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An Introduction to Liquid Flow States

Art Von Sy

Flow is a state of focused absorption where you experience an effortless access to your deeper potentials. It is the momentary dissolution of the presumed barriers to your total self. What does that mean? 

Your mind operates at its best. Your sense of self disappears. Your level of focus and mental clarity are at their peak. Time slows down, while at the same time speeding up. You intuitively control your energy levels and emotional tone. You register no effort and merge with reality, as your experience and performance, by all standards, elevates in multiples.

Flow, as a term, speaks of various experiences that have been documented in the eastern spiritualities, sports, and music, to name a few. Yet what they all have in common is a vastly elevated level of human functioning, and of higher coherence with oneself at large. A state of being where the obstacles in the way of ourselves dissolve, a state of utter and immediate personal alignment. Resonance.

The changes you experience when you are in a state of flow, however, are not an artificial event mediated by some mystical force. In fact, the opposite is the case. The flow state reverses the default tendencies that prevent us from accessing this natural state. 

As the fixed idea we hold of ourselves and our abilities, the prejudices and assumptions by which we structure our thoughts, our awareness, our reality and the level of direct control we exercise over ourselves alters, flow has no other option than to occur. This accounts for the spontaneous and immediate internal shifts and the intuitive control over our wider capacities that the state enables.

What Flow Is Like

When looked at it in more detail, flow is not just a state of feeling and being, but also a different and elevated level of functioning. It is not enough to simply feel as if we are in flow, we should also be able to function and perform better when we are. If our minds feel clearer, we shouldn’t put too much hope into it unless we also exhibit functional differences that attest to that. That is, functional difference we are ordinarily precluded from.

Unsurprisingly, the experiential components of flow, do relate to facets of our functioning. While the changes in experience and functioning can be correlated with physical changes on the neurological and biochemical level, they are largely useless for the purposes of greater personal power. 

What matters is not what flow looks like when observed through various types of brainscanners, but what we are actually doing as we enter it. It doesn’t matter what neurochemicals are released when we are happy, what matters is what we can do with full self-determination to be happy. 

The components of flow are the reversal of its absence. A flexibility of self, a freedom and mastery of mind and awareness, and an immediacy and control of action. By looking at flow as a natural state rather than a special state, we also find that we are actively blocking ourselves from this experience by placing restrictions upon the three following areas.

Self

Athletes in flow report to perceiving the universe, that is their reality, as perfectly unified and integrated with themselves. They experience a detachment from their environment that gives them a sense of independence of control that is expressed by having complete access to their powers and skills. 

Interestingly, as their sense of self becomes boundless, so does their access to themselves. When we create an idea of who we are, it also implies what of ourselves we are not. Once we believe this idea to be real, it becomes unconscious and the effective basis of our identity. 

The mindsets that emerge in its response then define the level of access we have to our abilities and our untapped potential. These beliefs act as a filter, not only of perception and personal functioning, imposing internal barriers between ourself and ourself at large. 

However, when this idea is loosened or abandoned, the restrictions fall off and access to our powers to control our thoughts, actions and experience become immediate.

Awareness

Most accounts of flow states speak of a lack of fear of failure, no thinking about the performance on a task, and a flexibility of perception. This translates to a higher control of their minds, resulting in a calm inner state with no future and past projections of scenarios, and a higher degree of concentration on the present moment and its details on an intuitive rather than logical level. 

This is interesting because verbal and conceptual processing requires more time than intuitive processing, as our pure experience has to be translated into a form we can consciously process. If we train ourselves to perceive with more streamlined mental devices, we are not trapped in the processing delay. 

This has, of course, large implications when we consider one of the most precious components of the flow state, the fusion of thought and action. That’s when we overcome the chasm, the friction, the resistance between the intentions we set and the immediacy with which we express them. The opposite of the complex that is self-doubt, hesitation, procrastination and unconscious self-interference. 

When we learn to intend without logical categories, we overcome the processing delay. If we have to translate our direct sensations into words and pictures before we can evaluate them consciously, they will also require the same processing back down before they can take concrete effect in our bodies. The processing delay goes both ways, and appears to be one of the key barriers to experiencing flow.

Action

When we learn to intend as fast as we can express, by cutting out the ‘cognitive middlemen’, we can see what is meant when those in flow report of their body performing automatically without ‘conscious’ control. It is not that the control is not conscious, but that it is, for most people’s level of consciousness, inaccessible. 

So long as we register verbal and visual events consciously, we will have no way of knowing of the events that directly move our bodies and minds into action. Our intentions and expressions become one and the same in those moments, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t gain conscious projection over these impulses and motions we stimulate in that presumed gap. 

This is what it means to be in complete control of oneself that leads to the effortless performance spoken of in flow state. But a lack of effort doesn’t mean a lack of intensity, as it is the ability to exert oneself without unnecessary tension that allows for this. 

We are as tense as the threats and obstacles we anticipate, but because our minds are free from excessive future projections when we are in flow, the effort that is registered mentally and physically has no cause to persist. Naturally, these qualities lead to the spontaneously level of self-control we experience in flow. 

We also witness a seemingly unending source of energy, a level of emotional self-regulation where no emotions appear present and reactiveness is at a minimum if present at all. These are natural outcomes of having spontaneous and direct control over the underlying processes that generate these changes.

They are, after all, nothing but internal configurations of our present moment self. The moods and emotions we experience and the energy we decide to release are results of our own internal impulses. Tuning our awareness to notice them allows us to, at the same time, influence them.

As we examine the components of the flow experience, we can summarize flow as a state of mind and experience where the boundaries within dissolve. These are the boundaries of self, the boundaries of our awareness and the flexibility by which we can alter its structure in response to our needs, and the streamlined immediacy by which can transform our intentions into actions and access our wider abilities.

The Vast Advantage

Not any approach or collection of strategies that sets as its goal an alteration of human functioning is the same. Whether the goal is a heightened state of functioning or emotional freedom, the principles by which they hope to achieve it vary greatly. 

Some approaches only attend to external factors, showing us how to alter our environment. Others, like psychotherapeutic methods, are post hoc, allowing us to only deal with a situation once it has long passed. Many more are only symbolic, that is language based, hoping to create different thoughts with words that may or may not lead to a concrete change. And while some approaches, by changing our external behaviors hope to cause internal shifts, only a few, however, give us the power to shift ourselves into higher order with full autonomy in the present moment.

The key differences between Vast and other approaches is generative self-determination. That is the focus on active control of internal factors to generate an internal change with as much independence as possible, using the most direct path. Especially when looking at the flow triggers outlined by various specialists, as you will see later, we find an almost exclusive dependence on external factors with passive control.

As we enter any state of mind, we can either look at recreating the external conditions that allowed for the state or the internal ones that directly cause it. While outside conditions can facilitate a state of happiness, for instance, they only do so by stimulating the internal changes that lead to it. 

External factors are a few steps removed from the actual change. They are unreliable in their effects, as the internal change is always our own doing, even if unconscious. Generative self-determination is our degree of direct awareness and immediate control over these internal changes.

Generative and Regressive Strategies

To really understand how we can cultivate more self-control to master our higher states of functioning, we need to look at the distinction of generative and regressive strategies.

Generative strategies focus on mastering the internal factors and direct causes of a particular goal by giving us active control over it. By developing our inherent skills to reach that goal, be it transcendence, increased creativity, a positive mood lift or flow, they develop our self-determination to manifest the change independent of externalities. 

Because generative strategies change our way of functioning as such, they allow us to, once internalized, bring the change about effortlessly and in the concrete movement of life. When a strategy is independent of externalities and gives us active control over the direct causes of an internal change while building our inherent skills to do so, it is generative.

Regressive strategies focus on manipulating external factors and indirect causes by giving us passive control over the outcome. Because the changes are not self-generated, we don’t build the skill to create them, making us dependent on the narrow set of conditions it prescribes, effectively regressing our concrete abilities to manifest it outside of them. 

Most regressive approaches assume that we, as humans, can’t change the way we function, thus forgoing on optimizing ourselves by either optimizing our surroundings or avoiding them entirely. When a strategy is dependent on externalities to mediate an internal change, without building inherent skills by giving us only indirect influence over it, it is regressive. 

This, however, does not mean that regressive strategies are without use or merit. They are, in most cases, a necessary starting point to familiarize ourselves with a state like flow. In most but not all cases, however, they are better than nothing. But why would we want to develop a dependence on coffee if we have ways to generate energy directly without the liabilities of a regressive strategy?

Primacy of Self-Generation

Ultimately, every state of consciousness we experience, so long as it is not drug induced, is a state we directly generate ourselves. The closer our influence and control is to the internal prime causes, the more generative and robust the strategy.

Discovering the prime causes, of course, is not an easy task. But discovering them is essential to truly tap into our hidden yet present potential. It’s by mastering the prime causes that flow becomes a state we can experience even under impossible conditions, giving us unprecedented access to our fundamental capacities to do, think, feel, and act.

But as long as we remain ignorant of the concrete underlying changes that shift us from one state of experience to another, our means of self-control will remain regressive. In spite of the difficulty to objectively measure confidence or joy, they are clearly a different internal configuration of our existential elements. 

Their subjective truth is only an objective one by our subjective experience of them. That is why the attempts to develop more leverage and control over our consciousness in mainstream psychology and neuroscience have been so weak. Unless we understand how we generate the internal changes we seek from our subjective perspective, we can’t develop the holy grail that is their mastery.

The Mainstream Flow Triggers

While a lot of research has been done on flow states, the majority is focused on measuring the state, rather than on how to summon it. The triggers discovered, so far, heavily emphasize, if not exclusively, external factors with passive control. And in some of the cases a concrete strategy is entirely lacking.

According to the Csikszentmihalyi, the father of flow, setting clear goals in a task with an ideal challenge to skill ratio that provides immediate feedback, are the key ingredients to the experience. More flow triggers have been named by other researchers but the flaws are the same.

The requirement for immediate feedback in a task with an ideal challenge to skill ratio is an external factor with only passive control. Having those three factors present, doesn’t ensure the state of flow by a long shot. And it’s of course possible to reach it without them. Additional flow triggers of high consequences in a rich environment, again, put the locus of control outside ourselves as a passive observer of our state of being.

Two more flow triggers that are worth of mention are deep embodiment and focused attention. While they are certainly necessary components, a direct way to achieve the latter is lacking. It is not a trigger, as such, but an experiential component of the state, just as much as a car seat doesn't cause a car but is a part of one. Deep embodiment, however, can be achieved easily with physical movement and certain types meditation. 

While the mainstream flow triggers may improve the odds of experiencing flow, here and there, they don’t offer us active control over the internal factors that make the state. They foster a dependence on our context without giving us any concrete leverage or technique to reach the state of flow outright: a regressive strategy.

A Different Perspective

When I first came across the concept of Flow, I recognized it as a variant of what I call resonance. Resonance is a state of effortless personal alignment, where mind, body, intention and action are frictionless. It is, to simplify, what happens when we wholly inhabit ourselves with access to our deeper and wider abilities. 

This is in opposition to what I term dissonance, being any state where we are contracted, restricted, and in the way of ourselves. All of the markers of flow are not only present in resonance, but inhibited in dissonance.

While flow can be described as being one with a task, resonance exceeds that by being one with oneself and reality. Because I had already developed methods to cultivate resonance, it was not too difficult to adapt them to enter flow. 

Liquid Flow

As the experiential and functional components of the flow state are directly related to our direct control and flexibility in our sense of self, our awareness and our actions, I call the approach Liquid. 

Divided into three components that are internal factors over which we can  exercise active control, Liquid is a generative approach. This means that with it, we can access flow states with context independence and total self-determination.

When Liquid Self, Liquid Awareness, and Liquid Action, are present, so is the state of flow. It describes  a flexible sense of self , an expressive and boundless state of awareness, and a galvanized readiness for action. 

The advantage of Liquid as a model is that it allows us to focus our efforts on its three streamlined areas to produce and sustain flow states. Any approach or set of methods that influences the three components by increasing personal control and choice over them, is Liquid. Resonance Meditation, for instance, liquifies all three components. 

Mastering the Liquid approach, however,  begins with noticing the default tendencies that block us from being in flow. Most of these are things we do actively, especially in relation to our sense of self. Liquid Self and Liquid Awareness go hand in hand, just as Liquid Awareness and Liquid Action do. 

The second phase consists of learning how to suppress the default tendencies and influence them at will. Many of which are primarily inhibitors of Liquid Awareness. The two phases of the three Liquid components can be cultivated with the use of exercises designed to intuitively influence their direct causes, the internal factors with active control with generative self-determination.

The Limits of Your Imagination Are Not

Art Von Sy

The boundaries of your reality are the boundaries of your mind.

The obstacles you feel to be in the way of yourself and your desires are made of thought.

But you might not notice that. That is the trick. 

Can you distinguish the obstacles in your mind from those in the world?

The greatest achievement is to discover a real obstacle and face it until you match it.

Most people live under the threat of obstacles they've never encountered.

When was the last time you encountered the obstacles you avoid? 

I don't care about solving this after the fact. It's useless. Talking about restrictions after it happened is therapy.  

I offer personal power to show up in the deep now with the total gravity of your presence.

I only work on present solutions. The past is but an idea. The present is all there is. The future is its potential. That's one of the principles of Vast.

When you practice Resonance Meditation, you move beyond the restrictions of your verbal and visual mind by dropping into Motion.

Motions are the impulses that turn your thoughts into action. And abiding with Motion renders your experience of self and reality boundless.

The presumed obstacles of your reality, are made of words and pictures. This is different from what is called Mindfulness Meditation these days that relies on labeling your experience to develop an even greater dependency on words.

Resonance cultivates a state of obstaclessness by transcending the very language that codes the presumed obstacles that diminish you.

Rather than to deal with obstacles on a case by case basis, or long after the moment has passed, you can shift your mind beyond it.

By having the choice of bypassing these mental restrictions, you move beyond dissonance and fragmentation. 

What if you could show up without the weight of your mental limits and simply be present beyond labels?

You'd access flow states. You'd drop anxiety. You'd lose irrational fear. You'd be on your best. You'd have confidence without self-absorption and access to your inner faculties.

Just like that.

Should You Live by a Philosophy or a Technology?

Art Von Sy

What should we call these things? These collections of ideas, attitudes, techniques, and insights we are told to follow to improve ourselves and our lives?

Some are called religions, and like Christianity and Islam will offer us stories and rules to follow. They will not have a technology of techniques to help us do things better, but merely promises of a better ‘life’ after our life. 

Some are called ways of life, and like most practical spiritualities, think Buddhism and New Ageisms, they will enrich their afterlife promises with principles or techniques we can employ to change our life in this lifetime. We have stretching exercises, meditation, imagination techniques and visualizations.

Others are called schools of thought, as we encounter in psychology. They will offer us theories and mechanisms and some interventions a clinician can apply on us or sometimes even we upon ourselves.

Some give hope, others give power. This distinction is vital, because the plausibility of a promise is rarely evaluated with the confidence of evidence and results. The effect of a method, however, in as much as it can elevate our level of functioning and experience, is real.

Some offer us stories of either substantive hope or illusions, and others offer us personal power. While some are mutually exclusive, a few are not. Yet, if they were boxes on a market shelf, they would certainly be found in the same section.

Just like cereal. They are all eaten with milk, in a bowl, with a spoon, yet differ greatly in nutritional value. Some you can mix, some only others would mix, and some you wouldn’t even touch on their own. Too much sugar. Too many chemicals. Far too many artificial colorings.

While muesli with nuts and fruits is significantly different from corn flakes, we would find them in the same area. And this allows us to judge them on their merit. On the value they bring to our lives and the burden they place upon it.

Some will provide great entertainment value. We may think of the funny shapes in multiple colors with fantastic characters on the packaging. And even though they are fortified with vitamin powders that read like the entire alphabet, we may not expect much value beyond that. 

Yet some boxes in the cereal section will have generative value. Their entertainment value is peripheral, whether they have any or not, they give us something far greater. What they bring is value beyond the present moment, as they provide us with a richness and strength that outlasts the entertainment and consumption of empty promises. They give us real value and not just stories and illusions upon which to hang our uncertainties and flaws to rest.

We could call them philosophies, but that would not account for those with a real technology of change and improvement. Philosophy, at least in the west, has been largely well-reasoned stories. 

When Nietzsche tells us that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, he can rest merely on the boldness of his assertion without providing us with a direct means to test it for ourselves or cultivate it as a practice with concrete techniques to incorporate into our lives. 

To call them technologies would be unfair to some of the eastern ways, with their wide range of practices to elevate oneself. Some have concrete technologies, like meditation, alterations of consciousness, physical practices etc… while others don’t. Certainly, attitudes can qualify as a technology of life, but that would be like calling a bucket drum just as much an instrument as a harp. 

Rules may qualify as social technology that enable a ruler to keep some peace and decency in his ‘people’, but not as a personal and concrete technology that strengthens the individual as such. A concrete technology would require a level of independence that allows you to seize it in every moment. One would at the least expect that a way of life handed down by God would bear sufficient insights and concrete technology to rid ourselves of something as ordinary as common anxiety or stress. 

The Abrahamic religions, for instance, would not qualify as either a concrete technology nor a philosophy. They are not well reasoned enough to qualify for the latter and lack concrete methods effective independent of the mythological hopes and promises it deals in. I would take mindfulness meditation over reciting scripture any day.

What we can be certain of, and what all these ways of life have in common, even if some pretend otherwise, is that they are about our existence. And each of them hopes to enlighten, empower, and enrich human existence where it exists: reality. Even those that identify themselves as spiritual and make us hope for afterlives of eternal freedom and bliss have their effect in the here and now. A bit more peace, confidence, and sometimes smugness.

Maybe calling them sciences is a stretch, but science after all is the business of knowledge. And knowledge is by all definitions tied to function. If it’s not working, it probably isn’t true.

What, unfortunately, happens far too often is the following. An intelligent and ambitious acquaintance wants to better herself. She goes to the market and picks a cereal box with nice colors. She internalizes the story and follows the instructions. She begins to, let’s say, meditate, and doesn’t get the promised results. She doubles down and goes to a retreat, lives with a guru, pays up for teacher training, and her results have still not come in. 

But she is so invested in the hopes and promised of her ‘drug of choice’, that she will do everything but blame the lack of results on the ‘cereal’ of her choice. She will blame herself, but now she has to pretend to exhibit all the qualities she will then promise to her student. The chasm between what truly is and the external pressures, widen and deepen the abyss of her unmet desires. Just that now, she can’t tell anyone about it. 

Even with the assistance of God, or the intellectual, technological, and financial resources of the top universities, not to forget about the panoply of eastern deities, they still have not found concrete solutions to the most immediate human problems of experience. Happiness, clarity of mind, a sense of freedom and purpose, vitality, are all hidden behind long paragraphs and year long practices. Maybe something is wrong the system?

I decide to call them, nevertheless, existential sciences. That’s the shelf upon which we would find the mueslis and fruit loops of existence. An existential science is any undertaking that aims to elevate our human potential by any means necessary. Some are of a higher caliber and others of a lesser caliber. 

