Hi. My name is Ryan M. Weisgerber (some people also know me as Snufflemuffin). I am a writer, illustrator, and designer. :)
Existence really blows my mind. Also, being human is quite weird. You and I are shooting through an unfathomably massive universe on a giant ball of rock, and we belong to a species that is extremely intelligent, curious, and eager to understand pretty much everything we encounter. It’s pretty neat, but it can also be a very messy and confusing situation.
I was raised in the Jehovah’s Witness religious cult that my parents belonged to when I was born, so I was taught to believe a lot of crazy and destructive things. I was also very deeply impacted by the choices my father (who is a convicted child molester) and my mother (who suffers from profound mental illness) made with their lives. As a result of those experiences, I’ve spent most of my life trying to identify objective truth and discover more effective ways to live my life.
I’ve also been living with Parkinson’s disease for the past eleven years and doing everything I can to understand the true nature of this disorder, resolve what’s contributing to it, and recover.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, mentally-ill parents, and Parkinson’s disease are not things that are impossible to move past and live a full life despite, but it’s been extremely challenging. Sometimes it feels like my soul thought it’d be funny to choose a really advanced level of difficulty when signing up for this Earth ride.
But, I’m finally reaching a point where retrospect is allowing me to see threads of the positive role it's all played, and a tapestry of gratitude is starting to emerge. That’s kind of weird to me, but it’s what’s occurring. The events of my life have certainly taught me a lot about intention, how powerfully positive or negative our choices can be, and how to let go when life does something I wasn’t expecting.
The man that I’ve become believes that the best response to ugliness is creating beauty, and Hug the Universe is one of the ways I’m doing that.
This project is an exploration of what it means to be human, what it means to evolve intentionally, and how beauty can come from even the ugliest of uglies. Some of the things that interest me most are philosophy, science, consciousness research, and personal stories of challenge and growth, so that’s basically what you’ll find here. Always fueled by boundless curiosity and my desires to identify and understand what's really really real.
You’ll find a comment section at the bottom of all of my posts, and I’d really love for you to let me know what you think about what you’re reading here. You can always count on a thoughtful response from me.
Now I’d like to introduce you to a couple people who have become invaluable parts of my life and this project.
Sheila Ashdown is editor for Hug the Universe. She loves telling and hearing stories that help us grow as people. She also loves hugging stuff (especially her cat, Nayners).
Eric Burlingame was the most selfless, loving, capable, and brilliant person I’ve ever known. He died very unexpectedly recently, and I’m still trying to come to terms with the implications of his absence. He had huge plans for the work he was doing and books he was writing, and now… well, I don’t know.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Eric on these posts about the hidden determinants of human behavior, and this mind-blowing interview about his work and discoveries. The world lost a true visionary and game-changer with Eric's passing.
HTU Contributor Biography
Eric Burlingame is a human behavior expert, consciousness researcher, and author. He’s building a movement around the training and widespread use of Coherence Verification—a process of using the human body to reveal the quantum computations that the brain is doing naturally all day, every day.
At the heart of this technique is a biological phenomenon that everyone experiences—with or without their knowledge—and it can be used consciously to identify the essence of what we encounter. Everything that exists in the universe is a combination of energy and information, and the use of this technique enables us to identify and delineate the essence of what makes up you, me, that other person over there, and everything else in the universe. It's basically the most mind-blowing thing ever, IMO.