FUCK YOUR REPUTATION

You know all those people who say your reputation is your most valuable asset?

Fuck those people.
And their socialized mind.
And how they use Social Normalization Pressure to control you,
And themselves.
Tying your Authentic Self in Bondage.

What do you do when your Truth and your Reputation are in conflict?
You follow your Higher Truth.
Or you become a fucking stilted, Pavlovian-conditioned zombie, automaton.
If people like your Higher Truth, so be it.
If people don’t like your Higher Truth, so be it.
True Awakening requires Emptiness of Reputation.

You cannot Fuse your Personality with your Soul by walking down the path of Conformity and Inauthenticity.
So Burn your Fucking Bridges.
Because any Bridge that burns from the Fire of your Authentic Light,
Was not a path you were truly meant to walk down.

Do you know what your most valuable asset is?
Your Accumulated Karmic Merit from following the Noble Eightfold Path of:
Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.

And your continual Re-Connection to Source.
‘Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be Notorious.’
-Rumi

OFFERINGS OF WISDOM

I have been reflecting on how I’ve handled my experiences of pain, suffering and hardship in life and what lessons I would like to offer to others:

1) Feel Your Feelings

Do not numb yourself to your emotions. Let them move through you. Work on you. Shape you.
See depression as a cleanse.
See failures as temporary mistakes on your quest in learning how to enable your Soul to Soar and your Heart to Sing.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” ― Eric Thomas

2) Don’t Lower Your Standards

Don’t let the pain of your disappointments lower your standards or ambitions.
Your deepest desires are unshakably true. Never give up on pursuing their fulfillment.

“True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand to indicate that it’s yours already,” – Denzel Washington

3) Practice Self-Responsibility, Forgiveness and Compassion

Self-Responsibility. When things go wrong in your life, start by looking at yourself and inquiring into what you could have done better. Don’t be a victim. At a fundamental level almost anyone who harmed you, you let them in your life. And if there was a fundamental misalignment between the two of you, you only chose that person because you hadn’t yet sufficiently learned that lesson.

Forgiveness. Holding onto resentment and anger is an emotional poison that only hurts yourself.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned – Gautama Buddha

Compassion. Understand that people aren’t evil. They have their own traumas and deficiencies, and most people really are trying to do the best they can. Do not morally vilify people for their incapacity. But do raise your standards. And even if you are hurt by people, you can still unconditionally love them through their own growth experience. All human Souls are evolving back up towards the Divine Light of God. But sometimes some of them get stuck, and forget who they are and forget that we are all Ultimately One. Help them remember. Even when they hurt you.

4) Fear is an Illusion

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Fear fundamentally arises from a false illusion of separateness from the totality of being. Death is an illusion. The personality dies but the soul lives on and is always learning, growing and progressing. Learning to rewire your identity to the whole of the cosmos and your agency to the timeless depth of your soul is one of the most powerful spiritual transformations you can have.

5) Pain is Inevitable in Life but Suffering is a Choice

Whether life phenomena are experienced as mere pain sensation arising in the field of awareness, or instead as unbearable suffering is a matter of learnable perspective.

In essence, this is a summary of the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism.

I’ve seen them well summarized like this:

i. Suffering, unsatisfactoriness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, illusion and confusion are an inescapable part of life.
ii. There is a root cause for these.
iii. There is a way to work with and eventually remove this cause.
iv. There is a practical method for doing so accessible to anyone willing to apply themselves.

Every human can find their own meditative path of Awakening, if they would like to be free of suffering, experience Ultimate Liberation, the flourishing of all positive states and an inextricable feeling of meaning, purpose and connectedness.

If you have had glimpses of these Higher States of Consciousness, which almost everyone has, know that they are Real.
Have faith that you can access them all the time. And that if you find the right teacher and set of practices and lineages aligned for your personality and soul, you can have access to these deeper truths of Reality all the time.

The Great Spiritual Saints, Sages and Mystics of Human History are not wrong.
In fact, they are more right than the small you could ever know.

HOW MY SPIRITUAL CONFIDENCE IS BORN OF PAIN & SUFFERING

This is a long post I wrote this morning…so set aside 10-15 minutes to read it.

I have been sharing a lot of content that I’m sure many people feel is shamelessly self-promoting, arrogantly over-confident and an unreal farce for deep insecurity and unresolved shadow.

In this post, I will share many of the incredibly challenging experiences that enabled me to reach my current perch of unshakeable confidence.

Hopefully you will understand more about how the times of my greatest weakness, ultimately became the fuel for my greatest strength. And that my posts of strength rest on substantive foundations rather than air.
————-

“The strongest steel is forged by the fires of hell. It is pounded and struck repeatedly before it’s plunged back into the molten fire. The fire gives it power and flexibility, and the blows give it strength. Those two things make the metal pliable and able to withstand every battle it’s called upon to fight.”

I have been through a lot of struggle in my life to get where I am today.

• I have struggled with social alienation, with both men and women, for most of my life.
• I have dealt with the intense Autoimmune illnesses of Leaky Gut, hyper-allergic-sensitivity to foods and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.
• I have been through 4 episodes of Major Depression.
• I have been a part of many gut wrenching business failures, co-founder divorces and legal warfare.

My strength comes from the conquest of my adversity.

A) Social Alienation:

I have felt socially alienated for most of my life.

I didn’t have a close friend who I could truly discuss my true feelings about myself and the world until I was a sophomore in high school.

Instead of relationships founded on depth and connection, I derived my confidence and social self-worth from my athletic abilities.

As an athletic kid and teenager, when I was healthy, I was in the top 1% of my age group.

When I was 13, I started experiencing chronic back and ankle injuries that kept me perpetually in athletic purgatory. I was healthy enough to play, but never healthy enough to play to my potential or my peak abilities for very long.

From this place I was no longer a leader on my sports teams and the bond of masculine brotherhood was no longer there in the same way. Competing from an often injured place, I was now more burden than value.

I couldn’t find anyone who met me intellectually and spiritually, so now with my primary modality of social-connectedness gone, I felt completely alone.

While injured, I felt my social stature amongst men decrease. So did my self-confidence and it was harder to defend myself from the typical teenage jockeying for status. My social life was full of intentional emotional bullies, unsympathetic classmates, and little camaraderie on any level.

I also felt unattractive and undesirable to women. I was rejected by women I was sexually attracted to hundreds of times. I was rejected by women I loved many times. After high school, most of these interactions were with women 5-10 years older than me. Since I dropped out of college almost immediately to enter the technology world of Silicon Valley, these were the women in my community (if women were around much at all, in the 90/10 gender ratio waters I often swam in).

I was often told implicitly or explicitly by women that our connection was real, but that they couldn’t commit to a deeper physical connection because of our age difference. I was left to dwell in the feelings of unrealized possibility and unrequited love.

I endured the societal pressure, pain and loneliness of not losing my virginity until my early 20s. I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 25. After all of these experiences, I couldn’t help but wonder whether there was something fundamentally wrong or unloveable about me, despite a deep sense of self-worth ready to rush back to the surface at the first sign of external validation.

(An Aside: I feel so fortunate that my first imprint of committed partnership in this life has been with Tara. Where I have felt fully loved, seen, appreciated and directly experienced the power of a securely attached romantic bond. I feel so grateful for being part of an enduring relationship, that has been so transformative in how we have offered each other mutual support towards evolving into greater versions of ourselves.)

B) Entrepreneurial Hardship

When I was working on the early ideas behind the Startup Genome I was told by entrepreneurs that I respected that I was delusional and that I should give up and go back to school.

Even after my work started getting traction in the world, I was still told by some of those same people that my work on the Startup Genome was worthless, harmful to entrepreneurs, and that I should quit and go back to the safety of a conventional life path by getting an undergraduate degree at Stanford or working at a well funded tech startup.

I have been rejected by people in the business world hundreds of times.I have attempted dozens of business ideas with friends that have failed at various stages of development.I have been forced out of a company I co-founded, that I put the entire force of my being, vitality, and life mission behind.

I have had some of my closest mentors abruptly disown and abandon me, presumably because they were afraid of my fire — and have had them never truly engage with me again.I have been in legal warfare with my best friend and become good friends again years later. I have been completely broke where I also felt too ashamed to ask family for help.

I have felt incredibly excited to collaborate on a business with one of my spiritual teachers, only to find his own self-worthlessness come out in equity discussions, and when we couldn’t come to agreement, have him threaten to sue me if I worked with anyone on similar concept. At this point, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was destined to simply repeat the pattern of seeing the potential for beautiful, transformational tech companies that would continually be undermined by the lack of enduring alignment with my business partners.

C) Biological Illness

I have been diagnosed with Leaky Gut, toxic mold poisoning, heavy metal poisoning and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

Worse still, before I found conformational diagnoses with cutting edge autoimmune based lab testing, close people in my life believed I was a Hypochondriac or at the least, almost all my symptoms were Psychological rather than Biological.

When I first learned about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, I read that it was a lifetime illness that could only be managed not cured. I read dozens of stories from people on forums on the internet, who validated that the lifetime incurable nature of the condition. Their lives seemed miserable and full of unfulfilling, meaningless struggle.

