1/ I'm delighted to be hosting an @interintellect_ Salon tomorrow with @bronwynwilliams and @TheAnnaGat on a fun, if slightly mind-bending topic--who are we and what is our purpose? But, don't worry, it'll be fun as we're using @RickandMorty and Jed McKenna and their interaction
2/ as well as a host of other thinkers and movies and TV shows that address this issue well.

This falls--I think incorrectly--under the category "spiritual seeker" and enlightenment, but I think it's better presented as "how can we ever know what's true?"
3/ Could be a short Salon or a long one, depending on who you're listening to--McKenna would say you can only prove ONE thing--that you exist and perceive the same.

On the other hand, Robert Willson would say:
4/ “anybody can prove whatever they want to prove, at least to the satisfaction of those who want to believe them.”

And Rick Sanchez C-137 (our Rick) might say "Who gives a fuck, let's go on an adventure!"
5/ Whereas Jed McKenna and others are all about "Waking up" from or in the dreamstate, @RickandMorty assumes that anyone whose smart already knows that nothing matters in the universe and issue a call to adventure similar to Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey"
6/ On first blush, Rick seems like a wreck, as he's a depressed, alcoholic who seems to have nothing but disdain for "normies" but he's also a scientist and the smartest man (Hominid) in the universe. As the multiverse is infinite, he also runs into his non-Hominid versions.
7/ But, as we'll discuss during our @interintellect_ Salon, this is a very incomplete picture of Rick. He's searching for meaning, yes, but he's also happy selling arms to an assassin, which his grandson Morty can't abide. Morty learns, however, that having 'absolutist' beliefs
8/ can cause serious unintended consequences. After killing the assassin Krombopulos Michael, Morty learns that the intended victim, whom Rick has dubbed 'Fart' is, um, problematic for carbon-based life, and well...

9/ Jed McKenna would say that since there is only one truth in the world (which we'll discuss the veracity of at the. Salon) All beliefs are false, and he really means it.

That means that he takes this quote from Alexander Pope literally:

10/ Indeed, McKenna (and other authors we'll discuss during the Salon) would feel perfectly in sync with this recent hypothesis from a Theoretical Quantum Thinktank that speculates the universe is actually pure thought: "everything is information expressed as thought."
11/ As such, the universe "self-actualizes" itself into existence, relying on underlying algorithms and a rule they call "the principle of efficient language." In other words, we humans are "emergent sub-thoughts" --so, "turtles all the way down."

12/ When people see theories like this, it often unmoors them. We've been socialized to believe there's separation between us and other people, but ancient teachers such as Lao Tzu in the "Tao Te Ching" say not so fast--Lao Tzu would also be completely comfortable with
13/ the theory saying the universe is thought and we're all one thing--the opening line of "Tao Te Ching" says "The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao" because it contains everything. This can screw with people's beliefs, which is a bit like playing with dynamite.
14/ “It’s amazing how desperately we cling to our beliefs. As history shows, the fastest way to reduce otherwise decent people to a state of savagery is by tampering with their belief system.” ~Jed McKenna

I've found this to be true, and he goes on to say why this might be so:
15/ "The power of our devotion to teachers and teachings is not a reflection of their value, but of ego’s will to survive. It’s ego—the false self—that exalts the guru and declares the teaching sacred, but nothing is exalted or sacred, only true or not true." ~Jed McKenna
16/ In other words, we're afraid to ask these questions because of where they lead. We often don't accept the 'call to adventure' because all we see is what we're afraid of--Campbell himself said "the treasure you seek is in the cave you fear to enter."
17/ Rick's pep talk for Morty sounds great, right up to the point where Rick gets scared, and then it all goes south. Even the crazy, devil-may-care, smartest man in the universe gives into fear--because he's a human, and we're all running HumanOS

18/ But Rick is responding to a REAL threat, which says that he's still sane--we've evolved to be afraid in the face of REAL threats to life and limb, but our minds often have a difficult time distinguishing between the two. If you think this is wrong, think about your last
19/ experience of real fear when watching a horror movie. Or, um, the last time you watched a naughty movie and how quickly your body physically responded.

Jed would say:
20/ “[When] The reality disproves the narrative, yet we still subscribe to the narrative; that’s the definition of mindless conformity and herd mentality.” And we stay in the 'herd' or our tribe because the make us feel safe and secure.

Many will gladly go to therapy to fix
21/ some of our emotional glitches. On that score, Rick would go to any lengths to avoid what he sees as a waste of time, even turning himself into a pickle.

Rick nails what he sees as "agents of averageness." Oof.
22/ Jed would probably agree--seeing all such things as avoidance strategies that put you back to sleep.

"No head full of spiritual knowledge or wall full of spiritual books can ever be other than an anchor. All forward motion depends on release, not gain.
23/ Only that knowledge which destroys knowledge facilitates progress." ~Jed McKenna

But he never sugar-coats it: "Serious thinking is corrosive to the layers of lies in which we insulate ourselves, including our very selfhood, and most people, even the ultra-smart,
24/ would do anything rather than subject themselves to prolonged and repeated acid baths." But, have no fear, no acid baths at the Salon! So, we've only touched the surface of what we'll cover at our Thursday Salon, but I'll leave you with Rick's comments on schools:
25/ #RickandMortyandJedPlusMore
@interintellect_ @bronwynwilliams @TheAnnaGat

We'll bring in a lot more thinkers and shows and discuss where such a search may lead you--maybe not to Enlightenment, but perhaps to the next best thing--a clearer understanding of yourself.

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More from @jposhaughnessy

11 Jun
"If the universe has set you in front of me or put this book into your hands, then in all likelihood you are closer than most to honestly confronting the stark reality of your situation. It works both ways; when the teacher appears, the student is ready."
~Jed McKenna
"Marty: If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there​."
~Martin Q. Blank (John Cusack) as Assassin in "Grosse Pointe Blank"
"Morty: Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody's gonna die. Come watch TV”
~Morty of @RickandMorty
Read 5 tweets
9 Jun
1/ So, if you're coming to my @interintellect_ Salon with @bronwynwilliams and @TheAnnaGat you'll want to have taken a look at this graphic--it'll fit into a big part of our discussion. And, yes, I hate 'homework' so I'll tell myself to GTFO so you needn't
2/ Joseph Campbell's Hero Journey is at the heart of every great story, play, or movie you've watched. (Hint: George Lucas called Campbell is 'Yoda' and redid parts of the movie because of him) But, also because it's the base of Dan Harmon's Story Circle

3/ And here's the invitation to Thursday event which I probably alienated you from given, um, homework. I have only myself to blame.

Read 4 tweets
8 Jun
1/ Recorded a great @InfiniteL88ps with @BrianMuraresku, Author of "The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name" which posits that early Christians "borrowed" from an ancient Greek religion where adherents consumed a psychedelic sacrament mixed in beer. Image
2/ Must admit that reading this quote from @joerogan "Absolutely one of the most fascinating podcasts I've ever done ... fucking sensational" before jumping on with Brian made me a bit worried that I was out of my league. But Brian's easy manner and encyclopedic knowledge
3/ of that early period put me immediately at ease and even though I'd read the book, I learned lots of great stuff about that chaotic, but fascinating, period in history. The more you dig, the more interesting things get.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jun
1/Coming up on Thursday--Rick, Morty, Jed McKenna and more. What is true? Can we ever know?

2/ Jed McKenna tends to come in hot.

"Truth isn't an idea or a concept. Truth isn't about knowing things, you already know too much. It's about unknowing things."

3/ Rick and Morty take a more lighthearted approach to dealing with the 'truth.' Interdimensional Cable or neuralyzed memory redaction--dealer's choice.

Read 5 tweets
2 Jun
Um, hate to disappoint those coming to my @interintellect_ Salon about "Rick, Morty and Jed McKenna" but, ah, well, if you've read Plato's 'Allegory of the Cave" and Seen 'The Matrix' (but I repeat myself) then you're probably already 75% of the way there.

Thus, @RickandMorty
But, there's also a lot of good Monty Python insights on to where we seem to always find ourselves, getting distracted by people not wearing enough hats rather than focusing more on the bigger picture.

Plus, you might want to listen to my JedFather @Dan_Jeffries1 and me discuss these issues on a recent @InfiniteL88ps podcast:

Read 5 tweets
18 May
1/ Always fun and educational when @InfiniteL88ps's recurring guest @Alex_Danco joins us for a chat. We covered world building and Alex's much loved "Michael Scott Theory of Social Class" in which we learn that if you:

👉🏻Take being called "serious" as the highest compliment;
👉🏻Brag about driving a Subaru but would never drive a Cadillac;
👉🏻Would have a serious discussion about the relative merits of IPA beers and actually care about the opinions;
👉🏻Are proud of the fact that you know how to use chopsticks correctly;
👉🏻Actively desire a blue checkmark on Twitter (modified for special cases like me, where it just appeared with me never applying for or seeking it);
👉🏻Become engrossed to the point of obsession with things like competing in triathlons and seek approval from your friends
Read 6 tweets

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