Esp 121: Consciousness is Not in the Brain- Guest, Eben Alexander, MD

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Today’s guest is neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, MD.

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Living in a Mindful Universe – link and info

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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.

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

Your support has been heartwarming.

(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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Eps 87: An Inefficient Conversation with guest Matt Inman

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.

LISTENERS, like you, support Spark My Muse with gifts and spreading the word about the show.
I’m honored by your love and help.

Your support has been heartwarming.

Today my guest is podcaster (Inefficiency Podcast) and licensed professional counselor and counselor supervisor, Matt Inman.


[Tweet quotes from this episode by click the BLUE BIRD when you see it]


MIN 1:00
Matt’s backstory of getting into his counseling profession

MIN 8:30

Doing therapy and supervising counseling and what made him want to do the Inefficiency podcast.

Therapy is expensive and inefficient, yet meaningful.

MIN 10:30

Our daily lives don’t often give us space to talk about what matters most or to talk about what we really really want.

Creating inefficient hours

What do people really want?

All people have the same “deathbed desire”

Relationship, convictions, and spirituality are the top things that concern many people.

“Did I live my life or someone else’s?”

“Was it okay to have been me?”

“Did I spend my time well?”

A beautiful burden

MIN 13:30

Being truly present

[ictt-tweet-inline hashtags=”” via=””]Relationships are inefficient[/ictt-tweet-inline]

We need to play and be late and not take everything so seriously

MIN 18:00

[ictt-tweet-inline hashtags=”” via=””]Inefficiency as a decision filter[/ictt-tweet-inline]

and exploring what it means in real life because it is a good way to be.

MIN 20:00

Repression and how it changes us. (A rock in a pond)


MIN 22:00

Making good use of what you learn

MIN 24:30

The Hawaii trip and the mind and body connection


MIN 28:00

TIM FERRISS show link (Erik Vance and the amazing world of placebo studies)

MIN 30:00

Disease mind/body connected

Reframing our reality

MIN 33:30

Western ways of seeing the world- silos

The spiritual community Matt is involved with now

Vox Veniae (Matt’s community / church)



The Incarnation is the ultimate act of empathy

MIN 38:30

(Matt is a 9)


[ictt-tweet-inline hashtags=”” via=””]“Disillusion” is a removal of your illusion.[/ictt-tweet-inline]

MIN 40:00

Disillusionment or Delusional ?

MIN 43:00

Kester Brewin

My conversation with Kester:

Using Jesus as a drug

MIN 40:30

God escapes any boundary or encapsulation.

The conversations continue about meaning

MIN 49:30

The connection in dialogue and meaningful conversations that feed us.

Our deathbed desires matter.

MIN 51:00

What’s coming next

To Write Love on her Arms Jamie Tworkowski

Brian McClaren

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Soul School – Lesson 12 (Starting NEW-symbols and the brain)

Soul School is released each WEDNESDAY. Thank you for listening.



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A new year gives us a chance at a new start at life and this episode is all about how that works.

Resolutions are common and they are commonly broken quickly. U2 (the band) sings that “nothing changes on New Years day” and it seems painfully true. But, there is more hope than we realize.


Here’s the Daily Ritual resource to start your new year right. You can download both for free. Click the images to go to the links. If you’d like to say “thank you” for the work I put into them, you can tip me a few dollars.



Symbols, brain chemistry, perception, placebo, and the way a re-start can work can truly give us a new chance. There’s science behind it too. Today’s episode highlights the work of Ellen Langer.


Dr Ellen LangerEllen Langer


Her Research Institute

wikipedia article entry