Category Archives: Transmuting Feelings

How to Stop Worrying

Originally posted July 28, 2015latest Great Being post

Many of us spend too much time worrying, which means we’re spending too much time thinking about a problem non-constructively. Worrying actually gets in the way of finding solutions and then dealing with the problem.

When we notice we’re worrying, we should of course stop worrying and deal with the problem constructively. This may seem so utterly simple and obvious, so why don’t we all just do this when we find ourselves worrying?

Know the right steps to take

The mind seems to flinch away from situations it unconsciously feels incapable of solving. The nature of worry is helplessness. When we are worrying we are assuming helplessness, which greatly increases our real helplessness by sending those signals to everyone around us. Are we unintentionally begging for outside assistance?

The mind is well aware of our problem, maybe painfully so, but in this state of excessive worry it assumes there is no way out of the situation. We worry about our problem as if that would make it go away. Or perhaps in the vague hope that if we worry long enough maybe something will eventually just come to us? Continue reading

Originally posted 2015-07-28 11:03:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Power of Gratitude

Originally posted July 21, 2015latest Great Being post

One rainy day I was driving a little too fast plus the cruise control was on. I got onto I-84 East and as I reached the highway itself I must have hit an oily patch for the next thing I knew I was going backwards, staring straight at Eastbound traffic bearing down on me at high speed — a truck passing a car, both coming right at me with many cars and trucks behind them.

Reflexively I righted the car and pulled off on the grassy median just as the honking truck and cars rushed past, missing me. A car pulled off and drove up alongside to see if I was alright. He said he was a Navy fighter pilot and complimented me on my reflexes, then drove off while I sat for a minute breathing deeply.

Every second is precious. Be Grateful

I bet you know what I was feeling because we have all felt it at one time or another — grateful for being alive. Life was suddenly so sweet. Every second was precious. The average workday that lay ahead was now an exciting prospect filled with interesting possibilities. The rain hitting the windshield was beautiful and I could see rainbows in each drop. The air tasted delicious.

Authentic gratitude is a very healthy emotion that I am sure increases immune response and is conducive to Flow state. As I grow older and hopefully wiser I find myself more often being grateful simply for this life, for life itself and especially for the interesting and fun life I have had so far. But any life is better than the alternative of never having existed. Even a life of pain is more interesting than eternal unconsciousness, never having a sense of self, never having even one experience.

As long as one is alive, there is the chance to fix or accept anything that is disturbing. That’s what creativity is for. Troubles can be overcome in a flash of inspiration. Life is filled with endless possibilities.

Over time I’ve noted that when I am feeling the most gratitude, my luck runs high. Could it be that being truly grateful results in receiving even more to be grateful for? Continue reading

Originally posted 2015-07-21 10:26:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What Can Be Done When You Are Experiencing Emotions You Don’t Want?

Volume 2, Issue 41

Such as when you are unhappy, anxious, scared, feeling guilty, mad at yourself, ashamed, bored, depressed, or not enjoying simply being alive and who you are? Measured against the alternative, just being alive is an amazing opportunity one must logically be grateful for, except perhaps during rare cases such as physical torture.

Nor is the Vulcan alternative really desirable. We do not espouse the strategy of killing off all emotions. Emotions are part of what makes life life. Being a robot and repressing all emotion not only shrinks life it also cuts one off from valuable information that helps optimize actions. Without an operating emotional center one becomes cut off from sensing and deeply grokking the emotions of others. Observer and Flow states become impossible or less likely with a goodly part of the sensorium (psyche, experiential panoply) edited out.

The word “control” has negative connotations, as in “mind control”, which raises specters of brainwashing, hidden persuaders, subliminal advertising, Nazism and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Yet we admire people who exhibit cool self-control when the average person would either fly off the handle, blush, show fear, or surrender to intimidation, so in that sense “control” is not always such a bad thing. In other words, as with most of life, there is always a balance point, a grey scale, where some amount of a thing is “good” (pragmatically valuable), and then too much of it is “bad” (counterproductive). Here we are speaking of being able to mediate, to a degree, the emotions we feel so as to make the whole of us more happy, creative, effective, and successful in the moment. And more likely to be in Observer or Flow.

A general “solution” to the types of negative emotions listed in the first paragraph above relies upon a better understanding of the causes and the phenomena themselves. If we can recall that the brain contains parts such as the limbic system, which can assert and draw energy to themselves, causing chemicals to flood our bodies during moments of unwanted emotion, this realization has the effect of giving us some degree of a more detached perspective. We may then become less stuck, less trapped in and overwhelmed by those feelings.

