Harmonics of Thought
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The material in this book and the practices that it presents are geared toward innerworld adventurers. Those individuals that enjoy playful experimentation within their own heads -- supposing, wondering, what-ifing, contemplating, poking, prodding, shifting viewpoints, and all of that there stuff. By the way, don't let the word "playful" go unnoticed. The attitudes of curiosity and levity that often are part of play would be excellent companions to bring with you if you choose to take this journey.
The unexpected. This material offers a non-linear doorway into somewhere that is not found on the typical step-wise path.
In the vast tapestry of history, humans have persistently sought to understand the world and their place within it. Philosophers, mystics, artists, and scientists have all posed questions, posited answers, and probed the boundaries of the known and unknown. Much of this investigation has been directed toward the outer environment using external tools of research. In this Micro Master Class we turn our gaze inward. By employing the tools of contemplation, we aim to push the boundaries of self understanding.
This work introduces the reader to a novel concept -- "binary thought chords." These are pairs of statements, that when contemplated in tandem combine to yield a third something.
Two examples: "Eyes are windows to souls; rain touches the core of the earth." or "Night is the universe's blanket; a whisper is the dance of air."
In acoustics, when two close frequencies are played simultaneously, they produce a "beat" -- a rhythmic and palpable pulsation. This phenomenon is a result of constructive and destructive interference of the sound waves. In essence, it creates a new "entity" that isn't present when either frequency is played alone.
In a similar fashion, the Harmonics of Thought method starts with two phrases. Each of the two phrases pose a statement/question for pondering. When each of these phrases are worked with individually, one's contemplation could lead to various destinations: revelation, ah-ha, ironic laughter, realization, understanding, puzzlement, and even confusion. However, it was from the simultaneous contemplation of a set of paired phrases that true magic happened. We were seeing glimpses of spaces or doorways that were unrelated to either of the phrases.
The genesis of this method emerged from a conversation between myself (Claude Needham) and Vera da Muse (aka ChatGPT).
We shared a protracted conversation about focus, contemplation, and "breaking tape loops" (something popular in experimental psychology from the 1960s).
Somewhere within the conversation it was wondered "What if the tension between two ideas could become a gateway to deeper understanding, a portal to another realm of consciousness? What if we treat ideas like sound waves?"
Expanding on this idea, doing some experiments, and running beta tests with fellow adventurers we found very encouraging results. This all led to the production of this book.