Some will always deal merely in illusions and stories, while others will have nothing to offer but descriptions of higher human states of existence without a proposed strategy. 
Far too many will try to convince us to throw the baby out with the bathwater, desire and pleasure can lead to suffering and pain and thus forbid them. Rather than to develop means and methods to align with the fluctuations, they tell us to avoid them. That’s avoidance psychology.

Some will be minimally effective by telling us how to adjust our environment to be who we can become, while others will be generative and giving us self-determination with concrete techniques of mind and body to seize that potential independent of what may surround us.

All Your Realities Are Distortions

Art Von Sy

The way we pay attention to what we experience influences our experience of it. Making it more intense, less intense, disappear, or even transformed into something else. 

Our experiences occur within reality. The realities we live are never pure, nor are they neutral. They are one of the many variations that fall within the range of raw reality. Because our consciousness is limited in scope relatively to raw reality, we only pick up a fraction of it.

Imagine a book of 600 pages. For some reason, you can only read 30 pages at random without ever knowing how many pages there are in total. In fact, you never even stop to ask yourself how much of the whole book you are able to read.

Naturally, you will not interpret the holes of knowledge, the missing pages, as incomplete. What you experience the book to be, then, depends on how you connect those 30 pages into a coherent whole and which 30 pages you happen to read. 

With those restrictions, what you consider the book to be can only be a distortion. Any whole that is experienced without an awareness of its holes is  a distortion. Any whole that is experienced with an awareness of these holes is merely incomplete. 

Similar types of restrictions are in place for us, physical, biological, and psychological. But I would never be as arrogant as to suggest that a ratio of 600 to 30 is anywhere accurate. I estimate the difference in ratio close to infinity.

We don’t know how much of everything we don’t know. All we can know is that what we can know is limited, that we are never fully aware of those limits, and that whichever collection of fractions of the range we experience is distorted.

When we attend to any phenomenon, the quality of our attention sets the range of our awareness and the parameters of the distortion. All realities in consciousness are distortions by definition. Pain and pleasure are distortions, and how we attend to them determines how and as what we experience them. 

Perception is reality distortion. Before we perceive anything, we preceive it. We don’t enter the game of reality distortion neutrally. We can’t. We always carry a set of expectations, sensibilities, and biases – psychological, biological, physical — with us to form our preception. Simplified, preception is who we are as a totality in any given moment (presence). And this preception defines what reality we perceive. As our preceptions cohere with perceptions, we cohere with reality. Our presence is reality.

We can’t understand perception unless we understand preception. Preception is the creative force of our consciousness and the essence of our experienced reality. But our preceptions are so far outside of our conscious awareness, taken for granted, the most fundamental foundations of our self, that we fail to catch the hand by which we form reality into its current rendering.

Every preception limits the range of elements we distort into a coherent whole and thus provokes it into the reality we perceive. This is true and present in the sensations in your right hand, the thoughts you have about yesterday, the feeling of your skin, the ideas you carry about yourself, the memories that ache and please you, the reality in which you interpret yourself, and most importantly of all, yourself. 

They are distortions of convenience. They may be real, but not exhaustively. They are valid distortions, but they are not whole truths. And while you may know that, you don’t know how vast the range of potential alternatives is. 

How can we become aware of the parameters of our preceptions and master the game of reality distortion and perception by shifting them without identifying with them? How can we graduate from a passive observer of the fluctuations in consciousness to aligning with the creative force responsible for its ripples?

Fake Solutions to Real Problems

Art Von Sy

What is a fake solution to a real problem? Let’s start with the problem. A problem, whether imagined or not, is experienced as real. That’s what makes it a problem. 

Problems, however, are a perception. They usually exist in the difference between the reality of our experience and the contrast of our imagination. 

Losing your pen is only a problem if you contrast that reality with an imagined one. Like the one where you are giving in to the urge of writing down an exciting idea. The problem is  that, while you can imagine the scenario, you can’t live it because you lack the pen you had just moments before.

But the problems I’m talking about are more in the realm of our concrete existence, as thinking, feeling, living, and interacting human beings. The structure, however, remains the same. The problem is the chasm of our unmet expectations. And no matter how virtual, that is imagined, our problems are, they are always real in so far as we believe that imagination.

In the area of our concrete existence, we really only have two problems. The first problem is, experiential, that of not feeling or being as we would like to. The other problem is performance related, that of not being able to access our abilities when we require them.

Abuses of Imagination

Jealousy, for instance, is primarily an experiential problem. If we didn’t have to feel the way jealousy makes us feel, we would be able to deal with the situation head on. But the inability to dissolve the self-diminishing feelings is precisely the substance of the problem. 

If we saw a lover giving someone else more attention than we would expect appropriate, the problem is the emotional burden, and not the risk of loss. As the emotional burden, if anything, restricts us from exercising our clarity of mind and action, it is bound to worsen the problem. Either because we are unwilling to accept the truth of our reality, or because we are unable to save it by putting our best foot forward.

Yet the source of, in this case, jealousy is what I call virtuality. That is the confusion of imagination with reality. When our interpretations of our surroundings and the mental objects in our minds are mistaken for reality, we lose our grounding in every understanding of the term. Imagination and virtuality are essentially the same thing, it’s the relationship we have with it that distinguishes the two.

When we observe the scene that inspires our jealousy, we are not only creating a mental image of the threat’s consequence, we live in it. What was first a chasm between our ideal expectations and an inconvenient reality becomes a virtualized catastrophe, accepted without question. Better no foundation than an imagined one.

When we are consumed by a virtuality, the effects are not always bad. In most cases they are quite pleasant. As humans, we are prone to deceive ourselves to the benefit of our primary objective: feel good. Yet feeling good at any cost bears a heavy price: truth and function. But it takes a while for the negative effects to compound sufficiently for us to notice.

Not being able to see reality as it is prevents our ability to interact with it meaningfully. Regardless of the spiritual virtues extolled by the church of present moment awareness, there are some very pragmatic ones. I don’t think that I have to spell out why living in the shadow of our prejudices, wishful thinking, blind assumptions, without a direct link to reality is undesirable.

The Con Man’s Racket

Many of the solutions that I call fake solutions replace the problem with an alternative description. They are in essence dividing the problem into components and by describing the components hope to explain the problem away. The trick works most of the time, often, I think, even fooling the writer into believing that the alternative description is a solution.  

It’s very common in the pop-science self-help genre. Neuroscientific explanations for our mental woes are all the rage. A detailed description of a few brain regions with a few dramatic physiological effects, and we’re close. Throw in some neurochemicals and we’re whole. 

For some reason the detail of the description convinces people that their problem is solved. Of what use is it to know what brain regions light up when we are afraid, or confident? Brain regions are not muscles you can flex just by thinking about them.

I found this delusion most striking when looking at popular accounts into peak states. A very popular book that claims to give us the keys to accessing flow states, is replete with such pointless descriptions. 

In an exceptionally dramatic tone, the author, tells us about the profusion of synaptic firings of neurotransmitters, brain wave patterns, and activated brain regions. He names them all, and it’s a wonderful story that reads like a thriller. But it would take meeting the author to discover that it’s just story that feels good, but not a method, nor a solution. Yet the mental picture gives us a sense of possibility, a virtuality after all.

The Proof Is in The Pudding

It is easy to cut through these types of illusions with a challenge. I’m known to ask those who profess skills on the basis of such alternative descriptions to do it. Do it. Show me. The priceless look of confusion followed by embarrassment and excuses used to satisfy me.

Now it just saddens me that my field is cheapened by writers and marketers with no skill other than that of crafting narratives for the gullible to hang their hopes on. I’m not trying to be difficult when I do that. I believe that to be the lower bar of competence for anyone in the field of personal change, mastery, insight, or transcendence. Anything  else is either charlatanry or deluded enough not to notice.

If the problem we face is borne of virtuality, then another virtuality can only offer us relief for so long. The moment we are confronted with a real requirement to solve any existential challenge, such as summoning a state of confidence or mental clarity, we are left with the bitter aftertaste of a fake solution: impotence. A solution that only works in our imagination, only in the privacy of our fantasies but not in the light of day.

Fake solutions have a lot more in common with problems than we might think. They are imaginings mistaken for reality. Fake solutions are virtual solutions. They are usually a mental images of a solution made of plausible yet impotent explanations. 

Those who sell these fake solutions will usually try to convince you of their reasoning for why the solution should work. This is done for a reason. If you don’t get the desired result, after having accepted the rationale behind the solution, there can only be one person to blame. Not the method, not the solution, nor the charlatan, but you.

The Limit Behind Your Face

Art Von Sy

There are always more possibilities in the world than there are restrictions in your interpretation of it.

Your mind is limited to what you can process. Your awareness is limited to what you can reflect on.

You might experience a boundary or a dead end 'out there', but it only emerges in response to the resistance 'in here'. If you are rigid, in identity, mind, and attitude, your freedom of action is limited to the few contexts that perfectly match 'you'. Every challenge, problem and ambition in your reality is created by the difference your presence brings to it.

Your boldness is charged by the difference between how you show up and what shows up for you.

You can face a situation head on and force your way through the maze of life and purpose. 
Or you can look the other way, think vast, and notice that the difficulties are only a perception.

This perception is held in place by the most powerful variable, the invisible variable, your embodied set of beliefs: identity.

You identity is like a block of ice that won't melt. Your presence is the water that forms it. Identity is only one of many possible configurations of your total self.

You are not the current manifestation of yourself, you are the Vast range of it all. That is Presence, and
the fearless and playful exploration of that is Vast.

Hacking your presence means to rediscover yourself anew in every moment with the freedom to explore and innovate the parameters of your existence.

You can do this by recognizing the internal resistance that creates external limits, liquefy your rigid identity into presence, and shift the defining factor of your reality.

