I was thrilled to read the National Institutes of Health study that found so many benefits to drinking coffee. What are your thoughts on this?
Dr. Michael Murray: My first thought was to chuckle. The impact of many foods on our health is completely individualized. In other words, one person’s food is another person’s poison, and this is certainly the case with coffee. One of the major drawbacks in conventional medical research is that it assumes we are all alike. It’s becoming more and more clear that we aren’t.
One thing I have learned in my weekly men's group is how fragile we are. Lawyer, felon, editor-in-chief, our lives go up and down. We are healthy and not, wealthy and not. Yet we share an understanding that we are often wise together when each of us alone is not. We go around the circle sharing our stories, working through our stuff, and invariably, each man's work is also someone else's, or everyone's. We come to unburden ourselves, I suppose. But in the end, we're seeking something unusual, even magical. We go into a space beyond the stories, where the energy gets thick and feels like pure joy. I no longer believe that this joy can be accurately located with a brain scan. It's not just in my head. It also exists where I feel it -- in my heart.
I went to take a friend of mine’s class a while ago, on a full moon. She talked about how humans are made mostly of water, and the moon pulls the tides, so therefore it must have an effect on how we feel. She finished her spiel with this line: “But I’m not a scientist. I’m a yoga teacher.”
Not all yoga teachers are known for being very grounded in reality. I know a few who get loopy after a few too many kombuchas, and some who think they are probably aliens. We are not scientists. We are yoga teachers.
“Something unknown is doing we don’t know what” — this is how physicist Arthur Eddington described the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal, the vexing fact that science can never pin down the whereabouts of any given electron. The phrase has also become something of a mantra for researchers studying psychic phenomenon and prayer. Larry Dossey, M.D., one of the foremost advocates for prayer research, even has the phrase inscribed on beams that support the ceiling in his house.
A dear friend of mine recently succumbed to emphysema. Before he became ill, he’d been a scholar and a poet and a social activist. He’d had a passion for beauty in all its myriad forms. His life had been rich with rare experiences and fascinating people, and the whole of the world had been his home. But in his last few years, shortness of breath and a nasal oxygen tube had tethered him to an ever-shrinking sphere of existence — first to his apartment, then to his chair, and finally to his bed. The simplest of activities exhausted him.
Exploration the science and spiritual implications of synesthesia.
What happens when we die? Can people communicate with those who have passed on? Efforts to answer such questions using science have been underway since the late 1800s. Over the years, the methods have varied, some more convincing than others. One area that is both promising and amenable to rigorous science involves the study of mediumship, or “spirit” communication.
If we are designed for cooperation and fairness, why is our world in such a mess?
Willpower, once touted as a real human asset, has received a rather bad rap of late.
Gary Schwartz, PhD, brings his impeccable credentials as a scientist to “the science of the seemingly impossible” — the search for scientifically verifiable evidence of Spirit’s interaction with us.