Both traditional and innovative spiritual seekers can find something of use in this training program that contains more than 100 metaphysical exercises. The powerful series of awareness exercises are for individual personal use in everyday situations and are based on a highly successful training program tested throughout North America. Both esoteric and mundane, the exercises include such tasks as going to the supermarket, sitting in an empty bathtub, and pushing hands with the ineffable. Designed to lead to altered perceptions and to create new ideas, this metaphysical program is perfect for veteran spiritual gamers, those who are seeking new experiences, or those who are simply looking for new spiritual adventures.
|Publisher:||Gateways Books & Tapes|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.46(d)|
About the Author
Claude Needham is one of the creators of a series of interactive video games that are specifically designed to increase awareness and promote communication and intuition within the groupings of players. He is the author of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased. He lives in Nevada City, California.
Read an Excerpt
The Just Because Club
Your Personal Metaphysical Fitness Trainer
By Claude Needham
Gateways Books and TapesCopyright © 2004 Claude Needham
All rights reserved.
JUST BECAUSE CLUB
There is something both tantalizing and captivating about the notion that one day we may wake up to discover this was only a dream, to discover we had another waking life of which we were unaware until awakening from the dreaming. Many authors have used this idea very successfully as a plot element for science fiction books and movies. This is nothing new, long before Hollywood started using this idea to power blockbuster films, Tibetan shamen and Australian aborigines told the same tale.
What if all of this really was a video game or an elaborate dream?
Pondering "What if" is a very powerful tool. Einstein is reported to have developed the Theory of Special Relativity by conjecturing "what if two parallel lines could meet?" There are so many examples in science of startling discoveries made by those who asked "What if" then took the all important next step of checking it out. Reality is an experimental science. It does little good to amuse yourself and gain the admiration of monkeys by making cool and groovy conjectures. Asking a question means nothing unless you have the will and cunning necessary to look for answers.
"Check it out" — three powerful words. If you have the courage to go past blind acceptance of another's answer, and if you have the integrity to not give up your curiosity, then your wonder can take you into previously uncharted domains of your reality. How else do you think a baby comes to such amazing discoveries as the existence of feet — they check it out.
Pretend, hypothesize, experiment and see where it leads. In other words be a scientist — a real scientist. You will be pleasantly surprised at how incredibly far you can go. "What if we could like send a robot to Mars and move it around looking at stuff?" "What if we could eat the leaves of a strange Chinese tree and it would like cure some rare forms of leukemia?" "What if my computer was hooked up to a network of other computers around the world and they could send information back and forth through the phone lines?"
There are times in any endeavor (scientific or otherwise) when one doesn't have a suitably prepared explanation for one's actions that matches the current politically correct, properly phrased justification. Remember when you cut the hair on your dolly (or little brother) that glorious summer afternoon — just before an outraged adult asked "Why on earth are you ruining your doll (or little brother) by cutting his, her or its hair?" From the phrasing of the question and the tone of the adult, it was pretty obvious to most sufficiently cultured children that "just because" was not going to be an answer well received. In fact, one of the things that you are taught early on is: it is not okay to do much of anything unless you already have a pretty solid idea of what the outcome is going to be.
During the systematic acclimatization to the demands of the work force, wonder and courage are often removed from one's daily formula. They are not part of a healthy politically correct diet. Not to worry, if you are reading a book like this, you're probably the kind of person who doesn't mind walking outside the box — and perhaps you even have the courage to do something "just because." This book was written for you and those like you.
This book contains over a hundred activities/experiments. Why do we refer to these as both an activity and an experiment? Because they are. They are activities complete within themselves. And, they are also experiments worthy of observation, note taking, and further investigation.
The title of the book "Just Because Club" comes from the fact that many of these activities were presented to a special private group of students during the 1980s as a program of weekly experiments. That was then and this is now. Then the group was limited to a select group of one hundred invited participants. Now this material is being made available to anyone with the financial wherewithal to buy a paperback book and the courage to participate in some rather wacky, off-the-cuff, sometimes edgy, often inexplicable experiments. We call these experiments and those doing them the "Just Because Club."
Why call it the "Just Because Club?" Let's face it, none of us could justify in the face of cynicism or sarcasm why we were "messing" around with these experiments — and more importantly we did not wish to justify ourselves or prejudice our results with a script matching someone else's politically correct expectations. Twenty years ago our answer to the question "Why are you doing this stupid experiment?" was just because. And that, it turns out, is not a bad answer. Not only did it keep us from being put into the position of defending something we weren't interested in being forced to defend, it also allowed us the freedom to not jump to conclusions.
Not jumping to conclusions is a pretty good habit. So we encourage that in ourselves and in others. Notice the careful suggestion "not jump to a conclusion." Nothing was said about "don't come to a conclusion." Rather the suggestion is to "not to jump to a conclusion." Jump meaning to form a conclusion prematurely before the data is in. That's very different than never coming to a conclusion.
When we first ran the experiment called The Just Because Club it was a smashing success. We shared these experiments with others in workshops and online for several decades. Now that several schools have asked permission to use these materials as part of their standard curriculum, we feel it's time for the book.
This is that book.
Are we finally going to provide background, assessment, analysis, and pithy verbiage about what the heck one should expect from these experiments and what does it mean if (fill in the blank) happens? No. We have resisted the temptation to do so for these past 30 years and we intend to resist that urge during this book as well.
If I, or anyone else, were to tell you what to expect and what it all means we would first of all steal your delight in your own experimentation and second of all we would limit your results to ours. Therefore, within the covers of this book you shall find a bingy-bunch of experiments in the form of simple activities without addition of voluminous explanation and other expository pontification. Don't you just love the phrase "expository pontification?" I could talk on and on for hours about it, but that won't help — now will it? In this case, as in most others, it is best to follow the K.I.S.S. Principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.
This book is constructed of a sequence of activities — one activity after another after another. The order of these activities — is partly by accident and partly by design. If you feel the need to skip an activity for some reason, please make sure it's a good reason. Many of the later activities assume the completion of the earlier ones. Often one activity will build upon another leading to yet another. Not to worry, you'll figure it out fine as you go. And if you can't, don't hesitate to write us care of the publisher and we'll be happy either to be amused at your plight or to help in whatever fashion we can.
[Editor's note: In this book, it is expected that you will exercise your own common sense. We understand that common sense is not as common as it used to be. However, that does not diminish its importance. In fact, the sillier and more robotic those around you become the more you shall need to rely upon common sense. Consider this an admonishment to step away from the apathy and start taking some responsibility. If you don't exercise a little common sense to look out for your own interest, who will?]CHAPTER 2
GO TO A SUPERMARKET
Time your entrance into the store such that someone else triggers the door to open — so that if you had never existed the door would still have opened at that moment.
Walk up and down the aisles without touching anything. Then, to leave the store, time it so that someone else triggers the door to open.
If you should accidentally touch something — a person, a shopping cart or a product — select something cheap in the shop, buy it and leave through the checkout counter in the normal fashion.
Don't buy the thing you touch since it may be a person or a shopping cart or something incredibly expensive.
The intention is to not touch anything. If all goes well, you will have entered without causing the door to open, walked around the store without touching anything and left without causing the door to open.
Keep trying this until you complete it to your satisfaction. Should you wish you may send a copy of your journal report concerning the activity.
Notes: What surprised those of us monitoring the original Just Because Club experiment was the almost unanimous reports of success in entering the clairvoyant vision — also known as a Bardo state. Some of the individuals did not have the verbal background to recognize what had occurred. But, when they described the activity it became obvious that something quite profound had occurred for them. For me, the lesson was this: simple, but exact changes in what we do can act as transformational triggers.CHAPTER 3
GO TO A MUSEUM
Yes, go to a museum — a museum with art on the wall would be best.
Time your entrance so that someone else opens the door.
Spend two hours in the museum. You may wander, sit, pace, look at the walls, look at the floors, look at the people, even look at the architecture — do anything other than look at the art on the walls or the exhibits.
If you find yourself looking at any of the art, cross yourself in the following fashion.
Touch the bridge of your nose and say quietly "Spectacles."
Touch the area near ... (where the zipper of your pants would be if you were wearing Levi jeans) and say "testicles."
Touch the area to the left of your heart and say "wallet."
Touch the area to the right of your heart and say "cigars."
Make this absolution each time you mess up and look at the art. Continue thus for two hours.
Notes: These experiments are almost guaranteed to thrust you into the clairvoyant vision of the awakened state — also known as "the Bardos." However, should you not be capable of behaving in a discreet manner you will be viewing the Bardos from the inside of a lunatic asylum. Chill and be cool. You are walking around in a public building and museums are not renowned for their tolerance of weirdos and crazies.CHAPTER 4
DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING
Spend one hour at your home (or apartment) without touching anything other than the floor. The floor is the one exception. If there is an emergency, of course break from the exercise and handle it. Don't be silly; use your common sense. Perform this activity until you have done it to your satisfaction.
In addition to whatever other results you may get from this exercise we find it to also be a good method to filter out those robotic, idiotic order following morons that really shouldn't be let off the K-Mart parking lot. If you are too silly to pick up a fire extinguisher and put out a stove fire "because you are following instructions to not touch anything" then perhaps the subsequent experiments are not for you. And besides if you aren't touching anything how did the stove fire start? Hopefully you didn't put a 30-minute cake in the oven just before starting this 60-minute exercise. See we are also calling upon your ability to do simple math — or your wit to ask for help from a friend who does do math when you need it.
During this and subsequent exercises you will be placed in situations which place you off the net — this means phone, text messaging, computer, and et cetera. Part of your experience will come from figuring a way to do this without causing problems or mishandling emergencies. So, be smart and use some common sense.CHAPTER 5
GET A QUESTION ANSWERED
Have or get a question. This could be a question you are currently working with, a question that you would like to work with, or a question that has been bugging you for a while. In any case it should be a question that is real to you and you care about finding an answer to.
Hand write the question on two pieces of paper.
Mail one copy to yourself and mail one copy to: "Just Because Club — Question," P.O. Box 370, Nevada City, CA 95959.
[Editor's note: since you will be mailing a copy of the question to the Just Because Club Headquarters it would be a good idea to not ask a question that you would mind seeing published in a newspaper — always use common sense.]
After the two letters are in the mail, buy a newspaper.
After you buy the newspaper go to the library.
Page one of the newspaper will contain the clue that will tell you which book stack/aisle to use.
Page three of the newspaper will contain the clue that will tell you which shelf in that aisle to use.
Page seven of the newspaper will contain the clue that will tell you which book on that shelf in that aisle to use.
Page nine of the newspaper will contain the clue that will tell you which page in that book on that shelf in that aisle to turn to.
Turn to that page. This page will contain the answer to your question.
Make two photocopies of that answer-page and two photocopies of the title page of the book.
Mail one set to yourself.
Mail one set to:
"Just Because Club — Answer"
P.O. Box 370
Nevada City, CA 95959.
After you mail the photocopied "answer" page to yourself, wait.
When you get the question and answer letters, don't open them. Sit at your breakfast table (preferably on a sunny morning) and ask yourself the question "What is going on here? Just what is going on?"
Now open the "question" and "answer."CHAPTER 6
INTER-CHAMBER TRANS-PORTAL: DOORWAY
It is not unusual to carry the illusion that rooms are connected by a common floor and common ceiling; and, if we poke a hole in the wall between two rooms we assume one could peek through the hole and see from one room into the other. Two adjoining rooms are assumed without question to be part of the same house or apartment.
For this activity, get the very definite notion that adjoining rooms are chambers connected only by an inter-chamber trans-portal called a "doorway." Perhaps you've seen a sci-fi movie or television show in which characters step through a transport leaving one dimension to re-appear in another? Or, jump through a slipstream or wormhole only to end up in another part of the galaxy?
Savor the notion that doorways between rooms in your home are inter- chamber transporters and that the rooms themselves may be in totally separate spaces — perhaps even in different parts of the cosmos.
Once you get this notion working, amble about the house. Wander from room to room pausing at each doorway to remind yourself that the doorway is a transport mechanism between separate domains. Try to sense the transport as you slip from room to room.
As you step through each doorway, be deliberate. Step through as if you are stepping through a force field.
Spend an hour wandering the house.CHAPTER 7
SPENDING TIME IN THE KITCHEN
This activity is performed in the "kitchen" of your house or apartment. [If you happen to be homeless or living in the woods you'll need to modify the instructions slightly.]
For this activity you are going to spend three hours in the kitchen without eating or drinking. That's right three hours without eating a crumb or drinking a drop. During the said three hours you can do anything your integrity and ethic dictate with the exception of eating and/or drinking. Consume nothing, zero, zip, zilch — drink not, eat not. You may cook if you wish just don't taste the food while cooking and don't drink a single drop of water, tea, milk, gin or any other liquid.
This may seem like a long time to go without eating or drinking. Okay, if three hours is like too totally long do two hours instead. If two hours seems too long move along to another activity and just forget about this one. [Editor's note: if you have a medical condition which requires periodic consumption of food and/or drink then it is your responsibility to follow your doctor's advice. In this as in everything it is your job to exercise appropriate common sense and judgment.]
To begin the experiment stand at the kitchen doorway.
Get the "Inter-chamber trans-portal: Doorway" exercise working. When you are sensing the doorway into the kitchen as an inter-dimensional portal, step through the doorway. Step through the portal as if something profound but unknown was about to happen.
Spend three hours in the "kitchen."
When you leave the "kitchen" at the end of the three hours do it in the same deliberate fashion as you entered.
After you exit the "kitchen" say to yourself (out loud), "Well, that's that. This activity is complete."
Excerpted from The Just Because Club by Claude Needham. Copyright © 2004 Claude Needham. Excerpted by permission of Gateways Books and Tapes.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
JUST BECAUSE CLUB,
GO TO A SUPERMARKET,
GO TO A MUSEUM,
DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING,
GET A QUESTION ANSWERED,
INTER-CHAMBER TRANS-PORTAL: DOORWAY,
SPENDING TIME IN THE KITCHEN,
BE IN AN EMPTY BATHTUB,
CREATE A LIST #1,
POSTCARDS FROM HOME,
DEAF, DUMB, AND BLIND,
BEHIND THE TIME,
DECK OF MOMENTS–ADD A FACT,
CAPTURED MOMENTS–ADD AN EMOTIONAL DETAIL,
CAPTURED MOMENTS–ADD A SENSING DETAIL,
CAPTURED MOMENTS–ADD A VISUAL DETAIL,
CAPTURED MOMENTS–ADD A SMELL,
CAPTURED MOMENTS–A DD A SOUND DETAIL,
CAPTURED MOMENTS–A REVIEW,
CAPTURED MOMENTS–AS ARTWORK,
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN,
BAKE SOME COOKIES,
GIVE THAT TO ME AGAIN,
WAIT FOR THE RIGHT MOMENT,
PUSHING HANDS WITH THE INEFFABLE,
SWING YOUR ARMS SLOWLY,
BUSY ROOTS, SLOW PETALS,
I AM A CLONE,
CLONE-ANON SUPPORT GROUP,
WALK-IN SUPPORT GROUP,
WHICH PART IS NOT A CLONE,
A SCENE FROM AN UNKNOWN PLAY,
EAT BLUE FOOD,
CONVERSATION IN THE RESTAURANT,
WHAT ARE THEY DOING NOW?,
FIND A ROCK,
LEAVE A THEATER,
TURN THE TV UPSIDE DOWN,
TURN OFF THE SOUND,
CREATE A NEWSPAPER FROM THE DATE OF YOUR BIRTH,
CREATE A NEWSPAPER FROM YOUR DEATH DATE,
BUY A USED BOOK,
WHO LIVES HERE,
FIND SOMETHING YOU LOST,
MAKE A LIST OF LOST THINGS,
SEE THE NEGATIVE SPACE,
ONE LEG AT A TIME,
HOW DID I GET HERE?,
WAIT YOUR TURN,
WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO ENTER,
BUY A TOY,
PLAY WITH THE TOY,
WATCH THE GRASS GROW,
TOUCH A ROCK,
SIT IN A CLOSET,
ACTS OF RANDOM GRATITUDE,
JUSTIFY YOURSELF TO A GROUP OF VEGETABLES,
YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU'RE TALKING TO,
ROLL THE DICE,
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON,
GIVE UP CONTROL,
GIVE UP THE REMOTE CONTROL,
SURF WITHOUT CONSIDERATION,
YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE YOU ARE,
WALKING IN A PHOTOGRAPH,
ASPHALT BELOW ME,
BE THE GHOST,
WEAK SPOTS IN TIME,
SITTING BACK TO BACK,
FINISH WRITING A BOOK,
SIT IN A BOX,
HOUSE OF CARDS,
WATCH A MOVIE,
MAKE A FLIP-BOOK,
THANK YOU MAGIC SKUNK,
FEED THE DUCKS,
JUST SAY "YES",
GIVE WITHOUT REGARD,
PAINT A PICTURE,
SELLING TOILET WATER,
TAKE A RIDE,
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH,
READ EVERY LAST WORD,
BUY BY COLOR,
AFTERWORD & INVITATION,