Rebel Wisdom co-founder Alexander Beiner has his finger on the cultural pulse of our times. Here he explores key challenges we face as a global community: sensemaking and truth finding in an culture that has lost its coherence as well as its sense of the divine, and what role psychedelics might play both therapeutically and spiritually in healing our culture. He discusses the need to go beyond the intellectual to find clarity and coherence, using embodied practices like meditation and inquiry, and explains how modalities such as these are an essential container for therapeutic psychedelic experiences. What if deep, spiritual, psychotherapeutic group processes were to inform political decision making? Are commodification and economics going to subvert the benefits of the psychedelic renaissance? Let’s start asking, what do we want these substances to bring to the culture, and who has the authority to decide what psychedelics are used for? Ali brings keen insight and the wisdom of a dedicated contemplative to asking the important questions and offering up some answers as well. Recorded September 27, 2021.
Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1
- The evolution of the internet—from optimistic to dark and addictive—and its effect on culture (03:50)
- The crisis of trust in institutions creates a Wild West of narratives: Where do we get truth from? (07:03)
- Rebel Wisdom asks, how can we use the attitudes of the personal growth world and ancient wisdom to help us get into a new dialogue with each other? (08:50)
- The necessity to go beyond the intellectual to find clarity and certainty: that’s where practices come in (like meditation and inquiry) (13:35)
- Rebel Wisdom’s online course Sensemaking 101 moves from the inside out, creating a state of presence before tackling making sense of the news (15:55)
- The value of contemplative practices: they help you zoom out to a metaperspective and cultivate perspectival fluidity (17:07)
- The importance of bringing the spiritual worlds and political worlds together (people in the spiritual worlds are reluctant to go too far into the political and vice versa) (20:02)
- Danger of using meta as a “bypass”: focusing on how to make a better world rather than focusing on the realities of what is happening right now (20:57)
- The cycle of withdrawal and return: going within to come back to the world with more wisdom to give and going without to connect more deeply with ourselves (22:20)
- On allowing deep, spiritual, psychotherapeutic group processes to inform political decision making (23:52)
- What would an effective meta practice for people entail at this point? An ecology of practices (27:26)
- The therapeutic potential of the psychedelic experience combined with different modalities, i.e. inquiry + psychedelic experience (30:58)
Resources & References – Part 1
- Rebel Wisdom podcast website
- Rebel Wisdom’s Sensemaking 101 (8-week process begins June 18th)
- Alexander Beiner on Medium.com
- Alexander Beiner on Substack.com
- Terence McKenna, ethnobotanist, author, and advocate of using psychedelic plants, Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness* with Rupert Sheldrake & Ralph Abraham
- Timothy Leary, Harvard psychologist and LSD advocate, Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out*
- Tristan Harris, “Persuasive Technology and the Race to the Bottom of the Brain Stem”
- Venkatesh Rao, “The Internet of Beefs,” Tempo: Timing, Tactics and Strategy in Narrative-driven Decision-making*
- Howard Bloom, Global Brain*
- Peter Russell, The Brain Book*
- Bret Weinstein Talks About His Brother Eric Weinstein
- John Vervaeke, award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto and creator of the cult hit YouTube series Awakening from the Meaning Crisis, author, Zombies in Western Culture: A Twenty-first Century Crisis,* Four Kinds of Knowing video
- The Ridhwan Tradition: The Diamond Approach
- Jamie Bristow, director of The Mindfulness Initiative, a policy institute teaching mindfulness and compassion to politicians
- Daniel Schmachtenberger, founding member of The Consilience Project aimed at improving public sensemaking and dialogue
- Jordan Hall, futurist and culture hacker
- Arnold Toynbee, historian, A Study of History*
- Living the Path of Love, course taught by Turiya Hanover and Rafia Morgan, co-founders of the Path of Love
- Carl Rogers, great American psychologist, Journal of Humanistic Psychology: The Rust Workshop (The Central American Challenge)
- Wim Hof Breathwork
* As an Amazon Associate, Deep Transformation earns from qualifying purchases.
Alexander Beiner is a writer, facilitator, cultural commentator, and co-founder of the popular podcast and retreats organization Rebel Wisdom. Alexander regularly discusses psychedelics and interviews key figures in the psychedelic community on Rebel Wisdom, and is currently exploring the role psychedelics can play in an increasingly polarized culture. His articles appear frequently in Medium.com (and now Substack). He is one of the directors of Breaking Convention, Europe’s largest conference on psychedelic science and culture, and his work on psychedelic culture has been published in the 2016 book Neurotransmissions, as well as in The Guardian. In 2012, he co-founded a meditation school, Open Meditation. Alexander also writes fiction and plays traditional Irish music.
Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell
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