Archive | December, 2011

7 Tips for Accomplishing your Goals in Bite Sized Pieces

31 Dec

 When it comes to accomplishing our goals we’re encouraged to reach for the stars and set big hairy audacious goals. Although it’s great to be ambitious when we set goals like this, we get so overwhelmed by how we’re going to actually manage to accomplish such things that we don’t bother to take action in the first place. As a result our goals simply remain unrealized dreams.

With a few changes in the way we do things and the adoption of some simple mindsets we can make progress towards our goals much faster.

  1. Bite Off Less Than You Can Chew
    Most people never take action or stop half way to the goal line because they bite off more than they can chew. Eventually the goal they have in mind goes from being the pursuit of a dream to a daily chore. As a result they lose the motivation to work on a goal and before they know it the goal is yet another thing they didn’t follow through on.By starting with bite sized pieces, our view of how much progress we’ve made shifts dramatically. Let’s say you want to write a book. Rather than concerning yourself with finishing the whole book, focus on finishing the first chapter or even the first page. It’s far less daunting and you will actually feel a sense of accomplishment as opposed to feeling like you’re goal is so far off.
  1. Take Action Daily
    The only way to get any sort of result is to take action towards a goal. By taking action every single day you create momentum. As momentum increases, the results taken from your action will become much more substantial, and eventually you’ll be at a point where you actually can’t stop because you’ve reached the point of no return.
  1. Celebrate Small Victories
    When you assess the progress towards a goal you have choices. You can either focus on how far you have to go or look at how far you’ve come. When you do the latter, it tends to motivate and inspire you. When you do the former it demoralizes and demotivates you. We’re so caught up in getting to where we want to go that we forget to enjoy the journey and celebrate the small victories along the way.
  1. Learn from Setbacks
    Setbacks and failure are a part of accomplishing anything worth doing in life. In almost every story of massive success that you’ll come across, there are MAJOR setbacks that took place. Setbacks are usually opportunity in disguise and we have to remember that sometimes we’ll take 2 steps back in order take 20 steps forward. If you look back over the course of your life you’ll notice the serendipitous nature of setbacks.
  1. Keep Charging Forward
    Many people tend to give up on a goal when they feel stuck or as though there is not light at the end of tunnel. One of the best ways to get past this is to adopt that attitude belief that when you feel the most frustrated and most ready to give up, you’re on the verge of a major breakthrough. It would be a shame to make so much progress towards a goal and abandon the pursuit in your final hours. Often, accomplishment occurs on the final hours of a goal.
  1. Take a Break
    We live in a world today where people seem intent on moving a million miles an hour. As a result people suffer from anxiety and diseases that didn’t exist before we got ourselves in such a hurry. It’s important to make a point daily to take a break from everything and do something without any purpose other than for the enjoyment of whatever you’re doing. Don’t walk for the sake of exercise. Just walk for the sake of walking.
  1. Detach from the Outcome
    Our need for instant gratification is so strong that when we don’t see a result form something we’re working on immediately we become tempted to abandon its pursuit. But consider the actions you take the seeds that you plant in order for your goal to come to fruition. If you pull those seeds out of the ground to check on the progress of their growth you’re essentially starting the process all over again. So, let nature take its course and stay detached from the outcome.Treat your goals as part of the game of life and don’t take everything so seriously. If you do that you’ll find yourself not only enjoying the process but making much more progress.


Written on 10/04/2011 by Srinivas Rao. Srinivas is the author of the Skool of Life, where he writes about surfing, personal development, and things you never learned in school but should have. If you’re ready to to become a student, check out his FREE course on the 7 most valuable lessons they never taught in school. You can follow him on twitter @skooloflife.

10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life

30 Dec
  1. Stop taking so much notice of how you feel. How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too. Tell yourself that whatever you feel, you feel; whatever you think, you think. Since you can’t stop yourself thinking, or prevent emotions from arising in your mind, it makes no sense to be proud or ashamed of either. You didn’t cause them. Only your actions are directly under your control. They’re the only proper cause of pleasure or shame.
  2. Let go of worrying. It often makes things worse. The more you think about something bad, the more likely it is to happen. When you’re hair-trigger primed to notice the first sign of trouble, you’ll surely find something close enough to convince yourself it’s come.
  3. Ease up on the internal life commentary. If you want to be happy, stop telling yourself you’re miserable. People are always telling themselves how they feel, what they’re thinking, what others feel about them, what this or that event really means. Most of it’s imagination. The rest is equal parts lies and misunderstandings. You have only the most limited understanding of what others feel about you. Usually they’re no better informed on the subject; and they care about it far less than you do. You have no way of knowing what this or that event really means. Whatever you tell yourself will be make-believe.
  4. Take no notice of your inner critic. Judging yourself is pointless. Judging others is half-witted. Whatever you achieve, someone else will always do better. However bad you are, others are worse. Since you can tell neither what’s best nor what’s worst, how can you place yourself correctly between them? Judging others is foolish since you cannot know all the facts, cannot create a reliable or objective scale, have no means of knowing whether your criteria match anyone else’s, and cannot have more than a limited and extremely partial view of the other person. Who cares about your opinion anyway?
  5. Give up on feeling guilty. Guilt changes nothing. It may make you feel you’re accepting responsibility, but it can’t produce anything new in your life. If you feel guilty about something you’ve done, either do something to put it right or accept you screwed up and try not to do so again. Then let it go. If you’re feeling guilty about what someone else did, see a psychiatrist. That’s insane.
  6. Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you. Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy. Events or people are simply events or people. They can’t make you anything. You have to do that for yourself. Whatever emotions arise in you as a result of external events, they’re powerless until you pick them up and decide to act on them. Besides, most people are far too busy thinking about themselves (and worry what you are are thinking and saying about them) to be concerned about you.
  7. Stop keeping score. Numbers are just numbers. They don’t have mystical powers. Because something is expressed as a number, a ratio or any other numerical pattern doesn’t mean it’s true. Plenty of lovingly calculated business indicators are irrelevant, gibberish, nonsensical, or just plain wrong. If you don’t understand it, or it’s telling you something bizarre, ignore it. There’s nothing scientific about relying on false data. Nor anything useful about charting your life by numbers that were silly in the first place.
  8. Don’t be concerned that your life and career aren’t working out the way you planned. The closer you stick to any plan, the quicker you’ll go wrong. The world changes constantly. However carefully you analyzed the situation when you made the plan, if it’s more than a few days old, things will already be different. After a month, they’ll be very different. After a year, virtually nothing will be the same as it was when you started. Planning is only useful as a discipline to force people to think carefully about what they know and what they don’t. Once you start, throw the plan away and keep your eyes on reality.
  9. Don’t let others use you to avoid being responsible for their own decisions. To hold yourself responsible for someone else’s success and happiness demeans them and proves you’ve lost the plot. It’s their life. They have to live it. You can’t do it for them; nor can you stop them from messing it up if they’re determined to do so. The job of a supervisor is to help and supervise. Only control-freaks and some others with a less serious mental disability fail to understand this.
  10. Don’t worry about about your personality. You don’t really have one. Personality, like ego, is a concept invented by your mind. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Personality is a word for the general impression that you give through your words and actions. If your personality isn’t likeable today, don’t worry. You can always change it, so long as you allow yourself to do so. What fixes someone’s personality in one place is a determined effort on their part—usually through continually telling themselves they’re this or that kind of person and acting on what they say. If you don’t like the way you are, make yourself different. You’re the only person who’s standing in your way.

The Psychology of Alcoholism

29 Dec
Psychological Healing and the Twelve Steps

15. The Effects of Alcohol on Our
Emotional Development 

William E. Swegan

Editor’s Note

Bill Swegan has found that this simple explanation of the basic psychology of alcoholism has given more insight to more struggling alcoholics and opened more eyes than anything else he has ever used in working with newcomers over the past 56 years. Even people with a number of years in the A.A. program often say that this gave them more help than they had ever received before in understanding the underlying nature of their disease and what we have to do at the practical level in order to start getting well.

This chapter is adapted from Chapter 15, “The Effects of Alcohol on Our Emotional Development” in The Psychology of Alcoholism (Hindsfoot/iUniverse 2003, 2011), but the basic material also appeared in many pamphlets which Bill wrote in earlier years. The fundamental ideas go back to 1949, when Bill attended the Yale School of Alcohol Studies and attended Dr. E. M. Jellinek’s lectures. It was his friend and supporter Mrs. Marty Mann, the head of the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism (who was also on the faculty of the Yale School) who obtained a scholarship for Bill so that he would be able to attend. While at the Yale School, Bill also became lifelong friends with another of the students there, Searcy Whalen, the man from Dallas who especially displayed his abilities as an alcoholism counselor later on when he became Ebby’s sponsor, and kept poor Ebby sober for longer than anyone else had ever accomplished.

Glenn F. Chesnut, Ph.D.


Over the many years I have been writing and lecturing on the problem of alcoholism, my own work has been identified as centering on the emotional aspects of its development. On the basis of what I have learned from observing thousands of alcoholics in recovery over the past half century, I have developed a profile of the alcoholic in which I show the paramount importance of various emotional components in producing compulsive and out-of-control drinking.I began developing my own philosophy of alcoholism when I attended the Yale School of Alcohol Studies in 1949, and first came in contact with the late Dr. E. M. Jellinek. He was one of the most outstanding alcoholism researchers of his time, and made a number of important contributions to the field. He had originally been trained in the application of the statistical method to biological research, and had an impressive ability to sort through complex data, and spot trends and sequences, and then mathematically prove their statistical validity. One legacy of his work was his development of the Jellinek curve, as it is called, which he drew up by making statistical studies of personal life histories given to him by alcoholics involved in recovery in the Alcoholics Anonymous program. Dr. Jellinek demonstrated that there were clearly defined progressive changes in behavioral patterns as alcoholics continued to drink over months and years, which could be laid out in an easy-to-understand chart. The alcoholic’s problems not only grew worse and worse, they did so in fairly predictable ways, in a sort of stepwise fashion. This Jellinek curve is still used worldwide in classrooms, treatment programs, and in public educational programs.

