Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work
Stealing Fire refers to Prometheus’s theft of fire that allowed mankind to advance. Fire for our time is defined as “ecstasis,” a profoundly unusual state far beyond our normal selves. Authors Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal take us on a breathless discovery of how this state is being achieved by extreme physical conditioning, drugs, meditation, music, and chaos, separately or all at once. They write a very entertaining narrative detailing how each of these approaches, and others, moves the human mind to solve seemingly unsolvable problems, tracing histories from the ancient Greeks to modern Navy Seals, from mushrooms to designer drugs, and from meditation to biofeedback devices. It is a headlong rush into the world of the hedonistic, wealthy movers and shakers of our world. Only at the end do they even acknowledge that such a rush is not for everyone, counseling to go cold turkey at least for a month of the year to get your head back on straight and to schedule your extreme drugs, sex, sports, and/or meditation so you don’t overdo it. This book is a manual on how to achieve the extreme, only mentioning possible death and destruction in passing to keep lawsuits at bay. A balanced approach weighing the costs and benefits of the path would have been much more honest.
Dey Street Books
Steven Kotler • Jamie Wheal