Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August 8, 2013

don't believe the hype

The social emphasis upon the unique individual is one of the central developments of, and requirements for, capitalism. It rests upon the idea that each of us has unique skills and vision, that we are free to pursue activities and livelihoods to which we're best suited.* In theory, individuals compete to attain productive roles on an even playing field; our value or role isn't predetermined as it was under feudalism, but derived solely from our individual skills and creativity. All of this mirrors the ideology of "free" market relationships, in which businesses—supposedly—connect independently, and deals are made based on the value and quality of services and goods provided, not arranged by favoritism, bribery, extortion, etc. Of course, the freedom and equality of the individual in this model is, to a great degree, a fiction, as individuals arise in the competitive arena with unequal advantages; some are born into privilege, provided with the means for education and…

neuroscience and meditation: take as good care of your brain as you do your body.

Its interesting that so many people I know are given to regular, if not daily, exercise routines, often putting in a couple of hours at the gym without a blink. If asked why, they invariably mention the numerous benefits of maintaining strength, flexibility and cardio performance for “it's the only body I've got.” Some explain that they love exercise in general, however many do it principally for the long term benefits, understanding the results are worth the time and effort it requires.

Yet so many admit they fail to practice meditation on a daily basis, even in the briefest of 5 - 10 minute intervals, explaining that “I have too much going on,” or “I can't sit still.” Some try to claim that their morning coffee and news reading, or their jogging is “meditative,” which would be like claiming “my television watching is how I exercise.” This is hardly a wise choice: increasing evidence via research shows that spending a life without training the mind is as detrimental to bra…