A Realist Manifesto

I am often wrong about the true causes of my behavior. Watch me now- “evolved, determined, authentic, and resonant”, “signaling, saturated in privilege.” This is my manifesto. It is dynamic and uncertain. It is updated often, like my opinions.


Material truth conforms to a deterministic framework. The conditions of this moment are born in full from the moment before and every moment before that. The causes and conditions of material existence are not two things. The first cause and the last cause are a single act of will sprawling over time.

The unrealized suppositions of spontaneous influence, faith, and religion are immaterial. There are no causes without conditions.

Observe the human condition. Traits enhancing survival and reproduction become more common in successive generations of a population. 1) Variation exists within populations of organisms with respect to morphology, physiology, and behavior (phenotypic variation). 2) Different traits confer different rates of survival and reproduction (differential fitness). 3) These traits can be passed from generation to generation (heritability of fitness). First-person experiences and the mental dispositions of a modular brain are the product of this process (like all aspects of the organism) and should be considered for their lineage.

Without memory, pattern recognition, language, the facilities for sensory perception, without a material brain, what’s left? Something pure but unrecognizable as you or your awareness.

Consider the utility of praise and blame.


Witness the Actualizing Tendency. There is a directional trend evident in all life: the urge to expand, develop, and mature; “it is the tendency to express and activate all the capacities of the organism and the self.” (Rogers)

Witness the Flourishing. A good life is a first-person experience that is resonant with this actualizing tendency, as the expansion, development, and maturity of one’s life, an expression and activation of all capacities. (Not an experience that is dissonant, “out of tune.”) To flourish is to live within an optimal range of human functioning. It is to connote goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience. It is to be without pathology, without languishing.



Choices often precede awareness of the choice. Impulse, mother functions, environmental reactions.


Appearances are incomplete, a surface reflection of meaning constructed for utility.


In transcendent mode, “you are.” Behavior “is”, observation happens. Observe your will and it’s dependent origination. On and on, all at once. Be mindful. Be now. Be.

In operator mode, “you act”. There are things that can be impacted by your actions, and things that cannot. Know the difference. Operators control what they can, acting according to circumstantial priorities. Operators share space with other operators that do not have the same priorities, and therefore will not choose the same actions. This is out of your control. This is out of their control. Understand priorities.



“The Will” is as everything does. As this moment becomes the next, as this state becomes the next, change is a force of Will. It is unified, the first cause and the last cause, together. Will flows and Will creates friction. It moves and creates heat. Flow. Flourish. Stay cool. Survive.

Survive, then die

First priority: survival. How we survive is determined by causes and conditions, momentum and tendencies, extending through time, and converging on our singular first person perspectives. We are each the product of our own circumstances. We survive in our own way.

There is more. I will add.

*Suggested reading*

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