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Self-development priority: understanding your biological self

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Hello guys,

I am currently listening to the selfish gene and I want to discuss with you something that I think should be a priority in self-development:

Understanding our biological self

Lucio (rightly so I think) put “the selfish gene” at number 2 in his list of best books about power.

Since I quite recently accepted myself as an animal I made strides in progress in my personal growth.

I was talking with friends on different topics and I could see how their understanding was clouded with myths and preconceived ideas. And they are in healthcare.

I used to be critical with science (as a scientist myself as in “seeking truth”) because I could see how many people were using it as mean to feel superior (to religious people) or to justify their Worldview, not to seek truth.

However, since a couple of years, thanks to Tom Bilyeu and his quest of understanding the/his brain, he led me back to Science for self-development.

So this is my understanding so far:

The limits of our understanding of our biological self (brain and genes in particular) are the limits of our growth (self-engineering).

What do you guys think on this topic?

Hey John,

Absolutely, I would add to that "understanding and accepting your biological self".

To me, on top of growth, it's about personal power and congruency.

Accepting your biological self helps you incorporate the "shadow", as Jung called it, and your less than ideal drives and motives.
It's important in terms of personal growth, and it's also a fundamental step to move beyond those drives, when you want or need to.

People who deny their less than ideal motives end up looking and acting incongruent, fake, or like hypocrites.
And you engage in a useless struggle with yourself, trying to look "good" not just to the world, but to yourself.
See for example Ray Dalio who denies his will to power over his own company in an empty effort to look "good". If Dalio had accepted his biological nature, he'd know that, just like most other people, it's natural -and OK- that he wants power. And as long as he doesn't misuse that power to abuse others, there is nothing wrong with that.


Back on growth, I'd be curious to hear how accepting your biological self helped you in your self-development, and in which form that was about self-engineering.

 

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"understanding and accepting your biological self".

Accepting your biological self helps you incorporate the "shadow", as Jung called it, and your less than ideal drives and motives

100%

Back on growth, I'd be curious to hear how accepting your biological self helped you in your self-development, and in which form that was about self-engineering.

That goes back to what you said about our "less acceptable" side. Accepting myself as an animal helped me to accept my aggression especially. I had already accepted my will to power and my lust. It also helped me to accept my desire for "immortality" in the shape of doing something worth remembering (accomplishment) or by having children. Basically, it helped me to accept my drives and actions as the basis of my biological self. I do reconcile it with what one would call "spirituality" as it does fit together but this is not the topic. The latest point is that one can accept himself as an animal and as a spiritual being at the same time. I'm fine with my flaws because I'm an animal. I don't have to be this idealized being that religion and/or ideology told us.

It helped me engineer my self (not "myself") by understanding the biological bricks I'm made of. I copied Tom Bilyeu because he could control himself through the understanding of his biology. This comprises: paraysmpathetic vs sympathetic systems and how to drive one AKA meditation. He visualizes what happens in his brain (blood leaving his prefrontal cortex when angry removing his options) to control his biology. This goes back also to Wim Hof.

After having heard what Tom Bilyeu did, I did the same after listening to the Talent Code. Skills are basically neuronal circuits. So now when I think about building a skill, I'm thinking about building a circuit, a loop. The more time I play the circuit, the stronger it becomes. I do the same with habits. So visualizing my brain with skills as circuits helped me to focus on building theses skills or remove bad habits. Every repetition matters. Every repetition of every action matters.

That is one example. The more you understand your biology the better you can manipulate it. Same with muscle-building. Once you understand how your muscles are built, you can engineer your body.

Got it, makes sense.

Thank you for the explanation, John.

 

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You're welcome 🙂

Oh, one more opinion I wanted to add on this topic:

Besides acceptance, there is transcendence.

Transcendence is not about repressing urges, but it's about moving beyond certain drives and urges. Either willingly, or as a consequence of personal development.

For example, nationalism, in-group favoritism, Schadenfreude... These are also all "natural" feelings.
But as a consequence of personal growth, many people will naturally move beyond nationalism, in-group favoritism, and Schadenfreude.

Some others will also sidestep the will to live forever, or to have children, without repressing it.
But there is some areas of choice, where one can choose what to hold on, and what he should further move beyond.

Personally, I think that when it comes to children, it's a good thing not to see them too much as vehicles for your own continuation, as that can lead to parents putting a lot of undue pressure on them, which in turn can harm them, or cause some tension as they start choosing their own paths.

 

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I understand your point and I like it. It all depends how you apply it. Let's take aggression: there will always be instances when somebody will provoke anger in you (see your "white trash" real life example). So, it's a desirable goal not to get angry and to desire to transcend anger and aggression. However, it is a good thing that we have anger and aggression so we can defend ourselves, for instance. It is part of us and it is there for a reason. I think the healthiest approach to these parts of us is to channel them in a productive way as they will always be part of us.

Personally, I think that when it comes to children, it's a good thing not to see them too much as vehicles for your own continuation, as that can lead to parents putting a lot of undue pressure on them, which in turn can harm them, or cause some tension as they start choosing their own paths.

There is a huge misunderstanding: I don't think the above. What I meant is that: if you are not aware of your subconscious desire NOT to die, then you might do the above or you might lose yourself in trying to do things to be remembered after your death. By being aware of your subconscious desire NOT to die, you can decide in what way you're going to express it. Just saying: "I don't want to die and I'm ready to do whatever it takes not to die" is a way of expressing it. The problem starts when people think: "I'm ok with dying" but deep down they really are not. Then, their subconscious desire will manifest in their life through reproduction or achievement, for instance.

As I said above, I agree with you regarding integrating our shadow and I think that this "shadow" is our instincts. We don't want to be aware of them. So that was exactly my point: by being aware that you might have children to try (illogically) not to die, you can prevent all sorts of things, including projecting yourself onto them. This is not the easiest topic to explore on a forum, though.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - C.G. Jung

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - C.G. Jung

Damm what an awesome phrase, condensing so much wisdom and food for though, very elegant and powerfull way of wording it!

I ought to read more Jung!

Quote from John Freeman on August 27, 2020, 11:14 am

As I said above, I agree with you regarding integrating our shadow and I think that this "shadow" is our instincts. We don't want to be aware of them. So that was exactly my point: by being aware that you might have children to try (illogically) not to die, you can prevent all sorts of things, including projecting yourself onto them. This is not the easiest topic to explore on a forum, though.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - C.G. Jung

Did you mean "we want to be aware of them"?

If so, then got it, and fully agree with you.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Stef on August 27, 2020, 11:30 am

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - C.G. Jung

Damm what an awesome phrase, condensing so much wisdom and food for though, very elegant and powerfull way of wording it!

I ought to read more Jung!

Stef, are you a philosopher and/or studying philosophy, man?

I had that thought from some of your quotes / thoughts.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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