That sounds crazy, but it’s based on research – in 2000, more than 6000 people were asked this and similar questions. This year, researchers at the University of Carleton in Canada did a follow up study. They found that, over those 14 years, around 9% of the participants had died. They also found that people who reported a strong sense of purpose were 15% less likely to be amongst those who had passed away. This applied to every age group. If they reported a strong sense of purpose they were 15% more likely to still be alive. (1) … [Read more...] about A Sense of Purpose Means a Longer Life
But survival usually isn’t enough in itself. Even while they’re mainly preoccupied with trying to keep themselves and their children alive, most people need a more rarefied and meaningful type of purpose. Many people gain this through religion, by taking on a pre-existing belief system and aligning their lives with it. Psychologists have found that strongly religious people tend to have higher levels of well-being than the non-religious and the nominally religious, and this is probably largely because of the strong sense of purpose and meaning which religions provide. If you’re strongly religious, there is a clear purpose to everything you do: to follow the conventions and principles of your faith, to attain salvation, and/or to convert other people to your faith. … [Read more...] about Transpersonal Purpose
But most importantly in terms of my argument in this article, in these moments, one of the qualities of consciousness is a sense of ‘I’. There is still a sense of identity, even if this sense may be different to that of normal consciousness. This identity does not feel separate or boundaried. It may feel a part of something greater than itself, but still has a sense of I-ness. You could compare it to a wave which has a sense of its own existence as a wave but at the same time is aware of itself as a part of the sea. There is still an ‘I’ which has awareness of itself and of its situation. … [Read more...] about Does Your Self Exist?
What about the mother portrayed in the Mother Goose rhyme? Her origins may be traced to Queen Caroline, wife of King George II, and her large brood, or the rhyme may refer to an ancient superstition linking fertility to shoes. But even if the poor, old, overburdened woman is a stand-in for a real person, she also represents the archetype of a harried worn-out mother, her children starving for attention and love. As an archetypal image of an unfit mother, she reflects a set of conditions that exist across time and continents, as does the depiction of her children's desperate situation. … [Read more...] about Our Mothers, Ourselves: the Search for the Whole Story