Author Archives: Andrew Wolfson

Believing What We Want to Believe

Created September 9, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

The human race is driving itself insane. What is the root cause of this? I postulate that it is an overpowering desire for hard answers to questions for which we may not have scientifically objective hard answers for hundreds or thousands of years more of the current slogging forward and slipping backward.

So we manufacture black and white answers and defend our somewhat arbitrary/aesthetic positions by aligning with like-minded people, and demonizing all others, who are assumed to all be the polar opposite of what we stand for.

In Mind Magic, Chapter One “Avoid Hasty Closure” provides psychotechnology (mind tricks) to overcome this “mind takeover to relieve aggravated cognitive dissonance”. “If everyone read this one book” (as one reader wrote), it could have significant effect on bringing down the omnipresent Berlin Wall of psychoneurotic divisiveness.

Just telling people to be good does not do it. They need to know the mental and emotional corridors to explore to achieve a steady state of metacognition and self-metaprogramming (which I call the Observer state). Once established in this equilibrium, the mind takes it to the next level on its own (Flow state, the Zone). Flow state itself has levels, and at the higher levels the intuition (hunches) become very accurate (likely to be verified empirically).

Religions were started by people in these latter higher states of Flow. Some of those who became disciples of those religions developed themselves along similar lines. Other followers of specific religions have taken a different path. They are followers in name only, and have lost the essence of what their claimed religion stands for.

These latter people who are religious in name only, are doing that for the purpose of aligning with other like-minded people who have chosen one authority to believe, having the false comfort of mental closure, and also now having a scapegoat group of people on which to blame everything that is not right about the world. Although they may claim to believe everything their one authority said, their actions prove they are being hypocritical, and that they are repressing awareness of their own hypocrisy.

Not that Christianity is the only religion that suffers from false followership, a new article very carefully and authoritatively connects the dots to help Christians get themselves into alignment with Jesus rather than with any political faction. Written by Michael Gerson, Republican speechwriter and journalist, who was steeped in Evangelical Christianity from birth, and was named by TIME Magazine as one of the top 25 most influential Evangelicals in America, this article strikes me as potentially the most important article ever written. If all Christians read it and truly grok it, it will put their feet back on the path. I hope that writers with comparable levels of authority and learning regarding their own religion are able to emulate Michael’s article.

Blaming a religion itself for those who have perverted that religion is not a very intelligent thing to do. This is the same black and white oversimplistic reductionism to which we all flee in Hasty Closure state, because we find that something in us cannot bear not having at least provisional answers upon which to base one’s life and one’s actions. It’s not unreasonable to feel that way but a better response is open mindedness.

All true religions have taught the same moral lessons. Compassion, do unto others, kindness, respect, love. When in the name of religion, a person acts oppositely from these ethical compunctions, and hides that hypocrisy even from themselves, this to me goes beyond neurosis into true psychosis, i.e., a dangerous diseased condition, not just a tolerable level of neuroticism.

The fact that there were and are still religiously driven equivalents of Crusades, the Inquisition, and sexual molestation by clerics, that is not the fault of the religion, it is the fault of the followers in name only.

Religions are losing adherents faster than cable/satellite companies are losing cord-cutters. In the US for example Pew finds that the percent of people who are religiously unaffiliated has doubled to roughly 3 in 10 since 2007.

In another article, Pew explains why this is happening and relates it to a perceived dichotomy (more of the same black/white mindtrap) between religion and science. Science may have ruled out a white-bearded old man version of God, but it certainly has not ruled out the possibility that our own selves are offshoots of One Self (my Theory of the Conscious Universe).

Leading scientists including Einstein, Wheeler, Planck, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Wigner and many others have put forth scientific possibilities aligned with my notion, which also aligns with all religious writings.

