Mind Power News
Issue No. 144 / Friday, October 13, 2006
Edited by Andreas Ohrt /

In this issue:

The brain is a befuddling organ, as are the very questions of life and death, consciousness, sleep, and much more. Here's a heads-up on what's known and what's not understood about your noggin.

ELECTRIC SHOCKS TO THE BRAIN CAN CAUSE OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCES: "The research shows that the self can be detached from the body and can live a phantom existence on its own, as in an out-of-body experience, or it can be felt outside of personal space, as in a sense of a presence."

HEARING VOICES IN YOUR HEAD IS NORMAL: Contrary to traditional belief, hearing voices is not necessarily a symptom of mental illness... many who hear voices do not seek help and say the voices have a positive impact on their lives, comforting or inspiring them.

HOW TO USE MAGIC: Magic is in reality a sacred science, the word “Magic” originating from the “Magi” who fully understood and applied natural Universal laws in order to bring about effect that many might consider to be miraculous.

EXTREME LUCID DREAMING: I stumbled upon this sure-fire method of triggering lucid dreams — and out-of-body experiences — by accident. The technique involves dream deprivation by suppression of dreams with drugs.

HOW TO PREDICT PSYCHIC SCAMS: "Only one-tenth of 1 percent of all those who claim to be psychic are," she said, basing her conclusion on 15 years of research.

Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind

By Jeanna Bryner
Live Science

Much of what we don't understand about being human is simply in our heads. The brain is a befuddling organ, as are the very questions of life and death, consciousness, sleep, and much more. Here's a heads-up on what's known and what's not understood about your noggin.

If you were to ask 10 people what dreams are made of, you’d probably get 10 different answers. That’s because scientists are still unraveling this mystery. One possibility: Dreaming exercises brain by stimulating the trafficking of synapses between brain cells. Another theory is that people dream about tasks and emotions that they didn’t take care of during the day, and that the process can help solidify thoughts and memories. In general, scientists agree that dreaming happens during your deepest sleep, called Rapid Eye Movement (REM).

Slumber Sleuth
Fruit flies do it. Tigers do it. And humans can't seem to get enough of it. No, not that. We're talking about shut-eye, so crucial we spend more than a quarter of our lives at it. Yet the underlying reasons for sleep remain as puzzling as a rambling dream. One thing scientists do know: Sleep is crucial for survival in mammals. Extended sleeplessness can lead to mood swings, hallucination, and in extreme cases, death. There are two states of sleep—non-rapid eye movement (NREM), during which the brain exhibits low metabolic activity, and rapid eye movement (REM), during which the brain is very active. Some scientists think NREM sleep gives your body a break, and in turn conserves energy, similar to hibernation. REM sleep could help to organize memories. However, this idea isn’t proven, and dreams during REM sleep don’t always correlate with memories.

Phantom Feelings
It’s estimated that about 80 percent of amputees experience sensations, including warmth, itching, pressure and pain, coming from the missing limb. People who experience this phenomenon, known as "phantom limb," feel sensations as if the missing limb were part of their bodies. One explanation says that the nerves area where the limb severed create new connections to the spinal cord and continue to send signals to the brain as if the missing limb was still there. Another possibility is that the brain is "hard-wired" to operate as if the body were fully intact—meaning the brain holds a blueprint of the body with all parts attached.

Mission Control
Residing in the hypothalamus of the brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or biological clock, programs the body to follow a 24-hour rhythm. The most evident effect of circadian rhythm is the sleep-wake cycle, but the biological clock also impacts digestion, body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone production. Researchers have found that light intensity can adjust the clock forward or backward by regulating the hormone melatonin. The latest debate is whether or not melatonin supplements could help prevent jet lag—the drowsy, achy feeling you get when "jetting" across time zones.

Memory Lane
Some experiences are hard to forget, like perhaps your first kiss. But how does a person hold onto these personal movies? Using brain-imaging techniques, scientists are unraveling the mechanism responsible for creating and storing memories. They are finding that the hippocampus, within the brain’s gray matter, could act as a memory box. But this storage area isn’t so discriminatory. It turns out that both true and false memories activate similar brain regions. To pull out the real memory, some researchers ask a subject to recall the memory in context, something that’s much more difficult when the event didn’t actually occur.

