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Consciousness

Here’s What 30 Minutes of Nature Walking Daily Does for You

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“The poetry of the earth is never dead,” said John Keats. Are you experiencing it? Here is a whole list of reasons you need to go for a 30-minute walk outside in nature today:

Increases Attention and Decision Making Skills

Even mild exertion from something like taking a brief walk improves your mental functioning because of the increased oxygen created by the heart. Walking on a regular basis also promotes connections between brain cells (neuroplasticity), lowers the usual withering of brain tissue as we age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.

Grounding helps build up negative ions in our bodies stored in the earth.

Grounding helps build up negative ions in our bodies stored in the earth.

If You Walk Barefoot, You Can Ground Yourself

Earthing or grounding refers to the practice of reversing the positive electrons which build up in our bodies due to exposure to WiFi, bad diets, etc. positive electrons form free radicals which cause our cells to die faster. When we ground with the earth allowing the soles of our feet or any other body part to touch bare ground, it balances out this positive charge with a negative, grounding charge that greatly boosts our health.

You’ll be 50% More Creative

A study done in 2012 revealed that a group of backpackers were 50% more creative after they spent four days walking on a hiking trail.

You’ll Soak Up More Vitamin D

If we spend more time outdoors, we are more likely to get the levels of Vitamin D we need for cell growth, bone strength, the reduction of inflammation, and staving off depression.

Age More Gracefully

Researchers found in a twelve-year study that people who spent time outside had lower age-related complaints that those who spent most of their days indoors.

Be More Inspired to Work Out

Even if you are a gym rat, spending time outside promotes your desire to go back to the gym. Being surrounded in natural beauty makes exercise feel easier, so we are more likely to want to tackle a boring 45-minute treadmill session at the gym when there’s inclement weather.

Exercising in nature fools our brains into thinking we are exerting less effort.

Exercising in nature fools our brains into thinking we are exerting less effort.

Boosts Memory

Moderate exercise like walking practiced daily over a period of six months has been shown to change certain areas of the brain, making your memory sharper and clearer than before you started the practice.

Improves Sleep

Got sleep problems? A 20-minute walk can increase serotonin and other hormones which help to regulate sleep cycles and help you fall asleep and stay asleep at night.

Improves Mobility in People with Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s causes the brain to deteriorate making even simple motor skills like placing one foot in front of the other difficult. Walking, however, helps people suffering from Parkinson’s much more mobile.

Cuts Your Risk of Alzheimer’s in Half

Gardening or dancing will do the trick too, but taking daily walks will cut your risk of Alzheimer’s in half.

Boosts Your Immune System

A study found that walking just 20 minutes a day can cut your chances of catching a cold or flu during “sick” season by 43%. If you do get sick, it will cut the length and severity of your illness considerably. 

Reduces the Incidence of Colon Cancer by 40%

Walking a mile a day, something that can easily be done at a moderate pace in about 30-40 minutes can cut your chances of getting colorectal cancer in half. This is likely because walking also stimulates digestion. Studies have shown that walking right after a meal speeds the rate at which the food moves through the colon, and can clear the glucose from your bloodstream to lower your blood sugar as well. Walking post-meal can also reduce bloating and that uncomfortable feeling of having stuffed yourself too full.

Keeps Your Weight Healthy

Adding just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can burn up to 150 extra calories. This can help you to lose weight if you are trying to, and helps to maintain a healthy weight if you are already your ideal weight. That’s not the real secret to walking for a healthy weight though. Many people are unaware that walking counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. It also curbs sweet cravings in as little a 15 minutes, so you are less likely to eat those high-calorie “treats” if you just go for a walk.

Reduces the Tendency to Dwell on Negative Aspects of Life

If you want to think positively, and do it with ease, taking a walk through any green space will do the trick. Researchers proved this to be true in a study conducted by Gregory Bratman and his colleagues. They were trying to figure out the effects of urbanization on people’s moods since more than 70% of the world is expected to live in a large city by the end of 2050.  The researchers found that spending as little as twenty minutes a day walking in a green space could lower the tendency to ruminate of negative things.

Walking with someone we love can also allow us time to build our personal relationships while getting al the benefits of a clear-mind and open heart that come with being in nature and getting moderate exercise.

No time to get closer to the ones you love? Go for a walk together.

Increases Feelings of Well-Being and Inspiration

The poet Walt Whitman (author of Leaves of Grass) spent many of his hours walking in nature. He said, “I believe the leaf of grass is no less the journey-work of the stars.” He also advised, “Keep your face toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.” He talked highly of nature, saying that it could lead us to our own personal salvation. He was constantly inspired by nature, and you can be too.

Reduces Back Pain

Walking releases endorphins which are our body’s own natural painkillers. It also keeps our body more functional so that we experience less low back pain, which is often due to prolonged sitting, or a sedentary lifestyle.

Alleviates Depression

An Australian study found that regular walking alone can reduce depression, and doing in nature ups the ante even more. Stanford scientists also think they may have unraveled the reason that spending time in nature lowers our feelings of depression and anxiety – they think it stops people from thinking about stuff that makes them depressed. Seeing the colors of nature – blues, greens, etc. are also known to change our brain waves to those which create feelings of happiness and well-being. If that wasn’t enough to convince you to walk, researchers also believe walking in nature relieves general mental fatigue, and elicits feelings of awe.

Increases Joint Health

Walking can help restore joint health. When we walk, nutrient dense blood is circulated into the cartilage which acts like a sponge to soak it up. This can help to prevent joint injuries, and to lessen joint pain. It helps to rebuild the joint on a microscopic level.

Works Your Arms, Core, and Shoulder Muscles, Not Just Legs

We all know that walking works our legs, glutes, ankles, and feet, but were you aware that you also use your core to support an upright position, your shoulder muscles, and your arms? Maintaining a good walking posture can be a full-body workout.

Alleviates Risk of Cardiovascular Disease by 60%

Exercise of any kind lowers your risk of heart disease by 60%. Walking just happens to be one of the easiest types of exercise to do every day.

Reduces Fatigue

If you are exhausted you may not want to go for a walk, but research suggests that, aside from getting more sleep, you can reduce your fatigue by 65% just by ding exactly that. As Dr. Tim Puetz, a researcher who led one study suggests, “Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out — especially when we are already feeling fatigued, However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy — particularly in sedentary individuals.”

You Can Commune with the Divine

There’s a reason why the Daoists revered nature and many a hermit or sadhu has spent time in a forest or mountain cave meditating. The quiet offered by nature is a way for us to get closer to our truest, divine nature, and we don’t have to be a monk to do it. Walking meditation is also highly recommended.

Meditating in nature helps us absorb the Qi or life energy that is abundant there.

Meditating in nature helps us absorb the Qi or life energy that is abundant there.

Where can you walk in nature today?

Image: Source, Source, Pixabay

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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Consciousness

Ann Arbor becomes latest city to decriminalize “magic” mushrooms and other natural psychedelics

Elias Marat

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(TMU) – The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has effectively decriminalized psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms along with other natural psychedelics in the latest sign that public opinion across the U.S. is continuing to turn against prohibitionist policies.

On Monday, the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that would make it the city’s lowest-ranked law enforcement priority to the investigate or arrest anyone planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, using or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.

The resolution applies to all psychedelics derived from plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.

The council also requires the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to halt the prosecution of those involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.

Ann Arbor now joins a growing list of cities including Denver, Colorado, and the California cities of Santa Cruz and Oakland that have decriminalized all entheogenic plants. Other cities including Chicago and Austin are considering similar measures. A ballot measure that would legalize the use of psilocybin in therapeutic settings will also be voted on in the state of Oregon this November.

The move to de-prioritize law enforcement around psychedelics was spearheaded by the efforts of local grassroots advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2.

At the beginning of the year, councilmembers were skeptical about any move to decriminalize psychedelics. Since then, they’ve found themselves convinced by evidence of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of psychedelics, including for mental health treatment and treating addiction, reports MLive.

Councilmember Zachary Ackerman cited the opening of a $17 million psychedelic and consciousness research center by Johns Hopkins Medicine as proof of “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.” The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is currently conducting clinical trials to find out whether the drug is suitable as a prescription drug for the U.S. market.

Councilmember Jack Eaton described the council’s unanimous backing for the decriminalization resolution as carrying on the city’s legacy of backing the local decriminalization of m******** during the 1970s, when the plant was still illegal under state and federal law.

The resolution doesn’t allow for the commission of crimes or any significant violation of state or federal law, and any use of entheogenic substances that pose a threat to public health and safety could require intervention by law enforcement bodies.

In the resolution, entheogenic plants are defined as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”

The resolution also states that psychedelic substances can be used to address substance abuse problems, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions.

“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” it states.

Psilocybin mushrooms are currently considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

However, psilocybin – the main chemical component of the mushrooms – was designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA in 2019 due to the positive results of psilocybin in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health problems.

Studies have also shown how a microdose of psilocybin—far from the level needed for a full-blown trip—actually increases the creativity and empathy of participants.

Other researchers have also found that psilocybin has provided effective help to patients struggling to quit other addictive substances such as cigarettes.

The newfound recognition of psilocybin therapy as a valid treatment has eroded old stereotypes of psilocybin as some intoxicating and hallucination-inducing party drug that drives its users insane – a reputation that largely grew out of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s when they were widely known as “psychedelic” or “magic” mushrooms.

The resolution further notes that entheogenic plants have been the basis of spiritual practices by human cultures for thousands of years, yet those who seek them for the sake of improving their health and wellbeing must risk arrest and prosecution to obtain them.

“Decriminalization of naturally occurring medicines is necessary for progress,” councilmember Jeff Hayner said in a press release from DNA2 last week, reports Detroit Metro Times. “We can no longer turn a blind eye towards the wisdom of indigenous peoples, and the bounty the earth provides. I have been moved by the testimonies of those who have found profound relief from the use of entheogenic plants.”

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Activism

The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix

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esoteric meaning neo interrogation matrix

More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.

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One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.

Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.

What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?

Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.

What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?

Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.

The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening

With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.

You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.

Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies

Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.

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The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.

The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.

This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.

Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.

Imaginary Rights

Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”

To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.

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This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.

In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.

We Must Start With the Imagination

There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.

Wake Up Neo — You Are the One

Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.

Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”

This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.

By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.

If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?

Written by Gavin Nascimento, Founder of aNewKindOfHuman.com

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