Some questions on Struggle Of The Magicans

nemo

Jedi
Fwiw, I thought Struggle Of The Magicans by William Patrick Patterson an amazing book.
But, noisy opinion aside, what do you all think of the following quotes?

During a meeting with the "Rope"-group (pg. 158) on intermarriage:
Gurdjieff said:
Mixed blood gives less chance of individuality
Any comments?

On pg. 191 G said to his group, after having spoken with Lord Pentland`s young daughter Mary:
Gurdjieff said:
For my aim I want twenty such. If I had twenty like her, I get my aim. Not because she special, but because she not spoilt.
That reminds me of Wilhelm Reich, about whom I`ve read a few years ago. After his disappointment with what happened after the Russian Revolution (Reich had initially become a communist party member) he realized that most people were neurotic. The effect of this neurosis is that people would always follow a leader. He realized that even an ideal society would be doomed since the people were already pathologized. He then startet to work directly with children.
Given the fact how conditioned or programmed most of us adults are, I wonder not for the first time, why G. didn`t work with kids. I assume that this has something to do with free will. But wouldn`t it make sense to prevent or damage control the programming in our kids? Or somehow or other to prepare children for better development?

On pg 174 there is the "scene" where G. "finds" the one person to whom he can give the results of his life`s work.
After his outstretched arm arced about the room he finally points his finger at Fritz Peters. They look at each other fixedly. G. then leaves. When Peters is also about to leave the room, one of the women instructors grabs his arm, says: "You will never learn, will you?" Peters: "What does that mean?" The woman laughs, says: "How does it feel to be chosen?From the look on your face, I can tell you exactly what you are feeling. He pointed at you, didn`t he? And now-with your colossal ego-you march out of the room ...the triumphant successor." Peters returns his smile, says: "Your guess is as good as mine." and leaves.
Can anyone elaborate on this interchange? I can`t say that I understood this.

This one from an account given by G.`s secretary Marie Seton (on Ouspensy`s final US-group, which apparently was lead by his "wife"):
Marie Seton said:
...When I went to the country house for practical work, I began to notice what I had not noticed in England: that the people who were the "old members" and had been living under Madame`s [Ouspensky] direction were drab in clothes, joyless and strangely closed-up people with one another. All were fearful of her displeasure... I began to see the pursuit of self-knowledge had to, as it seemed, eliminate an atmosphere of warmth between people and something that might be described as lack of lovingness.
If this observation is true, then it more than hints at the danger of Working in a wrong way, as poor Jean Toomer had to find out after 25 years of being in the Work (pg. 186)
Any comments?
 

PepperFritz

The Living Force
nemo said:
During a meeting with the "Rope"-group (pg. 158) on intermarriage:
Gurdjieff said:
Mixed blood gives less chance of individuality
Any comments?
I'd want to know more about the context of that single sentence before making any assumptions or drawing any conclusions. Are you able to provide the context?

nemo said:
Marie Seton said:
...When I went to the country house for practical work, I began to notice what I had not noticed in England: that the people who were the "old members" and had been living under Madame`s [Ouspensky] direction were drab in clothes, joyless and strangely closed-up people with one another. All were fearful of her displeasure... I began to see the pursuit of self-knowledge had to, as it seemed, eliminate an atmosphere of warmth between people and something that might be described as lack of lovingness.
If this observation is true, then it more than hints at the danger of Working in a wrong way....
Gosh, yes. If I thought Seton's conclusion was accurate, I'd have to conclude that the "pursuit of self-knowledge" was definitely not for me! Actually, I think the anecdote also points to the danger of placing yourself under the "direction" of a "teacher" who hasn't a clue....
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
All I can say about this is that Madame Ouspensky spent more time with G. than her husband. When he left G., she stayed. (they later got back together)

Also, because of P.D. Ouspenky's focus on only a particular part of G.'s teaching, it was seen as more "cold", and of course, his intellectual centre was highly developed at the expense of his emotional centre. At one of his later lectures, an apparently well known person (sorry, can't remember who) got up and walked out saying something like, "There is no place for love in your system Mr. Ouspensky."

