Category Archives: Mental Optimization

What if your mind can actually do more tricks than you currently believe it can? Part 3

Originally posted December 1, 2011

2 more incredibly easy and vitally important experiments you can perform surreptitiously

Experiment 3: Make the Eye Naked

Again, all of these experiments relate to level setting reality. This one is primarily visual. You cannot trust your senses to be exactly reporting what is out there, because there are mechanisms that convert light and sound waves and other inbound media into chemical and electrical impulses and then produce an abstracted report to consciousness. We know that atoms are mostly empty space yet everything looks solid and light does not go through most of it. Solidity is therefore an illusion. What else, then, is also an illusion?

Besides the illusory nature of our senses to begin with, the brain has reducing valve systems in the Reticular Activating Structure (RAS) and other systems that have been survival-relevant as evidenced by our race having survived. Acceleritis™ is a very recent (6000-year) condition in the 4,000,000-year descending of human beings from very clever apes. Nature does not change that fast in 6000 years, hence the condition being so challenging to us living through it.

One of the systems in the brain is the gestalting system. This system is why we tend to see wholes even when presented with fragments or diverse objects at varying distances from us. The gestalting (or whole-ing) system is also affected by Acceleritis in that all perceptual systems are conditioned to sense what the user expects — we see what we expect to see, we hear what we expect to hear, taste what we expect to taste, etc. Acceleritis does this because it is just another means of simplifying things. Another reducing valve. We subconsciously say to ourselves that we cannot afford the time to navel gaze about irrelevant subjects.

In this modern trance, when we look out at the world we think we see the box that is the universe, and objects in that box of third-party space that is the materialist view of the universe. We have internalized that view — the box — into the mental frame through the gestalting system. Yet if you were to be honest about the raw stuff of what you are seeing when you make the effort to look out and beat the gestalting system, and to honestly report to yourself what you see whenever you look out your eyes is more of a cloud without edges but that is wider than it is high, kind of runs off at the corners, but you don’t see anything box-like.

So let’s try it now.

(1)  Simply don’t move your body or your eyes right away but start to look carefully out at what you see right now.

(2)  After a moment you can move your eyes but not your body.

(3)  Then you can move your body but continue to put all your attention through your eyes.

(4)  Then let your attention come back into your self. Give this sequence of four steps a minute, or whatever, before you come back to reading further.

What did you see? If you were waking up with amnesia of even being a human being, what would your eyes be showing you?

This visual soup view that you are now seeing or may have briefly seen before the gestalting program wore you out, convinced many early consciousness researchers that empirically, if they wanted to be honest with themselves, the universe appears to be two types of experiences, two manifestations overlaid over one another, two ways of seeing that overlap three-dimensionally over one another and are always both there:

  1. The sense of being in a box-like universe with lots of 90° angles — this is really a product of the mind along with the eyes
  2. The sense of being in a visual soup of some kind, where if one is far enough into this view suppressing the gestalting system, the most intense things that one sees are other eyes looking back*, wherever in the soup they appear. This is the raw view from the eyes.

This raw view is a much more conducive frame of mind for an individual opening her/his mind to the existence of all possibilities, because the box view is packed with hidden assumptions about the nature of reality.

After 72 hours of remembering from time to time to see this way, please record your observations for yourself, and again, if you don’t mind sharing, you can also post as comments below, anonymously or otherwise. The objective is the greatest shared knowledge. If you do post comments, please make sure the reader knows which experiment is involved. Thanks!

Experiment 4: Look for Secret Messages

Now in the visual soup mode of seeing, try on (see if you can get yourself to believe that it is conceivably true) the hypothesis that all of us are connected in this consciousness visual soup we are all embedded in — we are in a sort of bubble rather than a box. And as we move through the world through doors or otherwise, we go from one bubble into another, sharing each bubble with other inhabitants at that time, and occasionally we get to have alone space to take it all in.

Experimental hypothesis for another time: individuals are able to conceive more things as being possible when seeing in the soup/bubble mode than when they are seeing in the box mode.

