The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Our Stance in Life

I started coaching cricket to two very young lads a few weeks ago. Now I may look old-fashioned but the time-worn phrase “In my day...” is not part of my coaching stock-in-trade.

I showed them both how to stand ready to receive the ball and one of them disagreed and said “This is how my Dad showed me to do it.”
Suddenly, here we were – on a communications roundabout with many exits. Had I looked at the signposts before entering the roundabout? Did I really want to cite his Dad as being ‘wrong’ – did I really want to explode his belief that his Dad was his ‘best’ model in life? Maybe I was the first ‘proper coach’ he had ever encountered in his young life so far – so was I to insist that he follow my instructions?
Of course not! These are three exits on the roundabout I would want to avoid like the plague!

The thing is – if he’d encountered me ten years ago, I’d have shown him the way I was taught, which was probably the way his Dad was taught too:-


During the intervening years I saw – and tried out for myself – the stance I now advocate, especially for beginners.

There’s a simplicity to it which is one of the reasons that it really works. There’s also a logic to it that facilitates a number of other things that really do need to be correct for the next stage to work well. It’s a gateway that works when it is open, but that when shut you might vault the gate and fall flat on your face in a cow-pat!

 Our Stance in Life
There’s a parallel with our batting stance in cricket and our stance in Life. And it’s a parallel that actually matches these two young lads also.

Ten years ago I could have chosen to stay with the way I’d stood to bat all my life. The tried and tested, this works for me because almost everyone stands this way method; the its always served me well except when it hasn’t method; the I’m too old to try something new method; the this is the way my Dad* taught me method. (* And Dad here is a euphemism for society, peers, mates, the world, our culture, as well as dear old Dad himself.)
But I didn’t.

I tried it out to see what was different, what felt different, how it changed the way I played, whether I felt happier with it, whether it brought me success, whether it worked – ALL purely from my own perspective. Once I had the answers and installed it as an unconscious competence in terms of an applied skill – then I knew I would never change back. PLUS, as a coach I could now be utterly authentic in the way I was passing on the skill to others.

We all have some things we’d like to change in our lives – things we are doing, ways we are doing, that we would prefer having better results, better outcomes, more success from. It could be about certain habits or behaviours – like smoking, our relationship with food, our relationships with others, our relationship with ourselves, our fears, our worries and anxieties, and so on.
These things are all part of our lives until we change them. They are all part of our stance in Life. Now, if we want to see whether how we are batting in life might be improved by changing our stance – what could be simpler than just giving it a go?
Pete, you make it sound so easy, but I can’t seem to do it.
“Ah – I said it was simple, I didn’t say it was easy.”

“The process is what’s simple. The ease with which you do it is entirely up to you.
You can make it easy – like I did when I changed my stance – by just accepting all that the process entailed, and noticing what was different every step of the way.
Or you can make it complicated and difficult - by noticing the difference as discomfort; noticing what your peers, friends, colleagues think and believe (what your Dad says); by telling yourself it can’t work, it isn’t working, it won’t work, it’ll never work.
The choice – as always – is yours.”

The Lads
So the lads tried my invitation to stand this way and hold the bat like that – they gave it a go! You could say they politely indulged my suggestions! And, lo and behold - as if by magic – they found that hitting the ball really well, and so much better and more consistently than before, was starting to come much, much easier to them. Their eyes lit up, they beamed with smiles of self-fulfilment and, although I don’t know for sure, probably went home and said to Dad, “This is the way to bat. You try it!”

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Charting the Wilderness

Our Thoughtstream is a vast uncharted wilderness. When we start to chart that wilderness, set out to tame the unknown, do we ever pause to ask ourselves, “For what purpose am I doing this?”

Of course this is only metaphor – and yet, as with all metaphor, there is a definite parallel in reality.

Getting fruity
Now here I’ve presented you with a notion – from an ocean of ideas you understand – that there is such a thing as a thoughtstream.
You might take this as being an endlessly flowing river of energy presented to our conscious awareness – and out of this river we cherry-pick more noticeable thoughts. Once our cherries have been selected for examination, we might then retain and discard – perhaps on the basis of ripeness.

Where fruit and ripeness are concerned, I’d invite you to consider how you buy bananas – the selection criteria you apply. Amongst all the bananas some are still a bit green, some are more blackened, and although you’re never going to eat the skins of the bananas – you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the flesh of the fruit inside the skins (the meat if you like) is going to be like. Except of course, if you are new to the process of buying bananas!
So my notion of a thoughtstream can take many metaphorical forms – from fruit in rivers to the one I first placed into your shopping basket, or in-tray – the vast uncharted wilderness.

To what does exploring the wilderness lead?
After the first explorers, when man first went deep into the Amazon, or studied Antarctica or went to the moon and beyond, what were the next steps for man? Well, man is very resourceful, and although the overt meaning here might be that resourceful man has “the ability to find clever ways of overcoming difficulties”, we would do well to remember that resourceful is an adjective.
“I am resourceful”, “we have resourcefulness”, “they show great resource,” and so on. We talk about having the resources to overcome issues or obstacles in our lives. Performers, athletes, speakers, all talk about the need to have enabling resources at their fingertips.

However, man’s resourcefulness in terms of conquering any wilderness, taming the unexplored, is actually about exploitation in some form or other. The explorer may only have the motivation, the desire to ‘boldly go’ on the mission, purely because of the climbing Everest quote - “because it is there”. However the explorer’s fellow men, following up on his trailblazing, have few desires outside those of exploitation. This exploitation is the simple exploitation of resources. It could be minerals, vegetation, land, people – but the driver is still exploitation.
Of course, out of that exploitation will sometimes come spin-offs such as pushing the boundaries of knowledge, but essentially the driving humans behind the explorers are the exploiters. From Christopher Columbus’ sponsorship by the King of Spain, to the research scientists funded by drugs companies, to eventual mining on the moon by the space technology superpowers, exploration leads to exploitation, eventual dominance, and then maintaining that dominance.

Charting our own wilderness
I’d like to return to my original question – what is the purpose of charting our thoughtstream, of conquering our wilderness?

For most it is about feeling we are in control – in control of ourselves. And the more we can chart our wilderness, the more control we have – seems logical doesn’t it? However - what kind of control is that control?

Those at the upper end of the control scale are the control-freaks, the people who live out their lives in their heads. Their wish is to have that felt sense of being in charge of themselves – of running their own show – and in order to do this they dredge as much as they can out of their thoughtstream. Then the process is not about cherry-picking, but more about harvesting what they have dredged. In amongst each catch they land are cherries, of course, but a load of other stuff as well. Then, with a collector’s mind-set, they spend all their conscious awareness paying all their attention to the fruits of their dredging, instead of living their lives a different way.
And if you think I’m rambling here, then take a good look at the behaviour of some of the people you know who seem to be dredgers rather than cherry-pickers!

When we cherry-pick from the thoughtstream, who told us which ones were cherries in the first place? The art of suggestion upon us by others is well known – and some of us are more susceptible to external suggestions than others. Therefore, we will have accepted some recognition of cherries from others.
This is all new to me - I can’t do this.” Does this sound familiar?
If I say this to myself, then I’ll start to look for the ‘cherries’ of “I can’t” from my thoughtstream. Each one I pick out will confirm that I can’t do this. I’m not looking for the “I can” cherries am I? Those are the cans of tomatoes or peaches.
Also, if this isn’t bad enough, some of the juice from the cherries starts to colour up and contaminate things nearby – like doing new things. Next time we’re looking for the cherries of “I can’t” we’ll be picking out “doing new things” as well.
There’s a natural progression to my desire for being in control and the “not being in control” brought about by “new things I can’t do.” I just won’t do them! For my life to be smoothly in control I’ll avoid that kind of stuff – I just won’t go there.

I’ll readily admit that I spent well over forty years believing that control was the way to go, and I was a very good cherry-picker and occasional dredger. Looking back over those years, I’m not surprised that I failed to spot the tell-tale signs of over-thinking, of when my head was full of spinning plates I was endeavouring to keep spinning. When it’s like that it feels like there’s no time to step back and change the perspective, even if we know that that is what we need to do! Most of the time we just plough on with conquering that thoughtstream, charting that wilderness – and ploughing is not a word I choose casually either!  

The thing is, our thoughtstream IS a wilderness. Every morsel of cherry, or of dredge, is neither REAL nor is OURS – until we make it so.
In the very act of seeking out resources to enable us, we are looking to tame a wilderness that we think is ours.

Now you might be pointing the finger at me by now, as far as this article is concerned, reminding me that in order for me to have written it I will have picked some cherries out of my thoughtstream. For all you or I know, I may even have been dredging!
And I would agree with you – yes, I’ve latched onto some energy flowing by and amplified it by allowing some cell division to take place. I’ve given some of it a second or further thought. It’s what we ALL do, all the time we engage in a thought process.

The difference here for me is that, compared to those forty or so ordinary years when the purpose was control, the purpose NOW is for exploration.

It’s more like I’m flying over the wilderness, looking down. Or maybe I’m plying a lone trek through the territory, on a voyage of discovery - not looking to hack a path in order to build the broad highway back to ME. I’m exploring, through curiosity and a desire to know. I am not sponsored by any exploiters and I am not looking to garner some fruit and take it back to my own domain.

You could say that my domain is the wilderness – and I’m happy to keep the wilderness wild, unknown, unsullied, unexploited. For it is not my wilderness, per se, it is just a wilderness. If I were to chart the wilderness, it would, for one, cease to be unknown – and also the charts would be mine.

Oh indeed, I do occasionally lose sight of these things and climb into my own head as pilot of the plane, so to speak. Sometimes I crash land on the journey, though these days I mostly just notice the turbulence and ride out the storm.

There is much metaphor here, and even my use of metaphor ebbs and flows, shoots the rapids and occasionally goes into free fall. Draw whatever conclusions you will - however I would invite you to always check out the purpose of your actions in wanting to chart the wilderness. For in the very act of checking out you may arrive at the conclusion that you, too, are an explorer not an exploiter for resources – and charting, therefore, is not a necessity.

Just be comfortable in knowing that the elements in the thoughtstream are not real, and nor are they yours until you make them so.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Where Do You Think You're Going?

There is a famous quote by Henry Ford: “There are two kinds of people. Those who think they can and those who think they can’t – and they’re both right.”

In sporting terms this certainly applies too, because there’s thinking in there – and we always have a tendency to “act out” our thinking in the way we are being and playing!

If you’ve just been picked to play for your country, county, district, 1st team, club, school for the very first time – in amongst the pride, the sense of achievement, there probably comes that nagging reflection – am I good enough? Can I hack it at the next level?
And it goes right across the board -
Your club or team has won promotion. How will they fare in the higher league? Are they good enough? Do they need better players with more experience?

Even on life’s stage I’ve encountered people who are up for recognition and awards and who are almost embarrassed and ask “Why Me? – They’ll suss me out sooner or later!” I’ve also encountered people who have been head-hunted for highly rewarding jobs, and who are so concerned about their ability that they start getting stressed out because they feel they have to try so much harder to impress their new bosses that the right choice has been made, or that they are up to the job!

I know it sounds silly and illogical, but there is hardly a person anywhere on earth who hasn’t plagued themselves with this thinking at some point in their lives.
This train of thought inevitably brings us back to Henry Ford’s quote. If we think we can’t do something, then we’ll act out, direct our actions towards becoming the inadequate, the loser, the under-achiever.
What fuels this action, what perpetuates this momentum?


And what is belief?
It is originally a thought that became > an idea, that became > a notion, that became > a concept, that became > a theory, that became > a belief. There’s a kind of process of cell division that takes a thought to a belief, and for each step along that road we verify and prove – through referential experience – what we perceive as ‘true’ or ‘real’. We know about what’s real and true – or at least we think we do!

If we believe we can do something, then – along a similar highway – we’ll prove it to ourselves. This will not only reaffirm our belief, but it will also bring us success!

So, let's get back to the original scenario, where you’ve been picked to play at the next level up;
There’s a random thought – am I good enough?
It’s only a thought and you hasten, perhaps rush, that thought along the road towards the certainty of an answer, at an accelerated rate.

Now - if you think you can, and you have confidence in your abilities, your beliefs will filter your gathering of references in alignment with that confidence. Answer = Yes I am good enough. I can play at the higher level. Likewise, if you think you can’t then you’ll draw out all the references that align with that belief also. Everything is clear, one way or another.


However, what about the vast grey area in between, when you are not sure – if there is doubt. You want to know – you must have the answer. “I need to know, which will give me confidence! Only when I have confidence, will I play in a way that gives me the answer and dispels the doubt! If I don’t know, and don’t have the answer, then I won’t have the confidence to play in a way that will dispel the doubt.”

Remember R D Laing’s quote: “If I don’t know I don’t know – I think I know. If I don’t know I know I know – I think I don’t know.”
It’s all a bit like that, and we carry those doubts and lack of surety into the playing arena! Then, any spare capacity left in our emotional bath, gets filled by “I wonder if I’ll be OK,” or “I hope it goes alright for me today,” or “I must try my best,” or other variations on a theme. Likewise, we’ll ponder when people wish us “Good Luck!”
There is nothing convincing about wonder, hope, try and luck though, is there? Wonder, hope, try and luck do a very good job of supporting our doubt – and if you think about it, that doubt, if unsupported, would collapse into can’t. And all we ever wanted anyway was to know – to be convinced.
OK, let’s break down this sample of rock and see what really lies inside!
  • Is confidence real, or just something we’ve made up – a construct?
  • Do I really need to know the answers to doubt before I play?
  • If our doubts are real, who is making them up?
  • Are beliefs real, or just thoughts, amplified and proven through experience.
  • Is experience real, or just our interpretation of events.
  • Are thoughts real anyway?
These are all questions about what is real and, as we sift through them all, we’ll eventually arrive at a point where we’ll know the answers.

And, here’s the thing – once we know our thoughts aren’t real, then why would there ever be any need for us to question our ability to play? Why would there ever be any need to take those thoughts onto the field of play? All we would ever need to do is to be enthused and excited by anticipating the play, and then to engage in every moment of the play when eventually the time came.

It’s a simple formula that requires you NOT to think about it, but merely to understand it.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wacky Questions

Clients will sometimes describe how certain things seem to happen for them in their lives, and by way of softening the blow either for me, or for their observing ‘other self’, they will add in this rider: “I know it sounds weird and you’ll think I’m stupid but ...”

Of course I am just so NOT the person to say weird and stupid to. I always reassure them by endorsing myself thus, “There’s no need to concern yourself about being weird or feeling stupid. In my world anything and everything goes – and I subscribe to and regularly go to some pretty fanciful places myself. Wacky is mainstream in my book – because nothing is real in this world except that real which we are making up in every part of our waking lives.”
When we are in a dream state of unconsciousness some fairly oddball and off the wall things happen there too. But compared to our conscious experiences, which are all REAL aren’t they (?), our dreams can be really odd and wacky.
“I had a really weird dream last night. I wonder what the meaning is?”

Our dreams are a melange of random re-presented occurrences, cherry-picked from recent experience, all interlaced with unconscious metaphor drawn from content or context. Our unconscious gathers together all these ingredients and then blends them together using a particular recipe of choice. It’s a kind of multi-sensual stir-fry, cooked up in a mental wok. No eye-rolling please - I did say I was weird and wacky after all.

So why are our dreams not really real, and yet our waking experience is SO real? That is curious because they are both taking place in our head after all.

Get Real!

