It’s Just a Ride, By Bill Hicks

The world is like a ride at an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real, because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round and it has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly colored and it’s very loud. And it’s fun, for a while.

Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: ‘Is this real? Or is this just a ride?’ And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and they say ‘Hey! Don’t worry, don’t be afraid — ever — because… this is just a ride.’ And we kill those people.

‘Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry; look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.’ It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that — ever notice that? — and we let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter, because… it’s just a ride, and we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort. No worry. No job. No savings and money. Just a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy bigger guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one.

Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, into a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defense each year and, instead, spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would do many times over — not one human being excluded — and we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever. In peace.

 

Attachment Theory: Trusting Ourselves

This morning I read the following post from a friend of mine, which inspired me to write a follow-on post on Attachment Theory and developing discernment when listening to your feelings.
———–

Re: Avoidant attachment discoveries

Feeling reality tilted on its side tonight.. Huge new territories of emotion to be felt and healed are coming to the surface due to my relationship, showing me that I honestly can’t always trust what I feel. It’s a wild experience to say the least.

Backstory:

We had been in a dance of me being avoidant and him being fearful/angry/reactive about me pulling away, but then after getting some support he figured out how to just be grounded in himself and let me freak out without it rocking his boat. (A big step!)

Tonight:

What has been so utterly bewildering has been my wildly fluctuating feelings towards him–this week for days at a time feeling absolutely CONVINCED that I felt nothing and needed to break up with him, so many signs pointing toward that inevitability.

Then tonight, simply by him staying calm and gently pointing the mirror back at me, it melted through the ice in my heart and I broke into tremendous sobs coming from somewhere inside that is truly terrified of this kind of intimacy.

All of a sudden, there’s my love for him again, mixed up with all this fear and old grief, I found myself back in my tender feminine (not the one who always pretends to be in control), surrounded by a pile of tissues, grateful and confused, and it all feels amazing and totally nuts at the same time.
Totally nuts.

Thankfully, I have another dear friend who is going through her own avoidance dance in her relationship, and we’ve been sharing notes. She feels just as crazy as I do, flip flopping all over the place, one moment feeling the love and then ready to end it all just like that.

We are slowly learning that we have to STOP trusting our own very real feelings and justifications that make us want to flee, finding out what’s underneath.. It’s like reading a novel where you find out the narrator actually has a mental illness or something and you can’t trust their version of reality. Except in this case it’s ME.

Good lord, I wasn’t prepared for this one.

————–

Thank you for this beautiful, vulnerable share.

I can’t recall another post by someone else with avoidant attachment who articulated the dynamic inside themselves so clearly and powerfully.

It’s a real gift, because it invites everyone who has been in the anxious/avoidant dynamic an exit route from the confusing drama to the higher perspective where healing and transformation can take place.

You’re pointing to some really important questions, especially in our sub-culture which exalts the primacy of feeling your feelings and following its truth.

“When can I trust myself?”
“When can’t I trust myself?”
“Who is the self I am trusting?”
“Do I have one self or many selves?”

The way I see it, we have many parts of ourselves. Put simply, without getting into Internal Family Systems Theory our Buddhist/Vedic Theory of Mind, we have higher selves that connect us to our higher truths, our purpose, soul and Spirit. And we have lower selves which often come from fear and lack, and hide in the shadows, attempting protect us from re-creating or re-experiencing unresolved trauma from the past.
Paraphrasing a fellow commenter, it’s important to see the rightness in our lower selves and have compassion for them. They are justifiably trying to protect us from getting hurt again in a way we were before.

So that brings us back to the critical question of “When can I trust myself?”. Because if we answer that question wrong, such as by simply concluding that we can’t trust ourselves, we could end up in a negative spiral of doubt, paralysis and giving our power and authority away to others.

A better approach to the question, “When can I trust myself?” is to first attempt to see the different parts of ourselves and trust that every part is pointing to something true, while recognizing whether a part of ourselves is higher or lower, more mature or less mature or has a larger or more limited perspective.

The parts perspective can enable us to see that one part of us can love someone deeply while another part wants to shut off the love in order to feel safe, because it is afraid of being hurt (usually again).

And because the lower parts of ourselves are wired deep into our nervous system whereas our higher parts are much subtler, and communicate with us primarily in quiet moments, almost like a whisper — when there’s a conflict between higher and lower parts, the lower parts almost always win. They are louder and can command much greater emotional intensity. Our bodies by default just want us to survive, we have to retrain them to thrive.

This is such an important subject because it points to all the ways our higher parts can be obscured. Insecure attachment is one way higher parts of ourselves are obscured but so many things obscure our higher parts in a way that renders us unable to essentially “trust ourselves”:

Depression, anxiety, addiction, poverty, trauma.

The journey to living as radically abundant love is the acknowledgement and integration of all our lower parts so the higher ones have a clear vessel to shine through.

Blessings to you for doing this work and inviting so many others on to the journey with you with your sharing.

Pithy Post Potpourri – Winter/Spring 2018

If you and your partner(s) can’t both reliably access a state of awakened awareness beyond the ordinary sense of self then any exploration of non-monogamy will inevitably lead to an increase in pain and suffering.

#PsychographicEntryCriteria

When you lose your cool, when you get triggered do you tell yourself to raise your game and live up to a higher standard?

Or do you justify why it was okay to lose your cool and ascribe fault to other people and external circumstances?

This is one of the key regular decisions that separates the extraordinary humans from the ordinary.

I love my morning meditation view so much.

There is a reason yogis go to the mountaintop.

The sparkling, harmonious, blissful, spacious, luminous nature of reality is unassailably clear.

People who don’t utilize the tool of debt and credit in their life have been afflicted by a false sense of lack.

They lack sufficient belief in themselves.

And they lack a willingness to invest in themselves for the long run and to bet on themselves.

The question for analyzing whether debt and credit is worth utilizing is very simple:

Can you create more value, faster with the money you are loaned than the interest rate you are given?

One of the worst decisions the masculine can make is to seek comfort.

The masculine grows through setting big goals, pushing to exhaustion and then savoring accomplishment in the recovery phase before setting a new bigger goal that lies beyond the new expanded comfort zone.

From the higher perspective there is no such thing as rejection.

There is just energy jostling around trying to find its way into proper alignment.

From the higher perspective there is no such thing as failure.

There is just feedback about what needs to be improved and recalibrated.

Black Panther was so much better than the Last Jedi.

Plot and Story Arc.

Character Development & Consistency.

Visual Effects.

Empowering portrayal of Cultural Minorities.

…the script for Luke Skywalker was particularly terrible…acting like someone who was never a Jedi

…so many of the Star Wars characters felt like forced affirmative action plays rather than authentic casting.

…One disappointing feature of the Wakandan’s was that for being so technologically and culturally advanced in many dimensions, they still had an Ethnocentric Worldview when looking to the outside world, opining about how to help downtrodden and oppressed blacks around the world rather than how to help downtrodden and oppressed humans with their technological prowess.

All for now. No time to be a detailed movie critic.

I am currently reading the Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo.

Who else has read it?

My personal website is titled In Quest of Super Humanity and I’m coming to see how my intuitive guidance has been (previously unbeknownst to me) plugged into the same source as Aurobindo’s, especially with respect to his articulation of the Supermind and its Divine Unfolding through Humanity’s Involutionary Process.

Your body is an instrument that the Consciousness of your Soul learns to play.

An Evolved Soul is therefore a masterful musician.

Back on my own again and restarting my cooking skills after 2 years of dormancy.

Immediately noticing a shift in my relationship to food preparation as I’ve deepened my relationship to the fundamentally universal nature of subtle energy in all things.

Succinct infographic of a lot of misguided class warfare and anti-wealth sentiment from the Liberal Left.

 

Why You Should NOT do a Vipassana Retreat, Pt. 2

My Medium post, “What is the Point of Meditation and Why You Should Not Do A Vipassana Retreat” is gaining quite a bit of attention, especially on twitter, with hundreds of comments due some retweets by influential folks.

And I have to say I’m pretty happy with the effect of the post given the response I’m receiving.

It looks to me like perfect Psycho-Cultural Electrolysis.

I put Direct Current into the system with a strong opinion and people separate into component parts like an induced chemical reaction.

Three primary clear groups coalesced:

1) Advanced meditators who understand the arguments and perspectives.

2) Beginning meditators who’ve had their eyes opened to the wider perspective of the meditation landscape and see the limitations of Vipassana instruction.

3) Triggered, defensive and reactive Vipassana attendees who feel the need to justify their choice to attend.

What I find ironically amusing is how numerous people in group 3 validate the thesis of the post, that:

Vipassana is an ineffective methodology compared to alternative meditation paths.
See, if Vipassana were effective you wouldn’t see so many defensive, reactive, triggered posts from people studying in its lineage.

Being triggered and reactive defensiveness cannot arise in a state of Insight/Emptiness.

So by definition, if you are triggered or reactively defensive, in that moment, and for all moments in which that behavior persists, you are failing your meditation practice.

Relatedly, this is why I’ve written many posts about triggers pointing the way to your Awakening.

The people who read my whole post — which makes a lot of nuanced points, on a range of subjects, who then comment with just one or two lines about how I’m misunderstanding or mischaracterizing Vipassana are very likely in the Triggered/Reactive/Ineffective Meditator category.

ADDRESSING CRITICISM

Let’s take a brief sidebar to address some of the criticism of my first post.

1) “But I had a very beautiful and insightful experience at my Vipassana Retreat!”

Sure. I didn’t say good experiences weren’t possible. I said Vipassana is ineffective for many people and for those who it is effective, it is still a slower path down the path of Awakening compared to alternative meditative paths.

I said people were likely to get discouraged by the way it teaches meditation and develop bad meditation habits.

In many ways the Vipassana tradition is much better suited for the culture in the East than the culture in the West. The reason for this is the emphasis in Western culture on Rationality and Individualism.

A friend of mine who is a Buddhist scholar told me about a study she read that was done on Vipassana meditators in the West vs in Burma. In Burma, they stay focused on meditating and finish the 1st major path of Theravada within 3 months. In the West, they found almost no one completed the path and instead spent the majority of the time psychoanalyzing themselves.”

From an Integral perspective the reason for this differential performance is rather obvious if you understand the Wilber Combs Lattice which maps Stages of Psychological Development by States of Development.

Those in Burma are primarily at the Mythic/Subtle stage. Those in the west are primarily at the Rational/Subtle and Pluralistic/Subtle stages.

Different practices are needed in different spaces within the Field of Consciousness.

Lastly, many people’s ‘good experiences’ have nothing to do with making progress towards Awakening. They are silent insights and self-reflections at the ordinary level of self, rather than transcendent experiences beyond the ordinary conception of self and self-identity.

2) “Have you even taken a Vipassana retreat? You can’t comment on Vipassana if you haven’t taken it.”

Buddhism has gone through three major evolutions:

Theravada -> Mahayana -> Vajrayana.

These are called the Three Turnings of the Wheel of the Dharma. Each Turning, transcended and included, or improved upon the previous stages, through major philosophical re-conceptualizations and the introduction of new meditative practices and principles.

Theravada represents the original teachings of the Buddha. Mahayana, primarily introduced the central notion of the Boddhisattva —a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings— and improved the articulation of Emptiness. Vajrayana, the Tibetan version of Buddhism, accelerates the path towards Awakening and Enlightenment, through greater precision in its teachings and the use of Tantric Energy practices.

So you see I don’t need to take a Vipassana retreat to comment on it. I know it deals with the Concentration and Insight/Emptiness stages of the Invariant Path, and does it poorly relative to Vajrayana.

Each of these schools of Buddhism are like operating systems.

Theravada is like Windows MS-DOS.

Mahayana is like classic Mac OS.

Vajrayana is like Mac OS X.

In 2018, why would you want to run Windows MS-DOS?

RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

The results of different lineages speak for themselves.

I know hundreds if not thousands of people who meditate, and the people who are attracted to study in accelerated non-dual lineages like Tibetan Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta are unequivocally superior meditators to the people who study Vipassana and mindfulness based meditation.

I can’t tell you the number of people who I’ve conversed with who have been to multiple Vipassana retreats who do not have a solid grasp of Insight/Emptiness, much less Awakened Awareness.

One of the tech influencers who retweeted me, said along with the retweet that, “Of course, given the way identity and confirmation bias work, everyone who has done vipassana will feel compelled to fire back.”

To which I replied,

“Yes, very few people will admit they have wasted their time with anything they’ve engaged in. Of course, the type of people who can be both brutally & lovingly self-critical are the type of people who become the successful entrepreneurs & the awakened meditators.”

A DEEPER EXPLANATORY PATTERN AT PLAY

This all said, there is a deeper pattern at play here that must be discussed to explain the differential skills between meditators studying Vipassana & Mindfulness vs. meditators studying Vajrayana/Advaita Vedanta — as it is not only the inferior instruction that creates the performance differential.

In many Post-Modern and New Age communities there’s a concept of an Old Soul.

But what’s not talked about enough is its relative: the Young Soul.

And Soul Age is one of the main factors that determines what lineage one is attracted to and how natural meditation comes to a person.

Old Souls are attracted to the superior non-dual lineages like Vajrayana and Advaita Vedanta.

When they hear wisdom from these lineages, a feeling of Inner Knowing is triggered and they say, “That’s what’s up! I’m going to go deeper with that.”

The feeling of Inner Knowing does not come from the evaluating information in the mind or from the desires or aversions of the ego and spiritual materialsm.

Inner Knowing comes primarily from a mix of past life experience and Soul Guidance.

Old Souls have tried out many different spiritual lineages and have a felt sense of what works best.

Young Souls for the most part don’t have experience of different spiritual lineages and thus cannot discriminate amongst them.

The problem today is you’ve got all these Young Souls running around the Bay Area and other cultural hotbeds, discovering the existence and depth of the inner world, for the one of their first lifetimes, acting like they know something.

I’m not trying to reverse this trend, but I am sauntering into the conversation like Morpheus saying, which pill do you want to take?

“The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.”
Unfortunately, no one can be…told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill [opens his left hand revealing red pill], you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

The Matrix is more apt an analogy than you may even realize.

1) The Matrix is the Prison of Samsara Buddha spoke about. Stabilizing Awakened Awareness midway down the Invariant Meditative Path is almost literally what ‘Escaping the Matrix’ is metaphorically pointing to.

2) The creators of the Matrix, Lana & Larry Wachowski are good friends with Ken Wilber and he influenced the writing of the script. Ken Wilber and Cornell West have 15 hours of dialogue on the director’s cut of the Ultimate Matrix Collection.

I’d like to at least give Young Souls and Asleep Old Souls the opportunity to take the Red Pill.

“The key advantage Vajrayana Buddhism claims to provide is an accelerated path to enlightenment. This is achieved through use of tantra techniques, which are practical aids to spiritual development, and esoteric transmission (explained below). Whereas earlier schools might provide ways to achieve nirvana over the course of many lifetimes, Vajrayana techniques make full enlightenment or Buddhahood possible in a much shorter timeframe, perhaps in a single lifetime. Vajrayana Buddhists do not claim that Theravada or Mahayana practices are in any way invalid, only that they represent slower paths. It should also be noted that the goal of the Mahayana and Vajrayana is the attainment of Buddhahood, whereas the goal for Theravada practice is liberation from the cycle of rebirth in Nirvana.”

So Vipassana isn’t quite the Blue pill. It’s more like the mix of the two: the Purple Pill.

But why do you want to take the Purple Pill if you can take the Red Pill?

A Response to Dave Booda

Wrote this yesterday  by Dave Booda entitled: Why Sex Workers Should Replace Dating Coaches

I have a lot of writing I’d like to get out on the subjects of relationships, sexuality and masculinity, including:

– how tantric energy practices offer the path out of porn addiction for men rather than the misguided #nofap movement

– the counter productive, often destructive beliefs many men have picked up from engaging with a lot of the material in the pick up artist world

– the crucial relationship between meditation and gaining self-mastery over one’s sexual energy

– the immense benefits for a man’s purpose-driven energetic drive and for his woman’s pleasure of learning how to control his ejaculation (sometimes going weeks or months without spilling physical seed)

– why polyamory that is explored without a foundation in stabilized awakened awareness and a larger spiritual orientation is destined for draining emotionally tumultuous relationships.

Which topic would you like to see me write about first? Or do you have a related topic you’d like me to write on a post on?

A Thanksgiving Reflection on My Life’s Journey

Today on Thanksgiving 2017, I head to Costa Rica for a 10 day vacation.

And I’m feeling grateful for all the blessings in my life.

In 2009, I remember this particular peak moment laying in the spa, after attending a 2 month immersion program in Berlin for 30 digital natives under 30 called Palomar 5.

I was on my gap year just after graduating high school 5 months earlier, and I’d been pushing hard for a few years to break free of the guardrails of the conventional life path and trail blaze my own entrepreneurial one.

While I was laying on my back immersed in the warm salt water, I remember a voice coming into my head that whispered, ‘your life is now exactly where it should be’. And a sense of inner peace, calmness and settledness washed over my soul.

Through hard work, courage and good fortune, I largely stayed on top of that wave for the next year and half, through the successful launch and emergence of the Startup Genome Project in 2011.

I had my physical and mental health. I had my purpose. I was growing and developing the organizational structure to share my gifts and vision with the world.

Then at the end of 2011, as I was galloping along like a white knight on his horse, an ambushing barrage of arrows blindsided me in the form of a soured former business partner, lawsuits, delayed fundraising timelines, going broke, getting burned out, losing physical and mental health in the burnout, diverging visions with my co-founders, multi-factor autoimmune illnesses, being forced out of my company, more lawsuits, autoimmune relapses that cut even deeper into my physical and mental health and fortitude.

The ensuing 5-6 years brought many ups and downs, many growth experiences, many multi-dimensional personal and inter-personal deepening.

But there was still this nagging feeling that my life wasn’t exactly where it should be, like it had been before. I felt like I was chasing my destiny, to catch back up with it.

It was like my Destiny was my horse from the time of the ambush, still running wild and free down a different timeline, continuing to trail blaze the path my self in this timeline could sense and one day catch up to.

Today, I’m grateful to say, I have caught up to my Destiny’s Horse, jumped back in the saddle and we’ve now been stably galloping through new lands for enough time that it now feels like the new norm.

Back in 2009, at Palomar 5, as I was getting to know my ‘campmates’ my friend Kosta Grammatis poignantly noted when I was still at the tender age of 19, ‘what’s interesting about you is that you’re so young but you feel like you should have already succeeded yesterday’.

This was more true than he knew.

I carried my ambition around in my life like giant jet pack of potential energy.

If I could unlock and master the gift on my back I could fly. I could soar.

But when I was weak, lost or confused, I felt crushed by the weight of it.

Kosmocentric Burden I called it.

My ambition wasn’t for self-validation.

I was born sitting on top of a metaphorical mountain, where I could see humanity’s vast potential for creation and for destruction. A world with both heavenly and hellish timelines.

And I could see what needed to be built to magnetize humanity towards the magnificently beautiful ones.

I could feel the capacity burning within inside me to bring this world into existence.

This was my hero’s journey.

It still is.

In a Campellian sense for these last 5-6 years, I felt stuck in my Road of Trials for what felt like an Inescapable Eternity. Even more so in the fog of multiple depressions.

Now I am through.

My younger self wanted to be here much quicker.

That it took much longer, was it because of failed tests or Destiny?

I’m not sure, but I now lean more towards the latter.

There are many paths up the mountain. And there pros and cons to any path.

I wanted to by farther along in my career and work goals by 27, but I have learned virtue of patience.

I have been molded by the stillness.

I have learned to love life out of the public spotlight before I’m thrust into it.

I wanted my training periods to be over sooner. To enter the field of battle and showcase the fruits of my training to myself and to the world.

But I was too eager.

“More training,” Spirit said.

“More Trials and Tribulations.”

And now my training has molded me now into an unbeatable warrior.

I have been afforded the time to to train longer, train harder, train deeper, train wider. Endure more pain and struggle. Plumb more depths of my shadow.

My struggles gave me more empathy for others struggling. More resilience to call on for the inevitable future slowdowns or down turns.

Now I look at the world’s best in so many fields: technology entrepreneurship, finance, academia, coaching, spirituality — sizing them up like a fighter.

Like Conor McGregor sizes up Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez and Tyrone Woodley and I know that I am better than them. That I have the potential to be the best of my generation.

So Today as I sit in LAX on my way to Costa Rica, I’m feeling grateful for so much:

I’m grateful for the opportunity to recharge in a beautiful, luxurious setting after busting my ass working 12-16 hour days for almost 6 months, founding multiple new projects and companies.

I’m grateful for finding the path to apply my understanding of technology trends, complex systems, informational synthesis and behavioral psychology, to expeditiously earn my financial freedom by crushing the stock market with ridiculous returns, with all signs pointing to me only getting better.

I’m grateful for having such magnificent to dreams chase.

I’m grateful for how strong my kosmocentric purpose has made me.

I’m grateful that hard work, engaged in full heartedly day after day, lifetime after lifetime, really does pay off.

I’m grateful for my connection to higher beings with sublime power far beyond my human capacity.

I’m grateful for my 2 year relationship with Tara — our depth, connection, mutual support and healing of my long lived wound of loneliness.

I’m grateful to have such amazing business partners who I share such a deep personal connection with. A mutual knowing that stretches across lifetimes set on a backdrop of unbreakable spiritual involution.

I’m grateful for the unconditional support and love from my family.

I’m grateful for being unburdened by childhood trauma.

I’m grateful for learning the skills early to enable my young adult self to process my young adult trauma and be fully free to offer my gifts to the world.

I’m grateful for all the opportunities I am being given to serve as vessel for radical individual and collective transformation.

I’m grateful for existence itself.

I’m grateful for all the beauty in the world.

The ecstasy and the suffering.

It is all perfect.

For one cannot know light without the dark.

One cannot know bliss without despair.

The journey is perfect.

The user experience is elegant.

And having the opportunity to live as self-transcending emergent oneness is so incredibly sexy.

I’m grateful for my spiritual teachers.

Tapping me into the timeless streams of wisdom in the deepest esoteric parts of Buddhism and Hindu Vedanta lineages.

I’m grateful the One is simultaneously the Many.

I’m grateful I get reconnect with so many souls I’ve shared so many lifetimes of karma with.

I’m grateful we get to be here.

To know each other.

To love each other.

To remember who we really are.

To paint novel evolutionary masterpieces together, sourced from the Groundless Ground of that Bottomless Depth.

PURA VIDA!