You’re so much more than you think you are

Who are we? What are we? How do we know we’re not living in a computer game?

I think we’re all trapped and conned into believing that this is all we are… in this body here on Planet Earth in the year 2016.

When we’re born we’re told who we are. We’re given a name, an age.  We’re told “this is how the world works”. We are bounded. Our parents, schooling and environment all conspire and confirm to you that you are X.

We’re told what behaviour is worthy, good and acceptable. On the flip side we’re told what’s shameful. 

By complying we survive.

What you see in smart children is strong obedience, self-control and self-consciousness early on. You adapt quickly. You cut off all your edges. You become smooth. You’re what society admires, people like you.

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However there is a big conflict between who we REALLY are and what we REALLY feel, and the identity we’re given. It’s the source of much pain discomfort, existential angst.

Living a lie comes at an immense personal cost because it’s not real. It’s an act. I suspect this often leads to depression.

According to the evolutionary theory of depression, a bout of melancholy was designed to alert the individual to the fact they were potentially on the wrong path or that there were threats in the environment that needed to be addressed. It spurred the sufferer to withdraw and take a time out in which he or she could analyze the situation, ferret out and troubleshoot the issue, and reemerge in a better place than before.

The Art of Manliness, Managing Depression

Depression is not a bad thing. It’s just the body shutting down, looking to retreat from society until it can recover in a safe space.

When we’re solid again we come back, have power and a very strong gravitational pull to others. Personally speaking my last article was viewed by several thousand views.

So who are we really?

We are souls inhabiting human bodies in a small corner of the universe. There are other places and times and universes that we exist in. We reach those places through our imagination and our dreams. Some people access their imagination through drugs (although I wouldn’t recommend that).

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Because many people have had to sever their imaginations to survive, there are professional imagin-ers. These come in the form of writers, actors and artists.

Films, stories, theatre and books, tap into the our universal unconsciousness. They transport us into other universes and places. They remind us that we’re not just this person now. We’re timeless. We exist whether we’re dead or alive. We are all connected to everyone else.

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Books are hallucinations based on the energy put into those words by the author. Great actors and writers put you in the shoes of another person. How do you feel? How do you act? What are you troubled by? In this other world, we’re no longer trapped inside our own troubles. We see that other people are just like us too.

Writers and stories give meaning to people’s lives because they bring the truth home.

You are much more than you’ve been told you are.

We live in this mad world that’s very reductionist. It tells you who are. You are to study, work for 40 years, marry and have kids, retire, then you can rest and enjoy yourself. We’re controlled by money, bosses and the whims of others.

Practically we might need to follow that path in the meantime.

But our true nature is much more expansive and full of possibilities. Our current situation doesn’t stop us from reaching into imaginations. It doesn’t stop us creating, drawing, writing, imagining, painting, guiding, helping, loving, entertaining and laughing in the meantime. These are the things that matter.  Once you push past all the self-consciousness, conditioning and fear you start to create masterpieces.

By accessing our creativity and imagination, we become whole humans again. We become strong and real. We emit a strong cosmic pull to strangers from all over the world. As wacko and voodoo as that sounds – it’s true. I’ve seen it happen many many people.

The process probably involves the destruction of things close to your identity. Relationships might change and end. As will friendships and work. Everything changes. But this opens up new amazing positive possibilities that we’re not ready to see or fathom yet.

Our creativity leads us towards who we really are, what we really want and the feeling that we matter.

Because at the end of the day – we all want to matter, don’t we?

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The Magical Glint in Your Eye Means Everything

I’m a very fake person, most of the time. Most of us are and need to be to survive.

“Real life is acting. Acting is real.” someone once told me.

There’s nothing wrong with being fake. In fact, it needs to be that way for most of the world to function right now. It’ll continue to be that way until robots and technology automate the majority of jobs away, and we live in an age of  overabundance.

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But not being honest costs us. It takes a huge toll on our spirits and it’s easy to end up like zombies.

The truth is I’m not very close to many people. I can only really get close to people who have a glint in their eye.

mischievious-eye-glint

It’s a certain twinkle. An awareness of something more. It’s a certain glimmer that hints of worlds beyond our own.  Mischievous children have it.

It’s usually combined with a very sharp intelligent awareness of what’s going on. It’s a closeness to imagination and creativity. It’s an ability to see beyond what’s in front of you, the underlying rules of everything. It’s a kind of magic and alchemy. It also represents naughtiness, an ability and desire to break the rules.

Paul Graham writes this on what Y Combinator look for in startup founders

Though the most successful founders are usually good people, they tend to have a piratical gleam in their eye. They’re not Goody Two-Shoes type good. Morally, they care about getting the big questions right, but not about observing proprieties. That’s why I’d use the word naughty rather than evil. They delight in breaking rules, but not rules that matter. This quality may be redundant though; it may be implied by imagination.

Sam Altman of Loopt is one of the most successful alumni, so we asked him what question we could put on the Y Combinator application that would help us discover more people like him. He said to ask about a time when they’d hacked something to their advantage—hacked in the sense of beating the system, not breaking into computers. It has become one of the questions we pay most attention to when judging applications.

I can’t really relate to anyone who doesn’t have that. That sounds terrible.

Well I can. I can relate to their underlying emotions and situation whatever. But unless they have that piratical gleam in their eye, I don’t see them as equal to me. I see myself as above them.

I can give them what they need and get what I need… some combination of genuine caring along with some acting. But it gets boring, unstimulating and stale quickly.

It feels like being Harry Potter in a world of muggles.

Why is that gleam in the eye such a good indicator? The eyes are the window the soul. It’s such a good indicator because that streak is someone’s relevance to me. 

It’s my biggest cue of their evolutionary intelligence. To me it represents how much they can adapt or evolve to problems. Can they draw the dots? Can they solve seemingly impossible problems? How resourceful are they? How well do they read people’s true intentions? How effective are they at getting things done? Can they see systems holistically (how all the moving parts and cogs fit together)? How quickly do they learn the real rules of the game? Can they imagine themselves being someone other than their current identity?

This is all very abstract.

But I can only have a totally honest conversation with somebody who gets that. Everything else feels like a waste of time.

When I do it, it’s very sexy, it’s very exciting and it’s very real.

The truth is most people are inert. They’re very distant from their energy, their juju, their inner true self. That’s why everything is such a struggle and they hate Mondays. But they don’t have the momentum or strength of vision to change that. When I’m around muggles, or doing a job, it feels like being stuck in a cul-de-sac, a dead end – I desperately need to reverse out of there.

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But when you see a firecracker of a human being – there is electricity, there is creation, new possibilities open up. There is a real energy transference. You can sense them and their energy field from several meters away. You feel ALIVE!!! You know.

As arrogant and as aloof as the above is – I know I sound like a complete arsehole. But the thing is I’m just frustrated. And I’ve been frustrated for so so so long. I’ve tried to fit in, do what I “should do”. Work a job. Then I tried doing the cool thing – go self-employed, travel the world. Blah blah blah.

But even this “cool lifestyle” gets dull, monotonous and repetitive – I can’t bare ‘normality’. Cinderella’s shoe doesn’t fit.

It’s only the little bits of time I spend with the mischievous, visionary, magical people that make it everything seem worthwhile.

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So never let the magical gleam in your eye disappear. It’s the only thing in this world that matters.