1. On How We Came to Exist
The universe and your ancestors love you. Our existence is no coincidence, from our parents to the birth of this universe. Your ancestors struggled and succeeded to land you where you are today. Our heritage stretches longer than humanity itself—the first cell tells the story of our four-billion year old lineage. A single break in the chain and we would have never existed. But it doesn’t stop there, because we really arose from stardust. The death of stars all around the universe caused supernovae, massive explosions that rippled elements through space and dispersed the key ingredients needed for life, forming our DNA and cells. The further back you go, all the way back to the singularity and the Big Bang and even before that, the crazier and less likely it seems that you should be here in this moment without some profound loss of control; how we got here seems to beg this sense of a greater power at work—whether we find our explanations in the mystical or the laws of physics, it's pretty awe-inspiring.
2. On Consciousness and the Mirror Universe
The specific conditions of this universe have generated fluid, dynamic universes within us. The universe manifests consciousness through us. This electromagnetic, molecular machinery powers your breath, fuels your energy, metabolizes nutrients, regrows injured tissues, and transduces sensory information into meaningful stimuli beneath your control. Our bodies know exactly what to do to keep us going, regardless of our awareness of it. Our need to connect has facilitated language, theory of mind, cooperation, empathy, love, art, and innovation. Our advanced reasoning, complex problem-solving skills, self-awareness, flexibility, and planning and learning abilities are a testament to the plasticity of the prefrontal cortex. There are more potential synapses in one brain than stars in the observable universe, and each mind is unique... imagine the possibilities. With new scientific discoveries, we are continually evolving, understanding on a deeper level what it means to be human, while expanding our capacity for connection into a superorganism.
3. On Harnessing the Present Moment
The eternally flowing present is a gift that lasts many lifetimes on many timelines. Inherently curious, we seek to make sense of the world and illuminate our origins, history, destiny, and fate. Adventure and creativity ignite our flame, causing us to chase the unknown in order to make sense of the world. We harness this energy to pursue our passions and purpose in life. In this technological era, we are constantly trying to balance recording and experiencing, measuring and being, describing and living. We are the universe emerging, becoming aware of itself through increasing complexity. Look beyond the material and hone your energetic senses. Allow your intuition, instincts, gut, heart, lungs, and nervous system to lead you to alignment. Allow anxiety to serve as a message to guide you to where you need to be. Choose surroundings, friends, and experiences that raise your energy and motivate you to be the best version of yourself.
4. On Causality and the Mind-Body Problem
We take everyday tasks like cooking, gardening, dancing, and making music for granted, intuitively applying objective concepts such as chemistry and aesthetics to hone our skills. Your brain innately searches for patterns and generates models. The fundamental understanding of cause and effect we possess very early on in life helps us acquire knowledge like a sponge, supporting the child-as-scientist theory.
Every organism has its own awareness and functions as an ecosystem. We must respect the powerful dynamism of our bodies, ecosystems, and the Earth. Is a body necessary for a mind? Philosophers of mind acknowledge that consciousness is multiply realizable, meaning it can take on many forms we don't yet fully understand.
5. On Purpose Rippling into Collective Evolution
The brain's incredible complexity underlies our capacity (or rather, challenge) to understand our thought processes. There seems to be this massive chasm between subjective experience and our understanding of the underlying mechanisms for how they work.
Everything is connected, from the structure of the universe to your mind. Our beliefs, intentions, thoughts, and judgments can change outcomes. Observing matter changes its behavior in the two-photon double-slit experiment. Our perception of reality is merely a construction of our consciousness; that's why perspective and attitude are key. Our view of reality, space, and time, and our ability to question the world we live in depends on consciousness. Meditation, exercise, nature, art, and entheogens alter consciousness. How we exist in the minds of others is an extension of our identities as much as technology is an extension of our minds. Speak your truth; make yourself known. Humanity builds through people experiencing flow, an internal suspension in time perception. The more individuals devote time to self-development, the faster societies progress, and the stronger, healthier, and wiser they get.
6. On Consumption Culture
Unsustainable models where the whole is lesser than the sum of its parts inevitably cannibalize themselves. But the society we inherit is an artifact of a prior generation with different context. Think about the ways innovation has facilitated our lives to the point of complacency. Social media and technology are tools—they can be used for connection and growth hacking or for separation, competition, fear, and control. We feed low-vibrational energies with our attention.
Our ancient species lives in a modern society full of surplus, decreasing the quality of our time, the food we eat, our social interactions, and our sleep. Modern society creates excess consumables while draining health and savings. We evolved for simple joys: being outdoors and basking in the sunlight, eating nutritious food, movement, making art, telling stories, dancing, and connecting.
7. On Empathy and Judging Others
Transcending ego is the key to unconditional positive regard for humanity as a whole. We are all in this together. Disagreements are a product of our diversity, and respect is key. People often reflect their surroundings, which may explain why they act the way they do. We can protect our energy while controlling our responses. Moral relativism acknowledges that no human is perfect and all-knowing. Context is key to understanding but doesn't excuse everything.
8. On Learning and Shapeshifting Mental Maps
When it comes to considering others’ perspectives, balance open-minded flexibility and skepticism. Reductionist, empirical lab conditions differ from the "real world." At the end of the day, nobody knows what they're doing, and facts are just statements believed to be true. Authorities are human, and humans make mistakes.
A meaningful life comes down to being present, pursuing growth, and living with purpose. It's what you make it. You can't pour from an empty cup. Fear inhibits self-realization and discovery; gratitude cultivates joy. It is the nature of human beings to inquire, experiment, understand, discover, and that sense of wonder is the basis of mysticism and science alike. Life is all about learning. Always consider the why.