Category Archives: Powerful Mind

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,



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Powerful Mind Pt. 11

Created May 19, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 10, click here.

How the Drive for Closure Interacts with Acceleritis

“Acceleritis” — the condition caused by having too many things to pay attention to all at the same time, and pretty much all the time — makes us impatient. When we do not fully understand something, the drive for closure becomes palpable within our minds. We may become frustrated and maybe even apoplectic, especially if additional variables continue to be introduced — a ringing telephone, someone comes in with a request or sends us a text or e-mail, etc. If we are living in a state of continual impatience, our minds will do anything to get to closure as quickly as possible. If we run our lives and our minds in the usual impatient way, we will lack insight into this process, and so we will be eager to grab our mind’s first offering of a way to closure.

We call this hasty closure because it is temporary closure, jumping to a conclusion in order to get past the dissonant situation and on to the next thing. It isn’t closure as a result of full understanding, which would be true closure. Why do I call it temporary closure? Because the same issue will keep coming up, unresolved, again and again, and we will hastily put it away by slapping a label on it or storing it in its usual pigeonhole. Such hasty closures are short-lived as the same unsolved problems will never go away for very long. They will come back and need to be put back in their box over and over again. A much better strategy is to make sure that you have closures that are fully thought out and therefore lasting. In the long run, this will actually save time because the challenging situation, whatever it is, will now have a real solution.

How Can You Identify Hasty Closure When It Happens?

Sometimes spontaneous decisionmaking is a great thing. So you have to separate out fast good decisionmaking, such as in Flow state, from jumping to shallow conclusions out of rushing and under-estimating the importance of the moment — hasty closure. If you feel as if you are in Flow, keep going. Otherwise, slow down and reconsider for as much time as you have. To help you distinguish which of these two states you are in at any given moment, here are some of the signs of hasty closure:

  • Oversimplification. One of the most obvious effects of Acceleritis is the increased tendency to see things in black/white terms rather than in shades of gray. “She is always out to get me.” “That guy is never right.”
  • Hearsay. Positions based on beliefs rather than on personal empirical experience. “A company should always be sharply focused on just one thing.” “Religion is just superstition.” “The White Race is supreme.” These beliefs likely came from other people who were influential in your life, including your parents.
  • Negative Charge. The presence of negative emotion such as tension, fear, anger or irritation. These feelings are evidence that you are seeing a situation a certain way, and on top of that, you have subconsciously already decided on a strategy for dealing with it. With such a negative premise, this is not likely to work.

Often these closures will trace back to experiences you had many years ago that you interpreted in a way that locks you into a certain inflexibility, and which trick you into believing you have learned something empirically from your own personal bad experience. But you’ve been fooled by the takeaway you received from that experience; the real lesson is somewhat subtler than the lesson you articulated to yourself long ago.

Typically you may have overcompensation bias. You were too open, you thought you learned a big lesson, but now you are too guarded — “falling off the opposite side of the log”. You may have been too generous and now you’re too stingy, too severe and now too gentle, too trusting and now not trusting anything or anyone. And so on. You learned the wrong lesson – it wasn’t black and white, it was finding the right spot between them for each situation.

Strategies which Work to Outsmart Hasty Closure

Re-Setting the Mind

The mind moves very quickly to achieve hasty closure. In fact, in all things the mind moves very quickly. What I mean by this is that your mind moves by itself, it doesn’t wait for you to tell it what to do. In effect, it tells you, you don’t tell it.

Your “preconscious” mind prepares a thought and/or a feeling and serves it up to you, like a server downloading a page to a client computer. It does this without you asking for that page.

However, until we are aware of that process on a deep sustained basis, each of us takes that automated thought or feeling as our own, as coming from ourself. We take ownership of that thought/feeling as if it were our own. In reality, these unbidden thoughts/feelings are very much like the things our computer does for us automatically, like filling in the end of an email address, or changing our spelling. The brain is saying “this is the kind of thing I would say under these circumstances”. In other words, it is predicting you, based on what you have done in the past. You are imitating yourself if you go with these “kneejerk habit tapes”. Every moment is worthy of re-examination creatively — it is the “new now”. We keep ourselves and life new by respecting the new moment enough to not simply imitate ourselves, but to engage with it fully: take the time you have to go deeper and be spontaneously creative rather than being merely spontaneously reactive in a repetitive, mechanical, predictable way.

The mechanistic, robotical part of the mind is not our whole true self, it is just a part of us. Yet in the world dominated by Acceleritis we “don’t have time” to notice that, so we just accept these served “pages” with no hesitation and act on them.

A powerful and little-known strategy is to doubt your own last thought/feeling. Before going off half-cocked, look back at what you just thought or felt, and demand proof before you choose what action to take. This ensures that all of you, your whole self, is in charge, not taken over by a part of you.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,



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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,



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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,



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