Category Archives: Flow State

Open Your Present

Created March 11, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Past, Present, Future. Select the middle one. Now open it.

What would it be like for you to learn how to open your present moment?

You’d have to be so much in the Now that you’d be momentarily less aware of your past and the hold that it normally exercises over you.

Without the past looming you would temporarily free of assumptions and expectations, lenses and filters, and your eyes and other senses would be naked.

What you see in front of you and all around you might not seem as familiar as it always did before.

The stunned silence overtaking your inner dialog might momentarily remove the self-not-self dichotomy so basic to everyone’s perspective. There would just be events flowing and unfolding “within you and without you”. No apparent self. Oneness happening.

Depending on the circumstances, something might happen that could cause you to dart back into your protective shell.

Or, if you were lucky enough the moment could be sustained. If allowed to loll in that return to nature, an idea might arise in your mind but as words form you might dismiss them as incomplete and unnecessary. All words would suddenly seem inadequate, that the real experience of life could not be contained in them, that wherever you are now as strange and miraculous as it might seem would never be something you could accurately bring back and report to humanity and share with your loved ones.

However, if you continued to experience moments like these where the awe and wonder of existence and the universe were more than enough, even without analysis and understanding, to enjoy as if encased in rare music and art of which you are a kaleidoscopic part…

Then that state would become friendly and familiar and you could incorporate the repeated experiences in your life, and maybe even begin to be able to turn on the state at will, opening your present moment and becoming one with it, part of the flow of time, an essential facet of the universe and fully at home and at peace in it.

The Flow state takes many forms. The most popular representations of the Flow state are the performer/athlete instance, being “on”, in the zone, and the scientist/artist form, the “aha” moment, “eureka!” The spiritual levels of the Zone are above these manifestation levels.

In my book You Are The Universe, I write about a theorized five levels of Flow state, four of which I’ve experienced and have memories of. They crystallized in my mind when I read about Oscar Ichazo’s postulated 15 levels of consciousness, said to have been derived from Ouspensky, which would have been influenced by Gurdjieff and perhaps Madame Blavatsky. My map is probably an inaccurate representation of reality and also a distorted view of Ichazo’s thoughts. But it works for me.

Oscar called it level 48 (meaning 48 limitations) when the body goes into Flow and you are moving perfectly and performing perfectly and effortlessly so that everything appears to be doing itself. My friend Eric Mart said that Oscar called this the basic professional state.

In 24, you are in ecstasy, your feelings are in Flow state, Ananda.

12 is the level in which your mind is operating in Flow and every word is a bon mot perfect for the moment, you are thinking in Shakespearean poetry.

6 gives you synchronicity in which you are aware of things that there is no contemporary explanation for, and around you, things are happening which you understand the meaning of, and which benefit you, as if your subconscious is controlling them.

Some years ago, a person I was mentoring had a habit that I tolerated as amusing although it had her stuck in her own evolutionary growth at a certain step. She read in my mind what I was about to tell her but she was not fully getting the point of what I was trying to clue her in on. She was attached to guessing the right answer and so continually interrupted me.

One day at my home on Moonhaw Road with bright sunlight flooding in and not a cloud in the sky, this routine was going on. Suddenly as she opened her mouth to guess my next words there was a clap of thunder drowning out her words. This went on about ten times, perfectly timed to when she started to talk, even though she waited and tried everything to get a word in edgewise. I believe that was level 6.

3, the highest level of Flow, I theorize would make a person capable of willing things to happen and have them happen in reality. Perhaps we all have this and it is merely happening very slowly so that it takes years to accomplish your mission.

The present culture has directed us away from such things as this, lumping under the term “magical thinking” anything that sounds as if it is far-fetched. Instead, we are inculcated into behaving according to the expectations of others, in a typically defensive stance with a sense of dependency on outside crutches, and a need to compensate for our inadequacies of life. My friend John Zweig was saying the other day that this is the way marketing is done now, products and services are there to make our lives worthwhile, we are portrayed as being needy without them. Ads often take the form of problem-solution. However, some ads depict the product or service in terms of the experiential enjoyment it brings, which does not convey any lack in the ad experiencer.

A few years ago, I was an expert witness in a patent case. A very aggressive young lawyer was cross-examining me and hoped to unnerve me by whipping out my book You Are The Universe and asking me what level of consciousness I am now in. I answered that I was in the Observer state, which is the highest state under the Flow state, and the state that my book Mind Magic is designed to bring on. 

We won the case. Not that it had much to do with that incident, which merely illustrates the degree to which our present culture is excessively closed-minded about the further possibilities of consciousness.

But if we open our present, we discover for ourselves that the world is truly a much more magical place than we have been led to believe. Not that “magic’ automatically implies “supernatural”. There is nothing more supernatural than nature itself. It’s all science once we figure it out. We have figured out maybe one percent of all there is in this giant puzzle universe to figure out. We impede our own expansion of knowledge to be so cramped in our implementation of the scientific method.