The human race is becoming more open to the idea of animal intelligence and therefore animal rights (as I predicted in a 1972 sci-fi novel Ouroboros). For example, the reading public has recently discovered how intelligent octopi are. Upon closer scientific study it has become now widely known that each octopus tentacle has its own brain. This suggests that each octopus tentacle may have an independent sense of self.

Perhaps the main groupmind of these brains is the controlling sense of self, who can live through the each of the multiple sub-minds. And perhaps the main self can focus in on the one arm that is presently sucking on the most delicious shrimp.

How is that different from my theory that there could be One Self above us all into which we all feed? Is it mere coincidence that the latter lens integrates and depolarizes science and religion?

By opening one’s mind to include this possibility, one can regain a new oneness with everyone, and a new genuine, authentic oneness with one’s own birth religion or chosen religion. And by embodying the scientific method as the way to run one’s life (Foment Empiricism, as Scott McDonald says), one gains a new respect for science by practicing it in each moment oneself.

This lens overrules the impatient Hasty Closure black/white ache in one’s mind. By making sure that one does not jump to conclusions just to have a fake sense of certainty. Having a fake sense of certainty is what allows us to desire civil war to punish all the bad people who disagree with us politically. That fake sense of certainty is the insanity I spoke of in the first sentence of this article.

Coming back to intuition… Kurt Vonnegut in his satirical wisdom said that humans tend to cluster into two types of groups: karass, which is the real group we are destined to be with, and to whom we are brought together by unseen forces (“meant to be”, “bashert”, “kismet”), and granfalloon, a false karass. Suppose he was right. Granfalloons then might in some cases be political parties. In his brilliant article, Michael Gerson contrasts Jesus with Trump, and shows how scripture makes it clear that Jesus warned his disciples to stay away from politics. How can we know when we are following a true intuition and not simply believing what is convenient to believe?

The highest true (empirically verifiable) intuitions tend to give one a sense of peace, a sense that all is oneness, naturally oneness loves it parts, the universe is doing all this benevolently, there will be a happy ending, and from the ending we shall look back and see how the way that reached that end was perfect as it was. How the learning could not have otherwise been achieved. That it all happens for a reason.

Freud called this “the oceanic feeling”. Jung called it the “collective unconscious”. Kashmir Shaivism calls it “The Supreme Self”. The earliest Greek philosophers when they looked inside, and acted so as to foment empiricism, found that mind has hidden powers (intuition), and used them to think about what reality really is. Thales, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, and later many poets and natural philosophers including Berkeley, Newton, Leibniz, Spinoza, Descartes, and endless more sages throughout hisandherstory, all came to the same conclusion that consciousness is primary, at least as important as the apparent matter-energy-time-space display which we all apprehend.

How can an empiricist postulate that the only thing he/she as an empiricist can swear exists (consciousness), is merely a derivative of a physical brain which is not directly known to the empiricist who needs a surgeon to inspect his/her brain? Unscientific, yet scientists sometimes assume that their intuition is superior to that of other people who sense a Friendly Larger Presence. Let scientists be the first to have open minds!

Love to all,

Bill

 

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The Kids Were Playing the Usual Game

Created September 2, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

The kids were playing the usual game.

It was the only game in town. That explained why they stuck with it, day after day, decade after decade. You gotta do something.

As usual, the moves were all predictable. Because they all imitated the past.

So, what are the most aggressive players doing? Well, of course, they are looking back for inspiration to WWII. Let’s see, what would Hitler do?

So, for example, the Russian player invades the perceived nearest weakest monkey. Turns out to be a rather formidable ape. Hmm, bad move. Not much immediate learning. Still no existential wakeup call WHY AM I DOING THIS?! Just muddling along as if human beings lacked creativity entirely. Repeating the same old moves that didn’t work last time.

So, for example, the Chinese player makes moves short of bloodshed to indicate interest in becoming a dominant partner with the South China Sea, the Solomon Islands, and Taiwan. Having already done the same with Hong Kong with no more than a yawn from the other players. Hmm, we probably encouraged it, hmm, bad move. Muddle muddle.

