Episode 31 - How to Survive A World That Has Lost Its Mind

A fascinating interview with Jamie Wheal, the best-selling author of Stealing Fire.

 
 

Twenty first century men and women – we’re not faring so well. We are tired, wired, stressed. Our cortisol levels veer between fight or flight, our heartbeats are erratic, and this is our normal. This interview with the very brilliant Jamie Wheal explores how to cherry pick ancient and modern "technologies" -- meditation, neurobiology, breathwork, microdoses of psychedelics, marathon running – to give us a better chance, individually and as a culture, to solve the cataclysmic problems facing the world.

Wheal has spent years studying the strange bedfellows of religious ecstatics, high performance athletes, meditators, yogis and others to draw a line between their practices and their altered states. Of particular interest to me are the thousands (hundreds of thousands) of people who are currently microdosing with LSD and psilocybin. Microdosing as a concept is not new. Early experiments led scientists in the 1960s to understand that sub-perceptual doses affects the serotonin system, which regulates depression, happiness and mood (notice the similarities between that and cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system). That research got shut down in anti-drug hysteria of 1968. Instead, what we ended up with was Prozac Nation, blunt pharmacological instruments that never enabled users to make meaningful changes or really expand their cognitive functioning. The current revitalization of low dosed psychedelics is a more refined and more effective way of boosting lateral ways of thinking. Entire engineering teams at top Silicon Valley companies are trying it.

“Maybe the 60s got it really wrong,” Wheal says in this interview. “Rather than super-industrial size doses LSD that blow your mind it seems that tiny doses combined with other technologies can give us access to an enhanced form of cognition that feels useful today. Being balanced -- that’s the optimal high-performance state. Brain wave studies have shown that the world’s top athletes are distinguished by how quickly they can get back to center and adapt to the next task.”

If you’re interested exploring a way of “calibrating peak experiences into a practice of accelerated development” for yourself, sign up for Wheal’s Rocky Mountain Flow workshop taking place August 17-19 2018, in Boulder, Colorado. Alternatively, read Stealing Fire, check out the Flow Genome Facebook community or listen to this podcast and share it widely. Hurry. We need higher consciousness now.

Joe Dolce