Created May 27, 2022
Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Each day the news becomes more worrisome. I don’t remember ever experiencing a time like the one we are passing through now.
One thing that will be necessary if we’re going to turn this all around is a new emphasis on reinventing ourselves, each one of us.
That’s because the roots of our current history are embedded in each individual consciousness. Disunity, divisiveness, power hunger, anger, hate, violence, fear are all manifestations of ego. We’ve let our egos get too big.
At the same time, we’ve lost sight of the ultimate goal of coming to a mystical understanding of the universe and our role in it. Awe and wonder are browbeaten out of us even before we leave childhood by the pervading cynicism that has become the sine qua non of sophistication. Non-cynics are derided just for backsliding from the cynical stance of our Age.
Even our top scientific minds who retain their awe and wonder at nature remain trapped in the unproven assumption that consciousness is an afterthought in the universe. Somehow the scotoma (blind spot) is so large that otherwise brilliant minds do not connect the dots between the “observer” essential to Relativity Theory and consciousness. The leading quantum physicists of today, many of whom who were mentored by John Wheeler, colleague of Einstein and Bohr, first to coin the term “black hole”, do not get it that in his ultimate view of the universe, consciousness and matter are equally important, as if their minds cannot conceive of it, or simply that they would rather stay in the acceptable range for sake of their careers. The latter behavior brings us back to the ego dominated culture in which we now all live, where going along with the herd is the prime directive, in order to get what you want.
But at the same time this involves compromising quite a bit with what we, deep down, really want as unique individuals. The percentage of us who live out their dreams and earn their living pursuing their passion work are a dismally tiny percent of the population everywhere on Earth. As it has been since as far back as history remembers. When something has always been a certain way, it is invisible, taken for granted, never even thought about, no alternative ever imagined.
When I say the present world must start from a reinvention of ourselves, each person for themself, what do I really mean?
Self-improvement is a term that means something different to each person. Most books on the subject are about losing weight and exercising. The relative few that are not mainly about the body are about the important subjects of meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and positive thinking.
The invisible elephant in the room is that these are the 101 of the subject. They are introductory, and barely scratch the surface. For most people, these primers equip the person to give the right answers (ego again) to continue to be perceived as up-to-date in conversations. But these surface readings and parrotings on the subject tend to not fundamentally change mental or outward behavior.
In the words of a reader of Mind Magic, Benjamin Zabriskie, writing in his Amazon Review:
Dismiss thoughts that don’t benefit you. Deny social impetus that would otherwise dominate you. Perceive new realities at your whim. Stop time and think. Leave this earthly realm behind and explore the diverse worlds of the hearts and minds of all living things. Restructure your actions, thoughts, perceptions and desires into exactly the shape that suits your goals.
Not for the weak-hearted, nor the easily scared, this book is THE owners manual for the mind. This book presents nearly impossible challenges to even the most powerful and dedicated seekers. I’ve never known a single person that actually finished the work contained in this book.
When I took up my asceticism, I decided to give my extensive book collection to the local library. After paring down hundreds of books I was left with only 3 essential manuscripts. Mind Magic: The Science of the Microcosm is one of those incredible spiritual powerhouses. Only recently did I finally give my copy away to a young man in need of self-understanding.
In other words, what the world needs now is for people to do a very deep soul searching beyond anything they have ever experienced before. It is multidimensional and goes far beyond the pop-psyk books lining the shelves.
It’s cognitive and emotional, intuitional and perceptual. It’s a complete rebuild, rethink, start from scratch.
One of the hundreds of specific techniques explained in full in the manual is to eschew ego moves. To detect and interrupt your own automatic inner impulses to toot your own horn in ways that have become perfectly socially acceptable and which everyone practices continuously to maintain their own egos.
This is part of a chapter that is broader in scope, entitled Avoid Hasty Closure, which in general means to edit your actions and do so by reflecting continuously on where each of your own thoughts and impulses is coming from. Is it authentic and real in the moment, or is it the ego robot playing one of its tapes?
If everyone in the world took responsibility for what they can actually really do to help us all out of the present existential dilemma, namely to reinvent themselves, with very serious methodical principles, we would have at least a better chance for survival as a species and with the ability to choose to live in a place where we feel that our rights are respected. A better chance to avert the robotic pendulum swing back to despotic centralism, which itself is the unavoidable manifestation of a culture in which ego is king.
Another chapter focuses on visualizing the universe as one thing, including oneself and everyone else, consciousness and matter and energy and time and space all one thing. Wheeler’s scientific assessment of this singularity, the one thing we call the universe, is that it is in constant self-reinvention, even able to reinvent the actual past (read the link above for the details). Whether other scientists agree or disagree is irrelevant, Mind Magic does not advise believing anything, it advises simply keeping a truly open mind.
The amazing thing about simply keeping an open mind about what we the universe are, allows you to once again experience the inspiring awe and wonder, and the sense of transcendent possibility, of living a real mystery unfolding, the transcendent feeling.
Highly recommended: article in Renew magazine, published by United Healthcare Group, “The Power of Awe”, documenting the widespread research now establishing the health benefits of awe, which can also be seen here.
One of the benefits found in these many articles of the feeling of awe, is that it also comes with a greater sense of feeling of connectedness with other people. That would surely help as we are otherwise pulling apart in all directions.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to become sharper.”
–William Butler Yeats
Love to all,