Ascended Mogul + Ultimate Artist


#401

Not really an epiphany, more of an observation. I can’t commit to anything. That’s why I am where I am. I always feel like I don’t have enough time for my music or I have so much further to go. But the truth is I don’t commit. I second guess, I try to be safe, and I waste time when I should just be going for it.

This is my whole life, not just music. I want the safety of my current situation while also getting what I want. It doesn’t work like that. You’re either both feet in or not, it’s not one foot in and the other out. And that means committing more to changing myself. The question I have to ask myself. Do I like how others treat me? Do I like how I interact with others? And the answer is no, absolutely not. So then why the fuck would I bother staying who I am right now? Out of some romanticized idea of authenticity? No, I’m doing a disservice to myself by not molding myself into the person I want to be in this world. Like it or not my immediate environment is a reflection of who I am at this moment. So I’m not dissatisfied with my environment, I’m dissatisfied with myself.

I’ve been afraid to be dominant. I’ve been afraid to own my stuff and be confident. I’ve seen a lot cocky self absorbed guys in my life and I swore to myself I’d never be like that. But I swung the other way. I threw myself so low down on the rungs of society. So it’s about time I said fuck it, if I’m an asshole I’m an asshole. I’d never intentionally hurt people, but I’m not gonna suppress my own personal power for fear of what others think of me. I started AM with an intention, if I never wanted to change, if I never wanted to be a better version of myself than I am right now I never would have even thought of buying it. But I did and it’s pointless trying to hold onto an old me.

So it’s time I stopped with the bs and commit to who I want to be today, not a few months down the road, not in a year, now. No more self imposed limitations on how I should be or what’s in my nature. I’m tired of making excuses for weak behavior in myself. I’m tired of twisting my behavior subconsciously to what people have always expected of me so as to not rock the boat and throw them off.

And I’m posting this here for accountability. If anyone reading this sees me falling off I give you full permission to tell it to me like it is. Honest to god I can’t live like this anymore, I just fucking can’t. Timid around people, being a pushover, being a target to the manipulative assholes in society. I’m not gonna talk big like I have the confidence yet, I’ve had too many times in the past where I’d have these personal power epiphanies and then crumble when out in the real world. That’s not a sign of being alpha to me, that’s a wannabe. I’m at a point now where I fully acknowledge these weak characteristics in myself and if anyone takes advantage of me I only have myself to blame. Like a fucking animal that rolls on it’s back and exposes it’s belly to signal it isn’t a threat, I don’t want any part of that shit anymore.


#402

Some truth in that last post, but a lot of anger and frustration targeted at myself. Have to do some digging because right now these emotions are very conflicting. On one hand my attempts at being overly self accepting in the past have left me stagnant. On the other hand hating myself and trying to change myself resulted in me having a very unstable state of being. There’s a balance here, but I have to find it. In the past few hours I’ve gone from anger to sadness. From wanting to utterly eliminate everything about myself to asking myself where does this need for dominance and control come from? And the partial answer to that is fear. It’s also reflective of my perfectionism, seeing a couple of flaws and deciding it’s all bad vs seeing the whole picture.

Still a lot to figure out here.

But I’m starting to realize how much thinking I do vs action. And it doesn’t have to be huge actions, but I mean everything is overanalyzed to death. I spend so much time thinking I have to figure out myself more I fail to realize that’s done with actions. And this realization hit me hard when I read an article about decreased prefrontal cortex activity in highly creative people. Creativity is creation, doing, getting out of the way of that overly critical self. I know for me the balance is way off. I have to practice more the state of being and doing vs analyzing


#403

Here’s what I see/think/suspect:

  1. You are experiencing a fairly rapid increase in your emotional intelligence. 2) You are a person who has traditionally relied on/leaned into intellectual reflection as a primary coping strategy.

In the past, you tended to use your various emotional changes to drive a kind of analytical, insight process.

But what it looks like to me is that now your organism is evolving in the direction of being able to directly work with and use the energy and intelligence of your emotions, without always feeding them into a kind of narrative, conceptual picture of ‘what the world is’. So, in a way, you’re still doing that kind of narrative thing because it’s the habit. (That’s the part of you that says, ‘Still a lot to figure out here’.)

But in fact, your emotional process is moving much faster than the story-making and analysis. I suspect that the emotional process is moving faster because you’re becoming braver and more comfortable with it. It seems (to the thinking, analytical part of you) like something that needs to be figured out. But what I think is that you’re going to discover that that process has an intelligence all its own. A new kind of intelligence that will be added to your toolbox and arsenal. A brand new super-power.

I’ve observed again and again that in the process of mind-development and organismic evolution, the analytical mind feels like its running the show, but it’s often more like the ‘tail wagging the dog’. It’s the last to know, but it tries to feel like it’s in control by narrating everything that’s happening.

I’ve observed, for example, that when a person consciously feels a strong desire to develop a particular attribute, often that’s just the conscious mind dimly becoming aware of what’s already going on in full swing in the subconscious.

So the strategy here seems clear: to develop true wisdom, it’s probably necessary to make friends with and gradually integrate the subconscious. At first that will feel like a scary loss of control. But gradually it will be like having much more data and information, and will result in a more powerful way of walking through the world.


#404

Damn this makes so much sense and I think you definitely nailed it. I’ve been feeling that, without a doubt. This internal energy, but I kept finding myself trying to avoid it or I was afraid of it. I can sense the power there, it feels like a bunch of potential energy waiting to go kinetic. Consequently my conscious mind does go haywire when this happens, trying to make sense of it and control it.

This has been immensely helpful, thank you.


#405

This imagery of ‘potential energy waiting to go kinetic’, lingered with me and stayed with me during my meditation this morning.


#406

What I assume when I read your writings, and I am sorry if someone pointed this already out, is that your intellect is blocking you big time. I guess you probably figured that out already but I am pointing this out just in case. You know what dawned me when I thought about philosophy lately? I am not that much into philosophy although I see time and time again that my thoughts are similar, but what I noticed is that practically all philosophers who are most recognized today, were extremely intellectual and didn’t have a very happy life. They were stuck in their head like a hamster in a wheel and couldn’t stop it. They constantly thought about everything and let life pass through them without them enjoying it. The irony is, that people who werent as intellectual as them (ie 90% of their environment) probably lived much happier lifes, although not as happy and fulfilling as they could have been, but happier than them because they didn’t load this burden on their shoulders.
It’s also ironical that the original idea of philosophy is to solve problems and get to a conclusion about how to live life in a happy and fulfilling way. Again, most of them didn’t.

I guess what that tells us is that we should at least distance ourselves from the “problems” we analyse and admit that there is a point in life where your burden is too heavy.
You either entrust it to life and ask for help or admit you don’t know anything about the mystery of life no matter how much you try to analyse it and be open to get lead.
Or the other option is you just die internally, ie depression.

Many may say this is a very spiritual concept and I agree on that. But I got to say, I don’t really see that much of a better option and secondly, what’s so bad about it? I think the lack of spirituality (the sense of surrendering and being a student of life) is what makes people miserable because they feel like they got to lift this burden all by themselve.

Sorry, not trying to be offense, just my thoughts on your situation. Maybe it can help you


#407

My view is somewhat different.

I think that intellect and intellectual analysis are like a set of muscles; say, your right biceps muscle, your right trapezius, and your right quadriceps. Sure, if those muscles are overly-developed in comparison to the rest of your muscles, then your balance, the balance of your physical structure, will be thrown off. You may even develop injuries or scoliosis. So, that part is right. An overly developed intellect can throw off the balance of the system.

Where I differ is with regard to the solution. I think that, in that situation of imbalanced muscular development, rather than deliberately weakening those highly-developed muscles, a good strategy is to instead work on strengthening your other muscles and, thus, bringing balance in that way. It’s also definitely a good idea to start integrating more stretching and flexibility training to relieve some of the tension in the whole structure.

The same approach can be used vis-a-vis intellect. We can strengthen our other capacities to bring balance. And we can institute psychological flexibility training (e.g., meditation, relaxation, ‘letting go’) to cultivate greater flexibility and release tension

I can think of many philosophers and thinkers to whom this does not apply. Pretty much all of my favorites: Dogen, Mencius, Hui Neng, Ken Wilber, Ramana Maharshi; Vasubandhu, Eugene Gendlin, and on and on. It’s not athletic intellect that is the problem, it’s imbalanced intellect; intellect out of integrity with the rest of our beings.

The whole practice of Rinzai Zen Buddhism (the sect that emphasizes the use of koan practice), for example, involves directing the power and energy of the intellect to bring about a direct insight into ultimate emptiness, potent arbitrariness, and shifting potential; beyond our usual myopically egocentric orientation.

