Empathy, Serious Drill,* Placebo Effect, etc.

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Feb 20, 2004, 5:10:06 AM2/20/04
Here is a recent article from the AP wire about studies of empathy and the
placebo effect. I would include the URL, but I read it on the AOL news thingie,
so most readers couldn't access it.

This might at least partially explain how the setup of the Avatar Course puts
people into a seemingly telepathic state, and how the placebo effect plays into
its occasional purported "miracle" results.

*The Serious Drill, one of a couple of additional procedures introduced on the
Master Course, is a way of increasing a student's confidence level by beaming
high frequency vibrations at them and making positive, "teasing" comments to
instill a lighthearted attitude. The othere is an "Identity Handle" procedure
designed to discreate any doubts the Master might have about a student's
progress or ability to "get" the course materials. Both, in my opinion, are
primarily designed to hypnotize the Avatar Master so he or she can in turn
induce an empathetic trance in the student.

Best, Eldon
Two Studies Hint at Power of the Mind
Empathy May Cause Real Pain; Power of Placebo Caught in Action By LAURAN
WASHINGTON (Feb. 19) - When someone says, "I feel your pain," the person really
may. A groundbreaking study shows that some of the same brain regions involved
in feeling physical pain become activated when someone empathizes with
another's pain.
And when it's time to feel better, thinking that a drug helps can make it so,
according to a different brain-scanning study that finally caught the power of
placebo in action.

The studies, reported in Friday's edition of the journal Science, provide
important new evidence of the power of the mind, said Dr. Jon Levine, a pain
specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, who reviewed the

"Very likely the same part of the brain which is affected by empathy for pain,
and therefore suffering, is the area that also our mind or our expectation has
to deal with if we're going to get control of that pain," Levine said.

In the empathy study, British researchers recruited 16 couples. One at a time,
the women were put into brain scanners called MRI machines; the men sat nearby.
The women could see only their loved one's hand and a computer screen. The
women and men got brief electric shocks to the hand. The computer screen
flashed who would get the next shock and whether it would be mild or very

When the women got shocked, the MRI showed how their brain's entire pain
network activated, researchers reported. They registered feeling the jolt and
how much it stung, from sensory brain regions, as well as how much it made them
suffer - the "affective" or emotional regions.

But when the men got shocked, part of the women's pain network sprang into
action, too - not sensory regions but emotional ones. They knew when the men
were being shocked only by watching the computer screen.

The lead researcher, Tania Singer of University College of London, likened it
to vivid feeling when imminent pain is imagined and the heart speeds up before
the actual sensation arrives.
Men were not studied for their reaction to how women responded to a shock.

Singer did not tell the couples that she was studying empathy so as not to rig
the results. But she later asked the women to describe how they felt when their
partner was zapped.

"They indicated it was as unpleasant" when the man got zapped as when they did,
Singer said. "What they say matched what I saw in the brain activity."

She also rated their degree of empathy, using questions such as how easily they
cry at movies. The more empathetic their nature, the more emotional brain
activity there was.

It was not "emotional contagion," like how one person's yawn can set a whole
room to yawning, because the women could see only their partner's hand, Singer
said. Instead, the women were using the same brain areas that anticipate one's
own pain.
In the second study, volunteers put inside MRI machines had either electric
shocks or heat applied to the arm. The pain activated all the expected neural
pathways, researchers from the University of Michigan and Princeton University
Then, researchers smeared on a cream they said would block the pain. In fact,
it was a regular skin lotion.

When the volunteers were zapped again, they reported significantly less pain -
and pain circuits in the brain showed they really felt better. Those were the
same brain regions that respond to painkilling medication.

Then researchers spread on cream again, this time telling the volunteers it was
a placebo - and they hurt all over again.
Doctors long known have known the placebo effect is real. It is one reason that
they talk up the benefits of a drug as they write the prescription. But the
effect has been assumed to be psychological, Levine said.

The study provides "a novel and important insight into the fact that placebo is
in fact due to a physiological attenuation of the pain signal," he said.

As for empathy, Singer now is studying whether people can sense a stranger's
suffering as much as a loved one's.
Is empathy a learned trait or a genetic one? Her study suggests it is a
completely automatic response that varies merely in its degree, meaning it
probably is hard-wired into our brains through evolution.
After all, Singer said, empathy serves two important survival functions:
bonding between people, especially mother and child, and the ability to predict
others' actions, such as whether someone in pain is a threat.

Ronald Cools

Feb 20, 2004, 7:09:01 AM2/20/04
Well Eldon,

The ''serious drill'' is the most remarkable things they tried to teach me
on the Avatar Masters Course.
I say ''tried'' because I felt resistance towards their approach. The Avatar
materials say someting like: "You don't even have to understand what your
student says to shift someone out of a creation".

IMO Harry Palmer has not understood one thing. Let me explain it.

According to Avatar it does not matter if you understand someone, even if he
is talking Gibberish.
The Avatar Mastermaterials say something like: "Understanding the student
can even HINDER the process of shifting somebody out of a creation.....
Well maybe they are right, but I think it depends what kind of problems such
a student has; if someone is in the course with deep depression, not
understanding him could be a dangerous attitude.
Just look at a Chinese newspaper, and however the headlines, it easy to
smile at it (and see is as a piece of ''art'') because you just don't
understand; it looks so funny.....

I think it all depends on the levels of a problem a student has. Sometimes a
medicine can be poisenous you know.
So the Avatar Master Materials have some amateuristic approaches.

The ''serious drill'' is nothing: ANYONE can do this, if someone is willing
to pay for it.
If you pay me 50 dollar per hour, well, I have no big problems looking at
your ''creations'' as a peace of art.
Some Avatar masters and Wizards are just spiritual hookers IMO.

The attitude is: As long as you pay, I am willing to shift.

Ta ta

The ever shifting Ronald


Feb 20, 2004, 8:43:16 AM2/20/04

I would estimate that $50 is about the going rate for a cheap blowjob in any
developed nation. These services are very efficiently delivered in Amsterdam,
and for lower prices in third world countries.

Doesn't matter whether it's spiritual, mental or physical. It's more or less an
hourly rate.

Best, Eldon

<< The ''serious drill'' is nothing: ANYONE can do this, if someone is willing
to pay for it.
If you pay me 50 dollar per hour, well, I have no big problems looking at
your ''creations'' as a peace of art.
Some Avatar masters and Wizards are just spiritual hookers IMO. >>


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