Tag Archives: you Are the Universe: Imagine That

Old Wounds Can Eventually Heal

Volume 4, Issue 25. Originally published September 4, 2014

Young Bill on stage with his dad Ned and mom Sandy in wingsThe year was 1954. My parents, whom I called Pop and Sandy at that time (later Ned was renamed “The Chief” by a Native American horn player in his band and I then switched from Pop), took me out to dinner in Manhattan, which I loved. (We lived in Brooklyn.) Gallaghe’s Steakhouse or perhaps it was Joe Marsh’s Candlelight Clurb, which isn’t there anymore. I had a steak. We had a terrific time. I was in a warm glow by the end of dinner when they revealed to me their secret purpose for me that night.

Joel Grey’s “Star Time Kids” was shot at the CBS studio around the corner and I was to be on live TV that night, in fact, right after dinner.

I went from cloud 9 to hell in one second flat. I couldn’t explain why the idea was out of the question, I was too upset to think clearly.

They had always gotten what they wanted out of me in terms of onstage performances. They inculcated in me from my earliest memories that I had been born in a trunk and there was no question of me not getting up there and doing whatever the act was at the time. I don’t remember ever putting up any resistance to it until the night in question, since resistance was futile. Nevertheless, suddenly I was in a situation where for reasons I could not even articulate to myself, this trouper was going to let the public down. “The show must go on” (years later my father said this with a choke in his voice, the night he went to the club the day Sandy died) but in my case the show would not go on.

They tried to compromise with me, first saying, “Okay, just sit in the peanut gallery and you won’t even have to say anything,” but I would not hear of it. The best they could do was to get me to peek in at the studio, hoping that I would relent at the last minute and show what a trouper I really was. But one look at the blinding battery of klieg lights was it. I had my fill, and we went home in a sad cloud.

Sandy tried to make us all feel better. She explained what had happened, saying, “Billy is a trouper. But he is a perfectionist and wants to prepare fully to give his best performance every time. This time we forgot that and thought it would be easier on him to not have him know about it until the last minute. It was our fault.”

Ned agreed she was right but it never made me feel any better. All my life, whenever I was having a bad moment for any reason, this was one of the regretful memories that I would beat myself up with once again.

Separately I wondered from time to time how my life might have been totally different if I had gone the other way that night.

***

One night I was dreaming that Lalita and I were at an advertising/media industry conference somewhere, not in NY. I would be speaking that night. We were meeting people before the conference. Yana, my editor (who puts in all these commas), would be joining us but was late as the conference was about to begin. At the last second she came running faster than I have ever seen her move, down the long empty corridor with a red face and a big smile.

The conference started and a gent got up and gave a tepid 5-minute opening remark. Then the MC — of all people, the late Ben Wallach, who had been the Athletic/Social Activities Director at the Hotel Brickman — called me to go on next.

In the dream I suddenly realized we had forgotten to bring the slides. I didn’t even know what the conference was about.

In previous dreams of this kind there was a hideous moment and then I would wake up.

This time was different. I realized I had no idea what I would say, but something in me felt perfectly willing to go up there and see what would come out of me. I started for the stage.

And then I woke up.

When I told the story to Lalita she said, “You woke yourself just in time to not have to experience making a fool of yourself.”

But it wasn’t like that at all. I woke up feeling exhilarated. I didn’t know exactly why at first. I knew I was pleased with myself for the total acceptance of the challenge that traditionally had been my Waterloo: being unprepared for public performance. I knew that the way I react in dreams is exactly what I would do in the future. I felt liberated, released.

Then it hit me: this was the erasure of the Star Time experience. Closure of that karma. Full circle. After a lifetime of disappointment in myself for how I’d handled that moment, I had redeemed myself. I am a trouper.

So what’s the point of my sharing this story? What do you, the reader, get out of it?

We all have deep wounds. Some are papered over by repression and some may be with us all the time. Whatever they are, if we take them out and look at them from time to time, and make it an active intention all our lives to become that which we hold as our own ideal self in real everyday life, inevitably in time — sometimes decades as in this case — we get there.

Best to all,

Bill

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Originally posted 2014-09-04 12:05:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Celebrating the Miraculous

Originally posted December 22, 2015

Today we celebrate The Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year, when the sun appears at its lowest altitude above the horizon and darkness abounds.

This winter solstice call forth the light and the love hidden in every heart

Winter Solstice has been celebrated with festivals of light since Neolithic times. 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.

Christmas has been the signature Winter Solstice celebration in the Western World for the past 2000 years.* Yeshua Ben Joseph (Hebrew equivalent to Jesus, son of Joseph), remembered as Jesus Christ, is whom Christmas is named after.

