Mind Meld 40 | Gurus, Cold Exposure and Transformational Tragedy with Scott Carney

Scott Carney is an investigative journalist, author and anthropologist with work published in Men’s Journal, Playboy, Discover and more.

Scott’s latest book, What Doesn’t Kill Us explores his time training in extreme cold with Wim Hof, how modern humans have lost their biological link to the environment and how we can “reclaim our species’ evolutionary strength by reimagining how our bodies fit into the world and then slowly conditioning ourselves to unfamiliar environments.”


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Without something to push up against and overcome, what are we? Some sort of soft, semi-sentient, shirt-wearing, pleasure-chasing societal tumor? As unattractive as it sounds, that sort of epicurean autopilot is hugely pervasive because it’s exceptionally available. Even if you’re fairly poor (by first world standards), you could stuff your face with Little Caesar’s and McDonald’s every day until the wheels fall off if you wanted to.

Whenever I need a shot of motivation I remind myself that the path of laziness leads to a gray, mediocre passionless place. Even worse, too much comfort-mongering and unhealthy habituation sends your risk for all sorts of diseases, both mental physical, sky-high.

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So we’ve got to perform a sort of mental override. We’ve got to scream “no!” to the comforts and carb-y mouth pleasures around every corner. Our well-being, in every sense of the word depends on it.

One of the most effective and powerful ways to perform that sort of override is cold exposure. The popularity of which is growing at an incredible rate, thanks to famous evangelists of the practice like Wim Hof. Believe it or not, the benefits of freezing your balls off are numerous – euphoria, reduced systemic inflammation, and an overall heartier immune system, to name a few. Advanced practitioners of cold exposure ramp it up considerably. Wim Hof, for example, is able to immerse himself head-to-toe in ice for hours, scale the world’s harshest peaks in nothing more than shorts, even control his autonomic immune system in ways scientists thought impossible.

If all of that piques your skepticism, good. Extraordinary claims require evidence and that’s precisely why investigative journalist Scott Carney went to meet and train with Wim Hof. To see if his claims were the real deal, or if he was just another opportunistic pseudo guru, hit the play button, read What Doesn’t Kill Us  and give it a try for yourself.

Musings in this mind meld include

    • Exposing phony gurus
    • Scott’s journey from every-day first-worlder to cold weather endurance athlete
    • Scott’s existential seeking prior to working with Wim Hof and cold exposure
    • The pitfalls that can come with spiritual exploration
    • How tragedy can be a catalyst for growth and self-transmutation
    • Wim Hof, his feats and the man behind it all
    • How to begin with cold exposure
    • The benefits and mystery of cold exposure and breathing exercises
    • Scott’s feats and cold-exposure accomplishments
    • Innate natural intelligence versus human free-will based intelligence
    • Panpsychism, the nature of consciousness and the ontological limits of the human mind
    • “DMT breathing” and inducing psychedelic experiences through your breath
    • Are the body and the mind one thing, or made of different stuff?



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