Category Archives: Consciousness

Feeling Happy

Created March 19, 2021

The Pursuit of Happiness. It’s one of our inalienable rights.

But do we exercise it enough?

What percent of our thoughts does happiness get?

Before Covid, probably our own happiness did not get much of our attention at all on the average day.

Since Covid, I hear from my friends that the constant video calls are keeping them busier than ever, and I’m certainly experiencing that myself. That might mean that we are giving even less thought to happiness, our own and that of others.

Those of us on the front lines, still moving around outside the home, may have even less time to self-contemplate. Although there are times in everyone’s day that can be stolen moments, when the priorities are remembered.

The trick is not just to remember to think creatively about how to make oneself and others happy. It’s also, even more importantly, to simply remember to be happy.

Not that we all can turn that off and on like a switch. Most of us have little talent for switching over to being happy. But with practice, like with everything, it actually is something that all of us can learn to do.

The way it works with me is:

  1. First, I create a minute or two of alone space. No one can interrupt or distract me. That may require slipping away and locking oneself in a bathroom.
  2. Long slow breaths help establish a certain calmness.
  3. I’m prepared to take notes with pad and pen in pocket. Just in case I get a flow of inspiration.
  4. Am I happy? If not, why not, what activity can I undertake when I rejoin the world that I’d rather be doing, and can I put off what else I’ve been doing, and if so, to when? I’ve written here before about the importance of working on what you feel like working on at the moment – it’s conducive to Flow state, on top of making yourself happy.
  5. I put on a smile to help others and leave my hideout.

You might find other ways to switch yourself to the happy channel. If there are seriously painful things going on, that’s a whole different situation. Still requiring creativity, alone space to focus. The only constructive question is always What can I do about it? You can’t control the outcome of certain painful situations but you can identify where you can exert creative effort to make a positive difference. Sometimes the only thing you can control is the impression you make on others, showing how a mensch can stand up to anything, supporting others, still able to have an apropos type of smile on your face, calm and working toward the good every moment.

All of us can be refreshed and reinvigorated by a daily dose of a few minutes’ contemplation on our happiness. Or the whole day, it’s the one thing worth double-tasking. While you go about your day, remember that you are responsible to yourself to enjoy every moment of the gift of life.

Bring able to keep that criterion within every moment is one of the most important priorities of life.

It might seem selfish but on a practical basis it is not. Your being happy will actually make people around you happier than they would be if you are unhappy instead.

All my best,

Bill

Don’t Fight Yourself

You may not realize it but sometimes you fight yourself. You are desirous of one type of outcome but your actions force you to the opposite outcome.

This is caused by mental-emotional processes that are built in.

How do you know when you are doing this to yourself?

One sure sign is negativity.

Negative emotions are a dead giveaway that you are fighting yourself. You want something very badly and your actions are going to work towards denying you that outcome.

The negativity is impossible to fully hide even if you are a great actor. And when the other person senses your negativity, they are less likely to be persuaded by whatever you say.

Negativity lowers your effectiveness. You are picturing yourself failing and that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There is one sense in which negative emotions are a useful tool. Like an alarm clock, they wake you up to a problem needing to be addressed. Just like an alarm clock, to be at your best and most effective, you turn off the alarm before doing anything else.

However, most people find it is virtually impossible to turn off their negative emotions.

Chapter 11 of MIND MAGIC (free links during the pandemic) provides a battery of tools which can enable you to turn off negative emotions, while getting down to creative solution thinking, that will aid you in whatever your outcome quest happens to be at the time.

The first thing to do is to understand where and why you are experiencing negative emotions.

The easiest case is fear. It will be fairly easy to figure out what you are afraid of.

Anger is another type of negative emotion that is a little more difficult to diagnose in terms of the cause. But the secret is to ask yourself what you are afraid of losing or not getting that is making you mad. Anger is always the result of fear of loss of something you have or are trying to get.

Depression or disheartenment are the most difficult types of negative emotions to figure out the cause of. If you feel a dull vague sense of negative emotion it could take a while to determine the cause.

