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Hey beautiful people,
Daniel and I are wrapping up the application process for Beyond-Self Discipline (BSD) which starts on April 1st. If you like to apply, please do so here. Sending us a three-minute video explaining why you are interested in BSD will also help us. Practical details for the experience can be found here and a core component of the experience can be read about in today’s entry. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask by replying to this email. We are offering scholarships and a full money back guarantee.
Collective Journaling. Daily @ 8:00 AM ET. Patreon event. 90 mins.
Swarms, Egregores, and Autocults w/ John Robb, BJ Campbell, Patrick Ryan, and Jordan Hall. March 23rd @ 2:00 PM ET. Patreon event. 90 mins.
Stoic Breath: Breathing Through the Fear w/ Steve Beattie. March 23rd @ 6:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Newly posted events:
Deep Fitness: Mindful Strength Training to Failure (MSTF) w/ Philip Shepherd and Andrei Yakovenko. April 11th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Security Mindset w/ Jeffrey Ladish. April 11th @ 6:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
It’s a “BANI” World: Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, Incomprehensible w/ Jamais Cascio. April 20th @ 6:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Suffering Risks w/ Tobias Baumann. April 25th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
March 22nd, 2022
Let's Fucking Goooooooooooooooooooooo.
Yeah, totally. I like feeling into the energy of memes, and I was feeling into the energy of the “let’s fucking go” meme after my cold shower this morning. It is totally matching my own energy right now. The thumos is really strong for me, and yesterday was good for me. A lovely day with my lovely wife. I probably should have more device-free days. Some good news arrived as well, which felt significant in a spiritual way to receive, especially on The Stoa’s birthday.
Year three is now here, and there is no fucking around anymore. That go, go, go energy is here, and when it’s here I know what to do: trust, not in my “self,” whatever that means, but in the daemon, the thumos, and the direction they are pointing this bodymind typing these words toward. I wrote about The Stoa’s current attractors in my last entry, and they all feel really good. The one I want to focus on today is “ecology of practices,” and the Beyond Self-Discipline (BSD) experience Daniel and I are officially launching in two weeks. From the previous entry:
This is what BSD is going to be all about. We are going to be selective in picking 12 people, and week one is about co-designing our individual ecology of practices, one oriented towards each one of us becoming whole. Week two is going to be about being supported in living it out. We are going to call week two “heaven week,” playfully riffing off a Navy SEAL’s “hell week.”
Heaven week. I like this phrase, because I like heaven. We originally dubbed this the “perfect week,” but something felt right about sprinkling some holiness here, because the week will be oriented towards wholeness. The Navy SEAL’s “hell week” - a week that has an 80% attrition rate - is meant to break the student down: five and a half days with only four hours of sleep, with intensely grueling exercises. It is meant to give a reference point to those who pass. While we are not going for such intensity, we are aiming for a reference point.
In week one of BSD - the week before heaven week begins - the 12 participants will be co-designing their individual heaven weeks, and week two will be the 12 of us keeping each other accountable to our heaven weeks. We are in the middle of advisory interviews right now - speaking with John Vervaeke, Daniel Thorson, and Bonnitta Roy - helping us finalize how week one will be designed. It will have hackathon (or “psychotechathon”) components, deploying techniques like the “Hamming Question,” but towards one’s ecology. From our friends at LessWrong:
Mathematician Richard Hamming used to ask scientists in other fields "What are the most important problems in your field?" partly so he could troll them by asking "Why aren't you working on them?" and partly because getting asked this question is really useful for focusing people's attention on what matters.
We are going to deploy this technique towards our ecology design, along with dialogos sessions and other methods. The idea will be to stress-test our designs so we do not overshoot, making our practices both achievable and psychologically sustainable and regenerative. We are not here to push people into a shame spiral or existential crisis. We learned from our prototyping of BSD (BSDv0) that it is a good idea not to go with the first draft of our ecologies, so we’ll be taking our time throughout the week, writing multiple drafts before living them out.
Like for BSDv0, Daniel and I will be full participants in the experience, so I might as well utilize my sacred journaling time to sense into my heaven week now. Without too much thinking, here is the first daemonic draft...
Wake @ 5 AM.
OMAD. Monday-Friday (cheat day on Saturday).
No devices on Saturday.
Water fasting on Sunday.
Restriction on email and Twitter checking.
This might seem awesome at first glance, but to paraphrase Ken Wilber: I might be too “spiritually greedy” here. Waking up at 5 AM, with an ambitious morning stack, strikes me as something I should be wary of given everything else I have going on. The timeblocked study and the restrictions will have to be clearer as well. No nebulous practices or negations are allowed. The week does need to be ambitious though, so I’ll have to sense into this more.
BSD is the chance to really do all the practices you feel compelled to do, in a way where they are coherent with one another, and with your philosophy of life. Week one is designed to tease this out. In week two, mastermind accountability tech will be deployed to live this out. Two things we learned from BSDv0: screening for the right people who are prepared to go, go, go is going to be critical, as well as making it perfectly clear to them what they are signing up for.
We are still in deep experimental territory with BSD, hence why we are offering scholarships, and doing the full money back guarantee thing. We want to take the time needed to get this right, and this could be the thumos writing right now, but I sense we will get this right.
Support The Stoa @ patreon.com/the_stoa
Apply to Beyond Self-Discipline @ maven.com/thewisdomgym/beyond-self-discipline