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
Horray! A small step for mankind.
This is exciting and groundbreaking news, as in the history books it will go down as the first domino to fall in our effort towards full nationwide decriminalization of psychedelics.
In truth, decriminalization of psychedelics is still not good enough. The US Constitution must have an Amendment which explicitly guarantees the right to explores one's own consciousness via any means that does not harm others.
This is of course on top of the already existing Constitutional clauses which guarantee free exercise of religion, which of course includes psychedelics (but is not yet acknowledged).
But we'll take this for now.
Oregon and California are working to pass legalization of mushrooms in 2020. A victory in Oregon would be a huge breakthrough, and it now seems doable.
Please donate to the Oregon 2020 Psilocybin Ballot Initiative to ensure it passes. If it does, that will be huge leap forward. It will also help many people suffering from depression, addiction, PTSD, anxiety, terminal illnesses, etc. Check out their video page for more details.
And here's another good initiative you can donate to if you're passionate about this cause: The Heffter Research Institute
Most people in society are in denial about the scam that is elite university education (and to some extent, university education in general).
Read this article: Former Admissions Dean Spills The Dirt On Elite College Admissions
And that's just the tip of the iceberg of the kind of devilry that goes on behind the scenes of these elite universities. Do not trust them for a second!
Universities are not your friend. They are businesses, collective egos, bureaucracies, and cultural constructions, first and foremost. It is a big mistake to equate university education, rank, or credentials with any sign of truth, goodness, wisdom, intelligence, consciousness, self-awareness, or level of development.
The wisest humans are not to be found in universities because universities do not prioritize truth, wisdom, love, or consciousness. Elite universities are playing games of status, money, and politics, and the worst thing about it is, the biggest con they pull is convincing high school students that they are somehow important and to be valued. It's never even told to high school students that they can provide themselves with a much better education than any university ever could, and at a tiny fraction of the cost. High school students just automatically buy into the lie that elite universities are somehow important and desirable.
Universities indoctrinate. They do not teach truly original thinking or human growth. And as the devil tends to do, they call themselves the bastions of truth. Then they act outraged if you question their authority or their well-credentialed professors. Ha! What a load of horse shit! A credential is just a piece of paper that a group of devils wrote to themselves to convince themselves that they are not devils but angels.
The whole point of getting an elite university degree is so that your survival in life becomes much easier thanks to the status it confers — you get access to the best job opportunities and positions of power — so you don't then actually have to work hard on becoming a conscious human being or doing original creative high-value work that stands on its own merit. An elite university allows you to use the power of social status to increase your survival odds. That's what it's really about, and any honest university would admit it. But of course the devil has to hide and deny his devilry in order for it to keep working. Teens who apply to these universities do not understand any of this. They are just cogs in the unconscious machine. Just like their parents were. They are under the illusion that these universities are somehow the ticket to heaven when really they're a ticket to hell! You know what they say, an abused child becomes an abusive parent. And so the cycle continues, the cogs keep spinning around in circles.
And all this is not to even mention the scam which is the college loan system. From a certain perspective a modern university is just a clever invention for saddling a new human being with $100,000 in debt without that human realizing what just happened. That is the lifeblood of the whole system! Universities are like a vampire that feeds off wage slaves. The real devilry comes in convincing children to join this system eagerly. You could call our entire education system long-time-horizon child abuse: grades, homework, standardized testing, SAT prep, AP testing, college admissions, student loans, credentials, diplomas, fraternities, sororities, college athletics — all that. It's all a socially constructed scam; a house of cards held together with bullshit. By the time a human being goes through 12 + 4 years of that, she is a domesticated animal. It's just a more sophisticated version of religion. A religion masquerading as science and rationality. No wonder there is no God or Truth found there. You cannot institutionalize Truth.
The bottom line is, an elite university education will actually hinder your ability to become the best human being you could be. Take responsibility for your own education. The only one who can properly educate you is yourself.
And yet, despite having said all the above, a university education is still far better than no education at all, or some kind of parochial education. So in a twisted sense we need this devil to save us from the yet greater devil of uneducatedness and right-wing ideology.
P.S. Do not confuse my critique of universities for right-wing critiques of universities. Universities can be critiqued from above or from below. My critique is from above. Right-wing critiques — based on a knee-jerk reaction against liberal values, multi-culturalism, relativism, and post-modernism — are from below. The paradox is that American society would be far better off if we made all public universities totally free to everyone, doubled their annual budgets, and cancelled all student debt. This would also have the benefit of devaluing elite private universities and reduce the need to jump through hoops for scholarships.
Our education system is thoroughly corrupt and badly in need of reform and massive funding. Of course it's just as you should expect. The first thing on the devil's agenda is to seize and corrupt all wellsprings of truth, turning them into founts of devilry. Topmost on the devil's agenda is to break all the lights, break all the mirrors, and multiply himself in the shade.
Scientists have recently discovered a 1000 year old shaman pouch in the Andes mountains containing various hallucinogenic plants and snorting utensils.
The real question is, why doesn't everyone have such a pouch 1000 years later?
Where is your shaman pouch?
"While scientists were performing astounding feats of disciplined reason [during the Enlightenment], breaking down the barriers of the 'unknowable' in every field of knowledge, charting the course of light rays in space or the course of blood in the capillaries of man’s body — what philosophy was offering them, as interpretation of and guidance for their achievements was the plain Witchdoctory of Hegel, who proclaimed that matter does not exist at all, that everything is Idea (not somebody’s idea, just Idea), and that this Idea operates by the dialectical process of a new 'super-logic' which proves that contradictions are the law of reality, that A is non-A, and that omniscience about the physical universe (including electricity, gravitation, the solar system, etc.) is to be derived, not from the observation of facts, but from the contemplation of that Idea’s triple somersaults inside his, Hegel’s, mind. This was offered as a philosophy of reason."
-- Ayn Rand
And she was precisely wrong!
It takes skill and effort to be this wrong. The skill of a devil.
Stage Orange materialism/rationalism underestimates idealism/mysticism by assuming it to be philosophical mental-masturbation with no real-world consequences, when of course the truth is that materialism/rationalism is itself thoroughly deluded because it fails to take into account higher states of consciousness, which, if achieved, will erase the illusion of a material or rational world altogether.
Here Ayn Rand demonstrates the pre/trans fallacy: confusing Hegel's trans-rational explanations of the Absolute with pre-rational myth, fundamentalist religion, and soft thinking. In truth, Ayn Rand's dualistic logic was closer to myth than Hegel's.
The great irony is that materialism and rationalism turn out to be Witchdoctory — the very thing they accused philosophy and religion of being! Such is the counter-intuitive nature of the mind. To a devil like Ayn Rand, black is white, up is down, light is dark, and Absolute Truth is fiction. I've noticed that people who make vehement appeal to "reason" (like Ayn Rand or Sam Harris) turn out to be some of the greatest devils because they assume that reason is somehow a guarantor of truth, when in fact reason does the bidding of the ego. You cannot get to Absolute Truth through reason. Which totally shocks stage Orange rationalists, because they always held in blind faith that you could. A rationalist is just someone who replaces fundamentalist religious faith in the inerrancy of The Bible or Koran with a fundamentalist faith in the inerrancy of reason.
Hegel was a spiritual genius. He was the Western/German version of Nagarjuna or The Buddha. But his words fell on deaf ears and got confined to history books or philosophy lectures.
Interestingly, when you start to research Western intellectual tradition you find a strong thread of idealism running all throughout which few Westerners today know about or take seriously. This gives a false impression that the West has always been materialist and anti-mystical, and that science has always been a materialist enterprise. Not true. This is an artificial narrative constructed by materialists to relieve themselves of the responsibility of taking idealist notions seriously. Many of the West's greatest scientists, thinkers, and visionaires were idealists, and for good reason. Because the more intelligent you become, the more idealism becomes unavoidable. Realist scientists and thinkers are 2nd rate intellects. They are good at technical analysis but they lack the holistic visionary aspect of the intellect, which is the most important aspect.
The intellect has two functions: analysis and synthesis, or division and unification. The intellect can be used to carve up reality or stitch it together. Modern academic and Western intellectual culture is overly biased towards analysis at the expense of synthesis, vision-logic, unification, and big picture thinking. Our schools teach kids how to carve up reality but not how to stitch it together. As a result our science and our society is overly-autistic and disconnected from our humanity and our divinity. Modern science lacks heart and vision. Which doesn't mean that science is bad or all-wrong, it just means that modern science is highly partial, and that there is a higher version of science yet to be actualized. Science and reason are not to be abandoned but expanded.
Here's Orange/Green reacting against stage Blue.
