This is how I did it and you can do it too

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Photo By Alexandre Porto Perrella

For the last year, I have worked in a Smartshop — a shop that sells smartdrugs — talking to people of many cultures and experience levels.

Now I’m heading to a new professional path; if you are interested in knowing my first steps, read closely.

My Background

I was born in Brazil. There, I had the opportunity to learn about the traditional use of sacred natural tools.

I learned that many indigenous tribes still run mystical rituals to both introduce their young into the use of nature to heal their minds and bodies, and to the adults who are interested in exploring some aspect of reality. …


Above All Else: Don’t Despair

How to deal with #covid-19
How to deal with #covid-19
Jules-Élie Delaunay, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons — Jules-Élie Delaunay, Peste à Rome

A global viral pandemic is a very interesting problem. In the past I have worked on problems that required dealing with a virus, however, in those cases, it was always under controlled conditions. Usually, we were able to create an environment to keep the virus isolated and contained.

The goal of containment is to prevent individuals from being infected, while at the same time keeping them safe and healthy so they can continue working effectively as long as possible.

In the case of a global viral pandemic, this is no longer possible. Humans have lost the ability to contain such a disease. Even if we could, it would be immoral and unethical considering that everyone will eventually become infected. …


Do you know where the word zombie comes from?

Zumbi king of free men
Zumbi king of free men
Zumbi dos Palmares was the last of the leaders of the Quilombo dos Palmares, in the present-day state of Alagoas, Brazil. — Gorivero, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This is the story of Zumbi — or Nzambi, meaning ‘a god ‘— the Afro-Brazilian hero, leader of non-slaves, and the king of free men. To understand his story we must first know the land that nurtured the man.

The setting is Brazil in the Colonial era.

The young Portuguese colony that is now known as Brazil was divided by the Portuguese emperor into fourteen slices of land. To each one of these slices, the Portuguese empire gave the name of capitanias (captaincies). One of the biggest capitanias was called Capitania de Pernambuco.

At the Capitania de Pernambuco, most of the revenue came from slave farms. A big part of the people who worked at these farms was forced by the Portuguese to work as slaves brought from traditional and ancient African tribes. …


Rebuilding the concept of God for non-believers

reimagining god for atheists
reimagining god for atheists
Fresco in the Sistine Chapel. The Creation of the Sun and the Moon (before the restoration) — Michelangelo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

God is a very strong word. It has been used to describe everything and anything under the sun, from one’s own feelings of love or fear to some sort of omnipotent entity that created the universe. However, it seems that there are two basic definitions for God with which most people identify:

1 — a divine creator in human terms; someone who made us and loves us unconditionally;

2 — an all-powerful being who controls everything in our lives.

I will not be addressing concept 2 because it would require me to make assumptions based on your beliefs about whether such a being exists. …


A Historical Lesson

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Public Domain

Seduction has impacted the world in many different ways. It is a tool that humans have to reach their goals and seduce their way into power, money, or whatever they want. I would like to argue that it is something natural, which humans have used forever although we are not always aware of its existence because it’s so widespread in society.

Seduction has changed the world in a few ways. For example, it has been used by women in order to gain power and influence over men throughout history (i.e., …


And The Dark Butterfly Effect

the dark side of the moon
the dark side of the moon
H. Raab (User: Vesta), CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The human mind is a funny thing. It seems to me that it is the most complex object in the universe, and yet we know so little about how it works or what its true potential is. What makes humans unique? The ability to think abstractly?

To care for others of our species even when there’s no clear benefit in doing so? The ability to create art and write music?

Maybe it is not a question of what makes us unique, but rather, what makes us the same as other animals. We are all carbon-based lifeforms that breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. We use our sense organs to process information about the world around us, which we then interpret using our brains (that themselves are made up of cells). …


Is there an optimal way to go about living?

how to navigate reality
how to navigate reality
Albert Edelfelt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The key to navigating reality is understanding that it’s not something that can be done. You already are navigating the universe, but there is no way to do so in a manner more optimal than your current method of trial and error.

This is because the concept of doing so presumes that there exists some way to exist in a universe without being an integral part of it. A kind of 'ghost in the machine' if you will.

This is of course not possible, as you are a part of the universe. You cannot be separated from it. …


Should I meditate all the time?

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Michel Desrochers, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The most important principles of zen are non-attachment, contentment, and acceptance.

Non-attachment means that one should not be attached to anything. In fact, the Buddha taught his disciples to let go of everything.

Contentment means that one should be satisfied with what they have in life. One should not desire for more, because it will only bring suffering.

Acceptance means that one should accept what is. It also means that one must be satisfied with whatever has happened in the past, so as to not allow anger and hatred to cloud their judgment.

The Buddha preached his teachings to all beings in the world, regardless of their race or religion. He taught everyone for one main reason: To free others from suffering. …


The Biggest Damage of a Worldwide Pandemic

#covid-19 impact on social structure
#covid-19 impact on social structure
Daniel VILLAFRUELA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons — Philistines attacked by the plague in the city of Ashdod.

The human species is a complex system of social organization with various sub-systems such as economic, political, and religious. These systems are interdependent because the entire ecosystem is interconnected; which means that any major disruption to one will have an impact on all others.

I think that the biggest impacts of a worldwide plague would be on human social structure. Social structures are very important to humans and they rely on them heavily to survive.

They perform several functions. They provide an organisation for society at large to function smoothly, they help in the transfer of information between individuals and groups, and they play an important role in fostering peaceful coexistence. …


In search of a meaningful — and healthy — life

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The best way to stay sane during a global quarantine is a combination of understanding the nature of time, observing the world at large, and focusing on one’s own life.

The concept of time is one that few people fully understand, and in my opinion, it contributes to the widespread insanity that plagues mankind.

Time is not a straight line. It doesn’t move forward at a constant speed, but instead, it wiggles back and forth. Sometimes time speeds up and sometimes time slows down.

Time is change. It’s the process of transformation from one point to another, and when you think about it this way, time isn’t some sort of static thing that exists out in the world somewhere. …

About

Alexandre Porto

Pieces of the integral man. Specialist in responsible use of psychedelics.

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