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On Listening to the Bass

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of December 11, 2006

Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2

This Week's Questions

[posed by Steven P.]
  • What is the best way to discover BLocks in and around listening to the bass?
  • Does eye level affect a person's feelings of authority as a listener of music?
  • Do bass players hold the bass more consciously when sitting or when standing?

Do you know?

[Question 1] What is the best way to discover BLocks in and around listening to the bass? Holding a bass? Seeing a bass? Learning to play bass? And how could I use this knowledge to be a better teacher to students?
Let's start with a brief review of what we know about BLocks, beginning with that all BLocks are insidious, a real spider's web of seemingly random, interconnected blind spots and compensatory Outer Layer over rides.

Certainly, this description is a mouthful. Thus, for those for whom these words are too much to picture, and for those unfamiliar with Emergence Personality Theory, let me now briefly describe the nature of these blind spots.

Essentially, a BLock is a life situation wherein you cannot remain visually conscious. Why not? Because you were once startled during a visually similar event. In effect, this being startled caused two things to happen to you. One, it programmed a certain group of your synapses with an intensely vivid bit of life film. Two, it scarred these synapses in such a way as to prevent any further interconnecting from these synapses to any other synapses.

In essence, we end up with memories wherein we store brief instants of painful events, all of which terminate with us getting startled. Moreover, because we cannot build outward from this group of synapses, whenever we revisit this experience, we always end up going blank.

In effect, this is exactly what happens to us when someone sneaks up behind us and shouts, "boo!" Or the first time we get our picture taken and get blinded by the flash. In both cases, the unexpected force of the experience may startle us. If it does, our minds will visually connect the last thing we were doing, saying, thinking, or feeling, with the pain of the startle. It will also scar the synapses which store this painful memory in such a way as to prevent any further recording, including that this event ever ended.

Bringing this back to how we could uncover any BLocks in and around the bass, a good place to start might be with asking yourself one or more of the twelve BLock Marker Questions. These twelve questions are all designed to help you to identify your BLocks.

What are the questions? Voiced in their general form, the twelve questions are:

  • Vivid Recall of a Painful Event: The First Category of BLock Markers
  • An Inability to Picture a Common Everyday Childhood Event: The Second Category of BLock Markers
  • Hating an Ordinary Life Event: The Third Category of BLock Markers
  • Under-reacting to a Loving Event: The Fourth Category of BLock Markers
  • Under-reacting to a Violent Event: The Fifth Category of BLock Markers
  • Having No Choice: The Sixth Category of BLock Markers
  • Feeling Urgency During Ordinary Life Events: The 7th Category of BLock Markers
  • Feeling Abandoned During Ordinary Life Events: The 8th Category of BLock Markers
  • Feeling Trapped During Nonviolent Life Events: The 9th Category of BLock Markers
  • Repeatedly Making the Same Painful Error: The 10th Category of BLock Markers
  • Feeling Markedly Older or Younger During Ordinary Life Events: The 11th Category of BLock Markers
  • Feeling Compelled to Do Ordinary Acts: The 12th Category of BLock Markers

So how would you use these questions to find your BLocks in and around the bass? You might voice them as some variation of the following:

  • Have you any painfully vivid memories wherein someone was playing a bass?
  • Can you remember ever seeing or hearing a bass being played as a child?
  • Is there anything you hate about seeing or hearing a bass being played?
  • Do you have trouble seeing the good in what you see or hear when a bass is played?
  • Have you ever witnessed violence while in the presence of a bass?
  • Have you ever felt no choice but to play or listen to a bass?
  • Do you ever find your mind racing while in the presence of a bass?
  • Have you ever felt profoundly alone while in the presence of a bass being played?
  • Do you feel strong urges to run out of a room in which someone is playing a bass?
  • Are there any particular errors in either pitch or intonation which you cannot seem to correct?
  • Does your sense of age ever change when you watch, listen to, or play a bass?
  • Have you ever felt painfully forced to watch, listen to, or play a bass?

Obviously, these twelve BLock Marker Questions can be stated in many, many ways. As well as that they can be voiced as questions to both listeners and players of the bass. Thus, the twelve BLock Marker Questions can be used equally well by both bassists and by admirers. As well as by teachers of the bass.

[Question 2] Are bass players, when seated, in general, more physically conscious when holding a bass than when they stand?
This depends entirely on the BLocks the bass player has. And which body position he or she has more BLocks in. For instance, should a bass player have been startled from behind once while seated, playing from other than a rear seat position in a group may inhibit the player's spontaneity. And if the player was once hit from behind by a falling object while in a practice hall, she might feel equally inhibited.

Here again, finding the BLocks in each individual player would be the only way to discern this difference. And while many people do say they have a preference, this statement may more be a preference for the less injured body position. Or not. And only after exploring for BLocks could you say for sure.

[Question 3] Where should my shoulders be in relation to my neck while listening to bass music? My head? My knees? Does my eye level affect my authority as a listener of music?
All proprioceptive sensory input affects one's consciousness. And all states of consciousness affect one's proprioceptive positioning. Thus, whether we focus on head, neck, knee, eye, or any physical position, in fact, one's consciousness is affected. As well as that one's BLocks affect one's body position.

Perhaps what would be most interesting to know is, are there inherent physical body positions in which all people feel more conscious? My thoughts? Yes. I believe there are. Moreover, I would think the degree to which a particular body position raised or lowered a person's consciousness would center on how balanced the person's body is. Left to right. Horizontal to vertical. Spine to hips, and so on.

Finally, of particular import here would be to pay particular attention to the effect on one's consciousness that eye height has relative to another person. And while this topic could easily fill a full book chapter in and of itself, the basic idea is that we store, as part of every injured memory, our sense of eye height relative to our world. Including how high our eyes are relative to the eye height of any other person present. Moreover, since the majority of our injuries take place before we reach our full physical height, being in a physical state wherein our eye height is considerably lower in relation to the eye height of others causes most people to experientially regress to an earlier age.

The result? Anything from childlike awe as a listener to a significant loss of self confidence as a player.

So can anything be done about this? Absolutely. Emergence Therapy can easily and quickly address eye height injuries. Permanently and with markedly valuable outcomes.

[Question 4] Can hearing or seeing a bass player be used to raise the consciousness of kindergartners? If so, when and how? And to what degree does the listener's age affect her or his ability to appreciate bass tones?
Most adults grossly under estimate the attention spans of young children. And yes, kindergartners do, in general, have pretty short attention spans. More so for unchanging things, like for single repetitive tasks; drawing a single letter of the alphabet, for example.

On the other hand, young children can have incredibly deep attention spans for things like watching puppet shows and listening to music. For example, one of the most memorable events of my early childhood occurred when I was seven. The principal of my little grammar school, William O. Schaefer, had asked all eight grades to come into the auditorium that day. Since this was not always the harbinger of good events, I remember being quite nervous. Especially after his recently having done this so he that could tell us we'd be going to the bathroom in the woods if we did not stop using so much toilet paper. Imagine. A grammar school principal chiding the whole school for using too much toilet paper.

William O. Schaefer was quite a character.

He was also one of the most loved men in our community, in part because the kids loved him so. Why? Because he was definitely one of the most real human beings you could ever meet. For instance, on this day, our nervousness was for naught. Why? Because on this day, rather than being chided, he had arranged for us to hear a rather famous vocalist sing acapella in front of the whole school. Being this singer was African American and that it was lily white Tappan, NY, in 1953, the air was electric as he stepped in front of the kids.

When he began though, the air we breathed changed, and I'm not sure I've ever witnessed children respecting an adult more. Silent witnesses, all of us, transfixed and amazed. and his skin color and age difference simply melted into one of the most wonderful mornings of my life.

This morning, in fact, did change my life, and by age twenty one, my acapella group had songs released on some six or so albums.

Now imagine how seeing a bass player bow and / or finger an acoustic bass player might influence a young child. And yes, while this might indeed last only for that day, at the same time, it might change a child's whole life. Including that they may, for the rest of their lives, love listening to the bass.

As for the part about a listener's age affecting his or her ability to appreciate bass tones, I'm sure the heightened aural abilities of young children do affect their ability to appreciate bass tones. However, being as hearing loss tends to effect the higher registers rather than in the lower registers, I'd guess getting older might not have much affect on one's ability to hear the bass. In fact, given we generally hear more bass per se as we age, seeing a bass player play may become more enjoyable the older we get.

[Question 5] Can Direct Emergence be used to improve a bass player's musical skills? For example, would developing conscious finger movements alter a player's degree of connectedness to the strings? To the frets? Do people have more visual difficulty seeing frets or bridges?
[Answer] Direct Emergence is probably the best way to explore for and address a bass player's BLocks. And while describing techniques involved is far beyond the scope of the present writings, you can find many articles describing these techniques elsewhere on the site.

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