• Michael Pietrzak

Thai Buddhist monk, MMA, Jung's Archetypes, Instagram, AI & VR relationships. (Ep. 03: Garth Sam)

Here's a conversation with the most interesting person I know, Garth Sam. Author, teacher, actor, rapper, DJ, law student, entrepreneur, global humanitarian, black belt martial artist, former Buddhist monk & international traveler who has been to over 40 countries.


Our conversation delves into Garth’s life in a Thai Buddhist monastery, past lives, Jungian archetypes, the importance of "play”, letting go of ego games & attachment, Instagram influencers, the insanity of The Hustle™, non-toxic masculinity, qualities of the ideal man, MMA, the patriarchy, futurist predictions on AI & VR relationships. —MP.


***Video transcript follows... may contain errors since a robot did it***


00:00:01 Mike Pietrzak: I'm excited because today I'm speaking with my mentor, guide, teacher, coach and friend, Garth Sam. I think Garth has one of the most interesting biographies on the planet, you know, at one point or another, an author, a teacher, an actor, rapper, DJ, law student, entrepreneur, global humanitarian, black belt martial artist and former Buddhist monk, as well as an international traveler who's been to over 40 countries. I'm talking to him—he's in Thailand right now, and I discovered Garth entirely through serendipity because I found a flyer left in a co-working space in Toronto for his evolutionary men's group that he founded. And that's still thriving today, which I'm a member. I'm wearing my TUB T-shirt today, Garth. And I think without a doubt, he's the most interesting human I know, and I'm very lucky to consider him a mentor and a friend. Welcome, Garth.


00:00:55 Garth Sam: Wow, with such high praise I don't even know how I'm going to live up to it, but I'll do my very best, Michael. It's a pleasure indeed to be here with you.


00:01:02 Mike Pietrzak: I worked really hard to be effusive on that intro.


00:01:04 Garth Sam: Effusively, we like words like effusive, don't we. We wordsmiths types. We like to throw things like that. But you know, thank you very much is very complimentary. And you know, it's been a real pleasure getting to know you over the years and to share time and quality space and mind with a man who I respect tremendously as well.


00:01:20 Mike Pietrzak: Thanks, Garth. It's really good to connect again after so many months and moons. As I said, I find your background is fascinating. Garth, you know the actor, the author, life coach, martial artist, entrepreneur. But I think I'm enthused most of all because you were a Buddhist monk and it's something I've been trying to get around to doing since I started meditation at age 19 and haven't got around to it. How the heck did you end up in a monastery in Thailand and how old were you?


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00:01:52 Garth Sam: OK? Yeah, I can tell you the year. I am paying better attention to the year itself that actually how old I was at the time and 20 about that. But you know, it's a bit of a well, I'll try and make a longer story shorter just for the sake of your audience and anybody who's paying attention. But once upon a time, many years ago, approximately 2001 2002, I arrived in Thailand and through a set of, as you call, serendipitous events, I wound up studying Thai mysticism with a top Thai mystic master in Thailand for some time. During the course of that, I discovered, of course, the paranormal powers and the exploration of the Arcane is not really part of conventional theories of Buddhism, and I'd always felt a calling to explore deeper what traditional Buddhism looks like. So fast forward some years and we are now when I'm at the end of a relationship. I disengage, as I call it, which is to me, I ended the engagement with someone I had been together with for some years. I had always been interested in coming and having a monastic experience. I had the connections in Thailand to help make that happen, which is very critical as part of the equation to do it properly. You don't just jump off the plane to say, Hey, I want to be a monk, it doesn't quite work that simply. And I decided that part and parcel of what would be effective in helping to heal the relationship wound that I. Inadvertently created, I guess, or advertently created since I was the one to pull the plug on the relationship, leaving the country and becoming a monk might actually be a really good time to do. To have that experience, you know, you're always waiting for the perfect time, Michael. You're saying yourself, you've thought about this experience and you wait for all the ducks to align and the money to be there at the time for you to extricate yourself and become renunciate and to step back away from the world, etc.. If you're fortunate, you can align all those things to make it happen. But it kind of happens that for me, I just jumped and took that opportunity. And so that was back in 2008. But preceding that, in 2006 is a little interesting tidbit that goes along with the story, which is that I was involved in a documentary reality show that was about spiritual seeking. And during the course of that, one of the experiences that we did was progressive hypnotherapy in the course of my regressive hypnotherapy session, which the idea being that through a hypnotic state, you go back and experience some aspect of your past. Whether you can verify that this is a bona fide experience or whether it's something that you're projecting is neither here or there, but


00:04:22 Mike Pietrzak: Are you talking about childhood experiences, or are we going waaay back


00:04:25 Garth Sam: further, further back as far back as you go, which is the interesting part. I mean, there was a great movie some years ago by Kenneth Branagh called that again, sort of explored this idea and the concept of past lives and whatnot. And you know, in the course of my regression hypnotherapy session, I found myself back as a Buddhist monk, sort of 18th century Buddhist monk, and it felt very, very comfortable. And I felt very, very connected to, you know, life as a renunciate monk in a Buddhist country and whatnot. So then two years later, I actually become one. That's the progression of the story lent itself to that sort of outcome.


00:05:01 Mike Pietrzak: Well, it's I mean, there's so many different directions to take this. Yeah. So, you know, there's that relationship that ended. I'd love to explore relationships in general, but I want to mention that my wife found this book called Many Lives, Many Masters, And we read it together. Actually, she would read it out loud while I was driving it, and we just both found it completely fascinating that, yeah, and of course, I'm a skeptic. I wonder know, is there any truth to this or was was it simply an invention? But I really like the idea that we're not just this is flesh and blood. We're something that's more eternal or something that that persists over time and perhaps part of a larger spiritual body of some kind. And I don't have any sort of hard evidence, but I think that's maybe in part what spirituality calls you to do is sort of use your feeling and your intuition rather than your senses.


00:05:55 Garth Sam: But I'd be happy to throw some comments about that in terms of my own perspective around it.


00:06:00 Mike Pietrzak: Your thoughts on this?


00:06:02 Garth Sam: Yeah. Well, I mean, I generally like to let the world know that I don't consider myself a religious person, I appreciate and understand the nuances and the social dynamic and the benefits of being connected to an organized, structured religion. But they're not things that have called me deeply, although, as I say, that you know, you're talking to a person who was Monk. So it kind of seems a bit paradoxical or maybe a bit of a conflict. But I'm very interested in spirituality in terms of what that means to me and in terms of what it means to each individual and discovering that path for themselves. And in the course of that journeying, I've thought a lot about and the course of my life in general. I mean, I think a lot about. The idea of past lives and the idea of a reincarnation of some sort, whether you have a clear remembrance of that or whether it's very hazy or whether you know there are little bits and pieces of pop up from time to time again, who's to say whether it's accurate? We don't have any objective empirical means of determining that at this point in time. But for me, it's always resonated that feeling very solid. And part of that for me has been around feeling that I am the. Beneficiary, I am the heir of my previous selves and that I am enjoying the largesse and the positive things that are unfolding in my life, not simply because I mindfully interested in being a positive human on the planet, but because I've done work previously. There are few archetypes that I feel really connected to in this lifetime that I feel I have even a deeper connection to in past lifetimes, and they tend to be, curiously enough, sort of these two polarities. The Warrior and the Sage Spiritualist, these two are very. Powerful archetypical forces and energies that I tend to feel strongly connected to,


00:08:01 Mike Pietrzak: so that much is clear, I mean, you, you I know you have an affinity for four swords and things of that nature.


00:08:08 Garth Sam: Yes, I do. I don't know where that comes from, either.


00:08:11 Mike Pietrzak: Maybe, maybe a past life. Who knows?


00:08:13 Garth Sam: I'm 100 percent chalking it up to past life. I definitely, you know, I've been and I feel very much that I've been connected with that type of frequency in previous incarnations. I was always very drawn to Bushido Samurai Code and martial arts. All of that and edged weapons, which sounds a little bit, you know, contrary to the pacifistic man


00:08:37 Mike Pietrzak: that I am back to the archetypes, which I'm finding fascinating to learn about these days and come from Carl Jung. I think this extended on by many others, but I think they're the basic four for the mask and archetypes, which is the warrior, the king, the lover and the magician, right? And you seem you seem to have a very good balance among all of those things. But but I think a lot of men are some sort of try to repress their their warrior side. And for me to have the opposite problem, I'm I think I attack problems with the warrior archetype most of the time. You know, I could. I'm learning to be more, more patient and compassionate diplomatic and all those things. But we seem to have that, those things largely in balance. How does one not not gravitate toward one to the detriment of the others?


00:09:30 Garth Sam: That is, you know, the million dollar question that is the jackpot that you're going for right there. I think, you know, the challenge that we see primarily among humans in general is their difficulty in being able to balance different aspects of their lives. Right. Is there a magic formula to this? I can't say that there is necessarily. I think it begins first with a kind of mindful consciousness of an aspiration and intent to try and recognize and reconcile these different parts of yourself. And the deeper, of course, you go on your own personal journey of self-exploration itself, understanding the better it is you become at understanding the various facets and parts of your nature and recognize which ones need perhaps to be enhanced or augmented and which ones need to be controlled, managed, you know, perhaps modified or refined in some way, shape or form when it comes to, of course, the male question, which is that area which I have focused considerably over the past decade plus. Yes, it's easy to see how men gravitate, of course, to the warrior archetype because. In so many ways, that's the one that's the most celebrated in society everywhere and by everyone else thinking about this recently and realizing that there is no more profound, significant, impactful and attractive. Masculine archetypes in the warrior archetype, I don't care what everybody says. I mean, all of our heroes are warriors. For the most part, the biggest of our heroes are warriors. Superman is a hero is a warrior. At the end of the day, he's a warrior, make bag bang and all that sort of stuff. Maybe nobody looks like they're getting killed, but at the end of the day, he is battling, is fighting, and he's stepping into that power. So as an archetypal form, it's easy for men to gravitate toward that. Now it's interesting what you said, insofar as some men move too far into that space and don't counterbalance it enough with an energy that is more conducive to peacefulness, right? And even when you talk about the war


00:11:34 Mike Pietrzak: with their their intellect, they disconnected their their heart, their the lover aspect of


00:11:38 Garth Sam: compassion, the lover, the fool, even, you know, an important part that we should be sensitive to. And and I mean, it's understandable because there is so much that celebrates that warrior in our society and all around us all the time. But. You know, for myself, I think that. Aspiring to be and to represent as much as I can. A healthy balance of these different components that I think are very important for all of us to express my mindfulness in that pursuit and my in engagement with each at different times. And ultimately, you know, this exercise of trying to synergize them and harmonize them has been one that has been probably different than most people because much of my road that I've been on has been less traveled abroad. It has given me more of an opportunity to do this kind of work. So the challenge that probably most people are facing and this is sort of ironic, but maybe telling is that they just haven't had the time creative attacking found the time to do a lot of the work that will be necessary to maximize the probability of that type of synthesis, synthesis and self understanding self awareness.


00:12:59 Mike Pietrzak: That's important, I think. I don't know if that's important for everybody, but I know you and I were people who were I don't know what the word is striving or pursuing or interested in in the pursuit of higher understanding of the world. And a lot of ways, you know, for a lot of people that looks like coaching and you know, you were my own coach. Not not long ago, I was at a time when I was grappling with, you know, relationship challenges, trying to escape the nine to five and just to stop being so damn uptight all the time. In fact, I found some of my my notes that I wrote from our sessions, one of ours.


00:13:37 Garth Sam: That's great.


00:13:39 Mike Pietrzak: It said, I need to be mindfully committed to playing more and worrying less. And the other note was have faith that as I reveal more of my playful nature, the world will respond. That was the regulatory for me at the time. I was a very serious person. Yes. But that was the exact perfect prescription for me at the time. And still today, when I when I get into the doing mode, in the work mode and when I when to have, you know, every half hour block of my calendar scheduled, I know that I need to kind of just chuck it on a sea for a minute and and and just enjoy and play and be less serious. And I think a lot of people men especially struggle with this. You have to, you know, in addition to the more being just being mindful and practicing, do you have any suggestions for how someone can maybe move more in that direction?


00:14:36 Garth Sam: Well, you know, in any sort of transformative process, I guess the first stage is always sort of coming to consciousness that there is a place to move towards, right? I begin from that state. So the man who first looks at his life maybe hears us talking about this subject, thinks about it, reflects on it and says, you know, maybe this might be worthwhile as an exercise to do or, you know, make some efforts and attempt in this direction. OK, that's step one. Step two. Hopefully, they'll come into contact with some supportive resources around that because if you're surrounded by and constantly bombarded by messaging, that suggests that that is not correct or that is contrary to what you should do or how you should be, or how you should act, or if maximal, you know, structured linear productivity is the only driving impetus for your essence. If you feel that somehow you're going to be undermining your masculine power by not being an absolute laser focused crush it go forward kind of guy. Right? It's going to be a big problem. So why do we meet the people when we do and how you know how that comes to pass the classic old adage that when the student is ready, the teacher will arrive or present themselves, I think has a lot of validity and speaks to our intention. We call into our lives the things that we're hoping to find of the things that perhaps are best for us, and we're better at it. The clearer we are about what that looks like, you know, when I think about it even now, it's fun to be doing this with you and just seeing this lighter, brighter you like. I mean, there really is a truth about this. Yeah. Well, it's more than that, though, but it's an inner sunshine, right? And it's a levity that you're carrying. And I mean, you know, it's not about patting either of ourselves on the back, but I mean, I really do see it in you, Michael. And I mean in, you know, in our truth, it's a beautiful thing to see, especially since I know that you stepped into this role as a father as well.


00:16:32 Mike Pietrzak: And inevitably, that's part of the reason why, of course, less serious, you know, when you're down on the ground, playing with your daughter, building blocks or, you know, just imagining whether it's hard to take yourself so seriously. And it's a wonderful thing to to to sing again and just babble with her and be silly, you know?


00:16:54 Garth Sam: And nor should you. I mean, that's the whole point is that you should try and engage in my humble opinion. You should try and remember and recall what it is to be in that space and remember the freedom that you enjoy in this space and remember the, you know, expansive world of AR that presents itself. When you look at the look at the world through the eyes of a child and recall that inner child. I mean, it's sort of psychobabble clichés, right? You must embrace your inner child. But all of these things have some, you know, some truth to them aside from them seeing kind of cliche, right? And I think that's really important, especially for men, because this this sort of movement from youth to manhood. You know, when I was a boy. I played with things, and then when I became a man, I put aside childish things and I became, you know, this whole idea that there is this massive, yeah, there's a sort of massive transition that needs to be made whereby now you arrive at this sort of place of masculine adulthood and you frivolities and lightness and levity and joy and happiness and playfulness and goofiness and silliness should all be put to the side because real men don't do that right? Whatever that story is, I'm not buying it right. As much as I can definitely be very serious and go deep and present myself in a variety of different ways. I think it's misleading, and perhaps it would be inappropriate for me not to be true to my nature. So what you see is what you get. I mean, you know, the man you're seeing in front of you doing this is the same guy that you meet on the street whenever you meet him, Michael, it's the same thing. And I don't mind being sufficiently humble to make fun of myself or to not inflate myself, to put myself in some sort of bullshit pedestal or, you know, any of those kind of things. I think those are all part of the problem, and they're just part of boxes and roles that men subscribe to and find comfort comforting. Right?


00:18:49 Mike Pietrzak: So, yeah, I think about this a lot that people take themselves so seriously and why we ever since I was a child, I saw that, you know, money is just kind of a silly pursuit. But rereading this book now, Siddharth by Hermann has this myth. I mean, I'm at the part where he's, you know, not to give too many spoilers, but he's just watching and he realizes that he started doing this. As you know, he realized it was a game, simple game, childish game, and he wasn't serious about it. He wasn't like his business partner, who was stressed out all the time and had attachment to the outcome of his business deals. He was just playing, and he was. He did very well. That was his secret. And then over time, you know, he got the servants in in the houses and all these things and the good food and the wine that made him sleepy and tired. And he realized one day that that's still quiet voice inside of him. She couldn't hear it anymore. And at this point in the book, he decides, that's it. I need to get back to myself. And he just he walks away from all of it. And I find that very tempting some days, you know, of course, you know why? Why am I doing all of this? What's the purpose of chasing and attaching to all this? It's not just the material things, it's the accomplishment. It's the it's the feeling of significance. It's the ego games that we're playing. And you know, there's a lot of it's quite interesting, but I also realize it's quite empty at the end of the day. What do you do with that? How do you pursue life in a way that that lets you be in touch with yourself?


00:20:26 Garth Sam: Well, there are a couple of points there. I guess I'll backtrack a bit and talk about the focus and preoccupation that we typically have on material wealth and the acquisition and development of our our warehouses or our store houses and bank books and all that sort of stuff and how it put so much stock in that. Of course, it's not really rocket science, and it tends to be something of a cliché for people to appreciate that, you know, money doesn't buy happiness. Yes. You know, that is just a kind of obviousness that is is anybody who pays any attention or has had any exposure to anybody who has money can recognize that it's not a guarantee of any state of greater grace or contentment than anybody who pays any attention to the history of humanity. And those people who have attained some state of personal inner grace can also attest to that, right? I mean, none of the greatest avatars that have ever walked on our planet as teachers of better being have ever celebrated wealth as being the primary reason for their success in achieving that goal. So we can recognize that that is the case. But there's just so much that goes into trying to co-opt us into believing otherwise and subscribing to a way of being that sees that as the focal point. And I mean, it's always important to make the distinction between. The miss misquoting of the expression money is the root of all evil and the correct coding of it, that the love of money is the root of all evil. The money itself is not the problem. Money is just the hammer. You know, money is just a tool. Money is just a device. So the real consciousness building that I'm interested in supporting, facilitating, encouraging is around ascertaining for yourself, you know, how much do you need to have, how much or to have what you know, what are you actually trying to experience? And I'm very keen on the experience as being the focal point as opposed to the thing that is supposed to produce the experience, right? But most people get hung up on the thing and not the state. You know, our aspirations to feel a certain way. So how do I feel a certain way? What do I need and how well do I know myself to understand what I need in order to experience this optimized state of being that people would call happiness, right?


00:22:47 Mike Pietrzak: That seems to be what everyone's after. It's not the thing. It's the absolutely it would be absolutely the thing, whether it's it's the relationship or it's the cards, the bank account. All of that is is in service of trying to get us to a certain state. But a lot of that I successful.


00:23:07 Garth Sam: Yes, I want to feel good. It's not complicated. Everybody wants to feel good or wants to feel better. It's not complicated. That is the state they aspire to be, and they aspire to be in a state of greater contentment. However, that manifests for that individual idiosyncratic completely. You know, if your state of greater contentment is connected to this or that or the other, that's all on you. And I find that there are some, obviously some very similar key points that people experience that lend themselves to experiencing that greater state of contentment. But at the end of the day, that's what everybody wants.


00:23:47 Mike Pietrzak: So what are the challenge experiences? Sorry. What are some of those experiences that will help you let go of this attachments?


00:23:58 Garth Sam: Well, again, you know, as I found it to be the case, the more that you have an opportunity to discover what it is that actually makes you feel good, honestly, you know what? What is it that is the root of your contentment? You know, if everybody's going to ask themselves a question, they say, You know, what is my why? That is the question vis-a-vis what they're doing. You know, why am I doing this? And what is it that helps me to feel as contented as I would like to feel? You know, what are the things that make me feel like I'm optimized in my being in my essential being right? A sense of purpose, a sense of direction, a sense of calling being fulfilled, a sense of talents being expressed, a sense of being appreciated in terms of what one is doing right. A sense of stepping into one's greater reason. Whereas on that trade off, I'll say, you know, your greater reason to be is huge. The quality of your relationships are a huge part of everybody's sense of contentment. In fact, I would say that the most important thing that anybody should be paying any attention to is the quality of the relationship they have with other people and the relationship they have with themselves. You know, the inner the individual conversation is about your own spiritual journey. That's what I consider to be sort of a spiritual journey is the inner dialogue that you're having with yourself, a deepening of that self-knowledge, the sense of yourself as a facet of something inexplicably larger than you. Right? But in addition to that, I have not yet come across anybody who could tell me that they were happy as an island unto themselves and that they are contented, being disconnected and unattached and under attached to people, and that their greatest time of happiness was not when they felt closest to somebody or somebodies. Right. So if we understand that that is a truth that most people are experiencing, then we understand where we should be investing our greatest energy and attention and focus. And you know, the exercise


00:25:59 Mike Pietrzak: is a very good point you raise. It's one I've been thinking about because my friendships in particular have suffered my my family relationships have suffered in part because of COVID and lockdowns, and we're not allowed to see people or haven't been for for a long time. But even before COVID, I was not doing a good job of building and maintaining friendships, which you know, it's it's almost a cliché that it's hard for adults to build friendships. I think maybe men even have a harder time. Why is that if this is such an important part of the human experience, why are we so shit at friendships?


00:26:36 Garth Sam: Or why are we not taught that the importance is greater? And why are we not, you know, assisted earlier in life and understanding and appreciating this? And, you know, understanding what are the pillars of a successful high quality relationship, right? I mean, one of the ones that you and I share and talk about regularly as it pertains to universal brotherhood of just us as humans in general, is integrity right? I mean, if you're not a person who is vested in aspiring to be strong in integrity, in both your conduct with yourself and your conduct with others, it's very unlikely that you're going to build relationships that have real substance depth and of course, the most important the P-word Trust. They have to have trust that has to be trust. So, you know, learning how to trust and learning how to be trusted are things that are really, really important. And unfortunately for me, there have been there are and there have been too many. Dare I say I hate to use the term, but its role models have quotation marks. People who are looked at because of their celebrity status or because their public personas who don't people are, you know, ultimately their role models. At the end of the day, they sort of boil down to being role models. There are people who are being emulated because somebody thinks that they have something special that they would like to copy. Right. And many of these individuals, unfortunately, are not truly vested in the quality of being that lends itself to best results. They are effective in certain areas and create a facade of success and happiness. But unfortunately, the less discerning look at and think this is how it could be. Ergo, I am going to be this, you know, you know, grind to the end kind of guy who, you know, takes no prisoners and who is the guy green, the guy who wrote the 48 hours of power? You know, I'm going to be Machiavellian. I'm going to kick ass, take names, run things because that's what bosses do, bitches. And that's how we roll. You know, and I'm going to win. I'm going to win the game because I'm going to be so bad ass like that, right? And I mean, if you look at people. Yeah, but if you look at people who are basically regurgitating of that type of. Ideology or embodying it in some way and think because they're being put up there into the spotlight, do they represent the ideal? It's very difficult to think otherwise. You know, you think this is how you get to be that thing, whatever that is. And so there's a lot of misdirection.


00:29:24 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah, it's it almost seems like a massive distraction and not a not a harmless one. This is what we're talking with in the bread and butter of the social media, right? I mean, Instagram is completely built on on facade and heard somewhere recently a great quote that if if you if someone calls himself an influencer, have no actual influence.


00:29:47 Garth Sam: Yeah, well, you know, I wish that were true. Unfortunately, it probably isn't true because there are a lot of people who recognize that they they are actually. I mean, I won't name names, but I don't really need to poke fun at any of them. But at the end of the day, there are a lot of people who have a lot of eyes on them, for whatever reasons, male and female. And by virtue of having those eyes looking at them, they are bona fide influencers. They have influence. They have the capacity to influence. Yes. And if they say I have a million followers, you know, or whatever, whatever number they drop, you know that as many followers, they can rightly declare themselves an influencer. Now my my problem is really what type of influence are they exerting? And you have. Here's the rub. They are influencers, but are they positive influencers and do they really represent what it is that they're trying to sell? Because at the end of the day, most of them are trying to sell something right? They're trying to sell an image, they're trying to sell an idea. They're trying to sell some kind of concept of better being that other people will be envious of and desire to copy. That's what they're trying to pitch. But, you know, pull back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz and see the little gnome on the other side. Who goes home is popping pills, and you can't get to sleep until he blacks out or she and feels like crap and feels a tremendous sense of pressure because every day they have to wake up and play this character. And and and and and and and they don't trust anyone because everyone's a psycho fan who is interested in something from them because suddenly now they're popular, blah blah blah. I mean, it's it's not what people think it is. It just is. I think, the most important thing, right? It's like you have to be. Look beyond the glitter and try and ascertain what is the real gold.


00:31:44 Mike Pietrzak: And hard to do, Garth, I find easily, you know, I've I've seen behind the curtain myself and but I'm still sometimes enticed by the shiny glitter. And unfortunately, our society is is telling us at every turn hustle chase this chase that work harder, more hours. I, you know, I've heard certain very popular media influencers say, you know, if you're not working 80 hours a week, you're you're never going to.


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00:32:16 Garth Sam: You ain't shit, man.


00:32:18 Mike Pietrzak: You ain't doing it. And then the guy will turn around and preach the importance of family. I'm like, How much is quality family time can you have if you're working 80 hours a week, right? And he looks terrible, he's got bags under his eyes. He's unhealthy. Obviously, he's angry. It's obviously not something we we should be trying to emulate. And yet in this, in the wealthiest countries, it seems to be the biggest problem. And I'm sure you have felt the relief of that pressure being in Asia. I felt it when my wife and I lived in Mexico for six months. I mean, I brought my own mental burdens with me, but there was such less pressure and nobody was was suffering because they weren't hustling.


00:33:00 Garth Sam: Yeah. Well, the more pretentious the environment you find yourself in, the more difficult it is to resist those pressures, right? Right. Well, you know, I'm currently in a small northern mountain town where people go to the local convenience store market in their pajamas and slippers like nobody cares what you wear. Nobody's, you know, nobody knows or cares what Chanel or Gucci or Hermes or any of these brands. They don't really give a shit. It doesn't really make a difference. You know, a lot of them are rural people. They're farmers, they go and plow their farms, they work their oxen, they're in the rice, planting their rice and dirty, muddy conditions. They go


00:33:41 Mike Pietrzak: home. How many Twitter followers they have?


00:33:43 Garth Sam: No, they're not really tuned in. Although, you know the world is is becoming a pretty unique dimensional place in terms of people's concepts and understanding of this global phenomenon of social media. So I guess if they're not connected to it, but you know, the more pretentious the environment which you find yourself again, the more difficult it is to resist the pressure to be party to that. And I'll tell you what you know, if there's a red carpet event and you or I arrive in a shiny Lamborghini and Christ was up in sandals and a robe, the camera's going to be focused on the Lamborghini. Hey, the man who is Christ like in his appearance. Humble, modest, perhaps just wearing simple cotton attire and and thongs on his feet is not likely to garner the kind of interest that the man who comes in a gold, shiny Lambo, you know, bling bling thing. And we are we are what we are as humans and understanding the nature of the beast is a key piece of this conversation, right? I mean, baubles and trinkets catch the eye. We're not that different than fish, not something shiny, magically easily distracted and easily co-opted. And therein lies the rub. And therein lies the fact. This explains why so many people are unhappy because they have followed the lure, the dangle and led them to places that we're not really going to be good. The fish thinks that the bait is good. You know, the fish say, Oh, that looks so good, right? And then it bites the hook and discovers it's such a good idea. After all,


00:35:15 Mike Pietrzak: that pursuit might be fine for a while and it might be part of everyone's path. But I do feel like more people over time are trying to find escape from that, that losing pursuit. And I know a lot of them have ended up in in this. In this evolutionary men's group, we started the universal brotherhood, which we which we affectionately call tub. You know, it's wonderful that that I found this, this group that I've sort of been searching for for a long time. And it's unfortunate that we can't be physically present yet. But but it's it's an amazing outlet for everybody just to speak about things that mattered, that are that are outside of the realm of of the hustle and the social media lifestyle. But is that what we need to sort of find these little pockets of of sanity and storm? Or how do we?


00:36:11 Garth Sam: Absolutely. I mean, I think that's very much the answer. Part of the challenge that humanity is faced, obviously in the last hundred years or so has been the concentration of people into large urban centers, the fragmentation of families, the development of a nuclear household that doesn't have a lot of strings and connections and roots to a deeper extended family ties and the lack of connection to community. You know, the classic. Again, another cliché is that you can live in a city like New York with 12 million people or whatnot and feel lonely while it seems paradoxical and lonely when there are thousands of people surrounding you. But if you're not connected to those people, you don't have meaningful relationships, the bond you to one another, you are going to feel the deficit in your life around that, and it seems. And again, I'm speaking for the majority of humans. There are some people who care less and need less, but the vast majority of people are seeking to be connected. They're seeking to have a community of some sort. They're seeking to have camaraderie of some sort. And there and everything I say, as I've always told you, Michael, is these are my opinions and thoughts and anybody can, you know, discard as they will. But in my experience, in my observation, you know, the vast majority of people are seeking to have an opportunity to be known and to know, you know, people want to be known. People want to put down the armor, remove the facade and just be real. They want to be able to be authentic. They want to be able to express both their joy and their pain safely. And you know, if we're talking about men, that dynamic is a very challenging one. Both of those fronts, ironically, I'm not talking just about being able to celebrate an accomplishment. And, you know, look at me, look at the new car I got or the big job of the promotion of the money that I made or whatever the case may be. But to really be able to share joy and to be able to share sadness and to be able to do both of those in a place or with people who you can trust are going to honor that your experiences and your feelings are valid and reflect back to you what it is that you need to move through those emotions positively in a healthy way.


00:38:22 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah, I think there's a lot of value in seeking that out. And I know you, you like the term iron sharpens iron. You know, men don't mind.


00:38:32 Garth Sam: Sorry, I just it's not mine. But yes, go ahead. You know, we're wordsmith. So, you know, want to make sure I didn't? I didn't coin that term. My classmates, mine folks.


00:38:40 Mike Pietrzak: But, but but I think this, you know, actually, let's do it this way. Why did you found this? The universal brotherhood is it was an attempt to sort of create that group of exceptional men that are sharpening each other or something else.


00:38:56 Garth Sam: You know, I mean, every time I get asked this question, I wrestle a bit with, should I have some sort of a pat made formulaic answer to provide to the media? You know, here's my elevator pitch sort of thing or try to tell the truth. The truth is, I didn't know what exactly I was doing when I started. The truth is, I thought that I wanted to share quality men that I knew with one another who might not have a chance to meet each other. That's what I initially began as the years have gone on, and this will be the tenth year actually that I've been holding the space. I began to realize it's a much bigger story here. There's a much bigger potential here. There's a much bigger possibility here around providing a context and an opportunity for men to be committed to a certain way of being. And that's really what moves me the most. And I mean, it may sound corny or trite or I don't know whoever but Allah knights of old Allah, you know, fraternal communities that are vested in a solid foundation of moral values that are shared a solid philosophical base of exceptional being men who have declared themselves to want to be on an exceptional journey. And to distinguish themselves from others by virtue of committing to that journeying. This has become more meaningful to me. And recognizing that there isn't a lot of dialogue like that, necessarily there aren't a lot of places and communities that necessarily hold space for that to happen organically. Right? You know, more and more, I realize the value in that and also began to recognize, of course, the challenges that men face in being able to build bonds with one another to transcend some of their own. Unhealthy perspectives that they might hold of others, regardless of race or based on race or based on culture, based on creed or based on age, right age and stage, there are a lot of these things that people don't realize or are compromising their capacity to both bond and to learn from one another. And I think there's tremendous value in both of those experiences. The bonding and the learning and the sharing, I think, are really powerful.


00:41:14 Mike Pietrzak: Yes, I would agree. I'm so happy that I found that that group of quality men and it helped me realize, along with leaving the big city and becoming a dad, that a lot of my closest friendships were really based on a drinking buddy arrangement. You know, and I think a lot of friendships are, you know, there's not many friendships that I see that are not based on, Hey, let's go for it. Let's go get a drink, you know? And let's talk about something that's not really maybe that important. Maybe I'm maybe I'm over generalizing. But but there's something wonderful about putting men together in a room and saying, Hey, let's let's talk about something important. And it's a fraternity. Like you say, it's it's the A.D. Drinking Buddies society, and you've done a very good job of, you know, I guess, maybe selecting men or maybe they self-select into this group. But but I miss it. I feel like this is part of my life. That's that's not being fulfilled because I don't have that. It's not quite the same, you know, chatting on Facebook. But no.


00:42:20 Garth Sam: And you know, it's really for me, it's quite validating in terms of this as a labor of love, because just for your audience to know this has not been in any way, shape or form and economically sensible or valuable enterprise, it is a labor of love. It has cost me far more than it has earned me in terms of material gains. But for every person, every man like you who has come into contact with the Universal Brotherhood, who has had these type of experiences, who has felt inspired and empowered and engaged and uplifted by that type of contact, I feel a great sense of contentment, satisfaction and gratitude that I've been able to hold that space, nurture that space and provide that type of an opportunity. It's really it's a meaningful thing. It's a very interesting and meaningful thing. And I think. You know, I'm looking ahead to see how and how this evolves next. What are the next iterations of this? Because one of the things that's become very clear to me is that as much as men will gravitate to these kind of platforms. Of course, there are many different types of men within that. I've created a umbrella type of construct. But I am most interested in the ones who are most sincere. So this is where I'm going. Personally, I am most interested in the ones who are most sincere because the idea is about building exceptional, authentic masculine beings. And when I say masculine, I don't mean in a misogynistic way. I mean, in a very open minded, constructive, positive, non-toxic


00:44:09 Mike Pietrzak: way,


00:44:11 Garth Sam: but celebrating the best aspects of who we are as. Members of our gender, which I consider to be a legitimate construct, regardless of LGBTQ definitions, I'm still speaking to that concept as having validity. So for me, you know, I've recognized over these many years that not everybody will have the same commitment to this path because it is a kind of a path. You know, not everybody is really going to put money where mouth is and walk the talk, not just talk the talk. It's all well and good. Like, you know, Michael, that really celebrated you being one of the men. And I don't say this because you're interviewing me. I'm saying I wouldn't say it otherwise, but I really, you know, I really respect the men who are genuinely intent. On being the kind of man that I've kind of described within the construct of this, this is fraternal groups, right?


00:45:05 Mike Pietrzak: That threat a little bit. So you qualified that when you said masculinity, you qualified. There's not the toxic type of masculinity which you know to to you and I, that's obvious. But to some people watching, maybe it's not. And yet there does seem to be masculinity has a really bad rap right now. Yeah, for very legitimate reasons.


00:45:22 Garth Sam: Very legitimate reasons, yes. But very, very legitimate.


00:45:25 Mike Pietrzak: Very, very legitimate reasons. Terrible things have come to light in the last several decades. And that's, you know, that's things have been happening for for centuries and millennia. What I find unfortunate is almost like we're throwing the baby out with the bathwater in that where, you know, the pendulum has swung so far to the to the anti masculine core. That's that's it's not helpful to men, especially young men who are learning what it is now to be a good man. Yeah. And I'm wondering if you can you can share with us what what's happening here and what do we need as men?


00:46:04 Garth Sam: You are just big question. No, no. But you are, you know, you're you're throwing your throwing nature onto my fire of fire of preference by all flame on. Let's go. You know, everything you said is absolutely correct. The problem, as I see it, I guess, to get to the sort of. Central Core is that. Men in general have unfortunately earned a very bad reputation, more so than not, so even the idea of good men is almost a questionable construct because there are so few that have risen and are shining as examples of what that looks like. And we are our own worst enemies, for sure. Which is why we kill each other all the time, do horrible things to each other. I'm talking intimate for sure. And so it's a very, very challenging state of being because the younger men coming up, as you said, who are aspiring within their hearts to be not like the bad guys that they've been seeing so often and rightly created in front of the media and whatnot, the Weinsteins and the rest of the


00:47:18 Mike Pietrzak: industry, these


00:47:19 Garth Sam: people, the Epstein's and these characters who deserve our disgust disdain. You know, they don't want to be those people, but they're not really very clear about what it means to be. Not that. What does that look like? Is it? And like you said in describing it with the metaphor of the pendulum? What we're starting to see a lot of, of course, is that what is celebrated as being good and what has proven itself throughout human history as being good are expressions of what we would call femininity. You know, nobody disparages the mother. You know, everybody celebrates the mother archetype. Right. We love that. And we all are happy about that. And we're tremendously in love with that iconography and that image in the construct, right? And in the same way, you know, very few. Women throughout history have been horribly malicious or devastating or murderous or dark or bad. So there is not that weight being carried on that side of the feminine masculine seesaw here. So if you're looking to sort of figure out what is good look like, I think a lot of men have been looking rightly in the direction of, well, no, this looks pretty good. Nurturing, caring, compassionate, loving. I mean, all the qualities that we enjoy being recipients of are being demonstrated primarily by women. So where do we look to figure out how to be better? Maybe we look in fact direction. But what I'm seeing and this is the problem that you're noting as well, is that there's nothing wrong with that type of a skew. But my argument is that we're back to baby and bathwater, which is we have a tremendous disdain built in within us towards our own. You know, we have a self-hatred as men in many ways that maybe subconscious, if not conscious, we don't really like ourselves because everywhere we look, they're shitty examples of what we are about. Every second day, there's another mass shooting psychopath who is a man killing random people, doing random things, blowing himself up in the middle of a group of babies. I mean. Pick a day when that's not happening, there's no day when it's not happening, it's happening every single day. So with that constant bombardment of that type of unfortunately true presentation of what men are about contrasted with the other side where we're seeing, you know, women stepping in and stepping out, more and more women now coming into positions of prominence and using their prominence in more positive ways, articulating it better or nurturing or supportive through. Yeah, there is naturally, you know, a shift that I see with young men to be looking in those directions and emulating many of those ways. Now I am not saying that that's a bad thing, but I'm saying it's to me out of balance because I feel that the other side is not being well represented. The exceptional male is not being represented. Young men are not being presented with many exceptional examples of what an exceptional male looks like, who is both strong and compassionate. As for the five foundations and top right, it was able to hold both of those. I consider myself very much an alpha guy, but I don't consider myself an alpha asshole. Yeah, so there's a big difference between being an alpha asshole. Yes. You know, there's a big difference between arrogance and confidence, right? I will not self described as being arrogant, and I would like to believe that most people who know me will not describe me as being arrogant either. But I am confident and I am strong and clear about who I am, and I embrace my strengths and I embrace my my manly strength, even as I am interested in being compassionate. So even when we talk about like the warrior Michael Wright, you know, the ideal warrior is someone who is seeking to use his martial powers and prowess to preserve peace, to be a champion for justice. I mean, this is the hero that we celebrate, right? We're not talking about some random person going around shooting random people. That is not a warrior, that is a pathetically wounded human who has a lot of hurt and pain and is projecting it onto society outside of them. We want the Jedi, a noble warrior. We want someone who steps up when people are in need and are not strong enough to do it for themselves. We want somebody who is injured. Yes, we want somebody who is job. His orientation, his personality is geared towards the maintenance of justice and the values that we hold so dear in the world. You know, the protection of the weak, the protection of the disadvantaged, a champion. For those people, that's what we really are moved by. If you think about the greatest of our heroes, they all fit into that mold. So that's what we're really looking to, to see and to have and to be like. But unfortunately, in real life. There are not enough of those characters for most people to be in contact with, to be able to be duly influenced by them.


00:52:45 Mike Pietrzak: So how do we bring things back into balance is the only way for for us to control the small part of the world we can control, which is ourselves and set that example or the larger things that can be done, you know, at a at an institutional level or a government level or I don't know what, what, what can we do to bring balance back?


00:53:02 Garth Sam: You hit on both of the two components there. One, of course, you know, it's micro to macro micro to micro, right. I mean, we sort of look at either of the two directions that things can move in right at the grassroots movement of individuals who are duly committed to being exceptional as we are committed to you and I are committed in that way, making concentric ripples of influence by virtue of sharing who we are and how we are standing in our definitive. Desire to be that type of man and representing it to the best of our ability, we're not perfect. Nobody's declaring themselves to be, so I certainly am not. There's constantly room for refinement and growth and evolution and development. But for those of us who are mindfully committed to taking action and assimilating that action into our being such that it becomes part and parcel of who we are, inevitably it will just like they say, you know, whatever you do, you become the thing that you're doing, right? So the more mindfully you're doing this, the more you're actually becoming that thing, right? So that's the micro to macro. Definitely. I think that's where it all begins, right? It begins at that really lower tier level of society and percolates up in some way, shape or form or outward how we're going to look at it. But then of course, there is the other possibility, which is one that you know, I play with in my mind regularly as being someone who has created, you know, an entity that has some number and could have many more numbers associated with it. And this is where I start to wonder myself, you know, what is the potentiality of any sort of movement that speaks to a certain way of being that is exceptional in the positive direction? What is the potentiality for that provided that it's managed properly and that it's not misused or abused? Right? And I want to make sure that everybody understands my disclaimer that I am by no means interested in, you know, come and join the cult of Garth or the cult of Chubb or any such things, right? I mean, that's a huge problem that is often a scenario in which people are exploited, who are vulnerable. But that's not at all my interest. You know, I have no such interest in no such desire, and I think that's a really terrible thing as well. But providing people with. Support and conscious guidance about how to manifest that higher self, I think, is the kind of work that you and I are very, very keen on and using ourselves to the best that we can as examples of what that looks like and what that acts like is a big piece of that, right?


00:55:41 Mike Pietrzak: Yes. And so we'll see. Your humility is legendary, but I do think that we have for for a lot of men, which which is necessary, needed work. You know, I think it's of course, also the personal choices are important. You know, the quote be the be the change you wish to see in the world is extremely applicable here. And I know we're both working on that. And of course, you say perfect. You're saying, don't lose.


00:56:09 Garth Sam: You don't lose. You don't lose a train of thought. I'm going to change that quote. I like to do the boldest just let us play as we do, right? Be the man you hope to see in the world. Yes, that's for us. That right? Yeah. I mean, be the man you as you hope to see in the world, right? Not just the change is all that that's like. That's a dated phrase that we're going to change now, be the man that you to see in the world. If you are aspiring to be a certain type of man, or if you if there's a certain type of man that you would be impressed by aspired to be that person.


00:56:39 Mike Pietrzak: Right. It's an excellent recipe for success. Yes. And I think we all know what is what is a man or a person that we we would like to emulate. And it's probably not the ones that are our allies in our our twenty twenty one world.


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00:56:54 Garth Sam: They're the ones who will treat you well. They'll be respectful towards you. They will seek to see you rise to your potential genuinely and be happy for your success. Not envious, not disparaging. Not, you know, passively aggressive. Putting you down or undermining you in any way, shape or form. They're the ones who will love you and are able to do so and to say so in a masculine manner. I mean, take out the sexuality, a completely platonic fraternal love you as a brother. They're going to be there for you. Support you, see you shine, see you rise. See you happy. These are the kind of men that any man would want to have in their lives. Like, I mean, why would you not want to have a man beside you or around you or in your life who truly and genuinely wants to see you rise and shine at your brightest, at the brightest that you can be with no envy whatsoever for whatever that looks like for you, but simply wanting you to manifest your potential to its highest degree. That is the kind of person that I would like to have around me, and I'm pretty damn sure that most people would like to have that kind of man around them. So be that kind of man for somebody.


00:58:02 Mike Pietrzak: That's a very good philosophy for life. And you mentioned earlier in the call that no man is an island. Absolutely. No man can reach his potential without being surrounded by other good, inspirational people, I would say.


00:58:16 Garth Sam: Where's that quote from you? Because it's not mine either. John, who was that? Was it the no man is an island? No, that's not for whom ask, not for whom the bell tolls about tolls for the finish was that that the whole purpose anyway? Not our words, people. I didn't say that, you know, I'm not the only one saying. That's right. John Locke is it.


00:58:38 Mike Pietrzak: And I think it's the last name. But which one? John Douglas and dun


00:58:44 Garth Sam: dun dun dun dun dun. That's so good. That was. Well, that was quick. Nicely done.


00:58:52 Mike Pietrzak: Yeah, this is this is all very helpful, I think, for for anyone, not just men. But I want to ask you one last question, Garth. We've talked about the sort of fraternal masculine relationships, but let's talk about women. I know we have a deep admiration for the respect for that and a fascination with with romantic relationships as well. You talk literally all about the disengagement that led you into the monastery. It's a very strange time to be in a relationship. And maybe you feel this as well with COVID and where couples are pushed into the pressure cooker and spending a lot more time, I think together that know nature intended for single people. It's a very even maybe stranger time with COVID dating can I can I just out in the world, which is totally rewriting the rules on online dating and courtship? Let's talk about this. So, so what mistakes do you see men specifically making in relationships and and what could we be doing better? All of us? Well, basically men with women. But of course, we accept that there are other gender pairings. We'll focus on what we know.


01:00:05 Garth Sam: Yes. Well, yes, I can only speak to the heterosexual experience because that's the only experience I know and I'm, you know, hey, to anybody who is not part of that particular bent. Not a problem. Carry on. Do you think I can only speak to what I do best? Yeah, it's a very interesting time in general. I think it's all the biggest challenge, I think, or one of the biggest challenges that I see. And I do a lot of coaching with couples and people who are having relationship issues because that's, you know, quite commonly things that people are challenged by is really around this whole idea of, you know, who is what role definition. And it's an interesting thing for you, Michael, as a traveler as well. I'm sure you recognize this in your travels to countries where rules are more clearly defined. Now, many people would argue of that against those things, and I would, too if they're oppressive and repressive. But in terms of creating a kind of social harmony, there is definitely something to be said in societies where people are comfortable and contented with the roles that they find themselves in. Now remember, I'm being very clear here, so people don't rip on me and not send, you know, because most of them do see a kind of imbalance of power and a lack of equity between the sexes. Typically, that's the case. But what I found in my travels, where these roles are comfortably embraced by the participants, to some degree. You have less friction because people are clear about who they are. So let's fast forward to the western modern developing world where roles now are being very, very amorphous and not so clear and anybody can do anything. And thankfully we're moving in the direction of a greater and greater meritocracy. If you can lift me and carry me down the stairs and you're a fire woman, more power to you, we do have the job. No problem. I have no qualms about anybody doing anything that they can do, and I'm all in celebration of that. So. Challenge A is in the confusion for men around what it is again to be a man in the 21st century. What am I supposed to do? Am I still expected to be the conventional breadwinner, even though my wife is making more money than me? So how then do I feel like my contribution is being valued to the same degree? If that was the thing that I hung my self-esteem on most competently for so long, the society did as well. You know, this type of dialogue, which is part of the conversation we're having, is a huge part of the challenge. Addressing and redressing a lot of the very, very entrenched and much of its subconscious sexism that we are a part of. Let's be really clear here men have run the world forever. Yes, like I don't care. The Cleopatra's in the here and there few. Catherine the greats and the few highlight reels of women who have been in positions of power as a general rule, day in, day out, whether they're in positions of political authority or not. Men have been running the world for a long time in the last 50 years. That equation has been shifting dramatically. The balance of power has been shifting dramatically. The status quo has been changing dramatically. So this is creating a lot of moving sand under the feet of men in terms of who would turn out to be. Even as women are stepping more and more onto solid platforms of ascendancy. So this, you know,


01:03:42 Mike Pietrzak: so right now,


01:03:44 Garth Sam: they're doing wonderfully well. I mean, a tremendous celebrant of it because I celebrate any human experiencing the possibility of discovering their potential. I think that's really what the key is. But, you know, I think a lot of men are going to be struggling right now and for the next little while until we start to figure out how to make peace and be comfortable with the idea that women are gaining, gaining, you know, gaining speed and momentum, moving faster and faster. More and more glass ceilings are being shattered. More and more opportunities are being presented. I mean, I think about the sport that I have enjoyed a lot over the years because of my background, namely me and I think about all the phenomenal female athletes who are now participating in this sport. Whether you like pugilistic sports or not, whether you think that it makes good sense for the shit out of each other or not. Let's take out that judgment for the time being, but it's very interesting to see the rise of women who have chosen not by force, but by choice to become this type of athlete and to participate in this type of an arena. But wow, I remember before they you know, I remember back in the day a few years ago with Dana White said, Oh no, no, no, we're never going to let women into the UFC. I remember him saying it. It's not going to happen. And it has happened in a big way, not only as it happened, but it's been hugely embraced and they have proven themselves to be very, very successful, talented, effective athletes. Yes. So, you know, we have all these things that are shifting and changing in the world. We have all these changing sort of perspectives. And if you are coming from a socialization process that basically said you can rest on your laurels as a man because that's the way the world works, you're in for some big surprises coming up soon, especially this next generation of millennials and stuff women are kicking ass and taking names.


01:05:43 Mike Pietrzak: That mentality is very much alive and kicking. And you know, it's going to say that, you know, women are making all these exciting strides and doesn't seem like men are really on the path. Yet it's not even close to generalizing, but a lot of good, great progress. But a lot of men are sort of still hearing struggling. You've done you've done some terrible things over the last six months. And yet it comes back to this, this buzzword, the patriarchy, which is very much alive and kicking. But I would I would suggest that most the vast majority of men are not part of the patriarchy, don't have the type of power over anyone that that, you know, we would lament.


01:06:23 Garth Sam: It's kind of and I dare I say, and not because of my own melanin content, but you know, it's kind of like the white privilege idea, right? Male privilege is a reality that every man enjoys. You don't eat. You don't. You don't have to be participatory consciously. To be the beneficiary of you are being paid more just as a general rule across the world. You are given a differential level of respect typically. I mean, we are we all enjoy that. So true, I would agree with you that conscious participation in patriarchal structures has declined markedly in the last several years, for sure. And the vast majority of people who are in their twenties and thirties men in particular are not necessarily aligned with that type of thinking. Now I say that in the developed developed world, whatever that means, but in many parts of the more traditional developing world, that's still a huge gap. But, but you know. You don't have to be a participant to be a beneficiary, like you don't have to be an active participant to be a beneficiary. So I guess again learning that you have been a beneficiary and that you are a beneficiary and that this is changing and that you may need to adapt the way you are in ways that you perhaps never thought about. It's going to be a big, a big challenge for many, and it's an important one, and I think it's going to be a big part of the growth curve ahead. But there are some really, you know, we could go off. There's some really interesting shifts that I think are going to be hugely impactful on this conversation. In particular, the gender conversation in particular has some really big things ahead of it. And I'll tell you where they're coming from. Three areas that I see are two areas in particular that I see really are going to be poignant VR and A.I., you know, VR, A.I.. Yeah, why? So how does this relate to this conversation? Well, you know, the more we're able to create simulated worlds in which people can have what they want, when they want it and how they want it without having to really invest much in their own personal growth or development. The more problematic things are going to become for real relationships between real people,


01:08:40 Mike Pietrzak: people and their fantasy worlds.


01:08:43 Garth Sam: The movies are being made. We've seen more than a few of them out there. She or her story her with Joaquin Phoenix, not that long ago came out, you know, men having bona fide relationships with eight females, for example, right? And vice versa. You know, isn't that I think we're moving to a really interesting phase in human relations, and I'll throw another one on you, right? I mean, if we've got A.I. and we've got VR and we start to move towards greater cybernetic technologies and whatnot whereby we're able to start producing, you know, artificial robotic humanoid type structures. I mean, you know, I look at your smile at the smile. Oh, but it's a nice smile for 2021. But let me tell you, 2050 come 2050, you and I might be having a very different conversation about this. This might become quite de rigueur and quite commonplace. What happens? What is going to happen ahead? Here's the positive for your people to think about, right? What is going to happen ahead in the future, a few years when you're able to? Have an ally that knows you better than almost anybody because they've downloaded in an instant every little facet of who you are drawn associations between it. They know the sound of the music that you like, so they can always pick the best music for you. They know the kind of movies that move you because they've monitored everything about, you know, all about how your pupils dilate and respond to different response. They have done an analysis that is, you know, amazingly accurate in determining who and how you are. And they adapt in order to interact with you in the most harmonious way possible, as opposed to this very random process of humans coming together. You know, it's going to change things a lot. And then if I may add on to that, you know, the potentiality for male sexuality to be expressed in connection with these devices or technologies, it becomes a very, very, very curious time ahead. I think, and I think this is something that I'm really wondering what's going to happen because even as we're at a point now where there is this demand and this need for increased gender understanding and a change in perspective and an awakening of men to a different level of consciousness and an embracing of the best parts of masculinity in order to be the best men they can be with women. I don't know what's going to happen faster. In many ways, Michael, I feel that this technology is going to supersede human initiative. It's moving at such a pace by which I mean, you know, we may not be able to nurture and develop enough tough men enough of our exemplary knights. In the next little while before it becomes kind of like math. By which I mean, nobody cares to do math anymore because everybody has a calculator. Why do I need to stress my brain? Why do I need to work so hard to make my relationship work when I can have a relationship?


01:12:12 Mike Pietrzak: And why bother investing time with your your human partner? Well, if they're just going to be a pain in the ass, when you can argue with cyborg and have exactly what you want, every


01:12:24 Garth Sam: exactly what you want. When you want it. How you want it. No beef. No must. No fuss.


01:12:30 Mike Pietrzak: No bother of a race here.


01:12:33 Garth Sam: I don't know that we can possibly win. I don't think we can win this race, I think honestly, and that may sound somewhat cynical, but I really don't think, I think the speed with which technology is developing and the impetus and the pressure and the desire and the need and the loneliness and the sense of disenfranchisement that men are experiencing and the enemy and the I mean, all of the psychic and psychological problems that humanity has been plagued with up until now are still present. Busily causing all kinds of grief and struggle and strife. I think that what will happen is that we will end up having a hopefully nucleus. You know, this is what I expect a nucleus of the few, you know, one percent, you and I will be the one percenters who will be dedicated to this path because, well, maybe to our age and stage, to some degree. I mean, you know, as long as I am, I'm the old man in the room. But you know what I mean, like? The jump off for us is not going to be as easy, but for a 20 something year old now who maybe doesn't do the work if he doesn't do the work by the time this stuff arrives when he's a 30 something. You know, I don't know. But I do see in terms of the addictive appeal of gaming that this is exactly the direction that we're seeing people moving in. People are less inclined towards real athletics like, I mean, not only know these guys who think that their bad ass because they can kick your ass on Mortal Kombat or whatever the game is currently out there. And I always used to laugh at that as like, Well, you know, that's not real. You know, you got to come and train and then we'll talk about what's real. But it's like, But why do I need to? I'm going to go, you know, I'm on a big screen and I kick ass and take names and people think I'm amazing and I get all kind of props for it. I don't really do anything. And I think the same thing is going to happen in these other areas, and I'm really not sure what that portends for us in terms of gender relations.


01:14:31 Mike Pietrzak: I suppose every generation has had their challenges. I mean, I read a story I don't know if it's true about a time when books were just becoming a thing, you know, thousands of years and the elders of the society were saying, Well, books are going to just corrupt our children, and it's the end of the oral tradition. There was, of course, some some greater risk that there was unforeseen and I hope, hope it's correct to be an optimist on this on this front that we humanity will adapt to whatever challenges comes. But then again, who knows


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01:15:03 Garth Sam: well will adapt. And you know, and it's not to say that it's going to be worse, it's just going to be different like we were at that. Michael, I agree with you completely. You know, there will be an adaptation. It's just that it's likely to be different and it may not be the adaptation that you and I would consider to be ideal. Like, let's say. OK, so let's say here, let me just for fun. I know that we're running short on time of stuff, but let's say that this sort of world that we're aging does come to pass. And let's say. I don't know, seven out of 10 men choose the plug in tune in, turn on, drop out, you know, they go into their VR world, right? They do the matrix thing and they plug it in like that. And as a result of that, because they're physically under engaged with the world, all of the predatory behaviors, all of the antisocial behavior is all of the stuff that men have been doing and are doing every day in terms of abuse of women and children and girls and all the rest of that decline tremendously because there's an outlet that's virtual as opposed to real. And these men are just off. They're just off. They're off grid, off human grid, right? And so what we have is, all right. So we end up with all these people who are these emaciated plug ins and they're more or less content with their VR girlfriends, and they're more or less outside of, you know, human interactive paradigms and all of the rates of masculine perpetrated crime diminish. OK, so there is an outcome, right? That is it doesn't seem ideal.


01:16:43 Mike Pietrzak: Pros and cons.


01:16:45 Garth Sam: Yeah. I mean, OK, so then you know, the world looks around and goes, Wow, wow. Now that we've got 70 percent of the men plugged into playing games all the time and they're happy enough doing that, you know, they're not doing the shit that they'd be doing out in the world instead. So, you know, OK,


01:17:01 Mike Pietrzak: it's a trade off not or what happens is going to be a very interesting and terrifying and somewhat wonderful future. I say, bring on the singularity, bring on the


01:17:13 Garth Sam: the singularity, since


01:17:17 Mike Pietrzak: we can only control our little part of the world, which is ourselves. So I suppose, you know, it's it's a fascinating thought experiment, but really, ultimately we can only choose who we want to be as men or as women and.


01:17:31 Garth Sam: And that's yeah, and that's the word that you and I are interested in doing that. You know, until that happens, that next phase and stage today is the day tomorrow. You and I both know that there will be hundreds of thousands and millions of disaffected, discontented, unhappy men out there trying to figure out their shit, trying to sort through their lives, trying to make the day work, try not to blow their brains out, etc., etc., etc. I mean, that's what's going to happen today and tomorrow. And so until things shift, we've got a lot of work still to be done, and it's going to come down to each man who is fortunate enough to have the right access to the right resources and the right willpower to act on them, to take steps forward, to try and create an exceptional, you know, the best possible life for himself. And that's that's all we can try and do is facilitate that.


01:18:20 Mike Pietrzak: I know you're trying to work and I know you'll continue to do that work. Why don't we? Why don't we leave it on that positive note? I want to respect that. Just thanks so much, Garth, for being our guide today. I always have a wonderful conversation with you and appreciate our talk. I think we probably have a follow up episode coming at some point because there's


01:18:40 Garth Sam: I got to plug my book at some point. I didn't do that yet, but we'll save for another day.


01:18:44 Mike Pietrzak: But the the I've just I have fractured your book several times recently and I am not a huge poetry guy, but I do find wisdom in the verses and


01:18:55 Garth Sam: I


01:18:55 Mike Pietrzak: hope that these are coming from a place of wisdom and a place in your heart. So tell us about the book and where can we get it?


01:19:03 Garth Sam: Well, as a matter of fact, Michael, I just happen to have a copy right here. It's beautiful. Yes, I like to call it the KMG. Oh yeah. You see the rhyme, right, which you can't pronounce it that way as well. But I'm not one to really self-promote. Very much so. I would just say that I would like to believe that. The things that are intimately shared in this book will resonate with some people, particularly people who are appreciative of. Words, misery and. You know, language and the use thereof, and for those who are looking to possibly glean some bits of value from the things that I have downloaded,


01:20:00 Mike Pietrzak: there's a link to that. In the end, the YouTube video and I also wanted to ask, where can people find you if they want to connect with you as it is?