Category Archives: Mind Magic

Ride the Psychic Foam

Powerful Mind Part 38
Created December 1, 2023

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Key #10 is about how to ride the bucking bronco that is your mind. Your mind, which is constantly throwing up inner words, feelings and impulses that – if allowed – can enslave your mood.

When my late partner Len Matthews, a wonderful human being, read my book Mind Magic, he initially disagreed with the idea that he should “dis-identify with the thought senate” (paraphrasing the title of Chapter 9). He said, “I’m proud of my ideas, I want to call them my own.”

I pointed out the subtitle of that chapter “Not Throwing Your Authority Behind Untested Head Spewings”. This, I explained, allowed for cases in which a person can take pride and ownership of ideas after having tested those ideas thoroughly enough, with which he agreed.

Therefore Key #10 is about how to test one’s inner drafts before adopting them as one’s own official policy.

Not viewing the situation that way, the vast majority of the human race throughout history, and perhaps more so today due to the Distraction Culture produced by Acceleritis, tend to assume that the inner soundtrack is one’s very own self expressing positions that have been fully ratified by all sides of oneself.

In Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP), the pandemic coping condition for information overload, most of the time the mind is operating in what neuroscientists call the Default Network. This is an idle stream of consciousness that keeps switching tracks based on associations, and includes daydreaming as well as commentary on what one is doing in the external world of consensual reality sometimes involving other people.

In the Observer state, neuroscientists say that the brain is operating from the Executive Control Network, and the mind is in a state of metacognition, able to observe with a degree of detachment what the inner wordstream is saying. It is that degree of detachment which Mind Magic Chapter 9 aimed to achieve in readers. By having that degree of detachment, one can inspect what one’s mind just said, to see if it is consistent with one’s general viewpoint, or if it appears to be an outlier, perhaps a remnant of who you used to be. Or just a first reflexive reaction of anger at someone in language you might have used as a child or as a teenager but would not normally use aloud today.

By helping children to learn these ways, they shall more quickly become able to be in control of their own impulses.

When I was a child, like all other children, I had a very hard time guessing which of my impulses to act upon and which ones to just let drift away. Perhaps I had more trouble with it than most children. Because on stage and in other rare moments I had experienced the Flow state, in which simply letting myself flow with all of my impulses seemed to work fantastically well. At the time this is what I muddily thought. It was only much later on that I realized that in Flow one does not always act on every impulse, in fact, in making that assumption I had caused myself to be taken out of Flow after very short periods of it. This took years to discover. In the meantime, I had absurd experiences of following impulses which turned out to be ridiculously wrong and impossible to defend afterward.

In that chapter of Mind Magic, one of the metaphors used is to consider the mind to be a vast senate of viewpoints, installed based on people you have met who may have impressed you in one way or another, which set up a robot simulating that person within one’s own mind, presumably mediated by a specific pattern of electrochemical flow among specific neurons. In a lifetime one may meet, or hear, speak, or read the words of, tens of thousands of people, including in media. Thousands of them may leave permanent impressions as biological “AI” outposts within one’s mind. This, then, is the senate.

The Executive Control Network may be viewed as the inner True Self, trying to sort through what may be conflicting impulses arising simultaneously like virtual particles in the quantum foam, within one’s own microcosm. The great physicist John Archibald Wheeler postulated that in nothingness before the Big Bang, there had always existed quantum foam, with virtual particles arising and disappearing. In my book A Theory of Everything Including Consciousness and “God” I posited that the quantum foam itself is consciousness, the original substrate of the universe. Whether or not this is true we might not as a species know for millennia, although as individuals some of us may decide to adopt it as a working hypothesis for life, as I do.

By installing Key #10 in one’s own mind, one gives oneself the psychic distance to edit one’s own headstream.

More than that, one can take the time to teach errant senators how to behave properly. For example, one day recently, I heard myself think something mean about a person I love. With Key #10, it’s not enough to just correct oneself and move on: you are advised to carry on an inner dialog with the senator who said that, and to find out how that part of you thinks and feels. Does the part of you who just said that mean thing not love this other person? Or was that just an old reflex from your childhood when you first started to use mean words like that? If the latter turns out to be the case, as it did, that senator (or neuron grouping) can learn that it’s no longer appropriate to use such language even to oneself, it’s no longer fitting within the person you have become. In this way the mind is eventually cleansed and impurities have been removed from it.

One of the inner signals that one learns to pay attention to is any trace of negativity. By now, using the other Keys 1-9, we have already changed our mental habits enough to realize that we prefer to be happy and to know how to quickly tune out of anything that makes us unhappy. Negativity is what makes us unhappy, therefore we have already started to learn how to tune away from negativity to positivity, to find one’s creativity interested and challenged by the “dare” of negativity to find creative solutions to remove all causes of negativity from one’s life as quickly as possible in each case.

More methods for riding one’s psychic froth in the next installment.

My best to all,

“In Action, Watch the Timing.”

Powerful Mind Part 35
Created November 2, 2023

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This quote from Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching is worth unpacking. Taoism traces its roots to this collection of wisdom and another book, the Zhuangzi. Both books were written about half a millennium before the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, about two millennia after that world changing event, almost every living person knows and understands what the Force means to a Jedi knight, and this is the closest thing to the Tao in our modern pop culture. There are many differences however between Steven Spielberg’s brilliant conception and the Tao.

There is no “dark side” to the Tao. The Tao is the animating principle of all of existence and its common soul or spirit. It is inherently innocent, simple, humble, honest, natural, and spontaneous. Lao Tsu attributed the “dark side” of human beings to their falling out of synch with the Tao due to unnatural additives to natural simplicity and humility. In the language I use to explain such things, these de-synchronizing additives are all the result of ego attachments to things that reach beyond the natural enjoyments of life.

Lao Tsu describes the Flow state as being brought on by the wu wei attitude, in which nothing is added to natural innocent spontaneity. Wu wei may also be translated as doing nothing. Like Plato, and like Zen, both of which came later, Lao Tsu was aware that the use of language itself invited the mind to build imaginary things that could lead the individual to desynchronize from the natural universe. Both Taoism and Zen provide exercises for relaxing back into natural spontaneity.

There could be a philosophical connection between Taoism and the Bible story of Adam and Eve eating from the forbidden Tree Of Knowledge. This was a move away from natural innocent spontaneity.

For us in the accelerated culture of the 21st century, using words in articles/books like this one are playing with a two-edged sword, using words to reduce the hypnotic effects of a lifetime of detachment from natural spontaneity that was itself caused by millions of words, and overpowering attachments to conditioned desires, and thousands of traumatic memories from unassimilated learning experiences when those desires were thwarted.

“Spontaneity” is one of those two-edged words which can have opposite meanings in certain contexts. When one is in the Flow state, back in synch with the Tao/Universal Consciousness, every action we take and every thought/feeling that goes through us is perfect, and there is nothing gained by hesitation, checking each impulse before acting upon it. Yet in the Observer state, the state which I’ve learned is more sustainable and a jumping-off point for the Flow state, the opposite is true: in the Observer state, it has the most positive outcomes to check oneself before acting on impulse. This is probably the most subtle trick in the book of life, knowing when one is in Flow and can trust the natural impulses of the heart, versus knowing when is not in Flow and ought to seek shelter in the Observer state in order to maximize one’s positive effects on the world and the self.

Negativity is the basic clue to making this discernment properly. Any presence of negativity in oneself is a clue to restrain action, because negativity is incompatible with Flow. The cue may be subtle internally and it takes practice to learn to pay attention to subtle guidance system internal cueing.

This is why timing is so important, because there is this knife-edge distinction between one’s readiness to Flow versus the wisdom of holding back and studying one’s own impulses before letting the action occur.

Mind Magic pages 137-141 offers an exercise which can help train your mind to automatically achieve this balancing act between action and non-action. Here are a few excerpts from that passage:

Do not move any part of your body
From the position it is now in.
Regard any such movement
As an action to be evaluated prior to action.

 Are you curious
About something that is now going on nearby?
What specifically will you gain by looking?
Why do you want to gain this?

Be aware of, but unmindful of, voices and feelings
Which tell you that you must decide now
Or must take action now.
These voices and feelings
Are a force that has had power over you until now;
They originate in society;
Society which expects you to perform in certain ways.
Then you should remove all force
From the feelings inside you
Which tell you to move.

Hurrying (in most cases) is a sign that you are afraid and/or that you wish to get past the thing you are currently doing, in order to do something specific that you can’t wait to be doing. It would be far more valuable to set aside the thing you are doing in a rush and to do the thing you really want to be doing. That is what brings on the Flow state, doing something that you find to be fun.

My good friend Marshall Cohen, known as the guru of the cable industry, sent me an article indicating that billionaire Warren Buffett is aware of Flow state, and purposely leaves open certain days on his calendar in order to maximize his own experience of Flow.

Planning and scheduling your time and leaving enough time to not feel any time pressure is a wise course of action, and will tend to maximize the quality of what you create, and your enjoyment of life. Remember James Taylor’s saying “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” This is very Tao.

Sometimes you will feel that the Universe has given you an inspiration, an idea which will make a positive difference in someone’s life or even in the lives of many people. Your natural tendency will be to share that idea as quickly as possible. But the timing must be right in order for an idea, no matter how good, to be accepted and acted upon. If you spill it out impulsively because your ego has become attached to the praise you expect from it, the likelihood is that it might fall flat, and then take even longer to be adopted. Wait for the cue that it is the right moment to use such ideas.

Be especially sensitive not to mistake right timing because your idea might be very rational and the person you are giving it to might be in a very emotional state, or vice versa. If you sense any subtle doubt in yourself, wait. If you are missing the moment the Universe will give you an encouraging cue to say it now.

Key #9

Consciously determine how much to take your time

Best to all,

Powerful Mind Pt. 1

Created March 10, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

My beloved literary agent Bob Silverstein before he passed away, passionately advised me to write a sequel to Mind Magic. “You can help more people by translating your poetic language into simple natural language, and explaining things in more detail,” he explained. He then named the book Powerful Mind – “Something everybody wants” he said – and “reduce it to 12 Key principles.”

Thus, the nascent book Powerful Mind was born. I say “nascent” because after he ascended, I set the completed chapters aside to start on the Agents of Cosmic Intelligence series, which I’d been wanting to write for a long time. Now it’s time for me to complete Powerful Mind, and while I do that, I’d like to share with you the already-completed chapters in this blog, which we’ll be doing over the next month or so. That way you can give me feedback that will benefit the book, so we’ll sort of be writing it together. Thanks for your help!


The techniques of mind in this book were discovered over a thirty-year period by an ordinary person living an ordinary life. Well, there were some unusual aspects: he started performing onstage at the age of five, and sometimes experienced being in the Zone (also known as Flow state), leading him to a lifetime fascination with the mind, about which he read all his life. From early on he attempted to isolate the factors which led him to experience the Flow state, and created techniques of mind to control these factors, and increase the time he spent in Flow.

That person became a behavioral/ psychological researcher in the marketing world. He worked with surveys, brain waves, depth interviews, eye tracking, and many other forms of research. This research experience led him to package the techniques of mind in “book” form to use as a test stimulus, to see if the techniques would work on other people.

Unexpectedly, 35,000 people bought the book Mind Magic, which became known as an underground classic. Thousands of readers sent in unsolicited testimonials, many saying it was the most life-changing book they had ever read.

But the book was not complete. The techniques were not fully explained. And still they were effective. People wrote in that the techniques had brought them “incredible clarity” leading to knowing their true goals, effectively and creatively planning how to reach them, and how to carry out their plans with strength and courage they did not know they had. And achieving life satisfaction to a degree they did not know possible.

This then is the completed book, finally put together to benefit everybody. Here the techniques will be explained simply and thoroughly.

You will find yourself able to see where you have been going and where you now will be going, to realize your full potential. You will be confident, resolute, and patient, as if having more will power, yet some of this will simply be greater clarity on what will work in your life, and making better decisions about how you use your time and your emotional energies.

Instead of being daunted by problems, you will enjoy them as creative challenges, and will rise to every occasion, secure and integrated inside. You will think for yourself, and not be as easily swayed by other people’s opinions.

You will experience higher, more effective and creative states of consciousness. You will find yourself more observant. You will shift into and out of Flow state — being in the Zone as athletes call it — where your work or your fixing of relationships or anything important you need to do will be done with grace and beauty.

The World Needs This Now

The world is spinning out of control, for reasons we shall explore. The world’s economies are now tied tightly together and forecasts suggest that the future “adjustments” will probably continue to get larger until something changes dramatically.

People are for the most part unhappy too much of the time, as shown by surveys, divorce rates, and other indicators. And it is getting worse instead of getting better. It has been a long time since anything justified our high hopes.

And yet all this unhappiness is all in the mind. Only a small fraction of the world’s population is in actual physical danger today, and yet we all find something to be worried about.

What if there were a way to reliably increase the power of our minds? Not just pep talks or voodoo, but logical and proven steps we could take. Then, if enough of us find out about these methods and use them, happiness will spread, because the mind can choose to be happy, and can become more effective at solving the real problems, so that it won’t just be false happiness.

If we do this as individuals, we are making changes in the world on a person by person basis — starting with the one person we actually have some control over.

