Category Archives: Acceleritis

Losing Mental Obesity and Having Future Fun

Created July 22, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

In my previous post, we wrote about that function of mind which unintentionally acts as a traitor, inflicting wounds on its owner. We speak of the bloated ego within us as that traitor.

We postulated that a less obese ego would be a good thing to have, and that the elephantiasis of the ego pandemic is fallout from the accelerating creativity unlocked within us by written language. As daily world events indicate, our creativity and inventiveness has had effects ranging from the spectacular to the disastrous. One of the most negative impacts of the runaway complexity is the ballooning of the ego function through agencies to be unpacked below.

Even the way we all tend to look at the present state of the world is distorted by the ego. We are all obsessed, because of the ego, with the downside possibilities of the near future, much more than we are excited by the upside possibilities straight ahead. Why does the self-protective, selfish function of consciousness, Mister Looking Out For Number One, exaggerate and dwell upon the worst outcomes?

One might explain it away by drawing a nexus between selfishness and survival: surely our urge to survive, central to all life forms, was thinking of the need for a suspicious security officer like Worf when it extruded the code necessary for the existence of the ego function?

Perhaps, but a bit of self-reflection reveals another cause, related to Acceleritis and its resulting information overload: I call this principle “Compensation”. The ego in our present culture is compensating for a general feeling of inadequacy, caused by a never-ending string of missing the mark in almost everything we do, because the complexity of daily life has overwhelmed our capacity to always operate in the natural Flow state. After the first few years of life this wound of mortifying incompetency cries out for succor, and the ego where this notation lives, is the agency by which redress and proving oneself shall be achieved – or so the ego thinks. The methods employed by the ego in trying to salve this feeling of being unworthy, include (a) to brag in some concealed or exposed form, (b) to subtly or obviously try to bring others down to a level in which the ego can feel superior, and many other methods which in Putin’s case, includes trying to take over an even bigger chunk of the world. That would vindicate the ego and win the game, in Putin’s subconscious mind, all would be set to right, or so his subconscious thinks.

Acceleritis might not have done the damage it has done so far if not for another enabling factor in the world of the past few centuries. And that is, the loss of direction in the search for meaning in life.

It’s easy to explain what the ego-ridden average person is doing with their life as a form of a game. The game is essentially to maximize the pleasure for one’s sphere of loved ones, and to minimize their pain. Totally reasonable and pragmatic, but it ignores the human need (possibly shared by other life forms) to feel that one’s life means something more than just continuous defense of one’s pleasure bubble. Humans have an innate desire to know what is really going on here, who am I, why am I here, and to creatively express their unique gifts. We as a race have always had an intuition of Someone Else With Us, a vast consciousness to which we have given the codename “God”.

Until the last few centuries, during which observance of rituals has masked over an inner unspoken atheism which prints out in behaviors that belie the claimed belief in a specific religion. The average person has let science go off using its advanced mathematical cryptography, and stayed in touch only at the broadest level in which it is widely assumed that science has proven that there is no God, and intellectuals go one step further and believe that Logical Positivism has proven that even the concept of God is meaningless.

In a race that needs meaning, the past few centuries have dissuaded us from the search for that stuff. So all we are left with is a choice of which game to play to while away the time as pleasantly as possible. This factor plus Acceleritis have caused the self-promoter function to expand to fill the conscious self, as a continuous band-aid over the cumulating wounds of disappointment in oneself and life. Hence the ubiquitous need to compensate. Thus has the valid ego function become toxic.

It’s not just widespread mental “laziness” (actually mental triage in the face of inforush) that has caused the popular perception of a schism between science and spirituality. Many scientists (excepting the most senior ones) have publicly expressed a bias (unproven assumption) in favor of Accidental Materialism, the explanation that the universe came about accidentally, and all that matters is matter, with energy simply a released form of matter. Some of this breed of scientists have dismissed consciousness as an epiphenomenon, meaning we can hear the noise in our heads but it really doesn’t have any impact on the way we behave, we just think it does.

We humans and other animals are very affected by a show of confidence, if it appears unshakeable and is connected with intelligence. Even before a word is said. Then, when words pour out of such a being articulately, suavely, and with great surety, our tendency as humans is to give those words some credence. Even if it disagrees with one or more of our own long-held assumptions. The actual truth or falsity of the content has nothing to do with how much it persuades us based on the foregoing presentation variables.

The good news, however, is that scientists of the highest order throughout history and even today, are not biased toward Accidental Materialism, have open minds about God and about all subjects where empirical evidence has not been conclusive yet.

In his Amazon review of my latest scifi novel Pandemonium: Live To All Devices, Chuck Young, founder of Ameritest recently acquired by Dynata, lists some of the greatest scientific minds of the past hundred years who have had reason to consider consciousness to be at least equally important to matter:

Consciousness is the central theme of this book. In one of Harvey’s insightful observations, a character notes “The most important human quality is the ability to control one’s own mind.”
Consciousness is the deepest of all philosophical problems, which the ancient Greeks described as the Mind-Body problem, and which the greatest of our modern scientific minds have not shied away from also thinking about. In the words of Max Planck, winner of the 1918 Nobel Prize in physics, “In the last analysis, we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.” Or Erwin Schrodinger, winner of the 1933 Nobel Prize, “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is fundamental.” Or Werner Heisenberg, winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize, “Contemporary science, today more than at any previous time, has been forced by Nature herself to pose again the question of the possibility of comprehending reality by mental processes.” 0r Eugene Wigner, winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize, “The very study of the external world leads to the conclusion that the content of consciousness is an ultimate reality.”
The only person to ever win two Nobel Prizes in physics, John Wheeler, pointed out that in the debate of Mind versus Matter it is an axiom of the current secular worldview that matter arises first, in the Big Bang, and that somehow the conscious mind has emerged through some combination of improbable physical processes. But that is only an axiom for creating our belief system about the nature of the Universe. It cannot be proven. But what if, according to Wheeler, we invert that axiom and assume consciousness comes first? Like the shift from Euclidean to Non-Euclidean geometry in mathematics, changing that one starting axiom leads to a radically different worldview.

To me, I find it easier to imagine consciousness coming before matter, because consciousness is unitary and matter is diverse. Also, taking empiricism to its ultimate extreme, the only thing any of us can say with total certainty based on empirical observation is that our consciousness exists. Everything we call matter and energy is something we experience through our consciousness.

Once the mind accepts that being closed to possibilities based on the vagaries of cultural conditioning is counter-productive, the awe, wonder, and numinosity of life come rushing back in like a friendly tsunami. Possibilities are again seen to be endless, and the ability to imagine upsides, free of mental fat, is welcomed in.

In a recent WDST radio interview about Pandemonium: Live To All Devices with my host Doug Grunther, founder of Right Brain Network, Doug asked me if there was anything in the story that would give us all any reason to feel more optimistic about the future. I responded that there are three unspoken takeaways from this scifi spy novel set in the near future:

  • Keep an open mind about your own powers of mind
  • Keep an open mind about the whole multiverse being one consciousness, each of us an avatar
  • The future has a sporting chance of being fun

Love,

Bill

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The Prevalence of Self-Inflicted Wounds

Created July 15, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

We’re not happy about Putin for very good reason. Yet he is one of us and we can learn from his mistakes. Might be a tad easier than learning from our own mistakes, until we get the hang of the latter, which is a good thing to do.

Here he was trying to contain NATO and instead his actions taken in that regard had a boomerang effect. Making him more unstable and dangerous no doubt.

Let us consider my argument that there is a common cause, or mechanism, within all of us that is responsible for his having done that.

And that same phenomenon in you connects to the things you have done in your life which were akin to shooting yourself in the foot or other necessary appendage.

What is that thing that is dragging us all down, then?

It is a miscalibration of one function of the mind.

This function has been miscalibrated by the history (we ought to say hisandherstory) through which we have passed as if through a gauntlet.

The long and short of it: thugs took over and still rule in most places. Here in the few democracies the thugs are actually a mixture of all kinds of people, which is an improvement. We average citizens like that someone else is watching the unbelievably complex store. When we are born, we are immersed in a degree of complexity that is baffling to our capacity, and then it gets ever more intense. It was not always that way. My theory is that the Acceleritis started with written language. Nowadays Acceleritis has reached fever pitch, with the average person multitasking during virtually every second of the day.

That was how this particular mental function came to become miscalibrated.

Well, what is that darn function, then?

Freud gave it a name which I’ll cite in a moment. But first let’s talk about why the function was validly necessary.

In a world in which many agents have free will and one is only a single member of this cloud, it is inevitable that there will be conflicts of interest.

This function is specifically designed to be useful in preventing and overcoming these conflicts of interest.

Freud, in Civilization and its Discontents, one of his greatest books, said that this function starts up when the baby has its first experience of needing something and not having that something delivered instantly.

At that point, he wrote, a new function of mind arises, to deal with such situations.

He called it the ego.

He characterized it as a managerial function, to get the self what it wants or needs through the use of specific tactics that were not inherent in the original self.

What existed of the self/mind before that point he called the id. I call the id the Me That Was Born. Same thing whatever you call it.

I also call the ego by another name. I call it the robot. Because I see it as a set of coded instructions that creates further coded instructions, mediated by electrochemical reactions in the nervous system, which arise subsequent to birth and therefore are not the original self.

I see the original self as an extremely valuable thing, of cosmic significance, and worth distinguishing from the programs that the original self subconsciously creates.

So the ego is sort of the patient’s caregiver, the client’s press agent, the client’s advocate, the function that tries to make sure that the self gets credit where it is due.

Miscalibration of the Ego

In a supposed “normal” world, in which the input stream does not overwhelm the central processor immediately, causing inforush paralysis and then Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP), the ego would be as pragmatically useful as the thumb.

However, when the ego is confronted by excessive information, it becomes a danger. One moves quickly into a hasty acceptance of supplied defaults. This is how mental self-enslavement occurs. The ego over-reacts and exaggerates threats, causing hormonal changes we sense as our own fear or anger whenever something – even trivial – appears potentially capable of challenging our security. It’s the survival-driven fight or flight reaction in situations which do not rationally justify such a reaction, when reacting that way is childish and vain.

In an ideal and yet pragmatically possible future, individuals will pull themselves up by their bootstraps to deal with information overload, without giving in to the impulses sent from the ego.

What can you do?

Be on guard. Getting stressed out is a sign that you slipped gears and are internally dominated for the moment by the ego in you. Take that sense of dilemma as a signal to stop, breathe, press the reset button hard, reject recent emotional reactions, go to neutral. Look at the situation objectively and scientifically.

Let’s take an example. Say that you’re having a conversation with your significant other. Assume that they say something that bugs you. While noting your hormonal release effects and keeping them separate from your true self, notice the fact that “feeling like making sharp retorts to unworthy statements” shrinks you back into the contracted ego you.

Understanding Your Ego

In its inflamed state due to the inforush, your ego makes bad decisions trying to serve your interests. It’s only a biological AI, so it’s imperfect, not built for the volume of complexity rushing at you each second. In order to be master of your own castle you have to be aware of these things and to take control of them.

You can’t allow yourself to be pulled under by the force of your amygdala and the rest of your limbic alarm system. You must maintain control of the ship despite these powerful waves washing you in hormonal takeover.

The secret is that your vulnerability lies in your attachment to certain outcomes. You have become obsessively hypnotized and enslaved by terror of certain outcomes (e.g., death, mortification, loss of loved ones, terrible illness, etc.) and desire of others (money, fame, etc.). Only by confronting these feelings on the stage of your consciousness can you gradually readjust the control to favor your true self.

My book Mind Magic was written to provide more detailed instructions. With or without my further advice, it was always you that it comes down to, you must do this for yourself in any case, no matter what tools you select to help you, this is the challenge that the Universe presents to you at this moment of truth in a world at climax.

Love,

Bill

 

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Happy Independence Day! Maintaining Our Independence

Created July 1, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

246 years ago, we became a country. 530 years ago, we began to colonize this beautiful terrain we call the United States of America. The colonists who came here were fleeing tyrannies and religious persecution, and seeking opportunities for living free lives, willing to face dangers and cognizant of the need to stick together for mutual protection. Among them were freethinkers whose hunger for knowledge had driven them to read widely most of the ideas written down by sages throughout the thousands of years human beings have been writing things down. The Founders respected the philosophy of Jesus Christ and the philosophy of Freemasonry, and some described themselves as deists, acknowledging the logic of a supreme creator. They tended to be openminded pragmatists, realists, and were excited at the prospects of science.

One of the principles of the American Revolution and its concomitant design of a new working model for governments, was to prevent any one person from gaining too much power. Another principle was the separation of church and state. The system was set up to be self-optimizing by innovative use of checks and balances. Our forefathers knew that any system could be gamed and that success would depend upon the good will and good intentions of honest people voted into office.

Because they were practical people, they knew they could not go hog-wild with new and unfamiliar ideas and still bring together the majority of American colonists. They would not have stood a chance of pulling it off if they proposed freeing slaves and giving every human being a vote. In 1776, colonist nuclear families were strong and could be self-sufficient survival units when they needed to be. Just as marketers today consider households a significant unit. Back then the unit had more unity than it does today. Giving the vote to the man or men in the household was a way of giving the vote to the household. The land to be settled was virtually infinite from the viewpoint of the 2,500,000 colonists in 1776 (there were also 600,000 Native Americans at that time) so it was assumed that everyone who wanted to vote could easily become a land owner. With the specific proposals the Founders made to the American people, as it was, they just barely made it. It was touch and go, many colonists weren’t sure whether they were loyal English folks or ready to risk their lives for a set of enticing ideas.

But here we are today. We made it through that gauntlet and have toughed it out through gauntlet after gauntlet since then.

We now face possibly the most terrible gauntlet we have ever faced: the system has been gamed from within.

A small number of people interested in power have conspired for a long time to set this up. It looks like one organized conspiracy but in all likelihood it’s a chain of ideologically linked separate cabals going back almost to the beginning. George Washington had urged us to never form parties but 20 years into it, we were in the two-party system, and over the years the things Washington warned us against – the party becoming more important to some people than the country – became ugly reality. Gerrymandering and filibustering became practices, despite their inherent conflict with the Constitutional principles not to mention common sense. Jefferson had the right idea that education was the key lever by which human beings could become the sane, ethical people presumed by the design of the freedom-based government. However, the content of that education was never developed to the point of sufficient efficacy to ensure sane, ethical graduates.

So, we are blessed to have been left, still today, being the ones who have that problem to solve. We are the ones to whom the prize of overcoming our own worst tendencies belongs. If not us, then to our children or grandchildren, but it must start with us, for we must teach our progeny what they need to know and do to finally put an end to the old corrupt ways that have always been so easy to fall back into.

To the average person, this challenge is so daunting that the almost universal reaction is to give up. I’m reminded of those Simon & Garfunkel lines in the song “Mrs. Robinson”:

Going to the candidates’ debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at this, you lose

This is why so many people don’t vote. They feel it’s not going to do any good. The powerphiliac perpetrators of minority rule are pleased that so many people don’t vote, it makes their plans easier to achieve.

As Americans, it’s our duty to fulfil the mission set for us in 1776. Whether we win or lose, it would be cowardly to not even try. We must all vote.

That’s not all.

Bias and Binarism

Life was always complicated, but never to this degree. The easy way out human beings always take when overwhelmed by complexity is to fall back on binarism: reducing everything to good guys and bad guys. Simplistic but satisfying as a way of achieving fake closure, this popular form of reductionism makes the world black and white. Objects in the world are sorted into one or the other. Stuff in the bad bucket is irredeemable. Oneself of course is always in the good bucket. This is another comforting factor of binarism.

Washington put down parties because they could cause counterproductive divisiveness within the nascent nation. He realized the tendency of people to operate based on attraction-repulsion and to form two poles, although being a practical person he did not go off on a philosophical rampage about it.

The illogic of the party system is that it’s based on the goodness of having a bias. A bias for change or against it. This is illogical because any bias is a fixed presumption which is likely to not perfectly fit every single situation. A better strategy is to be openminded and take everything on a case-by-case basis, looking at facts without bias. Yet political parties enshrine bias, like a superstition.

The situation in America today is caused by these things:

  1. Persistent underlying binarism between people driven by lust for power and people driven by lust for life.
  2. Pandemic binarism as part of a general self-dumbing-down strategy to cope with excess complexity (“Acceleritis”).
  3. Anger and hatred for a suspected enormous group of bad guys who are presumed responsible for all the bad things on this list.
  4. The subconscious gravitation of people into “belonging” groups.
  5. The almost universal assumption that we are all in this bar brawl on our own and there is nothing actually connecting us together making us all one.
  6. Massive frustration at the innumerable obstacles one faces each day and at the difference between one’s dreams and reality.
  7. A sense of not being able to make a difference, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  8. The party system, putting bias in the good bucket.

“You better free your mind instead.”
–John Lennon

America is working it out. Go with the flow with an open mind, not foreclosing the future based on ancient schisms. Hit the reset button. Make your mind a clean slate. Consider each piece of evidence that hits your senses as if being born again right now. Now, that’s Independence Day!

Science Fiction

As you may know, I’m writing a science fiction series to try every angle into empowering the minds of fellow beings with freeing thoughts and ways of being. Chuck Young, founder of Ameritest which is now part of Dynata, holder of patents for innovations in measuring the effects of communications, and wide-ranging genius, read my new novel Pandemonium: Live To All Devices, and wrote an interesting review of it containing sophisticated allusions to literature, philosophy and science, I thought you might enjoy.

Happy July Fourth Holiday!

Love,

Bill

 

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It’s Never Too Late

Created September 10, 2021

The most constructive aspect of the pandemic is that it drove us inside. Not just inside our own homes, but inside our own selves.

We hadn’t had an opportunity to do that in ages. Not to that degree.

On vacations, there are so many new diverting experiences to enjoy, we tend not to spend too much vacation time introspectively, which could have given us a life changing experience.

But Covid gave us the time and place and for many of us it has already happened. I know a few people whose lives have changed for the better – as a result of being closeted away for long time periods with the same situation. They have decided to make a major life change in favor of the kind of work they have always really wanted to do.

Being cloistered away is really a wonderful way to catch up on life. If you use some of the remaining pandemic time to go inside and reconsider your life, you will have the satisfaction of having “judoed” (made the best use of) a bad situation. Gotten some good out of it.

Too bad we are having to pay such a high price for this introspective opportunity. But let’s stay focused on what is constructive.

My hunch is that someday all of us can work at our passion work. If everyone in the world was doing the work they enjoy the most, they would be much less likely to spend their time hating, arguing, faulting, blaming, killing, cancelling, or in any other ways hurting each other.

I could easily be wrong but I’m linking today’s rough world with individual frustration as one originating cause. Add on top of that the pandemic, negative media, negative politics, weather change, it’s making all of us more frequently peevish and testy.

Most likely individual frustration is just one of many psychological factors causing us to pollute ourselves and each other and the environment with such endless negativity. Attachment to belonging to groups we have become deeply identified with, is one such factor. But again, let’s stay focused on where we can see opportunities for positive change, rather than dwelling on the hardness of today’s situation. Dwelling on the mess is a herd compulsion and in a warped way it even brings us all together on some level. But it is a downward spiral and not conducive to finding ways out. It’s wasting time rather than getting to the solutions, not a good idea in emergency situations.

The people I know who are changing follow a pattern so far. They are leaving good paying jobs that are the same every day and risking penury to try to do something they would really like to do.

Maybe we should all have done it from the start, but don’t get to thinking that it’s too late, you should have made your move in your 20s, right out of school, and instead you took a job that gave you a sense of security and a journey to all wonders ahead. In retrospect, that was probably the right first step, a reconnaissance in force, and then steering toward your own vision, your own mission, your own dream.

Maybe we all start out that way. Perfectly justifiable decision at the time. And maybe what we’ve been doing up until now hasn’t been so bad and we really enjoy it too, just that we are even more motivated by other interests.

Without Covid, maybe we would go on that way without any strong enough reason to change.

Covid gave us all a good strong enough reason to change.

Change isn’t easy. But it can be easy. You just have to find that hidden switch inside.

That applies not only to changing your life’s work, but to making any changes that will make you happier. It’s hard to change because just saying you will change in some specific way does not have much impact on the complex programs which determine your behavior. The switch you have to find in yourself is not made of words at all.

The hidden switch that enables you to become fully self-actualized lies somewhere deep inside you, behind, underneath, between you and the words in your head. You can get in touch with your Self, which is deeper inside you than the words going through your mind. Your Self is much more than your verbal mind, your Self is all of you, like an ocean, and the words are just ripples on the ocean’s surface.

Your feelings and even your body can give you insights that you won’t always get from the words in your mind. The hidden switch is in there, in that wordless part of you, and the reason it’s hidden is because most of you is the subconscious. Things going on inside of you that you are likely to notice in your conscious mind are the things that became obsessive to you early in life and just got more and more locked in after that. You tend to ignore a vast number of other clues each day. Your subconscious is trying to signal you and this can show up in many ways, often something you say without thinking first which causes upsets. Only introspection with concentration can lead you to that hidden switch where you have power to take control of your Self.

One thing about the hidden switch that is not mysterious is that it involves the Will. Your ability to be firm in matters important to you, even firm with yourself, self-disciplined, able to keep your word to yourself. When you’ve flipped that hidden switch there will be no division between the words in your head and your feelings, you will understand yourself and be able to articulate great truths about yourself to yourself. Best to write those down in your journal. You will have Will and your vows will be unshakeable.

It’s never too late to start to live what Aristotle called the examined life. He famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That might be a bit hyperbolic but is, in my experience, much more true than false.

Once you do find the switch, it may or may not change your life’s work. You may already be in the line of work you love. What finding the switch will always do is to make you more effective at whatever you do in life, because identifying yourself with your total experience and not just with what you tell yourself in words in your inner dialog will lead you into the higher states of consciousness – Observer state and Flow state.

If you would like to speed up this free course, here’s a link to more free videos we will be discussing in future blog posts. The book mentioned in the video above, Mind Magic, is our most powerful tool so far developed by The Human Effectiveness Institute, and is inexpensive, try a free Kindle sample. Your own meditation and contemplation are free and can get you to the same results although may take longer. Please use all of these free and paid-for experiences you like, and stay on the path to self-actualization, you will never regret it.

I’ll leave you with my love and a song.

Best to all,
Bill