FlyingLotus

Full Summary: “How Your Mind Interprets Reality”

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Posted (edited)

-This episode is 🤯 whoa 🤯.  It feels like a gypsy curse has been lifted from my psyche.

-The following is the full version of the summary.  It’s looong.  It has all the examples.  The condensed version has about half of them and fewer explanations.  External links were selected by me, for better or worse ;).

_______________________________________________

“There are no facts, only interpretations." —Frederick Nietzsche

 

-The condensed version of this summary can be found here in the Summaries thread.

-Interpretation is core to how you make sense of the world.  It’s going to take you a good ten years to fathom the significance of that.  This is a foundational epistemic episode.

-Every situation has multiple interpretations.  People fall into the trap of treating situations as though there are only one or two interpretations.

-Seeing Only One Interpretation.  The worst case scenario.  If you only have one interpretation it becomes your reality.  It’s absolute truth.  It’s not even an interpretation; it's taken as fact.  This is what most people are doing.

-Seeing Two Interpretations. You get a taste that interpretation is going on, that the mind is not just receiving “raw facts.”  But, now you get caught up in this tug of war, duality, tribalism, partisanship.  You see reality in a black and white way.

          This is all part of a larger theme of Self-Deception.

-You have to think very deeply about anything you call a fact.  Your mind doesn’t question “facts” so they become your reality.  You think a “fact” is something objective that exists independent of you, but they’re actually constructed by your interpretations.

           It’s important to notice that what most people call facts are actually interpretations.  By people I mean you.

           Facts alone have no value and no meaning.  They don’t tell you what's worthwhile or what you should do.  That requires interpretation.  So, the set of facts you choose to focus on is highly biased.  You cherry-pick facts to bolster your sense of reality, to confirm your worldview and to advance your survival.

           The tricky thing is there's always more than one way to make sense of facts, but people like to act like there’s only one way or “the right way.”  Epistemic blunders mostly lie in how you interpret facts and which facts you focus on, not in the facts themselves.

 

Going Meta

-This is an important concept.  Going meta means to step outside the frame of a thing and observe it.  To go one level higher in abstraction.  (clip: Going Meta (8 min). ep: What it Means to Go Meta).  eg: Deadpool embodies going meta.  He’s the only superhero who knows he’s in a superhero movie (clip comes from an R rated movie).

-Don’t get lost in the content of these examples.  The examples are here to make the concepts concrete.  (ep: Content vs Structure)  The danger here is that you’ll focus on which of these interpretations is the “correct one,” but that's missing the point.  Leo’s trying to communicate something meta to you.

           Be aware if you’re getting stuck in the content of the interpretations and failing to go meta.  The larger, meta point with these examples is that there are multiple interpretations.  The need to have one right and the rest wrong is part of the problem.  See the structure, stay meta.

 

Why did the United States invade Iraq?

  • 1st POV: to defend against terrorism.
  • 2nd POV: because of greedy executives running giant military companies and defense contractors and oil companies for whom this war was beneficial.
  • 3rd POV: because Dick Cheney was a war criminal and George W Bush was an idiot who was easy to manipulate.
  • 4th POV: it was a collective psychic backlash to 911, a fear response.
  • 5th POV: there were weapons of mass destruction or at least that's what people believed at the time.

-That’s five very different interpretations.  In politics, most people pick one interpretation and act as if it represents the situation in it entirety.  If someone believes that Dick Cheney is a war criminal and George W Bush is an idiot they don't see it as an interpretation, but as reality.  They don't see deeper levels of interpretation, like with the 4th and 5th options.

           There are different levels of quality to interpretations.  They're not all equal.  Some of them are very simplistic, some profound, some even go to a spiritual degree of understanding.  How you interpret the world powerfully affects how you feel, notice that.

  • eg: The idea of “a collective psychic backlash to 911” is a very powerful interpretation.  Instead of looking at the US government as a group of evil people, you see the situation from a more compassionate, understanding and conscious place.  Mistakes were made because of fear and fear is such a powerful emotion, especially at a collective level.  You can empathize because you know what it’s like to act out of blinding fear.

           Fear tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you fear terrorism, invading the Middle East with a poorly thought out war leads to a destabilization of the region that creates more terrorism.

-With the 2nd POV, if you believe the US invasion was because of some greedy executives who wanted contracts, that’s a whole way of seeing the world. It's an adversarial “they’re evil and corrupt and not good like us normal people.  They're manipulating us, those damn globalists…”  That way of looking at the world leads to certain consequences.

           It leads to you feeling and acting a certain way. If you think the world is run by a cabals of globalists does that make you feel empowered or like a victim?  Is that motivating you to be constructive, creative, and follow your life purpose?  Or does it make you feel you're being exploited and manipulated?  Ultimately you don’t care about facts.  You care about how you feel.

-Start to see the whole situation in a multi-perspective, multi-faceted way with multiple interpretations, seeing that each interpretation captures some element of the situation, but not the total thing.

Elephant-Blind-Men.jpg

-Even more importantly, you want to see how your mind is constructing these interpretations. Become aware of which interpretations you're missing.  There are different qualities of interpretation.  Saying some group of people does evil because they're monsters or idiots is one of the lowest quality kinds of interpretations.

-Even though there are low quality and high quality interpretations, we shouldn’t squeeze out all the lower quality povs.  Every interpretation contains some sort of partial truth even though it might be very twisted and distorted.

            Also, if many people are suffering from low quality misinterpretations, you need to understand that pov to address it effectively.  Their opinions might not be accurate, but they could be valid.  (eg: Just because there are a lot of Q-Anon people doesn’t mean their ideas are true.  However, the rise of so many angry people is important to know about and understand.)  Ideally, you want a compound perspective of interconnected and intersecting interpretations.

Religion exists because…

  • a) it's a holdover from superstitious ancestors who weren't scientifically rigorous.
  • b) it’s a tool to control the masses.
  • c) it’s not scientifically or literally true, but these myths contain deep psychological lessons without which you can go astray in life.
  • d) it points to absolute truth which is incommunicable because it's infinite and therefore it can never be articulated in a literal scientific sense.

-Do you see how different these interpretations are?  Notice the last two are more nuanced than just saying “all religion is bullshit.”  You’re going to react to religion and religious people differently depending on which pov you believe.

-Remember, we’re not interested in which interpretation is “right.”  We’re interested in the meta point of seeing how many different ways there are to interpret what religion could be.

Islam is…

  • a) the highest religion and truth.
  • b) evil barbaric and violent.
  • c) used in both constructive and destructive ways.  How it’s used depends on how it’s read and who cherry picks which parts.
  • d) contains profound truths that are more advanced than science.  However, its truths are corrupted by being taken too literally.  It also uses many archaic cultural customs from fifteen thousand years ago.

-a) is a devout Muslim interpretation.  This perspective probably thinks it’s “reality” instead of just a perspective.

-b) many Conservatives and Christians in the US feel this way.  They’re fearful and uneducated about Islam.  Also notice they don't hold that as an interpretation, but as reality.

-Notice that c) & d) are more nuanced perspectives.

Donald Trump is…

  • a) is a true patriot, a secret genius.  A secret systems thinker who acts buffoonish to subvert the elite globalist media.
  • b) an opportunistic grifter and con artist.
  • c) actually God acting out of the highest good and love from his point of view.  All his actions are the seeking of love.

-Notice how radically different each perspective is.  How you frame Trump and how you behave politically depends on which of these interpretations you take.

Psychedelics are…

  • a) drugs, which are bad and dangerous.
  • b) just creating hallucinations in the brain.  If you experience some mystical truths they don’t mean anything.
  • c) great for expanding consciousness and seeing higher truths.
  • d) an immature shortcut.  Fake spirituality because it’s not permanent.
  • e) the future of spiritual work.  They haven't caught on because they've been so stigmatized.

-Notice how some of these interpretations will exclude you from exploring psychedelics.  That's how powerful interpretation can be.  Also contentious issues often cause people to get close-minded and stuck in one interpretation.

Actualize.org is…

  • a) a cult.
  • b) not a cult, but self-deceived and teaches misinformation.
  • d) offers some advanced perspectives and insights about the nature of reality, but is still partial.  It's not a complete picture.
  • e) seems like a cult because it’s teaching advanced things that most of mankind finds threatening.  Therefore the most convenient thing for the ego-mind to do is just to call it a cult.
  • f) it’s a communication from God.
  • g) it’s you teaching your own self how to awaken.  It’s also the universe teaching itself how to awaken.

 

Quine’s Gavagai Example

-Imagine an American explorer finds a remote tribe that has never made contact with the outside world.  He tries to learn the tribe’s language.  No prob, right?  Actually, Quine says this problem is much deeper than it seems.  How would this actually play out?

Let’s say you’re sitting with a tribesman around the campfire and then a rabbit runs across the field. 

 

Bunny.jpg

The tribesman says, “gavagai gavagai” and points at it.  What does the tribesman mean?  What is “gavagai”?

  • a) a furry, living animal with long ears.
  • b) the name of this particular bunny who is the tribe pet.
  • c) God manifesting itself as the rabbit.
  • d) a hallucination of a rabbit, which means the psychedelics at the campfire are working.
  • e) a rabbit’s foot, which the rabbit’s using to wave hello, awwww….
  • f) a rabbit’s foot, which the tribe thinks is the most delicious part 😋.
  • g) a safe, timid brown bunny, as opposed to those demonic white bunnies, thank goodness.

-If you think, “Leo, this is a silly problem.  What’s the difference between a furry living animal with long ears, and God manifesting itself as a rabbit?  That's just some fluffy, mystical superstition…”

           Quine’s point here was very deep.  Your notion of rabbit will be defined by your entire sense of reality.  Is it valuable?  Is it good or bad?  Is it made of atoms or consciousness?  There is a significant difference between seeing that rabbit as food, as a biological creature, or as consciousness.

           Your notion of anything is metaphysically and epistemically loaded.  You’re not conscious of those frameworks, but they shape how you relate to that rabbit.  So, your mind's way of holding the concept of “rabbit” is not the same as the tribesman’s or Leo’s or Alice in Wonderland’s or anyone else’s.

-The gavagai example shows that most situations in life are deeply ambiguous.  Quine’s point is that we will never fully resolve this problem within language.  We're basically guaranteed to have different ways of interpreting that rabbit because of the underdetermination problem.

 

The Underdetermination Problem

-The Underdetermination problem says: evidence available to us, at a given time, may be insufficient to determine what beliefs we should hold in response to it.  The facts of the situation alone are underdetermined because our way of interpreting and seeing the facts go way beyond merely what is there in the facts.

Quine-TZQQA.png

 

-There’s a problem within science, philosophy and the philosophy of science known as the Underdetermination problem. That’s what we're facing here.

“Underdetermination is a thesis explaining that for any scientifically based theory there will always be at least one rival theory that is also supported by the evidence given, and that that theory can also be logically maintained in the face of any new evidence.

Quine’s Non-uniqueness thesis: For any theory, T, and any given body of evidence supporting T, there is at least one rival (i.e., contrary) to T that is as well supported as T.  This is a result of our inability to completely understand or gain access to the whole set of empirical evidence for any one particular situation or system, and therefore our acceptance that new evidence could be made available at any time.  This thesis maintains that since there is no method for selecting between our two (or more) valid solutions, the validity of our conclusion is always in question.”  —Colin Merna

“Under determination refers to (Willard Van Orman) Quine's assessment that evidence alone does not dictate the choice of a scientific theory, as different theories —observationally equivalent— may be able to explain the same facts.” —Wikipedia

-We can also look at the same “facts” and perceive different things because of biology.

 

Science is Subjective

-The mistake here is to think the tribesman is being "superstitious and unscientific.”  Quine's point is that there is no such thing as scientific, because how you define “scientific” is part of the problem. (ep: What is the Nature of Science)

          Science is full of interpretation.  It’s not an objective, singular thing.  Can you use science to find the right interpretation of what science is?  That’s like a heart surgeon performing surgery on himself.  This is a meta-scientific problem.  Many atheists and materialists don't grasp the depth of the epistemic problem here.  Stop naively mistaking the constructions of your mind as reality itself.

           Science doesn’t just discover the facts of reality.  For each piece of data you gather you can come up with multiple alternative theories.  You can never have one theory that perfectly matches all the facts because every theory is underdetermined.  So this creates a an open-ended, infinite problem for science.

  • eg: Seven of Nine uses the same facts to accuse Cpt. Janeway and Chakotay of crimes that contradict each other.

           There are always hundreds of theories that could fit the existing set of data.  (This doesn’t even include invalidated theories that comfort your ego.)

 

Just a Word Game?

-“But Leo, isn’t this just a word game?  There's no difference between seeing a rabbit through a materialist lens versus an idealist lens.”  That's wrong.  There are ways to decide between them, but not at your current level of consciousness and not using materialist methods.

           An idealist will consider something like direct experience of absolute truth as possible.  The materialist is shut off to this because it doesn’t validate his worldview.  So it’s not just a “word game.”  Those words carry a lot of unquestioned baggage.

-The lesson here is that most situations in life are deeply ambiguous.  So, increase your capacity for handling ambiguity and a variety of perspectives.  Profound self-deceptions can be life-threatening.  It's not just empty philosophy.  We could destroy civilization if we don't get this right.

          Your mind wants reality to be one particular way that serves your survival.  The mind abhors a vacuum because it’s threatening.  Leaving things open-ended is a lot of work for the mind.

          It's stressful.  It's overwhelming.  It can make you question your sanity 🥺.  “Is the bunny real or not?  Are other people real?  Are you real, Leo?”  You might reach that point in your investigations and that's the whole point.

-With all these examples keep asking yourself: how would you know the difference between these interpretations?  Notice how many different povs fit the same “facts.”

           Also, Leo’s not trying to justify any action here, so don’t get lost in the content of the interpretations.  Focus on the larger, meta point: seeing each situation from multiple perspectives.  These examples show how ubiquitous the problem of interpretation is and how many real world implications there are. (49:20)

 

Situations & Multiple Interpretations

What is God?

  • a)  God is a fiction created by irrational people who don’t or historically didn’t know about evolution.
  • b)  God is a state of higher consciousness.

What is Mysticism?

  • a) Mystics are wishful-thinking, loose-minded fools who just don't want to face death.
  • b) Mystics have figured out how to access higher dimensions of reality.

-When you’re presented with these different interpretations, seriously consider this one as being possible and then seriously consider this other one as being possible.  If you can do that it will open your mind (ep: How Openmindedness Works).  None of this work works if you don't understand radical open-mindedness.

Science is…?

  • a) truth.
  • b) a set of mental constructions that help people manipulate reality for survival.

-How would you decide the difference between the two?  After all, if what you care about is survival and nothing else, you could easily conflate survival with truth, which of course you do.

Senator _____ won't vote for gun reform because…?

  • a) he’s corrupted by the NRA gun lobby who bribed him.
  • b) he believes gun rights are important and guaranteed by the constitution.

-A lot of liberals and progressives make this mistake.  They accuse certain senators or politicians of not supporting their policies because they've been corrupted, bribed or influenced.  That’s definitely true in many situations, but that's not the only reason.  Progressives overlook how many senators and politicians genuinely believe the Conservative worldview.  Many Conservatives grew up with the gun culture.  The NRA wouldn’t be so popular if a significant number of people didn’t love guns.

-If you want to be a good progressive you should care about getting this right.  There’s so much partisan polarization because each side strawman’s the other instead of stepping outside their own interpretation to truly understand a different pov.  That's the meta problem.

           Also, our financial interests are always deeply entangled with our worldview, our metaphysics, our values, our epistemology.  There’s never a clean division of these two things.  (Which is why it’s important to get money out of politics.)  Money is the distillation of survival.  Your world view is your world view because it helps you to survive. (ep: Survival I, Survival II)

Bill Gates is trying to…?

  • a) control the population and get rich via vaccines.
  • b) help humanity in the best way he knows how, but those ideas aren’t good.
  • c) help humanity using good ideas, but his ideas aren't perfect because of limited knowledge and the complexity of humanity’s problems.

-Truly put yourself in Bill’s situation.  What’s the best way to help humanity if you had billions of dollars?  It's hard to help everyone in a way they agree with.  Everyone has different ideas of what kind of help they need or want.  The help you need is probably different from the help someone in Africa or Norway might need.

Person x is…?

  • a) insane.
  • b) understands something you don’t.

-It’s easy to demonize someone who understands something that’s not popular in mainstream culture.  Then again, there are some people who are truly insane.

So how do you distinguish these two things?  You have to deeply study epistemology and do contemplation for years, decades.  If you don’t do the research you won’t figure it out. (1:00:00)

Hitler was…?

  • a) evil.
  • b) trying to do good, but because his worldview and consciousness was so low he ended up doing a lot of bad.

Person X is…?

  • a) evil.
  • b) doing things for a greater good, using her higher vision that you are too narrow-minded to see.

-Mystics, sages and saints operate on such a high playing field that it’s easier for mainstream society to demonize them than understand them.  Some of the wisest, most conscious geniuses were put to death, jailed, tortured or crucified.  (Christ, Socrates, Gandhi, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King Jr, Giordano Bruno, and so forth.)

