Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 30
"When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state."
-- Euripides, Orestes
Here's looking at you, Trump.
I found so many cool examples of strange loops while researching the Reality Is A Strange Loop video, that I couldn't include them all! So here are some bonus goodies:
People tend to think of me as, "Leo has it all figured out." But that's actually an illusion. My knowledge is fallible as much as anyone's. That's the point of being conscious, openminded, and studying epistemology: so you are better equipped to recognize (and drop) mistakes in your web of beliefs. You cannot be perfect with your knowledge but you can be flexible enough to correct your errors (which most people never do).
So, I thought I'd share a list of all the things that — now in retrospect — I was wrong about in my videos. Keep in mind, I've grown enormously since I started shooting videos 5 years ago. In fact, it's embarrassing to even watch my own videos from just a year ago, because today I understand so much more. But that's just how it is when you're always growing.
So here's my list of mistakes (by no means a complete list):
- I was wrong about psychedelics. Initially, before trying them, I dismissed them as a distraction from consciousness work and enlightenment. Now, after much experimentation with them, I think they are the #1 tool for consciousness work.
- I was wrong that God does not exist. Holy fuck is that the mother of all wrongs.
- I was wrong for dismissing things like kundalini energy, chakras, and qi.
- I was wrong about the metaphysics of the law of attraction. I no longer believe the law of attraction merely works through brute mechanical means.
- I was wrong about paranormal phenomena. I used to believe they were all just New Age bullshit. That position is no longer tenable for me.
- I was wrong about some of my dating advice for women. I now realize my advice was too shallow and male-minded.
- I was wrong about some of my dating advice for men. My view of the topic was negatively affected by pickup, and today if I were giving dating advice for guys, my advice would be much more conscious and holistic. You can see this pivot by comparing my first How To Be A Man video and my second one: How To Be A Man - Part 2. Part 2 doesn't completely negate part 1, but it is deeper and more authentic.
- I was wrong about some of my earliest characterizations of enlightenment as the ultimate fix for unhappiness and all your psychological neuroses. That is a half-truth. In reality, enlightenment, strictly-speaking, will not fix all your neuroses. Although it is usually a big leap in the right direction.
- I was wrong in my Overcoming Addictions video where I claimed that AA doesn't have any deeper spiritual component beyond just curing one's addiction. This is a half-truth. Yes, AA is a spiritual-centered process, but the problem is that it is mostly spiritual only in name. It doesn't give you the tools to actually have direct spiritual experiences, nor does it give you the conceptual framework you need to properly understand what nonduality is. Another problem is that it creates an identity out of your addiction: "I am an alcoholic for life." Another problem is that is turns your social circle of friends into a bunch of alcoholics and highly dysfunctional neurotics, which is a bad influence on you, even if they are technically sober. You want to be emulating yogis and Buddhas, not ex-addicts.
- I was wrong in my How To Control Anger video in the sense that I demonized and criticized angry people too harshly. If I had to shoot that video today, I would adopt a more compassionate, less judgmental tone.
- I was wrong in my Why I Am Depressed video in the sense that I demonized and criticized depressed people too harshly. If I had to shoot that video today, I would adopt a more compassionate, less judgmental tone. Also, in that video I proposed ego-death (enlightenment) as the ultimate solution to depression. And while of course that's technically true, I now understand that most depressed people are nowhere near capable of making use of such advice. They need to grow themselves out of depression first, and only then will enlightenment become a realistic goal.
- In some of my very early videos I talked about my vision and goals, which included things like becoming a millionaire and having threesomes. These are no longer part of my vision, and they look really naive, low-consciousness, and embarrassing in retrospect.
- In some of my videos I had neglected to give more full credit to sources from whom I had gleaned insights. In retrospect I would cite sources better.
- I am aware of having made some factual errors about history and science through my videos. These errors were pointed out to me by viewers in the comment sections. I can't remember them all right now, but one such example I can remember is: in one video I said that when you look up at the night sky and see the stars, many of those stars are not really stars but entire galaxies. Then a viewer pointed out to me that they ARE stars, as galaxies are only visible through a telescope.
