Nature of Reality News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Nature of Reality News Articles in Media
Want to find true love, make more money, have the life of your dreams? Then think about it. The power of your thoughts can improve your life. [JAMES] RAY: Science tells us that every single thing that appears to be solid is actually energy. You put it under a high-powered microscope [and] it's nothing more than a field of energy and a rate of vibration. Like vibrations are attracted to each other and dissimilar vibrations repel. JOE VITALE: Whatever you focus on you get more of. If you're focusing on lack, you're going to get more lack. If you focus on abundance, you ... get more abundance. RAY: If you want to create [something], your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions all need to be firing simultaneously. VITALE: You see yourself experiencing it as if it's right now. You feel it. You live it. When you do that you accelerate the manifestation process. RAY: The whole concept of soul mate is often inherently flawed because it says that your completion or your better half resides outside yourself. Intellectually we know better than that. Your completion resides inside yourself. KING: Why ... is maintaining a happy relationship [so hard]? [JACK] CANFIELD: Because we tend to project ... the unaccepted parts of ourself out onto the other person. We keep trying to get them to change so that we'll be happy. RAY: How can you ever expect anyone else to enjoy your company if you don't enjoy your own? Most people are in love with their misery. They're attending to it all the time. It's like a roaring bonfire and they're throwing another log on it every day. VITALE: Find things to be grateful for right now. Out of that gratitude you will find more things to be grateful for. And out of that gratitude you will find happiness right now.
Note: To watch this highly inspiring, 45-minute program online, click here and scroll down to "Beyond the Power of Positive Thinking 2" on the right side. Read the entire transcript at the link above and you may very well find tools to make your life richer and fuller all the time. For empowering ideas and suggestions on how to find and develop your life purpose, click here.
"The Under Secretary of the Navy (UNSECNAV) is the Approval Authority for research involving: (a) Severe or unusual intrusions, either physical or psychological, on human subjects (such as consciousness-altering drugs or mind-control techniques). (b) Prisoners. (c) Potentially or inherently controversial topics (such as those likely to attract significant media coverage or that might invite challenge by interest groups). The UNSECNAV forwards to the Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) for final determination: (a) All proposed research involving exposure of human subjects to the effects of nuclear, biological or chemical warfare agents or weapons, as required by reference (a)."
Note: This 2006 US Department of the Navy document shows that the US military continues to develop mind control techniques, use mind-altering drugs, and expose individuals to lethal nuclear, biological, and chemical agents while keeping it all out of the media's eye. For lots more showing blatant disregard for human rights on this topic, click here and here.
If you have not been in an alternative bookstore lately, it is possible that you have missed the news about indigo children. They represent "perhaps the most exciting, albeit odd, change in basic human nature that has ever been observed and documented," Lee Carroll and Jan Tober write in "The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived." The book has sold 250,000 copies since 1999 and has spawned a cottage industry of books about indigo children. In "The Indigo Children," Mr. Carroll and Ms. Tober define the phenomenon. Indigos, they write, share traits like high I.Q., acute intuition, self-confidence, resistance to authority and disruptive tendencies, which are often diagnosed as attention-deficit disorder, known as A.D.D., or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D. "These children are the answers to the prayers we all have for peace," said Doreen Virtue, a former psychotherapist for adolescents who now writes books and lectures on indigo children. She calls the indigos a leap in human evolution. "They're vigilant about cleaning the earth of social ills and corruption, and increasing integrity." Marjorie Jackson, a tai chi and yoga teacher....said that schools should treat children more like adults, rather than placing them in "fear-based, constrictive, no-choice environments, where they explode."
Note: ABC has a six-minute news clip on these special children available here. For another amazingly inspiring video clip of one of these unusual children, click here. For a website dedicated to indigo children, click here
Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a so-called Master Race. But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn't originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America's most respected scientists from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims. Stanford President David Starr Jordan originated the notion of "race and blood" in his 1902 racial epistle "Blood of a Nation," in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood. The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.
Note: Josef Mengele's US-funded eugenics research laid the foundation for his experimentation on human subjects before and during World War II. He went on to participate in CIA-funded mind-control experimentation after that war. For more on Mengele, click here.
Everything you're about to read here seems impossible and insane, beyond science fiction. Scientists now believe there may really be a parallel universe - in fact, there may be an infinite number of parallel universes, and we just happen to live in one of them. These other universes contain space, time and strange forms of exotic matter. For years parallel universes were a staple of the Twilight Zone. Science fiction writers loved to speculate on the possible other universes which might exist. Serious scientists dismissed all this speculation as absurd. But now it seems the speculation wasn't absurd enough. It all started when superstring theory, hyperspace and dark matter made physicists [conclude] that the three dimensions we thought described the Universe weren't enough. By the time they had finished they'd come to the conclusion that our Universe is just one bubble among an infinite number of membranous bubbles which ripple as they wobble through the eleventh dimension. Now imagine what might happen if two such bubble universes touched. Neil Turok from Cambridge, Burt Ovrut from the University of Pennsylvania and Paul Steinhardt from Princeton believe that has happened. The result? A very big bang indeed and a new universe was born - our Universe. The idea has shocked the scientific community; it turns the conventional Big Bang theory on its head. It may well be that the Big Bang wasn't really the beginning of everything after all. Time and space all existed before it. In fact Big Bangs may happen all the time.
Note: To watch this mind-boggling program on BCC, click here.
N'Kisi may look like an ordinary Congo African gray parrot, but she's the subject of a series of telepathy experiments by a former Cambridge University researcher who says the results are "astounding." "The parrot seems to be able to pick up her owner's thoughts with an amazing degree of accuracy," says Rupert Sheldrake, a former Royal Society researcher at Cambridge and author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals. N'Kisi's owner, Aimee Morgana of Manhattan, ... says she first noticed N'Kisi's psychic abilities when she saw an explicit picture in the Village Voice personals. "I was thinking, 'Wow, that's a pretty naturalistic work.' " Then, she says, N'Kisi spoke from the parrot's cage across the room: "Oh, look at the pretty naked body." Sheldrake was interested. He explored N'Kisi's psychic abilities using a double-blind test. He asked Morgana to look at photographs in one room while the parrot was in a cage in another. One camera videotaped Morgana looking at photographs, another camera about 55 feet away videotaped the parrot, who made comments that seemed to correspond to many of the photos Morgana was looking at. N'Kisi made 123 comments during the test sessions, and 32 of those were "direct hits" corresponding to the images Morgana was looking at. The chances of that occurring, Sheldrake says, are less than 1 in a billion. Telepathy is made possible, he says, by the emotional bonds between people and animals. "In the case of N'Kisi, there's a very strong connection between her and Aimee."
Note: For a nine-minute video of this fascinating experiment, click here. For a sample of N'Kisi talking, click here. For a brilliant lecture by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, the above-mentioned researcher, questioning the rigid dogmas of the current scientific paradigm, click here.
Secret wartime experiments were conducted off the New Zealand coast to perfect a bomb that could trigger devastating tidal waves, according to government files declassified in Auckland. The New Zealand Herald, citing the files, said that senior United States defence officials believed the weapon had the potential to be as deadly as the atomic bomb. But the tsunami bomb, as it was known, was never fully tested and the war ended before the project was completed. Its mastermind was Thomas Leech, an Australian professor who as the dean of engineering at Auckland University from 1940 to 1950. He was seconded to the New Zealand Army during the Second World War. He set off a series of underwater explosions that triggered mini tidal waves at Whangaparaoa, just north of Auckland, in 1944 and 1945. Details of the research, known as Project Seal, are contained in 53- year-old documents released by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. What happened to Project Seal once the final report was forwarded to Wellington in the late 1940s is not clear.
Note: For a revealing, well researched article presenting solid evidence that elements within the military have much more control over the weather than is generally believed, click here.
The idea [of alien abductions] was simply not part of the world view that I had been raised in. I came very reluctantly to the conclusion that this was a true mystery. I did everything I could to rule out other sources. Some of these people are abused. But they're able to ... distinguish clearly the abduction trauma from other forms of abuse. Some forms of psychosis or people making up stories -— I could reject that on the basis that there was no gain in this for the vast majority of these people. I've now worked with over a hundred experiencers intensively, which involves an initial two-hour or so screening interview before I do anything else. And in case after case after case, I've been impressed with the consistency of the story, the sincerity with which people tell their stories, the power of feelings connected with this, the self-doubt —- all the appropriate responses that these people have to their experiences. There are aspects of this which I believe we are justified in taking quite literally. That is, UFOs are in fact observed, filmed on camera at the same time that people are having their abduction experiences. People, in fact, have been observed to be missing at the time that they are reporting their abduction experiences. They return from their experiences with cuts, ulcers on their bodies, triangular lesions, which follow the distribution of the experiences that they recover, of what was done to them in the craft by the surgical-like activity of these beings.
Note: Prof. John Mack was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor at Harvard Medical School who initially rejected the possibility of alien abductions. Only after thorough investigation did he reluctantly come to the conclusion that this was a real phenomenon. For a powerful documentary featuring Mack's work on alien abductions, click here. For a fascinating summary of evidence presented by top government and military professionals on the possible presence of extraterrestrials here on Earth, click here.
For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. The CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art. Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete. The existence of this policy, rumoured and disputed for many years, has now been confirmed for the first time by former CIA officials. The decision to include culture and art in the US Cold War arsenal was taken as soon as the CIA was founded in 1947. Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world. Unknown to the artists, the new American art was secretly promoted under a policy known as the "long leash." [This] centrepiece of the CIA campaign ... a vast jamboree of intellectuals, writers, historians, poets, and artists ... was set up with CIA funds in 1950 and run by a CIA agent. At its height, it had offices in 35 countries and published more than two dozen magazines.
Note: Read the entire article at the link above to learn how the CIA secretly funnels money through cooperative millionaires. To this day, the CIA has agents in key press positions to stop stories they don't want or to promote their own pieces widely in the media. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles and intelligence agency news articles, all from reliable major media sources.
A dispute between the Brazilian Navy and an American marine archeologist has led Brazil to bar the diver from entering the country and to place a ban on all underwater exploration. The dispute involves Robert Marx, a Florida author and treasure hunter, who asserts that the Brazilian Navy dumped a thick layer of silt on the remains of a Roman vessel that he discovered inside Rio de Janeiro's bay. The reason he gave for the Navy's action was that proof of a Roman presence would require Brazil to rewrite its recorded history, which has the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral discovering the country in 1500. All ... permits for underwater exploration and digging, a prolific field in Brazil, have been canceled as a result of the Marx controversy ... Navy officials said. The story goes back to 1976 when lobster divers first found potsherds studded with barnacles. Then a Brazilian diver brought up two complete jars with twin handles, tapering at the bottom, the kind that ancient Mediterranean peoples widely used for storage and are known as amphoras. According to Elizabeth Will, a professor of classics and specialist in ancient Roman amphoras at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the jars are very similar to the ones produced at Kouass, a Roman Empire colony that was a center for amphora-making on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Reached by telephone, Professor Will said of the fragments she had studied: ''They look to be ancient and because of the profile, the thin-walled fabric and the shape of the rims I suggested they belong to the third century A.D..''
Note: Many archeological finds which don't match accepted history have been suppressed and covered up. For five revealing BBC articles showing more manipulation around this, click here. For a compilation of 10 mysteries that hint at ancient civilizations which have largely been ignored, click here.
People tend to trust video evidence as an arbiter of truth. But that faith could soon become quaint, as machine learning is enabling ordinary users to create fabricated videos of just about anyone doing just about anything. Earlier this month, the popular online forum Reddit shut down r/deepfakes, a subreddit discussion board devoted to using open-source machine-learning tools to insert famous faces into pornographic videos. This episode represents just one of the many ways that the this technology could fuel social problems, particularly in an age of political polarization. Combating the negative effects of fabricated video will require a shift among both news outlets and news consumers. “When you see something, or when you believe that you’re seeing something and hearing something, it has a much more visceral impact ... than when it’s something that you’re just reading about,” says Henry Farrell, a professor of political science. Professor Farrell warned that this technology’s “implications for democracy are eye-opening,” in a Feb. 4 New York Times op-ed. “Democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality,” the op-ed concluded. “We’re about to find out whether democracy can be preserved when this assumption no longer holds.” When mixed with confirmation bias – the tendency to process information in a way that conforms to one’s preexisting beliefs – [the technology] could become an increasingly destructive social influence, one that corrodes even good-faith efforts to tell the truth.
Note: Read more about producing fake video with machine learning programs. While governments have long been developing technologies to produce very convincing illusions, and it has become trivial to edit video footage of a person talking to change their words and facial expressions, this emerging technology makes it possible to manipulate mass media in previously impossible ways.
Clinically, we understand death to mean the state that takes hold after our hearts stop beating. Philosophically, though, our definition of death hinges on something else: the point past which we’re no longer able to return. Those two were more or less the same until about 50 years ago, when we saw the advent of CPR. Modern resuscitation ... blew apart our understanding of what it means to be dead. Without many people returning from the dead to show us otherwise, it was natural to assume, from a scientific perspective, that our consciousness dies at the same time as our bodies. Over the last few years, though, scientists have seen repeated evidence that once you die, your brain cells take days, potentially longer, to reach the point past which they’ve degraded too far to ever be viable again. People who survive medical death frequently report experiences that share similar themes: bright lights; benevolent guiding figures; relief from physical pain and a deeply felt sensation of peace. Because those experiences are subjective, it's possible to chalk them up to hallucinations. Where that explanation fails, though, is among the patients who have died on an operating table or crash cart and reported watching ... as doctors tried to save them, accounts subsequently verified by the (very perplexed) doctors themselves. How these patients were able to describe objective events that took place while they were dead, we're not exactly sure. But it does seem to suggest that when our brains and bodies die, our consciousness may not.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on near-death experiences. Then explore our near-death experience resource center for lots more fascinating, reliable information on this vital topic.
Annie Jacobsen is back with a new tome that should entice anyone who doesn't mind thinking outside the box. Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis [is] a well researched and fascinating tale. The story involves author Aldous Huxley, spoon-bender Uri Geller, the CIA, the lesser-known "Defense Intelligence Agency," Delta Force, Soviet Russia, President Ronald Reagan, as well as Ed Dames who was a character in the movie "The Men Who Stare at Goats," which starred George Clooney. The yarn really gets going after WWII and the advent of the Cold War when worries about what the Soviets were doing reached a peak. Believing that the Russians were involved in so-called psyops (a.k.a. psychological operations) the U.S. Military jumped into the fray with lots of money and resources. Specifically, massive and somewhat successful research was done into the area known as remote viewing. That's where trained and talented personnel try to see what is happening in a location elsewhere in the world using only their mind to do so. This work sometimes edged into precognition or receiving visions of events before they actually occur. Notably, via extrasensory perception, one person gained knowledge that a senior military officer would be kidnapped by European terrorists. When the abduction happened ... with the help of the psyops personnel, the hostage was found alive. That's just one successful episode in the story.
About 13 million pages of declassified documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have been released online. Among the more unusual records are documents from the Stargate Project, which dealt with psychic powers and extrasensory perception. Those include records of testing on celebrity psychic Uri Geller in 1973. Memos detail how Mr Geller was able to partly replicate pictures drawn in another room with varying - but sometimes precise - accuracy, leading the researchers to write that he "demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner". Other unusual records include a collection of reports on flying saucers. While much of the information has been technically publicly available since the mid-1990s, it has been very difficult to access. The records were only available on four physical computers ... at the National Archives in Maryland. A non-profit freedom of information group, MuckRock, sued the CIA to force it to upload the collection. At the same time, journalist Mike Best crowd-funded more than $15,000 to visit the archives to print out and then publicly upload the records, one by one. "By printing out and scanning the documents at CIA expense, I was able to begin making them freely available to the public and to give the agency a financial incentive to simply put the database online," Best wrote.
