One of the appealing things about the Bend, Oregon, Spiritual Awareness Community is that we actually do some strange experiments. One of the stranger ones was spending the better part of an hour rhythmically tapping different parts of our bodies. It’s supposed to be some kind of therapy for clearing out bad things locked into our bodies. Yesterday this tapping was mentioned by someone and I asked the group, “What is Tapping?” There ensued a five-minute discussion between several experienced practitioners of Tapping. Hm? Okay. If someone is having a problem that is distracting them then I suppose tapping on one’s body and especially tapping the chakra points would create enough cognitive dissonance to alleviate the first problem.
This kind of experimental thing appeals to me because one never knows when a strange new idea might have some real-world effect that can be explored for useful actions. There are many experimental ideas that have been explored in this Probaway blog. Conan Doyle being Jack the Ripper is unquestionably a weird idea, but I do present a cogent argument with testable assumptions for testing its validity. An idea that has some physical manifestations can be tested in a scientifically responsible way, and these are the kinds of ideas that are worth pursuing. The kind of ideas espoused by St. Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430), such as, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe,” can easily lead into pure nonsense. The Tapping routine can be experimented with and probably does have some kinds of observable effects and I am willing to participate with it, at least for a while.
I even talk to rocks in the labyrinth on Sunday mornings. It’s not because I hear them talking back to me, but because it lets me put my mind into their situation and view myself from their perspective. This last Sunday’s labyrinth walk left me feeling rather humble because to these old rocks I, you and all humanity are very recent and probably extremely transient by their standards. We will be turned back into random atoms in a thousand years but most of these million-year-old stones will still be recognizable as the stones I have talked to. Which of us is significant then? Those stones which are covered by dirt and thus protected from the weather would still be recognizable in a billion years.
The idea of improv therapy is intriguing because it will help us to explore aspects of our beliefs that we might be hesitant to explore in “real life”. We can do this in the improv setting because the roles we will play are obviously artificial and we can thus explore them with a sense of abstract humor. These kinds of games have been used by famous media personalities early in their careers at Second City in Chicago to help them to understand themselves better and society better and thus to be able to relate to all reality better.
We can learn to live our lives better by playing the right games.