Lincoln Stoller, PhD, 2024. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


I’ve jumped into the Kickstarter world for my next book, Operating Manual for Enlightenment: Recreating Your Mind (OMfE). The book’s Kickstarter page is live and you can be a sponsor at levels between US$5 and US$2,100. Here’s what you need to know.

A Kickstarter campaign is more about endorsing new ideas than it is about raising money. Each campaign has a funding threshold which, when reached or exceeded, commits the project organizer to deliver and the project backers to contribute. If the threshold is not reached, nothing goes forward, nothing is delivered, and no money changes hands.

Kickstarter campaigns have a short life. In my case the campaign will be live for 4 weeks. It will end on Friday evening, April 26, 2024.

The campaign offers different items that spin off from the book. You are more involved with the product than simply getting something to read. I offer the book in its various forms—digital, audio, and paperback—and I also offer guidance, feedback, and training through consultation and workshops.

Finally, I’m able to produce a special edition that will be unique for sponsors. You see, the publisher requires the book to match the interests of a mass market demographic. In this case, self-help psychology books are mostly purchased by middle-aged women and the books run between 50,000 and 70,000 words.

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Procrustes, Sisyphus, and Tantulus

Procrustes had his legs chopped off, Sisyphus endlessly rolled a rock uphill, and Tantulus was cursed never to reach the food dangled before him. All myths of cruelty and frustration.

To meet the marketing requirements of the niche I’m in, I’ve had to remove a chapter and “hurry up” my writing. This may appeal to busy, female soon-to-be-empty-nesters but it’s not necessarily for the best. It is good to be succinct, but I try to be that anyway.

I often wonder what we might have gotten if Immanuel Kant bowed to a similar requirement. But academic books have a different standard. A lower quality of writing is tolerated by those who consume them. You might say it’s all about money but, in the traditional publishing world, there are real costs.

We are no longer in the traditional published world, but we are not yet out of it, either. Digital publishing reduces the costs of production, storage, and distribution to nearly zero, but the costs of authorship and marketing are much the same.

Imagine what this means for the creation of new ideas. Remember or imagine, if you can, how ideas developed in the world before there was printing. It’s almost inconceivable. We’re now entering a phase in which the time and cost of new ideas is radically reduced, and their reach extended.

A Flood of Novelty

This alone is disrupting culture, learning, education, economics, and our individual psychologies. The important effect of the internet is not on information but ideas. Information doesn’t do anything, it’s ideas that are important. You are now called to be part of this, get involved!

Look at the means of idea production and the quality of the producers and consumers. Ideas of leadership, education, and competence are coming into question. The changes that are needed go far beyond small adjustments to the old structures.

The internet is flooding us with ideas. Traditional publishing is being swept away. Something will replace it. Something more democratic and, we hope, more effective. But between now and then there will be chaos.

Kickstarter is a controlled, evolutionary step in the process of bringing new ideas to light. It creates an ecosystem in which possibilities are presented, argued, marketed, and sold. This does not mean the best ideas prevail, but it does reasonably create a more connected ecosystem. It supports the possibility of greater awareness, insight, communication, and quality.

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An Operating Manual for Enlightenment

The new idea in the Operating Manual is that our personality is a balance of disparate parts. This is broader than saying we have multiple intelligences because it dispenses with the idea of intelligence.

Intelligence is a limiting idea. Much of our world is simply interactive, and much of us simply interacts. Our perceptions, interpretations, sensations, memories, and reflexes are not intelligent in the usual sense. The usual sense of intelligence is insightful, and this is an arrogant notion.

Insight is better and worse, but reaction simply is. And much of what we do and who we are is reactive and not insightful. This is the basis of how we interact with the world, and it’s misleading to think insight is involved. This reflects my frustration with religion and the concept of God. There is no need for a great intelligence. Intelligence does not guide the world.

When it comes to who you are, intelligence is not the foundation. Awareness is. And, in a general sense, awareness is interaction and response. This describes everything, including nonliving things. Rocks are aware. They’re certainly chemically aware because they’re responsive. They’re just not aware of much.

The Operating Manual takes you back to what your personality is built on, which is your interactions with the world. You’re unconscious of most of this, and your awareness is inconsistent.

Connections between sensation, awareness, consciousness, recognition, and insight require a degree of intention. If not cognitive intention, then at least a degree of accommodation and support. Self-destructive habits, which can range from bad diet to bad thinking, can interfere with the most benign and necessary interactions.

Become a Sponsor

It doesn’t take a lot to get your shit together, at least somewhat. But it does take shutting your mouth and engaging your senses. This is the subject of the Operating Manual. It’s a fundamental approach to remodeling your mind.

Education, intellect, insight, and intelligence will not help you rebuild yourself. They are not at the foundation of who you are. Do you want to know what is? Then go to the Operating Manual’s Kickstarter page and support the project:

Sponsor a Special Edition of OMfE

On this page you’ll be able to sponsor, vote on, and select an extended edition with the option of advice, feedback, counseling, and a workshop. Get a “signed” copy (a personalized, signed bookplate sticker) and have your name mentioned on the sponsors page.

These offers end on April 26. Do it now.

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