Moulton Lava

Moultonic Musings

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Location: New England, United States

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Substance P

There is a neuropeptide called Substance P which I learned about last week. It's a tachykinin that's implicated in a lot of stuff, including fibromyalgia pain, vomiting, anxiety, and various other stress responses. Environmental stressors seem to stimulate release of Substance P.
Substance P is involved in the transmission of pain impulses from peripheral receptors to the central nervous system. It has been theorized that it plays a part in fibromyalgia. Capsaicin has been shown to reduce the levels of Substance P probably by reducing the number of C-fibre nerves or causing these nerves to be more tolerant. Capsaicin is a Substance P antagonist. It acts to reduce the level of Substance P. In the central nervous system, Substance P has been associated with the regulation of mood disorders, anxiety, stress, reinforcement, neurogenesis, respiratory rhythm, neurotoxicity, nausea, emesis (vomiting), and pain.
Tachykinins tend to speed up the neural firing rate, to improve the response time in the face of danger. The psychological effect is that things appear to happen in slow motion. You feel you have more time — more clock cycles — to figure out what to do. Capsaicin is the hot stuff in chili peppers and Mongolian Fire Oil.

One of the more interesting beneficial effects of Substance P is neurogenesis. Evidently, Substance P causes the brain to generate brand new neurons, perhaps to enable the brain to host new adaptations to cope with persistent stressful and problematic situations.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wild Mind Mimnetic Mirroring

Ultimate Journey by Robert A. Monroe

There is no beginning, there is no end,
There is only change.

There is no teacher, there is no student,
There is only remembering.

There is no good, there is no evil,
There is only expression.

There is no union, there is no sharing,
There is only one.

There is no joy, there is no sadness,
There is only love.

There is no greater, there is no lesser,
There is only balance.

There is no stasis, there is no entropy,
There is only motion.

There is no wakefulness, there is no sleep,
There is only being.

There is no limit, there is no chance,
There is only a plan.
(—Monroe Institute)
There is no babbling, there is no soliloquy,
There is only conversation.

There is no conversation, there is no dialogue,
There is only insight.

There is no insight, there is no common ground,
There is only theory.

There is no theory, there is no practice,
There is only perfection.

There is no perfection, there is no honor,
There is only love.

There is no love, there is no suffering,
There is only divinity.

There is no divinity, there is no holiness,
There is only becoming.
(—Moultonic Mimnetic Wild Mind Continuation, Jan 10, 2003)

Agnosimnesia and Mimnetic Mirroring

There is a kind of amnesia known as collective amnesia or cultural amnesia. The technical name for it is Agnosimnesia. It means that society at large has virtually forgotten some long lost cultural knowledge or wisdom.

The opposite of Agnosimnesia, of course, is Gnosimnesia — recovering or rediscovering long lost cultural knowledge or wisdom.

My preferred method to revert back to a state of Gnosimnesia is called The Method of Mimnetic Mirroring (or Mimnetics for short). It's basically a meditative and research technique to reach back into the cultural mists to decode old stories, songs and myths, and to decipher their long lost meanings. It's another application of Semiotics, using Wild Mind Associations, also known as Nostalgic Free Association or (in literary circles) Poetry.

The Sevareid Effect

Eric Sevareid was a distinguished newscaster and commentator on CBS from 1939 to 1977. He died in 1992.

Sevareid once observed that most new problems started out as solutions to older problems. This observation has come to be known as the Sevareid Effect. It corresponds to what medical practitioners call an iatrogenic treatment — one that exacerbates (or even causes) the disease it's trying to cure.

The Sevareid Effect pervades our civil society and political culture. Yesterday's brilliant idea eventually degrades into today's dysfunctional practice.

So it goes.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Am Listening

This inspirational art and poetry comes in from our good friend, Sister Mari Ryan...

"Encounter" by Mary Southard, CSJ

Listening to Spring

By Macrina Wiederkehr

How quietly the earth breathes forth new life.
How eagerly the sun bleeds forth the spring,

I am listening.

I am listening to seeds breaking open,
to roots growing strong beneath the ground,
to green shoots rising up from winter wombs.
I am listening to thorns blossoming,
to barren branches laughing out new growth,
to wildflowers dancing through the meadows,

I am listening.

I am listening to the forest filling up with song.
I am listening to the earth filling up with life.
I am listening to the trees filling up with leaves.

I am listening.

I am listening to the sky with its many changing moods,
to flashes of lightning, peals of thunder,
to opening buds and greening grass.
I am listening to the breaking forth of light
in the vestibule of dawn.
I am listening to the freshness of the morning.

I am listening.

I am listening to the rain drops
giving hope to thirsty gardens.
I am listening to the orchards
pregnant with new life.
I am listening to the flowers
bursting forth in rainbow colors.

I am listening.

I am listening to the brook,
to the song of happy waters.
I am listening to music
rising up from all the earth.
I am listening to spring
soaring in on wings of life.
I am listening to the sounds of spring.

I am listening.

I am listening to prayers
pouring forth from feathered throats.
I am listening to prayers
rising up from misty waters.
I am listening to prayers
of a meadow crowned with dawn.

I am listening.

I am listening to the growing
in the garden of my heart.
I am listening to my heart
singing songs of resurrection.
I am listening to the colors of life.

I am listening.

I am listening to winter
handing over spring.
I am listening to the poetry of spring.

I am listening.