Tag Archives: Contemplation


Powerful Mind Part 42
Created December 29, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Read Powerful Mind 41

In the 1970s I coined the term “Noia” as the opposite of paranoia when I discovered that the prefix “para” derives from the Greek meaning of “beside”. What is beside paranoia, I asked myself. Paranoia is the unhealthy fear that someone/everyone is out to get you. I decided that “noia” then might be the healthy suspicion the someone is out to help you.

The reason I was thinking this way is that by the 1970s I had noticed that often information was coming to me seemingly by accident that was unusually relevant to my current life situation at the time. I would be trying to solve some problem, for example, and since I almost always have music on, a line in a song would come along at just the right moment to bear an uncanny resemblance to my line of thought.

This can be easily explained as random coincidence aided by priming effect and being observant. Priming effect is the increase in saliency of a stimulus to a person caused by a prior stimulus.

However, it did not seem like random coincidence to me because it occurred too often. It seemed more like someone who could read my thoughts and feelings was trying to help me reach my goals. Since my goals have always been to leave the world a better place than I found it, perhaps the universe is trying to help me because I am trying to help the universe, I thought.

Looking back at my life through that lens as a way of further studying the phenomenon, it appeared that I had been given the most open-minded and compassionate parents possible, and gifted with an independence of thought, and lucky in so many ways. I also saw that my love of science had blinded me to consider that there might be a germ of truth in religion and/or in other superstitious behaviors, as I thought of magic, reincarnation, and so many other things.

Having the label of “noia” to slap on things was useful to me in prying open my mind to pay closer attention and not to filter or bias what I perceived by having strong preconceived notions. I started to notice how frequently each day I experienced noiac events.

That led to my noticing what I noticed, and asking myself “Why did I notice that?” In the bulk of cases this unearthed insights helpful to me in whatever I was doing during that period of my life. It was as if another entity with my interests at heart was causing me to notice things that contained or stimulated pathways of thought that would take me to places I needed to go.

You might say that this helpful entity was my own subconscious. But then, what was my subconscious? Could it be the part of my consciousness that is common to all of us and all things? Jung had thoughts like these and also had many other notions that had been of significant utilitarian value to me, so maybe there was something in it. In the 70s I became aware that my affection for science had gone too far and I was myself being unscientific by ruling things out prematurely, and that I ought to go back to the roots of empiricism rather than stay in the current herd culture of scientism which allows scientists to carve out a large chunk of human experience as being superstition without conclusive proof supporting that negation position.

The next step after open-mindedness in this expanded empirical outlook is the control of attention.

In the Acceleritis-dominated culture we live in, taking control of your own attention is one of the hardest possible things to do. There are all of these distractions taking you away from moment to moment. Unfortunately, this environment captures young people from the get-go. They have almost no chance to escape it because it hits them very early on. It’s the ocean around the fish which the fish takes for granted. As if life could not even exist without perpetual distraction.

Young people in the age of smartphones build their lives around this device, and no age group is immune to its hypnotic power. Before June 2007 it was the television set that took us away, and now the norm is to have both devices on at all possible times.

Nevertheless, each and every one of us has the potential to retake our castle. Concentration, meditation, contemplation are the training grounds that build a controllable attention. Twenty minutes a day of practicing these three things can become a 24/7 lifestyle that is far more beneficial than we expect it to be.

One experiment that is worth doing over and over again in the daily alone space – and in other opportune moments – is to get away from devices (soft music without lyrics in the background is fine), put your body in a comfortable position that it can remain in for a long time without discomfort, close your eyes, and simply pay all of your attention to what is transpiring in your mind.

As you get better at this, you will see that you are gaining the ability to watch the arising of a thought or feeling. Focus your attention on being able to see a thought or feeling or other qualia (subjective experience) such as an image, or even a momentary smell, any experience that occurs in your psyche.

Separate the part of you that is the pure experiencer from the part of you that is expressing itself in displaying that thought or feeling to you. If you like baseball, you might picture these two aspects of yourself as the pitcher and the batter.

Sometimes you will experience qualia that teaches you something that you are grateful to learn and you fear you might forget. It’s good to have something to write with and write on right next to you so you can put down one or a few words that will help you recapture the sense of the message. Best to use the exact words that triggered your sense of valuable information.

Often the pitcher will be your ego pitching something at you that is negative, tied to an attachment of yours, and that matches your notion of Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP), the reductionistic state into which people are forced by Acceleritis. This ego is a biological AI whipping up a compote of memories and tossing them at you in a fastball.

Under normal conditions you might swing and miss but with your eyes closed and in a meditative space it will be easier to observe these qualia dispassionately without being caught up in it the way you would normally be taken over by it.

The more you play ball with your robot (ego bio-AI) the more you will notice about its behaviors. You will begin to sense that the robot contains many different programs that I have previously referred to as “senators”. These are all points of view you have experienced, mostly coming from other people you have met or watched or listened to on devices.

The game is made more difficult by the fact that sometimes the robot is right. Sometimes the oversimplified lesson extracted from prior experience is accurately predictive. You sense your own immediate aversion to a person who has not yet done anything counter to you – you suspect it might be because they remind you of someone who has done you dirty in the past – and it turns out that this person is actually trying to take advantage of you. You wonder whether it was the robot who gave you the good inner advice or if the Noia was the benefactor who gave you that precognitive hunch. It could be either. The robot is not always wrong in the net advice it is giving you, but it’s undependable and it tends toward negativity and extremism. Both negativity and extremism are life poisons. They aren’t helpful. Discriminating among your mental and emotional arisings is the only game in town and it can be won against all odds.

Increasing internal visibility is an important aspect of Key #11. More to come.

My best to all,

Moving Beyond Fear to Happiness

updated May 8th, 2020

The worldwide calamity has increased our tendency to live in fear. Fear is like an alarm clock, designed to alert us to make apt decisions soon. We don’t let the alarm keep ringing in the morning when it wakes us up, and the best reaction to fear is to focus objectively on what we can do. Fear is always linked to attachment, something we are afraid of losing, such as our lives, our loved ones, our livelihood, our lifestyle. But the real question is What action can we take that is the heroic and best response to the current moment? With the right self-observational techniques you can edge into a state of ultimate competency in meeting each moment, what scientists call the Flow state and athletes call the Zone – where you want to be at all times, but most especially in the present crisis. One way to achieve happiness in the present moment is to let it all go, assume that the worst will happen, but picture yourself standing strong and smiling through the worst that can happen. Distraction is always a problem but much moreso today when we are always crowded together at home (if we’re lucky to not be alone). This post delves into practical ways you can take yourself in hand and use your strengths to enjoy every second of life, otherwise what’s the point of wanting to live?

The two biggest blocks to the Zone/Flow state are distraction and attachment.

Release Attachment - Let it go. - Bill Harvey

Attachment is also the only block to happiness, joy, delight, fun, ananda (or bliss, from Hinduism and Buddhism) — the natural built-in target state for all of us.

Attachment blocks happiness because one is fearful of losing the things one associates with happiness and tacitly assumes are requirements for happiness. When we are attached, we are also angry at whatever is suspected or known to threaten or take away those precious happiness-causing things.

“I am really attached to Pippin” (one of my cats) is a true statement for me because I love her. To experience love is not necessarily to be attached, though. To avoid confusion and getting lost in wordplay about whether attachment is a good or bad thing (because the word “attachment” is associated with the word “love”), I am using the term attachment to mean the inability to separate love from attachment and the resulting anger/fear syndrome.

The difference comes from the importance we give to keeping the “things” that give us happiness. If we truly appreciate the joy that has been created by our loves, joy that has been creating other good things through spontaneous Flow state creativity (which emerges naturally from joy and from love) it is still possible to not worry about losing any of those “things”. In fact, when we are in that state of not fearing loss, we are truly free.

A Process for Releasing Attachment

A powerful contemplation technique offered in Mind Magic (download free PDF here) involves burning out one’s attachments by intensely envisioning and feeling the loss of each separate thing one is attached to. This requires setting aside alone time, without a sense of time pressure. It requires immersion, concentration, patience as you go over the same material again and again. It’s probably best to focus on one object of your attachment at a time.

Give your imagination free reign like in a daydream. Imagine and see yourself go through the experience of the moment you lose something you are deeply attached to and visualize how it might happen. See it vividly from the inside, the way you experience life. Feel the feelings. Watch yourself in the daydream, the things you say in that situation, and the way you say them, and how the other person responds if the particular attachment involves another person. Let yourself actually feel the loss as if it is really happening.

Each time you go over the same imagined loss experience, you give the situation a more intelligent response. In your later iterations of the exercise, you will start to act like the hero you are in the daydream of the loss. You will begin to feel differently about yourself from that moment on — more confident, more self-respectful, more courageous, in fact less prone to fear and anger.

Through this process, you realize you are no longer attached to a particular outcome because you now know how you will respond if what you had feared ever happens.

Release attachments. Let them go. Happiness is the off-the-scale self-evidently best state one can experience in the emotional dimension.


Alone Space VideosWatch short videos on cultivating Alone Space Contemplation.


Happiness to all,


P.S. It can take some time for you to feel the effects of this technique internally, due to the interconnections among various ego circuits in your head. Be patient and persevere. And be happy. smiley

Read the latest post at my media blog, “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com


Updated May 1st, 2020

image by Erin Buonocore

In last week’s post we talked about how distracted we have become, and in conclusion we mentioned Mindfulness as one way we can counter the distractions of modern life. Therefore in this post we shall investigate the nature of Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a form of attention control.

The need to be master of one’s own attention has gotten progressively greater over the centuries as a result of information overload and its distractive effects. We have given this condition the name Acceleritis™, the vast increase in the amount of information needing to be processed by our brains each day. ADD, ADHD, and a fairly obvious reduction in the general population’s ability to stay focused on one problem long enough to solve it, have been the result.

Watch a video about the cure for Acceleritis.

The need for Mindfulness has never been greater.

The Vedas, some of the earliest writings on the planet, recommend three yogic mental/ emotional methods to achieve the conscious and willful control of our attention.

  • Concentration is the focus of the mind on a single object.
  • Contemplation is the focus of the mind on a single subject.
  • Meditation is the contemplation of the Self.

What then is Mindfulness?

We define Mindfulness as the optimal allocation of attention for maximum effectiveness. When one is mindful, attention optimally allocates both inwardly and outwardly at the same time. This helps us understand our own motivations in the moment, to consider not only our needs but the needs and probable responses of others, and to greatly improve what fighter pilots call situational awareness. This is in sharp distinction from our typical behavior, which is to allocate virtually all attention outwardly whenever the eyes are open.

It takes attention and effort to be mindful, but practicing persistent Mindfulness not only allows us to be more present in each moment, it also allows us to shift into a higher state of consciousness to reach the Observer state more often and launch into the Zone or Flow state, the highest known state of consciousness in which right actions seem to do themselves effortlessly.

Mindfulness and Positive Thinking with a solution orientation — overleaping the focus on the problem once it is defined and going right to the focus on the solution — are the cornerstones of what I practice to achieve superior decisions, highest effectiveness, and creative innovation in all aspects of my life. Try this approach for yourself to see if it works for you.

Best to all,


Read the latest post at my media blog, “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com

Rising Above Negativity

Original post November 17, 2015

Most of us assume there is nothing we can do about negative emotions — they come as they will, and we must just suffer through them. However, we all know someone we’ve seen rise above these feelings. With the world facing so many unprecedented challenges, it is vital that we increase our ability to rise to the occasion and surmount negative feelings.

Rise Above Negative Feelings

It’s difficult if not impossible to overcome negative feelings while remaining in our everyday “waking” state of consciousness. We can say, “I am going to put those emotions aside and get down to the business at hand”, but many of us don’t seem to have the willpower to do it. The trick is to rise out of the “waking” state of consciousness and move into the Observer state, where we are able to more easily turn off unproductive feelings.

The first step is to turn down all distractions. Create an alone space where you can’t be interrupted, where you can’t hear voices in the next room, where there isn’t a TV or some other device playing, where you’re not under time pressure. Have writing tools handy, or a sound recorder. Begin to try to understand why you are in a negative state. Be patient and wait. Once your mind knows you are focused on just one thing, which is to diagnose why you feel the way you do, it will soon start to give up answers to the question. They may be obvious or not-so-obvious. You may find yourself writing down the not-so-obvious aspects or simple phrases that are now suddenly more revealing and meaningful than you expected, which cast new light or simply state things you already knew but in much sharper and more useful language than you had access to before.

What you are doing is called contemplation.  You are flying higher, getting above the weather, so whatever weather disturbance or turbulence you experience must be rejected. Put aside whatever feeling or thought is familiar, like you have been there before. Reject ordinary thinking and feeling. Say to yourself, “That’s not constructive, it’s not getting me anywhere, and it doesn’t lead to a solution. I need something NEW.”

Strip it away as it arises and see what is underneath.

Where is it coming from?

Where did the whole pattern start?

What did I want that led me to this negative mindset?

What is really happening?

What is IT trying to teach me?

How can this situation possibly be something that can make me better and stronger?

Get creative. Generate out-of-the-box ideas. Visualize what someone you look up to would do. Come up with ideas that will not engender resistance, where you go with the flow and not against it. In Taoism it is called getting into the rhythm of the Tao, linking into the underlying force of the universe.

Best to all,


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