Tag Archives: Observer State

Science, Spirituality, and “Woo-Woo”

Created April 5, 2024
Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

“Woo-Woo” is defined as “unconventional beliefs regarded as having little or no scientific basis, especially those relating to spirituality, mysticism, or alternative medicine.”

I’m grateful that there is not yet a derogatory term for “theories of universe grounded in science which are not in conflict with spirituality”.

As you may know, my books do not assert the existence of God, but point out that we could all be part of a single consciousness, a consciousness which could have the qualities we as a species have generally intuited for God – omnipresence, omnipotence, and benevolence.

My main emphasis in these books is that we should keep an open mind, and in our decisions and actions take into account the possibility that this is the truth—that we should be empirically scientific toward our own experiences, and objectively observe if the one-consciousness lens is useful in understanding what goes on in our lives.

Rather than filtering out our hunches and inspirations, our blatant experiences of telepathy and empathy (understanding, emotional telepathy), and our spiritual intuitions. EOP, Emergency Oversimplification Procedure, is the instantaneous dichotomistic bucketing of everything into good vs. bad based on accumulated imitative conditioning, without giving any fresh thought to any matter.

As a species we have been driven into the EOP condition by a combination of Acceleritis, accelerating information overload, plus the dominant unsupported assumption of Western science since circa 1800 that the material world is all that exists and that it came about by accident.

In that science thus constrained, the importance of consciousness has been generally belittled.

Stellar exceptions: William James, Jung, Einstein, Wheeler, and Hawking — who in his last book held up Wheeler’s Participatory Anthropic Principle as part of Hawking’s own worldview. By the implications of their thinking, these renowned scientists all opened the door to the possibility of a universe which is a consciousness. None of them, however, took it that far.

Einstein, like Thales and Spinoza, had spiritual feelings aimed at the universe and at the intelligence which had created it. By bringing the observer into his thought experiments, Einstein snuck consciousness back into science’s picture of reality, thus discovering relativity.

These great thinkers were resuscitating animism, originally emerging as the first natural religion, essentially the feeling that the Creator is in everything. The native Americans shared these same spiritual feelings.

Animism never went on to become a formalized religion, that was pantheism, its next stage of evolution toward today’s dominant monism – which within Hinduism still contains a pantheistic pantheon as masks of the One, as established by the Upanishads.

Neither Spinoza nor Einstein saw any conflict between their animism and Judaism. This is key. What it says is that not only is it possible that we are part of a field of consciousness which invented matter-energy-spacetime, it also says that there is no distance between that and the beliefs and values of the world’s religions, that it is all internally consistent, integrity exists, science is its mental emanation, spirituality is its emotional emanation.

Will we then all become more positive about life and about each other? It would be natural, once we get out of the habit of implicitly putting down all spirituality because of some Woo-Woo extremists.

But Thales, Spinoza, Einstein, and many other people have experienced that moment, that rush, of spiritual realization, when one suddenly gets it— that there could be a scientific God.

We might not be limited to this world, this one lifetime.

One suddenly has a sense of cosmic resonance, of the importance of being.

We know that consciousness exists. We know that with much more certainty than we know that matter exists since we experience matter through our senses, which are part of our consciousness.

So it would be illogical to deny the possibility of a much larger consciousness.

Woo-Woo is another form of EOP. Oversimplification. It is not necessarily something that happens to people as a result of their own spiritual realizations, it might have been transmitted to them by friends and associates and/or by social media or books they’ve read.

Because Woo-Woo is essentially authoritarian and faith-based, it is a belief system and does not rely upon scientific support. It tends to be open-ended i.e. pretty much anything goes.

Back in the 70s when psychedelics first reached a mass audience, both spiritual realizations and Woo-Woo began to spread through the world culture. Two parallel and related processes.

Today there are about a thousand times more books published per year about Woo-Woo than in the 70s. They are almost all well-intended. A few are cryptopolitical propaganda. The field does much more good than harm, in my estimation.

Getting people to be less negative is a good thing. It would be better to do that with less exaggeration and fewer black-and-white generalizations. But game theory proves that optimism is more utilitarian than pessimism. Yes, Woo-Woo goes too far, but I wouldn’t waste time putting people down. Better to help Woo-Woo folks metacognize, recognize, and master their own egos, reopen their minds to all possibilities, and move up into the Observer and Flow states, and out of Woo-Woo followership.

Mixing Woo-Woo with politics is a sure sign that it is the most naïve, imitative form of Woo-Woo. Spirituality is above politics. If we are all one thing, factions are a mental illness.

Takeaway:

Don’t believe anything except your own experience, be observant and keep an open mind, test and learn, see if this one-consciousness lens is useful to you, realize Oneness as an ever-constant possibility.

My Best to all,
Bill

 

Quote images from Quotefancy.com

The Difference Between “Predreaming” and “Manifesting”

Created March 29, 2024
Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Predreaming

A recent article in The New York Times by Tara Isabella Burton, a fine writer of both non-fiction and fiction with a doctorate in theology from Oxford’s Trinity College, puts down a specific spiritual belief she refers to as “manifesting”. She writes:

“Today’s culture of wellness — predicted to be an $8.5 trillion industry by 2027 — is suffused with the pseudoscientific language of positive thinking, manifesting, useful and toxic “energy” and, above all things, the power and the potential of the self to create its own reality. If we can dream it, much of contemporary wellness language tells us, we can have it — so long as we focus our energy hard enough.”

She also associates “manifesting” with some other huge things, including besides the wellness culture: spirituality, capitalist individualism, positive thinking, denying aid to the poor on the grounds that they are not using their God-given powers of manifesting, and even Trumpism. She cites Google evidence that searching for the word “manifesting” spiked 6X when the pandemic began.

Burton traces how a faith healer’s book in the late 19th Century triggered a spate of similar books which became so powerful that they inspired Mary Baker Eddy to found the Christian Scientist movement, and transformed Capitalism into a religion:

“In this way, the capitalist pursuit of profit was swiftly recast as a religion whose only tenet was desire… New Thought offered a convenient economic theodicy: a way of explaining and justifying wealth inequality as a kind of spiritual hierarchy, with the wealthy at the top and the suffering at the bottom. And it’s notable that manifesting, New Thought’s modern descendant, should rise to prominence at a moment when economic inequality is once again at an all-time high.”

In her description of “manifesting” she consistently communicates the idea that it is simply wanting X (generally, money) and focusing all our energies on it.

I rarely use the term “manifesting” but until now have never thought of it in a bad light, so I’m grateful for Burton’s very readable and intelligent article. I see now that “manifesting” has taken on a more narrow meaning that I thought it had.

I have always used my own term, Predreaming, which came to me in a moment of inspiration, as if from “upstairs”.

My definition of Predreaming is rather lengthy but I will quote it here from Chapter Seventeen of You Are The Universe:

Chapter 17
Predreaming

Just a reminder: all of this is theory, largely based on my own experiences. For readability the scenario is described as I imagine the details, and is intended to be the most parsimonious, plausible explanation that accounts for all phenomena.

Whatever repeatedly appears on the screen of your mind will eventually appear in your external experience on the Universal Computer Screen we call material reality.

You are tuning in these material experiences, ordering them, attracting them to you, by dwelling on them.

It makes no difference if your dwelling on them consists of prayer to get them (your desires), or dread of getting them (your fears).

The “dwelling-on” places the order, in either case.

Oblivious to our inherited “ordering power”, almost all of us are using it against ourselves.

One of the ways we have been (under-)using our “ordering power” in a constructive way is called “prayer”.

Prayer tends to be a heightened (i.e. more effective) form of predreaming to the extent that all four aspects of consciousness tend to be involved: thinking, feeling, perception (in this case, vivid visualization of the target situation), and intuition.

Intuition will tend to be present in prayer to the extent that the evolving mini-personality who is praying feels the target situation being prayed for would be good for other attention nodes, not just for him or her. Then the praying node has the intuition that “God has no reason not to answer the prayer”.

Now this is not synonymous with the Butler definition of “manifesting” where all you need is desire and focusing. There are a few differences.

    1. Scientific support – it has been proven that previsualization improves performance.
    2. A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and "God" by Bill HarveyTheoretical support – as documented in A Theory of Everything including Consciousness and “God” , John Wheeler, Einstein and Hawking are the Newtons of our day, and they have left the doors open for consciousness to be a far more important component in reality than most present-day scientists – with Wheeler creating the Participatory Anthropic Concept which comes very close to supporting “manifesting” but especially “predreaming”.
    3. With predreaming comes the concept of considering not just oneself, but how the desired state is a win/win from an enlightened point of view to a reality which is a single Consciousness.
    4. The other vital side of predreaming is to avoid projecting negative situations, which appears from her argument that is not a component of “manifesting” under her definition. This comes with a battery of methods for truncating negativity at all times. Expressing woe, past a certain point, extends woe into the future, with an accelerating curve as you dwell on it.
    5. The connections Butler draws between “manifesting” in social media and religious groups that have embraced Trumpism is another difference. The students of predreaming that I know are not affiliated with any of that.
    6. Predreaming is only one aspect of adopting a lens of the world as a single Consciousness. Another is Noia, the science and art of looking for helpful clues from the Universe – The One Self. There are many aspects helpful to Observer state and Flow state.

My experiential learning in testing and developing predreaming, the way I do it, has led to the strong conviction that it is working.

Seemingly being challenged sparks new thinking, it is wonderful to be challenged politely!

Butler has convinced me that the misunderstanding and misuse of one’s ability to “contribute mentally and physically to the happenings of reality, with positive emotion and functioning intuition” (shorter definition of predreaming), lead to unfortunate outcomes that spill over onto the rest of us evolving mini-personalities. Ego is the main reason this occurs, which is exacerbated by  Acceleritis. Too many “manifesters” are focused on money and act exclusionary, and justify this on religious grounds so they feel righteous and unable to waver or consider any polite logical challenges, because no one is better or smarter than God, and “God is in my hand.”

In reality, God – The Original Consciousness that acts though each of us and everything – wants us all to enjoy learning how to find our way back inside his POV. “Manifesters” will not get the results they want no matter how much they focus, because it would harm more of us than help. God doesn’t use free will that way, and doesn’t want us to, either. God has no reason not to love us, God IS us.

Wheeler et al explain the mechanics, by which these Consciousness-driven actions manifest.

Manifesters beware of “using the dark side of the Force”. Make sure the types of simplified thinking*  Dr. Butler describes don’t describe you. You will appreciate how much your manifestation rate increases.

I’ll close with this superb closer of Tara Isabella Burton’s article:

“After all, if reality is only ever what we make it, then those who possess the fewest scruples about conforming to the truth are the ones who will have the most power to shape the future.”

There is “a Darth Vader”. That’s the powerful people hypnotizing those follower folks, who deserve better, who have put themselves into magical superstitious thinking they think is spiritually driven, but it’s drawing down upon their spirituality account, to fool them like the metaphorical Devil, the ego.

Try predreaming and let me know if it works. Make sure to hold down the ego. Thanks!

*I refer to it as Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP). Here’s how my AI [https://app.soopra.ai/bill/chat] explains it:
“Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP) is a term I coined to describe a state of mind where, due to sensory overload or stress, we simplify our thinking process. In EOP, we tend to see things in black and white, make immediate decisions based on precedent, and have little foresight. It’s like an emergency mode our minds go into when overwhelmed, but the challenge is that it can limit our ability to fully process information and make optimal decisions. It’s a state we want to avoid or minimize for more effective thinking and decision making.”

Love to all,
Bill

 

Acceleritis Theory Validated

Created March 14, 2024
Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

The amount of information being processed daily by the average human being has been accelerating ever since the invention/discovery of written language.

In my 1976 book Mind Magic I postulated that the amount of information being processed daily by the average human being has been accelerating ever since the invention/discovery of written language.

And I theorized that this was the cause of a mental/emotional state I called Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP). This is a state of consciousness in which questions are set aside, experiences are not assimilated, personal effectiveness is reduced, creativity is blocked, the awe and wonder of life is invisible, one subscribes to black vs. white thinking imposed by others, one has prerecorded responses used all the time, new learning and growth are stultified. One is coping but not mastering life. One is a conditioned robot.

In 2011, in this article, I started using the term “Acceleritis” to describe the condition of information overload acceleration over time.

Recently my wife Lalita gave me a birthday present of a new book called Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari. In this book, the author documents social scientists’ work, essentially proving that my theory is correct. Both the author and the scientists whose work he cites add greatly to the picture, and I highly recommend reading this book for that reason, and because it also is a great read.

We can regain the use of our individuality, solve our problems by focused attention, be happier, and give back more to others. We can accelerate our growth by slowing down and choosing what to do next based on real value.

Hari concludes that external forces have caused our inability to concentrate, rather than being caused by a lack of willpower on our part. He divides the book into chapters to review these external causes one by one. And he starts with the digital devices which are so obviously part of the problem. One citation is a 2016 study which found that we touch our phones an average of 2,617 times every 24 hours.

Interestingly, he also cites studies which use data from digital platforms to prove that acceleration is going on. For example, a 2019 paper in Nature Communications, “Accelerating Dynamics of Collective Attention”, studied the major digital platforms and found that over time, topics spiking in public interest last shorter and shorter times before wearing out. For example, trending hashtags in Twitter (now X) remained in the top 50 for 17.5 hours on average, but by 2016 that had dropped to 11.9 hours. Similar accelerations were found in Google and Reddit but not in Wikipedia. The appearance and disappearance of new phrases were analyzed across millions of books in Google Books published since 1880 and the pattern looked a lot like Twitter’s (now X).

(In a recent meeting I was asked if they should be worried because their ad recall scores appear to be dropping over a period of years. I explained that day-after TV ad recall scores averaged 26% when I first got into the business and were now 4%, so they shouldn’t take it personally.

I also mentioned that attention to ads and everything else has shortened dramatically during my tenure, and in our biggest media type today, digital, it is 1-2 seconds.

Since that meeting I’ve seen results of a neuro study where eye tracking showed that, out of hundreds of viewable social media ads, 90% of them got 1 second of attention or less – and this was in a laboratory forced viewing environment.)

Hari also interviewed Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the famous psychologist who coined the term Flow state, and had been an advisor to The Human Effectiveness Institute, and the author makes the connection between the state of distraction blocking Flow state, and advises slowing down, getting more sleep, staying off devices in much the way you’re used to reading in my posts here.

The amount of research covered in this book is impressive, and the writing is excellent. Where my own work is additive to this superb body of work lies in two main areas. (These may be addressed later in Hari’s book which I am not quite halfway through. I’ll let you know.)

One is the art and science of introspection. It’s important to spend as much time in Flow state and this is accomplished by first learning how to bring on the Observer state. Mind Magic and Powerful Mind are my two books on that subject. Powerful Mind was serialized in this blog last year and the book version will be out this year.

The other is our culture’s lack of an inspiring sense of mission for the vast majority of people. This is what causes the desire for distraction and the willingness to be led like sheep down any path that gives us a pleasant diversion from lives devoid of purpose and meaning. This is the source of the awful notion of killing time.

My recommendations as to how to develop an inspiring sense of mission are also included in the latter two books, and in my science-spirituality-synthesis nonfiction books A Theory of Everything Including Consciousness and “God” and You Are The Universe: Imagine That. The essence of my message: it is quite possible that we ourselves are part of a consciousness of such power that it earns the word “God”, and that if we watch for clues, we find we are being guided by events toward sharing our gifts with the world.

Because my view of reality is so different, I felt it would be necessary to also write fiction books which illustrate what I mean by getting into various characters’ heads. Hence Agents of Cosmic Intelligence, my series of four (so far) sci-fi/alternate history novels. In fact, Episode 1, The Great Being, was just published and became available on this site and Amazon yesterday.

We can regain the use of our individuality, solve our problems by focused attention, be happier, and give back more to others. We can accelerate our growth by slowing down and choosing what to do next based on real value.

If you have questions, please feel free to have a conversation with my Soopra AI.

Love,
Bill

The Feeling of Being Guided by a Higher Power to Do Good

Powerful Mind Part 46
Created January 26, 2024

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Read Powerful Mind 45

“Have you ever wondered what life is all about?” I asked the precocious two-year-old.

“All the time,” she replied.

This is the kind of conversation that parents should initiate as early as possible in a child’s upbringing.

But since this is a rarity, we tend to grow up shoving our awe and wonder out of our conscious minds, because we don’t have time to dally. It’s all coming at us too fast, especially in recent centuries. A conscious mind process forms which Freud named the Ego and the Superego.

The Ego presents itself as the active conscious mind and so we all think of it as our self. It’s really more of a chosen spokesperson for the much greater totality of the real self that is our individuality.

The Superego is that part of the Ego (in my estimation) that second-guesses ourselves, our inner critic. Freud considered the Superego a separate functionality in which society’s demands are embedded as the conscience.

H.L. Mencken said, “Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that somebody may be watching.”

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may be the part of the brain playing a major role in the manifestations Freud labeled the Superego. It is probably also the structure supporting what Daniel Kahneman labeled as System 2, explicit thinking. Interestingly, Observer state (my term for metacognition) is very useful, and I associate it with the executive control network mediated by the frontal brain; but in Flow state, which is even more effective than Observer state, the frontal regions of the brain give up control to more primitive parts of the brain (“hypofrontality”), and the Ego and inner critic disappear, as intuition and practice meld everything into a sense of oneness that does itself effortlessly.

When one begins to shift into Flow state as a way of life, it transcends the Ego, as if the Ego had been training wheels which you can now take off your bike. You can now sense and live from the real you, your full self, not the defensive Ego, but from the joyous Muse within you, it was you all along, although it may also be the Self of the Universe living through you.

By now, many people know about the Flow state, and it has become formally recognized by the scientific and medical communities. However, there are some aspects of that state which are still taboo subjects. These are the spiritual intuitions which often accompany the Flow state.

We’ve already discussed Noia, my term for the intuitive feeling that invisible forces are trying to help us by getting us to notice certain stimuli which appear to be giving us information relevant to our current situation and/or thought process. U.S. Andersen, whom I’ve cited earlier, writes about surrendering control to what he calls the Secret Self, and he is talking about the same thing I’ve often referred to as the Universe, or the Muse within. The religion of Islam also preaches the same notion of releasing control to Allah.

It’s conceivable that one should first use the conscious mind and intuition to practice at life and gain a degree of proficiency at it before giving up the inner critic continuously second-guessing oneself, i.e. the Ego. Without practice, the Flow state might not come on so easily just by making a decision to release conscious control. Instead, one might be fooled by impulses coming from the Ego that one thinks are coming from higher guidance.

I know from my personal experience that the latter misclassification has dramatically fooled me many times in my life, especially as a youngster.

I think now that many spiritual people think they are being guided to make political choices by higher powers when it might actually be the Ego masquerading as God.

Even those of us who experience some Flow state every day are (wisely) hesitant to speak much about a feeling of being guided from above. It’s the sort of statement that can cause one can wind up being pigeonholed as a nut.

U.S. Andersen embraces this sense of being guided by the Universe to do things that will develop us as individuals and enable us to provide more value to others. Having been a successful pro football player and businessman perhaps he was less concerned about how people labeled him.

In this book Powerful Mind being serialized here, I’ve already recommended that you keep an open mind about whether the Universe might be a single Self, and you one avatar of The One. It is definitely a scientific possibility that cannot be ruled out. Whether or not in Flow state, I now take it as almost a certainty, because of my experiences. But I do not urge you to believe anything, merely keep an open mind to all possibilities, and notice what your own experience teaches you.

Set your sights high. Visualize how you want your life to be without undershooting out of fear of being heartbroken by failure. Don’t be attached to any outcome, just visualize the outcomes you want, and curtail negativity, and enjoy your life each moment. Turn negativity into learning and creatively adapting to circumstance. Don’t fight what is, go with it and steer toward the positive.

As Bob Dylan wrote, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody.” Each of us is serving by the work we choose to do, we are serving people, they pay us money for what we do for them. In your life’s best dream—your visualization that you will refresh daily—you have to be doing the work that gives you joy and gets you into the Flow state, otherwise you are not on the path to your dream. If you have to make a difficult switch in your life, do it in the way that gives you and others joy rather than stress, and make changes patiently.

Leave open the possibility that you are working for the Universe and that it will guide you along the way to your dream; look for possible messages in everything, but don’t talk yourself into wishful thinking, stay balanced and open-minded, use all of your faculties, all of the instruments in your inner orchestra.

Attune yourself to what is happening to you – become one with it – and go with its flow, except where you feel the need to go around certain parts of it that simply don’t feel right.

Believe in yourself and your ability to tackle any problem life throws your way, just know that you have to put everything else aside and patiently, without time pressure, use single-pointed focus on that one problem. Other side thoughts will arise but note them in writing and put them aside for later. You can tackle everything but take it one at a time, don’t rush, and you’ll see that you can solve everything you need to.

The feeling of being guided by a higher power to do good is a wonderful feeling. Make sure you are being an empiricist about it, that other people are sincerely thanking you, that you are really doing good in general, not just for selected others, with some other folks actually being harmed by your actions, but doing good for everybody. That and a feeling of joy in your life are the two essential checkpoints that you are on the path to your dreams.

Key #12:

Continuously focus on, bring out, and enjoy the Good

The 12 Powerful Mind Keys

Powerful Mind Key

New Mental Strategy

Blogpost Link

#1

Doubt your own last thought/feeling.

#2

Study, edit, and reset your automatic reactions.

#3

Constructively and kindly express what you are really feeling.

#4

Root for the Universe, not just for your current vehicle.

#5

Self-rating is irrelevant.

#6

Be sure of what YOU want and enjoy the journey to your dreams, without attachment to outcomes.

#7

Take Observer position, note your feelings without owning them.

#8

When there is too much going on, rotate attention to make sure every workstream is covered.

#9

Consciously determine how much to take your time.

#10

Patiently determine the most constructive use of each salient inner experience.

#11

Inner Visibility: See Your BioAI, See Your Muse.

#12

Continuously focus on, bring out, and enjoy the Good.

Love to all,
Bill