Transcript for Zach Leary on the everyday Grind, Futurism, Consciousness, Mysticism & so much more

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fabric of the scene and really changed

after that and it got a lot different a

lot crazier a lot more kind of you know

rock and roll and I encourage people you

know if they wake up and they land in

that cubicle every day and they feel

like oh my god this sucks what am I

doing here

get out it’ll work itself out you know

get out what’s up guys you are listening

to the human experience our episode

today’s with mr. Zack Leary Zack is into

some really interesting topics

concerning futurism consciousness

spirituality mysticism psychedelics we

get into all those things who talk about

his relationship with his dad this is a

great episode and it blew by and

whenever that happens it’s usually a

good episode so hopefully you guys

enjoyed this one thank you so much for

listening the human experience is in

session my guest for today’s mr. Zack

Leary zack my good sir welcome to hxp

thank you so much for having me pleasure

to be here I’m familiar with your

background but many of our listeners

might not be if you could just give us a

short biography of you know who you are

what you do please

even sometimes when that questions asked

you know and being sort of the

pathologically anti-authoritarian

spiritualist that I am I’ve just a soul

trying to find some grace you know I

don’t have to know what it is I do you

know I’m just trying to find get through

in another moment trying to find grace

and wisdom as I can you know I spent

about 15 years working in pretty high

levels within the marketing and

advertising industry I’m helping brands

and various bands as well and entities

can have developed their their digital

presence and their technology strategy

and you know and I did I had a great

time doing that but an okay time doing

that and I reached somewhat senior

levels and I kind of got to this point

to where I just was you know I hit my

head on the wall and kind of came up

with just your perfect existential

spiritual crisis and realized uh what am

i doing you know how can I spend my all

of my waking hours going to offices and

being kind of lost in office culture and

working on so-called passions and and

goals that are really other people’s you

know and that’s not to say not that

people who do that are lost I mean there

are many great people do great things

like that

just was not for me yeah it turned out

yeah so I kind of did an about-face but

then I kind of just turned all of my

interest and focus into really doing the

things that I that I’m most passionate

about and that’s focusing on a very

human application of spiritual

principles as well as talking about the

sort of the evolution of mankind as

defined through technology and where

technology is driving us both on a

psycho-spiritual level and as well as a

sociological level because it is really

I think within the last hundred years

you know the advent of Technology I mean

from the Industrial Revolution on I just

don’t mean like Facebook and phones but

technology is really it’s really shaping

our culture into either the destruction

or the savior so I’m just going

interested in all of those things and so

yeah I thought cast and I write and talk

and teach and things like that yeah that

is very interesting in it I liked what

you said about the 9 to 5 grind and I

think a lot of us get caught up in that

sort of cubicle matrix world and it’s

hard to break out when you’re in the

midst of that world though I mean it is

and and I want to say – so sorry to

interrupt but I do want to say – that

it’s really important like you know

sometimes if I go on a preamble like

this it does sound like high and mighty

and I don’t mean it to be that way

people who do have to go to a cubicle

today because they have to pay the rent

and feed their family that’s great you

know there’s nothing wrong with that in

and of itself you know I just think it’s

about listening to your own heart and

being true you know to them self

you know what’s working for you many

people are happy being creative

directors at advertising agencies and do

great work if that’s your Dharma that’s

yours it just wasn’t mine right and I

encourage people you know if they wake

up and they land in that cubicle every

day and they feel like oh my god this

sucks what am I doing here

get out it’ll work itself out you know

get out yeah that’s the biggest step I

think you can take for your own personal

evolution so when you mentioned

spirituality and there’s a mixture of

technology are you a transhumanist do

you believe in this futuristic sort of

dumping consciousness into I don’t know

a body of something like that anything

like that yeah I do consider myself to

be a transhumanist in the sense that

I’ll caveat that by saying I don’t know

if consciousness can be distilled to a

version that can be written into some

firmware you know I don’t know if that’s

ever going to be possible because I

believe that consciousness in and of

itself is a disembodied phenomenon that

exists outside of ourselves and the

human beings interaction with

consciousness is just our perception

consciousness will continue to exist

without us so I don’t know if that’s

possible but yes I do believe in the

mutation of mankind into

fusing with technology do you think this

is something that we’ll see within our

lifetime well we’re starting to see it I

mean we are we’re starting to see it on

smaller levels you know there are

nanotech improvements that are starting

to happen it’s very very possible that

within our lifetimes we’ll be able to

see through nanotechnology fused with

corrective surgery like the repairing of

quadriplegics you know things like that

you know this is certainly an ethical

thing and for better or for worse but

you know we can now map the human genome

and look at certain traits to see where

perhaps one might want to improve and

how to you know whether it’s cognitively

improve or health-wise you know so we’re

starting to see those things you know I

know that’s it freaks a lot of people

out special people who are you know into

sort of the green organic back to the

earth movement but I don’t think it

should freak us out so yeah I mean what

we’re starting to see it and I think

within the next 50 years we’re really

going to see some things that 20 years

ago would have been science fiction yeah

I mean it’s really amazing the progress

that we’re making in it I think you

touched on this in your work but I’m not

sure if humanity is ready for the

cultural advancements that technology’s

making it’s happening so fast

now it’s almost overwhelming how quickly

technology is advancing in parallel to

our own understanding of it I mean do

you agree I absolutely agree I mean

there’s no question how could I not I

just think any time if somebody panics

and kind of gets freaked out of that

relationship of the most important thing

to do is to step back and realize the

human condition as we know it now you

look around at our species like I think

it’s presumptuous to say that this is

the final stop in the human evolutionary

matrix I don’t believe that I think this

is this is human being 1.0 you know I

mean III just don’t believe that this is

the end of the human evolutionary ladder

I think there could be a human being 2.0

and what does that human being 2.0 look

like you know

I really have no idea but what if it is

a synthesis of silicone infused

enhancements you know I mean what if

that is God’s will so there is an aspect

of you believing God as well as being a

futurist and believing you down

technology let’s rewind a little bit

you know you adapted you was it the

Krishna consciousness movement that you

bounced into or how did that come about

with the spiritual practice that you use

yeah I mean the Krishna conscious

movement played a part in it for sure I

mean it was combination of that and my

association with Ram Dass lean around us

being very close with but with my father

and growing up with him and him being

around a lot and so when I was a

teenager I got exposed to his work into

the Krishna consciousness movement for

sure and then you know it took me a

while to sort of develop any sort of

spiritual practice because I you know I

honestly just wasn’t that disciplined if

when I was young so I just was bouncing

around you know what I mean but it was

still in my soul and imprinted sort of

somewhere in there and then later on I

kind of got closer to Ram Dass again and

met him in a different way I’m not sure

how that happened I was those sort of

mystical experiences transpire but they

did and I just saw him in a different

light and I’m part of that community in

that satsang now but the Krishna

consciousness movement definitely as

well plays a part I’m not you know

uninitiated Hari Krishna I would not say

that but I have great reverence for what

Krishna consciousness is and the overall

sort of as ROM das used to love to say

when he met neem Karoli Baba in 1967 he

gave me a new map of consciousness and

so for the way Vedanta and the Hindu

blueprint looks at consciousness and

energy structures and how that kind of

manifests into spirituality it works for

me yeah let’s let’s dive into that yeah

so in a daily practice is it kirtan is

that what it’s called

yeah I mean my daily practice consists

of a little bit of meditation just kind

of traditional the pastina

meditation you know anywhere from 10 to

20 minutes and then kirtan yeah I sing a


every day and then if time permits a

sing more and then if time permits even

more I’ll do some job which is

repetition of mantras on on a Moloch you

know and beads right yeah but at the

bare minimum I do meditation and sanctum

prayers yeah I was exposed to the

Krishna consciousness movement as well I

was working at this startup incubator

and they would serve lunch every day

nearby so I would just go there I would

donate like $5 and this really healthy

Indian food which was delicious and then

and I slowly started to pick up the

teachings of it III can’t say that I

stuck with it but there was something

about it that resonated for me as true

you know you just kind of feel something

as okay this is resonating this fits

something this work said maybe conscious

mind doesn’t really completely

comprehend what that connection is you

understand yeah and use some data

perfectly the conscious mind does not

understand what the subconscious mind

it’s connection is tell me about these

beads is it repetition of certain

specific sounds that resonates your body

or how does that work well it is said

that the utterance of the names of God

are the same as God itself so if you are

chanting the various names of God you

know whatever resonate with you the most

and this means mantra if you are

uttering those name that means you are

calling in the divine itself in physical

form you are calling it into your space

they are one of the same so the

repetition of these names the ISKCON are

a Krishna movement is it’s a really good

example to look at this because they’re

very dedicated to their japa

I mean that’s their core practice you

know is the repetition of the body

Krishna mantra on these beads and by you

know reciting it over and over and over

again there’s a great quote by a

wonderful teacher named radhanath swami

that says mantra or kirtan cleanses the

dust off the mirror of one’s own heart

so the divine lives within your heart


it’s always within and every tradition

will tell you that you know that it’s

it’s it’s within but through the process

of being alive if you suffering greed

desires sense pleasures ego whatever it

is your heart gets dusty you know and it

just clouds up your divinity and we just

become you know the human condition can

become very exacerbated on the egoic

side so the chanting of these names that

just slowly slowly just wipes off some

of the dust and slowly gets you back to

who you truly are and that is a

manifestation of divinity you know a lot

of people do were kind of getting into

spirituality and into practices that can

sort of get hung up on the external

thing well said well if God is within

and what why do you have these you know

these statues these mortise of gods all

over the place while you’re looking at

pictures of gurus that’s external isn’t

it and it is but the reason for them

it’s because they are reminders unless

you are truly a realized being I’m not

truly realized being you know I don’t

think that’s gonna happen to me this

time it’s not looking that way but it

must you’re truly realized being you

know the human condition keeps coming

back it just keeps coming back and keeps

coming back so it just you know we need

these reminders to go deeper you know

yeah and you know the grand illusion the

Maya which is it’s so immersive and you

know we all get trapped in that we all

get trapped in this sort of cycle of

suffering and I think that internal pain

that internal struggle tends to cause us

to look for external solutions as in

drugs alcohol to sort of numb that pain

to sort of just numb ourselves away and

one of the reasons that I personally

connected with the Krishna consciousness

movement was just because you know they

talked about this they they mentioned

and a lot of the things that some of the

people that were living in the Krishna

consciousness temple we’re telling you

it was it was something like I

was going out drinking partying with my

friends and the next day you know I felt

like shit and I was hungover and it just

it was so temporary

it was so plastic you know it was really

getting to me when I encountered these

people who were sort of offering a

solution to ok look inside and use this

job I used these beads to kind of

resonate the sound you know I was

interested it was like a magnet I just

pulled towards it you’re so right and

they have a very nice and clean

perspective distilling what is Maya and

what is not and why sense pleasures you

know in the middle of all of this – I

obviously you know I still have

reverence for the psychedelic movement

and things like that and you know since

pleasures in and of themselves aren’t

necessarily bad things but it is so easy

to get carried away with it

and to lose yourself in them as sources

of endless pleasure because at the end

of the day it will never be enough in

some ways the the quality of addiction

is pervasive throughout the entire human

existence you know we are just it’s

never enough it’s never enough it’s

never enough

whether that’s drugs sex alcohol money

shopping food bombs power even how we

our country measures its health it

measures it on what you know what’s

called the GDP which is the assumption

of consumption agree of expansion it’s

not a metric of restraint it’s a metric

of growth gotta have more gotta have

more gotta have more that’s how we’re

healthy GDP has got to go up that’s an

insane way to think yeah and so you know

the Krishna consciousness movement just

it shatters all of that you know and

just goes into the content nests and the

purity of this moment and everything

that you have everything that you need

is it’s all right here yeah you know I

feel like it’s like when the veil is

over your eyes and you’re just you know

you turn your TV on and you’re just kind

of zombie doubt it’s really difficult to

see past that illusion because of how

pervasive it is hmm

Zach I’d really like to talk to you

