Become a Member/Patron. Because real is way, way better than phony.
Why join, you ask?
In a nutshell:
1) Get more clarity on the stuff we explore.
2) Get access to members-only stuff that non-members can't
3) Connect with other folks that are interested in this stuff.
That's the short version.
But for a slightly classier explanation...
Lots of folks are interested in the topics we explore.
No-fluff explorations of "The Big Questions. Happiness. Meaning in life. Figuring yourself out. Inner strength. Relationships that aren't disasters. How to avoid deathbed regrets. Mental clarity and emotional strength.
Stuff like that.
At the same time, lots of folks are navigating this treacherous terrain alone, with bad maps, broken compasses, rusty canteens, etc.
Lots of us think about this stuff secretly, in the back of our minds.
But often, we don’t talk about it.
It’s like a hidden little pocket of unspoken, forbidden thoughts and questions. (It can be kinda hard to bring up sometimes in a culture so often obsessed with inconsequential nonsense.)
Meanwhile, exploring this stuff out in the world…well, it’s the Wild West out there.
(If you’ve been at it a while, you know what we’re talking about.) The flood of noise, hype, and misinformation can make things pretty weird and confusing, to put it mildly.
That said…on the other side of things…there are also a number of folks who have been exploring this kind of stuff for a long time. They know a lot. They have a ton of experience. They have a huge load of things they’ve learned the hard way. They could probably help a lot of people, and save them some suffering, by passing some of this on.
And yet they’re often sitting there quietly, being passed by and ignored.
LiveReal is a place where folks who are interested in this stuff can meet up.
It’s a place where like-minded folks can compare notes, trade tips, swap advice, and quite possibly, save each other a lot of unnecessary suffering.
Because a major obstacle with this stuff is having no support system and going at it alone.
It's incredibly easy to wander off course while wandering these labyrinths, and even, as Nietzsche said, get torn apart by some minotaur of conscience.
Plenty of folks talk about this kind of stuff once in a while. But some folks are a bit more serious about it. They aren’t satisfied with bumper stickers and slogans. They don’t buy that “appearance is reality.” Exactly the opposite. They know that sometimes, if you want the truth, you’ve got to dig for it.
In other words, some folks are Seekers.
LiveReal is a headquarters for Seekers.
Our approach is practical, no-nonsense, see-for-yourself, take-what-you-like-and-leave-the-rest. It’s open-minded yet tough, truth-seeking but fair. It’s where religion and science meet common sense.
So if you’re interested in this kind of stuff too…welcome aboard.
You’re among friendlies here.
So this is where we’re supposed to give you a big fancy sales pitch.
But instead of doing that, we’re just going to say this:
This is how we keep our wheezing old computers alive.
And our lights on.
And our investigations and explorations ongoing.
We aren't asking for donations or handouts.
We aren't supported by any Daddy Warbucks figures, academic department/white-wig-wearing Council of Elders, or corporate overlords.
We don't collect information about you and sell it, and we never will.
It's just us - our little hearty, ragtag team of misfits - and you, and folks like you.
(And, by the way: there is no secret “upgrade to the Super-Mega-MEGA-$10k-Level for the real stuff” scammy nonsense. What we mention above…well, that’s it. And you can cancel any time if you want.)
So, what do I get if I join?
ESTEEMED PATRONS AND MEMBERS GET THIS:
• Immediate, Full Access to the Entire Site
A backstage, all-access pass to mingle with the stars. (Umm, and by “stars,” we mean our private, members-only content.)
• “An Introduction to “Inner Work” | The Course
This is the online course (more details below) that lays the foundation, sets the stage, cuts a path through the jungle with a machete to help make way for more advanced conversations to come. Explore at your own pace.
It’s also the fruit of decades of research, investigation and painstaking experimentation. It’s an introductory-level course, but it’s also a huge amount of clear, no-nonsense content on some difficult topics that could save you years of wandering in the wilderness.
This course sells by itself for $245 (one-time only) or for members at $9.95/month.
More about the course below, or a more in-depth description here.
• Access to our Recommended Products
Working on yourself and really figuring yourself out is hard enough when you get great advice and rock-solid information.
But with bad advice and confusing, badly-communicated, slippery misinformation and sloganeering, it’s almost impossible. And there’s a flood of hype, noise, and well-intentioned nonsense out there these days. Just few bad ideas can throw you off course for years. (We’ve know this from experience.) Even good ideas at the wrong time – or used in the wrong way – can become time-wasting detours and diversions.
To help remedy this, we’ve gathered a list of resources we recommend that, in our opinions, are solid, trusty, or least-likely-to-send-you-on-a-misguided-and-unnecessary-odyssey. Think of it as a “Consumer’s Reports” for working on yourself.
• A Community / Cavalry / Reinforcements to help put this stuff into practice
We’re all drowning in information overload these days. But mere information just clutters the place up…unless you apply it, translate it into understanding, integrate it into real life.
So, how are we attempting to help remedy that? It’s simple. By helping you, to the degree that we can, to put this into practice. Through…
• A Cozy Gathering Spot/Stomping Ground/Headquarters for folks who are interested in this stuff
A group of folks who are interested in the same things, on the same page, working together to help everyone succeed…?
Crazy, wild idea, we know.
Some folks are interested in this stuff, but treat it like it’s a dirty little secret. They don’t talk about it in polite society.
Other folks do talk about it – or try to (eg, “Have you ever wondered if X?) – but all too often get blank stares and looks as if they’d just and sprouted five heads and started yodeling out of their butt. Or, if they’re a little luckier, they merely get responses along the lines of “you think too much!” or “why are you reading that?” or “that’s crazy!”
This stuff isn’t crazy.
Let’s face it: the culture these days isn’t exactly fertile soil for contemplative thought.
Enough of this can lead a lot of thoughtful folks to “go at it” all alone. And we all wind up poorer because of it.
So, Join the Rebels.
If this sounds at all familiar, you probably understand what we’re trying to get at. This is all no small part why we’ve created this site: as a crash-pad for thoughtful seekers, seeking thinkers, and the spiritually homeless where folks who are interested in this stuff can get together in…
• A Private, Members-Only Discussion Forum
A lost art: good, old-fashioned conversation.
We feature a private, members-only Discussion Board where you can ask questions, have conversations, share tips, rant a little, compare notes, get (and give) reality checks, get stuff off your chest, tell dumb jokes and get weird in a friendly and supportive environment with other folks who are interested in this stuff. We told search engines to stay out, so it’s just us.
At any rate, the culture here is designed to support mutual respect, reasoned dialogue, fruitful discussions, friendly disagreements, lively interactions, support, honesty, tough love, and…did we mention ultracool, interesting, fun, intelligent and highly attractive people? Oh yeah - that too.
• Extra Members-Only content.
5 Big Ideas That All Major Spiritual Traditions, and Atheists, and Agnostics Agree On
The #1 Reason Why Self-Help Fails So Often (and How To Overcome It)
2 Important Names Worth Knowing When It Comes To Understanding Relationships (That You Might Not Have Heard Of)
• Complete and total spiritual enlightenment. Which is nice.
(Yes, we’re kidding.)
• The warm feeling of satisfaction that comes from being a Patron of a cause
We’re working to make ourselves a bit more wise, a little more sane, fulfilled, compassionate and all kinds of fairly mushy stuff.
But this isn’t all about mush.
We’re also working to solve serious problems. The topics we explore touch on deal with things real people are struggling with. Meaninglessness, angst, nihilism, depression, anxiety, suicide, relationship problems, existential crisis, stress, and good old-fashioned “the world just doesn’t make sense” syndrome.
We’re working to explore no-nonsense, practical, workable, affordable solutions to situations like these. Because sometimes (despite what some corporate overlords might say), the answer isn’t simply a matter of finding the right happy pill. It’s going to take some thinking, and figuring stuff out, and soul-searching.
We’ve been working on figuring some of this out quite some time now. And we’re still working on it.
But we’d like to do more. We have a pretty big storehouse of unpublished stuff that’s in-progress but isn’t ready for prime time yet. The vast amounts of time, energy and expense it takes to create all this is painstakingly, vividly real to us.
But by becoming a Highly Esteemed Patron, you help us do more.
Those are the high points.
There are other ways we think about what we’re trying to do here:
• it's like your own private Think-Tank.
• your own team of Information Brokers.
• your own personal Support Network.
• your own community of Inner Strength Trainers.
• your own Secret Club of Like-Minded Folks.
…but we won’t go into all that here. Some stuff is best discovered along the way. (And we’re trying to keep this short. Unsuccessfully.)
Except maybe one thing…
“Your own Secret Club of Like-Minded Folks.”
What's the benefit of that?
Here’s the basic idea:
“The Concord Quartet” – Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott and Hawthorne used to compare notes and read each others’ stuff. J. R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis hung out together and drank beer, and eventually wrote some of the greatest books of all time. The “Beats” — Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and others used to collaborate, help and challenge each other. Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Stein, Pound, and so on…
We could go on, but this is all just to try to illustrate a simple point:
Folks working together can often get better results than folks working separately.
A good community of people giving you feedback, reality checks, suggestions, support and so on can make a huge difference. By an order of magnitude.
Finding a good community can be hard. But if you do find it, it can save years of efforts, tons of energy, a lot of sanity, as long as it’s the right group, built on a good foundation. (“Good foundation” meaning something like the value of good conversation, respectful back-and-forth, free-thinking logic, clear-minded reasoning, healthy dialogue, open-mindedness combined with rigorous thought, friendly argumentation, and so on.)
This is the kind of community we’re working to build here.
(Just to be clear: we aren’t promising that you’ll write the next Hobbit or Walden immediately after joining. But then again...who knows?)
Stuff Folks Have Said About LiveReal
"I've been cruising around LiveReal. I'm mightily impressed with your professionalism, ambition and erudition, especially given that it's all served up with such appealing humor and self-deprecation... I coulda used LiveReal when I was a messed up 20 (or 30) year old, it might've saved me a lot of grief. Or not. But I woulda felt like I had more company on my path..."
- John Horgan, Senior Writer at Scientific American, author of The End of Science, The Undiscovered Mind, Rational Mysticism, and The End of War
- Ken Wilber, author of A Theory of Everything, The Spectrum of Consciousness, A Brief History of Everything, The Religion of Tomorrow, Integral Psychology, and much more
"LiveReal is a true gem, tackling the most vitally important issues of the modern world in a way that desperately needs to be heard. I believe LiveReal has the potential to truly become a force to be reckoned with in psychology and spirituality."
- Barnet Bain, author of The Third Story, producer of What Dreams May Come, Milton's Secret and Homeless to Harvard
"One of the best websites I have ever experienced."
- Ernie, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
"Finally everything I think about in one website/place!"
- Stephanie, 21, Converse, TX
"Exactly what I am looking for. A real group of people concerned about spending time concentrating on what is really important…"
- Barbara, 54, Spring Hill, FL
"I think about things like this all the time. Usually by myself. Nice to see that others think like me."
- Fahad K
"IT IS THE ONLY HONEST THING I'VE SEEN ON THE NET"
- MaryAnn, Scottsville, KY
"It is inside my head. It is asking and answering crucial questions that no one else seems to have except me."
- Neil, 43, Elgin, TX
"It seems like it was made for me, like this may be exactly what I need at this point in my journey. I feel like this web portal will make me a better person, and help me to make things better for others."
- Michael, 33, Lewes, DE
"...I can't stop saying how excited I am about this site... I want to suck the articles in, contemplate them for myself, and then tell others about them....I love having the opportunity to contemplate for myself questions I have never considered until LiveReal got me aware of them..."
- Ami, 19, Tuczon, AZ
"Plain truth as if somebody has put down my thoughts."
- Rahul, 28, New Delhi, India
"I've read a couple of articles and they were real, honest with no bullshit and that corresponded to my pain and made feel like I'm not recluse in my suffering."
- Khaled, 20, Cairo, Egypt
"Great Articles.....a focus on something truly practical. Something normal people can grasp which isn't rooted in esoterica and vague theoretical mumbo jumbo. And yet, a site which acknowledges that there's got to be something more, something beyond the mundane grit of everyday."
- Jackie, New York, NY
"I have never run across anything like this. Never have I been invited to join and communicate with other people who understand the true nature of this bizarre place that we call "Alive""
- Jefferson, 20, U North Alabama, Florence, AL
"It's unlike ANYTHING I thought I'd ever find on the internet, but it seems like EVERYTHING I've been looking for in life can be found here."
- Christopher, 20, Los Angeles, CA
"...a discussion of ideas that I consider to be fundamentally important...It feels like an oasis of sanity and reason and a force for good in an online world that is so often none of those things."
- Matthew, 41, London, UK
"From what I've seen so far, has given me something. What that something is I couldn't tell you, describe it, but it's something. Knowledge maybe? Peace of mind? I haven't a clue. But there's something here and I'm being held back from more of it."
- Erik, 30, New Windsor, NY
(Note: The above quotes come from real folks, not paid actors. They refer to an earlier version of the site, before it evolved into the even better version you see before you here. 🙂 Anyway, we'll stop for now. We're trying to be humble here. )
OK, so, umm, what is this about again?
We try to explain what we're doing here. That said, it's not the easiest thing in the world to explain. (Eg, "We sell hamburgers." That's easy to explain. Unlike what we're doing here.) That said, if you hang around, you'll probably catch our drift if you haven't already.)
What if I join, and then suddenly change my mind and decide that I hate you?
No problem. You can cancel any time. We promise to do everything we can to be nice and hassle-free about it. (We might as you why, so maybe we can fix it, but that's it. Really.)
So, can I definitely cancel at any time?
What about a refund?
A bit jittery, are we? Ha - no problem. Totally understandable. Seriously, our plan is not to take your ten bucks and hightail it to Tijuana. So…yes. If you join and decide it’s not a good fit, then we’ll give you a 30-day, easy refund, no sweat.
Why a community? Why not just a blog?
Sometimes interacting with other actual human beings instead of navigating through piles of information by yourself can make all the difference. Especially with stuff as important, personal, and sensitive as this. There’s a major, vital difference between, say, merely reading an article about losing weight and the experience of being in a weight-watchers group, or merely reading an article about alcoholism and the experience of being in an AA meeting. So we thought it just made sense to have a place where folks who are all interested in this stuff can get together and talk/interact/share tips without trolls, spam, or weird looks. (OK, we still give each other weird looks sometimes, but it's all in good fun.)
Is there any kind of secret, hidden agenda here?
OK, let’s be extremely clear about this: we love and are all about open, rational, free, clear, reasonable thinking. We encourage disagreement. We’re less about “what” folks “should” think, more about good, clear, rigorous thinking, period. If trolls, troublemakers or folks with other agendas show up, we’ll ask them to leave. Anyone is free to leave whenever they want. It’s hard to prove a negative, but well, we’d encourage you to poke around on the rest of the site. Hopefully you can get a vibe that we are what we say we are. (And who are we, ultimately? Ha. Something to explore…another time.)
Is anyone secretly controlling you behind the scenes?
LiveReal is secretly owned by some sinister, shady corporate supervillain that’s part of some elaborate and diabolical plot.
Yes, we’re kidding again.
Nope. It’s just us.
LiveReal is 100% free of that kind of stuff. We are fully and completely funded and operated, 100%, by us – the creators – and you – our revered Patrons. We create it, control it, operate it, steer it, own it.
Which means we have no corporate boss telling us what we can say and not say.
No university department head dangling tenure in front of us, telling us what we can research and what we can't.
No angry sergeant pounding his desk, yelling that he's been getting lots of heat because of the questions we've been asking, telling us we're off the case, asking for our guns and badges, ordering us to to stop sniffing around and causing trouble.
No fat-cat Sugar Daddy Warbucks paying us to come to certain conclusions and not others, to hype certain results and bury others. (cough cough pharmaceuticals! cough)
We follow the evidence down wherever weird, twisty trails it leads, and bring it back here for you to poke and ponder.
And that is our plan: to keep be able to continue to follow the truth, as we find it, wherever it leads.
Are you promising to cure all my problems?
We think of this as kind of like a gym. A gym doesn’t promise to lift the weights for you. That part's up to you.
In the same way that nobody can eat, drink, sleep, breathe and etc for you, nobody can “work on yourself” for you. But we’ll do our best to give you the tools, give you a clean, dry, supportive place to work, hopefully surround you with other folks who are doing the same thing so you can swap pointers, discuss finer points of stuff, spot for you, tell you to maybe avoid the month-old lo mien in the refrigerator, and high-five you every so often.
So, here’s the offer:
Become a Member
- Full access to the entire site
- "An Introduction to Inner Work" Course
- The Private Members-Only Discussion Forum
- Recommended Products
- Additional Members-Only Content
Cancel any time. Full 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
Pricing will never increase as long as you're a member.
Just the Course
- "An Introduction to Inner Work" Course
Full 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
SO, WHAT'S IN THE "INTRODUCTION TO INNER WORK" COURSE?
That is yet another great question.
Here's a partial Table of Contents. Or, you can get a more in-depth description here.
Inner Work: A Brief Overview
A Starting Point: The Most Basic Idea
A Basic Introduction to "Inner Work"
9 Core Qualities of Inner Work
A Basic Introduction to "Peak Experiences"
Peak Experiences as "Glimpses"
How to Cultivate Peak Experiences
Foundations: 5 Approaches to Inner Work
1) Our Core Personal Narrative and The Big Questions
2) Our "Core Delusion"
3) Our Inner Body Parts (...and horses...?)
4) A Theory of Human Nature in 5 Words
5) "Human Potential": A Brief, Non-Cheesy Version
A Brief Overview of Techniques, Methods, Practices
A Few Ground Rules on Techniques
A Basic Overview of Meditation
Important Notes About Techniques, Methods, Exercises
"What's the best technique?"
The limits of techniques
"Process verses Content"
Don't bring a spoon to a cannon fight
All of these techniques can be misused
The Fruit of Inner Work
Where To Go From Here
What's the format of the course?
It's an online learning system - something like the rest of the content on the site, but the ability to mark your progress through the various chapters and topics (mentioned above.)
To be clear: it's not currently video or audio. In its current form, it's content that is 1) digital (online), and 2) a downloadable pdf that you can read as one single document or print.
How long is the course?
The pdf by itself is 192 pages. There's a really clear and handy Table of Contents that allows you read everything in order or skip around if that's your style.
So, one last time...
Become a Member
- Full access to all member-only content
- "An Introduction to Inner Work" Online Course
- The Private, Members-Only Discussion Forum
- Our Recommended Books and Products
Cancel any time; Full 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
Just the Course
- "An Introduction to Inner Work" Course
Full 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
That's it! That's our big pitch. (That's about as fancy as it gets around here.)
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, suggestions, comments, glowing praise, and etc.
Your most humble, and cuddly,