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Voices in the Dark

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The Modern Stoic #12: Rich On Paper, Poor On Life
A letter that hammers home the need to put your WHY first – to find your mindset and your outlook before you do anything else; on avoiding becoming the slave to money in all that you do; the swamp of accumulating possessions; how to do what you truly want now, not later; and how to make sense of Stoicism not as a prescription, but as guidelines for what to emphasise in life. Do you dream of getting rich? Would all your problems magically disappear? Well, they wouldn't. Not unless you consciously know why you want to get rich. Your mindset determines how you see and interpret your world and your engagement with it; this is true in wealth as much as in poverty, and in this episode we explore how to cultivate a mind that can endure and thrive in all conditions. First off, are you pursuing your Why? If not, there's huge danger involved in devoting too much time to building someone else's dream. Where's the time for you to grow and develop for your own sake? Already found your Why – what Joseph Campbell calls 'your Bliss'? Great. But we've got some bad news for you: it's still going to hurt. We go well beyond the usual feel-good soundbites about following your passion to outline just how difficult and emotionally draining this can be. It might be worth it, but we too easily gloss over the pain involved, so the shock of it when we feel it can send us scurrying back into our life-sapping 9-to-5s before we even get started. The Stoics advise us not to care about material wealth. But this can come in different forms: Steve Jobs is a prime example of someone who didn't care about money because he thought himself invincible anyway. As Dre explains, that helped him to succeed... but also got him killed. Seneca advises us to live only with the bare necessities (prompting us to relive our Jungle Book days), but the aim isn't to starve ourselves without cause. Learn what you're capable of and test your limits, but don't pretend that's going to be pleasant or worth pursuing for its own sake. The point is how it can help us live a good and fulfilling life. Dre also gets personal and shares his story of a recent business deal gone horribly wrong ... and how he nearly became trapped waiting for that fabled but fatal 'perfect moment' to escape. Oh, and he promptly unleashes Quantum Stoicism on us, before Jon puts him safely back in his (Schrödinger's) box. Also Including: Why Seneca thinks you shouldn't be middle class How to escape your dead-end job Burning your house down to find out who you are The real source of generosity: networks Why stealing entertainment is perfectly justified Reaching godhood – is that the next level for humanity? 'Fuck you – pay me!' Find Out More: Like us on Facebook to ask for the Audible download code for Seneca's letters The full text for free on WikiSource Check out our brand new Instagram! Ryan Holiday's superb and accessible book on Stoicism: The Obstacle is the Way The brilliant Daily Stoic Journal which we've both started working with The Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson How to game TripAdvisor to become the #1 restaurant in London for a place that doesn't exist Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
The Modern Stoic #14: Practising What You Preach
From ancient Stoic letters to modern-day S&M clubs, this one's a corker. We explore why actions speak louder than words; the benefits of taking action for mental health; why philosophy is about LIFE, not about libraries; and finding true peace within as you seek to better yourself. It's one of Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power to 'Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument', and for good reason. Consciously or otherwise, we value what people actually do, not what they merely say. Seneca exhorts us to live a life of congruence – to practise what we preach and to be wary of all those who do otherwise. This is about finding harmony – or consistency – in all you do. The person who lives out of kilter with their code can easily be spotted and is rarely trusted. 'Authenticity' is the name of the game these days, but it's already being co-opted by hordes of internet marketers, and we explain the psychological manipulations that are being used on us every time we log on. More than any letter we've discussed so far, this one highlights that Stoicism is a philosophy of action. Don't get stuck in the mind or in the library, thinking about thoughts and never actually doing anything, never bringing that knowledge to life. Seneca himself admits this is a tough one to practise consistently. But if we can find a compass, even if we wander off-piste, we can still try to head in the right direction. What it really comes down to is this: Are you lying to yourself? We've got a bunch of strategies you can use to dig into your own psyche and find out precisely that. This week we also dismantle the foolishness of binary thinking – the belief that you can only be either a gym rat or an intellectual, a warrior or a philosopher. And we try to understand where intolerance comes from – why people believe that their own experience must be the same for everyone even slightly similar. Then we go and find some beautiful examples of tolerance and acceptance in some S&M dungeons (Seneca would be proud). Dre also presents an impossible philosophical challenge to Jon; we contemplate who in our lives truly has our back; and there's time to invite some rent boys covered in cocaine into the studio. Also Including: Why investing in yourself is an investment in everyone around you Genocide on a bicycle Dre's coccyx The dissonance of not committing Disney Jesus and why we need him Find Out More: Hit us up on our brand new Instagram! 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' in a major key (brace yourself) The full text for free on WikiSource Ryan Holiday's superb and accessible book on Stoicism: The Obstacle is the Way The brilliant Daily Stoic Journal which we've both started working with Joseph Campbell's incredible The Hero With A Thousand Faces Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
The Modern Stoic #32: Drowning In Gurus
The devil is in the detail... and that's the problem. This week is about not becoming obsessed with detail at the expense of actually doing or creating something yourself. It's about not trying to control things by over-planning and over-preparing, lest you want to spend your whole life getting 'ready' to live. Drawing on the horrifically-named Letter 45, 'On Sophistical Argumentation', we lay down a challenge for you to find the courage to put yourself out into the world and trysome of those plans we know you've been hatching all these years. Lucilius doesn't think he's ready, though. He's complaining that he doesn't have enough books to be the man he wants to be, so he comes to his mentor Seneca for help. But old man Seneca doesn't respond well: stop reading indiscriminately and stop trying to find the answers to your questions solely in the works of other people, he berates his charge. There is no perfect book or perfect solution that will fix all your problems and salve all your fears. Wanna know a secret? Whatever you read or experience, when you're asking good questions of yourself and world, answers start to turn up regardless. You've primed yourself, and suddenly ideas and insights can start cropping up when you're scanning the nutritional info on your cereal box, so there's no need to spend your life trying to read through your local library. But the temptation and allure of finding the one book or person who can lead us to salvation remains. It can be hard to avoid jumping on a guru's bandwagon at some point in our lives. Don't get us wrong, being excited and inspired by an author or speaker can be very positive... but not if you start entirely abdicating your mental faculties to them (as so many Jordan Peterson fans are doing these days). Nobody has all the answers, which is why Seneca refuses to send Lucilius a stash of his collected works. The aim is to seed your mind, not to fill it. The flip-side of this can be just as dangerous, though. Living a life based on the rejectionof a particular person or school of thought is like burning coal: it's not a sustainable or healthy fuel source for your life. You're not free if you're only defining yourself againstpeople you dislike – something Jon's experienced first hand in his own personal journey. And along with all that, Seneca still has time to exhort us not to wrongly label unhelpful perceptions in order to make ourselves feel better. Are you scared but calling it prudence? Are you a dick, but calling yourself strong-willed? And there's time to, well, debate the nature of time; whether 'good' and 'necessary' are always the same thing; and what the very best way of having sex in a library would be.   Also Including: How to not drown in knowledge Does cleaning your room help people as much as Jordan Peterson would have us believe? Getting tricked by online marketers (time to tame your brain!) Stop calling time the only finite resource: it's subjective! Playing morality Jenga Find Out More: Jon's finally released his book! Check it out on Amazon USor UK! Come discuss the show in our Facebook Group Hit us up on Instagram! The full text for freeon WikiSource Our new Sex & Relationshipsepisodes! Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
The Modern Stoic #1: How To Know When You've Struck Gold – And Then How To Mine It
We all like to keep our options open – to play the field, diversify our portfolios, enjoy the freedom of an all-you-can-eat buffet. But there's a catch – a hidden, bitter price-tag we overlook at our peril. Freedom without focus is a merciless dream killer. The superficial succeed only at getting fat, complacent and insecure. Breadth and quality do not go hand in hand. The most successful and creative people don't prize knowing a little about a lot – they know when to pick an interest, business or project and drill down deep to mine the gold within. In this first episode of our new series on Stoicism, we explore the Stoic master Seneca's timeless advice on how to do the same in your own life. Whether it's showing off at the Roman Senate or chasing Likes on Instagram, Seneca's wisdom cuts to the core of the issue. The answers are deceptively simple – but are you up to the challenge? This Episode Includes:   Learning to focus your efforts on those areas and skills which are truly worth your attention How the brain processes information and which conditions promote fresh thinking Reading a book a day might sound impressive, but it's getting you nowhere Why the creative process often happens when we're not trying Knowing when to stop looking and recognise that something is worthy of your full attention How to read in spirals and why you should start now Why humans have been telling the same stories for millennia Dre also unleashes a trick for how you can learn anything from anything and Jon reflects on how he found true happiness in cheesecake. Find Out More: Like us on Facebook to ask for the Audible download code The full text for free on WikiSource Tim Ferriss's brilliant TED talk on 'fear setting' and Stoicism Ryan Holiday's books on Stoicism: The Obstacle is the Way and The Daily Stoic For cheesecake and other culinary delights, check out The Suited Chef Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
Perfection In A Glass – David Waterlow Interview (Jon's Bro)
Do you know what makes the perfect dram? By popular demand, we delve back into the world of whisky – the essential drink of the modern Renaissance Man. And this time, we've got insider knowledge from Jon's brother, David. David's managed whisky shops on Edinburgh's iconic Royal Mile – the ancient cobbled street running between the castle and Holyrood Palace. He started by answering a job ad on Gumtree, before working his way up to running stores and selling whiskies to celebrities and Texan oil barons alike. As you'd expect, he's got a few stories to share... So how did he get into whisky in the first place; how do you become an expert in selecting and drinking it; and why is it informally known as 'baby cocaine'? Who actually buys a £5,000 bottle of whisky, and how did James Bond manage to skyrocket one distillery's fortunes overnight? We dissect how to taste whisky properly and to discover which is the perfect dram for you. What happens behind the scenes? Why does it take at least 3 years to make whisky; what dodgy stuff do whisky companies get up to when the cops aren't looking; and why are Angels constantly getting drunk on the fumes? Jon and David also share drinking tales from the isles of Scotland to the Moscow winter; when Jon was stalked by a rabid Harry Potter fan; and why whisky tasting is basically the same as rimming. This is a deeply cultured episode.   Find Out More: The iconic Glencairn whisky glass Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
The Modern Stoic #23: Are You Ready For Love & True Friendship?
 Riffing on Letter 35 from Seneca ('On the Friendship of Kindred Minds'), this one takes us deep into the nature of human connections and how we can find true love and true friendship. Seneca's decided that Lucilius just isn't keeping up – he's not ready to become a true friend – an equal – of Seneca's, and Seneca is growing restless. He urges his mentee to get his shit together and focus so that they can finally talk as companions. Even outside the mentor-pupil relationship, this is something we've all experienced. Have you been in a relationship, or even a friendship, where you've felt that despite all the common ground and mutual understanding, there's still a blockage to trueconnection? Maybe the other person hasn't experienced enough in life yet to be able to see things from your vantage point; maybe they've hardened their opinions to the point of dogma and what seemed like a harmonic growing between you keeps scraping through a distressing discord? But is Seneca going about this the right way? When is telling someone they're not 'on your level' an encouragement rather than an emotional (and ineffective) attack? We think there's better ways to negotiate these situations than a grumpy letter from a lonely old man. This short letter leads us into a lot of deep and important parts of the human mind and how we connect (or don't) with other people. It touches on relationships, idealising others, the differences between friendship and love, and how our memories can keep us captive instead of teaching us lessons. Also Including: Is an acorn better than an oak tree? Why crazy people might be smarter than the rest of us Working on yourself before you can truly connect with others Finding steadiness and direction Find Out More: Hit us up on our brand new Instagram! The full text for freeon WikiSource The offensive videoDre was alluding to   Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.  
Join The Unknown – JJ Bitters Interview
Poet, writer, philosopher and artist JJ Bitters joins us this week midway through a tour through Europe and Africa. And he's just come out of the closet... OK, not thatcloset! JJ originally wanted to create art without ego, so he chose the pseudonym 'The Unknown' to keep is identity separate from his art. But can you survive and get the word out that way – and how much of yourself can you pour into art which is intentionally disconnected from you? JJ has written about mental health, psychedelic discoveries, deep philosophical questions... and lately he's been writing children's poetry that touches both the beauty and wisdom of growth and existence, all accompanied by simple and captivating illustrations. This beautiful conversation ranges naturally from art to relationships, to the pursuit of happiness and self-knowledge – in fact, it's precisely for conversations like this that we wanted to have guests on the podcast in the first place. So strap yourself in for a smart, challenging, and ultimately uplifting ride. We dig in to what creativity is and how we can overcome the resistance we so often face when we seek to be original. Does creation always have to come with or from pain, or is there a better way to route our energies? 'It's easy to hang onto the pain, because it's more extreme – it feels more real. Joy is a little bit more of a cloud. – JJ Bitters These days, JJ is a freethinking spirit, but back when he was younger he was practically a religious zealot with his eye set on becoming a priest. Looking back, he spent his youth refusing to have fun or even to masturbate during his prime teenage years! As he puts it now, 'If religion was alcohol, then I was an alcoholic' – JJ Bitters So how does that transformation come about, and what did he learn along the way? It's been a rocky road – JJ's suffered with depression for most of his life, but somehow he consciously managed to escape the worst of it. He shares the tactics and mental techniques that have largely freed him from the Noonday Demon, and his philosophy on how we can channel our energy into positive, rather than negative, channels. We also tackle the question of relationships and break-ups and the havoc they can wreak on our sense of identity. How can we be ourselves andbe with someone else? 'I don't want to me with someone who needs me. Because that's a person who has some work to do on themselves' – Jon We even play with the infamous idea of the 'law of attraction' – is there any useful reality to it, or is it just whistling in the dark? JJ and Jon also share some of their deepest psychedelic experiences and turning points – painful and joyful – that have brought them to where they are now. Also Including: Is Andy Warhol art? The cognitive dissonance in all of us Responsibility as the 'ability to respond' What is happiness? Find Out More JJ's site, Join The Unknown JJ's Instagramand Facebook page JJ's articlesas The Unknown over on HighExistence The book Conversations with Godby Neale Donald Walsch Jon's article on self-harmand what it means (and how you can help) Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
Legalising Drugs: Behind The Headlines – Anna Ross & Rosalind Roux Interview
Legalise drugs? Sounds crazy, right? Think again. Drug policy isn't shaped by medical, sociological, or psychological data. It's shaped by tabloid scare stories and politicians' fears of losing the conservative vote. This week we speak to researchers and activists Anna Ross and Rosalind Roux to dig behind the headlines and into the actual data (as well as some truly surprising insights into what politicians really say behind closed doors). Anna brings a sociological and legal perspective to drugs and makes it clear that there's no real moral or philosophical basis for current legislation. Rosalind focuses on the psychological and mental health aspects, as well as sharing her involvement with the growing movement of Students for Sensible Drug Policy network. We ask why drug policy advisors are routinely ignored by politicians; where addiction actually comes from (it's not from the drugs); and how governments fiddle the figures, avoid the facts, and ignore the realities... at least in public. There's still some cause for hope, though. It turns out there's a little-known moral crusade underway in Durham by the Police Commissioner, who's using his local power and funding to quietly decriminalising many substances. Is this the beginning of a revolution? We also share our personal stories of how to come out of the psychedelic closet to your friends and family and begin your own quiet revolution at home. Find Out More: The Scottish Drug Policy Conversations Medicinal Cannabis Reform Scotland Students for Sensible Drug Policy group Dr Gabor Maté's work on the personal realities of addiction Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
The 50th Law – Part 11: Confront Your Mortality. The Sublime.
Are you afraid to die? You don't have to be. You can overcome those fears – and in the process you'll unlock your truest potential. This episode uncovers the real Robert Greene and gets right to the core of what it means to be human to the best of our potential: to live fearlessly, powerfully, and to be attuned to the beauty of the human experience. We look at what happened when 50 Cent confronted his own morality; consider whether knowledge of our own morality helps or hinders us; and we drop insight bombs from physics, Buddhism, and personal experience. There's a how-to guide to uncover your warrior spirit and harness it, rather than let it destroy you (and the people around you). We dismantle the current obsession with 'being present' and explain what it really means. And we ask: Is today a good day to die? If not, why not? Jon shares his personal confrontations with mortality, both through suicide attempts and the most powerful psychedelic in the world. Dre explains why contemplating his own morality just leads to paralysis and nihilism (and basically why he's too cool for death). This is the final episode of the 50th Law, and in it we discover the sublime – the awesome threshold between life and death which empowers us like nothing else in creation. This Episode Includes: Overcoming the fear of death in order to embrace life Why Sci-Fi is vital Real Art – what is it? Finding your personal 'Fuck You!' Is suicide ever justifiable? Finding the sublime in everyday life Mentioned in the Episode: Our mind-opening interview with the inimitable Cory Allen The brilliant world of Rick and Morty Doctor Who on how you truly measure human progress Hear the full story of Jon's revelatory psychedelic experiences in the Amazon Carsie Blanton's beautiful song, Smoke Alarm Jon's favourite performance of Moonlight Sonata Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
The 50th Law – Part 10: Push Beyond Your Limits. Self-Belief.
You are your own limiting factor. Who you think you are defines what you're capable of. If identity is an illusion (and it is), how do we set about changing it so we fulfil and surpass all our ambitions? But big egos are a bad thing, right? It depends. This episode we deconstruct what 'ego' is all about and how to cultivate the strong, positive sort. The kind that doesn't need reinforcement and validation from others – the kind based in security of self and a mind that remains open to an ever-changing world. We look at how 50 Cent built his vision and tribe in his grandparents' living room; how parents fuck their children up by praising them the wrong way; and how to become who we are without getting wrapped up in identity-labels. Robert provides the tools we need to surpass our limits, but how can we put them into practice? We explore how to to turn dead time into learning time, but without deceiving ourselves that all those barista skills are magically going to help us later in life. Should parents kick their kids out when they reach 18? Are babies and young children actually people? And how can we be strong without needing to show it? Jon shares personal revelations uncovered by his counsellor and why he gave up ironing at age 18; Dre shares his plans to open his own Jurassic Park and his latest psychedelic insights; and we use the soon-to-be immortal phrase 'circle-jerk lubricated with tears'. This Episode Includes: Crafting your sense of self and your own value Why you should give your energy freely Taking criticism without making it about you Banning children from mainstream society Subverting your patterns What are regrets, and should we have them? Mentioned in the Episode: A small taster of Dan Peña's prolific ranting Our take on Ryan Holiday's Ego is the Enemy The hugely popular interview with Rick Doblin The Jersey Shore headbutt The Amelia Earhart story, which since the episode has perhaps been disproven all over again RuPaul's song, Born Naked Doctor Who on remembering all the people you used to be Pema Chödrön's book, The Places That Scare You Georges Perec's A Void Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller Henri Bergson's book on humour: Laugher: A Essay on the Meaning of the Comic Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
The 50th Law – Part 3: Make Everything Your Own. Self Reliance.
Who owns you? Think about it. Who controls your time, your work, even your sense of self-worth? If someone else controls any of these things, you're neither free, nor powerful. But breaking those chains is a daunting challenge. For 50 Cent, this was a tale of crack hustling, escaping the vampiric embrace of the record industry, and seizing control of his art and image. But the dynamics at play in all these areas can be related directly – and often pointedly – to the rest of us, too. Making everything your own isn't simply about material possessions. This is about self-ownership and finding the fullest expression of yourself. In this episode, we explore how Robert taps directly into powerful wisdom that's been passed down through ancient philosophies and religions, but which most of us continue to ignore. In the end, we all die alone: we can't live our lives only calibrating our self-worth to the opinion of others. Unless we grow and develop, we stagnate, give up, and lose ourselves. Our uniqueness is our strength, yet we all scurry to fit into society's pigeon holes. We're not talking special snowflakes and being a self-righteous prick, though. Things are more nuanced and complex than that, as we explore. We challenge you to ask: What's the true worst-case scenario if you go All In, and is it really something you couldn't come back from after a few months? Plus: How to be honest with yourself – are you a follower or a creator? Whether pre-nups or start-ups, we explain why you have to make clear agreements and boundaries before you enter any relationship. And why, really, it's fear that stops us from striking out on our own and taking responsibility for what happens next. We unleash the idea of Brain Yoga to unify the body, mind and spirit and cut out the bickering and confusion in ourselves. Jon grapples with the fear of hurling himself out of all safety nets, and Dre opens up about the times he's accidentally ended up working himself to death trying to fulfil other people's dreams. And it's time to get excited for our brand new, fool-proof seduction one-liner... This Episode Includes: Avoiding the toxic effects of pity Personal sovereignty and how to cultivate it Turning Dead Time into Active Time Learned Helplessness and how to avoid it Owning your legacy Why you must be either the first or the best Mentioned in the Episode: Our Election Special episode The Go Pro founder's promise to an old friend Helicopter madness – 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand Derren Brown's excellent book, Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine Robert's excellent book, Mastery The terrifying ballad, My Cubicle The article Jon mentioned about Fernando Alonso at the Indy 500   Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
Law 38 - Think As You Like But Behave Like Others | Exploring The 48 Laws of Power
Behave like others?! Doesn't this contradict the very fabric of The 48 Laws of Power, a book designed to reveal the mechanistic, unreflective ways in which most people act and then give us the tools to escape the imaginary cage this seems to confine us in? How can we Create Compelling Spectacles or Keep Others In Suspended Terror without acting in ways markedly different from the norm? But Law 38 is a complex affair, offering both a slap in the face to the idea of 'just being yourself' and expecting everything to work out, and simultaneously providing a nuanced way to retain your internal compass while navigating your way to greater power. It also vividly demonstrates why you shouldn't go round telling everyone they should be reading The 48 Laws of Power – for reasons we explore in depth in our E-Book, The 48 Laws of Power in Practice, free for a limited time HERE. As ever, we relate the Law to real life: it explains precisely where professional provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos went wrong this month in his comments about underage sex; how we can and must stay closely in touch with the spirit of the times before making our move, as we explored in Law 35; and how to deal with the friction we all feel around people who hold views to which we strongly object. In so doing, we debate the complexity of whether true-believers really live out their values, be that militant vegans or evangelical Christians, and what happens when logical models encounter real life thinking. Jon's made a career out of calling bullshit – but at what cost? And what of his tendency to cast his pearls before swine: why should we care at all what unimportant people think about us and our work? Dre recalls the times he's been thrown out of teams and groups for not following this Law, and we contemplate how it's possible to remain ourselves while being formless and flowing. Is it truly to compromise your views if you keep quiet about them? And what about during times of authoritarian rule: can you be powerful if you're silent, or powerful if you speak out? Jon reflects on the experience of being gay in Putin's Russia and how he did – or should have – acted there. And we sign off with the least-well advised invitation ever. Hit subscribe and let's get going! This episode includes: When and how to keep your cards close to your chest Tying your beliefs into your identity How the brain constantly creates a simulation of reality and how this must impact on how we make decisions Congruent people – are they powerful or not? The power of the Campanella Method The dangers of 'tunnelling' Casting your pearls before swine Pushing beyond your comfort-group: the virtues of spending time with people whose views you dislike How to avoid hypocrisy while being all things to all people Mentioned in the episode: Jesse Bering's book, Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us Robert Colvile's The Great Acceleration – check out our Exclusive Interview with Robert Robert Greene's book, Mastery Darwin's The Origin of Species The ever-disturbing, BoJack the Horseman   Challenge: Adopt the Campanella Method: give voice to a view you don't hold in front of those who hold it... but in a way that deftly highlights its flaws. What happened next? Let us know! Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. Join us as we continue our 48 Laws of Power review, exploring Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling book, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually. Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).
Law 39 - Stir Up Waters To Catch Fish | Exploring The 48 Laws of Power
Control. We crave it, we scramble for it, and we hate to feel under the control of anyone else. Law 39 is all about learning how to retain control without even trying, explaining how it's precisely by grasping for power that so many people lose it forever. Stillness and calm are the heart of power, but turning up your volume is the desperate resort of those who're losing it. When emotions and fear take the lead, you become laughable or pathetic to those around you; retaining discipline and poise can make all the difference, even if your material situation is dire. Simple on the the surface, this Law is filled with surprisingly deep psychological analysis. We dig deep into how our parents imprint so much on us, and how to break out of those patterns which we otherwise unthinkingly default to. But to find out what other people's buttons are – to stir up their automatic reactions – can be an incredibly potent tool: stirring the waters can reveal their thumbscrews – taking us back to Law 33. As ever, this Law has a lot to say about relationships; passive aggression and trying to force others to do as you want can play an insidious but all too common role between couples. We consider the vital difference between reacting and responding; why this isn't a Law worth using when you're not interacting with people of any relevant power; and when and how to take the reins in social situations – it's much easier than you might imagine. Jon provides some insights from his time in Russia into the politics, power and leadership cult of Vladimir Putin, and Dre recalls key moments when we took the lead – and was applauded for doing so. And there's plenty more personal tales from when we've observed or transgressed the Law – resulting in both a public meltdown and in a gypsy curse... This episode includes: When Napoleon lost his shit... and thereby his power The key signs that you're losing power The difference between starting before you're ready and being goaded into foolish action What Putin's leadership style reveals about modern-day power How to turn the dial down on other people's emotions Getting the last word: useful or not? How to see past the immediate moment and retain the powerful long-view The positive and the negative ways of getting in touch with your inner child Power as a demeanour When and how you can feign anger strategically Mentioned in the episode: Cultural appropriation in Orange Juice form Cory Allen's brilliant podcast, The Astral Hustle What does Superman dream of...? Our deep interview with Peter Sage Our fascinating recent interview with Robert Colvile on The Great Acceleration in our lives   Challenge: Stir up some shit while retaining complete calm. What happens? Do you come out of things better? What did you learn? Let us know in the comments! Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. Join us as we continue our 48 Laws of Power review, exploring Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling book, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually. Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).
Law 40 - Despise The Free Lunch | Exploring The 48 Laws of Power
Freebies? Surely we want them... Actually, we don't. Law 40 explains the enormous psychological burdens involved in accepting the free lunch, and how rapidly this can draw you into a web of obligations and inferior power positions. This Law breaks down the different kinds of toxic people who try to manipulate you through emotional and financial blackmail – you'll know them when you hear them described, but how many times have you fallen inadvertently under their sway? This week we explore how to successfully cultivate and nurture relationships so that you can call on those favours when you need them, but without making people feel beholden to you; the intense and damaging role your parents' behaviour continues to play in your life; and why humans' idea of justice often just translates into taking punitive actions against others. Money figures significantly in this episode, but not in the way you'd expect. We get into the need to value your time ahead of counting the pennies, and why spending your money extravagantly is much wiser than you might think. If we can think of money as energy we can turn its power to our advantage so that the more you give away, the richer you become. Jon and Dre recal the times they've seen powerful cons play out in real life; get into an intense debate about the nature of real love and 'the one that got away'; and Dre shares a masterful trick to get drinks bought for you without breaking this Law. Less powerfully, Jon reveals his escalating nicotine habit, how not to give him gifts, and his terrible history of being triggered by the National Trust. Do not buy him hats, and do not take him to stately homes. Seriously – just don't. This episode includes: Why you should never offer to buy someone coffee How this Law can solve classic relationship problems Why it's so hard to give anything away Why almost every internet coaching service and free webinar is total bullshit How to tell if you're unconsciously living out the echoes of your parents' lives How to act as you want to be treated How to cultivate non-resented debts Destroying wealth to generate more of it How to pay the bill the right way Why true love is like meth Mentioned in the episode: The ever-disturbing, BoJack the Horseman Trying to give away a Massive Yacht! The Great Gatsby – book and film Daniel Gilbert's superb book, Stumbling on Happiness The ultra-spiritual JP Sears Challenge: Say no to free stuff and buy a few more rounds than you should. Start to value your time at $60 an hour and act accordingly... Then let us know what happened next! Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. Join us as we continue our 48 Laws of Power review, exploring Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling book, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually. Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).
The 50th Law – Part 1: Becoming Fearless
When the hip-hop phenomenon 50 Cent asked to meet Robert Greene after reading his phenomenal bestseller, The 48 Laws of Power, it was only a matter of time before the two collaborated on a project. They immediately found similarities that transcended background and ethnicity – not least, the ability to truly see and analyse the power games that people constantly play and the multifarious ways they manipulate others. 50 Cent came from the violent streets of Southside Queens; he never knew his father and his mother was murdered when he was eight. He rapidly learnt to depend only on himself, and rose from small-time hustling to become a worldwide branding machine with a portfolio ranging from precious metals to platinum albums; clothing lines to videogames; boxing promotions to young adult novels. As Robert puts it, Fifty is the ‘hip-hop Napoleon Bonaparte’. What distinguishes him from everyone else is the core of The 50th Law, and which, as we explore, is also the fullest realisation of Robert’s Laws of Power in action. The 50th Law is all about fearlessness: how to cultivate it, how to embody it, and how to live a life neither afraid, nor merely being brave in spite of some fear. No, the goal is to transcend the need for bravery by becoming fearless in all things. Historical and contemporary examples combine to illustrate deep and vital insights into social psychology and human nature. In this first episode, we dive need into why people are so scared of being themselves and spend so much of their time trying to become someone else… and the price they pay for doing so. We tackle the toxic effects of rolling TV news and obsessing over social media; which vested interests and old business models are ripe for disruption and destruction; and we elucidate the crucial difference between cooperation and outright relying on others. Things get personal, too. We talk about the how the fear of feeling embarrassed holds us back from becoming and expressing ourselves; how Dre overcame fear and reset his shame ‘zero point’ wearing only his underwear; and Jon shares a disturbing personal story of when he was assaulted in Russia. This Episode Includes: Diversifying your portfolio to never be beholden to others Identifying and resetting your ‘zero point’ of fear and shame Should you give yourself a News Diet? Choosing an active rather than passive mode to our lives The crucial limitations of a ‘mind over matter’ approach How to train the brain to be ready for the unexpected Avoiding the trap of using weary cynicism to hide from your fears Mentioned in the Episode: The TV show, Entourage – another world of courtly intrigue Tim Ferriss’s lifestyle design phenomenon, The Four-Hour Work Week Our exclusive interview with mindset and muscle coach, the former soldier Jamie Alderton Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, plus check out her TED Talks: One and Two Are we allowed to say ‘Fiddy Cent’? The man himself breaks it down   Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
What Is Your Favourite Place In The World? – Minisode 002
Inspired by our friends Nic Gregoriades and Thomas Faustin Huisking over at Digital Communion, this is the second of a series of short (20 mins) but deep conversations between Jon and Dre. Each episode begins with a question designed to make you (and us) reflect and to think about life and our experience of it. Today's episode poses the question: 'What's your favourite place in the world?' Some of the areas we get into: Jon increasingly aims at a feeling more than a place Finding flow – alone and in company Moscow: Jon's favourite city in the world and why The space in Russian culture for really wearing your emotions on your sleeve Dre takes us back to the beautiful south island of New Zealand and its fjords The timelessness of the landscape and the sea... and how good that can make you feel To be beautifully lonely without being alone Our place in the world Jon's Ayahuasca retreat – which you can read about here
Feeding The Pleasure Monkey: Conner Moore Interview
From Bible-Belt town to living and then escaping the American Dream, Conner Moore can now be found exploring consciousness, making podcasts, lifting heavy, and changing lives at Onnit – a company dedicated to Total Human Optimization. After his first business venture as a gym owner began to fall apart, Conner found himself cleaning the gym listening to Alan Watts and starting to wonder if there wasn't more to life than he'd been led to believe. Three months of living hand-to-mouth, combined with some powerful psychedelic experiences, changed his perspective on the world, which he shares with raw honesty in this interview. After several exchanges online, Jon met up with Conner in Austin, Texas, to get down to the business of life, identity, pleasure, struggle, profanity, and going for your win – whatever that may be. This was a beautifully easy conversation to have: deep but fun, with a lot of cool insights along the way. We talk about the different stories we tell about ourselves as we go through life; reinventing ourselves, but never quite leaving the old pieces behind. We get into how psychedelics led Conner to better know himself and take a step back and really assess where he was in life; and we discuss how to take control while remaining in the flow of your life. Conner's about to launch his own podcast – The Pleasure Monkey Podcast – so we chatted about finding your voice and then the confidence to share it without feeling like you're an egotist. We also demolish the 'everything happens for a reason' cliché to find something more meaningful and realistic; we explore how to become comfortable with pain, risk and uncertainty; and we think about how it's precisely in moments of instability that we need to completely let go of the storylines we cling to. Oh, and Jon gets triggered by gratitude, while Conner announces his future publication, The Douchebag Manifesto. How can you resist? What We Get Into: Conner's greatest accomplishment ...and his greatest fear Sacrificing stability Getting conned in his first business venture The 3 components to finding success in any field 'Networking' the natural way Starting a podcast and finding your voice How to feel like you deserve to succeed Not attaching yourself to end-goals and missing the point of the game How to love bad dates Love, loss, and how to learn and grow from them Turning experience into ways to help others Not retreating into your Fear Cave Responding rather than reacting Stress spirals and how to avoid them Why you should pretend you're on a podcast at least once a week Find Conner: On Instagram On Facebook Mentioned in the Interview: Onnit and its CEO, Aubrey Marcus Aubrey Marcus's Go For Your Win course Not getting caught out when people play to your fantasies Ryan Holidays excellent books, The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy – check out our article on Ego here! Onnit's Total Human Optimization Podcast Conner's quote about not being entitled to the fruits of your labour, but to its lessons seems to have come from the Bhagavad Gita Pema Chödrön's books, The Places That Scare You and Comfortable With Uncertainty Conner's deep and enlightening conversation with Cory Allen on The Astral Hustle, #67 Mark Manson's excellent book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck Sarah Knight's The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A Fuck
Law 37 - Create Compelling Spectacles | Exploring The 48 Laws of Power
Words are wind, but images and symbols are unforgettable. Create a spectacle, tell a story, or imbue yourself with the resonant power of a symbol and you're well on your way to capturing the hearts and minds of your audience. Kings, charlatans, mistresses and maniacs – Law 37 unpacks the magical thinking which forms an intrinsic part of how humans operate across the spectrum of society. Even if we can turn down the volume of these superstitious thought patterns, we can never escape their influence completely. Symbols are at the very heart of communication – they're the shortcuts our brains take to understand an extremely complex world, and in this episode we dissect how they work and how we can make them work for us. Dre unleashes his theory of mind and consciousness; we reflect on how shittily society treats women as they grow older; and we set about redesigning the American classroom pledge of allegiance. How does mind control play into such rituals? And what can psychedelics reveal to us about the unconscious connections we make between experiences, ideas, and images? We also talk about how we choose what we wear in order to say something about ourselves (even if only to ourselves); Jon reflects on his attempts to buy into symbol structures to find a sense of belonging; and then we casually redesign the nature of government. Oh, and we also each choose our personal symbol and contemplate the infinite allure of booty. Join us! This episode includes: The secrets of Trump's success The power of emojis and why they improve communication How faith-healing does and doesn't work How to keep a relationship alive well into old age The power of logos... or at least the power that we give them Why you should declare yourself to be whatever the hell you want to be Why having a sense of control over life can rapidly become a matter of life and death Writing or speaking as ways of playing the instrument of other people's minds Voting on the basis of value and intellectual kinship Is there a tyranny of experts in the modern world? Do you have a movement without a symbol? The disturbing reality of bodybuilding Mentioned in the episode: Jon's Ayahuasca experiences, which you can read about here Picasso's famous painting, Guernica Joe Dispenza's book, You Are The Placebo Andrew Weil's book, The Marriage of the Sun and Moon Johan Huizinga's Homo Ludens The Stone of Destiny The hilarious and deeply insightful psychology book, Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert The TV show Dre was in: The Audience CM Punk's logo Challenge: Create your own symbol! How do you want to represent yourself to the world? Let us know what you choose (especially if it's rude). Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. Join us as we continue our 48 Laws of Power review, exploring Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling book, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually. Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).
Make Sweet Beautiful Love To Your 2017
What happens when you try to record a live podcast in the lounge of a 5-star hotel without asking permission? It turns out you have a really powerful conversation, an excellent cocktail, you break down what 2016 meant and what 2017 is going to be… and no one interferes with you whatsoever. Not bad, eh? Recorded on the road during Dre’s trip to Jon’s home town of Edinburgh, we decided to cast an eye back over the last year and share some of our BIG plans for Voices in the Dark in 2017. Dre’s quit his job; Jon’s writing for big sites and flying round the world to interview guests… and that’s only the beginning. Needless to say, we also get angry about various topics, break down some social and psychological problems we all face, and then head off to drink a good deal of expensive whisky. Join us! This episode includes: Our plans for 2017! Dre quitting his job Is Jon retaining any of his meditative calm or insights from the monastery? A big debate on free speech, no-platforming, censorship and punishment The importance of having high-quality conversations What makes something a thing? Why things can only be art if you show them to an audience Mentioned in the episode: The amazing book  (with a terrible cover), The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk And its sequel, City of Refuge Dre was referring back to Law 23: Concentrate Your Forces Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy Terry Pratchett's Discworld books Our friends over at High Existence Jon's Ayahuasca article for them Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah and Malcolm Gladwell's podcast about the evolution of the song Carsie Blanton's wonderful album, So Ferocious The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Be silly. Be kind. Be weird.
027 - Exploring The 48 Laws Of Power - Play On People's Need To Believe To Create A Cultlike Following
LAW 27: Play On People's Need To Believe To Create A Cultlike Following   Even more controversial than usual, Law 27 is a guide to building your own cult and actively duping people! But behind the shock factor, the reality is that people do this all the time, from pyramid schemes to spiritual gurus on- and offline, so, at the very least, we need to learn how to spot a con if we're going to avoid being a victim of one. Jon and Dre discuss cults old and new and how they continue to gain power over the gullible through evoking emotions and avoiding concrete details as much as possible. They roast their old 'friend', the internet charlatan Tai Lopez; consider why people always seem to hate it when you dare to break with convention; and introduce their newest grumpy hashtag: #intellectuallyvoid. Not unexpectedly, Dre plots how to set up his own cult, albeit one based around the motto 'Fuck you, don't tell me what to do!', while Jon explains why he won't be giving you points or congratulations for having babies or buying houses. They also ponder how Britain has essentially become a police state (and why we've let this happen); the serious dangers of giving bureaucrats and marketing people power; and... Jon's fetish for elves. Naturally. FULL LINKS: http://voicesinthedark.world/2016/12/12/play-on-peoples-…-of-power-law-27/ This episode includes: What's the difference between a cult and a movement? How meditation and spirituality became the 21st century's cults Celebrities as the modern gods The power of being vague How to know when someone's entrancing you How churches work Why 'political religion' is a bullshit idea Our lust for hierarchy The dark cult of Apple The dangerous tyranny of bureaucrats The need for conflict in our lives Finding stability at the peak of the mountain rather than at the foot of the valley Mentioned in the Episode Our beautiful new Philosophical T-Shirts! Daniele Bolelli's excellent Drunken Taoist Podcast Aubrey Marcus's Go For Your Win course Jon quotes from Terry Pratchett's novel, Witches Abroad The Highlander films – there can be only one! The Game of Life. Which looks really shit. Isaac Asimov's Foundation Our good friend Zofia's Dynamic Meditation Classes in London The power and beauty of the Moscow Metro See Orlando Bloom's haggard form in The Hobbit Steve Jobs on the danger of monopolies The chilling realism of Fight Club Do you need to use the sleep? Challenge: Join Dre's cult and don't be a cunt... Let us know how that goes! Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. Join us as we continue our 48 Laws of Power review, exploring Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling book, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually. Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).
Talking the Walk 03: Kate Armstrong – Telling Stories of Life and Depression
Kate Armstrong's debut novel, The Storyteller, is a compelling, innovative and at times disturbing tale of depression, recovery, and the fragility of the stories we tell ourselves. A young woman wakes up, paralysed by depression, in a psychiatric hospital; we follow her faltering, dreamlike steps back into life, but there's a twist. Her story is being told by another patient who has her own ideas about what makes a good narrative... I sat down with Kate in St James's Park in central London to talk about her book and the experiences which led her to write it. We talked about life, breakdowns, hope, art, love and everything in between. We compared notes on our experiences of depression and how it manifests; how it's possible to have imposter syndrome even about your own mental health (was I suicidal enough?); why it can actually be a relief to end up in hospital; what 'asylums' are all about; and the difficulty of communicating what these experiences are like to people who haven't experienced them. The recent explosion of articles in the mainstream media about depression and anxiety can make it seem like a modern epidemic, but the fact is it's all entirely normal. We talk about the history of 'melancholy' and other, older ideas of mental health issues, and wonder whether the medicalisation and endless prescriptions are an improvement on cultures of acceptance of different kinds of behaviour. Being ill, mentally as well as physically, is part of being human. Instead of rejecting these states, we need to find a balance between accepting and treating them. This is the kind of conversation that needs to happen in the open and be heard by more and more people. Depression isn't rare and isn't something to be ashamed of or hidden away. But more than that: we need to talk about how it feels, not only so other sufferers don't feel alone, but also to help people who've never experienced it understand how they can help their loved ones.   This is the third episode of 'Talking the Walk', the show that brings you conversations with interesting people doing cool and unusual things. We'll talk about life, people, philosophy, music, politics... Quality pub conversations with a microphone, in short. Many thanks to Tom McRae for the beautiful theme music!
Talking the Walk 02: Neo – Homeless Singer, Social Activist
Meet Neo: homeless by choice, musician by chance, and social activist by conviction. He's been a silver-service waiter to royalty, trained with the British karate team, travelled – homeless – around the world, and recorded a remarkable album just 10 months after he first picked up a guitar. He's packed about a dozen ordinary lifetimes into his 45 years, but this, he tells us from behind his rockstar dark glasses, is just the beginning. I met Neo on the streets of Oxford when his voice and the song he was playing stopped me dead. Rocking his self-described 'gothic cowboy' look, he's been called a male Adele by some... and they may not be far from the mark. Music industry aficionados have begun to take note and he's soon to appear on the TV show 'The Voice', but he's not looking for fame. He wants to change how we understand homelessness and support people trying to get off the streets. Neo's vision is to create a Crisis Centre run by the homeless, for the homeless – a place sensitive to each person's background and needs, unlike the often toxic, spreadsheet-driven environments government and council programmes create. Retired doctors and nurses are already pledging their support and Neo's donating 100% of the profits from his music to raise the £3 million they need to make the Centre a reality. And even that is just the beginning. This podcast will challenge everything you think you know about homelessness, inequality, and life on the margins of society. With a roll-up wedged between his lips, Neo opens up about a life few of us can imagine but all of us can identify with. We talk about love, loss, violence, family, music, mental health, and much more besides. It was, without exaggeration, a privilege to spend time with him, and to share this conversation with you here.   This is the second episode of 'Talking the Walk', the show that brings you conversations with interesting people doing cool and unusual things. We'll talk about life, people, philosophy, music, politics... Quality pub conversations with a microphone, in short. Many thanks to Tom McRae for the beautiful theme music
011 - Exploring The 48 Laws Of Power - Learn To Keep People Dependent On You
Learn To Keep People Dependent On You An uncomfortable Law that makes us consider just who we are important to – and how precarious that can be as we struggle to become the power behind the throne. This is about the need to become indispensable... or at least to appear to be, making it the complementary piece to Law 1: here we learn how to be and remain The Master, but also how to remain essential to a Master without coming to outshine them. Along the way we hear how Dre managed to keep ahead of the game by diversifying his skillset before he became replaceable, while Jon failed at every turn to seed doubt in the minds of others or to defeat any bureaucrats at all. We also drop in on the bizarre world of Russian cloakrooms, dog-eating squirrels, and take time to consider the artificial, fast-food way we try to feel power over our lives by using social media, rather than cultivating meaningful relationships. This Episode includes: How to make yourself indispensable, and the price you pay if you don't The awesome power of coat-check attendants in Russia Ally yourself with someone weak who you can help make strong; don't get lost in the crowd of the already-strong Find your niche, which will become your domain of power How modern, short-term thinking distracts you from the road to power: play the long (even the 'infinite') game if you want to succeed Does knowing other people's secrets make you powerful, or more vulnerable? How to drop hints to make people worry that you have power over them The master of psych-outs: Arnold Schwarzenegger Why power only exists in relation to other people Becoming the power behind the power behind the throne, and the web of dependence involved The bizarre cult of 'authenticity' Dre goes full Machiavelli and reveals his plans to predict all human behaviour Mentioned in the Episode: Our favourite Bismarck T-Shirt! The famous painting of the declaration of the formation of Germany, featuring Bismarck as the central figure 'Dropping the Pilot' – the cartoon satirising Wilhelm II's dismissal of Bismarck – a decision that would have disastrous consequences Dre's 'best film ever': Pumping Iron Some of Michael Schumacher's most controversial moments in the pursuit of victory Russia's terrifying killer squirrels The Russian dogs who know how to ride the Moscow Metro The book Jon mentioned: Finite and Infinite Games, by James Carse The picture of the Éminence grise Dre described Sir Thomas More – another ultimately dispensable figure in Henry VIII's court Chris Ryan's brilliant podcast, Tangentially Speaking, and his upcoming book, Civilized to Death Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy and the idea of Psychohistory Join us as we continue our exploration of Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling study of the 48 Laws of Power, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually. Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).   FULL NOTES: http://voicesinthedark.world/2016/08/15/learn-to-keep-pe…power-episode-11/
009 - Exploring The 48 Laws Of Power - Win Through Your Actions - Never Through Argument
Law 9: Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument A Law that many smart people fail to observe... not least the big-mouthed hosts of this podcast! In this episode we dissect the crucial differences between being smart and being effective, and dig into how to score results rather than points. Dre vents about his experiences with freelancers, while Jon has an existential crisis about how any of his academic work can observe the Law... And we both tell some excruciatingly embarrassing stories of how we've both been conned when others have used the devilish Reversal of this Law against us.   FULL NOTES & LINKS: http://voicesinthedark.world/2016/07/18/win-through-your-actions-never-through-argument-exploring-the-48-laws-of-power-episode-09   This Episode includes: Why the need to be right actually places you in a weak position The trouble with freelancers Offer once, and only once How to weaponise clichés... but be on your guard against others doing likewise Why winning the logical argument isn't the same as winning the emotional – and more important – argument Why you must choose when to show off your qualities Listening for people's needs rather than to their words Telling your story, not trying to tell other people theirs Why the need to demonstrate a quality can reveal some harsh truths The perception of time and how deeply it can affect your happiness The shortcuts your brain takes to understand the world: why we're all living in our own simulations The voices in your head... which ones should you listen to? Why an attitude of 'that's not my job' leads nowhere good. #howtheholocausthappened The worrying realisation that you can't teach curiosity The dangers of wanting to believe the lie – of wanting to be tricked Why truth and reconciliation are more important than 'justice' Remembering that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission   Mentioned in the Episode: Baltasar Gracián's superb The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence– a major source for the 48 Laws of Power. Check out the shirt, below, for this Law, featuring the perfect quote from Gracián Dothraki footnotes! The marvel of the Intervision Song Contest – the Eastern Bloc's Eurovision   Join us as we continue our exploration of Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling study of the 48 Laws of Power, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually. Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).    
How Do Open Relationships Work? [Sex & Relationships Series]
Open relationships. We've all heard about them. But how do they work? Would one be right for you? And how can you even broach the subject with your partner? And then, if you get into one, do you need to set rules? Can they change? Do you need to ask for permission beforehand, or take video footage to share with your partner afterwards? It gets very complicated very quickly, and in this special episode, we set out to answer all these questions and more. The goal isn't to unconditionally praise open relationships, but to explore what they are, how they work, and what the many benefits and pitfalls can be. First off, we dig into the biological and anthropological history of monogamy. Andrea breaks down some of the dodgy science being cited by open relationship evangelists, while Jon takes the side of Chris Ryan (author of Sex atDawn) and his argument against the idea that monogamy is simply 'natural'. Why is this all so emotionally charged for us in the first place, though? In large part, it's because we've been fed a gluttonous diet of unrealistic and idealised versions of what 'true love' is and should be through TV, movies, books, and magazines. But real life and real people aren't so simple (or so boring). Few people are sexually monogamous with one person for their whole lives, so it raises the question of why being serially monogamous is somehow 'better' than getting jiggy with multiple people at the same time. Jealousy is the obvious issue here, and it's one of the biggest fears about open relationships: How will I be able to deal with my partner being intimate with someone else? But jealousy doesn't have to be a bad thing. Relationship counsellor Esther Perel argues that jealousy is 'an erotic rage', which can be channelled in positive directions – to inspire you to bring your best self to your relationship, to recharge your energy and really take your investment in your partner to the next level. And that shouldn't be confused with possessiveness. Possessiveness is when we try to keep our partners on a short leash because we're afraid and insecure that surely they'll leave us if we even give them a sniff of other possibilities. If the fear of being open is that your partner might fall for someone else and run away with them, it's worth pausing to reflect that they can always do that anyway, unless you physically lock them in the house. In any case, exploring an open relationship is neither a recipe for an immediate jealousy implosion nor abundant wall-to-wall orgies. As Jon explains from personal experience, it's more of a crash course in confronting your deepest insecurities. To work well, open relationships require morecommunication, morewillingness to be vulnerable, moretrust, and so on. This isn't the absence of commitment, but a much more active and conscious approach to that commitment. It's a process – often an immensely challenging one – which can be incredibly rewarding for your personal development, self-understanding, and your ability to remove the masks of fear and truly connect with another person. Jon shares plenty of stories from his own experiences of open relationships – including his many fuck-ups – and why, despite all the challenges, he wouldn't want to go back to monogamy. Andrea is, if not on the other side of the debate, at least standing on the fence, so this is a juicy discussion rather than a manifesto. But being a discussion – and on such a hot topic – we want your questions! Get in touch via our Facebook Groupor through hello@voicesinthedark.world. We'll be recording a follow-up episode where we dig into the digital mailbag to continue the conversation.   Also Including: Why being teammates is the most romantic kind of relationship How to deal with strong emotional reactions Are threesomes the gateway drug to open relationships? Erotic rage! 'You're mine' vs. 'I'm yours' Using the right language to discuss emotional issues Find Out More: Chris Ryan and Cacilda Jethá's landmark book, Sex at Dawn Esther Perel Aubrey Marcus's Open Relationship Field Guide and other resources – highly recommended Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
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Podcast Details
Jun 9th, 2016
Latest Episode
Sep 23rd, 2019
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About 1 hour

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