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7 Things You Need to Know About Narcissists, From A Psychologist’s Perspective

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Narcissists are everywhere, and they can be incredibly draining and challenging to deal with. Here are 7 things you need to know about narcissists, written from my perspective as a social psychologist and also inspired by my personal experiences with narcissists in my daily life.

1. A Significant Portion of the US Population are Narcissists

An estimated 6.2% of the US population suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), meaning they meet five or more of the following criteria according to the DSM-V:  (as you read these, think about people you may know who might fit with the diagnosis)

-Has a grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerating their abilities and achievements
-Has persistent fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
-Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and should only associate with people of the same status
-Has a constant need for attention, affirmation and praise
-Has a strong sense of entitlement and an expectation of special treatment
-Is exploitative of others, taking advantage of them for personal gain
-Lacks empathy for others
-Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of them
-Regularly shows arrogant or haughty behaviors and attitudes

Many more people do not meet all of the criteria for NPD, but may still exhibit narcissistic personality traits from time to time. For this reason it is difficult to know for sure how many narcissists might be out there!

2. Psychologists are Unsure About the Causes of Narcissism

Is narcissism an inherited genetic trait? Or is it something conditioned by parents and teachers during childhood? Is it associated with other mental illnesses? While the causes of narcissism are unknown, psychologists tend to favor a biopsychosocial model of causation that integrates biology and genetics with social environment and psychological adjustment. In other words, environment and society does play an important role in the development of narcissistic personality traits.

3. Narcissism is on the Rise, According to New Research

Recent research in psychology shows that narcissism has been on the rise during the last 30 years, especially among young people. One study even showed that 9.4% of 20- to 29-year-olds exhibit extreme narcissism, compared with only 3.2% of those older than 65. Perhaps this is not a surprise in light of how our culture has shifted to emphasize social media as central to our identities, sense of self and self-esteem. Indeed, there is a direct positive correlation  between social media usage and narcissism, meaning that the more narcissistic you are, the heavier your social media usage. Even the word ‘selfie’ and what it stands for has a rather narcissistic implication, don’t you think? Sadly, as narcissism has risen with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, too has there been a steep decline in altruism and empathy.

4. Narcissists Can Easily Slip By Undetected

Unlike people with other personality disorders or behavioral problems, narcissists can easily slip by undetected because they don’t appear to be ‘sick’ or ‘mentally ill’- They just seem to have an over-inflated sense of self-importance, a relentless need for attention and a lack of empathy. When you first meet them or get to know them, they might seem fun, energetic, outgoing and just a little egotistical, but this may or may not raise red flags. After all, it’s good to have high self-esteem right? Often they can lure you into their inflated self-importance and grandiose schemes and before you realize it, you’ve become involved with someone whose presence may be toxic to your well-being.

5. Narcissism is Difficult to Treat:

Perhaps one of the most troubling things about narcissistic personality disorder is that it can be very difficult to treat with therapy because the clients are often in denial or completely unwilling to accept that they have a disorder. If someone truly believes that he or she is special, more talented and superior, imagine how challenging it might be for a therapist to convince him or her otherwise.

It is for this reason that people with narcissistic personality disorder rarely seek treatment, and usually only agree to therapy at the urging or friends or family members, or to treat other issues (such as anxiety or depression) that result from the disorder. And sadly many therapists also have to release their narcissistic patients when they reach an impasse and the patient believes they are fine and refuses to see the problem.

6. There are Ways to Tell if Someone is a Narcissist

If you suspect that someone in your life might be a narcissist, there are things that you can do in addition to comparing their behaviors to the diagnostic criteria listed above. I recommend the following:

  • Ask Them Questions (Narcissists Like to Talk but not to Listen)

I learned from my partner intuitive sound healer Jimmy Ohm that the single best way to a spot narcissist is to ASK THEM QUESTIONS! Due to their inflated ego, they can’t help but share with you their exaggerated sense of achievement and accomplishments, their beliefs of how special and wonderful they are, and how everyone is so jealous of them. Even more so, narcissists like to talk, but they are usually not very good listeners. Often they glaze over when others are talking, only waiting for their turn to speak.

  • Examine Their Social Media Presence

Given the positive correlation between social media use and narcissism, if you suspect someone might be a narcissist, one of the easiest things you can do is examine their social media presence. Are they always posting status updates and commenting on everything? Do they frequently talk about themselves, their plans and their achievements online? While heavy social media use alone is not a definite indicator of narcissism, it, if this person is always on social media and also meets some of the narcissism criteria then they might be one of them.

  • Do They Involve You in Grandiose Schemes?

Narcissists have this way of convincing us that they know better and that they are the most capable person for any task. If someone repeatedly involves you grandiose schemes that never pan out, or is always talking about plans but ever actually following through, he or she could well be a narcissist.

  • Are They Manipulative?

Narcissists are skilled at the art of manipulation and getting what they want out of people. I think this ties back their lack of empathy and belief in their specialness and superiority. Often, this manipulation feels like ‘mind games’ where someone tells you what you want to hear but then does the opposite, or when someone leads you on to believe something about them or a situation that turns out to be false.

7. The Best Way to Deal with Narcissists is to Love them From Afar

Often, the people close to us like friends, bosses, work clients or even family members can be narcissists, and it can be challenging to coexist in this space with them. If you identify someone in your life as a narcissist, the single best thing you can do is to love them from afar. Loving them from afar does not mean that you completely shut them out of your life (although this is an effective strategy for some, especially those in extreme situations), but rather, that you withdraw some of your energy and instead of actively engaging, you hold space for them in hopes that someday, they will change. To me, loving them from afar means that you recognize you are powerless to change this person, and that spending time with them can be toxic to your well-being. Limiting your interactions and time spent, not playing into their grandiose schemes and not allowing yourself to be manipulated are all perfectly acceptable strategies.

In the case of people you see regularly, like work colleagues, bosses, clients and close family, sometimes loving them from afar is a less viable option because you find yourself in constant contact with them. In this case, I recommend the following steps for co-existing:

  • Practice Forgiveness and Compassion

It can be incredibly difficult to find compassion for someone who has no respect for other people and believes themselves to be superior to others. Even if they lack it, you can always find compassion because this person is clearly suffering terribly, whether he or she is consciously connected to the pain. Forgiving someone’s narcissism does not mean your are accepting or justifying their behavior, it just means that you no longer want to hold onto it or allow it to affect you. Remember, the way they act says nothing about you and everything about who they are. Do your best to forgive and not take their narcissism personally!

  • Let go of the Attachment to the Outcome

Being a compassionate, nurturing person, I often see people suffering and I want to help them heal. I know I am not alone here. Unfortunately, when it comes to narcissists, we must learn to let go of the outcome. Narcissists usually do not think that they are in need of any help, believing instead in their own inflated perfection and superiority. Their behaviors, actions, words, and thoughts have nothing to do with you and therefore, being attached to the outcome or trying to change them in any way does not serve you and will only lead to more pain for you.

  • Accept that You Gave this Energy Permission to Enter Your Space, and Learn from it

This is a difficult one, but it is true that our outside reality is a reflection of our inner space. So if you find yourself surrounded by narcissists, it is important to explore why you are in this situation and learn how to grow from it. Maybe you have underlying narcissistic traits that you are not aware of? Maybe you lack self-esteem and believe you are only worthy of narcissists in your life? Maybe you have been unwise in your decisions and the people you chose to make energetic agreements with? Maybe you didn’t realize how narcissistic these people were until it was too late? While their narcissism is definitely not your fault, allowing their energy into your space is your responsibility. By learning what brought you here and making changes, you can break out of this cycle.

  • You Deserve Better

Remember, if you are not a narcissist, then you deserve better than to be surrounded by narcissists! It is OK to assert this feeling and cut energetic ties to people who do not match your frequency. In many cases, this is a necessary form of survival. Many of us have been in positions of low self-esteem or believed that we did not deserve truly loving, caring people in our lives. If you have done this, give yourself permission to remove this agreement on the grounds that you DO deserve to be around compassionate, connected, loving, good people. Trust that you will meet them when you clear the space for them to move into your life.

