Many years ago, not too long after the web was born, and I was in my very early 20’s, I participated in the Ken Wilber web forum, where we all dissed the American “integral” philosopher Ken Wilber and sprouted our own views on metaphysics and life. It was quite a vital virtual community, and I met some very interesting people from that virtual community in real life as well.
One person stood out however, a woman from Florida in the United States, who said she was communicating with some sort of inter-dimensional being who would appear to her in a physical form and talk to her in real life. She was very articulate, and didn’t come across as flakey. I decided to make a web site for her, containing her writing about her experiences communicating with this being (now probably lost to the wind I’m afraid)
During this time, she told me things about people and my life that nobody could know. She once asked me had she ever heard of anyone becoming younger through spiritual processes? She told me she had bought her first bikini the other day at the age of 50. The last message I got from her was cryptic, poetic and it sounded like she was spinning into a completely different world. And then she was gone, and I never heard from her again.
There was one thing she told me that stuck with me, was that I should work for God! Even though it sounded like something like self righteous christians would say, it is something I’ve tried to do since. At the time, I saw what she was saying, who else is there to work for? I wasn’t imagining the old man in the clouds version of god, but the essential nature of all creation and therefore the collective nature of humanity. I contemplated this, and perceived that by working for the employer who truly employs everyone, I was approaching life from the most potent of intentions.
At that time in my early 20’s, I was truly seeing all these intentions and motivations that people have, letting them moving through me, and letting them go. I wrote a lot at the time, and at the core of my writing was the idea that we were programmed to survive, just as good ole L. Ron Hubbard (the founder of Scientology) also observed. It doesn’t take much of a genius to see that of course, but it was clear that people around me were driven by greed, by sex, by materialism and by their ego. None of this really interested me, and I was only interested in a much more expanded life than I saw that society appeared to truly allow, and whatsmore I saw that I needed to deprogram these drives and desires if I wanted to experience such an expanded life.
At that time, I lived near the centre of Sydney on unemployment benefits, in a shitty little bedsit in a derelict inner city area, around the time they were making the movie “The Matrix” there. What often flowed through me was the drives and desire of the people, the forces that pushed this whole society forward. I was frustrated in a way, that my poor economic situation led me to live in such a slum. But I didn’t think the answer was in moving to a richer suburb. I felt the people around me were quite deluded and I was not interested in much of the ways of life around me. I had a few brief flings of quite highly paid gigs in corporate web development, which meant not having any time to live at all!
Then a few years later I began taking high dose mushrooms, acacia and DMT, which would take me into the consciousness of “god” on earth, or an understanding of essential unity of living being-ness of creation, that animates the human and indeed myself. I saw directly, I WAS THAT and spent a lot of time coming to terms with these states. But these states of “enlightenment” are very temporary, and you always come back to human realities, and hopefully refine one’s character and human self. This was obvious to me as well, that it was the most obvious work we had, to work on oneself and one’s living nature in the world.
Then for many years I worked to really open this potential for the having of such mystical experience in others, and I saw my most immediate employer as being the plants which could facilitate these experiences. There clearly was a position that was vacant and so I took this position. In this role I saw myself as an agent to create a deeper awareness of the divine nature of creation and to allow healing to proceed from that.
My “holier than thou” attitude seemed to upset a lot of people, though I wasn’t really shoving it in their faces. Their intentions were quite often clearly selfish, greedy, or fearful or coming from their own ego or dogma or ideologies – and they could apparently only see my actions through the lens of what motivated them. Then again, I would say there were other people around me at the time on my wavelength as well, who were inspired by a higher kind of calling. Overall, I felt guided and had a strong sense of mission, at times I was on fire, speaking in poetry and acting in theatrical and provocative ways. I offended a lot of people very easily and I think a lot of people could only understand me as some kind of attention seeker. But I didn’t care about the attention and a lot of the attention I received was not positive, with most of the positive attention coming from my close circle of friends at the time.
Some people in the overall scene, had seen other “DMT messiahs” crash and burn, and they were anticipating for me to implode like the others: but I never did. Many people eventually came to believe I was a narcotics agent. It just seemed impossible to many I could get away being so unashamed and open about what I did. But the point is, I knew that I was doing the right thing, and I felt I was being guided by a higher power to do this work, to share and inspire a new culture. What else was there to do? Along the way I came up with a new alchemy, even some sort of new drug that people now call Changa, the name I gave to to this DMT smoking blending containing ayahuasca and other herbs.
When you aim to work for god, then you are in fact, called to look at the world in the way that god looks at the world. In that case, you may think about questions like, “What needs to be done for the most essential fulfillment of divine expression on earth?” Well, my answer was to enable people to experience the divine in the first place, because I lived in a culture that largely didn’t even see there was such a thing in the first place!
So the plants have been good employers, but I was told early on, you will always have what you need, and will be able to get from A to B, but you will never make any really significant money doing this work. I was never really interested in that though and that was never my intention. In this work, I got exposed to marvelous experiences and a rich life, involving a lot of travel in inner and outer worlds, this all also helped my own understanding, opened my eyes, and allowed me to develop my own nascent wisdom.
These days I am often finding that life is very often much richer, grander and deeper, than is really hard to conceive of. You might look at me at times and see a kind of levity. I will sometimes catch myself in the mirror at times and see this lightness. It is something I don’t see in very many people at all. There is an inspiration that flows through me, because I know what the potentials are, but you will also see a relaxation and seriousness there too, because I know it is not just a matter of turning on a switch to achieve those potentials, there are prices to pay too and oftentimes I pay dearly.
I would say there is so much potential in this world, and that we humans are just about to begin to evolve into something very interesting. Everything is up for grabs, and as for what can be done, humans haven’t even really started to do that much when you begin to understand the true human potential. Yet, around me I perceive a lot of nihilism, of people who do not see that potential, who do not see any real and essential possibilities for human life. The modus operandi of so many is to work against each other and they are largely not even orientated to what creates good feelings in themselves and others. You can see it in so many countries where people work against one another, where their selfishness harms the whole of society, but in other countries, people are more aligned to working together and co-operating and helping one another. These are obviously happier and more fruitful societies.
In a strictly non-dual sense, there is no other, so true selfishness is actually serving the living principle. You cannot actually truly serve yourself, only by serving the whole of humanity and life around you, by giving true and essential value, are you truly serving yourself.
As in the allegory of the long spoons talks of, hell is where we are the people at sitting at the feast, but are trying to feed themselves and cannot, whereas heaven is where we each feed each other.
Many people are stuck in such a hell. They may have what they feel is the feast in front of them, but are unable to feel fulfilled or satisfied by it. They may feel that they are doing the right things, but may also feel like a donkey always pushing forward to try and eat the carrot on a stick. And this is the nature of illusion itself, providing a false desire or motivation, which gives the appearance of an ephemeral reward which never truly eventuates. Moving beyond acting from illusions, is to act from an ethos goes beyond the idea of desires and rewards, into a most potent or effective state of being and acting, which provides real fruit, not promises. Such illusions however do indicate the nature of the reality, but are only a simulacra of the real thing. These illusions appear somehow manufactured within the matrix of life, but only in the framework of acting out of division and duality of Maya as described in eastern philosophy. Being and acting in the framework of unity and serving the unified living principle, appears to be the way which in which one can taste the real thing we all desire.
A lot of people think of these figure such as Gandhi, who worked for a greater cause than themselves, as somehow purely selfless and altruistic. Yet, a being like Gandhi’s actions are entirely selfish in a spiritual and truly human sense. Gandhi liked to live simply, as he wanted to make it clear, that life wasn’t about living grandly on a physical level, with big houses and cars and all the things that many people want. In terms of what Gandhi achieved in inspiring people and the love that people had for Gandhi, on a spiritual level, Gandhi was a big winner in the game of life, and his life was an epic and rich one.
People have this idea of being “good”, which is very inhibitive. In fact, there is really no good, only intelligent actions that benefit the people. We live in a society which has largely lost sight of the ball, people in governments and corporations operate largely according to no real and essential ethos, they don’t even really know what is good for themselves and other people. Good for them, are often quite pedantic things, like airline seats with extra legroom and maybe even a private jet!
A most essential problem with our society, is that those people who seek power are very often the wrong sort of people to hold positions of power, because they typically seek power in and of itself. For them, power and the perks of power are what they are seeking, and they often do not care too much about their fellow man, and are often are the commonest form of psychopaths and sociopaths. Concepts like serving man or god, are largely alien to most of these politicians and billionaires, and only an insane society is setup to reward such parasites.
Yet, our world is obviously run by people who exploit and benefit others. I was recently dining in a far too expensive restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya. Cheesy elevator music played as I ate a sloppy salad, very poor food for Kenyan standards and much more expensive than it should be. Me and my friend wondered who owned this restaurant and hotel, perhaps a rich American. Then we found the twitter of the Kenyan who owned the hotel and restaurant, and the last tweet on his twitter account stated. “Taking advantage of the “downtrodden” is one of the worst crimes in humanity but most of us do it! Careful reflection is sorely needed.”
“Enlightened Hedonism” rules the day in our society, and to most this means, to accumulate as much money and good times as you can. This makes rational sense to most people, but a key question is, how many people operating from such precepts are actually really having a good time? How many are actually truly fulfilled and happy with their lives? Many put on a good front, assisted by social media, but truly happy people seem quite rare in western society. More importantly, a society run only by blinkered pleasure seekers is one where many of the most critical elements in society are not being taken of, leading to collective ecological destruction and degradation of so many human factors in society, as so few people appear to take care enough to take care of these elements. Example of these factors include the loneliness epidemic, the all too common injustices of parental divorces, pornography addiction, the anxiety and depression epidemic and other more obvious societal issues like poverty, homelessness, human trafficking and drug addiction.
A lot of people believe in fame and fortune as bringers of “the good” in and of themselves, but fame and fortune may only represent the hammock on the beach. This is the position that many seek, whereby you have enough money and fame, that you don’t have to work for your survival and you don’t have to work for your social position, and everything is just handed to you on a plate. In terms of human growth, both these approaches can be dangerous, in that we could then lose our hustle muscle, as we don’t have to think about how we are being or be too careful or conscious or even that nice. “Fuck you money” as the aim of the game may result in becoming lazy and not growing and therefore not being satisfied, not aligning with true evolution and fulfillment, which is to truly DO and BE something. People don’t really want a hammock on a beach sipping from cooled coconuts forever. This kind of life is only appealing to worked to the bone people doing unreasonable work that they don’t really want to do, and only getting a few weeks holiday a year, only barely enough time to unwind from all the stress and overwork.
I recently had some long conversations with an Afghanistani refugee. He was due to go back to Afghanistan when the government could find him a flight back to Afghanistan, as they said his home country was now safe. Even though he had spent 10 years living in his host country, and Afghanistan is still basically at war and there are no jobs there. I said to him, maybe the best you can do is to really try and help people there in Afghanistan, and funnel funds into helping people and thereby creating your own job. You should see what needs to be done, and then try and get funding from richer countries and support to do it.
I felt more than a bit presumptuous trying to lecture the poor guy. But also, he was in a sense choosing his victimisation, he was a smart man from a very rich family, who had all their wealth taken from them. He wasn’t in the mode of helping anyone, or his country, and most likely, only just operating from survival mode. I said to him, to try to think of what you can do for your country, as his home country obviously couldn’t do anything for him. He got what I was saying, but I think just crumbled back to a kind of desperation, and what did I know anyway? Big old smug me lived a life full of opportunity and freedom.
Wherever I go in the world, I see how survival mode cripples people from actually surviving. First of all, it limits you to thinking to help yourself first. And it also blinds you to opportunity and stepping out of your parochial mindset of what is possible. Help, also implies need, but there is more than need, there is actually what assists people to become more aware, more able to do their job, more able to deal with the challenges of being and living, and hopefully change what they want to change in themselves and society.
Sometimes in poorer countries you see how people have no respect for common areas. I’ve been to the most upscale neighborhoods and areas in some poorer countries that have the most shitty roads to them, that in other countries would be 4WD only. It never seems to crop into people’s minds who live in these rich areas, to actually put themselves out to fix the road. Ok, so the government is not going to do that, why not pass the hat around? Why not just pay the bill yourself?
Even if one person spent 1/200th on the road as they spent on their house, there would be a feeling of satisfaction for them that they had done something worthwhile, not just for themselves, but for others too. I believe in these actions, there is a transcendence beyond oneself. It is like there is a mirror neuronal effect, that you are able feel other people’s happiness and appreciation. Other people in the neighborhood would be grateful and almost feel they “owed” the road fixer a favor. Surely if they fall on hard luck, people would perhaps be more likely to help the road fixer. But perhaps most of all, they themselves can enjoy a non-car destroying road! Leaving the road as it is, and not spending the money to fix the road, is actually completely dumb and does not benefit anyone. This is what we see all over the world, people still stuck in this mode of looking after number one and seemingly being crippled to do anything for anyone else. Yes, it can be said this is how “the system” itself works, but that is the point, finding a way to hack the system and act despite its corrupt nature.
Can we really do anything for ourselves that makes us truly happy. Isn’t any action we do for ourselves, a known quantity? Something akin to masturbation? Altruism is often perceived as a weakness, as a lesser path by those such as the very influential writer Ayn Rand. Consumerist society will be quite blatant about the illusions it wants you to fulfill (or chase) and the standards you must attain, and these standards are very much focussed on the external circumstance. You are supposed to want a big Mercedes 4WD, riding high above the smelly great unwashed. Being, giving or doing anything for others or humanity, is somehow perceived to be weak and pathetic, a lesser path than being a master of the universe. To do anything for others is often perceived as a sacrifice, the opposite of enlightened hedonism, taking energy away from what you believe will really give you pleasure.
The issue really is the game we are given, a kind of nihilist predatory game, presented to us on a plate by consumer capitalism. The winners of this game supposedly get the big houses, diamond studded bling, fast cars and women shaking their booty. One of the issues in our society, is that for many, in their nihilism, these expensive ego stroking tokens are literally the highest potential they have realized as being possible. To truly help people is seen by many as being weak, it is considered a lesser agenda to being “a master of the universe”. But these “masters of the universe” in their multi million dollar mansions are very often ineffectual and masters of nothing but the stock market ticker and their credit cards racking up cocaine.
Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be your servant”. But if we think about the last 2,000 years, how many times has this been the case? Instead we have Machiavelli, who with his despising of the common man, enables the rules of the jungle to maintain power over others through fear and manipulation. And then we have Ayn Rand, who seduces “the most able people” to despise those supposedly less great than themselves, and only to pursue their own smug satisfaction as the most viable route in living.
Is power over others satisfactory? Or is it just a struggle? It is interesting that those who have power over others, are in many respects ordained to be servants, as it can be a lot of hard work to maintain your power and do all the work that is required of you. And what can the king really get for himself? Isn’t everything already given to the king? Ayn Rand implicitly communicates this in her writings, that those with the money and power, deserve their monetary reward, for all the struggles and effort they put into maintaining their empire.
Evolution in its trust sense means going beyond the rules of the jungle and transcending the mechanical monkey king who aims to accumulate the most sex and gold. But everywhere in the world, you see these kings, such as these despots and kleptocrats in African countries, heaping upon themselves more fake glory and more money, more status. But the real value of any leader or figure in society is in what they actually do for other people. The greatness of such leaders is only achieved by what they do as a leader, but in and of themselves, that greatness does not exist, unless it is somehow expressed by doing actually doing something positive, which gives great value to people.
I think a lot of people don’t have any idea how to do the right thing, as for them, doing the right thing is to play by the rules and not upset the apple cart (or anyone) But only when change occurs can good things actually happen. Yes, following the rules can bring good things, but it doesn’t CREATE new good. It doesn’t create new fruit, new ways. And yet not everyone is cut out to create new pathways in this life. Politicians normally fail because they don’t create change. They may promise change, but so rarely create it. Why is that? Perhaps a big part of it, is having a lack of vision and ontological and/or philosophic foundation to their actions.
Elon Musk in this article excerpt, talks of how he developed a motivation, an intention that cut through all others:
“In his early teens, Elon had something of an existential crisis and devoured a mountain of philosophical and religious texts. Asked if any work in particular gave him solace, he cites The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the comic science fiction novel. “It taught me that the tough thing is figuring out what questions to ask, but that once you do that, the rest is really easy,” Musk says, referring to the novel’s revelation that the answer to the ultimate question of “life, the universe, and everything” is 42. “I came to the conclusion that we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask. Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.”
Collective enlightenment may seems like quite a grand aim, but a big journey starts with a few small steps which then compound. An obstructing attitude that many have, is the predatory attitude that you must get something from what you do, like money or sex or some sort of status. Often it is the case that doing what needs to be done, saying what needs to be said, that is right thing to say, actually loses you status (at least with the all too common imbeciles). Truth is important, and it may make you unpopular with a lot of people, if not most people. As Canadian thinker Jordan Peterson says, “The truth is something that burns, it burns off deadwood and people don’t like having their deadwood burnt off often because they’re 95% deadwood”
And so to continue to live and ACT amongst such opposition, there must be a steady focus, a doing something for nothing attitude, and so you stand in this zen space, this nothingness space, holding this fort which is not well occupied, and people will often not understand where you are coming from. I also think to do any work that you do, you must make it enjoyable to you, it must be practiced as a craft, as a learning, as a play for its own sake, for its own intrinsic value which is rewarding and healthy for your being and that of others.
“The Secret” talks about the law of attraction, which is basically getting things by thinking positively, yet I actually jokingly believe in the law of detraction. Many people want to be liked, and that is fine, and many people want EVERYONE to like them, which is probably not such a good idea. The ego commonly wants to believe other humans beings are overall sane and reasonable and some sort of standard to live up to, perhaps so called normality. The law of detraction however, is to communicate whatever stimulates, triggers and generally brings people to be aware of their deadwood. I don’t mean jokes in poor taste, but real and essential truths about the nature of reality and humanity which maybe most are resistant to facing and dealing with. The law of detraction then states that people who resonate with your words and acts of initiative, will be attracted to what you say and do, but that in many cases, a lot of people will be completely offended by your expressions or be very triggered by what you said or did. They will tend to avoid you and put judgement upon you. And if you are in your truth, they will not want to hear it and so you will not have to deal with them at all, and this will make your life easier in some ways, because at least you will not have to suffer so many fools.
Even ultra master of the universe, hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, considered arch-douchebag par excellence by many, who bought the ONLY copy of one of Wu Tangs albums for millions of dollars, says he wants to devote his company Turing to developing rare drugs that will actually help people. Presumably these actions would increase Shkreli’s ego and value in the eye of the world. But how much value does such recognition really give us? And couldn’t such acts just inflate the ego to a self important level, actually cutting us off from fellow human beings? At the end of the day, each of us must ask ourself what value we can give to the world. People with messiah complexes are a dime a dozen. I have come to feel it is a phase to go through, to manifest a sense of christ consciousness (and understanding of God as human) But it is hubris to say you are The Only One, just as it a misreading of Jesus to perceive him as the only son of God, when in fact, he clearly communicated that this state is available to all. Rather than wearing robes, and spreading religious platitudes, we must ask ourselves, what is the power of creation in expression on earth? Each of us IS THAT consciousness. This is not such a great secret. This consciousness is simply eternally present and eternally powerful. In these troubling and hyper interesting times, each of us, would do well to repeatedly ask what we can do for collective enlightenment. This means occupying a space in consciousness, again, which is non acquisitive, which is still, which is present and which chooses to realise an essential holism, rather than just the framework and desires of the ego.
Glory is a word we don’t find used so much in the modern day. Yet, back in the day, say in classical Greece, men would fight horrific battles just to taste this feeling they called glory. This glory is a mysterious and powerful positive feeling transcending all psychological and emotional armoring. In that space, we feel more than ourselves, that what we have done has meaning, and has changed the circumstance of life in a positive sense, even to the point that people may talk about us for centuries, if not thousands of years after our death. Once we taste it, through our own activities, it becomes attainable and there is not much that can touch it. It is transcendent, like love – it is like being touched by god and feeling everything you do is blessed. My view is that it is only by being in accordance with divine will and a greater intentionality involving transforming humanity that we shall taste the most stunning forms of this glory. But this glory is only a taste, yes, it appears as something like a reward system within the fabric of human existence, but we should even let this go and embrace the premise that supersedes this result of doing good work. The true and most essential attitude is to work, to faithfully work, without even a thought of reward, for the work itself, because the work needs to be done, and in the knowledge fruits will naturally proceed from this work, not just for you, but for others as well.
The Stoic philosophers of a couple of thousand years ago, are making something of a resurgence these days, with books by philosophers like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius becoming quite popular in bookstores. The Stoics did not consider fame and fortune as worthy goals; a truly worthy goal was attaining inner states, such as tranquility and joy. And yet many stoics became very successful and wealthy in their lives, but they were not working in order to advance their career, they were simply good at what they did, and in the case of Marcus Aurelius, he was the emperor of Rome. Reading his book “Meditations”, you don’t feel like you are hearing the voice of someone who relishes power, money or its trappings. A lot of what you hear is the difficulties and troubles of dealing with difficult people, and the attempt to gain balance, wisdom and fortitude to deal with the practical nature of people and life.
Many people are working to advance their career, for the sake of advancing their career. They will not do what they understand may be the right thing to say, or what is the right person to align with, as it may “harm their career”, they often play it safe, not wanting to ruffle feathers. This is a good way to actually not really do that much and become one of many people pitching the same sort of flotsam and jetsam as others, and just being in the framework of seeking the minor glories of approval and recognition.
The Stoics regarded this compromised approach as foolish, as one must remain virtuous first and foremost, and not be too concerned about social position, as that will lead to compromises of one’s virtue and truth. The Stoics saw that a man must mould himself first, and the result would be a virtuous man who would be able to truly enjoy life. This perspective goes against the populist view of the stoics as life denying philosophers, or some sort of ascetics, who willfully embrace pain and suffering as having meaning. Whereas, what the stoics really taught was to transcend garden variety pain and pleasure, and move into a deeper centre of being, which was then to enjoy the flourishing of the soul.
Stoicism remains something of a self centered philosophy, as it does not concern itself too much about making the world a better place, or serving one’s fellow man. For stoics, the world is considered an ephemeral illusion of sorts, a position very similar to eastern philosophy. Although the world may well be an illusion, it is the illusion that we experience and live in many concrete and real ways. In this life, we can choose to individually and collectively step to the plate, and evolve ourselves and our species out of what is quite clearly a profound collective quagmire. We can choose ignore the most essential dreams, directions and callings presented to us, but then we may find ourselves living many very limited, undesirable states and realities. It is our choice.