Paradigm Shifts: Discovering Consciousness Beyond The Brain With Mark Gober

The Most Important Conversations | Mark Gober | Consciousness


We are conditioned with a certain worldview by society that often leaves us aimless, going through life just trying to achieve the next thing. But life is so much more than that. We learn more in this mind-expanding episode, where Chad Lefevre welcomes Mark Gober, the author of the award-winning book, An End to Upside Down Thinking. Mark’s transformative journey from a materialistic to a metaphysical worldview emphasizes the importance of aligning with purpose for genuine happiness. He talks about breaking free from entrenched worldviews and finding that there’s more to consciousness than just the brain. With conversations that tackle various topics from the role of psychedelics to the exploration of UFOs and multi-dimensional intelligence, Mark offers us a packed episode full of paradigm-shifting insights. Tune in now and discover a world beyond what we know and gain lessons that will help you take life head-on.

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Paradigm Shifts: Discovering Consciousness Beyond The Brain With Mark Gober

Welcome, everybody, to the show. I’m so excited for this conversation. We have someone whom I’ve known for a number of years and have always aligned with in terms of his thinking and the impact that he wants to have on the world with his thinking. Mark Gober is here. He is the author of An End to Upside Down Thinking, An End to Upside Down Liberty, and An End to Upside Down Contact.


The Most Important Conversations | Mark Gober | Consciousness


You came out with a new book, An End to Upside Down Medicine. You are trying to turn the world right side up, aren’t you?

It didn’t start off that way. I had a paradigm shift in terms of how I looked at the nature of consciousness and the nature of reality. That was the impetus behind my first book, An End to Upside Down Thinking. People asked me if I would continue writing books. I said, “What are you talking about? I would need to have some really big topics that I felt passionate enough about,” and here we are. The sixth book came out. I continue to find things where there is a need for a paradigm shift. I enjoy researching and sharing my findings.

It’s interesting. The show that we’re on is called The Most Important Conversations. That also happens to be the name of our organization. Our commitment in our organization is to convene a community of individuals, thinkers, executives, philosophers, artists, creatives, etc. who want to create and collaborate together to come up with solutions for a lot of the systemic and structural breakdown that we’re starting to see in any number of areas.

It sounds like your books, the Upside Down Thinking series, An End to Upside Down Thinking, Medicine, etc., that’s the focus for you. It is to start to at least crack open in people’s thinking that there is another way, that we are trapped in a paradigm, but that isn’t reality, and that we can create another paradigm if we should choose to.

What I find is that, at least in my own experience, I’ve been exposed to certain information through academia, my career in the business world, and the media, and that information set is limited relative to what’s out there. The more I dig beyond what we might call the “mainstream”, I find that there’s a lot of credible information that makes me rethink my prior assumptions.

A Paradigm Shift In Worldview

Let’s go back to the original thing that opened up for you. Your worldview, as all of ours incidentally, was really informed by the education system and a lot of the conditioning in terms of how our society runs structurally. One of the things that you and I first aligned on when we first met is that at the end of the day, when you think about what drives human beings, human beings want to attain this state of happiness, this state of bliss, or whatever you want to call it. It could be Nirvana. It depends on your culture.

We want to be happy. It’s pretty simple, or at least it should be pretty simple. We put all this stuff in the way that we think is going to make us happy, but ironically, it detracts from our happiness. You went on this journey, which I don’t want to spend a lot of time on because it’s been well-documented. You probably talked about it at length.

What I’m really curious about is, do you think that the world is starting to open up to the possibility that reality is a perception? I can alter my perception and my paradigm. Therefore, I could create a different world. Do you think this message is starting to get across and people are starting to become more receptive to it?

Yes and no. I find pockets of increased openness, but when I first started researching and put my first book out, I would’ve expected more acceleration given how much evidence there is and how much science there is. I went to Princeton University, for example. I worked in investment banking in New York, and then I worked in Silicon Valley. I’ve been around a lot of people who have a conventional educational background. With that background, there are many assumptions built into the worldview, I found. It’s because of what they believe science is teaching. It’s almost dogmatic.

It seems like for those who are conventionally educated, very often, it seems difficult to break out of that way of thinking. For me, it was difficult. It took a lot of time, research, and introspection. For many people, either they don’t have the time for it or they think it couldn’t be possible that there would be such a big paradigm shift. Also, it’s an extremely disorienting thing to have one worldview and then realize the fundamental basis of reality that you believed wasn’t correct. I’m still adjusting to that, so I can understand why people would say, “Maybe it’s right, but I don’t want to go there because it’s too much for me.”

You and I both know that the brain, at one level at least, is only concerned with our survival. Anything that is change is seen as a threat. I’m curious what you think, but that might be the source of why people are so beholden to and attached to that worldview or paradigm that they can’t let go of.

That’s part of it, resistance to change. I also think ego is part of it, especially in the world of academia. Professors who spent their whole career in one paradigm to say, “I got the fundamental aspect wrong,” that’s a difficult thing to admit. We see in academia, especially some of those prominent institutions, that they will not go in these directions. In fact, they will often try to tell people not to study certain topics because it could challenge the paradigm.

What do you think makes people happy?

Ultimately, it’s about aligning with one’s purpose. That wasn’t many words, but it’s really deep when you get into what that means. I don’t even think I know what that fully means. What does it mean to align? What does one’s purpose mean? Maybe we start with purpose. I look at it from a metaphysical perspective. My old worldview, and this was the upside-down thinking that I talk about in my books that I’m trying to correct, is that we live in a random and meaningless universe.


What makes people happy is aligning with one’s purpose.


The only reason we exist is because of chemical reactions that led to the evolution of a human being that developed a brain. When the brain and the body die, that’s the end of your sense of experiencing life, i.e. your consciousness. You can enjoy life while you’re here and you can try to come up with meaning, but ultimately, you’re rationalizing because there’s no meaning built into the fabric of reality itself.

There is certainly no broader cosmic purpose behind any individual being. That would be the upside-down thinking. It’s the reverse that each of us is incredibly meaningful and that there’s something beyond this body. Whatever our individual purpose is, because it probably differs by individual, it is something that we know when we feel it, which makes it difficult to write down in words. We all have a feeling when we know we’re on the right track.

There’s this old Buddhist saying. It’s an aphorism. It asks the question, “Who were you when you were born?” That’s an inquiry that if someone were to sit with for a minute, you weren’t the conditioning when you were born. We’re born. We’re named. Our parents have a vision for who we could be in the world. We’re thrown into conditioning very early.

Why is the so-called midlife crisis so common for people? It’s because that pinging of, “What is my calling? What is my purpose?” has never been answered for a lot of people. Instead, they’ve found themselves in the moment of a conditioned society that expects them to play this game. You’ve extracted or extricated yourself from the game. That must have been hard to do.

I was in that mode that you described of having a sense of purposelessness or meaninglessness where I was trying to achieve the next thing that was in front of me. It felt like being on a treadmill where I would go back to the status quo state. I wasn’t getting anywhere even if I achieved what I wanted. When I came across the body of science that I’ve written about, it changed my worldview. I realized that there’s more than the treadmill and that whatever direction I was on previously, in every way, but especially with my career, it wasn’t aligned. That’s why I was maybe having the angst that I felt previously. It took a lot for me to shift out of that.

I became a partner in my firm in Silicon Valley after spending about ten years there and decided to leave. This was after I’d written my first book and put out my podcast series in 2019, Where is My Mind? I  said I felt like I was splitting my energy where I couldn’t do the old way of servicing clients like I had before. It didn’t feel aligned like it used to. Yet, I had this passion to learn and question paradigms on the other hand, so I decided to leave the firm even after devoting so much of my life to it. Ultimately, more books have come out and a lot of fulfillment, but it was a very challenging decision because I was so ingrained in that system.

Tapping Into The Stream Of Consciousness

I know I had the awareness moment that unpacked some things for me. It’s been said by many people, but in Anthony Peake’s book, he talks about how the brain doesn’t generate consciousness. I know you talk about this as well. It almost operates more like a radio receiver. We have access to or we can tap into the stream of consciousness, but that’s not generated by our biology. When was the first time that that hit you? What was that moment like when you were like, “I’m not generating my own consciousness. I’m tapping into something bigger. There’s something out there that I’ve been closed off to because of conditioning.”

This started for me in 2016 initially listening to my first health podcasts where they, in some cases, talked about energy and metaphysical topics as they relate to health and even entities. This one woman, her name’s Laura Powers, was a psychic talking on a health show. She was saying, “I help clients all the time using my psychic abilities and dealing with things outside of the brain system.” That’s effectively what she was saying.

The more I looked into it, I realized that she wasn’t the only one talking that way. I know that might sound strange to your audience, but I was unfamiliar with this whole way of thinking. I hadn’t had any exposure to it. I realized, “There’s a whole world of people that have had these direct experiences and there’s a lot of science that backs it up.” The University of Virginia has a division of perceptual studies. There’s the Institute of Noetic Sciences founded by an Apollo 14 astronaut, which I’m on the board. There are credible scientists who are studying this stuff.

I used to think that my brain was the reason that I’m conscious. It’s the sole reason, but maybe the brain is picking it up from outside. At first, I wanted to resist that idea, but I’m like, “I can’t disprove that,” because everything you see in neuroscience is pointing to a correlation between the state of the brain and the type of conscious experience you’re having.


Everything you see in neuroscience is just pointing to a correlation between the state of the brain and the type of conscious experience you’re having.


Let’s say someone damages the part of the brain responsible for vision and that person can’t see properly. We can say, “That’s all because of your brain.” Yes, but maybe the reason that you’re even able to experience seeing is because something’s coming into your brain. All that’s happening is the apparatus that’s receiving that signal, so to speak, has been tweaked. There are many explanations for all of our conscious experiences beyond the brain.

September, it hit me. We have to play with the saying. Is the sole purpose of your life the soul purpose of your life? Is the sole purpose of your life your soul purpose? It plays on what you’re saying there, Mark. You’ve looked into everything like telepathy, remote viewing, and near-death experiences. I’m assuming these are all from your research and your work, but different angles of the same prism ultimately that you’re looking through.

Exactly. They all are areas pointing to the idea that the brain isn’t producing consciousness. Even though they might be distinct areas of research where you have a remote-viewing researcher who’s not looking at near-death experiences quite as much, the implications are very similar to a non-local consciousness, meaning it’s not confined to the brain.

Some people have direct experience. Maybe it’s through meditation, psychedelics, or near-death experience and they know this stuff because they’ve lived it. I didn’t have that. For me, it was powerful from an intellectual standpoint to see there’s this whole area of telepathy studies where they statistically show that people are slightly telepathic beyond what chance would predict. It’s not 100%, but statistically speaking.

There was a US government program where they were using psychic spies. This was confirmed by Jimmy Carter and their declassified documents. There’s the University of Virginia studying near-death experiences in 2,5000plus cases of little kids who are talking about a life that’s not their own. The researchers can sometimes validate that with historical records. All these different things, to me, were powerful because they point to the same conclusion that there’s more to consciousness than the brain.


The Most Important Conversations | Mark Gober | Consciousness


It’s fascinating. You mentioned the remote viewing program. I had heard somewhere that the CIA is picking that back up again because it had some validity to it. They were able to get results as a result of it.

I don’t know the current status. My guess is that it’s probably always been going on to some degree because of the declassified program that started in the ‘70s, for many years, people didn’t know about that. It seems like stuff comes out later, but why not use it if it has been successful and the declassified documents say?

I show it in my book. Remote viewing is a real phenomenon. Implications are revolutionary. The evidence is too impressive to dismiss. That’s what they were saying in their own internal documents. If your audience isn’t familiar, remote viewing is when you can see something with your mind that’s far away both in space and time. That sounds insane. Except, it seems to happen. It was also studied at Princeton. The former dean of engineering there had a lab for nearly 30 years that shut down in 2007. They were doing remote viewing experiments too.

Have you ever looked at Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks?

No, but I’ve heard people allude to the mystical elements.

These all incidentally could be synonyms for the same thing. They say science fiction is a future fact. He drew in his sketchbook something that he called a flying machine that looks incredibly similar to a helicopter. Was this imagination or was he remote-viewing a future reality? It’s an interesting way to look at it.

It gives an even broader question of what is the nature of creativity or ideas. Where is that coming from? It’s something non-local that we’re picking up maybe from beyond space and time, which is effectively remote viewing.

I agree. September and I lead a meditation in the morning. Are you familiar with mental physics?


You might want to check into the work of Ding Le Mei, which was at the turn of the 1920s and 1930s, and also Charles Haanel. I am not sure if you’re familiar with him. He wrote The Master Key System in 1911. I don’t know if it’s true, but the rumor is that Bill Gates was reading The Master Key System when he decided to drop out of college. The Master Key System is part of the mental physics tradition and so is Ding Le Mei’s work.

Frank Lloyd Wright, his son, Lloyd Wright, and a lot of people as well were big followers of Ding Le Mei’s mental physics work. He articulates and argues that the universe is nothing but a consciousness, a mind, as he calls it, and that we are simply tapping into that consciousness or into that mind. In my metaphysics studies over the years, there’s the distinction between universals and particulars. There’s the universal consciousness. We are a particular expression of the universal consciousness, but we are simply tapping into it and accessing it. Pablo Picasso said anything you can imagine has already existed. We’ve been dancing around this for quite a while.

The ideas aren’t new. That’s something I appreciate about the ancient traditions all over the world. Various philosophers seem to have gotten it. There’s one contemporary philosopher named Dr. Bernardo Kastrup who gives an analogy that’s similar to what you’re describing, Chad. He says that there is one universal consciousness that could be likened to a stream of water. It’s infinite.

Each of us is like a whirlpool within the stream. We have the sense of being an individual, but we’re fundamentally connected to the same water. If some of the water from my whirlpool gets into yours, that would be like a psychic or a telepathic event that would be expected. If someone’s whirlpool delocalizes and flows back into the broader stream, it stops being a whirlpool. That’s the analogy there. It’s that when the physical body dies, the consciousness is transitioning into a new form and could reform into a new whirlpool, but that we’re all flowing within the same stream.


When the physical body dies, the consciousness transitions to a new form that could reform into a new whirlpool and that we’re all flowing within the same stream.


Embodying Intuition

September, what’s on your mind with all this? I know you love these topics and these subjects.

I’m curious to know, Mark. In your research of the metaphysics of life and understanding that it’s a contrast to a perspective that you were raised with perhaps, have you noticed that your own intuition or your own what I consider to be a sixth sense that we all have, whether we’re tapped into it or not, we all possess it, from my opinion and my experience, are you finding that you are embodying that study or that body of work and it’s becoming a part of you?

It’s a work in progress. That’s what it feels like because my experience of intuition is that it’s trial and error. Sometimes, I think I’m getting an intuition, but it’s my mind getting in the way. It feels as though I’m getting feedback from the universe based on the decisions I make and the outcomes. I can say, “The feeling I had at that time wasn’t pure. I thought it was pure, but this other time, it was much more pure.” I know how that feels inside, but I can’t explain it to you. I know how it feels. That was a signal. There is a sense of feeling one’s own body and sensations. There is a somatic element to this which can be a guide. I’m still working on it, in short.

Are you going through some different methods and practices to help to try to embody that more?

I feel like I’ve tried so many over the years various kinds of meditation and breathing. I don’t have any on my mind other than I feel stuff.

You’re 100% right. I think you are anyway. I don’t know what the readers think. We are so disembodied as a society. The only thing I can liken it to is I’m a singer-songwriter. I’ve written and recorded 50 songs. I used to perform. Whenever I’d get on a stage to perform, it was like I went into a trance or something where I was no longer in my head. I was in my body. It was almost like something overtook me for the performance. The lyrics were there. I had a sense of the stage and how to move and interact. You get into this energy flow. Even speakers, you can get into that flow on the stage when you’re speaking. It feels like it’s no longer even you anymore speaking.

There are times when we’re training our community or people on our calls. I get into this extemporaneous speaking mode and I honestly can’t remember what I said. Tilopa, who’s an ancient Buddhist philosopher, said, “You know that you’re in that flow when you become like a hollow bamboo and the universe is playing through you. It’s not you anymore. That consciousness is playing through you and you’re dancing with it.” There are a lot of philosophical traditions that talk about that. I’m sure you’ve read a lot of that.

I feel that, too, in my own experience. Whether it’s speaking or writing, I feel like I’m in flow. That’s the way I would describe it. I am present. My mind feels like it’s there. I don’t feel like there’s an external being, but things happen that I wouldn’t have expected or words come out. It’s much more seamless than I could have predicted. In hindsight, I say, “How did that happen?” I was flowing. To me, flowing is being with the stream somehow in terms of the broader stream of consciousness.

It seems that when I think about it and I look at the world, ego, which, for me, when I teach about ego, I  say, “Think of the ego as identity,” I don’t really think it’s possible to fully immerse yourself and be a contributing member of society without having some form of identity that distinguishes me from you. We can have that interaction.

Philosophically, we might agree with the Beatles, “I am he as you are he as you are me, and we are all together.” We’re one thing right as the song goes. We need this ego. We need this identity piece, but when we get so attached to it, it becomes the thing that makes it difficult for us to accept that maybe we aren’t the generator of our own thoughts.

There’s a paradox here of both being an individual and not being an individual and that they coexist. Being both the whirlpool and the stream at the same time and, in my view, getting caught into one at the exclusion of the other is always problematic. There’s a dance of being both. If we get too caught up in the stream, then we can ignore life and practicalities. If you’re too caught up in the ego, then you ignore the broader metaphysics. It’s a balancing act.

Reemergence Of Psychedelics

I’ve been really involved in the re-emergence of the psychedelic movement that’s been going on. For the past couple of years, that has started to pick up steam. Clearly, this interest in psychedelics is coming from a place where people are starting to get curious again about not only the different states of mind but rather those aren’t necessarily states of mind. They’re potentially, at least I think they are, portals into different ways of viewing reality.

If we view the brain as a filter of consciousness, there are certain things that can unlock the filter and expose one to the broader reality. An extreme version is a near-death experience where the brain is out of the way and all of a sudden, people say it’s realer than real. They have 360-degree vision omnidirectional.

They say they see things accurately when they’re resuscitated. That’s an expanded perception even though the brain is being shut off. It could be that psychedelics, meditation, and other things like that are ways of tamping down whatever interference the brain is creating and then allowing us to experience the other realities or other parts of the stream.

Aldous Huxley referred to it as a reducing valve. It is like a faucet that is broken off. You have full access to universal consciousness or something, or at least as full as you can have in our three-dimensional reality.

Exactly. It seems as though, having researched people’s psychedelic experiences, there are different parts of the stream that you can tap into. It’s the same with meditation. There’s dark and light in this. There’s a great variation. There is duality even though there seems to be oneness. Depending on the method used to access different parts of the stream, people will have different types of experiences.

The near-death experience thing, I find fascinating. Have you spent a lot of time chatting with people who’ve gone through this?

I have. In my podcast series, Where is My Mind, which is still available, I interviewed both researchers and experiencers. The one thing that’s clear across all the experiencers is that their life is not the same. They can’t look at reality in the same way because they experience something beyond their body that we’re normally blocked off from. You can hear it in their voices. Often, they will change their lifestyles. Sometimes, they’ll change their jobs. They’ll get divorced.

One man I interviewed, his name’s Dannion Brinkley, is famous for his book, Saved By the Light. He has had multiple near-death experiences, and each time, he had a life review where he had to relive his life. He became the people that he was impacting during his life in the past. In one example, he relived his combat days in Vietnam and told me that it was horrible to experience being the person that he killed in combat. He would live the death through that person’s eyes. He also felt the pain of children that no longer would have a father because he had killed the father.

When he came back from his near-death experience, he looked at life differently. He said, “I need to start helping people.” He became a hospice volunteer. In his later near-death experiences, which he didn’t know he was going to have, he got to relive not only old events because he started his life from the beginning in the life review, but also the newer events. He became the people dying in hospice. He got to see how he was comforting them, so he got to feel the positives too. When people have experiences like that, it’s game over to their old way of living.

Regularly, and when I say regularly, it is a twice-a-year thing, we’ll go on a psychedelic journey. I’ve had this experience for myself, but others share the experience that they’ll say psilocybin, an LSD, or a trip is as significant spiritually for them as maybe only second to their child being born. It’s that dramatic of a shift for people when they go through it. You can’t see life the same anymore. That’s probably not as profound maybe as a near-death experience because I haven’t had one of those, but certainly feels like it’s in the same trajectory.

That’s my understanding as well having spoken to people with different types of experiences. There are differences. Some people say the near-death experience is the body producing DMT, which can be used as a psychedelic or other types of chemicals. There are researchers like Dr. Bruce Greyson from the University of Virginia. They look at all these various chemicals that people take in a different setting.

While there might be similarities to the near-death experience, those chemicals are unable to account for every element of the near-death experience. There are too many other things happening that are beyond that chemical. Your point is a very important one, which is that there are these multidimensional experiences, but they can vary. The view of reality, while similar, that people come back with is also somewhat different.

Living In The Matrix

We are living in the matrix. That’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about how you have the ability to either stay in the matrix or create a different construct for your life and realize that there’s a lot more going on there than the conditioned living that so many of us are used to. I bring this up for a reason. A lot of the systems and structures that have defined the world, especially since the Second World War, I believe, are being heavily stress-tested. If you look at any industry, education, healthcare, the energy transition, and the impact of artificial intelligence, there are things that we need to contemplate and think about and systems and structures we need to create as a society.

Yet, my concern is that we’re in this really interesting phase where there’s a subset of our population who’s clueing into what you are talking about that everything in this three-dimensional space that we experience, this “normal life”, is not all there is. We have enormously underestimated our power, our psychic power, our energetic power, or our ability to be embodied. I say to people all the time, “You are nature. Until you reconnect to the essence of your own nature, you’re going to have a very difficult time connecting to the natural world around us,” which is why there’s such a schism. People are like, “That’s nature. We’re humans. We can do what we want to that.” It’s coming home to roost.


The Most Important Conversations | Mark Gober | Consciousness


This is a long-winded way of asking you a question. How do we help people with the ego, the identity, the wanting to be right, the wanting to say, “I know what I know,” and not have the worldview challenge you? You’re living proof that someone can go from a very traditional Silicon Valley financial sector world and completely turned, to use your phrase, your world upside down. You’re talking about different things. What’s the receptivity with people you’re talking to? Are people starting to open up to this? Do we have hope?

There are some. Some are still closed off to it, but I do get positive feedback. Sometimes, it’s from people in the business world too who realized that they’ve been on a treadmill, that they’ve never found satisfaction, and that there’s more to life than they believed. It is a matter of an individual’s readiness, which I can’t control. No one can control that.

For some people, maybe it’s not their time, and they can’t be forced. In fact, sometimes trying to force someone might repel them even more.    The nice thing about doing books and shows like this is that it’s both active and passive. It’s active in that the information is out there, but it’s passive in that we’re not forcing it down someone’s throat. They can willingly pick it up if they want.

What we’re doing with the show is we’re trying to convene people like yourself and others to start to come together so we’re no longer siloed. It’s the siloization. For a lot of people, to be confronted with these types of conversations and these types of realities on their own, they’re thinking, “What do I do with this? Let’s say I even have this kind of awakening and I realize that I’m connected to something that’s much bigger than my ego, identity, and the conditioning that I’m living my life through. Now what? I’ve got this life. I’ve made all of these decisions. I have all of this baggage in my life.” When you went through this, to give our readers a sense, did you have to unwind a lot in your life? I would assume you did. What was that process like?

It was very challenging. Also, it was isolating because I didn’t know of other people that were interested in this stuff. No one in my network that I knew of had any idea of what I was talking about. At first, I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it. I would research as much as I could. I would meet up with friends, for example, and then I might mention a few things that I learned about. I would notice that people were receptive. Some people maybe would dismiss it afterward, but they were interested in the subject matter.

Over time, through my own research, that was really the key. It was learning as much as I could outside of my professional jobs. I would go to work and then be in my normal client stuff focused on that and forget about the more metaphysical things because my perceptual system, my eyes, my ears, and everything else was showing me this world. I’d go back to the research and it would remind me, “There’s more than my perceptions are showing me.” It would be that dance of back and forth I had to do a lot of until I got to the point where I felt comfortable enough to think that my old worldview was incorrect.

It was a gradual one. That was helpful in that it was still disorienting but maybe not quite as disruptive. Yet, at the same time it was very disruptive because all of a sudden, I couldn’t look at anything the same way. Every event in my life, everything happening around me, and everything I saw, I was looking at it from this more mystical lens like, “What is this? Who am I? What are we doing here? Are there things that we know that we don’t remember? What’s memory?”

You’ve got this life that had all this meaning attached to it, which you were taught to attach to, that has become meaningless, and this other awareness that you’ve developed where that’s where the meaning is. It’s like you’re stuck between two worlds, a world that is meaningless that I’m supposed to find value and meaning in the old way of living and this new realization that this reality exists and that has all this meaning.

An End To Upside Down Contact

I have a question for you about what you think is going on and how this all fits into the conversation that has exploded in 2023 around UFOs or UAPs and other conscious beings in the universe which is inevitable. It’s too big. How can there not be other intelligent life out there? I’m sure you’re familiar with Steven Greer’s work and his belief that it’s through meditation.

What he says is that these beings are not like us. They’re on different planes of existence. We think that they’re going to fly in a normal spaceship 200 light-years away or something, but he’s talking about them being able to convene through different portals and different consciousness states and stuff to access. What are your thoughts on all of this UFO or UAP stuff?

I wrote a book called An End to Upside Down Contact. It’s all about contact with non-human intelligence or other intelligences. The point you make, Chad, is one of the things I try to emphasize in the book. It’s that the mainstream discussion about contact typically goes straight to UFOs and physical craft. There’s value in studying that and there’s a lot of history there going back to ancient times where people saw things and a lot of interesting stuff, but to focus on what they call the nuts and bolts, the physical, to me, misses the whole point.

There’s a consciousness element to this too where these, whatever they are, intelligences, seem to be multi-dimensional. They can be accessed or even can access our minds. Once you introduce that part of it, the multidimensional, then it opens up all kinds of stuff. That’s because then, it’s a reminder that what we perceive with our eyes and our ears is a sliver of the broader reality. There’s a lot more going on beyond what our body even shows us.

I want to try one of these things. Steven Greer does these C-E5 meditations out in Joshua Tree Park in the desert. Demi Lovato’s big into it. She goes out with him all the time and they do this stuff.

One of the points I make in the book on contact is that I don’t think we’re alone. There are beings, and it is multi-dimensional and physical, but there’s also dark and light. I personally have a hesitation because I don’t feel equipped to call in stuff not knowing exactly what it is. John Mack, who was the head of psychiatry at Harvard, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the most credible guy you could imagine, late in his career, started investigating what people call abduction where they were taken by beings. He concluded that people weren’t making this sort of thing up. He was looking at the reports.

As a psychiatrist, he wrote a book called Abduction and another one called Passport to the Cosmos. These are really academic books written in the ‘90s. One of the things he said is that these beings seem to be consummate shapeshifters. They can change their form. They can be deceptive. They have the ability to manipulate reality in a way that human beings can’t because they’re more advanced, so there’s potential danger in it. I always want to caution because I feel like I don’t know enough to advise on this and people could get in trouble with it. That’s my caution, but I know there are a lot of people who are excited about it and have had positive experiences too.

Since I was a very young child, I would get up, look up at the sky at the moon, and be like, “What the hell is that thing doing there? What are we doing here? What is all of this?” We take it for granted. It’s like, “There’s the moon.” It’s a rock floating in we don’t know what. It could be dark matter. We are not even sure how all of this fits together. NASA projected that there are two trillion galaxies in the observable universe in what they can see with our technology. That doesn’t even address parallel universes and different dimensions

 When you really stop and get out of the conditioned life that we’re living, go to work, make money, look good, have people say how amazing you are, and get validation, when you extricate yourself from that, the meaninglessness of that structure versus the meaning, which is where you were going with too earlier of what’s going on, is where we need to start shifting our focus. If we did, we wouldn’t have climate change. We wouldn’t have war because people would have a different framework that they’re coming from.

Exactly. People would make different decisions and priorities would shift. The term that I’ve used in my books is compassion with discernment. Compassion would enter the picture because we’d realize we’re part of something interconnected and meaningful. There’s also the need for discernment because we live in a world where there’s deception. There are things that look like they’re benevolent but aren’t. In my own life, I feel like that’s what I try to stay on both of those. It’s having a sense of meaning and purpose and also trying to make the right decisions and discerning properly.

A New Perspective

September, what’s on your mind?

I love that you’re well-researched around all of this. A lot of people that speak to it are not well-researched, it doesn’t come off right. Having the background of it, I appreciate the conversation and helping shift them. I’m curious to know if you’ve seen people and witnessed that shift of perspective. Have you observed people in your years of doing this work where they believe one way but through your work have shifted their perspective?

I have heard cases. I’ve gotten that feedback whether it’s my work or other work that’s like it because I’m aggregating what other people have done. People do have shifts, and sometimes, it’s through trauma. I hear from people often that maybe they lost a loved one. They start questioning things and realize, “There’s maybe something more,” and that the person’s consciousness still exists and there’s research to back that up. I have gotten that positive feedback. I also do hear from people where there’s a wall and they don’t want to go there. It’s both.

Here’s the thing I think of all the time because I’ve had this experience for myself. There’s this phrase from the bible, “To be in the world and not of it,” which I love. It’s a great line to try to walk. It is paradoxical. How do you be in the world still functioning and being productive in the game that we’ve all been sold is the thing that matters but not of it? it’s like you’re still keeping one foot out enough to not lose your center of gravity and not lose what you know. Have you found over the years that you’ve started to get sucked back into that conditioning? How do you walk that line?

There’s a saying, which might come from Buddhism. On the path, at first, there are mountains and then the mountains disappear, and then there are mountains again but you see them from a new perspective. It’s something like that. I feel like that’s been my life. My old worldview was that I lived in this physical world. I saw mountains and saw everything, and then I became exposed to other stuff. I was like, “There aren’t any mountains there. That’s all an illusion,” or, “It’s something beyond my perception.”

I feel more integrated where I feel, in some ways, like my old self, but I have a different context. Anytime something happens, I think about it within the broader stream of consciousness rather than the bleak view that there’s no meaning. It helps also to be able to deal with the ups and downs of life. Nothing is quite as bad or as harsh because I have a different understanding of life. It’s more context.


Nothing is quite as bad or as harsh when you have a different understanding of life.


One thing you said that I really appreciate was you said we don’t have to know how a phenomenon works in order to accept that it exists. That’s a profound statement. It has even come out in our conversation. It’s almost like we’re very conditioned to be able to say, “I know this and there’s scientific proof for it.” In other words, if there was no scientific proof for it, my knowledge is not valuable, trustable, or verifiable.

It’s an error in logic to say that, “There’s observational evidence for this thing, but we can’t explain it. Therefore, it can’t exist.” That’s illogical, but that’s what our minds want us to do. We want to be able to explain something. If we can’t explain it, then we’d rather not do it. This is related to what I wrote about in my book on medicine too where people can jump to conclusions quickly based on observations. If you want to find the cause of something, like the cause of a disease or the cause of a scientific phenomenon, that is an important area of inquiry, but it’s a separate one that has to be tested on its own. It is a matter of deconstructing our mind and the shortcuts it wants to take because without doing that, we can dismiss things that we shouldn’t be dismissing

What it leads to on an individual level is most children have had this experience, and I’m certain of it, where there was a trust of self. Kids take risks. They do things that adults will be like, “That’s crazy.” There’s this trust of, “Something’s going to catch me,” and it doesn’t always work out. There’s been a chipping away or a diminishing of trust of self to the point where people will have an experience, but if they can’t explain it or they can’t point to some scientific literature, then therefore, it’s invalid. Their experience is invalid, and so, therefore, they need to ignore it, push it away, or suppress it. That has led to an enormous amount of dysfunction, mental health issues, and physical health issues.

There’s a lot of research about how the body never forgets when we’re repressing things. We’re almost going through a moment here in the post-COVID era where some people anywhere are stepping up and saying, “I’m trusting my experience. I’m trusting what I felt.” There are others who say, “How can you? There have been no studies around that. How do you know it’s true?” We’re left in this weird place.

Scientific Vs. Anecdotal

One last thing I’ll say about that is oftentimes, and I know this to be the case with scientists and researchers, they have a hunch or they have a theory. They don’t know something which leads them to investigate it. Einstein mathematically could say there’s a thing called a black hole even though we’ve never seen one. We saw it for the first time. A few years ago, we got a picture of a black hole for the first time. What do you think about all that? It leads to people not trusting themselves. What is the impact that that has on their life?

There’s a bias in the scientific community against anecdotes where people have an experience that’s outside of the lab, and then they could say, “That’s anecdotal. We haven’t controlled everything we need to control.” There’s value in having that kind of scientific rigor, but it’s also problematic because people do have experiences that can’t always be put into a lab.


People do have experiences that can’t always be put into a lab.


This is especially true with anything you might call paranormal. They tend to be ephemeral phenomena where they can pop in and pop out. You’re like, “I didn’t have a lab set up to be able to measure everything.” Maybe you can’t for some of those things. Some scientists will say, “We can’t really do anything with that. It’s anecdotal.” There’s a balance that’s needed with the scientific method but also appreciating that anecdotes exist.

I mentioned the University of Virginia studying over 2,500 cases of these young kids. Sometimes, the kids have birthmarks and physical deformities in their bodies that correspond to how they claim to have died in the previous life. The researcher at UVA goes, “There’s a medical record that shows how this person died in a previous life.” Some people would say, “This is all anecdotal. You’re crazy here.” They’ll say, “We’re seeing this over and over again.” These are the ones that are reported and documented. What about all the other ones? If there are enough repeated anecdotes, we have to look at it. That’s where I lean in too. If something’s happening repeatedly, even if we can’t control everything, we have to look at it.

My friend turned 50. This is back in 2016. He turned 50 and invited me to his 50th birthday party. He had it in Murphys, California. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with where that is, but it’s near the Redwoods. It’s an old gold mining town. You go there and you feel like you’ve gone into a time warp. The town still has this saloon, and they haven’t upgraded the saloon. There’s no insulation. In the walls, there’s no heating. It’s the saloon from the 1800s.

The Murphys Hotel is this famous hotel. Ulysses S. Grant stayed there. Thomas Lipton stayed there as well as all of these famous people. At one time, Murphys, California was the heart of the gold rush in California, so there were tons of people there. We go there. They had the rooms named after famous people who stayed in the rooms. I don’t know if it’s true or not.

I’m in bed at night and I hear right under the bar. These people, you can hear them in the bar, but I distinctly hear someone walking around my bed with shoes. You can hear walking. I’m like, “What the heck is that?” I’m turning the light on. Do you know when someone’s walking right next to you? There’s no one there. I turn the light off again and then the walking starts again around the bed. I’m freaking out at this point. They have this whole thing that it’s a haunted hotel and stuff. What do you think about ghosts? This is my preamble to ghosts, the supernatural, and stuff like that.

Why not? If we live in a multidimensional universe and we’re whirlpools in a stream, you could have things that pop in and out of dimensions. That’s why the discussion about contact and UFOs is very much related to the discussion about ghosts or other types of entities that seem to be able to exist that we experience sometimes but not all the time. The minute consciousness is beyond the brain, all these things are possible.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years studying indigenous cultures, indigenous literature, indigenous philosophy, and indigenous spirituality. We did ourselves a huge disservice relegating indigenous populations and indigenous wisdom to the periphery of society at best, if not completely obliterating it altogether.

There’s a coming home to the wisdom that is in a lot of indigenous traditions. One of the things in indigenous traditions is not only things like vision quests and the ability to access and commune with ancestors that should be ghosts in this way. Also, indigenous peoples were really connected to nature and embodied with nature. That’s why one of our things is to help people reconnect to nature.

I feel that humanity is on a journey back home to reconnect to their most authentic self. Some of the new stuff that you’re talking about and others about how we’re not in our own bubble or siloed experience in terms of consciousness, but we’re connected to something much broader than that. It can be multi-dimensional.

The real way to live life here is not in our heads, which is what I’m saying, but in our bodies. It’s to be fully embodied and to create an opening almost or an allowance of the mind to not be so restricted and conditioned. It’s to have an opening, whether it’s through psychedelic journeys, near-death experiences, meditation, visualizations, or things like that.

We’ve confined our brains to a very narrow perspective of what we call reality. If we can get human beings to embody themselves more, connect on that level, and not be so heady or in the mind, we might start to heal a lot of the divisions and the brokenness not only within ourselves but between ourselves and others and between ourselves and nature.

A lot of those divisions that we see appearing externally are the result of internal struggles that people manifest through the way they relate to the world and others. The ultimate work to me is the internal work and then the world changes externally as we go within. That is not an easy thing always. It could involve examining past trauma, going through some unpleasant emotions, and also taking the time and effort to do that. In a busy world, sometimes, it’s easier to mask it and go through the motions. People on their own time have to wake up and then decide they’re going to do that work. Once you make the decision, it’s still challenging.


A lot of the divisions we see appearing externally are the result of internal struggles that people manifest through the way they relate to the world and others.


I know we’re at a time here, and I really appreciate you making the time, but how can people find out more about your work and your books? How can they be in touch with you if they want to connect with you on some level, hear you speak, or know what you’ve got going on?

Thank you so much for having me. My website is the best way to connect with me. It’s I’m on all the major social media sites. I have a mailing list that you can find on my website. All six of my books are on Amazon. They’re all An End to Upside Down something. They’re available in hard copy, Kindle, and Audible formats. I’ve read all the audibles if you enjoy that. I know some people don’t like reading books anymore but they like listening, so I always read them.

That’s awesome.


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