Being a Spiritual Beta Male
I hope everyone is doing well. Tomorrow we have a jammed packed day at The Stoa.
Stoic Meaningwave w/ Akira The Don April 24th @ 8:30 PM ET. RSVP here.
April 23, 2020
I reached out to a friend, a fellow Orthodox Christian, who had previously been advising me about the Jesus Prayer, to see whether he had any sense on what was going on with me. We chatted on the phone, and it was intense, as a lot of my conversations are these days. Afterwards he wrote this:
Peter, your energy literally boiled out through the phone to me. I can still feel the shaky manic quality, anxious and restless, burning in my nerve endings. I can see now that you really are going through a major shift and possibly a transformation.
He said that I might be having a Kundalini Awakening. This may be true, but at the moment I am more concerned with what is feeling like a narcissistic quality associated with all of this. When I look at my previous entries, I am embarrassed. People keep messaging me telling me to keep going, complimenting me on my spiritual development, or saying that they are scared when they read my entries. All this is making me want to court more attention: Look at me, I am such a spiritual badass, I am having a Kundalini Awakening!
At last night's event, Emancipating the Daemon, I was in the hot seat for the first time, questioned by Raven. Daniel said it had a cringe quality to it. Feeling into that, I think I agree. Emancipating the daemon, stealing the culture, winning the liminal war, burning the motherfucker to the ground. Dude, what is this? A fucking comic book? Chill man. Be cool. Stop being such a spiritual beta male, and stop taking yourself so seriously.
Thank God I have my Stoicism, and thank God I have brother Daniel, who is not only smarter and better looking than me, but also more Stoical. I imagine that one day he will tell his full story. It’s interesting and it gave him advance training in Stoicism. So yes, thank you, Daniel. It is time for me to put down the grandiose thoughts: I just have a website, some philosophy events, and a self-congratulatory coinage game.
My only commitment in these journals is to be truthful, and I need your propositional violence to keep my ass humble, especially if I stumble into more of these spiritual experiences. I miss the earnest innocence of my earlier entries. Let’s return to that; let's return to some good old fashioned Stoicism.
Maybe I was having a spiritual awakening, or maybe I was slowly going insane. This is why you need good friends and a loving community, to bring you back from the abyss. To all the people I appeared unhinged, randomly sending cryptic messages as if they were profound, I just want to say that I’m sorry. I’ll find a way to make amends. It's time for me to shut up. Oh man, so embarrassing.
Okay. The Peter Show is over, and now it is all about the gift. I don't even want to mention the word daemon anymore, it's laden with too much narcissism, but I sense that something is happening here, with The Stoa and the gift economy. And I want to continue, but I want to move forward now, with a mix of boring sobriety and playful lightness.
Regarding the latter, Tyson and Raya come to mind. More of them, please, their energy is amazing—they light up the space with their energy. I want to make this about other people, and get the fuck out of the way. Maybe my gift is simply to allow other people to share their gifts. It feels good saying that.
Given all this, I am motivated to take this project seriously, and make a livelihood out of it. Andrew supports himself through the gift economy, and I think I myself and others can as well. I think The Stoa project can accurately be described as what Jim Rutt calls a ProtoB project:
When a coherent group of people is attempting to live a GameB life that can be thought of as “whole” if not yet “complete”. My vision of the Journey has many ProtoBs coming into existence each with a different formula of GameBishness. I would expect ProtoBs to fission, merge, and some of them to fail. Maybe over time one or a small number prove themselves most efficacious at playing GameB and other ProtoBs will start to converge around them. Or maybe not, perhaps GameB will remain very diverse.
Spiritual narcissism is not going to make a new world happen. I am going to have to rein in this powerful energy a little bit, now that I know I can speak its language. I have to be wise in how I use it. How we use it. And it is also time for some self-care, enough of this digital desert father crap. Get some sleep, eat right, start lifting weights, hang out with your wife and read a good book.
While I do not regret anything, going meta-insane semi-publically has been an adventurous trip, albeit an embarrassing one. A perfect opportunity to practice my Stoicism.
Gift Economy / The Stoa currently operates through a gift economy. We are offering the Stoa as a gift, for people to freely use during these troubled times. If you are inspired to provide a gift to The Stoa, email thestoa at protonmail dot com. Your gift can take the form of money, support, services or ideas. If you wish to gift money, you can do so here or here for ongoing gifts.