Sensocracy: Heaven or Hell on Earth? w/ Alexander Bard. November 12 @ 10:00 AM ET. RSVP here.
High Pitch: Conversations in a New Key w/ Bonnitta Roy, Nora Bateson, Ria Baeck, Miriam Mason Martineau, Schuyler Brown, and Ece Utkucan Anderson. November 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Shame Breakthrough Bootcamp w/ A.J. Bond. Every Thursday @ 6:00 PM ET. RSVP here. 60 mins.
How America Became The Land Of Conspiracy Theories w/ Nathan Allebach. November 12th @ 8:00 PM ET. RSVP here
Newly posted events:
Identifying Communication Gaps w/ Alexandra Tataryn. November 17th @ 12:00 AM ET. RSVP here.
Monastic Conversations w/ The Monastic Academy. November 25th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Escaping Narcissism: Experiencing Layers of Listening w/ Theodore Taptiklis. November 25th @ 8:30 PM ET. RSVP here.
November 11, 2020
I received an insightful email from somebody after that “Getting Senseful With the Steward” session. This person was at The Stoa from the start, but she took a break from it during the summer. I got her permission to share her email here ...
Here's what I think is fascinating about The Stoa: the experience of getting involved with it is almost like falling in love. I got hooked immediately and was super into it in a way I've never been into anything online before. Then, a few months in, I felt the same way I feel after a few months of being in love with someone: "Wait, you really don't ever wash your jeans?" "You said what on twitter?" Reconciling the flawed human being with your object of desire is tough. But it's a necessary part of the journey of mature love. And realizing that the person or thing you love can't fulfill all your needs and meet all your expectations is also a necessary part of this journey.
I have heard this from a few people as well: discovering The Stoa is like falling in love. She continued ...
I think this Stoa thing you're stewarding has a lot of strangely human-like characteristics, which make engaging with it feel a bit like falling in love. And of course that makes people (myself included!) double-down on their projections. It also aims a laser pointer at people's insecurities.
As someone who feels like she got into "right relationship" with The Stoa, I can say that I think most people will probably go through something akin to this path to understanding on their Stoa journey. And because you are the charming and lovable steward, they will likely look to you, at some point along the way, for answers they actually need to find within themselves.
Anyway, this is long but I wanted to share it with you. What you've created is such a gift. So many people will look back on covid insanity and wonder what they would have done without The Stoa. You have my unending support and eternal friendship, whenever you need it. And thank you for Daddy-birthing this interesting little shapeshifter into the world.
I really want to go back to talk about stealing the culture, and while the daemon is still around, my over-the-top thumos is not. I want it back, but this “too weird” feeling is still here. I sense I need to stay with it for a while, and continue to process it.
Again, I sense this feeling is coming from this sense of community that is forming, and the projections that I feel are emerging from it. I feel subtle energies pretty well, and this capacity probably leveled up during my recent spiritual upgrade.
The reason why I shared this email is because I sense this “projection phase” is happening for many people here. I know this is ridiculous, but a scene from the Jesus Christ Superstar film is coming to mind, which is one of my favorite films. It is the lepers scene, where Jesus was sensitively walking in the desert and then lepers pop out of nowhere. They expect him to heal them, but they end up overwhelming him.
I do not want to insult Jesus by comparing myself to him, and I do not want to insult the regulars at The Stoa by comparing their projections to lepers hanging out in the desert, but this scene is coming to my mind for a reason. I think the reason is this: beyond the propositional level, I am feeling into the energy of these projections, and it feels like an “ambiguous ask” is happening that says this: do something, tell me something, teach me something ...
Sure, I am this charming and lovable steward, but it is time for me to get into the right relationship with this projection stuff. If this place continues to grow, and if it maintains the “yeah, I am not going to tell you what I am” thing, then the projection phase is here to stay, and with more people the projections will only intensify.
I am getting a lot of people reaching out to me, to invite me to speak on podcasts, to collaborate on their projects, and to be guests at The Stoa. Some of these are cool, some of these are lame, and I do have the proclivity to get irritated and quietly seeth with a resting barbarian face when I feel stressed out. A desire to give a blanket “fuck off” does manifest. It is not wise to say fuck off though.
Somebody tweeted this the other day: So is Peter Limberg's The Stoa actually just the highest signal place on the internet?
Yes. It probably is, my obvious bias thinks. Even though our YouTube metrics are not super impressive by normie standards, the buzz is starting to form that this is where all the sexy cool senseful sensemakers are at.
When I was last chatting with Jordan Hall, he compared The Stoa to a popular music club, one where all these bands have their first break, and then go on to become big. The club owner essentially becomes a kingmaker. And no, Jordan was not talking about that King, even though we are exploring Christly communitas here.
Last month somebody forewarned me about “dark energies” that may emerge if people start feeling rejected by me, and these ambiguous asks that come during the projection phase may indeed turn into dark energies if not responded to with wisdom.
In fairness, it makes sense to project stuff on this place; when I was going crazy I was projecting a lot on it. I sense the reason why these projections occur is that you cannot easily pattern-match and collapse The Stoa into any Game A function, e.g. a podcast, a business, a cult, etc. All these nebulous Game B hopes can come online, and I imagine the thought emerges: this is the place I have been waiting for.
I sense the aspect of me being in the “wrong relationship” with these projections is this: I want to be liked and likable at all times. I worked too hard at this likability thing to just throw it away, and there is this irrational fear of not being liked, and a preemptive response bubbles up when I feel into the potential of people not liking me: fuck you, I do not like you first.
This is really not wise. I think I will use email as an example, as it is something concrete. I feel this pressure to respond to every email, and I trained myself to always “play a status” that inspires peerage. I have to recognize that in certain contexts, there are power differences, and it is foolish to ignore these, or create the illusion that they do not exist. If I want to have a full life, or to continue to listen to the daemon with full thumos, then I cannot answer every email.
I get these super long emails, of people asking me questions and sharing their thoughts, and I just stare at this wall of text in front of me, and my eyes start to glaze. I do not have the bandwidth or desire to even read some of these emails, but I feel bad, because for the most part I can tell these are good people, and they are writing encouraging things to me, and they put a lot of effort sharing their thoughts with me.
Maybe I am doing them a disservice by forcing myself to respond, which comes from a place that does not inspire a “heaven yeah,” and maybe I am also doing them a disservice by not allowing them to feel rejection. This will give them the opportunity to irrationally dislike me, which is an opportunity for them to do some shadow-work. Being disliked does not need to equate to me disliking the person back, even though it is natural for this defensive move to be invoked.
Maybe it is time for me to encourage others to dislike me, as an opportunity to practice my Christianity. The Jesus Prayer is helpful here, as it inspires a loving disposition towards God, and towards all of God’s creations. In a “Temporary Autonomous Stoa” event that happened outside the official sessions at The Stoa, somebody apparently asked the following question:
Is Peter a troll?
I did write about being a trickster before. Bonnitta also conveyed she thought I was adopting the “Coyote” archetype in a letter exchange we had, and more recently, somebody sent me this about escaping Game A:
Escaping that really bad trap - it's not the hero, or the compassionate person, or the psychopath. When the trap is really tricky, it's the crazy fucker who gets out alive. I want someone human to get out of this trap and I think Coyote Man might be the only one who can.
I sense it is uncharitable to reduce my role to the Coyote Man, as it seems like I am being a bunch of things: a liminal being, a spiritual bouncer, a sangha whisperer, and other things that give normies a WTF face when they ask the “so, what do you do” question.
I find my Coyote Man side does come up when I am around somebody who is taking themselves way too seriously, and I find “system 2” types often take themselves way too seriously. They usually project their intellectual architecting on me, and assume I must have this super sophisticated galaxy brain with all these complicated mental models.
Nah fam. I experience my own mind as pretty rhizomic, and while my mind is strong enough to hang with the system 2 galaxy brains, I am more of an intuitive beast, and I sense this is the wisest way for me to operate during this “duck–rabbit” that is the liminal war–culture dance.
There has been some chatter about me being a meta-troll, and I do like this term. A troll is somebody who hangs out on message boards to trigger people who take themselves way too seriously. The whole Pepe dank meme chan culture arose for this reason, to troll the social justice crowd that were emoting with super seriousness.
These chan trolls were unlovingly reactionary though, and us meta folk are not coming from an unlovingly reactionary space, but from a responsive space that can contain a loving choice. If this is the case, what is the role of the meta-troll?
I imagine it is to engage in bespoke “minimum viable triggering,” to all the memetic tribes. You want to trigger them just enough to annoy them in the right way. They’ll dislike the meta-troll at first, but if the triggering is done out of love, then they’ll come around, or they’ll go away. I sense this is the best way for me to deal with the projection phase henceforth.
The Stoa is a place where you get into the right relationship with unknowingness. This was the case all along, as I wrote on the main website:
Philosophy, dormant during times of relative certainty and ease, often comes to life just when it’s most needed. Once we admit, as Socrates urged, that we do not know what we thought we knew, this newfound knowledge of our own ignorance can help us begin to open ourselves up to what we can know together—and to how we can act in unison, based on that shared knowledge.
Maybe Socrates was the OG meta-troll, and maybe I play the meta-troll game when system 2 types, with their unexamined fears, overcompensate with all their impressive intellectual architecting, and unknowingly smuggle in the same Game A traps that they are trying to escape from.
Not on my watch fam. I agree with that person who emailed me: in order to escape the trap, you need a crazy fucker. You need a Coyote Man.
There are many good people at The Stoa, and there is so much potential here. I will be unable to help manifest this potential if I fail to get into the right relationship with this too weird thing I am feeling. I aim to develop personal heuristics, in service of maintaining my sovereignty, while cultivating a loving distance.
I will also lean into my meta-trollish ways, in order to trigger you towards the right relationship with reality.