I’m an alchemist, translator, and designer. I produce and teach the production of alkahest. I’m interested in the control of meaning-making on a micro- (individual, communal) and macroscopic (societal, global) scale.
Three sufficient correct philosophers (epistemologists), ordered from practical to grand, are Mipham, Deleuze, Taleb. The ancient canons are also valuable and antifragile. Beyond these, all good knowledge may come from formal or empirical research.
I previously studied cognitive science and speculative design at a university in California, with forays into medical anthropology. Now I am at a crypto startup.
My language draws from Tibetan Buddhism (Rimé), from esoteric Daoism, from occultism based on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, from my other influences given below, and otherwise from mainstream intellectual discourse (of both the high academic seminar and Twitter varieties).
A Vision in Stages
In the far term, my project is informed by the convergence of several lines of thought I’ve seen emerging recently—toward the transformation of sense-making from top-down to bottom-up organization, on many scales.
In other words, I am working toward the enlightenment of all sentient beings. I am heralding the sad-dharma-vipralopa (age after the end of law). I am preparing for Christ’s second coming.
In the mid term, I am doing my part amid the meaning-making crisis by accelerating people toward self-actualization a la Maslow (which usually requires ego death), and then toward the development of learning organizations a la Senge (which I believe is the optimal near- and mid-term praxis).
I am trying to build and immerse myself within a peer-to-peer, bottom-up network of like-spirited thinkers and doers to exchange ideas, products, services and value with. Such a network should be antifragile against disturbances in the larger system, including the collapse of governments and national economies.
In the near term, what I do well is therapy (including philosophy, magic, mysticism), in the sense of helping people destroy obscurations (trauma), achieve self-actualization, and get started on manifesting one’s Will in the world (and the immersion into and development of learning organizations).
I also write and produce content (including courses) to publicize eclectic esoterica (literally in the sense of being “secret”). This includes both ancient (esp. Chinese) and more recent difficult-to-access texts and knowledge, such as important but hard-to-understand or easy-to-misinterpret academia.
Sometime, I may extend this into an annotated bibliography and a pretty diagram. I have drawn a flowchart before, but did not know what the arrows mean, and have since been told that the arrows are the most interesting part. Therefore I will not post the flowchart here; for the highly inclined seeker, it’s somewhere on my Twitter.
I did first grade in China, then the rest of primary and secondary school in Georgia (the U.S. state). My parents were thoroughly converted to Baptists, and this culture was a major influence. The Bible (including apocrypha) remains a major influence outside this culture. My favorite book of the Bible was and is Ecclesiastes.
Early on, I heavily read secular classics without deeply understanding them. Names I still remember are Darwin, Dante, Dirac, Einstein, Kuhn, Machiavelli, Milton, Murakami, Verne, Sade. I also read occult texts, initially Crowley and LaVey, then branching into Hermeticism, the HOGD, Italian alchemy, the OTRC…, again without deeply understanding.
The first “academic” author who really resonated with me was Eliezer Yudkowsky, which then led me to Douglas Hofstadter, which then led me to the esoteric intellectual circles around e.g. Gardner, Smullyan, with a distinct aesthetic a la Lewis Carroll, combining STEM and whimsy. Some of you will know. Carroll remains my favorite author, Alice in Wonderland my favorite book, to today.
This world was also adjacent to David Chapman, through whom I found Aro gTér, and Ju Mipham. These helped further my understanding of esoteric spirituality, and also facilitated my navigation of experiences with a Daoist underground network in China. Particularly influential texts are the Dao De Jing, Qing Jing Jing, and Yi Jing, though direct personal experiences overshadow all these.
Through the Daoist underground in China, I was also introduced to organizational and supply chain management, to deep-state politics, to futurism, to the Internet of Things, to P2P technologies and ideas of bottom-up vs. top-down meaning-making, and to consequences thereof for social praxis. These helped facilitate my navigation of the culture I was introduced to after attending Justin Murphy’s Based Mansion event, featuring Mencius Moldbug.
Other influences have included constructive-developmental psychology (beside Piaget, especially Ernst von Glasersfeld, Robert Kegan, William Perry); clinical psychology (DSM-III, Reich); metamathematics, non-classical logic, and analytic philosophy (Gödel, Kripke, Mipham, Priest, Quine); phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty); semiotics (Derrida, Eco, Peirce); sociocultural anthropology (Thomas Csordas, Jerome Frank, Geertz, Lévi-Strauss). Of course, not exhaustive.
My favorite artists include Lewis Carroll, Kurt Gödel, Nisio Isin, Oneohtrix Point Never, Alfred Schnittke, Vladislav Surkov
Goals for Growth
In the short term, I want to better understand dynamical systems. I also want to improve at management, in a practical way. I am actively working towards being self-employed, but am available for freelance hire (contact me).
I also am trying to improve at embodied practice. Art and creation (interaction design, music, programming, writing…), physical exercise (kenjutsu, lifting), and meditation (dhyāna)—basically “zen, ken, sho” but not really within the Zen tradition at all.
In the long term, I want to further improve my understanding of pure maths and the natural sciences, as well as history. I want to read the Upanishads. I expect “management” will also be a lifelong pursuit. Freud and Jung are also on the list; maybe some other historically influential philosophers too.
My magical aspiration is oblitero omnis obscurantis. I am focusing on 利, or the ו of Tetragrammaton.