Category Archives: Acceleritis

Transforming Our Emotions

Originally posted June 2, 2015

In the complex accelerated culture in which we live (we call it Acceleritis™), self-mastery of our inner space, or even awareness of what is going on in there, is extremely complicated. Neuroses can arise like biocomputer viruses, and spread through society by intercommunication between people, through our thoughts and ideas and through moods upon which neuroses depend.

Be the masters of our emotions

Two recurring neurotic themes most of us can relate to involve money and frustration. Our culture is set up to cause most of us to worry excessively about money. Money is often the leading indicator of our feelings of self-worth, belonging, achievement, status, freedom, wellness, potency and security. I’m probably leaving some things out.

Frustration can mount, for example, in the workplace when co-workers and bosses don’t go along with the inspiring ideas we have about how to do our job better. Or when society does not encourage (or recognize) an inborn skill or talent and instead of channeling us into a career we love, we find ourselves doing work we can tolerate but that may do little to bring out those inborn talents.

Over time the mix of frustration and money fear can turn to a growing anger, often bottled up inside where when left to simmer and build it can become one of the causes of illnesses of the mind and body. We fall into a counterproductive cycle. We become blocked from getting into the Zone, where ideas, action solutions and clever ways to break through would lead us to create a path to more money, security and happiness.

With the emotions as a wrapper around our whole mental experience, thoughts flit along the surface of the mind. Emotions program thoughts and vice versa. Everything affects everything else in there.

We can ignite the start of a new cycle by seizing the control point where the avalanche starts — our emotional mood. Becoming aware of our emotional state and then working mindfully to take back control of the emotive space around our psyche is key. Detachment from outcome is the core of heroism. A sense of humor gives perspective. Willingness to face the worst with confidence in oneself (and for many, confidence in God/the Universe/a Higher Power) confers a courageous fatalism that has been rediscovered by all of the heroes in history.

In order to (re-)program our emotional wrapper, detachment is not enough. We are emotional beings, hardwired to have some emotional drama going on in the background at all times. Getting into the Zone aka Flow state requires awareness and management of that background emotional mood. If we are not proactively programming it in alignment with our intentions, it will continue to program itself.

Each of us needs then to work to transform negative emotion, the nemesis of the Zone, into positive emotion — which means remembering all we have to be grateful for, and all there is to look forward to and be excited about.

We may experience challenging (even heartbreaking) trials but we need to be able to shift our focus to see them as opportunities that reveal what we are really made of.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at MediaVillage.com. Here is the link to my latest post.

Originally posted 2015-06-02 11:12:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Do what you’re moved to do.

Originally posted April 28, 2015

One of the challenges of our current reality is the pervasive condition we call Acceleritis™ wherein we feel we never have enough time to do all the things we feel we ought to do.

Don't overthink it.

Do you feel like you are always behind and have too much to do? Do you speed up your actions to the point of increasing errors that require fixing (which then slows you down and makes you feel even more behind with no apparent hope of ever catching up)?

You are not alone! We have a natural drive for closure, and the seeming impossibility of ever reaching closure on everything the mind desires closure on makes us uneasy at most times — but we have gotten used to that feeling.

During your work day or at play, are you often not sure what to do next? Try to not overthink it…

Do what most inspires you at that moment. Why? Because the chances are higher that you’ll be doing it in the Flow state, which never occurs when you are doing something because you should do it. I call that “doing it to get it out of the way”. Flow state only occurs when you are enjoying what you are doing, and doing it solely or mainly for its enjoyment.

If you’re in the grip of Acceleritis and therefore not in the Observer state, you may not know what inspires you more, X or Y or Z. The solution here is to just let your body go and watch what it does. The body often makes decisions before the mind is consciously aware of making the decision.

Don’t be driven by email/text/social media.

It has become all too easy to become driven by incoming email, texts, Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts — meaning you don’t decide what to do next, you react to the ubiquitous digital input stream. This goes on all day and you become a willing slave to others’ priorities rather than your own. Instead, practice setting aside a time each day to deal with and catch up with emails and texts and whatever else is queuing up. This puts you in charge of what you do for the better part of your day.

Create a practice to step away from the to-do list.

What works best for me is meditation — where the mind observes itself, watching thoughts as they come and go. I find this is the most effective way to allow assimilation and closure of the most salient “anti-closures” bugging my mind subconsciously at any given point in time.

Like trying to remember a name, meditation does not work by “trying to do it”, it works by letting go of everything going on inside, and continuing to let go of thoughts/feelings/ images/hunches as they arise, watching them float away (or whatever imagery works best for you). From this effortless place comes clarity that often moves you closer to closure.

Next time you are overwhelmed, step back, and do what you are moved to do!

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers. Here is my latest post.

Originally posted 2015-04-28 11:53:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

How Did We Become So Distracted?

Originally posted March 10, 2015

We live at a discontinuous point in history.

Most of us know that the human race started evolving from primates, coming down out of trees over 1,000,000 years ago, but it’s only been the last 200,000 years that we’ve been homo sapiens.

We’ve written things down for only 6,000 years out of those million years so we have no written record of what went on before those roughly 6,000 years.

Key Survival Characteristic

My hypothesis as a social scientist is that in the last 6,000 years, written language changed the way we use our minds.

It actually started with the cave paintings, some 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, using symbolism — we started to be able to look at abstract symbols to represent things like animals that we were going to be hunting.

When we moved to written language, we could see the language — the granular bits of information. Pictures don’t have chunks to them like words do.

Though nowhere near digital yet, we started to get into granular chunk thinking as soon as we got into written language.

This development marked the beginning of a revolution in the way we use our minds, and this has been accelerating for the last 6,000 years.

We started inventing things — first tools, then weapons and then media — and all of those things have contributed to the fact that we now every day are subjected to a deluge of stimuli that exceeds our ability to answer all the questions arising in our mind second-to-second.

We get into a habit of just sweeping things aside. “I’m never gonna answer all this stuff. I won’t try to answer all this stuff. I won’t even try to answer the basic question of what is life, what is the meaning of all this, what is my purpose? It’s just too many questions. I can’t answer them.” I call this condition Acceleritis™.

We see things like increasing ADD and ADHD and we see people who are supposed to be running big countries acting like high-school kids and not getting anything done.

This deluge of stimuli all the time is not good for any of us. In the face of the hugely distracting environment of Acceleritis, we are being distracted from Flow state, which I believe is our natural state and which occurred a lot more before 6,000 years ago.

This is why I consider psychotechnology, which prepares people with techniques to stay focused through complexity, to be so important. No matter who we are, the quality of our life depends upon our effectiveness in meeting challenges, whether as a parent, an executive, an athlete or a world leader.

Shutting out distractions

Most all of the techniques I use to increase focus and creativity are included in my book, MIND MAGIC, and I also share them here in this blog space — techniques like mindfulness, meditation, self-awareness and letting go of attachment. Learning to become the observer more often and not getting caught up or reeled in by all of these distractions, we can find greater clarity and reach Flow state more often. Learning to stay focused in an ever increasingly distracting world, we can ultimately increase our creativity and improve our decision making.

Best to all,

Bill

Read the latest post at my media blog  “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com.

Originally posted 2015-03-10 12:24:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Multitasking Increases Short-term Brain Fun at Expense of Long-term

Volume 3, Issue 13

Speaking at the recent Wharton Advertising 2020 Conference in New York (where I also had the honor of being one of the speakers), neuroscientist Carl Marci used his closed fist to illustrate the brain. He described the fingers, curved under to touch the palm, as the brain’s newest evolutionary part, the prefrontal cortex. He noted that this latest brain development curls back to reach for and touch the much older limbic system, the seat of motivation and emotion.

His interpretation of what the DNA is looking for in doing this, is that the service of the most intellectual part of the brain seeks contact with the primal driving forces that are the seat of the goals in the goal-seeking organism. As if the power of mind exists — like every other part of the organism — to serve the highest ends of the DNA coding the system.

It is all highly purposive and this interpretation lends greater respectability to the primal drives that for centuries have been characterized as “lower” aspects of our being. This also gets back to Freud’s depiction of the id as being the animalistic and gross, babyish and least acclaimed part of our selves. In an earlier posting I offered an alternative view of the id as being our true selves, our original essence divorced from the later layering of experience-driven neuronal nets of software that expand the true self into new territory, some of it counterproductive.

Carl went on to spellbind us with an outpouring of ideas, one of which is that multitasking is so popular especially among Millennials because it gives them a jolt of pleasurable brain chemicals (presumably oxytocin or adenosine, or serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, etc.) by maintaining novelty-driven attention on something again and again by adding in another element whenever boredom sets in, which it all too easily does.

This jibes with my theory that the Acceleritis-ridden culture shifts us into avoidance of going deeper into percepts. Due to the overwhelming daunting list of questions arising in our brains from all this stimulation, which one subconsciously wants to avoid opening like a Pandora’s Box. This avoidance of the deep makes us lovers of the breadth – seeking more brain-juice cocktails by taking the overdose of stimulation even further.

However, as Carl noted, we are less effective when multitasking. Single-pointed attention is the way to Flow state/the Zone. This means that the seeking of momentary brain pleasure actually works against the organism attaining the goals of its heart. In the long run this reduces brain pleasure more profoundly and in a more lasting way. Borrowing on the credit card of brain-juice by multitasking burns your credit in the end.

Best to all,

Bill

NOTE:  Learn more about dopamine in this article.

Heroes Outnumber Emotionally-Damaged Evildoers

Volume 2, Issue 18

What is it about the beautiful state of Colorado that explains first Columbine and now Aurora? The cowboys and today’s anarchistic militias, fiercely independent, have been associated with the Western frontier that started over 400 years ago in New England and then rolled out across the Rockies to the Pacific shore. Maybe that has something to do with it. Deep sigh.

As always, the tragedy contains a deeply buried profound mystery. How is it that ordinary people turn out to be real heroes when the going gets tough? What are we all made of inside that causes so many of us to unhesitatingly step in front of the bullet to save others?

In my intuitive cosmogony (to be released as a book later this year, entitled Imagine) it is the fact that you and I, all of us, are not who we think we are — separate entities cut off from everything else in the universe, out for ourselves. We are like pseudopods of a giant amoeba of consciousness that is the Universe, itself conscious and divine. Living through each of us is the One Divine Original Consciousness, which is the only thing that exists. What we take to be our own island of consciousness is actually the Universe’s local consciousness cache, temporarily cut off from the consciousness of the whole, for the never-ending adventure of existence.

Why then does the Universe turn bad, becoming so negative in one such pseudopod as to want to destroy complete strangers?

It comes with the territory — where there is free will, there will be error. The Jewish esoteric philosophy of Kabbalah explains that sin, aka evil, is missing the mark. The “mark” is right action for the circumstances. The insight is that no one purposely misses the mark — they are self-deluded into missing the mark.

Acceleritis has been around for as long as the human race has recorded history. According to my theory, the written language (seeable symbolic abstraction) that permits recording history is itself the primal cause of Acceleritis. My colleague Dr. Phillip Romero sets the start of human abstraction 35,000 – 40,000 years earlier than written language, in the cave paintings — when art began — although he does not assert that Acceleritis began with art.

It is Acceleritis that causes error (sin, evil) to be so remarkably widespread, and makes so many people capable of killing wantonly. And yet such people are a miniscule fraction of the human race, and most of us are as heroic as the heroes that populate our movies, TV dramas, and novels.

In the decades and centuries to come, it is my dream that we will conquer Acceleritis by training our minds to deal with the attachment, false ego selves, and emotionally-charged information overload that causes even such a small fraction of us to go so bad as to generate widespread suffering.

May it be so.

Best to all,

Bill 

Being Amused by the Accelereality Comedy of Errors

Volume 2, Issue 12

Have you experienced being in a meeting where someone shoots down your idea dismissively and then presents a longwindedly crude expression of the same idea, without seeing that it is the same idea?

Have you pitched something to a company that is so clearly what they need, and then have them take a pass based on the strength of frozen ritual processes that no one believes can ever be changed?

Impossibility thinking, dream state management, “Earth must be God’s sitcom channel”, and other amusingly cynical thoughts pass through my head as I encounter these events daily. Still, I remain ever hopeful that in time the race will learn to use its prefrontal cortex, and see how the psychotechnology techniques such as those of the Human Effectiveness Institute do push back against the tide of information overload, i.e. Acceleritis, which causes the pandemic EOP (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure) exhibited in these funny behaviors.

It’s healthy and pragmatically useful to take these things as amusing rather than become frustrated by them since that negative emotion brings us down to the EOP level. If Observer state and Flow state are the objective and the answer, then the sense of humor is a major ally in the game. Humor and perspective are closely related, which is why comedians are actually philosopher/poets who express profound truths in an artistic and therefore pleasantly diverting form that cleanses the emotions of negativity or sublimates the negativity to a less harmful species of it.

The prefrontal cortex is a radical evolution. Once it was empowered by seeable (written) language starting about 6000 years ago — a mere eyeblink in human history — this triggered an acceleration process that manifests as a fall from grace, a submersion in self-dwarfing pettyism, a loss of the sense of connectedness to divinity and our numinous birthright. Acceleritis as we call it. Written 2190-2070 BC, much earlier in the accelerating information overload period we are still living in, the Lamentations of Ipou-our recall the spiritual culture that Egypt had already lost by that time.

Prior to the discovery of the first Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, the Nag Hammadi library was found in Upper Egypt in 1945. Whereas the Dead Sea Scrolls appear to be early drafts of the Old Testament, the Nag Hammadi scrolls contain what appear to be early drafts of the New Testament. One muses that the wars perennially fought over the Holy Land might have something to do with the findings of these materials — which cast such revealing light on our early Western spiritual beginnings. Not exactly a grail, the scrolls near Nag Hammadi were found in a large jar. The aspect I find particularly interesting about them is the many writers who groped to explain why, if there is God, the world has gone so wrong. These explanations are all variations on a theme of error-ridden/evil early offspring of the original Spirit creator, bad demiurge gods/archons aka the Devil. The early Christian church edited out these heresies (while retaining Satan) probably wisely as they are so negative and paranoia inducing. Also, the far simpler and perhaps more logical explanation is information overload and the time it takes for information-processing beings to learn to manage their own internal resources after such a powerful mutation (evolution of the prefrontal cortex) and its cascading effects.

The most important work each of us does is the work we do on ourselves, which the Human Effectiveness Institute calls psychotechnology — the broader field containing Buddhism, psychoanalysis, Zen, and a host of other specific methodologies springing up in different regions of the world. Psychotechnology is what propels us out of the Acceleritis-driven EOP state. Many of us, with the coming of maturity, reach a permanent equilibrium in the Observer state that allows us to laugh at ourselves and to appreciate the humor in the challenging, maddening conditions of our historical period. Jews call this being a mensch. This is definitely a hopeful sign, of which many abound all around us. Perhaps in a millennium or two, we will emerge from Acceleritis on a global basis — or maybe we are even closer. What can we do to (at least begin to) make it happen in our own time?

Best to all,

Bill