Hacking Your Reality Part 2

CONTINUE: Hacking Your Brain

What you've got to realize is that a mental OS has constraints
that are similar to a computer’s OS.

Every OS has its strengths and weaknesses depending on its architecture. Even if the underlying hardware is the same, switching to a different OS can unlock new capabilities. Some things may be easier with a new OS, if only because you can gain access to new high-level software that’s written for that OS.

On my Windows laptop, I’m also running a Mac Emulator. There’s some Mac software I really like, such as The Journal, that isn’t available for Windows. So I run those Mac programs on my Mac Emulator, which creates a virtual machine that runs along with Windows.

Objective Subjectivity

When your mind is running an objective operating system, it’s strength is running programs that are built upon that architecture. But it wasn’t as good at running subjective programs.

In order to run subjective programs on your objective OS, I first had to run a subjective virtual machine. That allowed me to see reality through a subjective lens. Then I could run subjective programs on top of that.

This was very mentally burdensome though. It took a lot of mental RAM to load a subjective virtual machine into my conscious mind. And that didn’t leave much room for running subjective programs.

For example, suppose I want to try having a conversation with someone as if they’re a dream character (subjective OS), but my underlying subconscious belief is that reality is objective in nature (objective OS).

How can I make this interaction happen?

First, I have to load up my subjective virtual machine. In other words, I have to imagine that reality is a dream while suspending my belief that reality is objective. It takes some conscious mental effort to do that.

Then I have to imagine that other people are dream characters, and I have to retain that perspective while conversing with them. And finally, I have to pay attention to what I’m experiencing.

That’s a lot of mental work! It’s no wonder this isn't easy to do!

Moreover, with an objective OS and a subjective virtual machine running on top of it, there wasn’t as much mental RAM available for subjective programs and their data. This turned out to be a serious limitation that can prevent you from having the fullest experience of subjective reality. Ultimately it required too much mental effort.

You need to get the subjective OS running natively instead of as a virtual machine on top of an objective OS.

Installing a Subjective OS

Basically the process requires the installation of a subjective OS to replace the objective one. For me, at first I had to run it as a virtual machine. But eventually I was able to get it running natively (i.e. subconsciously).

After this point the cognitive burden was greatly diminished. More mental RAM was freed up, as well as more CPU cycles. This meant that I could run more complex subjective programs.

In practical terms, I could do more than have subjective conversations with friends or write subjective articles. Now I could see how to run my whole business subjectively and make plans for the long term, based on reality being a persistent yet flexible dream.

I had to rewrite a lot of code to add useful software to my subjective OS. I had to figure out how to eat, how to exercise, how to have relationships, and so on. I had good programs for these functions on my objective OS, but they couldn’t work the same way on the subjective side.

The porting process required a lot of thought.

I’m still going through this process now, but at least I have the basics figured out. I’m able to function just fine, but so much has changed that I’m not living the same way I did before this experiment.

It was very much like switching to a new OS on my computer and having to learn all different software. At first, productivity drops because so much is unfamiliar. Now I’m at the point where I have some good basic programs, and I’m able to be moderately productive again.

This past week has been very productive for me.

Careful. This Operating System Metaphor Might Go Too Far

I like the OS analogy since it helps me understand and explain what’s happening, but let’s not overplay it and get into dual booting and such. Dual booting may be a nice option for a computer, but I don’t yet see an equivalently easy way to do that with my brain.

Then again, maybe that’s what happens when we go to sleep and have a dream.

In a dream world, this all makes sense because my outer experience is a projection of my inner experience.

Subjective Objectivity

During my experiment, my sense of reality was all over the place. I often felt ungrounded and emotional. Some days were just so strange. But near the end of that trial, I began to reach a new place of stability and consistency, which has continued to this day.

I’m really glad for that.

I realized that even though this reality may be a dream, this dream world contains its own form of objectivity. There’s a certain degree of persistence that’s predictable and reliable. It’s not completely random and chaotic.

From the dream world perspective, the world seems to be fairly stable because my beliefs are stable. If I don’t shift my beliefs around so much (like I did during my trial), then reality settles into semi-predictable patterns.

This stability means that I can still effectively apply objective-world skills. I can think and plan ahead. I can predict the likely consequences of my actions (or inactions) with reasonable accuracy. I can set and achieve goals. I can learn and grow. It’s very refreshing to know this.

For me this is an exciting place to be. It means I don’t have to completely abandon the objective OS software that was working well for me. With some tweaks here and there, I can port those apps over to the subjective side.

It’s not quite the same on the subjective side though. Every app runs a little differently. But I can still run them.

A New Sense of Possibility

A major benefit of perceiving life subjectively is that I’ve gained an incredible new sense of possibility. I’ve released many self-imposed limitations. I realized that the objective mindset was causing me to hold myself back too much, especially when it came to my career path.

From an objective frame, it’s too easy to fall into a pattern of playing it safe. Most of the time you don’t even realize you’re playing it safe because it’s a subconscious pattern. It’s the Band Aid you don’t even realize you’re wearing. Other people can see it more clearly than you can though.

I was aware of this pattern and would often push myself (and others) to be more courageous. But now I don’t feel that as much courage is required because the risks are less real. I’m willing to accept any outcome without feeling attached to it. It’s hard to get too attached to elements of a dream world. Change is inevitable.

Nathan's Final Thoughts

From a subjective frame, I’m asking questions like, “If this really is a dream, what now becomes possible for me that I previously considered impossible?”