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RiKD    United States. Dec 04 2018 03:17. Posts 5292
People are always in transition but it feels like I am in transition. Not that I want to be. I want consistency, homeostasis, comfort, peace, contentment. Where do I start? I just felt like writing a blog. I am in a frame of mind where I just do what I want to do then I sleep a lot then I work. I am not forcing myself to meditate or go to meetings or read scriptures or be "spiritual." This whole tutz thing is almost comical but I don't want to be mean. He's a caricature of what I am trying to steer clear of. What does it even mean to be spiritual? My therapist commented today that I don't seem to be of the flesh. I had no idea what she was talking about. I had to Google it. Turns out it is Romans 8 from the Bible: "You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ." What does it mean to be in the realm of the Spirit? My therapist also said I was thoughtful and cerebral which it felt like she was describing herself but I would say fair ways to describe myself as well. I think talking to her about my Buddhist teacher situation was helpful. It just is what it is. The tough part is what do I do now? Fuck it man, I just do what I end up doing. Back to determined, atheist, pseudo-nihilist (that ends up going back to AA meetings because there is seemingly nothing else to do). It felt good today to hunker down and watch one of the Gifford Lectures Loco posted. It was stimulating. I would say it was even exciting. I don't think I've had excitement in my life for 4 months if not longer. Some would say it's a bit deranged to get excited about a lecture on neuroscience but fuck the naysayers. This is my life. That's how it happened to go. Which I started writing this blog about my thoughts and I've been thinking on the way to the therapist because I was supposed to bring her my goals and I am thinking in therapy and then I am thinking on the ride home and I am thinking all day and most of these thoughts are completely repetitive and useless. I have little else to do though than to just think. I remember in meditation I experienced the mundanity of thought. Even though one of my favorites Byung-Chul Han stressed the value of contemplative lingering. What is right?

Who wouldn't want a good mentor or teacher? But, I am burned out at the thought of it. I don't even know what I want.

I watched a Warcraft 3 game today. 120 vs Moon. Brought back memories. 120 is crazy good. I remember playing this game for 10+ hours a day with the goal of being a progamer. I could be competitive at a local WCG Qualifier and even almost qualified for WCG online one summer but was no where close to being a progamer. Actually, that wasn't even the goal I just wanted to be l337 and travel to some tournaments. Failed. But, I heard TillerMaN was playing poker and did some investigations and found teamliquid poker discussion and carved out a decent living for some years. Far better than I ever would have done at wc3. It's crazy though that I was perfectly cool with playing wc3 for 10+ hours a day. I would skip meals and not care. Not shower. Nothing else mattered. And, you know what? I loved it. Maybe a stranger thing is that I don't have the gamer in me at all anymore. I don't know what's in me anymore. It seems like I get excited about organic plants and how to prepare them. I get enthused about LP which may be a bit pathetic but it's honestly probably my favorite thing besides sleeping at this point. I tried reading some Raman Maharshi last night and got through like 2 pages and was just thoroughly not enthused. I just sit and listen to Björk. There is not a whole lot I trust in Buddhism at this point and never profoundly experienced the benefits of not listening to music. I am not meditating anyways so what's the difference? I can't get distracted doing something I have no intention of doing at the moment.

I am not going to meetings. Any meetings. My brainwashing is telling me this might be a problem. Friends in AA and Refuge have been texting me and calling me to come back. I will probably go on Wednesday if my friend texts me. Begrudgingly but in some ways happy that there just may be some connection in my life. Even if it's with a bunch of brainwashed drunks.

I remember probably the highest I've ever been in my life. I was stressed after a bad session and was inhaling a blunt of really dope stuff thinking the more and faster I puffed the faster I could escape my woes. I thought I was going to die. I had unnerving sensations pulsing through out my body. I vaguely remember someone saying sugar helps ease the high and I vaguely remember staring at the refrigerator for what literally could have been 20 min. I don't think I ever got any fruit juice I intended on getting. I thought I have to get my mind off of these thoughts and played Mario Kart. I was teetering on euphoria and thinking I could go back to death's door any moment. I seemed like I was in the clear so I just lay in my bed and listened to Björk and entered this 4th dimension of bliss. She saved me that fox from Iceland. I will always love Björk. Bebel Gilberto with an iv of red wine has also been my consistent savior..... Until it wasn't it......

Not a lot changes. Candle lit. Thinking "deeply" about the mundane. The Struggle.

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Loco   Canada. Dec 04 2018 04:36. Posts 19585

Knowing what you want above all else is the easiest thing to answer. We all want the same thing, fundamentally. To be well in our own skin; which translates to being well-adapted to, and able to get regular gratification from, the objects and people in our environment, as we cannot ever be separated from our environmental niche, which we depend upon. A nervous system has no other purpose than to seek to repeat gratifying actions on its environment, and for as long as there is abundance in that environment, and the system is not hijacked, as it is with certain drugs, fast food, etc, or other people don't prevent you to meet your needs, there is no problem, no confusion, no depression, no aggression.

The only desires that differ from human being to human being are the instrumental ones. That is, the ones that we feel are going to be helpful or necessary in order to reach the end goal of being well in our own skin, once the social context we live in is taken into account. This translates into wanting things that we would have never wanted had we not been taught to want them, i.e. through advertising, parental conditioning, etc. We internalized a desire for them, not because we individually think they are a good in-and-of-themselves, but because they serve the function to preserve the structures, the views and the rules of a socioculture at a place in time. This, of course, is at the cost of individual well-being, unless he happens to be a dominant person within that socioculture. In that case, he achieves well-being by conforming to it. For most people, that can never be the case; the poorer they are, the less options they have, and the more they have to submit to the way of life of the dominant people who are always only invested in the maintenance of dominance hierarchies, but who will couch their interest in a deceitful phraseology, and try to make you believe that you benefit from their power.

Ultimately, we want power, because it is only with power that we can secure what we want (and need) from our environmental niche, in which we are forced to compete with others to sustain our existence. It is only with power that we can escape the pressures that society puts on us from the minute we are out of the womb onward. The rise in mental illness in industrial societies is the direct consequence of the fact that in a society organized through hierarchical structures of dominance, and especially ones in which you can pass down accumulated capital, there is a massive imbalance of power, and there is no escape. This is the key notion to understand. Prior to specialization which began in the neolithic era, there was a lot of territory and resources, and mutual avoidance was immensely more common than it is now. Now, no matter where you go, it's just another hierarchical structure of dominance, and you have no choice but to conform to its rules if you wish to survive. (And the challenge is to find and maintain a way to live where we get to take part in society all the while conforming to it only to the extent necessary.)

That is the source of the whole civilizational malaise, and the reason so many people are desperate and turn to desperate belief systems to flee from the brutal reality of a world that serves the interests of the few. In a world where our lives have no meaning, only the function to produce and consume goods, we have to escape through the imagination. Whether that's the belief in nirvana, or the necessity to shift the consciousness of the earth, watching Hollywood blockbusters, or the belief in free markets, it's all the same. We haven't chosen any of it, we're just trying to make do with a shitty hand in a rigged game. To be sure, most people have had a much shittier hand than us, but they'll never have the free time to be able to theorize about it and fully be aware of the mechanisms behind their struggles.

It's not teachers and mentors that you are burned out on. It's your tunnel vision that leads you to exhaustion. You can learn from a variety of teachers who specialize in different things and never be bored again studying the immense complexity of the world. The people you should stay away from are the gurus. And I apologize for leading you to someone who was more guru than teacher. These are people with little to no curiosity, who are often followed en masse, because they have accessible, simplistic and predictable answers to everything. No surprise that something they all have in common it seems is that they never studied the human brain.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)Last edit: 04/12/2018 05:34

Loco   Canada. Dec 04 2018 06:28. Posts 19585

Speaking of music, I just saw this post and it reminded me to share this with you. It's pretty dope and I'm sure you can relate to the lyrics.




Edit: Just now seeing their new clips for the first time... this one is awesome too.


For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)Last edit: 04/12/2018 07:09

LemOn[5thF]   Czech Republic. Dec 04 2018 08:08. Posts 14694

You're like this all or nothing dude
You'll forever be in transition believe me and not the good kind
I realized this some time ago, life's not black and white, life's not all or nothing, you can have big realizations yes, but what you do and who you are is just a collection of consistent long term habits


It feels really ridiculous to me that you'd go all-in on meditation, go way overboard on buddhist teachings way too fast, and then just give up cold turkey for example

NL5 Grinder 4LifeLast edit: 04/12/2018 08:08

RiKD    United States. Dec 04 2018 18:13. Posts 5292


  On December 04 2018 03:36 Loco wrote:
Knowing what you want above all else is the easiest thing to answer. We all want the same thing, fundamentally. To be well in our own skin; which translates to being well-adapted to, and able to get regular gratification from, the objects and people in our environment, as we cannot ever be separated from our environmental niche, which we depend upon. A nervous system has no other purpose than to seek to repeat gratifying actions on its environment, and for as long as there is abundance in that environment, and the system is not hijacked, as it is with certain drugs, fast food, etc, or other people don't prevent you to meet your needs, there is no problem, no confusion, no depression, no aggression.

The only desires that differ from human being to human being are the instrumental ones. That is, the ones that we feel are going to be helpful or necessary in order to reach the end goal of being well in our own skin, once the social context we live in is taken into account. This translates into wanting things that we would have never wanted had we not been taught to want them, i.e. through advertising, parental conditioning, etc. We internalized a desire for them, not because we individually think they are a good in-and-of-themselves, but because they serve the function to preserve the structures, the views and the rules of a socioculture at a place in time. This, of course, is at the cost of individual well-being, unless he happens to be a dominant person within that socioculture. In that case, he achieves well-being by conforming to it. For most people, that can never be the case; the poorer they are, the less options they have, and the more they have to submit to the way of life of the dominant people who are always only invested in the maintenance of dominance hierarchies, but who will couch their interest in a deceitful phraseology, and try to make you believe that you benefit from their power.

Ultimately, we want power, because it is only with power that we can secure what we want (and need) from our environmental niche, in which we are forced to compete with others to sustain our existence. It is only with power that we can escape the pressures that society puts on us from the minute we are out of the womb onward. The rise in mental illness in industrial societies is the direct consequence of the fact that in a society organized through hierarchical structures of dominance, and especially ones in which you can pass down accumulated capital, there is a massive imbalance of power, and there is no escape. This is the key notion to understand. Prior to specialization which began in the neolithic era, there was a lot of territory and resources, and mutual avoidance was immensely more common than it is now. Now, no matter where you go, it's just another hierarchical structure of dominance, and you have no choice but to conform to its rules if you wish to survive. (And the challenge is to find and maintain a way to live where we get to take part in society all the while conforming to it only to the extent necessary.)

That is the source of the whole civilizational malaise, and the reason so many people are desperate and turn to desperate belief systems to flee from the brutal reality of a world that serves the interests of the few. In a world where our lives have no meaning, only the function to produce and consume goods, we have to escape through the imagination. Whether that's the belief in nirvana, or the necessity to shift the consciousness of the earth, watching Hollywood blockbusters, or the belief in free markets, it's all the same. We haven't chosen any of it, we're just trying to make do with a shitty hand in a rigged game. To be sure, most people have had a much shittier hand than us, but they'll never have the free time to be able to theorize about it and fully be aware of the mechanisms behind their struggles.

It's not teachers and mentors that you are burned out on. It's your tunnel vision that leads you to exhaustion. You can learn from a variety of teachers who specialize in different things and never be bored again studying the immense complexity of the world. The people you should stay away from are the gurus. And I apologize for leading you to someone who was more guru than teacher. These are people with little to no curiosity, who are often followed en masse, because they have accessible, simplistic and predictable answers to everything. No surprise that something they all have in common it seems is that they never studied the human brain.



The Struggle.

Define environmental niche. I feel like at work things are ok. I make good pizzas and people are grateful for them. I generally like the people I work with. It's when I am sitting home alone that I start to feel a void. I suppose on the AA front there is a facade of gratification. It feels good to get greetings and smiles from a wide range of people but there is the underlying tone that I've just entered a brainwashing center.

I am probably still effected by advertising and parental conditioning but that has mostly been whittled away. I would like to have friends but I realize I am kind of a strange person living outside of these conforming societies. I laugh at the dominant in dominance hierarchies except for at work who unfortunately control my paycheck and general working conditions.

"And the challenge is to find and maintain a way to live where we get to take part in society all the while conforming to it only to the extent necessary"

Yes, this is precisely the challenge.

Compared to the "guru" that embezzles money and engages in sexual misconduct, and the local monk, Y seemed like he was it. I suppose there is a danger in that. Oh well, I am in no hurry to find a new mentor or teacher.


RiKD    United States. Dec 04 2018 19:28. Posts 5292


  On December 04 2018 05:28 Loco wrote:
Speaking of music, I just saw this post and it reminded me to share this with you. It's pretty dope and I'm sure you can relate to the lyrics.




Edit: Just now seeing their new clips for the first time... this one is awesome too.





Good songs.

I saw MGMT at Lollapalooza ages ago. It was kind of interesting. They booked them on a small stage but "Kids" and "Electric Feel" (I think that was on their first album) had blown up by that point. The area was PACKED. MGMT was playing all their not as well known stuff and people in the crowd started chattering. It was a chain reaction and the chatter became quite loud comparable to the music. Kind of a bummer. I felt bad for the band. They seemed quite green live at that point.

I wouldn't exactly call it my little dark age going from 2,500 year old hearsay to Gifford Lectures on Neuroscience but I gotta go bye.


Loco   Canada. Dec 04 2018 21:25. Posts 19585

First time I heard them I went to an H&M looking for a couple albums in 2007. The girl working there (who had amazing eyes) looked them up for me on her computer and she said that they didn't carry them and my taste is too obscure. I told her she should really look into Kayo Dot and she said she would. She suggested I listen to MGMT at her desk, and I was really attracted to her, so I said yes, even though I was also super anxious and in "bowel distress mode". When she gave me the hearphones and the album started, I felt like I was going to shit myself, but I stayed there trying to look like everything was normal and like I was enjoying the music. I couldn't pull it off for more than a minute or two and had to excuse myself to use the bathroom, but I still got her number before I left. As a result though I never ended up listening to the album again. Never really cared for their music until this Little Dark Age album, because I'm pretty big on synthpop/goth revival stuff when it's done well... and they do it extremely well. After watching this clip I realized I had a huge crush on the synth girl in the clip (turns out she's a model and a painter/visual artist, not a band member, not even a musician).

Most doctrines taught by the Buddha are compatible with neuroscience, and science in general. His idea of dependent origination was validated by modern physics. The whole attraction of it for me was always that the Buddha said we should not take anything on faith. Neo-/secular Buddhism is quite big nowadays. The Mind and Life Institute got me back into Buddhism and it also has lectures on neuroscience. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a great many meditation teachers who are on board with this kind of mission, let alone communities. It's too recent for one, and it requires a level of openness and curiosity that is seldom found (no doubt because they have been so stifled by the hierarchical structures that we live in).

Edit: Oh, and, I didn't mean that you were going through a "dark age". The reddit post simply reminded me of the song, which I thought I'd share with you.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken)Last edit: 05/12/2018 03:30

Loco   Canada. Dec 05 2018 03:33. Posts 19585

Here's something else you might enjoy doing now. Gazzaniga mentioned the pioneering work done at the Santa Fe Institute a few times in his lecture, and they have a free online course on complexity.

https://www.complexityexplorer.org/home

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken) 

RiKD    United States. Dec 05 2018 18:13. Posts 5292


  On December 04 2018 07:08 LemOn[5thF] wrote:
You're like this all or nothing dude
You'll forever be in transition believe me and not the good kind
I realized this some time ago, life's not black and white, life's not all or nothing, you can have big realizations yes, but what you do and who you are is just a collection of consistent long term habits


It feels really ridiculous to me that you'd go all-in on meditation, go way overboard on buddhist teachings way too fast, and then just give up cold turkey for example



"You'll forever be in transition believe me and not the good kind" - What do you mean by this?


I am not really sure I know where I am at with Buddhism. I still very much follow the 5 precepts and the 4 Noble Truths and believe in the Eightfold Noble Path. I've just been done with reading scriptures and meditating. I am done with the "New Burmese" Method of meditation and haven't really looked too hard to find or practice something new. I grew fond of that meditation and just don't want to deal with starting all over yet. I grew tired of the magic and ritual in Buddhism. If anything I'd be more of a Neo-Buddhist/secular-Buddhist or just like a guy that doesn't even want to deal with labels.


RiKD    United States. Dec 05 2018 19:17. Posts 5292


  On December 04 2018 20:25 Loco wrote:
First time I heard them I went to an H&M looking for a couple albums in 2007. The girl working there (who had amazing eyes) looked them up for me on her computer and she said that they didn't carry them and my taste is too obscure. I told her she should really look into Kayo Dot and she said she would. She suggested I listen to MGMT at her desk, and I was really attracted to her, so I said yes, even though I was also super anxious and in "bowel distress mode". When she gave me the hearphones and the album started, I felt like I was going to shit myself, but I stayed there trying to look like everything was normal and like I was enjoying the music. I couldn't pull it off for more than a minute or two and had to excuse myself to use the bathroom, but I still got her number before I left. As a result though I never ended up listening to the album again. Never really cared for their music until this Little Dark Age album, because I'm pretty big on synthpop/goth revival stuff when it's done well... and they do it extremely well. After watching this clip I realized I had a huge crush on the synth girl in the clip (turns out she's a model and a painter/visual artist, not a band member, not even a musician).



The thought of you in an H&M is somewhat strange/comical. I didn't know they sold music. Great story all around. It must have been a great feeling to be safely on the shitter with her number intact.

Yes, the synth girl is quite alluring. As an aside, I realize nose rings are a super trend right now but I've always liked them. The popularity has kind of diluted my liking but there is something about it. But, then I walk into a "Young People's" AA meeting and it seems like every 20 something female has a nose ring and it's like O K. I get ideas to get a nose ring and a hand tattoo and it feels like I am getting manipulated by a certain type of culture. I already bought beard oil again. The Buddha is pretty clear on no jewelry or unguents and it makes sense but it's interesting how I get away from that and these wants and desires come back. I get ideas of dating these women with like 6 months clean and sober and it is just the worst idea imaginable. There certainly is a grey area between talking and flirting but oops my eyes and smile already betrayed the no flirting line. I see she's playing with her hair and coyly looking back at me. Fuck Buddhism this is fun!



  Most doctrines taught by the Buddha are compatible with neuroscience, and science in general. His idea of dependent origination was validated by modern physics. The whole attraction of it for me was always that the Buddha said we should not take anything on faith. Neo-/secular Buddhism is quite big nowadays. The Mind and Life Institute got me back into Buddhism and it also has lectures on neuroscience. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a great many meditation teachers who are on board with this kind of mission, let alone communities. It's too recent for one, and it requires a level of openness and curiosity that is seldom found (no doubt because they have been so stifled by the hierarchical structures that we live in).



If there was one thing I agreed with Y on was his thoughts about the downsides of cultural Buddhism. But, then again he was also against secular Buddhism. Morin, Cioran, Varela, Ricard... These are people I can look up to.


  Edit: Oh, and, I didn't mean that you were going through a "dark age". The reddit post simply reminded me of the song, which I thought I'd share with you.



I appreciate you sharing those clips. I thoroughly enjoyed them both. I have the urge to listen to the whole album more in depth when I am in my car but my car charger outlet is broke and also the AUX cable and my phone are not working. A lot of flour gets into the crevices of my phone while at work so I am hoping and have been inspired to give it a thorough cleaning and maybe it will work.


RiKD    United States. Dec 05 2018 19:18. Posts 5292


  On December 05 2018 02:33 Loco wrote:
Here's something else you might enjoy doing now. Gazzaniga mentioned the pioneering work done at the Santa Fe Institute a few times in his lecture, and they have a free online course on complexity.

https://www.complexityexplorer.org/home



Nice. I am starting to wish I had more time off of work. Thank you.


Loco   Canada. Dec 06 2018 04:18. Posts 19585

I don't know why I wrote H&M... I meant to write HMV. I think I might have went to H&M a couple times to buy socks with my ex.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken) 

RiKD    United States. Dec 06 2018 04:31. Posts 5292

Kayo Dot is a good find. I am listening to Coffins of Io. I believe Io is one of the moons of Neptune. It was also a legendary smurf account in WC3: TFT by the legendary Qazzi[cf] or Qaz. or whatever his other accounts were. I believe a somewhat prominent [P] in SC:BW at some point or maybe not. A very efficient player. Probably the best NE on USEast for quite some time. Would likely have been overwhelmed by the sheer brilliance of Moon but for that time and place Io. was a remarkable achievement.


Loco   Canada. Dec 06 2018 04:52. Posts 19585

Yeah, I haven't listened to them in quite some time, but their first album "Choirs of the Eye" used to be my favorite album of all time along with their previous band maudlin of the Well's album "Leaving Your Body Map". I got them to reform this dead band and produce a new record, "Part the Second" which I financed by playing poker (other people contributed, but I paid for like 90% of it with one month's worth of grinding NL400). That was before kickstarter and all those sites existed. It was an awesome feeling when they released it. It made it to the number 1 release of the year on RateYourMusic, surpassing Animal Collective at the time. I remember writing a blog post about it here. Good times.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (Mencken) 

 





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