Music Inspiration Journal: #4 Magnetic Learning

8/27/2020

Please use a discerning gaze when reading these claims, which deserve critical examination. This documentation represents a snapshot of my internal landscape at a certain point in time in my life during my collegiate career.

Original Entry

Magnetic Learning:

I learn in a very mysterious way, through experience over time. I reference a knowledge body and relate new information to it. This information becomes magnetized towards me and my neural network and energetic library, or is repelled away from me and forgotten.

The emotions I create open gates for my soul, my center, my essence to draw experiences through.

“Negative” emotions are valid and insightful, creating a space of contrast for novel experience to emerge from.

Engaged and excited emotions quickly magnetize and charge, making learning embody a state of flow.

Lusting and “greedy” emotions draw towards a specific desire and nullify opportunities of opening and flowering in preference of one specific release. My question is this: can this ability for desire be harnessed in either a more helpful or less helpful way?

If I desire to play “better” or “cooler” music than what I already create, I disengage from reality and engage with impossible fluctuating standards. This is neither an excuse to curb the desire to expand and grow, nor is it necessarily helpful to catalyzing or enabling myself to expand or grow.

I define my standards and project them on reality.

I create a projection onto reality, reality creates an impression on me.

I am my ability to project and impress upon reality.

Because I am my ability to impress and project upon reality, I create harmony, commUNITY, and inspiration for the benefit of all sentient and unaware beings throughout all space and time.

Samuel Kogen Rugg

Projecting is giving energy, impressing is receiving energy.

Giving, receiving, and energy are empty.

I am silence, emptiness, nothing.

I am everything.

I am.

I III 3 delta

(Well, there was that Empowered Language Trip from Mark England showing up again, followed by some free association.)

Current Reflections:

Upon a few years of steeping and ripening, as I look back upon this entry, I can see that my focus in this writing is clearly focused on memory and learning. Questions like:

  • How do I learn new things?
  • Why do I forget some things, but remember other things so vividly?
  • Can I unearth a way to help ritualize the process of encountering new forms and practices?
  • Can I ritualize a way to integrate new forms and practices into my being and then directly apply them to my life in this moment?

At the time of this writing, I was intrigued with the idea of magnetic learning. What exactly does this mean, magnetic learning?

In my experience, it seems that the human creature has a very special ability. We can encounter new information, something we have never seen before, something that requires our body and mind to engage in a particular way, and something that then creates a specific novel result when actualized with experience. As we practice, it seems that this new form can become easier and easier, until it suddenly seems like it seems to show up on it’s own accord, with a mind and inertia of its own.

It’s almost like we this: We can engage so fully, so consistently, so consciously, and so regularly with a practice that we can literally wire up a new habit and plant it into our subconscious. All of our conscious effort and attention becomes so ritualized that we can offload it to automatic or subconscious action, but not mindlessly. Rather, we can offload it with full mindfulness. It’s like all of the hours of our consistent work, all of our full-contact, engaged, and present awareness – it never stops. We have created a version of our self that has no beginning or ending, but is always engaged in this particular form of our practice. And once it’s subconscious and automatic, we can engage with the process again and build on it.

Oh lord stop me.

Starting to sound like a Bill Evans quote my teacher Jay Rinsen Weik has taped to his office door at the University of Toledo:

It’s better to do something simple that is real. It’s something you can build on. because you know what you’re doing. Whereas, if you try to approximate something very advanced and don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t build on it.

The whole process of learning the facility of being able to play Jazz was to take these problems from the outer level in- one by one and to stay with it at a very intense conscious concentration level until that process becomes secondary and subconscious… Then you can begin concentrating on that next problem which will allow you to do a little bit more.

The full article is here. And it comes from a video called “The Universal Mind of Bill Evans,” here linked to the YouTube video.

For me, back in my undergraduate years at the University of Toledo, I was extremely interested in how our emotions effect our ability to learn. Do strong emotions help me learn and remember things more deeply?

If so, how can I cultivate a deeper emotional connection to the musical forms that I want to integrate? An amazing pianist, Josh Silver once told me that he likes to sit, close his eyes, and listen to a new tune he’s working on, imagining a film playing in his mind along with the music. This deeply struck me. At the time he delivered this wisdom, I was overwhelmed and out of my mind scrambling to get my shit together to just pass my finals. I tried his idea out once while I was learning the standard, “Here’s That Rainy Day,” Here from my senior recital.

A better one is Bill Evans, Here.

I haven’t forgotten the tune.

If I’m being honest, it’s likely rusty, but man, Josh’s insight really helped me out. And if you listen to him, he’s a, (pardon my language) a MOTHER FUCKER of a player. Deep respect Josh.

How can we create a powerful emotional connection with our art and craft, whatever it is? How can we make it personal, real, and meaningful? How can we use the building blocks of our craft and electrify it with our life? Maybe it’s time to take some of Rinsen’s, Bill Evans’, and Josh’s insights to heart.

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