Art Credit: Echo and Narcissus, John Williams Waterhouse, 1903, Oil on Canvas

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Kelly Neff is a renowned psychologist, author, founder of The Lucid Planet and the host of the hit new show, Lucid Planet Radio. She has reached millions of people with her articles on psychology, transformation, and wellness, which have been featured on websites like The Mind Unleashed, Mind Body Green, My Tiny Secrets, and now, The Lucid Planet. Before she became a full-time author, Dr. Neff spent seven years as a psychology professor where she helped thousands of students learn about health, relationships, love and sexuality, and co-authored the groundbreaking manual in her field, Teaching Psychology Online. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Neff is an avid participant in the visionary art, music and culture scene in her home state of Colorado and beyond. You might find her traveling the globe to give workshops, speeches and do research at transformational festivals. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Light and Love!

Consciousness

10 Things You Don’t Wan’t To Know About Yourself

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“Freedom is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.” ~George Orwell

Sick of all those self-affirmation articles? Tired of all the self-help gurus blowing sunshine up your skirt? Need something a little more grounding? More down-to-earth? More humbling? Here’s a fresh batch of wake-up calls and kicks-in-the-shin straight from the oven. Get it while its hot…

1.) You are an animal:

“What a chimera then is humankind. What a novelty; what a monster, what a chaos.” ~Blaise Pascal
This one is painfully obvious, but you probably need a reminder.

You are a naked ape. You are blood and bones and improbable apposable thumbs. You were born from the womb and you will one day be food for worms. In the womb, you went through all the phases of evolution: from a single-celled amoeba to a multicellular tadpole to a brain-wielding infant.

In your short life, you will piss and s*** and bleed. You will rage and cry and sleep. You will go through all the profane motions of being a mortal mammal within an amoral universe. And here’s the real kick in the teeth: it’s going to hurt like hell. Hope you have a good sense of humor, because you’re going to need it.

2.) You are fallible:

“Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.” ~W.B. Yeats

You are terribly imperfect. You will make mistakes. More so, you are mistaken about a great many things. Most of which you will probably never admit to yourself, because admitting you are wrong is one of the most difficult things a human being can do.

But it goes deeper than that. There are fallibilities within fallibilities. It’s a veritable fractal forest of fallibility. A fractal wrongness, if you will.

You are more wrong about things than you can possibly imagine, and yet you insist. You force your wrongness. You are fierce with it, ruthlessly certain with it. You are so hungry for rightness that you bludgeon the Truth with your wrongness. All the while imagining that you are right.

As it turns out, you are more likely to be right by admitting that you are probably wrong than by declaring that you are probably right.

3.) You are a hypocrite:

“You have not learned to play and mock the way a man ought to play and mock. Are we not always seated at a great table for play and mockery? Learn to laugh at yourselves as a man ought to laugh. Learn to laugh beyond yourselves, and learn to laugh well.” ~Nietzsche

You are a hypocrite by nature. By the fact that you perceive an unfathomable reality with fallible faculties. It’s not even your fault. Just the fact that you are a “you” precludes hypocrisy. The self is smoke and mirrors, masks and mayhem. More akin to a chaotic theater of actors than a single personality.

Indeed, the self is masks all the way down perceiving delusions all the way up. Hypocrisy was always inevitable. Merely the biproduct of a fallible self.

Amidst this mayhem of fallible selfhood, you will experience dissimulation and self-deception, dishonesty and deep pretension, inauthenticity and artificiality. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The rest is hidden beneath layer upon layer of subconscious/unconscious double-dealings, feigned sincerity, two-faced unctuousness, and the mealymouthed choruses of canting contradictions.

Your hypocrisy knows no bounds, so you might as well own up to it.

