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Sloww Sunday Newsletter 156 (Oct 1, 2023) — 100+ Quotes, Action Bias, Nonduality Guide, & More
Sloww Sunday shares my latest and greatest creations and curations to 10,000+ students of life. If you enjoy this issue, please help grow Sloww by forwarding the email version of this newsletter to other lifelong learners.
📚 Lifelong Learning
100+ Quotes to inspire Inquiring, Learning, & Synthesizing
Discover a new favorite quote or two:
- 50+ Quotes to inspire Inquiring Minds to start Questioning Everything
- 45 Lifelong Learning Quotes that will Inspire You to be a Student of Life
- 25 Synthesis Quotes to inspire the Aspiring Synthesizers
“If you read the right books, you will not be getting lost in the books, you’ll be getting lost in yourself … All they will be doing will be directing you towards the reality or the heart of your experience.” — Rupert Spira
🌎 Lighter Living
Fight back against Action Bias
A big part of intentional living is getting action bias under control. I see a lot of people say things along the lines of, “Don’t think, just act” or “Don’t plan, do it.” This advice may be helpful for someone who is prone to overthinking, but it’s almost always blind to the consequences of overacting. The excerpts below come from Mini Mind (which is now included free for Sloww Premium members!):
What is ‘action bias’?
- Action bias is a compulsion to do something (anything).
“In new or shaky circumstances, we feel compelled to do something, anything. Afterward we feel better, even if we have made things worse by acting too quickly or too often … The action bias causes us to offset a lack of clarity with futile hyperactivity and comes into play when a situation is fuzzy, muddy, or contradictory.” — Rolf Dobelli (The Art of Thinking Clearly)
What is the ‘hydra effect’?
- The hydra effect (or hydra paradox) owes its name to the Greek legend of the Lernaean Hydra which grew two heads for each one cut off, and is used figuratively for counter-intuitive effects of actions to reduce a problem which result in stimulating its multiplication.
Explore more: 100+ posts on Intentional Living (Sloww Stage 1)
🧭 Deeper Purpose
Robert Sapolsky is back with New Podcasts
If you want to understand purpose, it’s helpful to understand biology. I’m pumped to see researcher, professor, and author Robert Sapolsky start making the podcast rounds for his new book Determined that will be released on Oct 17th. His new podcast episode with Nate Hagens covers the brain, biology, behavior, hormones, change, free will, and much more.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- “Nobody is normal. What we call ‘normal’ is people whose collections of traits are statistically closest to what we’ve decided counts as desirable and healthy. There’s no normal out there that you’re failing to live up to.” — Robert Sapolsky
- “If you look at this, and this is depressing as hell, ‘Oh my god, maybe my corner office in my corporation and my sense of self-esteem that I’ve gotten from that wasn’t earned because there’s no free will or whatever. What a bummer. Maybe this leaves a big existential void.’ If that’s your response to there being no free will, you’re one of the lucky ones. For most humans on Earth, their experience isn’t being given credit for stuff that they really aren’t worthy of being credited for. For most humans, it’s being blamed for stuff that was out of their control. A world in which people stop believing in free will is going to be a hell of a lot more humane.” — Robert Sapolsky
- “We don’t choose to change, but we sure are changed.” — Robert Sapolsky
- “There is no room for free will whatsoever. We are nothing, more or less, than the biology which brought us to this moment, over which we had no control—and its interactions with the environment that brought us to this moment, over which we had no control.” — Robert Sapolsky
- The Homunculus Fallacy & Mitigated Free Will (Robert Sapolsky Short Excerpt)
- No Free Will: The Biology of Behavior with Robert Sapolsky
Explore more: 50+ posts on Life Purpose (Sloww Stage 2)
🧠 Better Mind
Is space-time just our VR headset?
What would happen if it was scientifically proven that we are already living in VR? What will happen if/when the mainstream learns space-time is not fundamental? Donald Hoffman, author of The Case Against Reality (on my reading list), says spacetime is just our headset and not objective reality. Not only that, but it’s one of countless headsets that consciousness uses to peer into itself because there are countless ways that consciousness can take a projection. The following quotes come from his first podcast with Rupert Spira (YouTube, Spotify):
- “According to evolution by natural selection, the probability is zero that any sensory system has ever been shaped to see any truth, any structure, of objective reality at any time.” — Donald Hoffman
- “If you buy evolution by natural selection, which all of my scientific colleagues do, then you’re forced to conclude that the probability is zero that anything that we see—including space, and time, and physical objects—is a reflection of the truth. It’s an adaptive fiction, but it’s not the truth. By ‘adaptive fiction’ I mean the following: you have a virtual reality headset on and you’re playing Grand Theft Auto in VR. I see a steering wheel, and a dashboard, and my gas pedal. I see a red Ferrari to my right and a green Lamborghini to my left. So, I’m playing the game Grand Theft Auto. What am I really doing in this metaphor? I’m toggling in a precise sequence millions and millions of voltages per second in some supercomputer, and I have to get the exact sequence exactly right if I’m going to win the race. Well, of course, if you had to get in there and toggle them by hand, good luck. You wouldn’t win against someone who could just turn the steering wheel, press on the gas, and so forth. So, if you want to play Grand Theft Auto and win, you don’t want to see the truth—you don’t want to see the super computer and all the voltages. You want to have a simple, dumbed down, user interface of Lamborghinis, and Porsches, and steering wheels. That lets you play the game successfully. And, that’s what evolution did. It hid the truth. It gave us a space-time user interface that lets us play the game of life without knowing what it is that we’re really doing. That’s the picture that comes out of evolution by natural selection.” — Donald Hoffman
- “Evolution by natural selection tells us that space-time is doomed. It’s just a headset. It’s just an adaptive fiction that lets you play the game of life. And, it’s there to hide the truth, not to show you the truth.” — Donald Hoffman
Explore more: 75+ posts on Mental Mastery (Sloww Stage 3)
☯️ Beyond Mind
Where do I start with nonduality?
The last few weeks I ventured deeeeep down the rabbit hole of nonduality with Rupert Spira. All in all, I’ve now read 3 of his books and watched/listened to 50+ of his videos/podcasts—resulting in 25k+ words of notes. The output is outlined below: 3 book summaries, 2 short posts, and 2 Premium posts.
The Premium synthesis is my most ambitious synthesis ever—a comprehensive yet concise guide walking you through nonduality step-by-step and stage-by-stage. Why does a synthesis matter? Because it looks at a subject as holistically as possible in order to facilitate the best possible understanding of it. It comprehensively considers everything without leaving anything out. In other words, it’s less partial, less biased, less wrong, etc. As an example based on this new Rupert Spira synthesis, it would take someone countless hours just to consume the 3 books and 50+ videos/podcasts. Not only that, but they’d also have to “create common ground” and “come to terms” with everything on their own as they consume. And, they’d have to recognize redundancies, contradictions, etc in everything. And, they’d have to take notes and remember key takeaways from everything. And…on and on. I do all of that for you so you can focus more on truly understanding the subject holistically.
Everything about Rupert Spira:
- “Being Aware of Being Aware” by Rupert Spira (Essence of Meditation Book 1 Summary)
- “Being Myself” by Rupert Spira (Essence of Meditation Book 2 Summary)
- “The Heart of Prayer” by Rupert Spira (Essence of Meditation Book 3 Summary)
- Tea or Coffee: Who is the Chooser of a Choice? (Rupert Spira Short Excerpt)
- The Dream Metaphor of Mary & Jane (Rupert Spira Summary)
- How to See with the Screen Analogy from Rupert Spira (+ Infographics)
- Rupert Spira Synthesis: Everything about Nonduality (+ Infographics)
“In my meetings in Europe and America I have asked thousands of people if they were ever asked by their parents, teachers, or professors who or what it is that knows or is aware of their experience, and not a single person has yet answered in the affirmative … Indeed, most people go through their entire lives without ever questioning who or what it is that knows or is aware of their experience, or how experience comes to be at all.” — Rupert Spira
“If the spiritual process was a book consisting of 12 chapters, the recognition of our true nature takes place at the end of chapter 1. It is not, as is sometimes supposed, the end of the process. It is the end of the belief that we are a temporary, finite self. But once that belief comes to an end, that belief then has to be taken deeply into the way we not only think, but the way we feel the body and perceive the world. And so the subsequent 11 chapters of the book are devoted to realigning the way we think, feel, act, perceive, and relate with our new enlightened understanding. In fact, it’s a book that never really ends.” — Rupert Spira
Explore more: 50+ posts on Spiritual Realization (Sloww Stage 4)
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