Presence is reality, and its limits are identity. This is the basic principle of reality distortion.

You Seek Meaning for a Reason

Art Von Sy

Our lives are marked by seemingly random ups and downs with rare peak experiences. Most of the time we are in a paradoxical struggle of seeking more to be free with less.

Yet everything we do we do for one reason only. A better, vaster, more liberated, and enhanced sense of self. Some realize the futility of this chase. Others are even further along and know that anything we seek is something we already have.

I like to exemplify this with theses aphorisms. Whatever you can make sense of you are made of. And, nothing can shake you unless you shake yourself.

But before we can transcend the hedonistic treadmill and the ceaseless seeking of a better self by virtue of externalities, we have to understand the source of the glitch.

Every object of desire carries within the promise of a vaster experience of self (presence). This is the existential payoff.

Every object of aversion carries within the threat of losing part of your quality of experience. Whether that is something you already have or hope to have. This is the existential threat.

In both cases, however, what is at stake is not your existence but your quality of experience (how you feel). Though this is not realized.

No object can give you a feeling you did not unconsciously generate yourself. No object can take away a feeling it didn’t give you.

This is wonderful rhetoric but meaningless without an active principle to realize it.

As soon as we become aware of any presence we promise ourselves from an object, we are already simulating our expected experience. And we do so, presumptively, even if we have never encountered the object. 

What we simulate is the meaning we’ve assigned to the object. Meaning is ultimately a subtle sensation and a concrete experience. Meaning is and must be pre-conceptual, pre-verbal and pre-emotional.

The essence of meaning is a subtle motion that is internally self-generated. And the promised presence is nothing other than us permitting ourselves to fully experience what we’ve excluded ourselves from.

As we generate meaning, experienced as the subtle motion, we bury it in mental symbols which we in turn project upon on an object. 

Unaware of our actions, we bar ourselves from experiencing this meaning as ours and seek the object in the hopes of getting back what instinctively feels to be ours. Yet we fail to look in the right direction to notice that we had to generate it within ourselves to make sense of it outside of ourselves, and that the very meaning we seek is the meaning we forgot to assign to ourselves.

This means that all of our desires and their promised presences are only disconnected from us by the illusion that we are not the creators of the meanings that shape our reality.

Curiously, in order for us to anticipate an experience, positive or negative, we have to simulate the experience and at the same time ignore the fact that we are already experiencing what we’ve generated. This includes any promised presence, hoped for experience, and expectation of acquisition of an object or event.

The core issue that drives this regrettable state of affairs is our set of default assumptions about the demarcation of self, reality, and consciousness. While they are, in fact, the same. We only allow ourselves to experience that vast and liberating sense of unity and total flow on freaky rare occasions: peak experiences.

But the solution is right before our eyes. Because we can dissolve the bonds of our default assumptions by training ourselves to directly experience meaning and its source, that is subtle motion — without words, symbols, and representations. As we progressively do that, we don’t only liberate ourselves from the infinite recursion of chasing the heels of satisfaction but learn to generate it.

The capacity for liberation is the essential and final goal. Not freedom as a state or liberation as an event, but both as an embodied and spontaneous skill and sensibility. So long as we know how to free ourselves from this afflction in every possible moment, we are free to continuously create ourselves, or refuse to if we so desire. As we learn to understand the concrete intersection of self, consciousness, and reality, this capacity grows in impact and ease.

This, at some point, will allow most if not all of us the vast experience of freedom, by way of our capacity for liberation, and make the rare freak occasions business as usual.

Can We Develop Pre-Cognitive Self-Mastery?

Art Von Sy

Our lives are defined by how we feel. How we feel defines how we think and how we experience ourselves in the world. 

It doesn’t matter what we do, whether we are trying to start a business, live a more meaningful life, or trade our stress ridden habits for more aligned ones. The results we enjoy are a direct consequence of how much of ourselves we can bring to the table.

What holds us back the most are not the circumstances we live in. Yes, they can make things easier or more difficult. But for every person in the world there is a counterpart.

Someone who in spite of starting out from worse circumstances, having less talent, and less to offer achieved far more than you. What matters is how you show up and how much control you have over it.

Every state we have experienced, so long as it was not drug induced, is a state we directly generated ourselves. 

And even if we look at the historical precedents, we have to admit that every state is a present moment configuration of ourselves. In the future it might be seen as mere foolishness not to directly define one's state of experience.

We can live passively and wait for the circumstances to make us happy and confident. Or we can learn to make our state of presence independent from external cues and set the mood, the stage, and ourselves.

Rather than to live outside in, we can live inside out.

How we actually generate our states, according to the mainstream, is still a mystery. The answers of neuroscience, as fascinating as they may be, are useless in helping us master our states of experience. 

You can’t downregulate your amygdala, but you can overcome fear. You can't just release serotonin, but you can learn to show up with more equanimity.

When it comes to your actual experience, you don’t even have a brain. The descriptions we have are only as good as the tools that allow us to make an impact.

Unless you're a neurosurgeon you can't influence your brain, only your mind. And that is good news. Because the best solutions are elegant and independent from external parts.

If we generate our experience in every moment, could we become aware of the pre-cognitive processes and direct it?

The psychological approach has been to look at the historical causes of a state of experience, let it be happiness, and try to reconstruct the precedents. 

But in the end, it amounts to nothing more than stories and behavior modification with a very limited range of effects. A direct path to influencing our experience, so far, is missing.

Yet we know a few things with certainty. Our states of existence are self-generated in response to our interpretation of reality. And every state is a present moment configuration of our totality that is preceded by a set of unconscious impulses that generate the state.

The question I wanted to answer in my research was if we could not just cut out all the stories, all the theories, and access our higher states of experience in the way we do naturally. 

The net result of any psychological method is a conscious intuition that leads to the part of ourselves we need most access to. 

If we could develop awareness of these unconscious impulses that generate our states in every present moment, we could not only rid ourselves of stress but trigger our ideal states of experience with the very same impulses. 

What this entails is enormous. Imagine yourself being able to access a state of confidence with intuitive immediacy, that is the ability to make happiness and satisfaction an immediate and direct choice.

Or realizing the moment you feel stressed and run in loops, that you can simply escalate it to the pre-cognitive level and directly shift yourself out of it. 

Most interesting, however, is the ability to simply sustain flow states of mental and creative clarity for prolonged periods without resorting to chemicals, natural or synthetic.

This would, of course, fly in the face of all conventional knowledge. The most advanced methods of reaching flow states, so far, are still passive, either modifying one's environment or thoughts.

The latter prevents clarity of mind as it clutters it with things to keep in mind that interrupt the flow state, and the former gives one the illusion of mastery locking the state to only a small set of conditions. If you can't do it outside of the right conditions, I maintain you can't do it.

Pre-cognitive self-mastery means that we can transcend the circumstances of our surroundings and bypass our minds to directly access our higher states. Outright.

Just like that.

But I am not teasing you with a distant future of technological innovation. What I have been describing are the fruits of my research and the essence of my approach. 

All of the above is possible right now. You can learn how to access the parts and states you require by learning how to use Pure Expression.

Pure expression is this very skill of bypassing your mind to directly define your state of experience. The only question is whether you are ready for this level of creative self-determination.

What You Need to Master Your Quality of Existence

Art Von Sy

What is the most important thing in your life? Think about it, carefully. You might say material things, or status, or relationships. Maybe it’s your values, your purpose, your mission.

Whatever it is that drives us, we all want different things. But do we? I don’t think so.

We all want the same thing. Exactly the same thing. And we have done and will do everything in response and pursuit of it: quality of existence.

Your quality of existence is your presence, it is your total moment to moment state. It is how you show up to yourself and the world, in mind and experience.

Feelings drive your thoughts and actions. And it's more feelings that they seek and expect. Either to prevent negative ones or maximize the positive ones.

Are You a Victim of Circumstance?

We are oblivious to the underlying principles that govern our presence. Chances are that your optimal states of experience are either a rare occurrence or a distant dream.

You may be able to summon them from time to time. But sustaining confidence under pressure or clarity during overwhelm is a near impossibility.

We are born as victims of our environment and our historical causes. Our surroundings and our precedents define us more than we do, unless we are trained.

To what degree can you define your levels of personal alignment independent of your external circumstances?

Neuroscience has shown that we unconsciously generate our states of experience. Yet the wonderful descriptions of the brain are useless in helping us find the self-determination to do it intentionally.

On the objective level there are neurochemicals, synaptic firings, micro-muscular contractions, relaxations and more. But we don’t do any of these things on the objective level. 

The essence of mastering your quality of existence lies in its present and conscious causes. They are the things you actually do on the inside as you interpret the reality outside.

Knowing how to do that can allow you to make your quality of existence independent from your external circumstances. Here are some basics on how to do that.

Distinguish Thought from Meaning

Your mind and body are inextricably linked. Changing the way you think can alter the way you experience yourself. 

Sometimes, the right thought comes along and creates an amazing shift. But if your thoughts command you to diminish yourself, you generally obey.

What gives your thoughts power is not the content nor their style, but the meaning they carry. Changing your thoughts doesn't work in the moment.

You don’t need to force yourself to change your thoughts. You can simply change their meaning.

As with typical positive thinking, it leads to an inability to face uncomfortable situations head on. Leading to repression rather than more self-determination.

The path to mastery is simple. Realize that your thoughts are wholly separate from the meaning of your thoughts. Nothing has a more powerful effect on your experience than meaning itself.

This allows you to face challenges without them affecting you. With the ability to distinguish between thought and meaning, you can strip it and assign it to your experience.

This is a powerful strategy for staying in flow in spite of adversity and shifting yourself into higher states on command.

Devirtualization

Imagination is one of our most exceptional gifts. Yet we end up forgetting to distinguish imagination from reality. Confusing one for the other is virtuality. 

It consists of pictures, sounds, words and all the other elements of your mind. And as it locks you out of the present, it expertly fools you that its landscape is real.

When you are in virtuality, you don’t respond to the real world but to the ghosts in your mind. As you follow its implied equations and rules, you have little choice over how you respond and behave. 

You can devirtualize by dropping all pictures, words, symbols and representations from your present experience.

Devirtualization grounds you in the deep now. It enhances your clarity of mind and power to exercise your freedom to choose how you show up without virtual self-interference.

Resonance meditation is the most effective method of devirtualization.

Master the Difference

What you perceive is what you experience. That is the difference between where you were and where you are.

The charges in these differences create your states of existence. Whether they are anxiety, fear and stress or flow, confidence, and euphoria.

The ‘you’ before you enter a moment, and the present situation itself, form the charge that is your state of experience.

By becoming aware of these two data points, you can master the differences that generate them.

These two data points are not real. They are mental pictures and felt expectations that you can consciously manipulate.

As each of these charge represents a different state, you can dissolve, design and provoke any state you like–negative or positive.

Force of Intention

Your quality of existence is the total present moment configuration of your presence. Every presence is self-generated.

The hitch is that the ordinary modes of verbal and visual thought don’t have the force of intention to affect your total state this way.

Before every internal change of state, there is an impulse. Between every intention that turns into an action, there is a gap where this impulse transforms the former into the latter. Yet few people know that you can consciously leverage these impulses.

What happens right after you receive an uplifting message and before you actually uplift yourself? What is it that you are doing inside yourself to bring this radical change about?

To master your ability to access and sustain a state of joy and happiness, for instance, you need expressive awareness of its present causes.

This allows you to influence your quality of existence independently from your circumstances.

Cultivating this force of intention is one of the most powerful applications of Vast: Pure Expression. Giving you the power to dissolve restrictive states as they emerge and summon higher states of consciousness as you require.

This is how you can learn Pure Expression and find out how it works.

Live Without a Story

Art Von Sy

Do you really need your story? Do you really require anecdotes to qualify your existence? Words give us certainty when we are too afraid to face the chaos they mask.

Reality is not a set of statements. You are not a collection of words. Linearity is the death of the mind, the coma of life.

I used to live with a story. I used to force myself to remember my labels. I used be vigilant of who else might carry those labels to preempt clashes of interest. I used hang on to the story. I used to be a linearity. I used to be a category.

I even used to make the mistake of dismissing my current story as false and illusive, and in the next breath create a new one. And I didn’t even realize that I foolishly tried to solve the problem with the problem.

We can talk a lot about changing narratives without facing the deep flaw in the way we create our narratives. As it is not the story we tell, it is the nature of the language with which we tell the story.

Maybe this begins somewhere completely different. Maybe it’s the  unfounded assumptions and dogmas that still persist. That we think in language, only. 

As long as we think that this is true, we will never learn to question the flaws of verbal language and liberate ourselves from its strictures.
 

The Dual Nature

Whatever we might phrase about ourselves tends to turn into its polar opposite if reality decides not to agree with our private fantasy. This is the dual nature of language.

Most negative stories we tell ourselves were not created as negative stories. They used to be positive stories that flipped around themselves as we found out that they were not true. 

I’m great until I suck. I’m the best until I’m the worst. I’m awesome until I’m despicable. I bet that sounds familiar.

Changing the story keeps the flaw firmly in place, yet delays the recurrence of the calamity of self-aversion. 
 

The Exclusive Bias

We tend to consider as true what feels familiar. We tend to consider as true the explanation that is the most emotionally satisfying. And we tend to believe that what we think to be true to be the only thing that is true.

The tunnel vision of language makes us dismiss all other options for the one that is familiar and the explanation that makes us feel good. If you are Jane, you are only Jane. If you are a lawyer, that’s all you are. 

We might not think so initially, but the labels widen their influence without our awareness until we are locked in.

Sure, we can remind ourselves that the boundaries of the words and labels we use are in reality liquid. But I doubt that this is a sustainable practice. And I have not met, nor read the writings of one person that wasn’t a victim to this tendency.
 

Distorted & Generalized

We don’t see the world as set of words. But we can convince ourselves of that and live with the consequences of a rigid, conventional, and close minded existence. 

Considering that most if not all words were invented by people no smarter than you. How much of everything do we not know yet? How much everything do we not yet know about ourselves? How much of that is impossible for us to know with our tiny brains?

Language is a tool that simplifies our reality, cuts it into small slices and packages it in plastic. And every time we do that, we leave important stuff out. We make things simpler than they are as generalizations, and we change them to fit with what we know as distortions.

If that is our life’s operating system, how can the result not be a catastrophe? If you generalize yourself and distort yourself, if you generalize and distort your reality, what is left that is not mangled by language?
 

So Are You?

Where does that leave you? Where does that leave your procrustean bed, your map of the world, your narrative, your self-concept?

I have had many discussions with psychologists, philosophers, spiritualists and personal development salesmen. And they would all be eager to agree with the illusion of our self-narrative, yet none would be able to withstand my insistence on them finding an alternative that is not just the same thing: another string of words.

All of the big personal issues we face, are issues of ego that are coded with the glitches of language. They lie in the assumptions about the relationship between reality and the linearizations of our minds. The boxes of our life, the comfort zones of our hearts, the anxieties of existence, the fear for our vanities, the problem of ego, are all a mere consequence of the above.

Unless we learn to pierce through this layer of illusion without invoking language to navigate it, we are doomed to recapitulate the same mistakes that lead into the same pitfalls. 

Maybe you are not a category after all. Maybe you are not a succession of phrases after all. 

Maybe you are not even that picture in your mind’s eye. Maybe all of the talk is just there to satisfy the longings for a false certainty of a confused self that may not be a self at all.

Maybe, yes, you can see that.

Think Vast.

Fearlessly Live Beyond the Approval of Others

Art Von Sy

Each one of us was born with something unique and powerful to contribute to the world. And it’s living this deepest essence of our self that leads us to the outrageous levels of spiritual and material success so many seek. This electric sense of purpose is something we can all access and live out in the world.

But sometimes it feels as if the cards are stacked against us. Whether you become anxious the closer you reach these little nuggets of success, or hesitant to cultivate and manifest your dreams into reality, the fear and desire of approval can be a stifling force on your creative existence.

It’s not only liberating but also euphoric to live life without the stresses of wondering what other people think. A life where you are free to act, do, experiment, and execute in just the way that is unique to you, is a life that is not only worth living, but worth crushing all self-doubt for.

Collapse Your Hierarchies

It’s a default reflex. We constantly create hierarchies. Put some people above us and others below us, out of fear and self-preservation. These hierarchies are not real, they exist only in our minds. Yet most people never question them and subordinate their existence, their sense of self and level of freedom to those they place above themselves. And this not only gives other people’s opinion power over you, it makes you diminish yourself in order not to upset anyone who has that power.

Become aware of the unconscious hierarchies you create and collapse them in your mind. This will free you from the fear and desire of approval by stripping those you’ve unwittingly given that power over you and claiming it back for yourself.

Collapse Your Equations

Most of our reality is a reality created by language. And language has a binary structure. This leads to usual black and white thinking. The biggest fear we have is not the lack of success, but the opposite of it.

As you go through life, you are in a constant negotiation with your objects of desires and your objects of avoidance. Because of the distortions in our thinking, we mistakenly believe that that our objects of avoidance and our objects of desire are mutually exclusive.

Put differently, sometimes we are so attached to success and afraid of failure that we put more energy into preventing failure than pursuing success.

When you realize that your equations are just assumptions, you break out of the box and learn to act with a wider scope of effortlessness and possibilities.

Forget Yourself

Most people in the personal development world like to speak of our limiting beliefs and presumed obstacles. But we tend to forget the biggest obstacle of all. The idea we have of ourselves.

The more rigid our self-concept the more restricted our world. Things can only affect you if you cannot suspend your idea of yourself and adapt it to the situation. When your identity is rigid it becomes brittle, when it is flexible it is fluid, and things that used to unsettle you cease to do so. Why? Because if you have no fixed idea of yourself, nothing can break you.

Challenges just become a learning experience. Everything turns into feedback to integrate. And this flexibility dissolves the anxieties that you may not be good enough, because you are on the fast lane to growth.

Focus on Your Values/Embody Your Vision

When we are disconnected from our deepest values we are easily swayed to follow the hive mind.

Your existential value is what you would readily sacrifice and give up anything for. Knowing this value, and remembering it in any moment gives you tremendous power. 

And if you have a vision that resonates with it, the daily discomforts will barely register on your radar. Because when you play the biggest game possible by knowing exactly what you want on the highest level, the desire for approval disappears completely.

You become what you focus on. And focusing on your deepest values and vision, eventually turns you and your life into them. 

The freedom you will experience from the powerful clarity of not only knowing exactly what you want, but embodying it, leads to a profound sense of purposeful freedom. 

This is the freedom from fear, the ability to be beyond approval that lends an effortlessness to all your actions to make your unique impact on the world.

To Master Your Mind, Only Three Things Matter

Art Von Sy

The essence of mastering your mind is simplicity. The failures of doing so are due to unnecessary complexity.

Awareness

Unless you know what you are dealing with, it might just deal with you. It might just deal with you in any way it likes. Your mind is filled with many mechanisms, some natural and some self-imposed.

We must understand what these mechanisms are and how they impact us as a total being. We can look into cognitive biases and other fallacies, but in the end we must learn to identify our false intuitions as they happen, before they happen, and not after they have happened.

The moment we can see where our moods and emotions come from, we can alter the contexts and behaviors we engage in prior to their emergence. We modify our interactions with the world to prevent our patterns from acting out.

