This Isn’t Exactly Rocket Science… (7 Rules for Life)

7 Rules For Life

1. Do not use substances, including alcohol and tobacco.

However, moderate use of stimulants (e.g. 2–3 cups of coffee a day) is permissible, with a view to giving up entirely. St. John’s Wort is also allowed, as is mild theanine use. For anything else, check with me in the comments section.

If you are on psychiatric medications, continue using them as prescribed. Once you start to feel better (via the other points on this list), consider tapering off them under your doctor’s supervision.

2. Do not eat anything containing refined flour or refined sugar.

This one rule alone cuts out most of the garbage from your diet. These items are as addictive as any hard drug. They are responsible for dullness after eating, and obesity.

Any other food gets a green light.

Following this rule is a matter of habit. A new habit can be established within just a couple of days. E.g. I ate rice with just salt for seasoning, and fruit, for one day. I ate as much rice as I liked the first day. By the second day I was craving salty rice. This can be as hard or as simple as you like. Choose it to be simple.

You should always be a little bit hungry. It keeps you moving. Learn to like (or at least not mind) being hungry. You’re only not used to feeling a little hungry because of refined sugar and flour, which bind to opioid receptors the same way heroin does.

Moderate use of stimulants (see previous point) can help mitigate hunger.

3. Exercise for a minimum of 15 minutes per day.

The goal is to get the heart rate above “resting” for at least 15 minutes. You should be uncomfortable during this time. Any exercise is permissible so long as it achieves this, and this can be done at any time of the day.

Exercise forces the body to regulate itself against the environment – something we don’t need to do in the pampered West any more. When you make the body regulate itself like this, it sets off a chain reaction of positive hormone release and a reduction in neuroticism.

4. Meditate for at least 15 minutes per day.

The goal of this meditation is not jhana. I would like to encourage readers against making jhana a goal, since this striving inhibits jhana for most people. (I will make a post about this at some point.)

Rather, the goal of this meditation is to touch nonduality, even if it’s just for a moment.

Nonduality is a state of being wherein the line between “you” and “the event you experience” becomes blurred or disappears. So, rather than “you are breathing”, there is just “breathing”.

Even having this for just a moment – even a few milliseconds – matters a lot. It matters because:

  1. It’s the state you are aiming to cultivate in meditation generally.
  2. It temporarily removes suffering and affirms life.
  3. It inclines you towards experiencing nonduality more often that day.

So, if you touch nonduality for just a few milliseconds during your morning meditation, this means the likelihood of you having a nondual experience (or several) later in the day are increased manifold.

Here are some signs you touched nonduality during your meditation:

  • You noticed there was a period in which you had no thoughts, even if just for a moment.
  • You experienced mental silence.
  • You “became” your breath.
  • You noticed a sense of flow in your meditation – e.g. your breath began to flow, or sensory events (e.g. ambient sounds) began to flow together smoothly.
  • A light appeared, e.g. the dark stuff behind your eyelids became brighter. If the light appeared to move, flow, or grow, all the better.
  • A sense of calm occurred.
  • A sense of joy, bliss or rapture occurred.
  • The sense of “you” – a separate self – dropped out for a moment.

Any one of these occurring just once during the meditation increases its chances of occurring again during the normal waking day by many times.

When nonduality occurs during the normal flow of your day it is noticeable by one or more signs. These will vary from person to person so I have provided several indicators below:

  • The veil between “you” and “the world” will temporarily lift. So, you will feel like you are part of the world, rather than an observer of the world. Vision may suddenly become clearer during this moment.
  • Spontaneity will happen. E.g. you will talk to someone for no reason, or go into a shop you never noticed before. The sense of time tends to drop out during these moments and life takes on a dreamlike quality.
  • You will be pervaded by either a sense of nostalgia (partial nonduality) or a sense of returning home (full nonduality). So, the world will suddenly feel like home, wherever you are. These moments themselves make the entire practice worthwhile.
  • You will experience a sudden sense of calm, bliss, joy, happiness, euphoria, wonder, or awe, just from being part of the world. At later levels (where I am now) it can feel like you are drowning in an ocean of bliss, merging with all of reality for several seconds at a time before separating back to “you”.

You will have experienced nonduality at some point in your life. However, I will give two solid examples of the “nondual” feeling so you know what you’re looking for:

  1. You peel back the curtains to find it has snowed in the night. The world is made new again by a blanket of white. You feel tingles all over and an emotion which encapsulates every childhood Christmas and birthday simultaneously.
  2. You have been swimming at the beach in the cold sea. By forcing your body to regulate itself against the environment, your central nervous system has released endorphins, numbing pain and making you feel wonderful. Your vision now has a soft enjoyable haze to it, and everything after this point starts to feel somehow easier. For some reason, you now hear your own breathing far more loudly than you did before. (Swimming is an excellent way to trigger nondual states, since plunging into water is a literal act of absorption.)

Virtually all meditation types are capable of touching nonduality, including directive (breath, kasina, mantra) and nondirective meditations. TM-style mantra meditations are particularly powerful for beginners – due, in my opinion, to the way the mantra emerges softly out of nowhere, triggering the right brain.

5. Get enough sleep every night.

I don’t know what “enough” is for you. However, you will most likely find that following the other rules on this list decreases the number of hours you need.

This point also includes short naps whenever you are tired. For example, I find half an hour after work to be blissful.

6. Get some social contact.

Being on your own all day is suicide. Schedule in at least an hour a day of social contact, even if that means joining the local chess club.

Social media does not count. In fact, you should eliminate social media entirely, since it is proven to be just as addictive as hard drugs, providing the illusion of social contact with few of the benefits. I removed this cancer years ago and never looked back.

7. You can break any of the above rules, so long as you make a formal declaration of acceptance beforehand.

This means that you must state loudly and seriously in your mind the following sentence before you break any of the above rules:

“I accept that by breaking this rule I will suffer the consequences, which are X.”

Some consequences are as follows:

  • Alcohol use will dysregulate mood and meditation benefits for a minimum of two days.
  • Missing meditation will decrease likelihood of nondual states arising.
  • Missing social contact will result in feelings of abandonment or isolation.
  • Missing exercise will cause resuming exercise to be twice as painful.
  • Breaking an eating habit will cause a necessary reset period of one or two days in which to retrain the good habit.

This post came from the fact that, starting on Monday of this week, I began abiding by all of those rules. To say I felt wonderful is an understatement. By day two even the walk to work was like a transcendent holodeck projection. Have you ever seen a car? Do you realize that we’re living in the future, now?

It was more like remembering that things are actually simple if you just do them right.

I mean, really, how hard is it to do the items on the above list? If you’re honest, the answer is: not very.

I think life is something to do with small actions having disproportionately large results. I have put what I think some of those actions are on the above list.

Whatever you are doing in life, I see no way in which the above points would have anything other than a profoundly positive result.

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56 Responses

  1. BabaFella says:

    Thanks Illuminatus. This post just came in perfectly in a synchronous way as I just vowed to follow very similar rules starting from tomorrow.

    In the past I failed to adhere to similar commitments that I had made. I don’t want it to happen again. So I’m planning to add 10 minutes of contemplation everyday to remind myself why it is important to follow these rules, and to shape my mind and my will towards this lifestyle.

    A really big problem for me has been substances, such as weed and alcohol. They always derail my practice in significant ways, even if it isn’t apparent immediately. For example having one beer with friends may not have a huge impact on my life, but that one beer will open the pathway to drink more easily at a future moment, mainly because I let myself believe that having one beer isn’t a problem. In fact I have so many ways to trick myself into thinking that it is ok to do this or that just one more time, but it always ends up stagnating my progress in life in one way or the other by triggering a knock-on effect.

    • Arpan says:

      You are deep into physical exercise. Do you think 15 minutes is enough ?
      I think positive metabolic effects start kicking in after 35 min.
      Personally too, I have found 15 min inadequate(for cardio). Whenever I increased it to 30 min or more, the gains shot up considerably.

      • Illuminatus says:

        15 mins is the absolute minimum at which obvious positive effects occur. So, you could sprint around the block and this would have noticeable effects beyond doing nothing.

        Personally I do an hour each time.

      • Gary says:

        15 min is just the right amount for HIIT type workouts. You can get a lot out of them in that amount of time. I personally enjoy that much more than steady state cardio.

        • Arpan says:

          I do something akin to HIIT about twice a week. I strength-train mildly(I don’t go to a proper gym, I have a simple multigym at home). I agree that 15 to 20 min of all that can give you a good workout. I still do it for 30 min.

          However, I like steady state cardio as a staple as:
          1. I am more interested in just staying healthy and slightly strong for most of my life. Nothing more than that.
          2. It’s a simple workout(I couple it with pushups on days I am not gymming). And allows me to enjoy nature, and have an “active meditation”.
          3. I find it better for building persistence as a general character trait. It tends to strengthen my will more than high intensity-short interval exercises.

          • Gary says:

            hmm… number 3 is very interesting. I find it boring to do steady state cardio for more than 3 minutes but never thought of it as a tool to build persistence. Maybe it is something I can incorporate from time to time for that purpose. Thanks!

    • Saturnus says:

      Weed and alcohol has been a big problem for me also for the reasons you mentioned. One of the reasons I struggle with them is that I feel isolated when I don’t partake when most social situations are organized around at least one or sometimes both substances. They do lubricate you and put you in the same vibration as everyone else. I think the formal declaration of acceptance could work when breaking the substance rule. It also reinforces your mind that you are doing something unusual so the feeling of “I let myself believe that having one beer isn’t a problem” doesn’t arise.

      I think ultimately we wanna get to a level where because of meditation practice we are experiencing such feelings of joy and bliss that we don’t want to use the substance since it will just take away from the experience (not even thinking of consequences).

      • BabaFella says:

        Yes, I have the same thoughts. Not using those substances will make it easier to make progress in meditation which will make joy and bliss something that is present naturally. I know that this is more important than anything else for me at the moment, but it is exactly the lubricating effects of these substances, and being in a similar state of mind with others that make them so alluring. I have had a lot of joyous and exuberant experiences and encounters with friends and strangers with them which makes it hard to give them up totally, even though these days I don’t use them much.

        However I must also say that being sober, and living a lifestyle by following these rules also allow me to tap into these joyous care-free feeling naturally, which allows me to have fun around other people without these substances, especially when I have my life in order. The times in my life when I’m lucid and evolving in aspects of my life that I consider important, such as spiritually or other materialistic goals by working hard towards them in my waking moments, then I really have an easy time tapping into my energetic and playful side when it is time to relax and laugh. Probably because my self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are higher at those times which allows me to mingle with people more easily and have fun interactions with them, enjoy dancing freely etc., which are things I really enjoy. The problem is that I don’t always have enough patience and self-control to go through the night fully sober because I always have this lingering thought in the back of my mind that says:
        ‘maybe you should have just a couple of drinks of smoke a bit from that joint and then everything will be really perfect’™
        More times than not I give in to these feelings, and I want to grow out of it already lol

        • Arpan says:

          You are complicating it overmuch.
          Keeping a discipline is not that hard. Unless you already are established in yoga, a strong, almost fanatic ideology about yourself is recommended.
          I have had that hippy “free-thinker” phase. It’s all an illusion. Unless you are advanced in yoga, you are anything but a free-thinker/free-anything.
          Only other option(than to hv an ideology) is: Having a mentor you respect from the core of your heart, unconditionally. For most ppl, such a mentor is indispensible actually.

          Fanatic belief arises from an active/vigorous/rajasik tendency, while actual spiritual faith comes from the wise/light/sattwik part. So unless latterbis fully developed, yogis employ the former wisely.

          There is no need to be apologetic about being headstrong abt certain core things. Those who are lax abt everything bcm slaves to everything. I see a marked difference, almost a reluctance to gv into any impulse when I live upto any such framework of beliefs. Then impulse-regulation ceases to be a constant battle. Then as you experience first hand, the benefits of self-regulation for 4 to 6 months, it would bcm natural to you, likeable to you. A new confidence in yourself would blossom.

          • BabaFella says:

            Not sure if I am really complicating things, it is just the way things are for me. I’m actually quite the disciplined type, powered by the rajasic tendencies that you are talking about. But sometimes it happens that I slip up, not bc I want to think of myself as a free-thinker type of person, but mainly because I just enjoy having a good time with other people. Unfortunately this has always been associated with substance use and all the negative consequences that come after. But I am committed to get rid of that weakness of mine.

  2. Vinicius says:

    What about masturbation?

    • Illuminatus says:

      I only measured mood and tendency toward nondual states in the above experiment and masturbation had no negative effect on those.

  3. FirstTimeCommenter says:

    Hi man, great post! Your blog has been a great source of insight as well as practical tips. Thank you very much!

    I’m a long time (sporadic) reader and a first time commenter (got a feeling my name won’t age well 😉

    What are your current thoughts on Phenibut?
    (Three years ago on your post on Jhanaic Drugs you wrote: „Phenibut is the hands-down greatest jhana drug of all time. It is such a cheat code that one would be forgiven for simply using it all the time.“)

    I started taking it twice a week two weeks ago. I feel aright, good even while I’m on it, but it might give me some kind of hangover, insofar that I’m feeling blue the day afterwards. (I have to add, that I have been dealing with depression/dysthymia basically all my life – and on a side note also from ADHD.) Maybe this has not so much to do with the substance itself, but with the fact, that so far I only took it before going to birthday parties etc. Since I can remember, I always felt a bit blue the day following a party, probably because of the withdrawal party -> solitude/isolation. This effect might have been amplified because I was on vacation for the last two weeks, i.e. I was basically socially isolated 4-5 days out of the week.
    Maybe it also has to do with the fact, that phenibut increases the need for sleep, although I don’t think I felt particularly tired those days. (I went to bed around midnight and woke up between 9 and 10 a.m.)

    Then on the other hand, I took Phenibut Saturday afternoon/evening before going to a party. Wasn’t my crowd, but it also didn’t suck either. Was okay, although I felt a bit as an outsider. Felt quite shitty yesterday. There, however, was one remarkable interruption of feeling shitty: In the evening when I was enjoying the sun in the park and the dancing and the rustling of the juicy, green branches in the mild may wind, listing to relaxing slow music, I entered a non-dual state of mind, with my (verbal) thought stream almost entirely ceasing. Also my visual field became somehow extensive and soft – hard to describe for me (especially in my clumsy English). Haven’t experienced that in a while (in years probably).

    Was this despite the Phenibut? Or was it due to the “afterglow” of the Phenibut?
    I picked up NDM meditation 1-2 months ago (by the way: thanks!) and changed it into the TM-syle soft mantra Meditation described by Arpan two weeks ago (thanks, Arpan!). For the first time in my life mediation comes easy and is pleasure, not something I have to force myself through. Can’t thank you guys enough! So maybe (I would guess most certainly) it was (also) the “Non-Duality following Soft Mantra Practice” described by you, that I experienced in the park.

    One final question: Do you think Phenibut (rather) adds to the effects of and supports NDM or is it detrimental to NDM?

    • Illuminatus says:

      A major question is: Are you drinking alcohol at these parties? And are you taking any other substances?
      If yes, your experimental data for the phenibut is all totally invalid. You can only evaluate a substance’s effects in total isolation.

      >There, however, was one remarkable interruption of feeling shitty: In the evening when I was enjoying the sun in the park and the dancing and the rustling of the juicy, green branches in the mild may wind, listing to relaxing slow music, I entered a non-dual state of mind, with my (verbal) thought stream almost entirely ceasing. Also my visual field became somehow extensive and soft – hard to describe for me (especially in my clumsy English). Haven’t experienced that in a while (in years probably).

      That is a well-described nondual experience. Notice how nature draws such experiences out of you easily. (Also notice how preceding emotional state is rendered IRRELEVANT in the wake of the awe of the nondual experience; it destroys the “little me” and brings you home to your place in the world.)

      This is a typical experience while on phenibut, for those who are “responders” (~20% of people, based on my own surveys).

      However, the meditation you have been doing could also easily account for that experience, since this is the main purpose of meditation. 😛

      I will now give some general thoughts on phenibut. It is a “drug” drug. I don’t care if people think it does nothing to them: that just signals to me that they have low consciousness of their state. Did you know it was invented by the Soviets to keep their cosmonauts calm on entry to orbit (without affecting their performance)? It is a powerful drug. It has both sedative and stimulant properties: it reduces anxiety but also boosts some mental function including visualization.

      Phenibut lubricates nondual states. It promotes flow states and makes absorption (jhana, samadhi) easier. It also raises energy a.k.a. kundalini. There is a potential to advance progress using phenibut, I believe.

      Now here are the downsides:

      – Are you meditating, or are you just “high”? This is an important question to ask of any substance.

      – The later stage, 3-4 hours after taking phenibut, are quite “manic” and mimic the Arising & Passing Away. I have seen people blown away by the way in which the world opens up during this stage, giving lots of nondual experience and insight. However, judgment is impaired at this time (which is what people do not really realize). True meditation without phenibut does not have this impaired judgment.

      – There is a hangover, yes. All drugs are essentially poisons. There is no escaping this.

      – Phenibut increases horniness to sometimes compulsive levels.

      In short, you ought to be able (eventually) to achieve the positive results without phenibut. If you are a “phenibut meditator” in many ways you have not really advanced at all.

      In the meantime, if you intend to use phenibut, the maximum dose used on any day should be 500-650mg (which is what one “size 00” capsule weighs). I am erring on the side of LOW DOSE. Once you start taking more than a gram at a time, make no mistake about it: you are high as a kite.

      In the long run you are better off dropping phenibut entirely and seeing if you can achieve nondual states with the mantra or NDM meditations.

      >Do you think Phenibut (rather) adds to the effects of and supports NDM or is it detrimental to NDM?

      Phenibut is most conducive to object-orientated (directive) meditations. It is particularly effective for kasina meditations.

      What you have to realize is that, when it comes to NDM, it shouldn’t matter how you are feeling or whether “states” are accessed during the meditation. NDM is persistent and permanent in chipping away at the ego. Golden states can arise hours after NDM, quite unexpectedly. Regardless of preceding emotional state, NDM should give rise to many short nondual experiences following the meditation. You simply have to take care to notice them in the early days.

    • Illuminatus says:

      I also wanted to add that, for those still in the “young man” phase of their lives: I never banged so many hot babes as I did while on phenibut. The first month I started taking phenibut I had sex with the three hottest women of my career (and barebacked all of them, shamefully… see earlier point on “impaired judgment” 😉 ). I was looking for a new fire-and-forget drug to replace MDMA and found it in phenibut, although the “glowing period” was similarly shortlived.

      On phenibut I would find myself talking without even thinking, words just pouring out of my mouth. I also ended up on all the adventures I wanted which ordinary people report from alcohol alone but which I had never had from alcohol (which is an ineffective drug for me personally).

      I began writing a post about all this a couple of years ago — a trip down memory lane — but decided it would derail from the meditation focus, so decided to save it for a memoir. Make no mistake about it: phenibut is a “drug” drug.

      • FirstTimeCommenter says:

        Thanks very much for replying so soon and so detailedly! Very insightful!
        Have to go to work soon, so for now, let me just respond rather briefly. (I might write a bit more later today or this week.)

        „A major question is: Are you drinking alcohol at these parties? And are you taking any other substances?“
        No and no 🙂

        I have basically zero experience with alcohol and weed, and ZERO with the “harder” drugs.

        „Notice how nature draws such experiences out of you easily.“ Yes, I sould spend waaaay more time in nature.

        „also boosts some mental function including visualization.“ This might be one or even the main reason why it seems to be quite popular among lucid dreamers?

        „In the meantime, if you intend to use Phenibut, the maximum dose used on any day should be 500-650mg (which is what one “size 00” capsule weighs). I am erring on the side of LOW DOSE. Once you start taking more than a gram at a time, make no mistake about it: you are high as a kite.“

        I took 1.5 g of powder and dissolved it in water (2 hours after lunch). I filled 0.5-08 g in a capsule and swallowed it 4 – 5 h afterwards. Did not really feel high, but last week on Tuesday among a cooler crowd I felt pretty much no inhibition whatsoever. I even gently stroked a few guys shoulders playfully etc. They were cool with it, and I knew they would take it as a joke. (Yes, I’m 100% hetero 😉
        But I did not feel “high” (maybe I have just no reference). I was also much more talkative than usual and I could engage in politically debates with SJWs (I’m pretty much right wing) without getting emotionally invested (a.k.a. enraged) as I usually do during such debates.

        „Phenibut is most conducive to object-orientated (directive) meditations. It is particularly effective for kasina meditations.“
        Sorry, if I annoy you, but I have to ask: So would you say, that Phenibut is also conductive to NDM, although not as conductive as to DM? Or is it an actual hindrance to NDM (and to the arising of the golden states after NDM)? If I understood you correctly, the former should be the case. (I’m a bit in a hurry, sorry if this question is redundant!)

        I will reduce the dose to 500-650 mg (I often read, that this dose should be to low to have an impact and I once tried this low dose and found it to be true) and am indeed planning to completely stop taking it by the end of the summer.
        But before, I would like to try it in a more flirty setting to see, if I can score with the girls. This was my main motivation for trying it in the first place. (I’m 31 now, so not a “young” young man anymore, I guess, but I could need some action in that regard 😉

        On a final note (I fear I did not express myself clearly): I mediate every morning for 15 – 20 min. Sometimes I meditate in the evening as well.
        So I don’t schedule my meditation sessions around my Phenibut consume in any way let alone that I only meditate whilst on Phenibut.

        • FirstTimeCommenter says:

          “So would you say, that Phenibut is also conductive to NDM, although not as conductive as to DM? Or is it an actual hindrance to NDM (and to the arising of the golden states after NDM)?”

          I fear this question is not only redundant, but pretty damn dumb. Sorry!

        • Illuminatus says:

          So, what you’re saying is, you took a large dose of phenibut and didn’t feel high — then went to a party and acted completely out of character in a hypersocial way. 😛

          You were high as a kite.

          BTW, 1.5-2.0g is the dose I used to take when out picking up girls. It made me disinhibited and horny as hell, which is as close to a cheat code for getting laid as we have ever come.

          >So would you say, that Phenibut is also conductive to NDM, although not as conductive as to DM? Or is it an actual hindrance to NDM (and to the arising of the golden states after NDM)?

          Phenibut will give you absolutely glowing nondirective meditations filled with bliss and golden light.

          The problem is: Are the meditations the same while not on phenibut?

          And here is your answer: NO.

          NDM on phenibut is not really NDM at all. The purpose of NDM is to be with “what is” regardless of content. The purpose is to settle into awareness itself. You should eventually be able to have “awareness watching awareness” regardless of mental-emotional state. Being left with pure awareness is qualitatively different from blissing out on phenibut.

          Phenibut might give glimpses of nonduality but if you cannot attain those glimpses without the drug then you would never really know whether what you’re experiencing is true awareness-watching-awareness or whether you are just high and hallucinating a result that is technically meaningless.

          If a load of cool stuff happens while on phenibut, but that stuff doesn’t happen while not on phenibut, chances are you’re bullshitting yourself.

          So, even if phenibut can help NDM, you would not know that was the case until you could get the same insights without phenibut.

          Drugs CAN point to something deeper about awareness itself, but ultimately you need a lot of non-drug insight to be able to identify what it is they are showing you.

          • FirstTimeCommenter says:

            “So, what you’re saying is, you took a large dose of phenibut and didn’t feel high — then went to a party and acted completely out of character in a hypersocial way. 😛

            You were high as a kite.”

            I guess you have a point 😀

            „You should eventually be able to have “awareness watching awareness” regardless of mental-emotional state.“

            This is my ultimate goal and I will do ABSOLUTLY NOTHING to achieve it 😉
            No, seriously. I will continue the soft mantra TM-style NDM until it evolves naturally (hopefully) in some AWA-NDM and than practice that. Or something along these lines. And I will drop my Phenibut consume by the end of the summer (hopefully after a few girls have dropped their panties for me).

            Anyways, it is great to be able to talk about all this stuff with open-minded guys like you, who know what they are talking about.

      • Morgan says:

        What were your pickups like on phenibut ? I mean the actual seduction process. So you are high, have low anxiety and no verbal filter, but how do you end up barebacking three beauties? Just curious because I think if I have a picture of how this happens I can more likely do it myself

        Also how are you managing to get them to agree to bareback?

        • Illuminatus says:

          1. Blonde Polish girl. Not only hottest girl I’ve ever been with, hottest girl I’ve ever SEEN. With an also stunning friend, sat alone in a bar. My friend pointed at them and said, “They’ve been there on their own all night. No one’s talking to them!” I guess people were too intimidated. I went over and sat down and said “Hi”. Then we talked about basically nothing at all. She didn’t speak that much English. She liked Boardwalk Empire so we talked about that. Then we moved to another bar as a foursome. That bar closed and my friend wanted us all to go to a nightclub. He was stalling for time, really, since evidently he didn’t feel we’d spent enough time with them. This guy is a pro, so I respect his judgment. However, I did not feel the same as him. I hung back with my girl and walked towards a cab saying, “Let’s go back to mine.” She said, “We can’t! Blah blah” I just grabbed her and stuck my tongue down her throat. Then she followed me into the cab. My friend and his girl, several metres down the road, had luckily turned around and seen this. Inspired, he dragged his girl into their own cab, and went back to his! We had a rather fun phone call the next day comparing notes. Bareback occurred due to my having trouble keeping an erection with a condom (I was pretty drunk). She kept insisting we try without. So, we did. And it worked. 🙂 I still jerk off to that night now (more particularly, the morning after, when I could focus properly).

          2. I saw a girl I had spoken to once before briefly several months prior as my friend (same one as last story, actually) had been sleeping with her. She was just on her own. Her pupils were dilated so I enquired if she was on MDMA. She said yes then offered me some. I took a dab. I hung around with her for a long time after this and it was basically “our world”. The conversation was very sexual and she showed me naked photos of herself on her phone. She looked AMAZING. I suggested we went back to mine. We got there and she just said, “So, shall we have sex?” I said yes and we were just on opposite sides of the room getting undressed. Hilarious in retrospect. I asked about STD and contraception status. She said she was on the pill, and showed me a text from the National Health Service saying “Your STD test was all clear”, which she had taken a few days prior. So that was enough to justify bareback in my mind. This is England, and people don’t really use condoms here.

          3. This is one I was having an ongoing affair with during the above incident but I won’t say much more about it other than she was a friend of a friend and we had run into each other at the pub and started having some good conversations. This was not a fast pickup.

          Regarding condoms, women hate them just as much as men and will basically use any excuse not to use them. There is very little rationality involved in sex generally. If you want to stay safe you must therefore assume totally that any girl you fuck is fucking other men without condoms and take your own precautions with a staunch attitude. Or you can just wing it and join in the great sexual experiment and suffer the consequences as a result. Drugs make it very easy to trick yourself into not using condoms, especially since the women are typically trying to help you NOT use them too.

          • Morgan says:

            Wow great response. The question for me is how do you know when is the right time to just grab them and kiss them and when you will be accused of being some kind of predator. I have seen guys get kicked out of bars for stuff like that, but then I’ve also seen other guys do it and the woman gets turned on.

            on STDs – I don’t think bareback is as risky as people make it out to be, I mean you can get an STD, but virtually all STDs you are likely to get are easily cured with a pill and a couple of weeks off. The chance of getting HIV from unprotected vaginal is vritually zero. You could get a drug resistant strain of another STD but that’s also insanely rare if you are also abiding by the eye-test, if her pussy looks gross and sickly then it probably is = don’t fuck her or at least wear a condom. If she looks fine it probably is fine.

            • Illuminatus says:

              >Wow great response. The question for me is how do you know when is the right time to just grab them and kiss them and when you will be accused of being some kind of predator.

              You will never know the right time, and wondering about it makes it less and less likely for you to actually do it. You ALWAYS risk being a “creep”.

              >on STDs – I don’t think bareback is as risky as people make it out to be

              I have had four STDs, three from first exposure to a new woman, fourth due to girlfriend who cheated.
              Chlamydia, NSU, NSU, wart, for those wondering. Just one wart, and it went away on its own, but I know a guy who gets them everywhere after catching them off some girl and has to apply salt to them and other nonsense.

              BlackDragon wrote a ridiculous article where it was all going well until this sentence here:

              “Everything above applies to not just HIV/AIDS, but every other fluid-transfer STD, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and so on.”

              That is total nonsense. Bacterial infections like chlamydia spread VERY easily.

              It is very easy to get an STD and they are very common. Getting checked is a total hassle and you cannot help feeling somewhat like a leper if you have something.

              >but virtually all STDs you are likely to get are easily cured with a pill and a couple of weeks off.

              True except for warts and herpes which cannot be cured and can come back whenever they feel like it. Thankfully herpes seems to be quite rare in UK.

              >if you are also abiding by the eye-test, if her pussy looks gross and sickly then it probably is = don’t fuck her or at least wear a condom. If she looks fine it probably is fine.

              If you make a detailed inspection of her vagina prior to sex, good for you. I don’t know many men who do, including me!

  4. Malik says:

    Hi Illuminatus,

    I really, really like this post. Why is it best to give up using stimulants entirely? Anecdotally, I can think of a few health related reasons, but from the sounds of it, I’m guessing there are ways it hampers progress in meditation well.

    Thanks in advance

    • Illuminatus says:

      >Why is it best to give up using stimulants entirely?

      They are highly addictive and therefore cause craving/attachment. From the perspective of technical skill, you should also be able to feel how you want without any substances.

      The main reason I left it on the list is that I just LOVE my morning coffee, and the meditation comes so easy after it. 🙂

  5. Mago says:

    Hi Illuminatus !

    Long time no talk, how are you doing ?

    I’m wondering how you would go about quitting smoking ? I quit pretty much everything else you mention the past few years (excluding the occasionnal sugary breakfast/dessert), but I can’t seem to stop smoking for 3 hours without going batshit crazy.


    • Illuminatus says:

      Hey mate 🙂 Long time no see. I was thinking about you the other day, actually!

      I gave up smoking 9 months ago. However, I was only smoking, on average, 3 cigarettes per day (one first thing in the morning, another as a “reward” after work, and another at night). So, I did not suffer a severe nicotine withdrawal.

      I quit because I didn’t enjoy smoking any more. That’s all there was to it.

      I remember a Scott Adams video where he was asked whether hypnotism works to give up smoking (he is a trained hypnotist). He replied: “If you don’t want to quit smoking, no therapy will work. If you want to quit smoking, any therapy will work.”

      So, I guess you should probably start finding reasons why you don’t enjoy smoking, and start heaping awareness on those negative aspects, till you reach a threshold where you can’t be bothered with smoking any more.

  6. Erik says:

    One of the best posts on here imho since it’s totally suitable for beginners. I mostly float through life happy as fuck and reading this and mapping it against my experience makes total sense. Many people would be much happier following these points.

    Thanks for bringing this to paper! Not more to say, just wanted to let you know that it’s a great post. Positive Karma for you I hope 🙂

    Cheers, Erik

  7. EH says:

    “You peel back the curtains to find it has snowed in the night. The world is made new again by a blanket of white. ”
    And though it is still night, the moon is full and the world is bright, and looking up into the blue silence, a perfect rainbow ring around the moon .

    • Illuminatus says:

      Nice. 🙂

      Reminds me of the House episode where he plays a half-written piece he wrote years ago on the piano, then an autistic savant sits down and writes the second half on his first try.

      • EH says:

        Thanks 🙂- your prompt reminded me of a short poem of 22 years ago, ” The moon’s ice ring rides in long blue silence”. We’re all seeing and yearning to return to the same sublime.

        The last two stanzas of another poem of mine, “The End of 18”, seem relevant. It was published in Robert Anton Wilson’s Maybe Quarterly v.1 #1, but it seems to have disappeared off the net, so here it is with most of the introduction:

        Athens was harder – everyone else left, I ran out of money. The students at the Polytechnic near my hotel had taken over the university for several weeks and seemed to be trying to repeat the change of government they achieved in the ’70s. On the other hand, my cheap hotel was filled with foreign models and had a rooftop patio with all Athens spread out below. MTV played “Groove is in the Heart” and the cafes played “Tom’s Diner”. I fell in with crowd of international vagabonds, hash-smoking anarchists, marginal artists, street acrobats, fire eaters and mad beggars who formed the Yang of our customary plaza, Exarchia – with the Yin supplied by the heroin market on the other side of the square… solemn monochrome men, grey skin in black leather.

        Most nights at sundown some of us would go down the hill for the riots. The burning university furniture kept the teargas down. The molotov cocktails kept the police lines at bay while their shields and clubs kept the overt destruction contained – but slowly chaos seeped through the cordon into the city.

        Late at night, though, the the conversations were magical and the silences even more so.

        Here’s the poem I wrote about the experience. Every word is literally true.

        The End of 18

        Morrison’s poetry, no allegory then …
        I begged for bread in Athens,
        Walked winter streets
        Always looking down for fallen coins.
        I saw mad, cold teens
        Filling bottles with benzene
        And stopping them with rags
        As clouds of teargas drifted
        Over flaming
        Heaps of seats of students and
        Chairs of professors –

        Doors slammed in my chest when
        “This is the End”
        Blared from
        Shabby galvanized trumpets on poles
        Through heaps of debris and
        Huddles of holes.
        Brickbats, billy clubs,
        Weeks of riots and wreckage
        …but no one would say why.

        Even then, friends – placeless people –
        Would pass the cider at night
        In our plaza on the hill
        And share bits of lives.
        Souls, even –
        Or maybe just dreams
        …if there’s a difference.

        I remember what a friend told me
        one silent, dark hour,
        Of his forbidden nighttime vigil
        Alone on the Acropolis –
        Hidden in a space like a tomb
        Under the temple of Athena …
        A temple old when her Parthenon
        was only being planned …
        Her moonlit vision seen – unsleeping
        Standing at the threshold ….

        • Illuminatus says:

          EH did you know Robert Anton Wilson then? Based on your website pic I thought you were a young man.

          • EH says:

            I got into RAW’s works in my late teens in the late 80s, which over the next few years led into all sorts of odd studies tracking down all the references in Illuminatus! and many of his other works (e.g. the Jungian interpretation of alchemist Gerhard Dorn), but I only met him once, at DragonCon (Atlanta, 2000, only con I ever attended, though I used to be a big SF reader). The poem was written ~late 2003 about events in late 1990 / early 1991, the end of my 18th year, which is why I called the poem that.

    • Illuminatus says:

      P.S. Good to see you’re still here; thought you’d disappeared.

  8. Niels says:

    Amazing post, I loved how simplistic you were putting the part about diet, because that is essentially true. If I could add another aspect to it, it would be to prioritize proteins and fat rather than carbohydrates. Proteins are essential building blocks for a lot of vital processes in the body, as are fats, especially when it comes to something as endocrinological health, which is pretty much the foundation for energy levels and well being.
    If I could just add one more aspect to that (and I’m aware that this complicates things, but being a nutrition fanatic I can’t help myself), it would be very basic supplementation, such as vitamin D, magnesium and fish oil, with an emphasis on the first two, as Western civilization has been proven to be notoriously deficient in those two.

    Regarding the point about substance use, I actually wanted to hear your thoughts about microdosing psychedelics. I’m sure you’ve already familiarized yourself with the concept, either by theory or practice, and would love to hear what you think about having this as a consistent part of one’s substance protocol. Personally, I alternate between psilocybin, coffee and CBD oil.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Thanks Niels. Any recommendations for brands/types of vitamin D, magnesium and fish oil?

      >Regarding the point about substance use, I actually wanted to hear your thoughts about microdosing psychedelics.

      I haven’t tried it. My main problem with the whole microdosing thing is that the reported benefits sound identical to the benefits from any placebo. It may be the case that people just really, really buy into the placebo in this case because it is literal LSD they are ingesting. This is similar to how the strength of placebo effect goes up depending on how the route of administration is presented — e.g. dosing placebo via a syringe induces a stronger placebo effect than eating a pill, even if it is the same placebo substance, e.g. salt/saline.

      If you have found any reliable documentation on it however, I’m willing to be convinced. A Google search just throws up a load of magazine articles.

      BTW I have reason to believe that meditation “microdoses” the brain with DMT. I’ve long thought that some of the more interesting phenomena that can arise during absorption meditation for example are driven by DMT.

      • james says:

        I know LifeExtension is a legit brand for vitamins

      • Niels says:

        Any vitamin D3 supplement will do, they do not differ in quality really. Super cheap- dosage should be around 5000iu depending on how much sun there is where you live. More sun, lower dose, vice versa. Magnesium should be a highly absorbable form such as glycinate.

        Well, considering the large amount positive of anecdotes piling up, and not just in a loose manner across the web but also by James Fadiman, I think there’s something to it. What differs my microdosing from traditional microdosing is that I like to take dosages that are slightly above threshold, while microdosing is usually associated with “sub-perceptual” doses, which I don’t believe much in. Definite, notable increases in things such as verbal fluency, energy levels, concentration abilities, feelings of empathy, love, and many other things. Like a psychedelic cup of coffee. Another peculiar thing I’ve noticed is that on days microdosing, your ability to perform ‘magick’ increases, your intention seems stronger. Things manifest more easily and I generally feel way luckier, provided that my mood and my intentions are aligned.

        Interesting point about DMT and meditation. You know, a lot of people swear by microdosing DMT prior to meditation sessions. Supposedly it clears one’s head completely.

        • james says:

          >Any vitamin D3 supplement will do, they do not differ in quality really.

          That’s simply not true, it makes a huge difference where you’re sourcing from.

          • Niels says:

            In the case of something as trivial as D3, no, it really doesn’t matter. Of course you shouldn’t just pick any provider, but generally D3 is one of the cheapest, readily available supplements there is. How much do you actually know about this, and are you willing to argue why you believe one has to be particularly cautious when choosing their D3 brand?

        • Illuminatus says:

          Niels, have you tried meditating after microdosing? I am interested to hear about whether it increases ability to enter samadhi/jhana.

          A related question: Where are all these people getting their psychedelics from?? Psilocybin, THC, LSD and DMT are all illegal here in the UK and in most Western countries.

          • james says:

            they’re all pretty easy to get in the states.

            • Illuminatus says:

              Then I guess a better question is, why are so many people confident in talking and writing about their illegal drug use under the banner of “microdosing”?

              • James says:

                Resources, corruption and well like Niels said, it’s 2018, no one really cares.

                Going after everyone who talks, blogs, or makes a video about drugs isn’t possible. Even if it was, saying you smoked weed and your experience was XYZ isn’t illegal, even if you have a video of you smoking something, you could just say you were doing it for views, you’re an entertainer, etc… and that it wasn’t real, it’s very hard to prove otherwise, and again simply not worth the effort.

                People are more educated now – all the positive stories coming out about psychedelics, weed etc… are normalizing it to the public and undoing a lot of the damage the “war on drugs” caused… and because of the rise of the internet, the information on WHY a lot of these things are illegal are getting out, and everyone is realizing its nonsense.

                I think one of the biggest things, especially in the US is that soldiers coming back with severe PTSD from the wars we’re in… and the governments chants of “we love our troops and care for them!” seem pretty hollow when you outlaw the only things that help these poor guys, and you give piss poor after care to them.

          • Niels says:

            I’ve tried it a few times with no luck. The level of distraction is simply too high, but for someone who has excellent concentration skills I think the microdosing might actually potentiate the meditation experience.

            It’s 2018, man. You can order high quality drugs from the comfort of your home 🙂 Since you’re in the UK, I believe the analogue to LSD called 1P-LSD is both cheap, legal and readily available over there. It’s virtually the same drug.

            • Illuminatus says:

              1P-LSD and all legal highs/ research chemicals were made illegal in 2016 by the Psychoactive Substances Act.

              I’m not going to get back into drugs anyway; I don’t need them and it’s in the past for me.

  9. james says:

    I know about D3 specifically because when my dad had cancer he was getting regular bloodtests done and he came back with low vitamin D levels, the doctor asked him why he hadn’t been taking his supplements but he had been – he merely changed to a cheaper brand, when he switched back his levels went up again.

    I also had a lengthy talk with a medical professional after getting my brain scanned at the Amen clinic who gave me a whole speel about how corrupt and basically criminal the supplement industry is, and he gave me a list of trusted brands I should use to treat my ptsd.

    I think you should be cautious of any brand/form of supplementation or pharma you want take.

    • Niels says:

      Sorry about your dad, but your anecdote means nothing..

      Yes indeed the supplement industry is corrupt, there is no disputing that. This has nothing to do with the discussion at hand, as I’ve already alluded to in my previous response to you.

      I promise you that D3 is one of the cheapest, simplest, non-complicated, readily absorbable vitamins you can buy. Exotic supplements such as curcumine, Lions Mane, ashwaganda and what not are an entirely different matter. When it comes to vitamins, with the exception of vitamin B, there’s generally no reason to be picky. Now, there is an entirely different aspect to vitamin D absorption such as genetic deficits that may complicate the conversion of vitamin D3 to its active form in the body, but that’s for an entirely different discussion.

  10. james says:

    >your anecdote means nothing..

    I know man, actual experience from someone who was being actively treated by his doctor to save his life doesn’t mean much. Do you think his physician was being dishonest? Or is it a fluke that vit d levels were high on one brand, low on a different one, and then back again when it was switched back?

    Maybe quoting random internet articles will help?

    >with the exception of vitamin B, there’s generally no reason to be picky.

    IMO one of the biggest exceptions is Fish oil – you’ll want something high in EPA and DHA. If you see something that says “500mg fish oil” it could only have 20mg of the part of the oil you actually need. You can go to any local store that sells vitamins right now and find absolute trash fish oil.

  11. Axtschmiede says:

    Amazing read as usual 😀 I already follow some of the tips you suggested but man you never stop learning in this niche ha! Again thanks for the post.

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