Tag Archives: Conscious Universe

It’s Possible

How Little We Know About the Nature of Reality, and the Technique for Remembering This

Originally posted February 16, 2012 as a recap of the first year of blog posts here at Pebbles in the Pond.

On February 17, 2012, this blog was a year old, with this our 52nd post. In reviewing what we have attested to over the first 12 months, here’s a recap of some of the possibilities that we put forth — for the benefit of all who want to ply into whatever might be valuable for the greater good.

We have said It’s Possible that:

  • All religions may in a sense be right. Looked at a certain way, Religion and Quantum Mechanics and our own experience converge on what reality is. The common thread is that the Universe is a single conscious object. If that is the model then all is explainable — the prophets and saints who channeled today’s major religions; the behavior of subatomic wavicles; what John Wheeler’s information-is-substrate physics really means; the tendency for justice to be done in the long run; our own transcendent experiences — love, bliss; the benevolence of the universe, obvious when we are cleansed of the things that bring down our minds. All these phenomena make sense in a Conscious Universe. Nothing is left unexplained. Although the rest of time remains for physics to fill in the blanks, the overarching nature of reality can be intuited long before science knows about how the system is sustained (we might say, how the illusion is projected) at micro-to-macro levels.
  • All we have to do to tune in our own intuition as a guide to further exploring the nature of reality from the inside, is to stop making believe we know something. The Human Effectiveness Institute is not about issuing dogma. Our basic methodology is to admit that most of what we think we know as individuals is hand-me-down “knowledge” biased by traumatic experiences in our forebears and ourselves, catchphrases from movements that captured us into their statistical meme waves. In other words, very little of what we say to ourselves, and then habitually emotionally and bodily assent to as the truth on which to base decision making, is actually solid knowledge assimilated into wisdom of right action and/or understanding/forgiveness of self and others for missing the right action. How little could be proven in a court of law, or proven to a team of scientists. How many questions are actually being avoided. How many assumptions are made that rationalize subconsciously that we are being sensible to not ponder questions.
  • Acceleritis™ is the reason we do not ponder, and instead charge on, driven by rationalizing assumptions below the level of our own awareness. Fear of not performing in the accelerating stream of this culture and thus the awful consequences of poverty, unaffordable ill health, rejection/loneliness, an abject sense of zero self-worth, and guilt — all of which makes us keep up the rat race in a way deeper and more dangerous than at the obvious level. The very way we use our minds is different because of the racing culture.
  • Visible language is possibly what started the acceleration of information per day. Writing brought language into our vision, which is our dominant sense as primates. Until written language just 6000 years ago, for millions of generations our ancestors — just as dependent on our eyes as we are* — communicated by signals and noises, and in thousands of recent generations before writing, had turned these sounds into sophisticated language. But how it blew our minds when we were able to see this sophisticated language. To make an analogy, sex is very important to us. Just like seeing is. What if sex carried language i.e. telepathic words heard automatically from the sex partner during the act. That’s the kind of thing that happened to us 6000 years ago. The admixture of two potent sides of our being — language and seeing. It immediately made our minds race with questions and ideas. These continue to accelerate for each generation to this day, and will be even more accelerated for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.
  • We need techniques to contend with Acceleritis better than we currently contend with it. Evidence for the “possibility” of our Acceleritis hypothesis abounds so I won’t belabor the point. Failure of governments to be effective, corporations whose left hands and right hands do not even know the existence of each other, individuals living generally way below the level of constant bliss, although it is an inch away all the time. We offer techniques in our book and DVD, and in excerpts in this blog. Steal this book. Share it. We want everybody to have these techniques.
  • There are measurable levels of being. Our experience can be ennobled by techniques that aid our ascent out of Acceleritis into the Observer State where our minds are clear and courageously self-honest to an absolute degree. And further, into the Flow State (aka the Zone) where everything seems to be doing itself perfectly (and observers agree), because we are no longer living our lives separated from the universe but are experiencing being in that universe and somehow the same with it. The identity issue has faded and it is as if you are the Universe acting naturally without feeling like you have to worry about how it is going to come out. The innocence of “not thinking you know something” is a conducive launching pad. Thinking you know everything and acting rapidly as if always under time pressure is not conducive to Flow.
  • Democracy was one theme last year in this blog. Working together (Gung Ho!) is obviously very aligned with joining into oneness with the universe. Democracy is a good idea because it reflects the nature of reality — we are all one so it is logical that the One would want to benefit from the collective wisdom of all of its parts — this too is a possibility.
  • Readers have thanked me for not writing about the media business. Last week someone said to me “What a relief — something I like to read that has nothing to do with the media business — I read enough about the media business!” Yet in the past year there were some thoughts about all business and how they use media. Looking across articles about custom content, clashboards, and building human relationships with customers, the main theme has been breaking out of the “TV commercial” genre into new forms that fit the inventory avails but have more short- and long-term positive effect on the relationship of a brand and its customers. Such as 30-second and other length units that give good advice (e.g. in such product categories as beauty, pet, baby, home, financial, etc.), report good corporate citizenship activities in interesting and personal ways i.e. stories of real people affected, and pure entertainment such as we see once in awhile on Youtube, brought to you by the brand in the same way that the brand would do this for full-length program true sponsorship. Thus having the same Gratitude Effect that lifts sales, trust and loyalty.

Those are the main possibilities we have been chatting about here. As to your technique, we are not suggesting you believe any of these things, just accept them as possibilities to be cautiously tested along with your cautious testing of all other possibilities. We especially suggest that you cautiously re-test all the possibilities you now take for granted that are welded into your life and your instant-by-instant interior life — the guidance system of feelings, images, thoughts, rationalizations, analyses, syntheses, hunches, and so on. which constitutes your inner senate and resolves its turbulent symphonies into your instant-to-instant outer actions.

Now is the time to step away from Business As Usual when you take counsel with yourself. That is our suggested technique for the week. When you realize and remember that you have more choice than you typically exercise, stop what you are doing and check in with why you are doing it. Watch as if from a third-party position the way your mind deals with this and other questions that will then arise. See if you can change the process to one completely different, if only to explore other possibilities. Don’t be stuck in your own usual way of doing things. Live in the moment and the moment is always new, everything starts again now, unencumbered by whatever has gone before, a fresh start, rebirth.

Best to all, and thank you,

Bill

*Information processing in the brain drops significantly when eyes are closed, shifting brainwaves down from high-speed beta to slower alpha.

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Originally posted 2012-02-16 12:35:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Door to Enlightenment Is Always an Inch Away Part 1

Originally posted as part of February 9, 2012 blog post

A friend sent me Kant’s definition of “Enlightenment”:

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. “Have courage to use your own understanding!” — that is the motto of enlightenment.

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from alien guidance nonetheless gladly remain in lifelong immaturity, and why it is so easy for others to establish themselves as their guardians. It is so easy to be immature. If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me. The guardians who have so benevolently taken over the supervision of men have carefully seen to it that the far greatest part of them regard taking the step to maturity as very dangerous, not to mention difficult. Having first made their domestic livestock dumb, and having carefully made sure that these docile creatures will not take a single step without the pull-cart to which they are harnessed, these guardians then show them the danger that threatens them, should they attempt to walk alone.

Now this danger is not actually so great, for after falling a few times they would in the end certainly learn to walk; but an example of this kind makes men timid and usually frightens them out of all further attempts. Thus, it is difficult for any individual man to work himself out of the immaturity that has all but become his nature. He has even become fond of this state and for the time being is actually incapable of using his own understanding, for no one has ever allowed him to attempt it. Rules and formulas, those mechanical aids to the rational use, or rather misuse, of his natural gifts, are the shackles of a permanent immaturity. Whoever threw them off would still make only an uncertain leap over the smallest ditch, since he is unaccustomed to this kind of free movement. Consequently, only a few have succeeded, by cultivating their own minds, in freeing themselves from immaturity and pursuing a secure course.

The idea of a social conspiracy was so prevalent at the time Kant was writing ideas like these, he spoke of the “guardians” who consciously and with specific effort kept the human livestock in ignorance. This Age of Enlightenment was above all political, and only scientific as a side effect; Kings were the principal bad guys in the drama. Capitalists and usurers too. The idea of a social compact was created to replace the social conspiracy that had been ultimately exposed.

Today we need not posit a conspiracy to understand how self enslavement has occurred, and continues apace long after Kant wisely explained our true situation. It was not that those benefitting had to keep us down with active effort and malice aforethought — it was easy enough to just depend on the green monkey effect.

Ghastly experiment that it was, someone once painted a monkey green and observed the effect on the monkey in context of its tribe — it was shunned, attacked, driven away. Nauseatingly, they replicated the experiment to make sure of the results. This is what keeps us from stepping outside of the sheep herd. We sense that we will be attacked and isolated defenselessly if we move too far away from the central tendency of our group. This is why Belongers are such a large segment of the population according to SRI VALS I&II, and why Belonging as a human value is prominent across all segments. All VALS segments describe the human condition prior to Enlightenment — the smallest of all segments today as always throughout history — standing above even Self-Actualization (see prior post).

It is fear of non-belonging that keeps us from risking loss of social position, riches and fame, from maturely seeing that there is something more to Life than those objectives. Fear of losing those things, an immature fear, keeps us immature.

And yet the potentiality is there to cross the great divide into Enlightenment in any instant.

This is uncommon. More common is getting there for a few instants but then slipping back. Both are good things and worth being open-minded to the possibilities.

You initially slip back because although you may have broken from the attachments to finite, immature things — fame, riches, many lovers, self-esteem — in your intellect, but this has not yet permeated all of your cells and processes. Before you know it, an habitual feeling within you has once again tripped a cascade of bodily and other responses that you can only realize later was the moment you slipped back into entrapment. Major parts of you have not yet given up what your intellect thought it gave up, your intellect apparently imagining that it actually controls all parts of you.

Even though you may slip back millions of times before you no longer slip back, every time you become infinite if only for a moment, you pile up neuronal probability of establishing yourself permanently being there sooner rather than later. Therefore it makes sense to consider activation of techniques for slipping across the wave front into infinity, even though they may initially yield merely momentary glimpses. More on such techniques later.

Digressing here to chord-resolve an incomplete thought train in last post. Commenting on the last outpost of finitude, the life of a world saver, I now see we left the impression that once Enlightened, a being would not spend a lifetime serving humanity, as the Buddha, Jesus, Saint Teresa and many other saints did. Huston Smith points out that in India the one who returns to help others, although already freed, is called a bodhisattva. Worldwide this being is also known as a saint. My reliable editor Yana Lambert of course tried to point that out to me, and in a moment of Acceleritis™ I missed the point the universe was making to me through her. Synchronistically a few days later Huston reminded me in The World’s Religions, as the Universe is kind in making needed points any way it can.

Noia is my word for the suspicion that the universe is secretly out to help you and is always sending you clues if you can but be sharp enough to notice and decode them. The opposite of paranoia.

In the context of my Theory of the Conscious Universe (TOTCU)*, we are like neurons carrying messages across the universe by the passing on of information (memes) to other places in the cosmic brain where, from the Universe’s point of view, that information should go — keeping the whole universe moving toward greater perfection of understanding at all levels, in a sense upgrading the health of the whole. Each neuron also benefits in the process by getting information it is grateful for (if it is awake enough to notice and/or helped by the technique of Noia). By visualizing the universe as a biomachine, the cost in language is a step away from accuracy since “what is” awesomely exceeds the reductionism to any sort of machine. Yet this is the price we pay to be able to convey the theory to the present age where logical positivism would otherwise dismiss TOTCU as meaningless.

Acceleritis is notorious for banana-peeling you out of Flow and way out of its highest manifestation, Enlightenment.

What I had meant to say was that the bodhisattva/saint is not attached to saving the world. He or she will still do it with the same degree of eager zeal knowing that he or she will never get credit for it. Not even doing it specifically to please God. Even that takes one out of infinity. More on that and techniques in next week’s post in part 2.

Best to all,

Bill

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

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Originally posted 2012-02-09 08:21:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Upon Enlightenment, One Stays Infinite All of the Time

Originally posted February 2, 2012

Growing up in a Western culture, one hears and reads the phrases, “seeking Enlightenment” and “the path of Enlightenment”, sees movies like Lost Horizon and The Razor’s Edge, and eventually questions whether maybe there is something real going on.

What is this Enlightenment they speak of so often and so seriously in the East, and which comes up in Western discourse more humorously and as part of entertainment fiction? Is it something real that we in the West ought to wake up and discover?

Enlightenment is a stage in a process. Sages in antiquity observed human beings going through a progression during their lives. Enlightenment is the stage most rarely reached, and self-evidently to those reaching that stage, the final stage in the process.

In other words, the idea of Enlightenment is derived from observation, just like the observation of modern science.

All of the earlier stages in the progression end in dissatisfaction, and are characterized by chasing after a different something in each stage. In this final stage of human personal evolution, Enlightenment, there is no longer any chasing and no longer any dissatisfaction.

Modern Western science in fact has rediscovered the progression. Maslow was the first to crystallize thinking in the West about this built-in human pattern, which he expressed as “The Hierarchy of Needs”. One born in extreme poverty for example seeks satisfaction of his/her physiological needs all of the time, until somehow working oneself out of that extreme poverty. When this happens the physiological needs start to get taken care of easily and the individual begins striving for the next needed thing which is safety and security according to Maslow’s model. Stage three is belonging/social/love needs, then self-esteem, and finally self-actualization. As each need becomes more automatically satisfied in a person’s life, the person expands the sphere of wants to include these new areas, in these various stages.

Maslow was aware of the ancient sources, and his five-stage model was his own intuitive and observation-based attempt at a more scientific reintegration of the seven-stage chakra system of ancient India. Yet it is possible the latter original system could be the more precise. We shall come to it in a moment.

More recently than Maslow, SRI International (originally founded by Stanford University as Stanford Research Institute) used a survey and statistical clustering techniques to discern 23 underlying factors driving human behavior, i.e. values. (The study of human values is called axiology.) From further reclustering they developed a scale similar to Maslow’s but with more levels and two ways to get to self-actualization — a Westernized reduction of Enlightenment — at the top.

One recent interpretation of Maslow’s description of self-actualization lists these words: Vitality, Creativity, Self-Sufficiency, Authenticity, Playfulness, Meaningfulness. These are some of the characteristics that in the East would be attached to Enlightenment, but they are not the essence of it.

The essence of Enlightenment is that one no longer strives for anything. It is no longer necessary. One no longer sees any lack, therefore no need for desire. Love is strongly present, and the intuition is working at such a level as to cause ESP/Psi researchers to note statistically significant above-average accuracy rates. The Enlightened being brings a sense of peace wherever he or she goes, affecting others as iron filings around a magnet. Such a being appears to be continuously in great joy, and this is also infectious to those around. These observations have been replicated time and again by scientific/journalistic/scholarly Westerners who have traveled to the East and have seen and met such Enlightened human beings, some of whom are now in America. Some of us have experienced those states but the condition has not become permanent. That is not yet Enlightenment.

The first known system for reaching Enlightenment, embedded in Hinduism — one of the earliest institutionalized schools of thought — has four stages through which an individual passes as he/she evolves personally. Huston Smith in his classic The World’s Religions  describes these four stages as Pleasure, Success, Duty, and the pursuit of Enlightenment. The latter stages may not be reached in a lifetime, and Hinduism allows for the self to come back again and again to complete this course. Huston significantly describes the fourth stage as the attempt to make oneself “superhuman”. Indeed the Enlightenment stage that is sought appears to be a stage above the human both when one is experiencing it — even if for impermanent flashes — and when one is observing it in someone else.

Flow State as we have described here before has its own sub-stages within it, the highest of which corresponds to Enlightenment. All stages of Flow State appear to be super-human when one is experiencing them. In martial arts, one appears to have become invulnerable. In performing arts as well as martial and athletic arts, everything seems to be happening perfectly without any effort on one’s own part. During Flow State, the Universe appears to be favoring you. More than luck, it feels like the fix is in. This has a supernatural, numinous feel to it.

At the highest stage of Flow State, i.e. Enlightenment, one is no longer seeking Enlightenment, service/duty, success, pleasure, or anything else. All of those are finite and would require stepping down from the infinite, from the sense of letting go, having let go, long past trying to control, stopping oneself from the endless flowing with the Universe in a love relationship, that is Enlightenment. And in fact there is no going back, because by definition Enlightenment is when the world can no longer suck you back down into dissatisfaction with some element of it and re-attach you egoistically to striving to save the world, reduce suffering, one of the last of the finite attachments from which one reaches through to the permanent state of Enlightenment.

Back in the day, I had my own interpretation of the natural stages of personal evolution, which I had based on the seven major chakras. This Sanskrit word meaning “wheel” and “turning” refers to seven intuitively perceived organs of a subtle nonphysical body within each of us. Perhaps the Enlightened sages/saints of ancient India, Tibet, China and the rest of the Far East were actually able to see something that really exists, a body of consciousness within our body of matter, and perceive its organs — and perhaps not. In any case, inspired by this model, I conjectured a progression of personal evolution in, naturally, seven stages.

Those seven steps along the way being: Security (physical safety as well as money), Pleasure (including sex), Power (including consensual validation), Love, Creativity, Self-Knowledge, and Service. When I conceived this model I was not thinking clearly about Enlightenment actually being the eighth stage, and I confabulated it with the seventh or Service stage. But as I’ve since found, trying to be of service to the world is not yet Enlightenment. One still gets caught in EOP while in the seventh stage. The ego still brings you down out of Flow State while you are caught up in the drama of trying to make a positive difference in the world.

There are other esoteric traditions in which I perceive ideas similar to those of Hinduism, Maslow, and SRI, i.e. the idea of there being a characteristic sequential pattern of development for human motivations. Although I’ve not read any other student of Kabbalah as making this same interpretation, in studying the Tree Of Life I see a progression as follows:

  1. Until one gets one’s love and work in balance, one does not rise from the mask/persona/personality/projected image to others (“Yesod”) into one’s essence/truth with oneself (“Tif’eret”).
  2. Until one balances severity and mercy, one is not enabled to have flashes of insight/intuition/inspiration coming as if from above or from some hidden wellspring of wisdom (“Da’at”).
  3. Until one balances wisdom (knowing what’s right) with understanding (forgiveness), one’s consciousness will not be able to rise to transparency with the One Consciousness (“Keter”) — aka Enlightenment.

Recall that these ideas going back thousands of years — and still being reinterpreted and reinvented by new minds today — have also been validated by SRI’s field research: surveys reveal the same underlying axiological structures as predicted by Hinduism and Maslow, and possibly by the Jews in Kabbalah. There are people just motivated to survive physically from one day to the next (“Survivors”), and there are Belongers, Achievers, and Self-Actualizers. This is no longer just theory. In the last century science has rediscovered some ancient principles and validated them. Or perhaps re-validated them, since wise people long ago were convinced by the ability to make good verifiable predictions (“science”) regarding the innate progressive nature of human motivation.

As Huston Smith says, for all the harm religions have done, there is also all the good. And he refers to the wisdom wealth of the world that is stored up in religions. In fact, one does not have to be religious to reach Enlightenment, but it may help, if only by gaining contact with good ideas that are more practical and psychological/philosophical than theological.

We may look back and say that Hinduism for example was not a religion after all, but an observation-based science focused on the life of the self. Hinduism also postulates that the Infinite is within each of us, a statement Logical Positivism declared meaningless gibberish but which The Theory of The Conscious Universe re-words in terms of information theory so as to thwart dismissal by Logical Positivism. We may look back and say that Abraham was in an Enlightened flash of Flow State when he heard the One Self and made a covenant with It. In other words, it may all be true. What all religions believe may actually be real, in a way that denies none of the essentials of any religion, but which reflects the simple fact that there is only One Consciousness, and the rest is detail.

When the One Consciousness fully realizes Itself as The One Consciousness, within the life of one of us, that is what Enlightenment is. It is real, and yes, we ought to wake up and discover it.

Wishing you Stay Infinite,

Bill

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Originally posted 2012-02-02 08:41:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Ideas We Think Are Important

And which deserve further research

Originally posted January 26, 2012

What is a life worth? All each of us can do for the betterment of the world is largely constrained by our funds. Warren Buffett, God bless him, is one of the least constrained in this way, and has heard the clarion call to give 99% of his fortunes to the benefit of mankind; he is destined to do a world of good.

For most of us, all we can do is all we can do. We have to continue to strive to do as much good as we can, and not be attached to the outcome.

Some people have good ideas that cannot be heard because they are ahead of their time. Stendahl, the father of the modern novel, died unrecognized and his books only became popular classics a century later. There are many such examples.

The Human Effectiveness Institute was set up to carry on my work in perpetuity, knowing that in my own lifetime my results could be limited. Without funds to carry out more extensive research into the brain, Quantum Mechanical interactions with consciousness, controlled experiments with new forms of education and so on, I don’t know if any of my ideas are right. All I know is that I will continue to try to find out as best I can, because I see promise of wide benefit if any of these ideas are right.

Jung was the first modern scientist to postulate that the intuition is a true function of consciousness capable of deriving accurate solutions to complex challenges. In our own time many scientists are studying the capabilities of the right cortex in pursuit of knowing more about the intuition. I expect in time we will discover that the intuition is a true set of algorithms and heuristic equations able to predict correct answers even though the left-cortex intellect is not able to explain step by logical step why that answer is correct.

In short, the reason I bet my life on my ideas is that they are the product of intuition. These ideas feel to me as nearing the direction of truth, even though they may turn out to be slightly to the right or left of being exactly correct. I can choose to be safe and not share these ideas, or to risk loss of face by sharing them. Given the potential to reduce suffering, it’s a person’s duty to put aside personal risk and contribute whatever ideas could be helpful to society.

Here are six ideas I expect will turn out to have some beneficial effects in the centuries ahead. We recommend whatever funds can be allocated to test these ideas further as a prudent investment in the future of humanity.

