Quotes from “Stealing Fire” by Steven Kotler,Jamie Wheal

Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted10 months ago
The first is do the exact opposite of what the guy in front of you is doing—so if he looks left, then you look right. The second is trickier: the person who knows what to do next is the leader. We’re entirely nonhierarchical in that way. But in a combat environment, when split seconds make all the difference, there’s no time for second-guessing. When someone steps up to become the new leader, everyone, immediately, automatically, moves with him. It’s the only way we win.”
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
What he meant was, when it comes to problem-solving, we tend to get locked into using familiar tools in expected ways. The technical term for this is the Law of the Instrument. Give someone a hammer and, indeed, they’ll look for nails to pound. But present them with a problem where they need to repurpose that same hammer as a doorstop, or a pendulum weight, or a tomahawk, and you’ll typically get blank stares.
Anabel M Ortega
Anabel M Ortegahas quoted3 months ago
When consumed accidentally,8 ergot prompts delirium, prickly limbs, and the hallucinations known as “St. Anthony’s fire.” When taken on purpose, within the context of an intensive initiatory ritual, you have all the ingredients of a highly effective ecstatic technology—so effective (and, presumably, so enjoyable) that Alcibiades was willing to risk his life to steal it for a party.
Aaron Rodriguez
Aaron Rodriguezhas quoted4 months ago
In [them] we perceive the real principles of life, and learn not only how to live in joy, but also to die with better hope.”
b0003856425
b0003856425has quoted7 months ago
Cicero went further,6 calling the rites the pinnacle of Greek achievement: “Among the many excellent and indeed divine institutions which . . .
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
“When a man knows he is to be hanged in the morning,” Samuel Johnson once remarked, “it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
To put this accomplishment into perspective, in the 1950s there were about twenty known psychedelics, including LSD, psilocybin, and DMT. By the 1980’s, Shulgin had expanded that list to more than two hundred.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
most of us, when challenged, will do none of these things. We’ll think more, talk more, and stress more. We’ll wait until after we feel better to go for that walk in the sun, rather than going for that walk in order to feel better. We’ll wait until after we get that job offer to pump our fists and stand tall, instead of the other way around.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
What Newberg discovered is that extreme concentration can cause the right parietal lobe to shut down. “It’s an efficiency exchange,” he explains. “During ecstatic prayer or meditation, energy normally used for drawing the boundary of self gets reallocated for attention. When this happens, we can no longer distinguish self from other. At that moment, as far as the brain can tell, you are one with everything.”
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
our bodies, facial expressions, posture, and voice all convey more information than we would ever suspect. And, if we change any of those things, we can substantially shift how we feel and what we think in the present moment.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
you can’t read the label while you’re sitting inside the jar.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
In very simple terms, the states of consciousness we prefer are those that reinforce established cultural values. We enshrine these states socially, economically, and legally. That is, we have state-sanctioned states of consciousness. Altered states that subvert these values are persecuted, while the people who enjoy them are marginalized.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
So whether we’re talking about students popping pills or shamans taking psychedelics, the bias is the same. It’s a question of effort. Studying all night for an exam takes work. Adderall feels like cheating. The same goes for grueling hours of drumming, chanting, and meditation versus the near-certain transformation produced by mind-altering plants.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
First, creativity is essential for solving complex problems—the kinds we often face in a fast-paced world. Second, we have very little success training people to be more creative. And there’s a pretty simple explanation for this failure: we’re trying to train a skill, but what we really need to be training is a state of mind.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
Conscious processing can only handle about 12033 bits of information at once. This isn’t much. Listening to another person speak can take almost 60 bits. If two people are talking, that’s it.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
These days, we’re drowning in information, but starving for motivation.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
past is less an archived library of what really happened, and more a fluid director’s commentary we’re constantly updating.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
When our attention is focused on the present, we stop scanning yesterday for painful experiences we want to avoid repeating. We quit daydreaming about a tomorrow that’s better than today. With our prefrontal cortex offline, we can’t run those scenarios. We lose access to the most complex and neurotic part of our brains, and the most primitive and reactive part of our brains, the amygdala, the seat of that fight-or-flight response, calms down, too.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
Our sense of time isn’t localized11 in the brain. It’s not like vision, which is the sole responsibility of the occipital lobes. Instead, time is a distributed perception, calculated all over the brain, calculated, more specifically, all over the prefrontal cortex. During transient hypofrontality, when the prefrontal cortex goes offline, we can no longer perform this calculation.
Елизавета Тиманова
Елизавета Тимановаhas quoted9 months ago
By stepping outside ourselves, we gain perspective. We become objectively aware of our costumes rather than subjectively fused with them. We realize we can take them off, discard those that are worn out or no longer fit, and even create new ones. That’s the paradox of selflessness—by periodically losing our minds we stand a better chance of finding ourselves.
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