The limits of intellectual pursuit, a life update, and/or non-conceptual awareness
You’re articulating so much of what I’m feeling. And I love this concept of non-conceptual awareness- it sort of legitimizes that meme phrase “no thoughts, just vibes,” something that *no one* who spends the majority of their time online can actually cultivate. I’ve been considering leaving Substack to work exclusively on a book just knowing my brain is getting so fried from the noise. But FWIW, yours is a newsletter i jump to read. 🏼
Been reading you here and there over the last year or so, love your voice and the space you work in. Non conceptual awareness makes words feel heavy and slow and insufficiently nuanced to be of any use. I have not read anyone talking about that recently, but I instantly resonated.
Ken Wilbur’s book ‘Up From Eden’ grabbed me a number of years back, and every 2 or 3 years I feel the need to read it again, to refresh what I learned, (kind of like psychedelic experiences where you see how it all fits together, but cannot articulate it when you come down, but you KNOW you saw it).
I think it is natural to withdraw as you proceed. Sure you help people along the way, but as you home in ( like a pigeon, I like that better than sharpening a blade), on the essentials and highest use of your time you may have less time ( or taste) for conversations you once relished. Melancholy like leaving old friends, but we’re all headed to the same place.
While we’re both here, I enjoy your words.
Wow, I’ve been feeling the same way. ‘Dejected’ is the correct word -- most emails I get now, which I previously voraciously consumed, I delete or archive. This is one of the first I’ve read in weeks. It’s a particularly...empty feeling to watch people feud over or debate topics that I used to be engaged by (even if just to read about) and now feel detached from. I’ve been sitting in silence more. Listening to more music. Letting go of the need to take it all in, and just, take whatever is here now, in. Thank you for beginning to put words to this experience.
I relate to your feeling of discomfort: "It’s still unclear how this new way of being, along with my commitment to combatting addiction on a collective scale, fits into an addictive attention economy."
One of the most peaceful times of my life was 30-day inpatient rehab. I *hated* the idea of surrender in my mind, but my body embraced it immediately. No phone, no social media, no time in front of a screen at all. The first night I was there I slept like a baby, which I hadn't been able to do for years previously out in the world.
I hope this is just a season of your life, an inevitable churn of moods that passes. I'm sad to hear that you feel dejected, but I hope it passes.
You and your writing have been very helpful to me in recovery. I've only participated in a few of your recovery dialogues, but I truly get a lot out of them, and I think others in the group do too.
To borrow your metaphor, you are a space that feels warm and nourishing. Part of the reason I discovered that space is through your writing. I hope you find a balance.
Love your musings, we all are part of the cosmic story, some more aware then others. Keep writing ✍️ . ❤️🙏❤️
Hi Alex, You continue to show up in such an inspiring way. As a recovering thinking addict non- conceptual awareness has offloaded and evenly distributed the functioning of my human experience into my heart space, my guttural instincts, heightened my auditory, olfactory and deepened my experience with taste. The realization that I am far more ‘intellectual’ and peaceful when I am accessing all of my brains.
Such a HOT realization 🔥 proud of everything you're doing, gifted by being able to witness it
Amen, brother, Thanks for articulating this truth, Alex, and I am another who will say, "Yes, it is most definitely not just you." ...although, the idea of Buddha taking selfies, posting memes & TikTok reels is hysterically-awesome....