1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Changing Education Paradigms – another brilliant insight on education! January 6, 2011

The video in my previous post was showing severe problems the global society is facing,  and here comes  one of the solutions. I found this animation very well presented and highly insightful.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. It’s a message with deep resonance. Robinson’s TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006.

The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? “Everyone should watch this.”

A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His latest book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, a deep look at human creativity and education, was published in January 2009.

LOVE, axinia

 

Children stop being communists at the age of 11, study says June 1, 2010

Many people from different countries and background told me that when they were children it was difficult for them to understand the idea of money and goods distribution. I always thought it is a good proof for my idea that capitalism as  such is a very unnatural institution.

The new study from Norway shows some interesting evidence in support of my supposition. As children progress to adolescence, their sense of fairness changes from pure equality to proportionality based on merit, study says.

The study was conducted at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH) by the research team consisting of Associate Professor Ingvild Almås, Professor Alexander W. Cappelen, Associate Professor Erik Ø. Sørensen, and Professor Bertil Tungodden.

One of the most fundamental questions in the social sciences is how morality and fairness considerations affect human behavior. Previous research has shown that adults differ greatly both in the extent to which they care about fairness considerations and in what they perceive as fair.

“This is, however, the first economic study to show how some of these differences are shaped in adolescence. In doing so, the study also sheds light on how our perceptions of fairness are affected both by the social environment and biological factors,” explains Professor Bertil Tungodden from NHH in Norway.

What is a fair inequality?
Most adults find some inequalities fair. Hence, in contrast, to young children, they do not always think of strict equality as the fair solution to a distributive problem. What explains this and how does this acceptance of inequality develop? These were motivating questions for the present study of the distributive behavior of 500 Norwegian school children 11-19 years old.

“By comparing the behavior for different age groups, we were able to established clear developmental patterns. In particular, the study shows that as children grow older, they increasingly find inequalities reflecting differences in individual achievements fair,” continues Professor Tungodden.

Just luck?
In the experiment, the children worked on a task for 45 minutes. At the end of the work session, some were lucky and received a high price on their production; others were unlucky and received a low price. Thus, there were inequalities in earnings that reflected differences in both individual production and luck.

Each participant then had to decide how to distribute the total earnings between themselves and one other participant. Hence, they had to decide which inequalities they found fair.
“Here we observed a very interesting pattern,” adds Professor Tungodden.

“While almost none of the younger children made a distinction between luck and individual production, a substantial share of the older children did so. They accepted inequalities reflecting differences in individual production, but not inequalities reflecting just luck.” (more…)

 

Cool breeze proven by science May 26, 2010

At long last scientific verification of “cool breeze” has been published in a scientific journal!

Although studies on cool breeze have already been done in India by Prof UC Rai, they were not published in journals accessible to Western scientists.
 
The small study demonstrates a skin temperature reduction on the palms of the hands during the experience of mental silence, arising as a result of a single 10 minute session of Sahaja yoga meditation. However when people (non-meditators) were asked to do a simple relaxation exercise, under the same conditions, their skin temperature increased which is the opposite of what occurred for those using the mental silence approach to meditation.


 
The outcomes of this study therefore suggest that “thoughtless awareness” is both experientially and physiologically different to simple relaxation.
Interestingly, all other studies of (non-Sahaja Yoga) meditation  that have studied skin temperature show that skin temperature either increases (i.e. the hand get warmer) or does not change during the meditation session, leading scientists to assume that meditation is the same as relaxation, which also provokes skin temperature increases.

 So this study not only shows how Sahaja Yoga is different from other forms of meditation but also supports the idea that meditation is more correctly defined by the experience of mental silence rather than relaxation. This definition of meditation may well be the best way to differentiate meditation from relaxation, hypnosis, sleep, reiki, chi-gong, TM and other practices.

Manocha R, Black D, Ryan J, Stough C, Spiro D, Changing Definitions of Meditation: Physiological Corollorary, Journal of the International Society of Life Sciences, Vol 28 (1), Mar 2010

Read the whole article here.

 

Albert Einstein “The Merging of Spirit and Science” May 15, 2010

The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical.

It is the sower of all true science.

He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.

To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists,

manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our

dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms

– this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of true religiousness.

Albert Einstein “The Merging of Spirit and Science”

 

Is there a difference between scientific and spiritual experience? March 26, 2010

   

A material scientist today finds out something and says, ‘Here is a new discovery!’ Another says, ‘No, it is not true; here is another discovery which proves it wrong.’ And so it goes on; every year there are many new discoveries. Sometimes, too, one scientist does not think like another; they may belong to the same school, and yet each has his own idea which does not agree with the other man’s. But when we consider the mystics and thinkers who look at life from a spiritual point of view, they all agree, be they Yogis, Sufis, Buddhists, or Christians–it does not matter which.

    Whenever they arrive at a certain stage of understanding they all agree, they all have the same experiences, they all have the same realization to which they come in spite of all differences. The differences in the dogmas of the various religions are only differences of form: those who look at the surface see variations, but those who look below the surface see one and the same truth hidden beneath all religions, which have been given at different times by different masters. Naturally, therefore, the method of expression is different, but when one comes to the essence it is all one and the same, and those who are spiritually evolved come to the conclusion that they do not differ one from the other in their belief. (more…)

 

The Happiness clusters (social networks study) December 17, 2009

 This is how “we” look for  sociophysics: the way people socialised based on their feeling of happiness/unhappiness. Stunning, is’t it?

The study shows dynamic spread of happiness in the Framingham social network. Graphs show largest component of friends, spouses, and siblings at exam 6 (centred on year 1996, showing 1181 individuals) and exam 7 (year 2000, showing 1020 individuals). Each node represents one person (circles are female, squares are male). Lines between nodes indicate relationship (black for siblings, red for friends and spouses). Node colour denotes mean happiness of ego and all directly connected (distance 1) alters, with blue shades indicating least happy and yellow shades indicating most happy (shades of green are intermediate)

Clusters of happy and unhappy people are visible in the network, and the relationship between people’s happiness extends up to three degrees of separation (for example, to the friends of one’s friends’ friends). People who are surrounded by many happy people and those who are central in the network are more likely to become happy in the future.

Longitudinal statistical models suggest that clusters of happiness result from the spread of happiness and not just a tendency for people to associate with similar individuals. A friend who lives within a mile (about 1.6 km) and who becomes happy increases the probability that a person is happy by 25% (95% confidence interval 1% to 57%). Similar effects are seen in coresident spouses (8%, 0.2% to 16%), siblings who live within a mile (14%, 1% to 28%), and next door neighbours (34%, 7% to 70%). Effects are not seen between coworkers. The effect decays with time and with geographical separation. (more…)

 

7 basic questions Science cannot answer November 2, 2009

Only 7 questions that seem to be essential for the understanding of how humanity lives and operates, and no answers…

  1. Does the Source, the Creator, God exist? Unknown
  2. Does such a thing as a soul exist? If so, is it immortal? Science does not know the answer.
  3. What is time, space, matter, energy? Opinions are sharply divided.
  4. Is our world eternal and endless or, on the contrary, is it limited within time and space? Science does not possess the necessary data to give a definite answer.
  5. Why should I do good and not evil, if evil appeals to me and I can be sure of escaping punishment? The answers are totally unintelligible.
  6. How can science be used to avert the possibility of wars and tyranny? Silence.
  7. How can social harmony be attained with the least human cost? Mutually exclusive proposals are put forward that resemble each other only in that they are all equally unrelated to pure science. (more…)
 

Agriculture enlightened: a modern Japanese sage brings “do-nothing farming” July 25, 2009

Another beautiful encounter with an enlightened soul of modern times: Masanobu Fukuoka (1914-2008) was a Japanese farmer who developed what many consider a revolutionary method of sustainable agriculture. The fascination about this method is that it is not only practical and efficient, but also very spiritual.

Fukuoka started as a microbiologist and worked for the Japanese customs until his transformation following an illness and an ecstatic illuminating self-realisation experience. His central insight was: “There is nothing, really nothing at all whether this be the mundane world or God’s world.” After that he gave up science and come back to his father’s farm where he developed his unusual method. In 1975, distressed by the effects of Japan’s post-war modernization, Fukuoka wrote The One-Straw Revolution. In his later years, Fukuoka was involved with several projects to reduce desertification throughout the world. He remained an active farmer until well into his eighties, and continued to give lectures until only a few years before his death at the age of ninety-five.

Today I’ve read The One-straw Revolution  -an extraordinary book that distills the deepest of philosophical and spiritual truths into a practical approach to farming that was called natural or do-nothing farming. Since its publication in 1978 in English, the book has shot up to cult status, mandatory reading among advocates of alternative living. I literally “swallowed ” the book, as it was so fresh and meditative…ultimately, it is about quieting our cleverness in a way that allows us to see how we really can do more with less.

I especially enjoyed the way Fukouka came to his conclusions on farming:

“The usual way to go about developing a method is to ask “How about trying this?” or “How about trying that?” bringing in a variety of techniques one upon the other. This is modern agriculture and it only results in making the farmer busier.

My way was opposite. I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming [Farming as simply as possible within and in cooperation with the natural environment, rather than the modern approach of applying increasingly complex techniques to remake nature entirely for the benefit of human beings] which results in making the work easier instead of harder. “How about not doing this? How about not doing that?”- that was my way of thinking. I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plow, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide. When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are really necessary.”

(I wonder if this could be the brilliant hint for a modern man in general, in other spheres of of life? 🙂

So what is that special about his natural farming? What makes it that revolutionary? (more…)

 

I should have everything that is good, genuine and beautiful! June 23, 2009

“I should have everything that is good, genuine and beautiful!”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Those who are familiar with Mozart life story and character will immediately recognize him in these words. He was not only a genius but something much more… The vibrations of his death place are tremendous like of a swaymbhu… Very special! Apparently they say that his horoscope at the death point was even more impressive than of the birthday. That may mean that he could not only fulfill his life mission but had given us something much more…the eternal character of the music.

I would claim that of all western classical composers Mozart is the only one whose music does not awaken emotions and does not make one think (normally the Western classical music is conceptual, full of thoughts and emotions).

I believe his music has almost the same impact as the classical Indian music – it awakens the happy spirit, washes thoughts away and makes one feel light and joyful.

But that is not all! You must have heard of “Mozart effect” :

The concept of the “Mozart effect” was described by French researcher, Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis in his 1991 book Pourquoi Mozart?. He used the music of Mozart in his efforts to “retrain” the ear, and believed that listening to the music presented at differing frequencies helped the ear, and promoted healing and the development of the brain. (more…)

 

What do you know about Goethe’s Theory of Colours? March 12, 2009

We all know Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  (1749-1832) as the greatest of Germany’s poets (comparable to Shakespeare and Dante). But he was not only that! Goethe was also an avid amateur scientist and displayed through his careful observations and his keen, what might now be called phenomenological, mind an ability to discern the depth of the phenomenon in question. As we all learned Newton’s theory of colour formation. at school, it was very interesting for me  to discover that there was a contradiction to it, a contradiction made by a poet!

Goethe, being fascinated by the colours generated from the prism conducted his own investigations and found to his great surprise that Newton’s colour theory was, if not incorrect, but rather mechanical in nature and based on an “interpretation” of the phenomenon rather than the truth as it stands.

 Goethe’s Colour Wheel

 His 1,400-page treatise on color  Theory of Colours ( Zur Farbenlehre) was published in 1810. The work comprises three sections: i) a didactic section in which Goethe presents his own observations, ii) a polemic section in which he makes his case against Newton, and iii) a historical section. It contains some of the earliest and most accurate descriptions of phenomena such as coloured shadows, refraction, and chromatic aberration.

Goethe reformulates the topic of color in an entirely new way. Newton had viewed color as a physical problem, involving light striking objects and entering our eyes. Goethe realizes that the sensations of color reaching our brain are also shaped by our perception — by the mechanics of human vision and by the way our brains process information. Therefore, according to Goethe, what we see of an object depends upon the object, the lighting and our perception.

 In fact, Goethe’s theory is being widely used today but only few of us are aware of his discovery (reminds me of a story with Nicola Tesla).

What I personally liked about this theory is the Goethes’s explanation of the pastel colours: (more…)

 

 
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