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About Jamie Wheal
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CNBC and Strategy + Business Best Business Book of the Year
It’s the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and it’s hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut. They're harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition.
New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler and high performance expert Jamie Wheal spent four years investigating the leading edges of this revolution—from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations’ Headquarters. And what they learned was stunning: In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide.
Today, this revolution is spreading to the mainstream, fueling a trillion dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives. Driven by four accelerating forces—psychology, neurobiology, technology and pharmacology—we are gaining access to and insights about some of the most contested and misunderstood terrain in history. Stealing Fire is a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.
A peak-performance expert maps out a revolutionary new practice—Hedonic Engineering—that combines the best of neuroscience and optimal psychology. It’s an intensive program of breathing, movement, and sexuality that mends trauma, heightens inspiration and tightens connections—helping us wake up, grow up, and show up for a world that needs us all.
Our lives today are becoming increasingly disconnected. “Diseases of despair” are killing us. Jamie Wheal believes that our feelings of being sick and overwhelmed are actually symptoms of what is missing in our lives. Where organized religion once provided a sense of purpose, healing, and inspiration, many of us have moved away from traditional worship, and instead desperately seek fulfillment elsewhere. But we cannot cure the symptoms of our malaise, Wheal contends. We must cure the root cause. We cannot thrive until we mend where we’re broken, reclaim our conviction, and reconnect with each other.
Groundbreaking new research is demonstrating that we can shift our neurology and biology into peak states and radically upgrade our well-being. The secret is to combine breathing, moving, and sexuality into an intense program that can be used to break free from the stress, anxiety, and addiction that are destroying us and find a way back to mental health.
Life feels so overwhelming because we’re swamped by an onslaught of information we were never built to process. Worse, we’re suffering a collapse in meaning and inspiration. Wheal looks at how to replace blind faith with direct experience, how to move from broken to whole, and how to cure isolation with connection. Recapture the Rapture shows us how to revitalize our bodies, boost our creativity, turbo-charge our love lives, and help answer the nagging question “why are we here?”