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095: Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe) with Dr. Ted Achacoso. I part

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Today we have the internationally-known creator of the Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe) model with us – he is also one of the foremost experts in holistic health and anti-aging. He is none other than the legendary Dr. Ted Achacoso.

Dr. Ted is an anti-aging physician with a tri-continental practice in Health Optimization Medicine (HOMe), a clinical framework that he pioneered to include health management in a disease management practice. He also formulated the Blue Cannatine nootropic troche, a product in the Troscriptions line of Smarter Not Harder, Inc. To add to that he’s an advanced meditator and shaman with Ancient Tibetan Bonpo Shamanism/Bonpo Dzogchen.

He is also a certified genius – Dr. Ted’s IQ is one of the highest ever measured. He says he ranges from 186 on a bad day to 210 on a good day. His average is 190 on the Wechsler and 196 on the Stanford Binet. And that high IQ propelled him forward at an early age, by the time he was 18 he had a college degree in Biology and at 22 he held a Doctor of Medicine degree.

At 25, he was a fellow of interventional neuroradiology, a research professor of pharmacology and toxicology, and a clinical professor of neurology in Manila. At 28, he became a professor of medical informatics and of interventional neuroradiology in Washington, DC, where he also performed artificial intelligence research biased towards connectionist systems.

On part one of today’s Awesome Health Podcast with Dr. Ted, we talk more about how his intelligence has helped shape his perspective before discussing the role meditation has played in his life.

Dr. Ted says he began meditating during his first year of high school. His father always had a dedicated library wherever they lived and he arranged the books in a specific way: the more adult and advanced books were on the higher shelves so as someone grew up and became taller they could reach books that were appropriate for them.

He began reading about meditation and also other books about how the brain functions, which eventually led him into the world of neural networks or what is now called deep learning. His mentor in that world was also the founder of medical informatics, something he explains in more detail on this episode.

Also on this episode, he answers the question of whether consciousness is a result of responses from our complex nervous system or if it is independent and generated from a universal place, and we talk about different states of awareness and how neuroscience and Buddhism are linking up today.

These are just a few of the fascinating subjects we get into on this episode of Awesome Health Podcast, tune in for part I and then join us for Part II later this week!

Episode Resources:

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. It's Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another edition of The Awesome Health Podcast. And in today's episode, we actually have a bonafide super genius on the podcast. He's very humble though. We just were chatting before and he's so much fun and has energy. And of course he's a bit of a legend in the holistic health optimization. His name is Dr. Ted Achacoso, and he's known as an internationally renowned anti-aging physician. He currently has tricontinental practice in health optimization medicine, a clinical framework that he pioneered to include health management in a disease management practice. He also formulated the Blue Cannatine nootropic troche and for those who don't know about that, it's a big product that's running around the whole biohacking industry. A lot of people absolutely love it. Makes your tongue blue, makes your brain work great, but it's a product and Troscriptions line of smarter, not harder.

Wade Lightheart: He's also an advanced meditator and shaman in the ancient Tibetan Bönpo, shamanism Bönpo Zunghar. I forget how to say Dzungar. I never can get that quite right, but maybe Ted will correct me. And then I always have trouble with those Tibetan pronunciations. And dr. Ted created the first wireless groupware collab software. Now what's interesting is, dr. Ted is one of the highest IQs ever measured, and he's been gracious enough to talk with, you know, someone who doesn't have that range right here so thank you for that. And basically he says he's ranges from 186 on a bad day. I'd love to have a bad day like that. To 210 in a good day, with an average of around 196. He earned a college degree in biology at the age of 18 and doctor of medicine at 22. At 25, he was a fellow of interventional neuroradiology and a research professor of pharmacology and toxicology, a clinical professor at neurology in Manila.

