It is not worth going to college for any field outside of STEM or Philosophy.

It is not worth going to college for any field outside of STEM or Philosophy. It made sense until 20 years ago to go to college and get a degree. A degree showed a competence and intelligence that stood out on a resume. By presenting a degree to an employer, the employer knew you had the intelligence to go to college and the independence to make it through years dealing with adults.

College only cost hundreds of dollars, and degrees, whether STEM or humanities, led to almost guaranteed employment. This was during a time when the management professions and the “value-add” industries like advertising and marketing were added to businesses. These value-adds came from the humanities. Marketing and advertising appeal to the psychology of people. Management is applied sociology.

These were the booming jobs of the time, and a humanity degree not only checked the college box – it was preferred. These degrees added the value that organizations were looking for.

The labor market has changed in the last 20 years. Universities changed too, but they did not change to keep up with the changes in the labor market. The changes in universities ran counter-productive to the changes in the labor market.

Where humanities were the value-adding jobs from the 50s through the 80s, the internet has changed the requisite jobs and, because of that, the requisite skills needed. The internet runs on math and technology. STEM degrees are the degrees that are employable. The management and marketing jobs of the 50s are being replaced by technology just like the labor-intensive jobs were replaced 40 years before. The reduction in management and marketing jobs means fewer degrees in humanities are needed.

STEM is the humanity degree and the management job of the 60s. These are the employable degrees and the driver of technology, which is the driver of the current economy. Instead of management and sales adding value like 50 years ago, technology is able to add value by cutting out the managers and the salespeople. Technology connects buyers and sellers where the humanity-pedigreed salesmen did until recently.

Humanities degrees are being produced like money in a collapsed economy. Except, unlike money in a collapsed economy, the degrees being produced cost tens- to hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, we have more people graduating college than ever, which has debased the degree so that not all graduates are guaranteed a job. Humanity degrees add little value in this technology-driven world where life is managed with code.

The majority of students are still choosing to major in the humanities. There are a majority of college graduates leaving university unprepared for the job market, which is technology-driven and requires technical degrees. Also, they have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans that must be paid back.

These debt-ridden graduates have to find employment to pay back debt. Those that are lucky find themselves a management or marketing job, which are decreasing in number as technology improves and reduces the need for these functions. Those that are unlucky pick up a low-paying service job. This has become a stereotype – the barista with a humanities degree. A well-read barista is attractive – there’s nothing wrong with serving coffee. A barista who has to be there because they owe the bank $200,000 is not attractive. That person is enslaved with no way out in sight. They must work for a company until the debt is paid off. There is a legal and ethical commitment to pay off the debt.

Why are there so many humanity degrees? Because of those blasted humanity degree students from 50 years ago. The universities and banks are profit centers that make money with each enrolled student paying tuition. There are advertising channels that promote more students going to college and getting degrees. The banks and universities don’t care what degree is studied. They care about $200,000. Which, if that’s the price of tuition and the person is working at Starbucks to pay it off, she will end up paying far more than double that.

College is a scam for everyone that is not majoring in a STEM degree. Students are sold a lie that they “need to go to college” to get a job or to find a good relationship. This is all just branding by the universities and loan banks. Any skill can be learned online these days, and banks and universities are sweating hoping the masses don’t drop out to develop skills online. The advertisers are working hard to keep the college brand attractive. They are heavily incentivized to make college attractive.

“It’s an important phase of life.” “It’s where you develop the social skills.” These are all jargon statements sold by the loan banks. You know what else is an important phase of life and a place you develop social skills and have fun? Timeshares in retirement. Rent a timeshare to signify your new phase in life. Meet other travelers and party. You can do this for a lot less than a college degree.

The exception to all this is the philosophy degree. The philosopher learns that none of this is really necessary. You can get a degree in STEM, get a high-paying job, create a technology that makes businesses better, but if at the end of the day you still aren’t satisfied because of an insecurity or relationship drama, then what’s it all for? To better humanity? That’s great, as long as it doesn’t cost your suffering. You can make money and then face your insecurities and internal demons, or you can face your demons from the start. Many people face a demon called consumerism. The philosopher recognizes this demon and stays away.

You can become a philosopher by reading books, through experiencing all the hells of consumerism and life, or through an expensive degree. Being philosophical is worth it. The philosopher finds meaning in life itself, and knows not to become enslaved to debt, or anything else. Hopefully, he didn’t buy an expensive degree to learn that lesson.