Opening your present is paying unfiltered attention without going-in locked-down constraints. When you do this, you open yourself up to more awesome experiences by allowing for all possibilities and not assuming that you or even the human race now knows everything.

When you open your present, you receive the gift.

Best to all,

Bill

The Mental Health Pandemic Is Worse Than Covid

Created February 18, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Data from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that as of 2007, half the world’s population suffers from mental illness at least once in their lifetime. And in any given year, one in five people suffer from mental illness.

I would argue that the problem is even more severe than that. The definition of mental disease is constrained to various known syndromes including depression, schizophrenia, and so on. These statistics do not include the percent of the population who would score as not having a mental illness by standard medical tests, but who are enslaved by automatic scripts playing out in their brains. Including such people in the stats would bring the percentage up to possibly 80-90% of us who are not functioning mentally to our innate capacity to do so.

The strict medical illness definition types and the “normally neurotic” types have probably not been increasing as percentages of the total population. They probably peaked long ago, judging from human history. In fact, the meditation movement may have inched down the percentage slightly in the last half century or so.

The Institute for Health Metrics estimates that 57% of the world population has had Covid so far. The Worldmeter  tracks known cases of which there have been over 400 million globally so far, which is only 5% of the world population. The truth is probably somewhere between 5% and 57% so far. So Covid appears to be less rampant than mental illness and normal neuroses combined.

The two (mental incapacity and Covid) work together, which explains why the world appears to have flown off the handle. It is not just appearance. The world is technically off its rocker.

I visualize the mental strength of the human population to be a grey scale, a continuum, and each individual is not always at the same place on the scale. We can go up and down from minute to minute depending upon what is going on around and inside us.

When reality is too terrible to be faced, the average person will move toward the insanity end of the scale. Mass hysteria has happened many times before, but typically occurs in confined populations such as passengers on an airplane, students and faculty of a school, people living in one town. It could be related to the Mirror Neuron System (MNS) in that it starts with a few people and then others around them start to mirror the behavior of the initial cell. Dr. Richard Silberstein has taught me that the Orbito Frontal Cortex (OFC) has a function of regulating the MNS and thus acts as a check on excessive imitative behavior. Mass hysteria could arise in situations when something has interfered with the proper functioning of the OFC.

In all of the documented cases since the Middle Ages, none has become a pandemic. Until now. Why now?

Certainly, Covid is one important triggering event, causing us to lose most of the weekly experiences we considered the most fun, which make life worth living. But I think it started before Covid. Two other dystopian trends began before Covid-19. One was social media, and the other was a drift toward fascism which some have traced to the anti-terrorism stance the US took as a result of 9/11.

I never considered interactive media dystopian, I always thought it would be the stuff that brought us to utopia. I was forgetting about the large proportions of mentally ill people.

Brexit and Cambridge Analytica showed the world how social media could be used manipulatively, weaponized as a new level of propaganda warfare. The communications industry identified Cambridge Analytica and put a stop to its activities, but no one can stop rogue nations/superpowers/militias from mis-using social and all other media.

When George Washington warned us of the dangers of the party system (it was not part of the US Constitution nor did it exist for the first 20 years of the USA’s existence) he could not have foreseen how the inherent divisive effects of partisanship might interact with social media, fascist tendencies, and widespread mental illness/neurosis.

This is the Abstract from a scientific paper published about a year ago entitled “COVID-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria : In this article, we aim to develop a political economy of mass hysteria. Using the background of COVID-19, we study past mass hysteria. Negative information which is spread through mass media repetitively can affect public health negatively in the form of nocebo effects and mass hysteria. We argue that mass and digital media in connection with the state may have had adverse consequences during the COVID-19 crisis. The resulting collective hysteria may have contributed to policy errors by governments not in line with health recommendations. While mass hysteria can occur in societies with a minimal state, we show that there exist certain self-corrective mechanisms and limits to the harm inflicted, such as sacrosanct private property rights. However, mass hysteria can be exacerbated and self-reinforcing when the negative information comes from an authoritative source, when the media are politicized, and social networks make the negative information omnipresent. We conclude that the negative long-term effects of mass hysteria are exacerbated by the size of the state.

So, it seems that we have the explanation of why the world has suddenly literally gone mad.

That in itself does not constitute a cure or solution. But it points in certain directions where we can look for a cure.

One direction is inside. When a mature adult who has learned enough about life to act like a mensch most of the time (that description might fit all of us in our best moments, but perhaps only one in ten of us in terms of steadiness over time, and during today’s mass hysteria maybe even fewer of us) discovers that he or she is their own worst enemy, it causes one to pause and rethink everything. The automatic ego-emotional impulses which turn us into robots, once exposed to a sane person, begin to come under scrutiny and control, and after a long process, the individual becomes mentally and emotionally resilient. This is manifest in more authentic consideration given to others, courage, fortitude, better decision making, greater creativity, more time spent in the Flow state.

In other words, the way out of this mess is for each of us to take ourselves in hand.

The challenge has never been greater than it is today. The media pressure (social and otherwise) is not going to stop, the vast majority of one’s countrymen and women being largely (hopefully temporarily) “crazy”, the political banditos taking fullest advantage of the situation, none of those driving variables is going to stop just because an isolated few of us start to take back our selves and stop being puppets manipulated by stimuli and by parts of our nervous systems designed to be helpful but prone to becoming perverted. No, it isn’t going to be easy.

But what else is there to do? The only open path is to maximize our own sanity first (put on your airbag then help others).

The Sanity Movement is going to arise, it is a historical necessity. It will be in a sense at war with the negative idea polluters of social media and all media, but it cannot descend to warlike behavior without simply becoming another nutty group vying for attention. It has to spread good healing ideas that really work to calm oneself down and begin acting intelligently again.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

–John Lennon

Best to all,

Bill

 

Things We Do Automatically That Do Us No Good

Created February 4, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

We take certain things for granted because everyone else does these things, and we find ourselves just “naturally” doing them as well.

One example is hating. It has no beneficial effect on our own lives to “hate” specific things or people. If we don’t want those things or people in our lives, we can simply avoid them, not think about them, fill our lives with what we do want.

Hating doesn’t add any more efficiency or effectiveness to our own life. Like all negative emotions it has deleterious effects on our physical and mental health. It might give us bad dreams. It might be entangled with other thoughts and emotions in ways that are not obvious. It’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of precious mental emotional resources. It doesn’t add anything positive to our life. And yet we do it.

Habit. Conditioning. Imitative behavior. Fitting in with everyone else by doing what they all do. These are some of the reasons why it never occurs to us to think rationally about hating.

Hate comes from fear. We are afraid that this person or these people are going to do things that will harm the lives of myself and my loved ones, but we feel powerless to stop that from happening, so our robotical mind leaps to the hasty conclusion that our only recourse is to hate them. Hate therefore is an inner subconscious admission of powerlessness. It is better to retain a footing of having some actionable power that merely needs to be figured out and then carried out. Hate excuses us from thinking creatively about actions that might be taken. Even if such actions seem unlikely to make a difference, there is honor in focusing on action, there is dishonor in giving up and simply hating.

The other thing that stops us from thinking about stopping something like hating, is that we may assume that it’s impossible to stop an emotion, it just arises by itself, that we have no control over it.

That’s untrue. In the Observer state and in the Flow state, we can make decisions and keep to them. We are in a higher state of functioning when we are in in those states. They are apparently our natural states, and our crippled state in which we have no control over ourselves is not our natural state. We have wound up in this dwarfed version of ourselves by collectively drifting into a society that does not support our self-expression in our passion work, nor even enable us to discover what our passion work is. An accelerating society that cannot keep up with its own inventiveness.

It is never too late. We are in a position to lift ourselves out of substandard conditions. First of all, we all want it, that will help. However, we’re not in a state of unity, the kind of unity felt by billions of freedom-loving people during World War II. In that state of unity, and coming from the right place and from the good, we prevailed. We need that same unity today in order to set things right, to wind up even better than we ever were before, doing our favorite “work” which to us is “play”, not having strife with others, not having fear nor hate nor all of the other negative emotions which are so rampant today.

You are the only one who can find the hidden switch in yourself to decide to give up over reacting to everything and everyone, to forgive yourself and everyone and start fresh with everyone.

All the world needs now is forgiveness. We have drifted into hate by our loyalty to one group or another. Loyalty is a good thing. Too much of a good thing is where bad things come from. If we wish to express ourself by the groups we belong to, that’s good, but we should think big. Like loyalty to God. Like loyalty to the human race. Like loyalty to the United States of America.

Once we get stuck on loyalties of a more fragmented nature, the likelihood that it can cause harm to our lives begins to increase. The things that made us join one political party may have been right at the time, but things change, the people involved change, the agendas change, and inflexible loyalty under those conditions isn’t fair to ourselves, it’s not thinking rationally about what really moves us forward as an individual.

Judgment of others is not necessary. One can leave them to what they want to be. Hate is preceded by judgment. Neither one is necessary to our own evolution. They are both a waste of time.

Jesus said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

Your mind can be cleansed by you yourself and it will perform better when released from irrelevancies and poisons.

