It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F word here. Freedom. We'll share straight from the trenches. What we've learned from leaving our own addictions behind and coaching hundreds of others to do the same. And since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.
(00:35): All right, folks, let's talk creativity for a second. Let's talk about where everything all began. Now. What do I mean by that? I don't mean rehashing my story. I mean, where did all of this struggle and suffering begin? I know I've devoted a number of episodes to, to these things over the past couple of years, exploring kind of like the initial places where people got tripped up and not intentionally by society, not intentionally by their parents, but where a lot of this suffering begins and where it, a lot of it starts. I want you to just look back for a second and I want you to consider something of all of the times and places when you felt miserable or were suffering in some way, shape or form, whether that's depression, anxiety, panic, all of the other things I could probably say fairly accurately that almost all the time, the common thread between all those experiences, isn't the outside environment.
(01:28): Isn't the people involved. Isn't your body shape size or whatever, cuz you were small. Sometimes you were big sometimes or any of that isn't necessarily even always the food, but the common thread between all the times that you were having these emotional experiences and coping behaviors coming from them is that you were thinking, yes. In fact, your thought process itself is the place where all of your misery is manufactured. You have become like many people, myself included. I have dabbled in this. I, I might even have considered myself a grand master at one point in time of misery manufacturers of misery and be, we CA became this way because of a certain place that all of this stuff began. Now there's some great talk in the world today. So a lot of talk, uh, research talk and all of these other things, talking about this big word called epigenetics.
(02:20): Now epigenetics sounds fancy. And the way it comes across, a lot of times when I've asked people, what does epigenetics mean to you? The very common conception. It's this notion of inheritance that there is this sort of Phantom vague unnamable we're not quite sure how it works way in which alcoholism passes on to the next generation or depression runs in the family or despite all of the generations that it skips or the people in the family that don't have it. Right. And so there's this notion of inheritance. So when I went looking at epigenetics, because just like I told you last week, you know, you got a question, even the words people use, what the heck do those mean? So often we take these words for granted and these words are actually a clue to the biases of the person telling about them. So the word epigenetics, I look it up, I'm looking around it.
(03:10): Uh, it obviously comes from epi, you know, being around like the epicenter of a, of a, of an earthquake or something like that and, or an EpiPen maybe. Um, but, and then genetics having to do with the genes. And I look at it and basically the definition that's given is that anything that affects gene expression, that isn't specifically related to the genes themselves. In other words, you have certain genes encoded in your DNA that meaning bases of amino acids that interact with other chemistry and other amino acids and, and whatnot in your body to produce certain, uh, expressions of traits and results inside of your system. These genes get turned in off during the day. It's not like they're always on or always off. They're not in a permanent situation just based on the chemical situation. And that is influenced by a number of factors.
(04:05): And they're like, okay, so all the factors that influence gene expression that aren't written in the genes, those are things that are epigenetic. Now these are not just, oh, well it runs in the family. These are the food you eat, the place you live, the clothing you wear, the thoughts you think all of this is epigenetics. So when they're talking about epigenetics, what they're saying is, I don't know, the gene did something that I can't explain. It must be from, it must have been influenced by something else. And that's what the word epigenetics means, right? And so all of these factors that are approaching and that are sharing themselves and that are showing expression and changing the expression of genes for physical health, for emotional health and so on are being influenced by so much more than just your DNA that you should find this very heartening you should at this moment, be like, well, shoot, it doesn't matter what I've inherited.
(04:55): Sure. Maybe my nose might be a similar shape to my grandparents. But even they say like, you know, well, this skips a generation. Why does it skip a generation that doesn't make any sense? Like genes are just little bits of amino acids responding to stuff. What is it that makes them stick around? We're dealing with a lot of extra data and, and neuroscientists and all these other people are, or doing their best to try and make sense of it. But they're making sense of it is limited by their ability to make sense. So this all began for you and I right at the beginning, a number of years ago, they took the, there was a study done where they took 1600, four to five year olds. And, and this is, has been described in the book. Um, the art of impossible by Steven Kotler, uh, as he's explaining flow science and whatnot.
(05:47): And there's a lot of, uh, declarations that he may in there like, well, science knows this and we now know this science doesn't know anything, science isn't equipped to know things. Science is equipped to get data and explore things. And then they make hypotheses about them. So science can't prove anything. It can, it can disprove things and even that's possibly shaky, who knows. And so anybody telling you science knows this, or we now know this is operating in the, in the sense of a journalist. Sometimes it's just easier to say it that way. But the reality is that science doesn't know anything and science, isn't a person. By the way, if you look at science, there's a whole bunch of different people that have a bunch of different opinions about the data that has been set up and all of the research and all the experiments are influenced by that.
(06:27): And we've talked about that before, but you know, the, the research experiment that was done in terms of creativity was done on these four to five year old kids. And they measured them on whatever metrics they were using in terms of creativity and all of them scored at the genius level for creativity, 98 percentile genius level in creativity. So we're talking every four to five year old kid that you have is a genius for creativity. Now, what does creativity mean? It means their ability to make novel, innovative, disparate connections between ideas, things, processes, you know, uh, objects and so on. So right. Things that would be unexpected, things that would be new, um, things that could be useful and functional in the, you know, this is their measurement of creativity. Five years later, they, they redid, they took the same 1600 little kids. So they're now 10 years old and they assess them again for creativity this time, all of these four to five year olds that were genius level scored at a 30th percentile.
(07:30): So five years later, they're scoring in the 30th percentile. Now what's happened in those five years. When do kids start school, right? When do they start being wrote? Like their brains are supposed to think in a certain way school, right? So they've been in school for now five years. That means they're in the fourth or fifth grade, somewhere around there. They're there now at a 30% creativity level. Now five years later, again, they took the same 1600 kids and they measured them again for creativity. So now their age, 15, their scores average around 12%. Then in this study, they took another kind of swath of a million people, average age, 31 in the United States. And they measured them for creativity. And the average score was around 2%. What this suggests then is that nature actually gives creativity because your birthright and I would tell you that nature also gives you freedom and happiness and joy as your birthright.
(08:27): And that nurture is the thing that tears it down. The training that we go on through the education that we go through, not just in schools, but also in social environments, in political environments, in all of these different arenas, sporting environments and whatnot, that the nurture is what tears down the creativity, that it doesn't want you to behave in novel ways or unexpected ways or spontaneous ways that it values the usefulness of creative people, but it doesn't want them around because it creates friction. Everybody wants to be in, in a group and everybody's doing the same thing and to feel like they belong and, and to match each other. That's why there are such things as fashion, fads and trends and things trending on Twitter and things going viral. Did you see this? Oh, I saw this dude, look, we're the samesies. Yay. Everybody looking for patterns, the brain neurology rewards itself.
(09:16): Every time it finds a pattern and IQ tests are written to help people figure to help assess how well people find patterns and things and can sort things out. So all of these different things are metrics of creativity and every child has it, but over time, it's trained out of us. The nurture is what tears it down. Now, if you wanna take sh Suzuki, who was his Zen master who had come to the United States, uh, along with three other major big ones, um, somewhere back, ah, I think it was in the sixties. He wrote a book called Zen mind beginner's mind. And, in it, he basically said that in the beginner's mind, there are many options, but in an expert's mind, there are a few that isn't necessarily a virtue, right? To get to a beginner's mind, to a mind that is unconditioned that is not automatically running down the trails that everyone has, has, has gone on before that, that right there is some feet to be able to undo all of the training that sets you down the, the road that you've been on.
(10:21): And that can be religious training as well as, you know, family training and cultural training and all of the other things so long time ago. And I, I think I've probably quoted this poem for you. Before that I wrote, uh, Robert Frost wrote a poem poem about two roads diverging in a yellow wood. And he took not, he took the one less traveled by and that's made all the difference. I was frustrated by that because I even in graduate school, I was frustrated by the feeling that my life had been set out in front of me and all the choices had already been laid out. And I was just shoes between them. And there was a right way. And then there were all the ways that weren't right. So I wrote a response to his poem called another traveler, and it says two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
(11:00): And I took neither, but rather stood, stood to gaze and watch and learn of each road's mean if soft or stern stood to ask if inwardly, either road called out to me, but neither did. So I remained in that one place where two paths came at length, this thought came inwardly that neither road was meant for me, both were made for others feet, which mine would never find a sweet, I rose to this for bidding voice and set a new to make my choice and then forged a path alone. So I was back in 2009 when I wrote that poem, frustrated by what is in front of me and wanting to feel like I could actually go someplace new and not feel so constrained. And so, so bogged down and contained by the things that had been laid out in front of me. And I think I was feeling on some level, this sense of restriction in life that had grown over time with the education.
(12:04): I mean, think about it. I went through a master's degree. I used to love painting and drawing, and then the master's degree killed it because now it had to be like, what are you thinking? And what's the mold you're fitting in and who are your influences? And I was suicidal at the time and we were living in Seattle and that's not a great place to be suicidal cause the environment well, it's kind of drowsy and, and dreary and, and whatnot. So this creativity study is a clear indication that it's the training, the nurture that we're receiving that is creating the restrictions that we're having in life. That's key. Where did all of your struggles begin? It began with your training. What entertains you trains you the things in your environment at first, you didn't have a say in it. So it's just the stimulus in your environment.
(12:47): Your eyes developed according to the kind of light they could see. So when you got outta the womb, you could only see black and white and eight to 10 inches in front of your face because that's all you needed to see inside of your mom's belly. Then as you got outside, it took about a year's time from what, what medical professionals are saying for the eyes to fully develop to where, what you think of as adult vision is actually what the child is experiencing separation between shapes and forms and differentiations in color, spatial distances, being made intense focus in areas where the eyes can change their focus to larger degrees. Seeing far off in the distance. All of those things are something that had to be trained by being in environment that had space and distance and time and sunlight and all that stuff. The original environment didn't have that. And so that wasn't one of your options and the same goes for everything else. If you or someone, you know, is looking to drop the FBO of freedom in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or want some help doing it. Head on over to the freedom specialist.com/feel better now and check out some of the things we've got in store for you, or book a call. So we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for.
(14:09): So when you were born, the first thing that you were handed was language. I want you to consider this in the beginning, all babies differentiate all of these different noises and sounds from all these different languages as if they're unique things to pay attention to over time. And I don't remember how quickly it is, but it's fairly quickly the baby's brain starts to filter out any sounds that aren't associated with the language of their mother or father or the people that are caring for them. So fairly quickly the brain goes, oh, these other noises, aren't important to listen to only the ones that I'm given. But here's the thing. The fact that you are listening in English and maybe English is your first language means that you've already been given a living a limited view of life. One that focuses in some areas, but doesn't focus in other areas.
(14:56): When we're talking about internal meditative states, there are a number of words in Sanskrit that English just has the word meditation. When we're talking about snow, the Eskimos have all of these different words for snow and ice that we don't have, cuz it's not important for us. Like most of us don't live in a place where we would need to know that. And so we don't have that in our language when we're talking about, you know, sea and what's going on with the sea people, living in island nations and needing to be able to read what's going on with the weather, have different words for that, that we wouldn't have Tahitian. Doesn't have a word for depression. English does think about that. The fact that the word exists in your language means it's now a possibility for you to experience your experiences are defined by the language you speak.
(15:40): The ones that you can have are limited by the limitations of your own language, which means that if you are studying a manual that has hundreds of different diagnoses for all the ways a person can be sick, guess what you can experience. If your language doesn't have as much language for around the ways the ecstatic states, a person can be in the kinds of things that they can explore way beyond what science says and this, that, and the other, the language itself is limiting your experience. There is some, um, evidence to ex to suggest that even your ability to perceive differences in color is influenced by the language you speak. Some, I think it's Russian can discern between different colors of blue. It might be some Eastern black country. I think it can be discern between different colors of blue, where English people wouldn't necessarily be able to discern them.
(16:33): And so we're talking, it even affects your perception, the language that you speak, the way that your brain makes sense of visual data is very, very much influenced by the very words that you've been given. Now you're talking about freedom. You're talking about success. Well, where did your definition of success come? Your definitions of success came from the people that gave you the word and how they talked about it. And so those became the definitions that you have and so on and so forth through time. Tell what you think are new ideas that you're having are really just recombinations of old ideas. Now let's talk about some of these old ideas. Where did you get the idea of a self? Where did you get the idea of a soul? Where did you get the idea of righteousness and sin? Where did you get the idea of good and bad?
(17:22): Where did you get the idea of up and down or outside and inside? Where did you get the idea of me versus them? These are all things that were given to you. And our language is heavily influenced by Greek, which has a lot of abstractions in it. If our language had been more symmetric in nature, that's those are more concrete languages they're dealing with. You know, in Hebrew, the word for anger is that your nose is burning basically. Whereas we used to say, you're feeling angry and that's like a really abstract, I don't know what angry is. I can feel like my jaw clench and my fist tighten and my breathing kind of stop short or whatever else. Those are very real things. But in our language we use an abstract term. Whereas another language they might use, a very, very concrete term describing what is actually there.
(18:09): All of these have shifted the very foundations of what you are able to experience. So I want you to consider the possibility that the freedom that you're looking for is by its very nature going to be found in you challenging the foundations of what you've been handed. Even the very foundations of language itself, language itself is a very, very powerful means of communication. It's a way of, uh, interacting socially. It's not a bad thing, but it's the moment that we decided that the words we speak are real things that anger is real anger. Isn't real anger is a concept. It's an idea. The experience a person has having that is very real, but every angry experience is not the same. You label this thing on top of a lot of different experiences. When all you really need to do is handle each experience as it comes.
(19:00): And they are very physical in nature and you don't have to read into it. But as soon as you start labeling it, oh, angry, this and angry that and depress this and sad this, and I'm starting to panic. No, you're starting to breathe in a certain way and your body feels tense over here. Those are things you can work with. You can't work with panic. Panic is an idea and it comes from a Greek God pan and pandemonium comes from that and Pandora's box come same arena, right? This whole wild uncontrollable untameable wildlife. That's out there. You have this stuff, right? And panic was one of the, you know, other smaller deities in, in the Greek Pantheon. So we've inherited a lot of Greek ideas. Even the notion of a separate soul from the body that didn't come from Hebrew, that didn't come from the Jewish religion.
(19:44): That's not something that Jesus would have inherited. The notion of a separate soul is something that started with the Greeks. The notion of an afterlife is something that really started with the Egyptians and the Greeks and some of these other people in terms of a soul or some abstract entity that we can't see or anything that is moving on after this life. I'm not saying there is one or isn't one, but I'm saying that their languages encoded that. And so they started thinking in those terms and Plato's thought started thinking in terms of, well, there's a separate soul and there's a perfect world. That's not this world. And because there's a perfect world, that's not this world. And this world is tainted. The body is something of a cage and that's a gross overstatement of it. But Christians then took Plato's words. They've been around for a long time.
(20:31): A lot of the Christians were Greek converts. FOH of Alexandria was a Jew and he was Greek schooled in Greek. And he started sharing platonic ideas. The nos sticks pick it up until pretty soon, the body is a bad thing. It's evil, it's wrong. It shouldn't be doing the thing it's doing. It needs to be discarded like a garment and all of this stuff. The world itself is evil. Those are ideas that came from the Greeks into Western thought then were adapted and adopted by Christians and then became mainstream to where we think that's what Jesus was teaching. But Jesus, no, he, that whole tradition had that the soul in the body are, they exist together. That it's the breath inside of the body and that when the body expires and the breath leaves, it's not that the breath went somewhere. It's just gone. It's stopped.
(21:15): And the body rests in the ground that the greatest fear of these people at that time was complete annihilation to cease to exist. It was not that they would have a hell afterwards. It was that they would be utterly destroyed and you can see it in all of the older texts that when they go to lie with their fathers, they're not talking about an afterlife. They're talking about the bones of their fathers. Like in Ezekiel, they're not gonna be a big pit. That's like a grave, as opposed to being cast out from the tribe and being torn apart by wild animals, somewhere out in the wilderness, that would be Igni. That would be, oh no, your bones don't rest with the bones of your fathers. All of these different things got adopted in over time. And they became sort of part of the consciousness of society. And then as you grew up, your parents shared things with you that had been influenced by their parents, by their parents. And so on in this massive telephone game of human history. So the entire baggage of human cultural history is something that you're dealing with. This is where your suffering began.
(22:13): It began with the knowledge that people handed you and the notion that that knowledge is more significant than your own direct interaction with the world. If you had the ability to just set it down, it's not bad to have that knowledge. Obviously there's a lot of survival, a lot of great technological advances. Although a lot of that has also destroyed the planet. So who's to say whether that's good or bad, we definitely enjoy them. And at the same time, I don't know if that enjoyment is ending the human species. As we know it, humans showing up on the planet has been also the mark of the extinction of how many other species, both plant an animal. So is it good? Is it bad? I don't even know how to make that assessment, but in the end, all of this cultural knowledge, all of this information has trained your brain to be in a space where what you can experience is limited by the whole of human history.
(23:07): And what's inside the whole of human history. How many dramas are there? How many tragedies are there? How many times do we go up and down saying the human condition? Is this anybody telling you what the human condition is, is blowing smoke out of their rear end. They are not qualified to tell you what the human condition is. They can tell you what humans have experienced, but who's to say that this isn't just a phase in human history. Like puberty is a phase in human development. Who's to say that humans won't evolve past the need to be emotional about everything and feel stressed about work and be depressed about things and have so much attachment to a romantic partner that if they're alone, they feel like they've lost their, uh, purpose in life. Or who's to say that humans won't evolve out of needing to have a cause in order to feel like their life is worth something, nobody is qualified to make that statement.
(24:02): So when anybody's telling you, this is a fact of life or a human condition, all you can listen to them saying is they're regurgitating what other people have told them, because that's the only way they've known how to make sense of their situation. And your key to freedom is to start questioning the foundations of the knowledge that you have been handed is what we talked about last week, questioning authority. This isn't because people are bad. I don't resent my parents for what they taught me. I mean, I survived guys. my parents. They're engaging with life in the best way that they know how during encountering things that I don't know what it's like. I was never a fighter pilot over Kuwait with missiles being fired at my air aircraft, right? I've never given birth to kids or had operations on my B massive operations on my body.
(24:51): Like I, these are things that I haven't experienced. So how am I supposed to know or judge my part? I don't have any resentment toward them, but their knowledge is only useful for them. And I'm a totally different human being. And you are a totally different human being, the nerves running through your skin, you are more connected to everything going on in your biology than any doctor ever could be. And the more you learn to listen to you, to what's going on within you, instead of listening to some other authority, including me, the more you'll finally be able to find your way through life and find your way out of the suffering that you inherited. So when we wrap this whole thing up, we look back at the beginning. We suggest that it's not nature. Nature handed you the birthright of freedom, nurture, tore it down, nurture not for bad reasons, but nurture, trained you to only behave one way to think about death, to think about, uh, food, a certain way to think about relationships and sex and drugs and all of these different things, a certain way to have to be afraid of certain things, nurture taught you that not nature and your way out of that.
(26:00): If you want a different experience of life is not to pretend that you can resist it. But to just question it, to really ask what do they mean? And then again, like I said, last week question, like, what evidence do I actually have that the people teaching me this actually know what they're talking about. As of, for instance, for me, when people were talking about the afterlife, I don't know anybody who's died, gone there and come back. I know people who've had near death experiences, but a near death experience has not a death experience. Even if you're proclaimed, medically dead, that's a medical doctor telling you you're dead, but obviously you came back to life. So even though, oh no, he's dead. They were wrong. Clearly they were dead. According to what you were dead, according to what they knew, but that doesn't mean you were dead, cuz you, you are alive again.
(26:48): don't know anybody who's crossed that threshold died and come back. Now I have had visions in my life of people who have crossed like my grandpa and stuff, but those are my visions in my life experiences I've had that are deeply powerful for me, but they don't have that doesn't mean I know anything about what's happening on the other side. All I know is that I've had an experience of a vision that seemed to say certain things that may all be wrong, but that may be what my body was trying to get me to do or needed in at that point in time. And that's all I know. I question even my own knowledge because then I'm not even stuck in my own ideas anymore. Can you be free even of yourself because it's the self that you don't like, the self that isn't as successful or isn't as skinny or isn't as wise or isn't as wealthy or all of those things. That's the one that you're fighting against. That's the one you're running from. If you could be free, even of your ideas about yourself and the things that you think, you know, you'd be surprised how extraordinary the rest of life can become.
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