Archive for July, 2013

For the last week i have been spending some time in Kiev, Ukraine. 

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And i started to realize that i fall in love with this city years ago, but realizing it now. It is an amazing city, now i understand what Sarah Jessica Parker meant in “Sex in the City” series about falling in love with the City (in her case New York, in my case – Kiev).

Kiev is not the greatest City in the world, there are much bigger and better build cities, with probably more things to offer, but for me Kiev – is home. I love to breathe here, i love the sky, just walking in the evening or early morning and breathe… I love rain here, especially in summer, when you think the day would be sunny and you do not take an umbrella, and than in the middle of the day a cloud comes and just pours… I feel happy than… I feel like i want to jump in every puddle (and i actually do that sometimes) and get as wet and dirty as i possibly can, walking in the rain, but totally happy. Green parks… just walking through them makes me calm and gives me the feeling of happiness… Watching people, life and emotions on their faces, the way they run to work or somewhere they need to get… I enjoy every moment here… And it gives me the greatest satisfaction and feeling of happiness…

So, can you really fall in love with the City?

“A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one. ” – Aristotle

“Maybe mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, have babies or be who we are. After all, things change. So do cities. People come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart, and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.” (Carrie Bradshaw)

 

 

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Intuition, some people think it is a gift, especially women 🙂 some think it is the a trick of our hearts, or a soul speaking, or God is putting an answer in our hearts to our questions, others think it is just an algorithm that our brain records like a “tape recorder” and in the right moment we “feel” intuitively… Anyway, i believe there is no definitive answer to such question, each person will believe in whatever suits them… but it is definitely interesting to read about different research and different opinions… Here are some articles and some quotes that interested me, and i though they might interest someone else that has such a curious mind like me 🙂

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Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference and/or the use of reason. “The word ‘intuition’ comes from the Latin word ‘intueri’ which is usually translated as ‘to look inside’ or ‘to contemplate’.” Intuition provides us with beliefs that we cannot justify in every case. For this reason, it has been the subject of study in psychology, as well as a topic of interest in the supernatural. The “right brain” is popularly associated with intuitive processes such as aesthetic abilities. 

In Carl Jung‘s theory of the ego, described in 1921 in Psychological Types, intuition was an “irrational function”, opposed most directly by sensation, and opposed less strongly by the “rational functions” of thinking and feeling. Jung defined intuition as “perception via the unconscious”: using sense-perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.

Jung said that a person in whom intuition was dominant, an “intuitive type”, acted not on the basis of rational judgment but on sheer intensity of perception. An extraverted intuitive type, “the natural champion of all minorities with a future”, orients to new and promising but unproven possibilities, often leaving to chase after a new possibility before old ventures have borne fruit, oblivious to his or her own welfare in the constant pursuit of change. An introverted intuitive type orients by images from the unconscious, ever exploring the psychic world of the archetypes, seeking to perceive the meaning of events, but often having no interest in playing a role in those events and not seeing any connection between the contents of the psychic world and him- or herself. Jung thought that extraverted intuitive types were likely entrepreneurs, speculators, cultural revolutionaries, often undone by a desire to escape every situation before it becomes settled and constraining—even repeatedly leaving lovers for the sake of new romantic possibilities. His introverted intuitive types were likely mystics, prophets, or cranks, struggling with a tension between protecting their visions from influence by others and making their ideas comprehensible and reasonably persuasive to others—a necessity for those visions to bear real fruit.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), first published in 1944, attempted to provide an empirical method of identifying a person’s dominant ego function, in terms of Carl Jung’s theory. Beginning in the 1960s, scientists performed studies to see if MBTI results were consistent with the assumed theory that Jungian functions exist and conflict in such a way that one of them must be dominant and the others suppressed. Every study has found that instead of people’s MBTI scores clustering around two opposite poles, such as intuition vs. sensation, with few people scoring in the middle, people’s scores actually cluster around the middle of each scale in a bell curve. This suggests that the Jungian polarities do not exist. Most contemporary psychological research questions the existence of Jungian functions and the MBTI’s ability to tell which function is dominant.

In more-recent psychology, intuition can encompass the ability to know valid solutions to problems and decision making. For example, the recognition primed decision (RPD) model explains how people can make relatively fast decisions without having to compare options. Gary Klein found that under time pressure, high stakes, and changing parameters, experts used their base of experience to identify similar situations and intuitively choose feasible solutions. Thus, the RPD model is a blend of intuition and analysis. The intuition is the pattern-matching process that quickly suggests feasible courses of action. The analysis is the mental simulation, a conscious and deliberate review of the courses of action. According to the renowned neuropsychologist and neurobiologist Roger Wolcott Sperry though, intuition is a right-brain activity while factual and mathematical analysis is a left-brain activity.

