Sean Webb believes he’s cracked the happiness code with neuroscience and consciousness research.
photo by: Skeptiko
Alex Tsakiris: [00:00:06] Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. As you all know by now, we cover a lot of different topics on Skeptiko, but it seems like we always return to the question of consciousness, and what’s up with that little voice inside your head and why does it seem to always be conspiring to make you unhappy? Well, that’s exactly the question of today’s guest Sean Webb has sought to answer.
As a young smart successful rising star, Sean had achieved everything that should have made him happy, so when he faced the fact that he wasn’t, he decided to find out why. This eventually led to Zen meditation, a deep dive into neuroscience and a spiritual breakthrough that rapidly transformed him from a gun collecting, money driven materialist to a consciousness expert and a spiritual seeker who believes he may have cracked the code to happiness. Sounds good, right?
Well, hold on a minute, because while preparing for this interview, and in true Skeptiko inquiry to perpetuate doubt fashion, I also found some points of disagreement between Sean and I with regard to consciousness. So, what you’re about to hear is an interview with a guy who’s done some truly amazing research and personal transformation work with regard to consciousness and spirituality, but what you might also hear is a good old-fashioned kind of friendly debate among seekers on the path.
This is going to be fun. You rarely find people that are this intelligent and at the same time open, willing to hash things out. Sean, it’s really exciting to have you here on Skeptiko and thanks so much for joining me.
Sean Webb: [00:02:18] Thanks for having me Alex, it’s a real pleasure. I’ve heard your voice and number of times, from past episodes that I’ve heard that have all been interesting and I was just like, “Wow! Alex reached out, I’ve got to go.”
Alex Tsakiris: [00:02:30] Fantastic. Well, you are the author of the red book and the blue book, as you like to call it, Mind Hacking Happiness Volume I, Mind Hacking Happiness Volume II: Increasing Happiness and Finding Non-Dual Enlightenment. So if the titles and the graphics look light and funny wait until you get to that subtitle, Fighting Non-Dual Enlightenment.
Sean Webb: [00:02:59] Yeah, I wish I could have thought of something a little more creative for the titles of these books but unfortunately these two books started out as one book and I just kind of had the goal of saying, hey, let’s just lay it all out there, soup to nuts, from a seeker who starts it, you know, step one of wanting to understand their mind. Well, let’s talk about all of the stuff that their mind does that blocks them from discovering the deeper truth within, so that they can understand then understand it and mess with that process, break that process and then get around that process to be able to find their deeper truth within.
So the red book winds up being the first half of this huge book that was, here’s how your mind works and here’s how to get it out of your way, and then the second side was, okay, here’s the stuff that you may be seeking beyond your mind. So that’s kind of how that whole horrible naming convention came to be.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:03:51] No, I don’t think it’s horrible at all, and you’re pounded on your key thing there and that’s awesome and packed with neuroscience. What they’re going to find is study after study where you’re citing research that backs up what you say in this discovery of self, self-discovery of self, of that little voice inside your head and how maybe that’s not all there is to you. So, you know, give us the basics.
Sean Webb: [00:04:20] Yeah, well, you know the idea behind this is to create an experience for the reader where they can understand and see their mind and they can understand the processes that come together to create all of their negative emotions, that create that little voice in their head that sews doubt and creates havoc within them sometimes. And then to point out, which is automatic for their subconscious level within their mind, but to point out that if you can look at something and see something, then by default you are not that thing.
So if I can show you how your mind works, to where you can see it within your head, it’s not like I have to convince you of this, I say, “Hey, look at that,” you look over there and you see it and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, I never saw that before.” This is one of those things where I say, “Okay, here’s how your mind works, watch it become it,” and then you look at it and you say, “Yeah, that’s exactly how my mind works.” Well, if you can see that then you realize, at a subconscious level and then also to conscious level, you’re not that thing. If you are looking at something, just like a tooth can’t bite itself, a fingertip can’t touch itself, and eyeball can’t see itself without some distance in a mirror, an olfactory nerve in your nose can’t smell itself, if there’s a perceiver and a perceived, then there’s some distance between the two.
So okay, then the question becomes, “Okay, wow! I thought I was this mess of my mind before I thought I was these emotions that are creating havoc in my life, but I’m not.” So first of all, can I change this process if I’m not that? And the answer is yes. And then the second question is, “Alright, well, if I’m not that, who and what am I as the observer? Who am I in this seat of the executor that’s being handed all this stuff for my mind?” Granted enough to convince you that you are your mind sometimes, but in truth, who and what am I underneath all of that noise that’s going on and let’s organize that noise and get it out of the way so that we can really move forward and do some real deep discovery
Alex Tsakiris: [00:06:23] Awesome, and, you know, you put it in such great simple terms, although as we know it’s not at all simple. But it is a paradigm shift, it is the essence of spirituality, that realization that you are the observer, at least the kind of spirituality that you and I kind of seem to be most interested in.
Let’s play a little game here. Play along with me, I like to play this game, I call it Skeptiko Jeopardy and let’s jump into, kind of all of those things that we agree with, which are hugely profound and paradigm shaking and then let’s hash out these couple of things that we don’t. If you will, let me pick the first one, since you just talked about mind hacking, the title of your books and the title of your website, Mind Hacking Happiness.
You know, I thought this model that you have is kind of really fun and interesting and I’m showing the graphic up on the screen and I thought you might explain what people are seeing, and for people are just listening, what they can’t see, but what you’re going to explain.
Sean Webb: [00:07:41] Sure. Well, you know, it’s very easy to understand your own mind and how it works once you take a look at it. And and this is one of those situations where, just like, if you’ve gone through a marketing class you’ve, I’m sure, seen this before. But one of the first things you learn in marketing is it’s sometimes the things that you don’t see that get pointed out to you that make a huge difference. There’s an arrow in the FedEx logo between the capital E and the lower letter X and if you’ve never seen that before you’re like, “Holy cow. How could I have missed that perfect arrow between the capital letter E and the lower-case X?” But then after you see that little arrow in that logo, you will never not see it again.
So that’s the type of thing that we’re talking about when we’re talking about the ability to take a look at your mind and see how your mind works and gives you a different perspective of how your mind works and it allows you to take a little bit of a distance between you and your mind’s reactions.
So what we’re talking about here is being able to see your emotional output as it’s being processed and then create a space for you where your negative emotional reactions, like fear, anger, worry, regret, doubt, sadness etc., are all optional for you over time. And we’re talking about using the adult learning model where we start with an unconscious incompetence, which is like we don’t even know what we don’t know and then we move through a conscious incompetence, where, okay, well now at least we know what we don’t know and we know what we need to learn. We move into a conscious competence, which is, “Okay. I kind of get this, I kind of understand how to work my mind, but I got to really think about it.”
And then after a while, because a plasticity, it works into an unconscious competence where you are, you know, lights out, shunting anger out of the door before it even comes to fruition, your greatest sadness’s may be the only ones that ever come through, like if you lose a very close loved one, that type of thing, or when your favorite show on Netflix gets cancelled it no longer ruins your day, that type of thing.
And all of these things, you’ll realize over time, become blockers of your happiness because our natural state is kind of a one where we’re in a pretty good well-being. If everything’s cool and this is a function of homeostasis, if everything’s cool, everything’s cool, is basically how that rule works within your body. It rules every cell within your existence in that if everything is status quo, everything is as expected, then there’s nothing we really need to do and we just kind of chill out and do our regular normal everyday operations, but if something is not good then we need to take action. And that’s true for an individual cell all the way up through all of the trillions of cells in our body that come to create our human existence.
And so when you figure that out and you start to work it, then you can basically, first of all be separated by your body’s reactions to things, your emotional reaction to things because emotions are a function of your nervous system, right? So at the point that you’re separated from that a little bit, you get a little bit of freedom, you get a little bit of space to be able to say, “Okay. These things are simply what my mind is giving me, they’re simply what my body is giving me, but I don’t necessarily have to buy into them.” And then at that point you gain a great amount of liberation to say, “You know, what? I’m going to bypass that whole frustration thing with whatever Trump said today,” or whatever it is that is on your social media feed that has thrown you into a tizzy, or the fact that someone said something at work, or the fact that, you know, maybe a project that you’re working on has gone in the wrong direction for a little while or whatever it is.
All of a sudden, you’re back on track, on focus on what you need to do because there’s also a physiological limitation of, when you’re having a negative emotional reaction or you’re in turmoil, your prefrontal cortex actually shuts down. I don’t know if a lot of people know that or not, but one of the first things that we do because our brain is that organ of survival, is it starts to shunt power away from non-critical systems.
As of 150 years ago, when we had a fear response, let’s say if a bear or a snake or something that could threaten our lives, we didn’t need to think our way out of that situation, right? We just needed to get energy to our legs so that we could run a little faster, jump a little farther across the crevice or whatever it is, to try to get distance between us and the threat. Well, in today’s world, where we have cubicles and we have problems that we have to think through and things like that, that kind of situation is horrible for us because when our thinking brain is shut down, we’re stuck in the muck even longer than we normally would be.
So being able to shunt that process or being able to take control that process and trim it down a little quicker allows you to think and get your mind onto something else that is more productive and more profitable for it.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:12:31] You know, one thing you said there that I think is really interesting, and people who have gone down this non-dual path, which we might get into and describe, but in spirituality in general, might pick up on a really important thing you said and it bridges the gap, I think, between this idea of happiness, which many people just accept is, “Oh, things are good things. I’m getting what I want.” And what you’re saying, I think, is really important and something different that people who have been down the spiritual path are realizing, you’re talking about just creating some space man, just being able to get a little bit more distance and freedom from that oppressive, yammering little voice in our head that is driving us nuts.
Sean Webb: [00:13:21] Let’s start with the space, which a lot of people will be able to identify with. A lot of people don’t realize that you can actually get some space from your human mind and the reactions of your human mind. We often try to think about, you know, “Let’s get some space. Let’s go on vacation. Let’s get away from this place. Let’s go to the mountains. Let’s go to the beach. Let’s go to the whatever,” to create some physical space between you, where you don’t have to actually think about things that are troubling you or that are challenging you, etc. But without having to move a muscle, without having to go even one inch, you can create some space between the reactions of your mind and your observational self, by understanding the process of your mind, being able to see that process on a moment-to-moment basis and then that creates some space between you and the mind to say, “Hey if I can look at this, I’m not that thing,” again, and this can be dramatic.
There was a lady who was really, literally the poster child for addiction, alcohol addiction, specifically in the United States, where she had drunk herself to one drink within the grasp of death. She wound up in a two-week coma, in a traumatic brain injury ward of a neuroscience hospital in Houston and woke up weeks later, stone cold sober, had to relearn how to tie her shoes, had to relearn to walk without stumbling without a drink in her system at all, because she had done that much brain damage by alcohol consumption.
Well, she got out of the hospital, drove home, her husband was unpacking the bags in the driveway and she was inside pouring herself a glass of wine to take the edge off. So she came to me with this story after she’d read the book, she goes, “I know addiction. I know how much it grips you. I know how much your mind is an uncontrollable thing.”
Well, she read this red book, Mind Hacking Happiness Volume I, and took control of her mind and then was able to cure her addiction by herself without the AA meetings and things like that. And the way she did it was she started to go within, she started to look at her mind’s reactions, she started to look at that little nagging voice that said, “Hey, let’s go have a drink,” or “Hey, let’s not deal with this stress right now and let’s let this boil up until it’s Friday and I really need to go to the bar and have a go on a bender.” She was able to handle, at least the way she explained it, she was able to handle her moment-to-moment stresses at Tuesday afternoon at four o’clock to where it didn’t boil up until Friday and she needed to go out and have a drink, that type of thing.
So she stopped drinking, but then she also later sat down with a glass of wine and a journal and she said, “Okay, I’m going to mindfully take this drink and I’m going to record the psychological effect. I’m going to record the physical effect. I’m going to record my thoughts during the whole thing,” and took that drink that AA said she could never take again and decided, “I’m done. I’m done with this whole alcohol thing. I really don’t really enjoy the whole laundry list of things that I’ve just listed out on this piece of paper. This really isn’t going to be something that’s part of my life anymore.”
So that’s her, that’s 100% her. It’s not like my book cures addiction. She took the ability to take her mind under control, to do an analysis of what her mind was doing and then she did something amazing with that. But that’s how powerful this can be, in that when you have those things that are creating havoc for you in your life, or you’re having just one bad relationship after another, or one bad job choice after another, or one bad addiction choice after another, or whatever it is, there’s something inside your mind at a subconscious level that is causing that to occur, and you can’t stop it from coming up and that’s the problem.
So, if you can take charge of that process and understand how your consciousness works, down to the multiple levels of consciousness below your waking awareness and you start taking charge of those, or you can start altering the variables that create your entire emotional landscape period, you can take charge of the output of your mind and change your life dramatically.
I’m working with a couple of Navy SEALs that have said, “This is the best mind training book on the planet. We’ve already been through the best mind training that the United States government has available for us up in Virginia. I wish I would have found this book to address my PTSD much sooner than I had,” because these guys are getting in there and saying, “Okay no more PTSD,” and then it’s gone, and they don’t have an issue with it anymore.
Creating that space between what your mind wants to give you and who you are and realizing who you are that is different from your mind, game changer, game changer. So when we’re talking about that space, it’s incredibly important for you to have that.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:18:08] Yeah, those are some great, great stories and hats off to you, and so great that you’re able to produce something that was there for people when they needed it in that way. And this is yoga man. This is standard yoga stuff. You just go and read it and you know what’s kind of interesting to me, just to follow onto that point, we’ve maybe hammered it enough, but I don’t think we can hammer it enough. Because we look at our culture and what is the most severe punishment we can give someone when they’re in prison? Solitary confinement. Man, you’ve got to be there by yourself with that voice inside your head. “Oh my gosh. Let me out of this.”
Now, just take a step back and say, “Let’s go and look at India, those guys are sitting in a cave for seven years with no contact. They go, “This is complete bliss,” because they have that complete separation. They’re tapping into something else that we can talk about, the larger consciousness, but the whole paradigm is quite sick, that we have in our culture, where we’ve accepted that that little yammering voice in your head, “Oh my gosh, you do not want to be alone with that.”
So, like you say, you want to go down to the bar or you just want to go and yak with your friends or you want to spend all your time on social media, but the last thing you want to do is be confronted by the voice inside your head. It’s really kind of a strange situation.
Sean Webb: [00:19:46] Yeah. So if you can learn to turn that thing off, or at least change its tune, it can be… Like if you had eternity, I tell this to a lot of people, I was like, “Look, if you had eternity, you would eventually break up with yourself.” Like if you had to spend eternity with any one person, you’d certainly break up with them long before eternity got there. But I mean, if you had eternity to spend with anyone, even yourself, you’d break up with yourself at some point, to say, “I’m done.”
Alex Tsakiris: [00:20:10] It’s called suicide.
Sean Webb: [00:20:11] Right, “I’m done with this whole process.” But if you can understand that process, like there’s this self within us, this spiritual self or this capital S level self. Once we start to put words to this stuff, we start walking straight off the path of truth, we all know that. So let’s just put that right out there. But you know you have this capital level self that is your core being, that is your existence beyond your mind etc. But then you have to understand your mind’s self and you have to be able to identify that, because it likes to trick you into thinking that you’re that self, and your mind’s self is this laundry list of stuff and again, the brain is your organ of survival.
So the limbic system within your brain constantly scans all of your environment for threats and it says okay.
Is this a threat is this idea threat is this person a threat. Is this headline of thread? Is this baseball flying at my head a threat or is it going to miss me that type of thing then a second question must be asked a threat to what? And then that’s when your mind has to say from a physiological survival perspective.
Oh, I got to have a laundry list of stuff in my mind that says this is myself and this is not my self. Like if I see a leaf cutter ant I have to understand whether or not I have leaves to find out whether or not that leafcutter ant as a threat to me. And if it’s not a threat to me, then I don’t have to expend energy in my closed system.
And if it is a threat that I need to move away or do whatever is necessary to defend itself. And so that whole Minds self thing which includes your body your body gets hardwired into that definition. It starts to pile on like Jim, Conan, Virginia. UVA proved that people around us become a portion of our sense of self.
So that one simple system of Defense of self within us can then also expand to things around us like our tribe or like our possessions or like our job or like our ideas of right and wrong are you know, pro-choice pro-life position or politics or whatever it is like Sam Harris prove that politics gets written on to our sense of self and our nervous system acts the same exact way.
A when someone attacks our politics on a news feed on our Facebook page exactly like a bear walking out of the woods in front of us right? There is a same physiological reaction. So Tiffany Burnett white proved that brand connection other ideas of identity can get written on to this self. And once you start to see all of your minds reactions as a kind of a reaction a self-defense reaction to something on your selfless, One you can start to take the proactive step of starting to ruin things from yourself map to say.
Okay. Well, this is no longer going to bother me anymore. I’m not going to put any energy into defending this thing and then you can also again create that little bit of a space of it in your mind to say. Oh, the reason I’m having a reaction is because I have an attachment mental attachment to X and all of a sudden now, they’re two magic things that happens one.
There’s a space that gets created within you for your observation and the reaction. But then also there’s a hardwiring really cool thing that Matt Lieberman found at UCLA in 2007 and they did it turns copycat studies to prove this out. When you put a cognitive understanding to your emotional process.
It shuts off your emotional process. So your limbic system sends a message to Ward to the brain and the and it says, okay. This might be a coil on the ground might be a hose. It might be a snake. And at the point you look down and your mind understands. Oh, well, that’s a hose all of a sudden the message gets sent back to your limbic system to say.
Okay. We got the message. We understand not a threat and the emotion stops being sent to the forebrain for analysis. Well when you can put. An understanding of the process of how your mind has created an emotional reaction in the first place by understanding, you know, this equation of emotion thing that I outlined in the red book and all this other stuff and you get to play with the variables on that things like that when you understand that there’s a magic button in your brain that shuts off the emotion being sent forward now, this is cool because.
This is a resolution of the emotional pain that you’re experiencing. All these things get in our way of discovering deeper spirituality and things like that. We talked about in the blue book, but on a day-to-day basis you can shut off your pain and suffering by simply understanding. And then the message from your right ventral lateral prefrontal cortex and medial prefrontal cortex sends a message back says, okay shut it off we get it.
We understand it. No more message needs to be sent and that’s exactly how the entire nervous system works in mask because it doesn’t want to waste energy sending a message over and over and over again. It’s been resolved weeks ago or months ago or whatever it is as soon as he gets the message back it shuts off.
Well, if you’re in that space of understanding your emotional reactions to things even your micro reactions to things on a daily basis those get things get shut off. Your mind is much quieter that creates a plasticity that you can start to understand and feel your deeper existence Within.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:25:09] Great.
Except you’ve now kind of meandered into some of these minor points of difference that you know could be pretty major points of difference, you know, and so we have to kind of dive into a bunch of topics and we’re going to have some fun. I hope people understand that I pronoun to you. You are a true Seeker on the path and awesome awesome stuff.
So, you know, we’re going to cash out stuff. That’s kind of interesting to me in my little world and for people who are really down this path. These things do have a difference. You know, what to what extent is your brain what we’re really trying to operate on here or to what extent is this consciousness?
