Everyone On Their Own

There is something called “group mind consciousness”. Karl Jung called it “collective unconscious” but I would call it “collective agreement”. It is a kind of loosely held group of ideas that many people agree to hold as being valid.

In each group, whether it contains millions of people or just two, there are assumptions about what “is” and what “is not” that are shared. We are moving towards a global consciousness, but that will probably take several hundred years (maybe more) if we don’t kill ourselves or make the earth uninhabitable before then, before it becomes an idea held by most people. We also have religious, social, political and other group assumptions, some of which people are willing to go to war over.

The teaching of singing as held by “singing teachers” isn’t really an organized group mind consciousness, even though many people think it is. There is no one organizing body that sets guidelines or parameters for singing, for the teaching of singing generally, for the teaching of singing in certain styles or for singing health. There are no widely held ideas about what singing should be or must be or could be. There are no groups who “decide” what can be called singing. But we do act sometimes as if all that were “real”. We act as if there is a kind of agreement about singing, when there isn’t and has never been any such thing.

In fact, unconscious beliefs, meaning things that are not examined and questioned by individuals or groups consciously, are often a source of problems simply because they are not probed. “The way it is” assumptions determine attitudes and behaviors and, typically, conflicts in every area of human existence .

The way out of this mire is to come home to the physical body, but even there we encounter “issues”. People are taught that the body is weak, it is stupid, it is to be “conquered”. People are taught to ignore the body because it is unreliable. These beliefs carry over into other ideas and all of them lead to problems simply because the body is our one constant companion in life and we cannot avoid it and its messages as long as we breathe.

If you have no negative programming about your body (and that is nearly impossible to achieve if you live in our society) then you will know that it cannot lie to you. It always tries to heal itself as soon as it is injured. Blood clots, bones knit, wounds heal, if they are not too severe. The body needs to inhale and exhale and it will do all it can to make that happen easily and effortlessly, unless we are stressed, in which case conflicts arise and the body sets into motion other mechanisms that step in to protect us from the source of the stress. You can’t shut that system down. (the fight/flight mechanism)

In point of fact, your throat will remain comfortably open while you sing if nothing stops it from being that way. If you consistently yell, however, or if you consistently are trying to sing in a pitch range that is well above your comfortable middle, you will have to tighten the muscles of your throat, and, eventually, they will stay tight. That shuts off your ability to move those muscles freely and easily, and in so doing, you lose the ability to feel sensual and luscious sensations in your throat that have to do with natural responses of being alive. In fact, some people never experience such sensations for their entire lives and would look at the idea of that as being not only silly but out of the question.

In the end, you are on your own with your body, experiencing life from the inside out. You live through your five physical senses, through your mental and emotional perceptions and through your many many “assumptions” about what life is and isn’t on every level. If you are going to sing, you need to know about these things and to explore them because if you don’t, you won’t have much to draw on as an artist. It won’t prevent you from singing but it will allow you to sing from a very shallow place and you will never know the difference. The only people who will know are those whose life is deeper, fuller, richer and more physically present and all they can do is watch and listen, with a certain degree of sadness, since they know what could have been and what others are missing.

If you enjoyed this post please like & share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *