Episode 10 – Joseph William Mackay Barker III

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Me, in episode 2 with Daniel Kharlas: “Think about swimming. We aren’t built for the water anymore.”

Joseph, nearly the same day, had plenty to say to me.

“Babies have a natural capacity to swim, this is not a learned behaviour, it is actually a innate function that our bodies and we as humans are able to do. Humans have what is called the mammalian dive reflex, we all have it.”

“It’s not specific groups of coastal humans that have developed this capacity. In-utero we go through different phases of our history. We pass though an amphibious stage. Our reptilian-ness is at the core of who we are as beings.”

“It’s actually very easy to neocorticalize everything with our ‘superior’ human brains. That takes away from a large aspect of who we are as beings and what our capacities truly are. I have been meditating since I was in my early teens and 80% of my most deeply mindful moments has come from the practice of free diving.

“My argument is that because that we as a species are so separated from our natural capacities and history our ‘diseases’ that are primarily mental and physical have taken so much control we are not living in a world that is even close to being mindful.”

“I propose what would be conversation, experiment and adventure.”

An adventure is what we had.


Joseph Barker is a retired professional swimmer with 6 Canadian records under his belt. These days his time is spent between clients in his practice as a specialized manual therapist, his vineyard and making music. His life is about innovation and passion, creating a better future now for the individuals in the community through his various projects. Oh, and his soothing voice and mind is part of Daniel Kharlas’ VRcadia as their first Artist in Residence.


Show Notes

  • Full Body Efficiency Treatment
  • VRcadia
  • LSTU Episode 2 with Daniel Kharlas
  • 02:40 – The message that kicked off our discussion
  • 05:10 – Joseph introduces himself, his history, born with one arm
  • 09:50 – Aquatic ape theory
  • 13:00 – Dogs, selective breeding, domesticated animals
  • 17:00 – Whales, the advantage of fat vs. fur
  • 20:00 – Fat continued
  • 27:00 – Sweat lodges, thermal stress
  • 31:00 – Building the sweat lodge
  • 35:00 – The craziness of ordering food from anywhere, Marketplace reviews Uber Eats
  • 48:00 – Thermal regulation, ice baths, #spiritualninja, Joseph’s ice bath
  • 55:00 – Intro to the experiment
  • 1:01:00 – The experiment wrap-up

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