Category Archives: Important Ideas

Powerful Mind Pt. 12

Created May 26, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 11, click here.

You may have an investment in accepting some thoughts over others, such as thoughts that make you look smart to yourself. Just knowing that you can be biased goes a long way to seeing past any bias you may have lurking in your head.

Example: now that you have started reading this book, you are paying more attention to what goes on in your mind. Someone just said something to you and you notice that you have a flash of invisible anger and then go on with the conversation as though nothing happened. Later you have a free moment to look back and ask yourself “What was that?” It takes a little while but when you least expect it, when you are thinking of something else, it suddenly pops into your head that you have been secretly competing with a specific person, making him or her a rival, and what made you mad is that your rival scored a point. It was “secretly” because you never said to yourself “out loud in your mind” that you considered that person a rival. It was your own secret from yourself. You may know exactly what I’m talking about because this kind of thing has happened to you in the past. As a result of Powerful Mind, look forward to more of those exposés happening in the future as you peel away the layers of conditioning.

Don’t take anything to extremes. This key is not meant to turn you into Hamlet, never able to make a decision. You must in fact become more decisive, simply not hasty: think things through thoroughly and then take action. If you sense something is dragging on too long and you have needed to take action for some time, you really need to get away by yourself for however long it takes (within reason) to plan out what to do decisively.

Check your Perceptions

One form of hasty closure is perceptual: you actually “hallucinate” in mild ways all the time, seeing or hearing things that are subtly different from the reality that actually exists around you. You tend to see things that you expect to see, rather than what really happened. In this way your preconceived biases act themselves out in your physical senses.

You expect that someone will be sneering at you and you actually seem to see that sneer although this time the person is actually trying to be nice. Or the other way around, you expect them to be nice and don’t realize they are actually sneering at you.

The automated pre-conscious mind has searched your memory banks, found something similar and projected it, so that you literally see your prediction instead of seeing the current reality. Only by paying careful and patient attention can you override this hasty closure of the senses.

Unless you are patiently paying attention to everything that goes on around and inside of you, you will not notice your mind screening out things that are familiar, things you have seen before. This function of the mind is a type of hasty closure where the closure occurs in the pre-conscious state, even before you become aware of something.

To the robotical part of the mind, this makes sense, because it is conserving mental energy by making “invisible” those perceptions that it considers unimportant because that sort of thing has been seen before. At some point in the past, it was interesting but then closure was achieved on that content. The beautiful view out your window that you persistently ignore.

Most of the time it might even make sense that you save time by ignoring the familiar. But sometimes it means that you have lost the power to relish something beautiful just because your mind takes it for granted. Better that the whole you stays awake and aware of everything so the whole you can make your own decisions, rather than be run by automated functions of your pre-conscious mind.

Contemplation “Vacations”

I mention this strategy last because most people would say, “I don’t have time for this one.” Here the idea is to set aside some time for yourself, perhaps when there is nothing else to do — on a train, plane or bus when you have nothing you want or need to read, waiting in a doctor’s office, you can’t sleep for some reason, you’re getting a CAT scan or MRI and have to lay still for 25 minutes. Or when you are actually on vacation, or by yourself and no one is phoning you or texting you or otherwise distracting you.

Consider these times to be vacations from Acceleritis. There is no pressure. You can do anything you want. Instead of just letting your mind wander aimlessly, here’s something else you can do that is extremely useful and beneficial and pays back for the rest of your life. Contemplate who you are — who you really are. And what do you really know about what life is really all about.

Many eminent scientists have pointed out that everything science has learned since the beginning of time is a mere thimbleful relative to what there is in total to know. As the song goes, “how little we know, how much to discover” (Springer/Leigh). Actual knowing is very difficult. It requires the kind of proof demanded by science and by courts of law. Yet our minds want closure, it is built into our brains to want closure. We create fake closure just to have a sense of closure. This is hasty closure and it is self-defeating. It keeps us from objectively seeing and in the long run from getting closer to true knowing.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



Visit us on TikTokVisit us on FaceBookVisit us on TwitterVisit Bill on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel

Powerful Mind Pt. 10

Created May 12, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 9, click here.

Key One: Outsmart Hasty Closure

How to override the mechanism of
“making up one’s mind too fast due to overload panic”

The way Powerful Mind works is not so much that it requires you to do things; it changes the way you apprehend things. It exposes your conditioning so you can overrule it. You begin to have more insights, without the automatic brain function of pigeonholing and ignoring familiar experiences. To get back to your natural mind under the layers of conditioning, you have to be willing to re-examine everything. It’s a new way of seeing, with the truly naked eye, stripped of habits and assumptions. It’s a re-start of life.

By looking at everything a little more closely, you will still come back to the same deep intuitive positive feelings you have always had, but you will uproot and discard the lingering negative feelings by understanding them all the way through. Changing something in your daily pattern just ever so slightly, you will have removed a pebble in your shoe. That particular cause of negativity will start to shrink and eventually disappear.

This chapter is all about how to do that. It comes down from the sweeping objectives and high level principles set forth in the first four chapters, to rules of action applicable in each micro moment. As your mind offers up its plethora of thoughts and feelings, you need to discern the really valuable ones in the present moment, filtering out the rest for later contemplation. If an idea or a feeling is important it will come back — you needn’t be overly concerned about forgetting things that are truly important. But keep writing down trigger words whenever you have the feeling that a specific thought is worth coming back to.

Now let’s talk about hasty closure.

Built into each human being before birth is an information-processing program whose apparent purpose is to help us understand our external and internal experiences.

It works as follows: certain experiences or perceptions trigger a feeling of dissonance in the mind; you pay closer attention to and think about these
until you have a feeling of having absorbed their information, at which point
the feeling of dissonance goes away and we say that you have achieved closure.

Hasty closure can be defined as those instances in which it would have been useful to you to think further before closure.

Why would Nature build such a program into our brains? Do other animals also have such a program?

Nature does such things to increase our survivability. Sometimes Nature experiments, as Darwin pointed out, building in programs and/or characteristics that may have been intended to increase survivability, but actually do not, and which may even lower the species’ chances of survival. In those cases, the species dies out.

We can see some evidence of this program in other animals besides ourselves, as for example when you play with a cat or dog and trick it in some way — it looks like the animal is trying to figure out what happened. Of course, we may just be anthropomorphizing (projecting human ways onto non-humans) and what looks like the animal’s search for closure might be something else.

The brain’s drive for closure is something that has been proven scientifically by the field of gestalt psychology. That branch of psychology has experimentally demonstrated over and over again that the brain fills in gaps in pictures based on expectations derived from prior experiences and even based on belief systems imposed by conditioning.

We can all validate this for ourselves based on our own experiences. When you look at clouds, don’t you often see objects in their shapes? This is a form of perceptual gestalting — the brain trying to make sense of something, putting things seen into categories. An automatic function of the brain is “guessing” at what is out there. If we are moving rapidly we may see a sign and think we know what it says, but then if we look more carefully, it actually says something different. Yet the brain threw up a “guess” at what the sign said, rather than just leaving it a blur. These are “autonomic” (automatic pilot) attempts at perceptual closure. There are also autonomic attempts at intellectual closure.

I often — pretty much every day, many times each day — find myself feeling an urgency to understand something, to explain it to myself, so that I experience the feeling of closure, which comes as a sense of sudden release and the willingness to go on to something else.

You’ve undoubtedly experienced the same thing, perhaps not as often or maybe more often — we are all different, with an underlying commonality. Trying to remember the word for something is one simple example. Isn’t it a bit strange how important it seems to get to the end of the process, where you finally remember the word? This is universally obvious evidence that we are programmed to want to achieve closure.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



Visit us on TikTokVisit us on FaceBookVisit us on TwitterVisit Bill on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel

Powerful Mind Pt. 9

Created May 5, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 8, click here.

EOP=Emergency Oversimplification Procedure. Corresponds to a mild panic reaction which can be sustained for a lifetime.

Ways to Enter the Observer State at Auspicious Moments

  • Waking up, just before you open your eyes. Catch yourself if you start the EOP inner dialog. Observe the thoughts and feelings that arise without taking ownership of them. Treat them as coming from elsewhere, not as true expressions of your own positions on things. They are ideas you may or may not decide to accept after due consideration.
  • Whenever you are alone during the day. On buses and trains and planes, while driving (with your primary attention on safety), and during bio-breaks.
  • If at all possible, a daily meditation period. Twenty minutes at the end of the business day for example, or whenever works for you. The other moments described here are especially valuable if you cannot manage to squeeze in these twenty-minute daily vacations, which are however of even higher value.
  • When you close your eyes to go to sleep.
  • Any time during the day when you feel challenged. Before responding, take as many moments as possible to breathe, feel the ground under you, and observe yourself and what is going on around you. Even if you feel negative emotions, phrase your responses as impartial objective observations of relevant fact, without seeming to care about outcomes. “Pretending convincingly” is a way to accelerate actually becoming the person you are, since your ego in EOP does not believe in your authenticity and tends to dwarf your spirit.
  • As many other times of the day as possible when you remember that the objective is to stay in the Observer state. Don’t beat yourself up for forgetting, just observe yourself and what is happening around you. Beating yourself up would just be more EOP activity.

Our work is motivated by the hypothesis that as more of us are able to stay longer in the most effective states of consciousness, all of the other problems of the world will tend to be solved as a result. If you think this is a stretch, look at what Gandhi was able to accomplish in India, a bloodless revolution that cast off British rule and softened the conflict between Hindus and Muslims; or what the Rev. Martin Luther King achieved in the South through the power of peaceful protest. These are just two examples of what can be attained with more powerful uses of mind.

Special Case of the Observer State

Buckminster Fuller, a celebrated Twentieth Century innovator and free thinker, wrote that his life really began on the day he decided to commit suicide.

He had been very much in love with a woman who did not feel the same way about him. After trying to forget her and trying many things to start his life anew, without success, he finally decided to end it all.

Then a strange thing happened. As soon as he knew that he was really going to go through with it, suddenly he found himself in a good mood. There was no rush to do the deed. Nothing worried him anymore because he had given up everything in his own mind — in the East they would say in his own heart.

Nothing worried him anymore.

This special case of Observer state, worth reporting here, happens when you hit rock bottom and simply cannot take it anymore, and you give up totally. You surrender.

In those rare moments, if one ever happens to you, take advantage of it.
Don’t miss the opportunity. Feel around inside yourself and see how changed you really are. Note the absence of crippling dependencies, attachments. You have lost that which you were most attached to keeping, and though you’re not happy about it, you are now free of that attachment.

You may have lost several things at once — your job, your new car, your house, your spouse or partner, or some other set of attachments. Whatever it was you lost, what you have gained is more valuable. Especially if you capitalize on it.

When you are down and out, start your life anew. Get your “new” more conscious life off to a good start, and enjoy every moment of it fully. And if you’re feeling fine and want to feel, well, just finer, meditate and use the Powerful Mind techniques described throughout this book whenever possible. Feeling finer is guaranteed.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



Visit us on TikTokVisit us on FaceBookVisit us on TwitterVisit Bill on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel

Powerful Mind Pt. 8

Created April 28, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 7, click here.

Observer State

The Observer state is a state most commonly experienced today by meditators. When a meditative state has been achieved, a person is in the Observer state. In this state, the usual background assumptions are not being made. They have been placed on hold. It is as if the person has agreed to set them aside for a while, during which meditation will be practiced.

In the meditative state, when thoughts or feelings arise, the meditator does not take ownership of these thoughts or feelings, but observes them as if they were outside himself or herself. Similarly, if one of the usual background assumptions comes into consciousness, it is observed but with the same kind of detachment. Meditation can be seen as an oasis or taking a mini-vacation from the usual “stuff”.

In this state, one “sees things as they are,” stripped of the usual interpretations of good, bad, or fear-producing. Often this allows brief moments of Flow state in which there are wordless realizations of what causes us to have certain types of recurring dissonant experiences, e.g. being victimized by a boss, hurting one’s spouse, not getting deserved recognition, causing ourselves to fail just when we are close to succeeding, not enjoying each day, doing tasks just to get them over with, and all of the other ways in which we stop ourselves from being happy — along with an awareness of how we invite that recurring experience. These “Aha!” moments are Flow state and could not have reached conscious attention if the person had not created a blank slate on which the mind could write. That in a nutshell is the Observer state.

 The core message of Powerful Mind is that the Observer state need not be limited to periods of meditation, and that it is better to spend as much time as possible in the Observer state, which leads to spending as much time as possible in the Flow state. 

We are not content to merely impart this message, as important as it may be. We are even more concerned with imparting the techniques that will get you there. 

Our assertion is that we all can and should make attaining the higher states of consciousness (Observer state and Flow state) a way of life. Doing so makes us more effective, more creative, makes us more of the individuals that we really are and less like programmed robots, puts us more in touch with love and the life of the spirit, more engaged and present in the moment. We enjoy living large, not in the sense of being materially rich showoffs, but in the sense of being enriched by the moment-to-moment wonders of being alive.  Making the attainment of higher consciousness a way of life leads to success in everything else. That’s why placing higher consciousness in the forefront of our moment-to-moment attention is so valuable.

The Chattering Mind Is Not The Whole Self

Chatter in the mind is another differentiator between EOP and the Observer state. In EOP, the inner dialog is more or less constant. In the Observer state, this talking to oneself attenuates and eventually disappears completely. In its place arises a process of thought that is much faster and much more attentive to subtleties. Ultimately, one can see each thought or feeling as it arises, before it is turned into words, and so there is no longer the necessity of turning it into words to explain it. 

Often in discussions of how to meditate one hears “first you must still the mind”. This is not bad advice, but those words alone do not automatically equip the meditator to achieve such stillness. In Powerful Mind, you will learn simple methods to achieve such stillness. For example, instead of trying to force stillness directly, you will be guided to observe your mind as if from outside. This has two effects: firstly, it provides a certain detachment or distance: you are looking at the mind’s content more like lab specimens under a microscope. Secondly, as you start to use words in your mind you notice it immediately and stop in mid-sentence.  Our technique is operational, action-oriented. The reader is equipped with an actionable strategy that in the end achieves the stillness so difficult to achieve directly, except by experienced meditators. 

What does the Observer state have to do with creative effectiveness? We hypothesize that the Observer state is a more efficient and effective information processing mode. It is characterized by no delays caused by putting things into words. Instead, the mind gets the point of each thought while it is still an unformed feeling or image in your mind, before the energy of translating it into words is expended. The intellect races ahead on an accelerated basis and everything in our internal and external experience is apprehended simultaneously and in relative perspective. Wisdom is more likely to occur. Wisdom is the tendency to right action. Right action is effectiveness.

In this state we call Mindquiet — an aspect of the Observer state — the mind moves from idea to idea so much faster that one often feels the desire to write down a “breadcrumb trail” (the metaphor in the Hansel and Gretel story) so as to remember the many important discoveries made. Whether you call this “journaling” or simply “taking notes”, the best way to do this is to use the fewest possible words, or else you will lose the Observer state and wind up back in EOP. We call these “trigger words”, the one or two words that will bring back the whole idea. 

Because you are likely to have many new and valuable ideas about yourself while reading Powerful Mind, and especially in applying its techniques in your own life, we suggest you always carry a writing implement, whether paper and pen or an electronic device.

In the Observer state, one has temporarily suspended preferences about outcomes. Again, it is like a vacation. You may still care a lot (perhaps too much) about making more money or whatever, but you have parked those desires for a while. It is like re-opening your mind for the sake of a temporary experiment, a “what-if” period, a game that you are playing. You reserve the right to come back later and re-instate the drive to make money, or whatever, but for now it is “unlocked” instead of “locked in”.  

With the chronic dilemmas set aside, fear and the mantle of self-protectiveness — the egocentric “defender” state — drops away in an autonomic cascade. One is simply observing without classifying good vs. bad, keeping an open mind, giving oneself permission to make decisions later. The usual unconscious kneejerk reactions are unplugged. 

And with the intellect no longer using up all its energy in self-chatter, and the feelings no longer set to kneejerk reaction mode, the chances of slipping into Flow state are multiplied many fold. These appear to be among the underlying mechanisms by which Observer state potentiates Flow state. 

Although the objective is to be in the Observer state whenever you are not in the Flow state, as you start the process of breaking out of EOP, it is especially important to take advantage of special opportunity moments during the day, which you will thereafter always want to benefit from.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



Visit us on TikTokVisit us on FaceBookVisit us on TwitterVisit Bill on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel