So what's the process?
Well, it's very simple.
Almost ten years ago I began looking for a way to change the world.
Now, I realize that's a strange thing for a young kid of 17 to attempt, but if you give me a moment I'll try to explain why it was that I did that.
And maybe I could explain it a little better to myself, because I'll be honest with you, it's kinda hazy.
It all started with a book by a guy called C.S. Lewis, who you might now from such seminal children's classics as "The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe," and "Voyage Of The Dawn Treader."
This was called The Great Divorce. It was read to my English class by our teacher Sandy MacKinnon. He later went on himself to write a book about sailing across Europe in a tiny little dinghy. Cool guy. Bit of a hippie. Probably gay.
Anyways, this book was just awesome. I remember hearing stories from it and just sitting there electrified. I was electrified because up until that point I guess I'd always assumed, with the arrogance of youth, that I knew myself.
Once I read the Great Divorce I realised two things...
Firstly, I knew shit about myself. There were layers of self-delusion and rationalization.
Secondly, I realized that there was something to 'get.'
It hung there, tantalizing, defying explanation but somehow totally simple. Just a truth so potent that it lay under all things as the foundational truth of the human condition.
Hey, maybe I was wrong, but one day as I was walking home from school, a thought struck me.
It was one of 'those' moments that you sometimes get. Perhaps it happens to everyone and they forget it, perhaps I was just really lucky... or really unlucky.
It's really simple, to be honest. You see, in The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis presents a conception of the darker side of human nature that I thought was totally brilliance.
Basically, he's saying this:
Happiness, heaven, love and joy are not emotional states. They are symptoms of a deeper state that rises once naturally inside you when you can drop the bullshit self-delusion in which we all are trapped.
This blew my mind. I mean, think about it.
All the good things in the world just rise the fuck up naturally once you can drop the emotional bullshit you mire yourself in on a daily basis.
And that bullshit is not random.
That's the other thing that blew my mind.
The 'ego' shit, the arrogance, the self-pity, self-loathing and obsessive behaviours, feelings and thought patterns that lock us in unhappiness are all simple iterations of exactly the same thing.
What I'm saying is this: that unhappiness itself is a distinct thing. It is a specific phenomenon obeying specific rules, and it arises for one specific reason.
That negativity itself is not some 'mysterious force,' but that it can be seen and understood - and even negated entirely.
Why can it be negated?
Very simple. Because negativity is not as it appears.
Remember the first rule of philosophy: There is no division in reality. Whenever you see a division, that means that you know... you KNOW.... that the division you see exists only in your mind.
So let's pull something relevant and negative out of our asses and dissect this fucker to see how it works, shall we?
Racism seems as good a negative concept as any.
So racism then. Let's just go for the good old white-on-black racism we all know and love.
Just for one moment step back from the emotive power of the word, and look at it. Can you feel it? Racism.
It's jagged and sharp. It's provocative and visceral. Racism.
You can feel the bile rise inside you, can't you? The anger, anger at the injustice of racism.
But here's the thing.
If you can step back from racism's emotional spikiness just far enough though, you can see something else.
That racism is, essentially, a series of conceptual descriptions of reality that are almost comically ridiculous.
I mean, just for one moment put aside any feelings of hatred or anger, of disapproval and fury, and simply look at the ideas inside racism like they are simple descriptions of the world - which is what they purport to be.
As soon as you get some distance and perspective away from the emotional reaction to racism, you very quickly realise that it's fucking retarded.
Not 'bad' or 'evil' - just transparently incorrect.
And that shift is extremely interesting because all of a sudden, you can see what lies at the core of racism. And it's not some grand twisting devil monster.
It's simple 'incorrectness'.
The ultimate problem with racism is not that it's damaging or injust. The fundamental problem with racism is that, before any emotions get invested in taking sides for it or against it... it's just incorrect.
It simply is a very basic error of fact about the way that the world operates.
You see, to say that "black people have as much humanity as white people" is NOT to state a moral case. There's nothing 'moral' about that statement, any more than it is moral to state that I'm sitting on my bed as I type these words.
It isn't 'good' or 'bad'... it simply is the case.
So why do racists kick off so badly? Why are they so 'in-your-face' and determined to go out of their way to attack and undermine black people?
Why do they reorder the world in racist terms?
Why would a racist see evidence of racism wherever they went?
Well it's actually really simple.
You see, racism is obviously untrue, so no matter how much a racist may claim to be 'speaking the real truth, not what the bleeding heart liberals push down our throats' (or whatever), the only conclusion you can draw is that whatever the reason is for their racism, it has nothing to do with black people.
And that's very interesting.
There's a hidden motivation here which the racists themselves are not aware of.
Just think for one second how fucking trippy that is.
That the real motivation for racism is not race. Race provides a context for something much deeper and much more primal to play itself out.
And what is that?
Well it seems to be the fact that when you see the world in divided terms, you see it as comprised of two opposing poles.
The problem is, no human being can ever hold fast to any conceptual framework of 'goodness' for long, and so we are continually transgressing our OWN standards for what makes a person good, and what makes a person evil.
This is the root of self-loathing.
We construct an internal world of value judgements that are rigid and static because they are creations of the logical process.
This = good.
That = bad.
What we then do is look at the world using that matrix of judgments as a filter.
Anything that falls into 'good' we support and rally behind because doing so proves to us that we are 'good'.
Anything that falls into 'bad' we attack and deride because doing so proves to us we are 'good'.
So let's take it to a slightly deeper level, and say that all this demonstrates some stuff about humanity itself, about who we are.
We seem to be able to divide and categorize the world we see around us.
We also seem to be able to drop that categorization process and just experience it unfiltered by rational thought.
But these don't seem to simply be two things that we 'can do'.
They seem to be entire universes which we can inhabit.
The first, the world of division, is a world of moral polarities. In that world good and evil exist. Both have their definitions and limits, and these definitions all thrum with a powerful emotional charge. There is a kind of claustrophobia to this world, because it has no exit.
Even those locked inside it know, at some level, that all the victories of this world are meaningless. Money, power, adulation - everyone, even those of us locked very deeply in self-delusion somehow recognise and feel that these things, for all their mesmerizing power, have no truth to them, no substance.
In the world of division you see only the surface of things, and because of this you can be easily manipulated by glamour and flash.
So much of the commercial structure of our age, like the entertainment and consumer industries is based upon triggering compelling emotional reactions in this universe of division.
We hate the bad guy and cheer on the hero.
We want Jack to get the terrorists.
Men shoot aliens/zombies/whatever in a video game, then ogle fast cars they'll never be able to afford while scanning their paychecks for a sense of personal value. They support sports teams and invest those arbitrary teams with moral weight, shutting their minds to the vast artificiality of it because pay-per-view culture gives them a glimpse of a world with two teams, a world of polar simplicity which makes sense.
And all the time men are filling their minds with fantasies of the perfect woman who will come and save them from their meaningless lives.
Women immerse themselves in celebrity gossip, into a universe of tabloid adulation and condemnation of women, relationships and the female form. This at once totally demeaning and completely mesmerizing, and complements nicely the thousand neuroses of appearance that women develop and cling to like driftwood in the open sea.
And all the time women are filling their minds with fantasies of the perfect man who will come and save them from their meaningless lives.
And of course every now and then you get an entire subculture dedicated to nothing more or less than the total rejection of this fictional world.
Goths, chavs, punks, metalheads, hippies...
All of these are simply rejections of that fictional structure.
The problem is simply that the emotional rejection to that structure is itself a structure which traps the humanity of these people in boxes they can't even see.
So this is what I mean when I say that a divided world seems claustrophobic. There's a sense of grand irony, for instance, that surrounds Goths. This is because by and large, Goths are intelligent enough and introspective enough to realize how ridiculous it is to create a new 'conformity' out of 'non-conformity,' which is exactly what they've done.
But this is what everyone does. We react emotionally against something that is, at heart, nothing more than a fiction. And in doing so we create new fictional universes that trap us.
So let's return to racism for a second, because if there's something that is more absurd and counterproductive than racism, it's the emotional reactions AGAINST racism that we all feel.
Hatred of racism is still hatred.
And all hatred is a lie.
None of it is true.
It's all based on fundamental misunderstandings of the nature of reality.
All hatred is ultimately based, very simply, on errors of fact.
They have to be, because all hatred is based on division, and there is no division in reality.
So - hating a racist is as absurd as hating a child for thinking that 2 + 2 = 5.
At the end of the day, the core tenets of a racist world-view are that black people are worth less than white people. Or that they are intrinsically more violent, or more ignorant, or whatever.
But at the end of the day, if you genuinely believe that black people are NOT worth less, that they are NOT more violent, that they are NOT more ignorant, and if you believe these things in the same way as you believe that the earth spins round the sun, or that the leaves rustle when the wind blows, you MUST therefore realize that all racism is nothing more than simple errors of fact.
None of us do. I find my hackles rise when I encounter genuine racism, and that leads me to think that racism, to me, means a lot more than just two groups of people kicking off on each other for no real reason.
It seems to me that if I'm getting that emotional reaction rising then maybe I'm USING my hatred of racism to prove to myself that I'm a good person.
And that's why the issue's so fucking volatile.
No-one's thinking with their minds. They're thinking with their identities in this morally-charged powder keg of 'right' and 'wrong,' 'good' and 'evil.'
And all of a sudden, boom. Everyone's kicking off.
My point is this: this is not a process that you are aware of.
Once you become aware of the dynamics of this process, you realize that it's controlling you in ways you didn't realize.
Once you realize that deep parts of your mind, deep moral insecurities about who you are, control the way you live your life even to the point of pushing you to extreme and rash actions.
Once you see this process inside you, you realize that it keeps these divisions alive, the divisions between black and white, man and woman, rich and poor... whatever.
But you also see that it is the exact same process that triggers ALL CONCEPTUAL THOUGHT.
That's right, all of it.
All of your compulsive and self-destructive behaviours... ALL OF THEM... are morally charged.
All your compulsive and self-destructive thoughts... ALL OF THEM... exist for one reason and one reason only: to prove to you that you are a good person.
Of course they are.
What else could they be?
The engine that drives the creation of the ego itself is the desire to be 'good' and not 'bad'.
All of the conceptual world exists because of this fundamental division.
But then of course, you know what I'm going to say next, don't you?
There is no division in reality.
And once you realize that, you also realize that the fundamental core of what it means to live a successful life as a human is not the division between 'good' and 'evil, or the division between 'right' and 'wrong'.
It is, quite simply, the division between real and unreal.
There is no division in reality.
The only division that can therefore exist is the division between reality and the false.
Can you see?
So it seems that we are all locked in this 'moral universe' of good and evil.
But beneath this world, the world of soundbytes and suicide bombers, political parties and national boundaries, of the people you like and the people you don't like, beneath your taste in clothes or music, there is a deeper world.
And this deeper world has it's own justice which is a completely separate phenomenon from what we see as 'human justice' in the same way that a shadow of your hand is a separate phenomenon from your hand itself.
Because a shadow has no reality. It simply appears to.
This deeper world is the world of the real.
You will experience it as a psychological state which arises rapidly and unbidden once you begin to cultivate the moments of inner stillness that allow you to silence the noise in your mind.
It's a blast.
If I could describe this state of being, a state of being that is instantly accessible to you, as you read this, right now, I would simply need to point to the phenomenon of 'The Zone'.
Have you ever been in 'The Zone?'
That's what it feels like.
So you can essentially live your whole life in the zone, responding instantly and effectively to stimuli.
Truth be told though, that's probably just something for the Zen Masters.
Good thing is, you don't need to live your life 'in the zone' in order to tap this energy.
Because 'the zone' is not a single state you reach like you'd flip a light switch on.
It is a muscle that you can pump.
You can develop your direct connection to 'the zone' itself. You don't need to be on a surfboard or diving out of an aircraft. You don't need to be a kick-ass sportsman, or a great artist.
You just need to be human.
And the interesting thing is, once you begin to realize the incredible depth of power that flows rapidly out of that 'Zone', you may well become a sportsman or artist, or jump out of an aircraft or learn to surf.
Because it rocks to do these things, and once you've got your connection with 'The Zone' dialled, your abilities just fucking explode.
The world of direct experience of reality, is replete with a deep sense of calm power that has no opposite and cannot be corrupted. It is incredibly potent, and intoxicating to such an extent that the real challenge of this world is not to simply 'bliss-out' and just sit on a mountaintop in ecstacy for the rest of your life.
Which is a nice choice to make, if like me you've spent most of your life feeling shitty, depressed, lost and alone.
Just bliss out on a mountaintop, or cultivate the power of 'The Zone' itself.
I'd rather do the second than the first... but I'd rather do the first than spend my whole life failing to escape self-hate.
And 'failing to escape self-hate' is, in a nutshell, the essence of what it means to live in a world of moral division.
But look - here's the thing.
For so many long years, philosophers have sought the truth then brought it back so that it could be discussed and debated.
But in discussing it and debating it we have lost it.
The truth is that the truth philosophers have sought is not a 'system of philosophy' that describes the way the world works.
The truth is not an answer.
The truth just is.
And because of that, the only link we have with the truth itself is through the fact that we just are.
So, if we can simply cultivate that single link - the link we share to our reality - then truth is the state of mind we occupy.
The meaning of life is not an answer, it just is the meaning of life. It's a state that you occupy, and although words can point to it, they can never capture it's essence any more than words could capture the essence of 'redness.'
And once you've left behind the search for the answer, the answer becomes obvious.
Develop the connection with the reality of your genuine self by undermining the foundations of the world of 'moral opposites' that has you trapped.
And how do you undermine that world?
It's so easy, you'll kick yourself.
You just look.
You see, you have a power that all your insecurities do not have.
You are real.
They are not.
So just your awareness itself has more than enough power to disintegrate the deepest and most fundamental hatreds and arrogances that slink beneath the surface of your conscious mind like vampires.
Just shine the sun on those motherfuckers, you'll incinerate them.
That's it, it's really that simple.
Remember - if you fight them you lose.
So just look.
Just look at the things that create emotional reactions in you.
And thank God every time you have an emotional reaction - because that's some deep-seated division inside you that's just revealed it's position. And once it's revealed, you just look at it.
Then you hold the gaze.
Just hold it.
Don't get sucked in to it.
Don't attack the division.
Don't justify the division.
Just look at it.
And then you'll discover that it just fades. It loses it's harshness... and from that moment on it will never have the same power to hurt you.
And as soon as you do this, even once, you've opened up a whole new level of consciousness that's connected to the source of all human power.
And that, my friend, is the tip of the spear.