Tag Archives: EOP

Inner Imagery Shorthand to Reinstate Flow

Volume 4, Issue 14

Five hours in an airport. It’s a great way to catch up on work and then relax with a novel of speculative fiction, especially when I’m exhausted. It’s all okay until they start the delaying-the-flight game, which all too often leads to cancellation. Kristin isn’t working (on my clock) but has a little time so she starts researching the hotels nearest the airport and the probable flight alternatives, God bless her. Sure enough the flight is cancelled and I make it to the taxi stand before the horde. Only problem is that I’m going to get at best 4 hours sleep to make the flight heading to a city 1000 miles further away from home in order to change planes and get home by 5PM, right in the middle of the Memorial Day weekend traffic. Really? Ah well.

Next morning, walking through the airport toward my first plane of the day, I sense that I am feeling angry, exasperated and negative, projecting that I will run into further snags all day. Knowing that such projection will cause the snags, keeping me out of Flow, I experience something that I will describe below, laugh at myself and am back in a good mood. My eyes always go back and forth taking in as much as possible when I am in an unfamiliar setting, and on the next leftward sweep I see a flight heading to where I am going – La Guardia – leaving shortly nonstop for home. Why didn’t they put me on that flight, I wonder, and keep walking. A step later I figure I have time, why not at least check if I can get on that flight. Sure enough there is one seat.

In You Are The Universe I talk about Noia, the word I coined to mean the opposite of paranoia: yes, there are personas out there trying to do something to you, but it isn’t harm, it’s gifts. If you perceive the Universe to be a single Self playing all these roles including you, there is every reason in the world why Noia as a lens should work to help you notice these subtle gifts and clues happening constantly. Therein lies the magic. Of course, that kind of observant behavior would also be good to protect you should anyone be out to do you harm, so pragmatically, why not use that lens?

The shortest flight home and my noticing it was a gift that appeared a second after my mood shifted out of negativity, and the feeling I had at that instant was a powerful sense of synchronicity, the Universe giving me my just reward for acceptance of what is.

I said that I would describe the experience I had of shifting out of the lower state (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure, or EOP, as I call it), which in fact is my reason for writing this — to share that moment of shift and what it felt like, so that it becomes a shareable psychotechnology.

A long time ago, I had established “trigger words” to remind myself of one folly or another so that when I was later in the same sort of stuckness loop I could spring those triggers to mind and it would restore the clarity and learning to frontal awareness where evasion of the lower state would be easier (despite the chemical insistence of such states).

For the situation as described, what I would say to myself in my youth was something like this: Accept What Is. That would unpack a stream of remembered relevant words that might go something like this: It is what it is. It’s not in your control. So you’re just wasting time and bringing yourself down by railing against it. It’s a useless activity not worthy of you. You’re not a fool any more. Meanwhile, in my mind I would see a goat butting a fence repeatedly. Eventually, the goat (me) calmed down.

In the airport I heard none of those words although a wispy suggestion of the goat image flashed. Another image came with it that is hard to describe. The Universe around me that ended at my skin was a solid substance and then again I too was in that substance, I am that substance. All of it was translucent and One Thing. Without words, the image conveyed that the very fact that it – the substantial Thing, the process of It – was happening, meant that it was real and everything else that could be imagined about it was not in an equal sense real. So logically, It – the happeningness – was all that truly existed., and any emotional reaction to it was a nice-to-have addition layer but not with equal realness and solidity. That image-feeling was what shifted me out of the downcast defeatist mindset.

Consciousness is the substance of the One Thing that is the primal substrate of existence. Science is even coming around to this view. Psychotechnology to guide consciousness is therefore not a crazy idea. Discovering what works and sharing it is something all of us do naturally, although not often enough, due to Acceleritis™. Yet psychotechnology is the very thing that can cure us of Acceleritis. Let’s have more of it! You can start with this excerpt from my book, Mind Magic: Doorways into Higher Consciousness.

Best to all,

Bill

My new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available.

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.

Bring a Sense of the Epic into Your Life

Volume 3, Issue 11

Science can no longer rule out the possibility that a Single Universal Intelligence is the only thing that exists, per our Theory of the Conscious Universe. Our theory explains how this Intelligence is able to simultaneously play an infinite number of chess games called lives. The You who looks out your eyes and experiences life may not be the gnomish “you” that parts of yourself — neuron clusters programmed by Accidentalism and Materialism — think you are.

Accidentalism is the religion that claims the universe came about by accident out of nothingness.

Materialism is the religion that claims everything is matter, so the human need to worship something can be directed only at material things.

My theory is not a religion. It is a system of hypotheses aimed at explaining all of documented human experience including the “paranormal”. We classify certain experiences as “paranormal” based on our limited experience in the universe as the standard for what is “normal”. And based on our mental emotional ego filters that protect us from dissonance by steadfastly refusing to make anything out of the cumulatively uncanny success rate of our own hunches, thereby trivializing our own experiences of the “paranormal”.

The explanation making the most sense to my gut is that there is only One of us. Each of us is another instance of the Universal Intelligence. All instances are really one Intelligence playing many roles.

The main thing about my theory is that I don’t want you to believe it but rather to test it for yourself. This means using it as a lens of what may in fact be true, certainly is possible, and why not see if using the lens to explain experience might not lead to more control and pleasure than the present way of looking at things?

Some might liken this to a pleasant drug-induced state of useless fantasy. It is equally plausible that the way we as a world look at things today is an unpleasant drug-induced state of useless fantasy.

At any rate, one needs merely to entertain the possibility that the entire selfness of the Universe is what looks out your eyes, which you call yourself “me”. This is logically and empirically possible based on the most predictively successful theory in history, quantum mechanics. So entertain it for a second.

Realize it is possible that you are the one self that exists, enjoying yet another life. Realize if this just happens to be the one true explanation that science and everyone will affirm some day in the future, here you are going to the movies to enjoy identifying with a fictional character who is having an epic adventure, when in fact that is just a fairy tale produced in Hollywood while your own life is a genuine, authentic, rich real life saga of a hero beset by challenges and overcoming them — just like in the movies — but real — and therefore infinitely more meaningful and dramatic.

It is possible that the One Being is you… and everyone else. Possible. Actually possible. You have been betting on a reality so far different from this, your automatic reaction is to thrust it aside with a derisive snort. That reflex is itself an interesting phenomenon deserving careful attention — put a pin in it, we will come back and dissect it often on this page in the future. Call it your daily persona, “the robot”. The name is a handle to put on that aspect of your self — the reasons will become apparent in this blog and in my books (including Mind Magic) and DVDs. 

Don’t let the thrusting aside of new concepts or experiences be internally accepted. Override it by an act of will from your true self. Keep an open mind. Empirical evidence is the only thing to give weight to. Things you yourself have experienced, seen with your own eyes, not things you were told. All the philosophies and cosmologies and religions and scientific theories and my theories are just abstractions of the real thing — symbol systems, metaphors, isomorphisms (same information carried in different code). Reality is what it is. As a race we cannot say yet that we really know what it is. Therefore an open mind is the only sane position — yet another clue that the present world system is not actually sane. Acceleritis has caused EOP. Information overload has actually existed for 6000 years and just keeps getting worse, exponentially. We are dealing with it very poorly. Our society is not yet a sophisticated one. Civilization on planet Earth will be sane and sophisticated when its mind is open and each person is making careful and unfiltered observations of his/her own experience. The Observer state leading to the Flow state.

Takeaway: don’t thrust aside the undisprovable possibility that you are the hero in the most epic movie of all time… and so is everyone else.

Best to all,

Bill

PS — You Are The Universe  is now on track for Summer 2013 publication. Watch this space for more.

Entering and Sustaining Flow by How Much of the Mind Is Cooperating At One Time II

Volume 3, Issue 5

This continues the conversation we started last week on the oneness of being in the Flow state.

We were talking about mindfulness, which Buddha combined with comprehension as the desired end state. Yet as reported in earlier posts, Zen Buddhists do not esteem mindfulness, which as a term they associate with splitting the experience of natural oneness into two illusory parts — an inner manager dealing in concepts and abstractions, and a theoretically outer world, with the inner part using up effort to focus its attention in an unnatural and counterproductive way. We have said in recent posts that mindfulness is useful to get to Observer state and then it is jettisoned in the final move to Flow state, which is undivided and where the subject and object are merged.

Zen is one branch of the perennial psychotechnology that is least disposed to verbalization. Zen aims at Flow not at Observer state, and therefore leaps over mindfulness. Actually, given the state of preparation of the student, he or she may not be able to make that leap directly, and might appreciate being given techniques to attain the Observer state, which in my experience facilitates the transition into Flow. But that is not Zen’s concern. Zen seeks to dispose of the abstractions and concepts that distract and divide the mind against the outer world. Distraction is in fact the world’s main problem — Acceleritis is distraction, distraction is Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP). Flow state is getting the mind and the brain in perfect harmony so that everything disappears except the experience happening by itself perfectly.

One can be mindful without achieving comprehension, as Buddha pointed out. While comprehension is a result of mindfulness, comprehension can be blocked not only by distraction but also by preconceived notions or models. We can walk into a closet and not see something in plain sight because one’s wife has moved it into a place it couldn’t possibly be, according to the invisible assumption the mind uses to blind the senses.

One knows that one has comprehended when one can predict accurately. This is science. Verifiability.

Distraction can be reduced by taking notes. The mind wants its output to be comprehended — it wants in effect to give us notes to comprehend. If we do not take notes, those thoughts keep swirling around in our head distracting us. Notes must be taken and organized and put away to clear the mind.

The mantle of EOP needs to be taken off. This includes ditching the normal sense of time pressure, the list of to-do’s, slave mentality, worry, attachment, guilt at not doing the many things one has to do. One clears a space to NOT DO. To not ask the question “what is the next logical action”. To put a hold on all action.

Takeaway suggestions:

  1. Make a list of the highest priority gnarliest problems/challenges you currently face, long-term as well as short-term (they will be octaves of each other).

  2. For each one, on a single piece of paper, dump whatever your mind wants to dump about that challenge/opportunity, using pictures, circles, arrows, doodles, words, whatever — be lazy and don’t get into long-winded sentences and paragraphs, leave that for later. Some pages might stay totally blank if there is nothing you hear or see in your mind that wants to come out on a particular topic. Not to worry, blank is fine if that’s what the mind wants.
  3. Each day look at these pages once, even if only for a couple of seconds per page — just take as long as you feel like on each page.
  4. Make no effort to solve any of these things unless and until your mind starts to tug your sleeve with any intuitions that start by themselves to rise up and which you have a gut feeling are relevant to a specific page. Then take dictation from your mind and jot stuff on the relevant page. Just let it flow. By not striving to solve, you leave it to natural process. It is certainly more relaxing and less stressful.
  5. Sometimes what you jot down will be a piece of research you need to do to find out detail where it is currently lacking. The mind has a natural process to detect situations where you need to get more info.
  6. The main thing to do with your mind when you are focused on one of these pages is to recognize and discard any preconceived assumptions, to release the hold of the past, and come at what is on the page as if with a clean slate, a fresh new mind.
  7. Turn away from these problem opportunities and go have fun. It is when you are having fun that sudden molecules of connection will be made and you will get intuitions of creative breakthroughs. Write those down, write those down — use a napkin if that’s what’s available! These intuitions can slip away in the welter of distraction or lose detail otherwise. Those “Aha!” moments are moments of Flow. Go with it. Write it down the way it came to you. Don’t slip into wordsmithing mode. You can always seek to improve it later.

Best to all,

Bill 

PS: Our daily video today just happens to be on hidden intuition. It’s called Intuition vs. Distraction. You can find it just next to this post in the right column or if you missed it on Thursday, click here to watch the video

Entering and Sustaining Flow by How Much of the Mind Is Cooperating at One Time

Volume 3, Issue 4

Continuing our theme of recent posts, we are contemplating and “unpacking” Buddha’s root notion that mindfulness plus comprehension is the one route to true human happiness.

And we are relating that notion to our theory of Holosentience, wherein the brain and mind operate most perfectly and effectively when the sentience, or self-awareness, gathers itself into a wholeness exclusionary of nothing — when the selfness is so complete it disappears into absorption with the wholeness of experience in the now.

In earlier posts we posited that the physical brain is in Flow state (the Zone) when all parts of the brain are contributing and processing harmoniously. Below Flow in perfection is Observer state, where the self has a degree of objective detachment from its own emotional and cognitive arisings. In this state the prefrontal cortex is postulated to be in control though the whole brain is not yet in synchronistic action. These hypotheses are not yet supported by conclusive evidence.

Below the Observer state is what in the last 6000 years of recorded history has been called the normal state of waking consciousness, which I judge to be a state of brain process division far from Flow, and which I attribute to the information overload produced since written language was invented. I call this phenomenon Acceleritis. This lowest mental state I call Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP) meaning that the mind is cutting corners to get things done despite being overloaded, overwhelmed, torn into warring bits, and confused.

Mindfulness is a word that has the connotation of striving for itself. The word has been used going back to the Vedas (the term is again on an upswing) as a tool to remind the seeker that he and she must remember to be mindful, to pay attention — but to what? To both the events around and outside oneself, and the ones inside. At the same time. “Inside” and “outside” both being constructs of the mind. In effect, “mindfulness” is the trigger word for the Observer state — a mnemonic device to remind oneself how to get out of EOP.

For my entire lifetime I have had the intuition of a common natural evolution of mindfulness and comprehension that is accessible internally to each of us. We don’t need outside inputs to discover it. So I have spent most of my life unpacking that intuition into communicable language. And articulating the intuitive cookie-crumb trail that is leading me myself back from EOP into Flow. In doing so I intuit myself to be reiterating the communication of the psychotechnology that resides within each of us, which others throughout history have also communicated, using language more common to their times, and often using metaphors when explicit language was challenged by a lack of models. Living today I have the advantage of the existence of models of information processing that are for the first time in history ideal for articulating what goes on experientially in our consciousness, since in our theory consciousness is an information processing system.

To be continued next week, with more techniques for attaining Observer state and making the transition to Flow.

Best to all,

Bill 

Entering Flow State by Casting Your Net

Volume 3, Issue 3

To recap this series of posts, instructions on entering the Zone willfully, the model posits three states of consciousness, EOP, Observer and Flow, each one driven by the manner in which attention is deployed. We have seen how the koan operates as catalyst between Observer and Flow. In this post, another catalyst.

One way to explain anything is in chronological order. Both Carl Jung and Anais Nin advised, “Proceed from the dream outward,” meaning not to lose sight of the door through which you came into a particular stream of thought. This is a key to the utility of a journal, because it records the beginning of an idea stream — the first door, with all the contextual underpinnings inscribed in memory. Without this remembrance of the whole context, ideas can become counterproductively abstract.

In my case, I discovered the Observer state naturally — it was my resting state. I sometimes reacted almost autistically when interrupted by a question or comment from outside my little head, and Solly Gaines, the headwaiter at Brickman, called me “the misanthrope” in observing my asocial ways as a small child.

My first experiences of Flow state were also at the Brickman when Ned and Sandy put me onstage. The height of stage fright got my attention. I was pulled out of my mind by the sheer challenge of dealing with it. I had no time to dawdle with the usual types of unanswerable questions pouring through my mind. I perceived this as being as close to a life-threatening experience as possible, although did not have time or the wherewithal to analyze my perceptions that way. I couldn’t even distract myself by paying attention to my fear. I was totally absorbed in handling the immense challenge.

This and other experiences made me keenly aware of the existence of Flow, although I had no name for it and did not think clearly about it. I was strongly attracted to it and would have made more conscious effort to achieve it were it not for the horde of EOP processes I was dealing with, in introspectional analytics. For me, EOP was the bleeding I had to stop before having the luxury of giving myself a nose job (Flow).

One instance in which I began to move toward solid methodology was when I was able to put the words “Mindquiet” and “Inforush Paralysis” together in my mind. This happened organically after a series of incidents in which I was Hamlet, overthinking a problem while the time to move passed. The first time I went with the Flow rather than insisting on thinking it all out in advance was on the ball field in Brooklyn.

Again, this was taken to be an immense challenge by my being at that time. Over-ridden by EOP viruses, I had come to the decision that I was not going to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, and so I could not see blackboards, and required extra fractions of seconds to see where the ball was. At the same time I wanted to prove myself to the other boys as being more than a brainy kid.

Adults had flattered my mind from early on and this encouraged me to form a neuron cluster and a neuronal process pattern centering in that cluster, which operationally was the attachment I had been infected with — an ego need to always be praised for my mind. With the first stirrings of testosterone it became for some unexplainable reason important for me to show the guys that I was more than smart, I was also one of the guys.

Attention is the key to everything we talk about here. It is one’s attention that is moving around when we go from one of these states to another. It is all about attention and where we choose to put it (although our choice may not be a conscious choice).

On stage, I was frighted into paying attention to the Now. The same thing happened when playing ball half-blind. No time for BS to myself, out of my own little world into the world writ large, no time to extensively pre-think each move, split-second decision- making, paying attention to the subtle inspirations inside and everything outside at the same time.

I found that a helpful and instantaneous inner discrimination tool is Doing What Is Right when one is in Flow. This razor separates inner inspirations on the radio beam of Flow vs. inner impulses coming from ego clusters. One such ego cluster is the attachment to act heroically as a bias, without regard to probable risk/cost/value balance.

In those moments onstage and on the ball field, it felt like my attention was sucked out like a vacuum-propelled automatic fisherman’s net originating behind my eyes, and now that net was me and I was embedded in the scene around me, not centered in my head.

That feeling of attention swooping outward can be cultivated. You can sublimate (instantly gasify) into mixture with the scene. Look for this sensation as you process the Now, each moment. Know which of the three levels you are in. This is the game espoused herein. It is a fruitful life game not just a pastime.

Best to all,

Bill

Entering Flow State by Koan

Volume 3, Issue 2

Continuing on our theme from the prior post, we are sharing nuances of mind that can act as triggers to two successively higher states of consciousness, Observer and Flow. The assumption is that one is presently in what is known here in the West as “normal waking consciousness”, what we call Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP) in our theory of Holosentience.

In the last post we quoted Zen masters dismissive of mindfulness. We explained that to get from EOP to Observer state one needs to strive for mindfulness, but to get from Observer state to Flow state (the Zone), one must be in natural mind sans intellectual overlays. The over-thinker is turned off. Language is not a prerequisite for anything. Wholeness is. Subject-object lens is off. There is no separation. Abstraction is somewhere offstage.

We are sharing these mental techniques as part of a noble bargain. If they work, you will naturally take on more and share as you wish. Many other similar experiential techniques and insights can be found in my book MIND MAGIC and will continue to be offered in this blog.

In the next post I will share some childhood experiences as useful to illustrate making mental transitions willfully.

Let’s lead into that story with an experiment in Zen. Most of us are familiar with one technique used in Zen, the koan, a verbal construct used to jog the psyche out of its EOP trance. Our theory as to how a koan works is this: something that makes no sense forces you to stop and NOT think in language, to back out of the EOP lens into original consciousness (or natural mind). Because language is not working it is instinctively dropped for the moment. Just as you instinctively stop trying to use a hand that has fallen asleep until it wakes up again.

This can be experienced. Remove yourself from all distraction. Concentrate on your breath and keep your eyes on whatever is in front of you. Then repeat to yourself the following: “I have no right to play God, even though I have every right to play God.” Obviously you will need to pre-memorize this or you won’t be able to keep looking straight forward. However, don’t spend any time thinking about the meaning of it — for the moment, you are concentrating on what you see and experience subtly when you first put your mind on this.

What you may see (and in future experiments of this sort will gain the knack for seeing) is that in one moment you were in a pretty normal state for you, and in the next moment your mind is naturally quiet and your senses are highly attuned. You are not easily distracted, you feel centered and aware, balanced and unafraid. Your attention is on everything around you and there is no obsessive stream of internal dialog. You are making no effort toward this whatsoever, you are not striving. It is doing itself naturally. When ideas pop into your mind you notice that they are unusually insightful and self-evidently important to your life.

You may at that point be transitioning in and out of Flow, with stability in Observer state. If negative emotion arises, take it as a signal of EOP resumption and see what comes naturally for you to stay above this weather. Direct attention to the causes of the negative emotion as if experiencing it for the first time. Mine and record insights into your (e)journal and tweet those of potential utility to all, if you’re into such things (journaling is provably useful, e or otherwise).

In next post, stripping my childhood bare.  :-)

A Daniel Goleman Must-Read

When I first met them a long time ago, Daniel Goleman, Richie Davidson and I formed a partnership called PRM and did brainwave research together in the media business. They have gone on to fame in their respective fields of psychology and neuroscience. I am belatedly catching up on their massive output over the years. This is a first installment, look for more in future posts.

Dan’s concise and powerful 2011 book The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights is packed with information conducive to Observer and Flow states. Drawing on the work of his long-term collaborator Richie Davidson among many others at the forefront of brain science, Dan does his reliable tour de force condensing the cutting edge view of the best and brightest ideas in psychology.

We are heartened that my published intuitions of the last decades are increasingly supported by real science. Emergency Oversimplification Procedure in my terminology does in fact exist as “chronic overwhelm” in today’s scientific parlance. The EOP interaction between the prefrontal cortex and limbic system, which I postulated in the theory of Holosentience (and was possibly obvious to others), turns out to be accurate.

What I felt from the inside and struggled to communicate in language, describing inner experience so that others could take similar control of themselves — what Dan calls self-management and self-mastery, one of the four key components of emotional intelligence — is now being described scientifically from the outside as well. Looking at both sides, inner/experiential/phenomenological and outer/scientific, contributes to self-mastery more than seeing only one side of the story — or neither side of the story, as in the case of the unenlightened, who by their actions are crying out for enlightenment but don’t know they are doing so.

Best to all,
Bill