Springingtiger's Blog


Lost In Space

Once again I am running late on my blog and it is entirely my own fault. I was so totally absorbed in what I was doing that everything else vanished from my consciousness. My daughter and my grandchildren have finally moved into their new flat. I was in my daughter’s room armed with notebook, pencil and measuring tape working out how to best utilise the space she has left behind her. I was inspired and totally focused, time stood still for me. However for the rest of the world time moved on.

By a judicious re arrangement of furniture and the installation of a day bed the room can be transformed into a very nice little sitting, consulting room which will double as a spare bedroom. I need to get to work on it soon, as it is only a matter of time before we get a visit from an American friend and I’d like to accommodate him comfortably.

Although there will be some capital outlay I expect to be able to complete the job for less than four hundred pounds and that includes the day bed and mattresses. Because we were in the process of sorting out the house before my daughter moved in, I have already bought the floor covering, which would have added to the cost somewhat.

The job should take very little time. The painting itself will take one day, it is not a large room. If I allow a day for laying the floor covering and a couple for emptying and moving furniture I hope four days will be adequate so I’ll allow myself a week to get the job done. I really do need to have a door made specially for the room to best utilise the space, but it’s not a complicated job.The worst and most time consuming part of the operation will be emptying the room to paint it. There will have to be a sifting and dumping exercise. However that is true of the whole house. The clearing and tidying exercise has been on hold for a year, but now, while I am on holiday, it begins again. I’m actually quite excited, but oh, there’s a lot to do now we have the house to ourselves again. As the saying goes, Watch this space!



Aspergian Thoughts on Meaning

Do people with Asperger’s think more than humans, it feels like it? Whereas some moo seem to be able to get through life with a minimum of constructive thought, we are condemned to analyse and assess everything, we even analyse our analyses. We are locked in a never ending quest to make sense of your world and its inhabitants.

Of course, if it is true that, with our thoughts we create the world we perceive, then perhaps our problem is merely that we over think. Perhaps we are looking for a meaning that is not there, perhaps your lives are meaningless. We look for purpose in your lives, perhaps there is none; what if your ultimate purpose is to live until you die having spawned your next generation? Would that be so bad? An examination of virtually any species shows that their purpose is generally to reproduce, are humans really any different?

One wonders why people need to find meaning, higher purpose for their lives. Is it not enough just to live and enjoy? Humans have, it seems, an unlimited capacity for enjoyment and so many ways to satisfy their senses, food, music, art, theatre, cinema, sport. There seems to be a certain reality to emotions, perhaps they are no more than chemical reactions, but people certainly feel them. What someone can feel they can enjoy, and that is certainly true of emotions, as any grandparent, watching their granddaughter discovering butterflies, can affirm. With so much to see, and do, and feel and, above all, to enjoy do you really need a higher purpose, is this not enough?

And of my own search for meaning? Perhaps that is my purpose, to search for meaning. The search is the purpose, for if one should ever find the meaning of life then their would be no more purpose, the game would be over.



Memories

As a former pupil of Giggleswick School I am sent Gig: News, the magazine that keeps us in touch with the school. As well as news, it always contains plenty of reminiscence, which stirs my own memories of a childhood which grows happier the further I am removed from it. The latest edition contained a report of the quincentenary OG Day chapel service, which reminded me of having to learn the hymns for the end of term service which, in tribute to the former pupils who served in two World Wars, took place in blackout conditions. I was amused and pleased when the words of “Oh God Our Help in Ages Past” sprang without effort to my mind after forty years. I, personally, loved the end of term service and always found it moving and magical, learning the hymns was a small price to pay. Of course, back then learning by rote was common, I still have fragments of poems learned nearly half a century ago immovably fixed in my memory.