Note: The entire declassified archive of the Stargate Project is now available on the CIA Library website. Explore a treasure trove of excellent resources on remote viewing. For decades, officials denied the existence of remote viewing programs and UFO investigations. What other intelligence agency lies will be exposed as more information like this comes to light?
Analysts at Bank of America have reportedly suggested there is a 20 to 50 per cent chance our world is a Matrix-style virtual reality and everything we experience is just a simulation. The report, which was issued to clients, also implies even if our world was an illusion, we would never know about it. “It is conceivable that with advancements in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and computing power, members of future civilizations could have decided to run a simulation of their ancestors," the report stated. The analysts took inspiration from inventor ... Elon Musk, who believes there is a high probability the world is part of an artificial intelligence created by a future civilisation. Its claims also appeal to the work of a philosophy professor from the University of Oxford. In 2003, Professor Nick Bostrom concluded there is significant possibility we "live in a simulation". The Bank of America’s report, which was looking at the implications of virtual reality, explained: “Many scientists, philosophers, and business leaders believe that there is a 20-50 per cent probability that humans are already living in a computer-simulated virtual world. “In April 2016, researchers gathered at the American Museum of Natural History to debate this notion. The argument is that we are already approaching photorealistic 3D simulations that millions of people can simultaneously participate in.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the mysterious nature of reality.
In the wee hours of Aug. 24, 1953, George Van Tassel, a 43-year-old former aviation engineer, was awakened by a man from outer space. The spaceman looked like a human. He informed Van Tassel that his name was Solganda and that he was 700 years old. (He looked no older than 28, Van Tassel said.) Van Tassel was ushered onto the spacecraft where he was told that Earthlings’ reliance on metal building materials was interfering with radio frequencies and disrupting interplanetary “thought transfers.” Solganda also divulged a secret: a formula that Van Tassel could use to build a remarkable machine, a device that would generate electrostatic energy to suspend the laws of gravity, extend human life and facilitate high-speed time travel. A circular, dome-topped building, 38 feet tall and 55 feet in diameter, [was] constructed by Van Tassel over the course of nearly two decades in accordance with the instructions of his extraterrestrial architectural patron. The name that Van Tassel gave to his time machine: the Integratron. It ... was constructed without nails, screws, flashing or weather stripping. But it’s not the way the Integratron looks that draws thousands to Landers each year. It’s how the place sounds. You may not subscribe to Van Tassel’s [beliefs], but an Integratron sound bath will startle your ears, and, perhaps, awaken your imagination. Beneath the wooden dome, it seems at moments that you’re not listening to sound so much as inhabiting it. It is, aesthetically speaking, extraterrestrial: a transportative encounter with music, an experience of pure sound not quite of this earth.
Note: Watch an incredible video interview from 1964 of George Van Tassel. In this interview, Van Tassel shares the equation he claims given to him by an ET: F=1/T, Frequency = 1/Time. For more fascinating equations received in a similar method, explore Wilbur Smith's essay "The New Science." Read more on the Integraton in this 2015 article in the Atlantic. And if you are eager for more, listen to a very informative and revealing 50-minute interview with Van Tassel. Fascinating stuff!!!
Taylor Wilson always dreamed of creating a star. Now he [has] become one. For the past three years, Taylor has dominated the international science fair, walking away with nine awards ... and more than $100,000 in prizes. At 14, [he was] the youngest individual on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion. [He attends] Davidson Academy ... a subsidized public school for the nation’s smartest and most motivated students. When he began at Davidson, he found the two advocates he needed ... to build a fusion reactor. Atomic physicist Ronald Phaneuf ... introduced him to technician Bill Brinsmead. With Brinsmead and Phaneuf’s help, Taylor stretched himself, applying knowledge from more than 20 technical fields. Shortly after his 14th birthday, Taylor and Brinsmead loaded deuterium fuel into the machine [Taylor had created], brought up the power, and confirmed the presence of neutrons. With that, Taylor became the 32nd individual on the planet to achieve a nuclear-fusion reaction. When I meet Taylor Wilson, he is 16 and busy. Taylor’s reactor ... dominates the far corner of Phaneuf’s lab. Peering through the small window into the reaction chamber, I can see the golf-ball-size grid of tungsten fingers that will cradle the plasma. Taylor nudges the power up to 50,000 volts, bringing the temperature of the plasma inside the core to an incomprehensible 580 million degrees. “There it is,” Taylor says, his eyes locked on the machine. “The birth of a star.”
Note: The full article about this amazing genius will boggle your mind. Could Taylor be one of the many indigo children talked about in the New York Times article available at this link?
Every now and then the dawn of civilization is reenacted on a remote hilltop in southern Turkey. Dozens of massive stone pillars [at this site are] arranged into a set of rings, one mashed up against the next. Known as Göbekli Tepe ... the site is [made] from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture. Archaeologists are still excavating Göbekli Tepe and debating its meaning. What they do know is that the site is the most significant in a volley of unexpected findings that have overturned earlier ideas about our species' deep past. Just 20 years ago most researchers believed they knew the time, place, and rough sequence of the Neolithic Revolution—the critical transition that resulted in the birth of agriculture, taking Homo sapiens from scattered groups of hunter-gatherers to farming villages and from there to technologically sophisticated societies with great temples and towers and kings and priests who directed the labor of their subjects and recorded their feats in written form. But in recent years multiple new discoveries, Göbekli Tepe preeminent among them, have begun forcing archaeologists to reconsider.
Note: Other discoveries reported in BBC and elsewhere suggest civilizations on Earth much earlier than most archeologists believe. For more on this, click here. As this fascinating article indicates, the early site uncovered at Göbekli Tepe may be related to a number of newly-excavated sites in the Levant from the "Natufian" period, yet archeologists are still puzzling over this one.
The Iceman's students look wary as they watch him dump bag after bag of ice into the tub of water where they will soon be taking a dip. Under the direction of "Iceman" Wim Hof, the group of athletes is going to stay in the water for minutes practising his meditation techniques. Hof, 52, earned his nickname from feats such as remaining in a tank of ice in Hong Kong for almost 2 hours [and] swimming half the length of a football field under a sheet of ice in the Arctic. Hof tells his students meditation in the cold strengthens mind and body. For most people, hypothermia begins shortly after exposure to freezing temperatures without adequate clothing, and it can quickly lead to death. Hof says he can endure cold so well because he has learned to activate parts of his mind beyond the reach of most people's conscious control, and crank up what he calls his "inner thermostat." "I never had a teacher, and I never had lessons, other than hard Nature itself," he says in an interview at his apartment in Amsterdam. "If you do it wrong, it hurts and you take some knocks, and if you do it right, then you really learn." Hof may be able to exercise some influence over other body functions considered involuntary, [and] tells his students at the Rotterdam workshop that viewing mental and physical training as separate may hinder their performance. Hof describes the three main elements in his method as controlled breathing, paying close mental attention to signals coming from the body, and crucially, keeping an open mind.
Before the Second World War, the Ministry of War confidently predicted what would happen when London was bombed from the air by Nazi planes. There would be, they warned, "a mass outbreak of hysterical neurosis among the civilian population". The same predictions are made about every disaster – that once the lid of a tightly policed civilization is knocked off for a second, humans will become beasts. But the opposite is the case. It sounds grotesque to say we should see reasons for hope as we watch in real time while the earth is shaken six inches on its axis, tsunamis roar, and nuclear power stations teeter on meltdown. But it is true. From this disaster, we can learn something fundamental about our species. The evidence gathered over centuries of disasters, natural and man-made, is overwhelming. The vast majority of people, when a disaster hits, behave in the aftermath as altruists. They organise spontaneously to save their fellow human beings, to share what they have, and to show kindness. They reveal themselves to be better people than they ever expected. When the social scientist Enrico Quarantelli tried to write a thesis on how people descend into chaos and panic after disasters, he concluded: "My God! I can't find any instances of it." On the contrary, he wrote, in disasters "the social order does not break down... Co-operative rather than selfish behaviour predominates".
Note: For a beautiful example of how people come together to help and support each other in the face of a major crisis, read the inspiring "Letter from Sendai" which has gone viral on the Internet at this link.
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