From the monthly archives: "January 2015"

HarmonologyThe following is an excerpt of the foreword I wrote for Stephen O’Connor’s latest book, Harmonology: An Insider’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Through Music

Music has played an important role in my life for as long as I can remember. I am sure I am not alone in this sentiment as many of you must feel the same way. Who among us cannot visualize his or her life’s story to the sound of the important music each has resonated with at various points in time? When we think of the greatest influencers throughout history, many have been music makers. So why does music have such a profound influence on us, our lives, and even the world, and on such a dramatically grand scale? It is because music is a primordial sensory archetype buried deep within our collective unconsciousness—that layer of consciousness lying just beneath our personal unconscious awareness, formed by millions of years of evolution, and common to all people. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung called it the lower stratum of the psyche, the source of instinctive behavior, those which come from the constant repetition of universal emotional experiences, like the rising and setting of the sun, wakefulness and sleep, happiness and sadness, conflict and resolution, and the change of seasons. Music, then, has the ability to touch that deeply unconscious part within us, bringing forth an intense appreciation of the beauty of the universal vibrations to which we all resonate.

Primordial SoundWhat is this universal vibration? The Vedic philosophies call it Om (or Aum), the primordial sound. According to these teachings, Om is the original vibration, leading to all consciousness and material creation that is the known universe. It is considered the manifestation of God in form. In the sacred Hindu text the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna:

“I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable om.”

In Judaic and Christian religions, the heaven and earth is said to have been created by the Word of God (Logos). From the first chapter of the Gospel of John:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made…”

Even modern science has identified this universal vibration, this primordial sound, as the “music of creation.” Regular patterns in the so-called afterglow of creation, astronomers say, were caused by sound shock waves shortly after the Cosmos was born. Scientists have even been able to determine the musical notes associated with these waves. Said Italian astronomer Paolo deBernardis:

“The early Universe is full of sound waves compressing and rarefying matter and light, much like sound waves compress and rarefy air inside a flute or trumpet. For the first time the new data show clearly the harmonics of these waves.”

bigbang-immagine-di-anateprima (Copy)Music is thus the archetype of all creation to human beings, and as such represents the most elemental feelings of beauty that reside within us. I would even go as far to say that all living things resonate to sound vibrations, and modern science continues to amass evidence in support of this notion.

So while music as a reflection of the primordial sound may connect us to all living things, another human attribute separates us from every other species: The ability to use models or symbols to expand our reality. Tool making is one such application of modeling, which actually helped separate our early ancestors from similar species that continued to cling to trees. In fact, tool making was one of a handful of skills that rapidly progressed our evolution into the world-dominating species we are today. And our persistent use of models and symbols over several millennia has led to technological advances that have ultimately resulted in the construction of massive civilizations, instantaneous trans-planetary communications, and regular exploration of outer space and the cosmos, along with a myriad of other marvels.

CounterpointWe have mastered this use of symbolism to expand our reality. Much of the advanced scientific thinking of today has started out initially as a model, theoretical at first, but after some observation and testing, the model is accepted or rejected as a reasonable representation of nature. What is Interesting is that we tend to look to nature itself to come up with ideas on how other aspects of it might operate. Call it an understanding we humans have—whether innate or via thousands of years of experience—that we find within nature a number of processes which repeat themselves. By simply looking at the histories of aviation, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and even warfare throughout the ages, we can see how nature has been the greatest influencer on human innovation. It is this ability to describe and understand our universe from the physical, to the mental, to the experiential, by creating models based on known natural processes that have expanded our thinking, and our reality, to where they stand today.

These two themes—the universality of music as a connector to the primordial sound of creation, and the uniquely human trait of using models and symbols to expand our reality—are what have captivated me most by the literary and philosophical work in front of you now. Harmonology: An Insider’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Through Music came to my desk by means of a request from the work’s author, Stephen O’Connor, to take a look at the book and possibly write a foreword. The author and I had met back in 2012 when, through a serendipitous bit of synchronicity, our paths crossed in the virtual universe, specifically the dimension of social media. I speak of our meeting as synchronous because, having read and reviewed his first book, Counterpoint to Reality, I became acutely aware that he and I had been destined to meet. And I paradoxically refer to our meeting as serendipitous because—as I sit here having just finished his current work—I feel a sense of gratitude for the great insights that I have received from the philosophy and model that is harmonology.

red-counterpointThrough this book, and the insights contained within the harmonology model, I am able to see that my day-to-day interactions, my relationships, and my work are all a part of a grand universal symphony, of which my experiences are the individual notes and harmonies that make up the musical masterpiece of my life. By studying this manuscript, the reader will see, as I have, the inherent order in his or her relationships—both romantic and otherwise—through the model of the 12 note musical scale. The author has brilliantly made the connection between the primordial sound and how people vibrate individually, as well as with one another, and has created a reasonable model, through observation and research (albeit small at this time), which seems to support the principles of consonance and dissonance inherent in the rules of Counterpoint (the relationship between musical sounds that are interdependent harmonically yet independent in rhythm and contour)…

I have left the remainder of the foreword for you to read when you pick up this book, and I highly recommend you do so. The information contained within Harmonology: An Insider’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Through Music, will give you valuable insights into your current relationships, your life experiences and yourself. I believe you will find, as I have, that Harmonology is fairly accurate in describing your current, past and even future relationships. Relationships are life’s harmonies and we are the musical notes. Harmonology: An Insider’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Through Music does an exquisite job of showing you exactly how these notes blend together to make up the symphony of your life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.


Part 3 of a multipart series (part 2 herepart 1 here)

poor-salesIt has been awhile since I have added to this fascinating subject, but today I feel inspired so here goes: We have been discussing going with the flow, and what happens when “the flow stops flowing”? In part one, I discussed the foremost question one must ask, and that is how one is to define flow—is it money, is it being purpose driven, or is it something else? I think that needs to be known upfront before we can determine if and where the flow has actually stopped flowing.

In part two I discussed the possibility that what we are using to measure flow might be something not really that high on our values. I use money as the example, but it really could be anything—success (whatever that is; another term we would need to define), contact list, people reached, or whatever. People often believe they should value something valued by others, an authority or society as a whole, but we value what we value—trying to make it something else will only lead to frustration and possibly depression. A much better strategy would be to honor, appreciate and submerge yourself in what you truly value.

Higgs BosonBut now the question arises: What if we do, in fact, value money? And let’s say it has been our measure of flow, and perhaps that flow has stopped flowing. What might be some reasons for the drying up? Ahh…now this is an excellent question. When a scenario of this kind does occur I find it enormously revealing, and while I suspect it can be difficult for the one immersed to see the big picture, I do believe this type of thing is a completely ordered event, one meant to shape our growth and development.

The universe is an ordered entity. There are subtle energies at play at all times; these energies have effects on sentient beings such that they push and prod us to move in the direction of our dharma. Remember that? Dharma is our life’s purpose, and we all have one. Better to tune-into yours than to blow off the notion as mumbo-jumbo, and allow life to unfold randomly. These subtle universal forces act on individuals all the time—physically, mentally, socially, through personal relationships, economically, and through acts of nature. These forces are nature moving you in the direction of dharma fulfillment.

So here is a short-list of reasons why a formerly abundant flow might have dried up:

  1. listening-to-your-customers-on-social-mediaIt might be time for new products, services or information. A lack of flow may signify a lack of interest in your current product, service or program. Not a biggie—just time to evolve. Listen to your clients and customers—ask them what they want. That is the great thing about social media: you can see what people are into—what they are posting about, their conversations, their questions to you—all these give information as to how you can improve what you provide. Everything changes, including what people are looking for. Thus it may be the product, service or information that’s stagnant reflecting itself in flow.
  2. It may be time to change your avenues of dissemination. In other words, you might need to bring yourself up to speed with what’s resonating with people today. Some people, companies and industries are slow to catch onto current lifestyle trends. At the rate at which things change today, that’s professional and business suicide. And those most susceptible are, without a doubt, entities that have enjoyed previous success. It is very hard to not leave well enough alone, but fail to change with the times and watch the flow stop flowing suddenly and dramatically. I am amazed at how many in my profession of chiropractic are still clueless about having and maintaining something as basic as a website (Stone Agers)! Then there are those who say they don’t do social media. Uhh…well then you are killing yourself (Bronze Agers). What about review sites, videos, blogging, Yelp, mobile apps, and the list goes on and on. Have you failed to take your business to the next level (Iron Agers)? Well duuuuuuhhhhh….!caveman and computer
  3. It might be time to reevaluate your product, service or information’s value to people. Yes, maybe you think your business is more valuable than it really is. You might be right on the money with your self-assessment, but it never hurts to reexamine. Listen, I have described here how business is a monetary exchange of perceived value. If the flow has stopped flowing, and that flow is money, then to me THAT speaks volumes! It doesn’t mean you suck—it simply means that, without question, it’s time to grow. Face it, people just aren’t that into some things anymore. People’s needs and interests evolve. Film developing, CDs and DVDs, the Yellow Pages—these are just a few examples of things that are dead or dying fast. C’mon! I am sure you can think of a few relics in your industry…heck you might even be attached to one or more. It sure wouldn’t be so hard for me to see why your flow has stopped flowing if you are selling the obsolete.
  4. career-change-nowIt might just be that your current product, service, or information is no longer one of your highest values. Hey people change! Our interests grow, we evolve, we desire to touch more people—this is a natural process in life. And while you may still have love for what you do, it may be time to see how you can expand yourself. Maybe it is time to teach, or to write books, or to speak to corporations—all of these would be growth for somebody who is working one-on-one with clients. Remember subtle energies are at play within the universe, and that energy flows between and among people. If you are no longer truly inspired by what you do, but are doing it because, “it pays the bills,” well then guess what? Your clients will feel it too; and they will stop coming—believe me, I’ve seen it more times than I can count. It’s all energy, and you can’t hide your underlying feelings (except from yourself). Consider it a wake-up call, for you to expand into the next leg of your dharmic path. I’ve met attorneys on their way to medical school, corporate paper-pushers moving on to give guided adventure tours, you name it. This life is meant to be lived NOW, today! Listen to what your heart is really telling you and go after what you love. If you don’t know how to do it, then contact me: I help people every day with this exact dilemma (drnick@drnickcampos.com)

The universe is a perfectly ordered entity, even if it does not seem that way on the surface. Even when it looks like life is reigning in chaos, forces are pushing you toward fulfilling your dharma. Where would the world be had Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling or Thomas Edison not followed their universal push?

Braided riverA true flow never stops flowing, not without another channel opening in its place. We exist in an energetic universe, where transformation is the key. You have to ask the right questions, do the right evaluations, and then listen to the messages the universe provides through its subtle energies. It helps to be in-tune with those energetic fluctuations, and there are methods for becoming more proficient at doing so (contact me for available courses or consultations). But the most important thing is to understand this aspect of the universe, and how its energies are at play constantly to push you toward fulfilling your life’s mission. Without this knowledge and understanding, it IS a universe of chaos, and it would not surprise me to see someone completely baffled by an apparent “flow that has stopped flowing”. But wake up to the magnificence of the universe, and follow its natural flow. If you open yourself to this possibility, I promise you will be amazed at what unfolds.


moneyMost people believe that money is the answer to everything. There is even a joke that, “Money may not buy happiness, but it’s better to cry in a Lamborghini than on a bicycle.” Har har har…yeah, ‘cept it ain’t necessarily true. While surveys and studies can be found to support any position, a recent Money Magazine survey (Sept 2014) showed that “what makes retirees happiest,” isn’t money, but health. Yes health! Duh! And that is what this post is about: How having money may actually be a hindrance to good health. But not for you, because you read this blog, and you take the information, assimilate it and act accordingly. Right, read on:

Retirees Happiness (Copy)This post came to my attention while discussing my cousin’s employer with my mom. Turns out the employer is an elderly man who sits on the board of a major tech company. He’s financially loaded, and he also spends much of his non-working time visiting doctors. He is on a multitude of medications—for cholesterol, for high blood pressure, for bipolar, for sleep disturbances, and on and on. We know this because my cousin is this man’s personal assistant. As I listened to this story I couldn’t help but think how this man, so representative of the average American senior with regard to his health care, was on this polypharmacy path for one simple reason: He could afford to be.

Then it got me thinking about our new “universal health” system, which essentially promotes the lifestyle I have just described. Yes it does. The premise was that everybody deserves as much modern medicine as they need. Uh huh… Let this man’s story illustrate what we become when we rely on the medical industry to guide our health decisions.

seniors medsWait Campos! That’s unfair: We do not know this man’s particular circumstances. Okay, true, but we do know a few things. As of 2012, 65 percent  of American seniors were on three or more prescription drugs, 36.7 percent were on five or more prescription drugs. We also know that many conditions today, which receive a large proportion of annual prescriptions, are lifestyle related. Take last year’s (2013-2014) most prescribed medications for instance, four of ten were for conditions that can be significantly improved (or prevented) with the proper lifestyle modifications (and I would argue that three others could be avoided with “alternative” approaches, mostly paradigm shifts). Cholesterol lowering, heartburn, blood pressure lowering, and diabetes—all preventable AND fixable with proper lifestyle modifications.

But is that the road most westerners choose? No! For whatever reasons—be it looking for easy answers, rationalizing, or the shared doctor-patient belief that only meds are truly viable—the majority of Americans (and our European and now Asian counterparts) choose the polypharmacy route over caring for their health, and I am certain that is a disease of modern affluence. We run to medical care because we can! Yes it’s the easier answer to control our dysfunctions rather than correct them through lifestyle modifications. So much easier to take a pill then walk around the block every day, pump iron, lay off the sugar, and so forth. And we have been conditioned to believe that is the only way to do it. It doesn’t matter how much information comes out extolling healthy behaviors: The average westerner runs to his or her doctor for a medical fix first—that’s what the data shows.

Low Cost HealthI actually believe that the so-called have-nots are in a better position health-wise, as they can take their health into their own hands from an early age. What we do habitually is what matters most, and so focusing on healthy behaviors soon and often will not only be best for your current health, but also will train you to look to yourself when health challenges arise. Heck yes, medical care is necessary in many circumstances; but understand that our reliance on medicating fixable conditions is deeply ingrained into your psyche by years of observation and acceptance. Evidence of lifestyle modification improving conditions like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol (if that’s even an accurate diagnosis as it is doled out today), high blood pressure and many gastrointestinal issues (like gastric reflux) abound. You do not have to be the victim of historical tradition—frankly it’s foolish.

Don’t let your ability to indulge in medical care be the definitive factor in how you approach your health. Use our incredible medical system for crisis care, and you take care of the lifestyle part. Believe me when I say that you can neither buy happiness nor health. I would venture to bet that my cousin’s employer would trade his wealth any day for a return of his health. Heck I guess he is in a way now anyhow. What a crazy world we live in.

Shanice Clark

Shanice Clark found dead from apparent accidental choking on chewing gum


As I have been talking about choking children, a tragic story comes out of Pennsylvania this week where a star college basketball player was found dead, an apparent victim of gum asphyxiation, or choking to death on chewing gum while sleeping. This may sound like some scare tactic your grandmother tells you to get you to spit out your gum, but it appears to be real, and with severe consequences.

baby choking

Women’s college basketball player, Shanice Clark, a senior at California University of Pennsylvania, was found in her apartment around 3 a.m. Sunday morning and pronounced dead an hour later. Important to note that while police are ruling this an accidental choking, blood tests and an autopsy are pending and the death is still being investigated. Clark was twenty-one, a six foot tall forward from Toronto, Canada.

Although choking on chewing gum is rare, it still it warrants caution. Watch your children, teens and even adults, as this story shows that anybody can choke to death. Be cautious with candy as well (children under 4 years of age should never be given hard candies or gum)—really just about anything can block an airway enough to cause choking and death. And again I stress—learn first aid/CPR—you’ll never be sorry for it.

A real freak tragedy in Pennsylvanian this week. Make sure you spit out your gum if you feel sleepy. That’s all.

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