Sunday, October 16, 2016

Can we understand our own minds?

Can We Understand Our Own Minds

Prophecies of White Feather, a Hopi of the ancient Bear Clan

“He will bring with him the symbols, and the missing piece of that sacred tablet now kept by the elders, given to him when he left, that shall identify him as our True White Brother.

“The Fourth World shall end soon, and the Fifth World will begin. This the elders everywhere know. The Signs over many years have been fulfilled, and so few are left.

This is the First Sign: We are told of the coming of the white-skinned men, like Pahana, but not living like Pahana men who took the land that was not theirs. And men who struck their enemies with thunder.

This is the Second Sign: Our lands will see the coming of spinning wheels filled with voices. In his youth, my father saw this prophecy come true with his eyes — the white men bringing their families in wagons across the prairies.”

This is the Third Sign: A strange beast like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers. These White Feather saw with his eyes — the coming of the white men’s cattle.”

This is the Fourth Sign: The land will be crossed by snakes of iron.”

This is the Fifth Sign: The land shall be criss-crossed by a giant spider’s web.”

This is the Sixth sign: The land shall be criss-crossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun.”

This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it.”

This is the Eight Sign: You will see many youth, who wear their hair long like my people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn their ways and wisdom.

And this is the Ninth and Last Sign: You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease.

“These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other lands — with those who possessed the first light of wisdom. There will be many columns of smoke and fire such as White Feather has seen the white man make in the deserts not far from here. Only those which come will cause disease and a great dying. Many of my people, understanding the prophecies, shall be safe. Those who stay and live in the places of my people also shall be safe. Then there will be much to rebuild. And soon — very soon afterward — Pahana will return. He shall bring with him the dawn of the Fifth World. He shall plant the seeds of his wisdom in their hearts. Even now the seeds are being planted. These shall smooth the way to the Emergence into the Fifth World.

“But White Feather shall not see it. I am old and dying. You — perhaps will see it. In time, in time…”
 The Lord gives wisdom (sophia), 
from his face comes knowledge (gnosis) and understanding (sunesis)"
                                              —Proverbs 2.6

Plato, as the speaker Timaeus, refers to the Demiurge frequently in the Socratic dialogue Timaeus, c. 360 BC. The main character refers to the Demiurge as the entity who "fashioned and shaped" the material world. Timaeus describes the Demiurge as unreservedly benevolent, and hence desirous of a world as good as possible. The world remains imperfect, however, because the Demiurge created the world out of a chaotic, indeterminate non-being. Plato's work Timaeus is a philosophical reconciliation of Hesiod's cosmology in his Theogony, syncretically reconciling Hesiod to Homer.

The first and highest aspect of God is described by Plato as the One (?? ??, "To Hen"), the source, or the Monad. This is the Good above the Demiurge, and manifests through the work of the Demiurge. The Monad emanated the demiurge or Nous (consciousness) from its "indeterminate" vitality due to the monad being so abundant that it overflowed back onto itself, causing self-reflection. This self-reflection of the indeterminate vitality was referred to by Plotinus as the "Demiurge" or creator.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demiurge

"The conscious ego doesn't know that it is something which that divine organ, the body, is only pretending to be.  There is simply no problem of life: it is completely purposeless play — exuberance which is its own end. We have lost touch with our original identity, which is not the system of images but the great self-moving gesture of this as yet unremembered moment."

The Joyous Cosmology by Alan Watts
HERO 
Types of Archetypal Journeys
  1. The quest for identity
  2. The epic journey to find the promised land/to found the good city
  3. The quest for vengeance
  4. The warrior’s journey to save his people
  5. The search for love (to rescue the princess/damsel in distress)
  6. The journey in search of knowledge
  7. The tragic quest: penance or self-denial
  8. The fool’s errand
  9. The quest to rid the land of danger
  10. The grail quest (the quest for human perfection)
Stages of a Hero’s Journey
  1. Departure: The hero is called to adventure, although he is reluctant to accept.
  2. Initiation: The hero crosses a threshold into a new, more dangerous world, gaining a more mature perspective.
  3. The Road of Trials: The hero is given supernatural aid, endures tests of strength, resourcefulness, and endurance.
  4. The Innermost Cave: The hero descends into the innermost cave, an underworld, or some other place of great trial. Sometimes this place can be within the hero’s own mind. Because of this trial, the hero is reborn in some way—physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Through this experience, the hero changes internally.
  5. Return and Reintegration with Society: The hero uses his new wisdom to restore fertility and order to the land
Control your astrocytes and control what interests you

In a study published July 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Salk Institute for Biological Sciences researchers have found that brain cells called astrocytes — not neurons — can control the brain’s gamma waves.

They also found that astrocytes — a type of glial cell traditionally thought to provide more of a support role in the brain — and the gamma oscillations they help shape are critical for some forms of memory, such as object recognition.

(When you’re expecting something or when something captures your interest, unique high-frequency electrical rhythms called gamma waves sweep through your brain. Gamma waves have been associated with higher-level brain function, and disturbances in the patterns have been tied to schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epilepsy and other disorders.)


Evidence linking gamma waves with attention and memory, influenced by astrocytes:

“This is what could be called a smoking gun,” says co-author Terrence Sejnowski, head of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “There are hundreds of papers linking gamma oscillations with attention and memory, but they are all correlational. This is the first time we have been able to do a causal experiment, where we selectively block gamma oscillations and show that it has a highly specific impact on how the brain interacts with the world.”

A collaboration among the labs of Salk professors Sejnowski, Inder Verma, and Stephen Heinemann found that activity in the form of calcium signaling in astrocytes immediately preceded gamma oscillations in the brains of mice. This suggested that astrocytes, which use many of the same chemical signals as neurons, could be influencing these oscillations.