Feb 9, 2021Liked by Shane Trotter

This a great post! Well thought out and articulated. Buddha also spoke of the need to desire change in order to reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment. He must have understood the paradox of needing desire to end desire. Educate, meditate and move...love it!

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Thank you, Ryan! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment! And, great point. It seems like truths always seem to lie in the paradox.

As I understand it, a lot of Buddhism suffers (pun intended) from imperfect translation. For example, what has been translated as suffering (as in "life is suffering") is a far more complex word - Dukkha. This is a good explanation that I found interesting. https://www.learnreligions.com/life-is-suffering-what-does-that-mean-450094#:~:text=For%20example%2C%20people%20want%20to,is%20that%20life%20is%20dukkha.

Dan Harris does a good job explaining this at the end of 10% Happier, as well.

Thanks, again!

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Feb 10, 2021Liked by Shane Trotter

Thanks Shane! Really good point about translation, I will definitely check out the link. The word "suffering" can be interpreted in a somewhat linear fashion in our language, whereas "Dukkha" in one of it's many iterations is more of a disdain of what is, or wishing for something that is not in the present.

Anyway, super interesting topic that I could discourse for hours on. Love your guys articles, keep up the great work!

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Hey Shane.

Great article, i loved how you finished with "there is no formula for happiness" and the title is just a contrary grab. I also found perfectly located your "feeding the right wolf" mention, connecting IHD concepts stimulates memory and connections, and of curse the Epictetus quote is really illustrative. If in ancient Greece they already highlighted that someone will influence you and place their thoughts on you, i can not imagine how much increased is it nowadays, Giovanni Sartori (i guess you probably heard about him) in 90's stressed out the "Homo Videns" and a remote-controlled society, social media just exponentially increased it.

That brings here a reflection that has been in my mind for a while, and that i would like to express here and look for your opinions. I hope to make myself clear.

During this crazy and maybe kind of unexpected year i think we have realized of the maximum expression of the current emotional-psychological-personal development status of most society, and how easily manipulable we are.

I consider, or at least i made a connection between how people have worked on themselves (personal development, curiosity, IHD stuff ;D) and how easily they believed something, especially when it is said by some "authority". I reckon that when you have been through a path of self-discovery and development as just Shane said with his anxiety you realize that not everything is in your control (and you have to focus on what actually is), try to "manage emotions" (rider-elephant-path), acquire a skeptical lenses when listen absolutes and a magnanimous solutions, or seek virtue, purpose and logos.

I understand that these trends have deeper reasons, moral relativism, deconstructionist theories, and how these speeches at the end are useless for meaning and at the end people like Jordan Peterson are getting relevant.

My point is that I in someway see a relation between people who has "worked on themselves" and how they approach reality, institutions, authority, authoritarian measures, seeking for truth; and those who didn't, that are always in TV, social media and are naive and deluded about how world/reality/politics/lobbies work for example. You see people believing that all measures that a government takes are for people's good (lock-downs, mandatory pills and vaccines, asymptomatic transmission, evolution and herd immunity refuse,...). I mean, these "mass-man" by Ortega-Gasset, Goebbels "stupid crowd" or Alinski "useful idiots", are as they are due to a lack of self development, and in order to enhance life and community (ie political levels) we must start in this emotional psychological level; because a person wihtout solid personal pillars will collapse or even ignore information that seeks to promote a deeper understanding of politics, medicine, health, power-relationships, ...

So, when we face someone who is fully inmersed in fear due to a virus (just to extrapolate in this current situation), that believes that all measures are for our good, that condemn you for not wearing mas everywhere,... i think that we should go deeper into that person, accepting is internal fears/crisis/contradictions/traumas and how his personal development status is, and try to improve/direct our attention to this, her/his internal struggles that at the end influence/are manifested on how he relates and behaves to "external reality".

I hope you got my point, and i would love to know what are your perspectives on that, Justin and Shane, and how could we help. Cheers from Spain.

*I recently finished reading Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, a book from R. Heuer, where he focuses on explainning mental processes and its "errors" and how to improve our thinking and analytical capabilities. I guess you would like it.


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Bruno - Great to hear from you as usual!

You touch on a lot of great thoughts that seem to be well supported. I've heard many people talk about society today as having a maturity crisis. Having not faced significant rites of passage and having not mastered a sufficient level of political theory, logic, and world history, people are rushing to some narrow, immature conclusions. But even more challenging is that for most people to unravel these patterns without falling into another extreme, they will have to build the confidence to be okay not following the herd assumptions - to not need any set of dogmas or basic platform who they can point to as having all the answers. That is a long process for most, which, I agree, starts with personal development.

I'd agree that the only real route to changing a mind stem through personal maturity. My article was largely inspired by Jonathan Haidt's Happiness Hypothesis, but the best book I've found for explaining why people come to beliefs and how minds are changed is his follow-up to this - The Righteous Mind.

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I'll check out the book! I hope all is well over in Spain!

Best wishes!


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Hey thanks for your answer. I love the way you described it as a maturity criris, an awesome condensation. I guess that at the end everyone feels that necessity of purpose and growth, so personal development as broad as it is, is gonna be needed, and i guess that having people to spread a "coherent"/"well" personal development vision and to give just sources to look for it is gonna be crucial. I mean , like a having a network of facilitators to recommend IHD and authors that you mention. These responses have to come from civic society, i guess that if we have to wait Dad State, we'll hardly ever find something meaningful.

Here in my region we are creating associations, coordinating efforts, and i start to drop personal development seeds.

Really, this pandemic year has been a complete thriving under chaos, i embraced it, and coming back to my hometown helped me. I expend most of my time studying and structuring it, so changes in my paradigm appeared as information income was expanded.

Did you read J.Peterson's Map of Meaning? What do you thing about it? Is similar to Haidt's?

I hope you are doing well too.

Un abrazo.

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Bruno, I'm glad to hear that you've come through this past year better and that you are finding local outlets to meet the need for personal development and connection. I really see this as the ideal. I'm less familiar with Spain since the fall of the Armada, but when you look at the reasons America thrived it is because it had such a strong history of local self-government and community involvement. The death of the community has been hell on people's mental health and the quality of society. I'm actually writing a post on this right now and I wrote https://inspiredhumandevelopment.com/blog/rite-of-passage-fractured-social-fabric in the fall based on the same notion. A related quote I've had on my mind: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” - Ben Franklin

Thanks so much for your thought provoking comments. I always love getting to connect with you. And no I have not read Maps of Meaning. I've heard Peterson say he worked on it for over a decade. From what I understand it is much denser than 12 rules and his lectures cover much of the material. While I love Peterson and think he is brilliant I find him to exacerbate a side of myself that doesn't need exacerbating. Haidt's definitely on my Mt. Rushmore of top influences.



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Mar 1, 2021Liked by Shane Trotter

Thank you for your reflections Shane. I do really appreciate it. Now i have various books i gotta read, but i add Haidt's one as an upcoming priority.

If is not uncomfortable for you, which is your side that J.Peterson exacerbates? I am just curious.

Ben Franklin quote is more current than ever. Nowadays we see technocracy as these masters and all "scientific" is the only "truth". The first part is also relevant when you think about freedom, because freedom is only understandable when you accept and normalize your opposite. Freedom requires relationships, nobody can demand freedom in a desert island, you only can exercise your freedom against somebody. However moral relativism and those similar trends that we see nowadays only focus on that freedom of expression is saying whatever you want, but they forget the second part of normally accepting your opposite position. Sentimentalism separates us from freedom and personal development is crucial to really empower citizens, because "only a virtuous people are capable of freedom".

Thank your, we need to expand personal development, we need to make it the new "virtue signaling".



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Haha, yes! It is funny to talk about virtue and how it is necessary because definitions of virtue vary drastically. Something I've been thinking a lot about (perhaps where I'll take an article I've been working on). Great thoughts, as usual.

In regards to Jordan Peterson, I find him to be brilliant but sometimes a little overly harsh and angry - not in beliefs, but in delivery. It would not be a big deal if it weren't for my own demons. I find with myself that I can get frustrated with where people are, why they don't value personal development, why they are apathetic about screen time, health etc., why they don't care to learn or think about the future, etc. OR, I can understand them and try to find the causes. When I lean towards empathy and making a positive impact, I find that I'm far more effective and that I see things clearer.

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