Dear Qualia Enthusiasts!
Do you live in the Bay Area? Are you curious about consciousness? Meditation? Psychedelics? The nature of bliss? Why music can feel so good? Philosophy of mind?
You’re in luck!
You are invited to this Saturday’s causal QRI meetup in San Francisco!
Come and meet other like-minded and like-hearted people who are curious about these topics in order to share fun experiences, listen to a comedy sketch about consciousness, experience exotic scents, and taste the bliss of a heartfelt community in a cozy plant-filled Oasis at the heart of SF!
2PM – Setup (feel free to join and help)
2:30PM – Start, casual (and causal!) hangout
3PM – Drinks, snacks, and music-sharing
4PM – QRI scent workshop delivered by yours truly*
5PM – Comedy sketch and talk about the binding problem and aligning DMT entities
6PM – Participants share the experiences they brought
7PM – Food (catered**)
7:30PM – Participants can give a 5 minute speech (there will be a signup sheet)
8:30PM – Start of takedown
9PM – Everybody out, afterparty***
Please feel encouraged to bring with you an experience to share with others (your ~Qualia of the Day~) at 6PM! This can be exotic candy, spices, perfumes, special massagers or haptic devices, unusual sounds, weird concepts, brief meditation, etc.
Feel free to bring a +1, so long as they are indeed interested in consciousness and want to help reduce the suffering of sentient beings.
One Embarcadero Center (Third Floor, Next to the Cinema), San Francisco, CA 94111. The venue is at the Embarcadero Building furthest away from the water, on the third floor (“promenade level”). You can get there via the elevator (“Floor P”) or by taking the escalator, and then the stairs, following the signs pointing you to the (now defunct) Cinema. It’s a big red building, right next to a large Maple tree.
You have probably seen by now Harry Potter by Balenciaga (cf. Lord of the Rings, Breaking Bad, Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, Legend of Zelda, TPOT, etc. by Balenciaga). Besides this being an incredible show of power of recent AI advancements, seeing these videos also tickled my aesthetic sensibilities in a rather unusual way. On the one hand, the very idea that all of these powerful characters would leave aside their world-saving tasks for the sake of fashion and looking really sharp is compelling. On the other hand, it also highlights the incredible silliness of our perceptual filters: why on Earth does our Monkey Mind take more seriously someone just because of their sharp looks?
After mulling it over for a bit and letting reflective equilibrium naturally arise, I came to the conclusion that my strange reaction to these fashion shows was indeed a symptom of spiritual decadence:
In the battle of Consciousness vs. Replicators, there will be many seductive and attractive traps. Optimizing for looks is, in some sense, aligned with consciousness: you are exploring the state-space of consciousness, highlighting valuable qualia nuances, identifying ways to mess with the energy parameter, and discovering peculiar valence effects. At the same time, one is also sort of selling one’s soul to the devil: suffering, craving, selfing, and becoming transfixed by form. We need an alternative.
This is why we introduced VALENCIAGA by QRI. The first valence-centric luxury brand that aims to focus on the actual pursuit of altruistic bliss. Yes, it’s hot, sexy, and above all attractive. But at the same time, the dopaminergic wrapper hides within a core of real Jhanic bliss (unlike the amphetamine-comedown textures of qualia hiding behind your prototypical New York fashion houses).
Thus, for this QRI meetup you are encouraged to come in a fashionable, qualia-rich attire that makes you *feel* like you just came down from the 7th Jhana or your bliss-state of choice.
Looking forward to seeing you!
Note: We originally kept this meetup low-key on the basis that we were worried that the venue might reach its maximum capacity. After learning more about the venue, we are confident that it will hold up. And if we do experience overflow, don’t worry! There is a park nearby (Sue Bierman Park) which we can use as a buffer where you can hang out with others until there’s enough space for you. This is also why this announcement is in such a short notice. Sorry!
* You will have an opportunity to test (and purchase!) our exclusive QRI Scents, including the mythical Hedonium Shockwave.
** You can, and are encouraged to, bring vegetarian food, drinks, and snacks to share.
*** Location in Berkeley with capacity for up to 40 people (from 9PM): 2042 Hearst ave apt c Berkeley CA very close to the downtown Berkeley BART
Come to VALENCIAGA and meet QRI’s Magical Creatures IRL!
In Other News:
Last week I did a second Jhana retreat. I’ve been meaning to post a full writeup for both the first and second Jhana retreat, but it has been really difficult to do them justice in writting. Do expect some more content about Jhana phenomenology soon, though. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out Rob Burbea’s Practising the Jhanas retreat lectures. They hold the potential to heal you in ways you didn’t even know were possible.