Category Archives: Flow State

What Does the Real You Want?

Created January 21, 2021

As I started to write this, Sammy Davis Junior simultaneously began singing “I Gotta Be Me” on the Sinatra Channel. This is the kind of synchronicity that occurs in peak experience.

This series of posts entitled “On the Road to Flow” started out aimed at helping you stay in the peak experience states (Flow and Observer) for more of your life. That’s still our aim. But the world events stirring during the past 5 weeks has reminded me that the aim of all of my writings since I was 30 has been to help people free themselves of their conditioning, so that they become clear in their own decision making for themselves.

The conditioning has come down on all of us from well-intentioned parents, others who care about us, teachers, media, politicians, celebrities of all kinds, and from thinkers and writers who influenced us. And more.

In the Normal Waking State of consciousness which I also call “The Robot”, all of these memories and predispositions vie and the result is the action we take. Some of it comes from the You That Was Born – the real you – and some of it comes from the conditioning.

In this post we focus on one of the most important decisions any of us faces in life: deciding what we really want. Not what we have come to assume we want, but stripping away conditioning, what does the original me want.

This does not invalidate valuable learning you gained between birth and now, things you discovered for yourself to be true, based upon evidence that could be called scientific or at least empirical, and could stand up in court. That’s part of the real you. Each of us is constantly changing, hopefully growing emotionally, ethically and intellectually. I’m not intentionally glorifying the condition of your mind at birth. My repeated reference to the original you, is a reference to you when you are in the peak experience states. This reflects my hypothesis that peak experience states are our natural states, we are born into those states. Life’s events are what bring us down, by getting us to become dependent on bringing about conditions over which we have only partial control. What I’ve called an AI – the Ego circuit in our minds – is the accumulation of those addictions.

So, separating out the wants your true self wants, from your addiction wants, is not an easy thing to do. Chapter 5 of MIND MAGIC at this free link contains a procedure that makes it much easier. It’s like a Wizard that takes you through the process step by simple step:

  1. Listing things you think you want
  2. Remembering when you started to care about each want, and who/what else had been involved
  3. How much happiness and how much unhappiness this want has caused you?
  4. Do you want to be the sort of person who wants this thing?
  5. How to deal with bodily wants
  6. How to deal with the wanting the approval of others
  7. How to deal with wanting self-approval
  8. Considering certain higher wants you might not have listed
  9. Prioritizing the wants of your deepest, truest self
  10. Setting goals and making plans based upon the new set of wants and goals.

Quotes from MIND MAGIC Chapter 5:

“Listen respectfully therefore to every communication,

Whether from inside or outside of you,

And evaluate its cause;

Strive to understand its cause; respond accordingly.”

“Be gentle with all who communicate with you,

Including your own mind.”

“Give each part of the universe

The respect you give the whole.”

“Listen with respect, then make your own decisions.”

What the Real Bill Harvey Wants

I want to do everything in my power to share whatever is right about my methodology, and to accomplish this more by staying in Flow and Observer states more.

Although I’m not attached to achieving my wished-for outcome, it’s to see all of us thinking clearly and for ourselves, reaching empathy with each other, so as to bring about a Flow state culture where we are all empowering each other constantly.

In that Empathutopia the designations “far right” and “far left” will cease to be badges of honor, as they work against consensual freedom for all. Instead, conservatives and progressives will value each other’s inputs as complementary and incrementally additive, inputs for even more perfect holistic solutions. When the Ego circuit is not suffering and the rugged individualist is in peak experience states, it’s easy to give credit and respect to people who have different views than one’s own.

It’s virtually impossible when locked in identification with one’s own Ego AI to not see vast numbers of other people as enemies. The Ego phenomenon has classically been linked to neurosis, but this is just a word. The word psychosis might also be applied. Sanity and insanity are not perfectly defined words. But the current state of the world has veered much more into the red zone than its average state across recorded history. Many people nowadays use the word “crazy” to describe what is going on. It may be technically a correct term.

All I can say is that the techniques of careful self-discussion do work for me, and thousands of readers have told me they work for them too. Over 35,000 copies of MIND MAGIC have been sold, mostly for $20, and today until we lick this pandemic you can still get the same book free. I hope you take it and use it and that the world moves inward toward its holy spiritual universally empathetic center.

Best to all,

Bill

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

Re-Open Closed Switches Inside

Created January 8, 2021

HAPPY 2021! Wishing all of us a fresh start – pull up the transparent screen and erase 2020 and before – and you are new again, the world is new again – all hurts forgiven.

In my December 22, 2020 post I cautioned against hasty closure – the habit of making instantaneous choices reflecting ancient decisions. The objective is to reassert your true self – the you that was born – and to deny power to the Ego conditioning you received without having chosen it. Of course, if you are reclaiming your castle, you must be suspicious of anything inside you that moves you to immediately decide something new, the same way you have always decided that sort of thing before.

Each new moment is a new moment by definition. Treating it as an instance of a type of moment you have long since decided how to deal with, has zero potential to aid you in detecting as-if-traitorous inner habits. Considering alternatives that appear inconsistent with who you were is a worthwhile activity at this time. You may come back to where you were before on the subject, but do not assume that automatically. Automaticity is a sign of the inner robot at work – not the true you that was born, but the mechanical AI built out of protein neurons in your brain – your Ego.

In other words, as much as you may have appreciated the value of consistency as an abstract principle, you now, in recreating yourself anew, need to put a pin in that. You need to broaden your range of creative possibilities. It is a new world, a new day, you have paid off your mental mortgage to the past. Start right now. Be willing to reconsider everything, reopen all possibilities, take your time. Beginnings are not a time for haste. And even years from now, start life with a clean slate each moment. The you who was born, the observer that you are, inherently knows how to integrate all of your learnings to apply them to the present moment, and presents one impulse toward action for your motor control to adopt and activate.

With nearly equal speed, your Ego AI computes an impulse to action which is more likely to represent selfish goals.

Each moment you get to choose which of these impulses to act upon. It may not be obvious which is which. That’s why it makes sense to give yourself time before reacting instantly – except in the rare emergency situations.

Choosing what is the Right thing to do is the safest bet even in emergencies. That is more likely to be coming from your “heart” (essence, true self) rather than from your conditioning.

When you have given something adequate consideration and are sure of how you wish to be from now on, watch yourself create that intention and make that resolution. Act in small ways on that resolution immediately thereafter. Remember that resolution as an accomplishment in itself. Honor it upon going to sleep and upon waking up. The momentum of your robot will not make it easy to stick to new resolutions made by the conscious self, watch for trickery to cause you to lapse into pre-resolution modes of behavior. Note these objectively and redouble cautions against premature closure.

Avoid describing yourself, even to yourself. Remind yourself “That is how I used to be. I now seize the right to be differently if I so choose.”

Avoid mimicry. Do not submit to the prevailing worldview, while continuing to show it due respect.

Do not let yourself get carried away by the momentum of others.

Our expectations create perceptual screens. Tear away such screens by having no expectations. Look at what is actually there. See things as they really are by studying everything much more closely, as if you have never seen such a thing before, although it is old hat.

Ignore usual concepts of what is beautiful or ugly. See what is really out there. It was all put there by the same Artist.

Do not look at a situation and say that it is bad. Ask yourself instead, How might good be brought out of such a situation.

To read the full chapter of MIND MAGIC on this subject please click here.

To get the whole book free please click here. (Free offer expires upon herd immunity to Covid-19.)

Wishing you a 2021 that stands out as far upward in your memory as 2020 stands out downward in your memory.

All my best,

Bill

De-Robotizing Your Free Will

Created December 30th, 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! May 2021 be the year we all learn to fully appreciate the lives we had before, and now are able to have again – sometime during the year.

In prior posts, I’ve hypothesized that we come into this world as an experiencer, and from our very first moments, our being’s very essence is that original witness. Free, and in bliss, until disturbed. That is our true Self.

However, now, in the waking state of consciousness, we associate a lot of other content with that true self: all the stuff in our Ego memory which has conditioned our current inflexible reactions. All of that memory (according to Freud, and which rings true for me) involved learning from instances of disturbance.

All memory, physically, consists of neuron networks that the brain has built as result of all the experience undergone in this life. The Ego is that part of the neuronal structure that relates to craving perceived deficiencies, self-esteem, and the approval of others.

Disturbance, learning, building of Egoic neuron association pathways. Creation of a protein castle in the head which gradually assumes more and more political importance in relation to the original witnesser, and to all other memories.

Some of the Ego’s “automatic pilot” programs in our head were punched in by our “conscious mind pilot”. But the great preponderance of our Egoic automatic-pilot programming appears to be of the Pavlovian variety, whereby we were addicted as we grew up to certain types of shallow rewards, without this being anyone’s conscious intention.

These shallow rewards cluster around the concepts of gaining approval and the support of others. This is easy to understand when we look at it this way: we know that the earlier in our lives something affected us, the more power it has. Psychologists have concluded that the first five years sets the keel for the person. Per Freud, again, the Ego (this mass of neurons, this robot bio-AI) first appeared at the moment the baby’s needs were not immediately met. By extrapolation, the function of building the adult Ego was a process revolving around first getting the parents to do what baby wanted, and then by further extrapolation, gaining the favors of everyone we met after that, using what we had learned from the Ego’s negotiations with one’s parents.

I’ve hypothesized that the latter mass and its functionality have welded themselves onto our sense of self. We always react to the same types of situations in the same ways. The programs are going through their steps while we sleepily look on, along for the ride.

In peak experiences such as Maslow and Csikszentmihaly wrote about, we escape the welded state and are able to see everything, including the machinations of the internal bio-AI in us, which I identify as Freud’s Ego principle. This neurons and associations produced by the experience since birth, I also call the Robot, my name for the same thing.

How do you get into the Observer state – your “Me That Was Born”? All of these posts in the “On the Road to Flow” series are aimed at answering that question. Today’s post specifically relates to the removal of conditioning from oneself.

Step one is to observe one’s own inner and outer behaviors, which of course, has the added benefit of putting you right into the Observer state (at least momentarily; you will see that your ability to stay there for longer and longer periods does itself).

Observe your Self as if studying another person, so as to be able to truly register things which have become too familiar to notice. Particularly study when you sense yourself experiencing emotions. Trace the source of the emotion. Something very important to you either got trampled on or caressed with a velvet glove. What was that thing so important to you as to have these emotions well up automatically, a la Pavlov’s dog?

Why was that thing so important to you? What is your earliest memory that could be related to you wanting that thing so very much?

Do you still care that much about that thing in your conscious mind? Or is that kneejerk reaction something you have outgrown and can live without?

What is more important to you now, being a person whose Will can overcome anything else inside, a person who is Master over self, or a person like the great mass of society, who has been conditioned into being a rolebot, and doesn’t even know it?

When you begin this guiltless housecleaning of your psychological innards, make sure you are not frustrated, angry and scared when you find that you cannot turn your own mind on a dime. It has habituated those behaviors repetitively for so long the psychic momentum is enormous. Your deciding to change 100% instantly would not be realistic. You must accept that the Ego will fight as if a living mind parasite to maintain control of you. But it isn’t a parasite, it’s a symbiote, all it ever wanted to do was help, and it’s autonomic, mechanical in its functioning, it isn’t a separate mind and will, although it seems that way at times. Don’t divide yourself against yourself by getting mad at it. Sense of humor is one of the highest most practical senses we have; use it. Be patient. Take a long term view. If you never give up, you will get there. That is the right course of action.

For the MIND MAGIC chapter providing more in-depth tools on this subject please click here. Remember, until the herd is immune to Covid-19 you are able to get the whole book free.

All my best,

Bill

Click here for our New Years gift, a song from Stan Satlin.

Holiday Blessings

A holiday gift to you from all of us here at The Human Effectiveness Institute and songwriter Stan Satlin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooF8CDQIpDE

Outsmart Hasty Closure

Created December 22nd, 2020

Built into each human being before birth is an information-processing program whose apparent purpose is to help us understand our external and internal experiences.

It works as follows: certain experiences or perceptions trigger a feeling of dissonance in the mind; you pay closer attention to and think about these until you have a feeling of having absorbed their information, at which point the feeling of dissonance goes away and we say that you have achieved closure.

 Hasty closure can be defined as those instances in which it would have been useful to you to think further before closure. In the Observer state or Flow state peak experience states of consciousness – we are “above” or “behind” the autonomic mind (Ego) and Hasty Closure does not occur.

“Acceleritis”  — the condition caused by having too many things to pay attention to all at the same time, and pretty much all the time — makes us impatient if we are in “normal waking consciousness” – the autonomic mind (Ego aka The Robot). When we do not fully understand something, the drive for closure becomes palpable within our minds. We may become frustrated and maybe even apoplectic, especially if additional variables continue to be introduced — a ringing telephone, someone comes in with a request or sends us a text or e-mail, etc. If we are living in a state of continual impatience, our minds will do anything to get to closure as quickly as possible. If we run our lives and our minds in the usual impatient way, we will lack insight into this process, and so we will be eager to grab our mind’s first offering of a way to closure.

To help you distinguish which of these states you are in at any given moment, here below are some of the signs of hasty closure. When you spot these signs happening within yourself, you are jumping into the Observer state!:

  • One of the most obvious effects of Acceleritis is the increased tendency to see things in black/white terms rather than in shades of gray. “She is always out to get me.” “That guy is never right.”
  • Positions based on beliefs rather than on personal empirical experience. “A company should always be sharply focused on just one thing.” “Religion is just superstition.” “The White Race is supreme.” These beliefs likely came from other people who were influential in your life, including your parents.
  • Negative Charge. The presence of negative emotion such as tension, fear, anger or irritation. These feelings are evidence that you are seeing a situation a certain way, and on top of that, you have subconsciously already decided on a strategy for dealing with it. With such a negative premise, this is not likely to work.

Often these closures will trace back to experiences you had many years ago that you interpreted in a way that locks you into a certain inflexibility, and which trick you into believing you have learned something empirically from your own personal bad experience. But you’ve been fooled by the takeaway you received from that experience; the real lesson is somewhat subtler than the lesson you articulated to yourself long ago.

Typically, you may have overcompensation bias. You were too open, you thought you learned a big lesson, but now you are too guarded — “falling off the opposite side of the log”. You may have been too generous and now you’re too stingy, too severe and now too gentle, too trusting and now not trusting anything or anyone. And so on. You learned the wrong lesson — it wasn’t black or white, it was finding the right spot between them for each situation.

A powerful strategy for jumping into the Observer state is to doubt your own last thought/feeling. Before going off half-cocked, look back at what you just thought or felt, and demand proof before you choose what action to take. This ensures that all of you, your whole self, is in charge, not taken over by a part of you.

You may have an investment in accepting some thoughts over others, such as thoughts that make you look smart to yourself. Just knowing that you can be biased goes a long way to seeing past any bias you may have lurking in your head.

Don’t take anything to extremes. This post is not meant to turn you into Hamlet, never able to make a decision. You must in fact become more decisive, simply not hasty: think things through thoroughly and then take action. If you sense something is dragging on too long and you have needed to take action for some time, you really need to get away by yourself for however long it takes (within reason) to plan out what to do decisively.

Enjoy the peak experiences of the holiday season,

Bill

Your You-ness

Created December 17th, 2020

To recap recent posts, this series within Pebbles in the Pond, “On the Road to Flow”, is aimed at helping you establish yourself in the Observer state, so as to be able to spring into the Flow state more often. We kicked off the series by reviewing the work of Abraham Maslow, who identified the existence of these higher states of consciousness, which he called “peak experiences”. We then introduced the work of Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi, who identified a higher state that Maslow had not alluded to directly but which ought to fall within Maslow’s definition of peak experiences. This he called the Flow state, and it is characterized by perfect action doing itself and a disappearance of the difference between self and other, a unity of self with the entire experience bubble (as I call it).

I introduced my additional higher state I call the Observer state, which appears to be the first step on the ladder upward from normal waking consciousness. I provided some preliminary takeaways about how to know when you are in the Observer state, and how not to immediately kick yourself out of the Flow or Observer states when you get there. After this post we shall turn from theory to practice: takeaways helpful to getting into and staying in these higher states.

I promised at the end of the prior post to discuss one more eminent philosopher of psychology in this issue, and because I used the hint “Ego” many of you probably knew I was going to talk about Freud.

To Sigmund Freud, when we are born, the original self we are is the Id, an animal-like mentality devoid of conscience, and the Ego arises as a mediator the first time our needs are not immediately cared for. Later we gain a Superego by being taught what civilization expects of us, that is the conscience.

I agree with Freud about a few things, and differ about a few. (Of course, what do I know, I am only talking about my own experience, a sample of one.) I agree with Freud that there is “The Me That Was Born”. To me, that is the Observer, the True Self, the Essence, the Witness, The Experiencer, Who We Really Are. To me it does not have conscience nor lack conscience, it is pure of such considerations, but intuitively loves and protects everything. So, quite unlike Freud’s description of the id, the original you-ness is neither animal-like nor intrinsically selfish, in my estimation: it is the pure experiencer, consciousness itself. On the other hand, I agree with Freud’s writings about the source and nature of the Ego and feel that the Superego is part of the Ego.

To me, the Ego consists of the neuronal connections the brain makes, starting when the individual begins to have experiences. Freud likens it to a manager but I think of it more as a press agent, and that’s close enough to know Freud and I are both talking about the same thing.

What I am saying is that the protein constructions the brain builds are the Ego and Superego. The True Self is The Observer that was born. When we get into the Observer state, we are residing in and acting from the Me That Was Born. At all other times, the Observer, The True Self, is merely along for the ride, watching and identifying with the modulations of the mind and feelings generated by the neuronal net the brain has built in a “machine learning” way from internalizing and learning from our experiences.

My hypothesis is that the Ego we think we are is actually like a bio-AI. A robotical system we have become falsely identified with over time, starting from the original terror we felt upon noting our own helplessness and lack of understanding at a world that could and often did hurt us. This subsentience became our tour guide and we trusted it to take care of us. We had no idea how it would enslave us. In the average moment, the average person believes this AI is the self.

What does this mean for you?

You will know you’re not in the Observer state (nor in any higher state) if you are experiencing even mild negative emotion, making judgments that are critical of people or things, rating your own performance – the list goes on and we will cover all of it in this series. These experiences are “tells” that you are centered in your Ego – that built-up defensive self that you were not born with but is now a network of real physical neurons in your brain. In my estimation this evolutionary development is not a positive survival factor – even when we need to protect ourselves the Ego just seems to make things worse – whereas staying out of Ego would make you more formidable and effective in your own self-defense.

Your sense of self (I call “Your You-Ness”) can be in one of two places:

  1. Your true self that was born, which is an observer not obsessively attached to what is going on in experience bubble. The Observer enjoys an intrinsic sense that everything will work itself out and it therefore stays cool. That is where you want your You-ness to reside. And the locus of your You-ness, your sense of self, is controllable, but much trickier than riding a bicycle.
  2. Your Ego, or robot, a mechanistic and deterministic response of a neuronal net biological AI in your brain which evolution thought might be helpful. Science has observed in many species that evolution produces dead ends sometimes.

Takeaways:

  • Keep your sense of self apart from the thoughts, feelings, and images rolling through you. Observe those ephemera and decide if there are gems of wisdom in there anywhere which could be actionable in your current life situation, and let the rest go by.
  • Especially let any annoying thoughts go by, those are definitely the Ego. It can only help you as an alarm clock does, by pointing out that deep down inside a few things are bugging you. Write those down and when you feel like it, look at the bug list dispassionately as if these were concerns one of your children or mentees brought you, asking you to make it better. Intelligently and without excessive caring determine what your best advice will be to your Ego-self.

To be continued.

My best to all,

Bill

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

 

Getting to Flow by Living in the Moment

Updated September 4, 2020

                                  

My first experiences of Flow state were at the Brickman Resort when as a young child my parents, Ned and Sandy, put me onstage. The height of stage fright got my attention. I was pulled out of my mind by the sheer challenge of dealing with it. I had no time to dawdle or stay in my head. This seemed as close to a life-threatening experience as I could imagine, although I did not have the time or ability (as a child) to put it into those words. I couldn’t even distract myself by paying attention to my fear! I was totally absorbed in handling the immense challenge of the moment.

This and other experiences when I was young made me keenly aware of the existence of Flow, although I had no name for it then and didn’t think about it consciously. I also noticed there were other incidents in which I was more like Hamlet, overthinking a problem while the time to move had long since passed. Continue reading

Originally posted 2015-08-18 10:56:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter