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And, I should put my historical cards on the table. Again, like you, a family friend gave me this book and said, 'You're going to find this interesting. And somewhere--you know, through my college years, I read--most of her books. Maybe close to all of them. And I remember my--that culminated, in some sense of culmination, with Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick when I was a senior in college I read that. And those books had a huge impact on me.

Along with Milton Friedman. Nozick, Friedman, and Rand had a huge impact on me. And I've mentioned Ayn Rand's name--I would say 10, maybe 10 times on this program, for this almost episodes we've done. We've never done an episode on her work, so I'm excited to talk about that with you. But, at some point in my life, I got disenchanted with Rand's--with the virtue of selfishness. And it strikes me that I may have been unfair to her.

You are scrupulously fair, it seems to me, to her in your book. And we'll talk about that whole--the question of what selfishness means, and also the way that you treat her. Russ Roberts: But, I want to start with a little, with her personality. I did not know until I read your book how extraordinarily charismatic that she was. I didn't realize that, with the help of an inner circle of friends and acolytes that she created a slightly-frightening--well, I would say 'frightening'; I'm not going to say 'slightly'--a cult of personality around her philosophy and her writing.

So, talk about her personality and the devotion and passion of her followers, and how that played out in s, politically and culturally. Jennifer Burns: Yeah. It's interesting. So, she did have a very powerful charisma. And she also had a very powerful negative charisma--which, I think goes back to that bookshelf. Some people just hate Ayn Rand.

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They cannot stand her. They have a very visceral, negative reaction. And others, especially those who met her at the right moment, just sort of fell under her spell. And I think some of that goes to her very unusual personality where--she was what she wrote about, in terms of being a true individualist, very solitary. Doesn't mean she didn't care about other people or have strong emotions or want the high regard of other people.

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She absolutely did want that. But, she was free from a lot of the sort of striving for status in power and positioning, so she could have a very unique[? And she could give that to a person, and just win their unending loyalty. Now, then might become a sort of dominant relationship where, she was so overwhelming, she was so quick, she had thought so much about what she stood on every issue that it was very hard to disagree with her.

And she would sort of use this logical web of: 'If you agree in rationality, here are my first premises; you agree with my first premise, now, here we go. You can't break free because I've already got you to agree on the basics, and you're going to follow me wherever I go.

And so--I mean, you called it frightening, this sort of cult of personality. I'd add a couple of things to that. So, as I describe in my book, when she moved to New York in the mids, she had a whole series of encounters with conservatives, some of whom began to follow her philosophy; many of whom did for a short while and then sort of broke away, or, like yourself, found certain things missing or inadequate. And then, she pulled to her a group of college students, or actually recent college graduates, centered around a young couple, Barbara Branden and Nathaniel Branden.

And they became sort of the core set of her social life and her intellectual life and her world. And they pulled in others--among them, Alan Greenspan is kind of the most famous member of this group--that called themselves 'The Collective. But, when I really came to see is the s and the s, for intellectuals and cultural figures, were kind of the Age of the Entourage.

Like, you weren't anybody until you had an entourage. Like, think about Frank Lloyd Wright--he had Taliesin; he had all these people designing like him. It was sort of a mark of status and accomplishment if you had this entourage. And also, for Rand, who was outside of any kind of institution. She wouldn't have graduate students. She wouldn't have, you know, necessarily, proteges in the typical way she would hire or in that way they would simply become part of her social world.

Now, you called it 'scary. And so, in that inner core, it was like--I mean, Murray Rothbard has this incredible letter. I don't know if your listeners will be familiar with Rothbard, anarcho-capitalist--you know, very libertarian. And he met Rand, and he kind of went hot and cold on her. And eventually he sent her this letter that was like, 'When I met you, you were like the sun, and I thought you would burn me up if I got too close. And, so if you knew Rand in New York in the s, that could be a dangerous spot.

Now, if you were a couple of degrees out, and you read her book at the right time and the right place, it might change your life. And it might change your life for the better. And I, regularly meet--and this is actually an interesting angle of her, and her relationship with women and gender--I all the time meet women who read her at a certain moment in their lives, and said, 'Things are different for me, since I read that book.

