Category Archives: Observer State

Bringing Out Our True Selves

Created August 12, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

This came through at 3am, I got out of bed and am writing it down.

Materialistic Accidentalism is a story we made up to explain reality to ourselves. In their heart of hearts, most of the people in the world today assume that the universe is an accident and that it is principally made up of matter. Most of the rest believe their religious explanation, and navigate through a wicked materialistic world as best they can, keeping to their articles of faith and training regarding the guard rails on their own behavior as best they can.

Let’s play a game. I’ll make up a story that is at least equally plausible as the latter two stories, Materialistic Accidentalism and religious creation explanations. Frankly, it will be more consistent with the latter, but that is not because of prejudgment or bias on my part, it just comes out that way as a result of logic. Here is my story:

Consciousness is a real thing in itself. Consciousness is the substrate, the primal content of the universe. Consciousness projects matter which pushes back when we push on it, which is really the processing of signals at the subatomic level of matter. Consciousness invented the brain to use the way we use our personal computers, to do the boring work for us.

The brain was our first personal computer.

War Reflects a Wrong Idea About Reality

The story that we each are separate is easy to believe because it sure feels that way. The sense of self is what consciousness is. It’s composed of coherent energy.

It’s conceivable that all of us together are cells in a single consciousness which has a richer, more multifaceted sense of self. Like the multifaceted eye of a fly on a higher level.

Not having, in our everyday state of consciousness, any awareness of such a connected reality of consciousness, we are alienated, we act selfishly, self-protectively, competitively, and sit in judgment of everyone else. In the end this leads to war and could lead to the entire destruction of the planet and everything on it. Looking at it from the perspective of our species, we are on our way to committing mass suicide, justified by lots of blather and by motivations which are dark humor if my story about who we are happens to turn out to be the real explanation. Like a man punching himself in the face. If we are in fact all one Being.

We are not here to accumulate land and absorb whole other countries, nor to rack up toys/material objects, praise and worship, fame, sex partners, power or money.

We are here to evolve as a consciousness. The road ahead, in my story, is that we will live again and again, and the long trend is upward to greater sanity and perceptual scope. Ultimately to being self-aware in the totality consciousness, the Original Self.

In the internal logic of my story/explanation of reality, competing against Accidental Materialism and the religious creation stories, the One Original Consciousness is what is creating each of our individual consciousnesses by populating us from within, looking out our eyes, as what we sense as OUR self. We are all avatars in the original video game.

What We Call the Subconscious Is Actually the Superconscious

In our present state of normal everyday consciousness, we are confused by such statements, since “sub” means “below” and “super” means “above”, it seems like a meaningless statement, an oxymoron. This linear black and white thinking is part of the limitation inherent in what we call normal consciousness.

What I’m saying is that what we call our subconscious is our real self, submerged in ego. The ego – a function of the brain, our personal inbuilt computer, the neural net built into our brains by our assimilated and unassimilated experiences – has taken over the castle of our mind. We now identify with the ego sub-sentience that is street-smart to, and resonant with, our ego dominated materialistic selfish Acceleritis-riddled culture, taking ego as our true self, when actually it is not. We have repressed our true self (what Freud called the id) and over-ridden it with the “out for number one” persona that takes over in early childhood.

Every now and then our real self tries to say something and that registers as a hunch. Or a dream, if we happen to be sleeping. Or, as flashes of true insight we get as we are lucky enough to slip into the Observer state or the Flow state. I’m positing that those higher state experiences are our true self, the self was born, breaking through the clouds.

Extra Motorific Competency

Another name for the Flow state might be Extra Motorific Competency, in terms of our ability to perform flawlessly in action. This is a takeoff of Extra Sensory Perception – ESP and EMC. Making the point that they are both aspects of the same thing: the arising of a more intelligent, competent, balanced and ethical part of ourselves, with unsuspected powers operating.

Both types of experiences – ESP and EMC – when we have them feel otherworldly, like nothing else we have ever experienced. They are Maslovian “peak experiences”. Numinous. What Freud called the “oceanic” feeling.

Observer state is a more subtle experience, that does not seem in any way “supernatural”. It is simply metacognition: being able to objectively consider one’s thoughts and feelings. The importance of the Observer state is that it is the doorway to Flow state. I’m reporting solely from my own experiences in saying that.

At 3am, half-asleep, when I started taking this down in scribbled notes I was experiencing it as taking dictation. This has been going on since I was a child. I hear whole sentences which excite me and I have to write them down so I don’t have to worry about not remembering it in the morning. I associate taking dictation in this way with inspiration in the classical sense used by Plato and metaphorized as the Muses. In modern slang it’s “channeling”. But channeling whom? Our true selves, what we now call our subconscious. Except that it is more powerful than what we call our conscious mind which – until we are in Observer state – is actually the ego, our internalized personal biocomputer.

These “magical” (that’s the way they feel) experiences of Flow state, ESP, taking dictation, are as real to me as everything else I experience, like inventing a new type of optimizer, or meeting my wife for the first time, or taking a vacation, or boiling eggs.

That is not scientific proof. But since it is real to me, and works to make me more effective in my life, I take my story as being the one I’m betting on. It’s pragmatic for me to do that because it works. When I ignore my hunches, or am cowed by being painted as “weird” by the imposing size of the ego culture, I do not perform at Flow state level.

I do expect that science will come around to validating my story. It might not happen in our current lifetimes. Science is on its way there as a result of relativity, quantum physics, and information theory. Consciousness is the “observer” in relativity. Consciousness “freezes probability waves” in quantum physics. Consciousness itself is information processing. Physicists and psychologists are divided between stories but tenure and security are tied to sticking with Materialistic Accidentalism until there is unassailable scientific proof of a different story. The ego culture is totalitarian in that way.

Coming back to religion. Above I wrote that my story competes with the religious creation stories. That was an oversimplification. My story could actually be the scientific explanation for their stories. For example, there can be little doubt that Jesus and Buddha experienced Flow state. My scifi novel The First Son is a fictionalized demonstration of how Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and other religions could have come from Flow state inspiration and taking dictation. My story and the religious stories are unified in that book and in Pandemonium: Live To All Devices, my newest scifi novel, set about thirty years in the future from today.

“God does not play dice with the universe.” –Einstein, denying Accidentalism

I set this nighttime dictation as a note in a bottle here to float out across the history of time… until it is found and considered by those whose minds are open to all possibilities not yet verified or disconfirmed by science.

Love to all,

Bill

 

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Editing Impulsive Neediness

Created August 5, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

As always in this column I’m writing about self-mastery. The objective is for most if not all of us to achieve and maintain the Observer and Flow states, the higher states of consciousness in which we are more effective. We need herd immunity to the lower states of consciousness dominating our culture up until now.

We need it now more than ever, as the acceleration of negative events is obvious to us all: the human race is running amok. Just to cite the most recent example, the leaders of China are tossing missiles around. Would that they had assimilated the ideas of Lao Tzu, Confucius, and the I Ching.

This macro behavior starts at the personal individual level. Each of us can only improve our own personal behavior. It could take a long time for this shift to roll over enough of the population to make a difference. But it is the only way to get to the desired end state. And for each of us, it will make whatever may happen to us more bearable if we are in these higher states during what may be trying times ahead.

Not that trying times are inevitable. We mustn’t underestimate the power of the media to effect shifts positive or negative. So far no one has organized the media to promote positive shifts. Such a scenario (as fictionalized in Pandemonium: Live To All Devices) could have significant positive impact on the outcome of the latest threat vectors.

I’ve written recently about the way the ego – the part of the mind that is driven to get us what we feel we need – as a result of various cultural pressures (information overload, complexity of life, expectations placed on us, restrictions on our creativity, too many unassimilated traumatic errors in our trial and error growing up phase) has become defensive. Without realizing it about ourselves, most of us tend to be continually attempting to compensate for having already been somewhat defeated.

Good and sensible things can have bad effects if taken to extremes. The ego function is not inherently a bad idea, but under present world conditions it becomes toxic. We overreact, and do so prematurely. We have been wrong too often, we see ourselves as having been victimized too often, we have been frustrated too often. In a less complex and more egalitarian society, with less continuous stress, less sense of continuous time pressure, more opportunity to be creative, the ego would function normally and not become toxified.

In our brains the amygdala is involved in this phenomenon. It goes into fight or flight reaction. A good thing to have when one is actually being physically threatened, but not such a good thing when it goes off all the time in what are, realistically, not situations that are all that threatening.

The wisest philosophers in history have painted a picture of what it is to be an ideal human being. It involves a degree of moderation and balance, not getting carried away to one extreme nor to the opposite extreme. In the Kabbalah, one’s work and love, mercy and severity, wisdom (knowing right action) and understanding (forgiving and curing wrong action) must be brought into balance in order to achieve inspiration (Flow state).  A nobility of spirit in taking responsibility and care for other people, a friend to the world, with a true and profound commitment to that degree of empathy. This is what it is to be a mensch.

In the origins of show business, the Greeks invented tragedy and comedy plays. Tragedy portrayed a noble spirit who fell off the wagon into hubris – the ego. Comedy portrayed people in lower states of consciousness and how funny their behaviors are when looked at from a higher perspective.

Hisandherstory looked at through this lens reveals that we as a race knew it all along. We knew about Observer and Flow states. We knew about ego. We just used other words to describe the same things.

A noble individual exudes calm and remains calm no matter what happens. This makes that individual more effective. Such an individual does not seem at all needy to others. He or she is not addicted to anything, so threats of having something taken away may be regarded objectively.

We today who have been so ravaged by life in an ego dominated culture and yet aspire to get out of that stuckness, can benefit from remembering and using these methods:

  • Don’t act on impulse. First study the impulse and why you are having it. Is it coming from some sort of neediness, for attention, or affection, or recognition, or from fear of loss? Remain calm, breathe deeply, edit the impulse rather than acting on it.
  • When you feel suddenly brought down by something, not as happy as you were a second ago, push that reaction away and study it without wearing it. Decide calmly what to do – because the higher function of those negative feelings is like an alarm to get you to focus on solving something. Take it as a creative challenge. There is probably no rush, it’s likely a problem that has been around for a long time.

We all know these secret tricks perhaps, but we don’t always use them. The future of the planet depends upon rising to the occasion and being our worthiest selves 24/7. Fortunately, it can be catching. When we see someone else acting rightly it brings us up. We just need that to go viral.

Love,

Bill

 

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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,

Bill