Wednesday, December 30, 2015


One of the theories in LOST is that the main characters had some sort of "shared memory" even though they were strangers. Sci-fi aspects of this theory speculated that could have been done as a metaphor for a on-line game world, connected series of mental patient fantasies, or some mental/drug induced brain washing experiment.

But researchers are trying to implant memories into living beings.

Vulcan mind-melts and magic wands or hypnotism are ways in which people share memories in fictional films and TV shows.

But such fantastical ideas could soon become a reality, using electrodes implanted in the brain.

Neuroscientists have already begun trying implants that boost memory loss, and in the future they believe these implants could be used to replicate memories in the brains of others.

Research teams from the University of Southern California and University of Pennsylvania have been testing the technology on epilepsy patients.  These patients already have electrodes implanted in their brains, which means the experts didn't need to insert the prostheses in new patients through risky brain surgery.
The research centers on the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped part of the brain associated with the formation of memories. The hippocampus gathers sensory information that is then transformed into short-term memories, between 15 and 30 seconds.  These can then form more lasting memories, but only if they are accessed while the hippocampus is storing them. This seems to be the portal for long term memory creation.

People with significant memory deficits typically have a damaged hippocampus. Scientists are trying to restore memory loss to patients with a damaged memory center.

The USC team, led by brain implants expert Ted Berger, was interested in two particular areas of the hippocampus, called CA3 and CA1. Researchers thought that an electrical signal travelling from CA3 to CA1 was key to memory formation. Therefore, they tried to recreate a similar signal in order to restore the hippocampus' functionality. To do this, the researchers monitored the brain of 12 epilepsy patients performing a memory exercise that included memorising pictures to see how CA3 and CA1 interacted.

Eventually, they developed a mathematical model to predict the pattern of the signal CA3 would fire to CA1. The predictions were correct 80 per cent of the time. The USC team's idea is that brain implants could provide electrical stimulation resembling that key CA3 signal to improve memory in patients with hippocampus damage. 

Once scientists can create a connection to the hippocampus, and send signals that the patient can understand and remember, it is a logical conclusion that the signals can be enhanced to the point of adding visual and audio information. It would be like a direct imput of a VR movie straight into your memory banks.

The odd thing is that your brain will not realize that this is not "a real, personal memory."  And that is why LOST theorists think the complexity of the brain in creating real memories caused many continuity errors in the series because the "forced" new memories did not take or conflicted with real events.

Saturday, December 26, 2015


In 1977, I went to a large suburban theater to watch the first Star Wars movie. I do not recall what actually motivated me to see the movie, except that that was what kids did on Saturday afternoons.

The old theater had a monster screen and new Dolby sound. It could fit three current theaters into it. It was the last arc of the grand movie palace experience, where the characters and action on the huge screen was larger than life.

I remember it was a very good action-adventure movie. So much so, that I made a point of seeing the next two sequels.  But then after that, I had no interest in George Lucas' prequels. It came mostly from negative reviews and the lack of the original characters involved in the movies.

And that is a point of franchise stories: people get personally invested in the characters that they are drawn to . . . in such a fashion to follow their stories to the bitter end.

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I can guess a couple of major plot twists because I know that Hollywood rarely has a totally original story idea. I have been spoiler free in internet surfing so if I make the commitment to elbow through the mobs this holiday season to see the picture, I will get the full effect of re-boot.

But I am thrilled with JJ Abrams at the helm. As a loyal, old school Roddenberry Star Trek fan, I was disappointed with his franchise reboot to the point of not watching any more of his "alternative" universal thought. It seems the younger generation does not care about alternative canon story lines since the major comic book makers seem to re-boot their franchise characters every couple of years, to the point of total confusion of character roles and motivations. Example, is Batman good or bad?

So I wonder if the new Star Wars movie will hold to Lucas' vision, or will it be a tale of Hollywood Disneyification profiteering, or a mixed bag of hope dreams bruised by formula pole tent movie making.

Great science fiction charges one's imagination. Poor sci-fi clouds the mind.

This new Star Wars movie is supposed to break all box office records. But industry insiders think it will be a commercial flop if it does not make $1.5 billion at the box office. Reports indicate that Disney has strong armed many theater chains to pay higher ticket gate percentages in order to show the film. To be super successful, Disney hopes for multiple viewings by fans and a huge rush of merchandise purchases.

But let's hope the old characters can gracefully hand over the story to the new, younger Jedi characters. Because in the end, it is still the story that counts the most.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Time was the worst component to LOST.

The unexplained time skips and time travel aspects of the show still grate deep thinking sci-fi fans.

It may just come down to the use of time as a clumsy metaphor.  A metaphor is a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, esp. something abstract.

What could the time reversals represent in LOST?

If a normal person "could turn back time," it would mean going back in their personal history and change something that had happened. Most likely, it would have been a personal event choice of action. For example, going back to a first date and being too afraid to express yourself to your date, leaving him or her in an emotional flux that would lead to regret later on. If you only had said something clever; or kissed her on the cheek, or asked her out again, or didn't say some stupid thing . . .  these are the types of mental parasites that whittle away a person's psyche.

Redemption is the process of saving someone from sin, evil or an error. On a personal level, only one's inner self can redeem themselves from a bad path, bad decisions, or bad way of life. Usually it can only happen by personal sacrifice on behalf of another person. This was one of the themes of the show, but if one looks upon the main characters, it was a hollow theme.

Only one character "changed" during the time travel arc. Sawyer. He turned from outcast rogue into the new Dharma sheriff. But was it truly a change, or another long con of personal survival? It would seem to be the latter, because in the end game Sawyer did not want to do anything for anyone except to get off the island. However, some will point out that Sawyer did change his perception of women because of his relationship with Juliet.

Even Jack's noble sacrifice to die as the island guardian was weak. If he was an immortal, he did not need to die. He selfishly chose to end his own life because he squandered his time to re-do things with the people he once cared about. In a time loop, Jack's gnawing personal demon was the relationship he had with his father. But that never resolved itself, even in the sideways world. Being dead lifts many burdens. Or did it? Now, with all the time in the universe ahead of him, Jack stared blankly in his final scene. As his excuses evaporated, so did his drive to live and prove himself.

In reality, human events are fixed in a linear time line. The mistakes we make in the past stay as fixed events. Only remorse, love, caring and change can create a newer event to hopefully replace that past mistake. Replacing bad memories with good memories seems to be the function of good mental health. In order to do so, you need true friends and family around you. They are the people who you have been around the most in your life. They know your "true self." They are the key to turning back the clock to re-live the fond memories during current dark days. Sadly, this was not a major lesson in the show. It was more an after-thought.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


A recent study showed that grumpy people and those under stress do not have shorter lifespans than happy people. The norm was that unhappy people have more stress in their lives which equates to higher blood pressure and other ailments. But in a large sample study, that could not be proven.

