How to Live Forever: 12 Steps
"Universal History, the history of what man has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the History of the Great Men who have worked here." --Thomas Carlyle, 1840
1. Be that kind of person. Are you a person that has little ego or commits to selfless behavior for the betterment of the human race? Have you thrown yourself away from this seductive world? To be a spiritual leader it means saying "NO!" to the flesh and saying "Yes!" to Humanity, God, Allah, Yahweh, Dharma, Qi, the Buddha nature and the other spiritual realms which envelope us each and every day.
2. Have a great idea. You need a plan, a system, a manifesto, a mission. Write it down. It can be a book, an unpublished manuscript, an essay, a drawing, a diary, a couple of poems, a draft for a constitution, or just a few lines of your thought. Something! Think about Chairman Mao's Little Red Book. Your idea will become the genius sitting on your shoulder and attending your actions; it's your guiding spirit, your talisman, and your protector. Having it will forever distract the critic's eye away from your over-the-top personality toward that genius.
3. Become historically aware. You must spiritually connect with historical events and famous people in history. You do so by comparing your idea with already existing ones, ideally from two thousand years ago, as if your thoughts were, say, the logical conclusion of the teachings of Confucius, Buddha, or Jesus Christ, etc. Your idea is universal and was previously known to other great men in history, so you are the obvious heir to the kingdom of thought.
4. Be a force of creation. To create is to know, they say. Great leaders are constantly creating new connections between themselves, their followers, and the movement to current domestic, economical, cultural, and political affairs. Everything is interconnected, that is the essence of all spirituality. In addition, just as companies like Google or Apple are putting out new software products and patents, so your spiritual enterprise, too, must constantly produce new consumer products, videos, articles, and new word-creations.
5. Keep your socio-economic status high. This is essential because it determines what kind of people you will meet and how they will see you. In short, people want to see you have a job. Or superior credentials. Did you win prizes and medals when you were young? Are you a chess master or martial arts champion? Do you own a company; are you affiliated with a university, a religion, or a political party? Are you a professor, entrepreneur, director, or president of something? If not, you better become some; the more the better. If you don't come from money and influence, you can always marry into it. If, however, your social status remains low, you are unlikely to reach the next levels.
6. Know that followers will follow. The truth is there is no planning for followers. It's the followers who come to the spiritual leader, and that is that. In fact, since by now you are that movement by constantly creating connections to the happenings around you, people are already drawn to you like moths to a flame. Every remark they make, every piece of paper they send, every gesture, every meeting, every conversation they will have with strangers about you will surely enhance your own reputation, for good or bad that is. Obviously, they will shower you with favors, gifts, their money and their time, sometimes even their real estate and other useful things. Imam Khomeini is often said to have possessed only about $12 on the day he died. Yet, he practically commanded the entire Iranian nation.
7. Give back. People who don't have cannot give. But by now you have a lot to give, and I don't mean just all that money and material props, but also more abstract forms of empowerment like access to resources, titles, jobs, or simple the credit of being in your presence. This is an important function of any leader: to distribute resources among his subordinates. Treat all people that work for you as if they were your family and distribute among them your favors (or withhold them), just like a king or pasha. Be benevolent and give and you will be given even more back in return.
8. Manage your image. Most spiritual leaders adopt an iconic look and style and stick to that a life-time in order to remain universally recognizable. Now, how to get your image and your idea out to the people? The key is public relations. Many times people will write articles about you, some will publish your stuff, but in order to stay in control over your universal image you must produce in-house. Get a management team and agent(s); create your own newspaper, journal, show, magazine, and publishing house.
9. Become a founder. Josei Toda once advised his disciple Ikeda that in order to achieve greatness he must travel the world, talk to great scholars, and build a university. Daisaku Ikeda did just that. He even founded two universities, high schools, kindergartens, and hundreds of other institutions. You, too, must now establish a school, a label, a temple, a research center, a foundation, a non-government organization, a political party, a religious movement, your own country, whatever suits you best, and the more the better.
10. Become an exemplar person. If you can, become a hero. Save little children from starving in Africa, help the victims of natural catastrophes in Japan or Indonesia. And let the public know that you helped those homeless. On the other side of the spectrum, always remember to connect to important people and forums, and let people know about your connections. Your life has turned into a work of art. You are now a force of nature, and you believe, like all people with great power, that you have the highest ethical standards anyway. Write more books about it. Go on TV.
11. Engage in diplomacy. Like head of states do. Search dialogue. It's been road tested. You are now in a different ball game than most of humankind. Meeting with ordinary people gives you nothing intellectually; you must search for those very few who are your equal. Presidents meet other presidents, CEOs meet other CEOs, and spiritual leaders meet other spiritual leaders. Dialogue is essentially the greatest promotional tool of spiritual leaders that exists today.
12. Carefully plan your legacy. Ideally, you should have died before 40. The shock will make many people say good things about you that they would never have said about a living or elderly person. Think about Bruce Lee who died at the age of 33 or Vincent van Gogh who died at 37, or Kurt Cobain who died at 27. If you live longer, your genius has probably left you, but has manifested in your works. Here’s what to do next: Do not take your money into the grave. Keep creating, do saintly work, and when you retire establish a fund or foundation or scholarship or prize in your name that does good work for society.
In the end, it all boils down to this: Have you left traces and have you laid claim on future affairs so that historians will have plenty of ways to know about your existence?
Image credit: SeanPavonePhoto/Shutterstock.com
Based on the work by Thorsten Pattberg, Teresa, Rhi112, Catdog, Maluniu, Votebot, and anonymous writers. Working title: 'How to Become a Spiritual Leader'. Contribute to the living document at Wikihow.
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Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"
- A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
- Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
- Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
Beards and perceptions of masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkxMjM3N30.cH-GqNwP5GVqvstgJWAhBPn1B_lYpVEAI0I7iax7EQw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1900%2C0%2C849&height=700" id="caae6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb0a355a4e8e1899789bc45f3f7aef56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Wikimedia<p>The study used 919 American (mostly white) women ages 18-70 who rated 30 pictures of men they were shown with various stages of facial hair growth. The photographs depicted men with faces that had been digitally altered to look more feminine or more masculine, with a beard and without a beard. The women rated the men according to perceived attractiveness for long-term and short-term relationships. The study found that the more facial hair the men had, the higher the men were rated on their attractiveness, particularly for their suitability for a long-term relationship.</p><p>Part of this might be attributed to facial masculinity — i.e. protruding brow ridge, wide cheekbones, thick jawline, and deeply set narrow eyes — which conveys information to a woman about a man's underlying health and formidability. Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness. It can also indicate a man with a superior immune response. The researchers suggested that their findings favoring bearded men could be due to the fact that facial hair enhances the masculine facial features on a man's face, like creating the illusion of a thicker jaw line. This could communicate direct benefits to women like resources and protection that would enhance survival among mothers and their infants. In other words, while a beard doesn't mean superior genetics in and of itself, it might be a primitive, ornamental way of saying, "Hey girl, I'm a testosterone-fueled lean, mean, pathogen fighting machine." <br></p><p>It could also be that a beard becomes its own destiny. The researchers in this study cite prior research that found that by growing a beard, men felt more masculine and had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.<span></span><br></p>
What does disgust have to do with beard preference?<p>Obviously, not all women dig beards. The researchers were particularly interested in what traits make a women prefer bearded men over clean-shaven faces. They looked into several factors including a woman's disgust levels on various concepts, her desire to become pregnant, and her exposure to facial hair in her personal life. </p><p>According to the study, women who were not into facial hair were turned-off by potential parasites or other critters they imagined could be in the hair or skin. Women ranking high on this "ectoparasite disgust" scale might have viewed beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. However, women who ranked higher in levels of "pathogen" did find the bearded men to be desirable, possibly because they perceived beards as a signal of good health and immune function. An intriguing discovery in the study was links to morality. Women who displayed higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, were more likely to prefer hairy faces. The authors opined that this could reflect a link between beardedness, politically conservative outlooks, and traditional views regarding performances of masculinity in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Additional findings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NjUyOX0.P9B8WbmJR0q4nfzYZKbuNSA-2SAigVWJgrQE-_Gxlds/img.gif?width=980" id="49143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ed3b1d6f20fc170bf2974646e565e8d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Giphy<p>The correlations that existed between married and single women's rating on the attractiveness of beards were not particularly clear, although the researchers noted that single and married women who wanted children tended to find beards more attractive than the women who didn't want children. They also found that women with bearded husbands found beards to be more attractive, which might indicate that social exposure to beards influences how desirable they are perceived of as being. Or it could be that men with wives who like beards grow beards.</p><p>It's important to note that culture plays a huge role in how attractive women perceive certain male characteristics as being. This study looked at a small, culturally specific group of American women, so no big, universal claims should be made about masculinity, facial hair, and male desirability to women. However, research like this is important in highlighting how human grooming decisions are driven by much more than fashion trends. Sociobiological, economic, and ecological factors all play a part in the way we choose to present ourselves.</p>
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Quantum Mechanics, Onions, and a Theory of Everything<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="036ae7b8dd661df2d125a3421a0299ba"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bcVruA0AJ-o?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
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