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10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Magic mushrooms, designer babies, and more…

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)
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I like Stoic philosophy.

To me, it just seems like common sense. Control your thoughts. Let go of things you cannot control. Etc.

The books in today’s list range from history and biology to Stoicism and technology.

They are recommended by Joe Rogan.

Joe Rogan is known for his podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’. As of 9th Feb, Joe Rogan announced its renewed comeback on YouTube and Spotify.

Along with his podcast, Joe Rogan has been a UFC commentator, comedian, and actor.

Let’s go through his book recommendations one by one!

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

How much change is too much change?

The authors tell us that the human body and mind are the same as in ancient times.

But our environment has evolved rapidly. Humans are adapted for change but not at the rate it is taking place now.

“…if we don’t figure out how to grapple with the problem of accelerating novelty, humanity will perish, a victim of its success.”

We weren’t meant to live the way we are living. For example, humans used to live in social groups. But now, we don’t even know our neighbors.

The authors tackle different topics like sex, education, and sleep.

Regarding education, they tell us that humans learn by observing and experimenting, not by sitting in classrooms.

“Our differences are fascinating, but our similarities make us human.”

Sex-based differences are real. No matter how much they are denied, the population level averages tell us about physical and psychological differences between the two sexes.

This lesson of the book is simple. We are not built for the modern world. And this desynchronization is harming us.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Are natural psychedelics good for us?

Joe Rogan’s official website lists him as a psychedelic adventurer.

Obviously, he is going to include a book that is a proponent of drug taking.

Terence McKenna was a mystic who spoke frequently on topics such as shamanism and magic mushrooms. He promoted the use of natural psychedelics as a way of exploring the universe and establishing a harmonious relationship with nature.

“The monstrous forces of scientific industrialism and global politics that have been born into modern times were conceived at the time of the shattering of the symbiotic relationships with the plants that had bound us to nature from our dim beginnings.”

This book argues the same.

The author traces the use of plant-based drugs like magic mushrooms and more throughout human history.

“Television is by nature the dominator drug par excellence. Control of content, uniformity of content, repeatability of content make it inevitably a tool of coersion, brainwashing, and manipulation.”

For someone who is strongly against drug use, this book offers little value. But for someone who wants to understand the history of psychedelics, this provides relevant information.

My whole argument is… poisonous plants also exist in nature. Why don’t we overdose on them?

Just because something exists in nature, doesn’t mean it is good for us.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Fix your breathing. Fix your life.

James Nestor makes us realize the importance of breathing in the right way.

Through his own experiences, he came to realize how important it was to breathe properly. This realization sent him down the path of research and understanding.

“Our bodies operate most efficiently in a state of balance, pivoting between action and relaxation, daydreaming and reasoned thought. This balance is influenced by the nasal cycle…”

We follow Nestor as he meets freedivers. Some of them can hold their breath for up to 12 minutes. It’s all about training your lungs.

The premise of the book is simple. We have to breathe slowly and deeply, through the nose, in order to reap the many benefits of breathing right.

Old cultures had natural and hard diets. It made them chew. As a result, they had wide jaws, perfect teeth, and breathed correctly.

“Their teeth were almost always perfect; their mouths were exceptionally wide, nasal apertures broad. They suffered few, if any, cavities and little dental disease.”

Our shift towards a liquid, industrialized diet is harming us more than it is benefitting us.

This book will make you rethink how you breathe.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Can money contribute to our happiness?

The author explains the human brain with a rider and elephant analogy.

The limbic system controls the basic instincts. The neocortex controls rational thinking.

The limbic system is the elephant and the neocortex is the rider.

The discontent between the two causes unhappiness, says the author.

Haidt recommends fixing the negativity bias for positive thinking patterns and ultimately happiness.

“People would be happier and healthier if they took more time off and spent it with their family and friends, yet America has long been heading in the opposite direction.”

Can happiness be bought?

Well, yes, if you know where to shop, the book says. Money can be used to take time off and spend it with loved ones. Yet, people don’t do it.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

The author uses the example of plants to tell us something important. Plants need sunlight and water to survive. Just like that, humans need work and love.

The author also believes in the benefits of spirituality (with or without God).

This book might just be the key to your happiness.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Can mind-altering drugs lead to spiritual experiences?

This is another book that favors the use of psychedelics.

The author believes that with the decline in religion, psychedelics can allow people to connect to the spiritual world.

“When it comes to “God” — a word rarely used by the mystics — there is total unanimity on one crucial issue of paramount importance. God does not reside in a holy book.”

Muraresku takes us to Eleusis, Greece. Here people were given a mysterious potion that helped them see God. The author says that even Plato and Cicero took it. This drink was called ‘kykeon’.

Some say it had psychedelic substances.

The author goes on to discuss the use of drugs in the early Christians and other religions.

We also learn about the experiences of people who participated in a study by Johns Hopkins University. It was about the effects of psilocybin which is a psychedelic compound.

“People of reason may have to concede that modern science has its limits. Not everything of value can be weighed and measured. People of faith may have to admit that we can no longer afford legend over history, or obedience over curiosity.”

This book might not tickle the fancy of people like me. However, one thing I like is the criticism of organized religion and how it is used to control people.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Humans and their source of happiness…

Harari believes that there is no purpose to humans. Just like Richard Dawkins, he credits the evolutionary process for the creation of humans.

“As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose.”

In this book, Harari acquaints us with evolutionary history.

There were 6 species of humans. And Homo Sapiens rose to the top.


Homo Sapiens were able to form collective beliefs. It allowed them to collaborate with each other in huge numbers.

Harari draws a parallel between the slogan ‘Happiness begins within’ and the biological understanding of happiness. The outside things like wealth and looks cannot give us happiness. Happiness comes from the hormones inside us.

“Lasting happiness comes only from serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.”

The book has a lot of knowledge and reflections. If you are interested in human history, this book is an important read.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

A new view of the hurdles in our lives.

Failure gets us down. We doubt ourselves. We get into a fight with fate/God/luck.

Ryan Holiday shows us a positive view of the obstacles that come our way through Stoic philosophy.

“Failure shows us the way — by showing us what isn’t the way.”

The author reminds us that there are things we can control and there are those we cannot. Focus on the things you can control and use the rest as an opportunity, he says.

Holiday gives us many examples of people who have applied the principles outlined in the book in order to handle difficult situations.

“Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing and wherever we are going, we owe it to ourselves, to our art, to the world to do it well.”

Holiday focuses on the importance of being in the moment. Being present.

This is something that a lot of us are forgetting how to do. Thanks to the internet and our devices, we are always on a roll.

“It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit.”

The author tells us to unplug, exercise, get a dog, and go for a walk in the park. He encourages us to rediscover the pleasure in the present moment.

There are many lessons in this book. Everyone regardless of one’s personality and career will find something that will help.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

This book was never meant to be published.

Imagine someone publishing your diary.

My journal is hastily written and the writing is so bad. They will give up on transcribing.

Perhaps that wasn’t the case for Marcus Aurelius. His journal became a source of guidance and reflection for many.

And guess what? Aurelius was the emperor of Rome from 161 to 180 AD. He was also a Stoic philosopher.

“Disturbance comes only from within-from our own perceptions.”

Writing in his journal allowed him to reflect and ponder on his life.

He reminds himself to let go of things he can’t control. To understand that other people’s behavior says more about them. To live in the present moment. And to be not afraid of death.

“So other people hurt me? That’s their problem. Their character and actions are not mine.”

Some people find the book repetitive. Like I said, it was never meant to be a typical book nor should it be taken as such.

Many have benefited from the wisdom in the emperor’s words and deem his advice timeless.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Soon, editing your to-be kids might be possible.

New technologies are emerging at super speed. And all of them will give us unprecedented control over our own biology.

This book discusses them.

“From this point onward, our mutation will not be random. It will be self-designed. From this point onward, our selection will not be natural. It will be self-directed.”

Jamie Metzl is a technology futurist, commentator, and author who has written many nonfiction science books.

He tells us that human genome sequencing has become cheaper over time. When it becomes even more cheap, it will become a matter of routine. Sequencing a person’s entire genome will allow us to look at the very basic biology of that person.

The author also discusses technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and IVF.

“Scientists are also now using CRISPR not just to change the genes but also to alter the epigenetic marks dictating how the genes are expressed.”

The convergence of these technologies will bring on a new era in healthcare. And that will lead to many ethical dilemmas.

The author seems to be tilting on the side that favors the use of gene editing technologies.

To me, designing embryos, and discarding the ones we don’t like is a no-go zone.

10 Recommended Books by Joe Rogan That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

A story of strength and commitment.

David Goggins was abused as a child.

What happened then?

Goggins details all in his memoir.

“You are in danger of living a life so comfortable and soft, that you will die without ever realizing your true potential.”

All bad things end, he tells us.

Goggins says that our mind always takes the easiest path. If you don’t change your mindset, you will not be able to realize your dreams.

“Everything in life is a mind game!”

He tells us how he lived through financial and emotional insecurity. Ultimately, he joined the military but had to drop out due to his health.

But this setback didn’t stop him. He went on to become a Navy SEAL.

“We all need small sparks, small accomplishments in our lives to fuel the big ones.”

The author’s story is about pushing the limits on what one can achieve. He went on to run ultra marathons. He also beat the 24-hour pull-up record in 2013.

Reading this book is like a friend pushing you to do better.

The lesson: You can do it!


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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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