I'm going to be a doctor. And so, that aspect of Rand, I think is also really important. And people can get over-focused on this cult in New York, because it's so interesting and fascinating and kind of weird. But, I really think the true impact of Rand is several--if you think of concentric circles of influence or readership around her, it's not that tight-knit group. It's a view out , is where you really have people being impacted by her philosophy in ways personal and ways political.

Russ Roberts: Well, as you point out, it's a little bit of a paradox. These people--she demanded total loyalty. Which is ironic, given her stress on individualism and reason. But her view was: I'm right; everything else is wrong; and therefore if you don't follow me and agree with everything I say, obviously there is something wrong with your powers of reason.

But, it has a--first, it has a religious feel to it. And she's an anti-religious person. It has a cult-feel to it--and she's an individualist. And the group call themselves "The Collective. Because she's not--she's an opponent of collectivism. Jennifer Burns: Well, it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. Like, ha-ha.

And, eventually it's like, 'Well, the joke's on you. I mean, you know, we can sort of go back and forth on this. I think one issue--the individualism piece--is an element there. But a lot of it was this idea of rationality and this idea that she was going to create a new ethical system based on rational thought. And cults of reason have happened before. And they'll happen again. And, it was that reason, which she then joined to this, you know, idea of individualism.

But, you could imagine another idea of individualism that would be sort of expressive individualism. Or, 'Go with the flow. And that was not her. She was very clear that rationality was the defining feature of humankind. That was what separated us from animals. That was what made us unique. And that was what we needed to cultivate. And she became very suspicious of emotional life, feelings, things that couldn't be controlled. And so she really set reason and emotion against each other, and insisted that reason must win. And then, the final irony is that the whole theme[? Russ Roberts: Yeah.

We should really talk about that. And, I'll mention, to parents listening with young children: You may want to listen to this next part before you continue listening with your kids. If you are on your way to school. But, she--um, she had--she was married, through her entire life, until the death of her husband.

But, Nathaniel and Barbara Branden, who were also married--they ended up getting divorced. And presume, partly, if not totally, because Nathaniel and Ayn Rand had a long-standing "secret affair. That's what's bizarre about it. And, when Branden goes off to find a different woman, later on in his life, Ayn Rand totally--and we have to make it clear--Ayn Rand originally dedicates Atlas Shrugged to Nathaniel Branden and to her husband.

And when Nathaniel leaves for another woman--leaves romantically--Ayn Rand--well, explain what happens. It's kind of extraordinary. And why it was so hard for her, intellectually, to deal with his defection, romantically. Well, let me go back a little bit to kind of set the stage for the relationship.

One thing I uncovered in my research that was sort of interesting, is, as she became famous--so, she became famous for The Fountainhead. She then spent some time in Hollywood where she was working on the screen adaptation. And, she would have fans writing her letters all the time. And she would often meet them. And it looks like there were a couple of young men with whom she got close to maybe having a romantic relationship.

Never quite happened, but looking back, they said, maybe this was in the cards somewhere. Jennifer Burns: And she was married at the time. She was married to her opposite--a lovely, soft, kind, yielding Jennifer Burns: Passive, artistic man, who, you know, basically he was the wife in the relationship, according to the gender standards of the day. You know, he didn't work. He minded the home. He supported her. He was very good at She was the breadwinner. But he was the one who would, you know, help her through her tough times with her writing.

Help her socially. Support her socially. They'd go to a party; he'd be at her side, introducing people; just kind of making things flow well. And so, at any rate, you know, but it apparently lacked the passion that she wanted. She was very drawn to Nathaniel Branden. Jennifer Burns: Much younger, 25 years younger. They first met; he sent her a letter. He actually sent her two letters. He came to visit her. They stayed up all night talking. He came back; he brought Barbara Branden; they stayed up all night talking; they sort of embarked on this very intense intellectual relationship where she saw him as the person who would carry forward her ideas, learn her ideas.

And moved to New York--in large part, the Brandens moved to New York to continue their education, and Rand essentially followed. She came out very shortly after. And, it was within a year or so, the relationship became romantic between her and Nathaniel Branden. And originally they sought the consent for--they said they had fallen in love and they just wanted some time together.

Eventually, they came back a couple of months later, and said, 'This is now going to be romantic time together, and we want to agree. We agree. This makes sense. You guys are both sort of geniuses; you should be together. Russ Roberts: We're not going to let emotion get in the way of these intellectual relationships. Jennifer Burns: Well. And then--but then, the secret stuff there: So, Rand could be there, unconventional, but she did not want this secret to get out. So, it became this sort of, pretty toxic, not-secret secret. The players right immediately involve it.

Apparently nobody else knew. And looking back, once it came out, people were like, 'Oh, how could we have missed this? The dedication to the book? That's worth something. And it's an historical curio. So, this progresses. And then, the book Atlas Shrugged comes out. It's her masterpiece. She's worked so hard on it.

And it was just universally panned. Critiques really hated it. It didn't get like a single good book review. Now, it sold like hotcakes. People loved it. She had an incredible fan base. But, you know, to the extent that the book review crowd was more liberal, more elitist, they just didn't like this novel at all. They weren't going to give it the time of day. And the publisher was actually pretty stunned that the book sold so many copies, despite being so widely panned. So, she was depressed, though. She wanted to be greeted as a major thinker on the scene--and sent to--she was basically made fun of by anybody who was anybody.

So, Branden said, 'You know what? You've got a fan base. People want to learn about your stuff. I'm going to start a school dedicated to your philosophy. Lectures about Ayn Rand's Philosophy. And it said something like, you know, 'At the conclusion of the lecture series, Miss Rand will consent to appear and answer questions. And it was successful. It was popular. It grew.

They franchised it. They recorded the lectures. And then you could be a representative in Los Angeles or Chicago, get together a bunch of people, collect a fee, and play the tape recording. Jennifer Burns: Yeah! It's a newsletter that rivals those little magazines we spend so much time writing about. They had other people doing affiliated lectures. I think Greenspan gave a lecture on, like, business. People doing all kinds of stuff. It grew and grew and grew into this real intellectual community. And it had ties to the growing conservative movement.

It was never conservative, per se, because she staked you, you know, positions that would be anathema to religious conservatives. But, it was an important part of that s' conservative moment. And, as it went on, Branden became, you know, we had became, we made good money and we aren't exactly wealthy but fairly--you know, this was his living. He became well known. He became, um, sort of a celebrity within this world.

His whole world was built around Ayn Rand. Yet, at the same time, he was losing interest in a romantic relationship. And he didn't know what to do. And he basically decided he couldn't tell Rand. And so, he sort of dissembled and fabricated. At the same time as he began becoming involved with another woman. And so Russ Roberts: Let's cut to the punchline.

When she finds out, she totally destroys his empire of affiliated material. Threatens him legally. And, that whole movement--the whole cult of personality is jarred, tremendously, by this. And for me, as a--as someone who has become more skeptical of the power of reason, as I've gotten older, it's a--it's an incredibly fitting end to this story. It's a tragic end. But, it's incredibly fitting, these people who thought the only thing that mattered was reason, were torn apart by an emotional response to their relationship. I mean, it just blew sky high.

The whole movement. And there was a giant schism. And, nobody was told the reason. It was like, unspecified. It was like dishonesty and corruption.

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And so, nobody knew. People were having wild speculations--did he[? And you basically came, did you take the Branden side or you took Ayn Rand's side. I mean, families have split; there are people who never spoke to each other again for the rest of their lives. And then, a lot of people are just watching from the outside looking in, were like, 'This whole thing is looney toones crazy. It basically brought her career to a screeching halt.

Branden took off to California and started doing New Age stuff. You know. Objectivism would kind of roll on as itself. But, you are right: That was kind of the cataclysmic moment. And, it came out of this environment where you had to be reasonable. And that meant, in this, you know, culture, pushing all of your emotions aside. And then, boy, did they come rushing back. It's just a--in a way, her personal life was a test case, or at least a part of her, a lab experiment, for part of her philosophy.

Russ Roberts: But let's move to the economics part of it. One of the--not that there aren't related--but one of the things that I found striking about reading your book was being reminded of her moral defense of capitalism, and how jarring it is to a modern ear. Which is relentlessly utilitarian and efficient and practical. And, she would have none of that. She--of course, I remember it now, was, when I think back on it: She only cared about the morality.

She didn't care about the utilitarian part of it. She really--it's true. I actually just am writing up this episode now where she gets in a big fight with Milton Friedman, who was kind of talking about the efficiency of markets. And she just thought, 'This is like a horrible way to go'--that you had to talk about the ethics of it. And her family's livelihood was basically taken by the state.

That, you could say, 'Somebody needs this more than you; I'm going to take it. And the reason that capitalism--was, she called it the best moral and social system--was that it was it was built on the rights of the individual. And it allowed the individual to flourish.

And so, any discussion of the ways capitalism was bad, or it was immoderated, came back to her, as potentially threatening that sovereign individual. So, for her--capitalism--she claimed it in its pure form had never been known. In its pure form, it would be very close to anarchy, with a very minimal state. And it would allow individuals to sort out for themselves what they wanted out of life, and to compete freely--you know, in a market economy and on a contractual basis. You know, peer to peer, equal to equal. Russ Roberts: So, I'm very sympathetic to that view.

As you just stated it. The part that I would add--and I'd love to get your reaction as to how she'd react to this--the part that I would add is that, commercial dealing is what we do voluntarily with each other. We choose to contract with each other; we choose to buy[? At the same time, I would be a champion of people who voluntarily get together to help other people.

So, to form charities, foundations, philanthropy, and so on. To me, that's the other aspect of, you know, what's often called civil society. It's the things that we do together but not through force, not through the ballot box, not through taxation, but through our individual choices of what we are passionate about and what we think helps make the world a better place.

Would you say she would be opposed to those activities, when she talks about the virtue of selfishness, say? Or does she just not want people to feel compelled to do that? Jennifer Burns: No, it's more the latter. But, it's a little bit tricky. So, she would say, 'Of course, you are perfectly free to act in altruistic manner or to support other people on your own time, as long as it's free and voluntary choice. But, that's not the essence of morality. And so, people who consider themselves teachers of ethics and morality should not be emphasizing that behavior, and should not be holding that up as a standard of behavior.

We have far too much of that. What we should hold up as a standard of behavior, instead, is people, like the people in my books: Howard Roark, John Galt--paragons of individualism. And we need to recognize that that is an ethical life. She would subsume it, and put it way down under free choice--like, 'Yadda, yadda, sure, you could do this with your free choice.

She felt there were ways that political leaders could use propaganda and persuasion, and those were inappropriate; and the state certainly shouldn't be doing that, and political leaders shouldn't be doing that. She also came to believe that Christian morals were, as she put it, the 'Kindergarten of Communism. It's the right thing to do. So, she would put the things you are describing--voluntary charity--she put them way at the bottom of her list of things people should talk about. Now, that then goes to her sort of theory of human nature, which in some ways was fairly optimistic, in that you didn't need leaders to encourage social norms and proper behavior, because people would sort of rationally follow their own interests.

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And she didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the bad sides of self-interest. That wasn't her task. Her self-appointed task was, 'I'm going to talk about what's good about self-interest.

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Self-interest--to get a fortune through a crime is not really true self-interest because it shows a lack of regard for the integrity of your self. And that's a form of selfishness. I think what made a lot of this system tick and hold together is that she really elaborated and expressed it in fiction, in which she had a great deal of control over her characters and she didn't have to grapple with observed human behavior. She could just idealize and make it up.

Russ Roberts: Now, I just want to emphasize one of the themes that comes through in the book that I mentioned earlier, but--it's hard to understate how powerful it was. If you asked a question or showed doubt in one of these seminars or in her salon on Saturday nights, it wasn't like, 'Oh, that's interesting. Let's see where that goes. Jennifer Burns: Mmmhmm. And it got really bad after Atlas Shrugged.

And there's a lot of different relationships I sort of trace. Earlier in her life she was more open. She was sort of, saw herself as an up-and-coming thinker who could take the time to recruit people to the cause and to sort of rectify error and change minds. When she was done with Atlas Shrugged, she was like, 'I'm done. Here's the book. Read it. There's nothing wrong with it. Jennifer Burns: Check your premises.