We do not need to be afraid of the intellect. It’s just as natural as anything else in the Cosmos. Sometimes, it needs to be brought down to size, sure. But that’s also true of many 3-year-olds. It’s not because they’re evil. They’ve just sometimes got more energy and ambition than they have perspective. Same is true of the analytical intellect. When it’s integrated with the rest of the organism, it brings beauty, elegance, and benefit to the overall being.

By the same token, ANY aspect of ourselves, intellect, emotion, instinct, ambition, intuition; when it is allowed to dominate and to proceed unchecked and out of balance and integrity with the whole being, will bring about damage and dysfunction. That applies across the board to all parts of us, not just to intellect or analysis.

I grew up being told, and sometimes believing, that I ‘thought too much’. That’s why I want to express this clearly. It’s true that many of my weaknesses, limitations, and character flaws were associated with my overuse of intellect. But it’s also true that there were many other weaknesses and flaws that my intellect enabled me to avoid. Looking back, I would not change it. It was just another starting point for growth.

You have to start somewhere


#408

The funny thing is, we are basically saying the same thing here.
What I described as surrendering to life and acknowledging we are students of life, is the exact same as letting go, meditating and relaxing. This is exactly what I did back then.

I don’t know any of them, never heard of them :joy: But I guess most of them are Indian. Indian philosophy tends to be very spiritual from the beginning. Who I meant is people like Nietzsche, Kant, Freud etc etc. Those were … let’s say not the happiest beings on earth.

I absolutely agree and I didn’t mean we should avoid the intellect, not at all. That would be a waste of a very useful tool. But that’s the thing, it is about recoginizing the intellect as a tool and not identifying yourself with it.

When I was younger, my mind literally killed me. Everyone told me how smart I was and how much I’d think and I hated it. It literally drained me. There were times where I woke up in the middle of the night because my head raced full of thoughts. I had 0 emotions back then, except for fear. So that is one extreme. Fixing this never means going to the other side of extreme, it means balance and that means recognizing myself as consciousness, not as thought, emotion or intellect.

That’s what I wanted to say.


#409

Here is one we can both use:

bz-zem-bday-05-13-09-251x300


#410

@Malkuth and @ExploringAstronaut. Both valid points. And I think in my case, as @Malkuth pointed out earlier, the overly developed intellect was to compensate for emotional deficits in myself. Interestingly enough I was reading papers on depression and how they’ve noticed overly active neural networks and increased activity in the prefrontal cortex in depressed individuals. Basically too much stimulation in one area, which ties into the whole concept of over reliance on one part of the brain. This also lends itself to far more self awareness, so you enter the trap where an individual feels bad but that overly self aware activation is making them feel even worse. Then the mind goes off to try and figure out how to fix it which churns things over more which makes it worse. I’ve often hypothesized that introverts are more prone to depression for this very reason, far more internal awareness that they can get stuck in. Whereas extroverts seek things externally and those ruminating patterns are more easily broken.

In the end a lot could be said about all this, but it seems like in my case learning to engage my emotions more instead of trying to suppress and control them is the key. I do notice the more I do that, the more the near obsessive chatter and thinking that seeks to control diminishes. The irony of all of it, for years I thought I had achieved emotional discipline and was “strong”. Turns out I was in a near constant state of exerting mental energy, often unconsciously, to keep emotions at bay and manage them that way.


#411

Separate post for this one today because I feel like something important has shifted in me. I haven’t been listening to beyond limitless as much as I want. To be honest the sessions stress me out sometimes. I find myself trying too hard, worrying, and the whole idea of being the creator of my reality can sometimes be easily rejected. But I listened once this morning before work. On my way into work I thought about manifestations and visualization. I have never had visualizing work for me and I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve successfully manifested stuff. So I thought screw it, let me give this a shot with something so simple that I wouldn’t have a lot of boundaries up to it. So on my way into work I didn’t even visualize it, I just accepted that I was going to get a free coffee today somehow… Put it out there then went about my day. Settling into work and my boss messages me asking me if I want anything from the coffee shop because he’s stopping there on his way to work. I thought to myself, hell yeah and owned it and acknowledged that I did that. I’m going to keep building with little things, but the main thing is I’m not writing this off as coincidence even though there are a lot of people who want to shoot events like this down. In the past I would too, but I recognize that’s just a limitation I put in my mind.

Anyway that small event spurred on a flood of stuff going through my head. I realized I’ve been visualizing wrong. See my life has been hard for me despite not being hard objectively. So everything I do has that strain and effort attached to it. I realized I was putting that in my visualizations subconsciously without realizing it. That’s how it’s always been so it hitched a ride along. It made me realize every possibility or imagined future scenario was being dictated by my past associations with similar things. The “truth” I was seeing was just my interpretation based on all the collected knowledge I have in my life but is by no means the actual reality.

The goal now is to visualize and create a life detached from those past limitations, to stop building my life through those filters. The filters that constantly tell me life is pain, struggle, and failure. Instead to embrace the idea of ease, effortlessness, and flow.


#412

Apropos of this, there’s research support for the existence of two overlapping neural systems of self-reference. The network(s) you’re referring to is associated with ‘Narrative self-reference’. Excessive activation of that network is connected to depression with its typical behaviors of rumination and perseveration. When it comes to the stories of ‘What the World Is’ and ‘Who I Am (in the world)’, basically, depressed people tend to repeat variations of the same story themes over and over and over again. And it’s not a very nice story.

But there’s another self-reference system which is about ‘Experiential self-reference’. This form of self-knowing is based not on repetition of a set of identity-descriptive concepts but on interaction and feedback with the environment.

So, as far as brain architecture goes, there are literally two distinct ways of ‘knowing that we are here’ and ‘knowing who we are’. (I put it in quotes because that so called ‘knowing’ is actually a largely creative process.)

In most people, those two systems tend to be overlapping and undifferentiated. But, here’s the interesting part: with practice, we can develop the ability to differentiate them and to intentionally choose which one we are using to orient our sense of self in the world.

On a practical level, what this means is that we can learn to relate to our narratives as options, rather than as a prison. This is actually part of the logic behind so-called ‘mindfulness’ practices. With all of the whoo-whoo removed, they can be regarded straightforwardly as practices to distinguish (attentionally/intentionally) narrative activity from experiential activity. Done. No big deal. Just a possible skill that can be developed.

Here’s the original research if you’re ever in the mood to peruse this stuff:

https://europepmc.org/article/PMC/2566754

There’s a free pdf of the article there.

And if academic citations do not trigger your gag reflex, here’s the citation:
Farb, N. A., Segal, Z. V., Mayberg, H., Bean, J., McKeon, D., Fatima, Z., & Anderson, A. K. (2007). Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience , 2 (4), 313-322.


#413

This is awesome. I have never been able to let go into the world of whoo whoo lol. I’ve tried, but my mind always likes to understand on a deeper level. This is really fascinating, I’ll give this a read soon.


#414

Lots of reconciliation going on these past few days. My mind keeps trying to “bargain”. Telling me stuff like be yourself, you don’t need to be dominant, you need to stick to your path, etc. Basically a whole bunch of enticing comfortable ideas that loop me back around to the same stuff I’ve been struggling with.

I have a firm mental image of what I want in my head and I’m holding onto it. But man it’s like part of me has been trying to tear that down all weekend.


#415

Oh the irony. Everything I’ve been hammering myself with these past few weeks to achieve have been exclusively to guard against any and all mistake or criticisms I could possibly receive in my life. I’ve been really off track. I was super stressed, I was trying to get everything fixed or figured out. And like what was brought up before, this isn’t a figuring out thing, it’s a being thing.

I was trying to create this whole new identity that wasn’t based in strength, but rather fear. It wasn’t a good perspective to have because it wasn’t sustainable. I was relying on calculating, guarding, over overanalyzing, I was afraid to let go and just see how I act without having some internal process constantly monitoring what I say or do to get a desired outcome.

Basically the inner part I’ve been cultivating with these subs has not been let out and freed. And there’s some kind of fear there which I’m now exploring. Because being powerful and respected or even just having people interested in me should not be something I’m afraid of. Yet here I am afraid to unleash my own potential. Funny how that works.


#416

You and me both man


#417

Just some thoughts on my mind. I’m working more at not comparing myself to others. I’m getting a lot better and it’s allowing me to see the useful stuff I need to work on vs putting myself down for not accomplishing things like everyone else. Having said that, I do feel different than most people. I don’t have the same spark or fulfillment with things. Outside of music there’s not a lot that makes me feel good. Food, travel, night out drinking, buying new stuff, dating, etc. it’s all meh. I beat myself up for this a lot because I constantly wondered how everyone else is so engaged in life and what I was doing wrong. I stopped doing that recently and just started focusing on myself more.

Maybe it’s the existentialism setting in, maybe it’s not being where I want to be in my life. But thinking about how much time I’ve lost doing this job every day and how death is going to come eventually it made me realize this isn’t good. It’s probably denial. I get through the week and say “Oh, I have the weekend so it’s not so bad”. Or I have to travel and I say “Oh well next few months I won’t have to do that”. But then I look at the sum total of how much time is gone, how fast 2 years has gone by, and it’s apparent that I’m not looking beyond the present because I realize how much time has gone by doing shit my soul has no desire to do.

But hey that’s how the world works right? That’s how most of us are raised to believe adulthood goes. I was talking to my dad the other day about my job and how our sister company is short staffed. He asked maybe I could move to California and work for them? I said hell no, that company is a disorganized mess and terrible to work for and cheap fuckers that want to squeeze work out of people. His response? That’s most places, most work places are stressful and annoying. No, I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not accepting that as “reality”. I’m convinced people have just accepted toxic workplace culture in the US and view it as the norm, it’s a fucking disease. I want no part of it anymore. I don’t see it as a badge of honor to burn yourself out at your job. I don’t take pride in being given a workload that should be split between 2 other people, you can jerk off someone else’s ego with that shit not me.

I guess what I’m saying is, I’ve been aware of a lot of this for years. But all anyone ever has to say is “that’s how the world works”. Nothing makes my blood boil more than that. Just rolling over and accepting how things are and continuing a legacy of unfulfilling lives based on assumptions. I’m really lost. The way I was groomed for society was living in fear, finding an employer that “takes care of you”, save for retirement, then die. That’s it. I wasn’t told to be a leader, forge my own path, do shit differently, nope I was just told to survive and find security.

My parents, even though we didn’t live in poverty, had fear all the time. I felt it permeate the air. They didn’t have to say anything, but I knew. There was always tension in my house, I was not raised in an environment that felt safe. It always felt a bit unstable and maybe that’s why I don’t know that feeling. Because I have no point of reference in my life.


#418

You may not have been told to be a leader. Well, You’re telling yourself now. It has to start somewhere, and it’s starting from you.

The rolling over and accepting how things are stops here. It stops now. It stops with you. Because you make it stop. This is it.


#419

Also, this is not an indictment, just a fact: we human beings are laboring under SERIOUS limitations of egocentrism and what I would call inter-subjective myopia. We just cannot see and discern that far into the experience of anything outside of ourselves.

To make matters worse and more hilarious, precisely due to that exact same myopic egocentrism, the one thing most people most dislike acknowledging is limitation. Our greatest limitation is our aversion to facing limitations.

As a result, most of what people say to you, even when they are intentionally directing words and ideas to you, is largely about themselves. (As an example, if your only language is English, then English will come out of your mouth when you speak. It doesn’t change automatically just because you’re speaking to someone whose only language is Korean.) What we say is mostly influenced by OUR own history and circumstances, not by the nature of the person with whom we’re conversing. (Of course, this includes what I’m typing right now.)

When your dad says ‘That’s most workplaces’, he’s speaking from his own point of view. Chances are he’s hoping that saying it will actually make your burden lighter in a weird way. Like ‘just accept this fact and then it’s easier to deal with things’ or something like that. But all interpersonal communication is shooting in the dark. Some ‘confident’ people like to talk as if it isn’t, but they’re just good at pretending. So the messages we get from others often don’t quite fit. That person probably had good intentions, but was just shooting in the dark like everyone else.

Hmmm…so do I have any practical point here? Maybe the most practical one is: it’s important to address any ‘missed targets’ (i.e., unmet needs or faulty beliefs that were given to us) when we come of age and are able to address our own needs. It has nothing to do with ill intentions from our parents and caregivers. It has everything to do with their lack of telepathy. The best parent/friend/teacher in the world, still can’t read our entire mind and feel all of our feelings. So, they’ll all miss stuff. And sometimes some of what they miss will be really important for us. It’s actually a miracle worth cherishing that things work out as well as they sometimes do.

Anyway. It’s easier to say this stuff and harder to really live with it.


#420

Yes 100% agree with you. One thing I had to slowly learn over the years was to hold onto my own perspectives and thoughts on life. I’m the type of person that will almost always assume I don’t know a lot. Unfortunately that planted the seed of doubt in my own head and I was more likely to throw out my own stuff in favor of some authority figure that I perceived as having more confidence in their opinion. I’ve definitely learned it’s not them, it’s me. People can’t force their beliefs on you, that only happens if you let it. So despite what happens it’s my responsibility to make sure I don’t bend on my own beliefs.