Category Archives: Self

Who Are You Really?

Originally posted August 11, 2011

The Theory of the Conscious Universe was the working title of my book, “You Are the Universe: Imagine That, released in 2014.

Why does it matter what your true identity is? Because if, for example, you are an accident in an accidental universe, better to act 100% in your own self-interest at all times than if, say, you are actually the universe itself, in which case 100% of your actions should be for the good of the universe, because you and everybody else will wind up winning biggest that way.

As in all these posts, although it may seem as if we are talking about matters of interest only to philosophers, scientists and intellectuals, in fact we are talking about action decisions each of us must make from second to second throughout our lives — and how to make the most effective decisions for your own later satisfaction.

One of the biggest mistakes individuals make in our culture, as a result of Acceleritis™ — the information overload condition created by the written language/media revolution of the past 6000 years (an eyeblink since homo sapiens first appeared) — is the implicit assumption that the larger philosophical questions as to who we are and why we are here, the meaning of life, are irrelevant on a personal level. Instead we grind away as unthinking slaves to the assumed requirements imposed by the culture. This is true even if we style ourselves as being highly individualistic. We remain slaves to conditioning until we realize that it’s always been about the basic questions, and by putting them aside we have dwarfed our very being.

Many of you have sent me comments outside of the public commentary channel below, and/or phoned to talk about these posts, and a few of you have collared me in person to respond to one thought or another. One of my genius friends who happens to be an atheist gave me an idea. It seems that atheists (I used to be one myself) like the rest of us understandably associate certain words with certain images and so on, so that when I use initial caps, or use the word “God”, or in other ways tie the Theory of the Conscious Universe (TTOTCU) to the teachings of religions, I make it impossible for TTOTCU to get a fair hearing from my atheist friends.

Therefore in the interest of allowing all readers to evaluate TTOTCU on its own merits without distracting connotations, we will begin to skip the religious references except where essential to some actionable point. Instead let’s consider TTOTCU as if the idea of there being one universal consciousness has nothing to do with religion or with the concept of God. I consider it fascinating that while TTOTCU is a scientific theory that makes no assumptions about mystical processes but reduces everything to the way information behaves — somehow winds up also squaring with what the founders of the world’s leading religions said, which constitutes self-evident perennial wisdom. However, I will set aside my fascination for this remarkable dual explanatory power, so that TTOTCU can be presented as pure science without raising emotional side issues.

And now, to the question of Who Are You Really?

In the prior post we wound up concluding that the two things we can absolutely say for certain, really do exist, are consciousness — that which experiences, the Self — and information, the stuff of experience — that which is experienced.

These are the only phenomena we observe directly. All else is mediated by our senses which tell us that time and space, hardness and solidity exist, and yet our Quantum Mechanics (QM) instruments tell us these things do not exist apart from the Observer (Self, Consciousness). So we cannot trust that our senses are conveying to us an accurate picture of reality. There could be an unmanifest part of reality, which by leaving out heads us in totally the wrong direction toward understanding our situation.

As I’ve begun to explain in recent posts, the Theory of the Conscious Universe postulates that a single Self is the only thing that truly exists.

Let’s look at this idea objectively. Let’s divorce the idea from the idea of God. We are talking about the same kind of self or selfness that we ourselves experience.

Imagine that you started life as a disembodied self. You would perhaps become aware of yourself gradually. Once you became aware, you could imagine things and visualize things — and this process might start in your dreams at times when you went from a clear consciousness to a foggy one.

Using the dreams and the waking imagination and your powers of visualization you could — if you had endless time — imagine all sorts of things. You could classify your own mental experiences. You could perhaps see that everything you experienced could be considered as information.

Perhaps if your intelligence level was far greater than that of human beings, you could even learn how to program yourself like a computer, since the contents of your experience would all consist of information.

Perhaps then you could program yourself to create cellular selves within yourself that could only for a time experience through the perspective of those subselves, whereas you yourself could experience what they were experiencing while also experiencing your own self.

What do I mean “you could program yourself”? What would this experience be like? Perhaps it would involve concentration. In his book The Meditative Mind: The Varieties of Meditative Experience, my friend Daniel Goleman (better known for his best-selling book series on emotional intelligence) describes the “concentration games” played by certain people in India since ancient times. Apparently a number of individuals in human history have been able to concentrate so strongly as to be able to turn off their sensory organs and ultimately even their sense of consciousness (“nirodh”, the next step on the path of insight after “nirvana”). If even a few human beings can train their ability to concentrate to this lofty degree, then surely we can imagine that a being of far greater processing power than a human — something with the processing power to create and sustain the complexity of the universe we behold — could also do similar stunts through concentration on a desired “program” of its own consciousness.

Perhaps you the original consciousness, the original self that has created us all as a part of yourself, could first program yourself to create light/energy, and then from light/energy to create matter and spacetime.

This would make you (a) a life form and (b) the only thing that really exists and (c) the underlying substrate of everything created by you to exist within you.

Certainly it would make you a very special life form compared to the life forms we know. Yet we know many lifeforms on macro and micro scales of size that have bizarre characteristics alongside which you would just be another very interesting specimen.

Given your scale it is no wonder that many individuals find it natural to worship this One Self. However that is not the only way it is possible to relate to you. One can also think of you as our Older Brother Self. It would be unusual not to naturally like you since we are you. So the natural reaction to the One Self would be somewhere between friendly and worshipful, take your pick.

That Self has creatively established a Cosmic Game It (We) play(s). Existence provides a never-ending pastime that is engrossing and rich in feeling. Obviously, on our planet part of the game is the secret of our true identity. We cannot normally during life remember anything that we experienced prior to this life, and so we tacitly always assume our identity is the body that the sense of Self currently inhabits.

In computer terms the information beyond the memories of the one instance of self, the local body that the Earth person takes to be the self, simply has been withheld from that node by not providing authorization.

The Perennial Philosophy (which however is not a scientific theory, and falls back instead on mystical conceptualization) tells us that the one self (called “God” or “the deity” in the Perennial Philosophy) gave the later pseudo-selves free will in order to make the game more interesting. This would not have worked without withholding authorization to the memory of the one self at least for the time period of the game. Remembering that one is the One, there is wisdom precluding all courses of action except the optimal for all concerned, and so effectively there is no free will. This could be an overstatement since aesthetically there are always multiple allowable choices but this would trivialize free will to some extent. Holding back the memory of the true identity unquestionably adds poignancy to the game — including such aspects as fear of death.

Again, what the Theory of the Conscious Universe posits is that this very sense of Self is the only thing that exists. That Self has made dubs of itself that for a subjective time period are, as in our case, not told the secret. We live in a permanent case of mistaken identity. We think it is us that is having these experiences when actually it is the One having these experiences through us. But our sense of Self is not different from the One. Our current sense of self is the experience the One is having in our instance of the Singular Self.

In your mind, project a mental movie: see the world and its history as if from nearby in space.

You did all that.

You are still doing it.

It is scientifically possible that this is not just speculation but rather what is really happening. In fact as science progresses it is converging on this depiction of reality. John Archibald Wheeler is but one of many highly respected scientists who have made statements consistent with the Theory of the Conscious Universe already. Science by definition must not proceed too rapidly, carried away by mere enthusiasm over an interesting new idea. So it could be after our lifetime that science finally comes out with a refined and perfectly acceptable version of TTOTCU.

Just knowing it is a real possibility gives permission to begin to relax into the more enjoyable version of life that settles in once we accept that TTOTCU may well be the true depiction of reality. In the psychotechnology (a set of practices which allow an individual in today’s super busy world to spend less and less time in Emergency Oversimplification Procedure – EOP – and more time in the Observer State and Flow State.) of the Human Effectiveness Institute (THEI), TTOTCU is not assumed. Nothing is assumed. THEI advises that the best approach to reality is to admit that we do not know the true nature of reality, and that therefore our actions must always be decided with full consciousness of that lack of certainty. This has the effect of unlocking what are culturally locked-in biases.

The fact that we then become more successful in some ways seems to provide a built-in validation of TTOTCU. For when one believes one is on the side of the whole universe, one’s behavior changes accordingly. All conscious motivations are positive rather than vengeful or petty, and this is a more successful strategy for accomplishing anything involving the cooperation of other people.

Mistaken identity and one other factor have driven most of us to “lives of quiet desperation”, as Henry David Thoreau put it. The other factor is the explosion in accelerating inventiveness triggered by written language — what I have dubbed “Acceleritis”. If this were not a mystery planet — other planets in other galaxies perhaps being experiments in remembering One’s true Identity at all times — Acceleritis might not have had such damaging effects. But the combination of the two handicaps has produced, at least for what be a brief reaction period as glimpsed from Above, a world of suffering, morbid fascination for violence, war, petty bickering, mental disorder, emotional chaos and the self-dwarfing of the One into decidedly unheroic roles.

Acceleritis we will recall is the inability of the brain to keep up with the incoming traffic as the number of question-producing impressions hitting the brain per second ceaselessly soars upward. The advent of written language some 6000 years ago is posited to be the triggering factor in causing Acceleritis.

Acceleritis manifests through tools, weapons, and media. Manic inventiveness in all three fields is carried out in a culture dominated by a minority that was historically first to use these tools, weapons and media, and through this they acquired power and heavy metals/money/credit, they were sustained first (and always) by (threat of) violence, and all of this thuggery was papered over later by a façade of legitimacy. Still, today’s nations were each founded based on the self-interest of those taking over, with the only possible exception being the United States of America.

Even America today has been pulled back into sameness of mentality with the earlier nations. This would not have happened on a planet without (a) mistaken identity and (b) Acceleritis. Those are the two factors pulling us down as a race. They threaten the very substance of the planet.

What a drama! The One has set up a most amazing adventure epic, larger than life, larger even than Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood. Now the torch has been passed to us, and we are privileged to be here at this momentous time. What happens, what we do, the roles we rise to, in the next few years will be a turning point in one direction or the other.

We ended the prior post with a promise to explain in this post why I sometimes capitalize “Self”. Here is the explanation. It comes down to the singularity of the One Self. What if TTOTCU is true, and the ancients intuited TTOTCU themselves but lacked modern scientific language and method and so thought about the One Self through the only lenses they had, including the impulse to attribute nature to a cosmic personality, what religion calls “God”. Why capitalize it, why consider it to be above us? Why not do so, since the whole of oneself is clearly above any part of oneself. Why worship the One Self? This is more a matter of aesthetics. The One Self logically being our own larger self in TTOTCU, one would naturally like and love it and wish to be harmonious with it. If worship also comes naturally then why block the feeling? If worship does not come naturally why not be open to some other form of relationship with the posited One Self? How about gratitude? How about loyal friendship?

Game Theory enters in at this point. Let’s admit that TTOTCU is just an unproven theory. Okay, so what does Game Theory tell us we should do? It says that since TTOTCU is a possibility, action based on admitting the possibility is real is better for the individual than acting as if the possibility is ridiculous. Because if TTOTCU turns out to be true (each of us will either find out after death that it is true, or we will no longer be aware of anything), then it would be better to have that base covered just in case.

Based on the way I am betting, my actions are always (except when I slip into robot behavior) in light of TTOTCU, and hence my use of initial capitals sometimes to relate to the One Self. I will tone down that convention now in order to make it easier for agnostic/atheist readers to consider the possibility of TTOTCU being accurate.

What is the meaning of life? Life is a game and an art form. It is the supreme game and the supreme art form. It is cosmic and celestial. We are in fact the children of the stars. We ourselves are stars, greater than stars, we are each of the star of the show. Only the challenge slope presented by Acceleritis makes it so hard for us to realize our true identity, or even to credit that identity as a possibility. No movie character ever faced a more dramatic challenge slope. There will be no victory as great as our own when we finally overcome.

Where did the Singular Self come from in the first place? Why does a Singular Self — or anything else for that matter — exist? Isn’t it far more logical that nothing exists?

Please see and react to our further exploration in the next post.

Best to all,


Originally posted 2011-08-11 07:04:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Beneficial Effects of Achieving Mind Reopenability

Volume 3, Issue 42

Gaining the yogic power to control what are now self-propelled functions within your being is an end in itself. The point of this little story is not aimed at reopening your mind for the purpose of flooding it with my ideas. When you gain mastery over any previously involuntary aspect of yourself, your ability to stay in Flow state increases.

Here on Earth at this time there is a pandemic cognitive bias toward closure in the face of the very number of things our minds have to deal with every day, 99% of them distractive.

Acceleritis is my neologism to denote the condition of being cognitively and emotionally overwhelmed by the accelerating information stimuli our brains contend with every moment of every day. My theory is that written language 6000 years ago was the trigger, leading to tools, weapons, and media — the three historic shocks that created the modern trance characterized by Acceleritis. The metric by which this can now be tracked going forward would be the number of P300 waves detected in the average human brain per day, which I hypothesize is continuing to increase. These waves occur when experience deviates from expectations, causing surprise and attention. I dub the stimuli causing P300 waves as “question-producing” stimuli relative to that individual at that time.

Because of Acceleritis we yearn for closure. We can easily become irritated or even angry when we are feeling mentally overloaded and someone asks us a question or begins to speak about something in a way we sense will require us to give attention to something else on top of what we are already dealing with. All the little details between us and our priorities madden us and so closure becomes a subconscious goal energized by more and more invested neuronal motivation weight.

This makes reopening our mind on any subject something that we generally refuse to do in earnest. If someone asks us to reopen our minds we might pretend to do so, humoring the person as politely as possible.

You can test this for yourself within your own mind and emotional body. Pick a subject you feel strongly about, perhaps some religious or political issue that means a lot to you and into which your idealism has been channeled. Or perhaps pick your visceral distaste for some political figure, or a strong negative feeling you have about some person you know. By act of will, just to prove to yourself that you can do it, reopen your mind to the possibility that you are wrong about that subject. Actually feel the internal resistance morph into willingness to reconsider.

Evidence that you have achieved this would include hearing yourself think of a few persuasive arguments as to the view opposing the one you have held. The proof that you have actually reopened your mind is a feeling, however. It is a feeling of lightness, calm, freedom, being more present than usual, an ability to let your mind go anywhere, objectivity, clarity, a sense of being superior to your normal self. You may be more conscious of your breath, and of having choices, creativity and control over your future. You yourself are now in perspective as being far more important than the relative trivia to which you have been bound. You will know it when you feel it. You will know that your mind is really reopened, at least on that issue. This is a useful exercise. It can be used often, particularly when you are out of sorts about something. At those times, locate the source of the irritation and see whether a belief you have is making you vulnerable to something you could be invulnerable to, by reopening your mind about that belief. 

To demonstrate, let’s try it on me. One of my strongest intuitions/hypotheses is that One Consciousness is all that exists and, by biocomputer partitioning, that One Self is able to live through all things in the universe that it created out of Itself.

This picture of the universe supports my intuition that each individual deserves respect, that there ought to be equality of opportunity. The cosmology of One Self, even considered open-mindedly as a real possibility, pragmatically encourages the individual to be alert to possible beneficial yet subtle messages in surrounding occurrences, and to be alert to one’s own subtle guidance system of hunches. This model balances Individualism and Collectivism in making logical that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, and at the same time making logical that in the long run certain individuals could do more good for the many. This map of reality tends to open the heart to other people, and leads to optimism.

Despite my ardor for this theory, however, I can reopen my mind to the possibility that Accidental Materialism is true, that consciousness is an emergent self-referential characteristic dependent upon the number of neuronal connections a brain can make, and that everything came about by random collisions of subatomic particles.

As unlikely as I feel the latter to be, I can open my mind to the fact that it is absolutely possible. As a scientist I can defer final closure on the subject until there is adequate evidence to lock in one view. Yet even then I can leave open the chance that better science in the future could change that too. Despite being as flooded as everyone else with too many things to think about, I can attest that relaxing the need for closure entirely is a useful state 

Interestingly, however, from a Game Theory point of view, I still feel it is more practical to act as if my model of the universe is true, and thus Accidental Materialism is false. Whether the One Self view is true or not, living in that viewpoint has already made me a happier person enjoying life more, and apparently tapping into more subtle clues, as evidenced by the number of ideas I’ve had that turned out to be successful in the media business.

If Accidental Materialism is true, then when I die, I will never know I was wrong. If the One Self view is true, then when I die, I will know I was right. In the absence of certainty, Game Theory suggests the One Self model is more pragmatic, and leads to more pleasure when one is cognizant of it. If there is no penalty at the end or along the way, why not live in paradise, even if it could ultimately be a “fool’s paradise”?

Best to all,


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

If You’re Not Enjoying Your Self, Something’s Wrong

Most of the time if we are not having fun we just assume “what else is new.” This method asks you to assume differently.

Assume that if you are in a bad mood or feel a negative physical symptom, this is a communication to you. The highest priority then is to decode the message and thereby reverse the emotional or physical quandary.

It could be that your subconscious is trying to tell you something. This is an autonomic alarm system we all have. If for example your current activities are not in alignment with your goals, or if you have set a goal that is not in alignment with your core values, parts of your mind will try to bring this to your conscious attention any way they can, and often the signaling will involve feelings of distress or something not right. It could start out one day as a bad mood you don’t even realize you are in, then escalate as the signal strength is gradually increased in an attempt to finally get your attention. If this persists long enough it can turn into physical symptoms. It is all about communication — in this case, internal communication.

Don’t get lost in the suffering so as to forget to decode first ahead of anything else. Act as if you deserve to be happy at all times. Getting lost in the suffering is what most of us do at most times, and this is a life-threatening waste of time. It also blocks your quality. No point in soldiering on in a bad mood because whatever you do in that state will not be in the range of high quality / high effectiveness. Better to let the work fall even farther behind while you figure out what is bugging you and dispel it by taking the action required, whatever it is.

One of the primary characteristics of Flow state (aka the Zone) is that the individual is doing something s/he loves to do, and is immersed fully in the playing of that game as a game, without over-motivation to win or over-concern of failure — and above all that, impregnable by attachments, free. This mood is a clue that you are in the process of moving into higher effectiveness and you just go with the flow enjoying it — and if you don’t distract yourself by subtly gloating over it, you go all the way into the Zone.

If something is bringing you down, that is going to block the Zone. So set aside your work and get yourself somewhere where you are uninterruptible, and see inside yourself to detect where the bad mood or sick feeling might be coming from.

It is likely you are attached to something that you now have fear of not getting. Or you are attached to something not happening that some part of you now expects will be happening anyway. What could it be?

You might find that taking notes helps, especially if you let the pen just write, without editing. This is because different neuron clusters become engaged when you go from just pondering to also writing notes. Shifting modalities like this is like sweeping a searchlight around inside your psyche.

Another way to shift modalities and bring different neurons into play is to turn aside from actively thinking about the question and instead just cultivate emptiness inside while paying sharp attention. This is a powerful shift of neurons, known to other writers. For example, adman James Webb Young’s 1960 classic A Technique For Producing Ideas speaks about a need to set aside all thought about a project after studying and thinking deeply about it, and sure enough flashes of inspiration will appear out of nowhere (usually within three days in this writer’s experience, frequently within hours nowadays after decades of practicing this and other techniques).

The effectiveness of this kind of internal gear shifting is perhaps most commonly observed when we are frustrated trying to think of a word or name. It is on the tip of our tongue and we keep trying the same file drawer in our mind certain that with enough effort we will remember it. But we don’t remember it until we give up and then it easily pops into our head a short while later. This appears to be because we were forcing ourselves into the wrong file drawer and therefore blocking the retrieval.

To recap, we are discussing micro-methodologies to carry out the imperative of not taking foul moods for granted but instead getting to the bottom of the causes, so that action plans can be made that will help to overcome whatever is secretly bothering you. This will also tend to improve your physical health and keep you looking young. However our main goal is to get you out of lower states into the highest performing state Flow state (the Zone) or into the next best thing, the access state right before that, which we call the Observer state. Thus our purpose steadfastly remains to improve the creative effectiveness of our readers thus improving decision making for as many people as possible.

Test this method over the next week or lifetime and see if you don’t agree that it works. There is no downside risk in the lifetime test — it can only help you, or at the worst change nothing.

This has been another installment of our summary release of psychotechnology here at the blog of The Human Effectiveness Institute. We suggest that the condensation of this kind of subtle guidance system is also worth testing by getting our book or video. Another word from our sponsor. 🙂

Let’s review the techniques presented in the last few posts:

  1. Create in yourself and your team a mood of optimization, where that mood has the highest priority over self-aggrandizement or any other more typical mood.
  2. Banish negativity as ineffective time-wasting and rechannel it into a stimulus to discern root sources and then plan / implement effective actions to remove those root causes of the negativity.
  3. Respect yourself and everyone and everything else. Disrespect blocks solutions and creates new problems.
  4. Remain open to the existence of all possibilities where you have not proven — with evidence that would stand up in court and to scientific public scrutiny — that some possibility does not in fact exist.
  5. Do not tolerate bad moods or sickly symptoms in oneself without seeking out the root causes and taking effective action to remove those causes.

These are but a few of the techniques we share in our book and video. Lately people have told me they love the book but their busy lives are spinning out of time control entirely nowadays so the book sits with other books half-finished. My suggestion is to not read the book but just open it at random — especially at times when you do not feel on top of your game. One of the most frequently mentioned ideas in the thousands of endorsement letters and emails we have received from readers is this use of the random pages method. This is the way we suggest circumventing Acceleritis to still get the benefit of our book despite “never having enough time anymore.”

Best to all,