Tag Archives: Quantum Mechanics

Humanists May Not Be Using All of Their Powers

Volume 3, Issue 16

Humanism is a wonderful thing. As a teenager I came to the conclusion that people’s decisions reflect not only pragmatism and ethics but also one’s aesthetics. Based on all three sets of criteria, pragmatic (getting the job done), ethical (doing so with least harm and most gain to all), and aesthetic (delectation of the beauty of the solution as it unfolds), I loved Humanism.

I was still an atheist and worshipper of science at that point. The realization at age 12 that “I am God and so is everybody else” was still an unassimilated revelation in my mind, not integrated with everything else in there. (The word “God” turns a surprising number of people off and so I typically say “Universe” instead.) I had experienced the Conscious Universe but could not explain it logically to myself. Humanism was therefore to me the highest philosophy on the planet. I still love Humanism, but now see that the Conscious Universe perspective gives me more ability to achieve the aims of Humanism.

With the Conscious Universe, one is open to get creative solution ideas from events around oneself that would have no special meaning to a Humanist not open to the Conscious Universe. It is as if the Universe is trying to clue you into something. It goes right past you unless you are open to the possibility. I call this Noia, the suspicion that the universe is out to benefit you. This word popped into my head in the mid-70s and I’ve been using it ever since. In 2005 Rob Brezsny came out with a book Pronoia about the same idea.

Openness to the Noia-type event reveals that synchronicity is actually happening a heck of a lot more to each of us that we notice in our pre-Noia state. Noia is not the totality of why the Conscious Universe tends to lift time spent in Flow more than Humanism does. Noia is a subset of the use of intuition. Intuition is actually ESP (Extra Sensory Perception). Carl Jung listed intuition as one of the four functions of consciousness (intellect, feelings, and perception being the other three). To science, intuition is the sudden synthesis of an idea in our mind without the intervening steps that intellect would take, and as such the scientific definition does not link intuition to ESP. However, my sense is that the continuum of intuition starts at the lower end in the subconscious/autonomic mind simply putting ideas together for us, and moves up into drawing information from outside the local mind we call our own. The upper end of intuition is blocked if one’s worldview does not allow for it, and this is why the Conscious Universe is a useful theory linked to decision making.

Again, the Conscious Universe is put forth not only as a theory explaining the world including consciousness, the paranormal and Quantum Mechanics, but mainly as a useful lens for staying observant of second-to-second experience. Unlike religion there is no command to believe based on faith or authority or tradition. Instead the idea is to keep an open mind and not to lock oneself into Material Accidentalism, because if the Universe is Conscious (which, contrary to popular belief, Science has not ruled out) one is limiting one’s powers unnecessarily by taking a fixed action stance based on what turns out to be, ironically, faith in an anti-religion religion. Some have dubbed this anti-religion “scientism”, the layman’s mistaken belief that science has ruled out the possibility of an intelligence behind the universe (I usually refer to this as Materialist Accidentalism) — which by definition is a faith-based belief since there is no proof for its position.

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.

It’s Possible

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

On February 17, 2012, this blog is a year old, with this our 52nd post. In reviewing what we have attested to over the past 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 for a great year,

Bill
 

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


Of Genes, Memes and Phemes

John Wheeler’s saying “Its from Bits” means that physical objects are generated from information blueprints, which are a prior form of existence than the physical forms they create.

In other words, at the first foundation of reality our science is able to see, the primary substance from which everything is made is information. Not matter, not energy.

Science was already going there, if you look at the scientists leading up to Wheeler.

  • Einstein had reintroduced consciousness (implicitly not explicitly — he didn’t make a big issue out of it) when he made time relative to the observer. This injected the subjective back into what is objective reality in a materially tangible way. Our minds are also part of reality and seem to affect it “mysteriously” (in an “unbelievable” way) depending on the velocity at which we are moving.
  • Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle questioned whether we ever could know simultaneously the position and vector of an electron or any other object vibrating at wavelengths smaller than that of visible light. On a similar tack of the ultimate un-knowability of the universe arose the idea of a cloud of electrons in a probability shell rather than of actual physical electrons, thus also that virtual particles exist in potential if not yet in manifestation.
  • Then came the idea of a probability wave that collapses into a distinct reality only when contacted by the eye of an observer.
  • Quantum Mechanics (QM) in general, and the work around Bell’s Theorem in particular, seemed to be saying that distance may be an illusion, that wavicles spring up and disappear from a quantum foam of potentiality residing beneath the superstructure of matter/energy space/time reality as we know it. The theory of alternate universes arising from QM says there is no scientific reason not to believe that at every decision point in the path of observable history, alternative universes could easily also exist, taking that “road not taken ‘here’”.

Therefore every turning point in the recent history of physics has stripped away one more layer of that feeling of solidity we used to have in our idea of the universe.

Wheeler’s observation that bits of data are the underpinning of all of this we call the universe is actually a great simplifier and cohesifier of all that came before in science. Of course it is simplifying: if one type of substance, ideas in some sort of mathematical software code, otherwise known as information — “in formation”, a pattern that is not chaos (modern chaos theorists also see information in chaos) — this simplifies the discussion of string theory, quarks, and the rest of the complexity that has been emerging at the tiniest physical scale of scientific inquiry.

We have seen even from our own infant knowledge of how the universe works, and nascent technology based on this understanding, that within computers and electronic media we can create three-dimensional realities that change based on laws/programs and “random” number generators. If we are all in some sort of computer then it would seem easier to understand how the miraculous manifestations we see can possibly exist. Someone just spent a lot of time coding, that’s all. Perhaps whoever did it didn’t see time as a scarce quantity the way we do.

But how can information bits be the basis for reality, our mind automatically thinks/feels. What then do the information bits float around in? What is the basis on which they exist? Everything exists in some sort of medium, or container, its own petri dish. What about these supposed bits that Wheeler talks about — what do they move around in, what supports them?

My own cosmological Theory of the Conscious Universe (TOTCU) accepts Wheeler’s dictum based on my own intuition (I got there before reading him) and adds that the container in which these seed ideas are brewing into matter, the universe, is itself a biocomputer in the form of a consciousness, which explains how information bits can be the basic stuff of reality.

It’s common knowledge today that information bits are found in computers. We know that information is recorded/coded into brain cells because of the famous experiments of Wilder Penfield, who touched electrodes to specific parts of people’s exposed brains and the subjects (awake and in no pain) reported that certain vivid memories were being evoked at each spot in the brain touched, different memories in different locations.

The signals that the brain sends to the muscles must also be information. Signals are the communication of information.

The tropism that causes plants to orient to the Sun must be as a result of electrochemical signaling from one part of the plant to another. Again, information.

Wheeler and TOTCU go beyond this to postulate that matter itself is maintained by the information layer, which gives it instructions as to how to erect and sustain electron probability clouds around nuclei. And energy is the raw form of matter existing as radiating probability waves whose wavelength, frequency and amplitude instructions come from the layer of information hidden beneath the appearance of a physical universe that our sensorium presents to our consciousness.

Within our consciousness itself, we have feelings, thoughts, images, memories, perceptions, intuitions, kinesthetic sensations of our bodies — all of it information. In fact, consciousness unlike matter and energy is the only phenomenon we detect in the universe that is purely informational, without the appearance of anything else but the information itself. This is the primary clue from which intuitively springs my cosmology, TOTCU. If consciousness is pure information, and everything in the universe arises from information, then is it not possible that consciousness itself IS the information layer Wheeler speaks of?

Again, if information bits are floating around in our bodies and in everything we see, then how could the whole universe be other than some form of Tron-like computer? What else do we know of as a type of thing that can contain information bits?

And if a computer that contains within it a thing we call consciousness, such as among homo sapiens, such as you yourself have as a primary quality, namely again your consciousness, is it possible that the whole container in which this consciousness-thing (you and me) is/are living — might the whole container also have consciousness? Why would it not be possible? Then the consciousness underlying everything IS the information layer postulated by Wheeler. This is the essence of TOTCU.

Wheeler’s “Its from Bits” recapitulates a theme that is present at every level of the universe:

  • At the quantum level — the smallest bits of matter and energy, the land of wavicles and virtual particle probability clouds — Wheeler now tells us that if we could see down far enough we would see information bits that program the creation, sustenance, and action of the physical forms they create.
  • Earlier science had discovered that at slightly larger scales becoming visible to us, where we could detect genes, DNA and RNA programs living beings at the cellular level. One might see this as the DNA being the actual being itself, and the manifestations in physical form of that being as only its intimate habitation, like a snail has a shell.
  • Very recently the human race has conceptualized memes that are the operant DNA genes of idea movements across individuals, at the macro level.
  • One might speculate that a higher form of meme exists, the Word that existed at the beginning, at the cosmic level, the largest scale in which we can view everything at once. These phemes — memes creating phenomena downward from the cosmic level — would correspond to the Orders given by God (aka Universal Consciousness) to start the universe and/or sustain it and/or end it. Perhaps there was profound inspiration in the line “In the beginning was the Word”. And the Word was with the Original Consciousness, the primary basis of everything else, and from which everything else is made by means of a superhuman (i.e. beyond our capability) ability to self-program so as to deploy aspects of oneself into phemes creating the universe, and avatar creatures through which to enjoy the play of it all together. In other words, if there is a singular consciousness behind and throughout this universe we experience, and we ourselves are each a single consciousness experiencing this universe, is it not an obvious possibility that the original consciousness is looking out our eyes, playing through the playground IT created? With the further possible option on the part of the Original Consciousness of playing with the universe deus ex machina whenever it felt right to do so. These retrospectively obvious possibilities are given scientific credibility by Wheeler’s dictum that there is an information layer programming the whole universe and everything in it. Without Wheeler, our Theory of the Conscious Universe is purely intuition-based. With Wheeler, TOTCU is an orthodox scientific theory.

As Hermes Trismegistus used to say, “As above, so below”. The same arrangement ending up at every touchpoint level we can detect (quanta, cells, bodies, the universe) gives us firm ground for beginning to accept that we are seeing the way the universe designs itself — Its within Bits, as John Wheeler would say. From which we might dare speculate ahead of what we can measure, and drive our measurement tools toward being able to prove or disprove those speculations/hypotheses/intuitions.

Our Theory of the Conscious Universe (TOTCU), which combines information and consciousness, represents a synthesis of many strands of scientific research (relativity, quantum mechanics, extrasensory perception, psychobiology, cognitive psychology) into a single picture. The manuscript is currently being prepared for release to eReaders in 2012.

Because each of us experiences consciousness directly, this is a funny turnaround for science in a way. For centuries science moved away from introspection toward experiment. Introspective experiments continued in the science of the East, but little in the West. Now, through the external physics of relativity and quantum mechanics, we are led to a resolution of the universe as information existing within a grand biocomputer that is the sum of all of us and in all likelihood has its own perspective on the consciousness that it experiences.

The notion of having a positive relationship with the host of our creation seems as good an idea today as when primitive minds first conceived it. Why not capitalize Host? The universe is at once the most beautiful and impressive thing one can possibly imagine, and now that we know (because Its come from Bits) we must all be living in stuff that supports and works with and is all about information, what could that container be if not some form of computer? What is more like a computer than our own mind? Why cannot mind be the container then?

Just another thing to keep an open mind about.

Best to all,

Bill

Science Has Accepted Consciousness

We live at an exciting turning point in history. The first great turn has already occurred. Quantum Mechanics, the most successful theory in the history of science, has put the observer back into the picture of the universe collectively known as science.

Einstein started it with relativity theory, but Quantum Mechanics (QM) has institutionalized it.

At the moment, all this has really done is to cause a number of prominent physicists, the world’s most respected, to characterize the universe as consisting of not matter and energy but information (John Wheeler), thought (James Jeans), idea (Werner Heisenberg), and mind (Robert Wald). Gerald Schroeder, in his excellent book God According To God, provides a unique exegesis of the Bible to show that the ancients were on this same wavelength but lacked modern verbal thought tools.

Jeans expresses exactly what I have extrapolated further in the Theory of the Conscious Universe — a theory I have begun to excerpt in this blog since earlier this year — when he says “each individual consciousness ought to be compared to a brain-cell in a universal mind.”

So far this early trend has not fully played out through the scientific community, which continues to work in the same Acceleritis-infected, therefore fear-driven culture as you and I, dear reader. Individual scientists fear ridicule and loss of job opportunity just like the rest of us — except when individuals flash through the higher states of consciousness (observer state, Flow state) that quarantine the Acceleritis infection. In these higher states the high-end long tail of physicists such as Wheeler et al. emerge from the dark mental cloud and see the connections in all the bits swirling through their minds. They are able to bring back wisdom from those states and enlighten the rest of humanity by common language verbalization of what must be the truth based on all the evidence available to physicists today.

Just the other day the latest Nobel Prize-winning physicists Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Reiss won that prize by discovering that the universe expansion is accelerating as a result of dark matter further out attracting it from all directions. This overturns the widely held theory that the universe would reach a point where the Big Bang driven expansion would be tethered by gravity and would then fall back to an eventual Big Crunch, perhaps triggering another Big Bang.

An infinitely expanding universe is quite consistent with the modern Big Idea that “consciousness is fundamental” (Jeans). Also, just what is that “dark matter” that apparently constitutes 95% of the mass/gravity of the universe? Is it really matter at all or something else that has mass and therefore gravity? The previous concept of an expanding-contracting universe is closer to a mechanistic thermodynamic gas balloon model. We shall see where this all goes.

Physics continues to blow its own mind on a regular basis.

While this is going on, there is a culture around this physics cadre that continues to act as if the universe is purely materialistic, a picture that is decades if not a century behind the front edge of science.

The accelerating flood of distractive information around us each day also continues, creating forever-unanswered questions in our minds. The latest stat from Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner is that “the data equivalent to the total volume of information created from the beginning of human civilization until 2003 can now be generated in the space of just two days.” This Acceleritis condition is a strong shaper of the way our minds operate. Unless we employ psychic shielding techniques, such as in my book, it carries us along in a reactive state, not autonomous but believing that we are.

The state we are in leaves us very vulnerable when we lose a loved one.

In our gut we have a strong assumption that we shall never be in contact with these individuals again. Anything else seems beyond naïve and foolish. We are lacerated with pain, from which some of us never recover.

The last 15 years of my father’s life gave me an opportunity to get to know him in ways that I treasure. Before that I was a child and in awe of him. He was a celebrity in the world of New York showbiz and to other celebs known worldwide, whom I met in brief bright moments in the photo album of my life.

My first word that he had died was over the phone from the stage manager at the Concord where Ned (my father) was the orchestra leader, MC, and exec in charge of both bands. I was in a phone booth in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm.

I trudged back to the car with a desolate feeling about my own life. It was going to be flat and empty, of no value, going through the motions. “Why did it have to be now?” I heard myself ask him, “I wanted you and Sandy to see me make it.” Sandy was my mother, who had passed away years earlier. I had just returned to New York after living in California for two years and was at a trough in my career.

“Sandy and I can see you fine from up here. We’ll be waiting in the wings when you get off.”  I heard his voice — it was his voice — clearly say this in my mind. My mind flashed to a picture of Ned and me performing together onstage, with Sandy just barely visible in the wings stage left. While I was still stunned he said “Take care of Nat.”  Nat was his brother, who has more recently passed away. This surprised me, came out of nowhere — my mind flashed to other people he had not said to take care of. Then I thought perhaps he figured they could take care of themselves.

My mind has gone back to this and other strange incidents in my life which do not fit in a materialistic universe. This was the impetus for the Theory of the Conscious Universe, in which I attempt to fit together all of the evidence, the licit and heretofore illicit, the common experiences we all share, and the cutting edge of physics. The theory will be published as a book.

At Ned’s funeral I was asked to say a few words to the hard-bitten, cynical showbiz crowd. Most of them had not seen me since I was a child and therefore all of them called me Billy. Ned, Sandy and Billy were our names all through my childhood until people started to call Ned “Chief”.

“We come into this life, we know not from where,” I said. “Where we go when we leave, in fact, nobody really knows. We assume it’s all over.” I told them what the Chief had said in my mind, and then offered this explanation: “Science says that nothing in the universe can either be created or destroyed, it can only be changed into something else, some other form. Matter and energy are both conserved. If Nature considers both matter and energy important enough to conserve, why wouldn’t Nature also conserve consciousness, which has to be much more important than mere matter and energy?”

Standing by the grave, Morty Gunty — a comedian well-known within the community and whom had been given his chance by Ned, as so many performers had — edged closer and said to me, “You know your remarks… were really great.” In the manner of saying that he liked my act, which is not a bad thing, since it’s all showbiz.

Our own consciousness can change. We can change our acts. We can be in control of our minds and our emotions without becoming heartless unfeeling creatures. We can open our minds to the possibility that our consciousness in some form will be conserved. Just be open to that possibility. Don’t believe anything you can’t prove experientially. This includes not believing in permanent death, since it has never been proven either. Keep an open mind.

Aside from the heartbreak and depression emanating from loss of loved ones, there is another reason to keep an open mind about death.

We ourselves lead lives that can slip into a form of craven fear. It is a mood brought about by the belief in the unproven superstition that death is permanent — it may or may not be. There is no evidence either way. Zero evidence. Zero.

Add Acceleritis to the belief in death and you have a cocktail of mind poisons guaranteed to impel you into a life of hidden background fear at all times. Money worries are just an extension of that insecurity about security. All worries and concerns about reputation, image, standing in your community, not taking chances, not just letting yourself have fun, not saying what’s in your heart spontaneously but putting up the proper façade — all of that has death belief at its core.

What’s important is enjoying every moment, now. When you look back in the end — whether it’s a permanent end or a temporary one — it will be the enjoyment moments you’ll count up as what you got out of this life. Enjoy all of them then. Enjoy the getting to wherever you’re going.

I predict that someday science will empirically prove that consciousness is conserved. Just like matter and energy. Why wouldn’t it be, if it is the fundamental stuff of which matter and energy are built, as stated by the great physicists of our time? When that day comes, if not before, we can all shed our death belief and get on with living life to its fullest.

Best to all,

Bill

Re-Imagine Your Life with Fewer Constraints

Featuring two Mind Movies

What if you suddenly had more freedom? You could do whatever you wanted to do. What would you do? Before continuing to read, take a moment and jot down a few quick notes as you ponder this question.

Read on, and you will get one major step closer to that freedom in the next few minutes.

Now, take a look at what you wrote down (or thought about, if you didn’t actually write anything). This is supposedly what you really want out of life.

Is it? Is what you wrote/thought really what would make you the happiest?

If the answer is anything but a resounding YES!, then perhaps you have not been fully honest with yourself in the past, and perhaps your biggest current plans in life are still, deep down, something that you are settling for, because you believe you cannot have what you really want.

What would your ideal life actually be? Drop all constraints in your thinking — the question is not what might be realistic but rather what is the ideal, unconstrained and unrestricted.

Every moment we face choices. When we make these choices it is always in the context of our options. But we don’t consider all of our options. Therefore we make some choices that might be okay but without realizing it we just threw away a choice that could have been superb. A choice we didn’t even know we had.

Why don’t we consider all of our options? Hidden assumptions keep us from even posting those options on the bulletin board of our minds. We don’t have sufficient insight into our own thought process to even suspect that we only consider the options we think might actually be do-able — just a small proportion of our real options.

And by restricting our thinking to what we at the moment think is do-able for us, we are leaving out too much.

First of all we might discover that something has changed so what was unrealistic before is realistic now. But more importantly, unless we start from the ideal, we will never fully understand ourselves and so cannot be creative in bridging the gaps to get to the ideal. Settling for a “good enough” scenario, whether for our lives, or for our company, or for any situation, is not the way to generate creative thinking. The real value of the ideal is that it always generates creative thinking because achieving it seems out of reach.

Creative thinking is valuable because, even if it doesn’t always get you to the ideal, it gets you closer than if you just exclude the ideal from the beginning of your thought process.

We are operating within self-imposed constraints. We have been told so many things are impossible and advised to not aim so high because we will be heartbroken when we fail.

We also live in a reductionist culture that tends to lop off possibilities from our thinking —this would not normally occur to us, because reductionism is so ingrained in all of us. You might have a hunch taking a certain path could get you exactly what you want, but the reductionist culture says hunches are irrelevant, so the hunch gets left out of your set of alternatives. However, your hunch might have been right, and you might have just thrown away your biggest chance in life.

Hunches should not be thrown out. Include them in the list of possibilities you consider when facing an important choice.

From time to time in these postings we bring you summary insight into one new method for optimizing performance for you and your team — bringing you first into the Observer state and then into the Zone. We write these postings in hopes of directly lifting the probabilities that the largest number of people spend as much time as possible in the Observer state and Flow state (the Zone). We hope also to move more people to read our book, which contains much more than summary insight, including detailed instructions for spending more time in the Observer state and Flow state.

Recently we have brought you summary insight into the mood of optimization, negativity controls, and the power of respect. Today we are talking about the power of imagination.

Most of the population most of the time is in a mental state that has all but shut down the imagination. We have dubbed this state EOP, for Emergency Oversimplification Procedure. It’s what happens when there is an information overload. All parts of consciousness are negatively affected, none worse than the imagination.

Relaxation would be most conducive to imagination, but unfortunately Acceleritis — the acceleration of the global information overload — produces stress not relaxation. This robs mental energy needed to propel imagination, limits the perceived time to do something so seemingly impractical as using our imagination, and creates a mood that blocks imagination by focusing on a list of must-do’s under time pressure.

But even worse than any of these limitations, even when we give ourselves time and let our imaginations run free, our imaginations have been constrained for so long by a reductionist culture that we don’t even realize has stunted our assumptions about reality.

We find it hard to imagine things that quantum mechanics has already proven do exist. In our gut, even if we go to church, we may feel strongly that God is just wishful thinking and superstition, yet we may not realize that God could be something different than what religion teaches — something more than what religion teaches. A universe that requires an observer — the universe we live in, according to quantum mechanics and relativity — could have an original observer that came before all other observers. As soon as we realize this, the question of whether in fact God exists becomes a completely different conversation. Who was the original observer?

Our imaginations fail again to keep up with latest science in being unable to conceive of consciousness as just as primary as matter or more so — which is true in the universe we live in, according to quantum mechanics, relativity, string theory, multiverse theory, and the latest scientific findings regarding extrasensory perception.

In a universe in which the observer is mathematically impossible to remove from the scientific picture, all of our materialistic assumptions about our personal identity, the existence of God, whether death is the end of consciousness, become equal to superstition in the degree to which they are unproven and unscientific.

It is time to live life with a conscious awareness that we do not know the truth about any of these subjects — that anything is possible, and our actions second-by-second need to factor in more possibilities than we ever imagined.

The fact that we would like one set of realities more than another does not automatically mean that the one we like is impossible.

Science today is in fact beginning to lean toward hypotheses conjecturing that by liking one reality we help create it. The mind does appear to be able to modify probabilities.

Some of what we think is impossible is probably not impossible. It’s time to loosen the assumption machine up and see how this changes things. It’s time to re-open our minds to the existence of all possibilities — just as science now has.

Stop saying “No” when you imagine possibilities, even if you do this just as an experiment.

Let’s try two experiments right now. We have opened up our minds together. Now without shutting down again let’s co-produce two Mind Movies.

Einstein rocked the world with his mind experiments. We like to use our Mind Movies in much the same way but on a more personal, less cosmological level.

First, the movie of your life. Get comfortable, remove any sense of time pressure, and imagine the rest of your life as a movie playing out from where you are now to where you would love to be. What are the little successes that add up one-by-one to take you to your ideal state?

Jot down a few quick notes of what you discover. Might be a few workable ideas in there that you can turn into reality.

Now, let’s write the movie of the world. Get comfortable again, free yourself of time pressure, and see a movie of how the world moves step-by-step from where it is now to a perpetual paradise — what steps do you see happening in the ideal world?

Jot down some quick notes again.

This exercise can be used when planning for your company. One clue is to look at competitors in terms of what they do best and what your company does best, and see which companies besides yours could continue to thrive by counterspecialization, without limiting your success. What bold or subtle moves could you make that would push the situation so that competitors would get the idea to follow specializations that are different from yours? How could you use coopetition* to bring about a counterspecialized situation that leaves room for more competitors to be successful?

This movie-of-the-ideal-outcome exercise can be applied to interpersonal situations or to pretty much anything. Our ability to stretch our imaginations is surprisingly resilient and can spring back very quickly despite decades of neglect.

All we have to do is let ourselves imagine the ideal.

Here’s a relevant selection from our book Freeing Creative Effectiveness.

Best to all,

Bill

* Coopetition refers to companies that compete finding ways to work together in specific areas.

One of the Greatest Mind Stretchers

      1. Before Abraham - by Stan Satlin - © 2011
     Audio: click arrow to play/pause

Every now and then I am tapped to give a workshop to a group of sufficient strategic importance that I cannot refuse. Although I am there to tell them about THEI (the Human Effectiveness Institute), they usually tell me they have sought me out to start them off in some far-reaching planning cycle by simply helping them to first stretch their minds. They see me as a provoker of out-of-the-box thinking. I’m grateful for the opportunities this perception provides to disseminate THEI techniques conducive to higher performance.

In recent posts we have been stretching our minds by considering the possibility that the original spark of consciousness in the Universe is what each of us experiences as our own sense of self. In the preceding post we offered a sample from our book to leverage this stretching into the removal of biases in our thought patterns and in the language we use based on the hidden assumption that matter is the supreme substance of the universe.

These biases come from our senses, which detect matter through the medium of energy interactions between our matter molecules and those of other matter molecules. In recent posts we have also worked to counteract these biases by focusing on the fact that it is only our consciousness, our sense of self, our experiencing of information that we detect directly, and can therefore say we “know”. Our sensory information comes to us through abstract hookups and translations of one thing into another, i.e. coded information that can be presented any number of ways. We do not “know” through our eyes as well as we know that we exist as a self even in a sensory deprivation tank.

These biases are magnified by Acceleritis, the accelerating information overload that has outstripped our processing capacity except when we successfully use psychotechnology — the output of THEI and others practiced in the art, notably the advanced yogis, classic philosophers, religion founders, the writers of the literature of sages, and the synthesizers of this material via their esoteric schools such as Arica, Insight Meditation, Freemasons, et al. All of these people have tried to condense and pass along psychotechnology techniques conducive to shifting an individual’s consciousness into flow state, aka the Zone; this too is THEI’s raison d’etre.

In this post we will pass along one of the most mind stretching and mind bending exercises, one that must have existed before written language, because some of the very first things ever written down related to this exercise.

Except that those who first thunk it, and those who wind up thinking about it today, do not see it as an exercise, but rather as a stream of thought that suddenly turns a weird corner. Here’s how it happens. I promise you your mind will be stretched. How you use the extra limbering is up to you — we hope you will leverage it for something important to you.

It starts with thinking about the universe — whatever the individual knows or feels intuitively about the universe — stars, galaxies, the Big Bang. The next thought is usually “What was there before the Big Bang?”

This thought in itself is a mind stretcher. The imagination fires up a few cylinders and takes a crack at coming up with an answer. Before reading further we suggest you mentally go off by yourself and see what answer(s) your mind comes up with for the question “What was there before the Big Bang?”

 

Hope you enjoyed that. Quantum Mechanics (QM) and Relativity have today evolved to having a point of view about the answer to this question. Today the perspective is that fluctuations in quantum possibility caused the Big Bang. That presupposes that quantum possibility existed all along but in a state of equilibrium until these supposed fluctuations took place without a cause i.e. randomly, which raises the question “What created the quantum possibility?” Not to mention “What the heck is quantum possibility?”

In fact quantum possibility is simply the old metaphysical concept of “possibility” with the word “quantum” in front of it to make it sound scientifically respectable.

The ancient saying “Out of Nothing, Nothing Comes” reflects the human intuition that there is no free lunch. It also means that something cannot come out of nothing, because that would just mean the something was there in the nothing all along, but hiding.

So it is also possible that the universe could have in the beginning been simple nothingness, without even quantum foam, today’s term for the aether i.e. the spatiotemporal matrix as it exists before you count anything that is in it. In fact, isn’t it much more logical that nothing should have ever existed? After all, where would something have come from?

The human intuition is biased toward including time in every picture — time which QM says does not actually exist out of the context of an observer’s consciousness — and is therefore not a constant something in itself but is different for different observers. Yet we insist on intuiting with time in the picture. This makes us think “There must have been some beginning, but what was there before that, and what started time?”

The other way of thinking, without the bias toward including time, is that everything is already in every state it will ever be in, at once, i.e. all of time is condensed into a single frame in the consciousness of the universe. Thus there was no beginning, no something coming out of nothing, because what has always existed is this single master consciousness, existing in its own view within a single instant of its own time.

This could be Its motivation in creating its little selves like us who can scoot around in a series of instants and have a rollercoaster ride unlike any other route through the game that any other created little self has ever traveled before. Thus there can be an infinity of experienced information within the one instant.

Going back to the time-based way of thinking, if there ever had been Nothing, could anything have come out of it? An emergent characteristic of the Nothing?

If Possibility is a real thing then Possibility could have co-existed with the Nothing, because Possibility is not a something, it is just a possibility of a something. But are these mere words without real referents, i.e. for things that actually exist?

“Nothing should ever have existed” is a permanent perception of one part of my mind, the part that thinks in terms of there being a beginning — which most of me doubts. It is comforting that we do not know everything, yet some day we might learn the real answers to these incredibly important questions in understanding who and what we are.

Nothing should ever have existed — that’s like saying “They gave a universe and nobody came.” It just seems improbable that anything could exist since how could the universe start out in any condition other than Nothingness? Nothingness seems to have to be the rest state — the starting condition — doesn’t it?

Thinking this way the ancient Kabalists saw the universe being formed in three steps:

  1. Ain — Nothingness
  2. Ain Soph — the Nothingness becomes self-aware forming a singularity in space (first Kether)
  3. Ain Soph Aur — endless light begins to stream from the singularity in space

I wrote a book for my grandson Nicholas David called The Nothing’s Imagination based on this premise: the active cause for the bootstrap operation by which Nothing gave birth to Everything was the imagination of the conscious Nothingness.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a little mind stretching contemplation of the virtual beginning of everything. If your mind feels different, please do something creative and fulfilling right now, or as soon as you can.

From now on we will start each post by stating the intended benefit of the psychotechnology in that post, as we did here.

Best to all,

Bill