Something more fundamental that we don’t understand. What is the end game in terms of control? Do we want to control? How much are we in want to be in the control game? So I’ve laid out a board that kind of touches on a lot of these topics and in the true Spirit of Jeopardy. I’m going to let you pick and we’ll just kind of see where some of this stuff goes.
Sean Webb: [00:26:27] Wow, okay, let’s go. Let’s find out what’s behind neuroscience.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:26:34] Fair enough.
What’s behind Neuroscience o Shameless plug for Alex’s book? Why science is wrong about almost everything and I’m kidding, but I’m not because. When I wrote that book the premise was. if you get consciousness wrong, then you can’t get anything, right? And science has fundamentally misunderstood consciousness and you have a ton of great neuroscience, but it’s all built on this fundamental misunderstanding of what consciousness is and it’s hung up in the correlation versus causation problem.
They are hung up on the idea that consciousness is an epiphenomenon the brain might equals bring you can be. More
Sean Webb: [00:27:29] Right
Alex Tsakiris: [00:27:30] And that is always going to be a limiting factor you know, Sam Harris is an income poop. So he might have had a good study published about one or other of his pet things about religion and Earth Science, but he’s fundamentally misunderstands.
The nature of consciousness so jump in there.
Sean Webb: [00:27:50] Yeah, I agree. And and I think maybe the audience will be surprised that I agree with a lot of what you just said, you know, I do present a lot of Science in the books, which really was more of a tool to say this isn’t just a theory that I came up with out of the blue and you need to believe this and yada yada yada.
It was here’s all the. Empirical evidence that suggests that what I’m about to tell you is correct. And so I agree with you that at the fundamental level there is a horrible misunderstanding of what consciousness is and how. Critical and how much of a building block it is for the whole thing? For all of our existence not just you know this moving meat suit that we have that we seem to have control over 80 to a hundred years if everything goes well, but you know the consciousness of absolutely everything and I talked about this a little bit in the blue book in that, you know, I believe consciousness is fundamental the evidence that we have of that is you know, the.
The dive into quantum mechanics and again, you know anytime a lot of folks say the word quantum mechanics. They don’t understand what the heck’s going on with that. You should try to run for the hills as quick as possible. But the reality the simple reality of the situation of the science is that there’s a component of quantum mechanics called consciousness that we don’t yet understand and yet that is fundamental.
They’re like 17 major interpretations of quantum mechanics. Not one of them leaves out. consciousness as a fundamental component without consciousness the whole model doesn’t work, right.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:29:33] You do a nice job of breaking down that history and we talked about it on this show, but you’ve added some good points to it.
It’s almost like you can follow the path of these great physicists and they’re going down this path and then they just hit a point. They go. Oh my gosh. I can’t really get any further without acknowledging. consciousness and then independently, they’re all kind of coming to the same thing. And it’s funny that we just want to kind of sidestep that go.
No that didn’t really happen. We can pretend
Sean Webb: [00:30:05] Right the Copenhagen interpretation is hey, shut up and compute right, you know, and it doesn’t even really leave consciousness by the wayside. It just says, yeah, but we really don’t need it for the math and we really don’t need it for the things that create, you know, almost.
But two-thirds of our economy now is based on you know, the quantum mechanical calculations. It’s the single most accurate predicting engine on the planet. It’s never made a prediction that’s incorrect etcetera. And that’s their that’s their place and they’re fine with it. And I’m fine with it to go make the awesome.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:40] or Jack something there because you’re a super computer guy super technical engineering guy and I say that all the time but I want to just really have you reinforce that when you say they 2/3 our economy is based on quantum mechanics people go. I don’t get that. How how is that so so maybe let’s talk about if you’re designing a chip, you know why you care about quantum mechanics, maybe let’s take a little sidestep there.
Sean Webb: [00:31:10] Well sure, I mean quantum mechanics in general is just the science of how the smallest bits of Newtonian physics Works underneath. It’s like the underlying rule set of all of the tiniest bits of Newtonian physics.
And we live in a Newtonian physics world. We live in a very physical world of atoms and electrons and waves and things moving and etcetera. And so this quantum mechanics is simply a way of understanding and being able to predict how those things. React in different situations inclusive of.
Randomness and uncertainty and things like that that occur that you have to take into consideration. I mean, even when you have the like I used to be an engineer for a super Computing company and so on these chips, you have a certain level of expectation that they’re going to do things correctly.
Most of the time but then there’s also going to be mistakes is going to be errors. They’re going to be uncertainty that is calculated into that ship that you put into multiple chips into the computer system. So you have to be able to put the right amount of double checks or check sums into this process to create a kind of a more robust system of computing to say, okay based on my quantum mechanics.
Projections and calculations now, I understand exactly how to program for these chips so that I can understand that these chips haven’t given me an erroneous output so that we can do the Computing job to a very high. Confidence level that we’re fixing to
Alex Tsakiris: [00:32:49] jump in there and correct me if I’m wrong, but even getting more down to Basics or people can understand it.
How do I go from a computer? That’s as big as a room to a computer that fits in my hand and I call it an iPhone. Well, I keep running those little lines that carry electrons that are ones and zeros, and I keep moving those little wires closer and closer together. But then I find out that at some point if I get those lines too close together those little electrical lines these electrons seem to jump back and forth just like those Quantum physicists said they would write everything goes Haywire, right?
Yes. Oh, I realize this is like one of the problems I have that is quantum physics. It’s like I can’t design a chip without knowing that there is that. Jumping around of stuff that entanglement of stuff that is kind of right out of those equations. So it does in a way that a lot of people don’t understand the theory rolls right into the mathematical equations rolls right into the engineering that people are sitting there on their leg on their bench saying, okay, how can we make this thing work?
Sean Webb: [00:33:52] Yes agreed. I couldn’t put it any better.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:33:56] Okay. Okay, tell you what, let’s let’s have you pick another. Category we might have covered some of these, but we’ll still see where it goes.
Sean Webb: [00:34:08] Sure. You send me an email the other day about Rogan Shermer and you saw that video that I put up. What did you have in mind?
Alex Tsakiris: [00:34:20] you guys just walked right into that one didn’t you so you. Did a very nice video if people go to your YouTube channel, you’ll find kind of all these videos that you’ve done some are very instructional almost there are supportive of the book in a way that says okay if you read the book, you know, here’s a little lecture on that and that’s great stuff.
And then you also do just some kind of commentary stuff and one of the things you like to do is talk about Joe Rogan Experience you like Joe Rogan Experience. I have mixed feelings about Joe Rogan. But any rate I stumble across this video where you’re talking about Rogan and my Frenemy Michael Shermer who is just super interesting guy complete.
I don’t want to say he’s in it. What because I always say stuff like that and then people really get all bent out of shape and I’m like attacking people or stuff like that, but it’s just that. I mean, here’s what I said to Schirmer when he was on skeptic. Oh that is, you know, just kind of harsh.
But true. Let’s see if you can hear this. Okay, they had over a hundred peer-reviewed papers that they included in their book by now. There’s over 200 peer-reviewed
Sean Webb: [00:35:36] papers
Alex Tsakiris: [00:35:37] and you can see any of that in your book.
Sean Webb: [00:35:39] I think it’s important to make it. Well look. Yeah. I don’t have to cite everybody that’s ever written on the subject.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:35:45] But you know what any of them you don’t fight? Your site enzyme loml Sam. Carnea. Who else?
Sean Webb: [00:35:52] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and that both
Alex Tsakiris: [00:35:53] has ended both of them, but you at least
Sean Webb: [00:35:55] cited but anyway,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:36:00] I like to give some people a hard time and Michael Shermer is one of them. This is his conversation. They’re having about near-death experience science something.
I’ve looked into a lot be not because I’ve had a near-death experience the reason I looked into it is because it really fundamentally gets to one of these questions that touched on in talking about your books, but I think we need to hash out further and that is does consciousness.
Extend beyond bodily death and if it does, what does that tell us about the nature of consciousness and the Brain because if consciousness is happening at a time when. our neurological model suggests that consciousness can’t occur in the brain, right,
Sean Webb: [00:36:52] right.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:36:53] let’s talk about near-death experience science and whether or not. It suggests that consciousness extends Beyond bodily death and what that might mean for this brain science that is really impressive and that you know, you’ve said it so often.
Sean Webb: [00:37:14] Okay, so to cut to the chase, I have a eat. I have two feet one in each boat on.
Our experience of consciousness is certainly connected to the brain and our ability to experience what our brain gives us. But then also I am a fan of consciousness is a non-local phenomenon. So and to sum up my my personal belief. I understand consciousness is fundamental and as. A portion of the quantum foam of the universe.
It creates absolutely everything lest it doesn’t exist. So basically the quantum field has to be there operating in its Mystic operation or 3D space cannot exist in those places because quantum mechanics creates all of the physical Universe in its infinitude, right? And so as a functional component of the quantum mechanics Magic.
consciousness is fundamental. Now our experience our personal experience of consciousness. I think is dependent on the brain being there to a certain extent in this human form. Now. Do we continue on I believe we do? Okay. I do believe that there is a non-local component of consciousness that allows us to continue forward.
And so and that’s what the science in the blue book volume 2 points out that. You know there was this and I don’t know if you’re a fan of orko are or not. I know you’ve had some discussions about yeah. So with their the the Oracle our theory is that you know, consciousness is a horschel is partially caused by these microtubules in our neurons.
And the neuron wall is made up of microtubules. The synapses are made of microtubules. It’s like, you know, your brain wouldn’t be able to be there and function without these microtubules. Will they interact the theory was they interacted with Quantum vibrations? And so for the longest time there was this argument that said, well, the quantum field can’t interact with you know, physical matter.
First of all and second of all is not going to interact with these microtubules, even though they are the right shape in the in the. Warm and wet environment of the brain it will in tsukuba Japan. They prove that that was incorrect. They did prove that with by taking neurons brain matter and measuring it that those do interact with Quantum field vibrations and specifically they do so in the gamma spectroscopy.
And the gamma spectrum is important because the gamma waves in the brain, they used to classify them as brain noise, they misunderstood them for the longest time and now just recently they start to understand through the most important brain waves we have because they’re the highly integrative.
Brain waves that take a lot of information from a lot of different sources and put the big picture together for us etcetera. They’re also highly correlative to our altruism and higher virtues unconditional love their measured highest in the monks of Tibet who sit around meditating on our pain and suffering all day because they supposedly won’t have any Etc.
These are some of the most important brain waves that we have and it just so happens that these microtubules in our brains are vibrating with the quantum vibration of the universe which could be, you know, first of all dialed into a frequency of love from a scientific perspective, which is kind of crazy that science is leading us towards first of all, this field is unit of it’s absolutely one with everything.
It’s part of the whole fabric of the universe and it’s made of Love. Well, you know where we heard that message before. So the question becomes a semantic one. Where’s the delineation of your awareness that gets quarantined away from the rest of this consciousness how much of the consciousness that we have is being picked up as kind of a carrier wave or a specific wave that weird then interpreting through our physical body and having experiences associated with consciousness.
That wouldn’t be there if the whole thing wasn’t conscious right? So that’s kind of where I sit in a you know, first of all, I don’t know. I’m not sure right none of us are sure at soon as we start to put words to this stuff. We start walking off the path of truth because we try to put Concepts or concepts to these things that are potentially beyond our ability to understand them.
But at the same time it’s like well, you know, the models kind of fits together like this in that we can certainly have individual experiences. Of consciousness and I believe that there are multiple levels of consciousness within us and I think the science, you know supports that of course in that when you look at the science of split brain patients, you have multiple consciousnesses in there that are arguing about something like if you take a knife and you cut the corpus callosum and you ask somebody who has a left brain and right brain that can no longer talk to each other anymore.
You ask them what they want to be when they grow up one side rights out race car driver with one hand and the other side writes out doctor. There are two consciousness. Levels in there. Well, there are multiple consciousness levels in there. I mean, there are consciousness levels that beat our heart and run our immune system and you know react on a cellular level even and they’re all.
Kind of separated with these lines of demarcation that helped them only take the amount of information that they can handle and that’s where our waking awareness is also like if we were handed the responsibility to beat her hard to run our nervous system to run our digestive system to run our immune system to do all the things that are required to have a survive from today and tomorrow we die.
It’ll be too much information for us to process. And so those things need to be separated at multiple levels of consciousness down within our body while there’s nothing that says. that we aren’t limited to what we can handle up here in our waking awareness and that we aren’t connected out into Universal consciousness because I think.
You know, obviously the wirings there and we’ve proven that it’s there it’s there and there are neurons actually do interact with this magical Quantum field.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:43:33] Let’s can I stop right there and jump because I want to make sure we don’t go too far. I love everything. He said and bright people who are really into this.
They can go to school on everything. You said. I want to make sure we. Kind of cover the bases. So you’re talking about the work of dr. Stuart hameroff and Penrose, right? Yes. So hammer office at the University Arizona. He’s been on the show once or twice.
I can’t remember you’ve been invited to speak at the consciousness conference in Tucson, which is quite an owner or distinction, which you have it is awesome and. You had conversations with. Hammer off about this. So what’s important about hameroff and the microtubule thing and the link to Quantum science is that here’s a guy as I understand it who’s tried to bridge that Gap that you’re just describing.
So you have these really stuck in the mud Neuroscience types. It’s a No-No. It’s all Brain Brain Brain consciousness is an illusion is fundamentally the intellectual position. Justice is an illusion. It’s an epic Mahna Mahna the brain and he’s come along and said wait a minute you like quantum physics, don’t you?
What if I could show you how quantum physics seems to be predisposed to connect with this thing that you’re really uncomfortable with called. consciousness right then. He says your these microtubules and look don’t they fit and then there’s further studies. Although I kind of worry a little bit that once we get down that path and then you start talking about the levels were back into a form of materialism, but then you brought us back in a way of.
How that maybe can solve both problems the problem of the larger consciousness the universal consciousness and the experience that we have and we seem to be able to study inside our physical body. I’m going to return you to the near-death experience science though just for a minute because I hope people Now understand what I meant about this kind of friendly deep-dive debate.
I mean, if you’re following us this far then you’re in the soup and you probably like this stuff. If not, you’re turned off already because you it’s just too weird.
Sean Webb: [00:45:42] Well, before we totally leave Shermer an NDEs, let’s talk about the elephant in the room also, that is counterintuitive, that 35% of us or more, have these like near-death experiences or these units of experiences as William James would classify them, these enlightenment experiences, these miniature awakenings. I kind of put them all under the same umbrella.
So the materialist position on why we have opposable thumbs is that the monkeys who accidentally grew opposable thumbs were able to grab the bananas easier and so thus became a functioning digit on our evolution and the monkeys that had those thumbs and mated went on to create new monkeys etc., that ultimately became us with opposable thumbs etc. So their whole model of existence, as it develops, is one based on an evolution that is survival of the fittest, natural selection.
But in this other space of NDEs or awakenings or enlightenment experiences or whatever it is, typically those things happen after procreation age, and of course they happen at near death or at the end of life, because a lot of people have near-death experiences and then go on and die and then other folks have these near-death experiences and come back and tell of stories that are extremely meaningful for those folks, and that are life-changing, and that are extremely beneficial.
We’ve had a number of studies like, you know, even just like the psilocybin studies from the 60s and 70s, 90 some odd percent of those people who experienced the chemical that we kind of want to theorize is being dumped into the body naturally during these experiences that we have of consciousness expanding in our own heads, 90 some percent of those folks, like 34% of those folks on that study said it was the most meaningful experience of their entire life. Another third of those folks that it was definitely in the top five or the top ten of the most meaningful experiences of their entire life and then the other folks said, “Yeah, it was it was amazing.”
Alex Tsakiris: [00:47:58] Just so people know, this is Rick Strassman, the University of New Mexico. The first guy who was given permission to use this controlled substance, DMT, and The Spirit Molecule, Joe Rogan did the movie for it, a lot of people have reported on it and it’s a good movie and it’s good work. They not only see those things, but they also see shamanic beings, you know, the purple jaguar that’s also human. They also see ET over there, and ET says, “Hey, I’ve been waiting for you. I’m glad you’re here.”
Sean Webb: [00:48:28] Right.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:48:29] So there’s all that kind of stuff. That’s all good and I’m with you on all of that. The reason I wanted to circle back to near-death experience, and it kind of gets to my point earlier of, I don’t have any special interest in near-death experience. To me, it’s just the cleanest way to get at this key thing. Because one of the things you left out of the near-death experience, that I would kind of remind folks of, is that, number one, the reason that near-death experience has been studied as much as it has scientifically, with peer-reviewed papers, in hospital work, in cardiac arrest work, because after they…
Raymond Moody was the first guy, the first researcher to stumble across the near-death experience, back in 1975, and he was really turned on to it by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross who’s kind of famous in the hospice and grieving community and stuff like that. But as she was doing that work with the dying, she ran across the near-death experience and she said, “We can’t we can’t handle this. People aren’t ready for this.” So she dishes it off to Raymond Moody in 1975, and he goes out and does the whole thing says, “Okay, here’s what’s going on. I don’t understand it.”
But then the research from them really shifted in a way that a lot of people don’t appreciate and understand, in that the real scientists took over, the medical scientists and they said, “Okay. How are we going to get to the bottom of this?” Because clearly what these people are reporting blows away the neurological model, it blows it away, because now people are not just talking about having this unit of experience that you’re talking about, they’re talking about being above their body and looking down and seeing and hearing things at a time when their brain is not capable of conscious experience. That is the claim.
Sean Webb: [00:50:20] Right, that’s the claim.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:50:21] That is the claim. Correct. So now we’re going to go into the science because you’re going to see the claim is accepted by every near-death experience scientist who’s ever looked at it and they’ve withstood all of the Shermeresk, silly kind of objections, skeptical objections that were really handled within the first days. I’m not just telling it to you Sean, but a lot of people don’t realize it. This is now moving ahead, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, where they’re finally getting it and they say, “Okay, now how are we really going to hone in on this?” Because we have these reports of people who drowned that report a near-death experience. We have people who have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge who had a near-death experience.
Sean Webb: [00:51:02] Yes.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:51:03] Clearly, they don’t have the same physiological things going on in their body.
Sean Webb: [00:51:07] Right.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:51:07] As Shermer misreports in that interview that you like so much, he goes, “Hey, but yeah, we can see that happening with these guys. We put them in the centrifuge, and they have that.” And my point, he brought that up to me, my point was, “Exactly. Exactly, that’s your problem. You have no way in the neurological model that is existing to explain how such different physiological states of the brain could produce the same experience.”
But more importantly, if you really drill into the near-death experience, again back to the science, what they then do is they say, “Okay. Let’s go to the cardiac arrest ward because we now know, pretty well, what happens to a person’s brain after they have a cardiac arrest. We know that the blood flow to the brain stops and we know from 40 or 50 years of EEG study that once the blood flow stops the EEG activity happens.”
So, that is the starting point for this research that we’re going to dive into. So let me stop and let you say something because you had an objection that I’m going to slap down, but go ahead, tell us.
Sean Webb: [00:52:22] I love this back and forth. Alright, so there are two thoughts on that, and one is in each boat, again. The first thought is to close the statement or the thought that I had, in that you’re correct that these are amazing and they’re physiologically similar reactions that everybody is having. This isn’t like an anomalous type of reaction that people are having. When we talk about subjective data in science period, subjective data is just that it’s stuff you want to throw out. But at a certain point, when you collect a certain amount of subjective data from a large enough number of samples, all of a sudden that becomes scientific.
My question is, if we’re having these experiences, these unit of experiences, these consciousness expansion experiences, what is the natural selection function and how could it have been created in a fashion that natural selection then fosters that to occur? Which the answer is it can’t, because you’re having these unit of experiences, these awakening experiences past the point of procreation, so you’re not passing those genes down. So these things must be fundamental in nature.
But the other side of that, to jump to your recent point of the brain can’t have conscious experience in these instances of heart attack and things like that, I take exception to and here’s why. We don’t understand the brain well enough to be able to make that statement in my belief.
Now, there have been studies that have simulated heart attacks in mice, where they’ve had the brain scanners on the mice and the brains go nuts after the oxygen deprivation sets in and the blood flow stops going to the brain and then the brain…
Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:11] That’s not quite true Sean. What you’re referring to is a study done at the University of Michigan. Largely misunderstood. It’s like so many studies I’ve reported on that the neuroscience and materialistic, atheistic science props up these little studies that are done. You know, that somehow they can create some kind of connection to near-death experience. One, that study doesn’t reference near-death experience at all, but the important thing about that study is that what they show is really supportive of the existing model we have with one exception.
So the mice die, the mice are killed as part of the experiment. They’re tracking their EEG. The EEG goes flat. That’s what we’d expect. After some prolonged period of time there’s this burst of activity in the mice, right?
Sean Webb: [00:55:05] Sure.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:55:05] This does not correlate well with what that experience, what the near-death experience is, and in a minute I might play you a clip. But one major problem you have is the continuity of experience. People say, “I was stabbed in the chest. All of a sudden, I was outside of my body. I was still alive. They hooked me up in the ambulance. I got to the hospital and then I died, and I left, and I went to this place, and then I came back and then I saw them resuscitating me.” There is a continuation of experience that doesn’t fit the little mouse model.
But the other thing about the little mouse model is, the little mouse model, and what you just said of, what you hear all of the time from the kind of Shermeresk kind of NDE skeptic kind of thing is that, “Hey, I don’t accept that the brain really is incapable of producing a conscious experience,” let alone, remember like you just said and we both agree, the most profound, conscious experience in your life. I don’t accept that the brain is incapable of doing that in this state.
Sean Webb: [00:56:15] I don’t either.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:56:15] Hold on, no, no, no, I’m not saying that you do. I’m saying if that’s your position, then throw the red book and the blue book, throw them in the trash because you’re then saying, “Neuroscience is full of crap. They don’t really know. We can’t really measure what the brain is doing. It doesn’t mean anything because there are these times when the brain can just completely be beyond our ability to measure it and it’s still functioning.”
Let me hold you for one second because I’m going to throw an expert at you because that’s the only way sometimes to get to the bottom of this. This is one of my favorite guys, Dr. Jeff Long. He’s written two really important books. A radiation oncologist. So he works with death and dying all of the time as part of his practice. A full-time doctor who, like so many of these near-death experience researchers, just stumbled across this and it just stuck in the back of his mind because, “I’ve got to get on with my practice. I’ve got to become a doctor. I need to earn a living. But when I get a chance, this is strange. This isn’t supposed to happen.”
I had him on the show let me play you a clip.
Dr. Jeff long: [00:57:29] When you’re under general anesthesia, it should be impossible to have a lucid organized remembrance at that time. In fact, under anesthesia you’re typically so far under with general anesthesia, they often have to breathe for you. I mean, you’re literally brain shut down to the level of the brain stem and at that point in time, some people have a cardiac arrest, their heart stops, and of course, that’s very well documented. They monitor people very carefully that are having general anesthesia.
So I have dozens and dozens of near-death experiences that occurred under general anesthesia and at this time it should be, if you will, doubly impossible to have a conscious remembrance. And yet they do have near-death experiences at this time and they’re typical near-death experiences. They have the same elements and appear to have them in the same order as near-death experiences occurring under all other…
Sean Webb: [00:58:22] Okay, so let me jump in there. That’s making a huge assumption that time recording in the brain is occurring at a natural pace that is also going on during our regular everyday waking awareness.
Now, one of the things that you need to point out is the possibility that time dilation can occur, and a lot of these experiences, and this goes back to my only thing about Eben Alexander’s story that I don’t like, in that if we’re talking… Let’s remind people what we’re talking about.
Eben Alexander wrote that awesome book, neuroscience or a neurosurgeon’s proof of an afterlife, Proof of Heaven. I love every part of that story that Eben Alexander tells because it’s telling of, kind of a non-standard conscious experience that he has that is very representative of a lot of experiences that other people have in different circumstances. He seemed to have it during a very dramatic, you know, physical near-death situation where his body almost quit. It was bacterial meningitis, I believe, right?
So he had this experience, but the problem there is that he assumes that he had this experience at the time that his brain was shut down. Now, I’m not contesting that his brain had flatlined or at least shut down to a large degree. But what I am saying is, there is a possibility that in the couple of minutes or two or three seconds or however long it takes for the brain to wake up and is in non-standard consciousness, a certain level of time dilation can occur where you can experience a long time of experience, a number of things in that very short amount of time.
The only reason I say that is because I had a waking experience as well which started this whole thing which brought about my understanding of emotions that I put in these two books, that we’re now turning into artificial emotional intelligence, yada yada. In an afternoon of meditation, that I can only assume was a 5-methyl oxy dimethyltryptamine dumped in my own brain to allow my brain into this non-standard conscious, I had thousands of years of experience from my personal perspective, in that one afternoon. I thought I was dead. I thought I’d gone off into the middle of the universe to become one with God, to be God, to be the whole consciousness soup of the entire universe. I learned all of the cool secrets about the universe, the black holes, how multi-dimensions work, the whole thing that you can’t fit back into your human brain when you come back. You understand absolutely everything. I was able to bring back a small piece of it which we’re now creating into world changing science about emotions and artificial emotional intelligence and stuff like that.
So, I mean, there is intelligence out there in wherever it is. Let’s call the quantum field or you know, some type of data set in consciousness or whatever it is. There’s stuff that you can access out there that is beyond human understanding at this point, right? But I had that experience of thousands of years of experiences of living multiple lifetimes through multiple bodies through all of these weird things that I can take a lifetime of storytelling to try to tell you and still not cover it all. That happened within one afternoon of a meditation that I had started that triggered this experience. So there was some time dilation there for me.
To assume that other brains can’t have that same type of experience, I believe does not serve as well. And so at the point where you have somebody who says the brain was dead, like Eben Alexander says, “My brain was dead,” or “My EEG was flatlined,” or whatever it was, “I was incapable of having this conscious experience.” Everything that he experienced could have been experienced in two or three minutes upon his brain reinitiating and being in that altered conscious state that then filled with that super neural activity that he would then separate out afterwards.
The thing that I’d like to point out with every one of these experiences, these near-death experiences is that if you can recall it later, it’s in your hippocampus, which means your hippocampus was running.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:02:45] Hold on, see, this is the point. You hammered on Eben Alexander pretty good, so let me defend him a little bit.
Sean Webb: [01:02:52] No, I love him. That’s the only… Understand, I love his story and I love him, and I love him coming out and telling this stuff. I just think that him saying that it couldn’t have been a dimethyltryptamine dump…
Alex Tsakiris: [01:03:02] Hold on because you switched on me there. First of all, again, let me re-emphasize. I love you man. I love the work that you’re doing, and I love the way that you’re breaking this stuff down and I think your books are just must-reads. I hope people don’t lose that and they won’t because, you know, the story you talk about someone who is at the verge of death from alcoholism and then gets some insight into what’s going on, in terms of that self, that voice inside their head and the way you break that down is just awesome.
So we’re having a fun little discussion here because I’m about inquiry to perpetuate doubt because that’s what Skeptiko means, and I think doubt is among the most spiritual things that you can do and not be usually settled on anything and you agree and you say, “Hey, none of us know any of this.” So, I’m with you.
Sean Webb: [01:03:55] If you want to sum it up you can say, “If you want to read the books, go and read the books, it will better your everyday life, but now let’s go off the deep end into these cool conversations,” and I love this back and forth.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:04:04] Cool and I love it if it gets deep end because we keep coming back to these points of convergence and stuff that’s really important. I mean, your transcendental, spiritually enlightening experience is… We could spend a lot of time, we can spend hours on that because it’s fundamental. If there is a larger spirituality, if there is a larger extended consciousness, which all the evidence points to, then you tapped into it in a way that’s super important and there’s a ton of questions about that. How did you tap into that? Why did you tap into that? Why weren’t you able to bring it back completely? Why do we keep hearing that over and over? What are the different contact modalities? How is that different from people who tap into it from DMT experiences? Is that different than NDE experiences, from ET contact experiences? Which we can’t leave off the table because there are just too many claims there.
But, let us return to Eben. The one thing that I think you got wrong, that I want to correct, because it just plays into… This guy has been so maligned, it’s just so stupid and it’s stupid because there is this atheistic, materialistic science, you are a biological robot flank within science that is just going to, just attack anyone like Eben Alexander who comes out because he has his credentials. He’s a Harvard neuroscientist. He’s a Harvard neurosurgeon, both a brain doctor.
So, you know the one part when you say. “Hey, if he had a memory, he should know that it’s in the hippocampus,” you know this and that. Sean, do you think he doesn’t fucking know that? Of course he knows that. So the point that he’s trying to make, that you missed and so many other people miss, is he’s saying, “That’s why this is interesting, because I’m a Harvard neuroscientist a neurosurgeon and I understand that it’s not supposed to work that way.”
So the fact that it did work that way. And the fact that it does work that way for these thousands of cases of a near-death experience, that’s what’s interesting and important. So what’s interesting important is understanding that anomaly, understanding where it works that it shouldn’t. And I’m going to go on for a minute here because I want to talk about this other topic that you touched on, which is central if you get into this, and that is the timing because you talked about time dilation.
So this is what I played for Shermer and if you go and look at the near-death experience science, again, it’s science. They get it. They understand that that’s one of the fundamental questions that have to be answered, is the timing of it.
Here’s Dr. Penny Sartori.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:06:43] This is right out of your book, which you make the point that, “Hey, people…
Oops, let me reintroduce that because here’s a clip from, again, my interview with Shermer who’s funny, entertaining but completely off the rails book about death and heaven. Trying to, in a very feeble way cite near-death experience science and ignored all of the important near-death experience science, so he could make his point. So I tried to correct that in our interview and pointed out the work of resuscitation expert, PhD, and person who ran this experiment, Dr. Penny Sartori. So again, indulge me and I’ll play this.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:39] You make the point that people when they’re resuscitated, they claim to have seen things that they shouldn’t be able to see. Well, they’ve seen it on TV. They make it up. Here’s a researcher who asked that question.
Dr. Penny Sartori: [01:07:43] With the control group I had then patients who had been successfully resuscitated, but they didn’t have a near-death experience, so they didn’t have the outer body component, and I asked them if they could describe what they thought that we had done to them.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:59] And they were like, “What do you mean? I was dead. I don’t remember anything,” right?
Dr. Penny Sartori: [01:08:04] Exactly, that’s right, and they were saying, “Why are you asking me this? I have no idea what you did to me at all.” The majority of them couldn’t even guess, they couldn’t make a guess as to what we’d done.
Then a few of them then did make a guess and it was based on TV hospital dramas that they’ve been watching and what I found was that there were errors and misconceptions in what they thought we had done to them. Some of them thought that they had been DC shocked with the paddles and they hadn’t. Those people had just had the resuscitation, the CPR and drugs administered, such as adrenaline or noradrenaline. Then some of them made educated guesses, but the place where they thought that we’d put the paddles onto their body was completely erroneous, it was wrong it was incorrect.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:08:57] Data, data, data. This is great stuff.
Dr. Penny Sartori: [01:09:02] So it just goes to show that the people who did report the near-death experience described their experience with accuracy, whereas the control group weren’t so accurate and most of them couldn’t even hazard a guess.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:09:17] So let me just frame this up and then I’m going to let you answer pitcher. Here’s why I think this is important I get the time dilation thing, right? Yeah, but if we’re going to do any kind of science if we’re going to keep the red book in the Blue Book intact and say there’s reason to trust some of the studies in there and we have to hold to the way things work in this time space.
Little slice of consciousness that we live in so here’s a person who’s done that who said okay in our time-space reality you die and then our resuscitated that’s what everyone in the hospital agrees happened. They agree you flatlined and they agree we resuscitated you so the fact that she can go and it’s completely valid for who for her to go and then say in that time space continuum.
What data can we gather and the fact that the data Falls the way that it is is. Not friendly to your explanation
Sean Webb: [01:10:15] with the exception that it makes the assumption that when our brains are in a non-standard conscious space that could be interacting of some type of quantum action. That the quantum reality, which is that time.
Doesn’t really play the same. In our in our conscious awareness space, right? When you talking about quantum mechanics, you’re talking about being able to throw out the the, you know, basic scientific Foundation of cause and effect they’ve proven that you can have backward in time causation and effect in Reverse those in Quantum experience in Quantum experiments scuse me.
And so when you’re in that non-standard Quantum consciousness space where you could be interacting via the microtubules out into the quantum foam via the two-way Communication channel that may exist that we now have physical scientific evidence that is supportive of that potential. Now you’re talking about being in a space where time doesn’t operate the same as it does for us in our regular waking awareness.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:11:32] Well, how many angels do you think fit on the head of that pin? I mean because if we’re going to go there and if we’re going to talk about science that we have there’s no established. Science that would suggest that right. So when you got pushed you brought up the Michigan study in the rats, which is you’re really kind of a poor example, but now you’re just completely Jumpin the shark a little bit in terms of saying you have all this good science in your books that is neuroscience.
That is established. All the rest of this stuff is is complete conjecture. So I would move to the other. Well, it’s going to get aside and say what is what is being reported?
Sean Webb: [01:12:13] Well it. Make sure to the point that that you don’t have a first-person representation or a first-person experience, which I would conjecture Persians.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:12:22] Let me be kind of a
Sean Webb: [01:12:23] first-person experience of having an experience on an afternoon through a meditation where I experienced thousands of years of stories and and it’s not like, you know, this was just an invention of my brain. I was able to bring back something that we’re now using to create some new science that we hadn’t had previously as a human race, right?
Whatever it is the. The subconscious creation process that Einstein talked about where you know, we don’t really create create a solution to a problem. We think about the problem and then all of a sudden, the answer comes to us from within our bodies from another level of consciousness within us we come up with that solution.
Well, you know David Eagleman will tell you we’ve been working on that at multiple levels of our subconscious four days before it pops up into our waking awareness that oh, here’s the solution to that problem right when you’re talking about. Experience that can happen within an individual where time dilation occurs under normal operation of a human mind you’d say that would be impossible.
Well, you’re not talking about the normal operation of a human mind when you’re talking about an nde or an enlightening experience or a consciousness expansion experience. You’re talking about the brain operating in a different mode that we are unfamiliar with and have absolutely no scientific foundation for you mean the folks up at Johns Hopkins right now are.
Trying to figure out the best way to formulate a an experiment where they can induce an Enlightenment experience that they can catch an fmri. Right that we haven’t even gone the whole thing.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:13:57] But why do you switch back to wanting to catch it in an fmri? What I’m suggesting is that the did what what I think every near-death experience researcher who I’m aware of has come to the conclusion that consciousness extends Beyond bodily death in a way that we completely don’t understand so yes, but the jam it trying to jam it back into the materialist model trying.
Say we’re going to see it on an fmri. We’re going to see an AEG We
Sean Webb: [01:14:26] Exist Temple. We exist in both we exist when I don’t
Alex Tsakiris: [01:14:30] understand what just we don’t understand the level of complexity, you know, we switch back from saying that but how
Sean Webb: [01:14:35] else do you find the how else do you find that a Tails? If you don’t try to induce an Enlightenment experience in an fmri so that you can look at the physical science of what’s happening in the brain because guess what whatever experience that I have right now is completely dependent on me having a brain you cut the brain out.
I’m not going to have an experience here in my body of consciousness or. Thing further than the point that your scalpel has cut through right? This
Alex Tsakiris: [01:15:01] is the this is exactly the debate that we’re having right nde suggests. Is that what you said right? There is fundamentally incorrect because as Jeff Long explain to you as dr.
Sam party who’s one of the leading experts in the world on resuscitation and will tell you these people are dead. That were studying they are dead. Clinically Dead brain dead brain stem Dead brain dead every way you want to talk about it and yet they’re having a conscious experience that contradicts what you’re saying in a way that we can’t resolve.
I’m okay with leaving it unresolved you seem to want to be really wed to the idea of jamming it back into. Yeah, but it somehow has to fit into our biology in some way because. My brain is right here in my body is right here. Maybe only
Sean Webb: [01:15:59] from
Alex Tsakiris: [01:15:59] our perspective
Sean Webb: [01:16:00] only Prime of purse from a perspective of an individual human life, right?
Because when you’re talking about consciousness and Mass. Yeah, I completely believe non-local consciousness exists in there’s going to be an Alex that exists beyond your body when your body quits and there’s going to be a portion of my consciousness that exist beyond the portion that you know when my body quits I get that and I agree with that but what we’re talking about here is the ability to create an amazing human life from what we understand about consciousness.
And so we have to understand the complexity that comes into it when we entertain this meat suit. And we put this into the equation right because we’re not just this consciousness this you know, I mean, we’re am wearing this nondual space. It’s amazing. You’re nothing but the consciousness of the universe and there is no me there is no you you are me in simply a different form.
You’re just another extension of me and I would love you to the same level that I love myself without an issue, but the problem comes in when we have to start, you know. Having jobs and making money and dealing with emotions and understanding the delineations between our conscious awareness in our subconscious awareness in the things that their subconscious awareness throws up into our mind that creates turmoil for us and takes us away from that unit of consciousness etcetera.
So I’m talking about when specifically I’m talking about, you know, the conscious experience being dependent upon the brain. I’m talking about just for our human body, right? I’m not talking about the whole thing. I’m talking about just the thing that we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis and when you can understand that better
reach out farther into that non-local conscious awareness and become one with the universe and be in that space of equanimity at all points in of your life.
Right when you’re having to deal with this, you’re starting to bring into complexity the body itself that has a number of things that are counterintuitive and really kind of confusing. On our understanding of our existence and it creates a lot of noise for us to have to deal with and when we can reduce that noise, that’s when we find that place of complete peace and Equanimity and Liberation that all of us are supposed to be finding right?
And so that’s what I’m talking about when I’m talking about, you know, the conscious awareness being dependent among upon the brain. Well, that’s our human. It’s our human bodies conscious awareness. That’s the delineation that I’m making that I think, you know a lot of the times when you talk about consciousness, you’ll lose yourself in you know, where the line of demarcation is on, you know the like the the material is scientists are the are the Lost folks who say consciousness stops at the body and when the body’s done the brain dies consciousness is done.
That’s bullshit. We all know it’s bullshit science is leading us down the path to prove that it’s bullshit. Right, but you have to have the conversation in those terms when you’re talking about dealing with the human body that we are dealt and the life that we have to live individually here. And yeah, are there things that we don’t understand on the universe that could help us explain ESP is scientifically proven to a statistical significance.
Yeah. I mean, you’ve got those things that are you know now we’ve got the way to start to. To prove those things. Can you start talking about past lives? Well, you know when you’re starting to take time out of the equation the time doesn’t really exist in that all matter and existence can be happening at the same exact moment.
I’ll are you really seeing a past life or are you actually seeing a moment that’s going on right now through your connection out into the quantum foam that you know, you’re just seeing a connection to another life that seemingly would have been another time that it’s actually happening in this.
Present moment, right? These are all questions that we need to ask. But at the same time when you’re having a conversation about the reality of existence in the consciousness of the quantum in quantum mechanics and the quantum foam, you know, you have to you have to zoom that down to talk about one or two things.
Because you can’t talk about whole thing because as soon as you say word one, you’re you’re off the path of of Truth talking about, you know, whatever your conception your you know, your personal perception of that is and then and then as soon as you mix in this meat suit here, you’re you’re flawed.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:20:15] Well, we’re all flawed, and I understand the dilemma and the need to gobby. It’s like you’re going from shut up and calculate. To shut up and liberate. Yeah shut up and don’t worry about some of the little anomalies that pop up and just you know, liberate yourself in a way that millions and millions have done before and left the cookie crumbs there in terms of how you can do it too.
So I tell you what shown that was. I hope edutainment for at least some people out there and interesting exchange. You’ve been super generous with your time. Let’s kind of wrap it up with the big The Big E down here. We’ve got the question of God and you know, one of the things I like to kind of contemplate with guest is.
When we talk about this extended consciousness this larger consciousness is Unity consciousness. Yeah, is there a hierarchy to it? And then the question I have for you because you tell a dramatic story and maybe you can retell that story. Now you tell the story in your books and I don’t remember which one, but you can clarify sure are they having this experience this profound transformational experience and being told?
Let go and the voice has to tell you more than once because you don’t want to let go
Sean Webb: [01:21:47] you’re right.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:21:48] Who told you that?
Sean Webb: [01:21:50] Yeah, that’s a really good question. And okay, so in front of me, I’m seeing God and then I’m seeing the two questions. Is there a consciousness hierarchy and as a quick, you know as a person who wants to keep one foot in the boat of potential of things that could be.
And the other foot in the boat of well, here’s what I know or here’s what I’m able to see or observe from that put in the boat of what I can see what I can see within the human mind and what we all can see when we learn how to look at it is that there are multiple levels of consciousness even within our human mind.
And you know when we like I give a good example in the first book of taking a picture of an elephant. Imagining an elephant in your mind and then trying to paint that elephant pink with purple polka dots and you see that in your mind, but you didn’t actually do that you communicated the intention you had the intention of wanting to see an elephant and then poof an elephant appears and then I tell you to hey paint that often pink with purple polka dots and then all of a sudden you see that as well.
Well you didn’t actually do that you pass down that intention to other functions within your. Brain, or within your mind that are other levels of conscious awareness that then say. Okay. Well, here’s what an elephant looks like yours the color pink and here’s why polka dots look like and here’s what purple polka dots look like in the put all that stuff together and then shove it back up into your conscious awareness for you to be able to then see the elephant pink with purple polka dots so there are multiple levels of consciousness that are working for you.
And by the way, if you get those under control your life becomes amazing, but they’re working for you. Right and so from that evidence right there within our own human bodies we have the answer to the question is consciousness. Is there a consciousness hierarchy? I do believe that there are lines of demarcation where consciousness works on certain portions of the universe at the level that they’re meant to or that they fall into and so there’s a level of consciousness where like at the human cellular level.
We have these cells that have different functions and it’s within their conscious awareness that they sense the outside. They have a they have a cell structure. They have a line of demarcation. They have a function within the cell. They understand what’s going on outside the cells. So they have a perception they make an intelligent decision on what to do based on what’s going on outside the cell and then they have an internal reaction that is part of the conscious awareness that they take.
And then that has a pro-life function from their perspective. And so that is evidence right there that there is some type of consciousness hierarchy that those cells or our organs or our brain or whatever. It has a level of consciousness that it works within and then it can. And does have interaction with other levels of consciousness, but only to a couple of levels up or down and so we’re
Alex Tsakiris: [01:24:57] Let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing here because usually when I talk about that, I’m talking about after we’ve had a discussion about near-death experience science and we say, “Okay, there is this extended realm,” which you’ve accessed and we’ll talk about that in a minute again because that was kind of the second question, and then we started looking at all these experiencers who access this extended consciousness realm and what they report consistently is that there is a hierarchy of consciousness that we would associate with God. And if you look at the near-death experience, that’s what they say directly and I always say this and people will hear it for the tenth time, that’s okay.
Dr. Jeff Long who I’ve referenced earlier, that was his surprise finding in his latest book. Again, he’s not Christian not a religious guy, he just said, “Hey, this is the data. This is the data that I encountered, is people over and over again say, “God, God, God, God,” and they say it in ways of like, “I saw Jesus,” but then they say it in ways of, “I saw this light being of infinite love,” or they say, “I saw this other being,” all of these different kinds of things. So it’s not bound by religion or anything like that. There’s a hierarchy, there’s God, it comes through over and over again.
And what you just said about the level of consciousness inside of us, we don’t know if that’s a hierarchy. We don’t know if that’s a system and a lot of people who, when they start talking about the extended consciousness realm stuff that I just did, they want to fall into the blob of consciousness. “Well, I wouldn’t really say that one, there’s a moral imperative. We don’t know if anything is good or bad, if there really is evil. We don’t want to make those kind of value judgments. There is consciousness, it’s larger…” I’m okay if that’s the way it goes. I’m just saying data, data, data, follow the data wherever it leads. The data we’re getting back says hierarchy of consciousness, really what it says is God. So go with that.
Sean Webb: [01:26:49] Right, but you know at the same time, if you have an example within your own existence, within your own human existence, first of all it would be pompous to say that, you know, we are the culmination of consciousness and that consciousness stops with us and there’s nothing above our own consciousness. I don’t think that the evidence that we have uncovered are simplistic, human existences, we think we’re a lot more intelligent than we actually are. I think that looking at the model that we exist within and not saying that would be extrapolated out to that’s how the whole universe works, well, that would be kind of silly to say.
So I do believe that there are hierarchies of consciousness, what those are we can’t tell. We can only understand our perceptions and our experiences through the limited understanding that our meat suit can process. So we can get an inkling of understanding that there are hierarchies of consciousness, but we delineate what those are. I mean, that’s for world religion to say and for thousands of years of human argument and discussion to try to come together and put together of divas and multiple gods and all this other stuff. Those are inventions of the human mind I feel, but are they based in experience of human consciousness? Sure. So could they have a basis in some type of reality? Maybe, you know, who knows?
Alex Tsakiris: [01:28:14] Well then, who told you to let go Sean?
Sean Webb: [01:28:18] That’s the good question, isn’t it?
Alex Tsakiris: [01:28:19] Tell the story.
Sean Webb: [01:28:20] Okay, so early on in my meditation, just to make a long story short, and I expand on this in the blue book in volume II a lot more than I than I will here. But basically, I got to this point in my life where I was like, “Look, I have all these things that humanity and society says they’re supposed to make me happy. I have this professional success, I have financial success, I have romantic success, I have all these things lined up. I own this house in this upper middle-class suburban neighborhood in Atlanta and the future’s so bright I’ve got to wear shades. Life still kind of sucks.” For some reason I wasn’t happy and there was something missing.
So I started to dive into world religions because I thought maybe it’s my spiritual life. I thought I had a good relationship with God, maybe I didn’t. So I started to dive into world religions and started to do an anthology of comparative religions and I started to understand a little bit more about how the world sees God. Then I ran into this book on Zen Buddhism, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by DT Suzuki and I learned about this thing called meditation and then I learned that they meditate with the focus of funding this thing called Satori which is the immediate understanding of everything in the universe, and I was like, “Okay, what’s that all about?”
So I started meditating for some time and there was this afternoon where I was meditating where I knew that the focus was to cease conscious thought. I didn’t do a whole lot of Zen, like I didn’t go to a Zen group, I didn’t go to these meetings, I didn’t have a master that I was learning from, I just read these books and I knew that the focus was to shut the mind down. So I took my own mind and I turned it back in on itself and I said, “Okay, we’re going to cease conscious thought.”
So for a good 20 minutes I tried to stop my mind from thinking and it wasn’t working, because every now and then I’d be like, “Am I thinking anything?” It was like, “Oh crap, that’s a thought.” Or an image would fly through or a sound outside would make me think of something like a dog barking or whatever and an image of a dog or whatever would come into my mind. And all of those things were thoughts and you have to come to a point where there is absolutely nothing going on in your mind. Looking back on that now is, you’ve got to change the patterns in your brain to stop what it’s doing to get it to do what it can do next.
So, I forcibly tried to get my mind to stop thinking. It took maybe 20 minutes and then at the point of complete solitude, of absolute silence, stillness within the mind, that’s when this energy started building within me. It was like I really didn’t understand what was going on, I just kind of felt this, like, “Holy crap. Where did that come from?” type of energy.
Again, I tell this story in the book but ultimately it built into this vortex and I started to be sucked into it and I was like holding on because I thought I was dying, it was like, “Oh my god, am I having a heart attack? What’s going on? I’ve just moved my mum down from up north, I need to take care of her.” All of these worldly attachments were then like, I can’t let go, but my mind was going again. So, process had started but I was having those thoughts, so that was interesting to me.
But then during the point that this was building up, and I was having to hold on for dear life that I thought, “I can’t have a heart attack now,” it was like, “I’ve got too much shit to do. I wonder if I can get to my phone and call 911,” or whatever it was, there was this huge voice that said, within my existence but it wasn’t me, it said, “Let go.” I didn’t know where it came from, I didn’t know who it was. I don’t know whether it was another level of my subconscious that was leading me in the right direction to say, “Hey, this is a natural process. Let’s go ahead and go through this. You’ve been asking for answers, here they are, don’t fucking fuck this up now.” And I said, “Absolutely not. I am not letting go. There’s no fricking way.”
So then it came through again, like from the booming voice of the universe that seemed like it was saying, “Let go,” and I was like, “Uh, a little more convincing but I think I might not buy into that whole… I’m not really sure if I’m ready to die yet.”
Then a third time it was like, almost like your best friend forever, that voice that you trust, that you’d forgotten that you even knew in this whole lifetime that has come from wherever it came before you were even human, came up and like, hands on your shoulders, whispers in your ear from the back just saying, “Hey, let go.” And that voice, it was like, “Oh, oh, oh yeah, I know you. You will not lead me astray. So, if I’m dying, okay, let’s go.” If it’s time, if I’ve got something else to do, I know to trust this voice, that just was within my ear, “Let’s go.”
So that’s when, from my perception, and again, I believe that I had this experience because my brain was allowing me to have it and it was imprinted in my hippocampus which I can then recall later, all of that stuff that I argued earlier. It felt like my whole soul, my whole existence dematerialized deatomized into this vortex of energy and that I was off onto this amazing multiple lifetimes of experience that I just try to outline in the book, because if I tried to tell all of the stories it would take me multiple lifetimes.
But basically, I went through the whole, you know, seeing my life from a different perspective. My whole life again was being replayed, but I was able to see it from the emotional perspectives of other people who were around me during the time. So I got to see into their existences and I got to see all of the pain that I had caused for other folks and I got to see all of the unintentional pain and all of the intentional pain and all of the mistakes that I’d made and all of the stuff that I was supposed to learn from, yada, yada. I went through that whole process and then I went into a tour of forgiveness, of understanding, you know from a “God’s” perspective. How all of the worst sins in the world could be immediately forgiven and all of this other stuff that I went through, yada, yada.
I had this amazing consciousness expansion experience where I became, I went through these experiences and then I became the experiences and then I went through, following this tour guide and then I became the tour guide and became the consciousness of the universe, became the creative energy of all of existence, got down below the Planck length to where everything goes infinite. I got to take a tour of how all of the universe works, the atoms of the universe, how it comes together, the quantum energy and how it magically creates all of Newtonian physics and the multiple dimensions that come together that then clash with their waves to create particles. You got to see chemical reactions occur with the release of heat energy and light energy and all of this cool stuff. And then you get to see the whole process of life and how two individual cells come together to create a human body and multiple bodies of insects and all living things. All of this really, really, really cool stuff.
I thought I was dead. I thought, “Oh, this is what you learn when you die. This is what you learn when you’re on your way to heaven.” Then you you wind up in the space of perfect bliss, in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely nothing to do but be the universe, which was just amazing. It was infinite and it was all knowledgeable, all wise, all loving and everything that happened, as humans could judge it good or bad, happened and was beautiful and it simply was as it was. It was our judgments of things that then put anything on top of that happening.
At the point that I was returning there was a big surprise. I was like, “Oh, I have to go back and be a human again? Okay, cool. I get to be a human baby. I get to do this all over again, whatever,” and I thought I was really coming back to be, I was like, “Well, that solves the reincarnation question,” and I thought I was coming back to be another human baby and when I started zooming back in I started to see, “Oh, well shit, that’s my house. Well, there’s me on my bed laying there bawling,” and I came back into my body existence and I started losing a lot of the stuff, a lot of the understanding that I had gained in that whole experience and I said, “Wait a second,” and then that voice came back and basically communicated, “Yeah, the human mind can’t can hold all of this,” and I said, “Okay, so here’s what I want to do. I want to go through the pain and suffering thing. If I’m going to go back and I’m going to be this Sean character again, I want to be able to communicate some of the benefit of the stuff that I have figured out here. So I want to go through pain and suffering, I want to understand how the human mind works,” and then there was like a little joke there that said, “Ha, you weren’t the first.” I got this thing, this realization, I was like, “Wow, you know what, you’re right. The Buddha and all of these other folks asked for this same stuff and was able to bring it back and try to explain it.”
So, that’s what I grabbed on to and when I grabbed onto that, I grabbed onto it for, like my bare life basically, to try to hold onto this information and not let it go. That’s what I brought back into my conscious awareness and it took me a number of years to figure it out because there was actually a lot more than I could try to put all together into this really cool system to explain how the human mind works and all of that other stuff and to ultimately create artificial emotions for simulated personalities and things like that. None of that was figured out, so it took me a good decade to be able to sort all of that stuff out that I had brought back.
I was able to grab some of the data and pack it back into my mind into a fashion that we could then try to put into some form of book or some form of education to say, “Here’s how your bullshit works. Here are all of the limiting things that are creating havoc for your life. Here’s how all of this stuff works and here’s how to diffuse it and let’s get on from being humanity 2.0 to humanity 3.0,” because humanity 1.0 was, you know, let’s survive, let’s figure out how to domesticate animals, let’s figure out… And then humanity 2.0 was, okay, well we’ve figured out the whole food chain thing and now we can go into offices and have cubicles and yada, yada, and make all of this artificial bullshit important to us. Let’s go from humanity 2.0 into humanity 3.0 where we’re no longer vexed by the emotional turmoil that is causing us to lob bombs at each other because we have disagreements about financial systems or political systems or religious beliefs or whatever it is. Let’s get beyond that. What is that answer?
So that’s why I clawed onto that data so vehemently and so desperately to say, “We really need this as a human race and how do I figure that out? How do I put it into some books and put it out so that people can use it, so that when I die this can live on a little bit?
Alex Tsakiris: [01:39:33] Very, very, very, very cool. So the books that you’re going to want to check out, I have them up on the screen, but if you need to be reminded, Mind Hacking Happiness Volume I, Mind Hacking Happiness Volume II.
Sean, if folks go to your website and we will link to it here on the show, but what will they find and what other ways are there to connect with this material? The books, I have to say I’ve read the second book and I just kind of did the look inside the first book. Great stuff. Very, very readable, very well-written, entertaining and packed, packed, packed with a lot of sciency stuff that people will like. But do tell about the other forms of people getting to know your stuff.
Sean Webb: [01:40:19] Yeah, if you want to check out the stuff that we’re trying to create for continuing education, because a lot of people are like, “Holy crap, this stuff changed my life. How do I maximize it?” So we’re starting to create some videos for the YouTube folks who love to click on various videos and stuff like that. We’re creating programs so that you can actually take some exercises and do some work that will help you develop some of the things that we talk about in the books. Right now we’ve just launched the Two SEALs and a Walrus podcast. The SEALs that came forward to say that this is the best mind training that they’d ever experienced. Well, we’re now doing a podcast to talk about consciousness expansion and how to proactively use this stuff to better your human life here, your meat suit life, you know, before we pass out of this confusing pain and suffering into perfection and bliss, yada, yada. We’ve got to do this round first, we’ve got to do this duty here on this planet.
So, we’re doing a podcast called Two SEALs and a Walrus there. It’s raw, it’s raw. It uses adult language and we talk about adult themes and things like that, but we do have a lot of fun, poking fun at society and poking fun at how people think about things and how to maybe step beyond that to create a better existence for yourself and stuff like that. So, if you just check in with the website every now and then, you’ll see this stuff that we’re working on.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:41:45] Great. Well, it’s been absolutely fantastic having you on. I so commend the work that you’re doing, and I really do appreciate the openness and just kind of allowing me to hash some of this stuff out with you.
Sean Webb: [01:41:58] No it’s been a pleasure. It’s been a pleasure. I mean, none of us really have the answers to this stuff, and we can only get close with our limited human minds and whatnot. And I think having these discussions to maybe prod people in the right direction is an amazing service and I love you for putting this stuff out.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:42:14] I love you too, man. Alright Sean, you take care and we’ll be sure to connect down the road for sure, for sure.
Sean Webb: [01:42:22] Thanks Alex.
Thanks again to Sean Webb joining me today on Skeptiko. The one question I guess I’d have to tee up from this interview is the one that I kind of hammered on Sean pretty hard about, but one that does trouble me as well and that’s that, does mind equal brain? I mean we’ve gone over that so many times on this show and tried to show all of this evidence that clearly you are not your brain. But once we get over to that side, we’re faced with a pretty strange dilemma too. I mean, what is the relationship between the brain and the mind and how do we explain all of the stuff that’s maybe going on with these microtubules that we talked about and all that other stuff? What are some of the more complex parts of that mind equals brain question?
So, if you’d like to answer that and if you’d like to hear my answer to it, probably the best place to go is the Skeptiko forum. You can definitely get an answer from me there if you’re interested in discussing that. You can also email me or find me another way, but Skeptiko forum, I’ve over there pretty regularly and you can communicate with me about this stuff if you like.
Also, of course, be sure to check out the Skeptiko website and there you’ll find all of our previous shows, over 400 of them at this point. All available for free, for download. You just get the MP3 and you can do whatever you like from there on out.
And of course, as you know from listening to show, we cover a lot of topics that I think you’ll be interested in and we have some new really exciting shows coming up that I can’t wait to bring to all of you
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