INSPIRATIONAL: Meditation to defeat a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world

https://bigthink.com/the-well/attention-span/

The Well
How to unlock your “peak mind”

  • “What you pay attention to, is your life.” Where do you place precious brain resources?

Amishi Jha

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There’s a shorthand that we can use to think about this. The term is VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. The world today feels like it’s a constant VUCA environment, but there’s another challenge that our attention faces, and why many of us feel like we’re in an attentional crisis. Frankly, the brain was designed to be lured by, for our evolutionary success and survival, certain kinds of information; threatening information novel information, self-related information, and even things that are fun and enticing. I’m talking about the ‘Attention Economy.’ Everything is being done by teams of engineers to actually capture your attention and keep it there; your attention is the product. Finally, the mind can be hijacked away by something called ‘Mental Time Travel.’ That means that our attention is not in the present moment, so when we’re thinking about the past, our attention is fully in the past, same thing with the future. About 50% of our waking moments, we aren’t in the present moment.

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When I first learned about “meditation” in Comparative Non-Christian Religions  — yes, I got another D  — I thought it was a lot of “Barbara Streisand” <synonym for excrement>.  Later, when I was in USAF survival school, we were encouraged to practice it for when we became a POW  — luckily I never left Maryland.  But, the lessons kept being repeated to me.  “Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.”  — ― Frank Sonnenberg, Soul Food: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life Not sure when I began to take “mindfulness” seriously; I do now.

YMMV

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― Frank Sonnenberg

INSPIRATIONAL: IS the Star of Bethlehem a sign?

https://bigthink.com/13-8/star-of-bethlehem/

13.8 — December 21, 2022
What was the Star of Bethlehem?
Never stop looking at the skies in wonder.
Marcelo Gleiser

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On the nature of the astronomical phenomenon that took place (or not), there were three disparate reactions: Complete agreement with Molnar, qualified agreement, and radical disagreement. On the chronology of the events, most agreed that Jesus’s birth took place between 7-5 BCE. On the relation between astronomy and astrology, there was mostly disagreement on the intentions and the interpretations of astrologers from different regions in the Middle East. One major difficulty was to justify the visit of only three men, given the alleged power of the celestial portent. Why not a multitude of the devout? As for the “why,” Matthew was the one evangelist who considered celestial portents seriously, using them plentifully in his narrative.

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It seems that the Biblical story is just that, a story.

The “stories” of all the various religions seem to be the “fake news” of ill-remembered past events.

When you try to recount relatively recent events without written records, it’s impossible to make sense or even sort “fact” from the fiction of “false memories”.

In short, everything is suspect the further back you go in time.

Nice “stories”, but not “historical certainty”.

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INSPIRATIONAL: A breakthrough discovery about lupus

https://bigthink.com/health/lupus-gene-mutation/

A Spanish teen’s genome may hold the secret to lupus
Researchers believe they have found a single point mutation in an infection-sensing gene that causes the autoimmune disorder.
B. David Zarley — 2022-05May-15

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Researchers may have finally discovered a genetic cause of lupus, the autoimmune disorder (and elusive enemy of Dr. Gregory House).

Their study, published in Nature, points to a mutation in a gene that senses viral RNA. 

Previous studies have implicated the gene, called TLR7, in lupus before, El Pais reports, but this new study identified a previously unknown variant of the gene in a Spanish teenager who was diagnosed with lupus as a child.

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Thanks to a little Spanish girl’s suffering, humanity might benefit in several ways — identification, mitigation, and perhaps even a cure.

We know so little about everything.

““We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know.” – Albert Einstein” https://buff.ly/3MgGDyH

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