Tag Archives: Observer State

The Patterns of Your Life

Powerful Mind Part 28
Created September 15, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Read Powerful Mind Part 27.

Now that we are embarked on Key #6, which focuses you on a deep dive study of what you really want out of life, it will be helpful and fun for you to look back over your life and see what you can about what you apparently wanted most at different turning points in your adventure.

This is a task best approached in an alone space where you have made yourself temporarily invulnerable to interruption and distraction. Now that you have made the commitment to using your mind in the most powerful ways possible, you’ll find that having a daily alone space is almost essential. If others ask why you need to be alone for 20 or more minutes each day, “meditation” is the simplest explanation, although our forms of meditation in the 12 Keys encompass what in ancient India and around the world forever have been known as meditation, contemplation, and concentration – three forms of applying the mind in very special and important ways.

Neuroscience has identified one of the networks of the brain as the Default Network, which is the type of brain pattern most people use most of the time. It is essentially random chatter, and having observed it in myself, most of my life I have called it Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP), because it avoids deep thinking in favor of following attraction and repulsion impulses. In popular science it is identified with Kahneman’s construct of System1, which Daniel himself admitted might not be an actual system in the brain.

A second real system in the brain (which corresponds somewhat with Kahneman’s System2) is called the Executive Control Network, and it is associated with metacognition and what I call the Observer state. A third is called the Saliency Network, and it is associated with whatever is the most relevant pressing matter to you at the moment, and which will bring on transition to the Executive Control Network in situations in which that will tend to be most useful to dealing with whatever is most salient to you at the moment.

Meditation, contemplation and concentration are modes of cognition that depend mostly on the Executive Control Network. Piaget’s Formal Operational Level is his theoretical stage at which children are able to pick apart problems and systematically pursue and test solutions, and this would appear to be a stage in which the child has begun to regularly employ the Executive Control Network.

Depending upon your physical exercise regimen, it may be possible to combine your alone space with your exercise. This is not always the case because often our mental exercises will work best if you can write down flashes you have, and in some cases doodle something, such as the schematic of your life we are about to describe.

Take a fresh sheet of paper and allow yourself to doodle on it any way you feel like. In this case we are going to be looking back over your life to see what we can infer about what wants motivated you most during certain phases, so you might want to use the pad you are writing on in landscape aspect, so that you have the whole length of the pad for the vector of your life. You might want to add a scale at the bottom showing the ages from birth, and 1 year old, at the left, running up to your present age at the right.

In that framework you will find bubbling up in your mind stuff that would fall somewhere along that trajectory, and you can make an oval with words in it to mark what was going on at a certain age. Before you begin, let’s review the 15 motivations that my own empirical research at RMT (Research Measurement Technologies) has detected in human beings.

The 15 RMT Motivational Types

    1. Security – Feeling safe, rather than insecure; to no longer feel fear
    2. Belonging – Being part of a group; know that one is not alone in the world; to have support
    3. Achievement – A sense of accomplishment; to do something significant in one’s life
    4. Aspiration/Learning – Wanting to know more; to reach a higher level of understanding
    5. Competency – Wanting to be really good at something
    6. Fitness – Wanting to have a strong and attractive, healthy body
    7. Status/Prestige – Recognition from others; consensus validation of one’s own importance
    8. Wealth/Success – Affluence; freedom to spend on whatever one wants; ignore others’ criticism
    9. Heroism/Leadership – Acting heroically anytime; to speak up and take responsibility for situations
    10. Experience/Sex/Good Life/Hedonism/Epicureanism – Wanting interesting and fun experiences; to have a good time, enjoy the best of life, and see the world
    11. Power – Being able to control other people and situations to one’s liking
    12. Love – Wanting to love someone and be loved by the same person
    13. Creativity – Being creative in arts, business, crafts, nonprofits, sciences, technologies, or any field
    14. Self-Knowledge – Knowing oneself — who you are deep inside; mastery of one’s mind and emotions
    15. Self-Transcendence/Service to Humanity/Enlightenment/Spiritual Awakening/Nobility – Making a positive difference in the world; to take care of other people.

Taking my own life as an example, during my pre-school years I can recall incidents suggesting these motivations: Security, Belonging, Achievement, Aspiration/Learning, Competency – the first five on the list – plus Love, Creativity, and Self-Knowledge. My parents put me on stage and after many robotical performances (motivated by a desire for Competency) I experienced the Flow state, which was a turning point in my life. Aspiration/Learning what Flow state was, became a burning desire.

During kindergarten and elementary school I can see in my own memories that Status/Prestige became more important to me than it had been earlier. Power became important because these were the streets of pre-gentrification Brooklyn at a time of bullies, knives, and zipguns.

I spent a lot of time alone, thinking, and observing my own thinking and feeling. I had early thoughts about how I might help fix the world, which in those years had just used atomic bombs for the first time, and I knew this was the biggest future threat. I had the idea to gain power to effect positive change by going to West Point, becoming a General, surviving and winning WWIII, and then being elected President, where I felt I could right the many wrongs I saw, heard about, and read about, implying that I had begun to manifest the motivation of Self-Transcendence (Altruism).

At age 12, with a knife to my throat, I told the kid with the knife “I don’t believe you’re crazy, so I don’t believe you’d cut me, so I’m not scared.” That turned out to work. I feel that Heroism/Leadership was motivating me then, and perhaps earlier.

At the same age I had two out of body experiences and the onset of puberty. As if these were not enough, I also heard a voice in my mind say “I am God and so is everyone else.” This made no sense since I was in my own mind an atheist dedicated to pure science. Experience/Sex/The Good Life bloomed motivationally, I wanted to have a wide range of experiences and see the world.

By 16 I had graduated high school and my father had obtained for me two Congressional recommendations to West Point, but I was a year too young to be admitted. I went to Brooklyn College for a year and joined the Air Force ROTC. Leadership spiked as one of my top motivations for a while. However the ROTC turned me off as regards West Point and so I changed course and studied philosophy and psychology, the two subjects I had thought about every day of my life from my earliest memories. I also began to care about Fitness and got into the best shape of my life.

Graduating and taking the first job offer (Grey Advertising) Wealth/Success leapt up as a priority motivation. Aspiration/Learning and Competency once again became predominant motivations as I sopped up all the lore of marketing and advertising and media as fast as I could.

That’s probably enough about me, to give you an idea of how you can look at your own life through the lens of what motivated you at each stage. This will give you more grist for the mill to figure yourself out today, and where you go from here, what you want out of life now, and how you are going to get it. Enjoy the journey inside!

Love to all,

Keeping Score Is Mundane Thinking

Powerful Mind Part 26
Created September 1, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Read Powerful Mind 25

We have been conditioned to rate how well we have performed for other people. Our parents told us we were “a good boy” or “a good girl” at times, and “bad boy” or “bad girl” at other times. Gradually we became more aware of which things would get us which rating, and played to that scorecard. Now, all these many years later, that same approval-seeking program still has independent existence in our minds.

It is what it is. Good and bad are just labels we paste on real things. This labeling has positive outcomes when it helps guide us toward benefitting living things and away from disadvantaging them. But the way we are constantly labeling ourselves moment to moment is a neurotic pattern that is mostly counterproductive.

We also carry around a certain amount of unforgiven guilt, probably as deeply repressed as we can make it. We regret some things we did in our past and some part of us refuses to ever forgive ourselves for it. Even if we act out such a forgiveness it tends not to take the first few times.

These related behaviors use up a certain amount of cognitive capacity that holds us back from Flow state. Our thinking remains petty because of these old wounds and ongoing concern with how well we are performing moment to moment. These are just more attachments we have, conditions we have counterproductively established that do not permit us to feel good about ourselves, nor enjoy the now, unless we can prove ourselves to ourselves every moment. As if we can never be good enough.

Self-rating is irrelevant. We need to relieve ourselves of the burden of constant self-judgment. This is really the ego, presenting the masks that we think people want to see from us. Just more other-directed conditioning, that is preventing us from exercising free will and being in Flow.

Observer state enables us to clear the slate of all mundanities arising within our robotic false selves, as they arise. Like shooting down a missile while it is just leaving the launching pad. We actually have enough attention to be able to pay close watch on what is going on both inside us and around us at the same time. But not if we are unable to control our own attention. If we are living in fear that fear can cause us to be distracted by sounds or movements in the periphery of our vision.

This is why for thousands of years empiricists in all world cultures have trained themselves and others to be able to concentrate, and to ignore distractions and stay single-pointed. Without the ability to concentrate, metacognition becomes much more difficult if not impossible, and Flow state is likely to never occur.

Among the exercises practiced in some cultures is the burning out of fear, by meditating next to a corpse or in a graveyard. My preferred method is to imagine the feared event happening, and working out what one will do if it happens. Once you see yourself having the guts to ride through the feared situation with your head held high, the fear abates.

Getting rid of fear is part of getting rid of distractions, attachments, and other common habits of people who do not know about the higher states of consciousness they are giving up to hang onto these primitive mental ways.

Instead of keeping score on yourself, just let those impulses float away downstream.

Those scorings will otherwise either pump up your ego, making it more capable of distracting and fooling you, or they will undermine your confidence. Either way they will detract from your future performance. In effect, when you give yourself a bad score at moment #1, you are increasing the odds of giving yourself an even worse score at moment #2.

It is more logical and practical for you to recognize the value of the mistake you just learned from, because it makes you much less likely to make the same kind of mistake again, so in effect you ought to be rewarding yourself for having gotten that mistake out of the way as soon as possible.

But the best path is the one that lets all the scoring disperse as quickly as it tries to grab your attention. With a little practice this is not so difficult. That’s why this is the shortest chapter in this serialized book Powerful Mind.

If something is happening, going with the flow of it is generally the best practice, unless you are certain it is not who you are to go along with that. If something is happening that is against your highest principles you should not go along with it. What you might do is ask a question without seeming to take sides. This gives you the most potential leverage to correct the situation, although others with similar principles might misunderstand your actions. Not being attached to what others might think of you temporarily or permanently frees you to do the most good by your own lights.


You are what you control. Your body and mind may not currently be entirely under your control. Deeply habituated ego conditioning may control your emotional reactions faster than you can stop them. This can feel frustrating and you might be tempted to blame yourself for it. However, if you do not currently control those things, it would be unfair to blame you. Leave aside the blame and simply persevere to take over your own castle knowing that in the end it cannot stop you from taking over.


Balance and moderation are two of the great virtues taught by classical Greek Philosophy, Taoism, and to some extent by all spiritual traditions as well as inner exploration psychologies. The ability to deal with every moment is maximized by not over reacting, taking everything in stride, not throwing people out of your heart based on something said or unsaid, not being so fervent about your high principles that you get sucked into attachment to them and passionate rejection of what seem like opposite principles. Everything is connected. Dichotomies exist in the mind but what is, is one connected whole.

Key #5

Self-rating is irrelevant.
This is radical new mental strategy #5,
the fifth simple key to the doorway
of the upper mind.

Love to all,



Powerful Mind Part 25
Created August 25, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Read Powerful Mind 24 

There is no separation between you and the scene you inhabit, you are not doubting nor second-guessing yourself, everything is flowing by itself, and it’s all perfect, you are having a peak experience you will remember forever, and enjoying it to the hilt.

This is the way you will feel when you’re in the Flow state of ecstasy. In this level of Flow your body and your feelings are both in Flow, and you love and are grateful omnidirectionally.

There is a Flow state one step below that, where only your body is in Flow, but even in that level, your mind and emotions are not getting in the way. Your body’s actions are perfect and are doing themselves. Your mind and emotions are not gloating about it, because you are immersed in a state of play and are detached from the attachment to any outcomes, such as winning. This is the Flow state of action.

One step up from ecstasy Flow is mental Flow, where words come into your mind that are drenched in meaning and significance and yet exhibit artistic brevity of the highest order, and seem to be coming from above. You know that you are reading the minds and feelings of other people. Your ability to anticipate accurately is greatly increased. You have visions of possible futures, and how they can be steered toward or away from. You can grok eternal truths at a deeper level.

The Flow states nest into one another so that when you are in mental Flow you are also in ecstasy and in the Flow state of action.

Above mental Flow state, I’ve experienced two other levels, both spiritual in nature. One step up from mental Flow state you directly sense the consciousness of the universe as an embracing love. You can detect the presence of the universe consciousness with you, right there, and you know that it knows everything going on within you, you are in direct communication.

In the highest level there is a degree of control which you appear to have over events around you. Or the universe has the control and is using it to support your work.

“I am with a couple of friends and one of them is exhibiting her characteristic tendency of wanting to guess what I am about to say even before I say it. However, every time she interrupts, there is a loud thunder-like sound coming from somewhere that drowns her out. The other friend and I cannot stop laughing. The interruptive friend tries to outguess the thunder-like sound by waiting in silence and then suddenly speaking before the thunder gets her, but the thunder is always faster on the draw.”

You Are the Universe, page 250

You probably agree that, if I am not imagining all the above, these are states of consciousness that you would like to experience. Many of you probably can verify the truth of some of the above, having experienced it yourself, and if that applies in your case, you probably agree that you would like to experience those states more often.

That is the whole point of my highest passion work, to make it possible for more of us to spend most of our time in Observer state and Flow state.

Observer state is the entry point into Flow state. In Observer state we are able to discern our own ego impulses from the inspirations of our own highest self.

Below the Observer state there are a variety of ego-dominated states in which we are somewhat or very obsessed with our own selfish desires and in fear of not getting or not keeping the objects of our desires. Some of us in these lower states are somewhat or completely sane, while others in those states are somewhere on the neurotic-psychotic spectrum.

I find it pragmatic to lump all of these lower states into what I call EOP, Emergency Oversimplification Procedure, a pandemic coping strategy which arises autonomically in the presence of information overload and what appear to be unanswerable questions, such as “Who Am I? What Is This Universe?” The mind “decides” (typically below the level of consciousness) that there is no point wasting time thinking about such things, and the mind instead chooses among and subscribes to popular pre-packaged ideologies, choosing based on similarities to what one has been conditioned to believe by early experiences.

One does not reach individuality but convinces oneself of the opposite. One does not see that rooting for one party over another, or one religion or non-religion over another, is the avoidance of thinking for oneself by buying into some established belief system.


For a moment, turn off your inner dialog, and see the world around you. Let yourself feel the love you feel toward each of the things you can see around you, how grateful you are to have those things, including your family, your pets, your work, your home, your “toys”, nature, your memories, life itself.

Identify with the whole scene you apprehend, not just with your current vehicle. See yourself as your consciousness (including that which appears within the perceptual field of your consciousness), and your current body as something you love, and which is like your car but even closer to you than that.

Accept the fact that there is not much you can know with absolute certainty right now, but you still have to go on making the best decisions you can. Accept that it is totally not going along with the crowd for you to identify with the universe, nor will you win the support of the masses by keeping an open mind about life after death. Nevertheless, in the privacy of your own mind, you can decide to remove the block against currently unpopular notions.

It turns out that this is essential to spending more time in the higher states of effectiveness. Eschewing the mundane view of life. Being an individual with your own views of life and openness to possibilities still on the fringe of scientific verification.   

Be on the lookout for slipping back into mundane thinking and feeling. It will happen to you, it happens to all of us, the conditioning and the repetition have their own powerful momentum.

Realize and feel good about it when you click back into individualism.

When you sense you are not in a joyous state, realize that you’ve slipped back into attachment to lower things, a mundane state of mind.

Remember this song [lyrics and music] at those times.

Be grateful to the intelligence which caused the miracle of the universe which gave you life as a native part of that same intelligence which manifests as the universe.

When the universe is convinced that this is authentic on your part, it will be disposed to give you these higher powers. The universe wants all of its parts to succeed because in reality everything is one consciousness, so benevolence begins at home, and protecting other parts by not sharing higher powers with those parts who are dangerous is just good sense.

Tyrants and other dangerous people in our hisandherstory have been allowed to use their free will but have not been given Flow state. Hitler if given Flow state would now be our planetary ruler.

It would be wise for we ourselves to limit even mere earthly powers given to people who do not authentically exhibit love, compassion, and forgiveness.

Key #4

Root for the Universe, not just for your current vehicle.
This is radical new mental strategy #4,
the fourth simple key to the doorway
of the upper mind.

What does it mean to “root for the Universe?” It means, in practice, nurturing and trying to benefit everyone and every living thing.

Being self-sacrificing is sometimes the right tactic, but not as a general practice; you too are part of The One.

Note that this strategy will make you feel good and will gain you more loving friends even if it turns out that, counter to Einstein, the universe turns out to be a non-intelligent accident. However if you are merely faking it in order to get those benefits, it will not work, which in itself is an interesting bit of evidence of the consciousness of the universe.

Further Keys to follow in subsequent posts.

Love to all,



Which One Is the Real You?

Powerful Mind Part 20 
Created July 21, 2023 

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Read Powerful Mind 19

There can be a feeling of having lost one’s bearings when you’ve interrupted your ongoing persona, the consistent automatic System 1 process of carrying forward your own personal (necessarily somewhat infantile and childlike) coping patterns installed early in your life, without enough System 2 chipping in its own ideas back then.

At least before your new renaissance, it was easy to get through the day, and now that you are reconsidering everything in a new light, you may be stumped in the moment how to react.

Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman established these two constructs, System 1 and System 2. In System 1 the gut (controlled by the cerebellum) makes low-attention snap decisions, often based on precedent, engaging what Jung called the feelings and intuitions, what Freud called the subconscious, and which current psychology often refers to as the implicit mind. In System 2, the conscious mind (controlled by the frontal cortex) is employing focused attention to dissect options and make a decision, corresponding to what Jung and many others called thinking, reason, or the intellect, and current psychology refers to as explicit thought.

In our theory, we further divide System 1 into Flow state, Observer state, and Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP). Flow state happens automatically and one’s actions flow effortlessly as if doing themselves. This is high effectiveness System 1. Observer state can emerge within System 1 until it evokes System 2 Observer state, which occurs as soon as the Observing self begins to interpret what it observes. All three of these states, which vary enormously in their effectiveness, can therefore occur within System 1. And all three effectiveness states can also occur within System 2.

What this means on a practical level is that one needs to quickly discriminate between the things that one does automatically that work well, and those which do not work well. If you are reacting automatically and things are going smoothly and you feel no sense of dilemma or negativity, it is probably Flow state. If you have an impulse to do something which is habitual but something inside tickles you with a subtle fleeting warning hunch and you are paying enough attention to catch it and hold back the impulse at least momentarily, you are probably in Observer state.

It is normal when you are shifting out of consistency with your past accumulated coping habits, and you are being real with positivity and constructiveness, there will be times when you wonder how to be real when you don’t really know the true you. You have memories of taking strong sides with one thing or another and you are now a bit unmoored from those presumed certainties, which is a good thing when you are reconsidering everything. But for a while you could find yourself without a clear enough concept of what you stand for, what you’re here for, what purpose you are called to serve in this life. All of that wondering and uncertainty is a good thing. Something to welcome in with gratitude. It means you have grown up from the practices automatically formed back when you knew ever so little. You are ready to redefine your compass and where you are going. We will talk much more about this when we get to Key #5, however here in the midst of installing Key #3, the process starts of rediscovering your dream destiny.

The real you is the way you were awed and inspired by things when you were very young, and there were certain types of things that you loved doing, which are evidence of your true mission in this life, the gifts that you have to bring to the world. Letting your memories go back as far as you can and looking for the most positive memories is a very pleasant way of getting the job done. Clues from your positive experiences will tell you who is the real you, what your heart desires for you to spend the rest of your life doing.

It’s normal once you’ve recaptured some of the essence of your calling that two things will happen that seem part of the good stuff but are actually relapses to EOP:

    1. You envision your success at doing your thing, and the trappings of success become more important to you than the joy of carrying out your métier. This is merely a more clandestine way of still being trapped in attachment to external outcomes, wealth, fame, respect, an overflow of aspirants for your affections, power, control, security, status, social acceptance. Remember: The joy of the mission is enough in itself to make your life a happy one that adds to the happiness of others, even if there is scant evidence of your having significant external effects.
    2. You perceive that the new life you wish to make for yourself competes for time with the things that you have been doing which are tangential or irrelevant or even at odds with the life you want to now live. This strikes you as a frustrating dilemma, bringing you down into EOP. Remember: You may not notice you are in EOP so make sure to recall  that a sense of dilemma is a clear indication of EOP. You want to set that aside and consider things from a detached viewpoint that is not dependent on external things, i.e. you want to slip back into the Observer state.

From the Observer state you can creatively solve the issues about how do you phase in your new life as the real you, and dial down the EOP life you have been living. This is a practical matter because we need money to live in the world as it is today and has been for all of recorded history (which goes back a very short time distance). If you yearn to spend your days doing X, you’ll have to start by using evenings and weekends for X, and it will take some time to begin to be able to make money in a new way, so again, the only way to win is to be independent of any dependencies on external outcomes, and simply enjoy the happiness of doing more of what you really want to do, even if it never gets anywhere in terms of public acclaim. This will be the beginnings of your becoming established in the real you.

Details to follow in the subsequent posts.

Love to all,