Free Will?

Free Will?

The pre-frontal cortex is the area of the brain that is thought to be involved in planning and complex cognitive behaviours and in the expression of personality and appropriate social behaviour.

What separates us from all other sentient species is that the frontal lobe of our brain is the most developed. This is what makes us human and differentiates us from other animal species.

The pre-frontal cortex forms at least 30% of the human brain (compared to 11% in chimpanzees and 7% in dogs) and is the location of the executive functions of the brain.

This is where we exercise forethought, control, judgement, empathy, and learning from experience.

The pre-frontal cortex is the place where free will is located. Where there is a ‘free will’ then please understand that there is also a ‘free won’t’; that is to say that we also have the ability to say ‘no’. The frontal lobe is, in fact, also the place where the ‘free won’t’ is located; that executive inhibitor of response that stops us running amok.

When there are problems here, we see patterns of procrastination. Bad judgement and a lack of learning from experiences are all evident. Some symptoms include a lack of focus, low energy, and a need for a crisis to work properly.
Crisis, or the sense of crisis or conflict, stimulates activity in the brain.

Have you ever worked with people who only seem to thrive when there is a crisis? Dr Amen suggests that the treatment for these problems is:
• Writing down goals for all areas of your life and repeating them daily
• daily exercise
• high protein and low carbohydrate diet (only if this is your area of difficulty); and
• fish oil.

So, if this is where your free will is located, then what is free will?

Free will is the ability to consciously make a choice.

In choosing you are always selecting a future. Your future is not pre-determined. We do not live in a Newtonian mechanical universe.

Free will and quantum physics resonate with each other as we live in a sea of possibility and probability, creating multiple futures, each carrying their different possibilities.

What does this have to do with us and the Law of Attraction?
We know that we can use our pre-frontal cortex in mental rehearsing or visualisation to enhance performance as it is successfully used by coaches and athletes. It is also used by actors and concert pianists. Mental rehearsing helps the mind, or imagination, ‘make it so’.

Brain scans show that imagining an activity and doing it are not that different, which is why this works. This demonstrable fact, which is replicated every day the world over, can be used to your great advantage.

In an interview in the film What the Bleep, Dr. Joe Dispenza illustrates this with a personal example:

‘I wake up in the morning and I consciously create my day the way I want it to happen. Now sometimes, because my mind is examining all the things that I need to get done, it takes me a little bit to settle down and get to the point of where I’m actually intentionally creating my day. But here’s the thing: When I create my day and out of nowhere little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know that they are the process or the result of my creation. And the more I do that, the more I build a neural net in my brain that I accept that that’s possible. [This] gives me the power and the incentive to do it the next day.’’

Situationally, not only is performance enhanced through the process of mentally creating the day, but the subsequent events of the day then have a quantum like predisposition to draw into themselves the necessary ingredients to facilitate the envisaged outcome.

Unfortunately, most people only make partial use of the frontal lobe and so could be said to be operating with a ‘frontal lobe lobotomy’, choosing to respond to situations in a habitual manner and with habitual behaviour. Because what we think we know is always going to be limited, we tend to get stuck in how to change our thinking. In any event we also prefer habitual thinking to the effort of creating our day. We have a vague ‘what will be, will be’ approach that while not making us victims certainly makes us inattentive to our attitudinal address to life.

This may be so because we do not believe how we think about things is going to make much of a difference anyway…… How wrong we are!

 

Guest Blog by Dr Brian Gordon, OAM
Access Visualisation meditations here …

 

 

Sound and Silence

Sound and Silence

When I wrote this blog it was raining outside, mist sitting on the western hillside and a steady comforting hum in the air from the constant, gentle, deluge. It was early in the morning and the trees full of birds, each one calling into the new day to announce its aliveness and presence with their unique songs, trills, and whistles.

How comforting sounds can be.

Listening to sounds can induce many emotions. A friend of mine who could never conceive a child, cries even now at the sound of a baby’s gurgle, and who has not been moved by a song, connecting us directly to the feelings of the past, some sharp, some sad, some sweet, but always evocative.

As we grew up my sisters and I would put a particular record on the player (no ipods then) just to see our mother cry, which she did every time she heard this particular piece of music. We never did ask her why, and she never would tell us, perhaps a sign of the times when personal emotion was held private rather than something to seek attention from. Anyway, many years later when visiting her grave, we finally saw the reason for her tears. There on the gravestone of her younger brother buried next to her, was the title of that song ‘arrivederci darling’ – goodbye, ‘til we see each other again…

Sound itself is an energy transmitted by pressure waves; a sensation perceived by us as the sense of hearing. People with hearing loss can often ‘hear’ some sound, particularly the humming sound from a brass string or the boom of drums. However, as with any sense, if that sense is lost our amazing brain rewires itself to capture that under used section into the other senses, sometimes creating a ‘super sense’ such as increased sense of sight for the hearing impaired.

Sounds and Healing

Sounds have been used for healing for centuries to clear energetics blockages and reduce stress. From classical music and the sound of nature’s fauna, winds, and waters to percussive instruments like drums, gongs and singing bowls.

Listening to particular sounds can alleviate stress and expedite healing.

For some listeners, moving into a meditative state helps to calm the mind, and in turn the amygdala the brains emotion processor, allowing a cooling of process and a subsequent reduction of inflammation throughout the body. Turned outward, deep listening is a practice of deep connection.

It’s interesting to note that human beings only register the hearing of sound within a certain frequency, yet a person does not have to consciously hear something to be affected.

Watching a science based tv program on sounds that trigger fear recently, a low frequency sound was played to a group of people to (successfully) prove an increased fear activation, regardless of it being soundless. Interesting. On the other end, hearing sound from the so called ‘God Frequency’ – 963 Hz – activates the pineal gland, clearing brain fog, and giving cool clarity to thought processes and peace.

There is much more of the effects of sound on the human being to be discovered, but in the meantime the effects are certainly something for us to consider in our daily lives.

Silence

You would think that silence is the absence of sound, yet even silence can have a texture or resonance.

Who has not ‘heard’ the sound texture of a tense electric silence, perhaps with a felt potency within it that ‘anything can happen’, or experienced the awkward discomfort and tightness of a strained silence?

And what about the texture of silence after a stunning theatre performance before the applause breaks out to shatter it, or the deep dense quiet of a snow-covered mountain, the humming open silence of a dessert, or the full, soft silence of a rainforest?

Silence and Spirituality

For time immemorable people have used silence to connect with nature, the creation and the Creator.

I live on Whadjuk Noongar land in Australia, and Aboriginal people have a few words to describe silence, or deep listening. One of them, called ‘dadirri’, is practiced without judgement and with no expectation, it’s just about quietly waiting with awareness, and an inner open stillness.

Writing for Creative Spirits, Aboriginal Elder Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann described deep listening as “ … inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us … lived for thousands of years with natures quietness. My people today, recognise and experience in this quietness, the great Life-Giving Spirit, the Father of us all”.

Many spiritual practices include deep listening, such as the Budhist insight (Vipassana) meditation, or the Christian spiritual training of Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading. In all the phases of Lectio Divina – reading, meditating, praying, and contemplating –silence is practised, but in particular the last phase. In this phase a deep inner silence is mainatained, a open still awareness that is also an invitation to experience insights from the Spirit of God within.

As well as a deeper spiritual connection, many people use silence regularly as a mental and emotional health tool. Whatever form it takes, from long walks to quiet sitting, the practice of silence is about becoming more attuned and responsive to the inner life of ourselves, rather than reacting to the outer. 

An informal way of practicing silence – and one that quickly reveals the fruits of doing it – is to simply choose a time to practice it. Famously, Actor Steve Mc Queen practiced silence for a whole day each month for most of his life. If a day is too long for you, start with less, even a tiny 3 seconds before responding to anyone can reveal so much, not least that mostly our responses are either reactive or empty, or are often not needed at all.

So much energy and presence can be gained by consicous silence.

Silence is a significant part of many contemplation and meditation practices, with mindfulness bringing in awareness of the moment-by-moment experience to the fore, rather than seeking to silence it. If, however, you choose to be quiet or meditate to find inner stillness, know that deep silence can be hard to reach and hold against the ongoing internal dialogue and noise, regardless of how quiet or fitting the place of practice is. Hence the term to accept before beginning a silent or meditation practice is to note the term used, a ‘practice’.

Moving toward more inner silence in our lives helps us to channel our energies, meditate and rebalance from the noise and activity of the experiences of outer life. It can allow a new perspective, and within that an opportunity to recognise the paradigms through which we view the world. In turn this allows the freedom of choice, should we wish to change or expand them.

Silence is indeed golden, a golden opportunity toward achieving a deep inner quiet, and the path toward equanimity and peace.

Lectio Divina, Mindfulness and quieting Meditations can be found here …

AL

Quantum Physics – Mysticism or Science?

Quantum Physics – Mysticism or Science?

