Tag Archives: Gratitude Effect

It’s Possible

How Little We Know About the Nature of Reality, and the Technique for Remembering This

Originally posted February 16, 2012 as a recap of the first year of blog posts here at Pebbles in the Pond.

On February 17, 2012, this blog was a year old, with this our 52nd post. In reviewing what we have attested to over the first 12 months, here’s a recap of some of the possibilities that we put forth — for the benefit of all who want to ply into whatever might be valuable for the greater good.

We have said It’s Possible that:

  • All religions may in a sense be right. Looked at a certain way, Religion and Quantum Mechanics and our own experience converge on what reality is. The common thread is that the Universe is a single conscious object. If that is the model then all is explainable — the prophets and saints who channeled today’s major religions; the behavior of subatomic wavicles; what John Wheeler’s information-is-substrate physics really means; the tendency for justice to be done in the long run; our own transcendent experiences — love, bliss; the benevolence of the universe, obvious when we are cleansed of the things that bring down our minds. All these phenomena make sense in a Conscious Universe. Nothing is left unexplained. Although the rest of time remains for physics to fill in the blanks, the overarching nature of reality can be intuited long before science knows about how the system is sustained (we might say, how the illusion is projected) at micro-to-macro levels.
  • All we have to do to tune in our own intuition as a guide to further exploring the nature of reality from the inside, is to stop making believe we know something. The Human Effectiveness Institute is not about issuing dogma. Our basic methodology is to admit that most of what we think we know as individuals is hand-me-down “knowledge” biased by traumatic experiences in our forebears and ourselves, catchphrases from movements that captured us into their statistical meme waves. In other words, very little of what we say to ourselves, and then habitually emotionally and bodily assent to as the truth on which to base decision making, is actually solid knowledge assimilated into wisdom of right action and/or understanding/forgiveness of self and others for missing the right action. How little could be proven in a court of law, or proven to a team of scientists. How many questions are actually being avoided. How many assumptions are made that rationalize subconsciously that we are being sensible to not ponder questions.
  • Acceleritis™ is the reason we do not ponder, and instead charge on, driven by rationalizing assumptions below the level of our own awareness. Fear of not performing in the accelerating stream of this culture and thus the awful consequences of poverty, unaffordable ill health, rejection/loneliness, an abject sense of zero self-worth, and guilt — all of which makes us keep up the rat race in a way deeper and more dangerous than at the obvious level. The very way we use our minds is different because of the racing culture.
  • Visible language is possibly what started the acceleration of information per day. Writing brought language into our vision, which is our dominant sense as primates. Until written language just 6000 years ago, for millions of generations our ancestors — just as dependent on our eyes as we are* — communicated by signals and noises, and in thousands of recent generations before writing, had turned these sounds into sophisticated language. But how it blew our minds when we were able to see this sophisticated language. To make an analogy, sex is very important to us. Just like seeing is. What if sex carried language i.e. telepathic words heard automatically from the sex partner during the act. That’s the kind of thing that happened to us 6000 years ago. The admixture of two potent sides of our being — language and seeing. It immediately made our minds race with questions and ideas. These continue to accelerate for each generation to this day, and will be even more accelerated for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.
  • We need techniques to contend with Acceleritis better than we currently contend with it. Evidence for the “possibility” of our Acceleritis hypothesis abounds so I won’t belabor the point. Failure of governments to be effective, corporations whose left hands and right hands do not even know the existence of each other, individuals living generally way below the level of constant bliss, although it is an inch away all the time. We offer techniques in our book and DVD, and in excerpts in this blog. Steal this book. Share it. We want everybody to have these techniques.
  • There are measurable levels of being. Our experience can be ennobled by techniques that aid our ascent out of Acceleritis into the Observer State where our minds are clear and courageously self-honest to an absolute degree. And further, into the Flow State (aka the Zone) where everything seems to be doing itself perfectly (and observers agree), because we are no longer living our lives separated from the universe but are experiencing being in that universe and somehow the same with it. The identity issue has faded and it is as if you are the Universe acting naturally without feeling like you have to worry about how it is going to come out. The innocence of “not thinking you know something” is a conducive launching pad. Thinking you know everything and acting rapidly as if always under time pressure is not conducive to Flow.
  • Democracy was one theme last year in this blog. Working together (Gung Ho!) is obviously very aligned with joining into oneness with the universe. Democracy is a good idea because it reflects the nature of reality — we are all one so it is logical that the One would want to benefit from the collective wisdom of all of its parts — this too is a possibility.
  • Readers have thanked me for not writing about the media business. Last week someone said to me “What a relief — something I like to read that has nothing to do with the media business — I read enough about the media business!” Yet in the past year there were some thoughts about all business and how they use media. Looking across articles about custom content, clashboards, and building human relationships with customers, the main theme has been breaking out of the “TV commercial” genre into new forms that fit the inventory avails but have more short- and long-term positive effect on the relationship of a brand and its customers. Such as 30-second and other length units that give good advice (e.g. in such product categories as beauty, pet, baby, home, financial, etc.), report good corporate citizenship activities in interesting and personal ways i.e. stories of real people affected, and pure entertainment such as we see once in awhile on Youtube, brought to you by the brand in the same way that the brand would do this for full-length program true sponsorship. Thus having the same Gratitude Effect that lifts sales, trust and loyalty.

Those are the main possibilities we have been chatting about here. As to your technique, we are not suggesting you believe any of these things, just accept them as possibilities to be cautiously tested along with your cautious testing of all other possibilities. We especially suggest that you cautiously re-test all the possibilities you now take for granted that are welded into your life and your instant-by-instant interior life — the guidance system of feelings, images, thoughts, rationalizations, analyses, syntheses, hunches, and so on. which constitutes your inner senate and resolves its turbulent symphonies into your instant-to-instant outer actions.

Now is the time to step away from Business As Usual when you take counsel with yourself. That is our suggested technique for the week. When you realize and remember that you have more choice than you typically exercise, stop what you are doing and check in with why you are doing it. Watch as if from a third-party position the way your mind deals with this and other questions that will then arise. See if you can change the process to one completely different, if only to explore other possibilities. Don’t be stuck in your own usual way of doing things. Live in the moment and the moment is always new, everything starts again now, unencumbered by whatever has gone before, a fresh start, rebirth.

Best to all, and thank you,


*Information processing in the brain drops significantly when eyes are closed, shifting brainwaves down from high-speed beta to slower alpha.

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President Clinton and the Propaganda Industry

Volume 2, Issue 14

During WWII the U.S. military and paramilitary evolved the attitude scales that have become the persuasion metrics of the advertising industry. What was to become the CIA was then called the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) and at the end of the war some of its prominent members migrated into the advertising industry. These are just two of the historical ties between propaganda, psychological warfare, and advertising.

The word “propaganda” historically had an exclusively negative connotation until its use by America and its allies in WWII helped win the war.

Advertising today is moving away from the subtle coercion model and toward a relationship model built on transparency and trust with people, which is a good thing. It isn’t happening solely because Mad Men and Women are becoming more saintly — although we see some of that — the Internet has forced the hand of the industry.

Someday people will no longer distrust all advertising as a result of more advertisers using transparent and socially constructive approaches. When that day comes, there will no longer be any resistance to advertisers saving money by only sending ads to people for whom their product or service is relevant. Today, this approach is regarded by some as an evil thing. Such distrust will go away after enough years of transparency between advertisers and people.

Noting and appreciating the abilities of the advertising creative community to communicate powerfully, last month in Cannes former President Bill Clinton called on the advertising industry — gathered in the Palais des Congres on the beautiful shoreline La Croisette Boulevard as part of the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity — to use its powers to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems, by communicating effectively the desirability of collaboration, tolerance, and clean energy.

Years ago I approached two agencies proposing essentially the same idea. Larry Deckinger at Grey agreed with the proposal but believed it impossible to convince clients. Don Johnston then running JWT took the same view.

But that was then and this is now. If the industry doesn’t jump on this, Bill Clinton’s idea could still be carried out through the Ad Council, the nonprofit that takes donated air time and donated print space, mixes it with donated creative, to publish public service content that has had powerful impact for the Greater Good. Creatives who feel the tug to give back and make a difference could offer their services to the Ad Council, who would make it happen.

But why not also consider this as part of what any advertiser might do on their own? Cause Marketing exists and is growing — President Clinton’s idea could fit squarely into that channel. Even within more general advertising, leaders such as Coca-Cola have for decades planned their advertising to reflect and positively address the tensions of the times in ways honest yet tasteful and subtle.

Why would an advertiser do this? Not only for its own sake, to make the world safer and more prosperous, and for the obvious economic cascade effects, but also because people will be grateful to see or hear inclusively positive messaging done at the highly affective level of execution the advertising industry can often achieve — and Gratitude Effect has seven times the persuasion effect of image sell (i.e. typical advertising).

Such a concerted effort on the part of the advertising industry can improve its own sales effect and help pull the world back up by its bootstraps economically and attitudinally. Why not seize this golden opportunity? There is no downside. It is inherently bipartisan*.

Best to all,


*Although Bill Clinton could not resist knocking Republicans for “making the denial of climate change a campaign tactic”, as Kunur Patel put it in Advertising Age. However, our recommendation and anticipation is that all advertisers will only want to implement this idea — positive thoughts riding on the carrier wave of advertising — on a strictly nonpartisan basis.