Tag Archives: Observer State

A More Alert Reaction

Just one of the benefits of Observer and Flow States

Originally posted March 1, 2012

 “A word to the wise is sufficient.” Confucius may have said this. The same conditions causing Acceleritis™ also reward those of us who can spend some time in the two higher states of performance. In the sped-up culture that continues to accelerate, we are more successful if we can extract learning and act on it quickly without delay.

The techniques, which we call psychotechnology, to help us stay in the Observer and Flow states therefore become important to learn and put into practice.

The wise are able to learn from a single experience without repetition because they are counting the cards. In the same sense that Captain Picard would say “more power to the shields”, the wise person has wordlessly said to himself/herself, “more power to observation”. This is why we say the entry into Flow state is through the Observer state.

It’s easier to turn on the Observer state than it is to just decide to turn on the Flow state.

The Flow state is a delicate balance of many variables. Having prepared by practicing being in the moment, not being attached to how well you perform or to anything else, being in the Observer state, having your skills in some degree of close balance with the challenge slope of the moment — these all must click for Flow to engage.

For the Observer state to take you over, there are fewer requirements. You must be single-pointedly focused — intensely following the thread of what is going on in the now, including and especially in your own mind and body, but equally in the “external” world. You must be intellectually honest with yourself, objectively critiquing your own last thought and feeling. You can’t critique what you don’t notice and so you are paying such close attention inwardly and outwardly that you are catching every inner impulse. You are bringing into your conscious awareness some of what would normally pass by subconsciously.

Getting into these “altered” states of consciousness is a “yogic” process — it is exactly the same kind of process one goes through in order to gain control of normally-involuntary muscles in the body, except in this case they are normally-unused “muscles” of the mind.

Some of what the Human Effectiveness Institute has rediscovered can be found in ancient Raja Yoga and Karma Yoga texts. I found it there years later, having discovered Flow state on stage at age 4 in the Catskill mountain resorts (then in their heyday).

An early experience worth sharing is one in which my Flow was so in the moment that I was unable to hear or even later remember the words I had adlibbed that got such huge laughs. Here’s an excerpt from a memoir I wrote for my Dad, bandleader and MC Ned Harvey:

Fat Jack was considered to be the hippest comic in the world by the denizens of the Borscht Belt. Jack E. Leonard was an insult comedian who may have created the genre. Don Rickles was next in the insult comedy lineage.

Speed and cleverness were the two main criteria. Fat Jack could backhand a comeback over the net even before the incoming line had ceased to echo in the air, and his riposte was both unpredictable and used the raw material of the incoming line. This was the stuff of genius.

Later I would think in terms of the terabytes per nanosecond of computing speed that would allow Jack to search his files, put together alternative combinations, and select the optimal response.

We were in our room in the Frat House, under the canteen…

In the room besides Ned, my mother Sandy, me and Fat Jack were a few other musicians and Bernie Klein the stage director. Jack was holding court and the other adults in the room were convulsed in spasmodic laughter. I was silent and missing a lot of the humor. I was maybe 5 years old.

For some reason Jack singled me out with his gaze and threw me a line. Then something weird happened — something that had never happened before.

I said something back and after an instant’s shocked silence the group broke up in surprised laughter. I was not able to hear my own voice. I had no idea what I’d said.   

Jack smiled too but threw me back a clever counterpunch that I also couldn’t hear — I answered him in the same voice that everyone else but me could hear. Again my line got a big laugh, bigger than the first. This went on for a while.

When it was over and the conversation moved on, I began to be able to hear again. Jack gave me a sweet goodbye, not characteristic for him. I had no idea what had happened.

There are levels in Flow we have written about here before. The level at which one is so sewn into the universe that subject and object merge, and there is no inner rehearsal — this is the level where it’s possible to eject words so effortlessly one cannot later recall what they were. The first words are not checked in any way and are just allowed to flow through motor control without a second thought as to result or risk. This has only happened to me one time since, with the same audience appreciation. The great standups did it almost every night.

Incidentally, “don’t attempt this at home” as they say on TV gator domination and hotdog skateboarding crash shows. Don’t run off at the mouth trusting that it will be Flow. Actions should be in the opposite sequence: first sense that you are in Observer state and then when you are in Flow state. Only then can you loosen the valve on top of your mental stream of consciousness as a firehose without embarrassing consequences.

The standard state of human consciousness in all industrialized cultures has as one of its aspects the psychic spark gap between the thought of what to say next and the act of saying it. That distance is enough to take the average person at the average time out of Flow. However, using Fat Jack as our above-average model, he might have had an inkling of what his foil was going to say next, so Fat Jack might have had a split second to forethink an answer and another split second to do a gut check before he was delivering the line with perfect command of his voice.

Flow neurology will be very interesting to study. There is a significant speedup in the thought process and ability to see one’s own mind (thoughts, feelings, images) clearly.

Let there be no miscommunication: we are not recommending that you say the first thing that pops out of your mouth. Definitely wiser to not interrupt. Wait for the moment and then if you have something significant to say, say it, letting yourself have the added time to refine and challenge whatever it is you think is worth saying next.

You and the people in your team don’t need to get to such levels of Flow in order to vastly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your operation. (And obviously it would not be helpful to have no memory of what you’ve said.) Everyone else being in EOP most of the time, if you can move yourself and your people up to spending a quarter of work time in Observer state, you’ll be in the top percentile of high-performing teams, analogous to a winning sports team and elite paramilitary units.

What you want are sensible procedures for instilling this level of alertness.

Here are a few starter steps:

  1. Share the model of EOP, Observer, Flow. Present it as a model, a construct, a lens, a useful fiction, a stimulant. If it is later scientifically validated, that’s great, but for now the thing is to test and observe results. The only reason we founded the Human Effectiveness Institute is because in our experience the techniques we share are useful in increasing innovation and success.
  2. Create an atmosphere where there is nothing to fear. Support people when they make mistakes, while correcting them in good spirits and being on their side.
  3. Take side notes to keep the mind clear of distractions. Ultrabrief one- or two-word trigger phrases that will remind you of the thought or feeling. Stay observant and connected in the now, with the inner/outer attentional focus described earlier in this post. Share this technique with your team as well.
  4. Reset all beliefs and expectations back to zero, except for agreements and dutiful obligations. Reconsider all possibilities. Erase assumptions. Especially the hidden ones. Root out hidden assumptions and expose and neutralize them.

Here’s to more alert reactions, and to even more anticipatory and effective pro-actions!

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 2012-03-01 12:08:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

It’s Possible

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

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

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

We have said It’s Possible that:

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

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

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

Best to all, and thank you,

Bill

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

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

 

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

The Alchemy of Transmuting Feelings into Right Action

Originally posted December 22, 2911

Experiments you can perform best when alone, such as in shower or tub

Full disclosure: I am an interested party — these experiments will tend to confirm my speculations and hypothesis — and help prove my theories.

On the other hand, you stand to gain a great deal. Your decision making can be made more creative and more effective — by judo-ing your own negative emotions so that they stop hurting you and start helping you.

You have free will — theoretically. That freedom is constrained by conditioning that governs you more than you perhaps realize. Acceleritis™ and attachment, as explained in a prior post, interfere with your free will and come to dominate your decision making, and your internal life. These aspects of your consciousness, when seen from another dimension, are the same as the material neuron clusters in your brain where experiences you’ve had whose learning has yet to be fully assimilated are stored. These neuron clusters fire frequently in cascades, triggered by negative emotion, caused by events hostile to your desires.

The firing of these habitual patterns is inimical to free will, creativity, and therefore effectiveness. They blunt the genius of your mind. When you can surmount these patterns you enter Observer state and ultimately Flow state. You take right action emanating from wisdom, understanding, compassion, and forgiveness. In Flow it is effortless given the state of your brain phenomenology at those times.

Bad feelings can actually help you get there. You just have to flip them on their side. No magic involved or hard concentration. Just the opposite — maximum relaxation of everything. Once the body is relaxed in as many ways as possible, then you relax the mind and emotions in as many ways as possible.

First we’ll briefly summarize the steps in the experiment, then we’ll explain each step in more detail.

Summary

After you are as relaxed as there’s time for, you inspect your own feelings of the moment — of this whole time period of your life, not just how you feel in the present interlude.

You then check out how you feel about those feelings, and the desires that drive them. Is this a want you want to want? Did one of your parents give this want to you, or a teacher or friend? Where did it come from?

You will experimentally check to see whether you can actually simulate giving up all of it. You’ll see how that feels. You may have moments of great freedom and a sense of great love. If not, it will happen in a later pass over the same ground. The first experiment starts its own process that you individualize over time. Obviously, you only continue if you’ve gotten something out of it.

You’ll take notes of your current deep priorities in life, and action items.

Tips on each step

I.   Relaxation

Jacuzzi, tub, shower, pool, getting a massage, sauna, steam room, treadmill, stationary bike, taking a walk, before sleep in bed, in a comfortable position on a recliner, you name it, whatever, just so your body is as happy and relaxed as it can be at that moment.

Make sure you aren’t holding tightness anywhere in your body. Feel from the inside each part of your body, one part at a time, to make sure each part is relaxed. Breathe deeply and slowly, in and out, all the way down into the belly. Imagine the air going everywhere, not just the lungs — into your head, imagine it as sparkly, expanding and contracting galaxies of stars.

If you are carrying on an interior dialog, listen to what you are saying. Is the self-talk relaxed? By an act of will, seek to relax your mind. Truncate words before they form or as they form, fade them out in midstream. Keep doing this.

Feelings will probably now be more noticeable. What are the feelings you are having?

II.   How do I feel in my life now?

There will probably be a cluster of feelings. You will be able to articulate a few different words that come close to explaining to yourself how you are feeling mentally/emotionally because of or despite the relative comfort of your body. Your mind and/or emotions may not be relaxed. They may even be agitated despite your physical comfort. Or you may be having a good time.

If you’re not having a good time yet, ask yourself why. What are the causes, the incidents. What desired end state of yours is being thwarted?

III.   Do I want to feel that way?

Once you know how you feel, and what desire of yours is threatened, ask yourself where that desire came from, and if you want to still keep it.

If you still value the desired thing, and want to continue to strive for it, then it is a Priority, and you move to the next step. If you’re not so sure it’s worth it, and you are willing to contemplate giving up the desired thing, picture the life you’d like to live in the future with that desire out of the picture, and see if you can imagine that life will be fulfilling anyway. What would you do instead?

If you can live without striving for that desire, then give it up. The fewer conditions you place on outcomes in your life, the greater your chance for happiness. Many great sages and saints renounced all worldly desires and other-worldly desires too, and lived in joy and love. This is the permanent Flow state, where the human race is heading in terms of evolution.

You might, either in the success of your imagination or by a rare life shift, experience a sense of omnidirectional love that occurs when attachments are turned off even if only temporarily (see explanation in a previous post).

If you do experience this wonderful feeling, take advantage of it by seeking out your loved ones and sharing yourself with them as you will then be feeling, in flow state and in love with life.

IV.   Priorities

You will have a pen and paper close by, which at some point you’ll find yourself using to jot notes of learnings, action points, and a ranking of your Priorities.

V.    Action Plans

These will tend to spring into your mind effortlessly. In fact the main way you will capture them is by paying closer attention to what is happening inside you — feelings, hunches, images, words — by looking at it all as if for the first time, taking nothing for granted, being curious, and being willing to state the obvious to yourself.

Under the yoke of Acceleritis, we are afraid to sound stupid, afraid to waste other people’s time by seeming stupid, and so we act that way even to ourselves. This makes us unwilling to state the obvious to ourselves, and yet only by being willing to re-examine everything, even the seemingly obvious, do you penetrate the rush of Acceleritis. Only then do all the parts of your self focus attention together on a particular something. (Read more about my Acceleritis theory.)

Stating the obvious to yourself in notes that get written down and looked at later begins to push back against the tide of Acceleritis.

My 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 2011-12-22 08:31:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What if your mind can actually do more tricks than you currently believe it can? Part 3

Originally posted December 1, 2011

2 more incredibly easy and vitally important experiments you can perform surreptitiously

Experiment 3: Make the Eye Naked

Again, all of these experiments relate to level setting reality. This one is primarily visual. You cannot trust your senses to be exactly reporting what is out there, because there are mechanisms that convert light and sound waves and other inbound media into chemical and electrical impulses and then produce an abstracted report to consciousness. We know that atoms are mostly empty space yet everything looks solid and light does not go through most of it. Solidity is therefore an illusion. What else, then, is also an illusion?

Besides the illusory nature of our senses to begin with, the brain has reducing valve systems in the Reticular Activating Structure (RAS) and other systems that have been survival-relevant as evidenced by our race having survived. Acceleritis™ is a very recent (6000-year) condition in the 4,000,000-year descending of human beings from very clever apes. Nature does not change that fast in 6000 years, hence the condition being so challenging to us living through it.

One of the systems in the brain is the gestalting system. This system is why we tend to see wholes even when presented with fragments or diverse objects at varying distances from us. The gestalting (or whole-ing) system is also affected by Acceleritis in that all perceptual systems are conditioned to sense what the user expects — we see what we expect to see, we hear what we expect to hear, taste what we expect to taste, etc. Acceleritis does this because it is just another means of simplifying things. Another reducing valve. We subconsciously say to ourselves that we cannot afford the time to navel gaze about irrelevant subjects.

In this modern trance, when we look out at the world we think we see the box that is the universe, and objects in that box of third-party space that is the materialist view of the universe. We have internalized that view — the box — into the mental frame through the gestalting system. Yet if you were to be honest about the raw stuff of what you are seeing when you make the effort to look out and beat the gestalting system, and to honestly report to yourself what you see whenever you look out your eyes is more of a cloud without edges but that is wider than it is high, kind of runs off at the corners, but you don’t see anything box-like.

So let’s try it now.

(1)  Simply don’t move your body or your eyes right away but start to look carefully out at what you see right now.

(2)  After a moment you can move your eyes but not your body.

(3)  Then you can move your body but continue to put all your attention through your eyes.

(4)  Then let your attention come back into your self. Give this sequence of four steps a minute, or whatever, before you come back to reading further.

What did you see? If you were waking up with amnesia of even being a human being, what would your eyes be showing you?

This visual soup view that you are now seeing or may have briefly seen before the gestalting program wore you out, convinced many early consciousness researchers that empirically, if they wanted to be honest with themselves, the universe appears to be two types of experiences, two manifestations overlaid over one another, two ways of seeing that overlap three-dimensionally over one another and are always both there:

  1. The sense of being in a box-like universe with lots of 90° angles — this is really a product of the mind along with the eyes
  2. The sense of being in a visual soup of some kind, where if one is far enough into this view suppressing the gestalting system, the most intense things that one sees are other eyes looking back*, wherever in the soup they appear. This is the raw view from the eyes.

This raw view is a much more conducive frame of mind for an individual opening her/his mind to the existence of all possibilities, because the box view is packed with hidden assumptions about the nature of reality.

After 72 hours of remembering from time to time to see this way, please record your observations for yourself, and again, if you don’t mind sharing, you can also post as comments below, anonymously or otherwise. The objective is the greatest shared knowledge. If you do post comments, please make sure the reader knows which experiment is involved. Thanks!

Experiment 4: Look for Secret Messages

Now in the visual soup mode of seeing, try on (see if you can get yourself to believe that it is conceivably true) the hypothesis that all of us are connected in this consciousness visual soup we are all embedded in — we are in a sort of bubble rather than a box. And as we move through the world through doors or otherwise, we go from one bubble into another, sharing each bubble with other inhabitants at that time, and occasionally we get to have alone space to take it all in.

Experimental hypothesis for another time: individuals are able to conceive more things as being possible when seeing in the soup/bubble mode than when they are seeing in the box mode.

This experiment is to be open to possible paranormal experiences in the next 72 hours. You have hopped into your new Ferrari toy — this mind of yours whose belief-shackles you have just burst free from. You no longer assume anything without hard scientific proof. You yourself are worthy of using your own experience, the evidence of your senses although inherently imperfect (you can by maintaining Observer state clarify your senses somewhat), to make your own evaluation of what the universe is, what reality is, what it all means. This next 72 hours is the experimental phase. At the end of that time you can decide whether to continue in this mode indefinitely, or return to your previously scheduled program.

Pay specific attention to hunches, including little signals of objection that are easy to ignore and then you are messed up. Keep a written record in one little book you can easily carry. Review after the first 72 hours and see if these mind-tricks might be worth cultivating further.

Clairvoyance or the sudden suspicion that something specific is happening, has happened or (precognition) will happen. Pay attention to things as little as predicting who is calling when the phone rings. Keep track, write it down.

Seeming to know what someone else is thinking or about to say. Make a note.

As previously reported, science has proven that these ESP phenomena are real. Why not cash in on them yourself? J In the sense of taking full advantage of whatever talents you have to make your life even better than it is now. Making you more capable of helping other people and feeling how good that feels.

All you have to do is to drop the wall you have put up and then go with the flow.

Best to all,

Bill

*Remember to do this “looking experiment” in a meeting. The gestalting program over-ridden, your naked eyes will tend to get more information from the eyes part of the visual bubble; those little patches on the picture will seem to have more energy, aliveness, than the rest of the visual field. You may also see someone look back and feel that they are looking right into you, so prepare yourself for the shock of that moment; have your best cool face in place already. Because you as a primate human get about 70% of your action-trusted information from looking, this eye experiment is one the quicker ways to get yourself back into Observer state when you have slipped out into EOP.

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

Originally posted 2011-12-01 09:19:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What if your mind can actually do more tricks than you currently believe it can? Part 1

Originally posted November 17, 2011

What is the value of an open mind?

The mind, like a reducing valve, closes down to keep out overload. In this so far 6000-year era of Acceleritis™, there has been a lot of shutting down, when openness without commitment either way would always have been the more careful strategy.

People in the cloak of Acceleritis feel proudly that they have been properly hard-nosed when they are unconsciously trying to simplify and don’t know it, so this hard-nosed stuff is merely a rationalization. They unconsciously don’t want to consider how much scarce mental bandwidth it might take to deal with the flood of hard questions that will arise in their mind if they were to actually try to keep it open on the huge issues of life — such as what is death — is there a universal consciousness and if so is it personal or something else — who are we, each of us, what are we, why are we here, is there a point to it all?

The first moment in life that Acceleritis takes over, when we are very young, is the moment that we turn off the wonder at these questions and decide to get on with life, without realizing it we have unconsciously made a set of assumptions about the answers to those questions. Our every action is decided based on those assumptions, and every instant of our life will be shaped by those assumptions.

What if your assumptions are actually less favorable than the true conditions of reality in which you might partake?

Game Theory would posit that you are better off trying to get away with the most positive view of life you believe is conceivable, until empirical proof drives you to dial that down a bit — if that ever happens; leaving open the possibility that things could turn out to be even better than that, or simply as good as that, and you might never have to revise your assumptions downward.

Game Theory would disapprove of starting out from the most negative assumptions possible. And yet Acceleritis hugely raises the odds that an individual will tend to shoot low when making these unconscious assumptions about the nature of reality, probably normatively before age 5 in our present culture.

This is because Acceleritis increases the daily sense that we are incompetent, as compared with days of yore, those halcyon days before written language let all genies out of all bottles, in a 6000-year cascade.

Yet more genies-out-of-bottles no doubt lie ahead. So the premise of our institute is that the human race had better evolve mental emotional software to finally conquer and cure Acceleritis, if not the unthinkably enormous capacity of the human race to invent tools/weapons/media.

Acceleritis is the trance-like accommodation the human race has made for its own over-inventiveness, since written language caused our brains to rewire themselves in a way that allows us to visualize spatially at the same time as we symbolize in ever more condensed packets, enabling levels of abstraction and logic that make geometry seem like child’s play. We never had this before written language because before that we could not see communication, except for the numinosity – communicating symbols earlier hominids must have had, such as the circle, triangle, and other “magical” archetypal figures.

Numinosity for all its importance is just a feeling, whereas abstraction as potentiated in our visually-dominant primate species by seeable language, is a tool. Acceleritis is all about tools — inventions — machines — weapons — media. Our mind could not make any but the most rudimentary tools, scarcely more sophisticated than the tools made and used by other animals, until we were able to see communication. Communication being the only way that ideas can be expressed. Ideas being what drive the making of tools/inventions.

Today we receive too many question-producing stimuli each day, which causes us at an early age to shift the big questions in life off the screen of our consciousness and onto the hidden screen of our subconscious/unconscious. There, decisions/assumptions made previously constrain our body’s and conscious mind’s alternatives considerably and we are unaware of it. Like slaves, or robots of a hidden master.

Observer state is when the hidden master is exposed and the whole self is there watching itself objectively.

Flow state is when all of those parts flow into automatic harmony with one another and the individual is transported into a special state of consciousness where numinosity or miraculousness is present although the experience does not have to feel spiritual. Most people have it a few times in a lifetime playing a sport, playing a musical instrument, making love, or having a transcendent experience seemingly out of the blue.

Again these two higher states occur when Acceleritis is cured temporarily — and for more evolved human beings, permanently. The Human Effectiveness Institute sees no reason why the whole human race cannot experience these states far more often, which would lead to greater effectiveness and far greater happiness and ultimately to peace among all peoples.

We come back to the question of an open mind. What is the value of it?
Game Theory says the value of not assuming negative conditions is great, no matter what game you play. Modern psychology finds this is scientifically accurate, not just theory. Our beliefs, perceptions, assumptions, expectations, intentions and other mental emotional stuff predict the outcomes of our actions, and our scores on games. This is validated science today.

Flashback: In college majoring in philosophy and minoring in psychology I am inveigled into an experiment as a subject. More than a dozen cards are being shown, and the subject is asked to remember the sequence the cards are in. Each time you try, you are asked whether you think you will make it in 10 rounds. You go ten times to see if by the final round you can remember the whole sequence — of course the cards are shuffled each time. Turns out afterward that the actual point of the study was to compare an individual’s prediction that he or she will succeed with their true success scores. They seemed amazed that I said ten times I expected I would succeed, and that I did succeed. I asked why that was so amazing and they said no one else thought they would succeed, although nearly half did.

Acceleritis does that to our self-confidence. We of course project confidence to the degree we realized how important it was to our standing vis-à-vis other people, that if we did not show more confidence they would walk all over us.

It probably was not like this before Acceleritis.

Now about the experiments that we will undertake next week in part 2 of this post.

You don’t have to believe in anything. In fact, that would bias the experiments. You have to set aside all beliefs — suspend disbelief — in order to start.

The object of these experiments is to level set reality — you reopen your mind to the existence of all possibilities, you strip away all hidden assumptions, and then allow reality to teach you what it is, without you imposing any restrictions on it.

Of course, what these actions do in your conscious mind has less effect on your subconscious mind than on your temporary conscious mind, and all of it can flow downstream rather rapidly leaving you back in Acceleritis. However, this does not in any way mean our intentions are futile. Quite the opposite. They just take time and repetition to sink in down below the quarterdeck. But sink in they do.

You can perform these experiments surreptitiously because there are no obvious outward manifestations. It is all going on within you. No one else knows what you are doing. You cannot lose face, so while you are still attached to that, it cannot distract you from the experiment. This is highly useful because distraction is the main means by which Acceleritis reduces our effectiveness. Any way distraction can get tuned down or nullified, use it, so that your entire mind is swept as if by a ring of brooms back from its diffuse expanse, into single-pointed focus.

The stage is now set and we hope you’ll come back next week to try our incredibly easy and vitally important experiments that will help you level set your reality.

UPDATE to this post:
Watch a 3.5 minute video I made about my theory of Acceleritis.

Best to all,

Bill

Originally posted 2011-11-17 10:25:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

How Acceleritis Affects Organizational Effectiveness

Originally posed November 10, 2011

The metrics used today to judge the effectiveness of organizations are primarily stock prices and their direction in context of the market condition. This is supposed to reflect the equity of the brands in the stable of the organization. It is therefore all built on the fuzzy perceptions that people collectively share, of individuals, brands and organizations. However we think most of the judgments made of which organizations are high performing based on stock prices and general fuzzy perceptions, are largely accurate. We hypothesize that human beings have sufficient intuition and intellect to quickly see a team that works well together and to see the opposite. This post offers a few thoughts on how to move your team toward higher effectiveness in terms of these economic metrics.

You’ll recall my hypothesis explaining the increasing inability of the human race to be effective in managing its world: the acceleration of information racing into the brain per average day.

No one can deny there has been such an acceleration whether or not you buy my method of reaching that hypothesis.

Is there a reader who would argue that the human race is just as effective in managing its world today as it ever was, and that the human race is as effective today as it ever can be? You may be right (if “you” exist) but that is a self-limiting thought. This meme can spread like a virus through our biocomputers – and it has. Defeatism, and self-limiting self-fulfilling prophecies have been observed being inculcated in children by pessimistic parents, and the children then perpetuate these self-put-downs and everyone-else-put-downs for the rest of their lives, passing it on to their children, and so on down through the centuries.

Has there ever been a time when no one could think up a new idea to restore equilibrium to the perilously-wobbling globally interconnected economic system?

Of course, we never had such a precariously interconnected system before. The challenges of our own making have escalated due to tool making and invention. This and media are causal drivers of acceleritis in the first place. A secondary hypothesis posits that the three main causal drivers of acceleritis are written language, tools/weapons, and media.

These are three historic shocks that have created the modern trance. (pre-publication monograph available to other researchers in this field.)

The word “trance” implies hypnotism or drugs or a mental state brought on by high fever – characterized by a reduced level of functional effectiveness, especially in terms of complex challenges. EOP (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure) is my name for the state caused by Acceleritis™. Like a trance of any other kind, EOP reduces our functional effectiveness as compared to when we reach two higher states, Observer state and Flow state. The vector that best describes the continuum formed by these three states of waking consciousness is non-distraction: distraction brings the mind down to EOP; and perfect singlepointed focus where distractions are automatically mentally controlled, yields Flow state, Observer state being the doorway to Flow state. The message inherent in these hypotheses is that we must as a race and as individuals learn to stay focused through complexity. This is the purpose of The Human Effectiveness Institute and the psychotechnology toolware we are creating.