If you find yourself unable to forgive yourself, ask yourself, have you learned the lesson from the situation about which you can’t forgive yourself? If the answer is no, you must figure out the lesson, and then forgive yourself, knowing that you can react the right way the next time such a situation arises. (Not forgiving yourself after learning what to do next time is a waste of time and evidence of neurosis.) This is rational self-management, like you would expect a manager to exercise over a business. This is where the higher states of consciousness operate.

If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive Republicans, or Democrats, you can’t apply the same procedure. You can’t guarantee that all Democrats or all Republicans have learned their lessons from whatever it is you hold against them. You need to forgive them in advance of such reformation. This is simply because you can only take responsibility for yourself, you can’t control others. Then what is the justification for forgiving them? Because judgment is not yours to pass. “Judgment is mine,” saith the Lord. Live and let live. You know how hard it is to be a human being in this world as it is now. You can help others by forgiving them. If you run up against someone who is unquestionably doing terrible things, and you feel it’s up to you to stop them, then do that, while still forgiving them and stopping hating them because those things don’t help.

“Even forgive a murderer? Even forgive a mass murderer?” Yes, why not, all you are doing is cleansing your own heart, mind, body, and soul, it will make you more effective, and forgiving does not require condoning.

Why make such a profound change in your behavior now, after all these years of life? Because the world is in terrible danger. Civilization is fraying. Species becoming extinct one after another. We need two things to change fast: Unity to work cooperatively and respectfully with one another, not wasting time with insults. Unity within our self, finding our ideal self and sticking to it to the exclusion of old habits. It’s the Supreme Test.

Who could be placing us into the situation of a Supreme Test? It could only be a Supreme Being.

Let’s rise to the occasion and take action toward unity instead of making little excuses, blaming and hating others, and dodging the work we have to do on ourselves to become the Supreme Self within us.

Loving Your Life

Created January 14, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog post.

Imagine that people have two levels. One is the one that they are consciously affecting. The other is so deep inside of them, most have lost touch with it.

The face one wishes to present at the moment is the shallow self. It’s actually a bio-AI. Most psychological thinkers through the ages have called it the Ego. In most of my writings I call it the Robot. It can be accurately called persona or mask. It’s very concerned about Others. It acts as a manager or press agent on your behalf. It’s in a defensive coping mode, compensating for perceived inadequacies in oneself/the situation.

If you feel any negativity (anger, fear, depression, etc.) you are in that shallow self. If you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list you are in that shallow self in the grips of Acceleritis.

The Deep Self is the experiencer, the essence, the core of who you are, that which observes, and where your intuition comes from. It is generally subconscious in our modern world culture. Acceleritis and a social order which prevents most of us from doing our passion work is what has oppressed our Deep Self and over-ridden it with an Emergency Simplification Network. An automaton.

When you are able to see your own insincerity in action, or in any other way notice that a part of you is running amok, you are in the Deep Self, in the Observer state.

When you are performing perfectly and immensely enjoying the fun of it, you are in the Deep Self, in the Flow state.

In both of these Deep Self states, some part of what had been in your subconscious is now revealed to your conscious mind.

The actual original purpose of meditation is to reach the Deep Self.

The Conscious

Now that one is constantly tempted to lift and see the little screen (btw, 70% of digital ad spend is now through mobile), and the level of Acceleritis (information overload) ensures a backlog of inner distractions from recent memory the mind is eager to go back to, the present world audience is in analysis paralysis mode all the time.

The Deep Self

Harvard’s Gerald Zaltman has published findings proving that 95% of the buying decisions consumers make are made by the subconscious mind. No one has taken issue with this as it is so self-evidently true. Simmons has shown that demographics and geographics combined account for an average of only 6% of brand adoption. The rest is caused in the Deep Self.

The Deep Self is always there, the experiencer of all that goes on within and without. The attention of the Deep Self is always looking for important things to focus upon, but in the absence of anything but the usual trivia, defaults to the Default Mode Network (DMN), which intuitively steers through stimuli whether presented internally or externally. The DMN, we hypothesize, is always in touch with a Subconscious Alarm Network (SAN) which always scanning for threats or opportunities. That SAN is always interested to pick up on any signals which relate to the individual’s driving motivations, the individual’s hopeful dreams about their own future life. The most important stuff in life.

In order to reach your own Deep Self, you have to change the way you relate to the contents of your moment-to-moment mind and feelings.

Right now, you probably identify yourself with the contents of your own moment-to-moment mind and feelings.

That identification is what allows you to be ruled by your robotic self.

The hidden switch in your mind is the ability to become the observer of all that, taking it as evidence of what some part of you believes and feels, but not taking it as the final verdict of what the larger you, the real you, believes and feels.

If you practice and gain proficiency at this, what will you gain?

You will have more peak experiences of both Observer state and Flow state, making you more effective in life.

You will find yourself taking your dreams and passion work totally seriously and gravitating into making that what you wind up concentrating upon in your real life.

You will realize that you love your life.

A sustained realization.