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3 Methods to Maximize Your Health

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With our world’s societies plagued with sickness, sadness and stress, it’s almost rebellious to take good care of your health. Now of course there are pockets of people who pump their physique for the primary purpose of vanity, but effective health management is much more than just working and toning your body.

The word ‘health’ has etymological roots which define it as ‘whole’.  So when you think of being healthy, it’s wise to consider what layers of your life need attention to bring your whole experience into a functional and productive synergy. In other words, your personal well-being is much more than just the common description of ‘physical and mental health’, it’s a myriad of mirrors which reflect the wholeness of your being.

What follows, therefore, is a sharp snapshot for maximizing your health holistically.

1 – Love Your Body

Let’s start with the most basic. Your physical body is a biological computer. It requires certain inputs to operate functionally. The first step is to be smart about what you put into it, especially the food (medicine) you feed it.

For example, with a food supply that is laced by a corporate culture hell-bent on testing out whatever cheap, artificial ingredient they can to maximize their profits, we’re bombarded with a rich tapestry of genetically and chemically modified products that struggle to resemble real foods. Plus, the monocultural model of industrial-agriculture ensures that many nutrients we need are not in the synthetically produced diets they manufacture.

Therefore, an organic, nutrition-dense diet that avoids toxins from both the plant and meat industries will always be a wise move. Couple this with fresh rainwater (or water from other natural sources) and you’re already on your way to detoxifying yourself from a sick food system and maximizing your physical well-being.

Without going into too much detail, here are some other important aspects of physical health to consider:

  • Sugar, especially the processed varieties, should be minimized because they’re addictive and cause various diseases, including obesity and cancer;
  • For meat-eaters, a predominately plant-based diet with natural and ethically-produced meat is a must, especially because excessive meat consumption is linked to diseases such as cancer (along with a plethora of negative environmental impacts);
  • Pharmaceuticals from the corporate monopolies commonly treat the symptoms (and not the cause) of a disease with synthetic concoctions that have destructive side-effects, including death, so always minimize your use of them and choose natural alternatives if they’re available;
  • Having some fun with altered states of consciousness from your preferred choice of substance is excellent for mind expansion and/or de-stressing the mind and body, as long as it doesn’t become habitually destructive;
  • We don’t need to be perfectly fit, but engaging in some forms of exercise – such as walking, stretching, hiking, fitness circuits, sex, gardening etc – is necessary to stimulate your body as a whole, as well as your lungs, heart and other organs; and
  • Getting out into the sun and into nature have wondrous physiological effects that might be hard to quantify, yet regardless, it contributes strongly to your overall health.

Ultimately, you need to respect your body and its needs. After all, it’s the only one you’ll ever have, at least in this lifetime. Therefore, use your body like its intended. Move it, work it and fuel it properly. When it gets out of balance, including your gut health, it has severe impacts on your mental wellbeing, so as a prerequisite for being mentally healthy there needs to be a minimum respect for balancing your body’s health.

2 – Love Your Mind

Your body is the hardware and your mind is the software. Without both conscious and subconscious programs, the body won’t run and will therefore die. Yet if the programs are poorly designed and operated they will cause the love affair of the mind and body to generate disease.

It’s somewhat confusing when its recommended to ‘take care of your mental health’ because your internal experience is a deep dance of eclectic energies. Even when you identify the various aspects to your psychological wellbeing, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin and how to proceed.

To break it down simply, your psychological self is that which captures your thoughts, emotions, memories, desires and beliefs. It’s your ego; your finite snapshot of infinite consciousness. It’s also the result of your environmental influences and your freewill. Therefore, the way you organize your mind and respond to your experience can either be predominantly self-abusive or healthy.

No one ever gets it perfect, of course, but it’s important to understand where you sit on this spectrum so you can do what’s necessary to have more healthy and functional mind and heart states.

Put frankly, it’s not rocket science: toxic thoughts cause stress, which can lead to disease. The psychological response to your emotional apparatus (which are called ‘feelings’) can do the same if it’s also toxic. That doesn’t mean you need to always feel positive emotions either; it just means that you deal with your fear, anger, anxiety and sadness in healthy and productive ways.

Another aspect to your mind are your philosophies. Etymologically, philosophy simply means ‘love of wisdom’. Practically, your philosophies are your beliefs and the paradigms they’re conceptualized within. Your philosophical positions are part of the category of mental health because the more healthy and empowered your beliefs, the more healthy and empowered your inner health.

Philosophy is rarely discussed in terms of health, probably because there are as many belief systems as there are people. But just because we all have the right to believe how and what we want, that doesn’t mean that those beliefs are actually healthy. One sure-fire way to ensure a healthy philosophical foundation is to acknowledge both your subtle and explicit connections to reality at large, which I’ll elaborate on in the next section.

Ultimately, your mind can be broken down into two fundamental layers: the conscious and the unconscious. In addition, the scale at which you are actually conscious compared to the activity of your mind is so insignificant that you need to delve into your subconscious to effectively take care of your internal health.

One such approach is meditation, which can be a type of self-administered psychotherapy. This can be done by focusing your attention in a quiet, undisturbed setting, or it can be done on-the-go, especially when we are engaged in an activity that has a singular focus, such as exercise, washing dishes, gardening or a plethora of other mundane activities.

Whether its achieved by specific meditation techniques or by simply giving more focus to your mind’s activity, the purpose is to become more aware of the drivers, themes, patterns and habits that emerge from your subconscious because they will illustrate the dysfunctions and toxicities you need to heal and the immaturities you need to grow. By identifying the dis-ease that exists in the deeper layers of your consciousness – such as your traumas and fears – you can now get on with important layers of self-healing and self-development.

Beware though: rewiring yourself neurologically and redesigning yourself conceptually takes months, if not years, of repetitive and sustained behavioral change, which is usually accompanied by sacrifices to properly achieve.

3 – Love Your Connection to Reality

What I always recommend when it comes to developing a healthy belief system is to recognize and respect your connection to reality. This encourages you to honor your external realm, as you should your inner realm.

This can be done multiple ways. First is obviously the connection to yourself; how aware are you of the holistic activity of your mind/body/spirit interaction? Next is the so-called outside world, which you are connected to on several key levels. Family and your ancestry is your genetic connection. The animal and plant kingdom is your ecological connection. The earth is your cosmological connection. Some even go further into the wacky world of quantum sciences to rationalize their entangled connection with reality at large, whilst the other method is to study esoteric disciplines to envision it through the lens of spirituality.

A poetic way I like to summarize our connection to our experience is that we’re an individual instrument in the orchestra of reality.

Regardless of how you specifically design your understanding of your connection to all things, it’s a necessary feature for your health because standing in a false sense of isolation can cause a myriad of mad mind states. For example, excessive greed, selfishness and vanity are usually by-products of an unhealthy sense of connection to reality which leads to a disharmonious relationship with yourself, as well as others.

Yet, once you develop your philosophy of interconnection, you realize that your interdependence is just as important as your individuality. Simply, they’re two sides of the one coin. So, how healthy are your relationships with your family and friends? How healthy are your community relationships? Are your actions healthy for yourself and those around you? What impacts do you have on your environment and natural systems?

Moreover, your connection to reality is not just physical and metaphysical, it’s also interactive. It’s the knowledge you’re sharing and absorbing. It’s the energy you’re emitting and attracting. It’s the love that you radiate and the love that you invite into your experience. Therefore, how you dance with your experience can either be an aesthetic masterpiece, or a disturbingly, bloody war.

The good news? It’s entirely up to you to choose.

Final Thoughts

There are other nuances to our health that are equally important, but for the sake of time I’ll only mention some of them briefly. How strong is your energetic vitality? Are you building synergy between your conscious awareness and your energetic bodies? How is your creative health? Are you expressing yourself properly? Are you facing yourself authentically by identifying your weaknesses, such as your hypocrisies and bigotries? Are you morally conscious? Can you recognize your behaviors that are self-loathing and self-abusive? What about your capacity to forgive? Are you even aware of your unnecessary hates and condemnations?

Whatever your current state of physical, mental, behavioral, social and spiritual health, it really is a challenge to undertake a holistic rebirth of the self, especially once we surpass the natural growth limits of the body-brain. As mentioned earlier, it is a long, neuroplastic process of commitment and sacrifice to recreate yourself into a new and improved version.

However, it is achievable. It’s also necessary. In a global community that is characterized by lower frequencies of thinking, feeling and acting – one where fear and suffering runs rampant – it’s not only important for the quality of your own life, but the quality of the collective energy that you’re dancing with, regardless if you acknowledge that you’re influencing it or not.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phillip J. Watt is an author, presenter, researcher and health coach who lives on the Mid North Coast of NSW Australia. His written and film work deals with topics from ideology to society, as well as self-development. Follow him on Facebook, listen to his Podcast on SoundCloud or Itunes, watch his films and video interviews at his YouTube Channel or visit his websites Pushing the Tipping Point and Vitality Guidance.

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

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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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