The reliability of one’s intuition depends greatly on past knowledge and occurrences in a specific area. For example, someone who has had more experiences with children will tend to have a better instinct or intuition about what they should do in certain situations with them. This is not to say that one with a great amount of experience is always going to have an accurate intuition (because some can be biased); however, the chances of it being more reliable are definitely amplified.

Intuition is commonly discussed in writings of spiritual thought. Contextually, there is often an idea of a transcendent and more qualitative mind of one’s spirit towards which a person strives, or towards which consciousness evolves. Typically, intuition is regarded as a conscious commonality between earthly knowledge and the higher spiritual knowledge and appears as flashes of illumination. It is asserted that by definition intuition cannot be judged by logical reasoning.

Thomas Merton discussed variations of intuition in a series of essays. In describing aesthetic intuition he asserted that the artist has a subjective identification with an object that is both heightened and intensified and thereby “sees” the object’s spiritual reality. In discussing Zen meditation he asserted that a direct intuition is derived through a “struggle against conceptual knowledge.” An end result is “the existent knows existence, or ‘isness,’ while completely losing sight of itself as a ‘knowing subject.'”

Rudolf Steiner postulated that intuition is the third of three stages of higher knowledge, coming after imagination and inspiration, and is characterized by a state of immediate and complete experience of, or even union with, the object of knowledge without loss of the subject’s individual ego.

Dismissing the notion that intuitive impulses arise supernaturally, one is left to assume they originate with the many innate human senses. Remnants of perception, such as a movement occurring out of the “corner of your eye” or subtle sound that would normally be ignored as background noise, could occur simultaneously. While these events could be filtered as irrelevant by the mind, their coincidental synchronicity could lead to sudden assumptions about one’s surroundings, such as the feeling of being watched or followed.

Intuitive abilities were quantitatively tested at Yale University in the 1970s. While studying nonverbal communication, researchers noted that some subjects were able to read nonverbal facial cues before reinforcement occurred. In employing a similar design, they noted that highly intuitive subjects made decisions quickly but could not identify their rationale. Their level of accuracy, however, did not differ from that of nonintuitive subjects.

Law enforcement officers often claim to observe suspects and immediately “know” that they possess a weapon or illicit narcotic substances. Often unable to articulate why they reacted or what prompted them at the time of the event, they sometimes retrospectively can plot their actions based upon what had been clear and present danger signals. Such examples liken intuition to “gut feelings” and when viable illustrate preconscious activity.

Intuition is a combination of historical (empirical) data, deep and heightened observation, and an ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Intuition is like a slow motion machine that captures data instantaneously and hits you like a ton of bricks. Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding — a gut feeling. Intuition is not pseudo-science.
– Abella Arthur

Intuition (is) perception via the unconscious
– Carl Gustav Jung

INTUITION may be defined as understanding or knowing without conscious recourse to thought, observation or reason. Some see this unmediated process as somehow mystical while others describe intuition as being a response to unconscious cues or implicitly apprehended prior learning.
– Dr. Jason Gallate & Ms Shannan Keen BA

 

 

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Yesterday, driving with friends outside the city (Kiev, Ukraine) i saw a beautiful sunflower field, and i just had to stop and take some pictures 🙂

SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE SUNFLOWER

Sunflower has been adopted as a symbol of happiness, strength, a love of the sun & sunlight and because it is said to always turn its face to the sun it is considered by some to be a symbol of faith. Some believe that the sunflower represents a constant search for light, or enlightenment. The Chinese believe sunflowers symbolize long life and good luck.

IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY
 
There are lots of variations on the Greek Myth Origin Story about the Sunflower. This is the Greek Myth of Clytie (also Clytia) which supposedly tells how the sunflower came into existence. In fact, the original story of Clytie, the water nymph, was not actually about the sunflower at all but a flower named ‘Turnsole.’ It seems that more modern tellings of the story have substituted the turnsole for sunflower. Some versions of the story name the heliotrope or a marigold as the flower. Nevertheless, the Greek myth is a charming tale and fits the sunflower beautifully.

Clytie, the water nymph, was in love with Apollo, the Sun God. She would stare up at Apollo, hoping he would glance her way. But Apollo was in love with someone else and never did favor Clytie with his gaze. When Clytie realised that Apollo was never going to return her love, she sank into a depression and would not eat or drink for nine days but just stare with sorrow at her unrequited love. The other Gods felt sorry for Clytie and they transformed her into a beautiful sunflower which always followed the path of the sun. Note: In the 3rd century BC, Apollo became known as and referred to as ‘Apollo Helios.’

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What are creative people like? Various creativity researchers tend to converge on the same conclusion: creative people are complex. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but often need their rest. They tend to be both introverted and extroverted at the same darn time. And perhaps most strikingly, their high levels of openness to experience and sensitivity expose them to great suffering and pain as well as intense joy and euphoria.

Consider a hot off the press study just published in Creativity Research Journal. Edward Necka and Teresa Hlawacz recruited 60 visual artists and 60 bank officers in Poland, and administered a variety of tests of temperament and divergent thinking (one component of creativity requiring the ability to generate many different possibilities). How did the artists differ from the bank officers?

Bank officers were about as good at divergent thinking as the general population, whereas artists were amazingly good at flexibly generating original pictures and words. In fact, they were almost at ceiling! What about temperament? This is where things get really interesting. On the whole, artists didn’t substantially differ from bank tellers in their temperament. To get to the bottom of this finding, the researchers looked at the relationships between the various measures within each group.

Surprisingly, consistent relationships between divergent thinking and temperament were found only in the sample of artists. Among bank tellers, temperament was not related to divergent thinking. But among the artists, those scoring higher on the tests of divergent thinking tended to display higher levels of the following

  • Briskness (“quick responding to stimuli, high tempo of activity, and the ability to switch between actions”)
  • Endurance (“an ability to behave efficiently and appropriately in spite of intense external stimulation or regardless of the necessity to pay attention during prolonged periods of time”)
  • Activity (“the generalized tendency to initiate numerous activities that lead to, or provoke, rich external stimulation; it is conceived as the basic regulator of the need for stimulation”).

What’s more, artists who scored higher in divergent thinking also scored lower in emotional reactivity. This might not be surprising, considering the ability to do well on a decontextualized, timed test requires a cool head. When all of the temperamental factors were considered at the same time, activity remained the best positive predictor of divergent thinking, and emotional reactivity remained the best negative predictor of divergent thinking.

What’s going on here? Why was temperament related to divergent thinking among the artists but not the bank officers? One possibility is that the bank officers were more intimidated by the demands of the divergent thinking tests than the artists, who might be more comfortable expressing their wacky ideas.

Another possibility is that the bank officers shun creativity. Would you rather have an efficient accountant or a creative accountant? If you’d like to stay out of jail, I hope you chose efficient! So perhaps the diminished value bank officers place on creativity (at least, the kind of creativity artists embrace) may have influenced their tests scores on both the temperament measures as well as the divergent thinking measures.

Regardless of why artists seem to differ from bank officers, I think these results highlight a more general point about creativity: the interconnectedness of temperament and creative production. As the researchers speculate,

               “temperament works as the foundations for development and expression of one’s                     creative potential. People scoring high on activity tend to have many diverse                           experiences that may be used as a substrate for divergent thinking and creative                     activity.”

Which takes us back to the complexity issue. I believe creative people are less afraid of displaying seemingly contradictory traits and behaviors if they think it will increase their chances of making an immensely creative connection. Which is why I think tolerance for ambiguity, complexity, engagement, openness to experience, and self-expression are all so essential to creative production in any field of human endeavor.

(source article:http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2013/06/15/how-do-artists-differ-from-bank-officers/)

 

I have been traveling recently, and had a very long layover in Frankfurt, where i stumbled across a very interesting magazine called: ” Scientific american mind: behavior, brain science, insights”. there i found a lot of very interesting and educational articles that is written in a very understanding for nonscientific mind person 🙂

So here is one of the articles i decided to share today:

“Men and Women Gauge Risk Differently, whose strategy is better depends on what is at stake”

Small gains now or big rewards later? The conundrum plagues every decision we make, wether we are investing or dieting. Now researchers find that men and women use different strategies to make such choices.

Researchers use gambling to understand what we do when immediate rewards pitted against long term gains. Most of the games find no major differences in how men and women play. An experimental setup called the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), however, finds consistent – and large – differences between the behavior of men and women: men are better at figuring out the strategy that reaps the bigger payoff.

Players are giving 4 decks of cards, and they choose one card at a time from any deck they want. Each card has a win or loss amount on it, and each deck has its own unique payout pattern. Two of the decks contain cards that dole out large or frequent rewards, but consistently choosing cards from these decks leads to loses in the long run. The other two decks provide a modest amount of cash per win but less loss over time, so they offer long term gains for both players who pick from them the most frequently. These patterns are carefully obscured so that the winning strategy is not obvious.

A review published in February in Behavioral Brain Research finds that men focus on the big picture, watching the their total earnings and quickly homing in on which of the decks will lead to gains the long run. Women focus on details such as the frequencies of wins, missing the overall impact each deck has on their total balance. Sensitive to losses, women tend to switch to different deck as soon as they are pinged with a setback, making it more difficult for them to identify the prize deck.

The strategies reflect underlying differences in activation in the orbitofrontal  cortex, a region involved in decision making and the associated expectation of positive or negative consequences. During the task women have more activity in the medial part of this region, involved in regular patterns and immediate reward, whereas men preferentially engage the top, dorsal area, implicated in irregular patterns and long-term reward.

“When people think women make errors in these tasks, it’s more that they are gathering information”, says lead author Ruud van den Bos, a neurologist at Utrecht University in Netherlands. Women’s detailed exploration makes them more  attuned to changes. If, for example, the rules of wins and losses for the decks were switched midtask, women would clue in to the new patterns more quickly than men. Van den Bos says the IGT happens to be designed so that long term strategy is best, but in decisions where knowing the details counts, women may have advantage.

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Because real decisions are more complex than lab games, van den Bos emphasizes that neither strategy is inherently better; both are necessary and useful in daily life. He also points out that the IGT some women perform like men, and visa versa. The dividing line is often blurry when it comes to female- and male-typical behaviors. ” By disentangling the biological from the societal, we can understand how differences can be turned into advantages,” van den Bos says.  (article by Luciana Gravotta)

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manga kitten girl by LinaWay

One of people that always inspire me is Albert Einstein.  I believe everybody in this world knows who is Albert Einstein is, so i would not have to describe his whole life story.

I never get tired of reading his quotes and think about their meaning and application to everyday life.

So today i will quote some of his sayings that inspired me and hopefully they can inspire you also:

  • “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck , October 26,1929. Reprinted in “Glimpses of the Great”(1930)

  • “Why is it that nobody understands me, yet everybody likes me?”—Albert Einstein — Quoted in an interview with New York Times, March 12,1944.

  • “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”—Albert Einstein — To Fred Wall, 1933. AEA 31–845
  • “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”—Albert Einstein — To Carl Seelig – March 11,1952. AEA 39–013
  • “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” —Albert Einstein — To J. Dispentiere – March 24, 1954. AEA 59–495
  • “It is not a lack of real affection that scares me away again and again from marriage. Is it a fear of the comfortable life, of nice furniture, of dishonor that I burden myself with, or even the fear of becoming a contented bourgeois.” —Albert Einstein — To Elsa Löwenthal, after August 3, 1914. CPAE, Vol. 8, Doc.32.
  • “I am truly a ‘lone traveler’ and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart. In the face of all this, I have never lost a sense of distance and the need for solitude.”—Albert Einstein — From “The World As I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 99.
  • “Music does not influence research work, but both are nourished by the same sort of longing, and they complement each other in the release they offer.”—Albert Einstein — To Paul Plaut, October 23, 1928. AEA 28–065
  • “Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted by William Miller in Life Magazine, May 2, 1955
  • “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted by William Miller in Life Magazine, May 2,1955
  • “The most important endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity for life.”—Albert Einstein — To Reverend C. Greenway, November 20,1950. AEA 28–894.
  • “I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace…. Is it not better for a man to die for a cause in which he believes, such as peace, than to suffer for a cause in which he does not believe, such as war?”—Albert Einstein — From an interview 1931. Reprinted in Einstein on Peace, 125
  • “It is difficult to say what truth is, but sometimes it is so easy to recognize a falsehood.”—Albert Einstein — To Jeremiah McGuire, October 24,1953. AEA 60–483
  • “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted by Ernst Straus in French, Einstein: A Centenary Volume, 32
  • “Marriage is but slavery made to appear civilized.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted by K. Wachsmann in M. Grüning, Ein Haus für Albert Einstein, 159
  • “God gave me the stubbornness of a mule and a fairly keen scent.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted in G.J. Whitrow, Einstein: the man and his achievement, 91
  • “Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.”—Albert Einstein — From “My Credo” 1932. AEA 28–218
  • “It is not so important where one settles down. The best thing is to follow your instincts without too much reflection.”—Albert Einstein — To Max Born, March 3,1920. AEA 8–146
  • “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”- Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck, 1929

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