Posted by: Donna Cunningham | March 6, 2011

Brain Candy for the Curious Mind

I was reminded today of a neat site I haven’t visited in a while. Exploring the Mind, by Michael Lovitch, is a readable review of scientific studies into human existence.  Here are some of the articles I found there, and if you browse the monthly archives, you’ll find many more to intrigue you. (For newcomers to Skywriter, the brown type is a link.)

 Being Materialistic May Cost You More Than Credit Card Debt

“Leaf Van Boven led a study to compare how well liked materialistic people are compared to experiential people (those who use their money on life experiences, not possessions). It turns out that being materialistic may cost you more than debt – it may result in less close friendships and less impact on social relationships in general.”

How to Protect Yourself from Coercive Groups and Leaders

“Because of the deaths at James Ray’s event, I thought it would be a good idea to find out how a person would be able to protect themselves from this type of thing. You could call this cult awareness, guru protection, or how to think independently (it is up to you).”  Listen to an MP3 of an interview with Dave Lakhani, the most respected person in the field of persuasion today.

Passion Creates Pain Relief

“Deep down, we all know pain and love are profoundly coupled.  Well, according to some Stanford researchers, it turns out pain and love overlap in the brain. And although love can hurt, it turns out love just might actually be a “pain reliever” as well.”

Why Men Apologize Less Than Women

“According to a study, both genders apologize at the same rate of 81% when they feel they have wronged someone. So, why does it seem like women apologize so much more? It is because women simply feel as if there are a lot more situations that call for an apology than men.’

Sleep Away the Pounds

“It seems like almost every month there is a new study demonstrating the power of a good night’s rest, especially on our waistlines.”

Hmm.  I think I’m due for a nap.  Have a good Sunday, folks!   Donna


  1. There is a sure fire way to know when you are on the right path. Follow the harmony of the heart.
    This is what you must know.
    That you are not your body , but you must respect it for carrying you on this earth walk.Be good to it, be thankful.

    When the heart feels good and is harmonious , you are doing the right thing.
    The life force anchors itself via the heart center and is the spirit aspect or Life aspect. It emits the heat that keeps you warm.
    When you die the fire gos out and the body gets stiff and cold.
    While you are alive , keep aware of the heart during important decisions for action: the Life force anchors in a spiral movement ( all life does)
    When you go against the Life forces natural movement it turns backward and you do not feel good. Therefore your intended action is wrong.
    When the mind understands why the heart dictates harmony by a certain path it is called Wisdom.
    If you follow the harmonious movement of the Heart but do not understand why. Its called Faith.

    However if you ignore the warnings of the Heart and follow the mind: ” My mother said. Society said, My friends will think….blah blah blah : you will deaden the heart so you no longer feel it and become a lost soul.

    Everyone has a heart and everyone has this inner teacher. In the outer world your teachers are all around you , in the people and in life circumstances. You attracted it to learn from.
    There is no real need to run hither looking outside yourself and outside your life circumstance.

    Sure its a blessing to meet wise elders but you do NOT give over your own sovereignty to them.Your Heart is your teacher.

    When you decide to follow the dictates of the heart , get ready for some tests.

    • Thank you, Barehand,
      YES, …is the only word…and it is a leap of faith, a covenant of the heart and a commitment to heart truth via the eternal ages. (Wether my Moon is in sassafrass or my Pluto in molasses…we must all walk into the west…)

  2. These are all real gems, Donna! Thank you for passing them on!

    I especially liked the one that highlights how women see more situations requiring “rapprochement” than do men. The sixties/seventies were so much about how men and women are “the same; therefore equal”. That notion served the time well. However, at this juncture in our evolution of consciousness, the ever-deepening connection between the masculine and feminine dynamism of consciousness requires of us an embrace of the symbiosis of our similarities AND differences as men and women. Every piece of the puzzle of the most fundamental of our human duality needs to be uncovered. Here’s another one.

    Thank you again for your wonderful impulse to share!

  3. Hello again,
    I should learn to wait a bit longer until the personal story that is resonating with whatever I have just read, makes itself known, so I can incorporate it within my response.

    I just recalled that one of my main beefs about my first husband was his inability/unwillingness to apologize–ever! He thought apologies were “phony” as people invariably ended up doing the same thing repeatedly that they would apologize for. (Some truth to that, for sure.) Hubbie #2 actually did apologize at critical moments during the first 10 or so years of our on-again, off-again, relationship–It would make all the difference, in my mind. Then he stopped. I remember that day well–some time in early February 2007. He essentially reiterated the message of Hubbie #1–This is who I am, this is as good as it gets; take it or leave it. I knew in that moment, we were done. Three months later, we split permanently–just two months after adopting a child.

    Did I expect too much of these men? Did I expect them to go places where only the feminine psyche goes? I think not…..but then IF I acknowledge that there ARE real differences between men and women, I realize these are important questions for me to ponder, with ruthless honesty…..

  4. Enjoy a day off, Donna! You’ve earned it. Erin was beyond the usual Q and A…taking it to an intuitive level. You must be exhausted,— I know I am…and I didn’t even ask a question. Her secret voice was amazing…Thank you.

    • She was stunning. When Erin Sullivan is ON, there is no one like her! Donna

  5. Thanks Donna, for posting those links. It’s good to make us think! I love brain-food; hope you don’t mind if I add a little something to the recipe.

    I found that study about materialism versus experience very interesting, although I was disappointed by the fact that the study only compared the participants’ reactions to two different types of ‘purchases’. Astrologically speaking, this is interesting since it probably relates back to the 2nd house and what we value. Isn’t the purchase of an experience to some extend a form of materialism as well since it requires one to spend money? If someone asked me that same question, I think I’d feel manipulated since it would force me to make a false choice – the majority of my most meaningful experiences haven’t involved me spending any money, at least not directly. Which isn’t to say I haven’t ever enjoyed spending money on non-essentials (I absolutely have) – only that the study seemed inherently flawed in its basic premise about what it takes to be happy.

    One example that immediately came to mind was my husband’s and my decision to forgo the traditional big expensive wedding; our decision alienated family and friends who were looking forward to a major party (and us going into major debt!) I admit with my packed 2nd house, I’ve never felt comfortable spending money on intangibles – and money spent on life’s necessities (such as paying for food/shelter/healthcare or transportation to get to work) wouldn’t qualify as one of those “life experiences” the study was referring to. Instead, the researcher spent a decade comparing the purchase of material possessions (such as luxury items) versus the purchase of experiences such as traveling, going to concerts, and dining out.

    I used to hang out with a lot of young, highly educated, middle-class liberals (all paying off huge student loans) – I remember being very surprised to learn that while they spent money on big vacations/trips to foreign countries, concerts, and nights out on the town, when the subject of charity came up, most claimed to be too poor to donate – I was genuinely shocked, which I guess shows how naïve I was back then. When I stopped ‘partying’, my offers of a home-cooked meal or a long walk paled by comparison – all nice people, but clearly our different values made it difficult to maintain ongoing friendships. Btw, I’m sure this isn’t a phenomenon unique to young people or liberals (although I believe the study participants were relatively young) – it just happened to describe my particular experience, which I used to make a point about the differences in values.

    Choosing not to spend money on experiences does tend to make one less popular – no big surprise there. I think the study would’ve revealed far more about what we value as a society if it hadn’t focused solely on comparing variations of non-essential consumerism as a source of happiness. It would have been much more revealing had the participants been limited to describing a meaningful experience that made them happy – either one that cost nothing or one that required them to spend money (such as a vacation, concert or meal out) – then studied which of the two choices led to the individual being perceived as more likeable and why; who would most people rather be friends with? Now that would’ve been a worthwhile study!

    Off subject, but thanks for hosting yesterday’s amazing Q and A. I learned so much without ever having to ask a question. I agree with Berta, Erin’s generosity (and insight) was most impressive!

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