Fear and restlessness kill more than do illnesses. ~ French Proverb
Love is like fog — there is no mountain on which it does not rest. ~ Hawaiian Proverb
You can teach yourself psychology by observing your surroundings. ~ DiosRaw
“You cannot deny the validity of mystical experience by saying “they are just experiences” because EVERYTHING, including the brain, science, reason, and proof, are also just experiences. However you ground yourself in “reality” it will always be through experience. (Until you realize the Groundless Ground.) It does not matter whether your experiences and justifications of those experiences are religious or scientific — they are equally mental constructions.
Yes, of course, when mystical experiences happen at the stage Blue level of development, the ego-mind interprets them in a limited, orthodox, ego-centric, chauvinistic way. To then re-interpret them via the scientific materialist paradigm is to evolve one stage, but it is to still fundamentally misunderstand what they are.
What’s not being understood here is that the nature of reality is subjective and mind-constructed, and therefore “physical” reality can change if you just change the way you use your mind. This possibility is not taken seriously because Stage Blue and Orange underestimates reality. These stages assume that reality is a fixed, static thing, limited thing — which turns out to be a very mistaken metaphysical assumption.
Basically every atheist commits this mistake. They take it completely for granted that the metaphysics of modern science is correct and unquestionable. But it isn’t! The atheist fails to understand that spirituality isn’t about personal experience, it is about metaphysics.
These kinds of errors are the direct result of our culture’s marginalization of metaphysics and epistemology. Because our culture de-emphasizes it, very few people investigate it or take it seriously, believing that “metaphysics has no practical applications”. Well, here is your practical application! Lack of metaphysical depth leads to all sorts of fundamental errors in thinking — and what’s worse, these errors go completely unnoticed. Because to notice them would require doing metaphysics, which nobody wants to do! Therein lies the tragedy of mankind in the 21st century.”
To relax the mind is to lose it. ~Latin Proverb
“You must begin by turning inwards. You begin by recognizing that all our collective problems are actually rooted right inside of you! How are you contributing to global warming? How are you contributing to corruption in politics? How are you contributing to terrorism? That’s where you start! And you better fucking believe that you’re contributing directly to these problems. That right there is whole the problem! See?
Trying to fix these problems by rallying people to some cause is actually part of the problem. Because it externalizes the problem so nobody bothers asking the really important question: How is my being in the world creating all the evil I see around me?
Here’s the paradox of systems thinking: we need more people to be socially conscious, but the only way to do that is get more people to turn inward. Systems thinking might seem like it’s asking you to orient outward (because the focus is on solving external problems like global warming or terrorism) but solving these problems first requires a radical turning inward. So you must turn inwards first, master your self and your understanding of systems, then you will turn outwards and transform the world in a responsible manner.
There can be no meaningful transformation of the world without a personal inner revolution. This is where most revolutionaries go wrong. If you just try to overthrow the government or start some kind of political action group, you will fail, because you lack the requisite inner development to lead such a group in a conscious and responsible manner. Your actions will also be misguided because you misunderstand the root problems. Your personal weaknesses and corruption will undermine you. If you start a movement without first expanding your own consciousness, you will deepen the problem because you will just spread ignorance.
An ignorant person cannot help spreading ignorance. This is a certainty. No ifs about it. Notice that this has been a huge trap across the centuries. When someone starts a movement without first taming their ego, the movement always backfires and leads to great evil. Closely study the development of religions, cults, Nazism, Marxism, anti-communism, existentialism, nihilism, post-modernism, Scientology, evangelical missionaries, the PUA community, Alex Jones, etc. All of these movements were created by people who haven’t mastered their own egos, and therefore they spread ignorance in the name of doing social good, actually creating the very same evil they are trying to stop.
The source of all evil is personal ignorance. Evil is not created with evil intentions. Evil is created with good intentions. The better you think your intentions are, the more evil you will create in the world, the more ignorance you will spread, because you will think you’re right, leaving no room for self-reflection. Evil is just a lack of self-reflection. That is all. So watch yourself!
Also, systems thinking is not just about manipulating systems. Many of the lower Spiral Dynamics stages like Red, Blue, and Orange can manipulate systems very successfully. A mob boss is very good at ruthlessly pushing through his egoic agenda. This is not systems thinking. This is shameless egotism. Systems thinking requires that you start to step outside your self-centered view of the world. You have to be conscious enough to step outside your own value system, and genuinely care about other beings besides your self and your tribe.
Stop using success, wealth, or fame as measures of systems thinking. Just because some businessman has made billions of dollars and has 10 luxury cars and a trophy wife, does NOT make him a systems thinker. Just the opposite in fact. It’s really easy to make money in a ruthless, unecological manner by exploiting a system. That is NOT systems thinking. That’s unchecked stage Red or stage Orange egotism.
If you feel that your perspective of the world is THE TRUTH, you’re not at stage Yellow.”
“When the ancient Greeks built their temples, they would use wood scaffolding to aid in construction. But the scaffolding was then burned or buried. The Greeks didn’t go around saying, “Look how wonderful our scaffolding is! Come, heathens… prostrate yourselves before our mighty scaffolding!”
It’s really important to understand what Actualized.org content is. It’s just mental scaffolding. It’s a functional stepping-stone which you use to improve your life, and then you throw it away. You do not worship the scaffolding, you do not cling to preserving it, you do not confuse it with reality itself. The scaffolding does not have to be perfect to get you there. In fact, the scaffolding is often makeshift, crude, and ever-evolving.
My videos, insights, and frameworks have zero ideological purpose. I am not here to convince you of anything or to have you believe my worldview. My worldview is that there are no true worldviews. And even that must be recognized to eat itself.
Understand that concepts like “life purpose”, “Zen devilry”, “spiral dynamics”, “no free will”, or “taking full responsibility”, are all limited things. They are not really true. They are just ways of guiding you. All of these concepts and models break down at the edges. None of them are watertight, nor are they meant to be. This impulse to construct a watertight model of reality is misguided, demonstrating a deep ignorance of the dangers of mind. That’s not what Actualized.org is doing, nor should that be what you’re doing. The ideas I share with you are tools. We are using illusion to fight illusion. In my sharing this knowledge, I put an emphasis on practicality. If a concept gets you to think and act in a certain way — gets you moving towards growth — then it is doing it’s job. And at some point you will outgrow it, replacing it with more sophisticated scaffolding. In this manner you will inch your way up until most of the old scaffolding looks juvenile, ridiculous, and false.
Having this “scaffolding attitude” is very important because it creates a buffer for inaccuracies and incompleteness. If you’re smart, you should have wondered by now, “But Leo… what if you’re mistaken about your position on free will? Or death? Or God? Or knowledge? Or the differences between men and women? Won’t that bring your whole system down?” This is a good concern. Which is why I don’t take any positions. If it seems like I take firm positions in the videos, that’s largely done: 1) for entertainment, 2) for the functional need of manipulating you out of your rut, 3) because the very nature of successful communication requires the speaker to sound confident and knowledgeable, making it appear as though the speaker holds a firm position.
Precisely because I expect tons of falsehood and delusion in this whole process, I’ve gone to great lengths to adopt a self-correcting epistemic attitude which gracefully handles inaccuracy, delusion, and falsehood. And my focus has been deliberately set on real-world growth, not building and defending “a system”. You need to do the same yourself. If you adopt a pragmatic, “scaffolding attitude”, all the inaccuracies will become irrelevant in the long-run. It’s sorta like the scientific method. You rely on the method to weed itself of bullshit. I study hundreds of perspectives and theories, many of which are filled with falsehoods, but it doesn’t matter because all of it is held as “just scaffolding”. But this self-purifying mechanism will only work if you’re seriously adopting the “scaffolding attitude.” As soon as you start to cling to any one of the perspectives you’ve learned, you’re screwed.
The genius of this method — if you actually do it — is that it allows you to play all the world’s perspectives and theories against each other, without getting caught in the crossfire. The only thing you need to do to make it work is avoid taking firm positions on anything. Then you can mingle with many contradictory perspectives and glean whatever pragmatic gold each has to offer.
My aim is not to “be right”, but to grow and learn.
That’s how I think about this whole process. I take this pragmatic stance in order to avoid the evils of ideology. Ideas are never to be worshiped or held as absolute or important. When working with concepts, the greatest danger is starting to believe your own conceptual bullshit. The better your concepts fit together — the more cohesive your system feels — the more likely you are to start to hold it as The Truth — as really really important. But all this really means is that you’ve succeeded in finding a way to buy into your own monkey-mind. The harder your mind works, the more likely it is to find a way to crown itself king. The danger of this cannot be overstated. This dynamic works in subtle and sneaky ways, which is why we must always remain on-guard. I am not just talking about this happening to “others”, like some religious fundamentalists. No! No! No! I mean it’s happening to you right now! You’re falling into this trap, no matter how good you tell yourself you are. Intelligent, secular, scientific, and rational people are MORE susceptible to this trap, not less. You’re extremely susceptible.
Notice that a lot of what my videos do is merely point out dynamics, patterns, themes, techniques, and overlooked aspects of your life. In so doing, your circle of understanding expands because things are pointed out which you can no longer honestly ignore. In this, there’s nothing to believe per se. A lot of this is totally obvious stuff which you’ve simply never noticed before.
The great thing about holding something as scaffolding is that you don’t have to revere it and you don’t feel the need to prosthelytize or defend it. You also don’t waste time debating it. You just apply it, or don’t.
If you want to think of Actualized.org theory as a series of kicks in the ass to a stubborn donkey, that’s about right. As the donkey, you don’t say, “Those kicks sure are the Truth!” No, those kicks don’t even have to be self-consistent or logical. You can be kicked to go left, you can be kicked to go right, and you can be kicked just for fun 😉
Many of the things I say are designed to manipulate you out of complacency or ignorance. You should take these sayings as seriously as necessary to break out of your stupid ways. But no more seriously than that.”
Pashupata Shaivism is believed to be the oldest named sect of Hinduism. It was one of the main schools of Shaivism, which worships Shiva as the supreme deity. The name comes from Pashupati, an incarnation of Shiva as lord of the animals, and Pashupati itself is derived from the Sanskrit pashu, meaning “animal” or “beast.” Pashu also refers to a soul trapped by the bondage of ignorance and the cycle of rebirth. Shaivism means “Shiva’s path.”
Pashupatas were known for such devotional and ascetic practices as meditation and chanting, but they were also known for more extreme practices such as smearing their bodies with ashes and walking around while pounding the earth with iron tridents and staffs as a means of self-purification.