Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights
Miscellaneous bits of wisdom about personal development, philosophy, epistemology, nonduality, life purpose, psychedelics, etc. Published randomly throughout the week.
Insights here are meant to be quick and half-baked. Consider these food for thought.
I've deliberately disabled comments to keep the blog streamlined. If you want to discuss any of the blog posts, you can do so here: Actualized.org Forum
Today Bernie Sanders announced his entry in the 2020 Presidential race and I am thrilled to endorse him. I don't typically endorse politicians, but he is by far the best politician in the country today. He is a serious visionary leader and his policy platform is outstanding. If you want to live in a more conscious, less plutocratic America, please donate & support Bernie because the establishment ego backlash against him will be yuge!
Sanders' 2020 policy platform:
- Medicare 4 All
- Green New Deal/climate
- $15 min wage
- Criminal justice reform
- Free college
- Break up biggest banks
- Campaign finance reform
- Gender pay equity
- Paid leave
- Lower drug prices
- Expand Social Security
- Save unions
- DREAM Act
- Background checks & assault weapons ban
- Affordable housing
- New infrastructure
- Opposing military industrial complex
- Legalization of weed
- Abolish private prisons
- End cash bail
- Major police department reform
And don't forget to register to participate in your state's Democratic primary. This is very important. Voting in the General Election is NOT good enough.
I don't particularly like to kick a man when he's down, but the following video shows the unraveling of Alex Jones' ego in such a stark way that it deserves to be in a textbook about devilry. Pay close attention to how the arrogance of the ego-mind refuses to concede to truth and love, doubling down on its egotism and starting a holy war (lesser Jihad). This is how crusades and holy wars throughout history have been started.
Alex Jones is just an extremely obvious example of this. But notice how your ego does this too, in (hopefully) lesser, more subtle ways. It especially happens when you feel under attack or when your livelihood or identity is seriously threatened.
As context for this clip, on his podcast Joe Rogan extended a hand of friendship to Alex Jones, genuinely concerned for his mental health. Joe took a fair, compassionate position, being more than generous to Alex Jones, but the devil cannot stand it! The devil is terrified of genuine love and compassion — he thinks it's a ploy. Love burns the devil like a sunlight burns a vampire. Rogan is speaking from a healthy stage Green while Jones is speaking from a very pathological stage Red. Stage Green often underestimates the depravity and viciousness stage Red is capable of — it is outside of stage Green's reality.
The fundamental position of the devil in aggressive defiance of God. At low levels of Spiral Development the ego becomes aggressively ignorant and, of course, assumes the position of God. The devil always feels like he is the righteous one who could do no wrong and that God is on his side. The devil is a usurper of God's throne, actively spinning delusions and self-deceptions to convince himself that what he's doing is righteous.
Remember this: a devil will not hesitate to bite a helping hand. So be careful when openly offering them your compassion.
P.S. Please don't misunderstand me when I call Alex Jones a devil. Despite how it sounds, I am not actually demonizing him. When I call someone "a devil" I do not use this term dualistically or moralistically. I am not making a moral judgment of him. For me this is a technical term describing delusional egoic behavior which aims at supplanting truth with its own selfishness. Like how a cuckoo bird tries to lay its own egg in the nest of other birds.
See my video: What Is The Devil? to learn more.
Check out this cool video demonstrating entrainment:
Notice at the end how they all de-sync without the soda cans.
Consider that the soda cans are culture. Culture allows human beings to entrain with each other. Which is why people defend their cultures to the death.
P.S. Your brain gets entrained to certain types of sounds and music just like the pendulums above. Various spiritual techniques make use of such brain entrainment — like binaural beats, Solfeggio frequencies, chanting, mantra recitation, and shamanic drumming — in order to access higher states of consciousness. Is this New Age voodoo? No! Does it really work? Yes! Give it a try, if you dare. There is a spooky yet legit connection between your state of consciousness and auditory vibrations.
"Abandon the search for God and the Creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by taking yourself as the starting point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own and says, 'My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body.' Learn the sources of sorrow, joy, love, hate. Learn how it happens that one watches without willing, rests without willing, becomes angry without willing, loves without willing. If you carefully investigate these matters you will find him in yourself."
— Monoimus, quoted by Hippolytus of Rome
Free-market capitalism (especially the Chicago School) is a dangerous cult ideology. Similar to positivism, behaviorism, and materialism. A lot of otherwise intelligent people get sucked into them because the group-think and status quo is so strong it goes completely unquestioned, masquerading as "science" or "fact". The devil loves to lie using mathematics because it gives him the perfect cover of "objectivity".
Of course Marxism also tends to be cult-like. But right now America has a serious addiction to capitalism, to the point of being in denial about it.
Consider the following intriguing possibility:
According to modern cosmology, our universe started as an infinite singularity which spontaneously blew up and started expanding at an accelerating rate — which is continuing today. There has been some speculation that in the future it might start to decelerate and eventually crash in on itself in a Big Crunch, back to where it began. An elegant solution, but our universe currently shows no sign of deceleration so I wouldn't hold my breath. So let's assume it just keeps accelerating outwardly forever. What then? How do we end it in an elegant way?
Thermodynamics tells us that ultimately the universe will end in entropic heat death, where all the atoms dissipate their kinetic energy until the entire universe is one energetically uniform, frozen field. This is the universe's most boring state. Nothing interesting to see or do because everything is so uniform that everywhere is the same. There's nowhere to go and you don't have enough of an energy gradient to power anything (no cars, no power plants, no life). Everything is one uniform temperature and eventually even all the atoms decompose into a perfectly uniform soup.
But at precisely this point our perfectly uniform universe also becomes indistinguishable from a singularity! Now, you might think, "But wait a minute, this new singularity is a billion times larger than the old one, due to billions of years of expansion." Except size, distance, time, and temperature are all relative notions. In a totally uniform universe it is impossible to distinguish here from there, big from small, past from future, or hot from cold, and hence impossible to distinguish the old singularity from the new singularity, making them literally identical!
After all, who is to say there is difference between beginning and end?
And suddenly the whole thing explodes again.
Ta-da! We've come full-circle! The perfect strange loop.
But wait, it gets even stranger! If reality is nothing but distinction, could it be possible to eliminate the distinction between something and nothing, reality and unreality? After all, who is to say that the universe is real or has ever even happened?!
This very moment you are sitting here reading this sentence thinking you are inside an actual universe which has happened. But perhaps if you realized that "actual" is a distinction that you are creating, you could also collapse it, thus making it literally impossible to distinguish an "actual" universe from its opposite, a "potential" universe, thus nullifying this very moment, as though it never actually happened, all at the same time as it appears to be happening!
After all, who is to say there is a difference between happening and non-happening?
So, was there an actual Big Bang or not? Adapting, a bit, the famous words of Henry Ford, "Whether you think there was, or think there wasn't, you're right!"
How does God create something out of nothing? By imagining a difference between the two.
So while everyone else is running around taking life seriously, you might be able to realize that life isn't happening at all. Perhaps existence is only possible as an idea.
Sounds impossible? Who is to say there is a difference between possible and impossible?
Sounds insane? Who is to say there is a difference between sane and insane? ;)
Here's an interesting video long these lines, although not quite as radical. Modern cosmology is still not addressing the elephant in the room: the relativity of existence itself.
Opals are the coolest rocks. It's like God photographed deep space using a rock.
Above: Oregon Contra Luz Opal with botryoidal Jasper inclusions, from Oregon
Below: the Carina Nebula as photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope with its newest Wide Field Camera 3.
Behold the beauty of the infinite cosmic fractal that is you!
I love Anand's analysis of the current state of American society. Everything he's talking about is the limits of Spiral Dynamics stage Orange which I have explained in my video.
This is the kind of political analysis I'm into. Notice how different it is from the commonplace partisan bickering, namecalling, and conventional thinking.
Notice also how the themes he talks about are part of the much broader dynamic of devilry (see video What Is The Devil?). Devilry is nothing other than the force of blind self-survival. This force is so strong because it needed to be that strong in order to get you to where you are right now. But then survival goes overboard, becoming counter-productive. As is always the case with duality, too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
-- Upton Sinclair
Of course rich people are not going to understand how they create global suffering and inequality because it is against their self-interest to understand. That would be too much consciousness, too much responsibility. Then they could not pursue wealth as ruthlessly as they do. The devil is always going to resist seeing that he is the devil. This is true not just of rich people, but EVERYONE! Religious people, military people, Big Oil, Big Pharma, criminals, children — and YOU! I want you to notice that you are not conscious of the collateral damage that your own survival produces because it doesn't help your survival to be conscious of it. So you are in deep denial about it. Notice the stories and justifications you create for how you are not a devil but an angel. It is precisely these stories which make you a devil! Ta-da! Self-deception at its finest.
What's that you say? "But Leo! I need money, I need sex, I need medicine, I need a house, I need a good school for my kids, I need X, I need Y, I need Z. If I stop pursuing my survival needs, I will die!"
While we're on the topic of politics, here are my favorite political channels on YouTube:
- The Majority Report
- The Rational National
- Secular Talk
- The David Pakman Show
- The Humanist Report
- Democracy Now!
Please keep in mind that I do not necessarily agree with all of the ideas & opinions these channels espouse. These are stage Green channels. They are definitely biased and ideological. My view of politics is at least stage Yellow, so I have some important criticisms of these Green channels, but in an environment where stage Yellow political analysis is virtually non-existent, this is as good as you're likely to find, for now. We have a lot of growing to do just to get society to Green, nevermind Yellow. There will definitely be some excessive and unhealthy manifestations of Green from time to time, but right now I'm not too concerned about it.
Rather than adopting my personal political beliefs, what I suggest you do with this domain of life is to study it (if you want). Become serious about understanding how government & society works in a systemic, non-partisan, non-culture-war way. Set aside your political prejudices and educate yourself. Be careful not to get radicalized and not to build a political ego. Be careful about confirmation bias. Diversify your news sources and seriously investigate the positions of your political opponents. But also don't fall into the trap of false equivalency, splitting issues evenly down the middle, or automatically accepting the status quo. By not making a choice, you've made a choice in favor of the status quo. By not taking action, you've taken action in defense of the status quo.
When it comes to politics, you're damned if you do, but you're even more damned if you don't.
If you are seriously working on enlightenment you might want to stay away from politics for a while so it doesn't turn into a distraction. But overall, you should be well-informed about various political trends and what makes for good governance. You might want to subscribe to a serious journalistic new outlet like the New York Times or Washington Post and actually read their articles. Also, read books on politics and governance. You cannot understand this domain of life without some in-depth reading and a sense of history.
Above all, remember, proper politics and governance is not about what YOU need. It's about what helps elevate the majority of mankind. Often times what's good for the greater system may not be what's personally good for you, your family, your ethnicity, your gender, or your company. Be very careful not to make politics just another survival game that your ego plays.
Excellent analysis of the current state of America:
Notice how Spiral Dynamics explains all this, and foreshadows the next inevitable development step. We are beginning to reach the limits of unbridled stage Orange.
Be careful not to turn the current state of society into a victim mindset or an excuse for why you can't create a great life. Never let aggregate macro trends dictate your personal effort and results. It doesn't really matter what others are failing to do, what matters is that you do what you need to do. Conscious capitalism is possible, and you can lead the way in that.
For more on that see my video: How To Escape Wage Slavery