Today on the podcast, Mason joins James Perrin as a guest on The Overview Effect podcast for an illuminative dialogue, exploring the most transformative and pivotal moments in his personal evolution. Mason talks about his conflicting relationship with the wellness industry and how both Daoism and heading up SuperFeast (from birth to success) have been at the centre of his expansion.
Mason and James discuss stifled thinking in society, the pitfalls of ideology, herd mentality, and the effects of personal power and sovereignty willingly being handed over to governments and organisations. Mason talks about his relationship with comedy and how comedians continue to keep our minds liberated through challenging the status quo, genius mockery, sarcasm, and satire. This conversation is a brilliant exchange of progressive thought and freethinking. Don't miss it.
"My comedic nature helps me inquire about myself and what I'm actually doing here, because it's quite a head fuck, to be honest. To be working within a lineage and be walking that line of, am I using it? Is it using me? Are we in collaboration? Am I just bullshitting myself? What's actually happening here? So I use comedy to narrate and take the piss out of myself. These herbs are messengers from heaven. They are so special." And what they allow in terms of a cultivation of a capacity for life to be protected inside of yourself rather than just used and commodified itself, is very special and huge to me".
- Mason Taylor
James and Mason discuss:
- Cultivating Zhi
- Identity and ideology.
- Decolonising the mind.
- The problem with ideology.
- Studying things in isolation.
- Virtues and values in business.
- Self awareness and self reflection.
- Taking on responsibility in life/business.
- How comedians are pioneers in society.
The Overview Effect with James Perrin
The Overview Effect is the paradigm shift astronauts experience when viewing Earth from space; where their outlook on life changes, they experience an emotional and spiritual transformation, and they return to Earth profoundly connected to Nature and humanity.
What would our world look like if we lived from the perspective of this ‘Overview Effect’? Join James Perrin as he speaks with influential thinkers, environmentalists, humanitarians, & entrepreneurs to explore the moments in their lives that have shaped the way they see the world, their stories of awakening and transformation, and ultimately, how these moments have influenced the impact they're seeking to create in their lives.
In a world that faces endless crises (climate, wealth inequality, homelessness, health, racial injustice, and so much more), this podcast asks "What if we all experienced our own moments of transformation? What if the most pertinent crisis, that underpinned all of the others that we face, is that of our own consciousness and morality?"
Mason Taylor is the CEO/Founder of SuperFeast and a renowned tonic herbalist. On a soul mission to bring people back to their body and nature while bursting through dogma, he shares passionately and uniquely in his workshops, podcast, and content on how to cultivate healing and potentiation through health sovereignty. An expert in Daoist tonic herbalism, Mason has helped tens of thousands of people globally discover medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic tonic herbs, and the healing philosophy from which they emerged. Mason is also a budding comedian; bursting the bubble on the “health scene” with his antics.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
All right. Mason, CEO, founder of SuperFeast and self-confessed meme lord, welcome to the show.
Mason Taylor: (00:09)
Thank you, man. Really appreciate being here.
Oh man, I appreciate being here. I'm here in your SuperFeast podcast studio, which is way more professional than what I do.
Mason Taylor: (00:19)
In the lair.
In the lair. Who knows what time it is out there. It's almost like a sensory deprivation chamber in here.
Mason Taylor: (00:27)
I studied casino tactics for that.
Does that mean, every 10 hours, someone will come in with a tray of food and just check in on us, make sure we're not going to leave?
Mason Taylor: (00:37)
That's it. And that's why when you go into the bathrooms later, you'll see, there's free adult nappies in there.
Oh, love it, love it. Oh, so good. Well, Mason, you know the context of the show, the overview effect, this idea that we can have these moments in our life that radically shape us and who we are. And I particularly love the imagery, the archetype or the contrast of an astronaut being so cold and hard and factual and analytical, and then going off and seeing Earth from space and having this spiritual, this emotional, this ethereal connection with who they are and how they want to be. Have you had any moments or experiences in your life that have really dramatically shaped who you are and how you choose to live your life?
Mason Taylor: (01:28)
I've been thinking a lot about it, especially since yesterday and just little framing up of the, that's the only framing we've given this podcast, which I love. I feel, yeah, the answer is definitely yes. I live a lot with my head in the clouds. So, those spiritual experiences I probably didn't need anymore. It was probably already naturally, just when I started entering into Daoist tonic herbalism and the magic of medicinal mushrooms and started decolonizing my mind and returning to more of a conversation around harmony, which is applicable to health, over a decade-long span versus sitting in a pure reductionist, put the scalpel to the anatomy and come into balance, which is a stagnant thing.
Mason Taylor: (02:21)
You're healed from this symptom and then going, well, what happens at the end of that conversation? What happens at the end of "All right, we've alleviated your symptomology, your disease set, your markers are in a particular place. All right, great. Now, off you pop." And there's so much... I just couldn't handle the... I'm so happy for people when they'd be like, "Wow, I'm clear." And I'll be like, "Oh, my God." The amount of subconscious putting up of concrete walls of ignorance and crossing your fingers and hoping that that thing, that symptom, whether it's one you've had or one that you possibly have could possibly creep up in into the future, it seemed like that ignorance not being bliss, but we do it.
Mason Taylor: (03:03)
So often, and I remember being in Year 8, driving to school and hearing statistics around men with cancer and everyone with diabetes, and one in five, and one in two men with cancer and one in three women, I'm just, "Ugh," just crossing your finger, hoping that you don't become a statistic. Really, yeah, it really irked me. And so, when I started that initial coming into loving herbalism and loving the concept of going, oh exploring what's this body? I don't like... I had a moment where I dropped in when I was in Bolivia, I was in like a Savannah. I was in a old, rickety bus. It's been no reason. No reason, I just dropped into my body.
Mason Taylor: (03:51)
It's a regular occurrence now, but that extent at that time, it was, wow, I can, I'd feel my exhaustion and these immune things that were going on for me, not in isolation, but I could just feel them connected to everything else. And I didn't feel out of harmony, but I could feel this capacity to come a little bit more into my own flow with whatever harmony is. We'll go into it later, because it's pretty easy to throw those terms around and think that it's something stagnant or just something ornamental that we say in the West, knowing that our ideological reductionist systems towards healing or life, that's the real way. And there's this nice ornamental fluffy, come into harmony and be connected and everything is oneness. It's just, yeah, but we know the real deal is. Western medicine's the real stuff, or Western Chinese medicine's the real stuff, but not-
Yes, we pay at lip service, yeah.
Mason Taylor: (04:47)
... And it's really to our detriment because it's like playing lip service to another language and thinking that there's not going to be any use in speaking anything else but English or Latin, which is such, you can see the trajectory we're going to go on if we only speak in that way. And we only talk about, say, an adrenal gland as an adrenal gland, in isolation, and we treat it. And maybe we have an understanding of the impact or the pathway that it has through our HPA or a thyroid, but that constant isolation and relating to just that little gland, you put a scalpel to that gland and cut it out and study it. That's a very particular way to approach life, and it's a particular language in a way to speak to life.
Mason Taylor: (05:37)
Where we very could've easily related to the adrenal gland and studying it, still with a Western, put a scalpel to the body. It maybe could've been related to in terms of how those, rather than having an isolated word for adrenal gland, it very well could've been, we, instead, only focus and describe on how that function impacts the entirety of the body. And that could have been something that was focused on and completely taken Western medicine down a different trajectory. So when you look at... So, this is where I'm describing my head been in the cloud. When I first had my coming home to myself moment of Bolivia, then started studying herbalism, I wanted herbs to be a part of my life.
Mason Taylor: (06:21)
Western herbalism, which is amazing, but then saying it does this function... Is this, this symptom-
It's very linear.
Mason Taylor: (06:30)
... I just don't work that way. I love people but do work that way. And so, for me, finding Daoism and the many other ancient systems, and then observing them bring words to a collection of functions within the body that emanates into something that can be perceived by myself and lots of other people and has context in a harmonious manner. And it's relevant in this moment, as well as being something you can connect to and has relevance for 50 years from now, rather than an adrenal gland and cortisol. It's a real... the different languages and I love them both. So I lived that realm. Immediately, I became obsessed with that. It's a spiritual moment, but...
Yeah. Do you know what I'm hearing in that, which is really interesting, is that through herbalism and your approach to health and understanding health in a much more holistic, there's another word we throw around sometimes, but a much more broader way of thinking about health rather than just this linear, "This does this, does this, does this," and it's studying things in isolation. Through that paradigm shift in thinking about health, it actually flowed to other ways that you live your life and think about your life. And what's interesting is that I've had the same experience, but through environmentalism.
And I studied chemical and environmental engineering and it was very "Okay, now this semester we're going to study heat transfer," and, "This semester we're going to study particle dynamics," and it was all very isolated. And then I started learning about earth system science and Gaia theory and how everything interacts with one another, and I started seeing, I became an environmental activist and I was fundraising for organisations. And I saw that this organisation has a campaign about this rainforest and this organisation has a campaign about climate, and this organisation has a campaign about plastic in the ocean, and we're treating them all separately.
But when you step back and it's actually, ironically that metaphor, that overview effect, you see how everything is actually linked. And rather than looking at these individual things in isolation and trying to bandaid them, like we do in the health system, you have a symptom, you go to a doctor or a pharmacist and here's a pharmaceutical and bandaid that, and don't actually look at your body holistically, we not only broaden our perceptions on those topics, but we actually changed the way we think about our approach to all areas of life. Right? And that's really interesting that you found it through the body and health and I found it through environmental system science, or looking at environmental system. It's fascinating. That's that paradigm shift.
Mason Taylor: (09:15)
And the validity... I talk about it a lot in becoming, making sure you don't become a boring person that's stale. Not that it's all about me, but I've met so many people stuck in their ideological talking points, that they just bore the shit out of me. And I'm like, "Why..." What it tells me is you don't have an intricate understanding of your field, where it's been integrated in yourself enough where you can actually return to the holistic, harmonious flow of life in yourself, where you cultivate your own personal culture, where you can have dynamic conversation. You're too scared to let go of your ideology and your talking points and you become one of these boring people that I just can't stand, been in a corner of a party with. Or I do, because I'm like, put little jabs in and see whether they're aware or enough to know that I'm taking the piss or not.
Which comes back to the memes. Do you know what's really funny? I had a few notes. As you said, right up front of this conversation, there was no real structure to this one, intentionally. I've got a few little notes and I thought, "Oh, maybe we'll start with the journey of SuperFeast and things like that." But where I knew the conversation was going to get to, perhaps not this fast, is exactly this topic, which I love. Which is this idea that we try to find the quick fix to problems, in health and environment, in a whole range of things. And in doing that, we actually give up our own sense of power, our own sovereignty. We outsource our thinking to others, to "experts" who have studied these reductionist, these individual areas, but haven't really broadly integrated with themselves the bigger system.
And so, what we do as society, particularly in the West, is we outsource our thinking to these people, or these bodies or these governments or these corporations or whatever it is, and we see that across the board. We see that in health. You go and, yeah, get a pharmaceutical bandaid. Oh, I've got another issue, you go see a different specialist and you get a different treatment. You go see different specialist. We see that in, like I said, environment. Could be farming, oh, I've got this pest, spray it with insecticide. Oh, I'm not having this yield, throw some fertiliser on it. We see it in a whole range of things.
But, really what we're coming back to, it feels like, is nurturing the conditions for the natural systems to thrive. Right? So, in health, it's around what the work that you guys do, and you can elaborate on this is supporting the body's natural functions, right? In farming, the metaphor it's not about the product, it's about nurturing the soil. And in the plant's... that you want naturally come from the soil. I even see it in things like... I used to be an innovation manager for a big multinational. And it sounds like a cool, fancy job, but it wasn't because-
Mason Taylor: (12:16)
I'm definitely more intimidated by you now.
Well, it wasn't true.... Yeah. I know, I'm trying to leaning in, this is my power play.
Mason Taylor: (12:23)
Well, that's your flexing. It's working.
It wasn't, it actually wasn't innovation. It was, what's the next trend? "Oh, this is a trend. This is a trend. Quick, how do we make a product to plug that hole and ride that wave?" Whereas true innovation, you don't go into work and go, "Okay, now I'm going to sit down with a pen and paper and innovate. Go." Right? You create the conditions for which innovation to occur. And I'm starting to see this in so many areas of society that it just feels like we're coming back to that way of thinking. And it's led by the health movement, I think, by folks like you. And SuperFeast is returning to what's our natural holistic way of functioning, and how do we support that, rather than try to reduce down to these individual variables? I think that's cascading to a lot of other industries as well.
Mason Taylor: (13:13)
Yeah. I mean, and I would say I agree, somewhat, on the health scene being really pioneering there. That's probably one of the places where there's the most traps to fall into ideological pitfalls, where you lose your own identity and you become a missionary for some new way of thinking. And as you progress through the health scene, you get sneakier and sneakier at pretending you're a real sovereign, thinking free, just like, you've really, I've really developed my own path. It's like when you hear when the yoga teachers, you're like, "What do you practise?" And they're like, "I developed my own little system." I'm like, "Well, bravo. You're so unique."
Mason Taylor: (14:03)
But it's definitely, the pitfall is real because it lives within a world of morality, whether is right or wrong, which is a really fun place to play around with. But unless you can integrate with that part of yourself that isn't mind based and doesn't perceive things with a right or wrong. I don't know. And I will point out as well, I really enjoy, I had a real strong intention coming into this conversation where I like getting to these stumble points, because I really don't like rattling off things that I've said before on [inaudible 00:14:41]. So, just to heads up for you and everyone listening, I really enjoy that awkward space, that tension space, when I get exactly where I'm at now. Because I can be a real talker. I can really, and say lots of pretty things.
Mason Taylor: (14:57)
But that pitfall I've been talking about for a decade to myself, because I've been so hyper aware of there, within the health scene, being no term awareness of education around the fact that when you pick up the tools or the list of things that are right or wrong, or that you do do, or you don't do, that are all about us being right, whether it's a particular dietary approach or it's a particular person's approach, Wim Hof or Ray Peat, or something like that. Or, it might not be about all us being right, might form identity around pointing out why other people are wrong, the pharmaceutical model, veganism, carnivore.
Mason Taylor: (15:44)
And there's hints of it everywhere. There's different shades. It's very colourful. It's very sneaky and it's fun. And I like playing in that realm, to an extent. But in excess, like anything, it leads you to either becoming an asshole, ignorant, boring, as you go further and further down the line and you further and further fall out of these ideologies and feeling like, "My God, I was wrong. I was hoodwinked. They're destroying people's health there." And you start forming your identity in opposition to where you have been or opposition to something out there that you think, "Wow, that gives me some orientational pushback against the pharmaceutical model or pushback against whatever, Republicans or Democrats, and that helps me orient myself.
Mason Taylor: (16:23)
Which again, as I say, is fun, and if you get stuck there within that ideological pitfall, you ultimately, becoming a missionary for particular ideas. Because I would say there's no education about the fact that when you enter into these ways of thinking, there is going to be a moment where it's going to be appropriate, where you would've ended your process of being ideologically aligned or drawing parts of your mannerisms from that group or that philosophy or that way of thinking, and it'll be tools down and time to move on without it, and go through that subtle stage of integration and coming back into your own agency, or awareness of your own self cultivation.
Mason Taylor: (17:06)
Which is really scary, but there's not often a facilitation of that. You need to find it upon, find it yourself, or maybe you come across a very well integrated 90-year-old that has not gone so far and gone, "70, all right, this is just, I'm too tired to go on anymore, and so I'll just act like I don't care, but stay in this ideology and not have room to move." But the whole point at Daoism is to get to the point where your Shen, your personal capacity to integrate life's experience is so strong and powerful. And you're so well integrated in your own personal system that there's no need to lean anymore. You can stay in your own centre, your own hara, your own centre of the universe, Dantien nd whatever it is.
Mason Taylor: (17:53)
And I think in activism, it's the same, there's no education around going through that process. We're not in a right or wrong, you're in a learning, you're in school, and then I'd love you to graduate and move on. We don't have a lot of mentors and teachers that are really, really happy to see people move on and think, I've got these people for a short amount of time, maybe a couple of decades, maybe a few weeks, whatever it is, and I'd really hope that the quality of what I teach them, not only prepares them for that time when their mind needs to be slippery enough. Because they will lose their identity and they will follow. If you ever read June, it's what Paul goes through when he's becoming a God internally. And he is in a dialogue, knowing that people are going to follow him and turn him into a religion. And I really, I related to that cause I've fallen so hard into that-
That was going to be my question is, are you speaking from experience here? Have you had, have you found yourself go full head and shoulders into an ideology and then years later, completely flipped and the pendulum swung, and you've gone in an opposite direction? You've had to break that down?
Mason Taylor: (18:56)
Yeah, that's my whole story. That's literally my whole story. And anyone that's heard me podcast or a talk, I personally perceive, and so, I use my platforms to undergo my own, go through my own processes and try and ensure that I'm only sharing concepts that, for what I can tell, have come to a particular maturation point where it's now not oversharing for the sake of it. And I'm feeling I'm sharing from a place that's solid enough. Even though I'm stumbling, I feel like I'm, in retrospect, really trying to make sense of my own path.
Mason Taylor: (19:34)
And if I'm going to bring up the fact that there's a lack of terminology and maturation and maturity, I should say, within the health cliques and the health scenes where people aren't really articulating this process and being really embedded within their teachings, keeping the mind slippery enough where that person... It's in the teaching where it will push someone away conscientiously, and really and hopefully give them a context where you haven't tried to be overwarning people as they go through that beautiful process of losing themselves and their identity in that path, because that's an important part.
Mason Taylor: (20:10)
And at least if they're low hanging fruit, at least hopefully they're in a safe environment where you take responsibility for the leadership, that you have vulnerable minds, low hanging-fruit, that are very easy to manipulate. And that's like me in business. Right now, I'm going through my throes. It's been 10 years, but I feel quite solid within the way that I'm designing my life and relating to myself as an 80-year-old, 90-year-old and my thoughts around what is healthy and unhealthy and all that? I feel quite solid. But then when I think about business development, I'm, "Oh, Jesus." I'm not super, I'm not..." but I'm applying the same principles and giving myself the awareness that this, too, shall pass.
Mason Taylor: (20:53)
My wife has that tattooed on her wrist. Don't worry, this confusion and losing yourself in this process, it, too, shall pass, and you will keep yourself in a place where, and this is going somewhere... You brought up taking on a self-responsibility before. And I think there's nuances to the quality of that being like a personal development. "I take responsibility because it's a morally correct thing to do. And I'm going to take responsibility for what's happening to the oceans, because those assholes did this or that, and I'm taking..." That's really nice and that needs to be fostered. But in a, I feel, again as somewhat non... What's the word I'm looking for? In a way of a leader in that community.
Mason Taylor: (21:39)
Not being responsible for that innocence and not being patronising in pointing out that perhaps this is just a phase and it will ease. But lead by example and show that maybe it will continue to pass in yourself. Let me just talk about the thing, when you talked about taking on responsibility. I think about the quality of that a lot. And as I told you, I'm reevaluating the values. I've got the first real organised offsite going on soon. It's a pillar. Rather than it just being random as I've done it in the past. For us, it's called the immortal dragon, because we look at more, the immortal reality of what we're working with here with the herbs and a business with this particular intention. And then we get to look at 10 years, and three years, and one year, generally, how we're going to orient yourself.
Mason Taylor: (22:34)
And I'm just presenting what I call the virtues, values, principles, whatever. As I was telling you, it's a real, I caught myself going, yeah, I love, I want everyone to be, take responsibility for when things go wrong instead of bringing me the problem. All right, that's it. "So take responsibility, you assholes. There's you go. There's a value in your face, you know?" Or the integrity, "That means you probably show up to a meeting on time. Okay?" Rather than like... Looking back, I've really, I've been wow, I'm looking back at what's there? Which is so exhausting, by the way, to keep up that charade and try and be that authoritarian. Necessary sometimes, that energy.
Mason Taylor: (23:20)
I call them virtues, because virtues in a Daoist sense is what emerges from the organs as a natural process of being in flow, and the Chin-Chi being in flow, and the yin yang undergoing its natural harmonious transformation cycles. Which is the difference between traditional Chinese medicine, which was coined and created, essentially, in the '50s from a deconstructed and an ornamental classical Chinese medicine, arising from Daoism. They're different. Classical, traditional, they're different. People teach traditional now. It's a westernised model, which you can commodify, which is what we've done in business.
Mason Taylor: (23:58)
Yeah. And so-
Just like our current healthcare system, where we started, this breaking it down into a linear, "This herb does this for this and this herb does this for this," rather than looking at the interplay, the spaces between.
Mason Taylor: (24:11)
Yeah. And it's been done very sneakily, because it convinced everyone that they're, you're doing Chinese medicine as it always has been done, just better. It could be a really great opportunity to acknowledge this is a... It's like another arm. There have been so many arms of Daoism. There isn't just one Daoism, there so many arms of Buddhism and ways of approaching life that are earth based. And it's like, "Oh, wow, you've got this interesting, diverse way of approaching it. And we have this way. And wow, great, let's just appreciate their own different languages and have their own specialisations and see what naturally emerges through our collaboration and respect of each other.
Mason Taylor: (24:51)
Western medicine and traditional and Chinese medicine has gone bit off its head, especially Western medicine could be such... Can you imagine if it was fun to play with, in terms of, ah, let's let's jam. But first, "Get out of here. I bloody... If there's anything serious going on, you're not allowed. You're not allowed. That's our..." "And well, what about the fact that you've got an abysmal record on treating disease states and infectious disease?" "Hey, get out of here. We're the best you've got, but you're not even... Ah, I said the best we've got."
See that piece of paper over there? I spent 10 years of my life getting that piece of paper. Yeah. And you know what's funny about that is, is that humour is actually the language of all of us, right?
Mason Taylor: (25:39)
Well, this is where I will... Sorry, there's the one thread I needed to go off, is you said the health scene is at the front. But I would argue it's actually the comedian, coyote energy, Dingo energy, that jester. I would say, it's the comedians. Why comedians have come into such notoriety that are actually... You don't know, is it chicken or egg? Are they at the end of the process? The start of the process? Are they initiating that move towards harmony that the Chi transforming towards the state it means to be? Which has been lost in traditional Chinese medicines, called chi-hua in classical Chinese medicine.
Mason Taylor: (26:14)
Work on that transformation cycle, moving from one space to a different, one formation to another, one bit of resonance with nature to another, yin to yang, yang to yin, aggressive to patient, all those. From passion, exuberant passion, to serenity and different shades of serenity and passion inside of each other. What's that? How are we transforming between spaces? That's the main difference between going, "You're in this disease state, you have these symptoms, I'm going to move you back to balance." Balance is, oh, I'm going to stay there. It's like standing, I'm like, all right, then stop. Your balance just doesn't exist. So that's why I think you bring up humour, Mike, that's the comedians., I feel like the actual ones.
Yeah. And that's really lacking, in particularly, the healthcare system, but a lot of other areas of our life. And-
Mason Taylor: (27:00)
I don't know, those nurses doing those TikToks during the pandemic, they're pretty funny.
Mason Taylor: (27:04)
And so quirky.
And the reason why that's gaining popularity is because that's what-
Mason Taylor: (27:11)
That's the best you've got? "You're so quirky. Oh my God, Sharon, you're dancing in the emergency room? You made a TikTok, you're so quirky." That's what happens when you allow people to laugh at boring jokes. That's when you censor people and don't allow them and your children to be exposed to things that are actually funny and satirical. They think that that's funny, and so quirky.
Yeah, yeah. And do you know what? The-
Mason Taylor: (27:42)
No offence to any nurses who listening. Actually like them.
We love our TikTok nurses here. Do you know... I mean, we even talked... You brought up languages before, and deciding that we have this language and this language, and this is the official language of this country, and this is the official language, and that there are multiple languages. But there are also multiple ways to communicate, there's body language, there's intention, there's energy flow. And humour is the universal language. And anyone that's done any spiritual work, you get to humour and you're like, "Ah, yeah, okay. There's gold here. There's wisdom here."
That is universal. Everyone gets humour. And just looping back to what you were saying around our experts and our doctors or scientists or whoever has the piece of paper it says, I'm the voice of authority. What they don't have is that space for humour and play. And that is part of the healing process. If we look at things holistically, that is completely lacking in our society today, our ability to laugh at ourselves. And with that comes, potentially, the ability to de-identify with these ideologies that we so strongly hold onto. Right? And this is, yeah. Praise.
Mason Taylor: (29:05)
Well, no, you're right. Because the comedians, rightfully so, and it doesn't have to be comedians, people can do it with nuanced, intelligent dialogue, or just living their life out in a way that is integrous, that is offensive to someone else. But that offence, I really, I mean, it's people like, Lena, "What's the one thing you've done to make sure that you really stay on track in your own agency, in essence?" I've really, I've gone, somewhat reluctantly at times, when I've gone with a dog, with a bone, towards the things that really offend me or trigger me, or when I feel personally attacked by someone, I've gone through those initial phases of getting through and realising, oh, my God, tickling a little bit of truth here.
Mason Taylor: (29:48)
What is that truth? What have I not thought about? And just getting offended because I don't actually know how to talk about this thing. I haven't acknowledged it. I actually have left the centre of my essence and who I am, which in Daoism, the element of the spleen soil. I've come too far away from my own groundedness in soil, the centre of my own wheel, my element wheel, and I've gone off with an ideology. And then someone pushes me a little bit, I just fall over rather than standing solo myself. So I've gone, like with a dog with a bone after people who oppose me, to the point where I my self dialogue in the shower used to be about defending my raw foodism, for example. And now, it's turned to... Things would just pop up and I'd be critiquing myself, and I'd be finding myself, trying to defend on myself from these-
Having these internal arguments.
Mason Taylor: (30:39)
Yes. I know exactly what you mean.
Mason Taylor: (30:42)
And now, I really seek them. I really seek them out. It's a really high-quality thing. Whether you consider yourself comedically driven or not. For me, that's actually all I wanted to do as a kid. As an 18-year-old, leaving school, I was like, the only thing I like is comedy, but I couldn't see any... I didn't find myself particularly funny at that point. And without life experience, I don't think I was. But I was like, all right, cool, suppress that and go forward and try and find myself in other ways of being in ideological circles. And then it ends up here and I'm like, oh, cool. I do like comedy again.
Mason Taylor: (31:17)
Anyone can develop that skill to watch for the thing that triggers you the most. It's like, at this point, I can't think of an example where someone getting triggered, I think it can be used. It doesn't mean you need to make yourself bad. And if you're triggered, you can use that passion that you have, of course, to advocate for what you feel and know is true. I'm not saying everyone just becomes like a floppy fish and just never actually has any conviction because you know your opinion's going to change. It's different.
Mason Taylor: (31:45)
Watch your edges, watch you don't go too far into dictating, because you don't actually know what you're going to find out later. And you might get a little bit embarrassed looking back at the things that you said 10 years ago, projecting your shit on everyone else. But nonetheless, you really got to go looking and searching for those things that trigger the shit out of you. That's what comedians do, and that's what intelligent people do. And there's some things, there's some really heinous things out there, things to talk about. And so, you got to be really gentle with yourself to not go too far into the trigger that you're in, your actually sympathetic nervous system, your fight or flight. You need to just sit on that edge.
Mason Taylor: (32:23)
And even those things that really trigger you the most, if you can just sit there and be, okay, if one thing you haven't thought about it from all angles in order to really stand firm and solid within your conviction and have your roots growing deep, and actually know you're not reacting because you actually have spent time contemplating it. Or, it is going to be something where it's going to be an exercise in developing empathy if someone brings up something that's so in opposition, feels so heinous to you. Capacity for you to widen your capacity to empathise and be like, where is this coming from? What is this a symptom of? But not go into that reaction. Non-reaction is a thing that everyone's like, "Don't react, don't go into non-reaction." I go into reaction all the time and then I contemplate it. You know?
Yeah. And developing that sense of self-awareness and self reflection, it's really key. I mean, what we do, what I've certainly done and what I've observed others doing is yes, we attach ourselves to an ideology, whatever it may be, and then we integrate that into our identity. I definitely did this with veganism, right?
Mason Taylor: (33:43)
Yeah, haven't we all?
Mason Taylor: (33:46)
I mean, we've all gone through that one, which is like, "Guys, I found the answer."
Mason Taylor: (33:51)
"Seriously guys. Guys, seriously."
I found the answer, climate, environment, health, everything. This is a silver bullet. If we just all did this and if you all thought the same way I did, the world would be amazing. And what happens is that we then absorb that ideology into who we are. We define ourselves by it and go, "I am James, and I am a vegan." And then later when things change, because everything changes, maybe new information comes to light, maybe new feelings or intuitions come up, maybe just, that was served a purpose for a period of time in your life, but it's not the way you're supposed to live your life forever. We never talk about that. And things in diet and lifestyle might change with age.
But a lot of people will do one of two things, they'll either hold onto that ideology so strongly, because letting go of it means to actually break down their identity and that's scary. That's terrifying to break down your identity and reflect on who you are and go, "Whoa, I was walking a path, but now I need to walk a different path." A lot of people aren't willing to do that. And that's with a lot of things, religion, relationships, so many things. People get stuck on a certain path because they've identified with it and are not willing to break that down and change?
Mason Taylor: (35:10)
Because it's embarrassing as well.
It's embarrassing. It's hard. Might be guilt or shame or whatever wrapped up in that. And that's really hard and there's no pathway for people to be nurtured or mentored through that, breaking down that identity. And a lot of people have dark nights of the souls or midlife crisis or whatever, and they blow their life up because they haven't, they don't know this way to actually change and break down who they were and become the next person themselves. And in doing that, sometimes people do the opposite and they swing and they go-
Mason Taylor: (35:38)
Swing big time.
... the complete opposite. But what they're doing, it's the same approach. You're still absorbing an ideology, it's just a different one.
Mason Taylor: (35:46)
I mean, that's because it's at that point, and I get it. And I think this is a very valid, psychological aspect, as long as it doesn't get attached to. But you're so embarrassed and you maybe got the tattoo, even if you got the just the tattoo via your branding. And the only way for you to justify the swing is to treat yourself like I was a victim to something and therefore you play the poor me card, or now I'm empowered and I'm going to pick up the torch and pitch fork, which is just as boring. And sometimes people get stuck there for the rest of their lives. And you feel, that's the difference between let's paint some fun, let's make sure that we trigger a couple of people.
Mason Taylor: (36:27)
I don't mean form jokes or anything like that, but you go from a vegan male, who's got a tofu penis from being vegan to being, so often, and they go in the other direction, and then they just begin into carnivorism. And so, rather than become that spongy, soft piece of meat that can't actually get anything done in the world, you go to a rigid meat-eating, ancestral, leathery, uninteresting piece of flesh that doesn't actually have any form or function. It just sits there being resentful towards its previous self and other people that oppose their life. Now, it's a natural progression, but it's really uninteresting. And again, it's the education that you're going to go through this process. Don't worry, you're going to come out the other side of it. This too shall pass.
In a way, it's actually, we're still seeking that quick fix. Just how we can practically, we're looking for that quick fix for this symptom or this quick fix for this issue. What people are doing, what we're doing when we attach ourselves to these ideologies is we're looking for that quick fix for who we are. We're not actually doing the inner work, the shadow work and understanding who we are, what we want, how we want to live our lives and constantly doing that. You can just do that once and go, "This is me." Doing that over and over again. Instead of doing that, which is hard, which is really fucking hard.
I actually spent three days last week in silence, fasting in a cave, right? That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I literally didn't move. I just sat there for three days with my thoughts and no technology, no food, no one to speak to, nothing. And that was one of the hardest things I've ever done, because it was this, all of these thoughts and emotions and feelings and reflections and everything came up. And we don't do that. And instead, what we do is we look for that quick fix and go, oh, here's this religion or here's this spirituality, or here's this ideology and that's who I am, and that's how I fill the whole in my heart of, because what I haven't been able to cultivate myself. Right?
Mason Taylor: (38:23)
And then just go and gathering evidence and justification for why that's a really good place for you to be. It's like, "Hey bro, when I have a hard-on it's like tofu. Yeah, I don't think girls even like hard, rock-hard cocks. Yeah, let's shadow the patriarchy by having tofu boners for the rest of our life. Yeah, high five, man. Yeah, let's do it. I'm a feminist now. That's why I have a tofu hard on, a soft spongy..." And you can see they're like, "Do you guys even hear yourself?" But I have a lot of empathy because you got to talk to, you got to be, "I'm right. Am I? I'm good."
And then, "I found this guy. This guy's a vegan body builder, so I'm going to follow him and look, he looks fucking strong."
Mason Taylor: (39:07)
Oh, my God. Yeah.
And then it becomes this echo chamber because you wake up, first thing you see on your phone is reinforcing the belief that you've chosen, because you haven't actually looked at every single avenue and cultivated it within yourself what you truly are. And say, "Well, that guy."
Mason Taylor: (39:25)
And I think it really needs to come back. I mean, hey guys, it's like coming at it from, I watch myself... When I get bored with my... Often at times, that's how I use it as my barometer of what I consider interesting and impactful. They're like two axis. Which is funnily, how we choose what projects are coming next in the business, how, the impact it's going to have and how important or interesting it is. Which I think interesting is a nicer word than important. But you can see why it's relevant in business terms.
Mason Taylor: (40:01)
But there's been several times where I've been looking down the trajectory of my life, going, "Mason, seriously, I know your talking points. I know what you've got the capacity to talk about at a party. I know you're thinking about what you're going to say next, rather than listening to someone anymore. You're boring, man. You're really boring. And I know it's scary, but I think you need to take off again. Go get your bag, your swag, and let's philosophically go and find something else which might be in opposition to other thoughts."
Mason Taylor: (40:34)
And I know Tahnee, my wife, brings up, comes up a lot at the moment, David White? I think he's the Irish poet? He was in, was he... I actually haven't listened too much his stuff. I've listened to a little bit on that wake up podcast that I used for a little bit. The Sam Harris one, but he's got a few. He talks about breaking promises and the promises that we make that we, at the time, have so sincere. But being aware that a part of making a promise is the likelihood that you weren't able to actually fully make that promise. And having an awareness that there will be an aspect or all of it that you will break at some point, and giving yourself the space to break up with that promise and honour it and not go into a wrong or right.
Mason Taylor: (41:20)
You can't experience that magic within a solely speaking, the reductionist, colonised mind language. You can only speak that in experiencing the true nature of the continuous, never-ending, infinite dance and harmony that is life, that is creation. And there's the feeling, no beginning and end and feeling that there is energy constantly transforming between expressions and various nuances. You can't experience that. And so, it makes it very hard to go, "But I promised myself I'd always be into raving." "I promised myself that Tiësto would always be my..." I thought I'd go before my vegan raw food days. And then that promise, I just remember that promise I made to myself when I was 17. It's yeah, you can take what you took, but you're going to break a promise to yourself.
And having that forgiveness of yourself. You actually were not in a position to make that promise to start with.
Mason Taylor: (42:24)
Maybe it doesn't even take forgiveness, at some point. But in the beginning, it's a great function.
And those are a few examples that we can laugh at, but what about relationships, marriages? That's-
Mason Taylor: (42:37)
"I will never let anything happen to you," and then something happens to you. That's what, David, that's what the one Tahnee I talk about. "I will protect you from everything forever." Such a beautiful thing for... And I connect to it like a young father. You probably relate to what a beautiful, naive thing. Don't burst that bubble.
The intention's pure.
Mason Taylor: (42:58)
When someone gets into vegan, I go, hey, I'm finding raw foodism and I'm finding veganism and I'm connecting to... Did you know this about the cows and they're knocking down the Amazon and this... and cows... cattle, the number one thing contributing, blah, blah. It's like, wow, what a beautiful place to be? And where I'm at is naïve. For them, that could be a real, it's quite mature.
Well, what they're doing is they're questioning and they're learning. That's a step, and there'll be stumbles. But that is beautiful because regardless of whatever ideology or diet or lifestyle, whatever they've chosen, what they are doing is they are questioning and trying to find what's true for themselves, and that is what's beautiful about it.
Mason Taylor: (43:40)
Well, you can see where I have a, probably a leaning towards the capacity for cynicism, more than anything. You can see it maybe in a relationship, "I'm going to love you forever." And you can see once you've been through, whether if you've loved and lost a few times, or whether you've been through some ideology and had starry eyes about the magic of the world, or the capacity for miracles, for health and healing, whatever it is, and then you get your bubble burst a couple of times.
Mason Taylor: (44:16)
If there isn't a mature conversation within that, say, health scene or activist scene, or what David's talking about around relationships, there's no ceremony around closure and it just stays open ended, you become cynical. Fucking love is a lie. All these people getting into veganism, I'm going to come and burst your bubble way too soon. It's like, whoa, whoa, whoa, everyone's constantly budding in some new way. We should be very gentle with these buds. But how about contribute to the environment?
Mason Taylor: (44:50)
That, perhaps through your experience, you have the capacity now to go through your initiation processes, to become an elder within this scene, potentially, where you can share, to the best of your ability, without projecting it on everyone, the capacity for them to take that and integrate that wisdom and be the guiding light for them to go through their process, to integrate through that process, and then maybe exit in a little bit of a smoother way than you. That's why I like talking about this a lot, because I don't know how else to bring that awareness to the health scene to ensure that there is a bit more custodianship through that process.
But, of course, and you talked about you're doing 10-year strategy and business development, things like that. And holding that context, because in 10 years time, there'll be a new thing, there'll be new science, there'll be new products, there'll be new ingredients, there'll be new influencers, there'll be new ways of communicating. So, if we fixate ourselves on this plan and these values and these product, that's probably going to change in 10 years time, man. So we've got to have...
It's actually less about the things, the whats that we put down on paper, it's less about what we are, who we are and what we want to do. It's more about how we be, how we approach, right? Which, you can say, apply that to a business context. You can apply that to our personal lives. And to your point before, looping back to the comedic thing. Comedy and humour plays a role in, yes, in those transition phases. It allows us a socially-acceptable way, sometimes not socially accepted, but generally, socially-acceptable way to poke and prod and jest and play with these ideas that, hang on, this is fucking crazy what we're doing.
We can laugh about it, but then we can reflect and go, oh shit, it's the leading edge of change, these comedians. And the fact that so many comedians right now are getting so much air time. You look at the Joe Rogans, the Russell Brands, et cetera, who are completely outperforming all of the mainstream media, just maybe points to, are we in this moment, collectively, of quite radical change in the way in which we be and the way in which the world is and how we're interacting? Are some of these traditional systems starting to break down?
And we're just on the precipice and time is relative. It's multi-generational, I'm talking about here. But are we just on the precipice of a new way of being? And I think that perhaps we are. It's potentially really exciting time. There's probably never been a more exciting time where we're waking up, and I'll use that term, waking up or awakening, but realising that there is more to the way in which we've been living. Right? And that's fascinating and that's beautiful, and to have... Who would've thought it would be comedians that would be leading us there?
Mason Taylor: (48:07)
It is a crazy thought and I've personally, I'm like yeah, that's what I've always valued. That's what I valued. Went through a, could've very easily been for me, a heavily, heavily indoctrinated Western way of living. Isn't a bad thing. Maybe that would've just been, and maybe that's what I would've needed in that life is a little bit of extra religious and Western education system indoctrination for a little bit of extra challenge. But for this, I can't... It seems silly to people, I can't express enough of the debt of gratitude I have towards The Simpsons, South Park, for that emancipation through satire of clinical ways of living.
Mason Taylor: (48:55)
We've talked, you're talking about comedians, and maybe there's a waking up. Whatever we call this reality, universe, whatever, I'm inclusive, even for your flat earthers, infinite plane, whatever it is, from what's been observed in the wisdom, or the wisdom texts, and across many, many thousands of years, it's always going to bring itself. It's going to continue to come back into harmony. Always. There's no stopping it. That's why I like the wisdom text. That's why I really enjoy the classical Daoist, the classical Chinese medicine, Daoist style of living, because it's real and perceivable. It engages the senses. It's just being.
Mason Taylor: (49:39)
It's like, we have been really experimenting with a fringe field of experience of reductionism and think that that's everything, which it's not. It's a fringe field of exploration and now, if in that correction, which I could just, this is a dance in coming into harmony, and many of us feeling perhaps moving back into a harmonious place, that's where we go, ah, not only is that language of reductionism, maybe not reality, it's maybe just, perhaps it is, language isn't necessary at all. These languages aren't... It's the difference between a commercial kitchen and going into a kitchen of a family or Italian mama, Greek mama, just a mama who's, brings your senses alive. She's not-
Soul food, right?
Mason Taylor: (50:29)
... She's not thinking about your adrenal gland secretions. She's not thinking about iron metabolism, she's not thinking about, "It's been clinically shown that when you come into a house and those aromatics hit you, that serotonin is released and that 50% is in the gut." Those things are nice. They're not real. You can't sustain thinking about it for 50 years straight. It is impossible and it is foolish to try and attempt to get people to live in that robotic manner.
Mason Taylor: (50:57)
You've completely ignored the actual state that people in when culture emerges within your family and within the heart of the home and within the family, love between you and yourself and your partner. Those reductionist things, it's such a beautiful... I understand. I love it. I love it. I love talking about it, I love diving into those places and those realms. And then, my God, we've got no boundaries in our world because we've got F'd spleen health, spleen soil. Health is absolutely shot due to the way that we live.
Mason Taylor: (51:32)
Therefore, from the Daoist perspective, anyway, we have no capacity for bonds and boundaries, for genuine deep relationship to emerge from us in relationship between us and the sun, each other, ourselves, children, all of that. And then the boundaries, bonds and boundaries, to have a boundary and be like, hey, looking into the minutia of endocrine and immune systems is really great, but now we're putting up a breakwall of soil and now boundary is now there. And we are not going to sustain that way of thinking, thank you very much, in the home. This is a place to feel and be in reality.
And just like we talked about when, we as individuals, or we witness someone else who's in their personal lives, finding this ideology, and then they're in that for a few years, and then they go, "Oh, wait, no, that was wrong." And they're stumbling, and they go over here and they're trying to find this one. I mean, that's the only way they can, we can find what's true, and our path, and that's going to change constantly over time. It's not like you go, "Ah, here's the path and I found it. Great, now I'm done." That is constantly changing. It's constant process of evolution and change and reflection, and just, as you say, harmony.
And then we step back and we think about the way in which we live our lives here on earth as a society, as earthlings. That's the only way we can find that constant change. Well, how do we know that this reductionist way doesn't work? Well, the only way we know is by trying it, and that's what we're doing right now is we're in it, we're trying it. We go, ah, and we're starting to realise, oh, okay we're fuck, oh, okay, there's some problems with this.
And the comedians are helping put us out. They're like the guys going, "Guys, the emperor's got no fucking clothes on." Right? And oh, okay, shit. Wow, yep, okay. Now, let's try going over here. And it's just around holding that with the right intention and way of being to approach it in that way of, yeah, harmony and understanding, rather than going, "Oh, well, capitalism's wrong, so it must be communism. Well, communism's wrong, so it must be this." It's-
Mason Taylor: (53:30)
Yeah. My God, one of the more boring...
It's not the what, it's the how, you know? Yeah, I just... Reflecting on it that way and going, well, do you know, we were always going to get here. It's not like we've done anything wrong. We were always going to get here. This is how it's supposed to be. So this is where we're at. And just acknowledging that this is a step on the journey, right?
Mason Taylor: (53:57)
That's it, man. I can sense we're coming into land soon. And I think the only point that I, the only thing I left open, which would be nice to tie off is finally bringing up what when we're talking about the value principles, the virtues. Which I look back, I could passive-aggressively say what I want the values to be and project on future Mason and SuperFeast and team, what we're going to do. You can see where that leads you open to ideology because you're outside of reality. You can feel well, there's no capacity just to...
Mason Taylor: (54:33)
Where I came to was, I'm like, what have we done? What have we done in the past? How did we end up here? We couldn't have ever planned for it. And I like having a crystal ball to the best of my ability to understand where we're going to be in 10 years. So I'm not against that, but with it being grounded in reality. The capacity for that to emerge, I realised is up there, and so is the Zhi. The zenith of the Zhi is I do my best not to appropriate or slice out aspects of Daoist philosophy and just try and put them in a Western model.
Mason Taylor: (55:14)
So I'm feeling like, wow, we've really embodied that. And SuperFeast really embodied that. Which is, you might have heard the three treasures Jing, Chi, Shen. Of course, you have, we've talked about it. We talk about that plenty in SuperFeast, the three treasures of the body, which we guard and we cultivate, and we have reverence for our Jing, that foundational capacity, the potential Chi. We bring animation to that potential. And then the Shen is that capacity for our mind and our personality, and our infinite spirit to cultivate wisdom and learn from wisdom and allow that to be expressed. So you become a legend when you're 80 are [inaudible 00:55:55] asshole but projects your shit all over everybody.
There's that metaphor of the candle, right?
Mason Taylor: (55:59)
Yeah, exactly. But we look at a little bit of that why. Why are we doing this? And that's why there is a fourth treasure that makes sense of it. Which is, each organ system, if it is allowed to flow, and what does that mean? It's transforming between yin and yang, expressions. And for some people, that's fun to look into anatomical ways of what pointing to there. And for other people, it can be an experience tied in with emotional expressions and seeing the alchemical process of going from yin to yang and yang to yin and feeling, wow, I can really perceive my, that kidney water Chi in the winter or winter times during my life, so on and so forth.
Mason Taylor: (56:44)
But when that system, the kidney water, is in harmony to the best of our ability, and it always is to an extent, from it emerges its personality or it's spirit, which again, doesn't have to be literal. Maybe some people helps for it to be literal, whatever. You can put an animal on it and an archetype on it, like a Sage, doesn't really matter. It's whatever works while respecting the completeness of the system that that came from. Because you can't just cut, you can't just scalpel, cut things out that you like and then leave the rest. Because there's probably, oh, maybe we've been doing that, and maybe we've left parts of the process behind. And maybe there are other aspects, like how to know, how to then put down tools of an ideology and move on.
Mason Taylor: (57:31)
Anyway, so Zhi is will, the fourth treasure, your will. So when... and emerges from that, the kidney water flowing. So there's a lot that can go into what, the whole system needs to flow, for the kidney waters to flow, including going through your dark nights of the soul, emerging from them, with wisdom and integrating that wisdom. A lot to do with your Jing. So people who know Jing, it's your capacity. So you make sure you're not leaking it with like excessive lifestyle and the lifestyle that doesn't leave you susceptible to exhaustion. You're not aggressively ageing, so on and so forth.
Mason Taylor: (58:08)
But it's capacity as well. So when you have, when you've got, you're doing enough in life where you're not going beyond your capacity, you can potentially get to the point where you're not even leaking Jing, which is also tied around knee health and bone health, and marrow, and your capacity to reproduce cells and heal your libido, your sexual vigour, the foundations for mental acuity. It's the foundation without the wax of the candle, a flame light coming off it.
Mason Taylor: (58:36)
But from that, we see the emergence of the personality of the kidneys, which is I really, I have a capacity and I naturally, not because I think it's the right thing to do, I can feel a spontaneous, rising capacity and desire to take on some responsibility. I want weight, I want weight on my shoulders. Not superficial weight. I don't want it branded I care. And I don't want to jump onto some bandwagon of activism because it seems like I care, although they're nice. They're like initiation processes. I really, I desire responsibility and the weight on my shoulders. And it's invisible and it's hard to articulate then what you want to go and use that on.
Mason Taylor: (59:18)
It's not for, it's never for a particular cause. You feel it emerge and you go, "Oh, wow, I've got capacity and very, very sincere to desire to take on weight." There's a willingness, therefore it, and then a hunger for it, tied in with your Jing, which Jing dictates to you, if you aren't living, say, let's go to the bastardised term of sustainable, sustainably within your own system. You are going to start sacrificing your essence now, your physical potential essence now, in order to get what you need to get done, and you're going to pay for it when you're 60, 70, 80, 90, and you will degenerate.
Mason Taylor: (01:00:06)
But when you work within your system, say, sustainably, let's say, in a non-politicised reality of what sustainability is, where perhaps you're actually cultivating and you're living responsibly in harmony with what you consider to be the real life around you, nature around you to the best of your ability, then that willingness and that desire emerges. And then you naturally start looking at your environment and then localization, I feel emerges from there. Because it's like, you're in reality. What do I naturally have the capacity to impact right now?
Mason Taylor: (01:00:40)
If you superficially take up your pitchfork around something, like global warming or pharmaceutical companies, but it's superficial, if you're actually in your essence, you can feel that that doesn't have any weight. So you can feel you're not actually doing anything, you're just trying to cultivate, or you're just trying to go and grab a morality identity, which is a good process to be on. But at some point, how about you actually take a little bit of weight and burden. And that's where you see it all around you. You, you see people, "Fuck, that person was rad."
You can feel it.
Mason Taylor: (01:01:20)
What the fuck is going on with that... They're rad.
You get it. You can feel it. You just get it. It's unspoken. Yeah. It's another language that we all speak. We just get it. Sometimes you bump into someone and the opposite happens. You see someone talk or you bump into someone or you see a business doing something, and there may not be a rational fault maybe, at that point in time. But you're like, "Something's fishy here."
Mason Taylor: (01:01:49)
Yeah. I mean, it's like when I saw the head of Amazon. I was at a little influencer conference thing in, oh God, I think it's in the same... Is it where...? Not in Arizona. Anyway, somewhere deserty in America. Anyway, Arizona? Yeah.
Somewhere barren, void of life.
Mason Taylor: (01:02:12)
Yeah. The saguaro cactuses are all around, which is... Anyway, the head of Whole Foods came and spoke and he was like... Anyway... Foods, like tofu, someone, I was like, that was the flabbiest speech, that was so transparent. This is sometimes this is where my cynicism comes in. I'm like, "Did you people all fall for that?" Him coming up and trying to convince me that when Amazon walked into the room, it was this, maybe this is his truth, but the way, going, oh, Amazon walked in and it was like when you're a teenager and someone comes in, you're so attracted to them, you're like, "Oh my, God, I like them." And then Amazon was like, "Oh, we want to buy you." And they're like, "Oh, my God, they like us." And it was just this perfect union. And I'm like, this guy believes his own... He believes the shit-
Believes his own story.
Mason Taylor: (01:03:04)
... coming out of his mouth right now. You can just feel... I'm not saying, he's just maybe naive in how to communicate the fact that this was right for him. But I'm like, don't try and appropriate authentic, this is on mission for me and this has substance. Don't try and project that shit on me. It's the same when companies are bought and the people buying them, their PR department come in and tell them the way that you need to frame it that's like... Don't insult us. Don't insult us with this bullshit. You've got no weight.
Mason Taylor: (01:03:42)
There's no genuine Zhi. You're not charismatic anymore. And I can see you've built... Maybe you've progressed beyond the essence of what your core mission, why, when you cared about how you did it and the quality of the product, the quality of, "I'm selling because my initial mission was to connect with as many people, and bring these products to as many people as possible." Did you ever have anything in your mission about the quality of the way that you were touching those people? Don't bullshit me. Don't bullshit me. I can feel it's hollow.
Mason Taylor: (01:04:17)
So there's a lot of... That's that Zhi, I'm actually taking on more responsibility. I can feel. And if someone says that, it might be an unpopular decision. And I've watched people sell, and I'm like, you know what? I think that person, they're trying to articulate something new and interesting, which no PR department would ever be able to produce, and I appreciate it. It's a tricky thing to do.
Mason Taylor: (01:04:40)
If you've had to acknowledge that the promise you made at the start of the company is changed for you, and you're needing to break up for it and your core community don't understand it, yet you stick around long enough and you treat them with enough respect and you put your head on the line and you acknowledge, "I've said one thing, I'm doing another, and I'm going to really try and articulate this new territory that I feel I really want to and have to walk in." I respect that, but not the shit show that you see in food, yeah.
And not always, but quite often, a clear indicator of that is, if someone needs to explain themselves, so okay, something's out of alignment here. Something's not coming out of authenticity. Because when people do stuff, even if it's radical or weird or different or change, if it's true, then you're, "Okay, well, I can see where they're coming from," or, "I get it," or, "I sense that from them." They're changing, whatever, that's their truth. But if someone needs to curate an explanation and they're considering, particularly PR teams, and they're considering how that is going to be perceived and that languaging, then already, you're okay, this has gone foul. Right?
Mason Taylor: (01:05:52)
Such an indicator. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Mason Taylor: (01:05:54)
That needed a little Chapelle... Stanks!
Ah, man. And so, yeah, we could go on for hours, I think. And I love this. This booth is conducive to that.
Mason Taylor: (01:06:07)
A little bit of a hot box today, which is nice. I'm in the hot seat.
Yeah, get you sweating.
Mason Taylor: (01:06:15)
You're like, what isn't he telling me?
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Just trying to dig in here. Are you about to sell...? No. I think maybe we will land it there, Mason, but maybe we just, I don't know, pick something in the future to loop back. Because this was a lot of fun. This is one of the least structured and most fun conversations I've had in a long time. And we didn't talk at all about mushrooms or SuperFeast or any of that, how I built this stuff, and I love that. I love that. That is quite unique in that sense.
Mason Taylor: (01:06:44)
Thanks, man, And look, I really appreciate... You've got such an engagement with your path, not in particular area here, that it naturally opens up a space where I feel I'm like, yeah, I'm going to explore and get a little bit clearer on actually how I think about this. I love these conversations. I know I'm coming out of good podcast energy when I'm, yeah, I'm feeling way clearer there about my business or my approach to virtues and values and all that kind of stuff.
Mason Taylor: (01:07:19)
And I think I quite often, when I go and do a talk, it's like the introduction to Daoist herbs and medicine or mushrooms, I get to the last 10 minutes and I'm like, "Oh, I should probably mention the product." But I mean, it works. It's worked for me for nearly 11 years. I'm sure you understand and appreciate how it's, sometimes it doesn't even matter. People don't need to know the ins and outs of the products. They don't even know, little extract powders in jars. They don't know how to use them. But well, that's, what's behind it. That's what's behind this company.
People connect with the people. Because all a business is just a manifestation or a front of the people behind the business, right? Because people connect much more deeply with the people and the personalities and the energy and the intention behind a brand rather than the product itself. The product might be good, but they won't be loyal. They'll chop and change. Whereas, if the reason why this form of media is becoming so popular is because it's so lacking. And it's this idea of these campfire, sitting around the campfire, looking into someone's eyes for an hour and having a deep philosophical conversation.
When do we ever do that? You know? And so people, not only is it beneficial for the people having the conversation, but for anyone listening to the conversation, because you can't get that anywhere else. And that's what people will resonate with more, I think. Well, personally, that's my experience is. If I hear someone and I like the cut of their jib, I'm, "Cool, I'm going to go support their product." So yeah, I'll direct people in the intro to what SuperFeast is, but, I mean, a lot of people will already know because you guys are just killing it anyway.
Mason Taylor: (01:08:53)
Yeah. I mean, I will finish on. I haven't got a chance to get in and talk about the products. But there's one thing about SuperFeast. We're coming up 11 years on since I bought that shelf company and named it SuperFeast. We get to work with some pretty magical herbs. And I talked about a chicken and the egg around, are comedians the initiators, or are they the end point bringing us into harmony at the end of a process? It's like that with Daoist herbalism and these mushrooms and risomes, and berries and some animal, like deer antlers, pearls and these herbs, even some clays.
Mason Taylor: (01:09:37)
Coming from these ancient texts, that you go past the text part and you go past, and you look at, think about how many humans have gone and how many millions of humans and how many unfathomable hours have gone into going out and experimenting with, first of all, what plants and mushrooms work and don't? And then sitting in lifetimes, decades, maybe a whole lifetime spent just contemplating reishi. How does that feel? How does your Eucommia bark feel? Wow, it's good for treating a broken bone or yang-Jing deficiency, whatever that is for them. And then developing an awareness of something that's perceivable and then feeling how that relates to terminology emerging from that perception of yang, say yang Jing, in that instance.
Mason Taylor: (01:10:22)
And then going, oh wow, and identifying what Eucommia bark does as you integrate it into your diet long term. And then starting to go, maybe we need to systemize this to an extent where we don't lose the essence. But we can encapsulate the fact that these herbs are cultivators of life versus healers of symptoms in the way that we collaborate with them. And we will call them tonic, even though all herbs and medicines are tonic, if you catch them at the right time, because you understand how to read the body and where it's at within its yin-yang whooshing cycle, the transformation between yin and yang within the elements.
Mason Taylor: (01:10:57)
If you go a little bit, you hone in a little bit more, anything can be tonic and adaptogenic if you get it at the right time. Whereas, these tonic herbs, they're really forgiving. And the band is way wider. So, for a layperson, you can bring that into your kitchen, your household, with slight awareness of how to use herbs and you can connect with this lineage. Imagine how many millions of people have gone into bringing us that? And let alone the fact these herbs have been so rare, you had to become a recluse or go and work within, do your work within a particular temple that was, chosen those sacred sites.
Mason Taylor: (01:11:39)
Because now, within China, there's, okay, good spring water, there's tea here, there's lots of tonic herbs. Wow, there's Schisandra here. Up north, there's Chaga here, there's Siberian ginseng here. There's Schisandra here, there's ginseng here, right? This is a place to base yourself and connect with my role, my capacity to become a bridge between heaven and earth and learn what it is for my Chi to flow and become harmonious, and then capture that and describe it and have philosophical conversations.
Mason Taylor: (01:12:08)
Imagine how many campfire conversations have gone into us now being able to offer these herbs, which are very rare. Oh, so either the recluses or the emperors and the upper class that can get access to these most precious herbs, astragaluses, ginsengs, deer antler velvets, Schisandras, the gojis to an extent, and then evolving and then feeling that there is a movement that doesn't... It's nice to see that there's somewhat of a branch off of, to an extent commodification and looking at people, reducing it to its parts, so explore how we can help on the fringes.
Mason Taylor: (01:12:45)
But that's become a dominant narrative. And there are peoples staying in that classical connection to what is the personality of these herbs? And how do we respect and review these herbs? And what needs to be in place to ensure that we don't go into complete commodification and deconnect, and disconnection from ourselves. And so, to that extent, to get to this point here, where we, within this big... I've got a little video series. Sometimes I do it and I go into these, go around to Byron Bay and I just get a video of everyone enjoying themselves and go, "We now return to another instalment of white people enjoying the empire." You know?
Mason Taylor: (01:13:25)
But I try, and that's where my comedic nature helps me inquire about myself and what I'm actually doing here, because it's quite a head fuck, to be honest, to be working within a lineage and be walking that line of, am I using it? Is it using me? Are we in collaboration? Am I just bullshitting myself? What's actually happening here? So I use comedy to narrate and take the piss out of myself. Nothing can deny, if you drop into what's gone into ensuring that these herbs, the Daoists, they're like, "The precious herbs. These are the superior herbs, messengers from heaven. They are so special." And what they allow in terms of a cultivation of a capacity for life to be protected inside of yourself rather than just used and commodified itself, is very special and huge to me.
Mason Taylor: (01:14:20)
And so, that's to be getting to the point where the business is scaling naturally on its own accord and being able to go in a way, and have these kinds of conversations where I can really get into my internal process of how we do this, while ensuring that that essence and gratitude is we're just an extension of that. And all those lives that have gone in to having a relationship and seeing what this collaboration and friendship between these herbs and humans are, and animals, what it actually really is. So if anyone wanted a little snapshot around what SuperFeast is, that's it.
I think that comes through beautifully as well. You guys do such a good job. It's clear that you're not just, "Hey, here's a supplement that this biohacker said is good for you." You know? And which you're going to try to capitalise on it by making a shit tonne of money. It's the polar opposite of that. It's exactly, I couldn't describe it better. You've just summed it up beautifully. It's the completeness, the reverence for these herbs that you are just... They're not yours that you have taken and patented and sold. You're just supporting the process of getting this to people and helping people connect with that deeper sense of long-held tradition and culture that we have completely lost. And that comes through in the brand and the business.
And I think that's what people connect with. It might take a bit longer for people to get that and grasp that. But when they do, it's, "Wow, okay, this is real, and I feel it and I sense it." And then that comes through in all the other generous things you guys do, fuck, the amount of podcasts and blogs and information that you put out for free for people to read and hear and understand. It just goes so much deeper. And it's just clear that that's true. And I just, I think you guys should be commended on that. So I'll thank you for not only your time and having this conversation, and having a lot of fun, but also, yeah, what you guys are doing. The work that you're doing, it's really important. So thanks for you.
Mason Taylor: (01:16:23)
Thank you. Really appreciate it.
Yeah, been a pleasure.
Mason Taylor: (01:16:25)
Well, has been.
Yeah. We shall, I don't know, we shall do another one sometime. Maybe I'll curate it a bit more, but we'll see.
Mason Taylor: (01:16:33)
We've got the SuperFeast podcast to jump on and then we've got my scallywag podcast, Mason Taylor Show. We'll have to jump on there.
You want to put a couple on your platforms?
Mason Taylor: (01:16:44)
Yeah, I think so.
All right. Sweet.
Mason Taylor: (01:16:45)
I mean, this was a good chat. I feel, I don't know, I'm like, this would be an amazing chat, even to put on the SuperFeast platform. And then maybe we can just go on the Mason Taylor Show and just cut loose. There's no need for professionalism there.
Let's do it. This was professional? All right. Awesome. Cheers, brother.
Mason Taylor: (01:17:05)