San Fran musings

I went to the KFC/Taco Bell next to the library in San Francisco and it was really depressing.  Paul McCartney was singing “I love you” on the radio as half the people in there were homeless, the bathroom had piss and probably traces of feces everywhere, soap was flowing slowly but steadily out of the dispenser onto the floor, leaving a giant pinkish pool.  At least they serve bean burritos.  Everything about the restaurant was dirty as hell.  I told them that online and now supposedly I get free chicken fingers.  I’m a vegetarian and the chicken looks like crap compared to the picture, a lot thinner and darker and more dehydrated-looking, but it’s free, so I am going there to eat it right after this.

Working requires at least 40 hours a week… what would I rather do?  Go to conferences around the world as a famous writer like Bukowski?  What do I even want to do for fun?  I keep saying that I would get a living room with pizza and a big TV and maybe some game consoles and get a bunch of games and then make fun of them and review them and give them like 0/5 or -5/5 and livestream the whole thing and say fuck you to the camera constantly.  That’s what I think I’d like.  Weed used to be involved in that fantasy but now I’m not so sure.  Being outside and going on hikes used to be involved in that fantasy too but now that sounds to depressing.

I would love a remake of Diablo 2, or would I?  Of course it might just be boring because I already played Diablo 2.  Most games have already been made.  There are only a few core abstract games: FPS, RTS, civilization, diablo-strategy.  Those are the game types.  So much work goes into repeating the same basic game over and over.  Of course the same could be said of movies.  I hope Oculus VR works out even though it seems like they have some pretty damn unsolvable technical problems regarding latencies that have to be ultra low.  Below looks sort of interesting but does the main character seem a little small to anyone other than me?  I know about Below because the programmer of Fez went to go work on it.  I thought Fez was sort of boring.  It’s just a platforming game.  I don’t get why it’s so interesting.  Then again I am not the target audience.

I would love for a sort of DOOM-like Diablo game, a modern one, right?  I don’t even know.  Probably not.  I probably just think I do.  Like I just thought I really liked weed or psychedelics but I just associated them with the freedom and other fun things about the period of time (college) when I first did them.  I believe that’s often the case with alcohol as well.  It tastes like shit when you try it as a little kid but you learn to love it.

I thought about trying to be a comedy writer and then I was looking at some stuff that a comedy writer wrote and I got the feeling that you have to like the actual comedy shows that you write in order for that job.  He said that the best comedy writers write hours of jokes a day and refine the same jokes over and over again.  That sounds so boring.

I was going to try to write a sci fi story but let’s face it, I never do that.  I don’t think about stories.  I don’t have the attention span.

I thought about applying to an MFA program and then I went to a website and saw a picture of a “reading room” which featured an easel or one of those… platforms that people read from, and I realized that I have no desire to hear anything anyone else wrote unless they are super famous.  I guess that’s why there is no demand for writing.  Anything mediocre is a big waste of concentration.  I also don’t want to be around people who think their writing is good.  What does “writing” even mean?  Who has anything interesting to say?  It seems to me like if you are younger than 40 you should not even try to write a novel, at least not a novel about life and all that.  If you are younger write some dumb sci-fi or something different.  Don’t try to be so wise.  Try to write something that is appealing in another way.

 

I spent the previous couple weeks at the National Rainbow Gathering in Utah.  I thought that being outside so much would make me feel so much more grounded and real, but it didn’t.  I got bored.  I wanted to get on a computer and read crap.  I only showered once but I didn’t feel that gross.  I think it’s only when you go inside and the air isn’t moving that you feel really gross.  Certain parts were really awesome.  Lots of people work really hard to make it all happen.  I ate pretty good food and didn’t help much in the kitchens.  I really just liked playing in the drum circles even though I’m only of mediocre drum skill.  I got extremely high for about 3 days.  It was OK.  This one guy who was always naked really pissed me off not because he was naked but because of the smile on his face.  Him and a bunch of other people were once just laughing at one another in a big circle for 10 minutes.  They weren’t even high, they were just being weird.  I wanted to chop all their heads off, but at the same time I guess it’s kind of cool that they did that.  It was a whole mixed bag of amazing and boring and weird.  I’m not sure I would go back unless I went with some friends.  A lot of people there don’t like to use reason at all.  They just believe whatever.  I don’t understand that which was frustrating.  In this sense I did not use getting high as a way to enhance the experience, but as a way to tolerate it.  It was definitely the most fun when I was high.

Comics

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Banana slugs

I notice some recurring themes when people try to convey extra dimensions in regard to psychedelics. They draw U-shaped things connecting to bigger U’s.

I though about how humans are not much different than a fish in a fishbowl, unable to understand the world outside. Humans have a problem with not being able to understand stuff.

It would seem that if we are like fish in a fishbowl we should not waste so much time speculating what is beyond the bowl, or focusing on it in any fashion, to an extent that does not benefit life inside the fishbowl. Because what’s outside the fishbowl, although real, is not really real to them, is it? Consider their life outside the fishbowl to consist of the moment at the end of their life when they are taken out of the bowl and flushed down a toilet. They start floating to the top of the bowl and the owner notices this and flushes them. Let’s say the fish has some sense that this is what is going to happen, and they were taken out of the fish bowl a couple times in their lives and are vastly confused.

They could argue that what lies beyond the fishbowl IS real, even though it doesn’t seem to affect them, because it affected them at one time and they imagine that it will affect them in the future. But is it really real?

I don’t know if there is more to explore in that analogy. I don’t believe I have control over what interests me. I have gotten glimpses of what is beyond the fishbowl and when I really do wonder about what it is that makes it scary, the answer is clearly that it is attachments to the fishbowl that make it scary. Otherwise why would it be scary? Am I really so attached to this life? I complain about it endlessly. After a week of being sick where all I care about is the state of how-sick-I-am, I become not-sick, and by not-sickness is never a part of my concern. I begin to worry about other things like whether or not I am wasting my time. If I am going to fuck myself over in the future somehow because I’m not doing something now that I should be doing.

There are a huge few major concerns, like that I don’t want to be kidnapped and tortured, or murdered, or stricken with a horrible disease, and then on a lesser scale, I do not want to go hungry, or hurt other people because of my own emotionality, or permanently limited myself somehow through drug use that has damaged my brain.

Waveforms, inter… dimensions… yes, all that stuff is important… sometimes… but not now. Not right now.

 

Later… I went for a walk… the left shoe fits… the right shoe is a little big… maybe… maybe it’s just breaking in.

 

I thought to myself… what’s the point of life? What’s the point of continuing? Not that I want to kill myself violently, but aren’t I just encountering the same thoughts again and again? Nothing is that new any more. It’s beautiful, I’m even happy now… but why? The brain asks why?

Writing was the first thing that came to mind. Maybe I can write things down and people will think they are great. But this is all I write and now I’m mad because I’m bored of writing this. I’m annoyed now.

 

Is there a name for the condition of walking through a grocery store and the vast number of choices and brands and detailed descriptions, along with the overall conception of that people go to work and they work so that they can what, go to these stores and select from all this variety? Not that any of it is that much better than the other shit, but there’s just a vast amount of variety. Is that what people really want? They work, and no one likes work, so that they can get variety? I don’t get it. I am going to assume from now on that the way I think has nothing to do with psychedelics. Because I’m not on psychedelics right now.

Everything seems so beautiful, so sad, but not really unhappy sad, just like the end of a fun experience sad…

When I’m outside and it’s warm at night and there is a slight breeze and lots of people talking, I would be totally fine with just dying and totally dissolving into that experience… it’s so dreamlike… it’s so comforting… it reminds me of trips and places I went when I was younger when I was outside and things were beautiful… I always had this feeling in my childhood and throughout my life like I never knew what the hell was really going on, I was always trying to catch up, watching other people do stuff, just watching other people, with my mouth open, figuratively, gazing… feeling stuff… it was happy for a while, at certain times, when I was a kid, there were beautiful moments, they were out in nature generally and on trips. Maybe I always had this sense of wonder because subconsciously I can just put all the pieces together and say, man what the hell is really going on here? What the hell is all this? And I remain eternally dumbfounded. But of course it’s not that I necessarily know all these facts other people don’t know or I think certain things more often, it has to do with attention… I don’t know… I don’t know… I could come up with a paranormal answer but why? I don’t think I could come up with a paranormal answer, like that I had past lives or something… I don’t know…

When I feel amazing and beautiful my brain knows something is wrong because I’m not planning for the future… it truly is a weird adaptation humans have. I guess it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. From an evolutionary standpoint it’s not “natural” to go out into the woods and have no job and not reproduce. It makes more sense to conquer wall street and get all your meetings in so… wait… no… evolution died in humans about a hundred years ago, I forgot. What we have now is absurdity.

I want to know what God is trying to tell me. Why am I being shown this? What is the reason? When I was a kid I used to have the idea that if I thought a certain thought I would pass the test of this reality and be sent to a different reality. That’s sort of how I feel right now

Why are you showing me this? The thing that is not me, the world that moves, like a living thing moves, and it moves, the universe, what are you doing? What are you showing me? Why? I guess I am still a fishbulb in a tank. But why am I a fishbulb? I don’t know…

I don’t know. I remember looking at banana slugs in Big Sur and giant 1-foot-diameter pinecones. That’s the way I feel right now. I feel like I’m on a vacation again and my mind can explore things and I feel it stretching across the sky and the sand and reaching out into heaven and dreams… reality becomes a dream, I recognize it again… it’s so much better than the hell reality was before… I feel more connected to God and so on… I remember finding a shark tooth on the beach… and I can just ask over and over again: why? Why did I do that? Why, God? It’s not like it drives me crazy… but it sure is… hypnotizing…

In the dreamlike experiences there is nothing else. There is not much homework and no long term test and especially no obligations about saving for your retirement fund several years down the road. No, there is nothing. It is a void, it is a cloud, it is silent, it is like a pillow as you lie down to sleep… you feel yourself sleeping for the first time… all those emotions imprinted and forgotten as they are repeated over and over again… the first time you had a dream… the first time you went on a trip, went somewhere else… it’s amazing… I know I will go to sleep today… sleep is a magical thing…

Banana slugs

Schizophrenia and the concept of the supernatural

It is not that supernatural things do not occur as much as it is that the human notion of supernatural is more limited and boring than people realize. Experience itself is surreal and strange and dreamlike or whatever you want to call it, but many people do not realize that. An example of a close-minded sense of supernaturalness would be the belief that specific human-like beings from a specific planet come into direct communication humans. I bet this is the type of mistake most schizophrenics make: because their reality is constantly warped, they understand, more than the average “sane” person, that reality does have certain supernatural or paranormal-feeling qualities, but they make the mistake of allowing this understanding to manifest into more specific, concrete and generally human-centric beliefs like that the government is spying on them or that a specific being with a specific name talked to them. More “rational” people just attribute this general surreality of life to the gods or divine forces of whatever religion they practice. In a truly rational perspective, the only sense of a god or God that you could come up with would be extremely abstract and more derived from the cumulative strangeness of all life experience than any specific weird occurrences that a person might attribute to a divine being communicating with them. 

Infinite Elgintensity vs Elliot Hulse

hqdefault

There is a guy named Infinite Elgintensity who made fun of Elliot Hulse. Here’s the thing with the IE video. Lots of people love IE because he has the same view they do. He has the cold, simple analytical view. He is more like them than Elliot.

Elliot does take a long time to rant about stuff and he does use a lot of rhetoric, but I agree with his sentiment that IE is coming from a more negative place, which Elliot calls fear, but I would call it mild insecurity. IE is shy and slightly awkward. Elliot is ridiculous and eccentric but there is some validity to his weird way of saying things.

Take for example Elliot’s claim that the muscles of the neck and jaw and the traps are related to fear. IE shows a picture of Wikipedia saying, “I just had to go to Wikipedia to verify this was wrong,” and it shows Wikipedia listing the muscles that the traps are attached to. It is purely biological, physiological information and says nothing about fear.

Elliot might have a good point and IE has a good point. Elliot might be right in saying that people who are insecure tend to scrunch up their neck muscles because it is just an inherent human action to take. An example relating to this is that some people believe that crossing your arms is a defensive stance because the inside of the arms are considered a weak point or something like that. So you can see how there can be a real and biological reason why an emotion could be considered related to physiology. Of course IE could argue that he is just making a joke, which he is.

I believe they complement each other well. I am naturally a little anti-IE because I hate the bitter nerds that just like to have their own views reinforced. In fact I hate when people watch something simply because it feels good because their own beliefs agree with what is being said. There can be some merit to this, like when your view is so abnormal that it feels good to know that at least one other person out there feels the same way, so you might feel a little less crazy, but doing it excessively seems vapid and weak.

Yes Elliot can be annoying or weird at times but he does offer something very unique and currently IE is also unique, I guess. I don’t know for sure. The whole YouTube fitness community is pretty retarded which is something that I was glad that IE pointed out. Lots of powerlifters and etc seem like extremely butthurt and mentally fragile individuals that get really mad when you shit on their favorite YouTube personality/fake-friend. Props to IE for that.

Here is a link to part 1 of the video in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY1szcZnYDk

UPDATE: The more time that goes on the more I dislike the IE guy.  He is just plain not funny.  He is an awkward nerd who thinks he knows everything, and other awkward nerds who think they know everything, aka 85% of people on the internet, feel validated by watching him.  That’s why he became at all popular despite his lack of charisma or funniness.  He represents vlogging not just as a virtual friend but as a virtual spokesman, like a politician you elect to represent you and your beliefs.  I’m not saying I dislike all of the stuff he says, in fact I like plenty of it (after all, I am an awkward nerd who thinks he knows everything), but the fact remains is that this is what’s going on.  Fascinating stuff.

My thoughts on the NHL

crosheater

In some ways hockey is clearly a much better sport than the NBA. The players try hard and there is a sense of honor that forces the players to try instead of bitching and complaining self-indulgently all the time. It is exciting when a bunch of players are scrambling with the puck around the goal and you’re not sure if it’s going to go in. There are also not a billion commercials every 5 seconds.

But let’s start with some problems for the sport. The first is that it’s awkward. It’s cool that people can get moving so fast but it’s annoying and awkward to see people awkwardly slapping at the puck all the time. It is not a beautiful sport. Another reason why I say this is because everyone who plays has a beard, and beards are ugly 99% of the time. I don’t like the aesthetic of hockey, which is that of a tough, beard-sporting white man, akin to a lumberjack. I think people who like the lumberjack aesthetic might be very into this sport and this specific niche of manliness.

It’s not like the NBA and NFL don’t have their own many problems. But those sports are at least funny. The NFL is more than just a little bit homoerotic at times, and the commentators all have brain damage and dementia, but it’s FUNNY seeing a 400lb guy wearing a custom made suit talking really loudly. In the NBA, it’s FUNNY to see a 7-foot tall prima-donna complaining at the ref and pouting like a child. It’s funny to see people have to try to live up to their own swag.

But I don’t like the NBA and NFL completely ironically. Seeing people start to heat up and make all their shots is cool. Seeing extremely roided-up black people out-sprint one another and hit one another is really cool. Chucking up a last-second 3 or catching a football in the endzone is something people can actually relate to.

I don’t understand why people like hockey so much. I think it’s because there is more honor in hockey than in these other sports. But it’s white-man honor, which is boring. Seeing a bunch of people awkwardly slapping at the puck and missing and sliding around is frustrating to watch. It’s frustrating to always see them just chuck it to the other side of the rink when they realize they can’t take it forward any more without getting run into, and then you have to watch two people approach the puck and kick at it and awkwardly flap their sticks around at the puck until it comes out. That is just frustrating and awkward to watch. And look, I’m not trying to say an NBA game is anything other than completely unwatchable. NBA games are not actually watchable. There are about 4 hours of commercials. Also the MVP award is called the Kia MVP award, which is a complete disgrace. And it’s rigged.

I understand why the NFL is more popular than the NBA which is more popular than the NHL. NFL is the best product because there are not a billion games a season which are all irrelevant, like the NBA. The NBA at least has cool swag and hilarity and interesting plays and player-coach dynamics. The NHL is more of an angsty white man thing in my book. But to each his own.

The communication problem

This article is about the shortcomings of language in communicating certain important things.  Certain things, when a person attempts to communicate them with language, come across as so ambiguous that they may offer nothing to someone who has not already independently reached the same sort of understanding as the person who said them.

High ambiguity increases the chances that the person processing the words will not interpret the words in the way that the person who said them intended them to be interpreted.  If the language is very ambiguous, and the person processing the words finds no meaning in them, he or she may likely declare that they have no meaning.  And maybe they would be right: maybe, even though those words seem like the best words to fit what the person who said them is trying to say, they are too abstract for an unenlightened person to get anything out of them independently.  Here are some sentences of varying ambiguity:

High ambiguity

“Everything is God, God is love, everything is love.”

“We might approach this fundamental problem by posing the following question: what esthetic effect is produced when the Apollonian and Dionysian forces of art, usually separate, are made to work alongside each other?  Or, to put it more succinctly, in what relation does music stand to image and concept?” – Nietzsche

“Honesty is more important than desire.”

“That man took my wallet.”

“My name is John.”

Low ambiguity

Is “Everything is God, God is love, everything is love,” intended to be a poetic statement, or a sort of super-abstract perspective on life?  What role could extra verbal qualification have in this case?  Maybe direct analytical qualification of the words would have little effect.

Although it is often said that the language(s) a person speaks influence how they think, people (and plenty of other animals) can think without language.  Someone who disagrees with this probably spends all their time thinking a million sentences a minute and does not remember what it is like to not experience that.  When someone has to take a shit, they do not state the words out loud in their mind: “I have to take a shit,” even though, if they were asked to describe what they were thinking, they would come up with the words, “I have to take a shit.”

When the conscious mind thinks nothing, the subconscious is still doing something.  The brain is still doing stuff (molecules and energy are moving around) even when a person feels asleep or nonexistent in a deep meditative state.  Maybe clearing the conscious mind helps the subconscious do what it needs to do so that when the conscious mind fires up again it feels uniquely clear, grounded, connected, focused, aware, etc.

I bring this up because the the difficulty of effectively communicating certain important ideas and thoughts is one of the biggest problems faced by humanity.  One of the ideas is essentially that people should stop trying to analyze their life so abstractly so frequently.  In the Western world, everyone is so analytical that they seem to take no appreciation for how they actually feel and what certain experiences are like.  It’s like they are going through life playing an abstract video game where the goal is to maximize certain experiences, but they never actually have those experiences, because when they go to the place they want to visit they spend the whole time thinking about what they are going to be doing a day or a week from that point in time.  Formal analysis is the correct approach to understanding many things, but not everything.  In a worst case scenario, some people will even claim that subjectivity is not real and they do not experience sentience or qualia.  I feel like that phenomenon is most likely to occur among hardcore scientists and analytical philosophers who are especially adept at this kind of abstract analysis.

A monk using language to describe what they have realized upon exploring their ability to think without language is an inherently flawed activity, and attempts at it often result in very ambiguous language like “God is love, everything is God,” that many people (maybe correctly) will declare don’t mean anything.

The problem is that most people experience life in this word of optimization and abstraction and don’t even realize it.  They don’t understand why they feel so good after lying down in a park to take a nap for a few minutes, because it is such a rare experience for them.  It is practically like they are living their lives in a constant brain fog where they can only understand life in one abstract way, as if they are living their lives inside a box that they do not even realize they live inside.  It would take something like a near death experience or some other extreme experience for them to be shocked out of their current way of thinking about the world and have the door opened to thinking about things in different ways.

Most people assume that “thinking without language” and “enlightenment” are pseudo-intellectual and nonsensical concepts, and I think people are always almost right about this.  The amount of quackery regarding this type of culture of thinking, or perspective, or whatever you want to call it, is practically infinite.  People almost always go off the deep end and the next thing out of their mouths has to do with actual specific gods with names that causes most rational people to shut their brains off completely.

But the truth is that there really is more to life than just a sterile, abstract, detached understanding of yourself in the third person and how you fit in the world.  There is an actual experience you are experiencing, underneath it all.  There is a reason why things were more fun as a kid before you grew up and your mind was molded by society to operate in a certain way.  There is also a reason why people get religious and spiritual feelings.  It is not because the sentence, “You live and then you die,” suggests the purely analytical question of “What is the point?” which requires an analytical solution  It is because the experience of life itself is very strange and unusual to the way that, at least the Western society I experience, conditions you to think (which is purely abstractly, like you are playing a video game called Person Manager 2014, as I have said before).  Experiences like waking up in the morning and coming to grips with reality and slowly forgetting your dreams are difficult to label in a detached way that ignores actual experience.  They could be called “weird” because of this, in that they are one of the few aspects of life that doesn’t seem to fit into an overall label-based understanding of life that can be analyzed formally.  In this sense, a moment where you realize you are getting older is weird.  Visiting places you’ve been to as a child and remembering them is weird.  Sitting on a beach looking up at the clouds and forgetting all the issues and the planning that have been clogging your mind is weird.  What is left when the planning and the optimizing goes away?  You still exist, but your old way of seeing the world is gone, so your experience of life feels uniquely new and real again.  It’s like you were asleep and now you are awake.

Behind all the planning and the optimization of your life there is an actual experience there, which many people unfortunately forget.  They make themselves miserable because they don’t realize all the things they took for granted about the world and don’t realize the extent to which their own beliefs construct the world they live in.  What do I mean by saying they “made it up”?  This idea is not quite as abstract or difficult to convey as the “Everything is God,” idea, but it ultimately ends up with the point that you should not try to think with labels so much, because although labels are often useful, they are just labels, they are just abstract, they are just ways that are sometimes useful for doing things, but they are ultimately a man-made invention, which most people don’t understand at all.  And more and more words are probably not the best way to solve it.  This is the communication problem.

Maybe if a monk took someone to a field and they both laid down on the ground and looked up at the sky and said nothing, then they would begin to understand the same thing.  The differences between what they both understood would get smaller.

As for using words to communicate your goal, maybe if the label-bound thinker runs into the words, “you just have to experience it, you can’t think about it in words” enough times, then maybe it will finally begin to register, or at least open the door to at least the opportunity of them taking an action that allows them to come to a sort of nonverbal understanding of their experience of life.  A common counter-argument to this would be “I’m not going to do it because ‘you just have to experience it’ doesn’t satisfy my reasoning.”  No, I guess it doesn’t.  But there is more to life than analytical understanding.  There are many things which our language and analysis clearly fails at solving.  The Ship of Theseus paradox or the question of why is there anything instead of nothing at all show that our world clearly makes, ultimately, no analytical sense anyway, and that our labels are just labels and not inherent qualities of our existence.

Many people, if they read this, would have shut their minds of already because they already associated it with immature quackery, or maybe they are mad at the implication that they have been thinking about something the wrong way.  This is a good example of the importance of recognizing how well people treat other people.  If you are mad or upset you are not going to treat other people well and you are going to get really mad at the idea that you are wrong about something and berate the people who communicated that idea.  A society full of angry people is not good, and that’s kind of the society we have.  We get into extreme arguments at the drop of the hat once we are anonymous on the internet, we drive cars like we’re this close to killing other people, etc.  Does anyone ever step back and recognize how hateful they often are?  Nobody ever needs to be hateful.  If you are hateful, and treat other people badly, there is something wrong, there is something you need to resolve with yourself.  You need to look inward at what you’re really afraid of and where your feelings come from.  Unfortunately the society we live in sort of de-humanizes us and ignores our feelings and our actual experience, conditioning us to take a more analytical, third person, abstract understanding of ourselves and the world.  This seems unnatural and unhealthy and my guess is that it causes a lot of internal, maybe even subconscious psychological conflicts and is heavily responsible for why people treat one another so badly so often.

Maybe once weed and eventually other psychedelics become more prominent in our society they could be used to help shock people out of their ordinary way of thinking and help them understand themselves and their own dysfunctions and the world better, and eventually we can begin the slow process of building a more conscientious society.

I’m a Slave, by Pharrell

Pharrell24HoursLongVideo0745BeretMoustacheGb251113

Every time I hear some dumb 400lb woman in the grocery store singing along to “I’m Happy” by Pharrell I think about the sad state of the society that we live in. The song might as well have been called “I’m a Slave”. It has a very Orwellian vibe about it. Just be happy, keep consuming this crap music that even the creators know is crap, but they make it because you are too stupid to know any better, but that’s OK, just keep on consuming and being happy. Don’t ask questions. With such fantastic lyric genius as “Happiness is the Truth / I feel like I’m in a room without a roof” what more could you want? With such repetition, what other songs you know are as easy to learn the lyrics and sing along to? You can buy your 50lbs of butter and lard at the super market and then go home and stuff your fat face with lard as you wiggle around in your Lay-Z-Boy chair to “I’m Happy” as you are not really helping society in any way.

I know that, “That person isn’t helping society!” is a bit of a cop-out that lots of people use. Most people who work crappy 9-to-5 jobs say this when they look at hippies because they are just mad that they have to go to work and the hippies don’t have to. Of course the 9-to-5er gives money to the government, without which the hippies might have a harder time surviving, especially on the global scale against Muslim terrorism, but of course that’s not the real reason why everybody doesn’t just drop their job and become a hippie. The real reason is that they like security and comfort. But they won’t say that. They will probably say something about being a “functional” member of society or come up with some other idealistic answer. If what people say on the internet when they are anonymous, or the way people drive is any indication, the average person is actually really angry a lot of the time, and my guess is that this is primarily because of their job. The first thing that comes to mind when talking about hippies is that the hippies are useless, they’re not helping anyone. Indeed many hippies seem a little hedonistic, in their own way, especially if you’ve read The Dharma Bums. But those weren’t real hippies, they were hipsters. They had money to buy stuff.

