Avi was born in Jerusalem as a wave of hope was cresting. Hope in a peace that had drawn closer than anyone dared to imagine. Hope felt so strongly by Avi’s parents, his middle name is Shalom. Over the next twenty years Avi and his family found themselves in Cleveland, Chicago, Phoenix, New Jersey, Manhattan… and finally… Avi found his own personal Shangri-La… Fredonia, NY, where he attended college, discovered nature amongst the charms of small-town life, and had his first psychedelic experience.
Denis and Avi talk about where hope yet lies this quarter century since his birth. Could it be the promising results emerging from psychedelic research? And yet Avi hastens to qualify every statement he makes about psychedelics with attention to honesty and critical thinking. He’s careful to point out the small study samples, and he humbly admits that his own experiences are highly subjective. Details, caveats, conditions, and contingencies are generously supplied. His candor reveals a wider ratio of risk to benefit than one is likely to hear from the growing throng of psychedelic enthusiasts. Denis found Avi’s rational exuberance for inebriants nothing short of… sobering.
Dave began his career as a dog trainer [The Art of Dog], with mentor Josh Moran, who Denis interviewed in Episode 3. Dave and Josh have a podcast, Philosophers and Madmen, which focuses on dog-training and world-renowned dog-trainers.
Dave and Denis talk loads about BJJ. As they explore Dave’s life journey from childhood it became clear that Dave’s path led not only to dog training, but human training. Eventually they arrive at Dave’s recent strides in self development, and their conversation turned to the role of psychedelics in becoming more whole.
Denis attended The Horizons Conference: Perspectives on Psychedelics. There he met with other enthusiastic attendees, most notably Kalindi Iyi, Hamilton Morris, and Roberta Russell. He also got to hear accomplished speakers share their research findings on the therapeutic applications of MDMA to treat PTSD, DMT for treatment-resistant depression, and psilocybin to treat cocaine addiction. Michael Pollan was a highlight. Pollan’s in depth, solemn, and almost ‘mainstream’ treatment of psychedelics in his book, How to Change Your Mind, was the inspiration Denis needed to attend this conference and seek out other therapists who are bringing entheogenic experiences to the folks who need them.
Inspired by testimony and evidence supplied by Tim Ferris, Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan, Terrance McKenna, Kilindi Iyi, and Anthony Bourdain, Denis embarks on a psychedelic trip to discover the void.
Josh is The Barefoot Dog Trainer. He is also one of the Philosophers and Madmen who trains Jiu Jitsu at BUMA. We talk about how he became a full time dog trainer and the ways we all discover behavior that "just works", and how natural it is for us to misjudge and misplace the meaning of behavior.
In this introductory episode, we look through the lenses of curiosity, psychotherapy, music, psychedelics, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Sexual Harassment, Marriage, Transgender, Midlife Crisis, and the impending loss of all our jobs and major industries. The question... Is this really the show for you?