Initially, my family had a lot of resistance to getting me the medical support I needed to investigate this Autoimmune disorder, as the tests costed thousands of dollars, and the actions to take as a result were not necessarily going to be clear.

My condition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity was still very much a part of my life. Even though I had a proper diagnosis, the healing road was long and uncertain.

Living with MCS, the world outside my home was always dangerous and unsafe. Everywhere I went, harmful invisible, small chemical particles lurked. I couldn’t go to any social or professional event without fear that I might have to leave. And when I would insist that I couldn’t be in a space due to MCS, many people wouldn’t understand why and also believe there was something psychologically wrong with me.

To a person without Multiple Chemical Sensitivity the effect of these particles is a minor stressor that is unnoticeable to most in their conscious awareness and is easily processed by the Liver.

To me however, small quantities of these harmful, airborne particles would trigger a debilitating Autoimmune reaction leaving me to feel inflamed, fatigued and mentally foggy like I had 3 glasses of wine.

Sometimes, when I felt comfortable enough with the people I was with and there was low grade mold or VOCs in the space I was in, I would put on one of those high tech respirators that bikers in China wear to protect themselves from air pollution.

But I still I felt like one of those strange feeble looking women you see in the airport with the medical masks over their face — instead of being the strong, masculine leader I saw myself on the trajectory of becoming.

Most old buildings have some quantity of mold and most new buildings have off-gassing Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) primarily from building materials, furniture and poor air quality due to the of circulation of fresh, oxygenated outdoor air.

At times, I felt completely debilitated, cognitively incapacitated, and energetically drained from my biological and psychological illnesses.

Without my abilities, and without a prognosis that included hope for making a full recovery I often felt completely worthless and that life was not worth living.

D) Psychological Illness

I have been through 4 episodes of Major Depression.

I have experienced the Dark Night of the Soul not just once, but multiple times.

I have met with many therapists who made my depression worse, reflecting back a set of life possibilities for myself that felt like Spiritual Suicide.

I have been completely crushed by the Simultaneity of my problems:

All at the same time, I was kicked out the company I co-founded, I lost my sense of life purpose and direction, could check nearly all the boxes on the Quarter Life Crisis checklist, I had toxic mold in my living situation and experienced constant low grade inflammation, brain fog, chronic fatigue and sensorial tingling that left me with little capacity to dig myself out of the hole I was in.

I had almost no money. The rest was being drained by poor quality lawyers who failed to translate my case into a viable strategy and led me down a legal dead-end, where they were simply wasting tens of thousands of dollars my and my family’s money. I had no ability to get or work at a job. And no ability to create a new healthy living situation for myself.

I would talk with friends and family about my situation and almost always came away feeling misunderstood and more depressed due to lack of resonance and the additive feeling of a vulnerability hangover and the effect it would have on my reputation if I ever did find a way to get better again.

I thought, “who would support me in being an entrepreneur again, as a co-founder, employee or investor, if they’ve seen me like this?”

Friends and family felt helpless in knowing how to support me and I had to endure the inaccuracy of their projections.

One of the biggest areas of dissonance when I would share what I was feeling with my friends and family, is that their message would roughly be along the lines of, “it’s okay if you don’t achieve your ambitions…they were naíve or misguided ambitions in some ways, and the lesson to learn from these hard times that have sent you into depression is that you need to take less risk and be more realistic.”

I didn’t accept that, even when I was depressed.

I wanted a path to get better and to make another attempt at my life goals — from a new angle, with new learnings and new depth alive inside me.

I never wanted to give up. I merely felt lost without a viable path forward toward recovery and re-emergence.

Even when I fell low enough, for long enough, that friends finally were able to provide me with the support I needed to form a foundation for my life from which I could rebuild, my outlook was still very bleak.

How could I ever feel satisfied living such a humble life as a result of my biological and psychological illnesses when all the meaning I found in my life was from the Existential Hero’s Journey of grand contribution that I felt I was on since I was a young boy.

I felt that everything I wanted to do with my life was now longer possible.

I wanted to die and start over.

I thought either I have a soul and I will get another shot or that is it and the pain will be over.

If there’s no path out from where I am, either option is better than this debilitating purgatory. But I can endure for a long time before I’m ready to take my own life.

I felt ashamed for thinking this way. And that I couldn’t share this logic with anyone lest they try to hospitalize me or put me on medication, or some other conventional medical intervention, coming from a place of fear rather than understanding and love.

I felt ashamed that I wasn’t able to hold many of my Spiritual Realizations through experiences of Depression. But I also felt the boldness of my soul’s mission was also a Spiritual Truth that many traditions Spiritually Bypass by skipping straight from the Relative self to the Absolute God.

I had a Major Depressive Episode go from bad to worse when the 2nd night of an Ayahuasca Ceremony completely overwhelmed me with feelings that the Life Story and Hero’s Journey I worked so hard to construct for myself was a complete lie, and that I should just kill myself now.

I was left feeling utterly flattened into a pit of despair and hopelessness for nearly 7 months towards the end of 2014 into 2015.

It’s possible I shouldn’t have been doing Ayahuasca, as it can often accelerate the emotional amplitude of those who experience both intense depression and hypomania. However, I would still like to engage the medicine again when I am more in the middle of my emotional spectrum, as I have so many friends who have received so much value from this work.

I have endured the exhausting never ending background noise of Suicidal Ideation for months at a time.

I have imagined that the most my life would be worth to society would be as a “Cautionary Tale of Ambition gone Wrong”. A modern day Icarus.

I was too ashamed to see friends.

I couldn’t work. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t feel.

To beat the suicidal ideation, I resolved to simply let the world do whatever it wanted with me.

And to see how society would treat “a failed, debilitated, formerly intelligent, ambitious, middle class white male”.

Unable to see a path out of my situation, I played chess and online poker for 12 hours a day to numb the pain.

It may not always be easy to tell that I am a highly emotional person, since in any personality system I am one of the most cognitive types. But the intensity with which I feel is what drives the bipolarity of my emotions. And I see this as an immense strength and gift that I must learn to harness rather than illness.

In my most recent depression, I completely surrendered what I once believed to be my Purpose and Destiny.

I completely gave up on my dreams and my identity.

I gave up all that I am to the Sublime Powers beyond me.

And I rested in the faith of their plan for me.

I rested in the truth of Being and Becoming.

Of relative perfection and that whatever happens from here on out is perfect. Is beautiful. Is art.

I chose to source my identity not from anything I did in this world.

But from the depth of my Soul.

And the Oneness of my Spirit.

Suffice to say,

Spirit has trained me well.

And what my pain and suffering have done is burn away all that is not me,

Leaving only,

Who I Truly Am

——–

OFFERINGS OF WISDOM

I have been reflecting on how I’ve handled my experiences of pain, suffering and hardship in life and what lessons I would like to offer to others:

1) Feel your feelings. Do not numb yourself to your emotions. Let them move through you. Work on you. Shape you.

See depression as a cleanse. See failures as temporary mistakes on your quest in learning how to enable your Soul to Soar and your Heart to Sing.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” ― Eric Thomas

2) Don’t let the pain of your disappointments lower your standards or ambitions. Your deepest desires are unshakably true. Never give up on pursuing their fulfillment.

“True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand to indicate that it’s yours already,” – Denzel Washington

3) Practice Self-Responsibility, Forgiveness and Compassion.

Self-Responsibility. When things go wrong in your life, start by looking at yourself and inquiring into what you could have done better. Don’t be a victim. At a fundamental level almost anyone who harmed you, you let them in your life. And if there was a fundamental misalignment between the two of you, you only chose that person because you hadn’t yet sufficiently learned that lesson.

Forgiveness. Holding onto resentment and anger is an emotional poison that only hurts yourself.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned – Gautama Buddha

Compassion. Understand that people aren’t evil. They have their own traumas and deficiencies, and most people really are trying to do the best they can. Do not morally vilify people for their incapacity. But do raise your standards. And even if you are hurt by people, you can still unconditionally love them through their own growth experience. All human Souls are evolving back up towards the Divine Light of God. But sometimes some of them get stuck, and forget who they are and forget that we are all Ultimately One. Help them remember. Even when they hurt you.

4) Fear is an illusion

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” – Franklin Delanor Roosevelt

Fear fundamentally arises from a false illusion of separateness from the totality of being.
Death is an illusion. The personality dies but the soul lives on and is always learning, growing and progressing. Learning to rewire your identity to the whole of the cosmos and your agency to the timeless depth of your soul is one of the most powerful spiritual transformations you can have.

5) Pain is Inevitable in Life but Suffering is a Choice.

Whether life phenomena are experienced as mere pain sensation arising in the field of awareness, or instead as unbearable suffering is a matter of learnable perspective.

In essence, this is a summary of the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism.

I’ve seen them well summarized like this:
i. Suffering, unsatisfactoriness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, illusion and confusion are an inescapable part of life.
ii. There is a root cause for these.
iii. There is a way to work with and eventually remove this cause.
iv. There is a practical method for doing so accessible to anyone willing to apply themselves.

Every human can find their own meditative path of Awakening, if they would like to be free of suffering, experience Ultimate Liberation, the flourishing of all positive states and an inextricable feeling of meaning, purpose and connectedness.

If you have had glimpses of these Higher States of Consciousness, which almost everyone has, know that they are Real. Have faith that you can access them all the time. And that if you find the right teacher and set of practices and lineages aligned for your personality and soul, you can have access to these deeper truths of Reality all the time.

The Great Spiritual Saints, Sages and Mystics of Human History are not wrong.

In fact, they are more right than the small you could ever know.

AM I BIPOLAR?

Some people think I am bipolar.

I guarantee it.

Some people think I am sick and need help.

I guarantee it.

Those people are projecting onto me their unconscious fear of their own lack of psychological control and stability,

Or that of someone close to them.

I probabilistically guarantee it.

I have often explored in many chapters of my life how I relate to this weighty psychological label.

There is no question I have travelled the extremes of the psychological spectrum.

How intimately I know the Higher Highs and the Lower Lows.

There is certainly bipolarity in that.

But am I Bipolar?

No.

Not as the term is conventionally used.

Bipolar is not a mental illness.

Bipolarity is not a curse.

Bipolarity is a gift.

Bipolarity is increased emotional sensitivity to life.

Bipolarity is an incarnational decision to increase one’s risk/reward profile.

Bipolarity is increased access to the Vital Force of Life itself.

Bipolarity connects you more fully to the multi-dimensional energetic fluids of emotionality that serve as Teachers,

Washing over you, if you let them, with the intent to positively transform.

Bipolarity is a powerful weapon that is the source of some of the greatest creativity and expressions of Love and Spirit in Human History.

But it is also a powerful weapon that society is afraid of.

That Industrial Society has been designed to crush.

Like X-Men mutants who the conventional humans fear for their differences.

Conventional Society wants people to conform like Slavish Mechanical Cogs to its Industrial Machine.

Society wants docile employees, who color within the lines, follow the rules and do what they’re told.

There is no room for the hyper-creative who have visions of new possibilities and new lands.

The Status Quo is too fucking profitable.

There is no room for the hyper-sensitive who feel deep in their bones and soul that something in their world is not RIGHT.

Their heightened perception must be numbed.

Must be medicated out of existence.

Their feelings which point them to the Truth of the World and their Heart must be stopped.

They must be made to feel weak.

To feel their feelings are the problem.

Rather than Modern Society.

With its dysfunctional, self-perpetuating trauma-filled, isolationist, disconnected culture that gave rise to the feelings of depression and anxiety in the first place.

One of their Methods of Covert Authoritarianism is the Brutality of the Medical Establishment.

A profiteering, societal racketeering institution built on Biologically Reductionist Science designed to make the patient addicted and societally compliant rather than healthy and fulfilled.

Nearly 20% of Americans take a psychiatric drug for Depression or Anxiety.

On average Americans watch 5 hours of Television a day.

Another subversive method of mind-control to numb people from their Authentic Self.

Industrial Capitalist Society has Humanity by the Balls, Clamped in a Vice.

I have been deeply depressed, but I have never moved from Hypomania to Mania.

I have taken many natural supplements, but I have never taken a pharmacological drug.

And I hope I never do.

If you have, don’t be hard on yourself.

Be compassionate.

But know if you would like to truly find your Higher Self…

It will be very difficult to do while taking pharmacological substances designed to conform you to a narrow band of emotional states.

Pharmacological drugs are best seen as emergency psychic surgery when you take a psycho-spiritual tumble and break a metaphorical bone or bust up your metaphorical tissue…

And they are to be followed by a weaned path of rehabilitation to more authentic biochemistry.

If you are on these substances,

Know there is a way out.

Though it must done with love and care,

And the supervision of qualified medical professionals,

Ideally including ones who practice Holistic Medicine.

—–

…And now we have begun a series of posts on Depression, Mental Illness & Spiritual Transformation.

I have thousands of words to spill on this subject in which I will cover subjects like:

– Why the medical establishment does not have people’s best interests at heart
– Why the DSM, psychiatry and pharmacology is fatally flawed
– How the lack of a larger spiritual evolutionary context of the human condition is the source of psychological confusion that begets depression and mental illness
– Powerful metaphors for reframing Depression, Anxiety and Bipolarity as the Empowering, Fierce, Creative Gift they are.
– Biohacking with supplements out of Mental Dysfunction into Optimal Health
– The dynamic feedback loops to the downside or upside between Biology, Psychology, Culture and Spirituality
– My personal stories about the excruciating pain and confusion of depressive episodes
– Resilient methods for relating to Suicidal Ideation
– The Nature of Suicide in a larger Existential Context
– How Depression can make you stronger and prepare you to fulfill your Destiny

MY COMMENTARY ON ANTHONY LEMME’S POST ON CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK ABOUT US

A great post from my friend Anthony Lemme below.

My commentary with an exercise to step into this State of Being, below that.

Do yourself and humanity a solid and let people have their experience of you.

Let them have their assessments, assumptions, judgments and opinions.

Especially the ridiculous or less than favorable ones.

Oftentimes, it’s a sign that you’re on the right track.

As much as it may hurt, piss you off or seem unfair and unreasonable, I promise you won’t die if someone doesn’t approve of you or is thinking or saying things about you that are inaccurate.

In fact, one of the greatest load-lightening practices one can undertake in life is to be OK with being misinterpreted, misunderstood or having a less than perfect approval rating.

For many of us this is quite challenging.

Especially in a world where being self-preoccupied, overly image-conscious and fixated on external approval and validation is often reinforced and rewarded.

Another invaluable load-lightning practice is to be curious rather than defensive or reactive.

If you’re having trouble with someone’s assessment of or commentary on you (or anything for that matter) and can’t seem to let it go, rather than getting your metaphorical panties in a bunch or knickers in a knot, try being curious.

And if you’re not wearing panties or knickers, metaphorical or real, congratulations, you’re ahead of the game!

But I digress.

Back to being curious…

Try moving your attention inward toward yourself before turning it outward toward others, making them wrong or turning them into an enemy.

What’s happening for me?
What am I feeling?
What’s my reaction to this really about?
What am I defending?

Is my actual safety or well-being being compromised or am I merely protecting my identity and image of myself?
Am I projecting or adding something onto this situation or person that’s not really there?
Is transference or countertransference occurring?

Is this something that, like it or not, comes with the territory of an activity I’m engaging in or a role I’m playing that I’m going to have to grow some thicker skin around?
What would have them say or think that?
Is there something I’m not seeing or getting about myself?
Is there any truth in it, even a small percentage, that might be useful to take in?

There may be no logical reason for someone to dislike or disparage you other than their own “fuckedupness” running amok (I say this playfully and with a lot love, as we all have our particular flavors of mischief-causing fuckedupness that runs amok at times).

And there might be a reason that makes total sense.
It might be a beautiful opportunity to cultivate more understanding and shared reality with another.
It might be an opportunity to create a new connection or deepen an existing one.

It might be an opportunity to be less attached to, sensitive about and protective of your image.
It might be an opportunity to see where you’re jammed up or where you’re too easily blown around by the winds of life.

It might be an opportunity to speak up, set some much needed boundaries or clean some house.
It’ll definitely be an opportunity to cultivate more awareness and improve resiliency.

At the end of the day, including resource depleting campaigns and efforts to influence and manipulate, we have next to no control over what others think and say about us.

Best to accept this, move forward and enjoy the gift of being alive rather than contracting and resisting.

It’ll free up a lot of energy that can be used for things much more beneficial and productive than being upset and looping in uncomfortable feelings, engaging in a victim narrative or taking a defensive posture when there’s no real need to.

That doesn’t mean you have to like it and it does mean you have to get over it, get over yourself and get on with your life and the tasks at hand.

For the sake of clarity, I’m not talking about extreme situations.

If someone is saying wildly untrue things about you that are legitimately compromising your safety, freedom, relationships, reputation or work in the world, by all means do what you need to do within the law to put an end to it or set the record straight.

Same goes if you’re seeing it happen to someone else.
That sort of thing is not OK and should never be tolerated.
Life is way too short and way too precious to spend worrying about or trying to manage the experience and behavior of others.

Let others be themselves and have their own experience of things.

If you’re a solid, kind, considerate person living a life of integrity and paying deep attention, staying open to feedback, cleaning up your messes and course correcting as you go, those around you and those who truly know and love you will know the truth.

And although everybody matters and should be considered, when all is said and done, our relationship with and experience of ourselves and those nearest and dearest are the ones that matter most.

End of random, unsolicited, long-winded public service announcement.


Anthony is spot on.

Here’s an exercise for people to work on this:

1. Write down 3 things you believe with high conviction that some of your friends will find controversial or vehemently disagree with.

2. Write a post on Facebook about one of these things.

3. Stand in the storm of outrage and meditate on Anthony’s post about not worrying about what other people think of you.

4.Watch how once the storm has passed everything is mostly the same. You may have lost some friends, but you’ll also have gained some. The net benefit will be that you attracted people you are truly aligned with and repelled people you aren’t. That’s a win.

5. You will most likely feel very liberated and feel a significant increase in your capacity for self-expression and find a new level of personal creativity that was shut off for fear of getting kicked out of the tribe.

6. As you ponder partaking in this exercise what is your resistance? What are your reasons for not doing this? What are you afraid will happen?

*And if you’re not built or ready to take this kind of risk (yet) that’s okay, too.

HOW I MADE $10,000 TODAY IN THE OPTIONS MARKET IN 1 TRADING DAY — INVESTING, PSYCHOLOGY AND THE SUPERPOWERS OF MEDITATION

Two days ago I wrote a post about my concern about how retail investors are investing in cryptocurrency and recommended the option market as an alternative for those looking for a very aggressive risk/reward return profile. (https://www.facebook.com/maxhmarmer/posts/10211728883231644)

I mentioned NVDA LEAPS as a historical play that 10x’d the gains of Ethereum over a similar time frame.

Little did I know how prescient a call that would be.

As an example of the crazy returns one can get in the option market, yesterday I spotted the combination of a technical + fundamental set up I loved in NVDA and made one of my most highly concentrated option bets I’ve made to date.

I make concentrated bets like this extremely rarely. for what it’s worth—I’ve executed a concentrated trade like this maybe only 2-3 times since I started trading.

The trade was that I bought 15 call options at the 170 ‘at the money’ strike price with a 1 month October expiration for about $11,000.

Today NVDA was catalyzed by a fortuitous analyst upgrade with high price target and the stock rocketed up over 6%, making me over $10,000 within 24 hours.

However, the fact that the analyst upgrade happened today to light the powder keg on Nvidia was mostly luck, or perhaps an intuitive gift. My expectations were more along the lines of a 2-3% gain over the next couple of trading sessions. But the market game is probabilistic and all about tilting the odds in your favor. A landed missile from North Korea in Japan last night could have catalyzed the market in the other direction.

I can explain more about the technical + fundamental analysis that led to pulling the trigger on this big bet for those interested.

Before going further, I must say, these option trading strategies are not for the faint of heart. But neither is trading highly volatile cryptocurrencies.

Many option trades go to zero. And I’ve had days where I’ve been down over $10,000 too.

Despite this volatility I’m currently nearly 5x’ing the nasdaq, up about 40% while the nasdaq is up about 8% since late April.

At the same time I’m prepared to lose it all. I put significant intention into maintaining non-attachment to my results and mentally preparing myself for enduring considerable negative returns which paradoxically often improves my performance.

Even this NVDA trade went the wrong way on me soon after I made it. I was up $1k an hour after making it but by the end of the day I was down $2k. But I rode it out and didn’t panic and woke up to the returns from the analyst’s gift this morning.

Some more context on my strategy:

In June, I transitioned to a near pure long/short option portfolio because I became confident in my abilities to read the market, I’m young and thus can take a hyper-aggressive risk/reward profile, and I’m investing under a year’s worth of income — so should something go catastrophically wrong, it would not be too hard to make it back. For others, I often recommend some subset of their investable assets being in a high growth option portfolio.)

Investing is a psychological game as much as it is a strategic and tactical game. My proficiency as a meditator is an amazing asset.

Ray Dalio, who is considered the most successful hedge fund manager of all time has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for more than 40 years. He said,

“When I look back at my life, I am happy to have had what most people would consider a successful life, not only in terms of business, but in my relationships and in lots of ways. More than anything else, I attribute it to meditation—partially because of the creativity, partly because of the centeredness. TM has given me an ability to put things in perspective, which has helped a lot. I think meditation has been the single biggest influence on my life.”

There are more great insights from this article on Ray Dalio about how meditation can give you super powers ( https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ray-dalio-featured-in-dr-normal-rosenthal-book-super-mind-152727852.html)

Screenshots attached from my options portfolio(s) in two different brokerages.

I expect to be writing more about finance, economics, crypto and tech trends in the coming weeks and months as it aligns with some bigger picture life-mission projects currently manifesting in my world.

Over and out.

DEATH AT BURNING MAN — MAKING SENSE OF LIFE, DEATH, PSYCHEDELICS & THE SUBTLE REALM

Trigger warning: If the story of the man who died running into the effigy at Burning Man is traumatizing to you, do not read this post.

If you want to read my take on this incident which includes extended commentary on the Nature of Psychedelic Experiences, the Realm of Subtle Beings & Energy, and a larger spiritual perspective on the Cycle of Life and Death, then read away.

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Oh man what a way to go.

It appears that the Occam’s Razor for this incident is that this was an accidental death induced by phenomenal occurrences on a psychedelic trip.

Some have speculated that he believed he was Daenerys from Game of Thrones, and as such believed he was immune to fire.

Certainly the pictures depict a man who is charging forth like he believes himself to be a hero in a fairy tale, and not a depressed, suicidal man looking to kill himself. However, those attempting suicide are often filled with a rush of adrenaline in their final moments due to their perception of final escape, relief and release.

This is a reminder that psychedelics are dangerous, powerful substances, that need to be treated with care and caution if we are to reap the benefits of their teachings.

….A brief two paragraph interlude for those of you who believe the Subtle Realm is Pre-Rational Hippie Mumbo Jumbo — know that I once believed this as many did, but that it is most definitely real by many legitimate epistemological methods, just not primarily the methods you have been taught or the methods conventional Western Science accepts, but they are learnable.

The Harry Potter series is actually incredibly powerful and accurate allegory. The world of magic co-exists with the ‘normal world’ and is generally undetectable in every day life, unless you’ve consciously developed the Subtle Sensitivity to operate in this Realm.

…[Back to regularly scheduled magical programming]…Psychedelics blow open the defenses of the Subtle Body, and litter your Aura with holes.

This partial Mechanism of Action is both the upside and the downside to Psychedelics.

Psychedelics make you more permeable to your surroundings and the Subtle, Etheric and Astral Worlds that are always around us, but otherwise much harder to perceive.

Psychedelic Trips can bestow amazing Visions, Insights and Information. These come primarily from two sources: your Higher and Lower Self — the Super-Conscious and Sub-Conscious, respectively, as well as Subtle Beings and Entities.

Attribution of where energies are coming from is both challenging and essential for Integration.

Subtle Beings & Entities can be both Beneficent and Malevolent, and the whole spectrum in between, just like humans.

When you have a good or bad trip, how do you sort out what Energies came from a Subtle Entity and what was repressed emotional content in your Shadow, or Blessings from your Higher Self?

Epistemological Methods in the Subtle Realm, colloquially known as, “How do you know what to attribute your subjective experiences to?”, are very under-appreciated and under-developed in most Subtle Realm Travelers, and the New Age Community at large.

Burning Man is a particularly potent environment for the Subtle Realms. Subtle Beings of all varieties make the Pilgrimage to the Playa each year, just as the humans do. To them it is an Auric Feast. Which Energies you personally come into contact depends a lot on who you are and what Energetic Frequencies you are Resonate with at a particular moment in time.

Many of my Spiritual Teachers have advised against using Psychedelics. I have not stopped using them completely, but I use them far more sparingly, paying careful attention to my Set and Setting. Experience has taught me that I am very sensitive.

My teachers have also said that psychedelics blow open your Timelines and give you access to Energy and Information often before you are ready. And that it is possible to access the same Frequencies with other, safer, healthier and more reliable methods.

The value of psychedelic experiences lies primarily in our ability to stay Awake during the Trip, and Integrate our experiences after the Trip has passed. Staying Awake during a psychedelic experience is primarily about maintaining Presence and seeing Phenomena as Expressions of Spirit rather than Contracting back into the False Stories of the Egoic self. With respect to Integration, Ken Wilber has brilliantly put that ‘States can come for free, but Structure is Earned.’

Burning Man is one of the most crazy settings possible to do Psychedelics. In effect, ‘crazy’ means high risk/reward profile. I have experienced both ends of the spectrum at Burning Man in my 4 years attending the festival since 2009: Ecstatic Kosmic Downloads that were Integrated as Irrevocable core aspects of my Being…and I have been thrown into a Miserable Nightmares of Disorientation and Vomit, mixed with pernicious Paranoia that I was in Mortal Danger.

A further point of context on this rather Spectacular Death this year at Burning Man, is understanding the True Nature of Life and Death in this world.

Perhaps most importantly is the false belief that we have only one life, and after we die that is it. I wrote a post last month on this topic calling it, ‘The Most Insidious Belief in Western Culture (https://www.facebook.com/maxhmarmer/posts/10211434991964546)

A Soul’s journey is comprised of millions of lifetimes.

So Death is not something to fear, but rather something to come to accept and come to peace with.

Especially if you would like to Gracefully and Consciously move through the In-Between Realms known as the Bardo, as you enter your next life.

We all ‘Transition’ when our time has come.

That has much less to do with our own Agency and much more to do with: Karma, a new life that is calling us, how much we have fulfilled our current life contracts, whether we’re ready to go, and whether our unfulfilled contracts are deserving of Divine Intervention.

It appears to me the man who ran into the fire, Aaron Joel Mitchell, was ready for his next adventure.

May his Fate inform Ours.