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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Emotional Life of Your Brain

Emotional style refers to how you react to what life throws at you.

Take A Quiz From "The Emotional Life Of Your Brain”.

Depending on whom we are interacting with and in what circumstances, there are different rules and expectations - for interactions with close friends, people you know only slightly, family members, coworkers, or superiors.

Noth­ing good can come of treating your boss like a child, or of treating the cop who just pulled you over like a drinking buddy, let alone treating a coworker like a lover. Sensitivity to the rules of social engagement and the capacity to regulate our emotions and behavior accordingly varies enormously among people.

You can think of the Sensitivity to Context dimension of Emotional Style as the outer-directed version of the Self-Awareness style: Just as the latter reflects how attuned you are to your own physiological and emotional cues, so Sensi­tivity to Context reflects how attuned you are to the social environment.

In the lab, we measure this dimension by determining how emotional be­havior varies with social context.

For example, toddlers tend to be wary in unfamiliar circumstances such as a lab but not in a familiar environment. A toddler who seems perpetually wary at home is therefore probably insensitive to context.

For adults, we test Sensitivity to Context by conducting the first round of tests in one room and then a second round in a different room.

By determining to what extent emotional responses vary by the environment in which testing occurs, we can infer how keenly someone perceives and feels the effects of context. We also make brain measurements:

The hippocampus ap­pears to play an especially important role in apprehending context, so we measure hippocampal function and structure with MRI.

To get a sense of where you fall on the Sensitivity to Context spectrum, answer True or False to these questions:

•I have been told by someone close to me that I am unusually sensitive to other people’s feelings.

•I have occasionally been told that I behaved in a socially inap­propriate way, which surprised me. 

•I have sometimes suffered a setback at work or had a falling-out with a friend because I was too chummy with a superior or too jovial when a good friend was distraught.

•When I speak with people, they sometimes move back to in­crease the distance between us. 

•I often find myself censoring what I was about to say because I’ve sensed something in the situation that would make it inap­propriate (e.g., before I respond to, “Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?”).

•When I am in a public setting like a restaurant, I am especially aware of modulating how loudly I speak. 

•I have frequently been reminded when in public to avoid men­tioning the names of people who might be around.

•I am almost always aware of whether I have been someplace before, even if it is a highway that I last drove many years ago.

•I notice when someone is acting in a way that seems out of place, such as behaving too casually at work.

•I’ve been told by those close to me that I show good manners with strangers and in new situations.

Give yourself one point for each True answer to questions 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10; score one point for each False answer to questions 2, 3, 4, and 7. Score zero for each False answer to 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10, and for each True answer to 2, 3, 4, and 7. If you scored below three, you fall at the Tuned Out end of the spectrum, while a score of eight or above indicates you are very Tuned In to context.

- Richard J. Davidson.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 Genius Vegetarians

Albert Einstein
Einstein in Western culture is synonymous with genius. Reports say he was vegetarian just for the last year of his life. However, he had a guilty conscience about eating meat, and agreed with the vegetarian outlook, “Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”

Leonardo Da Vinci
One of the greatest inventors in all of human history, it is believed he was also a lifelong vegetarian who chose such a diet to avoid killing or injuring other creatures.

Nikola Tesla
He invented at least 700 devices, and was both an engineer and visionary. The form of electricity you are using right now to power your computer (alternating current) resulted from the work of Nikola Tesla. Most accounts say Tesla moved gradually towards a vegetarian diet, first by eliminating meat but still eating fish, and then by quitting that also. He wasn’t vegan though, as he used dairy milk as his main protein source, after abandoning meat.

“It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarous habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory, but a well-demonstrated fact.” (

Srinivasa Ramanujan
One of India’s greatest mathematicians, he was also a strict vegetarian. He was an autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions. Ramanujan was said by the English mathematician G.H. Hardy to be in the same league as mathematicians like Euler and Gauss in terms of natural genius.

The man is iconic enough that no description here is required. He was vegetarian most of his life.”If we are to be nonviolent, we must then not wish for anything on this earth which even the meanest or the lowest of human beings cannot have.

Vincent Van Gogh
He is considered one of the world’s most original fine art painters. Although various websites list him as a vegetarian mostly, there are some references to his accepting meat once in a while. This may be because of his lifestyle and living in conditions where other people were trying to take care of him, and he didn’t want to offend them.

