To promote the release of his nonfiction book, The Art of Smart Thinking, Dr. James Hardt is touring the blogosphere during the month of March. It's a pleasure to have him here on Blogcritics today. Hardt talks about his book, publishing, writer's block, and his upcoming series, among other things.
Were you an avid reader as a child?
Yes. I was beyond avid – I was voracious. When I was in 2nd grade, my Dad made a strict rule about my reading. My Dad demanded that I read no more than two dozen books a week, and he was thinking to save my myopic eyes, which had been damaged by a severe case of the measles.
In order to circumvent his (perceived) tyranny, I would spend long hours at the library after school reading extra books.
Tell us about your book, what inspired you to write it.
I have many hopes for society and for the world. Many of those hopes are related to elevating the level of awareness upon which we, the global population, operate. In order to share the power of the knowledge about human consciousness and the workings of the ego, which I have discovered through University and Biocybernaut Institute research, and through my years as a neuro-feedback practitioner, I realized that I needed to write a book as well as make public appearances and use whatever means available to spread this knowledge. Human survival may well depend upon our abilities to love and to forgive. The geneticist and author Dr. Bruce Lipton says, “It is no longer the survival of the fittest, but rather the survival of the most loving.”
As a researcher I've been writing scientific papers much of my life. These have been published in some of the top peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world: Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Psychophysiology, Biofeedback and Self-Regulation. Even though I've had success in publishing my research articles in top scientific journals, I passionately believe that what I have found and developed throughout my life, as a psycho-physiologist who studies the brain, are absolutely essential to the survival of the human race. I believe that we, as human beings, are approaching a time when our consciousness -our level of awareness- will be critically tested and if we are not advanced enough to meet the challenge we may not survive.
Of course, there are many other reasons why I want people to know about my work, including that I have found a way to treat emotional blocks and traumas, anxiety, guilt, addictions, spiritual emptiness and things like writers block, and to generally help individuals increase their levels of joy and fluffiness in everyday life without the use of any invasive medical process or pharmaceutical. And all of this can be accomplished in only 7 powerful days.
Describe your creative process for writing this book.
I become inspired when I am discussing my thoughts and ideas with others. And, I can discuss the topics that I have written about in my book very easily because I have been researching these topics and devoting my life to furthering the understanding of brainwaves and their correlation to positive states of consciousness such as peak performance, meditation, forgiveness, and joy ever since I was a student in college. So, to write this book in the midst of 18-20 hour days, I spent time with enthusiastic advocates and supporters of my work who interviewed me and recorded everything I said until I had enough material to organize into a book. I was lucky to have a supportive Graduate from my Biocybernaut Institute's training program become interested and motivated to take the time to put all the interview material into writing. From there it was a matter of organization and of editing and expanding upon what I had said.
Have you ever suffered from writer's block?
No, but I can relate. One time in High School when I was on the debate team I stood up to make my argument in my 10-minute constructive speech and I couldn't speak. No words would come out of my mouth. I stood there for ten minutes in front of the judges, the audience, and my teammates and my opponents and I didn't say anything. My mouth just would not speak. Also, I've seen examples of profound Writer’s Block in my research and in my practice. One time in a Biocybernaut Institute Alpha One training, I had a famous Psychologist who was also a famous writer with 16 books to his name. However, he was in severe writer’s block, and had been struggling unsuccessfully for the last 2½ years to write his 17th book. He felt that to live was to write and his inability to write had him darkly talking, privately, about suicide.
In his Day 1 of Biocybernaut Alpha One training I saw that his left occipital [ O1 ] alpha wave activity was very low compared to all his other channels. In right handers like him, I would expect the left occipital O1 alpha scores to be the second highest, with right occipital O2 being the expected highest. But for this famous author in writer’s block, his O1 scores were a distant last among his 8 EEG channels, which included O1, O2, C3, C4, T3, T4, F3, F4, which are, respectively, the left and right Occipital, Central, Temporal and Frontal sites of the brain.
In his post-feedback training review of his data I told him I knew WHY he was in writer’s block, which riveted his attention. I reminded him that, as a right hander, his left hemisphere handled logical, analytical and verbal processing. But with his left Occipital, O1, channel running a distant last in alpha production, he was not going to be having logical, analytical or verbal creativity. Writer’s block is a lack of verbal creativity.
So on the second day of his Alpha One training he concentrated on the feedback from his O1 brain site (left occipital), both the audio feedback and the numerical scores. And he made good progress in increasing his lagging O1 alpha activity. It rose from a distant last to end up in the middle of the pack of other channels, perhaps 4th or 5th in average amplitude. He was excited and pleased with his progress.
His amazing breakthrough, and break-out from his writer’s block, came on Day 3 of his Alpha One training. On this Day 3 his O1 (left occipital) rose dramatically to its more expected position as the #2 biggest alpha channel on the head, following behind only the O2 (right occipital), which is usually the biggest alpha channel in a right handed person.
Now when his O1 alpha surged up into its typical position as #2 biggest alpha channel on his head we began to hear talking in his chamber and to see some movement artifact on his polygraph tracings. This talking and movement would alternate with periods where he would sit very still and his alpha would increase dramatically. I called in several times on the intercom to see if he was alright and he quickly assured me that he was fine. So I resolved to wait until the session ended to hear his debriefing report of his adventure.
He was so excited when he came out of the chamber. Here’s what had happened. When his O1 alpha had increased dramatically, the Muse of all writers appeared to him. She spoke to him and gave him the entire plot, character development, wardrobes, sub-themes,- everything for this book he’d been unsuccessfully trying to write for the last 2½ years. He always carried a pocket tape recorder and he whipped it out and began speaking to save the amazing things the Muse of all writers was telling him. When he would have said everything he remembered of what she said, he would shut the recorder off and go back into the high alpha state and the Muse would reappear and continue downloading everything about his 17th book. When he had received all he could remember from the next download from the Muse, he’d pull out of the high alpha state and turn on his pocket voice recorder and save everything from this latest download from the Muse of all writers. He was so inspired by his Alpha One training and he got everything he needed to write his 17th book.
I’ve seen similarly dramatic results with many other people, and I know from my research studies at major universities that the 7-day Alpha One training can increase creativity by 50% on average. Indeed, one study with scientists from Stanford Research Institute showed they averaged a 50% increase in their creativity. And these people were already highly creative. Creativity is the bread a butter of a Stanford Research Institute scientist, and they got huge rewards in creativity from their Biocybernaut Alpha One training.
I use this training process myself to maintain and to boost my own creativity and all of the technology I have designed to do this work has been designed in the Alpha Feedback Chambers of Biocybernaut Institute. I go into a high alpha state and I am literally shown what to add to the system, what to change and how to do it. Then after the session I sit down to build it. I used to do all my own computer programming, but now I have computer programmers who understand my method of creation in the High Alpha State. They receive my instructions, that I received in the High Alpha State, and they implement the new software routines and write the new code needed to implement the new features I have been shown while in the High Alpha State. I work in a similar way with my electronic hardware designers. Creativity is simply a matter of having the right brain waves. Alpha increases bring creativity increases very quickly.
How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?
I am not in a position to give advice about finding a publisher, because I am currently looking for a publisher. Up to this point I have self-published with the help of my office staff. The process of self-publishing has been very expensive,- about $100,000 to get to this point. However, some of the advantages of this route are that no editor told me to take important themes out of my book. I remember on time I had submitted a paper to ISNR, International Society for Neuronal Regulation. The paper was on Halos and was about how I had discovered the underlying brain wave basis for halos. I was contacted by the Head of the Program Committee and asked to take the word “Halo” out of the title of my paper. I objected that this was the topic of the paper, but he persisted saying, “There might be reporters in the audience.” When I refused to take the word “halo” out of the title of my scientific paper on the topic of brain wave patterns underlying halos, he rejected my previously accepted paper from the ISNR’s conference that year. There was a happy ending a year later, because when I was speaking at the Winter Brain Conference about this scientific censorship, the Program Chairman for the NEXT YEAR’S ISNR conference was in the audience. He was both open-minded and horrified at what his predecessor had done the year before, so he accepted my paper on the brain waves of halos and personally introduced it at the next year’s conference
Authors seeking publishers may also have this kind of “editing” required by their publisher. Since I had previously been subjected to scientific censorship of my radical research findings in the area of Science and Spirituality, I did feel that it would be an excellent idea to self-publish at least the first edition of my book. This way I could be sure of saying all that I wanted to say about the Science of Spiritual States without any censorship. After getting the information on the record and out to many thousands of people, I can now be more relaxed about seeking a publisher and I can even be comfortable when they say things like wanting to split my book into 3 books, because it has too much information for their “average” reader. That is OK with me.
What type of book promotion seems to work the best for you?
The best book promotion tool that I have found is called “targeted marketing.” For The Art of Smart Thinking, we created an email sales letter and targeted the mailing to hundreds of thousands of people who had already expressed interest in topics related to awareness, consciousness, spiritual growth, neurofeedback and/or brainwave trainings.
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
Yes we are actually planning a series in The Art of Smart Thinking. For example I have a co-author for The Art of Smart Thinking for Couples. We will review one couple’s journey from separation and breakup to reuniting and engagement to be married and how this journey was made possible by Biocybernaut brain wave training programs, including our Shared Feedback™. This book will tell the story of how shortly after a serious and formalized break-up, the man of a couple came to Biocybernaut Institute for his Alpha One training. In this training he both did very deep forgiveness work on himself, but he realized that his ex-partner could really benefit from the Biocybernaut Institute Alpha One Training. So he offered to pay for her to do the Alpha One training.
She accepted and was deeply and profoundly healed in this training. The couple then got back together, but some things were still rocky, so they came together for the Alpha Two training and brought along the man’s Father to do Alpha One at the same time. After this their relationship was much more whole and solid, but the man would not even discuss marriage or having a child.
So the couple came together for a week of Shared Feedback™ in which they sat together, side by side, in the same chamber and heard their own and each other’s brain waves converted into musical tones. They literally made beautiful music together in their Shared Feedback™ and they also saw each others’ scores every 2 minutes when the tones would stop for 8 seconds, just long enough for them to open their eyes and view their own and each others’ scores on a screen in front of them.
They also rated their own moods and attempted to rate each others’ presumed moods on computerized mood scales that were administered twice each day. At the end of each day they reviewed their own moods and each others’ self-reported moods and they could see and discuss the differences between how they perceived their partner’s moods and how the partner perceived his or her own moods. Discovering these discrepancies in their perceptions of their partner’s emotional states prompted rapid and deep understanding and more forgiveness of themselves and their partner. The net result of this work was that the man gave up on his resistance to having a baby and 2 weeks later they became engaged and were planning to move in together and were looking for a house.
This book, The Art of Smart Thinking for Couples will be just the second in a whole series of books that will explain to each of many different types of people just how the Biocybernaut Institute consciousness training programs can dramatically improve their lives. We probably will not do a title called The Art of Smart Thinking for Dummies, but there are many other titles to come in this new and helpful series.
In addition, I will add that I’m going to be on Coast to Coast AM with Ian Punnett this Sunday, March 9, 2008 from 11:00 PM PST to 2:00 AM PST. If any of your readers are interested in calling in to this show to ask questions about what I do and how I write about what I do, I would be very happy to hear from them and to answer their questions.
Oh yes, there is another series of books that are in the works at Biocybernaut Institute. Later this month, March 27 to April 2 and again on May 3-9 we are offering people the opportunity to come and be in the audience while a group of brave people do their Alpha One training in front of this audience. We will be filming this group of people, the trainees and the audience as a pilot for a new genre of TV programs. It will be a Positive Theme Reality TV Show. There are almost no examples in our culture of people solving their very real problems with forgiveness, love and compassion and we are going to create a new genre of TV programs that will teach people, vicariously and by example, how to open their hearts and to forgive even the worst cruelties and abuse. Seeing real people do this in just one week with Biocybernaut technology and training will inspire millions of viewers, and readers of the books about this, to make beneficial changes in their own lives that will begin to end strife and to end suffering. We will have each group of people interviewed in their homes the week before and some months after their appearance on the Biocybernaut Live TV show, Here and Now™. Their stories will become the themes of a whole series of books about positive growth and transformation and a TV series which will be the first Positive Themed Reality TV show. We seek to show and tell the stories of people transforming their sadness, anger and fear into love, joy and happiness. In this way we will be doing our part in ushering in an enduring Golden Age for all of Humanity.
Also I would like to add that I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in your blogcritics website. Thank you for having me with you. I look forward to meeting with you again in the future.