“We’re seeing an unprecedented epidemic of depression in our society,” says Dr. Andrew Weil, “More people are being diagnosed with depression than ever, including millions of children. The latest statistics I’ve seen are that more than one in ten Americans is on prescribed antidepressant medication.”
Weil’s review of global psychological research suggests that depression is virtually unknown in agrarian societies, where people work with and live off the land. It can’t be that farming is a joyful, anxiety-free occupation – after all, you’re subject to the whims of the weather and the work can be grueling and monotonous. So what are we city dwellers doing wrong?
“Everything,” says Weil: “You know, they are not disconnected from nature. They’re eating diets that are natural, not highly processed. They’re getting plenty of physical activity. They get adequate rest and sleep. I think, very significantly, they enjoy the protection of very strong tribal and community support. So for all those reasons, I think they’re protected.”
Video: Dr. Andrew Weil argues that only by addressing your “total lifestyle” can you optimize your well-being.
In Spontaneous Happiness, his five-part workshop for Big Think Mentor – Big Think's lifelong learning channel on YouTube, Weil teaches a program designed to protect and enhance emotional well-being through specific lifestyle changes. You’ll learn to:
- Take a holistic and realistic approach to unlocking “spontaneous happiness.”
- Integrate Eastern and Western approaches to positive psychology.
- Use specific breathing exercises and meditations designed to develop mindfulness
- Optimize your diet to support emotional well-being
- Build physical habits that support emotional well-being
Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.
- The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
- Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
- Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.