4.) You will fail:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~Samuel Beckett

Failure is a given when you are merely a fallible, hypocritical animal going through the motions of living life in an uncertain universe.

But there is wisdom hidden in failure if you are keen to it. Setbacks can be transformed into steppingstones. Tragedy can be hardwired into comedy. Catastrophe can be whittled into accomplishment. You can build a ladder out of the shattered pieces of your life and climb out of the abyss.

But guess what? You will probably fail again. The higher you climb the farther you may fall. When it comes to failure, there is always a deeper abyss. Defeat, hard luck, and utter collapse are right around the corner. Disappointment is Accomplishment’s kissing cousin. Tragedy is Triumph’s red-headed stepchild. Today’s achievement could very well be tomorrow’s tripwire. So be it. Use it all as a sharpening stone for your all-too-mortal soul.

5.) You are never not broken:

“We adore chaos because we love to produce order.” ~M.C. Escher

Wholeness does not imply perfection. It infers embracing brokenness as an essential part of being human. There is never a state in which you are not broken.
You are a walking, talking broken heart going through the motions of breaking apart and coming back together again. This also applies to the mind, the body, and the soul. You are constantly in a state of repair.

Your suffering is sufferable. What’s insufferable is your ideal of perfection. There will always be pain. There will always be heartache. There will always be existential angst. We wreck ourselves against these. Then we knock out the dents, mend the cracks, and heal the wounds. We do this in the hope that it will make us stronger. But perhaps it won’t.
The wound may or may not become a sacred wound. All you can do is hurt, heal, and hope. Hurt, heal, and hope. From fragility to robustness to antifragility, you will always be in a state of falling apart and coming back together again. Embrace it.

6.) You have a dark side:

“There are no shortcuts to wholeness. The only way to become whole is to put our arms lovingly around everything we know ourselves to be: self-serving and generous, spiteful and compassionate, cowardly and courageous, treacherous and trustworthy. We must be able to say, ‘I am all of the above.’” ~Parker J. Palmer

You have a shadow. Even your shadow has a shadow called the golden shadow. Your shadow is your repressed or unconscious self, struggling to be liberated and more conscious. Awareness is key. Becoming aware of our shadow side is shining a light into the darkness and giving our dark side permission to shine its blacklight back into the blinding light, which creates a unity of opposites.
An empowered dark side balances out the equation of the complicated human condition. Without this balance, you risk fragile one-dimensionality and a brittle ego terrified of taking responsibility for its shadow and thus fearful of the shadow of others.

You cannot fully know yourself without knowing your dark side and embracing your shadow. Such wholeness breeds wisdom and the ability to experience the full range of what it means to be human.

7.) Your beliefs limit you:

“If you adopt an idea or perception as the absolute truth, you close the door of your mind. Attachment to views, attachment to ideas, attachment to perceptions are the biggest obstacle to truth.” ~The Buddha

Your beliefs are incredibly restricting. You’ve been indoctrinated to think that you need to believe. Even worse, you’ve been brainwashed to believe more than you think.

In the battle against bewitchment, all beliefs, no matter how powerful or well-intended, are a hinderance to clear thought and self-improvement.

tter to think rather than believe. Thinking that something might be true allows for error, fallibility, and wrongness. Believing that something is certainly true cuts us off from all other possibilities. Belief is all or nothing, predicated upon faith despite facts or evidence. Thought is open-ended, taking beliefs, facts, and evidence into deep consideration and then using probability and validity to discover the truth.

More importantly, thinking rather than believing allows for skepticism and questioning. It is considered blasphemous to question a belief. Whereas questioning a thought is considered appropriate. Might as well just skip belief altogether and simply take things into thoughtful consideration.

8.) You are culturally conditioned:

“When war turns whole populations into sleepwalkers, outlaws don’t join forces with alarm clocks. Outlaws, like poets, rearrange the nightmare.” ~Tom Robbins

You are programmed to think a certain way. This programming has propped-up your identity into perceiving a particular worldview that may or may not be based in reality. It might not even be healthy. This identity tied up in your worldview is an abstraction of an abstraction, a story within a story that you’ve convinced yourself is true.