about your relationship with your dad

mmm those are big shoes to fill

that’s a long shadow to kind of stand

under how old were you when he died I

was 22

you know you were around him a lot I was

yeah yeah what was the lifestyle like

back then when when you were interacting

with him and you saw him kind of do

these speeches and give these talks I

mean how did you feel well

it certainly changed a lot over the

course of time I have to say um a large

part of that do to him divorcing my

mother and my mother you know taking off

and moving to South America and then I

stayed in Los Angeles with them and you

know the fabric of the scene and really

changed after that and it got a lot so I

forgot a lot crazier a lot more kind of

you know rock and roll guess to to put

it subtly but growing up it took me a

long time to understand what it is he

did but when you’re a kid you can get

your head around that stuff I I didn’t

know you know I knew he was famous and

anyway he wrote and I knew he would go

on these college lecture tours but I

didn’t understand like the depth of them

and I didn’t understand what you know

the context of them was or the content

he known then he’d get kind of hired for

like a b-movie part or just kind of

funny and he took me did the set one day

and he was just acting as in this role

and I was standing on set I was a kid I

was from 10 or 11 years old and I was

standing there just as I’m on a movie

set you know next to lighting guys and

grips and all of those things and and

some grip who’s standing next to me goes

I can’t believe they’re letting that

awful awful man be in this movie and he

didn’t know my connection obviously or

say you don’t think it would have said

it I was like oh my god why would

anybody say that about my god like

what did he do yeah you know and I asked

him on the ride home

and I remember that but still that

answer was hard for me to get hold of

but you know and then he sort of

mentioned that you know the 1960s

and psychedelics and LSD were very

polarizing it was an amazing time of

discovery in expansion individuality and

you know a loosening of the cultural

restrictions that have previously

governed this country but it was also

polarized there were a lot of people

feeling different things and he pissed a

lot of people off so I was just starting

to learn about and then but as I sort of

got older I said became a teenager and I

was a Deadhead you know it was a huge

part of my youth I really got into his

work and he know not only was a father

but a teacher I mean some of his books

had a profound influence on me I’ve

grown up you know I can I can feel the

you know there’s some pain in your voice

there when we talk about him does it

bother you when people bring him up to

you at all

no it doesn’t bother me at all I’m

always happy to to talk about it I love

him and I miss him I have great

reverence for him I just you know

there’s just sort of I guess a natural

limit on how much I can answer you know

because I am my own person and I’ve

spent a lot of years and had to go

through a lot of pain and sadly to

discover who I truly am and a lot of

that was sort of shedding you know I

can’t I can’t be him you know I think

yeah I mean he’s he was I can’t be that

I can’t try to even follow to do that so

I’ve just had a great plan and be happy

with that

but yeah I have a great reverence and

but there’s just only so much I can

answer it’s not like I have any sort of

secret code or a secret perception into

the workings of Timothy Leary’s mind you

know just have my my experience that’s a

completely fair point and you know I

would I would never put you in a

position like give me all the secrets I

am only an observer and I’m not in that

position at all but I feel like that

would be a very difficult position to

carry to follow through and you know so

one of the reasons that we brought you

onto the show is that they’re requested

by many of our listeners to have you on

but one thing that you did carry on of

your father’s work was just you’re

interested in psychedelics and or is

there a psychedelic that you

have leaned towards you asked LSD any of

those oh that’s a good question good


I think I would say like long-term in

the sense of it really altered Who I am

more than any other psychedelic it’s

been LSD it’s really changed the fabric

of my being and you know gave me the the

tools to pierce the veil in the way that

was most profound for me for sure but

today it’s pretty rare that I’d want to

do an acid trip mainly because it’s so

long and my my fragile little eggshell

mind just can’t take it as much as well

anymore so I you know I I find DMT to be

a very very useful tool because it’s

short and I’ve surveyed the landscape of

psychedelics you know so much so many

times now you know what I mean

that I don’t need to constantly go back

into a long heroic journeys over and

over again I mean now and then sure it’s

great it’s valuable but I love the kind

of the quick in-and-out profundity that

DMT gives in it’s important to regard

these compounds as just tools these are

not party compounds these are not things

that you used to you know get effed up

with your friends and and have a good

time that’s just that’s not the way that

I see them at all and you know I like to

put that disclaimer on it at least that

I know that you struggled and battled

with addiction yourself what was

something for you that was a breaking

point where you said to yourself okay I

have to change it to have to shift this

jail oh my god yeah I mean I was I was a

low-bottom addict you know I I used

really hard and ended up in legal

problems and then in rehab you know and

it was just that simple

I mean sure jail is just uh you know a

little manifestation of how bad things

can get but it really it paints you a

picture of okay you know if you don’t

fix this this is going to get really

ugly this is gonna get you know you’re

gonna end your life Wow yeah this is

gonna take you all the way down you know

and is this your Dharma is this how you

want to live is this what you think you

were brought on this planet to do and

all of those things gained flashing

through my mind and in jail cells and in

rehab and and and those voices can be

very very quiet at first but they can

plant a seed within you that is so deep

and so full of reverence that they can

fill you up and just make you change

your ways you know it’s just not worth


addiction is such a dark place we’ve had

a lot of different doctors and

specialists on I think you’ve talked to

a dr. Gabor Ma Tei yeah Gabor has like

this very interesting perspective on

addiction on how it’s rooted in

childhood trauma rooted in this

suffering that we encounter as children

and we are trying to just numb this

suffering away we’re just trying to make

the pain sort of stop addiction should

be regarded as a sort of health disorder

not a criminal disorder do you agree

I absolutely agree when a person I think

all the work that he’s doing and so many

others are doing it is wonderful but

I’ll also caveat that too because there

is something that Gabor has said in some

of those those talks that he gives that

I do counter against in that yes all of

those things are true childhood trauma

and lack of connection and us just

trying to you know run away and heal the

pain and all of that is true but there

is also a physiological chemical element

to it as well and that it doesn’t matter

how spiritual I am or how many Hanuman

Chalisa is I chant if I put opiates in

my body the opiates react differently to

me and now the data is now showing that

because of the oxycontin epidemic there

swept America we now have a lot more

data about opioid addiction than we ever

have before

but that anywhere like as high some

numbers are saying as high as twenty

percent of the American population is

predisposed to opiate addiction and

that’s a really high number I mean Jesus

that’s one five people that means it you

know you put that chemical inside of you

and when you stop taking it you know

after the surgery is over or your cover

is over your body screams more or more

and more and sometimes that has to do a

childhood trauma sometimes it has

nothing to do with childhood trauma so I

just think that sometimes a lot of those

topics that are being floated around in

the alternative Addiction healing

communities I love them and I think

they’re powerful but I think sometimes

they can be too generalizing some people

just have the gene not everyone needs to

let the gene take them all the way to

jail I’m not saying that and then when

you get that far deep you know yes that

probably has a lot to do I could speak

for myself you know that went far beyond

just me being strung out and needing

more that went into some serious pain

and self-loathing

to let it go that far healthy evolved

people who are in touch you know with

their with their hearts and their souls

can probably seek help

how do you think in your own personal

perspective and experience we can and

create a more balanced understanding of

the process of addiction and kind of

coming out through the other side it’s a

I mean like you said it before I mean

it’s just I think our entire culture

needs to shift its perspective on how it

views addiction let’s just start there

you know it’s not a criminal justice

thing you know this isn’t something that

should be persecuted and this should be

looked at to the lens of compassion and

to the lens of you know sickness but

also through the lens of suffering you

know it’s no wonder that the first noble

truth and the Buddhist path has to do

with suffering because you know we are

so fraught with suffering you know it

just it comes seems to come so easily

for human beings you know an addiction

is really just a condition of that it’s

just kind of a subset of that of a way

to sort of a exacerbate suffering and

and find a temporary relief for it it’s

kind of hard to say but at first drugs

you know I mean I’m talking hard drugs

in addiction they do ease the suffering

it’s true it works temporarily but you

know obviously that doesn’t last and

that’s not sustainable so I think it’s

just about kind of changing our entire

dynamic language perception and culture

around it


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