Podcast

#027: What Fredrich Nietzsche Can Teach Us about Today with Peter Sjostedt-H

In this episode I spoke with philosopher Peter Sjostedt-H about the work of Fredrich Nietzsche. Peter tells us why the great German philosopher Fredrick Nietzsche is still relevant to our own era.

Peter and I discuss he following topics including:

  • Why Fredrich Nietzsche is considered one of the precursors to modern psychology
  • Why Nietzsche’s writings are often thought of as prophetic
  • The implications of Nietzsche’s ideas for our contemporary age (particularly in the Patreon Bonus section where we get more into politics)
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • How psychedelics have influenced Peter’s perspective as a philosopher of mind

Guest Bio:

Peter Sjöstedt-H is an Anglo-Scandinavian philosopher of mind and a metaphysician who specialises in the thought of Whitehead, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, with special regard to panpsychism and altered states of sentience. Peter received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Continental Philosophy from the University of Warwick, where he was awarded a first-class distinction for his dissertation on Kant and Schelling in relation to ‘intellectual intuition’.

He subsequently became a Philosophy Lecturer in London for six years but is now engaged in his PhD at Exeter University where he also teaches philosophy modules and writing skills. Peter is the author of Noumenautics and an inspiration behind the inhuman philosopher Marvel Superhero, Karnak.

In the words of futurist, philosopher and pop star Alexander Bard: ‘One of our favourite contemporary philosophers, Peter Sjöstedt-H…think a psychedelic Nietzsche’.

Links:

Personal Website for Peter Sjostedt-H

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#026: Psychology of Religion with Jungian Analyst Pittman McGehee

For anyone who is interested in the psychology of religion, especially the work of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, today’s guest is a wealth of wisdom and insight. Pittman McGehee shares his interpretation of Christian mythology through a Jungian lens. We also discuss:
  • How to approach the study of religion
  • New Atheist critiques of religion
  • Pathologizing aspects of religion & other ideologies
  • Cultivating a sense of the sacred in your own life
  • Intersection of Christianity with US culture and politics
Guest Bio:
J. Pittman McGehee is an Episcopal priest and Jungian analyst in private practice in Austin, Texas. He is widely known as a lecturer and educator in the field of the psychology of religion, as well as a published poet and essayist.
He is the author of The Invisible Church: Finding Spirituality Where You Are (Praeger Press, 2008), Raising Lazarus: The Science of Healing the Soul (2009), Words Made Flesh, and The Paradox of Love, now available for sale through The Jung Center of Houston’s Bookstore, Amazon.com, and other fine booksellers.
Pittman presented “What Is a Healthy Spirituality” during “Religion, Mental Health, and the Search for Meaning,” a conference held at the University of St. Thomas. Click here to listen to the conference recordings.
Pittman also was interviewed as part of the “In Touch with Carl Jung” Salon through Centerpoint. Click here to view the complete list of recordings and to listen to Pittman’s interview.
Shownotes:
0:00-4:00: Opening Remarks
4:00-11:10: Origins of Pittman’s interest in the ideas of Carl Jung
11:10-13:18: Interpreting Christian Mythology through a Jungian Lens
13:18-17:45: Problems with approaching religion through a scientific 
                       worldview
17:45-25:05: Pathological pitfalls of religion & other ideologies
25:05-29:07: Problems with the notion of “i’m spiritual but not religious”
29:07- 31:10: Cultivating a Sense of the Sacred
31:00-39:12: The American Religion: Puritanism, Patriotism, Capitalism
40:25-45:10: Closing Remarks
Links:
Books by Pittman McGehee:

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#025: A Talk about The Mythology of Pre Historic Cave Art with Bernie Taylor

In this episode Bernie Taylor shares his insights into the timeless archetypal stories that he has uncovered in pre historic cave art. Bernie’s passion for his subject matter really came across. If you’re interested in mythology and the work of great thinkers in the psychology of religion like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell you’ll enjoy this conversation.

Guest Bio:

Bernie Taylor is an independent naturalist and author (Before Orion: Finding the Face of the Hero – 2017 & Biological Time – 2004) whose research explores the mythological connections and biological knowledge among prehistoric, indigenous and ancient peoples. He enjoys the great outdoors in his home state of Oregon and the exploration of inner space.

Links:

Before Orion

#024: Integrating Buddhism & Ayahuasca with Spring Washam

If you’re interested in Buddhism and Ayahuasca you’re going to love my conversation this week with Spring Washam.

Guest Bio:

Spring Washam is a well-known meditation teacher, author and visionary leader based in Oakland, California. She is the author of A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage and Wisdom in Any Moment. Spring is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based healing practices to diverse communities. She is one of the founders and core teachers at the East Bay Meditation Center, located in downtown Oakland, CA.

Spring is also the co-founder of a new organization called Communities Rizing, which is dedicated to providing yoga and meditation teacher training programs for communities of color. She received extensive training by Jack Kornfield, is a member of the teacher’s council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California, and has practiced and studied Buddhist philosophy in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism for the last 20 years.

In addition to being a teacher, Spring Washam is also a shamanic practitioner and has studied indigenous healing practices for over a decade. She is the founder of Lotus Vine Journeys, an organization that blends indigenous healing practices with Buddhist  wisdom. Her writing and teachings have appeared in many online journals and publications such as Lions Roar, Tricycle, and Belief.net. She has been a guest on many popular podcasts and radio shows. She currently travels and teaches meditation retreats, workshops and classes worldwide.

Links:

Lotus Vine Journeys

Lotus Vine Journeys Facebook Group

Personal Website of Spring Washam

Spring’s Book: A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage and Wisdom in Any Moment

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#023: Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson & Contrasting Approaches to the Study of Religion with Erik Davis

In this episode author and religious studies scholar Erik Davis and I consider the arguments of the New Atheists, particularly the work of Sam Harris. We contrast Harris’ approach to religion with that of Jordan Peterson, as well as Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Topics we touch on include:
  • Erik’s background and personal religious views
  • Religion as myth & metaphor vs revelation
  • Religion as a set of practices, rather than a set of beliefs
  • Problems with tribalism, including & beyond religion
Guest bio:
Erik Davis is an author, podcaster, award winning journalist and popular speaker based in San Francisco. Davis was born during the Summer of Love within a stone’s throw of San Francisco. He grew up in North County, Southern California, and spent a decade on the East Coast, where he studied literature and philosophy at Yale and spent six years in the freelance trenches of Brooklyn and Manhattan before moving to San Francisco, where he currently resides. 
He is the author of four books: Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (Yeti, 2010), The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape (Chronicle, 2006), with photographs by Michael Rauner, and the 33 1/3 volume Led Zeppelin IV (Continuum, 2005). His first and best-known book remains TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (Crown, 1998), a cult classic of visionary media studies that has been translated into five languages and recently republished by North Atlantic Press. 
Erik has a PhD in Religious Studies from Rice University. He is the host of the Expanding Mind Podcast. 
Links:
Mentions:
Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Richard Dawkins, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell
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#022: Mitch Schultz, Director of DMT The Spirit Molecule

Guest bio: Mitch Schultz is the documentary filmaker behind “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” and “Ayahuasca: Drink the Jungle.”

Mitch Schultz began his life journey in Memphis, Tennessee and has since called Texas, Minnesota, Colorado, New York, Europe, and Peru home. Guided by his lifelong love of storytelling, Mitch has cultivated a multi-disciplinary expertise in motion pictures, interactive media, and culture hacking.

He earned his Bachelor of Science primarily focused on media production, communication theory, and information mapping at the University of Texas at Austin. Soon after, Mitch completed his Masters of Fine Arts at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He was a researcher at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch. Mitch continues to foster his growth within the academic community by speaking at universities and conferences worldwide.

Schultz has also worked as a branding consultant for VisionLab, the progressive HD cable channel dedicated to experimental video art. Following the successful launch of VisionLab, he shifted into independent film production as Director of Development for Ghost Robot, where he outlined the company’s expansion from film into other platforms, including art, fashion, gaming, and music.

Currently, Mitch is developing a project that utilizes the potential of blockchain technologies to transform the media landscape.
Mitch and I touched on a number of topics including:
  • Mitch’s early childhood paranormal experiences
  • Making of “DMT: The Spirit Molecule”
  • Changing landscape of the psychedelic research scene
  • DMT experience vs. Ayahuasca
  • Healing trauma and addiction through psychedelic medicine
  • Cultural differences on aging and death
  • Competing explanations for the nature of consciousness
  • Blockchain & cryptocurrencies
Showlinks: 

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#021: Bhakti Yoga with Raghu Markus

On this episode Raghu Markus shares his deep knowledge of the Bhakti Yoga tradition. He talks about what he learned from his own teacher, the legendary Neem Karoli Baba, and how we can all learn to live with more wisdom, compassion and trust.
Guest Bio:
Raghu Markus is the Executive Director of the Love Serve Remember Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving and continuing the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass.
As a young man, Raghu spent two years in India with Maharaji and Ram Dass. He has been involved in music and transformational media since the early 1970s when he was program director of CKGM-FM in Montreal. In 1974 he collaborated with Ram Dass on the box set Love Serve Remember.
In 1990 he launched Triloka Records and Karuna Music in Los Angeles, California. Triloka established itself as a critical leader in the development of world music and for 17 years was home to such artists as Krishna Das, Hugh Masekela, Walela, Jai Uttal and transformational media projects that featured Ram Dass, Deepak Chopra, and Les Nubians.
Raghu owns Yatra Media and lives with his wife in Asheville, NC.
Topics discussed:
  • Bhakti Yoga
  • Teachings of Neem Karoli Baba
  • Similarities and differences between the Bhakti and Buddhist paths
  • Dualist vs. Nondualist schools of Indian thought
  • How to interpret accounts of “miracles,” paranormal events
  • Trust and Faith: the importance of these qualities and the distinction between them

Links:

Mentions:
a. Opening monologue: Jordan Peterson, Mikey Siegel, Mary Taylor, Richard Freeman, Pattabhi Jois
b. Conversation with Raghu: Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Dass, Swami Muktananda, Duncan Trussell, Krishna Das, Roshi Joan Halifax, Sally Kempton

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#020: The Paths of Yoga through the Bhagavad Gita with Ashtanga Yoga teacher Richard Freeman

Show Overview:

In this conversation, legendary Ashtanga Yoga teacher Richard Freeman walks us through the various paths of yoga as described in The Bhagavad Gita. Richard is an exceptional teacher of yoga philosophy. Undoubtedly, this conversation will have much to offer for those both new and familiar with this classic text of the yoga tradition.

Guest bio: Richard Freeman is one of the most celebrated Ashtanga Yoga teachers of our time. Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968. He began his yoga journey with one simple sitting posture in the Zen tradition. Richard spent nine years in Asia studying yoga asana, Sufism, Sanskrit language, and Indian philosophical texts.

In 1974 Richard began working with B.K.S. Iyengar. With Iyengar Richard studied precise alignment principles, applying them to his own internally rooted experience of the forms. Drawing from this variety of contemplative traditions, Richard teaches the Ashtanga Vinyasa method of yoga as taught by his principal teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India.

Richard’s metaphorical, humorous, teaching style appeals to students of many backgrounds and nationalities. He teaches workshops and trainings throughout the world, and remains an avid student fascinated by the linking points between different traditions and cultures.

He is the co-founder, with Mary, of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado; has produced a number of highly regarded yoga audio and video recordings; and is the author of The Mirror of Yoga and co-author of The Art of Vinyasa (Shambhala Publications).

Links:

Richard Freeman Yoga

Mentions: Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

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#019: Awakening through Ashtanga Yoga with Mary Taylor

Guest Bio: Mary Taylor teaches Ashtanga Yoga as taught by her principal teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India.

Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971, after graduating from Julia Child’s cooking school, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes in Pari. Initially, she enjoyed yoga as a means of finding equanimity during the stress of University. It was this thread of balance that got her hooked.

It was not until 1988 that Mary found her primary teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The discovery of the Ashtanga Yoga system provided her with a profound and transformative impact. She continues to study and practice yoga and Buddhist teachings with great enthusiasm and inquisitiveness, with an eye on how the residue that is produced on the mat (and cushion) through these teachings informs and supports all aspects of everyday life.

Mary travels and teaches Ashtanga Yoga with her husband Richard Freeman. Mary also works as a caregiver in a hospital setting as part of the core faculty of the Being with Dying program (Upaya Zen Center) and the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Trainings. In 1988, with Richard, she co-founded the Yoga Workshop. Mary is also the author of three cookbooks and the co-author of What Are You Hungry For? Women Food and Spirituality (St. Martins Press) and The Art of Vinyasa (Shambhala Publications).

Shownotes:

In my conversation with Mary we explored the following topics:

  • Ashtanga Yoga as a practice of self transformation
  • Showing up for your practice; the need to be honest with ourselves
  • Reconciling Eastern, Western Perspectives. Holding paradoxical points of view.
  • How Psychology, and the ego, differs in Eastern and Western worldviews
  • The importance of ritual
  • and more…

Links:

Mary and Richard’s Website

Mentions: Pattabi Jois, Ram Dass, Krishna Das

Support Hacking the Self:

#018: Ajna Light Technology founder Guy Harriman

Guest Bio:
Guy Harriman is an engineer, Buddhist meditator and inventor of consciousness hacking technologies. Guy worked for many years in Silicon Valley, including for Steve Jobs at NEXT.
In 2008 Guy moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand and built lannayoga.com Healing Center.
Guy is the inventor of the spiritual tool called the Ajna Light. It is a unique device which
helps people on their own inner journey, no matter what their path is. Since Guy
designed the first prototype in 2014, as of 2017 it is estimated that over 10,000 people have
been on the Ajna Light.
Shownotes:

0:00-7:40: Opening Remarks

7:40-:11:00: Guy’s move from the UK to Silicon Valley

11:00-14:58: Working with Steve Jobs

14:58-21:21: The genesis of Guy’s interests in contemplative practices

21:21-24:55: What Steve Jobs taught Guy about living life passionately

24:55-28:10: Shifting from Silicon Valley to Thailand

28:10-31:23: Right View & Body-Mind Practices

31:23-36:55: How to integrate Yogic and Taoist Systems and Practices

36:55-40:00: Reconciling Different Schools of Buddhist Thought

40:00-43:40: Developing the Pyra Light

43:40-48:04: Healing the Body-Mind Right in the West

48:04-52:00: The Promises and Perils of Virtual Reality for the Humanity

52:00-56:05: Becoming a Buddhist Monk

56:05-1:12:33: Inventing Consciousness Exploration Technologies

1:12:33-1:14:15: Closing Remarks. How to follow Guy and his technologies

Links:
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