Many negative emotions are the result of one’s own ego. My Acceleritis theory is that the ego (software in the brain, built from proteins after birth, which is sort of one’s own built-in press agent, politicking with the outside world for a better deal) is made more powerful relative to the rest of our sense of self, by information overload — itself the result of visible language invented only about 300 generations ago, a relative eyeblink in evolutionary time. This is my putative explanation for the excessive competitiveness (e.g. continuous intraspecies war going on somewhere on Earth at all times) that has characterized us as a species since the dawn of written language.

When I feel negative emotions, I go after answering the question: what do I want so badly that I either fear I will not get or am angry that I have not gotten? Then I look inside to see why that thing is so darned important to me emotionally and whether having it is worth these tormented feelings. Typically (now after decades of such practice) I am able to rise above the attachment and negative emotion fairly quickly. What I value (Flow state) is something I would rather have than those other attachments, which when inspected are self-evidently ignoble motivations like wanting praise.

What is life after all? In my view (my Theory of the Conscious Universe) each of us is a microcosmic mask of the One Intelligence, which is all that truly exists. In Flow, one can actually contact that Original Self and feel fully one with it, in which perspective all annoying matters dissipate instantly with no effort whatsoever. One can be happy simply being Bill Harvey or whatever your name happens to be this time round. It’s more than enough just to be alive. This is what I intuit is the original meaning and intent of the Jewish toast “L’Chaim” (“To Life”).

Hoping these thoughts are useful in making your life more continuously blissful,

Bill

Antidoting Toxible People

Volume 2, Issue 22

We hear the expression “toxic people” and think: there are no toxic people, but there are people whom we allow to be toxic to ourselves. So rather than being toxic they are merely toxible. They would not be toxic to us if we knew how to handle the experience of them.

Take the case of Corporal Luiz. Luiz went through an evolution in the way he took in experience from his boss, Sergeant Murray, who never missed an opportunity to make Luiz feel small.

Early in the process Luiz daydreamed about fragging Murray. Unfortunately or not they were Stateside and fragging was not an available option, nor would we recommend it. A bit later on things eased slightly for Luiz when he got it that Murray was doing the same thing to everyone under him. His first bit of learning was to remind himself not to take it personally. This helped a lot because it put Luiz on the trail of discovering that Murray’s behavior was not the result of free will because Murray was a taken-over robot, mechanically living out a reaction script to being oppressed under the thumb of Lieutenant Gray, who probably had his own causes behind acting toxibly to Murray and God knows whom else. Serendipitously and synchronistically Luiz picked up a book by Dr. Robert Ornstein and read about the reptile part of the human brain, anachronistically still causing pecking-order behaviors in humans.

The onion peeled every day for Luiz now living mainly in the Observer state especially when around Murray. He saw that each of his peers now having fallen in helplessly with Murray’s style, were unconsciously protecting themselves by laughing at Luiz when Murray picked on him, and doing the same to each other. Again Luiz realized not to take it personally and was beginning to see the situation in the objective scientific way that automatically removes the sting from the negative emotional reaction. He used the discomfort he still felt to find the things within him that he realized needed changing, things that attracted him into such situations and were vulnerable to childish nonsense. He relived moments he had never forgiven himself for, saw more deeply into the causes, and realized that his actions had not been as basely motivated as he had always blamed himself for. He forgave himself and cleared the ancient debt list.

The first moment of triumph came when Murray picked on Luiz, and Luiz did so obviously not care one whit, that the rest of the squad was impressed and the tide began to turn on Murray. In the end Luiz turned into Murray’s mentor and wised him up on how to be free and not a robot. But that was many years later. Luiz had to wait until Murray came to him and asked.

To remain in the Observer and Flow states, observe your own negative emotion and work with it, turning off the emotional alarm with gratitude for telling you to figure out the situation and discern right action.

Best to all,

Bill

The Alchemy of Transmuting Feelings into Right Action

Experiments you can perform best when alone, such as in shower or tub

Full disclosure: I am an interested party — these experiments will tend to confirm my speculations and hypothesis — and help prove my theories.

On the other hand, you stand to gain a great deal. Your decision making can be made more creative and more effective — by judo-ing your own negative emotions so that they stop hurting you and start helping you.

You have free will — theoretically. That freedom is constrained by conditioning that governs you more than you perhaps realize. Acceleritis and attachment, as explained in the prior post, interfere with your free will and come to dominate your decision making, and your internal life. These aspects of your consciousness, when seen from another dimension, are the same as the material neuron clusters in your brain where experiences you’ve had whose learning has yet to be fully assimilated are stored. These neuron clusters fire frequently in cascades, triggered by negative emotion, caused by events hostile to your desires.

The firing of these habitual patterns is inimical to free will, creativity, and therefore effectiveness. They blunt the genius of your mind. When you can surmount these patterns you enter Observer state and ultimately Flow state. You take right action emanating from wisdom, understanding, compassion, and forgiveness. In Flow it is effortless given the state of your brain phenomenology at those times.

