Taken with picplz.
It seems that the brain, in specific situations, literally gets bored and starts scaring you. The easiest way to prove this is to perform the simple experiment of looking steadily into a mirror, for a few minutes at a time. Soon, you’re very likely to see a monster. That monster is a combination of your face and your brain. Does that make it better or worse?
There are a lot of creepy situations that start happening when you look in the mirror. Low light and a fearful mood certainly help, but the primary reason why people have so many mirror related freak-outs, and why it’s become such a big game at slumber parties, is straight biology. The brain doesn’t have the energy or the processing power to notice everything all the time. Sitting at your computer now, you’re probably unaware of the feel of the seat under you, your clothes against your skin, and any lingering smells you might have noticed (no judgement) when you walked into the room. Your mind mostly tunes them out. But the sense that most of us rely on almost all the time, sight, has also been narrowed down. You are probably unaware of anything outside of the range of the computer screen, and you probably haven’t noticed minor changes to that. That is why most updates on computers come with a sound or a blinking light.
The brain, when faced with a lot of stimulation, only some of which is considered relevant, will tune out the non-relevant parts, filling in what it can from the general area. It’s a little like how the blind spot works, except this is a dynamic process. The brain will zoom in on a desired area, and the rest of the space will fade away. This is called the Troxler Effect, or Troxler Fading. It was discovered way back in 1804 by Ignaz Troxler, a physician and philosopher. Take a look at the circle to the left. Focus on the red dot at the middle. After less than thirty seconds, the circle should just fade away. The mind then fills in the area where the circle used to be with the white that surrounds it. It’s worth doing an image search on Troxler Effect, since there are a ton of illusions with it on the internet. There are whole paintings that fade away. There are moving objects that disappear with enough focus. You can spend a happy twenty minutes observing your brain erase the world.
A less happy ten minutes would be spent staring in a mirror. A paper in Perception outlines an experiment in which people were asked to stare into a mirror, in low light, for ten minutes. They do not sound like a fun ten minutes, according to the report.
The descriptions differed greatly across individuals and included: (a) huge deformations of one’s own face (reported by 66% of the fifty participants); (b) a parent’s face with traits changed (18%), of whom 8% were still alive and 10% were deceased; (c) an unknown person (28%); (d) an archetypal face, such as that of an old woman, a child, or a portrait of an ancestor (28%); (e) an animal face such as that of a cat, pig, or lion (18%); (f ) fantastical and monstrous beings (48%).
The Troxler Effect fades out features that a person isn’t directly staring at. Those features are filled in with what’s around them. It works on a white background, but a face looks horrifying when, for example, a slice of forehead and cheek are subbed in for an eye. Plus, the effect doesn’t stay in one place. The Troxler Effect wanders over the entire face, distorting it massively. The person then often instinctively turns those distortions into things that they can actually recognize, even if it scares them. This is how mirror monsters, like Bloody Mary, develop. The brain gets tired of processing the mundane and, accidentally, cooks up a monster to entertain us.
What is the difference between happy people and unhappy people? Of course, it may be very obvious, happy people are happy while unhappy people are unhappy, right? Well, that is correct, but we want to know what are the things that these people do differently and that is why, I have put together a list of things that HAPPY people do differently than UNHAPPY people.
1. LOVE vs. FEAR. Well, I can tell you for sure that those people who are really happy, FEAR less and LOVE a lot more. They see each moment, each challenge, each person as an opportunity to discover more about themselves and the world around them.
2. ACCEPTANCE vs. RESISTANCE. Happy people understand that you can’t really change a situation by resisting it, but you can definitely change it by accepting that it is there and by understanding that there might be a reason for its existence. When something unpleasant happens to them, they don’t try to fight it, knowing that this will make the situation even worse, but rather, they ask themselves questions like: What can I learn from this? How can I make this better? and they go from there, focusing on the positive rather than on the negative. They always seem to see the glass half full no matter what happens to them.
3. FORGIVENESS vs. UNFORGIVENESS. Really happy people know that it’s not healthy to hold on to anger. They choose to FORGIVE and FORGET, understanding that FORGIVENESS is a gift they give to themselves first and foremost.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”Buddha
4. TRUST vs. DOUBT. They trust themselves and they trust the people around them. No matter if they talk to the cleaning lady or the C.E.O. of a multi billion company, somehow they always seem make the person they are interacting with feel like there is something unique and special about them.
They understand that beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies, and because of that, they make sure to treat everybody with love, dignity and respect, making no distinctions between age, sex, social status, color, religion or race. These are the great men that Mark Twain was talking about: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain
5. MEANING vs. AMBITION. They do the things they do because of the meaning it brings into their lives and because they get a sense of purpose by doing so. They understand that “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life” like Wayne Dyer puts it, and they care more about living a life full of meaning rather than, what in our modern society we would call, living a successful life.
The irony here is that most of the time they get both, success and meaning, just because they choose to focus on doing the things they love the most and they always pursue their heart desires. They are not motivated by money; they want to make a difference in the lives of those around them and in the world.
6. PRAISING vs. CRITICIZING. Happy people would probably agree with Carl’s Jung theory on resistance: “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”. They don’t criticize the absence of the behavior they want to reinforce, but rather, every time the behavior is present, even if it’s not that often, they know that by praising the person and the behavior, they will actually reinforce the positive behavior.
When a parent wants to make sure that his 7 years old boy will learn to always put the toys back in the box after he’s done playing with them, he will make sure not to focus on the many times the child won’t do it, criticizing him and his behavior, but rather, every time the little boy does put the toys back, the parent will praise him and his behavior and that is exactly how he will reinforce the positive behavior, and in the end geting the wanted results.
7. CHALLENGES vs. PROBLEMS. Happy people will see PROBLEMS as CHALLENGES, as opportunities to explore new ways of doing things, expressing their gratitude for them, understanding that underneath them all lies many opportunities that will allow them to expand and to grow.
8. SELFLESSNESS vs. SELFISHNESS. They do what they do not for themselves, but for the good of others, making sure that they bring meaning, empowerment and happiness in the lives of many. They look for ways to give and to share the best of themselves with the world and to make other people happy.
”Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”Buddha
9. ABUNDANCE vs. LACK/POVERTY. They have an abundant mindset living a balanced life, achieving abundance in all areas of life.
10. DREAMING BIG vs. BEING REALISTIC. These people don’t really care about being realistic. They love and dare to dream big, they always listen to their heart and intuition and the greatness of their accomplishments scares many of us.
“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” Goethe
11. KINDNESS vs. CRUELTY. They are kind to themselves and others and they understand the power of self love, self forgiveness and self acceptance.
12. GRATITUDE vs. INGRATITUDE. No no matter where they look, no matter where they are or with who, they have this capacity of seeing beauty where most of us would only see ugliness, opportunities, where most of us would only see struggles, abundance where most of us would only see lack and they express their gratitude for them all.
13. PRESENCE/ ENGAGEMENT vs. DISENGAGEMENT. They know how to live in the present moment, appreciating what they have and where they are, while still having big dreams about the future.
“When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are.” Eckhart Tolle
14. POSITIVITY vs. NEGATIVITY. No matter what happens to them, they always seem to keep a positive perspective on everything and by doing so, they tend irritate a lot of negative and “realistic” people.
15. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY vs. BLAMING. They take full ownership over their lives and they rarely use excuses. Happy people understand that the moment you choose to blame some outside forces for whatever it is that happens to you, you are in fact giving all your power away, and they choose to keep the power for themselves and taking responsibility for everything that happens to them.
How to Meditate
Enjoy the new video clips that demonstrate the various exercises described below.
To view the complete meditation instruction video, please click here.
Note: These instructions are drawn from the vipassana traditions of Mahasi Sayadaw and Chao Khun Bhavanapirama Thera. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the essay, What is Vipassana?
Your move, Google. (via Bobby Finger )
from BuzzFeed – Tech April 05, 2012 at 10:38AM
Phonedeck launched in private beta late last year, and in the invitation-only period it has managed to bring on board 50,000 users globally through word-of-mouth. The cloud-based mobile phone management platform has taken on board all the feedback over the past four months, and is rolling out to the public today.