Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 3
Here's a great interview:
Chris Langan's politics are problematic (he is a Trump supporter), but his understanding of metaphysics is really good. This guy understands reality better than any MIT scientist, and he didn't even go to university. Really puts scientists and academics to shame.
Regarding his politics, I will say this: He's not wrong in his critiques of our current system. What he's describing is basically the problems with late-stage capitalism. However, he's wrong on three key points:
1) The so-called "elites" are actually hardworking people in many cases. Of course some of them are parasites on the system and don't do hard work. But the idea that anyone working in management or at a computer doesn't do hard work is absurd. And these positions are highly necessary to civilization. Moreover, Langan's claim that billionaires don't work hard and don't generate genuine value is absurd. Most billionaires work very hard and generate enormous value. Of course there are some exceptions. But all the CEOs of multi-national corporations like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Tesla, Exxon Mobile, Disney, Walmart, Amazon, etc. are very hardworking people. You can criticize Elon Musk for many things, but you cannot say he doesn't work hard or doesn't generate massive value for the world. It is true that these CEOs and billionaire are over-compensated. But that will not be fixed by voting for right-wingers. And seriously, who are you gonna replace these CEOs with? You can't put some New Age hippie in charge of running Microsoft. That would be disastrous. I promise you that the CEO of Microsoft is an extremely competent person, not some lazy fat-cat who just collects money, drives fast cars, and has orgies. Should we tax him more and reduce his salary? Yes! But is he some evil, lazy, corrupt elite? No. This is a cartoon level of understanding of how society operates.
2) Just increasing individualism and personal freedom is not a solution to our social problems. Decentralization plays a role, but our society needs strong top-down Federal controls and regulations in order to prevent individual capitalists from dominating and exploiting the rest of the people. If you reduce Federal control then you will create an anarcho-capitalist dystopia. So this will actually make the problems Langan gripes about worse. Wall Street capitalist types would love nothing more than the gutting of Federal power and regulations. Then they could run hog-wild and amass way more money and power.
3) Trump is fundamentally incapable of solving any of these problems. Trump is the epitome of a guy who doesn't work hard and is a parasite on the system. It's amazing how much Langan complains about "elites" and Wall Street fat-cat types who don't work hard for their wealth, when in fact Trump is the posterboy parasite fat-cat who has not done a single day of serious work in his life. The idea that Trump will somehow equalize wealth inequality, help working people, and limit the power of elite capitalists is utterly absurd. By any objective metrics Joe Biden and the Democrat party have done way more for working-class people than the Republicans. What Chris Langan is basically talking about is wealth inequality. But the right-wing in America have no interest in serious reforms that would equalize wealth inequality. Nor are they interested in removing money from politics. They want unlimited private money in political campaigns, which is the very mechanism by which elite capitalists corrupt and undermine representative democracy. So if you agree with Langan's critique — and I mostly do — you should not vote for right-wingers because they are not serious about solving those problems. If Langan was serious, he would be a Bernie Sanders supporter. So while he diagnoses the problems of our government mostly correctly, his solutions are exactly wrong. There is no way that electing a Republican will correct the problems of excessive capitalism.
The real solutions are things like:
- Raising the minimum wage
- Regulating banks and Wall Street speculators
- Raising capital gains taxes
- Taxing the rich. Higher income taxes on top earners, and a wealth tax on millionaires & billionaires.
- Taxing corporations
- Removing all private money from political campaigns
- Placing more regulations on large corporations
- Breaking up monopolies with strong anti-trust enforcement
- Increasing consumer protections
- Cracking down on fraud and white-collar crime
- Protecting worker's rights to unionize
- Better legal protections for minorities and LGBTQ people
- Limiting aggressive foreign policy and wars
- A well-funded education system
- A public healthcare system that cuts out the parasitic insurance middlemen
- Better paid time off, maternity and paternity leave, and free access to childcare
- More investment in scientific research
- More investment in pandemic prevention (Trump cut the pandemic prevention budget)
- More investment FEMA and disaster relief
- Housing for the homeless
- Food for children in poverty
- Addressing pollution and climate change. More investment in green energy
- A government job guarantee, like during the Depression era
- Huge investments in improving national infrastructure
Right-wingers are not for any of these things. Yet all of the above policies would most benefit working-class people, not elites. How can Langan be so smart on metaphysics but so backwards on basic public policy? It doesn't take a genius to see that right-wingers do not support policy that actually helps the working class economically. Trump does not give a damn about helping the working class, he's just a demagogue, con-artist, and criminal who used a veneer of populism to gain power and act out his ego. What Langan completely fails to recognize is that solving these problems requires a leader with serious integrity and maturity. But Trump is one of the most low-integrity, low-maturity leaders on this planet.
The fundamental issue Langan identifies is corruption. But you cannot solve the issue of corruption by electing a leader who is utterly corrupt in spirit and mind. Trump's narcissism and sociopathy is exactly the corruption that these so-called bad "elites" have. Except Trump has an even more severe case of it. Trump is more corrupt than any CEO of any Fortune 500 company. And on top of all that he's utterly incompetent. Trump hasn't read a single serious book in his life! The notion that Trump can solve any deep social problems is laughable. His ignorance and egotism creates more problems than it solves. Corruption comes from ego, and Trump has one of the biggest, most toxic egos on the planet. How does Langan not understand this?
Forum user (@esotag) shared the follow video with me as a good visualization of Consciousness.
That's sort of what Awakening can feel like. It can fee like you take a few steps back from your entire field of perception and see it from a meta, nowhere perspective. The bubble itself is floating in nothingness. This is what makes it feel solipsistic. Reality IS this bubble of Consciousness. That's what the "universe" is.
You are not a human or a biological organism. You are this bubble of Consciousness. This bubble does not exist within time nor space. It does not exist on planet Earth. It is not inside of anything. It is not subordinate to anything. It is not made of atoms or anything. It is not happening in a brain. It has no age. It has no mechanical causes. It is not governed by any physical laws. It has no parents. It isn't born and it doesn't die. It has no beginning nor end. This bubble does not exist within a universe, the universe exists within the bubble. And there is only this one bubble.
That is the ultimate nature of reality. It's pretty fucking weird. It doesn't make human sense. It is absolutely magic. It is God.
Very Important: Please keep in mind that this is just one way to experience Awakening. There are many other very radically different ways. Do not take this too literally!
This is one of the most absurd and shameful strawmen I've ever seen:
Shame on everyone involved in this podcast for taking this discussion seriously.
You can't groom a straight man into fucking men. This is so stupid. The notion that 25% of gay people were groomed into it is absurd. This is not a valid statistic of any kind. Being gay is not a religion any more than being straight is. These right-wingers have lost their minds with this "grooming" talk. This talk of "grooming" is a religion-like mind-virus that they have invented because their minds are too immature to handle LGBTQ issues.
Yes, of course there is some ideology and dogma within LGBTQ political activism, but the sloppiness in thinking here is so bad. There is no appreciation by these podcast speakers that gay rights had to be fought for with blood. Without gay political activism, gay people would be demonized and killed on sight — as they are in Saudi Arabia today. The only reason these podcasters are talking about being gay as something that is not a crime is because gay activists earned those rights through massive political action campaigns. To call that grooming is absurd.
Don't worry. If your boy ends up fucking men, I promise you it's not because he was indoctrinated into it. It's because he enjoys it as much as you enjoy whatever sex you enjoy. You do not have a conscious choice about what makes your dick hard.
The politics on this podcast are consistently trash. Just shameless self-bias and lack of historical and global perspective. Anyone who watches this podcast for political analysis is getting badly misled. I say this as someone who generally likes Patrick's work. Patrick is a smart guy, but this kind of political analysis is so childish and immature it's shameful. Shame on anyone who endorses this. Spreading this kind of worldview is deeply irresponsible as it leads to hatred and demonization of gays, which is exactly why gay political activists exist. If gays were not demonized in this way, gay political activism wouldn't be a thing. The reason schools and corporations post up rainbow flags is to show that gays are not to be hated — after centuries of them being hated.
The following is a wrong explanation of empathy:
ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE??? THIS IS NOT EMPATHY!!!
This is a sociopath's definition of empathy!
The balls on this guy!
EMPATHY IS WHEN YOU CRY AT ANOTHER'S SUFFERING. WHEN IT KILLS YOU INSIDE!
What this FBI guy describes is not empathy, it is understanding and perspective. Empathy requires that you FEEL what the other person is feeling. It is beside the point whether these feelings help you or not, or whether they are effective in striking deals or not. It doesn't matter if empathy lowers your effectiveness in the word. Effectiveness, success, dealing-making, pragmatism, survival, etc simply have nothing to do with empathy. Empathy does not mean that you have to agree with another person's actions, take their side in a negotiation, or take any kind of action. But it does require FEELING. If you feel nothing but you understand another's position, that's perspective-taking, not empathy. And, yes, something important is definitely missing in your understanding of that person. You cannot truly understand another person through cold, logical perspective-taking, because their perspective also includes feelings. If you leave out those feelings you don't fully understand them. This is like thinking you understand a frog by throwing it into a bender and studying its juices under a microscope. That is not an understanding of a frog! To understand a frog you must become a frog.
As an FBI agent, of course this guy does not know what empathy is, because if he truly had it, he would have to stop being an FBI agent. The FBI will ask you to do things which you could not do if you had true empathy for people. That's just baked into the job.
At it's core, empathy means this: If you are talking to a mother who lost her child in a school shooting, you put yourself into her shoes emotionally — you experience the hurt and suffering she experienced. Whether that improves or worsens the situation is irrelevant. If you are a police officer talking to the mother, it is probably not effective for you to feel much empathy, because then you would not be able to do your job. A police officer cannot afford to be too empathetic. That would wear out their psyche and they would have to quit their job from emotional distress and PTSD.
There are many situations and positions in life where empathy will be counter-productive. However, by adopting a purely pragmatic attitude to life and rejecting empathy, there will be a cost. You will lose out on the most profound understanding of people and reality. The deepest understanding is not logical, cold, and calculating. The deepest understanding requires that you literally live through another's experience. To truly understand what a school shooting is, for example, it's not enough for you to do what the FBI agent does, you must actually lose your own child in a school shooting. THAT is serious understanding! But the cost of such understanding is so great that no sane human would choose it. However, God is crazy enough to choose it! Why? Because God needs to reach Omniscience — complete self-understanding. God cannot achieve that through logic. God must incarnate into the situation and feel/experience it. This is the whole point of LIFE! You can't understand a thing deeply without living through it and FEELING it in your bones. For example, I do not understand what it is like to be an FBI agent. Because I haven't experienced it first-hand. All I have are stories and ideas about it.
Notice: everything in life that you understand the deepest, is stuff you've FELT and suffered through. It's deeply personal, not logical. And you know that nobody else will understand it unless they suffer through it like you did. That's the cost of understanding! Understanding ain't easy.
Empathy is a subset of understanding. Logic is a subset of understanding. Perspective-taking is a sub-set of understanding. Understanding includes and transcends all of that. Understanding is KING. Everything goes into it. So understanding without empathy is weaker than understanding with empathy. But empathy alone is also not sufficient.
The only way to reach the deepest levels of Love is by living through those very painful experiences which no one wants to live through unless life forces them into it.
Empathy is extremely emotionally taxing on your psyche. It is much easier to go through life without it. Which is why most people have a very short supply of it. But also why there is so much evil in the world. If people were much better at empathy, the world would be a much more peaceful and kind place. Empathy teaches you things that logic never could. Empathy is also a powerful mechanism for changing behavior and learning deep lessons, because emotions are a much more powerful teacher than logic. Emotions chemically sear lessons into the brain while logic goes in one ear and out the other.
If you don't want to practice empathy because it makes you less effective at your job, that's totally fine. Just don't lie to yourself that you are doing empathy when you aren't.
Towards the end of this clip you can see Lex Fridman push back on the FBI guy by saying that feeling is important. That's because Lex intuitively understands that the FBI guy is being too heartless and cold, and that something is missing. Lex intuits what I said in this post: You cannot really understand another person through logic alone. Lex has more heart than the FBI guy. Because he can afford it and the FBI guy cannot.
Lex Fridman is too nice and under-equipped to deal with the bullshit that guests spew on this podcast. This is not a criticism of Lex. Lex's heart is in the right place. I'm just informing you — his audience — of what is going on, so you don't get misled. The guests Lex interviews can be very persuasive because they have such high reputations and they are good speakers and seasoned professionals. But that is not the same as deep understanding of anything. Most professionals are pragmatic and they don't have much concern for existential insight into the way reality functions.
This whole case is a good object lesson for you in how survival (in this case, one's career) can distort one's understanding of reality. An FBI agent cannot have a deep understanding of reality because his career demands that he doesn't. This doesn't mean FBI agents are bad, or that we shouldn't have them. It just means that if you care about reaching the deepest levels of understanding reality, you have to be very careful which career you place yourself into. The limits of your career will become the limits of your mind.
In general, women are much better at empathy than men. Because men specialize in being effective at hunting and defense, while women specialize in being effective at raising emotionally healthy children. For men, empathy is often a liability. And for women, empathy can make them too emotional to be effective in business and war. It's all about intelligent trade-offs. As always, you must strike an intelligent balance between empathy and effectiveness.
There is also the notion of a masculine vs feminine compassion. The FBI agent is doing masculine compassion, which does not involve much empathy. Whereas a stereotypical spiritual guru or mother would offer feminine compassion with lots of empathy. One is not superior to the other. They compliment each other and must be applied as appropriate to the context.
The following is an ancient cave painting from Canada's Peterborough Petroglyph Park. It's over 1000 years old.
This is one of the best depictions of Awakening/God-Realization that I've seen. When you Awaken this is what it feels like:
In the center of your skull sits an infinite singularity. God's All-Seeing eye, just waiting to be unlocked. This guy unlocked it.
This guy was definitely high on something. Hehe!
Keep in mind, this is merely one way Awakening feels like. It can also feel different from this. There are many kinds of Awakening, many degrees of it, and they can feel quite different. But this one I would say is the "classic". This is what 5-MeO-DMT feels like for me. But other people experience 5-MeO-DMT differently, so I can't guarantee it will feel the same way for you. You have to allow some poetic license here. Your neck will not literally grow 4 feet tall. We are speaking figuratively here. How else would you depict it? To me this drawing captures the vibe perfectly. What a lovely depiction! You could turn it into a logo.