Yesterday we focussed on Focus Time. Turns out that concentrating real hard changes the structure of the brain. But again, mind/brain/relationships is an irreducible trinity, so each one always affects the others.
We've also been weaving some MotT into the cosmic area rug, and isn't it interesting that the very first arcanum -- of which all the others are fractally related -- is all about concentration?
To con-centrate is to gather all of oneself into a kind of central point -- as in how a magnifying glass can gather the rays of the sun into an intense point of light and heat, or maybe how the stylus of a record player is a tiny thing, and yet, exerts hundreds or pounds of pressure per square inch at the business end.
Next up on Siegel's list is Play Time. It's pretty much the best news I've heard since wine as a replacement for working out; that is, "spontaneously engaging in novel activities that capture attention" releases "chemicals that support brain growth."
(Looking back, I should have majored in leisure studies, but I thought Radio-TV-Film would be more leisurely.)
This is not the same as playing an organized sport or having a real major; rather, "the emphasis is on new and creative forms of interacting with oneself, others, and the world." That's what I told my parents, anyway.
Yesterday I suggested that following these posts requires intense concentration. But today I'm suggesting that writing them requires a high degree of playfulness. What gives? Aren't those opposites? No! Go back to Letter I. Its tykeaway is concentration without effort, you know, like a child:
"The little child does not 'work' -- he plays. But how serious he is, i.e., concentrated, when he plays! His attention is still [---] and undivided..."
And we have it on good authority that Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.
Receive? Enter? Aren't those opposites again? Only in asymmetrical leftbrain world. In the bi-logically integrated world of symmetrical consciousness, what is inside is out, and what is outside is in. We can be contained by what we receive or "take in" -- which very much goes to communion, among other things.
In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus is purported to say that "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner," "then you will enter [the kingdom]."
This also goes to what we were saying yesterday about parasitical ideologies. Back in college (or whenever it was) Obama took in an ideology that now has him by the basal ganglia. Notice also how grimly unplayful Obama is. He makes Hillary look like the fun girls from Mount Pilot.
But with real playfulness, "our minds can become vulnerable and take risks as we push the envelope to go beyond our usual ways of being and of doing, and our brains can try out new combinations of firing patterns."
Moreover, we can "explore new ways of knowing and exciting and unpredictable things to be known," which helps us "to create higher degrees of integration with new levels of complexity..."