In addition to his development of this statistical curve, he had also determined through his own research that the depressive effect of alcohol on the barrier separating the conscious from the subconscious played a major role in the progressive development of alcoholism. With his permission, I began using diagrams based on this part of his theories about alcoholism in my own work at Mitchel Air Force Base, and have continued using them to this day. They have proven to be effective and convincing in working with alcoholics who deny that they have any real problem. I have also found that others who work in alcoholism treatment programs have found these diagrams very useful in understanding important aspects of the problem.

I continued to develop my own theories after I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base, where I was appointed as Psychiatric Social Worker in the Department of Psychiatry. My supervisor and mentor there was the late Louis Jolyon West, M.D., an eminent psychiatrist and dear friend, who taught me about many aspects of human behavior and the emotional components of alcoholism. Dr. West eventually became head of the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he used me as a Consultant to their Alcohol and Drug Program. During his lifetime, he was considered one of the most eminent psychiatrists in the United States and received many awards and recognitions.

With the charts based on Dr. Jellinek’s work, ideas drawn from Dr. West’s psychiatric observations, and my own practical experience in running alcoholism treatment programs, I have been able develop speeches and presentations which seem to give most people who attend my talks valuable insights into the underlying nature of this disease. It is an approach which not only works with high success in counseling individual alcoholics, but helps other people involved in alcoholism treatment gain a better grasp of the nature of the problems they are attempting to treat, with again great success when put to practical application.


These charts illustrate the origin and progression of emotional problems, and the way in which alcohol may ultimately be used to alleviate the anxiety and stress associated with both conscious and subconscious problems. We must remember of course, that as mentioned previously, not all individuals who become alcoholics have this sort of emotional component. There are a variety of causative factors which can be at work in producing alcoholic behavior, including genetic, environmental, and experiential factors, and alcoholism can be produced by any one of these factors even though the others are absent.

I have observed alcoholics who suffer only from a physiological addiction, for example. Regular use of alcoholic beverages (including beer or wine) over an extended period of time can create a physical dependence on alcohol in and of itself. These sorts of alcoholics can frequently be identified because there is no gross behavior change displayed in their actions when they are inebriated. Genetics is one of the contributors for most alcoholics. A vast majority of those who eventually become alcoholic have a history of alcoholism in their family, particularly when one investigates not only their parents’ generation but the previous generation as well.

However, one can have alcoholism with no genetic contributor: those who insist that they have no family history of alcoholism cannot use that as a way of defending their obviously out-of-control alcohol abuse as though it were only harmless “social drinking.” A mother who drank during pregnancy, even if she was not an alcoholic, can pass alcohol dependency on to the fetus. This is in addition to the abnormalities produced by the fetal alcohol syndrome and may be present even if that is absent. The kinds of causal factors which can produce alcoholism are many.

Alcoholism is a complex phenomenon. Each alcoholic is unique. There will be a different mix of factors in each individual, so an individualized treatment program has to be devised for each person whom one is attempting to treat. Nevertheless, the emotional component is so often present, that I have found great success over the past half century in making this the centerpiece of my treatment strategy for the vast majority of cases.


If we look at this most typical sort of case, we will discover that the alcoholics’ problems tend to begin appearing in some fashion during their earliest years. In early childhood development, parents have a decided influence on their children. They set the standards for human relationships, and they either provide or fail to provide their children with adequate social skills. The parents’ emotional conflicts or their inability to act as functional parents, will have a dynamic negative influence on their children.

One does not need to have parents with major emotional conflicts or psychological problems per se in order for the children to develop serious personality problems. In spite of the current trend of talking about “dysfunctional families” in the psychological and emotional sense as a central causal factor, problems can just as easily arise from other sorts of issues. In many parts of the United States, for example, children are expected to be able to read and write to some degree prior to school enrollment. Parents who are unwilling or unable to assist their children in this preschool training — who send their children off to school already behind their peers — can create irreversible psychological damage in the child.

School teachers may not be able to reach some of these children in an effective remedial manner, no matter how hard they try. These children’s lifestyles have already been established, and they may refuse to be taught. No amount of external pressure appears to change unmotivated children of this sort, unless they themselves can come to recognize the futility of this kind of negative behavior, and can be encouraged to change their fundamental lifestyle.

William E. Swegan, Fig. 1. Conscious Conflicts Associated with Personality Development

The circle in these charts represents the central nervous system or the brain. It is divided into two separate parts, the conscious and the subconscious. The line through the middle, which divides these two sections, represents the inhibitions, that is, the ability to repress negative personality problems which are painful and anxiety laden. Everything which we perceive consciously (see Fig. 1) is not experienced as negative, but for the purpose of exposing the origin of this sort of alcohol problem, only those which are anxiety provoking are listed above the divider line.

William E. Swegan, Fig. 2. Subconscious Conflicts Associated with Personality Development

Initially in early childhood the problems listed as subconscious (see Fig. 2) were experienced on a conscious level, but the rejection or punishment received was so painful that they were inhibited. When these emotions were forced down into the subconscious in this fashion, alternative behavior patterns emerged to compensate for these traumatic problems. Inhibited negative conflicts cause tension, for example, which in turn produces emotional unrest. The arrows in Figure 2 represent this internal psychological tension. The person then must develop alternative methods for easing this anxiety. In the alcoholic, that beverage is used as a means for coping with problems which produce this sort of anxiety, and as a way to try to deal with the person’s inability to live in an acceptable lifestyle.

The kinds of inhibited conflicts listed on the diagram down below the line, are buried in the subconscious where the individual is no longer in conscious knowledge of their existence, but they will nevertheless still be manifested on the conscious level in a variety of ways. People with subconscious emotional problems feel inadequate, lonely, inferior, self-condemning, and full of self-pity at the conscious level (Fig. 1). And there are other conditions as well which make the person unable to experience good feelings from his or her interpersonal relationships. The entire process produces anxiety and tension which either interferes with or totally precludes normal behavioral responses.

Again I must issue the warning that not all alcoholics drink to try to self-medicate emotional conflicts and problems of this sort. Alcoholism is a complex phenomenon. Many alcoholics do not exhibit a gross behavior change under the influence of alcohol, which may indicate a primarily physiological addiction. Their bodies demand the alcohol because they begin undergoing painful and unpleasant physical symptoms when there is no alcohol in their bloodstreams. It is often difficult to convince people that they are alcoholics when they display little or no behavior changes of the sort we are describing here, that is, the acting out of subconscious emotional conflicts in a destructive or antisocial fashion. Nevertheless the irresistible compulsion to drink, and the negative effects of constant inebriation on their ability to function, means that they too need help in overcoming their alcohol dependency.


One of the most powerful motivations for continuing to act in a certain kind of way arises from the results these behaviors produce. Basically healthy individuals who are looking for positive paybacks will display behavior which is socially and legally appropriate, emotionally rewarding, and within the guidelines of their culture. The successes they achieve by acting that way motivate them to continue this sort of positive behavior. This will set up a positive reinforcing cycle.

When people respond in an opposite way, reacting to their own negative inner drives without being influenced or restricted by cultural demands, they will not receive these positive results, and anxiety will be the byproduct. When they then drink alcohol because of their feelings of anxiety, this will increase the effect of those negative inner drives on their behavior, which will in turn drive them into drinking even more alcohol, and set up a negative reinforcing cycle which will feed on itself and produce ever-growing levels of antisocial behavior.

We are a success-oriented society. Our motive often seems to be to teach people more about how to succeed than how to gain pleasure from life, but this kind of success philosophy can nevertheless be a powerful motivational tool. We eulogize those who are successful, and condemn those who give up and end up in hospitals or jails. Unfortunately, for people who have the kind of negative outlook on life which we see in many alcoholics, there is little chance that the outcome will be positive. Their drinking and their attitudes causes them to be a failure a good deal of the time in achieving meaningful successes in life, and they feel the weight of society’s condemnation quite powerfully.

Most parents encourage their offspring to excel in both physical and mental tasks. As young people go through the maturation process, rewards are allocated to those who accomplish such things as achieving a high grade-point average in their scholastic endeavors, winning parts in plays, earning badges and letters for their achievements, and making the starting team in an athletic program. But some young people end up with little to show for what are in fact only limited efforts on their part to reach most of these goals. As a result, they withdraw psychologically from the process. Eventually they merely exist, and pass most of their time in a totally nonproductive manner.

Achieving some of the accomplishments above requires taking part in group activities. Participation in these provides the individual with a feeling of belonging. Young people who never experienced any positive group relationships within their childhood families enter school with attitudes and behavior patterns already set in such a negative way that there is little likelihood of their responding favorably to group work in the educational setting. One cannot live in any human society without having to function within groups of various sorts. People who developed strong barriers against feeling a part of any group when they were children can continue to be blocked by that from any sort of greatly rewarding life even after they become adults.

We want to feel good. The quality of our interpersonal relationships has a profound impact on our ability to feel good. When we are forced to function within a group, the response of the other group members will determine whether this need to feel good will be met or denied. I had problems this way myself. When I was a child, I was disruptive in school and elsewhere, and sought attention through this disruptive behavior, which naturally caused negative responses. I tried to be a part of the group by creating trouble, or by attempting to do things which I thought would be humorous, and amuse people and make people laugh. When I attempted to win my pilot’s wings in the Air Corps not long after Pearl Harbor, I was expelled from Air Cadet School because of a drunken attempt to dance with a dog at a fancy ball which was held for the cadets. Each time something like this happened, I ended up being isolated from the group. I came to feel that this was my fate, and I bitterly resented those who were well-adjusted and who were regarded as an acceptable part of the group.

From the time a child is introduced into the competitive aspect of our society, and throughout the maturational process, there are several constant themes. (1) We must compete and be evaluated. (2) We must experience either acceptance or rejection. (3) We must ultimately confront either success or failure. How well we do is based on our ability to perform under these highly stressful circumstances. I can understand this from my own childhood experiences. I began the process of socialization and maturation by falling into consistently negative responses to these societal demands, so that it is not difficult to see why I failed to negotiate that initial period of my life successfully. Some of the obstacles that I believed blocked me from success, in my own case, were figments of my imagination, but whether these obstacles were real or imagined, they created an unbreakable barrier blocking me from growing up into a stable, mature adult. I did not start growing up myself until I was thirty years old — I was standing in front of a mirror one summer day in 1948, and I looked at myself, and actually said aloud these simple words, “I am unacceptable to myself.”


Societal demands are extremely different now than when I was a teenager, but the basic dynamic has not changed. There still remains the need to feel good about oneself, to function effectively in our competitive society, and to experience love from others. When our inappropriate responses to these external pressures fail to supply these needs, many young people seek alternative routes to temporarily “feeling good.” They attempt to alleviate the anxiety produced by their failure to meet societal demands by various substitute methods, but alcohol can become a major component in this game.

Over the past thirty-five years, increasing numbers of American teenagers have also been tempted to use narcotics and other mind-altering and mood-altering drugs for the same kind of purpose. We have become a drug-oriented society, and although opposed to addiction to these drugs, we provide all the conditions which are conducive to going down that destructive route. Nearly every ache and pain can be treated with a non-prescription drug. This includes drugs which can be taken which we believe will help us to fall asleep, to stay awake, or to block out all sorts of symptomatic physical pain.

People in our society can be, and often are, deluded even at that level. Taking aspirin for a headache will do no good in the long run if a brain tumor is causing the pain, or if what the person really needs is a new pair of eye-glasses. But the belief still persists that if I can figure out the right pill to take, I will automatically start “getting well” and begin to feel good again, with no further effort on my part. So a useless medication can sometimes seem to produce temporary good results, as a sort of psychological illusion. I want so much to believe that it is working, that I delude myself into believing that it is actually working. And so for a certain period of time I can convince myself that I have found the “cure” for what is making me feel so bad.

So adults in our society regularly turn to drugs for all sorts of reasons, and achieve some psychological relief even if these medications are not always all that effective at the purely physical level. Children who observe the attitudinal changes produced in their parents by the use of these drugs, may easily become convinced that they too could overcome any discomfort they were feeling by finding the right type of drug.

Many American teenagers now at least experiment with the effects of narcotics and other drugs, and some become totally addicted to them, nevertheless beverage alcohol is still the number one substance used in this country by young people who are attempting to gain for themselves some sort of chemically-induced attitudinal change. Young people who have difficulty in communicating with their parents, their siblings, their peers, and authority figures, still usually turn to alcohol as the primary mind-altering chemical they use in the attempt to alleviate their painful feelings. In part their choice of alcohol is aided by every type of advertising, in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, suggesting (without considering the consequences for many) that the use of alcohol will produce socially acceptable benefits in a way that other drugs clearly will not.


I am therefore going to confine myself in this chapter to discussing the effects of alcohol on the central nervous system. I do not want to make this chapter any more complicated than I can help. Figure 3 illustrates the change in behavior and attitude when alcohol is ingested by someone with subconscious emotional conflicts.

William E. Swegan, Fig. 3. Depressant Action of Alcohol on Central Nervous System and Altered Attitude

The excessive use of alcoholic beverages in our society becomes a trap for the person with emotional problems, as well as for those with a genetic or physical predisposition to becoming addicted to this drug. Alcohol is a socially acceptable beverage in our culture, and most individuals do not intentionally drink compulsively. For vast numbers of people, becoming trapped occurs as a gradual process of falling into greater and greater physical and psychological dependence. However, a small portion of those who drink exhibit extremely negative behavior traits from the onset, as one can see from my own case. Even then, however, the problems progress and the consequences continue to grow worse and worse as the person continues to drink. Those who become trapped in compulsive drinking ultimately become rehabilitated, or descend into a useless life of total alcohol dependence, or die.

As the alcohol problem progresses, the demand for alcohol increasingly overwhelms the ability to control and abstain. Those in an early stage of alcoholism will usually still have some sense of responsibility, but this progressively erodes away. As the dependency grows, they become more and more preoccupied with the need to procure alcohol to sustain their habit at any cost.

Figure 4 illustrates the emotional picture when alcohol is withdrawn. An even greater emotional instability is created. This emotional state becomes increasingly too painful to tolerate. Now the alcoholic feels the compulsion to drink, not just because of the preexisting subconscious emotional conflicts, but also because of the new anxieties and guilt produced by the last drinking bout, which impose an additional burden of pain. The conscious thought processes have also become even more confused and filled with negative and self-destructive attitudes.

William E. Swegan, Fig. 4. Conscious and Subconscious Feelings after Withdrawal of Alcohol

Social drinkers (as opposed to alcoholics) have other interests, and are not continually preoccupied with the thought of drinking or obtaining alcohol to drink. Problem drinkers however increasingly come to have no other interests. They rely on alcohol for social involvement, and to ease stress situations, and then in progressive fashion become dependent on alcohol in order to deal with any kind of life circumstance: weddings, funerals, job promotions or job losses, or in any kind of situation involving responsibilities. For those budding alcoholics who begin young, dealing with the pressures of school and school activities becomes increasingly impossible without drinking.


After alcoholism has progressed to a great enough degree, some individuals are unable to recall events that occurred while drinking. This is called having a “black-out.” This is a definite warning sign that this person has become an alcoholic. However, the reader should be warned, some people are able to progress quite far in the development of the disease without having clear and distinct evidence of black-outs. The apparent absence of black-out drinking does not at all mean that a person has not already become an alcoholic. There are all kinds and degrees of memory loss. There are people who cannot remember their physical surroundings the night before, but whose emotional recall is unaffected. They might remember that they had been very angry the night before, for example, but would not be able to recall the physical situation that made them so angry.

Black-outs may increase the guilt produced by excessive drinking, for those who become apprehensive about their inability to recall their actions while they were in that mental state. Some alcoholics worry incessantly afterwards about where they were, who they offended, whether they borrowed money from anyone, whether they physically attacked anyone, and so on, ad infinitum. Some experts believe that black-outs are a means of escaping the pressures of reality. A strange phenomenon can occur when people in a black-out are suddenly involved in an accident or confronted by the law, and instantly come out of their black-out. It appears that the increase in the flow of adrenaline produces this effect, and returns the mind’s ability to remember.


In the early stages of alcoholism, many do not drink in the morning when they first arise. For them, morning drinking begins only in a later stage of the disease, after the physical suffering from withdrawal has progressed to unacceptable levels. When alcoholics begin drinking in the morning, it is to overcome the emotional discomfort of the hangover, or to satisfy the physical craving of their bodies. This first drink in turn seems to trigger a physical or psychological compulsion to continue drinking for all the rest of that day.

Morning drinking of that sort is a clear indication of an alcoholic pattern of drinking, but one should be very careful here. There are some alcoholics whose disease is quite progressed, who do not drink in the morning, and use this as an excuse to rule out the label of alcohol dependency. These are people who either cannot physically tolerate drinking the next morning at all, or who are willing to bear the physical effects of the withdrawal of the alcohol from their systems, no matter how painful it is. Not drinking before noon, or before five p.m., or some other target time, is not ever “proof” that a person is not an alcoholic. It does not at all indicate that the disease has not already progressed to a truly dangerous point.


Prior to the admission of complete defeat, alcoholics use various methods in the attempt to conceal, deny, or minimize their problem. They usually lie about how much they actually drink when they are asked, and they try to “sneak drinks” when no one is watching.

Or they attempt to deal with their alcoholism in ways that never work and never can. Perhaps they begin to realize to a certain degree that alcohol is beginning to interfere in their lives, or that they have developed an unhealthy dependence on alcohol. So they may exclaim, “I’m off the hard stuff, only beer from now on.” One of the great American myths is that beer is the beverage of moderation, so alcoholics switch from hard liquor to beer in order to convince others that they really have no alcohol problem. Beer as beverage of moderation is a fairy tale, because it is just as intoxicating as any other beverage containing alcohol. It takes a greater volume of beer because of its lower alcohol content, and a slightly longer time to become inebriated because of its slower absorption rate. But one can produce all the alcoholic symptoms on beer alone, as many people have found to their dismay. It does not slow or reverse the progression of the disease in the slightest.

The same warning applies to wine. The progression of the disease will continue the same way as it would while consuming any alcohol-containing beverage. One need only glance at a wino lying in the gutter, clutching a bottle of wine in a brown paper bag, to dispel the myth that one can stop the progress of alcoholism by switching from hard liquor to wine.

I recently saw a program on television in which the old claim was again being raised that drinking slight amounts of alcohol (wine was being recommended in this case) can help people avoid heart attacks. I immediately cringed to think of what this advice could do to undermine someone who was drinking excessively, and who also had a weak heart, but was trying to quit. The television presentation also ignored the fact that any slight statistical gain achieved in avoiding heart attacks by moderate alcohol ingestion would be more than offset by the greater statistical chance of dying of cancer (and many other diseases) instead, for consuming even small amounts of alcohol affects those statistics negatively. Those are so many more effective methods of coping with heart problems, which are not risks to those who are already on the edge of becoming alcoholics, such as eating healthier food or walking for exercise. But bending your elbow every day is not what is meant by “taking regular exercise.”

And alcoholics use many other tactics to try to talk themselves into believing that some kind of “controlled” drinking would be possible for them, whether it is the type of beverage, or the amount drunk, or the time of day that they take their first drink. The Rand Report that came out in the mid 1970’s suggested that some alcoholics, with proper therapy, could return to social drinking with no ill effects (see William L. White, Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America, 293-295; and Nancy Olson, With a Lot of Help from Our Friends, ch. 27, “The Controlled Drinking Controversy.”) That particular claim has continued to emerge occasionally from time to time. The actual statistics in each instance — when serious controls were applied, truly objective long term follow-up methods were used, and all of the eventual effects were included as part of the data — never bore out any of these assertions, but the claims continue to appear periodically, for they appeal to a certain kind of wishful thinking.

In all my own years of working with alcoholics, I have never known of even one person who was able to accomplish the feat of returning to normal social drinking successfully. The ones whom I know who tried it, returned to the same dysfunctional lifestyle and began exhibiting the same kinds of destructive behaviors that they had shown when they drank previously. Alcoholics do not drink for social reasons in the first place, they drink to escape the pains of reality. That is why the majority of alcoholics, once solidly established in recovery, find that they would not want to drink again at all even if some technique were developed which would allow them to do so without returning to their old compulsive excess — they simply do not desire even a small amount of that kind of sensation or mental state any more.

These comments are based mainly upon observations I have made of alcoholics who were still in denial. But there are some alcoholics who only rarely attempt to minimize the amount they are actually drinking, and who regularly admit, and sometimes even brag, about their excessive drinking. Alcoholics of this sort make little or no attempt to deny that. What they do instead is to recite the problems they are having, and complain about the circumstances which they insist are causing them to drink. It is always the fault of other people and circumstances, and they rarely acknowledge that it was their drinking itself which was causing most of the problems in the first place. They turn to self-pity in order to eliminate self-blame for their alcoholic behavior. So alcoholics of this sort have their own strategies for evading facing the full truth.

The important thing to note is that in one way or another, alcoholics who have not yet acknowledged their defeat use alibis, lies, and concealment tactics to attempt to hide their excessive drinking or make excuses for it. And they cannot learn how to deal with their problem until they first admit that it exists.


In summary, there are three basic kinds of causal factors which can produce alcoholism, either by themselves or in combination. The most prevalent contributing factor is the genetic background of the victim. Alcoholism as physical addiction can be produced simply by drinking too much alcohol too regularly over too long a period of time. But for most people I have treated over the past half century, the use of alcohol in an attempt to medicate the stress of dealing with reality was what led to the excessive dependence, and serious internal emotional problems and failure in adequate socialization were responsible for the majority of the pain and distress.

The goal of treatment is not only the removal of the irresistible compulsion to drink, but also teaching alcoholics how to feel good. That is what human beings desire more than almost anything else, and that is what the kind of treatment I am describing in this book can produce. If you the reader are an alcoholic who is locked in enormous misery and pain, do please hear me when I tell you that there is an answer. You can be freed from that, and can learn how to feel good about yourself again. This is the most priceless gift anyone could ever be given.

Editor’s Note

The A.A. program was an attempt to produce a balanced synthesis between psychology and spirituality, but there was sometimes tension in early A.A. between those who put more stress on the spiritual aspects of the program and those who put more emphasis on the psychological side. What makes Bill Swegan’s writings important is that he describes better than anyone else the kind of psychological principles used by the latter group, those who interpreted the twelve steps in predominantly psychological terms. This chapter is must reading for anyone who would want to understand early A.A.  All the good old-timers who have read it say that Bill accurately describes what those early A.A. people believed, and that this short piece is a real classic.

Bill was a psychiatric social worker at Lackland, with no training in theology or religious studies, but he was certainly not an atheist or agnostic, and in fact he continually makes it clear that any newcomers who are totally hostile to God are going to have to get past that if they expect to get healthy again. The real issue they are struggling with is in fact hardly ever theological — that is just a blind to cover the real problem — because what is almost invariably going on is a deep anger and resentment towards a parent, or the religious teachers whom they were subjected to when they were children, or authority figures in general. Or sometimes it can be a control neurosis where they are thrown into a panic at the thought of any situation where they themselves are not totally in control, or something of that sort. Getting them to look at the real this-worldly problem instead of haranguing against God is the first step towards psychological health.

The kind of psychology which most influences Bill Swegan is what is called Neo-Freudianism. This was a group of psychiatrists who started off as orthodox Freudians, but then began to realize that the over-emphasis on Freudian Oedipal complexes and penis envy and things of that sort was not useful for explaining why most people had psychological problems, nor was it helpful in curing their problems. We remember what Dr. Bob said in his last public speech, where he warned that the kind of psychiatry which focused on over-drawn theories about “Freudian complexes” was not useful in working with alcoholics. As we see from the old Akron reading list for A.A. beginners, Dr. Bob and the Akron A.A. people instead recommended reading works like the book by the Yale-trained psychologist Ernest M. Ligon, Psychology of Christian Personality, which combined Neo-Freudian psychiatric principles with a positive attitude toward religion and spirituality.

The Neo-Freudians modified orthodox Freudian doctrine by talking about the importance of other issues such as social factors, interpersonal relations, and cultural influences in personality development and in the development of psychological illnesses and disorders. They believed that social relationships were fundamental to the formation and development of personality. So in other words, they tended to reject Freud’s emphasis on sexual problems as the cause of neurosis, and were more apt to regard fundamental human psychological problems as psychosocial rather than psychosexual. The works of the Neo-Freudians Alfred Adler (1870-1937) and Karen Horney (1885-1952) are especially important for understanding Bill Swegan’s psychological approach. 

Bill was also later on strongly affected by the writings of the psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970). After Maslow became chair of the psychology department at Brandeis University in 1951, he began developing his theory of self-actualization as the goal of the best and most satisfying kind of life. What he called self-actualization had many things in common with Karen Horney’s idea of self-realization. Although Bill does not use either technical term, this kind of idea is at the heart of much of the kind of therapy which he used with so much success with struggling alcoholics.

Approaches like this fit much better with the understanding within A.A. that alcoholics had great problems dealing with other human beings, and that one of the main purposes of the fourth through eighth steps was discovering our own role in producing all these areas of resentment and fear towards other people, and healing our relationships with these other people so that we could become fully functioning members of society once again.

Glenn F. Chesnut, Ph.D.

Subconscious Memory and The Lure of Alcohol

28 Dec
By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on April 13, 2011

Subconscious Memory and The Lure of AlcoholA new study of the actions of alcohol could bring a fresh approach to the treatment of addiction.

Researchers believe alcohol influences our subconscious perception of events, improving our appreciation of things such as food, music and even socializing with people. Such fun and rewarding moments increase our desire to experience similar pleasurable events again.

In fact, consumption of alcohol appears to help certain areas of the brain to learn and remember better, said researchers from The University of Texas at Austin.

This viewpoint appears to contradict the common belief that drinking is bad for learning and memory, said neurobiologist Dr. Hitoshi Morikawa, but in reality, alcohol is a complex drug affecting the brain in numerous ways.

“Usually, when we talk about learning and memory, we’re talking about conscious memory,” said Morikawa, whose results were published last month in The Journal of Neuroscience.

“Alcohol diminishes our ability to hold on to pieces of information like your colleague’s name, or the definition of a word, or where you parked your car this morning. But our subconscious is learning and remembering too, and alcohol may actually increase our capacity to learn, or ‘conditionability,’ at that level.”

Researchers discovered repeated exposure to alcohol enhances synaptic plasticity in a key area in the brain – meaning that the brain is more receptive to some forms of learning – a finding that corresponds to emerging research that suggests drug and alcohol addiction is fundamentally a learning and memory disorder.

When we drink alcohol (or shoot up heroin, or snort cocaine, or take methamphetamines), our subconscious is learning to consume more. But it doesn’t stop there. We become more receptive to forming subsconscious memories and habits with respect to food, music, even people and social situations.

Morikawa said a key distinction in understanding addiction is that alcoholics aren’t addicted to the experience of pleasure or relief they get from drinking alcohol.

They’re addicted to the “experience of the moment” including the environmental, behavioral and physiological cues. These feelings are reinforced when alcohol triggers the release of dopamine in the brain.

“People commonly think of dopamine as a happy transmitter, or a pleasure transmitter, but more accurately it’s a learning transmitter,” said Morikawa. “It strengthens those synapses that are active when dopamine is released.”

Alcohol, in this model, is the enabler. It hijacks the dopaminergic system, and it tells our brain that what we’re doing at that moment is rewarding (and thus worth repeating).

Among the things we learn is that drinking alcohol is rewarding. We also learn that going to the bar, chatting with friends, eating certain foods and listening to certain kinds of music are rewarding.

The more often we do these things while drinking, and the more dopamine that gets released, the more “potentiated” the various synapses become and the more we crave the set of experiences and associations that orbit around the alcohol use.

Morikawa’s long-term hope is that by understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of addiction better, he can develop anti-addiction drugs that would weaken, rather than strengthen, the key synapses. And if he can do that, he would be able to erase the subconscious memory of addiction.

“We’re talking about de-wiring things,” said Morikawa. “It’s kind of scary because it has the potential to be a mind-controlling substance. Our goal, though, is to reverse the mind controlling aspects of addictive drugs.”

Source: University of Texas – Austin 

10 Psychological States You’ve Never Heard Of

28 Dec

… and When You Experienced Them

Everybody knows what you mean when you say you’re happy or sad. But what about all those emotional states you don’t have words for? Here are ten feelings you may have had, but never knew how to explain.

1. Dysphoria
Often used to describe depression in psychological disorders, dysphoria is general state of sadness that includes restlessness, lack of energy, anxiety, and vague irritation. It is the opposite of euphoria, and is different from typical sadness because it often includes a kind of jumpiness and some anger. You have probably experienced it when coming down from a stimulant like chocolate, coffee, or something stronger. Or you may have felt it in response to a distressing situation, extreme boredom, or depression.

2. Enthrallment
Psychology professor W. Gerrod Parrott has broken down human emotions into subcategories, which themselves have their own subcategories. Most of the emotions he identifies, like joy and anger, are pretty recognizable. But one subset of joy, “enthrallment,” you may not have heard of before. Unlike the perkier subcategories of joy like cheerfulness, zest, and relief, enthrallment is a state of intense rapture. It is not the same as love or lust. You might experience it when you see an incredible spectacle — a concert, a movie, a rocket taking off — that captures all your attention and elevates your mood to tremendous heights.

3. Normopathy
Psychiatric theorist Christopher Bollas invented the idea of normopathy to describe people who are so focused on blending in and conforming to social norms that it becomes a kind of mania. A person who is normotic is often unhealthily fixated on having no personality at all, and only doing exactly what is expected by society. Extreme normopathy is punctuated by breaks from the norm, where normotic person cracks under the pressure of conforming and becomes violent or does something very dangerous. Many people experience mild normopathy at different times in their lives, especially when trying to fit into a new social situation, or when trying to hide behaviors they believe other people would condemn.

4. Abjection
There are a few ways to define abjection, but French philosopher Julia Kristeva (literally) wrote the book on what it means to experience abjection. She suggests that every human goes through a period of abjection as tiny children when we first realize that our bodies are separate from our parents’ bodies — this sense of separation causes a feeling of extreme horror we carry with us throughout our lives. That feeling of abjection gets re-activated when we experience events that, however briefly, cause us to question the boundaries of our sense of self. Often, abjection is what you are feeling when you witness or experience something so horrific that it causes you to throw up. A classic example is seeing a corpse, but abjection can also be caused by seeing shit or open wounds. These visions all remind us, at some level, that our selfhood is contained in what Star Trek aliens would call “ugly bags of mostly water.” The only thing separating you from being a dead body is . . . almost nothing. When you feel the full weight of that sentence, or are confronted by its reality in the form of a corpse, your nausea is abjection.

5. Sublimation
If you’ve ever taken a class where you learned about Sigmund Freud’s theories about sex, you probably have heard of sublimation. Freud believed that human emotions were sort of like a steam engine, and sexual desire was the steam. If you blocked the steam from coming out of one valve, pressure would build up and force it out of another. Sublimation is the process of redirecting your steamy desires from having naughty sex, to doing something socially productive like writing an article about psychology or fixing the lawnmower or developing a software program. If you’ve ever gotten your frustrations out by building something, or gotten a weirdly intense pleasure from creating an art project, you’re sublimating. Other psychiatrists have refined the idea of sublimation, however. Following French theorist Jacques Lacan, they say that sublimation doesn’t have to mean converting sexual desire into another activity like building a house. It could just mean transferring sexual desire from one object to another — moving your affections from your boyfriend to your neighbor, for example.

6. Repetition compulsion
Ah, Freud. You gave us so many new feelings and psychological states to explore! The repetition compulsion is a bit more complicated than Freud’s famous definition — “the desire to return to an earlier state of things.”  On the surface, a repetition compulsion is something you experience fairly often. It’s the urge to do something again and again. Maybe you feel compelled to always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant, or always take the same route home, even though there are other yummy foods and other easy ways to get home. Maybe your repetition compulsion is a bit more sinister, and you always feel the urge to date people who treat you like crap, over and over, even though you know in advance it will turn out badly (just like the last ten times). Freud was fascinated by this sinister side of the repetition compulsion, which is why he ultimately decided that the cause of our urge to repeat was directly linked to what he called “the death drive,” or the urge to cease existing. After all, he reasoned, the ultimate “earlier state of things” is a state of non-existence before we were born. With each repetition, we act out our desire to go back to a pre-living state. Maybe that’s why so many people have the urge to repeat actions that are destructive, or unproductive.

7. Repressive desublimation
Political theorist Herbert Marcuse was a big fan of Freud and lived through the social upheavals of the 1960s. He wanted to explain how societies could go through periods of social liberation, like the countercultures and revolutions of the mid-twentieth century, and yet still remain under the (often strict) control of governments and corporations. How could the U.S. have gone through all those protests in the 60s but never actually overthrown the government? The answer, he decided, was a peculiar emotional state known as “repressive desublimation.” Remember, Freud said sublimation is when you route your sexual energies into something non-sexual. But Marcuse lived during a time when people were very much routing their sexual energies into sex — it was the sexual liberation era, when free love reigned. People were desublimating. And yet they continued to be repressed by many other social strictures, coming from corporate life, the military, and the government. Marcuse suggested that desublimation can actually help to solidify repression. It acts as an escape valve for our desires so that we don’t attempt to liberate ourselves from other social restrictions. A good example of repressive desublimation is the intense partying that takes place in college. Often, people in college do a lot of drinking, drugging and hooking up — while at the same time studying very hard and trying to get ready for jobs. Instead of questioning why we have to pay tons of money to engage in rote learning and get corporate jobs, we just obey the rules and have crazy drunken sex every weekend. Repressive desublimation!

8. Aporia
You know that feeling of crazy emptiness you get when you realize that something you believed isn’t actually true? And then things feel even more weird when you realize that actually, the thing you believed might be true and might not — and you’ll never really know? That’s aporia. The term comes from ancient Greek, but is also beloved of post-structuralist theorists like Jacques Derrida and Gayatri Spivak. The reason modern theorists love the idea of aporia is that it helps to describe the feeling people have in a world of information overload, where you are often bombarded with contradictory messages that seem equally true.

9. Compersion
We’ve gotten into some pretty philosophical territory, so now it’s time to return to some good, old-fashioned internet memes. The word compersion was popularized by people in online communites devoted to polyamory and open relationships, in order to describe the opposite of feeling jealous when your partner dates somebody else. Though a monogamous person would feel jealous seeing their partner kiss another person, a non-monogamous person could feel compersion, a sense of joy in seeing their partner happy with another person. But monogamous people can feel compersion, too, if we extend the definition out to mean any situation where you feel the opposite of jealous. If a friend wins an award you hoped to win, you can still feel compersion (though you might be a little jealous too).

10. Group feelings
Some psychologists argue that there are some feelings we can only have as members of a group — these are called intergroup and intragroup feelings. Often you notice them when they are in contradiction with your personal feelings. For example, many people feel intergroup pride and guilt for things that their countries have done, even if they weren’t born when their countries did those things. Though you did not fight in a war, and are therefore not personally responsible for what happened, you share in an intergroup feeling of pride or guilt. Group feelings often cause painful contradictions. A person may have an intragroup feeling (from one group to another) that homosexuality is morally wrong. But that person may personally have homosexual feelings. Likewise, a person may have an intragroup feeling that certain races or religions are inferior to those of their group. And yet they may personally know very honorable, good people from those races and religions whom they consider friends. A group feeling can only come about through membership in a group, and isn’t something that you would ever have on your own. But that doesn’t mean group feelings are any less powerful than personal ones.

Image by Tom Wang/Shutterstock

This io9 flashback originally appeared in June 2011. 

Racial stereotyping increases after being exposed to alcohol-related images

27 Dec

University of Missouri | March 27, 2012

Accusations of racism accompanying the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent actions of Florida police are prevalent in the national media this week. Many are questioning the psychological motivations of everyone involved.

Recent research by MU Professor of Psychological Sciences  Bruce D. Bartholow has shown that consuming alcohol can lead to increased expression of racial bias.  A new study by Bartholow and his colleague, Elena Stepanova of Florida Gulf Coast University, shows that simply being exposed to alcohol-related images can have similar effects, even when no alcohol is consumed.

“Simply seeing images of alcohol, but not drinking it, influences behaviors like racial bias on a subconscious level,” Bartholow said. “Walking by a bar or seeing an ad for beer could be enough to affect someone’s mindset. You don’t have to be aware of the effects for it to affect you.”

The recent study found that participants who had initially viewed a series of magazine ads for alcoholic beverages made more errors indicative of racial bias in a subsequent task than did others who had initially seen ads for non-alcoholic beverages, such as water or coffee.

Test participants were shown a series of ads for either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. They then completed a computerized task in which pictures of white and black men’s faces were shown for a split second, followed immediately by either a picture of a handgun or a tool. Numerous previous studies using this same task have shown that people often mistakenly identify tools as guns following presentation of a black face, a response pattern attributed to the effects of racial stereotypes. The fast pace of the experiment kept participants from thinking about their responses, which allowed the subconscious mind to control reactions.

In the real world, snap decisions in which one object is mistaken for another can be deadly.


“As for the Trayvon Martin case, it very much reminds me of the Amadou Diallo case in 1999, when an unarmed black individual was shot to death by New York City police officers,” Stepanova said. “Diallo was shot because officers claimed that they thought he pulled a gun, while in fact he reached for his wallet. The wallet was misconstrued as a gun by police officers.”

“Associations between blacks and guns, violence and criminal behavior played a role in Mr. Martin’s case,” Stepanova said. “Mr. Martin was essentially a victim of racial stereotypes that so many in our society hold, and that cost him his life.”

The results of Bartholow and Stepanova’s study don’t contend that every test participant was a racist, however.

“Even if people do their best to be open-minded, we are all aware of stereotypes,” Bartholow said. “Participants’ responses could have been due to associations they are aware of but don’t personally endorse. Also the results could be influenced by people’s ability to control their behaviors. A member of the KKK could hide his prejudice if he had good control of his responses.”

Analysis of the results showed people’s automatic, subconscious behaviors were most affected after seeing an alcohol ad, whereas earlier studies found actually drinking alcohol most influenced conscious, controlled reactions. Bartholow suggested the mental associations people have with the effects of drinking alcohol may have been what caused their increased expression of racial bias after seeing alcohol ads. Upon seeing alcohol, they subconsciously felt they could relax their inhibitions and allow their behaviors to be more influenced by stereotypes.

The study was led by Elena Stepanova, a post-doctoral fellow in Bartholow’s lab, now a professor of social and behavioral science at Florida Gulf Coast University. The study was published online in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Bartholow’s research focuses on basic aspects of social cognition as well as how social and environmental factors, along with individual differences, contribute to alcohol involvement among young adults. 

Alcohol consumption strengthens subconscious memory, mental conditioning

27 Dec

By David Hughes on 2011-04-12 

Wine Glass

While consuming alcohol is known to damage conscious memory, especially remembering events while under the influence, alcohol stimulates other parts of the brain’s memory – particularly the subconscious, according to a new study.


Everyone has heard of alcohol-induced memory blackouts. People who drink far to excess, often called ‘binge drinking’ in contemporary parlance, can often result in people doing things they can’t remember the next day. Waking up in a strange place, hopefully not in a gutter, can happen when people drink large amounts of alcohol. Things like this have led most people to equate alcohol consumption with memory damage, but a new study out of the University of Texas – Austin shows that the drug also stimulates other aspects of the brain’s memory mechanism.

The lead researcher, neurobiologist Dr. Hitoshi Morikawa, says that alcohol does diminish our ability to hold onto current events, “but our subconscious is learning and remembering too, and alcohol may actually increase our capacity to learn, or ‘conditionability,’ at that level.” Consuming ethanol, the type of alcohol humans can consume, works in two key ways: it enhances the plasticity of neural synapses in certain areas of the brain while simultaneously stimulating activity in those areas. The result is that the brain becomes conditioned to consume more alcohol, which leads to the learned behavior of addiction. This aspect of the study is not terribly new, though discovering which parts of the brain see increase function has confirmed other research concerning alcoholism as a memory disorder.

What is new, however, is that Dr. Morikawa and his team is that the conditioning aspects extend far beyond the direct consumption of alcohol. Whatever people typically do when they drink, the social setting, food, music, etc. – all of this becomes imprinted deeply in the subconscious memory of the brain. In other words, alcohol addiction fuels more than itself, but whatever behaviors come along with it.

Put more extremely, alcohol tells the brain directly that whatever people do at that moment is worthwile – and thus should be repeated. In Morikawa’s words: “It’s kind of scary because it has the potential to be a mind controlling substance.” Until the deeper workings of the neurochemistry are understood, alcohol use in and of itself is not necessarily dangerous, as the subconscious imprinting of happy occasions during casual alcohol use can certainly be seen as beneficial. Still, the fact being truly addicted to alcohol has a much broader impact on behavior is an alarming find for those struggling with such an addition (and for those treating such addiction).

Past research has shown the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol use in patients suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and elderly people, among other instances. Particularly in the case of TBI, alcohol’s role in enhanced synaptic plasticity found by Dr. Morikawa could an important factor.  

Nonstick surfaces can turn toxic at high heat

26 Dec

 – Sticky Situation – polymer-fume fever caused by teflon and other non-stick cooking surfaces

by J. Raloff

Teflon and related nonstick materials are made from an ultraslippery compound, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Studies conducted during the past 40 years by many research groups demonstrate that at high temperatures, the polymer can emit airborne poisons, an environmental group reported in a self-published review last week. The fumes can kill birds, and people breathing the emissions can develop flulike “polymer-fume fever,” the reviewers find.

With widespread use of nonstick cookware, it’s likely “there is a fair amount of polymer-fume fever” each year, says Richard Wiles of the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. Because the symptoms in people resemble those of a viral infection, they simply “go unrecognized,” he suspects. The group has just petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require mandatory warning labels on PTFE-bearing products that are expected to get hot.

For their analysis, the Environmental Working Group amassed 50,000 pages of peer-reviewed papers, reports, and internal company investigations of PTFE and related compounds. To date, much of this information escaped notice, Wiles says, because it was published in obscure journals and reports, many of which appeared before the federal government got tough on toxic pollutants in the mid-1970s.

As far back as the 1960s, workers in factories making polymer products were getting sick from hot PTFE, says Jane Houlihan of the Environmental Working Group. Manufacturers responded by requiting the use of respirators wherever PTFE reached 400[degrees]F or hotter. In tests just last month, Houlihan’s group demonstrated that an empty nonstick pan on a home-kitchen stovetop can reach 400[degrees]F within 2 minutes and 730[degrees]F in 5 minutes.

At DuPont Co. in Wilmington, Del., a major U.S. maker of PTFE products under its Teflon trademark, employees wear respirators–but not from any concern about Teflon-degradation products or polymer-fume fever, says company spokesman R. Clifton Webb.

He maintains that even at 500[degrees]F, PTFE-coated cookware won’t release material harmful to human health. “DuPont is aware of one published incident of a [cook] pan left unattended which resulted in a case of polymer-fume fever,” says Webb.

The Environmental Working Group says it turned up many reports linking overheated PTFE to accidental poisonings. For instance, a 1964 Aerospace Medicine paper recounted polymer-fume fever in 39 of 40 people on a plane where insulation containing PTFE overheated. A 1975 report in The Veterinary Record described polymer-fume fever in a man–and the death of five cockatiels–after a PTFE-coated fry pan overheated. And a 2000 paper in Avian Diseases traced more than 1,200 broiler-chick deaths in 3 days to the use of new heat lamps coated with PTFE.

An empty pan on a hot stovetop “can reach temperatures that would break down PTFE,” says inhalation toxicologist Gunter Oberdorster of the University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical School. His studies have shown that at 900[degrees]F (486[degrees]C), PTFE emits a mix of gases and ultrafine particles that quickly kills rats. However, neither the particles nor the gases proved toxic alone. Oberdorster suspects the fine particles, which are emitted at the higher temperatures, carried toxic gases such as hydrogen fluoride deep into the lungs.

Most intriguing, he says, is that rats inhaling nontoxic quantities of PTFE fumes for a few minutes on several days, and later exposed to typically lethal concentrations, weren’t harmed.

Oberdorster notes that with food in it, a pan will never reach temperatures that produce toxic PTFE-derived gases. In fact, he says, “you have to put it in perspective…. Cooking with such pans is less dangerous than driving a car.”

COPYRIGHT 2003 Science Service, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

Fractal 2012 – La espiral del tiempo

25 Dec
Fractal 2012
Según la Teoría del Caos, todo tipo de sistemas dinámicos con comportamientos erráticos y aparentemente al azar, al final terminan teniendo patrones predecibles y reproducibles. De este modo, se podría, al menos en teoría, predecir el comportamiento del mercado de valores, predecir la formación de la costa de Chile, o predecir el modo en que se formará una rama de pino o helecho, o hasta una nube.

Un concepto esencial en la Teoría del Caos es la Estructura Fractal. Los Fractales son objetos auto-semejantes en donde las partes microcósmicas o más pequeñas se asemejan en forma a la estructura microcósmica completa.

De acuerdo a algunos filósofos contemporáneos, el tiempo mismo se comporta como un Sistema Fractal de ciclos repetitivos, moviéndose como una espiral en círculos cada vez más y más pequeños hacia un punto final. Interesantemente, ellos perciben el final de la curva del tiempo —el místico momento conocido como el Escatón—, a fines del año 2012.

Pero ya desde antes de las Teorías de Tiempo Fractal que vamos a exponer en este artículo, hubo quienes hicieron observaciones similares, y se atrevieron a realizar predicciones en base a ello.

Una de estas observaciones tiene que ver con las tres Grandes Revoluciones en los últimos 500 años:

# La Revolución Protestante (1517), que alteró el Orden Religioso.
# La Revolución Francesa (1789), que modificó el Orden Político.
# La Revolución Rusa (1917), que afectó el Orden Económico-Social.

Es muy interesante notar que cada una de ellas nutrió y propulsó a la inmediatamente posterior, como un claro «Efecto Dominó». El tiempo transcurrido entre la Revolución Protestante (1517) y la Revolución Francesa (1789), fue de 272 años. Entre ésta última y la Revolución Comunista es de 128 años, que es casi la mitad entre aquellas dos.

Hubo quienes se atrevieron a predecir que, de continuar este patrón, otra Gran Revolución estallaría entre 1981 y 1993. Y, efectivamente, en 1989 fue creada la Internet, que ha propiciado la Revolución de las Comunicaciones que estamos viviendo.

Continuando el mismo patrón, la próxima Gran Revolución tendría que darse entre el 2013 y el 2027…

La primera teoría que vamos a examinar es la de Terence McKenna, un filósofo de la Nueva Era considerado como el sucesor de Timothy Leary. Realizó graficaciones matemáticas con el I-Ching, y lo convirtió en una especie de Mapa del Tiempo, verificando la Profecía Maya de que el tiempo, tal como lo conocemos, se detendrá en seco el 21 de Diciembre del 2012.

Terence McKenna

En la obra «El Paisaje Invisible» (The Invisible Landscape), Terence y su hermano Dennis McKenna adelantan una idea que se deduce de los estudios sobre el Chamanismo primitivo y las Drogas Psicoactivas, por la cual nuestro Universo ha sido creado por la interacción holográfica de dos Hiperuniversos. Creen que el Universo es cíclico y recurrente.

A principios de la década de 1970, Terence, acompañado de su hermano Dennis, se dirigió al Amazonas colombiano, donde ambos experimentaron con la Ayahuasca y Hongos Alucinógenos.

Después de un año de probar el «Psicofluído Vegetal» local y de darle vueltas al I-Ching —el antiguo libro chino de predicciones y sabiduría—, McKenna descubrió un complejo fractal codificado en el oráculo. Bautizó ese fractal con el nombre de «Onda Temporal», en esencia un diagrama repetido de la trayectoria del tiempo.

Según la Tradición China, hace unos 4.400 años, el dios Fuxi descendió de los cielos para convertirse en Emperador. Él fue quien reveló a los hombres los 8 Trigramas básicos (combinaciones de tres líneas continuas o discontinuas), que se recombinarían más tarde para formar los 64 Hexagramas (conjunto de 2 Trigramas ó 6 líneas) del I-Ching, el Libro de las Mutaciones.

Se trata de un Oráculo cuyo foco principal se encuentra en el elemento de cambio, ofreciendo al lector varias maneras de comprender e incluso utilizar las coincidencias, logrando un estado mental y espiritual más armónico. Se cree que fue el Rey Wen Wang quien, hacia el año 1150 AEC, dio a los Hexagramas originales adivinatorios un carácter moral.

La Secuencia de 64 Hexagramas o combinaciones posibles de 6 líneas continuas y discontinuas, es conocida hoy como la Secuencia del Rey Wen. Cada Hexagrama tiene su propio significado e implicaciones, según se explica en el texto del I-Ching.

McKenna descubrió que, al multiplicar el número de Hexagramas por el número de líneas por Hexagramas, obtenía 384, que corresponde al número de días que abarcan 13 Lunas en el Calendario Lunar utilizado por los antiguos chinos. Así, comenzó a formarse la opinión de que la Secuencia del Rey Wen representaba de alguna manera el tiempo.

Luego descubrió que la Secuencia del Rey Wen podía ser convertida en un gráfico de picos y depresiones, según cada Hexagrama. Convencido de que el I-Ching representaba el flujo del tiempo, McKenna se dispuso a diagramar la historia, desarrollando un Fractal de Mandelbrot, en el que cada nivel es 64 veces mayor que el anterior.

Al multiplicar 384 días por 64, obtuvo 24.576 días ó 67,28 años, que curiosamente, corresponde a 6 Ciclos de Manchas Solares (11,21 años cada uno).

Esto, multiplicado por 64, da 4.306 años, que corresponde a dos Eras Zodiacales. A su vez, al multiplicar esto último por 6, obtenemos 25.837 años: la duración de un ciclo completo de Precesión de los Equinoccios.

Basándose en una amplia creación de modelos computacionales, McKenna llegó a la conclusión de que el Primer Nivel del Fractal del Tiempo habría comenzado hace 1.128 millones de años. Sería el Nivel de la Evolución de la Vida.

El Segundo Nivel —64 veces más corto y acelerado que el anterior—, habría comenzado hace 17,6 millones de años. Sería el Nivel de los Simios.

Hace 275.000 años, con la aparición del Hombre de Neandertal, habría comenzado el Tercer Nivel: el de los Humanos.

El Cuarto Nivel es el de la Civilización Humana, que comenzó hace 4.300 años. McKenna encontró correlaciones intrigantes entre su gráfico y estos 4.300 años de historia registrada.

Por ejemplo, los picos y valles de su gráfico señalaban con precisión el momento de la caída del Imperio Romano en el año 476, el descubrimiento de América en 1492 y las Guerras Mundiales del Siglo 20. Pero, lo más extraño de todo era que este Cronograma llegaba a su fin en una fecha específica.

Haciendo coincidir los niveles de la estructura con los principales períodos de la historia, se determinó que se ajustaría mejor si el final de la Escala de Tiempo fuera el 21 de Diciembre del 2012. Este es el único punto en el que el Nivel de Novedad alcanza su máximo, y todo lo que ocurre es nuevo.

De este modo, se encontraron correlaciones entre los diferentes Niveles del Fractal. Por ejemplo, el mismo gráfico que representaba el período entre la aparición del Hombre de Neandertal y el comienzo del arte y la música, servía también para ilustrar el período de 500 años que transcurrió desde la época en que la Peste Negra asoló Europa al comienzo de la Revolución Industrial. Y ese mismo segmento, por supuesto, representaba períodos subsiguientes cada vez más cortos.

El Quinto Nivel del Fractal comenzó en 1945, y podríamos llamarlo el Nivel de las Computadoras Electrónicas. Desde 1945, los Saltos Evolutivos en la Tecnología se producen 64 veces más rápido que en los 4.000 años anteriores.

Los Modelos Computarizados de McKenna muestran que el Sexto Nivel durará sólo 384 días: del 3 de Diciembre del 2011 al 21 de Diciembre del 2012. Y el Séptimo Nivel, únicamente 6 días: del 16 al 21 de Diciembre del 2012. McKenna lo describe como una Resurrección en la Luz.

El Octavo Nivel, 64 veces más corto y acelerado que el anterior, durará apenas 135 minutos. Según McKenna, en este lapso de tiempo, y antes del siguiente Nivel, se experimentarán 5 Saltos Evolutivos comparables a la aparición de la vida, la invención del lenguaje o la consecución de la Inmortalidad.

Pero, ¿Desde qué hora hasta qué hora del 21 de Diciembre del 2012 ocurrirá esto? Da la casualidad que éste día se produce un Solsticio, exactamente a las 23:11 Hrs del Tiempo Universal (Hora de Greenwich). Ése debe ser el Punto Cero, donde se ancla el Fractal del Tiempo.

Si esto es correcto, el Noveno Nivel del Fractal comenzaría a las 20:56 Hrs de ese día, y el Décimo, de sólo 126 segundos de duración, hacia las 23:08 Hrs… Según los modelos computacionales de McKenna, ¡experimentaremos 13 Saltos Evolutivos en la última milésima de segundo del Fractal!

El Tiempo empezó como la más suave de las brisas, pero ha soplado cada vez más rápido en el transcurso de la historia, y ahora tiene la fuerza de un vendaval. Según McKenna, el día en que el tiempo soplará y resoplará hasta echar abajo la realidad, es el 21 de Diciembre del 2012.

McKenna sostiene firmemente que la fecha del Fin del los Tiempos la obtuvo por su cuenta. Luego se enteraría del hecho extraordinario de que la Civilización Maya había terminado su Calendario en la misma fecha que él había deducido a través de sus modelos matemáticos, a partir del I-Ching.

A decir verdad, los McKenna publicaron su Teoría de la Onda Temporal en 1975: doce años antes de que el libro de José Argüelles, «El Factor Maya», instalara la fecha del 21 de Diciembre del 2012 en el debate cultural.

La segunda Teoría de Fractal del Tiempo que vamos a examinar, es la del biólogo sueco Carl Johan Calleman, quien ha seguido una línea de pensamiento similar a la de Terence McKenna con respecto a la naturaleza del tiempo, pero basándose en la Cultura Maya, y en la estructura de algunas de sus Pirámides como modelo para explicar su Teoría.

Carl Johan Calleman

Para los Mayas, los Ciclos Cósmicos y Terrestres, solían sucederse en múltiplos de 13 y 20. Sus múltiples calendarios estaban basados en lo que el Dr. José Argüelles llama la Matriz 13:20, en donde los múltiplos de tales números se relacionan entre sí para producir escalas repetitivas en donde el comportamiento de una civilización, un astro, o una galaxia, podían ser trazados en un Mapa Armónico del Tiempo.

Argüelles cree que la razón por la cual nuestra civilización moderna se dirige camino a su destrucción es por el uso de la Matriz 12:60, producto del Calendario Gregoriano, el cual intrínsecamente está fuera de sincronización con los Ritmos Naturales del Universo.

Los Mayas reconocieron la importancia del 20 en las sincronizaciones de eventos cósmicos y humanos, y lo elevaron exponencialmente a distintas potencias para explicar algunos ciclos de mayor importancia en sus calendarios. A continuación, mostramos algunos de estos ciclos:

KIN: Un día.
WINAL: 20 días ó 20 Kines, el mes maya.
TUN: 360 días ó 18 Winal.
KATÚN: 20 Tunes (19,71 años).
BAKTÚN: 20 Katunes ó 400 Tunes (394,25 años).
PIKTÚN: 20 Baktunes u 8.000 Tunes (7.885 años).
KALABTÚN: 20 Piktunes ó 160.000 Tunes (157.700 años).
KINCHULTÚN: 20 Kalabtunes ó 3.2 millones de Tunes (3,15 millones de años).
ALAUTÚN: 20 Kinchiltunes ó 64 millones de Tunes (63 millones de años).
HABLATÚN: 20 Alautunes ó 1.280 millones de Tunes (1.261 millones de años).

Todos los Calendarios Mayas de importancia dependen de la Matriz 13:20. Por ejemplo, el Calendario Sagrado Tzolkin, tiene un ciclo de 260 días (13 x 20). El Calendario Solar Haab está compuesto por 18 meses de 20 días cada uno (18 x 20 = 360), más 5 días extra (conocidos como Uayeb), para completar un año normal.

Cada 52 años (13 x 4) ambos calendarios principales, el Tzolkin y el Haab volvían a sincronizarse, cumpliéndose el ciclo conocido como la Rueda Calendárica, lo que se celebraba en un gran festival.

Sin embargo, de todos los Calendarios Mayas, ninguno tan cautivante como el Calendario Profético, o de la Cuenta Larga, el Winak Maikin. Está compuesto de 13 Baktunes (5.200 Tunes ó 5.125 años normales), que van desde el 13 de Agosto del 3114 AEC, hasta el 21 de Diciembre del 2012.

Algunos se han preguntado el por qué este calendario tiene un ciclo de 13 Baktunes, en lugar de 20, para completar un Piktún. Y aquí es donde entra la teoría del Dr. Calleman para explicarnos esto.

De acuerdo a Calleman, los 9 niveles de las estructuras de las más importantes Pirámides Mayas (el Templo de las Inscripciones en Palenque, la Pirámide del Jaguar en Tikal, y la Pirámide de Quetzacóatl en Chichén Itzá) representan un modelo de la Estructura del Tiempo desde el Origen del Universo hasta el último cambio en la conciencia humana el cual estamos a punto de vivir.

Calleman teoriza que cada uno de estos Niveles, o Submundos, se mueven 20 veces más acelerado que el Nivel anterior, y que cada Submundo necesita del anterior a manera de cimiento, creando una estructura jerárquica, en donde cada nuevo Nivel de Conciencia depende del anterior.

Según este modelo, el Primer Nivel de la Pirámide (la base de toda la estructura), representa un período de tiempo comenzando hace 13 Hablatunes ó 16.400 millones de años atrás. Este período de tiempo envuelve desde la creación de la materia hasta el desarrollo de la vida a nivel celular en nuestro Planeta. Calleman lo llama el Submundo Celular.

El Segundo Nivel, el cual comenzó hace 13 Alautunes u 820 millones de años atrás, representa la Evolución de la Vida en este planeta, particularmente el desarrollo de la flora y fauna. Es el Submundo Individual.

El Tercer Nivel, comenzando hace 13 Kinchiltunes ó 41 millones de años atrás, representa el desarrollo de los primates y el descubrimiento de las herramientas más primitivas de estos antepasados nuestros. Es el Submundo Familiar.

Durante el Cuarto Nivel, comenzando hace 13 Kalabtunes ó 2 millones de años atrás, los antecesores del Homo Sapiens comenzaron a organizarse en tribus y otras formas sencillas de gobierno. Es el Submundo Tribal.

El Quinto Nivel comenzó hace 13 Piktunes ó 102.000 años atrás, y representa el período de tiempo cuando el Homo Sapiens por fin emergió como una nueva especie, y cuando el idioma hablado fue creado. Es el Submundo Cultural.

El Sexto Nivel, el cual está claramente representado en el calendario de la Cuenta Larga, comenzó hace 13 Baktunes ó 5.125 años antes del Escatón, y representa el desarrollo de la Civilización Patriarcal en nuestro planeta. Es el Submundo Nacional.

El Séptimo Nivel o escalinata de la Pirámide, comenzando hace 13 Katunes ó 256 años antes del Escatón, nos trajo la industrialización, la electricidad, tecnología, Democracia y Comunismo, el descubrimiento del ADN, los Viajes Espaciales, y la Bomba Nuclear. Es el Submundo Planetario.

Calleman cree que los Mayas erraron en los cálculos de su propio calendario, y que el Escatón se producirá el 2011 y no el 2012, cosa que los Ancianos Mayas rechazan tajantemente. Si Calleman está en lo correcto acerca de la fecha del Escatón, el Nivel 7 habría comenzado en 1755. En cambio, si la fecha del 2012 es la correcta, este Nivel habría comenzado en 1756.

El Octavo Nivel es el Submundo Galáctico, el cual mide 13 Tunes ó 12 años y 9 meses. Habría comenzado el 28 de Febrero del 2000 (en 1999 para Calleman), y coincide con la Revolución de Internet.

