- A customary or regular course of procedure
- Commonplace tasks, chores, or duties, a must be done regularly or at specific intervals; typical
- regular unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure
- an unvarying and constantly repeated formula
- a complete set of coded instructions directing a computer to perform a series of operations.
- A series of operations performed by a computer
Part 1: Time
When I got the word of the day today and looked at the definition of the word, at first I found it synonymous with “boredom”. However, I always say that “time is the only currency”… We “spend time”, we “Offer our time” to another we are paid for our hours every day (8 of them if we are lucky, sometimes 12 of them if we are not).
When we are present with someone it is the greatest gift we can offer them… Time… The only true currency in the universe, the only real starvation economy that exists… Time is the only thing that gives life meaning. I offer this time, a sacrifice on the alter of my love for you… to hopefully show you how valued you are. Again, time gives you value as well. Yesterday I wrote “Ephemeral” realizing the weight of this limit on our shoulders. As Jason Silva put it “Love is the beauty and the promise of immortality and also it’s the joint mourning of lovers, who know that they might die… Love is the answer to the problem of human existence, but it doesn’t solve the problem of human existence”.
Part 2: Meditation
On a computer we call a subroutine a “Macro”… This is a repetitive task… A calculator algorithm with Variable Input and an Output “solution” in code referred to as “Generate Solution”. This algorithm or macro, converts variables to an answer.
In Animation for video games it is often identifying an event and placing a tag at a specific moment where something occurs such as “the moment the character catches a ball”. For the 2000 animated catches in a basketball game this is variable along a timeline that shows the animation playing back and let’s us preview per frame what a character does over time. For example it is hard for a computer to determine the moment the ball should contact the hand… So an artist spends weeks going through each animation and setting the catch frame manually… which is grueling, mind numbing, boredom panic inducing… as we repeat this task over and over and over. It is impossible for an artist not to hit a meditative flow state when their mind is left idling through monkey meat machine tasks, just opening an animation searching for catch point and setting values. This is exactly like repeating a transcendental meditation mantra over and over, it pushes you into meditation…
When you meditate with a mantra in both Buddhist and Transcendental (Hindu) Meditation, the repetition of a sound you repeat in your head forces you into a deep hypnotic state that is almost hallucinogenic dream sleep. True Guru’s or monks can meditate in peace with no Karma binding you to earth (no attachment to stresses like wealth or cars or work or food or shelter). The serotonin transmitter release allows you to hit an orgasmic state called “Nirvana” which is the same as taking the drug Ecstasy or MDMA your brain is just flooded with Serotonin but for the monk, the state lasts as long as they wish, and can just be stopped with no side effects… This doesn’t take much practice once you reject all possession and expectation (that… is the hard part). If you release all your stress first (something western society almost never allows through the shackles of debt and wealth) by recognizing you are powerless externally and all powerful internally this is possible. Every negative emotion has a far more powerful positive
If you go into meditation with negative stress, your mind using a mantra like “inga” (teen males) or “Hirim” adult males said on each exhale… in Buddhism “ohm me padme hum” for dopamine or “ah ah sha si na” for serotonin… Think of these like sending a diver to the bottom of a pond… If she finds a bubble of stress frees it, and brings it to the surface to let it go like a bubble, once it is released you feel calm and at peace and realize you have stopped saying the mantra. If you achieve inner peace, you simply play in the water in your dreamscape. This is called “astral projection” it is scientifically just a lucid dream, a timeless weightlessness in total control, however still hyper aware you are both awake and asleep, every sound allowing you to pay attention and yet still fly through the cosmos of your mind. There is no magic to it at all, even though it is massively misunderstood by western religious dogma as some sort of “hocus pocus” bullshit. Your brain only produces Theta Waves, it can be proven to exist on an EEG. Like Karma, there is no “magic”… It is entirely scientific… Western culture is so stuck on this notion that “god” is some imaginary man in the sky, when you can talk to this consciousness within yourself through Theta wave meditation state. You can be “tested” with a consumer product… again Science not magic. When you meditate you find stress if you have it and returns to the surface, when you let that pain or stress go, you suddenly become aware that you aren’t repeating your mantra… In the west the only culture on earth that doesn’t teach kids to meditate, our brain forces us into it in daydreams but we don’t close our eyes and “run with it” because we are told that’s “bad”. Astral projection is nothing more than going into your mind in this state, you feel as though you have entirely left your body. No pain, at all, no feeling… you feel weightless and your brain takes you on a journey through the cosmos… it is a dreamscape… not magical… not real… Theta state.
Part 3: Melatonin AKA “DMT”
At work in the miserable and stressful western world we have little outlet for self-discovery… This means an artist (Most of whom are adept at hitting the “Theta Flow State”) frequently need to meat-macro and cycle through repetitive boring work. In my job this often involves moving and setting values in what we call a “Data tag” on a timeline user interface on the computer for every animation in our games… performing a task on it; like setting which hand the ball is being caught with for a catch animation in a sports title… we find ourselves untrained and accidentally meditating due to the hypnotic repetition.
This means an “animator” acting like a computer program will get through about 10 animations before they enter a Theta wave state of consciousness… Then they are effective at the task for about 10 more animations until they dive to the depths of their subconscious to find an entire ocean of western slave labor stress. In the US we are a slave to the almighty capitalist dollar. The invisible shackles of the western world of hoarding wealth… gluttony (over fed), envy (worship of wealthy celebrity), sloth (lazy workers), lust (excess damaging sexual gratification), greed (hoarding wealth), pride (unable to say we don’t have all the answers), and anger (our never ending war for oil, profit, and to prove we know best)… these seven “deadly sins” are define western culture. Every problem solved with a gun rather than love.
In that accidental meditation we are just repeating the task without thinking about it which means we do it wrong (introducing bugs in our games). We start tagging 2000 animations, do 20 correctly, and then mess up the tags from animation 21 through 50 (roughly) while micro-doses of melatonin begins to do it’s job of keeping us alive, by literally scrubbing neurotransmitters clean from blocked transmitters, forcing random synapses to fire creating thought and visions… If you are well practiced at anger and stress and fear, this causes immense feelings of panic. This is why we need healthy natural sleep (that we rarely can “afford”). It is why we need work-life balance, it is why we begin to hallucinate when we don’t sleep. Random clogged neurons that must be scrubbed or we die.
When the brain is bored, this automatic crew of janitors decide it’s a great time to get to work cleaning your brain. This is exacerbated by lack of sleep due to stress. Because it doesn’t get done when we lose sleep due to the insane insomniatic stress we are feeling as hoarders in the west, our janitors in our brain say “fuckit’ you don’t have a choice, we are cleaning this crap” – causing intense panic and hallucination (referred to as “acute anxiety disorder” which after a month can be diagnosed as “PTSD” which I believe several of my co-workers now have).
This chemical called DMT & Melatonin can be found synthetically as a hallucinogenic drug (smoked, lasting roughly 10 seconds) or is produced naturally by the pineal gland. I have never done synthetic DMT at all. I have never found a need for drugs (other that uppers like Adderal to get through my mundane days where my real job is never even asked for)… I have the ability to meditate being trained since childhood by a Guru who trained under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to teach Transcendental Meditation, this skill I learned as a child helps me activate Melatonin deliberately… there is no magic to it, just years of practice. Anyone “can do it” without training. I am often frustrated when people say they are too “stressed to meditate” or “Can’t meditate” because they are too distracted… or “don’t have time” – which is insanity, because if you meditate you can quadruple your productivity at least.
Most westerners have a horribly calcified pineal gland, fluoride and other toxins like refined flour and sugar, mercury (why you don’t want to eat too much tuna or bottom feeder fish), cause this prison for your mind. This results in muted or terribly disturbed REM sleep (which we need to survive) sometimes all together blocked so that we barely dream… “I don’t dream” say westerners who are so bound by the 4th dimension of time-space and capitalism, that they can’t get in touch with their own spirit and clean their brains from blockage.
These neuron scrubbers go to work automatically whenever you are “bored”. The cleaning crew of your brain… “get to work” with melatonin/DMT. If you live in your stress, anger, fear, concern, doubt, or pain from your past… it causes stress leading to “Panic Attacks” as your adrenal gland fires up as though these things are happening to you right now. If you live in the moment, in joy, happiness, awe, pleasure, excitement… the exact same feeling of Panic becomes euphoric orgasmic release. It is just a question of where your thoughts are directed… the adrenal function is the same (excitement is panic with a different perceived outcome). Fear of death falling off a building Vs. love of skydiving jumping from a plane. The same state – but one is controlled. If we don’t fear death, a leap from a roof could be just as entertaining as a leap from a plane with a parachute (we all fear death, don’t worry about me… please).
I don’t recommend DMT trips other than natural plants (Marijuana, Mushrooms, Mescaline, Peyote or Ayahuasca, all but the first I feel should be done in a peaceful safe environment under the supervision of a trained Shaman, MD, or Spirit Guide in the US, south america or Peru at a resort that has never lost someone in their trip)… This is the best medical treatment for PTSD you can find, it is not just treatment, Ayahuasca can be a one time cure for anyone. They call it “hacking god”… I describe it as kicking in god’s door and asking him for the meaning of life. Again, you can get there naturally with meditation, but if you are in the west and are not disciplined enough to devote 20 years of life to it… Just go drink the tea (aka, take the red pill and head down the rabbit hole to “Wonderland” – that book was written by Lewis Carroll while he was on opium or laudanum).
However, if you are disciplined and controlled you can get the best results meditating. I found this same experience described by those on Ayahuasca about 15 years into meditating. The benefit is that a bad trip ends as quickly as you can open your eyes and take a breath if you want it to end… You can also just open your eyes and live within the trip for hours… To achieve this without chemical hacks, you need a healthy Pineal gland. This can be achieved in a couple weeks if you cut the toxic chemicals we ingest daily in the United States. Start by drinking as much non-fluoride water as you can. Clean healthy food like non-bottom feeder white fish and fresh organic non pesticide fruits and vegetables, unrefined flour and whole grain rice, non fluoride tooth paste, or just baking soda).
We begin to “Daydream” more frequently the less sleep we get, going as far as hallucinating if we go days without sleep (this can cause heart attacks). As our DMT frees dopamine (relaxation), norepinephrine (stress), epinephrine (adrenaline), histamine (defense response), serotonin (love, joy)… Each of these randomly fire through our synaptic bridges. This triggers flashback emotion such as fear, joy, stress, calm, anxiety/excitement (the same adrenaline)… resulting in fight or flight…
There are only 5 “feelings” – but when combined to any level these 5 neurotransmitters combine with our logical brain… The body high from each is identical. These are not opposite ends of the spectrum they are identical physical feelings with 0-100 intensity. It’s not one or the other, it is literally how your mind interprets the same neurotransmitter flooding your mind. You can consciously shift depression to relaxation with practice. Shift Rage or Panic to excitement through positive visualization of desired outcome. You can even turn intense pain into euphoria. It’s all about how good your emotional awareness is and how “in touch with your emotions you are” and your perceived probable outcomes that you yourself are manifesting with your decisions (as I wrote about yesterday). All these transmitters also cause physical response
Organs: Left Brain, Muscles, Vision
Organs: Autonomic Nervous System and Heart
Organs: Skin, Fat, Mucus Membrane
Organs: Liver, Kidneys, Stomach, Taste & Smell
These are the emotions from the Disney movie “Inside Out”. So depending on your day and where your mind has been the positive or negative affects will be felt as emotion. Each has positive and negative affect on mood and body. All required… All constantly adjusting and taking control if you are not disciplined enough to do it yourself.
Like any road neurons get jammed up as mixed transmitters fire through the body. You will have far more clogging of neurons from the daily use of these transmitters and the ones you use the most will transmit easier. This is why anger is a skill as much as happiness is. You practice what your body is good at. If you are angry all the time, you can quickly shift that to being a finely honed reflex machine just by altering how you CHOOSE to react to adrenaline for example (or you can just as easily become an alcoholic with heart disease, and high blood pressure).
If you are “Depressed” or “Stressed” you have clogged your brain with norepinephrine, epionephrine (adrenaline), and histamines. This is the trigger for “stress hives” or constantly feeling “sick” or like you have severe allergies (which I get often if I allow myself to be pulled into “Alpha” stress as we final a game).
To cope with this stress, I get large tattoos over alpha in order to release ALL my stress hormones and channel them into something positive. This produces a lack of that hormone and results in a euphoric peace at work for me for weeks. The pain as I heal (the feeling of sunburn) I channel into euphoric bliss. As Alpha can also trigger my Shingles (herpes zoster AKA chicken pox) outbreaks if I allow myself days of stress without relief or release or sleep, I am diligent to keep my attitude positive.
If I have an office (which I do not making me very dysfunctional) I do deep, low stance,
“painful” (for me euphoric blissful heat) meditative Tai Chi to release the clear my brain of histamines and norepinephrine (without an office I can’t do this because it is a distraction or very concerning “weirdness” for those who see it. So I must just leave work and come home to do it, or hit the gym at lunch to punch heavy bags.
The last thing you want from an artist is for them to be stressed. We can’t reach euphoric flow state if we are stressed, which means we can’t do our jobs. Alpha should be filled with laughs and play (you can’t make a fun game if you don’t play it). Every game I have finaled but one was like this… joy and fun, laughter, excitement, tournaments, FUN. What it absolutely shouldn’t be is stressful at all, if we intend to ship a good product without the worst team health survey and attrition (people quitting) in the history of the company. For my job, often has been over the past 10 years, nothing but stress, other than a 2 year break to make my own game. I hear no laughter or playing in these halls, just fear and a death march of misery…
Part 4: Artists at “Work”
Producing good art doesn’t feel like work.
If animators aren’t feeling the positive of all emotional neural transmitters, they do terrible uninspired work. Almost everyone will subconsciously self medicate. We gain 30lbs replacing serotonin with “comfort” food, alcohol, cigarettes, recreational drug abuse, etc…
90% of our serotonin is in our gut, used for digestion, released to the brain when we jump, bounce, ride roller coasters (why babies like to be “bounced”)… that feeling of butterflies when you free fall… on a roller-coaster, or even as you fall in love), we smoke cigarettes or vape to replace dopamine, and drink alcohol to suppress our adrenal gland… we participate in “risky” behavior to feel excited… none of which is healthy and all result in “Burn out” as we feel the fatigue and side effects of hacking nature with chemicals. At work today we are pumped full of histamine and adrenaline, and these meditative “daymares” are not relaxed daydreaming they are waking nightmares. Our brain kicks into overdrive attempting to scrub these excess hormones and neurotransmitters with DMT/Melatonin… and as a result they are released freely into our system causing mental and physical responses. Stress inducing panic attacks and anxiety attacks when they become too much to handle we “Wake Up” and walk out.
We pull “all nighters” and don’t go home to our wives and kids (massive serotonin triggers of calm peace and love that we are robbed of). Our “alpha widows” forget our faces and our touch in these months.
At work, while meat macroing our way through processes that could and should be automated. We wake up from a forced DMT episode, feeling the adrenaline in our system and channel it into anger and fear rather than excitement, speed and intuition… and often in frustration we realize the last 30 animations we were forgetting to set “ball hand” for the last 50 animations we brainlessly tagged… We have to go back through those and without rest, we hit the DMT state again. Wall punching level of anger, rage and stress when we fail this task over and over.
This cycle becomes worse and worse until we experience “Burn Out”… Many quit their job, many hit “fuck it” and begin to just not do their job while collecting a check. The less we sleep the more we need these DMT daydream moments to “clear our heads” or to step away and go smoke or have a drink of alcohol, some pop illegal drugs that introduce synthetic serotonin (adderal = pharmaceutical grade cocaine after-all).
In Japan they go to the roof as a company and scream at the top of their lungs… pushing all adrenaline and histamines through the cathartic release. Some of us get in a shower and cry, releasing dopamine and serotonin into our systems (we comfort ourselves). This reduces the amount of histamine and norepinephrine coursing through our systems as well. We could take an anti-histamine but it would make us pass out… histamines also help us stay awake and regulate sleep… So it’s not ideal for work to chemically combat this transmitter.
Part 5: A Journey to the West
In the west we all have something that cultures who meditate rarely experience… Horrifically frustrating, nearly panic inducing “work”.
I am reminded of work when I am forced to do a repetitive task… I call it “Meat Macroing” because I am doing something that a trained monkey could sit and do, or something a simple script could accomplish (something my favorite engineers like Brett and Henry write for me on the side). Using my meat machine with 24 years of production experience and 30 years of animation skills… to do the job code or a robot should do is panic inducing stupidity. It is horrifically boring and I tend to spend my time writing a script to do my work for me. Normally when I do this I finish what my company has me scheduled to do for a week, within a couple of hours. I then spend the rest of my week hacking the flow state and doing something far more creative than my assigned macro work and often can pay for myself for the year with a single smart invention.
When it comes to word of the day, it’s a routine but there is a variance in it for an artist. Each word of the day is entirely unique so there is no repetition to it. It is me at my most vulnerable and honest… I type with what one of my many mentors Jason Silva calls “Radical Openness” … I am lost in what he calls “Hacking the flow state”. It doesn’t take me long to get into it now… A mantra repeated once and I am there: Deep breath, and I repeat “Ah Ah Sha Si Na” But I have never found my daily routine boring at all. Wake up at 4am… Meditate, do Tai Chi, practice some Kung Fu, and for the past 2 months… smoke a cigarette which I very much want to quit again.
Part 6: Superhumans
To become superhuman, you just need to recognize there is never a reason to feel bored. Wake up… get up… create. Remember every emotion is a frame of mind, where you channel the energy of every neurotransmitter is entirely up to you
Call me crazy if you want… because I hack my flow state, and control my emotions… Call me crazy because I refuse to feel extremely depressed and lethargic, I refuse to feel stressful frustrated pressure, pain (Frustration), rage, fear, anger, pain and panic (Wrath/Anger/Greed), Pain, irritation, itching, burning, Frustration (Pride) Gluttony binges (Lust, Gluttony, Possessiveness).
Where are your natural chemicals today? What are you “in the mood for”? Can you choose to be exactly as you feel, exactly as your imbalanced neurotransmitters have you, and still stay positive? Can you choose to be deeply relaxed (instead of depressed), in a state of complete inner peace? Can you have pleasurable learning through Fun Play (instead of frustration and challenge)? Can you feel excitement and honed reflexes bordering on “Super Human” (instead of panic)? Can you feel Euphoria, tingles, Intense love, pleasure, nirvana… or even orgasmic release (instead of gluttony and binges)?
I Can… So “they” can call me crazy while I walk around in yoga pants that make me feel nude (which is what I would rather be wearing… nothing at all)… They can call me crazy while I cover my skin in tattoos that remind me pain is in the mind, and let me shine in beautiful color “god” should have birthed me with instead of just my ginger hair. They can call me crazy when I paint my nails tropical blue to remind myself of the Virgin Islands or Cancun… They can call me crazy when I say “fire me” if you don’t want me to have fun making fun games… I am not missing my life because someone taught me it wasn’t supposed to be fun. They can… and I call them crazy for it.
Call me Peter Pan if you must… I’ll be playing with the lost boys hunting Pirates waiting for you to come play with me.