On April 2, 2023 I ended a very extreme process that lasted one year. If you have been reading me for a while you know it all but for new readers it started with a 3 months in the jungle entirely offline isolation with barely enough food and water (half a banana and half a glass of water a day) to stay alive. These three months were followed by nine more months with no red meat, no fruits, no sugar, no salt, no sex and some more restrictions. In addition to the diet I followed and still follow a clear discipline.
Entering “The Dieta” was pretty challenging but coming out of it is also interesting and challenging in many ways. What was “forbidden” by my own choice isn’t anymore. I can do and eat anything I like. I started to eat some sugar and feel my body react to it. Drinking pure water after a year only drinking lemon juice with water or tea still feels weird. I did not dare eating any red meat yet.
One year is long enough to reprogram many of my habits but also my perception. My taste for example, it changed dramatically.
If I were asked to explain only one benefit about my work in the Amazon forest, meditation and the red-road, it would be “I am much more sensitive to everything”.
I actually think now that I wasn’t feeling much before this consciousness work.
Now I feel I was just a “boiling frog” in an invisible pot that I just got used to. The cooking was very slow.
If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will immediately sense the danger and jump out to escape. However, if you put the frog in a pot of cold water and gradually heat the water, the frog will not perceive the gradual increase in temperature and will remain in the pot. Eventually, the water reaches boiling point, and the frog is unable to escape, resulting in its demise. -ChatGPT
I “feel” and “see” now much more how people’s voices, sounds and anything and anyone around me directly impacts me.
I often see colors coming out of people’s mouths when they speak too. I feel much more if someone is happy or sad, agressive, angry or going through things, starting with my own feelings of course.
What I eat can change my well being or my mood. A single email or what’sapp message can impact me much more than in the past (sensitivity isn’t only good news when you’re not used to it yet).
Everything and everyone around me influences and changes me constantly. It was already the case before, but now I can see it happening “live”.
It’s been difficult to write for some reason since I ended the diet. I want to write today about these “inputs” and how I feel they impact me.
Let’s start with our five senses.
Are you waking up with the beautiful sound of birds singing or with traffic, police cars and ambulances in a city? Obviously this impacts you.
In the Amazon forest there are literally millions of animals around and they’re not “making noise” all the sounds they produce have a purpose, they communicate between each other. Animal sounds are “healing” in many ways for so many reasons. They generally aren’t agressive sounds (unless you hear a jaguar around as I did once) but some are very loud such as the 130 dB of a rooster! I always find magic listening to them, more on another post.
Human voices also have a huge impact on us.
I spent two days in Paris last week.
A taxi driver’s job is very difficult as his level of stress dealing with traffic, other drivers and his own passengers behaviors are constantly adding pressure. Naturally most taxi drivers are nervous and often very easy to get upset, if not always upset. Taking a cab in Paris generally gets you exposed to the drivers complaining about everything or honking at other cars or people crossing the street. Add to this the background radio inside which is often delivering a constant flow of bad news.
A 30 mins taxi trip from the center of Paris to the airport can increase dramatically your stress level or even get you angry, especially if you get in an argument with the driver!
Let’s stay on the transportation example with the alternative of taking the metro in Paris (the underground trains) instead of a cab. I always take the metro when I get around in Paris nowadays instead of going around on my motorbike when I lived there twenty years ago. People look generally very sad in the metro. Everyone is in their own world either thinking about their own sadness or watching something on their phones despite the bad or non existant Internet network. Some people read books. You can feel how most everyone’s life is hard by just looking around. Very often crazy people show-up, saying or screaming weird stuff randomly complaining or asking about something.
Watching this scene definitely has an impact on us, especially when it is daily. I need to use the bikes more in Paris next time.
What we see with our eyes gets straight in our brain and always has an impact on us, wether we want it or not.
For example I randomly saw that tweet showing “The World’s First Artificial Womb Facility”
I dreamt about it. This is the kind of impact it had on me, a full dream (more of a nightmare to be honest).
My partner Magdalena saw it and told me “I hope I am dead when this happens”. I noted that she did not say “if” but “when” that happens.
One of my best friends, Martin Varsavsky is already making the “baby steps” of robots creating babies a reality. See this Technology Review story “The first babies conceived with a speak-injecting robot have been born”.
Our baby Falco was born entirely naturally in our own bedroom, we did the exact opposite…
A single tweet in my timeline created in my brain lots of thoughts, ideas, visions, positive and negative emotions, interests… I thought about it for days as the robot births becoming a reality will change quite a bit the future of humanity. AI will take those babies to robot school for sure too. People are already so stuck to their phones that they’re already robots in a way. What will be left of our humanity if we keep going this way?
This is our main topic at PAUA in Paris “natural versus artificial intelligence”.
Open What’s app in the morning will focus me on whatever shows up. I could be remembering my dreams instead. I prefer that, if I can of course.
I try to not touch my phone or computer for as long as I can in the morning.
I have no choice but being in front of the screen most of the day. I can feel what it does. I feel its danger for my newborn Falco.
Even writing this newsletter I made sure I closed all windows except this writing tab on my browser. No What’sapp or Messenger or email window around and if I feel like checking I refrain myself from it or I will get sucked-in something else, nice or not nice.
Let’s talk about email for a minute.
“Email is a to-do list that others have decided for you”. A quote from Marc Andreessen years ago. So true.
Going through the inbox in the order emails have arrived is literally giving attention the last person who talked or needs something.
Imagine the same going on in “real” life. Imagine a dinner where everyone could say or ask something at any time and at the same time. One is asking you something or way worse, advertising something you do not want to hear about. That would be a pretty bad dinner right?
Email is great but I cannot believe that in 2023 the issue of unsolicited emails is still so bad. No matter how hard Gmail sends stuff to our spam folder new emails offering stupid services and asking you 10 times “why you did not respond to that amazing opportunity” keep coming. Sure you can unsubscribe when they’re nice enough to include a link but often there isn’t and the new spammy stuff keeps coming anyway.
It’s like someone entering my home 24 hours a day and dropping some trash in the living room hoping I buy it.
It’s quite difficult to live without email but it’s still so inefficient. By the way, this is an email too! Thanks for reading my newsletter, it’s some kind of magic that it made it in front of your eyes and you found it interesting enough to read it until here.
I could go on and on of course. Being surrounded by trees or the ocean during the day won’t have the same effect on you than in a noisy and busy city.
I can only spend a few days at once in a city now. I need to live in nature.
The data picked up and processed for us by the senses are either of a physical or chemical nature. Ears and eyes, for example, are stimulated physically, by sound or light waves. Taste and smell are produced by chemical contact with taste buds or olfactory centers.
(NY Times, 1964)
Taste and smell
A study published in 2014 by researchers at the Rockefeller University suggested that humans can discriminate between at least 1 trillion different odors.
I don’t need to spend much time convincing you of how smell can affect us. Just think of that last person you crossed with the strongest ever deodorant or perfume you do not like. There are worse smell examples!
Our taste can identify five basic tastes (source, ChatGPT)
Sweet: pleasurable, sugar, glucose, fructose
Sour: acidic. Helps us identify the freshness of foods
Salty. Helps us maintain the right balance of electrolytes in our body
Bitter: coffee, dark chocolate, certain veggies. Helps us detect harmful substances
Umami or Savory: taste for glutamate, an amino acid found in meats, fish and some vegetables. Helps us detect protein-rich foods.
Eating a chocolate cake or a glass of wine offers immediate relief or “feel better” sensation. Sadly it’s also a very short one.
It is through the sense of touch that we interact with the world. I have a new born, Falco, who is just 4 months and just learned how to grasp objects. Touch is fundamental for him to learn in the near future to walk on his hands and knees and soon to walk.
In my periods of isolation in the forest I was asked to not touch anyone as well as just after, as the indigenous believe energy is also exchanged with touch. I was also asked to not look at anyone in the eyes for some time as I had not interacted with anyone for 3 months.
Beyond the five senses
“The sixth sense” immediately comes to mind such as intuition, psychic abilities or other supernatural phenomena but before +maybe+ going there, here are additional senses that are medically or scientifically explained (courtesy of ChatGPT I will put it in italic as everything else is written by me…)
“In addition to the five traditional senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch), humans have several other lesser-known senses that help us navigate and interact with our environment. Some of these additional senses include:
Proprioception: Often referred to as the "sixth sense," proprioception is the sense of body position and movement. It allows us to know where our body parts are in relation to each other and to maintain balance, coordination, and posture. Proprioceptors, located in muscles, tendons, and joints, provide this information to our central nervous system.
Interoception: This is the sense of our internal bodily states, including sensations like hunger, thirst, and the need to use the restroom. Interoception helps us maintain homeostasis by signaling when our bodies require food, water, or other needs. Interoceptive information comes from receptors in our internal organs and is processed in various regions of the brain.
Vestibular sense: This sense is crucial for maintaining balance and spatial orientation. The vestibular system, located in the inner ear, detects changes in head position and movement, and it works closely with the visual and proprioceptive systems to help us maintain stability and coordinate our movements.
Nociception: This is our sense of pain, which alerts us to potential harm or injury. Nociceptors are specialized pain receptors that detect potentially damaging stimuli, such as extreme temperatures, intense pressure, or chemicals released from injured tissue. Pain serves as a protective mechanism, helping us avoid further harm and prompting us to take care of injuries.
Equilibrioception: This sense is closely related to the vestibular system and refers specifically to our perception of balance and equilibrium. It helps us maintain an upright posture and avoid falling.
Magnetoception: While more commonly associated with certain animals like birds and insects, some research suggests that humans may also have a weak sense of magnetoreception, or the ability to detect the Earth's magnetic field. However, the extent of this ability and its potential role in human behavior and navigation remain unclear.”
So our five senses plus those six describe physical abilities or our “tools” for me.
There are many more inputs that I seem to “see” much more now:
who I hang-out with. Who surrounds me. What king of people? What are their interests? What is their lifestyle? What do they talk about and their interests?
where I live as I described. The Amazon forest has me surrounded with millions of living creatures, trees and plants. I feel them. Living in nature anywhere else is great but has really no comparison to this “life bath” which acts like a “supercharger” which I miss the minute I leave. The other extreme are the big cities where I can barely feel any life at all, the kingdom of concrete and materialism where borders and passports were created (the animals do not know them). I still like going to cities but only for a few days, I get exhausted really fast. I miss my friends there and love seeing them though.
what comes to my brain with my five senses (or 11!). What do I read? What do I watch? What words? What tone of voice? What level of stress around me or whatever enters me creates in me?
There is a reason why meditation retreats, the “red road” path with vision quest or the dietas in the jungle include complete isolation, not seeing people, no talking…
First I thought it was a wonderful way to calm down what’s happening outside and inside of me, and it truly was. Then once my mind calmed down I started so feel much more. At the beginning it was after the retreats, now it’s permanently.
I feel I wasn’t feeling or seeing anything before.
I care a lot about who I spend time with now, this is why we created the PAUA Community that gathers now around 700 people on What’sApp “on a similar quest to understand beyond our five sense or similar energy”.
If what I wrote about today resonates with you, you should also join us at PAUA Paris May 12-13 (in about three weeks now!). Beyond our fantastic speakers you should really enjoy the community and meet more like minded people from around the world. 35 countries last year and likely more this year. A startup contest will also showcase great entrepreneurs in consciousness, AI and web3 (we’re about ancient and also new technologies).
I really hope to see you there. Here is a 10% discount on the ticket price for readers of my newsletter.
An entire day with the KOGI in Paris on May 14th in a very small group.
We have 3 representatives from the KOGI tribe coming both days of PAUA. It’s a very closed tribe, their masters spend 10 to 20 years in a cave from birth, I cannot imagine how much they must be feeling.
We have a very rare opportunity, a full day with the KOGI on Sunday May 14th in Paris in a very small group at a friends’ private home with a garden in Paris.
We organized it to support the KOGI buy back and protect their land, 100% of the revenue goes to them.
It will be an incredible day of teachings and maybe healings in a small group, the participation is 800 euros with a light lunch, the tickets are on our website and it’s small and will sell out soon..
If you cannot do that, we will have them throughout the two days of the “regular” PAUA program.