It is not worth going to college for any field outside of STEM or Philosophy. This is because:

  • The price of tuition is increasing.
  • Skills needed for jobs are becoming more technical.
  • Philosophers understand you don’t need jobs and can find meaning without the 9-to-5.

Democracy inevitably leads to socialism due to evaporative cooling of high-value individuals.

In the long-run, all democracies will turn away from their capitalist origin to socialism. This is destructive, tyrannical, and entirely natural. This happens because of the evaporative cooling of high-value individuals. Meaning, there are fewer high value individuals that are interested in competing for status.

The strong favor and thrive in a competitive, capitalist society and crave the freedoms that can be earned. The strong are out-reproduced by the weak. This goes contrary to many proponents of Darwinism, but it is actually directly in-line with Darwin theory. There are two Darwinian strategies for survival. One is to reproduce with the strongest and best to produce the strongest and best, because that is what is most likely to survive. Traits such as physical strength, cunning and mental ability, leadership and social savvy – these are all traits sought after and signs of reproductive fitness.

The other Darwinian strategy is to mass reproduce. Mass reproduction, whether through multiple partners or one, requires less work than finding a strong partner and places emphasis on quantity, not quality, of genetics – and therefore offspring. Through this, even if a couple offspring die off and don’t successfully reproduce, one or two will. This is a reproductive strategy favorable to weak individuals.

These weak individuals are the losers in the capitalist system. To succeed in capitalist societies requires similar traits that make for attractive reproductive (masculine) qualities. Social savvy, intelligence, even physical strength – these are qualities women find sexy and qualities that are rewarded in the job market.

These traits are masculine because they are favored in the sexual market by women. More intelligent, wealthy women do not have higher value in the sexual market. This also contributes to an evaporative cooling of the successful because these intelligent women have far fewer children than non-intelligent women, if any at all.

Losers in the job market cannot afford the luxuries that are available to the wealthy – those that succeed in the capitalist system. However, they want the same luxuries. They want them for two reasons – they want more than they currently have, because they see the wealthy and want what they can’t have. Also, the bottom classes often fail to have the spiritual freedom that comes with wisdom which, most often, comes with intelligence and experience. Instead of seeking spiritual freedom, the bottom classes are more likely to want material things to escape unhappiness of the day-to-day.

This means that the bottom classes in a capitalist system are more likely to want things, less likely to earn and afford the things they want, and therefore likely to despise the wealthier classes that are capable of both earning, getting, and not needing. Over time, this bottom class is likely to grow, since they are the ones that reproduce most, since that is the reproductive strategy that makes the most sense for their situation.

As the bottom classes grow, they will be more likely to gain favorable political position in a democratic society. A democracy favors those who are the majority. When that majority is intelligent and strong, the majority will tend to a capitalistic society where competition and incentives reward success. These capitalistic societies grow in technology and infrastructure.

When the majority is the lower class – made up largely of the weak, unintelligent, and wanting, the majority will favor a socialistic society. This is one where incentives are broken, and the poor are rewarded with the efforts of the rich. We have seen this in every society that has tried socialism. It always starts with power in the hands of a few. Stalinist Russia started with a revolt against the landowners, which were few in number. When the masses stand up to the few in number and take control, you get the poor in material and the poor in spirit and the poor in intellect at the head of society.

When you have the poor in spirit, intellect, and material at the head of society, you get them taking the material by force. They want and feel entitled to things, so they take it. They do not have the spiritual strength to require earning the things they want. And they don’t have the intellect to understand or consider the implications of their actions. Sure, as they start taking and disincentivizing production, the economies collapse and governments turn to other methods of producing perceived wealth.

When the poor in spirit and intellect rule and their economy slows down, they have done several things in the past, none of which have been to incentivize production or employ austerity programs – these both go in the face of their philosophy that got them in power, and the desires that led to their rise to power.

No. Instead, the socialists have printed money, as if the paper with the president’s face on it is the answer to the economy. Worthless money does not create a worthwhile economy. Printing money devalues the money in circulation and drives up the price of goods, without influencing the value of the goods.

Capitalism fuels this change. Because the lower classes make up the majority of consumers, the most successful businesses market to these demographics. Not just businesses, but anything requiring money, votes, or consensus. That means politicians and, when it comes to receiving funding, institutions such as schools and hospitals. Businesses will cater to the lower-value individuals. They will promote entertainment and ideas that appeal to the masses, at the expense of the values and interests of the successful.

The other strategy is to forcibly take from the wealthy. Since the lower classes continue to suffer, the wealthy are forcibly taken from and their goods given to the poor. The poor in material, intellect, and spirit bring down everyone.

How do you defend against this? I never understood China’s one child rule until I wrote this essay. By limiting reproduction among citizens, you can effectively control the ratio of high-value individuals and low-value individuals. This requires government oversight into communities stretching into the slums.

The alternative to this is to not have a democracy. A dictatorship of sorts removes the possibility of the lower classes taking power through democratic election. Dictatorships, however, still face the problem of lower classes reproducing at higher rates than the upper class, high-value individuals. When the lower classes unite, they can topple the much smaller dictatorship using their numbers and force. It’s bloody, and it’s bound to happen.

No one’s happy, and the poor are willing to fight to see if the riches will make them happy. Riches won’t make them happier, because they will still be poor in spirit, but they will fight for the riches anyway.

Democracy inevitably leads to socialism due to evaporative cooling of high-value individuals. There will be fewer high-value individuals because high-value individuals don’t reproduce at the rates of low-value, and the values of modern high-value individuals will cease to be promoted in media and academia. This will lead to socialism because the jealousy of the lower classes will work its way into public policy that redistributes from the wealthy individuals.

Many more economically free cities like Dubai and Shenzhen will come into being in the next 50 years.

Dubai and Shenzhen are economic centers for their geologic regions. These cities are exceptional because they allow a free economy to exist in locations that otherwise rely on government oversight of production, or have until recently.

Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates, and has emerged the largest global economic center in the middle east in the last ten years. Most countries in the middle east have relied on state-run oil companies for most of the economic activity. This oil is traded overseas, which has allowed the middle eastern nations to participate in global trade. The nation, or in many cases, OPEC, the oil-producing nations operating as a unit, were the ones making decisions that impacted the global trade. This is in contrast to the western world, where the entrepreneur, whether the individual or the CEO, is in charge of strategic decisions.

In the Middle East, economic activity was never at the discretion of the individual, but up to the nation that supplied oil to determine which products and services it would allow into its country. The country determined the values which guided the spend and trade that occurred with other nations. For instance, the country could prioritize fruits and vegetables, and limit the citizen’s freedom to indulge in an overseas candy bar. More commonly, these nations chose to trade for arms and military weaponry. The country decided that weapons were more important for all the citizens, rather than each citizen having a say.

China was long-ruled by communist political regimes that put similar constraints on trade. Negotiations on imports and exports were led by the leader of the country, or the minister of trade. This put constraints on the freedom of individuals because they could not choose how to spend the dollars that they made.

Countries operating with free markets allow the free-flowing information and tools across country lines – whether digital or not. When countries such as China or United Arab Emirates puts constraints on individual’s ability to produce, this does two things. It discourages individuals from producing and limits their ability to be productive compared to other countries in the world. Also, those individuals that want to produce and ignore the constraints of the country are encouraged to leave to a country that is willing to accept their ideas and labor. This is bad for the country, as they are not able to receive the benefits that that individual wanted to contribute.

Individuals want to contribute to their country, and their country wants them to contribute. By participating in a free economy, an individual is able to improve the situation for himself and his local community. Through participating in a local economy, not only does an individual spend money locally and trade for local goods, but he also pays taxes, creates products or carries out services that are, necessarily, valued by the local community (he wouldn’t get paid otherwise), and innovate. An individual must be able to try new ideas. He must be able to fail, if ever the country will innovate. The ideas that work are the ideas that are voted on by people willing to spend money to see them scale.

These days, these constraints are being destroyed by technology and the competition of other countries. Just like companies compete for the sale of products and services, the countries that house those companies compete for labor and business that produce tax revenue so the country can fund its projects. As free economies prove to be more productive and more innovative, those countries that choose not to participate in the free economy are left behind.

Further, economic constraints are being destroyed by technology. Social media has allowed people to communicate globally, instantly. Global marketplaces and shipping companies allow for people to purchase and receive goods anywhere in the world. Technology companies that depend on digital skills can recruit talent globally, and those skills can be put to work in any location with internet access. There’s internet access in every country.

These skills can be learned online, in many cases for free, from any location with internet access. As more intelligent individuals are given access to the internet and the tools that are now a part of it, more individuals will have access to these markets, and more individuals will have the ability to produce and contribute to the global, and their local, economy. Central hubs for innovation – London, New York, Silicon Valley, are no longer gatekeepers for talent and resources. The same resources can be found anywhere in the world, and talent can be encouraged to stay in those economies outside of the original hubs.

As more educated individuals have access to this global economy, more people will be able to participate in the economy. Because they no longer need to fly to New York or San Jose to get the job that enables them to contribute, and because the country they live in will be incentivized to provide them access to the global economy, more economically free cities will manifest around the globe.

The growth of cities will happen internationally – such as Shenzhen in China and Dubai in the UAE, and this will happen nationally. More cities will emerge within nations as this talent pool grows and resource constraints of hub cities become less important. In the United States, more cities will become internationally competitive. Atlanta, Denver, and Austin are three examples of cities that claim to be tech centers – and rightly so.

This growth will only be sped up when access to capital becomes available to individuals outside of hub cities. In the United States, many startup companies are funded by venture capital firms. The majority of these are located and prefer funding in Silicon Valley. That is one more hurdle that will be overcome through the increase in talent outside of “The Valley” and with the decentralization of funding – through technologies such as cryptocurrency. Decentralization will allow entrepreneurs to raise funding more easily through their own marketing efforts which can be targeted towards financial institutions or individuals looking to invest.

In summary, more economically free cities will come into being in the next 50 years. This will happen because:

  • Economic constraints are being destroyed by technology, where people can work from anywhere and make money from anyone.
  • Central hubs (New York and London) will be less important because of the connectivity of people, and more educated individuals that will have access to their local economies.
  • Governments are incentivized to reduce constraints to maximize long-term growth of local markets.

Women have more intrinsic value than men.

Women have more intrinsic value than men. This means that women have more natural value than men. Nature gives women their value, where men must find their value in the world.

Women are valuable across many dominance hierarchies. Out of the box, they don’t add any more value to a corporation than their fellow man, but they have far more value in sexual markets.

Women are born with the characteristics that make them attractive to the other sex. These aren’t evident at the moment of birth, but they just need to stay alive and not interfere with the characteristics that make them attractive. A fit woman that develops a feminine physique is an attractive woman.

These (fit, feminine) are the characteristics men evolved to find attractive. A woman who is young and has hips, a butt, and isn’t fat, suggests that she is able to bear children. The hips and butt suggest fertility, the lack of fat suggests health. Biologically, that’s all a woman needs to prove her attractiveness to a man. Femininity is more about a girl’s demeanor. It means she isn’t aggressively competitive or dominant – traits that may lead to success for men in the dating ecosystem.

Women are the more selective sex. This naturally results from the woman’s egg being lower in supply than a man’s sperm. Because her eggs are lower in supply than the available demand, like any economic good, the eggs are deemed of high value. All that’s physically required of a man in order to reproduce is his sperm.

A quick sex, and he’s done his part, physically. When the man is done with sex, he can be ready to reproduce again in manner of minutes if he is young, and hours if he is older and less virile. For a woman, she requires nine months of carrying out a pregnancy, at least, until she is able to reproduce again. Plus, she is at birth (at the latest) bonded to the child she carried with her for those nine months. The child will generally remain under her care until it is ready to join the world without her. Legally, that typically happens at 18 in the United States, and that’s about the minimum that an individual is mature enough to go on his own.

Those 18 years and nine months require resources and time. Therefore, the woman is incentivized to attract a man that will remain with her and share the investment in raising the child until it is an adult (at least). Therefore, she must be more attractive enough to, at least, be selective enough so that the man chooses to remain with her instead of leaving to maximize his reproductive abilities elsewhere. This form of commitment must be reached by appealing to a man on a physical and emotional level and, hopefully, his mental values.

All these characteristics, those required to attract the man, and those required to gain commitment of a man, are natural gifts given to women at birth and realized as she matures. She does not require building these skills out in the world, where the man’s ability to provide resources do require building skills.

In her own psychology, a woman can be gifted with the confidence that she will be able to attract a mate based on the gifts she was given at birth. This confidence is shakable, no doubt, but she can have confidence in something without needing to build skills that would allow a man to be attractive to the other sex.

Women have more intrinsic value than men because she is born with her sexual value and her ability to choose a mate. These attractive characteristics evolved out of the necessity to reproduce, and the woman’s egg is more valuable than the man’s sperm. Because she is born with this, she can have a natural confidence in her interaction with the world.

Attempts at creating ‘true socialism’ have killed more than 100 million people.

True socialism has killed more than 100 million people. This happens through the necessary actions that are taken to institute a collective economy that would reap the “benefits” that the collective set out to accomplish.

Socialism has good intentions. The goals have always been reasonable. Stalin wanted to eliminate the economic inequality between the upper and lower classes. Hitler wanted to create a nation of strength in military and economic production. Pol Pot wanted to defend against nationalism, another form of totalitarianism. Equality, fighting nationalism, and military strength are all good things – especially in times of war and uncertainty. It was by making these values visible that these leaders were able to organize political parties, which led to the totalitarian ends.

The problem isn’t in setting these goals, it’s in the execution. The means to accomplish these (otherwise noble) ends are what leads to death and suffering. The goals are vague, and the means to accomplish these goals are even more vague. When a political system that is fueled by people that believe in these values, and has the support of the masses to carry out these values, which they believe are in their best interest, it gains the power to accomplish these goals by any means necessary. And the means override individual values, necessarily. Trading one authoritarian policy for another still results in totalitarianism, which inevitably leads to death. Usually, lots of death.

China’s Mao wanted to create a socialist ideal, one that was by-the-book Marxist. To carry this out, he demanded food and resources from the workers. When production slowed down, and resources were gathered without payment, tens of millions of people starved to death. Millions died in similar fashion in North Korea and the Soviet Union. The Great Chinese Famine that occurred under Mao starved over 20 million people to death. Many millions died of starvation in Soviet Russia, Cambodia, and many others instances where socialism was carried out (Cambodia, Korea).

There are three reasons starvation is common in socialist states. The first is that resources are seized by the state. So, those dependent on their own produce are often squeezed thin. Production slows to almost nothing when the incentives of distributed labor are removed from the economy. So much less food is produced. Last, illness takes over, which is harder to defend against without proper nutrition. This leads to outbreaks in disease and premature birth.

The murder of “the enemy” is often killed by socialist regimes. The Bolsheviks killed anyone deemed an “enemy of the people”. Bolshevik leaders determined there were more than one million of these enemies. Mao’s China killed off similar numbers of dissidents. This seems almost reasonable in modern days. If someone believes in hateful ideology, doesn’t that make them hateful, and shouldn’t we do something about that? We should debate their ideas and prevent their spread. We should not force individuals to believe in one doctrine over another. But it is exactly this mindset that leads to the killing off of civilians.

The problem with this is that someone needs to decide who is an enemy and who is not. When a political party determines who is an enemy, then there is lots of room for interpretation and the allowance of bias to come in. For instance, it can be easy to point to a political opponent and say that he is one of the “enemies of the people” instead of competing against him in a fair campaign. This leads to the oppression of individuals, as they are no longer free to carry any (however natural) ideas in their own head and to share and challenge those ideas. You must get in line or die.

Hitler gathered support by promising a booming economy and a strong national image. This was enough to rally his nation during tough economic times that followed the loss of World War I. During the course of his rise to power, he cast goals that the Germans could rally behind. Winning the war was a huge motivator. To rise up from losing the first war to become a global player is a hell of a promise. Even better – blame others instead of the Germans for losing the war and for the tough times that followed (see: Jews during World War II).

This is a recurring theme in all dictatorships and tyrannical societies – they gained the favor of the majority, or at least the loud minority, before turning “evil”. How could people support a system that has led to such destruction? Again, it’s the promises of good things that lead to the destructive means. When equality, national strength, or the suppression of an idea (e.g. nationalism) are prioritized by a political movement, it’s easy to see how destructive policies can result. It’s easy to see because it has happened multiple times and because, theoretically, the means to institute a socialist state lead to oppression and often death.

In summary, the attempts to create true socialism have killed more than 100 million people through:

  • The removal of people that disagree with the values of the collective.
  • War, which is often a prioritized value that the collective must then value.
  • Death by food shortages, rioting, and lacking health care.

Free markets are the only form of democratic representation that is viable over the long-term.

The concept of the free market and emerged division of labor allows an individual to put his money, the results of his labor, where that individual chooses. Through that choice of investment, the individual gets to prioritize the goods and services that he finds most valuable. By choosing to invest in services he finds most valuable, he, in a significant way, votes for the continued availability of those services.

Even if the values, and from those values resulting the products and services, that an individual aspires to are not represented in a free market, the individual has the option of creating those products and services that can be of value to him. If the services are of value to others, then those can be exchanged in a free market system. They can be shared or traded for profit. If they are not wanted by other individuals, then that individual can create his own and seek his own fulfillment, but by not being recognized as important by others, he may need to sacrifice the potential profits that can be acquired by participating in a trade that is more valued by others. He may need to live a life of poverty in order to live out those values which are most important to that individual.

With free markets, the values of any given individual are not guaranteed to exist in an economy. That individual can build them and bring them into the world. Without free markets, the values of any given individual are not guaranteed to ever manifest in the economy. When the individual’s interests are not manifested in the economy, there is no way to guarantee he can spend to acquire the services that individual finds most valuable.

Totalitarian systems necessarily rule out the option for each individual’s values to be represented in the economy. Totalitarian systems create values that represent the values of the collective. The system is responsible for creating the values for every individual that is a part of the economy, instead of each individual being allowed to have his own values which can then be pursued by that individual.

Collectivist economics necessarily leads to this totalitarianism. There is no way to represent the interests of every individual, because the values are prescribed from the central organization which creates the values and prioritizes the goods and services that will be produced.

The goal of a collectivist economy is to manifest the wants of the individuals in control. These may represent the majority, and they may represent a small group of idealists. Those are prioritized over the wants and wishes of each individual. The wants and wishes of the individuals with different values have to wait until the other goals are accomplished by the collective.

If universal healthcare is desired by the majority, and resources and capital are spent to make universal health accessible, then the individual that values art will have to wait until universal health is accessible to everyone, and he will have to work towards universal healthcare. Only when that is accomplished will the collective then be able to get to work on other values. That could be art, or it could be housing and transportation infrastructure. No one individual gets to decide what he can work on.

The free market allows each individual to live out his own values, and to vote on what matters to him. A man can be an artist and risk not making money while he does what he loves. Another can choose to buy art. Another can buy health services. It is the free market that allows this free decision making.

In summary, free markets are the only viable form of long-term democratic representation for the following reasons:

  • Totalitarianism necessarily rules out democratic representation.
  • Collectivist economics necessarily leads to totalitarianism.
  • Free markets put individual investment where people want.

Through annihilation of the ego, each person has the potential to realize that they are God embodied. Jesus Christ did this.

God is an ideal. In any religious text, the words spell out an ideal way to live – a peaceful, virtuous spirit that reigns over the heavens.

Unfortunately, religion steps in and tells us to hope and pray for the acceptance of that all-mighty spirit. This is not to what the biblical stories really symbolize. The biblical stories give us an answer to how to live now. Not just now meaning before death, but now meaning right now, in the moment.

It is in the moment, when we aren’t wanting for the future or fearful of what comes next, that we find this peace and that we find happiness. Happiness is available to anyone that chooses happiness. That peace comes from rejecting the fear that religious leaders instill about undesirable afterlife. It comes from rejecting all fears. That peace comes from rejecting the fear our boss instills about meeting deadlines and showing up on time.

The peace comes from within – from understanding that we have everything, because there is almost nothing we really need. Any wants and fears are nearly all externally pushed onto us – whether from teachers, preachers, bosses, or marketing departments. We can reject the wants that all these individuals push onto us, and then we can be free from the burdens that come with chasing those wants.

Rejecting wants from others means risking that we won’t be accepted by others. It means being courageous and risking humiliation from others that judge us based on our ability to satisfy the wants encouraged by others. Having the courage to say no to all these people – many of them our colleagues, family, friends, and potential lovers, means we must reject the ego that holds onto wanting the affection and acceptance of these people. By destroying the ego that holds onto the want of acceptance, we can be free from the need of this acceptance.

Jesus Christ did this. The story of Jesus is an archetypal example of a man who rejected the need to be accepted by his friends, teachers, and potential lovers. He led his loved ones and promoted peace and virtue, and was unwilling to compromise his values when those loved ones did not have the strength to stand by him. The death of Jesus was the extreme example of a man standing by his conviction. He did this by accepting humiliation from the crowd, instead of giving in to the wants of the crowd – wants that Jesus did not agree with.

The death on the cross was the most extreme example of the carrying out of the death of the ego. Even when faced with public execution in a horrific manner, Jesus refused to give in to the people that wanted him to want to fit in. In doing so, Jesus died living out his ideal. It was an ideal that he wanted – one of virtue and determination to never give in to the wants of others.

We can be Jesus like, but the struggles he faced are struggles we must endure if we are going to be free. Freedom comes at the cost of rejecting the wants and ideas that society places on us. We may not need to become martyrs for our freedom, but we must be so strong in our sticking to our values that we would rather face criticism and dislike than to fit in – if it means compromising those values.

To want to fit in is to keep the ego intact and to prioritize acceptance from others over our own free will. We can only understand our free will when we do reject all wants – materially and the expectations of others. By doing this we can become the decision makers of our own fate. We can choose to follow others or we can lead our own life wherever it takes us. We can control the heavens and find beauty and positivity in the world when we choose to look for that everywhere. That beauty and positivity is found in the present moment.

When we reject the need for our ego, when we drop the persona that faces others and start living our own ideal, we can truly be at peace and in control of our lives. And we don’t need God or anyone else telling us what to do. We are ultimately powerful when we are not controlled by others. God is not controlled by others. We are god embodied when we are not controlled by others.

We realize we are god embodied when we live out our ideal and refuse to compromise that ideal for anyone. This takes detaching ourselves from our ego that holds onto the wants and expectations of others. We, like god, are subject to no one’s control when we are able to do this. Jesus Christ demonstrated this when he died on the cross.

Learning is painful

To learn means to understand more information than we already know. To understand more information than we already know means we don’t know things, we need to find new information, and we need to accept new information. These are difficult, to the point of pain.

Pain is physical suffering, or discomfort. Learning is uncomfortable. To be comfortable is to be content. To be content with our current knowledge and understanding of the world is to be comfortable. To seek more knowledge, and deeper understanding of the world, requires discontentment with what we already know. It requires us to venture out into the unknown, and challenge what we know. Learning can induce physical suffering.

Reading a fact isn’t necessarily learning, even if we never heard the fact before. To learn means to understand, and to welcome an idea into your worldview. To do that, the idea must necessarily challenge the existing ideas that are in your head. To challenge existing ideas is to challenge our beliefs and our understanding of how the world works. We cannot challenge our understanding of how the world works without being uncomfortable. New information may change our understanding of how the world works. To learn requires us to be open to us being wrong about how the world works.

While the stoic promotes contentment in all aspects of life, mental challenge and understanding is the exception. Truth is held in regard as a high virtue by nearly all moral philosophers. It is only when we understand the world that we can make sense of it. When we understand the world, we can approach the challenges in life with courage and with the tools to best handle those challenges. We learn so that we gain the tools to handle these challenges, and so we can have the courage to act and overcome the challenge.

Society in 2018 promotes comfort. We are told we deserve comfort. We are not allowed to offend, because others are entitled to not be offended. But what if people are wrong? If people are wrong and are living in a world where their ideas are damaging – to themselves or others, then those ideas will manifest in behavior if they aren’t stopped or impeded by new information. Learning is key to defeating damaging and dangerous ideas. To promote learning ideas, we must promote the discomfort that comes with learning. It is part of the necessary process.

Without learning new things, people will be unprepared for the world. If they do not learn so that they are not offended, they will surely be offended when they see competing ideas manifest in real life. What if the socialist wants to see her ideas play out in American economics? To not socialize institutions is to go against what she believes is the ideal. She was never told that she had an unrealistic ideal – one that has been well-documented across many fields of study (economics, history, psychology). Should we let her ideal economic strategy manifest itself in the world? Maybe – at least she wouldn’t be offended and uncomfortable.

But what if that comes at the expense of a capitalist? The capitalist believes his economic worldview is correct. He may be offended if we choose to go with the socialist, planned economy because that economic system wouldn’t offend a girl who isn’t prepared for the world because her ideas have never been challenged. This doesn’t work. Ideas manifest in behavior, and ideas should be challenged so that the best ideas manifest. If the best idea doesn’t manifest, there are still benefits to challenging all ideas. The benefits – the chance that bad ideas won’t manifest in reality, will only come to fruition if people are open-minded to new ideas, which necessarily challenge the existing worldview, which is necessarily uncomfortable. Which is necessarily painful.

Something is painful when it makes us uncomfortable. Learning makes us uncomfortable because we must challenge what is known and comfortable in order to learn. Learning is painful.

Nietzsche mistook the message of the Church for the message of Christ

Nietzsche said, “Christianity is the biggest destroyer of man.” Nietzsche, one of the great thinkers in world history, was incredibly negative on the subject of Christianity. He viewed Christianity as the ultimate weakness.

Christianity, according to Nietzsche, glorifies weakness. It glorifies illness, weak people, and promotes those individuals as the virtuous, rather than the strong and the risk-takers. It does this through several traditions. A couple of these are the sacrament traditions. Confession removes the incentive to be good at all times and not give in to weakness. Anointing of the sick gives courage and hope to the weak and sick. There is less public glory for the strong and healthy. Equating heaven with the afterlife is damaging. Heaven gives a final out – you don’t need to be good all your living days to experience a blissful eternity.

Christianity is the organized religion centered around Christ and the Bible’s New Testament. It is the religious organization that follows the pope and meets on Sunday to celebrate together. Christianity is the practice of worshiping Christ. That is different from the message of Christ. The message of Christ is the words and meaning behind the words that Christ embodied. The message of Christ is captured in the Bible. The message of the church is captured in the public statements by priests, the Pope, and members of any attended clergy.

