Vladimir

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About Vladimir

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    Lesser Chimp
  • Birthday 07/12/1983

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  1. “Meditation is the closest we can get to speeding up evolution, and making the most of our brain’s potential.” ~The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal. 1. Foundation 2. Awareness 3. Change 4. Evolution 5. Willpower 6. Healing 7. Perception 8. Cultivation 9. Authenticity 10. Presence Foundation Before building a house, we all know we must first lay solid foundation which will sustain and support our house for many years to come. Meditation is a very strong and powerful foundation for lasting inner growth and personal change, everything else that you want to master, change and manifest in your life will be built upon this practice. If you rush into this work by trying to learn a bunch of advice here and there, reading a bunch of books, you can quickly find yourself lost in the ocean of information, overwhelmed and frustrated and you may actually end up doing more harm than good. That is why building our foundation is the most important first step when embarking on such an ambitious journey as personal development. You’ll be able to stay grounded, organized and focused. Meditation is the number one habit to develop in this work, as you come across obstacles in the future, you can always fall back on this practice and figure out what's keeping you stuck. Awareness “95% of people's bahaviors are subconscious” ~Joe Dispenza One of the first video games I played back in childhood was called Prince of Persia. In this game, you had to be very careful and mindful how you navigated the dungeon, one wrong step and the prince would end up on top of the sharp spikes. Life is like the most sophisticated and treacherous dungeon, it's like the dungeon from Prince of Persia multiplied by a complexity of 1,000 or more. What if I tried beating the game with only 5% of screen visibility which would only allow me to see the prince’s head. It would be impossible to beat the game, yet we’re trying to navigate this unbelievably complex dungeon with only 5% awareness. Meditation is the best technique for regaining that awareness. Change If our mind is like the operating system of the computer, then we can image that our sub-conscious thoughts are like programs that are running in the background of that operating system. Meditation allows us to go deep into the operating system of our mind, and with time, become aware of thousands of programs that have been running in the background of that system for many years. We can then start understanding where our behavior comes from, see how certain thoughts are triggering specific feelings in our bodies and start uninstalling these viruses from our system. We can then figure out the conditions which will allow us to break out of the loops that we have been stuck for many years (eg: addictions, insecurity, social anxiety, depression etc.). We can also start installing new thought patterns which will be beneficial to our biological systems and create new, healthy behaviors leading to happier lives. Evolution “Meditation is the closest we can get to speeding up evolution, and making the most of our brain’s potential.” ~The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal. We have become a culture obsessed with physical appearance, spending enormous amount of time trying to make ourselves look good by taking care of our bodies. Yet we completely neglect training our minds, thinking it will just take care of itself. The reality is that you can look 100% healthy on the outside, yet at the same time be horribly sick on the inside, just because you look good, doesn’t mean you’re a complete, healthy human being. Actually, most of the personal development work involved, including healing your mind and body is done by taking care and training your mind. By practicing meditation, you are working out your mind by sending more blood flow to your brain and increasing gray matter which unlocks all kinds of super powers that you didn’t even know existed. You are evolving into a higher version of yourself, literally upgrading the most advanced super computer known to humanity which is your mind. Willpower People name lack of willpower as the number-one reason they struggle to meet their goals. There is no better way to increase your willpower than by meditating. Willpower is one of the most precious resources we as human beings have, it’s self control, the more of it we have, the more difficult challenges we’ll be able to overcome. I like to represent willpower as a glass orb filled with blue magic substance, which I have taken from a video game Diablo 3. As we go around slaying monsters, casting spells, this blue energy orb representing our “magic energy” is drained, similarly as we expend our willpower, facing emotionally difficult situations in life, our orb of willpower will be drained. Though at the same time the glass orb will be expanding, growing more capacity for willpower because willpower works like a muscle, the more we train it the more we grow our muscles after allowing ourselves to rest. Once the orb regenerates to full capacity, we will have more willpower and be able to face more emotionally difficult situations along our hero’s journey Healing In programming profession, just like in many areas in life, there are different levels of skill ranging from junior to senior level programmers. When we become aware of our thoughts that are triggering negative emotions and causing all kinds of harmful behavior towards ourselves, we can then start “re-programming” ourselves by uninstalling these thoughts from our minds. This process can lead to healing for a lot of people, but