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Posts tagged “spiritual

Monkeys too display human-like empathy

Source: Information Liberation

Washington, August 26: Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, US, have shown by experiments that monkeys have the feeling of empathy, and they enjoy sharing things with others.

Empathy in seeing the pleasure of another’s fortune is thought to be the impetus for sharing, a trait this study shows transcends primate species.

For the experiment, Frans de Waal, director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes Research Center, and Kristi Leimgruber, research specialist, led a team of researchers who exchanged tokens for food with eight adult female capuchin monkeys.

Each capuchin was paired with a relative, an unrelated familiar female from her own social group or a stranger (a female from a different group).

The capuchins were then given the choice of two tokens: the selfish option, which rewarded that capuchin alone with an apple slice; or the pro-social option, which rewarded both capuchins with an apple slice.

The monkeys predominantly selected the pro-social token when paired with a relative or familiar individual, but not when paired with a stranger.

According to de Waal, “The fact the capuchins predominantly selected the prosocial option must mean seeing another monkey receive food is satisfying or rewarding for them.”

“We believe prosocial behavior is empathy based. Empathy increases in both humans and animals with social closeness, and in our study, closer partners made more prosocial choices. They seem to care for the welfare of those they know,” he added.

de Waal and his research team will next attempt to determine whether giving is self-rewarding to capuchins because they can eat together or if the monkeys simply like to see the other monkey enjoying food. (ANI)

Hallucinogens Bring Everyone the Same Visions

12-Jul-2006 – Source

Several years ago, we interviewed Rick Strassman on Dreamland about his book “DMT: The Spirit Molecule.” He’s a University of New Mexico scientist who was given the first official government grant to do research on hallucinogenic drugs. He reported that all of the volunteers who were given the drug DMT saw the SAME visions—and they all came into contact with similar ET-like beings. Shamans report hearing the same reactions from people who use drugs, or other methods, to attain alternate mental states. The UK writer and explorer Graham Hancock experienced a vision that Anne Strieber recognized, when he took the hallucinogenic drug Iboga for research purposes and described his visions in his new book Supernatural, which will be available in the US on September 1st. Now scientists at another major US university have discovered the same thing.

Using unusually rigorous scientific conditions and measures, Johns Hopkins researcher Roland Griffiths has shown that the active agent in “sacred mushrooms” can induce mystical/spiritual experiences descriptively identical to spontaneous ones people have reported for centuries. He says, “We’re just measuring what can be observed. We’re not entering into ‘Does God exist or not exist.’ This work can’t and won’t go there.”

He and his co-researchers discovered that the experiences from taking these substances brought the users positive changes in behavior and attitude that lasted for several months. Griffiths says, “I had a healthy skepticism going into this, and that finding alone was a surprise…under very defined conditions, with careful preparation, you can safely and fairly reliably occasion what’s called a primary mystical experience that may lead to positive changes in a person. It’s an early step in what we hope will be a large body of scientific work that will ultimately help people.

“A vast gap exists between what we know of these drugs— mostly from descriptive anthropology—and what we believe we can understand using modern clinical pharmacology techniques. That gap is large because, as a reaction to the excesses of the 1960s, human research with hallucinogens has been basically frozen in time these last forty years.”