I have procrastinated long enough, now it is the time to write this post not to mention something else had happened that triggered my decision.
Last year I went to a ‘Subjective Reality’ workshop held by Steve Pavlina, whose very successful blog about personal development I have been reading for quite a while. On a side note the title of his blog – ‘Personal development for smart people’ – bothers me somehow but I try to consciously and subconsciously forget the second part when I read his blog, otherwise I would not read it all – I just consider it a ‘personal development’ blog for everyone .
So, I had wanted to meet the great Steve Pavlina in person and his workshops were the best opportunity taking into the account they were not at all expensive (around $600). And “Subjective Reality” seemed an interesting workshop, at least for me, to attend.
However, it seemed very weird to go to such a workshop. Also it was in Las Vegas, a city that I had neither the inclination nor the desire to go to. Nassim Taleb wrote in ‘The Black Swan’ “Las Vegas (along with its sibling, the emirate of Dubai) is perhaps one place I’d never wish to visit before I die.” Great minds think alike I would have liked to say but in contrast with him I would like to visit Dubai one day. So after all I am not a great mind, but hopefully half of a one.
Steve said in one of his posts about participating to his workshops (in general, not this one in particular) “As I see it, some people are really meant to be there.” In fact I didn’t want to go there, the logic said that it is waste of time/money but it seemed the Universe was pushing me inexorably towards going there by removing any (objective in my opinion) obstacles.
So first of all I could reimburse the cost of the workshop as our company offers a so called lifestyle benefit that among vitamins, bicycles, gym equipment, etc. covers any general interest classes.
Also, for 2 of the nights I could use points so it didn’t feel like spending money. And the last but not least, the workshop came with a no-questions asked guarantee (i.e. I would get my money back if I considered the workshop had not been worth attending).
I thought I would not get a day off at work as a project deadline was approaching, I mean for something ‘serious’ I would have not had any problem (company I work for is very understandable), but to say that I wanted to attend a ‘Subjective Reality’ workshop (due to the project deadline they would have asked what I needed a day off for) this would have been a good enough reason for instant dismissal .
As a matter of fact I would have not cared much about any approvals if there was something I really wanted to do but attending a ‘Subjective Reality’ workshop was a very odd reason not to care about the company’s ‘rules and policies’. It was something I could not rationalize.
However, my previous manager had just left the company only a few weeks before (for sure he would have said ‘No’ just because he could and no other reason, still remember that one Christmas I hardly could get 3 days off – beside the statutory holidays – as he kept mentioning about ‘impacting the planning’ even if the important deadline was some 6 months away) and the new manager did not have any problem with my taking a day off. I just told him I was going to attend a workshop without specifying any details or even its name for that matter.
I was trying very hard to find reasons not to go, especially that I am highly skeptical about these things, but something was nagging me ‘What if …’. Steve said during the workshop: “Doubt your doubt and this will give you an opening” I liked this “doubt your doubt” and by my “What if …” I was doing exactly this.
Also, I was thinking what was the alternative: to stay at home and feel miserable that I didn’t go, and it would have been a week-end not different from others – I can‘t remember what I did only a few week-ends ago – or do something different that I might remember it for a long time (at least until I become senile).
“If you don’t already resonate with the idea of coming to a workshop of mine I don’t think you’ll need to worry about that page convincing you to attend“, Steve said in a post referring to the sales page of one of his workshops and as a matter of fact I did not pay too much attention to the sale page for the ‘Subjective Reality’. I was more interested in the experience rather than the actual content of the workshop and the benefits it will purposely bring.
Getting the approval for taking a day off was the last hurdle; I could not find any reason not to go so I had to attend my very first workshop out of work.
At the airport in Las Vegas I had to clear the customs and all of the sudden this felt as a serious obstacle. What would the officer say when I would tell him I was going to attend a workshop? Would he ask for specifics, would he deny my entry for reasons of insanity? However, he did not ask for details, I just told him I was going to a personal development workshop, I didn’t even say its name as I wasn’t asked and I was allowed in. I was told/read somewhere to strictly answer to what you have been asked, never say more than what it is required otherwise you would elicit even more questions and delay the customs clearance. As a matter of fact no-one knows yet I had been to such a workshop with the exception of my wife who for sure had forgotten its’ name by now and didn’t seem to be at all interested in what I did when she heard it was Steve Pavlina’s workshop (yes, not everyone is interested in his blog).
In Las Vegas I checked in the Tropicana hotel and in the morning the very first thing I saw when I pulled up the blinds:
I was going to a ‘Subjective Reality’ workshop and outside I saw a huge ad for the ‘Alter Your Reality’ show with David Copperfield, this was a synchronicity I didn’t expect. And initially I didn’t want to stay at Tropicana as it seemed pricey but I reasoned it was only for one night and very convenient as the workshop was held in the conference center of the hotel.
Now I will write the things I remember not necessarily as they happened, as I did not keep a diary; it was so much information, not to mention there was no written material given, not that it was really necessary.
Steve told was about manifestation of money (How to Manifest Money) and I decided to have a try and go big … manifest $10. I imagined that I would find $10 and hang around the place where I’d found the money, the person who lost the bill would show up and desperate look for it and I will give her/him the $10. I did not want to manifest $10 at someone’s expense. And I did not find any $10 but what happened: I stayed at a hotel where other attendee of the workshop was staying, she had a car and she gave me a lift for two mornings in a row otherwise I would have had to take the monorail ($5 per ticket x 2). So this was my $10 manifestation that became reality. Later I tried to manifest quarters or other small amounts but it did not work not that I put too much effort/interest into it.
Other topic was about lucid dreams. Ludwig Wittgenstein (an Austrian-British philosopher): “We are asleep. Our life is a dream. But we wake up, sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.”
Steve told us to pay attention to the lyrics of the songs that inspire you, the following is from one of his articles and he said more or less the same:“Some songs point out that you’re asleep and in denial about it. Even a song with seemingly crazy lyrics will begin to make sense if you regard it as communication from your own dream world. What are the last echoing words of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” for instance? “A Denial!” And what’s the meaning of the line, “With the lights out, it’s less dangerous”? It’s telling you that you’re afraid to wake up. What would it mean to turn on the lights? Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself. Try it with any song that inspires you. The reason a song moves you emotionally is that it’s causing the dreamer within to resonate with a deeper level truth.”
One of the songs I like a lot is ‘Eye Of The Tiger ‘ by Survivor and the lyrics say:
“Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive”
We did some interactive exercises and the truth is that some of them I did not enjoy (too interactive for my taste). For example one of them was to go out and say to someone we did not know (the attendees of the workshop excluded as well) ‘You are awesome!’
I wasn’t going to ‘embarrass’ myself (and I am often put into embarrassing situations, see 1st story in ‘Tales from the Road’) doing this so I just went outside of the hotel and I was walking through an almost deserted place. And there I saw her, an attendee who had left the workshop at the first opportunity (first break, first day). I suppose she found it too weird. I did not know her, and technically she wasn’t an attendee, I had a quick look around and no-one was there to see a scene that could have turned out to be somehow embarrassing so it was safe. She looked sad and I felt the urge to say her: ‘You are awesome’ but I stopped at the last moment. Almost immediately I regretted not saying it, but by then we had already crossed our paths and to run after her seemed inappropriate.
The story does not end here. I continued waking and this time I was in a crowded place and a tourist asked me for directions, first time while I was in Las Vegas and for the last time as a matter of fact someone had stopped me to ask me something (I’d been to Las Vegas twice). I said I did not know, we chatted up for a few more seconds and as she seemed friendly, again I thought I could safely say ‘You are awesome’ but I didn’t.
However, Steve did not ‘interrogate’ each of us what we did and I liked that in the end it was everyone’s choice to do the exercise (any exercise for that matter) or not.
Another exercise was to go around and tell the other attendees what part of our body we don’t like and I think the others were supposed to comfort you. I wanted to have some fun and say that I didn’t like that a certain part of my body was so large I was ashamed of going to a nude beach and I am seriously thinking of having reduction surgery. It would have been interesting to see other people’s reactions and what they would have said. But I didn’t say this.
After the workshop I felt a subtle shift as I for example was more talkative with people I did not know (and I am very introvert) but after a while the effects of the ‘Subjective Reality Workshop’ (SRW) wore off, I suppose so many things happened there because of the similar mindsets that started to vibrate at unison and created an energy field that made possible all the things I had experienced.
Steve mentioned in one of his posts that some people had gone through changes even before coming to his workshop as only the thought of going triggered the shift. For example some people had become vegetarian and this was my case also as only a few weeks before attending the workshop I had stopped eating meat (and I still don’t).
Did I regret going to the workshop? No
Did I learn what the Workshop summary* said? Not really, but as I said I went there more for the experience and one has to learn himself, 3 days is only for showing you the path and it is up to you to go further. Steve said something along the line ‘Now that you have been experiencing all these things are you going to pour concrete into the rabbit hole?’ I did not but at the same time I did not explore further.
Subjective reality is not mainstream material (yet) but perhaps in a few hundred years a second Einstein will demonstrate it scientifically.
Will I go again go to one of the Steve’s workshops? Perhaps, as long as it is not in Las Vegas .
I have thought of publishing an e-book about ‘Subjective Reality’ using Steve Pavlina’s articles (all his work is un-copyrighted, amazing isn’t it?). What price should I sell it for $9.99 or $0.99 or somewhere in between? Should I give it for free for the followers of my blog? I have noticed that some blogs do this: register and get a free e-book. ‘The power is in the list’ the blog marketing gurus say. But what would I do with this list? So in the end publishing this e-book didn’t seem any fun so it remained only an idea which is good as Steve is going to write himself such a book, and he will do a much better job than me as he will not just paste his old articles.
For the format I decided to create an ebook and an audio program, so I’ll actually have two different products in different formats, but the underlying content will be the same. I might sell them separately or as a bundle or both, but I can decide that later.
For the topic I settled on Subjective Reality.
Why SR? For starters people have been clamoring for a more in-depth product on that for years. We had the Subjective Reality Workshop in 2011, but not everyone can make it to a 3-day workshop.
I also think this would be a fun and interesting product to create. Based on what I’ve seen, there isn’t a lot of quality material available on SR. Most of it is either very shallow or very woo woo, and it fails to explain why we seem to have the various limitations and constraints that we do.
And this was trigger I mentioned at the beginning of the post, Steve will write a full book and I will have still not published my post about the ‘Subjective Reality’ in Las Vegas. This cannot happen.
SRW is one of the most unusual and mind-blowing workshops you’ll ever attend. Subjective reality (SR) is the perspective that you’re actually living in a dream-like matrix — a matrix that on some level reacts to your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and expectations.
This matrix appears to be solid and objective, but then so does a very vivid dream.
As it turns out, there’s no way to know for certain whether the true nature of reality is actually objective or subjective… or some hybrid mixture of the two. You can’t verify that anything exists beyond your own perceptual field in this moment. If this reality were some type of dream, you’d never be able to tell. Consequently, it’s wise to consider the possibility that even when you believe you’re awake and living in an objective universe, you may in fact be dreaming. Reality may simply be reflecting back to you your expectations of objectivity.
At SRW you’ll have the opportunity to experience what happens when you take the red pill and begin to relax your objective-minded assumptions about reality. This will allow you to consciously invite experiences that you may have previously believed to be impossible.
While it may seem at first glance that subjective reality is the stuff of science fiction, SR is immensely practical in its ability to help you overcome blocks, fears, and limiting beliefs. It gives you the power to transform your previous limits into pleasurable delights. For example, instead of seeing public speaking as a scary situation to be avoided, you could confidently enjoy being on stage.”
What You’ll Learn