Staying Playful


The older I get, and the more routines of family and work get layered on, the more I have to deliberately choose to stay playful.

If I'm not playing around and dabbling with new things, I get stagnant and bored and wonder why I feel that way. When I've always got a few things on the periphery that have no direct connection to my work or family, but are fun and interesting and make me feel like a novice, I feel connected to life.

I try to curb the old man cynic that wants to come out when some new fad pops up. It's too easy to just dismiss things that don't appeal to me like Clubhouse, or NFTs. But if I can ask around and learn from interesting people what it is that attracts others to these, it usually leads me to some kernel that then leads to a new area to play around in. Usually, the most popular instantiation of an idea isn't the most interesting, but it can lead you there.

I'm always looking for weird corners of the world to explore and play with.

The Inverted Hierarchy


The natural hierarchy:

God
Individual
Family
Community
Culture
Governance Bodies

Each level down is weaker, and subordinate to the one above it. In the natural structure of reality - the patterns baked into nature - any collective is weaker and subservient to smaller units like communities, which are subservient to individuals. To the extent the lower orders cease to serve the higher orders, they are altered, ignored, or disbanded. The more centralized, the more subservient. The more removed from the individual, the more subservient.

The world is constantly attempting to reverse this hierarchy, which always leads to suffering. Nation states are the particularly hideous form a governance body takes when it attempts to dominate the higher orders. They attempt to use or dictate culture as a subservient propaganda mechanism to control communities, which in turn control families and individuals. Brainwashing, guilt, shame, and naked violence are constantly needed to try to reverse the natural ordering and maintain the upside down structure, but it's always in a state of chaotic flux.

God is mostly treated as outside the hierarchy. A mental plaything, or an idea to be invoked to justify tyranny. But reality cannot be wished away, and the natural law - the eternal, the source of the universe, the divine - is always the highest thing in the structure. God is not an abstraction to be invoked or imagined, but the most solid thing there is. Reality itself flows from God.

The creation stories and myths always follow the natural hierarchy, and stories of the fall follow the inverted one. God creates individuals, who then form a family, and are given dominion over their local environs, language and culture emerges, and finally interwoven institutions across the whole earth. Power flows downward. All the larger, further removed institutions are servants of the individual.

The stories of corruption begin the reversal. The temptation, though manifested through individuals, is about mankind, and whether humans as a category, the collective humanity, ought to be higher than God. It results in tyrannical governing bodies attempting to occupy the top of the hierarchy, sometimes literally equating themselves with God, sometimes trying to do away with God, and making power flow in reverse of its natural course. The individual is less important than the categories or cultural norms, which are less powerful than the state.

Attempting to maintain this inverted hierarchy is constant pain, death, and confusion. The starting place to right the ship is within each individual, since individuals are the most powerful part of nature under God. If we can reorient our own lives in accordance with the structure of reality, reality itself will begin to return to form.

The Daily Job Hunt Newsletter is Here


Hunting for a job is hard and, well, kinda sucks.

Screw that.

Let’s punch the job hunt in the face! (*ripping guitar riff plays in your head)

The Daily Job Hunt email newsletter hits your inbox like a freight train every day, six days a week. While you're working on winning that next job, let this newsletter be a guide, a coach, a friend, a kind word, and sometimes a kick in the ass to keep you pumped and on track.

Hope to meet in your inbox!

Sign up here.

The Daily Job Hunt


If anyone you know is on the job hunt, share this! We just launched a newsletter for job-hunting.

Every morning we deliver a quick gut-punch of goodness to your inbox to help fill you up with opportunity and optimism so you can find and win that next gig. A daily stoke to keep the fire burning.

It's free.

The Daily Job Hunt Newsletter

On Living Courageously


The topic of courage keeps coming up everywhere I turn.

I went through a very challenging phase in 2019 where some health issues led me to face the possibility of my own death. Of course we all die, and I had made peace with mortality back in my teens, but the prospect of dying young and leaving a family behind was different. I hadn't grappled with it.

In the process of doing so, I leaned into a sort of Zen and then Stoic acceptance. I tried to train myself to spiritually release my hold on needing to live, and then practically go about setting up things so that if I should die my family would be best positioned in my absence. The release was the Zen part, and the practical steps were Stoic.

This was useful, and it got me through the early phase. It particularly helped get me through the parts where physical pain and the mystery of what was ailing me were strongest. Not needing an answer or even to survive were a huge release. And it was useful in helping me prioritize things that matter most in terms of time spent with my family. Also it was practically useful in getting some ducks in a row I probably should have any way, like setting up a will.