“Come on, Pete – the sunshine is real – the pain from the cut in my leg is real – the chair I’m sat in is real. Or are you telling me that’s not so?”

Well, look at it this way - the sun is real out there in the cosmos, but our individual perception of it, and the sunshine, and the warmth, and the light ... is made up. Your experience of all those things differs from mine. Likewise with the chair.
And as for the pain from the cut in your leg - well I can see the cut, the injury, the tissue damage, but I cannot feel the pain. It is YOUR pain - and yet, before you knew you'd cut it, did you feel any pain? Injury usually equates to pain so, for you, did  the pain come first or knowledge of the injury?
Many years ago I injured my knee on a Saturday and never felt any pain until after the operation on the Monday. So where was it in the meantime?
People who have phantom limb pain - where is it all taking place?

"OK, the pain is in the head, in the mind, in the brain - I'll grant you that. But it IS really felt, not pretend. It is quite involuntary so how can you say we're making it up?"
Our emotional palette adds stuff in to the real neuro-physiological message of tissue damage, of injury. That's the 'feel' part of the pain. Plus we can mask or inhibit the 'damage' message as well. That's why the chemical solution works; that's why the hypnotic solution works. The thing about pain is that we can become very familiar with it, grade its intensity, make a whole range of meanings about it; we have a set of beliefs around those meanings as well.
One of those meanings is our 'pain threshold' - the 'made-up' tipping point that turns it from minor irritation to something serious. When we mask, inhibit or diminish the message to a point below the threshold, the emotional palette is not invoked.
No invoke - no pain. No hurt - no cry!
 Do we make it up? Without pretending, and in a somewhat involuntary way as well - you bet we make it up!

In our dreams we still “feel” the real stuff without ever questioning any of its normality. If, in part of a dream, we are walking along a beach or a river bank, we never question the content unless there’s something ‘different’ about it – like purple water or two suns in the sky, let’s say. We totally accept the reality of the ordinary that takes place in our dreams. And yet – that too is made up. Every thing and everything in our dream is made up.

We replicate all our conscious experiences in our dreams, and some of the imaginary experiences too – the constructs, the what-ifs, the I’d like-to’s. The only conscious construct we don’t really seem to replicate is time, however. Everything that happens in a dream is played out right in the NOW – there is no future or past.
So, at an unconscious level, there are many metaphors populating the landscape, and no time. Interesting.

Wacky Questions
I was coaching with some of our club’s 15 year olds recently and, as is often the case with these guys, some odd comments come out of the woodwork.
“When was the first time a human being milked a cow?” came the question from one, followed shortly by another who enquired, “How did they know it was milk?”

Wacky questions on the face of it – but they do show an inquisitive perspective upon life, context and content. It matches the question I was asked about a year ago at an After School cricket club: “Did Gandhi ever play cricket, and if so was he good at it?”
These instances when the enquiring youthful mind is allowed free expression are something of a liberation, for them, from a world that demands their conformity, and a world that – for them to ‘get on’ – already has, is, and will continue to mould and shape their views.

I feel such a relief when I hear the recurring sounds of thoughts coming off the wall, since it is a reassurance that the “real” world is being challenged. And when it is - new views and solutions to current problems are just around the corner.
Consider the moment JUST as the wheel was invented ...
“Hey guys, look at this weird contraption Leone has just made!” Shouts one of the other inventors at the Ancient Inventors Atelier, as Mr Thick stands proudly showing off yet another masterpiece of “ideas in action”. All the inventors gather round. “What does it do?” says another, and Leone shows them. As he proudly rotates the wheel on the workbench they all start laughing. “Is that it? It just goes round and round? Well that’s brilliant Leone,” they echo with more than a hint of sarcasm. “All we need now is for someone to devise the game of Rolette!” More laughter ensues and they each return to their own inventor’s workbench.

But in Leone’s head a light has gone on – it went on when he heard someone say “Rolette”. “Yes,” he thought. “What happens if I roll it? Let’s see!”
And the rest, as they say, is history.

Did that really happen?
You may scoff – but can you prove otherwise? Is that as real an account of what happened as any of the others purported to be real. In Neolithic times they didn’t have inventors’ workshops, or did they? We don’t know – however, maybe Bill and Ted do!

 So what am I getting at here, really?

We are limited by the conventionality of our thinking; we are beset by the emotional ravages of our thinking; our thinking gets in the way of our doing. In the midst of this thought run riot lies the landscape of much of our modern lives.

And, for some, this riot brings them to my door. Usually by this time they’ve had enough of the riot they’re experiencing – or at least they think they’ve had enough. To paraphrase Bill and Ted. They’ve forgotten how to “Party On Dude!”

You remember I said we made up our reality?

Is the smoking habit I want to give up, real?
I believe I can’t do X – is that real?
I don’t have enough time to do Y – is that real?
“Tell me, Mr Edison, how many attempts at making a light bulb are you going to make before you’ll be convinced it ain’t gonna work?”
“As many as it takes, because I know it’s possible – it’s just a matter of how.”
“Really? How do you know that Thomas?”
“Bill and Ted showed me!”

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Memory, Music, Degeneration and Learning

I have written previously about the role music plays for and with my Dad and his dementia. And here I'd like to just share some of my further observations,  musings, questions and conclusions with how some sufferers with dementia and Alzheimer's might be handling their degenerating memory and disorientation with regards to things musical.

Whilst my Dad's condition is certainly not outside the norms of how the condition impacts upon those sufferers, one of the things that takes him out of the norms is that he is not just a lover of music, an appreciator of what he remembers that he likes when he hears it - but he also played and still plays an instrument. We have a harmonium and it not only gives him a chance to exercise his fingers on the keys, but he can also exercise his feet on the pedals - pumping air to "drive" the instrument.

We have been running a little routine for a while now which involves him remembering a tune, or a song, and maybe just odd snatches of the lyrics - and then I go and find the lyrics on the internet and print them out for him. He must have some 80 or so songs like this in his 'library of lyrics' - and then he can play and read the words at the same time - and sing along with the "voice in his head".

Now, I have to say I'm guessing at this last bit - because what is really going on in side our head when we are singing? How do we remember songs? Are we singing on the inside and then join in with ourselves when we start singing on the outside? Of course readers of music, and especially those who can sight read and sing 'off the page', are actually operating a different skill set from the innate one of singing from memory.
And it is the 'from memory' facility that I'm particularly interested in here because it is clear that how and/or where we remember music and how and/or where we remember words appear to be two discrete areas and/or functions. Here again, how my Dad's brain is wired up with regards to memory centres is certainly contained within neurophysiological 'norms', so there can be no other explanation for his crystal clear memory of the notes and his vague, fragmented memory of the words.

In the original posting of this I included a video interview where legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist Glen Campbell talked about his experiences with his own onset of Alzheimer's, and the preparations for his 'Farewell Tour' of the UK in 2011.

For Glen , the short term memory, the words and associations in longer term memory were all fragmented - and the drawing together of all the data from whatever referential places he had coded it to seemed - to all intents and purposes - to be no longer possible.
The coding up of all the data relating to the sonic experience in the music, however, had not been affected in this way. For Glen - as for my Dad - the notes, the intervals, the rhythms, the harmonic structures, the chords, the fingering on the instrument, the volume, the timbre - indeed every component of the music except all the words - was recalled with clarity.
For Glen, and my Dad, the label of the song title plus the "keyword" lyrical references are coded with the musical data also. And yet when Glen spoke the lyrics in conversation rather than singing them, then his memory broke up without the music it was bound to. It seemed that the sequential connections broke up - rather like the radio transmissions from someone on a distant planet.


So - is musical information coded up a different way, or coded to a different area in the brain, or is it how the data is handled on re-presentation (how it is remembered).

Is there a parallel here with how we learn music in the first place or how we even have the ability (or otherwise) to sing in tune?
And what about being able to sing in tune - is there a genetic factor; are we hard wired for the musical experience in terms of that particular inner sense? My Dad can sing in tune, his sister (2 years younger) is completely tone deaf. No amount of environmental or familial influence in her upbringing could change that. Her daughter (my cousin) is also tone deaf - so was that modelled or genetically hard-wired? Almost certainly the latter, I would say.
So - if singing from memory IS our ability on the outside to match what we are hearing on the inside - then the tone deaf are only matching what they are hearing on the inside also.

Occasionally my Dad will 'stumble across' a song not in his current repertoire, but one that clearly was part of his repertoire in the 1930's. As explained above - I will go and print the lyrics for him - however, it is fascinating watch how the fingers of his left hand fall easily into playing the accompanying chords and following the correct fingering and harmonic structure. It is said that we never forget how to ride a bike, once learned - however this detailed musical 'how to' is miles easier for my Dad than riding a bike. After almost 80 years of NOT playing the song he slips into playing it as if he had been doing that through all the intervening years. That has to be unconscious recollection from a hard-wired memory.

Memory Banks or a Filing System

Imprints and traumatic experiences they say are also hard-wired, etched in memory for all time - but the musical hard-wiring is nothing like that. So - is it about where in the brain we code up the memory, or where in our holographic representation of memory we code it up?

What do I mean by the holographic representation of memory?

Ask anyone about something they remember and their eyes will look to a particular place.  If you ask them about something else in their memory they, more often than not, will look to a different place. It is as if their recollections are distributed, in a "holo-deck" fashion, out in front of them.
With sounds, you may notice they do this while moving their head slightly to another position, as if they are 'cocking' an ear to hear something more clearly. We probably follow even more micro-patterns like this with other sensual recollections also. (And not with just sensual recollections either, as I discovered when experiencing name amnesia!)

In some parts of the world, our accepted cultural idea that we have just 5 senses is not held as true. Some believe balance to be a separate sense, for instance. For others there are a further number of perceptive centres also.
I've worked with athletes in terms of showing them how to perceptually move their centre of gravity to other areas of the body. I also know what happens with some people's balance when the lose visual orientation - by getting them to stand on one leg and then close their eyes. I'd be interested to experiment with some of their holographic representations relative to their balance, for instance, rather in the same way as Mapping Across uses sub-modalities to change some of our perceptions.

So, take a look at how you remember things. There's the way we remember things when we are trying to learn something - and there's the rest of the ordinary stuff. When learning we seem to require repetition to get it "in the muscle", and yet there are some parts of learning that come really easy - and in a different way. In addition to that "come easy" - there'll be some things that come easy to you and me, and yet not to him and her. How we best learn we should match with how we revise (or revisit). If I can't put names to faces very well and yet you can, then I should try coding my data up in other ways - OR I should try re-presenting it in other ways.


This brings me back to my question about my Dad and the nature of the data that he recalls with such ease. My Dad remembers faces and voices, but not labels. If I say X (someone's name) is coming to see us, with 2 exceptions he won't know who that is, even though he knows them. The label (their name) has no accompanying picture (image) or sound (voice). The only name labels he regularly maintains are his family from his youth and mine and my Mum. Curiously, sometimes I don't think he 'makes' the connection between us all either - because on occasions he talks about my Mum as if he thinks she was someone I never knew!

Our memories are held together by a series of connections and associations, that sometimes appear to be quite random, and yet they are never that in reality. The coding at the time of every event we remember has a huge bearing upon how we continually perceive the event, and where - specifically and spatially - we can best recall the event. When our re-presenting faculties break down it is either through severed connections or associations, or a loss of the holographic point of reference.

To my mind it seems that with music - and especially musicians - the point(s) of reference are in a unique area; an area seemingly sheltered from a breakdown in synaptic functionality.
The other thing about music is its universality as not just a language of communication but also a language of sensual meaning.
As such, to ignore its relevance in schools as well as its relevance in degenerative brain diseases, is to devalue one of humanity's cornerstones of expression.