But you have the power to reprogram your programming.

We are all conditioned by culture. The key is to become aware of it and to weigh our conditioning against the truth of reality. Then recondition the conditioning. We each have our own Plato’s Cave to navigate.

The extent to which you can become aware of your own “cave” will be the extent of your flexibility, open-mindedness, and personal freedom.

9.) You know less than you think:

“Some people are more certain of everything than I am of anything.” ~Robert Rubin

You think you know more than you actually do. Your certainty about a great many things limits your imagination, creative thinking, and ability to question. It leads to dogmatic reasoning and close-mindedness.

ou are just so certain, aren’t you? Your certitude is so powerful that you cannot see past your beliefs. Hung up on what you’ve found, you have given up the search. Your journey has come to an end. Your certainty has led you to a dead-end. You are stuck. And the only way out is to question what you think you know.

The more you question, the more you realize that the only answer that makes any sense is to keep questioning. When you stop questioning the journey for truth comes to an end and stagnation, sloth, and dogmatism begin to rule your world. Keep things in perspective by accepting that you know less than you think you do and keep questioning.

10.) Your life is terribly inconsequential:

“Don’t slip on the banana peel of nihilism, even while listening to the roar of Nothingness.” ~Lawrence Ferlinghetti

When it comes down to it, your life is a flash in the pan. It’s dust in the cosmic wind. It’s an infinitesimally insignificant spark in an unfathomably dark, unforgiving, and meaningless universe. But it is a spark.

What you do won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But it’s very important that you do it anyway. Why? Because you are the universe attempting to become aware of itself. You are an awareness machine in an otherwise unaware cosmos. You are a meaning-generator in a reality void of meaning. You might be nothing more than a speck in the universe, but you are also the entire universe in a speck.

Either way, you will one day be dust. Your tiny insignificant life will end. Face that fleetingness with a fierceness. Laugh into the abyss. Face fear with fearlessness. Climb the highest mountain and kick God in the nuts. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Or not. None of it will matter in the end. You will still be the butt-end of the cosmic joke. It’s all laughable. So you might as well have a laugh.

Gary Z McGee, Self-inflicted Philosophy, republished here with permission.

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Physicists Suggest All Matter Could Be Made Up of Energy ‘Fragments’

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Matter is what makes up the Universe, but what makes up matter? This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists.

Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter. We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves, as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that matter is made of fragments of energy.

From Five to One

The ancient Greeks conceived of five building blocks of matter – from bottom to top: earth, water, air, fire and aether. Aether was the matter that filled the heavens and explained the rotation of the stars, as observed from the Earth vantage point.

These were the first most basic elements from which one could build up a world. Their conceptions of the physical elements did not change dramatically for nearly 2,000 years.

Then, about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles. One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light.

The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter. Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.

This was a vast improvement over the ancient Greeks’ five elements but was still flawed. In a famous series of experiments, known as the double-slit experiments, light sometimes acts like a particle and at other times acts like a wave. And while the theories and math of waves and particles allow scientists to make incredibly accurate predictions about the Universe, the rules break down at the largest and tiniest scales.

Einstein proposed a remedy in his theory of general relativity. Using the mathematical tools available to him at the time, Einstein was able to better explain certain physical phenomena and also resolve a longstanding paradox relating to inertia and gravity.

But instead of improving on particles or waves, he eliminated them as he proposed the warping of space and time.

Using newer mathematical tools, my colleague and I have demonstrated a new theory that may accurately describe the Universe. Instead of basing the theory on the warping of space and time, we considered that there could be a building block that is more fundamental than the particle and the wave.

Scientists understand that particles and waves are existential opposites: A particle is a source of matter that exists at a single point, and waves exist everywhere except at the points that create them.

My colleague and I thought it made logical sense for there to be an underlying connection between them.

Flow and Fragments of Energy

Our theory begins with a new fundamental idea – that energy always “flows” through regions of space and time.

