Daniel Greig – The Cognitive Continuum: From Insight to Enlightenment

In this episode, Kyle and Joe interview previous guest of the show, Daniel Greig. In the show, he goes in depth into the meaning of enlightenment and previews the new book he is writing with Dr. John Vervaeke, The Cognitive Continuum.

3 Key Points:

  1. Insight, flow and mystical experiences are all facets of working toward enlightenment.
  2. Enlightenment is really a fundamental grip on reality. It’s about maintaining a relationship with the transcendent, it’s not about just constantly escaping this body life.
  3. The mystical experience is a glimpse at consciousness. The most important part of having a mystical (psychedelic) experience is coming back into our bodies and developing better relationships with ourselves, others and the world.

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Show Notes

The Cognitive Continuum

  • There will be a crowdfunding campaign launched for the book
  • The book will be a combination of art and science
  • He is writing it with Dr. John Vervaeke
  • The core of cognitive continuum is insight
  • There is also the flow state
  • There are also mystical states
  • Insight, flow and mystical experiences all have something to do with enlightenment
    • If we can train people on how to access this cognitive continuum, they can become enlightened


  • It is important to see the truth
    • “How can we take our natural ability to attach to things, and learn to step back and care about the greater good?” – Daniel
  • Cognitive flexibility is important to understand the needs of the greater collective
    • “Enlightenment means to apprehend truth and act in relation to truth” – Daniel
  • Mind does not equal brain

Gut Feeling

  • EGG – electro gastro grams
  • There is a singular resting state network between the brain and the stomach
    • You’re never really able to access this network, but when we have ‘gut feelings’ it’s typically coming from neurons in your stomach
  • Being grounded in those sensations of the stomach is a huge part of problem solving and guidance in truths
  • We need to get back to ‘feeling’ something as actually meaning something

Mystical Experience

  • Enlightenment is really a fundamental grip on reality
  • It’s about maintaining a relationship with the transcendent, it’s not about just constantly escaping this body life
  • Daniel uses a lot of Roberto Unger’s theories in his new book
  • There is the absolute reality and illusory reality
  • The mystical experience is a glimpse at consciousness
    • The most important part of having a mystical experience is the coming back into our bodies, having better relationships with ourselves and others
  • Psychedelics don’t do anything by just sitting there, they take a perceiver to matter and make a difference
    • It’s the person, the body, that really holds the power to embodiment

Psychedelics and Enlightenment

  • People say that psychedelics are a shortcut to enlightenment
    • Daniel says that psychedelics can help take people out of depression style states
    • A mystical experience can help you, but you’re going to hit a plateau if you don’t integrate and interpret these experiences
  • For those practicing a lot of psychedelic work, they should balance with body work like yoga
    • There needs to be a balance in all practices in order to keep escalating toward enlightenment



About Daniel Greig

Daniel is an educator, organizer and artist living in Toronto. He studied Cognitive Science and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, specializing in wisdom, consciousness, and spiritual belief and experience. In 2015, he founded the Mapping the Mind conference that occurs annually in Toronto, which raises much needed funds for psychedelic research. Daniel regularly host lectures and workshops, on topics in cognitive science. He is currently writing a book with Dr. John Vervaeke on the science of enlightenment, which will be published in 2020. When not contemplating the realm of the intellect, Daniel delves in the sonic perturbations of music, writing and producing progressive metal.

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