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The Blog That Ate Mind Chatter by Bill Harris, Director of Centerpointe Research Institute and creator of Holosync meditation program.

“Because I like you, please pull your head out of the sand.” (An update on what’s going on)

by Bill Harris
November 25th, 2012

Bill,

Are those in power wanting the currency to fail so they can install a new currency? Of course the new currency comes with new laws that grant privileges (that can be taken away) as opposed to rights which are ‘god’ given.

When things get bad enough ie hyperinflation, the disappearance of our savings to buy hundred dollar toilet paper, etc. it seems then we’d all be willing to accept any solution even the giving up of our rights for ‘privileges’ in order to make the pain of inflation stop.

Is this some version of what the next 5 years might bring in your opinion?

My answer:

A new currency might happen. It won’t really affect what we are facing, though. It will merely be a smoke screen. I am skeptical about hyperinflation. I have no crystal ball, but I don’t see how that could be the final outcome. Here’s what I think:

Read more »    

Special Post about the state of the country

by Bill Harris
July 12th, 2012

 I just had to share this daily post from Richard Russell, one of the many financial experts I read. Richard is 87, I believe, and he posts every weekday on his website. He is one of THE most respected financial experts in the world, and is read by heads of state, Fortune 500 CEOs, and nearly every on-the-know person interested in financial markets. I have been reading him for about 30 years, and he isn’t often wrong. His website is www.dowtheoryletters.com. I take his opinions very seriously. Please read:

July 12, 2012 – Some of my new subscribers may think that I enjoy bear markets. Believe me, nothing could be further from the truth. I have five children: four girls and a boy; I have two ex-wives, and a sister who is four years younger than I am. I feel responsible for all these souls, and the last thing I need is a brutal bear market to struggle with.

I also have a real allegiance to my subscribers, many of whom have been with me for over half a century. In view of all the foregoing, I can say with full honesty that I don’t enjoy or look forward to bear markets.

I say this with the knowledge that “whatever can go wrong, tends to go wrong in a primary bear market.” And we are in a bear market — one that ultimately may turn out to be the worst in history.

I assume that most subscribers were surprised by yesterday’s site, in which I wrote about the US unilaterally raising the price of gold. By now, everybody knows about the danger of our nation continuing on its current path. Aside from the “fiscal cliff” coming up, our whole politico-economic set-up isn’t working. Something drastic must be done — such as a new monetary system, and a new government set-up. The fact is that our Congress isn’t functioning intelligently — in fact, it just is not functioning. Congress is disgustingly corrupt and much of Congress is in the grip of lobbyists. Too many people enter Congress medium-poor and leave Congress rich. The President spends far too much time running for a second term. We should elect presidents for a single six-year term, and then the president should go home and do something else, that hopefully, is useful. The Supreme Court members should be elected, not appointed.

In other words, our whole system is, today, tied up in knots; it’s just not working. We need a non-corrupt political system and a new monetary system. Personally, I’m in favor of any system that actually works on an honest and sustainable basis. Our current system doesn’t work. If it did work, we wouldn’t be in the God-awful mess we are in now. And no, I don’t enjoy bear markets. And I don’t enjoy bull markets that ultimately take stocks far above known values, followed, usually, by a crash.

The old gold standard worked reasonably well. It forced monetary discipline on the nation. The Federal Reserve is an abomination. The nation ran for many years without a national bank, and it was never in the fix it is today.

The Fed is a monopoly run by bankers, for bankers. It should be abolished. Well, there’s no sense in my going through the whole government piece by piece.

The gruesome fact is that this country is not running in a way that is sustainable. As it is, we are leaving our children and grandchildren with a debt-choked nation that is technically bankrupt. We’ve substituted fiat, man-made paper notes for gold. Our whole nation is in hock. Cities, counties and states are now bankrupt and are unable to pay their bills. Raising the price of gold is a stop-gap measure. We’ve got to toss out what doesn’t work, and go back to the drawing board. And if that’s what a bear market will do for us — then let it rip.

But it won’t be that easy. When a nation has a fundamental disease, nobody (certainly not the voters nor the politicians) wants to take the pain of a real, honest, bear market cure.

Subscribers ask me how we could unilaterally raise the price of gold. Easy, one day the president (Roosevelt did it) announces, “The price of US gold is now $4,000 an ounce.” Period.

Three of California’s cities — Stockton, Vallejo, and San Bernadino — have filed for bankruptcy. What about their muni bonds?

Last Friday, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, sent out paychecks to its employees, as it does every two weeks. But these checks were for amounts significantly smaller than usual because Mayor Chris Doherty reduced all city employees’ pay — including his own — to the state minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

I note that new highs on the NYSE are dropping off with each new day. Today there were only 107 new highs.

