Martijn Schirp is the co-founder of HighExistence.com, a website dedicated to exploring spirituality, self-development, philosophy, cultural critiques, futuristic angles, and interpersonal dynamics – all aimed at improving the quality of life. In between attending a major conference on psychedelics research in Amsterdam, Martijn and I took a walk to a nearby park and recorded a raw, honest and wide-ranging conversation.
Don’t forget to check out the emotional backstory to the interview HERE!
This is the first 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 wonderful theme music. The track is ‘Still Love You’, from ‘The Alphabet of Hurricanes’ album.
What we get into:
- The psychedelics research conference we were attending in Amsterdam
- Martijn’s journey from professional poker player, via a breakdown and a Buddhist retreat, to becoming the editor of High Existence
- The damage of hiding from the shadows in our past; how can we escape damaging, repetitive patterns in our behaviour and the prejudices of our cultural conditioning?
- The limits of freedom when you have to live in society alongside other people
- Spiritual Bypassing – using spiritual lingo to avoid actually dealing with your issues
- Why it’s best not to talk about psychedelic experiences
- Why you can’t just wish for success, but working super hard doesn’t guarantee it, either
- Finding yourself in philosophy books – the real insights into the self we can find there (especially when accompanied by a joint!)
- What poker teaches you about life and other people
- How to bring back the parts of yourself you disown as you grow up in order to become a truly integrated version of yourself
- Ayahuasca and reconnecting with your suffering inner child
- The benefits of giving yourself time to appreciate the small things
- How reading philosophy is like upgrading your personal operating system
- That you can only really understand Hegel while on drugs
- Society’s schizophrenic attitudes to self-understanding and exploration
- The dangers of ironing
- The dark side of the self-help industry
Mentioned in the episode:
- Martijn’s profile and contact details
- Find Martijn’s articles on High Existence here
- High Existence on Facebook and Twitter
- The ICPR psychedelics conference
- The talk on Dionysus and psychedelics in Ancient Greece and Rome
- Chris Ryan’s wonderful podcast, Tangentially Speaking
- The Spiritual Bypassing article
- Jon’s Ayahuasca vlogs
- Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy
- Pema Chödrön’s The Places that Scare You and her teacher Chogyam Trungpa’s book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
- The film Seven Years in Tibet
- The work of Alan Watts
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness
- For Michel Foucault on schools being as bad as prisons, see Discipline and Punish, but don’t read the opening pages on a full stomach
- Peter Sjöstedt-H’s talk isn’t online as yet, but you can read more about him here
- Hermann Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game
- Peter Sloterdijk’s You Must Change Your Life
- Martijn’s ‘5 Mind-Blowing Books that are Worth the Struggle to Read‘
- The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies: MAPS
- The talk on MDMA and how it’s reported in the press
- The remarkable documentaries The Union and The Culture High
- Martijn’s most-gifted book, André van der Braak, Nietzsche and Zen
- The drunken Taoist, Daniele Bolelli
- Richard Doyle’s Darwin’s Pharmacy
- Dan Brown’s ever-selling The Da Vinci Code
Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.