“In the afternoon, at the table, the three of us would eat with the appetite of famished wolves; not he, he would not eat meat, only a little morsel on Sundays, and then only after being urged by our landlady for a long time. Four potatoes with a suspicion of gravy and a mouthful of vegetables constituted his whole dinner. To our insistence that he make a hearty dinner and eat meat, he would answer, To a human being physical life ought to be a paltry detail; vegetable food is sufficient, all the rest is luxury.”

Thomas Edison
Mr. Edison was credited with over 1,000 inventions.There are some references to him having stopped eating meat for health reasons, “During the recent illness, from mastoiditis, of Mr. Thos. Alva Edison, the famous inventor ceased using meat and went for a thorough course of vegetarianism. Mr. Edison was so pleased with the change of diet that, now he has regained his normal health, he continues to renounce meat in all it’s forms.”

There are also a number of quotes attributed to him indicating a love of animals and condemning violence towards them.

This Greek philosopher and mathematician was also a vegetarian. In the writings of Ovid, he was depicted as having said, “Alas, what wickedness to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death of another.”

Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was one of America’s most beloved writers. He is listed as a vegetarian on various sites such as and Wikipedia. He was also against using animals in research and for educational purposes.

“I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.”

Franz Kafka
A writer of some of the most memorable German-language fiction, Franz Kafka was also a vegetarian. He is believed to have said this when visiting an aquarium, “Now at least I can look at you in peace. I don’t eat you anymore.” That was after he became a vegetarian.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cosmic Ideas

Ideas are the flowers of energies !!!

An idea is not a form, neither is it a formulation , but a living stream of energy connecting you with the source of an ever- flowing waterfall of energy and vision.

An idea releases the power of striving in people.

Every true idea is a messenger of the most high. People look to Krishna, Buddha, and Christ as powerful individuals in world history. But in reality, they are not individuals but embodiments of cosmic ideas. They are words--- ideas – “made flesh”.

The teachings of the great ones are symphonies composed upon great ideas.

Every true idea ignites the fires of space and creates a network of fire , which eventually turns into a magnetic mirror attracting cosmic ideas.

A true leader is a spring of new ideas. It is through ideas that he leads people. Ideas speak to the human soul, once the ears of the human soul are open.

A leader knows that an idea is “the seed of reality”. It is this seed that is planted in the hearts of people to enrich them with the abundance of reality.

A leader is a true leader when he presents an idea which meets the needs of people in the present and in the future and leads them on a path of progressive advancement.

In the future, people will realize that leaders are broadcasters, carriers, embodiments, or even symbols of ideas.

It is ideas that tune people to the source of cosmic energies. Cosmic energies flow into the ocean of humanity through living ideas.

People charged by living ideas march toward a building a new world grounded in living ideas.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Age of the Human Soul

In esoteric literature, we read about young souls and old souls. The difference between the souls is the difference of experience, consciousness and will.

One who learns his lessons and returns ten times sooner than another is called an older soul because he has experienced more, learned more, expanded his consciousness more and developed his will more.

Young souls are those who have spent their time and energy and have not learnt their lessons. They repeat their classes until they learn their lessons.

Old souls are those who, in harmony with the cycles, keep pace and move forward into greater wisdom. They do not waste time and energy. They try to cultivate group virtues and group talents. Everytime they appear in the world, they are richer and more beautiful in wisdom than before.

Young souls stay much longer on the lower or middle subtle planes than the older ones. Incarnation after incarnation, older ones speed their return. A time comes that they stay only a few days in the subjective world and return to continue their service for humanity.

Young souls run after the accumulation of money or properties. They run after excessive sex, fame, reputation and power, and they imprison themselves with the resulting karmic ties. Young souls create so much karma that they lose their goal in paying off and fighting against their karma.

Old souls try to decrease their karma. As they decrease it, they gain more control over their life and future. Older souls have a greater field of consciousness. Younger souls have a very narrow and sometimes even a decaying consciousness. When the consciousness does not expand, it retreats and contracts. A dying consciousness is like a lamp in which the oil is almost finished.

An expanding consciousness tries to settle problems existing between friends, relatives, and enemies. Our teacher used to say, “Miserable are those who enter the subtle world with the baggage of old arguments and problems.”

Young souls are harmful and destructive. Older souls are very careful. Older souls accumulate a great amount of pressure in their chalice while the younger souls leave their chalice empty. Older souls have a greater amount of patience, understanding and tolerance. Older souls are those who still try to save this planet and make it an ashram of wisdom.

Life is like a highway. Many cars get stuck. Many are northbound, while others are heading south. Some of them stop along the way then proceed. Some of them go straight to their destination.