Monthly Archives: January 2012

Ideas We Think Are Important

And which deserve further research

What is a life worth? All each of us can do for the betterment of the world is largely constrained by our funds. Warren Buffett, God bless him, is one of the least constrained in this way, and has heard the clarion call to give 99% of his fortunes to the benefit of mankind; he is destined to do a world of good.

For most of us, all we can do is all we can do. We have to continue to strive to do as much good as we can, and not be attached to the outcome.

Some people have good ideas that cannot be heard because they are ahead of their time. Stendahl, the father of the modern novel, died unrecognized and his books only became popular classics a century later. There are many such examples.

The Human Effectiveness Institute was set up to carry on my work in perpetuity, knowing that in my own lifetime my results could be limited. Without funds to carry out more extensive research into the brain, Quantum Mechanical interactions with consciousness, controlled experiments with new forms of education and so on, I don’t know if any of my ideas are right. All I know is that I will continue to try to find out as best I can, because I see promise of wide benefit if any of these ideas are right.

Jung was the first modern scientist to postulate that the intuition is a true function of consciousness capable of deriving accurate solutions to complex challenges. In our own time many scientists are studying the capabilities of the right cortex in pursuit of knowing more about the intuition. I expect in time we will discover that the intuition is a true set of algorithms and heuristic equations able to predict correct answers even though the left-cortex intellect is not able to explain step by logical step why that answer is correct.

In short, the reason I bet my life on my ideas is that they are the product of intuition. These ideas feel to me as nearing the direction of truth, even though they may turn out to be slightly to the right or left of being exactly correct. I can choose to be safe and not share these ideas, or to risk loss of face by sharing them. Given the potential to reduce suffering, it’s a person’s duty to put aside personal risk and contribute whatever ideas could be helpful to society.

Here are six ideas I expect will turn out to have some beneficial effects in the centuries ahead. We recommend whatever funds can be allocated to test these ideas further as a prudent investment in the future of humanity.

  1. The Theory of the Conscious Universe. Hypothesis: the spark of selfness in each of us is actually a dub of the single consciousness that exists. Quantum mechanics would be the appropriate testbed for experiments searching for interaction effects between consciousness and matter/energy. This would be a starting point leading to experiments that expand our sphere of scientific knowledge into what used to be called metaphysics. Once given proof that we are all truly One, the implications for war, terrorism, violence, hatred, crime, fear of death, and other negative phenomena would be profound. The diffusion of such proof from intellectual circles down to the level of affecting the emotion-driven behavior of the common person in the age of Acceleritis would be the next challenge after finding such proof.
     
  2. The Theory of Holosentience. Hypothesis: latest evolution of the human brain is still in the field debugging stage, with the left cortex and limbic system driving behavior in an unbalanced fashion relative to under-developed patterns of use in the right cortex and prefrontal cortex. This lack of integration in whole-brain utilization has propagated the formerly backward violent culture into a technologically advanced violent culture. The inventiveness springing from the new brain parts, even used in an unbalanced manner, has caused an acceleration in question-producing stimuli falling upon the average human consciousness per day, which we call Acceleritis. This has proceeded through three phases involving the invention of written (“seeable”) language, tools/weapons, and media. Brain research and controlled experiments in new educational interventions are the directional recommendations for research proving the efficacy of specific psychotechnological applications to increase human effectiveness, thus improving creative decision making to solve world level challenges. Such educational interventions would include forms of meditation, including what we call psychotechnology — the applied use of meditation continuously throughout life.
     
  3. Democracy enabled by Social Media. Hypothesis: the new media have finally reached a stage in which true participatory democracy is possible. All that is required is to launch and fine-tune the specific applications. Mining/crowdsourcing the solution ideas of the entire population so that the everyone can discuss these ideas intelligently and “vote” on them through Digital and all other media, could turn out to be the highest use of these media we have invented. Moderated commentary is essential in order to filter out the rancor that characterizes current political discourse, and to keep the process pointed at constructive solutions rather than blame.
     
  4. Individualized Education to Realize the Potential of all Human Beings. Hypothesis: the most valuable resource is the talent latent in human beings. If society were reorganized to practice true education, we would all benefit from far greater creative output. By true education what I mean is education that is true to the original meaning of the word, which is derived from two Latin roots, educare and educere, meaning “to draw out” something that is in there already. Our education system operates on the opposite basis of pounding stuff in that is not already in the child. The proposed new form of education would utilize batteries of tests to identify the innate talents and interests of a child. On the basis of these interests and talents the child would be helped to design his or her own work/study program from kindergarten on (with a modicum of the basics). In the old Russian and Chinese programs the testing was there to find out the child’s talents, but the child’s preferences were not considered. This created the opposite of utopia, i.e. dystopia. As George Burns said, chewing his cigar, “Do what you love to do. You’re going to be doing it all your life. You’d better love it.” Organizations would take part and begin to identify and sponsor children from their earliest contact with the new education system. If America were to institute individualized education, other nations would once again look up to us and understand our role as practical idealists striving to lead the world into a higher destiny. Combining this with true democracy through our media would put America back on the course set for it by the founders.
     
  5. A New Money System. Hypothesis: a smooth transition to a more optimal monetary system could eliminate world poverty without negative side effects. There is more than one possible money system. Our present money system just grew like Topsy. It was not designed based on consideration of all alternatives, or by controlled experimentation, optimization, or any systematic means. While modern banking can be traced back to medieval and early Renaissance Italy, the first records of banking activity date back to around 2000 BCE in Assyria and Babylonia, where the merchants of the ancient world made loans to farmers and traders that carried goods between cities. Banking transactions probably predate the invention of money, in that deposits initially consisted of grain and later other goods including cattle, agricultural implements, and eventually precious metals such as gold, which were stored in temples and palaces to deter thieves.* From money as symbols for cattle, to the Templars, to Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes, the random walk of events led to the present monetary system. Naturally those with the power of violent control would steer any emerging system in their own favor, whether it was the currency of exchange, organized religion, statehood, or any other system. Some of the violence perpetuated by the imbalances in brain use described above would sublimate into passive aggression through the exploitation of the masses by the rich and powerful. Imbalances in brain usage have led to imbalances in individual opportunity. Revolutions have occurred to rectify the situation, always resulting in the new leadership re-creating similar imbalances afterward, because the fundamental imbalances at the brain level had not changed. Communism was one flailing attempt at a new money system that was spectacularly wrong. This does not mean that a new money system as a concept is automatically going to be wrong. Our best economic thinkers could probably design credible alternatives and baby steps that could cautiously test these designs. Robert A. Heinlein in For Us, The Living depicts a future in which the Social Credit ideas of economist C.H. Douglas have become the norm. In this system, the government prints money not backed by gold (as is the case in America today) and extends this money to all citizens like an allowance. This differs from Communism in the freedom given to the individual as to how to spend or invest the allowance, and how to spend or invest one’s time. Alberta (Canada) started to test these ideas during the Great Depression until shut down by the courts. Nobody knows how well the idea would have worked if it had not been shut down. Today’s economists presumably could come up with even better ideas than those of a century ago. Renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs in The End of Poverty describes a path to eliminating extreme poverty by 2025 without any fundamental change in the money system, and all 191 UN member states in 2002 agreed to this plan, called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Extreme poverty is the tip of the poverty iceberg and it is possible by opening our minds to even more creative possibilities for the money system, all poverty and fear of poverty can be banished in this century.
     
  6. Cause-Centralized Marketing. Hypothesis: advertisers can increase sales and profitability by doing good works and publicizing these good works in miniprograms in place of some of their TV commercials. Cause marketing — a form of corporate public relations hinged on good corporate citizenship, doing good works/philanthropy — is today about a $1 billion annual phenomenon. This is about a tenth of one percent of the total spent worldwide each year on marketing/advertising/PR. A very small allocation and yet there is evidence that the return on investment from cause marketing and related forms of marketing such as true sponsorship is far greater than the ROI of average marketing/advertising/PR. The Cone agency in Boston has done surveys for years proving that the majority of the public will change brands to favor brands who are corporate good guys. My own work on true sponsorship (underwriting good content on TV/Digital media) shows 7X the average persuasion scores as compared to 30-second TV commercials, along with higher ROI. People are more affected by substantive actions by advertisers to improve the lives of human beings, than by claims of superior cleaning power etc. So why such a low allocation for cause marketing? The main reason is reach. Marketers know that cause marketing and true sponsorship have high impact but low reach. The obvious solution then would be to create a form of cause marketing that has high reach: replace some of the advertiser’s TV commercials with equal length units showcasing the individual human stories of people who have benefited from the advertiser’s support of good causes. This would provide high reach, high impact, and social good. A truly win/win solution. True sponsorship can also be emulated in commercial length units by means of miniprograms that touch people’s hearts, tagged with the brand’s name at the end. Changing the advertising can do more to uplift the entire culture than can be imagined. Advertising in a way is like the chatter that goes on in our minds — a form of background radiation that conditions our perceptions, thoughts and feelings. Why not channel it for the good of all — especially since the evidence points to that being the highest ROI solution anyway?

If any of these ideas makes sense to you, and if you would like to help me move it forward using a few minutes a week of your time or whatever you can manage, please let me know. I feel there is latent promise in these ideas and each needs a lot more work to bear fruit.

Best to all,

Bill
 

*See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_banking for more background on the subject.

The Most Difficult Game on Earth

Last week we published here the Human Effectiveness Institute’s “highly incomplete checklist” of things to do each day in 2012 to define and meet your goals for the year. One could write a book on each item in that list. For starters, here’s a drill-down on one item in the list that in a way underpins all the other items on the list.

Item III.1 on the list describes why you should be enjoying the moment and provides ways to get yourself into that headspace. Ironically, this is the most difficult game on Earth.

In some version of this universe, it is natural to be in that state all the time, i.e. happy doing whatever you are doing at the moment, or not doing anything but just being there. Why not be happy? If it’s what you’re doing that is blocking happiness, do something else. Why were you doing it in the first place if it didn’t make you happy?

The ego is what gets in the way. The ego is the be-all and end-all of unhappiness. You can choose happiness or at least neutrality in any moment no matter what is being inflicted upon you against your will, to pick an extreme case. If you’re being waterboarded, okay, neutrality is probably the best you can hope for. But such an extreme case illustrates that by an act of will and focus we can indeed choose our mental emotional state. All of us can. There have been times when we’ve all had an opportunity to prove that to ourselves. Nonetheless, it’s the most difficult game on Earth.

In the prior post we also described a modus operandi where you allow events in your mind/feelings to occur and then float away downstream without holding onto them unless they are perfect and contain no negativity. An impulse to be unhappy is one such event. The typical reaction is to get stuck in it. Great news: you can allow that impulse to float downstream. Perhaps as it goes you realize where it came from, or not. But you choose not to listen to it, obey it, or be taken over by it. It was just an arising in your consciousness. They keep happening of their own accord. It’s as if they are being lobbed into you from somewhere, but it is not necessarily your own best interests or wisest self that lobs each one. In fact most of the incoming is not up to the quality level of your best thinking. So why take it all on?

The ego is what makes this game so damnably hard. Whether the brain is a biocomputer or that concept is merely a construct, we are offered similar user choices in both domains. In dealing with a computer we are always offered choices of “View”. The ego is one “View” we are offered within our own conscious experience.

The ego Views every cup as half empty. The ego is Worf on the Starship Enterprise. Stuff is out to get us and we had better have the adrenalin flowing to deal with it right now.

Adrenalin and cortisol of course play havoc with the body as well as the mind. The ego is also the source of all stress. The ego is the bad guy in this movie. And yet the ego has nothing but your own best interests at heart. As Freud speculated and we agree, the ego is the manager that interposes in front of the sensitive animal infant to take care of it as soon as there is seen to be an Other outside of the self who does not always hasten to obey the felt needs of the self. The ego is therefore a normal part of growing up. Why should we paint it as a bad guy?

My theory of Holosentience (whole-consciousness) is that we do not use our whole brains enough. We are dominated by the ego view, due to “temporary” imbalances that have occurred since the infancy of our race, which is where we still are. These imbalances resulted from a mixture of testosterone, left-brain dominance, and Acceleritis — really all parts of one phenomenon: the newest physical brain parts have been slow to gain their appropriate level of contribution within the total brain. These laggards are the right brain and prefrontal cortex. The violence of the pre-existing culture — driven by testosterone, tools and weapons — co-opted the left cortex, one of the newer brain parts, into their drama, at the expense of the right cortex. That causes the ego to be pandemically “swollen”. We get stuck; we have not learned the “float downstream” methodology. This is why staying happy in every moment is the hardest game on Earth. A million years from now, or even in a couple of hundred thousand years, it will not be so.

But we can’t wait.

We need to develop methodologies to advance ourselves mentally/emotionally that far into the future, now. The actual survival of the race may well be at stake, but more importantly, our own individual happiness — yours and mine, and that of the people we love, the whole human race — is at stake for sure.

Happiness cannot remain up the trail somewhere, an elusive thing we are working toward. Not good. Outdated idea. Time for the new idea. Happiness now. In every now. Now. And now. And now. Happiness all the time, internally controlled, internally generated, by an act of will. Infernally difficult but we cannot abandon this game as we possibly always have before. Now is the time to face it — fight it — and win. And keep winning. Because the game is not won once, but continuously. That’s what makes it so hard.

After nearly 5 billion years of Earth’s existence, dinosaurs ruled the Earth for 160 million years. This is the normal rate of change for evolution. Just 200,000 years ago the hairless standing ape emerged. This is an eyeblink in history considering the billions of years it took for Earth to develop life and the hundreds of millions of years for life to very slowly evolve. The problem is that the new big-brained hairless ape developed its brain physically at unbelievable speed and mentally at lightspeed by comparison with the formerly slow movement of the Earth drama.

The hairlessness was, according to Desmond Morris in The Naked Ape, evolution’s way of making humans sexier so as to promote full-life mating as a survival mechanism enabling time-binding, the passing on of knowledge from generation to generation. Hand in hand with hairlessness, larger female breasts and larger male genitalia than apes. In Morris’ theory, neotony — the longer time required for newborns to become self-sufficient in humans vs. other species — was also aimed at causing lifelong bonding of male and female so that the big-brained new ape could leverage its brain cumulatively across time.

Holosentience theory posits that we are living through a temporary spike in time when “recently” we have been given new testosterone levels, new highly-active left brains, still largely dormant right brains and forebrains, and we have not as a race learned yet how to integrate this stuff. The purpose of the Human Effectiveness Institute is to push forward that learning.  

So back to the hardest game on Earth. As you go through your day, keep coming back to your right to be happy, right now, and use your focus, your will, and your creativity to bring about your happiness, in the Now. Let inner impulses float downstream if they are not conducive to your happiness in the Now. Take notes on stuff you let float away if you feel it is worth coming back to later, but let it go in the moment. This is remarkably conducive to flow state. There is a perceptible drag on flow state caused by looking backward at the supposed imperfections of what you did a moment ago. In martial arts one is trained to not gloat or sulk over your own last (good or bad) move. Erase everything downstream of the Now. Keep erasing it in your consciousness all the time, taking notes on items felt to contain future insight.

One thing that gets in the way of winning this supreme game is the never-ending To-Do list. We all have two of them, our primary moneymaking job To-Do list, and the Remainder-of-Life To-Do list. In this time of Acceleritis — which is still accelerating faster all the time, like an out of control merry-go-round — it’s common for sincere people who keep their agreements to wind up subordinating themselves and their moment-to-moment happiness to the To-Do list. This gives more weight to the To-Do list than to one’s own best interests. This is the thinking of a slave.

The recommended technique for de-weighting the To-Do list is, ironically, to be more thorough about how you maintain it. If you sweep everything up into two lists kept on the lower toolbar of your computer, prioritized as well as realistic time pressure allows, and continue to put the incoming in there, a palpable sense of calm ensues when you close these lists back down into the toolbar. You’re not going to forget to do anything. The most important stuff will arise in your mind to remind you to bring it to the top of the documented list. It suddenly all feels under control.

Sometimes learning how to use our brains comes down to simple stuff like this.

You have enough creativity to find ways to make whatever your task is at the moment more interesting to yourself. You may have to give yourself a little more time to achieve the desired effect. If you feel you are being watched at work and can’t carry out these methodologies, go to the rest room and into a stall. (Why do you think the human race called it a “stall” in the first place? :-) )

Beyond our own individual lives, I feel we all have a duty to posterity to bring widespread public awareness to how consciousness works, and how to make it work better. We need to start using methodologies such as “float downstream” in the upbringing of our children, in school curricula at all levels, and in on-the-job HR training. That’s the mission of the Human Effectiveness Institute and this blog is one of our means to that end.

Thanks for reading. For a short video relevant to this same subject, please click on the link below.

Joy Now video

Best to all,

Bill

Accomplishing your 2012 Objectives

A highly incomplete checklist

The year has just started and already you are creatively adapting to the unexpected, steering around unexpected resistances, and still feeling cocky about taking the hill you’ve assigned yourself for this year. Good.

This cursory reminder list of methods is passed along to keep handy if and when you run up against a boulder that frustrates you, casting a dim light over achievability of the year’s target. The list can also be used proactively even during times of smooth sailing to notch the game up a bit.

I.  Creativity

  1. Doodle a schematic of the situation and its players. These could be business or personal relationships that you are navigating. Engaging spatial mind centers in the right brain is a prime directive in terms of overcoming the bias of the time i.e. Acceleritis.

    1. What would be the ideal “win” for each player in the diagram? Getting down to the human motivational level immediately is a typical mensch method. This engages your own feelings, rebalancing you out of leftbrain dominance.
    2. What action might each player take in the situation, and how would other players react? “Consequence thinking” engages the prefrontal lobes. The more your brain is fully engaged the closer you get to Holosentience.
    3. Have you left anyone out of the diagram so far? Who?
    4. What would be the ideal outcome of the depicted situation from the standpoint of a hypothetical Universal Consciousness?
       
  2. Get out in Nature alone. Even when it’s freezing cold.

    1. Pay attention to nature all around you, up and down, above and below you.
    2. In the streets of big cities this works too although not as powerfully, so nearby parks are a plus, the less city-like the better.
       
  3. Blocked. This is for when you’ve run up against a challenge that worries you and brings you down.

    1. Imagine that you can feel the muscles in your head relaxing while you go blank and stop gnawing whatever bone has your mind obsessed at the moment. Don’t let yourself revive that conversation in your head for a while, force yourself to think or feel about some different subject, for at least several minutes, preferably up to three days if timing permits.
    2. Turning away from a problem allows the subconscious mind with its far greater resources to attack the problem from new directions. Fearing that you must stick with it, if you persist in trying the ingrained approach you are stuck in and can’t see beyond, it will just take longer to get to a solution, making you miserable, and less effective in everything else you do in the meantime.
    3. Like trying to remember a word that’s on the tip of your tongue. You have to stop trying to remember it. You are going into the wrong file drawers, which blocks you from relaxing into the right file drawer where suddenly the word just pops into your mind in the midst of some completely different conversation.
       
  4. Right Objectives? Have you set the right goals for 2012?

    1. Are you following goals set for you by someone else?
    2. Were you arm-twisted into these goals by persons or situations?
    3. If you’re stuck with such goals, what would be the twist that would make each goal more important to you personally?
    4. How will you know if an objective is “right”? It will be a combination of a strong hunch feeling that it’s right, plus you could defend it logically if challenged by a naysayer.
    5. In the context of the whole-brain “enlightened” thinking espoused in this blog, right objectives will be outcomes that benefit people widely as well as benefiting you.
       
  5. Right Metrics?

    1. Is there a way of re-stating each goal so that its most valuable effects can be better ascertained and appreciated at the end of the year?
    2. Perhaps evaluate not just economic outcomes but also social ones? How will people be affected, people close to you and those far away?

II.  In Preparation

  1. Predreaming. This is what you do on weekends in looking at the week ahead, and evenings looking at the next day.

    1. For each scheduled meeting/phone call, whether business, nonprofit, governmental, military, personal, or spiritual, what’s the outcome targeted? What might each party, including you, say that would get you in hot water and move you away from the targeted outcome?
    2. Actually hear and visualize the dialog back and forth in your mind.
    3. What’s the ideal “win” for each player?
       
  2. Postdreaming. The after-action report to your Self at the end of each day, at stolen moments e.g. when everyone thinks you’re already asleep.

    1. What could you have done or said better.          
    2. What to do next time in a similar situation — what worked and what didn’t.
    3. What will be the warning sign next time to remind you of this improved approach?

III.  In Action

  1. Check for fun.

    1. Okay, if fun is not the right word for you, and neither is play, just make sure you’re enjoying what you’re doing at the moment.
    2. If there’s no sense of enjoyment, forget about getting flow state performance out of yourself. It’s not going to happen.
    3. Take a one-minute meditation break to get into the headspace of loving what you are doing.
    4. Take notes on specific diagnostic ideas you get as to what’s really bugging you so you can focus on them later.
       
  2.  What’s the outcome focus now?

    1. You want to be singlepointed not multitasking: what is it you’re trying to achieve right now?
    2. Everything else gets put aside — out of distraction range, hidden from eye movements — and every great new idea that pops into your head gets tucked into a one-word note instantly and then ignored until later.
    3. Even if it has to do with the present meeting, it goes into a note, one that you will pay attention to during the course of the meeting, just not right now. Again, “meeting” includes any encounter with others, not just business meetings.
    4. Stay in the moment. Be 100% present with the others. Absolutely turn off email and all forms of electronic interruption. Do not interrupt the speaker.
       
  3. All of you in the Now.

    1. Your estimable resources are not being frittered away by excessive dispersal, though all your armies are on the line, at the ready. Your attention is one. You are focused with everyone on the common immediate objective. Your orientation is a win for all.
    2. As impulses rise up continuously from within, you merely observe them without acting on them, except for the rare impulse that you feel to be perfect for the moment.
    3. Therefore you do not allow yourself to be rushed, you take your time.
    4. Each impulse to do something you allow to float downstream into the past without acting on it, except for those tagged with the mysterious sense of perfection. These perfect impulses will be those that you feel have no negativity hidden in them, and which go to the core of the matter.
    5. In lulls, look over your notes, determine action items and schedule them, file notes in folders based on the relationships you are involved in this year, for easy findability. If necessary start a new 2012 filing system that does not tackle the massive job of re-filing the past right now. Keep the 2012 refined objectives in sight at all times.

Let 2012 be the year of the fresh start for all of us.

Best to all,

Bill

“Get the bad guy” is now proven an obsolete idea

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:

  1. They believe that God wants them to be doing this.
  2. Their other perceived life choices are uninteresting and unpromising.
  3. They are angry at being treated as backward people.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Bill

 

*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.