Forum Borealis is a podcast unafraid to tackle the big picture questions of life, consciousness and conspiracy.
photo by: Skeptiko
Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Al Borealis to Skeptiko. Borealis isn’t his real name but that’s part of the stealthy imagine that he’s created. Al is the creator and host of the very excellent Forum Borealis podcast, a podcast that seeks to bust all sorts of paradigms, be they scientific, political, religious, historical, conspiratorial, all of them and any of them. What’s really unique and special about Al is the way he goes about that and what his show is all about, and that’s what I really want to get to today in this special coming out party. I’ve actually managed to unmask Al, so you’re listening to this audio but if you want to go up on YouTube, if they allow it on YouTube, you’ll actually see Al on camera. That’s a first, right?
Al Borealis: It’s a first, but I didn’t say I didn’t wear a mask.
Alex Tsakiris: Yes, do not be fooled. So, just a little bit more. When I say it’s a special show, I mean, where else are you going to give five hours of interview with Peter Levenda on UFO disclosure? I mean, that’s remarkable.
Al Borealis: Yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: Where else are you going to get six hours or more with Joseph Farrell just on JFK and all of it? I’ve listened to every minute of it, it’s spellbinding. I mean, it’s just fantastic stuff.
Al Borealis: Thank you.
Alex Tsakiris: And then throw in a couple of hours with the famous 88-year-old, past-lives researcher, Erlendur Haraldsson. I mean, this is just a diverse deep-dive into topics that weave together in a way that listeners to this show will understand, but I think most people are still left on the outside looking in, in terms of wondering how all of that can happen.
So, Al, it’s just fantastic. I so love and appreciate your show and I’m really grateful for you joining me today on Skeptiko.
Al Borealis: It’s such an honor to be invited. You know, I told your friend Gordon, I think I came clean about the fact that before we started our own podcast, I didn’t listen to podcasts, too old school, but I did listen to yours. So, it’s pretty cool that I’m on yours then, I’ve been a big fan, as you know.
Alex Tsakiris: Well, it’s really cool to have you obviously, and I just want to share, I thought I’d share with people a little bit. I told folks what you’re about, but I want to share a little bit of the vibe that you create at Forum Borealis just by playing a little bit of the intro that you do, so that people can get, just a sense, a feel for what’s going on. This is from the intro to Forum Borealis.
Al Borealis: Is it spooky?
Alex Tsakiris: It’s interesting. We’ll let it play for a few seconds.
Into… Greetings from the North and welcome to Forum Borealis.
Alex Tsakiris: That, of course, is Al’s introduction and the first thing I wanted to do is just get in there and ask this question, because you do have this mysterious element to the show. It’s very, very accessible, I don’t want to make it sound like you’re, kind of, talking in rhymes or anything like that, it’s very accessible, very penetrating, very well done, but there’s a little bit about this mysterious North, great white Northern islands of Norway. What is that all about, in terms of, how do you think that influences you and influences the show and maybe tell people a little bit about what I’m talking about, in terms of where you’re sitting right now?
Al Borealis: Well, Norwegians are, whether they want it or not, they are engrained in nature. So, we have the nature mystique, we haven’t lost that so much because it’s a huge country in terms of geography, but a small country in terms of citizens. So, like, where I grew up, Bergen, it’s called the city of the seven mountains, so it took me like 15 minutes to be on the top of a mountain and it took me 15 minutes to go downtown. So, we’re very close to nature.
Alex Tsakiris: So, I want to approach these three interviews and I’m going to have to own the fact that we’re not going to cover them as completely as I’d like to, as they deserve, but maybe we can give folks a little bit of an overview, an entry point for how they would dive into Forum Borealis style stuff. I came to this idea of really looking at the ‘why’ question.
So, the first interview we’re going to talk about is the Erlendur interview, and it’s an interview about consciousness obviously, it’s an interview about a very famous, if you will, researcher who’s now 88 years old, who has done…
Al Borealis: The reincarnation researcher today. After Ian Stevenson passed away, he’s the man.
Alex Tsakiris: He’s kind of the guy and there’s a lot to talk about, in terms of… Let me pull up that screen.
So, there’s two points to that. One, I want to play a clip in a minute, from this interview, but the other thing that I wanted to talk about is, why? Why do we care about consciousness? How do you come to consciousness? Because, like we said, I think it’s kind of an interesting story, how you came to it from one angle and I came to it from another angle. I came to it from just saying, “Okay, who are we? Why are we here? Let’s go and talk to some really smart people,” and immediately you run into this thing called consciousness and then you run into the outline anomalist stuff and boom, there you are, NDEs, past life regression, all the rest of this stuff. I feel like you came about it, kind of from a different angle, but then, why do you think it’s so important? Why is Haraldsson on your show? Why are you doing these deep dives, series of shows on this? I think it’s an important question that reveals part of what’s really going on in your thought process, in terms of what you’ve figured out here.
Al Borealis: Right. Well, I’ve been hunting consciousness since I was 16 years old. So, for me, it wasn’t coming to it, it was finding a way of putting it out there. I started with anything but consciousness, but I always intended to have a bunch of esoteric shows, that’s really my main passion, but I wanted to prepare the ground and I wanted to explore phenomenon’s that are related, as you point out, or may be.
Also, I have to be honest, some topics are popularism, deliberate popularism, like, say the Antarctica show. I’m coming back to that because it’s so popular. It can be a trivial mystery, but it has the aspects of connecting into almost anything, and I’m doing a show like that, partly because, if I’m going to flirt with phenomenon’s, that’s a fun phenomenon, and then to attract more listeners and then see how many of them can endure listening to…
Let’s say, this chap, Cliff High, who I did the Antarctica show with, he also has that kind of spiritual side and we were discussing, back and forth, how many percentages of the people listening to the Antarctica show will bother to listen to our show about death, where we had a reincarnation… I don’t know, did you listen to that, that I did with him, on reincarnation?
Alex Tsakiris: I listened to one or two of them, I can’t remember. Yeah, I’m almost sure we did because he talked about that’s kind of required training for a lot of monks in the East, right? The first thing is death. Yeah, I remember that, because they do and look at [unclear 00:36:18].
Al Borealis: Yeah, but he may have said that, we did one on consciousness, AI and transhumanism.
Alex Tsakiris: I think that’s the one I heard then, the consciousness one.
A1: Yeah, but then we did a pure one on reincarnation, me and Cliff, and only Part 1 of the Consciousness is out, and that’s like one tenth interest, compared to… And that’s AI and transhumanism, it ought to be a little popular right, it’s not that exotic, it’s a reality.
Then, we did, it’s not out yet, one on reincarnation and death and it’s probably going to be one tenth of the consciousness show, because we go deeper and deeper and he says, the [unclear 00:36:58] people aren’t interested in that, that many people, it’s like a percentage all the way. So, we have to balance that for the topics we use.
I don’t write conspiracy as a topic that we do, because conspiracy may be there on all of the topics or any of the topics. I write what they actually are, which is history, politics, philosophy, culture and one more thing, I forgot. So, you can see a little bit, but we do different stuff like that.
I wanted to say one more thing about that. Yeah, Erlendur. So, I wanted to start with him because he’s…
Alex Tsakiris: He’s an elder.
Al Borealis: Yeah, but he’s coming from science. This isn’t [unclear 00:37:53] at all. It’s the scientific method, trying to explore something which is very hard for science to measure and when he has established the overwhelming evidence, you know, where it points, then it’s easier to do, like a more purer speculative or philosophical spiritual show with someone like, for instance, Cliff High.
I have very many great people lined up. Next year will be galore for spirituality and consciousness, and some more politics, we’ve started that too. We have to always keep one foot in, immediate conceptible reality.
Alex Tsakiris: Absolutely, and this is kind of backtracking, way back to the beginning of the show, or what I like about the show, it’s like, you know, when people say, “Don’t talk about politics and don’t talk about religion,” the opposite, always talk about politics, always talk about religion, because they reveal two things. One is, they’re not real. We can talk about politics all we want because it’s not real, it’s a social construct and even in that sense, clearly at this point, it’s a charade. If you don’t get that, if you really think that in the United States there is such a thing as a democratic party and a republican party, then you’ve not really bought your ticket to enter this conversation, you’re on the outside looking in and there’s not much we can do for you.
The same with religion, and unfortunately, I continue to return to those topics because I don’t think we can really talk about extended consciousness and try and really get a full picture until we talk about religion and we talk about our susceptibility to cults, to being tricked, to being fooled, to being controlled.
So, of course we want to talk about religion and in your case, of course we want to talk about politics and we have to, but we have to talk about it in the way that we’re not talking about it, because it’s not real.
But, since you brought it up, I’d like to broaden this discussion about Erlendur in a couple of ways, and really, without even getting into the interview per se. I was going to play a clip from the interview, but I have to alert people, when you listen to this show, you did a fantastic job of guiding the guy through the interview, but he’s an older guy.
Al Borealis: Yeah, it’s a challenge, you know?
Alex Tsakiris: He’s not super fluid in his talk and you do a nice job of bringing him along and stuff, but it’s kind of a little bit harder to listen to than many of your other shows. But, two things, they’re kind of like you and I can talk about and have an interesting time talking about, that I thought would be fun. One is this idea of the elder and the person who holds the knowledge and I see two sides of that. I see a great side of that, that we should respect, and we should say that there’s something that comes from writing books and writing articles, 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, that is more than that, and that is the experience that that guy had. I mean, we can sit here and talk about conspiracies and bullshit and mythic progress, this guy has lived it man. He was there on the frontlines of academia, being jacked around and paradigm shifting. He lived that and he’s a living testament to that.
Alex Tsakiris: What if it’s more than archetype? That’s where I think everyone’s kind of missing the boat at this point, and that’s that, if we look at the technology angle, which is stunning, mesmerizing, travels at 7,000 miles an hour, stops, makes a right turn. Gee, we don’t have anything that works like that and then Tom DeLonge comes in and says, “Yeah guys, but don’t worry, we’re going to figure it out, just give me some money for new startup. And, by the way, we’ll get free energy out of it too,” and everyone’s like, “Yay, free energy?”
Al Borealis: Are they? No, everyone is like, “CAA, CAA.”
Alex Tsakiris: Yeah, but here’s the other part of the mirror that gets me, it’s like, wait a minute. If they’re that far along on that continuum, the propulsion continuum, how far along are they on the consciousness technology continuum? Because, just the way you talked about it, “Well, there’s this spiritual part and there’s the Jacques Vallée part and the Whitley Strieber part and all of these people…
Al Borealis: Which are more interesting in a way.
Alex Tsakiris: Why are we creating a dichotomy? Why are we saying one is one and one is the other? What is the immediate challenge for me…
Al Borealis: The aspect is more interesting, it’s the same phenomenon obviously.
Alex Tsakiris: But, I’m suggesting that we don’t know that because if there is an enormous upside to consciousness technology, and maybe upside isn’t the right word, but maybe, if there’s enormous potential to consciousness technology that a lot of the people in the AI kind of thing, that I have been, kind of, less favorable of, but if there’s a whole lot of stuff we can do in that realm, and when I say stuff…
So, it appears that ET is able to manipulate our consciousness almost at will, speak telepathically, erase our memories, plant memories, cause us to do things, cause us to see things. If all of that’s on the table, and they’ve created a technology to do that, now we’re kind of getting into the realm of starting to wonder where these lines become blurred.
Similarly, if ET is in that space of the death, right? So, if the ET starts creeping into the NDE, starts creeping into the DMT experience, which we all know when Rick Strassman at New Mexico, the University of New Mexico, the first guy who was authorized by the FDA to do psychedelic testing and he gives people DMT and they go there and there’s ET, and he says, “Welcome, we’ve been waiting for you.”
Al Borealis: Can I ask you a personal question? Do you have psychedelic experience?
Alex Tsakiris: Do I have one?
Al Borealis: Yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: Well, not one that I’m willing share or talk about and not one like that.
Al Borealis: But, I mean, you don’t have to share it, but have you taken, like say, LSD or a magic mushroom or DMT or anything like that? If you’re comfortable with talking about that.
Alex Tsakiris: Well, I have four kids, some of them still in high school. So, I’m not comfortable really talking about all of that.
Al Borealis: It’s not drugs, you know? It’s not drugs.
Alex Tsakiris: You know who said it best, I think, is Strassman. He said, “When people ask me that question, I realize that either way I answer it I’m going to be pigeonholed and misunderstood.”
Al Borealis: “No, I choose not to answer,” that’s an answer too. That’s okay.
Alex Tsakiris: But, his point I think was beautiful. He says, “Look, if I say, I’ve never had that experience, then people point at me and say, ‘Oh, well you’ve never had the experience.’ If I say, I had the experience, then they say, ‘Well, you’re just going off of your experience. You’re not an objective scientist who’s looked at the data. You’re clouded by your experience.’”
Al Borealis: No, but this goes to the heart of science. A scientist to be objective, yeah, you need to look at the data, but a scientist should also explore. That’s an aspect of it. The empirical side of science is important. I believe that any scientist researching consciousness should not just put their subjects through consciousness after an experience, they should experience themselves.
There’s this incredibly stupid meme among some people that, if you do that you’re kind of not being objective. But, no, that’s as objective as you can get because then you have the same experience as all of the others. Well, not the same experience but you have the same conditions as all of the others and of course, if your experience blows you away, if you are a good scientist, you’re still going to be able to relate to that too, because that’s what’s happened with people. You can’t have, like the whole world waking up and then the scientist is like the one guy who’s remained behind in an old paradigm. We have to get them onboard because they’re supposed to find answers, that’s what they’re supposed to do. All of these other things are just in order to secure the quality of the information. So, if that becomes so important that they can’t even engage with the information, then what are we talking about? Not truth, not fact-finding. Do you see what I mean?
Alex Tsakiris: I do, but I think that view, if taken to extreme, always presupposes a lot of things about what waking up means, what enlightenment means.
Al Borealis: Yeah, but let’s say something happens, everybody drunk… There’s an old Sufi story. Everybody drinks the water, and everybody forgets. But, let’s say everybody drinks the water and everybody wakes up, something happens, I don’t know. We see a new color or something, okay? Now, do you expect the scientist not to drink the water, so they can’t see the color? Will they be able to do a better job finding out what’s going on if they don’t do that? I don’t think so.
A real scientist, if you look at how science emerged, it was spiritual people, it was esoteric people, it was people who did go there and that’s why they knew that these things have to be explored because they had their own experience with it. It doesn’t matter if we go back to the time of Pythagoras or if we go back to the time of Francis Bacon or Kepler and Galileo or even newer times. Scientists should engage with whatever field they’re studying, and they should try every mean to uncover and they’re not going to do it on the expanse of basic scientific principles, they’re going to do it in addition.
So, if there was a way for a scientist to explore consciousness from within, he should do it, but of course, as soon as you do that, you’re really into spiritual science, as Steiner termed it, like a mystic. A mystic is someone who scientifically explores from within the consciousness, unlike religion where you’re not supposed to experience or explore, you’re just going to be told by these middlemen, what’s going on.
But, when we have a phenomenon like consciousness, which isn’t, how would you say it? Screws and nuts and bolts, so what tool do we have? We have consciousness, that’s a tool, we can use that tool.
So, I think it’s basic. Any scientists who are supposed to explore, let’s say psychedelics, should experience. He shouldn’t be influenced while doing some research with someone else, but he should have that experience. It would make it easier for him or her to relate to the subjects.
Anyway, I’m talking myself away from where you wanted to do. It was Levenda and Tom DeLonge.
Alex Tsakiris: We’ll get back there, because it’s a really interesting point that you’re bringing up, and I haven’t heard a lot of people talk about it and I think we’re in a great position to chat about it.
I just interviewed a guy, for the second time, and I love this guy. His name is Dr. Donald DeGracia and he teaches at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He’s just a topnotch scientist. He’s got all of these National Institute of Health grants. He’s studying stroke victims and non-linear cell dynamics in a way that’s just completely revolutionizing the field, but that’s not why I talked to him. I talked to him because he had an out of body experience as a teenager that led him to have a psychedelic breakthrough that led him to…
Al Borealis: Kind of like that other chap you interviewed who had a near-death experience and he was so attacked from that. A brain surgeon or something?
Alex Tsakiris: Right, that’s Eben Alexander.
Al Borealis: Yeah, kind of like him then?
Alex Tsakiris: But that maybe gets to my point.
Al Borealis: Well, that makes sense then.
Alex Tsakiris: It makes sense that it was a controlled political PSYOP, because otherwise, why is this…? There is no such thing as whistleblowers, it only comes out if they want it to come out. Classification and declassified documents…
Al Borealis: There are whistleblowers but maybe not in the UFO fields and yes, they are arrested.
Alex Tsakiris: Yeah, that’s what I mean.
Al Borealis: There’s a union for whistleblowers actually.
Alex Tsakiris: Yes, and there’s all sorts of laws and there’s all that. So, I’m saying that in maybe a way… People sometimes take it totally literally and they go, “Oh yes, there are whistleblowers.” I realize that.
Al Borealis: I just did.
Alex Tsakiris: So, here’s the third point and the one that we’ll leave it with that I’d really like you to respond to, because we’ve already touched on it and to me…
Al Borealis: I wish we could go a little deeper into this.
Alex Tsakiris: We’ll go as deep as you want. We’ll go as deep at you want, but this whole project didn’t work. So, Levenda to me is clearly a globalist, not in a bad way. People think that’s a bad term. Hey, there’s just a certain group of people, politically motivated, who see the world as being full of problems that can only be solved at a global level.
Al Borealis: Right. Internationalists.
Alex Tsakiris: So, those people are opposed to people in our country, people like Donald Trump, who say, “No, we have to fight that globalist kind of thing. We just want to be left alone.” So, I don’t want to take a side on that, I just want to point that out that that’s just a reality of the world that we face and the globalists, not to put them down, I mean they have a point, right? There are certain problems that we face that do have to be looked at at a global level.
Al Borealis: Like what?
Alex Tsakiris: But I’m suggesting that the only way to understand Tom DeLonge and Peter Levenda and this whole rollout is as a politically driven rollout of another issue that is playing into the globalist, kind of political sphere and puts things in a way that can only be understood globally. And, I would point out, as the evidence of that is, listen to Peter. Go and listen to Leslie Kean. Go and listen to Linda Moulton Howe. Go and listen to Richard Dolan. I have listened to 12, 14, 20 hours of them. Do you know who they never mention?
Al Borealis: There must be several hundred of them.
Alex Tsakiris: They never mention the guy who’s the most powerful political figure in the world right now, who’s anti-globalist. So, whether anyone likes Trump or not, why would that position, that political position be left out of the conversation?
Al Borealis: He should be mentioned; do you know why?
Alex Tsakiris: They pretend that that isn’t even a reality.
Al Borealis: Well, okay. First off, he should be mentioned for two reasons. One, because Elizondo’s closest friend is [unclear 01:38:08], General. So, if the government has a hand in this, it’s actually Trumpian faction. I don’t think that… and I’ll tell you why, but I just have to say also. The other thing that’s very interesting is…
Alex Tsakiris: Let me just interject wile you’re pausing for a minute, because here was really going to be my point in all of that. To me, the evidence that it is, as I said, is the fact that it didn’t work. It didn’t work.
Al Borealis: What didn’t work?
Alex Tsakiris: The intended purpose of that whole… That was the biggest rollout of information of disclosure in the history of the world. They did everything they could to try and make that change the hearts and minds of the entire planet and it completely failed.
Al Borealis: No, it didn’t.
Alex Tsakiris: So, my story is, and I’ve told this before is the soccer dad story. I’m on the soccer field watching my daughter and a friend comes up, because he knows I’m interested in this stuff, and here’s his story. He goes, “Hey, did you hear about that UFO thing in the New York Times?” and I just nod my head and he goes, “It’s really strange, because it was like a big story and then it just went away.” That is, I think, the public perception of what happened? This was the biggest story in the world, why did it go away? And no one’s asking that question. Why weren’t they able to make this thing happen? They were trying to make it happen, they got to all of the news outlets they thought would make it happen, they thought this would be top of issue for everybody and it just didn’t fly.