#550 - Rupert Sheldrake

Sep 16, 2014

Rupert Sheldrake is an author, lecturer, and researcher in the field of parapsychology, known for his proposed theory of morphic resonance.

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The Joe Rogan Experience Train by day Joe Rogan podcast by night all day

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thank you for your patience Rupert Rupert sheldrake ladies and gentlemen I've came to know of you through the trial logs that you did with Terence McKenna who I'm a huge fan of and Ralph Abraham and I thought they were some really fascinating conversations and you know of terrence's MP3s are very very thought inspiring and made you really like look at things from a very different and peculiar angle that he had had a very unique way of looking

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at the world but I came to know of you from that and I came to know of your ideas of morphic resonance which I found to be really fascinating and if you don't mind just explain to Folks at home listening what the concept of morphic resonance is it's the idea of memory in nature the idea that the whole universe has a kind of memory the so-called laws of nature and more like habits each individual in his species

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draws on a collective memory and contributes to it it works on the basis of similarity any pattern of activity that similar to a later pattern of activity in a self-organizing system influences it across space and time so what it means in effect is that if you train rats to learn a new trick in Los angeles' then rats in New York and Sydney and London will learn the same thing quicker straight away there's actually evidence

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the surprising effect happens if you crystallize a new chemical that's never existed before then after you've made it in one place it should get easier to crystallize or all over the world so it's really a theory of habit and memory and it enables new patterns of learning to spread quicker than they might otherwise do and it means that it should get easier to learn things that other people have already learned so this has been proven this

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this concept of rats being able to learn one thing in New York quicker because they learned it already in San Francisco yes I mean it wasn't done to test morphic resonance which is still very controversial it was done to try to test something else it was done in years ago before the second world war a professor at Harvard called William McDougall wanted to find out if rats could learn quicker what their parents had learned so he trained these rats to escape from a water maze they had to swim if they went out

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the wrong exit they got an electric shock and if they went out the right exit which the wrong one was lit up with a light the other one was dim if they went out the right exit they just escaped from The Maze and he tested them to see how many trials they've made before they learned always go out of the dim exit and the first generation took about 250 trials before they cottoned on to what was happening the Next Generation it was about a hundred and eighty trials the next

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in about a hundred and fifty they got better and better and and he thought at first this was because there was something being passed on to the children may be through modifying the genes or something like that an inheritance for client characters that was a kind of Taboo in 20th century science and so people questioned his work but because he was at Harvard and because he was a famous Professor they couldn't just dismiss it

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he showed a huge effect so people tried repeating his work in the University of Edinburgh Scotland and Melbourne Australia and they found that their rats started more or less where the Harvard rats had left off and in Melbourne they did an experiment that was particularly interesting they went on getting better the ones that were descended from the train parents in each generation but they found that all Rats of that breed even if their parents had never been

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trained were getting better too so whatever it was it wasn't something to do with modifying the genes or what people would Now call epigenetics there was something else much more mysterious going on and since no one knew what it was it was just ignored and forgotten that is really fascinating so that would kind of make sense that if if somehow or another the jeans or whatever that is in the rat is

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able to communicate with other of the same species over the the similar genetics of whatever it is that they're doing whatever undefined thing that they're doing connecting with them even across continents mmm across the other side of the planet yes wow that's right and so the same would I think the same happens in Eeveelution naturally in nature there was a famous case with birds called Blue tits in England and America who called them chickadees

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that in the 1920s started raiding milk bottles in Britain we had down and we still have a system where you get fresh milk delivered to your doorstep every day in a bottle and then they wash the bottles and use the me as a great system we have it right now in London so in the 1920s they had cardboard Tops on these bottles and someone noticed in Southampton that the cream at the top of their bottle had disappeared

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haunted being torn out from the creamer disappeared when they watch they saw that every morning these blue tits in South Hampton had figured out they could tear off this cardboard strip and get free cream every morning then everyone sort of interested in this then it turned up many many miles away in another part of Britain and it turned up somewhere else blue tits don't fly very far their home loving birds and they don't migrate so scientists got interested and they

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set up a network all over Britain of people to observe this habit and they got reports it was coordinated from Cambridge University and they mapped the spread of the habit and it became clear that it was spreading faster and faster and it was being independently invest in invented in other parts of Britain so much so that the professor of biology at Oxford surround us to Hardy suggested it must be happening by telepathy that it was spreading too quickly

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the most interesting records of from Holland because the started happening in Holland as well and during the war Holden was occupied by the Germans and milk deliveries stopped they didn't start again to about 1948 about seven or eight years after they stopped blue tits only live three or four years so there would have been no blue tits after the war that remembered the Golden Age of free cream so when they melt deliveries began again in

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and they started drinking the cream almost straight away all over Holland so I would say this is a kind of collective memory that spread by morphic resonance and was remembered by morphic resonance and that's another example of this going on in the real world incidentally they've now stop doing it they used to steal our cream in London until about 10 years ago when we switch to semi-skimmed milk there isn't any cream in bottles of

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skim milk and blue tits have more or less given up in Britain because so many people have switched at semi-skimmed milk he didn't get any cream it's not worth the effort so the habits died out that's pretty fascinating the idea that human beings start off as a blank slate has really been questioned quite a bit over the last generation and genetics in particular they're starting to understand that there's certain particular

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it's and and memories that you can actually learn from your parents like there was one study they did with mice where they had taken mice and they had given them an electric shock and coincided that electric shock with a smell of citrus there is electric shock in their feet of you where this test yes I am it was published in nature and that with the provocative title inheriting the fears of fathers mmm it's a very very fascinating study yeah amazing staff I mean that I think could be partly due to morphic Resonance

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resonance I have you explained it to people before now please do please do but what they did was they used a chemical synthetic chemical called acetophenone that smells sort of vaguely fruity but it's something that mice would never have encountered in nature because it's a synthetic chemical and they took male mice and expose them to smell of acetophenone and they gave them a mild electric shock on their poor when they smelt this stuff

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and the result is classical pavlovian conditioning you know a few times of that happening and as soon as they smelled acetophenone they were terrified it's perfectly standard stuff in science what wasn't standard was they then bread from these mice and they did some of the experiments using artificial insemination so that the mother's never even met the fathers of the Next Generation and then they tested their children and their grandchildren and whenever they say

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old acetophenone they were just paralyzed with fear so they'd inherited the fear of this chemical in a single generation in a way that regular science simply can't explain and this went far beyond anything anyone would have expected there's evidence from the details of the experiments that involve some changes in the sperm some change in the genes or the epigenetics which is the packaging of the genes

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but no one can conceive how a Mouse learning to avoid the smell and being frightened by it all that they were knows how all that information could be transferred into jeans and sperm so I think at least part of the explanation of this is morphic resonance that if you make some animals adverse to something then their descent well other animals of the same kind will be frightened of it

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did a very similar experiment actually years ago with a skeptical scientist in Britain called Stephen Rose we had a controversy in the Guardian newspaper I wrote I used to write a column in the guardian and I wrote a thing about the nature of memory and how morphic resonance helps to explain it we could discuss that later if you like but sure that Rose was outraged by this he'd spent his whole career working on memory saying must be inside the brain and

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he worked with day-old chicks and in the guardian he wrote a response to my article and challenged me to do an experiment in his laboratory under his supervision to test what he called the seemingly absurd hypothesis well what the experiment we did we had day old chicks and Dale chicks Peck at anything bright so we had them packet silvery be

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he'd wear and after the silver bead they were injected with saline solution it's just a control though they didn't feel ill as everything was fine we also had them Peck at a yellow light emitting diode and after they pecked at that the checks that had packed the yellow light emitting diode were injected with something that made them feel sick lithium chloride I think it was it made them feel sick it didn't killed me it just made them feel ill and you know

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if you ever eat anything and you feel sick after you never want to eat that thing again it's a it's called condition diversion so these chicks when you tested them a day or two later they would avoid yellow lights but they'd pack at the Chrome bead the silver bead which hadn't made them sick and that's straightforward they learn to avoid it but what I predicted was that in we if we did the experiment over and over again every day

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we get a new batch of fresh chicks and test them with the yellow light emitting diode and the Chrome bead I predicted that they'd start avoiding the yellow light emitting diode but not the Chrome bead because of the influence by morphic resonance from previous chicks they'd start avoiding it even before they'd been made averse to it for the first time they were exposed to it they they wouldn't go for it they'd be more wary of it

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and that's exactly what happened in this experiment so this is actually something that's well known in the rat poison industry mean most people haven't spent much time looking into the rat poison industry and how it works but one thing that happens to people who try to poison rats for a living is that if you try some new kind of bait with a particular flavor rats eat it and they get

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sick and they die but it works for a while but after a while rat start avoiding it they become what's called in the trade bait shy and not just in one place but the bait stops working you know miles and miles away so they have to keep inventing new baits that's why most rat poison now is based on warfare in which causes bleeding thins the blood and causes bleeding in it doesn't usually

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the rats four days after they've eaten it they don't associate it with any particular flavor because it's slow slow acting that's why people have had to switch to Warfare in as the main rat poison because this aversion to thinks that poison and became so strong and the something that actually some people who are listening to us might know about which I heard about from a guy in America who fishes for Bass and he was telling me there's a constant

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development of new lures for bass fishing I did you do you do yeah I have this quite a bit yes well apparently people are always inventing new Leo's that work very well for a while and apparently they didn't stop working and not just in one place but elsewhere so it was a constant development of new Leo's now if that could be documented that might be another very interesting case of morphic resonance if bass keep getting caught and they're in

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pain when they're caught by being fished with a particular kind of newer then other bass later even in different rivers or lakes when they see that Joe would be more of us to biting it stops working so I think the could be many examples of this out there in the real world when did you come up with this concept is this your concept the concept of more forever residence yes yes I came up with this in 1973 long time ago

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I was doing research at Cambridge University on plant development how plants grow and I became convinced for a variety of reasons that the attempt to explain the whole thing just in terms of genes and molecules and proteins wouldn't work I was at the very Leading Edge of this I mean the main plant hormone is called auxin a you Xin and I figured out how it's made and then I figured out how

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it's transplanted transported run the plant and this was a massive advance and this is kind of textbook stuff now in school and University textbooks the mechanism of polar oxygen transport so having figured all that out I then realized this wasn't enough to explain plants because all plants have the same hormone in its moved in the same way in every plant and it's moved the same way and petals and

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leaves and stems and roots and it's moved the same way and palms and cabbages and roses and yet they're all different so I got interested in something in biology called Morpho genetic Fields the idea of invisible fields that shape living organisms so there's like an invisible mold as a flower grows its kind of invisible mold that shaped shapes the way the petals develop and the flower develops or as a leaf grows as kind of

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all mold for that leaf called a morphogen etic field like a kind of invisible plan this idea was not invented by me at have been around in biology since the 1920s but the key thing was to understand how these fields could be inherited and I was sure it wouldn't go through the jeans the jeans just code for proteins so there had to be some other kind of inheritance how could it work and I was wrestling with this idea in Cambridge and then the idea of morphic resonance came to me if you have a resonance across town

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I'm between similar things you could explain this inheritance of form and of instincts in animals in a non-genetic way which would give a completely new way of understanding biology and inheritance I then realized that this would apply to learning and memory and many aspects of human behavior so I wrote this up in a book called a new science of Life which was published in 1981 it took me years to think this through I realized that it would be controversial

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so I had to be very sure of myself before I could write about it then I wrote another book called The Presence of the past which puts the theory forward in its fullest form and that's my main theoretical book and since then I've really been trying to develop these ideas test them do experiments and so on anyway it was my idea in the first place and since then it's become widely discussed in many areas know when you say that you had to be

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sure of it what did you do that made you sure of it I mean what is what what kind of testing have you done to sort of hammer out this concept of Norfolk residents well the two aspects to being sure about it the main objection that I got from my colleagues and in the scientific World especially in biology was not that not what's the evidence they didn't say what's the evidence they just said this idea is unnecessary

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cuz we're going to figure everything out in terms of genes and molecular biology so one line of research I had to do was to see whether the conventional approach in biology was likely to work or not and so I had to think really deep about standard science is this going to work if they just said give us time we'll figure it all out we don't need new ideas we basically everything's fine the way it is and

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that's what led in the 1980s to people formulating the Human Genome Project and which culminated in the year 2000 with the publication of the human genome so they thought that that was adequate to expand once they got into the human genome once they mapped it out there was going to they're going to be able to play in pretty much everything about human being that's right they actually thought that and that's why there was a huge investment hundreds of billions of dollars were invested in genomics and biotechnology on the grounds that genes explain everything

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NG one gene one characteristic does a gene for everything if you can figure out the genes and manipulate the genes basically you can control life and if you can own the jeans or own patents on the genes you can make billions of dollars that was the thinking and that was almost everybody was into that but I was convinced that genes were grossly overrated that they couldn't do most of these things that people thought they could because what genes do is code for the sequence of amino acids in proteins

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protein molecules which make up our muscles and you know the blood cells and they're the enzymes and so on major part of life a coded for by genes but there's a huge difference between making the right proteins and the shape of your nose for example or the instincts of a spider to spin a web I mean it's it's like saying you could explain the structure of a building by knowing the chemistry of the bricks I mean you have to have bricks and you have

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I have cement and Timber and stuff to make a building and if you have defective bricks you get a defective building but it doesn't explain the plan of the building the shape of the building so I was convinced that these things would never be explained by genes that we needed something like morphogen etic fields and morphic resonance to explain them so part of thinking about this was thinking hard about what regular science could and could not achieve an

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clue I'll come to the evidence in a minute but the one of my predictions that this biotechnology thing would be a disaster it would mean people lose huge amounts of money I advise my friends if their investors just don't bother you know you know the only way you make money in this is by getting in on the bubble and selling art in time because it's not really going to lead to that many useful product why are you so convinced because I thought that the role of genes was totally overrated

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and this is in fact what's happened when you alone in this or whether those are few people there are a few people but most people went along with this you know and it's interesting you see that the Human Genome Project they expected they'd have about a hundred thousand genes that turned out when they finally announced it that there are only about 20,000 genes we have less genes than to see action and about half as many as a rice plant that was a huge surprise to people and

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it soon became clear that it wasn't going to deliver on most of these promises Craig Venter who had the private Genome Project which was a rival of the publicly funded one he's in a very very competitive guy got he got there first you know he saw it as a race and he was going to win and he did and even though he was technically very successful on the publicly funded

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Genome Project was technically successful once they're done it it became immediately apparent this information was almost useless and Craig venters his company's seller a genomics the shares collapsed in a few days from about $60 a share to about 12 cents a share and when he was interviewed after that he said he's got a great sense of humor he said he said I'm a guy who's made a million the hard way by working my way down from a billion and

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there's the thing is it didn't work and yeah in around four or five years ago there was a development in science that most people haven't heard of yet outside science but it's really big within the scientific journals called The Missing heritability problem what they did is they took the genomes of 30,000 different people because it's quite cheap now to sequence genomes sequenced about 30 thousand genomes

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yes and to figure out what genes do what you know they looked at the people 30,000 people they knew everything about and their height their diseases history and so forth they started with height because Heights easy to measure you just need a tape measure and it's already known that tall parents tend to have tall children and short parents tend to have short Children You can predict the height of children when they are grown on the basis of the parents height with an accuracy of about 80%

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in the technical language they say height is 80% heritable well they'd figured out the genes complete Genome of 30,000 different people they knew their height so they then ran all these correlations and statistics to figure out which genes are involved in height they found about 50 genes were involved in controlling height then they say they found someone more important than others so they made their best models wait

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seeing some more than others and coming out with predictions and then they picked some people at random the genomes they did all their sums they'd identified the genes they ran the computer simulations and they predicted these people's height on the basis of their genome and then they looked up the height to see how good this method was it turned out they could predict height with an accuracy of 5% now you can do it with an actress of 80% just by using tape measures in a way that's billions of dollars cheaper

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so they the gap between the five percent and the 80% the 75% is not explained by the genes is called the missing heritability problem and it turned out that the same was true of most diseases for it there is a few diseases where a defective Gene gives a defective protein and you get a clear predictive values cystic fibrosis is one of them sickle cell anemia has another so there's a few rare genetic diseases where this

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that works very well but for most diseases breast cancer cardiac problems the predictive value of the genome turned out to be only 5 to 10% and all these companies sprang up that would offer to sequence people's genomes and predict their diseases and the last one 23andMe was put out of business by the FDA just a few months ago because their advertising was misleading they

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not predict with more than about 10 percent accuracy the likelihood that you'll get a particular G disease on the base of the genome except for these rare genetic disorders so this company their entire business model was predicting people's vulnerability to certain diseases I think that was their main business model I mean there are certain things where genome sequencing is still valuable and used you know if you want to find out what your racial background is you know where did your ancestors come from

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from is really good for that and it has very useful information I'm not saying this is useless I'm saying it's it has limited uses but nothing like the Bonanza of profits that people were expecting him there was a report by the Harvard Business School on this a few years ago on the biotech business and they said no one had ever invented such a massive money-losing scheme in the history of humanity so I think that's because it was based on false Assumption of what genes do

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that's fascinating what is the when people hear about the experiment with the the mice and the smell what's the smell call again they just acetophenone acetophenone what's the conventional explanation for this this memory being passed down into these animals that have never experienced that before through breeding well there isn't really one you see because the the it's something that Peter has a right to surprised about because the idea that you could actually

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you could give off the brain or nose or could actually give off influences that travel through the blood and selectively modify sperm changing genes or the packaging of genes nothing like that had been contemplated before and this suggests something going on is going on that regular science doesn't know about and that's fine from the point of view of science I mean if you discover something new then you have to try and figure out how it works right but no one really

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nose and this sort of pushes molecular biology Beyond its limits really people are working on this now and trying to figure out how it could happen what are the conventional theories is there are there any well there aren't really I mean no one knows how smelling something could affect genes or the packaging of genes and even if they could even if you could say that would be a modification of the sperm

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to make people more so The Offspring the mice that descend from those sperm more sensitive to acetophenone that doesn't necessarily explain why they're be afraid of it I mean it if they trained me in a different way acetophenone could have they could have licked their lips and thought Oh this means food so you've got quite a lot of explaining to do and how these genes or the packaging of them could influence the brain is Way Beyond anything we can understand it present so

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I think most people would say we just don't haven't figured it out yet and this is a fairly recent experiment to this is only a few months ago yeah a few months ago realize it was published a few months ago how long did they work on this for though well I suppose they must have been working on it for several years before they published it but what's exciting in biology at the moment is that the standard off-the-shelf explanations that people used to have it's all genetically programmed and that kind of thing this is falling apart until the year 2000

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a huge Taboo in biology against the the inheritance of acquired characteristics which means say a father builds up his muscles and become stronger and or learns particular skills the idea that the children could inherit that was considered impossible they said no it's all inheritance is just genetic of course you get environmental influences if a dad takes his boys to weightlifting classes and stuff then obviously they'll become more muscular

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Le but the idea that it could be anything could be passed through the genes that had been learned or acquired was absolutely taboo it was a heresy in 20th century biology in the west interestingly in the Soviet Union they went the other way start in like the idea that if people got better at things their kids would be better at them automatically they did inherit it and geneticists and the Soviet Union were persecuted and people who did

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Chon the inheritance of acquired characteristics were well-funded and prestigious and this polarized things even more there was a kind of cold war in biology as well as in everything else but

► 00:40:43

around the year 2000 it became clear that the really is an inheritance of acquired characteristics and has been rebranded epigenetic inheritance and it's now a really hot topic in biology and these mice inheriting the fear of their father's experiments are part of this new wave of research on epigenetics and it turns out that a lot of things these Soviet biologists were claiming are actually true one of the things I think ought to happen

► 00:41:12

is that somebody who knows Russian preferably someone who's in Russia goes back through these archives of Soviet biology from the 1920s 30s 40s and 50s when tens of thousands of biologists and the Soviet Union were working on what we now call epigenetic inheritance and it's a goldmine of information that could be dusted off and could be really helpful to science but nobody's done that yet because it's usually assumed the whole of that

► 00:41:42

has been discredited and even Russians don't want to talk about it that's so fascinating it's so fascinating that that scientists are just now piecing together this new information just start putting it together yeah and pure it's purely anecdotal evidence I have young daughters and they wrestle around together the other play in the bed and laugh and joke and I've been doing Jiu-Jitsu since the 1990s and my daughter's assume Jiu-Jitsu positions I see them do it before I've taught them now

► 00:42:12

but when they were little like three and four years old my youngest would do what's called an over under control she would grab her back and grip like a certain way that you teach people to do and she would throw her legs over it's called taking the back it's a it's a position a standard position in Jiu-Jitsu but it's not a normal position for people but she would automatically go to it pull my older daughter on top of her and take her back and it was the craziest thing to watch as a martial arts commentator someone who

► 00:42:42

stands you know the correct way to do positions I would watch her do it I was like she knows what she's doing I don't think she knows why she knows what she's doing is but she assumed a position that I've done countless times thousands of times in my life it automatically came to her and I'm like that has to be somehow or another in her code somehow or another it's gone from my body into hers exactly whether it's a really really interesting case and you see I would call that morphic resonance that she's resonating with you she's got your

► 00:43:12

and she's got your proteins and those of her mother as well of course but this similarity to you means she'd be in a particularly strong resonance with you and would pick up things that you've acquired I think it's interesting you see in many traditional societies children would follow in the footsteps of their parents you know blacksmiths sons have become blacksmiths and in India the caste system you know if someone's a Potter their kids have become Potter's and if they're a weaver their kids have become Weavers

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and I think this is partly because people would have a special aptitude for doing things their parents have done for skills their parents who had acquired not through the genes but by a kind of resonance obviously training and growing up in a household where people know these things plays an important part but even before the regular training begins you'd expect them to show these Tendencies and so that's a particularly interesting example because you're able to observe these positions most people

► 00:44:12

notice but that's the kind of thing that I think is likely to be going on all the time yeah there's been several of those positions that mean sometimes it's just play and I see them just rolling around but then there's like these clear patterns like one of them is need to the belly to the Mount there's this position that you do when you're in what's called side control you put your knee on someone's stomach you slide it across and you get on top of the mounting them with your hips above their hips and she does it

► 00:44:42

tively and it's not an instinctive move for most kids and I try to I try to be objective when I watch it like how much of this is just natural human movement and how much of this is like her actually having some information and there's clear blips while I go look at that like that at that is normal like in Jiu-Jitsu class but it's not normal for kids like there's there are things that they've learned and then there's also like when I've taught them stuff they pick things up like they already knew it it's like I used

► 00:45:12

teach martial arts so I've taught quite a few people and I know children are a little easier to teach than other folks but there's children of people who are martial artists and then there's children of people who have never studied martial arts and the children of people who are martial artists were almost universally easier to teach hmm and it's sort of backs up that idea yes I mean one could even do experiments on this yeah you know actually I could quantify it my own approach to

► 00:45:42

sciences that you have to start from what people have noticed like your observations with kids of martial arts people including your own and then if you want to take it further you could do more rigorous observations and the standard explanation people say oh they've seen their parents dirt or they've seen videos or pictures of it around the house and that sort of thing that might play some part in it but I think there's likely to be much more than that to this and when we obviously have to do special experiments to check it out but

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mention I think in many areas it should be easier to teach kids whose parents have done something like my own kids my two sons are extremely Musical brilliantly musical Once a professional musician well I play the piano my grandfather was a church organist my uncle was a church organist my father was very musical my mother was played the piano and was very musical my wife's family

► 00:46:42

Lee were musical her mother was a concert pianist her father was a Pianist and singer and right from the age of four they wanted to play the piano they wanted to learn music and they showed a tremendous amount of ability to assimilate it there are sometimes people who are very musical who come from non-musical families but some of the greatest musical Geniuses come out of musical dynasties like bark I mean he came from dynasty of musicians and so I think that these

► 00:47:13

these things are probably easier to learn if parents have learned them it's so fascinating just the the concept of learning things and learning things from some really unknown source one of the things that you brought up in the trial logs I thought was particularly interesting and really resonated with me was you were talking about how children in New York City are afraid of monsters that it's a natural inclination for children

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to be afraid of things in the dark with large teeth that are going to eat you and that this goes back to the time where we were you know regularly Predators took babies they like big cats or you know monsters as it were in the night would steal people would eat people when preyed on human beings that it makes sense that these children have this intuitive Instinct built into their genetics or Whatever It Is Well exactly I mean they the the the

► 00:48:12

handed sort of picture of the human prehistoric past is man the hunter striding out onto the Savannahs of Africa and stuff but it was much more I think the case man the hunted I mean humans are particularly defenseless against big predators and until recent times were very vulnerable to them like tigers in India during the under the British rule even as late as the 1940s there were

► 00:48:42

thousands of people a year are killed by man-eating tigers and they usually go for the most vulnerable I mean when predators are working in Africa when lions are attacking herds of antelope or something they go for the old and the sick or they go for the young because they're the ones that are the most vulnerable so probably over huge amounts of human history young children had indeed been eaten by predators

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and and still were and and probably today in some parts of the world maybe still are these were the most realistic fears for huge periods of human history and so I think it's fascinating that young children have these nightmares this study in New York looked at the nightmares of young children nearly all of them were about being chased by monsters or scary animals and of course we feed them

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imagination in children through Fairytales think of Grimm's Fairy Tales you know like Little Red Riding Hood where there's the big bad wolf you know it is going to eat up Little Red Riding Hood there's so many stories in fairy tales of wolves that could eat children and although nowadays the image of wolves has been sanitized and we're told they're basically fairy loving creatures Etc they are predators and if they get the chance in the

► 00:50:09

past I think they did eat children's not just in the past it's in the present if they have the right numbers we know we've talked about this in the podcast but there was an instance in the 1400s in France were wolves killed 40 people in France mmm it's just a matter of them reaching the right numbers yeah World War II there was an instance where the Germans and the Russians had a ceasefire because so many of their troops were getting killed by wolves the United together to take out a giant Super PAC

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wolves in Russia because you know there was hundreds of wolves that were just slaughtering soldiers mmm what was your dangerous they're very tricky animals just we eradicated them to very low numbers and then when the numbers start to build up again they start getting more and more dangerous again well I've seen this myself we spend our summers on a remote island in British Columbia Cortes Island BC and about 10 years ago the Wolves came back they swam from other islands and and at first most people

► 00:51:09

there are sort of liberal kind of people he's great Wildlife returns Etc but these walls became increasingly bold and our family owned some land up there we have a forest we don't have a house we just have Forest land and my sons were there on our land they've been sleeping out when a big wolf suddenly appeared and looked very very threatening and they've been told don't run if you see a wolf so they stood there and they faced it

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and then this will sort of puffed-up it's fair and charged them and it stopped a few yards away and they backed off slowly and they ran when they got around the corner but this but wolf was clearly a threatening very very scary then they started eating people's dogs and there's nothing I've never seen a faster transition from someone who has a kind of wolf loving liberal once her dog got eaten they they wanted the guys with guns to come out and teach these

► 00:52:09

the Wolves at lesson yeah and they did some of them were shot and now they're much more frightened of people they keep their distance they're still there but if they if there hadn't been a pushback from the people on the island they would have got increasingly bold yeah there's an issue that's going on right now where people are resisting the idea of hunting walls because they reintroduced wolves a lot of the western United States and in some places they've reached very large numbers thousands of walls and Idaho and a couple of these areas would have decimated

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can mooc moose populations or elk and deer populations rather and you know there's a lot of people that are animal rights folks that aren't there they're not there and they resisted very strongly like the idea of killing wolves is barbaric and evil but to the folks that live there they're like no we love animals but you have to deal with this you got a real problem here hmm especially when they form large packs they get very dangerous in Russia they had these super packs of wolves in Siberia that we're taking out

► 00:53:09

horses they were showing up a hundred Wolves at a time they were showing up these horse stables and slaughtering a horse and you know there's not much you can do about a hundred wolves no well given all this background I think that's it's so fascinating that for young children especially Urban young children who've actually never said they would never see a wolf in your life or any other scary animal these are the things that haunt their nightmares and I think this is part of a kind of collective memory I mean the more realistic dangerous for young children

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wasn't being ripped run over by cars sexual predator all sexual predators but that's not what their dreams are about it maybe what their parents nightmares are about but not the children themselves so there was a television show in America that I hosted called Fear Factor and it was a game show they had to do these stunts and different stunts had you know different things they had to do one of the things that I found incredibly fast and he was some people had irrational fears about certain animals whether it's spiders snakes

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Arachnophobia phobia and those those fears were undeniable it weren't just like people are nervous of heights like I'm nervous of heights I look over the side of a building or who but it's not an irrational fear it's a normal natural fear of I don't want to fall yes but there are some people you would show them a snake and they would they would black out they couldn't stay conscious they would they would hyperventilate and they would faint and I couldn't believe they were normal folks when I would talk to them there would be no

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thing that it would indicate in any way that they were psychologically deranged or there was something missing in their you know whatever developmental period that they'd gone through something got screwed up and they're just missing a giant chunk of what makes a person a normal person no they seemed completely normal but you show them a spider and they would whoo-hoo and I was wondered like what is that maybe some someone down the line in their history was bitten by a spider someone down the line was poisoned by a snake

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and survived or they saw someone poisoned by a snake I mean whatever it is it's real and it's these are these are real psychological issues that people have to deal with Arachnophobia and a fidya phobia in in particular they're very strong yes well I think these could easily be inherited phobias I mean it's well known in animals that you can have instinctive fear and of course it makes sense for Animals you probably know those experiments they do with day-old chicks or

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ducklings and have them out in an enclosure outdoors and then they do these experiments they have cardboard cutouts and with a silhouettes of birds and you pull them across on wires and if you pull across things with the silhouette of a hawk these these ducklings just freeze you know the fear responses to just freeze they freeze it whereas if you pull across something looks like silhouette of a pigeon or you know red-winged black were bad or

► 00:56:09

something they don't so they have an inherited fear of things that could in fact be dangerous and it's perfectly in terms of evolution it makes perfect sense to see why that would work these baby ducklings don't have time to learn which birds are harmful and which are not but an instinctive response of fear to something that is actually scary it may sometimes lead them to respond something's isn't like a cardboard cutout but

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it's I think these things make complete sense biologically it does make sense if you stop and think about it if you really take into consideration all the things you have to learn to survive as any animal as just this idea that these mice would learn somehow another through their parents to avoid that certain smell because that smell was associated with electrical shock it only makes sense that somehow or another biological life would transmit

► 00:57:10

formation in as many ways as possible yes absolutely your idea is so fascinating because you're not even talking about biological life transferring information through genetics you're talking about it through some unseen force that has yet to be defined and that's when things get really squirrelly and is that when you that's must be when you experience the most resistance to these ideas because the resistance to these ideas I'm sure before they proposed this idea that genetics

► 00:57:40

or that these mice would somehow another inherit the fear of the smell from their parents that was probably not very well received before it was proven but then it was proven but now it's sort of has to be accepted and has to be taken into consideration but your idea is still very Fringe oh yes it's it's the the interesting thing is you see the response I get this from from some scientists is actually extremely

► 00:58:10

women are irrational when my first book a new science of Life came out there was a very famous editorial in nature after the leading Science magazine a few months after the book appeared to start with nature ignored it but then a lot of people got interest those doing programs on the radio and Britain there wasn't an article editorial in the guardian saying what an interesting idea and it's a lot of serious discussion going on New Scientist magazine

► 00:58:40

launched a competition for the best ideas for experiments to test morphic resonance and and it was beginning to be widely discussed the editor of nature who was a reactionary figure in science so you know old-style materialist mechanistic hardcore scientist wrote a famous editorial called a book for burning on the front page of nature comparing my book unfavorably with mine Kampf Hitler's book saying that

► 00:59:09

it was a profoundly dangerous book wow and it he said this is the best candidate for burning there has been for many years and it was completely irrational this attack on my book it was emotional irrational polemical he didn't do it as a joke and this of course produced a backlash because quite a few scientists thought this was the wrong way to respond to a scientific hypothesis so a lot of letters in nature for months afterwards

► 00:59:39

were backing me up and saying you know this is something that should be seriously discussed not simply denounced but the fact is that this started a kind of controversy which has been going on ever since but until the year 2000 most biologists thought genes did everything know the epigenetic thing has taken over in the missing heritability problem there's much more openness than the words

► 01:00:09

because it's clear we haven't figured it all out interestingly Charles Darwin was not a neo-darwinian neo-darwinian Evolution serious as it's all done by the genes Evolution just about random mutation and natural selection of Gene frequencies this is the basis of Richard Dawkins work for example his book The Selfish Gene is based on that model Darwin actually believed in the inheritance of acquired

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odd characteristics he thought that animals could inherit the fears of their fathers and that most of adaptation could actually be passed on to animals and plants descended from parents he thought that was how Evolution worked he even proposed that when something had been learned that could be movement of something through the bloodstream that could affect the sperm and the eggs exactly the kind of things that's now being considered in the sphere of

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the father's case so movement through the bloodstream so if you learn something like say if you touch something it's electric fence and it shocks you there's movement through the bloodstream that teaches your sperm that's what that was what Darwin thought he put what he wrote a book called The variation of animals and plants under domestication it's less well known than his most famous book The Origin of Species but in the variation of animals and plants under domestication he was so

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convinced that plants and animals could inherit what their parents had learned he tried to figure out how it might work and his the last chapter is called the hypothesis of pangenesis it's the name he gave to his theory that somehow little bits were detached from the brain and went through the blood and affected the sperm now that's more or less what people are saying trying to explain the mice inheriting the fear of their fathers that aspect of Darwin's work has been airbrushed out of scientific history

► 01:02:10

Darwin also wrote a paper in nature about a dog that he came across that whenever this dog got near to a butcher shop the the the dog was completely terrified butchers and Darwin figured out that his parents one of its parents had been kicked or badly mistreated by a butcher and this dog had inherited a phobia of butchers now Darwin published that in nature that shows you how very different Darwin's ideas on evolution

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ocean were from his 20th century successors and the reason that modern evolutionary theory is called neo-darwinism is to distinguish it from Darwinism which included the inheritance of habits very similar to what I'm saying what I'm saying in terms of the inheritance of habits through morphic resonance is actually really close to what Darwin himself said but it's not what neo-darwinian say cuz they've tried to say all inheritances in jeans and you can't have these

► 01:03:09

things but no they have to change their tune because as I say in the last few years epigenetic inheritance the inheritance of acquired characteristics is back in fashion with as many people that haven't studied Darwin's ideas at all that aren't familiar with the amount of resistance that Darwin received when he was proposing these ideas like these weren't accepted ideas at all in fact the majority of scientists at the time were they were more of a Christian faith weren't they yes

► 01:03:39

yes but it was the response to Darwin was particularly interesting you see because many many Christians in England after being surprised by his ideas actually said well that's fine if God's the creator of life and why on Earth can't God worry a through Evolution right create life that can evolve by under its own Steam and his ideas were quite rapidly accepted by the Roman Catholic

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click in the Anglican Episcopal churches and the methodists and so on this fundamentalist creationist thing is a peculiar American phenomenon it didn't originate until the 20th century and it was started in America and it's virtually unknown in Britain I'm actually a practicing Christian I'm an Anglican and I never meet creationists in England I've never heard anyone wouldn't I what exactly is an Anglican Church of England the Church of

► 01:04:39

island is the it's sort of halfway between Protestant and Catholic what happened in England under King Henry the 8th and the 16th century was that he nationalized the church and he said okay the Pope's not head of the church anymore I am and the priest can marry will have the services in English and Bishops can be married and so but the service has remained much the same and the church of England if you go to a bank

► 01:05:09

can service it's very like a Roman Catholic service except that we have married priests we have women Bishops and women are women priests outrageous outrageous from Catholic point of view but anyway the Church of England is so it's it's never had the sort of extreme Protestant doctrines like Southern Baptists and and so on it's it's it's very similar to the Catholic church it's now one of the most liberal churches

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but anglicans on the whole had no problem with Evolution they still don't I've just been doing a workshop last weekend at The esalen Institute in Big Sur which I was co-leading with the bishop of California whose Cathedral is Grace Cathedral in San Francisco very beautiful cathedral on Nob Hill we were discussing the kinds of things you and I are discussing he was completely open to all this there was it was absolutely no

► 01:06:09

I'm discussing this with an Anglican an Episcopalian Bishop it's a very far cry from what many people's image of Christians is opposing Eeveelution the general view that many Christians have and I'm one is that the evolution of nature of if there's a creative power in nature it may be God given in the first place but what God did was to endow nature with the power to create new forms of life that there's a kind of intelligent

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creativity in nature you don't have to have a kind of intelligent designing engineer outside nature tinkering with the machinery and manipulating genes as the intelligent design people think and you don't have to deny Evolution all together to say God's involved in nature in some way it's perfectly possible to have a view where God is in nature and works through nature and there's a creativity in nature which doesn't require the universe

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to have been created in six thousand to six thousand years ago that completely accept the evolutionary history of the universe in cosmology and in evolution and just say well if there's a God then that's the way that God works through this Eeveelution reprocess and through the creativity of evolution so the fundamentals Christians and the new Earth Christians at that that's a uniquely American thing thing yes I mean I do have followers a few followers in Britain but they

► 01:07:39

take their lead entirely from America and they've got a new batch of converts their point of view in the Islamic World creationism inspired by American creationist is big in Turkey in many other and Arab countries and stuff but it's a peculiarly American phenomenon we know how it all came about in America right where we're really took off will became a part of the political system the Reagan Administration they started recruiting the radical Christians and that became a part of his electoral

► 01:08:09

he's yes it's a very very interesting history it had always been for most foreigners American politics is completely impossible to understand it's impossible to understand how people can be so polarized and and so extreme in their views and I read a book recently which made it much clearer to me it's called The Sword of the lord it's written by a guy called Andrew Hines who was raised Southern Baptist seven of his cousins of southern baptist ministers his father his grandfather his

► 01:08:39

grandfather who was called rice was one of the inventors of American fundamentalism and it's a fascinating historical study of this phenomenon and why they were like that and it made a lot more sense to me I mean it's still very bizarre and very American yeah we're very weird we're hard for you to understand even for us we you know everyone's constantly trying to refocus our political system or sort of re redefine it Comet down reach what I mean

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everyone's looking for a more moderate conservative or someone who is more conservative moderate you know we're always looking for someone who meets the bridge someone to join the two sides so we don't have these radical polarizing opposing forces the left and the right it's just it seems so childish to me but what this book made and what was for me huge Revelation was that how all of this is rooted in the American Civil War and there's a sense in which in some people's minds the

► 01:09:39

cool wall still going on it's just that the sides have switched in the Civil War The South was Democrat who the slave-owning size they are political party after the Civil War was the Democrats and the Republicans were the liberals who wanted to free the slaves and one of the most interesting switches that's happened is this switch so now it's gone the other way around the Democrats and other liberals and stuff and and and the Republicans have become the more right-wing forces and Power

► 01:10:09

in the South which was exactly the opposite very bizarre so what this book does is trace the history of this fascinating movement but what's so interesting is it in the Civil War both sides were using biblical text to justify their position but the the the the southern Baptists and the religious people in the South actually had a much stronger biblical basis for slavery because the Bible's full of slaves the Old Testament is full of slaves that you did the Israelites were slaves

► 01:10:39

slaves themselves they owned slaves in the New Testament everyone owns slaves it was taken for granted there were no abolitionists and the Bible so if you base your faith on the Bible you can make a much stronger case for slavery than you can for abolitionism and so but you have to take the Bible as literally true and that gave a strong incentive for people in the South to make the Bible literally true because you could justify slavery much better than if you interpret it in a liberal way saying well actually the spirit

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Jesus was to liberate people from bondage they say okay as well as the text Jesus doesn't say anything about liberating slaves so fundamentalism gave a kind of impetus to this and it was very very fascinating to see how that played out because on both sides in the Civil War they were both invoking the Bible the both sides were Protestant both sides were had ministers preaching to inspire the troops and get them to fight and

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after the Civil War the way in which this tradition of fundamentalism to developed in the American South to justify slavery gave a kind of ready-made way to use biblical text to argue against all sorts of other things including evolutionary theory whereas in Europe in the traditional catholic and and and and in the more liberal Protestant churches people hadn't taken the view of the Bible is the literal truth they take in the view the Bible's our guy

► 01:12:09

to what might happen that a lot of its meaning is allegorical or symbolic but the kind of so-called liberal interpretation of the Bible goes back to the second century ad or something it's been the mainstream view for a long time you are scientist hmm what leads you to be a practicing Christian as a scientist

► 01:12:32

but I spent years as an atheist I mean when I was educated as a scientist part of the package deal is atheist you know I grew up with all the standard bow timers 14 I was at a religious boarding school Christian boarding school I was the only boy in my who refused to get confirmed because even at 14 I identified as an atheist and I thought science means science and reason religion and Superstition of things at the past

► 01:13:02

scientists at the Vanguard of human progress all that kind of thing I believe that but what made me begin to doubt it was I began to doubt that this was the right way forward and science I began to think that this mechanistic molecular approach to treating animals and plants as just machines was an inadequate view of Life had gone into biology because I was fascinated by animals and plants I kept lots of pets as a child my father

► 01:13:32

was a herbalist I collected plants and he taught me about plants he had a microscope laboratory and this I was sort of really got into science as a child and when I started studying science at school and University the first thing we did was living organisms organisms was to kill them and grind them up and then look at the enzymes in their liver or whatever it became clear to me we were not really studying life we were studying death

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when I was a child I kept homing pigeons and I was fascinated with how do they find their home I asked everybody I knew men who kept poem homing pigeons it was a popular sport in Britain it still is I had some myself and I used to put them in a box and cycle as far as I could on my bicycle and release them and then cycle home and they always got home before I did however far I took them so this completely intrigued me and I thought we're never going to

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and this by just grinding up their livers or looking at their genes so I began to doubt the mechanistic world view then I encountered psychedelics and that was a huge change I mean nothing in my scientific education and prepared me for the kind of mind opening effects of LSD this was in the 70s early 70s

► 01:14:59

and you know I'd started nerve impulses and hormones and that kind of thing which is what we got in our science course at Cambridge about the brain you know I knew about the anatomy of the brain and nerve impulses but these Visionary experiences that psychedelics opened up showed me there was far more to the mind and indeed far more to reality than this very very limited model then I got interest in meditation because I thought well it'd be good to be able to explore the mind

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without drugs I mean I'm not anti psychedelic at all but I would be good to have different methods not just drugs then I took up Transcendental Meditation and yoga then I got a job in India I lived in India for seven years and when I was in India I was really into yoga and meditation and and at first I thought this is just changing my brain physiology you don't need to believe there's a God out there or any

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thing mysterious out there it's just inside the body the chemicals affect the brain the yoga and meditation affect blood flow Etc so I saw reason rather materialistic way but then I got more and more interested in Hindu philosophy and Hindu ideas and the idea that there's a greater Consciousness within which our Consciousness is embedded through some through some psychedelic experiences we can we contact other Realms of Consciousness that aren't just inside our brains through

► 01:16:29

a tation and through prayer that one can actually contact other forms of Consciousness bigger than our own I did all that with in a kind of Hindu context and then I had a Sufi teacher in India as well as I did it's sort of Islamic mysticism for a while but after doing this for several years I found that actually some of it didn't make sense to me the part that doesn't didn't make sense to me well the Islamic part to be a Sufi in Indio

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you had to be a Muslim and I didn't really want to get into being Muslim and sort of fasting in Ramadan and all that to be earned Hindus their basic worldview was and for most of them still is the idea that we're just trapped in a world where things go on and on rebirth and cycles of life and death and we're trapped in this world of suffering and delusion and the way out is through

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a kind of spiritual vertical takeoff which you do individually through meditation you can liberate yourself from reincarnation and illusion and so forth into absorption in the one the absolute but it's an individual vertical takeoff and I was working in an agricultural Institute the main International Institute in India for trying to improve crops for poor farmers and sometimes my Indian colleagues would say to me after work we

► 01:17:59

they say why do you do this I'd say because you know I want to help these poor people and you know they haven't got enough to eat it be great if they had better farming methods and improved varieties and science can help and I believe in trying to apply my knowledge to help these people he said it is none of your business if they are poor if they are suffering it is their karma it is not your business it is their problem not your problem your problem is to liberate yourself from this world of Illusion so

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I realized actually they have a completely different view that it's a the poorest offering because the in a sense they deserve to suffer its fruit because of what they've done in past lives nothing I can do about it then I realized actually I do care about other Pi do think that a spiritual life is not just about individual Liberation it's to do with Collective things is to do it affects community and how can other people be helped

► 01:18:55

and as I argued with my Hindu friends I realized the reason I was saying this is because I'm so deeply embedded in the Christian tradition even secular humanism is a kind of secularized Christianity because it's about helping others that actually I was much more Christian than I actually had ever admitted so I was confirmed in the Church of South India and I then found a fantastic ashram where I live for two years father bead Griffiths who was an English Benedictine at a Christian

► 01:19:25

- rum in South India which was exactly to my taste it was very simple we did yoga we did meditation we we had Christian Services and but we had sang Indian chance and curtains and things it didn't try and deny any of this and when I first went there we started the mouse with the Gayatri Mantra which is a Hindu Mantra asking son to bless our meditation the Divine splendor

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Under the Sun to illuminate our meditation so I said father bead when I first went there how can you have the Gayatri Mantra at the beginning of a Catholic service and he said precisely because it's Catholic he said Catholic means Universal if it excludes anything which is a path to God then it's just sectarian

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the word Catholic means Universal yes that's what is fascinating yes so so I found a way of being Christian which didn't deny yoga meditation Buddhism my wife has a practicing Tibetan Buddhist she follows us all Chen tradition in Tibetan Buddhism so I find a way that of reconnecting with the Christian tradition which didn't violate my

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sense of reason it didn't conflict with the kind of science that I'm interested in but I found it liberating to reconnect and so when I went back to England from India I was able to go to those great Cathedrals that we have in England built in the Middle Ages is fantastic buildings stained glass wonderful music organs playing Amazing choirs singing the most beautiful music and and feel that this is not just beautiful but meaningful and is a is a path to

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God which I had not seen before that's fascinating so in India the concept of Karma being that someone has done something in their past life that's LED them to where they are right now yes that boy that seems real convenient for someone passing by homeless people or someone who's poor suffering it's almost like the numbers of people that they have in India because the numbers are so great a billion people

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how much bigger is India than North America oh the size of the land is much smaller the population is now almost a billion how much smaller is the size of the land I don't know but it's crazy how really densely populated yeah wonder if that came about as just a way of just mitigating the pressure of helping people like just the idea of Karma Black you can't help that guy that's his problem you got to do it yourself just the sheer numbers what well I don't know I mean

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I mean at the time the British were ruling India there are only about 200 million you know when I was born there were about 250 million what and you were born yes I was born in 1942 yeah me did a lot it's a huge huge increase its last increase wow anyway the thing is about they do that the convenient the karma thing in India you see is it is convenient for four centuries India's had a caste system you know the Untouchables a treated like dirt I mean they're considered to be

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chicken dirty even if the shadow of an Untouchable fell on a brahmins house this person could be punished very very severely and there was no move within engine until the 19th century to reform that what happened with Christian missionaries went there they were nice to Untouchables and to lower castes and and gave them food education Healthcare Etc and some of them became Christians I mean why not if you're at the bottom of the pile

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you've not got anything to lose and you've got a lot to gain by becoming a Christian so Hindu reformers felt that they had to counteract us and so things like the ramakrishna mission and SRI aurobindo and various Hindu philosophers and Gandhi himself who was a big influence in India assimilated many of these ideas from Christianity and said look we've got to reform Hinduism and they created a new kind of Hindu attitude much influenced by Christianity and so that are now Indian movement

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to try and help the poor and provide health care for the sick and that kind of thing that's not been part of their traditional way of doing things and it came about under Western influence that's really fascinating so your desire to sort of help help these people help them grow more food and help them live better lives is what led you to become a Christian you realize that these are Christian ideas yes that their Christian are deeply embedded in our culture even for secular

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humanists you see secular humanists usually atheists who believe in a philosophy of equal rights equal opportunities in helping the poor and the sick education for those who need it no for everyone and uplifting people who are suffering helping third world countries have running water and all that kind of thing well these are things that Christian missionaries have done as well but you don't have to be a Christian to believe in those things but the fact that they're so deeply embedded in our culture

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in our secular culture is because of the influence of historical influence of Christianity so secular humanists are basically people who still have Christian ethics but without a belief in God but that ethical system doesn't just come about automatically a much more default mode is to say you know the strong might is right then you know the strongest guy gets the girls and and you know runs a kind of Hari in mind and then conquer people

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and have slaves thing is that's how Humanities worked for much of human history yeah most certainly has so this it sounds like you found a very cool sect of Christianity while you were in India I mean that sounds very unique that you were doing yoga and meditation and then these Indian chance all along with this concept of Christianity being like the the generosity and helping your brothers and sisters like yeah well that seems to be

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like that that must have been very convenient to find that sect of Christianity while you were sort of exploring these ideas it wasn't even the sect filed be Griffis is a Benedictine Monk and he's a Roman Catholic now it's true that some people in the Catholic Church didn't approve of what he was doing but but it was really his him it was well him and a group of other people I mean there was a whole movement in India of Catholics to it was called enculturation it was the second Vatican

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Otakon Council in the 1960s said that what people should do in the Catholic church is put the the Christian faith into the terms of that culture so in India Catholics have been converted by Catholic missionaries from Ireland and places bought pairs of shoes so they can put them on to go to church on Sundays because the mission is dressed up in western clothes and wore shoes in church these Indians would never wear shoes in a temple or a mosque or even in their house but

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they will shoes in church because that's what the Catholic missionaries War to that kind of thing is ridiculous and so the the simplest level the enculturation movement we say well it's the tradition of India's take your shoes off in homes and in temples and in Mark Sue take them off in churches tomb and it was the tradition of holy men and women in India to be vegetarian whereas Catholics and and processes they're all eating lots of beef and stuff because that's what American and British missionaries

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yet and so he said no it would much more natural to be vegetarian you don't have to be but it's more natural so this idea of yoga is a way of learning how to breathe and to chant and to be more healthy why shouldn't Indian Christians do yoga right so this is part of a movement father bead was part of a wider movement the last two popes have been rather reactionary in have tried to roll back that movement but there are still people in India and South America and so on who are following this

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Vatican second Vatican Council Reform movement the new pope is fairly unique isn't any he is yes he used to be a much less polarizing figure he seems to be much more generous much more open-minded to the idea of homosexuality into a lot of the things that have been criticized in the past and he also liked is he's issuing the ideas of monetary wealth he doesn't have that crazy thrown anymore he's a reasonable chair he's a he's a unique

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I I think it's partly because he comes from South America you see and do this kind of radical Catholic movement do you second Vatican Council liberation theology which was about the church should be there not serve the rich but to help the poor and this became a huge movement in South America but the previous Pope John Paul the second was against it because he they were teaming up with Communists and people who are also trying to help the poor for secular reasons not and political reasons

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it's not for Christian reasons so he said this is wrong because it communistic but actually that movement is this radical Catholic movements had a huge influence in South America and I think the present Pope is somebody who's come out of that world who's been very much influenced by it it's so problematic though the suppressing his sexuality like that the number one thing that people associate Catholicism with is sexual assault is sexually molesting children that's

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huge aspect I grew up Catholic I was only in I was like practicing practicing Catholic when I was very young I went to Catholic School in New Jersey for first grade and it was a very bad schools like really dark and suppressing just very nasty and mean in the nuns were just horrific people and it essentially shied me away from all religion at a very young age yeah before then we why yeah it was terrible terrible

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but I have other friends that were also great Catholic that literally had to fight off the priest sexual attempts and that this is like a standard thing it's a joke it's a non running joke in America about Pari priests being sexual predators it's a constant thing that that seems to me like one of the number one issues with that particular brand of religion it's like this idea that you're going to take what is essentially just a natural part of being a human being

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you're not doing anything with the reproductive cycle you're just telling them to ignore it you have this consistent constant bodily function this your body's reproducing fluids on a regular basis and you living backed up all the time and also you're not experiencing any romantic interaction with human beings yes no no affection no sexual affection no nothing no you're missing out on a huge part of what it is to be a person and

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and these people grow up and they live Cradle to the Grave in this sort of weird non-developed State you know they're not like the rest of the people they can barely even understand like I had a friend that went to marriage counseling with a Catholic priest oh my God that's hilarious that's like going to Hitler and asking how to have World Peace like it doesn't make any sense like what do you how you going to a guy who not only does not have an

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X has never had a relationship but is drunk all the time he had Gin Blossoms all over his face and kids run away from him because they're afraid he's going to touch them and you're gonna go to that guy and he's going to give you marriage advice but I agree I think that's a you know it's a terrible thing and I mean there are a lot of good priests who don't do this and I met quite a few when I was in India and I have Roman Catholic priests as friends and so I think it's some minority we may have been quite a big minority and Ireland and in some countries

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but I think it was a some people are called to a celibate life and and I think that's fine for people to go become monks or nuns if that's what they're called to but for regular priests I think it's a serious mistake and in the Church of England ever since 1540 or something and in the process and churches in Europe priests have been able to marry and rabbis Mary and Judaism and I think is much much healthier to have priests as regular guys would love lives

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kids and things so I think that side of Catholicism is a serious mistake and I think they should read it sooner or later it'll have to be reformed because repression of sexuality leads to all these extremely unhealthy and negative consequences now I agree with you about it no but you know there are reform movements within Catholicism and they're in America their Breakaway Catholic churches with women priests for example there's one in Santa Barbara

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Barbara quieter than Santa Barbara freaks up there and loaded so this anyway I agree with you I think that's a very negative thing but you see I think that to reject the entire some people reject the entire world of religion because of personal bad experience with one particular brand I think it's rather like throwing out the baby with the bathwater it would be like saying I'm against science because it gave us gas that the kittler you

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kill people and it gave us the atomic bomb that killed people in hiroshima's I'm against science I mean science everything human there are really bad things that have been done by humans in the name of almost anything you care to mention nationalism science religion politics ideology so when you decided to join this particular group of Christians and become a Christian officially like the yeah identify

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is there resistance from your colleagues Reserve assistance from other scientists like how old were you at the time oh I was hoping so

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33 something like that well not among I was working in India at the time there's hardly any atheists in India there's a few but among my scientific colleagues I was working with Indian scientists almost all Indians are Hindu Hindu or Muslim you know when they went home from work they'd be regular Hindus or Muslims they're very few of them were atheists so among my Indian colleagues being a practicing Christian when I came from a Christian family

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the Christian country seemed totally normal no one thought that was at all weird or strange when I got back to England among many of my scientific friends they thought this was completely weird and and just couldn't understand it because they assume that any Christian believes the world's made in 6000 years ago and God intervenes through suspending the laws of nature and miracles that are totally incredible I'm they don't believe in the kind of God

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I don't believe in but they never actually very few ever asked what do you actually think or believe they just sort of treated it as best as some kind of personal eccentricities he or mental feebleness or something mmm and while retaining a rather narrow dogmatically atheist view a lot of my friends are atheists or agnostics but the problem I have with atheists and materialists is that most of them are much more dogmatic than the people

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no within the religious World well I have a problem with anybody that's sure so do I yes when I speak to some atheists I have this issue where they're aggressively atheist you know where you know I've talked to people who there isn't they're not just atheist but they get upset at anyone who's not and my question to them is always like have you ever had a psychedelic experience whenever I speak with someone who's aggressive

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The Atheist and if they say no I'm most well what are you waiting for because if you really want to question your whole idea of reality there's no better method than a breakthrough psychedelic experience if you have a breakthrough psychedelic experience and you like pop that was nothing well then you're a unique person because everybody I've ever met that has a breakthrough psychedelic experience like a DMT trip they have to step back and go okay I didn't even know that was possible I've lived

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whole life with this one world view that well I see these people that are religious and it seems to me that they're following this ridiculous ideology that is based on some ancient information that people wrote down on animal skins it's all Preposterous and what they're doing is they're just a bunch of scared children are afraid of the light and what I'm doing is basing my life on science and and rational thinking and logic but then you have a psychedelic trip and you like there's nothing rational about that there's nothing logical about that and how is that so close

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it's so nearby it's like someone telling you a DMT trip is like someone telling you hey I want to show you something let's let's go into this room real quick and you open that door and there's a new universe there a completely different universe that's filled with life it's fractal it's never-ending and it occupies a very small space but yet it's infinite and it's filled with conscious beings that can see through you recognize all your bullshit recognize all your insecurities and all your

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correct thinking and ego and and they try to expand then you shut the door and you go back to regular life you like what the fuck is that room like all that room that's the God Realm it's right there like if you don't go into that experience like your whole like I think we live our lives based on we sort of calculate our worldview based on the experiences that we've accumulated what we've learned from these experiences and what we've learned from other people's experiences what we've read what we

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we've seen in documentaries and films but when you have a really intense psychedelic experience particularly and then for some people yoga and meditation some people are able to achieve some pretty deep States but the Psychedelic experience in particular is it shocking because it's so easy to get to it's just right there for hits of the DMT and boom blast off and then 15 minutes later you're left with this new experience that you have to assimilate

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figure out a way to make sense of it the the atheist that I talk to that are like super aggressive they're just like religious people people in a lot of ways it kind of scientific fundamentalism yeah and it's also morphing now I know if you're aware of this in America it's morphing there's atheism and then there's an even more aggressive group called atheism plus I didn't about that yeah and what they're doing is they're attaching a bunch of moral and ethical values to religion essentially creating

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I'm almost like another religion and I think with good intentions I think a lot of it is good intentions a lot of it is based on a lot of it is based on feminism a lot of is based on the idea of avoiding harassment avoiding sexual harassment avoiding like that they their ethics are to completely define what's acceptable behavior like no no racism no sexual harassment no none

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inaudible acceptance of women's rights undeniable acceptance of you know it's interesting but then of course once you define that then you have aggressive members of that group that are attacking people that disagree with any of their propositions or anyone that supports men's rights of course now hates women and you get a lot of weirdness and that area because they can only be feminism there can't be men's rights as well men's rights are toxic whereas with

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women's rights once there is a cheat once they have achieved total equality then there was there's no need for men's rights because once feminism it has been established which is pretty logical assumption especially when you consider like divorce laws and exactly no I agree with you no I couldn't agree more about DMT and the the opening that it can give I mean I had the great advantage of taking it for the first time with Terence McKenna and he was he said do you want to

► 01:40:25

this Archer and as I okay and that's pretty cool on the resume by the way first time you did DNT it was Terrence McKenna yes I won't say where or when because it could be put down on some records somewhere that's probably already there yes don't worry about it but for me it corresponds in many ways with what people talk about near-death experiences because I went out through light into a realm of great Bliss

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this and beauty and then I came back and it was like coming back from a million miles away and just coming back into my body and as it were being born again so it was it was very much like a death and rebirth experience for me and it was very very transformative incidentally I think you know it would have been trying to understand this American phenomenal Southern Baptists and one of the things that I think is the key

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this is that I think when they talk about being born again originally baptism was just that mean now you can get this through DMT in five minutes but at the time of John the Baptist you could get it in 5 minutes through being drowned people were lining up on the bank of the Jordan they go in he holds them under if he held them under just long enough you could actually induce a near-death experience No Life review at the drowning man sees his life passed before him hold them under just long enough and they'd have

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a near-death experience almost guaranteed I mean occasionally they might he might have done it too long but that was before litigation you know you might have lost one that again yeah a good Theory actually and then you see they come back and they say oh I've died I've seen the light I've been born again I'm no longer afraid of death my life has been transformed in five minutes well and and the Baptist were the people who revived baptism by total immersion in the

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16th century and probably know in America they don't hold them under that long because this is post litigation but you know when the Baptist first got going this idea of holding people aren't long enough all their language is the language that relates to near death experiences and I don't think that to start with baptism by total immersion was just symbolic I think it was drowning wow that is quite fascinating and it makes sense if you think about ordeal poisoning

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ordeal poisoning being the substitute for psychedelics in certain cultures where they don't have access to psychedelic plants they would take essentially a poison that didn't kill you it got you right to the door where you wish you were dead almost you were in horrible pain and even In some cultures they use AntVenom like those bullet ants they yes they use that for these ritualistic coming-of-age rituals these coming-of-age rituals where you take people through these intensely painful moments where they almost

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want to be dead just to end the suffering and then when they come through in the other side there a better person because of it yes they're more reflective their sort of their appreciate that just the very breath that they're allowed to take they appreciate the sky seems Bluer the grass seems Greener the life has more vibrancy to it because they've gone through this ordeal poison or the toxic venom or what have you yes a rite of passage yeah almost all Rites of Passage for adolescents in traditional cultures involves huh

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nothing like a death and rebirth experience and I think you're right I think that's what's going on and actually I think that why the Baptist became so powerful and why for them the conversion experience was so real and why they talk about it so much is that because for many of them it was real it wasn't just a symbolic thing it wasn't signing up to some set of beliefs and I think this is the core of all religions is this direct experience of the Divine and you know I think that's what they will come from they come from experience not

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Aries what's quite shocking to that Jerusalem Scholars like maybe like mainstream Scholars now are considering that Moses was probably under the influence of DMT they believe that the burning bush there's you know the guys are not like psychedelic debased at all was quite probably The Acacia Bush which was a very rich in DMT plant and that that's the whole idea of the burning bush he sees God through a burning bush mean how much clearer does it have to be there's acacia trees

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all over that that part of the world it's a very rich plant as far as the content of DMT in it and if you experience that it's very much like I mean I don't know if you're experiencing God but it seems like it seems very Divine when you have a DMT trip yes well I mean why not be Experiencing God I mean it seems I'm like it seems none economical Theory to say that this Divine Bliss has experienced by Mystics

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part of the nature of God's mind is bliss I mean the Hindu name one of the names sachet and end up being knowledge Bliss as the fort in the nature of God if God's Consciousness is kind of blessed Consciousness then if you have this experience that seems like God and His Blissful why I have a hypothesis that there's some other Bliss Consciousness that isn't Divine that some kind of duplicate why not it be the real thing I think makes so much more sense yeah I told

► 01:45:55

he makes sense I mean it it makes as much sense as anything else these plants are real they I've always wondered if that and you know it's many other people speculators well if that's the reason why Hindus don't participate in eating cows too because of the psilocybin mushrooms growing on cows on a regular basis and that being for a lot of people believe the basis of Soma

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I don't know it's it's I'm I don't Terrence his theory about stropharia and these mushrooms growing on car down is okay as far as it goes but in England for example the the magic mushroom the liberty cap doesn't grow on car diet grows in sort of Meadows and usually no cars in them if anything those sheep but I've seen them they grow wild in Wales and you know I've encountered them on location and does it's nothing to do with

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also done I mean there's many different environments in which psychoactive mushrooms grow some kinds rely on the car down but I did I think he rather overemphasized the car dunk that's fascinating what do you think was the source of cattle worship like chucked all he look and all these ancient civilizations that worship cattle and this connection that McKenna made with those those people worshipping the cattle because the cattle Didn't just provide life and food because they had milk and meat but also that there was

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this connection with psychedelic mushrooms okay now I find that a bit far-fetched personally I mean in some cultures like in England oh there was a horse Worship in The Vedic Age there was kind of horse worship sacred horses to and they there are many different kinds of sacred animal even in India is not just cars that are sacred elephants are sacred ganesha's the elephant god but elephants are sacred Even Rats are sacred in India and monkeys

► 01:47:48

so lots of lots of sacred animals and I think that probably comes I think with the ones that are wild basically wild like elephants and and rats and monkeys there's probably comes out of kind of shamanic Roots but I think when people started domesticating animals then how do you relate to domesticated animals are they like slaves or are they the cow is seen by most Hindus as the Divine mother

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other the provider of milk and to regard them as sacred or do you just regard them as cogs in a factory farming machine well that's the way they're regarded now in feedlots and so on in the United States and in Europe but I think in a religious culture when you domesticate animals there's a sense in which they take on a religious significance and you know it in it for the Jewish people then goats and sheep were the main ones that took on a religious significance you know

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Jesus Lamb of God that takes us to a the sins of the world the Agnus Dei this is a sacrificial lamb which is a sort of sacred lamb and a so there's a sacred ization of sheep in the judeo Christian and the Islamic tradition it completely makes sense that people would worship cows and even horses because they need the horses for transportation you know in a lot of cultures they even used horses to stay alive like they drank the blood of the horses that was

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big thing with the Mongols it's one of the reasons why they brought like you know each each man had many horses that they would carry with them yeah and they would mix it with milk and it would be a way to stay alive mayor Mills there would take the the blood of certain horses the milk of other ones and all that makes sense what I've always wondered though was how did they how did they lose the meaning of Soma like how to how is that such an open thing open to interpretation

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what what happened along if it was such an amazing thing I mean you read the descriptions of Soma you know how fantastic it is and how huge a part of it was in their culture and their connection to the Divine how did they lose what it means but I agree I think is a mystery and it's similar increase the eleusinian Mysteries this cave where they went in for these psychedelic Rites of Passage that Plato and people did it was a big part of life in ancient Greece what was that

► 01:50:19

the most common theories ones where people see it as Amanita muscaria the fly agaric I've never found those particular plausible because whenever I've taken fly agaric when he once or twice all it did was give me a headache and it's maybe they had different varieties of it but I don't know anyone who's had a totally amazing fly agaric trip I've always spoken of people online that have I've only had it once and I felt the same way I didn't do anything for me I I don't know if it enhanced but I

► 01:50:48

I did it and then we we did it for a couple hours and it didn't seem to have any effect and then we took psilocybin after that and it had a huge effect it was just a monster trip and I wonder if it was some sort of a combinatory experience possibly but that was another thing that McKenna speculated about whether it was variable genetically variable seasonally variable as far as like geographically yes and whether it's transformed like reindeer and you transformed by the

► 01:51:18

into where they drink the urine of reindeer after the reindeer of Eastern it and stuff right and the laps and people well it's also the all the different connections to the Siberian shamans and that that the whole Christmas thing the whole connection to Christmas in the the Amanita muscaria mushroom it's very very bizarre that elves are connected with this particular mushroom which is connected with Christmas and gifts and yes symbiotic relationship to carnivorous tree

► 01:51:48

he's like the whole deal it shows it's mysterious but now I've never found that a Sperry of speculation particularly satisfying mean if they if if the evidence pointed towards stropharia cubensis or psilocybe a semi Lancelot oh you know the Liberty Capital are native psychedelic mushroom in England then it might be more convincing right I mean the fact is we don't know and and it's really a matter of speculation yeah I wonder if it's like you know like heirloom tomatoes you know you

► 01:52:18

Eden heirloom tomato they're so delicious they're fantastic they're sweet or they are so rich and dark or you can get one of these creepy Tomatoes at they they grow that live like a the last like a month on a shelf and they're pale and they're hard and they just taste like shit I mean there's nothing to them like you see they look different they taste different I wonder if that somehow or another happened to the Amanita where it lost its psychedelic properties unlikely because it's never been cultivated and you know it grows in the wild

► 01:52:47

old I did it'd be maybe just the temperature variations like that maybe you have to have it in that incredible cold environment of Siberia for it to be that it's geographically genetically variable oh you'll what you said makes the most sense to me that it was mixed with something else it's like in Ayahuasca if you just took one of the components of the Brew if the historical data pointed towards this being there you say okay this is what it was but actually neither of the components would work on their own so right it may well have been that it was part of a mixture

► 01:53:18

that does kind of make sense for Soma right because wasn't so much actually it was described as some sort of a mixed yet and so it was the decision Mysteries this is don't know what the a licinia Mysteries are huh there is there any speculation as to what those Graham Hancock has speculations of course but I don't know that the ones I've seen would would include opium and cannabis as part of the mix even cannabis was widely known in the ancient world and after all hemp ropes were used for thousands of years

► 01:53:47

people were growing hemp opium's been known for an awfully long time so what else might have been in there we don't know well that's the other thing to the consumption that eating of cannabis eating of hash has produced incredible psychedelic experiences for people they've eaten large enough quantities where it's been very mushroom-like much more psychedelic 2010 yeah

► 01:54:17

and its traditional to take it by mouth in India as well as to smoke it I mean it's a normal thing that the Festival of Holi hor I it's a major Hindu festival when I was living in India I was renting a wing of a crumbling Palace in Hyderabad from a family of impoverished Rogers and they were very respectable though impoverished and Unholy this Festival day the Roger's wife the Ronnie

► 01:54:48

came to me and she said Doctor Saab you must take our special drink she said this is our special drink for Holy and stuff and I said what is it said oh I will tell you later she said she's like the Joey Diaz of India Dost you up so I should drink this this bang and she said have some more and so and I assume very stoned with his bang this drink the Cannabis containing drink and then everyone was rushing around throwing colored water at each other other but I mean this was a highly

► 01:55:17

respectable conservative Brahmin family and this was just part of their traditional way of life and and it in the non-smoking the drunk form wow in the yeas are liquid the edible form that's a that's quite amazing I mean I know I often wonder how much different our worldview would be if we had those sort of traditions here in America because that's traditions and just sort of these cultural norms that we accept

► 01:55:47

they shape so much of our Behavior they shape so much of how we view the world and so much of it is just based on momentum it's just based on what did your grandparents do what did they teach your parents and what your parents teach you and what is with the collective culture of your neighborhood your community what is exactly one thing that's just occurred to me it was two things I'd like to ask you well one thing let me ask you something please does you know I've done a lot of research on the sense of being stared at

► 01:56:18

I think that this feeling that almost everyone's experienced of feeling you're being looked at you turn around someone staring at you or you can stare at someone and make them turn around this is something which is very widespread in the population there's been a kind of scientific taboo for years about it because it ought not happen if your mind is nothing but your brain looking at someone shouldn't affect them because everything is all inside your head whereas if when you look at somebody the image that you're

► 01:56:47

the seeing is projected out as I suggest it is that when I look at you now I don't think you're at my image review in three dimensions and full color is inside my head I think it's where you are I think I'm projecting out my image of you everything I'm seeing in this room is where it seems to be projected out my mind's extended beyond my brain anyway that is how we experience it the official theories it's all inside the head and because the official Theory says this is

► 01:57:17

to Superstition people can't really tell when they're being looked at the been almost no scientific investigation till I took it up in the 1980s and now quite a number of people have done this research on the sense of being stared at to find out if people really can tell when they're being stared at from behind I've done lots of experiments in schools kids are particularly sensitive to this more so than grown-ups really yes and I then to find out about I thought we'll look I've done the experiments but who are the professionals so

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iron my research assistant interviewed security guards store detectives The Drug Squad at Heathrow police and private detectives you know have you ever had this experience do people know when they're being watched almost everyone who watches others for a living such of sure of course they do and you know if you're being trained to be a private detective trained how to follow somebody you don't stare at their back because they're likely to turn around and catch your eye so anyway I wrote

► 01:58:17

about this in my book the sense of being stared at about this research and about its implications for the nature of our minds but I had recently somebody came to me from a British defense research laboratory and he said to me they've got very interested in this in the Army because there's some generals are worried that British troops in Afghanistan and now so Laden down with kit you know GPS systems I mean their whole body is covered with electronic kit

► 01:58:47

and they found that when they are so top-heavy carrying all this kit they have to look down at the ground all the time to avoid stumbling because it's harder to walk with all this stuff and they can easily be picked off by Guerrilla Fighters behind rocks with rifles and so what they said is do you think we could train people in threat awareness so they could actually become more sensitive now in the martial arts I know some martial arts do have threat awareness training so that people when blindfolded have to become more aware

► 01:59:17

of when somebody's looking at more going to attack them from behind so my question to you since this is your world not mine is how easy do you think it would be part of a train people in threat awareness to become more sensitive to knowing when they're being looked at that's very interesting I have never been a part of any martial art that teaches people threat awareness what the martial arts that I've been involved in have all been about acquiring very specific skills for hand

► 01:59:47

hand combat against other trained adversaries there's a bunch of different types of martial arts that emphasize what you call self defense type martial arts yes my issue with those guys and the practices of self-defense type martial arts is that almost everything that they're teaching would only work against a non-trained opponent they have all these ideas like if a guy comes out you and throws a punch you grab his wrist you do this you do that all

► 02:00:17

stuff only works on someone who doesn't know how to fight and my thinking is always learn what works on trained Killers learn things that are undeniable against the most skilled martial artists those are the things you want to learn and through this practice of very very difficult to pull off techniques very difficult training pushing yourself expanding the boundaries of your your willingness to push your body in your mind that's how you truly

► 02:00:47

learn about yourself and Miyamoto Musashi had this expression that he wrote In the book of five rings that once you understand the way broadly you will see it in all things and that that way being in his world was the way of sword fighting and that you would understand this and it's most incredible and intense way and you would see the same sort of path of the the true path in calligraphy in carpentry in all sorts of

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expressive art forms and that this is my opinion what is the great benefit of martial arts it's the developing of your human potential through this incredibly difficult Endeavor and I've always found that these guys who like blindfold and look out for it's all bullshit there's a tremendous amount of bullshit in martial arts it's one of the worst I was it yeah much less so now because of the New Movement from 1993 on has been

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the movement of mixed martial arts and that's because of these things called Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial arts competitions and what mixed martial arts competitions have done is there was always these ideas at different people I'd like death touches and Sky could just he could hit you in a certain place and uses Chi and knock you back all those guys failed miserably in competition not a single one was successful not one every single one was beaten down and it just showed there's no mysticism when it comes to martial

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Art's the true mysticism is the Conquering of your fears the ability to understand how to remain calm during these incredibly stressful moments of competition and through repetition and intelligent development of technique that's what what real martial arts training teaches people and that any Divine feeling you get from a true Master you would get from a Pianist as well you would get from a true brilliant painter you know you've

► 02:02:47

you've met Alex great right yes brilliant painter but you know how that feeling you get when you're around him he's a master you don't have any like he has this sense of this like very like you know you're in the presence of a very unique person and I have experienced that same feeling when I've been around martial artist and that same feeling when I've been around you know just great minds great thinkers there's what you do is you you recognize your recognizing greatness you're recognizing what Musashi said you're recognizing someone who understands the way bra

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Lee mmm and I don't I don't believe in a lot of these ideas of self-defense training you know I think there's there's certain techniques that are very effective for soldiers like disarmament techniques like how to take someone's pistol away how to how to defend against a knife attack where it's very technique oriented Krav Maga incorporates a lot of those is which is an Israeli martial art that takes a lot of the best aspects of many different martial arts and they they

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train that there are definitely Real Techniques involved that have been taught to soldiers and by soldiers when it comes to disarmament when it comes to how to deal with hand-to-hand combat and certain situations but I think overall a lot of the quote-unquote self-defense styles are bullshit and a lot of the you know we're going to blindfold you and people going to kick you if I blindfold you you're going to get fucked up all right if I blindfold you there's not a person alive is going to stop me from punch them in the face by

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you're not going to know it's common no the only thing that you can help is if you have control of a body like if you're blindfolded you can grapple very well but I could have grappled with my eyes closed before but the reason being is that if I am holding onto your waist if I have a hold of you I know where everything else is hmm it's a just a pattern thing it's it's a pattern recognition I've just I've been in that position so many times that I could I know where your neck is going to be I know

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your arms going to be if I isolate your shoulder I know what your wrist is going to be I know how to isolate those joints without having to look at so in that sense you could do some things blindfolded but not striking not distance know what I think the threat Awareness stuff was not so much that you could fight blindfolded but training people to feel from which direction someone was looking at behind now it seems to me plausible you could train that but you know it's not my world and

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so really the I mean this is an issue if they ask my advice on experimental design what I do for threat awareness has this I'd have say take a 5-story building on one of the five stories selected at random you'd have you do it at night have guys hidden behind in offices that can look at people walking along corridors you'd have CCTV cameras and people watching them on that floor but on the other four floors you'd switch off the TV

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TV cameras and be nobody there and you'd have somebody walk through each floor of this building and then they'd have to say which one they were being watched in hmm and one out of five if they got it right you know lots of times there's a one in five chance of getting right just by guessing but if you find results above score above trance you could then say well these people are actually detecting when the potential threats and you might be able to train people to get better at it what you did your study

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correct me if I'm wrong you had people sit down and then they would they hit a button when they felt someone looking at them know what happened was this well there's two there's two methods one one the method I've mainly used is the simplest one that you can do with kids in schools one person's blindfolded with an airline style blindfold cut out peripheral vision the other person sits behind them and down in a random series of Trials the simplest mess

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it is tossing a coin but I have random sheets of instructions in it you look all you don't look so if it's a look looking trial the person behind stairs at the back of their neck and thinks about them if it's a knot and then after 10 seconds there's a click and so they hear a click or a beep they know the trials begun and within 10 seconds they have to say looking you're not looking are you being looked at or not yes or no it's right or wrong and then the next trial at random would be looking you're not looking and

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it's not looking they look away and think of something else and people have to guess we usually do 20 of these are only 10 seconds each so it doesn't take long and this gives results where most people score above chance 50% chance but many if you take an average it comes out around 55 to 60 percent so it's not a big effect that over hundreds of thousands of trials that show something's going on statistically significant is very significant and if you do it through Windows where to

► 02:07:47

to eliminate smell or sound or one-way mirrors it still works and in Amsterdam this has been running in the science museum for 20 years and it's one of the biggest experiments ever conducted the interesting thing there is the overall results were extremely positive highly significant statistically but what they've shown is what I've already found in my own experience the most sensitive subjects are children under the age of nine and I think most of us is when we were older we go out into the world as crowded streets

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so people look at we desensitize ourselves but children are much more sensitive I wonder if that case I wonder if really attractive woman would be the worst at it because really attractive women are used to putting on blindfolds and walking past people staring at them all the time yes well there is a slight difference in those who've experienced this more women than men have experienced being stared at right do savvis and more men than women have experienced turning it others and looking at others making them turn around men are leaders yes so attractive women

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do have to as you say they have to they have to learn to avoid meeting people's gaze I have a sack autograph American Girl in Italy it's from 1951 it's a fascinating photograph it's a famous photograph this American woman is walking down this street next to these animals these men that are grabbing their crotch and they're they're still and she has this look on her face like she's not looking at anyone in particular she's just going straight forward and like that woman would be like a perfect

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someone who's like used of blocking off yeah all these leering yes freaks they're staring at her when you was there anyone that you'd ever done that study on that was like really good at it like 75% 80% oh a hundred percent yeah hundred percent yeah someone got a hundred percent yes and that was my oldest son man and when he was hurling wizard Sunday Marilyn yes ridiculous he's a scientist and he had that PhD at MIT

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moment and entropically conductor Merlin wow Menon the younger my youngest son is 24 is a musician comes with a hundred percent yes when money was four years old I did this experiment with him you know blindfold him he's sitting there I said look I'm going to look at you some of the time at the rest of time nice and each time you hear this click you have to say if you think you're being looked at he got it right two hundred percent of the time so I couldn't believe this he wasn't cheating I mean he didn't know about cheating he was parents before wow

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I did it again and his Brilliance and he said Daddy you've done the can we do it the other way around can you tell when I'm looking at you so I said okay we'll try that and we did it the other way around and I out of 20 trials I got sort of 11 out of 20 it was above chance but I was wrong quite lots of time then he got the idea wow you can be wrong and I was wrong and sort of Doubt entered his mind and after that when I test him was still fairly High 70

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five percent but he never got hundred percent again after the first two tiles that's interesting and what were the numbers like how many times did you do it well the first two times we were 20 times 22 so normally I do these trials with 20 trials and most people would get say 11 out of 20 and he was getting 20 out of that's insane which is hugely significant of course and and anyway the thing is that young children are very very sensitive to this and I hold yours four and six the younger ones

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check it out I'm going to I'm going up but we got my plans for tonight I'm gonna go on the way home want to pick up some blindfolds yeah that's that's brilliant that's it's really interesting the idea that you introduce the possibility of failure and then he was like oh and then he doubt crept in exactly and the problem with the kinds of tests side I do tests on sense of being stared at telepathy I don't doing a lot on Telephone telepathy can you tell who's calling

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the problem with these kinds of experiments is that you have to set them up so that people could be right or wrong and Pete know what very few people are right all the time but as soon as doubt Creeps in the mind and fears people think oh maybe that I guessed one way last time it's statistical they should be the other way this time and and they start as soon as that kind of thing goes on people lose it boy that is life in a nutshell isn't it like as soon as you have doubt your whole world is just a mess

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and unfortunately these experiments that I do introduce doubt into the Vet because I have to do statistical experiments that have incredible to Skeptics so there's a kind of skepticism built into the experiment I haven't yet found a way of doing these I'm always lived a Holy Grail would be to find ways of doing these tests where people don't realize that they're being tested and the could be there's doubt how could that be done though

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well I'm thinking of one kind of test that would be incorporated in a video game where say you have to choose between going through one door another door and one door you go through it's absolutely awful and the other door use scape and you're on to sort of next stage you could have it where when people choose it hasn't been decided you'd have a random event thing that would determine which door you go through after you've made the choice to go through it

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this is then called presentiment or precognition it's like knowing the future and so if people were right more often than they were wrong you'd know because it purely chance it should be 50/50 if some people were coming out 60/40 you wouldn't say this is a psychological test you would say you know how lucky are you and can you be consistently Lucky in this and it would be more like luck it would still involve an element

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dark because you might start thinking I'm not very lucky today but it would be wouldn't be framed as a scientific experiment it will be framed as a way of training your ability to be lucky whoa hmm training your ability to be lucky that's intuition is a very strange thing and some people believe in it and some people don't some people believe that you make good choices like you know you'll hear people that are successful that are confident again hey I've always been lucky I've got great instincts but

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the there is something to instincts there's something to trusting certain folks and not trusting certain folks based on just and immediately the feeling that you get when you meet them some things just don't seem right and I think a lot of it's probably pattern recognition a lot of it as you know I've been around guys like this before I know what they're about this guy's just got a little bit of bullshit in them I gotta get out of here you know well I think intuition just means direct knowing and some of it can be telepathic some of it can be unconscious pattern recognition there's

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lots of components but some of them I think of what you could call parapsychological you know feeling the future or picking up things telepathically and you know these recent experiments of Daryl bem at Cornell on feeling the future I don't know if you've known looked into those let me just keep an eye on the time till it's one o'clock okay well you have a pocket watch old school look at you with a chain on it yes

► 02:15:14

wow I don't like wearing wristwatch let me take that out how you would you have a connected to your belt or something yes it was yes it's a for the trousers there's a good wow pretty slick so wears a pocket watch well you know you need to know the time sometimes you don't like watches no no I don't like being manacled to time and a cold yeah Carrie cell phone know who you one of those guys yeah how come

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I hate being interrupted and you know I don't like the phone at home I don't use phones much I might use email that's fine you know just shut your phone off I know but I'd rather not have it I do have one because I'm doing experiments on cell phones on Telephone telepathy so my friend Steve was talking about from London same thing hates hates having a phone drives his wife crazy yes but that's a good reason for not having one I don't want to be interrupted all the time and

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I go for a walk or if I'm working or side I find it really annoying if the phone rings I mean anyway the pocket watch means I can know the time and I need to know I'm going to have to go fairly soon but not quite yet where were we

► 02:16:30

to elaborate a lengthy tests and intuition sometimes it's interior Darrell bombs experiments a very simple and there it's called feeling the future and there's this phenomenon Dean radin at The Institute of noetic Sciences has done a lot of research on where it turns out that we can respond a few seconds before an emotionally arousing event our body starts preparing for it before it happens this would be very relevant

► 02:17:00

fast Sports ping-pong tennis Cricket downhill skiing and probably martial arts as well and this research seems to me pretty convincing I've been a subject in some of these experiments myself and the dean radin version of it is this you sit there in front of a computer screen you're wearing electrodes that measure emotional arousal you know adrenaline causes sweating and emotional arousal like a lie detector

► 02:17:30

yeah so it's a standard way of measuring emotional arousal when you're ready you press a button and 10 seconds later a picture appears on the screen most of the pictures are neutral you know Landscapes you know bowl of flowers or something like that vaguely Pleasant some of them are scenes that are emotionally arousing hardcore pornography all scenes of extreme violence now almost everybody when they see hardcore pornography or scenes advances emotionally aroused even they don't want to be the

► 02:18:00

they are and you did the lie detector thing shows a huge emotional arousal the interesting thing in these experiments is the emotional arousal begins about five seconds before the picture appears on the screen 5 seconds is a long time it's a long time for four people ready here's five seconds go

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five seconds that's a long time and so the body at the heart starts beating faster the fight or flight response that you know the adrenaline kind of response kicks in so when the Earth when the stimulus occurs the body's already sort of revved up with this emotional response now this is work that that Dean radians done he's repeated it and it's been replicated elsewhere is called presentiment feeling the few feeling in advance

► 02:18:53

and the decision as to which picture appears on the screen is made by the computer a millisecond before it actually appears there's no one in the world knows what pictures came to appear now this is really interesting you see because it shows there's a kind of feeding back of emotion now Daryl bem at Cornell who is a very respected professor of psychology has been doing a different kind of experiment which doesn't involve the lie detector his experiments and you sit in front of a computer screen

► 02:19:23

his two cousins there behind one of those curtains there's a blank wall an image of a blank wall behind the other one those are pornographic image now most people even if they don't normally watch pornography and more interested in seeing a pornographic image than a blank wall and before you do the test you do as a simple question are you gay straight at cetera so people are gay get gay pornographic images so those are emotionally arousing

► 02:19:53

so what happens you sit down at the computer and you click on one of those two curtains

► 02:20:00

which the which one you want to click on you choose which of the two it's random whether you're get the wall or the pornographic image so you click on run and most people would hope that they're going to see the pornographic image a different one each time and and the computer makes the decision which one to roll back which curtain to roll back after you've made the click people don't know that this decisions only made by the computer after they've decided they think it's already there

► 02:20:31

so most people don't know that they're doing a presentiment test so what happens is in these experiments about 53 or 54 percent of the time people get the pornographic image whereas by pure chance they would ever be 50% and if instead of a pornographic image you have a sort of mildly Pleasant landscape or something that's not emotionally arousing it's done to 50% whoa so this is telling us

► 02:20:59

that something about emotional arousal can work back in time and when you think about fast Sports imagine you know tennis people are serving at 90 miles an hour there's not time for the I to take in the angle of the ball to process it in the brain through clunky brain processing to send messages along nerves to muscles to get the whole body ready or in a penalty shootout at the goalie has to in a football soccer match the they have to react very quickly

► 02:21:30

and in ping-pong you have to react quickly in cricket people Australian fast Bowlers bowling hundred miles an hour in cricket there's not long enough and in downhill skiing you come around a corner it's too fast so I think that part of our the way we reacting I think this comes out most in sports is it and would also come out driving a car if you got the five second and Advance warning some accidents about happen you could concentrate and

► 02:21:59

perhaps avoid it better this is a fascinating field of research which is it is not yet been picked up by Sports psychologists or by I've told several people in the military about it because I think it would be really interesting I don't think it's going to do any harm if they know this but say for example you had your physiology being monitored you're in a flight simulator or a driving simulator and say you had it so that

► 02:22:29

can you got an otherwise inexplicable emotional arousal going on that you'd be unconscious of it to start with say it was wired up to a red light went on in the cockpit of the driver flight simulator it might sometimes be a false alarm but every time that like went on you the message we concentrate harder something bad might happen this could be useful technological Gadget and so I think this is you know there's a lot of potential in this kind of research

► 02:22:59

search which is only just being began to be explored and the reason I've encouraged people in the British Defence research establishment to do this is because they're more likely to take it up than people in universities because in universities you know there's this kind of dogmatic skepticism that means people who are it's rubbish it's whoo it's pseudoscience Etc I mean stupid reactions really the real the most interesting actually yes this is really interesting can we find out more

► 02:23:29

and can we apply it that's incredibly fascinating do you think that these things like this either this precognition ability or this instincts or these ability to recognize these patterns do you think this is possibly some emerging thing in human beings emerging aspect of the development of humans mean obviously if you believe in evolution we were one thing now we are this we are what we are now which is radically different from the

► 02:23:59

the pre-human hominids of 2 million plus years ago we're very very different if you just extrapolate a million years from now we're going to be very different from what we are now do you think that this aspect of human beings of human life is as a developing thing this precognition ability this ability to communicate with each other do you think maybe that's what's manifesting itself when you when you think about someone else on the phone rings and it's them like instantaneously well I think that it's something

► 02:24:29

traditional societies that's actually better developed than in modern ones where there's people don't talk about it on the whole there's no training for it and staff in traditional societies people take these things for granted and they rely on them now the phone is an interesting case because this is a modern technology but I think that telepathy as a means of communication between people who know each other well is actually is always been going on animals have it I've been doing research on telepathy and dogs I wrote a book called dogs

► 02:24:59

that know when they're in as a coming home I tried lots of experiments on our dogs picking it up just by routine or cars hands the answer is no we film them we have people come at random times in unfamiliar Vehicles the dog still no but why have people had such a hard time replicating those though they have pyramids they don't one's been replicated it was replicated by a skeptic who then pretended he hadn't replicated it but it's now generally agreed that his results agreed perfectly with my own and millions of people have died

► 02:25:29

to do this so I don't think it's hard to replicate it's just that if you do this in a university it's likely to end your career yeah what is that what it is because I've read online people that have disagree with you saying that no one has ever replicated your results oh yes well that's that's the Skeptics disinformation it's been replicated by one of the leading Skeptics in Britain who then pretended falsely that he hadn't written who is that Richard Wiseman and online on my way

► 02:25:59

website you can see his data plotted on graphs showing exactly the same effect as I found is it statistically significant or is it a hundred percent of cygnus is statistically significant by his data and mine what is your data like how much how often do they know and how often were they unaware about 80% of the time we did a series of a hundred trials with one dog and on 80 of those occasions the dog started waiting when the person was in rosoff about to come home it was actually

► 02:26:29

before she got in the car to come home all the taxi at picked up her intention and this was at random times on 20 occasions out of a hundred it didn't on three or four of those the dog was sick and on the other occasions it was when was a bitch on Heat and the next apartment which showed this dog could be distracted but even if you include all hundred events including the ones where the dog was dead and do the statistics it's still massively significant that's fascinating so you think that much like what you were talking

► 02:26:59

talk about with your son who is able to recognize a hundred percent of the time when someone was staring at them that dogs because they don't have like a cultural context I don't have all this doubt in their head that's right they do it and they have an emotional investment to it's not like a boring parapsychology experiment and it for a dog is it mentally emotionally exciting when the owner comes home right that there's an emotional charge they do it over and over again they never get bored of their owners coming home so this is the

► 02:27:29

in phenomenon which I can Briefly summarize is one I do in my tests people who say this happens to them in real life give me the names numbers of for people it might happen with we pick they sit at home being filmed so we know they're not getting other phone calls or text messages or something and there are land line on a landline phone with no caller ID display we pick one of the four corners at random and

► 02:27:59

and call them out and say if you were doing it to say please ring jono and they think about you Ferb it they bring you your phone rings and before you pick it up you have to say who you think it is you know I think it's John and you pick it up say hi John you're right you are wrong you can't know from the normal patterns of life because there it's a randomly Chosen and so by chance you'd be right one time in for 25% in these

► 02:28:29

tournaments the average score in our film test is 45% and massively significant statistically and this has now been replicated in other universities even one of Britain's leading Skeptics check this out and he's getting positive results much to his dismay and so this is a I've now got an automated test I'm about to launch it in the US but it's already launched in Britain where people can do this on cell phones with their friends you don't have to be in a lab

► 02:29:00

I think telephone telepathy is real and I think what's happening is that when you want to call someone if I wanted to call you I'd form the intention to call you I've got a motive to call you that I'd be thinking about Joe and then I'd get my phone out I'd dial a number or press your the memory thing for you would when I formed the intention to call you I think you could in some cases pick up that intention you might start thinking about me for no apparent reason and then the call comes through

► 02:29:29

and you say it's funny I was just talking thinking about you so I think this is a genuinely telepathic phenomenon in many cases sometimes it can be coincidence but on average it seems to be a real effect and I think this is an example of where telepathy really is evolving along with technology it happens with emails and text messages as well until recently the only way you could get in touch with someone at a distance was telepathically if you wanted a quick response

► 02:29:59

now you can do it by phone and I've also done research on what I think is one of the basic biological forms of this which mothers and babies many many nursing mothers find that when they're away from their baby for no apparent reason their milk that's done their breasts start squeezing out milk normally that happens when the baby cries and they feel their breasts tingle say there was a nursing mother here now and there's no baby crying here

► 02:30:29

and she felt her milk that done most nursing mothers think my baby needs me and until recently they just went home to the baby now they call home on a cell phone but I've done studies on nursing mothers in London twenty of them over a two-month period each and we found that there was it was very very highly significant it wasn't just synchronized rhythms they were responding when their baby needed them and before telephones were invented any mother that could pick up when her baby needed her

► 02:30:59

went to the baby would have a mother a baby that survived better than a mother didn't pick it up so I think telephones in a way give us a technological way of doing something that in the past happen more unreliably by telepathy so do you think that these telephones connecting to telepathy is somehow or another related to this this morphic field that which is seemingly undefined we don't we know or would you rather you believe that this is a real phenomenon that it exists but we don't know exactly

► 02:31:29

exactly what the mechanism is yeah I think what happens with social groups any social group is that the field as a whole as a group as a whole Has a Field like a magnetic field will arrange iron filings which are within its field of influence if you have a flock of birds like starlings that are flying together there's a kind of field that coordinates their movement so they can change direction rapidly without bumping into each right if you have a school of fish you've got the same kind of thing if you have a pack of wolves

► 02:32:00

and they leave the young the Cubs are left behind in the den with a babysitter while the adults go out hunting to bring food back for the young the field that links them isn't broken it stretches like an invisible elastic band I think that's the basis of telepathy I think it's to do with social bonds through social fields and a mother and the baby are very closely linked and it's as if there's this invisible elastic band between them and so when you look at telephone telepathy it typically only

► 02:32:29

and so people you know well it happens between mothers and children husbands and wives lovers Partners therapists and clients if there's a kind of emotional charge best friends it doesn't happen with insurance salesman and and people to whom you're not emotionally connected it's it depends on social bonds and so I think morphic fields of the social group is something that applies to any social group a

► 02:32:59

Emily is a kind of Has a morphic Field a football team has won and Michael Murphy who founded the esalen Institute did a fascinating book called the psychic side of sports and he describes these interviews with football players and many of them turn quite mystical when they were interviewed in private they wouldn't talk about it in the locker room for fear of being thought weird but many of them like soccer players they said when the game's going well as

► 02:33:29

they can just feel where other people are on the field it was like an instinct even didn't they just somehow they were working like a single organism and I think that's an example of a morphic field of a social group and I think that's why team sports are so interesting to watch because it's not just about guys being brilliant it's about guys working together and in a way that's highly coordinated and the more effectively the team works together the more effective it is that's fascinating stuff it's really interesting

► 02:33:59

to consider what how much of a factor that does play what it is what exactly it is too yeah it's amazing you're out of time Rupert sheldrake Rupert sheldrake dot-org is your website Rupert is your Twitter handle correct do you handle all that stuff I don't know actually I didn't really use Twitter so no forget that really do have one but I don't use it someone set it up for me and I've never learned how

► 02:34:29

last tweet was September 13th I posted a new photo to Facebook oh so you use Facebook I use Facebook and yes automatically yes that's true whether it works thank you very much man really appreciate this was really cool to have a conversation with you after listening to you in the trial logs I really appreciate it and we could do this any time you're in town okay well it's fun for me to I've really enjoyed it how often you in La the last time was 27 years ago so often I got lucky

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thank you very much I really really appreciate Rupert sheldrake ladies and gentlemen we'll see you Thursday with Graham Hancock until then much love big kiss mwah this podcast was brought to you by Blue Apron go to Blue Apron.com forward slash Rogan for your first two meals for free that's Blue Apron.com forward slash Rogan were also brought to you by stamps.com go to stamps.com enter the code word JRE and get your 110 dollar bonus offer

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which includes a digital scale and up to 55 dollars in free postage and last but not least we are brought to you by on it.com that is boat and nit use the code word Rogan and you will save 10% off any and all settlements