How I accidentally discovered the pill to enlightenment but I wouldn’t recommend it.

post by Elo · 2018-01-03T00:37:53.005Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 5 comments


  Brief teaser:
    February 2017
    Flashback to February 2016

Main post:

Brief teaser:

Eastern enlightenment is not what you think.  I mean, maybe it is.  But it’s probably not.  There’s a reason it’s so elusive, and there’s a reason that it hasn’t joined western science and the western world the way that curiosity and discovery have as a driving force.

This is the story of my mistake accidentally discovering enlightenment.

February 2017

I was noticing some weird symptoms.  I felt cold.  Which was strange because I have never been cold.  Nicknames include “fire” and “hot hands”, my history includes a lot of bad jokes about how I am definitely on fire.  I am known for visiting the snow in shorts and a t-shirt.  I hit 70kg,  The least fat I have ever had in my life.  And that was the only explanation I had.  I asked a doctor about it, I did some reading – circulation problems.  I don’t have circulation problems at the age of 25.  I am more fit than I have ever been in my life.  I look into hesperidin (orange peel) and eat myself a few whole oranges including peel.  No change.  I look into other blood pressure supplements, other capillary modifying supplements…  Other ideas to investigate.  I decided I couldn’t be missing something because there was nothing to be missing.  I would have read it somewhere already.  So I settled for the obvious answer.  Being skinnier was making me colder.

Flashback to February 2016

This is where it all begins.  I move out of my parents house into an apartment with a girl I have been seeing for under 6 months.  I weigh around 80kg (that’s 12.5 stones or 176 pounds or 2822 ounces for our imperial friends).  Life happens and by March I am on my own.  I decide to start running.  Make myself a more desirable human.

I taught myself a lot about routines and habits and actually getting myself to run. Running is hard.  Actually, running is easy.  Leaving the house is hard.  But I work that out too.

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comment by thefishinthetank · 2018-01-04T07:23:57.433Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting post. I can definitely identify with the journey of exercise, supplementation, and spiritual exploration.

I would like to caution you that your connection between the calming effects of vasodialation and enlightenment might be a bit superficial. It seems you have discovered what it is like to be calm, or have equanimity. While being calm is both a prerequisite and downstream effect of enlightenment, it is not to be confused with the deep knowledge of truth (enlightenment). Enlightenment is a deep subconscious insight, that becomes more likely to happen when the mind is calm, clear, and alert.

Enlightenment is also not state dependent. It's often thought of as something you realize and don't forget. It also induces perceptual changes, like those described by Jeffrey Martin. Entering states where your mind is finding profound connections is not enlightenment, but it is a step closer to realizing that insight.

I'm posting this not to tear down your experience, but to urge you on. I'm suggesting that you may think you've sailed the seven seas, where in reality you only saw a picture of a boat. Thinking you've found enlightenment and that it's not great is likely to steer you away from this path, which in my opinion, would be unfortunate.

And how can I be so sure that you didn't find enlightenment? Those who find it don't discredit it. ;)

comment by cousin_it · 2018-01-27T09:53:37.826Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, makes sense that "enlightenment" would be a physiological state, not a mental state. Probably many other states are like that too. I've noticed that when I want to make my mind behave a certain way (e.g. focused, sociable, or creative), a quick physical warm-up (like a few push-ups or squat jumps) works much better than trying to change tracks purely mentally.

comment by RedMan · 2018-01-03T12:50:47.333Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You back to trampolining yet?

Way to eat a broken bone and not seek medical attention for it, someone I knew did about what you did and ended up having to have a doctor re-break and set the bone to fix things. Lots of 'newly fit' people, particularly teenagers, have your 'injury from stupidity' behavior pattern. This is one of the reasons professional athletes are banned from amateur sports by their contracts

The great coach Louis Simmons is worth reading, he will expand your mind on your weakest link theory.

My own conclusion on your magic enlightenment pill, based on my lived experience: super awesome when you're lifting, Fs you up a bit when you're not. Use it around intense exercise, otherwise avoid.

comment by Elo · 2018-01-03T15:35:02.415Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting you say that about bad when you are not lifting. There just wasn't any warning from anyone (there probably was but I took no notice).

I have been back to doctors, and I do run several times a week these days. It's not set wrong or else I couldn't run, and I never got an x-ray.

I went back to trampoline 6 months later and I injured myself trying to do something that I didn't have the muscles for any more. It strikes me as more dangerous than I was willing to admit. It's exercise that really pushes your body and I'm not sure I am comfortable with it compared to things that are more within a body's limit.

For example rock climbing - you are limited by what your body let's you do. Only lift your own weight. And that's a lot closer to the safe limit than trampolines which interact with external contraption and do things like compress your spine and cause unnatural brain shaking.

Weakest link theory was a bit of a joke but I am sure there is some truth to it.

comment by RedMan · 2018-01-04T01:45:11.947Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That's great to hear, stay safe.

This sort of data was a contributor to my choice of sport for general well being:

There is truth to it:

Really grateful for the info, I never could put my finger on what exactly I was not liking about CM when I wasn't pushing myself, stuff is amazing for preventing exercise soreness though.