The authors of the best-selling Bold and The Rise of Superman explore altered states of consciousness and how they can ignite passion, fuel creativity, and accelerate problem solving, in this groundbreaking book in the vein of Daniel Pink's Drive and Charles Duhigg's Smarter Faster Better.
Why has generating "flow" and getting "into the zone" become the goal of the world's most elite organizations? Why are business moguls attending Burning Man? Why has meditation become a billion-dollar industry? Why are technology gurus turning to psychedelic drugs to unlock creativity?
All of these people are seeking to shift their state of mind as a way of unlocking their true potential. Altered states, the authors reveal, sharpen our decision-making capabilities, unleash creativity, fuel cooperation, and let us tap in to levels of inspiration and innovation unavailable at all other times. Stealing Fire combines cutting-edge research and firsthand reporting to explore a revolution in human performance - a movement millions of people strong to harness and utilize some of the most misunderstood and controversial experiences in history.
Building a bridge between the extreme and the mainstream, this groundbreaking and provocative book examines how the world's top performers - the Navy SEALS, Googlers, Fortune 100 CEOs - are using altered states to radically accelerate performance and massively improve their lives, and how we can, too.
Ultimately, Stealing Fire is a book about profound possibility - about what is actually possible for ourselves and our species when we unlock the full potential of the human mind.
©2017 Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
No. After purchasing Stealing Fire, I feel like I got "burned."
The book promises to be, "a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life." Unfortunately, it's just a guidebook to entice you into joining their training which costs $700 annually.
No. Just the author and his team of people who clearly wrote this book as nothing more than a means to sell their $700 "training."
Yes. It's on par with his other work.
I learned that an entire "guidebook" can be written without giving any truly actionable guidance other than, "you should pay me $700 to get the REAL advice you were seeking when you bought my audiobook."
I also learned that an entire audiobook lasting 8 hours, 24 minutes can be nothing more than marketing. If I wanted to be an asshole, maybe I'd apply these lessons to my own endeavors but my ethics won't let me.
If you feel a need to satisfy your curiosity about this book, be prepared to take advantage of Audible's generous return policy; I certainly did.
This review title should not strike anyone as controversial because in chapter 8 he literally uses the term "trickle down ecstasis" and it is only at this point that he talks about anything that is remotely useful to the average reader. Even at that point, he dwells upon the same boring themes that dominate the rest of his book, most chiefly, designer drug use. I picked up this book under the impression that this would describe the practices that have helped people and organizations innovate and succeed. However the author appears to have gotten the causal relationship reversed and he was too stoned to realize it; all he talks about is the stuff people with a lot of spare time and money end up doing with their excess resources. Perhaps the only exception to this is his description of Seal Team Six, which he puts at the beginning of the book likely because it's the only part of the book with any merit whatsoever. It's all utterly inane pseudo transcendence that I am completely bored of as someone who was raised in California. Nothing new at all. All of the studies are flimsy. This book sounds like a multi-hour long rant of a Burning Man attendee trying to explain why acting like a self-indulgent kiddult in the desert is somehow an admirable experience. It's actually harmful to imply that such "vehicles of ecstasis" can help people succeed to the extent the author does. I met several people who have already been fooled by this argument in the tech industry and I have achieved more promotions and more success than any of them without having to take a single "dab" of any chemical garbage. Dropping acid like Steve Jobs doesn't turn you into Steve Jobs; unfortunately, this book touches upon none of the characteristics that will actually make you a good engineer or business leader and skips straight to the dropping acid part and which is frankly demeaning and stupid. Great book for people who want to pat themselves on the back for their bad habits, not a great book for people who like well researched and balanced arguments that will stand the test of time.
To review, to buy more copies, so that they can rank higher (expressly said). Getting back to the book, it describes a lot of what, but nothing practical for how -- except, presumably if you join their $497 program.
This book was great for entertaining purposes and ultimately getting you to buy one of their programs online. If you are deep into your meditation practices and self realization journey don't waste your time. If you're new to the meditation world than this might entertain you and maybe motive you to do more research. 💙
I enjoyed the deep research the authors did on this topic. Their scholarship shows.
I think Stealing Fire begins where Rise of Superman ends.
Fred was a brilliant narrator.
It was deep. If you rush it, you'll miss some of the mojo.
Loving the audio version. It released this morning and I'm deep into the content. (I caught several of their podcasts on this topic earlier in the month.)
The research is thorough. The implications are provocative. Although I'm not swallowing every expression of altered states—literally or figuratively—I've been a student of Steven's since Rise of Superman. Just like in that book, he masterfully weaves a multi-disciplinary approach to the topic at hand.
I love the fact they chose to co-author this one. Jamie's passion is infectious and he brings a deep wealth of expertise to the conversation.
I believe this book will be a seminal resource toward shifting our understanding of what's possible. My advice? Enter Stealing Fire with an openness to learn and grow. And use discernment when deciding which practices to integrate into your own life. Clearly, there is a buffet of options. Just like with fire, some uses will be beneficial. Others might get you burned. Wisdom knows the difference between the two.
Great job Steven and Jamie.
Expat Beginner | Loving Husband | Mensch | Helpful Professional ↗️
A fascinating, yet controversial read.
This book may inspire or offend you. If you are more on the conservative or deeply spiritual side, parts of this most interesting book you might not like. I personally also wouldn't opt for doing the riskier things.
However, the collection of studies around "flow" or heightened mental states is fascinating. Group flow and meditation practice has been done for millennia, so there most probably is something to it. I will look further into these for myself and at work. Towards further success :-)
I liked this book because the topic is something everybody craves on some level or another. Everyone wants to lift their game and up level their happiness feel more flow. Seeking the consistent flow, grow and collaboration for a rich life, rich in essence not necessarily material gain. This book takes you there and connects so many dots, it's brilliant.
There wasn't much I disliked about the story, the way it was written or read. It's all good.
I'd recommend it to anyone open minded, interested in consistent high performance for life and work, creatives and empaths will love it, the same as CEOs and other driven professionals and athletes and adrenaline junkies. If you are really religious it may not be your thing, I still encourage everyone to be open minded to this valid and worthy read.
I rated it high because it brought together so many of my interests in one place. Thanks
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
This book covers so many interesting areas of NOSC (Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness), that it's hard for me to sum up. Basically, if you have ANY INTEREST AT ALL in mood improvement, maximizing your brain's potential, or expanding your innate creativity, then this is the book for you! It is on the knife's edge of all the newest research and theories on creativity expansion and alternative states of consciousness. I mean, just the fact that the authors are able to convincingly show multiple similarities between Navy SEALs and Burning Man Hippies is enough to warrant reading this, right?!
It never falls into the trap of becoming spiritual or religious, and approaches every assertion it makes with a scientist's fine eye for research. It's for people looking for FACTS, not faith.
If you're a fan of Jason Silva, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, or Ben Carson (kidding about Carson), then you will absolutely LOVE this book!
This book will change lives and lead to a better world if enough people read it.
The books main premise is that different people and organizations are trying to take advantage of mind altering substances and practices to achieve increased performance and creativity. Also that this is a good thing we all should try.
The book is scatter-shot, and flits from subject to subject so quickly it makes your head snap. They never really dig deep on any topic, instead relying on thinly-linked anecdotes and their own opinions to fill the pages. Listening to the audiobook is like listening to an 8-hour long discussion between people who are vaguely familiar with the subject matter at happy hour.
From existentialism, to performance hacking, to exploration of one's boundaries, stealing fire provides a window into humanity's constant search to expand its mental horizons. Highly recommended!
"Seemingly A Pro-Drugs Guide With Little Direction"
Nope. I have no idea what the point of this book is. I got 5 hours in and it just seems to be telling us that (some) people take drugs and that can/may make them 'perform' better. Thanks guys... Nobody knew that! I wasted 5 hours of my life.
Not a chance - Two words: Credit Refund.
All of the content.
Don't buy this book unless you want a 'text' book on how drugs have been used to alter perception. Waffle waffle waffle. I may be being a dullard but I have no idea what the authors are trying to tell us other than some drugs may be good if you want to experience other worlds or enhance perception with pharmaceuticals. Little or NO practical information.
Ridiculously good and for me it is exactly what I needed... Gamechanger...gratitude...what a gift for humanity!
"The first book that I really reasonate with"
This book answered to some of my existential questions. Once you start reading the first chapter you can't stop
definitely a different prospective on performance and flow than I held before.
an interesting weave of history, present and future
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