Of the 19 sectors that Dow Jones posts each day, 16 were down today, signifying broad weakness. The VIX is still low, at below 19, and calmness and confidence is apparently the order of the day. Today, with such low volatility, it’s inexpensive to buy downside protection (puts). The thought is that if there is any danger, the Fed will immediately act. Thus traders feel safe, which is one reason the VIX is so low. This is a very professional market. Joe six-pack and his wife are not in this market. They’re still in shock (if not broke) following the 2008 crash..

Is history repeating? This is the longest job recession, 53 months, since the Great Depression. The Midwest is suffering the worst drought since the “dust bowl” of the 1930s. The movies are showing the scariest stories since the 1930s. Then it was Dracula, now it is vampires. Then it was the birth of radio and news beamed across America, now it is the birth of the Internet and news beamed across the states and the world.

 [This is not Russell's entire daily post, but I thought was important that you read it. His subscription isn't cheap, but well worth it. Consider subscribing if you can afford it.]

 

Off the Deep End

by Bill Harris
May 22nd, 2012

Have I gone off the deep end in writing about social mood and some of what has been going on in the world? Does any of this have any connection to the rest of my writings about personal and spiritual growth?

Some of you have criticized me for not writing “strictly” about what you see as personal or spiritual growth. My contention, however, is that everything I’ve written IS about personal and spiritual growth. (If you’re new here, welcome—and, please consider reading the entire archive of posts from the beginning—I know, it’s a lot. You’ll be glad you did.)

If you’ve read my three most recent posts, you know that I’ve suggested that social mood swings from positive to negative and back again in definable waves. (Google “socionomy” for more info, or read my posts.)

Around 2000, one of the largest waves of positive social mood in recorded history peaked. Since then we have entered a time of increasingly negative social mood. This negative social mood will be (and already has been) interrupted by shorter periods of temporarily more positive mood just as the positive social mood that began around the time of the American Revolution was interrupted by intervals of negative social mood. The American Civil War and depression and war of the 1930s and 1940s were such times, as was the strife and chaos of the 1970s.

During times of negative social mood certain unfortunate/unpleasant things tend to happen. These include: Read more »    

Isn’t it frustrating to be a person?

by Bill Harris
December 21st, 2011

Have you ever felt frustrated by your spiritual practice? Where are those results you expected? Here is a letter I received from a student in my Life Principles Integration Process Online courses with that very frustration, along with my answer. First, his letter to me:

Dear Bill, 

My question is: Why can’t I experience anything spiritual inside that validates, in a positive way, any practice or technique I have ever tried?  Just wanted to show you there is a question to all that follows (because there is a background story that must be told. I’ll keep it as brief as I can though.)

Part of this will be a bit of writing therapy for me as (at 63) my life, both inside and outside, lies in ruins all around me, I’m feeling suicidal, and I feel a need to yell at God.(Sorry, letting whatever happens be OK has run out of steam.)

So…Beginners mind:  In the early seventies I read Zen Flesh Zen bones which blew my socks off and changed me from an atheist who was profoundly disillusioned with life on earth to a rather naive seeker. After reading that book I knew that I had to find a teacher who could guide me to the Self, the God within (my favorite image is simply ‘freedom’ though.)

Tried everything I had access to over the next seven or eight years. No dice; nothing moved me or resonated anywhere but inside my intellect. God didn’t want to know me. Each time something didn’t work I returned to sex, drugs and rock’n’ roll… which did work. Read more »    

Yikes! More Controversy! The Free Market vs Central Planning

by Bill Harris
September 23rd, 2011

What I’m going to share today starts with something posted by Brian in response to Part 3 of my Going To Hell in a Handbasket series. My response contains some important information, but is buried so deeply among hundreds of other comments that I thought I should create an entire post around it.

Here’s how it started:

Bill,

I really liked the live video chat on facebook. I think it is a much better way for you to communicate information than through writing on this blog (though I still really like this blog). It’s just easier to tell what someone means when you see how they are saying something instead of just the words they are saying. Definitely do more video chats!

I have an economics question for you if you feel like taking the time. Harry Browne brings up an example in his book about the more expensive cost of using recycled paper vs. new paper. Browne explains this means that the resources consumed in recycling paper are more valuable to the market than the resources consumed in making new paper (aka trees). So basically the market should go with new paper since trees are less valuable than all the things that go into recycling paper.

What I struggle to understand is how you can judge the value of trees solely by their price in the market. Say we discovered that cutting down trees significantly affected oxygen levels that were unhealthy for people. How would the free market naturally account for this to make trees more valuable?

Read more »    

Going to Hell in a Handbasket, Part 3

by Bill Harris
May 6th, 2011

First, I apologize for taking so long to post this. I have been unusually busy this past several weeks, and getting this to you fell down several notches in my to-do list. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

***

Well, we’ve all been through a lot as we’ve discussed and argued about social mood. This topic has obviously struck a chord. You’ve sensed that something is wrong, and I presented one possible explanation of why you’ve felt that way.

Of course, some of you were already quite aware of all of this. 

And, some of you think I’m full of it. I wish you luck. Hopefully your refusal to see what seems obvious to a great many people won’t come back to bite you. Those of you who have magical solutions, good luck to you, too. Let me know how that works out. I’ve found some of the more bizarre ideas highly entertaining.

And though I didn’t set out to make this a political discussion, a lot of politics ended up coming out. To those of you who think it’s just great that the people in charge want to continue the process of centrally controlling and regulating everything under the sun, redistributing wealth, getting rid of fossil fuels, and so forth will, I suspect you won’t be so supportive once the consequences of these things begin to affect you personally, as these changes will affect you in ways you will not like. 

Over the last year (and before I ever brought up the idea of social mood) I’ve been discussing something that is basic to the human experience, but often denied: that we have little or no control over many aspects of the human condition.

(If you’re new, consider reading these posts: The Human Condition, Don’t Know Where It Came From, my series on Seeing Things the Way They Really Are—there are others.)

This lack of control was perhaps less obvious during the recent period of extremely positive social mood (which topped in about 2000), and also because in wealthy countries many human problems are less severe. Now that social mood is turning negative, this lack of control will become more obvious. 

Many have asked me what to do to be more prepared. Read more »    

Going to Hell in a Handbasket, Part 2 1/2

by Bill Harris
March 31st, 2011

“Humans are prone to herd because it is always warmer and safer in the middle of the herd. Indeed, our brains are wired to make us social animals. We feel the pain of social exclusion in the same parts of the brain where we feel real physical pain.” –James Montier

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” –Charles Mackay in Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds

Wow. Worms everywhere. A sea of worms. A huge can of them.

What have I gotten myself into?

Before I get into the main topic of what was to be this final chapter of this series (but isn’t), I want to make a few comments about what has transpired with the first two parts.

My description of social mood turning negative, and what kinds of things are likely to happen (and, historically have happened) obviously really struck a nerve. Though we’ve had a certain amount of acrimony on this blog from time to time from a certain few people, these posts really amped things up. Read more »    

Going to Hell in a Handbasket, Part 2

by Bill Harris
February 28th, 2011

In Part 1 I shared an exchange with my friend Santiago about my observation that we are entering into a period of negative social mood, and that in the past similar periods have had some dark consequences for humanity.

This has stirred things up quite a bit, don’t you think? (If you haven’t read Part 1, I suggest that you do, including the comments people have posted, and my answers to those comments, which contain a lot of important information.)

By the way, I haven’t shared any of the math involved in wave theory, or the details about the fractal nature of these waves because, though interesting, it would probably put everyone to sleep, and it’s rather complicated. If you really want to go into this more deeply, buy Robert Prechter’s books, or go to socionomics.net.

At any rate, Santiago wasn’t convinced by what I said in my first communication with him (though he seems to be more convinced now that he actually went and read up on the subject). Here is his reply to my original post, and my answer (Santiago, I’m making you famous—I hope you’re happy):

Read more »    

Going to Hell in a handbasket, Part 1

by Bill Harris
February 22nd, 2011

“Going to Hell in a handbasket”: to be rapidly deteriorating; on course for disaster. This phrase may have originated from the use of handbaskets to catch the decapitated heads of guillotined criminals during the French Revolution. (phrases.org.uk)

It all started from a simple question on my blog (from someone I know quite well)…

But what started as a simple question, buried in the comments after one of my recent posts, where many people would never see it, turned into a lengthy description of my take on what’s going on in the world, from an “as viewed from outer space” big-picture perspective.

Though a lot of this falls into the “not at all what you wanted to hear” category, I decided that I should share it with everyone—which I will do over the next several days in a series of posts.

It started this way:

Read more »    

The Great Matter of Life and Death

by Bill Harris
January 5th, 2011

I’ve written a lot about impermanence and cause and effect over the last year. I’ve said that there is no escape from these two aspects of the human condition–an idea many of you have resisted (and, I might add, I’m not surprised–resisting these two conditions seems to be what human beings do).

Over the New Year’s holiday someone posted the following comment about how he had personally responded to my remarks about this topic. Rather than just post my answer under his post, as I often do, I’ve decided that this is important enough to warrant a separate post.

Though this is quite short, I think it will really give you something to think about.

THE COMMENT: I think I may have taken some of your advice too closely, or used it in the wrong way. I took what you said about impermanence and said, ‘If I’m happy I can’t enjoy being happy because it’s impermanent and will go away’… which keeps me from being happy when I notice it. It’s quite strange, and like I’m waiting for something to let me go ‘full happy’. Except if I ever noticed that I was on ‘full happy’ I might say, ‘hey stop that’. –James

MY ANSWER: Read more »    


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