Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 94
Here's another metaphor for thinking about the ultimate nature of reality:
Imagine, if you will, an infinite chameleon.
Oh, common on! It's not as ridiculous as it sounds. Put on your thinking-cap and play along.
A regular chameleon is only able change itself in one way: by changing colors. Which equals one degree of freedom. But imagine a creature which is so flexible that it's able (somehow) to be a chameleon in every way possible. Meaning, it has infinite degrees of freedom. Imagine it could freely morph its size, shape, texture, temperature, smell, bones, cells, molecules, atoms, and even the physical laws which govern its entire being.
How could it do that?
Well... it would have to actually be limitless. As in: without limit. As in: an unlimited, all-powerful chameleon. (Don't worry, he's only a danger to pesky flies.)
What would such a creature look it?
Well, not much like a standard chameleon, that's for sure. It wouldn't even be right to call it a creature because a "creature" is a label we invented to refer to a set of certain constrains upon infinite degrees of freedom. To be a "creature" precisely means that you're not free to be something else, like a coffee table. So this thing is not really a creature. But it's also not a "thing", because to be a "thing" is also a set of constrains upon infinite degrees of freedom. So this infinite chameleon would most closely resemble no-thing. Why nothing? Because, imagine that every property sort of cancels itself out by its negation, like the positive and negative integers might if you tried to add them all together.
But notice, this would not be your ordinary notion of nothingness, like some kind of black, lifeless void. Instead, imagine this "nothingness chameleon" as having infinite degrees of freedom, allowing "him" to masquerade as everything. He would be bursting at the seams with infinite potential, ready to actualize into something concrete.
So why bother calling it a chameleon then?
Because, the essence of its nature is chameleon-like to the Nth degree. Its very structure exudes illusion and misdirection, for which I think the label "chameleon" is apropos. Plus, everyone knows chameleons are cool.
Could a monster-sized infinite chameleon be hiding right under your nose right this very second?
Impossible! Unscientific! Illogical! Just a silly thought experiment! Mere philosophy! Balderdash!
Maybe. Or maybe... if you stop for a second and consciously look around you, you'll notice that you're inside the infinite chameleon right now! After all, where else could you be?
Perhaps you are the infinite chameleon, hiding from itself!
Granted, such a discovery would be rather implausible, outrageous, and embarrassing to admit. After all, how could a chameleon hide himself from himself? But then again, it is a chameleon we're talking about here. Have you seen how regular chameleons hide in the jungle? They're pretty good at it. And they've only mastered 1 degree of freedom. Imagine what an infinite chameleon could do to hide himself from you.
Maybe you can spot his hoof-prints in the sand ;)
P.S. The nice thing about chasing down infinite chameleons is that there can only be one of him to find ;)
P.P.S. Please don't poke or worship the infinite chameleon. It makes him cry ;)
Here's some political analysis you'll never see on the evening news: Trump acts the way he acts because he is at Spiral Dynamics stage Red/Orange.
Trump is a really interesting case study of applied Spiral Dynamics. I hope you're seeing this as it unfolds.
Here's a quick chart of the Spiral Dynamics Stages of Consciousness which will help you make sense of all the "Red", "Blue", "Orange", "Green", "Yellow" words I'll be using.
If you're a student of Spiral Dynamics, and you really grasp that model, it should have allowed you to predict that Trump would behave as President, PRECISELY as he is now behaving. There's nothing surprising about it. It perfectly correlates with his level of consciousness, which is not so much Orange (as people assume), but Red.
The following is a list of characteristics of Spiral Dynamics stage Red which I pulled straight from the book and various Spiral Dynamics charts. You be the judge of how well it applies to Trump:
- Egocentric, Warlord Level, Express Self Impulsively
- Worldview is: "My needs"
- Focus: I want to be in charge
- Feudal, exploitative
- Be what you are, do what you want, regardless
- Stands tall, expects attention, demands respect, and calls the shots
- Enjoys self to the fullest right now without guilt or remorse
- Conquers, out-foxes, and dominates over aggressive characters
- When confronted with obstacles: fights tooth and nail, takes no prisoners, gets down and dirty
- Coercion and offers one cannot refuse with fear or pain or even death
- Quest for: heroic status, power, glory
- Method: align with power, take what you need
- Pitfalls: anxiety, depression, guilt, cannot build stable nations
- Gratification, glitz, conquest, action, impulse and ruthless, lives for the now
- Courageous, determined, and powerful
- Leadership style: the big boss
- Organizational style: exploitative empire
- Stimulates the impulsive self while generating powerful images of aggressiveness, conquest, and predator/prey relationships
- World is like a jungle where the tough and strong prevail while the weak serve; nature is an adversary
- Power/action; asserting self to dominate others; control; exploitative
- Excitement, proving individual prowess, cunning dominance
- Fight to survival despite what others want
- Excited by stories of company heroes, by celebrating feats of conquest, and by evidence of respect
- Where the "Big Me" leaves his personal mark
- Basic motives: Enforce power over self, others, and nature through exploitative independence
- The thinking is egocentric, the structures are empires, the process is exploitative
- Triggered by: potential shame, loss of control, disrespect
- Exploits the masses to accomplish the desires of the few
- Things tend to be physical, emotion-laden, and gut-level
- Examples of stage Red: the rebellious teenager, gang members, mafia bosses, drug lords, dictators, frontier mentalities, Atilla the Hun, James Bond villains, soldiers of fortune, wild rock stars, con artists
Read the descriptions of stage Red here, and compare them to descriptions of stage Orange.
The reason that many people were/are surprised by Trump's behavior is because they mistakenly confuse him for a stage Orange businessman guy. But he's not nearly that evolved. He actually exhibits many heartless, impulsive, thuggish, stage Red characteristics. Trump is a blend of Red/Orange. Which is why he's so dangerous. People assume he's just like your typical businessman, but he's not. A typical Fortune 500 CEO is stage Orange, perhaps even starting to tap into stage Green. Which why many of the best business leaders do not support Trump.
Why did Trump win the election? There were many factors of course, but in the big picture, it was because a good chunk of the electorate is at stage Blue/Orange consciousness, and they saw him reflecting their values. Trump cleverly exploited these stages by hitting at their weakest values and fears, and by pitting them against stage Green/Yellow values which flourished a bit under Obama's presidency.
A collective ego backlash was rather expected. Nations are huge systems with huge inertia and homeostasis. Any dramatic move towards Green/Yellow will create a lot of hooting and hollering because stage Blue/Orange doesn't just not understand Green/Yellow, they view Green/Yellow as idealistic lunacy. A large part of Blue/Orange identity is defined in opposition to Green/Yellow. As in, "I'm not like those weed-smoking hippies & academics".
Ultimately, many conservatives (stage Blue) are gonna be disappointed with Trump because they think they made a deal with a stage Orange guy, but he's actually half stage Red. Trump doesn't value conservativism, religion, morality, ethics, law, or tradition — he values SELF, power, and glory at all costs. He is the victim of his own level of consciousness, as we all are.
American society is drowning in stage Orange materialism run amok. The upper limits of stage Orange consciousness should be abundantly clear if you're doing this work. The only way forward will be to stage Green, but the resistance from stage Orange, and Blue, will be fierce. One of the most dangerous scenarios is electing leaders who want to double-down on stage Orange. More materialism and success will NOT solve our problems because that IS our chief problem. Success, like almost any other quantity in a complex system, backfires when it goes unchecked.
People vote — first and foremost — based on their level consciousness. Because consciousness underpins psychology, values, judgments, motivations, ideals, and fears. If we want to elect better leaders, we need to help the populace raise their own level of consciousness first. Helping them understand Spiral Dynamics — by teaching it in schools around the country — would be a good first step. But of course, even the effort to modernize our education system will be viewed as a threat by stages Blue and Orange.
I hope you're seeing that all the complex, academic-sounding topics I talk about — like Spiral Dynamics or systems thinking — are totally practical. As I hope this example shows you. The deeper your understanding of the fundamental dynamics of systems and consciousness, the better you'll be able to navigate life.
Perhaps one of Trump's most dangerous qualities is that he is not a system's thinker AT ALL. And yet he is trying to make changes to one of the largest and most complex systems in the world: the U.S. government. If you've studied systems thinking even a bit, it should be obvious why this will be disastrous.
Credit: Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck & Christopher Cowan, and the research of Clare Graves
There are lots of places online to find quotes. But many of them are shallow, not comprehensive, glutted with quotes from airhead celebrities, and require tons of clicking. WikiQuote categorizes quotes by person & topic, and contains in-depth, non-mainstream quotes in long, easy-to-browse lists. It's a remarkable resource.
- Albert Einstein
- Terence McKenna
- Benjamin Frankin
- Pablo Picasso
- Richard Feynman
- Lao Tzu
- Leonardo Da Vinci
- Baruch Spinoza
- Topic: Infinity
- Topic: Consciousness
- Topic: Art
- Topic: Reason
- Topic: Success
- Topic: Science
The aspiring sage or writer can find lots of amazing stuff on WikiQuote.
The reason you're trying to get more money, more sex, more knowledge, more love, more power, more fame, more pleasure, etc, and you can't seem to get enough, no matter how much you get, is because deep down what you really want is to be infinite. You want an infinite expansion. It's as though deep down your consciousness realizes that infinity is the goal. But you're trying to accomplish the infinite through the finite, which will never work. You are like a fly trapped in a windowpane.
Your entire life has been one stifled infinite expansion.
Tripped balls for 8 hrs; fathomed unspeakable secrets of Universal Mind that would make Einstein's brain explode.
What did you accomplish today?
Oh, yeah, I did that too :P
I feel like a fisherman returning home with a drag net that trawled the bottom of the cosmos. I come bearing gifts ;)
A juicy video about how infinity works:
Here's your chance of a lifetime!
World-famous Dr. Octavio Rettig is doing a Toad Medicine tour in Europe this August (2017).
Smoke some 5-Meo-DMT & Bufotinine straight from the toad.
If you're in Europe, don't miss this chance to trip balls and experience Absolute Infinity for yourself.
(Serious spiritual seekers only. This ain't for kids. Prepare to die.)
Who arbitrates what is weird and what is "normal"?
Does this cuttlefish think to itself, "Geeee... I'm so weird"?
Remember this lesson next time you think reality can't possibly be some way because "that would just be too weird". Too weird? For who? For you? And why should reality be limited to some hairless chimp's notions of weirdness? Maybe reality's just so damn vast you haven't encountered even 0.0000000001% of it yet.
Notice that "normal" simply means: those experiences which you've had so many of that now you're bored of them.
Everything about reality is weird. It's just a question of how much you take it for granted.
If, one day, you're lucky enough to cognize Absolute Infinity, it will feel a bit like this:
Its sheer magnitude will annihilate you.
A hint for self-inquirers:
Imagine for a moment that you are watching your sensory field just like the fractal in that video. And now try to shift your focus away from the "fractal" to its background, or the "space" in which its occurring. Try to gently shift your focus to the ground of your current sensory experience.
What is the ground of the "fractal"? In the video we might say it's 2D space. But what is the analogue of that when you consider your sensory experience right now? Where is your entire sensory field occurring? Notice, it's NOT in 3D space or in the brain! That's circular! 3D space and the brain are NOT the ground, they are more content. When you self-inquire, it's as though you're trying to grasp "underneath" 3D space, "underneath" all content. You're trying to grasp the groundless ground. What does it take to shift focus from the pretty fractal to its ground? Try doing that in your inquiry.
Watch the video again, focusing your mind on the fact that the fractal is groundless. Then look up from your screen, look around your room, and try to see that your visual field is equally groundless. Don't think about it, but do it! That is enlightenment.
It's really helpful to destroy your belief in an "external, objective, physical reality", which supposedly sits behind your sensory experiences. Because as long as you believe in such a thing, how are you gonna grasp the obvious fact that everything is groundless?
Just wanted to remind ya'll that Martin Ball is starting to upload talks from the 2017 Exploring Psychedelics Conference to the web. So you can easily listen at home. These are highly worthwhile talks about the cutting-edge of consciousness, psychedelics, humanity, anthropology, botany, clinical psychology, medicine, shamanism, etc.
Here's a good example: Tom & Sheri Eckert's Talk about making consciousness work more mainstream through legalizing psychedelics, and transforming our culture. Great stuff!
Many more talks will be uploaded in the weeks to come on Martin's site. So check it periodically. These talks tend to be very mind-expanding, opening you up to possibilities you'd never hear about in mainstream media.
If you like the talk above, I even recommend you dig through his archives and listen to the 2016 conference talks. There are some really good ones in there. Download them all and listen on your drive to work, while cooking, etc.