What Is The Future of Us? | Jason Silva
It's. An honor to be here with all, of you woke. Humans. I feel lit. Up by your energy, my. Heart feels open, and I'm, excited, to share with you guys today, so. As Mia, said, some. People know me from hosting brain games on the National, Geographic Channel, thank, you and. Brain games is interesting, because I kind of describe it as like Sesame, Street for the brain but. But. The philosophical, takeaway of the show really, is that our. Brains. Perceive, the world and, then often, miss perceive, the world and. Reality. Is, coupled. To perception. And if, you can mediate perception. Well you can change, reality. At, least subjective. Reality, the reality that allows you to take, action in the world an exercise, agency in, the world and make your dreams come true in the, world right, and so the. Theme of this event and vision, your future, I mean that I gotta, say it just really turns me on right because. That's that's, what we do right I mean I believe we are all in. Visionaries. Right or, that word from Disney Imagineers. Right it's such a freaking. Exhilarating. Word like. We are Imagineers. We have this capacity to. Conjure. Up these delightful. Future. Possibilities. Choose, the most amazing. Possibility. And then pull, the present forward, to. Meet those. Possibilities. One. Of my favorite. Poet. Futurist, mr. Ray Kurzweil. Wrote, at the end of his book The Singularity is, near that. Our unique capacity. To conjure, up these virtual. Realities. Because that's what they are in our, imagination. These dreams, right which, of course dreams, do not lack, reality. They are real patterns. Of information, so, our capacity, to conjure up these virtual, realities, in our minds, combined. With our modest-looking thumbs, was, sufficient, to in, Gen. A secondary. Force of evolution that, we call technology, and, he, says it will continue until the entire universe. Is at, our fingertips, until, we infuse. The, cosmos. With sentience. Literally. So. Back to this theme of envision. Airing right envision, earring so, I'm passionate about human imagination, I'm passionate, about human, creativity, and and again this, has turned into a passion for technology. And innovation because. I believe that technology is, the embodiment. Of, human. Creativity, in the world, technology. Is the literalization, of, human, imagination in the, world, technology. Is how we turned the human mind inside, out and how we impregnate, the world with, mind. The. Cognitive, philosophers. David Chalmers and Andy Clark in their, extended, mind thesis, they.
Describe Technology, as a scaffolding. Of mind that we use to extend our thoughts our reach. And our, vision, right. And it has always been so there's. Historical precedent, for this if, you go back a hundred, thousand. Years to, the savannahs, of Africa when. Early hominids, first, picked up a stick on the ground and used, that stick, to, reach a fruit that was on a really high tree branch we've been using our sticks, our tools, our instruments. To extend, our reach to, transcend. Our boundaries, to redefine, our. Limits. That. Is what it means to be human right as the philosopher Marshall McLuhan famously, said we build the tools and then, the tools build. Us. We. Are in a symbiotic, relationship. With our tools our tools are extensions, of our cognitive, apparatus they are appendages. Of our minds, they are our EXO, skeleton. Now. Today we are living in an age of, radical. Disruption, the world is being upended. By, technological. Acceleration, there, is a vertigo, there, is a sense that the rug is being pulled from underneath our feet. There. Is apprehension and, there is excitement, simultaneously. All at once we are disoriented. We are disjoint. We are terrified. And we are exhilarated. And more than ever before, we, need to be envision, ears right. To. Build the tools that will build us in return. But. Technology and innovation has always upended, society it has always changed. The world it has always been a disruptive, force the, difference, though is that, the world didn't, used to change within our lifespans. Technology. Upended the world but it did so over many generations so the world that you were born into and that you died in didn't, really change very much that's not the case today. Today. Within a year the world is upended today within a decade the world is transformed. Right there are weeks. When. Nothing, happens. Where nothing happens and there are weeks when, decades, happen, and that's what we're living. Through today and the question of course is why. How. Do we begin to wrap our brains, around why, this vertigo. This acceleration. Has become so real so felt so visceral, and, for. Me the great aha, moment. Was, when I stumbled upon the work of reycarts, while he makes, predictions about the future he Maps future, trends, and he builds on what. The founder, of Intel Corporation, Gordon. Moore coined, Moore's, law, and it's this uncanny. Almost like a second law of nature. This notion that technology, comes through us but not from us and though it is with us it belongs not to us like we are engendering, this, self-organizing. Force in the universe what Kevin Kelly from Wired magazine calls the Technium the seventh kingdom of life and it turns out that, technological. Innovation, accelerates. Exponentially. Right. Human, beings evolved in a world that was linear and that was local and now, we live in a world that is global, and that is exponential, and so, we're future blind we never see the future coming because it's counterintuitive, to, how we think about change our. Brain evolved in a world to immediately, make an algorithmic, calculation. About how far away that lion was in the savanna and how quickly it was going to come over and eat us a quick, linear calculation. Right we, don't live in that world anymore we live in a world that is global and exponential so we need to make a cognitive leap we need to teach ourselves to, think exponentially.
We Need to envision our future not linearly but, exponentially. Now. A great example that kurtzweil uses, to illustrate the difference between linear change and exponential, changes this 30 steps example, I often cite. It in my lectures around the world because it's a quick way to get people to understand, the implications of exponential, transformation, if. You, take 30, linear steps one, two three four five by step 30 you, get to 30, duh. But. If you take the same amount of steps exponentially. And not a really a math guy but again 30, linear steps gets you to 30 30. Exponential, steps gets, you to a billion. Right. The. Same amount of steps gets into a billion and technology. Advances, as this, exponential, rate so. That is the reason why the smartphone, in your pocket today, is a million, times cheaper a million. Times smaller and, a thousand, times more powerful than what used to be a 60 million dollar supercomputer. That was half a building in size 40 years ago listen. To that again. What. Used to cost 60 million dollars and be the size of this auditorium. And you needed special permission, to get access to it in 40. Years has shrunk down to a device that fits in your pocket that is a million times cheaper a million times smaller and a thousand, times more powerful. Now. If that's not exponential. Progress how. Does this change our possibilities. To impact, positively. In the world the tools to change the world are, now in everybody's, hands the instruments, new construction, kits for our reality. Are now in our pockets. The. Folks at singularity university, like to say that a young kid, in rural Africa or, Bali, where, the smartphone, has better, communications. Technology. Than, a head of state had and a president, had 25 years ago. The. Tools to change the world are now in everybody's hands you, have more computational. Capacity the. Aggregate. Of human creativity, compressed, into a device made of plastic, and metal in your pocket, then, a president. Had 25 years ago. Stephen. Johnson in his book where good ideas come from a natural, history of innovation talks. About this notion of the adjacent, possible. Talk. About envision in your future the, possible. Is like, a shadow from, the future that hovers, over the present, and it provides a map of all, the ways in which the present, can reinvent, itself. This. Is my challenge to. You guys today, because these, tools and technologies, they're stand-ins, they're metaphors they, are, representative. Of human creativity. Externalized. And exteriorized. David. Deutsch in his book the beginning of infinity talks. About how if you consider, the topography. Of a modern city like Manhattan or. Dubai, that's. A physical, topography. Where the forces of mind. Creativity. Human agency, have. Trumped, geology. Consciousness. Has trumped. Geology. That. Is, not mere metaphor if you.
Could Time-lapse, human, progress it would literally look like we're shrinking the lag time between, what we can imagine what we can envision, and what we can't create. Now. That right there should be the anthem, that you, tap into when you wake up in the, morning, because, the opportunities, for transformation. And impact. Are again. Exponential. This. Has become for me a central organizing principle in, my life because it means that we can address the Grand Challenges, of humanity. Because. We can imagine said, Paul Sartre we are free. So. I like to express these ideas via video and try to disseminate them in the interwebs, right. Memes. Right the, new replicators. Ideas. Leap from brain to brain they have infective, 'ti they have spreading, power and even, though ideas, are not made of nucleic acid, they have achieved more evolutionary, change and at, a rate that leaves the old gene, panting, far behind. So. The first video I want to show you guys today is called to be human, is to be trans human it's. Trying to humanize the, idea of transhumanism. People. Tend to think of like, The Terminator scenario or, robots rising, up against the Spence we. Are our tools and our tools are us, when. I think about trends, humanity, I think about the human capacity. The consistent. Human, pattern, of overcoming. Our limitations, and redrawing. The boundaries of what we are the, coevolution of, us and our tools is really just how we steer. Our own, development. So. In the back if you could play the first video to be human, is to be trans human there's. A great line by Shakespeare. In which he says we, know what we are we. Know not what, we may be and. In the age of accelerating. Technologies in which we extend, the cognitive. Reach, of our mind the perimeters, of our humaneness with these. Extensions. Of self, these exoskeletons. These. Technological. Scaffoldings, you. Know the wings of our aircrafts, and the signals, traveling, through our smartphone, sending our thoughts electrified. At the speed of light across oceans of sky we. Redefine. And extend, what it means to be human, Edward. O Wilson, says we, have actually. Decommissioned. Natural. Selection. And now, we must look deep within ourselves, and. Decide. What. We wish to become we. Are now the chief, agents. Of evolution. We, have reversed. Engineered, the. Software. Of biology. And about to rewire, and upgrade. And redefined. What it, is to be a whole, sapien. Juan, Enriquez uses. The term homo evolutis, the. Being that evolves. Itself, that transforms. Itself. Right. Reycarts. While we, didn't stay in the caves we. Haven't stayed on the planet. Biology. Just another, membrane, to be transcended. You know Marvin Minsky, used to say will robots, inherit, the earth yes, they will but they will be our children. You know I love this idea because we hear the term transhumanism. And what it means to be human, is to be trans, human we are the species that transforms. And transcends. We never stopped we always did it's what we are. Thanks. Guys. So. I've. Had the opportunity the privilege to travel around the world almost. For six years, now speaking. To companies, and audiences, about exponential. Change, about disruption, addressing people's fears. And trying to infect. Them with some optimism, as an antidote to the doom and gloom humans. Have this proclivity, to think about the future in scary terms, right the media feeds this back to us in this horrendous feedback, loop where if it bleeds it leads but. The truth is human, progress is astounding. Human progress is continuing. For, example Steven, Pinker in his great TED talk. The myth of violence. And later explored, in his book the better angels, of our demons gives us just one example of how, violence. Across the world has been declining for decades you, wouldn't tell from watching the news but the chances of a human dying at the hands of another human today are the lowest than they've ever been in all of human history the, progress, we have made is astounding, and it's continuing, it just doesn't get, enough, attention.
So. I lecture people about this exponential, progress in order to engage people to think how about how we can use these tools to address challenges in an exponential speed right and people say okay fine I get the idea of the 30 steps I understand, it and I buy it because, I've seen it we've, all seen the world change, on the back of digital technology, uh pending the, planets, but. Then people will contest and say what about the world of biology and, the, world of concrete you know in order to envision our future, we need to envision the few the flesh in, the future of the super structures that were building across the world and it turns out that biology. And material science are now becoming information, technologies, to software, really is eating, the world and as biology. And physical. Matter becomes, information, technology. It, will be subject to the same exponential, advancement, so. Let's start with biology, so, now the the buzzword of the day in Silicon Valley is biotechnology. Synthetic, biology, biotechnology, means, mastering. The information processes, of. Biology because. It turns out that we are made of code biology. Is a language, we are alphabetic. All the, way down, our genes are little software. Programs. And we, are increasingly. Acquiring. The capacity, to master, and program, and reprogram the biology. The. Language, of biology I mean, just think about that for a second, gene. Sequencing. As an example the speed at which we can sequence our genes has been advancing, three, times faster. Than Moore's Law three times faster, than these exponential, numbers I was listing before, the. Eminent physicist, Freeman Dyson and. A wonderful essay called the age of, biology. Envisions. A near future where a new generation of artists. Will, be writing genomes, with, the fluency that, Blake and Byron wrote versus, take. That in for a second envision. Your future, get out of your heads and your limiting beliefs we're. Talking about a capacity, to literally. Steer. Our, own development to, reprogram, our, own. Biological. Language. Kevin. Kelly from Wired magazine talks about how impoverished. The world would be if we hadn't invented, the, technology, of oil painting, because that's a technology in time, for van Gogh or if, we hadn't invented the technology, of the musical instrument, in time, for Beethoven. What. New technologies. What. New genius is yet to be unfurled. On the back of the technologies, when, we can write poetry, out of our genomes, what will we turn ourselves into. What. Kind of divinity. Can, we engender. We. Already practice. Biotechnology. Through mate selection all, right when, you choose somebody to have children with you're, looking for biological, fitness something that will mix well with your genes to create something new that's better. We're. Just increasing. Our capacity to steward, this process, it's accelerating. Don't. Be afraid. Not. To mention the capacity, for biotechnology. To eliminate, human suffering, whether. It's reverse engineering, a mosquito, so that it inoculates. You against malaria instead, of giving it to you whether. It's radically, extending, the human lifespan so. That we don't have to wither and rot, which. Is the existential. Conundrum. The worm at the core, finite. Beings, who dream of immortality the. Explicit awareness, that you're breathing piece of defecating, meat destined, to die and ultimately, no more significant, than a lizard or a potato it's, not especially uplifting. With. Our minds we can ponder the infinite yet, were housed in these heart pumping breath gasping, decaying bodies, I didn't, sign up for this.
Craig. Venter who created the first synthetic, organism. An artificial. Life-form. Was, asked, do, you worry that you're playing God, and he answered brilliantly, I might add who's, playing. Envision. Your future. Larry. Page from, Google founder of Google recently. Created calicoes, California, life extension company a software, company for biology. Right. These guys get it the. Cover story in Time magazine, Google, and the end of death. The. End of cancer, the. End of Alzheimer's, the. End of the deterioration. Of the human spirit, bounded. By biology. That, has expired. So. I'm really, excited about biotechnology. Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology. Will allow us to pattern, atoms, the. Way we pattern ones and zeros in digital, technology, so. By moving around ones and zeros that's given as the computer revolution by. Moving around atoms, the. Physical, world becomes, a programmable. Medium. The. Seminal, book on nanotechnology. Eric, drexler is, called engines, of creation. Engines. Of creation. Like. Lean into that. That's. Us on this. Mote of dust suspended, in. A sunbeam as, Carl Sagan used to say this, little, speck, in the middle of the dark nothing. And yet, this little speck, is about to engender, its own divinity and infuse. The cosmos, with computation. With intelligence, with sentience. Nanotechnology. Already exists, in the natural world when you plant a seed and it turns into a tree that seed is an information, file. It's. Software, that writes its own hardware, it, has the instructions. To self-organize into. A tree if. It's. Allowed for the laws of physics if it's, allowed by the laws of physics it cannot. Be unnatural. Get. Over this limiting belief that somehow our technological. Development, and innovation is unnatural. That guys like if it's, allowed by the laws of physics if we're, doing it it's because, it's natural, and. That. Doesn't mean that it's always good, we. Have an Essex we. Have morals, that's fine. Technology. Is a double-edged. Sword can. Extend or it can amputate, fire. Can, cook our food, cooking. Acted as an external prosthetic, stomach, that allowed us to make food more digestible and, it made the brain grow so. Cooking made us human but. Fire also meant burning, the village of your enemy fire. Also means destruction, on a massive scale, the. Alphabet, and information. Technology, without which we wouldn't, have poetry I couldn't say I love you without the technology, of, language. But. That same technology, can be deployed, by presidents. To spread hate speech and fear. And the, weaponization, of social media well we've seen that with the rise of fake news it doesn't, mean it's always good. It. Means it can be good it means it extends, our capacity.
To. Output. Our, imagination. And our will but. It makes us evermore. Responsible. For our fate, and. These. Exponential, advancements. In biotechnology, nanotechnology and. Of course the elephant in the room artificial. Intelligence, the, creation, of intelligence. In another, substrate, not biological. Intelligence but another kind of intelligence not, bounded, by biology. One. That can be upgraded in, a way you upgrade, your smartphone, every 6 to 12 months the. Creation of non-biological. Minds. Problems, solving cognition. Problem. Solving cognitive, agents, that don't have our limitations. Imagine. The problems, we can solve imagine, the poetry, we can create now. These three overlapping revolutions in, Silicon Valley have forged a kind of mythological take. On the future you've, probably heard the term singularity. You. Guys heard the term singularity. The. Singularity is a metaphor, first and foremost, taken, from physics it's what happens when you go through a black hole, laws. Of physics get all distorted, and weird great. Metaphor, to describe where we're heading there, have been singularities. Before we've, had Cambrian. Explosions. Of novelty, before the, origin of language was one such singularity. If you draw a line in the sand and you have, here the hominids, before language and here the hominids after language reciting. Poetry and singing songs and painting in the caves and over here you have a bunch of monkeys like throwing feces at each other like, language. Was a singularity, language, is a tool which reveals to the mind what the mind thinks it is responsible. For our self-awareness. It. Radically. Upended. The mind and created something new we've had singularities, and, we're about to embark on another one and, it's up to us to leverage. These tools to build the kind of world we want to live in we. Are the music makers and, we are the dreamers of dreams said. Willy Wonka, didn't he, let's. Envision this future. You can please cue the next video future, of us, so. Let's talk about the. Future, of us. What. Does that even mean the. Future of us, it's. A look at what comes next, it's a look at what might be, because. Today. Exponentially. Emerging technologies, are transforming. What's. Possible, they're helping. Us overcome, transcend. Even. Biological. Limitations, the. Very walls of, what it is to be human are up for grabs we're rewriting, the. Software, of life with, biotechnology. Will. Turning, matter into, a programmable. Medium, with, nanotechnologies, we'll, creating, sentient. Minds with artificial, intelligence, that are not bound by the limitations, of biology, these, three overlapping, revolutions PN, our genetic, and technology, and robotics together will be leveraged, to lead us towards, a black hole, life impossible. To fathom. Singularity. It's like staring into the Sun a moment. Of a rousing, symphonic. Climax. When all of, my references. Together. Transcends. Its biological. Origins, and we become something more, people. Worry about the, AIS and the dam well as Kurzweil, says that's gonna be us the, future, of us is, our. Studio. You. Guys rocked by the way. So. We're. About a third of the way into this story, I painted. A science fiction ask future. But. As Marshall McLuhan used to say it's always been the artist, who realizes, that the future, is the present, and uses. His work to prepare the grounds, for it so. This is all coming but. It means nothing unless, we deploy, these tools in the right way unless. We use these, tools to extend compassion. To extend our hands to one another to address the Grand Challenges of humanity, to spread kindness and generosity and, love. The, rising, tide must, lift, all ships. Now. A while back I came across this meme, and put out by folks. At singularity University Kurtz. While Peter Diamandis and, others techno. Optimists. Of the highest order and they. Decided to take this notion of, messaging. For the exponential, age as we envision, the future and we envision each of our own desires, for impact and transformation. How. About we, redefine, the term, billionaire. Because, one of the sort of incidental, cool, side, effects of this exponential, age especially among young people is they all want to be the next billionaire, they're like I want to start a company be like Mark Zuckerberg like, how cool to aspire, to like become. That successful, you know it's, not I want to be a cowboy when I grow up you. Know it's like I want to come up with an algorithm that impacts, a billion lives cool, become, a billionaire, great, but, what if we redefine the definition and we say being a billionaire is not making a billion dollars that's incidental that's a side effect that's, just the icing on the cake cool buy yourself a jet love it make sure it's a environmentally. Friendly one but. What. If in the age of exponential, technologies, being. A billionaire, means. Positively. Impacting. A billion, lives.
You. Know. And. That's. A beautiful thing right it's like da. Right, like bumper-sticker. Put it on the front of your wall like yes. You, know positively. Impacting a billion lives and the thing is I've now given you the understanding, I hope that. This is not a lofty goal that. This is possible. That, this is doable, that, each and every one of you when. Looking, in the mirror when. You have that faint disquiet, late at night when you haven't slept and you're anxious and you don't know what your purpose is or you think, you might not be able to have, enough of an impact. Think. Exponentially. Understand. That it's not just metaphysical. Lofty, spiritual. Bumper sticker lingo, although that's all good too but, this is all grounded. In tangible. Fact, also it's. Both it's poetic, truth, built. On data-driven extrapolations. So. It takes both boxes, guys it's. A soulful, call. To arms heed. The call impact, a billion lives it's, actually, possible. The tools are there you. Can take action let's. Just stay at home like reading the secret and hoping for a transformation like, go. Do it. So. Thank. You so this next you guys Rock. So. This next video was. Shot with a smartphone and the, key idea was to show that hey the tools in your pocket can be used to spread stories like if you're a musician like make a song on your phone if you're a filmmaker like make, a film on your phone like the, fact that we have the tools in our hands like we should use them we show that it's possible so, we shot this video with a smartphone and the. Idea it's called the captains of spaceship earth and that's. A Bucky fuller line all right we are all we're the captains of spaceship earth so it. Celebrates, this notion that we, must take responsibility to. Positively, touch a billion, lives so, if you can cue captains, of spaceship earth please, we. Live in a world of exponential. Technological, advancements. What this literally, means that, have new construction, kits, for our reality. New tools with which to probe at the adjacent, possible so. Consider the implications right, as Marshall McLuhan used to say first we build the tools and then the tools build us we, are designed, by, what we have designed there are these feedback. Loops of mind tool and world. That radically, redefined our, boundaries, that radically, transform, what it means to be human to be human today is, to criss cross the skies to the human today is to create techno, social wormholes. And. So. What do we do well. We need to radically reach out to one another in ways that we haven't before there's. A great line that says empathy. Rarely, extends. Beyond, our line of sight in other words it's out of sight it, is out of mind but, if anything is wireless, communication, technologies, are radically. Extending. Our line of sight to provide new ontological maps, of the real they're giving us the astronaut. Overview. Effect we are seeing the big picture we, are seeing them captains of spaceship, earth and, what, shall we do we, need to extend, our hands to one another we've never had such tools to overcome all of the limitations, of our humanity have the power to have the will we have the capacity, the creative, capacity to overcome our. Limits. Today, billions. Of us leads into one another creating. A global. Brain what is the new definition. Of billionaire. The new definition of billionaire, is he who will positively, affect, the lives of a billion people he, or she will reach out and say I will positively, affect the lives for billion, keep, this, should be our goal this, is our responsibility.
Here's. Our chance. Thanks. Guys. So. We've talked about innovation we've, talked about creativity, we've talked about imagination. We've, talked about envisioning. Our future. But. There's one other thing that, gets in our way our, selves. So I, have also a keen. Interest, in mental, health, because. In spite of our radical progress. And there has been radical. Progress, we, are also living in a time of unprecedented, mental. To spread distress, we. Have anxiety. And depression. At, epidemic. Levels we have suicide, numbers, on the rise we, have people feeling trapped in, a kind of psychosis. Of excessive, rumination. Excessive. Rumination, what Jamie we have calls the cul-de-sacs. And error messages. Of a brain that has become too, ordered. Michael. Pollan in his book how to change your mind for example talks, about deploying, psychedelics. Technologies. Of ecstasy. To, Amend brains, that, have become too. Ordered. Too structured. That. Have become trapped, by, an ego, that has become overactive. The. Powerful, tyrant. Right. This. Is a huge. Deal and, we need a revolution, in mental health to, address it some, of the most exciting, research happening, right now has. Been stewarded. By maps the multidisciplinary. Association. For psychedelic studies. Mr., Rick Doblin at, the helm there has. Actually convinced the FDA to allow them to do stage 3 breakthrough, therapy, designation for. Using MDMA. To. Treat people who have post-traumatic, stress, disorder of the highest level that has not been amenable, to conventional. Medication, and the results, that they've gotten. Or something like an 80%. Success rate, people. Who take the MDMA, in these controlled, guided environments, no longer meet the criteria, for PTSD after just one or two sessions, Johns. Hopkins University. Is doing the same with psilocybin the, active ingredient, in psychedelic mushrooms to, therapists, in the room carefully screened, patients who. Have depression that has not responded to, conventional, medications, have. A singular. Mystical. Experience, while under the mushrooms and they, are, absolved. Of, their ills and. Their. Status checked six months later twelve months later and still, free. Of depression, free of anxiety, we're. On the cusp of a revolution in. Designing. Better minds. Right. Now. Look. It's not just about, disintegrating. The ego right Michael Pollan says the ego got the book written, you.
Need Agency, you need will you need ego but. An ego can become metastasized. When. You think you know it all when. You're jaded when you're cynical when you're trapped by. These cul-de-sacs, and error messages, by the inner critic, that has become over acted by the traumas, of your past that, you can't let go of by the stories, because. We are out of biographical beings. Right we are storytelling, animals but, when our stories, when, the stories, that you tell yourself about yourself are no longer serving you that's the beginning of a personal crisis, it's. Time to change the story. So. I've developed a keen interest in altered states of consciousness and, how the mediation, of consciousness. Can be used to, lead us towards breakthroughs. Of the self cathartic. Illumination. Enlightenment. Right. Steven. Kotler and Jamie wheel wrote a seminal book on the topic called stealing fire. That's. Another, assigned, reading, list. Wonderful. Book about the altered states economy, the the, lens, that people will go to change their perception to change their cognition, to see things a little bit more clearly. Michael. Pollan said it brilliantly, he says that the brain is essentially, like an artificial. Intelligence, program, right it, takes in data from the present, compares, it with data from the past. Uses it to make predictions about the future and it does this automatically. All the time and so, our baseline, is a default, of low, level anxiety. A. Consistent. Future tense very. Rarely in the present see, on the one hand this capacity, to imagine our future to leave the present and imagine what might be is a gift but. It can also be a curse when. It robs us of ever being in the moment and never smelling, the flowers because. If we can't see the world in a grain of sand or heaven in a wild flower if, we can't hold infinity in the palm of our hands if we can't hold eternity in an hour like Blake said then what the are we building anything for because. If we're never here to enjoy any of it damn. So. This is big. Consciousness. Is a new space for exploration. So. Michael Pollan says that one of the things that commends, intense, experiences. Transformational. Experiences, psychedelic, experiences, even travel, and beauty and love is that. These kinds of experiences they block, all signals, forwards. And backwards, right. They get you out of thinking, always of the future and out of always ruminating, from the past and instead hurl you into the, flow of the present, that is literally wonder. Full, wonder. Being the byproduct. Of exactly that sense of unencumbered, first, sight or virginal. Noticing, to which the adult brain has closed itself so. You get to see the world as if through the eyes of a child. You. Open yourself up to the miraculous once, more and, that's intoxicating. In, this notion of flow this. Is perhaps the greatest state, of consciousness to aspire to so.
For Those that don't know flow, is a state of consciousness in which you feel your best and you, perform, your best. Its. Ecstatic. Its, characterized. By a sense of selflessness, when you're in the zone when you're in the pocket when you're the jazz musician, who's tapped into the the, perfect. Space right. When. You're in flow your sense of self vanishes, the inner chatter disappears, and you experience that as liberation you're free from the monkey mind, the. Dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Is responsible for the constant self-editing that constantly, keeps us it gets in our way right, people say get out of your own way everything. You want is on the other side of fear stop second-guessing yourself, when you're in flow that, immediately goes quiet your. Sense of time disappears, so you're free from the tyranny of time you're, free from the tick-tock, tick-tock tick-tock, that everything is passing you're in forever, now it's. Intoxicating. There's. This sense of effortlessness, right. When you're in flow you don't feel the labor everything's, just flowing whether, it's your creativity, or your work or your relationship, it's just flowing you're surfing that wave and it's magnificent. And there's. A sense of richness you get more information you process, more data you get more insights, you're more resilient. You're, optimized. The. Seminole rider on floes names Csikszentmihalyi, wrote a book on the subject he called it beyond boredom. And anxiety. See. The problem with human beings is we tend to oscillate, between boredom, and anxiety, but there is this state beyond, and you know it when you're there I feel it sometimes when I give my talks I know you feel it when you sing your, favorite songs, when. You have when, you make love with somebody you really have chemistry with, you're. In flow you're. Playing that instrument, you lose all sense of self all sense of time everything, is awesome you, feel the pull of now. You feel, the pull of purpose. You're, tapped into your passion, so. Flow is huge. So. We can't build these tools we can't architect, this future we can't envision, all these possibilities, unless, we figure out how to harness our minds now, today. Because. Mental health is a real big. Deal so. This next video talks a little bit about flow and what it feels like, please show people. Talk about. Happiness. Certainly, the self-help. Section in the bookstore is, full of books telling. You how to tap into that happiness, out of be happy, out of Think and Grow Rich so, on and so forth but what I think is ultimately more, interesting, my friends, is those, stay. North, of happy, now Jamie wheel Steven. Collar are the cofounders, of the flow Genome, Project and. The flow Genome Project aims, to, deconstruct, the. Elusive, and mystical, flow, state now in the field of positive psychology a. Flow, state is a state of consciousness in which you feel your best and you perform, your, best think, of the athlete, in the zone think of the jazz musician, is the pocket think of the surfer, catching that perfect, wave and these, states, of consciousness in, which you feel your best and you perform, your best are, characterized. By, the. Acronym skirt. Which, stands for, selflessness. The, self vanishes. Timelessness. Your, sense of time dilates, and dissipates. Effortlessness. Kind of flows magically. And information. Richness, there's this feeling of a high-res. Download. Of realization. And possibility. That seems to kind of emerge. From the world around you so again selflessness. Timelessness. Effortlessness. And information. Richness, it's kind of like high-definition. Reality, in slow-mo. And these, states of consciousness have always been elusive. They're kind of like quasi-mystical. States, of ecstasy, says. The Greeks described, them and so Jamie wheel and Steven, collars new book stealing. Fire, eluding. Of course to Prometheus. Who stole fire, from the gods is about, a fact, that finally, for the first time in history its tasses is understandable. It status, is reproducible. Flow, can, be had on tap, ask. Not, what the world needs, ask, instead what makes you come alive because. What the world. More people who have come alive and this book stealing fire is gonna bring that to you folks I'm very, excited, I love Jamie wheel and Steven caller flow, Genome Project mystical. States on tap for everyone let's democratize. Nirvana. Let's democratize. Ecstatic. And let's upgrade the, world. Just. A. Little EndNote. On that notion, I remember, my buddy Jamie Weil who wrote that book had given a TEDx talk at Burning, Man it was called from altered states, to.
Alter Traits. Hacking. The, flow state and it, was a beautiful notion because he basically described, ourself systems, as kind. Of Hollanders. Like, we're like these leaky buckets, so we need this constant, flow to be poured in because. Otherwise we're, just bleeding, and then, we go back into ourselves and we're like like what happened I had an exulting, moment yesterday now I'm bummed, yeah and so he he says we become bliss, junkies, we get hooked on the state, instead. Of raising. The stage and so, he proposes, through the work in the flow Genome Project it's, a multidisciplinary approach. To, figuring, out what they call the four forces of ecstasy. Psychology. Technology. Neurobiology. And pharmacology. So. It's bringing it all together because. All of these fields are advancing, all the time right psychology. Technology, neurobiology. And pharmacology, the four forces of ecstasy that are allowing us to look underneath the hood and figure, out the cycles, of flow how it works get a better understanding, of what are the flow triggers, and how we can optimize to, have more flow more often, right, the. Work of the neuro hacker collective does, a lot of the same research as well and the key idea then, is if, we could change our self systems, from, leaky, buckets, into, chalices, how. Might we render, ourselves whole. And how might we render, ourselves wholly. And. So. This is what we can aspire to so. Am i closing thoughts now I'd like to talk about the subject of awe in. The introduction Mia so kindly, referred, to the fact that my youtube channel is called shots of awe and that's pretty much because, for me, awe is, the whole grayl aw is. The mind gasm, aw is. Cognitive. Ecstasy, you, know Carl Sagan used to say, understanding. Is a kind of ecstasy. Aw is. Revelation, aw is mystical, rapture, aw is the cosmic, download. Aw is, an exhilarating neuro storm of intense intellectual, pleasure, aw is what the French called free zone right, the skin orgasm. When the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you're exposed to a beautiful, song or a beautiful smile, or you see yourself reflected in the eyes of a lover or a movie. Scene lifts. You up and carries, you away to, somewhere, better, and it. Turns out that there's been all this research and positive psychology on the subject of awe and Wonder, researchers. At Berkeley and Stanford they, described aw as an, experience, again of such perceptual. Vastness right. Such perceptual. Expansion. That, the mental models of the world that we normally rely upon those algorithms. That autopilot, that allows, us to get through the day are, forced, to accommodate, themselves to new data so. All of a sudden the binned there's and scene that's of the adult mind get. Obliterated. And it, can be whether it's exposure, to like the Grand Canyon for the first time or the birth of a child or, a set MDMA, experience. Or sex. For the first time like an experience. Basically of awe it jolts. You it cracks you open it lets in the light whereas, once I was blind now I can see it's also been described as op8 adjacent, see it's what. It's all about but. It turns out that these experiences. Of awe of course they're transitory, enchanted, moments F scott Fitzgerald, talked about this when he talked, about when, humans, like from Europe went to the new world for the first time and the feeling of awe they must have felt when they saw this like virgin land supposedly, right what they did afterwards of course was horrible but that first. Moment, of seeing, this thing I mean it's like when was the last time that was the last moment, right short, of us making a starship and going to a new planet that feeling of awe and Wonder transitory. Enchanted, moment in, which man must have held his breath compelled. Into an aesthetic contemplation. He neither understood nor desired face, to face perhaps for the last time in history was something can measure it to our capacity for wonder. Like that's ah and. So even, though it's a transitory experience. After, the, off passes. Right like, after, the aw you're. Left with an afterglow, of increased, feelings of well-being increased. Feelings of compassion and increased feelings of creativity, not to mention it acts as an anti-inflammatory on. Your organism, and on your body so blowing, your own mind is good for you it's medicinal it's, therapeutic. Yeah. So, imagine what we could do with virtual reality modules. In combination. With like legal, cannabis, putting. People in like all machines, you know making. People have mind orgasms. Like once a week I'm, going to my mind orgasm, like I'll see you later, like. The future of our well-being, could be so magnificent. We, could transcend, ourselves we, could overcome the ego. Could. Heal ourselves of our fractures, or learn to reframe, those fractures, and love them instead.
So. This is the last video I want to leave you with and it's about ritualized. Surrender. It's, about submitting to awe because. If you cannot submit you cannot die and if you cannot die you cannot, be reborn. So. Please play. The ego death. Let's. Talk a little bit about experiences. Of ritualized. Surrender. Right. Psychologists. Often tell, us that. It is in the act of letting, go that you find out who you are the, prospect, of ego. Death however the prospect, of any kind of ritualized, surrender. Feels. Like dying but only to those who resist, it those. Who eventually, come to realize, that there is no such thing as death at least that. Psychological. Dying into the moment is but an illusion, the last hoorah. The last resistance. Before you earlier yourself into. The abyss and realize, that it's a featherbed you know Terence Mckenna talked about this he said this is the secret this is what all the. Shamans. The professor's the wise men, this is what they understood, this is the alchemical. Goal, this is how magic, is done. You earlier self into the abyss and you realize that it's. A feather better, our. Society today is constructed. We know this in a way where many. People are afflicted. With the pathological. Amount of anxiety. And, depression that's what Jamie wheel calls 21st, century, normal. This, relating. Anxious, state. From an, overactive. Ego, stemming. From a misfiring. Default. Mode network. Which is the autobiographical mind. Which is essentially, metastasized. Into something, that is a kind. Of autoimmune disorder, of the self and the excessive. Rumination. And self-consciousness. That characterizes. Depression, and anxiety both, come from a mind that, has become too ordered, too rigid, too hyper vigilant. It's like we're all living. With a perpetual micro. PTSD. And what. The research, tells us, that this, has informed. So much of my creative, life with the research now. Is that in safe. Containers. And, with, the proper, precautions. Deployed. The, experience, of ecstatic surrender. The experience, of eco death what Jamie wheel calls the Bliss. Crucifixion. Is actually. Where, all the healing is done right, it is when you die into, the moment that you realize, that all your fears are unfounded you. Come to see that, everything you want is on the other side of fear it's. Like that David Fincher, movies a game reveals, to us in that line that says quoting, the Bible, John chapter, 12 verse something, whereas, once I was blind now. I can. It. Is hard to put language. To these instances, of ecstatic surrender. Right hurling. Yourself into, the abyss and realizing, that it's a featherbed, arrives you at a domain, that, exists, outside of, time. The. Self experiences, this as a liberation. From the incessant, inner chatter we are free, to be ourselves we. Become. Infinite. Is what it feels like the, transitory, enchanted, moments, in which we hold our breaths. Compelled. Into esthetic contemplations. We neither understand. Nor perhaps, even desired, face to face with something could measure it to, our capacity for. Wonder. When, experience, afresh the hardly, bearable ecstasy. Of direct energy exploding. In our nerve endings we. Recontextualize. The self as, a marvelous, conduit, the timeless, hole from. Which molecules, and meanings, flow, from, neurons, to nebula, and back, again. We. See the world in a grain of sand and we see heaven in a wild flower we, hold infinity in the palms of our hand we hold, eternity. In. An hour. And. Then the moment will pass. And. All contradictions. Are reconciled. Man. Has surpassed the gods, what. Do we find. After. These enchanted. Moments what do we find, after these moments of op8 of adjacency, when. We spill over when, we overflow, one will not cracked open, so, that the light gets, in. We. Find that, people report, increased. Feelings of well-being in, their baseline reality, increased feelings of compassion increased. Feelings of creativity, increased, feelings, of joy a sense, of having glimpsed. Noetic. Truth a sense. Of having tapped, into the infinite a feeling, of communion. With. Cosmos. An. Ontological. Awakening. A spiritual. Experience of. Forceful reckoning. With what is, a. Mainlining. Of, space and time through. The optic, nerve. We, become, what, we behold and. We behold. The infinite. You know when I'm on the road a tragic, sense of life it's her in the Eternity nothing is real that is not, eternal. So, the question, remains right, we know the way we know the path we know what we must do to heal, ourselves. How. Might we turn our, passing, illuminations. Into, abiding. Light. How might we turn our self systems, from, leaky buckets. Right. Hollanders. Full of holes, into. Chalices, said. Jamie we how might we render, ourselves old.
How, Might, we render, ourselves wholly. This, has become the central, preoccupation, of. My, life. Thank. You guys, they're. So nice thank, you. Thank. You thank, you thank. You, thank. You guys, thank. You so much thank. You thank you thank you oh so, nice.