Do you ever feel trapped on the hamster wheel of never-ending healing, exhausted and burnt out from being pulled in by every sign you see…yet still hoping that THIS TIME, this time you’ve found the magic pill to make it all better? Or, do you feel that deep gut-churning embarrassment when you come across the latest ‘light language’, manifest your destiny, psycho-spiritual new-age healing modality, so popular in today’s social media, ‘spirituality as performance’ culture? Thankfully, I have good news for you, because today’s episode is all about Healing from Healing!
Welcome to We Are Already Free, the podcast empowering down-to-earth seekers to remember that they are already free! I’m Nathan Maingard, empowering wordsmith, guide, and weirdo…and it’s an honour to be here with you.
This episode welcomes guest Adam Andros, the man behind Healing From Healing on IG, which casts a critical, skeptical & humorous gaze at Transformation & Healing Culture.
Adam is a doctoral candidate in Medical Anthropology and Cultural Psychiatry. He’s actively involved in the Medical Anthropology Research Center and the Ayahuasca Community Committee at the Chacruna Institute. Adam conducted over four years of research and fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon, where he organized Ayahuasca workshops for shamanic and medical tourism. Currently, Adam is the director of therapeutics and integration at Rē Precision Health in Mexico, where he also facilitates preparation and integration processes. He assists clients in reframing healing using relational and creative approaches, with a secular, humanistic, and open-ended perspective.
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Links & Things:
- Healing From Healing on Instagram
- BOOK: Marshall Mcluhan – the medium is the message
- Previous guest Roaman’s episode, where he plays his Kundalini song
- Video of ‘meditating’ girl with camera (so cringe)
- John Hopkins palliative care psilocybin research
- Nathan’s song Every Leaf
- Bell Hooks – author
- BOOK: Viktor Frankl – man’s search for meaning
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[00:00:00] Adam Healingfromhealing: That idea that 'I love to meditate, but only when people are looking.' I think it perfectly encapsulates the human development, healing, spiritual sin that is mediated by screens. So it's much more weight, to the appearances. What's really worth all the hard work if we can't monetize it, if we can't capitalize on it? Whether it's actual resources or social capital, if people don't perceive us in a certain way, then what's it worth?
[00:00:24] We can't stay in the yoga course forever as students. At some point, we have to make the transition into finding ways to monetize shit.
[00:00:32] Nathan Maingard: Do you ever feel trapped on the hamster wheel of never ending healing, exhausted and burnt out from being pulled in by every sign you see, yet still hoping that this time, this time you've found the magic pill to make it all better? Or, do you feel that deep gut churning embarrassment when you come across the latest light language, manifest your destiny, psycho spiritual new age healing modality, so popular in [00:01:00] today's social media, spirituality as performance culture?
[00:01:04] Thankfully I've got great news for you because today's episode is all about healing from healing.
[00:01:10] When you hear the words,
[00:01:11] We Are Already Free,
[00:01:12] what comes up for you? Acceptance. Change.
[00:01:15] It's a shift in awareness.
[00:01:16] Human beings are so powerful. There's so much more. Everything is love behind it. Breaking the chains of your own mind.
[00:01:23] That which remains.
[00:01:24] Nature. Getting out of the matrix. We're sitting on the treasure and it's already unlocked.
[00:01:29] We Are Already Free. You're free. You are a walking map. Have always been free. You are always free. Already free.
[00:01:36] We Are Already Free.
[00:01:38] Nathan Maingard: Welcome to We Are Already Free, the podcast empowering down to earth seekers to remember that they are already free. I'm Nathan Maingard, empowering wordsmith, guide and proud weirdo, and it's an honour to be here with you today.
[00:01:53] This episode welcomes guest Adam Andros, the man behind the popular Instagram page Healing [00:02:00] from Healing, which casts a critical, sceptical and humorous gaze at transformation and healing culture. His insights will challenge you to re look at your relationship to healing, social media and life itself.
[00:02:13] Adam is a doctoral candidate with a focus on medical anthropology and cultural psychiatry, an active member of the Medical Anthropology Research Center and part of the Ayahuasca Community Committee at the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. He spent more than four years conducting research and extensive fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon, where he also facilitated ayahuasca workshops in the context of shamanic and medical tourism.
[00:02:42] Adam is currently the Director of Therapeutics and Integration for Ray Precision Health, a wellness center in the Pacific coast of Mexico. He also facilitates preparation and integration processes in private practice and helps clients reframe healing within [00:03:00] relational and creative frameworks and a secular, humanistic, grounded, and open ended interpretive and epistemic orientation.
[00:03:09] In this episode, Adam shares why writers and artists are the closest thing to shamans that we have in the West, how our society always pushes us to monetize everything we do. What we should do, knowing that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. Why raising children at the end of the world might still be a good idea, or just a narcissistic trait.
[00:03:32] And near the end, Adam shares about the often missed importance of our relationships with others in health and happiness. Of course, as always, so, so much more. Find links to Healing from Healing's Instagram page, an exclusive bonus chat about Adam's conflicted relationship with social media, attention span, dopamine, and creating memes, plus heaps more.
[00:04:09] So I don't know if you've seen that meme. I was thinking about it when, when we were like coming up to this call, uh, you may have even created it, but I wasn't able to find it. And when I was looking online, it says, it's something like God grant me the confidence of a 24 year old life coach.
[00:04:27] Did you see that one?
[00:04:28] Adam Healingfromhealing: Yeah. I didn't make that one. No, but I like it.
[00:04:31] Nathan Maingard: Yeah, I just, I was chuckling about that earlier because, um, so I've kind of moved into life coaching or some kind of coaching in, in the last few years. And this serving in the space of transformation and of people on their journeys, uh, it's something I avoided. I avoided it for a really long time because I had such like uncomfortable feelings around things like life coaching.
[00:04:54] That was part of it. So I was a professional musician before, but, um, what I love about your [00:05:00] page is one of the many things is how you seem to have a real good skill for just poking directly into those uncomfortable places of like. Am I just taking people's money? And just like, am I a fake? Am I just ripping people off?
[00:05:15] And so I just love to hear what inspired you to start a meme page and specifically with the content that you share on it. That's the healing from healing vibe.
[00:05:27] Adam Healingfromhealing: Well, I mean, actually I also have a couple questions for you because I'm really interested, um, in, you know, what is, what is a life coach really like? What, or at least what it, what it is for you being a life coach. I mean, I like to poke fun at these things, but also I do have a lot of respect for everybody who is, you know, in this space of transformation, healing and trying to figure out, you know, like how to get the best of this both individual but also collective human experience. So it's, you know, it's an important caveat because sometimes people go into the page particularly when they're new and they think i'm just [00:06:00] shitting on everything, but that's not necessarily the case. Yeah, like this is a labor of love and this is something that is important to clarify.
[00:06:06] Yeah, like those, you know, just kind of sliding into your question, but um, you know, the intention is obviously not to Kind of provide an outside gaze and just destroy everything and, you know, talk shit about what people do. But actually, like, provide some, I guess, kind of, like, loving criticism and skeptical gaze that actually is meant, I imagine, exactly for, you know, people like you and I who are in this space and do the things that we do to become more self aware.
[00:06:36] What is it actually that we're offering and how can we do a little bit better by becoming aware also of the shadow parts of? You know, these intersections between human development, uh, healing, consumerism, neoliberal ideology, and so on and so forth. So, you know, what inspires me is my, my trajectory, my many years facilitating, [00:07:00] uh, experiences and processes in the same space.
[00:07:04] Specifically, I spent a lot of time in the rainforest in, in Peru. I was working in an ayahuasca retreat center for many, many years. So I was very much in touch with the, plant, medicine, psychedelic industry and all the narratives that are used for marketing. Like why, why would people want to fly all the way to the rainforest in Peru to drink a highly psychoactive brew that is also very physically uncomfortable and sometimes emotionally uncomfortable and all the things, right?
[00:07:36] So it has to be a good story behind it. Figuring out what those stories are and then poking holes at those stories kind of became the thing. I guess because, you know, in the most basic sense, I have a feeling that we need better stories. This is kind of like a quest for a better story of what it means to be healthy and happy individually and collectively in this sort of world.
[00:07:59] That we live [00:08:00] in and the sort of societies that we inhabit. Um, bringing in, perhaps, uh, threads of story or threads of narrative that aren't part of our stories quite yet. So, that's, I guess, more or less the answer that I have at this point of why.
[00:08:18] Nathan Maingard: so then I can answer your question by, with a follow up to what you've just said, because what you've just said around story, I just, it speaks to the deepest part of me. So since I was a little boy, as long as I can remember lyrics and, and story specifically lyrics and poetry.
[00:08:36] But, but specifically lyrics of songs has just been my obsession. Like I just, I remember so clearly when I was a child listening and I didn't understand that the sort of nuance of what someone was saying, but there was these images that it would start to form in my head of like these emotional pieces, but also.
[00:08:54] You know, in dream images, imaginations. And so I became a writer [00:09:00] myself as a lyricist, and I was a professional musician for 10 years, writing songs, et cetera. And, and I felt like there was a piece in there that was missing for me. And it was this calling. So what would happen, for example, my music is very sort of acoustic indie folk singer, songwriter.
[00:09:18] Deep and meaningful, very, very personal. And I realized the more personal I could write, the more courageously I could write personally, the more universal a song becomes, which I found very interesting. So the details are always unique and different that it's my experience, but the archetypal experiences are the same for everybody.
[00:09:36] And so then I would play a show, you know, often house concerts, playing in people's homes, very intimate. And I would witness people opening hearts, opening, connecting, crying, laughing transformation. Viva la transformacion, you know, like just, wow, this is amazing. And then I would see that they would go back into their lives and within hours or days or weeks, the sort of [00:10:00] structure of life would just pull them straight back into the old storyline, the old narrative of exactly who they were before.
[00:10:07] And so I realized that I, there was a calling in me to support people in what I now know to be integration. I didn't have the word for it then. But that's what I, over time felt this calling towards. And actually my first ever real teacher I sat with was a beautiful man in London. And he, he does, it's kind of life coaching is a label for it, but he did breath work and dream reading and counseling.
[00:10:34] And it was this whole combination of things that really helped me at a time when I was in deep struggle, deep pain. And. He said to me, after just a few sessions, he said, Nathan, I just want you to know that you could do this work that I'm doing that, which it's just immediately clear. And this was in 2010 and I refused and I walked away and I carried on with all my other things.
[00:10:54] And it took a lot of pain, a lot of self growth, and a lot of dark nights of the soul to come [00:11:00] around and let go of music as a career, at least in this moment in my life. And to move into this direction of sitting with people. In spaces and times of transformation. And I'll say one more thing about that around story.
[00:11:13] I think one of the mistakes I've seen in the current story, that has been running in the healing circles is that the butterfly is the destination. Like the enlightenment when the butterfly is only a part of a cyclical story that the butterfly lays an egg and then it dies. And then there's a caterpillar and the caterpillar into the cocoon.
[00:11:32] And each of those steps is beautiful and important. In fact, critical to the whole story. And so the story, the narrative that I'm Focusing on is I don't care if you're a butterfly, if you're, if you're a caterpillar, I just want to help you be the best caterpillar that to enjoy being a caterpillar and then just trust in the process of transformation that naturally is unfolding.
[00:11:55] So that's a short story about story.
[00:11:58] Adam Healingfromhealing: I really like Alan [00:12:00] Moore. I don't know if you come across Alan Moore. He's a comic writer. He wrote The Watchmen and all sorts of other comics. And, and he says that writers, well, artists in general, well, in general, but writers, lyricists, people who use language as a primary medium is the closest that we have.
[00:12:18] And we are, again, like a Western culture with a big W. And he says that writers, An artist, uh, the closest the Western culture has to shamans. Right, like that transformative quality of words when channeled through an appropriate medium, right, that can really have that impact that shamanism in more traditional societies has in the sense of guiding a particular process of growth transformation, both for the individual but also for the community in which we are embedded.
[00:12:54] So, you know, that, that, like, actually, that. step from musician [00:13:00] lyricist towards guide coach of transformative processes is not far fetched, right? Like, there's kind of like a logical continuation, I find, and a very, very tight relationship between both. So, you know, that's something that I always also...
[00:13:16] Very much gravitated towards. Language has always been my primary medium of expression, whether by writing or poetry. Um, oral communication is one of my favorite things. I was, uh, I was a tour guide. This is from back in the day, but, uh, one of my best favorite jobs that I ever had. Probably 10 years or 12 years ago, I was living in Barcelona when I was a graduate student and I was going to graduate school at the same time in order to be able to Maintain myself through graduate school.
[00:13:45] I was a tour guide an urban urban tour guide. Basically, it's kind of like, um, a very simple job whereas You take people for a walk you know around the old town of barcelona and basically tell them stories right about like that building and that thing and drawing from [00:14:00] culture and history and um You know, it's not it's not something that I sought But something that kind of like fell in my lap and I said why not and I hated it in the beginning and then after three four five times I completely fell in love with that medium of oral storytelling.
[00:14:14] And I found an incredible sense of power in being able to hold people's attention, right? Like, people would, like, just be listening for two hours, two and a half hours to the stories. And there's, like, a very, very strong gravitational pull towards that kind of, um, for me, you know, towards that kind of activity, right?
[00:14:37] In which, like, really the medium of language is the primary one to be able to convey an idea. And so on and so forth. Um, social media is different. You know, like the power of memes is, I think, an incredibly beautiful and incredibly destructive thing. I mean, you know, it's not necessarily the thing that we want to, you know, pause for too long [00:15:00] on.
[00:15:00] But obviously, the, you know, Marshall McLuhan has kind of this very strong statement, right? Like the medium is the message. And I think like social media as a medium is a tragedy. But at the same time, I think, you know, We are living in times where we need to make the best of what we have at hand. So, you know, memes become kind of like another form in which certain messages or certain ideas can be put across, um, you know, and I think we're trying to exploit that to the best of its capacity, but being hyper aware that the medium itself is very limited in the sense that, you know, the short form, the snippets of information, the snippets of wisdom, the you know, You know, scrolling around like you stop on something you read it.
[00:15:43] Okay, that's cool. And then you move on to the next thing and completely forget about the thing. Um, you know, we're experimenting with different media, you know, in order to be able to precisely kind of embody that shamanic, that deeply shamanic attribute that language has to like really be able to [00:16:00] You know in the most basic sense, you know, like change the state of consciousness of the person is receiving that particular communication
[00:16:08] Nathan Maingard: that's what I think you do so well, at least from my perspective is you do that so well with memes because you embody at least in, in a lot of them. And I know your captions are often a little more. Sort of deeper and more expansive and nuanced, but often the memes are basically jester energy.
[00:16:25] Like they're just pure trickster where they point is like the one who just points at all the things that the court doesn't want to look at in themselves. And you do it in this, like that is such a critical role, especially right now when social media breeds this sense of display, the sort of peacock, peacocking showing like, Oh, look how beautiful I am by my stuff.
[00:16:50] And you're just like pointing straight into the darkest shadow where people don't want to look. And it just, it just tickles me, man. I love it.
[00:16:59] Adam Healingfromhealing: Yeah, I [00:17:00] appreciate that. I think, you know, there's a there's a lot. There's a lot to criticize in the spheres that we move in. Um, and humor is, in my opinion, the only vehicle that can really get. I mean, I love the trickster archetype. I think the trickster archetype is It's probably the one that I gravitate towards the most.
[00:17:15] Sometimes, you know, in Jungian terms, in depth psychology terms, sometimes my trickster archetype can definitely become, uh, inflated, in the sense that I over identify with it, in times when perhaps seriousness or a different sort of energy can be, uh, more useful. But, you know, it's part of the learning process.
[00:17:35] I do agree with you that tricksters, you know, are, tricksters make culture. In many ways, and humor is the best vehicle. You know, the tagline in my in my personal page always is, um, if you want to, if you want to tell people the truth, you have to make them laugh. Otherwise they will kill you. And I'm not sure who that quotes attributed to, but I found it to be very, very, very prescient.
[00:17:57] Nathan Maingard: I have a friend, roamanmusic. [00:18:00] He's from Italy and he released a song sometime ago called. I think, or the Kundalini song, everyone ends up calling it. And it's Kundalini, Kundalini, Kundalini, Kundalini, Kundalini. Did I mention Kundalini? Does that one's not, do you know that
[00:18:15] Adam Healingfromhealing: come across enough. It sounds great.
[00:18:18] Nathan Maingard: Man, dude. It's, it's basically like your entire, everything you do around the memes. He, he, he just points it all out in one song of like, you know, I, I love to meditate, but only when someone is looking.
[00:18:31] Adam Healingfromhealing: Yes.
[00:18:32] Nathan Maingard: and it's just this whole piece around that. It's amazing. Anyway, I'll send it to you after this.
[00:18:37] Adam Healingfromhealing: Yeah, I mean, I, I, I love that, right? Like the, that, like that, that sentence you just said, like that idea that I love to meditate, but only when people are looking. I think it perfectly encapsulates the cultural zeitgeist, kind of, you know, human development, healing, spiritual sin that is mediated by screens, right?
[00:18:57] So it's much more weight, not necessarily to the actual [00:19:00] inner work, but to the appearances, you know, like what, what, what really, what, what's really worth. All the hard work. If we can't monetize it, if we can't capitalize on it, whether it's like actual resources or social capital, if people don't perceive us in a certain way, then what's it worth?
[00:19:19] I mean, we can't we can't stay in the yoga course forever as students. At some point, we have to make the transition into finding ways to monetize shit. And, you know, this is something that actually. Probably I don't stress enough in my page. What is, you know, kind of one of the main messages that actually is very important to make explicit.
[00:19:38] I'm I'm I'm almost never making fun of individual people. Yeah, I mean, sometimes I will punching up to, you know, absurd characters in our, you know, kind of wider spheres. Yeah, like I'm gonna name names, but, you know, certain kind of comedians turned proto fascists, whatever. But, the point is, like, Not necessarily to poke [00:20:00] fun or, you know, like really go hard on individual people, but understanding that all of these things, all of these phenomena, right, are results of certain structural problems.
[00:20:11] Yeah, like it's not, it's not, it's not the fault of the 20 something, you know, yoga teacher that flew all the way to Rishikesh to do a three week TTC and then after 300 hours, you know, she has this diploma that she's now a certified yoga teacher and then she goes back home and then she runs kind of like these utterly absurd yoga sessions with regurgitated wisdom of things she doesn't even start to understand. I mean, yeah You know, it's great that there's you know, like a person that can lead a calisthenics class But they pretend that now she's a spiritual authority on yoga, but again like You know, the point is like we can point out this phenomenon, which are very, very, very, very widespread without necessarily making it about like that person as a moral failure of that particular person, but something that actually is much more ingrained in the structures in which that person is participating, right?
[00:20:57] There's a lot of stress that has to do with [00:21:00] Neoliberalism and the way that our, you know, uh, late stage capitalist societies always push us towards monetizing every single thing that we do and to get certain credentials and to pretend, you know, there's, there's a lot, a lot, a lot of things that have led that person towards that delusion that she is now a spiritual authority when she's 24, she doesn't speak Sanskrit, so on and so forth.
[00:21:22] there's that video that is great, you know, from I think it's influencers in the wild, which is one of my favorite pages on instagram. And there's kind of like that
[00:21:28] Nathan Maingard: Oh my God.
[00:21:29] Adam Healingfromhealing: video, right? I'm like, I like this very young woman that you see things probably somewhere in Tulum or Bali.
[00:21:37] pretending to meditate and you know, her hand is in a mudra and her eyes is closed. But obviously, the phone is on the other hand. And then those are videos that are everywhere in social media. I mean, you will see every spiritual influencer, every yoga teacher, like, you know, a big bulk of the content that they create has to do with like that image of like their spiritual practice, right?
[00:21:56] Like the like, like the kind of projection that they want others to [00:22:00] perceive so they will, you know, get more work or But when you, when you think like the third person perspective and somebody else is filming with a different cell phone and you actually see, right, like this, her own cell phone in her own hand and like you get like the whole perspective of like just that snippet, then it becomes so ridiculous, so absurd, right, that it's kind of like very cringeworthy.
[00:22:21] And I think like this is exactly, you know, one of the things that. A page like mine or other pages are trying to do is kind of provide that bird's eye view. That is not only the curated snippet of what that spirituality looks like projected outwards, but that we're actually seeing also, like that other hand, taking the selfie and the pretense and how absurd these things are.
[00:22:41] But again, not necessarily pointing there's a moral failure of that particular person, but understanding her in the, in the much wider context of what are the cultural, political, social forces that are related to that particular moment. And I think that's like the most interesting, most important and more honest thing to do, right?
[00:22:57] Like, hey, like, it's okay. Like, we got your back. You're [00:23:00] going to grow out of it, bro. So we need to understand. Yeah. How can we do these things in a little bit more conscious, more politically conscious way?
[00:23:08] Nathan Maingard: this is reminding me of, I had another guest on named Dougald Heinz, who's written a book called at work in the ruins. And he's basically had a lifelong, he's been a lifelong writer and a climate activist. And he's kind of, his whole thing is like, maybe it's time we stopped talking about saving the world and work out what is worth doing at the end of the world.
[00:23:31] And I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on that because from his perspective, he's kind of had a big shift where. He's saying maybe the world as it is, isn't worth saving. And we need to actually let go of this idea of saving the world or whatever the story we have about this, this kind of hero complex in a way of like, we're going to rescue ourselves from, and actually acknowledge that things are in free fall right now and we cannot see where it's going and so what's worth doing,[00:24:00]
[00:24:00] in the ruins of society. And I would just love to hear you speak on that.
[00:24:04] Adam Healingfromhealing: I mean, this is such a complicated and painful topic. Yeah, but I I think I went through my whole process with these ideas throughout my years in the Amazon rainforest and working with ayahuasca in particular. And there is a very common narrative in the plant medicine world, that I don't know if it's still relevant.
[00:24:26] I think a lot of people are actually seeing through it. But back in the day, I remember still, you know, like, this idea that ayahuasca is going to save the world. Psychedelics are going to save the world. Like, we have, like, the most important potent tools in the history of mankind, and we're going to use them, and people are going to awaken to the truth of who they are, and the relationship to the world, and we're going to be able to somehow shift the tides of history and post industrial society.
[00:24:49] and save the world. And I, when I was younger, I fully bought into this idea. And I think that's one of the main reasons why it's very cold to the Amazon and keep working with [00:25:00] ayahuasca. And like, like we have to bring the medicine to the world. We have to bring the medicine to the people. And as time went by, my feelings about it started to shift, not only because of the absurdity of Kind of like ingraining, you know, these tools and these practices that belong to very different ontologies and very different epistemologies, which is to say, you know, very different ways of understanding what the world is and who inhabits this world and how do we make sense of this world.
[00:25:32] Um, but rather in the sense that I felt that perhaps this was not necessarily the main message that plant medicines were trying to pass on to humanity in this moment. And I started more seeing plant medicines as palliative care, a way to, in a sense, sensitize more people to, uh, to bring forth [00:26:00] more compassion and more self-awareness about the deep, deep, deep reality of the Anthropocene.
[00:26:06] And, you know, like you said, the fact that we are in free fall, the fact that if you actually look at environmental science and most of them, you know, kind of like planetary markers for, you know, sustainability, the biosphere and so on and so forth. I mean, we're way past the point of no return in most things that are important.
[00:26:27] And, you know, when, when people think about these things, it's very easy to bypass this information because the actual impact of fully embodying that knowledge is devastating. Yeah, like it's, it's just, well, so I mean, what do we do? What do we do now, knowing that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction?
[00:26:49] What do we do with the knowledge that, you know, climate collapse is pretty much inevitable? What do we do with the knowledge that, um, There is no going back [00:27:00] to the things that, at least, at least to the thing, the way that things were. And if there is a shred of hope that things can be different, then that will entail a massive, massive, massive recalibration.
[00:27:12] Of how we live life in this planet, right? Like our hypermobility living more locally letting go of a whole lot of comforts at least, you know in post industrial western societies. So I started you know I I started feeling that plant medicines were actually pointing out towards a deeper much more painful truth Which were like you guys have had your time under the sun And it's time to move on.
[00:27:38] It's time for this planet to move on to the next form of perhaps more intelligent life forms or more, you know, developed sentience because you guys fucked it up and you are going extinct. Like this is the end of the road and whether it's 10 years or 20 years or three generations It doesn't really matter.
[00:27:57] It seems it seems like that might [00:28:00] be I mean again, like I am very very Hyper aware that this might also be a massive projection from my part and that's absolutely not necessarily what's going to happen But it feels to me like that's you know At least what is being communicated to me or what my own psyche is kind of trying to make sense of it's like How can we create compassionate ways to be able to communicate these things to hold space, right? Like this is, this is like, you know, it is really interesting because one of, one of the kinda like seminal psychedelic studies that kind of first blew up the psychedelic scene into the mainstream was the John Hopkins, uh, study, right?
[00:28:36] Like even psilocybin into people that were dying. Like people who are already kinda like in the later stages of terminal diseases or you know, kinda like lessen the anxiety of that last ultimate transition, the great mystery into the beyond. And how can psychedelics be actually very useful in providing people with a different perspective on what dying means.
[00:28:55] And I think, you know, extrapolating from that, I think that's pretty much what plant [00:29:00] medicines are doing in this very moment, just in a much more widespread civilization wide. Ways like hey, like you guys are transitioning out of this particular model I mean, it doesn't mean that humanity is going to go extinct forever, right?
[00:29:13] But definitely the model of post industrial civilization completely dependent on fossil fuels, you know the exponential growth that is inherent to the you know, kind of neoliberal late capitalist Economic model like all of those things are you know, just not gonna be Not gonna stay. So, you know, developing the compassion, the capacity for holding like really painful ideas and really painful realities, uh, you know, without bypassing them, being present for them, feeling the grief and the fear and the horror and the terror and the beauty of all of it and being able to provide that comfort.
[00:29:52] And that's, you know. Um, space for others who are just awakening to the really grim [00:30:00] realities and truths of the historical moment of the Anthropocene. So I think that was kind of a really long winded answer to your question, but I think, you know, in a very real sense, we are in a stage of palliative care and a lot of people are needed who can actually hold that space to lessen the suffering and lessen the anxiety and lessen the dread of what's to come in the next few decades.
[00:30:21] Nathan Maingard: I find it interesting with plant medicine because it's, it's obviously like a waking dream. It's connecting to the, the con not, not the logical brain. I find that I've had this thought and I, okay, I don't, I'm like, have so many things I want to take this to, but, but what's coming up now is.
[00:30:38] I had this insight and it might be true or false, but I had the insight that what we call sanity is forgetfulness. So it's basically the universe forgetting that it is everything all at once forever. And then I call that Nathan or call it Adam or whoever's listening right now. That's the, that's what we call sanity.
[00:30:57] And then something like plant medicine or a [00:31:00] transformational experience is, is taking the blinders off and actually, is what we would call insanity because suddenly the filters have been removed and the entire reality comes flowing in, which is, can't be sane because being sane is only having the one perspective.
[00:31:17] So within that, one of the things that I've been shown. Quite clearly was plant medicine was like, you should have a kid with your lady, like, like very clear. It was like, you guys need, and I, and we, we, at first, when we got together, we were not, that was like, not, not on the cards, but now we're like, all right, and this has been years.
[00:31:34] That was years ago that I had that vision and we've been kind of working on ourselves, working together and, and this life. And there's a part of me that goes, well, that's clearly an, an insane thought because of everything you've just shared. So I'm just curious to hear from you around that.
[00:31:50] Adam Healingfromhealing: Yeah, man, I mean, it's, it's, yeah, I, I, for most of my life, I thought that I wouldn't [00:32:00] be a father. Uh, not because I didn't want to, but because I thought that there's no point. Yeah, like I, I think, you know, since a very young age, I kind of had an awareness that whatever the future holds is not something that is worth bringing children to.
[00:32:17] And that idea changed radically for me also, um, in the last few years. And I can't really pinpoint exactly to what was it that changed my mind. But I think in a very real sense, it's kind of like a continuation of the last thought that we were developing. In the sense that, actually, You know, whether, um, humanity is in the last throes, or the world is dying, or we're gonna make it, either way, that transition is going to require people that are well equipped to be able to deal with the horror, and the terror, and the beauty, and the social turmoil, [00:33:00] and everything that is going to, to, you know, to entail that transition.
[00:33:05] And... My daughter, my daughter is now 13, 13 months old. And yeah, thank you. And, you know, every, every morning I, I wake up and I play with her and I look into her eyes and, and there's so much love and so much beauty and so much fear that I never, never imagined that I would experience. Like having a child is most, the most beautiful and the most horrifying thing that I can think of that has ever happened to me at the very least, precisely because of that idea.
[00:33:42] I have no fucking idea what kind of world she's going to inherit in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. What's her life gonna be like? Is she gonna be meshed in water wars for the whole of her existence? sometimes I do feel an immense sense of both [00:34:00] responsibility but also I don't know exactly if it's guilt.
[00:34:05] I think there's some guilt in there by looking into her eyes and i'm like you have no idea Like like, you know, kind of like I tell her in my heart. I mean Yeah, I mean, you know, I you have no you have no idea what you're getting yourself into by being born in this particular time and place, but at the same time, and maybe this is where a little bit of the narcissistic part comes in.
[00:34:24] I mean, they say like, you know, being a parent always entails that narcissistic drive. Like, well, I want to perpetuate my genes. I want to perpetuate the human race, whatever. But, you know, there's also a narcissistic part, I guess, of me and my wife that was very conscious, very consciously made that choice.
[00:34:40] And we were like, you know what, regardless of what happens, this world is going to need people that are prepared. These people are going to be, this world is going to need people that have the emotional capacity to be able to deal with whatever happens. These people are going to need, this world is going to need people who, um, you know, [00:35:00] have the right set of eyes to be able to see what is needed and then act accordingly.
[00:35:06] Whether it's politically or scientifically or technologically or socially. And. To some extent, I am confident in me and my wife's abilities to raise a child that can rise to the occasion. And again, like this is perhaps a narcissistic thing to say. I think there's, there's, there's a degree of that, but it's true, right?
[00:35:29] I mean, like, and maybe it's just like rationalization for, you know, like, why would you bring a child into the world in this particular moment in time? And like, yeah, I agree with that. And maybe it's the rationalization. Well. Maybe I'm gonna raise her, you know, to be a good person in a moment where the world will need her most.
[00:35:45] So, um, you know, that's kind of like my answer to that. I have no idea what kind of world she's going to grow up in five years, 10 years, 20 years, three years from now. But I, I believe that, you know, between me and my wife and my, you know, my brother, family and my social [00:36:00] circle, we can make a good job into preparing her for what's to come, whatever that is. But also there's a sense of guilt.
[00:36:10] Nathan Maingard: No, I hear you. I mean, that's what I'm considering now is like, is, is it morally correct to bring someone into the world knowing what I know and then I've. Like the, the, the process you've described is one that Carly and I have been through as well. And really there's a line that came through in a song that I wrote.
[00:36:27] And this was actually after my first five gram magic mushroom dose sacred mushrooms, where I had been in a very dark space for quite a long time and was seeking something to help me to, to move through. And I had that experience of the death of the ego. I went out into this frequency of light and color and love and just like, Oh, what a relief.
[00:36:48] Like everything is love. Everything's forgiven. And then, and then I came back and the next day I woke up, I was still depressed. I still didn't know what to do with my life. I was like, okay, well, well now what? I thought that was supposed to heal [00:37:00] it, like fix me. And. And then I went and sat outside and just started like looking at a tree and playing some music.
[00:37:06] And the song came through and one of the lines in the song, and it's so interesting to me because I'm kind of a nerd about interesting, clever lyrics that are unexpected and, you know, have multiple layers. And that's kind of the stuff that gets me excited. And this line in that song is generally the line I've been most emotional about when I sing it.
[00:37:25] And the line is, is simply this. It's saying that, you know, I'm basically looking at a leaf in the song and the leaf is It's showing me things and telling me things. And, and the line is that what it's showing me is that life always finds a way that's the line. It's the simplest line. But even now, as I said, I have goosebumps and there's something in that, that just reminds me that life doesn't give a fuck about extinction events.
[00:37:49] And like these, it's like life is like, yeah, man, it's all within a day's work. And so that's when I think. That life wants to come through me. Life wants to continue through me and through my partner and through our [00:38:00] partnership and life wants to know itself through that. I believe that that's what I feel called to.
[00:38:04] And as you say so beautifully, maybe I'm just a fucking narcissist, but anyway, that's the story I I'm telling myself.
[00:38:10] Adam Healingfromhealing: Yeah, I mean, I get it. I think, I think, you know, that's, that's, that's probably a healthy approach to things. Yeah, you know, it's something that I also have to repeat to myself oftentimes, perhaps trying to convince me, right? That, you know, there's nothing inherent in the human DNA that says that this particular configuration of atoms and biology and, you know, it's gonna Last forever.
[00:38:32] There's every, you know, 99. 99999% of every species that has ever inhabited this planet is already extinct. It seems that that's the way of life, right? And, you know, if the way of life really is that, you know, humanity needs to make way for another form of sentience to emerge, and our role really is to be kind of the death doulas of a dying civilization in order for the next stage of evolution to take hold, then so be it.
[00:38:57] I am very happy to embrace that. And this is, you know, [00:39:00] kind of like... A big part of that same argument, right? Again, I mean, life will always find a way. That's, you know. It's incredible when, when you're driving and, I see these plants peeping out of cracks in the asphalt and it's like how tenacious, right?
[00:39:17] Like, like that seed, that plant is like emerging like the most unlikely situations. So, yeah, I mean, I'm very much an optimist in that sense. It may not appear, you know, first glance, but I'm very, I'm very much an optimist in a in a macro level. Yeah, I do feel that there's nothing inherently, tragic in the great scheme of things, right?
[00:39:42] There's nothing inherently tragic in whatever transition or transformation we're going through. Um, because I do have trust that there is kind of like a higher process happening, whether we're aware of it or not. I think there's a lot of room for micro tragedies, which, you know, in most [00:40:00] particularly when those tragedies are unnecessary and they entail unnecessary human suffering, but it's not necessarily spiritualized or cosmic in an evolutionary way, we're just like human inflicted on other humans. I think there's a lot of tragic, uh, instances like that.
[00:40:14] But, you know, my optimism perhaps is more religious in that sense that I do feel that whatever process is happening is probably, you know, for the best in many different ways. So I'm pessimistic. I'm pessimistic in the short term in terms of like the actual outcome of humanity in this particular moment of history.
[00:40:35] I do think that things are going to get much worse before they get better, and that's probably going to entail a lot of suffering for a lot of people. Whether it's, you know, forest migrations, water wars, um, so on and so forth. in that regard, I am pessimistic. I don't think, I don't think that we're gonna kind of, there's not gonna be kind of like a magical artifact just landing in here and kind of changing the course of history and, you know, people drinking ayahuasca all over the world and holding [00:41:00] hands and singing kumbaya and figuring out that we can actually live differently, I think.
[00:41:03] Again, like, you know, we're probably gonna go through a lot of entropy and destruction before, you know, the next step kind of like starts to take hold, but, you know, optimistic in the greater picture. Yeah, like this particular historical time, you know, being kind of like a wink of an eye on cosmic time that doesn't really have much relevance in the greater scheme of things.
[00:41:25] But also I have hope. And this is a good distinction that I learned not long ago. I don't remember where from, uh, but you know, I'm a, I'm a practical pessimist, but very hopeful. I think hope is different than the actual prediction of what an outcome is going to be. I don't think that the future looks great, but at the same time, I think hope is a moral imperative that everybody has to embody.
[00:41:47] Like, we need to be hope, because if there is a chance that things can be better, then we need to hold that image. We need to hold that, um, idea. We need to be able to be [00:42:00] driven by hope and not by despair. Towards even if even if it means dancing at the edge of the precipice Then we're gonna be dancing all the way down instead of despairing all the way down,
[00:42:10] Nathan Maingard: Well, it's amazing. You say dancing at the edge of the precipice because you immediately got me thinking about the tarot card of the fool where he is dancing at the edge of a cliff, right? With his, I think his dog's next to him and he looks so carefree, but he's at the edge of a cliff. And the question is, does he realize what he's doing?
[00:42:27] But then the full circle of that. The completion of the, the tarot cycle is the world where you have again, a figure dancing, but that figure is elevated by balancing the two parts of itself, the light and the shadow. So it's gone from the ignorance of the fool, which is beautiful. It's innocence. It's complete.
[00:42:44] It's, it's almost enlightened because it's ignorant, but then it splits into the space of the light and the shadow. And. You know, each one having its own positives and negatives, and then returning to that state of dancing consciously in the space of reality. [00:43:00] And that, that is the kind of completion is being conscious in the creative journey as it's happening, whatever it looks like.
[00:43:05] Adam Healingfromhealing: Yeah, I mean, I you know One of the things that I always liked a lot about the fool is precisely that idea that you know He's dancing at the edge of the precipice But you know, he has no fear and he has no fear because he doesn't know that he should have fear Either either way, whatever the outcome is, right?
[00:43:22] He's fine. Whether he Whether he, you know, the dog, I mean, I think like most of the depictions have like the dog actually pulling him back. Like, like the dog is kind of like nipping at his ankles, kind of trying to actually drive him away from the precipice. Well, you know, in that state of ignorance, you know, ignorance is bliss, kind of one of our archetypal cliches.
[00:43:42] Even if he falls down, right? Like, well, maybe there's gonna be like one second of fear as he goes down. But, you know, he's dead. The, the, the vast majority of human suffering Comes not from the suffering itself, but from the expectation of suffering. And that's a thing that perhaps only self [00:44:00] aware, hyper rational creatures like humans have.
[00:44:02] Which is maybe one of the reasons why anxiety is such a widespread malady of modernity, right? And you know, what kind of symmetry, I'm not, I'm not a big fan of activity in a general sense. I think there's a lot of gaslighting going on there. But you know, kind of one of the, one of the primary ideas that, you know, to work with a person with anxiety is like, well, you know, like make, make journal, like throughout the course of like all, you know, throughout the course of a day and then a week and so on.
[00:44:26] So journal all the things that pop into your mind that are kind of creating that sense of anxiety. And then you kind of get, write them down. And then eventually the goal is that when you look back at those things, you realize that The vast majority of those things are things that never come to be. Not only that, right, but those that actually do come to be turn out to be less horrible than you thought they would be.
[00:44:46] Right, so the idea is that actually the expectation of a bad outcome is much more painful and much more distressing than the actual bad outcome itself. So even if that fool fell over the cliff, right, like, it's not a big deal because he doesn't know that [00:45:00] he should be afraid. If he was constantly afraid, oh, like, you know, I'm gonna go through life.
[00:45:04] You know, afraid and anxious that perhaps somebody is gonna push me off the cliff. That would be a different story.
[00:45:09] Nathan Maingard: it reminds me of how children with their nervous systems, you know, before the age of six or seven, where they're still polishing their nervous systems and working out, learning socially, how am I supposed to be in the world? And I saw a video recently where, again, a video on social media, so that's, who knows, but, uh, this child falls over.
[00:45:28] They climb, there's a young child crawling on some rocks and they fall over and the parent is sort of narrating saying in this moment, many people will, will panic and go, Oh my God, you've hurt and run to the child and she, but observing in the video, the parent just says, Hey, how you doing? And the kid's like.
[00:45:45] And it gives the kid the opportunity, like the fool who fell off the cliff to be like, how do I feel? And the kid's completely relaxed about it because the parent is completely relaxed and everyone continues and has a beautiful day. And I thought that was a beautiful illustration of what you're just talking about.
[00:45:59] Adam Healingfromhealing: This is [00:46:00] something that I experience every day with my kids. I mean, you know, me and my wife are very similar in many ways, but there's definitely a difference in the degree of, I guess, anxiety that we have towards, you know, our daughter getting hurt. And I mean, it's not very extreme, but you know, like oftentimes, for example, I mean, I Just before we just before we had this conversation, you and I, I was in the beach with my with my kid.
[00:46:24] I oftentimes take her in the mornings just to hang out by the beach and so on and so forth. She's 13 months old. She's barely walking. She doesn't know how to swim or anything. But you know, she has no, she has no fear, like zero fear. Like she has no fear about anything. Yesterday actually was the first thing that, the first time that I saw her afraid of something, and it was just kind of like this dinosaur muppet that was in the, in the mall.
[00:46:48] And she goes, so I was like, what the fuck is that? Um, but you know, like she, she was just going to the water. I mean, it's the ocean, right? Like you can't just let her like do whatever. But you know, [00:47:00] there's, there's definitely a degree of difference in how much I'm willing to let her, Going to the water and perhaps like a, you know, uh, a bigger wave kind of like deeper over and maybe she's gonna swallow a little bit of water and she's gonna be a little freaked out.
[00:47:14] Uh, but you know, she gets up, she, she learns something about the world in that interaction with the world that perhaps there are forces of nature that are greater than her own will to do whatever she wants. Um, that, you know, swallowing water is not ideal, but also it's not a big deal if it happens, well, you know, to some extent.
[00:47:33] Uh, you know, my wife is much more prone to actually go and try and pick her up every time that a wave is coming, right? So it's a bay. It's not like there's not massive waves. It's like a very gentle ocean, you know, and she will pick her up. And we have this conversation often. I'm like, Hey, maybe just let her like.
[00:47:51] You know, get a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit wetter up her nose and, you know, tripped over by a wave and, you know, probably that's good for her to actually [00:48:00] learn that, you know, the waves can be, you know, violent to some extent and that it's, it's good to, you know, and we kind of gravitate back and forth, she will pick her up and then I will put her down and I will let her wave kind of trip her over and so on and so forth.
[00:48:14] So, yeah, I mean, you know, that's kind of like, yeah. I guess the duality between wanting to spare suffering and pain from somebody that you love, but at the same time having kind of like that different maturity, I don't know if maturity is the right word, but kind of like a different sense of groundedness to let them actually experience the whole range of human experiences, not only the positive, beautiful, happy ones, but also like, hey, you know, if you want to be a full human, then you got to get kicked in the ass every once in a while.
[00:48:42] That's just what it is.
[00:48:44] Nathan Maingard: Well, it's interesting you say that because in a way it seems like a lot of what I'm witnessing in society right now is a sense of almost like hand holding for people where there's a real, Oh, you feel. You were upset by that. Oh, you must be trauma that traumatized [00:49:00] you, you know, that's not good at all.
[00:49:01] And there's this, this real big story around trauma and around, and I'm not denying it all people's trauma. And I think all of us are walking around now with generational trauma in many, either as the perpetrators or the victims or both, or so, so all that is real. And many of us are operating with these nervous systems that have been epigenetically constructed to be a bit more fragile.
[00:49:24] And at the same time, it's like, I feel like I want more of those experiences in our society, more support for the experiences of letting people walk into the ocean and get hit by a few waves and be like, see, see, you're okay. Look, they keep breathing. You're okay. Like, and that to me is the thing. Like when I do an ice bath, like an ice bath is that for me is, is where one of the ways that I consciously get very uncomfortable and I'm like, Oh my God, I'm totally handling this.
[00:49:52] Anyway, how do you think about that?
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[00:50:26] an ice bath is that for me is, is where one of the ways that I consciously get very uncomfortable and I'm like, Oh my God, I'm totally handling this.
[00:50:35] Anyway, how do you think about that?
[00:50:37] Adam Healingfromhealing: Well, there's a good term for that. Actually, it's called Hormesis, you come across that word. So, Hormesis is precisely, you know, kind of like that physio psychological process of becoming more resilient through weathering adversity or through going, going through difficult things on purpose to kind of emerge from the other side stronger and with a, [00:51:00] you know, stronger sense of our own capacity to actually withstand discomfort and hardship.
[00:51:06] So, you know, the ice bath, the, the sweat lodges at temascal in many ways, the many initiations, you know, in traditional societies are precisely geared towards that sense of hormesis. Is kind of one of the ways in which people become adults, right? Like, which is no, there's no other way to become an adult or than really becoming more confident that we have the tools and skills and strength and resilience necessary to withstand adversity. I mean, the world is inherently traumatic.
[00:51:38] This is one of the things that I oftentimes talk about with people. I mean, you know, when I'm working with somebody, for example, one on one, then it's not necessarily about how to create a life to shield ourselves from suffering or pain, but actually how to become adults that can deal with the whole range of human experience without getting completely knocked out every time [00:52:00] that we have to deal with something difficult or uncomfortable.
[00:52:02] And I guess, you know, this is one of the things that Is very tricky in the modern Healing milieu and like the modern healing zeitgeist see that there seems to be kind of like two polarized schools of thought that correlate to some extent with political spectrums. Not not not exactly but there's some overlap, you know, like there's people that are more inclined towards Personal responsibility as a primary thing, you know, like your own, you will, you will hear these cliches a lot in the healing, you know, medicine world.
[00:52:33] Like the only thing that matters is your own personal transformation. The best gift that you can offer the world is your own personal healing. Nothing else matters. Uh, sometimes there's even derogative things. Oh, like those political activists, they haven't done their own personal work. So they're just perpetuating the same thing that they're trying to do.
[00:52:50] True to some extent, you know, but not necessarily so. So, you know, this is a school of thought that, for example, very much high values, hormesis and resilience, it's [00:53:00] important for us to become adults. Like, we don't want to be coddled forever. people need to become capable and self reliant and all those things.
[00:53:07] Kind of like a more, you know, let's say, libertarian view of the individual as a primary unit of analysis, but also agency. And then on the other side, like people are, you know, gravitate more towards kind of the leftist side of politics. We're naturally inclined towards seeing individuals not necessarily as the locus of agency and so on, but actually like as results of bigger forces that are at play.
[00:53:32] Like this is a postmodern, postmodern condition, right? Like, oh, like the individual is just kind of like a passive outcome of these other forces. There are structural, there are beyond the capacity of that individual for agency, like, you know, and when you take those ideas to the extreme, then you also come with a very particular idea, uh, that completely denies personal responsibility, which is a lot of what we're seeing now in the more leftist side of the spectrum, right?
[00:53:59] Like, [00:54:00] Oh, like, well, we shouldn't like really be hard on individuals. We shouldn't be like really blaming persons because they don't really have a choice. They're just victims of the circumstances. That's. So on and so forth. So what we know, whatever, whatever those circumstances are, changes according to what kind of society and community and so on and so forth.
[00:54:16] But you know, there's a lot of there's a lot of Scenes within that particular silent spectrum where resilience is a bad word, right? Like, you can't talk about resilience, like, oh, like, we shouldn't be talking about resilience because we shouldn't, like, that individual shouldn't even have to be enduring the sort of oppression and violence that is inherent to the system.
[00:54:35] Um, you know, uh, that personal responsibility. Well, no, like that person is not personally responsible because, you know, they didn't choose their trauma and they didn't choose, uh, you know, to be born in such a situation like, okay, well, you know, both sides have a point. But also both sides taken to the last logical conclusions of that particular approach, uh, become absurd because we know right that the [00:55:00] world is complex and individuals are complex and both things can be true to some extent.
[00:55:05] Yeah, like we understand that individuals are results of wider structures that we are. You know, by a big, you know, to some extent, for a very big extent, shaped, right, by the community that we're part of, by the economic system that we're embedded within, by the society that we're about, the language that we speak.
[00:55:23] I mean, there's so many things that create a particular experience embodied within that individual. But at the same time, you know, this is, some people will debate this. I personally don't debate this. But at the same time, we also know that as individuals, we do have free will. We have agency. We have a degree to say, you know what?
[00:55:40] Actually, I can transcend whatever circumstances, you know, I was born in or whatever, because I have that sense of agency, of individual, you know, uh, intentionality. Yeah. Like that. Very, very, you know, the very things that perhaps make us human. Intentionality, agency, like that capacity to be an agent in the [00:56:00] world.
[00:56:00] We are not at the mercy of forces. Right. But actually we have. Something to say, it's kind of like the transition from the postmodern to the existential philosophical view. Yeah, I mean, yes, we don't choose our circumstances. We will have a very limited range of action within that scope, but at the same time, it is 100% our responsibility to decide and choose what it is that we do.
[00:56:21] With what we were given, right? How do we play the hand that we were dealt and I think this is where sometimes there's a mismatch like people are completely denied the social reality and the cultural reality in the political reality of things like, Oh, like every individual is able to pull themselves with the bootstraps regardless of the circumstances.
[00:56:36] And each person has, you know, like a full agency instance for this is an absurd. Ridiculous stance, but at the same time, the opposite is also absurd and ridiculous, which is like, Oh, like, you know, the person doesn't really have any say. They're all we're all just victims of our circumstances and results of whatever structures and so on.
[00:57:00] but tethered to reality. Tethered to social reality, to political reality, to the environmental reality. Yeah, like this is, I think, probably kind of like the main thing with like the healing sphere or like the personal development spiritual thing is that there's oftentimes a complete denial of this.
[00:57:17] reality. So what being a human in this world entail, you know, instead of like kind of get this fully, fully abstract, um, I spiritual idea is a complete manifestation, right? I'm just going to manifest my reality like this is kind of like the thing that I, you know, oftentimes kind of always go back to like this idea that we can just manifest everything regardless of circumstance and we have the power to like really shape and create our world.
[00:57:45] It's such a privileged stance that completely denies the realities, you know, the environmental, social, political, economic sense of all, but at the same time, right, there's some things there. About our that, you know, perhaps not in a metaphysical, you know, ontological sense that [00:58:00] my thought really shapes the world.
[00:58:02] But, you know, it's kind of pointing out towards a deep sense of agency that we do believe that individuals can have an impact in the world.
[00:58:09] Nathan Maingard: so I'm realizing, I mean, I feel like this conversation, we could just chat. There's so many amazing things I would love to dive into. Um, but I'm gonna just checking the time. This next question is basically you, you, you touched into it briefly saying around your one to one work, and I'm curious to hear, like, the way that you help, because you mentioned this in your, in your intake around helping clients to reframe their understanding of healing, and I'm curious to know how that relates to the preparation, integration, and obviously then living in the society that we currently live in.
[00:58:42] Um, what is your approach around that kind of client work and healing?
[00:58:47] Adam Healingfromhealing: My preference is for let's say ontological and epistemic inquiry as opposed to purely psychological or, you know, pragmatic things in the sense [00:59:00] that let's say, let's say we would begin with a question, right, which is very simple, but at the same time, not very straightforward, which is what does it mean for you to be healthy and happy?
[00:59:09] Yeah. Like what? What does it mean really to be healthy and happy? And Ideally, what we would, you know, what we would explore, uh, not necessarily the, the mainstream narratives of what that means, but actually allowing the person to really see themselves through all sorts of different lenses, right? Like not necessarily in the sense that You know, hyper individualistic Therapy or medicine thing.
[00:59:41] I mean we have a dominant story nowadays in In the west you have both in mental health but also in general medicine where it's For the most part, right, like we don't feel good or something is wrong with us. And, you know, we go to the expert and there's kind of, you know, Foucault's famous medical gaze.
[00:59:58] We get, you know, [01:00:00] observed the medical gaze and then there's a diagnose and there's a prescription. And more often than not, we become passive consumers of whatever treatment or service is being handed down to us, right? Like, well, you have to take this medicine or you have to like, you know, this, do this course of therapy or it's.
[01:00:18] Most interventions are always geared toward the individual. Itself herself or himself for themselves, right? The individual is always kind of the locus like something is wrong with you Whether it's in your body or in your brain or in your mind or in your spirit your soul Um the vision of health and happiness that I oftentimes try to communicate and at least be civilized Is a different in the sense that we try to understand health and well being not as an individual project But actually as a collective project Yeah, uh, starting from a very, very basic idea, which is in an interconnected world where we're all nodes in a network of interdependent [01:01:00] relationships, right?
[01:01:01] Nobody can be really fully happy and healthy unless we are all relatively happy and healthy. So not necessarily only, the personal individual aspect, right? Like, oh, well, what is your personal history, biography, your trauma, your, your, your, my, my, my, my, my, my, my, peeling, peeling, peeling, peeling, peeling layers of that onion of self absorption and self reflection.
[01:01:24] But actually, okay, I mean, yeah, I'm not saying that's not important. I think that has its place. But when that becomes the only thing that we do, and this is something that I actually have seen and observed and experienced in myself for a very long time. When that becomes the exclusive focus of excessive, excessive, excessive attention inwards, then it almost inevitably the rise in self absorption, in maladaptive traits, the narcissistic tendencies skewed perception of our own importance in the greater scheme of things. And what I try to do oftentimes with people is actually trying to pay more attention, not necessarily to those things, [01:02:00] but to their relationships.
[01:02:01] What is the relationship with individual health and community health? You know, like one of the first questions, for example, and, you know, therapists do this sometimes with some success. Uh, but what, you know, what, what is, what is your support system look like? How well embedded are you within relationships that provides for you that sense of intimacy?
[01:02:20] Right? Intimacy, I don't mean, I don't mean just sexual or romantic, right? I mean, even though that's sometimes a thing, right? Because in the kind of societies that we live today, we We do tend to put a lot of pressure on that one primary relationship bell hooks used to say, or she wrote that somewhere, right?
[01:02:42] Something very, very real, which is that, patriarchal, capitalist, whatever you want to conceptualize it, society... has put a premium into that one romantic bond and seeing it as a primary, whereas that necessarily not that shouldn't be the case. The primary bond is always not between [01:03:00] me and another person, but between me and community.
[01:03:02] Right? Like we need a variety and diversity of relationships. Intimacy that provide that sense of authenticity of vulnerability with lovers, but also with parents, with friends, with teachers, with mentors, with other members of the wider community that we can be on that basis of like, you know, one of the one of the This is part of my research too, but one of the most beautiful things about medicine retreats or any sort of retreat, uh, is, you know, what sometimes people call the sharing circle.
[01:03:33] Sharing circles have their own problems, but I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna focus on the problems right now. I'm gonna focus on the good things. There's something beautiful about the sharing circles because, you know, depending on how the facilitator frames that sharing circle, it might elicit in people, like, really that opportunity to be seen.
[01:03:50] Right, and to see other people, to witness and be witness in our difficulties, in our struggles, in our pain, in difficult emotions. Right, we can express things that are [01:04:00] shameful, that are, you know, fill us with guilt, with sadness, with anger. Things that we did or things that happened to us, things from our past, traumas or bad things that we ourselves did to other people.
[01:04:12] You know, but within that space right of vulnerability of authenticity of intimacy with others that are also there for similar reasons and Uh, there's something beautiful that happens. There's actually something magical that happens when we realize that our suffering and our struggles don't don't have to remain private that we can express those things we can express our deeper truths. Not only the difficult ones,
[01:04:35] also the joy. And you know be met with compassion be met with understanding we be met with non judgmental You know, witnessing us in our wholeness. And that's an experience that is very powerful for a lot of people in retreats. And the primary reason why that experience is so powerful is because the vast majority of people never experienced that before in real life.
[01:04:56] Yeah. We don't have that sense of what [01:05:00] that actually looks like. For the most part, we don't have those relationships in the day to day. For the most part. We don't have the capacity to really be our true whole selves and not having to hide that in day to day because the majority of us don't really have a diversity and variety of that sort of intimate relationship with other people.
[01:05:21] So, you know, loneliness has become kind of like one of the primary drivers of. Mental health, not only mental health, but also physical health. Loneliness is one of the primary risk factors to public health, all the way from anxiety, depression to cardiovascular disease, and so on and so forth. We're starting, we have started a few years ago to really acknowledge the huge role that loneliness, alienation, the erosion of our social connectedness are playing into the epidemics of malaise that we're experiencing all over Western countries, right?
[01:05:55] So, you know. I think it's kind of like that. I was kind of like a little tangent, right? To like, really [01:06:00] say what I want people to realize, right? Is that being happy and healthy is not necessarily about like digging, digging, digging, digging, digging into our own biography, our own history, our own trauma, all the things like that.
[01:06:13] But actually, like, It's starting to understand our actual real needs as social beings, as part of a world that is much wider, that we are in constant relationship, right, like the health of the individual is always in constant relationship with the health of the community, the health of the society that we are part of, the health of the culture that, you know, envelops us, the environment that sustains us, and that these relationships are primary.
[01:06:38] And then there is no harmony in this. If these relationships are disrupted, then we're going to suffer. I mean, there are things that are very, very self evident, but we don't really consider them to be as important, right? Like, for example, you know, if we don't have enough friends, if we don't have any friends, I mean, I think like the research nowadays, it's pretty, it's pretty nuts, right?
[01:06:57] But I think last time that I saw data, it was like somewhere around [01:07:00] 50% or 55% of, you know, grown American men don't really have a close friend. Right. I think like 30% have more than one or two close friends. And I think like, you know, America is a pretty extreme. North America is a pretty extreme, outlier in the sense of hyper individualistic approaches.
[01:07:18] But for the most part, you know, Western, the Western world is very much on that same route of increasingly atomization, individualization, you know, the complete unraveling of the social fabric. What kind of life is it when we don't really have, you know, one or two or three? Close people that we can be real with.
[01:07:39] Right? So, you know, like the relationship between our support network, our society, our embeddedness in community is obviously very important when it comes to culture, for example, is another one of those things that oftentimes get invisibilized because excessive focus on the individual. But, you know, the vast majority of people that I ever work with struggle in one way or another [01:08:00] with their self perception, right?
[01:08:01] Like, you know, we don't have a very strong sense of agency. We don't really trust ourselves. We don't like ourselves that much. We want to increase our confidence. We want to increase our, like the 99. 9% of people in the West deal with shit like that. And then you start wondering why. I mean, why is it that we have so much struggle accepting us as we are?
[01:08:24] Why is it that we have this incredibly toxic inner dialogue that is constantly judging and, you know, talking shit about ourselves, and we're not good enough, we're not beautiful enough, we never... And then, you know, when you start actually seeing the culture, right, like the cultural realm that we're all feeding from, I mean, I don't know how it is in South Africa.
[01:08:43] I imagine it's very similar. But, you know, in any Western country, you're walking in the street, you can't walk 5 10 minutes on the street without receiving a thousand different messages coming from billboards, coming from advertisements, in television, in the [01:09:00] radio, like everything in your surroundings. Is giving you the same message and that message is a prerequisite for consumerism to be effective that message basically saying You're not whole you cannot be whole because you're not consuming that product because you don't have that service You're looking at the billboard.
[01:09:19] There's two beautiful women. They're having a glass of wine It's like that that advertisement is saying something very simple It's saying you're never gonna be as happy and beautiful and successful at these persons because you're lacking something You're lacking a product. You're lacking a service, right?
[01:09:35] So there's a basic messaging that is going out Thousands of times a day from the bowels of consumerist culture that is basically undermining our sense of wholeness You're saying you're not beautiful enough. You're not successful enough. You're not pretty enough. You're not enough. You're not enough You're not enough.
[01:09:49] You're not enough because that is the fuel for consumerism. That is the fuel that keeps that we need to create that artificial vacuum that can never fully be filled because the only thing that we're really [01:10:00] needing right is like Actual connections, actual intimacy with people like an actual sense of like, Hey, actually, we don't need it.
[01:10:07] But that's the way that consumerism works, right? So the vast majority of people that I've worked with have those struggles. Well, how can I how can I increase my capacity for self love? Right? So if you're like, oh, well, you need to, you know, work on your childhood trauma and hold yourself and, I mean, all of those things are great, but at the same time, right, like, we need to address the very real realities of what it means to be a person in late stage capitalism, in the midst of Constant flooding of toxic advertising, you know, where they're constant messaging that we're receiving is pointing out exactly in the opposite direction of self love, right?
[01:10:44] Like, you know, you can't be satisfied. You can't be content. You can't be happy with who you are, because that's bad for the economy. But, you know, in the last one, I guess, like the relationship between individual health and environmental health, which is so absurd that, you know, nowadays, actually, we do have a [01:11:00] term for that, um, you know, climate anxiety, a lot of, you know, younger, younger people, younger generations that go to therapy.
[01:11:08] With massive, massive, massive bouts of anxiety, we're experiencing increasing, increasing epidemics of anxiety, you know, starting to identify that actually there is already like that dimension that is palpable, that is tangible, that younger generations, when you ask them straightforward, they don't have a lot of hope that they're gonna live very long.
[01:11:30] They don't, like Generation Z, when you actually talk to them and so on, like, they don't have a lot of hope that they're gonna get to old age. There is a sense of reality that is dawning on people, mostly young people, that don't have those defense mechanisms to completely bypass reality installed, you know, so strongly.
[01:11:49] So climate anxiety is a real thing, right? Like the impact on our own personal, individual health, that environmental health. It can be traced from the very basic things such as like if we're [01:12:00] drinking polluted water, then we're going to get sick all the way towards, you know, things like climate anxiety, like the effect on our spirit and our psyche and our emotional life that the immediate collapse of the ecosystems can have, you know, like these things are very real.
[01:12:14] So, you know, kind of just to bring that all together, like. You know, I try not to gaslight people. If I'm working with somebody, like, we have to go at like a deeper inquiry, uh, into all of these relationships, all of these connections, you know, the individual, but also individual community, individual society, individual culture, individual environment, and like really, really come to terms and grasp, like, what does it mean to be healthy and happy in the moment, in the historical moment that we're living in, and what would it take for a person to, like, really You know, be able to be a fully functioning adult, resilient, but also compassionate, you know, open hearted, but also aware of the situation, which is the main challenge, right?
[01:12:52] Because, like, it's very difficult to both become hyper aware of the thing, like things are happening, but also stay present and [01:13:00] open hearted and being able to be, you know, grounded enough that we can actually see reality for what it is, but still be optimistic and still be kind and still be humorous about it and still be You know, resilient adults.
[01:13:11] So, you know, I guess kind of like that's a very long winded answer to your question. What I tried to do is precisely that. You know, how can we become resilient? How can we remain open hearted? But also how can we look at reality straight in the eyes without all the layers of whether it's psychotherapeutic bypassing or spiritual bypassing that have become so widespread and common in the circles.
[01:13:34] Nathan Maingard: Yeah, it's like what you were talking about at the beginning. It's really that balance between the, between the individual and the community and the responsibility And the integration and being both a part of it all and also responsible for one's part in it all. So thank you for that. I really appreciate that.
[01:14:02] Adam Healingfromhealing: We are already free. I mean, I think it's tricky. I think, you know, for me, This idea of freedom in spiritual circles, I guess, has been undermined in the last few years by kind of this, uh, I guess, perception of a very, very, very limited and narrow idea of freedom. that comes more from kind of the right side of the political spectrum that has infiltrated many spiritual plant medicine circles.
[01:14:37] And the freedom in the sense that like, oh, I'm a self sufficient, like I don't need, you know, whatever. I think, you know, that aside, when I hear we're already free, beyond my initial resistance to the connotation of freedom within spiritual healing circles nowadays, I think for me, the idea that we're already free [01:15:00] Really points out to the deeper existential truths.
[01:15:04] Yeah, it's really for example, it really brings me like the first thing that goes to mind when I hear we're already free. is uh, Viktor Frankl. I don't know if you ever read uh, Viktor Frankl's Man in Search of, you know, um, wow, what's what's the title of the book?
[01:15:23] Nathan Maingard: Man's search for
[01:15:24] Adam Healingfromhealing: Man in Search for Meaning. So, you know, um, so Frankl kind of gives That's probably, probably the ultimate example of what that means when he, when he shares, when he tells about people in extermination camps, right, who even within the worst imaginable human situations where there's no room for hope, where there's no room for anything other than horror and terror at the experience of what other humans are capable of doing to other humans and experience that in first person. Said like [01:16:00] even in those worst imaginable circumstances there were still people who were free. There were still people who were able to, at least in their own inner experience, remain autonomous that in a sense that they weren't defeated by the circumstances that they were still able to exercise There were people who would tell jokes on the, on the standing in line to the gas chambers, right?
[01:16:31] And I think when I hear, when I hear we're already free, I think there's, you know, that deeper existential truth that, you know, many existential philosophers have pointed out to. Albert Camus in the myth of Sisyphus. Yeah, like that there is a moment where regardless of what the experience is, we have to say yes to it.
[01:16:54] We have to say yes to existence. We have to say yes to life. Even if life entails [01:17:00] rolling up a boulder for all eternity and a hill. would I still do it? There do. Is there a yes there to the experience of being alive? Is there a yes to life? Is there a yes to humanity? Um, you know, there, there's, there's a freedom that is inalienable.
[01:17:16] There is a sense of being free that nobody can take away, under no circumstances, that we still have the agency to say yes to that moment, even in the worst case imaginable. So, You know, I think I think that's what I would say. You know, we're already free is that we are already and will forever be able to have that sense of agency of autonomy in our own experience in their own minds, regardless of what the actual world around us is like.
[01:17:55] Nathan Maingard: Well, thank you, Adam. This conversation has been amazing. If you still have time, [01:18:00] we'll, we'll hop into the patron only section. I know we've run pretty full here and I understand if you need to head off, but otherwise just, yeah, really thank you. I've so enjoyed this conversation. I feel like, I feel like I would need like a good, we need to like have a barbecue, sit down and just.
[01:18:16] Get into cause I could just get into this for days, So thank you so much. I really enjoyed this.
[01:18:20] Adam Healingfromhealing: My pleasure. Likewise.
[01:18:23] Nathan Maingard: Thank you again to Adam of Healing from Healing for your presence on the We Are Already Free podcast. What a pleasure, brother. You can find links to Healing from Healing plus many of the things we talk about at alreadyfree.me/42. Thank you for listening to We Are Already Free, you are definitely my kind of human, especially as you've listened all the way to the end, which is honestly quite rare. As you are my kind of human, I imagine that this means sometimes you feel stuck. that feeling of self sabotage. You let self doubt hold you back, even though you know all the right things you're supposed to do.
[01:18:55] And again, if you're anything like me, you want to break free of those limiting beliefs, and [01:19:00] especially society's little boxes that it's squeezed you into, so that you can actually live joy now, live your authentic joy in this moment. If this is you, I have very cool news for you. I'm sharing a discovery questionnaire for the podcast, and I'd love to connect with you.
[01:19:15] All you have to do is visit alreadyfree.me/42, or check the show notes on your podcast app. Click the link you see there to the questionnaire. And here's the best part. As a thank you for your time, you can sign up for a free one to one clarity and freedom session with me, where we'll get clear on where you want to get to, what's in the way of you moving forward, and how to make the changes you need.
[01:19:38] As they say, insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. If you're ready for change, then check the show notes now for the questionnaire link .Thank you again for being here with me, dear listener. I so enjoy remembering together that we are already free. See you next week!