Category Archives: Important Ideas

Awakening Your True Will

Powerful Mind Part 16
Created June 23, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Read Powerful Mind Part 15.

 Although the inelegant coinage “Woke” has been given many layers of automatic associations by today’s external world, use the strength of your own personal will to prevent being in any way affected by the word “awakening” – it’s as good as any other word, and it’s important, because the entire species is walking around in a kind of dream state.

To review, what we are shifting over to when we cut away remnants of conditioned thinking imposed on us from the outside, is our own God-given self, not just our mind but our body and feelings and intuitions – the “ME” that was born. The unique nature package that will never be duplicated again. With your own gifts to bring to the world. When awakened to your own gifts you will be a soul inspired and in Flow state for much of the time your gifts will actually help the world.

You are cutting over to your own will power, your ability to force aside old habits, and teach your mind and your body new and better habits, those which come from inside you.

This will take resolution and perseverance because of the strength of the conditioning each of us has received. Hundreds of thousands of hours of habit creation and reinforcement. Each habit repeated over and over tens of thousands of times. Most of the neurons in the brain perform automatically and at a subconscious level to determine 95% of our decisions. This is the part of you that I call “the robot”.

What is not the robot is the real you.

From moment to moment, from thought to thought, feeling to feeling, impulse to impulse, you need to know where it is coming from. Is it coming from you, or from the robot?

If it’s coming from the robot, you don’t want to act on it. If it’s a bad feeling, you want to drop it as if it were a living leech. Because that’s exactly what it is. Habits you have acquired that work against who you are. Leeching energy, time, and attention which you would prefer to use in other ways. Be aware of your own will power as the strength to enforce these decisions in the moment without backsliding into being controlled by a mind invader.

How do you know if you are in the robot or in your own true self?

One sign it’s the robot is the presence of fear. Take control by befriending the robot and discussing the situation with it. It is a biological AI, and you have common interests, so you are leading consensus, not bickering.

What are you afraid of, old chum?

Tell the robot where you are going with this, and why that fear is not useful. You have that situation figured out and are patiently applying the solution step by step, and the robot can cancel those ancient alarm requests.

Of course, if you don’t have the solution worked out yet, you can thank the robot for calling your attention to it, and ask it to turn off the distracting alarm emotions so you can work out the solution clearheadedly.

Anger is another sign that it’s not you. It’s the robot. The real you has reservoirs of courage and forgiveness that prevent flareup of anger. If you are not experiencing that arc, that space between having cause to feel angry and actually letting the anger in, you are not exhibiting metacognition. Metacognition is that arc. The space between neurons is where the synapse connection occurs, and in your consciousness you need to have that kind of space too, where any action of the mind arises to consciousness to first be inspected, rather than automatically engaging the gears of the fight-or-flight response.

Overwhelming sadness is another sign of the robot. The true you is not overwhelmed by anything. You have your free will, your agency, your resoluteness and courage. If you are sad you might be in your true self or in your robot, but take the reins and move into your real self by objectively determining the cause of your sadness and your alternative courses of action to remove the cause of sadness. If you come up with some solutions which favor you but not others, be suspicious it could be coming from the robot.

Put aside the fear of schizophrenia. Guiltless housecleaning of the mind, and finding that there is a robot you built yourself by giving yourself a great number of subconscious orders, doesn’t mean you have a split personality. It means you have a lot of externally imposed requests you are still obeying years later and you no longer need to follow those constraints. Your one self is your one self. These other automated parts of yourself are like Clippy the Microsoft Office Assistant and all of the other unhelpful and annoying attempts computer system designers have made (with good intentions) to provide even better service to users. In the case of your personal Clippy inside, you threw every external exhortation that hit you in that steamer trunk and expected it to sort everything out and cause your behavior to be found exemplary in the eyes of others. Your instinct to seek the approval of others is what caused the robot in the first place.

You only need the approval of yourself – and God (if you accept the possibility of the universe being conscious, because that is what God could actually be, scientifically speaking).

Running after the approval of others is definitely robot behavior.

Not caring about others is definitely robot behavior.

Look out for these conditions as you observe yourself. Switch into objective Observer state and do not wish for specific outcomes, start from observation first, then problem statement, then solutions, then a plan. That plan will aim at specific outcomes but do not allow yourself to become attached to the outcome, the situation or your knowledge and understanding of it might change, and that might change the outcome targeted. Stick with the plan and enjoy carrying it out.

If you find yourself rushing, that’s the robot. Set up your plans so that you don’t need to rush anything. You want top quality Flow state within the time constraints that are beyond your control. Reduce the number of specific things on your list to permit non-rushing. If you overbook yourself, you are forcing the robot on yourself.

Love to all,


How Did We Each Become Such a Rolebot?

Powerful Mind Part 15
Created June 16, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Read Powerful Mind Part 14,

From our earliest experiences, people were telling us how we should be. For the first five years of our life, possibly the first 25, and unfortunately probably until the last breaths we take, we are very malleable creatures. The plasticity of our brains is widely known: we are constantly building new neural connections, which can then take on a life of their own, able to cause some of what we say to ourselves internally. We are particularly impressionable when we first come into the world for on our own, we know nothing, except the obvious physical needs as they arise, and so our instinct is to look for incoming advice.

Given these basic conditions, it’s understandable that even besides hard-wired primate mimicry programming in our genes, we would be largely shaped by each other. Other mechanisms more recently discovered such as mirror neurons enable our empathy with each other, serving a pro-species-survival behavior pattern of cooperation which has enabled us to erect the many artifacts of what we call civilization.

Freud, in what I feel is his most important book, Civilization and Its Discontents, comments based on his pioneering experiences of psychoanalysis with patients, how he perceives a common thread across neurotic people (today I believe he would classify us all that way), a pattern created by the thwarting of inner motivations by the constraints placed upon us by our particular form of societal civilization. From his sample he concluded that the main problem was the limitation which most societies on Earth (his sample was mostly European upper class) place upon free sex. Free in the sense of being able to have sex with all the people that seem sexy to you. Had his sample been representative of the population of the planet, his focus on sex may or may not have remained the same. The total number of ways in which our behavior has been shaped by our laws and social conventions is far more all-encompassing than as relates to sex.

As each of us grows up we generally accede to the demands placed upon us in order to achieve acceptance and a sense of belonging, one of the fifteen primal motivations discovered by my research. The scrip we pay for belonging is conforming. Sometimes that conforming is comfortable and sometimes it rankles us inside, but we go along with the game for safety and support within the herd. Freud’s wider point was that excessive conforming leads to neurosis, an early stage of insanity (disconnection from reality). Just as there are pre-cancerous states, there are also pre-insanity states.

Neuroscience and psychoanalysis both have many explanations to the phenomenon of our tendency to be influenced from the outside. My own method, concentration introspection, goes back much earlier than either of these two potent modern mind sciences, spanning millennia from the Rig Veda through the work of Freud, Jung, William James, Abraham Maslow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and John H. Flavell, who gave it a new name, metacognition, in the 1970s. All of these methods sheds more light on how it is that each of us is capable of being influenced in extraordinarily powerful ways from the outside – typically, without our realizing the full significance of the process, and its spread of effects.

From my recent media work, in collaboration across many industries and academia, where there is much to be learned from the scientific work of others, we now know that McLuhan was more right than he himself knew. He said the medium itself was more powerful than the messages which came through the media. He was referring to television and never claimed to have seen the digital future we now live in. And yet latest evidence about digital media shows that McLuhan’s concept is proven right in media he never anticipated.

The latest evidence is that the forced conventions of scrolling, mouse control, skippable and unskippable ads, relentlessness of ads begging for attention, has caused the constraining of attention windows: digital media users fall into a pattern of giving only a second or two of attention to ads they do not ignore entirely. This is quite different from television, where under ideal circumstances of ad-context resonance, 15 seconds of immersive attention can occur, when the viewer’s subconscious motivations resonate with the ad’s subconscious motivators.

So our present external world has taken a very strong hand in your life and mine so far. It will take a lot of metacognition, introspection with concentration, for you to bring on the Observer state in your own castle. The state in which you can intuitively catch yourself thinking something for which you actually have no compelling evidence, but thinking that way has become habitual to you. And what you have been taking to be your very own self when you take your own counsels internally, is actually the residue of all of the imprints that have been made on you by the horde of stimuli you have experienced.

Clearing out excessive other-directedness from your self is a form of purifying the mind. This purification is central to all of Eastern philosophy. Most of what is generally taken as mysticism is actually codified metacognition, using metaphors recognizable and meaningful in those cultures. Even astrology started as a way of evoking metacognition.

This is another example of how our society shapes us. I just wrote “even astrology” because it is a subject that has been denigrated in our present society. And even I follow society’s rules. I just understand what I am doing and why I am doing it, rather than playing a programmed set of roles, and not even realizing that I actually have a true self underneath all the roles. Realizing your true self from the inside is a freeing experience, and leads to a life living at least sometimes in the Flow state, the state of continuous impregnable happiness and effectiveness, bringing forth your unique gifts to the world.

Allocating just twenty minutes a day to studying yourself objectively (the socially acceptable term is “meditation”) is guaranteed to improve your life, even if it’s already perfect. You don’t have to sit in a specific position. The main point is to observe your self, observe the workings of your mind. Stay on it, don’t get distracted from it. Watch what is going on in your mind as you unwind. What do you start thinking about first. Why that?

As soon as you realize you’ve been distracted, go back to the task. Have a way of taking ultra-brief notes – key phrases that will bring you back to where you just were. That way you can go on having revelations without worrying about remembering the ones you had a moment before.

Don’t filter things out that you feel like writing down because they might seem obvious to others. You are the only one who will ever see these notes. Unless you decide to publish some of them. Don’t do editing during metacognition, editing is for later. Metacognition is reconnaissance, the Observer state, assimilation of implications can come later, hence the notes.

Love to all,


Powerful Mind Pt. 13

Created June 2 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

To read Powerful Mind Pt. 12, click here.

Perhaps there is nothing after death. Perhaps consciousness goes on after death of the body. There are many ways in which this could be possible. Consciousness is information being internally communicated within an experience of “self”. That “self” might change after death, or not. Science has not ruled any of this out. Most of us tacitly assume that these things are unscientific because religion has considered them and as we all know, science and religion have historically been at odds. So the mind leaps to the hasty closure that these considerations about the self, consciousness, death, and so on are unscientific, questions that science cannot answer. Instead it is this hasty closure process that is itself unscientific. Science is all about holding to open-minded objectivity until there is evidence one way or another.

Here’s an experiment:
Consider that you do not “know” anything. Wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. Reconsider all of your old beliefs. Do this systematically, in times you are alone. Treat it as a game. Come back to the game from time to time until you feel you have exhausted the game and reached its end.

When possible, write down as single words or very short phrases some of your beliefs, things you have believed are true up until this moment of reconsideration. Don’t try to get them all at once — more will come to you over time and you can add them to this list as they arise. All you really need to get started is any one belief you hold. For example, “Government is corrupt”, “Big Business is corrupt”, “We have but one life to live”, “Look out for yourself”, and so on.

Cross-examine yourself as to where this belief came from and what evidence you have to justify believing in it.

Ask yourself if you can imagine proving this belief one way or the other. What would be necessary? Imagine the scene in which you have proof that it is true, then imagine the scene in which you have proof that it is false. What would such proof consist of?

If you can’t prove the belief is true or false right now, ask yourself if you have a need to hold on to this belief. Does it serve a useful function? Does this belief do something for you?

Contemplate where the belief came from. One of your parents? Someone who had a great influence on you? Do you maintain this belief to gain the sense of having that person’s approval now? (As ridiculous as that is, but more on that later.)

Try on for size the possibility that you no longer need to have this belief, nor do you need to actively disbelieve it. See how that feels inside.

When you have run this game through to its goal you will have reopened your mind to all possibilities and will no longer have any of the keys in your mental computer keyboard stuck down. You will be able to take events as they come and see them as they are without imposing on them any prejudgments or forcing them into any preconceived molds. You will hear what the other person is really saying rather than hearing what you expect them to say.

You will have outsmarted hasty closure.

Common Sense

Following are common practices known for millennia to most everyone, though few actually practice them as a result of Acceleritis. They differ from the techniques described above in that these are relatively obvious. What is not obvious is their great value in supporting the quest for higher states of awareness:


In a hurried rushing world, impatience is almost guaranteed. You can tell yourself not to be impatient but this admonition will have no force if life catches you unprepared for each day’s challenges. Don’t let yourself go to sleep until you have contemplated the likely events of the next day and prepared yourself with contingency tactics for different ways things could go with the people and situations you could meet with the next day. This way you will be as prepared as you can be, and this will make it more likely that you can actually achieve some degree of patience tomorrow. With adequate preparation the night before, you will be less distractable and therefore more likely to shift into Flow state, where you will be traveling at the “speed of life”.

Priority Order

At most times you will have more than one item competing for your attention: new emails, someone pops into your office, and besides all that you were trying to work on something. This causes frustration and helps fuel impatience. It’s best to focus all attention on one thing at a time, to get the highest quality, most lasting result. This implies a fast selection process to determine which item deserves attention first. The way you make this decision reveals a lot about you. Are you trying to curry favor, or are you overhauling a company; are you doing the easiest things, or giving priority to helping people?

If you can agree with yourself how to prioritize, it will put most of your daily attention and time on achieving the things that are most significant in life.


Did your mother or father ever say to you, “Take a deep breath and count to ten”? This is actually very practical advice. It is a way of avoiding hasty closure. And it is a way of instilling patience in yourself. It’s also helpful to remember that life is like a pearl necklace. It’s made of moments — the pearls — and all we ever have is the present moment in which to extract enjoyment and to show our quality. Making each moment precious. This is the real value of patience. We give our all to the moment, we are at our best, and we are taking as much pleasure out of the moment as we can. With the more difficult moments, that pleasure may not seem so pleasant; the pleasure then is in being interested in what is going on, and seeing what we can learn, which may make future moments of this kind more actually pleasant.

Objective Skepticism (Reasonable Doubt)

In science and in law, the only thing that ultimately counts is proof. Too bad so many of us do not realize this is also true in life itself. Before deciding that something is good or bad, or what to do about it, make sure you question yourself to see if you have anything proven to go on. Don’t accept evidence that wouldn’t stand up in a court of law. If you don’t have proof, proceed cautiously, and on the fair basis of “innocent until proven guilty”. Don’t accept hearsay. Make sure that your own empirical experience is your basis for proof of anything.

And don’t forget to breathe. Just breathe.

These platitudinous-sounding bits of common sense advice really work. Don’t avoid getting their benefit simply out of intellectual snobbery.

Yet these gems of ancient wisdom do not do the whole job. They effectively support, but do not change your consciousness. For that, you must profoundly change the way your mind does business.

Love to all,



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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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