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

News flash: There’s no escape.

by Bill Harris
April 2nd, 2009

Stop for a moment and think of all the people you know–friends, relatives, people you work with, people you play with, and people you see from time to time as you go about your business, but don’t know well.

Also think for a moment about all the people you know about, but don’t know personally–politicians, celebrities, leaders, and so on.

All these people have one important thing in common: they’re all doing their best to make sense of what it means to be a human being.

Think about it. Here we are, on this spinning rock ball, in the middle of endlessly vast space, in a thin and fragile protected environment absolutely necessary to us if we’re to stay alive. We come into the world, and then, after an undetermined amount of time, we’re gone. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

(Actually, if you think about it, it would be more accurate to say that we come OUT of the world, like an apple comes out of an apple tree, but that’s another story, for another day.)

When you think about it, doesn’t it strike you that this whole business of being a person is quite weird? I mean, what’s it all about? Why is it happening? Is there any purpose to it? If so, what is it?

One of the reasons we wonder so deeply and so universally about these questions is, I believe, that as it’s all going on, we suffer. Our tender bodies allow us to connect and interact with the world, but this same sensitivity also makes us vulnerable to pain. Then there’s the fact that we want things, but sometimes we don’t get them. When that happens, we also suffer. Then there are the times where we get what we don’t want, and we suffer when that happens, too.

As if that weren’t enough, we’re each part of a gigantic web of cause and effect over which we have minimal control. Numberless ongoing physical events throughout the universe affect our galaxy, our solar system, our planet, and, ultimately, our lives. There’s nothing we can do about cosmic rays, gravity, weather patterns, the tides, sunspots, the seasons, the Earth’s magnetic field, the tectonic movements of the continents, earthquakes, the volcanic stirrings beneath the Earth’s crust, the makeup of the atmosphere–and an infinite number of other things totally beyond our control.

What’s more, billions of people, including you, are acting to get what they want in each moment. Some of these actions affect you directly (positively or negatively), while others affect you in a less direct way. Even far-removed events still have an effect on you, though it may be less apparent.

And though your own actions give you some small degree of control over what happens, ultimately you’re at the mercy of forces vastly beyond your control. There’s no getting around it: there is no escape from cause and effect.

As if this wasn’t enough, there’s another big reason why we suffer. Despite our puny influence on cause and effect, we still manage to get what we want some of the time. But even when this happens, whatever it is eventually passes away or falls apart. Everything is impermanent.

We probably suffer about this more than anything else. Nothing lasts. The people and things we love won’t last, and neither will we. Because of this, even though we can enjoy things while they exist, and can enjoy life while it lasts, human existence is imbued with a certain underlying regret or melancholy–an underlying awareness of the transience of things, and a bittersweet sadness at their passing.

You might not have thought of it this way, but much of life, and much of our effort to make sense of it, consists of an attempt to come to terms with these two things: that we’re caught in a web of cause and effect over which we have very limited control, and that all things are impermanent, including ourselves.

Humans have come up with endless strategies to try to deal with this. Some just don’t want to think about it. They stay busy, distracting themselves with activity, drugs, striving, or something else. Some create an after-life or rebirth, or a higher power that they hope does have control, and who might hopefully have a larger plan we’re unaware of, that hopefully will cause everything to turn out alright.

Some decide to make hay while the sun shines. They strive to accumulate wealth, or power, hoping to gain more of a fighting chance in the struggle against cause and effect. Others do what they can to fend off the inevitability of impermanence with modern medicine, exercise, and healthy living. Some find comfort in leaving good works or some sort of legacy that will remain after they’re gone.

Some people just try to stay high all the time. Others become interested in philosophy, hoping to find an explanation. Others become deeply angry and lose control. Still others hope that controlling their mind will provide an answer.

Some hope that individual action will save them. Others seek the security of their group, their tribe, their religion. “If I follow the rules, everything will be fine.” Some divide the world into good and bad, appropriate and inappropriate, and fight against the bad and run after the good. Others hope their adherence to certain guiding principles and ideas will help. Others hope that going beyond principles and ideas, into a state of “no mind,” will provide a solution.

Though it’s not hard to find people who swear by the effectiveness of each of these methods, so far no one has found a way to escape from cause and effect, and no one has found a way to escape from the underlying impermanence of all things. We don’t like to hear this, though. It gives us an uneasy feeling. “There’s no escape? There’s nothing I can do?” So, many people hold out hope that there will turn out to be an afterlife, or that reincarnation will bring them back again (interestingly, Buddhists and Hindus are hoping to step out of that cycle, not perpetuate it).

You may have tried many, or even most of, these methods. You may have tried them all. I’ve tried most of them myself. In the short run, all of them work, or at least seem to work while you’re involved in them. In the long run, none of them work.

As infants we hope that if we cry loudly enough someone will take away our suffering. That’s the only method we have access to. As small children we imagine magical powers that will give us control over what happens (we also keep the crying option open). As we get older, we stop thinking that we have magical powers, but instead attribute them to a parade of powerful others: parents, authority figures, worldly (or spiritual) leaders, a romantic partner, or some higher power.

None of these methods, though, allows us to escape from cause and effect, or from impermanence, because there is no escape. Maybe that’s why we feel so profoundly disappointed (and sometimes angry) when it becomes apparent that one of these “powerful others” isn’t going to provide the answer, the salvation, the solace, or the solution.

No one escapes from these two cornerstones of the human condition. Some people, though, do come to terms with them. Except in rare cases, though, this doesn’t happen until every possible means of escape has been tried.

Human development (which I’ve written about extensively on this blog–see the first dozen or so posts) can be seen as a series of increasingly sophisticated approaches for dealing with impermanence and cause and effect, along with an increasingly broader perspective about such things. Magical thinking (I have magic powers that allow me to control the universe) and mythic thinking (placing the magical power in a powerful other rather than in the self) are examples of this, but there are many other ways human beings attempt to defeat or forestall the effects of cause and effect and impermanence.

You’re probably thinking that I’m about to suggest a solution to all of this. I’m not. I don’t have a solution. There isn’t one. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but there really IS no escape.

But what if we took the fact that there’s no escape as a starting point, instead of fighting it or ignoring it? What if we could somehow come to terms with death and other forms of impermanence, and with cause and effect? Wouldn’t that at least be more realistic? Perhaps surrendering to “what is” would do something that would make life worthwhile, despite the realities–in the same way that someone who has finally accepted their terminal illness exudes a transcendental radiance and inner peace, creating a sense of awe (and a contact high) in everyone around them.

Buddhists call the unwillingness to accept impermanence and cause and effect delusion, ignorance–in other words, an ignoring of the most basic facts of life. But, you say, accepting all of this seems to be such a profoundly negative outlook. Ironically, though, this embracing of “what is” turns out to be incredibly freeing.

I mentioned earlier that you probably won’t give up your struggle against these two until you’ve tried everything. Just being told that there’s no escape doesn’t work. Reading this post isn’t going to change anything for you. Even if you agree on an intellectual level that there’s no escape, you’ll still keep trying to escape–until and unless you run out of options.

There are some people running around who still believe the Earth is flat. No amount of arguing will change the minds of such people. To change the mind of such a person, you’ll have to show them, experientially. How would you do that? You might say to them, “Well of course the Earth is flat. Wouldn’t it be fun to go look over the edge?”

And, then to make sure you didn’t wander around in circles, and not find the edge just because you were sloppy about your search, you’d program your GPS and head due east, for instance, on a certain line of latitude. In other words, you’d head for the edge you’re hoping to find, in a disciplined way. Then, when the two of you finally returned to the place where you’d started, the flat-Earth person would have to at least admit that the Earth is a cylinder.

In much the same way, a good spiritual teacher will send you off in a disciplined search for a solution to the problems of impermanence and cause and effect–not to find a solution (though that’s what you think is going on), but rather to get you to try every way out, until you have no choice but to come to the inevitable conclusion, from personal experience, that there really is no escape.

I’ve discussed Zen master Genpo Roshi’s innovative Big Mind process many times in this blog. In this approach, you’re asked to speak from various “voices” or aspects of the self (as well as those of the transcendent “no-self”). One of the most potent of these voices is the voice of Great Doubt. This voice represents the part of you that really, truly doubts everything, including that there’s any possible escape, solution, or salvation.

Amazingly, when you really get into the voice of Great Doubt, instead of the darkness and gloom you might expect, you find ultimate freedom. This gives us a second way to drop your impossible quest for a way to escape: you could try every possible way out, until you exhaust every possibility, or you could go right to Great Doubt–be Great Doubt.

