ideological commitments

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.


A dove-house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro’ all its regions.
A dog starv’d at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.



false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy in which something is falsely claimed to be an “either/or” situation, when in fact there is at least one additional option.


Nondualism primarily refers to a mature state of consciousness, in which the dichotomy of I-other is “transcended”, and awareness is described as “centerless” and “without dichotomies”.


win–win game is game theory which is designed in a way that all participants can profit from the game in one way or the other. In conflict resolution, a win–win strategy is a collaborative strategy and conflict resolution process that aims to accommodate all participants.

So there are these things like equilibria, where a thing works because one or more things are balanced or complementary in a way that’s likely self stabilizing or self-correcting.

And there’s this thing one could call adversariality, where benefit is sought in a way that could preclude benefit or cause damage to another party.

And there’s things like the anvil problem or burn rate where incorrect proximal choices preclude all future optionality and cause permanent failure along some dimension.

And then there is evil, corner-cutting, resigned destructiveness and unresponsiveness, the seeing as good and manifesting such that which is actually bad.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that, terrible choices, terrible tradeoffs. And we all have our bad karma, our not-yet-burned-off-if-ever destructive reactivity. And there can be and usually is tremendous competition overtly or just beneath the surface, often pretending to be something else.

And those who are resigned or those who are secretly competing will dismiss, downplay, minimize, obfuscate, and reappropriate language and messaging in a self-serving way.

And so, amidst all that, I’d like to make some claims.

  1. Engaging an effective self-transformative method, all things being equal, over time, will cause a person to be less subject to a myopic, desperate idiosyncratic selfishness, that is a trying to turn everything into something tailored just for them, that probably doesn’t even get them what they themselves want and is also not good for the people around them or everyone, and will potentially involve corner-cutting and destructiveness.
  2. And, all things being equal, modulo contingency and ignorance and lack of training, engaging in an effective self-transformative method will cause a person to be better at designing and (if called for) leading small- and large-scale human systems. That is, such a person will be better at tracking and account for what’s good for individuals, parts, organizational/cultural/societal wholes, externalities, and globalities, the entire planet. They’ll be better able to hold the whole thing in mind, its fractal unity of local-to-global-and-back-again feedback loops, truly in part because their mind is more flexible and unified and can account for they themselves as part of such a system.


Transformative practice has a lead time, a direct cost, and an opportunity cost. Who keeps the lights on and who keeps the local and global from falling apart while a bunch of people are off meditating and making a lot of mistakes while they’re doing it. Of course the world is turning right now, and lots of people are suffering, and lots of people are trying to and succeeding at improving things, stably or not, in ways that I personally probably can’t grasp or appreciate right now.

So there’s a bootstrap problem and a starting point problem and a fog-of-war problem, as it were. And an intimacy challenge and a meaning challenge and a resource challenge.

In any case, all things being equal, I’m going to throw in my lot with the people who are intending to, as skillfully and responsibly as they can, put in 1000-5000 hours of practice, in the midst of everything or in intensive retreat, while honoring or renegotiating as best they can all current or future responsibilities and commitments, those people they care about and who care about them, people who just can’t or won’t do the same thing right now, and all those financial and logistical details and lost opportunities/opportunity costs, for a better life for themselves and everyone, stably into the future, not losing sight of correctives in the neighborhood of the concept of emptiness

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