Originally posted November 17, 2011
What is the value of an open mind?
The mind, like a reducing valve, closes down to keep out overload. In this so far 6000-year era of Acceleritis™, there has been a lot of shutting down, when openness without commitment either way would always have been the more careful strategy.
People in the cloak of Acceleritis feel proudly that they have been properly hard-nosed when they are unconsciously trying to simplify and don’t know it, so this hard-nosed stuff is merely a rationalization. They unconsciously don’t want to consider how much scarce mental bandwidth it might take to deal with the flood of hard questions that will arise in their mind if they were to actually try to keep it open on the huge issues of life — such as what is death — is there a universal consciousness and if so is it personal or something else — who are we, each of us, what are we, why are we here, is there a point to it all?
The first moment in life that Acceleritis takes over, when we are very young, is the moment that we turn off the wonder at these questions and decide to get on with life, without realizing it we have unconsciously made a set of assumptions about the answers to those questions. Our every action is decided based on those assumptions, and every instant of our life will be shaped by those assumptions.
What if your assumptions are actually less favorable than the true conditions of reality in which you might partake?
Game Theory would posit that you are better off trying to get away with the most positive view of life you believe is conceivable, until empirical proof drives you to dial that down a bit — if that ever happens; leaving open the possibility that things could turn out to be even better than that, or simply as good as that, and you might never have to revise your assumptions downward.
Game Theory would disapprove of starting out from the most negative assumptions possible. And yet Acceleritis hugely raises the odds that an individual will tend to shoot low when making these unconscious assumptions about the nature of reality, probably normatively before age 5 in our present culture.
This is because Acceleritis increases the daily sense that we are incompetent, as compared with days of yore, those halcyon days before written language let all genies out of all bottles, in a 6000-year cascade.
Yet more genies-out-of-bottles no doubt lie ahead. So the premise of our institute is that the human race had better evolve mental emotional software to finally conquer and cure Acceleritis, if not the unthinkably enormous capacity of the human race to invent tools/weapons/media.
Acceleritis is the trance-like accommodation the human race has made for its own over-inventiveness, since written language caused our brains to rewire themselves in a way that allows us to visualize spatially at the same time as we symbolize in ever more condensed packets, enabling levels of abstraction and logic that make geometry seem like child’s play. We never had this before written language because before that we could not see communication, except for the numinosity – communicating symbols earlier hominids must have had, such as the circle, triangle, and other “magical” archetypal figures.
Numinosity for all its importance is just a feeling, whereas abstraction as potentiated in our visually-dominant primate species by seeable language, is a tool. Acceleritis is all about tools — inventions — machines — weapons — media. Our mind could not make any but the most rudimentary tools, scarcely more sophisticated than the tools made and used by other animals, until we were able to see communication. Communication being the only way that ideas can be expressed. Ideas being what drive the making of tools/inventions.
Today we receive too many question-producing stimuli each day, which causes us at an early age to shift the big questions in life off the screen of our consciousness and onto the hidden screen of our subconscious/unconscious. There, decisions/assumptions made previously constrain our body’s and conscious mind’s alternatives considerably and we are unaware of it. Like slaves, or robots of a hidden master.
Observer state is when the hidden master is exposed and the whole self is there watching itself objectively.
Flow state is when all of those parts flow into automatic harmony with one another and the individual is transported into a special state of consciousness where numinosity or miraculousness is present although the experience does not have to feel spiritual. Most people have it a few times in a lifetime playing a sport, playing a musical instrument, making love, or having a transcendent experience seemingly out of the blue.
Again these two higher states occur when Acceleritis is cured temporarily — and for more evolved human beings, permanently. The Human Effectiveness Institute sees no reason why the whole human race cannot experience these states far more often, which would lead to greater effectiveness and far greater happiness and ultimately to peace among all peoples.
We come back to the question of an open mind. What is the value of it?
Game Theory says the value of not assuming negative conditions is great, no matter what game you play. Modern psychology finds this is scientifically accurate, not just theory. Our beliefs, perceptions, assumptions, expectations, intentions and other mental emotional stuff predict the outcomes of our actions, and our scores on games. This is validated science today.
Flashback: In college majoring in philosophy and minoring in psychology I am inveigled into an experiment as a subject. More than a dozen cards are being shown, and the subject is asked to remember the sequence the cards are in. Each time you try, you are asked whether you think you will make it in 10 rounds. You go ten times to see if by the final round you can remember the whole sequence — of course the cards are shuffled each time. Turns out afterward that the actual point of the study was to compare an individual’s prediction that he or she will succeed with their true success scores. They seemed amazed that I said ten times I expected I would succeed, and that I did succeed. I asked why that was so amazing and they said no one else thought they would succeed, although nearly half did.
Acceleritis does that to our self-confidence. We of course project confidence to the degree we realized how important it was to our standing vis-à-vis other people, that if we did not show more confidence they would walk all over us.
It probably was not like this before Acceleritis.
Now about the experiments that we will undertake next week in part 2 of this post.
You don’t have to believe in anything. In fact, that would bias the experiments. You have to set aside all beliefs — suspend disbelief — in order to start.
The object of these experiments is to level set reality — you reopen your mind to the existence of all possibilities, you strip away all hidden assumptions, and then allow reality to teach you what it is, without you imposing any restrictions on it.
Of course, what these actions do in your conscious mind has less effect on your subconscious mind than on your temporary conscious mind, and all of it can flow downstream rather rapidly leaving you back in Acceleritis. However, this does not in any way mean our intentions are futile. Quite the opposite. They just take time and repetition to sink in down below the quarterdeck. But sink in they do.
You can perform these experiments surreptitiously because there are no obvious outward manifestations. It is all going on within you. No one else knows what you are doing. You cannot lose face, so while you are still attached to that, it cannot distract you from the experiment. This is highly useful because distraction is the main means by which Acceleritis reduces our effectiveness. Any way distraction can get tuned down or nullified, use it, so that your entire mind is swept as if by a ring of brooms back from its diffuse expanse, into single-pointed focus.
The stage is now set and we hope you’ll come back next week to try our incredibly easy and vitally important experiments that will help you level set your reality.
UPDATE to this post:
Watch a 3.5 minute video I made about my theory of Acceleritis.
Best to all,