Tea Time at the Tipping Point
The month of September has been a month of extremes for me. It’s been a time of crushing revelations (the local general elections showed this country is a lot less progressive than I thought) followed shortly by unexpected personal accomplishments, coincidences, and the “wheels have been set in motion”-type developments. There’s really not much else I can do except state clearly what I want, then let go, and flow with things. Jupiter’s in my sun sign and staying there for 11 months more. I thought I wasn’t feelin’ it, but now, I’m feelin’ it.
I’ll do a longer blog post if I can pin down what it’s like, but I feel like I’m lost in new territory here. Night-time dreams have me moving into new spaces, traveling by ship and plane.
Maybe some links to get back into the old habit:
Growth has been the main object of development for the past 70 years, despite the fact that it’s not working. Since 1980, the global economy has grown by 380%, but the number of people living in poverty on less than $5 (£3.20) a day has increased by more than 1.1 billion. That’s 17 times the population of Britain. So much for the trickle-down effect.
Orthodox economists insist that all we need is yet more growth. More progressive types tell us that we need to shift some of the yields of growth from the richer segments of the population to the poorer ones, evening things out a bit. Neither approach is adequate. Why? Because even at current levels of average global consumption, we’re overshooting our planet’s bio-capacity by more than 50% each year.
In other words, growth isn’t an option any more – we’ve already grown too much. Scientists are now telling us that we’re blowing past planetary boundaries at breakneck speed. And the hard truth is that this global crisis is due almost entirely to overconsumption in rich countries.
Researchers have created a drug that makes people more sensitive to inequality, more likely to share resources and generally more compassionate – in other words, it makes them kinder. And the potential is already blowing my selfish little brain.
The drug, called tolcapone, prolongs the effect of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, a region involved in the regulation of complex thought and our emotions. And early tests suggest that it encourages people who take it to be more fair-minded when it comes to money.
The Dalai Lama, for one, has a longstanding relationship with the neuroscience community. And a report earlier this year from the University of California-Davis Center for Mind and Brain found that meditation affects the brain on a cellular level, and is linked to higher levels of telomerase, an enzyme crucial for the long-term health of cells in the body. Another study, by the National Center of Biotechnology Information, found that reiki reduced heart rate in lab rats. (The experiment entailed certified healers pressing their open palms against the rat cages to transfer energy to some of the rodents, and untrained posers similarly touching other cages without emanating reiki.)
Toooo many quotable quotes from here. Just don’t recommend this to a male reader.
Lots of action shaping up here lately. I like what they’re doing, though they will probably rub some folks the wrong way.