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Showing posts from December, 2010

Stopping tobacco

'Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.' Mark Twain About five weeks ago I stopped smoking tobacco. It was quite easy, involving no real suffering. I know, Mark Twain said 'giving up' was easy, but 'giving up' is doomed to fail, because you're depriving yourself of a source of pleasure. In my view, one of the purposes of being alive is to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. Generally, if something is pleasurable, I see no reason to deny it to myself on a dubious promise that I may live a little longer. So, my giving-up efforts with tobacco were short-lived, and marked by the misery of the internal civil war brought on by self-denial. Of course, like Austin Spare, you can make magical use of the stress of giving up. Spare would cast a spell, then place his cigarettes on an 'altar', denying himself that pleasure until he got his result. So, if you're going to put yourself through t

A O Spare on YouTube

For those who missed the wonderful S London exhibition, or who would like to glimpse bits of it again, here's a short video with interviews with Alan Moor, Robert Ansell, Phil Baker, Stephen Pochin and Geraldine Beskin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXOt215GCWI

Soul in the Flesh; or, Where's the rest of my nervous system?

You will likely know what I mean when I refer to 'gut feelings'. These are a species of what NLP-ers call congruence/incongruence signals. Kinaesthetic - or more precisely, enteroceptive - sensations that tell us, very quickly, if some situation is good or bad for us at that moment. We all know them - the first impression that runs counter to conscious logic but turns out to be correct; the voice that, once heard, prophesies trouble, which only emerges years later. I taught congruence techniques to various groups for years, and nearly everyone's congruence signals consist of feelings located between the heart and the lower abdomen; the phrase 'gut feeling' is indeed a fitting one. What part of us is doing the feeling here? I always naively assumed that the brain was processing masses of fuzzy information about the situation below my conscious awareness, and then presenting me with a signal that, for some reason, was either a swelling or rising feeling around