  1. The Theory of the Conscious Universe*. Hypothesis: the spark of selfness in each of us is actually a dub of the single consciousness that exists. Quantum mechanics would be the appropriate testbed for experiments searching for interaction effects between consciousness and matter/energy. This would be a starting point leading to experiments that expand our sphere of scientific knowledge into what used to be called metaphysics. Once given proof that we are all truly One, the implications for war, terrorism, violence, hatred, crime, fear of death, and other negative phenomena would be profound. The diffusion of such proof from intellectual circles down to the level of affecting the emotion-driven behavior of the common person in the age of Acceleritis™ would be the next challenge after finding such proof.
  2. The Theory of Holosentience. Hypothesis: latest evolution of the human brain is still in the field debugging stage, with the left cortex and limbic system driving behavior in an unbalanced fashion relative to under-developed patterns of use in the right cortex and prefrontal cortex. This lack of integration in whole-brain utilization has propagated the formerly backward violent culture into a technologically advanced violent culture. The inventiveness springing from the new brain parts, even used in an unbalanced manner, has caused an acceleration in question-producing stimuli falling upon the average human consciousness per day, which we call Acceleritis™. This has proceeded through three phases involving the invention of written (“seeable”) language, tools/weapons, and media. Brain research and controlled experiments in new educational interventions are the directional recommendations for research proving the efficacy of specific psychotechnological applications to increase human effectiveness, thus improving creative decision making to solve world level challenges. Such educational interventions would include forms of meditation, including what we call psychotechnology — the applied use of meditation continuously throughout life.
  3. Democracy enabled by Social Media. Hypothesis: the new media have finally reached a stage in which true participatory democracy is possible. All that is required is to launch and fine-tune the specific applications. Mining/crowdsourcing the solution ideas of the entire population so that the everyone can discuss these ideas intelligently and “vote” on them through Digital and all other media, could turn out to be the highest use of these media we have invented. Moderated commentary is essential in order to filter out the rancor that characterizes current political discourse, and to keep the process pointed at constructive solutions rather than blame.
  4. Individualized Education to Realize the Potential of all Human Beings. Hypothesis: the most valuable resource is the talent latent in human beings. If society were reorganized to practice true education, we would all benefit from far greater creative output. By true education what I mean is education that is true to the original meaning of the word, which is derived from two Latin roots, educare and educere, meaning “to draw out” something that is in there already. Our education system operates on the opposite basis of pounding stuff in that is not already in the child. The proposed new form of education would utilize batteries of tests to identify the innate talents and interests of a child. On the basis of these interests and talents the child would be helped to design his or her own work/study program from kindergarten on (with a modicum of the basics). In the old Russian and Chinese programs the testing was there to find out the child’s talents, but the child’s preferences were not considered. This created the opposite of utopia, i.e. dystopia. As George Burns said, chewing his cigar, “Do what you love to do. You’re going to be doing it all your life. You’d better love it.” Organizations would take part and begin to identify and sponsor children from their earliest contact with the new education system. If America were to institute individualized education, other nations would once again look up to us and understand our role as practical idealists striving to lead the world into a higher destiny. Combining this with true democracy through our media would put America back on the course set for it by the founders.
  5. A New Money System. Hypothesis: a smooth transition to a more optimal monetary system could eliminate world poverty without negative side effects. There is more than one possible money system. Our present money system just grew like Topsy. It was not designed based on consideration of all alternatives, or by controlled experimentation, optimization, or any systematic means. While modern banking can be traced back to medieval and early Renaissance Italy, the first records of banking activity date back to around 2000 BCE in Assyria and Babylonia, where the merchants of the ancient world made loans to farmers and traders that carried goods between cities. Banking transactions probably predate the invention of money, in that deposits initially consisted of grain and later other goods including cattle, agricultural implements, and eventually precious metals such as gold, which were stored in temples and palaces to deter thieves.** From money as symbols for cattle, to the Templars, to Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes, the random walk of events led to the present monetary system. Naturally those with the power of violent control would steer any emerging system in their own favor, whether it was the currency of exchange, organized religion, statehood, or any other system. Some of the violence perpetuated by the imbalances in brain use described above would sublimate into passive aggression through the exploitation of the masses by the rich and powerful. Imbalances in brain usage have led to imbalances in individual opportunity. Revolutions have occurred to rectify the situation, always resulting in the new leadership re-creating similar imbalances afterward, because the fundamental imbalances at the brain level had not changed. Communism was one flailing attempt at a new money system that was spectacularly wrong. This does not mean that a new money system as a concept is automatically going to be wrong. Our best economic thinkers could probably design credible alternatives and baby steps that could cautiously test these designs. Robert A. Heinlein in For Us, The Living depicts a future in which the Social Credit ideas of economist C.H. Douglas have become the norm. In this system, the government prints money not backed by gold (as is the case in America today) and extends this money to all citizens like an allowance. This differs from Communism in the freedom given to the individual as to how to spend or invest the allowance, and how to spend or invest one’s time. Alberta (Canada) started to test these ideas during the Great Depression until shut down by the courts. Nobody knows how well the idea would have worked if it had not been shut down. Today’s economists presumably could come up with even better ideas than those of a century ago. Renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs in The End of Poverty describes a path to eliminating extreme poverty by 2025 without any fundamental change in the money system, and all 191 UN member states in 2002 agreed to this plan, called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Extreme poverty is the tip of the poverty iceberg and it is possible by opening our minds to even more creative possibilities for the money system, all poverty and fear of poverty can be banished in this century.
  6. Cause-Centralized Marketing. Hypothesis: advertisers can increase sales and profitability by doing good works and publicizing these good works in miniprograms in place of some of their TV commercials. Cause marketing — a form of corporate public relations hinged on good corporate citizenship, doing good works/philanthropy — is today about a $1 billion annual phenomenon. This is about a tenth of one percent of the total spent worldwide each year on marketing/advertising/PR. A very small allocation and yet there is evidence that the return on investment from cause marketing and related forms of marketing such as true sponsorship is far greater than the ROI of average marketing/advertising/PR. The Cone agency in Boston has done surveys for years proving that the majority of the public will change brands to favor brands who are corporate good guys. My own work on true sponsorship (underwriting good content on TV/Digital media) shows 7X the average persuasion scores as compared to 30-second TV commercials, along with higher ROI. People are more affected by substantive actions by advertisers to improve the lives of human beings, than by claims of superior cleaning power etc. So why such a low allocation for cause marketing? The main reason is reach. Marketers know that cause marketing and true sponsorship have high impact but low reach. The obvious solution then would be to create a form of cause marketing that has high reach: replace some of the advertiser’s TV commercials with equal length units showcasing the individual human stories of people who have benefited from the advertiser’s support of good causes. This would provide high reach, high impact, and social good. A truly win/win solution. True sponsorship can also be emulated in commercial length units by means of miniprograms that touch people’s hearts, tagged with the brand’s name at the end. Changing the advertising can do more to uplift the entire culture than can be imagined. Advertising in a way is like the chatter that goes on in our minds — a form of background radiation that conditions our perceptions, thoughts and feelings. Why not channel it for the good of all — especially since the evidence points to that being the highest ROI solution anyway?

If any of these ideas makes sense to you, and if you would like to help me move it forward using a few minutes a week of your time or whatever you can manage, please let me know. I feel there is latent promise in these ideas and each needs a lot more work to bear fruit.

Best to all,

Bill

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

**See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_banking for more background on the subject.

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Originally posted 2012-01-26 16:07:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“Get the bad guy” is now proven an obsolete idea

World problems now can be solved only by Psychotechnology.

It has now gotten to the point of complexity and intertwinement that any legislated change will at best reduce suffering, but will not stop the endless violence and sadness. Change from the outside can be effective when individual populations being governed are small and separate enough so that tribal leader-level intellect (after all these centuries, what we still have at the top in most cases) is capable of dealing with the communities’ woes effectively.

Once populations enlarge and start to bump up against each other, as we have seen for the last 6000 years, the tribal leaders go to war that then lasts forever — at least so far. A few years ago there was a story in The New York Times that proclaimed war may be over, apparently because we seemed to be content maiming each other in more limited conflicts (fewer than a kilodeath per annum, the Times specified as the hip definition of “war”). But this is just wordsmanship. Sure, nukes and thermonukes and germ warfare are a reasonable deterrent even for the present human race to “get it” and try to keep the killing down to subcritical mass. But war by any other manifestation — terrorism for example — still results in many deaths, especially when the US, in order to fight back at all, so far can only think of ways of doing it that still escalate deaths on all sides, though at least reducing the powers of people that do in fact need to be contained or changed.

This will go on until the present human race bootstraps itself to a higher level of mental/emotional functioning. No other class of solution can touch this root problem: human beings believe they are separate islands of consciousness. This is an identity crisis of the highest order.

Therefore when one kills another, he/she does not realize that it is a self-inflicted wound to the overconsciousness, The One that sustains us all by being the spark of selfness each of us takes to be “me”. Each of us is in fact an avatar of the One Consciousness. S/HE is living through each of us. We are HIM/HER and most of us do not realize it. It is S/HE that is looking out your eyes and taking your experiences to belong to you the humanoid, feeling your selfness. (Please see the prior post for the development of this hypothesis.*)

Criminals, terrorists and tyrants are the way the overconsciousness has decided to behave in that instance of HIM/HER. Especially horrifying experiences when growing up will have that effect upon consciousness, especially during Acceleritis™. In a more information-balanced environment, individuals growing up with cruel parents (the latter having been children with their own horrors), for example, would stand a better chance of untangling their own mental/emotional knots within fewer decades.

Free will in itself could perhaps explain the human race in its present state, but Acceleritis helps explain how it has gotten to such a point that it seems like satire.

It’s time to make a world resolution to lift ourselves by our bootstraps into bigger people — bigger hearted, bigger in wisdom, bigger in ways that count — to be mensches all the time.

Among other things, this entails not blaming the other guy. It’s time to give up the practice of perceiving bad guys to go hunt and kill. We might still hunt and kill them if that’s really the optimal short term solution. (This is a testable hypothesis, via controlled military experiments, for example comparing drones in one zone vs. psychotechnology and communication in the other zone). But we cannot go on thinking of them as “bad guys”. They are the way the Universal Self (“US”) acts in that experiential petri dish. We might find that taking them out is the most humane solution for all, or we might find that if we treat them like mirror selves we might actually be able to reach accommodation with one another.

There is no way out other than this. Without taking the next evolutionary step — enlightenment for the masses, homo completus, change from the inside — violence will go on forever, made worse by even worse weapons yet to be invented but which surely will be invented.

We are forced at gunpoint — thinking of our grandchildren’s grandchildren and beyond — to confront our self. That self is actually The One Self, in my theory. What we take to be our own consciousness is actually one personality aspect of the One Consciousness. We are stitched into the universe, not isolated conscious players within an “Infinite Unconscious Dead Chaos That Is Accidentally Ordering Itself.” We are part of the One Universe, and it is more conscious than we are, in our present step along our evolutionary trajectory back into total awareness. (Dear reader, I know you will tire of my constantly reminding us that these are mere hypotheses within an unproven theory, so let’s hereby establish this as a given.)

This being the first mention of God in today’s post, let’s stop for a second and look at the use of that word. I am of course not speaking of an old man with a beard sitting on a throne. I’ve taken one more logical step in the progression. If we are all within One Consciousness, this does not automatically equate the One Consciousness with what we think of as God.The Human Effectiveness Institute is looking around for a prison somewhere that wants 300 copies of our book for free, under certain conditions: it’s got to be used in an experiment to observe what actually happens when prisoners are treated as “God Gone Wrong”, not as “Bad Guys”. In fact, an atheist is more likely to consider the Theory of the Conscious Universe if that final association is not made, and the logic is left to end there. Why then further postulate that the One Consciousness of the universe is God?  The universe being conscious is itself a plausible scientific thought, given that we observe consciousness exists within patches of the universe known as human beings, so it is only a small leap to postulate that consciousness is everywhere throughout the universe. Why then undermine that scientific thought with one that has for centuries attracted such disapproval from so many materialist scientists, the thought of God?

The reason is that before I researched ways of supporting or improving my theory with latest science, what I had was a strong hunch — an intuition — that we are all God. I had been an atheist until that point, at age 12, when the idea hit me like a bolt out of the blue. Somehow I felt it to be true inside that I was God, and so was everybody else. Over the next 20 years I developed a theory around the idea and today am still in the process of supporting that theory with latest science.

So I can’t in good faith dodge the issue of God, in hopes that it would make my theory more palatable. It would also be dishonest. Knowing that this theory could offend both atheists and true believers in any specific religion, and not wanting to offend, I still feel the calling to spell out this worldview as a possibility. I find that it leads to creative solutions, and so it might simply be a useful fiction. Game theory would suggest following the worldview as a lens for its utility, without necessarily assuming it to be true.

But back to the jail experiment for a moment.

Flashforward: There’s Bill Harvey in the courtyard, a mic in his hand, interacting with the prisoners. (Flashback to 5-year-old Billy on the Brickman stage doing stand-up with his pop.) Back in the prison, we listen in…

Think about it. Let’s say you are God, hanging out alone, surrounded by nothing. After a while, just hanging out can get boring. You start to spend time thinking. You think about what your options are. You’re going to have to create something, so as to have something fun and interesting to do. Your imagination runs wild — you have visions of all kinds of stuff — you imagine having stars, planets, living beings, beings that have consciousness the way you do — in fact you know that what you are is consciousness.

How are you going to create something more concrete than your imagination? What do you have “at hand” to make anything out of?

Yourself. You have nothing else but yourself. Nothing else exists. You have to use some of yourself as the material if you are going to create anything.

Fortunately, consciousness is the perfect stuff out of which to do that. Let’s say you’re God, and you’re made out of putty. When you come to the decision of creating, and all you have is putty, it’s going to be a pretty boring universe. There are only so many things you can make out of putty. On the other hand, out of consciousness you can make anything. Why is that? Because consciousness itself is made up of information, and information is infinitely fungible, infinitely esemplastic. (Okay, big words for some prisoners — I’ll leave them out when the day comes.) You can make anything out of consciousness, and the really good news is that it all feeds back experientially to the One, to The Progenitor. Because it is consciousness, it comes along with selfness. There really is only one Self. That Self is playing with, and inhabiting, GI Joe and Barbie dolls — that’s who we are.

With the new way of thinking about themselves as an instance of God experimenting with life in a body, and the psychotechnology techniques in MIND MAGIC helping them to deal better with their own anger, fear and despair, the hypothesis is that an increased percentage of prisoners will rehabilitate as compared with norms. In the 1960s, the Leary-Alpert experiment at the prison in Concord, MA halved the recidivism rate. The main intervention in that experiment was LSD, but prison officials said the LSD had nothing to do with it, but rather, “If you shower so much attention on them before and after they are released, of course that would reduce the return rate.” (As reported in The Harvard Psychedelic Club, Don Lattin, HarperOne, 2011.) If these prison officials are right that the efficacy was due simply to the Hawthorne Effect as it is called, then surely our book and lecture series in prisons should have the same effect.

Rather than disparaging such interventions, if the Concord Prison officials are right and all that is needed is a little more personal attention of any kind, then why not give it to them? The book in fact has already been proven to have some positive effect on some prisoners: John Bowie, a convicted murderer, read our book and was changed by it. He repented of his crime and became a model prisoner, someone to whom other prisoners would turn for fatherly advice.

Jumpshift out of the prison to the world stage. Terrorists deserve being reached out to one more time, the extra chance justified because now there is a new communication strategy. We “get it” that they are God too and it appears to them the right thing to do to be blowing up children. We address their assumptions, which to them are compelling:

  1. They believe that God wants them to be doing this.
  2. Their other perceived life choices are uninteresting and unpromising.
  3. They are angry at being treated as backward people.
  4. They are in a support group where they feel a sense of belonging, and their needs are taken care of, including spiritual needs as well as physical ones.
  5. They are sure they will live after death — in this they are right.

The most difficult parts of the communication will be on the touchy subject of religion A vs. religion B. Actually in terms of Islam specifically (not that all terrorists are Muslim), many of the things we want to talk to them about, they are somewhat familiar with. The Great Jihad is work on oneself to be a better human being — I call it psychotechnology — it’s actually the very selfsame thing. We would do well to quote the Quran in support of whatever points it supports in the Institute’s psychotechnology, as we reach out and try one more time to communicate, this time on a spiritual level as well as a moral, scientific, social, and practical one.

What I am proposing here is that we begin to experiment not only in prisons but also in the very prisons where we are containing terrorists. These humane experiments will be intended to help, not use, the prisoners. The test is to see if there are signs that we have in fact helped. The ultimate objective would be to release model prisoners back into their communities as a further viral experiment in the spreading of positive memes. You might say, “A noble idea, but it’s hard to imagine these terrorists being willing to participate.” We would agree it is an ambitious hypothesis — but one worth trying, given that the problem has to be solved, and so far all we are achieving is a degree of containment, at a grave cost in lives. We therefore, I would argue, have to try everything that has even a slight chance of succeeding to any significant degree.

Jumpshift to our own lives. In my vision of you, a few of my words in these posts have resonated with thoughts and feelings you have always had. Take your own best thoughts and feelings to heart and act them out at all times, you become your highest self in every moment. You treat others as you would want them to treat you. You stop seeing bad guys and instead of getting mad when your boss craps on you, you smile when you think “Well if crazy Bill is right you’re God too, so that’s me in there making these stupid offensive remarks.”

Republicans and Democrats are God too. May we finally all grow up and stop spending our time blaming when we have reality challenges that urgently need our attention instead. We need solutions not blame. Let’s resolve to find ways for all of us to develop solutions together — now, today.

We offer suggested watchwords — Clarity, Unity, Rationality, and Love — the mnemonic being CURL.

My Best to All,

Bill

*I now realize, after years of merely having an intuition, that this hypothesis is today scientifically grounded in John Wheeler’s identification of information as the most real underpinning of the tangible universe. Wheeler did not take the next step of explicitly connecting information to consciousness. I will have to take the credit or blame for that, one day when the Theory of the Conscious Universe (TOTCU), is ultimately proven or disproven. The Theory of the Conscious Universe was the working title of my book, “You Are the Universe: Imagine That, released in 2014.

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Originally posted 2012-01-05 06:13:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Because the Universe Is Conscious, Everything Happens for a Reason that Makes Sense to Consciousness

Originally posted on December 29, 2011.

We suspect this is what Einstein really meant in his famous quote “God does not play dice with the Universe.”

Think about it for a minute. If you’ve been reading these posts you know what I am saying is that the universe is one infinite field of consciousness at play. The One has sent out parts of Itself to separately experience for a time — that’s us. Everything in the universe is made out of The One’s consciousness. And therefore each part itself is conscious, living The One’s experience through that part’s senses — so looking out our eyes is not who we thought was “me” but actually “ME”.

We sense our experience as being separate because there is a memory plug. It is temporary. When the expeditionary self is fit to be taken back into the Selfhood of The One, that part is re-identified by The One as a personality aspect. There is no longer a memory plug, and in the reabsorption the traveler has a sudden flashback to before he/she was the person he/she knows. Now he/she sees all the way back to being The One, and everything else that happened along the way before the plug was activated.

The One Self in this way endlessly bootstraps itself into ever higher levels of wisdom and understanding, always becoming more than Itself again and again. The game in itself is so much fun — and the only thing to do under the circumstances — that it needs no rationalization.

If The One had not N-furcated Itself into all of us, all of the Universe, it would have been an eternity of boredom.

If The One had not implanted the temporary memory plugs in Itself when out here on walkabout, the fun would be greatly reduced. The One in any creature role would not make mistakes if it were not for the memory plug. And there would be no drama for the tentacle-self as it could not feel any sort of dramatic feelings, knowing it is invulnerable to any lasting harm. Good thing we all don’t know that, so we can have these huge emotional swings up and down all the time. Let’s face it: we actually enjoy them. Life would be dull without them. But it’s hard to realize this when one’s perspective has shrunken to a dwarfed vision of oneself, due to Acceleritis overcoming our natural abilities to rise above our challenges and face them with nobility and grace. The One who is also looking out our eyes — in fact The One is the only being that is looking out, we are that Being — is here to enjoy all this. We form an assumed separate identity that I call the Robot, and the Robot is in defensive mode not enjoyment mode. The Robot’s defensive mode attracts all kinds of trouble to itself.

A fantastic theory, you will observe. Yes, the most fantastic I’ve ever heard. However, I hypothesize it is what is really happening here.

It is logically deduced from certain experiences I have had, experiences all of us have had, that require more explanation than materialist science (even with the latest God Particle) has offered to date. Despite these ideas having sprung as speculation intensely felt to be truth, there is now also scientific validation for the key idea. The most seminal leader of the new physics, John Wheeler, postulates that consciousness and information are the fundamental stuff out of which the universe is made. This substantially validates the core of my theory, and with the further extrapolations that I’ve shown in the Theory of the Conscious Universe (TOTCU)*, everything else in my theory is a logical deduction from Wheeler’s basic statements. For example, I postulate that a conscious being alone in space will create something to occupy His/Her attention and capacity for love. (Capitals seem appropriate for the Only Being in a postulated universe.)

And its predictions work in my life. This has been the strangest part. And the most appreciated.

So, given this is my picture of the universe, what I call the Theory of the Conscious Universe, what does this have to do with the title of this piece, which claims that events make sense on some larger scale. Surely the reader would challenge me to prove that massive suffering is supposed to happen, in Voltaire’s/Candide’s farcical manner.

Alas, The One is the one who receives all that suffering. There is no separate self. There is only The One. You and I think we are separate selves because of the memory plug. To The One these sufferings are drama, because there is no way they can hurt The One except in terms of compassion — ah, there’s the rub, as Shakespeare had Hamlet say of dreams — for each of our lives is as one dream to The One. Our experience offers positive proof that The One can “take it” in terms of our suffering. At the same time, following logical deduction from what is now Wheelerian science, The One has two reasons to want to reduce suffering:

  1. It is not fun for those of us down here, and He/She is the one having these sufferings in a dream — so therefore it is not fun for The One in that dream.
  2. The One is compassionate. Even if someone else were suffering, The One would want to help that being — if there were any other beings — which there are not. The prime realization of intuition is ultimately that there is only One of us. But even if there were a true Outsider — as in the Zoroastrian/Manichean belief — The One would not want that being to suffer either. Why do we say this? Through our own experience of direct intuition of The One. The Flow State makes this direct intuition not only possible but probable.

The problem that causes all suffering is that Acceleritis™ blocks Flow State. This is what makes it probable that we will not have functional intuition, one of Jung’s four behaviors/functions of consciousness (the others being perception, cognition, and feelings; he saw memory as being a subset of each). This is a temporary pandemic aberration due to the slowness of functional integration of the new brain in relation to its physical evolution. The prefrontal cortex and cortex are fully formed but only slowly making ground in not being dominated by the older parts of the brain where feelings, perceptions, memories, and instincts (hereditary intuitions, intuitions that made it onto the genes) are mediated.

As Shakespeare and Milton knew hundreds of years ago, free will is what explains suffering. You cannot have free will without mistakes, and suffering comes along with mistakes.

The One can either play with dumb dolls from the outside, or can have this universe, where S/He plays the dolls from the inside and really believes s/he is the doll during the playtime. You and I are among the many dolls. The One has avatars in so many forms that the word “doll” is inappropriate.

What more fun could you have as The One?

It’s lonely and boring out there as a dimensionless sentient point source.

You can, sure, use up a few quintillion years just thinking, but after that you want to do something! You want some company. You have superpowered imagination and so you know you could have feelings — but this would require you to have goals that can be helped and thwarted (see earlier post that establishes there are no feelings without motivations).

You decide it would be great to have feelings! But that would mean you actually have to want something, which means you cannot be allowed to remember who you are or you would never want anything.

So humor me for a moment — if this is the universe as it really is, of which  each of us is a rather important part in the cosmic sense — this means there is an unseen and important audience watching our life like a movie —from the “inside” as well as from the “outside”.

Everything that happens, in order to be important to The One, must have deeper meanings, revelations that our explorer-pod of Self needs in order to evolve back toward union with the original Self.

All it takes is a stolen few moments in time and imagination to find reasons why something that is happening today, had to happen. Imagination allows us to see that there could be a worse future if this bad event did not happen now, that a much worse event could happen in the future, which might be prevented now that we have this case to teach us.

As an experiment, we propose that you test this in your own life. Look at the events you wish had not happened that occurred — recently or long ago. Without committing to believing anything, allow yourself to imagine an explanation based on this lens of preventing a worse harm in the future. See if there is any applicability and what action decisions you might make to arm you for recurrence of similar challenges.

If you begin to look at the happenings moment to moment in your own life through this lens, you will in all likelihood have a similar experience — things will make more sense, and you can find solutions faster. You see the problem from the cosmic point of view. You understand better what is happening. You see what has to be done and as you do it, things go well.

After this happens again and again you will start to entertain the possibility that these theories explain what’s actually happening in and around Us.

My best to all,

Bill

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

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

Originally posted 2011-12-29 10:31:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter