Chronically Human Podcast Ep. 002 : Howard Bloom

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Howard Bloom. He is passionate, intense, and he’s a man driven by the desire to contribute to the betterment of human kind and inspire others to do the same.

When Howard Bloom was young he set out to do three things with his life: become a writer, a genius and a scientist. Personally I think he’s met all of those goals and so much more. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Fair warning he does talk about Trump and North Korea up till about the eight minute mark. If you’re not interested in politics you can skip that if you choose. Howard has appeared on many podcasts including The Joe Rogan Experience and the Amazing Atheists. He has written seven books including “The Muhammed Code”, “Genius in the Beast: a Radical Revision of Capitalism” and his latest, which is autobiographical,”How I accidentally started the Sixties”.

He is also the founder of paleo psychology and the scientific discipline of omnology and in his late teens and early twenties, accidentally started the psychedelic drug and sexual revolutions. I highly recommend “How I accidentally started the Sixties”. It is a fascinating book which recounts how Howard hitched hiked across the country in search of Zen enlightenment and for the gods within and ended up accidentally starting a cultural revolution that changed everything. During our conversation, Howard talked about what led him to write the book and what he hoped to accomplish by doing so. We also talked a little bit about his time working with musicians.

 

Along with being an author and a scientist he also started and ran one of most successful music PR companies in the world and got to work with the likes of Prince, John Cougar Melloncamp and Bob Marley, just to name a few. We also discussed “saturated intuition”, the story of the searcher bees from his amazing book “Genius in the Beast: A Radical Revision of Capitalism”, and even how everything we think about nature is wrong. I highly recommend his book “Genius in the Beast: A Radical Revision of Capitalism”. This is a fantastic read for anyone interested in how creative capitalism can be a force for good and how it’s actually the only system that humans have yet created, that can safeguard and advance human civilization into the future.

He is an inspiring, intensely passionate and extremely smart dude. I’ve incorporated several of his rules of life into my own including the two rules of science which he found at an early age:

1. The truth at any price, up to and including the price of your life.

2. Look at things right under your nose like you’ve never seen them before.

He has many other rules and “Howardisms” which I think are incredible. I did ask him if he planned to write a book listing them all, but before he can do that he’s got to sell his latest book he just finished, then write two more books and then maybe he’ll get to it. I hope he finds time to do that.

Next time we talk with Howard I hope we’ll spend an entire episode exploring “Genius in the Beast: A Radical Revision of Capitalism”. I do believe that this book is one of the greatest contributions of the last 50 years to freedom, peaceful trading, and the advancement of humankind. He also said that there is a documentary being done about his life. After reading “How I accidentally started the Sixties” I can’t wait to see that when it comes out.

You can find out more about Howard at his website http://howardbloom.net

and you can follow him @HowardxBloom on Twitter.

I also recommend you read on his website “Isolation-the Ultimate Poison”. If you have a loved one that is dealing with chronic disease or chronic pain or you yourself are, I highly recommend this except from his book “The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History”. It explains about “attraction cues” and “repulsion cues” as well as the dehumanizing effects of chronic illness. It really hit home for me.

Please leave a comment and let us know what you thought of the conversation, what in particular you took away from it, and what we can do better here at The Chronically Human Podcast: …because in the end we are all in this together.

Thanks for watching.

 

My take on the Opioid Crisis

The current hysteria over the so called Opioid Crisis is not meant to help anyone except politicians, rehab centers and pharmaceutical companies.

I’ve been suffering from chronic pain for over thirty years now. In the last three decades the only way for me to function was and still is by taking pain killers. My main relationship since I have been 11 has been with pain. Believe me that’s not a great way to live.

Government is always looking to grow. Politicians are always looking for ways to use the righteous idigination and ignorance of the masses to further their career while at the same time gaining brownie points with big business. This is exactly what is going on with the Opioid Crisis.

The 55,000 number of deaths linked to opioids is extremely misleading. The majority of those deaths have been the result of a combination of substances ingested which include alcohol and barbiturates along with the demonized opioids. Other deaths are linked to adulterated black market drugs, many pain patients are driven to this horrible alternative because they have been denied treatment. The opioid crisis is not caused by doctors prescribing pain pills to people who are in chronic pain.

This type of misinformation is always used to take away our rights and to enrich the few at our expense. A new wave of opioids that targets the Kappa opioid receptors will hit the market soon. I think that is another reason why the media attention on this is being ginned up as well.

