In a recent Ted Talk, neuroscientist Anil Seth revealed irrefutable proof that conscious reality is not shaped by the world around us. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Our brain hallucinates our reality into being. It uses past experiences and sensory data to make a series of predictions about the outside world. Through this process, it generates the world.
The world we experience comes as much, if not more, from the inside out as from the outside in. ~ Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom
The Brain Creates Conscious Reality
Backed by various scientific experiments, Seth explains the process in which the brain creates what we perceive as our conscious reality. The brain uses sensory information in the world to help it form its best predictions about what is possible. Additionally, it assimilates our experiences of the physical body and applies that to our perception of the self. All of these experiences are further shaped by the biological functions that keep us alive.
What we consciously see depends on the brain’s guess of what’s out there. Our experienced world comes from the inside out not just the outside in. This applies to our experiences of what is and what is not our body. These self-related predictions depend critically on sensory signals coming from deep inside the body.
Seth believes that once the brain has made its predictions, it hallucinates an experience that we perceive as reality. Thus, in a sense, we are predicting ourselves and our world into existence in real-time.
Do We Have the Power to Change Reality?
Many believe that we have the power to shape reality. This is exactly what Seth is also saying – the brain creates, aka hallucinates, our conscious reality. Unfortunately, most people take their reality for granted. We often believe that the world is what it is, and that we are just a tiny spec in a much bigger organism. We call this organism life, society, humanity, existence, etc.
Whatever nomenclature we choose, this bigger organism is actually a figment of our collective consciousness. A hallucination, per say, that we have all agreed on for thousands of years. And since we’ve agreed upon it, we call it reality.
Consciousness and its influence over reality remain a great mystery of modern science. We have yet to apprehend the full inner workings of the mind and its power over the human experience. One thing neuroscientists, such as Anil Seth, are starting to reveal is that life is not a random assembly of matter that sometimes produces a body and a conscious mind. On the contrary, it is the conscious mind and our conscious experiences that create and organize the world into being.
With a greater sense of understanding, comes a greater sense of wonder and a greater realization that we are a part of and not apart from the rest of nature. ~ Anil Seth
Let’s be honest. The idea that we can shape reality can be very exciting, but the concept may also seem completely implausible. Many of us feel like we’re the product of our parents, society and culture, barely in control of our own lives. Yet, the reality is that this is just what we’ve been programmed to believe. Not only programmed by culture and media, but programmed on a cellular level through our human ancestry.
For many of us, just entertaining the possibility of creating our own reality may be enough to reshape our perceptions about what is possible. This in itself could motivate you to pursue an ambition or dream you thought unattainable.
As many already know, on September 18, 2017 the Senate passed a bill authorizing a further $700 billion to be injected into the coffers of the Pentagon’s military industrial complex, whose primary role is ceaseless global hegemonic expansion, under the deceitful banner of ‘protecting the national interest’.
The US already has over 1,000 military bases spread all over the world. Each exerting a strong geopolitical influence within its particular domain. The budget which supports these bases and the troops, air power and naval presence which goes with them, amounts to 54% of Federal discretionary spending.
The feverish determination to retain and expand the US position as the planet’s number one bully boy, has been accompanied by an unprecedented escalation in the rhetoric of war and violence.
The vitriolic exchanges between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Yong-un, bear testimony to the levels of depravity each party is prepared to descend to in threatening the other with various shades of annihilation. Within the shifting parameters of this slinging match, it is worth noting that North Korea actually has something to defend: its sovereignty and independence from the ever-present threat of US hegemony.
As far as the US and NATO are concerned, no one has any right to nuclear weapons except those who openly support ‘the allies’. ‘The allies’ being a small club of nations that hold a common view on the enforcement of ‘a new world order’, through the auspices of a militarily backed, hierarchical central control system with which to manage global affairs.
The warped psychology which lies behind this deeply aggressive, anti humanitarian vision of a New World Order, needs to be properly examined in order for us to more fully comprehend where such an obsessive motivation ‘to dominate’ has its roots.
Well, you don’t need to be Carl Jung to recognize that the unchecked expression of irrational aggression is subconscious compensation for a substantial lack of inner confidence and self-respect, which – when channeled positively – manifests as empathy, wisdom and responsibility, and seeks to turn such into outer actions for the general benefit of mankind.
In a world where being ‘competitive’ is the totem around which neoliberal globalisation revolves, millions are preconditioned to accepting a degree of ruthlessness in everyday life, but especially in business. In fact, it is said that one cannot become successful in (big) business unless one is prepared to put hard-headed ruthlessness well ahead of such humanitarian qualities as compassion and empathy for fellow humans.
The USA prides itself in being a ‘nation of opportunity’ where anyone supposedly stands a chance of rising from rags to riches. But kept well in the shadows in this ‘land of the free’, is just what it actually takes to get to the top of the ladder.
Step into center stage John Wayne, the tough, swaggering, aggressive cowboy who has been adopted over the years by millions of aspiring US males, as a role model for what it means ‘to be a man’.
Wayne exemplifies the male cut off from his female side – that which produces the qualities of compassion and caring. Here one has the macho male exerting his authority so as to appear always in control of the situation, on top, and in some way invincible. This is the foundation and flash-point for the wider expression of megalomania which has much of global politics in its grip.
The distortion of human nature which must take place in order to successfully project the John Wayne image, involves the repression of those aspects of human nature that would otherwise balance-out the testosterone fueled machismo, with sensitive and humanistic openness.
Men and women each carry within, certain biological characteristics of their opposites. The male, female characteristics and the female, male characteristics. Those who achieve balance between these energies, become well-rounded, responsible and often wise individuals. Qualities one is always vainly hoping will be manifest in political leadership.
For many years, John Wayne was held up as the ideal stereotype of ‘maleness’; and while this image may now be considered ‘passé’, there is fat chance that anyone ambitious enough to make it to the top is ever going to exhibit the subtly balanced qualities required for genuine leadership.
Somewhere in the psyche of those raised to believe in the attainability of ‘The American Dream’, is a deep frustration. One that can easily turn to anger and vindictiveness; especially once it becomes clear that this ‘dream’ is actually an unattainable chimera – and that the deeply materialistic nature of the road to riches is a sure-fire receipt for inner emptiness.
Inner emptiness, as many have found out, is a hard condition to live with; it is for this reason that those suffering this malaise adopt an outer ‘persona’ which disguises the inner lack. For those who wish to devote their lives to climbing the corporate ladder of the status quo, a tough, hardened image more often than not becomes the adopted persona to be presented to the rest of the business community.
The continuation of the US gun culture bears testimony to the macho climate which has been spurred on by an aggressive corporate ‘big business’ domination of everyday life. The vast military machine simply furthers this agenda – while being put-across as the heroic defender of US liberty!
US women have their image makers too, of course. Madonna being one such example. Here the feminist ideology is encapsulated in a woman promoting the modern in-your-face expression of sexual liberation – but combined – significantly, with total control over those deemed worthy of being lovers.
This is the equivalent distortion of the true female, as John Wayne’s is of the true male. It is hard-edged, ego led vanity, and in Madonna’s case, was the precursor of the Satanic paradigm that is now being played-out by such clones as Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. All of whom mix fake permissiveness with an underlying need to be both controlled and in control.
The unrooted, drifting nature of US culture is steeped in the concept of ‘image’. It is the dominant force in almost all elements of mass marketing, media presentation, fashion and in the sometimes desperate search for a valid personal identity. US corporations have taught the rest of the world how to shamelessly change the image of a low quality nothing product into something which comes across as the great purchase everyone wants to make!
For many there is genuine difficulty determining what is and is not ‘real’. This goes for emotions as well as products. The US has led the way into ‘virtual reality’, maybe because so many backed a life style that actually turned out to be ‘virtual’ – the ungrounded, insecure and delusional characteristics of ‘the dream’. Something which has left many defenseless against top-down mind control; particularly the major propaganda drives that spread the message of just how great and important America is – and Americans are – in comparison to every other country and peoples on this planet.
Yes, the American Dream is indeed just that. It was always a cipher, a chimera and grand delusion of vast proportions. And at its inception was the idea that here was this vast, fertile, mineral rich and beautiful land just waiting to be ‘settled’ by colonizers, escaping from their homelands in the hope of ‘making it’ in the land of the free!
Many citizens of the US still believe that Christopher Columbus discovered North America. The native American tribes that the settlers encountered, with their deep roots in the plains, rivers and mountains, were swept aside, portrayed as savages who must be driven off the land or simply exterminated.
Yet the documented deeds of much of the North American land mass, held in the US National Archives, clearly show who ‘discovered’ America, before the white invaders set about desecrating their tribal cultures and sacred lands. No wonder ‘invading and destroying’ became embedded in the American psyche as an important attribute of ‘Americanness’.
A country whose culture, self-identity and sense of purpose are based upon historical denial, is always going to need some grand delusion to focus on in order to fog over the reality and avoid having to confront – and be conscious – of the deception. In reality, facing and accepting the falsity which underlies ‘the dream’ is the only way US citizens can begin to take back control of their destinies.
What we have witnessed in US politics over the past few decades in particular, is the intensification of propaganda whose aim is to shore-up the steadily unraveling pseudo-cultural dystopia, by reminding citizens just what it means to be ‘American’.
Those who cling to the empty old paradigm of national superiority, military prowess and global domination, do so because subconsciously they cannot face the prospect of becoming aware that they are part of a society whose entire ethos is based on the seemingly irresistible trappings of a fake reality. A world in which everybody has the chance to become a millionaire – providing they ignore the destruction this reeks upon the resource base, fellow human beings, animals, forests and a once highly fertile land mass.
Rather than showing willing to learn this hard lesson, many try to bolster their imprisoned egos by adorating the antics of John Wayne and other Rambo like hero figures, who shoot their way out of trouble whatever the circumstances.
Just like the delusional Floridians shooting at hurricane Irma in the belief that they could thereby kill it off. Or Generał Schwarzkopf (knighted by the Queen of England) blasting his way through Iraq during the illegal US led invasion of that country.
So it is that megalomania becomes ‘the new normal’- the inevitable end point – if one is hell-bent on avoiding ever looking truth in the eye and being humbled by what one sees. Those who cannot take this step cling to the fraying – and for most, ‘protective’ image of Mr or Mrs Powerful, the Donald Trumps and Hilary Clintons of the national stage, whose pompous posturings serve to hide a profound lack of vision and a pervasive inner weakness.
What is on show, is an empty expression of hubris and arrogance, hiding the terrible vacuum which lies right at the heart of this phantom known as The American Dream. Here lies the cowardly beast which, desperately needing to re-enforce its compensatory image of Mr Strong Man, unleashes its imperialist hegemony on the rest of the world.
The trouble, for the rest of the planet, is that this deeply irrational ambition for ‘full spectrum dominance‘ continues to drive this monster into the backyards of almost every country of the world, where it then sets about pressurizing the leadership to take on the dystopian US value system which so insidiously pollutes the values of native cultures.
Fortunately, this is not always achieved to the satisfaction of the imperialists. But most NATO countries have, in one way or another, failed to resist the self-serving demands of Mr Big Bully and the vast military machine used to threaten anyone courageous enough to refuse entry.
So perhaps we have now uncovered what “Let’s make America great again” actually means. A statement received with rapt enthusiasm by a substantial percentage of the US electorate – and a cold shiver of apprehension by the rest of the world.
Eventuality all megalomania shoots itself in the foot, recognized for what it is and despised by a growing proportion of humanity. However, the damage done in the meantime has a telling effect on all aspects of planetary life, all sentient creatures and all peoples, including the aspirations of those whose lives have only just begun.
Let us join together in mustering a common will to expose and depose those architects of top down insanity who, left to their own devices, will continue to wreak havoc for generations to come.
About the Author
Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK Organic farming, a writer, actor, social entrepreneur and international activist. During the 1970’s he worked in experimental theatre as actor and assistant director, co-founding the The Institute for Creative Development, in Belgium, teaching holistic thinking and dramatic art. In the 1980’s he returned to the UK to take over the family farm and convert it to an organic system. His experience as a leader in reviving rural economies throughout the 1990’s, led him to be invited to join the advisory board of the South East of England Development Agency, and the Country Land Owners Association. He also served on the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership and was founder-chairman of The Association of Rural Businesses in Oxfordshire. In 2,000 he led an innovative project to revive regionally important market towns as centres of vibrant local activity and hubs for rejuvenated local food initiatives.
Julian is a prolific writer and broadcaster, his articles appear in a wide diversity of journals and on-line sites. Visit www.julianrose.info to find out about Julian’s highly diverse life and acclaimed books ‘Changing Course for Life’ and ‘In Defence of Life’.
Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
When you talk to brain-hackers from Silicon Valley, they talk of creating the perfect stack – a combination of natural and pharmaceutical nootropics that can help make them into a super-powered genius that can go hours without sleep while maintaining massive focus. It sounds like a cool way to hack the brain, but this practice can come at a price.
The problem is that many of the pharmaceutical versions (and sometimes even the natural ones) can be damaging.
In the early days, people trying to crank out loads of computer code, write the next best-selling novel, cram for a university exam, or simply party like it was 1999, used micro-doses of LSD or Adderall, a prescription drug normally used to treat ADHD, and some of these practices are still used today.
The thinking behind this phenomenon is that if supplements like glutamate, an excitatory substance to the brain and nervous system can successfully be utilized for people who have cognitive dysfunction like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, ADHD, etc., certainly these supplements could help enhance memory creativity, and cognitive performance in “normal” people.
This assumption is not entirely wrong. We already know that even changing our nutrition, getting better sleep (not even necessarily more), and lowering our stress, frees up the brain to take in more, and process experiences and make memories faster. This can translate into all sorts of benefits, from super learning to even increased psychic awareness.
There’s just one caveat. Everyone’s brain is very different.
For example, a natural substance called choline is highly available in breast milk, and in certain foods we eat. There’s a lot of it in breast milk because babies need it to help their brains grow, but choline does tons of stuff like help our cells form, our muscles work normally, and even the liver to function properly.
It would seem that more choline would be a “no-brainer” when it comes to boosting brain power even in grown adults, but the more is better attitude in the west is proven wrong once again – and this is a natural substance. Choline in high doses can also cause low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhea, constipation, anorexia, dizziness, insomnia and headaches.
To be fair, many people take excessive doses of things like ginseng or ginkgo biloba extract and experience intestinal issues that can be excruciatingly painful; this can be true of consuming too much fish oil even – also natural brain boosters, but the pharmaceutical brain hacking drugs pose even riskier potentials.
The Popularity of Nootropics is Growing
Despite potential dangers, there are already more than 70,000 subreddit subscribers to the subject “nootropics.”
It seems more and more of us are looking for a way to be the best version of ourselves, but depending on who you ask – even the pharmaceutical nootropics on the market, which can be stacked and combined in an infinite number of ways, changing the chemical dance going on in our brains – are totally safe, or dangerously side-effect causing.
Originally, the criteria for nootropics were that they had to be brain protective, and promote brain health. It seems that original definition of nootropics has gone by the wayside.
Who the Heck Knows?
“Who the heck knows?” says Kim Urban, a Philadelphia neurophysiologist talking about the possible negative side effects of pharmaceutical grade nootropics. “So few studies have been done, and those that have were not the most controlled trials.”
For example, a study found that Ritalin – a drug often “Stacked” by bio-hackers can eventually reduce brain plasticity. Other nootropics can cause the jitters, insomnia, muscle spasms, and brain fog, and we still don’t know what happens to someone’s brain or nervous system once they go off the smart drugs after prolonged use.
Nonetheless, brain hackers are impatient, often not even waiting for clinical trials for smart drugs that are being developed. They go to sites like selfhacked and figure out which chemical compounds they can experiment with to create a “super-brain.”
It’s like the movie Breaking Bad on their kitchen counters.
A Safer Alternative
In the West is seems we’re always look for a short-cut. Nootropics may provide some benefits when used mindfully, but the risks could possibly outweigh the rewards. Conversely, there are ample studies proving that a mindfulness practice can eventually create brain waves that cause “super-learning,” without causing negative side effects.
In the brain wave frequency above 40 Hz, Tibetan Buddhist monks have been able to learn, memorize, and think exceptionally fast – tapping into brain functions that brain-hackers could only dream of.
This is the gamma wave state. It translates to higher mental activity, expanded perception and problem solving abilities, and higher levels of consciousness.
On Earth, nuclear explosions and lightning produce gamma rays. You can just imagine what gamma waves at that level of energy can do for our thought processes. But hey, you can’t just pop a pill to reach this state of mind, or so it appears.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a staff writer for Waking Times. She is a writer, musician, yogi, and humanitarian with an expansive repertoire. Her thousands of articles can be found all over the Internet, and her insights also appear in magazines as diverse as Weston A. Price, Nexus, Atlantis Rising, and the Cuyamungue Institute, among others. She was recently a featured author in the Journal, “Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and Healing Arts,” and her commentary on healing, ascension, and human potential inform a large body of the alternative news lexicon. She has been invited to appear on numerous radio shows, including Health Conspiracy Radio, Dr. Gregory Smith’s Show, and dozens more. The second edition of her book, Pharma Sutra, will be released soon.
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