Category Archives: Mindfulness

Erasing Preconceived Notions

Created April 1, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

As we live our lives, every moment means something to us, gives us certain feelings, has a certain influence on the balance of power in our minds of different ideas to which we have been attracted along the way. Most of this is unclear and subconscious as if we are drifting along in dream state management of our lives.

Over time we start to reach clarity on some things. We form aspirations of what we’d like to do in our lives. Meanwhile we must keep up with whatever life has thrust upon us.

As we look back now, we find it impossible to remember details of certain scenes, and we unconsciously recreate our memories based on the way we’ve told our stories in the past.

In the hodgepodge of memory engrams we’re able to access and manipulate awake or in dreams, there is an underlying layer of motivations in the residue of time within our own self. Things that still propel and compel us in our involuntary and voluntary actions.

We have some glimpses of our own motivators and every now and then focus on making our subconscious conscious so that we might debate within ourself what shall be the meaning and direction of our life. How we shall strive to use our time to make our mark on the world, to leave it with some trace of our brushstrokes on the great canvas.

Meaning is one of the subconscious motivators we all have. We want to understand what this is all for. Why we are doing all this. We feel the urge to make some sense out of life.

Before we became so smart, we automatically developed systems which gave meaning to our lives, and these systems tended to romanticize the world as a living thing. We felt a kinship with nature and every living thing. It did not occur to us that this might be a wrongheaded idea because it was so obviously true to us. Romanticization was part of our natural process, and did not mean that it wasn’t true and accurate to the real world. Our subjective perspective was to us the realest part of the real world, without denial that the other beings and things with which we interacted were not equally real. It was all real to us on every level.

Romanticizing was not a distortion it was a layering of our innate love for life, a natural reaction to being in life. From this root as we learned to use symbolic communication where sounds and gestures had agreed meanings, we wove myths and created art. These co-creational activities arose naturally and led to philosophical speculation and ultimately to scientific experimentation about that speculation.

Then, only a few hundred years ago, science began to feel embarrassed about the notion of God, the idea that there is consciousness greater than the sum of universe parts we are built to perceive. Gradually from one generation to the next this embarrassment built in intensity. We couldn’t prove God exists. We couldn’t disprove it. But we were made to feel like we believed in Santa Claus if we gave in to the natural intuition that there must be something greater than we can detect with our instruments that had something to do with concocting this amazing universe. This idea has been culturally flogged out of most of us.

There are people who do still believe on some level in God, generally a predefined God with rules and rituals that in their own positive way unintentionally train us to also accept authoritarianism from other less innocent directions. These views of God are each compelling, and what arises within us are beautiful feelings of satisfaction at the glory of their testaments. It may or may not be allegory or history or revealed truth but it feels like all of those things and gives us the meaning feeling that we need and always had when we were primitives.

The Protestant, Hindu, Taoist and Native American idea that we can each have our own direct relationship with God could actually be a return to the past in that living sense of a natural system of romanticized love of the spirit behind everything.

And there could be another unsuspected layer in all of this: that we each have innate intuitive powers which are ruled out by scientism (the sense that accidentalism, materialism and science are all locked together into a Truth Molecule which forbids sane adults from the stupidity of magical thinking and superstition).

These last few hundred years of the dominant world culture ruled out the fact that we have uncannily accurate hunches sometimes, and enforced exclusion of our noticing that sometimes the simplest explanation for things is that we are reading each other’s minds.

So while we live generally wonderful lives with astounding technology that is beyond our wildest cravings as children just a few decades ago, there is a general emptiness feeling, the anomie of meaninglessness, arbitrariness, the loss of infinity, the dwarfing of possibility. We do not use all of our faculties and deny that some of the best of those capabilities exist at all.

A trickling back in of what has been lost has been happening in the West, carried back from the East and from native aboriginal cultures everywhere. Our media showing athletes and performers in Flow state brings back the magic although we have not been noticing these phenomena that way, because the word “magic” itself like the word “God” tends to raise eyebrows in skepticism.

As Arthur C. Clarke told us, “Any technology sufficiently advanced would appear to us as magic.”

Erasing our preconceived notions and simply observing reality with an open mind is the way to Flow state and to empirically studying the degree to which you can use your mind in ways beyond what you now consider to be your design limits. Leaving you with this 91-second video meditation:

 

Love to all,

Bill

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

Accept What Has Been and Focus on Action Options

Created September 29, 2021

If something is upsetting you, as soon as you realize you’re not in your best headspace, excuse yourself and go out for a walk or lock yourself in the bathroom or get away from the rest of humanity as best you can for five minutes. Bring something to write with and something to write on just in case. Relax your body as best as you can and take slow deep breaths.

Put your finger on what is bothering you. Then before you get yourself mad or scared or both again, accept that is reality, that situation is what it is, you can’t change the past.

Once you accept that the bothersome scenario is part of reality at least until now, focus on what you can do about it. Don’t expect that to be one quick easy answer that you can immediately cause to happen which will turn the situation around 100% overnight. More likely it will require patience, preparation, waiting for right moments, adapting to changes in your initial plan.

There will be some things you can do immediately, such as not showing that you are affected by the ongoing troublesome situation. That requires fine acting which you will find that you become good at the more your practice it. That is very disarming to people who may have been trying to get your goat and who revel in your discomfort, if that syndrome is part of your particular focusable challenge at the time.

That’s the devilish thing about negative emotion: it makes you less capable of solving whatever caused the negative emotion. Picture anything or anyone that bugs you as some kind of poisonous animal that stings you with a paralyzing toxin so it can take its time having its way with you. You’ll find that it still bugs you but if you can turn off the warning signal (negative emotion) like an alarm clock, you neutralize the paralyzing toxin, because with your rational mind, courage and determination, you can think more clearly and creatively, and find ways to either befriend the poisonous creature or get it out of your life.

You will be paralyzed and uncreative as long as you continue to not accept the situation, and over and over in your mind and emotions wish it away by dwelling on it without effective thought of solutions.

In light of all that, please experience this 36 second video for a method that will allow you to more quickly get past negative reaction into positive constructive creative action:

 

My father Ned Harvey (the larger person in the picture) was fond of sayings that had impressed him during the course of his life. One was “What cannot be cured, must be endured.” I looked it up and found that it was from a book called The Anatomy of Melancholy by Oxford don Robert Burton in 1621.

Whatever situation you find yourself in I define as “The Given”, in the sense of a mathematical puzzle in which you start from some fundamental empirical data you have gathered and are trying to make sense of. If you can’t press a button and simply turn it off, you have to heroically accept that it is what it is, and get past all whining to a courageous facing of the task of dealing with it. That’s when you fatalistically stand above the crowd and can see the creative possibilities for you to judo the situation, to make the best of it or even to wrest victory from the jaws of defeat by a flash of inspiration that takes the very stuff of the problem and turns it into a great new discovery that can help not only you but others too.

For this, you need to always be on your own side, looking for the positive handle, and rising above your own negativity, defeatism, and melancholy with more ability to do that than the average person. You need to be in touch with your own determination. You need to forgive yourself for anything you may still be punishing yourself for, admitting that you may be the Universe itself expressing itself through you at this outpost in the multiverse, and standing up to life like the champion that you are.

Love to all,

Bill

The Untalking Self

Created August 31, 2021

Did anyone ever say to you “You’ve changed!” We’ve all had that experience. It’s true, we are all constantly changing, very strongly affected by every single thing that we experience. The me you are today is not exactly the same as yesterday’s.

Some aspects of ourselves change very slowly over the years – those attitudes and behaviors which psychologists classify as values, and those classified as character and personality traits – in some people they can last a lifetime without changing at all.

Just as stars have a standard sequence, human beings do too, and it’s pretty well described in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (a six stage model), in texts of Ancient India referring to seven chakras, and my own field research at scale which suggests fifteen stages in an individual’s development from a selfish, self-defensive being to a mensch (a person of integrity and honor).

All three of these theories imply that a certain amount of change is to be expected during a person’s life, and that the development for whatever reason seems to suggest teleological design – individuals tend to become more ethical. This may be due to a conscious creator or to species survival mechanisms.

As we change when growing up, suddenly one day for perhaps the first time, we find ourselves thinking about how we are thinking. We might not take special notice of the fact that our inner vocabulary is very similar to the way we talk to our closest friends, not so much similar to the way we talk to our parents or teachers. We are sure to notice how powerfully it runs on by itself in fact it’s impossible to turn off. We might worry for a second about that but then we’ll notice that we are having ideas tumble out one upon another so it’s hard to pay attention to all of it, you have to pick and choose.

You might, as I did, ask myself – without using words in my mind – which of these selves is me? Am I the babbler that is saying all this stuff, or am I the quiet listener hearing it all? I am both, I answered myself. But then which is more representative of the true me? It would have to be the older one – the original one I was before I learned to talk. The Me That Was Born.

How much you’ve changed, one might say to oneself, waking up to the possibility that you are your Untalking Mind, encountering your talking mind. Yes, most changes are for the better, always, but now that you are able to see the difference, you’ll be able to be far more perspicacious in your metacognition. Best to keep journal handy for the rest of your life now. Your life will be full of revelations about yourself you will want to write down and perhaps date.

In the video, the narrator implies that the Robotical Talking Mind has taken over like some dreaded invader (maybe like a “mental Covid”), perhaps raising excess fears, but fear not, the “Robot” image is intended only as a humorous way of thinking about it.

Prepare your children for a joke so they are not alarmed if you show them that video, and then let them explain what they think the video means.

The human race turned a corner when it got to the third and fourth cycles of inventiveness and that’s when our minds got so taken over by the “Robot”.

The first wave was crude facial, oral and sign language. The second was tools including weapons and fire as well as art. Third was written language which triggered inventions of all kinds including mechanical technology. Fourth was electronic technology including atom bombs and media.

Trouble started in that third wave, where weapons got so much better, but we were never so distracted before as we are today here in the fourth wave.

I believe we kick off a fifth wave by taking metacognition/Observer/Flow inside. It will be the first wave to focus on improving us human beings ourselves beyond body building.

Acceleritis is my word for how we got taken over, it’s inforush paralysis and emergency oversimplification procedure (EOP), caused in the human race by the human race, by our blessed gift of inventiveness. We’ve invented ourselves into a corner existentially and psychologically and you dear reader are now part of the noble comeback. We dig ourselves out first psychologically, then existentially. Thanks for being part of the solution!

Best to all,

Bill