Trained to be altruistic?

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The decisions of individuals such as their willingness to cooperate and altruistic acts are just as important as international agreements or national regulations. This is what scientists call “prosocial behavior”.

Psychologists from the University of Würzburg and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig have now published the results of a longitudinal study that investigated the influence of various mental trainings on prosocial behavior over several months.

The results: “We were able to demonstrate that human prosociality is malleable and that different aspects of prosociality can be improved systematically through different types of mental training,” Anne Böckler-Raettig explains; she is a junior professor at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Würzburg. According to her, this can be achieved through training that consists of short daily practices, which are easy to implement in everyday life. The scientists published the results of their study in the journal Scientific Reports of the Nature Publishing Group. (1)

Very nice. But once more, science is missing the point.

It does not matter what you show to the outside world.

But what you are in the inside.

The meaning of the cosmos lies not in what you do not control.

But in what you can control and alter based on your own free will.

If you are trained to be altruistic, then you are not altruistic. If you are brain-washed to be a bad person, then you are not a bad person. If you are trained to be a good person, you are not actually a nice person. At least not until you prove that you actually are.

It takes a lot of courage to be human.

And only we can decide if we are.

Roaming in the forest.

Listening to the birds.

Teach not the sparrow how to sing.

For if you do,

You will have left it mute…

Forgiving. Hating. Loving.

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When assessing the moral character of others, people cling to good impressions but readily adjust their opinions about those who have behaved badly, according to new research. This flexibility in judging transgressors might help explain both how humans forgive – and why they sometimes stay in bad relationships, said the study’s authors. (The research – conducted by psychologists at Yale, University of Oxford, University College London, and the International School for Advanced Studies – appeared in the journal Nature Human Behaviour)

“The brain forms social impressions in a way that can enable forgiveness,” said Yale psychologist Molly Crockett, senior author of the paper. “Because people sometimes behave badly by accident, we need to be able to update bad impressions that turn out to be mistaken. Otherwise, we might end relationships prematurely and miss out on the many benefits of social connection”. (1)

Modern humans. Lost humans.

Believing they do not forgive.

But that they are programmed to.

And yet, we once again see the wrong question.

Attaching it to the wrong answer.

If we are programmed to forgive.

We should not hate. And yet we do.

Look at all that hatred in peoples’ eyes.

There was never a better proof of love…

Being ethically inferior. Because you are ethically superior. Opposites. Whole.

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Caution! Your feelings of ethical superiority can cause a chain reaction that is detrimental to you, your coworker and your organization, according to Baylor University management research.

A new study published in the Journal of Business Ethics suggests that your feelings of ethical superiority can lead you to have negative emotions toward a “less ethical” coworker. Those negative emotions can be amplified if you also believe you do not perform as well as that coworker. And, furthermore, those negative emotions can lead to your mistreatment and/or ostracism (social exclusion) of that less ethical, higher-performing coworker. (1)

Look down to other people. And you will fall. Be humble and look up to other people. And you will rise. The secret of life lies in the opposites. And in your ability to balance between them. Shed tears if you are strong. Forgive if you are powerful. Help others even if you desperately need help. Consider yourself unethical if you are ethical.

And all of a sudden…

Life will gain meaning.

And the cosmos will be full again.

Ethical and unethical at the same time.

Existence as it once was.

It is us who broke it into pieces. And we try to put the pieces back together ever since. Trying to recreate the grandeur of Paradise we have lost but never ceased to think of. Trying to reunite with the wisdom we once had but we have now lost. Because we are too focused in succeeding, not being able to see that we must fall in order to rise…

The puzzle is complicated.

And you can never attach any two pieces by only pulling just one of them…

Behavior. Molecules. Defining a human…

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The immune system affects – and even controls – social behavior, a new study has found. Researchers discovered that blocking a single type of immune molecule made mouse brains go hyperactive and caused abnormal behavior; restoring it fixed both. The discovery could have enormous implications for neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. (1)

It is not our behavior which makes us who we are. It is something else.

Something not controlled by molecules. Something not controlled by us at all. It is our very existence which defines us. And existing means doing nothing. Just Being.

Imagine. Can you hold still?

Fear. Behaviour. Fear. Behaviour.

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A team of CSHL scientists have discovered a new neural circuit in the brain that directly links the site of fear memory with an area of the brainstem that controls behavior. Far-reaching neurons in the central amygdala, the location of fear memory in the brain seen here in red (right), directly contact neurons in the brainstem, here in green (left). (1)

Fear controls our behaviour.

But we control fear.
So we control our behaviour.

But some are afraid of controlling their behaviour.
But they can control this fear.

But…