A note to readers: I've decided to condense this email to only the ideas I am currently exploring. If you continue to find them compelling, I am grateful for your readership.
This weeks Ideas:
1. Round and round the words will spin in your mind. You recite them, contemplate them, and you become accustomed to them. They make you feel as if you have something to hold onto, a structure. What they really are is security against facing yourself, which is the tragedy of life.
2. There are no secrets you can keep from yourself, and that is why you opt for blindness to what matters.
3. Divine Spark
Everyone holds the divine spark. To become bitter, resentful, or weak while holding this highest Good is the result of a crisis of conscience within the individual. Let no institution, authority, or mob deny you the freedom and opportunity to uphold the call of the divine spark.
The divine spark is not just a mark of your importance. It’s the mark that you are responsible for the kingdom that surrounds you, the people and the territory. You are responsible for honoring the divine spark by acting with the wisdom and burden of kingship.
4. A Lesson in Abstraction — How to Traverse Online Media
The world of online media are the most complex tools humanity has built where the user is completely enveloped in abstraction. For people that haven’t developed a skill for abstraction — those that cannot build multiple, simultaneous, and often competing perspectives in their mind and hold them loosely, the online world can be dangerous. The information they observe becomes visceral, it feels real.
The online media world is many things at once, and most people that aren’t able to abstract multiple perspectives on what they’re consuming resort to reducing the information they see down to the perspective that their minds are used to. Emotional reaction is a defense mechanism for dealing with a world that we haven’t collectively developed cognitive bearings for. We see this behavior in toddlers. Well, many people are at the developmental level of toddlers when it comes to online media information. My point is that those that are accustomed to thinking abstractly have the ability to sort information before they feel it viscerally. It becomes a useful filter for navigating this online domain.
Those who lack this ability either entrench themselves in a single perspective or fleetingly move from narrative to narrative. Pinpointing on one tree and missing the forest beyond them. The real issue is the emotional connection to online information spills back into their real-world lives. The mismatch between abstraction and reality can be jarring and destabilizing. It’s what can divide friendships and cause difficultly in families. It’s no longer acceptable to operate on only your gut level if you are to get by undamaged by this new abstract world. You need to develop your ability to abstract. Create and hold perspectives that reside and compete above your physical actions.
The gut reaction is useful only if your instinct and intuition are sculpted. You sculpt them by thinking abstractly and sacrificing the perspectives that will do you more harm then good. If you cannot function on the level of abstraction you will be increasingly consumed into the belly of the proverbial whale that is the online media world.
5. The Self-Awareness Milestone
There's a milestone of self awareness that exists, and when crossed, allows the individual the ability to inoculate themselves from the narratives that would otherwise trap their minds on a treadmill of ideology, news, influence from the crowd, or roles assigned to you. This milestone is interesting for a couple reasons. First, after crossing it, you realize that your perception of reality, how you metaphysically interpret the world, has been entirely determined by you the whole time. You see existence as it can only be seen through your eyes.
You have a moment that goes like this, “Oh shit, that was just me the whole time, imagining the world without seeing it for what it is. It’s actually bigger than me in ways I cannot know, and other people can’t know either.” You are partially broken open at this point with the new understanding that the things you care about, while important to you and rightfully so, are actually very small and largely unnoticed by reality.
When you have awareness of this, you have it in your ability to disassociate yourself from the narratives and advice and expert opinions and other projections of authority that have been imposed over your lifetime. You are able to disassociate because you realize that they are as fabricated & fragile as your own perception. The difference is that your perceptions of reality remain with you, but the others, the ones that would try to shape you from the outside, they can be discarded at will.
This milestone, this realization, is not to be wasted. In fact, it will help you understand yourself better by elucidating the unique filter you have and how it is overlaid on reality. When you pass this milestone you gain insight into what makes you, you. What do you do with this new insight you have about yourself? You begin to integrate it. Your preferences, your intimations, your values can be bolstered and you can build yourself up on a foundation of your own being.