Wade Lightheart: And at 28, he became a professor of medical informatics, I don't even know what that is, and of interventional neuroradiology in Washington to see where he is right now. And he also performed artificial intelligence research, yeah, just, you know, a spare time, bias towards connectional systems. So then at 30, okay I know this is a laundry list, butI'm so excited to have someone of this kind of caliber on our podcast. He also was in consulting for socially responsible for investment funds and at 35 ran a small group of collaborative software company to create fourth wireless groupware. And at 40, he traded currencies using artificial intelligence, predictive techniques for a private fund. And at 45, he retrained in interventional endocrinology, anti-aging medicine and nutritional medicine in Paris and became the double board certified in both specialties. He wrote the first ever connectome of C. Elegans. I've no idea what that is either, we're going to find out. It's published in peer reviewed scientific journals, holds US patents and software algorithms, provides TV and podcasts interviews, and delivers lectures in his spare time, and he found somehow, as you see, in his background, if you're watching on YouTube, he just came in from outer space, probably communicating with aliens or something from another race to get us up to speed here on the humanoids. Dr. Ted, thanks for coming on the podcast.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Awesome Wade. That's really awesome. But you know, that sounded like someone else, actually, not me. People have to know that having a high IQ doesn't equate to being successful. When you're saying successful, by the way, you have to say successful for what, right.? It's the same thing as when you are talking about health. When you ask people sick like: well, are you healthy? And they say: Oh yes, doctor I'm fit. No, no. Health and fitness are two different things, right? And when you say you're fit, you're fit for something. Just look at that advertisement of Viagra. Make sure that you are fit for sexual activity, best to say healthy for sexual activity, but fit. You're not necessarily healthy. Right?

Wade Lightheart: It's a beautiful aspect. And I think in a kind of resolution world that we live in, we lose a lot of the nuances in the social media and connections, and things like that. In fact, it's the nuances that really make a difference in an individual's health program and an individual's quality of life, all these sorts of things. When we do interviews, the unfortunate part is anytime you talk in a broad base components, it's a conceptual aspect that the nuances are going to be applied how they're applied individually and we talk about this in the awesome health program. Before we get into all the cool things that you're doing, I want to know going backwards in your history, like at what point in life did you realize that you had, what some people would say an extraordinary gift and some of my really intelligent friends would say is an extraordinary curse? So can you explain what it was like, what point did you realize that you had above average intelligence and then the benefits and complications that entailed?

Dr Ted Achacoso: Yeah, actually the full realization came when I was about 12 years old. My mother, in her spare time, her hobby was tailoring. She was an auditor for the provincial government and she would tailor as a hobby, and she would teach me how to create patterns, you know, the pattern for tailoring. And she figured that if you want something to spoke, you got to do it yourself. So she was teaching me this, and then the next day at our appointed time, appeared again, you know, back at the table. Then I told her: mom, you already explained that to me yesterday. And she totally got mad at me for being so impatient. See, she said: you have always been different this way. Your classmates, when you were younger, were only at the letter C in the alphabet, you already at the letter Z. That's different. So you should have realized that. But the worst thing that she did that actually sang to me, she said: may you be in an occupation that requires patience. So I have became a doctor, needs patience. I became an educator and needs patience. Being able to see ahead of time and being able to shut up is the best skill that one can have The best skill in fact that I got is not saying 'I told you so' to anyone. And for my relationships, it's been bad, because I had to learn the hard way. It's more like please allow me to make my own mistakes.

Dr Ted Achacoso: And that's the kind lessons that you learn early that shows early on that you think differently, you see things differently and so on, and you have to see how the world sees it also, right? You have to go and change your point of view and see: Oh, this is how the world sees it. As I say, most of the world likes to see the foreground and I usually see the backgroundMost people would read the words on a page. I see a blank space that's actually cemetery that's broken up by words and then semantics or the meaning of that is something else, you know? It's a different process altogether, and that happens naturally.

Dr Ted Achacoso: When you don't realize yet what's going on, it happens naturally. And then when I went to college, I remember distinctly there were a few of us that were separated from the rest of the college entrance and the five days of full day testing. On the first day there wereI think, five of us. On the second day, there were four of us. The third day there were three of us, and then two, and then one. It was the last day, it was a Friday, was just me that was left. I thought: Jesus, I must be the worst one here, because the rest finished the task, but turns out that, hey, you could actually do anything you want and so on.

Dr Ted Achacoso: I was 15 years old at the time and first year in college and saying: hey you could do whatever you want. And I didn't know what to do, actually. That's where it comes. After awhile you get separated from the rest and it's very isolating if you continue insisting on viewing the world from your perspective, right? So you have to learn to bite your tongue. You have to learn to sit on your hands, not to do anything early on because that's how the world truly sees or perceives it. And that's why I'd like to say when I teach the younger generation is that the best and only gift that a mentor can give you is perspective.

Dr Ted Achacoso: The rest you can Google. The perspective is the gift. And I think that's the biggest difference when you're seeing something that other people can't. You're seeing either a pattern or you're seeing dimension in a particular situation that it's not obvious. So it's easier for you, for example, to gravitate towards multi-dimensional mathematics, geometry and all of that. And then when you start taking psychedelics, you start seeing all of these dimensions, which is fantastic, right? It's just weaves itself that way organically and you could see where you came from and how this has been abstracted automatically. Mind, it abstract things automatically, and it's very dangerous to do that, right? When you realize the power of abstraction, it becomes very dangerous to do that, so you have to tamper yourself with actual details of life where you forget about the abstraction and actually enjoy the present moment. Otherwise, you'll just be over there at 36,000 feet all the time without actually being present and enjoying the present moment.

Wade Lightheart: You know, I've had a little bit of interaction with a variety of geniuses in different areas and what you've described is pretty common amongst them. And there's two sides to it. Some of them can be very brutal and harsh, and hard to deal with, because it's so frustrating to see kind of the pedestrian thought process for so many people that just don't have it. And then on the other side, then there's another group and it usually happens what I would call the breakaway IQ, people that kind of go over the one 60 zone that seemed to take on this kind of universal benevolence, they start to recognize that they've been cursed or gifted with this perspective and try to use it for some sort of collective benefit to mankind, which is just an incredible amount of pressure.

Wade Lightheart: When did meditation come into your life, particularly, and then what was that role to interact? Would you consider some of the meditative places qualifier of high IQ, or would you say it's something that is a bridge between IQ and consciousness, or like? From your perspective, I'd like to see that it is. It's unusual that I hear about people with very high IQ really into meditation and so I'd like to know what that relationship has been for you.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Actually I started meditating in high school first year high school My father he's passed away, already for a while now all of our houses, actually that we ever occupied, he insisted on having a library, a dedicated library. And the way it was organized book of knowledge, popular science, encyclopedia, lands and peoples or geography, et cetera, and all the the Kama Sutra, et cetera, were at the highest shelf when you were tall enough to actually reach them. There were no ladders. So when I was in high school, I was tall enough to reach the shelf. This was like his way of making sure that the books you read were appropriate for your height.

Wade Lightheart: Brilliant.

Dr Ted Achacoso: So anyway that's where I saw books about concentration and I got into reading getting interested in how the mind works. I got into this, exactly what's the mind? And of course now I maintain a simple definition, but it's the processing of the brain, right? It's how the brain processes and so on. So I actually went into meditation as an experiment to myself to see how does my brain process itself. How does the processing happen, because there's structure and then there's function, right?

Dr Ted Achacoso: This is why I was already very early on interested in illusions, visual illusions that we have. The Kanizsa's triangle, is this a face or a vase, and so on, because this is the way our brain processes stuff. And of course, a later realization to examining the contents of how it processes things is that there is a sort of an awareness that's actually just observing all of this stuff. So when I came to medical informatics lab, where my research was in neural networks now it's called deep learning, my mentor asked me, he pioneered the entire field of medical informatics around the world.

Wade Lightheart: Could you describe what medical informatics is to our listeners?

Dr Ted Achacoso: Medical informatics, the simple way of explaining, the use of computers and computer processes in medicine, right? And that can actually span from the simple admission, discharge, transfer programs that they use in hospitals into all the software used to take a look at drug interactions, into all the artificial intelligence systems that you use to interface the brain, for example with a computer or like for people with locked in syndrome where they actually use machines so that they can communicate. That spans that whole area of medical informatics. It is more of like a generalized field in that all subspecialties of medicine and specialties of medicine, for example will have its own medical informatics expertise.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Because it's very context oriented, it's very specific. But you have to know the fundamentals or the basics of this. And when I was teaching it, Wadeit was actually interesting at the time, because computer was not as pervasive now, the internet that they used before. 'Hey, I'm solving the Navier Stokes equation' and six Nobel laureates will answer your question specifically about that equation'. But now it's like, there's no more of that. What I'm saying here is that when we were looking at and teaching this, it was very clear, the transition from a manual system to automated system. So you're typing, you use a typewriter, which is manual, and you're automating it, or word processor, et cetera.

Dr Ted Achacoso: And the kids right now, they don't even know the evolution. Obviously, I'm just old enough to have been able to see the evolution of all of this and hypertext markup language and so on. So when I entered the lab my mentor said: what's your research problem that you're going to work on. So he asked me two questions, he said: is consciousness compatible? And I said, yes. And he said: is beauty compatible? And I said, yes. And he's like: in this lab you get to choose only one question, and I should have chosen beauty, Wade. I could have gotten so rich from doing that instead of fucking working on unconsciousness. But my point then was,actually, I was working on the nervous system of a worm, it's called C. Elegans and Sydney Brenner, who actually did studied model organism, shared Nobel for that. And I created the first database of all the connections of the nervous system. Like, for example, if I look at them under the microscope, I would ask the question: why do 80% of them corkscrew to the right when they move, right? And of course, when you look at the map of the nervous system connections, you see that there are more connections under right than on the left.

Wade Lightheart: So right handed worms. Is that mean they are right handed worms?

Dr Ted Achacoso: Yes. And Wade they can't do a right-handed jerk or a left-handed jerk either. So anyway when I took a look at them and I said: well here's the matrix. For the first time, it was the first time that this was ever created as a complete, a matrix of all the connections. I said: if I take out this network that says that's for feeding and the network that's for moving, and then I have network that's for mating, is there a network there that's left? That says: now I feed, now I move, now I mate. That really shown me that there is actually a circuit that is like the equivalent of the ego.

Wade Lightheart: Wow. Just to even think of that, it's pretty cool. Just like, is there anything else there, there should be, so you're racing looking for it. There's evidence of this, of what constitutes I.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Yeah, evidence of it. Is I emergent? Is it emerging as a property of a complex system or is there an actual structure in there? When I wrote that book and doing mathematical stunts with those connections, I sent a book to Dan Dennett, the philosopher, and he essentially said we were in the same camp then, essentially consciousness is an emergent property of complex systems, it doesn't exist, but of course now there are panpsycho models of consciousness, et cetera, that you also have to consider. Which is a totally different model altogether that consciousness is an intrinsic property of the universe. But these came later, initially we were very reductionist in our approach.

Wade Lightheart: I just want to clarify that. So right where we are today, do you feel that what we call consciousness or the sense of I that are possessed by humans is a result of the complexity of the confluence of nervous system responses, or is it independent of those and generated from that universal place into the body? Which is it?

Dr Ted Achacoso: Okay. Again, Wade, you know, I'm very big on definitions, right? Just the way I define mind, functioning of the brain. So let's define consciousness. What I'm seeing today is that there are many great people with many great minds there they use consciousness, but they never really truly define what it is.

Wade Lightheart: Beautiful. Can you do that for us?

Dr Ted Achacoso: No. And so I, as a physician, my approach has been via negativa, approaches by what it is not. So what it is not, it's what this appears when you go to sleep or when you're on the anesthetic. So what they say exactly that disappears, right? So there seems to be a confusion between in defining consciousness and I'd rather actually separate the terms that are varying to consciousness.

Dr Ted Achacoso: There is consciousness referring to arousal, right? Is the patient asleep or awake? So clinically when you're saying: is a patient conscious, like, is the patient awake? Or you were knocked unconscious. So when you are conscious, means you're awake and that's an arousal thing.That kind of sits at the base of the brain reticular system in there that's responsible for arousal, some epinephrin producing neurons are responsible for that kind and your brain is awake. So that's one type of consciousness, and it's basically, what's called interoceptive. It's coming from inside. Like when you're waking from a sleep, that's consciousness, you're now conscious of the world.

Dr Ted Achacoso: The second part would be called an extra receptive form of consciousness, meaning you are aware, alert. You're awake, alert. Alert meaning you are looking at things outside you. You're looking at things outside you, and you are actually oriented to other things that are outside you, you can see, you can count how many fingers are this and so on. That's what's called extra receptive, you can process things from your senses. And then the other thing is what's called abstractive. Meaning what's your name? My name is Wade Lightheart. How old are you, where were you born, et cetera, et cetera. So that now is a different form of consciousness. It's an abstraction, meaning you have to draw from your memory and so on.

Dr Ted Achacoso: So here are the different things where we sort of like conflate them altogether, but the biggest sin that we're committing right now is conflating the self with consciousness. Self is a totally different animal from consciousness and I think that what was my mistake in my research, in terms of the label, right? The label should have been, is there a self that actually says now I feed, now I mate et cetera. Now we know that the self is actually produced by actual structures in the brain at the default mode network. I'm sure you're very familiar with that, with the medial prefrontal cortex and all of those wonderful things at the midline, and it's responsible for your autobiographical self or your theory of mind and so on and so forth. But when we say ego, and I usually say, I hate the word ego, because it's usually used to mean as one sense of self-importance.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Now when we look at the ego, the self, then you see that it's actually an illusion of the processing of the brain. It's much like a visual illusion, because an agent has to hold or to own experience. Essentially when I am talking to you, such an illusion begins to exist, right? Because then I will have my story with the boundares, like I am being interviewed for Wade's podcast and so on, and it only arises because I am basically bonding with your egoic boundaries as well. Those are part of the processing of our system. People usually mistake the word illusion for not being there, but illusion means that it's not what it seems to be. I always tell people to remember that illusion, it's not to kill the ego, you have to recognize that it's not what it seems to be.

Dr Ted Achacoso: And therefore the goal when you're meditating, et cetera, which is how we started this conversation, is actually to see that process of the ego, the selfing as they call it, the selfing process, how it arises. But that's not fucking consciousness. That's just a process. Selfing is a process that occurs within consciousness. It occurs within your awareness.

Wade Lightheart: Go ahead.

Dr Ted Achacoso: This is what I'd like people to think about really. When you're dreaming and you're asleep, you're not fucking conscious, but you have a self in a dream. You see, the self can exist, even if you are not conscious.

Wade Lightheart: Right. What is that?

Dr Ted Achacoso: But the self cannot exist if you are not alive. So therefore we have to take a look at the different structures of the way we see consciousness. The work of Karl Friston for example, is fantastic, because his free energy principle, essentially says that: okay, this is a principle by saying you exist right? First you have to exist, like an oil droplet. I exist, it exists. And then it becomes alive. And so we have to put in conditions of when something becomes alive and then from when something becomes alive is when something becomes conscious, and when something becomes conscious and when does it begin to have a self. So these are the kinds of things I think that we are failing to look at when we're trying to define consciousness.

Dr Ted Achacoso: So if you take a look at it from a purely reductionist point of view, and you're in the camp of the other people will say that, all this consciousnesswill have neural correlates. The two very differentand competing theories of consciousness, the information integration theory and the global workspace theory, where they're testing this with $10 billion reward, we'll see that the results are gonna be of, what the model is. But that totally removes the other model which has been proposed by people, philosophers, like Philip Goff and so on, that consciousness might be itself property just like an electromagnetic forest and so on of this dimension or universe that we're in.

Dr Ted Achacoso: And that basically argues for a more panpsychism model and essentially an atom would possess some level of consciousness here and so on, so forth. So that's kind of thinking that we're doing now, so now things have become more dichotomous, right? But there are people who are actually trying to piece things together and it's all being done in physics. It's all being done in physics and a lot of work are really in theoretical physics. The question of consciousness now becomes a little bit different when you look at it that way. When you look at it, like, what is it really?

Dr Ted Achacoso: And so we have all of these studies, consciousness is seizing the classroom, because it has the most number connections in the brain, and we don't know what it's actually doing. Well, I don't know. The nice thing about science is that we can always push, we can always do our epistemic foraging. Push the wall of ignorance further, but we will always be ignorant about certain things. And right now, I think without a strict definition of consciousness we'll basically be lost in this matter. We should separate existing from being alive, from being conscious and so on, and what the self is in relation to all of this, in order to make sense of what is in front of us right?

Wade Lightheart: One of my big influencers in understanding some of consciousness research or meditation researchers, a fellow by the name of dr. David Hawkins who was a member of the Noetic scientists and all this sort of thing, and he classified things as small self, big self, and he would kind of go through the mechanics of how the brain and the physiological components, and these types of things, which was helpful in providing a little bit more definition. So I'll get into a specific relative to you, cause' not to lose people in some of the theoretical aspects, but I would say as a meditator yourself and most people, I suspect you've kind of entered into some of these interesting dimensions of thought or space, transcendental spaces, let's use that, outside of the linear processing of normal consciousness that happens in meditation.

Dr Ted Achacoso: DMT does it to your mouth.

Wade Lightheart: So how do you classify from what you've just described these states of awareness, I guess, or dimensions, whatever you want to call, it's a radically altered state, it's outside of your normal operation or what the normal parameters are? Are you accessing those states and then using that as the model to kind of define things in the linear realm? Or is it a top down or a bottom up movement? That's what I would like to know.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Oh, no, it's assessable movement. Sorry. It's very messy. I framed things actually Wade, one of the things that have served me well, and it could serve your listeners, well, if they're so inclined, is a lot of the things that I need to explain to myself I look at it from an evolutionary lens, evolutionary perspective. If you take a look at how we evolve and you could actually be crazy like me, I say: well, if we evolve this way, what's the driving force behind the evolution, right? And we know that it's just random variation and natural selection by a biology, but when you take a look at now in terms of say, you're not looking at the animal, but you're looking at energetic animal that has to get into an energy that has to get into a physical form as a experiment, right?

Dr Ted Achacoso: How are you, say you have an energetic, you're an energy being with a particular energy flow and you basically are trying on different incarnations of a dog, cat, this and that. Until you say, okay this one suits my energy flow for now. So as a thought experiment you can think of it that way, but the one thing that I want to emphasize is we should not really conflate consciousness with self. Those are two separate things. The self is merely something that arises in consciousness, whether or not consciousness has neural correlates or whether or not consciousness is actually an intrinsic property of the universe itself.

Wade Lightheart: Which I got to ask that question, because, so what we call consciousness as beings, physical beings living with the universe, the observable universe, we know that there's an unobservable universe, which is probably far larger than the observable ones.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Oh you can observe them with some psychedelics.

Wade Lightheart: Yes. I think one of the, the interesting components that I've always suggested to people is we're not independent of the universe itself, we are an aspect of it. Therefore, it would seem to me that…

Dr Ted Achacoso: No Wade, in universe itself.

Wade Lightheart: Right. Yeah. So consciousness is a quality or awareness, I guess, would be maybe something that is a quality that is in the universe itself, because if it's in me, it would have to be an aspect of the universe itself, would it not be, because we're not independent of each other?

Dr Ted Achacoso: Yeah. That's the whole point, when you asked me earlier, I was leading up to this. When in meditation you're able to access all of this things, but it is not nice there by design that you access it hierarchically from top down or bottom up and it's why, the reason why I say yes, I think necessary approach to it is because you're connected in non linear. For me, the connection is in nonlinear dimensions. So you can't really say I want to access this state. All you can do is, the fundamental. One of the fundamental lessons in that you're doing your practices like in meditation is process of surrender. You have to surrender everything.

Wade Lightheart: Correct. Including your life.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Yes. Yes. Because you come to a point where when you're in meditation and you just see the body and all of its processes and everything as an appearance in consciousness, your movements, et cetera, what are you saying. Are appearances in consciousness and that's when you begin to suspect that, hey, this must be more of a universal property or a multi versatile property rather than that's intrinsic to the universe rather than something that becomes emergent from complex systems. We don't know, but the one thing that I find of great benefit is this, being able to see the self or the ego arise as it's arising, essentially relieves me of suffering. My goal is really very "selfish".

Dr Ted Achacoso: If you take a look at it, I just don't want to suffer and you suffer only if there is someone suffering. It's the ego, that someone, so I like the saying a lot 'pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional'. Because the pain will arise. It's a natural warning of the body, for example, not to touch the hot stuff. The story that's built around it causes the suffering. You go: shit, why did I have to put my hand in there? And you blame yourself and so on, and so forth. Now that's the suffering. Instead of just being pain, it becomes a suffering, because it becomes involved in the storytelling of the illusion or the process of I.

Dr Ted Achacoso: So when we meditate, actually, I don't know many of your listeners may meditate, and what are you really doing in there? If you imagine, for example, Wade if you imagine the self or the ego as say it's a circle of smaller circles, it's like lights that are going round, and round, and round, and round. It's just like, they're on one at a time, but when they're going very, very fast, it looks like you have one big circle. And that's what the ego is like, it just seems like, yeah, I am one big circle. But when you meditate, you slow everything down. Like for example, you essentially pay attention to what you see and suddenly it's only that light, that's blinking and pay attention to what you hear and suddenly it's only that light that's blinking. You pay attention only to the thought that's arising if it's not like this making. So it's only blinking, first, slowly, and then just one at a time. And you see that the illusion of the large circle going round and round, like, Holy fucking shit, I'm late for my appointment, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah you know, and then you see all of the components, even the anxiety of going to the appointment late and so on. They're just blinking one at a time. And you basically have dispelled the illusion of the ego,

Wade Lightheart: Which are primarily habitual firing patterns within the brain and with associative emotions and energy, which would be how we correlate to that essentially.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Yeah. Right. So for me that's the self and for me it's just another appearance in consciousness. And as I said, when you're dreaming, your self is still there. In fact, when people ask me: Ted, how do you think enlightenment feels like? It feels like a lucid dream. When you lucid dreaming is when you wake up within a dream and I've been lucid dreaming since I was a child. It's so scary, Wade, when you're a young boy and you've never seen The Great Wall of China ever, and it's a full moon and you're running around The Great Wall of China, and then you jump down and your body goes into a thud. The next day you go into the house library and you take a look a what walls are there that are large, and you see The Great Wall of China.

Dr Ted Achacoso: And you take a look at the moon last night, it was a full moon and so on, so forth. And you wake up, you're basically awake within the dream, so it's the same thing. Like for example, if you followAdyashanti,what he says, this essentially the way I describe it, it's a little bit more old fashioned. It's like the old fashioned fluorescent lamps with the ballast, it flickers, flickers, flickers. Enlightenment is like that. It flickers, flickers, flickers, and then you have a sustained one when it's finally on. When it's finally on, is when you basically are able to stay in yourself inside a lucid dream and you are able to change the environment and everything in the lucid dream the way you want it. And that's exactly how it feels when you're looking at the world and there is no ego looking at it. Then it just seems like everything is just arising right there like illusions or clouds in the sky, right?

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. Yogananda, one of the famous Indian mystics that came to the West and kind of ushered in the whole yoga movement, essentially. He had one of his books. I love the title, which was called 'Awake in the Cosmic Dream'.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Oh, I have that book because I have some friends who actually were in his commune. Of course, they're all old now they're like approaching 90, either 87 or something like that, some are younger. But I have had the privilege of actually talking to them and asking what it was to be and of course I visited his center Encinitas a few times. But I do have his writings with me. And that's what was before, that was a while back because one of the things I'm trying to do Wade, is trying to take a look at, like, here are the Eastern traditions, this is what I've been saying, especially me in Zunghar and Bon and so on and so forth.

Dr Ted Achacoso: This is what's being. I essentially keep tabs on the developments in physics, et cetera, et cetera. And this is what we're developing. And in order to communicate with the younger generation now, it's very hard to sit down with them and read the Vedas. You're not going to get anywhere. But when you talk about quantum fields and all of these other things, it's easier for them to understand, right? And it's basic springboard for you to be able to explain all of this differences between the consciousness itself. And for me why it's become an emergency, for us humans as a species, to actually relieve ourselves of our suffering, right?

Dr Ted Achacoso: Because it's the ego that clings. It's the one that clings, it's the one that once more profits at the expense of other people - human trafficking, child labor, pollution of the oceans and so on and so forth. So I've been looking at, and the Buddha has been right all along. He's been saying: this is the root of suffering, but now neuroscientifically, we are actually showing that to be true and the practices actually show the illusion of it all, you know, exists in meditation or if you don't like it take some bake some legal psychedelics, if you could get away with it and try to see what the obliteration of the self is like. So that when you're in meditation you know exactly when the self actually disappears, you're not seeing the big circle the big wheel just turning round and round, that's a single color light, but rather you see the lights one at a time that make up the wheel.

Wade Lightheart: I could really go on about this, cause' it's such a wonderful and deep rabbit hole and we could. A couple of points. I'll put in for my listeners. I read a book which was Yogananda's guru, which was called 'The Holy Science', and he actually was the person trained to send yoga Yogananda the West, and he was very versed in scientific method. And he perceived that the great scientists of the West were capable of understanding the mysteries of the East and he imagined Eastern philosophy emerging with Western science to create a universal paradigm, including the development of technologies that would accelerate the meditation process by the use of scientific experimentation. I know that you, in your life, have really done a lot of very interesting things, but primarily right now you're working in the health field, you've developed nootropics. What are you attempting to achieve through your work in your organizations right now? I think that's really important and very exciting.

Dr Ted Achacoso: Yeah. I started a nonprofit, it's called Health Optimization Medicine and Practice Association, we got our approval to be a tax-exempt organization last year, but actually I pioneered this about 11 years ago now, where no one was looking at the developments in terms of looking at the person as a whole biome or an ecosystem of cells in itself. Instead of looking at you as a person who can get sick in a population, I am looking at you as an ecosystem of cells, of cooperating cells. Because my research was in networks, I'd say take a look at all of these networks,basically a jungle with so many species and so on and there were a lot of developments then that started happening.

Dr Ted Achacoso: One was, we used to think, like, for example, our gut microbiota were separate from us. They're bacteria that separate from us. And I was first one who actually insisted that this is a postnatal organ, you know, two kilos that's actually grows after birth. If it's part of you, then you begin to take care of it, because it serves functions and then we see it's influencing the brain and so on. I got noone actually for my work in mitochondria because it's about energy, right? And one of the things that the body does it's the main point, it's allocates energy. It has to allocate energy. For exampleI tell my students that in order to defend yourself, you need to have a huge energy expenditure for your department of defense.

Dr Ted Achacoso: That's why the immune system is a very expensive, energetically expensive system, and the body will fund it first, before it will fund your repair. So you could see now the allocations of the body, not just learning about the Krebs cycle and mitochondria and so on and so forth, but taking a look at the bio-energetic system of body. Where will it go first? Like, Bruce Ames, I think was the one who did triaging, where will the nutrients be used first? But for me, it's more like an energetic triaging. We evolved essentially for survival and reproduction, and you would see that over and over in terms of our energy allocation.

Dr Ted Achacoso: So no one was paying attention to this. In fact, one time, of course there was a lot of work that was done on mitochondria, on how the functioning will determine how fast you age, how, how resistant you are to disease, et cetera, et cetera. Well, duh, that's because it provides you with your energy and we see, and they're bacteria themselves, right? Evoliutionary they are bacteria inside of cells and we have in about an average of 500 per cell but in high energy systems like requiring systems in the brain and deliver, for example, you have 1000 to 2000, right?

Dr Ted Achacoso: So you could see all of the roles of these bacteria, but once upon a time in evolution all of these bacteria got together and made us the multicellular organism that we are. All I'm doing is actually going back and taking a look at what are those fundamental relationships that have already been formed as to who does what and so on. So you have your microbiota, you have your bacteria you have your gut bacteria and then the thing that I was yelling about was that we've become too DNA centric, everything is G, G and G, and I was getting sick and tired of hearing that. And it's a good thing that the field of epigenetics came out, which means that there are control mechanisms that exist outside of your genes and that if you live the correct lifestyle, et cetera, et cetera, you don't smoke, you probably are going to silence some cancer gene or the other that will manifest itself, if you didn't happen to like methylate the side properly.

Dr Ted Achacoso: The clocks, epigenetic clocks are coming out, the way David Sinclair actually likes to talk about it's just like having a tooth and as you get older, you have so many blacks in it. So what you do is, you scrape off the blacks and Yamanaka won the Nobel, right, for the Yamanaka factors, which are actually black scrapers. This is now making the cells younger, so it's now about each reversal, right? Now there are clocks that actually determine what's your real chronological age or your epigenetic age from birth, based on what you've accumulated and even more exciting is the application of artificial intelligence into the data sets where if you're superimposed a dataset of smokers in it you can have what's called a green age clock. They haven't released this, because it's kind of controversial, but I'd like to see it, because it can predict your time to first heart attack, for example, morbidity.
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