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Self Improvement

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Spirituality Is A State Of Mind
  • A spiritual experience, according to the father of Western psychology, William James, is a state of higher consciousness.
  • Spirituality, in essence, is connectedness, the antithesis of the values of society like capitalism and laws of the land.
  • A spiritual state can be achieved by contemplative and ritualistic practices like prayer and meditation.
  • Many spiritual traditions like Buddhism report a higher state of consciousness and connection.
  • These states of mind need not be rare experiences of a chosen few, but can be reached in daily life by anyone.

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Self Improvement

The ordinary, once we collect ourselves and pay attention to it in a fully integrated manner, becomes miraculous.

Normally our minds are so fragmented that there are always multiple conflicts in how we behave, think, feel or communicate. People who regularly meditate do not have this problem and report a harmonious brain activity with great synchrony and connectivity of neurons.

During meditation, a large group of brain cells are synchronized, dancing together in great harmony and integrity. This helps the brain become better at almost everything, from problem-solving to reduced addictions, and an increase in moral values.

A meditating person becomes more empathetic, creative and socially effective. He becomes self-aware and confident while being less greedy or immoral in any way.

QMT is a movement meditation that alternates between dynamic movement and still postures. It puts our attention on the present moment(time) and our present location(space). One has to be aware of their inner and outer worlds at the same time.

Benefits of QMT include improved cognitive flexibility, a feeling of relaxation, an increase in attention and an easy shift to the flow state.

The OVO Chamber

An egg shaped chamber that increases neural-synchronicity was created by Patrizio Paoletti, a meditation teacher.

Called the OVO chamber, this spherical model of consciousness maps out subjective experiences, making our life experience sharper and more intense.

Simply by paying close attention to our breath and somehow getting past the distraction stage where our mind wants to stop the boring activity and do something else(like checking the smartphone), we can change our mindset from a fear-based individual to someone with high aspirations and values.

By meditation, we can internally connect the scattered aspects of our lives: family, career, health, friendships, relationships, finance and society.

Meditation makes our life worth living, as we stop reacting and rushing through our day, and become grounded, rooted and calm.

Our outlook, reactions and behaviour change as we feel a sense of connectedness with everyone. This experience of the interconnectedness of being is what we know as spirituality.

Virtual Reality: Origins

The Theater and its Double was a 1938 book by French playwright Antonin Artaud, the first-ever record of the word ‘virtual reality. A reality that was both illusionary and fictitious.

The 1950s saw inventor Morton Helig working on a projection booth with 3D images and sound, a moving seat and smells/sensations of the road to give an impression that the person on the seat was riding a motorcycle, trying to give the first taste of virtual reality. It never went into production.

Virtual reality was termed somatic cognition and also augmented reality over the years, but the term Virtual Reality or VR stuck, popularized in the 1980s by Jaron Lanier, a gifted music composer, author and Time Magazine’s 100-most-influential-People honoree.

He developed a virtual reality headpiece with a glove, a technology that used a virtual space called ‘cyberspace’ where virtual objects were manipulated.

Star Trek: Uses And Pop Culture Of Virtual Reality
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series (the one with Captain Picard) had the holodeck, a place where anything imaginable was experienced, like a past memory.
  • The 2009 movie Avatar used virtual reality as the main storyline.
  • The real world now uses virtual reality to tackle real-world problems, like doctors learning to use surgical instruments, for example.
  • The military uses simulated war games to train soldiers for the real thing.
Dark Matter Of The Universe

Dark Matter is a bizarre, unknown ingredient of the universe, which scientists cannot observe directly, but takes up 80 percent of the mass of the universe.

It is not seen by the naked eye as it does not emit light or energy. There are entire galaxies (like Dragonfly 44) that are made up entirely of dark matter. Scientists use particle detectors to detect cosmic rays, energy patterns, gravity, and positrons (anti-electrons) to research dark matter.

  • Familiar material of the universe contains protons, neutrons and electrons, also known as Baryonic Matter.
  • Dark matter is made up of the same plus also non-baryonic matter (neutrinos, free electrons, supersymmetric particles, axions, and black holes) which is hard to detect.
  • The objects of the universe that may contribute to dark matter are dim brown dwarf stars, white dwarf stars and neutron stars.
  • Supermassive black holes, the size of which is 21 billion times the mass of our Sun, can make up a lot of dark matter by themselves.

The way massive objects of the universe bend and distort gravity and light indicates to scientists about the existence of dark matter. The way large objects move about in the universe (velocity) also is a factor pushing towards the probability of much more mass than is visible.

Dark matter provides the gravity and weight in galaxies, which would fall apart if all they had was what is visible to scientists via their various instruments.

Particle detectors and other dark matter detecting projects prove the universal interest in dark matter:

  1. From Italy, a particle detector named XENON1T is hunting for dark matter with an ultra-low background.
  2. From South Dakota, the Large Underground Xenon Dark-Matter Experiment (LUX) is hunting for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMP).
  3. IceCube Neutrino Observatory is situated under Antarctica’s ice, hunting for sterile neutrinos.

Apart from dark matter, the universe is full of energy, most of which is dark energy.

New data shows that the universe is not running out of energy like previous theories claimed, but is actually expanding at an accelerated rate.

Becoming a freelance writer

There might come a time where you want to quit your traditional desk job and move into freelance writing. If you're going to become a freelance writer, you need to write every day, without getting paid for it.

Accept that freelancing is like starting any new job. On day one, you won't do much except for showing up and setting up your work station. Then you'll go through two or three months of training before you have your first basic assignment.

The 2 - 3 months of training is really 4 - 5 months of training.

In this phase, you will write daily, on any platform, to learn how to write and grow your audience. Now is a good time to invest in yourself to help you get better.

If you want to write, you need to read daily.

Suggested books:

  • The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. This book will help you understand proper sentence structure and grammar.
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott will help you keep yourself motivated and creative.
  • The Dip by Seth Godin will help you understand if you're getting into the right profession and when to quit if you're not in the right place.

Regardless of where you work, you'll do many training courses. Freelance writing is no different, except that you have to take the initiative and find them yourself.

Writing groups and networks are essential to become a better writer and understand freelance writing.

Learn how to form a good pitch. You are in charge of finding your work, meaning stepping out of your comfort zone, and sending lots of cold emails.

If you want to write for a publication, you'll want to pitch ideas that the editor will like. If you're going to write website copy, you'll have to pitch your services and write how the company will benefit by hiring you.

Job boards are a good start, but that is generally not the best place to build a career.

Starting freelance writing is a slow process. You may start with a gig that pays little. The next company may not like your style, but at least you now have experience. With persistence and consistent effort, you’ll be able to make the jump to full time.

We don't have only one purpose or passion

People will tell you to find your purpose or your passion. But we are multifaceted beings with many gifts, talents, interests, and ideas. Yet we are put under pressure to have this one purpose or one passion.

We will grow and shift so much in our lifetime that we can expect our desires and purpose to evolve too.

Instead of concentrating your energy on one purpose or passion, try to focus your energy on bringing your passion and purpose to everything you do.
Ask yourself:

  • What type of kindness, care, joy, and patience must you use to bring purpose and passion to your relationships?
  • What level of openness and curiosity should you have to bring meaning to tasks?

Everyone has had jobs they didn't like on the way to finding the job they do like.

Regardless of the job you do now, remain curious. Continuously try to see what this work experience can teach you.

Our greatest sense of purpose or passion does not have to come from our 9-to-5 job. It can, but does not have to.

Sometimes a job is just how we pay our bills, and that is fine. Focus on who you are after your workday is over.

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