And I think that the other theme that I talk about in the book, is: she was a lifelong user of amphetamines. And, this again, was fairly common in the literary culture of the day. She got prescribed this, like, Benzedrine was the name of it back then: it's basically low-level speed. She got prescribed it for weight loss, I think. And she kept taking it. And she just took a lot of it. And, over time, that can definitely change your personality. Can exacerbate the need for control, rigidity, anger, your ability--all of that. So, some of what we're seeing is, I think, her natural intellectual development, her natural aging process.

But, I think you've really got to factor the lifelong abuse of this drug in there as well. Russ Roberts: I want to come back to the remark you made that 'Christian morality is the Kindergarten of Communism. She was not a fan of Milton Friedman. You mention a book, a study that Friedman wrote with Stigler that I remember reading long ago on rent control, that she--that was published by the Foundation for Economic Education [FEE], which is a free-market institution in upstate New York. And she despised that study, even though it was critical of rent control.

And she despised it because they were, Stigler and Friedman, were against it, "for the wrong reason. Hayek, who she called, 'poison,'--and something else. The word 'pernicious' in there. Because he wasn't pure enough. So, talk about that. And then I want to come back to the kindergarten economy as a remark. Talk about why she hated Friedman and Hayek. Jennifer Burns: So, you know, like many ideologues, she really trained her fire not on the other side but on this sort of false flag that people who she felt were semi-on-her side but not enough.

So, the problem with Hayek--you know, if you read The Road to Serfdom and other works--he is talking about, 'How can we do national health insurance? How can we do unemployment? How can we do all this stuff while preserving the free market system? If you said you needed these things in addition to capitalism, that was, for her, really problematic. Friedman, in particular pamphlet--they use the word 'rationing. And then they were also using it in the economic sense in which a market can be said to ration goods by price, because you need x amount of dollars to get the good Jennifer Burns: Right.

And so, she actually thought they were Communists, and that this was a Communist plot to like make a fake argument about free market economics, because, in addition to using this rationing language, this was a moment in time when Friedman and Stigler were still talking about social equality and how that was important to them. But, it was pretty strong at this immediate post-War moment. So, she saw that; she saw the word 'rationing'; and she thought, 'These guys are pinks; they are plants; they are trying to subvert the development of the honest-to-God, true, free-enterprise movement,' which, to be true-blue would talk about how evil collectivism is and how the individual is the only ethical standard; and how free market capitalism is the only system that upholds the individual and is ethical.

Though, she basically settled on Ludwig von Mises as the only economist whose views she could endorse. And she steered her readers to Mises. And I think she did a lot to sort of keep his work circulating in these lean years in the United States, and it eventually grew into its own independent Austrian movement, that she was a very important ally for him. But it's interesting--even today, among libertarians, there is a schism between people like me, who think I have a lot to learn from Hayek and Friedman, even if I might not agree with everything they say; that's okay.

And, a more dramatic example of Friedman's imperfection would be his encouragement of, let's say--what would be a good example? It doesn't matter. So, he's persona non grata, because he's willing to imagine a possible role for the government and helping poor people. And Hayek, similarly, because he wrote a sentence, or a paragraph or a page in The Road to Serfdom that said that the national, that health insurance might be an appropriate role for the state; therefore, he's out.

I don't know Mises's work as well as I know Hayek's. I don't know Mises's work at all, hardly. I've read a little Mises. I didn't learn so much from him. He doesn't grab me the way Hayek and Friedman do. So, I'm not an acolyte of any of them. None of them are saints; none of them brought down their works from Mt. Sinai; they are not holy. They have things I learn from, things I don't; things I agree with, things I don't. They are okay--Mises and Rothbard are--because they are uncompromising; and the other guys are not okay. I think most of it was a character-driven and philosophically-driven outcome, you know, [?

You could also think of it as having some strategic value in terms of, 'I'm going to stake out the furthest possible edge as that's how we get there, and compromise is not how we get there. They thwart our gratitude, acceptance, and compassion—our goodness. Now more than ever, we all need to cultivate feelings of self-worth, as well as acceptance and love for ourselves.