How do organizations actually function today, under these widespread conditions of acceleritis and EOP? For a moment, contemplate government. Then, for a moment, contemplate your own organization. What behaviors and outcomes can you see that are consistent with this hypothesis?

The flow of communication in organizations is extremely non-optimal in most cases I’ve observed during my 30 years of consulting for hundreds of Fortune 500 corporations.

As information moves upward in the typical organization today, much information is purposely hidden. The motivations are primarily fear, and secondarily lust for success – not necessarily greed, because that implies people already have the basics covered, which is not the general condition today.

Workers tell certain things to their managers, hiding their mistakes and also hiding bits of information they sense could be useful to them more when the timing is right and they’ve thought it out to the end of the logical stream. “Wisely” they do not want to blurt out ideas that could be powerful and could also be stolen and used by others to gain the power that the individual lusts for. Alas this “wisdom” (actually cunning) serves motivations that are conditioned rather than consciously chosen. Acceleritis is what has conditioned people to “not have time” to fully contemplate their lives and so they are just rushing through it, trying to keep up, and oversimplifying everything as much as possible. Black and white jumping-to-conclusions is one common tactic for keeping things as simple as possible. None of these acceleritis-driven behaviors (information blocking, black and white thinking, rushing) are conducive to being a high performing individual in a high-performing organization.

Information blocking then continues as information flows upward and across an organization. Managers tell directors what is beneficial to the managers. Directors tell officers what is beneficial to the directors. Officers tell the CEO what is beneficial to the officers. Information becomes overladen with this spin and that, with specific people in the organization taking credit for certain spins and where they should lead, so that they will be promoted if the course is taken and works out. These behaviors trace back in the evolutionary dawn to the level of brain development in the reptile stage. Territoriality and pecking order start even earlier and are exalted in this stage. Mammals and humans have more corrugated cortical tissue and the potential to understand nobility. Nobility mediates selfishness to create an individual in tune with others, and thus able to lead. However nobility is a high level of further human development not inherent in the acceleritis shaped civilization we have built. Nobility must be achieved by bootstrapping oneself out of acceleritis driven EOP and into Observer state in order to clear the mind of its own distractions and robotical behaviors, at which point periods of the highly-effective Flow state occur naturally.

The same is true with organizations. The thing that obstructs information the most is lack of direct contact between the top and bottom of the hierarchy. One deals mostly with peers and superiors. The King/Queen does not disguise himself/herself to go among the people to learn what is really going on. When this occasionally happens “accidentally”, so much is learned it inspires creativity throughout the organization.

The larger the organization the more levels and therefore the more filtering of information for selfish reasons. With companies and governments getting larger and larger, acceleritis continuing to accelerate, the harm of organizational bigness is exacerbated. Plato reasoned that a utopian community could consist of individual groupings of people not larger than 1000 persons, because everyone could stay in touch with everyone else. Above that it would not be optimal in effectiveness because communication would break down and selfish interests would tear it apart. Whether or not he got the magic number right, his prediction has certainly been borne out. The larger the organization, the more important that the leaders find a way to stay in touch with people at all levels of the organization, as many as possible.

One method of encouraging people to share their ideas early so that more minds can work on them sooner is to develop a culture that rewards people for their ideas with immediate positive recognition.

Fear can also be minimized in an organization by a culture that provides constructive feedback in a supportive manner, and never creates a mood suggesting impending punishment and disgrace.

A sense of safety and collegiality makes a team more likely to perform in Observer state, where objectivity and search for clarity are the mood, and there is no compelling emotional tug of war between one outcome and another. In this state, which has been called the basic professional state (Ichazo), wasteful movements are minimized, and people keep their eyes on the real priorities from second to second. There is a relative absence of fear and other negative emotion, as people are not attached to getting recognition, nor fearful of sounding stupid, because this has been the context that management has successfully inculcated.

Leaders need to be role models and this is the strongest form of training. Aplomb is the operative word. Merriam-Webster definition: “complete and confident composure or self-assurance: poise.” Poise sounds more like something one is trying to project. In my mind, aplomb beats poise just because aplomb counter-suggests that the person is striving to portray an image. Instead, to me, aplomb evokes an image of a lead plumb bob hanging down perfectly steadily. That is of course where the word came from, French a plomb, “according to the plummet” (plummet=lead plumb bob in modern parlance). A person in equipoise, not needing to prove anything to anybody, incomparably fearless, palpably unflappable. At rest like a plumb bob but ready to move in any direction responsively.

People, especially leaders, like to show confidence. But in doing so sometimes they show a lack of aplomb either by fleeting angry expressions, trying to make a joke, scratching themselves, or any of a number of other obvious clues including just their apparent tension. This shows the confidence is just a façade. People around them know what it is without necessarily putting it into words in their mind. They know the leader is not truly confident but that it’s just an act. This does not attract real supporters.

If the team does not have total confidence in the leader, their acceleritis will immediately leap them into a mode of performance that is sub-optimal for the organization, where they will be in a mood of self-protection rather than a mood of teamwork, solutions and success. If it is not gamelike, if it is not play, if you would not be doing it except for the money and where it might lead you, you might get through the day but Flow state will be a rarity. Your team needs to see that you are enjoying every minute of it so they realize this way would be more fun than the way they usually get through a day.

Acceleritis is the great enemy of aplomb. Imagine a higher being – God if you wish – or simply a being that is to human beings what human beings are to viruses – a scientific possibility in the viewable universe of billions of galaxies. Somewhere right now such a being probably does exist. Imagine that being is the soul of aplomb. What does she/he have to worry about? Phenomena such as acceleritis and EOP cannot take hold in the mind of such a being, its intuition and intellect — being at far higher bandwidth and information processing power than we operate at — can see through such traps of the mind while we as yet cannot. At least until the individual discovers this truth for herself/himself and begins to work consciously on seeing the EOP trap and subtly sliding around it again and again back into Observer state, every minute of the day, every day, and brings it under conscious control such as a higher being could do far more quickly and easily, with no practice needed.

We Earthlings do need constant practice if we are to make our minds fully conscious of what drives us and therefore in control of that whole process. That’s just where our current bandwidth is at. Comes with the package, the brain as it is today in evolution. Software that has been pre-programmed into our minds before we ever knew to think to ask for a choice about which programming came in and which stayed out. By the time we are five there have been over a billion neuron connections wired into our brain simply by our experiences. The brain automatically learns, and some learnings are actually incorrect — they make wrong predictions about what will be successful, yet they exist in your brain as having power over you to force you or impel you into unthought-out actions that have the apparent safety of being exactly the same thing you always did before in such a situation.

This is conditioning. Conscious choice is preferable to being a robot driven by your conditioning.

It’s not what you have to learn. It’s what you have to un-learn.

Imagine how manicky you and I must seem to a higher space being of true aplomb. Racing around to get things done without the perspective of how unimportant most of these things are in the Big Picture, although we are anguished by them at the moment.

When the EOP caused by Acceleritis™ is stripped away, and the person spends more time in Observer state, where fewer and fewer things can press her/his buttons, the individual exhibits true aplomb, signaling true inner freedom from attachment to anything. True fearlessness with regard to whatever could happen, including death. This is not a common state for human beings today. However, we do see this aplomb in sages, saints, “great men” and “great women”, performers of all kinds from athletes to entertainers to public speakers/politicians – very rare in the latter category, though some of our presidents have had aplomb at important turning points in history, and great deeds emerged from this cocoon.

Your team gets closer to aplomb when you have created the right atmosphere, and provided the right role model. They are less obsessed by the petty little personal biases, ambitions and other stuff that a typical team is totally immersed in and can’t see past. This is not coming from their essence as a person but from the acceleritis buildup of conditioned robotic behaviors driven by powerful neuron clusters in the brain. A person who is not aware of this syndrome can obviously do nothing to counter it. Those who have achieved aplomb have done so consciously, having discovered the inner software and reprogrammed it over time.

Aplomb at its highest level exists because the individual identifies not with the body you see standing there before you, but with the entire universe including the parts unseen, and so has nothing to lose. In India and throughout Asia, this ultimate aplomb is also known as enlightenment, liberation, equipoise, and by other names, and those who have achieved this ultimate aplomb are known as gurus. Real gurus are very rare even in the East, although those on the path to guru-ness are a much larger number. In our blog we are constantly offering suggestions toward a degree of guru-hood for all of us some day in the perhaps not-too-distant future. Science and our own Will shall determine the speed of getting there; however, I hypothesize it is in fact our destiny to all rise to this higher level, or Flow state, through long practice maintaining Observer state from which Flow eventually springs.

Ultimately, organizational effectiveness will be exponentially increased as a result of most of us spending most of our time in Observer/Flow states. This will have a hugely beneficial effect on government, the economy, levels of happiness and quality of life.

Best to all,

Bill

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

Originally posted 2011-11-10 07:38:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter