Stealing Fire (2017) How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work investigates how altered states of consciousness can give us new uplifting meanings of life. This is a book about ‘ecstasis’; a term acquired from the Ancient Greek, “to be or remain outside oneself, a removal to somewhere else” from ek-“out,” and balance “a stand, or a stalemate of powers”) is a term utilized in Ancient Greek, Christian and Existential way of thinking.
Steven Kotler is an entrepreneur and a journalist while Jamie Wheal is a specialist in peak performance and leadership.
STER: The Characteristics
An altered state of consciousness is characterized by four qualities recorded by the abbreviation “STER”:
- Selflessness: our inward voices telling us what our identity is (and all the negatives things we are) shut down
- Effortlessness: things simply feel right
- Timelessness: complete powerlessness – or enthusiasm to see time
- Richness: when we expel the sense of self, we permit the subconscious mind to assume control, which is a lot quicker at handling information and we feel one with the world. We connect with the world in a distinctive manner which is rich
What I discovered intriguing about the state of consciousness, including flow, is that it is not tied in with turning on some particular zones of the mind, however it is about closing down some zones and capacities.
A repetitive subject of this book is that ecstasis arrives when you are so present at the moment that you overlook yourself and forget about time.
He makes a mention of Eckardt Tolle and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Eckardt Tolle utilizes meditation to go into altered states and you can read about his way of thinking in his books.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi rather centers around accomplishing ecstasy through doing an activity you are so centered around that you forget about everything else. This state is classified as “flow”.
Reaching the Ecstasis
The authors mention some strategies for arriving at ecstasis, including: Meditation, Medications, Extreme Sports and so on.
All the above exercises enact the serotonin system and discharge serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins, dopamine, anandamide and norepinephrine.
They cause us to feel in affection, connected, trusting and open.
SEALs have gained reputation for being a rock-solid group, yet that reputation doesn’t exactly clarify the mental strength that is available in every one of them.
Truth be told, it’s mental sturdiness that is the distinctive characteristic that makes a decent SEAL. Their capacity to take on extreme difficulties and their capacity to merge their consciousness into the group is the thing that makes them extraordinary.
Along these lines, the SEALs take the crude materials and refine them. They have figured out how to train more adequately. They can take the way toward learning another language and complete it in about a month and a half rather than a half year. They’ve made sense of how to flip the switch independently and altogether to assist SEALs with getting into flow – and to remain there.
The 4 Forces of Ecstasis
The authors say that our ongoing human advancements have made arriving at ecstasis a lot simpler for everybody.
Specifically, they examine:
With Martin Seligman’s administration of APA (American Psychology Association), he directed Psychology towards the investigation of human potential, bringing forth the field called “Positive Psychology”.
It has expanded our comprehension of what’s happening inside the brain, making it possible to get increasingly logical about ecstasis and how to arrive at it.
We have built up a wealth of new substances that makes happiness conceivable, from MDMA to LSD to Ketamine, say the authors.
New innovation can permit us to set up our own medications, fly, and submerge ourselves in virtual reality.
The writers additionally talk about the dangers of altered states, both for oneself and for potential uses by other powers (i.e.: government, programming and so forth.).
Heading off to the edge of consciousness can introduce dangers for the mind and the body.
Also, try not to believe everything you think
Not all that you think and feel in altered states is practical or realistic and the writers remind to “not to all that you feel is genuine”.
Individuals with more dopamine in their system are bound to have confidence in conspiracies. They are bound to be paranoid.
The authors link weakness to ecstasis and state that the objective is to adjust the lights of the ecstatic way with the darkness of the human state.
Prometheus stole fire to offer warmth to humans. We search for approaches past ourselves to make ourselves and all of humanity better. There are individuals who are explorers on this journey, who steal fire for themselves. However, this book and these authors ignite a fire inside us that light up a lot of things in our life, a fire that makes us do greater things in life.
Although I wanted less cheerleading, further examination, and more science in this book, still, I recommend everyone giving this book a read.
About Usman Ali Awan
Usman Ali Awan is a vibrant thinker, ardent reader, young writer, and a proud student of Mr. Faiez Hassan Seyal.