This experiment is to be open to possible paranormal experiences in the next 72 hours. You have hopped into your new Ferrari toy — this mind of yours whose belief-shackles you have just burst free from. You no longer assume anything without hard scientific proof. You yourself are worthy of using your own experience, the evidence of your senses although inherently imperfect (you can by maintaining Observer state clarify your senses somewhat), to make your own evaluation of what the universe is, what reality is, what it all means. This next 72 hours is the experimental phase. At the end of that time you can decide whether to continue in this mode indefinitely, or return to your previously scheduled program.

Pay specific attention to hunches, including little signals of objection that are easy to ignore and then you are messed up. Keep a written record in one little book you can easily carry. Review after the first 72 hours and see if these mind-tricks might be worth cultivating further.

Clairvoyance or the sudden suspicion that something specific is happening, has happened or (precognition) will happen. Pay attention to things as little as predicting who is calling when the phone rings. Keep track, write it down.

Seeming to know what someone else is thinking or about to say. Make a note.

As previously reported, science has proven that these ESP phenomena are real. Why not cash in on them yourself? J In the sense of taking full advantage of whatever talents you have to make your life even better than it is now. Making you more capable of helping other people and feeling how good that feels.

All you have to do is to drop the wall you have put up and then go with the flow.

Best to all,

Bill

*Remember to do this “looking experiment” in a meeting. The gestalting program over-ridden, your naked eyes will tend to get more information from the eyes part of the visual bubble; those little patches on the picture will seem to have more energy, aliveness, than the rest of the visual field. You may also see someone look back and feel that they are looking right into you, so prepare yourself for the shock of that moment; have your best cool face in place already. Because you as a primate human get about 70% of your action-trusted information from looking, this eye experiment is one the quicker ways to get yourself back into Observer state when you have slipped out into EOP.

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Originally posted 2011-12-01 09:19:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What if your mind can actually do more tricks than you currently believe it can? Part 2

Originally posted November 23, 2011

2 Incredibly easy and vitally important experiments you can perform surreptitiously

The goal of these experiments is for you to see if you can actually discover new views of reality by stripping away everything in your mind that is unproven.

To recap from the prior post:

You don’t have to believe in anything. In fact, that would bias the experiments. You have to set aside all beliefs, and suspend disbelief, in order to start.

The object of these experiments is to level set reality – you reopen your mind to the existence of all possibilities, you strip away all hidden assumptions, and then allow reality to teach you what it is, without you imposing any restrictions on it.

The reason we say you can perform these experiments surreptitiously is because there are no obvious outward manifestations. It is all going on within you. No one else knows what you are doing. You cannot lose face, so while you are still attached to that, it cannot distract you from the experiment. This is highly useful because distraction is the main means by which Acceleritis™ reduces our effectiveness. Any way distraction can get tuned down or nullified, use it, so that your entire mind is swept as if by a ring of brooms back from its diffuse expanse, into single-pointed focus.

Experiment 1: Dis-bar Assumptions

Dis-bar or dis-enfranchise, the idea here is that you will no longer automatically throw the weight of your innermost approval instantly on every thought and emotion welling up inside of yourself.

You will leave these arisings on the drafting table a little while longer so you can drink in what they are and reflect on how it is that you have these arisings of this thought or that feeling.

The first experiment therefore is to take advantage of a stolen moment in which you can do whatever you feel like in your mind, to play this game.

If you have a moment now, you can try it for a minute or for as long as you enjoy it.

Pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling and look at it as if from the outside, constructively critical.

Communicate to yourself internally that you are serious about reopening all assumptions. You mean to include reflexes, so the autonomic systems in your body know you are talking to them too. You don’t have any prior evidence whether this sort of hopeful internal communication can work or not, but your mind is open — this is an experiment. You don’t want to bias it in any way. If you sense a sarcastic smile on some face inside you, make sure it is not a bias causer.

Then you wait. The test period is 72 hours after the prescribed action.

