Nothing “Is” A Thing, Or How You Can Benefit From Turning Things Into Processes

Nothing “is” anything.


There is no such thing as a thing.

Come back when the drugs wear off.

Things don’t exist; all is process and flow.

What are you, some kind of nihilistic Postmodernist?

The exact opposite.


What do you feel right now?

I am confused.

You ARE confused? Or do you currently experience confusion?


But they ARE not the same.

Keep up the semantic games and I’m going to be angry.

Will you BE angry? Or will you experience anger?

OK, now I AM angry.

You not ARE angry. You FEEL anger.

Why does this matter?

Words function as labels or containers to “pour” thoughts and meanings into. How we employ words changes our experience.

Give me an example.

Which do you prefer to confront: a problem or a challenge?

< Goes inside and considers this > A challenge because it seems to inspire. A problem seems more permanent.

Now, what is easier to change: being angry or feeling angry?

< Goes inside and considers this > Feeling angry.

Do you understand why yet?

BEING angry seems… solid. Locked in. But feelings seem to change on their own, by their very nature.

That’s a good start, because feelings are processes, not things.

Feelings are things! I can feel anger!

For how long?

Usually not all that long.

Let’s take another example. Are you in a relationship?


Can you feel things about your relationship?


Can you think about your relationship and experience feelings about those thoughts?

I do that all the time.

What if we consider that your relationship is not a “thing,” but instead consider it as two people who RELATE?

I… that’s…

Can you experience feelings ABOUT relating?

It’s harder. I can’t pin it down to think about it, because it seems like it’s undefined.

Can you think ABOUT relating, and experience feelings ABOUT those thoughts?

< Goes inside and evaluates this >  Not really. It seems too undefined, like it doesn’t exist.

Are you sure that it does exist as a thing?

Not as sure as I was before.

Can you enjoy the moment while you relate?

Yes, but somehow I don’t think I would realize it at the time.

You would just enjoy being in the moment?

Yes, I think so.

How would your experience with your significant other change if you related to them instead of were in a relationship with them?

I wouldn’t overanalyze or have so many meta-thoughts. Less fear and anxiety. Less angst.

The mind can easily think about things or nouns. It has difficulty thinking about flows or verbs.

I can think about verbs. I can think about running.

Only when you reduce it to a specific example or “snapshot,” which turns the verb into a thing/noun. A pure flow cannot be analyzed, only experienced in the moment.

That’s… hard to know.


Again, why does this matter?

 What would happen if you turned all the “things” in your mind back into processes or flows?

I wouldn’t think about them.

What would that mean?

Well, I couldn’t feel bad about anything.


Because I couldn’t feel anything about anything, because there wouldn’t be a “thing” to feel about.

Would that be an improvement?

Are you kidding? It would remove anxiety and depression because those are feelings about mental “things.”

Well done. More in the next session.




Trump Explained (And It’s Not Just His Persuasion Skill)

As a hypnotist, I knew from the start that Donald Trump has incredible persuasion skills. I can identify the techniques and watch the effect they have on people. So that part has always made sense to me. I watched with amusement and some frustration as most of the rest of the world fumed and sputtered incomprehensibly at Trump’s words. “They don’t understand, and they likely never will,” I thought. “This will be interesting.”

Then I saw Scott Adams talk about this very thing on Twitter. I was thrilled that someone with a large reach also recognized this. He explained this to his audience, reaching hundreds of thousands with his Twitter and periscope videos, and possibly millions more with his book Win Bigly, which explained the foundations of how persuasion works. This made Trump more understandable to millions of people.

But there was something more. Why didn’t Trump address the hoaxes used to attack him? Why did he so often seem to have overly optimistic talking points, that sometimes seemed directly delusional?

In 2017 I read a book called Dark Star Rising, wherein an esotericist named Gary Lachman described Trump on the esoteric level. He explained that Trump, through his associations with Norman Vincent Peale, was a student of New Thought, an early-1900s Westernization of exceedingly ancient energy techniques regarding manifestation of thoughts into reality.

Let me explain.

New Thought came about partially as a result of British interactions with India in the last 1800s and early 1900s. They adapted many of the Eastern Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist techniques and beliefs through a more Western frame. New Thought goes like this:

The universe (or Simulation, or whatever you want to call All That Exists) is super sensitive to your thoughts, and takes ALL your thoughts and emotions as direct commands for what to make happen.

There are many versions of this of this idea in many different practices and religions, but most of them have specific protocols or rituals to use to perform manifestation or “simulation programming” or making things happen. New Thought says ALL your thoughts and feelings are a continuous flow of manifestation commands.

There are some major ramifications of this idea.

  1. There is no such thing as true or false regarding commands. If I tell you “Pay attention to this” is that true or false? That dimension doesn’t even apply. So when Trump says things that don’t pass the fact checkers, does that bother him? Not in the least, because they aren’t statements of fact, they are commands to the universe.

    So when Trump says the earth’s temperature will cool, or a vaccine will be available in 6 months instead of the usual 15, or any of the hundreds of other similar statements, he isn’t describing what has happened, he is giving commands to the universe for that to become true.
  2. If all your thoughts are commands to the universe, you won’t spend any time on problems. You won’t analyze and slice and dice problems or talk about how something or someone is wrong. You will only focus on solutions and the result you want to have happen. This may be why Trump doesn’t address the content of hoaxes, even in the presidential debate when he could have put the Fine People Hoax to rest for good: Because he doesn’t want to give the universe any commands to make it real.

Now, there is another component of this that I only recently have understood well enough to put it all together: the concept of alchemy. In the West, alchemy was an encoded way of passing on the energy techniques of the East without letting fools or malicious people understand, and without attracting the anger of religious authorities (Islamic, Catholic, and Jewish). It overtly talks about turning “lead” into “gold” but that’s actually a metaphor for turning negative energy into useful, positive, and beneficial energy, energy that can be used for manifestation of thoughts. The East has been doing this for thousands of years in Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

So the second component of this is that Donald Trump is a world-class alchemist, perhaps one of the greatest the world has ever known.

He is quite possibly the most hated person on the planet, yet he seems to actually thrive on the negative attention. How? He has mastered the ability to take ownership of negative energy, strip out the intentions, and re-purpose that energy for his own uses. And his uses are revealed by those commands he gives to the universe, as described above. He is channeling the world’s hate into good outcomes for America and for the world, through himself and through his office as the President of the United States.

I’ll say that again because it is important: Donald Trump is channeling the world’s hate into good outcomes for America and for the world, through himself and through his office as the President of the United States.

Once you understand both aspects, it becomes clear what Donald Trump is doing and why. The energy-direction / alchemy model fits much better than any other model I’ve tried to fit to the situation – egotism, narcissism, insanity, fascism, racism, self-aggrandizement, greed – none of those predict. This does. And when you look back on the last 4 years (or more) with this in mind you start to see Trump in an entirely new light.

Parsing Persuasion: Birthright Citizenship Edition

Students of persuasion:

Today Trump announced that he would end birthright citizenship (the conferring of US citizenship on all babies born on US soil) via an executive order.

This is wonderfully effective persuasion.

First Let’s Talk Technique

The first technique is that this is highly attention-getting. It comes one week before mid term elections when people are paying more attention. It’s also in light of the headlines of caravans from Latin America, so people are already paying attention to immigration issues.

And all those in opposition in the media will “fact check” the claim right into the first story of every news website, propagating his message far and wide.

It’s also surprising. It has been assumed for a long time that it would take a constitutional amendment to change the laws regarding citizenship of babies born in the United States.

Some more techniques:

  1. Trump uses authority: he has top men working on it, presumably experts in the law.
  2. Pacing and leading: “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t”
  3. Imagining a future: “It’s in the process. It’ll happen”
  4. Artfully vague language: “But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
    • Who is “they?” If you’re on the anti-anchor baby side, “they” means authoritative legal scholars.
  5. Confirmation bias: Trump says it’s possible, so when his supporters hear any evidence, they will interpret it to support that pre-existing idea.

Now Let’s Talk Strategy

With a single announcement he turned birthright citizenship from something that the public assumed would be too difficult and not worth trying into something that people now think is possible.

Overnight, Trump will have millions of Americans who want anchor baby laws to end, to newly think it’s possible to end them, and will be more motivated to vote in the mid-terms so they can make it happen.

He also gets *millions* of people to research the legal possibilities. The sides will make the arguments for him. In the first day alone we learned that prior to 1960 it was not applied to illegal aliens and that the amendment’s original author never intended it to apply to aliens.

And here’s the 3D chess: He forces Democrats to be constitutional originalists. They cannot claim the 1st and 2nd amendments require a modern interpretation but the 14th amendment must be interpreted as original text only. They have to pick one or the other. Either he gets the 14th amendment re-interpreted, or he saves the 2nd amendment.

Bonus persuasion: the liberals want the 2nd amendment repealed and the 1st amendment modified or reinterpreted. Trump wants the same for the 14th amendment (and possibly the 17th). Now both sides are interested in the possibility of altering the Constitution. This makes it much more likely to actually happen because its no longer outside the realm of possibility.

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