Jamie Wheal is a peak-performance expert who, in his new book, Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex, and Death in a World That’s Lost Its Mind, maps out a revolutionary new practice that combines the best of neuroscience and optimal psychology. He calls it hedonic engineering, and it is an intensive program of breathing, movement, and sexuality that mends trauma, heightens inspiration, and tightens connections—helping us wake up, grow up, and show up for a world that needs us all.
For example, here’s a Hedonic Sex matrix, very similar to what Jamie and I unpack on today’s podcast:
Groundbreaking new research is demonstrating that we can shift our neurology and biology into peak states and radically upgrade not just our well-being but also our sexual experiences. The secret to biohacking sex is to combine breathing, moving, and sexuality into an intense program that can be used to break free from the stress, anxiety, and addiction that are destroying us and find a way back to mental health.
Jamie is an expert on peak performance and leadership who specializes in the neuroscience and application of flow states. He has advised everyone from the U.S. Naval War College and Special Operations Command, the athletes of RedBull, and the owners of NFL, NBA, MLB, and Premier League teams to the executives of Google, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, Cisco, and Young Presidents’ Organization. He studied historical anthropology under MacArthur Fellow Patricia Nelson Limerick, specializing in utopian social movements, and his work has appeared in anthologies and peer-reviewed academic journals.
During this discussion, you’ll discover:
-Why Jamie wrote his latest book, Recapture the Rapture…07:55
- “Required sequel” to Stealing Fire
- Psychedelic renaissance, celebrities, etc. have “normalized” euphoric states
- How we “steal fire” without burning down the house
- No learning, no commitment in those who engage in euphoric practices
- The words “party” and “medicine” are not meant to go together
-What the “flow state” has to do with sex and partner connectivity…11:35
- Peak states take us out of our conscious identity
- They help us heal and connect/collaborate with others
- Not just a journey to the mountaintop; it’s like a pyramid with ecstasies at the top, communitas (profound connection with other people), and catharsis (deep healing) as the bases of that pyramid
- That pyramid is the geometry of our lives; putting those 3 things into motion, they become a spinning flywheel
- We’re forever seeing the highest heights, remembering what we forgot, using that information to come back down into our mortal, fallible lives and bodies, fix where we’re broken, doing it in relation to each other
- Flywheel of becoming; we’re always cycling through one of those 3 places; pursuing it sincerely with a dedication to acting on the things we’re shown, at some point we become twice-born humans, home-grown humans (Anthropos)
- Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man
- We learn to “make love” in the course of having sex
- Poem “Second Coming” by Yeats (most googled poem in 2016)
- The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity
- How do the best of us recapture the “wheel” from the worst of humanity
- Open source, scalable, anti-fragile (when things get worse, it gets better) technology to be used to heal and connect with others (community)
-The evolutionary drivers that enable us to heal, inspire, and connect with other people…20:50
- Respiration – breathwork
- Sexuality – if we don’t procreate, we cease to exist
- Embodiment – how we tune and shape our bodies (bodies and brains shape hearts and minds)
- Amplifiers – substances and music
-The hedonic yoga matrices of becoming…24:40
- The psychedelic renaissance will eventually be co-opted by Big Pharma, venture capitalists, etc.
- Alchemist’s cookbook: things anyone can build with basic household materials
- Toolkit that anybody anywhere can use with minimally exotic materials or practices to do inspiration healing and connection
- Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS
- Jason Silva
- Love Is The Drug by Brian Earp and Julian Savulescu
- Nicole Prause recommends prescribing orgasm as a medical prescription
- Sexual responses can play a major role in healing
- Choose the endogenous vs. the exogenous
-How to hack the air we breathe…36:15
- Oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen make up atmospheric air
- Change blend ratios of O₂/CO₂/N₂ intake via breathing to shift consciousness
- Gas-assisted breathwork:
- Depleting CO₂ via hyperventilation; holotropic, or intensive hyperventilatory breathwork
- Stan Grof and LSD researchers at Johns Hopkins achieved similar results via breathwork as seen with LSD doses
- Increased intake of nitric oxide
- Breathe through the nose and humming helps with sinusitis
- Aboriginal didgeridoo playing and circular breathing
- Breath by James Nestor
- BGF podcast with James Nestor
- Academic and ethical responsibility to contextualize theory and practice
- Carbogen is a gas with different ratios of O₂ (30%) and CO₂ (70%) than air often used by scuba divers
- Higher Wisdom by Dr. Roger Walsh
- Carbon Dioxide Therapy by Ladislas Meduna
- Patients reported a more intense experience on carbogen than LSD
- Nitric oxide (neurotransmitter, bliss molecule, induces pleasure)
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
- The evolutionary drivers (respiration, sexuality, embodiment, substances, music) can be “stacked” for an enhanced, expedited experience
- Delta waves, usually only found while in dreamless sleep, are an oft-overlooked means of achieving this “high”
-Biohacking sex with breathwork…54:13
- Set up a comfortable space
- Aesthetic focal points, dim lighting, etc.
- Freedive protocol brought to dry land (gas-assisted breathwork)
- Vagal breathing (slow exhale, slow inhale)
- 50 hyperventilations (blowing out candles)
- Inhale two lungfuls of pure oxygen (maxed red blood cells)
- Nitrous oxide
- Increasing O₂, CO₂, NO simultaneously
- 45-second mark is where the magic happens
- Music selection is essential (carrier wave to the epiphany)
- Pain and pleasure can intersect close to the point of arousal
- Orgasms “backed up in the queue” of the nervous system
- Can be a sort of electromagnet with your partner
-Gels, creams, lotions, plant medicines, etc. for biohacking sex that Jamie recommends…1:12:05
- Don’t do anything morally, legally, ethically, culturally objectionable or against your religious guidelines
- Dan Savage‘s 3 Gs: good, giving, and game
- Functional physician who is 3 Cs: courageous, curious, and connected
- Nitric oxide supplementation from beets to pumpkin seeds
- Cannabinoids: Sativa
- Difference between inhaled and ingested substances
- Gas-assisted breathwork
- Visionary or non-ordinary states:
- Trust, consent, clear boundaries are non-negotiable
- Partner isn’t a sexual partner; more like a mountain-climbing partner
- PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story by Alexander and Ann Shulgin
- WHOMP playlist Spotify
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
– Jamie Wheal:
– BGF podcasts and articles about breathwork:
- Biohack Your Breath With Nose “Boners,” Carbon Dioxide Inhalation, Tibetan Longevity Stretches & Much More: How To Unlock The New Science Of A Lost Art.
- How To Blast You (And Your Child’s!) Physical, Mental, & Spiritual Resilience Through The Roof With Breathwork.
- Conquer The Cold And Get Quantum Leaps In Performance In This Exclusive Interview With The Amazing Iceman Wim Hof.
- The Iceman Returns: Wim Hof On Climbing Frigid Mountains In Underwear, Eating Only Once A Day, Activating Hormones With Breathing & More.
- The Ultimate Guide To Freediving, Legal Blood Doping, Wim Hof Breathing, Increasing Your Breathhold Time, Underwater Ear Equalizing, Spearfishing & Much More!
- Freediving, Breathholding, Iceman Wim Hof, Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible Training, How To Use Static Apnea Tables & More!
- The Ultimate Breathwork Ninja Guide: How To Banish Stress & Kiss High Cortisol Goodbye.
- The Extreme Sport You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, And How You Can Use It’s Renegade Techniques To Become Superhuman.
- The Zen of “The Zone” – How To Breathe The Right Way When You’re Working Out.
- Pee Strips, Power Lungs & Pulse Oximeters: How To Flip The Switch On Your Body’s Own Natural Ability To Heal Itself (& Little-Known Ways To Breathe Better).
– Other resources:
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