Your feelings might be hurt. You could be frustrated at how long some things are taking. It could simply be the aftereffects of a bad dream.

When it takes more than a couple of minutes to see the cause of your negative emotions, the best approach is to stop trying to figure it out, and to take a break from work, get into an alone space (outdoors in nature is the best), and just goof off. Yoga or meditation would be ideal if you do those things. Otherwise goofing off is a perfectly acceptable proxy. Goofing off is very close to meditation. The main point when you don’t know why you are sulking, is to stop trying to get through your TO-DO LIST. Goofing off is a wonderful cure, because it allows the subconscious mind to send you messages. Ones which would almost never get through while you are enmeshed in your TO-DO LIST.

Once you find out the cause, then a useful tool is drawing schematics of action options, circles with captions indicating what they represent, and arrows indicating what you are feeling the cause and effect relationships would be if you took those actions. Keep going until you feel that you have a plan and a sense of inner clarity.

There is much more useful technique in the chapter at the link above. Here’s a sample:

Transform worries into tasks

by distinguishing

the variables you can control

from the variables you cannot control;

then set out to control the former variables

and essentially ignore the latter variables.

Worrying is negative input

once you have identified the controllable variables

and have set yourself to controlling them.

Worrying under such conditions

implies that you should concern yourself

with phenomena beyond your control;

such concern is misplaced,

since you will always have quite enough to think about

as regards phenomena that are under your control.

That which is beyond your control

is not your responsibility;

whatever happens that is beyond your control

can only be accepted as necessary.

Wishing you alignment with yourself and the much-admired capability to keep on smiling through whatever life throws at you.

All my best,

Bill

Identify With The Wisest Voice In Your Mind

Created February 19th, 2021

The average person is controlled by their own mind. This might seem like a very good thing, if we interpret it to mean that the average person acts autonomously, guided solely by their own independent view of things.

Unfortunately, the ruminations of words, images, feelings, and action impulses that we experience as our minds, does not typically represent our own viewpoint, but a mélange of viewpoints that we have been washed in for a very long time, which have worked out their own dissonant coexistence with each other in our memory banks.

In order to get from there to autonomy requires careful weighing of all of what we think we know or believe. That is a wonderful process. Most people succeed in avoiding it all their lives.

And so, the typical mind rambles on, being taken ultra-seriously by its owner. Often it causes us to do something we regret. Sometimes it can literally drive us crazy. All too frequently it exercises its power to make us feel bad, in the midst of a day which could otherwise make us very happy.

When one introspects with concentration, avoiding hasty closure, this brings on a state I call the Observer state. From this state one is able to discriminate between valuable thoughts and counterproductive ones. By filtering the stream, one is panning for gold, and is no longer a slave totally controlled by the inner wordstream.

In MIND MAGIC, Chapter 9 “Disidentifying With The Thought Senate” is filled with phrases that help bring on and maintain the Observer state during introspection and when in action, specifically by remembering the subordinate role of the talking-to-oneself mind and the sovereignty of the generally-upspeaking self who is the observer, the one who experiences.

The chapter starts out:

Visualize the mechanism

which sends you verbal thought messages

not as one speaker,

but as a vast senate of many different speakers.

Each experience you have had

creates a separate viewpoint

from which comments may be made.

Therefore, the first step to take

in analyzing any thought sent to you,

is to determine who is speaking:

which set of experiences that you have had

is expressing its viewpoint to you?

Do not identify with your thoughts. 

You are not the thinker of the thoughts;

 

you are the hearer of the thoughts.

 

The thinker of your thoughts

is a subsidiary mechanism within you,

which attempts to put some of your feelings

into words;

you must then assess the way you feel about these words.

Not looking at the matter this way,

most individuals tend to identify themselves

as the author of the words in their head,

and consequently are biased in favor

of believing and defending these thoughts

In fact, each thought you have

is merely a trial balloon,

a draft from your speechwriter

sent to you

so that you can decide whether you agree or disagree

In many cases, you will realize

that the speaker of the last thought sent to you

is representing the viewpoint

of some other individual(s) you have known,

often in the exact words and tone of voice

used by these other individuals.

Obviously, accepting such viewpoints as your own

would be submitting to mental slavery.

Yet this is precisely what most individuals do,

by identifying with their thoughts.

After you have identified the last speaker,

engage him or her in a dialog

in which you ask the speaker to defend his or her position

by asking the speaker specific questions

which illuminate possible flaws in his or her position.

In this way,

you will always be questioning your own last thought

in a search for objective truth,

 

separated from the conditioning effects

of your experience

and from the influence

of communications you have received.

The links above provide the whole chapter and the whole book respectively, free during the pandemic.

Recently I was excited to read an article about a psychologist and neuroscientist Ethan Kross, who is developing ways of advising people how to deal with their inner dialogue.

It’s interesting to compare one’s own work to the work of others taking different routes up the mountain. Ethan whose work I respect and appreciate is not distinguishing the different voices in our mind, many coming from ego, the AI, and some precious few coming from The Me That Was Born.

My theory is that we have an unerring compass within us, our highest self, that which came into this world, that says very little in our mind, but when it speaks, what it says has the ring of truth, and turns out to work in the real world. Such events of inspiration occur in the Flow state, where the organism is functioning optimally, a state even higher than the Observer state.

My experiences with Flow and Observer states, as well as spiritual and ESP experiences, form the difference between my work and that of most mainstream psychologists and neuroscientists. I’m glad that as a chorus we psychologists and introspectionists of all kinds are focusing more on where the real leverage to save the human race lives: our individual inner lives.

We live in challenging times. It’s up to each of us to help pull us through and bring us to our highest positive potentials. Whatever works for you, use it. Test my advice, test the advice of others, seek your own inner wisdom most of all. But follow that which works for you in the real world, which makes you and the people around you happy.

One way or the other, it’s undeniable that now is the time to strengthen your self and your mind and body in all the ways that you can. We have chosen leaders who have taken us down paths which are not going to be so easy to switch out of, even with new and better leaders we have now. The one family we were coming out of WWII, the free peoples of Earth, those who believed in Democracy, somehow have of their own choice taken us back into a world in which force and threat rule. It will affect each of us. We have to be our best, better than we ever were.

You can do it. We will do it.

Best to all,

Bill

 

Improving Personal Timing Is the Lowest Hanging Fruit

Created February 11, 2021

Sometime between 600 BC and 400 BC, Lao Tzu advised “In action, watch the timing”.

Sometime between age 4 and age 6, a showbiz celebrity advised me after seeing my act “Timing is everything”. During my teen years operating the spotlight for shows at Hotel Brickman I carefully observed how the greatest acts used timing. It was almost imperceptible. Later I read that science refers to micromomentary gestures as part of how we subliminally communicate with each other. Those little gestures are all wrapped up in timing too.

Jack Carter hit the mic twice with his ring before each punchline. Except when he went into Flow (he called it “being on”) which was most of the time he was on stage. I asked about the ring thing and he said it used to be his way of managing his timing and now it was just an old friend.

As a society, the left and right political classification scheme reflects different attitudes toward how quickly to move from good things we have already created, into new things that impassion their creators and could be even better things than the ones we have now. That is a timing issue.

Most of us wish the vaccines could move faster to our arms. Another kind of timing issue.

I’m actually referring to each of us as individuals and the way we use timing in our lives. Sometimes we move too fast – and then make mistakes and everything we were trying to speed up just got slowed down. Sometimes we move too slowly – such as after recognizing our own mistake – but every moment is different and there are only a small set of minimalist rules to help you regulate the speed you are attempting to go at, at the moment. These clues comprise Chapter 8 of MIND MAGIC – free during the pandemic.

The chapter starts with an exercise the reader performs in the moment while interacting with that page. The exercise brings on a different state of consciousness which most readers who write say they find intriguing and different from their normal introspective experiences.

“Act only when you decide

That the loss in value associated with delay

Is probably greater

Than the gain in value associated with thinking further

About the motives, possible consequences,

And alternatives to such action.

 

Start now.

Do not move any part of your body

From the position it is now in.

Regard any such movement

As an action to be evaluated prior to action.”

 

The chapter spends some time diagnosing why you may be rushing. Fear is usually involved but one is not conscious of the fear, but rather projects it as righteous duty and keeping agreements and not letting down the team or the CEO.

In all cases it pays to stop the clock and block out all distractions and focus on the stuff that’s got to get done, what the real priorities are, and reschedule a lot of it, then focus on the one lowest hanging most pressing fruit that will do the most good at the moment.

The chapter suggests that the voices and feelings which take us over and get us to rush out of subliminal fear, are actually AI remnants of the conditioning we received as we were growing up. “AI” is a metaphor of course, we are natural creatures, not artificial in that sense. But the robotical part of the mind which I associate with Ego as defined by Freud acts just like all those “helpful” popup suggestions on our screens and keeps us out of the Flow state.

You will only get into the Flow state if you can immerse yourself in one task at a time and do it for the enjoyment of doing it well. If you don’t get into the Flow state the work you will be giving your client or employer will not be at the genius level. Why do it then?

The same with what you give your loved ones and friends and people you meet. If you are going to be driven like a stampeding animal by remnant feelings and voices in your head, without becoming self-aware and the master of your self, the potential joy you could bring to those people will be sharply reduced.

If you happen to be in government, please stay there, we need you! Of all people you should know how to help yourself get into the zone.

I’m saying it’s possible for each of us to be geniuses. Artists. Philosophers, Renaissance People. We each have that potential within us and it isn’t miles away. It starts with a few simple rules and then you start to get your own inspirations.

It’s not only possible, it’s necessary. The human race is being severely challenged. It’s a special time. We must rise to the occasion, like WWII but more so. Back then you had to have a liberty garden and do the right thing to pitch in and win the war. Now you have to train yourself to be able to give your best 24/7.

Take the course. It’s free during the pandemic. If you don’t like it, you wasted 5 minutes. But I suspect you’ll spend more time with it and thank me.

We all need this. Let’s do it.

Best to all,

Bill

My 2019 Scifi Novel Coming True in the South China Sea?

Created February 7, 2021

Let’s hope not. PANDEMONIUM: LIVE TO ALL DEVICES depicts one of the downside scenarios. It’s our job to steer into one of the upside scenarios.

My career-long friend Norm Hecht just sent me this news story about China creating new laws making it legal for her to fire on foreign vessels in waters where ownership is disputed. And then sending Chinese Coast Guard ships close to what Japan considers a couple of its islands, earlier today February 6, 2021.

Here’s an excerpt from my fictional story, intended to anticipate some of what is really bound to happen, based on how the chips are stacked:

When the Chinese president awoke the next day, he announced to the world, on television and handhelds, the exact GPS coordinates of the South China Sea as defined by China, “which has always been the property of China, and for too long we have been taken advantage of.” He told the world that non‐Chinese ships would need to go around this piece of sea or be boarded and inspected, on threat of lethal force. “If a war erupts in that location, China will limit itself to these GPS coordinates and not escalate the fighting to outside that war zone.”

* * *

President Snike did not hesitate to send a pweet deriding that announcement. “If China wants a rumble in their neighborhood, we’re up for it,” he wrote. Separately he ordered two more carrier groups to move toward the area. In the fleet with the George Washington steaming into the South China Sea, all were at battle stations.

The Marxist superpowers from 1945 onward made it a practice to test the resolve of each new US president by seeing what they could get away with. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the test the world remembers best.

Unlike my fictional US president Norfal Snike, our real President Joe Biden will undoubtedly take a firm stand without raising the temperature.

As I’ve written before, the best diplomacy nowadays would be to spell out the scenario options and agree on the ones closest to win/win that we can get.

We’re all in this together, and we all have to unite against the forces that threaten us all equally, pandemics, environment, hatred, greed, unemployment, inequality, injustice, debt…

And as we learn to work together to overcome the common threats, we can join together to take advantage of the common opportunities, including a better life for all, technology, space travel, human potential, and the scientific quest for true enlightenment – knowing everything there is to know about reality. Including materialist science, but not limited by its assumptions, e.g. that consciousness could not exist without matter.

But first, much closer at hand, we have to put away the old ways, substituting better ways to do international diplomacy and everything else.

We really don’t have much choice.

We can do it.

Best to all,

Bill

 

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

Sense the Meaning of the Moment: Right Now, it is “Fresh Start”

Created January 26th, 2021

Take Advantage of your Permission for Creativity

Everyone had been waiting to see what President Biden was going to say to Russia and to China. I wrote this piece below a few days before President Biden had his first call with President Putin. I wrote:

I hope he and his Team are savoring the moment: they have a chance to make a fresh start.

“In Action, Watch the Timing”

Lao Tzu

Also, there is no rush in certain things. Better to have more time to deeply think and discuss.

There would be no harm in considering a Socratic approach:

  1. Being friendly
  2. Respectful and with dignity and humility
  3. Asking questions relevant to the future direction of the world
  4. As a collaborator
  5. In the same lifeboat Earth together
  6. And with a degree of power
  7. What to do with each other that both will like

This is a more balanced approach than “Love your enemy” but they are both brilliant (being Socrates and Jesus) and can be embraced together.

When one feels that an attempt is being made to manipulate you, dial back on the Jesus and up on the Socrates; at all other times, let your own intuition guide where to set the dial in collaborating with someone who might more accurately be described as a rival.

Now that we know all about the call, my prayer above was answered. The two have made a business-like fresh start, just as I had hoped.

This is The Moment of Reset.

We are not likely to live through another time like this one, the spacetime continuum itself is up for a bit of innovation. You are invited to be creative now. Savor the opportunity and follow your dreams.

It is possible now to change the way the world thinks so that the word “enemy” becomes passé.

Nations and corporations are two versions of the same thing: autonomous groupings of people seeking specific real-world outcomes.

Sane CEOs do not think of competitors as enemies, they think of them as competitors, i.e., rivals.

The same should be true of sane Presidents.

And rivals can enjoy coopetition and being frenemies, and all of the other variations of gradually migrating to partners.

Competition Has the Best Effects When It’s Friendly

Adam Smith made a profound impression upon the world and shaped modern Capitalism. Our American Founders took very seriously the importance Smith placed upon competition in a free market.

In high school at times it seemed the boys were all competing to see who could feel best about himself.

We all love sports and every other form of competition you can imagine – including for some of us, war.

Cancer is a natural form of competition among cells in the same body/mind/spirit.

So, competition can be very, very good, or it can be very, very bad, or in the middle somewhere.

We can choose our kind of competition to be one that’s compatible with partnership. And along the way let’s take our time (Sinatra singing “Nice and Easy”) by going through all the steps of frenemies, coopetitionists, and finally partners.

This is the Meaning of the Moment now.

But let’s zoom back – the moment is always changing. What I’d like to share with you is not just about this moment, but about how you can yourself read the meaning of every moment in which you are involved.

It’s all about Observation. The Observer state.

I can be more specific by using a few quotes from MIND MAGIC:

 

“Opening the senses. Seeing more of what is.”

 

“Imagine what you look like;

imagine that a mirror which only you can see exists on the far wall.

Do not get so involved in your task or role that you cannot see yourself in this mirror.

Catch your facial expressions and hand gestures,

body movements and so forth in this mirror,

and ask yourself

why you have created these manifestations.”

 

“Count the feel of a situation more important than the look.

Remember that the pervasive becomes invisible.

What is motivating each entity in this situation?

How might this have gotten started?

How might I turn this to everyone’s advantage?

Pose the right questions.

Do not screen out or rephrase statements to yourself which utilize models other than the scientific/materialistic.

Why did that happen?

What is it trying to tell me?”

 

These are words out of my book MIND MAGIC. The chapter quoted above is Chapter 6, “Opening the Senses”. These links are free during the pandemic, one to the book itself, and the other to Chapter 6. I hope you enjoy, and can sense the change in yourself, and begin to observe more closely the meaning of each moment in your life.

All my best,

Bill

 

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