Tag Archives: Mind

Psychedelics Show Promise in Treating Mental Illness

Summary: A growing body of evidence suggests psychedelics including psilocybin and LSD show promise in providing lasting relief from symptoms for those suffering some mental health disorders. Researchers found DOI, a similar drug to LSD, reduced negative behavioral responses following fear triggers in mouse models of anxiety.

Source: Virginia Tech

One in five U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, according to the National Alliance of Mental Health. But standard treatments can be slow to work and cause side effects.

To find better solutions, a Virginia Tech researcher has joined a renaissance of research on a long-banned class of drugs that could combat several forms of mental illness and, in mice, have achieved long-lasting results from just one dose.

Using a process his lab developed in 2015, Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull Professor of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, is helping his Virginia Commonwealth University collaborators study the epigenomic effects of psychedelics.

Their findings give insight into how psychedelic substances like psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, and similar drugs may relieve symptoms of addiction, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The drugs appear to work faster and last longer than current medications—all with fewer side effects.

The project hinged on Lu’s genomic analysis. His process allows researchers to use very small samples of tissue, down to hundreds to thousands of cells, and draw meaningful conclusions from them. Older processes require much larger sample sizes, so Lu’s approach enables the studies using just a small quantity of material from a specific region of a mouse brain.

And looking at the effects of psychedelics on brain tissues is especially important.

Researchers can do human clinical trials with the substances, taking blood and urine samples and observing behaviors, Lu said. “But the thing is, the behavioral data will tell you the result, but it doesn’t tell you why it works in a certain way,” he said.

But looking at molecular changes in animal models, such as the brains of mice, allows scientists to peer into what Lu calls the black box of neuroscience to understand the biological processes at work. While the brains of mice are very different from human brains, Lu said there are enough similarities to make valid comparisons between the two.

VCU pharmacologist Javier González-Maeso has made a career of studying psychedelics, which had been banned after recreational use of the drugs was popularized in the 1960s. But in recent years, regulators have begun allowing research on the drugs to proceed.

In work by other researchers, primarily on psilocybin, a substance found in more than 200 species of fungi, González-Maeso said psychedelics have shown promise in alleviating major depression and anxiety disorders. “They induce profound effects in perception,” he said. “But I was interested in how these drugs actually induce behavioral effects in mice.”

To explore the genomic basis of those effects, he teamed up with Lu.

This shows a psychedelic brain
The drugs appear to work faster and last longer than current medications—all with fewer side effects. Image is in the public domain

In the joint Virginia Tech—VCU study, González-Maeso’s team used 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine, or DOI, a drug similar to LSD, administering it to mice that had been trained to fear certain triggers. Lu’s lab then analyzed brain samples for changes in the epigenome and the gene expression. They discovered that the epigenomic variations were generally more long-lasting than the changes in gene expression, thus more likely to link with the long-term effects of a psychedelic.

After one dose of DOI, the mice that had reacted to fear triggers no longer responded to them with anxious behaviors. Their brains also showed effects, even after the substance was no longer detectable in the tissues, Lu said. The findings were published in the October issue of Cell Reports.

It’s a hopeful development for those who suffer from mental illness and the people who love them. In fact, it wasn’t just the science that drew Lu to the project.

For him, it’s also personal.

“My older brother has had schizophrenia for the last 30 years, basically. So I’ve always been intrigued by mental health,” Lu said. “And then once I found that our approach can be applied to look at processes like that—that’s why I decided to do research in the field of brain neuroscience.”

González-Maeso said research on psychedelics is still in its early stages, and there’s much work to be done before treatments derived from them could be widely available.

Abstract

Prolonged epigenomic and synaptic plasticity alterations following single exposure to a psychedelic in mice

Highlights

  • Exposure to the psychedelic drug DOI results in enduring molecular adaptations
  • Post-acute DOI unveils phenotypes akin to antidepressant adaptations
  • Concurrent occurrence of synaptic plasticity mediated via 5-HT2AR

Summary

Clinical evidence suggests that rapid and sustained antidepressant action can be attained with a single exposure to psychedelics. However, the biological substrates and key mediators of psychedelics’ enduring action remain unknown.

Here, we show that a single administration of the psychedelic DOI produces fast-acting effects on frontal cortex dendritic spine structure and acceleration of fear extinction via the 5-HT2A receptor.

Additionally, a single dose of DOI leads to changes in chromatin organization, particularly at enhancer regions of genes involved in synaptic assembly that stretch for days after the psychedelic exposure. These DOI-induced alterations in the neuronal epigenome overlap with genetic loci associated with schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Together, these data support that epigenomic-driven changes in synaptic plasticity sustain psychedelics’ long-lasting antidepressant action but also warn about potential substrate overlap with genetic risks for certain psychiatric conditions.

SOURCE: https://neurosciencenews.com/psychedelics-doi-lsd-anxiety-19682/

Sleep Cycles: Understanding Your Brain Can Help You Sleep Better

Exploring your Mind
August 27th, 2020

REM cycles, non-REM cycles, delta waves, theta waves, K-complexes… The sleep cycles are as fascinating as they are important to human life. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake, one must stay awake all day”. In addition, when you finally manage to fall asleep, your mind gives you what already belongs to you: your dreams.

However, as you probably well know, in the last few decades, we’ve become an almost sleepless society. Nearly 40% of the population has sleep disorders and 90% have trouble getting restorative sleep at least once a year. Our lifestyle, stress, and certain habits, such as the intense use of technology, affect our sleep hygiene.

As a result, it’s very interesting to understand what happens in the brain while we sleep. After all, during those hours, the brain’s only purpose is to facilitate deep sleep. In the end, nighttime is when the body carries out the tasks that are essential for your well-being. To maintain good physical and psychological health, you need to get good sleep to solidify memories, eliminate toxins, and eliminate irrelevant data and information.

Let’s delve a little deeper into the world of sleep cycles.

A woman sleeping at night.

The five stages: sleep cycles for a good night’s sleep

Each sleep cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes. Consequently, you go through about five or six cycles every night. As you might know, waking up in the middle of one of those cycles without reaching REM sleep means you’ll wake up tired, confused, and lethargic.

Ideally, you should stay asleep for the entirety of the five phases. At a minimum, your body needs to stay asleep long enough for the cycle to repeat four times. Sleeping less than five hours doesn’t give the brain enough time to do all of the necessary processes and “restart” itself.

Let’s take a detailed look at each sleep cycle.

Stage 1: light sleep

This first stage is when you’re already feeling relaxed and comfortable in bed. It lasts about fifteen or twenty minutes. Stage 1 is the tenuous threshold between wakefulness and sleep. If you do an electroencephalogram (EEG) on someone in the light sleep stage, their brain will display theta waves (3, 5-7, 5 Hz).

Stage 2: light sleep, heart rate begins to slow

Here, your breathing starts to slow down, your heart rate drops, and your brain waves slow down. The only difference between stage 2 and stage 1 is that, in stage 2, the K-waves or sleep spindles (sudden increases in brain wave frequencies) increase. These frequencies tend to go between 12 and 14 Hz, which is very slow. The purpose of these sleep spindles is to keep you from waking up.

Likewise, it’s very common during this stage to experience something that you’re probably very familiar with. We’re talking about dreaming that you’re falling. Scientists believe that you get this feeling as a result of your low heart rates.

The brain needs to make sure that everything is okay and that everything is under control. Therefore, it sends a sudden stimulus that your mind interprets in the same way it would if you were falling.

Stage 3: transition

You might say that this is the halfway point of your sleep cycle. This is a short stage; it only lasts five minutes. During that time, the theta waves, slow waves, get shorter and become delta waves, which are more intense. People who sleepwalk often do it during this point in the sleep cycle.

An image representing brain waves.

Stage 4: deep Sleep

You’ve come to the deepest stage of sleep, which lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. When your brain is in this stage, it’s very difficult to wake up. The delta waves have taken over completely at this point, and your sleep is truly restorative, in every sense of the word.

If you wake up during this stage, you’ll feel groggy, disoriented, and foggy. People with insomnia experience this very often. In general, they don’t reach the fourth stage.

The REM cycle: the dream and nightmare stage

This is the most important and most interesting sleep cycle. Most people are aware that dreams and nightmares happen during the REM cycle. In addition, during this stage, the theta waves take over again. Consequently, on an EEG, you’ll see the same brain activity that’s present when you’re awake. That’s due to the fact that the brain is extremely active during this sleep stage.

The REM cycle is also known as paradoxical sleep. It makes up about 25% of your sleep cycle. The prior stages, called non-REM cycles, or slow sleep cycles, make up the rest. Thus, the entire structure of nighttime rest (in normal conditions) is carried out in a process that lasts about 90 minutes.

We emphasize “normal conditions” because if you take medication to treat a sleep disorder, it can slightly alter this cycle. Chemical substances can change the flow of stages and brain waves.

Ideally, you should be able to get good sleep without the use of pharmaceuticals. Instead, try some natural strategies first, such as managing stress, being mindful of your schedule, and watching what you eat. Limiting your exposure to the blue light from screens is also important. Even simple things such as the temperature in your room can affect your sleep.

Sleeping well means living well. Understanding the sleep cycles and setting yourself up for a night of deep, restorative sleep will help you feel better every day.

Courage is about Making Things Happen

Exploring your Mind
September 4th, 2020

Courage makes people act like they have no fear, and it’s about making things happen even in the worst circumstances. Thus, courageous people are those who promote changes in order to achieve well-being or freedom. 

What makes a person courageous? Courage is about fearlessness, determination, and making things happen.

Psychology has been analyzing this dimension for years. The consensus, as curious as it might sound, is that courage is as simple as making things happen. It’s about generating positive change even during difficult circumstances. That is, in situations in which others would give up.

Martin Seligman, a promoter of positive psychology, spoke about courage. He said it’s the dimension that acts as one of the most healing components during therapy. In addition, it has genetic, educational, and environmental roots.

Parents often instill a proactive attitude towards life to remind their offspring that they have to put fear aside in order to reach their goals. Unfortunately, people who lack such reinforcement during their childhood and grow up insecure or have suffered a traumatic experience often lack this courage.

For this reason, Seligman conceives it as an essential element during the therapeutic process. It must arise after the patient works with a professional and some effort on their part. Thus, when the person changes, it’ll be clear they’ve learned to treasure their own determination. In other words, they’ll have the motivation to transform their life.

This is when they decide to shape and achieve a new stage in which to feel more in control and safe. This is the best courage of all, the most enriching for a person’s well-being.

A backpacker on top of a mountain.

Courage is about making things happen

Some scientific literature says that courage arises as a result of a primary struggle against emotions such as fear. From a neurobiological standpoint, it involves regulating the influence of the amygdala. This is the brain region related to the most intense emotions. The same one that paralyzes and hijacks your thoughts when it takes over.

Similarly, it also implies enhancing areas such as the prefrontal cortex. In other words, those linked to decision-making, reflection, planning, and attention to environmental stimuli without the influence of fear or anguish. In fact, much of the research available on this type of behavior comes from the military sphere (Neria, Solomon, Ginzburg, and Dekel (2000)) and from stories in which certain soldiers performed heroic acts when they were in great danger.

“I just remained calm and did what I had to do,” say many of these young people trained to react quickly in risky situations. But what about civilians? Can anyone be a hero without military training?

Doctors Uhri Kugel and Catherine Haussman conducted a study at the University of Oxford. The date it reveals is interesting. Let’s analyze this!

Although courage is often romanticized, it’s actually a cognitive skill

Courage is about making things happen because you promote change. Furthermore, courage is about focusing on a goal in the midst of adverse circumstances. No, you don’t have to be the classic hero who battles dragons. Courage is a cognitive skill anyone can learn and apply, according to current science.

It basically consists of igniting your will to act in spite of your fear, in being able to look at uncertainty and doubt to then move forward and take action. You can attain something like this by working on the following:

  • Proper anxiety management, as you’ll reset your mentality in order to take action when you’re able to recognize the thought patterns that imprison you.
  • Be emotionally aware. This consists of knowing how to connect with your emotions in order to transform them and use them to your benefit.
  • Remember what your values, vital purposes, and personal goals are.
  • Courage is about making things happen. This is because you develop a very specific capacity to visualize the desired goals you’ll reach if you dare to.
A woman happy to be alive.

Courage is about making things happen in order to have a more satisfying reality

Franco, Blau, and Zimbardo (2011) defined courage as the ability to act prosocially despite personal risk. Now, there’s current criticism regarding this definition. This is because courage isn’t always geared toward saving others. Instead, courage is mainly necessary to save oneself.

Martin Seligman already pointed out that for therapy to be effective, you must awaken your courage. In other words, you must ignite your determination in order to overcome your fears, limitations, and insecurities. This way, you’ll be more empowered and be able to achieve anything you want. Thus, you’ll be able to promote changes that resonate with you and bring you satisfaction.

Some say that people live in faith and hope. However, taking action is the only thing that can truly transform your reality. This is because courage is a mixture of emotions, thoughts, and feelings oriented towards advancement in order to promote something positive, either for yourself or for others. Just keep this in mind.

The Human Soul, According to Science

Exploring your Mind
September 2nd, 2020

The human soul has been a mystery for a long time, and there are many hypotheses about it. In fact, the various academic disciplines continuously try to answer it. Today’s article will discuss what the scientific community has to say about it.

You’re about to take a tour of the scientific paradigm, tradition, and current challenges. In addition, you’ll learn about Robert Lanza’s fascinating theory of biocentrism.

Your path will go beyond the spiritual. As you know, most religions mention the existence of a soul. What’s the position of science in this regard? How does it currently deal with this paradigm? Continue reading to find out.

Is there such a thing as a human soul?

The idea of ​​the existence of a human soul is related to beliefs about life after death. This idea of ​​a soul is linked to the conviction of eternal life. In addition, many people also believe that the soul is a guide by which a person thinks and feels and that it operates independently from the body.

Certainly, the conception of the soul will vary depending on the context, religion, and discipline that addresses it. It’s been mainly religious throughout history as these institutions allegedly deal with the spiritual dimension. They’ve taken it upon themselves to explain its existence.

Religions argue about the idea of ​​a soul, independently of its connection to the spiritual, by inferring that evidence of its existence is among the mysteries associated with birth, death, different states of consciousness, memory, and imagination. Thus, they suggest that the soul is like a kind of vital force, an impulse.

The scientific paradigm regarding the human soul

According to philosopher and science historian Thomas Kuhn, a scientific paradigm is the set of universally recognized achievements of this type. Paradigms are subject to criticism, in addition to generating models of problems and solutions in the scientific community.

The current scientific paradigm doesn’t usually recognize the spiritual dimension. Rather, it points out that there’s no need for a soul. In fact, it tends to explain life through equations about the activity of carbon and the activity of proteins, etc.

On one hand, religion gives the answer to the existence of the soul from a spiritual point of view. It associates it with the transcendent and incorporeal. On the other, science associates it with the material, if it conceives it at all. In other words, the latter understands it as the mind. Also, it reduces it to the concept of cognition and consciousness, at least from a poetic standpoint.

An enlightened person.

Challenging current scientific theories

Neuroscience has made great strides in explaining the functioning of the human nervous system and trying to explain the reason for subjective experiences. However, it’s still a mystery. Thus, the problem of whether the soul exists or not is related to the understanding of the nature of the self.

Currently, different theories have begun to challenge the scientific paradigm. The physicochemical, above all. Biocentrism is an example of this. It’s about emphasizing tough questions about human nature. For example, it asks if there’s such a thing as a soul or if there’s something beyond time.

This new perspective of being, of the cosmos and of reality, believes that life goes beyond mere atoms and particles. It would explain things such as quantum entanglement and the uncertainty principle. In fact, some authors point out that quantum weirdness occurs in the world on a human scale. At least according to Gerlich and his team, which co-authored the article “Quantum interference of large organic molecules”.

Robert Lanza, an American scientist, first suggested the theory of biocentrism. In this theory, he considers that life and biology are essential to being, reality, and the cosmos. In fact, he affirms that consciousness creates the universe and not the other way around. Thus, he didn’t ignore the physicochemical approach to the explanation of the affairs of being. Instead, he gives more importance to the biological one.

Conclusion

Therefore, space and time are mind tools directly connected to existence for other planes of scientific knowledge. This challenge takes humans away from classical intuition and suggests that a part of the mind or soul is immortal and exists outside these categories.

In short, certain parts of science do recognize the soul, either because they associate it with poetic vision or because they reduce it to cognition. Others continue with the traditional perspective of denying it, while some current theories begin to think about its existence. This is due to new discoveries that account for the nature of being associated with time and space.

Three Meditation Exercises to Practice at Home

Exploring Your Mind
August 24th, 2020

These meditation exercises derive from an ancient technique used for training your mind to reduce stress, anxiety, and, also, to connect deeper with yourself. In fact, just 30 minutes a day can considerably change these states of mind. Furthermore, not only does it lessen any discomfort you might have but it also helps you feel much better.

Although you may not know it, there are many advantages to meditating at home. However, you must find a place away from distractions to do so. It’ll help you feel much better and more protected. The best part is you can do it at any time of the day.

It can be a bit difficult to attain an optimal state of concentration and relaxation if you’ve never meditated before. However, just follow a few simple steps and practice it frequently, and you’ll see how soon you get it.

A woman meditating.

Firstly, create an appropriate atmosphere where to practice meditation exercises

Before preparing your meditation environment, you must decide whether you’ll do these exercises on your own accord or if you’ll follow the guidelines of an app or a video.

Apps are very useful. In fact, you can program the time you want to dedicate and the level from which you’d like to start. Also, they make this practice easier for beginners.

Once you’ve decided how to do it, you’ll have to take into account the following to make the most out of it:

  • Find a quiet place. It’s essential to find a corner that’s as silent as possible, where the possibility of interruption is either null or minimal. You won’t get good results in a spot where there are frequent interruptions.
  • Comfortable posture. The lotus position is the classic choice for meditation, but you can start with other postures. You can even meditate while lying down. The most important thing here is to be in a relaxed position in which your body isn’t a distraction.
  • Avoid distractions. As we indicated above, it’s essential to avoid all sources of distractions: turn off your phone, the television, close the door of the room, close the windows, etc. You must be relaxed enough to be able to focus on your bodily sensations.
  • Finally, find the right moment. Yes, meditation is good for reaching a state of relaxation. However, if you do it in a hurry or under pressure, you won’t be able to do it correctly and the practice will be pointless. As you can see, you must choose a time in which you feel well enough and you can put your mind into it.

Basic meditation exercises to practice at home

Although there are many techniques for meditation exercises, some of them are easier for beginners to meditate at home.

1. Breathing exercises

This is the most basic exercise for relaxation and meditation. All you have to do is concentrate on your breathing. Controlling this physiological mechanism is essential for you to be able to relax. Note that it requires practice and concentration in spite of how easy it seems to be.

Forgetting about external stimuli, begin to take deep and slow breaths. Pay attention to them and notice how your body relaxes. Try to ignore any thoughts you might have at the moment and give your body your full attention.

In addition to being very useful in itself, you’ll also use it during the other two. Thus, it’ll be your basis for meditation.

2. Objective observation

In the previous exercise, you were encouraged to avoid thoughts. Contrary to it, the goal of this exercise consists of relaxing your body and allowing your thoughts to flow.

Thus, it’ll be necessary to focus on “watching” your thoughts without trying to change them or intervene in any way. Simply pay attention to them and let them be.

Ultimately, this exercise is about being a witness to your thoughts without getting carried away by them. It’s about thinking about them without judgment and watching them go by without concentrating on any of them in particular.

3. Body scan

Another simple exercise to meditate at home is the body scan technique. For this exercise, you must be in a comfortable position while controlling your breathing. Also, you must focus on the various areas of your body and the sensations you’re experiencing at that particular moment.

To do this, you first have to try to clear your mind and leave it blank while you focus on your various muscle groups.

For example, start by connecting with your feet; feel them, without judging them, and notice the sensations you have in them. Then, move on to your legs and notice the weight, the heat, the shape, and so on until you go through your entire body.

A woman practicing meditation.

Progress after practicing meditation exercises

As with every form of exercise, you must be constant and patient. You probably won’t notice much difference and will be a little disappointed at the beginning. This is normal.

However, it’s hard to get short-term benefits with this practice. To do it, you must give yourself time and continue to try it even though it doesn’t go as you thought it would.

Some people think you have to do something for about 21 days in order for it to become a habit. However, you must go beyond and try to build a new lifestyle. In other words, integrate this new activity into your routine and try to find the right time and environment for it. Especially when it comes to working on your emotions. Progression is slow when it comes to meditation but the benefits are well worth it.

Testing the Most Effective Method to Manipulate Minds

Dr. Mercola,
August 13th, 2020

By the looks of it, we are about to face one of the most aggressive vaccine campaigns ever created. According to Reuters,1 the U.S. government is planning to launch an “overwhelming” COVID-19 vaccine campaign come November, provided the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives one or more vaccine candidates the green light.

Considering former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb2 is now on Pfizer’s board of directors,3 and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is one of the lead candidates, jaded minds might assume the FDA isn’t going to put up any significant roadblocks.

According to Reuters, the COVID-19 vaccine campaign “will likely be compressed into a short period of time, around four to six weeks, to eliminate any lag between when Americans are alerted to the vaccine and then they can get vaccinated.” An unnamed “senior White House administration official” is quoted saying:4

“The fine line we are walking is getting the American people very excited about vaccines and missing expectations versus having a bunch of vaccines in the warehouse and not as many people want to get it. You may not hear a lot about promoting vaccines over the airwaves in August and September but you’ll be overwhelmed by it come November.”

It’s still unclear exactly when a vaccine will be available, but it could be as early as October, or as late as January 2021. According to the administration official, the advertising campaign for the vaccine will be tailored to specific subsets of the population, depending on the people the vaccine is likely to benefit the most. Such details are expected to be teased out during ongoing clinical trials.

Study Underway to Identify Most Effective Messaging

The idea that the vaccine promotion might be more “overwhelming” than what we’re used to is further supported by a clinical study5 on ClinicalTrials.gov, the aim of which is to identify the most “persuasive messages for COVID-19 vaccine uptake.”

The study, conducted by Yale University, will test “different messages about vaccinating against COVID-19 once the vaccine becomes available.”

A total of 4,000 participants will be randomized to receive one of 12 different messages (10 messaging variations, one control message and one baseline message), after which they will “compare the reported willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine at three and six months of it becoming available.” The messaging slants under investigation include:6

Personal freedom message — A message about how COVID-19 is limiting people’s personal freedom, and how society, by working together to get enough people vaccinated, can preserve its personal freedom.
Economic freedom message — A message about how COVID-19 is limiting people’s economic freedom, and how society, by working together to get enough people vaccinated, can preserve its economic freedom.
Self-interest message — A message that COVID-19 presents a real danger to one’s health, even if one is young and healthy, and how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent oneself from getting sick.
Community interest message — A message about the dangers of COVID-19 to the health of loved ones: The more people who get vaccinated against COVID-19, the lower the risk that one’s loved ones will get sick. Society must work together and all get vaccinated.
Economic benefit message — A message about how COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the economy and the only way to strengthen the economy is to work together to get enough people vaccinated.
Guilt message — A message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one’s family and community. Therefore, the best way to protect them is not only by getting vaccinated, but to get society to work together to get enough people vaccinated. Then a test question asks the participant to imagine the guilt they will feel if they don’t get vaccinated and then spread the disease.
Embarrassment message — A message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one’s family and community: The best way to protect them is by getting vaccinated and by working together to make sure that enough people get vaccinated. Then it asks the participant to imagine the embarrassment they will feel if they don’t get vaccinated and spread the disease.
Anger message — The message is about the danger that COVID-19 presents to the health of one’s family and community. The best way to protect them is by getting vaccinated and by working together to make sure that enough people get vaccinated. It then asks the participant to imagine the anger they will feel if they don’t get vaccinated and spread the disease.
Trust in science message — A message about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most effective way of protecting one’s community, that vaccination is backed by science: If one doesn’t get vaccinated that means that one doesn’t understand how infections are spread or you are one who ignores science.
Not brave message — A message which describes how firefighters, doctors and front line medical workers are brave: Those who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are not brave.

While the study was completed July 8, 2020, results have yet to be publicly posted. Clearly, this is not the first time researchers have investigated the most effective propaganda angles, but the types of messages listed above really demonstrate just how insidious these types of campaigns can be.

It’s really all about manipulation — pushing the right mental and emotional hot-buttons to fire up a desired response, all while overriding more logical thought processes.

The propaganda push has already started, it seems, with USA Today publishing an article7 titled “Defeat COVID-19 by Requiring Vaccination for All. It’s Not Un-American, It’s Patriotic.” This is precisely the kind of PR we can expect more of in the months to come.

The manipulation aspect is equally if not more evident in the listed secondary outcome measures, which include:

  • Participants’ confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine
  • Participants’ willingness to persuade others to get vaccinated
  • Their fear of those who have not been vaccinated
  • The social judgment of those who choose not to vaccinate

Effective Totalitarianism Relies on You Enjoying Servitude

A quote from Aldous Huxley’s dystopian 1932 book, “Brave New World,” reads:

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

Huxley’s quote starts off a thought-provoking article8 on The Burning Platform that reviews the rise of totalitarianism and parallels presented in popular works of fiction. The author notes Huxley’s book came on the heels of Edward Bernays’ 1928 book, “Propaganda” — a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the historical foundations of modern public relations. The article points out that, in his book, Bernays:9

“… revealed the existence of an invisible government who used propaganda to manipulate the minds of the public to insure those controlling the levers of power were able to engineer their desired outcomes.”

A contemporary to Huxley and Bernays was George Orwell, who wrote the cult classic “1984.” In 1949, Huxley reportedly wrote to Orwell, stating he believed the world’s rulers would soon “discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient as instruments of government than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.”10

At its heart, technocracy is an economic system, not a political one. The system also hinges on the skillful implementation of social engineering.

Huxley believed the nightmarish existence presented in “1984” was “destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in ‘Brave New World’” and that this transition would be the result of “a felt need for increased efficiency.” While Huxley did not use the word “technocracy,” that’s essentially what he was talking about.

Technocracy 101

Technocracy is an economic and social engineering system that got started in the 1930s during the height of the Great Depression, when scientists and engineers got together to solve the nation’s economic problems.

The Trilateral Commission’s co-founder Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Columbia University professor, brought the concept of technocracy into the Commission in 1973, with the financial support of David Rockefeller. Technocrats have silently and relentlessly pushed forward ever since, and their agenda is now becoming increasingly visible.

At its heart, technocracy is an economic system, not a political one. It actually calls for, indeed demands, the total dismantling of the political system, which includes the U.S. Constitution. In fact, the Constitution is the only thing that has kept technocracy at bay this long in the U.S.

The system also hinges on the skillful implementation of social engineering. Once fully implemented, people won’t have the ability to effectively fight it, but until then, through peaceful civil disobedience, the sharing of information and the exercise of political power, we still have a chance to prevent it.

Time is running short, however. As noted by The Burning Platform,11 “Since 9/11, the United States has unequivocally moved in the direction of Orwell’s 1984 vision,” and “We are now experiencing a dystopian amalgamation of the worst of both novels,” referring to “1984” and “Brave New World.”

Unfortunately, many still cannot see the full picture, nor understand the ultimate real-world danger of unquestioning compliance with ever-more illogical and freedom-quenching recommendations and mandates.

Technocracy Demands the Abolishment of Political Systems

Under technocratic rule, nations are to be led by unelected leaders who decide which resources companies can use to make certain products, and which products consumers are ultimately allowed to buy. Technocracy is essentially a resource-based economic system in which energy and social engineering run the economy rather than pricing mechanisms such as supply and demand.

Patrick Wood — an economist, financial analyst and American constitutionalist — has devoted a lifetime to uncovering the mystery of what is controlling most of the craziness we’re currently seeing, and which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. I go into more details on technocracy in my interview with Patrick Wood.

His two books, “Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation” and “Technocracy: The Hard Road to World Order” delve into this new world order in greater depth. You can listen to our interview below.

Science Has Been Misused for Decades

Importantly, science is a primary tool used to manipulate society and keep the economic engine running under the technocratic system. As explained by Wood, technocracy uses science to issue suggestions, to start. But those suggestions rapidly turn into mandates, which is precisely what we’ve been seeing during this pandemic. We’ve also seen this with vaccines in general.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed there’s a much larger plan that includes implantable digital identifications, medical records and vaccine passports, digital currency and banking — all of which will ultimately be tied together so that algorithms and automation will be able to keep everyone in line, everywhere, all the time.

Rule by Algorithm

An important tool used to drive the technocratic agenda forward is what Huxley pointed out, namely efficiency. In the name of efficiency and convenience, we are being inundated with an ever-increasing amount of “smart” technology that tracks everything everyone says and does, and artificial intelligence that sorts, interprets and spits out recommendations based on all that data.

This technological infrastructure is crucial for the technocracy, as the ultimate goal is to essentially automate slavery. The idea is that society will be ruled by automated algorithms, thus rendering a political structure irrelevant. Everyone will be automatically kept in line by technology.

For example, you might be told via text message that it’s time to get your annual vaccination. You go there, get the shot, and receive a digital vaccine certificate. Should you get the bright idea to refuse, your bank accounts get automatically frozen, the electronic door pass to your office won’t work, and you won’t be allowed to pass through the electronic check point at the grocery store.

No human authority is required in that system. There won’t be anyone to complain to or debate with. You’re herded into compliance by the fact that you have to do certain things in order to be allowed to participate in society. It sounds crazy, but if you look around, you’ll see clear evidence that this system has been slowly implemented all around us, for decades.

And, when you look at the statements from people like Bill Gates, in conjunction with the technologies he and others are implementing in various parts of the world (such as digital identification, currency, vaccine certificates and medical records, along with implantable chips to track employee attendance, smart appliances and entire smart cities, just to name a few), you can begin to see how the control loop is closing in around us.

In her book, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” professor Shoshana Zuboff exposes the stunning capacities currently available to surveil, analyze and manipulate our behavior. It’s crucial to realize that as bad as it is today, the predictive power of technology is advancing at an exponential rate, which means their ability to manipulate behavior is increasing at a pace we cannot fully comprehend.

Regaining Control of Local Government Is Key

Importantly, technocrats are currently making an end run around national sovereignty. Rather than a frontal assault on the system, which has never been successful, they’ve simply eroded national sovereignty piece by piece. What can we can do to thwart the steady march of technocracy?

As explained by Wood, the most effective way is through local activism. The technocratic system was built from the bottom up, so we cannot tear it down from the top down. They’re already far too powerful for that. So, to begin the dismantling process, we must regain control of our local governments, and work our way up from there.

One of the most important elected local officials that you should concern yourself with is your sheriff. Sheriffs are responsible for enforcing tyrannical edicts from local, state and federal government, and if they choose not to, government has no power. City councils also have a lot of power. They can pass binding resolutions to protect citizens against the technocratic agenda.

1 Person in 40 Is Injured by Vaccines

Getting back to the issue of the COVID-19 vaccine, I urge you to keep a cool head once the PR machine gains speed. Read through the propaganda messages again (above) and familiarize yourself with them so you can identify the buttons they’re trying to push.

Remember, the COVID-19 vaccines currently leading in development have never before been licensed for human use, and there’s no possible way to ascertain what the long-term ramifications might be when you turn your body into a viral protein factory. I’ve discussed the theory behind mRNA vaccines in several previous articles, including “Gates Tries to Justify Side Effects of Fast-Tracked Vaccine.”

Coronavirus vaccine efforts gained speed in early 2002, following three SARS epidemics. However, such efforts have proven highly problematic as coronavirus vaccines have a stubborn tendency to trigger paradoxical immune responses.

In my interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who chairs the board of directors of the Children’s Health Defense,12 he reviewed some of the failed efforts to produce a viable coronavirus vaccine and highlighted the dangers of vaccine exaggeration of the immune response:

“The Chinese, the Americans, the Europeans all got together and said, ‘We need to develop a vaccine against coronavirus.’ Around 2012, they had about 30 vaccines that looked promising. They took the four best of those and … gave those vaccines to ferrets, which are the closest analogy when you’re looking at lung infections in human beings.

The ferrets had an extraordinarily good antibody response, and that is the metric by which FDA licenses vaccines … The ferrets developed very strong antibodies, so they thought, ‘We hit the jackpot.’ All four of these vaccines … worked like a charm.

Then something terrible happened. Those ferrets were then exposed to the wild virus, and they all died. [They developed] inflammation in all their organs, their lungs stopped functioning and they died.”

So please, review ALL the vaccine studies BEFORE you get the COVID vaccine because as far as I have read, this essential part of the study — ensuring that no paradoxical immune enhancement will occur — has not yet been done.

Even with conventionally manufactured vaccines, data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research Quality suggests vaccine damage occurs in 2.6% of all vaccinations. This means 1 in 40 people — not 1 in 1 million, which is what we’ve been repeatedly told — is injured by vaccines. Kennedy Jr. reviewed this data in a recent online vaccine debate13 with attorney and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz.

The U.S. Vaccine Court has also paid out $4 billion to patients permanently damaged or killed by vaccines, and that’s just a small portion of all the cases filed. According to Kennedy, less than 1% of people who are injured ever get to court, due to the high bar set for proving causation.

Will the novel mRNA COVID-19 vaccines be more dangerous than conventional vaccines, or will they be safer? Considering these vaccines are being fast-tracked and are forgoing all traditional animal testing and long-term evaluation, I suspect they may end up having far more unanticipated complications.

So, as the vaccine campaign rolls out, remember to weigh whatever potential risks and benefits that might apply in your particular situation, and avoid falling for emotional triggers.

Regardless of what you decide, also try to accept the personal decisions of others. The PR campaign will clearly try to manipulate you into fearing those who chose not to vaccinate, and trigger you into condemning them. Hopefully, knowing that you are being manipulated will help ease these tendencies.

The Benefits of Keeping A Dream Journal

Jane Kyle
August 1, 2020

Recently, scientists from Caltech university proved that an ancient species of jellyfish has a sleep cycle. All known mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish on planet earth sleep, but this finding means sleep does not require a brain, and is one of the most ancient evolutionary traits around. So, a very important one.

If sleep is so important, could dreams be too? Dreams aren’t given much importance in modern society. In fact, dream sharing is considered oversharing around most office water coolers. But there are big benefits to taking your dreams seriously, and to keeping a dream journal. Even the Ancient Egyptians were known to keep “dream books.”

Faster Problem Solving

Many studies show that a well-rested mind is a smarter one. Students preparing for a test, for example, scored better when they dreamed about the test beforehand. Every night when you dream, your brain processes and categorizes all the day’s events. Your brain needs to dream to make sense of your waking life. But sleeping is not all you can do. By taking the extra step to remember and interpret your dreams upon waking, you are telling your brain that dreams are important to you. As a result, your dreams will take on a much more educational and beneficial role in your life.

Overcoming Anxiety

Nightmares are no fun, but they serve a purpose. Even rats have nightmares! A bad dream can help reveal your innermost fears, and give you a way to cope with them safely. If you’re like most people, you forget your dreams whenever you wake up. A dream journal will help you develop dream recall, causing you to notice different dream patterns, including reoccurring nightmares. This will give you valuable insight into all the anxieties that are holding you back in life, and give you a head start on addressing them. If you are having a reoccurring nightmare about being fired from your job, for example, you should practice positive thinking at work and confront any workplace challenges you have sooner than later.

Opportunity to Lucid Dream

Lucid dreaming, or becoming aware during a dream, can be induced by dream journaling. Lucid dreaming is a relatively fun and healthy hobby that has its own set of powerful mental health benefits. Many lucid dreamers regularly converse with “spirit guides” that give them advice and predictions to be used in the real world.

Better Spiritual Awareness

Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams contained messages from the gods, and so kept a careful record of them. The Egyptians weren’t the first to come up with this concept, and certainly weren’t the last. Every culture, it seems, from the Greeks to the Native Americans, have had similar beliefs about dreams.

Modern day mystics, including the late psychic Edgar Cayce, often focus on dreams as a way to remember past lives. Unbelievably, scientists have proven that memories and dreams can be inherited, passed on from generation to generation just like eye colour.

Whatever your belief system, keeping a dream journal forces you into a daily habit of thoughtful reflection, making you more aware of your deeper, wiser self over time.

Deciding to keep a dream journal could be one of the easiest, yet more life-changing decisions you’ve ever made! Luckily, there are many resources online to help get you started with a dream diary. Here are some beginner’s tips for keeping a dream journal:
•    Write in your dream journal every morning after you wake up
•    Don’t worry about stylist things like grammar, punctuation, or spelling
•    Keep your dream journal next to your bedside
•    Focus on dreams that are reoccurring
•    Remember to bring your dream journal with you when you travel

Before radio, television, and the Internet, people relied heavily on the dream world for entertainment and guidance, and this may have helped them to be more in touch with their inner self and spiritual side. By keeping a dream journal, you too can learn to tune out the outside world and tune up our own inner, conscious self.