if the root cause of the problem is at the structural level, we’ll need to become “senior programmers” in order to access the structural code area of our system. This area in humans is called epigenetics (from Greek “epi” - upon the genes), Joe Tafur from his book The Fellowship of the River describes epigenetics as “the seat of the seat of the soul” – meaning this is where the core software of our human system design is located. Just like senior programmer would design the interface of the system from which the rest of the code is written, we too can have access to this place by elevating our consciosness to a higher level when we meditate long enough. So, you’ll be able to restructure and reprogram the maladaptive code which you may have acquired during childhood and release that emotional trauma on a deep level. Perception “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~Anais Nain One of the biggest traps is that we assume that our models of reality which we hold in our minds accurately represent actual reality. You may be living in a state of social anxiety, depression, anger, addiction, and reactive behavior, yet at the same time telling yourself that you are perceiving reality very accurately. I personally had all those things I just mentioned for 20 years and I thought my representation of reality was the most accurate of all people. “Heaven and Hell are within us” ~Joseph Campbell, a lot of people are living in the state of mind of Hell and don’t even reazlie it. The truth is, even if you fall within the parameters of what our society would call “healthy” individual, the room for improving your quality of perception is still gigantic. Your life can still be better by a factor of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 or even 50,000. Meditation raises the quality of our consciousness which should be a prime directive in anybody’s life. We’re able to perceive reality more accurately and get back to the place of love and being, where we all came from before we learned all the thinking and doing. Authenticity When you carry plastic bags in your hands from your car, after grocery shopping, and eventually let go of them, they leave imprints on your hands, after you release the bags from your hands - the first few seconds can be painful as your hands return to their natural state. Just because it’s habitual doesn’t mean it’s natural. Underneath layers of social conditioning and cultural zombification, there is a place of our true self. To get to this place of authenticity, we don’t have to learn anything new, that’s why I think books like “How to Talk to Anyone” may actually do more harm than good, as they teach communication techniques which aren’t coming from an authentic place, and by learning them we are moving further away from our true selfs. Authenticity is more about uncovering layers and dissolving barriers that we have built and unlearning thoughts and behaviors we have practiced living under social constraints. These barriers and blockages are called “allostatic load” in scientific terms which is the accumulation of stressful responses that manifest in all sorts of malignant ways in the body which can include tension, anxiety, depression, migraines and anger. Our true self is already there underneath layers of cultural conditioning, buried by social rules and limits we have learned and imposed on ourselves. Meditation allows us to tune into that place, by elevating our state of consciousness, we’re able to dissolve barriers and blockages we have built and access our higher, authentic selfs. We’re able to access “A world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible.” ~The Matrix Cultivation Humanity’s greatest treasures are cultivated from within and the nature constantly reminds us of this truth. The sun is shining from within, the seed grows by germinating from the inside, the baby develops inside of a mother’s womb and is then delivered to the external world, not the other way around. The baby doesn’t start growing in the external world and then crawl into a mother’s vagina and goes on to develop into an adult human being and have a life inside of a mother. Yet we are still fooling ourselves by believing that external circumstrances, relationships and material posessions will make us happy and bring love into our lives. We can cultivate all the greatest treasures by intentional meditation including joy, happiness, love, forgiveness, compassion, greatfulness, and peace - all these treasures are available to us no matter what life circumstance or how rich or poor we are. Presence "The past is only a memory, the future a fantasy, the present moment is all we have." ~John Kabat Zinn I first discovered the true power of meditation while at a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat out in the desert here in the Southern California, about a year ago. It happened around day five of the retreat, as I was walking through the desert. All of a sudden, I realized that my mind was completely still, there was no chatter, no thoughts running through the mind, no memories about the past or fantasies about the future. I realized for the first time ever, that I was missing out on life, because I wasn’t living in the present moment. I felt happy just being, my body blending in with the surroundings, the warmth of the sun, wind, earth. I felt like I was transported back to childhood in Russia, when I was about 8 years old, resting in the sun at the beach on a 3-month school break, back then I felt overjoyed knowing I have so much time to enjoy without school, I felt happy. This is what meditation can do for you, it can bring you back to that state of present moment, the state of being, before you have learned how to be an adult, it can bring back the magic of life as it unfolds moment by moment.
  2. Unicorns Exist Experienced a wave of anger yesterday after taking a nap, which ended up to be a lot longer than usual, about 2 hours, because I didn't set the timer. It wouldn't go away and around 4:30pm I remembered that I wanted to check out some spots in San Diego like Balboa Park butterfly gardens and Torrey Pines trail, for upcoming video episodes. Ended up going to Torrey Pines, the anger still lingered throughout the whole hike, though it seemed to have been diminished by the end of the trip, though it still stayed with me all the way until the end of the day. Took some gorgeous pictures on the trail, felt like my world view was expanded by the hike, because of completely new atmosphere and people. Around 6:00pm - 6:30pm (Wednesday), saw two gorgeous red-haired women making their way down the trail, I especially thought the one on the left looked beautiful and there was something fairy-tale--ish about her, I just never seen anyone like her in my life, they looked like sisters, both very red haired, energetic, sweet, kind, they were both laughing, I met the eyes with the one on the left and thought she may be attracted to me, though this may be just my imagination. Ended up thinking about her, and still do, like a school boy who has fallen in love. During my contemplation session yesterday night, I thought about all kinds of ways that I could have started a conversation with her and end up getting her number. Started thinking about what exact time I had seen them and nailed it down to about 6:00 - 6:30pm range and thought I'd visit Torrey Pines around this time from now on, hoping to meet her again, meanwhile I'll be thinking on how to approach her. Had some ideas about that which I got from humansofnewyork.com, I could say "excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a random question? I'm doing this project called 'the most beautiful humans on Earth', would you mind answering a few questions....get to know her a little bit if she doesn't mind, have the voice recorder with me to make it look like I'm serious about the project, then after the interview take a photo and possibly facebook or a phone number. I actually almost absolutely lost hope that I could ever fall for anyone like this, especially from only one glance, but this one tiny episode has changed my mind. They do exist! Though they're very rare, I seem to be very picky about what makes an attractive woman, it has to be a combination of looks and personality, and being an empath I'm able to intuit and perceive a person's personality quiet accurately just from the first few seconds of seeing them, it's a doubled edged sword, and has to be wielded with great skill which I'm still learning. This tiny episode also made me question just how much "solitude" I have really achieved, it made me think back on the good memories of ex and how much better my life could be if I met a red-haired girl like that from the Torrey Pines trail, how much more fun, love, joy, laughter and adventure this would add to my life. I don't think this was coming form the usual "I'm lonely and unhappy and had I only met a girl and fallen in love my life would be better", I think it's different this time, thanks to all the work I've been doing on myself. This time the thought process was more along the lines of: "I'm content and happy with my life as I am", "she looks healthy and happy", together we can have a synergetic effect of happiness and create a lot more love than we could have by ourselves. Though these thoughts weren't coming from the usual place of neediness, I still started feeling pretty desparate for those special moments with a significant other. Well, I think my chances of seeing her again are pretty small, but at least she inspired me and made me believe that unicorns do exist. Also, the trail opened up my world view as I stared at the endless ocean and little ant-like people, walking at the shore down below. It's really interesting how a wave of anger could lead to an expansion of world view and a renewed belief in love, only if we decide to take the right action, it's as if the body has given me a signal to do something different that day, step out of the usual routine and explore another world. Back in the days when I didn't know any better, I would always numb these feelings of anger with a bottle of wine or going out on a weekend and drinking myself to a black out so that the feelings would be numb for another week. Having a new point of reference which the mystical psilocybin experience has given me is still working it's magic in my life and I don't think it's effects will ever wear off, especially as I continue to learn about it and understand the experience in new light.
  3. Have been reading a book called "Decomposing the Shadow" - lessons from the psylocibin mushroom. The author James Jesso talks about presenting a "conceptial framework", a sort of a map for nagivating and understanding the significant mysical experience induced by the mushroom. I connected some of the dots from Systems Thinking book, Joe Tafur's Fellowship of the River and personal experience of being a programmer for more than a decade. The programming analogy seems to be very fitting when trying to understand these things, and it makes sense because humans are systems with a purpose, interconnections and elements. I now see the mushroom as the master teacher, a quality and valuable source of information from which human systems can benefit tremendously, given the right framework for understanding which is what Jesso talks about. The experience can be thought of as "interfacing/integrating" the Human system with the Mushroom system, without understanding Mushroom's API (Application Programming Interface), it would be very difficult to effectively integrate the experience in our complicated human system. People that haven't experienced learning from a master source which is beyond the usual boundaries of 5 senses, language and rationality, can have a very difficult time understanding and integrating lessons back into the "human" realm, especially going into the experience without knowledge, "knowledge without experience is philosophy, experience without knowledge is ignorance, knowledge + experience = wisdom." ~Joe Dispenza I think we are getting close to merging modern science with mystical experiences which have been ignored for far too long, people like Joe Tafur are in the middle of this process of integration because he has been through both - studying modern science through medical school and learning from direct experience working plant medicines and shamans in the Amazon. He was able to connect the dots using his scientific knowledge from the medical school to understand how these shamans are able to heal people with their icaros (songs) and visionary experiences under the influence of plant medicines. A quote from Joe Dispenza's book summarizes this process of gaining wisdom from modern science and mystical experiences beautifully: "When you and I can connect the dots of what science is discovering about the nature of reality, and when we give ourselves permission to apply those principles in our day-to-day existence, then each of us becomes both a mystic and a scientist in our own life. We should never wait for science to give us permission to do what is uncommon; if we do, then we are turning science into another religion. We should be brave enough to contemplate our lives, do what we thought was "outside the box" and do it repeatedly (sounds like Dr. Dispenza has done his fair share of tripping). When we do that, we are on our way to a greater level of personal power." Another programming analogy I came up with yesterday night is that of inheriting epigenetics from parents and even ancestors. Joe Tafur talked about an experiment where mice were subjected to electrical shocks, while at the same time activating a particular scent, these mice became conditioned to react negatively to the scent, understandbly so, even without the electrical shock after a while. What was shocking to learn, is that even these mice's babies inherited these "epigenetic" traits from their parents, and the effect also got passed on to later generations, fading away after a "few" generations . Which means, we as humans inherit epigenetic code (the structure of our system design) from our parents and ancestors from previous generations, we can literally be carrying wounds from our ancestors and parents at the core of our system which may be creating illnesses in own our lives. If the structure of the system's code is flawed, patching up the system on the exterior level is not going to fix the problem, this is a job for senior programming architects also known as shamans. The programming analogy fits again because in object oriented programming, there are parent classes from which other classes "inherit" which are called "children classes". Children classes inherit all attributes and functionality of the parent classes but can have their own unique attributes and functions, similar to parent and child relationships in real life. The more I learn about this stuff, the closer humans seem to resemble coded systems, I guess having experience in programming gives me advantage because I can use my geeky programming framework on this stuff to organize this information in a structured, step-by-step fashion in a similar way I would code program. I remember hearing about a book in which an author has made a lot of similar analogies relating programming to humans, though couldn't find the name of it, would be fun to learn what concepts he has come up with.
  4. This parable has circulated around the internet over the last couple of years in different forms. According to Wayne Dyer, the original story was told by Henri J. W. Nouwen. However, it appears that all of these “mini-versions” have been adapted from the writings of Pablo Molinero. I’ve included a link to his original in the comments below. It is a thought-provoking idea. What if you could remember? In a way, isn’t that what consciousness is all about—remembering the truth of who we truly are? My question to you is, How are you becoming more conscious? The invitation is here. The gifts are endless. It’s time for you. Because you can. The Parable In a mother’s womb were two babies. The first baby asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The second baby replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.” “Nonsense,” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?” “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths.” The doubting baby laughed. “This is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous. The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded. The umbilical cord is too short.” The second baby held his ground. “I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here.” The first baby replied, “No one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery it is nothing but darkness and anxiety and it takes us nowhere.” “Well, I don’t know,” said the twin, “but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us.” “Mother?” The first baby guffawed. “You believe in mother? Where is she now?” The second baby calmly and patiently tried to explain. “She is all around us. It is in her that we live. Without her there would not be this world.” “Ha. I don’t see her, so it’s only logical that she doesn’t exist.” To which the other replied, “Sometimes when you’re in silence you can hear her, you can perceive her. I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality when it comes….” Source: https://thebacajourney.com/two-babies-talking-in-the-womb/
  5. One of the first video games I ever played was Prince of Persia when I was about 8 years old growing up in Russia. I had to be very mindful how I navigated the dungeon, which was full of traps and riddles, and make careful, strategic moves, because one wrong step and the prince wound end up on top of the sharp spikes. I now see life as the most sophisticated and treacherous dungeon, it's like the dungeon from Prince of Persia multiplied by a complexity of 1,000 or more. We get lost in the ocean of information, pursuing goals that we think will make our lives better, spend time on all sorts of activities and hobbies, allow all kinds of people into our lives, cling to our ideas and beliefs, hoard knowledge, read all sorts of books and go on living our lives, becoming more attached to this information, creating models of reality which make up they way we end up thinking and behaving and ultimately "who we are". Yet we rarely stop and question, why are we behaving and thinking in this way? What is causing our addictions? What is my life purpose? Why am I pursuing these goals? Why am I hanging out with those people? Why am I in this relationship? Is what I'm doing with my life really making me happier? And that's because people are mostly running on automatic pilot, with 95% of their behaviors being subconscious. It's like playing Prince of Persia with only 5% visibility of the total area of the screen, with the only part visible is that of prince's head, I wonder how long it would take to complete the dungeon in this way. Yet, this is exactly what people are expecting from their lives, we go on with our unconscious behavior, expecting to get to the holy grail with only 5% consciousness. Meditation is how we can start regaining "more area of the screen", to break out of the trap called "bounded rationality" where our understanding about reality and ourselves is very limited, creating all sorts of problems along our life journey. It allows us to go deep into the operating system of our mind, and with time, become aware of thousands of programs that have been running in the background of that system for many years. We can then start understanding where our behavior comes from and uninstall viruses and malware, we can then figure out the conditions which will allow us to break out of the loops (eg: addictions, social anxiety, depression). We can also start installing new thought patterns which will be beneficial to our biological systems and create new, healthy behaviors. Eventually, with enough meditation, we'll gain more awareness and reach a point where we'll realize, that life is in fact the most sophisticated dungeon full of obstacles, and these traps that we're dealing with in real life aren't as obvious as they are in a video game. These traps are disguised, invisible, counter-intuitive, seductive, tempting, promising, real, scientific and many of them seem like it's the only "way out". Our traps come in the form of information, to quote the line from the Matrix - "information is all around us it blinds us from the truth". In this technologically advanced era of information, I think humanity's greatest challenge is to figure out how to effectively manage all this incoming data and figure out where to get information which will actually benefit our lives and humanity as a whole. I think the biggest traps of all in our modern society, has ironically become the science. Science has allowed us to advance our knowledge at a an unprecedented rate, we have created a world where things are moving very quickly and the information is spread out and shared very rapidly. They call it "progress", and on some levels, these scientific achievements are great, though on many other different levels they have huge blind spots which is why we are still living in the dark ages of humanity's development, we haven't become happier as a result of all this technology, on the contrary, many people are as disconnected as ever from their hearts and it has created a dehumanized culture. Science is probably the trickiest traps to snap out from, it's very real - look at everything we have achieved and created, it shows evidence in the "real world" - computers, phones, skyscrapers, Internet, movies, video games, cars - it shows us proof over and over again, and we now rely on science to figure out lives for us. "They'll figure out a way for a better world, they really know what they're doing" we tell ourselves. Thanks to all this real-world evidence and enormous community of "smart scientists with their PHD's" and "research papers backing all this data", we now completely rely on and trust science, we have faith in it - science has become another religion.
  6. As I struggled putting together and organizing ideas for the meditation video, I realized this work is "emotionally difficult" for me and the reason I'm getting distracted so much is because it's painful to sit here and struggle with trying to create this kind of content. I dug deeper to see what's underneath this discomfort and realized that I'm clinging to a lot of these ideas, this creates impatience as I'm wanting to get them out there as soon as possible, I also seem to be very passionate and strongly believe in these ideas which I think is a sign of ego, I remembered what Leo said about having "dispassionate mind", I think it's time to review that video if I can find it. Another obstacle is the revelation of my own ignorance, as it turns out I haven't been understandng these concepts as well as I thought, putting together useful video makes this obvious. The third challenge is actually putting the the best insights, quotes, metaphors and ideas together to create the most powerful message that I can in an organized, fun and authentic kind of way. So 1) clinging to ideas 2) revelation of ignorance 3) putting it all together is what's underneath that emotionally difficult frustration I've been experiencing, and I only now became mindful of it, as I was creating a video about the benefits of meditation. It also depends on the way I feel in the moment, my energy level and emotions seem to be fluctuating a lot lately. Ashley told me this is normal as I'm working with Ayahuma master plant medicine and dieting in preparation for the ceremony. I've changed so many things in my life in the past 2-3 months that it's understandable why my body would be complaining and trying to bring itself back to homeostatis, I'm really glad I watched Leo's video about mastery so that I'm mindful of this balancing feedback loop. At a yoga class this morning, I realized how greatful I am for being on this journey and being able to put the pieces together to start seeing the big picture, I'm starting to notice real changes in my life. I'm so thankful to all the authors of the books that I've read in the past 4-6 months - Terence McKenna (Food of the Gods), Aldous Huxley (Doors of Perception), Joe Dispenza (Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself), Carlos Castenada (A Separate Reality), Joe Tafur (The Fellowship of the River), Donella Meadows (Systems Thinking), Kevin Horsley (Unlimited Memory), Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth), and of course the master jedi knight Leo Gura of Actualized.org and the wisest of them all - the magic mushroom. As I contemplated more on the things to be greatful for and how it all played a role in bringing me to where I am in life today, memories that used to cause suffering, pain, regret, shame and guilt suddenly became learning lessons, and people that were involved in those memories became great teachers.
  7. A lot of ideas and insights came together last night during the contemplation session. I've been having very ambitious goal of trying to redesign my own system of learning information and have been developing new techniques of organizing, sorting, storing, connecting, visualizing, integrating and trying to build the foundation/framework for optimized learning. I have taken insights from these books: Unlimited Memory, How to Read a Book, Systems Thinking and Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, I have connected a lot of great insights from these books which developed into new insights of my own which I'm now intergrating and experimenting with to create this optimized system of learning. So far I have the following tools for this system: myths, metaphors (programming, movies, nature, yoga, video games), quotes, symbols, systems thinking, life experiences, mystical experiences, books, life constants (change, direction, elevation, birth, death, ego, truth, yin/yang, perception, language, emotions etc.) - all of these foundational tools, when connected can create a very powerful system for effeciently storing, organizing, remembering and articulating information. Leonardo da Vinci's quote "Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else." came to mind once again, during last night's contemplation as I started seeing how all these things are connected, was it a coincidence that when I walked out of the closet during the 5g mushroom trip, around 5 months ago, I looked at myself in the full body mirror, stretched my arms to the sides and immediately had a flash of Leonardo's Vitruvian Man in my mind. Or is it a coincidence that my first vivid childhood memory is of me being about 2-3 years old putting together jigsaw pieces of the puzzle? Am I putting life's jigsaw pieces of the puzzle together by connecting all these insights together and starting to see more areas of this beautiful piece of artwork? As I contemplated more on The Fellowship of the River, especially on the "meat" of the ideas that really stood out to me in the book, which talked about epigenetic programming and how it's our "seat of the seat of the soul", and how through shamanic healing and medicine plants we gain access to this code and heal/re-code this "maladaptive epigenetic programming", which we have learned or "designed" in our systems during childhood. I connected the concepts from programming and systems thinking and realized how similar human beings are to machines/systems/programs. Just like machines, we get input in the form of information and output in the form of behaviors and thoughts which make up our whole reality. Epigenetic code can be thought of as a system's structure, the interface from which all the other classes inherit. Taking the concept of "life's constants" I now thought of "healing" as the same as change, we are re-programming, redesigning, debugging, fixing this "soul code", all of these higher level words fall under the big one which is change, evolution, transformation, the cycle of life is all change, "the only constant in life is change". There are high level, senior programmers who design the system interface/structure, they can be thought of as architects and they get paid higher salaries accordingly. On the lower levels, there are junior programmers who "do the messy" work of actually writing the code, all of which inherits and follows the rules written by the system architects. Similarly, we can try to re-design our thought systems by trying to install new affirmation, telling ourselves we are confident and that we are worthy of love. However, if our epigenetic system's structure is flawed, based on the maladaptive patterns we have acquired from childhood, this would be like a junior programmer trying to fix the code on a "low level" and expecting to fix the core structure of the system. By attaining higher levels of consciousness and through mystical experiences, we can have access and heal/change/reprogram our structure of epigenetic system which may be malfunctioning and creating all kinds of illnesses in our lives which the modern Western healthcare system can only patch up, in a similar way a junior programmer would create a short term solution without addressing structural system flaws. Indigenous shamanism and plant medicine has been completely ignored by the modern scientific community for a long time, but thanks to researches at John Hopkins like Dr. Griffiths who have been experimenting with high doses of psilocybin, and people like Joe, these things are finally starting to come to light and I think eventually the modern science will merge with the mystical experiences and the two will work together to really heal people's root problems. Of course, this won't be easy, "the goal of every system is to ensure it's own perpetuity", so it seems like our system has been doing everything it can to distract, mislead, misinform and turn people away from these "alternative" healing methods. That's why I see Joe as one of the great leaders in this movement who has been on both sides of the fence and is truly writing from a place of love and authenticity, I can intuit that his primary purpose is really about healing people. I think the programming metaphor can be expanded even further, there are loops, variables, constants, arrays, databases, inputs, outputs, patterns, frameworks, user interfaces - all of these concepts are connected to how we function as advanced biological machines (who are now becoming cyborgs by integrating ourselves so much with the technology surrounding us). I thought about the MVC framework which stands for Model - View - Controller is programming, designed specifically for creating web sites more efficiently. The Model is the database, the structure of the system (epigenetic programming), the View is what we see on the web page (our pereception and view of reality, the quality of our consciousness) and Controller (the mediator between the database Model and the View) which is our mind, it's the we process information from our database of epigenetic code and then transfer the information to our perceptions of reality. I think most people don't have a clue how much their level of perceiving reality is screwed, and these very same people live in a very rigid model of reality which "can't change, it's who they are". I've been that way for a very long time, the mushroom experience was able to snap me out of that endless "do-while" hell loop I've programmed into my sub-conscious, because it has intervented on the level of paradigm, which is the best way to re-structure the system according to systems thinking book - "people who have managed to intervene in systems at the level of paradigm have hit a leverage point that totally transforms systems." This is exactly how I see powerful psychedelic experiences, and it's the only way I was able to break out of that loop. Of course, much work is to be done after the experience which involves learning, integrating, processing, connecting and re-building and redesigning our structure of the system, otherwise the experience will just fade away into distant memory. "What I really want to underscore...is that because these mystical experiences give rise to these trait-level changes in spirituality and altruism, gratitude, forgiveness, and interpersonal closeness, they really appear foundational to our deepest ethical and moral understanding, the pro-social impulse of mutual care taking and therefore further research into the causes and consequences of these absolutely extraordinary experiences is very likely to be crucial, ultimately to the survival of our species." ~Roland Griffiths, John Hopkins University, Psychedelic Science 2017
  8. @Leo Gura I'm not arguing my personal case here, I've already made enough money to last a long time, taking similar approach you have taken with SEO, which has allowed me to have all this free time to work on myself, same as you. By creating passive income we both freed ourselves from the chains of 9-5 job and from the wild goose chase of trying to go after a passion and hoping to making it big some day. Leo, I'm not saying the loop hole strategy should be pursued for the rest of one's life. The only goal of this approach is to free ourselves from the 8 hour typical job that makes you tired afterwards so you have no energy to work on your passions or self development. When you have passive stable income, you can then refocus on pursuing whatever passion you want and I think this is a much better strategy than "moving in the woods for 5 years to play video games" just because you are passionate about it. Also, while working towards passive income, you can still spend time pursuing passions without having any pressure of trying to make money from it. I'm not saying what I'm proposing here is a great strategy either, creating stable income can take many years and very few succeed, but I still think it's a better strategy than trying to make a career out of your passions. We live in a system of an obsolete financial behemoth where people's passions don't really coincide with the burden of making money to survive, passions are born out of love, making money is mostly motivated by fear of death, where there is fear there can be no love. @shahryar You're making assumptions about me brother, I know exactly what kind of work it takes because I've been in the marketing and SEO business for 14 years of my life, also you can make a ton of money without giving real value, that's exactly what I did.
  9. @Leo Gura No I choose the strategic approach by finding loop holes in the system and go after a type of work which will bring in passive stable income which will open up the free time to pursue my passions. I think combining passions and money is a wild goose chase in which 1 in a million will succeed, and even then your passion can quickly turn into work, pro video gamers is a great example.
  10. Feeling emotional, as if I'm about to cry, the feeling is just lingering around the throat and upper mouth area, it feels like there is an emotional tsunami waiting to be unleashed any time. Was thinking how I wanted to incorporate humor into my youtube videos and came up with some funny things which made me laugh during the morning's yoga class. Then, thought up of some more really funny stuff while contemplating at home and made myself laugh hard enough to make tears come out of my eyes. Wow! I haven't laughed so much in a long time, it feels like things are really starting to move, also the usual lingering anger in the throat is very subtle and only shows up once in a while. Been contemplating if I wanted to still do anything with Clever Techie channel, was re-watching a lot of those videos and realized how well made they are, so I praised myself for being able to make all these videos before my first mystical mushroom experience and before I embarked on this sage-like personal development journey. I've struggled with the decision for a long time now, but I finally decided to 100% quit Clever Techie channel and fully pursue We are One because this is my true bliss and I'm going to follow it.
  11. Prime directive = "raise the quality of our consciousness" Life Purpose = fulfilled passion which brings in income Do I need to have life purpose if I'm working on raising the quality of my consciousness full time? What if I'm passionate about collecting beer cans and it makes me fulfilled in a weird way, how do I ever make a living from that? I personally think "life purpose" should be separate from "making money". We need to make money to survive in this world, but our life purpose doesn't have to turn into making money, I think this is a flaw in Leo's life purpose course. Could someone clarify the confusion for me?
  12. Been doing a lot of shadow work lately, going back in the past and seeing if I'm holding on to anything. Ended up uncovering a bunch of hurt from yesterday's sitting and realized I was still clinging to the past and carrying a lot of shit with me. I was actually shocked to discover just how much hurt and suffering I have created in the 34 years that I've been alive and became mindful of how it is still affecting me today. Though, looking at these 'dark' memories in a mindful way, allowed me to send unconditional love and compassion to my younger versions and people who were involved in these memories. The book about Ayahuasca I'm reading helped me with this difficult journey of digging into the past, "what is consciousness of consciosness? Ayahuasca replied: Love. She told him that love is the acceptance of all things as they are without reservation." I may be getting a little taste of unconditional love, as I sat with these memories, I noticed that they were not triggering me anymore after a while, I then started combining a lot of them together to try to increase the "level of negative intensity" to see if the combination would trigger me, though even the negative synergetic memories didn't seem to have the usual trigger response within me. What's helping me let go of these memories is letting go of the idea of perfectionism and always trying to compete to prove that I'm good enough. Very early in my childhood, I installed the idea in my mind that I'm not worthy, probably because of not much love from my parents, love wasn't even a word in our family and both of my parents are still alcoholics to this day. But whatever the reason, I have lived with this "virus" for a very long time and it's still isn't completely uninstalled from my "operating system". I've kinda known that past emotional traumas can cause all kinds of illnesses in the body, but I don't think I fully believed in it until I've read Joe Tafur's book, he finally solidified this understanding in my mind and cleared any doubts. He is the perfect person to write a book about this stuff because he's been on both sides of the fence, the Western medical system as well as working with Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicines and becoming a shaman, so this gave him a unique perspective to see the big picture and understand blind spots in the mainstream healthcare system. What's really adding a lot of power to the message are the "case studies of individuals from all walks of life who suffered from PTSD, Psoriasis, Anxiety, Depression, "Soul loss" etc., these people came to the Amazon because they have all been to countless doctors and practitioners who were unable to help them and could only offer "treating" the problem instead of addressing the root cause of it. I've always intuited that our healthcare system isn't really designed to truly heal people, but this book finally put all the pieces together for me and I'm already starting to get insights about my past and how I'm carrying emotional trauma and starting to heal myself during meditations, even before the actual Ayahuasca ceremony. I think being an empath is helping me work with these emotions as I'm very sensitive to my body and that's why I could feel all the past hurt, neglect and body and mind abuse in the forms of binge drinking every weekend, eating shit food, polluting the mind with toxic information etc. These things would really take a toll on me in the past, and a lot of times I tried getting better, by starting to exercise and try to quit drinking, though what I didn't realize back then is that the mind is probably 99% of the work and I wasn't doing any mindfulness work or meditations back then which was a huge missing dimension of the healing process. Though, being an empath is a doubled-edged sword, now that I'm developing love, compassion, joy, happiness and mindfulness in my life, I'm starting to really feel these qualities blooming, I'm also starting to laugh a lot more and overall feeling great, so I'm very excited about what's to come next.
  13. Hi everyone, I just posted this video to my YouTube channel, could you guys please give me some feedback? I'm still learning how to articulate things better and find my natural voice, so I know that part needs work, but what do you guys think of this idea of using metaphors/symbols to implement useful self development techniques into our lives? Would be great to hear any constructive criticism or feedback as I'm very new to this style of teaching. PS: Yes I am trying to promote my YouTube channel as well.
  14. When I finished yesterday's morning workout in the park, I meditated for about 15 minutes and then just laid down on the grass to rest and enjoy the sun and nature. I felt so amazing, my body blending in with the surroundings, the warmth of the sun, wind, earth. I felt like I was transported back to childhood in Russia, when I was resting in the sun at the beach on a 3 month school break, back then I felt overjoyed knowing I have so much time to enjoy without school, I felt happy. What I've noticed is I'm starting to feel happier everyday, I make myself laugh a lot more, I'm becoming more creative, I'm actually starting to feel joy again and seeing the beauty and magic in life. I've also finally recorded and uploaded new videos to my channel with the ideas that have been on my mind for a very long time and it feels like the burden has been lifted off my shoulders. Though these videos aren't as perfect as I envisioned them to be, I think this is a huge progress towards realizing my dream of becoming a personal development teacher, just like Leo. And the rewards are already starting to come my way, I have shared the video on "how to achieve emotional mastery" with a list of about 150 meetup members which I created for the local community and I got one very profound reply to the video where the lady talked about how she was able to connect and resonate with a lot of points that I was making in the video and that it brought her to tears while watching it. I feel like I have already contributed something significant to humanity just with those few videos, and it far outweighs any financial reward I've ever gotten from being in it just for the money. Even Clever Techie's thanks and praise never felt as rewarding as this woman's message, because I feel like this type of work is truly helping people become happier. What I've noticed is that my energy and emotions seem to fluctuate quiet a lot during the day, as I was trying to record the video on willpower yesterday night, I felt like I just couldn't talk in my natural way and felt like I was constricted in blocked around the chest and throat area. Though after meditating this morning, I started recording the video and it just kinda flowed and I was able to record it without much difficulty. I guess this flow will start happening more as I practice talking in front of the camera and start to organize these concepts and articulating them, I'm sure it's a skill that takes time to master, I think Leo mentioned it took him a long time to improve his speech. It seems like the pieces of the puzzle in my life are starting to all come together, this is the most difficult journey I've ever been on, though I'm starting to actually enjoy the challenges, my willpower is growing, my understanding growing as I'm sharing these insights on videos, the whole picture is becoming clearer, no wonder they say "the best way to learn is to teach".
  15. @mathieu No problem amigo, I like how you put the eye inside the triangle, I use that too, it can remind us to be mindful / aware of these 3 concepts. @TJ Reeves Thank you brother