Can life offer us more than the stories we tell ourselves?

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On the surface, meaning-making sounds just dandy. Something to do. Someone to love. Social causes. They all seem to have a place in life. Yet, when we take a closer look, we may notice that the substrates from which we make “meaning” are actually quite distorted and limited. “Reality” as we know it may not be where meaning lies or where we can construct meaning from.

We cannot reliably make meaning from what our senses tell us: For instance, you may be convinced that you are still if you…


How fashion may transform your psychology, brain, genes and longevity

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When you think of fashion, you may immediately think of runways, models, and people who are invested in how they look. Yet, as a style of dress, fashion has a far reaching and transformative impact on what is going on in the “inside” of us, despite appearing on the “outside”.

The inside-outside connection: Say you put something on and look at yourself in a mirror. And say you like it. You immediately feel good. Your brain’s pleasure-generating systems are turned on. …


Why Human Subjectivity Matters in Physical Health Outcomes

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In recent years, medicine has been on a rampage to correlate measurable physiologic markers with health outcomes. For instance, low heart rate variability (HRV) has been associated with a higher risk of death from any cause. And walking an additional 1000 steps per day can help lower the risk of all-cause mortality. Also, eye movement characteristics can be used as biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and other diseases.

Despite these seemingly promising predictors of health outcomes, the chase after biometrics—these physiologic markers—is fraught with “fine print” exceptions that complicate their…


How do you get back to “reality” so that you regain your power as a human?

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When my colleagues and I worked with psychotic patients who told us that the television was sending them messages, it was clear that they were disturbed by their own minds. Somehow, their experience of the world spooked them. They were hearing things that nobody else heard—seeing things that nobody else could see. In fact, we were so concerned about their wellbeing, that we immediately shut off those beastly invasions of their minds. On the surface, this sounds great. …


Why the materialist biological approach to treatment needs to spread its wings

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On the surface, the brain and body appear to be quite self-contained. Powered by sleep and food, materialist biology teaches us that there is nothing beyond our literal existence on earth, and that we are solely in charge of this physical complexity, all of which can be accounted for by the tremendous interactive capabilities within and between our organs. Eat well. Sleep well. Get some fresh air. Exercise. And that’s supposed to be a formula for smooth sailing through life. …


A poem about silly assumptions about leadership, agility, creativity and resilience

photo by vvvita/iStockphoto

I want to know who painted the sky—
Did they use “design thinking”?
I want to know if the designer asked why—
Did they take one step at a time
Or practice and practice until they arrived
At their destination?

I want to know if the sun is an artist and if trying or being
Is what we are seeing?
I want to know if the sun went to school
And if its brilliance
Requires resilience?
Or rather, constant, shaky rumblings of its soul?

I want to know if…


The Dark Side of Reskilling and a Potential Solution

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There are many cogent and convincing arguments for reskilling. Many authorities believe that this is the mainstay of the future of work, or a real way to upgrade the future of low wage earners. Others argue that reskilling is also a tool to empower employees, or a way to prepare the workforce of the future. While all of these arguments make sense, they also have a dark side. They obscure the fact that humans are not circus animals, and that circus animals don’t work because they want or need a job…


A poem about the earthquake that hit humanity (and what saved it)

Photo by Marc Dufresne | iStockphotoo

When the Internet came—
There was a groundswell of enthusiasm
About connection.
But then, there was a rumble—
A roar—
And the earthquake that hit humanity.

In a short time‚
Cracks and crevices became canyons.
All this closeness was too much.
Like a rushed marriage of 4.57 billion people—
A consciousness orgy of untameable passion—
We crumbled.

In the midst of confusion, chaos and collective trauma—
Our hearts suffered from this onslaught of intimacy.
And logic was in no shape to save us.
The fault lines of our dogmas and our…


Why science falls short when it is independent of metaphysics

Illustration by Planet Flem

One of the most peculiar teachings in the biological sciences is the requirement of “proof” and what this actually is. In the physical sciences, the burden of proof is often in “deduction” (e.g. You can’t see “gravity” but when you see an apple fall, you can deduce that a force is exerted on that apple.) However, in the biological sciences, the burden of proof is frequently in “perception”. If you can see it, it exists. If you can count it, it’s real. If you can touch it, even better. But…

Dr. Srini Pillay

Harvard-trained Psychiatrist. Tech entrepreneur. Brain Researcher. Executive Coac. Author: Tinker Dabble Doodle Try, King T and the Gamma Troupe .

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