Tag Archives: Human Effectiveness Institute

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

Originally posted July 16, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

Behind all this is the self you were born with.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best to all,

Bill

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

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

The Theory of the Conscious Universe: The Roots

Featuring: A Movie in Your Mind

Originally posted July 11,2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then what do we do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best to all,

Bill

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

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

The Flow State of Bliss

Volume 4, Issue 8

In this most recent series of blog posts we are reviewing the highest levels of consciousness above the divided levels in which most of us live most of the time. Two posts ago we discussed the three Observer states and in the most recent post we covered the first of the Flow states, the Flow state of Action.

These five Flow states and three Observer states are nested upward, meaning that the benefits of the Observer state inhere in all the Flow states, and each Flow state contains the benefits of the Flow states below it. It is because of this cumulating upward characteristic that it is logical to consider the states progressing upward in the sequence in which we have placed them.

I began to discover the Flow state of Action at age four when performing onstage. Fascinated and sensing that this strange experience had something to do with the purpose of my life I studied my inner states constantly after that. I suspect introspection has always been a strong natural tendency for me.

In my 30s I began to realize that I was not alone in experiencing these states. Gurdjieff and Ouspensky had written about their efforts to organize and understand states of consciousness, and then Oscar Ichazo founded a school called Arica Institute. John Lilly had written a book about his studies with Oscar, and in his descriptions of the states of consciousness I saw correspondences with my own experiences. Much later I read Czickszentmihalyi, who advised the Human Effectiveness Institute (THEI) for a few years in the 90s and it was at that point that I adopted his term “Flow” state. Continuing my readings in the 2000s I learned through my friend Daniel Goleman of the Visuddhimagga, written in 430 CE, which includes tables showing levels of consciousness based on the path of concentration and on the path of insight. My own stacking of the levels I have experienced is similar but not identical to the path of insight table in the Visuddimagga, as accessibly reported in Dan’s The Varieties of Meditative Experience.

Above the Flow state of Action is a state I call the Flow state of Ecstasy or Bliss. The objectivity of observation that exists in the Observer state carries through into this state along with the self-propelled perfection of action. In this state, however, there is the additional overlay of the most positive imaginable emotions/feelings. Another way of saying this is that there is total appreciation for what one is experiencing. One sees the perfection in all of it and nothing is lacking.

This is the first stage in which a spiritual intuition comes along with Flow state although it may not be cognized that way. One is filled with love that connects to everything. A feeling of benevolence washes over you from the inside. The highest ethics become innate because there is a feeling of understanding and forgiving and therefore no wish to cause hurt to anyone or anything.

Of course, when the Founders of The United States of America (specifically Thomas Jefferson) used the expression “the pursuit of happiness” as one of the components of the unalienable natural rights of human beings, he was in a sense alluding to this end- state as the implied highest good (Latin summum bonum). From the standpoint of my own theory, described in my new book You Are The Universe: Imagine That, the highest end-state three levels above the Flow state of Bliss would be the target state, retaining the joy of the latter state but adding more dimensions to it, as will be discussed in my next three posts.

Best to all,

Bill 

P.S.

  1. Watch for my new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That, coming next month.
  2. 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.
  3. For those interested in my work in the media business world you might want to check out this collection of videos.

Can Creativity Be Induced?

Volume 3, Issue 38

Waves booming, the expletives of gulls as they glide like white boomerangs buzzing us, scouting for handouts. I’m sitting with Lalita at breakfast on the terrace at the Malibu Beach Inn, reading The New York Times and I come across a book review reprinted from the Financial Times of London of the new book The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas by David Burkus.

According to Burkus, taking the review at face value, Plato and the other dons of antiquity were deluded and superstitious in believing that creativity was conferred only on certain humans and that moments of inspiration were given to them by the gods; that even today the popular notion that an “Aha!” moment exists is foolishness, and that creativity really comes down to hard work by large numbers of people working together to generate “creative ideas”. To which my first thought is “Why does it have to be one way and not the other, why can’t there be some truth in all of these ideas?”

The author reportedly goes on to point out that the efforts by organizations to instill increased creativity often backfire, instead causing people to conform so as to belong to a new groupthink where they hold back ideas that they fear would rile the comfort of the tribe and thus cause themselves to become treated like outsiders. This part also has the ring of some truth in it, as I’ve been in such situations, though found myself and a few others quite willing to bear the risk of contrarian creativity.

The book deserves to be read before coming to any conclusions about it, and it surely provokes useful thought if even its review does so. Yet all books that take seeming black and white positions from the title forward would in my estimation have low likelihood of portraying the complexity of the real world as it exists. I will apologize in this space if after reading it I must eat those words, for the review is not the book, the map is not the territory, as S.I. Hayakawa liked to say.

In my practice both at Bill Harvey Consulting and at The Human Effectiveness Institute I’ve often been asked to lead workshops aimed at increasing individual and group creativity and performance. My book Mind Magic is specifically tasked at doing that, and one edition of the book was even experimentally titled Freeing Creative Effectiveness. So as you can see I have a dog in this race, and a potential axe to grind.   😀

Can I prove that I’ve ever induced creativity by a book or workshop or any other means? Alas, no scientific proof yet (we’ll do A/B testing at some point), although anecdotal circumstantial evidence abounds in thousands of letters from readers, including this review from Dan Goleman:

“Highly recommended… will loosen your moorings and open you to creative vistas.” — Dr. Daniel Goleman

Science of course considers individual reports subject to placebo effect and various other biases including the desire to be nice.

In group work, there have been similarly non-definitive measurements. When Richard Zackon and I did an ARF creativity workshop last year it got good scores from the participants and many nice emails. Several people even followed up with telephone consultations. And beyond kind words there has been evidence that one day’s worth of a creativity-inducing workshop has had major positive effect on the directions that leaders of major companies took soon afterward.

I was amazed at the creativity I found in high-ranking officers of two different military branches during workshops I led. In one war game I created, a female officer in charge of a powerful group of units took the bait of my scenario to find a solution even more creative than the one I was going to reveal at the end had nobody thought of it.

The placebo effect and its counterpart in groups, the Hawthorne Effect, suggest that false effects can be caused simply by paying special attention to people. And yet why call these effects “false”? If one can remove pain with salt water and the powers of the subconscious why not use it? If one can cause creative behavior with hand waving, why not take all you can get?

Coming back to the Myth of Creativity book, one of its conclusions ascribed by the review is that creativity is best fostered in organizations where it is challenged. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and compressing a spring or irritating an oyster analogies do apply to inducing creativity. I used to tell my team at a certain large agency that the repressive conduct of my boss at the time was an opportunity to be “creative within constraints”.

At the aforementioned ARF creativity workshop, we had the participants anonymously hand in ratings of their own organization on a ten-point scale of creativity repressiveness and siloed confusion. The range of scores we received covered practically the entire range from zero to ten. Take a look at your own organization and see what score you would give it.  🙂

Other than distributing our book and video to your team or doing our workshop, or doing similarly with other interveners from outside the organization, what else can you do? Guard against simulated creativity-inducing exercises, which can backfire. Give people autonomy within the bounds you feel each is equipped to handle and then give a bit more. Give people permission to try new things even if they might fail. When someone screws up, be kind yet honest. Don’t just simulate that, be authentic. Check the effect on target to be sure you’re not kidding yourself to make yourself feel good when you might have actually crushed them.

One way I found it easy to get bollixed organizations to be more creative is to interview the employees and get their creative ideas and then feed those ideas to the top person who can then take credit. That person was always the bottleneck and would only act on creative ideas if he/she could take credit for them. Before the intervention, good ideas had come up in meetings and been shot down, and months had passed until the top person was able to forget that the idea had been mentioned before, then putting it in new garb and “inventing” it as his/her idea. Thus the organization lurched forward, driven by organizational creativity with a delay cycle equal to how long it took the top person’s ego to forget and reinvent.

The notion that the “Aha!” moment is a fiction strikes me as funny. I have had this experience all my life, of ideas putting themselves together in a flash. Carl Jung and William James and many others define the intuition as the mind’s way of suddenly making logical connections among bits of information lying around. Saying that this process does not exist is amusing. Daniel Goleman’s description of the way the brain works at these moments would seem to add further veracity to the existence of “Aha!” moments in fact.

As to Plato’s being superstitious in considering that inspiration can come from levels above human consciousness, please see my new book when it comes out, You Are The Universe: Imagine That, which postulates that all observed phenomena including the paranormal and religious can be accounted for by my Theory of the Conscious Universe, in which we are all one Self living through many avatars, one biocomputer server networked to many clients. In that picture of reality, Plato could easily have been right.

Best to all,

Bill 

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

Useful Transcendence Techniques in Mental Wrestling

Volume 3, Issue 37

Fluttering saffron leaves wave at me through all the windows that surround. It is another ecstatic autumn day here in the Hudson Valley. Inside the house, décor projections of Lalita’s beauty catch my eye as I sit to write to you.

The subject as always is living in the Flow state (the Zone), and employing psychotechnology to get there. My recurring theme: it’s easiest to get there through an earlier state of awareness, the Observer state.

Educators at their best have toyed with the notion of providing courses in Thinking (click and scroll to Majoring in Thinking),  allowing students to major in it. The second article at this link uses the term “metacognition” to describe thinking about thinking, and being cognizant of one’s own prior thought. This is exactly the Observer state if one is focused only on the thinking dimension, but instead of thinking out of the box, folks ought to consider getting out of the box called thinking. There is also intuition, perception, and emotion to be cognizant of within oneself. The Observer state then is to be aware of all of this stuff that is going on within, without losing observant attention to the apparently-outside world. So in the end it is all about attention.

Brilliant psychological work has been done by Piaget in recognizing the high abstract level of thinking he dubbed the Formal Operational Level. In my new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That, I suggest that as a race we reached this level for the first time when cave paintings and then written language appeared, which happened only very recently in our embryonic species career. This triggered such acceleration in information input to each of us that we mostly operate below the Piagetian level due to distraction. More recently other brilliant psychologists and researchers have named a new even-higher level of thinking called Systems Thinking; however, one is still locked into the trap of acting as if thinking is the whole of the self. Flow state and even Observer state require that one is in one’s body feeling the emotions, receiving the perceptions, and attuned to the subtle guidance system of the intuition. In fact the intuition is the most valuable platform in terms of Systems Thinking, where the more precise term might be Systems Perception.

Within the sphere of the emotions there is a crucial dimension called motivation. Here the leading psychological minds of the twentieth century include Maslow and Erikson, each of whom offers a specific set of levels the individual passes through on the ladder to the highest states of consciousness. At Maslow’s highest stage, one is motivated by morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts. This is a very good description of the Observer state, and the spontaneity part of it is suggestive of the Flow state.

In fact it is the lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts that best characterizes the Observer state among Maslow’s list of terms. Below the Observer state one is operating through a distortion lens caused by wounds one has received and habitual defensive patterns one has robotically adopted to cope with these wounds.

Wrestling the angel in transcending the wounded ego self, which is the true/higher inner jihad, one learns the traps one’s opponent (the ego) gets one into, and the escapes by which one extricates one’s higher true self. Incoming gets autoclassified by the ego self and this autotriggers certain reactions —look for these reactions and let them float downstream, disidentifying with and annihilating them. This keeps or gets one into the Observer state, the launch pad from which Flow can occur. Emotional reactions to be on guard against are: anger, negative judgment, unease/fear, envy, and irritation/impatience.

These emotional reactions are signs of the nonacceptance of fact, and the existence of prejudice in oneself. One is projecting a subjective expectation rather than observing objectively. This reduces one’s problem-solving ability, bringing one down below the Formal Operational Level.

Woodstock Roundtable host Doug Grunther, himself a psychologist and dream therapist who has interviewed many deep thinkers, commented in a recent radio interview with me that “higher” states of consciousness ought to really be called “deeper” states of consciousness, because these states come from deep down within oneself. I would agree and add that they come from deep down within the One Self too. So in what sense are they “higher”?

The stated purpose of my nonprofit Human Effectiveness Institute is the improvement of decision making. Our objective in understanding psychotechnology and getting more people into Observer and Flow states more often is so that we can run ourselves and the world better, be more competent, more effective, more creative. “Deeper” may be more descriptive and explanatory, but “higher” illustrates the rise from lower dysfunctional levels.

Takeaway: notice and nullify the prejudicial instant reactions of anger, negative judgment, unease/fear, envy, and irritation/impatience. Accept the facts and get on with finding creative and effective solutions. This will bring more pleasure to you and yours, and radiate outward as positive energy to the ends of the universe.

Best to all,

Bill  

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

Inner Head Language

Volume 3, Issue 33

My daughter Nicole and I were at a book fair today, ostensibly selling my book Mind Magic from our table alongside other local authors at their tables. I say “ostensibly” because my real motivation for attending these events is to see if and how people can be helped to reach higher levels of consciousness. Everything is reconnaissance with readiness to engage with any seeker. The average seeker today has seen it all and has the t-shirt.

My great friend Stanford Silverman, who came from 25 miles away to buy yet another copy of Mind Magic, summed the answer up as “99.9% actually get no benefit from books.” He went on to say, “when the supreme reality is not understood, the reading of books/scriptures is useless, and the study of books/scriptures is useless when the supreme reality has been realized.” This is the viewpoint of a person who has found a Living Master and has devoted his service thereto, for its own sake and also to receive the kind of grace that has been observed to effect great positive changes in people.

Nicole later questioned this pessimism about our work and I repeated the stats I had shared with Stan, that out of 35,000 books sold we’ve received over 2000 letters/emails/cards from readers saying the book changed their lives in a way they wanted to thank us for. That’s 5.7% — in a considerably higher ballpark than the 0.1% stat Stan offered. And 5.7% only counts the hand-raisers, not those who got benefit but didn’t let us know. I also told her we are not doing this to see a complete world change as a result (though that outcome would be nice and was my initial vision) but rather we are doing it because it’s the right thing to do, sharing this stuff based on the 2000+ hand-raisers. Whatever effect it will have, it will have.

A man asked what the book was about and Nicole answered “It’s about you,” and I explained that “the way the language speaks to your subconscious, it brings out your own higher Self.” The language in the book is my own “inner head language” — it came unbidden and I didn’t put it into the King’s English — and as a result, coming from my subconscious, it seems to absorb directly into the subconscious layer of the reader.

One reader said it like this: “The communication so transformed and met me as to feel as though it was clearly mind-to-mind.” (Jordan Salison, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA)

And this, from a review in New Age Journal, “resonates with the higher aspects of our beings and is experienced as truth…”

You can get a flavor of Mind Magic here.

I am always curious to hear what I will say when a person asks me what the book is about because something different always comes out. In a bookstore I don’t want to rattle on any more about the brain, Observer state and Flow state (the Zone), I want to relate to daily life, not its underlying science.

“It’s a mood, an attitude, the book gets you into. You see opportunities to take elements in the situation and move them around in ways you actually can, to be a win for everybody. Including stuff inside yourself, which you can move around to create a win/win inside yourself.”

The most useful answer we found was to suggest, “Open a page at random and see if it speaks to you.” This worked 4 out of 4 times, at which point I fled to write this column, leaving Nicole for a hostage. One woman said it understood her, that it was exactly what she had been thinking about. The others got absorbed and read for quite a while.

In the 70s, when the human potential movement got that name it was rediscovered that intellect alone does not change behavior, emotion and/or the subconscious, something deeper than the rational mind, must be involved. This goes back to even before the Eleusinian Mysteries, before the cave paintings, as old as homo sapiens ourselves, 200,000 years. The shaman was wise by definition, understanding at a gut level that someone not-yet-wise needed certain stimuli and experiences to become wise, and so he/she did the needful. Sometimes it worked. Maybe it nearly always worked a little.

Emotion, imagination, and/or the subconscious are engaged by the “inner head language” in Mind Magic in much the same way that these beyond-rational faculties are brought into play by art, poetry, music, theater. It is this linguistic subtlety as much as the insights that make it possible to move people into the higher states of consciousness with a book — not just Mind Magic but also other books whose neurolinguistic approach engages with the deeper levels of self.

This form of linguistic communication with more than just the rational mind could be more deeply investigated by brain researchers in order to optimize the psychotechnology. This is one of the goals of the Human Effectiveness Institute (THEI).

Best to all, 

Bill 

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