Tag Archives: Meditation

The Role of Feelings in Decision Making

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Negative feelings not only bring us down, medical evidence shows they also weaken our immune system, making us more prone to disease, and they distract our cognitive concentration, thereby reducing our effectiveness.

Bad feelings can also serve a positive function — as an alarm system to quickly get us to pay attention to a problem. Ironically, if bad feelings continue unabated while we are grappling with a problem on a rational level, it will take longer to solve the problem because we are stuck in a cycle of negativity. Most of us have experienced this cycle.

Are you more driven by thoughts or feelings

Are we generally more driven by our feelings than by our thoughts?

Freud established that thoughts are more likely to be rationalized in support of feelings, rather than our being able to use our thoughts to control our feelings. And yet, how valuable it is to be able to do just that — to have the mental self-discipline to focus our thoughts effectively even when our feelings are in an uproar?

Feelings are urges that arise within us, within our minds and within our bodies. Feelings are experiences, states of consciousness resulting from our motivations, sentiments, preferences or desires. These terms all really mean the same thing: what we value, what we want, what we are trying to get, what we want to avoid.

Feelings are how we respond internally to outer and inner events, based on what we are trying to get and avoid, and how current events can help or threaten our desired outcomes.

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Walk-Ins

Go to Classic Bill PostThe Great Being, Part 27
Volume 5, Issue 3

This continues the story of The Great Being, the One Self that manifests as each of us. We are following TGB’s roles as the Team of Melchizedek and Layla, two Agents of Cosmic Intelligence, as they continue their assignment to begin the current human race on Earth circa 200,000 BC. Previous installments.

Layla was impressed that Melchizedek appeared able to get more information than she had been able to cadge from their Original Self, who was playing this feel-o-vision videogame through them. Their True Self did not want to ruin the game by giving excessive clues to his avatar selves in the midst of their self-hypnotized games. Yet Melchizedek, as a more advanced player than herself, knew certain tricks. She would often come upon him meditating with an inner directed gaze in his open eyes, floating in a rainbow electrical ovoid shape over the highest peak on their bardo plane vacation island, from which the sea was dramatically visible in all directions. She knew at those times that he was looking deep inside and being guided by cosmic purpose.

Descent to the Mediterranean by Vladimir KushWe have our orders, Melchizedek pathed to her, coming out of his meditation and surprising her. We’re going to walk in. This did not particularly surprise her. Agents often used the walk-in method as it saved the time of growing up. And it made use of the memories of a specific avatar of the One Being as material for the game.

Melchi spirited them both out of the bardo and they approached the projected world, Earth now looking slightly different as they drew near the Atlantic coast of what would become known as Spain. There below on a beach punctuated by large black lava natural sculptures were a large number of human corpses seemingly washed ashore, apparently having drowned.

This group of warriors was driven to try to escape by sea, Layla intuited and Mel was proud of her, pathing her back a head-nod. Both groups are within the other team, he said. The other team is fighting itself? she asked incredulously and he murmured assent. They are quite competitive, he observed. When there is no human prey to steal from, they often fight among themselves. Here – these are the two.

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The Second Cornerstone: Mindfulness

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In last week’s post we made the point that better decision-making and higher performance is achieved mainly through Positive Thinking and Mindfulness. We included tools to increase Positive Thinking, which we also call Solution Orientation. We promised to investigate the nature of Mindfulness in this post.

Mindfulness is a form of attention control.

The need to be master of one’s own attention has gotten progressively greater over the centuries as a result of information overload and its distractive effects. We have given this condition the name Acceleritis™, the vast increase in the amount of information needing to be processed by our brains each day. ADD, ADHD, and a fairly obvious reduction in the general population’s ability to stay focused on one problem long enough to solve it, have been the result.

Watch a video about the cure for Acceleritis.

The need for Mindfulness has never been greater.

The Vedas, some of the earliest writings on the planet, recommend three yogic mental/emotional methods to achieve the conscious and willful control of our attention.

  • Concentration is the focus of the mind on a single object.
     
  • Contemplation is the focus of the mind on a single subject.
     
  • Meditation is the contemplation of the Self.

What then is Mindfulness?

We define Mindfulness as the optimal allocation of attention for maximum effectiveness. When one is mindful, attention optimally allocates both inwardly and outwardly at the same time. This helps us understand our own motivations in the moment, to consider not only our needs but the needs and probable responses of others, and to greatly improve what fighter pilots call situational awareness. This is in sharp distinction from our typical behavior, which is to allocate virtually all attention outwardly whenever the eyes are open.

It takes attention and effort to be mindful, but practicing persistent mindfulness not only allows us to be more present in each moment, it also allows us to shift into a higher state of consciousness to reach the Observer state more often and launch into the Zone or Flow state, the highest known state of consciousness in which right actions seem to do themselves effortlessly.

Mindfulness and Positive Thinking with a solution orientation — overleaping the focus on the problem once it is defined and going right to the focus on the solution — are the cornerstones of what I practice to achieve superior decisions, highest effectiveness, and creative innovation in all aspects of my life. Try this approach for yourself to see if it works for you.

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.

Bill interviewed on RBDRFor those interested in my work in the media business world you might like to watch my video interview with Bob Lederer on Research Daily Report in which I sum up highlights from the ARF Re:Think 2015 Conference in New York March 16 – 18.

Rediscovering that Ancient Territory: Your Own Mind — Revisited

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All of us are naturally curious about our own selves. When someone who knew us when, someone older, tells us a story about something we did when we were too young to remember it, we are raptly attentive.

Looking inward at oneself is the first step toward clarity.

If it were not for the culturally ubiquitous time pressure, we would have the same curiosity if offered a searchlight method to see more deeply into our own mind than ever before. Here we offer just such a searchlight.

This posting is a brief exploration into the architecture of inner experience and offers tools to look into your inner Self, through observation and experience. Why bother? Because in order to get into the two higher, most effective states of consciousness — the Observer state, where we can really see what is going on inside ourselves rather than being puppeteered by software in our heads, and the Flow state (Zone), where we are spontaneously doing everything just right — we need to become experts in the empirical study of our own minds and inner life.

What Is the Architecture of Our Inner Life?

Carl Jung defined the four functions of consciousness as perception, feelings, intellect and intuition — the latter referred to in day-to-day life as “hunches”. These are four kinds of events that can go on in consciousness.

Within consciousness, what we experience first is something inside that motivates us and moves us toward or away from something. Those are feelings. Instincts — hardwired genetic carryovers inherited before birth — are partly responsible for some or all of our feelings. The rest arise from motivations we accumulated during our lives, stuff we learned or decided to want or not want as a result of our experiences since birth.

So what are these things you call your thoughts, your feelings, your hunches, your perceptions? Consider, or reconsider, all of the experiences you have had of your own mind, your own inner life.

When I watch what goes on inside of me, it often starts with a feeling that is also somehow an image at the same time. Another part of me then takes that feeling/image and interprets it as a conscious thought — putting names, categorizations, and other specific recognizable details onto the original amorphous feeling/image.

I think that’s what a thought is. An interpreted feeling/image. Diverging from Jung, I posit that thoughts and feelings are the same thing, at different stages of development.

Thoughts add details to feelings/images, turning them into specifications, bringing out additional information that had somehow been packed into the feeling/image.

Possibly feelings are the most substantial and primary actor, coming out of our most intimate connection with our self, and arising to be transmuted into intuitions and/or thoughts and/or emotions and/or images/visions.

Perceptions coming in from the “outside” accompanied by an equal stream of feelings from “inside” suggests that feelings are another sense, like seeing and hearing. In which case, we simply perceive, and the rest of the functions are what evolves from our perceptions. In other words, feelings are inner perceptions, and what we call sense perceptions are outer perceptions. Inner and outer perceptions are the raw stuff of experience, and as we turn them over in our minds, those perceptions turn into thoughts and/or intuitions.

I suggest that perceptions evolve into what Jung classified as thoughts (intellect) and/or hunches (intuition). Outer perceptions — the five physical senses — are what Jung called “perceptions” — and the inner perceptions are what Jung called “feelings”. In my own experience, the raw stuff of my inner life is comprised of feeling/image arisings that I then articulate internally as thoughts, with either words or not, or observe as hunches, without inner words.

Intellect and intuition have always been seen as similar functions. Intellect reaches new conclusions step by effortful step. Intuition gets there in one leap, involuntarily, all by itself. Sometimes when the intuition or hunch is particularly credible and important and came out of nowhere, we call it inspiration, suggesting help from some outside invisible source.

The Searchlight to Our Inner Self

We need maps to study consciousness. We also need meditation to concentrate on seeing what really goes on inside by understanding the basic building blocks of all inner experience — thoughts, feelings, intuitions, and perceptions.

Try this. Find five minutes when you can’t be interrupted and there is nothing dragging you away like a deadline. You might not find time to try this until the weekend, so leave yourself a note somewhere you’ll see it Saturday or Sunday morning.

Sit with your eyes closed and back straight, with your head drawn up toward the ceiling. First, still the mind by experiencing your breath going in and out, without trying to control the breath in any way. After a half-dozen breath cycles or whenever you feel as if your mind is relatively still, begin the exercise.

Now simply watch for what happens at the very beginning of a thought or feeling. A thought or a feeling is going to arise. You are in a state of concentrated sharp attention and the game is to see that arising as quickly as possible, identify what it is, and be able to remember the experience of it as accurately as possible.

This is not as easy as it sounds because we tend to get so instantly caught up in the thought or feeling we forget that we are doing this exercise. That is, until through exercises like this, we find that we have gained true control of our minds in a gradual process that we get better and better at over time. By looking inside, we can begin to cut through dogma and other people’s beliefs, and see for ourselves who we are in our inner worlds.

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

The Performing Seals

Volume 4, Issue 37

To all our Pebbles readers, we wish you a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Give Thanks today and always. Happy Thanksgiving.

The Great Being, Part 10

This continues the occasional serial of the story of The Great Being (TGB), the Self that looks out our eyes. See the earlier installments of The Great Being. This series "The Great Being" is a fictionalized version of our book MIND MAGIC: Doorways into Higher Consciousness. We are focusing on the story of TGB on Earth, through the eyes of two beings who are aware of their TGB identity infused within their multi-incarnational characters of Melchizedek and Layla. The time: 200,000 BC. M & L have recently been born into the first two homo sapiens sapiens, each with a mutated brain containing a neocortex. The brain is so powerful it has been submerging their own true identities from time to time.

The role Melchi was playing he found quite amusing today. A crowd had formed and made oohing and aahing noises and slapped their thighs and each other as they watched Layla and himself crawl-chasing each other in a circle in the grass. Of course, no one had ever seen two month old babies doing that before.

baby seals

The day before had not been as pleasurable. He probably came close to being slain by a broken neck. Da — their father — had become panicky when he came up on Melchi meditating, eyes open but looking inward. Perhaps the man was concerned that the baby was broken and dying, but his fear manifested as excessive roughness trying possibly to shake Melchi awake or back to life. The moment passed when Melchi made soothing loving vocalizations and then his father calmed down and simply hugged him for a long time.

I need that meditation time, Melchi thought. In the moment to moment distraction of doing anything else, it is too easy to slip into forgetting myself and becoming this brain and body.

We’ll have to do it when they are not looking, and leave some awareness situational in case they sneak up on us, Layla thought into his mind, as he caught her in their play and they laughed and cooed rolling and wrestling like five year olds. The crowd went wild.

Their tribe had the old brains. It would be years before they began their main Mission of breeding with the old-brain people. Now that they had the tribe’s attention, their next step was to accelerate the use of language.

At the evening feeding, both babies going in and out of their true personalities, in and out of pure unaware baby ecstasy, in a moment of awakeness, Melchi removed his pursed lips from Ma’s left breast with a satisfied and loud “MAH!” sound. Layla smiled and did the same with Ma’s right breast. They laughed gaily, and went back to alternately suckling and making the “MAH!” sound. Ma started to play close attention to this with a broad smile on her face, and Da and Tyg gathered round, eager to see a new trick, their eyes wide.

Layla now pointed right at Ma’s face as she enunciated “MAH!” Melchi picked up on it and did the same thing. They looked her right in the eye and pointed at her, identifying her with the sound as they repeated it over and over, no longer bothering with the suckling part.

Suddenly Ma got it and started pointing at herself and making the “MAH!” sound. She knew that this was something new. A sound that was a person. Her eyes were very wide and she looked awestruck. “M-AH…” she said, her eyes looking inside.

TO BE CONTINUED

All my best to all you TGBs,

Bill

You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available on Kindle.

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

Do What You’re Inspired to Do

At Any Given Moment

Volume 4, Issue 21

Our moment of history may be called “The Accelerolithic Era” by those living thousands of years from now who study records of our period (even if they’re Martians). Since written records began (and I theorize because of written language) our information pressure per day has been exponentially accelerating. I call the resulting condition of humanity “Acceleritis”. Perhaps some remote indigenous people have not yet succumbed to this syndrome — I hope so for their sakes.

One of the components of Acceleritis is that we never have enough time to get done all the things we feel we ought to do.

This is a pandemic shock reaction to the effects of ever-mounting stimuli that set up “anti-closures” in our mind. These “anti-closures” (“sanskaras” in Sanskrit) are circuits that have taken an interest in some stimulus but now have unasked questions about that stimulus or the things immediately associated with the stimulus. (For a more Technical and Theoretical Description, see below.)

Every time you note interest in something, like the things your eyes land upon, this is what is happening in your brain, and we are definitely unaware of at least 99% of it.

Because of an apparently innate drive for closure, and the seeming impossibility of ever reaching closure on everything the mind desires closure on, we are uneasy at most times but have gotten used to it.

The feeling of always being behind speeds up our actions to the point of increasing errors requiring fixing, thus slowing us down and making us feel even more behind with no apparent hope of ever catching up.

We also repress the sense of needing closure, thus purposely ignoring hints from the subconscious asking us to contemplate things we have done that we regret, people we have not forgiven, and philosophical questions that once fascinated us and are central to life. We push stuff back down into that repressed area, which enlarges the unconscious at the expense of the conscious.

Some or all drug addiction may be traceable to this phenomenon.

Don’t Overthink It

During your work day or at play, you are often not sure what to do first. Do what most inspires you at that moment. Why? Because that way the chances are higher that you’re doing it in the Flow state, which never occurs when you are doing something because you should do it. I call that “doing it to get it out of the way”.  Flow state only occurs when you are enjoying what you are doing, and doing it solely or mainly for its enjoyment.

If you’re in the grip of Acceleritis and held down below the Observer state, you’ll not know what inspires you more to do next, X or Y or Z. The solution here is to  just let your body go and watch what it does. The body often makes decisions before the mind is consciously aware of making the decision. It’s the same decision. It’s the reflection of both the mind and body, both of those phenomena being aspects of the One Consciousness.

Don’t Be Email/Text/Tweet/Social Media Driven

It has become all too easy in the Accelerolithic Era to become driven by incoming email, texts, Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts — meaning you don’t decide what to do next, you react to the ubiquitous digital input stream. This goes on all day and you become a willing slave to this digital input stream.

It’s helpful to let people know the times each day you’ve set aside to catch up with emails and texts and whatever else is queueing up.

Meditation

Meditation — the mind observing itself — is the most efficient way to allow assimilation and closure of the most salient “anti-closures” bugging your mind subconsciously at any given point in time.

Like trying to remember a name, meditation does not work by “trying to do it”, it works by erasing everything going on inside and continuing to erase as thoughts/feelings/images/hunches arise. You’re allowed to jot down notes for later, using trigger words that will bring back the whole thought-train, and then resume the emptying out.

Here’s a quick YouTube video on the subject: Erase.

Best to all,

Bill

More Technical Theoretical Description

On the formation of “anti-closures”:

  1. These new pathways initially must be along established neurons. There they modify connectivity with other neurons by subtle chemical changes at the synapses caused by the mental state cascading from the reception of the stimulus.
  2. Longer term, new neuron growth is hypothesized stemming from the same causative event. Such growth helps the circuit continue to exist and occasionally “speak up” in the senate of the mind when the mental subject comes near the thoughts (or sub-thoughts) suggested by the stimulus.

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.

You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available. Read an excerpt and watch my videos where I talk about the book.