this dude is a fag
2 months ago
Brian C. Muraresku is the author of "The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name," now available in a paperback edition featuring new bonus materials.https://www.brianmuraresku.com
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Brian C. Muraresku, The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name
Graham Hancock, Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind
Homer, The Odyssey
Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers
R. Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann, Carl A. P. Ruck, The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries
...Of debate, which is the way it should be. And what we're talking about is the potential of the ancient Greeks using psychedelics to find God, which is a big idea. Pete Well, it seems not just likely. Jared-M So, you know, psychedelic compounds in an area where people experience these profound rituals. Jared-M They're probably doing drugs, man. Pete Well, at least in Spain they were. Jared-M The fact that there were no vessels found in Greece, in mainland Greece, and most especially at the sanctuary in Eleusis, I think that leaves healthy room for debate. I was there like, I was there the week before last at the conference I was preparing back in July. So, we finally had the conference at Eleusis because of all the cities in Europe, it was nominated to be the European capital of culture for 2023. So, it was postponed from 21 because of the pandemic and people finally came through town a couple weeks ago. And the site archaeologist, her name is Papi Papangeli, who was on site when I first was interviewing her for the book back in 2018. I got to see her again for the first time in five years. And she's probably spent more time at Eleusis than any human being living or dead. Pete Wow. Jared-M Because she spent like 40 years basically maintaining the site. And so, she used to commute from Athens from her home to Eleusis every day for like close to 40 years. So, she's done that pilgrimage more than any person living or dead throughout recorded history. Pete Wow. Jared-M And when she finally saw the evidence, so I gave like a PowerPoint of the things that I talked about here a couple years ago, all the evidence from the book about these ritual vessels that were discovered in the 1990s in Spain and they show pretty clear evidence of ergot inside like a tiny beer chalice. So, something like an ergotized beer, which was the thing that was hypothesized back in the 1970s as the elusive, you know, mystery to these great mysteries. And so, I showed her all the evidence, did my PowerPoint and Papi was thoroughly unconvinced that psychedelics had anything to do with the mysteries in Eleusis. Pete Interesting. What's her theory? Jared-M And her theory is that it's a modern interpolation that we think that we can't achieve these states of mind in the absence of drugs. And so, when I do ask her, she talks about the long pilgrimage and she talks about the fasting that would have taken place and she talks about like the emotional preparation for years in advance of this sort of culminating experience of a lifetime. So, she points to all kinds of different things, maybe some like endogenous, endogenously produced ecstatic experience but she's just not a fan of the drug hypothesis. And so, the fact that, you know, this forensic evidence for drugs was found in these vessels 2,200 years ago, you know, at the place, at the time where it looks like there's a connection to ancient Eleusis, she's unpersuaded, which I think is very funny and super cool because I think debate is needed. Pete Well, it's always good to be healthy, you know, in your skepticism. But at a certain point in time, what do you think is going on? Like what does she think? Why, the evidence that connects to the vessels that were in Spain, does she think that has no connection? It seems like they're the same people or at least from the same teachings? Jared-M I asked her that, yes. She believes there was a Greek influence. So, we know that the place where these vessels were found 2,200 years ago, we know that it was, there was a Greek colony called Emporion. And so, we know that there were ancient Greeks who founded a colony not too far from this place and the place we're talking about is Pontos. So, it's a town a bit further inland. So, it's undeniable that ancient Greeks were at this ancient colony as far back as like 575 BC by the way. It's when they established the colony. And so, you have like 400 years from the establishment of this colony until you see this, like this Hellenistic period where people who were influenced by the Greeks were then reinterpreting what seems to be their idea of the mysteries and honor of Demeter and Persephone, the two goddesses who were worshipped back in Greece, at Eleusis. So, that all lines up and you see images of what could be like an incense burner that looks like Demeter and Persephone and you find these vases that look like they belong in Athens showing Dionysus and this drunken parade. And you see what the most interesting to me was this calathos that shows Tryptolimus and Tryptolimus was kind of like the missionary of the ancient mysteries and you see images of him in the museum at Eleusis and they found a near identical image of him at this, not too far from this site in Spain. So, all the pieces kind of fit together but I think that, you know, I can't speak for Poppy but maybe she sees it as sort of like a renegade group, you know, something that that was because, you know, again, to celebrate the mysteries outside the temple, outside Demeter's temple, at Eleusis was a sacrilege. We have to keep that in mind. It doesn't mean that people weren't trying to recreate what was happening there and there's this famous incident in Athens in 414 BC called the Profanation of the Mysteries where we know that some people at least were trying to recreate what they thought was happening in the temple at home in private dining room. So, if that was happening and the mystery was spilling out of this temple, that stands to reason that something was happening in Spain, maybe in southern Italy. I spent a lot of time looking there too or maybe across North Africa or the Near East. So, like, I think it's very possible. I think what she's looking for is evidence in Greece, at Eleusis or thereabouts, which is why I've been spending so much time there over the past couple of years. Well, it seems like even today, rituals and, you know, these psychedelic ceremonies that people do in other countries when they go to the jungle, there's so much fanfare and there's so much behind it. There's so much, there's a lot of secrets. Like, people contain these secrets. They talk about these things that they're about to embark on and they're in control of this experience for these people. Like, they're not going to tell you the exact recipe, how they do it. You know, most of them kind of keep that secret. They brew it. They bring it to you. There's always been like someone who holds like secret information and it kind of makes sense. And then you see the exact same thing in America. You see these little psychedelic ceremonies that people do outside of the jungle, you know, and they've brought Ayahuasca back and now that they get a group of people together in the living room and they burn candles and trip balls together. You know? That sounds fun. But it seems very similar to that kind of thing where they would try to reenact it or recreate it somewhere else. Yeah. I mean, even in the classical period, like, so we think Eleusis goes back to sort of like the Acropolis, right? So when you're looking at these sites, you're looking at different moments in time. So you can't look at the Acropolis and not think about the Mycenaean period that goes back to like 1500 BC. And you can't think about like the classical golden age of Athens in the fifth century BC. And you can't think about what happened to it thereafter because the power changes hands, right? To the Romans in 146 BC. And then, you know, it goes into the Byzantine Empire in the fifth century AD, and then it goes to the Ottomans after that. So like there's always been this transfer of power and these sites experience different levels of participation and ritual and mystery. So when you look at Eleusis, you know, as old as it could be, going back, you know, probably to 1500 BC, in the classical period, it was always changing. So when you talk about secrets, you talk about potions and sacraments, I think they were always, always changing throughout time. And so maybe the secret recipe in the fifth century BC was different from what it looked like a thousand years before that, and a thousand years since. And so what we do know is that Dionysus, who's this other god of ritual madness and ecstasy in the theater, remember we went to the theater of Dionysus, you know, he sneaks into the mysteries at some point. And I think what you begin to see is this like this urge towards what some scholars call private spontaneous pagan piety, which means that aside from these centralized temples, like the temple of Demeter, it sits at Eleusis, and that's where these rites happen. And it's an utter profanation to celebrate them outside. What you see with Dionysus coming into these mysteries is this urge towards the celebration of ritual and ceremony outside the temples, privately and spontaneously. So like the churches, the temples of Dionysus were sort of outside, they were always celebrated in the forests and the mountains, and at the southern slope of the Acropolis, which is interesting and urban centers too. But I think over time, you begin to see like this thirst to celebrate these mysteries outside the temples, which is why the evidence in Spain makes so much sense to me. Hmm. When it comes to endogenously created experiences, have you ever looked into what people experience doing Kundalini yoga? Hmm. Yeah. Have you? That's pretty interesting. I practiced yoga for a little time. Well, I studied Sanskrit. Oh, really? Wow. I studied Sanskrit. So you can read that stuff? Yeah. Have you seen that new AI that's, it's translating cuneiform? Yeah. Yeah. Isn't that amazing? I saw a story about that earlier this year. Isn't that amazing? We're getting smarter. That's well, not our successors. Maybe they'll crack the code. Oh, they'll definitely crack the code. I'm sure it'll be easy for them. Probably. I mean, if we didn't have the Rosetta Stone, how much would we know about hieroglyphs and ancient Egyptian writing? Very little. And that was relatively recently in the grand scheme of history, right? It's just amazing that one piece of archeological evidence led to like, oh my God, like a jigsaw puzzle. That's the piece. Yeah. This is it. That's what we're looking for here. We're looking for a little jigsaw. So with Kundalini yoga, which I think is very, I've not practiced it. I've only done like your bullshit soccer mom yoga. That counts too. I mean, I've done some other kinds of classes, flow classes and classes to music and stuff like that. But most of the yoga that I've done has been that Bikram stuff, that 90 minute hot yoga. It's 20 something poses. You do them the same ones every day. I really love it. But I know that gives you some sort of strange high. It really does. Like when you leave there, like it's not a coincidence that yoga people are all flaky and super peaceful. It really, it does something for you that it just puts you in a very relaxed and unique state. But Kundalini as practiced by several people that I know, I've just never done it, is supposedly you can reach states that are very similar to being on psychedelic drugs in terms of like absolute visions, geometric patterns that are flowing around you. But you're not supposed to concentrate on that, which is interesting. Like at least in court, one of my friends who took it, his instructor was saying that you're getting distracted by trying to have these experiences. That's not the goal. It's decidedly not. They call them the cities, the powers that arise. And it can be everything from visions to supernatural powers. Oh, supernatural powers. Supernatural. I didn't know about that. What have they claimed? Well, when you're traveling outside time in space, the ability to see into the deep past and the far future, the ability to transport your body, to teleport, all kinds of mental telepathy and things like that. I mean, these aren't, it's not the goal of yoga, obviously, they call them the cities. But it happens. Does it though? Well, it's, sure, we have lots of literature that attest to it. Eight classical cities. Anima, the ability to reduce one's body the size of an atom. That's a superpower. Mihima, the ability to expand one's body to an infinitely large size. Ligima, the ability to become weightless or lighter than air. Garima, the ability to become heavy or dense and Propty, the ability to realize whatever one desires. That one seems like a problem. It's not a superpower you want. Yeah, that seems like it would be a real problem. Yeah. You're the king of the world. Yeah, it's not a good thing. Not for some people. You can handle it. I don't know if I could. I don't know if anybody could. And that's kind of the whole point is that, you know, what you just talked about is the way the ego gets in the, the way it steps into this river, right? So in all these spiritual practices, it's supposed to be about the deflation of the ego. And so if you're going through these spiritual exercises and these praxis and these disciplines, and your ego is still very much intact, then when the superpowers arise, what do you, what do you do with them? And that's the dangerous part of any spiritual discipline. It's the dangerous part of psychedelics, for sure. Because you get this, this dramatic insight into the nature of yourself and maybe the underlying structure of the cosmos. And all of a sudden you think you're all knowing and maybe all powerful. Well, also you sort of espouse that to others who haven't experienced it. There's like the guru thing that happens, which I think is really problematic for Western people. For whatever reason, there's a lot of, especially men in Western culture that get involved in those things and then they become leaders and they're semi cult leaders. Yeah. Someone sent me an article yesterday about this as an interesting title, Chasing the Numinous, Hungry Ghosts in the Shadow of the Psychedelic Renaissance. It just came out in this journal, Chasing the Numinous. And this notion of the hungry ghosts is, it's Preta in Sanskrit. Speaking of more Sanskrit, so Preta are these hungry ghosts who are constantly hungry, constantly thirsty, and no matter how much they feed or try and satiate themselves, it's never enough. And so it's sort of this metaphor for the Western mind and consumerism and extraction and wouldn't it be a shame if we approached psychedelics, yoga, all these spiritual disciplines with that sort of that broken Western mentality, trying to figure out what this can do for me. Yeah, that's what it is. What can this do for me? Most psychedelic experiences that I've ever had, one of the key sort of overwhelming aspects of it is to get out of your own way and that you're in your own way and that you thinking about yourself and you think of yourself and it's just wasted energy, wasted. And that instead you should be thinking about like the things you're doing and how you're interacting with the world. And also your ego is just bullshit. It's just some leftover chimp shit that's designed to keep us alive. It's designed to make sure that you procreate, make sure that you think very highly of yourself. So you want to procreate. You came to psychedelics later in life. Yes, yeah. Was that a good thing? Yeah, probably because I made a lot of mistakes and you learn from that. You do need mistakes in life and you also need to understand what it's like to be very stupid, very foolish and young and brash. And then also older and more experienced but still know nothing in terms of, I mean, you really, as much as you know, the smartest person alive knows basically nothing about the nature of the universe. You might know things on a molecular level, on a cosmic level, you understand how galaxies are formed. That's cute. But you really fucking don't know shit. You don't know shit. You haven't seen shit. There's too much out there. It's just too big. It should be, and I think it was forever when we didn't have light pollution. It was the overwhelming evidence that you're not shit. If you thought very highly of yourself and you lay on your back and looked up in the cosmos, at best you could think that you were sent down from God to do his bidding. But you didn't think you were anything greater than that. You couldn't. There's too much evidence. The sky is just filled with these fucking enormous nuclear explosions that are happening all over the cosmos. It's impossible to even wrap your mind. I mean, back then they had no real knowledge of the scope of it all. But it's pretty obvious that it's insane. I mean, the night skies, I'm sure. Have you seen the night sky in a place where there's absolutely no light? You know, yes, but sadly, like I can count it on two hands. I can only count on one. Well, twice. The second time not as profound. But I went to the Keck Observatory on the Big Island. And you go... The first time I went, it was quite a while ago. And when we first drove up there, I was really bummed out because it was so cloudy. I was like, ah, this sucks. We're not going to be able to see anything. But then when we went through the clouds to where the observatory is, there's nothing. It's just stars. And you get out and you're like, oh my God. It's like being on a spaceship. It's like you're in a convertible spaceship and you're hurling through the galaxy. Because what they've done on the Big Island is pretty profound. They put these lights, the street lights are a type of light that doesn't expand outward. What does it call? What are those lights called, Jamie? You're a photographer. I'm a diffused. Yeah, that's right. Thank you. Diffused lighting. So diffused lighting all throughout the Big Island. So it doesn't fuck with the light pollution issue that you get when you're trying to look at the real sky. So even though there is light from these streets and all that, it doesn't affect it. When you're way up there, it's a couple hours drive from the shore. And you get up there and it's just the one time that I went there, and this is, I guess this is about 20 years ago. The one time I went there was just like, oh my God. Just, oh my God. You can't believe it. You can't believe it. It's so much. And it really made me sad because I was like, that's what people used to see every night. That's what people used to see every night before these jackasses invented electricity. Edison, you motherfucker. What have you done? What have you done? We don't think of it as anything like that because we just, electricity is amazing. You can go out at night and go to dinner. You can fucking drive your Tesla. Electricity is amazing. But it has made us so ignorant to our place in the cosmos. And it's taken away so much wonder because when the sky is just totally dark, you look up and you see a star way over there, or they'll look at the moon. I could see the moon. You just get used to it. It's just, you don't see enough. You don't see enough. And then when you actually do, you're like, oh, now I know. Well, you know, why would they, when the people are starving to death and just struggling, hunting and gathering, why would they be concentrating on constellations? Of course they would. Because there's nothing to do at night. That's why. And it's amazing. What do you think you do all night? I think that that could be the origin of the religious sensibility. If you think that when we were hunting and gathering, you're talking about like 99% of our history, by the way. And then when you think about what comes before us, I know you think about this a lot. I've been fascinated with some conversations I've been having with a friend called Lee Berger. He's a paleoanthropologist in South Africa. And it got me thinking about all these archaic hominins. And one of them is Homo erectus, which I'm like, I don't know why I'm so fascinated by erectus of all the hominins, but you know, it goes back at least probably 2 million years, which is something to think about. Homo habilis comes before erectus. That could be like 2.8 million years. And so erectus probably sheds the body hair of habilis. It's bipedal, obviously. And they probably discover fire. And so what that means, and by the way, they go off and explore the planet, which is crazy for a being that old. I mean, they were potentially the first seafarers. Really? The first seafaring hominins. Do we know what kind of vessels they used? No idea. Probably rafts, if Jamie can find it. They were heading, I mean, we have erectus remains from Africa to Europe to Asia. So they were on the move over a million years ago. And the thing about fire, why I mentioned that, the thing about fire is that whether or not they were cooking their food, they had fire for warmth and light at night, but it didn't obscure the night sky. And so it's interesting to think about whether erectus sat around their campfires a million years ago and told stories, the first stories about the night sky. They had language? We don't know if they had language or not, but they speculate that maybe the beginnings of proto language wouldn't be gone because, I mean, I was joking, but like, what do you do at night? What do you do at night? Again, we're not just distracted by light pollution, we're distracted by a million things when the sun sets. And that's, again, that's relatively recently. I mean, even in the middle ages, there was nothing to do. But think about a million years ago. And so it's possible that around these primordial fires, the very first stories, storytelling would have emerged around the constellations. What does Homo erectus look like, Jamie? Did they have an artist interpretation? That's cool. Wow. So very person-like. This article says that if they sailed, they probably also had a lingo for it, a sailing lingo, to describe probably where they were going or what you were going to see. And they sort of had the, I mean, the shape of the arms and the legs and the proportions, very similar to humans. Yeah, similar, but the same. I mean, they were bipedal. Yeah. But that looks almost like a person. And that's really old, by the way. It's at least 2 million years old. 1.8 million. So what freaks me out is like, what made them stand up? We're the only ones. What the hell was that all about? What was that about? You do see chimps occasionally walking on their hind legs and you see gorillas doing it as well, orangutans, but it's just not normal. Like, what would make someone say this is the only way to go? I don't need four legs. They were curious. Right. But how would that be an evolutionary advantage? I mean, well, you can scavenge a lot better. And you can protect yourself from prey a lot better. And also, you can hunt prey a lot better. And so what they think, I'm not sure if it was a rectus or another one, but they were good at long-distance running. So they could wear out, potential prey. So there's at least one adapted advantage. It's persistence hunting, right? Persistence hunting to wear out and chase down prey. That's a hard way to do it. That's, yeah. Because they don't sweat. They don't sweat. So you just run them down. Just run them down. A lot of things that run really fast can't run really long. A lot of them. Some of them can. Like antelope can. Good luck running one of those down. Have you tried? No. But like the ones that we have in America that we call antelope that I think they're I want to say they're maybe even in the goat family, because sometimes they call them speed goats. But those, the antelope that they have in America, the pronghorn antelope is actually the reason why it's so fast is because at one point in time, there was a cheetah here and there, they went extinct, but the antelope survived. So it has the speed to evade something that runs insanely fast. So these little fuckers can go like 60 miles an hour. Damn. They're amazing. I only saw one for the first time this year, like actually in the wild. Where? In Utah. Yeah, it's really cool. We parked the car, got out, pulled the magnifying glasses out to check them out. It's a prehistoric creature. It really is. It's just a remnant of the past. It lived with all the other megafauna that went extinct about whatever, was it 15,000 years ago? 12,800. At least starting then. Yeah. So those creatures were the last of the Mohicans. They had to run super fast. So now nothing can fuck with them. Other than humans, at a certain point in time, when they're young, they're very vulnerable. But at a certain point in time, they get to the point where they're like, good luck catching me, bitch. Coyotes and mountain lions, you can't catch them. They're too fast. I mean, they're faster than everything. What's the population like in Utah? Not so good. It's good in some places. It's good in Wyoming. It's good in some places in the West. But they get hammered. The babies get hammered by coyotes. It's hard for them to compete. It's just when your calves and your fawns are getting slaughtered, there's not a lot your species can do. That becomes an issue in areas that have a lot of predators. That becomes an issue in areas that have a lot of bears. Areas that have a lot of bear, the moose population just gets hammered because the babies never make it. I think in one of the places in Alberta, it's more, I think it's somewhere in the range of 50% to 60% of all baby deer and moose just get eaten by bears. You think a lot about death. The cycle of the feeder. I think a lot about nature and how amazingly fascinating that it's so amazingly fascinating to me that we live in this very bizarre technological sort of raft in the middle of nature. We live in these cities, these little communities that we have everything set up for the nature of the human animal in 2023. But the rest of the world, you go out in the wild, they have no idea that game is being played. They're doing the exact same thing they've been doing forever. It's things chasing after things and things trying not to get eaten. That's every day. That's all it is. That's all it is. Then when things die, raptors come in and vultures come in and all these scavengers come in and that's their job. That's why the way we treat our dead is so, at least we used to think was so unique to Homo sapiens and how we treat the notion of death and burial. Have we talked about Homo naledi? No. We need to talk about Homo naledi. Okay. Jamie, I brought some slides in that. I brought some things I want to show you. Okay. I want to get a cigar. Yeah, go for it. This little tiny one suck. This will be a fun adventure. Okay. Do you see where it is? It's at the like number 16 there. Yeah. Homo naledi. That's a cute name. It sounds like a song. Doesn't it? Like it have a good beat to it. What year is Homo naledi? There it is. So, it was discovered by Lee in South Africa in the cradle of humankind. This goes back, well, the discovery is in 2013. They think that this could be anywhere from 250 to 300,000, 335,000 years old. That's what I wanted to show you. This is where it was discovered. So, you see the rising star cave system there in South Africa. It was found in this cavernous underground labyrinth of networks where Lee found a number of different bodies that had been apparently left there by this species, Homo naledi. And the reason that's interesting is because, again, Homo sapiens to our knowledge are the only species to have ever intentionally buried their dead. So, you see things like you see grief and mourning practices in the animal. You talked about the animal world. Like when they just die, they're left to rot typically. Although you see mourning practices in cetaceans and you see it in elephants and maybe chimpanzees, but no one buries their dead. So, that was the big bright line that no species had ever crossed, seemingly aside from Homo sapiens. Although there's also evidence for Neanderthal burial, which goes back potentially a very long time, like over 400,000 years. There's a site in Spain called Sima de los Huesos. But Neanderthal is very close to us as well. We have Neanderthal DNA in our own genetic makeup. They're cousins. So, that wasn't really too shocking, the fact that there could be Neanderthal burial, but the fact that something that looks like that is potentially at least 300,000 years ago. But morphologically, it's archaic. Kind of like we're talking about erectus. It's really archaic looking Homo naledi. It's short. It's about 4'8 to 5'2. It's slender and skinny, but there are features on it that look archaic. It could be at least a million years old, for example, or longer. So, it's strange that being that archaic finds its way into this cave system and deliberately deposits the dead. So, that was a very controversial idea. It was so controversial that Lee didn't know what the bones were doing there because it just didn't make sense. By the way, it's become the richest site for hominid discovery on the continent and maybe anywhere because of the profusion of bones. They found like 1,500 different bones. I think it's close to 2,000 now, which is really, really strange in paleoanthropology. So, Lee was digging another site called Gladys Vale, not too far from this, for years, years. Typically, what you find are animals. You find tens or hundreds of thousands of animal bone fragments and a very small percentage of hominids. So, for example, at that site in Gladys Vale, he found a tooth and a pinky bone over the course of many, many years, which is not unusual. He comes to this rising star cave system and all of a sudden there's 1,500 bone fragments. They're able to assemble what they think is like 15 different individuals. So, 15 individual specific homonalae are being deposited in that dinalae chamber and they don't know why. And so, they begin to look more into it. I want to show you how difficult it is to get in there, by the way, and why it was so difficult to believe at first. If you look at the cave chamber there, it was just up there before. It's on the next one, maybe. Yeah, it's really hard to access that. You can see, so you enter at the top there. And this is what homonalae was doing potentially 300,000 years ago. They found this cave system. They would descend there on the left, go down into what's called Superman's crawl, which is just 10 inches high. So, they had to go on their bellies potentially. And so, they think they dragged the bodies through that Superman's crawl. They dragged the dead bodies. The Superman's crawl is only 10 inches high and you could drag a body through that? It gets worse. So, they not only drug it through that crawl there, they went up Dragon's back, as you can see there, and then down what's called the shoot. You see the yellow arrow? Yeah. The shoot. So, the shoot goes from the top of Dragon's back into the dinalae chamber. The shoot is like seven or eight inches wide, seven or eight inches. And it goes down like 40 feet from the top of Dragon's back to Dinalae. And inside Dinalae is where they found at least 15 bodies. How did they get a body through seven inches? I mean, we can go there too. Really? So, Lee avoided it for many years. He was able to actually make it down himself. There's a great document. You got to see the documentary. It's on Netflix. It's called Cave of Bones. If you look up Unknown, colon Cave of Bones, you'll find an awesome documentary that charts the discovery and what they call the underground astronauts who managed to get their way through Superman's crawl and Dragon's back and actually managed to get into the dinalae chamber. It's so captivating how they discovered and then root through these bones. And so, okay, there's a bunch of bones in there. It's so strange that it doesn't make sense at first. So, the working hypotheses are that it was some kind of accident or it was animal predation. Okay, animals killed these homonolae and animals drug them through that chamber complex into Dinalae. That was one. Or maybe there was a flash flood or maybe something happened or it wasn't like an excursion party gone bad, a bunch of people spelunking and they got trapped in there. But it turns out that that's not the case. It's only not the case. It seems like they were intentionally buried in these holes. And so, they found pits which looked like graves. And again, against all expectations, because only sapiens and maybe Neanderthal does this, this archaic being is deliberately disposing of their dead in ritual fashion inside this chamber, which is super difficult to access in the first place. It would take you like at least 30 or 40 minutes to make your way from the surface. How would I even get in something that's seven inches wide? You can, you have to see the footage for how to do it. You can make your way through it. I mean, there's, it gets wider at parts, but at very like, at very, there's sections where it's really, really tight. And like, Lee gets stuck at some point. And so, the people who went down are really, really thin, thin people who can navigate. And like professional spelunkers, for example, it was that dangerous to access. It can be done. And if there's any earthquake activity at all, you're fucked. Yeah. It's something else to think about. You just have to imagine like, what would motivate them to take this journey in the first place? That's why I mentioned it, because it's not just the first discovery of the deliberate burial of the dead by species, that's not us. They go to great lengths to do this, because they too, were thinking about these cycles of life and death, right? And so, if it wasn't an accident, and it wasn't flash flooding, and it wasn't animal predation, and this was deliberate burial ritual, like, why would they do that? And it seems like, and again, now you're speculating, but it seems like they set up this complex, or they, they use this, this, this naturally existing complex to actually reenact a passage, right? Some passage from light into darkness, and sort of like the passage into the underworld, into death itself. And this, this has so many resonances with Eleusis, by the way, and everything that, that, that we saw there, and these ancient mystery complexes, again, this notion of, of, of spelunking into the underworld, and meeting the gods and goddesses of death, and really confronting death and mortality, in a powerful way, like, it's happening in a different species 300,000 years ago. So, what else are they bringing into these caves? It gets, it gets crazier, the documentary is fantastic, what, what they also find is fire. And so, I mentioned that Homo erectus probably had fire, so that's not entirely surprising, but, you know, they figured out a way, this species figured out a way to illuminate the pet, which is pitch dark, obviously, right? And so they figured out a way to light fires along the way, we think, at least for light, but they were also cooking down there. They, they found speaking, I think they found antelope or spring buck, these tiny bones that were cooked in this fire. So they, they were manipulating fire, at least having some sort of, like, I don't know if it's a funerary meal, or something that could have been related to this, this ritual complex. So they're, they're, they're controlling fire, they're dragging bodies into this, into this pit, over, over different generations, potentially, which makes you think about the possibility of language and how this ritual is communicated from one generation to another. And the craziest thing is that they also found, just last year, when Lee finally made his way into the Dinalady chamber, in the anti chamber before that, they found scratch markings, which I think there's some pictures in that, in that file, Jim, they found, like, like, hash markings, just like, so there you go. So the one on the right is, is Naledi, that's, that could be 300,000 years old. The one on the left is Neanderthal. And you can see, like, the crazy similarity, they took a rock, and they just etched it into these cave walls. Homo sapiens does the same thing in Blombos cave, not too far away in South Africa, that, that's 80,000 years old. So that's only 80,000 years old? That's as, that's as, that's as old as we get in South Africa, Homo sapiens, that's 80,000 years old. So Naledi is doing something that looks to the untrained eye, very similar, potentially 300,000 years ago. Wow. So Homo sapiens, when do we first start appearing? The numbers are always changing. It could be like three, 300,000, 400,000 years ago. So Homo Naledi and Homo sapiens existed at the same time. And so, because of what Lee found there, like, some of the, some of his critics claim that actually it was Homo sapiens who were making these markings. Like, it's so unbelievable that Naledi is dragging these bodies in there and making these markings and controlling fire, and potentially having tools, by the way, it's so unthinkable that, that, that some people, some scholars think that this is, this is the evidence of sapiens finding these caves. Is it possible, I mean, did they interact with each other? Do we have any understanding of whether or not they interact with each other? I asked Lee the same questions. They could have. We don't have any evidence of sapiens in the area. So we don't know for sure, but it raises like really, really profound questions. And this is pure speculation. But if they did come into contact with another, because we know we have this relationship with, with Neanderthal. We interbred with Neanderthal. We have no idea what our relationship with Homo Naledi was like. Did we interbreed? Did we exchange knowledge, communication? Did they teach us, this pure speculation, did they teach us about death? Did they teach us about these, these burial practices? Did they, did they even know something that primitive sapiens didn't know? Did they pass it on to Neanderthal, et cetera, et cetera? What could they possibly know other than, you know, how to do this? The mystery. I mean, why are they doing it? Why are they doing it? Why does no animal do this? Right. And again, like Lee and the team, they can't answer this. But if you're going to those lengths to bury your dead over successive generations, it raises the big questions that maybe they were asking well before us, what happens when we die? Did they believe in an afterlife? Did they have a concept of God? Did they have a concept of spirituality? Did they look at the stars at night and wonder where we came from and how we got here and where we go after death? And did they have a special insight that death maybe wasn't the ending, but the beginning of a new journey back to the stars and to this underworld, who knows? But, you know, we, we see this mythology pop up in our earliest historical societies, which goes back 5,000 years. Think about the Book of the Dead and the Egyptians or the Tibetan Book of the Dead or all these classical mysteries I spend all this time researching. That's the essential question they're trying to answer is what happens after death? So to think that a species that precedes us was asking the same questions and developing rituals around it, like completely upends our notion of what it means to be human. Because if the way we approach death is not exceptional in the hominin world at least, then what else does that say about us? Right. And how did that get started? Who's the first person to take a body and go, you know, we should really do something with this. And why would they do that? Yeah. Especially during the time where you're basically spending most of your time trying to eat and avoid predators. Yeah. Like it seems like an immense undertaking to crawl through all that and deposit bodies and you're cooking and lighting fires along the way. It seems like there had to be some communication. Right. So Lee looks at all those data points and says, unabashedly, there's something like a culture here, a non-human culture. And this could be the first non-human culture we found in paleoanthropology. It kind of makes sense though too that it shouldn't be just human culture. It was the first culture. Like if you're experiencing these things that are, I mean, if you're experiencing what's the remnants of these things that were there before people, it's not like we're just like, I got an idea, like out of nowhere. And we just all of a sudden came up with all these ideas. I mean, they might have been, I mean, how intelligent do we think this thing was? So I mean, that's the crazy part. So you couldn't really tell from some of the recreations and what we think they look like, but their brain, I didn't mention this, is the size of an orange. It's one third the size of a homo sapiens brain. I kind of buried the lead. That's the shocking part of all this is that a being with a brain one third the size of ours figures out this complex ritual. But is that, should that still be shocking when we know so much about crows? Mm. You know, crows are very smart, like clever. They play games. They know how to solve puzzles. They know how to drop rocks into a water bottle to raise the level of the water so they can drink it. They do these tools to extract food. They, you ever seen crows make cats start fights with each other? No. They do it for sport. Like one crow will, like two cats are on rival rooftops and the crow will fly over and just be just close enough to the cat. The can't can't get them. And he kind of fucks with them and irritates them. On purpose. On purpose. And then he flies over to the other cat and kind of fucks with him. And the cat's like, get out of here, man. And so they're both like, they're heightened because they're being fucked with by this crow. And then he kind of like coaxes these cats into a fight and then these cats fight and they fall off the roof. Watch this shit. Watch this. Look at this. Look at this crow. Just getting close. It's like, Hey motherfucker, what's up? Say bitch, what's up? He just gets just close enough. See the cats like the fuck out of here, man. Like he's, he's fucking with them. And every time the cat tries to move on him, he flies away. And then the cat just jumps on that other fucking cat and they start duking it out. Like, look, and he's like sitting right next to it. They fall off the roof and the crow flies down with them. He's like, get him. He's still going. It's fun for him. He's having a good time. Like there's no evolutionary advantage to doing that. That's blood sport. And then they fall down that little, boom. These cats are just going to war and that crow's like, yeah, get him. Kick his ass. Weird. They're very, very, very smart. They've done all these studies where they show that if you give a crow a one size tool, it will use that tool to extract a larger tool and it'll use that tool to get the food. Like they've done all these like weird little mazes and had crow solve them. They're very clever. Sneaky little fuckers, tiny little brains. So we're not exceptional. Well, how about octopus? Octopuses are very smart and what the fuck are they? You know, they found that there's a poisonous jellyfish that it's very toxic jellyfish, but even though it doesn't have a brain, it has the ability to learn. That's something they just recently discovered. See if you can find that. It's pretty interesting. It's like a, some just fucking weird ass jellyfish that stings you. You're fucked, but this thing has the ability to learn, which is very surprising. Like it doesn't even have a brain. Like what? Okay. So all right. What's learning then? Where is memories? Are we wrong about where memories are stored? Scientists provide evidence that tiny Caribbean box jellyfish with lack, which lack a central nervous system can learn to navigate through mangrove roots. Yeah. It's interesting. That just came out. Yes. So weeks ago. Yeah. So what, what is learning then? I mean, is it all, are we silly by thinking it's in the mind? Is the mind an antenna? Is, is there other antenna in the body? Is a gut feeling a real thing? You know, you know that expression gut feeling like, wow, why gut? Like what is that? Maybe we focus on the brain too much. Perhaps. We know you shut the brain off, the consciousness shuts off too. So it makes sense that you'd concentrate on that thing. And it is very big and it's very unusual how quickly it grew. There's a lot of weirdness to the human brain, doubling of the human brain size. That's like one of the biggest mysteries ever. They don't know what the fuck caused that. Yeah. From erectus to sapiens, like we were talking about. Over a period of 2 million years. Yeah. Yeah. Double. But then you have these small brain creatures in the meantime, which are doing exceptional things. And so maybe the increase in the brain isn't what we should be focusing on, at least not exclusively. If brainless jellyfish can learn and a hominid species with an orange brain can develop complex rituals around death. Yeah. But there's also clearly a correlation between the larger brain and much more ability to manipulate its environment. I mean, the difference between what a human being a homo sapiens capable of, and like we're amazed that they drag their body into a hole in the ground. We build rockets, fly to outer space. It's like a big difference in the weirdness of what the creative mind can achieve in a homo sapiens. Some of us. Yeah. Some of us. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Some not so much. Yeah. But the brain hasn't done anything for most of us. Ditch diggers too. Someone's got to dig ditches until AI. And then that's what's going to be interesting. And then you said our successors take over? Our successors. Yeah. When president AI solves all the world's problems, we just give in. I don't know. I have faith in the human spirit. I gave a talk about this in Paris a few months ago about artificial versus ancestral intelligence. And I happened to think that what Homo naledi was doing is among some of the most intelligent activity our species can get itself busy with, which is investigating this notion of life and death. I think that's what makes us human, is asking these big questions and trying to figure out the nature of consciousness. And this is what all these mystery religions were trying to do. I think there was more science than religion. I mean, they're called mystery religions, but this was the process of our ancestors trying to figure out the secrets to the universe and antiquity. And for the working hypothesis is that psychedelic drugs and altered states of consciousness had something to do with that ability to probe into these mysteries. And I think that the caves also have a lot to do with it. There were caves constantly being used by, well, predecessor species for sure, but then also ancient societies to enter into these profound states of awareness, going back into the womb of the earth to really figure out that border between life and death and maybe navigate it, maybe navigate successfully. This was the enterprise of ancient Egypt, is being able to successfully navigate into the afterlife. Again, which is not an end, but a beginning. This is how the mystery religions always talk about death and befriending death and confronting all mortality. Like, I'm not sure if AI will be able to plumb those secrets the way that we've been doing for all these thousands of years. That's interesting. I don't think... Well, why wouldn't it be able to? I mean, what it's essentially doing, well, all human beings, everyone that is listening to this and everyone who isn't, you're essentially riding on the work of the people that came before you. We're all speaking a language that other people invented, we're using mathematics that other people invented, we live in structures that other people invented. There's been just this massive sea of human beings before us that have innovated and created. But if AI can have access to everything they've ever learned and everything they've ever done and have an understanding of biology and of subatomic science at a level that the average human beings just aren't capable of, maybe it could understand a pattern that we've missed. Maybe it can understand a code that we've missed, that this whole thing is like there's some sort of an underlying code to the entire universe and that it all works together. And you're experiencing it as a human being riding the subway, driving in your car, going to work. You're experiencing this very minute realm of this overall experience that is all working together through this code that's creating everything. I think AI could figure that out. I think we're very limited because we're talking about our own experience and we're talking about our own biological mortality. So we have this window of time to sort things out. What is that quote, enlightenment is possible within your lifetime? We have this very small window. It's a hundred years if you're lucky. And during that a hundred year period, you're asked a lot with this primitive monkey mind to try to figure things out. But if you didn't have that, if you didn't have that thing looming over you, maybe you'd have a more objective assessment of what's actually going on, but what this species is actually doing, like what it's here for. What's your takeaway on our biological mortality and what we're doing here in light of your most profound DMT experiences? It would be just guessing and talking shit. Yeah, I don't know. I mean, for us in our experience, I think the best thing you could do is spread as much positivity as possible in every way you can be as charitable as possible, be as nice as possible, spread as much positivity as possible. That seems to be like a valuable lesson that I get from all those experiences. But again, we're everything we're doing is based on the biological limitations of our consciousness and our life experiences. Everything we're doing is based on who we are and who we think we are and what meaning it has for us that we're here right now. But if you weren't burdened down by all these biological limitations, if you were burdened by this existential angst and this fear of death and this... We have this desire to figure it out, to have like, oh, this is what's going to happen. We have this desire to have an answer to almost the unanswerable. What if AI didn't have those... It's not going to have those problems. It's just going to have information. It's just going to have just pure information with no ego, no desire to survive, no greed, no desire to reproduce, no envy. It's going to be a fascinating thing once it does happen, because it might be able to quickly figure out a lot of things that we've been burdened by. But we're looking at these things through the limitations of our biological experience and through the ego, which tells us that this biological experience is uniquely important. Everyone thinks that they are uniquely important. But yet there's all this evidence that you're not. You're a part of this very bizarre thing. But this very bizarre thing as it interacts with each other is very psychedelic. If you weren't a human and you had no idea what human life is, and you were some other kind of consciousness, and you took a drug, and the drug led you to experience human life in a big city, you'd be like, this is crazy. What a drug. If you just saw the lights going back and forth on a highway and how similar they look to blood flowing through arteries, and you see these things that are getting constructed. It's like these growths on the earth that this being is creating. I'm like, what is this fucking wild species doing? I think we would have a more objective sense of it. I've said this too many times, and we'll say it one more time. I think we're here to make things. I think our curiosity is all about innovation. That's the primary function that this species has. If you looked at it from afar, you'd say, well, what is this thing doing? Oh, it's making better stuff every year. It always does that, no matter what it does. Unless it nukes itself into the Stone Age, which is always a threat, because the better stuff that it makes is often weapons. It often gets better at making money by utilizing those weapons, so it keeps doing that, which you're seeing all over the world right now. But I think if you looked at the one thing it's doing, it's making better things, and it's so wrapped up in buying those better things. Materialism is so rampant, and everybody, despite what you have being more than enough, you want more and better in new things, and that fuels consumerism, and consumerism fuels more innovation, and it's baked into the mentality. I don't know if bees know exactly what they're doing when they're making a beehive, but they all make beehives. They're all doing that same thing, and human beings, what we're doing is we're at least working towards buying these things that someone's making. Don't you think human creativity is what makes us uniquely human on top of all that? Our ability to fashion things from nothing, to create music and beauty and art. Look at those scratch marks from 300,000 years ago, and then you go into the painted caves 30,000 years ago, and then you follow the production of art throughout our species. I feel like that's the kind of thing that AI won't be able to resolve for us. Perhaps. The process of what it means to engage in a creative act and to produce something that the whole species can resonate with. Well, the question would be why would it want to do that? You know, if it doesn't have those kind of feelings that you have when you hear a great song or see a great painting, why would it want to do that? And why do we want to do that? Why do we do that? Why do we do that? Well, you talk about creativity, and I think creativity is the fuel of innovation. All things that we use today, whether it's a cell phone or a laptop or whatever it is, all of those things came out of the imagination. All those things came out of someone's mind. And I've always wondered, I wonder if ideas are life forms, like a type of life form, like a thing, an energy that manifests itself in the creation of actual physical objects, and that it gets into your mind and it interacts with your being, and it talks you into making a coffee pot. I mean, doesn't it make sense? All these things that we have, everything in this room came out of someone's mind. See, that's where I think we have the edge on AI, and I think that we don't understand the genius, the divine genius of where that creativity comes from. I collect different quotes from musicians talking about the creative process. Jamie, I sent you a couple. In the email, there's one from John Friscante. He's the guitarist for Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love listening to musicians talk about where music comes from and where inspiration comes from, because I think it's like it's one lens that we can use to think about the creative act in general. It may start with music. It goes to everything that's here. It goes to the art of a conversation. It goes to comedy. It goes to the way we make children, by the way, which is a very creative act and something that comes naturally to most of us. I think that's what makes us human, is that this ability to translate something that extends beyond our physical bodies and then to embody it, whatever that it is, Friscante calls it the force, and then to make something of it, something that can resonate with the community. I think that's something that AI will be able to do and fits and starts, but I'm not sure that we understand the process. That's why I think about the process of life and death, too. That's why I think that the thing that makes us human is the way that we engage with those invisible forces. Yeah, the way we engage with those invisible forces. Yeah, that's what's unique about humans, for sure, on Earth. Jamie, do you have that quote from John? What is the quote? It's a saying, it's a video. I don't know if you wanted to read it or play it. Yeah, I can play it. The tree is the visible thing that appears to our senses, but I don't at all believe it's the source of why everything is perpetuated all the time. Force that created us. That makes sense. Most comedians will tell you that jokes come to them like a gift. Your mind just like a door opens up and like, here it is. You're like, oh, wow. Oh my God, what a great idea. These ideas just pop in your head. Sometimes you see things and you describe them and you're like, the idea will come from that, but sometimes ideas just come to you. They don't even feel like, you don't feel responsible for them because it's not like you dug a hole. Like, this is the hole I dug. You do right, you sit down right, right? You do the physical act of summoning the muse, which is how Pressfield talks about it in the war of art, which is a great way to, because it is that whether or not the muse is real, if you treat it as if it's real, it will show up. Like if you show up every day and you write, you say, from 9 a.m. to noon every day, I sit in front of my computer and I write. If you do that, the ideas will come. They will come to you. That's crazy. Well, where are they coming from? Where's that? Yeah, what is that thing? Do you think AI can figure that out? I don't know. It's a good question. It's a good question. Like, what is the unique inspiration for ideas and our desire to pursue them? Like, what is it? I think that's part of what makes us innovate. And that's part of like, what, you know, if you were looking at us from afar, you know, what is a species doing? It's making things. And how do you make things without creativity? You don't, you wouldn't, you would have no desire to. So there's the question about AI. It's like, can you program that desire to innovate into a thing without all of the primate characteristics that we possess? We seem to have this innate ability to do it in a way that we know will resonate with people. Have you ever, like, have you ever read AI jokes? Yeah, they're not inspired, but they're really young. It's like a joke from a five year old. Yeah. Five year old tells you a joke. It's like, my daughter's really young. One of our favorite jokes was like, oh, I'm going to young. One of our favorite jokes was what kind of tree grows in your hand? I go, I don't know. She goes, a palm tree. And she'd have this big, long punch line, a palm tree. When you're five, it's hilarious. And I thought it was really funny. I'm like, that's a solid joke. But like, that's a five year old joke. If you try to do that on stage at the mothership on a Saturday night, they'll be like, really? That's kind of my point, man. Yeah. So where do your jokes come from? But AI is young, is what I'm saying. AI is a five year old telling jokes. When AI becomes a PhD from Princeton, you're going to be dealing with a very different thing. As AI becomes... I just can't imagine that whatever it is that makes creativity, because creativity is absolutely inspired by our predecessors as well. There's a lot of... I could speak to comedy. There's a lot of styles of comedy that you go, oh, that guy's clearly a Richard Pryor fan. Or that guy's... He's definitely been influenced by Kinison. He's definitely been influenced by Jerry Seinfeld. There's something that we carry with us from the people that... And you see it in music as well. Steve Ray Vaughan, clearly influenced by Hendrix. So you see this as well. But it's just, couldn't it just do that? Couldn't it just absorb all these patterns and then come up with unique patterns that it knows will resonate with people? I think you could probably create some fucking jam and pop songs that are just entirely AI created. And you could use all the best voices because you would just be able to voice swap them. You could have you doing them. You could be singing the next Lizzo song. It can do weird things now. And some of those weird things are going to resonate with people and become very successful. And then it'll figure out what those things are. Okay, so this Drake song that I made, this got four million listens on Spotify. So now we'll do this. And now we'll make one like that. And now I'll add this. And now I'll do something that people have never figured out before and do that. So it might be able to do the same thing. Creativity is capable of accomplishing, but it won't be done with the same sort of spirit and soul. So it won't be able to resonate with us the same way as say like a Janis Joplin song. There's something to like Colter Wall's voice. There's certain people that they have a thing in them. Like you can't fake that, whatever the fuck that is. There's a word for that. They call it a frisson. Have you heard of that? No. Frisson, it's the term when you get like goosebumps from music or when music affects you in such a way. Yeah. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think humans at the moment are much better at producing that effect than than than AI. Oh, for sure. Do you know Colter Wallis? Jamie played Kate McKannon. There's this song. Jamie turned me out of this song. And this dude is singing. He wrote and sang the song when he was 21 years old. And you listen to you go, what the fuck? It's very rare that I'll listen to a song and just go, what the fuck? But listen to this. Those with them. And he sings to me real low. He's held to where you go. For you didn't murder Kate McKannon. 21. This sounds like a 50 year old rancher. When I first met him. This is the music video that's along with it. He said he had himself a dark haired daughter, long green eyes. And when she and I didn't meet, she was bathed in every dream. The prettiest girl in the whole damn holler. Good luck, AI. You ain't gonna make this. You never think of this. That's the point. Yeah, it's not gonna think. But why is this? This is special to us. So what we are is special to us. Because we are us. But it'll be the next thing. We have this knack for producing things that we know will resonate. With us. With our species. And what do those things do? They motivate movement. They motivate creativity. They inspire you. They fuel you. They're a strange drug. It's an audible drug, an audio drug. Great music is certainly a drug. You and I got to see Guns N' Roses live. Oh man. Which is pretty fucking dope. That was pretty dope. In Athens. Have you told that story? I think I did, yeah. You came back to the table. I went to the bathroom. And you came back and you said, oh my god, Axel Roses here. And I was like, whoa, where's he at? And you're like, he's right over there. So you had to walk by him. You know I tried to talk to him, right? Yeah, you tried to say hi. I didn't go so well. I saw him, when I left to the bathroom, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him with a woman. And I thought, oh, that's Axel. And I went to the bathroom and I'd had a margarita and a glass of wine. Because you peer pressured me into drinking over dinner. Peer pressure, it's my fault. Look how unresponsible for you. You're a grown man, sir. I'm a grown man. So I made the choice to have a glass of wine with dinner. And so I was feeling pretty good. And so I saw him at the table. So on the way back, I'm thinking, I got it. I can't not say hi. And so in my mind, I have a tuxedo and slick tear and a martini. Asking if, excuse me, Axel, we need to chat. But I think it's not impossible that I said Mr. Rose. Excuse me. Mr. Rose and the woman there was like, she didn't even say anything. She just waved me away. I thought, okay, I would do the same thing if I were Axel. And so I went back to the table, dejected, and let you know that Axel was still sitting there. Yes. And then my dilemma was, do I say hi? Because I'm like, I don't know if he knows me. I don't know if he knows who I am. I don't want to be an idiot. And when hi, Axel, look the fuck out of here. I tried that. Especially if it's like my first time meeting Axel Rose. I've been a fan of his for so long. I think I used to work out to Welcome to the Jungle in the 80s. So that guy has been famous since I was like 21 years old. 22? When did Welcome to the Jungle come out? Appetite for destruction? Yeah. When was that? 87? Was it? I think it was 87. I remember very clearly being in the gym the first time I heard it. I was lifting weights at this place. And Welcome to the Jungle. I was like, oh my God, what a fucking song. 87. 1987. Yeah, that makes sense. I remember standing on the pool table of my neighbor, Ryan, down the street and playing with wiffle ball bats and air guitarring, Welcome to the Jungle. So luckily he knew who I was. He actually knew my comedy. He was asking me questions about some jokes. And I loved this bit. And I was like, oh, God, thank God. Because you went in with confidence, by the way, you forget that part, dude. We walked in and like, I did the wrong thing. And you walked in with total confidence. And you stuck your arm into the booth and said hi. Like you didn't give him a chance not to say hi. I did. Is that what I did? I was drunk too. I just got lucky he knew who I was. It was full confidence with the Joe Rogan tattoos. You went right into his face and said, hey, man, hey, man. And he stopped for a second because it was odd. And he's like, oh, hey, man. He knew you immediately. That was what a relief that was. Because you don't know. You don't know. Someone fucks with you. It's weird. So it's weird to assume that this very famous person knows who you are. He was super cool. He was very cool. And he asked what you were doing there. And you said, I'm here with my family. And he said, oh, this is your family pointing to me. And you're like, no, this is Brian. You're very nice. Like he wrote this thing. He's a writer. And you told him the hypothesis. And Axel, he gave me the best T-shirt for the book. He's like, okay, cool. So everybody got high and made democracy. Pretty much? It's pretty much what you think, Axel. Pretty much. And then he invited us to the show, which was super dope. And but that, what I was getting to was like, when you hear, like, Welcome to the Jungle, your whole body goes, wow, it's like a drug. It's a drug that human beings have invented for ourselves. There's something about music that it's like music, when you're tired, like, say, if you're on a treadmill or something, you're tired and a good song comes on, you're like, fuck, yeah. It gives you an extra gear. Inspiration through music is very much like a performance enhancing drug. It does something to you. It motivates people to dance. You know, when someone hears a good song, like, fuck that, let's get on the dance floor. It's like, music, like, does something to you, your being. It interfaces with whatever the fuck you are in some very, very special way. But it only does it to us. Like, why would the universe think that that's interesting? Like, does it? Don't animals dance to human music? There must be videos of animals dancing to human music. There's definitely some videos of dogs dancing, but I've always wondered if they've been trained to dance. Why does that make you smile? Because it's cool. It's cool to see dogs dance. I wish my dog could dance. But they, you know, animals are so, especially dogs in particular, they're so tuned into people in some weird way. Like, my dog understands English. Like, I could say, yeah, I wish I had brought them today, but everyone's at the house and he was having fun. There's a deer in our backyard. There was a lot of drama today. There was a deer with a broken leg in my backyard. Oh, man. Yeah. Some poor little buck, a little young buck. And I was, it was in the morning, like seven o'clock in the morning, everyone's getting ready to go to school. I made a cup of coffee. I let the dog back in and he hadn't seen it. So he's like chilling on the back porch. And I let him in and I look over there, it looks like a fucking statue. It's a buck just standing there. I mean, 40 feet from me. And I'm like, why is there a deer there? And then I close the door, girls, girls, girls, come here, check this out. And then I look at the way he's standing, he goes, ooh, his back leg's broken. His shin is fractured. His back, like where your shin would be, it's bending back the wrong way. It's broken. And so, called animal protection, and they didn't know what to do. And so we're literally trying to find him an animal veterinarian to fix this deer's leg, which is just so crazy because I shoot deers and I eat them. But do you feel bad for this one? For that one, it's like he's first, he's very young, I would never shoot him. He's a little young fellow. He's just, it looks like a yearling. Like he's just got his horns for the first time. And he's like really confused and he's hurt and he can't, and he's in my yard because I guess he's like safer there. And so the dog finally does find him. And when the dog finds him, he's just like kind of jumping around him and bouncing and like, you want to play? And the deer can't run. So he's just standing there going, hey, you got to eat me? Like what's going on here? And it was very interesting. But he knows, like my daughter, and he's like, come on, man, cut the shit, get inside. And he goes inside. Or I can say, don't go out this door. We're going to go to the other door. Okay. He just goes to the other door. Like I can say things like that. Like he knows. I can say, not that door, dude, the other one. And he'll start going towards the other door. It's very weird. I can say, you want to watch TV? And he goes into the TV room and like he waits for me to plop up on the couch. Then he hops up next to me. Like he speaks English or he knows English. You just can't talk. It's a golden. Yeah. So animals, whatever the intelligence that they have, like whatever the fuck they're tuning into, it's a comprehension of language, I think, beyond just like saying words that they respond to. Like you want to go for a walk? And the dog pops up. They're just recognizing the word walk. Now, I think they understand like speech. They understand tone. They understand what you mean. They understand when you're in trouble, they're in trouble. Did you did you fucking shit on the carpet, dude? You know, like, they know things, but they don't seem to give a fuck about music. You know, dogs don't. They won't, they won't calm down if you play calming music. Supposedly they do. And unfortunately now that's in my fucking YouTube algorithm, because he was freaked out because of the thunderstorms that were happening. He was like, and so my wife said, Oh, there's this music that you can play for the dog and it calms them. So there's YouTube channels. So now every time I turn on my YouTube app, I get calming dog songs. How do you even know if they work? How does anybody know if they work? Ask your dog. Yeah. He's not gonna answer. That's the problem. But the, the act of moving the body to music is uniquely human. Yeah. I mean, what are the animals dance to music? Let's find out. Chimpanzees don't. I don't think so. Boy, they're smart as shit though. They're spooky smart. When you watch them solve puzzles for candy. You know, they gave chimps money. They taught them that if they take this money, they, this thing, these tokens and give it to this person or put it in this thing, they would give them candy. You know, the first thing they did was they gave it to the female chimps and they had sex with them. They like immediately engaged in prostitution. Where do you find this stuff? Oh, that's old. That's an old study. That's from a long time ago. I've just been always fascinated by chimpanzees. I mean, they're one of the most bizarre relatives to us that's still around. You've seen chimp nation. Yeah. Amazing. Like God, so fascinating. Yeah. But I don't think they dance. Do you think they do? I think they have rhythm. Yeah. Yeah. They move around. There's videos of them doing some, some ritual. Oh, ritual. Some rhythm. So what is this? Look at these breakdancing. That's dancing, man. That's dancing. Is that what he's doing? Is there music playing? But is that real? Is that the real music? That seems like that's added after the fact. Yeah. He's doing fast steps. Look how long his arms are. Isn't that crazy? It's just crazy that that's, we come from the same original route. It branched in a bunch of different ways. Yeah. But seven million years ago. That's what's fascinating is that they're still here. They're still here in that form, which is the dumbest anti-evolution question ever. If we came from monkeys, why are monkeys still here? It's a good question. Well, why are amoebas still here, sir? You know, why is anything still here? Why are we still here? Yeah. Well, but some things can function in the state they are and they don't need to adapt. That's why crocodiles, they've been the same forever. You know, sharks existed before trees. Sharks predate trees. Sharks are so old. They've been along for so, I think they're 50 million years older than trees. But trees are pretty old to begin with. Yeah. I think sharks are somewhere in the neighborhood of like 300 something million years old and trees are 50 million years less. What is it? Yeah, there it is. Sharks have been swimming our oceans much longer than trees have been swaying in the breeze on land. The birth of trees on earth is believed to have occurred roughly 370, 390 million years ago that makes sharks at least 10 million years old than trees. I also was off by 40 million, but yeah, older than trees, 10 million years. Mr. Colling as an evolutionary biologist. Not really. No, no, just like interesting information, but especially about things like that, you know, like sharks, the cleanup crew of the ocean. That's like, how do you manage just vast literal sea of life that moves in 3D space? It just moves all over the place and things are going to die and what happens to them? Sharks. This massive beast that has to keep moving or it dies. And it's so old and it's designed just for killing and eating and it has rows of replaceable teeth. And the only bones that it has at all are this massive jawbone and these ridiculous razor sharp saws that just slice things in half and it just roams the ocean looking to consume. Have you ever had a shark encounter? I've had sharks bite fish off my line. I've never like had a shark encounter where it's like, Jesus, a shark. No. Have I seen them in the wild? I do not know. I don't think I have. I don't think I've seen a shark like swimming through the water. I've seen a lot of dolphins, a lot of whales. I don't think I've ever had a physical encounter with a shark. Have you dreamed about sharks? Not really. What are you, a psychologist? Where the fuck is going with the guy's a shrink now? What happened? Where'd regular Brian go? I'm curious about your mind. I dream about wolves. Oh, I'm getting somewhere with this. Yeah, I dream about wolves a lot. Really? Yeah. What do you dream about? Running from wolves. You're running from wolves? Yeah. Why are wolves chasing you? I think wolves chase people a lot. I think some people got away and I think that genetic memory gets imparted in some folks. I have a high percentage of Neanderthal DNA when they do this, 23andMe, 57% more than regular people. Wow. Yeah. So you were chased by lots of wolves. I think ancient people, I think most ancient people, that's what the big bad wolf and through like little red riding hood, all those ancient stories of wolves were all because they were killing people. Wolves have always preyed on human beings. It's always been a part of human existence until we eradicated them and now we're bringing them back. Just to me wild. Like, have you guys thought this through? Like, there's a reason why we were so scared of them forever, but then we forgot what it's like to be scared of them. We're like, oh, well, if they get too many, we'll just kill them again. No, you won't. How do we domesticate them in the first place? You don't domesticate wolves. You make dogs. Where do dogs come from? Bitch-ass wolves. That's what it is. Bitch-ass wolves that were willing to come near us in the fire and then we give them a little food and then they realize that they could be our friend. They can get food. They don't have to hunt. And then we use them to protect the outer perimeter and to keep bears out and things like that and cats away from people. And that if the wolves stayed close, things didn't want to get near the wolves and so they would avoid us. And as long as we kept that kind of a relationship, you know, they've done these studies with foxes where they've had wild foxes and in a small period of time, every time they had an aggressive fox at all, they killed that fox and they kept these domesticated foxes. And over time, their ears flopped, their eyes got bigger, they became more appealing to us, more submissive. They basically became dogs over a very short period of time. See, we found that fox study. It's very interesting. That's probably what happened with wolves. I think the wolves that realize like, hey, you know, it's hard out there, you know, running a pack and being an alpha and getting cast out and like, maybe I can just get near these other things and I could get a little bit of their leftovers. Like if they do really well, like maybe they get a buffalo or something like that, they kill a bison, that's a large animal. They're not going to be able to eat it all. They're going to leave like a little bit for me and they're probably not going to eat the bones and wolves crush bones. And so like, maybe they sort of developed this sort of relationship because wolves are very curious of people too. And they come near people and they're fascinated by people. But the problem is when they want to eat you and that does happen. And it's always happened. It's always happened throughout history. In fact, in World War One, there was actually a ceasefire between the Russians and the Germans, because so many of them were getting killed by wolves that they decided to stop shooting each other and kill the wolves and then go back to killing each other. You ever heard about that one? Yeah. Well, because it's trench warfare, right? So people getting shot. And you know, when you're getting shot, you're dying in this trench. And sometimes these guys would just get overwhelmed by wolves. Like wolves would find them in there and just tear them apart. So imagine you're in trench warfare in World War One and you're here in the middle of the night, people screaming. And you're just getting torn apart by wolves. They would send out parties and like search parties and you know, they would find no one would come back and then they would go out and they'd find a boot with a human foot in it and like, what the fuck? And they realized, oh my God, these wolves are killing people. And they were in large packs because they were feeding on the bodies from the war. You know, the war back then is just unbelievably brutal. It's very close range. You know, you're not dealing with long distance missiles. You're dealing with people like literally creeping up on each other and shooting each other with rifles. It's horrible, horrible shit. And they're not that good at killing people. So a lot of times it kills you slow. And so these people are dying in these trenches and getting eaten by wolves. And the wolves decide that they're a primary food source. The why would I chase caribou and reindeer when I can just eat people? This explains your strange dreams. Yeah. Well, I think human beings have always been afraid of monsters, right? What is that? Like children that like Rupert Sheldrake has talked about this. Children that grow up in New York City are not afraid of the things that they probably should be afraid of. You know, they're not afraid of child molesters. They're not afraid of, they don't know what that is, right? But they know what a monster is. Like a monster is in their head. Like kids are scared of the dark. It's because of cats. Like we used to get eaten by cats all the time. So like a giant part of being an ancient hominid was probably avoiding predation from cats. I mean, there's been so many, even eagles. They found evidence of human beings that were killed by eagles. Like that was that big eagle that lived in New Zealand. They think the reason why that thing went extinct, I think it's called the Host Eagle. It was an enormous eagle that they think probably preyed on human beings. Which was like, what a fucked up way to go. A hand glider comes down, it takes you out. That's talons. Like a bird the size of a hand glider. Yeah. So I was looking up the Russian, it's the Russian fox experiment. I was finding a bunch of articles about it, like we've talked about before, but then one of them I said said there was a new study, which this is from 2019, that might not counter it specifically, but has a different understanding of what was happening. Maybe I was trying to read through it. And it just says that like what his final result was might not actually be what was happening with domestication. Well, let's read this part right here. It says, the Russian farm fox experiments best known experimental study in animal domestication. By subjecting a population of foxes to selection for tameness alone, Dmitry Belyev generated foxes that possess a suite of characteristics that mimics those found across domesticated species. This domestication syndrome has been a central focus of research into the biological pathways modified during domestication. Here we chart the origins of, how do you say his name? Belyev, you think? You would know better than me, man. How would you say that name? Belyev. Belyev. Foxes in eastern Canada and critically assess the appearance of domestication syndrome traits across animal domesticates. Our results suggest that both the conclusions of the farm fox experiment and the ubiquity of domestication syndrome have been overstated to understand the process of domestication requires a more comprehensive approach based on essential adaptations to human modified environments. So what they did though, this is interesting, they're saying there's like more to it than just this study. But what they did do in this study was pretty fascinating. So starting with 30 male and 100 female silver foxes from Soviet fur farms, he selectively bred foxes who responded less fearfully when a hand was inserted into their cage. The oft repeated narrative was that just with just 10 generations of selection on wild foxes, he produced foxes who craved human attention and exhibited a range of unconnected phenotypes including floppy ears, turned up tails, piebald coats, diestrous reproductive cycles, and later shorter and wider faces. Belyev, did I say it right? Belyaev. Belyaev proposed that the selection of behavior altered the regulation of multiple interconnected systems that produced the traits Darwin described. And 10 generations. Yeah, that's pretty crazy. So in whatever generations from campfire to poodle, campfire to Shibu Inu, from campfire to Chihuahua, we did that slowly but surely over time. But that's the root of all, I mean, they only found that out over the last few decades. They used to think that dogs were probably the ancestors of, their ancestors probably wild hominid wild dogs rather wild canids. But then they found out no, no, it's not wild canines. It's fucking wolves. They all came from wolves, all of them. All dogs came from wolves. It was like, what? A pug? Yeah. Yeah, selective breeding over time created something barbaric, something once. This is kind of necessary too, I think to know this part. It says that it's misunderstood that he found these were like wild foxes when he first got them and they were not. Right. They're fur farm foxes. Yeah, that's what they were saying, right? What was the misrepresentation? That people think that he'd found, Oh, that he walked, caught them. That they were wild. Yeah, whatever. Yeah. Oh, so they were already bred for furs. Purpose bred, it says. Yeah, purpose bred. So they probably already were subject to a certain amount of selective breeding, right? I mean, yeah, if you're trying to breed for a fur, then you're going for a Pacific coat. Yeah. So they probably, yeah, they're probably, yeah, fed them like domesticated deer. You ever see domesticated deer just eating out of people's hands? Yeah. There's this weird thing with the domesticated deer world. Do you know this? No. I come here to learn about animals. So this deer right here that's on the table, that is the first deer I ever shot. That's a wild mule deer from Montana. Yeah. That's where the Missouri breaks wild country. I mean, like, that's where you see homesteads out there that are like from the, you know, the 1700s and 1800s, people just didn't survive. And they had these just old buildings that were falling apart. They're littered out there. There's a bunch of them out there. It's a really fascinating place, but that is a typical wild deer, like a few years old. He's probably like four years old or something like that. They make deers in these deer farms where they feed them these protein tablets. And so like a big deer, a really big deer is a 200 inch deer. And what that means is the antlers of the deer, like there's big bodies that'll be about 300 pounds or like a mule deer or a really big one. Their bodies are big, but then their antlers are this massive fucking structure on their head of bone that grows quicker than anything in the wild. Is the quickest bone that grows that we're aware of in all of nature is an elk or a stag or even deer. This shit grows so quick. It's just a couple months and all of a sudden they drop their horns during the winter. And then these new ones in the spring just whoop and within months they grow. So with these farms, they're taking these animals and then giving them these preposterous diets that would just never exist in the wild. And they have a deer with like 350 inch antlers like that. They're just gross. It's just weird. It's weird what they're doing. So they're selectively breeding for genetics. And then on top of that, they're feeding them this crazy diet. And then they're letting them loose in these high fence areas and people shoot them and they hang them on their wall like a trophy. And almost all hunters have the same reaction. I was like, they're gross. It's like something gross about it. It's like something about it. But people who look about 400 inch deer on a shot, people that don't give a fuck, that's what they want. They want the biggest antlers. So it's a very controversial thing in the wildlife conservation community. And it's also a way that CWD gets spread, unfortunately. Because these wild deer come in contact with these deer that have been captive and these deer that are captive may be carrying CWD and then they put these deer out in the wild. They hop fences, they get out there and then CWD spreads. And it's a real issue, especially with white tails. And they're seen in mule deer as well, but it's chronic wasting disease is what it is. And it's horrific. And their saliva gets on plants and then with other animals eat the plants and they get it. Much like how bison give cattle brucellosis. Cattle farmers have a real problem with wild bison getting onto their range because if the bison contain brucellosis, then all of their flock could all have brucellosis and die. This is the thing with CWD and a lot of it comes out of this captive canid or captive deer. There's like farms that they it's like that it's a whole business. This business of raising these captive deer. It's real weird. It's very unnatural. Because you do and then they let them loose. Like there's these big stupid antlers. It's just, you know, if you see an elk, a wild elk's antlers like that, that is there because they're fighting each other and they're smashing heads. And the bigger the antlers, the more impressive they are for the females and the more they can fight off the males. And there's an evolutionary reason for that. For this is just some freak that's been given steroids and a bunch of protein. Yeah. I don't know how we got to that. I'm meaning that. I'm trying to figure that out. Yeah. Well, I just, we're talking about. Domestication. Yeah. Domestication and its effects. Yeah. The wolf one is one of the most fascinating ones now that we know that all dogs come from wolves. Yeah. It's really interesting to watch how species will adapt over time and then wonder what is happening to us. Because clearly it's a very similar thing is happening to us. Yeah. And if anything should remind us or in any way, if we're similar to any animal in the variety of sizes and shapes, like it would be the dogs. Like human beings vary so widely. And that's, and we are domesticated. We're self domesticated, you know, but we're clearly domesticated. And that process started a long time ago. Remember the homeowner lady that I showed you? So what they know about them is they had a canines like you and me, obviously. But so in the primate world, the canines are much bigger, obviously, because when you, when you bear your teeth, you're meant to be threatening. Yes. Obviously. So what they realized about homeowner lady is that they had smaller canines. So instead of using them to threaten others, what they realized is that they were such a size that they were using them to smile. So they, they were smiling. They were the first ones to show their teeth as a nice thing. That's a nice thing. They were smiling 300,000 years ago. Wow. Wow. So why wouldn't they have canines? Chimps have canines, gorillas have canines. And they kind of use their teeth to smile a little too. Chimps seem to. They seem like when they're having fun, they should, they, when they're laughing, they seem like chimps seem to laugh, right? Yeah. And they, they show their teeth and it doesn't seem like they always show their teeth in a threatening way. Right? Like that dude's smiling for sure. That dude's smiling. I mean, come on. Look at him. Looks like a cool photo. He is 100% smiling. Yeah. Yeah. It seems like they, they smile and they have canines. Yeah. They got canines. They're, they're certainly larger than ours, but it's also like, you saw that, like, is that a smile? I mean, I don't know what the fuck that is. I'm getting out of there. It's ambiguous. Click on that one with the waist up right above you. Right. Yeah. Look at that. I mean, Jesus Christ. You imagine seeing that in the wild, you'd be like, oh my God, I'm so fucked. That's terrifying. That's not a smile. That's not a happy teeth on dinner, I think. I don't know about. Yeah. He's ready to fuck you up. Yeah. That's what a crazy thing. That just, the fact that they still exist is we're so fortunate to be able to observe and watch these very human like patterns that we see in terms of like their social structures and how they manage them and how there is like one leader and how they'll branch off into separate groups. They even wage war on each other and they fight over territories and food. It's so interesting. It's so interesting because they're so like us, but then so not. Like that thing is kind of like, show that picture again. It's kind of like us, but God, that thing's terrifying. I mean, look at his face. If he was mad at you, oh my God, that would be so horrible. And their eyes. And some of them have white around the eyes. That was something they showed in the Chimp Nation documentary, which is really interesting too, because he's got animal eyes. I mean, he's terrifying. This one right here. But some of them, they have almost like, you look into their eyes and you see like emotion. Very fascinating species. Have you studied at all the Hobbit people from the island of Flores? The Floresiensis. Yeah. Yeah. That's another strange one like Como Naledi, because it disrupts the narrative about the doubling of the human brain size as if there's this constantly escalating trend in one direction. So you see the Floresiensis and Naledi occupy these strange places, questioning whether or not it's the physical brain or something else that imputes intelligence. Yeah. What about the Hobbits? Well, it's interesting that they co-existed with humans because they're fairly recent, right? What is the timeline for those? Definitely when Sapiens was around. Yeah. What's the most recent carbon dating on those Homo florensiensis? I think it's less than 100,000 years. And they think those things had tools. There was a lot of dispute as to whether or not they were just misformed or deformed human beings. There was a lot of dispute as to whether or not this was a unique branch of the human chain, but they think it is now. And they think that they're probably also subject to island dwarfism, you know, like mammals are. But for some reason with reptiles, it goes the other way. What's the age on florensiensis? I was trying to find an updated article. This article is from last month. Yeah. So insisting... Okay. Initial carbon dating of the sediment determined the remains to be 18,000 years old. Wow. Which is startlingly young, putting the previous unknown species closer in time to us than Neanderthals. The date was revised in 2016, estimating instead that the Hobbit was 50,000 to 60,000 years old. Interesting. I wonder what changed and wonder what they got out of the first one. The specimen was just wrong in about five different ways and unexpected to the point of people thinking like this can't be possible, said Paige Madison, a historian of paleoanthropology and science writer is currently working on a book about the Hobbit titled Strange Creatures Beyond Count to be published in 2025. That's still pretty recent though. I mean, the grand scheme. 50,000 is pretty recent. I wonder why they thought it was 18 and why they changed that. 18 is more magical. It's closer. That's magical. Yeah. That seems unreal. Well, do you know about the Aurang pen deck? The Aurang pen deck is a mythical creature that people have spotted in Vietnam and in some other places in the world. They rejected name. What's that? They rejected, they were going to use that name first, but they had to reject it. Fluoresceanus. Yeah. Flowerianus. Flowerianus. Oops. Oh boy. Yeah, you can't say that. I wonder why they did that. But the Aurang pen deck is a very similar creature that has been talked about by indigenous people and people that live in the jungle and they insist that it's a real thing. It's a tiny, hairy little human that is very similar to these Hobbit people. And the speculation from the cryptozoology peoples that this thing's still alive in very small populations. Today? Yeah. There's some bullshit videos that show one running across the road. Have you seen that video? It looks fake, right? For sure. Yeah. It looks fake. Do you think the Gimlin footage is real? Patterson Gimlin footage? 100% fake. Fake? Yeah. It looks fake. Everything that looks fake is fake. Is it a person in a suit? Yeah, 100%. Yeah. Why? It's a guy walking in a suit. Yeah, 100%. Although I did get really high once and I was convinced that it was really Bigfoot and I was being an asshole all this time. I was like, oh my God, what if that really is Bigfoot? I just be that dick. Because some of these hardcore Bigfoot believers, that's their footage. The Patterson, but there's so many problems with that. First of all, Roger Patterson literally got arrested for writing a bad check to pay for the camera that he used to film that. They went there specifically to film it. The guy, Bob Hieronymus, who says he was Bigfoot. When you see him walk, he's this big old gangly cowboy looking dude. When you see him walk, he walks exactly like that Bigfoot thing did. You think it was him? 100%. Yeah. They even have a receipt from a fucking gorilla suit that they bought. Have you ever seen him walking side by side? Find a video of Bob Hieronymus walking side by side with the original Patterson footage. They show the Bigfoot walking and then Bob walking and he like, oh. Because he looked like a Bigfoot. You know there's dudes, the big old cowboy looking dudes, big old fucking farm country strong dudes. They look like Apeish. They're just big old fuckers. This guy was one of those guys and you see him walking and he walks right, they superimpose it. They put side by side rather. When they do it, you go, oh yeah, definitely. What a disappointment. Do you want to believe that it's real? No, I don't want to believe. Did you ever believe it was real? When I was eight, yeah. When you're nine, you're like, get the fuck out of here. My God, there's people to this day, those hardcore Bigfoot people are cult members. They really are. They decide to shut off a part of their brain that critically looks at information. Aren't there any eyewitnesses who strike you as credible? I was talking to Les Stroud about this. I was talking to Les once about this, I think. Yeah, Les, he's a very credible guy in terms of survival tactics. He knows a lot about that. But he didn't see one with his own eyes. He heard something and he heard noises that sounded chimpanzee-like. Bears make those noises all the time. I've seen bears make those, I've watched bears make those noises. They make them particularly when they're fighting with each other. They sound very much like gorillas. They do that all the time. So if you were alone in the woods and you heard that and you heard smashing and thumping around, you're like, oh my God, there's a gorilla out there. Oh my God, there's some kind of a primate out there. There have been people that have spotted things that are very eerily similar to what you would think is a large bipedal ape. The problem is a lot of these pieces of places are heavily wooded and populated by bears and bears walk on two legs all the time. So here, there's Bob and there's the Bigfoot, right? I mean, case closed, right? I never saw that. I mean, look at that dude. Isn't he like what I said? Big old country dude. Yeah. I mean, we see that guy walking and you imagine him with a fucking gorilla suit on. I mean, it doesn't even look good. It looks like shit. I mean, look at that thing. It looks like a guy in a gorilla suit. And in my opinion, everything that looks fake is fake. I've never seen anything that looks fake that's real. I mean, I could be wrong. Yeah. I don't know what that is. But I definitely know that the guy that there's like, there's a whole paper trail of buying a gorilla. Is that what he's saying? That's the suit? I honestly don't know. I've never seen this video. I was trying to find the side by side. I was having a hard time finding it and this is the one I picked. Okay. So he's saying that that's what he wore, but that thing does look like it. If you go back to that video, that photo of where he's holding up that suit, that looks pretty fucking similar, man. Pretty fucking similar. And all you'd have to do is put that thing on and walk through the woods. And it's just too convenient. All of it's too convenient that the fact that the guy went looking for it and found it and filmed it and, you know, the whole thing's corny. It's corny. Data matters. Data does matter. And there's no real data in terms of genetics. You know, there's been a lot of like goofy talk that they found like some kind of human DNA and samples of hair. The problem with that is all that DNA has been contaminated. I actually talked to an actual biologist about this. And we did an episode of Joe Rogan questions everything for the Sci-Fi channel on Bigfoot. We hung around with Bigfoot hunters. Duncan and I went out with them and looking for Bigfoot and camping with them and everything. And I just, it's people that are just looking for something, you know, and some of them have had experiences. Some of them have said they've seen things, but it's just all of it just reeks of horseshit. And it's unfortunate because I think at one point in time, it was real. I think almost certainly at one point in time, human beings did interact with Gigantopithecus. It was a real animal. You know about that? And Gigantopithecus matches exactly like what people talk about when they talk about Sasquatch. It looks exactly like that. An enormous bipedal hominid that was, you know, maybe more than eight feet tall. And they found out about this thing by accident when a guy was looking at an apothecary shop in China and he found gigantic teeth that were clearly primate teeth. So where'd you find these? And they go there and they go to the site and they dig out jawbones that indicate it was bipedal. And so now they know it's a real thing that existed. And they, I think they date that to when they date, I think they date that to a hundred thousand years ago. When did they date Gigantopithecus too? Wikipedia says roughly 2 million to 350,000 years. 350,000. I thought it was closer. That was closer to us. That's just what Wikipedia says. I see if there's other disputes or something. Yeah. See if it, cause I've read that these date, the carbon date that they did on these teeth, I think they said that that was somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred and something thousand years ago. So that would put it, you know, with semi modern looking human beings. So the question is, right. And then the question is like, how long did it survive? Just because you find something, you find, like you say, if you find one that's 200,000 years old, doesn't mean that didn't exist a hundred thousand years ago or even 50,000 years ago. Like when was the last one? When did they die off? And when did humans encounter them? And if you look at their range, like if they found them in Asia and then you look at the Bering landmass and you've, you look at where, where does it drop off? Well, it drops off in the Pacific Northwest. Like that's like literally like goes down Alaska, makes its way down the coast, dense forest, which is where a thing like that. So proteins extracted from a roughly 1.9 million year old tooth of the aptly named Gigantopithecus is a close relative to modern orangutans. So protein comparisons amongst living fossil apes suggest that Gigantopithecus and orangutan forerunners diverged from a common ancestor between 10 and 12 million years ago. But when did it die off? It's the same thing. It says they had found the late plastician era. They only have this from the early part of it. Okay. So it said the fossils date from around 2 million to almost 300,000 years ago. The sizes of individual teeth and jaws indicate that it weighed between 200 and 300 kilograms. That's a big fucker. Interesting. So that was, that was Bigfoot. So if humans did make it to the point where we had language and the ability to communicate ideas, they probably would communicate about all these creatures that they encountered and that would be one of them. But the actual like Patterson footage Bigfoot, that's horseshit. There's just too many hunters out there. Too many hikers. Who would have seen something? Yeah, they don't see anything. I've talked to many people that have spent like, they've spent months in the backwoods. I know multiple guys that do like my friend Adam Greentree from Australia. Every year he comes to America and he'll do a remote wilderness elk hunt solo. And he, he live streams it. He puts it like pieces of it on his Instagram. And he was out there for 28 days. He did see a grizzly bear a couple years back, which is not supposed to be there in San Juan mountains of Colorado. But that's close to Wyoming and Wyoming is a habitat for grizzlies. And it makes sense that grizzlies would go across the border and make their way in there. There's been historical sightings of things that people thought were grizzly bears. They're putting no Bigfoots. None hero. You'd think somebody would get a camera footage shot of it like from these trail cams or camera traps or something. I mean, nothing. And you personally never heard her experience anything? No, like a Bigfoot thing. I don't think I would say that first. That'd be the first thing you're holding out, Joe. No, I've never even seen a wolf. I mean, I think I did see a wolf once in Alberta, but it was very, very dark. It was like it was getting dark at night. And I saw something run across the road that looked like dog sized. I thought possibly could be a wolf. But they have wolves up there. They spot them there all the time. That's not uncommon. The Bigfoot thing is just, it's just one of those legends, you know, like the Yeti. And we know too much about the world. Can I have some? Yeah, please. We know too much about what's really in the world now to fall for something like that. It's my first, my first coffee in a while. Oh, really? I think so. How long? At least a year. What? Yeah. Really? This is probably going to be wild. Michael Pollan said that he took three months off of caffeine. And then the first cup of coffee he had was like psychedelic. So cheers, cheers, man. Cheers to you. Thanks for that. What kind of coffee is it? Black Rifle coffee. Hmm. How you feel? I feel crazy. Feel wild. Ready to go into a trance. It's been a while, man. I gave it up sometime last year. What made you just want to sip right now? Watching me do it. Peer pressure, just like I got you a drink. Like in Athens. It was that margarita. Margaritas will do it. Margaritas have been responsible for more bad decision making than probably any other beverage. You don't drink that much though, do you? No, no, no, no. I like a couple of drinks every now and then though. You know, it's one of those things. It's just not good for your health. And I'm very conscious of my health. I realize that. Yeah. It really hit me last year. I got COVID last summer. And I'm not sure what the connection was, but just my body felt terrible for like at least a month or so. And then I couldn't, I just couldn't get back to myself. And so I quit, I quit alcohol and caffeine, coffee for sure. And I felt a lot, actually felt a lot better, a lot better. So COVID really got you bad. It got me really bad. I was sick for, I mean, I was in bed for definitely a week or two. And then I had like, just persistent kind of malaise for at least a couple of months. And that went on through most of last year. Wow. So when I stopped. So long COVID, what they call long COVID. That's what it felt like, man. Yeah. I mean, obviously I never had a diagnosed, but it's a weird term, right? Because it's kind of vague. What does that mean? You know, it's like people get wrecked by the disease and then they don't seem to recover very well and return to their robust self. Why? Why does it get some people, how come some people get sick and they get over it? Can I ask you about your vitamin intake? Yeah, it's pretty poor. I mean, so after, so last summer I started taking a lot more vitamin D and vitamin C and Echinacea. But that's basically it. Yeah, that's not enough. You know, you can take things that cover your basis. Like there's a, there's a product called AG1, athletic greens. It's nice. Cause you just mix it in water, a little packet, pour it in water, or you get like a, like a scoop of it and put it in water and mix it up. Every day. Yeah. But it's easy. It doesn't taste bad, tastes good. And, but you do need vitamin D and you should also take vitamin D with vitamin K2. It helps your body absorb. But you should be taking a host of things. You should be taking colloidal minerals. You should be taking essential fatty acids. Like if you want to optimize your, your body's ability to recover and to be able to perform, you really need to supplement. And supplementation, I think is something that many people have maligned that do not experience it. When you talk to doctors, all you need is a balanced diet. And those doctors always have pot bellies and they look like shit. If you talk to someone who's a fit doctor, who's like really healthy, they'll, they'll tell you the value of not just good nutrition, but also good supplementation. And you really should supplement. And supplementing with vitamin D is critical, especially to avoid colds. You know, that's the speculation about why we get flu and colds in the winter. Oh, it's flu season. Why does flu have a fucking season? Well, because that's when people are very low in vitamin D. Cause there's not getting the best way to get vitamin D for sure is sun exposure. Yeah. And vitamin D is a hormone. It's not just a vitamin. It's, it's, it's responsible for a lot of things in the body, including your ability to have a properly functioning immune system. And I think there's some nutty number of people in this country that are deficient in vitamin D and out of the people that were hospitalized with COVID, I think the number was 84% of them had deficient levels of vitamin D. How much do you take by supplement? Me? Yeah. You don't have to reveal it. What's it? 20,000 milligrams a day? 20,000? Yeah. Like each little tablet is like 5,000. I'd take four of them a day. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I go hard, but I go hard with a lot of things. That's a lot of D. But I also, I'm almost 60 years old. I'm 56 years old and I push my body. I work out really hard. I work out as hard now as I did when I was 25, you know, and there is possible to do, but you have to do it right. Like you have to give your body the tools that it needs to recover. And, but those tools and the food that you eat and the supplements that you take, all those, they help your overall health, which helps your ability to recover from illness. You were telling me that in Athens too. It makes sense. Like some, some sort of strength training. Strength training is critical. Like first of all, it's critical as you age because you lose bone mass, you lose muscle mass. And there's a lot of people that look similar to the way they look 10 years ago, but they have more fat and less muscle and less dense bones. And it's just, just for your ability to do things and to be mobile and that, you have to force your body to lift heavy things. And I don't mean really heavy. Like the heaviest thing I lift is my body weight. The second heaviest thing I lift is 70 pounds. You don't do heavy weights? No, no, I don't do heavy weights at all. I do kettlebells. So what I do is like cleans and presses and swings and windmills. And I do all these things that make my whole body work as one unit. Like I don't do anything that's an isolation exercise. Everything I do is my, so it's all stuff where my body's forced to balance this weight and press it and then lean over and press it up or Turkish get ups where you lie on your back and you press it up and then you get up and you stand up on one knee and then you stand all the way up and then you slowly lower yourself back down. They're not glamorous exercises, but they're really good for a coordination of all of your muscular and all of your, your, your entire core and your, your whole system working together instead of like curls or, you know, tricep extensions. Those are good for isolating and developing specific muscles, but I don't do any of that stuff. Everything I do is just, I use my whole body. How many times a week? I work out almost every day. Do something. I do something almost every day. I gotta step it up. Well, it's not hard to do. It really isn't. You just have to get in the habit of doing it. Like if you just get in the habit of doing a hundred pushups and a hundred bodyweight squats every day, that'll change your fucking life. And it takes 15 minutes. It does not take long. You can do a hundred pushups in 15 minutes. I do a hundred pushups and a hundred bodyweight squats in 15 minutes. Yeah. I might have to work up to that. You just do sets of 20, just do five sets of 20. So I do two in a row where I do 20 pushups, 20 bodyweight squats, 20 pushups, 20 bodyweight squats. Then I catch my breath, have something to drink. And then when my heart rate gets down a little bit, I'm ready to go again. I do another 20, another 20, another 20, another 20. So now I'm in two, you know, so now I just need one more. And then I do my last 20 and my last bodyweight squat. It's a hundred. Okay. It's not hard to do. I can do it, man. You just say this is what I do every day and it may be, it'll take you a half hour, but it's a nice little workout. It's simple. You can do it anywhere. I can do it on the road. I could do it anywhere. It doesn't cover all of your bases, but it's a really good base to start from. And then once you start doing something like that, then you can incorporate other things. Then you can incorporate lunges with like maybe dumbbells or chin ups or things along those lines, dips. Like you could most certainly get a really good workout every day with just your bodyweight. There's so many things you could do. And now with YouTube and all the resources that are available, you can just Google bodyweight routines and bam, you've got so many different options that you could just follow along to some video and people do things like that. Super easy to do. Okay. Yeah. I'm on board. Yeah. But, but resistance training is very important. It's really important as you age. What about cardio though? Because that's the one thing I don't have trouble with. I've been doing cardio in the mornings and getting lots of sunshine. Cardio is great. That's kind of that. That's how I feel a lot better. So when I, when I got sick last summer, that's when I really, I needed to move a lot more. Plus I was sitting at the desk too much, you know, typing and writing and stuff. Oh yeah. So that my back was all out of whack. I've been going to a chiropractor. I went for months to a chiropractor and then I've been sleeping a lot more and just being more mobile, more active. I mean, there were, there were days I would sit down to research and write. I could go for hours at a time. And like in the aggregate, maybe 15 hours a day, like when I was trying to finish the book and that, that caught up to me bad, man. Makes sense. So I pulled my back out a couple of times trying to lift the girls. That's, that's when I, that's when I realized I was like grossly out of shape. Do you use an ergonomic chair when you sit? No. You should use one of these. Get one of these fuckers. These things are amazing. Yeah. I mean, I'm sitting in this thing three hours every day. I used to have like a regular office chair and after every podcast, my back would be like, it hurt. But this forces you to have correct posture. I've noticed it's not very, it wasn't comfortable at first. It's a little odd, but overall it'll be more comfortable if you, if you get used to this, like I have the exact same chair at my home desk when I write. Because of that lower back support. And it also, it's just like the way it's, it doesn't allow you to kind of like slump in. Like the way that's what I was doing. I was slumping over the computer, like this, and my spine was all out of the way. I used to get a bad neck pain when I was writing too much on a laptop because you know, you're sitting there like this the whole time and that just this like head down in a bad office chair, some shitty chair, I would get like, my neck would hurt. And that's what I knew I had to stop. Sometimes I'd try to keep writing, but my neck would be irritated. I'm like, I gotta stop. But this doesn't, I don't get any of that anymore with this. These are, what are they called? Capiscos. And they used to be, the company used to call, be called fully, but I think they sold to another company now. These are the shit. I've tried everything. I've tried the ones where you're on your knees. Yeah. You know, when you're, it's not really a chair. It's like you're all your way to sitting. Those are pretty good. Those are pretty good. I used to have one of those at the house. Some people like a balanced ball. They like sit on one of those Bosu balls. Yeah. That was recommended too. Those are good. Because it's the same principle. It forces you to watch your posture the whole time. Yeah. But that's the idea is that what posture is essentially is a constant static exercise, right? Because you really want to just do this. And I have a, I used to have terrible posture. I'm much better at it now, but it's because I've had back problems, you know, so just like force yourself to like stay in this. This is how your body is supposed to be. Yeah. It's very unnatural though. It is. At least for me. But that's also like why I wonder, like why did those animals, those ancient hominids, why did they choose to stand up? Like what facilitated that? You know? You all right? Yeah, I'm okay. Okay with the coffee. It seemed like you were about to get your balls back there, buddy. I had a moment there. I do feel it. We were talking about this before, but the reason why I brought up Kundalini Yoga and I was going to bring up holotropic breathing, there are some methods that people use. Yeah. And I'm saying this as someone who hasn't, I've done some breathing exercises that did create a very bizarre state and breathing exercises. I do have some experience, but I've never done the holotropic breathing. Me neither. They have these, you know, like real rituals where they do holotropic breathing and people have what they describe as very psychedelic experiences. That was Stan Groff after some of his LSD experiences. I think he created holotropic breath work as a way to engage the same process that he discovered through LSD. And then of course there's John Lilly who developed a sensor deprivation tank that also makes you achieve a psychedelic state endogenously, but through an external mechanism of lying in the water that's, we have one here. Have you seen the one that we have here? We have one right here. Yeah. Yeah. I'll give it a try. Does it work? Oh yeah. Yeah. It's pretty wild. It's really interesting. I used to have one in my house, but my wife got weirded out by it. People got weirded out when they come over. They're like, what the fuck is in your basement? Is that a freezer? It's a body shaped freezer. No, but it's even weirder. Like you got a tank that you float in your basement. Like, yeah, you would too if you did it. Once you do it, you go, oh my god, this is amazing. Have you had out of body experiences? In there? Yeah. Well, it's essentially the idea that Lilly came up with and he had a bunch of different iterations of it. The initial one, he wore a scuba tank helmet, like a scuba helmet. And he was sort of suspended by straps in the water and he had this helmet on and the water was the same temperature of his skin. And so through this method, he was able to relieve himself of most external stimulation. Because the external stimulations that you have right now are like, obviously, we're sitting at this desk, you see everything, you hear everything, your feet are touching the ground, your butt's touching the chair, your back's like, that's all sensory input. And in the absence of any sensory input, Lilly's suspicion was that you could achieve psychedelic states. And so if you could free the mind, and so he did a bunch of different versions of it, and then eventually figured out that if you just added a ton of salt to the water, and he used what is like waterbed heaters. So waterbed heaters at the bottom, you line it with plastic, and then you get it to a steady 94, whatever degrees, and with that salt in it, you'll float. And when you do get in there, the water becomes impossible to different you can't tell the difference between where the air is and the water is, because it's just all the same temperature. And so it's the same temperature of your skin. So as long as you don't move, you don't even feel the water. And it feels like you're just flying through space. And you don't see anything, you don't hear anything, you're half your face is underwater, so your ears are underwater. A lot of people put like earplugs in, I generally don't. But then half your body, like it's like above the surface, and you're just lying there floating, and it's very relaxing. It's a great way for your body to absorb epsom salts, you get magnesium through that. You know, like when people take epsom salts in their sore, it's magnesium, you're taking magnesium, and you're just taking it through your skin. I'm taking notes, man. Yeah, I'm going to incorporate all this. But these are all ways that people have, oh, Jesus, I almost got the book, but didn't. That's amazing. It's pretty good. Like it literally like cut a line. That was a crazy one. Check that, Jamie. Thank you. So my question was, is there any historical evidence or any information that leads you to think that possibly they were engaging in some other kind of thing? So your friend who doesn't believe, like maybe there were some other options that they were also doing when you think about these rituals, right? Yeah, that's a possibility. I mean, we know there were cave techniques. So I mean, it's not just, it's not just poppy, pop and ghillie. There are other, I'm going to clean the coffee at the same time. Thank you. There were other scholars too who just aren't big fans of the psychedelic hypothesis for any number of reasons. But also it's like very unpopular until recently to even suggest anything about psychedelics. I mean, think about all the different people that their career suffered, because they did bring up psychedelics. That's who I write about in the book. Yeah, is Professor Ruck, who's 88 years old. He's still at Boston University. He was at Boston University in the late seventies when they unleashed that hypothesis. And it really impacted his career in the eighties and nineties and beyond. So like, that's, you know, people are aware of that. They're aware of not just, I was aware of that. Yeah, for sure. That's, I mean, it's at least part of the reason why I haven't tried psychedelics. Yeah. You know, I wasn't, I wasn't personally called to that experience. Well, it's also, you know, from your perspective, if you were a guy who did psychedelics and then you're reporting on psychedelics, like, oh, this is confirmation bias. This guy wants to believe this. But instead, you know, since you haven't, it's probably better for the overall, you know, acceptance of your research that you're looking at it purely from an academic perspective. You're just looking at fact-based, evidence-based, historically-based. I'm trying to find the data. Yeah. Like we were talking about. I think, yeah, my experience is meaningless compared to all that. You know, I just, I never, I don't know, I managed to avoid it for so many years that when it came time to write the book, it just seemed like it wasn't a priority. Well, I think you should do it eventually because it's so profound. You can't, you're not going to be able to believe that you never experienced it before. But also one of the most bizarre things about the DMT state in particular, which is something that we know is produced endogenously in the human body, that you've been there before. Like when you get there, you're like, Oh, I've been here before. It seems familiar. Oh, 100%. Like the first time I did it, I was like, Oh my God. It was, it's so mind blowing, but also so familiar that you think, Oh, I've been here before. And I think you're there all the time. I think you probably go there to some extent every night. When you're dreaming. Yeah. We don't know. We don't specifically know, like we do know because of Rick Strassman's work, Strassman who wrote DMT, the Spirit Molecule, did the first FDA approved studies that they did with IV slow drip DMT experiences. And these people had just wild experiences with entities and realms. And apparently there's some stuff that's going on right now in London. And Graham Hancock told me about this, that there, there, there's some really profound work that's being done that they're doing these studies where they're doing the same sort of technique. They're doing it for like three hours. And that imperial, is that what it is? Yeah, it's an imperial. Yeah. Do you know more about it? You could tell us. Yes. It's, it's, it's long. I'm not sure if it's that long. I think it's 30 minutes. Oh, but there's another team in, in, in Basel and Switzerland that's also experimenting with infuse. I think it's like 90 minutes. And interestingly, this is somewhat breaking news. There, there's a new study happening in the US. So the first, the first US research on extended state DMT is happening at UC San Diego, which is really cool. Actually, Jamie, there's a, there should be a press release about it, which came out earlier this year. There's a team there being headed by a guy named John Dean, Dr. John Dean. He's, he's talked with Rick, by the way, about his research. And they recently got some funding to be the first US site to host these extended state infusions. And to really try to get in the route. Are you interested? Yeah, sign me up. Well, I imagine it will eventually become something like ketamine therapy. You know, one of my friends, Neil Brennan, who's suffered from depression in his life, hilarious comedian, he went to, I guess, as a psychiatrist. I don't know who does these things, but he went to this place where they give you an IV ketamine drip. And he's like, okay, it's probably going to be, you know, just relaxing. He goes, Oh, no, no, no, you are tripping your balls off in a doctor's office, like hooked up to an IV bag, closing your eyes and experiencing this like full blown ketamine state, which he said is like profoundly weird and very, very psychedelic. And some people, it helps them alleviate depression. But it's also like super abused recreationally, especially around here. There's a lot of people that get prescribed ketamine for depression. So they have these nasal pumps of ketamine. See people at night. We had someone in the club that went into a K hole. No way. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Someone in the audience. The husband was like, she did too much ketamine. At a comedy club. Because you're spraying this stuff up your nose and you know, no one's stopping you from doing it 10 times. That seems irresponsible. Yeah. That's what people do. I know, but this is my, that's my concern with some of these drugs. Right. That is a legitimate concern, but also that is a concern with food. You can't tell people, you can't regulate people's food consumption just because people get overweight. Yeah. You got to let people figure it out and you got to give them the information and the tools that they need to make good choices. And the only way you do that is if it's legal and studied and people understand, you know, what is the correct dose? Like what is the correct thing? What's the best way to do it? It's the most beneficial and the least causes the least harm and treats it with the most respect. Because one of the things about rituals, I think, and these are ritualistic settings is that there's this heightened state of importance and significance of the thing that you're about to embark on. Yeah. This journey that you're about to go on. And related to this, there was a place that I had initially purchased before I put the mothership at the Ritz, before I bought the Ritz. I was under contract to buy this one building that was owned by a cult. And there's a documentary about the cult. It's called Holy Hell. And it's about this guy who was a hypnotist and also a gay porn star who started a cult in California and then moved it out to Austin. And this guy would do this thing with these people where he would call it the knowing. It's a crazy documentary because like all cult documentaries in the beginning, it looks awesome. In the beginning, it's like, oh, they figured it out. This is the solution to what ails us. The modern society where people are disconnected, there's no sense of community. These people are splashing around the water together. They're going on hikes together, they're doing yoga together, they're eating together, they're singing together. God, it looks amazing. Amazing. And he had this thing that he would do, it was called the knowing. And there's videos of him doing it to people. And he would, when these felt like they were ready, and it took Fred, some people would be very angry. He's like, you're not ready. Because he was just a con man. But what he did was convince them that when this thing would happen and he would touch them and give them the knowing that they would have this profound experience where they would connect with God. And it worked. That's what's crazy. When he did it to these people, and obviously these people are deeply committed, right? They're cult members. They've bought in hook, line, sinker, and he's a hypnotist. So he's doing hypnotic therapy on these people. And when he does it to them, you see them like, oh, and they talked about it like it was the happiest moment in their life. And they were talking about it in this documentary, in the context of describing how this guy was a con man, and about how this guy ruined their lives. And they followed him for two decades. Now they're lost and 50 years old, just trying to find their way in the world. And they were just young people who were trying to find a way. They still talk about that experience being one of the most impactful, profound moments of their life. And it was bullshit. But was it? It clearly wasn't bullshit. I mean, he didn't really have magic powers, but he did have the power of suggestion. He did understand hypnosis. And because they believed in him so much, they really did have this experience. So what is it about this trick, this placebo effect, this thing that you can hit, this switch that you can hit, where these endogenous chemicals that we know exist, we can make them bust out of your brain in some profound way that makes you have this complete transcendent experience. That's what interests me about this research at UCSD. I think in addition to the extended state infusions with DMT, they're also setting up these volunteers to fMRI's to really try and figure out how DMT is interacting with the brain, how it's released or not. And I think part of that interest and that research is really trying to figure out the endogenous. That's sort of the holy grail of DMT research. So this guy, John Dean, I think he's founded in rat brains, but we've never actually seen conclusively, never measured the presence of DMT in the human body, in the human brain. I think that's part of his interest is trying to figure out if he can endogenously identify the presence within these states of mind. So whether it's someone in deep meditation or in dreaming or some other altered experience, I think that part of the really interesting part about the research there is trying to isolate exactly how that gets triggered because if we're sitting on this incredibly potent chemical and we don't know how to release or to control it, it's something that that deserves a little more attention, I think. For sure. But the Kundalini people think that you can achieve that state through Kundalini. So that needs to be studied then, I think. This is coming from people that I know that have done both. Yeah. But my question is, one of the things that does happen when you have a profound breakthrough experience, you don't have flashbacks really, but you can have a dream, and McKenna talked about this, and in that dream you'll smoke DMT and you'll have a DMT trip. It's almost like a doorway gets opened up. I've had dreams like that. Have you? Yeah. What were they like? Yeah. Because I set up this boundary in my real life. It hasn't happened often, but I've had a couple of dreams where I've imbibed the potion. It's very strange, actually, man. I don't have visions. There isn't a breakthrough experience, but there's this sense of overwhelming calm and serenity. I never felt like I was hallucinating things that weren't there. Maybe I got the wrong potion. But when I've had these experiences in the dream world, it's like the dream world wraps itself around me in a cocoon, and I have this ability just to also lucid dream of this very rich dream life. Have you always been able to lucid dream? Yeah. Since I was a kid. Interesting. That's another thing that you would think that I would have practiced. It seems like there's actual strategies to lucid dream. Right. And it seems like it's fun, but why have I not looked into it at all? I think about that, but like- It's worth your attention. ... holotropic breathing, and I think about that with... McKenna talked about that too, which is really funny. He said, because people were talking about all these different ways to achieve psychedelic states without psychedelics. Yeah. And he said, it makes me think of this one monk who had practiced a city of levitation. It's one of those cities. Yeah. And he had practiced this for like 10 years, and the Buddha came to town and he said, I have practiced a city of levitation. I can walk on water. And the Buddha was like, yeah, but the fairy's only a nickel. And the idea is like, yeah, you probably get there endogenously, but why would you when mushrooms are everywhere? That was McKenna's take on it. Yeah. Okay. Maybe you can get there through yoga or whatever, but you can definitely get there through DMT or ayahuasca. If you understand the dosing, like you mentioned, if you understand how to grow them, how to use them properly. And I think that's kind of what we're missing from the ancient past. And so it's kind of fun. I've had all these weird conversations over the past three years about like the application of the ancient ritual to today. And my feelings on psychedelics have changed quite a bit over the past three years. And what I've realized amongst other things is that it's less about the drug. And I think it's more about everything you just described. It's more about the ritual. It's more about the ceremony. The fact that these drugs are organic and they've been found on the planet and their use on every inhabited continent has been cataloged is something worth reflecting on. So they're there. You can't ignore them. But throughout the long arc of history, there have been practices and protocols around their use, which typically obtained within small communities, small, tight-knit communities where people took care of each other, where people knew how to grow and dose these things. And I think that one of the things I talk about in the book is the secret to pharmacology is postology, the notion that it's all about the dosing. And it's all about the ritual around which this experience is taking place. And so like when you write a leucis, for example, remember we went to, you got to see a leucis in person. If this hypothesis is true about this psychedelic potion, it wasn't consumed in a dining room in haste with no preparation. You would have prepared for at least 18 months, if not longer, to walk that sacred pilgrimage trail, to show up there, and to, over the course of nine days, by the way, to experience this rite of passage, which for many people was the culminating experience of a lifetime. And I think that that's something we're just missing today, at least in the West. I don't think we have that kind of sacred container. Well, it's illegal. That's a big part of it. And there's a lot of ignorance as to what these things are and what the experience actually is. And I absolutely agree that ceremony is important, and set and setting is very, very important. Having the proper mindset, making sure that you haven't eaten anything before you've done it. But I don't know if ceremony is more important than the actual experience, because the actual experience you could have with a bunch of your idiot friends sitting on a couch, if you do DMT, you will fucking 100% go there. And you'll be like, how is this possible? How is it possible that this is literally 15 seconds away? Like you take three giant hits and you're gone. And you exist in this realm that it's unimaginable that it's you there. It's not you're seeing things that aren't there. It's your there. You're there in this thing because you're not just seeing things, you're experiencing them. It's like they're working on your brain. It's very weird. Whatever it is, you can sometimes see them moving around, like mechanics, like guys with screwdrivers and shit, like fucking around with your head. It really is very weird. It's very weird experience. And unfortunately, it's illegal. And it's crazy because fentanyl isn't, you know, it's like you could buy opiates at a pharmacy, you can't experience something that is probably the root of a lot of religious experiences, if not most of them. And they were just, Gavin Newsom just vetoed something in California that was going to make, was going to decriminalize psilocybin and a bunch of other psychedelics. What was that that he vetoed? Yeah, over the weekend. Yeah. Why? Yeah. Why? In this day and age, why? Why? Why less freedoms for people? That seems so stupid. His written response was that there was an absence of therapeutic guidelines. And that if they were formulated and then published, I think I think he would have reviewed the bill differently. Well, that's fair. Yeah, that's exactly. That's actually fair. That's fair. But the I think the proper solution would be to come up with guidelines. Right. California should immediately begin work to set up regulated treatment guidelines replete with dosing information therapeutic guidelines rules to prevent against exploitation during guided treatments and medical clearance of no underlying psychosis. All those are good. That's ever actually very good. That's better than just, okay, so I take back what I said, it wasn't that it was stupid, like, maybe they should have had that before they attempted to decriminalize it. Newsom statement said, unfortunately, this bill would decriminalize possession prior to those guidelines going into place and I cannot sign it. That's actually fair. But that means that they should just get together and put put together some guidelines. And the problem is, in order to find out what the proper dosage is, you have to run studies. And they have to be approved. And they have to be, you know, it has to be legit. So but they should do that. And if they do do that, they should pass those things. And, and also, I think it's important, they said, to keep people like, what was the specific language that they used about rules about? Can you hold it up again? Yeah. What is actually what we're talking about with guru prevent against exploitation during guided treatments. So the guru thing that we're talking about, and the cult thing. It's a big deal, man. Because you're very, I mean, not that I know, but but one, I mean, one is very vulnerable. Yes. In that position. And I think that I always look back to the way psychedelics were spoken about in the 50s and 60s, right? One of these famous lines is about psychedelics are non specific amplifiers. And so you just make bare the unconscious, right? And to someone who hasn't done a lot of depth work into the into the unconscious and those processes, it can be very traumatic, man. And screening for psychosis. That's another very good point about his rejection of it. Because that's an issue. It's a giant issue. And people that struggle with normal consciousness really shouldn't be fucking around with these. You talked about this with cannabis, by the way. 100%. Yeah, that's Alex Berenson's book. And it's also me personally, having experienced it with multiple people. I've seen multiple people over the time that lost their fucking minds. And one thing a lot of them had in common was their heavy pot smokers. And including some one friend of mine who lost his mind and came back, he quit weed. And he was like, dude, I thought the fucking FBI was following me in the sky with drones. And like I was freaking the fuck and there's no reason for him to be followed. It's not like he's a criminal or even a bad guy. Or even a even a fucking person of note, just a guy who was freaking out because he was smoking too much weed. And it was literally making him psychotic. He was, or at least schizophrenic. Like he was hearing voices, stop smoking weed came back to normal. So I think there's certain people, but that's just like everything. There's certain drugs that people cannot take certain foods. People cannot eat. There's certain people have allergies. They have sensitivities to things. There's we've, we vary biologically so much, like the idea that everyone should do a certain thing is kind of crazy. Cause some, you know, there's people that are allergic to red meat. A friend of mine got bit by a tick, the Lone Star tick gives you something called Billy Rubin. Oh no, not Billy Rubin. Alpha Gal, Alpha Gal. And it makes you allergic to red meat. And it's fairly common. Happens a lot. So that tick bite. And for him, it was like a whole year for a whole year. He's allergic to red meat. Weird. You know? So it's like, you can't tell people like everyone should do our waskars. No, no, no, no, no, no. Some people shouldn't do anything. Ever. Yeah. Some people should take whatever medication there's like, I just given them. That's keeping them from fucking jumping off a bridge. Right. That's another thing. Yeah. Contraindications and people on medication. It's very, very complicated, man. Oh sure. Especially people on medications. I know people that suffer from anxiety and they're on anti-anxiety medication. They would like to try psychedelics, but they cannot while they're on that medication. So there's this like weird little balancing act, what to do. Yeah. That's a big deal. I said there, there've been a lot of studies on MDMA and psilocybin over the past 20 years. Less clinical studies on, on some of the other things, obviously. And I think that as governments engage, we'll see policies develop that, you know, really try and account for all that safety, knowledge around dosing and therapeutic guidelines, ethical considerations. And I think, I think that's all very, very important, man. It is very important, but it really is important for us to get an actual understanding of like, you know, kilograms per body weight, how much body weight, like what is, like, what's the effective dose for a person who weighs 140 pounds versus is it different? Does it vary? You know, I don't think it varies with some, I think that's one of the things about DMT is it's not specific, or maybe it's psilocybin, not specific to your body weight, which is interesting. Psilocybin is, I think. Is that? Yeah. Is that what it is? I think so. Yeah. Okay. So that's weird, right? Like, why isn't DMT specific to your body weight? Like, why wouldn't a dose for a 500 pound man be, you know, way too much for you? But we have to know, we have to find the only way to know that is to study it and to get accurate research and data. That's on the medicinal and therapeutic front. But I do think there's lots of other good work around transcendence and consciousness studies and psychedelics, like outside the medicinal realm. And this is, that's kind of, you know, that was my interest in writing the book, was trying to suss out like the societal implications of this, the historical implications of this. Well, if it really was psychedelic rituals that led to the birth of democracy, that seems pretty important. We should be looking at that. Doesn't it kind of make sense though? Like who else is going to say, you know, everybody should have a say. You'd have to be tripping. If you were like the whole world was essentially run by dictators back then, why would anybody vary from that strategy? Because it seems like that's the default mode of people who don't do psychedelics. I would imagine about all the world leaders that are currently involved in horrific things all across the globe. How many of them are doing psychedelics? Probably zero. Probably zero. And this idea that psychedelics could fix the world, like I wouldn't say it that way, but maybe. You know, it might, it'll have, it would have a profound impact on just the consensus of like the general population, just most people that have done them, what the way it changed the way they see things. And that alone would change the way they think and behave and vote and what they accept and don't accept from their leaders. What they accept and don't, like the dangers and the harms of censorship and propaganda, they would be more aware of that. Oh, you're like literally like creating mind viruses and shaping the way people think to benefit your own good. Yeah. I think, I mean, but that's all the more reason to, I think, to try and study the way that we engage these things in the past. And so, since the book came out, I mean, there was this, you know, there was all this pandemic space that opened up. And so I was on Zooms a lot with different people. And one of the, one of the projects that came from the book, which I'm pretty proud of, is this guy, Andrew Coe, I mentioned in the book quite a bit. He's an archaeochemist. He was based at MIT when I was writing the book. And he's one of the few people who really looks into these ancient containers to try and figure out what organic compounds were left behind. It's a really cool science. You also need to be a good classicist to do this. You need to be able to read the ancient languages and compare them against the chemical data that's coming up. You need to know ethnobotany. It also helps if you can build out these sort of like paleoecological habitat maps, you know, what was growing where and when and why. So like, it's kind of this mix of the art and the science. And he was one of the very few people doing this. And over the past couple years, over the past couple years, he was invited into Yale to continue doing this work at the Yale Peabody Museum, which is one of the world's most prestigious natural history museums. And they've offered him the opportunity to continue studying this as part of the Yale ancient pharmacology program, which is really cool. That's very cool. There are professionals in the world who exist, amongst other things, who are taking into account these kinds of questions about the ways that these beverages or these compounds impact the growth of civilization, the birth of religions, etc. Like this wasn't a field before. And I think it's been really cool for me to have conversations with folks like Andrew and his colleagues at Yale and elsewhere who are taking this pretty seriously. That's very cool. And can I ask you this? How many vessels have they found that contained ergot? And have they found anything other than ergot that may be psychoactive? Throughout antiquity, yeah, we found all kinds of things. The only positive ergot finds were the ones from Pontos. And how many different vessels did they discover that contained it? So to the best of my knowledge, they found around 10 miniature cups. And for some reason, they only tested one. So only one came up positive for that ergot, in addition to the beer sediment. So it was ergot mixed with beer. And this was all done archaeobotanically. So there was no chemical analysis. This was them using scanning electron microscope and optical microscopy to look in and find that. And so in addition to the cups, the ergot also popped up in a tooth, in a jawbone that was also discovered on site, which adds credence to the hypothesis that there was intentional consumption. Because within this little domestic chapel where those vessels were found, what they found were two mills for either grinding wheat or maybe even fashioning a beer. And they didn't find any ergot in the mills. So the fact that it was inside this ritual vessel, which is the shape and size of the kind of cup that were used by the devotees of Dionysus, in this Hellenistic domestic shrine of sorts, combined with the evidence in the jaw, I mean, really led the archaeologists to believe that there was something strong there. But I haven't seen an ergot fine quite like that anywhere else. Do they know of any way that they would cultivate this ergot? Is there some sort of a theory as to how they... because ergot's a fungus, right? And they know it grows on wheat, right? Yeah, it's more common on rye, but it happens across the cereal grains. And as far as we know, it's been happening as long as we've had agriculture, which is at least 12,000 years. So the big question is, what spawned that revolution, the agricultural revolution? Was it to start baking bread or to start brewing beer? It's actually a pretty good debate that goes back to the 1950s between sour and braidwood, these two professors. Did we first settle down into a settled life and start growing grain to make bread or to brew beer? And there's good reason to suggest that maybe it was actually the beer and this religion of brewing that brought people together in the first place. And if you're brewing, then it's foreseeable at the very least that ergot would pop up on that agriculture. Now, does it go back 12,000 years? We don't know. We don't even know if brewing goes back that far. I think the oldest evidence for beers are at places like Godin Tepe, which is like 3,500 BC. And we have some evidence for some kind of brewing at Gobekli Tepe, for example, 9th millennium BC. And then we have these mortars, these stone mortars in Israel that were dated to around 13,000 years ago, where at least there's evidence of malting and mashing, if not fermentation. So we know that grain goes back a long time. The question is how far back does the ergot go with it? And when did we discover that ergot had these other capacities? Because it's not a very pleasant experience. I mean, even to this day, if you're brewing beer, you want to avoid ergot for lots of reasons. Well, people have died from ergot poisoning, right? Yeah. There was a whole village in France that accidentally got ergot poisoned. Yeah. The Pont de Spree. Yeah. And there was an island, Alikudi. That's a great one. There's a great vice article about that, about the ergot poisonings and people seeing witches and people. Yeah. What a weird fucking thing that some fungus that grows on your food causes you to wildly hallucinate and think you're losing your mind. It might have been responsible for the Salem witch trials. It's possible. Yeah. They think that. That's one of the speculations. Yeah. Makes sense. There was late frost, apparently, or early frost rather, which apparently contributes to the growth of ergot on rye. The rye wolves. You know, they're called the rye wolves, by the way. The rye wolves? The rye wolves. Yeah. They were thought to be, there's a mythology around where the ergot comes from. And in German, there's a lot of different words for it. They call it aftercorn and totancorn, like death kernel and the mad kernel. And they think that it was the mad wolves running through the fields, leaving behind this. Oh, wow. These hallucinatory fungi. That's how much they were scared of wolves. I see that. They made wolves responsible for tripping, too. Well, I imagine back then, if you were paranoid and tripping, you would really think about wolves. I mean, back then, that was a real primary concern. If you wanted a hike, you're by yourself and all you had is like a single shot musket. We're going to go down another wolves rabbit hole. Yeah. Did they have the ability, when did they have the ability to recognize what ergot was, I wonder? Like when did they recognize that, oh, it's this particular part of the grain that's giving us an issue, this thing that's on the grain. I mean, we figured out ergotism, I mean, at least in the Middle Ages. I'm not sure how much further than that, but throughout the Middle Ages, there were lots of bouts of ergotism. But were there bouts of people using it recreationally? No, not that we know of. It was usually accidental. That's why it's such a strange fungus. Yeah. And why the history of the chemical synthesis of LSD is so strange because Hoffman famously was not looking for LSD. Right. He was working in obstetrics and gynecology. He was looking for something to do with induced labor. Yeah. So it was kind of an accident and didn't realize until years later what he'd synthesized until 1943. So before that, I mean, outside that medicinal context, it was typically seen with lots of suspicion. It was, I mean, it's toxic, dangerous stuff. Yeah. And if it poisons your whole village, never starts freaking out. Do we have any artwork or anything else that would indicate that there was possibly mushroom consumption? I know that exists in some ancient religious artworks. There's depictions of mushrooms. Is there any of that from any of the ancient Greek periods? I never really saw convincing evidence for mushrooms among the ancient Greeks, but there are, I mean, there's like neolithic evidence for mushrooms, both in North Africa and then also in Siberia. There's the famous pictographs, the mushroom pictographs, the pig-tee-mail. Where's that? In Siberia, the pig-tee-mail pictographs. I wrote an article about this. How old are these? The 1500 BC or more. I wrote an article for Big Think, where that tracks some of the better data that we have across time for this stuff. I can't wait to see that. Got something. I got it. That's, yeah, he found it. Interesting. Oh, so they have a mushroom over their head. Yeah, that's kind of wild. Oh, and they look at them. They look at their tripping balls. That's wild. And there's mushrooms on the ground there. Look at that. Animals and the mushrooms. I'm sure we, I think we talked about this before, McKenna's stone-dape theory, which is very fascinating. That picture's crazy though. So that's from Siberia. Wow. Very interesting. Those people from thousands of years ago made those drawings of a human figure with a mushroom above its head. They're old too. I think it's bronze age. I mean, they're pretty old. There's an older one in North Africa. It's called Tassili najer. So Tassili and then najer. That one's even older. It could be Neolithic. So we're talking several thousands of years, even before the Pecte Mel. It's through this beheaded wizard priest. It's one of the most famous images. This is probably it, but I don't, where's the, that's it. I guess it's on the cave right there. Yeah, that's one of the more famous ones. Wow. Look how cool that looks. So that was found in a painted gallery there. And he's got handfuls of mushrooms. Yeah. And that's, that's, imagine tripping and seeing that guy. Maybe he's there for you. But the crazy thing is that image, especially the cleaned up version of it, it really does look psychedelic. Like the geometric patterns. It's one of the things that you do see in the psychedelic states is these interconnected geometric patterns that are moving. They're always like in motion. Like this? Yeah. You would definitely could, you definitely could see something like that. Elsewhere in the badlands is a rock painting of mushroom men running in ecstasy amidst geometric shapes. Where's that one? What's that? I don't know. I'll see if I can, yeah, see if you can find that one. Wow. The Tbilisi, Tsilisi, Tsilisi, Tsilisi, Tsilisi, Tsilisi, Shaman. So that's six to 9,000 BC. Wow. Fucking cool. That's one of the oldest ones. Well, we know that psilocybin existed back then. And we know that people experimented with food. They tried things to see if they're edible. Again, that was the basis of McKenna's theory. Was that ancient hominids flipped over cow patties? Yeah. When the rainforest receded into grasslands, they tipped over cow patties looking for grubs and beetles and that these mushrooms had grown these cow patties and surely they would experiment with them. Oh, wow. Yeah, that's elsewhere in the same region. Look at that. That's wild. That's pretty cool. They're just running and tripping. They look like they're tripping too. Look at their heads. Yeah. And they look like they're in an ecstatic state and they're all holding mushrooms. Wow. So there was a long debate about the relationship between these kinds of images and shamanism and the ritual consumption of psychedelics among rock shelters and cave art. And Graham Hancock wrote a lot about this. And it's my favorite book of his. It's called Supernatural. Yeah. Yeah. He looks at all the different cave paintings going back 30,000, 40,000 years. And so there was always a long debate about whether or not there were... There was actually some kind of relationship between those painted images, why they were left behind by the priest class of the time and kind of like what engendered them. And so it's funny, just after the book came out in the fall, I think it was of 2020, there was a discovery in California related to rock art. And it was hailed as the first unambiguous evidence for the consumption of psychedelics in connection with rock art. It's called the Pinwheel Cave. And it got so much press that you can find it pretty easily. I think Nat Geo covered it. It was headlines for weeks called the Pinwheel Cave. There you go. And it's called that because of the image that's painted in red ochre on the ceiling of the cave. You can see him look right there. It's thought to be the unfurling flower of the Datura, which is this very, very potent, very visionary flower in the Nightshade family, Datura. Datura is a weird one. McKenna talked about Datura and about how he had stopped taking it, because it was too weird that he was having a conversation with a man in a market and he realized in the middle of the conversation that the man thought that they were at home in his living room. That it was so bizarrely transformative in terms of the way it interfaced with reality, that it was just too strange. You would be sort of semi-functional, but thinking you're in a completely different place than you are and thinking that it's actually happening. Again, this is why the history matters. A lot of the focus over recent years has been on the medicinal and therapeutic value of psychedelics. And to the extent they can relieve suffering, I understand the need for research and the need to assess safety. When you look into history, but there are other ways of using Datura that seem to have survived in the pinwheel. That was used by the Chumash people, for example. They had a very specific ritual, a ceremony around the use of Datura that they left explicit evidence for. That doesn't go back, it's not prehistoric, it's only about 400 years old to the 16th century. But they knew what they were doing with Datura. They're not sure exactly what, but they say there's these great papers written on the Chumash and Datura saying how they would use it in order to look beyond the surface of things, and in some cases to communicate with dead ancestors. And you see that a lot, communication with the ancestors. And so whether it was some sort of puberty ritual or initiation rite, they clearly knew the dosing and correct administration of Datura. And they weren't alone, by the way. There were other folks in the Americas. My friend Danny Newman has done some awesome research around something called the Black Drink. You have to look up the Black Drink. It's from the Mississippian indigenous communities. And there were some studies done a few years ago that tested these vessels. You're asking about evidence. And so there's beyond the pictographic evidence. I love looking at the archeochemical evidence. So in addition to the pinwheel site, first unambiguous chemical data for the connection of rock art and psychedelics, a couple of years ago, there were some studies, gas chromatography, mass spec studies, like real proper chemical studies done on the Black Drink. Have you heard of the Black Drink? No. The Black Drink was used, like I said, in these Mississippian sites. And there was a paper dated some of the finds from like 1100 to 1700 AD, so centuries ago. And they came and this drink was prepared in these special vessels. And sometimes they take the like these anthropomorphic visuals. One is called like the old woman. And so within these vessels, they found the evidence not only for Datura, like we just saw the pinwheel cave, but for the Yaupon holly. I think it's the only plant native to North America that's naturally caffeinated. It's called the Yaupon holly. And so it was this this this caffeinated beverage that definitively had traces of atropine and scopolamine in them. And those are the active alkaloids in Datura, the same alkaloids they found through chemical analysis of the pinwheel site. So not scopolamine, yeah, that's a wild one. That's that's wild. That's the zombie drug. That's the drug that they can literally blow in your face and get you to do their bidding. You've heard about that? Yeah. Colombian drug lords just use it on people. Yeah. They blow it in their face. Yeah. They think that is the root of the the concept of zombies. That you know, these people are just like, oh, yeah, Wade Davis has written some, some cool work on them. You know what it's also, it's also like when you get one of those little patches to avoid seasick, that's dramamine. That's scopolamine. That's crazy. But see, under the right circumstances, right, right dose, right. Yeah, you're not tripping. But if you took those dramamine patches and put them all over your fucking body. I don't think that's recommended. No, it's not. I don't recommend it. Yeah. But if you didn't, I bet you triples. Yeah. But it's, I think, if you're thinking about these tribal communities and how life was very difficult in these, especially hunter gatherer communities living off the land. You needed people to have their shit together. You couldn't have ne'er do wells. When you have 50 people that rely on each other, and they all have very specific tasks. Everyone is responsible for something. And you cannot have irresponsible consumption of something that's so profound. So it makes sense within their their best interest to create a real framework, like the correct way to use this. And also this recognition that this is a very profound and powerful experience is not to be taken lightly at all. Correct. This is not at all recreational. This is something that you're going to do because you're going to, it's going to, you're going to have a transcendent experience. Correct. And that's what we lack today. That's what we lack today. And the more you study the ancient past, whether it's an ancient Greece, or a lot of my book focuses on paleo-Christianity, the more you see this kind of ritual. Can I show you some images of paleo-Christian ritual? Yeah. Okay, cool. I love it. I love talking to you. Okay, cool. What do you got? Jamie, there should be a folder called Circe. Circe liked the lady from Game of Thrones? Like the lady from Game of Thrones. Yeah. And she's my favorite. Then you'll get to know her a lot better. She's a great character. You'll get to know her a lot better. Shame. Shame. What am I looking for here? It's in my Google drive. Oh, no, no, yeah. I have the folder. What do you want me to pull up? Oh, just a few pictures or just... Yeah, just from the first one. Yeah, we can start with, we can go into the pictures. My point, it's just words though. That's fine. Okay. We can move forward from there. So what I'm going to show you are some images from a hypogium. And I don't think we got around to this last time, but a hypogium was this underground chamber. And it was the site where most of the early Christian ritual took place. So if you think back to paleo-Christianity, between the death of Christ and Constantine, which is 300 years later, give or take, Christianity was this illegal cult. It was this underground religion, in some cases, literally. So the only places where you would celebrate the Eucharist and the proto-mass were in small and private homes, in this agape meal. And then sometimes you'd go underground into these like necropolites, like these places of the dead. And that for some reason was the place where the mass was celebrated. And so as part of my research for the book, I went into some of these underground chambers to see what the earliest Christians would have seen and some of the evidence that was left behind in terms of like frescoes. So there's no botanical chemical analysis of what was happening in these places, but we do have images, we have frescoes, and we have the idea of what the early ritual would have looked like. And a couple of weeks ago, I reached out to the Vatican specifically to ask them if I could show these images to you today. And they said yes. All right. Thank you, Vatican. They're actually... Take back all the shit I said about you. They're actually... They're great research partners. It's the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology. So it's the archaeological team that is responsible for the preservation and conservation of all these ancient sites. And I think it's an aspect of early Christianity that like very few people know about. And so what was happening underground, if you want to go back to the first slide just quickly, there was this Yale professor who sadly died in recent years, it was Ramsey McMullen. And what he talks about are these underground chillouts. They were called Vigilia. The Latin word for them is refrigerarium, where we get the word refrigerator. So they were like underground chillouts where certainly the Romans and it's believed the earliest Christians would have gone to celebrate the dead with sacramental wine, with celebratory wine. They would have a wine ceremony in these dank chambers underground to like usher the dead into the afterlife or bring them refreshment. They were called refrigeraria. And so it's kind of unclear when the refrigeraria, a pagan Roman ceremony, became like a proto-Eucharistic Christian mass. Like the line... Again, the line is very blurred at this period of time, which I call the pagan continuity hypothesis. This notion that the older wine drinking consumption by the Romans, the Greeks before them, somehow influenced at least in some cases, the earliest celebrations of the mass. And so I just show this quickly to show that in these wine parties, Ramsey has this great line saying that this was not just picnicking at the bottom there. He said this was religion. So even though it looks like a picnic, it looks like they were gathering over like kind of like almost like a Mexican day of the dead ceremony. Like they would meet by the graveyard to remember the dead and the ancestors. Yeah, there was wine and food, but this was religion to the ancient Romans. And I think to the Romanized Christians who followed them in the first century, second century, third century. So the next slide is that's just a bunch more text from a Catholic encyclopedia, by the way, from 1907, if I'm not mistaken. And it talks about how the celebration of the dead and this funeral banquet you see right in the middle there, this notion that the funeral banquet is really kind of at the core of what the early mass was. Even if you go back to the gospels, it was Jesus asking for the commemoration of this event, do this in memory of me. As you do this in memory of me, remember my life, death, and eventual resurrection, this is sort of the prototype for the mass. And so it's important to remember that the funeral banquet was there to bind those together who remained faithful to the memory of Jesus after his death. It's very similar to this Roman refrigeration. So I give that all that as background, just to show you the first couple images from the hypo gym. So if you skip to the next one, or maybe so that's what it looks like when you go underground. There was, it was discovered in 1919, I think as a Fiat shop around the corner, was trying to expand into a sunken garage. They came across these monuments, which is not uncommon in Greece and Italy and around the Mediterranean. So they found this hypo gym, which dates to the third century AD. So we don't have firm dates. It could be anywhere from like 220 to 250 AD. So this is the time period we're talking about. So these were tombs, they're rock cut tombs in the hypo gym here. If you go to the next one, one of the first things I saw when I went into the hypo gym was this, which, you know, it's a little strange because again, you're trying to figure out if this is a Roman pagan refrigeration, or if this is a Christian celebration of some sort of Eucharist. Because again, this site is controlled by the Vatican. The Vatican has preserved this for reasons. And, you know, it's been said by the Pontifical Commission that these are some of the most explicit and concrete evidence for the origins of Christianity. So this is, you know, whether this is purely pagan or Christian is sort of a moment of debate. But, you know, if you just look at it, what's odd is that you see 12 people gathered around the table. And when you think of 12 people gathered around the table, you think of something like the Last Supper. And so it's pretty clear that what's important to this dinner is the chalice that's being lifted by the servant there, or maybe it's a priest of some sort. So it's clear that whatever is happening, wine is important to this gathering of 12 people. The interesting part is the woman who's appearing in the back. If you look closely, there's sort of like this effigy of a woman descending exactly from the background to the foreground. It's thought that she is Aurelia Prima, and Aurelia was one of the dead women to whom the Hypogium was dedicated. And so what they think, that's her, this is one of the Vatican's interpretations, is that that's her emerging from the world of the dead to take place in this funeral banquet, in this ceremony. So we're not really sure. How do they interpret that? Because she's not seated at the table. And because what they think this is, is that whenever, especially because of the place that we're in, which is underground, that when wine is being served at a refrigarium, that the Romans would habitually do this in order to commune with the dead, not as a picnic, but as religion, as Ramsey McMullen says. So this was their religion for keeping alive that relationship to the dead and refreshing the dead in the afterlife. And when you went there to celebrate them, they would appear. And Ramsey has this great line in his scholarship where he says, the dead themselves participated. It's one of my favorite lines in his research, the dead themselves participated. So that's Aurelia participating in a funeral banquet that's happening underground. Okay, so if we go to the next slide, so again, unclear if that's Christian or pagan. And then you see some of these images, that's interpreted as Jesus as the good shepherd from the gospel of John, you see the goats down below. So that's, and this is, that's either interpreted as St. Paul or Plotinus. Plotinus was this neo-Platonic philosopher who lived around that time in the third century. And so it's unclear if that's St. Paul or Plotinus, or maybe it's Paul using the image of Plotinus to call up the imagery. And again, everything's very ambiguous because Christianity is illegal. So you don't go down there and paint very explicit images of Jesus or the Last Supper or Christian elements, because you could get in trouble for that, obviously. So there's a lot of ambiguity in these frescoes. So if you move past that, this is the most important one, which is kind of mind boggling. So this is just to the right of that banquet scene. And it's called the Homeric fresco. And it's called the Homeric fresco because it seems to portray a very famous scene from Homer's Odyssey. And it's when Odysseus is stuck on the island with Cersei, the witch Cersei, the prototypical witch of antiquity Cersei. He's stuck on the island with her. And the three dudes you see there on the bottom to the left have just been transformed from pigs back into men. It's one of the most famous scenes in book 10 of the Odyssey where Cersei delivers a potion. She concocts a potion. And in Greek, it says that the verb that they use for concoct the potion is kukio, like she, just like the ancient potion at Eleusis. This is one of the mythical precedents for what would become the actual kukion that was used in the Eleusinian Mysteries. And so she uses this mythical kukion in which she casts these drugs. It says that she puts drugs into this potion to transform the men into pigs, then back to men. And so it's a very, I mean, like of all the 27,000 and changed lines of the Odyssey and the Iliad, it's a particularly strange image to evoke from Homer. Because Cersei, amongst all the many things she's famous for, is for being a witch and for having this profound knowledge of the botanical world and potions and things that we might call psychedelics today. And so it's a really strange image to have there. And so the Vatican produced this monograph over a decade ago where one of their scholars, Alexei Latini, goes over this in great detail to demonstrate why exactly this is Cersei. And up above, that's another image of Cersei with all her animals on this magical island. And what they found there exactly was Cinnabar. And during the conservation process, they were able to identify the mercury sulfide that had been used to paint this red image of Cinnabar around the house, which is a very telling detail because there's a line just before this in the Odyssey where it talks about the fiery smoke coming out of Cersei's palace. So between the fiery smoke and the Cinnabar and the web down below, there's a lot of certainty that this is probably Cersei. If you go to the next slide. What is, can I ask you, what are those people laying down? If you zoom in on Cersei? Oh, right here. Yeah. Up above? What are those people laying down? Yeah, that's the interpretation from the monograph is that that's some sort of funeral beer. Oh, so those are dead people. That could be dead people. Yeah. Which is also strange. What's that? Satan. That we can't make out. So the loom was another telltale sign. So there's the fiery smoke at the palace and the loom is another telltale sign. So this is, if it were just this, you would think, okay, maybe it's just Cersei and a loom. But if you go to the next slide, there's a, and the next one. Yeah, there's a manuscript at the Vat in the Pope's library called the Virgilius Vaticanus. You can find this online and the Virgilius Vaticanus manuscript, which is from about 400 to 430 AD, there's this picture of Cersei and the loom, which corresponds to Cersei and the loom on the right. So they know for sure, with relative certainty at least, that there's some image continuity between Cersei and the loom. And she's talked about in the ancient literature as always being at the loom. So the confidence is rising. And for folks who don't know what a loom is, it's how you create cloth with threads. Some people, yeah. Yeah, that's true. So with this, if you're just listening to this, what she has is like, if you've ever seen people make cloth in a traditional way with a loom, she's got the, why did they depict her with a loom? Why was she known as a person who makes cloth? Because that's what Homer said. That's what Homer says in his epic poetry. And that's what Virgil also says in his epic poetry. So Homer writes the Odyssey, centuries later, Virgil writes the Aeneid. And that's sort of the mythical founding of Rome, the main character Aeneas. And in both versions, there's a Cersei character. So this Cersei character survives for centuries in the ancient world, from the Greek to the Latin. And in both cases, the loom is mentioned. And also what's mentioned in these passages are the fact that that Cersei uses potent herbs. And the Latin says potentibus erbis. So she's using potent herbs and mixing up potions to transform these men into pigs, and vice versa. So like, it's a very strange idea to have a pagan witch in a fresco that's been preserved in this paleo-Christian monument, combined with this this refrigerarium, sort of Eucharistic celebration of the dead. And then in the last few images, what it depicts is a woman being initiated into these high mysteries. So things you don't normally associate with early Christianity. Jamie, there's just in the last slide real quick. I just want to show you this image of the woman. So there are three different chambers in the hypogium. If you go back a couple, and I'll show you these two in a second. Yeah, there, there, that's fine. So that circle, that's on the ceiling of one of the final chambers. And there was a German scholar, Himmelmann, in the 1970s, who attempted to, to interpret that image. And he says it's some kind of initiation, typical of Dionysian or Eleusinian initiation. He says the way the wand is held is typical to what you might find with the god Dionysus. And true enough, if you look around at different artifacts, there's the Borghese vase on the left, which is from about 40 BC. It's now in the Louvre. You see the Thursus, the wand above the head of the initiate, who's dropped his, his sacramental cup. And on the right, that's the bill of the mysteries in Pompeii, which goes back 2000 years, obviously. And again, you see this notion of the wand over the head of the initiate. So you have a female initiate, which is, you know, calling forth images of pagan Eleusinian Dionysian initiation, next to an image of Cersei, a pagan witch, next to this image of this refrigerarian banquet. And it's all very ambiguous. Why would, why would a Christian descend into these chambers to celebrate these, these wine mysteries with the dead? And as you go outside the hypogium to other catacombs around Rome, I mean, just, just quickly, in 30 seconds, I can show you other images of, of different women consecrating the wine. Yeah, that way. Yeah. And the next one, yeah, that's perfect. So you see in Latin there, it's written agape, misce novis. So that's, they think that's agape is the woman's name. Misce novis is mix it, mix it for us. So what they're saying is, is not pour the wine for us, but mix it up for us agape. And agape is a very Greek word. It means love. And so you find all these Greek connotations, despite the fact that we're in Italy. If you look at the next one, it's very similar. It says, irene da calda. Irene, Irene, could be another Greek name. It means peace. And just like misce novis, mix it up for us. You see da calda. We don't really know what calda is. But if you go to the next slide, there was a scholar. Yeah, this, this, there's some great text here. He tries to interpret what calda is. It's not certain. It seems to have been more than an infusion. Apparently it was a mixture of hot water, wine and drugs. Wow. So the question becomes, what kind of, what kind of potions were, were being mixed in these underground chambers? This is at a different catacomb of, of Marcellinus and Pietro. I showed you the hypogeum. And so there's, you know, this, these were the places where, where wine was being consumed by paleo-Christians and antiquity. And I think it's fascinating. It is. And it raises lots of questions. A lot. But it only makes sense. We know those compounds existed. And we know that people take those compounds and have these profound experiences. And when you had no explanation for that, and you didn't know like how it was, you know, interfering or interacting with the human mind and what chemicals they were, like, of course you would, you would lean on those. I mean, you would probably, that would be like the primary source of some sort of an attempt of understanding that the great mystery of the life. Hmm. And it makes sense. And the dead, remember, the dead are participating. That's right. It's a funeral banquet. And you see this time and again in these ancient mysteries, this notion of a funeral banquet and the ritual consumption of powerful compounds. McKenna believed that when you entered into psychedelic states, you'd enter into a well of souls, disembodied souls, or there was at least theorized. That was like one of his thoughts, like that that's what you were experiencing. Hmm. Yeah, it's the same with Dionysus actually. And this notion of sort of the Greek Halloween was called Anthesteria. And there was this ritual of uncorking the wine jugs. And out of them, you would see different spirits and entities fly out. So there's something, there's something. The dead participated. The dead themselves participated. Um, so it's, I mean, I find the iconography like really interesting, like having gone to Catholic school my whole life, because you don't, you don't really hear about the hypogeum. No, you don't hear about paleo Christianity much, actually. Well, what is the source of the Eucharist? What's the original Eucharist? Uh, body of Christ. I mean, well, in the book, I explore the potential Greek origin of that, at least, at least in some communities. I mean, the notion of, the notion of consuming the body and blood was, you know, that wasn't born like 2000 years ago with Jesus. There, you know, even the blood of Dionysus, the wine of Dionysus is called the blood by Timotheus of Miletus 400 years before Jesus. So this notion that wine is blood and should be consumed in the sacramental fashion. I mean, that was, that had been around for a while. And this notion of theophagy, right? You see this in lots of different world cultures, the consuming of the God to become the God. And in the Greek world, theophagy really takes its place with Dionysus and these mysteries, much more so than the L.U. sinion mysteries that we talked about. And so for the ancient Greeks, like to imbibe the wine was to imbibe the God, the God Dionysus. And so the question becomes, was, was, was Dionysus the God of wine or was Dionysus the God of intoxication, right? And, and psychotropic plants or fungi or poisons or medicine, because the wine of the time, like we've talked about, was routinely mixed with different, different plants and compounds. And so the enthusiasm that resulted from drinking that wine was, it's been described as like the central aspect of Greek tragedy, for example, like when we saw the theater Dionysus on the southern slope of the Acropolis, they think that that wine was consumed there in another way to experience communion with Dionysus. The wine at the theater was called Trima and Trima in Greek means like rubbed or pounded. And Professor Ruck, for example, thinks that it's, you know, it, it signified the different things that were pounded, rubbed into the wine to create this sort of mass possession that took place at the theater between the live audience and the actors between the actors and the dead persons in some cases that they were, they were, they were acting out. Remember, I mean, we take it for granted now, but to stand on stage and, you know, spew out lines that belong to a dead person is like closer to necromancy than entertainment. So that was, that was a trippy thing to begin with. So you combine that together with this, this Trima wine and this very sacred ritual, it goes well beyond the bounds of entertainment. Like for them, there was a religious purpose to the theater and to comedy and to tragedy. Wow. It's so, it's so interesting. You would love more concrete evidence of what they consumed other than this one vessel, which is, it's very interesting. It makes sense that one vessel contained ergot and that this would lead you to believe that this was a part of what they were doing. Yeah, but it's not enough for me either. I mean, that's what I've been doing with my time the past couple of years. Thank God you're doing it. I'm not convinced either. I'm not convinced. I try and be a real skeptic about this. That's good. I try and be a genuine skeptic. There's this incredibly compelling piece of data from Spain, from Hellenistic Spain, what is today's Spain, 2,200 years ago. I would love to find something in Greece. I'd love to find something at Eleusis. This was part of my presentation for the Eleusis Symposium a couple of weeks ago. What kind of artifacts do we possess or do people possess from Eleusis? I asked this question of the archaeologists on site there, of the government folks, and there's an American School of Classical Studies too, which has been excavating in the area for decades, obviously. So the last time I went to Eleusis to ask Poppy about this, they have a lot of different vessels actually. I'll show you. Jamie, if you want to go into the Eleusis file, I think it's the first file up there. And I think we see an image of you, by the way. And then there'll be some vessels we can look at. So there's lots of different, there's you first. First me. That's me at that site. I was freaking out. I kind of was. I remember walking around it just feeling so strange. Yeah, what was going on that day? Well, I knew where I was, which you always have to take into account. I knew that this was supposedly the site where these people, well, not supposedly. This was the site where these people had these experiences. And there was something about that site. Whether or not you believe that places have memory, they certainly feel like they do. And that place felt like there was a memory attached to it in some strange way. Like a lot of memory. There was something very profound had happened there. But maybe that was because I knew something very profound had happened there. But there was quite a long moment, like five or 10 minutes, where I was just standing there under that thing, just like feeling it. Yeah, that's the Plutonian. So that's the mouth of hell, where Persephone would emerge from the underworld. And you were locked in there for a while. I was just trying to empty my head and just try to figure out how much of this is just suggestion and bullshit. You're a good skeptic too. Well, you have to be. Otherwise, you'll buy into your own nonsense. And I was trying to figure it out. What is this? What's this feeling that I have here? It's very intense. But it's also an incredible place to be, just even if the feeling didn't happen, just to know that you're there in this place where these people have these experiences and the wonder of what was it like. Imagine, if you had the ability to travel back in time to any point in human history, where would you go? I can only choose one. Yeah, just one. Maybe the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Ooh, did it define if it really happened? What if it didn't? Would you tell anybody? That'd be in big trouble. I think I would choose ancient Egypt. What do you want to see? I want to see the construction of the pyramids. I want to see why. I want to see what was civilization like back then. I want to see what's the real timeline. What are we really looking at? Are we really looking at 2500 BC? Are we looking at 10,000, 20,000 BC? What are we looking at? They don't really know. It's a lot of guesswork, especially when you're dealing with, you know, you can't carbon date stone. But just knowing the construction, the expertise that was involved, it appears the use of some sort of a drill. There was like some things that cored stones, some things that cut stone. They have no understanding of how these people were able to do this. Just the scope, just the scale of the construction, the massive stones, you know, the obelisks, these enormous things that were cut from quarries hundreds of miles away. And somehow or another transported and assembled into this thing that we wouldn't be able to do today, no matter what anybody tells you. Certainly wouldn't be able to do in a human lifetime. 2,300,000 stones, some weighing upwards of 50 to 80 tons, hundreds of miles away, carted through the mountains, no clear roads. How do you get them down? What are you doing? How'd you get them? What'd you do? That's to me the big one. Have you spent time there? No. No, we were supposed to do both in this one trip. That's too much. Too much. Yeah. You have young kids, you don't want to freaking out. Can I go home and see my friends? You know what a drag kid's away for too long. But I think it was important for them to see the ruins, to see Delos and to see all these other different places and to just see a place where people used to live and thrive and then they didn't. Now you're walking around these areas. But to me, Egypt, it's because it's so above and beyond everything else that exists in terms of just the scale of the construction. What did they do? When you see the great pyramid of Giza, it's like, what did they do? How did they do this? Who? Why? What was the purpose? There's been all the speculation that at one point in time, there was a burial chamber for a pharaoh, but there's no evidence of that. So what is it? And why and how? And put it on the agenda for next summer. Yeah, and even then, you're just going to be walking around freaking out, which I think is great. But I would, if there was a place that you could go back in time and see one thing, that would be the thing that I would see. There was a recent study on a psychedelic potion out of Egypt for the first time. Remember we talked about some of the first unambiguous evidence for psychedelics in rock art and this Mississippian site. I think it was only, was it earlier this year, actually? Jamie, if you want to look up, this is a great Google term, psychedelic blood cocktail, psychedelic blood cocktail, and maybe Egypt. Oh, there it is. They drank a gnarly brew of hallucinogenic drugs and human blood. Whoa. The drink also contained a few secret ingredients like vaginal mucus. How do you know that? Look at that dude. That looks like the kind of guy you'd see if you drank blood and psychedelics. That's Bess. B-E-S. That seems like the dude. Bess was the giver of oracles and dreams, and it was thought that you would consume this beverage and go into an incubation at his temple, which is not too different from Greek incubation temples. Look at this. He was described as part dwarfish, part feline. Yeah. Whoa. Bess followers believed he could provide protection from danger while simultaneously averting harm and being able with his powers to prevent evil. So like all cults, Bess heads were required to drink some gnarly stuff rather than the classic poison Kool-Aid though. The members of this sect guzzled a mysterious liquid from ceramic vessels decorated with the effigy or the head of Bess, known as Bess vases. The Bess figure was revered as a protective genius. It might be assumed that this liquid drunk from these mugs might be considered beneficial. Interesting. So what do they find that's in these things? Well, it came from Tampa, which is crazy. At some point, it was in Egypt, but they had this vessel sitting around in Tampa, Florida. Oh, whoa. From the second century BC, which is why the science is so interesting. These can be vessels that sit in museums for decades, and they still preserve these compounds. So they did liquid chromatography tandem mess spec, this chemical analysis. And what they found a number of different things, the mucus was because they did proteomics as well. They did a human protein analysis. And they found something that was, it was either mucus or other human body fluids. That's why they call it the psychedelic blood cocktail. Why do they think it was vaginal mucus? Because that's one of the possibilities is either oral or vaginal mucus. I'm not sure. Why would they go with vaginal? Because it's a good headline. But it seems like spit would be more likely. I would say spit. It seems like... I'm going to say spit and blood. Getting the vaginal mucus to seem like that's a big order. But was there any indication of why they chose vaginal? Why they would even say? Not that I know of, beyond the proteomic analysis. Because that seems like... I know. It's a weird leap. You find mucus, like how much difference is mucus from spit to vaginal mucus? In addition to mucus. We know that people spit in fermented beverages. Right. You know? Right. Like there's certain alcoholic beverages that the women will chew up certain things and spit them into a vessel and then people drink it. It aids in the fermentation, right? And that could have happened here too. They found evidence of fermentation, probably grape. So this is some kind of wine cocktail. And in addition, they found the chemical signifiers for nymphaea carolea, which is the blue water lily. And they also found paganum harmala, or seeds that either came from, like the Syrian roux. Seeds from Syrian roux, paganum harmala. Harmel. Isn't that an MAO inhibitor? Correct. Okay. Yeah, correct. Harmala. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So they were taking something and then... So it was very similar to ayahuasca in that regard. Because an MAO inhibitor would be something that would allow, at least dimethyl tryptamine to be orally active. If that's what was happening here. But I think blue water lily is orally active. So it's unclear what the... Maybe it made it more profound. Maybe. So blue water lily, what is that supposed to be like? There have been some recreations of that. There's a great YouTube called Sacred Weeds. If you ever look at Sacred Weeds, it's a lot of fun. It's from like... So many rabbit holes that go down on YouTube. It's amazing. There's so many to go down. Also five terrifying datura drips. You have to... Oh, sure. That's one of my favorites. Yeah, datura. So this water lily, what is it supposed to be like? I don't think... Again, this is where dosing comes in. The Sacred Weeds, it was a series in the UK. They tried to recreate this and obviously they got the dosing wrong. So I think... Were they ineffective? Is that what you say? Obviously they got the dosing wrong. Yeah, because if you look at the participants, it's really funny. They get kind of giddy and euphoric at some point, but they don't have anything hallucinatory. Did they take it with Harmala? No, no. They weren't doing the psychedelic blood cocktail. They were just doing the... Just the water lily. Just the water lily. Maybe the water lily has to be taken with Harmala to have the profound effect, the MAO inhibitor. Maybe. It makes sense. This is why the science matters and the data matters. Not because we want to recreate blood cocktails, but... Of course, but we do. So it seems like there's a lot of vessels that could be tested if we're aware of these vessels. Everywhere. Yeah, and they haven't been studied. Some are sitting in museums in Tampa. Some are sitting in new, fresh dig sites. Some are sitting in museums in Greece and Italy. Oh, look at that, dude. That's the best vessel from second century BC. Can I get a recreation of that on eBay? Does somebody make that? That seems dope. I want to drink my coffee out of that. Someone's got to make Joe a best vessel. Fuck yeah. For coffee in the morning? That'll be a way to start your day off correctly. You spitting it? Drink out of that? No, I wouldn't do that. Drink out of that guy's head. Drinking out of that guy's head would be pretty fucking cool. So with this blue water lily and this... So they know that those two things were in their Harmala and blue water lily. Was there anything else other than fermentation? So presumably some alcohol? There was some alcohol. We're not sure in what amounts. There was just some evidence of fermentation. Aside from the Harmala and the blue water lily and maybe some honey. Which was also used as a preservative for psychedelics. Right. It was one of the ways that they preserved mushrooms. They had preserved mushrooms and honey. Yeah, and that shows up a lot in some of these ancient potions. The combination, in fact, of potassium gluconate is the chemical signifier for that. And they often find that with tartaric acid, which shows wine and calcium oxalate, which shows beer. And so you see these... Pat McGovern did a few studies on that, which shows sort of like this beer, wine, mead concoction. He famously recreated one called the Midas Touch with the Dogfish Head Brewery. The Midas Touch. Oh, interesting. That was the version. How is it? Yeah, it's great. Has there been any talk of these vessels that we do know are available, of running studies on those? Yes. So this is at least part of what Andrew Koh wants to do at the Yale Peabody Museum. He's already sitting on thousands and thousands of samples from all over the Mediterranean that haven't been properly acid. And within... They're all filled with drugs. Boy, that would rewrite everything. Yeah. No matter what they're filled with. And again, his job is not to look for drugs. He's looking for ancient organics. He's such a good academic. I love how you bring a pack down in normal. Joe, focus. Focus. Thank you. Science. Thank you. I appreciate you. But it could be fragrance or medicine. Sure. Let's find out what's in there. Incense, Kefi Incense, his famous Egyptian incense. He famously found that the Tel-Kabri wine, and they announced that in 2014 from Galilee at Tel-Kabri, it was wine mixed with all kinds of things. We talked about last time, I think, like honey and storax and terebin, cypress, cedar, cinnamon, all kinds of fun things. So like he's been able to show that wines of the time were routinely mixed with different things. You're seeing the blood cocktail. You're seeing the Datura use at Pinwheel. And you're seeing the black drink in the Mississippian sites. I mean, this is all relatively new. We didn't discuss that too deeply. Like what was the black drink made with? Datura and Yaupon holly. And that was the caffeine. What does it look like? This Yaupon holly? Is it a fruit? Is it a leaf? It's a plant. It's a plant and it contains caffeine. Yeah, I found something. I was trying to bring it up, but I didn't get to it yet. Its scientific name is something interesting. Elex vomitoria. Yeah. Oh, which makes you puke. Yeah. Yeah, it was interesting. It was a purgative, apparently. Ooh, right. Like a lot of these are. Yeah. You purge and then you have this experience. Interesting. Interesting. So Datura and caffeine mixed together. Is it a high dose of caffeine? Yeah, it's six times as high as a cup of coffee almost. Whoa. Whoa. It's the only caffeinated plant found in North America, I think is what I read too. Right. Is there any history of humans using it other than in that fashion? People eat it? The Yaupon holly? Yeah. Like they do when they chew coca leaves in order to get energy? You can find YouTube videos of people making like a caffeinated tea today. Oh. People who know how to manipulate. It sounds like you're going to fucking kill yourself with that kind of caffeine tea. There you go. That's what it looks like. So it's little berries, huh? Yeah. Plants. And so is the fruit of the tree what gives you caffeine or is it the leaves? I think it's the leaves. It's like North American mate. Oh, interesting. Have you tried this? No. No. It says Yaupon holly drink for sale. Yeah, I'm trying to see what's going on. Oh, you can buy it? I would imagine someone knows that you can. Black drink Wikipedia. Yeah. Go shopping. Click the shopping link. Just go shopping for Yaupon holly. Interesting. There it is. Interesting. So you can get it as a tea online. I wonder if it's legit. Because it seems like that would be like super potent. Like they'd have to tell you. It's like a monster energy drink in one little tiny cup, right? Wouldn't it be? What does it say there, Jamie, for caffeine content? That's what I was looking for. It doesn't say on that part of it. It says it makes a half gallon. That little thing is like a concentrate like cold brew. I'm guessing. Oh, interesting. So you make a half gallon out of that one little thing. You have to mix it up. So it seems like we have a wealth of things to test for, but a scarcity of tests that have actually been run. And a scarcity of testers, which is why Andrew Coe's work is so important to support. And as a result of conversations like this and the book coming out, we're launching a foundation called the Athanatos Foundation, which means immortal in Greek. And part of the genesis behind that foundation is to help to support different work like this, which is largely unfunded and unacknowledged. So there aren't many archeochemists doing the work that Andrew's doing, which I think is super important for reconstituting some of this really cool history. I mean, a lot of which is just emerging in the past couple of years. Like a lot of the things we're discussing are things that came out after the book was published. So there's a lot of cool work. And again, between the sciences and the humanities, people who are textualists and like to compare this, folklorists, anthropologists, there's a lot of disciplines that can converge on these studies. And in addition to the work at Yale, there's been a lot of interest at Harvard too, around psychedelic studies outside the clinical setting, which is really cool. So not only at the Harvard Divinity School, but Harvard Law School and the faculties of arts and sciences, they have a humanity center there. And I'm just about to launch actually a series of fellowships together with Michael Pollan between Harvard and Berkeley to continue looking at these kinds of questions, again, outside the clinical setting. So looking with a lens of the social sciences and the humanities, historians, anthropologists, cultural criticism, you name it, like taking a look at these kinds of studies from very different lenses to see what we can learn about the ways that our ancestors interacted with the natural world. So speaking of Michael Pollan, how's the caffeine treat? Yeah. Did it do anything for you? I definitely feel it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I feel it differently than you used to. I mean, I'm much more awake. Yeah. I've been feeling very sleepy recently. Yeah? Yeah. I feel much more awake. We better get you healthy, Brian. I know, man. I'm going to put you on a schedule. We're going to change your diet. That's what's most important. Yeah. Yeah. People think of their diet as just stuff they eat that tastes good. I think you really have to think of it as the literal foundation of your structure as a biological organism. I mean, any nutrients that I do get are fully thanks to my wife. If it were up to me, I'd eat- Accidentally. I mean, yeah, because she's a great cook. She's very concerned about nutrition for me and the girls. If it's just me, I would eat peanut butter all day. Oh, that's not good, Brian. I know. I know. That's the problem with a lot of intellectuals. I know. They spend so much time thinking, not enough time thinking about their body. You think of the mind as being separate from the body, but it's not. It's all one thing. And if the body works better, the mind works better. Mm. Yeah. All right. I'll get it on the regime. Please. Please. I want to keep you healthy. When I hear about people taking so long to recover from COVID, the primary thing that I always ask them, do you take vitamins? That's almost always no. At the time, it was kind of a no. Yeah. I take more now than I did, but- But even now, you're not taking a no. No, not really. We gotta get you into that. So what's interesting also is you took a long time to write this book, The Immortality Key. You took a long time researching this. And I know that there was a lot of questions about how this would be received and whether or not this is like a, whether it would be commercially successful. But it's been so successful that they ran out of copies like really quickly, right? They fucked up, right? I'm not sure if I can say that, but yeah. Let's say kindly, they underestimated the demand. I think the demand was underestimated. Yeah. Following our conversation in September 2020. Yeah. Yeah. I didn't expect that either. And there were lots of issues with printers and the pandemic. Sure, pandemic. Yeah. It was hard to get copies out. And so a lot of people actually turned to the Audible for that reason. And to this day, the Audible is outselling the hard copy, almost two to one. People like to listen. Well, you're very good at it. The Audible is excellent because you read it. Thanks, man. It's really good. It's a fantastic book. I've read it twice. I listened to it twice. Really? You should say yes. Thanks, man. Yeah, all the way through twice. It's really good, man. It's so compelling and detailed and fascinating. And it really opens up people's imagination to the roots of all these things and where this all came from and what these people were experiencing. Thank you, man. It's fucking awesome. It's been very humbling to go through this. What's cool, it's got to be great for you because there was a lot of uncertainty of you going down this path. Yeah, man. I quit my job. There was no plan B. Sometimes that's what you have to do, right? Because it worked out spectacularly. I felt like I was losing my soul at some point. I love being a lawyer. I went to law school for a reason. But this is the stuff that always kept me up at night. This was just a fun passion project on nights and weekends. And then it became a book and a thing. But that wasn't the purpose. And to this day, I still want to know. That's why I said it. I'm not satisfied. I want to know the actual answers to this stuff. Yeah, we all do. Well, I'm very hopeful in that there is real research being done and a real attempt to test all of these other vessels. And I think that would be wildly ambitious and really fantastic to see it all come, to find out what the results are. Maybe it's nothing. Maybe it's rare and there's very few of these things contain drugs. Maybe they all do, which is crazy. That would be the craziest. There's drugs everywhere? Yeah. I think that's probably the case. We were very fortunate. I went to Chichen Itza once and I had this really good guide. He was a really interesting guy who was a local professor in Mexico. And he would give guides of the Mayan temples. And one of the things that he openly talked about was the psychedelic consumption. That there was some area of one of these temples where they would take this thing that had very LSD-like properties to it. They didn't totally understand it. When I went to Chichen Itza, we're talking about like 2003 or something like that. It was quite a while ago. And to have this guy explain that to me, it was really interesting. So I think it existed in so many... I think wherever they could find it, they took it. There was another... I hate to keep bouncing off all these headlines, but there was another headline from Peru around psychedelic-laced beer, which you can see it in CNN, also NetGeo, I think. If you look up psychedelic beer Peru, it'll probably come up. And this is recent as well. And this is also recent, just in the past couple of years. Wow. Like you would never... I mean, when I was researching from 2007, this book, which came out in 2020, never did I come across a headline, psychedelic-laced beer. Right. If I had it, this would have been very relevant. Ancient Peruvians partied hard, spiked their beer with hallucinogens to win friends. How do you know why they did it? Win friends. That was a leap. I don't think you needed that part. Lacing the beer served at their feast with hallucinogens may have helped age Peruvian people known as the Wari. Is that correct? Wari, yeah. Wari forge political alliances and expand their empire, according to a new paper published in the journal Antiquity. Recent excavations at a remote Wari outpost called... How do you say that? Quilcampa. A Quilca Pampa. Quilca Pampa. Quilca Pampa. Quilca Pampa. Unearthed seeds from the Vilca tree. Vilca. Vilca? Yep. Vilca. That can be used to produce a potent hallucinogenic drug. The authors think that the Wari held one big final blowout before the site was abandoned. Hmm. Wild. So the Vilca is an adenantra. An adenantra either colubrina or peregrina. And that's been here a while. There's evidence of the use of that going back thousands of years. Just after Christopher Columbus actually came to the Caribbean, one of his associates writes about... It's called Yopo. Yopo or Cajoba. That was in use around what is today like the DR and that part of the Caribbean. So it's been around a very long time. As soon as the colonists arrived to this part of the world, they found drugs. Wow. Yeah. Cajoba, Yopo. Last but not least before we get out of here. Yeah. One of the things I found out about you when we're on a little trip together is that you're interested in UFOs. There's a giant UFO behind you. Yeah. Like, well, anybody that's really fascinated with it, I have to bring it up. What's your take on all this UAP disclosure stuff and all these reports and these fighter pilots that are seeing these things that defy our understanding of propulsion systems that are currently available. What is your thoughts on these things? There's probably something to it. I don't know what it is. I don't think anybody knows what it is, but I don't think you can contradict the pilots at this point. Friend of mine, Leslie Kane, has written a book about this, which is sort of a gold standard in the field. It's about UFOs. I don't think we can really ignore it. We were able to ignore it for many decades until relatively recently. Now you see congressional investigations and you see different witnesses coming forward. I think it's a gigantic mystery that kind of like these ancient mysteries that fascinate me can't really go ignored much longer. I'm not entirely sure what's being witnessed are like extraterrestrial craft, like physical things being pouted by flesh and blood beings from vast stretches of the cosmos. I've said this before on the record. I think there's something far, far stranger about it. I don't know what it is, but when I read Jacques Valet, for example, I love the hypothesis that these things fit better into mythology and folklore than they do into science and engineering journals, because there have been sightings for as long as we've been around. Not just about things in the sky, but things that interact with us. And so Passport to Magonia is a really cool book that talks about the interaction of what these could be today and what they looked like in the past. And I just think it's a huge mystery. It's a huge mystery. That's really all you really can say, right? That's all anybody can really say. Except maybe some people that work for one of the Defense Department contractors that actually has a UFO stored in the basement somewhere. It's not a mystery. Yeah, to them. To them, it's not a mystery. Yeah. But they're keeping their mouth shut, unfortunately. Yeah. Now you say that NASA has taken an interest. And I think that the conversations in Washington are really wild about the new interest in this stuff. But I don't know, something in me is not drawn to the engineering side of the conversation. Like with the ancient misters, I'm drawn to folklore and mythology. And I think that to understand the root of that phenomenon will tell us a lot about ourselves, actually, which is why we talked about Homo Naledi, you know, this ancient hominin that I think that discovery tells us more about what it means to be human. If it's not our brain size or we talked a lot about creativity, I think questions about the deep past force us to ask questions about who we are today. And I think this phenomenon, whatever it is, is the same. Whether or not we're alone in the cosmos, that's one question. But like the relationship between these sightings and our psyches and consciousness, I think is a far more profound question. And again, some of the questions that the early researchers like J. Allen Hynek were asking about this phenomenon. He says that something that like when the long awaited solution to the UFO problem comes, I think it will prove to be not just the next small step in the march of science, but in a mighty and unexpected quantum leap. That to understand this issue is to understand something very profound. Let's end with that. That's perfect. Brian, you're the man. I appreciate you very much. It was really cool hanging out with you in Greece. And it's always great to have you on here. And your book is now available on paperback. I'm assuming they made a lot of copies this time. We will find out. We will find out. Okay. Thank you.