How to Choose Wisely
It matters that so many of us use apps such as Headspace, Calm, or Healthy Minds. It’s much better than not doing so, right? There’s a big difference, though, between apps and practices. And both of those are completely different than a change of consciousness.
Using an app to slow down our MEPS (mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual) tempo is an intervention. The app is a kind of lifeline that gives us a momentary break from a fall. Guided imagery, ambient music or sounds of nature, or binaural beats are a far cry from a meditation practice. Still, they work and have saved many people’s sanity.
The same can be said for frequency or sound bath work, toning or chanting, and the recent fascination we have with the breath, ice baths, and other kinds of sensory deprivation, as well as serial psychedelic journeying. They are all good interventions. Like yoga and meditation, however, the intention is preparation…for something more.
What is that something more?
A yoga and meditation practice (yoga properly functions as preparation for meditation), with no soundtrack or voiceover, brings one into a state of utter presence, free of distracting sounds and words, and into silence, solitude, simplicity, and stillness, as Pastor Dave Brisbin of the effect faith community likes to say. In fact, Brisbin is part of the Contemplative Christianity movement, which has its roots in Jesus Christ’s own time, and it is gaining traction amongst the unchurched (spiritual but not religious) who desire a deeper experience of the numinous than what can be delivered by an app.
Transcendental Meditation has been popularized by the ineffable David Lynch with great success worldwide and is probably the best organized of the practice-teaching efforts unaffiliated with any religion.
The notion of “practice” reminds me of the martial arts or Qi Gong or Thai Chi. A student works diligently for many years to master skills that increase in difficulty and outcome, sometimes for a lifetime. “Practice” in this sense includes a deep commitment to consistency – to “doing the work.” It’s what happens after you take the blue pill and the whole world changes. Spiritual Workout is a practical example of how that works in our age.
For me, practices like this resemble the kind of focused attention a master musician or artist or poet must bring to their work. Practicing the same basic skills with their instrument, brush, or pen for many years is part of the art. Eventually, an opportunity arises where those skills can be fully and uniquely realized in real life.
The point of all of this is that whatever path we most need now, it prepares us only for the more difficult path to come. Doing that? It’s not intervention, meditation, or even practice; it’s preparation. Preparation for a deepening of consciousness.
One of the best preparations known to civilization but forgotten under the shiny glint of modern technologies is a practice I call Musimorphic. There are very few teachers who truly understand music’s power to both simultaneously intervene and stabilize MEPS (that’s what most call “the power of music”) and suspend the “default network” (similar to psychedelics and meditation). Even fewer understand or teach that music is a doorway to the Contemplative “Four-S” numinous and pan-egoic state of being in which consciousness is permanently transformed.
The nearby illustration is a consciousness diagram created by David R Hawkins, and you may find it quite useful as you consider your desire to permanently transform your consciousness.
Consider this: while many of us can enjoy peak experiences along the “Power” axis of the diagram, truly transformed consciousness belongs 100% to any particular level, whether that’s an upgrade from Pride to Courage or from Reason to Love.
While we may dip a toe back into levels where we have already achieved passage, finding permanent residence at any level higher than the one where we are currently comfortable costs us effort. If we want it enough, we will gladly pay the price in practice to belong to the next level. Otherwise, whatever we throw at ourselves (or immerse ourselves in) is just an intervention designed to return us to the starting gate of our current consciousness.
If you’re ready, take Passage on your personal quest for consciousness with the Musimorphic Quest. If you do the work and establish the practices you will need, you will have begun a true transformation. You will find freedom from apps and discover rich practices that lead to your next level of consciousness. Want to know more? Contact Musimorphic here.
Along the way to improved consciousness, music is also your laboratory for finding, clarifying, and practicing emotion. Bill Protzmann has been teaching this hidden power of music for more than thirty years. With an understanding of music, you can build skills such as true empathy and compassion. You can learn to recognize those feelings in others. You will find you can tell their story powerfully in ways that create, build, and sustain relationships. Learn more about this work and take the online heroic Quest for transformation at Quest.Musimorphic.com