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I Don’t Get It


Hello Professor, I have been reading your blogs with much interest in regard to your approach to “applied metaphysics”. It seems to me that you have discovered a missing link to gaining a real advantage over the house edge. I have read your blogs and tried to use your suggestions when I play craps. However, it seems that all I am doing is making wrong guesses, resulting in disappointing sessions. Will you help steer me in the right direction, please? I don’t get it. Thank you, Ruben T.

This email message is typical of those players who are just setting out on a path of spiritual awareness. I receive several queries each year with similar content and I certainly can relate. Perhaps, in my writing, I over simplify the metaphysical concepts. At the same time, metaphysics is not complicated nor is it made up “hooey”. I am not pretending that I am the only one skilled with perception at the gaming table. I certainly do not want the reader to become discouraged with a feeling of “Tough luck buddy, if you don’t get it, it’s on you.”

Learning anything new takes time, lots of commitment and a desire to achieve the outcome. Persistence, patience, discipline and a willingness to do whatever it takes comes to mind. I cannot leave out a willingness to change, which may require a change in paradigm or life style.

Back in the day as a nightclub owner in Denver, I booked numerous bands. My favorite was a blues band with an awesome harmonica player. “Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone and the Blues Survivors” hailed from Ft. Collins, Colorado at the time. Johnny often said, describing the band’s name, “You have to be a survivor if you’re going to play the blues.” I say, “You have to be a survivor if you’re going to play games of chance.” “Applied metaphysics” allows for my many year of gaming survival.

One night, after closing time, I was having a beer with Johnny. I asked him how he got the sounds from the harmonica that he played. I even asked if he had special harmonicas that got the sound. He said jokingly, “No man, it’s easy, nothing special. All you do is put the harp up to your mouth and blow.” I asked again, “No, it is not easy. I can’t do it. How do you get the note to flatten in that mournful way?” Johnny replied with, “Oh, that’s a blue note. You have to bend the reed to get the note to flatten. It is easier on a draw note, but you can bend some of them on the blow note. All you need to do is change the length of the column of air in your mouth.”

He pulled out a Hohner Golden Melody harmonica and played it some, with the sounds he could make with the blue notes. “Now you do it”, he said, handing me his harp. Of course, I could not do it. I did received a vote of confidence from Johnny, telling me all I needed was a little practice and I’d get it.

For two weeks I carried a harmonica in my pocket. I practiced bending a note while driving. Nothing, not even close to flattening a note. All I got was loud and out of breath from trying to make a blue note happen. Then one day, out of nowhere, while driving down Grant Street on my way to the Bombay Club, it happened. I bent a note for a split second. Oh my God, I did it! With my delight, came immediate disappointment. I could not duplicate the event. Think of Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation scene when he finally get the lights on for a second, only for them to go dark again. I almost wrecked my truck, trying to pull over, in attempt to make that sound again. I sat there along the curb repeating the same ol’ thing, drawing hard and just getting the same note louder. What happened? Where did it go? How did I do it once and lose it? Johnny’s words came back to me. “You need to change the length of the column of air in your mouth.” How the hell I am supposed to do that? Wait a minute. I must have done it because I did bend the note, albeit just once. I drove on to the club in disbelief that I would ever get it.

Bending a blue note haunted me. The fact that I had, for a fleeting second, accomplished the task, nagged at me to keep trying. If I did it once, I could do it again. I became obsessed with the pursuit of bending a note. Eventually, my persistence would pay off. Once again, I was able to persuade that elusive sound to come from my harmonica. It was just one note, but I played it over and over with much glee. I was so happy. All was right in my life. Funny how just a little thing like self-accomplishment changes everything.

Upon closer examination of what I did differently, it had nothing to do with me trying harder, blowing harder, cussing the harmonica or threatening to quit. Engaging frustration is to employ conflicting “energy”, resulting only in confusion. In the end, it all came down to what Johnny told me, “You need to practice. You need to change the length of the column of air in your mouth.”

A longer column of air changes the vibration rate of the reed. The reed vibrates more slowly which causes the reed to flatten the note, hence the blue note. If you think about the wires on the sound board of a piano, the longer wire is a lower tone and vibrates more slowly compared a shorter wire.

I discovered that bending a note was simple. All I had to do was to lower my chin slightly while drawing in air. Doing so lengthened the column of air. As my chin dropped, my tongue arched upward towards the roof of my mouth. Thus, as air was pulled through the hole in the harp and over the reed, the air had to follow a curve instead of a straight line over my tongue. Everyone knows a curve is a longer distance compared to a straight line.

So, metaphysics, as it applies to the game, is simple. It is just like bending a reed to make a blue note. Once you do it, you’ll have it forever. I never said that it didn’t take a bit of practice.

Once you set out on the path of “applied metaphysics”, you will have those occasions of “doing it”, bending the blue note. Acknowledge the experience. Take it in with ownership developing the confidence of having the experience of your perception manifest before your very eyes. “I did it!” And, you can do it again. The more you accept the small achievements of perception, the stronger your perception becomes. It is not just for a short time at the gaming table. This is a life skill that will serve you every day for the rest of your life. It means taking a moment to acknowledge and accept those times when you hear yourself say, I knew that was going to happen. When it does, honor the event with an “I did it.”

The little things build to more important things, things that make a difference in your life. The little things are like finding a parking place close to where you are going on a busy day. Being punctual and not having to look to a clock to keep you on schedule. Receiving a phone call from someone who you recently were thinking about. All are green lights on your way to work. Any experience of good fortune is recognized as being drawn to you, because of your affirmation, “tell me everything I need to know for my highest good”.

Your mantra of right place, right time, right action, is supporting your intention of always being “switched on” to receive pertinent information relevant to you, ahead of time, and when you need it. Recognize each experience big and small for its importance. Do not judge or quantify big or small, for each are equally valid and have the same importance in the development of your perception.

In the casino, you push out with your feelings, like casting a fishing net into the surf. “Tell me everything I need to know. Show me the winning game.” Then, pull in the net and see if you have caught any fish. The perception comes as a feeling. Your feeling translates into the information that guides your next step. Play, don’t play, and keep fishing for your best game. Sometimes, there is no best game and you have to accept the fact. You have to trust your perception is protecting you from folly.

When unsure, simply invest a little time observing the game in doubt without investing. You will observe, in about 15 to 20 minutes, the truth. It is better to be witness to a losing game than having to invest money to give you proof. At the same time, it is no big deal if you miss 20 minutes of a good game. The value is in the confirmation of your perception, that you did it. There is always another game and you must come from abundance in your thinking, never from lack and loss.

Copyright © 2017 Michael Vernon






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