But it wasn't enough.

During this time, I kept coming across Gnostic thinkers. There are some really great insights to be found in Gnosticism. The focus on the eternal consciousness or spirit instead of temporary material matters was a valuable and encouraging way to direct my gaze into loftier things. But this wasn't quite enough either.

I kept thinking about how C.S. Lewis once said that in his journey from atheism to theism then Christianity, he explored all the major religious and philosophical traditions. After searching and testing, he was attracted to Taoism and Christianity the most, but Taoism felt to him to be lacking courage. (I am speaking from memory of something I read many years ago so don't quote me).

I always sort of got his point on an intuitive level, but couldn't quite get my fingers around it. I felt the same by Lewis saying that Christianity was like all the great myths - a la Joseph Campbell - except that it also happened to be true. He called it "true myth", and the combination of those things, as embodied in the form of Jesus as both God and man, was crucial to him. Again, I sort of got it but I couldn't quite explain it to myself.

Back to the present and how I keep coming across the idea of courage. One reason is probably because I'm re-reading Lewis' Space Trilogy and it plays a prominent role. But it's popping up lots of places, and it's been growing in my mind for quite some time.

I think what the Zen and Stoic and Gnostic approaches were missing for me is the same thing Lewis felt was missing in Taoism and most myths in general. That is, redemption of "the flesh", or the material.

The true part of true myth; the flesh part of God made flesh. The process of ascension, or what the Orthodox call Theosis, is becoming or realizing your divine nature. It sounds very Gnostic. Except where Gnosticism might reject the flesh and leave the material plane, Theosis is about redeeming the flesh and bringing it with you.

This is very weird. And very bold. And very interesting. It also scratches an itch that I think all humans have. I certainly do.

We don't want to endure terrestrial life by believing it's all an illusion. We don't want to solve the mind-body problem by denying the body exists (or denying the mind exists as materialists might do). We can't just be perpetually high on DMT, living outside our bodies. Nor can we live well if we despise our bodies as meat-prisons.

I have always lived in my head and my heart. My body has always been a bit of a distraction. Eating sometimes feels like a chore when I just want to work. Health problems are a massive irritation to me. But trying to escape from this by accepting the idea that my body is a mere illusion or a corrupted cask from which I need to ascend feels lacking. It's demeaning to half the thing that makes a human human. And it seems sort of, well, cowardly.

This is where courage comes in.

I don't think enlightenment or a full, meaningful life comes from overcoming fear of bodily death and living in some elevated, non-corporeal state. Nor do I think it comes from obsessive efforts to cheat or overcome death and extend material life.

I think it comes from living with courage.

I think this means doing the most uniquely human thing imaginable: fully fusing and integrating the spirit world with the material world - fully god and fully man.

To live with courage is not to deny or ascend beyond fear. Nor is it to live only to avoid danger and difficulty. To live with courage is to walk out into the adventure (even battle if you must) even though you are afraid of it. Fear of pain and death keeps you tethered to the material, temporal part of yourself. Proceeding boldly ahead despite this fear is what keeps you tethered to the spiritual, eternal part of yourself.

It seems to me my task as a human is to live courageously.

Whew. It feels right, but what a thing to face. It's the tallest of orders. There's no escapism here, except escape from any beliefs or habits or situations that might tempt me to be less than courageous; to abandon or idolize either the material or the spiritual.

Where I’m Creating Lately


I'm a pretty type-A, anal retentive kind of guy. I setup and maintained this site for years as the definitive, one-stop for all the stuff I created. Every new podcast and podcast episode got a post. All the books I wrote were added. Videos, articles for third party sites, etc.

It got more complicated when I started blogging for Praxis and going on way too many podcasts to track down and repost here, but I tried. Having stuff all over the place splintered my brain. But I had to let that go.

These days, there isn't a one-stop. I'm a little bit all over the place with content I create or participate in. I've forced myself to relax and get more comfy with that. So for the curious, here's a list of most of the stuff I'm up to lately in various places.

  • The Crash blog - This is my main squeeze. I write here nearly every weekday on job-hunt related stuff because it's in my DNA to create content and Crash is the incorporated embodiment of my life philosophy of "be your own credential".
  • The Isaac Morehouse Podcast - I've semi-revived the podcast after a period of dormancy. I say semi because, counter to my type-A nature, I don't have a regular schedule. I just record whatever I want whenever it seems interesting. And I don't have anyone editing for me, so episodes have no intro or outro anymore, are totally one-shot unedited, and nothing like sponsors or detailed show notes. The podcast is available on SoundCloud and every podcast platform.
  • YouTube - I've always preferred podcasts to video, but a few years ago I started occasionally posting conversations about bitcoin with some friends to YouTube. They did pretty well, and though I ended up moving most of those to a different platform (see next), I will occasionally post video versions of podcast episodes to the YouTube channel. It's super inconsistent when I do, so what you see on YouTube is a lot less than what's on the podcast, and does not include the vast majority of the bitcoin discussions either.
  • Streamanity - I post videos about bitcoin and occasionally other stuff here. I LOVE Streamanity as a creator. It's so cool to be able to use instant micropayments with revenue splits, etc. It's the future. The problem at present is that users have to have a wallet with BSV to watch, so I've used this mostly as a place for more niche content of interest primarily to bitcoin nerds. Some of the videos here make it into the podcast, and a very few make it to YouTube. There's a little logic to it in terms of which audiences seem to fit the content, but sometimes it's just random.

I still go on other people's podcasts pretty frequently - at least 3-4 times a month, and often more like half a dozen - usually about career related stuff and those are just out there in the ether.

It's been a challenging but also freeing change of pace for me to kind of force myself to be less systematic and just create stuff with less rigid structure, and put it out wherever it feels best and easiest at the time. I do have occasional OCD moments when my eye twitches because all this stuff is in so many haphazard places, and any of them could get cancelled or memory-holed at any time. But there's no real reason to be so uptight. I create because it makes me a better version of me. Maintaining a perfect archive really doesn't contribute to that all that much, so I'm trying to let it go.

The Obviousness of Anarchy, by John Hasnas


This essay can be found at various places on the web in PDF (like here), and below is an audio version.

https://soundcloud.com/isaacmorehouse/the-obviousness-of-anarchy

How You See Changes Who You Are


The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. (Matt 6:22-23, KJV)

That's a weird saying of Jesus. It's wedged between two statements about being generous and not being a slave to money or material fear.

There are two odd metaphors in here about the eye. First, the idea of the eye as a light or lamp. Second, the idea of a "single eye" in contrast to an "evil eye".

We think of the eye as a passive instrument. It receives light, sends it as images to the brain, and the brain makes sense of it. The world outside of the eye is objective, and the eye simply takes in what is there. If the world being observed by the eye is bright and lovely, it will send those images to the brain and that will likely make our disposition bright and lovely. If what the eye sees is ugly, the opposite is likely.

But Jesus implies something radically different here. It's not the external world that the eye passively observes. It's not the external world that shapes our inner selves. Instead, the eye is the light, rather than a receiver of light. Your eye - your consciousness, your attention, your perception, your way of seeing the world - is what determines the kind of person you'll be. The light of the eye in this verse is illuminating not just the external world, but the inner self.

This is fascinating. I have witnessed and experienced something like this many times. You probably have too. A pessimist and an optimist, for example, may observe the same event and come away believing different things and having different internal states because of it. One has an eye that perceives beauty and goodness, which causes them to shine internally. One has an eye that perceives the opposite. In the context of Jesus' sermon, he seems to be saying that a scarcity mindset that worries a great deal about money, material possessions, and material status relative to others (what today gets called "equality" in Social Justice circles) - an eye that sees lack instead an eye that sees abundance - will darken the soul.

The second metaphor is about the eye being "single". Maybe, as some have suggested, Jesus is talking about the "third eye" chakra or Pineal gland and telling everyone to get on some DMT and open the doors of perception. I wouldn't rule it out and it's certainly interesting and not really in conflict with the broader context.

But you don't have to get trippy to understand. The idea of singleness vs duality is repeated a lot in the Old and New Testament, usually with a bodily metaphor. Singleness of heart, singleness of mind (or its opposite, doublemindedness), and singleness of tongue. James talks about the doubleminded man being unstable in all he does, tossed around by every "wind of doctrine", or new fad or teaching, perhaps the trending hashtags of the day. David asks for an "undivided heart".

The idea of a single eye - paired with the idea of the eye not just receiving info about the world, but generating it as it illuminates what it sees - implies a lack of inner conflict. An untortured, unthreatened, consistent perception of the world. Jesus says right after this verse that you can't serve two masters, or you'll grow to despise one of them (PS - sometimes one of them is you). The idea of singleness is about peace of mind. In my experience, it is the greatest, most freeing thing to be of a single mind, or single eye (perception). It's having a vision that is clear and consistent.

It takes self knowledge, and especially brutal self-honesty, to clear away conflicting perceptions or desires. You may think you have a vision and start acting on it, while maintaining doubt or conflicting desire. This will tear you apart. Saying yes to things when you really want to say no will do the same (in this same sermon Jesus advises "let your yes be yes and your no be no"). Inner conflict comes from thinking you want one thing, or tricking yourself into believing it, while your gut really wants another. This gives you double vision. You can't see clearly. Your eye is not single.

I love this odd double metaphor of the eye as a lamp and a unitary tool of perception. It reminds that who we are is determined by how we see ourselves and the world.

Isaac Morehouse


Isaac Morehouse is the CEO of Crash, the career launch platform, and the founder of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program. Isaac is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning.

Featured on -

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Staying Playful


The older I get, and the more routines of family and work get layered on, the more I have to deliberately choose to stay playful.

If I'm not playing around and dabbling with new things, I get stagnant and bored and wonder why I feel that way. When I've always got a few things on the periphery that have no direct connection to my work or family, but are fun and interesting and make me feel like a novice, I feel connected to life.

I try to curb the old man cynic that wants to come out when some new fad pops up. It's too easy to just dismiss things that don't appeal to me like Clubhouse, or NFTs. But if I can ask around and learn from interesting people what it is that attracts others to these, it usually leads me to some kernel that then leads to a new area to play around in. Usually, the most popular instantiation of an idea isn't the most interesting, but it can lead you there.

I'm always looking for weird corners of the world to explore and play with.

The Inverted Hierarchy


The natural hierarchy:

God
Individual
Family
Community
Culture
Governance Bodies

Each level down is weaker, and subordinate to the one above it. In the natural structure of reality - the patterns baked into nature - any collective is weaker and subservient to smaller units like communities, which are subservient to individuals. To the extent the lower orders cease to serve the higher orders, they are altered, ignored, or disbanded. The more centralized, the more subservient. The more removed from the individual, the more subservient.

The world is constantly attempting to reverse this hierarchy, which always leads to suffering. Nation states are the particularly hideous form a governance body takes when it attempts to dominate the higher orders. They attempt to use or dictate culture as a subservient propaganda mechanism to control communities, which in turn control families and individuals. Brainwashing, guilt, shame, and naked violence are constantly needed to try to reverse the natural ordering and maintain the upside down structure, but it's always in a state of chaotic flux.

God is mostly treated as outside the hierarchy. A mental plaything, or an idea to be invoked to justify tyranny. But reality cannot be wished away, and the natural law - the eternal, the source of the universe, the divine - is always the highest thing in the structure. God is not an abstraction to be invoked or imagined, but the most solid thing there is. Reality itself flows from God.

The creation stories and myths always follow the natural hierarchy, and stories of the fall follow the inverted one. God creates individuals, who then form a family, and are given dominion over their local environs, language and culture emerges, and finally interwoven institutions across the whole earth. Power flows downward. All the larger, further removed institutions are servants of the individual.

The stories of corruption begin the reversal. The temptation, though manifested through individuals, is about mankind, and whether humans as a category, the collective humanity, ought to be higher than God. It results in tyrannical governing bodies attempting to occupy the top of the hierarchy, sometimes literally equating themselves with God, sometimes trying to do away with God, and making power flow in reverse of its natural course. The individual is less important than the categories or cultural norms, which are less powerful than the state.

Attempting to maintain this inverted hierarchy is constant pain, death, and confusion. The starting place to right the ship is within each individual, since individuals are the most powerful part of nature under God. If we can reorient our own lives in accordance with the structure of reality, reality itself will begin to return to form.

The Daily Job Hunt Newsletter is Here


Hunting for a job is hard and, well, kinda sucks.

Screw that.

Let’s punch the job hunt in the face! (*ripping guitar riff plays in your head)

The Daily Job Hunt email newsletter hits your inbox like a freight train every day, six days a week. While you're working on winning that next job, let this newsletter be a guide, a coach, a friend, a kind word, and sometimes a kick in the ass to keep you pumped and on track.

Hope to meet in your inbox!

Sign up here.

The Daily Job Hunt


If anyone you know is on the job hunt, share this! We just launched a newsletter for job-hunting.

Every morning we deliver a quick gut-punch of goodness to your inbox to help fill you up with opportunity and optimism so you can find and win that next gig. A daily stoke to keep the fire burning.

It's free.

The Daily Job Hunt Newsletter

On Living Courageously


The topic of courage keeps coming up everywhere I turn.

I went through a very challenging phase in 2019 where some health issues led me to face the possibility of my own death. Of course we all die, and I had made peace with mortality back in my teens, but the prospect of dying young and leaving a family behind was different. I hadn't grappled with it.

In the process of doing so, I leaned into a sort of Zen and then Stoic acceptance. I tried to train myself to spiritually release my hold on needing to live, and then practically go about setting up things so that if I should die my family would be best positioned in my absence. The release was the Zen part, and the practical steps were Stoic.

This was useful, and it got me through the early phase. It particularly helped get me through the parts where physical pain and the mystery of what was ailing me were strongest. Not needing an answer or even to survive were a huge release. And it was useful in helping me prioritize things that matter most in terms of time spent with my family. Also it was practically useful in getting some ducks in a row I probably should have any way, like setting up a will.

But it wasn't enough.

During this time, I kept coming across Gnostic thinkers. There are some really great insights to be found in Gnosticism. The focus on the eternal consciousness or spirit instead of temporary material matters was a valuable and encouraging way to direct my gaze into loftier things. But this wasn't quite enough either.

I kept thinking about how C.S. Lewis once said that in his journey from atheism to theism then Christianity, he explored all the major religious and philosophical traditions. After searching and testing, he was attracted to Taoism and Christianity the most, but Taoism felt to him to be lacking courage. (I am speaking from memory of something I read many years ago so don't quote me).

I always sort of got his point on an intuitive level, but couldn't quite get my fingers around it. I felt the same by Lewis saying that Christianity was like all the great myths - a la Joseph Campbell - except that it also happened to be true. He called it "true myth", and the combination of those things, as embodied in the form of Jesus as both God and man, was crucial to him. Again, I sort of got it but I couldn't quite explain it to myself.

Back to the present and how I keep coming across the idea of courage. One reason is probably because I'm re-reading Lewis' Space Trilogy and it plays a prominent role. But it's popping up lots of places, and it's been growing in my mind for quite some time.

I think what the Zen and Stoic and Gnostic approaches were missing for me is the same thing Lewis felt was missing in Taoism and most myths in general. That is, redemption of "the flesh", or the material.

The true part of true myth; the flesh part of God made flesh. The process of ascension, or what the Orthodox call Theosis, is becoming or realizing your divine nature. It sounds very Gnostic. Except where Gnosticism might reject the flesh and leave the material plane, Theosis is about redeeming the flesh and bringing it with you.

This is very weird. And very bold. And very interesting. It also scratches an itch that I think all humans have. I certainly do.

We don't want to endure terrestrial life by believing it's all an illusion. We don't want to solve the mind-body problem by denying the body exists (or denying the mind exists as materialists might do). We can't just be perpetually high on DMT, living outside our bodies. Nor can we live well if we despise our bodies as meat-prisons.

I have always lived in my head and my heart. My body has always been a bit of a distraction. Eating sometimes feels like a chore when I just want to work. Health problems are a massive irritation to me. But trying to escape from this by accepting the idea that my body is a mere illusion or a corrupted cask from which I need to ascend feels lacking. It's demeaning to half the thing that makes a human human. And it seems sort of, well, cowardly.

This is where courage comes in.

I don't think enlightenment or a full, meaningful life comes from overcoming fear of bodily death and living in some elevated, non-corporeal state. Nor do I think it comes from obsessive efforts to cheat or overcome death and extend material life.

I think it comes from living with courage.

I think this means doing the most uniquely human thing imaginable: fully fusing and integrating the spirit world with the material world - fully god and fully man.

To live with courage is not to deny or ascend beyond fear. Nor is it to live only to avoid danger and difficulty. To live with courage is to walk out into the adventure (even battle if you must) even though you are afraid of it. Fear of pain and death keeps you tethered to the material, temporal part of yourself. Proceeding boldly ahead despite this fear is what keeps you tethered to the spiritual, eternal part of yourself.

It seems to me my task as a human is to live courageously.

Whew. It feels right, but what a thing to face. It's the tallest of orders. There's no escapism here, except escape from any beliefs or habits or situations that might tempt me to be less than courageous; to abandon or idolize either the material or the spiritual.

Isaac Morehouse


Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program making degrees irrelevant for careers. Isaac is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning.

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