Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 6
As extra credit, if you're applying the technique from this week's video, I can't recommend enough also looking up your words in Wikipedia. Dictionary look-ups are good, but Wikipedia look-ups are where you can really hit intellectual pay-dirt. You will learn so much more about a concept via Wikipedia.
Which is not to say that Wikipedia has all the answers, or that all the information there is factually correct, or that it's unbiased, or that I'm telling you to believe Wikipedia's answers in lieu of your own contemplations. Wikipedia does tend to have a rationalist, materialist bias, but as a rule-of-thumb, Wikipedia is a good general introduction to a concept. Don't make it the end of your inquiry, but the beginning.
If you spend the next 10 years gradually looking up every existential concept you run across in Wikipedia and following all the links, your understanding of life will start to approach genius-level. So give it a shot. You never know what kind of interesting and invaluable concepts you'll stumble upon.
Here are some examples of words you might want to look up in Wikipedia:
Be sure to follow all the branching links that pique your curiosity. That will geometrically multiply your gains.
This here is a nerdy topic for people who are really into philosophy and nonduality. In the future I will talk at length about the parallels between Derrida's deconstruction and nonduality — I don't have time to explain it all right now — but I wanted to share the following paper with you anyway, because it's so damn profound. Hopefully you can comprehend some of what it says, and if not, don't worry, Derrida is notoriously difficult to read (don't bother reading him), and I will shoot a video about in it the future. It's a bit technical but oh so delicious! This is the kind of stuff that 1 in a billion people understands.
This paper is written by an enlightened Zen practitioner who also happens to have a deep grasp of Derrida's deconstruction! Quite the intellectual feat.
Read the entire thing very carefully.
This paper explains why reality cannot be grasped using philosophy, language, or logic, including Derrida's deconstruction. This 25-page paper puts the nail in the coffin of 2,000 years of Western philosophy.
It is a work of intellectual genius, hitting the nail square on the head.
"That one big question of our origin unites us, not because we agree on the answer, but because we all agree on the importance of finding the answer. Throughout history, it has been the foremost question of people searching for understanding: What is the source from which everything else came? Or, to put it closer to home: What, or to whom, do we owe our existence? This has to be the starting point for people who take life seriously — scientists and non-scientists alike. We cannot rest without the answer because absolutely everything of importance is riding on it. To know where everything came from, is to know where we came from. And where we came from has everything to do with who we are. And who we are has everything to do with how we ought to live."
-- Douglas Axe, Undeniable
"Experience is a hard school, but a fool will learn no other way."
-- Irish proverb
If you're getting discouraged with the nondual path because you just haven't been able to get that huge breakthrough moment, remember, you don't need to wait until enlightenment to start seeing significant benefits from this work.
I've experienced enormous growth in the last year even though I don't consider myself enlightened.
This work is, hands-down, the most significant thing you can do in your life, regardless of who you are. No other accomplishments will come close. Everything you interact with will change in subtle ways. I'm starting to feel like a Jedi attuning to The Force. Your reality gradually becomes mystical in a very tangible and permanent way.
I know what it's like to spend years in self-inquiry and seemingly getting nowhere. The first few years are the hardest because you're not seeing big gains yet.
Keep at it. You are growing even if you don't notice it yet. Remember, gains in this work are highly non-linear.
And if you feel totally stuck in your self-inquiry, psychedelics are the answer. A few trips can save you a few years of mental-masturbation on the cushion.
The easiest thing to take for granted is existence itself, because everything else you know is predicated on it.
This is the tragedy of spirituality: it's the most obvious thing, but 99% of people just overlook it because it is about existence itself, which they take for granted. The game of life — survival — has to do with manipulating the content of existence, without concern for the substance of existence. This makes awareness of existence itself a pointless pursuit from the point of view of the survival paradigm. Since existence is the one common factor behind every piece of content, it is the first thing the mind filters out. For the purposes of survival, what existence is, doesn't matter! Which is why it's so critical to stop letting survival run your life. The game of survival cannot be won.
They call it "transcendence" because you're transcending the game of survival. Survival in this case is everything you do on a weekly basis: getting a coffee at Starbucks, feeding the kids, brushing your teeth, going to work, having sex, shopping for make up, getting a haircut, going to school, watching TV, fixing your car, etc.
For the average person, survival is priority #1. For a spiritually-developed person, BEING is priority #1, and survival is priority #2.
The top reason why psychedelics are so powerful is that they let you see just how much you've been taking existence for granted. Just to get a sense of that is life-transforming because it put the game of survival into proper perspective, proper priority.
Life sucks when your priorities are backwards.
Self-actualization is an acquired taste, like dark bittersweet chocolate or wine.
So don't be too surprised if it feels more bitter than sweet the first few years. This is normal. As you get deeper into it, your tastes will mature, making self-actualization less of a grind, and more organic. Eventually, it will become a seamless part of your life on an hourly basis. Mindfulness, contemplation, observation, reading, learning, fine-tuning your habits, taking notes, etc. will just become things you do, and wouldn't dream of ever not doing.
"Truth is the first casualty of war."
-- American proverb
Since I'm releasing this multi-part video series about the good aspects of psychedelics, I thought it would be honest to balance that out by detailing some of the downsides. Even though I'm very positive about psychedelics overall, they do come with risks, especially when people start using them without doing proper research.
Psychedelics are very safe ONLY IF you follow proper protocol and approach them with a careful attitude. Handle them as you would handle a loaded firearm, and you should do great.
Top risks (in no particular order):
- Consuming rare, exotic, untested research chemicals
- Buying research chemicals from an unverified online chemical company
- Not using drug testing kits on every new batch of substance you buy
- Overdosing through sloppiness & not researching dosages thoroughly
- Not using an accurate milligram scale to weigh your doses
- Using the wrong route of administration (ROA) for your substance
- For example, snorting freebase or smoking salt forms of the substance
- Tripping in a loud party environment
- Getting caught by law enforcement
- Using psychedelics which cause loss of motor control (like Salvia) without a trip sitter
- Using deleriants like Datura
- Consuming unknown substances from unknown sources
- Consuming on a full-stomach
- Very rare instances of HHPD (hallucinogen persisting perception disorder)
- Very rare instances of psychosis
- Very rare instances of allergic reactions to some substances
- Depersonalization disorder
- Existential crisis, temporary deepening of depression
- Deepening of your neurosis
- Delusional thinking, misinterpretation of the psychedelic experience, delusions of grandeur
- False enlightenment, Zen devilry, Messiah complex
- Playing pranks on people with psychedelics
- Bad trips, freak out
- Surfacing of past emotional traumas
- Overuse, to the point of psychological addiction or escapism
- Becoming a Hippie or New Ager
- Becoming a stoner pothead
- Loss of motivation, loss of desire for material success
- Loss of faith in humanity, society, culture, government, religion
- Seeing spirits, ghosts, aliens, trolls, gnomes, elves
- Getting fired from work
- Quitting your school, college, or job
- Complications with anti-depressants (SSRIs)
- Driving while intoxicated
- Poly drug use: Combinations of substances like alcohol, mushrooms, and weed all at once
- Physical injury from tripping in an unsafe setting (like on a high balcony or by the pool)
- Mislabeling or misidentifying your substances
- Giving psychedelics to friends who cannot handle them
- Growing and selling psychedelics (AKA, becoming a drug dealer)
- Taking psychedelics under age 21 if you are too immature to handle them
- Treating psychedelics like toys, acting cocky, then getting your ass handed to you
- A distraction from real consciousness work
- Going down the rabbit hole to fantasy land (conspiracy theories about aliens, etc.)
- Starting to experiment with hard drugs like cocaine or heroine
- Using unsafe types of psychedelics like NBOMEs
- Using cheap, impure psychedelics
- Using unhealthy pseudo-psychedelics like nitrous oxide, ketamine, cough syrup, etc.
- Damaging your liver, kidneys, brain, or heart (very rare)
- Picking mushrooms in the wild
- Extracting or cooking your own psychedelics at home
- Burning yourself with a lighter, starting a fire in your house
- Yelling, making too much noise until your neighbors call the cops
- Breaking up with your spouse, gf/bf
- Dysfunctional introversion: becoming an isolated loner who hates mankind
- Tripping when you're in a foul mood, like just after a breakup
- Using psychedelics to have sex
- Becoming suicidal
- Becoming enlightened ;)
This may sound like a ton of serious risks. But keep in mind that I simply made a list here of all the risks I could possibly think of for the sake of being balanced and truthful. This is a very comprehensive list. Most human activities involve long lists of risks, if we are very honest. For example, one the risks of marriage is that your spouse might kill you. One of the risks of cooking is burning your house down. One of the risks of eating at your favorite restaurant is food poisoning. But these are very remote probabilities if you approach things with intelligence.
95% of the risks above can be easily avoided just by having a serious, respectful attitude towards these substances, as you would for a strong prescription medication, a sharp knife, or a frying pan with hot oil.
Nearly all the dangers above stem from underestimating the incredible power of consciousness. If nothing else, psychedelics will teach you humility.
Be careful with Ecstasy pills (MDMA, Molly) because they're notoriously dirty.
Here's a great article proving the point.