Scott Adams, God’s Debris – The Five Levels of Human Awareness

«“People exist at different levels of awareness. An Avatar is one who lives at the fifth level.”

“Is awareness like intelligence?” I asked.

“No. Intelligence is a measure of how well you function within your level of awareness. Your intelligence will stay about the same over your life. Awareness is entirely different from intelligence; awareness involves recognizing your delusions for what they are. Most people’s awareness will advance one or two levels in their lifetime.”

“What does it mean to recognize your delusions?”

“When you were a child, did your parents tell you that Santa Claus brought presents on Christmas Day?”

“Yeah,” I said, “I believed in Santa until kindergarten, when the other kids started talking. Then I realized Santa couldn’t get to all those homes in one night.”

“Your intelligence did not change at the moment you realized that Santa Claus was a harmless fantasy. Your math and verbal skills stayed the same, but your awareness increased. You were suddenly aware that stories from credible sources—in this case your parents—could be completely made up. And from the moment of that realization, you could never see the world the same way because your awareness of reality changed.”

“I guess it did.”

“And in school, did you learn that the Native Americans and the Pilgrims got together to celebrate what became Thanksgiving in the United States?”

“Yeah.”

“You figured it must be true because it was written in a book and because your teachers said it happened. You were in school for the specific purpose of learning truth; it was reasonable to believe you were getting it. But scholars now tell us that a first Thanksgiving with Pilgrims and Native Americans never happened. Like Santa Claus, much of what we regard as history is simply made up.”

“In your examples, there’s always learning. That seems like intelligence to me, not awareness.”

Awareness is about unlearning. It is the recognition that you don’t know as much as you thought you knew.”

He described what he called the five levels of awareness Continue reading

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Humans Don’t Use Reason for Big Decisions

“My experience with hypnosis completely changed the way I view people and how I interpret the choices they make. I no longer see reason as the driver of behavior. I see simple cause and effect, similar to the way machines operate. If you believe people use reason for the important decisions in life, you will go through life feeling confused and frustrated that others seem to have bad reasoning skills. The reality is that reason is just one of the drivers of our decisions, and often the smallest one.

[…] You’re wasting your time if you try to make someone see reason when reason is not influencing the decision. If you’ve ever had a frustrating political debate Continue reading

Reality Is Overrated; Choose an Illusion That Works

“[Y]ou shouldn’t hesitate to modify your perceptions to whatever makes you happy, because you’re probably wrong about the underlying nature of reality anyway. If I had to bet my life, I’d say humans are more like my dog trying to use psychic powers on me to play fetch than we are like enlightened creatures that understand their environment at a deep level. Every generation before us believed, like [my dog], that it had things figured out. We now know that every generation before us was wrong about a lot of it. Is it likely that you were born at the tipping point of history, in which humans know enough about reality to say we understand it? Continue reading

Scott Adams: I Don’t Read the News to Find Truth

“My one caution about reading the news every day is that it can be a huge downer if you pick the wrong topics. Personally, I try to avoid stories involving tragic events and concentrate on the more hopeful topics in science, technology, and business. I don’t ignore bad news, but I don’t dwell on it. The more time you spend exposing yourself to bad news, the more it will weigh on you and sap your energy. I prefer stories about breakthroughs in green technology, even knowing that 99 percent of those stories are pure bullshit. Continue reading