The HighExistence Podcast

Is it possible to bring the level of reverence and integrity that we see in traditional plant medicine ceremonies into our own homes?

Koen and Sebastian, the team over at Portier Supplies have created a product that is doing exactly this.

"Psychedelics deserve a beautiful place in people’s lives, not shoved in a closet, hidden away somewhere’"

— Sebastian from Portier Supplies, HEx Podcast #50

There is a lot of shame that many well-intentioned psychedelic users carry around due to misinformed stigma and misplaced projections. 

Initiatives such as Portier Supplies are putting that to an end.

This conversation is a dive into psychedelic healing and the exciting realms beyond, as well as a front row seat to the tricky business of psychedelic entrepreneurship. 

What We Cover:

  • 2:40 - The journey that led to the creation of Portier
  • 11:35 - What the Portal Box is
  • 17:00 - The true meaning of luxury
  • 20:05 - What comes after healing with psychedelics?
  • 24:00 - Maintaining integrity when combining business and spirituality
  • 43:25 - Growth as the accumulation of responsibility
  • 44:25 - Practices that support psychedelic use
  • 53:55 - Bufo vs Ayahuasca


Please leave a review if you enjoy The HighExistence podcast. 

Direct download: Portier_Supplies_full_final_audio_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:03pm EDT

If you identify as spiritual but not religious, then this one is for you.

In our second interview with John Vervaeke, he urges those who have been traversing the spiritual path on their own up until now to come together and join forces:

“We need the best wisdom we can come up with. The chances that you’re going to get that on your own are very small.”

— John Vervaeke, HEx Podcast #49

What forms as we come together is what John calls, ‘the religion that is not a religion’. 

If you extracted everything that was valuable from traditional religions and left behind what was constricting and harmful, this is what you would get.

“We need to reach deeply into the roots of our traditions in order to grow up into the novelty of the sunlight, if we’re going to grow what we need here.”

Why do we need something like this? And how do we begin to build it? 

Eric and John dive deep into these questions and surface with a stash of nuggets pointing the way to a world of wisdom.

What We Cover:

  • Why we need a religion that is not a religion 
  • The problems that arise from being ‘spiritual but not religious’
  • Why it’s not a religion
  • Untangling the supernatural from the spiritual
  • How to build up your own community 
  • Metapsychotechnologies for curating ecologies of practice
  • Yoga’s 4 paths to Union as an example of pluralism
  • Western traditions as equally viable paths to wisdom

Please leave a review if you enjoy The HighExistence podcast. 

Direct download: JV20220Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am EDT

“We need to have a deep dialogue between science and spirituality.”

John Vervaeke, HEx Podcast #48

It’s easy to say that science and spirituality are being summoned to sit down together for a deep conversation — but much harder to actually make this happen without things devolving quickly.  

John Vervaeke has taken it upon himself to come in and, not only translate, but provide an entire vocabulary and grammar for both parties to use to allow for deeper understanding and more nuanced agreements.

This is a mammoth task. For this reason, John has an entire 50 episode YouTube series called The Meaning Crisis exploring the past, present, and future of this dynamic between science and spirituality. It is one of the most significant series I’ve seen in a while.

If you don’t have 50 hours to spare, fear not, for we have an exhaustive summary of it all for you right here.

Originally posted on John’s Youtube channel under the title ‘Best Synoptic Overview of The Meaning Crisis & my Work’, this interview is an action-packed call to arms against the spiritual challenges we are facing today, featuring misunderstood vampires and re-spawning Hydra heads.

By giving us a strong foundation to stand on and bringing spirituality back down to earth, John is creating a platform for this crucial merging to take place. 

“We can go from these being terms that are wrapped in mystique and obscurity to being a realizable continuum that we can start engaging in right now right here.”

— John Vervaeke

With the groundwork in place, please enjoy this deep dive into the meaning crisis, stealing the culture, and redesigning religion.


  • An exhaustive summary of The Meaning Crisis
  • John’s own personal meaning crisis and how meaning began to emerge in his life
  • The deep mechanisms underlying downward spirals/addiction
  • Perennial Problems: the eternal spiritual problems of man
  • Jordan Peterson’s role in the reawakening
  • Hamlet as an example of over-self-consciousness
  • The pros and cons of the scientific mindset
  • The 4 ways of knowing
  • Psychotechnologies
  • Strengths and weaknesses of Eastern and Western approaches
  • Ecologies of practices: responses to the Perennial Problems
  • An introduction to the Religion that is not a Religion
  • Serious play as the bridge between two worlds

Please leave a review if you enjoy The HighExistence podcast. 

Direct download: EB_JV_1.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 6:02am EDT

Have you been struggling to keep a consistent meditation practice?

Switching around between different types, trying to find the right one for so long that you eventually forgot why you were even doing it in the first place?

This is a common complaint many aspiring meditators face.

Without a clear understanding of why we are doing what we are doing and a way to know that we are doing it right, we are destined to fall off track.

In comes The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa (John Yates, PhD).

The Mind Illuminated is the result of 50,000 hours of meditation and decades of neuroscience study.

This book is arguably the clearest, most systematic, and well-researched meditation manual ever written.

In this episode of the HighExistence podcast, Jon Brooks and Eric Brown discuss the 6 steps Culadasa recommends in the book to prepare the mind for practice.

But these 6 steps, as you'll see, have far reaching applications beyond just meditation.

“This stuff is not separate. The lessons you learn in mediation are lessons that apply to life. The stuff going on in your life will carry on into your mediation practice.”

— Eric Brown, HEx Podcast #47


  • Why you should meditate
  • Culadasa’s 6 steps for preparation for meditation
  • How TMI has impacted not only Eric’s meditation practice, but his life
  • Is enlightenment actually possible? What does it take to get there?
  • Meditation as a tool for tragedy
  • How to find and renew the motivation to do anything
  • The first 3 stages of the meditation journey
  • Meditation as a microcosm for life
  • The importance of posture
  • How showing up is all you need to do
  • The value of taking a moment to clarify intent before starting anything

(Please remember to leave a review because it helps us improve the podcast!)

Direct download: HEx_TMI_6_Steps_Podcast_-_20210424_09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

Learn more about The Ascent here.


In the first podcast I did with Justin, we discussed the secret strategies of super-learners.

In the follow up YouTube video we dissected the best ways to get the most from the books that you read.

In today's episode, my main question was to find out Justin's origin story.

I knew that he had suffered from depression as a teen, and also grew up in South Africa, and was curious how he transformed himself from this state to being a nuero-resilience coach and learning expert living out of LA.

My hope is that anyone who is struggling with their current living situation or feels burdened with an overactive mind can find great inspiration in Justin's story, and of course... we will learn a lot along the way.


  • Justin's origins and childhood
  • The issues with the traditional school system
  • Science proven learning strategies
  • The value of learning to think for yourself
  • Justin's experience with life-threatening depression
  • The power of stillness practices
  • How to get over an emotional slump
  • Justin's method for interpreting "negative" feedback

Please leave a review if you enjoy The HighExistence podcast. 

Bonus: Justin's Top 3 Recommended Blog Posts

Direct download: Justin_Noppe_Podcast_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

It’s not every day you sit down with a shaman to explore their life, beliefs, practices, and opinions.

But today, we’re doing just that.

We have the pleasure of sitting down to talk to our friend Marie Lou of Infinity Retreats. We have worked with Marie Lou and her partner Anke at our Apotheosis Retreats, and it was Marie Lou and Anke who ran the diet that Jon and I discussed in Episode 28.

Marie Lou is a true example of where ‘doing the work’ can take you. Through extensive study, diets, and work with the plants, she moves gracefully through the world with the poise and power of someone who walked the path for a long time.

But this isn’t just an exploration of her work, we get the opportunity to go into much more with her.

And much more ground is covered. This is an up close and intimate look at how one moves down the path from just interested to awakened, what work is required to hold space and conduct ceremonies, and why anyone would do this and what results they can see.

It is an exploration into the world of the plants, the nature of reality, and the purpose of the here and now.

We are so honoured to bring this to you, and hope that this will be the start of many more conversations to come.

If you liked this and want to hear more from Marie Lou + Anke, send us an email or give us a comment to let us know.


  • How has the past year with COVID been for you?
  • How do you describe what you do?
  • Exploring Bufo and how to diet the medicine.
  • Understanding diets and how to do the work.
  • How did you get started doing this work?
  • What’s your definition of a shaman?
  • German New Medicine and the nature of illness.
  • Does a shaman still feel fear? 
  • Infinity Retreats and the path forward.

Please leave a review if you enjoy The HighExistence podcast. 

Direct download: ML_Podcast.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

The Ascent is the new 8-week online meaningful work mastermind brought to you by HighExistence.

The experience is designed for those who have already some understanding of self-improvement and spirituality, and now want to turn their passion into an opportunity to do what they love, get paid for it, and make a dent in the universe.

We are bringing together a team of online entrepreneurs and facilitators to walk you through every stage of your own project so you can have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, doing what makes you feel most alive.

It doesn't matter if you want to do online coaching, run a successful blog, start a podcast, or become an artist...

This will be your chance to take bold action and radically change your situation with support from the HighExistence team and a small tribe of individuals who will help hold you accountable.

Learn more about The Ascent here.

In today's Dialogues, I chat with Mike Slavin and Eric Brown about the reason we set out to create The Ascent.

We noticed that when we asked people who attended our Apotheosis retreats what they really wanted to do with their lives, almost nobody was actually pursuing their biggest ambitions.

Instead, many were settling for local, small self-improvement changes. This approach is definitely useful for some things, like building small habits, but for lifestyle changes and following your bliss, a more nuclear option must be taken. 

In this episode, we look at some of the traps of thinking small in life, as well as...

  • Why people struggle to do what they love for work
  • The WHY that must come before the HOW
  • Classic self-sabotaging strategies
  • The value of changing your container, not it's contents
  • Downsides of incremental changes
  • How we can live our own Hero's journey
  • What The Ascent involves
  • Way more hidden gems... ;)

Please leave a review if you enjoy The HighExistence podcast. 

Direct download: Dialogues_Ascent.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

"Are you the same with your best friend as you are with your boss and your mother and the stranger in the bus stop? Are you the same person in all those scenarios? Because if not, you are dishonest. And that's okay. Because, you wanna know who's definitely a dishonest person? Anyone who says that they're an honest person."

— Dan Munro

"Losing your job is nothing compared to losing your Self."

— Dan Munro

Today I sit down and chat with Dan Munro about his new book, The Naked Truth

Dan has been on the podcast before where we went deep into Dan's own story with honesty and authenticity and the tactics he uses as a coach to turn people from socially anxious into socially bulletproof. 

In this episode, we focus specifically on the toxic effects of being dishonest, and the blueprint you need to turn your life around and start being boldly... YOU. 

In this discussion, we cover:

  • Essentialism and shiny object syndrome
  • Self deception and bias
  • The mixed messages from society on honesty
  • Dan's own story of how dishonesty hurt him
  • The various hidden types of lies
  • The link between shame and dishonesty
  • How to express authentically without harming people
  • The validation addiction detox
  • Why it's good to be disliked
  • Was murderer Chris Watts spurred by dishonesty?

Please leave a review if you enjoy The HighExistence podcast. 


Direct download: danmunro2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24pm EDT

Down the Rabbit Hole is your weekly injection of wisdom, wonder, and well being sent straight to your inbox from HighExistence.

Each email explores ancient and emerging tools, techniques, and teachers to help you live a more meaningful, adventurous, and ecstatic existence.

Sign up here


In today's episode, Jon Brooks, Eric Brown, and Mike Slavin discuss how to see through your own blindspots so you can achieve meaningful transformation in areas you were previously avoiding. 