What would be a more creative best move for China, say?

Their Belt and Road initiative was their most creative recent idea and deserves more time before more aggressive moves make any sense. The ideal path would have been to adaptively continue to roll out the investment in 150 other countries, without debt load pile-ups causing a reversion into apparently duplicitous colonialism. It has not gotten too far out of whack to still save it.

Live through the growing pains of helping 150 other countries and China will have earned the respect of everyone. My Chinese friends, please don’t screw that up now by reverting into old species habits. The atavistic threatening moves are out of place in this century. The whole world has accepted the business strategy as the way to go. Essentially, we are all capitalists now. Maybe it’s time to put aside the ritual ideological mumbles. Certainly, traders all benefit more when they are not at each other’s throats.

War is good for selling weapons, bad for everything else. We don’t have to force the selling of weapons as a business strategy (although we have been doing that for a long time as Ike warned) because we can achieve the same effect by going into space. We can sell a lot of steel etc. that way, it will turn out to be a far bigger market than war!

We don’t have to fight these fights.

It is not cowardice but wisdom that cuts off the roots of war. This is the essence of Sun Tzu’s teaching. Wake up everyone and hear the bell of freedom ringing to announce the end of the old game and the beginning of the new game.

The First Earth Town Hall Meeting

None of us were really enjoying the old game, so we world leaders all came together in Cannes for a bit of fun and re-inventing the world.

Of course, you all were invited to be there, and the world’s media made it the most amazing experience for all of us. It went on for months and then became a series. Ahem, actually the highest rated series. You know all this, you were there. Wasn’t it like Woodstock?

Yes, it was a miracle. We were all talking sense. I threw the I Ching at the height of the re-invention discussions and I got Fellowship, Hexagram 13. The change line said: “When they come together, their sadness shall turn to joy.” The hexagram morphed into Brightness, of which it is said “Thus the great man, by perpetuating this brightness, illumines the four quarters of the world.” (Wilhelm Baynes)

The new game is much more fun. Going out practically every night, or having friends over, participating together in solving the problems of the world, punctuated by entertainment and fun games dreamed up by all these crazy new media, and our kids signing up to discover what else is going on out there, it’s a better game. The other game was getting SO old. Even the hardliners agreed that this new game is better – eventually. They still loved the old game but the rest of us couldn’t stand it anymore. Had to go.

The best play for China is to bring to the world the most valuable thing created by the longest-running continuous civilization on Earth: the wisdom of Confucius, the I Ching, Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu, and all of the other great Chinese philosophers and teachers. How to flow with others in peace. This is the very quintessence of China, its greatest gift to The Universe and to the ancestors. It must be brought back to the fore and imbue every product and service produced in China. The spirit is what everyone needs and wants the most.

Compensation for not following one’s highest dreams, and instead settling for taking the easy way out of staying within the herd and keeping your mouth shut, is what happens when repressed subconscious parts of oneself start to rebel by taking over motor control at odd moments. This can come out in aggressiveness toward others. Stirring up anger against a rival nation within one’s own people will tend to get the spirit of the people back online, but in a way that has many hidden and unhidden costs. It’s not the right way to get the spirit up. All of Chinese philosophy knows and exhorts humane and righteous conduct, moderation and modesty, and China itself must always exhibit such conduct in order to gain its rightful share of world leadership influence. Otherwise what is it all for, anyway? Isn’t China here to bring its culture and its wisdom to the whole world? How better to do that than to exemplify that wisdom in all of China’s actions?

Is that not a better movie to watch and inhabit for the rest of your lives? Is not that closer to what you hope is the way your progeny will live?

If we plunge ourselves back into world war again there is a very high chance that we will set ourselves back by at least a millennium. Whether we do or not, it will make everyone’s life on Earth a continuous living hell for a long time, a lot worse than Covid.

The choice is obvious. World leadership had better prove itself to be precisely that, a real leadership that senses the right place to go and goes there.

