Author Archives: Kristin Dragos

The Untalking Self

Created August 31, 2021

Did anyone ever say to you “You’ve changed!” We’ve all had that experience. It’s true, we are all constantly changing, very strongly affected by every single thing that we experience. The me you are today is not exactly the same as yesterday’s.

Some aspects of ourselves change very slowly over the years – those attitudes and behaviors which psychologists classify as values, and those classified as character and personality traits – in some people they can last a lifetime without changing at all.

Just as stars have a standard sequence, human beings do too, and it’s pretty well described in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (a six stage model), in texts of Ancient India referring to seven chakras, and my own field research at scale which suggests fifteen stages in an individual’s development from a selfish, self-defensive being to a mensch (a person of integrity and honor).

All three of these theories imply that a certain amount of change is to be expected during a person’s life, and that the development for whatever reason seems to suggest teleological design – individuals tend to become more ethical. This may be due to a conscious creator or to species survival mechanisms.

As we change when growing up, suddenly one day for perhaps the first time, we find ourselves thinking about how we are thinking. We might not take special notice of the fact that our inner vocabulary is very similar to the way we talk to our closest friends, not so much similar to the way we talk to our parents or teachers. We are sure to notice how powerfully it runs on by itself in fact it’s impossible to turn off. We might worry for a second about that but then we’ll notice that we are having ideas tumble out one upon another so it’s hard to pay attention to all of it, you have to pick and choose.

You might, as I did, ask myself – without using words in my mind – which of these selves is me? Am I the babbler that is saying all this stuff, or am I the quiet listener hearing it all? I am both, I answered myself. But then which is more representative of the true me? It would have to be the older one – the original one I was before I learned to talk. The Me That Was Born.

How much you’ve changed, one might say to oneself, waking up to the possibility that you are your Untalking Mind, encountering your talking mind. Yes, most changes are for the better, always, but now that you are able to see the difference, you’ll be able to be far more perspicacious in your metacognition. Best to keep journal handy for the rest of your life now. Your life will be full of revelations about yourself you will want to write down and perhaps date.

In the video, the narrator implies that the Robotical Talking Mind has taken over like some dreaded invader (maybe like a “mental Covid”), perhaps raising excess fears, but fear not, the “Robot” image is intended only as a humorous way of thinking about it.

Prepare your children for a joke so they are not alarmed if you show them that video, and then let them explain what they think the video means.

The human race turned a corner when it got to the third and fourth cycles of inventiveness and that’s when our minds got so taken over by the “Robot”.

The first wave was crude facial, oral and sign language. The second was tools including weapons and fire as well as art. Third was written language which triggered inventions of all kinds including mechanical technology. Fourth was electronic technology including atom bombs and media.

Trouble started in that third wave, where weapons got so much better, but we were never so distracted before as we are today here in the fourth wave.

I believe we kick off a fifth wave by taking metacognition/Observer/Flow inside. It will be the first wave to focus on improving us human beings ourselves beyond body building.

Acceleritis is my word for how we got taken over, it’s inforush paralysis and emergency oversimplification procedure (EOP), caused in the human race by the human race, by our blessed gift of inventiveness. We’ve invented ourselves into a corner existentially and psychologically and you dear reader are now part of the noble comeback. We dig ourselves out first psychologically, then existentially. Thanks for being part of the solution!

Best to all,

Bill

We’ll Look Back and Realize This Was Our Finest Hour

Created August 27, 2021

We’ve licked terrible odds before and we’ll keep doing it. It’s what we do.

Every situation has a handle, which if you grab it, levers everything positive.

I have total confidence we will find the handle.

You can be sure even better technology will come out of it.

The world’s best equipped realists are doing hundreds of Manhattan Projects right now racing against medical, environmental, economic, thermonuclear, cyberdystopic, moral, spiritual, and emotional world collapse.

There have been many moments in history like this, none quite so well-armed. We stood up and faced it squarely and conquered it. That’s what we’re doing right now.

Soon the bickering will see its ratings drop. That will be the turning point.

The present epochal moment has forced us all inside. That is an excellent place to be. When you go inside, you open up all the possibilities to recreate yourself. The highest form of recreation.

As you’ve no doubt gleaned from my prior post, I’m going to provide bits of our metacognitive psychotechnology – helpful mental/emotional/intuitive hints – in each column from now on. The course will start today with this post.

The reason we are providing free metacognition training to the public at large is because the public needs it. To help all rise to the challenges, by entraining Observer and Flow states. Please benefit from these free stimuli and pass them on. We all have to become more effective in order to survive as a species. We need to think more clearly – that much is obvious by now.

