Mind Meld 157 | Jamie Wheal | Surviving the Chapel Perilous

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Jamie Wheal is the Co-author of Stealing Fire (one of my favorite books) and the Executive Director of The Flow Genome Project.

In this mind meld, we riff about the importance of self-initiation, the beauty of progressive agnosticism, the philosophical implications of blockchain, ‘worshipping’ the right things, and why we might be getting sucked into transcendent cosmic geometry.  


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Where do we go for an epiphany?

In the ancient world, there were temples designed to induce them. Within the confines of these so-called mystery schools, initiates participated in dramas brimming with powerful symbolism and archetypes. The sort that harmonize perfectly with human psychology. In fact, according to numerous accounts, these rituals were so profoundly life-altering that it was as if the person participating in them was reborn in the light of greater truth.

Also, yes there were probably psychoactive substances involved.

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Unfortunately, that sort of glimmering truth is pretty elusive. I’ve tried a lot of things, but I’ve never experienced anything unquestionable. I mean, reality itself is pretty god damn questionable, but I digress.

Due to that, we’re left with a sort of agnostic frosting on everything.

However, I’ve come to realize that there are two flavors of agnostic frosting– There’s progressive, open-minded, agnosticism that seeks to interface with the mystery and then there’s the passive sort. The kind where you just throw up your hands and make excuses about why life isn’t worth examining.

What I love about this conversation is that it hinges upon the former. It’s all about recognizing that we’re absolutely flooded in endless mystery, yet, we can still commit to exploring it and contextualizing it. Because within that infinite wonder vortex, there’s real practical wisdom and existential context to be discovered.



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