Alex Banach— Near Death Experience, Primal Activation, Florida’s Ecological issues, & primacy of consciousness #01

Alex Banach— Near Death Experience, Primal Activation, Florida’s Ecological issues, & primacy of consciousness 

[00:00:00] Show Intro

[00:00:00] ken: so ladies and gentlemen, welcome to episode one of potential paradigms. And this is a show where I have deep conversations with individuals who are deeply thinking, feeling 


[00:00:16] ken: and acting to answer the call of ushering in of a new age, an age of new paradigms. So I welcome today.

[00:00:24] Guest Intro

[00:00:24] ken: My guest, a dear friend of mine, Alexander bannock, who is a multidisciplinary artist and photographer. Alex speaks from a unique perspective after leaving a blossoming career in neurobiology research. And he has spent about eight years studying the nature of direct experience through meditation, psychedelics, somatic, breath, work, and creative expression.

[00:00:47] ken: . He holds nature to be sacred and embodies mindful acts of simple living. Alex currently lives in Southwest Florida and can be found on the beach, hiking [00:01:00] out in the wetlands or advocating for clean water, mental wellness and human rights and Liberty. Alex is a passionate about personal practice through the pandemic, psychedelics ecology of the ocean and the art of fishing and how to bring people together in divided times. Uh, he’s also passionate about raw food diet and breaking quarantine habits. And anything else Sorry. This was the official bio.

[00:01:26] ken: So I was reading and I hope I didn’t do a too bad a job at that.

[00:01:30] alex: no, thanks for having me on

[00:01:32] ken: yeah, no, thank you. Thank you for being here. As a matter of fact, it’s, it’s quite fitting that you are the first guest on this, podcast and we’ll see how it evolves, but you know, you were the inspiration and we had this conversation about a month and a half or so ago where I was driving to Joshua tree and I had all this, expansive views from my car off the mountains.

[00:01:54] ken: And, uh, I felt, very inspired to talk to you. I don’t remember what we talked about, but this [00:02:00] was definitely one of the teams, I think we talked about writing and podcasting. So here we are to thank you for, for inspiring me and my friend.

[00:02:08] alex: yeah. Thank you for manifesting.

[00:02:10] ken: Well, we’ll see, we’ll see how this goes. You know, I think it’s going to be going to be fun. Wild last. I’m kind of excited to see how this evolves. I’ve just been very humbled and, energized by the response I got , from my friends and, uh, people, I, I thought it would fit well with the topic of this podcast, as to the interest of they showed.

[00:02:34] What is The pandemic zeitgeist and The Potential Paradigms Show

[00:02:34] ken: So anyways, coming back, maybe we can talk a little bit about, to begin with, the theme of this podcast and, because that goes so well with, some of the topics that, both of us are interested in, so potential paradigms, and I feel that we live in kind of an apocalyptic, world, dystopia or apocalypse.

[00:02:54] ken: And I choose the word apocalypse because it means that revelation of truth. And, uh, [00:03:00] what that means to me is that the false narratives that humanity or this current civilization has held and has used those narratives for a long time to, to create paradigms that are not sustainable, either be ecology or human wellbeing. Uh, you know, we keep hearing of global, global climate change and. Uh, polarity and so many things, war Exeter, et cetera. And now I feel like it’s nothing new. It’s just, the things have become much more acute. So, so the potential part, I’m just meaning as truth is being revealed, what is new that is going to come and, like many of us and I would like you to speak to it as well.

[00:03:41] alex: Yeah, I can’t help, but agree about the apocalyptic nature of at least the feeling of it, all the civil unrest and pandemic and all of it combined is. Um, and well, it seems that we’re experiencing. A unique kind of [00:04:00] political warfare too, with information, information warfare and, yeah, it’s a , really quite difficult time, especially when, when it coincides with climate change and perhaps the denial of all these changes happening altogether.

[00:04:17] alex: It’s been very, I don’t know, to witness it painful, , and, disheartening at times. well, the challenges of life, you know, we, we have our practices, we have our outlooks, we have a way of living that well, life keeps going even in the face of crisis and it’s a very unique time.

[00:04:37] ken: Yeah, absolutely. It is definitely, definitely a unique time. And. Probably, this is true, for everyone, at least I have not seen, , such a period before, so it’s, definitely unprecedented. what I’ve been, uh, some of the changes or things that have been calling to you, some adjustments that you’ve made in the way that you, live life or, , and [00:05:00] also what you would like to be different, or, , as in terms of your actions,

[00:05:06] alex: Yeah. Well, I really, , embrace the quarantine period of early 2020. That was, , it was a unique experience and it felt that the job was to stay informed and stay safe. And, , I, I tend to do pretty well in isolation. So for me it was, I don’t know, kind of a free break in a way. And I got to just simply exists in observe and, uh, maintain awareness and, , continue my own personal practices and, grow certain areas that I can grow , in isolation.

[00:05:42] alex: , and, uh, since then, I mean, there’s a lot of things I’ve, I don’t know. I, I really appreciated during this time,, a slowing down, diff at different stages. I definitely feel there’s less consumerism going on. yeah, and I think that’s [00:06:00] all a much needed break for the planet. I think. A slowing down of humanity is a really, really beautiful thing.

[00:06:08] ken: Yeah. Yeah, it seems like a, the more human slowed down it’s, um, people have been talking about this teams that the environment, the ecology seems to be recovering. The birds are happy., you get to see the whales more often, all, all this, everybody else seems to be happy. And, , some people are seeing the sunshine for the first time in their cities and countries.

[00:06:31] The Primal activation of being in the wild nature 

[00:06:31] ken: , it seems like everybody needed a break. and so, yeah. so maybe let’s, I want to check with you on a theme that, that you’ve been involved with, and that is going out to the wetlands and nature. And, you know, as, as I’ve talked, this has always been very inspiring for me to see you getting more and more familiar with, , just being out in the wild.

[00:06:53] ken: And I think you were, you’re a wild character yourself as well.

[00:06:56] ken: It seems like you took it to the next level during pandemic.

[00:06:59] alex: [00:07:00] oh yeah. I I’ve always enjoyed nature and to have just yet another reason to spend more time in nature was a bit of a dream come true for me. I mean, , um, There’s a part of me that just loves exploring and just being out there and, and also being close enough with nature to understand what life is there.

[00:07:22] alex: And I mean, not just see, the landscape and see the trees, but to actually discover the wildlife there, to actually, you know, come in relatively close contact with the animals that live there. And I, , I love that. I absolutely love that. , so I’m always out there. I bring the camera and I bring a drone.

[00:07:41] alex: I, yeah. , it’s to me, , that’s one of my favorite things to do, right. , it’s like a primal activation, you know, we have our roots here on earth. And before all this technology, before this busy way of life, this is, , it’s closer to the way things used to.

[00:07:56] ken: Yeah. , nature can be quite, profound. And you know, I,[00:08:00] I’ve myself been, been wanting to connect more and more, not as much as, as, as you. So all this. Finally found that inspiring looking at your photos and maybe in the show notes, we can, leave some of your handy photography work of the, wetlands and some of your adventures.

[00:08:14] Close animal encounters in the wild

[00:08:14] ken: is there any particular adventure that comes to your mind? Uh, one or two that maybe you can describe. I remember you once, uh, talking to me and you told me that you, once you got chased by a wild boar,

[00:08:28] alex: yeah.

[00:08:28] ken: and one time you, you had mentioned some kind of a wild cat or some had encounter with a wild cat, is that correct?

[00:08:36] alex: yeah. , yes. Well frequently where I live, right behind the house. I see Bobcat’s, fortunate enough to have preserved space nearby and they, they roam through the area. And so there’s a lot of Bobcat’s here and so regularly I see Bobcat’s and there are Panthers as well. Their Panthers are a little bit more elusive.

[00:08:57] alex: Yeah, the wild boar, that [00:09:00] situation was a little bit nerve racking because even if you’re making noise as you’re hiking, uh, sometimes you can still sneak up on them. Sometimes they might be napping. They literally will fall asleep under a Bush and you can just walk right up to them in this case.

[00:09:17] alex: That’s exactly what I did. And, yeah. When, when you come face to face with a very large wild boar, it’s screaming. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a wild boar scream from 10 feet away before, but it’s, um, it’s kind of a blood curdling sound in person.

[00:09:35] ken: it’s a battle cry,

[00:09:37] alex: Yeah. Yeah. Luckily it ran in one direction. I ran in the other direction. Yeah.

[00:09:43] ken: I guess it was as startled as you are.

[00:09:46] alex: Yeah, no, I that’s quite fortunate. Quite fortunate. , luckily I’ve never had to, have any encounters closer than that, but, yeah, on the flip side though, , I just, the other night I was fishing under the [00:10:00] full moon and, uh, I caught a rare species of shark and it happened to be a relatively large one.

[00:10:06] alex: It was, I dunno, maybe, maybe 40 pounds. Maybe, uh, it was almost between three, three and a half or four feet. And yeah, , the interesting thing about the encounters with the ocean is, um, everything eats everything and you never know what’s going to take your bait. You just never ever know. You never ever know.

[00:10:30] alex: It might be a small little fish. It might be a huge fish, or it might be shark. And yeah, , to me, it’s the lottery of, of being out there. It’s, um, what what’s going to happen today? Who’s going to show up what character of, of the earth is going to appear today.

[00:10:47] ken: Wow. Well, yeah, I mean, not a lot of people can say to have hunted a shark and to, uh, you know, face, face a wild boar and all these things in a rather short period of [00:11:00] time. So I, I, I feel like you you’re quite the shark hunter now.

[00:11:05] alex: They’re there, you know, it’s really fascinating. I don’t think people like to, uh, understand how, how, How they’re really everywhere. They’re everywhere. And, uh, as the water temperature gets warmer, they’re all spread out and they literally are everywhere. The small ones are everywhere. The big ones come out more at night.

[00:11:25] alex: but they’re everywhere and they’re all around us and it’s pretty amazing. so I mean, even just fishing for normal fish there, you’re, you’re, you’re going, you’re going to catch a shark eventually if you fish a lot of salt water and, um, yeah. And they happen to be among the, the most sporting catches out there.

[00:11:49] alex: I mean, there’s, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as hooking up with something as powerful as a shark. I mean, there’s other fish out there too. Like, like the Tarpon has a, they call it the [00:12:00] king, they silver king and, um, it’s very, very powerful, very fast. And it’s very aggressive and it’ll leap at like six feet out of the water.

[00:12:10] alex: And, and if you don’t, if you’re not skilled, there’s absolutely no chance of landing it. Sharks are actually a little bit easier than the Tarpon. well, quite a bit easier, but they’re very strong and I don’t know, it’s, it’s just something very, very exhilarating to have such a powerful creature. And, you know, once you hook up with one really the best thing you can do.

[00:12:37] alex: Carefully remove that hook and set it free again, you know, um, I think some people’s intuition might be to just cut the line, but then you leave that hook in its mouth. And I mean, eventually it rusts out and, but it’s, it’s cleaner to actually bring that, that shark in and, and remove the hook and release it that way.

[00:12:59] ken: [00:13:00] Yeah. Yeah. I have a, has a much closer encounter.

[00:13:03] alex: yeah. Yeah, yeah. It’s um, I don’t, I don’t know how to describe it unless, unless you’re out there and you witnessed it yourself, I mean, especially the bigger sharks, they, you don’t, you just don’t hook up with them during the day it failed. They come out at night. And so to be out on the beach at night and catch something really powerful and really big.

[00:13:26] alex: And I don’t, it’s just, it’s just something really special there’s. And to me, it’s not just like my personal excitement, but to me, it’s like something deep in our, our roots, our ancestry, you know, the, the human brain, uh, is believed to have evolved, starting very quickly when humans began fishing off the coast of Africa 200,000 years ago. And, uh, the omega-3 fatty acids are what fueled that. So to me, fishing is like, it’s something [00:14:00] built into the human experience, something fundamental,

[00:14:03] ken: Yeah. Yeah. It’s definitely quite primal and I don’t have much experience with that. Well, I also wanted to say that it seems like, uh, since you used the word, you know, getting, getting together with these fish, maybe it’s we need an app. We didn’t have these wild encounters. 

[00:14:21] alex: other arson. There are some fishing apps. That’s like Facebook for fishing.

[00:14:25] ken: oh, wow.

[00:14:26] alex: Yeah. There’s a couple of them. One of them is called fish brain. One of them is called fish angler. yeah. They’re they’re gaining popularity.

[00:14:34] ken: Especially during the pandemic.

[00:14:37] alex: Yeah, no, it’s true. Uh, it’s especially down here in Florida, after the pandemic began and Florida never restricted fishing, there was always an acceptable, one of the acceptable things to leave your house for. And, so fishing gear was flying off the shelves. Like he couldn’t find a cast net anywhere in town.

[00:14:58] alex: there was no boats left. [00:15:00] Everyone bought all the use boats available. Like it was amazing what happened and, there’s just been a lot of fishing activity around here.

[00:15:08] ken: Yeah, that’s a, that’s a very interesting, perhaps team in itself is with the pandemic of, of changes in different things that people have gotten into. Like I was recently, for instance, hearing, here in Joshua tree, there have been a lot of people making these very unique Airbnbs and, you know, people are mostly coming from LA, a lot of the, people with a lot of wealth and making, making different things in a lot of this, um, Airbnb kind of like places as well, which the locals aren’t happy about, but that is, that is one of the many teams during the, during the pandemic that, um, perhaps it was hard to predict before that.

[00:15:48] ken: So it looks like nature, nature, sports and outdoors have gotten really, uh, popular or revitalized with, with the pandemic, which, which may makes sense. Which make [00:16:00] definitely make sense.

[00:16:01] alex: Yeah, and it’s a, to be a nature is very healing. So it does make sense to during, um, a health crisis, a global health crisis of people are spending time in nature.

[00:16:11] Florida’s growing ecological challenges

[00:16:11] ken: Yeah. And, I just wanted to kind of highlight maybe for the, audience we didn’t mention, we’re not, as part of these in order to talk to you about this is because you, you’re not just catching these, um, fish You’re actually losing them back into the wild 

[00:16:25] alex: because it’s, we’ve had some water quality issues here that are questionable. we’ve had red tide blooms and, and I mean, red tide has been going on for thousands of years. We know that it’s like in the fossil record and, they do seem to start off shore and it’s mysterious as to why we get these blooms.

[00:16:44] alex: But one thing’s clear that, we’ve never been dumping so much nutrient rich, fresh water from lake Okeechobee down the () Caloosahatchee river, into the Gulf. That’s never, ever happened before. It’s gotten [00:17:00] worse and worse over time. And the red tide has gotten worse and it seems to be linked to neurodegenerative diseases like ALS Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and yeah, there’s something called bioaccumulation theory of brevity.

[00:17:17] alex: And it does seem to move up the food chain, but it’s not well understood. Um, it seems that most fishermen I encounter, they seem to believe that, the fish are safe and I am not convinced of that yet. In the meantime, I’ve practiced catch and release. I would like to see the healthiest ecosystem possible here.

[00:17:40] alex: And I have enough food. I don’t need to eat these fish. and so to me, it’s, being with nature and sharpening my skills. I would like to have the skill to catch fish wherever I go, if need be. And, and saltwater once your get the swing of it. if [00:18:00] you have the skills to fish, one location, you can learn any location.

[00:18:05] Nature as a tool to transform to Presence and meditativeness 

[00:18:05] ken: No, that’s amazing. And I think, maybe we can touch base on two, two teams that you’ve been connecting on. One is perhaps the ecological, things that you’ve been witnessing with the red tide, but also maybe first we can, we can talk a little bit about, of course, you know, you, you, you. Mentioned the thrill of being out there in the wild and these encounters and how they’re very primal.

[00:18:27] ken: And one of the things in, , both of us being kind of like contemplated and spiritual secrets in a way, using tools on how to get present and be in the moment. And, nature seems to really facilitate that. And particularly in particular, when you have these kinds of encounters, which I haven’t had so many, as you, but I can, I can only imagine how they, they bring you in, in, out, out of your thought into what’s happening there.

[00:18:54] ken: And then, because perhaps you have.

[00:18:56] alex: Yeah, no, it’s absolutely true. I mean, it’s, um, [00:19:00] I mean, I would call it like a, I mean, you’re almost, there’s nothing else to do, but to meditate through the experience, um, you know, when you’re either in nature at, with your awareness at its absolute peak, uh, listening to every little sound around you or out on the beach and.

[00:19:23] alex: Keeping track of every single condition changing condition, the wind, the water clarity, um, just, just everything. I mean, on any given day, fish might be biting one bait or a different one, or they’re feeding near the top of the water column or the bottom, or, and, it takes a great intuition to understand when the conditions are just right for certain types of anything.

[00:19:54] alex: And so to just go out there and, soak it all in and taking that [00:20:00] awareness and be there for, and wait and be patient and, to be ready, right when the fish bites, that is absolutely a practice of, of presence. Absolutely.

[00:20:12] ken: Fascinating. I mean, that’s remarkable too, to have such a fun and engaging tool to, uh, to train yourself and to transform your mind into something that can stay focused and present. Uh, so yeah. Yeah. I ho hopefully I can, as I said, I talked to you all the ways and I was like, I got a head more in that direction because nature’s, there’s also a joy to be in nature.

[00:20:36] ken: And as you said, you know, healing and how can, and where else can you have all those elements of developing one pointedness, uh, focus presence while at the same time enjoying it and being healed by it? That’s like, that’s a, win-win in many ways.

[00:20:54] alex: I completely agree.

[00:20:56] More on Florida’s growing ecological challenges

[00:20:56] ken: . Yeah, I was just thinking maybe we could, we could wrap up the ecological threat first, which [00:21:00] is what have you been seeing in, uh, as I know you are really passionate about what you’ve been seeing in the wetlands 

[00:21:06] ken: and this, by the way is in Florida, maybe you could tell a little bit about the location you were seeing this.

[00:21:10] alex: Yeah. So, I’m in Fort Myers, which is right at the base of the Caloosahatchee river, where it empties into the Gulf. And from this point south, all the way down to the Everglades has been strongly affected by red tide. And we see, we see the, literally the color change in the water. It will become red. I mean, if you’ve taken a glass, a clear glass and, hold it up to the light, it’s, it’s red, it’s red water literally.

[00:21:37] alex: and there’s fish kills. the fish die off starting with the fish that eat algae, like mullet, mullet, eat algae, and then catfish as well because they feed off the bottom. And it seems like a lot of it appears that this allergy settles in the bottom and the catfish are consuming it along with whatever else they’re eating.

[00:21:59] alex: so [00:22:00] there’s some species like the canaries in the coal mine that go first. And then as the red tide persists, it begins affecting other organisms. And, um, Especially filter feeders and crabs and anything that eats crabs is going to be affected by it. A lot of fish are migratory and they come through areas and they know better than to hang out in bad water.

[00:22:22] alex: but often, I mean, when it’s really bad, even the smartest, smartest sea creatures are affected. for example, a couple of years ago we saw die offs of dolphins. 

[00:22:35] alex: We’ve S yeah. we’ve seen die-offs of sea turtles and, large, deep dwelling fish like grouper. we’ve seen now manatees manatees don’t seem to be affected the same way other fish are.

[00:22:49] alex: most of the fish, basically they end up, losing oxygen and dying because they basically just aren’t respirating. but the [00:23:00] manatees, what’s happened with them is all this nutrient rich water and the color change of the water has killed off the sea grass at the bottom of the ocean and the bottom of the river.

[00:23:10] alex: And, there’s no, there’s no grass for the manatees to eat and they’ve gotten skinny and now we’re just seeing them wash up on the shores. There’s dead manatees everywhere. It’s kind of hard to believe that. I just ran into a fishermen the other day, on the beach that claimed he was in Marine construction and red tide is the hoax and he doesn’t believe in it.

[00:23:37] alex: And he’s on the water all the time. It’s not as bad as people say it is, but I don’t know. I’ve seen all these animals dead with my own eyes. I’ve seen a 500 pound group grouper wash up on the beach debt. I’ve seen dead sea turtles. I haven’t seen the dolphins firsthand, but I’ve seen the reports of them.

[00:23:52] alex: And I know where they came up. I know the beaches personally, I’ve seen the mullet and the catfish, and I’ve seen all the other [00:24:00] species that ended up with them in smaller numbers. in 2018, when I first got here, it was so bad that you couldn’t even really breathe outside. I mean, even driving a car with your, the air set to research insulate, it was like noxious gas.

[00:24:18] alex: He recall thing, and it like will make your eyes burn and water. And, it’s like one of the most toxic things you can imagine. And as far as the eye can see will be dead fish everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. And, yeah, it’s, it’s quite gut wrenching.

[00:24:35] ken: Yeah, I noticed it sounds, uh, quite serious. And, so as you were saying is, the root cause of that is the nutrient dense, fresh water that’s being dumped or is it also

[00:24:45] alex: Yes, yes. All of these things. there’s some denial going on as to what the role of, of humans has been in this, but clearly it is a manmade. Or, uh, a [00:25:00] man exaggerated problem, I should say because a long time ago, the water used to run from the lake Okeechobee area, straight south into the Everglades and over time humans the last hundred years or so, they dredged canals through all of Florida and drain all the swamp land so that they can use it for ranching.

[00:25:23] alex: Originally it was ranching, but now those ranches are being sold off and there’s developments being built and other types of agriculture and it’s being farmed heavily. or it’s turned into golf courses where they’re using a lot of fertilizers, things of that nature. the water is no longer flowing to the Everglades.

[00:25:41] alex: So it’s collecting in lake Okeechobee, but, they have an old dam system and they have to manage the water level. So, come the rain season during the summer, the rain comes heavy and they have to keep discharging in order to maintain the level of the lake to [00:26:00] prevent a great disaster with the dam.

[00:26:02] alex: And they just keep dumping it into the Caloosahatchee river and they dump it in when they have to as well, they dump it east as well. but most of it comes, comes west on the Caloosahatchee river now, and it’s really unfortunate. they’ll dump up to 50,000 gallons per second. I mean, that’s, that’s a lot of water. That’s a lot of water and, yeah, they have, they’ve begun developing some plans to correct this, starting with some other holding facilities, so they can lower the lake level and move it to another area. But it’s only a partial solution and they’ve done nothing to improve the water quality. It’s still going to grow algae and just a new location.

[00:26:44] alex: algae in the river or in another holding area is no better than algae in the ocean. yeah. 

[00:26:51] ken: It doesn’t actually end up eventually leading to the ocean.

[00:26:56] alex: yes, yes, it, it does. yeah, [00:27:00] so ideally a lot of that water would go back to the Everglades and there’s actually been problems in the Everglades because, they’ve taken away so much of the water over the years. so that would be good to send that water back there. But meanwhile, we haven’t seen much action on this problem because, the trigger for what actually triggers the bloom of red tide and the lifecycle of the red tide, we just don’t understand yet.

[00:27:28] alex: There’s the science is still young. We just, we just don’t know. And so. You know, no one can really point like a finger at exactly what the cause is when the red tide arises and how long it’s going to be there for and how devastating it’s going to be this time. No one has any idea. it’s really guessing.

[00:27:48] ken: But I think that one thing that, that is rather obvious with a lot of these problems that we’re seeing today, you know, even with, with the virus, you know, coronavirus and it’s very instant such being [00:28:00] associated with the, with the changes in the ecosystem and the ecology. So although the direct reasons might never be known or might be known, we do know. Kind of behaviors or stressing out the ecosystems are, very abnormal to how things are. And I think you have, you’ve just highlighted a number of those, from the goal golf courses to the nutrient rich water, to a number of other things that are definitely putting a lot of strain and stress on how things used to be.

[00:28:28] alex: yeah.

[00:28:29] ken: yeah. 

[00:28:30] alex: Yes. I it’s. It’s amazing to think. I mean, as a, as a fishery, as a place where you can go fishing, Florida is an incredible place, but to imagine what it must have been like a hundred years ago is like unthinkable. It’s just unthinkable. I mean, The numbers of fish have been greatly reduced, greatly reduced.

[00:28:51] alex: And, I don’t know. It, it we’ve definitely changed. the oceans. We’ve definitely changed the ecology we’ve oh, it’s it. The [00:29:00] impacts are undeniable.

[00:29:02] Resurrecting the aliveness & sacredness of Earth

[00:29:02] ken: One of the themes connecting it to our conversation and your observations of, what’s happening down in Florida Is this desire that I’ve had or in my spiritual journey over the last five, six years becoming more and more articulate, is at some point I realized through different experiences and through my study that the world is a life. that the plants are alive. The trees that I see that they are fixed or not are not fixed.

[00:29:29] ken: And there are very many ways to study how that is not the case. of course, even at the scientific level, we know that the trees that are external lungs, solar lungs are not just in the body, they’re outside. So , what we’re breathing, they’re giving out what we’re getting out, they’re reading.

[00:29:42] ken: So it’s, it’s, it’s a perfect symbiotic relationship. Perhaps it was at the advent of colonialism it just became that you’re extracting from not just the earth, but other cultures, you know, indigenous people, you just come and it is okay to. to. a takeaway, rape pillage, all those [00:30:00] things are just fine in this way, or paradigm of seeing, which is, I feel like we’re just cropping up the results of that way of looking at the world as dead and inanimate. and now I think that the new paradigms are actually even our conversation is about reversing.

[00:30:16] ken: The sacredness and aliveness of everything, . So, yeah. Please say, something to that. If, you like

[00:30:22] A Transformative Near Death Experience

[00:30:22] alex: Yeah. I mean, when you and I met, we met casually through the psychedelic community and, you were hosting your own events at the time, the hacking consciousness events, and I was soaking up everything. There was, I could find in the psychedelic community and surrounding healing community, all plant medicines, all of them.

[00:30:43] alex: Meditation and all the, the yoga community and 

[00:30:48] alex: I was ready to take it all in. Uh, that was generally my reaction to the experience I had when I woke up from a near death experience. yeah. 

[00:30:58] ken: Perhaps, you know, maybe a little [00:31:00] bit for the listeners that the near death experiences, when you are pronounced dead because of cardiac arrest or some other reasons.

[00:31:06] ken: Uh, but yet these people, because they come back because of cardiac resuscitation or some other means to which, you know, their brainwaves are reactivated and they come out of this, uh, comatose, um, like situation, or experience, they have a very rich story to tell. And so they’re having this rich experience while they’re very much to the outside world or very much dead. , 

[00:31:30] alex: Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting. pretty much almost I kind of almost identical to what you just described me. what led up to it was, well, in hindsight, a realization that everything I’d done up to that point was purely an egoic endeavor and little by little after my near death experience. that had become revealed to me that I really needed to let go of all of those identities that [00:32:00] I had built up and was holding onto so strongly and.

[00:32:05] alex: That was just in a way, like the beginning of a new journey. but it had opened up just like you said, it was, my experience was rich and deeply meaningful to me. And, you know, in the scientific viewpoint when brain activity stops consciousness stops. But what I experienced was a continuation of consciousness through this difficult ordeal and waking back up and coming back into my body again.

[00:32:36] alex: And, literally it was just like that. I mean, literally when I woke up, I almost couldn’t move my muscles and, um, I had to almost learn how to use my body again. it was really a strange experience and, very, quite powerful and 

[00:32:56] ken: Not to cut you off, but, I want maybe a little bit [00:33:00] more about, uh, what happened during that period of, I don’t know if you want to share how you, how you perhaps got there and while you were in that particular state, I mean, I would be very curious to hear what was there actually an experience while you were there because as you’re sharing people would claim that consciousness or awareness, during this time of death is.

[00:33:25] alex: Yeah,

[00:33:26] alex: well, I got there by my own actions. It was really No. 

[00:33:29] alex: one else’s fault, but my own, but, yeah, I’d become very depressed and despondent with my situation in life. And I chose to check out and I took, I gave it an honest go and the results were shocking because I didn’t go. I continued through this experience.

[00:33:49] alex: And, I remember seeing my world drift away from me and, I had this feeling of none of it [00:34:00] matters anymore and I felt liberated. In fact, it, it was actually quite a wonderful feeling once I had let go of my body and my earthly attachments and all the things that I was worried about and completely stressed about were immediately gone.

[00:34:16] alex: And then it went into a darker place, a place, I guess, a place in between you could call it a Bardot. I don’t know what else to call it. A Bardo Bardo is the best description I can come up with. But, yeah, there were. Soulful entities there. I mean, I, again, it’s a personal description of how I, what exactly that was, but the, it was almost like a meeting.

[00:34:46] alex: and then in this meeting it was agreed upon that, my time was not up yet. And then in that moment, when that message was received by me, once I was like, like a, it was a grim [00:35:00] message. Like I like, no, I don’t want to go back. I came this far, but know that your time isn’t up yet. And, and that’s when I began to wake up from a coma and, yeah, it was, yeah, I, I, I began to regain my senses and using my hands.

[00:35:16] alex: I began pulling IVs out of my arms and pulling the ventilator out of my mouth and I had to be strapped down. And it was a few days later, that I was able to walk around and be totally coherent and functional again. But, yeah. and then, and then just a couple more days after that, they’re like, yep.

[00:35:35] alex: Okay, go back to your life now. And, and I did. And, uh, but I, it wasn’t my, I wasn’t motivated the same way anymore. Now I had new questions about life and, uh, I had been getting shown something. Like behind the scenes, you know, something that you’re not normally privy to see. And, and I mean, I was [00:36:00] working in the field of neuroscience, so this seems so central and pivotal to my world.

[00:36:05] alex: And up to that point, I had a more solid cystic viewpoint, a more agnostic viewpoint. I was always curious about all the big questions and mysteries of life, but they were always held at an, at a distance. And, you know, I was safely surrounded by other scientists who held the same views. And, but yeah, little by little, I just felt like I didn’t really belong there anymore.

[00:36:32] alex: And you know, it’s a tough field to be working in if your heart’s not in it. And, so it kind of set me drift onto a different journey altogether. And, yeah, that’s when I stumbled into art, meeting other artists and being encouraged to try art and I’m falling in love with that, the creative expression and learning about things about myself that I’d never, never tapped into before I, [00:37:00] I, and through psychedelic healing work, I really learned to love life all over again, to be.

[00:37:08] alex: Wondrously inspired and to see the magic and the beauty and the mystery and every single moment of the day, um, that was altogether quite a gift. I would have to say.

[00:37:24] ken: Yeah. Yeah, No. no, this, this is, this is like fascinating stuff and I I’m fascinated rehearing it, cause it’s such a 

[00:37:32] ken: powerful theme as I was perhaps almost five years ago. And uh, when we met and we had this first, conversation, so maybe I want to go a little bit back. I think you, , you were talking about, this pivotal pivotal moment.

[00:37:43] ken: So this experience for you, it lasted a little bit. I mean, usually, the near-death experiences. I don’t know I have, you know, right now if you go to Pub, P U B M E, which is a site of collection of scientific [00:38:00] publications in the medical arena. And if you, look at type in NDE or near death experience, the last I checked a couple of years ago, there were about 4,000 publications, which is a lot on a certain team or topic because this has been a recent theme that people study.

[00:38:14] ken: So just for the, for the audience, you can go to pub, which is a medical publications, and you can search this team. but why I wanted to ask is yours seems to be an unusual case in that the duration was quite a bit, actually it was a few days, right?

[00:38:31] alex: Yeah. 

[00:38:31] ken: Not just somebody being resuscitated out of a cardiac arrest for 15 minutes.

[00:38:38] ken: even though people do have these pronounced profound experiences, which are also parallel with psychedelics, something that you had mentioned, where the sense of time and space and other things can either go away or can be very different than what we perceive here. Let’s call it for the sake of conversation, the human realm, or the earthly realm. 

[00:38:57] ken: so maybe, maybe, you can share something if you [00:39:00] have about the duration of this and how 

[00:39:02] ken: you experienced. I know that you said that some of that was quite uplifting in the sense that the reasons why you had decided to check. that happiness and unhappiness, 

[00:39:12] ken: uh, was lifted away. And, but then you also said that there was another part of it, 

[00:39:17] ken: was not very pleasant 

[00:39:18] alex: Yeah, it did become very hard. Waking up again was very hard. It was possibly, um, well really, without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever been through and, and that’s even comparing it to, uh, I’ve had a kidney stone before, which was very painful. I’ve broken bones, you know, I’ve, been under anesthesia, but waking up from this was definitely, definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced.

[00:39:45] alex: Impossibly hard. yeah, so I was pronounced dead. they couldn’t measure a heartbeat and I wasn’t breathing and they begun forcing air into my lungs and, working to revive me, but [00:40:00] I remained in a coma for another six days. I was on a ventilator that whole time. but I, woke up on my own. when I woke up, I had taken a combination of things I had and one of them was anti-cholinergic. It was how silo mean, which is a cousin of . And, in that dose, it caused on the wake up half of it, a mild delirium state along with a disconnection from, my muscles. Nerve impulse control.

[00:40:34] alex: The muscles is just not the same. And, uh, yeah, it was very, very difficult. It felt like my body weighed a thousand pounds, you know, like you just, you know, you know how to move your arm, but it just is like, it just won’t move. It’s just so weak. And, yeah, that combined with

[00:40:54] alex: a hole in the, in the normal functioning memory and the mild [00:41:00] delirium. I literally didn’t know if I was in the future or if I was in outer space on some kind of alien technology, the object recognition was not really there. So everything I looked at looked like, in comprehensible technology, I just did not recognize L 

[00:41:17] alex: yeah, it lacked that that effect lasted.

[00:41:20] alex: I don’t know, maybe between 24 hours and 48 hours. 

[00:41:24] ken: You’re like almost like a child. We learning.

[00:41:26] alex: yeah, it was a really, it was a really, really strange experience. very humbling, very humbling experience. 

[00:41:32] ken: Right, right. No, no fascinating. Especially the, you know, um, let me ask you this. what I’m curious about is had you had any experiences before this particular pivotal moment, that 

[00:41:45] ken: had ever given you a glimpse, that there was much more beyond, and maybe I’m trying to connect it with 

[00:41:52] ken: you saying that, oh, I experienced this tremendous lightness, because you’re a human role was so tight before this, you [00:42:00] know, rebirth, so to speak, uh, that you had and being able to take an out of it. 

[00:42:04] alex: I, you know, in my mind it was well whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. And I was taking a one-way ticket to go see what was going to happen. yes. Yes. And, that was, it was a terrifying leap. I mean, there’s been a lot of things that are scary to do in life, but, yeah. that one, that one was, was quite the limit. I think 

[00:42:27] ken: no, this is, this is fascinating for me to hear because, and maybe we’re rehabbing this conversation after many years. I don’t know what, how we talked about it. 

[00:42:35] ken: We could go on this for a long time, but maybe we’ll have to do a, you could even have a separate podcast or just, 

[00:42:43] ken: but one of the things is, um, 

[00:42:45] ken: I don’t know, I have not studied the area.

[00:42:47] ken: Quote unquote, you know, suicide or checking out. 

[00:42:51] ken: But, you know, I know a certain group of people called terrorists and, um, who build themselves up for a particular religious ideology, [00:43:00] uh, you know, because they have been promised to heaven 

[00:43:02] ken: and, uh, virgins and all that kind of stuff. And, uh, the, you know, since they were, they were kids and so that all those baffles me, that they put their life at stake for a belief. Um, and I don’t know how to, you know, I’m not a psychologist driving and studied this, but what you were saying is a little different, because what you were saying is you kind of had this openness, 

[00:43:25] ken: uh, towards the unknown and you were taking 

[00:43:29] ken: a pretty big risk to verify something that you did not know but you were essentially putting your life at stake.

[00:43:38] ken: And it was not a belief that it 

[00:43:39] ken: was a kind of an openness. 

[00:43:41] alex: It’s true. It’s true. When you say it that way. I mean, looking back on my experience and the memory of it, and I felt that I had come to a sort of dead end, because between all many circumstances that all came to a head of once I felt like there just [00:44:00] the chance for resolving all of them just was so hard and so on thinkable.

[00:44:05] alex: And I was, and so I felt so out of energy and so tired and just like I, yeah, there wasn’t really another choice, but I was willing to go into a deeper aspect of life. And, um, I have, I did, I did have a couple of strong psychedelic experiences early in life when I was a teenager. and, they did give me glimpses.

[00:44:36] alex: I wasn’t ready for, glimpses of something beyond and, the distorted reality so far that it became clear that the nature of this reality is in fact almost arbitrary. You know, it could be anything and the collective unconscious could just be a great echo chamber. We’re all just walking around [00:45:00] repeating things like, you know, the, the nature of like what is actually original, came into my mind very, very early in life.

[00:45:09] alex: I had literally had come to the conclusion. Uh, we’re all just repeating each other and we’re all just sharing ideas and no one’s ideas are original and I just weird ideas like that. And, but then connected to a greater reality that we just can’t understand through our normal senses. Um, yeah. I, I definitely was open to something beyond, beyond, beyond the consensus reality. 

[00:45:40] ken: Yeah. Yeah, no. as a Sufi say mashallah, which, means, did it in a good world. It’s like how beautiful, 

[00:45:49] alex: Yeah. 

[00:45:49] ken: when something too beautiful happens, the Sufi is blame it on God.

[00:45:53] alex: Yeah. ,

[00:45:54] Causes and types of Near death experience 

[00:45:54] ken: Yeah. and the story that we are you are sharing, that your life was transformed by [00:46:00] honoring that experience. You didn’t even have a choice, perhaps because it was such a profound experience.

[00:46:04] alex: Yeah. It’s true. 

[00:46:06] ken: Perhaps that your openness that we touched on earlier on, I think, was a big reason that you had a certain kind of experience. in the spiritual journey in psychedelics and life in general, that if you do not have the openness, curiosity or questioning, the true nature of life stays hidden. Then it rarely does try to shock you when you weren’t even asking a question.

[00:46:27] alex: Yeah. there’s no, there’s no denying it. Some people are just hit upside the head with a, a great surprise. But, but yeah, I think for most people, if they’re not asking deep questions, they simply will not be given deep answers and everything is hidden and everything seems superficial and that’s all there is to it.

[00:46:48] ken: People, have very deep reactions to this. And I think rightly so, because as you were talking about, I don’t think there’s any easy way to come into terms with your own [00:47:00] non-existence and the fact that you will have to think for yourself. facing the unknown. I think if you have a culture that, that honors that openness as past civilizations, indigenous cultures have done to a lot of degree, I think it can be easy, but nonetheless, this is a Warrior’s path.

[00:47:16] alex: Yeah, no, I, I completely agree. I understand it’s a very hard path for people, especially when it means giving up ideas that have been handed down generation after generation after generation. And I mean, how could you, I don’t know. You absolutely have to have a warrior spirit in order to embrace something as big as the total mystery.

[00:47:38] ken: One of the questions I had about your NDE was your ND experience from what you have described as not seem there seem to be certain templates in categories. Again, I’m not an expert, but definitely one of the templates is very Christian.

[00:47:51] ken: A thing of seeing a light, having visitation with your ancestors was by the way is not just among Christians. it’s a team that’s [00:48:00] present also in, in other cultures and civilizations. but it’s mostly in Christianity. I think it’s mostly immediate, but anyway, so what are your thoughts on that? Do you, do you think that your ND classifies in a particular kind of template or theme that multiple people have had.

[00:48:18] alex: I’ve heard other NDEs and stories and I can relate to them. I definitely choose my own words based on considering my audience and that plays a role. and I would have to say that the experience overall was I mean, quite weird beyond description and in itself it requires, creativity in order to describe it.

[00:48:43] alex: But, you know, there’s so many, there’s so many religious traditions that are relatable to my experience. Not just Christianity, not just native culture, not just the east, not just, something more universal, [00:49:00] something fundamental to, value all of those stories now. they’re really just using different words and different weaving, different ancestry songs in to make a new story of about their experience.

[00:49:17] alex: And I mean, the attempt to describe the indescribable, I mean, what, what else do you have to lean on? But the, the words that have come before us.

[00:49:26] ken: I’ve heard this coat, I think it comes from Andrew Valtech, who is a dream yoga, masters, spiritual teacher, and might even come from somebody where he heard it, but it’s the map is not the territory

[00:49:37] alex: Yeah,

[00:49:38] ken: and all the religions.

[00:49:39] ken: And, perhaps the religion is not the best words for all spiritual traditions, mystical traditions, or maps. And, the point to the undescribable, as you say, in their own beautiful ways, from where they originated and profits and sages who, came to, pass the legacy,[00:50:00] often.

[00:50:01] Sam Harris & Rupert Spira debate primacy of consciousness 

[00:50:01] ken: . So, , let’s get back to. , a conversation that you and I had had maybe a little over a week ago, and we can connect this in the show notes as well. So I had a hard on the request of a friend, not so much a request, a sharing of a friend of an interview between Sam Harris and Rupert Spira And for those, a few, both of them are pretty well known, but for those of you who don’t know Sam Harris, at least I remember him from five, six years ago.

[00:50:27] ken: I used to be in his kind of quote unquote camp at Sam Harris. And I want point with Richard Dawkins and the like who were atheists. 

[00:50:33] ken: I’m sure he has come to transform himself as well. Like all of us and a part of his openness was because of his own interest in meditative and contemplated practices, as far as I know. And I think that he has also has, had his own touch with, uh, psychedelic experiences as well. And the other, interview quickly was Rupert ASPIRA, who, is a spiritual teacher and a student of actually one of my spiritual [00:51:00] teachers Francis Lucille, that I’ve studied with, um, have been very fortunate to study with.

[00:51:06] ken: And so they had this discussion to kind of sum it up, they had a very good conversation, but one of the point of difference between the two is that a Rupert. And I think that includes both of us as well from our conversation is that there is, a deeper reality and that, that reality is real. And that what Rupert was saying was that our very own ordinary awareness is very much at the foundation.

[00:51:35] ken: As we explore this, that awareness is at the foundation of. Reality as a matter of fact, 

[00:51:41] alex: That’s primary. 

[00:51:42] ken: yeah. It’s primary or to stand that reality, what is real is our awareness and everything is appearing in it. and not the other way around which in a lot of science, I think where, Sam was not agreeing with that fully.

[00:51:55] ken: And he said that maybe that’s a possibility we don’t know, but he was also on the camp that [00:52:00] it could be possible that a and I might be wrong because I heard this the 10 days ago that that matter itself, whatever that is. . , that something outside of our awareness can actually be primary and that it, builds it, you know, it’s like these molecules that come together and H two O comes and makes water.

[00:52:20] ken: So there is like a equivalent of H2O that creates our awareness or my experience of existence. And Rupert’s come back to that was, I think, was that, how do you know that? Because, you know, as I was saying was all of our instruments, all of our technology is within our awareness. I am the one who sees that.

[00:52:40] ken: So how, why should I assume the existence of something that I can never verify? 

[00:52:46] alex: Yes. Yeah, no. I mean to speak to this, the first thing that comes to mind is something I believe Alan Watts said is that atheism is a form of piousness and it is [00:53:00] to be preaching. Atheistic ideas is, spiritual and ideas, anything really? 

[00:53:05] ken: yeah. I just want to say, I heard someone say that recently that, I think it was Igor Kufayev a spiritual teacher. And he said that atheism is probably the most intimate relationship with God, because full on denial of your own self

[00:53:21] alex: yeah, yeah,

[00:53:23] ken: it’s very intense.

[00:53:25] alex: right. No, I, I get it and I, I see it that way. I see the piousness and atheism. Yeah. W I, when the mystery runs so deep, 

[00:53:36] ken: the question I had for you, Alex, was maybe you were going into this as, you had an experience of NDE when Sam Harris was talking to Rupert Spira he gave the example of anesthesia and he said that people were given anesthesia because he himself is a neurobiologist or neuro therapist, something maybe neuroscientists, that people have kind of like this blackout. they don’t [00:54:00] have any recollection of what happened during that time.

[00:54:03] alex: right.

[00:54:04] ken: And so I really wanted to spend a little bit of time here, to connect with that because that’s a theme that’s very important to me. I think that most don’t think about that. , just to kind of have this clarity that I would say it’s not just anesthesia I would say deep sleep distraction. somebody knocking you with a two by four on your head, and anesthesia and near death experience, all these are actually the same experience.

[00:54:28] ken: So it’s not that you have to take anesthesia or have to have an intense experience of an NDE.

[00:54:33] alex: Right.

[00:54:34] alex: Yeah. And to different intensities and different degrees. Yes. During my near-death experience, I had no sense of time whatsoever and there was no measurable brain activity whatsoever. They actually thought I might be a vegetable for the rest of my life if I were to survive. And, it was quite shocking that everything came back to normal immediately afterwards.

[00:54:56] alex: But, yeah. I did lose sense of time and, there [00:55:00] is a spottiness and memory of events coming out of it, but there was a lucidity in the experience beyond, you know, like, eh, strangely enough, it was confirmed that I had no brain activity yet. I had an experience and, that was in 2011. I actually, Sam Harris came to UCS D in, I believe it was 2010, maybe in 2009, but he came there.

[00:55:24] ken: California, San Diego, just 

[00:55:26] alex: Yes. Yes, yes. UC San Diego. And, I, I heard him speak and I got introduced to him at that time. I had friends that really liked him and he had progressive ideas. They were really smart. He had written books, he was very already very popular and well-published, and, I actually found his work to be a little confusing because I listened and listened and listened and, and, and he had all these interesting things to talk about.

[00:55:54] alex: He talk about retreats and he would talk about a little bit of like [00:56:00] psychedelic stuff, not really revealing too much of his own personal experiences, but enough that you could tell that he’s been immersed in it. And, um, he would really touch upon ideas, but I kind of felt that I was listening with an open heart and every time I got invested in what he had to share, I had the rug pulled out from underneath me because it was an incomplete idea.

[00:56:20] alex: Or it stopped with, an idea that he could sell books on. Or I don’t know. I can’t say what his motivations are. Exactly. or maybe it’s the prestige of his position or his status and culture or whatever it is. I, I’m not here to judge him. and I don’t mean to offend all my friends that really love his work.

[00:56:41] alex: There’s I know so many people that like, they’re like, oh, do you know Sam Harris? And they like want to give me his book or, and I’ve listened to all his, a lot of podcasts, his early podcasts when he was on other podcasts and, yeah, really interesting guy with a lot to share. But, in my [00:57:00] feeling, he, he kinda misses key points where, he doesn’t fully embrace the mystery and instead he’s embracing the piousness of atheism, but under the cloak of spiritual idealism, it’s a kind of an interesting mix.

[00:57:17] alex: It’s a huge, one of the more unique mixes out there 

[00:57:22] ken: Yeah. Yeah. The thing is I find it interesting. I think he’s very articulate. and that kinda even camouflages it further. 

[00:57:31] ken: So you have also been in cognitive science and, we have thought about this and we’ve experimented. And so maybe you can actually actually say something and then I can say something is why do you Alex, think that in all these states, which we first started clarify that it’s not just the, anesthesia and NDE, it is distraction and deep sleep as well.

[00:57:51] ken: So why, why do you think that, awareness is there.

[00:57:55] alex: why is this the awareness there?

[00:57:57] alex: I don’t know. I mean, why is it that when [00:58:00] we listen to someone speak. That we know and understand and care about that. We, without even words, we can tell something’s wrong, or we can tell how they’re feeling precisely, or, you know, like some things there, there’s just a, a rich subtlety of detail. That’s unspoken.

[00:58:18] alex: And, I believe that’s, where it all begins. And, and I think, uh, it’s easy to deny subtlety when you’re very strong intellectually and your whole world is founded on science and data, and it’s very easy to ignore subtlety. And, but why does, why do we have awareness in the first place?

[00:58:39] ken: No, no, no, no. There’s no, sorry, not that. Why do we have awareness in the first place? I was just saying that you and I have seem to take an, a position that awareness is there. When we go to sleep, when we take an as Tzo or where you choose or you’re distracted, you have taken clearly taken a position, which is different than Sam Harris, more along the lines of Rupert Spira And [00:59:00] so I just wanted to kind of go for each of us, why that is the case. 

[00:59:03] alex: Yeah. I mean, to me, it’s been the rich subtlety and, the connections and the richness in listening to your heart and, following the openness, , following the signs and the feeling, the feeling, um, and, discovering that it’s rewarding and it has a lot to offer. and if you listen, it speaks and, denying that in my experience has led to hardship and difficulty and all kinds of things going wrong.

[00:59:39] alex: It’s kind of just been through my own personal folly that I’ve really attuned to the subtlety and listened to the inner voice within and have been guided by something other than my thoughts. And, to me that my personal experiences, that’s what ultimately [01:00:00] informs me. It’s not, the ideas that other people have given me or the things I’ve read or videos I’ve seen or it’s my experience.

[01:00:08] alex: And, and, to me, it’s, I, it’s hard to explain it’s it’s I can’t, I just can’t deny my own experience. I mean, I , I just, even if it disagrees with other people, I came to that dead end in the past and I had to come face to face with all of it. And, yeah, for that, I’m grateful because I feel like it’s opened up door, unthinkable doors, impossible doors have opened.

[01:00:35] alex: since that point, not that I wish the experience on anybody else and I was a very hard one. 

[01:00:41] ken: Yeah, 

[01:00:41] alex: yeah, 

[01:00:43] ken: no, this is very beautiful. And I think, as you said, there is subtlety and, we communicate a lot of things and, uh, you saw something, and you did actually see it, and that was verified within you and you do not, it seems , Wrong to dismiss it.

[01:00:57] alex: Yes.

[01:00:58] ken: So to say that [01:01:00] consciousness or awareness is not primary, it would be to what you were shown.

[01:01:04] alex: Right. And it would be completely nihilistic. I mean, it’s hard to imagine. what is this life about? Is it just like to believe nothing matters and drink yourself into a stupor every night? And I don’t know, Karen don’t care about your health or, what matters if.

[01:01:23] alex: Experience isn’t primary. I mean, I don’t,

[01:01:26] alex: I don’t know. 

[01:01:28] ken: exactly. It’s just completely disempowering. 

[01:01:30] Thank you

[01:01:30] alex: Yeah,, no, this is, this is great talking. I feel like we touched on a lot of topics that we could probably keep talking for hours about. 

[01:01:38] ken: It was fitting that you are the first guest. Thank you for the honor and the pleasure 

[01:01:44] alex: Oh yeah. No, the honor’s mine. Thank you.

[01:01:46] ken: And thank you everybody who is going to tune in

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