It isn’t often you get to chat with a master of his craft; so I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat just recently with Paul Chek on his new podcast “Living 4D” episode 12, which is out today!
In this podcast we explore human function through the lens of evolution – a favourite topic of mine, and of Paul’s; which is a key part of what attracted me to his work in the first instance.
One of the concepts we cover is the idea that, while the Paleo approach to healthy living is built on solid foundations, there are other considerations we have to bear in mind if we are to be prudent in our advice or approach… and that is, to strike the balance between phylogeny and ontogeny. Here is the image I mention in the podcast to convey this:
As part of this concept, we mention how the recent trend in barefoot running and training is great example of where phylogeny (evolutionary principles) do not always match up with ontogeny (the development of the individual), and that this can lead to injury. If you’re interested in making a transition to barefoot running or training, but want to avoid getting injured, we have a free Transition Calculator and guidelines available here.
We discuss how Paul’s concept of Primal Movement Patterns(TM) integrates beautifully with Phill Beach’s concept of Archetypal Rest Postures and Michael Tetley’s concept of Instinctive Sleep Postures. In a chapter I wrote for Leon Chaitow’s Natural Medicine textbook in 2006, I synthesised these three concepts into an integrated model I termed Biomechanical Attractors. Sadly the textbook (RRP £43.99) is now out of print but, if you’re keen to learn more about these concepts; the neurophysiology and the application to everyday life, you’re in luck! You can still access an eCopy pdf here for the amazing investment of only £10! This concept is also explored further in a recent webinar from my 2016 series 2016 series.
One of the beauties of evolutionary principles that struck me perhaps a decade, or so, back is what I term “the Star Wars principle”. As many will recall, the opening scene of the original Star Wars movie, “A New Hope”, starts with an image of space and the words:
The genius of this is that, unlike other 20th Century Sci-Fi movies that tended to be set in the year 2000, or 2020, because Star Wars was set in the past it can never go “out of date”. In a similar way, primal understandings of health are different from the latest technological trend (such as air pads, fixed-axis weights machines, or scientifically isolated whey proteins) as they will never go “out of date” – they’re how we got here and what our physiology has moulded itself to function around. The notion of Biomechanical Attractors as an evolutionary principle seems to be sticking around too – and will form part of an upcoming Editorial, co-authored with Primal Blueprint pioneer, Mark Sisson, in the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (April 2019).
Paul and I go on to discuss Darwin’s theory of evolution and how, controversially, it has not only influenced our thinking around biology, but also our approach to psychology and society itself. A true “biopsychosocial” exploration of evolution!
We finish with discussions on the evolution of consciousness and highlight the point that the prevailing scientific/materialist view of the world is not grounded in the lived experience, but requires an abstract line of reasoning which must pre-suppose a reality outside of consciousness.
This is interesting as we know, at the most fundamental level of life’s building blocks, it is consciousness that determines outcome. The point is that no one can – and no one has – ever experienced a reality outside of consciousness. Yet, the leading scientific/materialist view asserts that matter (outside of consciousness), or that which is never experienced is the fundamental reality, while consciousness, or that which is always experienced, is an “accident” of evolution! Sound deep? It is! It goes all the way down to the bottom!!
To hear more about these topics, you can access this and all of Paul’s other great Podcasts here:
…or on Apple iTunes Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or on Google Podcasts (accessible on the link above or by clicking on the image below).