Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 9
The mind's job is to prevent you from exploring too many diverse perspectives in life, because if you do, eventually the notion of "a reality" will completely collapse. Which is why almost everyone you encounter — including many good teachers — actively discourage you from exploring lots of perspectives.
I see so many people who haven't contemplated epistemology much talking about "proof", science, and math — trying to raise objections from these domains. But the problem with that is they implicitly assume that the domain of things which can be communicated is identical with the domain of things which can be experienced or the domain of being/truth. This is a giant mistake commonly made by rationalists, materialists, and scientists. They just assume that if it cannot be "proven" or communicated, it must not exist. Nothing could be further from the case. The notion of "proof" and communicability is far, far weaker than the notion of reality. Many, many orders of magnitude weaker. The most profound and interesting aspects of reality are utterly beyond symbolization. Which of course means I cannot speak of them with you in the videos. And is the reason why you must investigate everything personally, for yourself.
Here's a rough idea of how the domains overlap. Note that science and math are limited to the red circle.
Some definitions of "mysticism" from various dictionaries:
- Belief that union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender.
- The experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality reported by mystics.
- The belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience (such as intuition or insight).
- A theory postulating the possibility of direct and intuitive acquisition of ineffable knowledge or power.
- A doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend ordinary understanding, or of direct, intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or ecstasy.
- Belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are directly accessible by subjective experience.
- The term mysticism comes from the Greek, meaning "to conceal".
- Mysticism is what lets you transcend the physical to experience enlightenment — let's just say you'll recognize it when it happens.
- A person who tries to communicate directly with God.
Some definitions of "mystical" from various dictionaries:
- Mysterious, unintelligible.
- Obscure, enigmatic.
- Of hidden or esoteric meaning.
- Inducing a feeling of awe or wonder.
- Having magical properties.
- Inspiring a sense of spiritual mystery, awe, and fascination.
- Having a spiritual meaning or reality that is neither apparent to the sense nor obvious to the intelligence.
- The mystical experience of Inner Light.
- Of or relating to supernatural agencies, affairs, occurrences.
- Having a divine or sacred significance that surpasses natural human apprehension.
- Having occult or metaphysical significance, nature, or force.
- Involving or having the nature of an individual's direct subjective communion with God or ultimate reality.
Rather illuminating, eh?
Consider, the only difference between a mystic and a non-mystic is that one is cognizant of the magic of existence while the other takes it utterly for granted, and moreover, assumes that any such cognizance is impossible or somehow an affront to reason. As in, "How dare you, sir, suggest that reality might be mystical! There's obviously nothing wondrous about it!"
How is it possible to understand reality better than academics, scientists, and PhD's?
It would seem impossible, but it isn't!
"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.