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About snowyowl

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  • Birthday 01/01/1964

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  1. Reporting back on the headspace course. Well, so far it's not quite what I expected, but perhaps is what I should have expected The teacher started off by saying it's not intended to get rid of anxiety, rather to change our relationship with it. It's part of the body/mind's fight & flight response anyway. The technique so far is a standard mindfulness of breathing meditation, although he's mentioned some changes to come later in the course (he's from a Buddhist background). I'm practicing feeling into the anxiety (and other mental states) without resisting it, but noting it and returning to the breath; also we're to practice attention to the body inbetween meditation sessions. Over time, this should build up a foundation of stable attention on the present moment and relaxing into feelings like anxiety, so they don't spiral out of control into a bigger problem than necessary. But it's going to take time and practice, I'm reminded of Leo's recent video on "Why Valuable Things Require Development Over Time" there's no magic bullet to curing anxiety apart from a long-term commitment to daily practice.
  2. Protests, demonstrations and much else (even terrorist attacks) are dependent on the mass media for an effective propaganda effect. Basically they are an attempt to force your way into the headlines when the other routes into the news aren't really interested in your campaign. Another example is the Insulate Britain eco warriors blockading the M25 motorway; they could have held their demonstration in a park without inconveniencing anyone but that wouldn't achieve any coverage in the press. Of course there's lots of other interests manipulating the media too, such as corporations and billionaires throwing money at their PR departments to influence public opinion. The moral is, don't be a sheep taking in whatever is beamed at you through the media. Be sceptical, check sources, check biases, research all sides of the question and don't be too quick to make up your mind. And the louder someone shouts at you, the more suspicious you should be.
  3. @Carl-Richard Neutral monism is my favourite metaphysics, because it seems to me that both matter and mind are rationalisations of "This". This is the neutral monad.
  4. I lost some money (but not everything) in the stock market after the dot com boom ended in the early 2000s. I was new to investing and inexperienced, but one of my feelings was denial, I was sure the slide was ending, took hope in every little upturn in the market, so I held on like a gambler. When I noticed this with contemplation and journalling it felt bad, I'd been an idiot. But during the process I realised I had a lot to learn and read voraciously, joined a good financial forum and it wasn't too long before I was back in the black making money. For example the stock markets only recently reached their 1999 peaks again but if you reinvest the dividends, seek low fees, invest regularly, you can recover more quickly.
  5. @mandyjw Interesting, I hadn't thought of it like that before. Then after WW2 it became obvious that the USSR was expanding its communist empire in Europe and elsewhere, atomic weapons were proliferating etc, so the capitalist powers urgently needed strong leadership.
  6. On the subject of giving therapy to criminals, well unfortunately there isn't nearly enough money & therapists to go around for all the law abiding citizens who need it, so giving it in priority to law breakers is just unfair and will create a backlash (ie more people voting for right wing law & order politics). But I get that some mentally ill people end up in prison because of a lack of help when they needed it. Also other criminals can be prevented from a life of crime by better education, and job opportunities early in life before they get on the wrong track. Ie putting the resources into more social equality in the community, better policing and youth activities to stop the gang culture from sucking in new recruits. Prison is extremely expensive and every inmate prevented from crime in the first place releases funds which should be recycled back into the community. But unfortunately we are seeing more inequality instead.
  7. Wow, surely it's not just a binary choice between being hard on your kids or mollycoddling them? IMO there's a middle way where children are brought up in love, from being coddled as babies and young infants, to gradually learning the ways of the world and finding their own feet. School for example provides many lessons in standing up for yourself against the other kids, but in an environment which is controlled to some extent by the teachers. Many teenagers want to rebel against their parents anyway and there's a risk they can go too far and get into danger. So I'd say it all depends on the personality of the young person whether they need reining in with tighter boundaries, or loosening the boundaries and given more freedom. A difficult balancing act for the parents and no easy answer.
  8. This is the crux of it. A God which can be defined is a dualistic God, so not the one most of us are discussing here. Even to make the distinction of alive vs dead is still dualism. Same for us: as Jim Newman says 'This is death already' (on the absolute level at any rate).
  9. What's the separation between 'me' and 'figments of my imagination', what if they're the same thing? BTW who's the quote from?
  10. @Blackhawk Have you noticed that only you are saying you can't find happiness, get a girlfriend, a fulfilling job etc? Everyone else (except the trolls who don't count) are more open minded. If that's true in the forum, maybe it's also true when you ask women out on dates, or apply for jobs? I know you don't accept a diagnosis of neurodiversity , I'm not pressing on that issue, but have you seen the UK TV series 'The Undateables' about people with challenging conditions on their journeys to go on dates and find love? They haven't given up hope, I wish you hope too.
  11. @inFlow "Now is ever present. But how Now is forever. How did Now start?" One idea to contemplate is that we're living in a singularity appearing as space-time. I'm contemplating what reality is like to light. It travels at the speed of light, obviously, so do time and space exist for light in the sense we experience them? Or is all of space-time reduced to a singularity?
  12. The opposite of conspiracy theory is that WE are responsible for the messed up state of the world, and have the freedom to do something positive about it. But that's hard work and shakes us out of our selfish bubbles, so it's easier to blame someone else and pass the buck.
  13. “Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.” Ajahn Chah. (An enlightened monk who spent decades meditating ).
  14. Reality is one. Reality is nothing. Reality is infinite. ... these are metaphors from our stock of conceptual ideas to express the inexpressible, each one has its place but I don't take them too literally. Words exist to point us to something. Reality sometimes appears as oneness to me, sometimes it appears as a diversity, sometimes it doesn't appear at all. It's as though the 'why', Reality-in-itself, the noumenon, is the void mystery out of which I create these appearances.
  15. My (limited) understanding of this is that all babies are born as stage beige and we all need to progess from there. Have you spent time with a group of, say, 6-8 year olds, even in an orange community the kids are mostly purple/red at that age. So to keep a whole society at green would need a lot of ongoing development work imo.