Tag Archives: Conscious Universe

The Theory of the Conscious Universe: Where Is the Self in the Brain?

Originally posted July 16, 2011

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

Picture the neurons in the brain as strings in a violin. Now picture them as superstrings. The brain is both.

In a previous posting we discussed the different “selves” that each individual has within him/herself, which are formed out of associational clusters of neurons constructed in the brain by our experiences after we are born.

These different selves in the software layer are not places amongst the neurons. Not quite. Each self is a particular conversation amongst neurons, and each self is evoked using specific places in the brain where those memories reside.

Each such “self” is a particular dance of the neurons.

Behind all this is the self you were born with.

This raises a semantic issue: the meaning of the word “self”. David Brooks, for example, says in his book THE SOCIAL ANIMAL, “Even up to age three, children don’t seem to get the concept of self-consciously focused attention. They assume that the mind goes blank when there is no outside thing bidding for its attention.”

Elsewhere in the book he says “You are the spiritual entity that emerges out of the material networks in your head.”

In reading this excellent and thought-provoking book, I get the feeling that he means exactly what he says in the prior sentence — that matter comes first, and that the self is part of the mind that arises out of the contacts we have with the rest of the world, and how those experiences dictate the laying down of neurons and connections in our brain.

Now, David is obviously a humanist who talks about moments of transcendence, and emphasizes the importance of emotions and the unconscious mind. At the same time he is probably a materialist, not in the popular social sense but rather as in the philosophy term of art, meaning he believes that matter appears ahead of mind in the timeline of the universe.

After all, read his last sentence above, once more. He is saying that your Self is what emerges out of the neurons that have connected since your birth. Whatever unconscious hard-wired genetic/instinctual predispositions you had at birth did not comprise your true self. To David, “You” remained self-less until your brain was sufficiently formed to where the self-ness function turned on — when you had enough contact with the rest of the world to emerge as a distinct self.

Here we would differ. I take the Self to be an experiential phenomenon. Not an abstract word. Practically every other word that we use refers to an object or something we see outside the Self. The word “Self” however has as its referent the actual ineffable experience you are having right now of being you. Reducing that to a word can be very useful, but can also be counterproductive if it gets us to think of Self as just another “thing” like all the others we perceive. The Self is not like anything else. It is in a class by itself. It is the only thing we know really exists. It is the Knower itself. Everything else is something we perceive indirectly through the physics of perception.

That is what I mean by Self and I suspect with that as a stipulated definition, David would probably agree with what I am saying here.

Once we start to perceive, our Self is lit up — we are the experiencer. If those perceptions start in the womb, or when we take our first breath, we likely have no notion of what is going on. Later, that experiencer undergoes various levels of evolution and becomes self-aware (has what David calls an “inner narrator that he thought of as himself”), and then later capable of looking at his/her own feelings objectively (what David calls “equipoise”). And even capable of Knowing Itself As Universe in moments of what David calls “self-transcendence” — moments when we lose the sense of separateness.

The Self is the experiencer. What the neurons lay down is the software layer. Sometimes, as David acknowledges, there is a fight for control among parts of the brain; we would say that the fight for control also includes one other part besides the ones considered in THE SOCIAL ANIMAL: THE ORIGINAL EXPERIENCER.

The Original Experiencer. The Self that was always there, before these levels of self-awareness that David represents as the step-off point for the Self. The ineffable spark of selfness that you have even before you can see yourself as separate or start to self-narrate or start to decide whether you are lost in bliss or somewhere else. The Self you have when your mind is empty. We would argue this is your true self, not the concoction of neuronal dances that you have going on all the time as a result of your experiences.

This is an important choice to consider in terms of your own thinking, I would submit.

What has all of this, however, got to do with The Theory of the Conscious Universe?

The Theory of the Conscious Universe postulates that the Universe is a single consciousness, is the single Self that exists, and that the Self lives through all Its creations.

As we shall demonstrate in upcoming blog postings, this conception of what we are can explain every detectable phenomenon within an Occam’s Razor scientific model fully synchronous with quantum mechanics (QM).

Because of the importance of consciousness in explaining our “Theory of the Conscious Universe”, we began this posting by talking about when the Self arises — what I call the experiencer. We can’t talk about TTOTCU without first discussing these basic issues.

In describing what consciousness is and how it works we will make frequent analogies to the way computers work. We will explain why we doubt that robots can ever be made to experience, unless they are based on genetic technology, in which case they will not be robots. Yet we will also explain our odd hypothesis that consciousness exists in everything.

As we go along, you may find all the hypotheses in The Theory of the Conscious Universe odd — or perfectly obvious (latter group please send me an email — I’d like to chat).

So, what if anything does this have to do with the primary work of the Human Effectiveness Institute (“THEI”)? Our mission is to enhance human effectiveness. One way of doing this is by freeing the mind of constricting limiting notions that may be based on totally inaccurate pictures of reality.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers. Read my latest post.

Originally posted 2011-07-16 10:35:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Theory of the Conscious Universe: The Roots

Featuring: A Movie in Your Mind

Originally posted July 11,2011

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

An area in which the Human Effectiveness Institute focuses is the interface between psychology and physics. The ultimate nature of reality is what all of us assume physics is studying, while the nature of mind is what psychology studies.

However, picture a future in which psychology reaches what we might call the complete circumnavigation of the mind. Everything about human psychology is understood, and animal psyk too. Psychoanalysts working with the new perfect model have the same success rate as today’s hip replacements, and in about the same turnaround time. People are pretty much always happy, except for short lapses so as not to forget what the other emotions feel like, or lose their functionality through disuse. Got that envisioned?

Okay, we are together living in that future world and we have all read the popularizations of the ultimate psychology. We get it, it makes our lives work better, we are proud that the human race has achieved such an accomplishment.

Then, in this sci-fi movie we are playing in our minds, a problem arises: physics arrives at the same place as psychology. Physics, too, explains everything in its field. We know how the Big Bang happened and why. We know why there is a universe at all. Our picture leaves nothing out, everything is solved. We finally solve the 400 BC conundrum of which came first, matter or mind.

The problem is this: the physics picture totally overturns the psychology picture.

Then what do we do?

Obviously, at that point the hero/ine gets to work and we see time cuts of the hard work it takes (movies are great at condensing that part) and – voila! The old theory is ingeniously twisted 90 degrees and it clicks perfectly with the new model, and now the population is not always just happy, the entire population rises to the level of genius, is always in flow state, art flourishes and enriches culture, each individual becomes fully realized in all good potentials inherent at birth, the awe and magic of life is restored and never again forgotten even for a moment, psychic and/or telepathic abilities bloom gradually in everyone, and – most important of all – each individual is in total fusion with God.

Yes I said the dread word that causes materialism-philosopher-scientists (MPS) to stop reading. You see scientists have always been philosophers too. We have always had a segment of MPS and another segment of idealism-philosopher-scientists (IPS). Daniel Goleman or David Brooks might well write a book about the relative contributions to science of MPS versus IPS scientists – it would make fascinating reading. Newton of course was IPS. Quite capable of debating fine points of IPS with Leibniz, another idealist philosopher of the time who was a mathematician rather than scientist (Newton was all of these things). Mathematicians and scientists have always produced greater science by working together, and probably greater mathematics too.

The word “God” has meaning to IPS but causes shutdown to MPS. My guess is that those MPS still reading to this point are only reading so as to refute whatever my point might be in all this.

Before I get to the point, let’s stop for a moment to make a fix that has been long in coming. Roughly 2500 years overdue. The term of art “Idealism” when used in juxtaposition with “Materialism” is a confusing misnomer since the word “Idealism” has other meanings used far more frequently. Time to change the term, so let’s first understand where it came from. It was Plato.

Plato of course had heard similar thoughts and was putting them together more concisely and less mystically so everyone could understand them. Qabala contains similar thoughts, for example, and everything thinkable exists somewhere in the tradition of India, captured in written language since the Vedas.

The Idea is that there are multiple levels of reality. In the Absolute Plane of Reality, Ideas exist. They are the perfect embodiment of themselves. The Ideal Chair is the most often used example in philosophy courses –that’s sure getting old. “Ideal” in the sense of “Idea” and also in the sense of “Perfect Embodiment” and “Archetype”.

At any rate, there are these Ideas floating around in the realest plane of reality, and down here on these lower planes (Qabala has four levels, some Indian texts also, but other interpretations have infinite levels – Qabala calls this Jacob’s Ladder) we have shadow imitations of those Ideal Ideas, imperfect replicas intermixing all the Ideas in sort of a stew.

Here on Earth we exist in the lowest of the planes in hard material reality, sometimes called the Visible World. To Plato we are as if in a cave watching shadows on a wall cast by something outside the cave we cannot see.

Without attaching to the history of the term, I’ve laid it out here to show the trail. This is how the great debate got to be called “Materialism versus Idealism”.

What instead should it be called? The debate is trying to solve the question of which came first, mind or matter — which of these is the actual basis of reality, the ultimate quantum plane from which the universe arises.

About 400 years ago, by the way, Hume and Berkeley, Leibniz and Spinoza and Kant and many others drove a period of philosophy where mind came first, before matter.

Today the view that is baked into the average person including scientists is that matter is the supreme substance of the universe. Ironically, the most far-out physicists are now heading back in the other direction toward mind or an intermixture, and gradually the culture is slowly following them. This is not discussed philosophically by the average person, who may nevertheless detect a drift back into what s/he would call a spiritual direction.

We would prefer that the debate be called “Materialism vs. Mindism” or “Materialism vs. Consciousness as Prime”. That’s what it always has been about. The “Mind Came First” position in this debate does not necessarily have to be locked into Plato’s multiple-levels theory, as there are many theories that could be built around the “Mind Came First” position.

“But how could that possibly be?” one thinks, still in the current culture that assumes materialism without even knowing that one is doing so.

After all, Carl Sagan told hundreds of millions of viewers that after the Big Bang occurred due to forces we do not yet comprehend, bits of matter started to assemble due to electromagnetic forces we do understand. At a certain point they formed the Replicator molecule – akin to viruses – robotical pseudo-life. And then just impelled by these random collisions of electromagnetic forces, this process continued to evolve and build itself up until consciousness emerged.

We all mostly bought it, didn’t we? I must confess I didn’t – it seemed like random waves on a beach could build beautiful sand castles if I just sat around for a googletillion years. I still can’t convince my gut of this.

So what is this Theory of the Conscious Universe I was supposed to talk about? Please excuse the tease, but I promised I would lay out the roots here. Now that I’ve established the roots, in the next postings I will get on to the theory.

Best to all,

Bill

I would like to invite you to a free ARF webinar I am presenting next week on April 18. A featured section will propose standards for ethical use of psychological data.

Originally posted 2011-07-11 06:17:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

To The Protectors

Volume 3, Issue 39

It is Veteran’s Day as I write this. On the way to the airport listening to the radio I heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir doing a special show celebrating America and its war veterans.

Flashback to the 60s when certain protesters sometimes crossed the line to not only condemn the war but also the country itself with the moniker Amerika, sometimes substituting a swastika for the “k”. That saddened me.

We all make mistakes and sometimes they are big ones. This is true not only for individuals but also for groups of people like protesters, countries, corporations, even well-meaning nonprofits and religious institutions.

But the ideals of the Founding Fathers are unique among the articles of constitution for each of the 190+ nations on Earth. The U.S. Constitution is our Mission statement and our collective vision still. Protecting these ideals and this country that seeks to bring about a world based on these ideals is still a sacred trust.

Those who are warriors for any free nation, especially if they take that role voluntarily, are at least in part moved by a very high level of consciousness. The realization of something greater than oneself, and the urge to serve others. This can also be true of cops, firefighters, doctors, and many other vocations, even the oft-criticized paramilitary. Not every individual in these vocations is equally motivated by the idea of service and the will to protect, and that motivation can vary over time. But when one is in that headspace and heart space it is a form of the Flow state and attracts cosmic fire support — at least according to my Theory of the Conscious Universe, which is explored in my soon-to-be-published new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That!

Most if not all of us would like to see an end to war, but this does not mean we should be unappreciative of the warriors. The prerequisites to ending war forever are not forever distant and unapproachable; in fact we are closer than ever to realizing these possibilities:

  1. Psychotechnology and education bring about better self-management and decision-making at an individual level everywhere, engendering sanity, clarity, perspective, menschness, and happiness.
  2. Science and technology release unlimited free energy by which there is plenty of whatever anyone might need or want, as in the “Culture” novels. With free energy we can afford to transport the Earth’s still abundant raw materials from where they are to where they are needed. Nicola Tesla was on the track of unlimited free energy a century ago and it is no further off than unlimited life extension. Perhaps another century will do the trick.
  3. Space travel provides enough room and raw materials to not have to fight over land.
  4. Medical science brings about the ultimate cures. Only a matter of time. Not soon enough to end the heartache in our lives but soon enough to remove great gobs of pain from the lives of our children’s children’s children.

It will all happen. If we don’t blow ourselves up or befoul the environment too much more between now and then.

In the meantime, here’s to the protectors. We still need them, and they deserve to be honored with our gratitude and deepest respect.

In that spirit, I’d like to share the lyrics to a song written by my friend Stan Satlin, who was inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass to write songs about the country he loves.

I Am an American

Chorus (repeats after each verse):

I am black and I am white, I'm yellow and brown
I am red white and blue, Yankee Doodle won't you come to town
I am the whole wide planet, rolled into one
I am a citizen of the world, I am an American

Verse 1:

I came from distant lands, to seek a better life
All I owned was on my back, by my side my wife
The work it wasn't easy, in the factory and the farm
But hope in me grew stronger, like the muscle in my arm               

Verse 2:

As I sailed across the ocean I was told of gold in the streets
When I arrived I soon found out not everything was sweet
I built the road and cities, from the east coast to the west
I've been tricked and cheated, but the land is still the best

Verse 3:

Some things are much better, some things still need change
I wish I could bring back some things, like buffalo on the range
I don't want to be a master or servant of any man
I just want to go on living my life, doing the best I can

And this, to honor the symbol that inspires our warriors, Old Ragged Flag, as told by Johnnie Cash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgpp0V7sDbE.

Best to all,

Bill

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

Humanists May Not Be Using All of Their Powers

Volume 3, Issue 16

Humanism is a wonderful thing. As a teenager I came to the conclusion that people’s decisions reflect not only pragmatism and ethics but also one’s aesthetics. Based on all three sets of criteria, pragmatic (getting the job done), ethical (doing so with least harm and most gain to all), and aesthetic (delectation of the beauty of the solution as it unfolds), I loved Humanism.

I was still an atheist and worshipper of science at that point. The realization at age 12 that “I am God and so is everybody else” was still an unassimilated revelation in my mind, not integrated with everything else in there. (The word “God” turns a surprising number of people off and so I typically say “Universe” instead.) I had experienced the Conscious Universe but could not explain it logically to myself. Humanism was therefore to me the highest philosophy on the planet. I still love Humanism, but now see that the Conscious Universe perspective gives me more ability to achieve the aims of Humanism.

With the Conscious Universe, one is open to get creative solution ideas from events around oneself that would have no special meaning to a Humanist not open to the Conscious Universe. It is as if the Universe is trying to clue you into something. It goes right past you unless you are open to the possibility. I call this Noia, the suspicion that the universe is out to benefit you. This word popped into my head in the mid-70s and I’ve been using it ever since. In 2005 Rob Brezsny came out with a book Pronoia about the same idea.

Openness to the Noia-type event reveals that synchronicity is actually happening a heck of a lot more to each of us that we notice in our pre-Noia state. Noia is not the totality of why the Conscious Universe tends to lift time spent in Flow more than Humanism does. Noia is a subset of the use of intuition. Intuition is actually ESP (Extra Sensory Perception). Carl Jung listed intuition as one of the four functions of consciousness (intellect, feelings, and perception being the other three). To science, intuition is the sudden synthesis of an idea in our mind without the intervening steps that intellect would take, and as such the scientific definition does not link intuition to ESP. However, my sense is that the continuum of intuition starts at the lower end in the subconscious/autonomic mind simply putting ideas together for us, and moves up into drawing information from outside the local mind we call our own. The upper end of intuition is blocked if one’s worldview does not allow for it, and this is why the Conscious Universe is a useful theory linked to decision making.

Again, the Conscious Universe is put forth not only as a theory explaining the world including consciousness, the paranormal and Quantum Mechanics, but mainly as a useful lens for staying observant of second-to-second experience. Unlike religion there is no command to believe based on faith or authority or tradition. Instead the idea is to keep an open mind and not to lock oneself into Material Accidentalism, because if the Universe is Conscious (which, contrary to popular belief, Science has not ruled out) one is limiting one’s powers unnecessarily by taking a fixed action stance based on what turns out to be, ironically, faith in an anti-religion religion. Some have dubbed this anti-religion “scientism”, the layman’s mistaken belief that science has ruled out the possibility of an intelligence behind the universe (I usually refer to this as Materialist Accidentalism) — which by definition is a faith-based belief since there is no proof for its position.

Best to all,

Bill

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

Humanism and the Conscious Universe: Impacts on Decision Making

Volume 3, Issue 15

In our last post we began to clarify the main themes of this blog and their inter-relationships. Ultimately our purpose is to help you make better decisions and to spend more time in the more effective states of consciousness where better decision making happens automatically. How does our Theory of the Conscious Universe help you achieve that?

Motivations are the drivers of all decisions. You don’t know what decision to make until you have a goal, objective, desired end state, or whatever name you wish to put on it. Your view of reality itself is what shapes your motivations. Therein lays the primal linkage between a worldview and decision making.

On the surface, the motivations are similar between two individuals, one of whom is a dedicated Humanist, and one of whom lives and experiences the Conscious Universe. Both have the highest ethical standards as regards human beings. Both are capable of holding the nose of their ethics and pulling the trigger on a Hitler or Bin Laden. So why not leave Humanists as they are, and leave out the idea of a Conscious Universe? Would that not be a more Occam’s Razor elegant solution to improving decision making?

After all, this Conscious Universe stuff is sure to turn some people off, seeming to be religion. Religious people who feel brand exclusivity for their beliefs are most certainly going to be wary of our theory. So why create barriers to the acceptance of the Human Effectiveness Institute toolware (improving decision making, optimizing consciousness, and enabling Observer state and the Zone or Flow state) that can be of great benefit to everyone (regardless of their religious beliefs)?

Our theory of the Conscious Universe is not religion, by the way, as it does not extol faith but is instead predictive and testable, i.e. a scientific theory that we are all one software-driven entity. Our recommendation is to believe nothing but to keep one’s mind open to everything not ruled out by science.

Let’s face it: it’s already pretty bold, without sufficient academic credentials (mere degree in philosophy, lifetime of applied social science i.e. media research), to put forth a theory that explains the ego as a sub-sentience that takes over the self, and to offer toolware that enables the real self to take back over, creating a state of Holosentience where the whole self is working together in the higher states of consciousness, Observer state and ultimately Flow state. This is the basis for our nonprofit work in improving decision making. Interestingly, the toolware appears to work, according to letters from more than 2000 Mind Magic readers.

It is even more daring to claim that a condition of Acceleritis has existed since cave paintings and written language caused a shift 6000 years ago into Piaget’s Formal Operational level for the human race. Inventiveness has run wild, causing information overload defined as the number of question-producing sensory impressions (proposed metric: P300 waves received by the average human per day.

Why then not leave it at that rather than go further and expound a theory of reality? Do we know no bounds?

There are two reasons why it’s worth opening Pandora’s Box. One is that in the hunt for truth, one cannot be shy. If a person stumbles upon something that seems worth saying, it should be said, and not held back out of timidity. It’s better to be shown that one is wrong than to choke back one’s deepest intuitions.

The other reason is purely practical.  We are attempting to improve decision making in a world that is racing through a thicket of complexity. The fact is, the Humanist and one who is consciously living in the Conscious Universe do not act identically in all circumstances. There is for one thing a huge gap in the way they respectively make use of their intuition or hunches — both being the same thing. More on this in our next post.

Best to all,

Bill

 

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

What Does the Nature of Reality Have to Do with Decision Making? What Does Either One Have to Do with Flow State/Zone?

Volume 3, Issue 14

In other words, how do these themes of our blog fit together? Why are they necessary to complete the mission of The Human Effectiveness Institute, whose charter is to improve human decision making? And how can understanding these linkages improve your decision making in business and in life?

In answering this, first let’s boil down the theorems of the Institute. There are two main theories. The Theory of Holosentience posits that protein-based firmware/software created as neural networks in the brain, under conditions of information overload (Acceleritis), establishes a false self (the ego) whose normative dominance blocks optimal performance and happiness (Flow state/the Zone).

Other contemporary writers/researchers at this growing edge of psychology include Dr. Daniel Goleman and Dr. Richard Davidson, who use the term “hijacking” to describe the event of the amygdala and other brain structures bringing the consciousness down to a hyper-attached and low performance state. Dr. Phillip Romero uses the term “triggered” to describe the same thing.

The actual work of the Institute is to create and disseminate as widely as possible, proprietary validated toolware to bring on the Observer state, leading ultimately to the Flow state.

Our second main theory is The Theory of the Conscious Universe, which postulates that consciousness and intelligence came before the rest of the universe, rather than the other way around. And that each of us is an instance or over-dub of the One Consciousness, which is the primary real thing that exists (see the May 2, 2013 post, Bring a Sense of the Epic into Your Life).

The link between the Holosentience theory and better decision making is obvious: one makes better decisions when one is performing at higher levels of effectiveness. The linkages to the Conscious Universe are more complex and subtle.

The Conscious Universe is what I experienced when I had processed out most of the dominant ego software I had built in myself. Comparing notes with some others I found this was their experience as well. This led me to start writing about the Conscious Universe as a way to enable others to add it as a lens interchangeable with their other lenses such as Accidental Materialism. Having alternate lenses to switch between lessens the perceptual distortion of a single “belief” lens. Since Accidental Materialism and the Conscious Universe are both unproven, the thing to do is not to believe either one but to be free to observe reality directly, without a predetermined single lens, and to see which lens better explains what is really happening.

How does this improve decision making? Tune in to our next exciting episode.

Best to all,

Bill

P.S. My regular blog contribution to Jack Myers Media Network has returned. It is in the free section of the website. Here’s the link to the first post of many: Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.