Meditations From Copenhagen
This lecture from the one and only Bonnitta Roy is probably one of the best sessions I have hosted since The Stoa started. By popular demand, The Stoa and The Pop-Up School will be teaming up to host two follow-up sessions…
Collective Journaling w/ Peter Limberg and Co-Hosts. Daily @ 8:00 AM ET. Patreon event. 90 mins.
Collective Presencing w/ Ria Baeck and Co-Hosts. Every Friday @ 8:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.
Collective Presencing w/ Ria Baeck and Co-Hosts. Every Friday @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.
Sex, Dating, and Why Modern Relationships Are So Fucked Up (And How to Unfuck Them) + Socratic Speed Dating w/ Raven Connolly. November 12th @ 8:00 PM ET. Patreon event. 120 mins.
November 11th, 2021
That is hi in Danish, which sounds like saying hi in English. We are in Denmark now. The most salient thing here: no masks in sight, no social distancing, no corona pass… well no corona pass at least for one more day.
Due to the reports of COVID-19 surging in Europe, the Danish government, who as recently as September considered COVID not to be a “critical threat to society,” now considers the virus to be a “socially critical disease” again. Given this turnabout, the corona pass is being reintroduced here tomorrow - which encompasses proof of vaccination, proof of previous infection, or a negative test, applicable for 72 or 96 hours depending on the test.
A part of the inspiration in coming to Europe was reading about places like Copenhagen and Oslo, which lifted all their COVID restrictions. It just seemed too good to be true, especially coming from a place like Canada, where the question of how to address COVID has been sucked into a culture war binary. This binary is what I have been referring to in these journals as the “polarity spell.”
I strongly sense the motivational impulse to wear a mask or not wear a mask in a place like Toronto is not coming from first-principled considerations of mask efficacy. They are moreso ways to signal memetic tribal affiliation. Are you on the side of what is right and good? If so, go out of your way to show off what tribe you belong to. Some silly examples I see from both sides of the polarity spell - people wearing a mask when driving alone, as if the virus is suddenly going to seep through the windshield, or putting on a mask under their nose when entering stores, as if this is some grand rebellious act. Both moves seem silly to me and you will see a lot of silly in Toronto these days.
There seems to be less silly in the cities we have visited thus far. I do like sensing into different verticals of these cities, becoming curious about the following questions: Why is mask-wearing showing up differently? How is the technocratic creep being more or less creepy? What is the spiritual quality of that which intersubjective meditative practitioners call the “field”? I think this word comes from Rupert Sheldrake's notion of the “morphogenetic field,” which means the invisible (and often unconscious) energy patterns that inform how people show up when together.
I could be deluding myself of course but I feel like my capacities to plug in and out of these fields are becoming more sophisticated. When we arrived in Copenhagen, we took a nap, then started roaming the streets. I noticed an energy shift in my body right away when coming into contact with the Danish people. There is a deep calmness, grounded confidence, and greater collective trust here. Compared to my sense-memory of the Toronto field: more anxious, performative, and passive-aggressive.
I recall something Jordan Peterson told me when I was his client - Scandinavian people are some of the most individuated people in the world. I may totally be glamorizing Scandinavian people right now, due to me crushing on their morphogenetic field, overlooking whatever collective shadow is here. If Peterson is right though, and they are indeed one of the more individuated groups of people in the world, then this makes sense why I feel their field is way more mature than the field I sensed in Toronto.
I did love the Lisbon field but I am really digging this Copenhagen field. We are probably going to continue hopping from city to city, sensing what is here in Europe. Sensing into these interesting fields is removing any pull for us to return back to Canada. While we have the option to head back anytime, we are thinking of staying in Europe for at least a year now, maybe even longer, maybe even permanently.
We are approaching our next move in our travels like how I approach what the next word will be in these journals: sensing deeply into the directionality of the daemon, aka the “prima materia” of creation itself, treating our travel adventures as art. We do not just want to treat our travels like this though, we want to treat every facet of our life like this. This is what I previously referred to as the “beauty path” - following the experience of beauty by catching the scent of the daemon, sensing where it is suggesting you go.
This is basically my response to the meta-crisis as well. The Beyond Self-Discipline (BSD) Labs (or what we are now calling the Daemon Labs) have started this week. This will be an intense two-month “laboratory” of 12 people, daemonically experimenting to inform how the official Beyond Self-Discipline experience in January will go.
One of my lab mates asked how can BSD be more sophisticated with our “goal artistry” during the meta-crisis, aka what goals would be most important to have when considering the meta-crisis. My answer was this: Given the impossible complexity of the meta-crisis, we cannot rely on “system 2” decision making here, hence my leaning super hard into the daemon, seeing myself as what Hadot calls an “artist of life.”
If your main value in relationship to the meta-crisis is survival or “do not go extinct,” then yeah, you can justify all sorts of seemingly measurable goals that promote what Giorgio Agamben calls the “bare life.” If your value is beauty however, you’ll need a radically different approach. I do not know what the best approach is but I am taking a gamble on walking down my beauty path.
Like, you do realize that the meta-crisis is so fucked-up we could all die tomorrow? In really terrible ways as well. Using my limited intelligence and bounded rationality to outsource my sensemaking to the blue church, some galaxy brain or memetic tribe to tell me how to survive for the longest time possible seems like the wrong move. It is all super simple really, if I had to choose, I’d rather have a short life sprinkled with beautiful moments, rather than a long life being placated with pleasurable moments, which are ultimately dulling ones.
Ideally, I do want a long life that is experienced as one big beautiful party. This is what I am playing towards. I want you to play with me towards this as well.
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