Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

Thursday, January 29, 2015

BJ Fogg: Individuals Must Change Habits for Better Health




Uploaded on May 18, 2011
BJ Fogg, Director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, was the first of three speakers on the subject of changing behaviors and changing policies at the 2011 GSB Healthcare Summit.

In his address, he focused on behavior change at the individual level and the essential steps for people to build new habits.

Related Links:
Stanford GSB Program in Healthcare Innovation: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/phi/
Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab: http://captology.stanford.edu/
  • License = Standard YouTube License


Link: http://youtu.be/5WaToiunuWY

 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quotes: William Blake


William Blake by Thomas Phillips.jpg
William Blake in a portrait
by Thomas Phillips (1807)



“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”

― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence


“A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.”
― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence


“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
― William Blake


“If a thing loves, it is infinite.”
― William Blake


“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
― William Blake


“I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's.”
― William Blake


“The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.”
― William Blake


“The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.”
― William Blake


“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”
― William Blake


“What is now proved was once only imagined.”
― William Blake


“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”
― William Blake


“Truth can never be told so as to be understood and not be believed.”
― William Blake


“For all eternity, I forgive you and you forgive me.”
― William Blake


To Generalize is to be an Idiot. To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of Merit. General Knowledges are those Knowledges that Idiots possess.
― William Blake


“Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience


“He who kisses joy as it flies by will live in eternity's sunrise.”
― William Blake


“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.”
― William Blake


“A man can't soar too high, when he flies with his own wings.”
― William Blake


“He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.”
― William Blake


“THE POISON TREE

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.”
― William Blake


“Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.”
― William Blake

“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”
― William Blake


“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”
― William Blake


“Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night. ”
― William Blake, Songs of Experience



“I was walking among the fires of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity.”
― William Blake


“My mother groaned, my father wept,
into the dangerous world I leapt.”
― William Blake


“Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


That the Jews assumed a right exclusively to the benefits of God will be a lasting witness against them and the same will it be against Christians.
Blake, William


The inquiry in England is not whether a man has talents and genius, but whether he is passive and polite and a virtuous ass and obedient to noblemen's opinions in art and science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved. - Blake, William

.........................................

“The most sublime act is to set another before you.”
― William Blake
tags: self-sacrifice


“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is - infinite.”
― William Blake


“And we are put on this earth a little space that we might learn to bear the beams of love”
― William Blake


“I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.”
― William Blake


“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath
And the want
Of thought is death

Then am I
A happy fly
If I live
Or if I die”
― William Blake


“Exuberance is beauty.”
― William Blake


“He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.”
― William Blake


“Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.”
― William Blake


“Never seek to tell thy love; Love that never told can be. For the gentle wind does move silently.. invisibly.”
― William Blake


“Can I see another's woe and not be in sorrow, too? Can I see another's grief and not seek for kind relief?”
― William Blake


“I will not reason and compare my business is to create.”
― William Blake


“Man was made for joy and woe
Then when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine
A clothing for the soul to bind.”
― William Blake


“Some are born to sweet delight, Some are born to endless night.”
― William Blake


“A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.
A Dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus’d upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fiber from the Brain does tear.”
― William Blake


“Everything to be imagined is an image of truth.”
― William Blake


“For every thing that lives is Holy.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.”
― William Blake


“To see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.”
― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence


“Those who control their passions do so because their passions are weak enough to be controlled.”
― William Blake


“When i tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.”
― William Blake


“If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they'd immediately go out.”
― William Blake



“Knowledge is Life with wings”
― William Blake


“This life's dim windows of the soul
Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
And leads you to believe a lie
When you see with, not through, the eye.”
― William Blake


“Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion”
― William Blake


................................

“He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.”
― William Blake


“The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert, that God spoke to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, and so be the cause of imposition.

Isaiah answer'd, I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in every thing, and as I was then persuaded, & remain confirm'd; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“For Mercy has a human heart
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“Mercy is the golden chain by which society is bound together.”
― William Blake


“The crow wished everything was black, the Owl, that everything was white.”
― William Blake


“Energy is eternal delight.”
― William Blake


“LOVE'S SECRET

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.
Ah! she did depart!

Soon after she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly:
He took her with a sigh.”
― William Blake


“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“The lamb misused breeds public strife
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.”
― William Blake


“What is grand is necessarily obscure to weak men. That which can be made explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.”
― William Blake


“thus men forgot that all deities reside in the human breast.”
― William Blake


“Opposition is true Friendship.”
― William Blake, The Portable Blake


“Both read the Bible day and night,
But thou read'st black where I read white.”
― William Blake


“Sooner strangle an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.”
― William Blake


“The Fly

Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”
― William Blake


“Each man must create his own system or else he is a slave to another mans”
― William Blake


“The weak in courage is strong in cunning.”
― William Blake


“Expect poison from the standing water.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow”
― William Blake


“Jerusalem (1804)
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen

And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spears o'clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land”
― William Blake


“Make your own rules or be a slave to another man's.”
― William Blake


“And is he honest who resists his genius or conscience only for the sake of present ease or gratification”
― William Blake


“A DIVINE IMAGE

Cruelty has a human heart,
And Jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
And Secresy the human dress.

The human dress is forged iron,
The human form a fiery forge,
The human face a furnace sealed,
The human heart its hungry gorge.”
― William Blake


“I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand.”
― William Blake


“Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“Children of the future age
Reading this indignant page
Know that in a former time
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime”
― William Blake


“Dip him in the river who loves water.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell



“The Sick Rose

O Rose, thou art sick.
The invisible worm
That flies in the night
In the howling storm

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.”
― William Blake










..............................................