The first manifestation will be that you catch yourself making an old assumption or reaction and some part of you calls attention to that. You then probably experience an idea cascade where one idea leads to the other so quickly it’s good to jot down one or two “trigger words” to be able to recapture each stream of thought.

It can take a lifetime to root out every last assumption hidden inside of you, yet the relief and happiness that comes each time you get rid of each single one makes the journey pleasurable and ultimately, not overly frustrating to the point of impatience.

You may find you have prejudices you thought you had utterly stamped out years ago.

You may find out you have vain reasons for jumping to some conclusions.

The list of possible self-revelations is infinite.

About 72 hours after you start, jot down any observations regarding the experiment and if you are so disposed, either anonymously or otherwise, share your observations with the rest of us as comments (see below). Make sure everyone knows which experiment you are talking about – thanks.

Experiment 2: Communicate with the Dead

You may have done this experiment before, but not as an experiment. Inside, communicate with someone who has died. “Yes, I talk to my father all the time, but I don’t know if he hears me.”

This time, realize fully that science says the jury is still out. There is voluminous anecdotal evidence for such communication being possible, and no scientific theory that rules it out except from extreme materialism which is out of fashion in modern day physics circles.

Let yourself be amazed by the realization that it is actually scientifically possible that he or she hears you, according to the latest physics thinking e.g. John Wheeler. If, as that giant and The Theory of the Conscious Universe (TTOTCU)* both posit, information is the ultimate residuum of reality, and as TTOTCU further theorizes, consciousness is that which experiences information, and energymatterspacetime is a projection of universal consciousness – if all these things turn out to be true, then your reaching out might actually connect.

To quote from Wikipedia:

“In 1990, Wheeler has suggested that information is fundamental to the physics of the universe. According to this “it from bit” doctrine, all things physical are information-theoretic in origin.[6]

Wheeler: It from bit. Otherwise put, every “it” — every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. “It from bit” symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes — no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe.”

Note the term “participatory” – Wheeler was not as specific on the details of how we might participate in the creation as is this writer’s Theory of the Conscious Universe. Yet both of us and a whole leading generation of physicists today among other thinkers are seeing reality in a new way, which closely resembles the oldest way. They undoubtedly got there by not only thinking deeply about science and its revelations but also by going inside in ways quite similar to these experiments.

For 72 hours after the experiment (or forever) listen and look for an answering communication in everything around you and inside of you. It need not come as words in the mind. If there is an exceptional feeling, note what is in the field of your senses, e.g. a voice on the radio, movement in corner of eye and you turn to see… what? Regard your every perception as a possible communication from something or someone somewhere.

After 72 hours or so, jot down your observations, if only for yourself.

In the next post, two more experiments.

Best to all,

Bill

*The Theory of the Conscious Universe was the working title of my book, “You Are the Universe: Imagine That”, released in 2014 . In the Theory of the Conscious Universe, the brain is the energy emanated by the Original mind, wound into matter, and our experience transcends dependence on the brain as we are a part of Original mind (and the whole of its experience of selfness). In modern day materialism, the mind is an energy field emanated by the brain. In ultra-behaviorism, the mind is an impotent epiphenomenon of the brain, making believe it is calling the shots but is really just along for the ride.

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Originally posted 2011-11-23 07:05:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What if your mind can actually do more tricks than you currently believe it can? Part 1

Originally posted November 17, 2011

What is the value of an open mind?

The mind, like a reducing valve, closes down to keep out overload. In this so far 6000-year era of Acceleritis™, there has been a lot of shutting down, when openness without commitment either way would always have been the more careful strategy.

People in the cloak of Acceleritis feel proudly that they have been properly hard-nosed when they are unconsciously trying to simplify and don’t know it, so this hard-nosed stuff is merely a rationalization. They unconsciously don’t want to consider how much scarce mental bandwidth it might take to deal with the flood of hard questions that will arise in their mind if they were to actually try to keep it open on the huge issues of life — such as what is death — is there a universal consciousness and if so is it personal or something else — who are we, each of us, what are we, why are we here, is there a point to it all?

The first moment in life that Acceleritis takes over, when we are very young, is the moment that we turn off the wonder at these questions and decide to get on with life, without realizing it we have unconsciously made a set of assumptions about the answers to those questions. Our every action is decided based on those assumptions, and every instant of our life will be shaped by those assumptions.

What if your assumptions are actually less favorable than the true conditions of reality in which you might partake?

Game Theory would posit that you are better off trying to get away with the most positive view of life you believe is conceivable, until empirical proof drives you to dial that down a bit — if that ever happens; leaving open the possibility that things could turn out to be even better than that, or simply as good as that, and you might never have to revise your assumptions downward.

Game Theory would disapprove of starting out from the most negative assumptions possible. And yet Acceleritis hugely raises the odds that an individual will tend to shoot low when making these unconscious assumptions about the nature of reality, probably normatively before age 5 in our present culture.

This is because Acceleritis increases the daily sense that we are incompetent, as compared with days of yore, those halcyon days before written language let all genies out of all bottles, in a 6000-year cascade.

Yet more genies-out-of-bottles no doubt lie ahead. So the premise of our institute is that the human race had better evolve mental emotional software to finally conquer and cure Acceleritis, if not the unthinkably enormous capacity of the human race to invent tools/weapons/media.

Acceleritis is the trance-like accommodation the human race has made for its own over-inventiveness, since written language caused our brains to rewire themselves in a way that allows us to visualize spatially at the same time as we symbolize in ever more condensed packets, enabling levels of abstraction and logic that make geometry seem like child’s play. We never had this before written language because before that we could not see communication, except for the numinosity – communicating symbols earlier hominids must have had, such as the circle, triangle, and other “magical” archetypal figures.

Numinosity for all its importance is just a feeling, whereas abstraction as potentiated in our visually-dominant primate species by seeable language, is a tool. Acceleritis is all about tools — inventions — machines — weapons — media. Our mind could not make any but the most rudimentary tools, scarcely more sophisticated than the tools made and used by other animals, until we were able to see communication. Communication being the only way that ideas can be expressed. Ideas being what drive the making of tools/inventions.

Today we receive too many question-producing stimuli each day, which causes us at an early age to shift the big questions in life off the screen of our consciousness and onto the hidden screen of our subconscious/unconscious. There, decisions/assumptions made previously constrain our body’s and conscious mind’s alternatives considerably and we are unaware of it. Like slaves, or robots of a hidden master.

Observer state is when the hidden master is exposed and the whole self is there watching itself objectively.

Flow state is when all of those parts flow into automatic harmony with one another and the individual is transported into a special state of consciousness where numinosity or miraculousness is present although the experience does not have to feel spiritual. Most people have it a few times in a lifetime playing a sport, playing a musical instrument, making love, or having a transcendent experience seemingly out of the blue.

Again these two higher states occur when Acceleritis is cured temporarily — and for more evolved human beings, permanently. The Human Effectiveness Institute sees no reason why the whole human race cannot experience these states far more often, which would lead to greater effectiveness and far greater happiness and ultimately to peace among all peoples.

We come back to the question of an open mind. What is the value of it?
Game Theory says the value of not assuming negative conditions is great, no matter what game you play. Modern psychology finds this is scientifically accurate, not just theory. Our beliefs, perceptions, assumptions, expectations, intentions and other mental emotional stuff predict the outcomes of our actions, and our scores on games. This is validated science today.

Flashback: In college majoring in philosophy and minoring in psychology I am inveigled into an experiment as a subject. More than a dozen cards are being shown, and the subject is asked to remember the sequence the cards are in. Each time you try, you are asked whether you think you will make it in 10 rounds. You go ten times to see if by the final round you can remember the whole sequence — of course the cards are shuffled each time. Turns out afterward that the actual point of the study was to compare an individual’s prediction that he or she will succeed with their true success scores. They seemed amazed that I said ten times I expected I would succeed, and that I did succeed. I asked why that was so amazing and they said no one else thought they would succeed, although nearly half did.

Acceleritis does that to our self-confidence. We of course project confidence to the degree we realized how important it was to our standing vis-à-vis other people, that if we did not show more confidence they would walk all over us.

It probably was not like this before Acceleritis.

Now about the experiments that we will undertake next week in part 2 of this post.

You don’t have to believe in anything. In fact, that would bias the experiments. You have to set aside all beliefs — suspend disbelief — in order to start.

The object of these experiments is to level set reality — you reopen your mind to the existence of all possibilities, you strip away all hidden assumptions, and then allow reality to teach you what it is, without you imposing any restrictions on it.

Of course, what these actions do in your conscious mind has less effect on your subconscious mind than on your temporary conscious mind, and all of it can flow downstream rather rapidly leaving you back in Acceleritis. However, this does not in any way mean our intentions are futile. Quite the opposite. They just take time and repetition to sink in down below the quarterdeck. But sink in they do.

You can perform these experiments surreptitiously because there are no obvious outward manifestations. It is all going on within you. No one else knows what you are doing. You cannot lose face, so while you are still attached to that, it cannot distract you from the experiment. This is highly useful because distraction is the main means by which Acceleritis reduces our effectiveness. Any way distraction can get tuned down or nullified, use it, so that your entire mind is swept as if by a ring of brooms back from its diffuse expanse, into single-pointed focus.

The stage is now set and we hope you’ll come back next week to try our incredibly easy and vitally important experiments that will help you level set your reality.

UPDATE to this post:
Watch a 3.5 minute video I made about my theory of Acceleritis.

Best to all,

Bill

Originally posted 2011-11-17 10:25:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP) on a Social Level

In a superbusy world, EOP (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure)* Man jumps at the chance to believe, and says to himself he has no time to think for himself. Religions, political systems, sports leagues, the old left-right wing oversimplification, skin color biases, all of these things become time saving conveniences to EOP Woman and Man. Don’t have to think, thanks!

At some age, pretty early in life, each of us thinks of all the big questions for the first time. Who am I, why are we here, etc. That, on top of all the other unanswered questions produced by our interactions with others, drives us all to the same emotional state of permanently giving up on getting answers. This is the very moment EOP begins.

Some of us never did give up on getting answers and so slip in and out of EOP but spend more than the average amount of time out of that state. EOP still gets us because our minds were not trained to deal with the rapid and complex input streams. But we periodically catch up and come out of it.

Avoiding deep thought and simply getting through life is EOP.

This creates an ideal petri dish in which to grow the ideas that are offered to us as mass movements. Instead of each of us having access to tools that allow us to bring out our inherent individual talents and give these developed talents to the world, our time is too constricted for that because we are doing something often tangential to our true talents in order to pay the dues we owe society in the form of money. Instead of our own perceptions we are provided a menu of mass perceptions to choose from, and because everyone subconsciously gets it that we are all in some kind of fog (EOP), there are not too many choices.

Pre-packaged belief systems on the menu: Capitalism, Communism, specific religions, immersion in some form of ongoing mind-consuming gladiatorial spectacle (spectator sports) requiring memorization of names and scores and other factoids in order to sustain a feeling of belonging and being accepted, choices on mass issues such as race – all of this is a kind of mantra that distracts the mind and keeps it busy processing the accepted mass topics and positions on things, often particular to where you happen to live.

The individual life of the mind is something we are faintly aware of hearing and feeling going on somewhere in the background but we don’t have time to pay much attention to our own thoughts except when we are alone, which is rare. If most of us break out of EOP at all, it is sometimes, when we are alone.

Socially, the effects of EOP are dramatic. We ignore the empathy-endowing effects of the mirror neurons in our brain and coldly close our hearts to other people except under exceptional circumstances. We see life as a dog-eat-dog bar brawl in which we have to look out for number one. Money pressures are the riverbanks that shape the flow of our actions and reify the perception of life as a free-for-all fight for survival.

Neofeudalism becomes the underlying state of society, in which the Haves control the situation, and not-having is perceived by all as being perfectly civilized. Democracy is the right idea when fully carried out, which it never has been. Today democracy is a noble intention but not yet a realized reality. The Internet creates greater potential for true democracy – we shall see how many years go by before such a thing happens.

Whatever tools we use to re-adjust society it will probably take hundreds of years to fully eliminate Havenotism everywhere on Earth, and establish a hutopia (a humanly possible utopia) where individuals are cultivated for their unique mix of talents, which can be shared with others on as large a scale as naturally develops in each case. Again it sounds like some form of Videoized Internet will be involved – perhaps totally artificial reality as visualized in the early works of William Gibson (who coined the term “cyberspace”).

Some will ask whether we can ever really get there from here. Naturally it is easy to think of the Haves as being selfish and not wanting hutopia. In fact you the reader are probably a Have, as I am. We are not bad guys. So maybe there are fewer bad guys than is normally assumed in EOP. Maybe practically all of us are just caught up in this Acceleritis™ pandemic, and not actively against hutopia. How about hutopia without anyone giving up a reasonable level of wretched excess?

In hutopia even the Haves will be having a better time. There is a very high ROI on hutopia. And it is a payoff for everyone, without exception.

The pursuit of happiness. Having that in our country’s Declaration of Independence and bonded into the Constitution was a first in history. No country before us legitimatized the natural right to happiness, or even the idea of natural rights. The great contemporary songwriter and my great friend Stan Satlin brought this to my attention and said that in Judaism is the same idea, mitzvah, focused on giving others happiness and so sharing in that happiness oneself (and thereby giving back to the Creator).

I often think that the one other natural right I would have suggested had I been there would be the right to have one’s innate talents cultivated. This is where I see the greatest tragedy in Havenotism. So many talents wasted. We all benefit from having the greatest development of talents on Earth. We will all wind up getting better service that way.  😀

The Earth’s resources divided by the number of people probably makes hutopia easily possible even with today’s toolware. And the technology is also in (and driving) the state of Acceleritis so it won’t be long before the technomultiplier effect gives us even more economic leverage to achieve hutopia with.

But put that dream aside for now. Let’s talk about what we can do in our lifetimes.

I submit that the priority is EOP. We have to get out of it.

How do we do that?

First of all we will need a psychotechnology – a set of practices which allow an individual to spend less and less time in EOP. More time in the Observer State and Flow State.

This is by no means optimized as a technology today. What we have are the beginnings of toolware. Thousands of people have attested to the fact that these tools work.**

As a society we have to continue to develop and refine psychotechnology, and we must see to it that it is installed in all of our schools.

I don’t mean my stuff necessarily. Let’s as a society engender a process by which these plowshares get beaten into gleaming instruments of biofeedback contentware, kind of a Rosetta Stone language feedback courseware expanded into all conceivable media from books and blogs to artificial realities and brainscans.

Let’s make it a priority to clear our minds of EOP. By all means let’s have real scientists verify what I have been saying. I have in fact been getting positive feedback from neuroscientists for some time, so I know that while unscientific, my hypotheses are somewhere in the vicinity of the truth, lying as behind a veil just out of perception range by the mass of humanity.

It should be possible to measure the brain signatures of EOP, Observer State, and Flow State, and thereby better understand their existence and ways to move from one to the other. Since the early 80s I have been peripherally involved with experiments of this type and know that symmetry of EEG levels (delta, alpha, beta) between left and right brain is one part of the brain signature of the Observer State (and probably of Flow State). From recent work at Yale we know there is a reduction of random information flow across the corpus callosum – as if a reduction in mental chatter – in the Flow State (The Zone, as Yale Master Marvin Chun puts it).

Precisely knowing the totality of the brain substrates of these states will move us from hypotheses to a real theory of brain states, and a true psychotechnology that can elevate the effectiveness of the human race. It’s my hope that the Human Effectiveness Institute can at least begin this process, and we will get as far as we can.

Best to all,

Bill

*EOP (Emergency Oversimplfication Procedure), the condition that sets in when there is too much information resulting in desperate shortcutting such as rationalized guesswork.

** Out of ~35,000 copies of my book Mind Magic sold on lifetime moneyback guarantee, 11 came back, and over 2000 endorsement letters/emails were received generally citing life changes in desired directions and saying more people should read this book.

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Originally posted 2011-05-24 07:13:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Role of Feelings in Decision Making

Originally posted July 14, 2015

Negative feelings not only bring us down, medical evidence shows they also weaken our immune system, making us more prone to disease, and they distract our cognitive concentration, thereby reducing our effectiveness.

Bad feelings can also serve a positive function — as an alarm system to quickly get us to pay attention to a problem. Ironically, if bad feelings continue unabated while we are grappling with a problem on a rational level, it will take longer to solve the problem because we are stuck in a cycle of negativity. Most of us have experienced this cycle.

Are you more driven by thoughts or feelings

Are we generally more driven by our feelings than by our thoughts?

Freud established that thoughts are more likely to be rationalized in support of feelings, rather than our being able to use our thoughts to control our feelings. And yet, how valuable it is to be able to do just that — to have the mental self-discipline to focus our thoughts effectively even when our feelings are in an uproar?

Feelings are urges that arise within us, within our minds and within our bodies. Feelings are experiences, states of consciousness resulting from our motivations, sentiments, preferences or desires. These terms all really mean the same thing: what we value, what we want, what we are trying to get, what we want to avoid.

Feelings are how we respond internally to outer and inner events, based on what we are trying to get and avoid, and how current events can help or threaten our desired outcomes.

We feel positive if current events appear to favor our targeted outcomes, and we feel negative if events seem to be heading away from what we want to have happen.

Positive feelings are valued universally. There’s no argument: we all like them, and would like to have more of them!

Generally speaking, feelings are also a manifestation of our motivations colliding with the external world. What would we feel if we had no motivations?

You can discover this by meditating. While there are many meditation techniques, all of them have a mind/gut mirror effect of showing us what our motivations really are, where they have gotten us, and why we have each of our experiences. Through practicing meditation we can achieve this objectivity, turning off certain motivations at least for the moment and seeing what that feels like. What visions of future possibilities arise now that X motivation is gone?

The perspective we gain through meditation can give us a unique vantage point on our feelings and our motivations. Meditation helps us consider deeply our own feelings and their consequences in the world. It also generates positive feelings, so it’s good for our overall health and well-being. Practicing meditation and becoming aware of the role our feelings and motivations play in our lives allows us to better understand the value of both in our decision making process.

My best to all,

Bill

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Originally posted 2015-07-14 10:41:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Trying to Move a Boulder?

Originally posted June 9, 2015

Feeling blocked? Have you run up against a challenge that is worrying you and bringing you down? Here’s another of the tools I keep handy when I run up against a boulder that frustrates me, casting a dim light or even fog over the achievability of my goals and priorities. I find these tools can also be used proactively even during times of smooth sailing to notch my game up a bit.

Relax and Breathe

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. Let it go, for now, and steer yourself into thinking or feeling about some different subject, for at least several minutes. If timing permits, it’s ideal to do this for up to three days.

Step away. Get out in nature alone, even when it’s cold or cloudy. Sit in it, hear it, smell it and see it. Pay attention to nature all around you, up and down, above and below you. (This works in the streets of big cities too although not as powerfully, so nearby parks are a plus, the less city-like the better.) This makes room for the inner messages that come from our feelings and intuitions, and the outer messages we get from our five senses.

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 in your mind, 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.

Turning away from a problem allows the subconscious mind with its far greater resources to approach the problem from new directions. If we persist in trying the ingrained approach we are stuck in and can’t see beyond, it will just take longer to get to a solution, making us miserable and less effective in everything else we do in the meantime.

Try this approach next time you have a boulder to move. It works for me.

Best to all,

Bill

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Originally posted 2015-06-09 12:17:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter