Has anyone else gone through a similar change?
I started with the basic treating variables as placeholders for concepts. So, for me, it's asking, "What does this symbol represent?" I realize due to qualia, everyone's experiences vary, so we can both call x unconditional love, but also understand x equals two different, yet similar, things between us.
When I started exploring philosophy I started getting recursively meta. Asking questions like, how does this category of things work?
But then as time went on, I started going in the opposite direction, and feel that it has yielded more fruit: If every singular thing in the universe is actually a set of ideas, then how can I break x up into multiple pieces? How do I label/name those pieces? What awareness does that increased resolution give me?
By playing with this abstraction/decomposition paradigm, awareness can be increased in both directions to ~inf.
This, as a side effect, increases one kind of intelligence. I frame this as metaphysics, though, I admit, I am unaware if this is an incorrect way to label it.
After all, labels (ie abstractions) are nothing more than our mind drawing lines around objects in the world, like the lines in a coloring book. It's our mind doing it, so we get to choose how we draw those lines. If someone wants to label love in one way and I choose to label it in another way, that's completely fine. The beauty in it, to me, is seeing how others see/perceive the world.
When I read a text book, I'm not just looking to learn a new topic or further my knowledge of a topic. I'm looking into how the author sees the world. This, to me, is far more fun than simply learning the topic. I feel the average person scratches the surface of what there is to explore.
So do I get bored of it? No. But it seems I'm exploring it in a different way than you, and that possibly explains why. To me, learning is like socializing. I get to see others in what they present, and that is beautiful.
But yes, I would say I've gone through a similar change, but maybe less severe.
I still like to talk to people, but I don't read much of that kind. It's entirely unfulfilling without the possibility of getting clarification, pondering the statistics, and thus maybe actually learn something new, or teach something new.
This is a bit long, and I'm sometimes a bit too fond of phrasing things "interesting", especially when I'm a bit bored. Let's see which category I end up in! The easily dismissed, or the actually interesting?
Summary: You have become adept in your topic of choice, many writers are not particularly adept, and most people are not adept at all, making it feel like one is missing out.
My observations are these, firstly I've been 'obsessed' with thinking for decades now, and I'm guessing I've become somewhat adept at detecting whenever something will appreciably add to my world model, and if it doesn't add anything significant, there's little reason to invest time. So I don't.
Secondly, for me, there are no longer few mysteries in the traditional sense. The entire idea of mystery, and the accompanying grand revelations are to me intrinsically flawed. The world is complex, in some way mind numbingly so, but there is no mystery, no big reveal. There's still thousands, and billions of fascinating detail, but it feels like I've already seen the plot summary.
Thirdly, a large fraction of these kind of philosophical waxings one might encounter are rather devoid of content, at least if you have any interest at all in the topic. I remember as a teenager I could be overwhelmed by the grandiosity of the mental castles I built through my own thoughts, ideas, and those of others.
The grandiosity obviously wasn't real in any sense, I simply wasn't used to looking deeper into the world of ideas, and there was much new to be found, trivially.
However I didn't write about it, to whom would I have written? Today however, many who experience these kind of thoughts that feels like revelations will share them, it's easy to, and I really think they should. Because from time to time there will be gems. Small pockets of glittering original thought, as much as anything is ever original. Most of it is, however, devoid of much meaning beyond the primary experience of whoever wrote it, which has a great value, but maybe not to me.
Fourthly, in general, a large fraction of people hasn't really exposed themselves to thinking deeper about themselves and the world. I have, evidently, scared people halfway to death (some exaggeration, but their reaction was as if) by bringing up topics and ideas I thought of as rather mundane. Thus, when people do get exposed they react strongly, which is both surprising, and unsurprising at the same time. It's surprising because I imagine more people to have already been exposed, and unsurprising because I know my first reactions were like that.
However, it often made me feel like I'was missing out on something everyone else sees except me, but I've since started to realize it's most often the other way around. It's all these people who has until now missed out on what has to me, through the years, become almost entirely internalized as how things are.
I still read peoples stories about their life, their thoughts and experience, often with a little too voracious of an appetite. But I'm not expecting any grand ideas in most of the more philosophical writings. However, if written honestly, without hiding the person of the writer, I might stay for the story within. The philosophy? Well, I probably dealt with that particular conundrum a decade or two ago, but if not, I now have enough practice at devouring, and integrating ideas that I'll rarely be held up for more than a few minutes pondering the new facet before moving on. Fun minutes, as it's nice to be surprised, but minutes nonetheless.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems like believing anything truly unconditionally is completely irrational and even more insane than any insane we've seen before.
I'm not sure about this. I've had a head injury in the past that resulted in (thankfully temporary) in anxiety issues. There were spells of anxiety where I sort of had a reason to be anxious (e.g. deadlines), but I simultaneously had a rational awareness during the bout of anxiety that my stress levels (so nervous can't work) were completely incompatible with the consequences of missing said deadline (of which there would be basically no consequences; not even in terms of coworkers' view of me or my skills).
Granted I wasn't close to clinically insane I think, but the point is that the brain is complex and ostensibly there seems to be multiple levels of consciousness and activity going on in the human brain. One can reason something in the abstract, yet emotionally feel completely at odds with their reason.
Same thing I thought here. I'd say "to act against reason is to act irrationally." If we only did things we thought we understood, life would be slow and boring.
Let U be your utility function
Let U' be your partner's utility function
Let U and U' be normalised against the same scale
A love is real iff
* U is defined in terms of U': U = C(U')
* and for any positive change e' there is a e >= e' such that U + e = C(U' + e').
Disclaimer: no guru, I know formulations are sloppy, but you get the idea :)
What about un/conditional gratitude, or un/conditional compassion?
Perhaps the likelihood of those things are close to zero, but that doesn't mean it isn't in the realm of possibility. Although I suspect it wouldn't be that difficult to introduce a change that would trigger one of those conditions.
- - - -
Once as a small child I experienced spontaneously unconditional love for approximately twenty seconds. Subjectively I felt a deep and abiding love for all things everywhere. The Universe itself was a small thing embedded in an unbounded ocean of love.
In a certain sense the experience never left me as the memory of it is a kind of background and foundation to the rest of my life.
I won't wax too mystical here on HN, but in time I found that love is a physical reality that undergirds the world of form, that the real world is an expression in different modes and frequencies of love. E.g. gravity is love. All matter/energy yearns to return to itself in the unity that existed before Time.
BTW, there is a simple algorithm to enter and experience "higher" subjective realities. It's called "Core Transformation Process" and, as I said, it's a simple, easy, fast, effective algorithm. https://www.coretransformation.org/