The WHY and WHAT of Suffering and Invitation [SSL82]

The WHY and WHAT of Suffering and Invitation [SSL82]

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This is Soul School Lesson 82

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Eps 109: Pádraig Ó Tuama and Lumpy Crossings

Eps 109: Pádraig Ó Tuama and Lumpy Crossings

Welcome to Spark My Muse!
(Audio is released each Wednesday)

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warm regards


Pádraig Ó Tuama

Poet, theologian, group worker, and leader of Corrymeela Community of Northern Ireland, Pádraig has worked with groups in Ireland, Britain, the US, and Australia. With interests in storytelling, groupwork, theology, and conflict, Pádraig lectures, leads retreats and writes both poetry, prose, and music..

Click for MORE episode INFO, show notes with links, details and more, click HERE!

Books by Pådraig:


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Esp 88: Suggestible to Healing-Placebo Science, guest Erik Vance

Esp 88: Suggestible to Healing-Placebo Science, guest Erik Vance

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

• Each FRIDAY, guests join me in a conversation.
• Come back each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek) for a brief Soul School “lesson”–something for your interior world and common life.

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LISTENERS, like you, support Spark My Muse with gifts and spreading the word about the show.

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(click to visit Erik’s website)

Today, my guest is Erik Vance a researcher and science water whose work has been published in The New York TimesScientific American, and National Geographic. He is the author of

Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain’s Ability to Deceive, Transform and Heal published by National Geographic

(click for more book info)


MIN 2:00

When the brain heals or cures the body without medicine and studying the placebo effect.

Being a Christian Scientist as a child and experiencing faith healing.

MIN 4:30

Faith healing and gullibility


1940s studies determined that the non responders to placebo “pure”, the the response in part of being human.

MIN 7:30

Hypnosis and being “talented” if you are hypnotizable.

[My conversation with Magician Kevin Ferguson about HYPNOSIS and DECEPTION]

MIN 8:30

Expectancy, belief, and placebo effect

MIN 10:30

Priming and doctors using he placebo effect to help people.

Brain is a giant prediction machine.

MIN 12:30

When Erik got electric shocks and his brain filled in the gaps

MIN 15:00

Distraction and pain killing and hypnosis

MIN 18:00

Memories, Suggestibility, and Placebo

Dr Steven Porter – False and Implanted Memories and placebo

[My episode with Dr Porter on implanted and false memories.]

Who we are is so tied up in our memories

MIN 20:30

3 phases of memories


memories and expectation for healing

MIN 23:30

Flashbulb memories and how memories changed

MIN 25:00

Eastern vs. Western medicine in terms of healing and placebo

Now used more in certain conditions that track with placebo research and findings.

MIN 28:30

The conditions that respond to placebos

MIN 30:30

Placebo effect that works on top of medicines

MIN 32:30

Marketing medicine in certain ways to increasing effects

MIN 34:30

The rules in play that can cause a 60% response rate to placebos

MIN 36:30

Want Nocebo is (“I shall harm”)

MIN 38:00

Fear is powerful motivator

MIN 38:30

Superstitions, curses (nocebo) and when Erik ask a witch doctor to curse him

MIN 43:00

Proper Hoc Ergo Hoc

(looking for a cause as a reason after something happens)

Creating narratives

MIN 46:00

Cursing other people

Body language and intensions

What doctors can communicate without realizing it



TWITTER @aterikvance

MIN 50:00
Book tour dates

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Soul School Lesson 38 – Unconventional Thoughts on Suicide and Depression

Soul School Lesson 38 – Unconventional Thoughts on Suicide and Depression

Welcome to SOUL SCHOOL – a bit of nourishment for your inner world.

A new Soul School is released each Wednesday.

This is a really personal Soul School and maybe the hardest one I’ve done yet.


Here’s why I did it…
It’s easier sometimes to act like very dark thoughts happen to other people. Growing up, Jesus and the hope of heaven was suppose to cure me of any hopelessness, fear, despair, and existential angst. It was seldom that simple. My life often felt sad, tumultuous, and complicated. There seem to be people that experience Jesus (or the idea of Jesus) like a “happy pill”…sometimes this was true for me. But, often, it wasn’t. I felt like the Bible character Job, a lot.

Some might accuse me of having too little faith. But, if you have all the answers, you don’t need faith at all. Certainty is faith-killing. I rely on faith, because I’m on a journey into the unknown. A journey of discovery. And, I need to be brave, especially now. Maybe you do too.

Unforeseen suffering or brain chemistry (or both) slings some of us onto another path and the easy answers and promises fall short sometimes. So, if that’s been your situation, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Don’t feel ashamed. Let’s do this together.

Feeling alone is what gets us into the worst sort of trouble. It can bring us to both a figurative and literal dead end.Twitter

(To tweet that quote, click the blue bird.)

Today, on Soul School, I expose the shame and silence about dark moods and the rather common thoughts of suicide and despair some of us face. I want you to hear my story so that you can share your story and together we will all be better for it.

Please, seek the help you need, despite what those around you know or don’t know about your feelings and situation; and despite what they think you should do about it.

The U.S. national hotline to speak to someone, right now, is 1-800-273-TALK. (1-800-273-8255) or go to SUICIDE.ORG

Speak to someone: someone you know is wise, if you have a loving family member seek that one out, a trusted friend, a supportive spiritual guide from your religious tradition, or someone trained to help. There are so many who are willing and able to help you.

Just being open about it takes the teeth out of it and gets you out of the shadows and to where you can be seen, heard, and loved.

Your cries for help will not go unnoticed if you reach out until you find connection. Your story isn’t over yet.

• If you have pervasive (rather than passing) thoughts of suicide or a detailed plan to end your life, I ask you to seek professional medical attention immediately.

• Please stay. Tell me your story-let’s both stay.

Because today’s information could save lives, please pass it along as you are able.


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Below are the books mentioned in the program today:


Victor Frankl

Jennifer Michael Hecht


To hear the conversation with Jennifer Michael Hecht on suicide and her powerful book STAY, click below:

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Soul School – Lesson 34: A Flexible Perspective on Suffering

Soul School – Lesson 34: A Flexible Perspective on Suffering

Wednesday JUNE 8th, 8pm EDT is…
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(released every Wednesday!)

If you want to be healed from past or present issues, getting emotional distance and a proper perspective from your painful thoughts, worries, and experiences is crucial. Easier SAID than done, right?

In the world of therapy, Dr Steven Hayes developed a powerful technique to facilitate that distance and achieve what is called “psychological flexibility”.

Humans are particularly good at achieving psychological flexibility, if we practice; and the basics are easy to understand.

READY to put the days of getting mentally or emotionally hijacked behind you?

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, in Lesson 34, I talk about the basics of using psychological flexibility and the important work of Dr Steven Hayes.

• His therapy is call ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The clinical studies demonstrate how successful the approach is. I encourage you to find out more after you finish the short Soul School episode. Watch his video and use the link to his website below.


Click for Dr Hayes’ website and resources.


In this video he explained how his sudden onset anxiety disorder helped him come up with a therapy to create mental flexibility and distance that could be taught and demonstrated successful in clinical trails.

Thanks for listening.

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