There is no one speaking for the people who are in chronic pain. I’ve lost days, weeks months and years to pain. I’ve missed out on most of life because of pain. The more my access to pain killers is reduced the more pain I suffer and the less life I live. I believe that every individual has a god given, natural or innate right if you will to ingest whatever substance they see fit to consume.

That is why I advocate for government to get out of my healthcare all together. I don’t need a politician or my neighbor determining what I should or shouldn’t ingest. I propose what I hope will become the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution that would simply read:

Every individual has the innate and natural right to ingest, grow, consume, trade, sale or gift whatever substance they see fit. 

Just because someone consumes a substance doesn’t mean they are not responsible for their actions. It doesn’t matter if I kill someone whether I’ve just smoke a joint, taken a shot of Jack Daniels or drank a strong cup of coffee, I’m still responsible for what I’ve done. *This is totally hypothetical of course.

When all substances can be bought “over the counter” Pfizer and Merk and other drug companies will be just like Apple or Microsoft. I can envision them opening their own stores and even having doctors on staff that will provide medical consultations and blood work for free. That way they will attempt to keep you in their ecosystem just like Apple and Google do.

Other businesses will open up and will be the Best Buy or the Walmart of medicines. Amazon could be, if they are forward looking enough, to become the number one seller of medicine in the world. Health care costs will plummet and the first time in a long time individuals will not only be able to buy what they want to treat their specific health issues but will also be able to grow their own pharmacies in their back yard. That is real freedom.

The behavior of Pharmaceutical companies  will have to adapt to this new era of medical freedom by providing a better product at a much lower price. Without the FDA and government sanction the drug companies will have to start dealing directly with consumers. They will be on the hunt for lower side effect drugs and price them competitively due to the huge explosion of natural medicines that would be available. Research money would more and more go into natural solutions because of their safety profile and lack of side effects. Overall medicine will become cheaper, more effective and cause less deaths and injuries.

Think about growing just about all the medicine you need in your backyard for pennies per dose? A medicinal garden could include poppies, cannabis, and medicinal mushroom. It is a miracle that our bodies have the architecture to be positively and powerfully influenced by compounds made by plants and fungi. By combining the best of synthetic and natural medicines we can all live a happier, healthier and longer life.

Having ready access to pain medicine would change my life for the better. I’m tired of going to the doctor with hat in hand hoping that I’ll get a prescription, which is merely a government sanctioned permission slip. I’m tired of going to the pharmacy and getting hassled because they aren’t able to read a calendar correctly. I’m tired of having to go to multiple pharmacies to get a prescription filled because their out of the pain medicine and their pharmacist is the only one who can order narcotics and he’s on vacation for the week. When you are sick and in pain these type of hassles add to your already mounting misery.

Those harping on the Opioid Crisis may care about those that are dying. But if they really wanted to use their time to the best effect they should be talking about Cigarettes which kill around 400,000 people a year, or alcohol which causes the death of  around 90,000 people  or so per year, or sugar and grain which can cause cardio vascular disease which kills millions per year. It’s clearly not about the numbers of dead that the opioid crisis do gooders are concerned about or they would be going after the big killers in this country.

Sick people are easy targets. Doctors are easy to manipulate because of the state licensing they are subject to. With the new era of Medical Freedom I’m proposing doctors could become health consultants and no longer be beholden to the current state monopoly on certifying health professionals. If doctors want to continue with the current model they could. They could be paid directly by the pharmaceutical companies and become doctors at the Pfizer store. Once doctors and patients are no longer tethered to the prescription pad or state licensing boards, politicians will lose the power to interfere with our health choices and people in pain will not have to suffer needlessly.

Its time we get government out of health care. Its time for adults to take control over their health, to exercise our innate right of self-ownership and buy whatever medicine or substance we choose to. Individuals suffer. And individuals pay the consequence of their actions. We all have the right to ingest what we choose. If the First Amendment of the Constitution protects our right to eject words out of our mouths, shouldn’t  the Constitution protect our right to put into our mouth whatever we choose?

Suffering is part of the human condition. We all suffer emotionally and physically. On this space ship Earth we have synthetic and natural compounds that can help ease the suffering. Psilocybin has proven to help with anxiety and can help end addiction, MDMA can help with PTSD, LSD can help end alcoholism, Ketamine can in less than twenty minutes end suicidal thoughts, Cannabis that miracle plant, is full of beneficial compounds that work together to help lower inflammation, reduce anxiety, increase well being, end seizures, reduce tumor size and help with sleep, and new and old opioids can help end the physical suffering of millions. Why can’t I go buy these chemicals off the shelf or order them off of Amazon? It’s not because they are expensive. Why can’t I grow medicinal mushrooms. poppy plants and Cannabis in my backyard? It’s not because they are difficult to grow.

The real reason we don’t have Medical Freedom is because we’ve forgotten that every individual owns themselves and that we have a natural right to treat our pain or our diseases as we see fit and so we must demand our innate right to ingest what we choose and bear the consequences of those choices.

 

Brad Miller

Fellow Human

 

 

 

Right sized problems 


If you want to change the world change yourself. 

I’ve always had an issue with being unorganized. I can still recall my 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Razor yelling at me in front of the whole class and making me cry because I couldn’t find some work I had jammed into my cluttered desk. 

That was almost 35 years ago and I’ve struggled with organization and keeping my car and my room clean ever since. I just didn’t see the point in expending the energy do it. I’d suffered from several chronic illnesses and chronic pain for decades and I have limited energy to work with. 

That has changed this year. I’m not any better physically in fact this year has been one of my toughest years in a while in just about every aspect of my life. I’ve always been on the search for better ways to live and the advice that kept coming up over and over again was – 

  • when you are feeling overwhelmed or powerless in life the first step is to clean up and organize your immediate surroundings

As I’ve done this I’ve found my mind freed up to contemplate new ideas, have more mental clarity and mental energy.

It’s amazing how small actions like making your bed everyday or keeping your closet organized can help to create positive momentum that prepare you for tackling the bigger issues in life. 

Everyday the news inundates us with situations and problems around the world that 99.9999% of us have zero ability or opportunity to change. This can create a lot of negative emotions of fear, hopelessness, and anger. 

It doesn’t have to be just politics that generate these types of feelings. In the past I’d focus on my chronic intractable health issues andthose negative  feelings generated by inability to change that situation pervaded my whole life. 

This is a formula I’ve come up with – 

Awareness – Capacity = Hopelessness

Now my focus is on the right sized problems in my life that  I can tackle. Each time I do I’m increasing my  capacity to take on more and more complex issues and have the energy to do so as well. 

Awareness + Capacity = Hope

Hope is a powerful force and it gets reinforced every time I solve a problem in my life even though the bigger issues still exist. 

I listened to Professor Jordan Peterson on Stefan Molyneux’s podcast and he explained why it’s important to focus on tackling the right sized problems in your own life before you set out to tackle the problems of the world. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HcEJr8h_yGM 

He spoke of searching out these right sized problems which are problems you have the capacity to fix.  One year he gave an assignment to his students to do just that. 

The example he gave was about a student of his who lived with a bunch family members. The house was chaotic and groceries weren’t being purchased on a regular basis and no one was taking responsibility to cook, this all happened after  his mom passed away.

The student saw this local problem and he did something about it. He took responsibility for shopping, meal planning and cooking. It was difficult but he was able to fix this problem. He solved this issue that improves his life and also increased confidence and capacity to improve other aspects as well. his 

My right sized problem was getting organized and maintaining a system to stay that way. After I did this I began blogging consistently on my four blogs and I began producing video segments as well. 

There were other reasons that I began writing and sharing my ideas again but I firmly believe I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t exercised my capacity to impact my life in a meanigful and positive way by cleaning up my room. 

I’ve been sick and in pain most of my life. Because of this I’ve used it as a reason not to keep my living areas clean and organized. When I’ve felt horrible in the past I would think “what is the point of picking up my room or keeping the inside of my car clean, how could that possibly help me?”.

What I’ve learned is that it does matter. Takin care of seemingly small problems can have amazing and unexpected results. No matter how bad I feel now I always make my bed and make sure where I inhabit is clean and organized. Taking care of these right sized problems helps me to build up my capacity to take on bigger and more complex issues. Everyone can do the same thing. 

How much could people accomplish if they focused less on politics and more on solving their own problems? Once I started  spending less time focused on politics did I began seeing positive results in my life. Unfortunately it’s far easier to complain then it is to change your own behavior. 

A lot of folks want to change the world but haven’t even begun to address the smalll and big problems in their own lives. As you address the small issues you’ll gain confidence, increase your capacity for positive change and reinforce the idea that you truly are the hero of your story. I now think of taking care of the right sized problems in my life as heroic training. 

 The more responsibility I take for of my life the better my life becomes. 

When I become too focused on issues I can’t solve I use the following to go from helpless to hero: 

–  be aware of the right sized problems I have in my own life 

 – utilize my capacity to solve the right sized problems

– learn so that I can increase my awareness of my right sized problems and to increase my capacity to solve them

Brad 
Fellow Human 

Palm up or palm down?


How do you approach others? Is it with your palm up to offer something of value to them or with your palm down just to take? 

I can’t remember where I heard this first but it has really stuck with me. Everyone wants something and other people are the way to get that something. The question then is how  is the best way to get what they can offer. 

The way that I’ve found that’s works best is to approach others and the world with the palm up mentality, which is based on the idea of giving first before getting. Peaceful exchange that benefits both parties is the key to prosperity. And one person has to take the lead in this transaction. 

Benefits of giving first:

  • Reinforces the abundance mentality 
  • It is empowering 
  • Creates opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist 
  • Improves your ability to offer value to others 
  • Builds relationships
  • Creates a better world to live in 
  • Helps others get what they want 

Having a palm down mentality locks you in the position of always asking or conniving  for something because you are not providing value first. It creates anxiety, resentment and a feeling of entitlement. No one in this world owes you anything. 

Having a palm up mentality is a way to view everyone you meet as a person you can give to. This doesn’t mean making it rain with dollar bills on every stranger you run in to. It just means always be the one to extend the hand of friendship first,  to offer the smile first, and initiate contact with others. 

I’ve learned the hard way that waiting for the world to give you what you want doesn’t work. You have to actively engage with the world and make that first step. 

Value is the key to giving.  Discovering how you can deliver value to others makes life worth living. That is the essence of practicing the palm up mentality. 

Find a way in every conversation and every personal and business relationship you have to put into practice the palm up giving mentality. We can wait for others to give (you’ll be waiting a long time) or you can take the initiative and offer the other person value first. 

Commenting on blogs, liking posts, sharing articles and information to others is an easy way to put into practice this palm up mentality. How many blogs have you gained valueable knowledge from for free? That is a prime example  of giving before you receive. 

When you give to others often the return on that investment of time and attention is not immediate or apparent. This philosophy is not about the one to one return on giving, where you expect to automatically get what you want. 

In time the returns come in. The most immediate of these returns is that you feel better about yourself, you’re more calm, more focused on creating value and you improve your knowledge about how to navigate the world.  

The best way to begin integrating this idea into your life I’ve found is to practice it first with yourself. Self-improvement, eating better and sleeping more is a way to give yourself your time and attention and in turn your body will give you a strong capable vehicle to deliver value to the world in. 

The greatest gift you can offer the world is the best version of yourself.

Brad 

Instead of being “jelly” of the success of others use it as motivation 


“Never underestimate the power of envy and jealousy to destroy” Oliver Stone 

We all have heard throughout our lives not to be jealous or envious of the success of others. But rarely are we told how to change or eliminate these destructive feelings.

These are 7 steps I’ve found helpful to turn the power of the destructive green eyed monster into positive motivation. 

Here is what  I do when others in my life are achieving success. 

1. Be genuinely happy for their success. 

  •  Recognize that their success doesn’t preclude you from being successful
  • There isn’t a fixed amount of success in the world 
  • Another person’s success doesn’t limit your life 
  • Remember you want the people in your life to be happy and successful 

2. Compliment them on their successes.

  • Always be genuine – first rule of complimenting is to mean it
  • Tell them that you are proud of them for having a particular success 
  • Tell them why you think it’s amazing they accomplished something 
  • The more success you have in life the more you realize what it takes to achieve it

3. Inquire about it. 

  • Ask the person about their struggle, why they did it or how they accomplished it. 
  • Ask them about their mindset 
  • Ask them about their biggest challenge and their struggles they had to overcome
  • Every success story begins with struggle and continues in struggle 

4. Add what you admire about their success to help build your future story of self. 

  • By using this process you’ve now gained information that can help you achieve more success in your life
  • Use them as an example of someone who has figured out how to go from not having what they wanted to getting what they desired 
  • Incorporate elements of the mindset they’ve developed to achieved the success you admire into your own thought processes 

5. Look at the successes of your own life. 

  • Remember that you’ve already had plenty of successes in your own life
  • Have a list of these to call upon when the feelings of jealousy crop up 
  • Daily tracking of your small successes is also helpful in keeping at bay the feelings of jealousy 

6. Focus on what you truly want.  

  • You are not meant to be a copy of someone else 
  • Define your personal definition of success  
  • Write down what you want your future to be like 
  • Many times we feel jealousy toward the achievement of others because we’ve not figured out what we truly want

7. Take steps each day toward your goals

  • Jealousy can be an indicator that you’re not doing what you know you need to in order to get what you want 
  • Jealousy is a time waster and takes away from time you can spend on your own success 
  • Use the success of others as motivation for you to take action
  • Jealousy saps your energy and creates feelings of anxiety and resentment 

Be happy for the success of others around you. 

