Category Archives: Observer State

Rising Above Negativity

Original post November 17, 2015

Most of us assume there is nothing we can do about negative emotions — they come as they will, and we must just suffer through them. However, we all know someone we’ve seen rise above these feelings. With the world facing so many unprecedented challenges, it is vital that we increase our ability to rise to the occasion and surmount negative feelings.

Rise Above Negative Feelings

It’s difficult if not impossible to overcome negative feelings while remaining in our everyday “waking” state of consciousness. We can say, “I am going to put those emotions aside and get down to the business at hand”, but many of us don’t seem to have the willpower to do it. The trick is to rise out of the “waking” state of consciousness and move into the Observer state, where we are able to more easily turn off unproductive feelings.

The first step is to turn down all distractions. Create an alone space where you can’t be interrupted, where you can’t hear voices in the next room, where there isn’t a TV or some other device playing, where you’re not under time pressure. Have writing tools handy, or a sound recorder. Begin to try to understand why you are in a negative state. Be patient and wait. Once your mind knows you are focused on just one thing, which is to diagnose why you feel the way you do, it will soon start to give up answers to the question. They may be obvious or not-so-obvious. You may find yourself writing down the not-so-obvious aspects or simple phrases that are now suddenly more revealing and meaningful than you expected, which cast new light or simply state things you already knew but in much sharper and more useful language than you had access to before.

What you are doing is called contemplation.  You are flying higher, getting above the weather, so whatever weather disturbance or turbulence you experience must be rejected. Put aside whatever feeling or thought is familiar, like you have been there before. Reject ordinary thinking and feeling. Say to yourself, “That’s not constructive, it’s not getting me anywhere, and it doesn’t lead to a solution. I need something NEW.”

Strip it away as it arises and see what is underneath.

Where is it coming from?

Where did the whole pattern start?

What did I want that led me to this negative mindset?

What is really happening?

What is IT trying to teach me?

How can this situation possibly be something that can make me better and stronger?

Get creative. Generate out-of-the-box ideas. Visualize what someone you look up to would do. Come up with ideas that will not engender resistance, where you go with the flow and not against it. In Taoism it is called getting into the rhythm of the Tao, linking into the underlying force of the universe.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog, In Terms of ROI at Media Village. Here is the link to my latest post.

Originally posted 2015-11-17 10:06:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Freedom from Fear

Originally posted October 6, 2015.

Today many of us live in fear of losing our job, and maybe we’re also fearful about our health and the health of our family and friends. And with a daily news diet of horrific acts of violence seemingly happening everywhere, many of us may be fearful about our safety and the safety of our loved ones.

Some of us are afraid because we’re constantly trying to prove ourselves to our mother, father, spouse, critic or rival sibling, or to one of the people who has been unknowingly cast into taking over one of those roles. These “critics” become internalized as hidden senators in our mind, playing the taped and aped voices of others.

Cultivate Freedom from Fear

Our fears are often hidden, even to ourselves. Cultivating a state of being the Observer can help to remove the hidden blockages within, empowering us to be more present in the moment. The Observer state can be used to detect flashes of fear that come and go so fast that we aren’t usually aware of them in our normal waking consciousness state. In Observer state, one is actually observing the mental function of repression taking place, which can feel quite amazing.

Here’s one method to help you get into Observer state. Give yourself some alone space. Whether it’s outside in nature or in a room with the door closed, the idea is to remove yourself from all distraction. (Eventually you’ll be able to create this “alone space” mentally, even in a crowded airplane.) Concentrate on your breath, just letting it flow in and out, and keep your eyes on whatever is in front of you. For the moment, you are concentrating on what you see and experience subtly.

What you may see is that in one moment you were in a pretty normal state of mind and in the next moment your mind is naturally quiet and your senses are highly attuned. You are not easily distracted, you feel centered and aware, balanced and unafraid. Your attention is on everything around you and there is no obsessive stream of internal dialog. You are making no effort toward this whatsoever, you are not striving. It is doing itself naturally. When ideas pop into your mind while you’re in this state, you may notice that they are unusually insightful and self-evidently important to your life. With practice, you’ll experience this more often.

Use the Observer state to root out things you are hiding even from yourself, and make a deal with yourself to expunge all negative emotion — including fear. Through this doorway lies the Flow state of consciousness, the ecstasy of simply being, with freedom in place of fear.

In Flow state, inspirations keep popping even in the middle of a sentence and you incorporate them easefully because you are not afraid you might say or do the wrong thing. Not because doing or saying the wrong thing is impossible in Flow but because it is irrelevant. If you are communicating in a state of Flow, the object is not being right but instead collectively reaching truth and right action — as Socrates pioneered.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, Identifying the Ethical Limits of Persuasion in Advertising.