“The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.”
― William Blake, The Complete Poetry and Prose



“When the stars threw down their spears, and watered heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me.”
― William Blake



“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?


And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?


What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?


When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?


Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?”
― William Blake


“And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.”
― William Blake


“He who replies to words of doubt
doth put the light of knowledge out.”
― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence


“The prince's robes and beggar's rags,
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent,
Beats all the lies you can invent”
― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence



“To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions.”
― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
tags: interesting 11 people liked it like
“But to go to school in a summer morn,
O! It drives all joy away;
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.”
― William Blake




“Oh! why was I born with a different face? why was I not born like the rest of my race? when
I look,each one starts! when I speak, I offend; then Im silent & passive & lose every friend. Then
my verse I dishonour, my pictures despise, my person degrade & my temper chastise; and the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame; all my talents I bury, and dead is my fame. Im either too low or too highly prized; when elate I m envy'd, when meek Im despis'd”
― William Blake



“I know it's long, but the whole thing is my favorite literary anything--it's from "The Four Zoas"

I am made to sow the thistle for wheat; the nettle for a nourishing dainty
I have planted a false oath in the earth, it has brought forth a poison tree
I have chosen the serpent for a councellor & the dog for a schoolmaster to my children
I have blotted out from light & living the dove & the nightingale
And I have caused the earthworm to beg from door to door
I have taught the thief a secret path into the house of the just
I have taught pale artifice to spread his nets upon the morning
My heavens are brass my earth is iron my moon a clod of clay
My sun a pestilence burning at noon & a vapor of death in night

What is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath his house his wife his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the withered field where the farmer plows for bread in vain

It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun
And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer
To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season
When the red blood is filled with wine & with the marrow of lambs
It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements
To hear a dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan
To see a god on every wind & a blessing on every blast
To hear the sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, & the sickness that cuts off his children

While our olive & vine sing & laugh round our door & our children bring fruits and flowers
Then the groans & the dolor are quite forgotten & the slave grinding at the mill
And the captive in chains & the poor in the prison, & the soldier in the field
When the shattered bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead

It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity
Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!”
― William Blake


“I must Create a System or be enslav'd by another Man's.
I will not Reason Compare: my business is to Create.”
― William Blake


“Men are admitted into heaven not because they have curbed and governed their passions or have no passions, but because they have cultivated their understandings. The treasures of heaven are not negations of passion, but realities of intellect, from which all the passions emanate uncurbed in their eternal glory.”
― William Blake


“Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache: do be my enemy for friendship's sake.”
― William Blake


“The Devil answer'd: bray a fool in a morter with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbaths God? murder those who were murder'd because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defense before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments; Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The eye altering, alters all.”
― William Blake


“I went to the Garden of Love
And saw what I never had seen;
A chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play in the green

And the gates of this chapel were shut,
And 'Thou shalt not' writ over the door,
So I turned to the garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore,

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.”
― William Blake



“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”
― William Blake


“And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds and binding with briars my joys and desires. (from 'The Garden of Love')”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience



“For Mercy has a human heart;
Pity, a human face;
And Love, the human form divine:
And Peace the human dress.


Songs of Innocence

Cruelty has a human heart
And jealousy a human face,
Terror the human form divine,
And secrecy the human dress.

The human dress is forged iron,
The human form a fiery forge,
The human face a furnace seal'd,
The human heart its hungry gorge.

Songs of Experience - This poem was discovered posthumously.”
― William Blake


“When nations grow old the Arts grow cold
And commerce settles on every tree”
― William Blake


“How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring?”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“Sweet babe, in thy face Soft desires I can trace, Secret joys and secret smiles, Little pretty infant wiles.”
― William Blake


“What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the wither'd field where the farmer ploughs for bread in vain

It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer's sun
And in the vintage and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the homeless wanderer
To listen to the hungry raven's cry in wintry season
When the red blood is fill'd with wine and with the marrow of lambs

It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughterhouse moan;
To see a god on every wind and a blessing on every blast
To hear sounds of love in the thunderstorm that destroys our enemies' house;
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field and the sickness that cuts off his children
While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door and our children bring fruits and flowers

Then the groan and the dolour are quite forgotten and the slave grinding at the mill
And the captive in chains and the poor in the prison and the soldier in the field
When the shatter'd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity:
Thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me.”
― William Blake


“Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night.”
― William Blake


“The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!”
― William Blake, The Complete Poetry and Prose


“The moon, like a flower in heaven's high bower, with silent delight sits and smiles on the night.”
― William Blake


“It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.”
― William Blake


“How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?”
― William Blake



“Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by incapacity.”
― William Blake


“May God us keep
From Single vision
and Newton's sleep.”
― William Blake


“He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars; General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite and flatterer: For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars.”
― William Blake


“The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.”
― William Blake


Auguries of innocence

"He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mock'd in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.

He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.”
― William Blake


“Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life.”
― William Blake


“To cast aside from Poetry, all that is not Inspiration”
― William Blake


“Auguries of innocence
"The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.”
― William Blake


“Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Time's swiftness/ Which is the swiftest of all things: all were eternal torment.”
― William Blake, Milton a Poem


“Down the winding cavern we groped our tedious way, till a void boundless as the nether sky appeared beneath us, and we held by the roots of trees and hung over this immensity; but I said: if you please we will commit ourselves to this void and see whether providence is here also.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the end of six thousand years is true, as I have heard from Hell.

For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard at tree of life, and when he does, the whole creation will be consumed, and appear infinite, and holy whereas it now appears finite & corrupt.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity, too great for the eye of man.”
― William Blake


“A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.”
― William Blake


“But when he has done this, let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“The busy bee has no time for sorrow.”
― William Blake


“I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every black'ning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot's curse
Blasts the new born Infant's tear,
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience
tags: london 6 people liked it like
“Without contraries there is no progression.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
5 people liked it like
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven's gate
Built in Jerusalem's wall.”
― William Blake


“Pity would be no more,
If we did not make somebody poor.
Mercy no more could be,
If all were happy as we.”
― William Blake


“Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling.
And being restrain'd it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire.”
― William Blake



“Every harlot was a virgin once”
― William Blake


“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom...You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough.”
― William Blake, Proverbs of Hell


“The naked woman’s body is a portion of eternity too great for the eye of man.”
― William Blake


“A dead body revenges not injuries.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers.”
― William Blake


“Infant Joy
I have no name
I am but two days old.-
What shall I call thee?
I happy am
Joy is my name,-
Sweet joy befell thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy but two days old.
Sweet joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile.
I sing the while
Sweet joy befell thee.”
― William Blake


“The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could perceive.
And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity;
Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav’d the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects: thus began Priesthood;
Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.
And at length they pronounc’d that the Gods had order’d such things.
Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ'd.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“Auguries of innocence
"It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.”
― William Blake


“The cut worm forgives the plow”
― William Blake


“The Learned, who strive to ascend into Heaven by means of learning, appear to Children like dead horses, when repelled by the celestial spheres.”
― William Blake


“What the hammer? What the Chains?
In what furnace was thy brain?
Where the anvil? What dread grasp?
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?”
― William Blake, The Tyger


“What is Above is Within ... the Circumference is Winthin, Without is formed the Selfish Center, and the Circumference still expands going forward to Eternity.”
― William Blake, Jerusalem


“The difference between a good artist and a bad one is: the bad artist seems to copy a great deal, the good one really does.”
― William Blake


“Thou art a man
God is no more
Thy own humanity
Learn to adore”
― William Blake


“Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright in the forests of the night...”
― William Blake


“The following Discourse [on art, by Sir Joshua Reynolds] is particularly Interesting to Blockheads as it endeavours to prove that There is No such thing as Inspiration & that any Man of a plain Understanding may by Thieving from Others become a Mich Angelo.”
― William Blake



“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Auguries of Innocence

..A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm'd for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.”
― William Blake


“Than you'll see the world as it is : infinte.”
― William Blake


“I must invent my own system or else be enlsaved by other men's.”
― William Blake


“The stars are threshed, and the souls are threshed from their husks.”
― William Blake



“The Holy Word
That walk'd among the ancient trees,

Calling the laps├Ęd soul,
And weeping in the evening dew;
That might control
The starry pole,
And fallen, fallen light renew!”
― William Blake


“The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations.”
― William Blake


“Enthusiastic admiration is the first principle of knowledge and the last”
― William Blake


“Man has no Body distinct from his soul; for that called Body is a portion of a Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.”
― William Blake


“When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend”
― William Blake


“The mind forg'd manacles I hear.”
― William Blake


“In a wife I would desire / What in whores is always found / The lineaments of gratified desire.”
― William Blake


“Fiery the Angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll’d
Around their shores, indignant burning with the fires of Orc…”
― William Blake, Blake's "America: A Prophecy" and "Europe: A Prophecy": Facsimile Reproductions of Two Illuminated Books


“How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake, Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience, And Other Works: With A Selective Appendix Of Shorter Poems From Blake's Manuscripts


“…excuse my enthusiasm or rather madness, for I am really drunk with intellectual vision whenever I take a pencil or graver into my hand.”
― William Blake, William Blake


“That which can be made Explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.”
― William Blake, The Complete Poetry and Prose



If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till her sees all things throu' narrow chinks of the cavern.
― William Blake



“IV The bounded is loathed by its possessor. The same dull round even of a universe would soon become a mill with complicated wheels.

V If the many become the same as the few, when possess'd, More! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul, less than All cannot satisfy Man.

VI If any could desire what he is incapable of possessing, despair must be his eternal lot.

VII The desire of Man being Infinite the possession is Infinite & himself Infinite.”

― William Blake, The Complete Poetry and Prose


“Damn braces...bless relaxes.”
― William Blake


“If you have form'd a Circle to go into, / Go into it yourself & see how you would do.”
― William Blake


“And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?”
― William Blake


“The cistern contains: the fountain overflows.”
― William Blake

“We become what we behold.”
― William Blake, Jerusalem


“To Generalize is to be an Idiot; To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of Merit.”
― William Blake


“Think in the morning. Act in the noon.”
― William Blake


“You cannot have Liberty in this world without what you call Moral Virtue, and you cannot have Moral Virtue without the slavery of that half of the human race who hate what you call Moral Virtue.”
― William Blake


“I said: 'Thou thing of patches, rings,
Pins, necklaces and suchlike things,
Disguiser of the female form,
Thou paltry, gilded poisonous worm!”
― William Blake


“The path of excess leads to the tower of wisdom”
― William Blake


“Without a use this shining woman lived - Or did she only live to be at death the food of worms.”
― William Blake, The Book of Thel


“Pluck thou my flower, Oothoon the mild; Another flower shall spring, because the soul of sweet delight Can never pass away.”
― William Blake, The Book of Thel


“When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.”
― William Blake


“The road of excess lea to the palace of wisdom”
― William Blake



“He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite & flatterer.”
― William Blake


.................................



Sources:

Link: http://quotationsbook.com/quote/16612/#sthash.SEr1oqVx.dpuf ― William Blake

Link: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/13453.William_Blake

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake


The mindful way through depression: Zindel Segal

The Hero’s Journey and “Brain-based” Teaching


Posted on October 22, 2012

Reg Harris  

The journey schema and brain research

by Reg Harris





I have been teaching the hero's journey pattern as a foundation to study literature and film since 1986.

I have seen it work wonders, especially with students who tend to see little relevance between a purely academic approach to literature and what they are experiencing in their "real" lives.

The journey pattern has a remarkable power make literature relevant by giving a students a point of comparison between the literature they study and the lives they live.

Once students understand the journey pattern and the processes within it, they can—sometimes with a little help from the teacher—see connections between the challenges faced by fictional characters and the challenges they face in their own lives.

They can transfer the themes and lessons they take from literature to understanding and decision-making in their own adventures. In short, the journeys they study become aids for the journeys they live.

The Brain and the Journey

In 1997, 22 years after I began using the hero's journey and 11 years after I began to study it, I learned the biological/neurological reason that the hero's journey is such a powerful teaching and learning tool. 

 Our school had an in-service presentation by Pat Wolfe, a specialist in brain-research and its implications for teaching and learning.
Wolfe explained that brain researchers have made important discoveries in how memory works and how the brain processes information.
The implications of this research suggest teaching techniques which are more compatible with how we learn.

During that meeting, I realized that several of the teaching techniques suggested by brain research meshed extremely well with the strength of the Hero's Journey approach to literature.

Implications of Brain-based research

Research tells us that the information we learn passes through our brain's limbic system, the center of our emotion and the controller of survival functions (i.e., the "fight-or-flight" response).
As a result, our learning process is geared toward survival and is driven by emotion. Information which is not important emotionally to us never makes it through to the long-term memory.

According to Robert Sylwester, author of A Celebration of Neurons: An Educator's Guide to the Human Brain (1995):

We have deeply embedded, innate systems that cull out of the environment those things that are either dangerous or helpful to us….Emotion drives attention, and attention drives learning…our attentional system determines what is important, and you never remember anything if it's not important.
 
This brings us to the first implication brain-based research has for our teaching: students must see the importance of what we are trying to teach them, and the importance of information is determined by the emotion it carries.

Material cannot be remembered unless it has emotional content.

A second discovery is that we learn best when we can hook new information to something which we already know.

Our existing informational frameworks are called "schema."

According to Wolfe (2001):

A schema provides a structure or guide for understanding.

In order to comprehend, we select a schema that seems appropriate and fill in the missing information.

Without the appropriate schema, trying to understand a story, textbook, or classroom lesson is like trying to find your way through a new town without a map.
 
A third discovery is that our brains have difficulty processing random, unrelated bits of information.

We learn best in "clumps" of related information.

This suggests that a "theme-based" approach to teaching is more effective than an approach which teaches isolated bits of knowledge.

Closely related to "clumping" is a fourth concept: the brain learns best when it can "chunk" information.

According to Wolfe:
A chunk is any coherent group of items of information that we can remember as if it were a single item.

A word is a chunk of letters, remembered as easily as a single letter (but carrying much more information).
The implication here is that if we group or organize information into meaningful chunks, that information can learn it more quickly and effectively.
 
So how does the Hero's Journey pattern fit into all of this?

Let's look at each of these four points individually.

Relevance and emotion

Students must see the importance of what we are trying to teach them and they must feel an emotional involvement in the material.

Perhaps nothing is more emotional (thus important) to students than what is happening in their own lives.

They become deeply involved in material which has direct applicability to what they are experiencing.

The Hero's Journey has this impact:

When students study it, they realize that the pattern applies to their own lives as much as to literature.

As one of my ninth graders wrote in 2000:
The Hero's Journey is way of guidance and helps us in our lives. For me, the Hero's Journey has opened my eyes . . . showed me how we face our fears . . .made me look at things in a whole new perspective. . . It will help me in the future by pointing me in the right direction in life.

Creating and using schema

We learn best when we can hook new information to something which we already know, a schema.

A "schema" is a framework of knowledge or information which the student already knows and understands.

worth repeating Pat Wolfe's words here because she could easily have been describing the Hero's Journey pattern:
A schema provides a structure or guide for understanding.
…Without the appropriate schema, trying to understand a story, textbook, or classroom lesson is like trying to find your way through a new town without a map.
 
As schema, the hero's journey pattern works in two ways.
First, students come to us with many years of life experience.
They have been called to adventures, faced challenges, and grown from what they have experienced. Although they have never defined it, they already know the hero's journey pattern because they are living it.

They also "study" the journey pattern constantly in the stories they read, the films they watch and even in the stories they tell each other and themselves.

So, the schema for understanding the journey is already in their brains.

All we do is help them understand a pattern they already know.

Once learned, journey pattern itself becomes a schema which students can use to understand and apply what the literature and film they will study in the future.

"Theme-based" teaching

A "theme-based"approach to teaching is more effective than an approach which teaches isolated bits of knowledge.

Teaching the hero's journey is, essentially, teaching the theme of human change and growth.
This is a theme that students know well, so they can relate to it quickly on a profound level.

Once the students understand the processes and themes innate in the journey pattern, they will see them in literature and film.
As a result, they will better remember story details because they have the journey schema as a scaffolding for memory.
They will also understand how plot and conflict are important to the character's transformation because these elements are part of a unified theme.
Students also see the "shadow" images of these themes.
They will see that when characters reject the call to grow, change and adapt, those characters will experience bitterness, stagnation and, to use Joseph Campbell's description, spiritual "death."

In addition, students who understand the themes presented in the Hero's Journey interpret literature, film and television with more understanding and discernment.

One student wrote,
It was cool to watch a movie that I've seen a hundred times and then watch after I learned about the hero's journey in a totally different light. It's cool to look at characters and just automatically tell if they have gone through the hero's journey. I think it has helped me understand everything, including life, a whole lot better.

Chunking information for learning

We must group information into meaningful chunks for students to learn it effectively.
Chunking refers to combining smaller bits of information into a coherent group so that we can remember the material as if it were a single item that has some kind of meaning.

For example, if I asked you to remember the random letters "s, h, r, e, j, y, r, n, e, u, o and r," you almost certainly couldn't do it. However, if I ask you to remember "hero's journey," you could do that easily. They are the same letters, but organized into meaningful chunks. By remember the chunks, we remember the parts.
I've found that students who understand the hero's journey pattern naturally "chunk" information automatically. The pattern of the journey provides a heuristic through which they can effectively unite the specific details of plot, character, setting and conflict. As a result, they can remember material more easily and thoroughly.

Conclusion

Teaching the hero's journey pattern as a basis for studying literature and film meets the goals of brain-based learning. It is relevant and emotional, it builds on existing schema and then becomes a schema itself for future study, and it helps students "clump" and "chunk" the details of even the most complex piece of literature.

For me, however, perhaps the most important way the hero's journey fulfills the goals of brain-based learning is that it makes literature authentic by making it relevant to "real life." Students discover that literature is important. They begin to understand how a character faces a journey, and they can relate that understanding to the experiences in their own lives. As one of my ninth graders expressed the idea,
From the first day we learned it, every time I picked up a book I would start seeing it. Every time I saw a movie, I could find it (yes, even in the Simpsons). …It even relates to our own lives. I can find many hero's journeys in our lives.

References

Sylwester, R. (1995).  A Celebration of neurons: An educator's guide to the human brain. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Wolfe, P. (2001). Brain matters: Translating research into classroom practice. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

 

 

 

 Link: http://www.yourheroicjourney.com/the-heros-journey-and-brain-based-teaching/

 

 

 

 

 

.......................................

 

 

Life Changing Methodology


In changing your life:
(#1) Focus on what's going well. Expand on it.
(#2) Use what doesn't work as guide for revision.
No self-blame
 
 
 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Mindful Awareness Research Center


About MARC

 
"Direct your eye right inward, and you'll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be expert in home-cosmography" 
- Henry David Thoreau
 

The Mindful Awareness Research Center is a partner of the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology within the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.


MARC's mission is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society.
 
Contemporary culture in the United States is marked by extraordinary advances in science and technology, yet coupled with these advances is an increasing sense of pressure, complexity and information overload. Individuals across the lifespan are feeling tremendous stress, which is contributing to a variety of mental and physical health problems and diseases.
 
Mindful awareness can be defined as paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. It is an excellent antidote to the stresses of modern times. It invites us to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one's inner experience. There are many ways to bring mindfulness into one's life, such as meditation, yoga, art, or time in nature. Mindfulness can be trained systematically, and can be implemented in daily life, by people of any age, profession or background.
 
In the last ten years, significant research has shown mindfulness to address health issues such as lower blood pressure and boost the immune system; increase attention and focus, including aid those suffering from ADHD; help with difficult mental states such as anxiety and depression, fostering well-being and less emotional reactivity; and thicken the brain in areas in charge of decision making, emotional flexibility, and empathy.
 
MARC was created to bring to a renowned mental health research institution the ancient art of mindful awareness in a scientifically supported and rigorous form.
 
Our center:
  • offers classes and workshops to the general public, teaching the skills of mindfulness across the lifespan
  • fosters and publicizes research to support the scientific benefits of mindful awareness
  • brings mindfulness to professionals through UCLA's medical education program-including doctors, medical students, staff and faculty
  • offer mindfulness tools and classes to support mental health professionals
"The Intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind a faithful servant, we have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
- Albert Einstein





About UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC)- Los Angeles, CA:
Link: http://marc.ucla.edu/


UCLA MARC @uclamarc · Jul 3

“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now."
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

UCLA Mindful

@uclamarc

Our mission is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society.
Los Angeles


 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Priortizing



Few challenges seem greater today than delaying instant gratification and focusing on the activities that require greater effort but ultimately yield more enduring value. Think about the endless incoming emails and texts.How often do you interrupt whatever you’re doing to answer them? How often is that the best way you could be using your time and attention?

Three principles seem critical here, and all of them have to do with being more intentional. The first one is that we each have a limited reservoir of energy — and, specifically, of will and discipline. Each time we exercise conscious effort, we draw down whatever is left in our tank.

The first important lesson is to take on the most difficult and important tasks when you have the most energy.

If what you’re doing really matters, turn off your digital life for a designated period, much the way it makes sense to remove high-calorie foods from your house if you’re on a diet.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle”
Put another way, we’re far more likely to accomplish what we schedule. 
Rituals — behaviors that become automatic so that we no longer have to think about doing them, such as, doing the most important thing first in the morning or exercising at a designated time.

To have clear intention for each new day, plan the next day around your priorities.   At the same time,  assess your performance that day.  Did you complete your priority tasks? 

Image preview
 
 
 

Link: http://ht.ly/H1j56

 

Release Tension

Image preview
The Energy Project@energy_project
If you sit at a desk all day, try out these stretches to release tension via @cosmopolitan http://ow.ly/i/8cVwa

The Essential Habit of Rest


When someone is training for a marathon or any regular exertion of physical exercise, any credible trainer would emphasize the importance of resting the body. If you don’t rest the body, the probability goes up for injury. Our brains run in exactly the same way. All day long most of us are doing some sort of mental gymnastics – problem solving, planning for the future, and putting out fires. Just like our bodies, if our mind doesn’t get proper rest (besides good sleep), we are likely to burnout with symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression.
 
