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We Are Not as Polarized as It Seems

Created January 21, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog post.

Although we in the USA are unquestionably more polarized than we have been since the Civil War.

Yet the phenomenon is at a very superficial surface level. Arguments begin to flare up as soon as tripwire words are used and then people change the subject or get into fights.

It’s that surface tension which prevents us from going deeper where we would find more common ground than we would expect.

The singularity of present times were concocted by a devil’s brew of causes coming together all at once: two political parties drifting farther apart toward extremism, some social media engines fueling whatever gets virality, Acceleritis (information overload increasing daily), the pandemic, fear of the future replacing our signature hope and faith that the future is in our hands and we will lead the world into a form of practical utopia.

This last item is especially concerning because the very spirit of America is now doubting its own core essence. We can’t let that happen, we must turn back the clock on that one.

The mind is a very complex thing. If we let ourselves cave to lack of confidence in ourselves, it will become much harder to fix things, and the effects are cumulative. We’ve already let it go too far. Let’s stop it here and start to walk it back.

First of all, let’s consider my assertion that there are more good people than bad people in the world.

What is a good person? What is a bad person?

These are both temporary conditions not permanent ones, except in the most extreme cases. We know that Hitlers and serial killers have specific causes for their behavior that are probably not totally under their own control, yet it makes sense to hold them responsible anyway, and even if they are insane we need to put them someplace they can’t hurt others. The same applies to all of us.

A good person is someone whose actions consider other people. That is most of us. It includes the times we really don’t care that much about the specific other person involved but we realize that things will be better for us if we treat them as if we care. Under this definition I think most of us would agree that most people fit into that “good” category.

Good and bad are in the mind reductionist abstractions of a far more nuanced and complex distribution of characteristics in the population. Each of us is a complex and ever-evolving skein of at least 265 personal characteristics relevant to this discussion. Each Democrat and each Republican is totally unique in terms of this mix of elements of which Left-Right is only one. The two buckets are nearly meaningless when all of these characteristics are considered. Categorizing ourselves as Left or Right is an immense oversimplification and trivialization of our personal individuality.

Left and Right in themselves certainly are a reality, one of the dimensions of bias we have been conditioned to have. Any form of mental/emotional bias is inherently a very bad idea. We ought as individuals to approach life scientifically therefore without bias, studying the facts and making the best decisions based on the evidence, and always, thinking creatively.

Even before present times it was concerning that our political leaders do not appear to have a great deal of creativity, offering us the same solutions and the same candidates over and over, when they ought to have learned by now from the evidence of their own senses how senseless this is. In every other walk of life our species demonstrates amazingly vast amounts of creativity, why is it so absent from the political realm where it is arguably the most needed?

It does come back to Acceleritis. In accelerating overload stress conditions, the mind seeks closure hastily embracing binary bias as an unconscious tactic which fails miserably yet is tolerated. Black and white no in-between. The world thus distorted can thus never be seen with clarity.

With distorted judgment (bias) being institutionalized in our egos and in our political parties, is it any wonder that one day we would arrive in this state?

Deeper inside than our egos we are in our Deep Selves unbiased observers and experiencers. You have had moments of supreme clarity when you have seen all that I say here for yourselves. You can train yourself to get back into that headspace at will. In that place in yourself you realize you are detached from all this hullaballoo, it doesn’t really touch you, who cares, let me just get on with what I want to do with my life, to express my own creativity and individuality.

Biases rule the world. We don’t have a scientific party. We don’t have a spiritual party. We have a progressive party that wants change and a conservative party that likes things as they are. Both are biases. The mind should be left open to consider each proposed change without having to stop all change.

When on the other hand we sense we are tense and attached to something it is a sign that we are not in our Deep Self at that moment. Attachment is distorted judgment. It is therefore a sign of being in the Ego state.

You can experience these different states of consciousness for yourself. Get away from reading and other people for a little while and practice and you will get the skill of moving yourself back into your own Deep Self.

We can repair our country by conversations that go beneath kneejerks down to find where we do agree, and work out the details of the future from there.

Although the power fight is going on for control of the country, we cannot press a button to make that stop. We have to let it go its way for now while we by means of conversations interpersonally and in the media have people who are in different parties demonstrate how working things out can occur. Survey companies can go deeper and referendums can be mounted.

We will find that the will of the people is to stop the bickering and fix things, and that the parties are writing their own death certificates by the way they are acting. More and more people are becoming independents. Fewer and fewer people are saying to themselves “My Party Right Or Wrong”. They are freeing themselves from biases and acting more maturely. Some are moving into their passion work, regardless of their age. As Stan Satlin writes, “Ageing is God’s way of saying stop wasting time”.

All the best,

Bill

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

Thanks For the Memories

Created November 23, 2021

This time every year I write a column about gratitude.

Gratitude has a lot going for it as an emotion and as an attitude. The mood of gratitude encompasses both an attitude mix (gladness and recognition of a benefactor) which can be expressed in words, as well as emotions which can only be spoken of metaphorically or described physiologically. The whole package not only makes us feel good, it emanates outward to those around us and makes them feel good too. According to the Mayo Clinic , a daily gratitude practice boosts the immune system and improves sleep.

We are spoiled by life. It is so taken for granted that we cease to realize we might never have existed, and so we see no need to feel gratitude just having had life for as long as we have had it.

Spoiled brats that we are, we never put two and two together: how can we be so intensely attached to continuing to live, without seeing how that implies how much we worship living.

Perhaps for many of us who have taken on the multi-century pandemic doubts about a Supreme Creator, since we doubt that there is anyone to be grateful to, we assume that a generalized gratitude feeling might be irrelevant. But that is short sighted: rationally we can direct gratitude to the people that raised us, shaped us, helped us get to where we are today.

Science of any stripe would not go so far as to prohibit feelings of gratitude toward Nature, most scientists would say that it’s none of their business, has nothing to do with science, and humanist scientists would say that to deny loving Nature and being part of it is anti-life.

When I was very young and thinking about these things – childishly siding with science and the Yankees, rather skeptical about God at the time – I could not rule out the possibility of God. A moment came during these contemplations when I had admitted to myself that God could exist and might be listening in to my thoughts right now. Strangely I felt a huge sadness descend upon me and I felt that God must feel very sad and rejected to see how lost His creation is, as if I were to turn and slap my mother, how would she feel, that must be how God feels, if He exists, I thought. In my mind I comforted Him before laughing at myself and moving on.

I’m grateful for all my memories including my worst moments, they have taught me so much. If I hadn’t made those mistakes then, I’m afraid to think about who I would be now, still driven about by mechanically conditioned behaviors. Learning from our own mistakes is salvation from being a robot.

I’m grateful for all the people I’ve meet and am to meet.

Most of us reading this ought to be more grateful that they are living in a democracy. We proud Americans savor the fact that the USA was one of the significant leaders in bringing democracy to what is now one in five human beings alive on Earth today. Pretty lucky you made it into the one in five this time around.

To you readers who are not living in a free country, what are you to be grateful for? You are living. You are in some degree of equilibrium with your environment. If you are a warrior, you remain free inside. If you are truly to win over the situation you must not let your own principles be corrupted by it. Be grateful you have the strength and adaptability to survive. Be grateful for all of these things, and for the things to come. Be grateful for these amazing younger generations we all share, the young are a global community, they see the truth, they see what must be done, and they will free us all.

Be grateful for all that.

A song which comes to mind:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Bill

Message For Rescuers

Created November 19, 2021

How did QAnon and yoga get together? What can we learn from this to do a better job of rescuing?

In rare times like these, all of us want to come to the rescue.

If we were in better control of what goes on in our heads, we would act like adults and try to keep voices down and talk out the solutions in an efficient manner.

But we are typically motivated by so many conflicting demands that the “adult” part is supplanted by the impatient black and white judging, oversimplifying ego. Everything is quickly classified into one of two categories, and the response is either loud support or loud attack. The ego is a binary system, a neural net of the coping systems we built growing up (Human Effectiveness Institute theory).

Now in rebecoming our true selves we need to replace that neural net with a new one that is conducive to Observer state and Flow state, where we are each maximally effective and happy. Each weekly dose here is intended to help you get there.

You can think of it as taking off the training wheels to life. The ego got you through this far but it won’t take you the rest of the way.

Famously a worldwide spiritual grassroots movement began to break out into the open around 1969, the Summer Of Love. For a while it was called the human potential movement. One of my merry friends Marie called it “weirdness”, perhaps prophetically. Later it wore the label New Age.

Today it’s become one of the biggest growth categories in the economy, mostly related to physical wellness and fitness, nutritional supplements, environmental sustainability, doing good, reaching higher states of consciousness, marijuana, psychedelic medicine, higher performance, social justice, attitude adjustment, and seeking spiritual enlightenment.

Most people participate in this to lose weight, learn the right foods to eat, get chiropractic adjustments or therapeutic massages, learn to meditate, learn yoga, be counseled by a guru or coach, and because their inner instincts draw them toward this positive magnet. These people affect the rise and fall of specific product categories more and more each year.

So how did some of these wellness rescuers get on the side of QAnon?

It was the hidden assumption of binaryism which comes along with the ego. Everything in one of two buckets, period.

Therefore: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. To many of us intenders to be rescuers, the big pharma companies got locked in the bad box a long time ago and that key is stuck down on the keyboard. So, some spiritually motivated yoga teachers and alternative healers assumed that QAnon which attacked big pharma must be a good thing. And since they also spoke about aliens and saucers and God, “it sure sounds like they are one of us!”

Only for the first second, for most people who take closer looks at things. But most of us don’t take closer looks, because we are locked in the grip of the Emergency Oversimplication System which is our coping mechanism for dealing with information overload, the hidden pandemic I call Acceleritis.

There is a more worrisome connection as well. The God connection. QAnon tend to be fundamentalists but represent all beliefs. The wellness movement is also spiritual, also representing all religious heritages. One of the ideas that has popped up from time to time since antiquity, is the idea that we create our own reality, that our perceptions are biased by our prior beliefs and expectations. Jane Roberts’ Seth books brought this idea back writ large, suggesting that we literally create our own realities, that our hopes and dreams and nightmares are projected from us into the mindstuff around us, shaping it into events which then occur because of what we wanted to happen or not happen, drawn to us by what was later called The Law Of Attraction.

A substantial portion of the American citizenry today accept the possibility of such forces at play, while an equally substantial portion dismiss that as magical thinking. Epistemologically one ought to keep an open mind on that subject. But this was another link that drew some of the wellness rescuers into lockstep with QAnon. QAnon consists of people who believe that they can make it so just by saying it often and loudly enough, they they can create their own reality, because today we are unmoored in utter relativism, a period of “it is true because I said it.

So, to a person involved in the wellness movement, a person in the QAnon movement might seem to be walking the walk of “manifesting their wills” in our consensual reality (mind controlling future events).

When actually what QAnon was doing was more like propaganda and “perception is reality” manipulation.

If some of the QAnon had actually been attempting to use magic or perverted religion to predream the coup outcome they wanted on January 6, those experimenters hopefully now realize that they have been over-estimating their own degree of evolution egotistically, and fell into the trap of believing their own wishful thinking because they wanted to believe it. Their mind techniques were not validated in that experiment.

Maybe the wellness rescuers who aligned with QAnon have learned from their mistake. One takeaway would be to learn not to make oversimplified generalizations like assuming that every single big pharma executive is unethical.

How do we prevent this sort of thing from happening again?

Wellness agents and conservative rescuers (and I don’t mean QAnon) must hold themselves to a higher standard. People may be deifying them and taking their every word as truth. That carries a heavy responsibility to not make firm declarative statements outside of one’s field of study, without intensive study in advance. While everything Seth said may be true, science has proof of many things and such evidence ought to be treated with respect.

The most important thing for the wellness rescuers and the conservative rescuers to do, in order to first do no harm, is to transcend their own egos. This can only be achieved by internal investigations. One must go inside and see what really happens in there. How do I actually function? Which of my thoughts and feelings and impulses appears to be coming from ego? Which of my inner experiences appear to be coming from a higher place?

The environment is very threatening and robs us of confidence, we are frustrated hence angry and repressing fear, redirecting the fear venomously outward as cutting remarks against the people one is blaming for all these bad inner feelings. When actually one can only blame oneself for those bad inner feelings, because by rising above the ego you can transmute those bad inner feelings into positive, constructive action that arouses no resistance from anyone.

Those are the innovative solutions we need now. That’s your assignment, all you rescuers of every stripe. Filter out ego and negativity and then do what your spirit moves you to do.

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country.

May you experience much Flow state ahead.

Love, Bill