I’ve been wandering a bit further afield across the internet, and I spent some time looking at self development coaches on YouTube. One of the figures on there is Leo Gura, an American of Russian descent who has progressed from discussing self help and self development to now discussing psychedelics and spirituality. I thought you all might be interested in some of the other corners of the internet and how spirituality is developing.
First thing, I don’t actually like Leo. I look at his appearance and mannerisms and I don’t find him particularly suitable to be a teacher. I was more interested in the community which he has built at actualized.org, which is a forum which gets a lot of young visitors because of the YouTube channel. Some of the people there are interested in self development, building skills and self development and motivation, there’s a section on dating and a pick-up scene, and a section on mental health, but there are also quite a lot of people who are into spirituality.
The most promising part of the website are the contributions of some of the older people and the moderators, who are pretty advanced folks who often do some independent spiritual coaching. So there is this synergy, of younger people with questions and problems, who end up using these coaching services. It seems to help a lot of these youngsters find their feet spiritually and socially. The section on mental health also gets a lot of support from the mods.
Another thing that I found interesting is that there is a healthy group of people interested in Spiral Dynamics, which is a scheme for personal development which is built on a rainbow colour sequence of stages through which you progress. I recognised phases of my life in some of these stages, although I have my doubts about whether it is rigidly true and everyone conforms to this. But it’s an interesting model for progress which bears deeper examination, there is some cool stuff in there.
But unfortunately Leo did a month-long series of psychedelic sessions which culminated in a famous YouTube video in which he declared “I am God”. This has moved a lot of the community to follow suit, lots of people suddenly declaring they were all god, and that everyone else was god, and trying to work out some vaguely Hinduistic-sounding justifications for this. Now Leo has some standards which are supposed to promote a healthy use of psychedelics for self development, and he will call people out on not following them. But I think he should have taken his own advice, and limited psychedelic use to a couple of times a year.
Ultimately I curtailed my involvement with the community. I didn’t feel I had much to contribute there, and the longer I looked the less I got the impression that people were helping eachother, or that I could learn very much from them.