Those of us interested in personal development, sometimes use it as a form of productive procrastination. 

We meditate, journal, read, exercise, etc., as a way to avoid doing the thing we REALLY know we need to do... 

Cleaning our room, having that conversation, paying our bills, working on that project, asking that person out on a date, writing that novel... 

Real growth lies more in failure and adventure than in the safety of self-care habits. 

That is what this conversation is all about...

We share our deepest insights on personal development after a combined 30 years studying and practicing on the spiritual path. 

If you enjoyed this episode, why not share it with a friend? 

Direct download: Final_Self_Improvement_Blindspots_and_Shadow_Work.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EDT

"Craft over status; art over praise."

Mike Slavin, HEx Dialogues #6

The core HighExistence team members, Mike Slavin, Eric Brown, and Jon Brooks are back with another roundtable discussion.

Lockdown restrictions are easing and it's time to reflect on all the craziness that's been happening in the months prior.

Four topics that seemed to interlinked during this prolonged period of social isolation are placed, flow, social skills, and depression.

Play is a vital form of expression that helps one keep their sanity, enter into flow state, ward off depression, and bond with others.

Social skills are just that, "skills" and the worsen when we are not practicing them. When we are out of practice we struggle to flow and we lack a childlike playfulness.

Flow is when the challenge perfectly matches the skill level, and this state is vital for good mental health.

Depression has many causes, one of the most common being a build up of stress that overwhelms the system. Such stress can be relieved by play, flow, and social relationships.

In this discussion, the team explores the intersection of these topics to spark new ideas and provide guidance on how to make sense of the world.


  • The impact of coming out of the Covid lockdown
  • The idea of the upward vs. downward spiral
  • The medicinal power of video games
  • How to use emotional reward to increase productivity
  • How competition can increase bonding
  • The fact that being alive is worth a celebration
  • The Stoic approach to being successful
  • The secret to being a great friend
  • How to handle neediness and rejection
  • TONS MORE...
Direct download: Dialogues_6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45am EDT

NOTE: Before listening, view the model here:

— — —

When I first saw a visual depiction of the 4Game model I was floored. Instantaneously, all of the studying I had done across everything from metaphysics to productivity systems sorted itself into a coherent narrative, a structure where everything fit together.

Immediately I knew I wanted to explore this further. To my surprise, there was very little information available!

As the trophic cascade of mental imagery and insight continued, I knew this model had the makings of something revolutionary.

This was the Cultural Theory of Everything.

A model so unwaveringly aesthetic, so deeply comprehensive as to give a shared cultural-cognitive grammar to anyone who was blessed to bear witness to it.

The more I dove into the Unified Culture Field Theory, the more I knew the world needed this. This was the foundation for the deep discussion we as a collective need to have. This is the language that unites the masses.

From that point, I reached out to the creator Jamie Combs, and this conversation is what emerged as a result.

Jamie is a brilliant systems thinker, an intrepid designer and thinker, and I'm extremely excited to be sharing this conversation with you now.

What We Cover:

  • An introduction/exploration of the 4Game Model
  • The personal significance of altering your lenses of perception
  • Creating a common cultural language
  • Deep dives into the short, mid, long, and deep game components
  • Cultivating an individual Way of Being
  • Memetically spreading cultural evolution
  • MUCH more...
Direct download: Jamie_Combs_Final.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 2:50pm EDT

What would your life be like if you woke up every day, ready to unleash yourself on the world?

What would our world be like if our aging elders were comfortable and full of healthy vitality?

What gets in the way of us expressing our immense potential? For many of us, our energy levels, mental clarity, and physiological health are the first obstacle we need to tackle.

But the health field is complex, dynamic, and getting to the roots of the matter is paramount. Today we're cutting through the noise, going straight to the signal of what matters for your health, vitality, and the longevity of those you care about.

Today we welcome Dr. Heather Sandison, Medical Advisor at the Neurohacker Collective to the podcast. The breadth and depth of Heather's insight and experience are astounding, and she brings a holistic approach to managing diseases, addressing longevity, and infusing vitality into each and every day.

Your health is foundational. It is the base that the rest of your life is built upon. It is the prime mover of your personal universe. Given this, we need to take it seriously.

If this piques your interest, if you're excited about dialling in the degrees of your DNA, we have an ongoing partnership with NHC, you can use the code 'EXISTENCE' for 15% off of any order.

Part of being of service for the world is being fit for service. You have to have your own foundations covered, and this conversation is a masterclass in mastering those foundations, and how you can adapt with them as you grow, age, and move through your life.

What We Cover:

  • Heather's personal health regime.
  • The illusion of the dichotomy of natural vs. clinical medicine.
  • The need for high-touch care in the medical field.
  • Creating personalized health programming.
  • The 6 paths of managing dementia.
  • How society can shift to accentuate individual wellbeing
  • Unlocking elder wisdom and ageing gracefully
  • What young adults should be focusing on NOW.
  • MUCH more...
Direct download: Heather_Final.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 1:14pm EDT

Watch interview on YouTube here:

Today, Eric Brown and I sit down and speak to Dominic Milton Trott, the author of The Drug User's Bible.

Here are some words from Dominic that really convey the mission behind his book:

"The first casualty of war is truth, and the war on drugs is no different. This book is a step to counter this destructive situation. People Are Dying. They are dying because of ignorance: because unremitting propaganda is denying them essential safety information."

What Dominic has attempted with The Drug User's Bible has never been done before.

Over the course of 8 years, he self-administered over 150 different chemicals and botanicals.

For each of these he documented the vital safety data, inclusive of dose thresholds, onset times and duration.

In addition, he recorded a trip report: a subjective analysis of his qualitative experience, usually at different time-checks.

Amongst the most well known drugs are LSD, xanax, DMT, cocaine, GHB, spice, phenibut, speed, magic mushrooms, cannabis and opium.

In this interview we sit down and speak to a man who has taken detailed reports on 157 different drugs. 

As you might imagine, it has to be heard to be believed. 

Direct download: drug_users_bible_audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

To join The Accelerated Learning Experience, go here:



Direct download: ALE_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Jules Evans appeared on the podcast last time to discuss his two previous books: Philosophy For Life And Other Dangerous Situations and The Art of Losing Control.

In that episode, we talked at length about the benefits of Stoicism, and also where reason-based philosophical frameworks might be lacking if one wishes to experience a rich, integrated human life.

We dove into topics like meditation, eastern philosophy, and psychedelics as useful additions in our psychological toolkit.

When I asked Jules what he was working on next, he explained that he was in the process of co-editing a book with psychiatry expert Tim Read all about spiritual emergencies.

Considering I am involved in the psychedelic and spirituality space, I was surprised to find that I knew very little about this important topic.

30, years ago Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina wrote a book called Spiritual Emergency where they defined this phenomenon as follows:

One of the most important implications... is the realization that many of the conditions, which are currently diagnosed as psychotic and indiscriminately treated by suppressive medication, are actually difficult stages of a radical personality transformation and of spiritual opening. If they are correctly understood and supported, these psychospiritual crises can result in emotional and psychosomatic healing, remarkable psychological transformation, and consciousness evolution.

With the resurgence of psychedelics and increased popularity of spiritual practices, information on how one might recognise and navigate their way through a spiritual emergency has never been more important.

In this episode of the HighExistence Podcast, Jules and I discuss the book he edited on this topic Breaking Open: Finding Your Way Through a Spiritual Emergency.

I have read the book, and I can't express how important I found it. If you are in any way interested in pursuing spiritual transformation, this book book is indispensable.

To learn more about Breaking Open and the topic of spiritual emergencies, my conversation here with Jules is a perfect place to begin.


  • What is a spiritual emergency?
  • Tips for dealing with difficult spiritual experiences
  • The creative process behind the book Breaking Open
  • Jules' own spiritual emergency and ayahuasca experience
  • Useful guidelines for attending psychedelic retreats
  • Psychosis vs. spiritual emergency
  • Psychedelic intergration
  • The usefulness of psychotherapy
  • The dark side of spirituality
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Jules_Evans_Final_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29pm EDT

To learn more about Richard "Shaky" Shore, Check out the Shake, Rattle, and Roll podcast on Youtube and Spotify


Today's episode is a very special one for me.

I sit down and speak to Richard "Shaky" Shore, Brazilian JiuJitsu black belt, head coach and owner of Shore Mixed Martial Arts (SMMA), and host of the Shake, Rattle, and Roll podcast, where Richard interviews British sporting icons and rising stars, primarily in the MMA scene.

What Richard has achieved with SMMA is nothing short of spectacular. Coming from a place in the Welsh valleys where there hasn't historically been a ton of opportunity, he created a mixed martial arts gym before the sport became the mainstream attraction it is now, and has gone on to build a truly state of the art training facility boasting 3 UFC athletes, and many top level pro and amateur MMA fighters.

I train at SMMA, and Richard is my Brazilian Jiujitsu coach, so this interview was particularly special for me.

I sat down to talk to Richard about martial arts, his own story and personal evolution as a coach, leadership, facing your fears, the attitudes required to be successful at your passions, and much much more.

Direct download: Richard_Shore_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm EDT

We're releasing an Accelerated Learning course shortly. If you want to learn more, head over to:

— — —

After going through the traditional medical paradigm, looking for a solution to treat his debilitating OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) – both medications and therapy were failing him.

Left with no viable options, he turned to an unexpected ally — magic mushrooms.

Adam's citizen science work with psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) gave him space and the breathing room necessary to make some impressive strides in managing his mental space.

The results of his experiments here became the foundation for The Mushroom Cure — a dramatic monologue series that Adam created and performed himself, launching him directly into the psychedelic world and into the public stage here.

This is a raw, vulnerable, and real conversation – nothing was left off of the table for discussion.


  • The value of humor in deep transformation
  • The harsh reality of living life with mental illness
  • The promise and pitfalls of modern psychotherapy
  • How mushrooms transformed Adams OCD
  • Where do psychedelics fit in modern society?
  • Psychedelic integration and the growth process
  • Understanding identity during times of flux
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Adam_Strauss_Final_Export.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22pm EDT

Sign up here to get early access to The Accelerated Learning Experience with Justin Noppe:

To watch the video version of this interview visit:


In my first conversation with learning expert Justin Noppé we spent a couple hours going over the ultimate skill... learning.

Learning how to learn gives you a meta skill that can be applied to any activity you want to master, from cooking to web development and design to martial arts to music to writing to... well everything else you can think of.

Most of the high-level people I've met in my life have a certain confidence that comes from knowing they can do anything they put their mind to.

The world becomes you oyster when you can confidently look at any obstacle and confidently proclaim...

"I can learn to overcome this challenge."

After the podcast aired, I wanted to learn more about Justin's learning process, so I asked him to become my Brazilian JuJitsu learning coach.

This may sound a bit crazy since Justin doesn't actually practice this martial art, but if his process worked it should work regardless of the topic being studied.

After just a few weeks of working with Justin I started seeing the results, and other people started noticing at the gym too.

"How are you getting good so quickly? Last week I was smashing, you and now you're smashing me..."

It was at this point I knew we had to share Justin's 5-step learning process with the the HighExistence readers.

If you want to learn more about this, watch this two-minute video:

In the initial podcast I did with Justin, we talked a little bit about reading books, but I wanted to go much deeper on the topic.

So in this episode, Justin and I speak specifically all about optimizing book reading.

If you enjoy books or want to get more from the books you're reading, the next 35 minutes could change your life.

Okay, so what's inside?


  • How to pre-read books
  • The uses and limits of speed-reading 
  • The best ways to read for maximum absorption
  • Justin's number one tip when it comes to learning from books
  • When you should read super slow 
  • The wisdom of book lists 
  • The right way to take notes
  • Vanity metrics when it comes to reading 
  • Tons more...
Direct download: Podcast_Audio_Justin_Reading_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

We're opening the doors to our accelerated learning course with Justin soon. Add yourself to the early access list here.

What does living in alignment really look like?

How do you define the goals, virtues, and morals that will guide your life? And how do you act them out in your daily life?

This is just one of the many topics we explore today on the latest HighExistence Dialogues – with learning expert Justin Noppé with us.

We explore the systems and techniques of unlocking yourself, living up to the potential you have inside of you, and explore how your culture shapes a lot of this early on and what you can do about it now.

Whether it's new skill acquisition, changing your personality and disposition, or getting a deeper understanding of how to connect with others — this conversation goes into all of that and a lot more.

Justin is already the creator of our Accelerated Learning course, so you can dive in behind-the-scenes as we riff on these topics. To learn more about the course, check out the link at the top of this description.


  • Overcoming agreeableness and cultural divisions
  • Navigating interpersonal dynamics with expertise
  • What an 'aligned human' looks like
  • Become anything and anybody you want
  • Building a sturdy foundation for the rest of your life
  • Hard skills vs. soft skills
  • Becoming an interesting person and owning it
  • Deconstructing yourself with real-world results
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Dialogues_5_Justin.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

What would life be like if we could transcend the ordinary?

Now this journey isn’t for the faint of heart. This is a Hero’s Journey of cataclysmic proportions.

Undoing, overriding, and re-learning decades of distilled and conditioned socio-cultural programming is no small feat.

But on the other side awaits beauty, wonder, and experiences far beyond our present imagining.

This is why HighExistence came into being. To serve as a portal, through which the initiates pass, into a world of wisdom and wonder.

As we take an evolutionary step forward with HighExistence, we riff on what it means to transcend the ordinary and become the creators of our own reality.

Won’t you come along with us?


  • What it means to transcend the ordinary
  • The next evolutionary step for HighExistence
  • How to modify and amplify the lenses of perception
  • The mythological meaning of I.M M.Y.T.H.
  • Seeking Truth as the ultimate Hero's Journey
  • Courage and wonder in the face of the mundane
  • What does it really mean to create your own reality?
  • Myth-busting common cultural constructs
  • The awe-inspiring wonder of inter-subjective existence
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Dialogues_4_Final.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 8:02pm EDT

East Forest is a man of many talents.

Composer, explorer, facilitator, innovator, digital shaman — the list goes on.

Many of us know him through the music he produces, the experiences he’s crafted, or for the meditations and retreats that he hosts. He recently burst back into the spotlight with his latest album release ‘Ram Dass’ — a collaboration project he did with the renowned spiritual teacher himself.

It was one of the last public projects that Ram Dass undertook before his passing.

We sat down with East Forest to go into the woods on everything with him: his creative process, his views on spirituality and metaphysics, the value of inner work and exploration, and a whole lot more.

East Forest has the makings of a wise elder — reserved and focused in his speech, but able to convey a level of wisdom and reverence that is truly stunning.

We hope you enjoy this conversation with East Forest, as well as a few samples of songs that appear on the Ram Dass album.


  • What East Forest thinks of music and meaning
  • The production of music as the birthing of the new
  • Navigating uncertainty as a creator
  • The metaphysics of meaning and human life
  • Collaborating with Ram Dass
  • Spontaneous emergence through courageous leaps
  • Digital shamanism and the future of psychedelic experiences
  • Slow down and tuning in with yourself, for yourself
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: EF_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

Watch the video of this interview here.

Patrick McKeown is the author of the acclaimed The Oxygen Advantage.

I was first recommended this book by my friend and mentor Justin Noppé to help with my breathing during Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

The book blew my mind. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about topics like health, fitness, anxiety, and stress...

But there was so much highly useful information in this book, I knew I had to started putting the ideas into practice immediately.

Then COVID-19 hit.

The more research I did on this disease, the more I wanted to talk to Patrick about it.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, so the world's leading authority on the Buteyko breathing method should surely have some useful input.

I reached out to Patrick and he agreed to speak.

It was an incredibly illuminating 90-minute discussion, and a few days later I attended his masterclass—did not disappoint.

Whether you're new to Patrick's work or already familiar, there will be a ton of value for you in this episode.


  • How to breathe to avoid spreading and catching COVID-19
  • How to breathe if you are suffering from anxiety
  • The insane benefits of nasal breathing
  • How to combine breath work and meditation
  • The Wim Hof Method and its drawbacks
  • How to measure the health of your lungs
  • Simple ways to dramatically improve your athletic performance
  • Simple techniques to improve your sleep overnight
  • MUCH MORE...


Direct download: Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34am EDT

“We appear to be heading for a level of existence that is beyond our ability to even imagine: the universe is being recalled; we are going home.”

— Bob Frissell

Bob Frissell came into my reality in quite a fitting fashion: By synchronicity.

I was in a bookstore called Myopic Books in Chicago, perusing the esoteric and occult section.

A book caught my eye.

It was called, Nothing in This Book is True, But It's Exactly How Things Are.

I grabbed the book and began to page through it.

In the few days prior I had discovered and begun reading the work of Drunvalo Melchizedek, a fascinating spiritual teacher who discusses things like unity consciousness, sacred geometry, ancient civilizations, miraculous feats of spiritual masters, and Merkaba energy fields.

Paging through Nothing in This Book is True, I was serendipitously surprised and delighted to find mention of Drunvalo Melchizedek.

I realized the book extensively discussed Drunvalo's teaching and elaborated on the same general constellation of topics.

It became clear that it was "heavily indicated" to purchase this book and read it.

I would later learn that the book, originally published some 25 years ago, had become a cult classic and sold half a million copies worldwide.

I devoured the book in the coming days, greatly enjoying its mind-bending contents.

Then, on a whim, I decided to email the author, Bob Frissell, after discovering his website. I mentioned I'd be interested in interviewing him.

Within a couple days, he replied, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Bob and I 'sat down' digitally and had one of the most far-reaching, cranium-detonating conversations I've ever had.

It was a lot of fun.

If you're open to radical ideas that will challenge your understanding of history, the origins of humanity, our purpose on this planet, and what we're truly capable of, you won't want to miss this one.

Visit for more podcasts. 

Direct download: Bob_Frissell_Audio_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33am EDT

Important note:

The HighExistence dialogues are where the three creators Jon Brooks, Eric Brown, and Mike Slavin come together to discuss life, the universe, and everything in between.

But if you'd like to follow up with us individually, be sure to subscribe to our new YouTube channels. Here are some places you can find out more...

When’s the last time you learned something for the first time?

It might have been a while.

For many, education stops the moment school is finished. Should it continue to be this way? How we can learn new skills so that we can stay sovereignty and adaptable to a future that is constantly in flux?

Learning is the ultimate meta-skill.

It is the foundation of acquiring any other skill. It is the foundation that resilient humans are built upon.

To this end, there are a number of techniques, mindsets, and teachers that can be instrumental in helping us move towards mastery.

In the latest instalment of the HEx Dialogues, we dive into the nuance and opportunity present in learning, bending reality, and picking up the pace of skills acquisition.

If you find yourself wanting to become more adaptable, to level up quickly and consistently, this is a blueprint to doing exactly that.


  • The great teachers and allies along the path
  • A massive list of recommended readings and resources
  • Jon, Mike, and Eric's take on what we're learning right now
  • The fundamentals of skills acquisition and learning
  • Is accelerated learning real? The potential and pitfalls
  • The shortcomings of the current educational matrix
  • How to bend reality and the journey to being superhuman
  • The long and short road to mastery
  • MUCH MORE...

See the Full Show Notes and Recommendations Here

Direct download: Learning_Dialogues_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59am EDT

Do you hear the call right now?

The call to rise up, to step into your power, to be the hero. To take actions for yourself, your community, and your world.

These are the tests that we've been waiting for.

This is the call to be a Hero.

This is where you can demonstrate the fruits of your inner work.

In times of uncertainty, the best things you can do are often the smallest steps. Take care of yourself and others. Remaining grounded and centered. Check-in on others and see what help is needed. Coordinate information and resources. Contribute. Show Up.

It is under this thread that we embark again today on another Dialogue, sitting down to riff on these concepts and far more, dissecting the mythological significance and opportunity that the COVID-19 pandemic is offering individuals.

With some reframing, some individual empowerment, and a lot of diligence – we can all find space here to step further into our power, to embrace this as an opportunity to rise up and be the Hero in a time that needs more of them.


  • Cultivating sovereignty in uncertain times
  • The slippery slope of framing humanity as a virus...
  • The danger of listening to successful people
  • What nobility looks like and why it's been lost
  • How the Hero's Journey relates to global events
  • The revitalization of the Warrior archetype
  • How to be the hero that the world needs
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: HEx_Dialogues_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm EDT

The world is currently experiencing an unprecedented historical experience.

Many of us find ourselves somewhere amidst the confusion and seeming chaos, looking for a way to orient ourselves, to be of service to our families and our communities, and for the opportunity hidden somewhere within the fog of emergent confusion.

If you have been doing the work in your life, now is a chance to put this all into practice. To maintain your composure, to rise up in the face of adversity, to become a beacon of light in the dark.

But where do we go? What will we do? How do we make sense of what is happening to us?

These are the questions that we explore in our first HighExistence Groupcast. Come and join the core HighExistence team as we sit and discuss what's been happening and what we can do about it.

We'll be releasing a number of these informal Groupcasts together exploring anything and everything that's coming up for us.

Right now, we feel a strong call to show up, to be of service to our community, to you.

We dig into the what, why, and how of rising up, of how to be the Hero in this time, how to walk towards the Dragon of Chaos and rise up as the world wants to push you back down.


  • Discovery of the Presence of God by David Hawkins
  • Nondualism and 'lesser emotions'
  • Fear and social contagion
  • The presence and prevalence of COVID-19
  • Practical and tactical steps to take for yourself and others
  • The mythological significance of this time
  • How Stoics respond to adversity and uncertainty
  • Reclaiming play and peace during isolation
  • MUCH MORE...
Direct download: Groupcast_1_--_CoVid19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT

I get faced with the question, "Why would you do more than one plant medicine retreat or ceremony? What is the value?" And really, fundamentally, after doing one, you're a different person. Really. Completely. Particularly if you dive super deep into process, you can fundamentally transform. And with that brings a whole different life; a whole different set of goals; a whole different personality structure; a whole different set of problems and challenges that you face. So for all the same reasons that enabled you to go into one, you can go into more.

— Eric Brown, HEx Podcast #32

Using psychedelics is a fantastic way to see what your ordinary mind is like and how it works.

For many of us, psychedelics can reveal patterns that are going on all the time, but under the intense spotlight of plant medicine we see it less as a background murmuring and more of a strong soul-punch that makes us writhe around in agonising self-reflection.

There is so much advice out there on set and setting and how to navigate a difficult psychedelic experience, but one of the few people whose advice I would take seriously on this subject is Eric Brown.

Eric is the type of psychonaut that can dive very deep into process and yet still remember his training—breathing, mindfulness, cognitive distancing, trust, surrender.

Whenever I talk to him after an experience of his, I am amazed at how lucid his recollection is and how he navigated the difficult moments with Jedi-level calm.

So it was my pleasure to spend 3.5 hours (longest interview ever) going very deep into Eric's recent 3-week trip to Peru where he partook in a very strict plant diet, which included copious amount of sacred tea drinking, ayahuasca, kambo, and fasting from modern distraction and pleasure.

This episode of the podcast will show you in vivid detail how plant medicine works, how it can transform you, how to prepare, integrate, and generally think about working with ancient plant technologies.


  • Eric's retreat and psychedelic experience.
  • The trap of viewing retreats as the next spiritual high.
  • The difference between lying and bullshitting.
  • Eric's view on meditation and how he practices mindfulness.
  • How to prepare for a psychedelic experience.
  • What do do when a "bad trip" happens.
  • Eric's story of the 3-week dieta in Peru.
  • How to "communicate" with the medicine.
  • The right and wrong way to integrate mystical experiences.
  • WAY MORE...


Hangout with him at an Apotheosis Retreat

Read Eric's work here.

Say hi on... Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Direct download: Eric_Brown_Dieta.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EDT

“Here’s the thing. You are not responsible for other people’s feelings. They’re not incompetent children. They’re adults who can handle their own feelings. They can work through disappointment, hurt, anger, sadness, and upset. In fact, doing so will make them stronger and healthier in the long run. You cannot stop others from feeling all discomfort, or all pain. It is an impossible task, a fool’s errand.” 

― Aziz Gazipura, Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty... And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself

There are four main models of how anxiety is caused.

The first three are fairly obvious:

  1. Exposure — we get anxious about the things we avoid
  2. Cognitive — our irrational thoughts can make us more anxious
  3. Biological — changes in our biochemistry can make us more anxious

The fourth however, is a little harder to grasp:

"The hidden emotion model."

This model stipulates that we can get anxious because there are very obvious things in our life that we are not addressing.

The hidden emotion model, is really just another way of saying "niceness."

When we are "nice" we let things slide, we don't speak up, we suppress our emotions, we make sacrifices we wish we hadn't...

All of this can lead to suppressed feelings, and ultimately anxiety and depression.

This used to be me, until I started consuming information by Dr. Aziz Gazipura.

At its core, being nice is about being liked by others by making everything smooth. No waves, no friction. It’s based on this (woefully inaccurate) theory: If I please others, give them everything they want, keep a low profile, and don’t ruffle feathers or create any discomfort, then others will like me, love me, and shower me with approval and anything else I want. 

― Aziz Gazipura, Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty... And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself

Dr. Aziz is someone who has all the charisma of someone like Tony Robbins (who he trained with), but has a PhD in clinical psychology.

What does this mean? His work is both entertaining and scientifically sound.

Dr. Aziz has many profound insights about life, psychology, and transformation, but he specialises in social confidence.

In this episode, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Aziz.

Here’s what we discuss in the episode of the HighExistence Podcast:

  • Why he focuses so much on "niceness" in his work.
  • The role of trauma healing vs. self-optimisation.
  • The importance of Shadow work, and how to do it.
  • Finding balance between being assertive and compassionate.
  • Dr. Aziz's transformation out of shyness.
  • How to express yourself unapologetically.
  • And much, much more...


Direct download: Dr_Aziz_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

In today’s episode of the HighExistence podcast I sit down for a wild and wide-ranging discussion with Eric James.

Eric is a serial entrepreneur, award-winning photographer, magician, app developer, and all-around polymath who has discovered principles that help him engineer his own luck.

It just so happens that I met Eric in a stroke of luck 5 years ago at a dinner party.

He walked in and I instantly recognized him but not as a person I had met before.

He looked like a celebrity to me but couldn’t quite place it.

As I started talking to him suddenly it clicked.

Eric had started one of the first online magic shops.

It just so happened was watching his video when I was in 8th grade trying to become a magician myself.

And now here he was standing in front of me 10 years later.

We hit it off so well that we ended up becoming roommates for 2 years.

And this little anecdote is just scratching the surface of Eric’s stories of surfing serendipity (wait until you hear about Elon Musk and Richard Branson).

Here’s what we discuss in the episode of the HighExistence Podcast:

  • White Swans: How positive plot twists and happy curveballs in our lives can change everything (and why it’s important to hold the faith in the face of adversity)
  • How a bed bugs, a breakup, and 200K in tax debt lead to an important encounter with Elon Musk
  • Eric’s path to meeting Richard Branson in an attempt to become a space photographer (see his photography here)
  • The counter-intuitive truth on goal setting: Why big bold goals are easier to accomplish than small ones
  • Living laterally, portal jumping and leaving traditional career paths behind
  • How Red Light Therapy can be used to boost energy

Mentioned in the podcast:

Direct download: Eric_James_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

Mike Gilliland and Euvie Ivanova sort of remind me of a Sagacious Power Couple from another dimension.

Their Future Thinkers Podcast—focused on evolving technology, society, and consciousness—has garnered 3.5 million downloads since its genesis in 2014.

They've interviewed Titans of Insight such as Daniel Schmachtenberger, Ken Wilber, Jordan Peterson, Charles Eisenstein, Jordan Hall, and Nora Bateson.

They've spent years traveling the world, earning a living as digital nomads, and have spoken at myriad events on multiple continents.

I was fortunate to befriend Mike and Euvie some years ago and first met them while traveling in Bulgaria.

From our original meeting, I've been impressed by their humility, groundedness, centeredness, penetrating insight, and no-nonsense approach to life and spirituality.

I think of them as two of the most actualized humans I've had the honor to know in this lifetime.

As such, I was supremely delighted to have the opportunity to interview them for the HighExistence Podcast.

Naturally, I wanted to ask them about all the juiciest stuff:



No Self...

The human shadow...

The future of Earth...

Their relationship...

Their impending parenthood...

And their most profound transformational experiences...

So I did, and we traversed some truly rich and expansive territory.

I hope you enjoy this Kaleidoscopic Journey as much as I did.

Direct download: Future_Thinkers_1_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49pm EDT

“Epigenetics can be passed down inter-generationally. Indigenous traditions have the idea that what you do in your lifetime will impact 7 generations down from you. There’s actually good scientific backing for this idea now.”

— David Krantz, HEx Podcast #29

It took me nearly an hour to pick my jaw up off the floor after speaking with David.

He's just THAT GUY.

Charismatic and approachable. Able to dig deep into the fundamentals of epigenetics and gene editing, and then play you a song from one of his 5 full musical albums at the end of it.

David is someone who walks the walk.

A polymathic mad scientist designing the minds and mental states for the future of humanity. When I think of someone on the bleeding edge of science and performance, David definitely fits the bill.

Currently, David works as an Epigenetic Performance Coach and the Director of Psychoacoustics at the Apeiron Center.

He came into his work through a series of synchronicities, something we dive into more in the conversation — but seems to be right at home consulting for some major players in the business, athletic, and artistic spaces.

“Your natural bias is to think ‘this is the answer, this is how everyone should do it!’ In terms of navigating that, I find there’s a certain ethos or mentality that I look for, and if I don’t find it I instantly become wary. That ethos is acknowledging ‘Hey, I don’t know everything, and this is just one idea’. When I see people who can say ‘hey, here’s one study, and there’s another that contradicts it, and I’m not trying to hide it.’ And to the best of my ability, I try to do that.’”

— David Krantz, HEx Podcast #29

There was nothing off the table for this conversation, and David has a remarkable ability to distill complex scientific concepts into something easily digestible and understandable, for beginners and experts alike.

Whether you're a seasoned biohacker wanting to dive into the nuances of genetic testing, or someone just starting out in the self-optimization space, there's something here for you.

David embodies the archetype of someone living a HighExistence, doing their best work in a way that is sustainable and pushes the edge of what is possible forward.

I think you're going to love this conversation, Jon and I certainly enjoyed being a part of it.

“If you’re just going to try to change one variable, just change diet and nothing else, maybe that is worthwhile for someone who just wants reductionistic data, but that’s not how things work in the world. So let’s look at everything as holistically and fully as we can.”

— David Krantz, HEx Podcast #29


  • What does an ‘epigenetic health coach’ do?
  • What bio-markers you should focus on for performance, longevity, and mood
  • Davids revealing experience testing his own genome
  • What David thinks about sleep and health tracking tools
  • How do you transition from making music to epigenetic coaching?
  • Noticing the synchronicities in your life and following the path
  • How do you separate fact from fiction in the health and bio-hacking space?
  • How to break free of the ‘healthy normal’ bias in the standard medical paradigm
  • The difference between being healthy and having optimal health
  • What does DNA do in our body?
  • The impact of epigenetics on your genomic expression
  • Exploring the concept of ‘clock genes’
  • The science behind transgenerational epigenetic inheritance
  • David’s personal story of epigenetic inheritance and healing wounds from the Holocaust
  • How your physiology is shaped while in the womb
  • Where the notion of ‘past lives’ might come from…
  • Trauma work and it’s overlap with epigenetics and genetic expression
  • The importance of understanding your family’s past and history
  • What David thinks about artificial light and quick biohacking tips
  • Melatonin and optimizing the sleep/wake cycle
  • Sleep is the cornerstone of maintaining healthy functioning
  • Much, much more…


Direct download: David_Krantz_Podcast_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:08am EDT

It has to be sustainable. You could have a productivity system of working 72 hours straight at the beginning of the week and get everything done. Cool, you can do that but you're probably going to last two weeks, tops. This is a long marathon. I think the best way to conceptualize it is as a marathon of sprints. So you sprint—you work really hard on something—you stop, you rest, you reassess, you analyze, you improve, and then you sprint again. Fundamentally if that whole arc is not sustainable in the long run, you're just going to crash and burn.

— Eric Brown, HEx Podcast #28

At HighExistence we've had many interns start working with us all excited and eager.

Many told us they had been fans of the blog for years. They would work hard and do anything it takes. They would seize this opportunity with both hands.

Then it came time to WORK.

Crunch time. Effort. Dedication. Good communication. Innovative contributions. Self-discipline.

Let me be clear, many of the interns who worked for us did a stellar job. I'm still friends with many to this day.

But there has only ever been one intern who went from a small unpaid position to a fully fledged HighExistence team member who is not just useful to have on the team, but is indispensable.

Meet Eric Brown: Director of Operations at Apotheosis Retreats, Leader of the Apotheosis Integration Experience, Manager of Social Media, Editor at HighExistence, and all around productivity ninja...

Eric has an amazing ability to practice what he preaches. He's the guy that follows up on his recommendations. Works hard. Meditates. Reads. Organizes. And lives a "HighExistence."

He is someone who is always striving to improve without any of that frantic, frustrated stress most of us have.

To Eric, self-improvement is not about running away from a person he doesn't like, but about skipping toward a reality he prefers.

What you're about to listen to is a 3-hour conversation between Eric and I, and as you might imagine, we cover a lot of topics!

There is more that is real than what you can touch. When you touch money, you're touching cotton or paper. Money is an idea; a country is an idea; a government is an idea, so there are things that we consider real that we can't touch. Once I accepted that... that was a big catalyst. Because then you get into exploring emotion, exploring subtle energy in the body, and so on.

— Eric Brown, HEx Podcast #28


  • How does one balance spirituality with powerful work ethic?
  • The systems-based productivity approach Eric learned from startup culture.
  • Why everyone needs to start a blog, and how to do it.
  • The fear we all have of putting our our creative work and what to do about it.
  • How everyone wants to be successful but nobody wants to start at the beginning.
  • The comfortable good is holding you back from the difficult great.
  • The incredible but forgotten value of apprenticeship.
  • Erics step-by-step approach that made him indispensable at HighExistence.
  • How to design your own optimal productivity system.
  • The way Eric prioritizes his tasks to get a lot done while remaining happy.
  • How quick fix culture is preventing us from practicing deep spirituality.
  • Mindfulness of the present moment is the foundation Eric's life.
  • Jon and Eric make public productivity commitments.
  • Eric explains how we can manage our time to get that mysterious "work/life balance."
  • The value of psychedelics for both work and contentment.
  • Analogue vs. digital productivity tools.
  • Why no system will work without the right intention setting ritual.
  • Eric's view on the pomodoro technique, with pro tips.
  • Why we need to focus on THAT ONE THING each day, instead of multitasking.
  • Jon and Eric's favorite mobile and desktop apps.
  • How to get rid of bad habits and replace them with good routines that stick.
  • How we run Apotheosis retreats and what they're all about.
  • WAY MORE...
Direct download: final_eb_and_jb_podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am EDT

"A lot of people talk about art and creativity being as being a spontaneous thing. I don't have those views. For me art is a developed practice as well. You can be truly artistic but have zero developed skill. And you can be not artistic and have a developed skill. There are multiple examples if you go and research it of whoever you think is the most creative painter you can imagine, you'll find that they did hundreds of hours developing a skill."

— Justin Noppé, HEx Podcast #27

Justin from a young age knew he was smart but struggled with learning. He later found out that it wasn't actually learning that he struggled with, but rather poor learning systems that were being used in his school. He set out on a life's journey to learn... how to learn and share his findings with the world. After graduating Justin went on to teach languages to people for 15 years, further decoding the patterns that take someone from fumbling in the dark with foreign grammar to entirely fluent in the shortest amount of time.

"The very simple thing to ask is when you are reading, what do you want? A lot of people are seduced by this idea of being the most efficient reader and speed-reading techniques. But speed reading techniques don't guarantee comprehension. As many people who I've met who say, "I can read a thousand words a minute" I can show you just as many studies that show that after 450 or 500 words a minute there is no more comprehension. So that person was only comprehending 50% of what they were reading any way."

— Justin Noppé, HEx Podcast #27

Justin has an encyclopedic knowledge on learnings systems, memory, the brain, and information processing that makes him able to chunk and complex skillset down into learning curve that is not only fast but extremely effective. I learned a ton just from speaking to Justin, and I know you will too.


  • Deep vs. shallow learning
  • How to turn raw data into a developed skill
  • The best ways to read for maximum absorption
  • How knowledge of self is the first step for good learning
  • The role of raw talent in creative pursuits
  • How to "download" a martial art into your mind like in The Matrix
  • The science of drilling and repetition
  • The way to use coffee in combination with napping
  • Justin's personal morning routine categorization process
  • How to use video recordings to cement knowledge in you mind
  • Justin's favorite books of all time
  • How to actually become wiser not just more knowledgeable
  • Tons more...


If you like this podcast, please remember to subscribe and leave a review! <3

Direct download: Justin_Noppe_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:52pm EDT

"To me a visionary is someone who really knows that we create our reality from the inside out and has the courage and the willingness to actually go within and create a vision, an image, from within the inner realms of our own mind that we can really hold to and picture on a daily basis and really connect to that vision. And literally from a neuroscience perspective, our mind doesn't know the difference between what we hold in the inner realm of our mind and what we see out there in reality."

— Laura Dawn, HEx Podcast #26

Laura Dawn is a true visionary. The child of two entrepreneurs, Laura learned from an early age that it is indeed possible to manifest the realities you envision, no matter how "crazy" they sound to others. At just fifteen, Laura took her first high-dose of psilocybin, which changed everything for her and opened up previously unaccessible dimensions of reality.

Today, Laura is a published author, speaker, and sacred plant medicine expert who runs visionary retreats. Her business accolades include growing her first online brand to 1.5M people on Facebook, and building a volcanic hot spring retreat center from scratch, all using the visionary techniques she practices and teaches.

"It's been a huge teaching for me understanding the subtlety between trying versus aligning. Trying to make something happen, pushing and striving versus aligning and allowing and really opening to divine alignments and what wants to unfold synchronistically without really me having to make any effort at all."

— Laura Dawn, HEx Podcast #26

I was first introduced to Laura through HighExistence co-founder Martijn Schirp, who worked with Laura at Synthesis retreat, and in this episode you will get to hear Laura and my first ever conversation.


  • What is a visionary?
  • Are visionaries born or made?
  • Laura's upbringing and what she learned from her parents.
  • Why we have lost faith in our own inner visionary.
  • How do we visualize properly?
  • The nuances of embodying the visionary archetype.
  • What are the psychological mechanisms behind visualization?
  • The difference between trying vs. aligning.
  • How Laura manifested her vision for a retreat center.
  • How one might use sacred plant medicines like Ayahuasca.
  • The power in paying attention to the voice of our intuition.
  • Laura's early experiments in micro-dosing.
  • Why wee need to check ourselves for spiritual narcissism.
  • The problem with viewing psychedelics as a "magic pill."
  • Laura's favorite books and thinkers.
  • The path of the bodhisattva.
  • Laura's advanced visionary retreat training program.
  • How might one integrate their psychedelic experiences.
  • The ways Laura balances outward productivity and inner work.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LAURA DAWN — Laura's retreat website — Laura's personal website

@LiveFreeLauraD — Laura's instagram


Getting Unstuck by Pema Chödrön

Noble Heart by Pema Chödrön

Bodhisattva Mind by Pema Chödrön

The Places that Scare You by Pema Chödrön

From Fear to Fearlessness by Pema Chödrön

If you like this podcast, please remember to subscribe and leave a review! <3

Direct download: Laura_Dawn_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am EDT

“The Stoics can teach you how to find a sense of purpose in life, how to face adversity, how to conquer anger within yourself, moderate your desires, experience healthy sources of joy, endure pain and illness patiently and with dignity, exhibit courage in the face of your anxieties, cope with loss, and perhaps even confront your own mortality while remaining as unperturbed as Socrates.”
― Donald J. Robertson, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius

Donald Robertson is one of the world's leading experts on Stoicism, especially how it relates to cognitive science and therapy. Donald has spent decades as a clinical psychologist and has been studying the great Stoic classics for just as long. Recently, Donald released a book, part biography, part self-improvement, about the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. It's a truly amazing read, as practical as it is enjoyable.

“When we reason well about life and live rationally, we exhibit the virtue of wisdom. Living in agreement with Nature, in part, means fulfilling our natural potential for wisdom; that’s what it means for us to flourish as human beings.” ― Donald J. Robertson, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius

In my first interview with Donald, we covered a lot of general Stoic principles, but in this episode we look specifically at decoding the mind of Marcus Aurelius so we can start living more like this philosopher king.

“According to Stoic philosophy, when we assign intrinsic values like “good” or “bad” to external events, we’re behaving irrationally and even exhibiting a form of self-deception. When we call something a “catastrophe,” for instance, we go beyond the bare facts and start distorting events and deceiving ourselves. Moreover, the Stoics consider lying a form of impiety—when a man lies, he alienates himself from Nature.”
― Donald J. Robertson, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius


  • The Stoic training of Marcus Aurelius
  • The role of compassion in Marcus' life
  • The battle between Stoicism and sophism
  • The biggest influences on Marcus' development
  • How Marcus journaled and reflected on his day
  • The biggest mistakes and misconceptions when practicing Stoicism
  • The Stoic view of pornography and other temptations
  • Donald answers, do Stoics ever see themselves as victims of life
  • The incredible emphasis and techniques Marcus used to manage his anger
  • The hardships that beset Marcus' life
  • The level of plagiarism found in Stoic texts
  • Western philosophy and psychedelics
  • The role of mysticism and psychedelics
  • Much, much more!

If you like this podcast, please remember to subscribe and leave a review! <3

Direct download: Donald_Robertson_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm EDT

Most people have heard of Stoicism.

It's a philosophy dense with practical wisdom.

But how many Stoics do you know?

I don’t mean people who have read Meditations or Letters from a Stoic, I mean actual Stoics…

Individuals who are comparable to the authors of these books in their tranquility, wisdom, self-discipline, and joy.

This was a question I kept asking myself as I embarked on my study of Stoicism 10 years ago.

One of my passions is learning, or more specifically learning through systems.

I’m the guy who measures every workout at the gym, keeps detailed spreadsheets for my martial arts progress, and has pretty much every habit tracking app available on his phone. I believe technology, if harnessed correctly, can be an incredible tool for wisdom.

This is why, when I first started getting into Stoicism, I was disappointed by most peoples answer to “How do you ACTUALLY become a Stoic?”

Most of the time the answer was something like the following:

Read the original Stoic classics multiple times. Reflect on your day by journalling. Do a few visualizations throughout the day. Focus only on the things you can control.

It’s not a terrible answer, but it’s far from great. I needed a roadmap. I needed to know that I wasn’t going to be wasting my precious time focusing on the wrong things. I needed a system.

Since there weren't any available, I set out to create one (this would go one to become The Stoic Quest).

When I first started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu two years ago I realized the deep value of embodied wisdom. You cannot watch technique videos and expect to beat opponents at grappling. So much of the learning comes when you are faced with challenges you must overcome.

With Stoicism, many people spend time filling their heads with ideas and not putting any of it into practice. This means the time spent reading about the Stoic principles acts more like a distraction from problems than an antidote to them.

So how do we get around this? How do we get actually bridge the gap and put theory into practice and stop wasting time in intellectual lala-land??

That's what we discuss on the podcast today. On this episode, I relinquished my usual role as podcast host so I could sit in the hot seat. Fellow collaborator at HighExistence, Mike Slavin wears the interviewer hat and together we explore topics such as:

  • How I used Stoicism to overcome my social anxiety
  • The exercises I developed for reducing intense fear
  • The right and wrong ways to learn Stoicism (and anything else)
  • My favorite technique to live with more gratitude
  • The key components missing from modern Stoicism
  • My thinking process behind the Stoic Quest
  • And tons more

Visit to learn more about the Stoic obstacle course.  

Direct download: Gamifying_Stoic_Philosophy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06am EDT

"In the last couple years there's seemed to be a... decided shift [in my mind] in the direction of dethroning rationality as... the primary tool that I use to parse reality, and putting it in its proper place... And through deep listening and deep internal experiences and even mystical experiences, arriving at a sense of a felt at-home-ness in reality and in the present moment, in which you're trusting and surrendering to the flow of reality..."

— Jordan Bates, HEx Podcast #23

Today I'm excited to share one of the best conversations I've ever had. 

In sunny Costa Rica just before our recent Apotheosis retreat, I sat down with my brilliant colleague Mike Slavin to talk about transcending rationality. 

Especially in recent centuries, Western culture has placed rationality on a lofty pedestal, increasingly glorifying it as the most powerful tool for parsing / understanding reality.

This misguided over-valuing of rationality has resulted in untold misery.

Rationality is a wonderful servant but a dreadful master. Employing it as one's primary tool for parsing reality tends to result in nihilism, disenchantment, existential aridity, and a paranoid sense of being a stranger in a hostile, alien universe. 

"And that's where mystical experiences or psychedelic experiences can temporarily melt away those linguistic filters so that you come into raw, unadulterated contact with the all-enfolding Ocean of Reality, and you see that you are a wave on that Ocean, just as the tree is a wave on that Ocean. And when you have that direct experience there can be a direct apprehension of this Sacred Sigh of Relief: 'Oh, wow, I don't have to think this rationally, but I just know this in my heart: Everything is Okay.' Everything is deeply, truly Okay, and it's where it needs to be, and I'm where I need to be, and I see now that the neurotic rabbit holes and spirals of my rational mind have functioned as a nihilism-producing trap that was preventing and blocking me from having this direct apprehension of the gloriousness of Reality because I was attempting to use the rational mind for a function for which it is not well-suited."

— Jordan Bates, HEx Podcast #23

Humanity is presently being summoned to transcend obsolete and unsustainable modes of being, and one aspect of this level-up is dethroning rationality, becoming trans-rational, and rediscovering deeper, wiser, intuitive levels of human intelligence that re-enchant / reconnect self and Nature. 

Intrigued yet?

I hope so.

Mr. Slavin and I undertook a mission to spelunk the rabbit hole of trans-rationality, attempting to illuminate the failure modes of rationality, its appropriate function, and to map out a blueprint for transcending rationality to attain a more expansive sense of at-home-ness in Nature. 

This was a tall order, but I must say that I think we did a pretty damn good job...

You can decide for yourself. Without further ado, here is my extra-ordinary conversation with the luminous legend, Mike Slavin.


  • What may truly be deserving of the word "God"
  • Dethroning rationality as one's primary tool for parsing reality
  • Realizing rationality is a wonderful servant and dreadful master
  • Embracing, trusting, and flowing with the Mysterious River of Being
  • How to feel at home in the universe
  • The false security of being over-attached to one's models of reality
  • Why the map can never be the Territory
  • Why rationality can never quench one's existential thirst
  • Why dogmatically clinging to castles of concepts has plagued mankind for aeons
  • How Western culture has misguidedly glorified rationality as the ultimate tool for parsing reality
  • The immense power and value of mystical experiences
  • How mystical / psychedelic experiences melt away linguistic filters, allowing one to come into raw, unadulterated contact with the all-enfolding Ocean of Reality
  • The Sacred Sigh of Relief: Directly perceiving that everything is deeply, completely Okay in all moments and everything is where it needs to be
  • Much more...
Direct download: Bates_Mike_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

In May 2019, Jordan Bates and I (Jon Brooks) met up in London to attend the Rebel Wisdom summit.

Having not seen each other in the flesh for 6 months, we thought we'd celebrate our reunion by recording our first ever podcast together.

Jordan and I have always had incredible, dizzying, profound conversations about topics that frequently come up on HighExistence, and we've been intending to start recording them and releasing them as podcasts for quite a while.

There is this segment of the spiritual or psychedelic or new age community that seems to be participating in these things more from a place of ego and kind of trying to really wear the costume and have this kind of spiritual chic clothing and have all the markers of spirituality. It's kind of like spirituality and psychedelia are a fashion trend for some people, and it's kind of all about what's on your spiritual resumé, how many ayahuasca ceremonies have you had, etc. There's this kind of misguidedness around what spirituality actually means. And some people don't even realize the extent to which they're using spirituality as a persona and another game of appearances and status and virtue signaling rather than being deeply invested in the inner journey which is largely a thing that no-one sees. 

— Jordan Bates, HEx Podcast #22

Personally, some of my favorite podcasts are not strict interviews but more of the "hanging out" genre, were I get to see individuals I'm interested in riff on topics I'm curious about.

If you're a regular HighExistence reader, or anyone interested in spirituality for that matter, I encourage you to hang out with Jordan and me in this episode and leave a comment with your thoughts and questions. Let's keep the conversation going!

Here are some of the themes we delve into on this episode:

  • The toxic elements of modern spirituality
  • The psychological need to create personas and identities
  • The benefits and traps of "not caring what people think"
  • Spiritual narcissism and the shadow
  • The hidden danger of rebellion and non-conformity
  • The beauty and magnificence of ordinary folk
  • The limits of mass psychedelic healing in society
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a spiritual practice
  • The art of letting go 
  • And tons more...

If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe and leave a review! 


Transformational Breath is a type of conscious connected breathing. It's a breathing awareness practice, and it's also a breath control practice. Essentially we breathe in what I'd describe as a conscious, rhythmic way where we don't pause between the inhale and the exhale. So we breathe in one continuous loop. And this type of breathing can help us tap into altered states. So we can use different types of breath to induce a trance-like state.

— Philippa Wilkin, HEx Podcast #21

Philippa Wilkin is a radiant, beaming healer and facilitator who uses the transformational power of the breath to help people let go of blocked emotions and live a flourishing and free existence. 

I first met Philippa at the first HighExistence Apotheosis retreat—she agreed to facilitate in a last minute change to the itinerary.

When I attended her breathwork workshop I was expecting good things, but what actually happened I could never have expected.

It was totally mind blowing and changed my opinion on the breath forever.

The breath is a profound healing tool, and if you're not using it you are missing a very important area for transformation.


  • What is transformational breath and how it links up with other self-improvement tools.
  • Philippa's involvement in Apotheosis retreats.
  • Jon's own experiences doing breathwork sessions with Philippa.
  • The amazing benefits practicing transformational breath.
  • Philippa's unlikely journey as a facilitator.
  • The approach Philippa takes with self-improvement and spirituality that differs from the mainstream.
  • How we can be better at practicing self-care.
  • Philippa's view on having prophetic visions and how they fit in with her understanding of the world.
  • Tons more! 


Direct download: Philippa_Wilkin_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm EDT

Akira is something of a musical-philosophical wizard.

He's been called the DJ of the Intellectual Dark Web and is the innovator of a new genre of music called Meaningwave.

He samples Terence McKenna, Alan Watts, Jordan Peterson, Hunter S. Thompson, David Foster Wallace, Elon Musk, Jock Willink, David Goggins, and a variety of other philosophers, thinkers, artists, and inspiring figures.

And he synchronizes these samples in delicious ways with a wide array of gorgeous beats he conjures to create a uniquely enchanting and mind-expanding listening experience.

His album 'The Path' with Jocko Willink has been particularly influential for me lately; it's a ridiculously motivational album and I highly recommend it, along with the rest of his work.

We'll be interluding some of his music throughout this episode so you can get a taste of his art.

Akira is an extraordinarily insightful and entertaining individual, and we had a lot of fun in this episode exploring a truly vast expanse of territory.

We discuss everything from space migration and the Jungian shadow to transcendental experiences and the wonders of being alive in 2019.

Without further ado, let's get into it; I hope you enjoy this technicolor journey as much as we did.

Direct download: AKIRA_THE_DON_PODCAST_smaller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:25am EDT

You may be having the most extraordinary psychedelic experiences. You may be communicating with DMT-entities. Mamma Ayahuasca might be visiting you nightly. But if it's not making you a kinder person. Then it's just a holiday. It's just a thrill. You might as well just be watching a movie. You might as well be watching Disney's Fantasia because it's not making you kinder person. It's not making you a more loving person. It might even be making you a worse person because you're becoming a self-regarding, vein dick.

— Jules Evans, HEx Podcast #19

If you look at the literature on ecstatic experiences, it often just focuses on psychedelic experiences, and it says this is the type of experience you can have when you're on LSD or magic mushrooms or MDMA and so on. That's a rather narrow way of looking at it. In fact, people have similar kinds of ecstatic experiences in lots of different domains, in lots of different fields of human activity. I'm a big admirer of Aldous Huxley, because I think he more than anyone else had this kind of bird's eye view of all the different ways in which people get out of their heads and go beyond their ordinary egos.

— Jules Evans, HEx Podcast #19

Jules Evans is a practical philosopher, writer, helps run the largest philosophy club in the world, and played a key role in the modern resurgence of Stoic philosophy. Jules' first book Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, explores how ancient Greek and Roman philosophies (particularly Stoicism) can help us flourish today. His second book, The Art of Losing Control, explores how people find ecstatic experiences in modern western culture.
In this episode, we discuss:
  • The wonders and limits of Stoic philosophy
  • Near death experiences
  • Why Aldous Huxley was so great
  • The value of ecstatic experiences
  • Ayahuasca retreats stories
  • The dark side of psychedelics
  • Jules' most recommended books
  • And tons more...


What to you is the point of philosophy? [02:54]

How Jules became interested in Stoicism and Greek philosophy. [04:10]

Was your PTSD triggered by a bad LSD experience? [07:27]

What Jules could have done differently to manage the fallout from his difficult LSD trip. [10:06]

Jon discusses how he believes his levels of neuroticism has declined as he's gotten older. [11:36]

Jon shares his interest in Stoicism. [12:36]

Jon explains how he used Stoic techniques to help him cope with the fear of jaw surgery. [13:21]

How Jules used Stoicism to help him cope with social anxiety. [14:09]

Was simply learning about CBT and Stoicism enough for you to reduce your social anxiety, or was there a practical element too? [16:46]

Jules explains how cognitive bias, perfectionism, and poor coping strategies prevented hindered hindered his recovery from anxiety. [19:35]

Jules explains what happened in his near death experience (NDE). [22:02]

How Jules' epiphany from his near death experience led him to CBT. [30:54]

Stoicism is about being true to the god within you. [32:28]

How Jules connected his mystical experience with Stoicism, CBT, and eventually Buddhism. [32:54]

Jules explains his role in the modern resurgence of Stoicism. [34:17]

Some of the areas of human nature Stoicism doesn't address. [37:01]

Why did you call your second book The Art of Losing Control? [39:34]

Jules explains the wide-ranging states of ecstatic experiences. [41:04]

What are the main paths to losing control that you discovered in your research? [43:54]

Alcohol as a means to escape ordinary consciousness. [45:44]

Jules explains what he calls "The Festival of Ecstasy." [46:59]

Jules discusses how war, violence, and crowd rallying can be seen as ecstatic experiences. [52:12]

The worship of technology as a substitute for religion. [55:34]

The 1960s as the antidote to the Enlightenment's pathologizing of mystical experiences. [57:04]

Why is it normal for many of us fear going beyond our ego and have ecstatic experiences? [58:59]

What is a spiritual emergency? [01:05:46]

Jules explains how any route to transcendence can become unhealthy if it isn't approached wisely. [01:09:26]

How ecstatic experiences and psychedelics can lead to ego inflation. [01:13:44]

Jules discusses his first ayahuasca ceremony. [01:14:18]

The easy and the hard path to becoming a shaman. [01:16:34]

The dark side of psychedelics. [01:17:39]

What can we do to prevent ourselves from falling into the trap of ego-inflation when having ecstatic experiences? [01:19:11]

The only value of ecstatic experiences. [01:23:42]

Jules explains how after finishing his two books he then saw the limit of them. [01:25:03]

The mature Buddhist view of ecstatic experiences. [01:27:11]

How do you live your life both on a daily basis and in a more general sense different after doing the research for these two books? [01:29:03]

Jules discusses his post-Ayahuasca dissociated experience. [01:31:46]

The importance of understanding spiritual emergencies: a spiritual awakening which has temporary psychotic features. [01:34:27]

The things that can help people through spiritual emergencies. [01:37:04]

Jon shares a story about a friend's spiritual emergency. [01:40:11]

The danger of seeing your experience as unique and special. [01:42:37]

The rise in reporting of mystical experiences. [01:45:46]

Why we need a mature, nuanced terminology for ecstatic experiences. [01:46:54]

What are your favorite books on the topics you write about? [01:48:06]

Pema Chodron's personal crisis. [01:53:06]

Closing remarks and where to find out more about Jules. [01:54:18]


By Jules Evans:

  • Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations
  • The Art of Losing Control

On Stoicism:

  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Discourses and Selected Writings by Epictetus

On Ecstatic Experiences:

  • The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
  • Moksha: Aldous Huxley's Classic Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience by Aldous Huxley


  • The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa
  • Ram Dass' Podcast

Other Books Mentioned:

  • The Making of a Counter Culture by Theodore Roszak
  • Spiritual Emergency by Stanislav Grof


Jules' Official Website:

Direct download: Jules_Evans_and_HighExistence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:18pm EDT

"If someone says, “I’m a fucking loser,” that’s a form of dishonesty. What you actually are is a collection of atoms talking to each other. To say that you’re a loser isn’t accurately describing yourself. To say, “right now I’m having a thought that I’m a loser and engaging in some self-pity around that,” that’s more accurate."
— Dan Munro, from HEx Podcast

“When I say I was working with criminal offenders, really I was just coaching people, and now I’m still coaching people it’s just they’re less likely to be in a gang these days.”

— Dan Munro, from HEx Podcast

I heard about Dan Munro from a friend who had received coaching from him. My friend was telling me how amazing this coach was and that he was even going to receive more coaching from him in the future.

I wanted to talk to Dan about coaching, so I arranged a call with him to pick his brains about this topic as well as connect in general. I was blown away by Dan's groundedness and willingness to share his ideas with me. As the call progressed, it turned out that Dan and I were already connected.

Dan told me that Donald Robertson, the Stoicism writer, was writing the foreword for Dan's new book on honesty. Quite the synchronicity considering I had recorded a podcast with Donald a few days prior.

Who is Dan Munro?

Dan Munro is a Confidence Coach based out of Auckland, New Zealand who now lives in the Czech Republic with his fiancé. Dan created the Brojo men's mastermind group which is growing every day, and is the author of The Legendary Life and Nothing to LoseDan also worked for many years as a probation officer where he learned how to make lasting change with the worst coaching clients you could wish to have—people who didn't want coaching.

Dan used to really struggle with authenticity, honesty, and making "real" connections. And as we know, it's usually the people who suffer in a particular area that go on to master it and become the best teachers.

There is nothing quite like hearing Dan's ideas straight from the man himself, however, so If you'd like to live a more authentic life, and walk through the world with more ease and confidence, give this episode a listen:

In the podcast, we discuss:

  • The role of honesty in confidence
  • The difference between good and bad coaching
  • How to deal with manipulators
  • The dark side of the pick up industry
  • What it means to "be yourself"
  • Dan's confidence boosting 30-day challenge

(Please remember to leave a review because it helps us to improve the podcast!)


  • What who Dan? [04:25]
  • Why do you focus so heavily on "confidence"? [05:27]
  • What is confidence? what does the word mean to Dan? [08:15]
  • The power of having core values. [11:55]
  • What did you used to be like and how'd you end up here? [14:15]
  • Dan's time studying pick up artistry and how it relates to authenticity? [20:25]
  • What kind of effects does "honesty" have on your coaching clients’ dating life? {25:25]
  • Jon Brooks talking about his experience with authenticity and dating. [30:25]
  • Should a self-hating person “be themselves”? [32:25]
  • The power of focusing on accuracy when trying to be honest. [36:15]
  • Do you ever lie or tell white lies, what is your relationship with the truth on a day to day basis. What would it take for you to tell a lie? [39:25]
  • How would you deal with coaching clients who are caught up in pathological relationships that are founded on lies? [44:25]
  • You mentioned that you worked with criminal offenders? How did that experience inform your understanding of psychology? [52:10]
  • How was your fear of confrontation obliterated when you were a probation officer? [57:42]
  • What is gaslighting? [63:35]
  • Who do you deal with invalidators or manipulators? [1:07:25]
  • How did you transition from being a probation officer to being a confidence coach? [1:12:10]
  • What is the difference between a good coach and someone who’s a bad coach? [1:15:17]
  • People who are avid readers, practicing good self-care, etc., might think, “I don’t need a coach.” Do you still think there would be value in coaching for this type of individual? [1:22:22]
  • Can coaches actually change their clients or is something else going on? [1:28:20]
  • Dan's thoughts on improving clients vs. revealing them to themselves. [1:33:39]
  • The power of human connection in successful coaching. [1:37:40]
  • What challenge would you give someone listening to improve their confidence? [1:43:55]
  • Where can people learn more about you? [1:47:22]


Direct download: dan_munro_podcast.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 5:23pm EDT

Donald Robertson is the expert of experts when it comes to Stoicism—the ancient blueprint for living the good life.
Donald spends his days now residing in Canada writing books and creating online courses on how Roman and Greek philosophy can help us live more wisely. Prior to this, Donald spent over 20 years working in London as a psychotherapist.
What's so amazing about Donald is that he interweaves his academic career as a clinical psychologist with his love of philosophy to bring to life a very practical, wise, and ultimately healing ideas that we can all benefit from.
If you are at all interested in Stoicism, this podcast episode is a "must-listen."
Some things we discuss in the podcast:
  • The best books on Stoicism you've never heard of
  • The overlap between Buddhism and Stoicism
  • The intersection between psychotherapy and Stoicism
  • The Stoic version of enlightenment
  • How to think like Marcus Aurelius
  • Some of the criticisms about Stoicism
  • And tons more...




  • Why did you want to write a book about Marcus Aurelius? [00:48]
  • Why would anyone want to think like Marcus Aurelius? [10:08]
  • What is your experience as a psychotherapist? [11:35]
  • Did you ever combine psychotherapy with stoicism? [12:52]
  • What mental health problems will Stoicism help most with? [15:00]
  • Do Marcus and other Stoics live up to the hype? [19:26]
  • When did Marcus start training in Stoicism? [24:32]
  • What are the philosophical origins of Stoicism? [26:44]
  • how does one actually embody the stoic philosophy? [31:30]
  • What is the view from above exercise? [36:00]
  • What are the best books on Stoicism? [36:45]
  • How do you read Stoicism books? [38:26]
  • The role of socrates for aspiring Stoics. [42:40]
  • How do the Socratic dialogues relate to Stoicism? [44:00]
  • On a personal note, how has stoicism affected your own life? [46:36]
  • Why the ancient stoics are so iconic and memorable? [51:38]
  • What is the overlap between buddhism and stoicism? [53:55]
  • Do you think there’s a Stoic version of enlightenment? [56:43]
  • Modern stoicism focuses a lot on how to be, but what Stoic techniques can we use to cultivate more joy? [59:00]
  • Tranquility vs. virtue in Stoicism. [01:05:26]
  • Derren Brown in his book Happy says that an issue he has with Stoicism, a philosophy he generally loves, is that the stoics tend to demonize anxiety and anxiety is sometimes useful. What are your thoughts on this? [01:07:00]
  • The Stoic perspective on voluntary vs. involuntary emotions. [01:14:40]
  • Closing remarks, and more information on Donald Robertson. [01.20:00]
Direct download: Donald_Robertson_Stoic_Interview_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm EDT

"For those who would say that sugar is addictive, if that was truly at the root of the addictive nature that people have with some foods, you wouldn't see them seeking out cookies, you'd see them seeking out sugar packets. You'd want that raw cut at its most basic form. Heroin addicts don't want things cut with their heroin. So I think we need to think about it in a broader perspective."

Eric Helms is one of the most insightful, unbiased, and respected figures in the nutrition and exercise industry. For most of Eric’s career, he has worked as a coach for drug free strength and physique competitors at all levels.

But he’s not just a coach. Eric is a competitive athlete himself, and has pro status with the Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association and competes with the IPF at the international level as an unequipped powerlifter.

As if that wasn’t enough Eric has also published multiple peer reviewed articles on in exercise science and nutrition journals. He’s taught undergraduate and graduate level nutrition and exercise science and speaks internationally at academic and commercial conferences for fitness, nutrition, and strength and conditioning. He has a Bachelor of science in fitness and wellness, one masters in exercise science, a second masters in sports nutrition, and PhD in strength and conditioning.

Eric is perhaps most well-known for being one of the 3D Muscle Journey coaches and his amazing Nutrition and Strength Pyramid books. 

If you’re even slightly interested in your health or physique, this episode cannot be missed. Eric and I discuss intermittent fasting, how to spot bullshit advice, the problem with formulaic diets, whether sugar is toxic, how you can educate yourself properly, the benefits of lifting weights, and a ton more.

Direct download: Eric_Helms_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm EDT

Sometimes I don't really like the word enlightenment because it suggests something final. It suggests an end point, and I don't think there is an end point. You can think in terms of a landscape of expansive experience which different traditions or different individuals view in different ways. They may just be sitting or standing on different parts of the landscape so they obviously interpret it in slightly different ways.

— Excerpt from Steve Taylor Interview

Steve Taylor is a British psychology lecturer at the university of Leeds.

He is also the author of several best-selling books including The FallWaking From SleepBack to SanityThe Leap, and his most recent book Spiritual Science: Why We Need Spirituality to Make Sense of the World.

Eckhart Tolle described Taylor’s book The Leap as containing “a great deal of precious wisdom, expressed in the straightforward, clear, and down-to-earth language that Steve Taylor is so good at.”

Taylor’s primary interest of study is in the field of transpersonal psychology, where he explores the science of higher states of consciousness, wakefulness, and the claims many of us are familiar with in popular spirituality.

In my talk with Steve, we discuss...

  • The problems of the materialistic worldview
  • The best way think about enlightenment
  • How we can define consciousness
  • The three ways we can achieve awakening experiences
  • The unlikely benefits of extreme emotional turmoil
  • The uses and dangers of psychedelics
  • Why telepathy is scientifically possible
  • And a lot more...

I really loved my conversation with Steve. He is a very calm, grounded presence but is also able to clearly put forth very important, profound ideas on how we can live a more enriched spiritual existence.

It's a tendency in some spiritual traditions, also in some forms of Buddhism, to denigrate the natural world and the material world, almost as if we're trying to transcend it. In a similar way, some spiritual traditions tend to denigrate the body as well, almost as if the spirit is trying to transcend the body, and the spirit and the body are two different things. So it's important not to fall into that kind of dualistic attitude, I think. You've gotta see the natural world as spiritual—it's full of spirit, it's sacred, and it's alive.

— Excerpt from Steve Taylor Interview

Direct download: SteveTaylorPodcast.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 3:23pm EDT

Paul Austin (@PaulAustin3W) is the founder of The Third Wave, a website designed to improve psychedelic literacy so these powerful tools with great potential can be used in a safe, structured, and responsible way. Paul is also co-founder of Synthesis, the world’s first legal psilocybin truffle retreat in Amsterdam.

This interview was conducted fresh after Paul returned from Burning Man, so he is in a state of new beginnings and processing what I gathered was an extraordinary journey. In the episode we discuss Paul’s path from socially awkward teen to charismatic speaker and entrepreneur, the uses of microdosing, his thoughts on leadership, his current passion projects, favorite books, and much more.

This podcast is brought to you by Synthesis, the world's first safe, professional, legal psilocybin retreat. Paul Austin and HighExistence's own Martijn Schirp co-founded this revolutionary psychological program. The retreat is based in Amsterdam and is primarily focused for healthy individuals to get a mystical experience or a breakthrough in a personal or professional problem. If you would like to experience psychedelics with expert supervision and carefully designed integration procedures, check out Synthesis and tell them you came from HighExistence.


  • Connect with Paul Austin: | Twitter | TheThirdWave | Synthesis

Other People Mentioned as Influences

Direct download: paulfinalpodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:02pm EDT

I’d like to use me as living proof that nobody was worse than me that I’ve ever met, and nobody was darker or closer to death or more sad. And to have this thing happen... if it happened to me, it can happen to anyone. So just give it a chance and give yourself a chance.

— Gerry Powell, The HighExistence Podcast

Gerry Powell, according to his website, “was the personification of the American businessman: rich, powerful, and unhappy.” In fact Gerry was one of the most miserable people on the planet. Even though he sold his cosmetic surgery company for $94 million dollars, had 5 houses, 20+ cars, and 2 planes, he was suicidal and addicted to drugs and sex.

But if you met him now, you would not see an unhappy man. Instead, you’d see a beaming, glowing, radiant, compassionate guy who is truly addicted to living a tranquil life and seeing others thrive and grow.

So what happened?

Gerry took Plant Medicine:

I realized something was very wrong because the more I acquired the more I suffered. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and travelled the world on my journey to heal myself through every self-help and healing modality I could find. A friend introduced me to Plant Medicine and in one night I had an experience that transformed my existence and liberated me from a lifetime of suffering. That was 2 years ago and my life continues to unfold in an extraordinary way.

When Gerry was experiencing his transformation through Plant Medicine, he received instructions in a vision to start a new company:

As a result of my experience I decided to open a center in Costa Rica that would offer all of the modalities that had the greatest impact on my life, enabling me to share them with as many people as possible at a price they could afford. I modeled it after the Club Med philosophy of an all-inclusive resort experience offering modalities, accommodations, organic meals, and first class amenities.

The center that Gerry opened in Costa Rica is called Rythmia. The HighExistence team went here to interview Gerry and experience the Plant Medicine ceremonies firsthand.

Gerry is an amazing, charismatic, hilarious speaker. This is one of our most entertaining podcasts to date. In our interview, we cover such topics as:

  • Gerry’s transformation after drinking Plant Medicine
  • The reason Gerry created Rythmia
  • The HighExistence team’s experience at Rythmia
  • How you can introduce a close one to Plant Medicine
  • Gerry’s vision for the future of Rythmia
  • And much more.

If you are interested in plant medicine …

Visit Rythmia

If you were inspired by the podcast and want to visit Rythmia, you can book your place on their website here

Direct download: Gerry-rythmia_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:05am EDT

Plant medicines such as Ayahuasca are big news. More and more shamans are popping up offering their services to create inner-change and healing for those who are willing to drink from the magic cup.

But are there any real shamans left? Are the true masters of plant medicine anywhere to be found? And what negative consequences are coming from trying to heal the world at large with psychedelics? 

To truly consider these questions with an open mind is too painful for those who blindly follow, and likely too unorthodox for those who blindly reject. But for those somewhere in the middle, this podcast is for you.

Jonathon Weisberger was born in California but raised from a very young age in Ecuador. For over 15 years, he has been leading avid adventurers into remote regions of Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica to rediscover Nature's beauty and intelligence.

For over 10 years (1990-2000), Jonathon lived and collaborated with 5 distinct indigenous tribes in the Upper Amazon, including the Secoya tribe where he learned to cook the sacred plant medicine Yagé. This plant shares many similarities to Ayahuasca.

In the following mind-bending episode, we ask Jonathon how we deal with life if we're feeling lost, how we can learn to experience the world in an animistic way, and what "real" shamanism is all about.

This discussion is electric. You may feel overwhelmed by the speed at which Jonathon is able to connect raw knowledge with his poetic perspective on life, but it's one hell of a ride.

“Shamanism explores an area that contemporary Western science knows little about- the mind.”
― Jonathon Weisberger

A shaman is someone who can choose the moment of their own death. The shamans are few. People who practice shamanic practices are many.

― Jonathon Weisberger

Jonathon challenges the conventional wisdom on ayahuasca drinking and the new culture that surrounds it as well as how phenomenological truths hold a sacred space in our world of objects and scientific facts.

“If science is defined or understood as a mode of seeking knowledge, a means of interpreting nature in a way that can be demonstrated to others, then the plant-medicine traditions of the Amazon as they have been practiced constitute an authentic scientific discipline.”
― Jonathon Miller Weisberger

Jonathon also talks about his time spent with the Secoya Tribe, explaining their philosophy and warrior way of life. Yagé is for more than just healing, it can make you stronger.

“Among the Secoya, clear guidelines regulate preparation of the medicine. They are adamant about this preparation method and insist that the guidelines be followed. I've already discussed some fundamentals of harvesting the plants. When respected, all the elements and subtle factors combine to make a potent and efficacious medicine, necessary for a positive and healing ceremony.”
― Jonathon Miller Weisberger

We also explore in the discussion with Jonathon:

  • The role of a "bad trip" when drinking plant medicine
  • What a "dieta" is and how following one may benefit us
  • The amazing character traits of Jonathon's Secoya mentor
  • How we can improve our spiritual position
  • What it means to "sin" and alternatively live a sin-free life

Recommended Products:

Apotheosis: The Ultimate Spiritual Retreat

Jonathon helped facilitate the Yagé ceremony at our first ever HighExistence retreat. To come to one of our upcoming retreats, apply here

Jonathon's Projects:

Direct download: Jonathon_Weisberger_Master_of_Plants.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:20pm EDT

Can psychedelics cure Autism? It's a question researchers are only beginning to ask, but Andrea Domenichini has already run the experiments – on himself.

Over the past few years, he's taken MDMA and LSD to help connect the parts of his brain that allow most people to understand others, feel their emotions, and make lasting connections.

But before we get to that, what even is Autism Spectrum Disorder? Probably not what you think it is. Most people on the Autism spectrum aren't Rain Man or maths geniuses. They're people whose brains function differently, but in myriad different ways. It's called a spectrum for a reason, and that spectrum involves dozens of symptoms (each highly variable) which are then bundled together under the 'Autism' label.

Dre shares his personal journey from alienation to deep human connection, beginning at a point in his life where jobs and relationships just weren't working out. He stopped, took stock, and asked himself the question that most of us are too scared to ask: Am I the problem?

For me, Autism was being a featureless white room, without windows or doors. MDMA opened a door in that room. Suddenly I could see outside to where "real people" lived. LSD allowed me to leave that room.

These experiences were revelatory: until MDMA, he'd never felt music before. Until LSD, he'd never felt a true sense of peace in himself.

Using his biomedical background, Dre explains how these substances can do such incredible things, what they meant for his own development, and why it's essential that more research is done to help people with Autism.

But do people with Autism even want to be 'cured'?  And is 'cured' the right word to use?

For many people, there's immediate resistance: Autism is a part of their identity and sense of self. And Autism is simply a different way of thinking, not some kind of disease.

For Dre, he wanted to change – he wanted to understand other people and to be able to grow as a person and pursue his dreams in a world that simply isn't set up to accommodate or understand Autistic people. With such potent psychedelic tools available to make that change, at the very least, more Autistic people should be made aware of the possibility of change, if they want to experience it for themselves.

More From Dre:


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: HE_Autism_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am EDT

Talking to Daniel Schmachtenberger is like having an audience with a prophet. His vast knowledge extends across health, economics, technology, strategy and philosophy. More importantly, he’s a brilliant communicator dedicated to bringing those often disparate fields into dialogue, in order to make powerful, genuine change for the betterment of our individual and collective lives.

Last time I met Daniel, we spoke about the collective future of humanity in the face of imminent ecological and economic disaster. This time, we bring the focus back to you and me: the individual life and how we can become the best, most fulfilled and conscious versions of ourselves.

This is a conversation about unlocking our individual potential through empowered responsibility. What steps can and should we make to create the foundations for a truly high existence? Crucially, the aim here is not to feel responsibility as a burden to be shouldered, but as the wellspring of personal power and agency.


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: Daniel_Schmachtenberger_Interview_2_Bounce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

Geoff Thompson is a charismatic enigma. A nightclub doorman and martial artist turned award-winning playwright, author, and spiritual teacher – he defies easy description and confounds all expectations.

Geoff grew up with few prospects, under the shadow of his own fears. Inside, he yearned to be a writer, but with no obvious mentors or opportunities in sight, he slid repeatedly into depression and began to reconcile himself to working factory jobs and capitulating in the face of all conflict.

But then Geoff did something incredible: he made fear his mentor.

He constructed a Fear Pyramid. Taking pen to paper, he listed in ascending order of magnitude everything that scared him, from spiders right up to physical violence. And then he began to systematically confront them, one after another.

In this incredible interview, he shares his story and the simple yet life-changing tools which you can employ to discover your hidden strengths and discover the life that's waiting for you.


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: HE_Geoff_Thompson_Interview_Bounce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01am EDT

Baba Brinkman is the only peer-reviewed rapper in the world. From evolution to climate change, medicine to religion, he spits rhymes reverberating with provocative questions, hard truths, and an irresistible humor which educate as much as they entertain.

At his core, Baba is a communicator, breaking down the barriers between academic science and psychology to bring the latest research insights and theories to a wider audience. Listening to his work is like taking Human Nature 101, but with a lot more fun and memorability than any class you'll ever take.

The Rap Guide to Consciousness is a mind-blowing tour de force, ranging from the mind-body problem to whether his young child can actually be considered conscious; and from machine intelligence to psychedelic states (including an unforgettable story of meeting an octopus in an aquarium while tripping balls on mushrooms).


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: Baba_Brinkman_Interview_Bounce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:31am EDT

Daniel Schmachtenberger is truly a modern Renaissance Man. He's a thought leader who crosses disciplinary boundaries with incredible ease. He's an Evolutionary Philosopher, a Systems Designer, a Strategist, and he’s a founder at Neurohacker Collective – a movement dedicated to upgrading our individual and collective capacities and to safeguarding the wellbeing of all.

We sat down with Daniel to discuss the future of humanity, from how to combat looming ecological and economic disaster, to the practical steps we can take in our own lives to be the best versions of ourselves – to (re)open our minds to each other and to think so far out of the box that we forget that it ever existed.


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: Daniel_Schmachtenberger_Bounce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

At Breaking Convention 2017 we had the chance to sit down with a modern-day philosophical powerhouse.

Peter Sjöstedt-H is a leading voice in the emerging world of psychedelic phenomenology; he's the inspiration for Karnak, Marvel's new, cerebrally-charged superhero; and he's the author behind one of HighExistence's most popular articles ever.

We talk psychedelics and philosophy; Peter's mission to form a bridge between the scientific disciplines; whether our consciousness exists outside our meat-bodies; and if more knowledge really leads to more happiness.


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: Peter_HE.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 12:59pm EDT

Our guest this episode is Dennis McKenna, ethnobotanist, pharmacognosist, brother of the famed bard Terence McKenna, a lecturer, and one of the elders of the psychedelic movement.

We talk with Dennis about human evolution, the psychedelic influence on consciousness, tripping with your parents, and the current state of the world.


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: McKenna_2.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT

In our fourth episode of the HighExistence podcast we talk with Tim Urban, author/illustrator of Wait But Why and one of the Internet's most popular writers.

We talk with Tim about the secret to Elon Musk's success, world travel, what entrepreneurs do wrong, cryonic preservation, and the dangers posed by superintelligent AI.


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: HE_Podcast_Ep_4_Tim_Urban.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 6:20pm EDT

In our third episode of the HighExistence podcast we talk with Vinay Gupta, global resilience guru, futurist, systems theorist, and technologist.

We talk with Vinay about his invention, the hexayurt; ending global poverty; conducting dangerous research on Mars; and addressing/averting existential risks. 


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

Direct download: HE_Podcast_Ep_3_Vinay_Gupta.mp3
Category:HighExistence -- posted at: 1:55am EDT

In our second episode of the HighExistence podcast we talk with Tom Shroder, author of the book Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy and the Power to Heal, and Nicholas Blackstone, a former marine who suffered from PTSD and how MDMA assisted therapy enabled him to go deep inside and confront the demons that haunted him after heavy combat in Iraq. 


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at

In our first episode of the HighExistence podcast we talk with Rick Doblin who is the founder of the non-profit organization MAPS, a true pioneering group of people researching the healing effects of Psilocybin, MDMA and LSD. We discuss the new wave of research about the healing power of psychedelics, spiritual experiences and what he thinks of the famous quote by Alan Watts, "If you got the message, hang up the phone."


Take the ultimate life experiment, our 30 Challenges to Enlightenment Course, a complete spiritual path to help you overcome the limitations of your mind and to embody the highest philosophical realizations.

Use the code ‘WISDOM’ at checkout to get a huge 25% off the course, available only to podcast subscribers at