Brain Teaser
Laughter is one of the least understood of human behaviors. Scientists have found that during a good laugh three parts of the brain light up: a thinking part that helps you get the joke, a movement area that tells your muscles to move, and an emotional region that elicits the "giddy" feeling. But it remains unknown why one person laughs at your brother’s foolish jokes while another chuckles while watching a horror movie. John Morreall, who is a pioneer of humor research at the College of William and Mary, has found that laughter is a playful response to incongruities—stories that disobey conventional expectations. Others in the humor field point to laughter as a way of signaling to another person that this action is meant "in fun." One thing is clear: Laughter makes us feel better.

Nature vs. Nurture
In the long-running battle of whether our thoughts and personalities are controlled by genes or environment, scientists are building a convincing body of evidence that it could be either or both! The ability to study individual genes points to many human traits that we have little control over, yet in many realms, peer pressure or upbringing has been shown heavily influence who we are and what we do.

Mortal Mystery
Living forever is just for Hollywood. But why do humans age? You are born with a robust toolbox full of mechanisms to fight disease and injury, which you might think should arm you against stiff joints and other ailments. But as we age, the body’s repair mechanisms get out of shape. In effect, your resilience to physical injury and stress declines. Theories for why people age can be divided into two categories: 1) Like other human characteristics, aging could just be a part of human genetics and is somehow beneficial. 2) In the less optimistic view, aging has no purpose and results from cellular damage that occurs over a person's lifetime. A handful of researchers, however, think science will ultimately delay aging at least long enough to double life spans.

Deep Freeze
Living forever may not be a reality. But a pioneering field called cryonics could give some people two lives. Cryonics centers like Alcor Life Extension Foundation, in Arizona, store posthumous bodies in vats filled with liquid nitrogen at bone-chilling temperatures of minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit (78 Kelvin). The idea is that a person who dies from a presently incurable disease could be thawed and revived in the future when a cure has been found. The body of the late baseball legend Ted Williams is stored in one of Alcor’s freezers. Like the other human popsicles, Williams is positioned head down. That way, if there were ever a leak in the tank, the brain would stay submerged in the cold liquid. Not one of the cryopreserved bodies has been revived, because that technology doesn’t exist. For one, if the body isn’t thawed at exactly the right temperature, the person’s cells could turn to ice and blast into pieces.

When you wake up in the morning, you might perceive that the Sun is just rising, hear a few birds chirping, and maybe even feel a flash of happiness as the fresh morning air hits your face. In other words, you are conscious. This complex topic has plagued the scientific community since antiquity. Only recently have neuroscientists considered consciousness a realistic research topic. The greatest brainteaser in this field has been to explain how processes in the brain give rise to subjective experiences. So far, scientists have managed to develop a great list of questions.

Electric Shocks to the Brain Can Cause Out-of-Body Experiences

By Sandra Blakeslee
New York Times

They are eerie sensations, more common than one might think: A man describes feeling a shadowy figure standing behind him, then turning around to find no one there. A woman feels herself leaving her body and floating in space, looking down on her corporeal self.

Such experiences are often attributed by those who have them to paranormal forces.

But, according to recent work by neuroscientists, delivering mild electric current to specific spots in the brain can induce them. In one woman, for example, a zap to a brain region called the angular gyrus resulted in a sensation that she was hanging from the ceiling, looking down at her body. In another woman, electrical current delivered to the angular gyrus produced an uncanny feeling that someone was behind her, intent on interfering with her actions.

The two women were being evaluated for epilepsy surgery at University Hospital in Geneva, where doctors implanted dozens of electrodes into their brains to pinpoint the abnormal tissue causing the seizures and to identify adjacent areas involved in language, hearing or other essential functions that should be avoided in the surgery. As each electrode was activated, stimulating a different patch of brain tissue, the patient was asked to say what she was experiencing.

Dr. Olaf Blanke, a neurologist at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland who carried out the procedures, said that the women had normal psychiatric histories and that they were stunned by the bizarre nature of their experiences.

The Sept. 21 issue of Nature magazine includes an account by Blanke and his colleagues of the woman who sensed a shadow person behind her. They described the out-of-body experiences in the February 2004 issue of the journal Brain.

There is nothing mystical about these ghostly experiences, said Peter Brugger, a neuroscientist at University Hospital in Zurich, who was not involved in the experiments but is an expert on phantom limbs, the sensation of still feeling a limb that has been amputated, and other mind-bending phenomena.

"The research shows that the self can be detached from the body and can live a phantom existence on its own, as in an out-of-body experience, or it can be felt outside of personal space, as in a sense of a presence," Brugger said.


Hearing Voices in your Head is Normal

Source: BBC

Contrary to traditional belief, hearing voices is not necessarily a symptom of mental illness, UK researchers at Manchester University say.

Indeed, many who hear voices do not seek help and say the voices have a positive impact on their lives, comforting or inspiring them.

Researcher Aylish Campbell said: "We know that many members of the general population hear voices but have never felt the need to access mental health services.

"Some experts even claim that more people hear voices and don't seek psychiatric help than those who do."

Some who hear voices describe it as being like the experience of hearing someone call your name only to find that there is no one there.

People also hear voices as if they are thoughts entering the mind from somewhere outside themselves. They will have no idea what the voice might say. It may even engage in conversation.

The Manchester team want to investigate why some people view their voices positively while others become distressed and seek medical help.


How to Use "Magic"

By Adrian Cooper
Excerpt from: “Our Ultimate Reality”

Many people will have heard of “Magic”. We should note straightaway however that by true Magic as practiced from time immemorial we do not mean the stage illusionists, prestidigitators, conjurors and other such people from the areas of stage entertainment, but rather Magic in its very truest, very highest and most sacred form.

Magic is in reality a sacred science, the word “Magic” originating from the “Magi” who fully understood and applied natural Universal laws in order to bring about effect that many might consider to be miraculous.

The practitioner of true Magic understands, aligns him or herself with, and makes full and proper use of Universal laws in order to manifest the desired results in whichever plane of existence the desired result is to be experienced. People often erroneously associate Magic with occult practices, sorcery and witchcraft for example, but even this is not Magic in its truest and highest form. This is not to say of course that sorcery, witchcraft and similar types of “magic” are not effective, because they most certainly can be and often are, depending on the powers of the practitioner. The Universe does not recognise human labels, but only Cause and Effect by virtue of Universal laws and the influence of the Energy from which everything has been created and has its being.

Sorcery and witchcraft are often performed by utilising some Universal laws that result in the influence of Energy in the desired direction, by means for example of spells, rituals and other series of actions, but often without the practitioner ever being fully aware of what Universal forces are involved or how they are being applied. The most powerful true Magic is when the practitioner fully and consciously aligns him or herself with, and makes the fullest possible use of Universal laws, powers of the Magi.

What most people consider to be “Magic”, and again we are not referring to stage Magic, could more properly be referred to as “manifestation”. Manifestation is in the broadest terms the use of the imagination in order to manifest the object of the imagination into physical reality in accordance with Universal Laws and is the fundamental basis for all creation.

In the case of witchcraft, sorcery and similar practices practitioners often make use of spells, rituals and other regalia such as candles, swords, athame’s and much more, in order to provide the focus, intent and Energy required for the object of the imagination, usually by creative visualisation, to manifest into the material world. As we will see later, it is most certainly not at all necessary to practice witchcraft or sorcery in order to manifest into the physical world, these are quite simply age-old traditions that are still carried on today.

One of the most important aspects of successful manifestation is highly focussed and concentrated Energy in the form of thought or imagination. Indeed, the more Energy behind a manifestation the sooner it can materialise into the physical world as an observable reality. Very often, spells and rituals are only carried out once, meaning the chances of success are more variable and in accordance with the expertise of the focus, concentration and expertise of the practitioner. Magic, or more specifically manifestation can therefore be accomplished by anyone without requiring any form of occult, esoteric or mystical practices to be performed in order to be successful. Indeed, such practices can sometimes lead to frustration with the accompanying lack of observable results. Anyone at all can manifest and create any reality for themselves by fully understanding and applying natural Universal Laws utilising the simple, enjoyable and effective exercises that will be detailed later in this book.

Finally a word of caution; all your thoughts, imaginations and creative visualisations must only be for the purposes of good, either for yourself or for other people. Never, ever be tempted to use these powers to harm another person. If you do, the Universal law of Cause and Effect, of which karma is an integral aspect will most surely operate against you, and either in this or a future life you will have to pay the price. This is not intended to be a system of punishment as such as with a court of law. The simple fact of the matter is that every cause has its corresponding effect, positive, negative or neutral, and karma is no more than the causation of the Law of Attraction that ensure that no being can be the cause of anything negative without experiencing the corresponding effect. Note that we use the word “experiencing” rather than “suffering”. Everyone is here to experience and to evolve and not to suffer which is a human construct based on a perception relative to self and the ego. The Universe operates under the influence of the most powerful force in the Universe, Unconditional Love, and that applies to every aspect of human evolution, and indeed the evolution of the entire Universe and all Beings, all expressions of God.

Providing always that your thoughts, intentions, Energy, imaginations and creative visualisations are always only for the purposes of good and for genuine needs, and not based in greed, in other words will not bring harm to others in the process, only good will surely result, and your needs and desires will be fulfilled without karmic consequences.

Adrian Cooper is the author of “Our Ultimate Reality, Life, the Universe and the Destiny of Mankind” and creator of the new online course "Developing Psychic Powers"

Extreme Lucid Dreaming

By Ken Korczak
Source: Ironghost.wordpress.com

Now let’s discuss something extremely dangerous. I relate this information, only on the grounds that you fully understand that what I’m talking about is highly dangerous, and no one should try it. My subject is dreaming — lucid dreaming to be specific.

You may never have thought experimenting with dreams as being dangerous, but this particular method of triggering lucid dreams in just that — dangerous! Don’t try it!

I stumbled upon this sure-fire method of triggering lucid dreams — and out-of-body experiences — by accident. The technique involves dream deprivation by suppression of dreams with drugs. Here’s how I happened to encounter this dream induction process:

I have long suffered from migraine headaches, and recently, I began suffering a blasting migraine that was painful beyond imagining. Those of you who have suffered true migraines know what I’m talking about. Few things in life are worse than a pounding, nauseating, skull-splitting headache so bad you actually wish for death. Well, to deal with one such headache, which had been tormenting my head for nearly three days, I finally obtained some prescription narcotics — oxycodone — from my doctor and took to my bed. Because my headache was so extreme, even this powerful opiate was able to provide only moderate relief, but it was better than nothing.

My headache persisted for almost a week, and for about five days in a row, I was bombed on oxycodone. Among other effects, prescription narcotics really mess up your sleep patterns. In my case — and partly because of headache pain — I never slept deeply enough during that five-day period to enter REM state, the dream state. When my headache finally lifted, I was finally able to put away the energy-robbing, mind-numbing bottle of pain killers.

During that first night of normal drug-free, pain-free sleep — FIREWORKS! My poor dream-deprived brain had lost five nights of dreaming, and now it was determined to catch up, and really make up for lost time!

Now — I have long been a practitioner of lucid dreaming, and I have learned many good methods over the years if inducing lucid dreams, but rarely have I had as easier time — and more conscious control of my dreams than I did that night after having been dream deprived for several days. I was also easily — remarkably easily — able to capture the hypnagogic state — and practice that wonderful experience of lifting in and out of my body with my dream body, or astral body, or whatever you want to call it.

To make a long story short:

Dream deprivation is obviously a way to powerfully magnify your ability to dream, and to help you enjoy improved control over your dreams so that you can practice your favorite lucid dreaming techniques. There are other, safer ways to deprive yourself of the dream state, but even that can be dangerous for some people — so don’t try it. I, however, have continued to experiment with non-drug, temporary dream deprivation techniques as a way to enhance my ability to explore the world of lucid dreaming.

I expect to write more about this in the near future, so stay tuned!

Ken Korczak's Blog is at Ironghost.wordpress.com

Learn about the ONE SKILL that can
turn your life around... OVERNIGHT.

Chat with Einstein, develop new ideas, come up with fresh inventions. Watch your fiction ideas play themselves out on a huge cinema screen. Discover solutions that NOBODY ELSE in the world has even thought about. Develop new skills and talents... let Tiger Woods improve your handicap!

Confront your fears in perfect safety, get rid of irrational behaviors. Become an expert public speaker, stop being afraid of spiders. Sit on the coach with your own psychologist and move your life forward

Enjoy totally real, totally safe fantasies in glorious Technicolor!. Discover an amazing world of passion and make your wildest thoughts reality. Act out your secret inner desires and rid yourself of social constraints


How to Predict Psychic Scams

By Tania Padgett
Source: Newsday

Psychics and mediums may be in hot demand, but a shrill chorus of naysayers warns that many of them are out to snow you.

It was only four years ago that Miss Cleo, the infamous television infomercial psychic who promoted psychic hotlines for two Florida corporations, was exposed as a fraud in a series of lawsuits and blaring headlines.

Although she was put out of business, more scam artists have stepped into her wake, investigators say.

Most so-called psychics-mediums are "ruthless charlatans or self-deluded incompetents," said Wendy, author of "The Naked Quack," a book she self-published in 2000.

"Only one-tenth of 1 percent of all those who claim to be psychic are," she said, basing her conclusion on 15 years of research.

Frauds use many techniques to make people think they are getting information from "the other side" when they are actually getting it from the clients, said Wendy, an artist and self-proclaimed "master" psychic who lives upstate. Wendy requested that only her first name be printed because of threats she said she has received from scamming psychics-mediums angry about her book.

She described one popular technique used by scam artists called the "spritz," in which the psychic fires off a barrage of questions hoping that one or several will resonate with the client. The client often answers the questions and the psychic then feeds the information back to the client, Wendy said.

Another trick? Frauds often call out letters, claiming that they can only hear the first initials of the names of people who have departed. The client, once again, fills in the blanks and the fraud takes credit for "accurately" providing the dead person's name.

"Most of the time people wind up giving their own reading," said Wendy.

Frauds also get information on their clients by researching them on the Internet or hiring a private detective to dig up information on them, she said.

James Randi, a former magician who has spent decades debunking claims of the paranormal, doesn't believe that any psychics are real.

"I haven't met an authentic psychic or medium yet," he scoffed.

Randi rose to fame in the 1970s challenging the spoon-bending feats of Uri Geller, but has since turned his blistering skepticism on celebrity psychics-mediums Sylvia Browne, John Edward and others.

"Browne can write - and sell - more books about nothing than anyone I know," writes Randi on his James Randi Education Foundation Web site.

He dismisses Edward as a "mediocre cold-reader," or someone who uses guess work and a person's body language to do readings.

Randi, who was awarded the MacArthur Foundation "genius" award in 1986 for his investigations, is so convinced that psychics-mediums don't exist that he is offering $1 million to anyone who can prove their claims under scientific testing.

Browne announced on "Larry King Live" in 2001 that she would take the challenge, Randi said. "She has yet to take it."

Free Report: Psychic Hotlines Exposed

If you've ever called one of those psychic hotlines or have thought of doing so then you must read this free report which exposes the scams of most telephone psychics. For a limited time Adrian Cooper is offering this excellent 38-page report as a free gift to all members of the Mind Power News community. Download the free report here.

More news at the Mind Power Blog

  • The Absence of Desire is the Beginning of Happiness
  • ESP and the Lottery
  • The Strange Way Botox Relieves Depression
  • Pet Ghosts: Animal Encounters From Beyond the Grave
  • Stop Smoking with Online Hypnosis

Read them all here: www.mindpowernews.com/Blog

Want more fascinating news?
Daily headlines are now available at the Mind Power Blog. Simply sign up on the right-hand side of the page and receive all the best new headlines as soon as I find them.

Want to Subscribe/Unsubscribe?
To unsubscribe, simply follow the link at the very bottom of this message. If somebody forwarded this message to you, please sign up to receive your own copy of this e-zine each week at www.mindpowernews.com

Thank you,
Andreas Ohrt