Here is our first “lesson”. All of the experiences in our media including this blog are stimuli to evoke your own “spiritual immune system” known as the intuition. This video is only 64 seconds. After you watch it, we’ll talk about it a bit.

Before you can succeed in life you need to be able to see what it is that you want as the outcome, and you must realize deep down inside that if you do everything you can to bring it about, it can come about.

If you’re harboring doubt that you’re ever going to get there, that is programming yourself to fail.

Of course, one can never be certain how things will come out. All you can do is your best, and enjoy every second along the way, without being so attached to the outcome that you get in your own way.

It helps to previsualize the outcome you want, and to also previsualize a future in which you don’t reach your dream goal, and how you would handle it if that time ever comes. Once you know that you have a fallback way of handling it, you will have disarmed a large part of the limbic system’s emotional distraction power over your conscious mind. You will be able to do creative and constructive things you really want to do regardless of where it all comes out.

Please show YOUR MOVIE above to children whenever you can. Especially when they are feeling low.

Remind them of their gifts – the things they have going for them. Remind them of their proudest moments.

Advise them to show themselves their own courage in the face of adversity. Every time they see themselves being courageous about life’s challenges, they increase their storehouse of real courage. It’s like exercising a muscle.

It takes courage to be yourself, act authentically, without warping that by being overly self-protective. Authenticity counts for a lot.

Kids need to know we believe in their dreams, like we believe in them.

We need the same thing. Stay alert to make sure you are always backing your self, believing in your self.

This has only been the first class of the course, and so we have only covered a very little bit of what everyone needs to know to get into and stay in the more effective states of consciousness, the Observer and Flow states.

We hope you will stay with us week to week and hope you enjoy each week’s short video, a permanent improvement to this blog.

Next week: How to make sure you notice your own hunches – by learning how to detect and read the signals of your un-talking mind.

Best to all,

Bill

 

 

 

Becoming Immediately More Effective

Created August 23, 2021

The aim of reading this article is that it will stimulate your own mind to the degree that you can sense something is happening to you inside, and it will accelerate your own metacognitive programs (the ones you discovered for yourself) to further develop faster.

If it doesn’t work, please let me know.

Probably the most distinguished developmental psychologist of our age, John H. Flavell coined the term “metacognition” to mean the mind considering itself (those were not his words, he said “thinking about thinking, or more formally, cognition about cognition”). He wrote that in 1976.

That same year my manual for metacognition MIND MAGIC came out.

The only thing is, I didn’t know it was a manual for that; I had used the term “Observer state” to describe metacognition in its most practiced and achieved state.

Now that I have belatedly caught up with Dr. Flavell (and blown away by the William James brilliance of his writing) I see how to inject my work into the science of psychology (my minor). Of course, that makes me very happy. Marketing science and data science (specializing in optimization) have been my official sciences and now I have an avenue to potentially funnel my work on consciousness, into psychology. I anticipate synergies with the work of many others, especially neuroscientists who have identified the agencies by which certain qualia (inner subjective experiences) appear in the consciousness, as my work has focused within the qualia, the use of introspection and concentration to come up with “mind tricks” that pragmatically work to improve social interaction, finding one’s passion work, and performing it.

I promised a pre-experience of what it is like to go through the manual.

Let’s start with the quest for peak experience. We all have had them, and some people have them all the time. They are self-evidently desirable states to have more often. That is the aim here. The ultimate purpose of my work.

A map is always helpful when one starts a journey. How do we map the levels of waking consciousness?

  • Maslow posited three states of waking consciousness, the first focused on deficiencies, the second focused on the release of one’s gifts, and a spiritual level he added toward the end of his life
  • Csikszentmihalyi coined the term Flow to characterize the state of perfect action
  • Flavell coined the term “metacognition” to mean the mind’s reflection upon its own behaviors and states
  • If we put this all together on one map, mixed in with my own speculations and empirical findings, it looks like this:

Looking at the righthand bar, metacognition appears to be a precondition of the Observer state, just as the Observer state is a precondition for the Flow state. For example, the program known as the Will within the qualia appears more strongly in the Observer state than in beginner’s level metacognition. The Will is what is required to overrule one’s prior thought. The Observer state is still metacognition, but it is fully developed, especially in terms of the Will.

Metacognition – the practice of thinking about one’s thought processes

Observer state – the temporary or permanent ability to objectively challenge one’s own prior thought or feeling

Flow state – automatic “perfect” performance

There are today many brilliant writers on the subject of metacognition and I hope to meet all of them. In their writings as well as in Dr. Flavell’s, the prefix “meta” is seen preceding other functions of mind as in metamemory, etc. In the table below you will see many of these “metas”.

Mind Magic chapters, now that I can look at them through the lens of metacognition, can be classified as follows (I suggest a glance down the righthand column, then skipping the table for later contemplation). In the table, the word “challenge” always means to challenge oneself, inside.

The journey goes something like this for the reader:

A – I must have been in some sense hypnotized to have allowed myself to assume it’s OK for me to be living this desperate life

B – Living in this racing age, it’s understandable that as a soft babe I was certain to be awed into going along with all this and have never woken up since

1 – Since I obviously have to take control of my own life now, there’s no going back, I need some hints as to how to navigate, and the first thing I have to do is to avoid jumping to conclusions too soon, I have to check myself constantly

2 – Why did I just do that? I hurt someone’s feelings and I feel like an ass. What makes me act that way, I must locate the program, and fix it so my programmed mind stops doing that to me

3 – I sound like a broken record. Why am I always playing tapes of old stories or whatnot? I must find the root of that behavior and fix it so I can act anew every moment, from where I am in the now, not imitating my own past behavior

4 – I can save time by just doing my best and learning from my mistakes without making it personal, it’s pathetic how I good boy bad boy myself what a waste of time and how ignobly embarrassing

5 – Yes but what do I really want out of life? Is that what I really want? Am I potentially very good at that? What is the evidence for that? Ahah! I have found my dream again

6 – Taking in what is going on, situational awareness, studying people, keeping mind open

7 – Staying focused through complexity by revolving attention, maintaining many streams of thought at once

8 – Not rushing in prematurely but waiting for the foreseen to happen in the dance, nor hesitating past the right moment

9 – Dis-identifying with the contents of one’s own mind so as to be able to re-decide whether or not one wants to continue to wear each of those particular attitudes/beliefs

10 – I can actually look more closely at my thoughts arising, first there is a fleeting image or memory of some sort, followed by a feeling either good or bad, and then snatches of words I am saying to myself

11 – Why must I entertain negative feelings? Isn’t that like purposely wounding myself? I must creatively transmute negative feelings into positive action, without hesitation as soon as I sense negative feelings, stop knifing myself as soon as possible

12 – If I identify with all I perceive, I wind up nurturing other people and myself into the bargain, what an improvement over the selfish way I lived until now, not taking responsibility for others

Outroduction – A vicarious sample of what it feels like to be in the state exhorted by this manual

If you put this article into practice without needing the manual, I shall be extremely pleased. Reading more examples of these general principles helps when you are trying to embody new behaviors, which is why I wrote MIND MAGIC, feel free to go either way, please just get to be in the Observer state for as much of the time as possible, and into Flow as often as possible.

The present world situation requires it of all of us to be at our highest performing best. It might be the only way out, and the gift to us from the Universe, that She, Nature, is forcing us to find, by threatening to collapse our world around us, and we did it to ourselves by not using our heads.

In this case the end gift of higher mind may actually justify the scary means.

Best to all,

Bill

 

Metacognition Versus Public Disenchantment with Science

“I do not like that man: I must get to know him better.”

–Abraham Lincoln

How is it, one wonders, that tens of millions of Americans can believe and echo absurd fantasies, while showing signs of disbelieving in science?

It clearly has something to do with hatred.

For most of my life, I would have associated disbelief in science with throwback cultures, as contrasted with one of the most advanced places on the planet.

To see it happening here is a shock.

Some of it has been accurately explained as confirmation bias, the insular lives many of us live, in which we only read, listen to and watch sources that tell us what we want to believe.

People whose lives have fallen short of aspirations naturally have fear and anger over that. Some of them who are white fall prey to white supremacy thinking because they fear that non-whites are gradually taking away their livelihoods. Many would simply rather believe that, than take responsibility for the consequences of their own actions.

Thus, racism could start from a shifting of blame – from blaming oneself to blaming others.

How ironic, in that there isn’t any value in playing the blame game in the first place! One shouldn’t have to shunt it outside, a metacognitive mind will see in advance where something leads and can stop the degenerative process far sooner. And reverse degeneration, by adjusting future predispositions consciously. That transmutes blame into better preparation.

Every event is a product of multivariate causes, so the blame has to be allocated, and having done so, one decides how to adjust one’s future action and moves on without the overt act of blame or even the covert clinging inside to the feeling of blame. This becomes clear to a person in a state of metacognition or Observer/Flow states.

