Evolutionary Toolkit / Nightmares & Empathy

Evolutionary Toolkit / Nightmares & Empathy


HostGeorge Noory

GuestsBret Weinstein, Heather Heying, Kristy Robinett

In the first half, evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying talked about the idea that although we are living through the most prosperous age in all of human history, we are experiencing "an existential crisis at the individual level, all the way to the societal level." Despite our extraordinary ability as a species to adapt to change, the two argued, there's a limit to how quickly we can keep pace. Currently, we're in a state of "hypernovelty," wherein the world is changing faster than we can adapt—and it's only accelerating. By applying the principles of evolutionary biology to our hypernovel world, Weinstein and Heying hope to offer an "evolutionary toolkit" to understand why so many today may feel listless, divided or miserable.

Through this lens, Heying and Weinstein propose that human culture itself is a transmitter of information, as powerful as genetics in helping us survive. Although they recognize the communication potential in tools like social media, the pair caution against the tendency of this format to reinforce only our own self-serving ideas about ourselves and each other. Similarly, while religion has played a monumental role in human adaptation and survival, it's important to recognize its limitations as a non-scientific explanation of the world. Even proper diet, which is often discussed in terms of its benefits to physical health, is crucial to being properly equipped to adapt emotionally and psychologically to the challenges culture throws at us.


Psychic medium, author, and speaker Kristy Robinett explained the messages that come to us via nightmares and night terrors in the second half. She recounted the fascination she's had with dreams and nightmares all her life, beginning in her childhood. In contrast to ordinary bad dreams, nightmares are far more intense in the tension and anxiety they produce. Night terrors are even more marked in their intensity. These varieties of unpleasant dreams often have common causes among those who have them: unresolved problems, anxiety, depression, or medication, for example. The phases of the moon and the seasons affect the occurrence of nightmares too, she said.

For psychic mediums such as herself, Robinett continued, messages and visions from beyond their own senses and experiences can also come in the form of nightmares. She related her own nightmare that relayed information about a person who died before she was born; likewise, she noted, disasters like the 9-11 attacks and the Titanic were reportedly foreseen in nightmares by others.

Empathy, the subject of Robinett's upcoming book, was explored as well. Empaths, who are also known as highly sensitive people, are the minority of the population who instinctively take on the needs and concerns of others, often to their own disadvantage. Nevertheless, empathy is a vital quality that has the potential to change the world, Robinett maintained.

News segment guests: Howard Bloom, Mish Shedlock



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