Originally posted 2015-10-06 12:03:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

A Practice for Starting Your Day

Originally posted May 26, 2015latest Great Being post

Set Your Intentions

Have you noticed it’s often difficult to overcome a bad start to the day, and that as the day begins so shall it most likely go? This makes the first moments of waking up in the morning a perfect time to remember and practice slipping into the Observer state.

Observer state is a mindset in which we are less caught up in the process of our emotions, and are able to simultaneously observe and analyze them somewhat impassively. Wearing the Observer lens makes us more effective and creative at changing the conditions that cause negative emotions. It also makes us more able to flick into the Zone, where our performance and creativity are sparked and further upshifted.

So how do we get into the Observer state? Here’s what works for me. I begin by remaining in that transition state from sleep to wakefulness, avoiding the use of language orally or mentally, and filtering out any distractions. I stay focused on the feeling of whatever dreams I’ve had, and recapture whatever images I can from those dreams. Try this yourself upon waking. Then stay with the feelings and images a moment or so longer until you can get a hunch as to the possible meaning of those dreams — what is the message from your subconscious? Continue reading

Originally posted 2015-05-26 12:02:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The “Not Petty” Filter

Volume 2, Issue 35

Letting Stuff Go By

In the barrage of incoming stimuli you have a choice which pieces to respond to in some way and which pieces to let fly by. This is an opportunity to practice Observer state.

In Observer state, attention is deployed both internally and externally at the same time, the whole of it treated as a single perceptual field. The inner world is so different from the outer world that few of us naturally take to treating all of it as a single field.

Yet in my theory of Holosentience I posit that feelings are really inner perceptions, so of course the entire panorama of experience funneling into the self is one stream, the eponymous stream of consciousness.

In earlier posts I’ve mentioned noticing your own negative reactions to incoming stimuli and regarding those reactions with the same interest you’d give to a bug specimen.

These are not in fact all coming from the real you. The preponderance of what you have probably always thought of as your own reactions are coming from a mechanism inside you that did not exist at your birth. The mechanism is made out of protein and takes the form of neurons built since birth in your brain and interconnected in very specific ways. This firmware in your head is not the real you, it is a part of the real you.

The real you is the experiencer that existed at your birth. This is the place you are centered in when you are in the Observer state, and also when you are in the Flow state (the Zone).

At other times you are in Emergency Oversimplification Procedure or “EOP” for short, a pandemic mental disease caused (in my theory) by the accelerating inventiveness of the culture since the dawn of visible language about 6000 years ago. “Information Overload” is the Devil that humanity has always defaulted to when they could not account for how things ever got so messed up.

Holding off from identifying with your inner reactions is one filter that helps keep us above EOP.

Another one is letting stuff go by — like water off a duck’s back — when the alternative is to become petty yourself.

The next time you are with someone and are about to join that person at a petty level, stay focused on What Is the Big Idea, The Big Learning, The Highest Strategic Purpose That Could Be Served by steering away from the negative directionality of the moment. Let the other stuff go by. Don’t let your own negative feelings assume they have been validated by your central consciousness. Let that garbage float downstream behind you (“Get Thee behind Me Satan!”). What can you tell the other person that affords true solution potential rather than continuing down a yenta (gossip level) path?

Maintain compassion rather than judging the other person who got caught wasting the time of the Great Computers Upstairs in Your Heads with idle slop. Picture that your friend was wounded in a battle long ago and now cannot speak without spitting a little. The pettiness is the spittle from what was truly an old unresolved battle, still being fought in your friend’s brain to this day.

Big Ideas are largely a matter of focus above the petty levels.

Wishing you all a beautiful holiday season,

Bill

In the First Waking Moments, Remember Observer State

Volume 2, Issue 20

Observer state is a mindset in which you are not so caught in the process of your own emotions, and thus you are able to also simultaneously observe and analyze them somewhat impassively. This is a lens you sometimes find yourself wearing which makes you more effective and creative at changing the conditions that cause negative emotions. It also makes you more able to flick into the Zone where your performance and creativity are further upshifted. 

In the Observer state, we hypothesize that information processing is going on largely in the prefrontal lobes. In the Flow state (aka the Zone) we postulate whole-brain balanced and meshed information processing. 

The Human Effectiveness Institute has developed techniques to empower people to spend more time in these states, which are conducive to a happy successful purposeful life. Acceleritis is the cultural condition caused by the speedup in human evolution and daily information overload apparently caused by the invention of written language — according to our theory. Acceleritis raises the challenge slope facing human beings every day and makes it harder for us to use the new brain evolved in just a relative eyeblink of the usual evolutionary timescale. The new brain triggered the invention of writing, and the effects are now overloading that new brain, kind of like a four-year-old kid trying to control a Ferrari. 

