Mind Meld 38 | The You You Long For – Niles Heckman and Michael Garfield

Niles Heckman is an artist, filmmaker and co-creator of the documentary series, Shamans of the Global Village, a documentary series featuring medicine people from across the globe. Michael Garfield is a multidisciplinary artist and host of the Future Fossils podcast.


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You’ve probably heard the term “consensus reality.” The idea that we’re co-creating a mutually accepted framework for what “is.” But I’d like to introduce a new phrase, a sort of progeny of consensus reality-  consensus mediocrity. 

Somewhere amongst the collection of societal hoops we all jump through and the onslaught of obligations we grapple, we become ensnared in a crippling trap of habituation. We start to share the same information sources as everyone else, so we begin to think the same way. We start having the same goals as everyone else, so we begin value the same things. And thus, we develop our recursive pattern of mediocre behaviors and ideas that amount to a sort of self-nullification. 

Breaking these societal (and self-made) shackles of mediocrity can be a monstrous task, especially when your own actions and obligations serve to add another self-limiting padlock with each passing day.  

So, if you want to free the bound-up, fire-breathing mediocrity-torching version of yourself, you’ve got to make tough choices. You’ve got to be willing to be willing to make the status-quo walk the plank. You’ve got surround yourself with a community that wants that values the same things as you do. You’ve got to stop settling. You’ve got to stop allowing others to use your energy as a battery to power their reality tunnel. 

Musings in this mind meld include –

  • Discovering the fire in your belly and not giving into the struggle
  • Shamans of the Global Village and psychedelic awakening
  • Roots versus Empire
  • The creative system of Hollywood and the artistic limits you bump up against
  • Endless re-encapsulations of the same stories (monomyth, hero’s journey, Osiris myth etc.)
  • The lost Ayahuasca scene from Avatar
  • Stop asking people what they do for a living
  • People can talk about what they do for a living but not what they are
  • People want vapid content that they don’t have to think about
  • Are popular films intentionally portraying gnostic and esoteric themes?
  • Soon we won’t watch media, we’ll experience it in the first-person
  • Hakim Bey’s Temporary Autonomous Zone



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