Be grateful you have successful people in your life. 

Let them know how much you admire their success. 

Learn from it. 

Clarify what you want to achieve. 

Take action based on information gleaned from your conversations with those who are successful to help you have more of what you want in life. 

The success of others can generate feelings of jealousy and envy or they can be an unending source of gratitude, admiration and motivation. The choice is yours.  

Brad 

Fellow Human 

Good deeds, knowledge and suffering 

“He who has more learning than good deeds is like a tree with many branches but weak roots; the first great storm will throw it to the ground. He whose good works are greather than his knowledge is like a tree with fewer branches but with strong spreading roots, a tree which all the winds of heaven cannot uproot” The Talmud

I read this quote in the entertaining and enlightening book “I never metaphor I didn’t like”. In the past to my detriment,  my learning far outstripped my good works. Because of this I’ve been uprooted by the winds of heaven far too many times. 

For me this quote crystallized the importance of performing good deeds, which reduces suffering in order to to build relationships to help me during times of distress. 

We are all social creatures that rely on our network of fellow humans to survive. Our good works are what keep and strengthen these connections because all of us want to be around those and to help those who help us suffer less.  

Humans will never be free from suffering. Our only hope is to lessen its sting and its frequency in our life and the lives of those we love. 

These good deeds don’t have to be grandiose to ameliorate some of the suffering our fellow humans feel. It could be as simple as cooking a nutritious meal for them, thanking them for something they’ve done for you in the past or paying them a sincere compliment. 

Learning to understand the world is important. But knowledge alone doesn’t lead to less suffering . Only by performing good deeds for your self and others do you build the foundation needed to whether the storms of life. 
Brad Miller 

Fellow Human 

Inquire, compliment, motivate 


Three steps you can take immediately to improve how you connect and communicate with those around you and make your world a better place to inhabit. 

We all want to heard, valued and encouraged. This is a fundamental aspect of being human. But like everything else in this world we must give in order to receive. 

These techniques are not about manipulation or deception and definitely not designed to make your conversations all one sided affairs.   They are merely tools that if used consistently during conversations  can help you to improve your knowledge of others and the world, clarify what you admire, and strengthen your relationships. 

 1. Inquire 

Ask questions. This seems like such a no-brained but how many conversations have you been a part of that consists of two people spouting declarative sentences at each other? These type of conversations are not the best way to connect with others. 

What can separate you from the masses is to ask relevant follow up questions based on the answer of your conversation partner. The more you are knowledgeable about many different subjects the better questions you can ask. Never stop learning. 

This active listening during the conversation helps to curb our tendency to focus on what we are going to say next without understanding what the other person is really saying. The better we understand others in our life the better our life becomes. 

Take away:

If you want to to be heard you first need to hear others.

 2: Compliment

We all want to be complimented. Unfortunately most of us don’t receive compliments on a regular basis. This can be demoralizing and explains a lot about what people post on social media. You may not be able to illicit compliments on demand but you can pay others compliments without it costing you a dime. 

When you are interacting with another human being, consciously seek out the qualities, actions, successes, attributes, personality traits, and aspects of their style that you find admirable or appealing. 

People are starving for sincere compliments. Don’t lie about liking their dress when you don’t. People can detect this as bullshit. 

Make a point to confidently give your compliments to others.. Look them  in the eye pay them the compliment and then tell them the why behind the compliment. 

Telling a girl her dress is nice is better than nothing. A better option though would be telling her why she looks amazing in that dress. Make it personal and meaniful. 

Takeaway:

Paying a sincere compliment to someone is one one of the best gifts you can give them and it costs you nothing. 

3. Motivate

Everyone needs a consistent intake of vitamin M (motivation). Be that source for the people you spend time with. Feelings of doubt, fear, and inferiority are part of the human condition. Help those that you love and those you encounter receive their daily dose of vitamin M.

Takeaway: When we motivate others we motivate ourselves as well. 

Our relationships are our life. Learning how to better connect and communicate with your fellow human beings is the simplest, cheapest, and most efficient way to improve the quality of your life, the life of those you love and as a result make the world a better place to inhabit. 

Brad Miller

Fellow Human