Tag Archives: Holosentience

What Does the Nature of Reality Have to Do with Decision Making? What Does Either One Have to Do with Flow State/Zone?

Volume 3, Issue 14

In other words, how do these themes of our blog fit together? Why are they necessary to complete the mission of The Human Effectiveness Institute, whose charter is to improve human decision making? And how can understanding these linkages improve your decision making in business and in life?

In answering this, first let’s boil down the theorems of the Institute. There are two main theories. The Theory of Holosentience posits that protein-based firmware/software created as neural networks in the brain, under conditions of information overload (Acceleritis), establishes a false self (the ego) whose normative dominance blocks optimal performance and happiness (Flow state/the Zone).

Other contemporary writers/researchers at this growing edge of psychology include Dr. Daniel Goleman and Dr. Richard Davidson, who use the term “hijacking” to describe the event of the amygdala and other brain structures bringing the consciousness down to a hyper-attached and low performance state. Dr. Phillip Romero uses the term “triggered” to describe the same thing.

The actual work of the Institute is to create and disseminate as widely as possible, proprietary validated toolware to bring on the Observer state, leading ultimately to the Flow state.

Our second main theory is The Theory of the Conscious Universe, which postulates that consciousness and intelligence came before the rest of the universe, rather than the other way around. And that each of us is an instance or over-dub of the One Consciousness, which is the primary real thing that exists (see the May 2, 2013 post, Bring a Sense of the Epic into Your Life).

The link between the Holosentience theory and better decision making is obvious: one makes better decisions when one is performing at higher levels of effectiveness. The linkages to the Conscious Universe are more complex and subtle.

The Conscious Universe is what I experienced when I had processed out most of the dominant ego software I had built in myself. Comparing notes with some others I found this was their experience as well. This led me to start writing about the Conscious Universe as a way to enable others to add it as a lens interchangeable with their other lenses such as Accidental Materialism. Having alternate lenses to switch between lessens the perceptual distortion of a single “belief” lens. Since Accidental Materialism and the Conscious Universe are both unproven, the thing to do is not to believe either one but to be free to observe reality directly, without a predetermined single lens, and to see which lens better explains what is really happening.

How does this improve decision making? Tune in to our next exciting episode.

Best to all,

Bill

P.S. My regular blog contribution to Jack Myers Media Network has returned. It is in the free section of the website. Here’s the link to the first post of many: Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

Going Through the Worst to Get to the Best

Volume 3, Issue 10

The two biggest blocks to the Zone/Flow state are distraction and attachment.

Attachment is also the only block to happiness, joy, delight, fun, ananda (from Hinduism, Buddhism, Extreme happiness, one of the highest states of being.) — the natural (built-in) target state of all experiencers. An experiencer is any entity that experiences consciousness through which an apparent inner/outer world is engaged. In this condition of experiencing, the automatic preference is for positive self-reaction.

This is because experiencers are driven by motivations that exist in the emotional dimension of experience (the other dimensions being intuitive, intellectual and perceptual). And happiness is the off-the-scale self-evidently best state one can experience in the emotional dimension.

Attachment blocks happiness because one is fearful of losing the things one associates with happiness and tacitly assumes are requirements for happiness. One is also angry at whatever agencies are suspected or known to be removers of those precious happiness-causing things.

“I am really attached to Pippin” (one of my cats) is a true statement for me because I love her. To experience love is not necessarily to be attached. So it is possible to get lost in word games about whether attachment is a good or bad thing because the word “attachment” is associated with the word “love”. To avoid confusion and getting lost in wordplay, I am using the term attachment to mean the inability to separate love from attachment and therefore the anger/fear syndrome.

The difference is the importance given to keeping the “things” that give us happiness. If one truly appreciates the joy that has been created by one’s loves, joy that has been creating other good things through spontaneous Flow state creativity — which emerges naturally from joy and from love — it is still possible to not worry about losing any of those “things”. In fact, when one is in that state of non-fearing loss, one is truly free, and true freedom does not exist up to that point, even in a pure democracy. This is because one is not free from one’s lower self — the ego software we built in our heads since birth (the Theory of Holosentience) — until Enlightenment, the lightening up (Fred Klein) that sets in once one has seen through the self-trickery of attachment.

A powerful contemplation technique in Mind Magic is burning out one’s attachments by intensely imaginarily experiencing the loss of each separate thing to which one is attached. This requires setting aside Alone Time, without a sense of time pressure. It requires immersion, concentration, patience as you go over the same material again and again. You can only do it for one object of your attachment at a time. It can take weeks to fit it in and spend the necessary time.

Give your imagination free reign like in a daydream. See yourself go through the experience of the moment the loss takes place, visualize how it might happen. See it vividly from the inside the way you experience life. Feel the feelings. Watch yourself in the daydream, the things you say in that situation, and the way you say them, and how the other person responds (if the particular attachment involves another person). Let yourself actually feel the loss as if it is really happening.

In your later iterations of the exercise you start to act like the hero you are in the daydream of the loss. You give the situation a more intelligent response. You realize that this is now how you will respond if that ever happens, or when it happens if it is inevitable. You feel differently about yourself from that moment on — more confident, more self-respectful, more courageous, in fact less prone to fear, and also harder to make angry.

It can take much longer than weeks for you to feel the effects of this internally due to the interconnections among various ego circuits in your head. It’s best to be removing all of the attachments during the same period of time — the perceptual, cognitive, intuitive/spiritual, and emotional parts. This is what the manual called Mind Magic is designed to do.

Happiness to all,

Bill

Entering and Sustaining Flow by How Much of the Mind Is Cooperating at One Time

Volume 3, Issue 4

Continuing our theme of recent posts, we are contemplating and “unpacking” Buddha’s root notion that mindfulness plus comprehension is the one route to true human happiness.

And we are relating that notion to our theory of Holosentience, wherein the brain and mind operate most perfectly and effectively when the sentience, or self-awareness, gathers itself into a wholeness exclusionary of nothing — when the selfness is so complete it disappears into absorption with the wholeness of experience in the now.

In earlier posts we posited that the physical brain is in Flow state (the Zone) when all parts of the brain are contributing and processing harmoniously. Below Flow in perfection is Observer state, where the self has a degree of objective detachment from its own emotional and cognitive arisings. In this state the prefrontal cortex is postulated to be in control though the whole brain is not yet in synchronistic action. These hypotheses are not yet supported by conclusive evidence.

Below the Observer state is what in the last 6000 years of recorded history has been called the normal state of waking consciousness, which I judge to be a state of brain process division far from Flow, and which I attribute to the information overload produced since written language was invented. I call this phenomenon Acceleritis. This lowest mental state I call Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP) meaning that the mind is cutting corners to get things done despite being overloaded, overwhelmed, torn into warring bits, and confused.

Mindfulness is a word that has the connotation of striving for itself. The word has been used going back to the Vedas (the term is again on an upswing) as a tool to remind the seeker that he and she must remember to be mindful, to pay attention — but to what? To both the events around and outside oneself, and the ones inside. At the same time. “Inside” and “outside” both being constructs of the mind. In effect, “mindfulness” is the trigger word for the Observer state — a mnemonic device to remind oneself how to get out of EOP.

For my entire lifetime I have had the intuition of a common natural evolution of mindfulness and comprehension that is accessible internally to each of us. We don’t need outside inputs to discover it. So I have spent most of my life unpacking that intuition into communicable language. And articulating the intuitive cookie-crumb trail that is leading me myself back from EOP into Flow. In doing so I intuit myself to be reiterating the communication of the psychotechnology that resides within each of us, which others throughout history have also communicated, using language more common to their times, and often using metaphors when explicit language was challenged by a lack of models. Living today I have the advantage of the existence of models of information processing that are for the first time in history ideal for articulating what goes on experientially in our consciousness, since in our theory consciousness is an information processing system.

To be continued next week, with more techniques for attaining Observer state and making the transition to Flow.

Best to all,

Bill 

Entering Flow State by Koan

Volume 3, Issue 2

Continuing on our theme from the prior post, we are sharing nuances of mind that can act as triggers to two successively higher states of consciousness, Observer and Flow. The assumption is that one is presently in what is known here in the West as “normal waking consciousness”, what we call Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP) in our theory of Holosentience.

In the last post we quoted Zen masters dismissive of mindfulness. We explained that to get from EOP to Observer state one needs to strive for mindfulness, but to get from Observer state to Flow state (the Zone), one must be in natural mind sans intellectual overlays. The over-thinker is turned off. Language is not a prerequisite for anything. Wholeness is. Subject-object lens is off. There is no separation. Abstraction is somewhere offstage.

We are sharing these mental techniques as part of a noble bargain. If they work, you will naturally take on more and share as you wish. Many other similar experiential techniques and insights can be found in my book MIND MAGIC and will continue to be offered in this blog.

