Self-described epiphany addict
"I often describe myself as an epiphany addict and what I mean by that is that I feel that I am most alive, and I think most people can relate to this feeling, I feel like I am at my most alive when I have these profound moments of revelation and understanding, these moments when the gestalt is revealed, when I see something in a new way, when a pattern is revealed."
And when dopamine floods our system, from what I understand, we come alive because it immediately arrests our attention and our senses are heightened and all of a sudden that which is of the everyday, which is stale and invisible, is pushed aside and everything becomes as if seen for the first time. And there is a kind of rhapsody to that.
There’s something kind of amazing when we can transcend what Michael Pollan calls the “been there’s and done that’s of the adult mind” - in other words, jaded. To me being jaded is almost like being dead. Like, oh my god, nothing impresses you because you feel like you’ve seen it all before, and you go through life with basically dark lens on, the curtains closed, no light gets in, no rhapsody gets in, and to me that’s death.
"The same way that a pilot has longitude coordinates when he is in the sky to orient him as he is in flight, so too does the psychedelic tripper needs to have signals, set and setting, to control the orientation of his trip. And what I thought was fascinating is that you could take those tools and techniques and apply them to non-tripping minds too. Normal consciousness is still affected by set and setting. Stephen Johnson says our thoughts shape our spaces and our spaces return the favor”. So I think a lot of it has to do with the environments you put yourself in, the people you surround yourself with, the routines, the songs that you listen to, all of these artful aesthetic choices you make about your surroundings work to induce the subjective spaces that we desire. And those that don’t incorporate those elements I think miss out on the power that they have to basically control their experience."
Advice to younger self
"I would encourage my younger self to just not be afraid, to realize that a lot of things that were - I don’t want to say crippling anxieties, but definitely ever-pervasive fears in my life growing up, a lot of them were unnecessary. A lot of time was wasted, a lot of energy was wasted being worried and I wish I could just let go of that and encourage myself to let go a little more."