The church is global as well as local. One church may tune the message from the rest of the churches. The message of the Bible is universal and constant. That is, the words of the Bible are constant. These words can be interpreted differently.

Jesus Christ had one motivation – to remove suffering from the world. He showed people how to remove suffering from the world through his example. He lived the perfectly virtuous life and inspired others to do the same. When given the choice to flee his death or become a symbol of righteousness, he was stapled to the cross in gruesome fashion.

The church has other motivations. The church, as an institution, will decline to nonexistence if it does not maintain membership. The church must compete against other churches, against other religions, and against other activities. It must appear positive in media in order to not degrade the image of the members or the leaders.

The church, therefore, must have an ego. It must have mechanisms in place to appeal to groups of people. This goes directly against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught that one is only happy when he is virtuous, and that the ego must be destroyed to live in virtue. The church must guard its reputation to continue to please people. So, while the church can reach the message of Christ, it necessarily cannot live them out.

Nietzsche mistook the message of the church for the message of Christ. This is shown in his contempt for Christ, which he articulates in a couple of his books. The message of Christ is not the same as the message of the church. For example, to have no ego is the message of Christ but not the church. It is the church that makes more sense for the academic attacks by Nietzsche, not the message of Christ.

Vipassana is the art of focusing on the Process of living properly. Vipassana is the second most important thing to know in the world.

Vipassana is the second most important thing to know in the world. Vipassana is the art of focusing on the process of living properly. Vipassana, as a concept and practice, dates back to the earliest concepts and practices of Buddhism. The goal is to gain power over all things by gaining power over the mind. By controlling the thoughts that enter our minds, we can have more control over how those thoughts manifest in our behavior and our attitude. By being conscious of our thoughts, we can be aware of which thoughts are being pushed on us by outside forces – such as wants for status and wealth, versus those that we naturally come up with.

Vipassana is most often practiced by individuals that attend 10-day meditation retreats. During the 10-day retreat, the practitioner meditates for hours each day, does not indulge in any vice, conversation, or distraction of any kind, eats minimally and only for sustenance, and is to pay attention to each behavior that the individual engages in – whether that behavior is normally conscious or unconscious.

By bringing attention to not just the conscious behaviors but also the unconscious, we learn to focus on what we are doing at all times. By focusing on what we are doing at all times, we train our minds not to wander. When our minds don’t wander, they stay present on the activity we are doing. When we are fully engaged and focused on the activity we are doing, we receive the pleasure of not worrying about the past or future. Vipassana can be considered practical because we are more likely to excel at the task at hand if we are giving it our full attention. It can also be considered practical if we eliminate activities that do not benefit us through realization of what really matters.

Vipassana is so important because it is one of the few activities required for being happy. Worry, desire, and fear are three things that prevent us from being happy. These all necessarily require us to be thinking about the future. Worries and fears will only manifest in the future. Desires are things we want to obtain in the future. By living in the moment, we necessarily eliminate worry, desire, and fear. Regrets from the past cannot be undone. Vipassana eliminates regret.

When we eliminate worry, desire, and fear, we are happy. This requires rejection of external stimuli, a mind that is kept from distraction, and focusing on the present moment and any activity that is being done right now. When our mind wanders, we begin to think about future obligations. Those obligations are always means to satisfy our desires and eliminate worry. But fulfilling those obligations only makes us better at fulfilling obligations. It doesn’t make us better at ceasing to worry. Ceasing to worry happens by living intentionally in the moment, not in fulfilling obligations.

The only thing in life more important than Vipassana is the Buddhist concept of Samatha. Samatha is the calming of the mind. This is practiced by meditating, and can be practiced anytime. The concept of Samatha is to clear the mind of all thoughts, or at least get to a point where we don’t have uncontrolled thoughts.

It is only when the mind is calm that we can engage in Vipassana. We cannot concentrate on the present activity if we have an active mind that is full of constant thought. By practicing Samatha, we can calm the mind by training it to have fewer thoughts. This isn’t suppressing thoughts, it is an exercise we can do to have fewer thoughts that act as distractions from our lives. Instead of having numerous thoughts, we can control our thoughts by practicing Samatha.

In summary, Vipassana is important because it is necessarily required to live in the moment. Living in the moment is important because:

  • Focusing on each moment is important for peace of mind and understanding the right thing to do.
  • Happiness is found in the moment, where there are no worries, fears, wants, or regrets.

Vipassana is less important than Samatha, which is the most important thing to know in the world. Samatha is the calming of the mind. Only with a calm mind can one focus on each moment and, doing so, practice Vipassana. Because it is prerequisite for Vipassana, Samatha is more important.