Tag Archives: Psychotechnology

How Did We Become So Distracted?

Go the the current Great Being post

We live at a discontinuous point in history.

Most of us know that the human race started evolving from primates, coming down out of trees over 1,000,000 years ago, but it's only been the last 200,000 years that we've been homo sapiens.

We've written things down for only 6,000 years out of those million years so we have no written record of what went on before those roughly 6,000 years.

Key Survival Characteristic

My hypothesis as a social scientist is that in the last 6,000 years, written language changed the way we use our minds.

It actually started with the cave paintings, some 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, using symbolism — we started to be able to look at abstract symbols to represent things like animals that we were going to be hunting.

When we moved to written language, we could see the language — the granular bits of information. Pictures don't have chunks to them like words do.

Though nowhere near digital yet, we started to get into granular chunk thinking as soon as we got into written language.

This development marked the beginning of a revolution in the way we use our minds, and this has been accelerating for the last 6,000 years.

We started inventing things — first tools, then weapons and then media — and all of those things have contributed to the fact that we now every day are subjected to a deluge of stimuli that exceeds our ability to answer all the questions arising in our mind second-to-second.

We get into a habit of just sweeping things aside. “I'm never gonna answer all this stuff. I won't try to answer all this stuff. I won't even try to answer the basic question of what is life, what is the meaning of all this, what is my purpose? It's just too many questions. I can't answer them.” I call this condition Acceleritis™.

We see things like increasing ADD and ADHD and we see people who are supposed to be running big countries acting like high-school kids and not getting anything done.

This deluge of stimuli all the time is not good for any of us. In the face of the hugely distracting environment of Acceleritis, we are being distracted from Flow state, which I believe is our natural state and which occurred a lot more before 6,000 years ago.

This is why I consider psychotechnology, which prepares people with techniques to stay focused through complexity, to be so important. No matter who we are, the quality of our life depends upon our effectiveness in meeting challenges, whether as a parent, an executive, an athlete or a world leader.

Shutting out distractions

Most all of the techniques I use to increase focus and creativity are included in my book, Mind Magic, and I also share them here in this blog space — techniques like mindfulness, meditation, self-awareness and letting go of attachment. Learning to become the observer more often and not getting caught up or reeled in by all of these distractions, we can find greater clarity and reach Flow state more often. Learning to stay focused in an ever increasingly distracting world, we can ultimately increase our creativity and improve our decision making.

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.

Welcome to the New 2015 Pebbles in the Pond

Volume 4, Issue 43

Hi! This is Bill, writing to tell you about some new exciting features we are offering starting today.

I am super excited about the launch of our new YouTube channel, Bill and The Universe (BATU for short) today. Initially it will appear on Youtube with hopes of expanding to TV. There will be new program content every week and you can also see it here on my blog. For those of you interested in my father’s big band show business career in New York nightclubs and the Catskills backing up some of the top singers and comics of the 20th Century, our first series THE CHIEF should make you laugh and cry. We’re serializing the story in weekly 2-minute bites knowing that many of us are always in time crunch mode.

We are also offering two blog posts a week beginning next week. Each Thursday, starting today, you’ll continue to see our fictionalized serial The Great Being plus a new video from BATU to the right of the blog post.

Beginning Tuesday, January 13, we will offer the original Pebbles blog, which we call “Classic Bill”.  Here you will find new nonfiction pieces (sprinkled with occasional fiction) and Classic Bill posts,  including  psychotechnology and life tools.  And there will be a link between the Tuesday and Thursday posts. Plus the most current videos will also appear in the right column. 

We hope you’ll let us know what you like and don’t like so we can increase your enjoyment and takeaway value. Thanks!



The Great Being, Part 15

The Shaman Knows

This continues the serialized story of The Great Being, the One Self that each of us thinks of as our own separate self. Melchizedek and Layla, fully aware of their own true identity as The Great Being, have come to Earth on a Mission and now inhabit two babies circa 200,000 BC. Previous installments here.

MAH and DAH continued to hesitate as the old man waved more vigorously for them to come over. His circle of old women looked them over as they shyly approached the elder, bringing MEL and LAYLA in their arms. TYG despite his normal bravado seemed cowed and held back, holding his toy sharp stick protectively in front of him.

Do we “hide” and try to fool him? This would be one time I’d appreciate this baby brain taking me over, Melchizedek whispered telepathically to his partner.

He hears us already, Layla pathed back. His priestesses do too. They can’t understand what we are saying but they know we are a lot smarter than the babies they’ve encountered before and that we’re signaling something to each other.

MAH and DAH stopped a yard from the shaman, not certain what they were supposed to do, never having been presented at court before. Melchi and Layla had noted that the alpha male who acted like the boss of the tribe — the guy who wore the animal horn headdress and waved it like a weapon to maintain discipline — had been deferential to this old man.

We better play it straight or he will distrust us, Melchi pathed. Layla murmured pathic agreement. The old man was studying them and then reached up to take them.

Uh-oh, Melchi heard himself think. The kids were concerned that the shaman, an anachronism they had not been expecting to have developed this early with the old brains, might be a member of the opposing team, one of the revolutionaries. If so they were dead and this was a failed Mission.

MAH put MEL into the old man’s waiting hands and the shaman brought him close and looked into his eyes then back around at his circle of old women, who nodded at him. He reached up and DAH handed over LAYLA. The old man now had both of them on his lap. He repeated the close-up eye stare with Layla.

Something familiar about him, she pathed to Melchi nervously. The old man suddenly hugged them both to his chest and belly and made huh-huh sounds. Melchi looked up and saw that he was smiling fondly down at both of them. The women made the huh-huh sounds too.

He knows who we are and what we’re about, in a way, Layla pathed.

They are all very intuitive, Melchizedek agreed. But just normal Neanderthals it would appear. Their Mission was safe for the moment.

TO BE CONTINUED.

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 Imagery Shorthand to Reinstate Flow

Volume 4, Issue 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best to all,

Bill

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

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

The Cognition Level of Flow State

Volume 4, Issue 9

We’ve devoted each of our most recent posts to describing a different level of higher consciousness, working our way up the scale higher and higher. We skipped over the seven lowest levels of consciousness, the ones in which most of the human race has spent most of its time during this short sliver of time since the onset of written language 6000 years ago. Those all-too-familiar levels are covered adequately in our new book You Are The Universe: Imagine That.

The higher states commence with the three levels of objective consciousness I call the Observer state. These are followed by the five highest levels that I have experienced and hypothesize to be all of the remaining levels for human consciousness, called the Flow state (the term coined by Csikszentmihalyi). In the prior two posts we described the first level of Flow, in which the body experiences perfect action, as if doing itself, and the Bliss level of Flow, in which joyous emotion is added.

In the next higher level the mind is in Flow, not just the body and the emotions. Deep realizations erupt spontaneously from everything the mind touches upon, whether things that are in the field of the senses, or other more distant things that the mind considers. Intellect is flowing so rapidly it outpaces words, and understanding comes in the flavor of images and feelings with only occasional words in the mind. The words that do come are condensed, as if one is thinking in perfectly lucid poetry where all the allusions and multiple meanings are self-evidently present.

For scientists and creatives, this is the level in which the “Aha!” moment occurs, in which inspiration strikes, in which Kekule had the vision of the benzene ring, and in which Einstein realized that E=mc2. Flow state at any level is what Maslow called “peak experience”. In the Flow level of Cognition, the qualities of the lower Flow levels are still present, as this cumulativity applies throughout the upper states. So where in the Flow level of Bliss the tonality is emotional and brings with it a sense of Hume-ian Sympatico for all people and things, in the Cognition level of Flow one’s aesthetic senses are also at peak engagement. Great inventions and innovations are brought into this world through the window of the Cognition level of Flow state.

Although the written and oral histories of the past 6000 years on this planet are largely a tale of conflict and war, suffering and dishonor, it is highly likely that these are mere growing pains in a multimillion year destiny for the human race of Earth. The lemur ape-monkeys from which we descended came down from trees 5 million years ago, and only attained the present human brain about 200,000 years ago, leaping forward only in the last 6000 years into this present miasma we call the Acceleritis Era, in which written/visual language has unlocked the potential of the human mind to express ideas producing an explosion of inventiveness — largely tools, machines, weapons, and media — and an overload of information falling back into the brains collectively responsible for the overload. The resulting distraction has suppressed the higher states of consciousness by distracting our attention. Through techniques that focus the mind — which we call psychotechnology — individuals can overcome Acceleritis and achieve the higher states. As H.G. Wells said, history is a race between our destroying ourselves or collectively reaching a permanent shift into the higher states of consciousness. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I prefer to think of myself as a self-fulfilling prophet in forecasting that psychotechnology — whether called yoga, meditation, Zen, or any other name — will win the day for humanity and the planet.

Best to all,

Bill

Watch for my new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That, coming next month.

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.

Inquire of your Feelings and Motivations

Volume 3, Issue 45

Raoul’s face showed no change, while inside he suddenly seethed with impatient anger at his spouse, whom he saw as going off onto a long negative diatribe tape he had heard too many times before without ever saying a word to her about it.

Feelings are expressions of motivation — your own motivation. Thoughts have great value of course but are not necessarily brilliant readers of your own feelings. Thoughts must make extensive effort before truly understanding one’s own motivations. Isn’t that strange? Thoughts and feelings working together can make your motivations more clear to yourself than thoughts alone.

Combining these ideas points to the need to put some effort, and not thought effort alone, into discerning your own feelings and motivations. Else you would not understand yourself completely enough to be in Observer state.

But first, what is the evidence that our thinking is not automatically adept at reading our own feelings? Do we not quickly realize when we are in a bad mood, or good mood, and isn’t it almost always obvious what caused it? Can’t we articulate the explanation in our own mind?

At that level of understanding, this is true. In most cases we are quick and confident judges when we think about what we are feeling. We can categorize the feeling into positive vs. negative, and instantaneously we make a mental thought connection with either an image or an amorphous memory of events leading up to the feelings.

This program loop does not even recognize that it’s worth tying into one’s own motivations and goes on somewhat blind to the actual priorities that determine action even when it is not what you, in your thoughts, necessarily planned to do.

At the Observer level of understanding, one experiences the ability to discern the micro steps that are going on inside as one event leads to another. These events are of the four Jungian types of experience, i.e. thoughts, feelings, intuitions (hunches), and perceptions; or the memory of these four types of experience re-arising.

In Observer state, if you are focused inwardly, you can detect that first there are feelings, then there are guesses being made about those feelings, then there is closure on one guess, the guess usually being a pre-existing category with a name. If the feelings exceed a threshold of arousal there is then gloating over and seeking subconsciously to re-experience and lengthen “good” (upbeat) feelings, or to repress, get angry or afraid or melancholy about, or think objectively about in order to fix “bad” (negative) feelings. Below that level of arousal the mind typically moves on to more important and/or pressing matters.

From the perspective of the Observer state there is a skeptically-objective further questioning of the guess before the feeling of closure is allowed. There is realization that outcomes typically have more than one cause so any classification into a single box is reductionism, leaving out significant parts of the system at work, which is the very thing one is seeking to understand more.

In the Observer state too — if one has been in that state long enough for significant processing to have occurred during these times — one is aware that behind the feelings lay the motivations, which the feelings are merely the expressions of.

Acceleritis has made the Observer state an atypical experience because of the drive toward closure in the avalanche of data falling upon the newly-evolved brain, which has only been in its present configuration for the most recent 20% of the time since we came down from trees, and which only taught itself written language in the most recent 0.6% of the time since we de-arborealized. The printing press was invented in the most recent 0.04% of that time, television in the last 0.0065%, Internet in the last 0.0018%, and mobile/social as we know it now in the last 0.0002%. Notice that the jarring shocks are occurring more frequently, accelerating — hence “Acceleritis”.

In Acceleritis mode we are happy to throw the feelings into a simple bucket, with a simple cause, and move on. We do not grasp the importance of more deeply understanding our own feelings and motivations. This is one of the unfortunate side effects of Acceleritis. We do not grasp the importance of a lot of things.

The key part of the feelings system is the moment at which you name it as good, bad, or neutral. I find that “Bad” tends to get oversubscribed. The very feeling of life in the Acceleritis field is background radiation negative. When in doubt, go negative, is the subconscious mental rule at that logic gate.

Avoid hasty closure is the takeaway. More about that in this excerpt from my book, Mind Magic.

Put off deciding that you are in a bad mood. In my case this universal problem manifests most often as feeling like I am not as happy as I should be. I find that just seeing how ridiculous this is, is enough to make me LOL which invariably ups my mood.

The rest of the sensorium seems to also take a clue from the frontalis and zygomaticus muscles of the face. In a devilish feedback loop, if you are always smiling your body will always assume you must be happy. The song “Smile” is actual psychotechnology. A frown on your face automatically triggers a descending mood spiral.

Less than a second after seething with impatient anger at his spouse, Raoul was observing that seething and trying to see what it was: could he feel it in his body somewhere? The feeling ebbed away into nothingness to be replaced by a faint everyday joy in the moment, mildly curious about its look, feel, and meaning, as his mind let go the memory of the momentary inner process and felt soft emotional receptivity focused on his beloved.

Happy New Year 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 Season to Celebrate the Miraculous

Volume 3, Issue 43

The Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year when the sun appears at its lowest altitude above the horizon and darkness abounds, has been celebrated with festivals of light since Neolithic times. Earliest cavemen and cavewomen prior to the dawn of reason could have felt that the world was coming to an end, and might have sought to propitiate Nature, the Sun, and divinity in general, with encouraging firelight, signaling the request to bring back the great light.

The primary axis of Stonehenge, which could have been built as far back as 3000 BC, is aligned to point to the Winter Solstice sunset. Newgrange in Ireland, built around 3200 BC in the Neolithic period, is similarly aligned to point to the Winter Solstice sunrise.

Wikipedia lists an impressive array of holidays in all countries and religions oriented around the Winter Solstice.

Probably no other person in history has inspired more works of art in all media than Yeshua Ben Joseph (Hebrew equivalent to Jesus, son of Joseph), remembered as Jesus Christ, after whom Christmas is named — Christmas being the signature Winter Solstice celebration in the Western World for the past 2000 years.

The Founders of the United States of America, who considered themselves deists, nevertheless esteemed most strongly the philosophy of this high being. So does practically every other person who has come into contact with his teachings.

Among Jesus’ key ideas are that God loves us as a father would, and that we should treat each other as we’d like to be treated. None of his quotations in the Bible contradict my theory that we are all part of One Being. Certainly a single being playing many roles would love all of them as himself, and in a role conscious of this existential unity, would treat everyone else very well indeed, knowing all to be part of the One Being.

Jesus also emphasized that even our thoughts count. “As a man thinketh so shall he be.” My theory posits that the matter-energy timespace universe is projected from consciousness, and that even in our roles as humans — a reduced form of the Original Self — our thoughts, feelings, intuitions and perceptions, in a closed feedback loop, influence what subsequently happens in the matter-energy timespace universe.

Jesus gave us useful psychotechnology — tips on how to arrange our thoughts, feelings, intuitions and perceptions so as to be capable of forgiveness, such as seeing how we ourselves are just as righteously to be judged as we judge the flaws of others: Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone… and Thou hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

It is impossible to think of Jesus without thinking of miracles. While many miracles are attributed to Jesus, the church over the centuries has investigated other claimed miracles and certified a number of them as such. Travelers to the devout country of India often return claiming to have personally observed miracles.

The Jewish Winter Solstice holiday of Chanukah celebrates the miracle of the oil lasting eight days although there was only enough barely for one day. This occurred when the Jews had retaken the Temple in Jerusalem from the Syrian-Greek Seleucid Empire, and found almost all the oil desecrated (160 BC). The Jewish celebration of an eight-day festival of light goes much further back in antiquity, probably to Neolithic times, and is mentioned for example in a Talmudic document written during the Babylonian Captivity, which ended in 538 BC. In that document Adam is said to have sat for eight days in fast and in prayer anticipating that the world was going back to the darkness of chaos and confusion. When he saw the light returning he said “Such is the way of the world,” and observed eight days of festivity. The actual timing of Chanukah each year is based on both the Sun and Moon and therefore its exact timing is not synchronous with the Winter Solstice.

What is a miracle? Something that does not usually happen. Doctors today regularly bring the dead back to life, as in certain surgical operations where the body must be brought down to very low temperatures, and Google is not alone in believing that life can be extended indefinitely, achieving immortality. Arthur C. Clarke pointed out that sufficiently advanced technology will appear to be miraculous to those who have not grown used to that technology.

The existence of the universe is itself a miracle. Why should anything ever have come into existence? How can something come out of nothing? Logically, all that should ever have existed is nothingness. In our theory, and in Kabbalah, the great bootstrap operation of all time occurred when the Nothing (ain) became aware of itself (ain soph) at which point light streamed out in all directions from this point of self-awareness (ain soph aur). The Original Self, living through each of us, is The Nothing’s Imagination. (I wrote a book about this for my grandson Nicholas — look for The Nothing’s Imagination in 2014.)

Flow state is a miracle. Seeing other people seem to go into slow motion. Suddenly out of the blue knowing how a friend’s characteristic mannerism came into existence and having him validate it. The many synchronicities — odd seemingly-meaningful coincidences — that occur more frequently than would seem the result of random chance. My new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That! (coming soon), contains reports of some of the miracles I have witnessed.

This season celebrating the return of the light force is a time to reconsider the miraculous. Even though the universe I postulate is “just” extremely advanced technology — supremely advanced psychotechnology specifically — this does not vitiate the meaningfulness of having an attitude of awe and wonderment such as one holds toward the idea of miracle. It’s really a choice. Do you want to live your life with the childlike thrill you once had, alive in your life once more, or would you prefer to be blasé about existence, including your own?

It’s always your choice.

Happy Holidays! Celebrate the miraculous.

My best to you 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.