Friday, May 30, 2014

Why is it so difficult to rise in society? People are attached to their social status

Young people are often optimistic beyond reason. They have outlandish dreams and often want to change the world. Yet, as the years go by, the overwhelming majority of them will follow the lifestyle and social class of their parents. This is the conclusion of an extensive, multinational study from historical records going back centuries: The Son Also Rises, Surnames and the History of Social Mobility by Gregory Clark. The author, who identifies social competence with genes, demonstrates that social competence, i.e. genes determines social class status. The work's relevant findings are supported by immense scholarly research. His recommendations to put a limit on societal disparities, indicates his social concern and responsibility. A relevant counterbalance to the above work is another book, 'The science of consciousness.' While agreeing with some assumptions, Deli's book proposes that the underlying relationship between personal belief system and the place in the social hierarchy is often independent of genetics.

With the dawn of genetic profiling it is becoming clear that there are numerous inheritable characteristics, and many of those determine intellectual abilities. Intellectual abilities are not black and white character traits however, but resemble the widely used Itten color wheel, in which blending leads to unlimited possibilities. Some are blessed with perfect pitch, 3D vision, musical abilities, language, or organisational skills. We can even venture to say that talents are as varied as people themselves. But if this is true, how come this 'talent' does not get translated into social mobility?

We have to examine the social structure to answer this question. Interaction (personal and economic) in every society generates inequality. Those at the top see their status rise even in democratic society. People in the higher income level have greater financial and personal security, giving them greater possibilities and the belief that possibilities are open to them. Those occupying the lower rungs of the economic ladder live with the constricted belief of fewer possibilities and limited choices. This uncertainty urges them to form greater attachments in their environment that prevents them from rising above their social class. The book argues that differences in belief translate into real, measurable difference in social aptitude. People growing up in a disorganized family often develop a social attitude that ultimately pushes them toward poverty. Adults tend to recreate the social dynamic of their childhood family environment. This occurs even after major upheaval to their financial conditions, such as stock market conditions or social upheavals. People will often find ingenious ways to recreate their accustomed lifestyle, some cases even by clever, non-customary means. Why is it so difficult to rise in society? The better answer might be that people are bound by the social programming of their mind.

I call this social aptitude, emotional or temporal gravity, because it limits social behavior, like gravitational curvature regulates matter. Greater gravity squeezes and slows, limits change. Likewise, greater temporal gravity prevents social mobility. The Science of Consciousness, which discusses the consequences and implications of temporal gravity in great detail, is available on Amazon.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

In mature market economies competition produces inequality

 Energetic changes during an economic cycle

The causes of inequality throughout history can be easily explained by the class system, lack of access to education, information, healthcare, infrastructure, safety, which accumulates wealth in few hands. Today, the root causes of inequality are beginning to be addressed in most parts of the world, yet global income inequality has risen between early 1800 to 2000 by more than 20 %.  A viable theory to explain changes in inequality throughout history, which appears surprisingly similar in most countries all over the world, is missing. Quoting Frank Cowell of the London School of Economics and Political Science, "Giving up explaining the exact shape of the income distribution decades ago, economists estimate inequality using only raw data, and don't depend on knowing the distribution's precise mathematical form." In my earlier blog, 'Is increasing inequality inevitable consequence of economic progress?' a new evolution hypothesis is proposed, which applies for economies as well as societies. During an economic cycle the inequality initially is ameliorated, but intensified as the economic cycle matures. In fact, the increasing inequality contributes to the collapse of the cycle. Here I will elaborate further on the exact causes of inequality and the structure of the economic cycle. Economies actually form self-regulatory systems. Economies constantly strive toward energy neutrality, but true energy neutrality can be only found in the middle of the cycle. At the beginning of the cycle superfluous resources and human enthusiasm mean energy surplus, which drives the cycle. The third phase of cycle is ruled by shortage of resources and dispirited attitude, which hasten the demise of the cycle. Energy shortage, degradation and demoralized population coalesce in chaos, the cycle collapses

First phase: Economic cycles begin on the decimated remnants of the previous cycle (A). Even though economic cycles inevitably end in chaotic upheavals, revolutions, or even wars, the intellectual, scientific advances of the previous era is widely available within the system and makes economic renewal possible. The few companies, economic entities that survived the upheaval receive great boost from the growing need for goods and services. New companies, new industries are ushered in, thriving on the emerging buying power of citizenry. Unemployment plummets. Competition is small or non existent, as the buying power often eclipses the ability of companies to satisfy it. The intellectual and technological capital from the previous cycle serves as indirect energy input (energy surplus) that drives progress and decreases entropy. The society moves toward democratization, equality increases. The system is not energy neutral

Second phase: As the manufacturing is scaled up in every sector due to demand, the market gradually saturates and competition for customers comes to dominate. The system's energy balance is neutral. This is the start of the second phase of the economic cycle (B). Due to competition, differentiation of companies begins in earnest and the prices of goods and services diverges. Divergence between the buying power and economic circumstances of the populous leads to growing economic inequality. The significant interactions among the system's constituents begins to generate entropy.

Third phase: As the economy matures, the third phase of the cycle is characterized by entropy production (C). The phase is characterized by shortage of raw materials, and social degradation as the economy overgrows its boundaries and destroys the environment that supports it. Companies unable or unwilling to innovate are forced into bankruptcies, leading to massive unemployment. The system's energy balance becomes tilted again (there is an energy shortage), and entropy increases as society moves toward chaos and economic breakdown. The economy is on an irreversible path toward a singularity that marks the end of the economic cycle. The accumulated anger, dissatisfaction of the people leads to uprisings, revolutions and chaos. Today the world economy is kept humming through continuous intervention by major governments. Can these interventions avoid chaos, or just postpone it? The answer to this question and lots of other information about social changes can be found in the third chapter of my book, The Science of Consciousness.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Neurofeedback allows voluntary modulation of tenderness and affection

File:Diagram showing some of the main areas of the brain CRUK 188.svg
The human brain By Cancer Res. UK

Emotional intelligence is gaining scientific reputation as part of intellectual abilities. In all appearances the mind rules its bodily real-estate, but the mind is ruled by emotions, which are evolutionary survival tools. According to American neuroscientist Damasio:“People who lack emotions because of brain injuries often have difficulty making decisions at all. The brain stores emotional memories of past decisions and those are what drive people's choices in life” Thus emotions maintain a mental homeostasis that dictate action to recover emotional stability. As Francois de La Rochefoucauld said, “If we resist our passion, it is more due to their weakness than our strength.”

Emotions are the exclusive motivator of intelligent animals. They are tools of survival, the means for interaction with the outside world and the basis of intellect. Positive emotions are success generators, because they lead to hope, trust, confidence, security, optimism, which reinforce positive actions. Emotions are experienced in a temporal infinitude. Pain or joy feels as if it would exist for ever, but when emotions depart, their experience evaporates, as if they never existed. This fact has a great role in motivation. Because pain and suffering is so easily forgotten, we can find new strength to go on with life and through the feeling of permanence, emotions do propel actions. A permanent phenomenon of life, the intensity of emotions can only change through interaction with the outside world. They may disappear from conscious awareness, but negative emotions manipulate from the background and corrupt mental abilities.

Neurofeedback is a sensory reading of behavior related brain activity that allows modification. Video displays or sounds indicate brain frequencies in real time, which permit a voluntary modification of brain function, behavior modification through self-regulation. Neurofeedback have been utilized in medical conditions from headaches to ADHD (attention deficit disorder) and has potential for clinical treatment of emotional problems, such as depression or to modify undesirable behavior. By giving direct, visual feedback, participants are able to master self-motivation, enhancing the potential for learning. Recent work of direct current stimulation found enhanced memory capacity lasting for up to two weeks that was accompanied by chemical changes in the hippocampus. The positive changes generated by neurofeedback should be reinforced by regular, consistent and focused practice in order to cement learning and positive emotional states, affection, or motivation.

Neurofeedback and transcranial stimulation represent an immense potential in neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry. Better understanding the mechanism of neurofeedback and transcranial stimulation is essential in order to exploit their full potential.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Having free will, but not being able to use it

Chess-king by David Lapetina

The common belief that our life is governed by conscious thinking and intellect has been challenged recently. As early as 1983 Benjamin Libet questioned the existence of free will by showing that thinking, and conscious actions are preceded by unconscious brain activity. Patients who lose their vision due to visual cortical damage often can correctly guess visual stimuli and can maneuver obstacles. New and old stimuli apparently can be also discerned without any conscious involvement.

Mental operation has been shown to be highly influenced, regulated by the environment. Subliminal stimuli influences the frontal cortex in some cases for extended amount of time, even without eliciting conscious response and emotional stimuli is processed automatically, irrespective of the focus of attention. A flood of shocking and even unnerving reports from leading laboratories demonstrates that conscious free decisions are preceded by measurable unconscious neural activity. Since perception automatically connects action outcome to self-agency, free-will belief is reinforced whether action occurs due to conscious or unconscious stimuli. In addition, the sluggish conscious decisions have vastly different time requirements from the fast automatic responses. The overwhelming majority of our actions cannot wait seconds for conscious processes to take place, they occur in a fraction of a second in an automatic fashion. Although the time difference does not seem significant, in the theater our lives, there is no time for deliberations. Interaction requires fast, immediate response. In addition conscious focus also tires quickly. But the automatic mind operates long term and remains stable in spite of environmental changes. We have to consider that our automatic mind operating behind (sometimes against) conscious awareness determines the course of our lives.

According to traditional understanding the working brain generates brain frequencies. The book, The Science of consciousness suggests the opposite possibility, that shifts of brain frequencies are the modus operandus of the mind. During deep sleep, certain drug actions and coma only simple brain activity is present. Consciousness requires complex mental activity, made possible by long range cortical connections. Shifts of the energy balances of the mind, which also give rise to emotions, primarily activate such long range connections. Yet, it is hard to fully appreciate the extent emotions play in directing our life. Parasites exploit their host and can fully manipulate host behavior in support of their lifecycle. For example, Toxoplasma gondii infection will spur a feline attraction in rodents which, assuredly deadly for the rodent, helps to complete the parasite’s life-cycle in the body of the cat. The fact that simple animals, rats for example can be directed by implanted electrodes seems natural consequence of neural biology. Although clearly enslaved by their emotional dependence, addicts and other substance abusers claim to be fully in control of their lives. Making decision based on emotions is considered a 'conscious' living, but in reality conscious decisions narrow mental focus. The constricted mental state produces stress, which degrades free will by directing people as puppets on a string. Free will is only possible for the open and relaxed mind, but this is the satisfied, happy state, when there is no emotional incentive for change. In the moment we decide to conflict with the flow of things however, attention narrows and free will is lost. We might play the leading role in our lives; but the play is written and directed by the universe. The perfect cinematic spectacle gives the illusion that we are in control.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Emotion, an evolutionary survival tool

Four Boys at Lake Tanganyika by Martin Munkacsi
In all appearances the mind rules over the body, but in reality an elaborate regulation of behavior is governed by emotions. From the food we choose, the position we sit in, our constant body temperature, our desires and complaints are all controlled by emotions. Nevertheless, frequent emotional actions gradually lose their emotional charge and become automatic. For example, when we first learned to walk, it started out as an emotionally motivated struggle to stay upright, but gradually it became under the control of the automatic brain. Emotional and automatic mental operation works in such seamless unison that we have the perfect illusion of having full control. This way, emotions have immense role not only in our conscious actions, but in every aspect of our lives, and emotional intelligence is the major contributor of intellectual abilities. "People who lack emotions because of brain injuries often have difficulty making decisions at all. ...Emotions are part of the process of homeostasis, by which the body maintains its stability," says neuroscientist Damasio.

Emotional states feel permanent; pain or joy feels as if it would exist forever, but when they depart, their experience evaporates, as if they never existed. This fact has a great role in motivation. Because pain and suffering is so easily forgotten, we can find new strength to go on with life and through the feeling of permanence, emotions do propel actions. Emotions are permanent phenomena of life, and their intensity can only change through interaction. They may disappear from conscious awareness, but negative emotions keep manipulating the mental state from the background leading to stress, corrupting mental abilities for extended time, until their emotional charge is transferred through interactions.

So the mind-body relationship depends on the state of the body (and by extension our social state) being reflected through the sensory system. We cannot control our emotions. However, emotions can be mastered. Sign up for my mailing list to never miss a post. 

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Is increasing inequality inevitable consequence of economic progress?

In the book, Capital in the twenty first century Thomas Piketty makes a very good case for a growing social inequality being the result of normal economic processes. His detailed examination of extensive historical records show that Economies appear to be cyclic. His analysis of historical data shows that the rate of return on capital gravitates toward the top and the thus ensuing financial inequality leads to the chaotic disintegration of the cycle, which inadvertently lays the ground for the beginning of a new cycle. I arrive at the same conclusions in my book, The science of consciousness

 Energetic changes during an economic cycle The first phase, marked A is a dynamic and vigorous. In the second phase (B) competition within each sector of the economy leads to differences company size, output. The number of companies balloons, making competition fierce. The third, final phase (C) is characterized by increasing inequality and financial crises, bankruptcies. Entropy  is lowest during the middle of the economic cycle.

Like Piketty, my book has thought provoking predictions about the evolution of society. The dynamics of the economic cycle is determined by the competition for market and resources, giving rise to different capital distribution at different times of the cycle. The start an economic cycle is always characterized by fast innovations, which produce new industries, and new companies. Human enthusiasm combined with abundant resources of raw materials and energy sources triggers fast progress, vibrant economic activity and quick return on investment. Unemployment is low. During this initial, fast changing phase the inequality in society is actually decreasing, and financial opportunities increase across the board. In the second phase, market driven interaction among companies and consumers leads to a divergence, characterized by emerging disparity in productivity and the size of the companies. The financial inequality balloons during the third phase of the cycle. The least flexible and self-confined companies begin to fail, and disintegrate, leading to rising unemployment. Prosperity converges toward the top of the economic ladder. As the exhausted economy expands its financial limitations, failing companies and industries, problems in the monetary system produce large scale failures, and bankruptcies. The disparities become self-perpetuating as the system inevitably moves toward a singularity, characterized by chaos, depression, insurgence and even wars. 

In conclusion: In economies labor, resources and goods form parts of an energy cycle, which must be neutral during the lifetime of the cycle. Economic development (just like evolution) occurs by a step-wise progression, separated by economic depressions, revolutions, wars, other chaotic upheavals. These findings raise troublesome questions about current increasing inequality. You can learn more, whether we are close to the end of an economic cycle and what can we do about it in my book. You can find it on Amazon                 
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Is time an ephemeral construct of material existence?

                                  Image result for time clock images free 

The nature of time is an ancient and unanswered question, but this ignorance might handicap current scientific progress. Time is considered a fundamental quantity in physics, therefore many core problems in current science, such as entropy, the big bang and the cosmological principle is dependent on this crucial understanding. However, a new clue might suggest that the global nature of time is static.The idea, proposed in 1982 by Page and Wooters, suggests that the universe maintains a static state with respect to outside observers. This is a powerful idea. A 2013 experiment by Moreva and her colleagues, 'Time from quantum entanglement: an experimental illustration' proves the principle of static time. 

In a carefully controlled experiment the scientists have used interconnected pair of photons, which have evolved relative to each other. The photons evolution is experienced by internal observers as time. The implication of the experiment is that our environment and the whole visible universe have clock-like properties. When we look at galaxies that lie at increasing distance from us, we find that we are observing a younger and younger version of our world. The further out we look, the closer things get to the big bang. However, to arrive at the notion of a static universe, we have to find the complementary subsystem of this clock-like material world. Where in the universe is the other half of entanglement?

In practice we know that whatever goes up also comes down. A cup of hot water cannot cool down without warming up its environment a little. Entanglement acting through mirror symmetries and dualities would always produce energy conserving, symmetric spatial topology. But if this is true, than negative curving space and anti-gravity should be part of our world. This is only possible, if experience is limited to the visible part of the universe. In Einstein's general relativity the universe should have two poles, black and white holes. While black holes form point-like singularity, white holes would be sources of expansion. This quality seems to satisfy the entangled pair of the black holes. In black holes time grows so old, it stops changing, whereas in the white holes time is point-like. They expand space, so nothing, not even light can approach them and this would make their discovery a practical impossibility. However the existence of Polar Regions allow the whole of cosmos to maintain a static state. This way time stretches between the poles and forms the basis of a cosmic symmetry. Time is one directional and points toward the black holes only within gravitational regions. Moving toward the black holes would destroy not only life, but material structure as well. Reversing time is possible by moving toward the expanding white hole regions of space, but this would also mean an end to biological systems and even matter. Anti-gravity would push people, spaceships and even planets or galaxies away due to its expanding, cold influence. Recent studies on vacuum, which found anti-gravity effects support the possible existence of expanding regions. 

Existence and life is limited to mild gravity regions. Here we are at Home.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Frequent conflicts with family members increase all cause of mortality later in life

Anger by David Shankbone

The book, The Science of Consciousness analyzes human behavior according to physical laws, based on energy exchange. Stimulus unbalance the energy neutral state of the brain and lead to emotions. Thus emotions reflect the constantly changing energy balance of the brain and dictate behavior in order to recover an energy neutral, emotion free state. Therefore positive and negative emotions reflect opposing energetic poles of the mind. Positive emotions increase mental energy, which is inner confidence, the ability to remain calm. In contrast, negative emotions disperse mental energy into the environment and lead to insecurity. Although negative emotions often appear threatening, especially if they involve aggravation or physical violence. However, negative emotions indicate weakness and desperation of an energy poor state. Over time negative emotions and attitude lead to stress, fatigue, tiredness and even health problems. The negative health effects of stress, anxiety and other negative emotional states have been documented in numerous studies. Among the inverse health outcomes were cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, mental problems, such as depression and many others.

We are social beings. The positive energy of the environment, such as the loving circle of family and friends fuel confidence. Toxic relationships degrade confidence, cause emotional, mental and health problems. Frequent arguments with partners, family members increase the incidence of death from all causes later in life. Men are especially vulnerable. As adults it is within our power and responsibility to form a supporting social environment for our families.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Asian students excel by respect of teachers and hard work, which includes rotary learning.

Elementary School in Chittoor,AP,India By Sandeep.jgupta

International student tests and education data regularly finds great success for some Asian countries, particularly South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong in China (in their respected ranking order).

The results probably reflect the importance of a culture, where education is prized and valued. Investing great trust in the teachers gives them confidence, so they tend to live up to this ideal; the respectful attitude toward school and schoolwork also influences the children. In such atmosphere a humble, goal oriented focus to complete homework and absorb the material is imparted. The western idea that respects the rights of children inspires the most efficient learning, but only if the child is highly motivated. Motivated students, who invest a positive attitude in their school work, find learning pleasurable and highly efficient. This presupposes a competitive, challenging environment, which is unfortunately shunned in most developed countries in order to avoid discouraging some children. This places the responsibility of the motivation for learning on the shoulders of an immature child. Over the long run it cannot deliver good results, because children do not know what their long term interests are.

There is also an emotional side to the school environment. Emotional experiences greatly impact mental focus, therefore are better remembered. In addition, negative or sensational emotional experiences are remembered even better than positive ones. Where sensational, violent experiences compete for students' attention in school, the focus on guns, money sidelines education.

Children, as adults learn best when they actively discover concepts for themselves. Rote learning is viewed as an old fashioned, shallow learning method, which has no place within contemporary school. However, acquiring basic concepts is essential. It is impossible to think about abstract concepts, when the basic understanding, rules or simple arithmetic relationships are lacking. Rotary learning, which is so prevalent in Asian countries, enhances mental capital by turning basic concepts into automatic skills. In addition patient, focused rotary learning is a form of meditation, which, as practitioners of meditation know enhances mood and imparts patience, emotional stability. In support of this, a number of recent studies in psychology show the importance of emotion in memorization. In addition, Csikszentmihalyi has shown that acquiring psychological capital by learning imbues long term happiness and even well-being.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

'The science of consciousness' details a new hypothesis about the mind

Theoretical physics has arrived at an impasse. Basic questions about gravity, time or mass cannot be satisfactorily answered. Bizarre and non-testable ideas stretch the boundaries of science itself. After a century of hard core materialism, consciousness science is finally a fashionable subject to study, complete with studies on spirituality, presentiment, non-locality of mind, which truly are pushing the limits of science. Welcome to the TSC (The Science of Consciousness) conference, the hodgepodge of observation, neuroscience, philosophy and even poetry mixed in. If you immersed yourself well in the proceedings, you probably have come away dazed by the variety of ideas discussed, some of which might appear bizarre or even crazy. Review some topics discussed at the conference and decide for your self!
Bruce Damer introduced a novel approach to the origin of life inspired by a 3.84 billion yrs old piece of rock, which contains the oldest known microbial life on Earth. He and his coauthor suggest that in ancient shallow pools of water polymer molecules could form by slow evaporation of water. Wind would blow these compounds around, spreading and distributing their contents, preparing for the hot spring origin of life. The wet-dry cycle reduced entropy, an important requirement for life.
Alysson Muotri discussed a new way to model brain diseases via brain organoids. Somatic cells are pushed back into pluripotent cells and grown in a petri dish for up to a year. over its evolution the organoid mini-brain cells migrate and make connections and can exhibit electric oscillation. At four months, the mini cortex formulate layers, glia cells begin to take over proliferation.
Mini-brain network activity: consistent spikes increase over time, indicating increasing complexity and mimic the bursting phenomenon in EEG.
Lachan Kent finds strong analogy between physics and consciousness, treating consciousness as fundamental, as elementary particles, where emotional state correspond to manipulation of the temporal field. This might lead to a new understanding of depression, for example, as a extended perception of time.
Paavo Pylkk√§nen is a philosopher with interest in the Bohm's pilot wave understanding of quantum mechanics. His talk emphasized the incompatible potentialities of the particle, that all particles influence each other in formulating the so-called pilot wave, which guides wave-like properties.
The language studies were represented by Noam Chomsky from MIT, Tom Bever and others. 
The Penrose-Hammeroff objective reduction theory was represented by its usual practitioners, Penrose, Hammeroff, Anirban Bandyopadhyay and others, reporting no major progress.  
Ivette Fuentes shared her enthusiasm about the imminent technological breakthroughs in general relativity and quantum mechanics. 
Hartmut Neven from Google shared on their progress on AI research and machine learning and connection to emotional states.
George Northoff from the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Ottawa talked about how the brain's spontaneous activity constructs its own time. Ultra low frequency electric activities have much higher power, which permits them to form the foundation of all other frequencies. This leads to nestedness, in which the lower frequencies have greater organizational influence due to their higher power. Thus the power of lower frequencies ensures the stability of the whole brain dynamics. 
Lakhmir S. Chawla MD. from the George Washington University analyzed end of life electric surges, which are spikes about 60 to 120 ms after the patient becomes pulseless. The activity can be also observed in decapitation of rats. The activity does not occur in every dying person, but it exceeds the electric activity level of normal waking activity. It is not a seizure, and does not occur in patients, who are brain dead. Although it might indicate the boundary of life and death, there is no current scientific consensus on the phenomenon. 
Information on brain stimulation, and other mind related subject, such as art, music and meditation was also shared. Click here for more information on the program.

The book, 'The science of consciousness' promises a new physical world view about our place in the universe, about existence, evolution, the power of emotions to guide our life and shape our future. Its approach may inspire you in your own search for meaning. If proven correct, the hypothesis will radically change our understanding of the world and even will change how we view ourselves. The hypothesis considers cosmos, formed by orthogonal dimensions, space and time. Through their interaction form the poles of the universe and a cosmological evolution, culminating in the emergence of the mind. The hypothesis proposes to solve many current puzzles in physics, such as matter-antimatter ratio, the cosmological constant, entanglement, dark matter and energy and many others. It also ponders age old questions, such as what is time, matter, mass, entropy, gravity and the other elementary forces. It shows how the operation of the mind is determined by emotions and how evolution produces increasing complexity and the intelligent mind. The hypothesis can be verified by technically feasible experiments. Details of the idea can be found in a book form on Amazon, in the Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 7(11): 910-930 or on academia.

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