Category Archives: Observer State

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.

Happy New You!

Created January 7, 2022

This was the message I received on New Year’s Eve from my great friend and songwriter Stan Satlin. Now the purloined title elegantly captures the sense of a brand-new year of opportunity to choose a new way of being.

Why would you want to choose a new way of being? You may be very happy the way you are.

Because you may be able to appreciate even more of what happens to you—your experiences—starting in 2022, starting right now in fact.

A person who is able to draw the lesson from every experience need not ever label any experience as a bad one. This is not just intellectualizing, it’s a state of being that anyone can feel inside, can experience on their own. Millions of people do it, just not all the time.

Admittedly today these are rare experiences of clarity which occur in specific states of mind I call the Observer state and the Flow state.

The important point is that you can bring on these states to such a degree as to permanently change your mental emotional processes.

It starts with metacognition– becoming and staying aware of what is going on in your mind from one second to the next. The practice of meditation builds the mental muscle for metacognition. Mindfulness programs such as those in MIND MAGIC train you how to consciously use those muscles.

Even for a beginner, it’s pretty easy to maintain such a self-observant state for a short while, and what typically happens unnoticed—it sneaks up on you—is that you get caught up in a thought which takes you away from watching your own mind into being your old self again, that is, either daydreaming aimlessly or talking to yourself without remembering that the real you is the observer of all these inner processes. In effect you identify with a specific process and forget your real identity as the experiencer of all of it.

This may be harmless diversion and fun anyway, or it may be negative ego exercise which is harmful to your own life and to others’ lives.

Neuroscience is bringing true science to the aspiring protoscience of psychology. Someday they will merge completely possibly also incorporating what have until now been classified as spiritual practices.

Dr. Richard Silberstein is a neuroscientist who invented a form of brain measurement that is far more precise than EEG, sort of the electron microscope for tracking brain processes. His descriptions of how different neuron networks in the brain talk to each other are going to bring together a lot of superb work being done across related fields, partly due to the tool he has created and partly due to his thorough experimentation with it. The tool has already become a staple of applied neuroscience within the media, marketing, and advertising industries, winning several Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) awards.

In a fascinating article revealing the potential positive effects of autism and attention deficit disorders, Dr. Silberstein explains that everyone’s unconscious processes are always testing untold numbers of ideas that do not get presented to the conscious mind. Located in the left hemisphere in the frontal cortex and temporal cortex, the Judgment Network—one of the networks of neurons Dr. Silberstein discusses in the article—is the decider which selects the ideas worthy of being let through to consciousness, to the experiencer, you.

In much the same way the Judgment Network is undoubtedly also judging everything that you experience, and judging you. Hasty judgments (I call hasty closure) are swift to condemn something that you’ve condemned before. I call upon the spirit of a brand-new year to inspire you to see if you can reassert control over these unconscious processes and turn them more to your own and humanity’s advantage.

Hypothesis #1: You would enjoy life much more if you sat less in judgment of it.

Hypothesis #2: You would enjoy life much more if you sat less in judgment of yourself—especially as regards the unchangeable past, in which deeds you might still be angry at yourself for, led to changes which helped you grow as a person. Too late to change it and it’s a waste of your mental energy and brings you down. That stuff will be easier to clear out if you make a fresh start right now.

Hypothesis #3: If you, from now on, hear/feel your Judgment Network as just more evidence being brought before you, and deny it the power of issuing final verdicts, you will be more open to creative new ideas, mostly your own ideas which have never been able to escape the oubliette in which they are consigned by your Judgment Network—which is not omniscient, it’s more like an AI, you can’t allow your self to be ruled by it.

Hypothesis #4: You’ll also be more open to new experiences, which may not radically change your behavior, but may vastly increase your savor of situations you’ve merely put up with in the past.

If any of these come out that way for you after you begin standing back from your own automated inner reactions, as it all assuredly will based on the testimonies of thousands of MIND MAGIC readers, it will have been worth what little effort it takes to put metacognition to work for you, in re-creating yourself more consciously than your automated processes have been able to.

This is an especially good year for us all to make a major break with the past.

We need it.

Love to all,


Make It a Clean Break

Created December 27, 2021

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog post.

We’ve been accultured to think of making New Years Resolutions. As a prospective pro-survival mechanism, it’s not a bad one. We slip back into old habits and it’s psychologically handy to have a once-a-year official restart to give us a jolt of extra energy to stick with our resolutions to not let this backsliding continue… this new year and forever after.

It’s refreshing to have a powwow with oneself, list the things worth changing, and vow to have the will power and determination for the rest of your life to stick with your own program all the way.

The first thing that may come up is a confidence-besieging attack presentation of why you are laughable to even think of making resolutions because you can never keep them.

In order to pass this gate, you need to change your judgment of your past history. You’re probably still carrying all the bad feelings about things you did. You still see yourself as having some good moments and some bad moments but not being proud enough of where you have gotten yourself. All of that is just one way of looking at it that you have been stuck in.

You need to pause and erase all those self-judgments and just look at it as if watching the life of another person. That objective view is the Observer state. You will know you are there when all the guilt and self-anger have disappeared and you are really indifferent to what you are looking at. This is reality. All the rest is made up in our minds, and we get stuck in it. The people around us affect us deeply and vice versa and so we reinforce and modify each other’s biased inner views and predispositions. Taking all of us away into a made-up world each culture makes up for itself.

What’s it all about, Alfie? What will be the things you see about yourself possibly needing to change? What will this teach you about your deepest motivations, that you maybe haven’t told yourself about lately on a conscious level?

Once you’ve had this contemplation with yourself, you’ll see your own life in its largest perspective. Where you are headed, what you’ll be striving for in terms of effects on the world and/or on yourself. You’ll see the “Why” in why you exist in this life and not in any other. You’ll know the passion work you want to be doing starting as soon as possible.

Once the new year begins, you will fairly quickly have a moment which feels as if your resolutions aren’t working at all. You will be tempted every time this happens to just forget about all that resolution stuff and live your life. But you’ll know in advance that this is the biggest trap to be well prepared for. Remember that line from a song (“That’s Life”), Pick yourself up and get back in the race.

All of this will be much easier if you’ve been practicing the Observer state already. That state is like a muscle it gets stronger with use. Soon you will astound yourself at how indifferent you are able to be, when alone and in your mind, about things which used to obsess you positively or negatively.

Look at the world and strip away all of the things that you’ve read or heard said, all of the thinking and guesswork and subjectivity, and just look at what is – the facts brought to you by your own senses, your own experiences, your own truthsense.

Maintaining that state of mind for as many seconds of the day as you can come back to it and sustain it despite interruptions and distractions will help you stay the course and carry out your resolutions.

Your sense of humor will also help you get back on the horse each time you fall off. Once you are able to leap back on within a second, you’ll start to have Flow state experiences more regularly.

You’ll know that even in this exalted state, above the level in which most of humanity walks around, a part of your own mind is still babbling even though your body takes actions which you realize are not the actions the babbler was just saying it was going to do, and those actions are obviously the right ones.

In these dis-associative moments, you could have an alarm reaction that you are going crazy and your personality is splitting. Deepen your breathing and wait for the alarm to wind down, just keep watching yourself. What you’ve experienced is what I call The Robot, and which I and many others also call it the Ego.

In my explanation of the Ego, it’s the neuron net we build in our brain as a result of our experiences. Teachers of meditation also refer to it as the “monkey mind”. It’s the loudmouth in our minds, and so we often assume it speaks for our true essence self, the Me That Was Born. The Ego is the source of hierarchical thinking, selfishness, possessiveness, and other predispositional biases which work against ourselves and other’s best interests, leading to violence, inequality, and a shallow degree of freedom.

Free will entails a certain degree of trial and error. Our history shows that we are accelerating in terms of our exploration of our own ideas and their material realization. I call this Acceleritis. It is the master culture in which all of the individual cultures of the planet fit (the vast majority), or being counter to the master culture, adapt or perish.

The Ego becomes most useful and least destructive when an individual reaches true maturity, and thus becomes a mensch. This is the same as spending virtually all one’s time in Observer state, and often in Flow state.

As you look to 2022 and make your plans for it, feel free to make best use of these states of mind suggested here.

Wishing you all the best of everything in 2022!

Love, Bill

A Method for Gaining Inner Control

Created December 3, 2021

On an average day, what percent of your waking hours are spent in a really good mood?

Let’s try a scientific experiment together to see whether this method can increase that percentage.

The experiment will run from now through whenever you decide the experiment is over.

During the experiment, you’ll try out the method espoused here. What you’ll be looking for is any change in the degree to which your days become filled with good moods.

First, some needed background. The things that bring us down from our really good mood tend to fall into two types:

  1. Things our conditioned brain classifies as threat vectors.
  2. Things that our brain sees as annoying irrelevant distractions that are sapping our efforts to deal effectively with the threats.

Our outwardly focused Western civilization tends to leave us with little interest in studying what is going on inside of us from one second to the next. Most of us in the West are used to clumping together everything that goes on in our minds and emotions as one thing.

This hidden assumption gives us no leverage with which to gain inner control. Then, if and when we come to the conclusion that we need to gain control of ourselves, we fall back upon yelling at ourselves in our mind, a strategy with very low success potential.

Although we can chunk our inner experiences into more than two buckets, this method simplifies the inner glory of our existence into just two buckets.

Let’s call one state the Self, and the other state the Ego.

The Self is your “Me That Was Born” – the way you were before you had any experiences outside of the womb. The Self is an experiencer, an entity that has personal subjective experience, both of events within the psyche called qualia, as well as your experience of “external” events. The Self is pure consciousness without an object, until events call the Self’s attention.

The Ego is part of your mind/body/soul’s autonomic nervous system. It is robotic, like a kneejerk. It is the result of your “inner” and “outer” experiences. It is the conditioned neural pathways that have been laid down in your physical brain.

You may not know it yet (until now), but you can be controlled from either place – your Self or your Ego. Your inner feelings and clues can reveal to you in which seat you are sitting at any given moment.

If you are feeling either calmly neutral or positive, taking in what is going on and playing with it for fun or because it’s your passion work, you are in your Self.

The hints that you have been sucked into control by the Ego are anger, fear, irritation, comparison of self with others, tension, wanting something it doesn’t look like you’ll be getting, feeling under time pressure, feeling inadequate or cocky. The list goes on but you get the idea.

The first principle of this method is simply to remember to check the hints to see where you happen to be from time to time during the day and night.

When you start to get really good at this – remembering to check your state often – the easy part is then knowing which state you are in. The tricky part is how to back out of the Ego, and that’s where the method comes in.

The method works best when you can maneuver yourself into being alone for a few minutes. This is the beauty of bathrooms. When else are we allowed to grab a few minutes of alone time?

I see you sitting on the bathroom throne, wearing your clothes. You close your eyes, rotate your shoulders backwards, your back is straight. You check every part of your body for tension and relax it there and everywhere. Breathe deeply and slowly.

Focus on the part of you that is the observer, that doesn’t care what happens. It sounds impossible but that is the real you, your core, your essence. The closer to it you get the less you are attached to what happens with whatever the current threat vectors are. You may not experience this on the first serious try – or you might.

You’ll experience this state as fatalistic, accepting of whatever life deals out, and happy to play by those rules or seek to change them, but not troubled. You are above all that stuff.

Way back before there was human language, it’s possible that our brains had threat-related reactions only a few times a year. But as our own creativity continues to make life more complicated every day, we now tend to have threat/Ego reactions multiple times every minute – a pre-existing unnoticed pandemic I call Acceleritis.

The Ego will fight back by arguing that you can’t risk being fatalistic you have to try harder to win or you will wind up in the gutter and no one will like you.

The Ego can be very convincing. All you have to do is to deal with the holding of your position in the Self, in what I call Observer state, the state right before Flow state.

Yes, this is a method that will lead to your more frequent flights of Flow state.

It’s a good thing when the Ego calms down and starts to converse sanely with the Self about the matters that are driving it wild. The Self’s innate intuition gives answers which in some cases actually convince the Ego, at least for that moment. In time, the Ego becomes reabsorbed as a useful extension of the Self, as God intended it, before we screwed it up with Acceleritis. Too much creativity. Too much of a good thing.

But we can have our cake and eat it too, by this method. We can continue the reckless adventuring into making real whatever comes into our heads, and if we also always practice the method, we can better see future consequences before taking each turn in the road, which will reduce the wreckage we are making of the other species and the planet itself, and our own species making itself suffer the most. Who needs it? Let’s stop it.

This is the way to do it.

That, and prayer.

Love to all,