FTP027: Vinay Gupta – The Practical Steps to Enlightenment

This is part 4 of our interviews with Vinay Gupta, and the second portion of our talk on enlightenment. I recommend that you listen to the first portion of the enlightenment talk before this one, and the last one on enlightenment for the future of humanity after. Also check out our interview with Vinay from last year, where we discussed Ethereum, space colonization, and a whole bunch of other fascinating things.

A Taste of Another Reality

For many people, the interest in consciousness exploration arises from personal experience. Something happens that makes you question that the commonly accepted notion of reality is the actual reality. You might experience pre-cognition about an event in your life. You might notice synchronicities occurring at a rate above chance. You might have an out of body experience. And while all of these things are common enough as isolated events, when they start happening often, you can’t help but want to investigate.

Unfortunately, much of the literature on the subject of consciousness exploration is littered with medieval mythology, woo, and dogma. Although the mythology can be interesting, it is not very useful when it comes to developing a deeper understanding of reality. Counting the angels dancing on the head of a pin, or imagining Gaia’s warm embrace may be interesting experiences. But they will not get you any closer to understanding yourself or the world we live in.

That said, it doesn’t mean there is no value to consciousness exploration. When done in a systematic way, it can indeed lead to developing a deeper understanding of yourself and reality. And for some, with enough time and persistence, it may lead to enlightenment.

The Practical Steps to Enlightenment

We invited Vinay Gupta back on our podcast to talk about just that. In the first portion of this talk, Vinay dove deep into the dogmas around enlightenment and the importance of separating the “medieval horse crap” mythology from the actual experience. We also talked about taking a scientific approaches to the enlightenment process.

In this portion of the talk, Vinay describes his personal experience of achieving enlightenment and the different stages of getting there. He also goes into the problems people often across in mid to late stages of the process and how to overcome them. We then discuss the meditation techniques that can reliably lead to enlightenment, and whether or not one needs a guru or teacher to get to the end.

This episode is dense, and may require multiple listens to get all the information presented.

Quotes From This Episode:

“Once the uncertainty begins to dominate the certainty, you become open to the world in unimaginable ways”

“The real process of meditation is paying real close attention to what is happening around you without passing it to the mind immediately for analysis”

“Sitting with discomfort, difficult emotions, and hard realizations, is the core practice that leads towards enlightenment”

“The mind becomes perceived to be another sense. You see, you listen, you hear, you smell, you think. Once you are aware that you are not your mind and your mind is basically a sense organ, it’s a thing that brings information to you, you enter the real work of enlightenment, which is: what is this me that the mind is bringing information to? And that’s the big one. That question is at the heart of everybody’s enlightenment process.”

In This Episode of Future Thinkers Podcast:

  • The stages on the path to enlightenment
  • The Freudian, Jungian, and Gestalt levels of development
  • Overcoming common stumbling blocks along the path
  • Learning to deal with negative emotions
  • The types of meditation practice that reliably lead to enlightenment
  • The guru disciple relationship
  • Using honest uncertainty on the way to discovery
  • Avoiding dogmas and mythology

Recommended Books:

More From Future Thinkers:


  1. Gusta Trillo-Pazos 2 years ago

    Most of what we understand in consciousness comes from a subcortical to occipital enlightnment (christ conscience, ohm), in the islamic model the shift is towards motor cortical cortex. What thes systems have in common is aset of binds achieved through meditation and other such practises. In comes ascension by using an evolutionary perspectve of the brain and you get free flowing intelligence in E infinity another ball game….

  2. bryce holcomb 2 years ago

    In the portion of the conversation about therapy, Vinay mentions a book about Freud being forced to recant his early assertions, but doesn’t name it. I asked him on Twitter, and this is it:


    Thanks for the great chat.

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