Tag Archives: Mind Magic

What Do You Really Want?

Powerful Mind Part 27
Created September 8, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Read Powerful Mind 26

Strangely this is not something we normally think about. The subject usually rises to our conscious mind only at times of great shock, typically the loss of a loved one, a job, or something else we greatly value. At other times most of us appear to assume that all of that has been decided already, we are “obviously” doing what we want to do with our lives, and so we just go along day to day doing our best, mostly guessing or following the path of least resistance in order to not make things any worse.

The species or at least the intelligentsia has finally admitted that homo sapiens are not rational actors, hence the science of behavioral economics. P.T. Barnum could have told us that a hundred years ago. However, some of us may be more rational than others, and for a rational person, it makes the most sense to stop life for a moment or longer while seriously considering what the real you really wants. How else can a rational person guide his or her decisions on a moment to moment basis?

As soon as one sets to making an objective fact-finding study of oneself, one finds that there are a great number of things that come up as probable wants, including both material and immaterial things. Page 95 of Mind Magic lists these, for example: “You may want money, specific possessions, status, fame, glory, power, accomplishment, respect, a large family, many lovers, to be loved, to be known, to be happy, health, long life, adventure, travel, certain feelings, certain experiences, etc.”

A more abstract list appears in my work on human motivations through Next Century Media, which discovered 265 psychological variables driving television program choice, and RMT (Research MeasurementsTechnologies), which distilled these into 15 life motivations. In Canada where RMT is already integrated with Vividata (“The MRI of Canada”), here is the latest snapshot of how these 15 variables rank across the population of Canada:

Motivational States by Ethnicity-vividata

As you can see, wealth/success is the main driver for most Canadians, but there are differences in motivation ranking by different ethnic subcultures in Canada. Culture is definitely a factor in shaping our individual motivations. However, as this book Powerful Mind being serialized here has often pointed out, we as individuals are much better off to be able to discover what we ourselves deep down really want, and to not automatically go along with all of the ways we have been shaped by outside forces. It’s much better to contemplate our lives to the degree that we can be the ones to decide what we truly want out of life. Aristotle wrote that the un-contemplated life is not worth living. I would say that slightly differently: one is not living the fullest life possible if one is swept along by external forces from beginning to end.

Life situations also affect our motivations. For example, note how important the motivation of “belonging” is to people who recently moved out of their parents’ home, and how important “security” is to people who recently retired. (These measurements are not based on survey questions asking people what motivates them; it is based on what television programs they report watching, and the method has been validated by five independent studies.)

Motivational States by Life Events - vividata

If we look across all of the cultures in our hisandherstory (aka “history”), we see that in many of them, great value was placed on self-transcendence (altruism) e.g. the Zhou Dynasty, self-knowledge e.g. Greece in Socrates’ time, creativity e.g. the Renaissance. When we look at our current culture, the situation is quite different. In the cancel culture of today, idealism in any form is something that causes people to “cringe”. Cynicism and snide remarks are the safe harbor for conversations. Science in recent centuries has assumed that the universe is an accident, therefore the culture does not believe that there is meaning and purpose in life, nor is idealism defensible in objective terms. Authoritarians rise to power by promising to remove all of the causes of fear, similar to the protection racket. In our culture therefore it is less likely that you have chosen to want idealistic things, or if you have, it is because you are exceptional.

Wanting the Approval of Others

One of our most ignoble wants is the approval of others. Hence the high ranking of “belonging” among the 15 motivations. In order to “fit in”, one generally is expected to share the same values, pastimes, and sayings of the group. After a while, individuals forget that they are wearing a mask and start to believe that the mask is really them.

Make a study of yourself. Take your time. Write down notes as the spirit moves you. What do you think you really want most out of life today? Was it always that way? What was your dream when you were very young as to what you would do with your life? Did it change? Why did it change?

Assume that in your own case, there was the “Me That Was Born”, who you really were, before the culture and other people started to shape you. Using all of the access to memories which you still have, what did that person want out of life, and where were the change points along the route to now?

If you look at the list of wants and motivations above you may see that you have always wanted all of these things to some degree but today there may be only a couple of them that really energize you. You may see how running after some of the other things took you off into directions you didn’t enjoy and have now processed past those wants. Or, you may find that nothing seems to matter anymore, it’s all falling short, you need something more, but have no idea what it is.

One clue is to think back about the things that you’ve been good at, and that you enjoyed doing. Those are your gifts to the world. Your Mission is to do those enjoyable things that you do so well so as to make as many people and other living things as happy as possible. If you follow that star it will take you to the Flow state.

My best to all,

Embrace the High Path

Powerful Mind Part 22
Created August 4, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Read Powerful Mind 21

This begins the introduction to Key #4.

Don’t Ignore the Ultimate Questions

Why is there a universe at all? Who am I? Why am I here? What am I doing here? “What’s it all about, Alfie?” (from the song “Alfie” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1966 film Alfie.)

Read “Alfie” lyrics

As little children first realizing these questions for ourselves, we are awed. We might experience an oxytocin rush, with the hair at the base of our neck standing up and chills up and down our spine.

The vast majority of us eventually give up on these questions as unanswerable. We don’t see how those ultimate questions relate to our day to day lives. However, they do relate to our everyday lives. In ways that we are not aware of, the hidden assumptions we make about these ultimate questions leave us with very little motivation to act nobly, and so our lives tend to devolve into a form of quiet desperation (Thoreau) I call Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP).

Coming full circle, returning back to our childhood perspective of awe and wonder, is to be reborn. The benefits will be at least as strong as each of the Keys we have already shared and those to follow.

As a starting point let’s go back to the greatest, most advanced and sophisticated scientists we have ever produced, in all of the recorded history of the only civilization on Earth of which we have present knowledge: Einstein, Wheeler, and Hawking.

In my new book A Theory of Everything Including Consciousness and “God” (I refer to it as “ATOE”) I present a more complete account of the final theories of Einstein and Wheeler, which I’ll therefore only very briefly summarize here.

Einstein felt certain that the universe is evidence of an intelligence far greater than our own. An intelligence that our own intelligence can learn to understand! This gave Einstein those oxytocin thrills all his life through childhood and adulthood.

Wheeler postulated that the universe originally existed as probability waves, and evolved consciousness which collapses the probability waves into the matter energy spacetime universe that we who have consciousness all experience. He coined the term “Anthropic Participatory Principle” to mean that we who have consciousness are participating in the creation of the universe of which we are a part.

Both scientists were comfortable in making the obvious assumption that the universe can be thought of and described as one thing, of which we the observers and co-creators are intrinsic parts. That acceptance by philosophers and scientists that the universe can be cognized as a single thing is a thread running through all history of thought, going back to long before the Rig Veda in the East and Thales in the West.

When considering the ultimate questions, it helps to begin there, letting one’s mind envision the universe as one thing.

“Visualize the whole universe as one thing
Every individual of every species
Every idea
Every event
Every moment of time
Every percept
Every lump of matter and energy
All parts of one thing.”
  —Mind Magic, Page ix

In his last book Brief Answers To The Big Questions, in which he shares his final thoughts, Stephen Hawking writes: “In 1980, I said I thought there was a 50-50 chance that we would discover a complete unified theory in the next twenty years. We have made some remarkable progress in the period since then, but the final theory seems about the same distance away.”

Perhaps this is because we have been averse to considering certain possibilities due to biases we don’t realize we have.

For one thing, except for Wheeler, and to some extent Einstein with his thought experiments involving “the observer” (consciousness in the act of taking measurements), consciousness has been left out of all the proposed unified field theories of the last 100 years.

What if consciousness is the missing piece without which no one will ever discover a complete unified theory of physics?

Wheeler is the one of these three giants who came closest to achieving the inclusion of consciousness in his overarching theory of reality. In his stated view, the universe came first, and consisted of quantum foam in which virtual particles flickered in and out of existence, and then, as if to be appreciated, this universe developed an audience: consciousness in sentient living things.

Hawking refers to the Anthropic Principle a number of times in his final book. He points out that there might be an infinite number of universes, and in our universe, all of the conditions are conducive to the development of intelligent life, but we shouldn’t make too much of that, because we are the intelligent life forms lucky to have been born into one of the universes whose conditions supported the development of intelligent life. So of course to us we would assume consciousness to be a necessary ingredient to achieve a universe of actual hard events rather than mere probabilities. But Hawking wants us to leave open the possibility that other universes might exist too, with intelligence and consciousness never developing in them, perhaps collapsing probability waves into concrete things and determined events by some other means besides consciousness.

What if consciousness came first? This is one direction that has not been sufficiently explored by the greats of physics.

If consciousness came first, to me, everything falls neatly into place. A number of science writers in this 21st Century have written articles asking if we might all be living in a giant computer simulation. This is a very similar idea to my Theory Of The Conscious Universe, which is summarized in ATOE and explained in the most speculative detail in my book You Are The Universe. As Wheeler noted, information appears to be more basic to the universe than matter energy spacetime; he called this his “Bits Before Its” principle. Information is the stuff that goes through computers, and through consciousness.

We may be on the edge of the next great leap in physics, a world in which the universe is accepted to be intelligent, and each of us is an intrinsic part of that universe. This worldview, which I believe will be verified scientifically down the road a bit, will totally change the way we relate to one another. Even having an open mind about this possibility will have positive effects on how people deal with each other, and how well the world works.

When you look inside yourself, you may see that you have already formed certain assumptions contradictory to this view of a unified conscious universe. Living in the times that we are living through right now, with so much divisiveness and violent competition and hatred, the idea that we might all be parts of a single consciousness may seem preposterous, and we have been quick to slap the labels “superstition” and “magical thinking” on all such ideas – except when people like Einstein and Wheeler talk that way.

Opening the mind to such a possibility leads to self-questioning about how does one act if we ourself might actually turn out to be part of one consciousness? We actually have several choices.

  1. “Reject”: reject these ideas entirely and go on with your life as before (you already know this is not my advice from past blogposts).
  2. “Hedge”: continue to follow your past patterns (you already know this is not my advice from past blogposts) but just in case it might turn out to be true that we are all one thing together, try a little harder to get along with others.
  3. “Embrace”: embrace the high path. Act the way you would if you are betting on the One Consciousness Universe. Take yourself seriously. Act with purpose. Leave the world a better place than you found it. Pay close attention to your own subtle hunches. Reconsider everything carefully and mindfully. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Take responsibility. Protect others. Set a good example. Rise above negativity.


 What is the meaning of the word “divinity”? The dictionaries give circular definitions, and come close to being more specific by using words like “godlike” and “holiness”, but fall short of explaining what it means to be godlike or holy or divine.

Teleology (from the Greek for “targeting”) is a word which philosophers use to suppose that the universe might have a preferred direction as to where it is going. This presupposes the consciousness and intelligence of such a universe.

Although Wheeler specifically assumed that the universe began without consciousness, his discussion of the Participatory Anthropic Principle (see ATOE) implies that the universe purposely moved toward the development of consciousness. What it seems like Wheeler overlooked is that intelligence and consciousness must have been present from the beginning in the universe, if teleology was evidenced by the universe’s preference for developing consciousness somewhere within its parts later on.

I don’t think Wheeler overlooked that. I think he didn’t want to go up against the orthodoxy to that degree. Science for the last few hundred years has implicitly avoided anything besides a materialistic conception, and this is the main reason why it has avoided dealing with consciousness this long.

What is divinity if not the universe having purpose?

If the universe has purpose, then we as parts of the universe, we too have purpose. We too are divine.

Self Divinity

 Self Divinity is the predisposition to treat oneself with the utmost respect, and to also do the same for all others, including animals and even inanimate objects. This is one facet of taking the High Path.

It’s hard to imagine that having such a predisposition could get us into more trouble on a practical level than we are already in. On the other hand, most of us recognize that we are all already in deep trouble, and perhaps treating others and oneself as divine could help dig us out of the deep troubles we’ve created for ourselves by centuries of rapid weapon advancement and widespread labelling of everything but materialism as superstitious magical thinking.

No course in personal effectiveness could be complete while making a wide detour around these sensitive subjects. And so we will go deeper into this 4th Key.

Love to all,


Start Your Life Anew with a Clear Slate Every Moment

Powerful Mind Part 21

Created July 28, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Read Powerful Mind 20

“The entity should ideally retain all power
over current behavior;
none should be yielded to the past or to others.”

Mind Magic – page 73

 In the prior three posts we have been offering techniques of metacognition which have worked for me, in stripping off layers of conditioning that obscured my individuality. This post will put it all together and add a few more relevant tips that will help you make each moment an originality moment, when you can come to entirely fresh perspectives, including everything you have learned up to the last second.

Some of the major challenging or helpful aspects of this Key #3 to overthrow conditioning are mimicry, consistency, expressing true feelings constructively, resolutions, self-descriptions, predictability, the momentum of others, and the naked eye.

Review: Mimicry and Consistency

“Avoid mimicry.
You don’t have to be like your friend
in order to be his/her friend.”

Mind Magic – page 78

Let your own latest words come kindly and constructively out of your mouth, filtering out negativity. Observe momentary impulses to stick in the words of others, sometimes choosing to use them if that feels right, most of the time ignoring the impulse. If the situation is a professional discussion, for example, quoting experts or peers has its place. In a normal one-on-one conversation, external support for one’s statements is not typically an immediate necessity.

If you particularly like a way you have said something in the past, sure, go ahead and use such phrases occasionally, but rhetoric becomes old pretty quickly, and in Flow state the words will usually have morphed and moved ahead in your inner counsels and what you hear yourself say may be happily surprising to you.

Review: Expressing true feelings constructively

 Nothing is gained by quarreling or hurting people’s feelings. Adding more of that stuff only adds to the challenge heap of your own life. Doing good each moment makes life easier for yourself and others. Expressing yourself negatively sets you back, gives you a longer to-do list for the immediate and long range future, replacing those divots you yourself caused. It’s totally counterproductive.

It also stores up negativity within you that biases clear right judgment. You will make more mistakes in completely different areas from the one in which you allowed negativity in. The ripple effect occurs both with positivity and with negativity. Marketing research studies have consistently shown that the ripple effect of negativity is stronger than the ripple effect of positivity: The average person having a positive experience with a brand tells six other people about it. The average person having a negative experience with a brand tells thirteen other people about it.

If you are going to express yourself, do it right, think carefully about it, anticipate scheduled meetings you will be having tomorrow and think deeply about what you want to say. Catch yourself during mental rehearsal stepping on a landmine which will derail the conversation and waste time plus create or enlarge future obstacles.

New: Resolutions

 Breaking years and decades of conditioning and of repetition of habitual behaviors is not easy. It is a form of making resolutions with yourself to change a given behavior pattern.

One thing that stands in the way of the effectiveness of any resolution is the memory the average person has of having made resolutions before which had never taken hold and were quickly broken. This memory undermines belief in any new resolution.

The only way around this barrier reef is to manifest your new resolutions in very small ways starting immediately, so all parts of you actually see the proof that this time it is different, something new in you is there, giving you the strength to stick to your promise to yourself. Then keep it up, refresh the resolution each new day, get up in the mornings and take advantage of the first opportunities to manifest your new resolutions.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself in the instances where habit sneaks in and before you knew it was happening in some way you have broken a resolution before you could catch yourself. That doesn’t mean you’re pushed back all the way back into the habitual robot you used to be. It’s normal to not have 100% efficacy when setting out on a new course in life. Keep an eye out for similar situations in the future, detect when you are in a situation that could cause you to backslide, and speak more slowly, think ahead more meticulously when speaking in those situations.

New: Self-Descriptions

 Avoid describing yourself in unqualified terms. If someone asks you to describe yourself, go ahead, but make sure that you qualify your attributes as to whether they apply to the way you have sometimes been in the past, or whether they are up to the moment descriptive of your aspirational self, the way you want to be. Talking about the way you have been in the past is telling your robot to keep doing it that way. That’s the opposite of what you really want: freedom to be yourself stripped of external conditioning and negativity. Your own free will, your own creativity, your own growth potential, your passion work, your unique gifts to the world. Don’t lock in the past. Don’t reinforce ways of being that you don’t want.

New: Predictability

“Predict and eschew
the predictable culture-conditioned response.

Do not always get angry in situations
in which anger is expected of you;
do not always contradict in situations
in which contradiction is expected of you.”

Mind Magic– page 76-77

 When people expect you to be resistant to something, surprise them by being more open minded than they expected. When they expect you to join a bandwagon of complaining about some other people, surprise them by being compassionate to them and to the people they are mentally beating up. Be solution oriented and think win/win. If you can’t come up with any creative realistic suggestions in the moment, be open to hunches that come up in the fringes of your mind for the next few days, you might have a delayed reaction idea that could be beneficial to the person you had been speaking with, and their relationship with the people that had been criticized.

Creativity by definition is always somewhat unpredictable.

True freedom always exalts creativity.

New: the Momentum of others

 Don’t allow yourself to be stampeded by the momentum of others. Others anxious to have something a certain way, carry psychic momentum which can be imparted to you without you even realizing it. What others think they want from you may not get them what they really want or need. Listen compassionately and objectively seek to help where you can. Remain calm and cool headed in the midst of all emotional weathers. Be the voice of reason and kindness in coming up with win/win solution possibilities for others to consider and refine. Encourage people at their positive undertakings. This does more good than constructive criticism, which in the Acceleritis / EOP(Emergency Oversimplification Procedure) culture is taken the wrong way too much of the time.

New: the Naked Eye

 Our expectations create a perceptual screen. As we emerge from our conditioning to realize and actualize the uniqueness of our being, the conditioning sneakily remains lodged in our senses. When you look at something, see only what is there. Look at things as if for the first time you are seeing them. Drop all expectations and comparisons and see what is really happening with an open mind. Look for the thread of something good nascently in the situation, and gently call attention to that thread of opportunity.

Key #3

Constructively and kindly express what you are really feeling.
This is radical new mental strategy #3,
the third simple key to the doorway
of the upper mind.

Further Keys to follow in subsequent posts.

Love to all,


Solving Challenges with Just One Fresh Thought

Updated August 28, 2020

Do you get frustrated when you look at a longstanding problem or challenge and feel that you just don’t know how to solve it?

Acceptance is a choice that leads to a path.

Is it possible that you do know how to solve it, but deep down inside you realize that the solution is likely to involve long, hard effort? Perhaps the situation seems so complicated that you’ve refused to even begin to think about how to untangle it. Are there complexities to the situation that have you considering easy solutions or quick fixes instead of dealing with those complexities?

How can you find your way out of this loop and move forward?

What works for me is to reconsider the situation and have “just one fresh thought on the matter” each time I’m considering what may seem a longstanding challenge. Instead of pressing for an ultimate solution immediately, I begin to consider and pursue step-by-step progress. The part of my mind that insists on easy solutions usually sees this as a reasonable compromise.

Accepting this creative compromise also refocuses the energy that was being expressed as frustration so that it now manifests instead as progress. I’ve found I begin to actually make progress the longer I restrain from lurching for a final solution while adding relevant observations, and that the probability for right decisions is noticeably higher. Continue reading