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Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and Stoic. This book analyzes his philosophy, starting with the origins of Stoicism, and its core tenets, and ending with their practical application. A Stoic places virtue above all else, including and especially external pleasures, vices, and indulgences. A Stoic is not cold-hearted, but rather dismisses their hot-blooded emotions in favor of a more rational approach. A Stoic strives to live in accordance with Nature, accepting their own imperfect nature while aiming to cultivate wisdom and virtue. A Stoic uses their money to commit more virtuous acts, and shirks hedonism. This book shows you the world through the eyes of a Stoic Emperor.
“Wickedness can be had in abundance easily: smooth is the road and very nigh she dwells. But in front of virtue the gods immortal have put sweat: long and steep is the path to her and rough at first; but when you reach the top, then at length the road is easy, hard though it was.”
DMT is one of the most potent psychedelics known to man, yet it already exists within our bodies! Strassman was one of the few researchers brave enough to take on the FDA and Ethics Board, and performed a study on the effects of DMT. His volunteers had all had previous psychedelic experiences and were of sound mind and body. Yet the experiences they had shook them to their core. They reported their minds being transported into strange alien lands that seemed just as real as our reality. They described fractal geometric mantises who communicated with them via telepathy. And many participants came out of the experiment with deeply personal psychological issues resolved. This is a journey from chemistry to small-minded bureaucrats, from aliens to strange theories about dark matter. Enter DMT, the Spirit Molecule.
Most people are usually good at psychologically defending themselves from the predators of the world. However, some of the more vicious humans have adopted some truly diabolical techniques for bending your mind to their will. This book describes five main dark psychology techniques in detail. It describes how brainwashers and cult leaders first utterly destroy their victim’s sense of identity before rebuilding it as they see fit. It describes how hypnosis can place victims in receptive states of mind, in which the agent takes advantage of them by implanting strange metaphors that speak directly to the subconscious. It describes how manipulators can directly usurp your mind, and how mass persuaders (including corporations) always give their victims a choice to engender trust. It discusses specific ways people deceive, sometimes for selfless reasons but usually for personal gain. Yet to understand these techniques in depth is to also understand how to guard yourself against them. May this knowledge bring you peace of mind, free from undue external influence.
“Showing subjects the reasons they should change their thoughts is essential in order to persuade them to think or act in a certain way.”
Life is full of decisions. Where should you go on vacation, and how should you order your stops? How long should you look for an apartment before deciding? Thankfully, computer science can illuminate and rationalize decisions for us. Whether you’re on a time crunch or simply stuck, you can apply algorithms to your life for optimal decision-making.
“Up against such hard cases, effective algorithms make assumptions, show a bias toward simpler solutions, trade off the costs of error against the costs of delay, and take chances.”
Originally from Jewish apocalyptic sources, the description of the cosmic struggle between good and evil far predates the stories of Jesus of Nazareth. This conception of evil personified brought about a split between several groups, with the “sons of light” and the “sons of darkness” fighting against each other. The conflict between Jesus and the mysterious being named Satan actually represents the conflict between Jesus and those who denied his teachings or pushed for his crucifixion. Additional conflicts existed between the Romans who converted to Christianity, the Pagans, and the dissident Christians. This book denies the literal personification of an incarnated Satan being, and argues instead for a Satan that was a manifestation of the struggles of the early Christians.
“The figure of Satan as it emerged over the centuries in Jewish tradition, is not a hostile power assailing Israel from without, but the source and representation of conflict within the community.”
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