Consciousness is…

  • a) just a product of the brain.
  • b) imagining everything, including the brain.

-Don’t just believe it.  Open your mind to that possibility of it.  Can you see the massive repercussions if it’s true?

Someone who criticizes science…

  • a) is unscientific and likely a religious nutcase.
  • b) might be religious, but is definitely deluded and attacking from below because science is truth.
  • c) could be criticizing science from above in a meta-scientific way that’s more epistemically rigorous than science itself.

-Science often refuses to do epistemology and metaphysics.  They’re so attached to science they don't think there's anything above it. (The pre/trans fallacy by Ken Wilber)  However, there are things in reality which are meta-scientific, which science cannot understand or access.

People who talk about God…

  • a) are dumb, superstitious ideologues.
  • b) could have had direct experiences of God that are more genuine than science.

-That’s a radically different interpretation because most materialistic and atheistic people are not open to the possibility of having a direct experience of God.  To them, all experiences of God are just hallucinations in the brain.  So they are forever cut off from truly mystical experiences unless they open their mind.

A lack of proof for God means…

  • a) that God doesn't exist.
  • b) God is a type of thing which cannot be proven because God exists prior to proof.

The earth is…

  • a) moving around the sun.
  • b) the entire universe is moving around the earth

-That sure flips the situation on its head doesn't it?

Other people…

  • a) exist.
  • b) don’t exist because this is all a dream, like the people in my dreams at night.

-Remember, how would you know the difference?  Notice how many options there could be.  Really try them all on.  Stay meta.

Love is…

  • a)  a mammalian emotion produced by the brain with no metaphysical significance.
  • b)  a core metaphysical aspect of universal mind and consciousness.

Evolution is…

  • a) solid proof that God doesn’t exist.
  • b) the process by which God creates.

Cop X…

  • a) is racist because he did so and so.
  • b) is not racist, but his actions appear that way because he's acting under extreme pressure.
  • c) could be racist.  Although the entire police system is affected by culture and both explicit and implicit racism, and being a cop is difficult in ways that cannot be appreciated by people who aren’t cops.

The Buddha didn't talk about love…

  • a) so love can't be the truth because the Buddha taught the truth.
  • b) because he realized that love is truth, and what he called truth was actually love.
  • c) because the Buddha's nirvana is actually metaphysical, existential love.  Not just emptiness.

Obama's drone strikes…

  • a) were evil war crimes.
  • b) saved ground troops from going in, thus saving many American soldiers.
  • c) were ugly but necessary.  They killed 90 civilians but also killed 10 hard core terrorists who were planning to kill 1000 American civilians.
  • d) were still evil because 1000 hypothetical Americans don’t outweigh 90 Somalis and Yemenis.
  • e) well, they do if you’re the American President.

-Leo’s not trying to justify drone strikesThe meta point is to try on each perspective and appreciate the complexity of the situation.  (Btw, numbers in the example were made up to illustrate a point)

           The calculus is very complicated and so hairy that most people at the Pentagon probably don’t even know the answers definitively.  Most people take this simplistic attitude that drone strikes were evil war crimes.  You're not considering the greater evil of sending cruise missiles or even a nuclear weapon.  How many civilians are acceptable to kill with drone strikes in order to prevent destabilizing the region, or even nuclear war?

-This also shows the Underdetermination theory at play.    These are realities you would actually face if you were the leader of any major nation.  How do you weigh those variables, especially when the stakes are so high?  This shows the importance of having a variety of nuanced interpretations rather than black or white thinking.  We're dealing with uncertainty and incomplete information and yet we have to take action.

           Good leadership is not about knowing everything perfectly.  It’s about having principles and integrity and taking decisive action in the face of great ambiguity and turmoil.  Leo’s not justifying Obama’s actions, just pointing out there are no easy or good choices.  They’re often the lesser of two evils.

Absolute truth is…

  • a) impossible to access even if it exists.
  • b) possible to access.  You simply haven’t done enough work to access it.

-If you haven’t done the work it’s easy to confuse your personal laziness with something being impossible.

When Leo says absolute truth exists and he’s accessed it personally he’s…

  • a) being arrogant, narcissistic and egotistical.
  • b) lying.
  • c) telling the truth.
  • d) self-deceived.

Witchcraft is…

  • a) silly ancient superstition.
  • b) absolutely real.  Some people are born with supernatural abilities that have been demonized by mainstream society because it's threatening.

Liberals…

  • a) have a mental disorder, like the bumper sticker says.
  • b) are more conscious than you.

-Whenever you think you're more conscious than someone else, always consider that they're more conscious than you.  Maybe you're just projecting your unconsciousness onto them?

Conservatives are…

  • a) racists.
  • b) more prone to fear, survival and xenophobia than Progressives because of their neurology.

Leo said that ⬆️ because he wants to…

  • a) whitewash racists.
  • b) provide a more nuanced interpretation that could be true.

Capitalism…

  • a) exploits workers.
  • b) is not yet sustainable in an ethical way because humans aren't selfless and conscious enough to not exploit each other.

-Do you see how different a) is from b)  It changes your whole orientation towards capitalism.

Leo said that ⬆️ because he…

  • a) is a capitalist shill.
  • b) believes humanity isn’t conscious enough to sustain a higher, more humane system.

Because animals suffer…

  • a) I must not eat animals.
  • b) it has no relevance to what I eat.

-How would you know the difference?  Remember, Leo’s not trying to justify any action here.  He’s just trying to get you to see the meta in the situation.

      -The following are very common views within the pickup community:

Women are…

  • a) gold diggers who only want Chads with money.
  • b) attracted to your money because you have nothing else to offer them but money.
  • c) not attracted to you because your personality sucks and you’re too lazy to develop yourself.
  • d) not attracted to you and aren’t even attracted to your money because you have none.
  • e) attracted to qualities you could develop within yourself that have nothing to do with money, but you can’t see that.

Women are…

  • a) cheaters.
  • b) called cheaters by PUAs because they’re projecting their own lack of integrity onto women.  They expect women to cheat because PUAs are themselves cheaters.

Women are…

  • a) selfish for not giving me sex
  • b) not selfish.  You are selfish because you think women owe you sex and blame them because they have free will.

Life has no meaning so I…

  • a) should kill myself because meaninglessness sucks.
  • b) could construct whatever meaning I want.  This paradoxically gives life the deepest meaning possible.
  • c) I am free from death because if life has no meaning, death has no meaning.

Solipsism is…

  • a) bad and depressing.
  • b) profoundly beautiful, you’re too busy ranting and denying solipsism to see it.

God’s son is…

  • a) Jesus, and only Jesus.
  • b) everyone.  We are all the son (and sum) of God.

Those who reject Christianity are…

  • a) working for the devil.
  • b) rejecting Christianity because it was co-opted thousands of years ago and corrupted so that now Christianity is literally devilry.

-How would you know the difference?  Remember, don’t get lost in the content of the interpretations.  Notice how there are multiple ways of looking at a situation.

To be happy I need…

  • a) lots of money
  • b) to find a new mode for happiness

-Think about how this changes your entire approach to life.  Needing lots of money (or success, or babes, or validation) to be happy is not a fact, but an interpretation that you could change. It’s a lot easier to change interpretations than facts. That would be the wiser course.

Life sucks because…

  • a) life is unfair.
  • b) because you haven't been living by the right principles.
  • c) life actually is fair.  It’s fair to those who follow the principles.  There's natural consequences and suffering which is what you're experiencing and then you call that unfair.

-Maybe life sucking is just a consequence of following the wrong principles.  It’s like when an idiot hits his toe with a hammer and then experiences excruciating pain, he blames that on the hammer and God and other people.  He doesn't take responsibility for his own decisions.

Black people’s IQ scores are…

  • a) lower due to genetics.
  • b) inaccurately perceived as lower because it serves some people’s nationalist identity.

The Middle East is…

  • a) less developed than the West because the people there are savages with an inferior culture.
  • b) less developed because the Middle East was a harsher environment to survive in.  So historically those people have required more time to develop than those civilizations that arose in Europe and elsewhere.

-They will eventually develop to the standards of Western culture and beyond.  So it’s not some inherent, genetic inferiority or some cultural problem.  (“Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond)

Winning a debate means…

  • a) the winner knows the truth! Because he won! 🥇
  • b) the winner might know the truth or might not, because winning debates has nothing to do with truth.

Women have vaginas and Men have penises…

  • a) it’s a scientific fact.
  • b) it’s not always the case.  The idea of penises, vaginas, men and women are abstract categories created beyond and outside of empirical science.

-Remember, how would you know the difference?  Really try on all options here.  Stay meta.

Logic is…

  • a) what reveals truth.
  • b) a rationalization mechanism co-opted by the ego-mind for the purposes of your survival.

The Constitution must be…

  • a) followed because it’s the Constitution.
  • b) updated.  It was written over 230 years ago and contains outdated ideas which need to fit with modern times, otherwise the nation will stagnate and perhaps even collapse.

I can't get laid because…

  • a) I don't have a square jaw and a big dick.
  • b) I don't understand female attraction, have cripplingly low self-esteem and don't socialize.
  • c) I don’t understand that a not-big dick is better at hitting sensitive spots inside a woman, so I can drop my “big penis envy” and focus on technique.  Bigger isn’t always better.  That’s like assuming the tallest guy in the room is always the best slow dancer.  It depends on the size of the girl too.

-If you've never seriously tried to fix yourself how can you know your dick and jaw size are holding you back instead of self-esteem issues, fear of socializing and ignorance about female attraction?

I can't get laid because…

  • a) of feminism.
  • b) I blame feminism.  I've never done the hard work of approaching women and I play hundreds of hours of video games.  I also talk on incel forums who promote victim ideology.

Feminism is…

  • a) the reason I can't get laid.
  • b) a scapegoat you invented because of your unwillingness to take responsibility for your results.

People think Jordan Peterson is a fascist because…

  • a) his haters are snowflake SJWs who are threatened by manly greatness!!  Hail 🦞!!
  • b) his detractors are attached to the Progressive worldview.  They don’t look at his work with nuance because they misunderstand the Conservative mind and feel attacked by stage blue.

Person X is a…

  • a) lying hypocrite grifter.
  • b) is just weak.  Like all of us are.  He failed up to live up to his own ideals and has been corrupted by money.

Person Y criticized me because…

  • a) he is projecting his own shadow onto me.  I'm feeling guilty because I'm failing to distinguish that.
  • b) I actually did something wrong.

Landing a man on the moon proves that…

  • a) science is true.
  • b) it's possible to land on the moon with limited and even untrue science.

CEOs…

  • a) are greedy capitalists
  • b) have crazy pressures put on them for survival of the company.

I'm poor because…

  • a) capitalists exploit me.
  • b) I haven't taken responsibility for developing highly valuable skills.

Slavery is…

  • a) evil.
  • b) only evil relative to today's cultural norms and level of development.

-Remember, how would you know the difference?  Really try on all options here.

Walls are…

  • a) real, because I can't walk through them, which proves their reality.
  • b) might be real, or I could be imagining walls that can't be walked through.

The number of stars and galaxies in the universe means that…

  • a) life is very common.
  • b) life is extremely rare.

-See how significantly different that interpretation is.  It just flips the whole thing on its head.

When Leo calls Trump a corrupt fool, he’s being…

  • a) biased and partisan.
  • b) accurate.  You just don’t want to hear it because you’re biased.

If the paranormal was real…

  • a) science would say so, but science doesn’t so it can't be real.
  • b) science would discredit the studies and outcast any scientist who dares to prove it.

God…

  • a) will punish you for your sins.
  • b) will not punish you for your sins.
  • c) will love your sins as much as your goodness.  However, sins naturally produce their own suffering by disconnecting you from loving consciousness.
  • e) sinning against another is just you punishing yourself.

Stage green socialism is…

  • a) dangerous.
  • b) being conflated with stage red and blue communism, which are not the same things at all.

Government regulation is…

  • a) socialism.
  • b) necessary for the harmonious balance of a society.  You can’t have a government without regulations.

Taxation is…

  • a) theft
  • b) makes the military, the courts, infrastructure and many other things you enjoy in a democracy possible.

-Remember, how would you know the difference?  Notice how many options there could be.  Really try them all on.  Stay meta.

Democrats want illegal immigration because…

  • a) it gives them more voters.
  • b) Democrats are more compassionate and less fearful because they actually care about the suffering of immigrants and don’t think it will destroy the country.

-To most Conservatives that interpretation doesn't even enter into their mind.  When you can't compute that possibility the only alternative is to come up with some idea that Democrats are doing it for their own selfish gain.

Communism was a…

  • a) failure
  • b) success that led to the greatest growth in living standards in the 20th century both in Russia and in China.

           -If you actually look at the GDP growth and rise in living standards percentage-wise in Russia and China over the last century, it rose way more than in non-communist countries.  Leo’s not saying communism is good.  There are many problems with communism.  He’s just showing how these interpretations are much trickier than they seem.

Guru X…

  • a) is a rapist and an abuser.
  • b) had consensual sex with a bunch of groupies and one of the groupies got mad because the guru wouldn’t marry her.
  • c) took advantage of his role as a teacher and confidant and used that to abuse and coerce girls who wouldn’t otherwise date him.

-This is a very common problem in spiritual communities.

Guru X is a rapist therefore…

  • a) he cannot be enlightened.
  • b) he could still be enlightened because who says enlightened people can’t be rapists?

-Remember, how would you know the difference?  Really try on all options here.

People voted for Trump because…

  • a) they were racist.
  • b) he appealed to their spiral dynamic stage blue and orange value set, which is the majority of the US.

When Leo says that he's God…

  • a) he’s being narcissistic and unspiritual.
  • b) he actually is God.
  • c) he is God, and so are you, but you're not conscious of it yet.

Supernatural healing is…?

  • a) delusion
  • b) real, but only accessible from exceptionally high and rare states of consciousness that you haven't accessed yet.

The miracles of Jesus…?

  • a) are myths and exaggerated fairytales to tell to children.
  • b) are real because Jesus was so exceptionally conscious that he actually had those powers.

Disputes between spiritual teachers…

  • a) are just differences in word and style, not in substance.  They’re basically word games.
  • b) are differences in underlying substance, and consciousness.  Some teachers are actually more awake than others.
  • c) are a blend of a) and b)

There is no proof of paranormal phenomena because…

  • a) it's all bullshit.
  • b) the methods of proof you're using are too limited for measuring paranormal phenomena.  After all, your method determines what you're going to get back.

I’m bad with women because…

  • a) I'm short.
  • b) I’m insecure about being short.

-You might spend your entire life thinking you're bad with women because of something you can’t change (your height) when the true cause is something you can change (your insecurity).

          One of the best guys Leo knew from pickup was a 5’5 Pakistani guy.  He would crush it.  He would do better than a six foot tall white guy.  At the club he was one of the most secure, brash and confident guys, the exact opposite of insecure, and his results reflected that.

Women…

  • a) care about my dick size.
  • b) only you care about your dick size.

-Remember, how would you know the difference?  Notice how many povs there could be.  Really try on all options.  Stay meta.

 

Examples from Leo’s Life

Leo said something in a video that I also said, which means…

  • a) he stole my work and didn't give me credit for it.
  • b) that people can develop insights independently and still overlap with other people’s insights.  Not all ideas have one origin point.
  • c) deep universal truths can be discovered by many people.
  • d) he totally stole from you, and got away with it too!!

The backdrop of Leo’s apartment means…

  • a) Leo’s purposely sending secret Illuminati messages to his followers who 100% carry out his every command (unless those commands include mediating, exercising, reading or delousing the clutter in their mind)
  • b) Leo’s bad at decorating his apartment.

The symbol of 666 is…

  • a) deeply significant.
  • b) completely meaningless.
  • c) the molar mass of the high-temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3O7, which makes it satanic.

Youtube/Influencer fame is…

  • a) the most profound and fulfilling experience a human soul can have.
  • b) a stream of babes and compliments, with maybe one troll every five years.
  • c) a nonstop flood of people projecting their egos at you.

-Leo has experienced constant projection on a daily basis for the past decade.  It’s especially difficult because he stays open to feedback and valid constructive criticism.  However, it’s difficult to distinguish that from people’s projections.

          It underscores how everyone is projecting all the time and of course Leo does it to others too.  When you experience other people’s projections so strongly it makes you more aware of your own projections.  (It also shows fame ain’t all it’s cracked up to be)

Leo deleted my youtube comment because…

  • a) he doesn't like me and he's censoring me.
  • b) youtube has automatic comment filters to get rid of spam.

Youtube’s spam filter is…

  • a) proof it’s part of a globalist conspiracy to suppress free speech.
  • b) trying to counteract bots and spammers that would make websites like youtube unrunnable.

Leo filters out comments based on….

  • a) opinions he disagrees with.  Critiques of his work.
  • b) slander, racism, extreme vulgarity, disinformation, conspiracy theories, spam, and so on.

Leo’s work is…

  • a) a copy of other spiritual traditions and presented as his own truth.
  • b) a result of discovering these insights independently on his own.
  • c) triggering to people who are attached to their particular lineage or guru as the source of truth.
  • d) fun to play in the background while you’re cooking.

-If that original yogi or mystic could discover the truth for himself, why can’t other people discover the truth for themselves too?

Leo doesn't want to debate others because…

  • a) he’s afraid of being exposed as a fraud.
  • b) he has become too conscious to be interested in debating anyone.
  • c) he’d rather spend that time making videos for us 🥳!

Leo denies he is leading a cult because…

  • a) he isn’t leading a cult.
  • b) denying you're a cult leader is exactly what a cult leader would do, which proves Leo’s leading a cult!

-That’s circular logic.  I can play this game on you.  I can call you a cult leader and as soon as you deny it I'll say, “Ah ha!  According to your logic if you deny your cult leader that's exactly what makes you a cult leader!”  (Speaking of which, Kanye West says his greatest accomplishment is that he is the greatest)

That spiritual teacher…

  • a) worked really hard to become enlightened.
  • b) didn't have to work that hard because he was born with exceptional spiritual talent.

Leo didn't respond to my email (or my awesome LoA question :( :P) because…

  • a) he doesn't like me 😢.
  • b) he didn’t see my email.  He gets tons of them 📨🤦‍♂️📨

       -Using the Spiral Dynamics model…

Trump is…

  • a) stage orange with a bit of red.
  • b) stage red with a veneer of orange.

Jordan Peterson is…

  • a) stage yellow with a green shadow.
  • b) stage orange with some yellow capacities.

          -Spiral dynamics has very interesting interpretive problems because it also suffers from the Underdetermination problem. (ep: Spiral Dynamics)  It takes a lot of experience, study and application of spiral dynamics to be able to start to distinguish between these things.  Even the developers of spiral dynamics suffer from this problem.

Don Beck and Ken Wilber…

  • a) are right about pushing towards stage yellow because we’ve already exhausted stage green.
  • b) are seriously overestimating how evolved politics and culture are.

          -In the US, green is only prevalent in advanced universities.  The majority of society is still in blue and orange, even in developed countries.  We've got to move through green for many years before we can get to yellow.  We don't even have a green economic or political system.

          Spider Dynamics is an interpretation that you're projecting onto reality.  It can be difficult to know which interpretation to apply, which one is more accurate.  Clip: Spiral Dynamics (11 min)

People who believe in ufos…

  • a) are idiots.
  • b) aren’t necessarily idiots.  Scientists and skeptics are simply too close-minded.
  • c) watched too much X-Files growing up.
  • d) are right.  UFOs are hidden because there’s a conspiracy!
  • e) are right.  UFOs are hidden because the government and people studying them can’t explain them properly.  It doesn't fit their worldview.

Absolute truth is…

  • a) not real, because if it was everyone would know about it and talk about it.
  • b) so radical that almost everyone is in denial about it.

All spiritual teachings…

  • a) are just different paths up the same mountaintop, leading to the same peak.
  • b) are not different paths leading to the same peak.  There are lower and higher places along the mountain and it's not a single mountain.  It's a mountain range with many different peaks and not all paths lead to the same peak.

-Remember, how would you know the difference?  Notice how many options there could be.  Really try them all on.  Stay meta.

Immortality is…

  • a) impossible, just religious wishful thinking.
  • b) possible because death is actually a mental construction that you're imagining.

In a relationship, you could say…

  • a) your partner is the problem.
  • b) you are actually the problem.
  • c) the two of you are not a good fit.
  • d) one or both of you is wrong and evil.

There's something wrong with…

  • a) the world.
  • b) how your mind sees the world.

-Remember, how would you know the difference?  Really try on all options here.

All men…

  • a) are shallow cheating pigs.
  • b) aren’t shallow cheating pigs.  You just end up with pigs because of your low self-esteem problems.

God is…

  • a) a fictional bearded man in the sky.
  • b) Jesus.
  • c) Love.
  • d) consciousness.
  • e) nothing.
  • f) everything.
  • g) all of the above.

The existence of evil in the world means…

  • a) God is not good.
  • b) God cannot exist because he wouldn't create evil.
  • c) that “evil” is just an illusion created by your selfish biases.  You don't see the world’s perfection because your vision isn't perfect.

Philosophy is…

  • a) impractical and a waste of time.
  • b) valuable.  You just haven't done it enough to realize it.

Consciousness is…

  • a) impossible to know.
  • b) possible to know because you are consciousness and consciousness is infinite, but you don't understand that yet because you haven't become conscious of it.

Leo is…

  • a) wrong, because he hasn't considered whatever point I want him to consider.
  • b) maybe right.  Maybe Leo has already taken that point into account and seen beyond it to points you have yet to consider.
  • c) not perfect, but his epistemology is better than most people's epistemologies.   He’s spent decades doing the work.  Can the same be said for you?

-The notion of raw facts is a naive myth.  Your mind does so much interpretation and confirmation bias that your relationship to reality is less than one percent. The other 99 percent are your projections, interpretations, assumptions, metaphysical and epistemic frameworks.  Your “facts” are actually biases, beliefs, fears, emotions and justifications.

-Your interpretations are are deeply distorted by your survival needs and insecurities.  They’re not objective or arbitrary.

 

-Key point:  Notice your interpretations.  Even deeper, notice yourself denying that your interpretation is an interpretation. How are you trying to retcon your interpretations as fact or science or “just the way it is”?  Also notice how rash and unconscious interpretations lead to self-deception and misunderstanding the world.

-Start taking alternative interpretations more seriously. Reality is a lot less obvious than it seems. The ability to go meta is crucial for Spiral Dynamics Tier Two.  Stage Yellow is interpretation aware and holds multiple perspectives at once.

-This work takes cognitive development and consciousness. Be aware that most knowledge, opinions and reporting you see in culture and media is actually an interpretation, but you’re not treating it as such.

           You unconsciously swallow culture and media and their implicit frames which leads to deep self-deception in your life.

-The meta point here is notice all possible interpretations of a situation, rather than looking for the “right one” and defending it.

           This will make you a better human, a better creator, more effective in business and relationships, with your health, with your wealth.  It'll make you happier.  It'll make it easier to do spiritual work.

 

Tips for Application

1) There’s always dozens of interpretations.  If you can only see one or two, you’re being epistemically irresponsible.  That's your clue you're not being mentally flexible and curious enough, that you’re just fooling yourself.

2) Realize that your first interpretation is usually the worst.  Unless you're extremely spiritually developed your initial gut interpretation is going to be very crude, foolish and wrong.  The more contemplation you do of epistemology and metaphysics, the better your interpretations will get.  Overcome your self-deceptions.  Notice the ego games and the blaming in your mind (ep: Self-deception I).

3) Get in the habit of looking for alternative interpretations.  Make it a little game you play with yourself.  This requires exploring multiple perspectives with an open-mind, without bias.  Even seeking a high quantity of interpretations is good.

4) Seek more nuanced, high quality interpretations. The examples above have both crude and nuanced interpretations.  Notice the differences between them.

5) Generate novel interpretations for all sorts of situations.  For your relationships, your children, love life, sexuality, views about men, women, the government, and so forth.

6) Reinterpret your own self.  You have tons of negative interpretations of your capacities that you consider facts.  How compassionate and empowering are your interpretations about yourself?

7) Seek more charitable and loving interpretations.  Some interpretations are very fear-based, us versus them, tribalistic and polarizing.  Other interpretations are more compassionate, more inclusive. Steel man other interpretations instead of straw manning them.

8) Seek interpretations that understand and can accommodate other perspectives.

9) Question and discard fear-based interpretations.  These are robbing you of your vitality and ability to be effective in the world and to see reality truthfully.  Fear is the smog that clouds up your vision.  It sneaks into so many of your interpretations, in ways you don't detect.  If you want to reach truth give up your fear-based interpretations.

10) Question and discard toxic, disempowering interpretations and victim mentality.   When you start to interpret yourself as a victim it becomes your reality.  You’re constantly drilling that into your mind.

           Notice how conspiracy theories and incel ideology use fear, hatred and judgment to make you feel like you're being empowered by the theory, but you’re actually not.  It dismisses compassionate interpretations that could jailbreak your mind and truly improve your life.

           Notice that incels and conspiracy theorists hammer your reptile brain.  They lack the ability to self-reflect and go meta.  Their epistemology is very poor.  That’s a surefire sign that their ideology is limiting and toxic.

 

How is interpretation different from Recontextualization?

           It's a difference of degree. (ep: Recontextualization).  Recontextualization is about how the context of a situation changes what the facts are and how you perceive the facts.  Recontextualizations are pretty rare, happening maybe once a month or once a year.  Reality pummels you with something and then you're forced to change your interpretation.  Interpretation is similar, but happening on a much more fine grained level. Interpretations are always going on in your mind.

Be careful about how you interpret these teachings

           The gavagai bunny also shows up in Leo’s work 🐰.  There can be double, triple meanings to the words Leo uses.  Unfortunately unconscious people who need these teachings the most are the most prone to misinterpreting them.  Also the more advanced a teaching is, the easier it is to misinterpret.  His concept of, say, ego death isn’t the same as your concept of ego death in your mind.

    Leo’s 3 hr episode about Relative truth means…

  • a) Life is subjective, relative and full of interpretation, therefore Absolute truth does not exist.
  • b) misunderstanding Relative truth causes a lot of suffering, and it co-exists with Absolute truth 🤯!

What you think he said might be the opposite of what he actually intended to say.  That’s the difficulty of communication.  So be very careful when listening to these videos.

-Epistemology is at the core of all of your problems in life

When you don’t take that seriously you misinterpret everything, everywhere.  The finite thing you believe you are is itself a gross misinterpretation of what you actually are.  You have fundamentally misinterpreted infinity as something finite.  You've misinterpreted consciousness as material substance.  Mind and body as atoms and science as truth.  Culture, government, politics, your own capacities as a human being, you've misinterpreted all of these.

-The real work is correcting the misinterpretations in your mind.  Fixing your epistemology fixes the foundation for your life.  The sturdier the foundation, the higher you can build your skyscraper.

           With most spiritual development teachings you get flimsy houses of cards.  At least when you're done with a three hour Actualized.org episode it will change something about how you see the world, and over time that changes your life.

Edited by FlyingLotus

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Great work @FlyingLotus. This is the episode that I want to work on implementing this week. This is a very valuable resource. Thanks. This is incredible.

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Thank you for this. A lot easier to have it written down ♥️

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wow! great summary! thank you very much

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@FlyingLotus amazing effort!


I am the only thing stopping myself from receiving infinite Love form Myself. I am Infinite Love for god sake.

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You're very welcome.  I'm glad you find this helpful.  It's one of my favourite episodes. :D

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Thie mods should feature this, this was a very foundational episode and you did great work summarizing this, all while making the information digestible. @FlyingLotus

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Thanks @Bando and @BojanV.  I knew my Star Trek knowledge would pay off someday 🖖!

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-Here’s a cool, freaky video on how unreliable your brain and senses are: Going Beyond Yanny Laurel.

-Also, two great Einstein quotes that capture going meta:

  • “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”
  • “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

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@FlyingLotus  A cool trick that might help you in making in summaries is to download the subtitles of leo's videos, now you got yourself a text of the whole episode which is surprisingly very accurate and with few mistakes. 

I use this website. 

downsub.com

here is the subtitles of leo's latest episode.

[English (auto-generated)] Relative vs Absolute Truth [DownSub.com].txt


I am the only thing stopping myself from receiving infinite Love form Myself. I am Infinite Love for god sake.

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