- I was wrong about my tone and style of delivery in various older episodes. In retrospect, I would adopt a more humble, more compassionate style.
- I was wrong in my Understanding Absolute Infinity - Part 2 video where I mispronounced the Hebrew letter Aleph as "alf" rather than its proper pronunciation of "al-Eph".
So as you can see, I'm far from perfect, and there's probably more I'm failing to remember, or that I haven't even become aware of yet.
The most important lesson to learn from this is: the goal is never perfect knowledge. That is impossible. There will always be some false beliefs and false facts in your web of belief. Even for an enlightened person. The goal is to maximize your awareness, maximize your openmindedness, and to minimize your ego, so that you can gradually purify your web of beliefs. You will have to stay epistemically vigilant for the rest of your life. As soon as you get cocky and think you've perfected your knowledge, that's when you've truly failed.
This is a little bonus that goes along with my Understanding Absolute Infinity - Part 1 video.
This will help you wrap your mind around what infinity means.
Mainstream conversations about God are absurd.
Here's a prime example. This guy wrote an entire book about God but has no idea what the word "God" points to. Yet he writes a book talking about how this concept of "God" evolved.
Well, sorry... but you can't understand how the concept evolved unless you understand that God is not a concept! That's like trying to explain the evolution of dinosaurs by studying the depictions of dinosaurs in Hollywood movies starting from the 1920's.
God is Nothingness. The concept of God evolved because people are too closedminded and lazy to actually self-inquire and have a direct experience of what the word is pointing to. Because the actual thing is way too radical for people to swallow. So it needs to be dumbed-down to fit the de facto materialist paradigm of the culture. Even devoutly religious people are still totally locked into the materialist paradigm. Which is why God is depicted as a human avatar, why heaven is a physical Garden of Eden with white pearly gates, and why hell is a dark fiery cave full of demons with horns and pointy tails. Religion is just materialism on stilts. Because the human mind doesn't know how to compute true immaterialism. Religion is an aping of the actual immaterialism which dawns at the highest levels of human consciousness.
This interview is like two children talking. The ignorance of it blows my mind. And this book will probably be read by 100,000 people, this interview watched by thousands of people.
And then we wonder why society is so confused, conflicted, and ideological.
This is not a conversation about God, this is a conversation about the delusions of the delusions of God. It's like watching the 3 stooges. But the tragedy is that people don't understand its a comedy. Even the two actors don't understand it's a comedy! Lol.
And hey, I'm generally a fan of TYT. They do a great job of calling out the corporate legalized bribery of the American political system.
Socrates was executed for corrupting the youth of Athens.
Of course! Because all the aging minds of Athens were already closed. Aging minds are very careful to control the access of information that young minds have. Not to protect the youth, but to protect themselves from having their aging consensus overturned.
The whole game of society is: "Don't you dare undermine my reality... or I will kill you!"
What "corrupting the youth" really means is: "Stop shaking the boat you fool! I just got comfy."
Controlling the minds of the youth is a critical function of all of societies. That is the quiet, unspoken-of construction site where paradigms are laid like down like stone monuments. A quiet war rages in every society over which faction of aging minds gets to tell the youth what is real.
Here's the whole secret to this game: the youth will believe the first thing you tell them.
So it's a race to who's first to whisper in their ear.
Imagine an alternative universe — Storyland — in which there is no matter, no time, no space. There are no laws of physics. Instead, there are just stories. Every being here has a story because stories are all there are. Here, you aren't merely a being WITH a story, you ARE one of the stories, because stories are the only building blocks of reality. Here, if it's not a story, it simply cannot be. So if you want to have matter, or time, or space, or physical laws, you must invent them — as stories!
In such a universe, the major preoccupation of all beings would be defending their stories, because, well… their life literally depends on it. After all, you don't want to de-materialize, do you? In Storyland, the greatest danger to a being would be the unraveling of his story. That would be the definition of death: the end of my story. In such a universe, all beings would be deathly afraid of anything that might lead to the unraveling of their story. Such beings would gather together to co-create collective stories to make their individual stories seem more solid. These beings would form groups to fight one another, both ideologically and physically, in order to defend the "reality" of one collective story over another. In this universe, one town's collective story would threaten the reality of the neighboring town's collective story. And so they would go to war because their very sense of existence would hinge on it. Here, culture would be king. Culture wouldn't merely be a collection of preferences and opinions, it would be a matter of life and death.
To such beings, stories wouldn't appear as "merely stories". Nor would be they be called "stories". No, no, no. Stories would be considered, and called, REALITY! Such beings would never dare to speak or even think of the possibility that stories are anything but REALITY, because stories are the only kind of reality here. So, if ever a being came along who said, "Listen here, my fellow beings! What you call REALITY is just a story." The first thing his fellow beings would want to do is kill him. Failing that, they would put him into an insane asylum. Failing that, they would gag him. Failing that, they would demonize him. Failing that, they would dismiss him as a nutcase. Failing that, they would agree with him by adopting a new story which says, "Our reality is a just a story, like that guys says." But even so, they would continue running that story. Their minds simply could not bear to actually stop creating stories because to do so would be suicide.
Well… Ta-da! That is our universe!
It's the only kind of universe that could possibly exist! Time, space, physics, brains, objective reality, mathematics, science, etc. are all just part of the story you're defending, you see? And the notion that these are not a story but REALITY, is itself just another story! String a couple of stories together like that and you've literally got yourself a reality!
Now you object, "But Leo! Who is telling this story?"
The notion that there needs to be a "who" — a subject — is just another story!
So you object, "But Leo! Where is the story taking place?"
The notion that there needs to be a place — a where — is just another story!
So you object, "But Leo! How are these stories possible in the first place?"
The notion that there needs to be a "how", is just another story!
So you object, "But Leo! Why is there something rather than nothing?"
The notion that there is something rather than nothing, is just another story!
So you object, "But Leo! What are these stories made out of?"
Nothing! A story is something which is not.
So you object, "But Leo! How come it feels so REAL?"
Because there is nothing else to contrast it with.
You see? It's all a hallucination hallucinated by an infinite hallucination, all of it adding up to nothing — the only way anything can ever be.
And of course, all this is just another story ;)
Two lifelong friends are sitting at their favorite cafe on a lovely Sunday afternoon. They order coffees. They proceed to chat about life as they've done for years. The weather, politics, fishing, stocks, golf, how's the wife?, how's the kids?, what's for Thanksgiving?
Then, out of the blue, George says, "Hey, you know Bob... this morning I fucked your wife."
[a long pause as they look at each other.......]
[bursts of laughter]
[more bursts of laughter]
Then, laughing he adds, "Yup, first I fucked her, then I killed her."
[another long pause........]
[more bursts of laughter]
"Yeah, ummm...... That's how it happened, Bob."
And that's when it HITS! That sudden, instantaneous moment in which it first crosses Bob's mind that his friend might not be kidding.
"COME ON GEORGE! Cut it out! Now you've gone too far! No more jokes like that. For a second there you had me going, you o'l bastard!"
"Yeah, ummm..... I'm telling you how it is, Bob."
"COME ON GEORGE! I said STOP IT! This isn't funny any more...."
[blank stare from George]
And now it hits Bob like a lightening bolt — WHAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMmmmm!!!! — HIS WIFE COULD ACTUALLY BE DEAD!
"NOW WAIT A GOD-DAMNED MINUTE HERE GEORGE!!! You get straight with me RIGHT NOW! No more of your STUPID games!!!!! Answer me straight: Are you kidding or being serious??!!!!!"
And George says, "What's the difference?"
That's how it's like to discover that reality is absolutely groundless.
All of reality collapses in around you to the point where you no longer know if you were even born. And the key is: you ABSOLUTELY KNOW there is no difference.
And by the time you realize what happened, you're already dead.
I'm not joking ;)