This draws on Being Human, Human Ecosystems, [[Human Development, More People should live deep]]. Likjely

reframe this as about the long game I’m interested in playing (with other people)

First - a 500 word riff on each topic.

needs a 1 sentence introduction (like Seth Godin’s “I notice things”)

I don’t mean “why I’m here” in a broad philosophical sense, but here are some thoughts on why I’m spending my time online rather than playing with my kids; beyond “I feel like it”, which is the efficient cause.

Two reasons. Firstly, to help the others who have similar interests and passions find me. Secondly, as the start of a long-term game to help more people live deeply. I want to contribute to people finding that their natural, intuitive mind is good for them, reinforcing the things they love, directing them to awe and wonder, and above all helping them build a positive-sum life.

A wonderful side effect of a substantial minority of people living deeply, happily and healthily would be a more sustainable world, and all the good things that flow with that. That’s what I’m here for.

It’s partly a reaction

  • Our current concepts of being human, best seen through the metaphors we use and expressed through how we structure and live our lives, are not fit for purpose (although many do serve purposes, largely economic): - n.b. for each of these I’d love to steel-man the ‘this is true’ argument, explain why its a useful metaphor, then go on to explain why its limiting and untrue. Read ‘metaphors we live by’. - We are not rational - Pinker’s rationality is the steelman here. algorithms and mental models and processes are not right for us to thrive (although this does let us understand and intervene on the physical/business world). “think it over”, “weigh your options”, “make an informed decision”. - We are not resources - tracking and optimizing is not the route to growth or being. (although this concept does let us produce well), “human capital”, “productivity”, “utilize your talents”, “time management” and “work-life balance” are coping mechanisms for this paradigm, let alone optimization and life-hacks - We are not in competition, let alone in a race (everyone loses a zero-sum game. Billionaires planning escape; Buffet values time which many of us could have, too) - We’re not scaleable units; quantitative psychology has allowed us to manipulate humans at scale; but doesn’t reveal individuality (unless you choose to conform or “find” the things in yourself). If you’re on “the ladder” or “the path”, ask whether its yours. - We are not autonomous individuals; everything about ourselves is integrated with those around us in concentric circles. Although there are probably benefits with this view too (maybe creativity, though I’m not convinced) -
    • Plus, I ‘feel’ (& each of these are imo good to believe in regardless of whether they’re true, because magic is nice, and awe is good for you) - each outline why I think it then why it’s good to believe regardless.
      • We have significant agency over what happens next in our lives and around us, even as individuals.
      • Our base desires should not be denigrated, they can be fun and aligned.
      • Beyond childhood, there are no stages of life we “should” progress through in any domain; this includes the psychological/mental/spiritual.
      • We are not just a set of biological processes that ‘result’ in things. None of our nervous system, genetics or environment (nor any combination thereof) are determinative (though they are all influential). No, adding a little quantum uncertainty won’t solve that problem either.

The result of this mismatch between what humans are and how we “think” and talk about humans is especially evident as anything scales. A (good) startup with three employees doesn’t see mostly them as resources; but at 3000? Or 30000… Let alone at government level where national capital and economic motifs have been the lingua franca for a long time.

And given the interconnected nature of modern/Western society, and our education system, this all reflects back down to us. It’s internalized throughout English-language discourse: education prepares us for employment; your purpose is found in work. It’s how most people live their lives - “the path”.

And these mismatched concepts, along with the direction of “the path” that they result in, are the root of the fact that while we as a species have the capacity to ensure a healthy planet and people; we’re not headed in that direction. We have the tools and tech for sustainable awesome life for everyone. And there’s been good-change over the centuries. Yet: - Climate change, soil degradation, ocean dysbiosis - Risk and short-termism is rife - Empathy deficit - Disconnect from nature - Inequality, death, anxiety/burnout

All of which stems from how we live, consume, and rush through life. How we live and how we conceive “what we are” - these are two intertwined issues at the root of our society. (the limits of) politics is downstream of that.

So what’s the alternative?

Rather than economics, philosophy and psychology, better metaphors for understanding humans (but remain intelligible to English-speakers) would most likely come from ecology and the natural world around us. - Each human is an ecosystem/environment, with internal and external inputs. We’re different, and that difference is beautiful - the same way I love a beach OR a pine forest. We’re hugely flexible, but where we’re starting from makes a huge difference to how fast and how far we can go. - Our consciousness is a mini-human who can direct some of that, but is hugely influenced by the rest of it. If its hot as hell and you need to eat, you’re not going to renovate that patch over there, are you? - - Your nervous system is a forest. Paths well trodden. Feed it, let it grow, don’t chop it down. - Your life is a garden. Variety and beauty. Tend it. - Monoculture sucks, dude. - All of these are complex systems with feedback loops embedded in them (just like ecosystems). They’re resilient in their natural context; but the further removed they are, the less it takes to knock them off kilter (hence mental health now requiring self-work). - Lots of people are pushing in this direction already. Writers like Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and Gary Snyder often use imagery from nature to explore human emotions and experiences.

If you prefer reading deeply to simply thinking about these ideas, look particularly to Buddhism, Romanticism, Taoism. Or study any one of a huge number of “indigenous” cultures. Funnily enough a lot of the non-Western world ‘gets’ what I’m saying here, or, sadly, ‘got’ it at some point before it was, ahem, lost.

    • What I want to see more of is a way of living that’s better for humans-as-ecosystems; not humans-as-productive-units. - commonalities - our lives are concentric. doens’t have to always be the same other individuals in each circle though e.g. with family it might well be. - physical-over-digital (but not non-digital, at all). - resilient, because they’re self-driven rather than driven towards ‘success’. - slow. - un-labelled / individual. - off “the path”. - low in extrinsic harm - In other words, we’ve got varied abundant and beautiful gardens in our bodyminds. All feeding each other and naturally self-reinforcing.
      - Note that I’m not saying this is the peak of human experience or anything like that (although it does feel good); simply that it is one option for living, and one for which people lack meaningful support today. And an aspiration that’d help others live in sync with both themselves and our world.

That’s what I’m REALLY here for

  • is the side effect of more people living deeply, which is that they treat other people and the world around you better. I know nobody who lives deeply and hates regularly. I know nobody who lives deeply and values profit above people. I know nobody who lives deeply and fails to contribute something good (often without aiming to).
  • That’s probably why I want to make this education business thing work, over the decades ahead. That’s probably why I started playing around with this in 2018, and have come back to the online world after living 2022 offline.
  • More people living deeply isn’t going to solve the challenges above (except for at the scale of the individuals and the people around them). But it is going to mean more people doing less harm, which is good. Doubly so as most people who are equipped to live deeply, but are not already doing it, live lives that involve significant extrinsic harm.
  • And helping other people do less harm / transition seems like a good addition to that. I help 10 people, they help 10 people. Repeat 10 times and we’ve helped 10 billion people. There just might be something up with that math; but you get my point, network effects are real.
  • And there are plenty of other people pointing to the same sets of interconnected problems now, helping people be better humans, so maybe we’ll figure it out. Or at least figure some of the human-bit of it out, for some of the world.

Route there for you

  • getting away from the “normal” patterns of thought (what most of you still think is human nature) & re-training to a different way of living. Your way.
  • Your consciousnesses job, that is YOUR job, is to create the conditions in your bodymind to make life awesome.
  • Probably with a lot of capacity development along the way, because “the path” isn’t one that develops you towards what you-human are naturally capable of.

My “three things”

  • Firstly - helping more people directly through coaching and developing courses around intuition and our bodyminds. Right now, I help a few people towards the top right of this picture, who are ready to take a little bit more control of “who they are”, so that they can let go of control of what they do and when. With capacity development, and with training their intuition.
    • Outward capacities

    • Self development

    • Bodymind development

    • If you like spectrums and journeys, this is what that might look like with regard to your self-management skills and your quality of life. - Maybe make something with The first presentation maker with design AI | - Cognitive development as one scale - transcendence at the top of that one. - What you have. What you do. Who you are. - Self-actualization, fulfilment, Ikagi is the peak for normies where purpose, work and achievement can all align. - One of Transcendence/Integration/Unity is the peak for intellectuals. - Might have fun comparing this spectrum to Maslow etc. - Doesn’t have to be ‘best’, as that’s impossible to judge. - Does have to be congruent/aligned, (or accepting of incongruous parts?) - Doesn’t need purpose or any other yardsticks. Let those go. My sense is that perhaps purpose/meaning/unity are coping mechanisms for those not at peace; but they allow awesome lives and I don’t feel confident in that sense, so - Otherwise mostly matches. Note that your ‘needs’ will climb as you walk “the path to success”, whereas they decline as you find a deeper live. It’s not a pyramid, really, at this point. Solid foundations don’t have to be all-in concrete. - Similar Vs ego development theory and others. But not too much time here! - Include different capacities (inc. intelligence) - Capacity development (intelligence, skills, ) - Self-development (awareness, management, autonomic regulation) - Physical development (health, balance, etc.) - Top other: purpose, drive, productivity, meaning, ‘unitive’ - Top me: deep life - Lower down: all the other things, “where people are”

    • There are loads of people helping with various stages of that journey. Therapists, psychadelic sitters, physios, nutritionists, augmentation gurus. People who offer techniques, stepping stones, or mastery, or other self-improvement, or encouragement, or their own stories of growth. Awesome people. : xyz (inc Jonny, Paul, Michael, Kyle)

    • ALL of that is an unalloyed good. Opening one window can help people push at the others…

  • Second - helping those who are helping people. It’s not my place to help with anxiety, stress or burnout directly; but big-picture framing and signposting and validation and love for those who help directly, that’s something I can help with. And I’m starting to pull how a lot of self-development fits together and help people figure out who/what can help them with their next steps. Maybe as a tutor/educator for these people, too.
  • Third - to contribute to the unfolding of what “human nature” is, because if people can see the possibility, maybe they’ll take a few steps in the direction of a deeper life. That’s taking the world of xyz a little further by making it the new hegemonic discourse. It’s normal to live these lives; you fuckers on “the path to success” are the wierd ones; where’s the variety and beauty in your lives?
  • If we can change the metaphors we organize our lives with (in sync with changing those lives), maybe we can all win - especially as metaphors travel so fast now.
  • That’ll be a) through conversations which snowball. and b) through a substack