Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Why pick on the Baptists

There is a problem with evangelicals and it is hard to know what it is the reason. We can smell something rotten but have trouble picking it out 

I listened to a pray that a woman found to break a curse against her. It was long and thorough. Could that be a problem?

It involved a complete list of sins to confess, renounce and ask forgiveness for. Could that be part of it?

This is the world of the dedicated evangelical. One gets used to the pattern and focus of these zealous Christians.

It is no surprise when the prayer turns to driving out demons. Many are named and commanded to leave in Jesus name.

Listen to the language. Make a count of the themes. Sin gets lot of attention so it can be forgiven. Demons get a lot of air time so they can be commanded to leave.

It is like walking through a heavy rain without protection. One's senses are hit with a downpour of sins being named and then demons getting attention.

The dangerous question to ask is, "is it effective." I find some Evangelicals do not ask that question and they don't want you to raise it. 

This prayers and ones like it are recited without questions about effectiveness. Don't ask.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Is memory unlimited?

Human memory is limited. First of all everything we learned must be screened by what we already know - our perceptual system. We learn best in areas where we have already learned something.

Our short term memory is limited to about 7 bits of information at a time. If these bits are to be remembered (put into long term storage) we need to focus on them for about a minute. As a result we are limited in terms of how much we can get into our long-term storage.

Secondly we store different kinds of information in different learning centers. Factual information in one place. Emotional in another and spiritual in a third.

Facts go into our cognitive or intellectual brain but personally meaningful events - those associated with passion, feeling, rewards and punishments - these are stored in our emotional brain.

The emotional brain makes decisions, establishes our motivation and lights our passions on fire. The memory here is more of little videos of life, little drama bits with important lessons (core beliefs) that are associated with feeling. The emotional brain is going to collect memories that fit in with the core beliefs and feelings that we have already collected. We are biased in the experiences we collect and how we interpret them.

If our culture allows us, we will also experience and record information received through our psychic, spiritual or intuitive sensing. Call this the intuitive brain, source of our 'gut reactions' or our human spirit. The memory here is not of facts but of the love we have or have not received, the joy we have or have not felt, the beauty of the sunset, the great athlete, great music and the presence of Source or God. Let us call these our transcendent experiences. By the way if our human family invests love in us, then this center will grow and grow until we can experience empathy with another.

By the way factual memories are stored longer if the test - that is are made to remember them. Our emotional memories can change when they are remembered. They become open to editing,
suggestion, reinterpretation when remembered. There is a period of hours after recall of an emotional memory when it is vulnerable to such influences. It is helpful for therapists to understand how that process works.

The content of our spirit or intuitive brain can be influenced by what we meditate upon. Feed in spiritually nurturing experiences and we become more filled with light and goodness. 'Memory' here is like colouring in water. It is the state of our soul. We can shape who we are at this level.
In conclusion not only is memory limited but we are in constant flux. We are an ongoing process of learning and forgetting, wounding and healing, becoming more filled with light or running out of joy. The 'who we are' is a lot more important than what we remember.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

What is a bipolar personality and what leads to it?

First of all you need to keep in mind that the 'bi-polar' person has two different personality states: manic and depressed.
Second they may stay in these for weeks or months at a time. So if you are talking to someone you should not be able to tell if they are bi-polar unless they are in the manic stage. The manic stage is much more obvious than the depressive state.
In fact the person's 'normal' state and most frequent state is going to be depression. If they don't tell you about their 'manic' periods you should have no idea that they are bipolar in their normal depressive state.
Also remember that a lot of people can have a normal personality, yet have bi-polar characteristics, without it being a disorder. Their 'manic' state does not have the psychiatric aspects that make this a disorder.
A manic state can occur in much milder forms. The person breaks out of their normal routine and seem more energetic, be more creative, get more done, have more fun without clinical extremes.
However, this becomes problematic if the  person goes on a spending spree, goes gambling, goes wild sexually, impulsive and does not get routine tasks done. This is disruptive without the signs of mental illness and impaired thinking. 
The clinical disorder includes grandiose thinking, disconnecting from reality, paranoid delusions associated with mental disorders. Remember that you can have milder forms of bipolar that do not require drugs or psychiatry.
I have found an underlying personality pattern that is typically found underneath the bipolar pattern. This is a personality pattern of the super-responsible person who is always there for others, rescuing others, doing too much for others. These person can be the pillar of the family, church or social organization.
They are always there for others. What is wrong with this? They fail at self-care. They sacrifice themselves in taking care of others. They suppress their needs and oppress their inner child. It is this inner child that sometimes escapes the suppression and goes wild. That inner child breaking out is of course what gets called the 'manic' phase. So learn to take care of yourself!
My observation is that all bipolar personalities or bipolar disorders have a common basic personality type. Not everyone with this type is bipolar but, in my humble opinion, everyone who is bipolar has this type in their history and background.
The type I am referencing is called 'Super-Responsible' in my writing and I learned that type from my mentors who called it 'Parental Inversion.' (John and Paula Sandford) This type is quite common and involves feeling responsible for taking care of others, for keeping things together, and rescuing people.
I have explained more about this type in my writings such as on Inner Healing > Spontaneity

What is Energy Psychology such as EFT tapping and how valid is it?

EFT tapping is effective and makes use of the property of memories that they are malleable when recalled with emotion. Emotional memories - the ones of most importance to us - can be 'edited' when they are in active recall.
In psychotherapy we help our client discover contradictory memories and experiences that will induce the emotional brain to revise the memory. We present the two memories in an active state - with emotion - alternately several times. Change in the memory occurs.
Eye movements have been used in another form of psychotherapy to accomplish the same thing.
EFT is a form of energy psychology and uses tapping on different meridian points to  discharge the memory of its emotional charge. The theory is controversial, or unconventional, because it assumes the presence of the body's energy meridians. Western science has not accepted their presence although they are used in acupuncture.
The 'scientific validity' of EFT depends on a science that much of western medicine does not accept. However, true science depends on observation. If there are many observations (testimonies) of success then the method is valid. On that basis I would say it is valid. But only if you can accept 'there are more things true than are dreamt of in our philosophies.'

Do we need alternatives to drug therapy for depression?

Several thing have happened since the initial glow of success of drug therapy for depression.

1. The initial success, especially over a short term of 6 weeks, resulted in putting emphasis on medication.

2. To promote the use of these medications medicine created a story about brain chemistry needing to be corrected. There was no evidence of this widely believed myth.

3. Researching on the long-term effectiveness of antidepressants, we began to discover they were not an effective cure for depression. They are minimally effective. See: Jeremy Lawrence. Antidepressant drugs don't work – official study. The Independent. 2008 February 26.

4. Then we became more aware of how the brain reacts to and adapts to chemicals that play with serotonin reuptake. Those adjustments can leave one in worse shape than those who did not make use of antidepressants. see: Page on sciencedaily.com. That is because the brain reacts to changes (homeostasis) and makes adjustments in its own neurology by reducing the circulation of  serotonin. 

5. Now we are in a that state of confusion that occurs when we trust one way and then find it is not that way. 

6. Meantime psychotherapy is learning how to be more effective in getting at root issues. Check out 'memory reconsolidation,' and 'Coherence Therapy.' 

7. Conclusion: Antidepressants have lost their initial appeal. 

8. Alternatives like exercise, fresh air,  sunshine, nutritional and herbal approaches and psychotherapy should be considered to maintaining yourself in an emotionally healthy state.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. This information is not medical advice. Consult a health practitioner for support and wisdom in making any changes to your prescribed medications.

Simple free things you can do to help get work done when you are depressed.

I am hoping to give you some really quick free things to do. They may sound too trivial to work but they do. I hope these simple things can make a difference.
1. Sunlight or UV light are needed to overcome depression. Sunlight means being outside without glasses on. The reason for no glasses is that they often have strong UV blockers in the glass and the same is true of many modern windows. Plants will not grow behind such glass and we wilt too.
2. Exercise or fitness. we know that men in depression respond really well to exercise and getting more fit. It helps our self-image too. Whatever method works for you to have regular exercise. Do not overdo it or try to do too much the first day. Go for consistency.
3. Use a time management too - like pomodoro - where you work for 25 minutes and then take 5 minutes break. That will give you some structure for your work. Don't try to do so much or get it perfect.
4. Oh, I forgot to mention that you can bring UV light inside with full-spectrum lights or black lights and that will add the UV inside and can lift depression quite quickly.
5. For sleep try some Melatonin before bedtime. Shut off all lights and do not have electronics charging or active near your bed.
You might not of thought of these simple 'free' things but they are important. Treat these simple things like medicine and let me know how it goes.

How do know if you are depressed?

Depression is not always easy to discern, even for medical doctors, because not everyone has the problems with sleeping at night (associated with low melatonin) or trouble getting moving in the day. Some people do not show these classical signs because they are highly driven people with a strong will-power and they can just keep going.
At the core of depression is not so much mood and energy. Depression means that the core energy supply is low. Needed core energy is in short supply.
This life energy is used up by the will - 'making yourself' get up. This life energy is used up be many emotions. Depressed people even find being with people is draining. Life energy is needed for our days activities.
Depressed people may have to limit their goals for daily production because they do not have the energy to accomplish as much as they would like. It is like hoping to make a long trip but you only have so much gas in the car and you have no more resources to buy more.
You might compare it to have a flu or cold and the body is fighting with the virus. Meantime you have very little energy to do other things. That is why you advice sick people to go to bed - to conserve needed energy for the immune system.
So the main sign to look for in yourself is this lack of energy and the frustration it is causing you. You can't do what you want to do in a day. You need to budget your energy. You feel like staying in bed.