It is nearly impossible to think of Jesus without thinking of miracles.

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 everyday lives there are many synchronicities — odd seemingly-meaningful coincidences — that occur more frequently than would seem the result of random chance. My book You Are The Universe: Imagine That includes reports of some of the miracles I have witnessed.

What is a miracle? We seem to think a miracle is something that does not usually happen. This season, let’s create small miracles by treating others as we’d like to be treated, and practicing forgiveness, seeing how we may just as righteously be judged as we may have judged 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.

Jesus emphasized that even our thoughts count. “As a man thinketh so shall he be.” I believe our thoughts, feelings, intuitions and perceptions, in a closed feedback loop, influence what subsequently happens in the matter-energy timespace universe.

As we celebrate the return of the light force, let’s adopt an attitude of awe and wonderment and celebrate all the miraculous.

Happy Holidays!

My best to you all,
Bill

*The Jewish holiday of Chanukah celebrates the miracle of the oil lasting eight days although there was only enough barely for one day (160 BC). Since the actual timing of Chanukah each year is based on both the Sun and Moon, its exact timing is not synchronous with the Winter Solstice.

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Originally posted 2015-12-22 04:02:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Three Books with the Same Name

In April, 2014 my book You Are The Universe: Imagine That was published, but I held back from marketing it, awaiting a feeling of the right time. The Universe obviously saw no reason to wait to have Its coming-out party, thus stimulating the re-recognition among its many self-parts of Its One-Selfness.You Are the Universe by Bill Harvey

So this year the dean of positive nonfiction writers Deepak Chopra and leading light in physics Menas Kafatos published their version: You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters.

I discovered that Masami Saionji also published You Are the Universe in print in 2004 and as an ebook in 2014. (For that matter, my You Are The Universe came out to friends as The Theory of the Conscious Universe in 1976.)

These are three great books about exactly the same point. The same point that is made by all the original source books (e.g. the Vedas, Torah, I Ching, et al) from which modern religious texts have drawn. Underlying the material appearances is one consciousness at play. When a being becomes established in this perspective he or she enjoys life to the fullest, and is a fount of constructive encouragement to others. Helping as many people as possible to get into this headspace is what motivates writers such as ourselves to write and disseminate books like these.

It’s of course personally fascinating to me, to compare what my esteemed colleagues (what an honor to feel like in some way I’m in this group!) and I did differently in approaching delivery of the same message.

My friend the genius Chuck Young, inspired by Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking: Fast and Slow, analyzes and measures advertising based on its ability to get into three different long-term memory systems: thinking, feeling, and procedural. Thinking and feeling are processed in the cortex while procedural is processed in the cerebellum. The body can go through its motions by second nature even without a cortex.

Chuck might see my version of You Are The Universe (especially with its companion volume Mind Magic) as more procedural than the other two. Both of my nonfiction books are aimed at getting people to try things themselves and observe what happens, in their actual lives.

In a workshop with top officers of the U.S. military, I guided a meditation aimed at erasing all assumptions and using the senses to focus on what the individual was actually experiencing, for many minutes of silence. Trying to come at that experience as if for the first time, with no prejudgments, and observing without interpretation or naming. This is the shift one must make from the subconsciously-assumed materialism that is baked into us, in order to begin to realize that all we know exists for certain is our own consciousness. Making that shift based only on spiritual advice, or scientific theory/experimental findings, is very difficult. That’s why my version of YATU has mind experiments (and the companion volume is all mind experiments).

Another thing is different about my version. It explains in the lens of science exactly how conscious experience relates to the world of matter, in a way that anyone can understand and picture without the need for understanding advanced mathematics.

I recommend reading all three books, each comes at it from a different pov, and that itself is interesting. Also these three books with the same name are talking about the most important thing in life: What does it all mean?

When mainstream science gets the point of what we are saying in these books, it will be a bigger scientific renaissance than the world has seen.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post.

Here’s to the Protectors

Originally posted November 10, 2015

Monday is Memorial Day.

In Appreciation of the Warriors

Flashback to the 60s when certain protesters sometimes crossed the line to not only condemn the war but also the country itself with the moniker Amerika, sometimes substituting a swastika for the “k”. That deeply saddened me.

We all make mistakes and sometimes they are big ones. This is true not only for individuals but also for groups of people like protesters, countries, corporations, even well-meaning nonprofits and religious institutions.

But the ideals of the Founding Fathers are unique among the articles of constitution for each of the 190+ nations on Earth. The U.S. Constitution is our Mission statement and our collective vision still. Protecting these ideals and this country that seeks to embody and represent these ideals is still a sacred trust.

Those who are warriors for any free nation, especially if they take that role voluntarily, are at least in part moved by a high level of awareness of something greater than oneself, along with the urge to serve others. This can also be true of police officers, firefighters, doctors, and many in other service vocations. These individuals are not equally motivated by the idea of service and the will to protect, and their motivation can vary over time. When one is in that headspace and heart space, however, it is a form of Flow and thus attracts cosmic fire support.*

Most if not all of us would like to see a peaceful end to war, but this does not mean we should be unappreciative of the warriors who serve to protect our country and our ideals.

Here’s to the protectors. We still need you, and you deserve to be honored with our gratitude and deepest respect.

In that spirit, I’d like to share the lyrics to a song written by my friend Stan Satlin, who was inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass to write songs about the country he loves.

I Am an American – by Stan Satlin –  © 2011

I_am_an_American_original.mp3     

Audio: click arrow to play/pause

Chorus (repeats after each verse)
I am black and I am white, I’m yellow and brown

I am red white and blue, Yankee Doodle won’t you come to town
I am the whole wide planet, rolled into one
I am a citizen of the world, I am an American

Verse 1
I came from distant lands, to seek a better life

All I owned was on my back, by my side my wife
The work it wasn’t easy, in the factory and the farm
But hope in me grew stronger, like the muscle in my arm

Verse 2
As I sailed across the ocean I was told of gold in the streets

When I arrived I soon found out not everything was sweet
I built the road and cities, from the east coast to the west
I’ve been tricked and cheated, but the land is still the best

Verse 3
Some things are much better, some things still need change

I wish I could bring back some things, like buffalo on the range
I don’t want to be a master or servant of any man
I just want to go on living my life, doing the best I can


I’d also like to share this, to honor the symbol that inspires our warriors, Old Ragged Flag, as told by Johnny Cash:

Join me in celebrating America and remembering all the men and women who given their lives while serving, protecting and defending our country.

Best to all,

Bill

*This is according to my Theory of the Universe, which is explored more fully in You Are the Universe: Imagine That.

I will be offering an ARF webinar, How Advertising Works, on June 7 from 1 to 2 PM with Turner’s Adtech leader Larry Allen free for the ARF members. I will be deep diving into how Turner and RMT are already bringing creative into the Turner optimization of ROI for its advertisers. We’ll also be covering latest findings in the exciting work being done by Simmons, SMI and Spectrum in this new field of ROI total optimization. Hope you can join me!

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post.

Originally posted 2015-11-10 08:59:27. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Smell the Sweetness — Revisited

Originally posted October 27, 2015

Have the daring to do the risky thing - Bill Harvey

Annie was moving fast. She always moved fast. She did everything fast. She even laughed fast, and then quickly moved on to the next thing.

She whisked through the garden doing the necessary watering without noticing the sweet fragrance of new-mown grass and wildflowers. The softly scented breeze on her bare arms itself felt delicious and somehow combined into one thing with the scent. Faintly and unheard, a small inner voice related the moment to the song about a kiss you could build a dream on. The perfumed wind and quiet meditation could have been a winged heart dream, but all this was literally beneath her attention as Annie had things to do and if asked she would have said all her concentration was on getting the job done. There was some truth in that. She was intent on getting the tasks behind her, but not because there was good stuff ahead that she was eager to get to. And there was nothing like a state of concentration going on in her head.

Like so many of us, Annie’s mind was all over the place. It was not focused. Her movements were not based on a carefully-thought-out plan with clear priorities. She was just keeping up with the to-do list — in line with the pervasive tone of life in the Accelerolithic Era (aka Acceleritis). Most of us spend our time in this distracted state, which precludes Flow. There’s too much noisy messy input, with seemingly not enough time to process it.

Annie could be an artist. She is good with her hands and can envision a piece and create it. Doing that got her into the Flow state, where she did her best work — her gift to the world.

Making money at her art seemed like an idle fantasy judging from the toughness of the world, her surroundings and friends and the lives they all led. There was great beauty in her surroundings but the mood created by the difficulty of making enough money to live pleasurably without constant fear of money problems made that beauty literally invisible.

If Annie were hypnotized and asked patiently about why she is always moving so fast, eventually she would come to realize something she does not know: it is because she is always unconsciously striving to make money. Without knowing it, she feels that she will make more money by doing everything as fast as she can. She does odd jobs for friends and acquaintances, like working in a dress shop, washing cars, walking dogs, and landscaping, so there is some logic in that unconscious thought. However, in reality the fast motion causes a slowdown due to the need to fix things not done properly. Of course this also eventually causes her to not get as much work from her employers as she would if everything were always done rather than half-done.

One layer deeper she might realize that the quest to make money isn’t really because she wants to buy specific things so much as to please her partner and also to have other people be proud of her or realize that she is more capable than the way they have treated her.

Annie went on a hike one day and as the sun passed its zenith and the breeze began to be cold, she nevertheless remained bare-armed and slipped into that waking dream where she was uplifted out of Acceleritis-mode and into the Flow state and into what You Are The Universe calls “Soul-Level Two” — the bliss state, ananda. She was not moving fast. She was not under the dominance of any have-to-do compulsions. Her mind and body and every aspect of her were all lined up in the moment. There was no rush. She could see everything around her, hear it, smell it, enjoying the moment itself with nothing causing her to lose freedom or break the fast on motion.

This is the place all of us can live at every moment. And because we then give our finest performances at any beloved Game, we get paid more money for it. We cannot get there if we give up the inner drive to do a specific thing we love to do because it seems unrealistic, and instead settle into a mortgaged life of second-choice work that is steady and dependable. Like the hero or heroine in a movie, in real life we must pursue our highest calling: have the daring to do that seemingly extraordinarily risky thing.

Then we will smell the sweetness of Life. And because the Universe is us, if we actually do what we are uniquely designed to do so that we provide true value to others, the dreams will come true in the end as if by magic.

            Do what you like to do. You’re going to be doing it for a long time.                                                   — George Burns, while puffing cigar

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, “Program Environment Can Add +35% to +37% ROI Lift.”

Originally posted 2015-10-27 12:09:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Infusing Life with Meaning

Originally posted September 29, 2015

In the absence of knowing, I’ve found a way to arrive at decisions that works extremely well for me. I call it Game Theory.

With Game Theory, when I don’t know what the outcome will be, I list possible outcomes and then see which ones I like, and what end result I want to create. Then see if I can make decisions that will get me moving in one of those preferred directions.

How much meaning do I want to see in life, in my every day, second-to-second life? If I want there to be rich meaning abounding, then I can choose to use a lens that gives me that view — a lens that makes things more explainable and understandable.

For example, in terms of the nature of reality, there are really only two clusters of lenses to choose from. One says there is something like a God, and the other says there is nothing like a God.

Through the lenses that say there is something like a God, there may appear to be an abundance of meaning in our lives. In the other cluster of lenses, there may appear to be a dearth of meaning — much happens that makes no sense, nor do we expect it to make sense.

I was in this lens for many years. It came from being so impressed by science as a kid. I can testify that there are good things about this lens. For one thing, it makes us feel terrifically autonomous, as independent thinkers, since most of the world is viewing things from the other stance. It sometimes strips away so many considerations that we quickly look at situations and see the barest of elements, the quintessence. There is a certain minimalist “cleanliness” if not clarity to this view.

Emotionally, the lens of being alone in an unbenevolent universe can be toughening, allowing us to more easily become fatalistic and to shed many of our attachments. We don’t make assumptions but are very common sense and down to earth: very empirical. We don’t lean on illusions or faith or anyone else to define reality. All of which can be good.

Another viewpoint, which I have dubbed the “Something like God exists” lens, affords meaning to everything.

Imagine Everything is a gift from the universe.

If you yearn to have more meaning in your life, I suggest using this lens without believing it to be the truth or disbelieving it. This way, you will always see the meanings you ascribe as tentative, without becoming locked into them or attached to your view. You may also see a wealth of value in using this lens, imbuing more meaning in your life.

Pope Francis’ recent visit to the US offers a great example of the utility of wearing the “Something like God exists” lens. Regardless of the religious beliefs you hold (or not), it’s difficult at best to not acknowledge the palpable message of love, hope and caring for one another that emanated so powerfully from the Pope’s presence even more than from his words, which were also so beautifully spoken.

None of us, not even Pope Francis, really knows the meaning of life. It is all a wonderfully thrilling awesome unknown, which makes life interesting, mysterious-mystical, immense, awe-inspiring. Wouldn’t we be missing something if we did know everything?

Since God or a universal intelligence of some kind* cannot be ruled out, wearing the “Something like God exists” lens allows you to start seeing possible reasons why certain things have happened — as if the universe is trying to help you by putting certain training obstacles in your path. I call this noia — being the opposite of paranoia.

By seeing things as possible gifts from the universe even if they are not, and even if they don’t feel like gifts at the time, we gain some leverage from being able to see how to use the event constructively.

Best to all,

Bill

* For a deeper dive into universal intelligence, see my book You Are The Universe: Imagine That.

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post, Identifying the Ethical Limits of Persuasion in Advertising.

Originally posted 2015-09-29 09:45:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter