Tag Archives: Flow State

Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP) on a Social Level

In a superbusy world, EOP (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure)* Man jumps at the chance to believe, and says to himself he has no time to think for himself. Religions, political systems, sports leagues, the old left-right wing oversimplification, skin color biases, all of these things become time saving conveniences to EOP Woman and Man. Don’t have to think, thanks!

At some age, pretty early in life, each of us thinks of all the big questions for the first time. Who am I, why are we here, etc. That, on top of all the other unanswered questions produced by our interactions with others, drives us all to the same emotional state of permanently giving up on getting answers. This is the very moment EOP begins.

Some of us never did give up on getting answers and so slip in and out of EOP but spend more than the average amount of time out of that state. EOP still gets us because our minds were not trained to deal with the rapid and complex input streams. But we periodically catch up and come out of it.

Avoiding deep thought and simply getting through life is EOP.

This creates an ideal petri dish in which to grow the ideas that are offered to us as mass movements. Instead of each of us having access to tools that allow us to bring out our inherent individual talents and give these developed talents to the world, our time is too constricted for that because we are doing something often tangential to our true talents in order to pay the dues we owe society in the form of money. Instead of our own perceptions we are provided a menu of mass perceptions to choose from, and because everyone subconsciously gets it that we are all in some kind of fog (EOP), there are not too many choices.

Pre-packaged belief systems on the menu: Capitalism, Communism, specific religions, immersion in some form of ongoing mind-consuming gladiatorial spectacle (spectator sports) requiring memorization of names and scores and other factoids in order to sustain a feeling of belonging and being accepted, choices on mass issues such as race – all of this is a kind of mantra that distracts the mind and keeps it busy processing the accepted mass topics and positions on things, often particular to where you happen to live.

The individual life of the mind is something we are faintly aware of hearing and feeling going on somewhere in the background but we don’t have time to pay much attention to our own thoughts except when we are alone, which is rare. If most of us break out of EOP at all, it is sometimes, when we are alone.

Socially, the effects of EOP are dramatic. We ignore the empathy-endowing effects of the mirror neurons in our brain and coldly close our hearts to other people except under exceptional circumstances. We see life as a dog-eat-dog bar brawl in which we have to look out for number one. Money pressures are the riverbanks that shape the flow of our actions and reify the perception of life as a free-for-all fight for survival.

Neofeudalism becomes the underlying state of society, in which the Haves control the situation, and not-having is perceived by all as being perfectly civilized. Democracy is the right idea when fully carried out, which it never has been. Today democracy is a noble intention but not yet a realized reality. The Internet creates greater potential for true democracy – we shall see how many years go by before such a thing happens.

Whatever tools we use to re-adjust society it will probably take hundreds of years to fully eliminate Havenotism everywhere on Earth, and establish a hutopia (a humanly possible utopia) where individuals are cultivated for their unique mix of talents, which can be shared with others on as large a scale as naturally develops in each case. Again it sounds like some form of Videoized Internet will be involved – perhaps totally artificial reality as visualized in the early works of William Gibson (who coined the term “cyberspace”).

Some will ask whether we can ever really get there from here. Naturally it is easy to think of the Haves as being selfish and not wanting hutopia. In fact you the reader are probably a Have, as I am. We are not bad guys. So maybe there are fewer bad guys than is normally assumed in EOP. Maybe practically all of us are just caught up in this Acceleritis™ pandemic, and not actively against hutopia. How about hutopia without anyone giving up a reasonable level of wretched excess?

In hutopia even the Haves will be having a better time. There is a very high ROI on hutopia. And it is a payoff for everyone, without exception.

The pursuit of happiness. Having that in our country’s Declaration of Independence and bonded into the Constitution was a first in history. No country before us legitimatized the natural right to happiness, or even the idea of natural rights. The great contemporary songwriter and my great friend Stan Satlin brought this to my attention and said that in Judaism is the same idea, mitzvah, focused on giving others happiness and so sharing in that happiness oneself (and thereby giving back to the Creator).

I often think that the one other natural right I would have suggested had I been there would be the right to have one’s innate talents cultivated. This is where I see the greatest tragedy in Havenotism. So many talents wasted. We all benefit from having the greatest development of talents on Earth. We will all wind up getting better service that way.  😀

The Earth’s resources divided by the number of people probably makes hutopia easily possible even with today’s toolware. And the technology is also in (and driving) the state of Acceleritis so it won’t be long before the technomultiplier effect gives us even more economic leverage to achieve hutopia with.

But put that dream aside for now. Let’s talk about what we can do in our lifetimes.

I submit that the priority is EOP. We have to get out of it.

How do we do that?

First of all we will need a psychotechnology – a set of practices which allow an individual to spend less and less time in EOP. More time in the Observer State and Flow State.

This is by no means optimized as a technology today. What we have are the beginnings of toolware. Thousands of people have attested to the fact that these tools work.**

As a society we have to continue to develop and refine psychotechnology, and we must see to it that it is installed in all of our schools.

I don’t mean my stuff necessarily. Let’s as a society engender a process by which these plowshares get beaten into gleaming instruments of biofeedback contentware, kind of a Rosetta Stone language feedback courseware expanded into all conceivable media from books and blogs to artificial realities and brainscans.

Let’s make it a priority to clear our minds of EOP. By all means let’s have real scientists verify what I have been saying. I have in fact been getting positive feedback from neuroscientists for some time, so I know that while unscientific, my hypotheses are somewhere in the vicinity of the truth, lying as behind a veil just out of perception range by the mass of humanity.

It should be possible to measure the brain signatures of EOP, Observer State, and Flow State, and thereby better understand their existence and ways to move from one to the other. Since the early 80s I have been peripherally involved with experiments of this type and know that symmetry of EEG levels (delta, alpha, beta) between left and right brain is one part of the brain signature of the Observer State (and probably of Flow State). From recent work at Yale we know there is a reduction of random information flow across the corpus callosum – as if a reduction in mental chatter – in the Flow State (The Zone, as Yale Master Marvin Chun puts it).

Precisely knowing the totality of the brain substrates of these states will move us from hypotheses to a real theory of brain states, and a true psychotechnology that can elevate the effectiveness of the human race. It’s my hope that the Human Effectiveness Institute can at least begin this process, and we will get as far as we can.

Best to all,

Bill

*EOP (Emergency Oversimplfication Procedure), the condition that sets in when there is too much information resulting in desperate shortcutting such as rationalized guesswork.

** Out of ~35,000 copies of my book Mind Magic sold on lifetime moneyback guarantee, 11 came back, and over 2000 endorsement letters/emails were received generally citing life changes in desired directions and saying more people should read this book.

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Originally posted 2011-05-24 07:13:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Ten Minutes in a Life

Originally posted December 20, 2012
Volume 2, Issue 36

He looked up from the gas pump to where a moment before he had an intimation she would be, and high in the sky was the moon behind a pale shimmer of cloud, one day past full. Down and to the left was an American flag. Trees were all around. He suddenly realized the time was pretty good now. There was nothing to be concerned about that he could feel at the moment, no time pressure, everything was going fine. Then it came to him that he always assumed there was something wrong, some unrightness he would constantly have to steer against. He was thrilled at having uncovered a bad lens he could discard.

A minute later, starting up the car, the lyrics of a song on the radio triggered a vision.“The dearest thing in all the world is waiting somewhere for me” (“Waiting Somewhere For Me” by Rodgers and Hammerstein). He saw a scene of indescribable beauty, something between a fractal and a huge mural, a panorama of infinite detail and intense color, the parts in constant unfolding and rotational movement everywhere. He couldn’t hold it all — it was overwhelming, filled with light, luminous, numinous. The words “Oh my God” began in his mind but all wording was pressed out by the overwhelming emotional wave enveloping him in awe, love, victory, beauty. His feelings united with the scene so that he was the scene, the beauty, the happiness, the realization that not “he” — now “it” — was past the need for words forever, past the possibility of unhappiness forever.

He contemplated the vision as he drove to catch his train. Several minutes later on the cold train platform he watched himself hurriedly extract a mint, his body still assuming time pressure, always assuming the need to get done an important job that had to be done at top speed because suffering would be relieved for more people faster that way. He knew this assumption was also a bad lens to be removed. More good would be done without that lens, too. And besides, in his day job he was not relieving suffering directly, more like paying for the time spent in nonprofit work.

That was the ten minutes.

An hour and forty minutes later in Manhattan he wondered if the shock — that is, the heightened sensitivity — he was feeling would incapacitate him. Being in Manhattan with its concomitant information pressure could pull him into some ineffective state of consciousness if his skills were not all available. He did not worry yet as he was merely curious about it at this point. Next he automatically told the cab driver where to go before he could miss a beat. The rest of the morning unfolded that way, with actions being taken in natural confidence. Soon he stopped being concerned that he might be in a degraded effectiveness state.

What was it that he had seen? It couldn’t be the whole of what the consciousness of the universe sees, since that perspective would include what was going on inside each of the parts he had seen from the outside. He had been seeing some abstraction of the whole of what there is to be seen, but he had seen people striving, other life forms striving, the very cosmos striving, its movement the necessary means to some end. The dimensions of error/evil had been visible as wrong turns taken out of synch with the rest of the whole, there were great movements in history explained by the turnings of the wheels inside the driving bio-mental Platonic Forms gearbox whose meshing appeared to be a higher reality underlying the explicate order visible to human eyes.

Would science classify this as an hallucination? It was a vision, its complexity and the intelligence of its designs far beyond the negative connotations of the word “hallucination”. Also it was not seen with the external eyes, so if it were a hallucination, it would have to be classified as an interior one. Is that what science thinks a vision is? Or did I actually see something real?

Perhaps cutting-edge science would say that ideas long evolving in my head combined intuitively by themselves to present me with a visual representation. If so, this is a testament to the power of our subconscious minds, and to the function we call intuition, when for ten seconds we find ourselves in Flow state.

Best to all,

Bill

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Originally posted 2012-12-20 13:48:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Hardest Game Worth Playing

Originally posted June 23, 2015

Happiness is the meaning of life

Staying happy in every moment is the hardest game worth playing. Maybe a million years from now, or even in a couple of hundred thousand years, it will not be so.

But we can’t wait.

We need to develop methods and tools to advance ourselves mentally and emotionally that far into the future, now. The actual survival of the human race may well be at stake, but more importantly, our own individual happiness — yours and mine, and that of the people we love and those around us — is at stake for sure.

Happiness cannot remain up the trail somewhere, an elusive thing we are working toward. That’s an outdated idea. It’s time for the new idea. Happiness now, in every moment. Now. And now. And now. Happiness all the time, internally controlled, internally generated, by an act of will. Infernally difficult but we cannot abandon this game, believing it’s just too difficult and out of our reach. Now is the time to face it — fight it — and win. And keep winning, because the game is not won once but continuously. That’s what makes it so hard.

As you go through your day, keep coming back to your birthright to be happy, right now, and use your focus, your will, and your creativity to bring about your happiness each moment. Let inner impulses float downstream if they are not conducive to your happiness in this moment. Allow such unhelpful thoughts and feelings to occur, and then watch them float away without holding onto them.

An impulse to be unhappy is one such feeling. The typical reaction is to get stuck in it. Instead, practice allowing that unhappy impulse to float away. Perhaps as it goes you might realize where it came from, or not. But you can choose not to listen to it, obey it, or be taken over by it. It was just a thought, you can let it go.

Take notes on stuff you let float away if you feel it is worth coming back to later, but let it go in the moment. This is remarkably conducive to Flow state. There is a perceptible drag on Flow state caused by looking backward at the supposed imperfections of what you did a moment ago. In martial arts, one is trained to not gloat or sulk over one’s own last (good or bad) move. It’s a good practice for all of us. Let go of everything downstream of this moment, now.

In some version of this universe, it’s natural to be happy doing whatever we are doing at the moment, or not doing anything but just being. By an act of will and focus we can indeed learn practices that allow us some degree of control over our mental and emotional state.*

Keep working at this most difficult and most vital game, become conscious of it, keep coming back to these practices.

Beyond our own individual lives, I feel we all have a duty to posterity to spread awareness of how consciousness works, and how to make it work better. We need to start using and teaching methods such as “float downstream” in the upbringing of our children, in school curricula at all levels, and in our workplaces. That’s our mission and this blog is one of our means to that end.

My best to all,

Bill

*Chemical imbalances at the root of e.g. clinical depression need to be treated properly, and we are not suggesting we can “think away” such imbalances.

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Originally posted 2015-06-23 12:19:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Are you balancing activity and stillness?

Originally posted June 16, 2015

If we are always pushing toward our goals, we are inadvertently setting ourselves back from reaching them.

There is a stage in the creative process in which it is wise to turn away from the challenge and do other things, for it is during this turned-away phase that the Aha! moment comes.

not creating may be essential to creativity

Certain batteries get recharged when we take ourselves temporarily off the wheel that is always driving us. This can happen when we are entertained — on our screen devices, reading, watching stage or other performances, spectator sports, vacations, making love, being with family and/or friends.

The subtlest batteries, however, only get recharged when we are alone with ourselves. This can take the form of sitting meditation but it doesn’t have to. We can be alone in nature, alone at home, alone on an airplane, anywhere. As long as we are not working down the TO DO list, there is a greater chance that we will slip into the Observer state (the precursor to Flow state) effortlessly.

To help bring on Observer state — a mindset in which you are able to simultaneously observe and analyze your emotional reactions to situations somewhat impassively — this works for me:

  • Look more closely at the place from which thoughts/feelings arise.
  • Don’t add to what you observe inwardly/outwardly, i.e. stop interpreting everything.

If we spend too much time doing, our conscious mind will block the functioning of our subconscious mind, and we’ll interfere with the stream of consciousness. If we spend too much time not doing, we will under-actualize our own goals. The movement associated with creative energy is a good thing, but stillness in body and mind is also valuable.

Balancing movement and stillness is optimal for maximizing effectiveness toward all our goals in life for love, creativity, and ultimately spiritual fullness, intuitively knowing and feeling connected with all beings and all things.

Strive to achieve the right balance between times spent doing versus time spent not doing.

L’chaim! (Hebrew toast “to life”)

Best to all,

Bill

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Originally posted 2015-06-16 14:04:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Transforming Our Emotions

Originally posted June 2, 2015

In the complex accelerated culture in which we live (we call it Acceleritis™), self-mastery of our inner space, or even awareness of what is going on in there, is extremely complicated. Neuroses can arise like biocomputer viruses, and spread through society by intercommunication between people, through our thoughts and ideas and through moods upon which neuroses depend.

Be the masters of our emotions

Two recurring neurotic themes most of us can relate to involve money and frustration. Our culture is set up to cause most of us to worry excessively about money. Money is often the leading indicator of our feelings of self-worth, belonging, achievement, status, freedom, wellness, potency and security. I’m probably leaving some things out.

Frustration can mount, for example, in the workplace when co-workers and bosses don’t go along with the inspiring ideas we have about how to do our job better. Or when society does not encourage (or recognize) an inborn skill or talent and instead of channeling us into a career we love, we find ourselves doing work we can tolerate but that may do little to bring out those inborn talents.

Over time the mix of frustration and money fear can turn to a growing anger, often bottled up inside where when left to simmer and build it can become one of the causes of illnesses of the mind and body. We fall into a counterproductive cycle. We become blocked from getting into the Zone, where ideas, action solutions and clever ways to break through would lead us to create a path to more money, security and happiness.

With the emotions as a wrapper around our whole mental experience, thoughts flit along the surface of the mind. Emotions program thoughts and vice versa. Everything affects everything else in there.

We can ignite the start of a new cycle by seizing the control point where the avalanche starts — our emotional mood. Becoming aware of our emotional state and then working mindfully to take back control of the emotive space around our psyche is key. Detachment from outcome is the core of heroism. A sense of humor gives perspective. Willingness to face the worst with confidence in oneself (and for many, confidence in God/the Universe/a Higher Power) confers a courageous fatalism that has been rediscovered by all of the heroes in history.

In order to (re-)program our emotional wrapper, detachment is not enough. We are emotional beings, hardwired to have some emotional drama going on in the background at all times. Getting into the Zone aka Flow state requires awareness and management of that background emotional mood. If we are not proactively programming it in alignment with our intentions, it will continue to program itself.

Each of us needs then to work to transform negative emotion, the nemesis of the Zone, into positive emotion — which means remembering all we have to be grateful for, and all there is to look forward to and be excited about.

We may experience challenging (even heartbreaking) trials but we need to be able to shift our focus to see them as opportunities that reveal what we are really made of.

Best to all,

Bill

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Originally posted 2015-06-02 11:12:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

A Practice for Starting Your Day

Originally posted May 26, 2015

Set Your Intentions

Have you noticed it’s often difficult to overcome a bad start to the day, and that as the day begins so shall it most likely go? This makes the first moments of waking up in the morning a perfect time to remember and practice slipping into the Observer state.

Observer state is a mindset in which we are less caught up in the process of our emotions, and are able to simultaneously observe and analyze them somewhat impassively. Wearing the Observer lens makes us more effective and creative at changing the conditions that cause negative emotions. It also makes us more able to flick into the Zone, where our performance and creativity are sparked and further upshifted.

So how do we get into the Observer state? Here’s what works for me. I begin by remaining in that transition state from sleep to wakefulness, avoiding the use of language orally or mentally, and filtering out any distractions. I stay focused on the feeling of whatever dreams I’ve had, and recapture whatever images I can from those dreams. Try this yourself upon waking. Then stay with the feelings and images a moment or so longer until you can get a hunch as to the possible meaning of those dreams — what is the message from your subconscious?

It helps if you can then move your thoughts on to the day ahead while still in bed, still sleeping as far as anyone can tell, in that transitional state. Get a fix on the possible significance of your day, what you can potentially accomplish. Visualize an upside outcome that will make you happy when you go to sleep next. This is your strong intention, your Will. Picture it. Feel it.

Then imagine what could go wrong and come up with ideas as to how to deal with those challenges. This can be just brief flashes of an idea to be worked out in detail later. Making notes while they are fresh in your mind is often a huge advantage so I encourage jotting down (or keying in) a few thoughts as soon as you feel you have to actually open your eyes and get out of bed.

What keeps us out of the two higher states of consciousness, Observer and Flow, is usually the ego. This ego process is often driven by fear of failure in one form or another, and comes from excessive attachment, and perceiving past events as failures instead of embracing them as wonderful learning experiences. Practicing wearing the Observer lens helps us improve our ability to float upward out of this debris, gain perspective on it, and flow into the Zone.

Best to all.

Bill

Follow my regular media blog  “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers.

Originally posted 2015-05-26 12:02:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter