Reply To: Please write in OTHER groups!

  • Don Salmon

    November 26, 2023 at 3:46 am

    Hi again,

    Yeah, I don’t even have much time for that first project yet – I’ve got a small group of 15 folks who chat about it from time to time but nothing’s likely to get off the ground till the middle of next year.

    Meanwhile, the situation you’re in now – worth some support, group hugs, for sure.

    In the 1970s and 80s (I know, you weren’t even born, and toward the end, barely more than a toddler) I was in a joyfully right brain world; East Village, NY City, pianist-composer, mostly doing improv music with avant- garde musicians/actors and dancers. Yet I knew from my teens that some day I would have to learn some legit psychology because ultimately, I wanted to write and explore a new form of “yogic” psychology. It was SO much fun working as a musician.

    I came THIS close to doing an alternative – and very right brain – doctoral program, which also would have been great fun, but I realized at some point, I had to do a mainstream program – doctorate in clinical psych.

    Not fun.

    Virtually every box you checked off – bureaucratic, fundamaterialist, rigid, linear, superficial, not even useless but the entire teaching staff had less psychological insight than just about any 2 dancers/musicians/actors I knew.

    The thing about social workers – the whole background, for decades, is a kind of strange mix of modernist bureaucratic thinking AND genuine deep heart empathy, kindness and compassion. It may not look like the heart stuff is there in school – where the left brain to genuine heart caring ratio is at least 80/20 if not worse. But I’ll tell you, among the thousands of psych evaluations I did in consultation with psychiatrists, neurologists, first line therapists, fellow psychologists and social workers, the social workers, hands down, knew about all the resources needed AND had the verbal and interpersonal skills that literally saved so many lies among people I evaluated.


    But I know the feeling of being in school and having to do nonsense. So i don’t know – every paper I wrote in my masters and doctoral programs, I used as a challenge – how far could I go right up to the line of acceptability to choose wild stuff. I did my masters thesis on lucid dreams – using music I composed to teach people to maintain awareness from waking to dreaming. Almost everyone in my doctoral program was in love with attachment theory. One of my professors said the reason she chose to be on my dissertation committee was because she had a really bad headache the day she read my proposal – which involved using mindfulness to treat physical pain. She tried it, it worked, and that was that.

    I even managed to mention, in my final dissertation write up – non duality as the ultimate solution of all physical and psychological pain – and either they were too tired of dealing with my out-there ness after years in the program or they maybe actually liked it. At least, that was the general verdict (I mean, they liked it) at the presentation of my research.

    So you only have a few pages for this thing that requires 15-20 pages? Blow their minds. I can tell just from your comments here you write well and think clearly. Show them how awesome you are. For me, that made grad school bearable – I mean, most of my classmates were in their early to mid 20s; I was 40 when I started and in my late 40s when I did my final doctoral presentation.

    As for the extreme left brain, you can use it as learning material if you ever treat people with OCD or autism or various personality disorders. (Mostly kidding, though not altogether).

    And just think, at the end of next year (or 2 or 3 years) you can join us as we create a totally awesome presentation for teens (video, music, 3D holograms, transporters, collective lucid dreams or whatever is available in super AI by the late 2020s) to blow away the fundamaterialists and complete the 2nd Copernican revolution!