Maybe this is a negative article, but the way I see it, focusing on the negative isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because when we remove the darkness the light takes care of itself--like washing a window. I believe that everybody, in their soul, is inherently light and good underneath all of the bullshit and the pain and the lies.
HOW NOT TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE
I was in a text message conversation with an old friend/acquaintance recently (okay, okay, someone I used to date). They’d moved to Hawaii with their son into a house overlooking the ocean. They described how they were studying judo, eating loads of smoked pork, and managing an ecological reserve that just got a contract supplying wood to a major guitar manufacturer. Sounds like a decent life, right? I asked if they were happy. “I don’t believe in happiness,” they replied. “Happiness is just a judgment based on the human construct that some things are good and some things are bad.” Or something like that.
You might know that there is this whole Quantified Self movement. It's kinda a tech nerd thing, but tracking and analyzing one's habits for the purpose of self-knowledge and self-improvement is an age old tradition. Millions of people track their spending, athletic performance, diet, weight, and more.
I recently finished reading the Jonathan Franzen novel Purity. It was a commendable book, but has little to do with what I am about to write other than I was struck by the name, and spent some time ruminating upon it, and upon the rare people I've met who displayed this quality in some aspect of their life. This is what I strive for, I thought, purity.
Sometimes I listen to biohacker Dave Asprey's podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and although he isn't my favorite podcaster because he is a bit too linear for my taste (I'll regret writing that when I finally release an awesome book I need to promote), he has some fascinating guests and topics. At the end of each interview he asks each guest the same question which goes something like, "What are your three pieces of advice for somebody looking to boost their performance in all areas and kick ass at life?"
I've come to the conclusion that the metaphysical is a lot like sex. Everyone thinks about it, but no one talks about it in polite company. There seems to be a sort of embarrassed shaming around being spiritual or experiencing spiritual events such as synchronicities, clairvoyance, miraculous healings and the like. You might hear someone say, “This is a little woo-woo but...”.
In my post, A Primer on Synchronicity, Or Why Your Computer Broke Today, I reported that I might start a feature called synchronicity watch. Well, here is the first installment.
Today's synchronicities come to us from two guys at opposite ends of the spectrum. The first is an unlikely source: Tucker Max. For those of you who don't know, Tucker Max is most famous for inventing the literary genre of “fratire”, which mostly involves him publishing true stories about alcoholism, sexual conquests, insulting people, and reveling in his own displays of shocking narcissism. In regard to the last two, he is not entirely unlike current Republic presidential candidate Donald Trump. Except I believe Tucker Max is much, much more clever than Trump...but equally an asshole, a quintessential smartass.
This post is a culmination of a lot of ideas. In my essay Drugs: I'm Against Them, I discouraged drug use for spiritual growth use but I only hinted at the better alternative. In my last post A Series of Unfortunate Events, I listed all of the different healing modalities I had tried to cure my chronic fatigue syndrome and ended with some notes on what I had not yet tried and what I would still try. The gist of that one was that I wouldn't try any new modality unless it was just for fun or I felt strongly guided to because I think the modality I've stumbled upon is superior and looking back it is easy to see why.
I call this modality soul hacking, and it is currently the only thing I would recommend to people seeking top-notch healing/guidance/personal development, or that I would practice if I were to take up the healing arts professionally. On my blog and in my personal life I already practice a few aspects of soul hacking on behalf of others and I practice many more on myself.
I have a libertarian attitude when it comes to recreational drugs. I think for the most part they should be legalized or decriminalized for adults and people should be able choose to fuck up their lives if they want to. The sociological literature has convinced me the War on Drugs just costs everyone. However, I don't actually think anyone should use drugs if they want to be the best person they can be.
When I speak of drugs I am including tobacco, alcohol, weed, coke, heroin, etc. AND the vaunted entheogens (a fancy name for hallucinogens). I don't even date people who drink caffeine regularly. When I read someone's OkCupid profile and it lists “coffee” under the “Six Things I Could Never Do Without” Category, my translation is, “I am a person who is unhappy/unhealthy enough that I am addicted to a substance to give me feelings of aliveness and purpose and I'm proud of that and not going to do anything about it”.
So I mentioned in one of my first blog posts that I was about to go on a low-carb diet. I've eaten a paleoish diet on and off for ten years including phases where I completely rejected a dietary approach to healing and ate whatever I craved: fast food, wild food, the whole gamut. That nutritive promiscuity didn't appear to serve me (what's the opposite of orthorexia? orthomania?) and starting in 2014 I resumed eating a pretty strict paleo diet. In 2015 I gradually began eliminating even more things that I appeared to be sensitive to like eggs. Next, I cut down on the sweetest fruits and starchy vegetables and then finally all fruits. So these days I eat meat, nuts and seeds, fats, and non-starchy vegetables. It has been an ultra-slow process of refinement.
I know some people are reading my posts and thinking, “Emily, when did you get so clever?” What no one is thinking that? That's just me? Ah well. But I know there are people from my past who are wondering when I switched from proselytizing about the about the collapse of civilization (in a hopeful way, I thought that would be the best thing for humanity back then) to proselytizing about spiritual matters. I know because for one thing I got a comment on that very matter:
“I'm curious, how did you make this shift in your beliefs? I am struggling with that myself ... And maybe you'll share at some point how you went from "radical anti-civilizationalist" to your current status.”
After reading my post on "Why I Don't Date Guys Who Want To Live Off-Grid (Even Though I Wouldn't Mind Living Off-Grid)", one of my readers expressed concern in the comments that perhaps I was limiting myself by being too choosy:
Commenter: perhaps you need to compromise your ideals about this man to not hinder your growth?
Emily: I see where you are going with that. But naw. Been there. Done that. I'm confident there is an adequate amount of wiggle room in my ideals. If anything I have a tendency to lower the bar far too much. The "you're not just not recognizing him" notion is popular with about 1/2 of people. However, the "work on yourself first" notion is popular with the other half, and that is where I am at now in my life. In my world the best way to attract a real keeper is to be the best me and I can be, and I'm still getting there, so it seems entirely reasonable that he hasn't shown up yet. But that doesn't mean I can't complain :). I view things like creating this blog to express my true self to the world as big steps in the right direction.
Those of you who know me, know that I come from a radical background that tends to promote things like walking away from civilization and returning to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Money, and charging for things, even skills classes and information that would help accomplish that goal is not very cool in that subculture. But I've changed. Some might say grown.
I don't have a problem with money anymore. Money symbolizes energy, nothing more. So many people have issues with money, with commodification, with capitalism, but I have a hard time following their arguments these days because money alone is just so basic. It almost doesn't exist. It's like a vapor between us, commemorating our dealings.
Synchronicity is one of the most important concepts I work with as a super sensitive human. It is an idea that everyone should know about and utilize, but for sensitives it is particularly important because more things throw us out of whack. Synchronicity can help us figure out which such things are doing the damage and which things help us stay “in whack”. If you are sensitive, you are probably naturally highly aware of everything going on around you. Possibly too aware. Hello PTSD. Hello, "I'm shut down and focused on my own inner world because the outer world is too overstimulating". The good news is you are probably really good at remembering stuff and picking up the details, so you'll be really good at recognizing synchronicities.
“The biggest blessings you can share with the world are your light, your love, and your consciousness (they’re all the same thing to me). You are here to grow as a soul and help the consciousness of the planet grow in the process. As you expand, so does the Universe.
— -Rebecca Campbell
As a super sensitive human finding my way in the world a lot of my philosophy has to do with raising my vibration, getting in alignment and flow and living my soul's purpose. Rebecca Campbell's book, Light is the New Black: A Guide to Answering Your Soul's Callings and Working Your Light, is about all of those things, but I wouldn't call it deep or news to people already on a conscious path. This book is really simple, but there are a lot of people in the world. People who can benefit from simple. So I am not trashing the book. Rebecca seems like a sweet and lovely person and I am fairly certain that overall it will influence the world for the better.