Nº. 1 of  121

Solipsis

be
biː/
verb
1.
exist.
"there are no easy answers"
synonyms: exist, have being, have existence

The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism – and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong – and lucky – he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

—Stanley Kubrick

Definition.

Definition.

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.

—Carl Jung (via the-hanged-hermit)

(Source: writingsforwinter, via the-hanged-hermit)

One of the strange things that we humans can do is to look at our own Selves from the outside in, as well as from the inside out. In other words, we can feel and at the same time watch our Selves feeling.

—Education pioneer Annemarie Roeper on what the Self really is – fascinating read. (via explore-blog)

h4ilstorm:

Laguna Rubia (by Claudio ©)

h4ilstorm:

Laguna Rubia (by Claudio ©)

(via paradoxicalparadigms)

neuroticthought:

Judson Brewer and collaborators perform fMRI scans of experienced practitioners of loving kindness meditation, which fosters feelings of selfless love for others. Their abstract (below) notes their observations (but doesn’t emphasize one of their more interesting findings: that the tranquility of selfless love without expectation of reward lowers activation of the areas activated by romantic love - which are the same reward areas activated by cocaine.)

Loving kindness is a form of meditation involving directed well-wishing, typically supported by the silent repetition of phrases such as “may all beings be happy,” to foster a feeling of selfless love. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the neural substrate of loving kindness meditation in experienced meditators and novices. We first assessed group differences in blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal during loving kindness meditation. We next used a relatively novel approach, the intrinsic connectivity distribution of functional connectivity, to identify regions that differ in intrinsic connectivity between groups, and then used a data-driven approach to seed-based connectivity analysis to identify which connections differ between groups. Our findings suggest group differences in brain regions involved in self-related processing and mind wandering, emotional processing, inner speech, and memory. Meditators showed overall reduced BOLD signal and intrinsic connectivity during loving kindness as compared to novices, more specifically in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCu), a finding that is consistent with our prior work and other recent neuroimaging studies of meditation. Furthermore, meditators showed greater functional connectivity during loving kindness between the PCC/PCu and the left inferior frontal gyrus, whereas novices showed greater functional connectivity during loving kindness between the PCC/PCu and other cortical midline regions of the default mode network, the bilateral posterior insula lobe, and the bilateral parahippocampus/hippocampus. These novel findings suggest that loving kindness meditation involves a present-centered, selfless focus for meditators as compared to novices.

It is important for scientists to be aware of what our discoveries mean, socially and politically. It’s a noble goal that science should be apolitical, acultural, and asocial, but it can’t be, because it’s done by people who are all those things.

 Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space. 

MAE JEMISON SPEAKS TRUTH

(via coolchicksfromhistory)

(Source: books.google.com, via starsaremymuse)

thoughtfulcynic:

(via Video games change the way you dream | The Verge)
"In her most recent paper, published in the latest issue of Dreaming, Gackenbach and her colleagues further solidified a key earlier finding: that so-called "hardcore" gamers were more likely than their peers to experience lucid dreams. Gackenbach first reached that conclusion in 2006, after noting that gamers and lucid dreamers both displayed traits like intense focus and superior spatial awareness in their waking lives. Indeed, when she surveyed 125 gamers and non-gamers on the frequency with which they experienced lucid dreams, Gackenbach found a strong association between the two.
"She’s since honed that preliminary finding with subsequent studies, and also found that during lucid dreams, gamers had control only over themselves as a character. But, much like in a game, they were also able to toggle between first and third-person point-of-view. "Gamers already know what it’s like to be in control in an alternate reality," she says of the finding. "So it makes sense that a gamer would notice, ‘hey, I’m in a dream,’ and know how to manipulate that situation."
"And Gackenbach’s findings don’t stop at lucid dreaming. She’s also noted in other studies that some heavy gamers seem to be non-plussed by dreams that would qualify as nightmares — namely, those that present frightening or threatening situations. In fact, gamers seem to readily take control over (and even enjoy) such unpleasant nighttime illusions. In other words, while a non-gaming person might wake up in a cold sweat, a gamer would simply carry on with their slumber. That said, the finding has largely applied solely to male gamers, a facet that Gackenbach is still unraveling, but suspects is related to either the male-centric social environment of gaming, or to how women are socialized more generally. "At least for male gamers, gaming seems to be sort of protective against nightmares," Gackenbach says, "and that can largely be seen as a good thing, the threat is less upsetting, and doesn’t wake you up."

thoughtfulcynic:

(via Video games change the way you dream | The Verge)

"In her most recent paper, published in the latest issue of Dreaming, Gackenbach and her colleagues further solidified a key earlier finding: that so-called "hardcore" gamers were more likely than their peers to experience lucid dreams. Gackenbach first reached that conclusion in 2006, after noting that gamers and lucid dreamers both displayed traits like intense focus and superior spatial awareness in their waking lives. Indeed, when she surveyed 125 gamers and non-gamers on the frequency with which they experienced lucid dreams, Gackenbach found a strong association between the two.

"She’s since honed that preliminary finding with subsequent studies, and also found that during lucid dreams, gamers had control only over themselves as a character. But, much like in a game, they were also able to toggle between first and third-person point-of-view. "Gamers already know what it’s like to be in control in an alternate reality," she says of the finding. "So it makes sense that a gamer would notice, ‘hey, I’m in a dream,’ and know how to manipulate that situation."

"And Gackenbach’s findings don’t stop at lucid dreaming. She’s also noted in other studies that some heavy gamers seem to be non-plussed by dreams that would qualify as nightmares — namely, those that present frightening or threatening situations. In fact, gamers seem to readily take control over (and even enjoy) such unpleasant nighttime illusions. In other words, while a non-gaming person might wake up in a cold sweat, a gamer would simply carry on with their slumber. That said, the finding has largely applied solely to male gamers, a facet that Gackenbach is still unraveling, but suspects is related to either the male-centric social environment of gaming, or to how women are socialized more generally. "At least for male gamers, gaming seems to be sort of protective against nightmares," Gackenbach says, "and that can largely be seen as a good thing, the threat is less upsetting, and doesn’t wake you up."

(Source: thinksquad)

vmagazine:

"German artist Sarah Schönfeld has squeezed drops of various recreational legal and illegal liquid drug mixtures onto exposed negative film for ‘ All You Can Feel’, a photography series that visually reinterprets the physiological and psychological imbalance of substances in the body. Much like the chemical effect of some of these substances on humans, the resulting shapes and colors showcase some of the unique characteristics of each drug, each revealing a vivid, and intricately particular internal universe. By enlarging the chemical reaction of each drug, ‘all you can feel’ portrays the unknown interface between representation and reality.” ©sarah schoenfeld

  1. crystal meth
  2. opium
  3. orphiril
  4. valium
  5. caffeine
  6. ketamine
  7. heroin
  8. pharmecutical speed
  9. cocaine
  10. speed

(via myheadisweak)

In a contemporary, and often unacknowledged, rebooting of Freud, many psychologists have concluded from such findings that unconscious associations and attitudes hold powerful sway over our lives—and that conscious choice is largely superfluous. “It is not clear,” the Baylor College neuroscientist David Eagleman writes, “how much the conscious you—as opposed to the genetic and neural you—gets to do any deciding at all.” The New York University psychologist Jonathan Haidt suggests we should reject the notion that we are in control of our decisions and instead think of the conscious self as a lawyer who, when called upon to defend the actions of a client, mainly provides after-the-fact justifications for decisions that have already been made.

The War on Reason - Paul Bloom - The Atlantic (via logicianmagician)

(via contemplatingmadness)

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