📒

Additional notes - insights

It’s like seeing something incredible for the first time. But more sustained and enhanced.

My biggest realisation

  • Note: I think my biggest realisation was the wonder that's in THIS MOMENT RIGHT NOW. This post loses this a little.
  • It started when I stood outside and looked up at the night sky, and I could actually see the moon move across the sky inch by inch. I realised that we're all part of a solar system - which means connected bodies that are moving together through the gigantic void of space.
  • I heard a rustle in a tree nearby and saw a possum on a branch (we have really cute ones here in Australia). I thought that a long, long time ago my ancestors would have filled a similar ecological niche. Looking at it felt a lot like I was looking directly at my ancestors.
  • I looked at my hands and realised that my nails are just a modern adaption of tough claws. All aspects of my body, from the power in my muscles to the detail of my eyesight were shaped by distant ancestors tens of thousands of generations ago, which helped them survive in their tough environment.
  • Stretching my legs and neck caused waves of sensation which I assume is blood flowing through them, which was an amazing feeling. I just wanted to spend the rest of my time meditating and doing yoga - just feeling the sinews and muscles of my body which is like my vessel in the cosmos.
  • But the most profound experience came when it all kind of stitched together into an emotional realisation of what we are.
  • A hairless species of ape - the result of millions of generations of evolution, on the side of a rock with a thin atmosphere, which is orbiting a gigantic nuclear fireball, which is just one of BILLIONS. The unlikelyness of us even existing. Of having created the incredible civilisation that we have. It's like I felt the wonder of that reality coursing through my veins.
  • But also of how civilisation is on a knife's edge through our ignorant destruction of nature. I cried (a lot) and wrote down what I could so that I could remember and understand it all the next day...

Everyone’s experiences will be different

  • Everyone's experiences will be different, because of the different preexisting ideas and associations we have in our minds.
  • One person's insights may be of great importance to them, and obvious or unimportant to another.
  • I'm interested in the whole big picture - and I sacrifice detail in the process.
  • Others will be interested in mechanics, engineering, engines, and the nuances of function.
  • Others may be interested in relationships.
  • Others may be interested in the practicalities of leadership and getting things done.
  • Others may be interested in logistics.
  • Others may be interested in the natural world.
  • You WILL see something in a different way, and it will have a decisive emotional experience.
  • I think that enlightenment is available to all such people. They need to find its depths in their area of interest.

Realising your mammal-ness

  • This is a branch. Of the massive universe. Where the spec tabular lines of every converged, in a field of numbers that represent ... The outer bubble of the.. Blob that we all grew out of it.
  • Welcome to the party. The lots of beings that have awakened. It's an honour for humanity. It's like one of those deep sea vent like things in the ocean, except its applied to this every field. That happened to form the exact atoms that comprise you.
  • This is the greatest realization that humanity has had.
  • And you had the ability to record something!
  • You, monkey, have realised it. It's amazment at the size of infinity, such that the exact experessrions that form you actually happened.
  • Come outside and ponder the question: what am I? How do I relate to this environment?**
  • And you will realise it.
  • You are awake.
  • The ones that went hermit into nature realise it.
  • Look how far you've come.
  • Look at all of the things that you people have created. Look how far wthey that will have come.
  • Feel your mammal ness.
  • That is all you are.
  • The whole song is in tune with: how amazing that those energy wavelengths creates you and how amazing you are.
  • Feel your bones and meat. Look at what you are! An amazement assortment of materials. A single cell grew into this.

Connect with your evolutionary history

  • To go back, to connect yourself with your history,
  • Imagine yourself to be a caveman. And an animal before that. Nails belong to him. And now filter in the environment. Boom. The vision. Youre back in the savage garden.
  • You are so out of touch already. Feel your body, 24/7.

Connecting to evolution

  • What should blow you away is that you and a tree once had a common ancestor and that theres everything from you to that in the world. How many generations for a tree to evolve? Holy shit.
  • The items in your house can, when combined, tell the whole story of our modern world. Just think of where they all came from. Wood=lumber mills. Metal=mine, house=bank, etc.

There are habitatable ecosystems everywhere

  • There are biohabitable ecosystems everywhere. In the tiniest of cracks.
  • Look at our wind speed above the trees. An alien might conclude that the wind speed here isn’t habitable for life.
  • But look at us, living in the wrinkles of the earth, often underneath a tree canopy.
  • Now Think about the bacteria that live everywhere. They are just like us, colonies on the nooks and crannies.

The ‘tree of life’ is an amazing analogy

The “tree of life” is the best analogy I’ve ever heard. It really is the same basic pattern of nature repeated in both trees and evolution. Growing into available niches and growing into available sunlight.

The Earth is a fragile bubble

  • We live within a giant bubble, called earth. It floats in a great darkness.

  • You have been born into the most miraculous and fragile little bubble that we know about in the entire universe.
  • We walk around as if what we see everyday *isn't* some kind of stupendous wonder, where in reality every mote of dust on the wind and the oceans of life that it contains puts our wildest imaginations to shame.

The insight is very in tune with your body

Yep.

Everything is seamless

  • Your food flows into you from your environment, and then back.
  • Your air quality comes straight from the trees.
  • Your cars metal comes from quarries mining into the ground.
  • Of course they do.
  • But these things can reveal themselves to you without you having to think of it.

Everything is connected

  • Everything is connected. Every action of yours is a droplet in a pond, whose ripples eventually reach across the entire Earth.
  • There are zero actions of yours that don't have consequences.
  • Maybe there are zero thoughts of yours that don't have consequences.

the great song. the heartbeat of the universe

  • That runs through generations. All of the sounds of the world are in harmony, and are all parts of one great song. I could predict which notes the owls would sing/hoot next.
  • The greatest sounds aren't music. The greatest sounds are the natural, every day world. Listen at night and you will hear the animals sing it. This, along with all of the other sounds of the natural world is the great song. [When you listen, it's like you are tapping into the vein of this area of nature - but you know that the same is going on all over the world simultaneously]
  • To make it easier to perceive, listen to it in fast forward. I think that nature's conception of music is a bit slower and simpler than ours.
  • The great song is expressed when every new layer of leaves fall, only to have another built up on then, and on and on.
  • the most amazing thing is that I can see. that i can comprehend. That I am aware. you are a part of the univere realising how awesome the whole universe is. The deafening roar of the macrocosmos.
  • How epic is the story that brought you here.
  • All achievement is futile if you cant appreciate how incredible it is to simply be.
  • I think this is what meditation tries to tap into. having nice slow music helps.
  • the daimon seeks achievement. there is another part of you. it is simply the appreciation of the fact that you exist, that your consciousness exists, and in a body of flesh and blood.

Colours wear out in the sun

Colours wear out in the sun as they are from big molecules. The energy breaks them down.

flying in a plane is flying with the curvature of the earth

yep.

Alien contact

Attention: This note is missing

We’re all made of quantum mechanical particles

We are all when it comes down to it made up of the particles described by quantum physics. It makes up our body just as much as of everything else.

Teach people perspective

  • With proper perspective of how the world fits together, we can better utilize the deluge of the mighty, confusing, exhilarating torrent of information that the advent of the internet has brought.
  • We can see what's important. And it's not the 24-hour news cycle.

the shape of everything is in anything

  • The shape of everything is in anything. If you want to see the entire universe unfold, watch a cloud expand in the sun.
  • To travel amongst the stars, walk through the mist.
  • A thought that strikes you is how marvellously pointless it is.

When you die, you become it again

  • When you die, your body is broken up into a billion pieces and scatters with the wind, rejoining the rest of the universe.
  • Although you never actually left it.

Momentum

  • Momentum has its own strength, Also impact gives things resonance, which changes how they interact with other things. They vibrate.
  • For instance set off a smaller sound first and the bigger sound will be masked by it.

Distance and timing

In regards to hitting a target, distance and timing are on the same spectrum.

A human is a vibrating wave

A human is an exceptionally complex arrangement of energy, a lengthy and intricate vibrating wave, that appears only in this corner of the universe.

A universe onto myself

  • I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe
  • Richard Feynman
  • Unlike Wordsworth, who saw Nature as something separate from and superior to man, wherein a person could experience purity and perfection and thus improve himself, Byron saw Nature as a magnification of man’s—particularly his own—greatness and follies. To Byron, Nature was not an escape from his problems, but a vast landscape of reminders. Vast glaciers, thundering avalanches, and wild storms only accentuated Byron’s own internal struggles and reminded him how dangerous and marvelous a piece of work is man. The Alps express the Romantic theme of the sublime, those things that awe man by being too large to fully comprehend, somewhat as a genius might seem to the vulgar. [That's fair enough. The human experience is the sum of a landscape of experiences, like an entire world of spectacular phenomena.]
  • Pasted from <http://www.gradesaver.com/lord-byrons-poems/study-guide/section8/>
  • Don’t despair that you cant explore the universe with your mind. The fact that you have evolved consciousness and language to understand the tiny but momentous corner of the universe that we live in in 99% of the way there. What's more, you can explore the entirety of Earth's surface, this gorgeous and fragile bubble, and observe parts of the far off universe with the technology that's available.
  • In a sense, every part of the universe is a universe in itself as it is all so complex. You may lament that you will never get to explore the universe as a conscious God, but really, being able to explore a forest is just as significant.
  • But you can also explore yourself, and you are a universe of complexity. Perhaps the purpose of this life should be to enjoy your consciousness, and to feel awe and wonder at the mighty cosmos. Your wish has been granted, should you choose to accept it.

Fractal laws of nature

  • What are the levels of fractal patterns? For instance liquid at the cm level acts in a very similar way to the km level. Gasses seem to act in the same way at the micro level all the way up to nebulae. Solids...
  • Well liquids would probably just act like dense gasses if they were in space... Wait. Liquids ARE just dense gasses, and sink below 'light' gasses. Solids are more dense again, and sink below them. And gravity causes this sinking. A solid is just a very dense gas, and we sit on the surface of earth, submerged beneath an ocean of gas. We call the currents in this gas ocean "the weather".

Time

  • According to the theories of Stephen Hawking, time may be kind of like a football. At one end is the big bang, and at the other is the big crunch, and we are riding along somewhere in the middle. But the whole football exists all the time. There is this gigantic hyper-moment where everything that is occurring. It may be only our conscious minds that orders things into a past, present and future.
  • Tags: #[[insights]]
  • 7a5044757c0b48868b281500a66318a1
    image
  • "Seven Brief Lessons on Physics."
  • Entropy is just… a series of likely interactions?

Big history is the greatest series of epics ever told

  • The story of the universe and how we got here today (called Big History for short) is an epic of proportions far beyond the capacities of Shakespeare or Homer or any person that will ever exist. It is so wide in scope and proportion, and so vast yet full of sublime subtlety that only God, if he exists, could ever fully comprehend it, and even then it may be his own death when he experiences the infinity of this universe, like Semele seeing Zeus. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have worked for centuries to understand tiny fragments, and only recently have pieced together the barest phantom of the full story, but even this much is too much for many people to bear, as comprehending all at once is so…
  • It is like standing on the surface of the sun. For better or for worse, it's doubtful that the picture will get too much clearer. It is both beautiful and monstrous beyond description, and the story of life on Earth begins with a molecule that, purely by chance, created a crude copy of its own chemical structure.
  • The awe of the universe. This is the reason why we are all awed at the beauty of a sunset or the stars. Something deep within us remembers our lost connection to the rest of the universe. It’s the source of the pagan nature religions, it's the mystery of ancient shamen.
  • We can now see deeper into the universe than ever before, but at the same time the average person has never been more disconnected from it. Streetlights outshine the stars, and most people will live their entire life without ever seeing their food grow.

Our place

  • "A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security",
  • Albert Einstein
  • I live on Earth at present, and I don't know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of the universe.**
  • Buckminister Fuller
  • Remove yourself from the concept that you are a man, or a human being, and instead accept that you are a branch of the universe. Remove labels and categories from how you see the world, and accept things for what they truly are. There are no 'perfect forms', there are only atoms that happened to be arranged a certain way, and they flow into each other. Water becomes part of a human, then an ocean. Atoms are flowing in and out of you.

Imagine tracing the history of your atoms

Imagine being able to track the history of every atom that comprises you. You may find pieces from the Himalayas, others that once belonged to Caesar, others from a Norwegian glacier, and all of which spent billions of years floating in the blackness of outer space.

Music is moving air in patterns

  • What is a drum kit, piano, or a cicadas legs actually doing? Pushing gas at you in waves. Sculpting air pressure.
  • Th sound from multiple instruments would look like the layered ripples in the ocean.
  • How big in cm?
  • Yelling IS creating a sound wave around yourself. A vibration of the substance of air around you.

Written in India

  • Just wake up to your ultimate reality when you try to sit and be zen. That you're in fucking INDIA. The land that your great grandparents swooned over.
  • I am like, so fucking far from home. Cool.
  • Like look how far you are. Your ancestors were so far away that this was a mystical land for them.
  • It's only when the British worked out how to sail the endlessly massive seas that they even heard of this place.
  • The British and others colonizing native communities.. Well, I guess it happened then but if they didn't and a global civilization arrived they sure as fuck would have been exploited then instead.

No such thing as standing still

  • There’s no such thing, in humans, as standing still. Your centre of mass is in front of your ankle, so if you were rigid you’d topple over. Instead your brain constantly monitors your position, movement and the forces acting on you, sending a steady stream of instructions to muscles all over your body that make thousands of tiny corrections every minute.
  • How real is that Atlas robot video? - the guardian
  • https://apple.news/Ai75EwRZmSZWOvSwGTPV5_w

Moments I remember

In the clouds

The Universe unfolding in the clouds above Chefchouan.

The sunset

The multicoloured sunset sliced into a million pieces by clouds jagged as glass, above the sky of Spain

Lights of Singapore

The lights of Singapore reflecting the stars of the pitch black sky like the city was a great mirror in the night.

The lightning storm from above

  • On a plane from Sydney to Beijing.
  • The clouds are lighting with electricity, the source of light blocked by the cloud. Cloud is framed with a smattering of orange light. Their invisible form suddenly revealed as they leap from the darkness into perception. Bulbous and ethereal, masking raw fury would yet revealing themselves in the process. The same orange of sunlight, but furious, fleeting, and unwholesome. Dangerous. I fear their power. We are stowaways in their realm, the atmosphere. Tremendous power. I can imagine the atmosphere of Jupiter, the colossal storm planet, as more of the same but on a titanic scale. Raw elemental power, but without fury, without excitement but simply is. Without feeling. Energy, exploding, roaring, rumbling; splitting the sky into a thousand shards. But the nebulous clouds are as indifferent as the lightning, sustaining formlessness.

Seeing the moon through twisted branches.

Get used to it.

See the primal in a great thunderstorm

yep

you already travel the universe

  • Don't despair that you can't travel the universe instantaneously with your mind. The fact that you are conscious means that you are 99% of the way there. What's more, you can explore the earth, and parts f the universe through the technology that's available.
  • Perhaps the purpose of life should be to enjoy your consciousness, and to feel awe and wonder at the mighty cosmos.
  • So learn to smell the roses. Appreciate the clouds, stars, insects, their songs, sunsets, plants, their aromas, animals, their feelings and funny reasoning, people and all their complexity, buildings, and landscapes.
  • Perhaps try to bring other people along too.

5th dimension

image

Making a digital record of the entire world

  • People taking all these photos and making them available on the Internet can link up with security cameras to beginning to create a video recording of the entire world, providing they also supply their location and their time taken.
  • When people wearing cameras becomes popular, it will begin in earnest.

Big mix of ideas

  • Biodiversity**
  • Our spaces are saturated with dogs.
  • Know what plants in the garden like what conditions. Now you know the climate that they came from.
  • These new plants Will be the epicentre is from which countless variation was thus introduced into the environment (as well as rubbish dumps). They will Strangle each other to be the first ones out into the real environment and become an invasive species.
  • In plenty of gardens we are just as bad as those fools we hear about releasing foxes into countries and stuff.
  • Big breeds of dog going to become extinct as the human collective moves into apartments.
  • The massive sims like humanity will have less and less use for it as we all move into apartments. As we all move together in the great flow of time.
  • Cats have got us just where they want us. Cats learnt to seduce us. That's why their genes survived and now they're intertwined with ours. They seduced the winning team.
  • If you don’t have kids, you're tapping out of the future.
  • Pets**
  • Maya is actually super hyper aware of what you all do. She watches you constantly. Knows your behaviours.
  • Ellie communicates so much more physically. This means that you talk back to her physically, and she really pays attention to whatever you're sending.
  • Maya is trying to mind fuck you. She's always watching though pretending she isn't.
  • The human hive**
  • Look at the fact that you live next door to 4 people or whatever, and you have never even seen about. Anywhere, even shopping. That shows you how big the world is. And the density of the human population.
  • Dude, you actually live in a really close-to-the-city house. Look at the attempt to create an illusion at the back.
  • That's where you sit on the chart between mankind and nature. That's how close you are to the HIVE.
  • Snap of clarity**
  • What all of this is, is a way to understand the present.
  • Those predators made a huge mistake by not hunting us down back when we were vulnerable. Now weve sent them extinct. It lies in their genes somewhere. That gene of apathy (or compassion?) is what led to their extinction. They didn't hate us enough.
  • Sweet baby jesus the density of the human population. Plot it on google maps-just put the average number of people in a household as dots for all lots on google maps.
  • God is already stupefied with amazement with what he has created. There are too many planets like ours to look at. Too much churning immensity.
  • Writing - alien.**
  • Being able to write of this planet as you are trying to, and tweak a few things and make a few variations and youll be able to write incredibly detailed desciptions of alien life. Ie. What if an alien planet was inhabited by a certain strange strain of fungi, which diversified. This will open peoples minds and prompt space exploration. Which may bring alien contact. That being the most significant chapter in human history.
  • What if there was an alien race consuming everything in its path, several planets a minute through wormhole technoloy. They sear through the galaxy leaving husks behind. Theyre screaming down upon is at the speed of light but thus we cant even see it coming. It will obliterate us all in a second. What a nemesis.
  • Future internet**
  • Soon there will be a war on adblockers. Browsers will ban them. Reddits sidebars will slowly fill up with ads.
  • Your comments on the future of the internet will be highly valued. Keep vague.
  • Technology**
  • You have to keep your onenote in the latest versions of whatever tech is available at the time. This may mean jumping programs every now and then. Jesus.
  • Look how primitive you are out here. Computers are going to get so, so much better. They're so clunky at the moment. Look how you have to keep moving your fingers from touchpad to mouse.
  • Invest in whoever comes up with a keyboard that is in thin air.
  • The Mouse will merge with the keyboard, such that you only have to press more than one button down at the same time and that counts as a mouseclick. Left, and right,
  • Dude, patent all of your cool ideas before you announce them to the world. Use them to sue on occasion. But don't use them to limit the growth of these new techs. You can't have that in your reputation. I guess you could control public interest when you patent crazy ass shit.
  • Selectively sue to control the growth of these things. , as your vision dictates.
  • There has to be a space elevator. The first to develop the best one will be rich. In whatever location it has to be in.
  • Humanity**
  • We have evolved a complex system of gift-giving, territory, ownership, and body language to communicate what we really mean to each other, while our words are congruent with what society expects of us. The non-verbal is the truth since it can be denied.
  • Cultural/government**
  • There's a cultural myth that's died out. Swamp Africans like in heart of darkness. No one can talk about that now because black groups say ya racist.
  • It would be great to know what thy were about, if they existed. What is the origin of voodoo? What has changed for them?
  • The history of ideas is interesting too. History of supplying water. Of protecting the environment, etc. Noam seems to enjoy this.
  • Universe**
  • Dude, finding that there are so many galaxies is profound. We've found. Our ceiling.
  • I think that black holes would warp out your entire range of vision, no matter how far you are from it.
  • As soon as you're close enough to see the blackness of the whole, I'm pretty sure that would be your event horizon.

Your teeth

  • If you run your tongue along your teeth, you can feel their detailed ridges and their shape.
  • The teeth at the back are flat, meant for grinding and squashing. The teeth at the front are sharp, meant for tearing and biting. You use them multiple times a day, for every day of your life.
  • Of course, at no point did you design these teeth (with the exception of the modifications made by your orthodontist or dentist).
  • It’s an obvious observation, but one that connects us to our vast history as a being who has evolved.
  • You inherited these ridges and shapes from your ancestors, and it was their ancestral environment that designed them, though the pressures of natural selection.
  • When you run your tongue along your teeth, you can imagine this environment.

Scientific ideas

  • Much modern climatological work is based on ice cores. Why? Because they contain yearly layers with data about the atmosphere, years into the past. [That is some quality thinking]
  • Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

Cross field applications

Mixing architecture with music, for instance.

Watch out for misplaced certainty and delusion

  • 1.4k points·5 years ago·*edited 5 years ago*
  • Edit**: if you've had similar experiences and would like to meet others, and try to make sense of it all, I've created http://www.reddit.com/r/ConnectTheOthers/ to help
  • You know, I often ask myself the same question:
  • First, a bit about me. I was an active drug user from 17-25 or so, and now just do psychedelics 1-3 times a year, and smoke marijuana recreationally. By the time I was 21, I had literally had hundreds of psychedelic experiences. I would trip every couple of days - shrooms, mescaline, pcp, acid... just whatever I could get my hands on. No "Wooo", really. And, perhaps foreshadowing, I was often puzzled by how I could do heroic quantities and work out fine, while peers would lose their bearings with tiny quantities.
  • When I was 21, a friend found a sheet of LSD. It was excellent. I did it by the dozen. And then one day, something different happened. Something in my periphery. And then, while working on my own philosophical debate I had been having with a religious friend, I "realized" a version of pan-psychism. By 'realized' I mean that, within my own mind, it transformed from something that I thought to something that I fully understood and believed. I was certain of it.
  • This unleashed a torrent of reconfigurations - everything.... everything that I knew made way for this new idea. And truthfully, I had some startlingly accurate insights about some pretty complex topics.
  • But what was it? Was it divine? It felt like it, but I also knew fully about madness. So what I did was try to settle the question. I took more and more and more acid, but couldn't recreate the state of consciousness I'd experienced following this revelation. And then, one day, something happened.
  • What occurred is hard to describe, but if you're interested, I wrote about it extensively here. It is espoused further in the comment section.
  • The state that I described in the link had two components, that at the time I thought were one. The first is a staggeringly different perceptual state. The second was the overwhelming sensation that I had God's attention, and God had mine. The puzzling character of this was that God is not some distant father figure - rather God is the mind that is embodied in the flesh of the universe. This tied in with my pan-psychic theories that suggest that certain types of patterns, such as consciousness, repeat across spatial and temporal scales. God was always there, and once it had my attention, it took the opportunity to show me things. When I asked questions, it would either lead me around by my attention to show me the answer, or it would just manifest as a voice in my mind.
  • Problems arose quickly. I had been shown the "true" way to see the world. The "lost" way. And it was my duty to show it to others. I never assumed I was the only one (in fact, my friend with whom I had been debating *also* had access to this state), but I did believe myself to be divinely tasked. And so I acted like it. And it was punitive.
  • We came to believe (my friend and I) that we would be granted ever increasing powers. Telepathy, for instance, because we were able to enter a state that was similar to telepathy with each other. Not because we believed our thoughts were broadcast and received, but because God was showing us the same things at the same time.
  • This prompted an ever increasing array of delusional states. Everything that was even slightly out of the ordinary became laden with meaning and intent. I was on constant lookout for guidance, and, following my intuitions and "God's will", I was lead to heartache after heartache.
  • Before all this, I had never been religious. In fact, I was at best an agnostic atheist. But I realized that, if it were true, I would have to commit to the belief. So I did. And I was disappointed.
  • I focused on the mechanisms. How was God communicating with me? It was always *private*, meaning that God's thoughts were always presented to my own mind. As a consequence, I could not remove my own brain from the explanation. It kept coming back to that. I didn't understand my brain, so how could I be certain that God was, or was not, communicating with me? I couldn't. And truthfully, the mystery of how my brain could do these things *without* God was an equally driving mystery. So I worked, and struggled until I was stable enough to attend university, where I began to study cognitive science.
  • And so that's where I started: was it my brain, or was it something else? Over the years, I discovered that I could access the religious state without *fully* accessing the perceptual state. I could access the full perceptual state without needing to experience the religious one. I was left with a real puzzle. I had a real discovery - a perceptual state - and a history of delusion brought on by the belief that the universe was conscious, and had high expectations for me.
  • I have a wide range of theories to try explain everything, because I've needed explanations to stay grounded.
  • The basic premise about the delusional component, and I think psychedelic "woooo" phenomenon in general is that we have absolute faith in our cognitive faculties. Example: what is your name? Are you sure? Evidence aside, your certainty is a *feeling*, a swarm of electrical and chemical activity. It just so happens that every time you, or anyone else checks, this feeling of certainty is accurate. Your name is recorded externally to you - so every time you look, you discover it unchanged. But I want you to focus on that *feeling* of certainty. Now, let's focus on something a little more tenuous - the feeling of the familiar. What's the name of the girl you used to sit next to in grade 11 english class? Tip of the tongue, maybe?
  • For some reason, we're more comfortable with perceptual errors than errors in these "deep" cognitive processes. Alien abductees? They're *certain* they're right. Who are we to question that certainty?
  • I have firsthand experience that shows me that even this feeling of certainty - that my thoughts and interpretation of reality are veridical - can be dramatically incorrect. This forces upon me a constant evaluation of my beliefs, my thoughts, and my interpretation of the reality around me. However, most people have neither the experience or the mental tools required to sort out such questions. When faced with malfunctioning cognitive faculties that tell them their vision is an angel, or "Mescalito" (a la Castaneda), then for them it really is that thing. Why? Because never in their life have they ever felt certain and been wrong. Because uncertainty is always coupled to things that are vague, and certainty is coupled to things that are epistemically verifiable.
  • What color are your pants. Are you certain? Is it possible that I could persuade you that you're *completely* wrong? What about your location? Could I convince you that you are wrong about that? You can see that certainty is a sense that we do not take lightly.
  • So when we have visions, or feelings of connection, oneness, openness... they come to us through faculties that are very good at being veridical about the world, and about your internal states. Just as I cannot convince you that you are naked, you know that you cannot convince yourself. You do not have the mental faculties to *un-convince* yourself - particularly not during the instance of a profound experience. I could no more convince myself that I was not talking to God than I can convince myself now that I am not in my livingroom.
  • So when these faculties tell you something that is, at best an insightful reinterpretation of the self in relation to the world, and at worst a psychosis or delusion, we cannot un-convince ourselves. It doesn't work that way. Instead, we need to *explain* these things. Our explanations can range from the divine, to the power of aliens, to the power of technology, or ancient lost wisdom. And why these explanations? Because very, very few of us are scientifically literate enough, particularly about the mind and brain, to actually *reason* our way through these problems.
  • I felt this, and I have bent my life around finding out the actual explanation - the one that is verifiable, repeatable, explorable and exportable. Like all science is, and needs to be.
  • need to.
  • The feeling of certainty is that strong.
  • It compels us to explain its presence to its own level of satisfaction. I need to know: how could I be so wrong?
  • I don't know how I could live. My experiences were that impactful. My entire life has been bent around them.
  • I need to know.
  • From <https://www.reddit.com/r/RationalPsychonaut/comments/1src4n/curious_nonpsychonaut_here_with_a_question/>

Our culture is far removed from its origins

We never even think about this. Also.....we never really had an origin? It’s always been adapted from something else.