The Graduate Institute

What Needs to Emerge: How to Speak Across Paradigms

Daniel Thorson, founder of the EMERGE podcast (, interviews Bonnitta Roy, MA, Program Coordinator of the Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology program. In this wide ranging interview, Bonnitta provides her view of the Sam Harris and Ezra Klein debate-podcast on VOX, which was the culmination of a year-long public feud.

Ezra Klein and Sam Harris engaged in a very public dispute in which they had difficulty communicating with each other across their different paradigms. Bonnitta indicates where they go wrong, and how to we all can learn to speak across paradigms - an important skill in the age we are living in.

Below is Bonnitta's interview, and, if you want to listen to the source material, the podcast of the Klein-Harris debate below that.



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The Dangers of Glyphosate


Soil, Plant and Human Effects on Glyphosate
Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Professor at M.IT.
Institute of Sustainable Nutrition March 24th
Granby Community Television

By Debbie Lavigne,

Current Student, Integrative Health & Healing M.A. Program, at The Graduate Institute

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), presented at the Institute of Sustainable Nutrition on March 24th, 2018 on the health effects of glyphosate. Dr. Seneff was one of two featured speakers on the topic of Glyphosate, the other speaker was Dr. Don Huber an expert in Glyphosate and the impact on our health. Dr. Seneff has also appeared in health related documentaries, such as What’s with Wheat, provides her expertise on the dangers of the herbicide Round Up and the link to many diseases such as Autism, Alzheimer’s and several autoimmune disorders.

Dr. Seneff started with some statistics that provide a snap shot of our current health situation in the United States. A few of the statistics state that the United States consumes 50% of the world’s pharmaceuticals, spends more on health care than several countries combined, is last for infant mortality, has more chronic disease and consumes 20% of the world’s Glyphosate. She explained that Glyphosate is Round Up and widely used to kills weeds and produces faster yielding food crops such as corn, soy, sugar beets, cotton, tobacco and alfalfa. The weeds however are getting smarter, and more herbicide is required each year instead of less.

The main toxic effects of Glyphosate are the interference with the function of P450 enzyme in the liver, chelates to important minerals, interferes with synthesis of amino acids and disrupts sulfate synthesis and sulfate transport. Dr. Seneff presented several slides on studies done on the correlation of Glyphosate and conditions such as Dementia, Cancer of kidney, thyroid and bladder, and Autism. Glyphosate is patent as an antibiotic and is shown to cause people to become antibiotic resistant due to the exposure of such high amounts in our food.

Dr. Seneff explains how Glyphosate disrupts the production of the protein synthesis of Glycine. The protein grabs Glyphosate, which is present, instead of Glycine and destroys the protein from doing its job. The protein synthesis of Glycine occurs in plants and our gut biome. The swapping of Glyphosate for the Glycine has altered the DNA protein, which gets rid of the Glycine instead of destroying the Glyphosate. This may result in several health issues including impaired CYP P450 enzymes, neurological diseases, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease, obesity and adrenal insufficiency, kidney failure, insulin resistance and diabetes and cancer. Glyphosate has also been shown to impact pregnancy, shortening the gestation period and disrupting hormones.

Dr. Seneff refers to the work of scientist Dr. Anthony Samsel, who studies the impact of Glyphosate on bone, finding the highest concentration in bone marrow. I find the following quote by Dr. Samsel to be incredibly scary. “Glyphosate is not toxic in the conventional sense. It destroys our biology at the cellular level one molecule at a time through disruption of proteins and signaling. Integration of glyphosate with globular and structural proteins is how it can be the cause of an endless array of unrelated diseases, and unleash a cascade of ill health effects that kill us like a slow cumulative poison.” We are poisoning ourselves slowly, causing our own chronic disease and potentially death.

Dr. Seneff makes a connection of Glyphosate to food allergies and autoimmune diseases. Glyphosate sets up leaky gut, creating a weaker immune system and blood brain barrier allowing foreign substances to enter the blood stream that should not be there. The body sees the foreign substances, proteins that have not been broken down properly in the gut, and develops an active antibody response to the protein. This can lead to autoimmune disorder, also explains food allergies and gluten intolerance including Celiac Disease.

There are other connections where Glyphosate contaminates live vaccines, which Dr. Seneff presents the correlation to issues with the MMR vaccine. Glyphosate is also found in the body where there is collagen. About 25% of the body is collagen, and 25% amino acids in collagen are Glycine, which can be swapped out with Glyphosate. Collagen is found in our bones, joints and vasculature. Dr. Seneff suggests there is the connection to Rheumatoid Arthritis as the Glyphosate is found in the ligaments and joints through the presence in collagen.

Glyphosate is also impacting animals. Diseases in bats, bees, ladybugs, frogs and starfish are documented in areas where Glyphosate is present. It is impacting and changing our environment and food source. Dr. Seneff suggests to by organic and grass fed foods when possible, to reduce our exposure to Glyphosate and consume Probiotics to strengthen the gut and immune system.

I appreciate the information and my new awareness, since this program, on Glyphosate and the health risks along with its wide use on our food system. It is frightening that we use a chemical that is linked to so many harmful side effects in exchange for money. Where does humanity live in all of this craziness we have created? I think about the harm I may have caused my daughter, Lilly, who recently we learned has food sensitivities. I struggle with what to eat, what to buy and how to afford the foods I really want. I have been making changes to what I purchase in the grocery store and where I am purchasing my produce and meats. We have also put in a much larger garden with more vegetables and herbs. Just yesterday I shook my head as I passed a facility worker spraying weeds on campus. On his back he had a small tank that was labeled “Round Up”. I wondered if he knows the potential danger by exposing himself to Glyphosate. It will be interesting to follow in the news to see what the outcome will be in the future years and when Glyphosate will finally be pulled off the market forever.

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Positive Psychology, Emotional Wellbeing and Happiness

Much of human psychology focuses on how to improve the lives of those with mental disorders. But the relatively new field of Positive Psychology studies the psychological characteristics and practices that allow peoples’ lives to flourish. Finding its roots in Maslow’s work on self-actualization, the field itself has flourished as research into life satisfaction, wellness and meaning has expanded.

The pioneering efforts of Martin Seligman has also influenced the field making Positive Psychology a sought-after program at many universities. Recently, the course “Psychology and the Good Life” became Yale’s most popular class ever – with 1,200 students enrolling – about one fourth of the undergraduate student body!

Often referred to as happiness, Seligman, in a departure from his first theory of Authentic Happiness, now says the good life is more akin to Flourishing than happiness. Flourishing, Seligman points out, includes these five essential elements:

  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement – the flow state
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishments

Positive Psychology is about more than the happiness of mood swings, and even more than about life satisfaction. By working on all five elements, the chance for a fulfilling life is thereby increased many times over.

What might be missing from the five elements above is the element of self-realization, as exemplified by the being of existence rather than the doing. This domain includes being present, holding conscious awareness, and experiencing the benefits that derive from a contemplative practice. Although self-realization might be subsumed under meaning, it is a much deeper dimension.

The Graduate Institute is proud to offer its own Certificate in Positive Psychology, Emotional Wellbeing and Happiness, a 12-credit program starting on July 20, 2018.

Positive Psychology, as taught at The Graduate Institute serves as foundational theory for both therapists and life coaches to develop the skills needed to help clients achieve optimal functioning and the ability to flourish.

Learn more about the program here.

Charles Silverstein, PhD

Charles is dedicated to pursuing his deep interest in personal transformation, alternative healing, and the relationship between science and spirituality. He holds an MA degree in Conscious Evolution from TGI, and a PhD in Transformative Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. His research interests included higher stages of adult development, transformative practices, spiritual development and personal growth with an emphasis on meditative practices and somatic awareness.

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