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book cover
My recommendation: 9/10

Read or listen on Scribd.com (2 months free with this link)

Summary of notes and ideas

I highly recommend the book if you are interested in increasing your mental and physical performance or are interested in flow in general. The book does not tell much about how to get into flow. Though the book describes very vividly all developments in regard to ecstasis, it shares story of people who have researched, tried and tested various methods. This book is follow-up on The Rise of Superman (same others). I have yet to read the later one.

I have listened to the audio on Scribd. I have yet to find a quick and dirty way (that workds) to translate Scribd voice to text. Please get in touch if you know some. Thanks. Hence, I have used an already existing summary that overlaps somewhat with my own. The link you’ll find below.

  • Plato described ecstasis as an altered state where our normal waking consciousness vanishes completely, replaced by an intense euphoria and a powerful connection to a greater intelligence.
  • We studied relationship between altered states and peak performance, focused on flow. Flow refers to those in the zone moments. Actions and awareness merge. Both mental and physical performance go through the roof.
  • The final characteristic of ecstasis are: Selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness and richness
  • The Greeks called that sudden understanding anamnesis. Literally, “the forgetting of the forgetting.”
  • Initial studies showed eight weeks of meditation training measurably sharpened focus and cognition. Later ones whittled that down to five weeks.
  • And, as Ferriss explained on CNN, it wasn’t just the cofounder of Apple who made the leap. “The billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis. These are people who are trying to be very disruptive. They look at problems in the world and they try to ask entirely new questions.”
  • So potent is the urge to get out of our heads that it functions as a “fourth drive,” a behavior-shaping force as powerful as our first three drives — the desire for food, water, and sex. The bigger question is why.
  • Ecstasis only arises when attention is fully focused in the present moment.
  • If we want to train for stability in all conditions, the science suggests, it’s essential to practice with instability first.
  • In nonordinary states, dopamine often skyrockets, while activity in the prefrontal cortex plummets. Suddenly we’re finding connections between ideas that we’ve never even thought of before. Some of those connections are legitimate insights; others are flights of fancy.
  • Value = Time × Reward/Risk

You can find the remaining of the 12 and a very short summary here.


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