How much can we trust the observations of Marie Seton? Nemo, is there any background info on her, so we could know how experienced she was in The Work? I'm sure I remember reading her quote before and thinking about the atmosphere of a group where the people are working on themselves; lies aren't tolerated, false behaviour is outed, there is no need for wiseacreing - it's better and more productive to stay silent until one has something decent to say.

Just because the people living under Mme Ouspenski's direction were "in drab clothes" and SEEMED "joyless and strangely closed-up with one another" doesn't mean anything; that's pretty subjective. "Fearful of her displeasure".... I can imagine people who were in G.'s group, or in any group of a similar nature would be fearful of their teachers displeasure.
 

nemo

Jedi
Pepperfritz said:
Are you able to provide the context?
Well, there`s not much of one. The paragraph starts with: "During the meetings with the Rope, Gurdjieff drops many pearls." Then a number of G.-quotes follow, among them the one quoted above. It is prededed by a 1937 entry about G explaining the meaning of "cunning" to the Rope.

Pepperfritz said:
Actually, I think the anecdote also points to the danger of placing yourself under the "direction" of a "teacher" who hasn't a clue....
Said teacher would have been Md. Ouspensky:
T.C. said:
All I can say about this is that Madame Ouspensky spent more time with G. than her husband. When he left G., she stayed.
T.C. said:
How much can we trust the observations of Marie Seton?
Patterson describes her as G`s secretary and pupil and quotes her at length. Since we hardly know of her we`d need more accounts by other members from that time to get a more objective viewpoint.

from the preface, fwiw:
W. P. Patterson said:
I would base my research on the written word alone. the reference then, for writer and readers alike, would be one and the same. Interpretations might differ, but the material would be sourced in a common record open to and verifiable by everyone.
 

Inti

Jedi
nemo said:
During a meeting with the "Rope"-group (pg. 158) on intermarriage:

Gurdjieff said:
"Mixed blood gives less chance of individuality"
Any comments?
This is, as nemo later points out, one of the "pearls" dropped during meetings with the Rope. It is not given any context in this setting. My interpretation of it is that individualism is seen as domination of personality, that is the false set of "I"s brought about through mechanical means and having nothing to do with essence as defined by Gurdjieff. Therefore, my take on this would be that mixed blood may lead to less identification with certain characteristics. We see, for example, in "Struggle of the Magicians" how Ouspensky passes through a strong phase of nostalgia and identification with Russia and particularly Russian intelligentsia.

Patterson later says of the "individual":
Patterson said:
No, the real issue is the worship of the fatted calf of our time - the 'individual'. The idea of being an individual is so deeply embedded in the contempory psyche that it has become a societal flashword that short circuits what remains of most people's span of attention. And, of course, always riding the shotgun with such 'individuals' is the notion of 'respect'. The person, so construed, is an authority to himself. No other authority is recognized. And what this 'authority' consists of, when seriously investigated, is nothing more than dreams and animal impulses
nemo said:
On pg 174 there is the "scene" where G. "finds" the one person to whom he can give the results of his life`s work.
After his outstretched arm arced about the room he finally points his finger at Fritz Peters. They look at each other fixedly. G. then leaves. When Peters is also about to leave the room, one of the women instructors grabs his arm, says: "You will never learn, will you?" Peters: "What does that mean?" The woman laughs, says: "How does it feel to be chosen?From the look on your face, I can tell you exactly what you are feeling. He pointed at you, didn`t he? And now-with your colossal ego-you march out of the room ...the triumphant successor." Peters returns his smile, says: "Your guess is as good as mine." and leaves.
Can anyone elaborate on this interchange? I can`t say that I understood this.
On page 254 or at the end of the chapter titled "Gurdjieff and Fritz Peters" it says:
Patterson said:
After that day in 1945 at 6 rue des Colonels Renard when Gurdjieff pointed him out as his successor, Peters says that in reflecting on what happened he "was forced to admit to myself that I had, at least momentarily, felt chosen. That, in fact, I still did. I was pleased with my behaviour at that moment - I had learned enough from him to be cagey about it when I had been accused by the lady - but the feeling of triumph was not unadulterated, and I was besieged by questions and doubts." He then begins to objectify his doubts, make a list of them, and to recapitulate his work with Gurdjieff; as he says, "to think back over my entire experience with this man." He sees that "It is at least possible on many counts: a) it was actually true; b) it was intended to 'expose' my ego to myself; c) it was intended to produce various reactions in the other persons present; and d) it was a huge joke on the devout followers." He sees, too, that "I did not honestly know in what his 'work' consisted. How then (given he was the successor) could I carry it on?" Assuming that he could "carry on" Gurdjieff's Work, he reasons that "...if there was some way in which I could 'cull', as it were, what had seemed valuable to me from what had seemed, if not valueless, at least 'incomprehensible,' I would like to be able to pass it on in some way."
Patterson then goes on to say, with regards to Fritz Peters:
Patterson said:
From the life of Fritz Peters and his relationship with Gurdjieff we can all learn a good deal. He deserves a re-evaluation, a serious one.
That Gurdjieff called Fritz Peters his son is interesting. According to Fritz Peters, only he, Orage and Alexander de Salzmann joked with Gurdjieff:
Peters said:
Among the devout there were a few who fenced with him verbally but, in the long run, they seemed to be the ones who were the most 'possessed' or 'convinced'; daring to joke with him (Gurdjieff) became proof of a certain intimacy with him - a privilege accorded to them because of their total agreement with his ideas - and in no sense an indication of rebellion.(p.252)
I found the "Struggle of the Magicians" excellent. I would be interested to hear what other members here think, but I would recommend reading this early on in a study of Gurdjieff and the Work, as it gives a very good backround to many of the people involved in the Work. It is also interesting to have this framed on the historical backround, which gives further insight to some of the external challenges the groups and people faced. It shows the battles that each of the students faced, particularly Ouspensky and Orage. Also quite amazing are the challenges Gurdjieff himself seems to face. For me, it was a fascinating read and showed me many of the dangers along the way. However, I also think it is important to question Patterson's position too and where his information comes from. He comes across as quite balanced and neutral in his writing, but it's hard to tell since I haven't read too much on the biography of people involved in the Work.

T.C said:
Just because the people living under Mme Ouspenski's direction were "in drab clothes" and SEEMED "joyless and strangely closed-up with one another" doesn't mean anything; that's pretty subjective. "Fearful of her displeasure".... I can imagine people who were in G.'s group, or in any group of a similar nature would be fearful of their teachers displeasure.
True, I think Patterson also later says that when she moved abroad she became very different. She was also ill during all this time, as far as I remember.
Patterson said:
SPRING 1941. MENDHAM, NEW JERSEY. Nott arrives and finds Madame Uspenskii quite different from what he had experienced in England. "Here, by herself, away from Lyne Place, a refugee like ourselves," he says, "she has no need to surround herself with a protective facade. She is warm, sympathetic and understanding; a highly developed woman with inner power."(p.192)
and later, in Mendham:
Patterson said:
Madame Uspenskii, now crippled and walking with a cane, spends more and more of her time in bed but still manages to direct work activities.(p.193)
 

nemo

Jedi
Thanks Inti for bringing up some interesting points.

Inti said:
On page 254 or at the end of the chapter titled "Gurdjieff and Fritz Peters" it says:
Seems like you have a newer and revised edition of Patterson`s book. My edition lacks said chapter.

Inti said:
I found the "Struggle of the Magicians" excellent. (...), but I would recommend reading this early on in a study of Gurdjieff and the Work, as it gives a very good backround to many of the people involved in the Work.
For me personally it might have been a better introduction to Gurdjieff then ISOTM. A friend of mine started directly with Beelzebub`s Tales in spite of my recommendations to read some introductory material first :).

Inti said:
However, I also think it is important to question Patterson's position too and where his information comes from. He comes across as quite balanced and neutral in his writing, but it's hard to tell ...
It`s always important to question the sources. In Patterson`s case I daresay we can trust his sources up to a point. That does not mean that the original source correctly quoted Gurdjieff. Or that any quote might not become meaningless if quoted without context. Many Gurdjieff quotes were referring to special questions by individuals and don`t always make sense or are even utterly meaningless - without the proper context. I`ve read enough by + on Gurdjieff to know that much.
"Views on the Real World" is full of transcripts which are obviously not authorized. Since we don`t know who wrote what, some of it might even be inventions for all I know. Given the fact that some of G`s closest pupils considerably messed up his writings we cannot be critical + cautious enough.

Also let`s not forget:
Gurdjieff said:
Never believe anything you hear me say. Learn to disriminate between what must be taken literally and what metaphorically.
Yup.
 

Alderpax

Jedi Master
I found this book fascinating and informative. But Patterson made a comment near the end (page 269 in my copy) that sort of hit a sour note for me. It was in a footnote, so first I'll give the paragraph which led to it, for context:

SotM said:
Only in a time as confused as ours could one think that the teacher-student relationship - an archetypical and sacred form - exists as an option rather than as a necessary requirement, a station on the way. Some seekers attempt to circumvent the suffering inherent in any true teacher-student relationship by becoming their own teachers, studying what they will, when they will. Or they read the books and listen to the tapes of some now dead or far away teacher who they never meet in the body, face to face, but who they proudly declare is their teacher. Others subscribe to mail-order courses of teachings long dead.
Now here's the footnote in question:

SotM said:
There are even mail-order courses that purport to teach the Fourth Way. There are also Internet groups who think they can work in cyberspace (developing, perhaps, their cyber-"I").
I know that the Cass forum doesn't strictly "purport to teach the Fourth Way," but here Patterson seems to be disparaging the entire notion of working over the Internet. And if so, he is wrong. While interacting in this forum, many (most?) of us have had programs exposed, sacred cows challenged, and corns stepped on. And some of us have developed immensely through the network here. Patterson was taught personally by John Pentland, who is described (in the author biography at the end) as "the man Gurdjieff chose to lead the Work in America." So pride related to this could be figuring in. I understand that almost anyone will be wrong sometimes, so I don't hold it against him. But this idea of his just made me think. I wonder what Gurdjieff would say about working via an online network. If he were around today, might he even do such a thing himself? Or would he have the same attitude as Patterson?

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is - is this attitude from Patterson a hidden program in him, some kind of "blind spot?" Or is the Cass forum simply a totally different thing from what he's talking about? Also, is this a fairly common attitude among Gurdjieff groups? Maybe such questions aren't even worth asking. But his comment raised them in me, so I figured I'd see what everyone thinks of it.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Argonaut said:
I wonder what Gurdjieff would say about working via an online network. If he were around today, might he even do such a thing himself?

I think he would be very pleased and excited. The Cassiopaean Experiment and it's evolutionary context may not be "the" Fourth Way in G's strict terms at the time the concept was defined, but as Laura has said, it's still a Fourth Way (G expanded, imo).

Besides, we're not working in cyberspace, in my view, we're collaborating in cyberspace. The Work is always local to the individual, otherwise it's not Work, osit.

Just my thoughts. :)
 

anart

The Living Force
Argonaut said:
I know that the Cass forum doesn't strictly "purport to teach the Fourth Way,"
Sure it does - this forum, and all the associated web pages and work absolutely comprise a Fourth Way School. Perhaps it would help to review the definition of the Fourth Way...

Gurdjieff said:
Gurdjieff describes a
True Fourth Way Work as follows:

"The fourth way differs from the old and the new ways by the fact that
it is never a permanent way.

