Consciousness, joy, intelligence and society

Consciousness is what drives us forward, is what decides, what sets targets, what defines our fate. And there is a fundamental sign of the achievement of this goals and satisfaction of our personal motivations, which is joy. Bergson says: “The joy always announces that life has triumphed, that has gained ground, that has achieved a victory: any great joy has a triumphant accent. Wherever joy is, creation is: As creation is richer, joy is more profound. The mother who watches her son is joyful, because she is conscious of having created him, physically and morally. The trader who carries out his business, the factory owner who sees his industry prosper, is he joyful because of the money he earns and the notoriety he acquires? Richness and consideration obviously come much satisfaction he feels, but they bring pleasure rather than joy, and what he enjoys with true joy is the feeling of having mounted a company that marches, of having called something to life. Take exceptional joys, the artist who has performed his thinking, the wise who has discovered or invented. You will hear to say that these men work for glory and that they draw their liveliest joys from admiration that they inspire.


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Psychology and Life

The more certain existence and the better we know is indisputably ours, because, of all other objects, we possess external and superficial triable notions, while we perceive ourselves internally, deeply. What do we check then? What is, in this exceptional case, the meaning of the verb ‘to exist’?

First I see that I passage from one state to another state. I’m cold or heat, I’m happy or sad, I work or do nothing, I look around me or think about something else. Sensations, feelings, volitions, representations, such are the modifications among which distributes my existence and which color it alternately. I change, then, without ceasing. (p.13)


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The trauma of facing deportation

In the summer of 2015, shortly before he entered seventh grade, Georgi learned that the Migration Board had rejected his family’s application again. The news came in a letter, which he translated for his parents, who couldn’t read Swedish.

They appealed the board’s decision, and Georgi tried to focus on school as he waited for more news. Not long afterward, a friend on his floor-hockey team stopped coming to practice. Georgi was distraught when he learned that the teammate, a refugee from Afghanistan, had been deported with his family, “as if they were criminals,” he said. Georgi became sullen and aloof, and he stopped speaking Russian. He said that the words were just sounds, whose meaning he could no longer decipher. He withdrew from his parents, whom he accused of having failed to assimilate. His nine-year-old brother, Savl, acted as the family’s interpreter. “Why haven’t you been learning Swedish?” Georgi said in Swedish to his brother, who translated the words into Russian for their parents.


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Maria Montessori – The Absorbent Mind

The present volume is based upon the lectures given by Dr. Maria Montessori at Ahmedabad, during the first Training Course after her internment in India which lasted up to the end of World War II. In it, she exposes the unique mental powers of the young child which enable him to construct and firmly establish within a few years only, without teachers, without any of the usual aids of education, nay, almost abandoned and often obstructed, all the characteristics of the human per^bnality. This achievement by a being, weak in its physical powers, who is born with great potentialities, but practically without any of the actual factors of mental life, a being who may be called a zero, but who after only six years already surpasses all other living beings, is indeed one of the greatest mysteries of life.


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The Adolescent Brain: Leaving Childhood Behind

Bing Bong represents innocence, imagination, creativity, and childlike joy mixed with love. This is the second greatest time of brain change, the first being birth to three years of age. Inside Out embraces this development in a very visual and meaningful way as Bing Bong intentionally jumps out of the rainbow wagon, watching Joy return to headquarters without the weight of childhood thought processes and feelings. As Riley’s brain begins exploring this adolescent stage of life, she begins searching for a new identity and social status, is confronted with intense emotions, and revisits many of her childhood core memories that begin to enrich this new developmental time in her life. Finding a new purpose and discovering who we are becoming characterize the great neurobiological changes that educators and parents need to deeply understand in this time of brain development.


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How Deep Breathing Promotes Tranquility

Taking a deep breath can calm you down. Now, researchers have found a group of nerve cells that regulates this effect.

Physicians and stress relief experts commonly prescribe breathing-control exercises for people diagnosed with stress disorders. In the same manner, in yoga and meditation, the practice of controlling the breath in order to shift consciousness from an aroused or even distressed state to a more calm one is a core component.

Conversely, breathing rapidly and excitedly causes tension to mount. But why?

The handful of nerve cells in the brainstem that researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have identified seem to finally answer the question.


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Dancing May Be Best for the Brain

Could learning to dance the minuet or fandango help to protect our brains from aging?

A new study that compared the neurological effects of country dancing with those of walking and other activities suggests that there may be something unique about learning a social dance. The demands it places on the mind and body could make it unusually potent at slowing some of the changes inside our skulls that seem otherwise inevitable with aging.


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Rephrasing choices could boost self control

Do you want to avoid chocolate until you’ve lost weight or leave your savings in the bank earning interest rather than splurge on an expensive gadget? You might think using willpower is the best way to control yourself and avoid temptation. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Eran Magen at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and his team report that thinking about your choices in a different way can be a more effective means of achieving self control than using willpower.


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Why every kid should start the day with a poem

But he’s been doing it for three years and he makes a compelling case on Edutopia for how poems gear kids up for writing and close readings of texts. He has a list of poems—which we include here—and some useful strategies and exercises for making poetry fun and accessible.

Vogelsinger was inspired for his poem-a-day by Billy Collins, the former poet laureate of the United States, who introduced Poetry 180: A Poem A Day for American High Schools over a decade ago. And he cites three reasons poems kick start a class well.


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Causes of Students’ Emotional Fragility

Two months ago, I reported on the declining emotional resilience of college students. I summarized the claims, made by college mental-health personnel throughout the country, that students are having emotional breakdowns at much higher rates than in the past. I also addressed professors’ claims that students feel more pressure to get high grades and are more prone to blame professors and/or react emotionally if they don’t receive those grades than students of the past. The post apparently struck a nerve: It quickly amassed more than 650,000 views, more than 200,000 Facebook likes, hundreds of comments, and many requests for interviews and media appearances. I found some of this attention embarrassing, as some of it seemed to arise more from a desire to blame young people as spoiled and entitled than from a sincere desire to understand their suffering and what we, as a society, might do about it.


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