Dorje Chang

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  1. @Thought Art Great post! @Leo Gura It doesn't look like conservatism is caused by growing up in a harsh environment. Otherwise, we'd see conservatism rapidly declining with economic growth and being more prevalent in poorer urban areas. A related observation is that despite many changes in society and the economy over decades, we generally don't see conservative or progressive parties dominating national elections indefinitely in advanced democracies. It does seem that people are wired differently in ways that maintain a certain balance in the proportion of people who identify as conservative or progressive relative to the overall culture at the time.
  2. I already work in machine learning, but not in natural language processing specifically. It's an interesting area, though! Just like with AI art, it's becoming more and more accessible so anybody can try the tool itself.
  3. That is kind of a compliment since search engines are universally used and an indispensible technology. I'm finding ChatGPT genuinely useful and informative. For example, it is already good enough to tutor school and university students on many topics. The cost of running queries is probably too high at the moment for it be widely available at low cost, but I predict that future iterations of ChatGPT and similar systems will become an everyday technology as soon as this becomes economically feasible.
  4. I've just tested the new ChatGPT and it's unbelievably good: https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt/
  5. He's probably still trying to turn himself into an alien in a way that the camera will capture.
  6. Ken Wilber is a good option for self-actualization content. His teachings have many similarities to Leo's, with the advantage that they are more established and structured in the form of books, courses, etc.
  7. All things considered, Actualized.org is one of the best resources on the internet, and probably the most profound. Thanks, Leo! 1. Actualized.org is a lot about your own journey of psychedelic awakening, which is understandable, but you have a more lot to offer that is valuable to people on various dimensions of personal and spiritual development. For example, you got me into real yoga, shamanic breathing, developmental psychology and other things that took me to the next level, even though I was already doing other things. Don't leave this behind. You can continue to follow your path and integrate your awakenings while continuing to create content that is not as advanced but much more useful for most of your audience. You have a business, relationships, and presumably human problems yourself, so the basic stuff continues to be relevant even for someone like you. 2. There's a huge amount of useful knowledge across the videos, the blog, and the forum. Consolidating this knowledge in the form of a book, courses, or even a wiki would be a massive contribution to the world.
  8. Enlightenment appears to be related to a profound rewiring of the brain. I'm not a neuroscientist, but the brain can only be rewired slowly. Shinzen Young might say that meditation rewires the brain in such a way that you develop higher concentration, clarity, and equanimity over time. If you do this enough, you can experience phenomena with such extraordinary awareness that you gain insight into non-duality. Reinforcing such insights further rewires the brain so that you shift your conscious experience more and more toward nondual awareness. That's a story that many people can follow, at least. Clearly, a psychedelic experience can induce a temporary state that has a lot in common with the description of enlightenment. The experience can be so remarkable that it also creates a powerful emotional memory. If you buy into neuroscientific reasoning, however, an isolated experience cannot possibly rewire the brain in a fundamental way. Same as with a single meditation session. The interesting question is then: how would the repeated use of psychedelics rewire the brain? There are reasons to be skeptical that this is a reliable method for enlightenment: There's no indication that Ayahuasca religions lead to enlightenment. Leo is certainly not the first person to use psychedelics hundreds of times. Where are all the people enlightened by this method? People who are heavily into psychedelics are generally not very impressive in their wisdom.
  9. What's wrong is that devils may use this logic to justify abusing psychologically vulnerable and desperate people who may be persuaded that unconventional methods are the only solution for them. If I start a death cult and persuade hundreds of suicidal people to drink poison, would that be acceptable as long as they consent to it? As Leo mentioned at some point, it's very important to cultivate and safeguard the reputation of psychedelics. If we want psychedelics but be more widely accepted, the only way this is going to happen is to move toward agreed ethical standards and even independent ethics review for psychedelic therapy. That may sound very bureaucratic, but the current psychedelic renaissance will lead to another public backlash if irresponsible guides and psychonauts cause too much controversy. Martin Ball should know better if he's a sincere guide. It's on him to demonstrate the ethical validity of his methods, especially in light of legitimate concerns.
  10. Anyone who thinks that consent is a sufficient condition for an act to be OK should watch the 1988 French-Dutch film The Vanishing. It will be a much-needed slap in the face.
  11. @Christoph Werner Worth a trip to India someday to learn it? I liked Shambavi Mahamudra Kriya more than I was expecting.
  12. That's a good question. In my experience, Ayahuasca is not a magic pill. I've taken it several times and while it was powerful and very helpful, there was no such awakening. The other people in the ceremonies didn't experience anything like it either, since they were always talking about healing instead of any type of awakening. The best approach seems to be the combination of meditation (including self-enquiry), real yoga, psychedelics, and any other practices one may resonate with it. I'd say that different schools of Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, and yoga are the only systems that seem to produce enlightenment to a limited but significant extent. In contrast, I know some Ayahuasca-based religions well, the ones in Brazil, and there's no indication that these religions lead to awakening in meaningful numbers despite regular ceremonies.
  13. One of the most important things I learned from reflecting on Leo's videos is that I was focusing too much on meditation and ignoring yogic practices. Instead, it's worth considering both mind and body-based paths to awakening. I'm writing this topic to share what I've learned from researching different practices and implementing them in my daily routine. I looked into: Kriya Yoga and Kundalini Yoga, based on the books in Leo's list. Tibetan yogic practices. Shambavi Mahamudra Kriya, taught by Sadhguru. To my surprise, these three directions all suggested a similar practice: The Kundalini book from Leo's list says that Kriya Supreme Fire is the most effective practice for awakening Kundalini. Kriya Supreme Fire also appears in his Kriya yoga books. In Tibetan traditions, Tummo/Inner Fire meditation is usually regarded as the quintessential and most powerful yogic practice for achieving realization. Tummo is basically Kriya Supreme Fire with added visualization. Shambavi Mahamudra Kriya culminates in a practice that is essentially one round of Kriya Supreme Fire. What these practices have in common is that you hold your breath while applying bandhas (locks) and focusing on something. Whether you do Kriya Supreme Fire or Tummo according to taste, this is unbelievably powerful. It works. In the end, my daily practice became: 3x Mahamudra (KSR/SG books) > Shambavi Mahamudra Kriya (Sadhguru) > Tummo > Rest in the natural state Note: Gamana would say that Supreme Fire/Tummo is too strong for beginners and could lead to side effects if not incorporated gradually. Sadhguru's instructors would be vehemently opposed to combining Shambavi with other practices. I'm an experienced meditator and have low sensitivity. I'm not sure how other people might respond to this potentially explosive cocktail. The logic for the routine is that Tummo/Kriya Supreme Fire may well be the ultimate yogic practice and the only one needed in the long term. I'm doing Mahamudra and Shambavi Mahamudra Kriya before because I find them enjoyable and beneficial. Also, the Kundalini book on Leo's list recommends doing some preliminary practices to take the edge off Supreme Fire. As a bonus, I found that it's useful to do the Wim Hof method another time or at least take cold showers. The reason is that Tibetan yogis practice Tummo alongside extreme cold exposure. The hypothesis, suggested by Wim Hof himself, is that the stress from cold exposure sends the body a message that it should generate heat when you do Kriya Supreme Fire/Inner Fire. What do you think? Am I missing out on anything by skipping Kriya Pranayama?
  14. I like Jed's books but people take them way too seriously. The books are fictional. Jed McKenna is just a character. The other characters come across as vehicles for him to make a point rather than actual people. He's more interested in creating catchy terms such as Dreamstate and Human Adulthood than in making any serious arguments for his worldviews. Spiritual autolysis doesn't lead to enlightenment. It was probably just an invention to have Julie's letters in the second book. Fantastic writer, nevertheless. The books are very entertaining and make many good points.