In the next post I will share some childhood experiences as useful to illustrate making mental transitions willfully.

Let’s lead into that story with an experiment in Zen. Most of us are familiar with one technique used in Zen, the koan, a verbal construct used to jog the psyche out of its EOP trance. Our theory as to how a koan works is this: something that makes no sense forces you to stop and NOT think in language, to back out of the EOP lens into original consciousness (or natural mind). Because language is not working it is instinctively dropped for the moment. Just as you instinctively stop trying to use a hand that has fallen asleep until it wakes up again.

This can be experienced. Remove yourself from all distraction. Concentrate on your breath and keep your eyes on whatever is in front of you. Then repeat to yourself the following: “I have no right to play God, even though I have every right to play God.” Obviously you will need to pre-memorize this or you won’t be able to keep looking straight forward. However, don’t spend any time thinking about the meaning of it — for the moment, you are concentrating on what you see and experience subtly when you first put your mind on this.

What you may see (and in future experiments of this sort will gain the knack for seeing) is that in one moment you were in a pretty normal state for you, and in the next moment your mind is naturally quiet and your senses are highly attuned. You are not easily distracted, you feel centered and aware, balanced and unafraid. Your attention is on everything around you and there is no obsessive stream of internal dialog. You are making no effort toward this whatsoever, you are not striving. It is doing itself naturally. When ideas pop into your mind you notice that they are unusually insightful and self-evidently important to your life.

You may at that point be transitioning in and out of Flow, with stability in Observer state. If negative emotion arises, take it as a signal of EOP resumption and see what comes naturally for you to stay above this weather. Direct attention to the causes of the negative emotion as if experiencing it for the first time. Mine and record insights into your (e)journal and tweet those of potential utility to all, if you’re into such things (journaling is provably useful, e or otherwise).

In next post, stripping my childhood bare.  🙂

A Daniel Goleman Must-Read

When I first met them a long time ago, Daniel Goleman, Richie Davidson and I formed a partnership called PRM and did brainwave research together in the media business. They have gone on to fame in their respective fields of psychology and neuroscience. I am belatedly catching up on their massive output over the years. This is a first installment, look for more in future posts.

Dan’s concise and powerful 2011 book The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights is packed with information conducive to Observer and Flow states. Drawing on the work of his long-term collaborator Richie Davidson among many others at the forefront of brain science, Dan does his reliable tour de force condensing the cutting edge view of the best and brightest ideas in psychology.

We are heartened that my published intuitions of the last decades are increasingly supported by real science. Emergency Oversimplification Procedure in my terminology does in fact exist as “chronic overwhelm” in today’s scientific parlance. The EOP interaction between the prefrontal cortex and limbic system, which I postulated in the theory of Holosentience (and was possibly obvious to others), turns out to be accurate.

What I felt from the inside and struggled to communicate in language, describing inner experience so that others could take similar control of themselves — what Dan calls self-management and self-mastery, one of the four key components of emotional intelligence — is now being described scientifically from the outside as well. Looking at both sides, inner/experiential/phenomenological and outer/scientific, contributes to self-mastery more than seeing only one side of the story — or neither side of the story, as in the case of the unenlightened, who by their actions are crying out for enlightenment but don’t know they are doing so.

Best to all,
Bill

The “Not Petty” Filter

Volume 2, Issue 35

Letting Stuff Go By

In the barrage of incoming stimuli you have a choice which pieces to respond to in some way and which pieces to let fly by. This is an opportunity to practice Observer state.

In Observer state, attention is deployed both internally and externally at the same time, the whole of it treated as a single perceptual field. The inner world is so different from the outer world that few of us naturally take to treating all of it as a single field.

Yet in my theory of Holosentience I posit that feelings are really inner perceptions, so of course the entire panorama of experience funneling into the self is one stream, the eponymous stream of consciousness.

In earlier posts I’ve mentioned noticing your own negative reactions to incoming stimuli and regarding those reactions with the same interest you’d give to a bug specimen.

These are not in fact all coming from the real you. The preponderance of what you have probably always thought of as your own reactions are coming from a mechanism inside you that did not exist at your birth. The mechanism is made out of protein and takes the form of neurons built since birth in your brain and interconnected in very specific ways. This firmware in your head is not the real you, it is a part of the real you.

The real you is the experiencer that existed at your birth. This is the place you are centered in when you are in the Observer state, and also when you are in the Flow state (the Zone).

At other times you are in Emergency Oversimplification Procedure or “EOP” for short, a pandemic mental disease caused (in my theory) by the accelerating inventiveness of the culture since the dawn of visible language about 6000 years ago. “Information Overload” is the Devil that humanity has always defaulted to when they could not account for how things ever got so messed up.

Holding off from identifying with your inner reactions is one filter that helps keep us above EOP.

Another one is letting stuff go by — like water off a duck’s back — when the alternative is to become petty yourself.

The next time you are with someone and are about to join that person at a petty level, stay focused on What Is the Big Idea, The Big Learning, The Highest Strategic Purpose That Could Be Served by steering away from the negative directionality of the moment. Let the other stuff go by. Don’t let your own negative feelings assume they have been validated by your central consciousness. Let that garbage float downstream behind you (“Get Thee behind Me Satan!”). What can you tell the other person that affords true solution potential rather than continuing down a yenta (gossip level) path?

Maintain compassion rather than judging the other person who got caught wasting the time of the Great Computers Upstairs in Your Heads with idle slop. Picture that your friend was wounded in a battle long ago and now cannot speak without spitting a little. The pettiness is the spittle from what was truly an old unresolved battle, still being fought in your friend’s brain to this day.

Big Ideas are largely a matter of focus above the petty levels.

Wishing you all a beautiful holiday season,

Bill

How to Tune the Mind

Volume 2, Issue 34

In my theory of Holosentience, neuron clusters are formed by experiences both assimilated and non-assimilated. The non-assimilated experiences generate cascades of ego-protective distortions in the perceptual/feeling lens of consciousness. The energy in this endless waterfall of Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (where reality distortion becomes the feedback control loop to maintain self-comfort) draws so much attention to this locus that it is able to masquerade as the self and take over completely.

In that mode the true observer self is ignored and ignores itself, because it is swept into identification with the robotic self as a result of the process described above.

When the observer wakes up we call it Observer state.

The power of self-deception is so strong for two main reasons:

  1. The perceptual aspect of consciousness, which includes the inner perceptions we call feelings (sometimes conflated with emotions, the actual physical correlates of feelings that exist in the phenomenological or experiential realm of consciousness). Feelings are very strong because of their physical correlates; in effect, the machine injects itself with powerful serums not unlike sodium pentathol in their hypnotic effects.
  1. The neuron clusters are living tissue in the physical brain so they have a self-protective urge of their own at the cellular programming level i.e. the operating system of the cell. They act so as to self-sustain. When they speak in the senate of the mind, each cluster grabs the mike and says something while the observer is being further hypnotized by a jack-up needle directly into the bloodstream that hits the brain quickly, so the observer tends to assume “I am the one speaking to myself”. In fact the observer is being offered different viewpoints by different clusters and the observer is in the least biased position to synthesize wisdom from the many viewpoints.

The other night I was sitting on a plane coming back from San Francisco. Window not aisle seat so not my favorite position. Laptop battery spent, no interest in TV or in the two books or notes in my backpack. Not sleepy. Not disposed to strike up conversation. Having just written something before shutting down, I was in Observer state and noted the different selves that were being offered to me to be at that time. There was the grumbly bored character who wanted me to put him on and wear him like a heavy mantle, and there was another one who was pleased with everything. I tuned to the pleased character.

The bored persona would sneak in from time to time and each time it would take active remembering of the whole process to reset back into the pleased persona. After a few iterations of this, the pleased persona settled in and did not need any further work to maintain its turf.

The older couple next to me were now reading The New York Times and having an intelligent conversation. Right in front of me a very small boy peeked through the seats at me and smiled. There was something mildly interesting happening on each of the three TV screens in front of us, and on the other TV screens I could see between the seats in near forward rows there was mildly interesting material there too. There was nothing wrong with sitting here and taking it all in. I remained in that state simply observing for a few hours and was not bored nor feeling guilty about not working. Not working being unusual, except when I am with my lovely Lalita.

Remembering the observer self and tuning among the debating voices in the senate of your mind without instantly caving to the drugs they are giving you — therein is the path of the hero and heroine. The size of the prize is Flow state when the observer is optimizing.

Through this pebble-tossing mechanism called our blog, we seek to share techniques and ideas that have worked for us. Simply, when more of the population is acting from the Observer state, the human world will fix itself. We are on the rising curve, let’s enjoy every second of the playing out of this movie.

Best to all,

Bill