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About Dovahkiin

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  1. @traveler also I struggled with eating as well during retreat. The monk suggested focusing less on mindfulness during meals so that I could still maintain “hunger” and not deconstruct it and starve myself. Starving yourself would drain you faster than it enlightens you. So I’d suggest to just make yourself eat!
  2. 1) once you get into this territory it’s pretty hard to go back. Not impossible to try, but generally ‘you can’t unring the bell.’ The process has started. 2) DN time varies tremendously. It could be very short, and like Leo said, it’s usually only years if you don’t follow through properly. That said, not following through properly IS a risk. I’ve been in a DN-ish area for 18 months now, and despite 6 weeks of vipassana retreat time in there, I’ve lacked discipline and slacked in my practice. 3) DN severity varies tremendously. A silver lining is DNs are not always horrible. Some people simply don’t have that much trouble. I’ve been able to function well professionally and decently with family despite the territory. Don’t script yourself into having a brutal time of it, and any difficulty that does come, shoot for equanimity toward it
  3. Hey, ether. I'm starting a journal / blog on here mainly for myself - to maintain accountability in reflecting on significant experiences on my path, but equally importantly, to have these experiences distilled on the web, as I perceive them in the moment, so that I don't fall into revisionist history in reflecting on my journey in the future. To any readers who happen to find yourself here with me, welcome Initially I'm going to have to make a few posts which fill in the gap between 2015, when I'd say I started on the spiritual path in earnest, and now, but thereafter I'll make regular (monthly, probably) updates here on progress with life purpose and awakening. To begin: In 2015 I was clueless about LP and considered "spirituality" to be bullshit, though I'd started meditating out of some vague idea that "the science says it's good;" it could increase the density of grey matter in my brain, assist neuroplasticity, reduce risk of a litany of diseases, yada yada yada. I saw it as a means to an end, namely the end of performing well at my job (I was about to begin my first job out of college as a proprietary trader) and doing well on a reality show I was on, "Survivor." Survivor is basically part survival situation and part strategy game, in which contestants form "alliances," deceive one another and vote someone off the island every few days, the idea being that the last person standing wins. I'd already been on Survivor in 2013, getting on the show by saying things like: "The former governor Mitt Romney has been successful in everything he’s ever attempted, be it private equity, business/law school or running the Olympics. He has accumulated enormous wealth in starting several successful business ventures and constitutes the perfect embodiment of capitalism" in response to the question, "who is your inspiration in life?" SD stage orange, much? Whew. By 2015 I'd changed a bit and was spirituality-curious and personal-development-curious, open to things like LOA / "the secret," but intent on purposing them to help me win the $1Mn prize on the reality show in my second try. I wanted to visualize myself winning and actualize it. Accomplishing this represented the top of the mountain for me, and I had no vision of my purpose in the world beyond it. All that mattered was winning Survivor, LOA / meditation / quasi-spiritual concepts were tools to achieve my goal, and it seemed to be working. I avoided elimination and made it deep into the game. At one interesting point, on day 33 / 39, I got what the show calls a "reward," in which I got to take a break from starving and eat. More interesting than alleviating my calorie deficit, though, was the spiritual component of this reward: The three contestants who won it got to leave the island on which we were playing Survivor (Koah Rong) and go to Cambodian temples near Angkor Wat to spend the night and experience cultural performances. Most significantly, we were blessed by three Cambodian monks (probably Theravada, though I'm not sure). I have one prescient memory from this time: The monks were chanting and we were sitting and observing them in a bit of a stupor, focused more on the pasta we were about to eat than on the ceremony right in front of us. Completely unexpectedly, the monk adjacent to me flicked a large glob of water off a flower, right onto my face. It took me aback. I imagine that this could have been the first message whirling over my conscious head that managed to plant a seed somewhere subconscious, and that the seed was responsible for the "WAKE UP" tree that began growing. Perhaps coincidentally or perhaps not, the day following the reward I changed my mind drastically about whom to vote out next, which was a questionable strategic decision at the time. I did well from that point, making it to the end of the competition, at which point a winner is voted on by a "jury" consisting of people who've been eliminated / voted out already. The jury - the people who've usually just been double-crossed and voted out - decides which of the final 3 contestants is most deserving of the win and the million dollars. I lost in a vote of 10-0-0. As embarrassing as it is, this is essentially how and why I found - out of the confusion that ensued after I felt I was wielding the law of attraction and growing tremendously personally, only for the universe to respond unequivocally with a resounding "NO." A few weeks after filming wrapped on the show, I googled something along the lines of "LOA doesn't work," and found Leo's video on the subject, in which he stresses that action needs to be an intermediary between visualization and actualization, and that "the secret" is best used in a different manner from that in which I tried to use it. For a few weeks I sort of "flirted" with, really resonating with one video and then being totally put off by another, teetering between extremes of thinking Leo had a lot of sage advice and thinking Leo was a hack. In retrospect I can see the reactive ego in this, and re-contextualize this psychological tendency toward extremes and desire to either view Leo as a guru or as a fraud. Nonetheless, despite where I was (the stage of "emotional midget," or "butt monkey" as the kids used to say on this site) at the time, I eventually watched the video in which Leo stressed how important the "dailyness" of a daily meditation practice is, and challenged viewers to do it every day no matter what. That is what I did, and doing it is really what set the journey of the last few years into motion. So far that journey has entailed a 180-degree career change, complete re-thinking of life goals, a big perspective-altering experience during meditation, an open-mindedness completely unknown to me previously, a few long retreats, a long-term relationship that helped me grow and much more. More snapshots to follow
  4. Hey all, I didn't see this posted already, but Tim Ferriss recently did an interview with Stanislav Grof (pioneer of holotropic breathwork, psychedelic research) that made for very interesting listening: They cover more than I expected them to, including rethinking psychology / psychiatry, 5-MEO, many other psychedelics, mystical experiences and experiences of synchronicity, and more.
  5. CHICAGO. You definitely have interest here. I’ll also be in LA in late December. Also, what’d you say to the Toronto customs guy to almost get kicked out 😂 @Leo Gura
  6. He put the book online for free at On the noting/labeling discussion, also probably worth mentioning that the pace and names you’re using can change. You could be going at a fast clip and then a particular pain in your back is really predominant for a long time. So you go deeply into it, and you might note “pain... pressing... pressing... pulling” to pay attention to the particular nature of the pain and how it might change.
  7. @exhale I went to a Montessori school kindergarten through 4th grade. Transitioning wasn’t too bad, and depending on your area Montessori could be better than the alternatives. That said, it has some serious downsides to consider. It encourages lopsided development of skills. For instance, being very quantitative, I put loads more self-directed time into math, at the expense of things like reading, and ended up lagging significantly in reading. The self-directed learning thing, at least in my classes, also didn’t work in practice like it was supposed to in theory. Kids gravitated toward whatever was easiest (for example, the most sought-after part of the classroom was the fish tank, because we could allocate time in our learning to simply observing the fish tank), and often exploited lack of oversight to do what was emotionally easy, aka not learn. I’m just one kid from one Montessori school and you should get more data, but these are things to consider. I’m sure many public schools do a lot worse.
  8. @d0ornokey why move there? I don’t plan to, but was asking @brovakhiin about it because he mentioned digital nomads, and CM is like the world capital of being a digital nomad. It’s very cheap, modern, friendly, has cool nature, a lot of sweet temples, amazing markets (eg the night markets) - loved visiting.
  9. @Nexeternity got it, thanks for the clarification. I was just going off of the comments from your initial post of “think the right should die,” “are happy when soldiers die or get PTSD,” etc. It sounds like there’s more to these guys, and definitely sounds possible they are green in many ways. It just also sounded very possible they are using green values for blue and orange purposes, and I thought this was a good segue to contemplate something about SD in general: the problem with using an opinion to categorize a stage of consciousness, and the potential for prior stages to “hijack” the appearance of later stages. Ultimately you know these guys, not me! More important to me are the larger, more generalized points. Cheers!
  10. @Scholar Yeah, I think your point that ideologies may be more likely to arise from states of consciousness along the spiral, but that the reverse - an ideology implying a state of consciousness - is really apt and exactly what I’m trying to talk around. Way more likely a green person puts compassion for oppressed people over an ideal of justice than lacking compassion for certain groups. I’m with you on green seeing all perspectives as valid, but seeing all perspectives as necessary or inevitable seems yellow. But then again, I’m with you on not defining someone’s level of consciousness based on one belief. Ultimately SD is infinitely dimensional like anything and categorizations are bound the fall short. Categorizations can be useful nonetheless though, I guess.
  11. @Leo Gura @Nexeternity This seems like a prime example of 1) how people almost always straddle multiples stages and 2) how the model breaks down when we try to assign particular opinions / political stances (as opposed to generalized ways of thinking) to certain stages. Green is defined by belief in equality and wide-reaching compassion. Leo, you’ve used this as a justification (which I agree with) for dispelling the fear that SJWs pose some kind of threat as collectivist thinkers. You’ve pointed out that the Soviet Union and previous iterations or communism have been blue, not green, and that your typical SJW is not the threat orange projects onto them. All true. Your typical green nowadays isn’t anything like collectivist ideologies of the past, and orange shouldn’t be so fearful. These people, however, are literally calling for the death of significant portions of the population. They furthermore reject ideas of spirituality and are nearly full-blown materialists, rationalists and pragmatists, per Nexeternity’s follow-up post. This is not just green with a few kinks! I think the problem goes back to your depiction of blue through the very narrow lens of how blue has manifested in America, the religious right, the Bible Belt, etc. By defining blue this way and then listing off hundreds of groups/opinions that define orange and green (I assume this is what you’ll do for Green), you ignore the possibility of blue consciousness latching onto one of these groups/opinions, which I’m convinced happens in the modern world, where people are exposed to all kinds of ideas left and right. You admit that there can be orange self-help or green self-help or yellow-self help. This can’t be maintained without allowing for this type of nuance applying to the other categories you list, such as progressive ideals. The boxing in of so many groups and opinions into just one color isn’t tenable. One of the subtler elements of the SD model is important here: the fact that the ego of any stage likes to fancy itself as being two stages above where it is. You alluded to this in your first SD video, and indeed, in 1951 Carl Rogers coined the idea of an “actualising tendency,” or a bias toward one side of the spiral or the other. Don Beck ended up echoing the idea, and it seems to basically come down to a bias toward either agency or communion - the individual or the collective. People will lean more heavily to one side or the other, and as a result be more amenable to stages on the same side, hence the feuds between neighboring SD stages being the most intense, and hence these coworkers espousing some green, but doing it in a blue way and lashing out against much of orange (blue and green are both collectively biased, orange biased toward the individual). When I watched your first video I felt myself really wanting to be yellow (I was orange). After all, isn’t yellow defined by knowing the model? I know the model now. If I’m yellow, that means I’ve evolved much further than most people! It means I’m awesome! Seeing this nonsense in myself, I can see parallels across stages: Red: Hey, I’m really no worse than those wall steeet guys- just looking out for numero uno! Blue: The absolute best values are fairness and equality. Now I know the truth. We need to squash all who are preventing equality. Orange: I get spiral dynamics now! I’m second-tier! #Winning Green: With my newfound appreciation of spirituality, openmindness and connection to my heart, I’m surely almost enlightened. So, more relevantly to this discussion, blue can put on a green costume. One can adopt the ideals of progressivism while still lacking compassion for much of life. One can claim to want fairness and then create and follow a rigid, absolutist dogma of what fairness is. You aren’t seeing this because you defined blue in a narrower context than the other stages. The claim that someone can be green without integrating the prior stages hugely contradicts the fundamental principle you’ve taught- that people move in one direction up the spiral and pass through each stage, with each stage furthermore LEADING to the next, in the way dissatisfaction with materialism and a hurting heart unveil green. This direct a criticism may have sounded arrogant but I’m willing to risk that to express what feels like an important problem clearly.
  12. @brovakhiin hah, same. Looking at Chiang Mai? Loved it there. It seems like California just has the most green-oriented stuff in the U.S. if you can swing it. Surprised Ed no one has mentioned Boulder or any other Colorado towns.
  13. @Leo Gura making the green / blue distinction on the lines of attitude toward hierarchy, and pointing out that closed mindedness can still exist at Green, does make sense I guess and jives with my knowledge graph / web of beliefs. My only problem is that I can think of a lot of examples from my personal life, family and friends as well as public figures (I think the Cathy Newman example still applies) of people who are extremely passionate about a “Green” cause, but really don’t seem to have integrated what’s supposed to precede Green, eg rationality or any sort of orange phase. PETA is a good example of what I’m talking about. I’ve heard things from their former employees that sound practically red. How can someone be green but not have transcended former stages? It seems like more than just the trappings or dysfunction included in green. I’m guessing my confusion is partly not appreciating that people can be spread across colors, and also partly the remnants of orange in me projecting stuff onto green. For whatever reason it’s been something my mind’s been stuck on since even before this blue video, so thanks for the follow up.
  14. Can’t anything be used as a stage blue accessory once it’s held as an ideology or a paradigm pointing toward absolute truth? It does seem orange is “absolutist” with respect to rationality and materialism, no? In a similar vein, doesn’t the stage blue video ignore the potential for blue in non-religious contexts by focusing so heavily on Christian and Muslim examples of blue? It seemed like conflating religion with absolutism in general could cause you to call a lot of blue thinkers green thinkers. Example: radical feminism and its opponents. While the genuinely striving for equality brand of feminism seems green, isn’t the case of someone who adopts it as core to their identity and holds patriarchy theory as a dogma pretty blue? Isn’t the war between people like this and MRAs/Manosphere people a non-religious manifestation of blue vs. blue? Think Jordan Peterson vs Cathy Newman. Thanks for the video anyhow @Leo Gura. The initial spiral dynamics video was one of your most instructive for me, so looking forward to the upcoming elaboration videos.
  15. Don't think that consciousness or mindfulness increase in a linear fashion. Far from it. This is way too small a sample size on which to self-flagellate. These things ebb and flow a bunch on the journey