To keep our ancestors alive, the brain evolved strong tendencies toward fear, including an ongoing internal trickle of unease. This little whisper of worry keeps you scanning your inner and outer worlds for signs of trouble.
This background of unsettledness and watchfulness is so automatic that you can forget it’s there. So see if you can tune into a tension, guarding or bracing in your body. Or a vigilance about your environment or other people. Or a block against completely relaxing, letting down, letting go. Try to walk through an office or store that you know is safe without a molecule of wariness; it’s really hard. Or try to sit at home for five minutes … Read more »
I’ve always liked lizards.
Growing up in the outskirts of Los Angeles, I played in the foothills near our home. Sometimes I’d catch a lizard and stroke its belly, so it would relax in my hands, seeming to feel at ease.
In my early 20′s, I found a lizard one chilly morning in the mountains. It was torpid and still in the cold and let me pick it up. Concerned that it might be freezing to death, I placed it on the shoulder of my turtleneck, where it clung and occasionally moved about for the rest of the day. There was a kind of wordless communication between us, in which the lizard seemed to feel … Read more »
Evolution — at least in the United States — has a deeply troubled relationship with religion. Or at least it does with some religions.
As you can see from the Pew Trust chart below, Buddhists on the whole (81% of them) think that evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on Earth.
In fact of all the religious traditions included on the chart, Buddhists are the most accepting of evolution, with evangelical Christians, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses being the least accepting.
Those of us who value an objective and evidence-based (read “scientific”) understanding of the world are greatly disturbed by attempts to displace sound science from the classroom, to introduce spurious … Read more »