Some directions I would go with this question myself:
I just want to say this is the best question I've seen asked online in a while.
I'm sorry this comment doesn't have anything much to add other than:
Wow this question is amazing, and I wish more people would ask it, and I'm better for having read it. So thank you for asking it.
My personal understanding of rationality is that Rationality(tm) was always open to being discarded along the way to attaining the 12th virtue.
If you speak overmuch of the Way you will not attain it.
To be clear, I still highly value truth-seeking, model-building, winning, etc. I just don't know what 'rationality' is actually trying to refer to these days. Maybe it feels small and incomplete to me, given my current perspectives.
I feel like Circling isn't that much stronger than meditation on this particular axis. You might be characterizing "mental universe" as very different from "interpersonal universe," but to me they're very similar—because in both cases you have to use your subjective experience as the medium of "evidence delivery" so to speak.
I think someone should maybe write a post describing how meditation is a form of empiricism, and then it should follow as a pretty easy corollary that Circling is also a form of empiricism.
I gave some of those details above. I don't have further thoughts.
One of the founders of Circling Europe sincerely and apropos-of-nothing thanked me for writing this post earlier this year, which I view as a sign that there were good consequences of me writing this post. My guess is that a bunch of rationalists found their way to Circling, and it was beneficial for people.
I've heard it said that this is one of the more rationalist-friendly summaries of Circling. I don't know it's the best possible such, but I think it's doing OK. I would certainly write it differently now, but shrug.
At this point I've done 1000+ hours of Circling, and this post isn't that far off from what I currently believe about Circling.
I'm less clear on the connection between Circling and 'rationality' because I have lost some touch with what 'rationality' is, and I think the concept 'rationality' is less personally meaningful to me now.
I do believe that Circling has a deep connection to epistemics, belief formation, and belief updating, and can teach us many things about how those things work. Similar to meditation, Circling can guide people to understanding perception and seeing through their own perceptions (the lens that sees its lens that sees its lens etc).
I believe the pitfalls are still more or less accurate, but I wouldn't quite frame them the way I did. I think I was catering to a rationalist audience then. But yeah I don't really personally agree with the perspective I took.
RE: how to learn about Circling. Right now I would recommend heavily people start with something like Aletheia or Integral-style Circling and then go on to try official Circling Europe events in Austin or SAS. Or maybe online at Circle Anywhere. For my first experience, I would try going to 'official' events and avoid 'wild west' style events / events with independent facilitators. That's my personal opinion.
I appreciate seeing this post here! I am very interested in this sort of topic, generally.
I'm confused why the post has such a low karma score. If nothing else, it seems like a useful reference for human anatomy.
One thing this post suffers from is, like, it's overwhelming for a noob to look at. Personally I'd much rather just hire someone to teach me all this in person, if at all possible.
That said, it still seems like a great reference for parts of human anatomy, and it contains a very interesting hypothesis. I wish LessWrong talked more about this stuff, as it seems very important for humans and how humans think.
Writing about anything RE: biology, life, anatomy, etc. seems difficult because it's all very 3D in nature, and it's best to have good visualizations. Which are not always available. That said, I am grateful that you put all this together. It seems like it took a lot of work. And I hope to see more in the future.
Worth noting here that the Schedule at MAPLE is very conducive for creating these low-stakes contexts. In fact, inside the Schedule, you are always in such a context...
There is a world-saving mission at MAPLE, but at MAPLE, it does not define people's worth or whether they deserve care / attention or whether they belong in the community. I think the issue with both the EA and rationalist community is that people's "output" is too easily tied to their sense of worth. I could probably write many words on this phenomenon in the Bay community.
It is hard to convey in mere words what MAPLE has managed to do here. There is a clearer separation between "your current output level" and "your deserving-ness / worthiness as a human." It was startling to experience this separation occurring on a visceral level within me. Now I'm much more grounded, self-confident, and less likely to take things personally, and this shift feels permanent and also ongoing.
Upon re-reading this post, I want to review this sentence:
In my experience, being in an SNS-activated state really primes me for new information in a way that being calm (PSNS activation) does not.
I think this is true still, but I also suspect being in a certain calm, open PSNS state is also good for integrating new information.
I don't understand this fully yet. But some things:
These phenomena are mostly still mystery to me.