In previous blogs we raised the seemingly mystical, that is the possibility of changing our inner world and so changing our external reality.

This is a bit like a caterpillar being released from the pupa of its past, to become free to be the butterfly that God intended it to be. I recognise that such thoughts may sound a bit airy fairy. However, underlying this supposition and comprising the focal point of this short series of blogs is quantum theory.

Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.[1]

Quantum theory demonstrates through its many applications that our world exists in a probabilistic and not a deterministic dimension. In other words – what happens to us is not inevitable. The rules we rely on in our everyday lives break down.

Quantum theory (Quantum Physics) highlights that all matter is essentially comprised of energy. It ties our inner world to the outer world in ways that had not been imagined or understood by previous generations.

This and the ensuing chapters reflect on the science of quantum physics, on neuro plasticity, on human design; and on the nature of the creation, to demonstrate the way that the unseen world impacts us and in turn how we can take advantage of the unseen world.

In truth, some of the world’s recent mathematical and scientific revelations expressed through quantum physics and chaos theory can sound mystical – revelations that go far beyond ‘common sense’.

In C.S. Lewis’s book, That Hideous Strength, the magician Merlin, advisor in King Arthur’s court, was described as ‘the last vestige of an old order in which matter and spirit were, from our modern point of view, confused’. For after him came our scientific rationalist world that depended on the five senses (sight, taste, hearing, touch, smell) to determine what is possible.

After him came the modern man to whom Nature is something dead – a machine to be worked, and to be taken to bits if it won’t work the way he pleases.’[2]

Merlin should have stuck around for a few more centuries.  In the closing decades of the 20th century there arose a new mysticism, a mysticism of quarks, of neutrons, of different futures, in fact a future defined by our growing understanding of quantum physics.

What is unusual is that while inventions such as MRI machines, computer chips, atomic clocks and lasers all depended on an understanding of quantum concepts, and physicists know how to use the equations of quantum mechanics to predict all kinds of things, it remains little understood.

Caltech physicist, Sean Carrol, says: ‘quantum physicists are like people with i-Phones; they know how to use them and can do some great things with them; but if you ask what’s going on inside their i-Phone they have no idea.’

But this hasn’t stopped speculation as to what mechanisms are at play – these mechanisms are known as ‘interpretations’. Two of the most accepted are the Copenhagen Interpretation and the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) which I will address later in this series.

A key issue scientists face lies in the fact that the position, spin and momentum, of any quantum particle is unknown until its measured. The particle is in many states at once – it’s not here or there; instead, it’s here AND there, at the same time. This sounds crazy and does not fit with our world view – so how do we explain it?

In a sense Merlin represents what we’ve got to get back to, in a different way.

Quantum physics tells us that we live in a participatory universe; a universe where we now know that we are not passive beings but change makers. This is because quantum physics tells us that the very act of observation changes the observed. It suggests that what we do with our consciousness impacts our surroundings.

So, as the physicist John Wheeler said ‘‘the old word ‘observer’ simply must be crossed off the books, and we must put in the new word ‘participator’. In this way we’ve come to realise that the universe is a participatory universe’’[3].

Nothing is fixed or stable and all things are in constant transition from one state to another, so we need to abandon our preconceived notions of reality and recognise that we are both the observer of our own reality and the participant in it.

We both impact and create our own reality.

In the strange world of quantum physics … ‘you can ‘dance’ with the illusions of time and space, choosing your ‘steps’ based upon things and events as they now are, or you can ‘dance’ with your dreams, choosing your ‘steps’ based upon things and events as they will be. (unknown)

 

Guest Blogger  Dr Brian Gordon, OAM

References:

1 John Dewey, ‘The Quest for Certainty’, 1929

2 Sacred Tribes retrieved 17 July 2007 from http://www.sacredtribes.com/issue2/STJ-finals/lewis-grahame-paganism.pdf

3 ‘ Physics, Buddhism and postmodern interpretation’ Journal of Religion and Science Vol. 21 Issue 3 pp 287-296

 

Access meditations … here …

 

Twixtmas Reflections

Twixtmas Reflections

Twixtmas is that quiet, special time betwixt and between the Christmas gatherings and the New Year celebrations. Twixtmas offers a quiet time, a time to rest, reflect and, perhaps, make a New Year’s Resolution.

New Year’s Resolutions date back over 4000 years from Ancient Babylonian celebrations which included paying off debts incurred in the previous year, returning borrowed items, and planting new crops. The celebrations lasted for 12 days in March, and then the timing changed with the onset of the Romans bringing in the Julian Calendar, and the start of the New Year then began on January 1st.

Interestingly the Romans had a God of New Beginnings called Janus. Janus had two faces, one for looking back and reflecting on what has past, and one looking forward to new beginnings.
Leaping forward to the late 1800s, new year’s resolutions took on a more moral and spiritual nature and, over the last century, have also encompassed denying aspects of worldly pleasures, the invoking of self-discipline, compassion of others, and a deepening of held values.

Today, we are so busy with work and the myriad of entertainment, stimulation, and distraction options, it is easy to let slip those importance’s of life – our values, and to live, learn, give and grow.

So, the challenge for us is to find time in this often-frenetic end of year/start of year activity.

Twixtmas is a time to embrace; a time to pause, self-measure and take stock. A time to look back and reflect and discern if what we say we are, is what we know ourselves to be.

Insights arising from this gentle and important practice can form a fundamental part of how to move forward in life and supply the seed of any New Year’s Resolution you may make.

Especially at this time of year, I spend time in nature, read inspiring books and writings, listen pod casts and do Lectio Divina to help deepen my response to the gift that life is. Recently I came across something that originated in Japan with the idea of promoting reflection which caught me immediately, it’s called a Tanka.

Like a Haiku, the Tanka is a poem of sorts. It has a strict structure of lines and syllables, and it need not rhyme.

Here’s an example of an ancient Tanka by Izumi Shikibu which I hope you will find time to reflect on.

How invisibly
It changes colour
In this world
The flower, of the human heart.

And another, this a more modern sample to spend time with by Andrea Dietrich:

We ran gleefully
Chasing the summers fireflies
Putting them in jars …
Those warm nights of our childhood –
They flickered, and then were gone.

Whilst I value the reflections that arise from these evocative Tanka’s, I have also found that the process of writing one is quietly satisfying and cultivates a rare peacefulness. In turn, having moved into a more reflective mood during the writing of this blog, I pass a reflection that arose in the process.

A life without reflection lacks the insight, understanding and foundation on which our deeper soul and spirit life depend.

Unfortunately, its not a Tanka, but I hope it is something that will encourage your own reflection.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, a Quiet Twixtmas and a Happy New Year

AL

Access mindful meditations and Lectio Divina here …

 

Feeling Lucky?

Feeling Lucky?

Have you ever looked at some people who just seem to have it all and asked yourself, ‘what makes them special? Do they have more angels on their side? How come they are so lucky?’

In 2004 an English Professor, Richard Wiseman, published a book The Luck Factor, which drew on the results of several years’ research examining the behaviour, attitudes, and experiences of hundreds of ‘lucky’ and unlucky people.

His research identified that luck was not a birthright, nor did it somehow just happen to those who were classified lucky, but rather their luck hinged on essentially four principles.

So, what are these four principles of luck?

In summary they are:
o Principle 1 – ‘Lucky people create, notice and act upon the chance opportunities of life. (They are aware).
o Principle 2 – Lucky people listen to lucky hunches, which is to say they listen to their intuition.
o Principle 3 – Lucky people expect good fortune (You might call this visualisation.)
o Principle 4 – Lucky people seek to turn ‘bad luck’ into ‘good luck’.

Through large experiments he also determined that luck was not a matter of psychic ability (did that person somehow ‘know’ the winning lottery numbers?), nor was it a matter of intelligence, of conscientiousness or hard work.

Rather, it was attitude that led people to be open to possibility.

It is important here to stop for a moment and reflect on what it means ‘to be open’.

Does this mean that we just lie on the grass and wait for a possibility to happen? Or do our lives, thinking, language and conversations all reflect the activity of being open?

Think of it in terms of being open to a new relationship. The way we approach, speak, and respond to members of the opposite sex will reflect an activity of being open, if only at a subconscious level.

If we look at Professor Wiseman’s lucky people, we find that they lived out the expectations of their hearts. In the first principle listed above, consider all the activity words: ‘create’, ‘notice’ and ‘act upon’.

These people are consciously living life; hence, again, the importance of observation and of awareness.

‘If you seek, you will find’, as the bible puts it. If you visualise your ‘dream’ then, as you begin to attract to yourself the makings of it, you will at some level notice those ‘makings’ and act on them.

So, for instance, being open meant that these lucky people tended to network and socialise. They listened to their intuition; they were also open to the universe rather than tending to notice only those things that were important to them at the moment, whilst ignoring whatever else was in their surroundings, not least the opportunities.

Lucky people were found to be more relaxed; they would tend to listen to people rather than seek to dominate a conversation. (How many people even know how to listen?) They then became aware of what there was to be seen in their world, rather than what they thought ought to be seen.

In other words, they were not confined by the lens of their paradigms.

What tends to happen in many conversations, not just with strangers, and acquaintances, but also friends, is that we are so keen to tell them what we have to say that we only half listen, if at all, to the other person’s dialogue.
We have this desperate need to be noticed and heard rather than to notice and to hear.

So:
• We can miss the cues that could tell us of new possibilities, of new directions
• We can miss the cues that might open our paradigms up and introduce us to whole new worlds; and
• Maybe we also miss the cues because we, consciously or unconsciously, close off because of the other person’s voice, clothes, or background and so miss those angelic messengers who would speak into our future through the medium of that person.

Stop here for a minute and ask yourself, ‘‘do I over-talk other people? Do I really listen? Do I select my conversational partners because of how they look, or sound, or their occupation or lack of it?’’

Do we focus on the visible bards that mark the boundary of our momentary existence?

As we have noted throughout, being relaxed in ourselves is a part of this whole approach to life, this openness. Too often we engage in a social or work situation with an end game in mind.

We focus on meeting the right people, saying the right thing, having a good time; or just plain focused on finding a partner, making an impression, clinching a deal, or reaching a destination etc.

In so doing we focus on the bars that mark the boundary of our momentary existence and are blind to the stars that beckon us beyond, to the life changing opportunities that are on offer.

In a related fashion, Professor Wiseman notes that ‘lucky people are open to new experiences in their lives’. This is demanding.

First and foremost, this challenges the self-imposed limits of our own world. It places an imperative on us to step outside what we know or had planned. It challenges our comfort zone – sometimes seriously so.

Secondly, lucky people expect the new experience to be positive. They have an outlook that expects the best rather than believing in failure and disappointment as a normalcy.

How do we move to become a person with a sunny and open outlook on life; one who is prepared to grasp new experiences with high expectation?

The answer is to start small.

For instance, do you travel the same route to work every day, or follow a set routine? Do you live habitually? Just for once why don’t you change it, mess with your mind, and live dangerously! Do you find yourself always mixing with or talking to the same people? Break out and force yourself to also begin mixing with new groups. You don’t have to discard the old friends. Join a salsa dance class, as one friend of mine did; or a ‘slow cooking group’, as another did.

Simply speaking: ‘broaden your world’.

Meeting people from other cultures and from different backgrounds were recommended strategies to changing our thinking and so remove our cognitive barriers that shape our paradigms.

My wife and I have had some of the richest moments of our lives when we have connected with people from radically different backgrounds, by joining or being involved with different interest groups.

Another factor is that of intuition – the hunch – the gut-feel, in a given situation.

Intuition is an interesting phenomenon. Literally it is defined as instinctive knowing without the use of rational processes. For some, and I believe that this is true, it is an aspect of the divine, or at least of the spirit life, of a person. As an unseen, unreasoned, process it is also a highly creative process.

Listening to your intuition is the essence of art and creativity and soulful living. Intuition is what you use to find the purpose of your life and your place in the world. In philosophy, intuition is the power of obtaining knowledge that cannot be acquired either by inference or observation, by reason or experience.

As such, intuition is thought of as an original, independent source of knowledge, since it is designed to account for just those kinds of knowledge that other sources do not provide.’’

How do we cultivate intuition?

Lucky people in Professor Wiseman’s study not only listened to their intuition but their intuition was strengthened by practicing stillness exercises such as meditation which relaxed their being allowing them to hear from the small inner voice. (Notice that word ‘relax’ again)

Lucky people also tended to clear their mind, find quiet places, and return to problems later. They allowed space and time to find the road through a situation or to the next staging post in life.

As Elisabeth Kubler Ross once said, there is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.

Relaxation and meditation are an integral part of the journey of the lucky person. It is so important.

I would also encourage you to read The Luck Factor which demonstrates scientifically the reality that luck is essentially a matter of an attitude towards life.

Professor Wiseman’s research clearly revealed not only the opportunistic nature of the lucky individuals who participated, but also how they had lucky events occur that were clearly outside of their control, yet somehow, they were the beneficiaries of the WOW factor. The factor that causes those around them to scratch their heads in bemusement and say ‘wow’ the lucky devils, how come everything goes their way?

I am writing this to say that their experience is yours for the living if you really want it. You too can be ‘lucky’.

Guest Blogger  Dr Brian Gordon, OAM

Access awareness and relaxation meditations here …

AL

References:

Wiseman, R. 2004 The Luck Factor Arrow Books Great Britain
WordNet Retrieved 13 September 2007 from http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=intuition
Angelfire. Retrieved 13 September 2007 from http://www.angelfire.com/hi/TheSeer/intuition.html

The Problem with Plastics, a student perspective

The Problem with Plastics, a student perspective

The problem with plastics is that they become micro plastics.

Microplastic and plastics in general that are in the ocean are a danger not only to sea life but to us as well. Thousands of earths creatures are affected or dying from the effects of these microplastics every day.

WHAT ARE MICROPLASTICS?
Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are usually too small to be seen by the naked eye. They can come from tiny fibres in nylon clothes and are made up of fragments of larger pieces of plastic that have broken down in the environment.

Generally, any plastic particles smaller than 5 millimetres are considered to be microplastic, and this size is why they are so dangerous.

A study completed in 2015 found that eight trillion microbeads were entering the ocean throughout the United States every day.  The article addressed the harm that consumption of microplastics has had on crustaceans and other filter feeders, and it seems that adding microplastics to the diet of oysters proves that this can have major repercussions on several marine organisms. According to a study by the French Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea, “their ability to reproduce is almost halved.”

This information is eye-opening, laying a platform from which to look deeper into the issue.

Filter-feeding organisms are vital components of ocean food chains, and their extinction could mean severe threats to numerous consumption levels, including to us humans who rely on these species as a source of food.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF PLASTIC POLLUTION?

Human beings are the main cause of microplastic pollution.

The main sources of marine plastic are land-based, from urban and storm runoff, sewer overflows, beach visitors, inadequate waste disposal and management, industrial activities, construction, and illegal dumping. Ocean-based plastic originates mainly from the fishing industry, nautical activities, and aquaculture.

Our behaviours don’t help. When we buy a bottle of water or go to a restaurant and get a plastic fork and throw it into the trash, it gets put into the dump and is left for 1000’s of years to decompose – and turn into microplastics. Or let’s say you’re on the beach and have finished your drink and just leave the empty cup there, the chances are that a wave will eventually wash it out to sea where it begins to break down, and some poor fish eats it.

WHAT DOES IT DO TO MARINE LIFE?
Ocean pollution has an deadly effect on marine wildlife.

CSIRO says that “when baby fish eats the plastic, it slowly kills them off”. This means that fewer and fewer adult fish are in the oceans. Thousands of seabirds and sea turtles, seals, and other marine animals are also killed yearly after eating plastic. The worst impacts of marine plastics are ingestion, suffocation, and entanglement.

Before 1972, humans around the world threw trash, sewage, and chemical, industrial, and radioactive wastes into the ocean with no care for the environment.

Ocean wildlife such as seabirds, whales, fish and turtles, can mistake plastic for prey, and countless marine animals die of starvation as their stomachs are filled with plastic debris.

 A study in 2006 says that all saltwater fish will be extinct by 2048 due to ocean plastics.

And can you imagine that! No more fish to swim with, or to eat. No more lovely snorkelling or beautiful fish restaurants.

WHAT DOES IT DO TO THE HUMAN BODY?
Flaws says microplastic particles can also accumulate polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chemicals that are linked to harmful health effects, including various cancers, a weakened immune system, reproductive problems, and more.

A study by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that eating seafood with microplastics can damage the immune system and ruin a guts balance.

Once these chemicals are inside of us, even low doses may have an effect. Think of that fish that ate the deteriorating cup from the beach, it could be the one you are served at a restaurant!

WHAT CAN WE DO TO REDUCE MICROPLASTICS?
Multiple organisations are highlighting this terrible pollution issue. Some, like Greenspace.com, are trying to stop plastic altogether by getting people to object to wrapping up food in supermarkets in plastic wrapping.

We can help!

• Don’t buy food or water in plastic.
• Use cloth bags for shopping.
• Buy natural material clothing.
• Put your waste in a bin.
• Re-cycle. If we put all our plastic into recycling, though it won’t clear the plastic that is already contaminating the earth, it WILL stop further contamination.

There are lots of ways to get active helping the environment. A new UN Environment Programme just had a UN Ocean Conference Youth Forum, calling for a powerful wave of change to #SaveOurOcean. Take a look. The time to act is now. Our ocean is in trouble.

Guest Blogger – Beau van der Beeke, yr. 10 student

 

Guided Loving Kindness/Metta Meditations  can be focused on environmental issues