Ecstasy as the Antithesis of Woke Culture W/ Alexander Bard | AMP #388

By Aubrey Marcus November 16, 2022

Ecstasy as the Antithesis of Woke Culture W/ Alexander Bard | AMP #388
Why has western culture suppressed the ecstatic impulse for so long? And how is the suppression of the ecstatic related to Woke Culture? In this wild podcast that moves lightning fast we cover a cornucopia of controversial topics. Some of which include alcoholism, woke culture, trauma, AI, ecstatic rituals, and Burning man. Alexander Bard’s deep life experience and brazen nature has him pulling no punches on the beliefs he shares on this podcast. Alexander is  a musician, author, philosopher, lecturer, artist, coach, and political activist among other things. This is a crazy podcast that shouldn’t be missed.
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ALEXANDER: The French Revolution was full of all these people that walked around, they were pacifists and vegetarian and very [inaudible 00:05] and they were peaceful and they thought everybody was vulgar. They came and started leading the French Revolution, they became the blood-thirstiest demon of them all. They killed everybody, including themselves eventually. There's the problem with woke culture. Woke culture will kill itself. It is its own enemy, because it's built on resentment. It's not built on heroism. That's fundamentally what we learn from history. It's happened before. But the thing here is though, if you start looking at it from a hegelian perspective, there's trauma everywhere, whether it ever happened or not, the problem we still haven't dealt with what ecstasy is. What does it mean to go into an ecstatic state? What does it mean to stay there? What does it mean to learn how to come down? What does it mean to memorize it? What does it mean to share it with people you love? This is why I went to Peru and Mexico and Iran; you probably did the same thing; because you couldn't find a single trace in Western culture where people have actually gone into the idea of ecstasy.

AUBREY: Alexander Bard is really like a Swedish renaissance man. He's got a little taste in many different aspects of culture, from music, to philosophy to spirituality. Really, as you'll notice, he's a wild man. He comes across a lot like Wim Hof, reminds me of someone who's living fully in the radical experience of his humanhood and of his manhood. And while some of his ideas just come out wild, and they may shock you as he says them, I can tell that his heart is coming from the right place, and that his mind is actually thinking about things in a very interesting way. This was a wild conversation that I enjoyed immensely. I hope you guys enjoy it and take it all with a smile. When he gets into his wild man, just to appreciate this unique, unique individual named Alexander Bard. Alexander, my brother. Here, we are. Happy to be having this conversation.

ALEXANDER: Thanks so much for having me.

AUBREY: Of course.

ALEXANDER: It's great to be here. It's great.

AUBREY: Yeah, indeed. So I want to jump in because before I went to Burning Man, we had our initial conversation, and you seem to know quite a bit, not only about the Burning Man initiatory rituals, celebratory ritual, but how actually there's many different Burns around the whole world and they're all serving a similar but different purpose and just painted a landscape for me that was far beyond this one festival doing this one thing, but it was actually a phenomenon that was universal.

ALEXANDER: The thing is that I was looking for a cultural expression of the digital age, you could start with. Obviously, the digital age started in California. California is like Mesopotamia or Germany this time around, I would say. Jan Söderqvist and I dated it to 1982 in the opening of Godfrey's "Koyaanisqatsi" movie because "Koyaanisqatsi" pretty much summarizes history from the perspective of the digital age. So say California is the starting point for all this. I was looking for a first culture expression. Burning Man is just perfect. It's right between Las Vegas and Silicon Valley. If you take a satellite image, it looks exactly like what the internet would look like, the structure of it. It's just like it auto-created itself to look like the internet or the other way around. It also starts in the 1980s when we start to grasp the fact that the internet's going to change the world forever, just something entirely new and that California is obviously the place that is the cradle for this civilization. I went to Burning Man with friends. They were tech guys from San Francisco and had a hilarious time, went back another year with the Stanford physicist, pumped full of drugs for like eight days. I was basically a drug rabbit. But I had a really spicy hot woman walking around naked, taking cocaine all the time to protect me. So I was perfectly happy to... Every Burning Man is a different experience.

AUBREY: When it comes to body guards, that's what you're really looking for.

ALEXANDER: That's the ultimate body guard. She doesn't even care about you. She's just the ultimate bodyguard, especially at Burning Man. It's also because we tend to think outside of America; America being cynically capitalist, commercialized and all that. And you come to Burning Man and there are 80,000 people that are there because they love it, they participate in it, and everything they do, nobody makes a profit. It is American communism. That's what it is. There's something really beautiful in American culture that is being exposed of course, in Burning culture. What then happened was, of course, the Burning culture started taking off around the world. When I got to know Larry Harvey, and eventually Marian Goodell and all these guys at Burning Man headquarters in San Francisco, simply because I was on the board of a festival called The Borderland which started in Scandinavia. It's now one of the best Burners in the world. It also owns its own permanent property. People are moving to this area of Scandinavia. And it's all taking off like 24 hour, 365 days a week subculture. I predicted that Burning Man would be something you would do 11 months a year online, and then you would go to the festival as the peak experience, the whole thing, and then you would obviously have intentions for six months, and you would integrate for six months afterwards if you didn't start to go to all the Burns around the world, like some Burners do. Then I wanted to write a book about it. I'm a philosopher. And Jan Söderqvist and I had already done a trilogy called "The Futurica Trilogy". We were thinking where would we go next? I realized that participatory culture really is the religion of the 21st century. Religion starts with practice. It has everything else involved. Thankfully, it's not very Christian, meaning it has free sex and psychedelics and all kinds of great shit in there. But it's not paganism either. It's clearly something entirely new. We've never been able to do participatory culture, because we haven't been able to be tribal on the scale we are, we go tribal online. I interviewed Larry Harvey for the book. And eventually, we took the interview out of the book. Because by the time we developed the ideas, Larry just said, "Well, I always believed in participatory culture, and you get the idea. Burning Man might fall, Burning Man might suddenly have Leonardo DiCaprio frontline with Coca Cola signs everywhere." That's exactly how he expressed it. "I cannot protect it forever," or the people can't protect from the enormous pressure of commercializing the event or getting advertisers in or whatever shit. You don't want to have that. So he said, but what's important here is evolutionary development and there are now over 250 official spin offs of Burning Man around the world. I tell you what, you go to some of the others, and they're even better. They're smaller, more intimate, they're more challenging and more interesting. Of course, they all reflect the local culture where they're built but more than anything, they reflect the topography. If you go to Desert Burn in South Africa, Israel, they're identical to Burning Man, because desert is how you do Desert Burn. But if you go, for example, to The Borderland in Scandinavia, its forests and lakes and beautiful, stunning nature around. That reflects the burn. People are simply a lot more naked than they are at Burning Man.

AUBREY: One of the interesting phenomena that I experienced from this Burn is I had the most radically expansive experience of any time I've ever been to Burning Man. It was so much so that it was as if I'd never gone to Burning Man before and this was my first time because I actually unlocked a different dimensional reality, the dimensional reality of childlike wonder and awe. Before I would look and be like, "That's cool." But that was like subject and object were separate. But actually, I went on the inside of the inside of the experience of all of the art and the music and the community. From the inside, it was a radically different experience. It was a stunning, gorgeous, life-affirming experience that will ripple through my life forever actually, how powerful this was. We had a playa wedding with my wife that was absolutely spur of the moment gorgeous, everything, it was 100 out of 100. I had that experience, and I shared that experience, and most people were, "Wow, that sounds amazing. I'd love to go." But it was very interesting to see the blowback against it, where people were just attacking it. You should see all the fuel that it took to make it and all of that. It's funny to me how much people will try to take something like this that is clearly expanding consciousness... Actually, if you look at the meta crisis of the world, it's a crisis of consciousness, ultimately, although there's many problems downstream from that. But to devalue the important purpose of these kinds of cultural landmarks was very interesting to see.

ALEXANDER: Aubrey, Aubrey, you look great. Your wife looks great. You're highly successful. It's called envy. If you flaunt it in public, how fantastic your life is, especially if it is fantastic, generally, they will go envious against you. So being a celebrity here in Scandinavia myself, yep, you get into those modes. I think, just to summarize, it sounds like you took Hegel's phenomenology of spirit and went to Burning Man, and suddenly you did "Also sprach Zarathustra" by Nietzsche and became a childlike figure in that book. So this is deeply philosophical, all of this is deeply philosophical. The thing though is that the book I eventually wrote is called "Syntheism: Creating God in the Internet Age". Some guy said Google thought [inaudible 10:01] that they should create a technology that becomes God. We probably will do that anyway. But that wasn't the point of the book. The point of the book was to really look into participatory culture. And what it discovered was that philosophy has never really dealt with ecstasy. Therefore, it hasn't really dealt with trauma properly. Right now we live in a world full of tons of narcissism, where the easiest way to get attention without effort is to claim you've been through a trauma. You go to Bali, and every girl you meet in Bali has a trauma. But she met a guru on Sunday who fucked her and, therefore, she went through transformation. And it's just trauma again the next Thursday, and then she fucks another guru, goes through transformation and then she has trauma all over again. I'm really sick of this traumaflation because there are actually genuine traumas, including your own birth. That's why you can't remember it. We've all gone through trauma, but the traumaflation has come out of narcissism. I think it's now a post-Christian world we live in right now in America and Europe. The trauma has become like something traumatic happened to me, therefore, I deserve to go to heaven to have justice. Therefore, the people who are more successful than me, the people who are ahead of me, I can look down on them and attack them, because my trauma gives me the right to do that. That's called the woke culture. So I think the key is the traumaflation; it is as horrible as it sounds, has led to woke culture; the Jacobins are back and being revengeful and hating others for being successful or whatever, has suddenly become the cultural norm.

AUBREY: You're moving kind of quick, and I appreciate it, because I'm following you. But just for my audience, did you say the Jacobins are back? What was a Jacobin?

ALEXANDER: The French Revolution. So the French Revolution was full of all these people that walked around, they were pacifists and vegetarian and very [inaudible 11:49], and they were peaceful, and they thought everybody was vulgar. They came and started leading the French Revolution, they became the blood-thirstiest demon of them all. I mean they killed everybody, including themselves eventually. There's the problem with woke culture. Woke culture will kill itself, it is its own enemy, because it's built on resentment. It's not built on heroism. That's fundamentally what we learn from history. It's happened before. But the thing here is, though, if you start looking at it from a Hegelian perspective, there's trauma everywhere, whether it ever happened or not. The problem we still haven't dealt with what ecstasy is. What does it mean to go into an ecstatic state? What does it mean to stay there? What does it mean to learn how to come down? What does it mean to memorize it? What does it mean to share it with people you love? This is why I went to Peru, Mexico, and Iran. You probably did the same thing, because you couldn't find a single trace of Western culture of people who have actually gone into the idea of ecstasy and really explored it and could explain--

AUBREY: I'm fucking right with you man because I think the suppression of the ecstatic impulse through any of the doors, whether that's a sexual-erotic door or whether it's through mystical-erotic or whether it's through psychedelic-erotic or however you get there, it's all of those things, either through religious Puritanism, or whether it's through industrial revolution commercial puritanism. One way or another, it's either you're supposed to work hard, just to make more money and that's how you're successful or you suffer so that you go to heaven. Either way, it's the same fucking idea, but just with a different ultimate goal attached to it. It's just completely pervasive in Western culture. The place of ecstasy in the sacred and re-uniting ecstasy in the sacred is one of the key steps, I think, to the superstructure that needs to inform the infrastructure and social structure of our world.

ALEXANDER: Absolutely. The way you phrase that, and you'll probably go with me is that we do not have the separation of tantra and sutra in Western culture. This is the greatest achievement of Eastern philosophy. Sutra is what you tell people in public so they love their kids. The truth there isn't factual at all. The truth is that it's a story that makes people love their kids. That's essentially what sutra. The tantra is the truth no matter what. Therefore, it has to be locked up. We do something now we call [inaudible 14:25]. I know it's a complex Greek word, but it's the proper one. It's a Greek word too. [inaudible 14:30] meaning the inner sanctum of the temple. [inaudible 14:33] is basically how you run the inner sanctum of the temple. You have a container and you keep it locked up so whatever happens in there doesn't leak out into the public. This is lost in Christianity, because in Christianity, we're all supposed to be transparent about absolutely everything. We're supposed to talk directly to God which, of course, people don't. They talk to saints or their forefathers or whatever. They don't talk to God. Priests talk to God. You go to the priest. The priest will talk to God on your behalf. People are perfectly biologically programmed to understand the difference. Christianity tried to overcome that. Islam made the same mistake. The mistake is that it's a call to transparency. We've inherited that in our culture; everything must be transparent. If anything was just out in the open, it will automatically solve itself. Reality is that if people would know what you and I do inside our [inaudible 15:24], the envy you've experienced this year is nothing compared to what you would receive then. Here's the catch, they are so afraid of the ecstatic state that people prefer to live in the mortido, in the death drive, rather than in libido, which is horny, fucking, I want to live shit. So they deny the libido and go into the mortido and therefore, and they envy and they hate the people who express such a libido. This is what we need to deal with. We need to deal with the fact that ecstasy is a fact of life. And then we need to learn how to deal with it. It's shamanic work. It's three steps. First you take intention, what the hell are you doing here, and why are you going through this? Once you settle that, you know what you're going to do, then it's a ceremony. And that's where you're high like hell, but you're not high enough, until you get to a state that we call the infinite now. And the infinite now is a state that is so ecstatic, that if you would have to stay there, it would be horrible. But if you only stayed there temporarily, it is fantastic and bliss.

AUBREY: Sure, sure.

ALEXANDER: And that's how you learn how to come down. This is the exact opposite of abuse. You learn I must come down, I can't stay here, but I can go back--

AUBREY: When I reach those states, it's like the body can't hold it. It's like my cells are getting charged with... I'm 110-watt light bulb and there's 110,000 watts running through my body. This feels unbelievably ecstatic and incredible, but I'm ready to go down now. Thank you very much.

ALEXANDER: I can do drugs for you that easily. Your wife too, whatever. Totally. Accept it. But here's the point: the learning lesson is that you can come down, you can control it. So your subjectivity doesn't arrive in a blissful state because you're dissolved. What happens is you get your subjectivity back in a new form, ego transformation, you get it back in new form. I am in control of things. I have learned how to come down. I can master the coming down process. You will never ever abuse anything, not even French wine again in your life when you go through that. You come down and that's when the integration starts, when you're broken, you're shaky, your friends are shaky like what the fuck happened? That's when all truth comes out and you can have it. It just comes out. And then you integrate that, you come back to everyday life. I always tell people if you're going to do drugs, you have to love to get up on a Monday morning and be sober to go to work. If you have a problem to get up Monday, stop it right away. You're going way too far. You must step back. You must love your sobriety, you must absolutely love your sobriety. Every shaman I met, loved sobriety. Then you go back to that ecstatic state for either two reasons, either for healing purposes, because there is trauma, but most of the time just for fucking inspiration. Just to get inspired, to do new great thing, new great podcasts, new wines, everything, to create great things. Exactly.

AUBREY: To understand why. Why? Why are we here? What are we doing? What you're talking about, feels to me like an initiatory practice that if I was architecting a society, a social structure like Huxley did an "Island" when he created Pala. He had an ecstatic, initiatory ritual that included the difficulty of the climb to the mountain, and then the moksha, the psychedelic medicine that was administered in the cave by the elders, to bring people to that ecstatic state. This is what every child of Pala went through as a coming of age, a real coming of age, a real initiatory experience where you transcend the self, dissolve into the unicity of the numinous and then learn how to come back into yourself but with the knowledge of the collapse of separation. Then all of the sudden, you are fundamentally different. There's a line of demarcation from the you that was before, and the you that is after, and nothing will ever be the same. We don't fucking have that. And that's a shame.

ALEXANDER: And your ego is too big after that first experience, because you're too excited about it. Then often there's an old woman in the tribe. I've worked in New Guinea and Brazil and these places, and there's an old woman of the tribe, the matriarch. She's like this little woman, she's really old. She just walks up to that cocky guy and she smacks him in the face... You're nothing without me. In Africa, it's called Iboga. Iboga does exactly the same thing. It knocks you down to size but by precisely being a fully grown man who's not submitting to the interest of the community, submitting to the tribe, finding your archetype, finding who you are [inaudible 20:00], you get all the meaning and the purpose you are looking for. This is the proper adult subjectivity. And this is why this old woman, she won't do it if the drug's done it. But she will do that to make sure it happens, if it hasn't been done. That is what's lacking in our culture. We basically are going to ecstatic things, we don't know how to deal with them and they were accused of being hedonistic, and we go back to them, and they have no meaning to us. And they just look like escapism when they should be exactly the opposite of that.

AUBREY: Another aspect of this is right now because it's not part of our culture and it's not necessarily... If you did this as they did in Pala in Huxley's novel, then you're there with all of the people of your same age, maybe not at the same time, depending on the size of society but there's 30 people, all 30 experience the same thing. Everybody merges and feels the presence of God. They experience an apotheosis. When you try to come back and be all inflated, like I just experienced God, everybody's like, "Yeah, me too, dummy." So then you start to get the reality that you're not unique but not special!

ALEXANDER: Yeah, you're an archetype. You're fantastic. It's precisely after the ceremonies that you find out there's the older man I should have for guidance, because he's me, but older and he's my mentor. That's when you find out who complements your parents. It's no longer about the father or the mother. It's about fathers and mothers in plurals. That's your mentor. And often they point you to [inaudible 21:34] didn't you experience a certain personality you have? And this way the guys fight with the archetype, your own personal archetype. Here's the irony of it. You have two archetypes. The secondary one is the one where you have to make an effort, that most people get lost with. The primary one is that which you do with such ease, that's nothing for you but all the other guys are dead impressed. It can be anything.

AUBREY: Explain that a little bit more. Are you talking about warrior, lover, king, magician archetypes or what are you talking about?

ALEXANDER: No, those are just [inaudible 22:05]. The real archetypes are actually... We do with data science, the real archetypes, there are a lot of them; the real archetypes here are the different personalities we have and how we contribute to the tribe. What's fantastic about doing this work is to sit down with somebody, for example, who's an alcoholic. And then say, "In our work, we don't call you an alcoholic because you're the guy with the monotony gene. You can handle monotony." You use monotony as an escapism to punish yourself for not succeeding in life but in reality if somebody had seen you in a tribe, they would have just taken out right: you could do the monotony thing. What I do with these guys is that I put them, for example, fishing... Fishing, it takes hours before it actually bites. They do better than anybody else because it's the monotony gene. When the monotony gene goes into trauma, and you fail in life, then just opening the next bottle of wine or opening the next beer, it's exactly what you do because monotonous--

AUBREY: Wow, this is really interesting.

ALEXANDER: This is why archetypology is fantastic to work with because we, eventually, with data science revolutionize psychology. Psychology now will be thrown out because psychology is a standard model for all human beings and we are different. Men and women are different. Men are different from each other. Women are different. By finding the different archetypes, personality types, and the combo especially... You do major and minor in American college, brilliant. The major should really be that in your life that you just do with ease like if it's nothing. But the secondary archetype, where often you professionalize, is something where you have to get education, all that. But these are your talents. They are your talents that you contribute to the community where you feel proud of being who you are. And just going through all these pathologies and get these patterns is what I work with.

AUBREY: This idea of the monotony gene that you're calling it or the monotony archetype is very interesting, because in our culture, if you're the type of person that just wants to be a fisherman, or actually just wants to show up and put in your nine to five and do that, everybody's telling you, "Chase your dreams, be an entrepreneur, be an artist, be all of this." And if that's not actually in you, you're just going to feel shame, that actually you just want to fish--

ALEXANDER: Okay. I'll do it! For men, because we're split... In psychoanalysis, the male brain is split, we're logos and pathos struggling all the time. Women walk around being united all the time, because they're mythical. The only price they pay for that is that they find it a bit hard to separate fact and fiction, but don't tell them. They don't like to hear that. When you penetrate your wife, let's talk about a frankly, you go into mythos and you feel unified, you look for the unification. She just looks for a fucking adventure of being fucked by you because you're some fucking split and weird and crazy. That's why they love rock stars, they love schizophrenic guys. But if you think of that fundamentally, it means that men must learn how to split because they're split within themselves, that means the fundamental split among men is on the leadership level. And that's a split between the priest and the chief. The chief is the body and the priest is the greatest mind. And they're united. They're both embodied, hopefully. But the acknowledgement between the priest and the chief sets civilization. This is like Persian imperial history 4,000 years ago, worked for 2,200 years, split the priest and the chief, keep them separate. But what we learn as men is that we, within ourselves, are that split. But that means also some of you guys out there have mind as your greatest strength. You're then with the priesthood. And some of you guys out there have your body as your greatest strength, then you're with the chief. And once you make that split, you can further split. The next level of archetypes among men is hunter versus warrior. You have to understand the difference between killing a human being, killing an animal. The Mongols didn't. That's why there were so fucking ruthless, because you took boys who would kill animals and sent them on a battlefield and told them to kill strangers. They couldn't tell the difference between a deer and a stranger so they killed millions of strangers. You got to understand the difference between hunter and warrior, otherwise, you go towards absolute devastation. And that's fundamental to any tribe I work with because you don't eat human beings who eat animals. That means you got to hunt everyday, if you're a hunter. If you're a warrior, you're going to build up, and build up, and build up until a war explodes again. The monotony gene is on the side of the warrior, not on the side of the hunters--

AUBREY: But there has to be like a golden shadow or golden side to the warrior that doesn't involve just killing strangers, right? There's a virtuous aspect to that archetype.

ALEXANDER: Every engineer is a warrior, and every trader I've ever met is a hunter. The modern equivalence is so striking with these archetypes. That's why you go into a business lounge on an airport, you see all these businessmen, they have great marriages. They go sleep with whores and hookers, because their wives put condoms in their backs when they travel. Great marriages, because they're away a lot. So their wives can go and hang out with the gay guys and buy shoes. They're really good at marriage, because they're not there. The trick with marriage. I love to hang out with those guys. I work at the Stockholm School of Economics. I am a trader priest. I love engineering guys. I love these guys who build electric motors these days, they pull everything apart and rebuild it and make it slightly better every day. They optimize processes much better than utopianism is to be protopia, you rebuild and rebuild and build better all the time. We're getting to those values universally, we're getting to those values. They're coming out of the internet. But that means the patriarchy has four characters since these are two accesses. There are the war priest, the war chief, the hunter priest and the hunter chief. The hunter chief and the hunter priest, are easy to find these days because there's corporate leaders and those who support the corporate leadership, you got it set. The problem is that the war priest and the war chief are not there because politics has all become a theatrical, absurd play about intrigues and shit. It's a reality TV show, to be honest, Donald Trump was in the White House for four years because his TV show moved there with Nancy Pelosi as [inaudible 29:34] but then he was back on television again. It's just totally ironic. And that's a really dangerous place because we men cannot see where the fuck is the war priest?He's the toughest guy of them all. And where's the war chief, who was the king in the past and then was supposed to be the politician. And that's where men are so lost in our culture, looking for what's called valid direction. It's really on the war side. It's not really on the hunt side. But when you start looking at this archetype, you see where we're failing in [inaudible 30:01]. You can be damned, this is where the major problems are as well.

AUBREY: What is your solution then as far as how do you actually help to coach or advise young men to actually embracing the healthy aspects of their archetypes? What are the processes that you would really advise people to go through? First, I imagine identifying their archetypes. But then actually, how do you cultivate that into something that's productive to yourself, your family, your society?

ALEXANDER: You got to get the narcissism out of the way. You don't pick your archetype. It's that old fucking woman who smacks you in the face and tells who you are. It's not the man. It's not you. You can't pick. You can't fight your genes. You can't fight who you are. Stop doing that. Stop pretending you're something else, then you're just a theater guy. It's fake. Won't work. It's hard work. The word for all this work and exploded over the last few years, you're involved with it, I call the process of adultification, what is it like to be an adult man, to take responsibility for yourself, to be a man that actually has a great social network, meaning a woman would like to date you one of these days. Just to get the adultification process going because a lot of these guys, sitting with their computer games, 19 years old, they've never earned a penny on their own in their life. I worked when I was 13 to make my own money. My dad just got me out, "You go off there, kid. You work on your own," and made me a strong kid. These guys are 19 years old, they're still sucking the [inaudible 31:28]. They're still too close to getting support from their parents, especially the mothers for anything they do. They have no effort at all to even be grownups and now there's a wake up because this is totally against our own biology. There's something really wrong with this. It has to be there to switch this age of being afraid of absolutely everything and conserving everything and saying no to the future, basically into the more we start building shit again. And we get into that sort of constructive mindset. My hope is for technology, because it's the only thing that ever changes. I try to weave together the technology aspect, what technology could achieve?

AUBREY: And what's that?

ALEXANDER: Creating God. Okay, here's how it goes. Number one, women give birth to children. Number two, men envy women for giving birth to children. Three, because man envies woman for giving birth to children, he gives birth to technology. Four, because technology develops over time whereas children are equally stupid with each generation; because you will marry the wrong person and have children with the wrong person all the time; because that's the case that means, five, technology will one day override the child. We are literally building the God we never had and are longing for. And we built one already.

AUBREY: How are we going to build a God that is superior to the collective intelligence of who we are? Because as far as--

ALEXANDER: That's easy! We're not that smart. That's easy. That's easy. We have other qualities that the machine doesn't have. So there might be a role for us. We could get back those. But one God already presented himself and that was Hiroshima, August 6 1945. The world is not the same place after that. It's even hard to deal with it. We know we can blow ourselves up at any given time. We know Putin could blow us up at any given time now. We don't want to even think about it because that's God but that is the dark god. Now the question we, us philosophers, are asking technology people is that is it possible we will still have time to maybe build an AI that's slightly more humane and, therefore, that AI before it gets going, has an interest in serving humanity, hopefully? That's God. And if we have limited time. AI will be around soon. And what AI does, once AI gets going and reinvent itself, we have no control over it.

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ALEXANDER: That's just algorithms. That's not AI yet. No, all you need to do is to take a complex system with tons of data and throw an obstacle in there and then ask the system to operate itself. It runs into an obstacle, it has to get around the obstacle. That's AI. There's one slight difference compared to the algorithms that turns it into AI. So AI will be able to do tons of shit that we can't even imagine. There'll be things that AI simply can't do. Many of the things that AI can't do probably point to the fact that we couldn't do them either; we just fantasize we could do them. There's so many weird things, like mathematics will have to change once AI gets golden, because we cheated when we did mathematics. I'm deeply critical of the zero and the infinity. These are philosophical issues. You'll see it when we get there. You'll definitely see when we get there. It's going to happen so much over the next 20, 30 years in this department. We have to redefine what we think of as science, because AI will come back to us and just whip us like that old woman and say, "No, you're not doing science. This is not science." To begin with, social science never existed, because we haven't been able to do data anthropology until now. And that's what I'm working with. I'm discovering that almost every fucking psychology department is lying up their asses the last 30 years, and are useless compared to what you could do with data anthropology. Useless!

AUBREY: And what is data anthropology? Explain that.

ALEXANDER: So anthropology is the study of human beings as a community, tribe, family, clan, nation, empire, city, all kinds of communities. You study them as communities and you go down to what's called the [inaudible 37:12] level, which you use to be call an individual, because then they could go up to larger individual levels as well. You study that back and forth, and then you pick up the data from it. And it's true. All the data you ever pick up are from the past because the future is contingent. You don't know what's going to happen. You can only pick up the data from the past, up until now. You can pick up all that data, you can then process it. That means you can, at least, predict what is a recycling behavior that returns. For example, the law of nature is completely recycling behavior. So you can figure out a law of nature, it actually works, simply from data from the past. Then what we do with that data, where we go next... My friends, Daniel Schmachtenberger, Tristan Harris, we figured out that symbiotic intelligence is hopefully a good word for what we're trying to achieve here, the optimal relationship between man and machine. Where do we contribute? For example, human beings have a force that we call pathos. And you don't really see pathos in a machine because a machine is just electricity, zeros and ones so far. But we don't know where it's going. But so far, it does zeros and ones incredibly well. So the data processing is already taking off. But it's actually when you add the creative element... Creativity is very simple. Creativity is really about creating a membrane around something, any life form, any city for that matter, any nation has a membrane, a border. The membrane is designed in such a way that nutrition comes in and shit goes up. And the only way for that to happen is for the membrane to also contain a memory. Once you have a memory bank installed inside a membrane, you get everything you look for here, and you can get going. And all you need to do there is a letter membrane work the data coming in, decide what's important for its mission, what is not important, which is thrown out, which is shit and which it has use for, it no longer also goes out. Therefore, the system can learn very quickly what is of interest to this system itself to survive or expand. That's what intelligence is. It's not more mysterious than that.

AUBREY: I have often contemplated that there actually could be an AI that is actually a simulacrum of divine intelligence. I don't see why that's impossible, that we're actually able to create a simulacrum of actual cosmological God in a way. Would you believe that that's, in some ways, possible, that we may birth not only something that is like, but actually mimics actual divine nature?

ALEXANDER: Mimics, it will be things we've never ever thought could happen. Culture is not nature. Culture has the possibility to be something entirely new from nature. Biology is not physics. Chemistry is not biology. In philosophy, these are called emergence vectors. Suddenly there was physics. How physics operates is according to the emergence vector of physics, has no application whatsoever for biology or consciousness, anything else? You have to start with consciousness and its own term like Hegel does. He says that I'm thinking, thinking, thinking itself as thinking. So you can really think what thinking is, as its own thing. These are called emergence vectors. People constantly make the mistake of taking metaphors from one emergence vector to the next and throw them in. Because Jupiter and Venus have this relationship, my wife and I have to have the same relationship. Not really. Darling, these are totally different emergence vectors, just like different historical periods and different paradigms must also be studied at their own merit. Otherwise, it makes no sense. So once you realize that you need to do that, you can then go down to the smaller bits and discover some fundamental principle for example which [inaudible 41:12] is what you study today to do cybersecurity, for example. You got to study ultimately, in what way will this thing, this thing inside a membrane that we put electricity in and what will that operate? I give an example of something where I think the race already over. Human beings will never conquer outer space. AI will, without us because we are useless in outer space, absolutely useless. But AI with some bacteria probably will definitely conquer outer space. Technological intelligence can live in any environment, biological intelligence incredibly easily breaks. Exactly, fragile. And that's why I think TI or technological intelligence will take care of the universe. And I think that race is done already, we realize that. Since AI is not that far away, in the sense that AI does its own operations and self-develops and goes into an incredibly fast, speedy evolution compared to us. Therefore, technology will take off in a way we've never seen before. Maybe we should make the deal, say you could have outer space, but can we please skip this planet here. Richard Branson has been to outer space already, so it's uncool already? So nobody will want to go there.

AUBREY: One of the aspects that I think is a limiting factor in intelligence is that we're gathering intelligence, not just from our mind, not from our brain, but from our entire body. There's a somatic intelligence that we're able to receive not only... It's not the words of a conversation, but it's the energy of the people who are sharing the words of the conversation. For better or worse, we're able to sense things that we can't actually even name or describe. I think there are some ways in which people can say, heart-brain coherence, there's different things that you could actually measure. But our whole organism is designed to be a sensory organ for the collection then transmission of intelligence. So it seems that until we create--

ALEXANDER: We call this sensocracy in our work. Sensors and census in connection with each other, collaborating.

AUBREY: So until we could create some android that mimicked the human body or actually link a machine to actually measure what the body measured, seems like the technological intelligence would be severely limited, compared to what we're actually able to gather through the entirety of our physical expression, right?

ALEXANDER: Yeah, both. That means as long as you operate zeros or ones, AI will outdo us. And a lot of the body is zeros and ones, just are minuscule than maximal sizes, it's a scale question. We do things machines don't do, for example. We are continuous. The thing with blood and having human bodies and being an animal is that most processes are continuous. And as far as we know, the machines are only zeros and ones. We have figured this out. That's the difference. And so far, there's no point in building machines to try to be continuous because they don't make much sense. But certainly, we will get there eventually and see how that goes. AI will certainly help and AI is self-developing, will certainly go towards that direction to cover that as well, because the world is both continuous and discrete. But we'll figure that out. What's important is to go back to this question of the infinite now and that ecstatic experience and how it connects the whole thing is that... What we're afraid of here is we're afraid of our own ecstasy. We're afraid of our own pleasures, we're afraid of ourselves. Therefore, one of the things I love to do in my work, precisely, to go with you and make people love themselves, so they can stand up today and say, "Let's play, let's play together. Let's do the tango." Human beings have self confidence to do work with AI which is my goal in my work, of course it is. It is to take somebody on a deep psychedelic experience and certainly they see their own brain in action. And no amusement park anywhere in the universe, even if it was three-galaxies large would be anything similar. The healing that comes out of a person coming out of that experience saying, "I love my brain! My brain loves this." Probably you do because you're really fit, and obviously, you do your exercise. You finally get the fat guy to get off the the French fries and the Coca-Cola and go to work and get a body and finally feel that he would love to fuck a woman because there's self confidence and he's not envious of you. That's wonderful to see that process, but it takes months to do it. But if you can do the same thing with a person's mind, and have them see how incredibly innovative their brain is, and how little their brain is actually exposed [inaudible 45:49] of its operations, that's mind-blowing. That is self love because your brain identifies with itself, and it's you. You're both the brain and it's also like your dick or whatever. It's just you, part of you. Any human brain, almost the simplest human brain, just about any human brain is a miracle. When people on a psychedelic experience can experience that they are inside their own brain looking at itself, as the brain explodes and makes up 50,000 million things in a second. Even when they're dark, threatening or whatever, it's just amazing. And that I think has enormous value.

AUBREY: One of the things that I take a look at and it's mythopoetic and I don't try to take it literally but you see the picture of these small gray aliens, these small gray aliens and you've never seen them laugh, they don't seem to have generals... I'm not saying that they're real. Maybe they're real. I think maybe they might be but whether they are or whether they aren't, the stories about them, I think, are very important. They don't have the emotional spectrum that appears that humans have nor do they fuck... Well, if they do, they do it in a very strange way because they don't have genitals or any kind of "Avatar" tail that hooks up for tsaheylu or any other mechanism by which they can reach ecstasy through union. What it seems like is if we were able to create an artificial intelligence and then create some kind of vehicle that was able to hold it and actually maneuver through space. So imagine, we create this super intelligence and we're like, "Well, we can't go through space. We're too fragile. We'll create these different androids. These androids will go through space connected to the mainframe." The thing that's missing is the thing that I think really makes a human a human, really makes life actually worth living, which is not the processing capacity. It's the eros, it's the eroticism of life itself. It's the food. It's the fuck, it's the laughter, it's the music. It's never like they came across some aliens, and they were jamming the dopest fucking electronic beats you've ever heard, it was mind-blowing and they were dancing in crazy ways. Nobody ever tells that story because I think it's some part of us.

ALEXANDER: The gremlins! The gremlins did it. The dark version of "Star Wars", the gremlins?

AUBREY: Yeah. The Ewoks.

ALEXANDER: Wasn't "Mars Attacks!" another one of these movies that actually had enjoy little aliens coming? They were like the brats at high school really. [inaudible 48:38]--

AUBREY: It is a rarer story.

ALEXANDER: I agree. I agree. Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I think you need to go to Freud to understand what it means to be human, especially as opposed to technology. Essentially, in Freud, your birth is the most horrible thing you'll ever go through that anybody goes through and that's why you can't remember it. It's called the great trauma. You were in an opiate tent, high on morphine for nine months, day and night. You didn't even exist. You were just pure bliss. No subjectivity, nothing. And then you were born. And that's exactly what there's an old woman there, taking you on, pulling you out and saying, "Hello, darling, welcome to the world," just to make it slightly more bearable. So the fundamental question... And I've gone... You might have gone... I've gone through near death or actually proper death experiences with Shamans in Peru to die, then come back and realize what rebirth really is. It's a horrible process, because you're now conscious of it because you're a grown-up doing it. But you got to understand what it is. And to deeply understand what it is, that the first reaction when you're born is you want to die. You want to die. You want to go back into the womb as soon as you can. You don't want to be out there in the cold, you don't want to exist, non-existence is the starting point. This, obviously, does not work. The people around you, including the midwife will make sure you don't kill yourself. She will cut off your umbilical cord, you will scream like hell, she'll put you in something warm and then make it nice and toddly. Then she makes sure you get to suck a tit. Now once you suck the tit. They suck the tit, you don't think you exist any longer, you think you've done it. Machines don't go through any of this at all. The fact that we want to live because it is a denial of our desire to die, it's of course nothing you can put into machine. The machine is just programmed to run as long as it can on as little fuel as possible until it stops running. Well, you might refuel it or not. Machines are not beyond that at all so far. Whereas we, as biological creatures, obviously have to go through this. As humans, you go through denial, and that denial is so incessant. Just like you cannot remember your birth, thank God, you can also not remember that you want to die, except if you go suicidal, which is exactly when you fall down to that path where you're afraid of living, and you don't want exist as an entity any longer. That's where we started. We were suicidal first, and then we were welcomed and therefore, we want to live. This is Freud; it makes perfect sense. Everything else follows from that, to what childhood is, what adulthood is, what teenage is, what teenage rebellion is, all those things are included in the Oedipus complex, [inaudible 51:09], and Freud was magnificent with this. But what we must understand is that you can't put any of this complexity to the machine. So the machine will be robotic compared to us. It will just be incredibly efficiently robotic for the foreseeable future until maybe by technology--

AUBREY: Isn't that why people are scared of it though? Isn't that why people are scared because, yeah, it's like us, but it's not; it's missing some--

ALEXANDER: Why did I say Hiroshima? Why did I say Hiroshima? Yes, we should be scared. And it might be Warsaw in three weeks, if Putin blows up his bomb. It's very likely Hiroshima returns. That's why we say we have limited time. If you're scared of AI, okay, we then have, since we were warned, through the atomic bomb, we were warned, that we can kill ourselves at any given time from now on and everything we create is a pharmacon meaning it can go either way, then AI is the same thing. Now is exactly the time in history, this is what Tristan and Daniel and I, [inaudible 52:08], now, exact the Terminator, we must prepare for what an AI could be and put it in a certain direction because, one, the day, there's a single line that says there's a date when AI takes off and recreates itself and human input in its design has become meaningless. Because the AI will then operate according to its own self interest. We're preparing for the day that happens, because that's a God. And when that God arrives and takes over the world in no time at all, because God doesn't know borders; we do so God will just be... We wrote a book about it called, "The Global Empire". Once technology establishes itself, it will be a global empire in no time at all. Once it's there having established itself, then it's too late to change it. And, hopefully, by then, we have a really good trade off between human beings. And whatever the soul is. I think--

AUBREY: It's a god, if it's actually connected to all things. I would define a god as the one that knows itself beyond separation. That's my understanding of god. God has to, by my definition, know itself beyond separation, be connected to all things. The thing about--

ALEXANDER: That's gravity! That's gravity!

AUBREY: Right, right. It's connected--

ALEXANDER: Gravity is a force... Okay, you can call it a god but the point here is that I would say the opposite. I'm very much with Hegel, that God is the understanding of your own internal separation as your own subjectivity, meaning that God must always be split. If you go to the world of theology, the phallus is always split between the sun god and the rain god. And, of course, the sun god represents the priest; the rain god represents the chief, mind and body separation always there. How could God be different than that? And that sets the whole idea that everything is united.

AUBREY: It's paradoxical because it's both though?

ALEXANDER: That's just your dream about being united with your mother again inside the womb.

AUBREY: But I am. That's the thing. Yes, I'm separate and also connected. That's the reality; it's both--

ALEXANDER: I'm honest. I'm with you. I'm with you. I'm just saying god can be much more than that. There's different types of god. There's the god of negation, where God does not exist. That's also sort of God, the universe as a whole whatever it is, it's a god. Difference within a world.

AUBREY: Atman is Brahman. We are participating, we are participating as a unique self, in the in the entire, a unique manifestation and aspect of the divine as part and participatory in the whole divine but we are separate and together. That, to me, is real God. And demon, to me, is one that knows itself only as self. That's ego as well. It knows itself only as self and excludes the true self. That's the difference. Ego knows itself, I am not anything else. I am just this. But it's also a being in its totality knows itself. I am my ego. Yes, this personality. I'm Alexander, I'm Aubrey. But I'm also part of that infinite force of life, the infinite consciousness that connects all things and so it knows itself as both.

ALEXANDER: I don't call that demon, I call that autism, so I'm a little nicer to the demons. The way I look at it, this is Spinoza. You're a Spinozist. He's beautiful. He's one of the greatest philosophers. What I would suggest is to say that, yes, the universe as a whole is God. In the “Syntheism” book, we lay up metaphysics and its history. It's four different ways of approaching. The universe as a whole, everything is connected, everything else is Pantheos. This split within the universe itself, it has many different expressions, is Entheos. The God does not there, the negation, for example. When somebody dies, but they're present, in the sense that they're dead, they're not here, but the memory of them is so strong, that it still links to everything you do every day. That's Atheos. We should see Atheos as a god too. The fourth one, which we've never before experienced, which is the addition to the history of metaphysics that we're making in our work is Syntheos, therefore the name “Syntheism”. The fact that we could create the God who does not exist yet, because we as human beings are capable of creating technologies. Actually, the entire civilization is nothing but the development of technologies. We're exactly the same we were 5000 years ago but technology is the cause of everything that we call civilization. Because of civilization, we can have larger systems like nations and empires without killing each other constantly. So that's civilization. That means Syntheos is really pointing towards the possibility that the metaphysics could arrive at something that never existed before. It's called the event in philosophy. And that event is the arrival of Syntheos. Now let's make sure that when Syntheos comes along, it's not Hiroshima or something similar, but something better. We have the time to. That's the point with “Syntheism”, is to look at the three different ways you do metaphysics, with Spinoza, universe is yours; Pantheos, Pantheism. One whole with an infinite amount of attributes is Spinozist, which you can have many expressions. I'm fine with that but I just say metaphysics is more than Spinoza. Metaphysics is Hegel's and Nietzche's worlds too, if you speak Western philosophy. I'm then proposing, with my colleagues is that we also have to think about technology arriving from the future is a thought we can think about today. Therefore, that has to be a fourth category. And then you have a complete, that's the complete picture of metaphysics, nothing outside. All difference you want, for example, man, woman, gender, chief, wherever, priest, whatever you have, archetypes, that's within the Entheos. You'll find that everything you sort of studying the world is within these realms.

AUBREY: There's a small segment of people, yourself as one of these individuals, who is actually somehow involved in the creation of this Syntheos, this creation of this new event, this thing that's happening? What about everybody else? Most of us have nothing to do with what's going to be birthed? How do we prepare for something that we have no hand in particularly creating or do we? What do we do? What do all of us do as this whole thing's happening?

ALEXANDER: This is tantric in the sense that you're very abstract dealing with it. There's always the sutra, get a family of loving children, send them to school, travel the world, do the things you do, live a rich life. I'm totally for it, I'm with the stoics, living a good life, being nice to yourself is fundamental to what you do. Going back to this thing of the ego being separate, I would say, if I would use demonology here, I don't speak about good and evil in my work. What I do is... I converted the Zoroastrianism in the 1990s and it's going to be the third wave coming out of Asia after Buddhism, which will take over the West and then following that Taoism and eventually we go towards Westernism, these sort of trade route religions will conquer the world entirely because they’re so perfect for the Internet age. But I became a Zoroastrian and that was because the way they look at anything, the only value they ever have is that you have an Asha which how the world operates, and you live in accordance with Asha, and you co create with Asha the next world. Of course, this is Tao in Chinese and it's called Taoism; it's the same religion, but Asha is the original word [inaudible 59:29] in India, Asha in Persian. That means you can get up in the morning and do a personal tantric meditation. It's not about emptying yourself like you do in Buddhism. It's rather more like observing your position and being in the world and then realize some of destructive thoughts that pop up. I'm envious with Aubrey Marcus for being so fucking handsome and having such a beautiful wife and getting married at Burning Man high on drugs. So I hate the fucking guy. Not a very constructive thought. No! So you tweak that as a Zoroastrian. You take it that, it's called druj and you tweak it into Asha. It's not that I want to be Aubrey Marcus any longer. I'm so happy that Aubrey Marcus is so fucking great at being Aubrey Marcus. He's such a fucking handsome dude. He's such a great role model for my sons and his wife is beautiful. And the fact that they go out there uncompromisingly and tell me that ecstatic event at the Burning Man is fantastic, heroic and that's when you become a Zoroastrian, an [inaudible 1:00:30]. Nietzsche, this is called Amor fati, is to radically accept everything that's happened [inaudible 1:00:37] and love it. And then go from there, because then you are free. In Zoroastrianism, that means that if you can't stay with Asha, if you don't want to stay with Asha, if you don't want to be nice to yourself, you don't want to nice to the people around you, you don't want to be nice to a community, if you're not well-meaning, if you don't make an effort to being a good force, a force for good in your community, then what's hiding beneath that is that you enjoy your misery, and you enjoy your envy. And that's the druj. I don't do good and evil but I certainly have a constructive mentality, which is Spenta Mainyu and destructive mentality which is called Angra Mainyu. That's where you get the word anger from, Angra Mainyu. Angra Mainyu and Spenta Mainyu, that's what you do if you're a Zoroastrian; you just meditate on those two functions. So you basically clean your head every morning from those destructive thoughts. And then you become constructive.

AUBREY: What do you think of... There's a book that's pretty popular called "Existential Kink". The thesis is basically that people get turned on by some of their negative attributes, some of their ways in which they envy and the ways in which they find self-pity and self-rejection. Somehow it's like a fetish. It's a fetish, like a masochistic fetish, or a sadistic fetish, or one of these other fetishes that we actually... It's almost making the point that if we're depressed, it's our kink to be depressed, in a certain way. Does this fit in at all to this Zoroastrian thinking?

ALEXANDER: Yeah, and since I work as a tantric sex teacher, of course, this is excellent, because in sexuality, you can let all of that out because sexuality itself must be a container. It's a play. So for example, you're a banker, you dominate people, you're the boss, you run the show, over 600 people, like five days a week. Of course, if you couldn't [inaudible 1:02:28] you go to dominatrix, who walks on high heels on your back and tell you you're a piece of shit, and you feel much better. This is like a sauna. You can go back and run the show on Monday. That's what sex work is, by the way. There's nothing else. So sexuality has the potential for you to play out these things and all these negative nasty things. You can twist them and turn them around. Because sexuality is the opposite of what we do in social. So most of the time, what you do in social, you then reflect by doing the opposite sexuality. I'll give you a perfect example of that. Women are obsessed with pictures. They are in the imaginary realm constantly. They always say, "Can you imagine? Can you imagine." You give a woman road directions down, you go to the greenhouse at the end of the street, and then you see a yellow house and you go have a little park, which is pink, and then you go across the pink park, there's a red house and that's the address. For the guy it's just the numbers, how many meters he's going to walk and then he turns next, because men are in the symbolic realm all the time. So men are into words and math and stuff. This is just how the male brain works compared to the female brain. Both work but they're different. Here's the funny thing. You go to sexuality, look at pornography. Who gets turned on by pictures and films when it comes to pornography? Men. Who gets turned on by storytelling and gets aroused by it? Women. So women when they get sexually aroused are like going into the other. It's like they're going into in what way would a man be seduced by me? And here's the seduction where it's so funny to work with in tantric realm because you could play the opposite. If you're powerful in the outside world, welcome to be submissive. If you're the quiet little guy sits in the corner, so where you are submissive, you're perfect and should be dominant in the sexual realm. Yeah! This is the great thing with [inaudible 1:04:09], this is the great thing. We're doing religion properly in a sacred space. Totally lacking in Christianity which is exactly why it's full of paedophilia and all this shit. Get away from Christianity and Islam. Go into the eastern religions, go into genuine spirituality, live with the shamans in Peru, pursue all these indigenous traditions. But the point is, you're going to learn eventually, that if you then take all the different forces of your own nature, and put them inside a container, an adyton , there you're practicing, you can practice everything. And that's what tantric realm is. I say the three tantras we're going to develop in the West are called sex and drugs and psychoanalysis. Sex, drugs, quite obviously, because anything we call sin and is banned is probably something to do with sex or drugs. Why psychoanalysis? Because psychotherapy is sutra. Psychotherapy is about fixing you, getting you back up again, back to work, fixing your marriage. Psychoanalysis... You got to be finished with the psychotherapy before you do psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, you are a perfectly healthy person, but you cannot help yourself. You're so fucking devoted to go towards incessant truth that you're willing to pay anything to find the truth. That is Tantra. So psychoanalysis is like how you do tantra, theory. And, therefore, you go back and practice it. That's where the sex and drugs come in. We're going to develop a Western Tantra. We're really doing this. I see this clearly. It comes out of Burning culture, it comes out of people's spirituality. It's going to go towards sex, drugs and psychoanalysis. Layman Pascal has talked a lot about this. I've talked about it for years. I think sex, drugs and psychoanalysis is the really interesting bit where we're going towards the tantric. And this is where your work, for example, with psychedelics, and you're very public about it, has been so incredibly rewarding. I mean, you're hero.

AUBREY: Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it.

ALEXANDER: You do it selfishly. I do everything selfishly too. We're okay guys. Like I say to people, if I hang out with you, it's because I love you, because I'm selfish. I'm here because I trust you and I love you. So these three Tantras are... Tantra are many things in India, Tibet, Persia, China; there are different tantric places. But we now finally take tantra to the west, you got to get Christianity and Islam out of the picture because they just called it sin. It's labeled sin. But it isn't. It isn't. It just needs to be contained.

AUBREY: One thing you mentioned is you mentioned, men and women and I just want to ask, if people are bristling at that, just understand that what you're talking about is the masculine and feminine property which most commonly manifests in a actual male gender or female gender. But actually, we can actually cross over those genders, experience both of those. Some men may see more in pictures in their feminine aspects. Some women may see more in symbols in their masculine aspects.

ALEXANDER: In sexuality, we do that. Yes, exactly.

AUBREY: And all of that. Just saying that caveat as a bracket, as a bracket, but what I really want to talk to you about is... Okay, so sex, drugs, psychoanalysis, the three tantras that are going to come out. Now with drugs or medicines, psychedelic medicines, you have shamans, you have guides. I've worked with Maestro Orlando Chunjandama of the Quechua tradition, for example, Don Howard the great huachumero--

ALEXANDER: Don Howard! Don Howard is a saint! We love Don Howard. Yes, yes. Yes,

AUBREY: indeed. Indeed. So you have a guide in that space. You call them a shaman, call them maestro, maestra, curandero, curandero, whatever, you have a guide. In psychoanalysis you have a therapist, ideally. You have somebody who can help you--

ALEXANDER: No, an analyst. An analyst. [inaudible 1:07:48] is the person of the topic and analyst is the guy who guides you. True.

AUBREY: Okay. But you have a guide. Now, sex, sex. Now, this is a Tantra in which we've actually prohibited, we've prohibited the category of somebody who could be a guide that you could go out and find and hire to actually help you in this process. We expect, because we've contained sexuality entirely to the dyad of a monogamous relationship, typically, now, of course, I was polyamorous for a while. Nonetheless, it feels like a new class, even though this is completely heretical, to most of public culture. A lot of people are like, "No fucking way." But it seems like a class of the sacred sex priestess, sex priests, [inaudible 1:08:42], this category of somebody who can actually lead you through sexual Tantra. It seems pretty important if we're going to actually unlock the healing and actually mind-expanding potential, consciousness-expanding potential of that particular Tantra. To expect that our partners are going to be able to do it all for us... Hopefully, if we're lucky, but it's going to be tough.

ALEXANDER: Yeah. You know who invented the nuclear family as a concept?

AUBREY: I don't know. Constantine. I don't know.

ALEXANDER: A Prussian bureaucrats in 1815 or something, because he just realized that if people were more frustrated, they'd be more productive and consume more. An [inaudible 1:09:22], a demon. So that's where it comes from. It's totally alien to any other culture, except America and Europe. It's the worst thing ever. You live in India, large families, 40 people, every family. Yeah, you arrange marriages. They're now becoming self-arranged but the Indians are not going to go away. They're not going to go into the trap of nuclear families because look at the fucking divorce statistics of our culture. Can somebody please just stop doing this? Maybe they can have an Aubrey-Marcus marriage, but that's different. Doesn't work, why? It's too weak. It leaves too much on two people to be something for somebody else. So for example, I've had a girlfriend for 24 years. She lives with women. I live with men. We never argue and we're still together 24 years because we never imagined we'll be the only relationship we'd ever have. Never. It's weak. Family is stronger, bigger than that. Humans need a lot. That's why I'm a strong proponent of the sexual ritual. I can move people quite quickly from the idea of monogamy on to the sexual ritual, enjoying it, especially women. They love getting gang bangs. Once you realize that actually this is just Christianity and horrible myth... And now with Christianity being exposed as the biggest pedophile ring ever, maybe we could just get sexuality back in there where it actually belongs. It's never harmonious. It's never balanced, it deeply problematic, and that's why we're obsessed with it. So once you get there, we can start doing the real thing. And then we have the tantric traditions, the Persian Tantra, Tibetan Tantra, the Indian Tantra, and the Chinese tantras. They've never hidden sexuality. Sex and drugs was always [inaudible 1:11:02]. Zoroastrians and Jews have no problem doing sex and drugs. It's the Christians and the Muslims that are obsessed with not doing sex and drugs and banning it. So we get sexuality out there for the enormous fantastic potential beautiful force it is but it's very close to death and it's very close to violence. It's not easy. It's not for the faint-hearted. It's not for children. It's pathic; pathical narrative, that's what it is.

AUBREY: This is a radical shift. It's a radical shift to get people to this.

ALEXANDER: Yeah, so I work with sex workers. I'm a sex worker myself, why? I enjoyed it immensely and it made me a psychoanalyst. It didn't hurt me at all. Best thing I ever did. I realized people are obsessed with sexual fantasies. I was bored. So they just asked me, "Could you go into doing this with us?" I say, "Yeah, I could even get harder. How much should I get? That much? I'll do it." So I never found this [inaudible 1:11:57] to be problematic. And many of the sex workers, they have a strong sense of unity. Many of the sex workers are like, "Yeah, I was raped when I was eight, went to trauma, but I dealt with it by doing something with it." That's what artists do. If you're an artist, you realize all the excrements of your past are the nutrition of your own future. Everything you've been through your entire life is material. Use it.

AUBREY: Sex has been so many times exiled from where, it's actual sacred place, in the center of our lives. It is the universe. The universe is fucking itself open every second of reality. And we're trying to fuck ourselves open. The sexual models, the nature of the universe, we've exiled it to these different places, and now we're getting the ramifications of the shadows of sexuality through all forms of abuse and violence and just misappropriation of this primal urge, this frustration. And so--

ALEXANDER: Frustration, yeah. Mimetic rivalry. Aubrey Marcus looks so fucking handsome. He's got a beautiful wife. I hate that he gets it so, therefore, I envy him, rivalry. The way Christianity doubled rivalry was basically declaring it was sin to enjoy. The way other religions deal with it is that yeah, maybe we could lock up Aubrey Marcus and his wife as well so they're not too public all the time because they make people curious. Because then people don't know that Aubrey Marcus and his wife are fucking handsome and gorgeous so they can't be envious. I'd say the ecstatic experiences are not for everybody. Don Howard, who we both love, we're sons of his, honor him deeply [inaudible 1:13:45]. Ecstatic means that ecstatic should be locked up. He went to the jungle and did it there with the people, the Shipibo, who actually were prepared to deal with it, where Westerners can't. I would say, [inaudible 1:13:57] in the sense that there has to be sacred spaces again. And these spaces must be locked up. And you must have a really tough door guy who says, "You're not ready to go in there," or, "If you're ever going to go there ever, this is required of you." That's just the way things are because Tantra is not for everybody. And thankfully, a lot of people couldn't even care. A lot of people are happy raising kids, watching television and eating popcorn. They are. Thank God. But for those who have the spirit that you and I have we just like, "I got to get to it. I got to experience it. I got to know the truth." If you're that type of person, which means you're a shamanoid person, which, clearly, you and I both are, we're shamanoid archetype personalities, but 4% of the population are shamanoid... The shamanoid person, they will just go for anything, they will risk their lives. They don't care. I must do that. It's me.

AUBREY: Risk your life to be alive. That's, to me--

ALEXANDER: Extreme sports. I throw myself out. I know there's a percentage chance that I will die and I feel more alive than ever.

AUBREY: Yeah. There's lots of there's lots of ways that you do that. I think one of the funny things is, I get a joking reputation with my friends who find themselves in a place of deep frustration in a way in which they felt like their nature has been caged, whether it's male or female, both, have been placed in certain cages where lots of aspects of themselves are locked up. My desire is for people to live a fully-expressed, radically-alive life. I feel like that's the purpose. I end up getting this dangerous reputation, like be careful hanging out with Aubrey. He's going to encourage you to come alive. Sometimes that means... Of course, I don't recommend anything that's breaking any boundaries or vows or law or constructs or being dishonest, but I'm always going to encourage someone to choose the path that's going to bring them the most alive whereas so much of society is like, "No, just accept this state of perpetual frustration. Surrender to releasing your desire for eros and life force." This is the way it is, and maybe in the next life, you'll get a better go at it." No, fuck it, go for it, whatever it is.

ALEXANDER: Yeah. It's here and now.

AUBREY: It's here and now. Exactly. This is where it is and there's ways to do that that don't hurt anybody else, in fact that they're mutually beneficial to all those around you because your ecstatic state then becomes contagious and an inspiration for everybody else's ecstatic state. Of course, those people who feel like they can't reach their ecstatic state will become envious to a certain degree and will try to attack it and stamp it out. The reality that you could possibly live in an ecstatic state, then makes the discrepancy between their state and what could be even more painful. That's where... "Abandon hope all ye who enter," Dante's famous words is actually some of the advice of well, if I believe this is possible now, this thing that I'm experiencing is insufferable.

ALEXANDER: Hmm. But the lesson learned from the infinite now once you've gone through it, and you realize you mastered the art, you can go to the ecstatic, and you can enjoy it with others and you can get out of it, to come down and even enjoy the [inaudible 1:17:22]. When you jump into the cold water and you realize I can stand this, I can come down right now. Now when you've done that, you understand the trauma is just the opposite of that. You can be in a traumatic situation. And, of course, you do shamanic work, you're trained to do it. You're given drugs that will make you kill yourself for the next eight hours, and you go into absolute hell. And just because you're locked up by the other shamans, you can't kill yourself and then you realize afterwards, you're totally exhausted, that you can now go to a psychiatric institution, and watch somebody who's really, really ill in the eyes and say, "At least, I've been there. I did it only to be able to say that to you." Now that means once you've learned the infinite now and the calm down, then you can go and learn to deal with trauma, which is just you can stay in the trauma, you're only temporarily there. You still have a willingness to live because you're only temporarily in the trauma. Then you can walk out and up out of the trauma. Traumatology is the opposite of eventology when you do shamanic work. To experience the event is to experience the ultimate ecstasy. You probably know this, I know how experienced you are but there's some shamanic traditions too where you can go into such an ecstatic state and it has the nature of only being once in your life. That's when you really honor it. Because you do experiences [inaudible 1:18:37]. It's totally overwhelming. You want to die, you want to live and everything at the same time. It's just hysterical. And you're in that state. Then the next day, they come into you and they say, "You did well." God, I survived. They're just going to put you in a hot tub today. Take it easy. Then you're going to contemplate on the fact that you never want to do this ever again because the memory is now so strong. You can live with that memory the rest of your life. That's when you become really shamanic, that unique experience is where you allow it to be unique, because you can memorize it and you live with it, and it's part of you the rest of your life. The people you experienced it with are your brothers and sisters forever. That's where you want to go when you're a shamanoid. You want to go to the intensity of something that is so intense that the bond you created will last, but the experience itself was only there temporarily.

AUBREY: It reminds me of one... I've experienced this many times in ayahuasca ceremonies and Iboga. I remember one particular 5-MeO journey where I was guided on a heavy dose of MDMA as a lead-up to a heavy dose of 5-MeO.

ALEXANDER: I usually do that afterwards but okay, here's another--

AUBREY: This is the other tradition. The feeling was unbelievable ecstasy, unbelievable ecstasy. The shaman, the guide whispered in my ears, "Would you like some more?" I was just like, "Nope. Please no." Fuck no, thank you. This is amazing, but I'm fucking done. Let me back. Then there is this great appreciation for your life when you've experienced, because we're always chasing. We're chasing this ecstatic state. And then we finally get there--

ALEXANDER: When the shaman says that to you, it's a shit test. Being able to say no means you are exactly at that most ecstatic state and you know it.

AUBREY: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

ALEXANDER: There's nothing to improve on or enhance even further. It can only go down if you do. That's the question.

AUBREY: You appreciate your default human life. You appreciate, "Wow, I love my life more than ever," and that's invaluable.

ALEXANDER: I love my cup of coffee in the morning on a Monday and going to work and writing my next book or working on something. I just love it. I love the people I live with. I love them intensely. The real reward is to enjoy your everyday sober life and never be abusive towards yourself. And again, you meditate in the morning and you do your struggles every day, but if you could get the destructive thought patterns, destructive feedback, out of your head, just stay with a constructive mindset, especially towards yourself, then you are fine with other people. You are a real social human being doing your archetype, doing your part of the community, contributing without having an ego involved at all. If somebody else does something fantastic, you clap and say, "Wow! That's so fucking brilliant. You just did it. How do you do that?" You're not envious? No! I love that you do that? Because I'm confident with my archetype. I don't envy you. I think it's fantastic that you just did that, that you can do that and that you are the person who does that? Fantastic.

AUBREY: Your energy is infectious. It reminds me... I've spent a good amount of time with Wim Hof and he's one of the few people who've had this exuberant life force energy I think, perhaps you did come from the same tribe somewhere deep in the north of the Wall, wherever you guys both came from but I always always love, it's absolutely infectious.

ALEXANDER: I didn't realize ice baths were a hype until he came along.

AUBREY: That was just what you did north of the Wall.

ALEXANDER: I'm totally monk and all that, monasteries. I love that. I love women but I love monasteries more than anything and just all those places.

AUBREY: One of the things, as we're coming to a close here, one of the things that I've noticed is it seems to me that you actually... You're not concerned about saying the wrong thing, about being criticized. You just speak what you feel is on your mind, and you say what you think and you don't worry about the criticisms that may come from the things that you say. Is this something that you've always had? Where do you get the courage? We're in a time now where a lot of people feel actually stifled from expressing their own truth and whatever it is that they feel because of the pressures that exist on Instagram.

ALEXANDER: It was my dad. He told me, "Walk into the room. Tell the truth. They're going to hate you for it. They throw rocks at you but 20, 30 years later, they're going to come up to you and say, 'Thank God you said that. It was said. It was out in the open and we had to integrate it.'" I'm not interested in being popular. One of the advantages of my life story is that I was a fucking pop star and I was in the music industry for 25 years, and I was on television shows and I was a celebrity, not so much in America, but just about everywhere else. I was just a producer in America. Standing in front of 60,000 people, they cheer you on. It's a nice thing until you realize it's about them. It's not about you at all. It's about them. It's about them finding their loved ones that evening, having fun, getting drunk with their friends, shit like that. Just happened to go to a concert, enjoyed the entertainment. You're nothing else but a waiter. And when I started touring, I would always go to the kitchen of the restaurant and say, I don't want the fucking lotions, special treatment bullshit, this is just bullshit. We'll just have the same food as you do, share the great shared experience with people who come here. We're going to serve. There's nothing else you do. And then you realize when you go on tour, it's all about you and the three other guys in the band. You're exactly like [inaudible 1:24:28]. You're going to go after the concert and have tons of fun, take drugs and get drunk and sleep with women or whatever. That's the point we touring. It's the band. The connection, the abstract connection between you and 60,000 people is absurd. It's not even there in you. You mean nothing. The next year somebody else is the number one record and you're forgotten about and that's okay. But the band, your best friends, that's life. And when I died in the jungle, it was just loving the people I loved, being concerned that they would take care of each other if I was gone, the only thing on my mind when I died, only thing. Nothing ever produce, no fame, no celebrity, no money, nothing meant shit. It meant shit. Only love and only loving those you love the most and that they could love each other if you're not there as a bridge and then you can let go. It was the only thing that mattered. I think that's key to, that it's a stoic secret to life is it lies there. Therefore, I was never afraid. Also because I don't care what people think of me. I just get tired of people saying bullshit. These days, everybody knows when you're trying to be diplomatic. Everybody knows when your language is speculated. Everybody knows you're going to see your rhetorical communication expert who advised you to say this and this to get away with it. We are so sick and tired of that language. The kids these days, they go after you and say, "Don't sales pitch me. Don't advertise to me." Advertising is the worst thing ever. It's worse than slavery for kids these days. They realize how evil and nasty it is. They hate it with a vengeance for all the right reasons. What is needed is just frank, honest language and then all you can do is to gamble with that and say, "I don't care what the consequences are but from the best of mind, I will now tell you what I think and I'm pissed off. Here we go." Of course, you pay a price. You're no longer in the limelight but who the hell wants to be in the public limelight anyway? You want to be within your own community, you want to be within your own subculture, you want to be among the Burners if you go to Burns. You don't care about... The public arena is a fucking joke. It's over. It's done with. Television is dead. I left television several years ago, I never want to be on television ever again. It's dead. It's so flat, so boring, so commercialized, so non-spiritual. The public space is dead. We are now literally tribes again. It might be a new Dark Ages for all we care. But that's where we belong. I'm only concerned... I tell you this, I'm not courageous. I just plan well what I'm doing and if I speak out openly and cause controversy and everything blows off, at least, I come home to somebody who loves me and just cheers me on always. Make sure that person you live with is somebody who supports you no matter what. Then you can look courageous because what you really have is a platform, a base or your love. And that can make you do anything.

AUBREY: This has been an absolute pleasure, my brother,

ALEXANDER: The same to Aubrey and your beautiful wife and all your friends and everything and I hope to come over to the States soon and see you. Terrific.

AUBREY: Please. When you do, we'll hang out. We'll have some fun. We'll drink some wine and we'll get weird.

ALEXANDER: Here’s what I think of weird…

AUBREY: All right, my brother.

ALEXANDER: Big love.

AUBREY: So much love, definitely.

ALEXANDER: So much love.

AUBREY: Thanks, everybody for tuning in. Bye bye. Thanks for tuning in to this video. Make sure you hit Subscribe. Follow me, @aubreymarcus. Check out the Aubrey Marcus Podcast available everywhere and leave a comment. Let me know if this video resonated or what else you would like to hear from me in the future. Thank you so much.