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Hindus in India have numerous devotional movements. Hindus may pray to the highest absolute God Brahman, or more commonly to its three manifestations, a creator god called Brahma , a preserver god called Vishnu and a destroyer god so that the creation cycle can start afresh Shiva , and at the next level to Vishnu's avatars earthly appearances Rama and Krishna or to many other male or female deities.

Typically, Hindus pray with their hands the palms joined together in pranam. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating. The prayer is a plea to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done. The Ardas is usually always done standing up with folded hands. When it comes to conclusion of this prayer, the devotee uses words like " Waheguru please bless me in the task that I am about to undertake" when starting a new task or " Akal Purakh , having completed the hymn-singing, we ask for your continued blessings so that we can continue with your memory and remember you at all times", etc.

Wiccan prayers can include meditation, rituals and incantations. Wiccans see prayers as a form of communication with the God and Goddess. Such communication may include prayers for esbat and sabbat celebrations, for dinner, for pre-dawn times or for one's own or others' safety, for healing or for the dead. An initiation ceremony usually involves a Raelian putting water on the forehead of a new member.

Such ceremonies take place on certain special days on the Raelian calendar. In Eckankar , one of the basic forms of prayer includes singing the word "HU" pronounced as "hue" , a holy name of God. ECKists may do this with eyes closed or open, aloud or silently. Practitioners of theurgy and Western esotericism may practice a form of ritual which utilizes both pre-sanctioned prayers and names of God, and prayers "from the heart" that, when combined, allow the participant to ascend spiritually, and in some instances, induce a trance in which God or other spiritual beings may be realized.

Very much as in Hermetic Qabalah and orthodox Kabbalah, it is believed that prayer can influence both the physical and non-physical worlds. The use of ritualistic signs and names are believed to be archetypes in which the subconscious may take form as the Inner God , or another spiritual being, and the "prayer from the heart" to be that spiritual force speaking through the participant. While no dogma within Thelema expresses the purpose behind any individual aspirant who chooses to perform "Resh", note that the practice of "Resh" is not a simple petition toward the sun, nor a form of "worshiping" the celestial body that we call the Sun, but instead uses the positioning of that source of light, which enables life on our planet, as well as using mythological images of that solar force, so that the individual can perform the prayer, possibly furthering a self-identification with the sun, so "that repeated application of the Liber Resh adorations expands the consciousness of the individual by compelling him to take a different perspective, by inducing him to 'look at things from the point of view of the Sun' [ Prayer is often used as a means of faith healing in an attempt to use religious or spiritual means to prevent illness, cure disease , or improve health.

Meta-studies have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is "no discernable effect" while a systemic review of studies on intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that seven of 17 studies had "small, but significant, effect sizes" but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings. The efficacy of petition in prayer for physical healing to a deity has been evaluated in numerous other studies, with contradictory results.

Some attempt to heal by prayer, mental practices, spiritual insights, or other techniques, claiming they can summon divine or supernatural intervention on behalf of the ill. Others advocate that ill people may achieve healing through prayer performed by themselves. Faith healing has been criticized on the grounds that those who use it may delay seeking potentially curative conventional medical care. This is particularly problematic when parents use faith healing techniques on children.

In , Francis Galton conducted a famous statistical experiment to determine whether prayer had a physical effect on the external environment. Galton hypothesized that if prayer was effective, members of the British Royal family would live longer, given that thousands prayed for their wellbeing every Sunday. He therefore compared longevity in the British Royal family with that of the general population, and found no difference. Two studies claimed that patients who are being prayed for recover more quickly or more frequently although critics have claimed that the methodology of such studies are flawed, and the perceived effect disappears when controls are tightened.

One of the largest randomized, blind clinical trials was a remote retroactive intercessory prayer study conducted in Israel by Leibovici. This study used patient records from —96, and blindly assigned some of these to an intercessory prayer group. The prayer group had shorter hospital stays and duration of fever. Several studies of prayer effectiveness have yielded null results. Many believe that prayer can aid in recovery, not due to divine influence but due to psychological and physical benefits. It has also been suggested that if a person knows that he or she is being prayed for it can be uplifting and increase morale, thus aiding recovery.

See Subject-expectancy effect. Many studies have suggested that prayer can reduce physical stress, regardless of the god or gods a person prays to, and this may be true for many worldly reasons. According to a study by Centra State Hospital, "the psychological benefits of prayer may help reduce stress and anxiety, promote a more positive outlook, and strengthen the will to live.

Others feel that the concept of conducting prayer experiments reflects a misunderstanding of the purpose of prayer. The previously mentioned study published in the American Heart Journal indicated that some of the intercessors who took part in it complained about the scripted nature of the prayers that were imposed to them, [] saying that this is not the way they usually conduct prayer:. One scientific movement attempts to track the physical effects of prayer through neuroscience. In Newberg's brain scans, monks, priests, nuns, sisters and gurus alike have exceptionally focused attention and compassion sites.

Newburg believes that anybody can connect to the supernatural with practice. Those without religious affiliations benefit from the connection to the metaphysical as well. Newberg also states that further evidence towards humans' need for metaphysical relationships is that as science had increased spirituality has not decreased. However, two hundred years later, the perception of spirituality, in many instances, appears to be gaining in strength Newberg's research also provides the connection between prayer and meditation and health.

By understanding how the brain works during religious experiences and practices Newberg's research shows that the brain changes during these practices allowing an understanding of how religion affects psychological and physical health For example, brain activity during meditation indicates that people who frequently practice prayer or meditation experience lower blood-pressure, lower heart rates, decreased anxiety, and decreased depression.

One study found that prayer combined with IVF treatment nearly doubled the number of women who were successfully pregnant, and more than doubled the number of successful implantations. Some modalities of alternative medicine employ prayer. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Prayer disambiguation. For other uses, see Pray disambiguation. For the Jesus Prayer, see Jesus Prayer. Deification Glorification Intercession Reverence Veneration. God Divine love Divine presence Spirituality. Muslim men prostrating during prayer in a mosque. This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints.

Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page. May Main article: Prayer in the Hebrew Bible. Main article: Prayer in the New Testament. Main article: Jewish prayer. Main articles: Christian prayer and Christian worship. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.

Main articles: Salah and Dua. Further information: Eastern religions , Meditation , and Mantra. Main article: Prayer in Hinduism. Main article: Faith healing. Main article: Efficacy of prayer. The Christian model of dramatic conversions, based on the role-model of Paul's conversion, may also have served as a model for Western interpretations and expectations regarding "enlightenment", similar to Protestant influences on Theravada Buddhism, as described by Carrithers: "It rests upon the notion of the primacy of religious experiences, preferably spectacular ones, as the origin and legitimation of religious action.

But this presupposition has a natural home, not in Buddhism, but in Christian and especially Protestant Christian movements which prescribe a radical conversion. Both historical and ethnographic evidence suggests that the privileging of experience may well be traced to certain twentieth-century reform movements, notably those that urge a return to zazen or vipassana meditation, and these reforms were profoundly influenced by religious developments in the west [ For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' narrow chinks of his cavern.

Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 30 December Via Old French prier , nominalised use of the Latin adjective precaria "something obtained by entreating, something given as a favour", from precari "to ask for, entreat". Richard C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, s. Archived from the original on This practice is known, in Yiddish , as shuckling.

Quaker Information Center. Retrieved Christian theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House. In Herbermann, Charles ed. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. January The Marian Catechists. Pacific Asia Museum. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Islam. Indianapolis, IN: Alpha Books.

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Prayer: A History. Boston: Mariner Books. University of California Press. Nova Roma. The Concept of the Goddess , p. Anglo-Saxon Poetry. Everyman's Library Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature , p. No, I'm not at all sure about that. For one thing, if they really wanted to do something useful, they could devote their prayer time and energy to some pressing project that they can do something about" Dennett, Daniel C.

XV ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS (From 3th to 28 October)

In Hitchens, Christopher ed. Philadelphia: Da Capo Press. The New York Times. New York: Twelve. The Necessity of Prayer. AGES Software.