Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights
Miscellaneous bits of wisdom about personal development, philosophy, epistemology, nonduality, life purpose, psychedelics, etc. Published randomly throughout the week.
Insights here are meant to be quick and half-baked. Consider these food for thought.
I've deliberately disabled comments to keep the blog streamlined. If you want to discuss any of the blog posts, you can do so here: Actualized.org Forum
While we're on the topic of politics, here are my favorite political channels on YouTube:
- The Majority Report
- The Rational National
- Secular Talk
- The David Pakman Show
- The Humanist Report
- Democracy Now!
Please keep in mind that I do not necessarily agree with all of the ideas & opinions these channels espouse. These are stage Green channels. They are definitely biased and ideological. My view of politics is at least stage Yellow, so I have some important criticisms of these Green channels, but in an environment where stage Yellow political analysis is virtually non-existent, this is as good as you're likely to find, for now. We have a lot of growing to do just to get society to Green, nevermind Yellow. There will definitely be some excessive and unhealthy manifestations of Green from time to time, but right now I'm not too concerned about it.
Rather than adopting my personal political beliefs, what I suggest you do with this domain of life is to study it (if you want). Become serious about understanding how government & society works in a systemic, non-partisan, non-culture-war, conscious way. Set aside your political prejudices and educate yourself. Be careful not to get radicalized and not to build a new ego. Be careful about confirmation bias. Diversify your news sources and seriously investigate the positions of your political opponents. But also don't fall into the trap of false equivalency, splitting issues evenly down the middle, or automatically accepting the status quo. By not making a choice, you've made a choice in favor of the status quo. By not taking action, you've taken action in defense of the status quo.
When it comes to politics, you're damned if you do, but you're even more damned if you don't.
If you are seriously working on enlightenment you might want to stay away from politics for a while so it doesn't turn into a distraction. But overall, you should be well-informed about various political trends and what makes for good governance. You might want to subscribe to a serious journalistic new outlet like the New York Times or Washington Post and actually read their articles. Also, read books on politics and governance. You cannot understand this domain of life without some in-depth reading and a sense of history.
Excellent analysis of the current state of America:
Notice how Spiral Dynamics explains all this, and foreshadows the next inevitable development step. We are beginning to reach the limits of unbridled stage Orange.
Be careful not to turn the current state of society into a victim mindset or an excuse for why you can't create a great life. Never let aggregate macro trends dictate your personal effort and results. It doesn't really matter what others are failing to do, what matters is that you do what you need to do. Conscious capitalism is possible, and you can lead the way in that.
For more on that see my video: How To Escape Wage Slavery
Here's an eye-opening interview of Ron Miscavige, father of David Miscavige, the current leader of the cult of Scientology. Compare Ron's story with the cult check list I gave in my video on Cult Psychology.
Here's an outstanding interview by David Pakman with the wife of Alex Jones, offering a rare glimpse into the self-delusion and narcissism fueling the Alex Jone phenomenon.
This is very typical of unhealthy Spiral Dynamics stage Red. Alex Jones is basically an online cult leader.
Watch out! The 21st century will see many more cults forming online. The online medium is ripe for exploitation and weaponization by devils proclaiming themselves to be angels. YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, iTunes, Instagram, etc will all be hijacked by devils to some degree, in the same way that TV, radio, and newspapers were. The devil always thrives in newly developing media because they lack legal regulations and ethical norms. The devil thrives in the wild west, which is one of the fundamental flaws of anarchism and libertarianism. In a wild west environment the biggest devils will rule.
One of the things I hope you get from watching my videos is just how timely, relevant, and practical all of the stuff we talk about is. Philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, psychology, and spirituality are not just some wooly academic pursuit, their effects are felt throughout culture every day. You can see it in the news every day if you know what to look for because the principles we discuss on Actualized.org are so fundamental they shape all human action across all geographical locations across all time.
Here's but one example:
This is a good example of a secular cult.
R. Kelly seems to exhibit quite a bit of unhealthy Spiral Dynamics stage Red, which is quite common for rappers and cult leaders.
Should it be any surprise at this point that the Aztecs were nondualists?
Here's a summary of Aztec metaphysics from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
"At the heart of Nahua (Meso-American) philosophy stands the thesis that there exists a single, dynamic, vivifying, eternally self-generating and self-regenerating sacred power, energy or force: what the Nahuas called teotl (God). Elizabeth Boone writes, 'The real meaning of teotl is spirit — a concentration of power as a sacred and impersonal force'. According to Jorge Klor de Alva, 'Teotl implies something more than the idea of the divine manifested in the form of a god or gods; instead it signifies the sacred in more general terms'. The multiplicity of gods in official, state sanctioned Aztec religion does not gainsay this claim, for this multiplicity was merely the sacred, merely teotl, 'separated, as it were by the prism of human sight, into its many attributes'.
Teotl continually generates and regenerates as well as permeates, encompasses, and shapes the cosmos as part of its endless process of self-generation and regeneration. That which humans commonly understand as nature — e.g. heavens, earth, rain, humans, trees, rocks, animals, etc. — is generated by teotl, from teotl as one aspect, facet, or moment of its endless process of self-generation-and-regeneration. Yet teotl is more than the unified totality of things; teotl is identical with everything and everything is identical with teotl. Since identical with teotl, the cosmos and its contents ultimately transcend such dichotomies as personal vs. impersonal, animate vs. inanimate, etc. As the single, all-encompassing life force of the universe, teotl vivifies the cosmos and its contents. Lastly, teotl is both metaphysically immanent and transcendent. It is immanent in that it penetrates deeply into every detail of the universe and exists within the myriad of created things; it is transcendent in that it is not exhausted by any single, existing thing.
Nahua metaphysics is processive. Process, movement, becoming and transmutation are essential attributes of teotl. Teotl is properly understood as ever-flowing and ever-changing energy-in-motion — not as a discrete, static entity.
Although essentially processive and devoid of any permanent order, the ceaseless becoming of the cosmos is nevertheless characterized by an overarching balance, rhythm, and regularity: one provided by and constituted by teotl... Dialectical polar monism holds that: (1) the cosmos and its contents are substantively and formally identical with teotl; and (2) teotl presents itself primarily as the ceaseless, cyclical oscillation of polar yet complementary opposites.
Teotl's process presents itself in multiple aspects, preeminent among which is duality. This duality takes the form of the endless opposition of contrary yet mutually interdependent and mutually complementary polarities that divide, alternately dominate, and explain the diversity, movement, and momentary arrangement of the universe. These include: being and not-being, order and disorder, life and death, light and darkness, masculine and feminine, dry and wet, hot and cold, and active and passive. Life and death, for example, are mutually arising, interdependent, and complementary aspects of one and the same process.
The created cosmos consists of the unending, cyclical tug-of-war or dialectical oscillation of these polarities — all of which are the manifold manifestations of teotl. Because of this, the created cosmos is characterized as unstable, transitory, and devoid of any lasting being, order or structure. Yet teotl is nevertheless characterized by enduring pattern or regularity. How is this so? Teotl is the dynamic, sacred energy shaping as well as constituting these endless oscillations; it is the immanent balance of the endless, dialectical alternation of the created universe's interdependent polarities.
Because essentially processive and dynamic, teotl is properly characterized neither by being nor not-being but by becoming. Being and not-being are simply two dialectically interrelated presentations or facets of teotl, and as such inapplicable to teotl itself. Similarly, teotl is properly understood as neither ordered (law-governed) nor disordered (anarchic) but as unordered. Indeed, this point is fully general: life/death, active/passive, male/female, etc. are strictly speaking not predicable of teotl. Teotl captures a tertium quid transcending these dichotomies by being simultaneously neither-alive-nor-dead-yet-both-alive-and-dead, simultaneously neither-orderly-nor-disorderly-yet-both-orderly-and-disorderly, etc.
In the end, teotl is essentially an unstructured and unordered, seamless totality. Differentiation, regularity, order, etc. are simultaneously fictions of human unknowing and artistic-shamanic presentations of teotl. In Western philosophical terminology, one perhaps best characterizes the radical ontological indeterminacy of Nahua metaphysics as an extreme nominalist anti-realism, and teotl, as a Kantian-like noumenon.
Nahuas philosophers also conceived teotl pantheistically: (a) everything that exists constitutes an all-inclusive and interrelated unity; (b) this unity is sacred; (c) everything that exists is substantively identical and hence one with the sacred; (d) the sacred is teotl. There is only one thing, teotl, and all other forms or aspects of reality and existence are identical with teotl; (e) teotl is not a minded being or person.
Teotl is a sacred artist who endlessly fashions and refashions itself into and as the cosmos. The cosmos is teotl's grand, ongoing artistic-cum-metaphorical self-presentation; teotl's ongoing work of performance art or 'metaphor in motion'.
Teotl artistically-cum-shamanically presents and masks itself to humans in a variety of ways: (1) the apparent thingness of existents, i.e. the appearance of static entities such as humans, mountains, trees, insects, etc. This is illusory, since one and all are merely facets of teotl's sacred motion; (2) the apparent multiplicity of existents, i.e. the appearance of discrete, independently existing entities such as individual humans, plants, mountains, etc. This is illusory since there is only one thing: teotl; and (3) the apparent exclusivity, independence, and irreconcilable oppositionality of dualities such as order and disorder, life and death, etc. This is illusory since they are interrelated, complementary facets of teotl.
As an epistemological consequence of teotl's self-disguising, when humans customarily gaze upon the world, what they see is teotl as a human, as a tree, as female, etc. — i.e. teotl self-disguised — rather than teotl as teotl. Wisdom enables humans to discern the sacred presence of teotl in its myriad disguises.
It is humans' misperceiving and misunderstanding teotl as its disguise which prevents them from seeing teotl (reality) as it really is. The only way humans experience teotl knowingly is to experience teotl sans description (non-symbolically). Humans experience teotl knowingly via a process of mystical-style union between their hearts and teotl that enables them to experience teotl directly i.e. without mediation by language, concepts, or categories. One comes to know teotl through teotl."
In other words:
You are Teotl!
This is one of the most beautiful & complete articulations of nonduality that I've ever come across.
One of the world's most powerful cults is the Unification Church, otherwise known as The Moonies. It was founded by Korean business tycoon, prophet, and convicted felon, Sun Myung Moon.
Here's an eye-opening documentary about it:
*Remember to take Wikipedia pages about major cults with a grain of salt. Cults have no qualms about falsifying their own Wikipedia pages to make themselves look better.
Sometimes you become so conscious of the truth of a matter that you just go silent.
Truth and silence work both ways: deep truth results in long silence, long silence results in deep truth.
Train yourself to bask in silence, like a cat basking in the rays of the sun.
I love this example of a strange loop by Belgian surrealist artist, Rene Magritte.
Here's how Wikipedia describes Magritte's style: "He became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality. Magritte's constant play with reality and illusion has been attributed to the early death of his mother."
René Magritte described his paintings as "visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, 'What does that mean?'. It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable."
Just like nonduality. God is a strange loop. You try to know yourself, but you cannot.