Printer-friendly version

Is Stage Fright Science Fiction?

September 3, 2008 at 11:27 PM

Greetings,
There have been a lot of excellent suggestions for dealing with stage fright on this site and since all of them work for someone, somewhere there isn’t a lot of point in repeating them. (Aside from which the banana industry has been responsible for too much suffering). However, I would like to explore the issue from a perspective that isn’t discussed quite so often to see if that rings any bells with anyone.
It feels odd to me to talk about, frankly. Stage fright allied with utterly useless training from an early age ended thankfully my career at an early stage so I could get on with reading v.commie. Yeh! After a long break I began performing regularly again but the weird thing is I don’t have stage fright at all except a minor feeling of tension for the first few notes and that includes concertos, chamber music and concertmaster work. I don’t have all the answers to why this should be but it does have something to do with the following.
Essentially, there is no reason why one should suffer from stage fright. SF (an interesting acronym…) is created at a very deep level that it may be possible to address before turning to some of the aforementioned techniques mentioned above. This concerns three of the most basic laws of the universe. To whit:

1) Thought is creative.
2) Fear attracts like energy.
3) Love is all there is.

Beginning with number one, at least according to Conversations with God (Walsch) we create our life on a moment to moment basis by our thoughts and the universe grants us –exactly- what we ask for. Thus if you say `I want a good technique,` that is precisely what you will receive- a `want` (or lack) of a good technique.;) So what happens to all those people who write in saying they have stage fright? Not only have they `thought` exactly what they have but they have taken the next stage of turning the though into word which is even more powerful. This point of view is also standard in other fields such as Nero Linguistic Programming or affirmation techniques although this latter is usually taught incorrectly and creates more of what the user doesn’t want!
Second, we are composed of energy vibrating at certain speeds to create matter in our particular form. We also emit energy which stretches out to infinity in a dilute form beyond our comprehension. In essence we live in a field of energy as energy like a tapestry in which everything effects everything else. Hence quantum mechanics and similar modern fields of scientific exploration. In this field energy groups together in clumps and intensifies so that the fear we send out accumulates more fear for us.
Thirdly, for practical purposes some branches of psychology typically work with five basic human emotions: fear, love, anger , envy and greed. However, these can be broken down into a polarity between two fundamental emotions, fear and love. (That might seem to contradict point three unless one agrees with the idea that we live in a world of relativity since that is a necessary precursor of experience whereas divinity is a world of absolute in which no relativity is necessary.)
Every action we take, every thought we think, every word we speak is spoken from one of these two positions. By learning to pay attention to this fundamental duality one can change the course of one’s life and that may also include what one feels and does on stage. Is one afraid of appearing weaker than another player, making a mistake and losing face, losing money or what?
Of does one play simply because one feels unspeakable gratitude for the gift of the music and violin and feel love and unity with an audience. If such a feeling is genuine then SF is not possible for anyone.
Cheers,
Buri


From Christian Vachon
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 2:10 PM
Hi,

Buri - I think this is the most beautiful, thoughtful thing I have read in a long time. Thank you!

From Jasmine Reese
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 5:05 PM
Great! I needed this so badly, especially that I am now in music school!
From Ronald Mutchnik
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 5:35 PM
Buri, you have hit the nail on the head. Thank you for writing what you wrote- Domo arigato

P.S. Albert Brooks did a movie a while back called The Meaning of Life in which he brings up this very idea about fear and love.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 5:42 PM
It all rings very true, Buri, I so enjoy your thoughts. I guess the question is, how does one cultivate that love and gratitude? Because frankly, life gets me down sometimes! Also, I think that in perfecting our art, we often focus on "what's wrong," in order to correct it. But a constant focus on what's wrong can be so debilitating.
From Terez Mertes
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 6:36 PM
>Second, we are composed of energy vibrating at certain speeds to create matter in our particular form.

No matter how many times I hear/read this, it charms and fascinates me all over again.

Great post!

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 6:41 PM
There's a lot here to like about these ideas, but to me that begs the question of whether any of them are actually true.

The idea attributed here to Walsch--that we create our life on a moment to moment basis by our thoughts--doesn't fit my experience of life, or of music, at all. Stage fright, for me, was something that was initially very surprising. I didn't expect it or even think about it, it just hit me. Later I came to expect it, and it became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy or a habit. By then there was probably some "creation" (and reinforcement) by my thoughts going on, but that was not the initial triggering event that started the whole process in motion. The stage fright was there before I had any thoughts about it.

I also have to admit that I have absolutely no idea what this means:

"we are composed of energy vibrating at certain speeds to create matter in our particular form. We also emit energy which stretches out to infinity in a dilute form beyond our comprehension."

This is not a testable hypothesis, it doesn't generate predictions. The same with the postulated polarity between fear and love. My experience of emotion is more complicated than that duality, and I generally don't find "polarity" to be a very useful way to formulate abstract concepts. Black/white, either/or, polar thinking usually leads me astray.

I suppose, if one takes all those postulates as being just true, and given, then you're right, there's no reason for stage fright to exist in a universe based on them.

But that universe is the one that is science fiction, not the one we live in. I'm not sure what is to be gained from pretending we live in a universe populated by vibrating energy beings where stage fright doesn't exist. Isn't it knowing the truth, rather than pretending, that actually makes you free?

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 8:39 PM
Corwin, can you document devastating events happening to your house? If not, are you a Republican?
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 8:17 PM
While some people vote the arts in the schools candidate, Karen and I are going to vote science!

I think the truth may set you free, but only if it's a bearable truth, right?

SF, F in general really, is a reflection of how well you consider yourself suited to or prepared for the task at hand. What you consider preparation is your choice to make. If "love your neighbor" factors into your preparation somehow, fine.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 9:19 PM
I'd vote for both art and science, my friends. We've been reading a children's book by the scientist Stephen Hawking to my son, who is eight. In the book, Hawking describes quite scientifically, and beautifully, how we are all "made from stardust." :)
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 11:02 PM
Greetings,
HI Karen. Knew you’d jump in on this one!

>There's a lot here to like about these ideas, but to me that begs the question of whether any of them are actually true.

Got to pull your leg here. Are you seriously making the claim that because some ideas are likeable that makes them automatically suspect? Seems very unscientific to me;)
>The idea attributed here to Walsch--that we create our life on a moment to moment basis by our thoughts
Actually I attribute them to God. Having read the books over and over I concluded that what Walsch was writing as half the dialog was actually God speaking through Walsch. But that is ephinominal. A point that God/Walsch/whatever makes in another book is that a theology relevant to today does not demand any belief in God whatsoever. There is no distinction between a\theist, Muslim, Christian., Mormon or Heifetz worshipper.I am also sure you are aware that there is a whole slew of literature include that from Neuro Linguistic Programming that makes exactly the same point.
>--doesn't fit my experience of life, or of music, at all. Stage fright, for me, was something that was initially very surprising. I didn't expect it or even think about it, it just hit me.
There is absolutely no inconsistency between what you say and what I wrote. That is true for most people. But the point I tried to make was that we live life with an unending stream of input from others and our often thoughts creating our experiences. I think one reaches a cumulative point, often around puberty when hormones make us feel the most vulnerable and open to fear. By striving to make these thoughts conscious and manipulating them we can move into a much more joyful and pain free life. This incidentally is precisely what Alexander Technique leads to once one gets beyond the initial aspect of whatever physical problem has led one to it in the first place. You can choose to live your live consciously or unconsciously. It is the difference between each moment being one of creation or discovery.


I also have to admit that I have absolutely no idea what this means:
"we are composed of energy vibrating at certain speeds to create matter in our particular form. We also emit energy which stretches out to infinity in a dilute form beyond our comprehension."
Why not?;) Research in subatomic doofree whatsits has no argument with this. There is also rigorous scientific proof that living things emit energy . Whether you want to believe it stretches out as part of a single matrix is up to you but that is also written about by the odd scientist or two. I also know many healers who are quite outspoken on this point. Try Deepak Chopra. The idea we exist as part of an infinite energy field inseparable from anything else is also being recognized by many member sof the scientific community. Can come up with a title or two later if you so wish. Takes us into the realm of quantum mechanics, string theory and so forth.
>This is not a testable hypothesis, it doesn't generate predictions.
See above. But I see no reason to base the whole of my life on a need to operate at this level. There are more aspects to life than science and one of them is spirituality which involves faith and enlightenment, both of which lead to experience of divinity which goes way beyond our current scientific knowledge’s ability to understand. The most frightening problem of the 20this that the miracle of science has not been matched by and comparable developments in spirituality.
> The same with the postulated polarity between fear and love. My experience of emotion is more complicated than that duality, and I generally don't find "polarity" to be a very useful way to formulate abstract concepts. Black/white, either/or, polar thinking usually leads me astray.
As I said in the original post. All others are derivative. That doesn’t take too much thought to explore. Of course we don’t live in a world divided into black and wide. Polarities create a spectrum relative to the extreme.
>I suppose, if one takes all those postulates as being just true, and given, then you're right, there's no reason for stage fright to exist in a universe based on them.
Nobody has to do that. We make our own decisions about what we believe and choose to act on. We create our own world and experiences. The only question is how joyous is it. And scientists provide an excellent lead and example in this issue because they are one of the few breeds of people who are actually willing to look at something objectively, note that it isn`t working and try something completely different.
Cheers,
Buri

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 11:44 PM
Laurie, whatever Hawking says is true in that book can be proven to be true. That's what distinguishes it from something just entertaining.
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on September 4, 2008 at 11:54 PM
Greetings,
cultivating gratitude is easy, I think. If one accepts the view that life is time of creation rather than discovery then genuine prayer is not a request for something but rather a fervent statement of gratitude for something that has already been granted. Exactly as people who work in the field of affirmations hold.
Learning to come from a position of love rather than fear is harder for me because I am so stuck in my head when it is the work of the soul. To be in touch with your soul you have to be out of your mind;) For what its worth here is a passage form Walsch that I struggle with implementing.
`G...You have had enough of the world as it presently is. You seek a newer world.Seek it no longer. Call it forth.
W: Can you help me undertsand how to do that?
G:Go first to your highest thought about yourself(I have trouble finding mine-Buri). Imagine the you that you would be if you lived that thought everyday. Imagine what you would think, do, and say, and how you would respond to what others do and say. Do you see any differnece between that projection and what you think do and say now?
W) Yes.
G) Good. You should since we know that right now you are not living your highest vision of yourself. Now having seen the differneces between where you are and where you want to be, begin to change- consciously change- your thoughts words and actions to match your grandest vision.
This will require tremendous mental and physical effort. It will entail moment to moment monitoring of your every thought word and deed. IT will involve continued choice making-consciously (Incidentally- this is pure AT-Buri). What you will find out if you undertake this challenge is that you have spent half your life unconscious....
This is a call to stop unconscious living . It is a challenge to which your soul has called you from the beginning of time.
W) Seems terribly exhausting!!!!
G) It could be until it becomes second nature. In fact it is your second nature. It is your first nature to be unconditionally loving. It is your second nature to choose to express your first nature consciously.

As I said, I had trouble with this higher vision of myself. Its much easier to just find things you don`t like about yourself. But I found a later passage which I try to ponder on a daily basis.

>You are goodness and mercy and compassion and understanding. You are peace and joy and light. You are forgiveness, you are patience, strength and courage, helper in time of need, a comforter in times of sorrow, a healer in times of injury, a teahcer in times of confusion. You are the deepest wisdom and the highest truth; the greatest peace and the grandest love. You are these things. And in moments of your life you have known yourself as these things.
Choose to know yourself as these things always.

This semes to help in my case;)
Cheers,
Buri

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on September 5, 2008 at 12:07 AM
>Are you seriously making the claim that because some ideas are likeable that makes them automatically suspect?

Oh no, definitely not . . . I'm vulnerable to wanting likeble ideas to be true so much that rather than finding them automatically suspect, I tend to find them automatically non-suspect. Sometimes I have to then step back and see if that's what's going on.

>The idea attributed here to Walsch--that we create our life on a moment to moment basis by our thoughts
Actually I attribute them to God. . . . I am also sure you are aware that there is a whole slew of literature include that from Neuro Linguistic Programming that makes exactly the same point.

Actually, no. I don't really believe this idea is true, whoever it's attributed to. I don't believe that "we" create our lives moment-to-moment based on our thoughts. That could be your experience, and I can't deny that or say anything against it. But it's just not how I experience life.

>the point I tried to make was that we live life with an unending stream of input from others and our often thoughts creating our experiences.

I'm with you on the stream of input, but after that I'm still a bit lost . . .

>I think one reaches a cumulative point, often around puberty when hormones make us feel the most vulnerable and open to fear.

This is interesting, but for me, stage fright was there from the beginning. I had it way before puberty. I started to get over it when I was about 27. And my daughter seems to have had it since at least age 6.

>By striving to make these thoughts conscious and manipulating them we can move into a much more joyful and pain free life.

The whole process of making the unconscious conscious is totally fascinating, I agree. But I'm not sure it's just a matter of will and "manipulation of thoughts." People vary hugely in their degree of introspectiveness and in the amount of control they have over their thoughts. I suspect it's a talent or an ability not unlike violin playing: something that almost everyone can do to a degree, something that can be improved with practice and hard work, and also something for which there are only a few virtuosos.

>Why not?;) Research in subatomic doofree whatsits has no argument with this. There is also rigorous scientific proof that living things emit energy .

But what kind of energy? There are lots of kinds of energy--kinetic, thermal, electromagnetic, qi . . . And you said yourself that it's "beyond our comprehension" so I'm just admitting that that's true. It's beyond my comprehension.

>Whether you want to believe it stretches out as part of a single matrix is up to you but that is also written about by the odd scientist or two.

There are more than two odd scientists out there, and that doesn't mean that everything they write is accurate or to be believed.

I have to think about this some more, but I also wanted to echo Jim's point that Hawking's poetically worded claim, that we are made of stardust, is actually a testable hypothesis. Astronomers can measure the components of stardust and compare them with the components of living beings on earth and find that these are shared. That is what makes it different from the hypotheses about infinite energy beings and creation of life by thought.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on September 5, 2008 at 2:58 AM
'Cause you aren't an offical wreck yet.

Condominium? It was more like an empty stadium. Damn.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on September 5, 2008 at 3:01 AM
lol wrong blog.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on September 5, 2008 at 3:05 AM
No more trying to be serious for me.
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on September 5, 2008 at 5:11 AM
Greetings,
Karen, thanks for your responses. I missed the last bit about stardust for some reason.
Surely we are agreed on the structure of atoms , the nergy found within etc. Doesn`t that come undo the rubric of Eintein`s work?
As for external fieds of energy with training it is possible to see both auru and chakra on a person. Healers use this as the basis of their work.
You are saying in general that thes ethings are not measurable but when one experiences them, for example the consistently told life after death experiences, then whetther they are verfiable by todays scientific instruments or not is largely irrlevent. I think it is very good to put the spirit of scientific inquiry on the realm of the spiritual and vice versa but just because one is not using quite the right tool all the time does not mean the latter is necessarily invalid or a fantasy.
Cheers,
Buri
From Megan Chapelas
Posted on September 5, 2008 at 6:08 AM
Buri,

Thanks for the message - must hijack this thread briefly, as the other's closed to comments. My real address:

Marianne-Wolff-Weg 2
D-22305 Hamburg
Germany

Thanks for the ISBN - I'm sure this will help!

...We now return to regularly scheduled programming...

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on September 5, 2008 at 8:52 AM
>I missed the last bit about stardust for some reason.

I was just responding to what Laurie wrote, which I agree with. And I thought Jim made a similar point. Scientifically valid statements can also be beautiful and poetic. I'd vote for both art and science too :)

>Surely we are agreed on the structure of atoms, the energy found within etc. Doesn`t that come under the rubric of Eintein`s work?

I'm not a physicist, but my understanding of the implications of that work is that matter and energy are interconvertible. And at some subatomic level waves and particles are interconvertable too. But then that's not the same kind of "energy" that human beings "emit." Or are you saying that it is?

Also, the fact that one thing can be converted into another doesn't mean that the two things are the same. The atomic bomb was matter, until it exploded and the matter was turned into energy. The state that the substance is in makes a big difference, don't you think?

>You are saying in general that these things are not measurable but when one experiences them, for example the consistently told life after death experiences, then whether they are verfiable by todays scientific instruments or not is largely irrelevent.

The only reason I think that verifiability is relevant and I keep going on about it, is that external verification is the only way that one can get any sense of how generalizable these types of statements are. The statement "we are made of stardust" is generalizable, for example. Every human being really is made of stardust. But once you start talking about auras, all bets are off. Some people see auras, some don't. Auras exist for some people and not others. And if auras don't exist for you, you're not going to be healed by actions based on the premise that they exist.

I've thought a lot more than I care to about stage fright. And I appreciate reading other people's struggles with it. I guess what bothers me most about the approach laid out here is that the implications of failure are quite damning. If stage fright is "not possible" under this rubric but one feels it anyway, then one's feelings are labeled not genuine, and one's very ability to love is called into question. To me that seems likely to make SF worse, not better.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on September 5, 2008 at 2:35 PM
Nothing should be presented as true unless it can be proved. The rest should begin with "In my opinion...." To present opinion as fact is a far cry from loving your neighbor, itself, it seems to me.

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Our Kokopelli
Please support Violinist.com
through your
one-time donation or
sponsorship campaign.

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

The Potter Violin Company

Coregami Performal

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Zhuhai International Mozart Competition - Apply by April 30, 2017

Connolly Music

Corilon Violins

Meadowmount School of Music

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Heifetz International Music Institute

Long Island Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop