Newly posted event:
The Egregore in the Room w/ Ray Doraisamy. May 20th @ 6:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
An event to get excited about:
Luke Archer returns to The Stoa to present a mini-practicum on Verbal Aikido, an interpersonal modality that is perfect to deal with all the assholes and the meanies out there. This Patreon-exclusive event series will be presented in three parts:
Receiving the Attack,
Accompanying the Attack,
Channeling the Attack.
In these sessions, Stoans will attempt to verbally kick each other’s asses, but with a newfound capacity to lovingly disarm verbal attacks with grace.
April 25th, 2021
My heart is hurting. Probably because I drink too many espressos. Sometimes I get heart palpitations when I drink too many. This would be a stupid way to die. Death via espresso. I have quit drinking caffeine before, many times, and the palpitations do go away when I do.
What if the secret sauce of The Stoa is actually too many espressos, and not this thing called the daemon? There is probably a mysterious relationship between the espresso and the daemon. Are espressos the daemon summoner?
As an aside, Camille and I have been playing with fun names for items we sell at the philosophical coffee shop we want to open up: Stoic Donuts, Communitas Cortados, and Thumos Shots, the latter will be an energizing juice shot, that when ordered all the staff will go thumos, thumos, thumos, while pounding their chest, in the style of thymic thumping. The Daemon Summoner will be such a great name for our espresso drink. Thanks for the idea, daemon.
Did you just see that? The daemon comes while I drink an espresso, which I am drinking now, then bombards me so hard with all these delicious ideas. I have so many ideas coming to me. All kinds of ideas: galaxy brain musings, actuatable projects, entrepreneurial endeavors.
I do not act on most of these daemonic ideas though. I do not even write most of them down. It is clear to me that I am not in the right relationship with the daemon, as evidenced by my hurting heart. While it is impossible to act on all of the ideas, I can act on much more.
I could be way more prolific with my writings. With my public-facing writings, I have only written six pieces within three years. I could do way more. Camille keeps saying I should get a book deal, as that seems to be the path that a lot of people who write take. I did receive two book deals from indie publishers thanks to my memetic tribe white paper, but they did not feel right to take.
A deal from a big 5 book publisher would be nice, but then I would be mainstream and blue checkmark myself, and I would probably lose all my indie thinker cred. I am aware of the game you have to play in order to get a book deal like that, and I do not want to play that game. I would rather just create with zero fucks and let it come to me if it wants to come to me.
Speaking of the mainstream, somebody from CBC, Canada’s main public broadcaster for both radio and television, invited me on their radio show. I was asked to come on to speak about Stoicism. I hesitantly said yes, and luckily responded to their message too late, and missed the opportunity. I sent them some information on the cool things we have been doing with The Stoa, to see if they’d be interested. Crickets.
The stuff I would actually feel alive to speak about in the mainstream media, like memetic tribes or Weird Stoicism, is not in the mainstream media’s interest space. Sensing into this, a part of me wants to go on mainstream outlets for the status sake, but the more authentic part really does not. I’ll have to show up as an epistemic authority. I have engaged with those in mainstream media enough to get a sense of how the thing would be framed, and they would go like this:
So, Mr. Epistemic Authority on Stoicism, please tell us generally about Stoicism, in a depersonalized and neutered way, that will be broadcasted to a nebulous audience you’ll have no sense of. You have less than 1 minute. Go.
I do not want that. I want to explore, at the edge of my thinking. I want to get raw and real and uncomfortable, and experience vulnerability afterglows, and then go: oh shit, did I really just write about my masturbation career and send that out to thousands of people?
This entry is starting to feel all over the place, but my heart is hurting, and I am feeling all over the place, so I will flow with this stream-of-consciousness style today. There is a recurring theme in writing here, about why I am writing here. One of my living philosophical heroes, Byung-Chul Han, would probably not like these journals.
He might say that they promote a voyeuristic tendency, due to me seemingly baring everything on display, which is a byproduct of the pornification of our culture. I have written before about how these journals are a spiritual striptease, and I have called you an authenticity pervert before. Is the phenomenon that Han writes about the same thing I am doing here?
I do not know. I do know that I have a hard time not being truthful in the way I desire to be truthful. I can feel bullshit interpersonal tendencies quickly, and they drive me nuts. Do you want to know what else drives me nuts? The “CBC voice,” which is similar to the “NPR voice,” but with more Canadian innocence.
This is the voice that has well-timed pregnant pauses and emphatic inflections at the end of sentences, all the while using relatable down-to-earth language. Somebody at the New York Times wrote about the NPR voice before, and spotted the crux of where the inauthenticity resides: A result is the suggestion of spontaneous speech and unadulterated emotion. The irony is that such presentations are highly rehearsed, with each caesura calculated and every syllable stressed in advance.
Sensing into the CBC/NPR voice, I sense bullshit, but perhaps this voice is just a mirror to my own voice. The medium you use, and the constraints that come along with them, shape you in ways you do not even know. I am sure these CBC and NPR people are good people for the most part, and they want to be authentic, like everyone else.
I used to teach pregnant pauses and stuff like that when I used to teach public speaking classes, because it works. You can be saying the most pointless thing, but then drop a pregnant pause before your punchline then whoa, that sounded super deep. When you attempt to be authentic publicly, you cannot escape from performing authenticity.
I do not know if I want to perform anymore. I sense you can perform authenticity in an authentic way, but it is still a performance, but maybe acknowledging all of this makes it authentic. I do like the self-authoring notion of authenticity. Earnestly attempting authenticity, is the same thing as authoring one’s life, one word at a time. This is what I am doing here. But yeah, maybe I should write less about masturbation though. There is some wisdom in the “would this make your mother uncomfortable” heuristic.
Overall, my relationship with The Stoa has been shifting lately, and it is slowly being decentered from my life. During year one, it felt like it was everything. I was so enmeshed with it, and with its potential. I often signal how I do not identify with much, especially my (maybe) Stoicism, but I was probably identifying with the potential of The Stoa.
I am being called to create outside of The Stoa now. Today I am going to work on an Interintellect presentation on Stoicism, as well as the Becoming a Live Player course from Rebel Wisdom. I am also in independent conversations with Daniel Kazandjian, A.J. Bond, and Andrew Taggart, about doing cool things around the themes of digital gangs, conversational artistry, and philosophical inquiry respectively.
All these things may emerge as separate entrepreneurial entities, ones that are financially viable, which can support my livelihood, and fund the urban monastery that will be the philosophical coffee shop. The Stoa is proving to be a great leverage point, and as I was musing before, I sense the correct order of operation is this: Stoa Explorations, then Stoa Experiments, then Stoa Experiences.
Stoa Explorations: around an attractor, we invite people to The Stoa, so they can share their wisdom, both propositionally via presentations and experientially via activities.
Stoa Experiences: The Stoa’s version of a course, which we charge money for. We deliver a beautiful 1-3 month experience about the attractor, that is well designed, with crazy amounts of love, that also affords the participants new capacities.
After the Stoa Experience, perhaps it spins off from The Stoa, and becomes its own entity, e.g. a mastermind business, a consultancy practice, a school for philosophy as a way of life. The Stoa then can be seen as a daemonic incubator. Like Y Combinator, but for the upcoming Game B world.
When working in the normie work-world, I had this idea of starting something called Daemon Labs, a spiritual R&D company that creates sexy new psychotechnologies that will help midwife a new world. Maybe this is what The Stoa is becoming. Maybe this is what The Stoa already is.
All of these projects that I have on the go, plus my being called to write more publicly with the spirit of serious fucking play, is demanding that I become more self-disciplined, to use a self-help term, or have more agency, to use a philosophical term, or more sovereignty, to use the term that the likes of Daniel Schmachtenberger and Jordan Hall use.
Fuck. I want another espresso so bad right now. It is wise for me to say no though. It is wise for me to say no to the daemon as well. He is so crazy. He wants so much from me. To use pick-up artist lingo, the daemon’s bombardment of delicious ideas is probably some kind of spiritual shit test, to see if I am worthy, to see if I can say no.
Yeah. When the daemon gives you an idea, in the middle of doing taxes or taking out the garbage, you do not stop everything you are doing and obsess about that idea, and try to act on it in a frazzled way. That is how a spiritual beta male relates to the daemon. I confess I do have spiritual beta male tendencies. Mea culpa.
I cannot be one anymore though. The meta-crisis is our meta-opportunity, and I am not going to bet on this being a simulation that has a restart button. I am not going to wait around to see all of us die thanks to some existential risk, or experience a hellish existence thanks to some suffering risk.
No. I want an existential eucatastrophe, and I am not going to help bring one about by being some spiritual beta male, and constantly failing the daemon’s shit test. It is time to say no, in the right way, which is to say, in a virtuously hot way.
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