Let the Good people stand up and conduct themselves rightly.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Love to all,

Bill

 

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The Fallacy of Political Binarism

Created August 26, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Aristotle was among the earlier philosophers to warn us away from binarism in general. Even 25 centuries ago the wisest among us knew that we all apparently have a built-in mental flaw. We tend to see choices where there is the unnoticed opportunity for having both. To Aristotle the key word was balance. Instead of choosing conservativism and giving up on progressivism, one could balance the two.

It was a new thought at the time.

And precocious by at least 25 centuries, as we seem to also still have the built-in ability to dodge good advice.

And from Aristotle’s point of view, the choosing example might not have been between conservatism and progressivism, that was me, he might have winked and asked “apple pie OR ice cream?” channeling Socrates.

The point is that there is a convenient mental mechanism we can all benefit from. We can all catch ourselves when we find ourselves assuming there are two opposing sides to something. When a better handle on it is that there are multiple “Goods” to be integrated. The creative fun challenge of the game is to come up with the optimal balancing act.

When two political parties get down to acting like they would welcome a civil war, it’s time to break the hypnotic control of the binarism fallacy.

Please visualize with me: we all look around, and see the party labels and stuff sloughing off each other, and we are all just people again, with no expectations. Then we can all enjoy making friends all over again.

My guess is that we got this binarism virus as a result of too much of a very Good thing. The very Good thing is intellectual freedom. For all the barbarism of the world, intellectual freedom has been too strong to be suppressed, it is perhaps the core of our being, the uniqueness of the human race.

We love IDEAS. We have so many of them. It is so good to have them and to share them with others with whom we then BELONG. Having so many IDEAS and getting so entranced by them – and the belonging they bring – the whole phenomenon tends to become too powerful. It hypnotizes us by its ubiquity and pervasiveness in every detail of our day. The imagined fences our minds have created which separate us are mere bad dreams but we have enshrined them in reality. Big mistake.

Simple sign: when people argue a lot, fix something.

The Quality of Mercy is Not Strained

Coming back to the subject of balancing ideas together, “mercy” is a very relevant word to this discussion of binarism.

The Jews were a tough lot. They got into a lot of fighting. Slavery for those that survive does toughen people up. Fighting over who owns the land was the way of the world going much further back. When the Kabbalah developed within Judaism it presented a circuit diagram for the Universal Self in which balancing mercy with severity was one of three balancing acts required to operate at a higher state of consciousness. Mercy is a really palpable thing when involved in warfare, it is safer to just kill everybody. The Kabbalah teaches that there needs to be a rebalancing away from what was self-protective, to take the right action instead. (My interpretations entirely.)

As a race, we do seem to have a bias in favor of severity over mercy. This bias may have been obvious to William Shakespeare’s awesome insight when he wrote these lines for Portia in The Merchant of Venice:

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to God Himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

We can have the ice cream on top of the apple pie. The benefits of two seemingly warring good ideas, for example, Justice and Mercy, can be both had together. The lesson is: don’t give up one good thing to get another good thing, find a way to balance them and thus get them both.

The creative integration of all of our good ideas, worked out together in good spirits, is what the USA is all about.

What began as a great friendliness should not be allowed to dissolve in great bitterness. Let’s go back to the good old howdy and handshake.

No one entity has all the answers. We all need each other to optimize the collective opportunity.

We have to stop the runaway train wreck and switch timelines to the alternate universe that awaits us.

Love to all,

Bill

 

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We’ve Been Given More Powers Than We’ve Been Able to Control

Created August 19, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

The people who channeled the Bible and similar spiritual masterpieces had amazing precognition. The story of Adam and Eve for example shows how something in the human race makes us overeager for knowledge that gives us more power. How did they know that was going to happen? It wasn’t all that obvious when the catapult was the highest technology. It is all too obvious today that prophecy came true. We’re wiping out species on a wholesale basis and it certainly appears as if we want ours to be the next one to go.

In the Bible it is positioned as something that happened in the past. But it appears to have been a channeling of a situation whose reach was going to last thousands of years.

If we accept statistical evidence science has already proven that ESP exists, and that some people have more of it than others. Types of ESP tested, all of which are shown statistically to be real, are telepathy, clairvoyance (remote sensing), precognition (foreseeing), and retrocognition (being able to sense things that happened in the past). All of these are forms of obtaining information without the five physical senses. Received knowledge.

ESP being a real thing, distributed like everything else unevenly across the human population, could be something we all experience but refuse to categorize as ESP. Hunches, for example.

Ironically, ESP was usually lumped with magic as a bad thing by the religions, whose founders used ESP to have their spiritual revelations.

Within each religion there are secret (esoteric) sects that use ESP within their broader spiritual practice. Kabbalah within Judaism is one example. The word Kabbalah itself comes from the Hebrew word for received knowledge. In the Tree Of Life, the Kabbalistic map of the spiritual universe, there are ten spheres, plus one invisible sphere, which is where the ten visible spheres combine as one. The invisible one (called Da’at) in my own interpretation is where ESP transmission occurs, where knowledge is received without the use of the senses.

Although Kabbalah is associated with religion and magic, those are misperceptions. Kabbalah is a pragmatic science based on introspection and devout recognition of One Supreme Self that lives in relationship with us. Da’at is a construct useful in mapping one’s own states of mind as they change from moment to moment.

As elucidated in Chapter 20 of You Are The Universe, an individual is able to move his or her consciousness into what Kaballah calls the Da’at state after satisfying preconditions: balancing love vs. work, mercy vs. severity, and wisdom vs. understanding in his or her life (BH interpretation of Kaballah). You Are The Universe is an explanation in detail of my Theory of the Conscious Universe, cognizant of and embracing science as a first principle. In the book, I also hypothesize that Da’at, as conceived by ancient Kabbalists, is the state where Flow state happens. (In last week’s column I likened Flow state to ESP based on the otherworldliness and numinosity of how it feels to experience either of those states.)

What I’m saying is that people thousands of years ago knew ESP existed. They experienced it. Perhaps we were as small a percentage of the population then as we are now.

This does not mean I go around reading everybody’s mind all the time. These windows of Flow state occur when certain conditions are met, and last until those conditions change. The tools in Mind Magic are designed to maximize those conditions (Observer state, which is a full shift into metacognition). These are the same preconditions as prescribed by Kaballah, expressed very differently. Kabbalah uses a high level view of one’s life stages to express its teachings. Mind Magic uses operational second by second tactics.

Kabbalah does not go as far as to say that we are avatars of that One Supreme Self, however that idea goes back to the earliest writings in India and is finally fully articulated in 11th Century Kashmir Shaivism. Following the same road of introspection, reasoning, and received knowledge, I came to the same conclusions between age 12 and 27, and wrote the first draft of The Theory of the Conscious Universe when I was 30. Much later, I was told about Kashmir Shaivism by my wife Lalita on our second meeting, March 25, 2001.

The feeling of having an open mind to the idea that The One Self is us is a spiritually enhancing feeling. Even if you have doubt, if you don’t rule this out, it changes your life. Your decisions. Your actions. The way you feel each moment. How you relate to others, given that it might be you in there in them. I highly recommend you having these good feelings and letting them make you more buoyant. And make you more open to receiving knowledge. And to receiving and giving love.

Interesting synchronicities will happen. I take these as God winks. My term “noia” means the opposite of paranoia: the feeling that someone is out to do you some good. You will feel lots of noia if you open your mind to the possibility that the entire universe is One Consciousness, playing a game. It’s at least as plausible a scientific explanation for reality as Materialistic Accidentalism or any specific religious creation story. And yet when you wear it as a lens it makes life fuller and happier. Why not try it on?

Love to all,

Bill

 

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