Backfiring Mechanisms

By Leo Gura - January 25, 2017

I want to suggest that you shoot yourself in the foot WAY MORE than you think.

I’ve spoken of this concept of “backfiring mechanisms” before in my previous videos. It’s a really important feature of complex systems — like societies, or human beings.

But I want to bring this point home, because it can feel too abstract.

To help you become more aware of this, watch the following funny videos. But as you do, instead of just laughing away and calling those people dumbasses — like every other viewer does — I want you to reflect it back on yourself. Think of this as a metaphor for EXACTLY how your life functions! Bring to mind all the ways in which you experience psychological backfiring. Notice that the way your life functions isn’t much different than what you see in the videos below.

But remember to stay aware as you watch!

It ain’t as funny when it’s your life.

To further clarify, the most important backfiring mechanisms are not material, physical, or external. Rather, they have to do with the inner workings of your mind:

Your modes of thinking, your emotional reactions, your fears, your motivations and values, your habitual patterns, your beliefs and justifications, your paradigms of reality, etc.

As a simple example, how might valuing sex or money or security backfire? As a more advanced example, how might valuing spirituality or enlightenment backfire?

As a general rule of thumb, once a system reaches sufficient complexity, the greatest danger to its survival becomes a backfiring of itself. A sort of collapsing under its own weight. Which is why to reach the greatest heights requires shedding egoic material, or purification to the point of nothingness or spirit. The word “spirit” connotes lightness of mechanism, and this is a good pointer of what you should be working towards. To be conscious, is to be able to see how a mechanism truly works, and its backfire potential.

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