Sunday, April 11, 2010

Magnets and Morality

Here's the opening few paragraphs of an amazing article published at MSNBC on March 29th. The article, written by Eric Bland, is entitled "Study: Magnets Can Alter Morality":

Magnets can alter a person's sense of morality, according to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using a powerful magnetic field, scientists from MIT, Harvard University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are able to scramble the moral center of the brain, making it more difficult for people to separate innocent intentions from harmful outcomes. The research could have big implications for not only neuroscientists, but also for judges and juries.

"It's one thing to 'know' that we'll find morality in the brain," said Liane Young, a scientist at MIT and co-author of the article. "It's another to 'knock out' that brain area and change people's moral judgments."

Please read the whole article, this study reaches some surprising conclusions.

As regular readers of this blog know, I love to propose new ideas for how my approach to visualizing the dimensions might reflect back upon the reality we see around us. But every now and then I come across new ideas like the one above which take these ideas in new directions I simply hadn't foreseen but still seem to have a logical connection.

Let's step back for a minute.

In my book, I talked about how some people seem to be able to entrain the thoughts and feelings of others, a sign of a good salesman, an effective politician, or a charismatic leader. Are some persons more likely to be transmitters of strong vibrations which allow them to entrain the thoughts and feelings of those around them, while some others are more likely to become followers because they are more attuned to receiving rather than transmitting?

In Information Equals Reality, we talked about how easy it can be to change your energy, and I described a very simple visualization tool for increasing your alertness that a number of people have told me they found surprisingly effective. In Crossing Your Arms to Change Your Trajectory, we looked at a study which demonstrated that people who cross their arms are more likely to continue to try to solve a difficult problem: more evidence of the strong connections between the mental and the physical. But these connections go surprisingly deep! In entries like Placebos Becoming More Effective?, Placebos and Nocebos, The Placebo Effect, Changing Your Genes, and Changing Your Genes Part 2, we've explored various studies that indicate that not only can changes in attitude and lifestyle change your health (the most obvious result), but this can also change which genes are expressed, and even influence which genes are passed on to your offspring!

In an entry called Magnets and Souls, I quoted Rupert Sheldrake from David Jay Brown's wonderful book Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse. Here's part of what Rupert had to say:
Interestingly, up until the seventeenth century, everyone thought that magnets had souls. The magnet was believed to have a soul, which was how it attracted and repelled other magnets at a distance. In fact, what's happened in science is the old idea of souls has been replaced by fields. The magnetic soul became the magnetic field.
So here we are now with a new scientific study that indicates magnetic pulses applied to a specific position within the brain can disrupt a person's sense of morality: the test subjects appear to be more likely to look at outcomes rather than the moral reasons a person might pursue one path of action over another. Morality seems like one of those high-level functions that should be distributed throughout the mind, but this study appears to reveal that it resides at the junction between the temporal and parietal lobes. I find that to be amazing!

How much concern should we all have about this discovery that a magnetic field can disrupt moral judgment? How big of a worry should this be for those of us in particular who live in big cities where we are continually bathed in increasingly high levels of electromagnetic energy? Definitely, this is a concern worthy of further scientific study.

Last week, in Fourth Spatial Dimension 101, I suggested that our extra-dimensional selves would be an ornate web of interacting patterns, something much more complex than the "long undulating snake" that we start off with in the original animation. Visualizing the energy field that represents a person's physical presence, and their consciousness, and how that might interact with a magnetic field, adds yet another layer of complexity that it appears we now need to consider if we're looking at the whole picture.

Next week we're going to get a little more metaphysical again as we continue this exploration of vibrations and energy: the entry is called "Vibrations".

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Augmented Reality - Faceball

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