If the techniques work — as thousands of readers have told us they do — then eventually the world’s leaders will be using them, and this will make the biggest change of all.

Love to all,



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We Can’t Afford Widespread Neurosis Anymore

Created November 17, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

It’s pretty obvious that the human race is somewhat out of control.

It could be that, in the past, it was even more out of control than it is now.

But if we look only at the time period since we learned how to make atom bombs, we are now at an “Out-Of-Controllness” level that is at an all-time high within the defined period.

Maybe we were more out of control during the Crusades, but we couldn’t do as much damage then.

Now as compared to prior to 1945, we have done vast destruction to the environment threatening our own survival, have caused innumerable species to go extinct ahead of us, and are still playing party politics and other warped games as if there are no consequences. That’s how much damage we continue to do every day, and we haven’t even started with the atom bomb toy yet.

Enough self-criticism. Now, what are we going to do about it?

The hub of the problem is the way we don’t use our minds.

We don’t use our minds as they were elegantly designed to be used, the way Socrates used his mind, the way Washington and Jefferson and Franklin and Lincoln used their minds… we have many good role models to choose from, as we come back from a race of neurotics.

What is a neurotic? WebMD tells us that “Neurotic means you’re afflicted by neurosis, a word that has been in use since the 1700s to describe mental, emotional, or physical reactions that are drastic and irrational. At its root, a neurotic behavior is an automatic, unconscious effort to manage deep anxiety.”

Acting irrationally is the core of being a neurotic. But don’t we all? Isn’t it irrational to get emotionally overwhelmed by certain situations? The point of the mind is that it has more than just reason as its powers. It has intuition, feelings, perceptions, conditioned motivations, “realized self” motivations, a subconscious, and more. We act based not only on reason but on all of these functions. And that’s the way it should be. However, we ourselves have very little insight into the way we function so it is all kind of a sloppy process. Until we start practicing what Aristotle called “the contemplative life” which modern science calls meta-cognition: the mind inspecting the mind. This is The Way out of neurosis.

The process needed for the entire human race is a cleansing of the spirit, a self-governed “mind wash” available to each individual. Right now, most people don’t even know that they need it. Most people who know they need it don’t want to admit it (they are the ones closest to leaping over the gap if they could transcend denial).

The estimable Norman Hecht sent me a very insightful New Yorker article which makes the point that Trump may be on his way out but that does not remove the appetites of the core that supported him. And what are those appetites? Fear-driven racism and extreme irrational behavior. And what class of behaviors do those fall in the range of?

Right. Those are neuroses. The class of mental/emotional/physical diseases medical science has been tracking since the 1700s.

Eastern psychology noticed those behaviors going back far earlier than writing, based on memes embedded in time-binding songs that can be tracked back to about 10,000 BC thanks to Herotodus, Plato, et al. We have known about these syndromes for a very long time and have never addressed the removal of the problem.

We talk about schemes to save the environment but not to save ourselves from mental emotional self-destructive behavior. Because that is the reason why neurosis is important to remove, because neurosis works against what the individual is motivated to achieve, which is why it is irrational.

If we continue to ignore the primary cause of all of our lethal threat vectors, and try to use outmoded and failed methods to reach reconciliation with China and the others with whom we are now engaging in reptilian combat rehearsal, we are in for a very bad future, as Fareed Zakaria points out in a recent article.

The international conversation as well as the domestic conversation both have to change if we are to show ourselves truly on the road to recovery from mass neurosis. This fictional conversation between the world leaders is closer to the direction we must go than is our present course.

Step one is to come to a clear understanding that there are other, better, ways to use our minds than the general method in use today. Neuroscience calls it the DEFAULT NETWORK. It is a random walk and results in random noise across the corpus callosum. From there we must go to the Observer state, the state of expert meta-cognition. Ram Dass and Daniel Goleman were generous in their comments on my methodology.

My approach is not the only way to free the mind. Psychotherapy, meditation, yoga, psychedelics under supervision with proper setting and mindset, innumerable approaches exist to move out of the default network, what my manual Mind Magic calls EOP (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure). And into a state of relative free will and autonomy, with full insight into your own conditioning which therefore neutralizes the effect of the conditioning.

Yep, you got it right, this is a rather unusual proposition: upgrade the mental/emotional competency of the entire world population. I totally agree, it’s over the top for me to suggest that such a thing is worth putting time into, when the amount of neurosis and its ingrained nature by this point appears insurmountable no matter how many of us want to change the world.

I just don’t like the alternative.

I say let’s give it a go, shall we?

Love to all,



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