Jamie Wheal & Steven Kotler

67: Altered States of Consciousness, Stealing Fire

This conversation is with Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler. Many of you will remember Steven from our conversation about flow state — if you missed that, check out episode 16 on Ultimate Human Performance.

Jamie and Steven are the co-founders of the Flow Genome Project, which is a collection of world-class academics, athletes and artists dedicated to taking flow from the extreme to the mainstream.

I’ve loved being their friend and being part of their community.

Jamie and Steven are completely switched-on : smart, quick and divergent thinkers, lovers of life, and are so curious, that they embody what they’re trying to learn.

This conversation has very nuanced adult themes — so — if you’re listening with kids, maybe you’ll want to consider listening to this one without them depending on however you roll.

Steven and Jamie just wrote a book together called: Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work.

What I hope you’ll take away from this conversation is the value of exploring the edges, the value of community, and how challenging it is to really change.

“The things we know for sure is you get one shot at this life and you’re going to spend a 1/3 of it asleep. Those things are non-negotiable facts. To me the only question that matters is: Are you going to be awake for the rest of it?”

In This Episode:

  • Loving the outdoors and how that gave him his first taste of flow (Wheal)
  • Why doing shrooms for the first time was a huge awakening (Wheal)
  • Seeing his brother experimenting with magic and wondering if everything that looks like magic has a skill under it? (Kotler)
  • Recapping how discovering flow helped cure his lime disease (Kotler)
  • What it means to be a cultural architect (Wheal)
  • Where does information come from? (Kotler)
  • Getting to the life you want (Kotler)
  • How you can take small steps towards on-ramping ecstasies (Wheal)
  • The dangers of pursuing flow for too long (Wheal)
  • What happens when you come down from a night drinking / intoxication (Kotler)
  • Determining what information is accurate in a state of flow (Kotler)
  • What he hopes people will take away from “Stealing Fire” (Wheal)
  • How we decode mystical states (Wheal)
  • Why honoring your natural rhythm is a great habit (Kotler)
  • Why he believes in getting outdoors and experimenting with high grade psychedelics (Wheal)


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