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“”I gave birth to myself out of my own vagina, since I am EVERYTHING.
“”I really chock this one up to a coincidence. The guy's videos are really good and, if anything, he gives people insights on not being a degenerate, and actually making something of your life. With that said, he's somewhat bluepilled when it comes to politics, but if anything, he'd recommend being more apolitical since it's a distraction. I'd be shocked if he was a kiddie-fiddler, like really REALLY shocked.
|—Some random guy on 4chan|
Leo Gura is God. He also has a part-time job as a mystic self help Youtuber and course instructor where his acolytes know him simply as "Leo". His channel, as of April 2020, has over 955,000 subscribers and 80,000,000 total video views. He also runs the website and forum Actualized.org, where all sorts of philosophical shenanigans go down.
When it comes to the mind, Gura is a monist, idealist, and pseudo-solipsist that ridicules both materialism and dualism as examples of the finite self obscuring the true nature of reality. Since Gura believes states of consciousness are the only things that exist, he has fashioned himself as a psychonaut using direct experience to make discoveries. Some of his ideas range from insightful and resonating to crackpot and insane, such as when he claimed he might soon be able to perform miraculous healing by being conscious of consciousness imagining consciousness and consciously change it using high levels of consciousness. Even within the context of immateriality being the only substance, this makes no sense because the limitations of the physical region of reality still exist even if they are just imagined. Thankfully, Gura has recovered to the point where he no longer believes this. All of this aside, it's less silly than Terence McKenna's timewave theory or some of Joe Rogan's thoughts on the matter.
- 1 Beginnings
- 2 Quantum Mysticism
- 3 Garbled Garbage On the Topic of Science
- 4 God and the purpose of life
- 5 How he argues
- 6 On reality
- 7 Curiosity and Grandiosity
- 8 Pedophilia Accusations
- 9 Cult accusation
- 10 Spiral Dynamics - Highdeology
- 11 The Downward Spiral
- 12 Politics
- 13 Scam accusations
- 14 Personal life
- 15 See also
- 16 External links
- 17 Notes
- 18 References
Gura presents himself as a life coach. His YouTube channel began as a pick-up artistry channel, and contains classics such as "How To Make A Girl Squirt — Give Your Girl An Explosive Orgasm" along with other self-help videos on topic such as productivity, finance, sex and fitness–some quite thoughtful, others with trite uselessness that should be obvious to anyone who has achieved any level of success. But Gura has come a long way, for now his videos include lessons for reaching enlightenment, including his panpsychist spirituality inspired by his impressions from psychedelia.
Spliced between these are videos on topics such as quantum
mechanics woo and Gödel's incompleteness theorems. He claims that most physicists, logicians and mathematicians don't understand these concepts as well as he does. His own understanding of these subjects is of course egregious and his "interpretations" turn out to be New Age nonsense.
Garbled Garbage On the Topic of Science
A favorite of Gura's past times is criticizing science. He employs typical anti-science rhetoric like dismissing science as "materialistic" and "reductionist". His evidence for these criticisms and alternatives is usually the same thing, namely, as we shall see, that nobody else understands this stuff as well as he does, and that it's too complex to explain.
Gura believes that science "gets a lot of stuff deeply wrong and it is corrupt". Although, in his defense, he is not criticizing science as a means of gaining knowledge but as an institutional structure which he sees as philosophically close-minded. For instance, he proclaims that the following are all "wrong" (no elaboration): neuroscience, Western medicine, quantum mechanics interpretations, reductionism, materialism, and evolutionary research. Why? "These are very tricky issues that require years of careful study and contemplation." Despite labelling such fields as wrong, he would still be happy to see a neurosurgeon if he ended up with a brain tumor the same way a theistic apologist might use a computer to criticize the scientific method on the internet. The tricky part is that Gura is just lambasting the physical world as nonexistent, which is actually quite sound on an epistemological level. By critiquing humanity, including the scientific community, for being philosophically illiterate, it is no wonder people view him as scientifically illiterate buffoon using the divine fallacy when, in reality, he's just semantically illiterate.
Moreover, (Gura thinks) science "doesn't prove anything" — science is just about models. This truism about science apparently "requires a very deep investigation of epistemology and metaphysics and history of science". Instead, what Gura proposes is that science "is a paradigm which comes with many unconscious metaphysical assumptions which simply turn out to be false." When pressed about this, his response is that, once again, this "is a very complex question that would requires a decade of research and contemplation to begin to understand."
Abuse of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem
A common tactic that Gura employs to dismiss science and logic invokes a bad interpretation of Gödel's incompleteness theorems. As an aside, Gura repeatedly prefaces these views by claiming that the mathematics behind these theorems is really complex and you won't understand it, yet it is clear that he fundamentally misunderstands what these proofs are even about.
In the video "Metaphysical Implications Of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem", he begins with a 20 minute preamble explaining that if you don't trust his opinions on the topic, you're making the same error a Christian makes in taking the Pope's opinion as fact. Furthermore, it doesn't matter if somebody has a PhD or Nobel Prize, they still don't understand these matters as well as Gura does.
After half an hour of this nonsense, and after still another hour of extremely tedious reiterations of Russell's paradox and other ideas (with constant reminders that he has to simplify this really complicated mathematics for you) he states his implications: "reason itself is in inextricably connected to faith" (57:04). Now Gura mentions that these ideas were inspired by the book Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. In this book the author describes the process of "jumping out of the system", a necessary step in understanding a formal system, something which cannot be done working within the system itself. Somehow, Gura distorts this to such an extent that he concludes that logic, reason, arguments and proofs aren't as powerful as his own faith, which is a fact.
“”The deep irony here is that these logicians and mathematicians who are making these groundbreaking discoveries within logic and mathematics is that they're actually using their intuition; they're using and connecting to infinite intelligence to make their discoveries; they're having creative insights. It's not a mechanical process — it's deep intelligence and this deep intelligence is not formalizable into a set of algorithms or simple rules the way that people assumed, the way the logical positivists wanted. And the deeper metaphysical and epistemic lesson here is that you cannot capture reality and encapsulate it into a formal system because reality is infinite and so it will always escape any attempt to encapsulate it as it must, because reality is one thing, it is the self, and the self is capable of self-reference and when you're capable of self-reference this necessarily leads to a paradox.
What's interesting is that in Gödel, Escher, Bach, the author spends some time dispelling theories that intelligence cannot be represented mechanically as a consequence of the incompleteness theorems, which is precisely the opposite of what Gura implies here. It's also confusing how the conclusion of the theorems is apparently that reality cannot be captured in a formal system but the argument is based on the premise that reality is a sort of formal system and hence the theorems even apply. Either way, this is essentially his argument against the use of logic, science or reason in most matters. This allows him to contradict himself at will without having to respond to questioning.
The rest of the video is name-dropping — "as Gödel showed" and "as Cantor proved" — followed by more incomprehensible and irrelevant drivel. There is very little about the underlying mathematics or relevant implications. Gura essentially takes a pop-science understanding of mathematical concepts and extends it to his usual New Age belief system, while constantly reminding you that he's smarter than all the logicians and mathematicians because he's spent ten years "practicing" this stuff.
God and the purpose of life
Gura professes that many of his ideas come from direct communication with God. He claims to have managed to establish a communication channel with God (sometimes referred to as "infinite intelligence") via "powerful chemicals" and you can even read a verbatim transcript of one of these conversations. This is just to clarify something about the text below: it's all literal according to Gura.
In the video "What Is The Point Of Life? — An Advanced, Life-Changing Explanation", Gura presents an overview of his beliefs on life, the Universe, and God. This monologue begins with a declaration that the point of life is to "realize that you are God", creator of the universe (16:48). Gura believes he created the Universe, not in a metaphorical way but in a physical sense. The purpose of the Universe, by the way, is for "God to create itself" (15:14). Expanding on the purpose of human life, he adds that as God himself, you must "become Godlike" (19:40) and "align your will with the will of God" (27:41). He elaborates by explaining that if your will is not aligned with that of God's, you a selfish devil (28:11) and asserts that this is the cause of both the world's environmental problems, racism, nationalism etc. (75:51) and the cause of all your personal problems — this is why you're "miserable and depressed" (61:48). At this point, he is just regurgitating basic nondual metaphysical concepts for a wide audience. If reality, infinity, and consciousness are one, reality is constituted by an infinite mind. This mind is synonymous with love because it understands itself perfectly. Being a basic Eastern idea, the less consciousness an object has, the less is it in tune to this sensibility, leading to suffering. Gura refers to this sensibility or infinite mind as "God." He could have stayed an atheist and referred to it as some nebulous New Age term, but he just had to use an arbitrary label, taking the extra step to become a pantheist. Good job. Good job. In another video, Gura explains how he became one with this God after ingesting a rare psychedelic drug. During his trip he realized the "deepest insight that I will ever have" i.e. that reality is "absolutely infinite" (9:36). On follow-up videos he explains a universe than sounds a lot like the plot of The Egg by Andy Weir.
Bold claims. What is Gura's evidence for all of this? For starters, this truth is so grand, "it won't fit into your logical schemes" and "you will only be able to know once you know" (44:12). But ultimately, the reason he knows all this, is because "God told me" (45:03). What he really wants is for his minions to think through the axioms and thought processes themselves and take the extra step to actually have the experience, although many of them won't do this and nod their heads at even his most ludicrous notions.
How he argues
Since Gura's arguments are sometimes outright demonstrably false and brainless, the way in which he manages to convince anyone that he's talking sense is through his rhetoric.
Many of Gura's videos begin with directing a misuse of the appeal to authority fallacy. The fallacy is usually distorted as "credentials are worthless" and that trusting a source of information as reputable is an error in itself. By building on this line of reasoning, Gura establishes himself as the authority, because unlike those with doctorates and Nobel Prizes, he can demonstrate he's right. This is not to say that scientific experts on scientific topics are to be blindly trusted, but Gura being mistaken about a great deal of scientific topics doesn't stop him from circumventing logic.
Except Gura refuses to explain anything. The usual strategy for evading questions is maintaining that only Gura understands the subject at hand and that attempting to explain Gura's claims is an exercise in futility, since decades of study are necessary for their comprehension.
Another tactic is to simply label his critics "materialists". This usually works on his forum because holding physicalist metaphysics is like bald hair color. Nonduality is a perfectly reasonable model, especially when it is supposedly able to be directly observed. However, not knowing how consciousness would be physical in a materialist view or how consciousness and matter would interact in a dualist worldview does not mean those ideas are false--even if idealism or phenomenalism are the result of some Occam shearing. At times, Gura's arguments move from absurd to insane. He was, for a time, under the impression that his body was physically changing to suit the needs of superhuman consciousness. Because he was God conceiving of the physical world, he thought he could un-conceive these limitations and physically alter the universe. This doesn't make any sense in any context whatsoever because his finite mind's powers are subject to the finite laws of the physical world. It's a closed system.
One memorable instance of Gura's argumentation style can be seen in his answer to the question, "Leo, what if you’re deluded?", in reference to his claim to possess the absolute truth of the Universe. To this, he responds "well, what's your alternative?”, extricating himself of the burden of proof. When this response was challenged as unsatisfactory, he replied, "The reason you're not understanding what I said is because you have not reached those levels of consciousness." then later backtracked and said, "The Truth cannot be spoken," followed by comparing himself to a prophet, "It's like I'm an explorer in on Mars. I send you back stories of stuff I've discovered back to Earth." Or, you know, we could just have everybody go to Mars and see once and for all.
Gura has made videos on science, politics, psychology, philosophy, and other subjects. Most of the time, he'll expound and expound on a dead horse, but his audience will stay around because of how profound it really is. Once the profundity is over, there's always a slight chance he'll go on an egotistical rant, although he's moved away from this recently. To reference Hunter S. Thompson, Gura's arrogant rants demonstrate "an exemplary ego, not a dissolved one". Then the concept at hand will be tediously reiterated to the level of a Wikipedia lede. After managing to stretch out to an hour something that could be said in five minutes, he plugs in his philosophy of life. Gura avoids portraying an "us vs. them" mentality because he sees it as a duality, and he sees duality as an illusion. Things get pretty wonky when this applies to Nazis (Nazis and Gura both being one with God). Gura, however, sees Nazis as low conscious because they are disconnected from the higher sense of infinite love and consciousness more so than the average person. This is a paradox, and maybe he should take the hint to view himself as a finite component of infinity instead of infinity itself.
Clearly, he is quite confused on the issue of morality:
I don't want to litigate the ethical issues of meat-eating here.
It should be pretty obvious that factory farming is problematic from a consciousness perspective and we should minimize it as much as possible. It should be equally obvious why a complete elimination will not happen any time soon.
Why do you hold your energy levels as more important than the lives of those animals?
Obviously because I am selfish and engaged in survival.
To put it another way, if you and I were in a boat together in the middle of the sea, I would eat you and not feel too guilty about it, since that is life :) If you don't like it, you can file a complaint with God in the afterlife.
Gura is saying morality is a matter of self-bias and not altruism. Or, you know, he could just admit that humans have more consciousness than farm animals, having more value than them the same way they have more value than inanimate objects, which have infinitesimally low consciousness within a panpsychist worldview.
“”The truth is that there’s no such thing as you or reality.
Let's get one thing straight, Gura's comment on reality isn't a metaphor that's up for interpretation – he means it "not theoretically, not philosophically, not poetically, or figuratively, but physically and literally – everything I'm saying here is literal." According to Gura, there is no you, or me, or reality, or experience: "The very notion of experience is dualistic and corrupted by ego"… "If fact, you are already dead right now. Take a look. You were never born." If any of this sounds confusing, just remember:
Your mind will not allow you understand what I am saying here. Because if you understood what I'm saying here your entire reality would collapse and you'd have a mental breakdown.
When asked how these ideas are helping anybody, he responds "No self, no problem". According to him, tapping into this infinite pool consciousness at the expense of the ego is the most shocking truth you'll ever hear and once you understand this absolute truth, suffering is a non-factor. While this is all well and good, chastising people for being too stupid to understand it is contradictory.
In a video entitled “What Is Reality? — A Radical Explanation” Gura states there is no difference between imagination and reality, meaning God is just imagining everything, even you. He tells the viewer they're going to have a million excuses for why what he's saying is false, but that deep down you know he's right, and that your denial is just something you're imagining. The equivocation of reality and imagination allows him to assert some wonks, such as flying around blessing the minds of fetuses and rewiring their brains so that they’ll be more open-minded and more likely to awaken as adults, and we are all holding our breath to see if this has any effect in the real world. While Gura's consciousness directly interacting with a fetus's consciousness makes sense in a nondual state, the rules of physical reality still apply.
Curiosity and Grandiosity
The Actualize.org mission statement will speak for itself on this issue.
“”My highest purpose is to lead people to Infinite Consciousness, Infinite Love, Infinite Selflessness, and Infinite Understanding. I am to show people what the highest form of leadership looks like. My entire life is dedicated to this cause. … I am a vehicle for God's highest Love for mankind. The function of my human existence is to demonstrate the Goodness and Magnitude of God to those who lack the vision to see it. I am to use the gift of my extraordinary human mind to communicate God’s highest intentions. … In the end, the love and selflessness I radiate will inspire and transform the world. My reward will be the love I radiate and Infinite Understanding of the universe. My understanding will reach superhuman levels beyond all human comprehension or and strain the human self to contain. There is no doubt that this my way. I will have many critics and naysayers, but none of them will deter me because all of them I will be overcome simply by radiating more love because I understand that their ignorance is their limited way of showing their love. … By the end of my human life the highest potential of a human life will have been actualized. … All of this is self-evidently true. When I lose track of my highest purpose (and I will) I am to return here and re-read this statement, re-grounding myself in that which is undeniable.
The Actualized.org logo is almost identical to a symbol "Used by Pedophiles to Identify Sexual Preferences" according to an FBI document on the matter, which is pretty fucking weird. The symbol also looks like that of Ásatrú worship, and his sycophants claim it's just a harmless reference to the Fibonacci sequence. An Alt-Right fool might even liken it to the logo for Besta Pizza. In addition, he openly defends pedophiles and Nazism to show off how he thinks most people are selfish in the same way pedophiles and Nazis are. This, however, is not Gura justifying pedophilia and Nazism as good. In fact, he explicitly states that truth and love would obviously not lead to such conclusions. The main problem is that he's just flat-out confounded when it comes to morality. His videos do portray him as liking women in a very virile way, but no indications of pedophilia.
“”The Law Of Attraction -- Learn how it actually works without the New Age mumbo-jumbo, and how to use it to create amazing results.
|—Gura, back when his videos for pragmatically-minded people and not armchair philosophers|
Gura employs several tactics that are supposedly common in cults. This is a list of "mind control" techniques from the Cult Information Centre. A lot of these techniques apply to Actualized.org at the same rate it applies to any moneymaking organization. Who doesn't want subservience and monetary profit? In the case of Actualized.org, they seem more like basic marketing strategies and ways of making an audience comfortable. His videos are exceptionally long and personally adjusted, although Gura maintains this is just to get his arguments across more effectively. Encouragement to ingest psychedelics can increase suggestibility to a point, but psychedelics incline the brain toward intelligence and dissent, meaning psychedelic usage would be counterintuitive in a cult with regards to meditative contemplation and not hedonistic intoxication, such as the case was with the Manson Family. If Actualized.org was a genuine cult, the $250 Ultimate Life Purpose Course, in which he teaches you the meaning of life, might as well be a blood sacrifice with pentagrams and candles strewn around a frigid gothic abyss (Gura reports that clients routinely pay $2000—$4000 for the course.) Despite all these accusations of cultism, Actualized.org has a video series called "Cult Psychology - How Cults Work", which details the psychological conditions and mechanisms of cults.
Even more compelling is the way Gura's followers talk about him. Some are servile to a grotesque point. Emperor Leo certainly has clothes though as many, many people ridicule his perfection on Youtube and the forum.
Spiral Dynamics - Highdeology
Gura finds value in Don Edward Beck's theory of spiral dynamics, which depicts the conscious evolution of humanity across time. It is basically a more complicated version of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The lower tiers like purple and red are more survival-based, something that would be seen in the third world periphery, whereas a higher color like green would be seen in Scandinavia. Gura sees this process of low consciousness based in physical survival and greater egoist mechanisms to more and more holism as you go up the ladder as society evolves.
The Downward Spiral
“”Dream Life - What It Takes To Create An Extraordinary Life
|—Leo Gura, 2014|
“”Life Is A Dream
|—Leo Gura, 2018|
Actualized.org has gotten much less practical for the wannabe pickup artists in the original fanbase. In Gura's unending quest for meaning, he had obviously taken a toll. You see, if consciousness is infinite, even if you have attained infinity, there is always an infinity of infinities to become aware of (so it is literally impossible to reach the end). Clearly, that's why zen masters just sit around, laugh, and drink tea. However, on 4 March 2020, Gura left a video detailing his future plans. After the deepest 5-MeO-DMT awakenings he had experienced up until that point, Gura looked rather dreary as he detailed how he was the most awakened teacher and that he could see a future where he could physically perform miracles using God consciousness. This created a mix of anticipation, concern, amusement, and curiosity among his different fans. Gura then decided he was going to go on an isolated retreat to go even deeper into consciousness, and the coronavirus crisis provided the perfect setting for this. On April 15th, upon Gura's return to his channel, he documented how he snorted 5-MeO-DMT everyday for thirty days until he got dangerously close to "physical death" (mahāsamādhi). In the video, he documented the infinite beauty and love and such, tearing up at several moments. Not only that, he actually seemed much more lucid and sane compared to the depressed Gura from before the retreat. He stated that he had taken enough 5-MeO-DMT and did not plan on doing it again.
Gura self-identifies as a progressive and donated thousands of dollars to Bernie Sanders during the 2020 Democratic Primary. In addition, he is a fan of Kyle Kulinski and Jimmy Dore. Also, in his most sane moment of all time:
r0ckyreed: Is the Coronavirus a hoax?
Leo Gura: Too foolish to deserve a response.
If you Google "Leo Gura", the top result (after his YouTube channel) is literally the question "Is Leo Gura's Actualized.org a scam?" with more uncharitable pages below it. Why are people asking this? Judging by the answers, the consensus is that Actualized.org is probably not a scam in the same sense that wire fraud or pyramid schemes are scams. It is just truly remarkable and comically reminiscent of a scam. Just look at the smug face on the front page of the website. "Give me money today."
Gura dropped out of college, where he studied mechanical engineering. Despite the fact that he has barely a year's worth of education on the topic, he frequently cites it has one of his credentials.
- Argument from authority
- Deepak Chopra
- Quantum consciousness
- The Spirit Science
- Teal Swan
- War on Science
- Is Actualized.org is a scam? (Quora answer) - third Google result for "Leo Gura".
- Even the psychedelics community thinks Actualized.org is woo
- Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach, ISBN 978-0-465-02656-2. See also Excerpts from Hofstadter’s Books at prelectur.stanford.edu.
- An undated screenshot of a Gura conversation.
- Spiritual Enlightenment - The Most SHOCKING Truth You'll Ever Hear. YouTube, 8 February 2015.
- From the discussion thread Why do you believe that subjective experiences give direct insight into reality. Archived from the original at actualized.org.
- Dream Life - What It Takes To Create An Extraordinary Life. Actualized.org on YouTube, 22 March 2014.
- Life Is A Dream. Actualized.org on YouTube, 11 February 2018.
- I'm Leaving To Pursue Awakening & Healing - March 2020. Actualized.org on YouTube, 4 March 2020.
- Outrageous Experiments In Consciousness - 30 Awakenings In 30 Days. Actualized.org on YouTube, 19 April 2020.