Author Archives: Fred Eaker

The Conspiracy of the Monkey Mind

I’m working on a blog entry about happiness, but Paul Jones tweeted this article and I wanted to post it: The Conspiracy of the Monkey Mind.

For the devotees of the cult of rationalist materialism, this conspiracy of duality was most profoundly manifest in the concept of the ‘objective observer.’ With fanatic devotion to the dualistic principle that the observer is separate from the observed, they forcibly separated the concepts of human from nature, mind from matter, and science from spirit. Though this approach resulted in technoscience’s phenomenal capacity to rigorously manipulate the physical world, its accompanying worldview justified the dismissal or ignorance of uncomfortable or inexplicable causal connections that did not fit neatly into its proscribed framework.

More Evidence of Interdependence

My previous post regarding altruism and egoism stressed that individuals live in an environment of inescapable interdependence. An article in the UK’s Telegraph cites research by Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a sociologist at Harvard Medical School, and James Fowler, an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of California, San Diego:

“How grumpy people feel can be influenced not only by the state of mind of those closest to us, but also by friends of friends that we have never met like ripples from ‘pebbles thrown into a pond’ […] the effect works both ways with each ‘happy connection’ increasing the chance of a person’s happiness by nine per cent.”

Statistical details are available in their research paper (PDF) published in the British Medical Journal (337). Fowler was also interviewed on NPR Science Friday.

Our mood radiates outward to influence others “like pebbles in a pond.” What responsibility we have! What opportunity we have! So, how do we improve our mood and generate happiness? That is another blog post…