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About Me

I am an author and consultant with ten years of experience teaching at top business schools. I have a Ph.D. in economics from MIT and published research on innovation, entrepreneurship, trade, and productivity. I taught operations management, design thinking, and business strategy at Harvard Business School, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Boston University. In 2021, I left my tenure track position at Georgia Tech after shifting my interests toward art and creativity. I now work on a variety of writing projects while building a private intuitive reading business. My husband and I live in downtown Boston, and we love traveling on the road, spending time in nature, and watching old movies. I am also an avid player of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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Spiritual Autolysis, May 2020

By Pian Shu

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Spiritual Autolysis, May 12, 2020:

Our knowledge is made up with mostly our beliefs, which are mostly repeating what we have been told, which are mostly repeating what others have been told. It is through generations of repetition that knowledge becomes "truth" — but they are only "truth" because we refuse to think for ourselves and make up our own reality. Because doing so would yield us "crazy" "insane" "unfit for society." Knowledge is no different from rules for survival (in the society). You are free to believe whatever you want to believe, and hence, there is no "one" reality. Everyone has a different reality.

I'm desperate to hold on to some "truth" because otherwise there is no point in existence. No meaning whatsoever. Despite knowing that "all forms are illusions,” it is scary to live it. Beneath the surface of ambitions, expectations, rules, there is nothing. This "nothing" is scary as hell. No identity is scary as hell. No purpose is scary as hell.


  1. “Spiritual Autolysis” is a method introduced in Jed McKenna’s book: “Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing”. The purpose of this method is to discover inner truth—and understand that ultimately, nothing is true. What we see, hear, think, and believe, changes every moment. The only truth is “I Am”—the observation of all that is happening.

  2. As with every teaching that I come across, if it has a remote chance of working, I’d try and experiment on myself. I had not been as diligent as the process prescribed by Jed, but some days I did have the urge to pour words onto the screen, like above. Those words described my truth at the moment, during a period when I was confronting some of the darkest feelings of inner worthlessness. Those feelings had always lingered within me, perturbing all kinds of dealings and suppressed by all kinds of manners. Until I realized that everything I had been doing was a wasteful escape—seeking achievement, proving to self, attaching labels, so on and so forth—I was simply going in circles, repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I had to drop everything (and I mean everything) to simply sit with this feeling and start to just be with it. Sitting with it has taught me a lot about who I am and how I want to live my life.

  3. The best way out is through.

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