El Noveno y último Nivel es el Submundo Universal o Cósmico, que mide 13 Winales ó 260 días (un ciclo del Tzolkin). Comenzará el 4 de Abril del 2012, y durante este período de tiempo, dice Calleman, la Humanidad sufrirá un cambio a nivel espiritual, en donde todo el mundo estará conectado por una sola Conciencia Cósmica.

Al final de este Submundo, la Humanidad entrará al Escatón, definiendo una Nueva Realidad muy diferente a la realidad que percibimos hoy.

Profundizando aún más sobre el sistema de conocimientos de la Civilización Maya, Calleman nos revela que dentro de cada uno de los 9 Submundos existe una subdivisión de 13 Pulsos Energéticos Cíclicos, los cuales él los agrupa bajo el nombre de los Siete Días de la Creación.

Durante esta «semana» simbólica, dividida en 7 días y 6 noches, Calleman argumenta que cada Submundo pasa por experiencias paralelas y similares necesarias en la Evolución Planetaria, dependiendo del día o noche de tal semana. En otras palabras, cambios similares ocurren durante los mismos días, no importa si el día en cuestión se encuentra en el Submundo Nacional o en el Submundo Galáctico.

Calleman teoriza que los cambios que traen estos Pulsos de Energía Cíclicos son predecibles y repetibles, y que una vez uno entienda los ciclos de la historia, puede hacer predicciones educadas sobre los tiempos a punto de suceder. Por ejemplo, de acuerdo a Calleman, cada día de la semana simbólica le pertenece a alguna Deidad Maya.

El Noveno Pulso Energético o Quinto Día, de acuerdo a él, le pertenece al dios Quetzacóatl, y durante ese período de tiempo sucede un cambio crucial en la evolución en los Niveles de Conciencia. El siguiente período, el Décimo Pulso Energético o Quinta Noche, le pertenece al dios enemigo de Quetzacóatl, Tezcatlipoca, y es durante este período de tiempo que suceden las grandes crisis.

Por ejemplo, en el Nivel 1, la Quinta Noche abarca el período entre 5.000 y 3.874 millones de años atrás, que corresponde al tiempo de la formación de la Tierra y la aparición de la vida. Como ya dijimos, se cree que fue un Cataclismo Cósmico el que dio origen a la Tierra.

En el Nivel 2, la Noche de Tezcatlipoca cubre el período entre 252 y 189 millones de años atrás. Es el tiempo de inicio de la Era Secundaria, con grandes cataclismos y la aparición de los dinosaurios.

En el Nivel 3, la Quinta Noche abarca el período entre 12 y 9 millones de años atrás.

En el Nivel 4, la Noche de Tezcatlipoca cubre el período entre 630.000 y 473.000 años atrás. Es el tiempo en que se agudizó en el Planeta Nibiru la Crisis Atmosférica que obligaría a los Anunnaki a venir a la Tierra en el siguiente período, según las investigaciones de Zecharia Sitchin.

En el Nivel 5, la Quinta Noche abarca el período entre 31.000 y 23.000 años atrás. Es el tiempo en que se produjo una grave escasez de alimento en la Tierra, que afectó tanto a hombres como a Dioses, como lo indican las antiguas Tablillas Sumerias.

En el Nivel 6 (Submundo Nacional), la Quinta Noche sucedió entre los años 435 y 830, los cuales corresponden a la caída de Roma y la ascensión de la Iglesia Católica en el ámbito político europeo, y el nacimiento y expansión del Islam en el Medio Oriente, el Norte de África y la Península Ibérica.

En el Nivel 7 (Submundo Planetario), que comenzó con la Era Industrial, llegó a su momento más oscuro en la Quinta Noche, entre 1934 y 1953, cuando el Nazismo ascendió al poder, llegó el Holocausto, estalló la Segunda Guerra Mundial y dos ciudades japonesas fueron arrasadas por medio de la Energía Nuclear.

Extrapolando esta idea de la semana simbólica uno llega entonces al Nivel 8 (Submundo Galáctico), que para Calleman comenzó el 4 de Enero del 1999. Si es cierto que el Escatón ocurrirá el 28 de Octubre del 2011, como él propone, entonces la Quinta Noche abarcó el período entre fines del 2007 y fines del 2008.

Calleman sugirió que este período traería a la Humanidad a un período de colapso económico y ecológico, en donde la clase gobernante abusaría de su poder de maneras más infames e inauditas nunca antes vistas.

Resulta interesante notar que, precisamente, en Septiembre del 2008, se produjo un gran desplome financiero, y hubo rumores de que el entonces todavía Presidente George Bush II, instauraría una Ley Marcial durante Octubre, cosa que afortunadamente, no llegó a concretarse.

Sin embargo, si la fecha del 2012 es la correcta para el Escatón, entonces la Quinta Noche abarca desde el 11 de Enero del 2009 al 6 de Enero del 2010. ¡Ya estamos inmersos en ella!

«En la Quinta Noche, regida por Tezcatlipoca, el amo de la oscuridad… presenciaremos un desesperado y forzoso atentado por parte de las fuerzas dominantes tratando de asegurar su control sobre la realidad», predijo Calleman. Bien podríamos decir que la creación en laboratorio de la Gripe Porcina forma parte de estas oscuras movidas.

En el Nivel 9 (Submundo Universal), la Quinta Noche abarca del 2 al 22 de Octubre del 2012.

Esta es la parte en donde me toca agregar mis propias especulaciones sobre este tema, pues la Teoría del Dr. Calleman me ha fascinado al punto de terminar realizando mis propios cálculos y reflexiones, para ir un poco más allá.

Resulta curioso, por ejemplo, el ver que el Imperio Romano cayó durante la Quinta Noche del Submundo Nacional, y el Tercer Reich lo hizo durante la Quinta Noche del Submundo Planetario. Esto me hace preguntarme, si será ahora, en el Submundo Galáctico (2009), o en el Submundo Universal (Octubre del 2012), cuando tal vez nos toque presenciar la caída del Imperio Usamericano y/o Sionista.

Por otro lado, ¿Por qué detenerse en el Nivel 9, como lo hace Calleman, y no seguir más allá, al 13 por ejemplo, número tan importante para los Mayas? Esto me ha llevado a ir casi tan lejos en la curva del tiempo como lo ha hecho McKenna con su propia Teoría. Veamos…

Si el Nivel 9 estaba compuesto por 13 Winales (períodos de 20 días), el Nivel 10 lo estará por períodos 20 veces más pequeños, es decir, 13 días. Por lo tanto, el Nivel 10 va del 9 al 21 de Diciembre del 2012, y la Quinta Noche, la Noche de Tezcatlipoca, cae el 18 de Diciembre.

Para el siguiente Nivel, tendremos que dividir el día en 20 partes. Esto nos da como resultado una «Hora Maya» de 72 minutos. El Nivel 11, por lo tanto, comenzaría 15 Horas y 36 minutos antes del Escatón, que yo hago coincidir teóricamente con la hora del Solsticio (23:11 TU del 21 de Diciembre del 2012, como ya dijimos). Por lo tanto, este Nivel se iniciaría a las 7:35 TU del mismo día. Y el «Momento de Tezcaplipoca», sería entre las 19:24 y 20:35 TU de ese día.

Para el siguiente Nivel, tenemos que volver a dividir por 20, lo que nos da un «Minuto Maya» equivalente a 3 minutos y 36 segundos de los nuestros. Por lo tanto, el Nivel 12 comenzaría 46 minutos y 48 segundos antes del Escatón, es decir, a las 22:24 TU del 21 de Diciembre. El «Momento de Tezcatlipoca» ocurriría entre las 22:56 y 23:00 TU.

Finalmente, llegamos al Nivel 13, donde, como siempre, hay que dividir por 20, y así obtenemos un «Segundo Maya», equivalente a 10,8 segundos de los nuestros. De este modo, el Nivel 13 se inicia 140 segundos antes del Escatón, hacia las 23:08 TU de este día que promete ser tan extraordinario. El «Momento de Tezcatlipoca» abarcaría entre 43 y 32 segundos antes del Escatón.

Pero, ¿Qué pasará DESPUÉS del Escatón? Ni McKenna ni Calleman tienen respuesta para esto, fuera de decir que comenzaría un Nuevo Orden, de una naturaleza probablemente inconcebible para nosotros.

Sin embargo, dándole vueltas a esta pregunta, me ha surgido una nueva idea especulativa. Si nuestros propios científicos han llegado a la conclusión de que la Tierra, el Sol e incluso el Universo, están «en la mitad» de sus vidas, ¿No será que este Momentum que aquí hemos llamado el Escatón del 2012, sea el CENTRO EXACTO de Todos los Tiempos, más que «El Fin de los Tiempos»?

¿No será que el Escatón es una «Fecha Espejo», en donde no sólo termina un brazo de la Espiral del Tiempo, sino que también nace otro (u otros), para continuar el Fractal hasta el Infinito?

Numerosas doctrinas esotéricas han dicho también que nos encontramos en la mitad o cerca de la mitad de Grandes Ciclos y Cadenas Evolutivas, que van desde el inicio del Universo hasta el fin de éste. En realidad, estas doctrinas, suelen considerar que más bien hemos estado viviendo un Proceso de Involución que ha durado millones o miles de millones de años, y que en algún punto, al tocar fondo, emprenderemos el proceso inverso, de Retorno al Origen.

¿Y si el Escatón 2012 fuera ese Punto Cero? Eso significaría que el Tiempo volvería a pasar por cada uno de los Niveles descritos, pero en sentido inverso. Luego de la Aceleración Progresiva hasta el Escatón, vendría un proceso de desaceleración, que nos permitiría asimilar la increíble cantidad de Saltos Evolutivos que viviremos al hundirnos en el Escatón.

Pero, ¿Acaso es cierto que ocurrirán todas estas cosas? ¿De esto es de lo que trata la Profecía Maya? Todo hay que decirlo, los Ancianos Guardianes de la Tradición Maya han dicho que creen que el cambio será gradual, «más como el oscurecimiento del crepúsculo que como accionar un interruptor de luz».

Gracias por pasar—La-espiral-del-tiempo.html 

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