Bad feelings can actually help you get there. You just have to flip them on their side. No magic involved or hard concentration. Just the opposite — maximum relaxation of everything. Once the body is relaxed in as many ways as possible, then you relax the mind and emotions in as many ways as possible.

First we’ll briefly summarize the steps in the experiment, then we’ll explain each step in more detail.

Summary

After you are as relaxed as there’s time for, you inspect your own feelings of the moment — of this whole time period of your life, not just how you feel in the present interlude.

You then check out how you feel about those feelings, and the desires that drive them. Is this a want you want to want? Did one of your parents give this want to you, or a teacher or friend? Where did it come from?

You will experimentally check to see whether you can actually simulate giving up all of it. You’ll see how that feels. You may have moments of great freedom and a sense of great love. If not, it will happen in a later pass over the same ground. The first experiment starts its own process that you individualize over time. Obviously, you only continue if you’ve gotten something out of it.

You’ll take notes of your current deep priorities in life, and action items.

Tips on each step

I.   Relaxation

Jacuzzi, tub, shower, pool, getting a massage, sauna, steam room, treadmill, stationary bike, taking a walk, before sleep in bed, in a comfortable position on a recliner, you name it, whatever, just so your body is as happy and relaxed as it can be at that moment.

Make sure you aren’t holding tightness anywhere in your body. Feel from the inside each part of your body, one part at a time, to make sure each part is relaxed. Breathe deeply and slowly, in and out, all the way down into the belly. Imagine the air going everywhere, not just the lungs — into your head, imagine it as sparkly, expanding and contracting galaxies of stars.  

If you are carrying on an interior dialog, listen to what you are saying. Is the self-talk relaxed? By an act of will, seek to relax your mind. Truncate words before they form or as they form, fade them out in midstream. Keep doing this.

Feelings will probably now be more noticeable. What are the feelings you are having?

II.   How do I feel in my life now?

There will probably be a cluster of feelings. You will be able to articulate a few different words that come close to explaining to yourself how you are feeling mentally/emotionally because of or despite the relative comfort of your body. Your mind and/or emotions may not be relaxed. They may even be agitated despite your physical comfort. Or you may be having a good time.

If you’re not having a good time yet, ask yourself why. What are the causes, the incidents. What desired end state of yours is being thwarted?

III.   Do I want to feel that way?

Once you know how you feel, and what desire of yours is threatened, ask yourself where that desire came from, and if you want to still keep it.

If you still value the desired thing, and want to continue to strive for it, then it is a Priority, and you move to the next step. If you’re not so sure it’s worth it, and you are willing to contemplate giving up the desired thing, picture the life you’d like to live in the future with that desire out of the picture, and see if you can imagine that life will be fulfilling anyway. What would you do instead?

If you can live without striving for that desire, then give it up. The fewer conditions you place on outcomes in your life, the greater your chance for happiness. Many great sages and saints renounced all worldly desires and other-worldly desires too, and lived in joy and love. This is the permanent Flow state, where the human race is heading in terms of evolution.

You might, either in the success of your imagination or by a rare life shift, experience a sense of omnidirectional love that occurs when attachments are turned off even if only temporarily (see explanation in previous post).

If you do experience this wonderful feeling, take advantage of it by seeking out your loved ones and sharing yourself with them as you will then be feeling, in flow state and in love with life.

IV.   Priorities

You will have a pen and paper close by, which at some point you’ll find yourself using to jot notes of learnings, action points, and a ranking of your Priorities.

V.    Action Plans

These will tend to spring into your mind effortlessly. In fact the main way you will capture them is by paying closer attention to what is happening inside you — feelings, hunches, images, words — by looking at it all as if for the first time, taking nothing for granted, being curious, and being willing to state the obvious to yourself.

Under the yoke of Acceleritis, we are afraid to sound stupid, afraid to waste other people’s time by seeming stupid, and so we act that way even to ourselves. This makes us unwilling to state the obvious to ourselves, and yet only by being willing to re-examine everything, even the seemingly obvious, do you penetrate the rush of Acceleritis. Only then do all the parts of your self focus attention together on a particular something. (More on this on page 181 of my book, Freeing Creative Effectiveness.)

Stating the obvious to yourself in notes that get written down and looked at later begins to push back against the tide of Acceleritis.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Fun Holidays to all,

Bill

 

 

Gerald Leo Despain, May 22, 1943—December 8, 2011

Gerry was my friend and teammate at Next Century Media, AdExact, OpenTV, and TRA. He was a genius and a saint who never said a bad word about anybody, who smiled almost constantly, and was nobody’s fool. Those of us privileged to know him loved him. His software systems for addressable optimizers and non-addressable optimizers, his trading platform for addressable commercials, his set top box measurement algorithms, and everything he ever created is still at the state of the art today, a state he helped lead and form. He will be missed.