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Zach Leary

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 107 – Daniele Bolelli

The grace and wisdom of Daniele Bolelli enlightens the IAH podcast for Episode 107! It blows me away how Daniele can traverse the edge of so many different disciplines while being comfortable and authoritative in each. Our conversation covered comparative religion, the nature of fear, Americas confusion and how better to understand MMA. Check out all the great work Daniele does in his books and his podcast, “History on Fire.” I hope this is the first of many podcasts we do together!

INTRO RANT – The tangents of #metoo and what to learn.

Daniele Bolelli is a writer, martial artist, university professor, and podcaster. He was born in Italy and currently lives in Los Angeles.

www.danielebolelli.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 106 – Donald (DJ) Salmon, Jr.

Episode 106 of IAH dives deep into one of the core issues that STILL plagues not only our country but our species as a whole. That is the issue of racism. Because of all the recent ugly examples that have bubbled up in America lately I wanted to dicsect the issue from a solution oriented perspective but also from a place that identifies the root level issue and not the superficial one. DJ’s intelligence, rational objectivity, education and passion was able to guide me through a landscape that I know only so little about. DJ is really one of the most astute voices on the state of African American narrative. He’ll be a return guest for sure!

INTRO RANT – Race and the Island Example

DJ. Salmon – Having grown up surrounded by the poverty and racism of the rural south, Donald B. Salmon, Jr. made his way to North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in political science and became invigorated by exposure to various movements aimed at pushing against the social and political status quo for people of African descent in the west. Donald is an avid supporter of hip hop culture who believes that through the arts, bridges can be built that connect people and ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 105 – Rob Greenfield

The “dude making a difference” beams into the IAH vortex to ruminate on the major issues facing our very survival. Rob is one of the few people I know who has truly embarked on a path of radical sustainability that has altered his life in a truly remarkable way. We discuss core environmental issues ranging from diet to cars to waste. Rob’s humor and passion offset the dire news that’s facing every single one of us. I for one learned a ton on this podcast and hope that each one of us can get inspired to change just one thing in our lives that can truly make this place inhabitable for years to come. As unlikely as that may seem.

INTRO RANT – The Weinstein Debacle

Rob Greenfield is an adventurer, environmental activist, humanitarian, and dude making a difference. He is dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable and just world.

Rob is the creator of The Food Waste Fiasco, a campaign that strives to end food waste and hunger in the U.S. He has dove into more than two thousand dumpsters across the United States to demonstrate how nearly half of all food in the U.S. is wasted while 50 million (1 in 7) Americans are food insecure.

www.robgreenfield.tv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People Pop Culture

The Weinstein Debacle

Does everyone know that half of “Hollywood” is in total damage control spin mode right now?

Several things to consider:

1.) More people knew about HW than didn’t. The Hollywood inner circle is very small, elite and incestuous. If you’re a member of that club you talk to other members.

2.) Not only did other people know but many gave him a hall pass because like it or not HW made great films. Only a select few could have the luxury to choose to not work with HW. The vast majority of people who wanted to make movies and were given the chance to work with HW took it.

3.) Many of those complicit in keeping and/or brushing off the HW secret are artists we know and love. If 100% disclosure should happen we all will be collectively much more freaked out than we already are.

4.) This went on for decades. Drawing logical conclusions we can assume that many (yes, many) talented and awesome actresses did in fact have coerced sexual relationships with HW. That is the sad truth. He could ruin careers with one phone call and most likely did on several occasions. Or at best he “benched” some actresses for a few months. Not everyone is an Angelina Jolie or Gwyneth Paltrow with that kind of power and weight. This is a really sad truth to part of the story and my heart aches for these women. Hollywood can be a cruel, bitter and highly dysfunctional playground.

5.) Again, part of the problem is that HW made amazing films. Some of the best. It would be so much easier if this was Michael Bay. Because of this the spider web of connections, secrets, cover ups and complicity has Hollywood freaking the fuck out right now. There isn’t a Lot or production company in LA that isn’t scared out of their minds.

6.) It took old fashioned hard nosed journalism to take him down. This allowed for a strong group of women to unite and collectively tell their story using the already built shield of the published stories. Imagine if one lone actress hired Gloria Allred and came forth? HW would have called her a liar and sued for defamation. He’s that fucked up. This is a story that demonstrates when media works well, it can create a tsunami that mobilizes truth.

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 104 – Mark Whitwell

THE Super Yogi of Altered States of Intimate Consciousness – MARK WHITWELL – stops by the IAH podcast to go deep. Recorded live at Bhakti Fest ’17, Mark and I revisit some of the past of our relationship, the true origins of yoga in the west and mans struggle with intimacy. Mark’s wit, knowledge, intelligence and authentic wisdom is like no other. He is a yoga hiding out as a man.

Mark Whitwell – is interested in developing an authentic yoga practice for the individual, based on the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar, with whom he enjoyed a relationship for more than twenty years. Mark’s teachings clarify the profound passion and relevance of ancient wisdom to contemporary life.

Mark has taught yoga for over twenty years throughout the US, Asia, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and was the editor and contributor to TKV Desikachar’s book The Heart of Yoga.

Visit The Promise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog - Politics Pop Culture

A Primer In The Roots of Your Alt-Lifestyle

I’m starting to realize that many young people who lead alternative lifestyles either in the bhakti community, greater new age community or festival community don’t, in fact, know the history of the counter-culture – the movement that allowed them to lead these lifestyles in the first place.

“To understand the 60’s, you must understand the 50’s” – TL

Holistically this is the first move in getting the facts straight so you can get your point of view solid. Post World War II America was a manifestation of what the war was supposedly worth fighting for – an obtainable degree of utopian satisfaction that was available to any hard working man willing to go to work and provide for his nuclear family. The antithesis to that was the communist doctrine that allowed for no freedoms or modicum of success that was measured against the individuals merits or work ethic.

1950’s America had just enough elastic to make it seem like we were free when in reality we were oppressed, racist, chauvinist and extremely nationalistic. Even through all of that, the average working (white) man could work a middle class job and buy a nice house, have two kids and a nice Buick in the driveway all while making a modest salary. Things were bright and cheery.

The lens of oppression during that time was such that any counter culture currents were forced to go deep underground. There was no space for permissive attitudes that allowed for the puritanical bourgeois values to be challenged let alone the soil to be fertile enough to actually live an alternative life style. If you were gay, you hid it. If you were a having a romance with another race, you hid it. If you did any sort of drug, you hid it. If you subscribed to any God that wasn’t the Christian God, you hid it.

Pop-culture started to chisel away at this through the proliferation of films that gave light to other ways of life, even if it wasn’t pretty. “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “Touch of Evil” come to mind. But it wasn’t until rock and roll came blasting in that the shattering of the hearts and minds of every parent in America did any mainstream adaptation begin to take place.

Elvis Presley shook his hips into every household in America that had the tangental effect of making it ok for young women to express their sexuality and for young men to wear a leather jacket and question authority. This is why parents hated rock music back then, it wasn’t because it was noisy. It was because it challenged the societal norms.

And then a young man from Chicago, named Hugh Hefner, published a magazine in 1953 called “Playboy” which barely showed boobs but more than that gave way to this lifestyle that everyone wanted to lead but didn’t admit. With it’s now barley rated PG early editions it was enough to shake the foundation of puritanical America.

Even so, it wasn’t enough. The deeply rooted racist Jim Crow ethos of the deep south spilled over into the rest of the country. Our African-American brothers and sisters still had crappy lives and we weren’t further along that one would have hoped. Even for a white male, at the end of the day, if you didn’t graduate high school and go to college to become a cog in the wheel of corporate America, you were deemed a failure.

There have been countless books to pick apart the 1960s and how it all worked and why it all mattered. The purpose of this blog post is to act as a primer for that and why that revolution must serve as a reminder of why you lead the life you lead.

Many ingredients went into the proverbial blender of 60’s urban life that when mixed together just enough created something new that we conveniently now just call “The Sixties.” Make no mistake – it was RADICAL.

The ingredients were as follows:

  • Rock and roll: with The Beatles firing the most important first shot, Bob Dylan firing the second
  • The Vietnam war and it’s subsequent protest
  • Psychedelics – tuning in and turning on was a vital vitamin
  • The civil rights movement – finally enough were courageous enough to say enough is enough
  • Women’s rights – a big swell of bad ass women who pushed their way out of the 1950’s kitchen and into the workplace
  • The spiritual revolution – (see American Veda for this) The Beatles meeting the Maharishi, Alpert becoming Ram Dass and Satichananda at Woodstock made it ok to meditate and say “Namaste” instead of going to church on Sunday. You can’t imagine how radical this was.
  • The sexual revolution – since the dawn of time youth culture loved to have sex and were having sex, the 60s made it ok for each gender to come out and actually say they loved it and wanted more of it. This is a good thing.

Lots of other sub-culture movements too which were equally important; gay rights, ecology, diet, etc…

What is essential to understand is that each one of these ingredients that went into the blender were essential, vital even, in disrupting the cultural norms of the 50s. If you leave any one of them out, it’s like leaving salt out of the cookie dough, it simply won’t work. It is naive to think that 50 years later you can go back and pick and choose which ones were cool and which ones were bogus. That’s re-writing history.

The intellectual paradox within all of this is that many of these ideologies ended up serving to contradict the very intent of another.

For instance, while the sexual revolution was a very necessary and groovy way for us to get in touch with our bodies. Along side that it also gave rise to the objectification of women and the subsequent women’s rights movement which made it ok to protest that. See what I mean? Even though each movement was born from the same seed, they could slowly became opposites that were intent on opposing each other. The right hand slapped the left hand. It’s a very far out and head scratching phenomena.

Another example is Eastern Spirituality and psychedelics – psychedelics made Eastern Spirituality possible but then people started meditating and chanting all day and then started putting down psychedelics. Strange.

The important part of all this is that I find it essential to be historically accurate when critiquing our current culture. It’s short sighted and convenient to put down one of the ingredients that you think is “bad” or “offensive” when not so long ago it was essential in getting you to this place at all. Stepping back and finding the middle path and a modicum of balance and non-judgement is the work here.

Did Playboy give rise to the objectification of women and impossible set of beauty standards – perhaps. More importantly, it’s worth remembering what else Playboy and that the sexual revolution was about. It was a political revolution more than a social one at the onset. Hef and Playboy were first amendment crusaders that featured within it’s pages Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Eldridge Cleaver, Fidel Castro, Gore Vidal, Helen Gurley Brown, Malcom X, Jesse Jackson, Marshall McLuhan, Nehru and Grace Kelly to name a few. This not a list to be brushed aside so lightly. These were heavyweights on the grandest scale and the interviews in the magazine aren’t trite tales of evenings at the Mansion.

Again, this isn’t about Hef or Playboy or drugs or mediation. However, over the course of the last few day I have been rather startled that so many young people are quick to burn someone in effigy when it’s a historical context they are lacking. I’ve been rude and curt on Facebook, no doubt, but it’s alarmingly frustrating how judgmental we’ve all become.

The point being that you going to Burning Man, doing a yoga pose half naked on the beach, changing your name to Ramana or refusing to work in an office was made possible by the aforementioned combination of events and ideas. You can’t dismiss one of them because it makes you uncomfortable all these years later. Our family is complex, nuanced and dysfunctional but it’s also family. We’re all part of the same tribe.

Stay woke and in love.

 

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 103 – Dr. Neal Goldsmith

Dr. Neal Goldsmith beams into the kitchen table via the wonders of cyberspace to discuss his exhaustively evolved perspective on the psychedelic experience. Neal’s background as a psychotherapist provides a unique perspective into the individuals relationship with the psychedelic journey and how it can alter your life in a constructive and healthy way. Our conversation surfed the many angles of his thinking in particular a breakdown of “psychospiritual development and resistance to change.” For me, the juxtaposition of mysticism, psychology and spirituality into a uniformed discussion is one that few people can speak eloquently on – Neal is at the top of this list. Enjoy the podcast!

Intro Rant: The Importance of Hugh Hefner

Neal M. Goldsmith, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist specializing in psychospiritual development and resistance to change.  Seeing “neurosis” as the natural unfolding of human maturation, he views psychology as the science of personal emergence and spiritual maturity.  With the exception of biologically-based diseases, such as schizophrenia, psychology is not about “mental illness” and so Dr. Goldsmith treats “neurosis” as spiritual immaturity, not pathology.  In fact, he believes the “sick” label itself tightens and distorts, actually slowing healthy realignment.

Neal is also the founder of the Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference in NYC which is coming up on Oct 6-8. Click here to buy tickets 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The MAPS Podcast

MAPS Podcast – Episode 17 – Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris

Have you wondered what happens on a neuro-scientific and physiological level when phsychedelics enter your body? That question has been at the root of the psychedelic experience for generations if not centuries. Ancient mystics had the understnading that these sacred plant medicines contained tribal DNA which was necessary to keep cultures and history alive. However, now that we have more data and research available we can augment that thinking with actual stuides that illustrate how the brain is effected when these agents enter our system.

Highlighting the results of two fMRI studies and one MEG study with psilocybin and an fMRI study with MDMA, Carhart-Harris will report the effects of both drugs on regional brain activity and brain network organization. Additionally, he will report the effects of both drugs on brain and subjective responses to personal autobiographical memory cues.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris talks about his scientific research into the effects and potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs. Join him as he discusses brain imaging work involving psilocybin, the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, and explains how the drug works in the brain.

@rcarhartharris

In 2005, Robin began a four year PhD in Psychopharmacology at the University of Bristol. In 2009, he successfully coordinated the first clinical study of psilocybin in the UK and the first clinical study of a classic psychedelic drug in the UK for over 40 years. Also in 2009, Robin moved to Imperial College London to continue his work under the supervision of Professor David Nutt. Robin has since coordinated the first resting state fMRI and MEG investigations of a psychedelic drug and the first fMRI study of MDMA in the UK. Robin and David Nutt recently received ethics approval for an MRC-sponsored clinical trial that will investigate the efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment for depression and an LSD fMRI and MEG study. Robin’s work is published in PNAS, Brain, Schizophrenia Bulletin and the British Journal of Psychiatry and he has appeared in television interviews for BBC news and Channel 4.