Great Doubt is, in fact, the road to Great Enlightenment. Few, however, want to go there. After all, it seems so negative. Great Doubt involves doubting that ANYTHING will save you: your ideas, your knowledge, your skills and expertise, your health, your accomplishments, the power you’ve accumulated, your religion, your physical prowess, your money, your possessions, your fame, your self-esteem, the respect you’ve earned, the therapy you’ve gone through, your love relationship, your children, your friends, your healthy diet, your doctors, your philosophy, yoga, meditation–or anything else.

Let me be clear that I’m not against any of these things. All of the above are part of what makes life juicy, interesting, and worth living. However, if you’re doing them under the illusion that they’ll save you from cause and effect or impermanence, you’ll always end up disappointed.

When you doubt–and therefore see through–all of these things, when you’ve doubted it all (that is, doubted that any of it will ultimately save you from cause and effect and impermanence), there’s nothing left to hang onto. In a spiritual and psychic sense, you’re naked. This seems like it would be very negative, doesn’t it? But once Great Doubt brings you to the place where you have nothing to hang onto, something remarkable happens and YOU’RE FREE.

There’s a koan in Buddhism: How do you take the first step off a 100 foot pole? It seems that taking that step would lead to death, annihilation–a splat on the pavement. Unless you actually take that step, though, you never discover that when you hit bottom, you bounce.

I once heard Alan Watts tell a story about a play he saw when he was a little boy. The curtain opens to a man sleeping in a fancy Victorian-era room crammed with fringed lamps, extravagant Victorian furniture, and all kinds of ornamental gewgaws and bric-a-brac. The alarm clock rings, which enrages the man so much that he grabs his shoe and begins smashing the alarm clock until it’s a flattened pile of metal and gears.

He then jumps out of bed and in his rage begins tearing the sheets off the bed and ripping them to shreds. He then smashes the crockery and the mirror and the furniture, and everything else, until the room is a scene of total demolition. The last thing standing is a tall floor lamp with a fringed lampshade. In a final act of anger, he picks up the lamp and throws it across the room…and it bounces. The surprise is that it’s made of rubber.

Though the actual contents of the story have nothing to do with what I’m talking about (other than the idea that, in the end, you “bounce”), it created such a vivid image that I’ve never forgotten it. Watts told this story to illustrate what I’m saying here: when you take that step off the 100 foot pole–when you really and truly give up all hope that anything can save you from cause and effect, or impermanence–you bounce. When you step into the abyss–or what looks to be the abyss–the dreadful consequence you were so afraid of doesn’t happen.

Instead, you discover that you are free. You discover that you are the transcendent, the unborn/undying pure awareness, the Christ, the Buddha, the One. This realization is freedom. Then, for a while, you float along in this transcendent state, where there are no problems and no one to have them, because you’re the infinite Oneness that was never born and will never die.

Later, you might come to see that even though that’s who you are, the organism through which you’re experiencing who you are is still subject to impermanence and cause and effect.

Until you decide to actually take that leap, though, what else can you do? Let’s start, then, from the assumption that there really is no escape–even if you’re the Buddha–and that you can choose to surrender to impermanence or fight it, but either way, it will win. True wisdom is seeing things as they really are.

Here you are, then, in a universe over which you have little control, and where everything eventually falls apart, including you. You realize, though, that who you really are is beyond the separate me in a bag of skin you thought you were. Still though, here you are, living (for now) in the relative world, a world of cause and effect and impermanence.

I’ve often said that awareness provides the solution to all problems. Let me explain how that’s the case even in this situation. I’ve also said that awareness gives you choice. So look at it this way. If you are caught in cause and effect (which you are), and you’re unaware, you’ll be likely to unknowingly place yourself in situations where the consequences–the effect–involve getting something you don’t want. You’ll find yourself with outcomes you don’t want, with people you don’t want, in situations you don’t want to be in.

If you have enough awareness, though, you can see that web of cause and effect before you act. You can see the inevitable karma (to use the Eastern philosophy word) you create whenever you think a certain thought, make a certain picture in your head, make a certain decision, or take a certain action. With enough awareness, no matter how complex the situation, you’ll see the potential consequences, and act accordingly. You’ll enter into life choosing the consequences you experience.

To the degree that you’re unaware, you’re quite likely to step into one situation after another, think one thought after another, make one decision after another, which leads to suffering, both for you and for others.

So while you can’t do anything about the fact that as a human being you’re subject to cause and effect, you can choose–if you’re aware–what consequences you create, what situations you enter into, what thoughts you think, what decisions you make and which actions you take. Though consequences are inevitable, you do have a choice about which consequences you generate.

The gift of awareness is choice. Remain unaware, though, and you have little or no choice. When you’re unaware, life seems to “just happen,” and some of what happens is unnecessarily painful. Suffering is built into life, due to cause and effect and the impermanence of all things. From these two there is no escape. None. The super-aware human being surrenders to impermanence, because all other choices involve delusion–the delusion that you can do something about it.

The super-aware human being also sees how cause and effect works and, in that awareness, CHOOSES how he becomes involved in it. Knowing that all thoughts and all actions have consequences, he chooses the thoughts and actions whose consequences he’s willing to experience. I choose, for instance, to be emotionally involved with Centerpointe. Because Centerpointe, like everything else, is impermanent, I know it will change and eventually fall apart. I also choose to be attached to my wife, Denise; to my daughter, Brisa, and to my son, Evan.

To be unattached to these things would make life, well, lifeless. I also know that this attachment generates consequences, but being aware, I can see them. I also know that everything I’m attached to is a choice I’ve made, with full knowledge of what I’m getting myself into. Without awareness, though, these things are not a choice.

The only thing that really gives you a leg-up in this world is awareness. Ironically, you are that awareness. That’s the only thing that was never born and never dies. That Pure Awareness, the real you, is beyond impermanence, and beyond cause and effect. The body you’re in, however, and the concepts and ideas that make up who you think you are–what I’ve called your Map of Reality, or what could be called “the separate self”–are all impermanent, and are all subject to cause and effect.

This is why Holosync is so important. Holosync creates awareness in a way I’ve never seen anything else do. As you become more aware, you start to see how you’ve been unknowingly creating the karma, the consequences, that you’ve been experiencing. The more aware you become, the more clearly you see this. And the more you see it, the more you automatically know the most resourceful thing to do in each moment.

Zen master Genpo Roshi makes a distinction between the human part of you, the part that is subject to impermanence and cause and effect, and the being part of you, the pure awareness that is beyond these. Ultimately, while you’re here, in a body, as a living thing (a “sentient being,” as they say in Buddhism), you are both human and being. The idea, then, is to integrate your humanness with your beingness, to transcend, and at the same time include, both. Genpo calls the result of this integration “the one who consciously chooses to be a human being.”

I’m not going to tell you to surrender to impermanence, because you won’t do it until you’re truly convinced that there’s no other choice. No one takes that first step off the 100 foot pole until they have no choice, though sometimes you fall without intending to. I am going to tell you, however, to do everything you can to become more aware. In my opinion, that means meditating with Holosync every day.

Another tool I’ve create to help you with this process are my Life Principles Integration Process online courses. These courses show you, among other things, where to direct that awareness in order to create the greatest amount of choice. (You can learn more about these courses–which, considering what you get and how you will change, are ridiculously inexpensive by going to www.centerpointe.com/change. You can also listen to a free preview lesson at www.centerpointe.com/life/preview. (And, until April 15th, the price is much lower.)

I would also strongly recommend that if you are really interested in your psychological and spiritual growth that you bend Heaven and Earth to attend one of the weekend workshops Genpo Roshi and I have been offering. The next one will be in Vancouver, B.C., on June 27-28. These workshops are the fast-track to waking up, and they are extremely affordable (greatly reduced price). To register, go to www.centerpointe.com/bigmind.

Alan Watts used to say that from the moment of your birth, you’re in free-fall. Clutching at the other things falling alongside you isn’t going to help. While there might not be any escape from impermanence and cause and effect, there is a way to enjoy the ride, and to be much more in charge of what happens during your plunge to the bottom. Awareness is the key.

Keep watching, and be well.

77 Responses to “News flash: There’s no escape.”

  1. Terry HS Says:

    Wow. What an incredible article. Deeply satisfying and to the point.

    It’s funny that you would write this article now, I recently came up with a phrase that I say to myself whenever I find I’m getting caught up in bad feelings about a person or situation.

    “We’re all going to wither away and die anyway”.

    Although that sounds quite negative, I find it freeing and I feel a deep sense of inner peace and connectedness to others after saying it.

    It strikes me that to embrace death is to really embrace life.

    Thanks again for the wonderful article.

    Terry

  2. Nameless Says:

    This is another great entry and should be read by everyone.

    But, for me, that experience of “Great Doubt” – the essential emptiness of all things, seems to vacillate between a Zen “lively, liberating emptiness” and a more Satre “nauseating, existential emptiness.”

    It seems that it all comes down to how we wish to view it – which itself can seem to be an empty, existential exercise.

    Realizing the impermanence of all things seems to take the motivation away from pursuing things to make myself, or others, happy. Realizing there is no “salvation” in impermanent things, I am sometimes just reduced to merely avoiding physical discomfort. Without having that illusionary “passion” to chase ideas, things and relations, I can find myself sometimes just in a passive “blah” state for long periods.

    The overwhelm strategies Centerpointe gives for physical stress, tension, anxiety, sadness, etc. are excellent. But these are all still energetic states that one can find a toe-hold on. I don’t know what to do with the continual “stuck in neutral” passive funk I’ve been in.

    FROM BILL: Why not enjoy the world of relativity even though it’s impermanent? Don’t you enjoy an ice cream cone even though it will soon be gone? Why not pursue happiness, even though it is impermanent? This is part of what I meant by CHOOSING to be a human being: you choose to be here, and choose to enter into life despite the fact that it is impermanent. The unaware person enters into life from a deluded point of view, trying to make it be what it is not. The aware person sees things the way they really are, AND fully enters into them BY CHOICE.

    This is really just a sign that you need to keep going, keep moving, toward more awareness. The more you become aware, the more things make sense–even though you know everything will eventually fall apart. Another thing: when a person has a true awakening experience, a powerful experience of the transcendent, they see beyond the world of impermanence. Even though the relative still affects such a person, he (she) is more able to surrender to “what is”. Your approach is more of a dispair or depression about it, which comes from not yet clearly seeing how things really are.

  3. Roger Charlesworth Says:

    You have just expounded the central message of,”A Course In Miracles”, [ACIM]

  4. Chris Z Says:

    Bill,

    I agree that the ego/personal identity likely ceases to exist upon physical death. But the Buddhists that you’ve referenced several times in your blog do believe in reincarnation, not of the “personality”, but of the Soul (eternal energy that has experienced the many “lifetimes” and is sustained by the Spirit/Primal Source energy). Ken Wilber, who you highly respect (and who incidentally has the ability to nearly stop his brain wave activity at will, used to be thought to be impossible before he did it!) also believes in reincarnation. I have personally seen what a Ouija board can do (once in my life, 18 yrs ago) and I have no doubt the mind survives after death of the physical body. Remote Viewers have also apparently confirmed that the “Akashic Records” do in fact exist.

    Bill, you haven’t died yet so you really do not have the authority to speak of what happens to the Mind/Soul after death. Science has now accepted (The History channel has had shows on this too) that we live in a Multi-Dimensional Universe (11 or more!). Is it not possible/likely that our Minds/Souls existed on one (or more) of them before we were “born” into this 3 dimensional world? And are returning upon “death”? Impermanence is constant change, not ceasing to exist. According to Wilber, the “Witness” is Permanent, unchanging. I believe you too realize this.

    You wrote “Instead, you discover that you are free. You discover that you are the transcendent, the unborn/undying pure awareness, the Christ, the Buddha, the One.”… “The only thing that really gives you a leg-up in this world is awareness. Ironically, you are that awareness. That’s the only thing that was never born and never dies. That Pure Awareness, the real you, is beyond impermanence, and beyond cause and effect.”

    You also wrote “Later, you might come to see that even though that’s who you are, the organism through which you’re experiencing who you are is still subject to impermanence and cause and effect.” …”The body you’re in, however, and the concepts and ideas that make up who you think you are–what I’ve called your Map of Reality, or what could be called “the separate self”–are all impermanent, and are all subject to cause and effect.”

    Bill, the danger, I believe, in what you’re writing about is that one may be inclined to commit suicide because they may erroneously believe that doing so will return them into the non-existence of the void. But one who commits suicide will likely find themselves still existing in a purgatory type state, only to be reincarnated again into a 3 dimensional reality, having to experience the same “lessons” again and having hurt those that love them.

    Have you ever heard Drunvalo Melchizedek speak on this topic? If not, maybe you should? I have no doubt that you’re living a great life, doing great things, but you may be a bit off on this one??

    FROM BILL: So, okay, you still are looking for something to believe that helps you deal with impermanence. For any strategy you choose, you will be able to cite people who agree with you. Are you really believing in these things because certain Buddhists, or Ken Wilber believes in them (I think you misunderstand what they believe)? Why not find out for yourself? I’m not arguing in favor or this idea over that one. This is not about what to believe. Beliefs are ideas, not reality. Go beyond the place of deciding which dogma to choose.

    You bring up suicide? Nothing I’m talking about has anything to do with suicide. I’m not taking about some sort of hopelessness or depression over impermanence. That might be your reaction, but that’s because you haven’t come to terms with it. There’s no reason to be despondent about the way the universe works.

  5. Julius Ko Says:

    Awesome as usual. I keep on forwarding this blog to my friends…. I just wonder if they actually read it =P.

  6. Tim Says:

    Thank you, Bill. Thank you for taking the time to communicate this message. It was so humbling…

  7. Curtis Kastner Says:

    Bill,

    Awesome post! I definitely notice MANY more moments of choice exist now, compared to when I first started Holosync 31 months ago. I’m noticing the length of those “choice moments” are often getting longer; and I also recognize the times when I’m in the middle of one of my avoidance strategies/methods MUCH quicker, often in seconds/minutes/hours instead of days/weeks/months/years/never.

    The most difficult thing to grasp about so many of your posts Bill, is that they’re not concepts to understand, but principles to experience, like balance on a bicycle. And often times trying to understand them makes the suffering worse…

    Thanks for creating Holosync, Bill. The technology and all of your support materials (of which this blog is included) are absolutely genius!

    Curtis

  8. Chris Says:

    Within the last couple of months my “inspirational dissatisfaction” has dissipated a bit and I’ve been able to just LIVE. I was skeptical at first, but it’s been about 2 years into it and it REALLY is doing many of the things you’ve promised it would. It’s pretty amazing actually to experience it and actually feel things getting better! So, thanks Bill!

    But back on track, although I’ve been less interested in self-help stuff and instead just LIVING, it’s really nice that you post these articles every month or 2. It keeps me in the game and continues to give me more to think about.

  9. Gina Says:

    Aloha Bill!
    Once again you speak with clarity and a freshness we need to hear, mahalo. Awareness IS the key and I love hearing your explanation as it gets right to the point. I plan to” tweet” this right now on Twitter. You simply must get Centerpointe on Twitter ( I know I keep saying this) ….they need your voice. Till you show up there I will continue to “tweet” your posts. Mahalo for all YOUR awareness and love.
    Aloha~Gina
    @starlightlife on twitter

  10. fun-da-mental Says:

    Congratulations Bill,
    this is your best article so far here on the blog!
    Take care and Shanti…
    Fox
    Switzerlandf

  11. Ian Towers Says:

    Boy, Bill, you really are your biggest fan. My ears are bleeding.

  12. James Says:

    I’ve been using Holosync since 1995 and have scratched my head over your online courses. Creating Power is much easier to understand and has an immediate impact on your life by putting you in the driver’s seat.

    James.

  13. Andy Phillips Says:

    Hi Bill

    Thanks for being the tour conductor on my bus. I really loved the paragraph on the underlying bittersweet melancholy…

    Love Andy

  14. Tomas Says:

    Bill,
    Again I like your blog. That was great. I think cause and effect is part of chaos theory. Which says the flying butterfly in Brazil cause tornado in Texas. So to fight against that is no win. Effect is always exist for any cause and cause for any affect. Impermanence is against human basic instinct survival. I think this instinct always force us to fight against impermanence. Awareness is key to make this instinct work for our benefits. Holosynch is key to awareness.

  15. Tim Jones Says:

    Who is it who chooses what to think/ what actions to take if there is really no ‘you’ to choose? I don’t say this to disparage your teachings, but to clear something up in my own mind- because my meditation teacher laughs at the idea of free will and choice- he calls it a ‘total illusion’ and says that it may as well be a cartoon character in a comic strip talking about how they have free will and choice- he thinks everything in the physical world happens by itself and then the mind piles conceptualisations on top of it, including the idea of a seperate ‘me’ who could choose…

    FROM BILL: Choices happen, but there is no one who chooses. You meditation teacher may get it that there is no one to choose, but he has thrown the choice out with the bathwater. Free will exists, but there is no one who exercises it. The thinker is just one of the thoughts. The actor is just one of the actions. The feeler is just one of the feelings. None of this, however, means that there aren’t choices, actions, thoughts, or feelings.

