Monthly Archives: July 2011

Maximizing the Emotional Fullness of Life

Surprisingly no one has yet asked me why I am writing about this subject — The Theory of The Conscious Universe (TTOTCU). Presumably my friends in the media business are somewhat curious that I am not dinning on about that business as they have long since become accustomed. And if deviating to another subject, why this spiritual sounding one, which may seem out of tune with a mostly business audience?

To explain let me go back a few thousand years to the earliest philosophers — folks like Thales and Epictetus, Socrates and the many other earliest thinkers at the dawn of written language.

Philosophy itself means the love of knowing. “Knowing” itself was one of the first subjects of philosophy — philosophers asked “what is knowing?” and “how is it possible that knowing can exist?” This sub-field of philosophy is called epistemology, as you may know.

Significantly, the root of the word “knowing” is “to see” — you may recall that in an earlier post I pointed out that being primates whose dominant sense is sight, we humans put seeing on a higher pedestal than our other four physical senses.

To me the two most important words that explain why philosophy exists are “wonder” and “awe”. These primal feelings/intuitions are the driver of philosophy, and it was philosophy that gave rise to art and culture, science and technology, morality and religion. First we had those feelings, then intuitions arose to guide us in the right direction to realize unspoken questions and to figure out the best ways of trying to seek answers. Without those feelings where would we be today? Perhaps still in trees.

Growing up I was unwittingly recapitulating the race’s ontogeny — feeling those feelings and being led through the same kinds of intuitions the early philosophers had, even before I could read such works and discover that others had been there long before me.

Freud called these feelings “the oceanic experience” (highly recommended reading: Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents). He postulated that religion came from this sense of something larger than ourselves. Remarkably, there may be nothing larger than our Self, if TTOTCU is the right explanation of the meaning of life. Our Self may be the only thing that actually exists, and the cause of everything that we experience. In fact this idea is the core of TTOTCU: all that exists is a single Consciousness, capable of “entertaining” Itself by making virtual copies of Itself, each of which shares the experience of being a self, and may be denied full or partial memory of who it really is. The Original Observer sees through the eyes (or other sensory equipment) of the virtual copies and the copies may or may not be(come) aware of the looker above who is also seeing out their eyes.

So back to my reason for these writings, despite the fact that the daily interests of my dear readers may be focused totally elsewhere. The reason is this: TTOTCU bears the promise of an ability to restore the magic of life, without the need to take things on faith, engage in superstition, or follow rituals which to some may not feel natural. If it is true that Consciousness is the supreme nature of the Universe, and that each of us is a reflection and a particularization of the Absolute Consciousness in a sacred game making each of us a unique and important experiment in a celestial and divine process, and that this in no way steps away from the scientific method and the disciplines of scientific thinking — then how much emotional fullness might be restored into everyone’s daily lives by recognizing this heritage?

Who among us has not had the experience of lying on your back in the grass looking up at the stars and suddenly feeling elevated, understanding deep down the importance and the excitement of the journey we are all on, and the hugeness of it all and our inextricable connection to it all? But after childhood, how much of this living large feeling makes it into our daily lives? Are we not ground down into pettiness? Do we not still yearn to feel the greatness of our existence each second of every day?

Even before proving that TTOTCU is true, simply the fact that it could be true is enough to place all religion into a new light, as scientific possibility. In fact it would be unscientific to rule out the core truth of all religion, without having disproven it.

The unity and integrity of having all things inside oneself integrated into a wholeness of purpose, a meaningfulness, makes life emotionally full. In a highly rational culture such as ours has been since the Golden Age of Greece, we subconsciously are unable to get in touch with the greatest feelings we can have, unless we can square those feelings with the rational strictures in our minds. TTOTCU can do that, without appeal to faith, because it is a scientific explanation for “what is”, which lines up with what we know from Quantum Mechanics (QM) and Relativity, and can explain why it is that time and space exist in our subjective experience and yet are not really there according to these cutting edge sciences.

That’s why I share TTOTCU. It has restored the magic of life to me, and I wish to share that magical feeling with as many people as possible. Especially you people who have touched my life and to whom I am grateful for what you have taught and given me.

All the best,


* From now on, you can look forward to reading Bill’s latest blogpost on Thursday of each and every week. We hope this weekly schedule will help you keep up with Bill’s posts.  😀

Consciousness has been The Black Hole of Physics

Since Einstein’s famous mind experiments made it possible to think in ways we could never even imagine before, we have learned that Time is Relative to an Observer.

Einstein pictured the Observer riding on a photon of light, and imagined what the Observer would “see” if it were possible to see without the interaction of photons and the eye (which interactions could not occur if one’s eyes were smaller than photons). This mind stretching exercise of imagination led him to make predictions that Quantum Mechanics (QM) has now proven to be accurate many, many times. Time does indeed move more slowly as the Observer approaches the speed of light.

The Observer then began to appear more and more frequently on the stage of physics. However no one dared to focus on the Observer; the Observer functioned as a convenient construct within theory but physicists stayed away from trying to say what the Observer is.

Heisenberg used the Observer to prove that an Observer cannot measure both the vector and position of an electron, but can choose which one to measure and in the process the measurement itself will alter the other value.

The Observer, of course, is consciousness — the experiencer, that which experiences — what is at the core of each of us, our innermost Self.

The ‘black hole” reference in the title refers simply to the way that physics has used the Observer without trying to look inside it.

Bell’s Theorem and the many experiments generated to prove or disprove that theorem, have established that either some things can travel faster than light, or that distance/space itself is an illusion and the entire universe exists within a single point, where everything is connected to everything else.

That the universe exists within a singular point is consistent with the Theory of The Conscious Universe (TTOTCU) which posits that the Original Experiencer is all that exists, and that the rest of the Universe is a creation of that Experiencer, all existing within Consciousness, the substrate of the Universe. Consciousness does not occupy space nor require the existence of space. In TTOTCU, space is an illusion created within Consciousness.

The Original Experiencer, like a computer server, is able to create from Itself networked computers (each of us) with whom the Original Experiencer is in various forms of communication. We are like sensors feeding back our experiences, and the Original Experiencer with its infinite computing power is able to combine and simultaneously experience all of that at once.

An elite team of physicists has recently received a grant to study the differences between our collective subjective experience of reality and the findings of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. The vision is to be able to combine new insights with QM to explain why we perceive the universe the way we do. The team refers to the Einstein term “block time” — time as a single block not as a running river — as one of the specific things they hope to explain: how is it that time is apparently an illusion (according to certain interpretations of QM and Relativity Theory) and yet we all experience it as reality? Perhaps the team will combine physics with new insights from neuroscience.

TTOTCU explains that, to the Original Observer*, everything is happening at once in a single instant of time, as a result of the processing power inherent in the Original Observer. To created fictional beings (us) our processing power is so much smaller that we must break down the allness into a sequence — over time — in order to take it all in.

To the Original Observer, it is still the first instant of Time — and will always be.

The creation of “cell selves” provides an infinite variety of experience and creativity to the Original Observer. Perpetual newness rather than sameness. Cell selves at our level have free will and no direct cognizance of sharing the Original Identity. This creates drama. What would you do if you were in the position of the Original Observer — just veg out for eternity?

In other words, it is simple and elegant (Occam’s Razor) to explain everything in the Universe if we take the substrate of Universe to be an Original Observer — our subjective experience, the findings of QM and Relativity, and a lot more. Einstein’s “block time” is just one example of how the picture falls into place — explaining why we subjectively experience time as a series of events while at the same time scientific experimentation tells us that these events do not objectively exist in this temporal relationship.

The principle of “parsimony” (explanations based on the fewest axioms) is a hallmark of science and is often used as a guidepost to identify theories that are more likely to be the actual explanations of reality. Perhaps this lends additional credence to TTOTCU and justifies its consideration and further investigation of the experimental pathways to proving or disproving our theory.

Questions we will tackle in upcoming postings:

“How does the Original Observer create the rest of the Universe?”

“Where did the Original Observer come from?”

“What is the relevancy to action decisions if TTOTCU is correct?”

And many more.

Best to all,


*”Original Observer” and “Original Experiencer” are used interchangeably here.


The Theory of the Conscious Universe: Where Is the Self in the Brain?

Update: The Theory of the Conscious Universe (TOTCU) to be released in 2013 as You Are the Universe. Stay tuned!

Picture the neurons in the brain as strings in a violin. Now picture them as superstrings. The brain is both.

In a previous posting we discussed the different “selves” that each individual has within him/herself, which are formed out of associational clusters of neurons constructed in the brain by our experiences after we are born.

These different selves in the software layer are not places amongst the neurons. Not quite. Each self is a particular conversation amongst neurons, and each self is evoked using specific places in the brain where those memories reside.

Each such “self” is a particular dance of the neurons.

Behind all this is the self you were born with.

This raises a semantic issue: the meaning of the word “self”. David Brooks, for example, says in his book THE SOCIAL ANIMAL, “Even up to age three, children don’t seem to get the concept of self-consciously focused attention. They assume that the mind goes blank when there is no outside thing bidding for its attention.”

Elsewhere in the book he says “You are the spiritual entity that emerges out of the material networks in your head.”

In reading this excellent and thought-provoking book, I get the feeling that he means exactly what he says in the prior sentence — that matter comes first, and that the self is part of the mind that arises out of the contacts we have with the rest of the world, and how those experiences dictate the laying down of neurons and connections in our brain.

Now, David is obviously a humanist who talks about moments of transcendence, and emphasizes the importance of emotions and the unconscious mind. At the same time he is probably a materialist, not in the popular social sense but rather as in the philosophy term of art, meaning he believes that matter appears ahead of mind in the timeline of the universe.

After all, read his last sentence above, once more. He is saying that your Self is what emerges out of the neurons that have connected since your birth. Whatever unconscious hard-wired genetic/instinctual predispositions you had at birth did not comprise your true self. To David, “You” remained self-less until your brain was sufficiently formed to where the self-ness function turned on — when you had enough contact with the rest of the world to emerge as a distinct self.

Here we would differ. I take the Self to be an experiential phenomenon. Not an abstract word. Practically every other word that we use refers to an object or something we see outside the Self. The word “Self” however has as its referent the actual ineffable experience you are having right now of being you. Reducing that to a word can be very useful, but can also be counterproductive if it gets us to think of Self as just another “thing” like all the others we perceive. The Self is not like anything else. It is in a class by itself. It is the only thing we know really exists. It is the Knower itself. Everything else is something we perceive indirectly through the physics of perception.

That is what I mean by Self and I suspect with that as a stipulated definition, David would probably agree with what I am saying here.

Once we start to perceive, our Self is lit up — we are the experiencer. If those perceptions start in the womb, or when we take our first breath, we likely have no notion of what is going on. Later, that experiencer undergoes various levels of evolution and becomes self-aware (has what David calls an “inner narrator that he thought of as himself”), and then later capable of looking at his/her own feelings objectively (what David calls “equipoise”). And even capable of Knowing Itself As Universe in moments of what David calls “self-transcendence” — moments when we lose the sense of separateness.

The Self is the experiencer. What the neurons lay down is the software layer. Sometimes, as David acknowledges, there is a fight for control among parts of the brain; we would say that the fight for control also includes one other part besides the ones considered in THE SOCIAL ANIMAL: THE ORIGINAL EXPERIENCER.

The Original Experiencer. The Self that was always there, before these levels of self-awareness that David represents as the step-off point for the Self. The ineffable spark of selfness that you have even before you can see yourself as separate or start to self-narrate or start to decide whether you are lost in bliss or somewhere else. The Self you have when your mind is empty. We would argue this is your true self, not the concoction of neuronal dances that you have going on all the time as a result of your experiences.

This is an important choice to consider in terms of your own thinking, I would submit.

What has all of this, however, got to do with The Theory of the Conscious Universe (“TTOTCU”)?

TTOTCU postulates that the Universe is a single consciousness, is the single Self that exists, and that the Self lives through all Its creations.

As we shall demonstrate in upcoming blog postings, this conception of what we are can explain every detectable phenomenon within an Occam’s Razor scientific model fully synchronous with quantum mechanics (QM).

Because of the importance of consciousness in explaining our “Theory of the Conscious Universe”, we began this posting by talking about when the Self arises — what I call the experiencer. We can’t talk about TTOTCU without first discussing these basic issues.

In describing what consciousness is and how it works we will make frequent analogies to the way computers work. We will explain why we doubt that robots can ever be made to experience, unless they are based on genetic technology, in which case they will not be robots. Yet we will also explain our odd hypothesis that consciousness exists in everything.

As we go along, you may find all the hypotheses in TTOTCU odd — or perfectly obvious (latter group please send me an email — I’d like to chat).

So, what if anything does this have to do with the primary work of the Human Effectiveness Institute (“THEI”)? Our mission is to enhance human effectiveness. One way of doing this is by freeing the mind of constricting limiting notions that may be based on totally inaccurate pictures of reality. Precisely what our book aims to do. For a free sample of FREEING CREATIVE EFFECTIVENESS, please click here to see how the foregoing information can be leveraged to make you more effective. Would love to hear about how it works for you.

Comments are most welcome!

Best to all,



The Theory of the Conscious Universe: The Roots

Featuring: A Movie in Your Mind

Another area in which the Human Effectiveness Institute focuses is the interface between psychology and physics. The ultimate nature of reality is what all of us assume physics is studying, while the nature of mind is what psychology studies.

However, picture a future in which psychology reaches what we might call the complete circumnavigation of the mind. Everything about human psychology is understood, and animal psyk too. Psychoanalysts working with the new perfect model have the same success rate as today’s hip replacements, and in about the same turnaround time. People are pretty much always happy, except for short lapses so as not to forget what the other emotions feel like, or lose their functionality through disuse. Got that envisioned?

Okay, we are together living in that future world and we have all read the popularizations of the ultimate psychology. We get it, it makes our lives work better, we are proud that the human race has achieved such an accomplishment.

Then, in this sci-fi movie we are playing in our minds, a problem arises: physics arrives at the same place as psychology. Physics, too, explains everything in its field. We know how the Big Bang happened and why. We know why there is a universe at all. Our picture leaves nothing out, everything is solved. We finally solve the 400 BC conundrum of which came first, matter or mind.

The problem is this: the physics picture totally overturns the psychology picture.

Then what do we do?

Obviously, at that point the hero/ine gets to work and we see time cuts of the hard work it takes (movies are great at condensing that part) and – voila! The old theory is ingeniously twisted 90 degrees and it clicks perfectly with the new model, and now the population is not always just happy, the entire population rises to the level of genius, is always in flow state, art flourishes and enriches culture, each individual becomes fully realized in all good potentials inherent at birth, the awe and magic of life is restored and never again forgotten even for a moment, psychic and/or telepathic abilities bloom gradually in everyone, and – most important of all – each individual is in total fusion with God.

Yes I said the dread word that causes materialism-philosopher-scientists (MPS) to stop reading. You see scientists have always been philosophers too. We have always had a segment of MPS and another segment of idealism-philosopher-scientists (IPS). Daniel Goleman or David Brooks might well write a book about the relative contributions to science of MPS versus IPS scientists – it would make fascinating reading. Newton of course was IPS. Quite capable of debating fine points of IPS with Leibniz, another idealist philosopher of the time who was a mathematician rather than scientist (Newton was all of these things). Mathematicians and scientists have always produced greater science by working together, and probably greater mathematics too.

The word “God” has meaning to IPS but causes shutdown to MPS. My guess is that those MPS still reading to this point are only reading so as to refute whatever my point might be in all this.

Before I get to the point, let’s stop for a moment to make a fix that has been long in coming. Roughly 2500 years overdue. The term of art “Idealism” when used in juxtaposition with “Materialism” is a confusing misnomer since the word “Idealism” has other meanings used far more frequently. Time to change the term, so let’s first understand where it came from. It was Plato.

Plato of course had heard similar thoughts and was putting them together more concisely and less mystically so everyone could understand them. Qabala contains similar thoughts, for example, and everything thinkable exists somewhere in the tradition of India, captured in written language since the Vedas.

The Idea is that there are multiple levels of reality. In the Absolute Plane of Reality, Ideas exist. They are the perfect embodiment of themselves. The Ideal Chair is the most often used example in philosophy courses –that’s sure getting old. “Ideal” in the sense of “Idea” and also in the sense of “Perfect Embodiment” and “Archetype”.

At any rate, there are these Ideas floating around in the realest plane of reality, and down here on these lower planes (Qabala has four levels, some Indian texts also, but other interpretations have infinite levels – Qabala calls this Jacob’s Ladder) we have shadow imitations of those Ideal Ideas, imperfect replicas intermixing all the Ideas in sort of a stew.

Here on Earth we exist in the lowest of the planes in hard material reality, sometimes called the Visible World. To Plato we are as if in a cave watching shadows on a wall cast by something outside the cave we cannot see.

Without attaching to the history of the term, I’ve laid it out here to show the trail. This is how the great debate got to be called “Materialism versus Idealism”.

What instead should it be called? The debate is trying to solve the question of which came first, mind or matter — which of these is the actual basis of reality, the ultimate quantum plane from which the universe arises.

About 400 years ago, by the way, Hume and Berkeley, Leibniz and Spinoza and Kant and many others drove a period of philosophy where mind came first, before matter.

Today the view that is baked into the average person including scientists is that matter is the supreme substance of the universe. Ironically, the most far-out physicists are now heading back in the other direction toward mind or an intermixture, and gradually the culture is slowly following them. This is not discussed philosophically by the average person, who may nevertheless detect a drift back into what s/he would call a spiritual direction.

We would prefer that the debate be called “Materialism vs. Mindism” or “Materialism vs. Consciousness as Prime”. That’s what it always has been about. The “Mind Came First” position in this debate does not necessarily have to be locked into Plato’s multiple-levels theory, as there are many theories that could be built around the “Mind Came First” position.

“But how could that possibly be?” one thinks, still in the current culture that assumes materialism without even knowing that one is doing so.

After all, Carl Sagan told hundreds of millions of viewers that after the Big Bang occurred due to forces we do not yet comprehend, bits of matter started to assemble due to electromagnetic forces we do understand. At a certain point they formed the Replicator molecule – akin to viruses – robotical pseudo-life. And then just impelled by these random collisions of electromagnetic forces, this process continued to evolve and build itself up until consciousness emerged.

We all mostly bought it, didn’t we? I must confess I didn’t – it seemed like random waves on a beach could build beautiful sand castles if I just sat around for a googletillion years. I still can’t convince my gut of this.

So what is this Theory of the Conscious Universe I was supposed to talk about? Please excuse the tease, but I promised I would lay out the roots here. Now that I’ve established the roots, in the next postings I will get on to the theory.

Best to all,