Think of energy as made up of lines that fill up a region of space and time, flowing into and out of that region, never beginning, never ending and never crossing one another.

Working from the idea of a universe of flowing energy lines, we looked for a single building block for the flowing energy. If we could find and define such a thing, we hoped we could use it to accurately make predictions about the Universe at the largest and tiniest scales.

There were many building blocks to choose from mathematically, but we sought one that had the features of both the particle and wave – concentrated like the particle but also spread out over space and time like the wave.

The answer was a building block that looks like a concentration of energy – kind of like a star – having energy that is highest at the center, and that gets smaller farther away from the center.

Much to our surprise, we discovered that there were only a limited number of ways to describe a concentration of energy that flows. Of those, we found just one that works in accordance with our mathematical definition of flow.

We named it a fragment of energy. For the math and physics aficionados, it is defined as A = -⍺/r where ⍺ is intensity and r is the distance function.

Using the fragment of energy as a building block of matter, we then constructed the math necessary to solve physics problems. The final step was to test it out.

Back to Einstein, Adding Universality

More than 100 ago, Einstein had turned to two legendary problems in physics to validate general relativity: the ever-so-slight yearly shift – or precession – in Mercury’s orbit, and the tiny bending of light as it passes the Sun.

These problems were at the two extremes of the size spectrum. Neither wave nor particle theories of matter could solve them, but general relativity did.

The theory of general relativity warped space and time in such way as to cause the trajectory of Mercury to shift and light to bend in precisely the amounts seen in astronomical observations.

If our new theory was to have a chance at replacing the particle and the wave with the presumably more fundamental fragment, we would have to be able to solve these problems with our theory, too.

For the precession-of-Mercury problem, we modeled the Sun as an enormous stationary fragment of energy and Mercury as a smaller but still enormous slow-moving fragment of energy. For the bending-of-light problem, the Sun was modeled the same way, but the photon was modeled as a minuscule fragment of energy moving at the speed of light.

In both problems, we calculated the trajectories of the moving fragments and got the same answers as those predicted by the theory of general relativity. We were stunned.

Our initial work demonstrated how a new building block is capable of accurately modeling bodies from the enormous to the minuscule. Where particles and waves break down, the fragment of energy building block held strong.

The fragment could be a single potentially universal building block from which to model reality mathematically – and update the way people think about the building blocks of the Universe.

Republished from TheConversation.com under Creative Commons

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Consciousness

Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field

Justin MacLachlan

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A neuroscientist has suggested in a new theory that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons.

The study published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness is entirely based off a theory absent of tangible evidence. However, the author of the research Johnjoe McFadden said that his hypothesis could offer a way forward for robots that think and feel emotions.

McFadden believes that neuron waves of electrical activity get sent out and as they propagate across the brain, they help compose our entire conscious experience.

Johnjoe McFadden, is a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey. McFadden points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we don’t have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.

McFadden’s hypothesis swerves away from most traditional neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter.

McFadden’s theory adapts the idea of “dualism,” which is the belief that consciousness is a supernatural force. Dualism has long been rejected by scientists and ruled pseudo-science, but McFadden has attempted to apply a scientific explanation for the idea, which hasn’t been done before.

Neuroscience news reports that the theory is based on scientific fact:

“The theory is based on scientific fact: when neurons in the brain and nervous system fire, they not only send the familiar electrical signal down the wire-like nerve fibres, but they also send a pulse of electromagnetic energy into the surrounding tissue. Such energy is usually disregarded, yet it carries the same information as nerve firings, but as an immaterial wave of energy, rather than a flow of atoms in and out of the nerves.”

It’s also a fact we have an electromagnetic field surrounding our brain is well-known and is detected by brain-scanning techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) but has previously been dismissed as irrelevant to brain function and supernatural. Instead, McFadden contends that the brain’s information-rich electromagnetic field is, in fact, itself the seat of consciousness, driving the ‘free will’ of an individual.

“How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release published by Medical Xpress. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”

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