What I hope to do with this talk is share a way of considering life. Everything is metaphor. When you hear my words they are being connected from your ears to your brain and then to your own interpretation of these words. Words are just symbols that we use to communicate. Almost all communication is symbolic, the clothes you wear are chosen to express particular feelings , even our body language is learned impersonations of our idols that we see in life and media. Just like a street sign, these symbols are metaphors, easy to share simple versions of feelings and ideas that connect to truths. When sharing complex ideas or intense emotions, there is a feeling in trying to translate this truth and express these pure feelings in a structured limited symbol system. A lot of these ideas were read as words in books, where the reader is then deciphering these language symbols into a state beyond them, a state of knowing. If you consider ancient religion, spirituality, philosophy and science as metaphor and compare them to each other you will find many similarities between them and something that feels like truth beyond their symbols. “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real” Niels Bohr Quantum science speaks of an interconnectedness of the universe where things interacting subtly affect each other permanently. Could you not compare quantum entanglement of particles to the unique coincidence and evolution of the individual or the contamination of water by radiation or ‘bad spirits.’ In quantum mechanics matter is understood to be bordered space filled with vibrating energy particles that is otherwise and mostly empty. You might say the emptiness inside matter is the same emptiness presented in Buddhism’s Heart Sutra. Paraphrasing Timothy Leary here: “Things like The Tarot, The Zodiac, The I Ching, The playing card deck, and the Hebrew alphabet are seen as crude but generally accurate neuro-symbolic expressions by a pre-einsteinium species of the basic model of galactic evolution. These “occult” systems are proto-scientific attempts to predict the course of evolution of life and can be seen as communication systems in which humanity symbolizes natural laws.” When you think of these things as metaphor and start to compare them with each other, they begin to show within each other something that feels like truth. Truth feels intrinsically “good” but what is “good?”
Start considering the nature of the universe with its many things interacting over time. Time can be be thought of in a few basic ways. Time is linear and one directional, unrepeatable and only. In this case your actions mean a lot because you only have one chance to express them, each one chosen like a bead on a necklace that becomes history. The past affecting the future and each choice part of the whole. If you think of time differently, such as as predicted in a religious sense as “fate” or in a quantum sense with many possabilities, you will still find the same moral approach to following your own path, choosing your future and emphasizing the weight and quality of your actions.
Good is choosing your own destiny, raising your awareness and sensitivity so that you can experience more of life. Experiencing is learning, through knowledge you will be able to make choices that align with the life you want. Good is also giving more options to others, being free shows them they can be free. Being honest gives information which is learning and allows others to be responsible for their own experiences. Bad is limiting possibilities, deceiving, removing consent. Consent is not using pressure, it’s not asking over and over until someone says “yes.” Consent is giving all information so all parties know what they’re choosing. It is important to share in a way that simply opens another option for them to consider. When one uses influence or leverage to convince someone of something there is a torn feeling many of us feel naturally. Resisting censoring other people’s expression is as important to us as our own expression. If it is reminding your friend they have an important day tomorrow so that they will rest, or encouraging someone with health problems to eat better, it can be an easy straightforward choice. But when it comes to influencing people based on your individual desires or in events that will shape their life, it is important to remain present and determine where these desires are coming from in yourself. If you can examine this idea with your other consciousness systems, then you can cross evaluate the nature of this urge. Understand that there are many individual voices inside of us with their own individual needs and so this might be conflicting and come out as emotions such as guilt and shame. This is why increasing sensitivity and intelligence, is important to making pure choices that keep you in your self destiny.
Luckily we can always communicate with each other and so the theme here is be honest with your self and be honest and open with others. A way to think about it is in the words ‘nice’ and ‘helpful.’ Giving less information in order to be ‘nice’ or polite should be avoided. The issues are clear in circumstances like committing to a plan you don’t feel is right, withholding information which is hard to say but would be useful to the other party, or accepting a kiss which you don’t want. In general it is more efficient and fun to communicate openly and help the other person understand you so that you can better connect. This is something becoming more conscious and accepting helps tremendously as we are trained to be strategic with our communication so that we can fit into societal roles.
When did consciousness start? Life was originally single celled organisms. Those that didn’t try to live died and those alive had established a base desire to survive. All life has kept the instinct to live, chosen long ago. We are trillion cell bio survival organisms, each of these cells has its own voice and desire with the top priority to keep our organic community alive. All this is communicated electro chemically through the body. There are many different needs inside of us and they are all ‘true’ sometimes. Using the bathroom, keeping our personal space safe, communicating freely, interacting sexually in the way we want, eating and taking the drugs we choose, fitting into society, being accepted. These different desires sometimes don’t line up and we often focus on one and ignore others. Timothy Leary stated consciousness is where the dials are tuned. Do you love someone? What if you felt you needed to lie to someone you loved to protect them? Who are you protecting? Do you believe in God? What about if you were burned at the stake? Would you believe in God then or only the pain you felt? The way we choose to prioritize these impulses is what defines our personality. We get our personality from our Genetics, from the events and people in our lives that have imprinted on us their habits and symbol systems, from local and foreign chemicals in our bodies, and other currently unmeasurable phenomena described as divinity, astrology, coincidence, fate, or our soul. Your parents pass on their DNA, and if they raise you, they pass on their lifestyle too. Even the choices they make in their life affects the way your DNA is read by your RNA, giving you tendencies towards particular habits. As an individual your social and bio programming create urges for stimulus, a drive. The things you do form associations and create conditioning in many ways. In your brain ‘the neurons that fire together wire together.’ Each time you process an experience or even a thought your brain connects that to other things you’re doing at the same time. When you think or feel, your mind connects that feeling to other linked experiences. That’s why your favorite song from last summer brings you right back to that place, while other songs might be great songs but are unlistenable because of associated trauma.
Each time you do something without that association the connection is weakened, like listening to either song enough, eventually they will link to what’s happening now. This is worth mentioning because since our choices create conditioning and our actions are encouraged by our conditioned urges, one can easily become caught in a stimulus response loop. This is a state where one is not choosing their own adventure, they are robotically responding to a stimulus. I would agree that we remember moments not days, many people say as they age time moves faster, this is because you have less new experiences, less things worth remembering, you get stuck in a pattern. More extreme examples are addictions to sex, substances, food, and social validation. Life becomes like that of a robot, going from urge to urge, sex, food, bathroom, alcohol, TV, Facebook, these things give instant gratification and a desensitization and impatience to your emotions. Each action conditioned deeper and with probability of freedom growing smaller and smaller. You become developed in one way, grow comfortable and stop developing. Time passes and you die with little progress relative to your time. If you want more info on this read about advertising psychology, such as how TV shows make certain edits and movements timed and based on our attention span.
Social media, phone apps, and modern video games give notifications or achievement awards in small increments to keep us moving forward satisfied. The video game Call of Duty had been played for over 25 Billion Hours. If each person’s playtime was put end to end, it would be almost 3 million years, which is longer than humans have existed on Earth. The feeling of losing freewill isn’t obvious, the ego protects itself by tuning perception to justify its desires. Like a politician mad with power, these urges want to stay in command, their needs and reality are true to them. It is known in human psychology that memories of yourself cheating at a game or lying are stored less diligently and memories that remind us that we are good are called upon often. Each time we remember something we change the memory, in the same way that our favorite song eventually connects to our current setting overtime. These systems of thought are ingrained from our ancestry as a bio survival, territory and dominance based society, communicating in symbols and caring mostly about sex and social roles. If the consciousness left the vulnerable body up against this world, the food wouldn’t be shared, the territory would be sacked, the family stolen, and life ended. It is exactly this lingering concern that prevents us from moving beyond these constant reactive modes and fear based strategic, dishonest lifestyles. So what can we do?
We’re programmed from birth with our self esteem, our role in society, our personality and communication tendencies, and our sexual fetishes, but we know, sense, or desire something more. Guirdjieff wrote about the fourth way. The idea is similar to the self examination in kundalini yogi. Knowing yourself. Honest intention, honest examination. Changing ones habits to shock the system. Disconnect the neural associations through changing routine, breaking patterns, or choosing to interact with different people. A bio chemical detox, going on fasts or cleanses, stopping substance use, changing the way you use your body such as performance, exercise, or abstinence. When one is suffering one wants to stop suffering, to appease the feeling with another input, to mentally change the channel. It is important to remember which struggles you have chosen. If you are monogamous, you can’t be single and free, if you are single and free, you aren’t monogamous. If you desire to stop smoking, you can’t smoke, if you smoke, you aren’t a non smoker. If you want to be honest, you cannot lie, if you lie, you are not honest. These choices are all exchanges for each other.
Is God or a similar metaphor important to you? When you are being burned at the stake do you remember God? When we choose our path it does not make those voices quietly submit. It requires ruling yourself from a higher place. Guirdjieff says this friction of indecision creates heat which melts down your fragmented self and forms a solid core which is you. Preparing for this talk and reading now is a step for me in breaking formula and living intentionally. Speaking or performing in front of crowds has always scared me. I realized it was my own fear stopping me.
My bias is suggesting me to go back towards the other things, the things I’m comfortable with. I distorted that fear into ego protecting ‘truths’. “performing was pointless” “only for attention speakers” or that I didn’t have anything to share that you all would understand or want to hear. These voices in side of me are ‘me’ as yours are ‘you’ but they are small parts that are affected by many different things in my life which I haven’t chosen. By breaking patterns we are able to form new neural connections and find a new way to relate and experience life. By living intentionally your actions can demonstrate your truth like a beam through the infinite potentials. At first you feel awareness of this potential, and then how to choose between things, eventually it is said that you can influence potentials and make very rare things happen almost like magic. Chaos Magic is an intentional example of this as is almost all prayer and ritual. In quantum mechanics there are phenomena where observing actually changes things, such as quantum wave pattern interference. Essentially when matter is un observed it interacts with other matter like waves (water, light) but when it is observed it goes back to behaving like matter. When you think of the conditioning nature of the brain, of matter being vibrating light, and consciousness as observation, it’s not impossible to see how even our thoughts and awareness create change in everything around us. These ideas can come across as chaotic and disruptive to default society.
An important thing to remember is that it’s all about consent. You all are consenting to hear these words and I’m consenting to share them. When you realize your own responsibility to choosing your life, you can see you have many options to move freely. This is the state when one is the most creative: when you can focus all you need into your work without borrowing parts of your mind for the terrestrial status quo or the prison system built on base needs like bio survival, territory, dominance, tribal groups, and social sex roles. When we move past these systems we are able to communicate in infinite ways and truly connect without the walls of fear and imposed context, and eventually, without the limited symbol systems such as language and iconography that only serve as a filter for our inner truth. So we continue to free ourselves from stimulus response, we are intentional each day with our actions, examine ourselves honestly, learn from our mistakes without bias, we are grand with our ideas, diligent with our work, honest, free, and freeing. We continue to increase our intelligence, our sensitivity, evolve as individuals and as a species with everything available to us. We have fun, we play, we share, we interact, we live intensely and get better at it.
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