What is going to happen in the future? 4chan would have you believe that the Jews are going to continue to run everything. It does seem accurate that the people who control the money control the governments which control the people and tell them to be buttslaves and not to ask questions and be happy. “What’s the alternative?” I don’t know. Everybody has a complex opinion on what type of government we should have and there clearly is no simple answer. I think there’s just too many people. Too many people are essentially slaves when you consider that the people making money off of them don’t give a shit about them. They just work a boring and somewhat pointless job and spend money on pointless things, being unhappy most of the time… well after all, everything is really ultimately pointless, but the average person who works an ultra shit job and then just comes home and drinks is really not doing anything to help the global situation, but I don’t blame them. They are probably in mental agony day in and day out and doing it for no other reason than the hope that one day things will get better or those occasional moments where something interesting and unexpected happens. Who am I to say that it’s not worth it? It’s not like you can debate how much badness is equal to how much goodness, right? My guess is that people can only decide for themselves whether or not this is a good idea for them. But I believe that being angry and feeling trapped all the time makes you stop caring about other people and therefore makes the global situation shittier.

Smoke marijuana every once in a while

Reality is reflected by the operational state of your brain.  When you are sober, reality is fundamentally absurd (some might say pointless, and one might argue that it is not only pointless but fundamentally flawed).  In this state, you do not even realize that the present even exists; you are in a constant state of Person Manager 2014, calculating and evaluating but never actually playing the game yourself.

You do not even realize this is the case and that this is what you are doing and this is how you are living your life, until you have an extreme experience, perhaps induced by a psychedelic drug or near-death experience.  Suddenly, lots of things you took for granted about reality and did not realize could change, change.  You realize that lots of things you took for granted about reality were actually just made up by you, or your subconscious… in fact, everything was made up, generally based on reasonable inferences, of course, not just whimsied up randomly, but still inherently a creation of your mind.  You realize that you are in some ways living in your own little bubble of reality, walking around in a reality made up by your brain (in some sense… walking around inside your own brain).

Because psychedelic drugs can fundamentally change reality, they can be extremely useful.  Other drugs like stimulants or depressants may give you a new appreciation of reality, but not to the extent of psychedelics (or hallucinogens, depending on the terminology), because psychedelics can change far more about the way you experience reality: more boundaries can be broken, the experience is more personal, introverted and meditative.  An analogy: if normal reality is like being a trucker, stimulants or depressants may cause the truck to go faster or slower, maybe causing you to notice the road a little more and appreciate its true nature a little more, but psychedelics can change the truck into a smaller car, or a tank, or an octopus, or God, depending on how much you take.  There are truly no limits to the intensity of a psychedelic experience and people who take these drugs do not generally crave more and more, never getting as high as they want to, like other types of drug users or drug addicts.  People who take psychedelics are very careful of dosage not because of the threat of physical harm, like takers of other drugs, but because the psychological intensity can quickly become far beyond what the drug taker, in their sober state, imagined was possible, potentially resulting in the most terrifying and worst experience of their lives.

If the truck analogy doesn’t make sense, that’s OK, because in some ways, it shouldn’t. The sober brain state is not capable of understanding the changes in reality that psychedelics may produce.  How knowledge may be retained or transferred between different states of brain functioning is a difficult question.  Based on my own personal experience, it is possible to retain at least some knowledge from a psychedelic state of functioning to a sober state of functioning, but it doesn’t seem like a whole lot, depending on the intensity of the experience.  That is not to say that psychedelic experiences may not change a lot about the sober state, but I don’t think that it is that much compared to the significance of the experience.  In fact, many people claim to “black out” on high doses of psychedelics and claim to remember almost nothing.  They may feel significantly different, once they become sober, but there can be no doubt that an experience so strong that they “blacked out” is just impossible to understand in conventional terms.

Many people take these drugs and are not enlightened, and that is because the drugs cannot accomplish enlightenment by themselves.  They change the way reality is perceived, which may allow a mind to make judgments about reality and the nature of their self.

I believe they are perhaps a necessary or at least critical component of a sane lifestyle, allowing you to reset and not just escape a reality that may seem monotonous or maniacal in its absurdity, but to reflect and reconsider things which may be beneficial for other people.  There may be some risk that taking these drugs may cause a person to believe that their sober state of functioning is inherently pointless or even downright dysfunctional when never complemented with other states of functioning.

A person may not “do” much in a non-sober brain state, when looked at from the point of view of a sober person.  This brings up some questions regarding what “doing” is.  When people get out of bed and walk around, are these physical or mental things they are doing?  Because subjective experience is the most fundamental aspect of reality, I would argue that “doing” is fundamentally a mental concept and not an objective concept.  Two people walking at the same speed in roughly the same place may be “doing” completely different things, psychologically.  A person may look at someone sitting on a couch and claim that they are not doing anything, when in fact, they may be having an intense psychedelic experience where they feel like they are doing lots of things, darting from concept to concept, trying to understand what is going on, exploring their mind, etc. The experience may have been far more interesting than the sober experience of something “conventionally” interesting, like going for a run or talking to coworkers.  People may go for a run or talk to coworkers with very little conscious effort.  Most of their conscious effort is probably spent constantly maintaining and updating an abstract representation of reality, both time and space.  People keep track of where they are both in terms of their body’s physical location as well as where they are located on a giant timeline: it is this hour of the day, I am this old, I am this far through task X which takes 50 minutes.

It makes a lot of sense for the sober mind to function this way.  Our minds adapted to function this way because DNA cares about what happens in the physical reality.  The goal of DNA is to perpetuate, and it does this by creating complex machines (organisms and animals) that are capable of not only navigating, but surviving the real world and out-performing other organisms.  In order to navigate physical reality, mechanisms must be put in place to keep track of what just happened, and to make abstractions about the nature of time and space, so that a strategic physical action can then be performed.  What good is it to DNA for your body to lose its ability to keep track of time and space?  It’s no good.  There are very good reasons why our bodies are designed to do this.

However, this constant keeping track of what’s going on and updating and maintaining our interpretation of reality can lead us to be stressed out, annoyed, depressed, or just simply not happy.  We are naturally attracted to shiny things and bigger things and more stuff, but having more and more stuff to keep track of, and more responsibilities as a result of us having a more complicated strategy to acquire more stuff (such as working more jobs or doing some other complicated activity to get more money) seems to inevitably lead to a state where a person feels overloaded with responsibilities and things to keep track of.  You might say: good, that’s what they’re supposed to do!  What good is it diverting resources away from these responsibilities and toward smelling the flowers?  And how do I choose to allocate time for enjoyment?  How can it be enjoyment if I am constantly keeping track of the fact that I have allocated the next 5 minutes for enjoyment?

The answer, in my opinion, is that the whole idea of enjoyment as a strategic and temporary diversion of cognitive resources from the overall goal of conquering the physical reality, towards “enjoyment time” does not make any sense and does not work.  In fact, the phrase “enjoyment time” can be used to illustrate, through its sterility and lameness, how fun does not exist in a strategic view of reality as anything other than a means toward a strategic end.  There may be lots of people who enjoy constant strategy, and, in fact, enjoying the process of strategizing is probably inherent to humans, but only to a certain degree.  If the strategic process can never be escaped from, it may lead to not only the feeling of being overwhelmed, but also  frustration, confusion and angst due to the seeming absurdity of reality.  I think that is how most people view meditation or a psychedelic experience as a strategic opportunity to perhaps gain some creativity or new ways of thinking that will help the ultimately, of-course-more-important goal of conquering physical reality.  This is a worthy start, but there is more to explore here.

What is fun?  I would argue that fun happens when the strategizing stops, and the constant maintenance and updating of the greater representation of reality goes away with it.  I think it is possible for most people to grasp this idea in its basic form, but I don’t think you can truly understand it unless you have experienced it yourself.  The fact is that we are trained over the course of our lives to handle a larger and more complex workload of responsibilities as life goes on.  Adults never have fun like kids do because their perception of reality cannot be fun, and their sober state of functioning has reached such a developed level of management, updating, strategizing, etc, that their reality can never really change that much.  Sure, they can go for a walk or go to a restaurant or go to a foreign country, but the same things are always going to be in the back of their minds, both consciously and subconsciously.  They have constructed a more and more detailed representation of reality as life goes on, without even realizing the extent of it.  They achieve a baseline state, which sounds good in some cases, right?  Like if you cut your toe and you don’t freak out and think you’re going to die; you don’t cry like a child in situations that are now simple to you.  But you also don’t have fun like a child.  And rather than this baseline being simply neutral, I believe it is skewed in the negative direction because updating and maintaining this representation of reality comes at the cost of being at least somewhat overwhelmed all the time and being stressed out because of it.  After all, I would wager that most people are more than just a little nostalgic about their childhood, despite all the benefits they have as adults.

There are some adults that do seem to have a lot of fun and to some degree I have to chalk it up to the fact that their brains simply do not operate in this maintaining and updating way to the extent of other people.  Some people claim that they can be totally caught up in their latte and forget about everything else in the world, and others find this idea absurd.  I think that genetics play a large role in this.

A more developed, more comprehensive updating and maintaining process, and a more complex representation of reality can be stressful not just because it may be overwhelming, but also because that reality is fundamentally absurd.  We can’t know any absolute truths about anything, even if absolute concepts help us conquer physical reality.  Some people might say that, ultimately, reality makes no sense and leads toward nothing.  Some people claim that this gives us freedom, but what is freedom in this sense other than not trying to figure out the one thing that seems strategically the best to do; what is freedom but a lack of thinking?

The majority of us are bound to be sober most of the time, so what are we to do?  How can we avoid this constant, pointless strategizing?  I am of the personal opinion that psychedelic drugs (including marijuana) may be the only way or at least by far the most effective way of disrupting the strategizing and having a more balanced cognitive state overall.  Most people may think they have stopped strategizing when they have not, or simply claim that it’s not possible because their meditation session did not work.  I would hope that eventually everyone stops being religious in pretty much any way other than culturally, and after that I believe that people will need psychedelic drugs, meditation and perhaps lifestyle changes in order to be happier and function optimally physical reality.

Why did I say that reality is “reflected” by the operational state of the brain?  Why didn’t I say reality is “produced” by the brain?  I say this because I know for certain that experience exists, but I don’t know if physical reality really exists, whatever “really exists” means.  I don’t really have an opinion on a lot of things, like whether or not time is an illusion.  It seems to me that most people have the idea in their heads that time, all of time, passes at this constant rate.  That seems to me to be false, especially when you consider that Einstein said those things about spacetime.  One thing I do sort of have an opinion on is my belief that reality only partially manifests in the physical realm, and that’s why we get, among other strange things, weird quantum phenomena that make no conventional sense.  I believe that just like we can only see wavelengths of light within our visible spectrum, we can only physically interact with a certain spectrum of reality, the physical reality (of course I guess reality is not entirely physical when you get into wave/particle duality, so please forgive my generalizations and overall physics ignorance).  In this sense I do not believe that consciousness is produced by the physical brain, I believe that physicality is only a subset of all reality.  Of course there is some relationship, but I believe there is just a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that we cannot see.  As for whether or not we have free will, I’m not sure what free will means, or whether or not we can have more or less free will depending on the operational state of our brain, but it does feel like we sort of do.  But do we?  I don’t know.

The Dharma Bums and hipsters

tumblr_m192t4MYIn1qaouh8o1_500

The beginning of the book really pissed me off because it seemed like a lot of psuedo-intellectual hipster trash.  I say psuedo-intellectual in the way that I think a lot of poetry is psuedo-intellectual.  Anybody can say, “The trees are like diamonds, the diamond cutter my… blah blah blah.”  I really hate that shit because it personally doesn’t do anything for me.

Anyway I really didn’t like how at the beginning everyone is so full of themselves and drinking wine and eating and having a good time and generally acting hedonistic as fuck despite claiming to be all Buddhist.  It also annoyed me how everyone seemed to be a little obsessed with the Oriental aesthetic regardless of their actual beliefs regarding Buddhism.  I am personally not a big fan of Buddhism because I find it depressing and boring and the aesthetic just doesn’t suit me.

There are several nuggets of absolute gold in this book where people discuss life and death and real philosophy outside of this nonsense Zen trash and really boring rambling descriptions of nature.  I really really wanted to get to the end of the book to figure out why someone as enlightened as Kerouac would not stop drinking.  I was expecting him to have some big rejection of Buddhism or something that would explain why he was the way he was and died from alcohol by age 47.  As it turns out, there was no such ending, and the best explanation we get is that he realized that it didn’t matter whether he drank or not, which is I guess pretty fair and valid.

It was awesome to read these nuggets of wisdom regarding the rejection of traditional values and an interest in meditation and discovering one-ness and infiniteness and all, but I found myself almost wanting to skip entire paragraphs when I could tell they were just going to be more and more boring (to me) descriptions of nature, like “valleys of butterfat leaves” and stuff like that.  You couldn’t have just said leaves?  What are butterfat leaves?  I suspect that I am just more “left-brained” (to put it retardedly) than most people who are into poetry, and that’s why I ever got into programming and math.

The nonsensical Zen expressions seemed to be sort of similar to Taoism which I think is cool and less depressing that Buddhism.

The book is largely about the character Japhy, who is some psuedo-intellectual know-it-all twat who thinks he’s so great, and so does everyone else.  He says things like, “There’s no greater place in the United States,” about something, and obviously he is not claiming this like a fact, right?  But it always seems like he does.  He always has an answer for everything.

I now finally understand, upon reading this, where a lot of the modern hipster aesthetic comes from.  Kerouac describes little shacks where the tables are made out of old orange crates, and etc.

One thing I really didn’t understand about this was how there was such a focus on physical descriptions of things.  He was always describing the shacks and the coffee and the highways and the descriptions of things were always written in this sort of romantic way… it seems to me like if you are really spiritually inclined you become less obsessed with your aesthetic and generally stop being such a fag romanticising like, “There’s no feeling in the world like chopping that first log of the day with your axe after you eat that logger breakfast of black coffee and pancakes.”  It’s always got to be fucking black coffee, doesn’t it.  Because that’s so rugged.  It fucking makes me sick but that’s probably just because the modern hipsters I have seen have made it so boring.

I really liked this book but I believe it could have been like 50% shorter and I would have liked it more, but this is largely because the poetic descriptions of environments are just not for me.  I wanted more of the philosophy, more of the why why why, less of the god damn hipster self-indulgent hedonistic bullshit.  They’re always about packing all this delicious food and having dessert and stuff.  I’m all for food, but isn’t that kind of un-Buddha like to be so obsessed with desert?  And drinking.  Oh my God, everyone is always fucking drinking their faggy red port!  Fuck your red port!  There’s no discussion of being hungover and vomiting and diarrhea in this book, which almost certainly happened.  I want to know things like where are these people taking a shit and washing themselves when they don’t have access to electricity or running water?  That’s what I want to know.  Take your “butterfat leaves” and shove them up your ass.

Maybe if you live that lifestyle and you smell like shit and you don’t wash your clothes, you just don’t think about that stuff, but it is what I wanted to know more than anything.  Overall I am very very glad I read this book but it had a very polarizing effect on me.  I also got the impression that Kerouac himself hates Japhy and was trying to make him look like a cunt, but maybe he wasn’t.

I also really hated the cover and back cover art of this book because it looked all faggoty and self-satisfied and why are they bears?  God damnit I hate these dumb self-satisfied hipsters.  They are so god damn boring and don’t push the boundaries of anything.  Just keep on doing the faggoty rustic shit like it’s always been done, because that totally makes sense.  They are so fucking boring and stupid.