Obesely Speaking

The brain and obesity

Connecting Global Warming and the Obesity Pandemic

Non local effects and collective consciousness

Presentiment, Non-local Effects and Collective Consciousness

Constituent & Collective Thought / Heat Shock Protein
Presentiment is an awareness of an unpleasant event before it happens, and before there is any knowledge or suspicion of its actual occurrence. 

Non-local effects are time-space changes that occur in one place because of something that happened in another place. For example, the tears that fell in Los Angeles because Princess Diana died in Paris.

Humans are individuals, but we are also members of a social species. Each human has an individual awareness that is a result of his or her nature/nurture experience. However, because humans are members of a social species we also have access to a second level of awareness, i.e. the collective awareness of the human species, which is the sum of constituent human awareness. Collective awareness and individual awareness continually inform each other. Think of it like a basketball team. Each member of the team brings his own skills and mentality to the game. The team also has a skill-set and mentality that is the sum of its players. As the game unfolds, individual player performance will determine how well the team performs as a whole. For example, if one player under matches his opponent, or distracted by external issues, the team must adjust to compensate. That adjustment occurs by redefining player roles, which requires individual players mentally and physically adapting their performance. Likewise, individual, or groups of human player awareness change Team Human's awareness, and that awareness adjusts by synergistically changing individual human player awareness in the form of psychophysical responses.  

Thus, there is a likely connection between the non-local effects of presentiment of the impending ecological disaster in the collective consciousness and the global obesity pandemic affecting millions of individuals. Think of it like this: Team Human is receiving input from players all over the globe that a catastrophic climatic change is coming. In return, Team Human informs its players that the team is in trouble. When a team is in trouble, individual players respond variously, and the outcome is seldom good. In the case of humans, and compulsive overeaters in particular, extreme stress causes the neurochemical scenarios that underlie the behaviors that result in compulsive overeating, and eventuate in obesogenic states.  

The stress derived from intuitively sensing impending environmental disaster could very well be the underlying cause of many other recently developing, unexplainable global concerns. I believe the key player in this scenario is the heat shock protein. I will explain why I believe this as this discussion unfolds.   

Anticipating Bad Things Have Physical Consequences

Functional MRI, EEG, and electro-dermal activity (EDA) studies show when you anticipate hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting or touching something that is disturbing, your body has a stronger reaction than it does when you anticipate something that is not emotionally evocative.  These studies also show a gender bias; women are more sensitive to presentiment than men are. Perhaps, this is where the notion of “female intuition” comes from. However, presentiment studies of individuals have a greater implication, than substantiating “female intuition,” when you think of the non-local effects of presentiment in a social species on the noosphere (the sphere of human thought).

Princeton’s PEAR and the GCP

A Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) group experiment’s principle concern was whether disturbances in non-local consciousness directly affected time–space. Over several decades, PEAR research asked subjects to influence the performance of random event generators (REGS). The PEAR group meticulously constructed highly sophisticated REGS to assure random performance. They consistently observed that the focused intention of ordinary people could make these REGS become non-random.

Naturally, their next question was: Could such an individual effect produce an objectively verifiable collective expression? To this end, Roger Nelson created the Global Consciousness Project (GCP), which has continuously run for over a decade. Their question was: Could individuals feeling a linked experience have an effect on a constantly operating global network of computer-linked REGS? In other words, is there a measure of non-locally linked consciousness expressing itself as social awareness, such as the world’s reaction to the bombing of the World Trade Center?

 

Nelson describes it like this: “Subtle interactions link us with each other and the Earth. When human consciousness becomes coherent and synchronized, the behavior of random systems may change. Quantum event-based random number generators (RNGs) produce completely unpredictable sequences of zeroes and ones. But when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, our network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. The probability is less than one in a billion that the effect is due to chance. The evidence suggests an emerging noosphere, or the unifying field of consciousness described by sages in all cultures. Coherent consciousness creates order in the world.”

Presentiment, Climate Change and the Heat Shock Protein

A Heat Shock Protein And Stress
Life first appeared in the primordial sea in the form of prokaryote bacteria. Prokaryotes used the heat shock protein (HSP) to detect, contrast, and respond internally to external temperature fluctuations (stress) to maintain homeostasis in order to survive. The bacterial heat-shock response of the primordial sea remains as a requisite, global, regulatory system for effective adaptation to changes (stress) in the environment. The bacterial heat-shock response is no longer limited to changes in temperature and is a general stress response, as many of the heat-shock proteins are induced by other environmental changes, e.g. high osmolarity, pollutants, starvation etc.

The take home message is, since life first appeared, HSPs and HSRs have been the brick and mortar of the stress response to changes in the environment. Many heat shock proteins are responsible to transcriptional activation. Transcription is a fundamental process of life that allows organisms to use DNA information to respond to environmental change. Thus, information predicting environmental changes is stored in our genes, which heat shock proteins and heat shock response effectively access by affecting gene expression. Therefore, on a molecular level we are aware of global environmental changes, and more importantly, we are aware of what these changes mean in terms of impending catastrophic climatic events, whether it registers in consciousness as existential fear or not. Thus, no matter what the Koch brothers, and their winged monkeys, are selling about carbon-based fuels, the heat shock proteins are not buying it. 

Think about individual presentiment and the collective non-local effects-linkage that we discussed early. The sea is rising like real estate prices; we know that. Most of America’s major cities are on the coast; plus, on a molecular level, we know a bad moon is on the rise. How would that psychophysical-linkage presentiment-response manifest in humans? How have humans always responded to any threat? We perceive it as stress, and inaugurate the stress regulatory processes in the brain, and its physiological sequelae, i.e. the pathophysiology of stress. Furthermore, environmental change was the first villain on the biological stage. Catastrophic environmental change is terrifying to humans on a molecular basis.

Fear is a subcortical (old brain) process; thinking occurs on the cortex (new brain). When the old brain’s fear response activates, it deactivates thinking in the new brain, because the goal is to survive now, and ask questions later. Hence, it is time to do, not think. This is a great strategy when the threat is a lion. However, aborting rational thought is problematic when the threat is persistent like gender or race-based stress, or presentiment of impending climatic change. Compulsive overeaters and addicts are more likely to practice their addictive behaviors when stressed—old news. Constant stress results in allostatic load, where your protective mechanisms become destructive from overuse, also old news. Obesity and substance abuse is pandemic. Connect the dots. If our heat shock proteins, which have been detecting and responding to environmental change since the first prokaryote appeared in the primordial sea, detect impending ecological disaster stress occurs. 

ClimateEvent-HSP/HSR-Presentiment-NonLocalEffects in Noosphere-Stress-Psychophysical Responses (obesogenic behaviors)
No organism is above biology. Addictive behaviors become addictive because their neurochemical rewards make the brain do its happy dance. Maintaining balance is the chief enterprise of life’s basic economy. That has not changed since the first prokaryote appeared in the primordial sea, although evolution has expanded the commerce, currency and consumer profile. Compulsive overeating, drug addiction, alcoholism, this “ism” and that “ism” are the result of our heat shock proteins’ cry to stress regulatory processes for balance. Simply put stress makes us sad, the neurochemical rewards of addictive behavior make us happy, by creating an illusion of balance. The brain’s job is to do whatever is necessary to protect the organism. The threat response occurs in the old brain, which cannot distinguish between reality and illusion. While the new brain can make those distinctions, at the time-space point where the action occurs the old brain has disabled rational thought. Hence, the binge eater knows the pizza will not fix it, but instead make matters worse. However, he or she does not know that until after the fact. The more sensitive you are to your environment, the more vulnerable you are to stress. Under persistent stress, overeating becomes a climate, not a weather condition.  



Therefore, the obesity pandemic and other like global scenarios implicates presentiment stress from impending climatic disaster. It is not a coincidence that the world is becoming more obese and more substance dependent, as our ecology worsens. No organism can be healthier than its environment—Biology 101. Nor is the obesity pandemic as simplistic as unhealthy foods and sedentary lifestyles. However, it is very basic, i.e. HSPs and HSRs to environmental change has always been the biological basis of survival. However, as organisms evolved from the prokaryote, the environment has also evolved. Once, the environment was the geosphere; then evolution added the biosphere, and subsequently the noosphere. Hence, HSPs not only detect changes in the geosphere and biosphere, they also detect the non-local effects of presentiment in the noosphere conceivably creating a downward synergy. This downward synergy would certainly explain why our most valiant efforts to intervene on the obesity crisis continue to fail miserably. In addition, how does the non-locally linked consequence of a world worrying about becoming increasingly overweight affect the noosphere, and in turn, how does that affect what we do or more importantly, do not do as a society to intervene on the obesity pandemic. Stay tuned for part two: how this presents as social and political pathology within a social species. Until then, as always, remain fabulous and phenomenal.  

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Selected References

Morimoto RI. Review Cells in Stress: Transcriptional Activation of Heat Shock Genes. Science 1993 Mar 5;259(5100):1409-10.  

Nelson RD, Radin DI, Shoup R, Bancel PA. Correlations of continuous random data with major world events. Found Phys Lett. 2002;15:537–550

Nelson R, Bancel P. Effects of mass consciousness: changes in random data during global events. Explore. 2011;7:373–383

Lobach E. Presentiment research: past, present and future. In: Roe CA, Kramer W, Coly L eds. Proceedings of Utrecht II: Charting the Future of Parapsychology. Paper presented at Utrecht II, Utrecht, October 16–18. The Netherlands, Johan Borgmanfonds Foundation, 2008: 22–44.

Dossey L. One Mind. New York: Hay House; 2013.

 

Billi Gordon, Ph.D., is  Co-Investigator in the  Ingestive Behaviors & Obesity Program, Center for the Neurobiology of Stress, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

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