Transcript for Jamie Wheal – Flow States, Creativity, Consciousness

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thanks guys

what’s up guys Xavier katana here and

this is our episode with Jamie deal of

the flow Genome Project the book is

called stealing fire how Silicon

Valley’s Navy SEALs and maverick

scientists are revolutionizing the way

we live and work and we get into so many

different aspects of just human biology

and how to get into flow State so so

much just information you’re probably

going to want to listen to this more

than once just because Jamie when you

put him on the track you just just runs

with it which I loved

I was just steering the wheel you know

and Jamie did really well and we crossed

this interview so definitely take up a

copy of this book get to human XP slash

members for the members content part we

get into some personal stuff between

Jamie and Steven how how they work

together you’re going to want to hear

that thank you guys so much for

listening the human experiences in

session my guest today is mr. Jamie

wheel Jamie it’s an honor so welcome to

hxp oh thanks for having me so Jamie the

book is called stealing fire and we’ve

had your partner in crime Steven Kotler

on tell us about your background and how

you got into this book and you know more

about you sure well I mean the the book

itself is really about this the kind of

this underground revolution in hacking

states of consciousness and performance

that’s sort of happening all around the

world right now in some of the most

elite and well-known organizations we’ve

all heard of and no one’s really telling

that story and the way that Steven and I

should have stumbled on to this to this

this revolution really was because of

our work as co-founders a flow Genome

Project which is

an organization dedicated to the

recession training of optimum human

performance those moments of flow or

being in the zone where you know sort of

self-awareness drops away we get dropped

into the present moment and typically

our performance and our satisfaction

with head performance just goes off the

charts and we had found ourselves

working with some you know true in a

blood blasted e with some sort of the 1%

of the 1% that was everyone from Special

Operations community military to the US

Naval War College to professional

extreme athletes to folks working 1,400

companies at the executive level

engineering teams have solving hard

problems big five consulting firms

system basically anybody who was looking

to go from A to A plus plus in doing

that we had really taken a fairly deep

dive there had been a lot of work in the

seventies and eighties and even 90s on

the psychology of being in close States

and that was largely pioneered by dr.

Mihai csikszentmihalyi and others but it

was how did he stay to make us feel what

does it feel like when were in them what

does it feel like when we’re not and in

the last decade or so there’s been this

sort of concomitant rise in neurobiology

able to measure what’s happening not

just report how it feels and so really I

would suggest that probably our biggest

contribution to the field has been

integrating those students a

neurobiology under the hood and the

psychology of peak performance and that

sort of leaves us with more tools but

what we didn’t realize we had assembled

was a sort of accidental rosetta stone

that let us translate a whole host of

additional non ordinary experiences and

what what I mean by that is is that when

we will be working with these

organizations and saying hey here’s flow

and here’s peak performance and here’s

how you presumably get more other folks

for coming up to us after those

conversations they reversing upcoming

following up with phone calls or after

dinner or a few beers and say hey by the

way I’m trying this other thing I’m

going on an extended nine-day the

possible retreat or I’m doing you know

wim HOF breathing Mack and luckily

there’s an ice box or I’m zapping my

brain with electrodes or unstacking off

prescription pharmaceuticals or my

engineering team is micro dosing

psychedelics or I have just

come back from this meditation sexuality

retreat is that flow and so we were sort

of torn is we’re like what we totally

get what you’re saying

you are creating a non-ordinary state by

these things you’re doing it appears to

be valuable and useful but we were sort

of in this quandary where like either we

were going to stretch the depth of

working definition of flow so far but

none of the academics you helped develop

the field would ever recognize it or we

had to come up with a big attempt to get

a little bit like Roy Scheider and Joel

like we’re going to need a bigger boat

so the bigger boat we thought if we’re

like okay now what should we call this

because you know bless their hearts the

kind of baby boomer hippie generation

really did kind of run some of this

terminology in these concepts into the

ground so most most of their languaging

would kind of loaded with baggage so

we’re like all right we had a rewind the

clock all the way back to word origins

let’s go back the ancient Greeks and the

best term that we found to kind of

encompass this stuff neutrally with text

assets and and the literal translation

of that is to move out of oneself and we

thought all right since the antecedent

of the word ecstasy and a lot of you

know terms were familiar with and so the

idea of like just kind of getting it

back to that kind of mute value neutral

term those states or experiences that

take us outside of ourselves now we had

a big enough tent now we could look at

all these non-ordinary states of

consciousness and that rosetta stone

piece which was hey here’s the

neurobiology underneath the psychology

let us say wow a lot of these things I

mean think about everything is strange

as a soccer mom who’s got a kundalini

yoga practice and is reading Fifty

Shades of Grey on her lunch break on her


okay are you looking to hack through

these acts and there’s tons of research

from you know from the Netherlands and

from elsewhere on the flow state

experiences and the neuro chemical shift

of those practices is right the way to

biohacking CrossFitters you know

drinking bulletproof coffee and and

diving themselves all the way to hedge

fund traders right using magnetic

stimulation to military operations guys

using float tanks right to the engineers

micro dosing obviously we’re like oh you

guys are actually shed your shared

conspirators in an underground rebel

in consciousness and you wouldn’t even

recognize each other walking down the

street in fact so many of you are in

these subcultures that are committed

never the twain shall meet that you guys

would swear blind but you would never

engage in off of the practices or base

or customs of these other sub tribes but

you roll them all together with that

rosetta stone kind of decoder ring with

this is everywhere ya know talking about

it that’s really truly fascinating and

there’s you know there’s there’s so much

of my life where I’m talking about this

with my friends and the people that I

encounter about slow state so you know

let’s define this for the people who are

listening how do we define being in a

flow state well you know I mean it’s

almost like a lot of the kind of ancient

wisdom traditions it can almost be as

helpful to define it by negation by what

it’s not and what and what flow States

and all of these non-ordinary states

that we talked about in the book on is

21st century Western normal and 21st

century Western normal tired wired

stressed right has a really consistent

signature for all of us and it’s

generally speaking our brain is cranking

along in fairly fast-moving beta waves

which are you know generally congruent

with activity in our prefrontal cortex

and our executive functioning self

meaning who I think I am so my biography

who I am behind my eyes that

storytelling meaning making machine

along with my ability to think about my

thinking delay gratification engage in

abstract reasoning long term you know

long term planning all those kind of

things that make us the clever monkeys

we are so that’s going on now the

challenge is that as we’ve evolved that

capacity over the last thousand years

but you know on turbocharged really

since the French enlightenment

you’ve got Rene de cartes and cogito

ergo sum I think therefore I am the era

of the rational individual we’ve really

amped that up to the point of almost to

the breaking point and in fact as you

know there’s some arguments that that

self-awareness has done all sorts of

great things for us I just gave us given

us the Scientific Revolution it’s given

us democratic revolution it’s going to

be of evolution of civil rights and free

market democracy and capitalism also all

sorts of may

using breakthroughs but the one glitch

was that we forgot to build an off

switch and so we’ve become trapped in

this hyper aware self referential

self-consciousness and that experience

is actually incredibly stressful so to

be a monkey right dodging the

saber-toothed tiger right if I’m away

from a threat I’m back to being a monkey

I’m living large but to be a human aware

then on that monkey and then I’m here

for a brief moment and then I die and

the let the universe is vast and devours

my significance in a gulp you know

that’s some bitch you can cooperate and

so typically you know the kinds of

fight-or-flight responses that are baked

into us they’re evolutionarily imprinted

we get norepinephrine we get a shot of

adrenaline we get cortisol which you

know all these things do great stuff for

us in momentary threats right they shunt

blood from the extremities that increase

our heart rate they dilate our pupils

they do us better peripheral vision they

heighten that reaction time they leave

us ready to live in you know survive for

another day but in 21st century Western

normal that’s the conversation I’m

having well stuck in traffic for an hour

and a half

rehashing a conversation with my

pathological boss that’s the

conversation I’m having at 3:00 a.m.

when I can’t sleep and I’m Rena and I’m

going over a fight it was unresolved

with my spouse from the day before

right and that steady drip drip drip of

that fight-or-flight arousal with no

place to put it and no way to turn it

off that’s what’s killing us and so you

know anxiety I mean one in four of us at

least in the United States are on

psychiatric medication that’s 25 percent

of us that are basically saying I am so

out of whack I am going to take a

pharmaceutical that’s expensive as

abundant side effects only works

marginally just to try just as a shot a

roll in the days to change this channel

yeah so so that’s that’s what it isn’t

right is is 21st century normal and most

of us are stuck there we’ve only got one

channel to choose from but these

non-ordinary states of which flow is one

of the most you know easy and ubiquitous

to access all that changes and so

instead of an overactive prefrontal

Gortex with a hyperactive inner critic

you know second-guessing and commenting

on everything our brain tends to quieten

down that part of our brain shuts off

and ceases to be as active our brain

waves that executive function firing

along solving problems slows down into a

more relaxed alpha kind of alert

perceiving but not necessarily thinking

specifically about any one thing all the

way down to theta which is almost more

kind of dreamy quasi hypnotic that kind

of state we get just as we’re drifting

off and asleep our stress chemicals like

nitric oxide is in our bloodstream it’s

a neurotransmitter it flushes away the

stress chemicals our heart rate slows

down we replace stress and

fight-or-flight chemicals with feeling

you feel good and learning and reward

chemicals like like dopamine saying yes

you know this is this is important

attention and orphans which ease pain

and create mild to moderate euphoria

those are the you know basically the

internal equivalent of opioids or

morphine Ananda my bridge the equivalent

of a cannabinoid which again easiest

pain people used to think that runner’s

high was all about endorphins

researchers now think it has as much to

do if not more with Ananda mine so it’s

a pain or bliss producer and prompts

more lateral connections between unusual

subjects and then if you’re doing it in

conjunction with others there’s often an

additional release of oxytocin

pair-bonding trust intimacy as well as

serotonin and the serotonin system is

infinitely complex but in a minimum can

you know can relate to increased

feelings of well-being and and and sort

of satisfaction so that is what happens

remarkably consistently in a whole suite

of these non-ordinary states what we’ve

been calling ex ptosis flow states are

one of them meditation and mystical

States and then finally psychedelic

states those that are pharmacologically

primed and you know there’s obviously

you know if people have been sort of

reading that you can’t really get away

from the recent research on the

psychedelic Renaissance or Johns Hopkins

NYU College in London everywhere else

and so all those bundled together I

think the tons of press coverage about

each of these verticals but the piece

that’s been missing

piece that we really hope to communicate

in this book as oh there’s actually a

bigger thing going on it matters less

which of these doors you step through

than it does the actual state the space

the experience and the benefits of once

you step through that door into this

shed train yeah yeah I loved it when I

was in LA and just kind of just

interviewing various people there it

there was this sort of subculture of

people who were paying attention to this

work that you guys were doing at the

flow Genome Project and I mean what

would you what would you say is the

noticeable kind of similarity between

these people who are high-performance

I don’t know engineers people who are

looking for this kind of thrill and

these Navy SEALs and then these sort of

soccer moms that are reading Fifty

Shades as you said earlier like where do

you see it the similarity between these

people are we inherently looking for

this sort of flow state in ourselves

yeah I mean you know interestingly

enough we were teaching at the Esalen

Institute up in Big Sur a couple of

years ago and there was a woman she was

I mean a sort of soccer mom on steroids

from down in San Diego as she came up

and she was describing how she’d come to

our work and flow in general and she was

also like a CrossFit nut and she stood

have confessed and that was actually one

of the data point that kind of became

the seeds of this book she was

describing like I do CrossFit because

yes I’m you know I was an athlete in

college blah blah blah but she did it to

get her fix she did it because it was

the only way she was able to basically

work herself into exercise-induced flow

and be the absent the pains and

discomforts of an unhappy marriage and I

was like oh wow and she could she was

she was a little concerned bikes like I

feel this is a little addictive I feel

great this is this is baby not the most

balanced way but it’s the best thing

I’ve got right now so bronze eagle a

professor at UCLA has made a case that

you know birds do it bees do it educated

fleas do it right I mean the idea that

the drive to shift consciousness is

pervasive throughout the animal kingdom

and that’s everything from you know

elephants raiding breweries or drinking

from for fermented

mudholes – reindeer eating – reindeer

eating you know I’m Aneta muscaria

mushrooms – baboon’s gut guzzling I

Boger a psychedelic grew from Africa

like basically everything all animals do

it include up to and including primates

and humans and so he makes the case that

the because you would think that like

getting twisted as far as being an

animal is probably not the best

evolutionary strategy now you’re going

to get picked off legs like a sitting

duck right so the question is is why

wasn’t this behavior aberrant and just

edited out of the gene pool really

quickly and so he and psychologist

Edward de Bono and others have advanced

the notion that hey what it says it gets

us out of ruts the ability to shift our

consciousness from waking state again

fight-or-flight routine into something

novel into those Eureka moments those

aha moments that your chocolate or my

peanut butter moments that here’s the

silly putty or the slinky or the post-it

note idea right those lateral leaps of B

patterning introduced novelty into first

our brains and minds and then into our

culture and our artifacts and that that

is a positive thing so Siegel makes the

case hey this desire to shift states of

consciousness is actually arguably our

fourth evolutionary drive you know sort

of behind only food water and sex and so

once you realize that you ask well who

you know what unites all of these folks

these crazy little sub tribes me right I

mean flow has been the domain of artists

and athletes and meditation has been the

domain of kind of Saints and mystics and

psychedelics have been the domain of

hippies and ravers and never never was

never the three shall meet you but what

is what it does unites them is our

shared humanity and that fourth

evolutionary drive that yearning for

something more than twenty first century

normal and and you can you know I mean

fifty Shades of Grey we were kind of

joking about it but it’s actually an

incredibly good test case because you

know and anybody we even read us a

paragraph of that book could realize it

was doggerel verse it was not it was not

within a country mile of a work of

literature and you got that book

sold more copies than the entire

seven-volume series of Harry Potter

combined Wow

so that’s a true what the moment

you’re like seriously like how that

support there’s no correlation between

quality there’s no character development

as a profound message right this is

about this is a poorly written bit of

Halle Quinn romance about II do media

clearly told BDSM from a woman who’s

clearly never experienced any of it and

it was off the charts that’s right so

you think okay so what is it right so

you can make a case that all that all of

that repressed suburban femininity and

women have right women who were clearly

under satisfied in their full erotic

expression we’re reading that looking

going ah yes here just intuitively here

is the past or something more and if you

compare that like that electronic dance

music is another great example where

we’re a DM music these days in fact

Tomorrowland which is a festival in the

Netherlands just went on sale this week

it sold out in I think 50 minutes and it

plays two weekends and it’s hundreds of

thousands of tickets and it sold out in

minutes six months of being offered and

you’re like okay well that’s interesting

because why do most folks go to concerts

well they really have a you know they

have a crush on one of the band members

or they love the story like the Beatles

or Bruce Springsteen they love the songs

and the lyric they all love to be there

with their friends you know on and on

there’s some communal bonding moment

well in EDM there’s some dude in a

hoodie with a laptop you know and he

presses play and then pumps his hand in

the air at the drops that’s kind of it

right I think and you’ve got and so

there’s no music there’s no Lee I mean

there’s no lyrics there’s no band and

personalities there’s you know strip out

70% of everything that people used to go

to see em utilize music for you like

well what is their instead and not

unlike Fifty Shades of Grey what there

is is highly concentrated state shifting

technology you have these high end high

fidelity sound stacks often function1

sound systems that separate highs lows

and middles in a way that like ceases to

be just listening to music it’s

basically like going to a Sonic carwash

and standing in front of it you know

standing in front of acoustic Waterpik

you’re just getting your body rearranged

by sound waves and there’s lasers or the


lot’s of mind-bending substances and

there’s this great crowd entrainment of

a quarter of a million people at a time

losing their mind and dropping into

something else together and that is now

worth 48 percent of the entire ticket

sales on the planet right now you’ve got

private equity guys you go Wall Street

guys they’re all piling money into these

things because they’re realizing oh wow

state changing technologies is what’s up

right now everybody is moving beyond

from experience economy stuff like

Starbucks or Cheesecake Factory

Cabela’s outdoor stores you know into

transformation economy stuff if you can

help me become someone I wasn’t at the

beginning of this experience the margin

I’m willing to pay you is off the charts

yeah it’s it’s so profound I mean I you

know when you’re studying these sort of

spiritual Renaissance a–‘s of you know

these awakening ideas of electronic

dance music and these women who were

kind of obsessed with this book because

this desire that it creates in them or

more you know have you noticed that

because we live in such a connected age

that it made your research easier or

more accessible well I mean one of the

things we noticed is we kept running

into the same people around the world

and and that was kind of another one of

the big sort of like pause and really

just like just gut-check always seeing

what we think we’re seeing so you know

there is and I’ll say this with all

self-awareness this sounds hyperbolic

you know but there is fundamentally an

underground initiate Brotherhood of

techno Matic literati alpha hippies and

they and they go from everything from

Davos and Ted to Coachella and South Bay

and burning men they hang there hanging

out at these high-end gatherings they

are mostly globally mobile you know in

either running companies founding

companies post liquidity events they’re

living they’re living a large life and

and plug into these repeated initiatory

experiences with each other and then go

back and seed culture with it I mean

that was you know I had we were invited

to speak at the TEDx event

burning then a couple of years ago and

then got to participate in kind of this

salon with some of the founders at the

time they were wondering if and how they

were going to purchase a permanent chunk

of land to host Burning Man culture and

events and Larry Page and Sergey Brin

and you know I’m asking lots of on Tony

Hsieh and lots of other people involved

but at this gathering were you know

partners from Goldman Sachs heads of the

World Economic Forum the CEO the largest

ad agency on the planet

you know people you’re like wait a

second this is long this is way past

just Silicon Valley freaks and misfits

trucking out you know for a weekend in

the desert this is a globally connected

bunch of us folks from the Pentagon you

know like major players and they are

literally coming together to share what

you could make a case is a sort of

modern day right of the lusus right a

modern-day initiatory mystery cult and

people are having these experiences they

are impacting their personal lives

deeply but also impacting their

professional lives and and and creating

this kind of just below the water line

network of initiates to sort of know

each other with a nod and a wink in a

secret handshake and they’re moving

money condemned moving capital they’re

moving they’re moving talent than moving

IP they’re creating new companies that

are creating new partnerships and this

is kind of the new way that businesses

gets done I mean it’s like the Masons

and the Elks lodges are done and over

with are pretty much dead on arrival and

what’s emerging now is we’re just seeing

this as I said just this sort of techno

Matic glitterati these folks that are

sharing this experience it creates high

trust high intimacy and a shared degree

of inspiration coming from similar

sources and that arguably is one of the

most driving forces seeding culture

these days and no one’s really talking

about yeah I mean you guys are now right

and yeah I mean it’s it’s really great

because you’re researching inner

creativity consciousness and this is

what I love is talk about I love to just

explore this idea of you know being more

connected to ourselves getting into this

sort of flow state you know it just it

blows me away the research that you guys

have come up with and I’m just I’m

paging through your book

and you know something that you bring up

what is Alexander or sure Glenn I’m not

sure how many of our listeners know who

he is can you can you give us an idea of

how impactful Sasha’s work was for me

not Leica dellux and and our awareness

sure so Sasha just died I suppose a year

ago maybe a year and a half ago so I

just maybe one of the first sort of

monograph treatments slash hat tips to


and his legacy and certainly you know

with full appreciation and respect from

from errant on that Sasha was a boy

genius he was admitted to Harvard on a

full scholarship I think at the age of

15 he then dropped out to join the Navy

right after World War two end up being a

young sort of fund akin chemist for Dow

chem within a few years invented one of

the first biodegradable pesticides which

made them good Gillian’s of dollars and

effectively gave him a blank slate to do

whatever the hell he wanted afterwards

and he basically got became fascinated

with the compound masculine which is a

psychoactive it’s prevalent in San Pedro

cactuses which can get it Landscaping

stores or Home Depot’s if you want but I

mean he key it extracted it he’s like

wow this one little tiny molecule

completely change my life this was also

what I was subtly wrote about in the

doors of perception and Sasha was like

hey if that’s possible and obviously had

mad skills in the camera and he’s like

well what if I just tweaked a little

hydrogen bond what if I just tree could

tweak a little carbon chain and he began

modifying these compounds and so just to

give you perspective in the nineteen by

the nineteen fifties I think there were

twenty to thirty known psychedelic

psychoactive kind of compounds ones that

truly had a mind impacting effect and by

the time he had completed his research

there was something something like 250

and and the one that he’s most

well-known for it’s not the discovery of

MDMA or what is commonly known as

ecstasy or Molly but he revived it was

originally developed by Merck and

Germany back in the teens or 20s and he

just he just you know resurfaced it

began experimenting with Andres eyes oh

wow and this is before his called

ecstasy that was at the time was called

empathy and it was available during the

60s because the hippies just weren’t

interested in it which is I think

another kind of interesting thing is

like cultural

I mean that kinda stuff as was dnt which

is another psyckadeli received all sorts

of attention lately but the hippies had

access to all this stuff and they didn’t

pick up which I think again if you

overlay anthropology and culture on to

pharmacology you realize oh there’s a

lot of this that’s been rattling around

but Sasha found it was like hey this

really does increase feeling could

interact with the serotonin system it

tends to increase feelings of safety

security well-being belonging and it can

act as a profound sort of open for

Secretariat process and being a you know

highly credential professional that he

was he turned on some of his psyche

psychiatrist and psychotherapist friends

and said hey you may want to consider

conducting therapy with this compound as

an adjunct which they did and there

became this kind of underground movement

that was you know communica series I’m

considerably not well not unlike the

1950s 60s use of LSD in psychotherapy

where Kari grant and Jack Nicholson and

a lot of folks if anybody saw Mad Men

and saw those those episode that was how

it was right it wasn’t freaks and

misfits you know it would stop they got

the stuff this was high end intelligence

yeah you know sharing the keys to the

kingdom it so Sasha popularized it and

then it kind of leaked out and by the

time everyone else knows the rest of

story by the time the early 80s and

Dallas and elsewhere it became kind of a

club drug and all those kind of things

and then got shut down but Sasha was one

of the ones to to really popularize it

but interestingly he was working for the

DEA the whole time and so he was

actually he won awards for publishing

the best law enforcement chemical

resource book a you know to date to the

DEA was he was constantly serving an

expert witness and testifying and doing

all kinds of stuff he was the subject

matter expert and you know in in the

neighborhood and they’re like hey wait a

second man you know you’re kind of

getting a little out of hand he’s like

okay I need to get this information out

and so he published two books which were

sort of 5050 these chemical love stories

between him and his wife and like their

adventures and exploration discovery

that was really what cemented his place

in counterculture law because he took a

stand for open sourcing ecstasy she said

look these compounds are human birth

rights they shouldn’t be locked down or

patented or owned or or sanctioned

humans have a right for them all the way

to today what we now has 3d printers

with as little as vegetable

and paraffin wax you can punch in the

coating for any compound you want and

spit out on the other side right

whatever molecule you’re interested in

fabricating so we’ve gone from Sasha

doing these you know what bio acid which

is a fancy way of saying do it yourself

and take notes to open-source in the

cookbook to now totally democratize

means of production where anybody

anywhere with a Wi-Fi and a 110 volt

outlet can fabricate whatever molecules

they’re interested in exploring that’s

amazing that’s so profound I find that

that’s I mean we’re in the age of this

new enlightenment era that I don’t think

humanity has ever seen before and you

know it just it blows me away and the

reason you know the reason that I

brought up

Alexander Strickland was because I

wanted to get into these Silicon Valley

architects taking low doses of LSD to

solve complex problems can you can talk

about that a bit please yeah sure

and then I also want to make sure we

kind of get to like the stakes of the

game as well so if we can kind of pin

and not sure I feel like that’s critical

versus just sort of like feel-good

booster is important just in a sense

right and this started with James

Fadiman way back in the 60s if anybody’s

been following the cult the current kind

of micro dosing trend in fact islet

Waldman’s just come out with her book

about her micro dosing and Alice B for a

month so that kind of everywhere in the

New York Times and The New Yorker and

elsewhere but fundamentally there’s been

this idea that there’s sort of the macro

dose again that’s what the

stereotypically the hippies did like

just hook down as much as you possibly

can blast out to the back of beyond

see what happens cross your fingers hope

for the best okay and the opposite of

micro dosing micro dosing has also got

potentially arguably even a more

interesting history which is what

happens when you take some perceptual

threshold amounts of these things the

sub perceptual means the walls don’t

mouth I don’t have any visual

distortions I may not even have any

subjective emotional noticeable

differences but other than just pretty

no greater cognitive acuity and so way

back in the 60s he took a bunch of

engineer’s from HP and Stanford and

elsewhere and said okay that the sole

criteria to enter this experiment is six

months you’ve been working on a hard

engineering a technical problem you

haven’t been able to solve come

we’re going to give you mic reduces of

LSD or muscle in depending the control

group and then see how you do still

going back and trying to solve those

problems and you know they ended up with

something like nine patentable or

fundable breakthroughs and devices

including complex stuff linear get

accelerated since proton that need a

photon measurements of you really

high-end high-tech stuff and most people

reported you know somewhere around a

hundred and eighty to two hundred and

twenty percent increases in your

performance acuity and lateral

problem-solving these since he based

that all went underground it got

completely shut down for four decades he

has been since lately he’s been doing a

crowdsource kind of clandestine approach

where he’s basically saying here’s the

protocol do them if you want right back

in anonymously and we’ll share the

result and I got over four hundred

people having done it today and again

similar result but over you know the

majority of people saying I have better

access to lateral pattern recognition

problem solving you know and the ability

to generate in sets bmu ideas and if you

combine what Fadiman has been doing

which is largely just hey this is a

crowdsource experiment let me just

aggregate the information the feedback

if you know if you take a look at what

robin kaha harris is doing over the

Imperial College in London then you

really see something interesting new

Sutton’s and the mechanism of action

behind it all because what he was doing

is he started his graduate we’re

interested in studying the subconscious

a kind of Union analysis what the hell’s

going on under there that kind of thing

and he was really limited to basically

blunt instrument tools self-reporting

dream analysis slips of the tongue all

the things that would suggest there’s

something else to me than what I’m

trying to manage up front right and he

was really underwhelmed by things like

man’s some clunky as tools to try and

plot the deepest depths of our minds so

that’s when he first got turned on to

hey what if we start using

pharmacological primary specifically

MDMA and LSD and psilocybin

so that we can then put someone in a

measured a complex medical measurement

device like an fMRI which measures blood

flow and magnetic magnetic activity to

the brain and can then and we see what’s

going on in our subconscious a little

bit more a little bit more reliably so

what he found was a that our self is not

simply doesn’t just live in one place

including the prefrontal cortex that we

talk about it it’s not a soul location

how is meat

right rather ourself is this loosely

strung together network of nodes

throughout our greens and that just like

in kind of Star Wars right if you shoot

if you knock down even one or two of

those nodes the whole grid collapses so

that ego disintegration that is often

talked about in meditative experiences

psychedelic experiences flow state is it

kind of it’s a pretty apt metaphor that

our sense of self can literally

disintegrate when a couple of the nodes

are knocked out via whatever mechanism

could be you know hyperventilation and

breathing practices could be psychedelic

etc and he also discovered something

else which is under the influence of

these psychedelics what is happening is

that you are getting disparate and fast

one connections not just oh I’ve

connected you no idea a two idea B but

rather Zone A of my brain is connected

Zone C D and E of my brain and they’re

now talking to each other in ways that

they don’t under normal waking States so

to go to loop this all back together

you’ve got Fadiman way back in the 60s

starting with this micro dosing coming

to now and then being in conjunction

with some of them you know

neurobiological measurements like Harris

is doing in London and really one of the

most interesting things is like a lawful

lot of this has to do with our serotonin

systems and our serotonin receptors so

psilocybin LSD and serotonin we’re all

getting deeply studied in the 50s and

60s right

then came the federal lockdown on all

psychedelic research and in 60s and then

it really and truly in the early

seventies and basically all research on

the serotonin system got crunched down

to SSRIs like the serotonin reuptake

inhibitors prozac Zoloft etc so we got

these weak-ass drugs with tons of side

effects that only work in a handful of

people and pound you with complications

for months and years after and they only

work as long as you’re actively taken ER

and they cost the bundle by the way

they’re patented right so that’s what we

got out of the serotonin system for the

last four decades we got prozac nation

yeah and instead what we’re seeing now

is a resurgence in access to and

information on a bunch of other

substances that interact with our

serotonin system in arguably far higher

impact far lower

side effect you know lower consequence

kind of ways which is the antithesis of

the social story the antithesis of the

PTA mom’s talking about you know you

know stamps getting cost up to kids or

you know some kids somebody thought it

was a banana and ends up in an insane

asylum we’re like oh no notice serotonin

system and it’s super interesting

beneficial and just in time because

there’s a bunch of really depressed

anxious unhappy folks these days yeah

you know and and you mentioned this

earlier you said something about a

psychedelic Renaissance there does seem

to be this this sort of trend happening

with you look at maps and the work

they’re doing and the way they’re moving

into like I think they’re in Phase three

or four trials of MDMA and they’re

aiming to have MDMA legal to where you

can get it prescribed by your doctor

and you’re suffering from PTSD or

depression and you know you go to your

doctor and you ask for this and finally

these doors are kind of opening for us I

feel like our consciousness collectively

has been and held back is that the right

word would you would you use a similar

word yeah I mean I would you know we

talked about in the book the idea of

just there are state sanctioned states

of consciousness and they persist you

know there are certain states and

there’s certain access points to those

states that are reinforced and endorsed

despite the evidence and there are

others that are actively repressed and

suppressed despite the evidence and we

are entering a place of you know an open

social revolution where we have access

not only to the key the keys to our cage

you know but the keys to the kingdom to

the king you have been listening to the

human experience and Mackel is our guest

mr. Janie will you definitely want to

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