Category Archives: Classic Bill

Powerful Mind Pt. 7

Created April 21, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 6, click here.

In the interest of practical simplicity, Powerful Mind reduces the complexity of Eastern psychology’s ten to fifteen waking states to three states: a lower Ego state characterized by what we call EOP or “Emergency Oversimplification Procedure”, the access state that we call the Observer state, and a higher state called the Flow state. Our three summary states can of course be broken down into sub-states, and there is much that would be of interest to consciousness researchers in this regard. However, our intention is to serve the practical interests of the general reading public. From that vantage point, the main goal is to aid people in spending as little time as possible in the lower state and as much time as possible in the highest state. For that purpose, there is little to be gained here in breaking down the three main “bands” into the sub-spectra within each band.

The Observer state is attained far more easily than the Flow state. And it is impossible to get directly into the Flow state from the lower Ego state. This is why the Observer state is important. While our focus is on the Observer state in this chapter, in actuality, every chapter in Part Two provides a different strategy and set of techniques for getting into the Observer state. In some chapters, there are also techniques for inducing Flow state. There are twelve chapters in Part Two and each chapter is one of the “keys” alluded to in the subtitle of this book: 12 Simple Keys to Freeing Creative Effectiveness. Each of these keys is a unique strategy for unleashing your creative effectiveness — each key opening a “doorway” into the Upper Mind.

Why twelve and not some other number? No, these do not correspond to the twelve steps in Alcoholics Anonymous, nor is there any mystical basis. There could be many more, but again to be practical for everyone we have limited this book to the best twelve techniques we know. The “Creative Effectiveness” to which we hope to bring the reader is the goal of Powerful Mind. The means to the goal are techniques that lead to the Observer state and ultimately to the Flow state.

What, then, is the Observer state? The clearest way to describe the Observer state is to compare it with EOP.


To current generations, EOP is the “normal everyday waking state of consciousness”. In this state, we are energized by a set of background assumptions that we do not question, and which we have lost awareness of to some extent because they have been taken for granted from long habit. These assumptions include:

  • There is almost always a sense of dilemma, something we have to fix, perhaps something as simple as a to-do list which we approach as something to get done and put behind us, not something to enjoy and take our time with;
  • We must earn the approval of other people in order to feel good about ourselves — as if our own self-approval is not enough;
  • We could run out of money;
  • We are under time pressure because of the foregoing assumptions;
  • Because of time pressure, it is important to quickly classify things into good vs. bad;
  • There is too much to think about and more to think about every second and therefore it would be impractical to think it all out — better to just make the decisions we cannot avoid making based on what is going on around us;
  • It is virtually inconceivable that we could make profound changes in our experience of life on a second-to-second basis, i.e. in our consciousness;
  • There is no underlying connection between our own consciousness and any other consciousness;
  • It is in our best self-interest to act as if science has already discovered everything important there is to know about the nature of reality;
  • We will live our lives in the best way if we simply accept on faith one set of beliefs by choosing an existing widely-approved religion or dogma;
  • If we want to fit in, we must limit our conversation to materialistic topics, and not talk too much about the mind, the nature of reality, or spirituality;
  • If we are male, we must limit the expression of our feelings, especially outside our family or in public;
  • We should ignore our hunches as worthless unless they are supported by clear and present visible proof;
  • If we are male we must treat the intuition as something feminine, that only women should have, like feelings

All of these assumptions playing in the background cause us to live lives of “tacit fear” — we are not really aware that we are always afraid. We may be intellectually aware of the fact that we have all been brainwashed by our culture (like the people in Orwell’s 1984), but we set that thought aside. EOP is all about setting thoughts aside even though the same thought may come up thousands of times.

Suddenly realizing that you have been living a life of fear might make you angry at yourself, the world in general, and me for telling you. Anger and fear are both strong alarm systems to get our attention, like an alarm clock. They work most effectively when you get the insight as to what is making you afraid or angry, and turn off the alarm clock by focusing your will on that issue until it is resolved. That way, without distraction or crippling lack of self-belief, you can shift focus to creative and effective solutions to conquer fear, anger, and what is causing these alarms to go off.

The traditional psychological term for the center of consciousness that rules this normal waking state is “Ego”. Freud describes the Ego as the center of consciousness that is created the first time a baby is frustrated in getting something it wants. The Ego is a kind of “press agent” and “chief security officer” (think of Whorf in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, or an attack dog that trusts and loves only its one master) that considers the self to be threatened by the surrounding environment and people and must therefore cope with that threat by defensive measures often taken in advance. As psychologist Eric Berne pointed out in his book Games People Play, in every conversation and every relationship we have, it’s as if we’ve rehearsed our responses, as if we are always playing out the same script, playing the same tapes, not being creative, spontaneous and authentic, in the moment.

For example, some people play the “Yes, but” game in every dialogue they have. They pretend to accept what the other person has said but then negate it one way or another — the game being to find the words to use to neutralize the other person’s input. These people have become closed to new ideas, often because they are too paralyzed with information overload to be open and receptive.

There are many ways that getting stuck in a rut like this are exhibited in a person’s life. They are all symptomatic of EOP. All of us have had experiences which we never quite figured out and overcame. These create defensive patterns going forward, yet we are not really aware of what we are doing and don’t even notice our own fixed defensive games.

Once we get into the Observer state, we can see our own conditioning and consciously change our behavior to become more flexible and open-minded, able to learn from new experiences and from other people’s input. We immediately become less negative and more objective about ourselves. We stop projecting failure.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



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Powerful Mind Pt. 6

Created April 14, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 5, click here.

The Observer State

A clearer, more effective state of consciousness —
only seconds away from your daily state of consciousness.
Just knowing it exists can benefit you

This entire book is about states of consciousness. In this chapter we will focus on one particular state of consciousness we call the Observer state. The Observer state is more powerful than the state most of us are in most of the time, and leads to the Flow state, which is more powerful still in terms of your ability to make an impact on others around you and on the world. We speak about both states as being “The Upper Mind”. The purpose of this book is to show you the simple yet easily missed doorways into the Upper Mind.

Why is it important to think about consciousness at all? Because life is all about consciousness. We do not exist without consciousness. While modern science has made brilliant progress in almost every other sphere of reality, too little is known about consciousness.

Yet all the ills of the world are rooted in ignorance of how consciousness works. We have made the world we see around us. It all started in our minds. Every day we do things we regret because we listen to and act on whatever our minds dish up to us. We need our minds to perform better, to become powerful, to gain insight into ourselves and others, to come to better decisions on a moment to moment basis.

The extreme anti-heroes who have become powerful on the world stage, who have driven much of our history so far, might not have chosen paths of destruction if their genius had been creatively channeled, if they had not lost touch with their compassion and love.

If we collectively knew our own minds better we would not go to war but rather we would find creative win/win solutions — the ones we get to in the end anyway after all the bloodshed. The path to a better world lies through the terrain of consciousness. One day when we all really do know our minds better the world will be a relative paradise compared to the way it has been throughout all recorded history. As the great science fiction pioneer H.G. Wells said, “History is a race between education and destruction.” If we can make our minds powerful now, we can gain the maturity as a race necessary to not destroy ourselves, given the extreme weaponry we have now at our disposal and our habitual disregard of our destructive effect on the environment (the air we breathe, the water we drink).

Because war is a pattern repeated throughout recorded history, we tend to assume this is the way it has to always be. And yet, “recorded history” literally means since the onset of written language. In short, written language and the thinking processes that go with it have led to acceleritis, information overload and Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP), which blocks upper mind and leads not only to war but also to crime and personal cruelty born of our disconnection from innate compassion. Our minds need to become more powerful in order not to be confused by the information overload so much that we are easily led and manipulated into a life nearly devoid of positive feelings, squandering the opportunity of life.

Each of us knows intuitively that the only thing we can change is ourselves. This is the only way we can make a better world.

Powerful Mind seeks to reveal specific information and techniques for attaining specific states of consciousness. We will be talking about waking states of consciousness, not about sleeping states. Sleeping states are important too, but in the interest of focus we’ll leave these to another book.

A Broader View of What Science Is

Around 400 BC, in the Golden Age of Greek philosophy, one branch of philosophy called “epistemology” focused on understanding “how can we know”? Over time, different schools of thought evolved about how we can know: rationalists believe that we can know things directly through our intellect; authoritarians believe we know by listening to authority figures who tell us what we know; empiricists believe that we know by direct experience, by testing things in the real world; intuitionists believe we can know directly through a mysterious faculty.
Science developed out of empiricism, basing what we consider to be “truth” on factual experience, testing and validation. In the case of science as practiced in the West, especially in the last few hundred years, that “experience” is usually the taking of measurements using instruments with dials and displays from which one takes readings. The person taking the readings is the “observer” often mentioned in relativity and quantum mechanics, the latest forms of science. In the East, science is also based on experience, and there the experience can often be inner experience where dials and displays are not involved. This is still science and still based on empirical experience.