If people in power spent more time in these states, they would make better decisions causing less suffering than at present. If people not in power spent more time in these states, they would move into power and thus be able — if not seduced by the ego — to bring about positive change. Hence, the mission of the Institute is to spread experiential knowledge of these states, and the techniques for achieving and maintaining them. 

The first moments of waking up in the morning are a perfect time to remember the Observer state. As the day begins, so shall it most likely go, until one’s will has become strong enough to overcome a bad start.

 First, while remaining in the hypnagogic state by avoiding the use of language orally or mentally, and filtering out any distractions, stay focused on the feeling of whatever dreams you had, and recapture whatever images you can from those dreams. Stay with the feelings and images a moment longer until you can get a hunch as to the possible sense of those dreams — what is the message from your subconscious? Jot down notes as soon as you feel you have to actually open your eyes and get out of bed. 

Even better if you can move on to your day while still in bed and still sleeping as far as anyone can tell. Get a fix on the possible significance of the day, what you can potentially accomplish. Visualize an upside outcome that will make you happy when you go to sleep next. This is your strong intention, your Will. Feel it. Then see what could go wrong and come up with ideas as to how to deal with those challenges. No one in Acceleritis has the luxury of much time to spend on such thinking, so you can settle for brief flashes of the direction of an idea to be worked out in detail later. Making notes while they are fresh in your mind will be a huge advantage. 

The older parts of the brain such as the amygdala are involved in the ego process,  which keeps you out of the two higher states of consciousness, Observer and Flow. This ego process is driven by fear of failure in one form or another, and derives from excessive attachment, which itself is the product of past events perceived as failures that have not been fully assimilated as wonderful learning experiences. The Observer lens helps one float upward out of this debris and gain perspective on it. Then one can enter the Zone, typically in an activity one has practiced for a long time.

Best to all.

Bill

Bringing On the Observer State

Volume 2, Issue 19

As we wrote in the last post, the best strategy for getting into the Zone is to start by slipping into the far more easily achieved Observer state.

Doing anything to master oneself cognitively and/or emotionally involves mental trickery of the culturally-induced false self we call the ego. I prefer the term “robot” because this power center is built out of neuronal software, so the word “robot” helps to remind ourselves that we are dealing with a stubborn biocomputer system not unlike the overly helpful systems installed on most of our personal computers. We cooperated in setting up these well-intentioned programs, which today have taken over the castle so completely that we identify with these systems as if they are the true us.

There is actually a gap we estimate to be less than a tenth of a second in which a suggestion/command from the robot is not yet identified as being our own intention. When in the Zone state we can instantly detect it as an ego command that we can choose to ignore. A lot like playing Simon Says.

In the Observer state the modus operandi is to set oneself up to not act immediately on inner impulses. This way, one has time to realize a moment after the fact that the impulse seemed intelligent for a second but in retrospect — having not yet acted upon it — we see the impulse as just another clever ego-driven strategy masquerading as our own true self.

This is the Observer state — so named because one is observing oneself as well as everything else. Before accepting the mantle of an emotion that raised its hand as one’s own, or taking physical action, or accepting a point of view offered by a thought, one waits for good sense to settle in.

In the hurly-burly of Acceleritis, the ubiquitous condition of our culture, taking this contemplative mental/emotive state requires us to be motivated to exercise our true will and understand as a prime directive that we cannot achieve our goals in the real world unless we are centered within our own highest true self, not being manipulated by our fear-impelled robot. Motivation combined with understanding are the only foundation that will allow us to overcome the chemically-supported (hormones, adrenalin, cortisol, norepinephrine, etc.) domination of our moment-to-moment emotions. It is mighty tempting to accept anger and self-righteousness whenever these feelings arise in response to valid cases of unfairness and injustice, which no doubt abound. Yet taking on these emotions makes us virtually helpless to right the wrongs since our negativity only fans the flames. Remembering this is the way one stays in the Observer state.

It’s also helpful to remember that the true hero acts in freedom, nobly and objectively with compassion, and is not the puppet of the emotional mind control instituted by habituated stimulus-response trigger cascades.

In mastering one’s mechanical behaviors, one is always negotiating the landscape of a devilishly challenging inner videogame, using one’s own tricks learned from mistakes made along the way, peeling away layer after layer and rising higher and higher in the game.

This is our intuitive and scientific (i.e. subject to verifiability) decoding of the advice given by the ancient psychologies of the East and West, Raja and Jnana Yogas, Zen, Kabbalah, Early Christianity, Hermetism/Gnosticism/Alchemy, the true Great Jihad, known by innumerable other names in other cultures. All detected the same inner battle and described it metaphorically, having no information-processing framework in which to describe it transparently.

Now we have such a framework. Each individual reading this has access to his or her own mind and emotions and therefore can test and verify our statements. Doing so will not only benefit the individual but will tend to bring more of us into higher states of functional effectiveness, where we will all serve each other more effectively than before.

Best to all,

Bill