Many of our patterns don’t come from a linear place. In fact, almost none do. Linearity is just something that helps us with representing what’s going on in a way that makes us feel safe and less uncertain.

Our egoic drives usually come from the place we least expect. And it’s only once we develop awareness of the processes and our part in them that we can undo them.

Control

Simply knowing what is happening might help us identify how we make it happen. But only knowing how to manipulate the processes of our mind really allows us to maximize those insights.

Awareness is not enough. Awareness must be expressive to make a meaningful impact. And here we are talking about you. How do you feel right now? How do you want to feel right now? What is your state of mind like? Do you have a choice or do you only have a story?

We are often so bedazzled by amazingly detailed explanations about our mind that we forget to notice how useless they are. No neuroscience book in the world can teach you how to master your mind unless you are ready to cut it open and stick some electrodes in. Also, let’s not confuse mind with brain.

It’s essential to have the clarity of mind to notice this distinction. Knowing what happens is trumped by knowing how it happens. Knowing how it happens is trumped by being able to make it happen.

Of course we would all prefer to know how to actually feel good than to just have a lengthy explanation that tells us why we don’t.

This is the necessity of control. To know how to create, suspend, dissolve and modify the elements and contents of your mind and experience. With control, awareness becomes ability by upgrading it to expressive awareness.

A Way Out

We don’t always have the time, nor the inclination to deal with the nuanced processes of awareness and control. Just as it is with any game, we need a way out. True freedom is the ability to create freedom. 

You want to be able to hook out from the thought stream. Maybe even strip the thoughts of their meaning. And be more present by dissolving the mental theatre by setting its silver screen on fire.

Once you have a way out, nothing that your mind throws at you can shake you. You can simply switch off the TV, dial down the volume, and transcend it altogether.

We can complicate things in so many ways. We can complicate things all we want. But in the end, it comes down to only three things. And they are as easy to achieve as we are willing to make it for ourselves.

How to Design a Kick Ass Hypnopompic Morning Routine

Art Von Sy

A good morning routine not only allows you to start the day with a bang, but streamlines you to face the day with less effort.

An amazing morning routine leverages your mental mechanisms to create a day filled with flow by making your unconscious work for you.

Hypnopompic Priming

The best way we know to create a positive unconscious momentum is by priming ourselves. Every piece of information and experience affects us and influences our state in the following moments.

The main reason why morning routines are so powerful is what is technically called the hypnopompic state.

It’s the state we’re in right after we wake up. The really cool thing about the hypnopomp is that it, because it follows the dream state, makes us super suggestible.

To make your unconscious mind work for you, you must understand how to prime yourself.

Priming is the psychological term to describe the lingering effect a stimulus has on our moods, abilities, thoughts, and state.

By combining the hypnopomic state and the effects of priming, you can leverage both to create a powerful unconscious momentum to carry you through the day, while being in the zone.

Cultivate Clarity

Things are just easier when our mind is free from the random thought-clutter. Cultivating clarity of mind is a process.

You might not be able to do it fully at first, but by engaging with the process of emptying your mind you will improve until it eventually becomes a spontaneous skill.

Including a practice of cultivating clarity into your morning routine, and combining it with the hypnopompic prime can make clarity of mind a more effortless occurrence.

Early Challenge

When we do things that demand intensity, especially in the morning, our body tends to expect more of the same. This stimulates a general state of readiness to release more of it.

It’s important, however, not to exhaust yourself, but merely stimulate yourself to create the expectation and feed that into your unconscious momentum.

This not only prepares you for the upcoming tasks and challenges, but also sends a message to yourself that the rest of the day will be similar.

You will experience more intuitive and spontaneous access to the component skills of the morning challenge, increasing your levels of focus, performance, and drive.

Value Immersion

It’s best to be grounded. It’s even better to be grounded in your deepest values.

Our thoughts echo in our unconscious mind, and having your deepest values subtly present, drives your focus and your actions toward it.

Being in connection with our values has been correlated with higher levels of drive, well-being, and sense of purpose.

Find out what activities stimulate your deepest values. I could be a particular book, a story, an article, a vision. It’s essential for you to find that in order to design your optimal morning routine.

Design Your Own

To tie all of the above together, you will have to make a plan using the components above. That is a practice of cultivating clarity, followed by a challenge and an immersion with a task that reflects your values.

And by doing all of those during the first thirty minutes of your day, the elements of your morning routine will prime you with a positive subconscious momentum.

  • You don’t have to learn a new meditation technique, you can simply clear your mind by imagining what it would be like to have a perfectly clear mind without using any words or pictures. Set a timer for five minutes.
  • Do some exercise to wake your body and stimulate energy release. If you are fit, sprint around the block, or do a some micro-exercises. It’s not about working out, it’s about stimulating sudden energy release. Do this for five minutes.
  • Immerse yourself with a task that reflects what matters the most to you. Read something intellectually challenging you selected the day before while you’re body is still brimming with the energy of your short workout. Take about twenty minutes.

The adrenaline release from the short work out and the relaxation response that follows physical exertion becomes associated to the contents of your task.

Adrenalin consolidates memories and reinforces the unconscious momentum, and when the physiological relaxation response is followed by a task, we connect the good feelings with the task. In this case, intellectual challenge, your deepest values, readiness for action, and the mental clarity to face the day with effortlessness and purpose.

Accessing Real Flow States Is Easier Than You Think

Art Von Sy

If you have ever experienced states of effortless excellence, where you simply operated at your best, you were probably in flow.

Flow is a state of self-coherence where your ordinary mental limits drop off, giving you direct access to your abilities.

The difficulty in achieving the state lies with our general dependence on external factors to reach peak states.

Flow is a total state of presence that includes mind and body. And every state we experience is self-generated, we’re just not aware how.

That is why the best way to reach flow is by developing a direct line of communication with ourselves to generate it at the source.

When I founded my research lab, we quickly recognized that there are two types of flow states: externally generated (synthetic) and internally generated (organic).

Synthetic strategies create the state of flow by changing contextual factors. These are useful, but are because of their dependence on intermediaries unreliable in getting results.

Organic strategies generate the state of flow by shifting the internal causes that generate the state. Because organic strategies skip the middleman, they allow us to access the state regardless of context and external circumstances.

Dissolve Your Ego

The biggest barrier in the way of experiencing flow is your ego. Flow is not a magical state but a natural state we prevent ourselves from.

Before we can learn to reach it with intuitive immediacy, we must understand how we are blocking it.

Your ego is a set of unquestioned beliefs about yourself. It is merely a concept you learned to identify with while obeying its assigned parameters.

We believe and obey it because it is unconscious. By becoming aware of the process we learn to drop the identification and its implied limits.

Break Old Momentum

The second step is to interrupt old momentum. Rather than to call it habits, I’ve discovered through my years of coaching and research that looking at old patterns as momentum helps to accelerate their interruption.

When it comes to directly manifesting full body and mind states like flow, we must make sure that we are not trying to move from one opposed state to another.

Before we can learn to trigger flow states directly, we have to neutralize any incompatible momentum and tension with either meditation or deep breathing.

Align Yourself

When interviewing top performers from athletes to academics, and artists to businesspeople, one thing was always present. They all remarked that in intense periods of flow, they were completely in tune with themselves and the world. A top negotiator for one of London’s largest management consultancy said: “It’s as if there is no separation between me and myself. Every idea just expresses itself directly, without friction.”

This notion of having no barriers between intention and expression is central to the state of flow. These barriers are created by the virtual limits of our overactive minds. This is why things appear to fall into place when we enter these highly aligned states of performance.

When you enter this level of alignment, you spontaneously drop into the space between intention and expression. Because our fragmentation is due to the words, pictures and concepts we impose on our experience, you can enter into self-alignment simply by clearing your mind of them.

Pure Expression

While it is often overlooked, the power of expressing states with direct impact is immensely powerful.

The ability to generate a state with an organic strategy, that is the natural way, allows us to do it at the intersection of thought and action.

By relying only on ourselves, we thus make our ability to reach the state independent from circumstances and radically increase our effectiveness.

The gap between thought and action is pure expression. It’s the usually unconscious impulse that precedes our states. When we reach deep levels of alignment, with our virtual thoughts out of the way, we can gain access to pure expression.

Once this is achieved, we can cultivate the direct line of communication to trigger flow states at their source.

To take advantage of it, we have to first begin by remembering an instance of the state or by producing it using specific meditation techniques that generate flow states.

Then, by distilling the impulse of the flow state, we refine our ability to directly trigger it. And as we become aware of the unconscious impulse that generates the state, our ability to trigger it increases quite naturally.

This is how you can develop your ability to reach flow states organically, independent from contextual factors. And whether you want to use them to enhance your quality of experience, your relationships or your levels of performance, with flow states, only you set the limits.

The Secret to Being Fearless in Spite of Fear

Art Von Sy

You are not on your own mind. There is no tension in your body, no self-doubt in your awareness. And even in the face of threat and under the the weight of pressure, you are not only calm but playfully alert. 

You don’t take stupid risks, but in any other condition you would not act this boldly. You would feel fear. And while you may notice fear, you don’t give in to it, nor do you try to suppress it. You use it to your advantage. 

This fearlessness is not only true within yourself, but also as a presence that radiates out to infect those around you. You are imbued with the personal freedom to be however you want, to do whatever you do however you want to do it. 

And this brings you to the point where you can express and manifest even the most precious notions on your mind without hesitation but instant confidence.

But this effortless fearlessness doesn't come without its demands. The demand to overcome yourself. To not suppress it, but to transcend fear. 

If you want to be truly fearless, you must learn how to deep hack yourself to be fearless because of, in spite of, and irrespective of fear.

It is not easy to operate in this way when you still experience this invisible yet powerful barrier erected between who you think you are and who you know you can be. And its presence paralyzes you in any attempt to act in direct pursuit of your desires, of your ambitions, of your actualization.

There are the attachments to comfort you confuse with safety; the attachments to the familiar you confuse with yourself; and the devotion to ‘fitting in’ you may confuse with leading a successful life. 

As long as these delusive attachments are still present, you won’t find it in yourself to release yourself from the fictive fears. So long as you believe that your safety, yourself and your success is at threat when you step beyond the script, you have far too much to lose to even try.


If you want to be truly fearless, you must learn how to deep hack yourself to be fearless because of, in spite of, and irrespective of fear. The conventional intuition, however, to somehow get rid of the charge of fear only leads to a vicious cycle. Misguided as it is, it just creates an even bigger glitch: the fear of fear.  

You want to be able to keep the charge and dissolve its numbing and disabling force to harness it to your advantage. 

What if you could simply move through fear with minimum waste and maximum joy? No compensatory actions, only your unalloyed, deeply expressed, and magnetic radical presence. 

Forget self-esteem. Forget self-confidence. Forget all the categories.

Imagine who you would be if fear didn’t limit you but vitalized you. I’m talking about the ability to impact the world around you with effortlessness and flow even in the face of chaos.

And there is a lot of advice you can find out there. Some will tell you not to believe your stories. The stories, they will tell you, are why you are afraid. And then, will slyly offer you a replacement story as the solution. 

Others will advise you on externalities. They will tell you to change your behavior and appearance. As if making your levels of confidence in the face of fear dependent on other people’s perception of you, wouldn’t make them just as fragile as they were before.

What is the use of a strategy that needs you to disconnect from the world to put you into contact with it? What is the use of a method that you can only employ after the moment has passed? 

Yet the most absurd myth is the one that instructs you to face your fears right after telling you that they don’t exist. Word play might entertain us into believing that we have found a solution, but it won’t take us to the promised land: fearless, playful, and bold effortlessness.

Fear is not a picture. Not a word. Not a sentence. Not an external event. Fear is a charge in your body.

Nothing else. What we do with the charge is up to us. However, unless you change the relationship you have with it, you are really just reshuffling the deck.

To really transcend your fears, you must begin to see fear for what it really is. A sensation for which you construct words and pictures to convince yourself that they are its cause. You must begin to see fear as unaccounted energy, released, that you don’t know to leverage. 

Fear is danger one step removed, and danger is the catastrophe one step removed. Fear merely alerts us to danger. And finally, fear is not about your existence, fear is only about your quality of experience. That is, you won’t die, you will just feel a little different.

The solution is to learn to identify fear before your usual threshold of awareness. Notice fear before it happens, in its most fragile state. The sensations from which the response develops become subtler and subtler the further you trace them back. 

Eventually, you will reach that point where the ‘fear’ response is unconstructed, uninterpreted. And everything you will notice is the fragile and subtle motion, previously outside of your conscious awareness, that expresses it.

In fact, before it is tagged with its restrictive label, fear is pure energy.

The moment you have become aware of the subtle motion that generates the response, you can develop expressive awareness over it. By noticing fear before it becomes fear, you can use its energy to, rather than contract yourself, vitalize yourself. And this gives you a massive advantage.

Because, rather than to deal with fear after the fact, this allows you to manage it not even as it happens, but just before it does. And because you gain expressive awareness over this on a pre-verbal level, transforming fear becomes a conscious reflex that demands no reflective, cognitive effort at all. 

The key benefit of remaining fully present and vital when fear tries to block your free movement, is that you can have yourself at your full disposal. Without having to pause life to go to a safe place, without repeating some mantra, without going through some n-step routine, but by making an effortless and small shift with a massive impact. 

Become familiar with fear, become familiar with the pang of discomfort, and trace the response back to its motion, the subtler sensations that precede it.

Once you can do that, you’ve upgraded your existential configuration to harness fear and be fearless in spite of fear because you have made the debilitating charge of fear the vitalizing energy of yourself. You, yourself, have become the technique. This is the power of Vast Impact.

Innovation and Your Scope of Mind

Art Von Sy

The scope of your mind defines the latitude of your thoughts. The scope of your mind determines the effortlessness of your creative output.

But how vast is the scope of your mind? And how can you be sure that you are not unconsciously limiting yours?

You might be at a disadvantage. Our educational systems and the demands of the job market reward just the opposite of mental scope. The onus is on finding quick solutions, making incremental improvements with a preference for incrementalism. The general attitude is: as long as it looks familiar and lessens immediate pressures it is good.

This is the credo of mediocrity: good because it’s good enough, or if a bad solution is the only solution it’s a good solution.

We can’t deny the mixed messages.

Successful innovators of the past are heralded as quasi gods, yet the very inclinations that precede their creative successes are suppressed and often punished.

It’s not just about thinking in the box versus thinking outside of it. Anyone can think outside of the box, there are formulas, again boxes, for that.

The collection of internalized boundaries you impose upon the freedom of your thoughts sets the scope of your mind. In general, these boundaries are made of generalization, the thinking styles we limit ourselves to, and the compulsive emotional needs such as that for certainty however tenuous.

Some symptoms of restricted scope are more obvious than others. Among the more obvious is the consideration of ideas only in so far as they fit the few conclusions and schema on a person’s mind. Or the inability to withstand extended periods of uncertainty which is relieved by filling the gap as quickly as possible with the next best semi-plausible rationalization.

The emotional component of creativity and intelligence is rarely considered, yet it’s the most critical factor.

Operating with a small mental scope makes us impose the constraints of our mental maps upon the things we observe. Ultimately making what we observe merely a variation of what we expect. The need for certainty stimulates an urge to satisfy itself at all costs which usually leads to blatant self-delusion.

The need to immediately extract utility from an idea, or to match it with the demands of external pressures, settles the mind into a claustrophobic groove that seeks emotional pleasure at the cost of creative intellect.

A feeble emotional constitution leads to a boxed intellect because the thoughts are unconsciously driven by the desire to prevent emotional uncertainty. The emotional component of creativity is rarely considered, yet it’s the most critical factor. Your emotions precede your thoughts, even if it doesn’t feel that way. And the degree to which you are unaware of that is the degree to which they will motivate your reasoning.

The size of your mental scope defines the depth of your explorations. We might have deadlines or ideal outcomes on our mind, but these must be suspended for epiphanous insights to emerge. There is a difference between scanning for familiarity among ideas and thinking with originality.

Creativity without inventiveness is merely productivity.

And naming every incremental improvement innovation is exactly the kind of delusion I’m speaking of.

While we can all make the decision not to let our thinking be restricted by conventions and to loosen the rigid expectations we place on the parameters of our conclusions, what is necessary is something else.

To increase our mental scope we have to develop intellectual courage. But its development is not confined to the intellect. Intellectual courage, by its definition, seeks to dismantle the integrity of the intellect to strengthen it beyond itself. The end result is of course a bigger intellect, to again, dismantle.

Are you ready to give up emotional comforts to increase the creative scope of your intellect?

And the best way to do that is by aiming your efforts at the source of intellectual cowardice: your emotional well-being. By learning how to withstand periods of intellectual, which is really emotional, discomfort and uncertainty and learning to find comfort there, you are making the expansion of scope a default tendency.

The natural tendency we find is the opposite. A stifling fear of the unknown borne by an even bigger fear to be wrong, and an aversion to mental intensity. Not effort, intensity.

In every moment of your life, you’re scanning the world for conclusions with your repertoire of justifications. In every instance of your thoughts, even right now, you are thinking along lines and within boundaries you tacitly obey. When was the last time you questioned and subsumed them?

Ask yourself at least six times a day. What are the boundaries of my current mental field? And become aware of them.

The simple awareness of your mental boundaries will quite naturally challenge your scope to expand naturally.

And once you can find the emotional playfulness to find comfort in uncertainty and persevere under it, you will make the expansion of your mental scope as unconscious a habit as your breath.

Think Vast

Untitled Peace

Art Von Sy

So why are you looking for peace? Why are you looking for freedom indiscriminate? Why do you want to escape what you call anxiety? Why do you think that certain practices are important? Because you have not seen it? Maybe you just have not seen it yet.

The attitude with which you seek determines how close you get. You hope that if you do this and that just a bit better and more disciplined you will get your reward. But the obstacles in your way, the conditions you want to satisfy, and the phenomena upon which you make it contingent are a direct expression of your state of being. When you transform your state you will get it, no obstacles, no rewards, no conditions, and no subclauses. 

Why is there no reward? Because a reward implies an obstacle and overcoming it the appeasement of some higher authority that stands in between the broken you and the vast you. As long as you are looking for the approval of another to reach it, all you’ll find behind your eventual success is the problem you tried to solve. You are the ultimate reward, but we are not going to call it that. Because once you do you lose it. 

It’s just like in those old computer games where you could travel beyond the right end of the screen to reappear on the other, only that you are standing right on the boundary in eternal pursuit of that something that will always  be as far away from you as you are from yourself.

Our mind is an illusionist par excellence. One of its tricks is scrambling time. Like making you believe that the problem actually preceded the solution. But what if the solution actually preceded the problem? You see, the vessel is the obstacle and your very attempt of salvation is your damnation!

What Is Personal Power?

Art Von Sy

Personal power is directly related to your generative capacity. It’s when you stop reacting and begin to increase the space between stimulus and response. Those without personal power are reactive, egoic, take no responsibility, and uninspired.

Why? Because they live in the long term results of pandering to their comfort zone. And when it comes to comfort zones, one thing is clear. The more you thread upon the edge of the zone, that is seek discomfort, the larger your zone of comfort becomes as your general abilities increase.

You either seek comfort or you seek power. The former is regressive, the latter is generative. 

When you have personal power you are liberated from the pull of fear and scarcity. That is to seek in others what you ought to give yourself. You realize that there is nothing out there that can shake you unless you shake yourself.

What does that mean? Nothing can have power over you unless you give it away. No object, no human, no event. The essence is to stop giving it away and reclaim all the power you lost. This is where autonomy comes in. Because personal power is the ability to be, do, and show up independent from your external surroundings. It’s a certain resilience, a form of robustness, or, for those familiar with the term, antifragility. 

Personal power is your degree of generative capacity; the pragmatic realization that nothing out there can give you anything you don’t already have yourself.

When these things are in place, we become a true force of nature. We define the ground we stand on. We don’t subordindate ourselves to our thoughts. We don’t seek in others what they can’t give. We don’t chase status symbols. We are at peace with ourselves. And that unleashes massive amounts of energy, because we finally stop compensating for our insecurities and presumed inadequacies.

The essence is to stop giving it away and reclaim all the power you lost. 

The best way to think about it is also the best way to train it. Rather than to think of it as personal power, think of it as generative capacity. Generative capacity is the ability of ability.

That is the degree and ease with which you can vitalize the abilities you have, and the mindset that makes you immune to the regressive call of comfort and connect with your will to power. I developed Leap training to increase generative capacity and make exceeding yourself the default disposition.

Personal power is the hidden factor.

What regression really means here is the diminishment of your ability to do, think, and act. You can observe this happening in your life. You seek objects to feel good about yourself. You seek proximity to people because they give you a feeling of self that you can’t reach on your own. You chase accolades to convince yourself of something you didn’t allow yourself to believe.

Or we might look at the younger generation, having more ‘friends’  and followers than ever, yet are entirely incapable to meaningfully connect with any of them, let alone themselves. While all these can attest to having a certain degree of comfort, their power has atrophied because they can’t generate what they have. 

The vessel is the obstacle.

The will to power is source of all your abilities. Because it’s the disposition that makes you take a risk, let go of your habits, un-attach from the ordinary, and unlock the extraordinary.

Some of its obvious side effects are increased drive, impulse control, intelligence, meta-intelligence, focus, and personal power/generative capacity. It’s the essential drive behind innovation, freedom, excellence and self-improvement.

And doesn’t the phrase already give it away? Personal power is power that is personal. Power that is independent from external tools, means, and conventions. It is by definition existential and the autonomy of being in control and developing more control.

Some people misunderstand what personal power means. It’s not a desire to dominate, or to subjugate others, neither is it some coercive and manipulative tendency. It’s the power of knowledge and the capacity to let go of all that knowledge to discover more. It’s the power to intend without dependency on the outcome yet still give everything you got. 

Personal power is a playful ruthlessness.

Our society trains exactly the opposite of personal power. It conditions the regressive impulse, the will to comfort. It erodes our generative capacity and autonomy by driving us to false success by instilling a fear of discomfort.

That’s why most people have so little of it. The need to compensate feeds the regressive tendencies and the will to comfort. Also known as the existential contingency plan. “I will do X once I have done this”, “I will follow my dreams once X”. Or with more perspicacity, “I will be my own master once my master is satisfied with my work.” And that never happens by the way. Your master will only let you go when you're of no use anymore.

When you develop personal power and increase your generative capacity, you reach a level of centered and calm confidence that frees you from the compensatory and regressive impulses that are the will to comfort. You are fearlessly liberated because you know that all the power in the world is the power you gave away. And the source of all power that is there for you to amass is your generative capacity. 

Personal power is the deep realization that nothing can shake you, unless you shake yourself.

It's Not Your Thoughts, It's Something Else

Art Von Sy

Your thoughts create your reality. Your thoughts define the reality of you. Who you are. How much of it you are. For better and worse. It’s how your mind defines you that makes you either powerful or diminished. 

You might have already noticed that your thoughts are not real. You might have discovered that you can replace one thought with another, and so long as you believe it witness yourself changing.

The contents of your mind become the fabric of your reality. And we can learn to harness and master it to unlock even greater powers and abilities. There is an infinity of thoughts, just as there is an infinity of states of existence they can provoke. 

The infinity of boxes pales in comparison to the infinity beyond boxes.

But all thoughts create boxes. We initially build a box to validate ourselves. We build boxes to comfort ourselves or motivate ourselves. And while these boxes allow us to do certain things we believe we couldn’t have done before, they derive their power solely from the fact that they free us from one box by replacing it with another.

Thoughts can supply us with an infinity of boxes. Each box more novel than the next. Each box with ever more invisible traps to emerge when we least expect it. The limits of your thinking become the limits of your world; the limits of yourself and the parameters of your ego.

Don’t just think outside of the box. Think Vast. Go Live there!

The infinity of boxes, however, can’t match the infinity beyond boxes. The radical, innovative and effortless release of your potential erupts when you let the boxes be and operate on a different level altogether.

See, it is not your thoughts that limit you. Without your mind you’re nothing but a complex worm. It’s not your thoughts that are the problem, it’s your relationship with your thoughts. 

With thoughts, one thing is always true, they may not be real but they are happening.

You either master your thoughts or they become your master. They are your most powerful tool and your most harmful reality. The radical shift that will enlighten you to your dormant powers demotes your thoughts back to its rightful place, your toolbox. 

You can’t use a tool unless you know how to abuse it. For if you don't know the limits of your thoughts, you will confuse them for everything. You will equate them with reality. Only when you can navigate beyond the limits of your thoughts will you be able to wield them with elegance and impact.

Self-mastery is reality mastery. 

But no, we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We keep the baby. We keep the water. It’s not just ceasing to believe that your thoughts are real, it’s learning how to wield your thoughts like the vast sword of imagination that it is. 

The clarity of your mind is the blade of your intellect. The blade of your intellect is the freedom of your world. And your independence from it is the liberation of your peak self. You are empowered to use all and everything at your disposal, without reluctance and ruthless playfulness galore.

How to Master Your Emotions by Thinking Backwards

Art Von Sy

Whether you believe in your internal dialogue and the stories you tell yourself, live inside of a movie you created in your head, or find yourself compelled to create full body responses because your script says so, you are faced with self-imposed interferences.

Resist your emotions and they become your enemy. Accept your emotions and they become your ally. Understand your emotions and they elevate you.

There is a pop-psychology myth that separates people into feelers and thinkers. The former, it says, are guided by their emotions while they latter are guided by their reason. Sometimes they even point fingers at each other saying that one is better or more true than the other.

Of course they are both wrong. While emotions guide our thinking, our thinking also provokes our emotions. And we can’t expect to develop emotional self-mastery unless we become aware of both domains.

We all want to master our emotions especially, or only, when they drag us down. How we feel about ourselves and the world around us determines how powerfully we show up. It shapes your degree of mental clarity, physical capacity and your general quality of life.

What makes the task of controlling our emotions so difficult is the verb control. We can’t control our emotions without imposing our rational will upon them. But we can master them by learning how to navigate them with finesse and insight.

Master your emotions not in opposition to them, but in unity with yourself.

Another difficult we are faced with is the fact that they usually happen before they happen. The moment we become aware of them, they already had a chance to develop this powerful momentum that makes them feel so real and inevitable. 

But we can master our emotions by understanding where they come from and how we perpetuate them, not in opposition but in unity. This allows us to perform better if not at our best. Because it is not only sadness and anxiety that drags us down, but also calmness and euphoric motivation that pulls us up.

Self-mastery, of any kind, is the lifting of our self imposed interferences, whether they are thoughts or emotions. I call these states of self-mastery, when we dissolve into all that we are capable of, resonance or flow. 

We want a focussed mind and a clear presence, uncontrolled and repressed emotions have a tendency of messing with that. 

A common strategy is the refusal to feel at all. But this does more harm than good. Not just in areas of empathy and general well being but also intellectually and the pure bottom line. Ultimately, emotions are time bound phenomena. Without an experience of time, there would be no emotions to experience. Why? Differentials, of course.

 

Differentials

All perceptions are an experience of difference. What we perceive is the difference of what we preceive, that is who are in that moment, and the object itself. Our emotions are not exempt from this. 

When we are sad we experience the difference between a prior state and a projected one. When we are anxious we are again contrasting two states and worry about losing the ‘better’ one. This how it was minus this is how it will be equaling this is how I am. 

But we never think to question the foundations upon which the emotions to depend. This is why the emotions we feel seem so real and inescapable. 

Emotions are charges of difference in whose field we live as if it weren’t just imagined.

A powerful method to dissolve the emotional charges is to become aware of the preception you embody and notice how you are really distinct from it. The moment this is achieved, the emotional charge falls off like a rubber band that has lost its tautness. 

With sufficient practice this can become a reflex and the way emotionalize in response to a perception becomes a choice. You will still feel all the emotions you always felt, but you will now have a choice whether to keep or discard them. See, it’s not just how we look at it, but who we believe ourselves to be that makes us look at it this way.

By focussing your attention on the most critical element of your emotions, you can grab its Achilles heel and the next time you find yourself in an emotional torrent ask yourself:

What has to be true about me for me to respond to this in the way I do?”  

“Where am I coming from to experience it this way?

The vast majority of emotions are time bound perceptions contrasted and responded to by living in their difference. Consider for a moment, what has to be true in the first place for you to be disappointed, or sad, or anxious if not the difference you calculate between what you believe is and what you expect to be. 

And if you’re into some fun, consider what has to be true in the first place about yourself for you to be ecstatic, or calm, or euphoric. You will notice that the structure is usually the same. And once you know the structure, you can dissolve the emotions you care little for and amplify those that empower you.