Serge Faguet is a serial entrepreneur and philosopher. He studied for an MBA at Stanford, a bachelor’s degree at Cornell, worked at Google in California and passed YCombinator.
Sergey is a deeply convinced transhumanist who focuses on two strategic areas: (1) biotechnology and (2) Web3/crypto. Serge believes that the key to achieving radical life extension lies in collecting huge amounts of biomedical data and creating an ecosystem of developers of new diagnostics/therapeutics based on them. He implements this concept through his biomedical companies.
Sergey also believes that the key to humanity successfully solving its tasks in the 21st century lies in the cardinal decentralization of the financial and political organization of the world, which can be achieved through the introduction of Web3/crypto principles.
Please enjoy my conversation with Serge Faguet.
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 191
Serge Faguet 0:00
At some point, which really made me very calm and confident, even though there was no objective reason to feel calm or confident at that moment in time was really I remembered to actually to some of my trip experiences, where I would kind of see all of my life in the past, and how all of it even the very, very, very difficult moments have built up to something. And that's after the difficult moment has passed. I've always looked at it in like a happy, fulfilled way where it integrated itself into my story of who I am as a person and what I care about.
Alex Ferrari 1:04
Like to welcome to the show Serge Faguet, how you doing Serge?
Serge Faguet 1:06
Hey! Hey! Alex, how are you?
Alex Ferrari 1:08
I'm good, my friend. I'm good. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I'm, I am fascinated to talk to you a very fascinating person. In general, you have multi levels of things that you have done in your in your life so far. But what I really wanted to focus our conversation on today is how to live to 125 years old or older, which you might be the man that can help us with that. So I read your article about how you spent 200 is it $200,000 on Biohack?
Serge Faguet 1:38
I think it was I think it was more than that, when counting fees for quite expensive doctors. Plus, there were a lot of expensive tests and procedures. But it's actually possible to do a lot of that at a much lower price point. And I think we'll talk about that today.
Alex Ferrari 1:58
Sure. So can you explain to everybody what is biohacking?
Serge Faguet 2:03
So the idea I like my favorite term for biohacking is performance medicine. So essentially, the idea is just as a top athlete, has a team of medical doctors who suggest to them, how they should sleep, how they should eat, testing, their biomarkers, etc. So all of us can be especially the high performing high impact people, like yourself or other people who are building businesses, or who are consultants who are who are investors. There's a lot of people who have a lot riding on their shoulders, and the world is pretty fucking stressful nowadays, right? There's a financial crisis, and there's threats of nuclear war, and there's all the political instability everywhere. And that's on top of, you know, your previously competitive job where you have to be your best. And I think that the really top athletes, sorry, truly top performers and professionals of today should be like athletes in that they should be supported by a team of people who are looking at their health, who are helping them develop the right habits, and who are also helping them develop themselves mentally, psychologically, and spiritually, because that's also very important for your well being. And it's really about getting support across all three of these areas. And that's really what biohacking is I can go into detail on each one of those.
Alex Ferrari 3:53
If you can't, if you if you can go a little bit. Yeah, that'd be great.
Serge Faguet 3:56
Sure, so let's start with medical. So if you're a normal human, there's a bunch of parameters in your body like that are represented by proteins in some respects, that can be out of whack just because of normal human variation. This is not at all about sickness. And so some people will have particular unique features like for example, I have relatively low thyroid hormones. And I discovered that through extensive testing that I was doing together with my doctor at the time, Peter, Tia, also a famous biohacker and thinker about these ideas, and essentially, fixing that thyroid hormone issue by taking a little bit like a tiny bit of synthetic thyroid hormone, which is available just as a prescription drug you I felt more energy, better mood and generally Just just like a better vibe throughout my day, and I remember the day this happened, I was staying at this hotel in New York and I tried this stuff for the first time and then just had an awesome day. And then that just kept, we kept trading the right solution. So essentially, understanding quite exactly how much you have to take. So that's an example of a medical intervention. There's lots of others hormones are particularly popular, but there's also other things you can be doing to perform better, including things to do with longevity. So for example, a particular drug called rapamycin is a very, very promising longevity, drug candidate, and you can already take it, but you need some medical advice and supervision to to use it, but most doctors are not going to prescribe it to you because they haven't even heard it because we will fuck wants to live to be healthy, 140 year old, right. So the unfortunately, unfortunately, like part of my part of my career has been building companies in health tech and biotech. And I'll talk about a relevant one later today. But the issue is really that the medical system doesn't support you in the right way to be the most awesome human that you can be. They're just focused on fixing sick people who are getting ridiculous bills paid for by insurance companies. So so that's the medical part of biohacking, which is really taking the time to learn and to build a support base, for example, to find the right doctor who thinks in the right, creative way or find the right solution about this somehow. And yeah, that's the first part. The second part is behavioral change, which is actually more difficult than the medical part, the medical part is both difficult and easy in that you have to find the right doctor. But once you find the right doctor, they will just do tests on you and prescribe you pills, and you take the pills and you feel better. That's like, really, really easy. The behavioral change part of the equation is quite difficult, just because behavioral change is extremely hard. So I'm a hardcore biohacker. I have been for many years, but I cannot stop myself from eating sugar when I'm stressed out, I just can't I just stop caring. So. So behavioral change is hard. And it's extremely important. Because until you have done, I would actually say like you should start from behavioral change. But it's, it really has to go as a package. So behavioral change is difficult because we have habits, those habits have been created by our life experiences. And if we have done something a million times before, it's very likely that we will automatically do it again. And for things that are extremely important to our health and to living long and to performing extremely well. It's really important to sleep well, to actually have like a consistent sleep schedule, and to track a little bit. If there's anything wrong with your sleep. And just to sleep a lot. Sleep is awesome. And the next part is food. Obviously, eating well and eating the right. Eating the right diet is extremely important. And the last, well another thing is exercise. So if you exercise and walk and get a lot of that done, and you essentially find ways to do it every day. I mean, it could be said that Apple was like wearing an Apple Watch and checking out your steps per day is biohacking. It could be that you know, moving to live somewhere with beautiful nature where you can take long walks and encourage your chat habits to change that way that's by acting. So it's just thinking about making conscious changes to your, to your behaviors. And I think for this coaching is extremely important. So like an external person, because it's really hard for him to change habits. It's just like I would say it's close to impossible to do without someone else who's working with you and who's consciously reminding you and keeping you accountable and and the light. And the other challenge is neuroplasticity, which is really about how ready your brain is to change to change its patterns. It's actually like about how much new neurons grow and old neurons rearrange. And that's really where we get to the third part, which I've personally found the most fascinating over the last several years, which is the mental slash, spiritual part of well being. And here, there's a lot of tools. So like, you can go and work with a psychotherapist, which is extremely valuable, you can learn to meditate, which also is you can take psychedelics, which are a really powerful way of encouraging neuroplasticity. And you can, you can also well build a community of relationships and other things that just enhance your well being, and allow you to develop a as a person from like a moral perspective, from emotional perspective, from all these different perspectives. And that's really the one that's most Well, again, it's it's just difficult to explain exactly how it works, right. But there's a bunch of tools that that seem to work. And actually, so I, one of the things were that I'm working on is to essentially create a package of these three, these three things together in a subscription product for about starting at about $5,000 a year with an app. So essentially, it's called novami health, we're in private beta right now. But you can apply to be in but it's, it's essentially, the idea is to have an app, where you get a video message from your coach about how your last night's metrics are looking and about what you should pay special attention to today, depending on like your sleep trackers, and the light, and then essentially in a single interface, just have different actions pop up from time to time and be supported by an actual person who you are interacting with. So I think like to truly, so Oh, usually, health apps are pretty crap. Because you just can't like work with it properly, because you forget about it, and it keeps nagging you and maybe you adapt to a particular thing, but don't want to you're not going to. But if there's an actual person, and you're paying for that person's time, I find that I never miss the gym, unless I'm like truly sick, if there's a person there whose time I have paid for. And that's really what we're trying to capture together. So essentially, to have people take so so for us psychedelics and ketamine is part of the basic product that we're putting together. It's a sheduled, three drug, so like, quite safe, quite reputable from a regulatory perspective, and you can prescribe it to people. And it seems to have a very good neuroplasticity effect, because essentially, as you're coming out of the trip, and the next couple of days, you are more receptive to change.
Alex Ferrari 13:33
Well, let me let me stop there for a second. So with the psychedelics, what are you actually, you know, have you taken what psychedelics have you take anything psilocybin? What have you taken? And what and what has it done to the brain has anyone like actually hooked up to a scan and watched before and after what happened?
Serge Faguet 13:53
We actually have a decent understanding of what psychedelics do. So what happens, what you see, there's been a bunch of experiments where you put the person on psychedelics into an MRI, and basically look at the different regions of the brain that get activated. And what's really fascinating is that it looks like use brain regions that usually don't talk to each other or start talking to each other. So my personal interpretation of this is that it just connects lots of stuff to each other in the brain. And that's why you start seeing synesthesia like mix, you can see music or something like that. And it's also why it's good for your essentially your ability to think about new things because you kind of seen certain concepts deconstructed and then reconstructed. And, yeah, it's just it just connects a lot of areas in the brain. to each other, and that has certain therapeutic effects because like you connect something that was an area of trauma into consciousness. And so maybe you have a difficult trip because that's difficult to connect with. But then it's been resolved, the trauma has been resolved.
Alex Ferrari 15:16
It's interesting because I just spoke to a very famous screenwriter the other day who wrote some very trippy movies that you would know. And he was telling me that he accidentally took on his first trip of LSD about 1000 milligrams, pure
Serge Faguet 15:31
Alex Ferrari 15:32
Micrograms pure from nothing sweeteners. It was during that time, it was Timothy Leary's LSD if that, if you understand what they are comes from, yeah, he took it. And he was talking about a deconstruction and reconstruction that seems like a theme a lot of times with people who take psilocybin and it's like, just literally breaks apart, the mask almost or the, the, the character that you are playing while you're down here. And then it read, then you go off on a trip in that in that pure space. And then when you come back, you come back and he literally was talking about his fingernails were being pulled apart, everything was being pulled away from him. And at the end, it all got put back together. Yeah. And then he came out of it. Is that something that you've seen this reconstruction deconstruction, kind of vibe?
Serge Faguet 16:23
Yes, very much. So that's very much what what happens. And it's, there's a it's, it essentially feels like the way that our neural networks work. And this is seen in how AI algorithms are constructed today is that more complex concepts are built out of simpler concepts. So like, a concept like freedom is a very complex thing about society and humanity and all that. Whereas a black line is a very simple object. And so a lot of what's being described in the psychedelic literature. And what I've personally experienced is that you kind of dive in, you're more complex concepts dissolve into simpler into like an ocean of simpler ones, and then they reassemble, and that helps you understand that your concepts are not truly real in the sense that they're immutable and all that. And that's what really helps people change after they take psychedelics. And what's cool as well. Right is when your concept conceptual structure and personality dissolves, and then reassembles it reassembles a little bit more adapted to the realities of today, and not to what happened to you 10 years ago that caused your personality to be a certain way. And this is actually why I think that as we do life extension, and I, my main interest in the world is actually transhumanism and transhumanism, that really gets us not to 140 years old, but to the end of this universe, to whatever billions of years that actually is. And my dream is really to have the singularity happen and live for this very long period of time. And I think the reason I'm bringing that up, is that I think as we become more long lived, whether it's 140 years, or 300, or 10 million, we will need to refresh our mind more from time to time because usually, for example, that's one of the main things problems with immortality, right? Because if it gets you, an elite class of super old people who are super rich and super powerful, and they never die, then that stops the society from evolving naturally as power passes to younger people. And I would argue that a lot of the problems of our world today are a result of old people hanging on for way too long, and kind of like fighting last century's battles rather than Yeah, yeah, exactly. And, and so this experience of deconstructing and reconstructing is actually going to have to be something that everyone does as we evolve as humans on a regular basis, because otherwise it's just too difficult to adapt to the changes that are happening in life and to keep up with the pace and I personally have found that like, I'm 37 Right. And sometimes I look at what the 18 year olds are doing. Unlike tic toc are like the particularly new forms of, I don't know, cryptocurrency derivatives, and I'm looking at this, I'm like, men, I'm old.
Alex Ferrari 20:12
And then I look at you and I'm like you're a child. So it's all relative, my friend. It's all relative.
Serge Faguet 20:19
Exactly. But in the future, and I would, I would argue that you and I, and very many of our listeners, at least, like those who are or on the younger side, will get to really live a very, very, very long time, right? And we're going to have to be adapting to each other across generate sessions. Right? So so I have to recognize,
Alex Ferrari 20:43
But that's happening now. Because as you can see, like my grandparents, couldn't even comprehend what's going on today. My parents are holding on for dear life, about what's happening today. I think my generation your generation is more educated and prepped on constant change. Where are ya my parents generation and my grandpa? Men think states that 50 60 years, nothing really moved too much. Yeah, the cars got a little bit better yet TV got from black and white to color. They're very slow moving. Our generations, things are moving by the year by the month, but it's constant and it's speeding up. It's speeding up. So a little bit more adaptable, I feel to the future. You know, we're we're all holograms walking around, we're all gonna be in the holodeck eventually. You know, we're all in Star Trek holodeck. It's gonna be awesome. It's gonna be awesome. Instead of watching a movie on a in a movie theater, we're gonna walk into an experience and maybe be in who knows what's going to happen. But newer, more adaptable to that argent. And then can you imagine my kids? How adaptable they're going to be? To, in 50 years? What's going to happen? But it is, but generationally, I think you're right, I think we are starting to be able to at least with my generation Gen X is is that middle I always call Gen X that the in between generation. We knew how the old world worked. But we also were around when the new world started to kick in. We were before the internet. And then we were there when the internet started. And we were young, when the internet started, and all this technology and the phones and everything else that happened. So we're more adaptable to that. I think that you're right that the communication between generations is going to become more and more important. And more and more people hopefully be more and more adaptable.
Serge Faguet 22:30
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I think that that's really what biohacking is about, to a great extent is to be adaptable, to have your body be in great shape to have your mind being in great shape and to adapt to the challenges that life is constantly throwing at us. Right? Because that's what we have to do. Like, as strong people, we have to stand up and, you know, bring on the day. And, and a lot of that is about building the right habits and researching your body and how it works and building the right mental work, psychotherapy. All of that is extremely important.
Alex Ferrari 23:12
But the thing that you're talking about is a very high level of personal responsibility, and curiosity in yourself, which again, generations, older generations, were never taught that it was like, you ate whatever you ate, you went to the doctor with the white coat, whatever the white coat told you is what it was. And that's broken down over the last, I'd say the last two decades, three decades that that concept has started to break down and is breaking down more and more with conversations like this. But yeah, exactly what what you're what you're talking about is a tremendous amount of personal responsibility and curiosity to move forward. And you have to be psychologically at a place to accept that because if you're depressed, you're not going to biohack.
Serge Faguet 23:59
Yeah, well, well, yes. This is exactly right. And really, that's why sue the company. I mentioned Nova me, we're really building this product packaged less for biohackers and more for just normal people that don't have the requisite level of time and curiosity, etc. Because like me, I spent, it's not just about the money. It's about like I spent a ton of time and really focused mental cycles on just trying to learn about how all this stuff works. So the bio hacker the true bio hackers are people who have that curiosity and who have that dedication, but it's not for everyone because I mean, frankly, maybe I would be better off handling this thing over to a company of the kind that we're building. and focusing on learning music, right? Because because it's really a matter of personal choice, I happen to be a geek. And I happen to have, you know, I'm from a family of mathematicians, and, and grew up in lots of science fiction. So I'm not like, I love engineering details. Yeah. So it's like, learning about how all these proteins work and how DNA makes RNA and how that types of proteins and how those fold and how they work. Really cool. It's like, amazing. But yeah,
Alex Ferrari 25:37
So let me ask you this, because from my understanding, because I'm curious as well as you are, and I've educated myself to a certain extent on my own body and my own mental state and spirituality, obviously. But to my understanding, the body regenerates itself, every organs or you know, every few months, and the skin is every seven years. So the cells in our body are designed to regenerate. But why are we constantly getting older? And why does that that process stop or slow down as we get older is a question I have for you.
Serge Faguet 26:15
So this is a complex question, and I am not, I will try my best try my best. But there's people who specialize in, in essentially developing anti aging biotechnologies, who can describe this much better. But my understanding is, and look, there's also a lot of debate about this, because this is a super complex system, just to give you like a sense of scale. So your blood and our blood contains about 10 million unique classes of molecules. And there's lots and there's different concentrations of each class and some, you know, some molecules, for example, hormones, like testosterone, there's like one of them per billion of molecules of like albumin or another protein like that. And so how do you find how do you even How does that even work? That's ridiculous. So it's like a, the human body is a ridiculously complex system. The fundamental answer to what as to why we age is that we have been created by a particular evolutionary algorithm, which is really that you survive, you reproduce, your descendants look kinda like you. So they reproduce the best ones, have them survive, etcetera. And humans in particular, we reproduce relatively early. So we actually like people after women after some age, and then after some older age, don't are not fertile anymore and don't reproduce. And so essentially, the evolutionary algorithm, then does not care what happens to the organism after it reproduces because it optimizes for Gene transmission, not for the well being of the organism. And for that reason, there's a bunch of issues with our bodies that start to pile up and where the evolutionary algorithm has not disk has not found and implemented solutions, because it wasn't optimized for that. So as our cells divide, and die, there's like, there's some trash that gets left around, essentially, debris from the destroyed cells. And there's cleaning systems, but they're not perfect, because no cleaning system is perfect. And so essentially, over time, debris starts to accumulate. And that's one of the processes that appear to cause aging, DNA damage, that leads to cancer also, because of the fact that DNA replication is extremely extremely, extremely precise, but it's not 100%. It's like 99.999, something, but there's still damage that happens. And for example, you will age faster if you are irradiated with radiation, because radiation works by breaking up DNA strands amongst other things. And so essentially, it introduces damage that is greater than the base rate of damage, and so you age faster. And
Alex Ferrari 29:35
I'm assuming that's why that's why people who drink a lot of alcohol or do drugs, you know, like math or something like that, just your body just starts to break down faster and faster.
Serge Faguet 29:45
Yeah, it depends on the specific drugs. So for example, if you take too much MDMA, you overstimulate what MDMA does is it stimulates the production of serotonin. In the brain, and that feels good plus has a bunch of other effects. And, but when the when the brain is constantly stimulated with serotonin, we start down regulating the receptors. So the brain starts down regulating its sensitivity to a constant ocean of serotonin. And then it could downgrade regulate itself so much that when you stop taking MDMA, you're fucked, because you're essentially, like, super depressed in like, really bad state. So it's a particular mechanism. I mean, the fact is, a lot of, especially the hardcore drugs, like not psychedelics are very brute force, like interventions into a what's ultimately quite a delicate system, right. And when you do that, you are likely to introduce damage of one form or another, and the body is going to act to repair that damage, because there's a lot of really good self repairing systems, essentially, the body is a huge ecosystem. And, and, but especially, let's say the body is also stressed by, I don't know, gasoline fumes from living in a polluted part of the world, or, or something else, your body's repair capabilities are damaged. And so what happens on just like a very low level is that somewhere in some system, some protein does not properly connect to another protein, because something else somewhere else got knocked off course and disrupted some intricate process. And if the error rate goes up, then your systems what's really pernicious about aging is that aging is actually the biggest contributing factor into every disease, because what aging is, is a continued degradation of the systems in your body. And as the systems degrade, they become worse at maintaining themselves because the maintenance systems degrade as well. And so the body gets screwed up exponentially faster, because of this, the nature of this thing, and actually some of the most interesting, interesting treatments for aging in a biological form. So not like where we upload into the cloud, which I think is true immortality, but in this biological body, essentially, the most interesting treatments are around essentially, stem cells that can be instructed to rejuvenate cells, right to create new cells, and people are trying to figure out, this is called Yamanaka factors for the inventor. And there's a bunch of companies that are working on this. And essentially, the idea is how do we use the body systems? How do we stimulate the body systems into regenerating them themselves? So that we're really not trying to get into this really delicate, delicate system? We can't fix like a Swiss watch with a hammer. Right? You have to actually, in this particular case, the Swiss watch fixes itself, because it's a self replicating real living system. Yeah, exactly healing. And that's where so I think a lot of this is fascinating, because this is where a lot of the more esoteric things like, like various, like psychedelic psychotherapy, and the more esoteric things kind of connect to modern medicine, because you are really like, one of the problems with medicine in the past is if you try brute forcing into the body system by essentially throwing in some molecule that might disrupt something, and that's what you want to disrupt and all that, but it has a lot of essentially damage to the overall system. So what we're really trying to do is how do we get the system to just work better by almost by itself by just like stimulating it in the right way.
Alex Ferrari 34:20
Okay, so let's go back to because we can go down very deep, dark rabbit holes in lose people. So I want to go back to something that we can, the audience that's listening can actually do to start bettering and helping their body, you know, stay alive longer. So exercise, let's go through a couple of these sections. Exercise. There's so much misinformation so much, you know, good, bad, indifferent kind of information about exercise. Some people say just walking is fine. Some people say, you know, doing strength training is great, no other people's like it's all aerobic it's like So in your opinion, and from your experience, what is the ideal way to x Besides the body without abusing it to the point, so like these, I've seen a lot. You see these body builders? Yeah. Yeah, they're their systems, they, you don't see a lot of seven foot guys and gals alive at 90, because the body has been beaten up so much. Same thing for endurance athletes, like the body is just being beaten up so much. So there has to be a balance. So what is an ideal balance from your perspective as a biohacker?
Serge Faguet 35:28
I think my perspective is that the ideal exercise routine is one that you enjoy. And you're just going to do and that doesn't go too extreme. So if you're, if your concern is longevity and performance, you don't need to run marathons, because that's like quite a strenuous thing. And, or especially like Ironman. So people do that for the enthusiasm of the competition. That's, that's cool. Like, one of my best friends is really into IRM. And, and, but that's not optimal health wise. So health wise. And this is like, again, when when we're thinking at Novo me about how to help people exercise. It's more like, how do we invent ways for people to find what works for them. So maybe for someone, it's a gym membership, maybe for someone else, it's an Oculus quest with beat Sabre, and that's the only way that this guy is gonna get like, some movement in I personally, I love beat sabre. And I think that just like starting groups with other people who you compete with on beat Sabre, that's, that's like pretty decent. Cardio? Cardio. Yeah, exactly. So I think the question is, like, when you see optimal, so you can take this kind of to an 8020 place, which I think is exactly where most people should go. And really, that's about like, you can walk, you can try running, you can do some strength, training, strength, training is good. Like, my sense, if we might have to be prescriptive is that you want a combination of light, not too heavy, but strength training, that exercises your muscle and gets lots of hormones going, plus some regular aerobic activity, which could be as light as just like walking a bunch every day and not sitting too much. Plus, maybe like, you can go try high intensity interval training, which seems to be good. Like, I again, but this one's like a little bit more suspect to me. So I think the biggest, most important thing is that you just do it regularly, and you enjoy it. Because you're not going to if you don't enjoy something, you're not going to do it. And plus, like I think you should only do stuff that you like, and that's your app.
Alex Ferrari 38:02
Yeah, that's gonna keep it going for a long time, but also not to the extreme. And I think that's the big key here is, you know, if I run one mile five miles is either better. No, that's not the way generally works. On a generally
Serge Faguet 38:14
Yeah, I think that's true. I think that if you do something extreme, you should do it for the for the hell of it, and for the enthusiasm and because you want to set a record and test yourself, but if it's like health wise, you a little goes like quite a long way. I think as far as exercise is concerned.
Alex Ferrari 38:33
Yeah. I mean, we're built, we're built to walk long, long distances, were not built to run long distances on a daily basis. A lot of runners early on, they could rebuild, but as they get older, their knees just start giving out like there are Yeah, that's true that the shocks the shocks are wearing down, as they say on the car, like and the tires are just like, you've just abused them too much, as opposed to just maybe walking a lot or just doing something that you enjoy. That's not too abusive on the body, I think is great. balance.
Serge Faguet 39:02
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think that for most like, Well, that's true. But I think for most people, the bigger issue is just that they sit too much like our sedentary right, so So I think that's what I mean by like, any exercise as long as you don't do it. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 39:19
Exactly. Now, you know, we've been talking a lot about the body, the biology and the the material aspect of what of our body. But what about our spiritual evolution? What is this done to us spiritually, with what you've kind of gone through and obviously the psychedelics I'm sure opened up a couple of doors, but in the wholeness of longevity, how important is it to have a spiritual spiritual focus, whether religious, non religious, spiritual, just understanding that there might be a bigger something bigger than you and your in your opinion.
Serge Faguet 39:56
So let's let's kind of ridge from the biology Due to the spiritual because one of the issues that I see a lot of people have when they're skeptical about spirituality and things like that is that like, Oh, that's weird woowoo about God doesn't exist, that kind of stuff. Right? So I think we have to start from biology, stress and the feeling of disconnection from fellow humans and a feeling of like lacking in love, and a feeling of being alone. And all of those things, those things are objectively bad for your body. Because when they happen, there's a lot of stress hormones, that gets released. And those are meant to encourage the animal to, like, do something about the fact that they seem to be alone and have no friends, right. And we're social animals. So there's like a very strong biological system saying, like, go, you know, find people build relationships and, and the like. So. And that's a specific mechanism, which, when the body is when the body is like, in a constant state of stress, a lot of systems that we were talking about earlier, just get damaged faster, because when you're stressed, there's actually regulatory mechanisms in the body. That's when, for example, you're like super stressed, your have to run away from a tiger, or a wolf, your body is repair systems just gets shut down immediately, like until the crisis until the crisis resolves, because why would you repair your stuff for like, in 20 years, when you're going to get eaten in 20 seconds. And, and at the same time, what that means is that when you're dealing with the low grade stress of many of our daily lives, we are creating a situation where the body seems to think that we're constantly in danger of being eaten by a wolf. And that is extremely damaging to your body in very practical, concrete, physical ways. And it's important to recognize that it's actually your mental and emotional well being is extremely connected to your physical health. Now, the question is, like, what do we do about it. And I mean, spirituality is ultimately a personal journey of every person. And every person has their own psychological traumas, every person has their own strengths. Every person has their own blind spots, and the like, just because of the fact that we all have a unique genetic makeup and a unique life story and all that. And so but the key thing I think, about spirituality and mental well being, is to take that proactive, curious enthusiasm for actually discovering how your mind works. And the reason that a lot of people get encouraged into this with by psychedelics is just that it's an intense experience, which shows you that your mind works differently from what you imagined. Before, right, and, and once you do that, then you're like, oh, there's got to be maybe there's something to all that meditation stuff that all these that all these crazy monks seem to be talking about, right? And then you start exploring. And I think that people get into this area of meditation, spirituality, psychotherapy, Psych Belux, I think it's all kind of about the same thing. Because you can be using internal family systems, which is where you recognize different different aspects of your personality in your brain and start kind of talking to them and having them talk to each other. Or you might be talking to God, because that is the way that you want to, but it's like those are similar things. I think, religion in particular, so I used to be like a militant atheist militant. But now I think it's actually like a very good idea to believe in some kind of higher power because it's, I mean, a you really don't know and there's a lot of weird stuff about it, but we've Yeah, about life, exactly about life, and just about this reality that we find ourselves in, and could be could be anything. And and it's, and by the way, that doesn't in any way, discount science and science, rationality and the fact that we already exist, but we ultimately don't But no. And if we're curious about it, and we understand that we do not know, we recognize that if we actually believe in God, or in some kind of higher power, it's very comforting, right? It's psychologically Nice. Plus, usually, you start thinking about other people more, because most religious ideas are kind of connected to a sense of community and other things that many of us have lost. I actually think that one of the things that humanity has to do one of the most important tasks, so that of the next kind of 5 10 20 50 years, is to find a new religion, for humanity, which is somehow connected with our technological progress, and which creates a source of meaning that resonates with all of us, and also has just like, lets us kind of understand our common humanity a little bit better and be connected with each other better. I think that's a lot of what's necessary to solve our political problems and all this other stuff in the world.
Alex Ferrari 46:18
It's fascinating because I had a neuroscientist on the other day, and she's been her studying for the last 30 years is how spirituality affects the mind. And the neurons in the in the neural pathways. And her studies have proven, peer reviewed, proven, that, that if you have a spiritual or religious belief, you are like 80%, less likely to have depression, like, and much, much higher, less suicides drop dramatically. Send sense of community. So if you're, if you feel you're alone, psychologically, it's more difficult biologically to deal with it. But if you feel that the someone's the universe is looking out for you, there's your relatives are with you, your dead relatives are with you, watching these concepts in the mind, on a biological standpoint, helps to nurture the mind, like you were saying, like, it's comforting, and there's a level to it, but people without it, have a tougher, it's a tougher road, in this reality in this life,
Serge Faguet 47:22
I agree with you so completely. So completely, and that's very, very beautifully put, there's, it feels like it's almost like a little bit of a cheat code, right? In the game of life.
Alex Ferrari 47:38
Because when you when you're going through a rough time, and you feel like you're absolutely alone, and there's nobody, that you have nothing, you're not connected to anyone, you are literally a man or a woman on an island, and you're going through a tough time, it is so much more difficult when you believe that. But if you believe that there is a higher source, there's a reason for what's going on, if you believe in reincarnation and karma, and that everything happens for you, not to you. And these concepts in a greater evolution of a soul. And these ideas are comfort are comforting, and make make you live a happier, more fulfilled life. Again, spiritual or religious, you know, there's dogma, and there's other things in religious traditions that aren't as good. But just the main concept of there's a higher, there's something greater than I, and that I am part of, we are all one that made that one concept if you understand that we you and I are one that that that which is a core of many, many old religions, that we are all one that we are all from the same source. These ideas are powerful psychologically, and obviously neurologically in your brain to help you live a more comfortable life.
Serge Faguet 48:57
Yeah, absolutely. And also to overcome adversity. And I'll actually tell a personal story here. So I think adversity is also important to growth and to resilience. And I've had like, a really horrible thing happened to me about a year and a half ago, I got busted in Russia, for having a bit of LSD on me while crossing the border. And,
Alex Ferrari 49:29
And they're not they're not very lenient to that situation, from what I understand.
Serge Faguet 49:33
Not at all. And I'm also a Ukrainian citizen, which didn't like added to the stuff although it was before the war, but it made it a little bit more difficult later. But it's basically yeah, it's been really horrible because I went from, like, living in a castle in Zurich to living in a horrible prison for a month and then I was threatened with like, 20 years in prison 20 yours for like, five taps.
Alex Ferrari 50:02
And it's reasonable seems reasonable.
Serge Faguet 50:04
Yeah, I was I was in there in prison I met like murderers who had way smaller sentences and what I was gonna get. And it's and it also became like a media spectacle because I'm a well known entrepreneur there. And. And it's actually like, it was extremely difficult psychologically, because you get thrown into this situation, you have no idea like, you don't have communication, really with the outside world, you have no idea what's going to happen to you, you actually like you're in unknown territory, you you do not quit, I did not control the situation, right. So and then it really, at some point, what really made me very calm and confident, even though there was no objective reason to feel calm or confident at that moment in time was really I remembered to actually to some of my trip experiences, where I would kind of see all of my life in the past, and how all of it even the very, very, very difficult moments have built up to something. And that after the difficult moment has passed, I've always looked at it in like a happy, fulfilled way where it integrated itself into my story of who I am, as a person and what I care about. And that confidence from having seen this movie many times before. And it's really like just almost like, it's a spiritual belief. You're just, I was just like, okay, the world loves me has always taken care of me in the past, it's going to be fine. So and I was just meditating, most of the time, it was like, quite boring, frankly, to sit in prison. So but yeah, I meditated a lot and just connected with this. And just like, let also did a bit of the more tantric stuff where you focused on the energy in your body and things like that. And it actually yeah, it's all turned out. Okay. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 52:27
It's fascinating that story, because, you know, you are I mean, you already a little bit there. But you know, everyone finds Jesus when when no one finds Jesus when everything's going great. Yeah, totally. No one finds God, no one finds Buddha, when everything is great, and you're on the yacht and you're chillin. And drinking champagne. No one's looking for Buddha or Jesus, then, but when when the shit hits the fan, that's when all of a sudden, you know, Jesus, where are you, buddy, I need you. It says it's fascinating. But you were really it really interesting too, because you had that these these kind of spiritual experiences, which is when I hear when you do trip, when you do do psilocybin or some sort of psychedelic, that you trip, and you have a perspective on life, that's a little bit different. You've obviously taken multiple, multiple times. So you had a almost like a, like a lot of near death experience. There's talk about a life review. You had multiple life reviews in your own psychology in your own in your own psychedelic trips. And those were the comforting things that something told you. Look, you've gone through crap before. The universe has always has your back. God is God universe, source, whatever you want to call it has had your back. This is no exception. This is something that you have to go through for your own growth as a yes. As a person as a soul. And you went and now you're stronger for it. Am I correct?
Serge Faguet 53:53
Yes, yes, absolutely. I'm glad it happened. Never want it to happen again.
Alex Ferrari 53:59
Um, good ones don't need.
Serge Faguet 54:02
I like, I yeah, I almost felt when I was sitting in prison, I was like, Okay, I should meditate a ton. Because if I meditate a lot, I'm more likely to process whatever I do whatever I meant to process here faster. And the world's gonna let you know faster. And that's it.
Alex Ferrari 54:24
That was, that was a model that was a mental model that you created for yourself. You said I do this. It was it was a defensive mechanism. In your own mind. You're like, look, I gotta go through this. And the faster and more I meditate, the faster I'm going to process this. And the faster I process this, the faster I'm gonna get out. And that was your belief. And that belief. Yeah. Could have set things in motion, you know, in this reality in many ways, because you're, you're
Serge Faguet 54:47
Well, that's the really that's the sorry to interrupt this that's like the really fascinating thought experiment that I have no answer to. is So if if someone goes completely li crazy, where they just see a completely made up world? Are they happy in it? Like if they're super happy in it's like because they don't just don't see the real world or I don't know if that's actually how it's honest.
Alex Ferrari 55:18
It's unfortunate that we can't get into the mind of someone like that, you know, like I have family members who have dementia. And they're struggling with dementia as they get older. And grandma. Yeah, exactly. So So you when you meet when you're talking to them, they I mean, I'm still at the point where my relatives still recognizes me. Most of the time, it takes it takes a second. But then the next day, if someone calls like, Oh, I remember Alex showed up, he's like, Oh, what, like completely? And you wonder what's happening in that brain? Like, what is she seems a piece, she doesn't seem crazy, are going nuts. And she seems a piece, but we really don't know what's happening on the other side of that, you know, it is one of those diseases that is just, it's just brutal. But to answer your question, are people who have psychotic breaks, or they live in a completely made up world where they think they're walking, you know, they're in a mental institution, and they're like, I'm Jesus, and what, and I'm happy in a certain way, I guess, in that construct of their reality, they are happy,
Serge Faguet 56:29
They might be really might be happier. They might be. Yeah, they might be. Maybe that's like a really, really high end enlightenment, you know, where you're just like, don't care about anything anymore. And maybe you realize you're in a mental institution. But that's like, cool, too. So it's a very, it's who
Alex Ferrari 56:49
Who knows? Yeah. One other question. I wanted to ask you, because this is something I have a problem with. And I know you've talked about this in the biohacking aspect of your life is sleep. How do you sleep better? I have issue sleeping recently. But I know sleep is a big thing. And I've talked to sleep experts as well, from Harvard who've talked say, there's two different types of people, people who need a lot of sleep, people who need a little amount of sleep, some people can function beautifully at six hours, comfortably. Other people need eight or nine hours to function. And then if you're a meditator, that skews the numbers a little bit. Because when you're meditating a lot of the things that happen while you're sleeping, while you're meditating as far as the rebuilding process, so what's your what's your advice for us?
Serge Faguet 57:32
I mean, I've gone through, I had really bad sleep habits, where I would sleep maybe five hours a night. And in the cause of these habits was really the culture at the time was that I was like, Oh, I'm working so hard. I'm so successful hustle, hustle, hustle time entrepreneur. Yeah, hustle, hustle, hustle, super stupid, because, like, the quality of decision making, and the quality of actual work that I have done, I was doing was just worse. Like, a lot of the time I was like procrastinating at work when I could actually sleep more and, you know, so So I think the first thing to do you get started from is just to just to understand that it could be important to test out that if you sleep more, how do you feel if you sleep less? How do you feel because it is quite individual, then I would get a sleep tracker, like an aura or a work. So and I when I was using those, I just kind of adapted my sleep habits a little bit. So for example, I realized that even one or two glasses of wine some number of hours before were actually making me wake up at night and sometimes like I wouldn't remember those wake ups etc. So it was like disruptive to, to to sleep. Although it may be actually like other alcohols like tequila or something and the right amount just doesn't seem to be disrupting it as much for for me in particular. So I would just like yeah, be curious about it and start exploring and start testing and then there's a bunch of things just to make the sleep environment more comfortable. I personally really love when the room is completely blacked out like pitch black Absolutely. Love it. It's so nice when whether your eyes are open or closed doesn't matter. It's like the same. It's like the same and you don't get woken up so that's something that works really nicely for me. I don't drink coffee after like 5pm or something and I go to sleep nowadays at like at Uh, probably midnight. And I think that you want to not drink coffee, like seven hours before you go to sleep. And then what else? I mean, wishing to keep a regular
Alex Ferrari 1:00:16
If your work if you're working out a lot, usually better, generally speaking.
Serge Faguet 1:00:19
Yes, that's right. That's right. If you work out, if you sleep better, I like looking at your own patterns in terms of like, how much you eat and when. And because some people, for example, fall asleep, easier if they have eaten some carbs before sleep. And other people are better if they haven't eaten for a number of hours before sleeping, and there's not much digestion going on. So it's, it's, yeah, it's just important really to, to care about this, right to think about this as important than I want to invest time into it. You know, last, last quick hack. Whenever I'm at a party, and the first time the thought of I want to go, maybe I should go sleep crosses my mind. But the moment that appears, I go to sleep. So
Alex Ferrari 1:01:16
That's a good day, someone's telling you something. You mentioned something in regards to eating late and things I've been talking to, again, microbiologist and other other experts in that field. And a lot of studies have said now that eating less creates longevity, meaning that having smaller meals, calorie restriction to a certain extent, obviously helps longer because the the free radicals that are released in your body when you eat are less so then there's less repair to be done. I don't know what exactly what's going on. But in your experience, would a smaller, you know, calorie restrictive, or just less eating in general, help you in longevity?
Serge Faguet 1:02:06
Yes, so the answer is yes, there's calorie restriction has does appear to have longevity effects. And actually fascinating enough, the drugs that seem to be useful candidates for longevity like rapamycin, or Metformin, to a lesser extent, seem to also be acting on the same systems as hunger and kind of calorie restriction our we don't actually know the mechanism of whether it has something to do with free radicals or, or something else. But it's just the fact is that if you overload on fuel for our bodies, constantly, you will, you will be less healthy. And if you under eat in whatever way maybe like calorie restriction, I personally find that it's easiest to do, like once a day intermittent fasting, though I don't do it every day. And yeah, it's just a question of like, how do you get into somewhat better eating habits. And I also want to add that it's also really about the particular composition of what you're eating, like, especially you want to cut sugars. And yeah, especially once you cut sugars, that seems to be the biggest thing about, about
Alex Ferrari 1:03:36
When you say when you say sugar, sugar, so everybody understands. You're not talking about fruit in sugars and fruits are sugars in certain kinds of natural fruits. But both sugars that are processed sugars, like sugar cane, so things like that.
Serge Faguet 1:03:52
Um, honestly, honestly, to a great extent, they're the same. So if you eat a ton of berries, it's also not good for you. Or if you take like fresh squeezed orange juice,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:06
Juices. Yeah, that's just sugar water. Yeah, sugar water. But if you eat an orange, as opposed to drinking a glass of orange juice, a glass of orange juice is like basically three and a half, four oranges, five or six oranges. So there's so much more sugar in the orange juice, as opposed to an orange, which has also been processed in your body. Yeah, and a much slower rate.
Serge Faguet 1:04:25
That's right. That's right. That is That is correct, because it has some amount of like fibres and other stuff that has to be digested, and that slows down. Well, yeah. And it's kind of like slows down the absorption rate of sugar into the blood, so there's less of a spike. So yes, I still would say that it's healthier to eat vegetables rather than fruit. But, but also like, again, as similar to the story with exercise, you kind of have to just figure out what you can actually keep doing because food habits are extremely difficult to change, especially since you can't, like sugar is everywhere. That's really easy to get, right? It's super easy to get. And actually love this idea that someone's thinking about that, you know, we should start a charter city where they're going to bounce sugar completely within the city. And so people who want to have like a really healthy lifestyle be forced that way to who would move to live there.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:31
And then there'll be a ride in about 30 days that like, give me a
Serge Faguet 1:05:35
Yeah, I was, I was thinking I was, I was immediately thinking, like, that place is gonna have so much fucking smuggling, like people are just gonna illegally bring in and like, whatever.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:47
They're gonna be like, coccaine.
Serge Faguet 1:05:52
So, yeah, so it's, yeah, it's important to just like eat well, in whatever way you choose stuff that's fresh rather than processed choose like, salmon grilled steak with you know, guacamole or something rather than rather than like a piece of pizza with with fries. Right?
Alex Ferrari 1:06:21
So just like fries.
Serge Faguet 1:06:22
Yes. Yeah, well, yeah. Plus, there's a bunch of trans fats. So it's fried. And, but it's like, I'm not saying never eat it as well, because I found that just like, kind of trying to manipulate your own psyche into not eating something that you enjoy is not very hygienic. And it kind of results in actually there being almost like a rebellion against that in the mind. And so it's more difficult to actually well, so it so yeah, you could you could essentially, like let yourself do it from time to time. It's just about really like, the absolute key is that when you're going to eat something, there's that little pang of a question of like, is that good for me? Can I make like a slightly better choice? Now, that will go a very long way?
Alex Ferrari 1:07:20
Yeah, I mean, like, if you're in Rome, you're gonna have pizza, you know? I mean, yeah. You're gonna eat some pasta
Serge Faguet 1:07:27
You should. And I love me some Michelin restaurants that have awesome, fresh baked bread. And
Alex Ferrari 1:07:35
Oh, no, I mean, there's certain times in life, you can't deprive yourself, you know, good tiramisu in Italy, is that tastes pretty good. But don't have it every day. Don't have it every day. Don't Don't do it from Montana, then. So, sir, I'm going to ask you a few questions asked all my guests. What is your definition of living a good life?
Serge Faguet 1:07:57
I think it is when we are in such close contact with ourselves that we can feel what we truly want, and have the courage to let ourselves go and do what we want. And at the same time, have the empathy and wisdom to not hurt the interests of other people and to be essentially, like, almost like, it's almost like good hygiene, like good karma, I think is good hygiene. When you do anything as basic as thinking negative thoughts. That is, that is that is an opportunity. That is an opportunity to do better. So fair enough. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:52
Now, what is your definition of God?
Serge Faguet 1:08:56
Really, God is a little bit ineffable, and kind of resists attempts at definition, I feel almost like anything you can describe is not God, because that is just like, the content of your own mind. And thus, not something that is truly all encompassing. So I think it's impossible to really arrive at the definition of God, but for some of God, but for some reason, which again, we do not know it for some reason. God is love. I don't know why, but just is and it's, it's something you see in lots of places and once you recognize it, and kind of become familiar with it just makes the world better and it makes the world have more love in it and makes you a better person. So, and I think also, God is very much about reality. Me. And so my dream of, of kind of transhumanism and the singularity where we can build ourselves, connect ourselves with technology, upload into the cloud, essentially live forever, have completely different experiences, pursue different things together with others, like us. Like that, to me is a very religious thing, because so like, a lot of people bring up this, say, think that religion is about going into a monastery and meditating to truly become enlightened. And I think that that is a part of it. But then you have to go back into the real world, because whatever created this world, it's it's like saying, you know, this thing is very real, it's more real, this table is more real, than some idea that you have about how God works. So I think that it's almost like whatever God is, if, if it is person personified, God would want us to discover the laws of nature. So I think that actually science and scientific progress and the constant reevaluation of what we know about the world is a deeply religious pursuit, because it's the pursuit of how often like to describe God, just what you suggested. Now to figure out how does God works God appears to work on gravity and on whatever, on this particle physics. Yeah, exactly. And so to me, that's a deeply religious question. I think that's it, the new religion, that we should create in the 21st century, just to unite ourselves and to align all of ourselves with each other is something about using our technology to become closer to God ourselves and to, to heal disease, to cure death, to figure out how to be more happy, and how to be closer to God in this life, not, not just in the next one. So.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:16
And finally, what is the ultimate purpose of life?
Serge Faguet 1:12:25
I think the purpose of life is this infinite frontier, or eternal progress. So life, as far as we know, appeared out of some primordial soup where some molecules were close to each other, and maybe then lightning hit or something like that, like a crevice of a rock, who knows. But it appears from what we know about how life has evolved on Earth, that at that point, these, like pieces of DNA started sticking together with each other and replicating. And ever since then, life has been about this journey of building greater complexity, and of controlling the world, the inanimate world around us more. And then the plants completely changed the atmosphere of the entire world actually, like the entire Earth has oxygen because of life, or at least this concentration of oxygen. So essentially, the entire planets got TerraForm and recreated by life. And I think that that's why humanity and like technological progress, and our transhuman, post human, technological civilization is just a continuation when we're going to be whatever, gods in the machine that's just a continuation of the process that has been happening on Earth since those last those first molecules got stuck to each other. And I think it's going to continue until the end of this universe, possibly infinitely. Because there's even some answers to be end of the universe. And it's, um, it's I think the purpose is just the journey, this journey, and constant change, constant growth, constant discovery, experiments, challenges, failures and successes. And so it's this journey it's the story that we're on this is the this is the purpose,
Alex Ferrari 1:14:37
My friend and where can people find out more about you and the work that you're doing?
Serge Faguet 1:14:41
So you can find out about Novami the company I mentioned about that is putting together the experience of psychedelics plus, plus coaching plus medicine at Novami novami.health And it's not a nice not actually a very good website, the product is really, really cool. But the website is needs to progress updating in progress, construction, as they say, under construction. So you can apply to be in our beta where we'd love to have beta testers who help us build an awesome product. So that's that thing in particular since we spoke about biohacking today, and with the rest of it, so I'm at Serge Faguet like my first name, plus my last name.com. And you can find all like my Twitter, which is a sergew1. Anyway, you can find all of my links there, and maybe we can include them in the show notes so people can absolutely find it easily.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:50
So it has been, it's been a fascinating conversation with you, my friend, thank you so much for coming on the show and being the guinea pig that you are to help the rest of us live a longer, longer and healthier life my friend so I appreciate you my friend. Thank you.
Serge Faguet 1:16:04
Thank you, Alex. Thank you for inviting me and thanks for the cool discussion. I enjoyed this as well.
Alex Ferrari 1:16:11
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