I have cause to be grateful for the religious life of Giggleswick. When, freed from the discipline of Gig, my university career fell apart I sank into one of my periodic, debilitating, depressions. For a period the only thing that held me together were remembered pieces of the “Book of Common Prayers and from “Hymns: Ancient and Modern”, they were all that kept me from surrendering to utter despair. However it was not the beliefs behind the words that sustained me, but rather, the beauty and familiarity of the words themselves; were it not for the ten years of repetition in the school chapel that fixed the words in my mind, I doubt I would be alive today.

Today we tend not to learn pieces of writing by heart as we used, but I am inclined to the opinion that it was useful discipline that extended beyond the chapel or the classroom. I suppose it may be argued that rather than fill our heads with information, we can substitute Google for memory. To some extent it’s a valid point that we don’t need information as long as we know how to access it, it is better to know “how” rather than “what”. Just as we learn how to perform mathematical calculations rather than memorise the answers to all possible sums, it is better to learn systems rather than facts. However there may come a time when one is cut off from the internet or the library, and the only place to which one can turn for answers is one’s own mind; that is when one will be glad to have more on which to draw than systems. There is a value in remembered stories, poems, songs, and dramatic scripts, the building bricks of our culture. The memory is a tool which if not used becomes rusty and when needed may fail. Remembering should be practised and the use of memory taught to our children.



Sometimes You Can Go Back

This week I have been revisiting my past, happily without disappointment. It must be about nine years since I saw The Mavericks, however Neelam discovered that they were performing in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on Wednesday and bought tickets. Each of our Front Stall tickets was thirty five pounds, I have to say that occurs ad great value. The support act was a singer/songwriter, Declan O’Rourke; his first two slow songs led me to believe I was going to be bored by him, but then he went into an acappella song about a sailor marrying the sea and the rest of his set was funny, inspired and lively. Of course the audience was the Mavericks’ audience and The Mavericks did not disappoint. Their new material was blended with the classics we all knew and bopped along to, some of the arrangements were new, but the enjoyment was unchanged. When the band took it’s interval, Raoul Malo was away long enough for a quick pee and then came back to play a solo set until the band returned. Very few of the audience say for long during the second half, it is easier to listen to The Mavericks while dancing! It may have been nearly a decade since I saw them, buy there were as great as I remembered.

I spent three weeks living in Edinburgh in 1986 as part of the British Telecom Special Events Team at the Commonwealth Games and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, perhaps too well. Since then I have only visited as a day tripper, Neelam and I decided this time to stay for a couple of nights. Edinburgh is still an easy place in which to have fun and find good food. Even were one to choose not to enter any of the city’s attractions, just walking around the streets is an entertainment provided by the tourists and the amazing views that present themselves at every turn. I have returned to Edinburgh and I was not disappointed.

Back in my student days I used to hang out in Turnbull Hall, the Catholic chaplaincy. Among the crowd were Mike Foster and his girl friend Angiolina, two of the nicest people one could have hoped to meet. I am notoriously bad at maintaining contacts, but Neelam has been encountering both Mike and Angiolina at various points in her professional life. Neelam set up for is to meet Angiolina, who is now a director in the Scottish Government over coffee in St. Andrew’s House. In all honesty I was not entirely looking forward to the meeting, it had been a long time since we had met and I didn’t want to be disappointed. I should not have worried, Angiolina was every bit as lovely as I remembered and it was great to catch up on the intervening thirty seven years (I did say I’m not good at keeping in contact with people!) I was not disappointed, far from it, it crowned a very enjoyable mini holiday.

People say it’s not a good idea to revisit one’s past because of the danger of disappointment, they are entitled to their opinions. However I have revisited my past and I was not disappointed. After the last few days, should I get an opportunity to revisit my past I will not hesitate; the possible joy to be derived from revisiting my past far outweighs the risk of disappointment.



Because I Say So

When I say, “I am going to be powerful” I am declaring that I am NOT powerful.
When I say, “I am someone” I dissociate from myself, I put me at arms length.
When I say, “there are doubts” or “doubts occur” I am declaring that I am not in control of my feelings, I am abdicating my responsibility.

When I say, “I doubt” I am responsible. I am doing the doubting, it is not something happening to me. I choose to doubt and I can choose not to, I am in control.

When I drop the “someone” and instead say simply, “I am” I put myself at the heart of the action, I am where everything happens.

When, instead of, “I am going to be…” I say, “I AM fun, I AM joyful, I AM powerful!” I am declaring this is who I AM. This is who I am BEING regardless of how I feel. This is not who I hope to be this is who I am and the world will adjust itself accordingly, because I say so and, as I learned from Werner, “My word is law in the Universe!”*

* “If you keep saying it the way it really is, eventually your word is law in the universe.” (Werner Erhard)



How I am today, is just that.

Today I awoke tired and sore, all my muscles ached, my throat was burning; in short i was displaying all the symptoms I have learned to associate with the onset of, what I call, a CFIDS, event. Yesterday I did not behave entirely sensibly. I came off a night shift and just took a couple of hours nap before heading off to Edinburgh for the afternoon and evening. I had committed to a seminar in the evening, but the afternoon was optional. Neelam had a meeting in the morning so I thought it would be fun to spend the afternoon in Edinburgh, logically not the most sensible of choices, but I was right it was fun. We went to Patisserie Valerie where the food is good, but the cakes and pastries are magnificent. Edinburgh is always a nice place to visit, even if all one does is walk around and look. We walked and we looked, we visited the Peace and Justice Centre.

While we are on the subject there is a weekend of Scrap Trident action in Glasgow this weekend beginning on Saturday with a demonstration in George Square at 10:15 all details from http://www.scraptrident.org

In the evening, increasingly tired we went to my seminar. I was too tired to do it justice. Had I had a proper sleep things might have been very different, but I chose a day out. The point is, as I realised on reflection today, I chose; no one else chose for me, what I got, I chose. The strange thing is, the moment I realised, I chose to feel better and I felt better. Ok, I still felt tired, but I didn’t let it spoil my day, I chose to rest as I needed, I chose to have a bath and, above all, I choose to feel good. It is not wrong to feel tired, or to have a headache, it may be inconvenient, but it is not wrong, at worst it is merely what’s so and that may not have to be true. Look around, wherever there is cause for pain and sorrow and suffering, some suffer, but some do not. Wherever there is cause for joy and celebration, there are always some who, nonetheless, suffer. What matters is not the circumstances in which we live, but how we live in our circumstances. Although I may have got little out of the seminar last night, I was reminded of my est training and that I, and I alone, am responsible for my experience and I alone can transform it. The strangest part of this is that one’s circumstances seem to mirror one’s experiences. If I am happy I can quickly find reasons for my happiness; in truth it is not our circumstances that cause our experience, but, rather, the experiences we choose that give us the world in which we live. We will always be able to find reasons for how we feel, but how we feel will determine the reasons we find and so, if we choose to rejoice in and enjoy our world we will find plenty of cause for joy. Rejoice!



Karma and Reincarnation Made Very Simple

In the beginning there was only the One, nameless and formless – some call it Siva –, no time, no space, content in itself. The One stirred and became two and multiplied and diversified spreading out through what had now become space and time, although as yet there was no one to recognise it as such. Everything that came into being was formed of the One and was informed by a fragment of the consciousness of the One, all creation is contained within the One. The One who remains at the same time – tricky bit coming up – whole and undivided; the One is whole and undivided and content within itself, while at the same time each individual consciousness is not entirely aware of its oneness and experiences separation and a longing to return to wholeness. It may be noted in passing that none of this is inconsistent with Science, although it may not be empirically provenn, it does not contradict science, were it to do so it would obviously be wrong, in my opinion.

Into every new life there enters an individual consciousness, a fragment of the One. When an individual fully realises its oneness it ceases to exist as an individual, but every one that has not accomplished oneness must continue until it does. Thus there comes a point in the expansion of creation where each thing created is not populated by a new fragment but by one that is continuing its – often unrecognised – quest for wholeness. I am personally of the opinion that, when the number of available fragments of the One for incarnation, is equal to the number of bodies available for occupation, the expansion of the Universe ceases and, as individual fragments return to wholeness, begins to contract.

Karma is the law that determines one’s birth. The purpose of each of us is to return to wholeness, but it is not enough to comprehend intellectually that we are one, it is essential to understand it experientially. Many of us undergo experiences that cause us to become separate from each other, further removed from wholeness; after each death we are given the birth that will put us into a place where we can best move on from our previous fragmenting experiences. You may be wondering how this is determined. There are those on the path back to the One who have chosen to remain, temporarily, as individuals while being aware of their oneness. Because wholeness comes from the return of all the fragments to the whole, these enlightened ones assist others to progress along the way. Aha, you may ask, “But what about those individuals who choose to return to the one and don’t remain to help others, how can they be whole while some remain individuals?” The One is always whole and complete while retaining within itself all of creation, it observes creation while remaining aware of its wholeness, creation exists only in its observation, this is why creation is described as the god opening his eyes and dissolution when he closes them.

One’s birth does not determine what will happen during one’s life, but it does put one in a context where some things may happen, for example , it is impossible to climb out of poverty without first being in poverty. Karma is entirely non-judgemental, there is no punishment for sins, but hurting others will inevitably present one with lessons to be learned, it is only possible to injure others when one is unaware that they are actually aspects of oneself; the one who hurts others will return to learn a lesson, but that does not necessarily mean they will in turn be hurt, they may as well be born into a family which teaches them respect or better still one that understands how this all works. Sadly there are those who misunderstand Karma and introduce the idea of punishment into the mix. The fact is that life presents one with challenges and lessons, the good as much as the bad and the only tool we have for successfully learning our lessons is our capacity for awareness. It may seem unjust that a cruel tyrant may become aware of his actions within the scheme of things whereas a kind gentle saint may not – the converse is probably more likely – but enlightenment comes from understanding and the lessons with which we are presented give us each the opportunity to understand.

Ultimately as the fragments – you may want to call them souls – return to the One there is less of the material into which they may incarnate until ultimately there is so little that the truth of Oneness becomes inescapable, even to the most recalcitrant. This is the point at which all is reabsorbed into Siva. his contemplation continues until such time as he gives birth to another universe. This is Karma and reincarnation reduced to its bare essentials, volumes have been written on the subject, but essentially this is the whole of it. Actually navigating one’s way back to wholeness generally requires rather more, but the information, all the information, you need is available…The Truth is out there. (I just couldn’t resist!)



Self Definition?

There is a power in being able to define ourselves, as ethnic minority activists know hence the term “self defined as black”, however we do not get to choose most of the labels we bear. Sometimes our labels define us as I said in my blog post, Do We Allow Autism to Define Us?. We have two sorts of problematical labels, those of which we are aware and those of which we are not. If we look at the labels of which we are aware, the labels we use of ourselves, and apply them to rigorous analysis we will find that we did not originate most of them, but that they were given to us by others. This applies not only to the negative labels like, stupid, retard, weird, nerd, geek etc., but also to the positive labels, witty, clever, attractive. Unfortunately most of us seem to be more ready to accept of ourselves, the negative labels. These labels are not inherent to us but merely the opinions of others, often not even the opinions of others, but a word used under particular circumstances at a particular time, however the emotion and the context may have given the thought excessive charge.

Perhaps even more deadly are the labels of which we are not aware. These are the thoughts about ourselves that have been installed in our unconscious of which our conscious has no knowledge, some of these will even date back before we had the capacity to even articulate them ourselves. Because we have no awareness of these labels, we cannot identify them in order to remove them. Sometimes some will present to conscious, but many will remain quietly in our unconscious shaping our opinions, beliefs and self image. Much of who we think we are is not based on knowledge, but on installed beliefs, most of which are not even ours.

We are trapped within an image created by beliefs, but we do not have to remain there, there are ways of handling the beliefs with which we have been programmed. Where the beliefs can be identified we may use a number of NLP belief change techniques, but the unconscious beliefs can also be challenged at levels of various depth. Time Line Therapy (TM) can be used to identify and discharge past traumas and the beliefs and limiting decisions they have given us. Emotional Freedom Technique and Matrix Re-imprinting which was developed from it are also powerful ways of accessing installed beliefs while bypassing the conscious mind. I am not sure how the Access Consciousness Bars work, however my experience of them is that they seem to short circuit the internal wiring of the mind, they also seem to be related to meridien work. What I do know is that when my bars are being run I relax so deeply I fall asleep, but Reiki does that too. I suspect that their effectiveness will not be empirically proven for some time, I do hope an experiment is designed that can properly evaluate them, but for now, I suspect, our knowledge is too limited. I also find that the Access Consciousness Clearing Statement is a very powerful tool for shifting beliefs, even when I am not fully aware of what they are or from where they came. Of course, the classic way of accessing the unconscious is through hypnosis, which can also be used for reprogramming beliefs.

Language is key to our programming, the world exists as we describe it. Language is also the primary medium of change in most of the technologies to which I have referred. I think it was Wayne Dyer who said that the two most pernicious statements in our language are, “I can’t do it” and “I’m not well”. The first operates on a level of Belief the other on the even deeper level of Identity so today I am not even saying, “I have flu”, but rather, I have symptoms which some may consider symptomatic of influenza” thus putting everything on the level of action and the easiest place to make changes is in our actions, it also puts distance between me and the sensations removing any emotional charge that might impede my freedom to act.

I have already talked about how my first foray into Stand Up Comedy has transformed my life and it is a change operating on the identity level. What I did by standing on stage and making people laugh was to change who I had been being. I also negated the stereotypes and labels which had been applied to me by myself and others. I effectively rebooted my entire belief system and allowed myself to be who I say I am, and I can be whoever I choose, this could be interesting.



Now is a Good Place.

“The mind is a complete multi-sensory record of successive moments of ‘Now’” (Werner Erhard).

This quote has remained with me for nearly thirty years, the idea of complete multi sensory records speaks to me although my memories are far from successive. My wife says I have the biggest “Now” of anyone she knows, I also have very little awareness of past and future. Some people wonder what the future holds for them, I wonder what’s for dinner. Dinner time is about as far ahead as my conscious mind routinely looks our cares to look. Most people arrange their memories on a line from past to future, my memories are stored spatially around me and not in a line, sometimes I can be seen literally grasping for memories with my hands. For the point of exercises I can make a timeline, but its positioning is arbitrary – I once put it from left to right in front of me, and accomplished as much in an hour as I would normally in a day, but that’s another story – and I change it as I choose. The work of NLP in looking at how we store our memories and how we can use that to enable someone to heal a traumatic personal history is an amazing gift. Steve Andreas & Connirae Andreas applied Richard Bandler’s insights on submodalities to how we relate to time, and in turn Wyatt Woodsmall introduced it to Tad James and together they developed Timeline Therapy ®. I learned Timeline Therapy ® on my NLP Practitioner course and was amazed at the speed with which we were removing the emotional charge from people’s traumatic memories because the name Timeline Therapy is so closely guarded others who work therapeutically with timelines, many of whom have progressed beyond TLT, tend to use tother terms like, for example, “Time-Based Techniques” for what they do. A popular use of the timeline is to empower the goal setting process. This is done by putting the completed goal onto someone’s timeline as a complete multi-sensory representation of their accomplishment of the goal, with all the attached positive emotions to make it compelling.

One of the reasons that traumatic memories continue to plague us for years is that memories are complete multi sensory records, any sensory stimulus that was present when the first traumatic incident occurred when repeated will bring back the memory, that’s how anchoring works. NLP has techniques for discharging unwanted anchors, but also for installing useful anchors, for example, to put one in a resourceful when facing a challenging task like public speaking.

I remember during the est training, one of many light bulb moments occurred when we got to realise that we only experience in the present, because by the time we start to think about an occurrence it is already in the past. “You aren’t even remembering what happened, you’re remembering a concept of what happened!” This is, of course, the truth that underlies the spiritual injunction to surrender to the present moment found in Eckhardt Tolle and Jean Pierre Caussade amongst others. The essence of spiritual practice is to be aware in the present. Most of our problems exist in our interpretions of past events or in our anticipation of things to come; and it’s all made up! I am fortunate in my now disconnected from past and future. So many people live lives of discontent because their thoughts are elsewhere, they wish they had different jobs, different partners or they were somewhere else, and so they can never fully experience nor enjoy the present. I rarely suffer from anticipation of the future because like many Aspies I tend not to connect actions to consequences. I can logically plot a course of action, but I don’t have emotionally charged dreams and hopes. The only place we can live is here, the only time is now. I cannot imagine a better time or place to be than now.



The Power Of Language

“In the beginning was the Word, the Bible says in John’s Gospel and Genesis describes God speaking Creation into being, personally I’m not sure I trust it entirely as a witness statement, but what if our world is created by language, isn’t that the logic behind the use of mantra? Perhaps the most abiding lesson I learned from Werner Erhard’s “est” training, nearly thirty years ago, is that the world occurs for us as we describe it. est and the work that grew out of it emphasise the power of our language to construct our reality, literally it exists as a declaration. Much of the value of the work of Landmark Education less in learning to distinguish the sentences with which one describes one’s world.

We tend not to be aware of how much our lives are determined by sentences like, “money is bad”. In NLP we would challenge such a statement with a question like “who says, money is bad?” or “In what way is money bad?” perhaps, “what do you mean by bad?”. When Richard Bandler and John Grinder modelled Virginia Satir, they discovered that by challenging an emotionally charged statement, the charge could be taken out of it by getting in touch with the reality behind it. This gave rise to the NLP Meta Model which defines how we delete, distort and generalise the expression of our beliefs and allows us to challenge those linguistic distortions and use specificity to get to the reality behind them. It always works…Always? A lot of the time…How often exactly? The Meta Model in effect wakes people up and helps them focus outwardly on reality.

NLP also has the Milton Model, based on the language patterns of Milton Erickson, which is the opposite of the Meta Model and is designed to take a person’s focus within to access the resources of the unconscious mind. The language of the Milton Model is described as artfully vague and leads one into trance, bypassing the conscious mind.

The set up questions used in Access Consciousness like the Milton Model are designed to tap into the unconscious. The Access Consciousness Clearing Statement, which is appended to the setup question is a string of abbreviations used so quickly it is impossible to apprehend it logically, even if it were logical. Dain Heer describes the process as, “frying your brain”. Basically they are linguistic tools for bypassing mundane thought.
I wrote recently about the power of questions, but questions are just one, possibly the most powerful, of the linguistic tools available to us. In the work done by Landmark Education we are questioning ourselves to distinguish the stories that we allow to control us and the sentences that express our beliefs. In NLP carefully constructed questions are very much a tool, but as important is an awareness of content. The language a person uses reveals their preferred learning styles, their beliefs and values, how to motivate them and what disempowers them not just specifically but in general. NLP makes much of the use of language to accomplish results, whether by self-talk or by communicating persuasively with others. Rintu Basu’s Persuasion Skills Black Book is a very useful guide to the use of persuasive language patterns. Robert DiltsSleight of Mouth is a useful guide to using language to bring about change. Dain Heer talks about listening for the energy behind a question in Access Consciousness, which as far as I can see, is a matter of getting to the underlying problem and it is this understanding that gives the setup question that will be used to address it. I applied this principle yesterday to my oncoming cold and what was revealed to me was just how much power my mind has over my body, hence today I am cold free. If God can create with language the least I can do is to model myself on him.




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