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About bmcnicho

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  • Birthday 11/11/1996

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  1. Day 2: Routines Thrown Off First, I slept in until almost noon. (I normally try to wake up between 9 and 10) Before waking, I had a series of semi-lucid dreams interspersed with periods of being half awake. The dreams were of normal, realistic scenarios, so it messed with my sense of reality a bit. I watched a Q&A from John Vervaeke. The part I found most valuable was when he answered a question about how to go about cultivating wisdom in the modern world. He described how the institutions and traditions that used to be focused on wisdom esentially no longer exist. This creates the problem of people becoming autodidactic. He proposed that various teachers should network together, but it would have to be somewhat hierarchical so that people could distinguish the highest quality teachings. I then slacked off for awhile before going to work. The schedule was completely different today than normal, which really threw me off. I suppose days like this will happen sometimes, maybe there's some value in the chaos.
  2. Day 1: Too Much Theory I started off the day by watching an online lecture on Hegel by the cognitive scientist John Vervaeke. It's part of a lecture series called Awakening from the Meaning Crisis. He's been going over the history of western philosophy interspersed with cognitive theories to explain why modern culture is experiencing an increasing sense of meaninglessness. It's a great series that I would highly recommend. Hegel's works are incredibly complex, and the lecture was only an hour long, but I was introduced to some of his key ideas. I want to study his historical ideas a lot more in the future, but what I found most valuable from this lecture was his dialectical method of thesis - antithesis - synthesis. This sounds similar to Carl Jung's idea of unifying the opposites. From what I know so far, it sounds like Hegel might have had some awareness of non-dualism, even if it was mostly on a conceptual level. Next, I watched the final installment of an analysis of Carl Jung's Aion by the YouTube channel Uberboyo. This video summarized what they had discussed previously and offered some conclusions. Aion is a fascinating book that is essentially a psychological interpretation God heavily influenced by Gnosticism. They also discussed the psychological implications of artificial intelligence and speculated on what would fill the gap left by the decline if Christianity. I then went on a run for a little over an hour. It had been awhile since I had ran that far, so I was definitely feeling out of shape. I spent some time on the forum when I got back and was really starting to feel overloaded with theory after already watching two lectures. I spent some time contemplating whether all these ideas were actually improving my life, or if I was just getting caught up in them because they sounded interesting. I reflected on how I might be using even high quality information as a distraction by not taking the time to integrate the information. I concluded that a surge of motivation caused me to cram too much theory into one day. I had dinner and then unfortunately got sucked down a YouTube rabit hole of random vlog videos. The videos were pretty low consciousness, however, there was a positive human element to them. They made me remember people I knew from years ago and caused me to reflect on my attitude towards other people in general. It was a nice contrast to the abstract theorizing. You can probably tell by now that I have somewhat of an internet addiction, but as long as I still have it I might as well try to get something positive out of it. I'll try to gradually cut down on my internet use over the next few months.
  3. @LastThursday According to Jung, God exists within the unconscious as the archetype of the Self, but you're right that we should be skeptical. The map is not the territory and at a certain point the distinctions become mostly semantic. I'm at a similar place regarding God and atheism. Perhaps it depends what you mean by God as Jordan Peterson would say.
  4. @hamedsf Important clarification, I'll change it to "This of course doesn't apply to the Absolute itself." @Leo Gura Great point! That's the wisdom of Teotl!
  5. Introduction: A few hours ago, I watched Leo's video, "What is Reality - A Radical Explanation". He was definitely correct in proclaiming it his highest teaching! The video inspired me to take this work more seriously, so I'm creating this journal to hold myself accountable and to create a record of my progress to look back on. I think I'll start with a brief summary of my life story. I was diagnosed with autism when I was 3 years old. At the time I was nonverbal and it was predicted that I would be institutionalized by the age of 8. After extensive speech therapy, however, I was able to learn to talk before entering school. Even so, I still had severe anger problems, practicaly zero social skills, and refused to participate in most school activities. I was put on an IEP to help me deal with these issues, but for the first couple years I viewed the therapy as being forced on me and essentially hated the world. When I had started to make some progress, however, I recognized my limitations and the goals of the therapy became my own. By the time I entered middle school, I had essentially succeeded and created a whole identity around being "normal". I felt like I had to act in very specific acceptable ways and was always afraid of slipping up and exposing that I was different. Around the same time, I came up with a life purpose of becoming a neuroscientist. I naturally craved truth, since my persona was so inauthentic, but at the time I viewed science as the only valid source of truth. The next 5 years went very well for me, and I was very psychologically stable, but as a result I didn't experience a whole lot of growth. I had my first girlfriend my senior year of high school, and at first it was going really well. I began to accept myself more and became more open and compassionate. I even had a strange experience once that I would describe as vaguely transpersonal. But then the relationship ended suddenly and somewhat inexplicably and my view of the world started to become much darker. In April of 2016, near the end of my first year of college, I gave up on becoming a neuroscientist. At the time, it was because I was frustrated with the structure of the university system and thought getting a PhD would take too long. I took some time off from school to reflect on things, and that shifted me from spiral dynamics stage orange towards stage green. (I also tried psychedelics for the first time, 1 gram of mushrooms, very mild trip) I discovered on YouTube in November of 2016, and went back to school in January 2017. I didn't have a strong purpose for going back though, so unfortunately I slacked off a lot. However, that did give me lots of time to binge watch Leo's videos and do lots of contemplation. I also started following Jordan Peterson around that time and the two of them together helped rekindle my desire for truth. I realized, however, that the truth I was looking for couldn't be found at a university, so I dropped out of school in October 2017. After that, I tried a couple different jobs that didn't work out and I've been working for my dad for a few months now. Since I left school, I've read dozens of books, done extensive contemplation, and have continued to watch Leo every week. I'd now say I'm solidly at stage yellow, and hope to move toward turquoise over the next few years. Now with that out of the way, stay tuned for my continuing quest to master my psychology and discover ultimate truth...
  6. Self-destruction seems to be the end goal for each of God's designs. The Earth is designed to be shaped by numerous geologic forces until it's engulfed by the sun. The sun is designed to burn out. Every atom in the cosmos is designed to be ripped apart until the universe undergoes heat death. Our psychology is designed such that we make foolish decisions, see our insufficiencies, and then make changes. Each cell in our body can undergo apoptosis, or programed cell death. Our entire anatomy is designed so that it will eventually grow old and die. Since we are not separate from the Absolute, it would follow that our creations have the same purpose. Every piece of technology is designed to either break or be replaced with something better. Empires are stuctured such that they will triumphantly rise, become complacent, and then fall to the next empire. Philosophical systems are designed to contradict themselves, so that alternative paradigms will be devised. Therefore, we are self destruction machines living inside society, which is another self destruction machine. You might ask why reality would be structured this way. It's because Being is Becoming, creation is identical to destruction, and life is identical to death. This was explained well in Leo's video on Aztec Non-duality. This of course doesn't apply to the Absolute itself. As Leo explained in his video, What is Reality?, the Absolute cannot be destroyed because it is already nothing, and any finite thing eventually breaks down because it is imaginary.
  7. Yeah, I was considering becoming a teacher a couple years ago because I thought I could do a better job, but decided against it, because I'd have to fight with the administration too much to make positive changes, and even then it would only be marginal.
  8. @LastThursday You bring up a lot of important points. Shadow work done properly shouldn't be vague speculation. A lot of Freud's theories strike me that way, either trying to find some deep rooted childhood explaination or trying to reduce too much down to sexuality. (Not to strawman Freud, as he made many important contributions, I'm generalizing here.) I've even noticed with Jung that he'll sometimes interpret dreams in a seemingly arbitrary way, although perhaps I merely lack his expertise. Shadow work should be grounded in direct experience, similarly to how Leo describes contemplation. You introspect about possible explainations for your behavior and keep delving down, trying to reach rock bottom. It can be very easy to get lost in theories while doing this. All interpretations are imaginary, but perhaps there's something deeper that it's all pointing to.
  9. @LastThursday The existence of the unconscious can be demonstrated by the fact that we are not transparent to ourselves. We rarely understand what's truely motivating us to act the way we do. Defense mechanisms and self deceptions are obvious examples of this. Or consider that many evil people believe they are doing good. This is because their darker motivations lie underneath, unknown to them. There is more to what we are than our limited ego conception, but unless one has done extensive shadow work, it can be difficult to recognize this. This process also helps unpack cultural indoctrination. We assume that our thoughts and beliefs are our own, but most we merely pick up from the people around us so that we can unconsciously spread them further. Yes, but this depends on how you define "your consciousness". There is much beyond personal ego consciousness, but there is nothing beyond God consciousness. Making the unconscious conscious is how the ego can dissolve into the Absolute. Carl Jung was fundamentally a student of Immanuel Kant. Kant believed that the thing in itself was more real than interpretations of it. This contrasts with western rationalism prior to Kant, which held that reality was best known and explained by abstract patterns. Jung used this idea to say that mythological symbols have a unique significance that cannot be completely explained away. This is similar to Leo's video, What is Actuality?, where he explained that we must distinguish direct experience from concepts and imagination.
  10. @LastThursday This is a complex question that I'm still trying to understand myself, but I'll go ahead and take a crack at it. The conscious and unconscious together form a unified psychic totality. Ego consciousness is but the surface of the much larger psyche, but it emerges from, and is heavily influenced by, the unconscious. This makes sense from a biological perspective, as the prefrontal cortex is stacked on top of the mamalian brain, which is stacked on top of the reptillian brain. This means that other animals aren't fully conscious in the human sense, and are almost exclusively ruled by unconscious instincts. However, animals still possess a psyche, it's just that it's an uncounscious one. It's important to note that I'm not making a materialistic claim here, rather I'm invoking the paradoxical notion that something can simultaneously be both numinous (i.e. non-physical) and unconscious. Even though the unconscious is distinct from ego consciousness, you can still become aware of it in your experience, just not directly. The unconscious can only be known symbolically, for a symbol bridges the gap between the conscious and unconscious minds by containing aspects of each. For example, take the symbol of a snake. The conscious component is the literal image, and the unconscious component is its viseral, hard to define significance. Mythology in essence is a collection of these symbols. Symbols also appear in dreams and in the imagination. The meaning of symbols can be made more conscious through conceptual interpretation, however, no interpretation can fully explain the unconscious content, and thus the orignial symbol must not be arrogently dispensed with. So, from Jung's perspective, enlightenment is when the distinction between conscious and uncounscious breaks down, and you become aware of the totality of your psyche, which Jung refers to the archetype of the Self.
  11. @arlin Yes, it's very fascinating! I've read 5 of his books so far. He is very difficult to understand though, so I'd recommend the YouTube channel Uberboyo to help make sense of it. Their videos could also serve as a good introduction.
  12. Oh, the unconscious is definitely real, but Freud only scratched the surface of it. He was only aware of the personal unconscious, but Carl Jung discovered the collective unconscious. He discovered univeral archetypes common to the mythologies of all human cultutes. He saw these archetypes express themselves in the dreams of his patients. In essence: the gods are real and they live inside your mind. These archetypes are what govern most of our behavior, and until we make the unconscious conscious, then they will rule over us and we will call them destiny. Jung created the Individuation Process, so that we could integrate the shadow and achieve psychic wholeness. But he wasn't a mere western rationalist, he was very aware of the traditions of the East. Inspired by Gnosticism and mystical traditions around the world, he formulated the archetype of the Self, his understanding of God, the Absolute, Enlightenment. This was the ultimate goal of Carl Jung's psychology of the collective unconscious.
  13. @Enlightenment Of course the ego perfers not to feel pain, that's part of it's survival agenda. However, these value judgements don't apply to Existence in itself. The same applies to love. What people usually think of as love is a very conditional type of love. However, as an absolute, Love is radically unconditional and is identical to the Truth. Meaning there is nothing that is not Love. @Commodent Genetic factors could influence it, but generally it would happen on the level of cultural evolution rather than biological evolution. Although, the boundary between these starts to break down once you factor in group selection, which modern science is very closed off to, since it's locked into the "selfish gene" paradigm. Howard Bloom makes a great case for group selection, brilliant guy, the epitome of stage yellow. Mass immigration leads to demographic replacement, which would cause the cultural collapse I mentioned earlier. As for A.I., do you really trust people to use something of such immense power responsibly, given the low level of consciousness of our society? Also, I don't think it would be good for us psychologically to outsource all of our responsibilities to machines.
  14. SAAFE by TJ Reeves is a comprehensive spiral dynamics assessment. I don't endorse his other work and talking about him is technically banned on this forum, but this particular assessment is too high quality not to mention.
  15. Anti-natalism is perhaps the most wrong idea a person could possibly have. @Enlightenment You're assuming that pain is bad just because people don't like to feel pain. In reality, Consciousness is Good as an Absolute without an opposite. Also, from an evolutionary perspective, people who hold the anti-natalist position would not reproduce, thus the psychological factors leading someone to that position would die out, leading to the position itself ceasing to exist. You might think I'm making a cheap point there, but I'm actually getting at a core metaphysical insight: Truth is what's Actual. Therefore, an idea that only works on a conceptual level cannot be True. @Hellspeed Yes, overpopulation is a problem, but primarily in developing countries. The fertility rate in Europe is actually below replacement at 1.58 births per woman, with some countries as low as 1.3. The United States isn't doing much better at 1.76. People should actually be having more children in these countries. A fertility rate around 2.0 would ensure a strong workforce to support an aging population. Most importantly though, when birthrates fall too low, the culture can't maintain itself and will inevitably collapse. This has been demonstrated throughout history. So, despite the numerous problems with western culture, it would be a huge setback for mankind if it were allowed to collapse.