"It has no definite forms and there are no institutions connected with
it.

"It appears and disappears governed by some particular laws of its own.

"The fourth way is never without some work of a definite significance,
is never without some undertaking around which and in connection with
which it can alone exist.

"When this work is finished, that is to say, when the aim set before
it has been accomplished, the fourth way disappears, that is, it
disappears from the given place, disappears in its given form,
continuing perhaps in another place in another form.

"Schools of the fourth way exist for the needs of the work which is
being carried out in connection with the proposed undertaking. They
never exist by themselves as schools for the purpose of education and
instruction.

"Mechanical help cannot be required in any work of the fourth way.

"Only conscious work can be useful in all the undertakings of the
fourth way.

"Mechanical man cannot give conscious work so that the first task of
the people who begin such a work is to create conscious assistants.

"The work itself of schools of the fourth way can have very many forms
and many meanings.

"In the midst of the ordinary conditions of life the only chance a man
has of finding a 'way' is in the possibility of meeting with the
beginning of work of this kind.

"But the chance of meeting with such work as well as the possibility
of profiting by this chance depends upon many circumstances and
conditions.

"The quicker a man grasps the aim of the work which is being executed,
the quicker can he become useful to it and the more will he be able to
get from it for himself.

"But no matter what the fundamental aim of the work is, the schools
continue to exist only while this work is going on.

"When the work is done the schools close.

"The people who began the work leave the stage.

"Those who have learned from them what was possible to learn and have
reached the possibility of continuing on the way independently begin
in one form or another their own personal work."
What is done here, and with our associated work, is what I would term as the living Fourth Way - it has a purpose and a present, active C influence and it has a work of definite significance in this particular place and 'time'. It is, in every way, a true Fourth Way - especially in comparison to any of the remaining and dessicated 'Fourth Way Schools' that still operate as if Gurdjieff was still living and did not stop teaching due to the realization that he could not reach a core of people capable of awakening in his time.

If he had access to the internet, things might have been different, though, I think, the time was still 'not right'.

I wouldn't hold it against Patterson, by the way. It's important to remember that a person cannot See above their level of understanding. Patterson's work is very valuable in understanding certain aspects of Gurdjieff's work historically, but he cannot See above his level of understanding, so, of course, to him such a work and 'Working' as exists here could never exist.


As Laura once stated, we live in a particular time, under particular conditions. The C's came from the future FOR this work, to
seed it, and we are the gardeners. fwiw.
 

Alderpax

Jedi Master
Buddy said:
Argonaut said:
I wonder what Gurdjieff would say about working via an online network. If he were around today, might he even do such a thing himself?
I think he would be very pleased and excited. The Cassiopaean Experiment and it's evolutionary context may not be "the" Fourth Way in G's strict terms at the time the concept was defined, but as Laura has said, it's still a Fourth Way (G expanded, imo).
anart said:
Argonaut said:
I know that the Cass forum doesn't strictly "purport to teach the Fourth Way,"
Sure it does - this forum, and all the associated web pages and work absolutely comprise a Fourth Way School. Perhaps it would help to review the definition of the Fourth Way...

<snip>

What is done here, and with our associated work, is what I would term as the living Fourth Way - it has a purpose and a present, active C influence and it has a work of definite significance in this particular place and 'time'. It is, in every way, a true Fourth Way - especially in comparison to any of the remaining and dessicated 'Fourth Way Schools' that still operate as if Gurdjieff was still living and did not stop teaching due to the realization that he could not reach a core of people capable of awakening in his time.

If he had access to the internet, things might have been different, though, I think, the time was still 'not right'.
Thanks Buddy & anart, this has really clarified things. So what I should've said was, "the Cass forum doesn't teach the Fourth Way in the same form as Gurdjieff taught it." Thanks for the correction.

[quote author=anart]

I wouldn't hold it against Patterson, by the way. It's important to remember that a person cannot See above their level of understanding. Patterson's work is very valuable in understanding certain aspects of Gurdjieff's work historically, but he cannot See above his level of understanding, so, of course, to him such a work and 'Working' as exists here could never exist.

