger. The book also shows how mindfulness can transform every aspect of life, including the work place. New age drivel? Ellen Langer is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University! A must read for everyone, especially those resigned to loosing their faculties as they grow older.
BOOK: Thinking Beyond the Brain / David Lorimer (editor)
Compiled by David Lorimer, an ex-director and consultant to the Scientific and Medical Network, this book is a collection of essays from lectures by different scientists and scholars given at the "Beyond the Brain" conferences here in the UK. The basic theme of the book is that, to include certain anomalous phenomena (psychic etc.) into a consistent scientific paradigm, the mind cannot be an epiphenomenon of the brain but independent to it. The book leads us in the direction of the brain being a physical tool that interacts with or captures "mind".
BOOK: Shadow Dance / David Richo
Subtitled "Liberating The Power & Creativity of Your Dark Side", this is book is a real inspiration to those wanting to face their shadow — that part of ourselves that we disown because it does not fit with who we think we are. Written by an experienced psychotherapist who regularly leads workshops at the Esalen Institute, this book is about the acceptance of self, the whole self, and the healing and liberation that this brings. Richo shows us the steps we need to take us back to wholeness. This book could very well have been in the spiritual section of this site.
BOOK: The Men Who Stare At Goats / Jon Ronson
Only Jon Ronson is able to present heavy conspiracy topics in a well-written and entertaining manner. Perhaps too entertaining, for his excellent story-telling skills often mask the book's dark subject — the use of psychic powers for military purposes. He outlines how the PsyOps, a divison of the US army, has and continues to use a multiple of psychic techniques and disciplines to enhance the US military effectiveness as a killing and dominating machine. One is never sure whether Ronson has crossed from fact into disinformation and myth, but he never makes the mistake of taking it all, or himself, too seriously.
BOOK: Beyond Fear / Dorothy Rowe
Few psychologists have the insight and clarity of Dorothy Rowe, and it is surprising that her books are not more widely read. In this book, Rowe journeys to the very heart of fear where she finds the fear of annihilation. Of course, that fear is experienced differently by different people. If the fear is great enough, we compensate with mental disorders. Rowe also shows us how, by becoming conscious of our inner mechanisms, we can learn to embrace life. You will not find a more insightful and lucid book on this subject.
BOOK: The Successful Self / Dorothy Rowe
How we define and experience success depends on whether we are an extravert or an introvert. Whilst this theme of "two-types" runs through most of Rowe's books, it is most elucidated in this one. The result might be a little surprising… those who have automatically assumed they were introverts might actually be shy extraverts, and those who are extravert, might well be social introverts. These points are very important if you are to understand the mechanism by which you approach life and by which you define your success. Great book.
BOOK: Beyond Therapy, Beyond Science / Anne Wilson Schaef
Psychologist, Anne Wilson Schaef, gives us new models for transforming our selves, our relationships, our organizations and our societies. Using her experience of the 12 step program for addiction, and her experience in the feminist movement, Schaef questions what many of us have taken for granted. Anyone interested in going deeper in themselves should read this book, although it is quite intellectual as well.
BOOK: Learned Optimism / Martin Seligman
The importance of Seligman's book is that it builds a case, based on research, how our conscious thinking is responsible for much of our psychological problems such as depression and helplessness. This is not your usual self-help book because it doesn't insult the intelligence of the reader and instead takes him or her on a journey through the actual research and how cognitive therapy has come to displace the BS of "philosophical" psychological theories such as Freudianism and Behaviourism. The only downside of the book is that some of the experiments involved cruelty to animals.
BOOK: One Continuous Mistake / Gail Sher
This book is a little deceptive because at first glance it is a book about how to write well. But Sher doesn't give us the usual pat formulae for this task. Instead, she shows us how to be honest, how to be creative, how to be spontaneous and how to be human. This is as much a spiritual book of enlightenment, as a manual to encourage the would-be writer to write. Highly recommended.
BOOK: Cults In Our Midst / Margaret Singer
We are all susceptible to brain washing. But the more we know about it, as practiced by modern cults, the less likely we will allow ourselves to be in a situation where it can happen. Singer, an experienced clinical psychologist and professor at Berkeley, has interviewed more than 3000 current and former cult members and their relatives and friends to come up with this fantastic book on the dangers of cults and the techniques of brain washing they use. For her efforts, she got a lawsuit slapped on her by one particular cult. This is essential reading for mindful self-defence.
BOOK: Why Therapy Doesn't Work / David Smail
Smail champions the ordinary individual in this book (actually an amalgamation of two books) by showing that neurotic afflictions in our society are actually a natural response to living in a dysfunctional society. Showing how the roots of much of our suffering is the objectification of the individual, Smail goes on to suggest how we can avoid therapy by nurturing and caring for others.
BOOK: The Argument Culture / Deborah Tannen
This is a very timely message about the manner in which aggressive argument and polarized opinion is destroying useful debate and preventing the solution of compromise. Tannen shows how debate is descending more and more into mud slinging matches because it sells more copy or attracts larger audiences in the media. We have lost the ability to listen to and respect other people's ideas in our haste to defend, often at all costs, our own precarious position. Very highly recommended.
BOOK: A Oneness of Mind / Andy Thomas
There is mounting evidence that our thoughts can literally affect the material world in the form of experiments using random number generators at Princeton's PEAR laboratory. In this book, subtitled The Power of Collective Thought and Signs of Our Times, Andy Thomas gives a lively and bold romp into the subject of the collective power of our thoughts and how, if they really do affect the world that we live which the scientific evidence suggests, they hold the key to how we move from these desperate times into a future of world peace, prosperity and ecological integrity. With this level of mind power, he argues, we have a responsibility to be aware of what we think and what we choose to watch on TV.
BOOK: Crossing the Unknown Sea / David Whyte
A beautifully written book about work and how it shapes our identity. Whyte's book could just as well have been in the spiritual section of this site as it takes us on a journey into ourselves and teaches us ways in which to bring forth more that is within through the work that we do. As the Seattle Times perfectly summed it up: "Whyte has elevated the self-help and leadership book genre to the status of literature." Once you have read this book, work will never be the same again.
BOOK: Prometheus Rising / Robert Anton Wilson
Wilson describes how the individual can break free from "reality tunnels" and gives exercises at the end of each chapter to help the process. He bases his model of psychology on Leary's eight neurological circuits, and presents a future vision of what humanity can be. As usual his books have enormous scope, readability and humour. If you have never read Robert Anton Wilson, you are missing out on one of the most insightful, original and erudite writers or the 20th century, and if read just one of Robert Anton Wilson's books, this should be the one.
BOOK: Quantum Psychology / Robert Anton Wilson
There is not much I can say about Mr. Wilson because most of it has been said already. Read any of his books and you will be overawed by his scope, his logic, his simplicity and his… genius. In Quantum Psychology he presents a quantum mechanical update to the Newtonian, materialistic paradigm that pervades our culture. Very thought provoking.
BOOK: Meeting the Shadow / Edited by Connie Zweig & Jeremiah Abrams
This is an invaluable collection of 65 articles form some of the most insightful writers and psychologists (including C.G. Jung) on the workings of the dark side of human nature and how, when it is expressed responsibly, it can paradoxically hold the key to our "enlightenment". The shadow, however, by its very nature is difficult to recognize in ourselves, but this book gives us the information we need to identify and integrate it, and in the process find that it was actually, as Jung describes, "pure gold". This books is an antidote to those two-dimensional "light and love" do-gooders that, in their drive to deny their "negative" aspects, end up acting far more cruelly and destructively.