Daniele Bolelli speaking with Rich Evirs about Empathy

Rich: So, as a test question, I might think thats a nice one to try with people as you encounter [them] in your life.  'I just did this or that, or look at my new artwork' or whatever it is. - Well, are you proud of it?  Will definitely get you deeper into a response, and instant too.  It was like it just clicks [with them] by god I am proud of this.  Anyways, thats what I get from what youre saying.

Daniele: No but thats exactly the way, you know, asking.  It really is about paying attention.  Its nothing any deeper than that.  Its asking certain questions and really seeing how they respond.  Not anticipate it, not think about seventeen other things when youre talking to that person.  Its really, when you want to turn it on you really need to focus and pay attention and kind of open up to what comes your way.  What feelings it elicits inside of you.  What kind of thoughts and emotions and everything.  And that to me is how you develop that muscle.  Its like anything, the more you do it then the  stronger it gets, in that fashion.  And you know youre around human beings all day long anyway.  So snap out of your fucking head for a second and actually pay attention to them.  Now this is where empathy as a positive value comes in cause so far theres nothing positive or negative in a moral sense, its purely about empathy as an ability to read reality for what it is.  Nothing more nothing less.  You feel them not because in the sense of empathy you feel it and then youre going to be nice to them because - no, thats the next step.  Once you read people for who they are or at least most of the time, then you have choices.  Because you actually feel what they feel, it gives you a greater sympathy for them.  It gives you a greater degree of compassion.  It makes you a kinder human being because, again, youre acting from understanding where they are coming from.  You understand their journey and the such.  It makes you a little nicer to them.  It may not.

Rich: They might throw the shields up when the child molester guy is around the corner.   

Daniele:  Well yea, in that case its a good idea.  Cause I mean, again, compassion is a, just because - and thats the thing that people misunderstand sometimes - just because you understand something, doesnt mean youre justifying it.  You know?  Just because you understand how somebody got to be that way, and thats another obstacle to empathy, its that, especially when were talking about dark ugly stuff, people dont want to understand it because they feel that "if I get it then Im justifying it, im making alibis for him.  Im saying its ok.  No youre not at all.  Youre only getting to how somebody got to be that person.  [It] doesnt mean youre approving it, [it] doesnt mean youre giving it thumbs up.  It may just mean that you put a bullett in their head.  That’s just, you just mean you get it, that’s all.  So big difference between understanding something and justifying something.  And that’s where the choice comes in.  You can use empathy to be an evil asshole who’s just using your knowledge of other people; what makes them click, what makes them vulnerable, what makes them open up, what makes their defenses come up.  You can use that knowledge to completely fuck them over, and just manipulate them.  Right? That’s a choice.  Now, it's not my choice, not because, I don’t even know why it’s not my choice.  You know, it’s like I can’t even explain why to me that’s gross.  It’s just natural to me.  It’s like that’s just gross, I don’t want to be that person.  Is there any deep, you know, because I don’t believe necessarily in this other worldly morality that falls from the sky that says you ‘have to be good’.  I don’t know why.  I’m not sure why I want to be empathetic in a nice way.  It’s just how I am.  It works for me.  Some people are not…It’s like the Force in Star Wars.  The Force is accessible whether you’re a nice person or whether you’re Darth Vader.  It does’ t morally discriminate.  Access is not based on morality.  And so in that sense, the fact that you can tap into the Force, that’s your Jedi training, but then how you decide to use it, that’s your choice, you know, and nobody can make it for you. 

Episode #26 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ -1:18:15

Daniele Bolelli and Rich Evirs speaking with Robert Greene about ’The Way'

Robert: That concept of ‘the way’ that permeates the universe and that you’re understanding it, either as a manual laborer - which is something really fascinating about Asian cultures where they celebrate manual labor in that sense.  You know, in Japanese culture, in Zen Buddhism.  A calligrapher, or a tea ceremony or anything - the ability to make something really well is a spiritual thing.  You are kind of one with the material, is something we really miss.  And I very much want to bring that back in this book.

Daniele: Absolutely, cause thats ultimately what being in a state of flow, is.  Where you have mastered a field enough, but not just mastered as you put through measurable intelligence.  You know, 'i’ve gone through all the steps now I am a master’ - well that’s, you have a lot of knowledge and that’s great but then there is that step more, the mastery level, when you are in the state of flow where it looks like magic.

Robert: Yes

Daniele: You can pull off things that someone else looks at it and is like; how is it freaking possible that, in the case of that guy, he can use the same knife to go through a zillion oxen and cut them all up and butcher them without ever dulling the blade, is because he has this intuitive feeling not to hit any of the bones, where everything is, so hes going through empty space.  

Robert: Yea

Daniele: And he can’t really teach it to somebody else because its experience, its feel.  Its not like; well first you go 30 degrees, then you curve’.  It doesn’t work that way.  And that’s, as you put it, in Eastern culture, there’s this idea that you can achieve that through any activity.  You can do it through tea ceremony, you can do it through strategy, you can do it through [martial arts], you can do it through every single art there is in the world…is but a vehicle to get that.  I mean it’s an Art, its great in itself there’s something cool about that field.  But that’s why to me i’m much more interested about - I don’t care whether somebody is into, in what they are into, in the specifics.   Or the particular art form they are into - or it may not even be an art form in most peoples opinion - the filed they are into or whatever.  I’m interested in how they take that one little field and they are able to use that to channel this ability this energy in a way that transcends specific narrow field knowledge.  That’s where you have a mastery of life at that point.

Episode #29 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ -45:34

Daniele Bolelli speaking with Rich Evirs during the intro, quoting someone he cant remember

Rich:  You'll never change the world...but if you're lucky, you might point it a half a degree in the right direction.  And if you've done that, you've really done something.  Or just held it fast against these insane mother-fuckers that are trying to run the place. 

Daniele: Ultimately, nobody goes out and changes the world by wanting to change the [world].  You know, its such a big humongous series of things around us that you can't just by sheer will power just; 'i'm going out and changing the world tomorrow'.  Well yea, that's sweet.  Good luck. 
At the same time, nothing ever changes unless people believe that they can do it.  So you need to be both optimistic and realistic at the same time.  But the point is, regardless, when you put your energy in a good way, regardless of the ultimate results, you're going to have fun in the process...you're going to have people along with you who have fun in the process.  And maybe ultimately that changing the world is.  In moments by moments.  Not necessarily super great scheme of things, but that right there it's happening in that that moment, in that connection.  If it happens in more long lasting fashion, so be it.  Even better.    

Episode #1 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ -1:24:15

Daniele Bolelli speaking with Duncan Trussell and Rich Evirs, quoting Lao Tzu

Daniele: My Teachings are very easy to understand And very easy to practice ... but nobody understands them and nobody practices them.

[Duncan and Rich laugh]

Daniele:  It’s beautiful you know, it’s like, it’s like Nietzsche put it as a subtitle of his book;  A Book for Everyone and No One.  Theoretically it's really simple, because it doesn't require any specific, strange weird knowledge ... it's the basic elements of life.  But people are so distant from what's natural, from in a way the essence of things, that they complicate shit needlessly and then something that is the simplest thing ever - they will never be able to get it because its too rooted ... if you chase artificial crap all day long, you're not going to be able to look at something natural and simple and recognize it for what it is. 

Episode #1 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ -25:18

Daniele Bolelli speaking with Shannon Lee about her father; Bruce Lee

Daniele: I love the whole methodology - the way he set it up. The whole idea of; "Researching your own experience, Absorbing what's useful, Rejecting what's useless and Add what is essentially your own"
That's beautiful.  I mean, right there, that's like, thats how you should live life. In every way.  
Whether its martial arts, weather its about anything. You do your homework, you look at what's out there.  You take stuff that seems to make sense.  you experiment with it, you see whether it works or not.  You leave some of the stuff that looks disturbing ... and the process of mixing from multiple is what makes you, you.  It's what makes the particular alchemy you come up with of all the elements you mix.

Episode #3 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ - 42:20

Daniele Bolelli answering a question about; what to do to motivate yourself on a daily basis

Daniele: For lack of a better term: Hero Modeling; when you pick somebody, it can be a real person it can be an imaginary character.  Sort of the 'what would Jesus do' type of approach…but basically you are picking somebody you admire and you try to picture them in that situation, and that gives you motivation to copy that, essentially, to live as you imagine them to be.  Now, Weather that's real or not is totally secondary.  It's to give you an image of how you want to be, and then you roll with it...

Episode #10 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ - 43:06

Daniele Bolelli speaking with Aubrey Marcus about living a Yin-Yang type of existence

Daniele: ...You want to be comfortable in as many environments as humanly possible, you know, on Earth.

Aubrey:  That's it.  That's the key, is to earn peoples respect in those languages they know.  Otherwise they'll tune you out.  Literally like it's a different language.  Literally like if you switched to Italian right now on this Podcast and most of your non-bilingual people will be just like; 'huh? huh? ok i'm over this'. They just wouldn't listen to you anymore, it's just not their language.  And I think that's one of the things that our good friend Joe Rogan has really done thats really shaken things up.  Because he is a bad motherfucker.  He is tough as shit.  I mean, he can beat you on your feet... 

Daniele: Yup

Aubrey: ...he can beat you on the mat.  There is no solace for him. 

Daniele: Nope

Aubrey: He's just a really tough guy.  And up in Stand up Comedy, that's about as masculine a Performance Art as there is.  But at the same time he's talking about Float Tanks...

Daniele: Right

Aubrey: ...and smoking DMT, and doing Yoga and Meditating.  And all of a sudden, all of these people that have never listened to anybody else are like; 'oh ok'.

Daniele: 'If Joe says so maybe I should try it', yes of course. 

Aubrey: And that has been a beauty of his message, you know.  And I think it's really important.  And I think that's the next way.  I mean, hell, that is the symbol of Quetzalcoatl.  You know, the feathered serpent.  That alliance of two things that don't, shouldn't really go together.  You know, feathers and scales.  

Daniele: So it's a Mexican version of Yin and Yang.

Aubrey: It is.  That's exactly right. 

Episode #19 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ -40:01

Daniele Bolelli speaking with Rich Evirs and answering a question about sticking to things and committing to a permanent change

Daniele: It really just boils down to discipline.  Which, we have said this before on the Podcast.  It's a very unsexy word.  Whoever created it could've used some PR work, cause it's like discipline it's like, it's the kind of word that just when you say [it], everybody's butt clinches a little harder.  Cause it's like; 'ooh, discipline, jesus I don't want to do that'.  You know, it doesn't' sound good.  At the same time it's the difference between wishing and doing stuff.  Anybody can, you know, we all wish for certain shit to happen - but none of that is going to happen unless you not only put your intention to make it happen, but then you put in the grand work.  And the Grand work is really about a mental toughness that you need to develop.  Really like a muscle, like nothing else, about putting in the time.  Going in when you feel like it, when you don't feel like it.  Cause if you wait to do the stuff that's good to you only when you're in the mood for it, yea good luck with that, have fun.

Rich: You'll never do it. 

Episode #22 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ -31:02

Daniele Bolelli speaking with Dan Carlin about the nuances implicit in life

Daniele: That's I guess what I like about Daoism.  That it's a known label.  You know, it's exactly this notion.  It's applying an approach that leaves you free to use reason where reason has a place.  To use emotions where emotions have a place.  To use whatever tool helps for that specific situation without having to defend some abstract ideology every time, you know. 

Dan: It's tight but loose then right?

Daniele: Exactly!.  That's why I thought that the Jimmy Page statement was perfect Taoism right there. 

Dan: Your philosophy and world view is tight but loose, maybe that's mine too. 

Daniele: I love that.  There are a couple of quotes in regards to what you were just saying, that fascinates me a lot that I like very much.  One is by Nietzsche who said that: 'The wisest man would be the one richest in contradictions' - which I dig very much.  And another one  was Walt Whitman who asked; ' Do I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself.  I am large.  I contain multitudes'. - Which is not a hint to schizophrenia or anything, it's acknowledging that there is more to life than one face.  And there are more sensibility, talents, sides of yourself that come into play in different scenarios and they have a place in the right context in the right situation.  But I can understand why your old Editors or some of the Directors of programs would hate that because everybody likes stereotypes.  Everybody likes labels.  Well, not everybody maybe, but it's a typical thing.  It's like when you publish a book, which section of the book store do we plug it under.  You know, which heading?  Where do we file it?  You know, there's this desire to have things easily recognizable quickly for simplicity's sake, which ultimately ends up over simplifying reality rather than just simplifying it. - Which is a big, big difference right there.

Episode #23 of The Drunken Taoist podcast @ -49:05