Recommended Reading: The Kogi People


  • When I first began doing dark retreats in 2020, I believed that the maximum amount of time that anyone had spent in this light-free form of spiritual practice was 49 days. However, a few months ago, a friend of mine told me about the spiritual initiation of a South American indigenous group called the Kogi. Turns out, my estimation was off by a factor of over 100. 
  • The Kogi are the only pre-Columbian society never to have been colonized. 


  • “Their spiritual leaders are raised in the dark for their first 18 years, to communicate with “Aluna”, the thought process that shapes and maintains reality, the source of life and intelligence. They then become Mamos (Enlightened Ones).”
  • “Kogi culture centres on a belief that the material world is the physical trace of a thought-world sustained in “Aluna”. Aluna is not just a spirit world but the thinking and acting life force.”

Additional note: 

  • Every dark retreat that I have done has further strengthened my belief that this viewpoint is accurate, in the most literal sense possible. 


Recommended Reading: The Secret Life of Pronouns

Description from Amazon: 

“In The Secret Life of Pronouns, social psychologist and language expert James W. Pennebaker uses his groundbreaking research in computational linguistics-in essence, counting the frequency of words we use-to show that our language carries secrets about our feelings, our self-concept, and our social intelligence. Our most forgettable words, such as pronouns and prepositions, can be the most revealing: their patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints.

Using innovative analytic techniques, Pennebaker X-rays everything from John McCain’s tweets to the Federalist Papers. Who would have predicted that the high school student who uses too many verbs in her college admissions essay is likely to make lower grades in college? Or that a world leader’s use of pronouns could reliably presage whether he will lead his country into war? You’ll learn what Lady Gaga and William Butler Yeats have in common, and how Ebenezer Scrooge’s syntax hints at his self-deception and repressed emotion in this sprightly, surprising tour of what our words are saying-whether we mean them to or not.”


  • “Often, some of the most revealing words that we use are the shortest and most forgettable. Pronouns (such as I, you, we, and they), articles (a, an, the), prepositions (e.g., to, for, over), and other stealth words broadcast the kind of people we are. And this is the story of this book.”
  • For example, the average man and woman each say about sixteen thousand words a day. In the course of a year, women will say about eighty-five thousand more pronouns than will men. It boggles the mind. But does it matter? Although women are uttering almost 12 percent more pronouns than men, our brains are not constructed to pick up the difference. The average person can’t consciously detect a 12 percent difference and can’t even see the difference in written text.
  • “Whether their testosterone went up or down, no predictable changes were seen in their use of articles, prepositions, nouns, verbs, and negative emotion words. However, there was one fascinating and reliable difference—in social pronouns (including words like we, us, he, she, they, and them). As testosterone levels dropped, they (the research subjects) used more social pronouns. Think what this means: Both GH and the anthropologist inject themselves with testosterone and they now focus on tasks, goals, events, and the occasional object—but not people.”

TED Talk by James Pennebaker


Excerpts from my Journal 

I believe true spirituality, at its core, is about understanding the subtle patterns and forces of reality. 

Happiness comes when you learn when to plant, when to water, when to wait, and when to harvest. 

Do you live as though you believe what you claim to believe? 

More and more, I think that the universe is on a never ending quest to help us understand. Particularly, to help us understand what life is like for those for whom we lack compassion. 

Isn’t it interesting when, seemingly out of nowhere, the same idea starts coming at you from multiple different sources? 

If you let a thought go, it will often come back later in a more complete and accurate form. As is so often the case, death can lead to the rebirth of something greater that what came before. 


Music Recommendation