[/quote]

Oh, I don't hold it against him. Gurdjieff's form of the Fourth Way is how Patterson understands it; he's never known any other manifestation. I wonder, though, how he views G's words about the Fourth Way taking different forms? I'm guessing he sees G's version as still current, with any new forms being far in the future.

[quote author=anart]

As Laura once stated, we live in a particular time, under particular conditions. The C's came from the future FOR this work, to
seed it, and we are the gardeners. fwiw.

[/quote]

It's my understanding that Gurdjieff declared his school finished, yet John Pentland is billed as the guy he chose to continue teaching the Work (in America, anyway). So I'm a bit confused. Can the C's Fourth Way school AND Gurdjieff's legitimately co-exist? Or are strict "Gurdjieffians" stuck in the past? Gurdjieff says that the Fourth Way disappears then reappears in a new form. Which seems to imply that anyone still following the previous form would be misguided. I'm not trying to judge, just trying to understand it in light of G's words, and the fact that this here is the Fourth Way's current manifestation.

[quote author=Buddy]
Besides, we're not working in cyberspace, in my view, we're collaborating in cyberspace. The Work is always local to the individual, otherwise it's not Work, osit.
[/quote]

Yeah, that makes sense. We wouldn't be truly working in cyberspace unless we were online 24/7. Maybe even using some virtual reality software :lol:. Our networking here is a powerful aid to the Work we do in our everyday lives, but it's not the Work itself.
 

anart

The Living Force
Argonaut said:
It's my understanding that Gurdjieff declared his school finished, yet John Pentland is billed as the guy he chose to continue teaching the Work (in America, anyway). So I'm a bit confused. Can the C's Fourth Way school AND Gurdjieff's legitimately co-exist? Or are strict "Gurdjieffians" stuck in the past? Gurdjieff says that the Fourth Way disappears then reappears in a new form. Which seems to imply that anyone still following the previous form would be misguided. I'm not trying to judge, just trying to understand it in light of G's words, and the fact that this here is the Fourth Way's current manifestation.
If you've read this thread, then you have an answer to all that.
 

Alderpax

Jedi Master
anart said:
Argonaut said:
It's my understanding that Gurdjieff declared his school finished, yet John Pentland is billed as the guy he chose to continue teaching the Work (in America, anyway). So I'm a bit confused. Can the C's Fourth Way school AND Gurdjieff's legitimately co-exist? Or are strict "Gurdjieffians" stuck in the past? Gurdjieff says that the Fourth Way disappears then reappears in a new form. Which seems to imply that anyone still following the previous form would be misguided. I'm not trying to judge, just trying to understand it in light of G's words, and the fact that this here is the Fourth Way's current manifestation.
If you've read this thread, then you have an answer to all that.
I haven't, but now I'll read it in its entirety. Thanks. :) My tendency to post noise is becoming easier to see each time I do it, but still only after the fact. Which is frustrating. Despite some things that I (seem to) understand, I have trouble putting it all together and internalizing it. It all seems like second-hand info for me, as if I'm parroting things I don't actually grok. My posting habits are partly a reflection of this (they're also driven by a desire to be liked and accepted, as I've talked about in the thread "Am I Just Trying to Impress?").

I'm amazed at how little information I've retained from reading the entire Wave series, and from two readings each of Secret History and High Strangeness. I first read most of them back when Laura and the C's were still new to me. So there was much that just went over my head. I think I should re-read them all - this time with as much attention as possible, not just as "ordinary books." I think it's also important for me to quit speaking on things I have no real grasp of. Which is a lot, currently. I will also search the forum extensively before posting a question. Staying mindful of these things should help minimize my problem of posting noise.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Argonaut said:
...I have trouble putting it all together and internalizing it.

Hi Argonaut. I can relate to that, so allow me to share what I've learned. The importance of reducing stress and keeping it low cannot be overemphasized. When you're studying, or during any other time that you can, do pipe-breathing, or at least deep belly breathing and relax your body as much as you can. This has helped me enormously. Think about this:

Have you ever had this experience:

You've been reading something and now you're thinking about it all. You're in that contemplative, reflective mode of thought. You have several, or many, things in your head at one time, trying to compare and contrast them to understand relationships between them, and within their context, and with what came before and waiting for an insight to reveal something that is not obvious.

Someone comes up and starts a conversation or a debate or argument, distracting you and despite every signal you give and anything you say, they continue to demand your attention for something. They won't take no for an answer and they won't go away or even pick up a clue on what's going on with you at the moment.

Your stress level begins to rise and you begin to fear something bad to happen and then, at a certain point, your mental state just evaporates. You basically lose it and now you must deal with the interruption and figure out how to reload your brain and get back to where you were before, so that, maybe you can resume where you left off.

The danger of a distraction depends not on how long it is, but on how much it scrambles your brain. I can walk into my kitchen to get a snack with my working memory full of stuff and without losing it. But the wrong kind of interruption can wipe your brain in 30 seconds. So, know what your stressors are and keep an eye out for them, and take a break for a bit of fun from time to time.

Have you seen that Word Association Football comic piece?

It was performed by John Cleese on the Monty Python album Matching Tie and Handkerchief:

_http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/414500.html
 

Alderpax

Jedi Master
Buddy said:
Argonaut said:
...I have trouble putting it all together and internalizing it.

Hi Argonaut. I can relate to that, so allow me to share what I've learned. The importance of reducing stress and keeping it low cannot be overemphasized. When you're studying, or during any other time that you can, do pipe-breathing, or at least deep belly breathing and relax your body as much as you can. This has helped me enormously.
Thanks, I'll do this. I've ordered the first two Wave volumes and will order 3 and 4 on my next payday. I originally read these online (I'm assuming the online version goes through the end of vol 4). Reading the book versions will offer a different experience, and it might help me focus more on what I'm reading. I also read in the thread on the movie "They Live" about the mind-focusing benefits of chewing gum. This was noted due to Roddy Piper's line, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick @$$... and I'm all out of bubblegum." Love that movie. :) Oh, and putting on some Mozart is supposed to be good for thinking, too. I'll experiment with whatever might help.

Buddy said:
Think about this:

Have you ever had this experience:
I have, yes. A few times just as you describe. But it's happened more frequently in other ways, such as a sudden phone call, or a cat deciding to go wild and start streaking through the house. :lol:

Buddy said:
The danger of a distraction depends not on how long it is, but on how much it scrambles your brain. I can walk into my kitchen to get a snack with my working memory full of stuff and without losing it. But the wrong kind of interruption can wipe your brain in 30 seconds. So, know what your stressors are and keep an eye out for them, and take a break for a bit of fun from time to time.
Definitely. I can pretty much tell when I've been reading too long, because I have to re-read the same line a few times due to my mind wandering.

Buddy said:
Have you seen that Word Association Football comic piece?

It was performed by John Cleese on the Monty Python album Matching Tie and Handkerchief:

_http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/414500.html
No I haven't. I visited that url, and I was amazed that I could read that and still essentially get the gist! I'll have to see if I can find the audio somewhere.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Argonaut said:
Buddy said:
Have you seen that Word Association Football comic piece?
It was performed by John Cleese on the Monty Python album Matching Tie and Handkerchief:

_http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/414500.html
No I haven't. I visited that url, and I was amazed that I could read that and still essentially get the gist! I'll have to see if I can find the audio somewhere.
Ok, but I should have made my point clearer (my apologies). Along with deep, relaxing breathing techniques, the word association thing works better if it comes from your imagination. It helps to put you back in that reflective state of mind if you think it all up yourself (your own game) because it requires creativity and spontaneity. Fumbling around with it may give you a good laugh as well. :D


Edit: spelling
 
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