  16. The Librarian in Purgatory Says:

    I once wrote that the great surfer rides the wave, carving/surfing out his vision upon it. However, I would change that, or add to it: the master surfer, he doesn’t surf the wave, the wave surfs/flows through him. There is no surfer or wave, only the two-as-One joined in perfect harmony, unity. The wave is transparent to the master surfer and the master surfer is transparent to the wave. They both inform each other and point to, become something greater than the sum of their parts. This is true whether the wave is the energy of your job or the feminine power of your beloved, or the Universe/Tao. The master is a master because he is visible but he is not there or because he is there but he is not visible…however you like it.

    “His personal ambitions being totally dissolved, he no longer tries to live but willingly relaxes to whatever may come to pass in him; he becomes, that is to say, an anonymity.”

    (Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 236-7)

  17. michelle Says:

    OUR THOUGHTS=CAUSE
    which determines the EFFECT…meaning: WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE…WE CAN ESCAPE. It starts with our THOUGHTS.
    our beliefs become our thoughts
    our thoughts become our words
    our words become our actions
    our actions become our habits
    our habits become our values
    our values become our destiny.

    peace

    FROM BILL: None of that allows you to escape from cause and effect or impermanence.

  18. Gerry Says:

    Great article Bill. Any chance that Big Mind will be coming to Ireland/UK?

    Regards

    Gerry

  19. Chris Z Says:

    Bill – I’m sorry, I don’t think you really understood where I was going with what I wrote. Belief in something relative (and everything we type/say is relative) is either skillful or it’s not; i.e. the traffic light is “red”, believing that red means “stop”, is a skillful belief. Reincarnation either happens OR it doesn’t happen, in a relative sort of way; i.e. A Course in Miracles answers the question in both absolute and relative terms (“Workbook for Teachers” section). The Buddhist’s goal is to transcend it, break the “cycle of birth and death”. But they still acknowledge there is a relative cycle to break. As for Ken Wilber, if you ever hear his ten hour interview with Tami Simon (Sounds True Publishing/ “Kosmic Consciousness”) then you’ll understand why I haven’t misunderstood him. As for you stating that “There’s no reason to be despondent about the way the universe works”, I’m not. Your “take/belief” about that was wrong!…lol. Bill, you’re still utilizing a “map of reality”, as am I. Our maps are both allowing us to navigate around this world. You don’t believe in “reincarnation” on a relative level, I do. I had an experience with a ouija board years ago that opened my eyes to the likelihood of a relative “reincarnation” experience. What has grounded your belief that it doesn’t exist? And please don’t say that you don’t have an opinion about it one way or the other, that wouldn’t be sincere. Finally, lighten up brother, it’s all good….

    FROM BILL: I also don’t believe in fairies or unicorns.

  20. Shell Says:

    So what?

    FROM BILL: The so what is that most of your suffering is created by your attempts to deny impermanence and cause and effect.

  21. Amy Says:

    Bill,

    Thank you for such an insightful blog.

    In applying this to love relationships, I’ve had the realization of impermanence and coming to the conclusion that I need to love more fully without reservation because the end will come, however it happens (death or break-up) and in the long run (there’s alot of pain before you’ll get to this point, but) you’ll wish you had loved more fully.

    However, my choices in love relationships and my reactions are/were really negative. My logic is, I’m here, human, living this life and I might as well make the most of it, learn as much as I can, evolve as much as possible . . . I’m in a place where I know my shadows are causing my attractions and I want to move beyond this, or at least evolve to a better place. My last relationship I saw, just like you said, how I was doing it and starting it again and ended the relationship. Now, I don’t want to get involved with anyone. My love relationships in the future have to be more positive.

    You recommend doing Genpo’s process to become more aware of your shadow self (the stuff you’re trying to disown/avoid). I’ve started this and have also experimented with therapy and Wilber’s 321 process. You recommend awareness is the key and gives way to choice. I’ve experienced some stuff in my life that I absolutely want to avoid and am finding how my shadows have attracted me to certain situations and people and certain people to me. My question is, is that all you have to do, become aware of the shadow? I’ve been working with Denise like you suggested and have had some pretty powerful insights – now what? Just
    witness and shodow work?

    To those that are wondering if this stuff really works – it does! I’ve experienced some really wonderful insights using holosync and the shadow work. I’ve experienced faster growth and more insight than anything else I’ve done – including church, therapy, EMDR, other personal growth stuff. There were issues I’ve been struggling with for years, that I’ve sought out help for in many forms, and nothing has helped as well as this. Thank you, Bill, for your courage to reach out to us like this.

    Best regards,

    Amy

    FROM BILL: Shadow work is not about getting rid of anything. The attempt to get rid of things is the problem, and is what creates the shadow material in the first place. This work is about being aware of what you have pushed out of awareness. When you do that, whatever does not serve you falls away, but if you approach it as a way to get rid of something, you’re just perpetuating the situation. Resisting resistance, being angry about anger, or fearing fear, isn’t the answer. Just be aware and everything takes care of itself.

  22. Keith Boss Says:

    Bill,

    At the end of one paragraph you say ‘True wisdom is seeing things as they really are.’

    Please can you clarify, because based on other of your thoughts I assumed that what I ‘see’ can never be reality.

    No one sees reality. Each of us see our concious mind’s interpretation of reality. So who can see things as they really are?

    Love Holosync and your work,

    Keith

    FROM BILL: I mean seeing impermanence and cause and effect for what they are, instead of creating illusory ways to (supposedly) escape.

  23. Frank Says:

    Thanks Bill. Great stuff!!

  24. Michaela Says:

    Wow! Your last couple of posts seem to arrive at just the right time for me. Coincidence?
    I totally get that everything we do on this earthly plane is in some way, trying to avoid or put off that inevitable passing away and this whole spiritual journey is in fact merely another way of trying to make sense of the impermanence of our human existence. However, if not the chance of reaching a fully awakened state aren’t we at least correct in the pursuit of at least reaching some kind of inner peace? I think at the heart of it all, every human being wants to feel that they have contributed in some small way to the Whole and that their existence here has not been totally futile.
    Just one other question Bill. What happens if we doubt the voice of great doubt? Or does that mean we were not really talking to the voice of great doubt in th first place?

    FROM BILL: The point is that when you try to do something about impermanence that is based on delusion, you create another problem beyond that of impermanence. When you see things they way they really are, you avoid a lot of otherwise self-created suffering.

    Doubt everything.

  25. Chris Z Says:

    Lol, neither do I my man. Be well…

  26. friday afternoon update! 24: the “making this up as we go along” edition — creative lifestyles Says:

    [...] say that it is the attempt to control the circumstances of our lives, what bill harris calls the “gigantic web of cause and effect over which we have minimal control,” that is the real culprit for our pain. then again, one could pretty easily say just about [...]

  27. Jack Tidwell, MD Says:

    Bill – As a cancer doctor I find it important to get my patient to jump with me into this very second…. Now…. the least of the impermanences I can think of.

    “How long to I have to live, doctor?” is my cue to the invitation. That way we both enjoy the experience synchronously…. truly. And nearly all of them get it. They have found the portal. I have to redirect from time to time…. even myself.

    Holosync seems to help slide me into the timeless zone. I have just started and I see it already working…. it is not just for cancer patients or their doctors. It is transformational and powerful in a smiling way. The seconds just get bouncier and bouncier as we take out the time microscope and examine them.

    You are smiling aren’t you.

    Jack

  28. Michaela Says:

    Hmmm! So what happens if I doubt you and I doubt Holosync?

    FROM BILL: Maybe you should.

  29. Steve B. Says:

    A super interesting post! Bill, thank you for sharing your time. And IMHO being one’s own biggest fan goes on the ‘good’ pile :)

  30. Larry Lynch Says:

    Thank you for this Bill…especially the part about jumping off the 100 foot pole. Although I didn’t quite know it at the time, that is what happened to me as a result of the retreat in Missouri last October. I’m not sure if I made that decision completely on my own, or if I was gently nuged by some invisible helper. Anyway, it happened, and I remember two distinct voices in my mind on the way down; the one kept saying, “You crazy fool…you’ve lost your mind!”, and the other reassured me that, “It’s OK to lose your mind…then you can come to your senses!” I think now that this process was initiated by my constant mantra-like desire to surrender absolutely to ‘any spiritual help that might be available’…this desire was the result of too many years of trying to live with irrational fears and panic attacks.

    Anyway, I’m still here, although a very different human being as the result of jumping into the unknown, and obviously bouncing back. Most all of the fear is gone, as are any notion of panic, and I seem to be at peace with most everything, and everyone…at least for now. This is new, and yet somehow reminiscent of early childhood. Could this be what some call being born again?

    Best regards,
    Larry

  31. Maurice Corrigan Says:

    When you get this ONE thing
    ALL is won

    And when ALL is won
    ONE is ALL

    And when ONE is ALL
    ALL is won

    And when ALL is won
    ALL is ONE

  32. Nancy Says:

    Hi Bill, and all.

    That Pure Awareness, the real you, is beyond impermanence, and beyond cause and effect.

    I was a little worried at the beginning that you were going to stay in the world of time/space. You were the first to introduce me to the idea of Bigmind. Since meditating with Holosync I have heard more and more the idea that we (our true spiritual selves) are all connected to Bigmind or the One, or Source. Thank you, for all that. Eckhart Tolle also has helped me to see the separation between my impermanent (ego run ) self and my awareness.

    I did want to share with you, Bruce Lipton’s videos on human evolution. This, if you have time, is a wonderful new idea on who we are and where we might take this impermanence…. http://www.mindbridge-loa.com/fractals.html

    Thank you as always,
    Nancy

  33. michelle Says:

    You can escape cause and effect. You cannot escape impermanence. Why are you putting those two terms together? It contradicts everything you have said about focusing on what you want. It’s our thoughts that cause us to suffer. Change your thoughts and you will change the effects. Meditation is the key to escaping…your thoughts. Yes, every material thing in the world and beyond will die which includes me and you.

    FROM BILL: Changing an effect with your thoughts IS part of cause and effect. I’m saying that everything you do has an effect, and you are effected by everything going on around you. There’s no escape from that. What’s more, though you have some control, it is minor compared to what is going on around you. Your only recourse is to be AWARE, so that you know what effects you are creating. Doing that gives you choice over which consequences you experience.

  34. Scott Says:

    It is in the impermanence that we are free to choose to attach ourselves. In the Buddhist thought it is attachment that brings suffering and in our choice of attachment we subject ourselves to suffering, although in many ways we will gain benefit from suffering in this way because it is often a suffering brought about by love and therefore a loss of ourselves. In love and attachment we lose ourselves and our thoughts of impermanence in knowing that the only permanent thing is the moment we are experiencing. If we lose ourselves in the ‘now’ we experience the truth of life only being worth it if we live it. It is time we stop worrying about whether we are permanent or impermanent and start living this wonderful (or not so wonderful) life we have been given and live it for the good of all. For as we live our lives for the good of all we come to know that we are the all for which we live.

    LIving to the fullest,
    Scott

  35. C Says:

    Hi Bill,

    Great thoughts here. Omm, I know this may be out of the norm… but I’m only in Awakening Prologue and I’m having what I’m reading about is termed a “kundalini awakening.” Thoughts on these, and how did your own development progress — physically it’s like my whole body is being wrenched open over a period of about 3 weeks. Not altogether pleasant. In fact downright confusing/scary for about half of each day but the time on this is decreasing. Hope you are well and am enjoying the blog.

    FROM BILL: That’s a whole post in and of itself, but let’s just say that as Holosync makes you more aware, that energy of awareness (which is what kundalini really is) contains or reveals aspects of you, the universe, whatever you want to call it, that you have disowned. What you are feeling is your own resistance to these things. This is why I continually say in the support material to let whatever happens be okay. That means to observe what is happening (be aware of the physical sensations, the thoughts, the internal pictures, and anything else) with curiosity and awareness, and as much as possible without trying to make it go away. Just let it be okay and REALLY be curious. Observe your resistance with as much interest as you can muster. Don’t you find what is happening fascinating, when you really thing about it? Get out of “I want this to stop” and into “Wow, I wonder what this is.”

  36. carlos Says:

    Holocync has helped me to little by little accept the fact that everything is impermanent. I still resist it but not nearly as much as I used to.
    Centerpointe as everything else will come to an end. I just hope it does not happen anytime soon.

    One question about shadows Bill.

    Is it possible to disowned to “opposing” voices for example courage and fear?
    What book about the shadows would you recomend?

    Carlos

    FROM BILL: Of course.

  37. Michaela Says:

    Out off Doubt comes Awareness. Thank you. Nothing really matters.

  38. David Says:

    Great article Bill,

    O.k. I’m trying to figure out how this awareness method is actually going to work on a personal level. So I’ve been doing holosync for a few years, sedona method, I’ve tried Big Mind process, but I still have this on going problem that I’m trying to heal/deal with. Every time I have to speak in front of people I have a really bad panic attack. I know it’s from being picked on throughout childhood, but I can’t seem to shake it.
    So there I am having a panic attack, introducing myself to a group, and I am aware of it. How does that help? I feel like it makes it worse. I tried focusing on what I want, hundreds of times. Trust me I’m almost addicted to getting rid of panic attacks! So what do I do? I tried speaking from the voice of fear, I tried releasing the fear, control, approval, security etc. You might tell me to let whatever happens be o.k, but I can’t. Not until it’s gone. I have to be able to speak in public with confidence! What do I do?
    It’s kind of funny that all the other areas of my life have improved significantly from using these methods, but this one seems stuck. any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    FROM BILL: You tried everything but what works, which is becoming aware of HOW you do a panic attack. If you watch HOW you do it (which involves observing what you do inside, what internal representations you make, and seeing the direct creation, through what you do, of the panic) if will fall away. Obviously you see yourself in front a crowd and pull from the memory banks certain internal pictures, certain meanings, certain internal dialog and attach them to the current situation. The cure is awareness–not knowing, but awareness–of what you’re doing, how you do it, and the direct consequences of what you’re doing. Review what happened the last time you did this and see what you can notice. Then, the next time, pay attention to the internal representations you make. This takes practice. Are you taking, or have you taken my Life Principles Integration Process online courses, where I teach you how all of this works, in detail? http://www.centerpointe.com/life

  39. michelle Says:

    Please do not minimize self responsibility…because if you say to people…there’s no escape….especially with what’s going on now on a global level. Many will use that excuse to not take responsibility for their thoughts and actions. Our thoughts and actions have contributed to the effects of what we are experiencing now. We are all responsible for the “global crisis” due to our thoughts=cause.

    So please concentrate more on your proven product-Holosync. Honestly, Holosync forcing you to be aware and take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.

    Stay away from the Wilbers, Genpos, etc. Those guys are full of talk with very little permanent results behind their theories.

    peace

    FROM BILL: First of all, I know Genpo and Ken Wilber, and I suspect you don’t. They each have a LOT of permanent results behind what they do.

    Second, the whole post was about personal responsibility. What do you think I mean when I say that you can’t escape from cause and effect? I’m saying that you are part of cause and effect, and you can’t get away from it, and IF you are aware you can exercise responsibility (the ability to respond). Otherwise you are an automatic response mechanism. One of the main points of the post was personal responsibility.

  40. Sjaak Adriaanse Says:

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for yet another great article! I was wondering, did someone ever go through the Big Mind process while being hooked up to EEG apparatus, and what came out?

    Greetings,
    Sjaak

    FROM BILL: Not that I know of.

  41. Melissa Says:

    Bill,
    Wow, thanks for that! I just had a little discussion with Great Doubt, and what a magnificent shift!!! You absolutely rock for providing the clues… thank you. And also for walking this journey with us. Holosync has been such a gift in my life. And thank you for exposing us to so many other great teachers. I am so greatly appreciative of what you have shared.
    Much love,
    Melissa

  42. Sally Says:

    Bill,
    I was a perfectly happy atheist, you live you die they throw dirt in your face. I was good with that. I’ve been doing Holosync for a year now and have started the Life’s Principles Course and I love both! I feel the oneness of the Universe, I now believe in a Divine Spirit. Maybe I am headed in the wrong direction, but my question to you is…Why, when you do the timeline to you ask “was it in this lifetime or a previous lifetime?” and why did my unconscious mind say “previous” it told me 5 lifetimes ago. What happened there and why did you ask the question? I don’t think I am grasping this…just when I thought I was.

    FROM BILL: If you, or your unconscious mind, thinks it was in a previous lifetime, that’s what we’re looking for. It’s what your unconscious mind THINKS that matters in the Time Line process.

  43. carlos Says:

    The fear of jumping off the pole is SOO REAL for everybody.
    its so hard just to consider to question things like our religious/spiritual beliefs , political or world views or our self image.

    I recently saw the movie ” religious” with Bill Maher. Super funny. In the movie Bill Maher questions and bust the balls of fundamental christians ,muslims ,jews etc. and it is curious how people do anything to cling to their views.
    This particular guy who is a christian and plays jesus in a show ask maher “what if you are wrong?” and Maher responds ” What if you are wrong?” It was sad to see how the face of the christian guy totally change and became so sad and confused.
    I think there is Real danger in jumping off the pole. Or in pushing people off the pole , the person might evolve or awake but it could lead to total depression or worse. They would feel naked , exposed , vulnerable unable to cope and they might break down as a consequence.

    Carlos

  44. C Says:

    Thanks Bill. I was afraid you might say something about releasing resistance. Maybe I just needed to accept that you were going to. LOL

  45. Santiago Jimenez Says:

    Great Bill !

    I think the issue of free will becomes a problem when we confuse the perspectives of the human and the being.

    From the human point of view there really is no free will at all. Thoughts (which lead to feelings and actions) just appear, there really is nothing we can do (as humans).

    From the transcendent perspective, its all MY doing, I am the awareness AND the entire going on of it all (as you like to say it) I am emptiness AND form.

    The problem comes (I think) when we try to fit the Being perspective inside the human perspective, and it can’t be done because for the being to arise the human has to step aside (and then it gets included). Do you see it this way ?

    So my question is. Since there really is nothing to do. Because Its always been THIS MOMENT and always will be. Why keep seeking ? Why does Genpo still meditate ? why do you keep studying with him ? Just for the fun of it ?

    If someone is REALLY free to choose to be a human being, that means he can choose to not be one (i.e. to die) any moment right ? Do you know anybody like this ?

    How can you tell when you have COMPLETELY surrender ?

    In my own experience, I think we get more and more comfortable with the paradox of the human and the being. With knowing that there is a part of us that dies an one that doesn’t. Its like we learn to surrender more and more, to be more and more comfortable with impermanence and less attached to life.

    But it is a process, not a one time realization, it’s not like.. “ok, that’s it, I get it, I’m free now”.

    You keep deepen it more and more. So in a way, we are always seeking don’t you think ?

    I love this blog Bill, thanks a lot for sharing.

    All the love,

    Santiago

    FROM BILL: Choosing happens, but there is no chooser. Doing happens but there is no doer. Free will happens, but there is no one who exercises it.

    Surrendering happens, but there is no one who surrenders. In fact, that realization IS surrendering. And, surrendering is never total.

  46. Darren Says:

    Hi Bill,

    Please forgive me for referencing an earlier post, but I need help with shadow work. Here are my questions:

    If I find that I can’t speak from a particular voice how do I re-own it?

    Is speaking from a voice just once enough, or do I need to do it at least several times?

    When a voice is re-owned and the “shift” or “maturing” happens does that mean I’ll just wake up in the morning and begin exhibiting more functional behaviors?

    Thank you for your time.
    Darren

    FROM BILL: But you CAN speak from any voice. Just do it. Then you’ll find out the answers to all the other questions. If you need the help of a facilitator, call Denise Harris at 949 375 3043. She is extremely good (she does charge something).

  47. Kim Hoe Yap Says:

    Oh my..fabulous post Bill..

    I have been raading about Centrepoint for the last 2 years..I always treasure your ideas. Well it is truly a wonderful relationship with you these 2 years, albeit a “virtual” one. Thanks for your wonderful ideas!

  48. Karen Dionne Says:

    Bill, I love you and all you say is very good stuff, but you are soooo long-winded. I get tired reading and listening to you. Can it all not be said with fewer words? It even says that my own personal “comments may be edited for length and clarity” when I post this. I beg you to shorten your talks and get to the point.

    FROM BILL: Here’s a talk just for you: Watch everything with awareness.

  49. Chrissy C Says:

    Dear Bill H ,

    I listen to all your podcasts and have just started my journey of awakening 18 months ago. I am from Vancouver, used to live on the streets, but now have a much better life, accepting ” what is”. I am lower income and would really like to attend your upcoming seminar but $500 US is hardly inexpensive to me. Do you have any opportunities for people who cannot afford that amount to attend? I really want to change my life and it is impossible for me to come up with that kind of money at this time.
    Thanks

  50. Glenn Roberts Says:

    Bill,

    I enjoy the comments to your blog almost as much as I enjoy the blog itself. In particular, your response to Nameless I found to be especially eye-opening. I would never have before believed that an ice cream cone could cause a “zen moment”.

    What a simple, yet empowering illustration to choose to enjoy the experiences of life rather than focus on the impermances.

    Kudos!

    FROM BILL: That’s called an Ice Cream Koan.

  51. Micah Says:

    Ok Bill,

    Near the beginning of the blog post you start to ask, isn’t being a human being quite weird, I mean we are just

    “on this spinning rock ball, in the middle of endlessly vast space, in a thin and fragile protected environment absolutely necessary to us if we’re to stay alive. We come into the world, and then, after an undetermined amount of time, we’re gone. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

    “(Actually, if you think about it, it would be more accurate to say that we come OUT of the world, like an apple comes out of an apple tree, but that’s another story, for another day.)

    “doesn’t it strike you that this whole business of being a person is quite weird? I mean, what’s it all about? Why is it happening? Is there any purpose to it? If so, what is it?

    So I have to say, that before you suggested that this experience (life) was very weird, I actually saw it as very normal.

    Seeing things as weird or normal depends on the context your comparing the thing to.

    So one notion I would suggest to you Bill, is that your inventing a problem, and infact convincing people they have a problem, before you reveal that your solution is to help them either see outside the problem, or to realize the problem was just an illusion in the first place, yes they still have the problem, but once they accept that it isn’t a problem anymore, it’s just the way it is.

    Ironically though, many people just accept that things are the way the way they are, and what I propose is that you are consciously convincing yourself that you are saving people from a problem they know about, while unconsciously making the problem by informing people of it.

    Now, if that’s possibly true, or not true, then ask yourself why you begin blog posts describing a problem?

    Perhaps describing a problem is creating a problem, where none was before?

    and your so sure that everyone has this problem,

    but the reality could be that your just warning trees about the dangers of air, and then after selling your product you tell them not to worry about the air anymore, because they were born in air, and can’t do anything about it because they are just trees, and since it doesn’t matter they can find other things to focus on, and essentially your erasing the problem, that you introduced in the first place by believing it to be there.

    It’s one thing if the mud teacher tells me my mud pond can grow lily’s, lotus’s, and even gives me seeds to start my flower garden.

    It’s another thing to have a generous person, drain the mudpond, build a school, to bring literacy to the poor, to train strong work ethics in young people, to teach people trades, so they can grow an economy, operate a business, run a city, then a government, and return the favor one day by sponsoring development in some other mud garden.

    That’s the work of heroes, and it’s being a hero that makes life worth living, that brings people together, in mutual love, and eternal happiness.

    Meditation is the path to letting everything be ok, but it doesn’t make you a hero. Not in my book.

    FROM BILL: Unfortunately for you, no one is reading your book.

    I describe a problem all humans have, and know they have. I am merely telling them that what they think is a problem is only a problem if they struggle against it. You have a problem with that?

  52. Micah Says:

    choosing the consequences translates into choosing risks

    contrast that with the lesson that belief-s translate into behavior, and results.

    for example if I believe that every fifth time the fridge is opened a throat slitting tiger leaps out, then I might not open the fridge at all,

    likewise, if I believe I’m at constant risk, then your right, it would make taking risks by choices seem a lot easier, thanks to the contrast of moving what your focusing on to a different context for comparison.

    the converse is that, if I have great faith, the polarity of great doubt, I might also take great risks, but think of it as using belief as a tool, to choose my rewards, instead of choosing my consequences.

    belief is a tool, and an illusion, and nothing then can make me happy or sad, except that believing makes it so.

    so how does one reconcile faith with inevitable consequence?

    its because we have no choice?

    faith is a method of holding in awareness

    doubt is a method of letting go in awareness

    so it seems to me, that great doubt and great faith should both be practiced, one after another.

    So the mind gets used to polarity shifting, and combining, being afraid and happy at the same time is called excitement!

    Why shouldn’t practice great combinations of opposite notions as well?

    my twitter is /podabla

    FROM BILL: You are correct! Great Doubt and Great Faith are two sides of the very same coin.

  53. michelle Says:

    LOL….I GET NOW!!! THANKS AGAIN BILL

  54. ade Says:

    Good post, but I think our situation is even ‘worse’ than Bill suggests: awareness is not going to last either. It is gone when the body is gone. It’s truly ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and there’s no awareness in ashes or dust.

    Of course it is very useful to be more aware while we are alive, but the belief that awareness is not time bound is simply the result of giving excessive importance to the first person perspective approach to Emptiness, to use Ken Wilber’s terminology. No, nirguna Brahman is nirguna Brahman.

    Also, denying the existence of a real self is just another way to avoid the force of the conclusion that I am going to die: if I can convince myself that my sense of self is an illusion then obviously it’s ‘death’ is meaningless and need not be feared. I escape by convincing myself that what I really am is awareness, which is not going to die. And calling it Awareness, (or Consciousness or the Self) is trickery, just another way to be inauthentic and escape the conclusion that I am going to die.

    There really is no escape, because if there is anything that is not time bound, it is Emptiness, which is not an I, not a You, and not an It. Death is not called Mahasamadhi for nothing.

    That said, it does appear that the future of humanity lies in the direction of the cyborg, i.e. there will be extended humans who live indefinitely long lives (which is not the same as forever and definitely not the same as being outside of time).

    Wilber even thinks that these extended humans will come to be aware of another state ‘beyond’ the Non-Dual — the Cyber Non-Dual, I think he calls it. An interesting possibility! My guess would be that he is right, and that this new state will be the result of a blurring of the difference between life and death, so that the nature of awareness itself would be fundamentally affected.

    But again, a good post, and lots of good comments too. I am going to remember that Ice Cream Koan!

    FROM BILL: You treat “no-self” as if it is a belief that you can either adopt or not. Some speak of it because they read about it or heard someone else talk about it. Others speak from experience. And, even those people (those whom I know personally) are still concerned about death of the body-mind. Unless, of course, they are stuck in the transcendent and still need to integrate it with the relative. In a way, the point of the post was to say that we make a problem of what-is by resisting it. If life is impermanent, there are consequences to that. If you resist it, there are even more consequences, and though the first set of consequences are inevitable, the second set aren’t.

    Finally, are you really going to need awareness after death?

  55. Darren Says:

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for responding to my previous post about working with shadows. I don’t have the funds to use a facilitator at this time, so I’ve decided to do the best I can on my own. I’ve chosen to speak from my voices in writing, so far this has proven to be the most potent method for me.

    Doing this exercise has given me some incredible insights. I’ve noticed that in most cases when I speak from a voice, there’s another voice behind that voice, and another voice behind that voice etc…and that actually all these different “voices” are all one voice! Something else that occurred to me was what Eugene Gendlin said about a felt sense making “steps”. That’s exactly what this feels like as I discover all these other voices emerging from the surface voices.

    Doing this shadow work has proven to be highly beneficial for me as I have been experiencing some tremendous upheaval from my use of Holosync. I would appreciate your advise on something though. I recently visited another personal growth site that discussed dealing with shadows, here’s an excerpt:

    “We integrate our shadows by playing pretend, like children do, with different behaviors. We do this in environments in which there are no real-world consequences. As we play safely with our shadows, we integrate their power. ”

    In my current situation, I’m running a small business and it’s sometimes difficult to find time in the day to write from these voices, and depending on who is around me it’s not always safe to speak orally from them either. So how else could I “integrate” my shadows?

    Thank you for your time,
    Darren

    FROM BILL: I don’t really know anything about the other site you mentioned.

    You can reown a shadow in an instant, but whatever amount of time it takes will be worth it a thousand times over.

  56. Santiago Jimenez Says:

    Bill I got a question, after all the workshops you have attended, years of holosync, meditation, etc. do you still experience resistance as much now as before ? has it diminished ? I ask because even thought I have had incredible openings I still feel it and even though I realize I am the one creating them, they keep coming.

    Also, you recommended Robert Scheinfeld, I am doing his process as an experiment, however he TOTALLY dismisses reality as a complete illusion or hologram, do you agree with him or would you say he is stuck in the 3rd rank ?

    FROM BILL: I don’t agree with everything Bob says.

    Yes, of course I still experience resistance. Resistance is part of being a human being. You can’t get away from cause and effect, and every action creates an equal and opposite reaction (according to Mr. Isaac Newton). The point is to become aware enough that you see the web of cause and effect so you know what you’re getting into when you think, act, believe, and so on. Otherwise, you get stuck with people and situations you got involved with without awareness of the potential consequences. Then, you suffer consequences you didn’t intend to create or had no idea would happen. This is where most of the typical problems of life (problems with money, relationships, fulfillment, stress, etc.) come from.

    You can never totally anticipate all consequences in a situation, but you can anticipate many more of them if you are aware. Some people think they can escape from cause and effect (this is one of the delusions of the Third Rank), but it isn’t possible. Nor would you want to. If you could, there would be no aliveness. Then, for the effects you can’t do anything about, and for the impermanence of all things, which you also can’t do anythign about, you surrender to it. Being human, though, you will always be in resistance to these things to some degree.

  57. lori peterson Says:

    i have just been listening to holosync for two weeks and already feel like it is changeing into something within myself that has been there all along and like a seed is growing more and more each day, thank you Bill Harris i am grateful for you making holosync available

  58. Bill C Says:

    Thanks for the post / podcast Bill. I enjoyed it and am contemplating it. BC

  59. Nancy Says:

    As Holosync, and your timely reminders keep us from being stressed out! there is an additional way to clear away the old debris from our thinking/feeling egoic minds. — http://www.mindbridge-loa.com/hooponopono.html

    It has been difficult for me to know whether the improvement in my life is due to Holosync, or Ho’oponopono. As a research project, since I started Holosync a little after starting Ho’oponopono, I can’t separate identify either as a separate cause. But, I can say, that together they are wondrous!

    I send you thanks and love every day!

    - Nancy

  60. jorge Says:

    Hi Bill,

    I feel you have explained extremly clearly the world of impermanence. From your words I can achieve to the conclusion that everything that is a phenomenon – an object – is submited to impermanence and to the law of cause-efect (so are for instances our bodies, our emotions, our concepts, our beliefs … or in another level for instances a house, a tree, a mountain, the earth, the moon, the phisical universe … all this is impermanent and changes)

    On the other hand you mention “That Pure Awareness, the real you, is behind impermanence, and behind cause and effect” – and I feel this is completly true. But the question is what is behind the Pure Awareness ? Allow me to express my view: none is behind the awareness, any object is behind the awareness …there is Pure Awareness and that is all. And this marvellous Emptiness that is behind Awareness is the real me/the real you/it is the True Nature of all human beings, now – This Emptiness does not change (it is not an object), it has not a begining and has not an end, it is permanent.

    I do believe (this is one of my beliefs) that focusing deeply attention/awareness into my heart I can achieve to find this Great Emptiness (that lives now, hiden by thoughts, beliefs, emotians … and all kind of psicological phenomena).

    *

    Thank you so much for your words. I enjoyed specialy – “The only thing that really gives you a leg-up in this world is awareness. Ironically, you are that awareness. That’s the only thing that was never born and never dies. That Pure Awareness, the real you, is beyond impermanence, and beyond cause and effect”.

    In fact I do believe that when I am Pure Awareness I am Empty.

    Allow me to express my congratulations for your wonderfull work.

    Best regards,

    Jorge

  61. Mark L Says:

    I feel the need to write although there really is nothing to say. You covered it.

    People thank you or argue their point with you. Neither matters much — arguing for the validity of a road map or an experience, I mean.

    I often recall previous existences, or have visions of other worlds and the beings that live there. I have experienced all sorts of things in my life from the mundane to the truly bizarre.

    I have also had the disconcerting realization that mundane memories I have are flat wrong — although I have strong and “accurate” memories of the events, the objective evidence indicated that my memories were dead wrong.

    So, if I can be dead wrong about mundane things, I have to think that I can also be wrong about the esoteric and bizarre things for which I also have strong and “accurate” memories.

    These realizations have caused me to become highly skeptical of all experience, all knowledge claims, and all of my epistemic tools (ways of knowing). And, yet I am even skeptical of skepticism — because at the end of the day, that doesn’t seem to help much.

    It seems better to provisionally believe, or at least accept, certain beliefs as true. For me, the things I provisionally believe are those that are experiential or logical (inductive or deductive). It seems that transience, cause and effect is axiomatic and that every attempt to overcome these are distractions — Erich Fromme would probably say that the attempt to free oneself from these is merely an escape from freedom.

    Of course, since I am also skeptical that one can accurately predict future events from past events, I could also be wrong about the nature of transience and cause and effect; I might stumble upon a way out. And, wouldn’t that be cool?

    So for me there still remains a balance between accepting that there is no escape from slavery. I have come to this conclusion as a consequence of living through all previous attempts. It also occurs to me that it could just as easily be that I just haven’t encountered the right causal factors for freedom to arise.

    But, then again, what would freedom look like anyway?

    It seems an axiom that as a hunter that it is best to know your quarry, where the best hunting is, the territory and conditions to be traversed, and your own strengths and limitations. If you don’t know at least these things the chances for a successful hunt are limited at best.

  62. Tanja Cilia Says:

    This is all so true. In Maltese, we have a proverb to the effect that “he who spits at the heavens, will dirty his face with the same spittle…”

  63. fun-da-mental Says:

    Hi Mark L.

    I found your post particularly interesting.
    I would suggest: Be skeptical even to YOURSELF!
    “WHO is skeptical?” is the really interesting question in the end…!

  64. W. Keohane Says:

    I started using Holosync in late December 2008. By the end of March I had submitted the manuscript for a book I have been playing around with for almost twenty five years. It is now published. This program works!

  65. Tony Says:

    Dear Bill , as you are advocating and promoting “There is NO escape” from cause and effect, whatever you do, forget it, no hope and I know it. This is fine as it is “True for you”. In fact you are telling us (at least those who are reading this article) we should be in “Apathy ” and I think that’s not OK. Each one has the right to experience life and find out the truth for himself, and not before hand being told it’s all to no avail, and I do consider this as not ethical, considering the position (Teacher) you hold.
    Above is beside the point of being right or wrong in your statement “There is no escape. This may be a subject of a later exchange in viewpoints.

    FROM BILL: Huh? It’s true for everyone, Tony. Cause and effect exists for everyone and everything in the universe. Check out Newton’s laws of motion. I am not suggesting apathy at all. Where in the world would you get that idea? I’m suggesting AWARENESS and action. It’s just that there’s little or nothing you can do about how you’re affected by gravity, the sun, cosmic rays, the weather, the earth’s magnetic field, and all the other physical happenings in the universe, and there’s little you can do about the actions of the billions of other people on earth. That doesn’t mean you should be apathetic about it, though. If you’re aware, you’ll be able to do what can be done, whatever that is. In many cases, though, there’s nothing you can do. If there is an earthquake, the earth will move no matter what you do. If there is a war, there will be bullets and bombs, no matter what you do. To think that you are going to control everything is delusion. There is no escape from cause and effect. You can escape from certain effects, but not from all effects.

  66. Tony Says:

    I fully agree with you, but as long as the being is still identifying him/herself with matter,energy, space and time he/she will be a subject to the law of cause and effect. But, the moment he/she becomes in absolute sense free from any identification, he’s no more a passenger of the merry-go-round, there’s nothing there anymore to have an effect upon, but what’s after this is a matter of speculation. Although it is my consideration that that step can be made once you have reached the awareness of being aware of that point of decision, but first we have to move from the perifery to the center of the merry-go-round. This concept I had in mind when I wrote earlier comment.
    Holosync can assist that process. the name centerpointe ?

    FROM BILL: I would stop speculating. How do you know that cause and effect ends when you stop identifying with matter, energy, space and time? Sounds like a speculation to me.

  67. Tony Says:

    First a footnote I forgot to add on my last comment of how I arrived at in using the word “Apathy”. The statement “There is no Escape” means without wrappings in my view being locked into a space, mind, body, thought or whatever you can think of and with no possibility offered one way or other to get out of it and accepting the fact that it is true. Void of interest to come out. Emotion/state of mind, apathy on getting out.

    Comment: You can only become affected by those things you have identified yourself with one way or other. My viewpoint, when you cease to excist as an Identity this game is ended for you, left only the state of awareness free from effects as there is nothing to reflect upon.
    But I don’t think it is possible to escape from awareness.

    FROM BILL: MY comment about being caught in the web of cause and effect, with no escape, is no different than if I said that you are subject to gravity, and there is no escape, or that you must eat or you will die, and there is no escape from that. All events have or create consequences, and as a human you are subject to these consequences. The sun shines, and you are subject to the effects of that sunshine. People take actions, and you are subject to the effects of those actions. Apathy has nothing to do with it. If you hit a nail with a hammer, there are consequences to the nail. The nail’s attitude about it has nothing to do with it.

  68. Tony Says:

    As I got the feeling that I was getting nowhere, and not getting through, I decided to read the whole article anew, and right up to the end I could find myself fully in what you said and in particular in the following passage, quote “That pure awareness, the real you, is beyond permanence, and byond cause and effect” And this is exactly what I have been trying to say, this is transformation, or an escape as some will say.
    My blunder I missed this in the first read of your article

    No further comments to prevent misunderstoods

  69. Esu Kumara Says:

    I wish to offer my perspective: I find that the purpose of life here is to become worn out of the impermanence, so that, I seek the eternal. Experiencing the frustrations of the temporary motivates me in a healthy sort of way to seek the permanent, the eternal; and for me, that comes about through engaging my relationship with the Source, the Father Eternal. Just a direct and personal relationship with Him via the spark of Him which dwells right directly within my own mind and heart and beyond of course. Going beyond the noise of my mind is only part of the story, the purpose; relationship with the Nameless, lets call it Father of Us all, evolves me into maturing my own personality as an individuality of the Source and also builds for me a unique, personal spiritual realization relationship.

  70. Michaela Says:

    I keep coming back to the impermanance thing. I guess because what goes on with most of us as human beings is an unwillingness to accept the impermanance of everything or in other words a fear of death. Isn’t this whole spiritual awakening or journey another way of trying to make sense of this or at least make it less fearful? There are times, especially when meditating with Holosync, that it appears just so. The realisation that our habitual way of being and thinking is not etched in stone is totally liberating and death is not so fearful, it is merely another stage in our
    evolution.

    FROM BILL: Everything in this world is impermanent, and yes, most explanations of what being human is all about are attempts to deal with that. However, while the individual things and processes are impermanent, the entire whatever-it-is that makes up the whole isn’t impermanent. If it “ended”. where would it go? If it had a beginning, where did it come from? What existed before? What would exist after?

    Since you are the entire interrelationship of the whole thing–which will go on in some way or other–realizing that (not intellectually, but experientially) frees you from fear of the impermanence of the relative world. If someone is seeking that realization to escape impermanence for the same reason humans do all the other things they do to try to escape, then the spiritual seeking is no different than anything else. Once realized, though, whatever the original motive, you see things the way they really are (and, more important, who you really are).

  71. Michaela Says:

    Thanks Bill. I guess the key word is experientially.

  72. Alemenia Mclean Says:

    Bill Do you have any facing fear related holosync cd’s or dvd’s. I can manifest but I seam to always give into the fear in the end no matter how successful I am money,relationally,emotionally.spiritual. I have used the time line and thought that I was very successful, but the fear always seams to come back. Thanks Alemenia

    FROM BILL: This is because you aren’t clear about how you create the fear. You need to learn to observe your mind so you can see how you do it.

  73. Alemenia Mclean Says:

    could you explain where fear comes from and If you have any exercises. I do the time line I can even do the time line in crisis situations in the now. I am very succesfull at it. Should I just keep doing the time line and look down and going down into the situation until the fear goes away? will it go away, and why is fear so powerful?Do I possible need additional help to get past all the fear?

    FROM BILL: Fear is how you alert yourself that there is danger. It is a useful emotion. If you associate certain things with danger, even though they aren’t really dangerous, you will make yourself feel afraid when it isn’t useful. You do this by making internal representations of what you don’t want.

  74. Favorite Blogs of 2009 Says:

    [...] News Flash: There’s No Escape, It’s All about Awareness and Where are you going? And Why? (Pretending like crazy that what [...]

  75. SMT Says:

    It is done unto you as you believe; on ALL planes of existence. In the physical world, and beyond. And, we are ALL that which God is: Eternal Consciousness. Every great teacher has taught us that. All the ancient scriptures. All the great thinkers and philosophers… Science now confirms a unified field which some are calling the “Mind of God.” Humankind is JUST BEGINNING to scratch the surface of what is possible.

    Yes… everything is always changing form, but it is an eternal process. And…why would we want things to be permanent anyway??? That would be boring.

    Yes… we are at the mercy of Cause and Effect, but that’s not a bad thing. Without the Law of Cause and Effect, there would be NO WAY for us to create our personal realities…or for Creation to exist at all!

    I love your work Bill, but I just have to reiterate that WE ARE in constant co-creation with the ONE creative source that IS all there is, because WE ARE exactly that!!!

    I do not believe that humans have ANY limitations whatsoever (other than those that are self imposed). Do I think that someone can just snap their fingers and overcome all seeming limitation? No, not all at once. But I MUST acknowledge that only a few hundred years ago, most people never even dreamed it possible to be as “unlimited” and “creatively free” as we are today. And yet NONE of our advancements in technology or culture could have been made without people first BELIEVING!

    So, the question for me is not “How far can humanity go?” Rather, “How far do we believe is possible?”

    With Love – SMT

  76. cristobal Says:

    Its my birthday on wed june 9th ,and i just bought the holosync and i allready feel good about this and i have not even heard the real deal yet haha im so excited and i just cant hide it i just know its gonna work ,i have had such a good day today and i listened to the demo last night ,i was so relaxed but also sharp and aware and just little things like birds or signs or people i saw made me smile ,and i was amazed again by the world ,and i love when i feel like this ,thank you creators of holosync im telling all my friends. yeeeeoooowsaaaa haha

  77. Tanja Cilia Says:

    It’s a sad world where “catch them young” does not refer to teaching morality or mathematics: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100213/opinion/caution-dangerous-toys.293912

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