Category Archives: Consciousness

What Is Your Summum Bonum?

Originally posted April 7, 2015

As a philosophy major I learned to say “The Highest Good” in Latin: Summum Bonum, but long before, even as a toddler, I had begun thinking about the same subject, vaguely noting that my inarticulate intuition could not accept anything I was told as an absolute, even from those two beloved gods Ned and Sandy (my parents). Without innate acceptance of authority as absolute, I was required to develop my own ideas.

Live in line with your higher good.

Before receiving my degree I had developed my own “philosophy”, ideas that had jumbled natively in my mind before formal study. When I contemplated Summum Bonum, I decided to choose aesthetics as my touchstone to determine what for me would be The Highest Good. “With or without God, what did I intuit/feel/decide to be the most beautiful way to handle each moment? And which would be a more beautiful universe — the one with or without God?”  That’s how I decided which hypotheses I would base my life upon.

This was my rational mind at work, yet my intuition was really leading my thought process. My definition of intuition is the ability to sense what is going on, to make connections and put things together, sometimes leaping wildly across intervening logical steps. Sometimes someone asks me why I did something and it takes a while to provide an adequate answer because I was driven by my intuition more than pure rational reasoning. In Jung’s four functions of consciousness (thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition), I’m an intuitionist, among other “-ists”.

Being a pragmatist at heart, The Highest Good to me is the best conscious approach to any situation, which I see as love — omnidirectional, unconditional, and nonattached love*. Such love creates the greatest long-term happiness for the greatest number, which I find to be the most philosophically beautiful approach.

What is The Highest Good to you?

Best to all,

Bill

*Nonattached love means accepting the losability of the things one is fond of, and thus being free from addictive dependence upon the objects of our affection.

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

Originally posted 2015-04-07 12:59:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Ten Minutes in a Life

Passing on the light

As you celebrate the miracle of this magical season, may your heart be filled with joy and light, love and peace. May the blessings of the holiday linger in your heart and stay with you and your loved ones throughout the year. Happy Holidays!

Originally posted December 20, 2012
Volume 2, Issue 36
latest Great Being post

He looked up from the gas pump to where a moment before he had an intimation she would be, and high in the sky was the moon behind a pale shimmer of cloud, one day past full. Down and to the left was an American flag. Trees were all around. He suddenly realized the time was pretty good now. There was nothing to be concerned about that he could feel at the moment, no time pressure, everything was going fine. Then it came to him that he always assumed there was something wrong, some unrightness he would constantly have to steer against. He was thrilled at having uncovered a bad lens he could get discard.

A minute later, starting up the car, the lyrics of a song on the radio triggered a vision.“The dearest thing in all the world is waiting somewhere for me” (“Waiting Somewhere For Me” by Rodgers and Hammerstein). He saw a scene of indescribable beauty, something between a fractal and a huge mural, a panorama of infinite detail and intense color, the parts in constant unfolding and rotational movement everywhere. He couldn’t hold it all — it was overwhelming, filled with light, luminous, numinous. The words “Oh my God” began in his mind but all wording was pressed out by the overwhelming emotional wave enveloping him in awe, love, victory, beauty. His feelings united with the scene so that he was the scene, the beauty, the happiness, the realization that not “he” — now “it” — was past the need for words forever, past the possibility of unhappiness forever.

He contemplated the vision as he drove to catch his train. Several minutes later on the cold train platform he watched himself hurriedly extract a mint, his body still assuming time pressure, always assuming the need to get done an important job that had to be done at top speed because suffering would be relieved for more people faster that way. He knew this assumption was also a bad lens to be removed. More good would be done without that lens, too. And besides, in his day job he was not relieving suffering directly, more like paying for the time spent in nonprofit work.

That was the ten minutes. Continue reading

Originally posted 2012-12-20 13:48:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Invisible Emanations from Your Navel

(A useful mental construct?)

 Volume 4, Issue 6

At stages of the Flow state one becomes able to sense in uncanny ways. For thousands of years people from one end of the world to the other — people with remarkable achievements and qualities — have reported actually seeing other subtle energy bodies within our physical bodies.

Their reports are uniform in the observation of seven energy centers and in other particulars. There are to my knowledge no other similar but conflicting systems for the structure of inner energy bodies. If this was all just crazy stuff, surely numerous nuts would have made up widely varying systems to gain attention.

Anyway, put a pin in it. The conversation today is about not actually seeing anything, but getting a feeling about or image of something. You could call it sensing — meaning “detecting something independently* real”; or you could call it imagination making a symbol of something in order to think about it better. 

The point is pragmatic. Opening your mind to experience this naturally-occurring phenomenology as it unfolds within you is not necessarily a waste of time. You might see something going on inside that you were not noticing before.

Play along with me for a second, if you will. Visualize a stream of luminous microparticles emerging like a firehose stream from your navel, then diffusing and forming an egg-shaped luminous cloud around you. Imagine that these are the signals you are sending out to other people and whoever else is listening/watching whatever. These could in the physical world include pheromones, microgestures, signs of nervousness or tight control or emotion or distraction and so on.

In my construct, this signal stream is the unconscious one, and is dominant in driving outcomes in the consensus reality. Heck, Gerald Zaltman and many others have now proven that part.

Meanwhile in our conscious mind we are playing the Game however we are playing it consciously. We are controlling the mask. We are trying to project something. Or we are in a higher state of consciousness — Observer state or Flow state. In these higher states there is communication with the subconscious, increasing across three levels of the Observer state and five levels of the Flow state.

What the people around us are getting about us is coming from the firehose, not from our conscious actions.

The firehose emits content relevant to whatever it is that we Love. In the Acceleritis cloud, Love turns to attachment, caring too much, making us unrealistic and eventually neurotic. In that ordinary state — which probably will not be ordinary in a culture that graduates from Acceleritis — the firehose is communicating our neediness, self-protectiveness, and/or some other unattractive emanation.

The unconscious signals are the “L-Offense in the Room”. To a degree you are broadcasting the chip on shoulder, heart on sleeve, etc. Observer state allows you to see these signals because you are in touch with your subconscious. The first phase of Observer state is a negative state in that you are seeing things you do that you don’t like but can’t seem to control. In the second phase, when you’ve evolved some degree of ability to control robotical behavior, your emotional starting point is neutral, and in the third phase is emotionally/mood positive. At that stage of Observer state you have adaptive toolkits that can take you far, all the way to the Flow state of Action. More about this next stage next week.

Best to all,

Bill 

*The word “independently” is meaningless in this context because everything in the Universe is interconnected in depth, and at the core is only One thing.

P.S.

  1. Watch for my new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That, coming soon.
  2. For those interested in my work in the media business world you might watch myvideo interview in which I sum up highlights from the ARF’s ReThink Conference  in New York last week with Bob Lederer on Research Daily Report.

    Bill Harvey being interviewed by Bob Lederer at the ARF ReThink conference last week.

    You also might want to check out this collection of videos.

  3. Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at  Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

Your Unconscious Is in Control

That much Science and I can agree upon

Volume 4, Issue 1

I think now that I might have been borderline autistic.

The stage performances, and Ned and Sandy’s social behavior coaching, eventually got me to a place where I could hang out with people. Hanging out led to ultimately receiving data from my mirror neurons, thereby really sensing other people and their feelings. And being able to love people for what I sensed in them.

What I always found most interesting to study, however, was me. Watching myself carefully, I knew from very early on that I the observer was not in total control of this reckless robot. Psychology as a science is only now coming to that realization. If they had only looked inside they would have found out sooner. Instead they were looking outside for measurable phenomena in the subjective consensus reality, the scientific credibility of subjective introspective reality having washed out to sea after William James left us very early in the 20th century.

My room had a red rug, black couch, black furniture. On one wall was a construction I had made with a Fairbairn Fighting Knife hanging under a red plume feather pen. “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Door closed often, I would stand in contemplation for very long periods of time. I would take notes and sketch diagrams of consciousness, my own consciousness.

Later I would write down the distillation of decades of operating this observatory. I could have called it Mining the Unconscious. Mind Magic, as it is actually called, is a way of pivoting your mind that happens as you read the book and gain more transparency between conscious and unconscious.

My brainwaves apparently indicate abnormal amounts of delta waves going on while awake. I happened to be in a terrific mood the day of the measurement and laughed when the psychologist asked if I was extremely depressed. He opined that I must have access to my subconscious mind at all times to have sleep waves going on during wakefulness.

One thing I noticed was that there were many “voices” speaking to me (really thinking to me) in my head. I knew by this point what split personality disorder (schizophrenia) was and studied myself carefully, ruling out that conclusion. I did not seem crazy to me, and there were not two or a few well-defined personas with their own names and such. Instead it was a senate of many speakers, all in effect claiming to be the same person. Me.

This became useful when I learned that I the observer could listen to a speaker in my head acting as me, and objectively consider the message as if it were coming from someone who is not me.

Reporting my results to a strategic government think tank a couple of years ago I shared my working hypotheses:

  • A new neuronal net grows around undigested experiences that impinge on motivations.
  • This involves brain plasticity, i.e. new neuron formation;
  • As well as new patterns of connections among neurons.
  • In effect this is new software, not part of us at birth, therefore not the essence observer self that was born.
  • Each such “senator” or “senatorobot” is able to convince the observer self and moreover the body to follow its commands as if it were the total self speaking.
  • Each senatorobot is a subsentience, i.e. it has a degree of intelligence and a degree of self-reference as its own self.
  • Therefore each senator has a drive to continue to exist even when the observer self wants to discontinue it (for causing undesired behaviors).

Science has now validated certain parts of this theory. I just finished reading one of my Christmas presents from Lalita, Incognito, by noted neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman. Dr. Eagleman refers to senators as “automaticities” and describes the way the unconscious mind runs most of our behavior as “a team of rivals”, which sounds like a senate to me. The number of pages I’ve marked in his book suggests I’ll be writing a book about his book! 😀 

Drinking caffeinated (who knew?) carbonated beverages in great quantities I laid awake nights watching the debates among the senators and feeling how a speaker could ensnare me into fully taking ownership of what he said. I assumed that everybody was doing this.

I am very happy now to see a path to integrate my theories with the latest best-of-breed science, and hopefully add a dimension: how our experience changes when certain things are going on in the neuronal part of our self. That dimension gave me a control surface to work with to metaprogram my brain. Without introspection, neuroscience would have no way to hand the controls over to the patient, except Pavlovian button-pushing to change the chemical mix. David Eagleman’s work is a bold step away from the dominance of reductionism, leaving introspection as a valid part of the testrig. Thanks, David!

Best to all,

Bill

Watch for my new book, You Are the Universe: Imagine That, coming soon.

For those interested in my work in the media business world you might want to check out this video. Or this collection of videos.

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at  Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

How Do I Escape the Fear that I Am Growing Old?

Volume 3, Issue 19

By realizing deep down, in a profound moment of inner silence and receptivity so it goes to the ground of your being, that we don’t know diddlysquat about what comes after this life.< /br>

I know that one has not normally spent the moment it takes to realize that the consciousness itself — you — are a jumble of information-processing programs, a biocomputer — implemented in a subtle energy field that human Earth consciousness collectively has yet to discover (gee, science hasn't discovered everything yet?! being the hidden assumption/block). So it is not impossible that consciousness can exist outside of a material body. If consciousness is an energy computer — a computer made out of energy — then why not.

Of course it is reductionist to say that consciousness is just an energy computer. It must be more than that in the sense that it is self-aware. The human race has not come close to understanding what it would really take to cross the great divide between an amazingly smart supercomputer made out of energy — a biocomputer that is alive and able to draw power from its interactions and sustain its life and reproduce, a living computer — to something that experiences self-awareness. The experience of self-awareness cannot be reduced to anything else, neither scientifically nor even philosophically, yet.

So let’s say one has this moment of epiphany that lasts, in which one accepts that the universe may be a sentient thing and that each of us is a little face looking out from it.

If so, the idea of a permanent death caused by a happenstance in this current stage set has no binding effect on the parent consciousness that is playing this role.

This at least opens the door to consider as a real possibility that death may not be the end. How does that change the fear of becoming old? Profoundly. To its roots. Who cares if the setup is that there is incipient slowdown and decay at the end of one of these rides? Small price to pay. One can only hope that not every ride ends with a downslope. In fact, why imagine that a downslope has to be inevitable even in this life? If one is still functioning effectively, why project to oneself the repeated imaginary thought feeling that one is going downhill, getting old. The repetition of any thought feeling draws to oneself the reality that one is imagining. We make it come true by dwelling on it. We expect to start to break down, so we start to break down. We spend more and more time discussing the ills of old age. Given the possibility that my theory is correct and everything is made of consciousness, it is inevitable that the body cell consciousnesses will hear the operating system tell them to get old.

Let’s tell our body cell consciousnesses something else. Let’s vow to ourselves that we will make the effort to keep getting better on the inside every day for as far as the ride lasts, whether or not this body is the last chariot we ride in.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at  Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

Where Does Value Reside?

Volume 2, Issue 23

I had the pleasure recently of attending the Summer Board meeting of MASB, the Marketing Accountability Standards Board created by Meg Blair. Top marketing people from some of the largest advertisers met with world leaders in the business of estimating value of companies and their brands, to discuss the linking of marketing with finance. One of the most fascinating aspects of this unusual gathering was the discovery that accounting people are also by training philosophers, mentally athletic in the analysis of what value means in different contexts. This gave me ample stimulus to think again about what value is, and where it actually exists in the world.

To cut to the chase, value is in the heart (feeling core) of the perceiver. It is not in the perceived object that the perceiver associates with this feeling of value. Value is a perception/feeling cluster in consciousness. Consciousness is where value actually lives.

Why care? Because value is what drives us, what makes the world go ‘round. This is not just true under capitalism but in all cultures and conceivable (and inconceivable) economic systems. All action is driven by motivation and all motivation by value. We would have nothing to do — no action we would feel like taking — unless there is something we value that leads to such movement. Everything we do is driven by value — the value perceptions/feelings in our own selves.

This also answers the question of why we should care what consciousness is. If all action is impelled by value, and value resides in consciousness, then everything that we value and do, who we ourselves are, is all about consciousness. For us to not care what consciousness is, is to admit that all of one’s life is meaningless, based on unquestioned (and even incognizant) assumptions that at their essence say: everybody else is just going along with it, who am I to stop and question it, ok I am being a victim of herd mentality but so what, so is everyone else, I can’t do anything about it, so why not just drift along with the mob?

This line of self-reasoning would make sense to a person who places low value on independence of thought, and high value on belonging. That person is at a certain place in their own evolutionary path and those values and the ignoring of the Observer state — which uses consciousness to observe consciousness — are natural to him or her at the time. My only hope is that environmental stimuli will catalyze a creative spark, waking him or her up to a world of new possibilities, a vista of depths to life that make life new again, ripe with value.

We are closer than ever now as a culture to coming to grips with the foundational questions of existence. We see books flying off the eBook servers and shelves about something beyond current materialist science, some even gravitating to the center of the sea of questions, which is consciousness itself. But the near-miss of all of these books in my view is emblemized in one of the best, by Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained. Although evidently deep into the Observer state himself, Dennett is really just still trying to explain what in the material brain is happening that is associated with consciousness. This is typical of the near-miss — itself exciting because it portends that soon we will no longer be missing the point. The point is that what is is this experiential domain — this phenomenological fact that we are consciousness — and matter and energy are merely unproven constructs that we use to label and organize the perceptions we receive within consciousness. Consciousness in fact is the only thing we can empirically prove exists. It is where we perceive and receive value, where our actions begin and perhaps end. To know what consciousness is — is to know what and who we are.

Best to all,

Bill