This Eastern willingness to accept internal evidence explains why science in the West has not validated the existence of the more effective states of consciousness. Starting toward the end of the 19th Century, inner experience or introspection fell out of favor in psychology, after William James, the last of the giants of psychology to accept inner evidence directly. The more externally-oriented culture of the West created a blind spot. In psychology, work shifted to behaviorism, the focus on externally quantifiable actions, along with the study and social application of conditioning to alter these actions.

Eastern epistemology actually fuses empiricism and intuitionism. No conflict is seen between these ways of knowing because they both involve experiencing reality for oneself.

Although based on empiricism, Western science became authoritarian and elitist in its epistemology: the common person was excluded from “knowing” by the reduction of all science to mathematics, a difficult language to master. Science at its cutting edge moved out of the sphere of something the common person could totally visualize and comprehend.

Science and States of Consciousness

Regarded academically as a “soft science”, traditional Western psychology recognizes only three states of consciousness: dreamless sleep, dream sleep, and waking consciousness. Eastern psychology since the fifth century B.C. recognized ten states of waking consciousness: the normal everyday waking state, the access state which precedes meditation, and eight progressively deeper states of meditation. Oscar Ichazo, a modern student/teacher of consciousness techniques and founder of the Arica Institute in 1968, fuses ideas from consciousness explorers throughout history (plus his own) to propose fifteen waking states of consciousness ranging from psychosis, through six levels of neurosis, three levels corresponding to the Eastern access state, and five levels of higher consciousness.

It is revealing that Western psychology reduces waking consciousness to a single state. William James was the first prominent Western psychologist who warned against “prematurely closing the book” on the existence of other states of waking consciousness. More recently, Mihaly Czikszenthmihalyi (pronounced “cheek-sent-me-high-ee”), former head of the University of Chicago Psychology Department, coined the term “Flow state” (known in show business as “Being On”, and in sports as “The Zone”), and conducted valuable research into this state, which was published in his 2008 book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



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Powerful Mind Pt. 5

Created April 7, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 4, click here.

The good news is that every negative emotion is a Get out of Jail Free Card to learn something profound. While you’re figuring out what to do to fix whatever caused the negative emotion, you can turn the negative emotion off by saying to yourself, “Hey, I’m already doing all that can be done.” Just make sure that’s true – don’t lie to yourself.

What you’re here to do is to wander around, do what comes naturally, within an established decorum that has evolved naturally over the ages. Learn what you love to do and are talented at, and focus on developing and expressing in that medium. Treat other people right – the Golden Rule. Don’t incite difficulties. Enjoy. Give encouragement and support and lend a helping hand whenever you can. Keep an open mind.

Now, whereas this would probably do it for someone born into the 15th century, I think we need special training today. We venture the following further advice in this imagined User’s Guide…

Expect there to be too many things coming at you. You will be trying to keep up with it all, which will result in you having almost no time to yourself, to just figure it all out. Even before that, simply to sort it all out.

There will be no compelling evidence (if you’re lucky) to have to go figure it all out. As a youth, you may pretend several times in a day that you know something better than you really do, and never have the time or reason to reflect upon that pretense. You may go on doing little things like that for years without realizing exactly what you are doing. You will at some point realize this, and with a shock, realize that you have been literally out of your own control.

But long before you get to any such awakening — realizing that you had been fooled by thinking things were one way when they were really another way — you will be having too much fun to break away from the party. It would also seem odd for you to be spending an unhealthy amount of time by yourself, as perceived by the current culture. This will contribute to you losing your free will to a self-propelled reaction system.

You will have to call upon all thirteen of your weapons to battle this situation and win.

Better however to look at it as a delightful game. You will actually experience it based on what you think it is.

Q. It doesn’t work. I just tried your trick. I wanted it to turn out one way but it turned out another. You lie.

A. You wanted it but you didn’t believe you were going to get it. You can’t simply want it to happen with your intellect — you have to accept that it not only can happen but is happening. This is a “trick” you do with many of your faculties working together, principally the willpower and imagination. Remember to use everything you’ve got. Come back to this User’s Guide as many times as you need in order to make sure that you have not forgotten some part of yourself when you are making an important decision.

The more that all parts of you are in internal communication with one another, the better off you are. It may seem funny to be talking to your cells, or your body, or to some part of your body, but it demonstrates the right attitude internally. Your cells have tiny intelligences but enough to pick up on an attitude of kindness to oneself and one’s parts. Stress turns into distress and starts in the mind then infects the body. This is not the way it has to be. Internal communication starting early will probably increase your physical health. Whether it does or doesn’t is not the point. The point is that it is an idea worth testing. It does you no harm to be kind, respectful, and attentive to every part of yourself. See if it works for you.

All of the things that can go wrong with your mind come down to some degree of incomplete communication between these parts of yourself.

Be a voracious learner. Listen alertly and respectfully, even though inside yourself you may be choosing which bits to accept and which ones you have doubt about. Come back to these questions in your mind. Write them down.

Test ideas cautiously. See if they work before you rest your weight on them. But never stop testing new ideas. Test as many as you can handle cautiously at the same time. Testing new ideas will pay huge rewards in terms of learning. Keep track consciously of what you are testing. Read the results carefully.

A few cautions about your mind. Your mind has an impressive power to suck you in. You won’t realize how deep you’ve gone until something wakes you up. You can take something that is a very small part of your life and concentrate on it so much in your mind until it becomes something enormous in your mind. You no longer see it in its proper perspective. Until something or someone taps you on the shoulder. Breathing helps you stay calm and not get stampeded by your mind.

Be aware that it is easy to overcompensate. When you learn something, it assumes controlling importance in your mind (in this case, the intellect, also known as the rational mind). You never want to make the same mistake again. So you might wind up going to the opposite extreme, unless you realize from the start that this going too far tendency is built into the mind itself. When the mind has too much to think about, it just wants to oversimplify so as to get on with it. Oversimplifying means making everything black or white, so if generosity hasn’t worked, your mind tends to go all the way to stingy instead of dialing back to a balance point. And to bullying if kindness hasn’t worked, and so on.

Also keep an eye on your intellect’s tendency to become sneaky, rationalizing it as creativity. For example, if you are competing with someone else for a promotion, do not act on the clever idea of withholding information from them to give yourself the advantage. This is a mean and petty way to compete. The right way to compete is in a sportsmanlike fashion – unless you are being physically threatened. Best that all your actions would still be suitable if everyone could see them. Think of yourself – and think of each of us – as a role model for future generations.

The feelings – another part of your mind – have the same tendency to overcompensate. If a person feels under-appreciated for his or her gifts, he or she will be overly eager to take advantage of any moment to be a showoff. These self-traps are again just getting sucked into the mind’s self-hypnotizing power. Having a powerful mind means being in charge of your mind, not being hypnotized by it; channeling its power so all parts are integrated. If you know yourself well enough – if there is internal communication – then you will catch yourself before yielding to these emotionally-driven unconscious behaviors.

Chronic syndromes arise from overcompensations of the feelings. These syndromes have been called “attachments” for thousands of years. Something you love too much becomes something you cannot do without, and fear losing; you become angry at or threatened by those you feel may want to take it away. You can be attached to your status, your possessions, your good looks, any number of physical and non-physical things. The most undermining thing in your life will be these attachments. Learning how to develop a Powerful Mind by using all the parts of your mind is the only way to gain freedom from slavery to your attachments.

Be prepared for moments of frightening realization that you don’t have control over your actions, but that you share control with some other parts of yourself that seem to be traitors who betray your secrets by making you make stupid mistakes. This is just life. Don’t be frightened. The other parts of yourself – let’s call them your subconscious – are not out to undo you, they are on your side, but there is a lack of communication. You can establish that communication. Give your subconscious little assignments like “get back to me in three days with some ideas about problem X.” You’ll be surprised that your subconscious will get back to you with some really viable ideas. You will also be making a start at bringing these other parts of yourself out into your conscious mind where all parts are in full communication and synch.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



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Powerful Mind Pt. 4

Created March 31, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 3, click here.

User’s Guide to The Mind

Most people would agree that it would have been handy to have been given a User’s Guide when born. Remember the takeoff on the Emergency Broadcast System?

This life is a test. It is only a test. Had this been an actual life, you would have received further instructions as to what to do and where to go.

Such a guide would have to start very simply, since the child at birth will not process anything complicated. It might start out like this:

Hi! Your name is ________. But YOU are much more than your name. You are a living being in a vast, mostly-unknown universe. You are a member of the dominant life form on the planet. You became dominant because you’re the smartest. That means you know how to use your mind.

Q. So what IS your mind? Are you and your mind the same thing?

A. Yes and no. You are your mind. But remember, “mind” is just a word; it depends on how you define it exactly.

One way of defining “mind” – the way we define it – is everything you experience, your consciousness, your awareness. Other definitions say the “mind” is just the “intellect” and does not include the feelings, intuition, perceptions, imagination, memory, willpower, or ESP we might experience. If you follow either of these definitions then You are more than your mind, as defined, since you do have all these other things.

Q. Waah! Want Mama! All these other what things? You’re saying I’m made up of all these things, and I won’t even know what these things are that make up who I am.

A. No problem, let’s go over the list. These are among all the good things you have, going in:

  1. You will have the persistent sense of being you – we call that the “Self”.
  2. You will have attention.
  3. You will have feelings – some good, some not so good; you may learn how to re-set yourself back to good feelings, by solving specific small and larger challenges in your life; over time you may learn how to re-set to good feelings faster. Confidence is a feeling, as is lack of it. This list of feelings goes on. You’ll see.
  4. You will have five physical senses – sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
  5. You will have hunches – intuition. By following these hunches and using the rest of what you have, you will be able to predict the future, but only imperfectly.
  6. You will have memory.
  7. You will be able to generate imagined stories and experience them, called dreams when you are sleeping, and imagination when you are (relatively) awake.
  8. You will decide that things have to be a certain way and you will do things that tend to cause that outcome; this is called willpower.
  9. Free will. This means you can make up your own mind. And you can do whatever you decide to do, but you must accept the consequences, meaning it will be wise to think out consequences before you act. You’ll need something else for that, something that none of these first eight parts of you can do.
  10. Hence, the intellect. This part of you is the thinker, the part of you that can take apart a situation into pieces and thereby better understand it. This part can also make plans, always a good thing to do before taking action. This is also the part you are hearing or seeing whenever you hear or see words in your head. And it’s the part that most helps the intuition when it comes to making predictions.
  11. Motor control (and body). You will be able to move the body you are currently inhabiting as you will it (unless you become intoxicated or are otherwise physically challenged). You use this body of yours, and the motor control that you have over it, to take actions in the world that appears to exist outside and around you, to relate to what appear to be other selves.
  12. ESP. You will discover for yourself whether these exist for you or not. These are Extra Sensory (meaning “extra” to the first five) Perceptions. Telepathy, precognition (greatly improved ability to make accurate predictions), telekinesis, gaining additional influence over outcomes “as if by magic”.
  13. Spirit. This is the part of you that feels like a part of Something much larger. There is much for you to discover by exploring this asset, and the same can be said for all thirteen of your assets, aspects, faculties, manifestations, whatever you choose to call them.

Q. This is a mindblower – what a trip! How can I manage 13 parts of myself and keep it all coordinated?

A. Don’t overthink it. The rational mind is not designed to consciously control all parts of you. If you try to use the rational mind that way, you won’t even be able to catch a ball. Be spontaneous and natural, so long as you are careful at all times to not hurt other people’s feelings or their bodies. You will have to discriminate carefully and quickly, all the time, to decide which of your impulses to follow, and which ones to hold in check. If you are unsure or there is any negative feeling, don’t act too quickly. Be spontaneous and go with your own flow, but be prepared to take control and stop yourself from getting yourself in trouble. This means both hands on the wheel of yourself. Pay attention. And never forget to be on your own side.

At the first unpleasant feeling, stop what you’re doing, and figure out why that was unpleasant, and how to make it more pleasant “next time”. Don’t take the alternative course of just bypassing those little clues, suffering the unpleasantness without understanding it fully. These imperfections pile up and eventually you are looking at a full-scale problem, and what seems like a million unanswered questions in your head.

In reality, if your life goes along like most peoples’ lives in the 21st century, you will probably reach a point of pile-up and possible breakdown, and fortunately that challenge will bring you back to start over, to figure things out for yourself.

Always come back to who you are. We pick up mannerisms and other behavior patterns from other people and these conditioned behaviors are like a short circuit between motor control and memories. Memories of what you have seen other people do or say program your body without your agreeing to it consciously. Be alone and use all parts of yourself to figure out what has gone wrong and how to fix it.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



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