Another study concluded that lonely people had shorter lifespans. How to quantify the amount of loneliness to shaving years off one's life is unknown. But it would seem that depressed people would be more sad and despondent which could led to chemical imbalances in their system.

So it is possible that grumpy, stressed people who have friends can have a normal lifespan. 

The reason is simple: people with friends can unload their inner burdens on someone. Keeping troubles bottled up inside you may be the root cause of ailments, mental or physical. By having a supportive release makes sense since navigating personal decisions in life can be hard and daunting at times.

The more powerful, negative emotions may cause the most lingering problems. Anger, spite, frustration that wrap around someone being mad at someone else or something in their lives can be like constant large waves crashing on your psyche to erode away your thoughts and dreams.

In human relations, the most powerful tool a person has to neutralize the negative emotions is forgiveness.

To forgive means to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake; or used in polite expressions as a request to excuse or regard indulgently one's foibles, ignorance, or impoliteness.

To ask for forgiveness is hard because it means you must accept and speak out that you made a mistake. On the other hand, those who feel they have been wronged or hurt by another person who is asking for forgiveness may question the sincerity of the act of forgiveness.

Friendships are like a roller coaster; there will be ups and downs. It is the overall ride that matters. If one cannot forgive a friend for a mistake, then that person truly is not a real friend.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


NASA is looking to have a manned mission to Mars.

And one benefit to this mission would be to determine if there was evidence of life on the red planet. Or, as some believe, the basis of life on Earth.

A theory called panspermia, which dates back to the 5th century BC, posits that certain life forms can hop between planets, and even star systems, to fertilize them with life. 

Following this theory, science theorists suspect that the first life on Earth never formed on our planet at all, but instead, hitched a ride inside planetary fragments from Mars that were flung into space after a powerful impact and eventually fell to Earth. 

This travel between different planets has a parallel in the lost time-travel/sideways universe arcs.

There is still no clear cut conclusion between the island world and the sideways world, which mirrored the lives of the characters on Earth. Various theories believed the sideways universe was connected to the island by some portal or electromagnetic time-space machine.

If you take this old science theory and apply it to the fiction of LOST, could the sideways world be actually another planet - - - a second Earth that was being colonized by removing human beings from Earth and teleporting them to a distant, similar world?

Why would anyone do this? In some sci-fi series, like Star Trek, there are advanced races of aliens with vast technologies who use it to help to reverse the decline in their own humanoid species. By taking humans from Earth and re-creating an Earth like setting (as was done in The Cage), with a group of people who are close knit friends, the alien planet could have its new gene pool.

So the sideways world was not purgatory but a New Earth, replicated for the benefit of the LOST survivors who were deemed dead by their families but kidnapped by the aliens to bond together on an island adventure in order to accept their new home in a distant galaxy.

Monday, December 14, 2015


The Mirror (UK) recently published an article which stated that researchers have found that lonely people die earlier than people in relationships.

Scientists revealed why being lonely increases your chances of dying early because being lonely appears to weaken people's immune system. Researchers said their findings were independent of factors such as depression, stress and social support.

Lonely people are more likely to die early due to their immune system being weaker, according to a new study. People who do not have frequent interaction with others are 14 per cent more likely to die early as they appear to have much lower levels of white blood cells in their body.

The cells are the human body's way of battling diseases and illnesses and researchers stressed their findings were independent of other factors such as depression, stress and social support. Research shows loneliness leads to fight-or-flight signalling occurring in the body, which can lead to a drop in white blood cells for over a year weakening the immune system.

University of Chicago scientists examined gene expression in leukocytes, there are cells responsible for protecting us against bacteria and viruses. Their previous study found a link between loneliness and a phenomenon called 'conserved transcriptional response to adversity' (CTRA).

CTRA describes the effect of lonely people tending to have a weaker immune system response than those with a healthy social life. This occurs when the number of genes involved in inflammation increases and the amount of genes involved in antiviral responses falls.

The PNAS study reconfirmed these findings, but also revealed that loneliness could predict future CTRA gene expression over a year later. The researchers also found that loneliness and leukocyte gene expression appeared to provoke each other over time.

Next, research on monkeys found that the lonely primates showed higher CTRA activity.
But on a cellular level, they also found higher levels of the fight-or-flight neuro transmitter, norepinephrine.  Research conducted previously has revealed norepinephrine can provoke stem cells in the bone marrow to produce more of a particular kind of immune cell - an immature monocyte.
These particular cells have high levels of inflammatory gene expression and low levels of antiviral gene. Further tests found both lonesome humans and solitary monkeys had high levels of monocytes in their blood samples.

Finally the researchers tracked the HIV version of monkeys (simian immunodeficiency virus) in isolated primates. They found the altered antiviral gene expression in "lonely like" monkeys allowed the condition to grow faster in both blood and brain.

Professor John Cacioppo said: "Taken together, these findings support a mechanistic model in which loneliness results in fight-or-flight stress signalling, which increases the production of immature monocytes, leading to up-regulation of inflammatory genes and impaired anti-viral responses. The 'danger signals' activated in the brain by loneliness ultimately affect the production of white blood cells. The resulting shift in monocyte output may both propagate loneliness and contribute to its associated health risks."

There is a connection to LOST's main characters. Each main character had traits of deep loneliness, with associated levels of stress and depression. How each dealt with it was different; Jack dived into his work to create "miracles," while Hurley took eating to mask his depression.

But it would seem that all the main characters "died" on or about their island age (if one believes that our bodies are re-united in the afterlife after death). This contradicts Christian's statement to Jack at the sideways church memorial service. But taken the presence of the main characters have not aged, and that the survivors who left the island apparently did not re-unite with loved ones post-island (i.e. having a real, long life with new people - - - including spouses, children, new friends, etc.), the conclusion is that the main characters died early, before their time.

And the only thing that could help them move along from their "lonely" pre-island existence were the friendships and bonds created in the island time period. If LOST was really the culmination of various characters dying alone but having to make "post-life" connections on the island in order to be enlightened to make it to heaven, that is a premise that some could find comforting in relation to The End.

No one wants to die alone. In fact, many people's greatest fear is dying alone.

Friday, December 11, 2015


One aspect of LOST was the disconnect between the island time period and the memories lost in the sideways purgatory world.

This was never explained to the viewers.

Now, the federal government is probing a memory restoration program which sort of fits science into the breach of LOST's lost science fiction explanation of memory loss.

Memory loss can be from trauma, old age, chemical imbalances and genetics.

The U.S. government's new Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program has been created for an implantable neural-interface designed to restore lost memories in those suffering traumatic brain injuries.

As stated by DARPA in its recent press release, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) affect roughly 1.7 million civilians each year and an astounding 270,000 military servicemembers since 2000. Further, TBI has shown to impair one's ability to recall memories created before suffering the injury while also limiting the capability to form new ones after. With the RAM program, DARPA intends to expedite the process of developing tech designed to bridge the gaps created in injured brains. In other words, TBI sufferers may not have to worry about lost memories if DARPA has its way.

The RAM program aims to accomplish this memory-saving goal by performing two steps. First, DARPA hopes to create a multi-scale computational model that describes how neurons code memories. Assuming it can gather the necessary data, DARPA's next step is to create a neural-interface armed with the ability to bridge memory flow gaps created in the brain after a traumatic injury. The implant would essentially stimulate the desired target in the brain to help it restore its ability to create new memories.

DARPA says it plans on working with a number of human volunteers for its clinical trials and also intends to run studies of the tech with animals. For the volunteers, it's targeting individuals with traumatic brain injuries who have trouble encoding or recalling memories, as well as those with other neurological conditions scheduled to undergo neurosurgery. Moreover, DARPA already has the insight of a relative Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications panel for supplemental information regarding human and animal trials of this nature.

"As the technology of these fully implantable devices improves, and as we learn more about how to stimulate the brain ever more precisely to achieve the most therapeutic effects, I believe we are going to gain a critical capacity to help our wounded warriors and others who today suffer from intractable neurological problems" DARPA's biological technologies program manager told Popular Science magazine. 

No official timetable was given regarding the release of the RAM program's test results, though DARPA did say it had already begun administering trials since September. If all goes according to plan, the agency intends to expand the context of its research to those outside of the military who also experience brain trauma.

It is uncertain how a neuro-implant can "restore" lost memories if the memory center of the brain is damaged. However, in most defense projects there is something called redundancy. It is the concept that you put in a back-up into the main program or function in case of emergency. Humans also have redundant properties such as two lungs and two kidneys, in case one is compromised. But since memories are so individual and coded in brains by chemical-protein-neuron receptors, it is not like a computer chip can "reload" lost memories into an individual (like the concept in Ghost in the Shell series). 

But LOST's sideways reveal of past memories seems to indicate, at least on the surface, that the main characters' memories were either a) blocked or b) damaged when they eventually died on Earth. They could not move on until they were "awakened" by some strong emotional tie or bond. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


What is happiness? We know when we are happy, but what causes it?

Two studies recently reported in The Independent try to explain this simple but elusive concept.

Everyone wants to be happy and it’s long been the ultimate goal for humans. Now researchers at Kyoto University believe they have found the region in the brain that is responsible for controlling these feelings by looking at the neural structures that cause people to be happy.

The research has been led by Wataru Sato, who thinks he has found the answer as to what makes us happy, by using MRI to find out where in the brain happiness happens.

Their study revealed that, an overall feeling of happiness is caused by happy emotions and life satisfaction. When these two feelings happen at once in the precuneus, you become happy.

The precuneus is found in the medial parietal lobe of your brain (located at the top of your head, towards the back) which is involved in episodic memory, reflecting upon self and some aspects of consciousness.

Doctors are still unclear what the neural mechanism behind happiness occurring is though.

Participants had their brains scanned with MRI and then completed a survey. The survey involved describing how happy the participants were generally, how intensely they feel emotions, whether these are positive or negative feelings and how satisfied they are with their lives.

The results showed there was a positive relationship between the subjective happiness score and grey matter volume on the right precuneus. People who were more content with their lives, had a larger precuneus.

Analysis also indicated that the same area had an association with the combined positive and negative emotional intensity and life satisfaction.

The study also reveaed that people experience emotions in a variant of ways. Some people feel more happiness more intensely when they receive compliments, for example. Those people who feel happiness more intensely also feel sadness at a lower intensity as well.

Overall, the findings suggested that the precuneus is able to mediate overall happiness by integrating the emotional and cognitive components of happiness.

Mr Sato said: “Over history, many eminent scholars like Aristotle have contemplated what happiness is. I’m very happy that we now know more about what it means to be happy. Several studies have shown that meditation increases grey matter mas in the precuneus. This new insight on where happiness happens in the brain will be useful for developing happiness programs based on scientific research."

However, Generation Y is having their own issues with finding happiness.
This is the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. There is a sub-part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y called  "Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies," or GYPSYs.  A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.

A typical  GYPSY is very pleased with themself.  Only issue is this one thing: they are generally unhappy.

Happiness comes down to a simple formula:

Happiness = Reality - Expectations

It’s pretty straightforward—when the reality of someone’s life is better than they had expected, they’re happy.  When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they’re unhappy.

A GYPSY's parents raised them with a sense of optimism and unbounded possibility.  And they weren’t alone.  Baby Boomers all around the country and world told their Gen Y kids that they could be whatever they wanted to be, instilling the special protagonist identity deep within their psyches.
This left GYPSYs feeling tremendously hopeful about their careers, to the point where their parents’ goals of a green lawn of secure prosperity didn’t really do it for them.  A GYPSY-worthy lawn has  more, like flowers.

The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security.  The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY.  Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.

The phrase “follow your passion” has gotten traction only in the last 20 years, according to Google’s Ngram viewer, a tool that shows how prominently a given phrase appears in English print over any period of time.  The same Ngram viewer shows that the phrase “a secure career” has gone out of style, just as the phrase “a fulfilling career” has gotten hot.

To be clear, GYPSYs want economic prosperity just like their parents did—they just also want to be fulfilled by their career in a way their parents didn’t think about as much.While the career goals of Gen Y as a whole have become much more particular and ambitious, GYPSYs been given a second message throughout her childhood as well: You're Special.

This message creates a major problem for GYPSYs: They Are Delusional

Gen Y has been taught “everyone will go and get themselves some fulfilling career, but I am unusually wonderful and as such, my career and life path will stand out amongst the crowd.”  So on top of the generation as a whole having the bold goal of a flowery career lawn, each individual GYPSY thinks that he or she is destined for something even better.

So why is this delusional?  Because this is what all GYPSYs think, which defies the definition of special: better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual. According to this definition, most people are not special—otherwise “special” wouldn’t mean anything. They have the self-perception of having a pre-determined destiny of greatness without doing much to achieve such status. As such, a harsh reality hits when they reach out into the real world.

A second GYPSY delusion comes into play once the GYPSY enters the job market.  While their parents’ expectation was that many years of hard work would eventually lead to a great career, Gen Y considers a great career an obvious given for someone as exceptional as they are, and it is up to them and   a matter of time and choosing which way to go.  Gen Y's  pre-workforce expectations look something like this:

Unfortunately, the funny thing about the world is that it turns out to not be that easy of a place, and the weird thing about careers is that they’re actually quite hard.  Great careers take years of blood, sweat and tears to build—even the ones with no flowers or unicorns on them—and even the most successful people are rarely doing anything that great in their early or mid-20s.

But GYPSYs aren’t about to just accept that. Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback,” and “an inflated view of oneself.”  He says that “a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.”

For those hiring members of Gen Y, Harvey suggests asking the interview question, “Do you feel you are generally superior to your coworkers/classmates/etc., and if so, why?”  He says that “if the candidate answers yes to the first part but struggles with the ‘why,’ there may be an entitlement issue. This is because entitlement perceptions are often based on an unfounded sense of superiority and deservingness. They’ve been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief.”

Gen Yers' extreme ambition, coupled with the arrogance that comes along with being a bit deluded about one’s own self-worth, has left her with huge expectations for even the early years out of college.   Their reality pales in comparison to those expectations, leaving them “reality – expectations” happy score coming out at a negative.

And it gets even worse.  On top of all this, GYPSYs have an extra problem that applies to their whole generation: GYPSYs Are Taunted

Sure, some people from GYPSY’s parents’ high school or college classes ended up more successful than her parents did.  And while they may have heard about some of it from time to time through the grapevine, for the most part they didn’t really know what was going on in too many other peoples’ careers. On the other hand, Gen Yers areconstantly taunted by a modern phenomenon: Facebook Image Crafting. Social media creates a world for Gen Y where A) what everyone else is doing is very out in the open, B) most people present an inflated version of their own existence, and C) the people who chime in the most about their careers are usually those whose careers (or relationships) are going the best, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation.  This leaves a typical Gen Y feeling, incorrectly, like everyone else is doing really well, only adding to their misery.

So that’s why Gen Y is unhappy, or at the least, feeling a bit frustrated and inadequate.  In fact, they  probably started off their careers perfectly well, but to them, it feels very disappointing.

Experts' advice to this unhappy youth:

1) Stay wildly ambitious.  The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success.  The specific direction may be unclear, but it’ll work itself out—just dive in somewhere.

2) Stop thinking that you’re special.  The fact is, right now, you’re not special.  You’re another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet.  You can become special by working really hard for a long time.

3) Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy others.

Friday, December 4, 2015


Science is trying to unravel why some people do not have the drive to meet the minimal demands of daily life.

There’s a neurological reason for apathy and laziness, according to new research. Inefficient connections between certain areas of the brain may make it harder for some people to decide to act.
Although inefficient neural connections don’t explain away everyone’s laziness, new research could shed some light on the kind of pathological, extreme apathy that sometimes plagues people with Alzheimer’s disease or recovering from certain types of stroke. 

To understand the neurological basis of apathy, neurologists at Oxford University looked for differences in the brains of young people who appeared motivated (based on a questionnaire) and those who appeared more apathetic. Participants played a decision-making game while researchers watched what happened in their brains, using an MRI.

In each round of the game, the researcher offered the subject a reward in return for some effort. Participants had to decide whether to accept the offer, based on whether the reward as worth the effort. Predictably, the participants who had already been identified as apathetic were much less likely to accept offers that required effort, even if the reward was large - but when apathetic subjects did choose to accept an offer, their MRIs showed much more activity in the pre-motor cortex, an area of the brain involved in taking actions, than in more motivated participants.

That was the opposite of what researchers expected. They had assumed that lazy people’s pre-motor cortices would show less activity when deciding to take action.

“We thought that this might be because their brain structure is less efficient, so it’s more of an effort for apathetic people to turn decisions into actions,” said lead researcher Masud Husain, a professor of neurology and cognitive neuroscience at Oxford University.

 After further investigation, it turned out that people who identified as apathetic had less efficient connections between the anterior cingulate cortex, a part of the brain involved in making decisions and anticipating rewards, and the supplementary motor area, a part of the brain that helps control movement.

“The brain uses around a fifth of the energy you’re burning each day. If it takes more energy to plan an action, it becomes more costly for apathetic people to make actions,” explained Husain. “Their brains have to make more effort.” Husain said.

What motivates people used to be tied to environmental upbringing and the need to feed any or all of the Seven Deadly Sins. But the Oxford research seems to explore that there may be a physical neurological basis why certain people are slackers while others are motivated Type A personalities.

Even brilliant people can be apathetic in certain areas of their daily lives. Take for example, Jack. He was a brilliant surgeon, but he failed to put in the time and effort in his social relationships. He had no friends, only distant colleagues at work. He had no real social life; his marriage failed from jealousy and rage because he failed to work on his communication with his spouse. 

In fact, most of the main characters had a clear lack of attitude toward being social animals. They were basically loners. They shied away from commitment or change for fear of rejection. 

Of characters like Shannon used their spoiled, rich upbringing to conclude that they did not have to put themselves on the line in order to get what she wanted from men. Even when she was rejected or abandoned, she did not have the mental strength to change or adapt to the island circumstances.

If one looks at LOST as an experiment in human neurology, did the base line of the island trauma and need for survival override the inherent physical neurological deficits that cause them to be normally apathetic? It would seem that despite the need for the characters to change their behavior, very few did except to form loose friendship bonds. A lazy friend is a bad friend.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


In the top of some search news pages, there is usually generalized questions and "answers."

Recently, during a scroll down the page the headline "7 Worst TV Show Endings of All Time."

Of course it was click bait, but the first item on the slide show was LOST:

The Answer stated:

After six seasons of intricate plot build-up and a never-ending series of loose ends and questions about the true nature of the island and its inhabitants, the writers revealed they had written themselves into somewhat of a corner.

Instead of answering the audience's questions, the two hour finale "The End" ended up smoothing over most of the show's most important and unresolved problems by explaining that they all were in purgatory, though if they had really been there the whole time, no one knew.

Ask a "Lost" fan about the finale and you're sure to summon rage and frustration years later.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


During their final days, people commonly report having extraordinary dreams and visions. While there’s an extensive record of these pre-death experiences, little formal research on them exists.

Researchers from Canisius College, however, recently conducted the first such study, published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine and found that end-of-life dreams and visions (ELDVs) are an intrinsic and comforting part of the dying process.

The study included 66 patients receiving end-of-life care at the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Cheektowaga, NY. On a daily basis, researchers interviewed patients about their dreams and visions, specifically asking about their content, frequency and comfort level.

More than anything else, patients said they dreamt of deceased relatives and friends. While dreaming of the departed may sound saddening, patients said the experiences, which grew more frequent as they neared death, brought them significantly more comfort than dreams concerning other topics.

Study authors say it’s important that doctors understand ELDVs as cathartic, comforting and natural experiences. Too often, according to the press release, doctors and nurses dismiss ELDVs as delusions or hallucinations that require fixing. But the end of life dreams and visions differ from delirium in a significant way: People who are delirious have lost their connection to reality and cannot communicate rationally. Because delirium poses risk and causes distress, it merits medical treatment. ELDVs, per this research, don’t warrant the same cautious response; they’re meaningful and healthy, and can affect quality of life for people nearing the end of theirs.

Can this new research area be applied to LOST?

The show winds up as an End of Life experience. And Christian told Jack that many of his friends died before and after him . . . . which suggests that Jack's experiences on the island could have manifested dreams with his "deceased" friends in a fantasy world.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


The American Chemistry Society has been recently quoted that the brain has a surge of activity, like consciousness, after one dies.

Even after clinical death, your brain probably keeps ticking on for a while. According to recent studies, the brain appears to undergo a final surge — in a way that would normally be associated with consciousness, says a story in The Independent (UK).

It may be that the surge might be responsible for near death experiences. Studies have supported that hypothesis — though scientists are still entirely unsure why the surge happens, or what it signifies.

Then comes biological death. And it’s not clear what happens next.

There’s little way of knowing what happens after all that is over, because people tend not to come back.

In some near death experiences, patients have various recollections of what happened to them.

“"Pure, perfect, uninterrupted sleep, no dreams,” wrote one.

But others described more vivid experiences that apparently hinted at an afterlife.

"I was standing in front of a giant wall of light,” wrote another. “It stretched up, down, left and right as far as I could see. Kind of like putting your eyes 6" from a fluorescent light bulb.

“The next memory I have is waking up in the hospital."

Every culture has its origin stories and its view of a human life cycle. Many believe that the human body is merely a vessel which contains a hidden soul, a non-organic, invisible component that makes life possible. One could speculate that the final brain activity is the soul launching itself from the human body into the next level of existence.

It is a mystery why the brain would have a final surge after the moment of death. Logically, one could understand a brain and person having one last gasp for life before death. But the human body has many redundant systems that we do not fully understand. For example, the human heart beat is both controlled by electro-nerve stimulation and chemical stimulation. If a person's heart nerves are severed (such as in a heart transplant), the new heart will beat because of the body's chemical signals to it. Perhaps the brain has the same redundancy - - - nerve endings may cease before the chemical reactions that cause neuron stimulation.

But this finding is still another mystery of life which we cannot fully comprehend. 

Monday, November 23, 2015


The question of life is never ending.

Even in our modern culture, in stories like Star Wars, there is a belief in a "life force." recently reported that archeologists have found evidence of an ancient Mayan ritual which focused on a belief in human life force and the requirement to feed their gods.
  An ancient arrowhead with human blood on it points to a Maya bloodletting ceremony in which a person's "life force" fed the gods, two researchers say.

The ceremony took place around 500 years ago in a temple in Guatemala. During the ceremony someone was cut open — possibly through the earlobes, tongue or genitals — with an arrowhead made of obsidian (a volcanic glass), and their blood was spilled.

The Mayans believed that each person had a "life force" and that bloodletting allowed this life force to nourish the gods. "The general consensus (among scholars) is that bloodletting was 'feeding' the gods with the human essential life force," said Prudence Rice, a professor emeritus at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

"We know Mayas also participated in bloodletting as a part of birth or coming-of-age ceremonies," said Nathan Meissner, a researcher at the Center for Archaeological Investigations at Southern Illinois University. "This practice served to endow with a soul future generations and connect their life force to those of past ancestors."
Whoever gave their blood may have done so voluntarily and probably survived the ceremony, Rice said.

This life force ceremony was one of many discoveries made in a study published recently by Meissner and Rice in the Journal of Archaeological Science. For the study, they examined 108 arrowheads from five sites in the central Petén region of Guatemala. All the sites had been excavated within the last 20 years and all the arrowheads date to between A.D. 1400 and A.D. 1700.
Using a technique called counter-immunoelectrophoresis they were able to detect the remains of ancient blood on 25 of the arrowheads and identify the types of species they came from. Two of the arrowheads had human blood, while the others held blood from a mix of animals, including rodents, birds, rabbits and large cats.

During the lab procedure, proteins are removed from the arrowheads and tests are conducted to see if the proteins react to serums containing the antibodies of different animals. If a reaction occurs, then it means the proteins from the arrowhead may be from the animal whose antibodies are being tested. 
This technique "has been used occasionally in the last decade, but has some limitations because of cost, its potential for contamination, and its success rate," Meissner said. 

Quite often, ancient proteins don't survive the passage of time and the reactions don't always allow scientists to identify the precise species. For instance, while the researchers were able to tell that four of the arrowheads were coated with the blood of rodents, they couldn't identify what type of rodents were killed.

In the study, the researchers found that two arrowheads had human blood on them. The second arrowhead with human blood was discovered inside an old house near a fortification wall at Zacpetén. Impact damage on the arrowhead suggests it hit a person.

The researchers aren't clear on the story behind this arrowhead. A wounded individual (perhaps someone who was defending the site) may have been carried into the house, where the arrowhead was removed. "There are multiple accounts of Mayas surviving arrow injuries, which could mean they were brought back embedded in living individuals," Meissner said.

Another possibility is that the arrowhead hit someone in a skirmish and the arrow itself was then recycled. "The arrow could have been retrieved from a skirmish and brought back to the residence to reuse the arrow shaft, thus discarding the tip," Meissner said.

Modern man has the arrogance to view ancient civilizations as primitive cultures. However, these cultures had very sophisticated belief systems on par with most modern religions. Their viewpoint of the human spirit and the afterlife has not been determined to be false by modern science. A "life force" or soul is the center piece for trying to understand what happens to us when our mortal time ceases to exist. It remains the ultimate question of what is life?

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Women struggle to find a man who will be the man of her dreams; but as a child the man who made her young dreams come true was her father.

The one man in their life that's holding women back from other men in your life is the shadow of your father.

Growing up is not easy. Parent-child dynamic is complex.

Parents have the greatest influence on how you will grow up. They will form the values, principles and morals that will be the center of your adult core. During childhood,  parents have absolute power over you, and they're the defining influence in your life (and love life) during your formative years.
Fathers often are seen as the disciplinary, the voice of reason and punishment.

If one grows up with relationship issues with one's parents, it can leak into other parts of life.

LOST was filled with women with "daddy issues," which describes a woman's intimacy problems with men as a result of conflict with her father.

It's a concept that makes sense intuitively, but is difficult to explain in words but instinctively generalize.

Sociologists have concluded that many young women come into greater-than-normal conflict with  their fathers growing up, and those issues are transformed in how they deal with other men in the future. Most people can overcome it, depending on the severity of the situation. Others struggle.

Here are some signs a woman might be the latter.

1. You don't trust men.

It's not easy to truth others when the first, most important man to enter your life breaks that trust. Think about how hard it is to trust a partner after you've been cheated on. Broken trust causes people to guard themselves more closely in the future, lest you be hurt again.

2. You generalize men.

Look at your Facebook or Twitter feed and count how many times you see a variation of the phrase "All men are jerks." Most everyone would agree that all people are different. You have to take each person on a case-by-case basis. But if you spent most of your early life dealing with a "jerk," every time you encounter another one it reinforces a bias viewpoint toward all men. 

The problem is, your experience is heavily weighted in your mind toward the jerk example, and it would take tons and tons of great guys to tip the scales in the other direction ... an amount that will likely never happen if everybody is a coin-flip.

3. You need constant attention — positive and negative.

People who miss out on attention from one parent early in life tend to seek it out in others. It can be destructive because you'll take attention however you can get it. Like a child who acts out to get their parents to notice, you can hurt yourself and others.

If your father was aloof or otherwise ignored you growing up, you might be overly needy in a relationship. You can lash out to get your partner's attention when you feel you aren't getting enough of the conventional kind. You may seek out love from strangers in the hope of finding happiness. But this may be another form of negative reinforcement since you cannot find a suitable replacement for the void of your father in your adult life.

4. You're overly defensive.

A common response to pain is to recede into a shell. You can't be hurt if you never put your heart out there. Having a poor relationship with your father may lead you to not let other men get close to you emotionally.

The consequences of this on your love life are far-reaching. Do you never take the "next step" in a relationship? Do you bail at the first sign of trouble? Do you go cold when he wants to get closer?

5. You have trouble committing.

You've seen the fallout of bad relationships and you want no part of it. Whether it's the way your father treated your mother, or your personal relationship with him, you just know what happens when things go badly.

The truth is, it's hard to remember that everybody and every situation is different. Just because your parents got divorced and hated each other doesn't mean that you'll suffer the same fate.

6. You tend to prefer much older men.

In a subconscious effort to reconcile your relationship with your father, you may have a habit of pursuing much older men. You see someone reminiscent of your father showering you with love and attention, and it compensates for that deficit in your relationship with your father in some way.

Monday, November 16, 2015


One of the themes and problems in LOST was how it treated relationships. Many viewers were confused by the choices the writers gave to the final couples in the sideways church. Some people were meant to be with each other, others were not.

A huge amount of social and scientific resources have been spent on trying to figure out the complexities of social relationships. Why people connect. Why people are attracted to each other. Why people fall in and out of love.

It does seem our modern experience does center around attraction. But attraction is a nebulous concept. It is hard to define. It is part emotional bond and instinctive reaction. It may be more superficial than deeply lasting affection.

One way to define ATTRACTION  is:

A: Acceptance

T: Time

T: Trust

R: Respect

A: Admiration

C: Counsel

T: Touch

I: Intelligence

O: Overtness

N: Nurturing

No one can really argue that these ten relationship traits are the foundation for strong bonds between couples. If one adds the modifier "mutual" to each one of these traits, then there is no question there is an unbreakable bond of love.

Sometimes it is easier to accept someone else than to accept yourself. Every individual wants to be accepted for who they are - - - because trying to "fake" it through life is too time consuming and emotionally draining. Everyone has faults, flaws and quirks. Accepting the whole person instead one or two minor issues is the first step on the path to happiness.

Time is an extremely limited and precious commodity that most people take for granted in their lives until it is too late. Spending time with some one you care about is more valuable than working to exhaustion for a couple extra bucks. Time together, even in the dark silence of movie theater, is an expression of commitment.

People are born with instincts to fear the unknown, and to distrust "new" things that could hurt them. Trust must be earned. Trust must be respected. Trust is that the person you care about will be there for you; stand by your side; have your back; fight for you and trust you to make the right decisions.

Respect is also earned. It is important to respect  the person your partner is, what they believe in, being non-judgmental and being kind are all moons orbiting the space of Trust. Do not regrade the other; treat people like you want to be treated.

Admiration is the pleasurable assurance that your partner is doing well. Any supportive gesture goes a long way in smoothing out the highs and lows in any relationship. The effort put into a relationship is just as important as the end result.

Counsel is related to the openness and honesty in a good relationship. You should not have to hesitate in asking the other person questions. You should be able to ask or tell the other person anything that is on your mind without fear of anger or reprisal. You should look to your partner as a best friend and confidant, who can help you make decisions which are in your best interests.

Touch is important because science has shown that in human behavior, non-verbal cues are more important than words. A kiss, a stroke of hair, holding hands speak volumes about the state of the bonds in a relationship. The transformation to the  physical aspect of love make two individuals into one being has been discussed for thousands of years. Compatibility, fun and pleasure are the benefits of a full and healthy relationship.

Overtness is openness and honesty in a relationship. Hiding secrets or feelings are destructive hidden landmines that couples can set which can suddenly destroy what is good between them.

Nurturing is the care for and encouragement  the growth or development of another person, physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally and personally. It is the unconditional support of another person who is trying to find their way, expand their horizons, seeking their dreams or yearning to accomplish goals. This is the glue that will cement any solid relationship.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


It's something everyone suspected, but now it's official: The under-30 crowd is addicted to their cell phones.

Those are the findings of a new survey, which showed that as millennials spend more time engaged on social media platforms, it's causing them to be less social in real life. The study, conducted by Flashgap, a photo-sharing application with more than 150,000 users, found that 87 percent of millennials admitted to missing out on a conversation because they were distracted by their phone.

Meanwhile, 54 percent said they experience a fear of missing out if not checking social networks.

Nearly 3,000 participants were asked about how they felt about social media in social settings, and found that the guiltiest culprits are often females. The study found 76 percent of females check social media platforms at least 10 times when out with friends, compared with 54 percent of males.

The most commonly used apps mentioned in social settings among millennials were Snapchat, Tinder, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

Julian Kabab, co-founder of FlashGap said that people are too focused on looking at social media when they're out at events, and it may be costing them in social interaction. "People miss out on parties because they want to see what's going on, on social networks, take beautiful selfies and add filters to their pictures," he told CNBC.

It especially becomes a problem when there is alcohol involved and regrets the next morning. The survey found that 71 percent of users regret posting a picture on a social network after more than three drinks.

FlashGap's findings echo a similar study conducted in 2014, where research suggested that cell phones were increasingly undermining personal interactions.  A West Virginia University report said that "the presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert individuals from face-to-face exchanges, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections." 

Concerns are growing that the practical impact of mobile device use is making humans more interested in their online lives, and less interested in each other. Yet Kebab told CNBC his intent for FlashGap was to help millenials make their experiences more relevant in real life.

One of the reasons so many young people are drawn into social media circles is that they have less and less real interaction with their peers. If they are on a school sports team, they practice and play everyday so there is little to no time to interact with other kids. If they are study demons, they have little time to interact with anyone except their study group. The ease of quick instant messaging has eased the vacuum of forced scheduling of student lives has on their socialization.

One LOST fan theory was that the entire premise of the show was that it was really a fantasy, social media exchange between lonely, distant, strangers. The elements of this premise were part of the overall fabric of the show. The hook ups were cold and not meaningful like sexting. The friendships were at times impersonal to rude like commentators to trolls commenting on a personal blog. Opinion was more important than actual, verified facts which is a common complaint of the internet.

Another recent report shows that teenagers now spend approximately 9 hours each day using electronic devices. That is a staggering amount of small screen time away from doing normal things like going outside, riding a bicycle, going to a movie, hanging out at the park with friends, etc. They spend more time on their smart technology than in school or sleeping. So this technology is soaking up much of their conscious time it has to affect their dream time - - - or supplants it.

And that could be the engine for the LOST story lines, haphazard, changing, conflicting and fantasy dream constructs that led to a quick turn happy ending that most individuals want in their own stories.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


"I love the Internet because every piece of true pain I've experienced as an adult — with the exception of death in the family and breakups — has come from it." - - - actress Lena Dunham

When a public figure acknowledges that the world around her is a painful place, but then accepts the pain as being part of her public life, there is some profound truth that rises to the surface of our collective intelligence.

The Internet is a vast, open world. But it really is a tool, a utility, to help people communicate thoughts and ideas. However, it has turned into a dark space where trolls, haters, criminals and weak-minded prey on the lives of more fortunate people. High school bullying has gone from the playground to the global stage. 

Since the Internet is an all-consuming place, people can get lost in this world just as an intense gamer can get lost for days or weeks in a open world multi-player epic console game.

Then the lines of reality and virtual reality blur.

People need connections to other people. People need real connections to other people, and not virtual, cliche or fake connections. Friends are different than acquaintances, but on the web more and more people fall into the latter category because they don't do anything else together expect exchange messages or photo tags.

Since the daily interaction with the network and the people who you friend becomes more important, the ability to hurt one another grows exponentially.  People can be meaner because you don't have to be face-to-face to hurt someone. There is a growing segment of people out on the net with the sole purpose to hurt other people (most people they don't even know.)

There was a recent line from Dr. Who which is applicable here. "Hate is such a strong emotion that it should not be wasted on people you dislike." 

Think about that.

If someone or something causes you pain, why continue to interact with it? Because someone or something (like the internet) has woven itself into your core principles, it occupies the center of your mind and thoughts, it makes you a complete being and it defines who you are as a person.

Life is filled with ups and downs, pain and pleasure. The management of those emotional highs and lows is what separates the good from the bad, from those who can cope and those in despair, those who hide from the world from those who live life to the fullest despite the painful pitfalls that the future may hold.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


 Image Credit: Stocco et. al in PLOS One

Mental Floss had an interesting article on brain thought transfer research.

Imagine a future where you could transmit a unique feeling, a hard-to-translate thought process, or precise motor movements via a neural pattern from your brain to someone else’s brain, sharing what can’t otherwise be easily communicated. This is the goal of new research conducted at the University of Washington (UW).

In the UW experiment, test subjects played a 20 Questions–style game through a direct brain-to-brain connection, and accurately guessed what object was on the other person’s mind 72 percent of the time.

“We wanted to show that this brain-to-brain interface can be used to do something highly interactive and collaborative,” says lead author Andrea Stocco, an assistant professor of psychology and researcher at UW’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences.

"The function of the experiment is conceptually simple, Stocco says. Two people sit apart in different buildings. One, the respondent, is wearing a cap connected to electroencephalography machine (EEG) that records electrical brain activity. A magnetic coil is placed behind the head of the other participant, the inquirer. The coil delivers “transcranial magnetic stimulation.” The respondent is given an object to think of, much like in the game Twenty Questions. Then the inquirer chooses questions to send to the respondent via the Internet. The respondent answers the questions using only their brainwaves, by thinking the answer “yes” or “no.”

“Yes and no buttons are designed with lights around them to generate different visual signals, which we can pick up by analyzing brain waves in the visual part of the brain,” Stocco says.

These yes and no answers send a signal to the inquirer and activate the magnetic coil connected to the inquirer’s cap. Only a “yes” answer generates enough stimuli to activate the visual cortex, thus allowing the inquirer to see a subtle flash of light, or “phosphene.”

"We have a lot of control conditions to limit chance and use complicated math to measure the results," Stocco says. “After, we measured performance and found the rate of success was much higher than what would happen by chance."

Participants were able to guess the correct object 72 percent of the time, compared with just 18 percent in the control rounds.

Stocco hopes that this technology could one day be used to “transfer more complicated things” between brains, like emotions but also brain states, such as signals from an alert person to a sleepy one, and other forms of nonverbal communication. “There is an entire realm of things we have a hard time communicating,” Stocco says. He gives the example of one day taking an ADHD student who struggles to focus, and linking them up to the brain of a "neurotypical"person who has good focus. In theory, the calm neural pattern of the neurotypical student could perhaps be transmitted to the ADHD student to help him focus.

“Person-to-person transfer is a long way off, but you would be amazed by the progress,” he says, pointing out that wireless EEG headsets are already available for use in gaming. “We can record brain activity, but no one has been able to transfer it until now. In all kinds of different experiences, the neurosignals recorded could become a shortcut.”

This research has points associated with science fiction stories, such as Ghost in the Shell, where the human mind was linked to the world wide web to communicate directly with other minds.

In LOST, one theory had a "collective consciousness" between all of the main characters. The idea that the characters were not actually experiencing the island adventure but their minds were put into a virtual experiment was a viable explanation of why everyone survived a mid-plane crash and the unexplainable mysteries of the island as being made-up fictional thoughts, nightmares and fantasies.

A direct mental gateway from your mind to your friend's mind would eliminate the need for verbal and nonverbal communication. In some ways, our society is moving toward that direction as more and more young adults rely upon texting messages than actually talking to their friends. If you take away the the requirement of physical activity of texting, and place everyone in their own imaginations, the specter of LOST could come to life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Robert Moss is the creator of Active Dreaming, an original method of dream work and healing through the imagination. Born in Australia, he survived three near-death experiences in childhood. He leads popular seminars all over the world, including a three-year training for teachers of Active Dreaming and a lively online dream school. A former lecturer in ancient history at the Australian National University, he is a bestselling novelist, journalist, and independent scholar. His seven books on dreaming, shamanism and imagination include Conscious Dreaming, Dreamways of the Iroquois, The Three “Only” Things,  and Dreamgates: Exploring the Worlds of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death. 

Moss’s Active Dreaming is an original synthesis of contemporary dreamwork and shamanic methods of journeying and healing. A central premise of Moss’s approach is that dreaming isn’t just what happens during sleep; dreaming is waking up to sources of guidance, healing and creativity beyond the reach of the everyday mind. He introduced his method to an international audience as an invited presenter at the conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams at the University of Leiden in 1994

Over the past fifteen years, he has led seminars at the Esalen Institute, Kripalu, the Omega Institute, the New York Open Center, Bastyr University, John F. Kennedy University, Meriter Hospital, and many other centers and institutions. He has taught in-depth workshops in Active Dreaming in the UK, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Lithuania, Romania, and Austria and leads a three-year training course for teachers of Active Dreaming. He leads popular online dreamwork courses at, writes the “Dream Life” column for Spirituality magazine, and hosts the Way of the Dreamer radio show at

He has appeared on many TV and radio shows, ranging from Charlie Rose and the Today show to Coast to Coast, and including The Diane Rehm Show on NPR, Michael Krasny’s Forum on KQED San Francisco, The Faith Middleton Show on Connecticut Public Radio, and CBC’s Tapestry program. His articles on dreaming have been published in media ranging from Parade to Shaman’s Drum and

He is a former history professor who has become a “dream archeologist." 

He says while “archeology” is often understood to be the science of unearthing and studying antiquities, the root meaning is more profound: it is the study of the arche, the first and essential things. The practice of “dream archeology” requires mastery of a panoply of sources, and the ability to read between the lines and make connections that have gone unnoticed by specialists who were looking for something else. It requires the ability to locate dreaming in its context – physical, social and cultural. And it demands the ability to enter a different time or culture, through the exercise of active imagination, and experience it from the inside as it may have been. These are the skills we need to excavate the inner dimension of the human adventure.

There is a growing line of dream practitioners who are training people to "control" their dreams. Some use the method of pre-sleep suggestion to get your unconscious mind to focus on a type of dream you want to take in REM sleep. Others suggest that what troubles a person before they sleep will find its way into their dreams as a brain's mechanism on how to solve problems or cope with waking issues. There are a few people who can control their livid dreams like a Hollywood director. In these situations, a person may not actually be totally asleep but may be in a stage between daydreaming and actual sleep. A light sleeper may be in more control of its conscious library of thoughts, ideas and images to enhance a dream experience.

It would be revolutionary for people to be able to control their dreams. 

But science still does not fully comprehend why humans dream. Most theorize that dreams take away from the active mind's routine waking tasks. It is a method of "re-charging" the body's energy levels and healing properties. The brain would normally continually be at full active levels like revving a high performance engine. But in order to calm it down, the human body rests or sleeps so the brain engine does not overheat. Other researchers think the brain is a very complex bio-chemical computer which needs to de-fragment its files every night in order to remember information, thoughts, memories and functions. Occasionally, people in dreams may "see" strings of numbers, letters or images zip through their mind's eye like a computer screen compiling lines of program code.

Spiritualists believe that in sleep, a person's soul awakens to analyze its host and to express its beliefs to the subconscious mind. In this view, a person and his or her soul are partners in life. One is in the physical world, the other in the inner, unseen, intangible world of self. The soul may be considered the "inner voice" that some people hear when having to make hard, split second decisions. The soul may also be the instinct and mechanism to protect yourself from yourself, through the use of fear, anxieties and survival modes.

In either situation, human beings for some reason crave adventure. In the real world, most people live real dull lives. Everyone craves some level of adventure, surprise and out-of-comfort-zone accomplishments. Dreams may be the easiest and safest avenue for the human mind to meet those needs of adventure. But at a certain point, humans who think about having new adventures get depressed if they do not have the courage of taking a chance and physically going out to do it. This holds true in the stress and introversion in personal relationships. Sometimes pulling the trigger and asking someone out can open the door to a great adventure or blow up in one's face. The fear of rejection and being hurt is one of those hard wired traits that holds most people back and makes the security blanket of their fantasy dreams harder to break because they can get what they want in their adventure dreams without being hurt by another person.

Most people would say that is living a false life. Life itself is an adventure that one has to take the reins and ride in the real world.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


In ancient Egyptian mythology, when a person dies his or her body needed to be preserved so it could be reunited with the person's soul in the afterlife.

This ritual mummification has mysterious origins that archaeologists and scientists do not quite understand how a culture created such a complex death ritual.

In simple terms, when a person passes away their body "is at rest," but its spirit or soul, embarks on a journey through the underworld. There are many tests, dangers and judgments in this passage toward eternal paradise.

The disunion of the body and soul is the key element. Once the soul completes its journey, its body is resurrected in the after life to be joined back together again. This reconstruction apparently would incorporate all the deceased memories, personality, position and power had as a human being.

This ritual does have a parallel in the LOST universe.

It is hard to grapple with the fact that the characters were in the sideways world, but could not remember their past, especially their island time. If you look at the memory cycle of the main characters it was:


There are a few ways to comprehend this disconnect.

First, the characters were killed in the plane crash, but their "souls" continued to live on to journey through the underworld (the island) on their way to be reunited with their bodies in the sideways world (the awakening). It would then seem that the body and brain would contain the hardware in which to access the memories of the departed, especially those "unknown" or new ones of the soul's passage through the underworld.

Second, the characters were killed in the plane crash, but their "bodies" continued to live on in reincarnated form at a base level while their souls left this plane of existence to create the sideways world purgatory (limbo - - - waiting for their bodies to return). The ancient Egyptians respect for the dead body could be the answer here, since the body is the vessel for the soul. The "new" body could have the physical attributes to move in the plane of another dimension to be re-fused with the old body in the after life.

Third, the characters barely survived the crash but part of their spiritual being prematurely fled to the afterlife (and then had to create a second world, the sideways narrative, in order to provide a beacon for its full soul to find it.) The characters continue to live out their lives, both on and off the island, only coming to re-connect with their departed soul fragment after their death. But this does explain the delay in the reunification of the soul and body with the deep memories of the island time. The island experience is what brought the characters together.

One theory was that Eloise was suppressing the final unification of the body and spirits of the island friends so she could keep her son, Daniel, from awakening and realizing that she had killed him while he time traveled on the island. Only a strong emotional hit or jolt awakened the characters in the sideways world.

These elements do fit in the heavy Egyptian themes on the island but do not fully fit together in the sideways context.