One could blame it all on the money system itself, which historically creates a disadvantaged segment who can see the way the advantaged segment lives, producing a potential disequilibrium, which will come to be potentiated in one cranky way or another. And in a way, Marx did that, conceptualizing a radical new system to replace capitalism which was to never work as it was supposed to in the real world. It just made things worse.

Fear of communism and socialism naturally struck hard at American values of rags to riches by hard work, independence and small business, property rights, individualism, liberty, ideologies at the time being peddled via the violence of revolution. When I was growing up the whole environment taught me as an American patriot to loathe those systems.

That still exists today, and that fear instilled in all of us for so many decades is still being used by politicians today, even though our potential enemies abroad are no longer practicing communism except symbolically, everyone is doing capitalism this year.

No reason to make such a big deal about socialism anymore. Authoritarianism is still a valid cause for concern, not to mention the environment, the need for massive new clean energy resources, the mutating virus, mounting levels of violence, inflation, American schism… we have enough prime challenges today and cannot let ourselves be distracted by last century’s woes.

We ourselves are good people. My hunch/hypothesis (estimate of the situation, rather than article of faith) is that all human beings – all beings – are innately good. Hume called this universal instinct “sympatico”. The reason that is my hunch is that, like Will Rogers and similar to Abe Lincoln, I have never met a person I didn’t like, at least sometimes.

Fear causes anger and anger causes the world we now live in.

The digital media and even some traditional media have amplified our fear and our anger. So has the replacement of jingoism for journalism. The decline of journalism is also connected to the rise of digital media through the agency of money: as newspapers were largely replaced, so was a lot of journalism, thank God still not totally extinct and hopeful of a full comeback once we all come to our senses.

What makes me think we can ever come to our senses?

Metacognition.

What is metacognition? The term literally means “Above cognition”.

It’s a term coined by distinguished American developmental psychologist John H. Flavell in his 1976 article “Metacognitive Aspects of Problem Solving” – the same year my manual on how to achieve metacognition and the two states above it, MIND MAGIC came out.

Flavell defined “Metacognition” as “Cognition about cognition, or, more informally, thinking about thinking.” If we pay attention to our own mental/emotional processes (metacognition) we become practiced at it (Observer state) and eventually begin to have experiences of Flow state (what athletes call the Zone) – intuitive effective performance.

It’s my hypothesis that we can as homo sapiens “come to our senses” and overcome the present unstable state of global civilization, by accelerating the widespread education of practices proven to increase metacognition – and two even higher states of consciousness that metacognition is a precursor for, Observer state and Flow state. That automatically includes pragmatically being open to new evidence, and having the skills to weigh evidence logically and dispassionately.

QAnon zombies and extremists of all stripes can be cured by their achieving metacognition and Observer state. People who today believe things for the wrong reasons can untie the knots in their mind by the ability to weigh evidence dispassionately.

Metacognition and Observer state also enable detachment from long-accepted precepts. Metacognition is exactly what is missing from the present culture. It is not being taught in any public schools that I know of.

In order for the science of psychology to have its maximum positive social effect, people must be able to translate and apply findings to their own lives.

Today’s possibly most valuable psychology remains largely focused on the detailed mechanics of how the brain works, without relating such findings to the mind and the experience of the individual (qualia), the fancy name for our subjective inner experiences).

Tying scientific findings to a person’s experience would be valuable because it enables teaching and learning. The individual would have a map for dealing with his/her qualia, able to achieve metacognition/self-observe something by the use of operational methodologies taught in history by sages, and today condensed into my manual.

If science stops translating its findings for greater understanding among the people – which understanding has tangible positive effects – science remains valuable for its own purposes of knowing, but science’s disconnect from most people’s lives leaves a dangerous vacuum which is presently being filled with baseless argumentation of science versus fantasy, to no good end.

Hypothesis: An increase in the public’s ability to maintain a state of metacognition will cause a decrease in anger, hatred, class warfare, depression, mental illness in general, addiction, crime, war, terrorism, partisanship, misinformation, and other negative phenomena.

This is a hypothesis worth testing. My manual is one way to test it on yourself and on your employees. The U.S. Army and Navy have tested it and then requested/received workshops for high-ranking officers, as have some large corporations, and 34 universities. Thousands of readers of MIND MAGIC have written positively about its effects.

In the next post I’ll give you a pre-experience of what the manual teaches. That will be a special edition on Monday.

Best to all,

Bill