Regarding teachers who speak to large audiences, beware the serotonin pyramid scheme.

The serotonin pyramid scheme is when someone gets flooded with a regular large rush of serotonin, and is therefore quite happy and content, and then from that position of happiness teaches that he has a secret teaching to success that you also can use.

Serotonin does some of what we used to think testosterone does. It rises as your social status rises, allowing for more relaxed and confident behavior. It’s one of the feel good hormones, along with oxytocin, dopamine, and the endorphins.

So someone on stage telling you he has it all figured out and has a life success system can be congruent in his attitude and really seems happy and confident as if it’s all working well. Therefore it could work well for you too, right? Ya, but pyramid schemes don’t work like that. We can’t all be life coaches, with a large following.

Once you have followers, especially in the context of a large physical crowd, it hypnotizes people and you can say almost anything. People chose identity politics and want to be in the in group. The teacher rarely gets asked challenging questions, and the group self-polices its in-group memes and starts to speak in-group jargon.

If the group lasts long enough eventually you’ll get in group politics as acolytes struggle to raise their own serotonin using the group for social feedback. This further damages the robustness of the groups memes against outsider memes, because the group think becomes more and more insular, and a world onto itself.

There isn’t much that can’t be known by a coal miner. If you’ve done much blue collar work you’ll know first hand that there are smart and well rounded self educated guys everywhere. There is little you can say that is important that you can’t say in regular joe blue collar speak. Jargon is the first tell of weak memes, developed from the weak insular in-group political environments that serotonin compells us to create or follow.

You’ll often notice teachers using jargon to dissimulate.

Strunk and White, in their book Elements of Style, talked about using Anglo Saxon based words in preference of Latin based words, because latin words are often pretentious, and used for status signalling among a professional class. Orwell also talked about pretentious diction. Don’t utilize your dick, use your dick.

Clear thinking and clear writing is meant to convey ideas to the audience. Not to mystify.

But some teachers will deliberately mystify, in order to constantly maintain their position at top of the serotonin hierarchy. They want others to look up to them, and if others actually understand what it is that you are saying, and learn the material, and are no longer mystified, what use will they have of you?

So instead of choosing the coal-miner words, they choose ten dollar words and create their own jargon and in group speak. Maybe it will be Catholic Church Latin Theology, or post modern political philosophy, or Academic in-group-signalling, or hippy-yoga-energetic speak. All perfect for mystifying and dissimulating.

Or maybe they’ll constantly bring everything back to archetypes, like a hard core Jungian. That’s also great to maintain authority, and to keep attention focused on you as it will take five minutes to answer a simple question, and you can wind around in as many circles as you choose, in a fine tap dance around and about a question. I’m of course thinking of J. Peterson.

The problem with teachers is, people usually only develop along a few lines of personal development, and then see everything from their specialty. When you have a hammer, everything becomes a nail.

But the world isn’t like that. You can’t approach psychology using the tools of egolessness. You can’t use quantum physics to analyze a Shakespeare sonnet. You can’t approach male/female relationships from the point of view of tantric sex. There are different domains of knowledge, and you can’t substitute one for the other.

Be very wary of in-groups that see more and more of the world through the same in-group lens. It’s a trap. If you can’t explain it to a coal miner, using his frame of reference, chances are it’s status signalling bullshit.