Notice that Orange/Green simply cannot understand the stage Blue worldview because it's biased by an unquestioned certainty in the materialist paradigm. What stage Orange/Green does not understand is that there is no such thing as objective reality, "facts", "truth", or "sanity".
Stage Blue vs Orange/Green are literally inhabiting different realities which their minds are constructing. But since they do not understand that their mind constructs reality, they assume that their reality is the one "true" reality while the other side is literally insane. This notion of insanity plays a pivotal function in their worldview because they need some way of explaining away the otherwise without actually investigating it. By calling the other side "insane" it automatically absolves you from having to seriously question your notion of "real".
What needs to be realized is that however you think reality is, you're making that up! "No Leo, I'm not making it up. You're crazy!" << You just made that up! Lol. See? Your metaphysical assumptions become your reality, no matter how crazy, unreasonable, or false they are. So if you believe there is an objective external reality, that becomes your reality. But it is not true in any absolute sense. Your mind is making reality up as you go along. Including, of course, the denial that you do so.
There actually is no firm boundary between a crazy worldview and a reasonable one. That duality collapses upon deep examination.
Without deeply understanding this you will never understand what reality is, how it works, or why humans behave as they do. For you there will always be stuff that happens in the world which seems totally batshit crazy. But it only appears that way from your POV because your worldview is inadequate at accounting for other worldviews. As a rule of thumb, any time you see something crazy happening in the world, that's a clue that you don't understand it deeply enough. The mind uses the judgment "that's crazy" as a cop-out.
With all that said, some people are exceptionally deluded.
"The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest art seems unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.
The Tao is nowhere to be found.
Yet it nourishes and completes all things."
-- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Folks have been asking me to release a photo of when I used to be fat. Some even accused me of making up the story that I used to be fat. Well, I was in fact fat from about age 9 to age 21.
I didn't have fat photos of myself because: 1) Back then there were no cell phones or selfie pics, 2) I didn't like taking photos of myself when I was fat.
But anyhow, I finally found an old photo at my Mom's house. So here you go:
235 lbs at 6'2". 20 years old. About one year after this photo was taken I lost 65 pounds in 5 months, dropping to 170 lbs. I've kept it off ever since. Right now I'm at 180 lbs.
This was accomplished through diet changes & lots of gym exercise, including cardio and weights. I worked out 5 days a week for about 10 years. For the past 2 years I have not worked out at all and still keep the weight off because my diet is about 10x cleaner than it used to be, such that exercise for purposes of weight-maintenance is unnecessary. But exercise is still good for health of course.
Big change is possible if you set your mind on it. The most important aspects of accomplishing a change like this are: 1) vision, 2) discipline, and 3) focus.
Because my videos are so abstract and metaphysical sometimes people overlook the meat of this work. Personal development is very practical stuff with very tangible results. Don't let the abstract explanations fool you. You must also be results-oriented. Get shit done by whatever means necessary. Claw your way up Maslow's Hierarchy. If you're new to personal development you need to dial in the basics like health, diet, career, finances, living environment, family situation, dating, etc. Don't get so metaphysical that you neglect all that. You will find awakening impossible if you can't even stop eating junk food or can't earn enough to pay your rent.
Here's a perfect little example of dualistic thinking:
This kind of thinking is extremely common at Spiral Dynamics Stage Blue. But watch out! — dualistic thinking is still present in spades at higher stages. It's not just rednecks who think in this black-and-white way. You do it every day! Don't fool yourself into thinking you're above dualistic thinking. Dualistic thinking can be very subtle and it affects even the most rational and scientific thinkers. Rationality and science are chock full of dualities.
There's more to reality than the simplistic categories your mind creates.
Here's a really intelligent and self-aware perspective on ecology & environment. It's a stage Yellow perspective. Notice the nuance and complexity of it. It balances science, business, art, and compassion, transcending AND including stages Orange and Green. Notice the lack of blaming problems on someone else. Notice the attitude of meeting people where they're at. Notice how science & spirituality/religion are not pitted against each other. It's a cooperation of left and right brain, mind & heart. Notice the systems thinking.
Love it! Try to adopt this kind of attitude in your life.
Here's a great role-model for those of you looking to actualize your life purpose:
He's really nailed his purpose.
Notice how unique and personal one's life purpose becomes when you start to fully actualize it.
Find more such role-models within your domain of mastery.
Take my Life Purpose Course for a step-by-step guide for finding your life purpose.