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Great News Bookworms: Regular Reading Is A Very Healthy Thing To Do

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

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For some, reading is a core part of their regular life and one of their favourite leisurely activities. For others reading is something that they avoid at all costs and really only did “regularly” when forced to as a part of mandatory school requirements. According to mashable.com, as of August 2010 there were over 129 million published books worldwide, an astonishing figure that becomes even more remarkable when you consider that it’s now 2014 and the fact that that figure only takes published literature into account.

“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”  – Diane Duane

We all know a number of conventional reasons why reading is good for us, such as it:

  • Furthers our vocabulary
  • Expands our knowledge base
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves focus
  • Betters our writing skills

But what if those conventional reasons weren’t the only healthy reasons to read? In September of this year the group at The School Of Life released a creative video that outlined 4 uncommonly recognized benefits to reading literature. No matter how much you currently enjoy reading, I find these 4 reasons a lot more convincing than any your local librarian or school teacher may have once told you. Check it out:

1. Reading As A Reality Simulator

Throughout my childhood and teenage years there were a number of books that played an influential role in my psychological and imaginative development, but two in particular stand out: ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.’ What made these books so influential to me was that I became fully submersed in a reality that I would more than likely never get to experience in real life, and as a result stimulated my imagination to be even more inclined to think outside of the box.

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As mentioned in the video, this is one of the most profound benefits to reading literature. It allows us to expose ourselves to realities and bodies of experience that we otherwise would never go through, and in a fraction of the time that even one would take to experience in reality.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

2. Reading Develops Empathy & Consideration

By exposing ourselves to much more than we ever possibly could in reality, books are a great tool for us to better empathize and understand the experiences of others. They enable us to go beyond the shell of our own experience and to take into account the experience of others, ultimately allowing us to connect more easily and deeply with one another. This ultimately not only leads to more informed decision making but also to a better understanding of the overall human condition, making us all more prepared for anything life may throw at us.

3. Reading Combats Loneliness

No matter how close and open we may be with a best friend, partner or family member we all have at least a small side to ourselves that we for the most part keep to ourselves. What books have the potential to offer us is an avenue to explore those otherwise hidden thoughts and possibly relate them to the experience of a written character. For some, this can be key in overcoming feelings of being an oddball, allowing them to better embrace who they truly are and to ultimately be less lonely.

“We read to know we’re not alone.” – William Nicholson

4. Reading Desensitizes Us To Failure

Whether fictional or not, a good chunk of the most widely recognized and infamous pieces of literature are centred around conflict. With conflict tends to come a level of perceived failure. Even though I personally, prefer to subscribe to the school of thought that sees everything as a learning experience rather than a success or failure, books can certainly be a wonderful device for toughening our skin. They expose us to the hardships of others, giving us something to relate to and use as a tool to help in moving beyond what we face in real life. The more we read the more we become better prepared to deal with.

What are your thoughts on these 4 benefits to reading? Let us know your thoughts and if there are any others that you would like to share via the comment section below.

Before concluding, I would like to bring up one more obvious benefit to reading that becomes in my opinion increasingly more important day by day. Aside from reading via e-readers, reading offers an opportunity to engage in something that doesn’t involve technology, something that I’m sure our bodies are more than grateful for. So turn off that TV, put away that cell phone and try reading for a change.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

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Alternative News

Is Brexit The First Domino To Fall In The Liberation Of The Planet?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Brexit has been in effect for almost a month and the sky has not yet fallen in.

  • Reflect On:

    Does this mark the end of globalism and the embracing of a multipolar world?

The monumental withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union at 00:00:01 am on February 1st, 2020 finally allowed us to witness whether prognostications from the prophets of doom would come true. Amidst fears being pushed right up until the end that this move would result in absolute chaos and the weeping and gnashing of teeth, this event yielded the same results that other such events have produced: the realization that there was never anything to fear.

Of course those prophets of doom will never recant, they will just press forward with future predictions of how Brexiters will eventually rue the day they left the European Union, with some form of quasi-threat that the UK will never be able to establish the favorable economic ties they had with the rest of Europe under the ‘Union.’

Time will ultimately tell all, of course, but logic would dictate that if a nation is fully independent and free to accept or reject any terms offered, they are in a much better bargaining position than if they are already hamstrung by the rules and regulations dictated by their would-be trading partner.

If we can look at a particular geopolitical pattern of power unification that has long been rising and now has started to fall, we may view Brexit as not only a boon to the UK’s economic outlook, but indeed as the beginning of the end of a long sought-after endeavor to enslave humanity within a rigid centralized economic system.

The New World Order

The phrase ‘New World Order’ is often associated with the Latin phrase ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’ which has adorned the American dollar bill the past 85 years, in terms of the plans of a global elite conspiring to create a totalitarian world government hidden in plain sight. While this link remains somewhat speculative, one thing that is true is that more than one president has employed the phrase in an attempt to inspire countries of the world to come together fully under a centralized economy and system of governance.

George H. W. Bush famously employed the phrase in a speech on September 11th, 1990, at a time when few people had suspicions about the true motives of global institutions like the United Nations or the perceived need for a new world political and economic order:

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We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order–a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful–and we will be–we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.’s founders. (source)

Perhaps the prospects for the implementation of this new world order reached its apex early in the presidency of Barack Obama, who was so eloquently able to couch the concept of an unelected, totalitarian government running the planet within ‘pillars’ such as peace and security, environmental preservation and economic opportunity, as he explains to the UN General Assembly below.

Since this time, however, some of the true ‘pillars’ of a totalitarian system of enslavement have begun to impact human consciousness, especially in the European Union: the breakdown of national sovereignty and identity, untenable refugee and immigration policies, and backbreaking economic austerity measures.

Protests like the Yellow Vests movement in France and elsewhere in Europe where austerity measures under the EU have been foisted upon a nation rage on. These movements have gotten little coverage in the mainstream, except on occasions where they can characterize these movements as violent. As time goes on, there is only an increase in the clear and present resistance to the global elite telling everyday citizens that their standard of living can no longer be what it used to be. And such resistance is powering the geopolitical winds of change.

The Multipolar Vision

Born out of this growing global environment of discontent and dissatisfaction, an important precedent to Brexit was the election of Donald Trump, who ran on a platform of nationalism (critics repeatedly called it ‘outdated protectionism’) with the promise to ‘Make America Great Again’ by bringing jobs back home that had been shipped overseas and cancelling U.S. involvement in global economic schemes like the Paris Accord, while renegotiating trade deals with other countries.

Philosophically, Trump has found an ally in Vladamir Putin. One of the reasons that Putin has been demonized by the West is that he has always been the most powerful opponent of American hegemony, and has fought tirelessly to promote a multipolar vision in global politics and economics. If we look at recent history, we see that Russia has shown little evidence of wanting to establish global domination in the way that the American Empire has done through wars, regime building and permanent military presence all over the world.

In a speech in December 2019, Putin stated flatly that the new world order (‘unipolar world’) was dead, and signs in global economic relations reflected his fervent belief that a multipolar world, in which there are several points of power and sovereignty, Russia being one of them, is essential for a secure and prosperous world.

It [the multipolar world] has been established, a unipolar world does not exist anymore. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was an illusion that this world is possible and could exist for a long time. However, it was just an illusion. I have always said that, and recent events serve as a testament to this. (source)

The ongoing push for Brexit, finally realized a year after Putin’s speech, is surely one of those signs. And as other countries in the European Union start to see the impact of leaving on the UK’s economy, and perhaps more importantly on their autonomy, it may not be long before Grexit, Frexit, Spexit and other such colloquial terms start to take hold and put the nail in the coffin of Europe’s contribution to the globalist agenda.

The Takeaway

Human beings have an innate desire for unity, and it is this very desire that globalists have long tried to manipulate in order to fulfill their plans for world domination. The fact is, though, if these leaders truly had the best interests of humanity at heart, and really wanted to bring the planet together, they would have long handled problems such as war, environmental destruction, starvation and slavery.

Our destiny is unity, but the process will require several waves of decentralization before the true unity of humanity can be achieved. We see the beginnings here with Brexit, where nations are beginning to reject the global centralization of power. From there, sovereign nations will need to cede power to their states and cities. Those in turn will have to cede power to their communities. And then, finally, the communities will need to restore the power and sovereignty of individuals by being fundamentally grounded in the principles of Natural Law, which protects the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of each individual.

When individuals become sovereign, through an awakening of their consciousness that enables them to become fully responsible for the state of their world, that is when the true unity of the planet becomes possible.

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Awareness

Brain Scans Reveal Structural Differences In People With “Smart Phone Addiction”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study recently published by German researchers from Heidelberg University show differences in brain structure between people with 'smart phone addition' compared to people without it.

  • Reflect On:

    Is your child constantly on their smartphone? Are they addicted?

Children entering into the world today are being birthed into a sea of technology that their parents never grew up with. As a result, we don’t really know the long-term consequences these technologies could have on these generations as they age. Preliminary research, however, is already showing significant cause for concern, and one of the latest examples comes from a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviours via German researchers.

The researchers examined 48 participants using MRI imaging, and 22 of the participants had smartphone addiction (SPA), and 26 of them were non-addicts. The main findings were that individuals with SPA  showed “significant lower” grey matter volume (GMA) in the insula and in certain regions of the temporal cortex compared to the individuals without smartphone addiction, known as the controls. Secondly, right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) activity was “significantly lower” in individuals with SPA compared to controls. Third, the researchers found associations between the smartphone addiction inventory  (SPAI) scores and GMV as well as  amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF), converged on the ACC.

The authors wrote that:

The present study provides first evidence for common neural underpinning mechanisms of behavioral addiction in individuals with SPA. This study clearly needs replication as much as extension in larger cohorts, including longitudinal assessments, ecological momentary assessment and task-based functional MRI. Yet, at the same time, this study provides important data and preliminary evidence, suggesting addiction-related differences in neural processes in the context of smartphone use, particularly with respect to the salience network. Given the widespread use and increasing popularity of smartphones, the present study challenges assumptions towards the harmlessness of smartphones, at least in individuals that may be at increased risk for developing addictive behaviors.

It should be concerning that there are actual structural changes in the brain that correlate with smartphone use in individuals who have an addiction compared to the brains of those who don’t.

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The study goes into what each brain region is associated with in regards to behaviour, intelligence, etc.

In China, for example, teenagers are becoming hooked on electronic screens. Whether it be with their phone, computer, or video games, many young people are spending countless hours in front of a screen without bothering to eat or sleep, sometimes even withholding their urge to use the bathroom.

According to a blog report published by the New York Times“many have come to view the real world as fake.” (source)

In China, this phenomenon is actually considered a clinical disorder, and as a result a number of rehabilitation centres have been established where young people addicted to screens are completely isolated from all media. Although the success of these treatment centres is still unknown, it paints a dark picture of the technological age in which we live, and does not seem to bode well for our future.

Studies in China show that people who spend more than 6 hours on the internet for something other than work or study are likely to become addicted. Below is a trailer for the documentary “Web Junkies,” shedding light on this troubling aspect of modern life:

It’s not just China, this type of thing is seen all around the world:

“While Internet addiction is not yet considered a clinical diagnosis here, there’s no question that American youths are plugged in and tuned out of ‘live’ action for many more hours of the day than experts consider healthy for normal development. And it starts early, often with preverbal toddlers handed their parents’ cellphones and tablets to entertain themselves when they should be observing the world around them and interacting with their caregivers.” (source)

As we continue to move forward, this type of addiction and behaviour becomes more disturbing. The power that some multinational corporations have, alongside their clever marketing tactics – basically making whatever product or idea they choose to be desirable to the human mind – is worrisome.  A few years ago, the American Academy of Paediatrics found that the average 8-10 year old spends almost eight hours a day with a variety of different media, and older children/teenagers spend even more, up to 11 hours. (source)

A study conducted by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, which included over 20,000 children/teens between grades 3 and 12, concluded that approximately 20% of grade 3 students already owned a cell phone. The numbers steadily rose from that point forward to approximately 25% in grade 4, 39% in grade 5, and 83% in middle school. You can read that entire study HERE.

With all of these electronics, it’s important to be aware of the impact of the radiation they give out and their documented harms. To learn more about that and access the science now available, please visit the Environmental Health Trust. It’s a great place to start your research.

The Takeaway

We are in the beginning stages of what could potentially be a big problem. We have yet to see the smartphone generation reach adulthood, therefore we can’t fully measure the potential consequences, but again, numerous studies like this one have already shown great cause for concern and render the idea that smartphones are completely harmless as completely false.

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Consciousness

The Powerful Practice of Eye Gazing

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Eye gazing can be a powerful tool to connect with someone a deeper level. It can be used for a healing experience, or simply to induce a more intimate experience. It can also be done on your own using a mirror.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you try and connect with a loved one, or with yourself, on a deeper level?

The very first time I experienced eye gazing I was floored by what I felt and saw. The connection you feel with another human being, the visualizations of past lives, future potentials and more, all can become very real while engaging in this exercise.

Of course, there are many different intentions you can set before a session of eye gazing that can bring out an array of outcomes, but let’s jump into a rundown of how to go about an eye gazing session and from there we can explore what the benefits of such a practice might be.

When eye contact between two people is initiated and maintained, an invisible energetic circuit is established between the two participants, dissolving the barriers that ordinarily separate them from each other, drawing them ever closer into a shared awareness of union.”  Will Johnson

Right off the top it’s possible that some of us might think this is some “new-agey” or spiritual practice. I can assure you that eye gazing can be used by anyone and while the experiences we may get from a session might be different, everyone will certainly feel something and likely benefit from it.

Intention

Whether or not you are going to do this alone or with a partner, set out some form of intention about what you want to achieve with the process. It can be as simple as wanting to gain more comfort within yourself or with another, to looking into something deeper like past lives. You can also use this technique to connect more deeply with someone, understand their feelings, clear tension and so on. Setting the intention is quite simple, you say to yourself what you are looking to achieve and then allow that to be as you begin the process. In a partner situation, it’s best that both are setting out the same type of intention.

Generally this can be done most powerfully with a partner, however doing it on your own can also be a great experience. To begin you can first close your eyes and get your mind a bit quieter for a few seconds. To do this, simply focus on your breathing and try to let go of any expectations about the process.

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If Gazing Alone

Open your eyes after clearing your mind with the process above. Gaze at your eyes in the mirror and allow yourself to get more and more comfortable looking into your own eyes. After a few minutes you may notice that your surroundings will become more blurred with time and eventually you may see just your eyes and nothing else. From here the process will vary depending on the intention you initiailly set in going into the exerceise. This is pretty much all there is to the process as what will be reveleaed to you is up to the intention. You can allow this to go for as long as you want but generally the longer you go the better the experience. You may not notice too much after just a few minutes so you may want to try things for at least 5 – 10 minutes.

Gazing With a Partner

Both people should sit comfortable across from one another. Open your eyes after quieting the mind and begin gazing into your partners eyes. Generally your eyes may want to focus more on the left or right eye. Choose one side and let it be. Over time, you may notice various colors or shapes changing when it comes to your vision of the other person. It is key to simply let all this be and don’t focus on it all too much.

The surroundings will likely begin to blur and things will generally take their course from there. Once again this is based on the intention you set forth. It’s important to note that being open to how things will unfold is key as the same results may not transpire for everyone. Similar to gazing alone, the length of time you choose to gaze is entirely up to both involved, but generally results are better when doe for 5 minutes or more.

Gazing For a More Intimate Experience

This is generally best suited for couples or those in a close relationship. It can be a much more intimate experience and can assist in connecting before being intimate with one another. The intention of connecting deeply with your partner is set out in the beginning, from there the process is fairly similar to the previous methods.

Sit across from your partner and begin to breathe comfortably. With each breath allow yourself to become more and more open and comfortable with connecting with your partner. Allow the process to unfold slowly and you may notice you will begin to feel much more unified with your partner. Roles between the two of you will disappear and a more true, soul to soul connection will be made. You can then allow the process to go where ever you choose for it to go.

Feel free to try out these exercises as often or as little as you like. There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do this. So long as we allow ourselves to be expectation free and open to the process, it generally can happen quite easily on it’s own. Truthfully, this type of exercise can also be done with nature. You may have found this has naturally happened to you before.

By gazing at a tree, flower, or specific aspect of nature, you began to connect more and more with that single life form and everything else began to become less focused. You may have notice the energy waves the plant or tree gives off and you may have felt very connected with it. This can be a great calming and meditative exercise to practice.

If you have done eye gazing before, feel free to share any tips or experiences you personally have had in the comments below!

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