What if you just arrived on Earth today?

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I used to perform a thought experiment as a way of identifying and working through hang-ups. I'd like to share it.


What I imagine is that I have just descended from 'above' somewhere, into this Earth character. I assume his name and form and I have at my disposal whatever resources this being has at his disposal. I also, for convenience's sake, know names of the various characters he's likely to encounter and deal with, but otherwise, I'm totally unconnected to any emotional experiences or conditioning he has ever had. So, what do I do? How do I feel now? What do I want to experience?


Well, I have results like this: First, I become acutely aware of the present moment, not in a spiritual way, but as an acute intimacy with my immediate environment: I marvel for a while at the contour, color, and spatial properties of the world I'm inhabiting. I see how interesting it is to have an experience, whatever it may be or look like. I "download" the rules of the environment, like how to use money and where things are, but for the most part I'm just interested in walking around and experiencing things. What is water, what is this feeling I'm having, etc etc.


The habit-based consciousness inevitably influences things. As the two modes of perception - the habitual one and the experimental one - flicker in conflict, I get a feeling for the main sources of conditioning - desires and aversions - that unnecessarily guide my way in life. A stupid example. I'll notice that hunger, the kind I ordinarily feel about 6 or 7 times a day, is a sort of emotional phenomena and that food is far less interesting to me in the experimental state than in the ordinary one. In fact, I have no idea what hunger is and don't care in the experimental state. I don't associate the feelings in my stomach with food at all, and they're just background noise to my otherwise fascinating adventure.


Emotionally it's impossible to feel dissatisfied or unhappy in the experimental state because I don't have any experiences or presumptions yet about myself or the world. I have no desire for comfort, because I don't know what discomfort is. I'm feeling very open, curious, and intrigued by the world. Grass fascinates me. Grass of all things! I never pay any fucking attention to grass in my normal consciousness. Water intrigues me, especially running water, out of a tap or down a stream, or whatever. It's like being a child, or like being on drugs or something.


Or sometimes I think, "What is sleep? Why sleep?" and I find myself doing things I haven't done since I was a teenager - staying up all night, feeling altered states of consciousness, getting to know the world and my humanness anew without any preconceptions of responsibility. I once didn't show up to work when feeling this way and went to this breakfast place instead. I had faith that things would work out for them (I worked for a large corporation I didn't give a damn about). On my drive home I noticed this sign I'd never seen before, saying "collision repair" and thought "what's that," and then some dude synchronistically rams his car into mine, doing just enough damage to merit an insurance claim, but not enough to repair. Instead of getting paid $60 at work, I got paid $800 to eat breakfast and get rear-ended.


I digress...


In time, as I can only maintain a truly fresh perspective for a short while, key questions start moving through my mind. "Soul questions" that I can't shake even in experiment mode, like: what the fuck is this stuff? Who the hell am I? Am I stuck in this body?? And universal characteristics of ignorance like "I don't want this to ever end!" "I really like that, but I hate this!" Lots of universal-type conditioning slowly creeps in. I get perspective on how I came to be conditioned, and can use the fresh awareness as a contrast from which to base new kinds of decisions.


I got pretty used to living in this state for a while a couple years back when a friend invited me to go on a meditation retreat. I didn't see the point, but I thought what the hell, and dropped a thousand bucks to go on a 45 day retreat. The whole scene, Buddhist and all, was really funny to me. A bunch of people were sitting in a room for 8 - 10 hours a day pretending to be trapped in personal identities and sitting on their arses all day trying to get enlightened. Truly hilarious! Ironically, it was ultimately that meditation retreat where I totally forget about the experiment, and decided to start meditating, whatever that means. Vice versa actually - I meditated and then forgot about the experiment. And while I felt the calm and acute power of serenity for several weeks after leaving meditation, I had this powerful sense that I had lost something of great significance. I couldn't figure out how to get myself into the experiment again and couldn't really generate the state of fresh consciousness I was acclimating myself to living in. Benefits and disadvantages.


The more I experimented with this state, back in the day, the more interesting my experiences became. I started synthesizing this altered state with my Advaita inquiries and exercises, and I found it to potentiate and accelerate results. A lot of my behaviors changed drastically. I started sleeping outdoors every night, I walked alertly and alively, I felt like a visitor to this planet, rather than a permanent occupant, and my energy and joy levels beamed around me. I still have pictures from those days that people took of me and there's this radiant and rather mysterious quality I see in myself when I look at them, which obviously makes me really happy. I became more sensitive to my own body and to the bodies of others. For a while I could feel my brain, the weight of the damn thing, sitting in my skull as I moved about - now that was genuinely fascinating. Perceiving your own brain in any capacity is fucking cool as shit.


Anyway. The most practical application I know of is to use this state to identify key conditioning and triggers that dull your sense of presence in the world. Why this habit? Why that response? What's the use in being this way? It turns out a lot of what has accumulated is not valuable in living a good life. Attachments look silly, many habits exist in a self-justification loop - I have to sleep at so and so time to do such and such thing in the morning. It really is a good bit of fun.

Edited by Yasjua
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Like yourself I find "What If ...?" questions endlessly intriguing. My immediate thought was that, like train spotters and collectors of miscellaneous objects everywhere in the world, we should unite and help each other out whenever possible. So, in that spirit, here's an extensive list of some of the "What if .. ?" questions that have long puzzled me -- just in case you either exhaust your own stock, or manage to solve all the ones currently occupying your mind :




Why doesn't McDonald's sell hotdogs ?


Are eyebrows considered facial hair ?


At a movie theatre which arm rest is yours ?


Do vegetarians eat animal crackers ?


If man evolved from monkeys, how come we still have monkeys ?


How do you handcuff a one-armed man ?


When does it stop being partly cloudy and start being partly sunny ?


Is there a time limit on fortune cookie predictions ?


Why is it that everyone driving faster than you is considered an idiot and everyone driving slower than you is a moron ?


Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawn shop ?


If a bald person works as a chef at a restaurant, do they still have to wear a hairnet ?


How can one person be dirt poor, and another be filthy rich ?


How fast do hotcakes sell ?


Do prison buses have emergency exits ?


When two gay men get married to each other, do they both go to the same bachelor party ?


If a guy that was about to die in the electric chair had a heart attack, should they save him ?


Can a cemetery raise its prices and blame it on the cost of living ?


Can atheists get insurance for an act of God?


If Mars had earthquakes would they be called Marsquakes?


Why is the man who invests your money called a "broker"?


If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME stuff, why didn't he just buy dinner ?


Do Chinese people get English sayings tattooed on their bodies ?


Why isn't there mouse-flavoured cat food ?


Is it possible to plan a surprise birthday party for a psychic ?



How come lemon washing up liquid contains real lemons, but lemon juice contains artificial flavourings ?


Do you first wake up, or do you open your eyes first ?


If you ate pasta and antipasti, would you still be hungry ?


If there's a speed of sound and a speed of light, is there a speed of smell ?


Do the security guards at airports have to go through airport security when they get to work?


What do Greeks say when they don't understand something ?


If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing ?


Do bald people still get dandruff ?


Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard ?


Can you cry under water ?


Why do they call it "raw sewage"? Is there any other kind ?


What do people in China call their good plates ?


Do Roman paramedics refer to 'IV's as '4's ?


Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune ?


Why does a priceless object cost more than a pricey one ?


If you put a chameleon in a room full of mirrors, what colour would it turn ?


If a vacuum cleaner really sucks, is that good or bad ?


Can an ambidextrous person make an offhand remark ?


How old must you be before it can be said that you died of old age?


Why is it so hard to remember how to spell 'mnemonic'?


Could someone ever get addicted to counselling ? If so, how could you treat them ?


Do butterflies remember life as a caterpillar ?


Why do 'fat chance' and 'slim chance' mean the same thing ?


Why aren't lawyers sworn in during trials ?


Why do we say we're ‘head over heels’ when we're happy ? Isn't that just the normal way of being ?


If there's an exception to every rule, is there an exception to that rule?


How does the guy who drives the snowplough get to work in the mornings?


How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?


What is another word for "thesaurus" ?


Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car not called a racist ?


Why is the word "abbreviation" so long ?


Now that Microsoft is so big, should it be called Macrosoft?


Why is it that bullets ricochet off of Superman's chest, but he ducks when the gun is thrown at him ?


Why is a women's prison called a penal colony ?


If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented ?


If nothing ever sticks to TEFLON, how do they make TEFLON stick to the pan ?





Edited by ThisLife

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I'm all for stopping the toxicity, but puhleeeeeeze can the rest of the world finally see those half baked GCM models for what they really are - a child's backyard sandbox fantasy that omits far too much of reality to be representative of it.


There's not a damn thing wrong with carbon dioxide, if tax monies werent on the table you can bet your rear the government wouldnt care not a whit. I'm all for cleaning up actual pollutants, but the monied interests are unable to prove causation where it simply does not exist.


The entire usefulness of a model is its predictive capability. If it has no predictive capability, it is garbage, plain and simple.




on topic, if I landed here knowing what I know...wait, I would not have even come here knowing what I know.

Edited by joeblast
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