World problems now can be solved only by Psychotechnology
It has now gotten to the point of complexity and intertwinement that any legislated change will at best reduce suffering, but will not stop the endless violence and sadness. Change from the outside can be effective when individual populations being governed are small and separate enough so that tribal leader-level intellect (after all these centuries, what we still have at the top in most cases) is capable of dealing with the communities’ woes effectively.
Once populations enlarge and start to bump up against each other, as we have seen for the last 6000 years, the tribal leaders go to war that then lasts forever — at least so far. Today we see a story in The New York Times that proclaims war may be over, apparently because we seem to be content maiming each other in more limited conflicts (fewer than a kilodeath per annum, the Times specifies as the hip definition of “war”). But this is just wordsmanship. Sure, nukes and thermonukes and germ warfare are a reasonable deterrent even for the present human race to “get it” and try to keep the killing down to subcritical mass. But war by any other manifestation — terrorism for example — still results in many deaths, especially when the US, in order to fight back at all, so far can only think of ways of doing it that still escalate deaths on all sides, though at least reducing the powers of people that do in fact need to be contained or changed.
This will go on until the present human race bootstraps itself to a higher level of mental/emotional functioning. No other class of solution can touch this root problem: human beings believe they are separate islands of consciousness. This is an identity crisis of the highest order.
Therefore when one kills another, he/she does not realize that it is a self-inflicted wound to the overconsciousness, The One that sustains us all by being the spark of selfness each of us takes to be “me”. Each of us is in fact an avatar of the One Consciousness. S/HE is living through each of us. We are HIM/HER and most of us do not realize it. It is S/HE that is looking out your eyes and taking your experiences to belong to you the humanoid, feeling your selfness. (Please see the prior post for the development of this hypothesis.*)
Criminals, terrorists and tyrants are the way the overconsciousness has decided to behave in that instance of HIM/HER. Especially horrifying experiences when growing up will have that effect upon consciousness, especially during Acceleritis. In a more information-balanced environment, individuals growing up with cruel parents (the latter having been children with their own horrors), for example, would stand a better chance of untangling their own mental/emotional knots within fewer decades.
Free will in itself could perhaps explain the human race in its present state, but Acceleritis helps explain how it has gotten to such a point that it seems like satire.
It‘s the start of a new year — 2012. It’s time to make a world resolution to lift ourselves by our bootstraps into bigger people — bigger hearted, bigger in wisdom, bigger in ways that count — to be mensches all the time.
Among other things, this entails not blaming the other guy. It’s time to give up the practice of perceiving bad guys to go hunt and kill. We might still hunt and kill them if that’s really the optimal short term solution. (This is a testable hypothesis, via controlled military experiments, for example comparing drones in one zone vs. psychotechnology and communication in the other zone). But we cannot go on thinking of them as “bad guys”. They are the way the Universal Self (“US”) acts in that experiential petry dish. We might find that taking them out is the most humane solution for all, or we might find that if we treat them like mirror selves we might actually be able to reach accommodation with one another.
There is no way out other than this. Without taking the next evolutionary step — enlightenment for the masses, homo completus, change from the inside — violence will go on forever, made worse by even worse weapons yet to be invented but which surely will be invented.
We are forced at gunpoint — thinking of our grandchildren’s grandchildren and beyond — to confront our self. That self is actually The One Self, in my theory. What we take to be our own consciousness is actually one personality aspect of the One Consciousness. We are stitched into the universe, not isolated conscious players within an “Infinite Unconscious Dead Chaos That Is Accidentally Ordering Itself.” We are part of the One Universe, and it is more conscious than we are, in our present step along our evolutionary trajectory back into total awareness. (Dear reader, I know you will tire of my constantly reminding us that these are mere hypotheses within an unproven theory, so let’s hereby establish this as a given.)
The Human Effectiveness Institute is looking around for a prison somewhere that wants 300 copies of our book for free, under certain conditions: it’s got to be used in an experiment to observe what actually happens when prisoners are treated as “God Gone Wrong”, not as “Bad Guys”.
This being the first mention of God in today’s post, let’s stop for a second and look at the use of that word. I am of course not speaking of an old man with a beard sitting on a throne. I’ve taken one more logical step in the progression. If we are all within One Consciousness, this does not automatically equate the One Consciousness with what we think of as God. In fact, an atheist is more likely to consider TOTCU if that final association is not made, and the logic is left to end there. Why then further postulate that the One Consciousness of the universe is God? The universe being conscious is itself a plausible scientific thought, given that we observe consciousness exists within patches of the universe known as human beings, so it is only a small leap to postulate that consciousness is everywhere throughout the universe. Why then undermine that scientific thought with one that has for centuries attracted such disapproval from so many materialist scientists, the thought of God?
The reason is that before I researched ways of supporting or improving my theory with latest science, what I had was a strong hunch — an intuition — that we are all God. I had been an atheist until that point, at age 12, when the idea hit me like a bolt out of the blue. Somehow I felt it to be true inside that I was God, and so was everybody else. Over the next 20 years I developed a theory around the idea and today am still in the process of supporting that theory with latest science.
So I can’t in good faith dodge the issue of God, in hopes that it would make my theory more palatable. It would also be dishonest. Knowing that this theory could offend both atheists and true believers in any specific religion, and not wanting to offend, I still feel the calling to spell out this worldview as a possibility. I find that it leads to creative solutions, and so it might simply be a useful fiction. Game theory would suggest following the worldview as a lens for its utility, without necessarily assuming it to be true.
But back to the jail experiment for a moment.
Flashforward: There’s Bill Harvey in the courtyard, a mic in his hand, interacting with the prisoners. (Flashback to 5-year-old Billy on the Brickman stage doing stand-up with his pop.) Back in the prison, we listen in…
Think about it. Let’s say you are God, hanging out alone, surrounded by nothing. After a while, just hanging out can get boring. You start to spend time thinking. You think about what your options are. You’re going to have to create something, so as to have something fun and interesting to do. Your imagination runs wild — you have visions of all kinds of stuff — you imagine having stars, planets, living beings, beings that have consciousness the way you do — in fact you know that what you are is consciousness.
How are you going to create something more concrete than your imagination? What do you have “at hand” to make anything out of?
Yourself. You have nothing else but yourself. Nothing else exists. You have to use some of yourself as the material if you are going to create anything.
Fortunately, consciousness is the perfect stuff out of which to do that. Let’s say you’re God, and you’re made out of putty. When you come to the decision of creating, and all you have is putty, it’s going to be a pretty boring universe. There are only so many things you can make out of putty. On the other hand, out of consciousness you can make anything. Why is that? Because consciousness itself is made up of information, and information is infinitely fungible, infinitely esemplastic. (Okay, big words for some prisoners — I’ll leave them out when the day comes.) You can make anything out of consciousness, and the really good news is that it all feeds back experientially to the One, to The Progenitor. Because it is consciousness, it comes along with selfness. There really is only one Self. That Self is playing with, and inhabiting, GI Joe and Barbie dolls — that’s who we are.
With the new way of thinking about themselves as an instance of God experimenting with life in a body, and the psychotechnology techniques in Freeing Creative Effectiveness helping them to deal better with their own anger, fear and despair, the hypothesis is that an increased percentage of prisoners will rehabilitate as compared with norms. In the 1960s, the Leary-Alpert experiment at the prison in Concord, MA halved the recidivism rate. The main intervention in that experiment was LSD, but prison officials said the LSD had nothing to do with it, but rather, “If you shower so much attention on them before and after they are released, of course that would reduce the return rate.” (As reported in The Harvard Psychedelic Club, Don Lattin, HarperOne, 2011.) If these prison officials are right that the efficacy was due simply to the Hawthorne Effect as it is called, then surely our book and lecture series in prisons should have the same effect.
Rather than disparaging such interventions, if the Concord Prison officials are right and all that is needed is a little more personal attention of any kind, then why not give it to them? The book in fact has already been proven to have some positive effect on some prisoners: John Bowie, a convicted murderer, read our book and was changed by it. He repented of his crime and became a model prisoner, someone to whom other prisoners would turn for fatherly advice.
Jumpshift out of the prison to the world stage. Terrorists deserve being reached out to one more time, the extra chance justified because now there is a new communication strategy. We “get it” that they are God too and it appears to them the right thing to do to be blowing up children. We address their assumptions, which to them are compelling:
- They believe that God wants them to be doing this.
- Their other perceived life choices are uninteresting and unpromising.
- They are angry at being treated as backward people.
- They are in a support group where they feel a sense of belonging, and their needs are taken care of, including spiritual needs as well as physical ones.
- They are sure they will live after death — in this they are right.
The most difficult parts of the communication will be on the touchy subject of religion A vs. religion B. Actually in terms of Islam specifically (not that all terrorists are Muslim), many of the things we want to talk to them about, they are somewhat familiar with. The Great Jihad is work on oneself to be a better human being — I call it psychotechnology — it’s actually the very selfsame thing. We would do well to quote the Quran in support of whatever points it supports in the Institute’s psychotechnology, as we reach out and try one more time to communicate, this time on a spiritual level as well as a moral, scientific, social, and practical one.
What I am proposing here is that we begin to experiment not only in prisons but also in the very prisons where we are containing terrorists. These humane experiments will be intended to help, not use, the prisoners. The test is to see if there are signs that we have in fact helped. The ultimate objective would be to release model prisoners back into their communities as a further viral experiment in the spreading of positive memes. You might say, “A noble idea, but it’s hard to imagine these terrorists being willing to participate.” We would agree it is an ambitious hypothesis — but one worth trying, given that the problem has to be solved, and so far all we are achieving is a degree of containment, at a grave cost in lives. We therefore, I would argue, have to try everything that has even a slight chance of succeeding to any significant degree.
Jumpshift to our own lives. Blessings to all for the New Year! In my vision of you, a few of my words in these posts have resonated with thoughts and feelings you have always had. In 2012 you take your own best thoughts and feelings to heart and act them out at all times, you become your highest self in every moment. You treat others as you would want them to treat you. You stop seeing bad guys and instead of getting mad when your boss craps on you, you smile when you think “Well if crazy Bill is right you’re God too, so that’s me in there making these stupid offensive remarks.”
Republicans and Democrats are God too. May 2012 be the year when we finally all grow up and stop spending our time blaming when we have reality challenges that urgently need our attention instead. We need solutions not blame. This year, let’s resolve to find ways for all of us to develop solutions together.
We offer suggested watchwords for 2012 — Clarity, Unity, Rationality, and Love — the mnemonic being CURL.
Curl up by the fire with your loved ones — furry children too — and have a merry time all year!
*I now realize, after years of merely having an intuition, that this hypothesis is today scientifically grounded in John Wheeler’s identification of information as the most real underpinning of the tangible universe. Wheeler did not take the next step of explicitly connecting information to consciousness. I will have to take the credit or blame for that, one day when the Theory of the Conscious Universe (TOTCU), is ultimately proven or disproven.