Predicting adult personality from childhood behaviour

I read recently that the observed behaviour of a 4-year old can predicate the personality of the adult that the child will grow into. Even if this conclusion was drawn from a properly conducted survey covering a particular population at a point of time, could it apply to another population at the same point of time? Or, at a different point of time?

Are there not cultural differences, including parental behaviour, school policies, community values, and eroding societal standards for behaviour to be taken into account?

As well, what if (repeat, what if) the child’s behaviour seemed to reflect some past-life trauma, perhaps in the manner and circumstances of death? Having brought up children successfully, through firm rules and loving guidance, supplemented by on-going dialogues, and backed up by my studies on child development, with some reading on past-life memories displayed by children; and having contributed substantially to the development of a number of grandchildren, could I not offer some insight onto the behaviour of young children?

I once observed, over a period of a few days, a 6-month old baby who had no reason to be unhappy, and who did not always display the normal discomfort of indigestion, continually shout at the parent holding, and attempting to comfort, him. At 3 years, he remained un-cooperative and truculent and, in one instance, he whinged for about 45 minutes for no reason that I could perceive. I felt that this poor child could not help himself. By age 7, he was a normal child. Had he been driven by a subconscious painful past-life memory, considering that he had the most loving parents one could ask for?

Normally, tribal cultural values, applied through rigid family control, will ensure that not only behaviour, but also attitudes, conform to family and community standards. In the ethos of Asian communalism, this is important. Against this is the ethos of individualism of Western nations, manifest in less-controlled and guided children. However, individual rights can also be conferred by some primary school teachers, sometimes countering family values. I write from personal experience.

Is it significant that, when Australia-born offspring of tightly-knit immigrant Middle Eastern families break away (through peer-group and other influences) from parental values, some of these chose to be jihadists or become anti-social?

I’ll bet that they did not display such tendencies in childhood, especially at about age 4!

Truth Will Out (Part 2)

I  contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
George Bernard  Shaw

Foreign aid might be defined as a  transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
   Douglas Casey,  Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown  University

Truth Will Out (Part 1)

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a government.
  John  Adams

If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.        Mark  Twain

Suppose you were an idiot.  And suppose you were a member of government.  But then I repeat myself.
   Mark Twain

Psychic experiences are real

The following extracts have been taken from the website ‘Wake up world.’ The article is by Phillip J Watt titled ‘Parapsychology: How science is proving that psychic experiences are real’

“ … … we experience extraordinary feats of consciousness and extra-sensory perception (ESP) which blow our minds and hearts out of this world, with profound and ongoing impacts in our lives.

These feats may occur in many different guises and in a very personal way. Some believe these experiences to be genuinely extraordinary, whilst others explain them away as ‘coincidence’ or ‘figments of the imagination’. Regardless of our personal beliefs, unexplained occurrences and psychic phenomena such as extra-sensory reception, telepathy and even psychokinesis have been recorded throughout the history of all tribal and traditional civilizations, so it’s not just a modern marvel. What is fresh about this phenomenon is the development of a discipline called ‘Parapsychology’, which is essentially a scientific framework designed to study the ‘psi’ or ‘psychic’ experiences of humanity.” … …

“The reason psi phenomenon is not taken seriously by the academic community is because philosophical materialism – which is the unproven and dogmatic ‘belief’ that matter is the fundamental stuff of reality – has hijacked modern-day science. Essentially, this misplaced interpretation of a strictly mechanical universe is the model upon which any accumulating evidence is compared, and if certain data doesn’t fit into the limited paradigm of what science already understands, it is arrogantly and unscientifically rejected and explained away as pseudoscience.

Ironically, this prejudicial dismissal of evidence is itself the definition of pseudoscientific behaviour.

However, not all scientists have fallen victim to the materialist rhetoric. For example, in 2014 a team of over 100 prominent scientists and academics from around the world called for an open, informed study of all aspects of consciousness. These scientists included Daryl Bem (Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Cornell University), Irving Kirsch (Professor of Psychology, University of Plymouth, and Lecturer in Medicine, Harvard Medical School) and Brian Josephson (Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge, who is also a Nobel Prize winner for his work in the field of physics). Another example in the same year was the creation of a “Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science … to visualize what an emerging scientific view may look like”. The Manifesto was developed by eight respected scientists, including Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist and author best known for his theory of morphic fields and morphic resonance. Simply, both groups of scientists have called upon the scientific community to face their hypocrisy and transcend their philosophical bias toward the science of psi phenomenon.”

“ … … Notably, despite the stance of materialistic science, extra-sensory perceptions are not considered to be pseudoscience by the majority of average people. In a 2002 CBS News poll, 57% of people surveyed believed ESP to be real.

The reality is that parapsychological studies have accumulated mountains of sound scientific data that provides strong evidence for ‘extra sensory’ perceptions of the human mind. As stated in the Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science :

Studies of the so-called “psi phenomena” indicate that we can sometimes receive meaningful information without the use of ordinary senses, and in ways that transcend the habitual space and time constraints. Furthermore, psi research demonstrates that we can mentally influence — at a distance — physical devices and living organisms (including other human beings). Psi research also shows that distant minds may behave in ways that are nonlocally correlated, i.e., the correlations between distant minds are hypothesized to be unmediated (they are not linked to any known energetic signal), unmitigated (they do not degrade with increasing distance), and immediate (they appear to be simultaneous). These events are so common that they cannot be viewed as anomalous or as exceptions to natural laws, but as indications of the need for a broader explanatory framework that cannot be predicated exclusively on materialism.”

(Comment: At last! Open scientific minds! My personal experiences need explanation as to how they occurred. There is a whole universe of the immaterial to be investigated, and understood.

At the very end of the psi phenomena is my question – How does my core me, my true and inner me, my soul, convey my past experiences to the current me with my form and substance?  If it is not Consciousness, what is it?

If it is Consciousness, then there must be the equivalent of the ‘worm holes,’ which cosmologists refer to optimistically, available to us – somehow, some time!)     

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Rhine’s research on e.s.p.

Dr. JB Rhine’s research on e.s.p.

Academic researchers were curious to see if the scientific method could be used to find evidence for life after death, and they were open to that possibility that it could. J.B. Rhine was a scientist, and he was willing to give it a try. So Duke’s administrators, like President William Preston Few, were willing to let him.

How did Rhine begin trying to prove this?

Basically, Rhine said we know that when we die, the body dies, the body decays, it’s over. We need to find something about ourselves that exists independently of the body. Otherwise, when we die, that’s it. So if telepathy operates independent of the body, it opens the door to a possibility that there is something within us that can survive death.

What kinds of experiments did he perform while searching for the existence of telepathy?

He started with a test of simple playing cards. He began with children, but then moved on to Duke students. It was basically a simple test: “Can you tell me what playing card I’m holding?” without seeing it. And he found that they could.

He was using a regular deck of playing cards, and he found that people had certain biases—they would guess certain cards more often than others because they were very familiar with a regular deck. So he had a psychologist, Karl Zener, design him a set of cards with completely different symbols. And these are the ESP cards that a lot of people are familiar with, the ones with the wavy lines, a star, a box, a circle, or a cross. Using these cards, he repeated the test with students and found that they were again able to tell him what symbol was on the cards without seeing them.

What other experiments did Rhine and his colleagues conduct?

The ESP cards really were their staple until the end. They refined the experiments over the years—first, they separated the student and the experimenter with a screen. Ultimately, they were in separate rooms, and the tests were done double blind, so that even the person conducting the experiment didn’t know what symbols were on the cards.

The other experiments that they’re known for are tests in psychokinesis, the ability to move objects with your mind. Again, the test that they used was a very simple one—rolling dice. They would see if the students could influence the roll of the dice. The experimenters would use their hands and throw the dice against the wall, but, later on, they were using machines to roll the dice, so it would be more random and the experimenter could not be accused of influencing the roll.

And they found, again, that the students did seem to have some ability to influence the roll of the dice, but the effect was a lot weaker. It’s not like somebody can go to Las Vegas and win a billion dollars with this ability. It was infinitesimally small.

What did Rhine credit these effects to?

Rhine always felt that ESP was something that operated independently from the physical body. He also thought that someday the answer would be found in the study of consciousness and that when we had a better idea of how consciousness worked, or even what it is, it would explain the effects that he found in his experiments.

And Rhine became a household name?

Well, it’s interesting. Rhine is often portrayed as a publicity hound, but he really wasn’t. In the beginning, he turned down a lot of interviews because he saw himself as a serious scientist and an academic, and he thought this kind of publicity was undignified. And so he would say yes to some but not to anything that he didn’t think was serious.

But from the minute they [Rhine and his wife and co-researcher, Louisa] published their first book, Extra-Sensory Perception [in 1934], there was hostility to their experiments from the scientific community. So he started to agree to more interviews than he had originally, mostly just to get the word out that he was in fact doing serious science, and to attract more scientists who might have an open mind—and more subjects—as well.

How did Duke administrators react?

Unfortunately, his two big supporters, William McDougall, the head of the psychology department who lured him to Duke, and Few died not long after the lab opened. So for the rest of his career, he was always on shaky territory. Every time Duke got a new president, they had to make the decision to keep the lab going or not; one by one, they always decided to keep it going. I guess because it brought the university a lot of publicity and, ultimately, a lot of money.

Where did Rhine and his fellow researchers get their research funding?

They got money from Alfred P. Sloan and Chester Carlson, who was the inventor of the Xerox process. The Office of Naval Research gave them money; the Army, at one point, conducted a test with them; the Rockefeller Foundation; and the list goes on. He was very well funded but mostly from the outside. Duke paid his salary and his assistant’s salary and gave them space—desks and stuff like that. It was its own independent lab, and Rhine reported directly to the president.

Where is this kind of work done now?

The lab closed in 1965 when Rhine retired. There was a period where Duke was considering keeping the lab going, and administrators were in talks with Rhine about how that would happen and what it would look like. I found the administration’s initial idea of what it would look like, and I loved it. It was going to be a much more multidisciplinary operation involving representatives from all the different academic disciplines within Duke: people from the hard sciences, psychology, religion, and philosophy. They were going to put people with different expertise to work on the problem.

But Rhine was afraid that if that happened, parapsychology, and the people with expertise in parapsychology, would just be subsumed by all the others and eventually kind of shoved away. And he was actually right. I found memos between certain administrators who basically said that was what was going to happen. And then they started to talk to other professors who were even more adamant; they were like, “No! No! No! This is our chance to get rid of parapsychology once and for all.”

So a couple of years before he retired, Rhine set up the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man, and when he retired, he moved over there. It exists today, near West Campus, and is now called the Rhine Research Center.

How would you sum up Rhine’s work?

Rhine—and I would include his wife, Louisa, who was equally critical to all this research, too—refined the controls and the statistical methods for analyzing their results in a way that nobody had before. I went through all the various objections, the critics over the years who accused them of fraud or making mistakes with the math, and I examined all these claims and found that they had no basis.

You might want to come up with other explanations for these effects, but you can’t say they are the result of sloppy controls, fraud, or wishful thinking. Based on these experiments, there does seem to be an unidentified source of information out there. Unfortunately, we don’t know how it’s transmitted or how it’s processed, but these effects nonetheless seem to be real. We also have a lot more to learn about consciousness.

(From the Internet: Duke Magazine Q&A)

Comment: It is difficult to understand why those who want to know what human beings and the Cosmos are about would reject investigations into influences beyond the apparently material. One would not expect scientific researchers to behave like purveyors of individual institutionalised religions. The latter generally offer their certainties of what is, and what is not, based seemingly on some kind of revelation, but not research.

E.S.P. research in an ethereal Cosmos

It was in my youth that I came across the research by Duke University’s Dr. JB Rhine on extra-sensory perception. Used as I was to Asian amateur seers (some very accurate) during my formative years in multi-ethnic British Malaya, I was yet surprised by people in the apparently pragmatic materialistic West investigating psychic phenomena. Wasn’t Asia the happy hunting ground for demonstrators and believers in ethereal matters?

Rhine’s work must have been officially accepted because his university became better known through his allegedly controversial studies and conclusions. Even early in the 21st century, there are clever people who just know that what is now known as parapsychology cannot be true; human psychology can, however, explain that stance of non-belief.

How important, how useful, are the findings of research into the paranormal – even when conducted under the strictures of the scientific method – against the totality of single-event, non-repeatable experiences of a multitude of people everywhere? I instance ‘thumbnail healers,’ clairvoyants who induce the materialisation of spirits to guide the living, those who demonstrate levitation, and so on.

Apart from multi-disciplinary researchers like Paul LaViolette, do Western researchers have the explanatory paradigm which could incorporate facets of ‘the teachings of contemporary mystics, the scriptures of Eastern religions, or the allegorical symbologies of ancient creation myths’ (LaViolette)?

In his ‘Genesis of the Cosmos,’ LaViolette quotes ‘Hindu Saint Lahiri Mahasaya’ as follows, in relation to ‘an immense gem-studded, golden palace that his guru Babaji has materialised for him.’ “In tune with the infinite all-accomplishing Will, Babaji is able to command the elemental atoms to combine and manifest themselves in any form … Babaji created this beautiful mansion out of his mind and is holding its atoms together by the power of his Will …”

Are claims such as this not worth investigating? Indeed, have there been open-minded professional investigators into levitation, thumbnail healing, clairvoyance? Yet, it appears that precognition, psychokinesis, and telepathy have been studied for a long period. Are the prevailing explanatory paradigms in science the professional barrier to recognition, acceptance, and further research?

It must be the KaliYuga which is responsible. If so, mental and moral regeneration cannot occur for a long time yet; the next Yuga is a long way off. However, could the Maya ’end of time’ allow some re-booting of the collective conscience in the interim?

Swami Vivekananda quotes (Part 2)

That man has reached immortality who is disturbed by nothing material.
If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished.

 

If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.

 

External nature is only internal nature writ large.
You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.
(Comment: Oneness, not separation with superiority.  From Brainy quote, with thanks)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swami Vivekananda quotes (Part 1)

May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians give strength to you to carry out your noble idea.
Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin; to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.
Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.
The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free

 

. As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.
(From Brainy Quote, with thanks. The keepers of competitive religions: please note the sound advice of this Swami!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memory quotes (Part 2)

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief. Aeschylus
It is sadder to find the past again and find it inadequate to the present than it is to have it elude you and remain forever a harmonious conception of memory. F. Scott Fitzgerald
Memory that yearns to join the centre, a limb remembering the body from which it has been severed, like those bamboo thighs of the god. Derek Walcott
Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered as our prince of peace, of civil rights. We owe him something major that will keep his memory alive. Morgan Freeman
Elephants can live to an age of up to 70 or 80 years and they have a good memory. It could be they come across an area that is experiencing a drought. Then they continue on their path and run into people. Richard Leakey
In order to be an image of God, the spirit must turn to what is eternal, hold it in spirit, keep it in memory, and by loving it, embrace it in the will. Edith Stein
(From Brainy Quote, with thanks)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memory quotes (Part 1)

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar. Abraham Lincoln
Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future. Elie Wiesel
The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis B. Smedes
Time moves in one direction, memory in another. William Gibson
Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream. Khalil Gibran
(From Brainy Quote, with thanks)