Here are 7 tips to get in the habit of putting your brain to rest:
(Note: If you catch the judgment, I’ve heard of these before, check in to see when the last time you did them was. If it’s been a while, make a plan now).
  1. Go Out in Nature – Go out and visit nature regularly, whether it’s a forest, the ocean, a park, or by a lake. Absorb the relaxing surrounding.
  2. Engage a Hobby – Consider what a purposeless stress-less hobby might be. Maybe it’s drawing, painting, or working on some form of mechanics. It can be sailing, learning the guitar, or learning about horses. Whatever it is, make some space for it.
  3. Do a Mindful Check-in – Take a minute a few times a day to just pause and rest. Do a mindful check-in where you note how you’re feeling physically, emotionally and mentally. Breathe and let go. See the explanation of this practice through a clip of an interview at Psychotherapy Networker here).
  4. Read a Book – Allow this to be something you’re interested in for its sake, not something you have to read for work. Turn off the television from time to time and read for fun.
  5. Listen to Music – Lay down, close your eyes and just listen to music. This can be your favorite music from years ago, or set a Pandora station and just be surprised by what comes up.
  6. Take a Bath – Often times an overlooked favorite. If you have a bathtub, take a nice long bubble bath, put on a candle and some music if you like, just relax with a little you time.
  7. Count Your Blessings – This is also a good way to settle your brain at the end of the day, look back and see what in the day you were grateful for. The notice how you feel. What would life be like if this was more automatic?
These are just a few to get you started.
You may have your own ways of bringing more rest into your life. If so, share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.


 


 

How to change your home to transform your life


Link: http://goodlifezen.com/

how to change your home to transform your life




Mary Jaksch: This is a post by my friends, Laura Carlin and Alison Forbes. Watch the inspiring video in this post, The Secret to Clearing Your Clutter Today, and sign up quickly for their free mini course,

  How to Make Simple Changes in Your Home to Transform Your Life

Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your life?

Do you feel like your to-do list gets longer each day?

The pace of life seems to accelerate each year, schedules are full, we have endless choices, a lot of stuff, and an overwhelming amount of information to process.

If we don’t consciously and continually take steps to simplify, we will be too overwhelmed and inundated by our stuff to focus on the things that are really meaningful to us, such as our relationships with our loved ones, our hobbies and passions, time to connect with our values, dreams and purpose, and time to care for ourselves.

A great place to begin simplifying is to clear your clutter. When we clear our clutter we free up more time and energy and create more space so we can enjoy the things that truly matter to us.

Clutter makes us feel badly about ourselves, distracts us from what is truly meaningful, and ties us to the past.

Clutter also comes between us and our loved ones and becomes a source of conflict. 

Simply put, clutter means delay.

Delay of our dreams and delay of the life we desire (in fact, you may find your dream is already there, you just can’t see it and experience it because there is too much stuff in the way!)

Watch the video below to see how you can start easily clearing clutter today…



If you found the video helpful, click here to sign up to our free video mini-series, Simple Steps to Change Your Home to Transform Your Life

If you are going to get rid of something, first you need to recognize it. So, what is clutter?

In a nutshell, clutter is anything that is not useful, beautiful or loved.

Here are three easy steps to clear your clutter:

1. Start Small: begin with one drawer, one section of the closet or one shelf and complete that area before moving on to the next. Starting small will ensure successful completion and inspire you to move on to the next area.

2. Take everything out or off of the closet, drawer or shelf and clean. This part of clutter clearing is often overlooked, but it is essential to success. If you don’t take everything out you will be apt to “cheat,” ie. you will rifle through your drawers, perhaps take a few things out, but not truly address each item. Taking everything out ensures you will address each item before you put it back. Next, dust and clean the shelf or drawer or area before putting anything back. You will not want to put clutter back into a fresh clean space.

3. Give each item the ‘Beautiful, Useful or Loved’ Test. If it does not meet at least one of those criteria, it’s time to give it away, throw it away, recycle or sell it.

Now that you have a start on clearing clutter, you’ll want to stay clutter-free. While there will always be some degree of routine clutter clearing in our lives, we can prevent clutter overwhelm by understanding the causes.

We have found that at the root of clutter are fear and indecision. Before you bring anything new into your home, or as you’re clutter clearing, ask yourself the following questions:

Would I keep this if I love and accepted myself just as I am?

Would I keep this if I trusted that my needs will be met on time and in time?

Would I keep this if I felt financially secure?

Am I buying this people because other people have it rather than loving or needing it?

Does this object truly reflect who I am now?

Am I keeping this “just in case____________” fill in the blank with a doomsday scenario? (i.e. holding on to clothes that you don’t like in case you won’t be able to afford something new and better.)

Would I keep or buy this if I felt the future held even greater good than the past?

Am I putting off making a decision about whether or not to keep or let go of something for a later time?

Be aware of any underlying fear and make a decision! When we hold on to things out of fear we create surroundings that anchor our fear rather than reflect our dreams. Trust that when you let go of clutter, you are making space for those things that are a true reflection of who you are and the life you want to live.

If you found this post and video helpful, we would like to invite you to our free mini-course, Simple Steps to Change Your Home to Transform Your Life and look forward to seeing you there.

About the authors:

Laura Carlin and Alison Forbes are sisters and co-creators of the inspirational, free video mini-series, Simple Steps to Change Your Home to Transform Your Life. Click HERE to enjoy the FREE series. Laura and Alison are the brains behind the acclaimed blog, InspiredEverydayLiving.com and are published authors to boot.

how to cultivate intelligent movement for mind and body


By: Anastasiya Goers Do you feel that exercise is punishment? That’s what I used to think growing up every time that my Mom tried to send me in for sports. I used to think, ‘How can a person enjoy all that sweating, pain and discomfort?’ Instead, I loved to dive into the fictitious world of […]Read the full article →

boost self-confidence: 5 critical skills you must know


Author: Barrie Davenport Did you know having self-confidence is as critical to your overall happiness and well-being as good nutrition is to your health? That may sound like an overstatement, but research shows having self-confidence dramatically improves your finances, your relationships, your career, and your achievement in all areas of your life. Dr. Timothy Judge […]Read the full article →

how to conquer the time paradox, and eliminate your to-do pressures


By Laura Leigh Clarke If you’re a go-getter, you likely have a to-do list as long as your arm. You take on more than most people, simply because you’ve become good at juggling and “managing” yourself and as a result, you have to just keep going for fear of letting a plate drop. You probably […]Read the full article →

do you know and use the key to happiness?
Read the full article →

why self-belief is essential and how to develop it


By Eduard Ezeanu How do you actually come to believe in yourself? And how does this work exactly to help you get what you want? These are the questions that I’d like to answer, drawing from my experience as a confidence coach. I want to help you move from wanting to believe in yourself to […]Read the full article →

how to open to joy in everyday life


By Elana Miller, MD I’ll be honest. The word “joy” used to make me cringe. For some reason, I associated this word with something… cheesy. “I don’t have time for joy,” I thought. “I’ve got important things to do.” Until a few months ago, when as part of my meditation practice, I signed up for […]R








Using Knowledge About Our Brain





March 1997 | Volume 54 | Number 6
How Children Learn Pages 16-19

On Using Knowledge About Our Brain: A Conversation with Bob Sylwester

Ronald S. Brandt
As biologists, medical researchers, and cognitive scientists learn more about how the human brain works, it is up to educators to keep informed, to study, and to apply what they have learned to the classroom.
We're hearing a lot about the brain lately. There are books like your A Celebration of Neurons(1995), feature articles in popular magazines, conferences, and so on. What accounts for this sudden interest?
People are intrigued by dramatic developments in research technology, the ability to "get inside" our brain and observe how it functions. Today, researchers can learn about blood flow, electromagnetic fields, and chemical composition of the brain without interfering with normal brain functioning. What's called functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) allows them to have subjects do something—like sing a song or do a math problem—and watch what parts of the brain "light up" on a computer screen. Until MRI became available, most brain research was done only with animal brains or on people who had brain damage.
And along with imaging there are other technologies, like high-powered electron microscopes.
Right. With them, you can work at the cellular level—see neurons and synapses and the connections among them. And computers help, too, because rather than study a person's actual brain you can study a computerized version of it. You can single out the serotonin system and see what the serotonin level is related to (for example, a new study says it's related to autism). You can compare male brains and female brains, or an aggressive person with a nonaggressive person, or a Republican with a Democrat (just joking). But all such group differences are now accessible.
For most of human history, the human brain was impenetrable; the skull got in the way. And even when you looked at a brain, you didn't know what you were seeing—100 billion neurons, plus 10 times as many glial cells (support cells). How many is 100 billion? Well, there are about 100,000 hairs on the average head, so that would be all the hairs on the heads of a million people—that's how many neurons you have in your brain. You can put 30,000 neurons into a space the size of a pinhead. Without modern technology, it was impossible to study the brain.
This whole field is very new, then.
Yes. Modern brain research began about 30 years ago with brain hemisphere studies. Roger Sperry worked with about two dozen people with epilepsy whose doctors had completely severed their corpus callosums. Today, if a person suffers from epilepsy, a surgeon can locate the problem in a particular part of the brain—maybe less than a cubic millimeter—and, using advanced technology, possibly excise just those few neurons that need to be removed.
There's another reason for interest in our brain. If you have brain scans and nothing else, all you have is pretty pictures. But with this new information, we've had a parallel boom in theory development. For example, William Calvin (1996) has identified what he thinks is the location and coding system of intelligent behavior—a horizontal wiring pattern in the top three layers of the cortex. If he's right, it could do for brain science what the discovery of DNA did for genetics.
With all this activity, do you expect a steady stream of new information about the brain in the years ahead?
Oh, yes. In science, when there's a big technological breakthrough, researchers start working on questions that until now were unanswerable. And as pieces of knowledge start coming in, they begin to see how things fit together. So eventually, we'll have the universal brain theory. We'll be able to deal with consciousness: how we know what we know and how we know we know it.
Naturally, educators are interested in all of this. They are looking for ways they can apply the new knowledge from brain research in their schools. What do you say?
Well, I think we've done it all along, but we didn't call it brain research. If you're a teacher, you're dealing every day with about 100 pounds of brain tissue floating several feet above the classroom floor. Over a 20- or 30-year career, watching how those brains react, what they like to do, what they do easily and what with great difficulty, you're going to try to adapt your procedures to what works with brains. So, at that level, teachers have always been brain researchers.
We've known, for example, how long a lesson should be to hold student interest. We've known that more boys have trouble with reading and writing than do girls, and that young children can pick up a foreign language more easily than adults can. But we didn't have a biological substrate for that. Now, we're beginning to add this biological dimension that helps us understand why these things are true.
You know, people were successfully breeding dogs and horses long before DNA was discovered 40 years ago. It's taken 40 years to move from animal breeding to genetic engineering. So it took a while to find practical applications of this monumental discovery.
So what about practical applications of neuroscience?
We must take the time and effort to learn all we can about our brain—then figure out what to do about it. We teachers never really knew what was going on in those kids' brains. Now we have a chance to get beyond compassion and frustration. But first we have to really understand.
What is brain-compatible teaching?
I'm hesitant to use that term because it seems too pat. It seems to negate everything positive that teachers have been trying to do in the past. When the neurosciences come up with a discovery, it usually isn't a big surprise to most educators. For example, teachers have long encouraged students to find patterns and connections in what they've learned, but new knowledge about our brain may help us discover new ways to help students expand their knowledge. And the best teachers know that kids learn more readily when they are emotionally involved in the lesson because emotion drives attention, which drives learning and memory. It's biologically impossible to learn anything that you're not paying attention to; the attentional mechanism drives the whole learning and memory process. Teachers know that emotion is important; they just don't always know what to do about it.
The point is that teachers need to study many things—biology, anthropology, psychology, and other subjects—and make their own discoveries about improving instruction.
Let's take attention research, for example. For very good reasons, our brain evolved to be good at sizing things up quickly and acting on the basis of limited information. This has big survival value, because it keeps you from being eaten by predators. You don't need to know how old they are and whether they're male or female; you just get out of there as quickly as you can. But because of this tendency of our brains to make quick judgments, we go through life jumping to conclusions, making a mess of things, and then having to apologize.
So we're very good at rapidly sizing things up and acting on limited information, but we're not so good at the reverse—anything that requires sustained attention and precision, like worksheets. That doesn't mean worksheets are bad; it depends on how you're using them. But some are clearly not used appropriately.
I've heard you say that our profession needs to move from dependence on social science to greater emphasis on biology. What do you have in mind?
Throughout history, educators have worked with brains—with limited information on how brains work. In this century, we have turned to the social scientists, who don't know about one brain but do know about bunches of them. So our professional education has focused on negotiating behavior with a group of kids, on allocating energy and resources.
Now, the social scientists could be compassionate about something like dyslexia; they could tell what percentage of the population would have the problem, but they couldn't solve it. Biologists look at underlying causes; they can help us understand what dyslexia is. The problem is that biologists deal with neurons and synapses and blood and tissue, which most educators didn't study in their professional preparation.
But in the years ahead, they will?
They'll have to. Teacher education programs will have to change. I can't imagine a person preparing to become a teacher these days without having access to cognitive science.
What would you emphasize if you were teaching future teachers?
The first thing would be that we are basically a social species. We are born with an immature brain and have a long childhood, so we have to depend on other people to take care of us in childhood. The marvelous thing about our maturation process is that our individual brains develop very differently—just like the files individuals may later create in their computers. Our brains develop in their own way, which lends credence to the idea of multiple intelligences and specialization. When we think about implications of our social brain, we see that everybody in a community must know how to do some things, such as communicate, but not everyone has to be able to repair automobiles.
Another obvious implication is the need to consider whether a particular learning task is individually oriented or socially oriented. It's foolish and wasteful to teach something to individuals if it's really a socially oriented behavior. I mentioned worksheets earlier. I saw a worksheet recently on which elementary students were supposed to list the five best qualities of a president—and hand it in with no discussion or feedback. Now, that's the kind of task we humans do more easily and naturally through discussion. It's not like a worksheet of multiplication problems, which is an individual task.
Another thing a biological approach can do for educators is change the way they think about education. For example, we talk about "higher order" and "lower order" as though one is much more important than the other. But it's really quite remarkable that we have the ability to remember a simple fact like where we're supposed to be at 12:30. If you can't remember the name of the restaurant where you're supposed to meet somebody, it may be lower thinking, but it's critical.
Another misconception is that the really important things are the hardest: Tasks that require a lot of energy and effort, like calculus, are the most significant. Biologically, that's just wrong. The way your brain looks at it, if it's important, it has to be a fail-safe operation—like digital competence, the ability to pick things up. If it's really important, you don't have to go to school to learn it; you can do it quickly and easily.
Why is it that the same kids who learned to speak their native language with no formal schooling—and who could have learned any language in the world the same way—have so much trouble learning to read and write? The answer scientists give is that reading and writing aren't nearly as critical to survival as is oral competency. That doesn't mean we should ignore the unnatural things, but it does mean that we sometimes get our priorities wrong when we talk about standards and rigor and so on. We need to remember that from a biological standpoint, importance and difficulty are not at all the same.
You've said that in the future, teachers will know more about the brain. In the meantime, what advice can you give today's educators?
First, as I said before, take the time to begin learning about this. Read books by educators and by the brain scientists themselves. Exciting new books are being published almost every week.
Second, think about how what you're learning applies to education—but broadly, not narrowly. We don't need catchy program titles. We do need to study and contemplate, discuss and explore. If something sounds like a good idea, try it. And don't worry too much about making exploratory mistakes. We have this marvelous student feedback system; when we try out inappropriate ideas on our students, they let us know.
Last, don't promise too much. You aren't going to be able to boost SAT scores with this knowledge; it's just too early for that. And many important brain properties, such as metaphor, compassion, and love, aren't measurable. By all means read and study. By all means try new ideas. But don't overpromise.

References

Calvin, W. (1996). How Brains Think: Evolving Intelligence Then and Now. New York: Basic Books.
Sylwester, R. (1995). A Celebration of Neurons: An Educator's Guide to the Human Brain. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD.
Robert Sylwester is Professor of Education at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5267 (e-mail:bob_sylwester@ccmail.uoregon.edu). Ronald S. Brandt is Assistant Executive Director, ASCD, and Consulting Editor,Educational Leadership.