January 2015 Mental Arts Newsletter
Welcome to our January 2015 edition. The new year is upon us, with all the “new year’s resolutions”, Objectives and Goals set, and an entire year ahead of us, here is a quote by Neil Gaiman that I think opens the door to think a bit differently about accomplishing what we set out to do…
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
In The News: Islamophopia on the rise in Europe
by John Worthington author of “The Office of Shaman”
The news these days is filled with reports of anti-Muslim demonstrations across Europe. A German Church is threatening to shut off its lights as a protest against the protests. Coupled with Islamophopia is a growing concern that manifests as anti-immigration.
This trend is very prevalent in Sweden, which has the largest per capita of ISIS recruits in Europe. There have been 14 mosques attacked in Sweden over the last year. Even so, the Swedish government has refrained from using the anti-immigration trend to its political advantage.
But then when two mosques in southern Sweden were fire bombed between Christmas and New Year’s and a third was hit with a molotov cocktail on New Year’s day the citizens of Uppsala, love- bombed the same mosque by covering the entrance with messages of support.
In Sweden, as in the United States ,it is not a majority of people who reject immigration or even Islam. It is a small and vocal minority, simply because the majority view is underwhelmingly silent. However, it appears that the tide is turning in Sweden where thousands of people have demonstrated that they are not about to Agree that extremists can set government policy.
The Office of Shaman: Available on Amazon
Amazon.com is now offering both print and kindle versions of the 5th edition of The Office of Shaman: A Hermeneutic Rationale for the Inclusion of a Soul Concept in the Genesis of Human Thought by John Worthington.
First published in 2007, the Office of Shaman is a great read for anyone interested in understanding the structure and function of thought. The book offers a way to observe and describe the components of thought that is useful for anyone who is serious about understanding his or her own thinking and the dynamic functions of the soul. The book is especially illuminating for those who are compelled to cultivate a deep awareness of “self, soul, mind and actions” in order to fulfill their own office, whether within their specific profession or art, or in their wider community. It is also a resource for anyone who is working in a float center or is serious about using floating as a tool to understand thought.
New Year’s Resolutions
by Wendy Johnson, Delta Floats, Lansing, MI/www.deltafloats.com
Often in the New Year, people make New Year’s resolutions or have aspirations of great changes for this year. They even start out putting all their energy into accomplishing that vision with thoughts of “this year, will be the year”. And as we all know, sadly, very few accomplish the goals that they had set at the beginning of the year.
It isn’t that people want to fail, or that they haven’t tried, it is simply that they don’t understand how their own thinking works, how it is that we make things real. And they don’t realize they are fighting an uphill battle, fighting with a program they already have running, instead of being able to change that program. This is a common source of frustration for people.
And though there may be other ways of addressing this frustration, one of the easiest is to understand how it is the mind/programming actually works. Lilly says “selfmetaprogramming is done consciously in meta-command language. The resulting programming then starts and continues below the threshold of awareness”. This means that people cannot see the programs they have written, because they are running below awareness. They just see that they want to change something in their lives and go about trying to make a change from how it looks to them in consciousness. They then end up failing because they never addressed the actual problem.
For example, we see this a lot when people try to lose weight, what if below your level of awareness you have a program that says a ‘good wife cannot be attractive to other men’? You cannot see that your run that program, but if it is there, how are you ever going to lose weight, if that means you then wouldn’t be a good wife? You would have an endless battle with yourself. You think you just aren’t trying hard enough, not that you have a program in place that is running, causing that ‘thing’. If you can go back and find/tweak that (meta)program causing the frustration, then accomplishing the goal no longer becomes a battle within you, but just changing the software in your biocomputer.
So maybe a great New Year’s resolution would be to learn how the mind works to accomplish any given goal?
iFloat’s Holistic Happy Hour – January 30th, 2015
The next Holistic Happy Hour is happening at iFloat on January 30, 2015 from 6 pm to 8 pm. The Holistic Happy Hour happens every other month in order to provide a venue for people interested in wellness and holistic practices to gather and have fun.
Several wellness practitioners will be co-hosting the event, including Beth Leas, Founding Director of the Total Life Care Center, Adam Propper, Chiropractor, and Joe Downer, Acupuncturist.
Free food and drinks are provided and the wellness practitioners provide free offerings. This event is considered one of the top recurring events in Fairfield County.
For more information or to RSVP, contact David Conneely at email@example.com or 203-236-7378
by John Worthington, author of “The Office of Shaman”
Edwin Abbot wrote a novel about an imaginary place called Flatland in 1884. The novel was a satire aimed at the Victorian social structures prevalent at the time. The basic premise of Flatland was to show that in a two dimensional world, that the author considered Victorian England to be, changes of thought would be considered as nearly treasonous.
On December 19, 2014 the journal, Nature Communications, published a paper that postulates that the uncertainty principle and wave particle duality are actually two sides of the same coin. It seems that the breakthrough came about by thinking about physics from the perspective of information. In other words, the paper states that connecting the uncertainty principle and the wave particle duality is solved by questioning what information can be gained from a given system. What do these two ideas have in common, one might ask? Well, in a world where only two dimensions are considered, there would not, and really could not be a language to define three dimensions. The syntax of “Flatland” could not allow for the concept of a sphere, for example. In our current “Space-land” of three dimensions, only the syntax of particles can be allowed. In other words we cannot allow a syntax of uncertainty or of wave/particle duality. We all know and are certain that particles exist.
In Jim Al-Khalili’s “Double Slit Experiment Explained!” YouTube video where he explains the double slit experiment, Al-Khalili uses particles of sand to explain how in a world of particles only two lines of sand could come through the double slit. And in a world of particles that would be the only syntax or allowed language there could be. But in quantum mechanics there can be the apparent behavior of quantum particles or atoms which can behave as particles or waves depending on if the quantum particle is observed or not. If the particle is observed it behaves as a particle and if it is not observed it behaves as a wave.
But when the quantum particle is un-observed it does not behave as just a wave but rather as a wave of probabilities. Now all of this makes me wonder if I treat my thoughts and my language as a wave of probability as opposed to the certainty of either right or wrong, would I have a wider range of dimensions in which my life might express? I don’t mean multiple universes but rather might I be permitted by my syntax to examine if my “role/job” as butcher/baker/candlestick maker is inevitable and certain or is it but one of many probabilities. Dare I be the two dimensional square which Sees itself as a cube in Space-land?
More than that, I wonder if congress could consider such ideas before they close the country down over Immigration? I do so hope congress considers the wave of probabilities in Immigration as opposed to the certainty of Red or Blue.
(This is the first part in a multi-part series)
What Can I Say About Floating?
by Tracy, client of Art of Floating, Bloomsburg, PA/www.artoffloating.com
It was the most stressful time of the year, about two weeks before Christmas. I have been on an emotional roller coaster for the past fourteen months with my now, seventeen year old daughter, I had recently injured my upper back/neck, and have been working multiple jobs in the education field. My good friend at school and I heard many advertisements for this “Art of Floating” in Bloomsburg through “Jumping Jeff” on local radio KRZ. I decided to give my friend an early Christmas gift and try the two for one float on a Tuesday night. Let me tell you, it was the best thing I have done for myself in years!
I have been a single mother to a baby girl since she was six months old. I thought I had found my “soul mate” and I was going to lead a fairytale life and be happy. I was completely wrong! He walked out and left us stranded. Luckily I had a college education under my belt. Of course I felt sorry for myself for a few months, but then I “stepped up to the plate”. I moved my daughter many times and half way across the country to pursue my career. Well, let’s just say, I ended up back in good old Hazleton, PA.
I have worked a minimum of three jobs at a time to keep my daughter and I “afloat” and secured a beautiful home and some small luxuries like a swimming pool for her. I got into a very vulnerable relationship and let this man continue the “bad times” for both myself and my daughter. I was 305 pounds then. Yes, 305 pounds and was branded with the thoughts that I would never be good enough for anyone (but him). After one of many heartfelt breakups I discovered a fabulous weight loss doctor who changed my life! I had surgery and lost 187 pounds! Now that my self-esteem was built up, and the toxic relationship was over, then started the problems with my daughter, about fifteen at the time. All of the memories had scarred her and she developed emotional scars.
I needed something positive because the emotional, physical and mental pain were taking over my life! So that night, Tuesday, December 16, 2014, the first time I floated, changed my life!!! I was a bit skeptical and very nervous, but the wonderful staff at Art of Floating made my friend and I feel at ease. I am the type to research these things before I attempt them. I remember sitting at the computer the night before, reading, listening, and analyzing everything I could find about floating.
Oh, the peace and serenity I felt in my “capsule” (floatation tank) was amazing!! The little aches and pains seemed to have disappeared, and I felt like a new person when I came out. I was smiling and bursting with good energy and thoughts. I felt rejuvenated and knew this was something that may also help my daughter with her “slump”. I remember coming home to my daughter and boyfriend that night…I felt alive and free!
I made another appointment the next day to take my daughter and two of her friends to celebrate her seventeenth birthday. I knew that the stress, overwhelming deadlines of every day and some of the scarring would be put to rest. I have and will continue to go to the ends of the earth to assist in my daughter’s healing, but first I need to heal myself.
My experience was of the pure serenity, the quiet, the smells, the warm water, the experience of “being on top of the world”, and of course the healing. Both mentally and physically, the healing was beginning with my new friends at Art of Floating. I felt contained and that no more “bad” could get to me while in the “capsule”. I knew I could “let down my guard” and think, or simply not think. I could dream. I could finally hear MY heart beat and my lungs get replenished with fresh air. I could sort out troubles of simple, everyday life, or just begin my healing process from the inside out.
I am sending out a call to all humanity…stressed, overwhelmed, peaceful or clear minded, to dig deep down in your soul and try this experience. It has positive experiences for everyone. I know that I WILL be setting aside the time for MYSELF at least once a week to heal my tired, worn out, injured body. I am encouraging my daughter and my boyfriend to do the same. (I already have an appointment for him).
Our Tank Operator’s class is being held this month from January 2nd to the 11th in Chapala, Mexico…
This class offers training for anyone who owns/works, or is looking to open a floatation center, and is the 5th class in the training series for Float Facilitators. One of the locations class participants visit as part of the experience within the class, is Tapalpa, Mexico…beautiful, isn’t it?
by John Worthington, author of “The Office of Shaman”
Electricians, plumbers, mechanics, painters, joiners, truck drivers, machine operators, welders, fitters, HVAC service techs, operating engineers, iron workers, sheet metal workers, plasterers, bricklayers and a host of other professions all require apprenticeship programs to be completed before a person is allowed to work in that particular profession. But in the float industry there is no demand from established people in the industry to train apprentices.
It seems that anyone with an empty garage and a pocket full of daddy’s money is encouraged to buy a tank or two, then hang out a shingle announcing to the whole world that they are now a Float Center. But they don’t have to know anything about floating, programming, or even how their own thinking works. They don’t have to read anything about how thinking works or know the history of programming in the United States or even anything about computer programming as it relates to the biocomputer.
I mean what would be the use of knowing what one’s own programming is? Certainly not to be aware of what a program is. What a goofy idea that would be. I mean if Lilly were even a little right about saying, “All human beings, all persons who reach adulthood in the world today are programmed biocomputers. No one of us can escape our own nature as programmable entities. Literally, each of us may be our programs, nothing more, nothing less,” then it could not be of any use to someone who is exposed to the deepest levels of human programming on an hour by hour basis to know anything about his own programming or even how one is programmed by others-not-self. What value could such knowledge have?
Don’t we all come with manuals? Clearly we all understand that the biocomputer operates continually through all of its parts and that conscious thought (the kind where we talk to ourselves) is what trumps all else. Right? We don’t have to be concerned with beliefs in real or words not being the thing or even communication of information. All we need to do is stick our heads in the sand and sweep up that money at the end of the day.
Sweet deal them tanks, eh? What’s to know? Why would that Lilly guy talk about programs, metaprograms and self metaprograms? That old fuddy duddy. Talking to myself is all I need to know about thought. So leave me alone with all this talk about apprenticing, that just bores me.
Good luck with that buckaroo…
Afraid of the Ball
by Patrick Paulo, Art of Floating, Bloomsburg, PA/www.artoffloating.com
Being scared of the ball is a common fear experienced by young baseball players. This fear of “being hit by the pitch” was an issue I knew I had to overcome if I wanted to be a decent baseball player. Early one day before a game, I grabbed a baseball and began to cut the red lacing that held together the outer layer. I wanted to see all the pieces of this thing that was causing me so much frustration. Next, I began to remove the layer of sticky string which revealed a second layer of carpet like material. After this layer of the baseball was removed, a red rubber ball remained. Inside the rubber at the very center was a small cork ball.
As adults, it’s likely that we’ve been carrying around programmed fears learned when we were children. John C. Lilly said, “Once a program is written it becomes the rule of our life until recognized and changed”. Being scared of the ball could be a symptom of a belief I programmed well before the first time I stepped into the batter’s box. The isolation tank is a great tool to develop a discipline of peeling away the layers to find the cork ball hiding deep inside your thinking machinery. If you refuse to dig deep to get to the core of where your fears reside, how could you ever get over your own fear of the ball?
Who knows, maybe you’ll hit it out of the park next time.
Allowing Our Kids to Make Mistakes
by Ken Kaplan, Quantum Floats, Harding, NJ
James Joyce said that a man’s errors are his “portals of discovery.” Where would we be today without the knowledge gained from the experience of our mistakes? Most of us know that mistakes are an important part of the learning process. Yet, why do some parents try to insulate their kids from making mistakes? If you ask them, they are likely to tell you that they love their kids and will do anything to keep them out of harms way. What seems at first blush to be an act of love is really a selfish act. Kids need to learn their own lessons and when parents try to insulate their kids from getting hurt, they deprive them of valuable lessons.
When I was a kid, I used to love to climb trees. I remember one day climbing a tree in a park with my dad standing below. As I ascended from one branch to the next, my dad kept yelling from below “can you go any higher?” With his support, I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. Years later, my dad confided to me that he was terrified by that event, but that he urged me on because he wanted me to have the experience of pushing up against my perceived limits.
Reflections: Intro to Rewrite Class
by Jesse Weaver, client of Art of Floating, Bloomsburg, PA/www.artoffloating.com
If you read The Office of Shaman, the instructor guides participants through an experience similar to what the character “Bob” undergoes. The class wasn’t just about me either. As people shared their lives, I noticed how we shared similar painful thought processes that really got in the way of us making the most of the lives we were given. I felt connected to their experiences and I could easily relate with similar experiences of my own.
This class gives us a tool to look at the programmed thoughts and the ability to change them. This class starts peeling back the layers of who you think you are and begins looking at who you really are. If you are ready, this class truly begins the journey to “Know Thyself.”
Delta Floats – Mid-Michigan Women’s Expo
Delta Floats, Lansing, MI/www.deltafloats.com
Delta Floats will once again attend the Mid-Michigan Women’s Expo. Stop by to find out more about floating and what Delta Floats has to offer. The expo will be held on February 6th – 8th, 2015 at the Lansing Center, Lansing, MI.
To find out more you can visit the Expo website: www.kohlerexpo.com
Why Do You Ask?
Terri Stangl, Great Lakes Flotation, Swartz Creek, MI/www.greatlakesflotation.com
“In the province of the mind what one believes to be true, either is true or becomes true within certain limits. These limits are to be found experimentally and experientially. When so found these limits turn out to be further beliefs to be transcended.”
~ John C. Lilly, M.D. and Float Tank Inventor
When someone invites me to look at the world a different way, to see for myself what might be different if I considered something as true, I’m not interested in buying a belief “as is” and without some checking. I want to kick the tires and take it for a spin first. I want to see how it works and test its limits. And I want to ask questions.
Questions are a wonderful tool for exploring thought. But not all of them serve the same purpose. Sometimes questions are framed simply to confirm what I already think, rather than to find out something new.
As an example, let’s say I make a simple statement: “The human brain operates like a computer. “ There are lots of questions one could ask about this. Consider the following list:
Who told you that?
So you’re saying that I don’t really think for myself?
I don’t understand….can you help me…?
Can I program my computer?
But people are different than computers, aren’t they?
How can anyone know that?
Each of these questions has a different purpose. Some are to find out. Some are to argue. Some are seeking practical applications. Some may be about seeking attention or being helpless. But clearly, not all questions are alike. They do different things.
Do you ask questions to test the limits of what you believe to be real? I’m not talking religion or politics – but about beliefs about things like “good is the opposite of bad” or “so and so makes me feel this way” or “there is a right way to do this.” If you do ask questions, what kinds do you ask? Do you welcome direct questions from other people about how you think about things? Or do you get irritated? Or change the topic? Do you know? Paying attention to how you ask questions and respond (or not) to others’ questions can tell you a lot about what you actually believe to be real and true. And probably even more than whatever topic you happen to be talking about. How’s that for a different way to look at a conversation? Any questions?
The Mask of Drugs
by Elise Lenhart, Float Facilitator/Massage Therapist
So many living a life with fear, angst, pain and pleasure.
Desperately searching for how and why their experiences brought them here.
What about that time as a child…
The memories too dreamlike to be real.
Ingesting one more pill.
Numb to the pain. Too numb to realize what’s going on.
The mask of drugs.
They say there must be a reason for all of this.
Again remembering the time as a child…
One more pill.
Numb to the pain. Too numb to realize what’s going on.
The mask of drugs.
It is time to deal with the reality of where we have been, where we are and where we are going. When will the mask be removed from the people in our society?
Why I Float…
by Christian Lawrence – Personal Trainer, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
client of Great Lakes Flotation, Swartz Creek, MI/www.greatlakesflotation.com
I discovered floating at a time when I needed it most. My stress levels were astronomical due to a very demanding sales job that constantly left me feeling overwhelmed. I often spent a single day off visiting Great Lakes Flotation in Swartz Creek, and it quickly became something I could count on to help me.
The floating experience has helped me control my thoughts in a way I never thought possible. Breaking habits (red meat, alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes) became effortless. The tank also helped me learn to meditate, which has improved my quality of life tremendously.
In 2006 I embarked on a journey to master my body through strict nutrition & exercise. I began weight lifting 6 days a week, and the importance of my mind quickly became evident. I realized that the body is only a messenger for the mind, so in order to master my body – my mind must come first. Since floating, I’ve been able to re-write my thought patterns. I’ve also established an incredible mind/muscle connection. A connection that’s helped me grow more than ever before.
The best part of the floating experience is talking with Terri, the owner, after the float. Her understanding of how the brain and mind work, and her ability to connect on a deep level makes the experience special.