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Publisher's Summary

The authors of the best-selling Bold and The Rise of Superman explore altered states of consciousness and how they can ignite passion, fuel creativity, and accelerate problem solving, in this groundbreaking book in the vein of Daniel Pink's Drive and Charles Duhigg's Smarter Faster Better.

Why has generating "flow" and getting "into the zone" become the goal of the world's most elite organizations? Why are business moguls attending Burning Man? Why has meditation become a billion-dollar industry? Why are technology gurus turning to psychedelic drugs to unlock creativity?

All of these people are seeking to shift their state of mind as a way of unlocking their true potential. Altered states, the authors reveal, sharpen our decision-making capabilities, unleash creativity, fuel cooperation, and let us tap in to levels of inspiration and innovation unavailable at all other times. Stealing Fire combines cutting-edge research and firsthand reporting to explore a revolution in human performance - a movement millions of people strong to harness and utilize some of the most misunderstood and controversial experiences in history.

Building a bridge between the extreme and the mainstream, this groundbreaking and provocative book examines how the world's top performers - the Navy SEALS, Googlers, Fortune 100 CEOs - are using altered states to radically accelerate performance and massively improve their lives, and how we can, too.

Ultimately, Stealing Fire is a book about profound possibility - about what is actually possible for ourselves and our species when we unlock the full potential of the human mind.

©2017 Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Stealing Fire

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This is by far the best non-fiction book I have read to date

This book is extremely eye-opening and very well rounded. It touched on a lot of subjects I have been curious about lately And explored some taboo topics that should be spread to the masses. All-around amazing book

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and enjoyable

I enjoyed the listen. I was expecting a bit more how to and not so much story but I am not disappointed

1 person found this helpful

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Starts strong, then gets pleasantly weird

You are lured into the world of psychedelical performance enhancement and music festivals by first learning what the seals and Google have done to hit peak performance. The book tells a convincing story that may leave you wanting to try mdma and attend burning man.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting premise, but loses its flair

Started strong with some engaging, ubiquitous points, but quickly became less relatable as it rambled on about burning man for a couple chapters.

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a must read!

I enjoyed the delivery, found it interesting and eye opening. a must read. I recommend it

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Level 9000

Loved it! Next level! Amazing! Couldn't stop listening and now I'm obsessed with flow state and magic is happening in my life!

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Amazing!

One of the best books I have read in years!
Great coverage from all angles.
Listening it twice.

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outstanding

loved it
thought it was a excellent listen
very eye opening to the possibilities that lay in each of us

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good story telling and structure

the narrator is a slow talker (as am I), so I sped him up to 1.1x speed I think.

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mind blowing

one of the most revealing books I've ever "read" didn't want to "put it down" it's a must "read"

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-12-27

Terrible Book Don’t waste your Money! It’s all filler!

This whole book is just a bunch of Stoner nonsense. There is no clear point to the book, just a bunch of mashed up newspaper articles strung together as examples of “Flow states,” a term which is never Clearly defined. Add in some religious sounding words to make everything sound mysterious and you have a book that is a total waste of time and Money. This book is all filler. Probably an add for their “Corporate Flow Services.” Don’t buy This Book. It was Just Awful. Garbage.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Jordan A. Poole
  • 2017-12-31

Warning: This will get you high

As a working artist who’s lived & pondered many of the ideas discussed in this book, I’m ecstatic & energized to hear the authors connect once-before disparate ideas of science, technology, & spirituality. Their examples of seeking & creating altered states of consciousness throughout history paired with the ever present shift in exponential technology & market trends is strong evidence of a radically new world we’ve entered. They shed great balance to the pros & cons of conscious hacking while providing useful tactics & warnings to those eager to pioneer their own ecstatic experiences.

This book is for not only the scientific & mystical, but simply anyone awakened to the idea of life design & personal development. The information in this book is bound to get you high.

18 people found this helpful

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  • R8r
  • 2017-03-18

Very disappointing. Not what it promises to be.

Would you try another book from Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal and/or Fred Sanders?

No. After purchasing Stealing Fire, I feel like I got "burned."
The book promises to be, "a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life." Unfortunately, it's just a guidebook to entice you into joining their training which costs $700 annually.

Has Stealing Fire turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. Just the author and his team of people who clearly wrote this book as nothing more than a means to sell their $700 "training."

Have you listened to any of Fred Sanders’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. It's on par with his other work.

What did you take away from Stealing Fire that you can apply to your work?

I learned that an entire "guidebook" can be written without giving any truly actionable guidance other than, "you should pay me $700 to get the REAL advice you were seeking when you bought my audiobook."
I also learned that an entire audiobook lasting 8 hours, 24 minutes can be nothing more than marketing. If I wanted to be an asshole, maybe I'd apply these lessons to my own endeavors but my ethics won't let me.

Any additional comments?

If you feel a need to satisfy your curiosity about this book, be prepared to take advantage of Audible's generous return policy; I certainly did.

223 people found this helpful

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  • alaskacie
  • 2017-02-25

Authors pester people who buy the book

To review, to buy more copies, so that they can rank higher (expressly said). Getting back to the book, it describes a lot of what, but nothing practical for how -- except, presumably if you join their $497 program.

121 people found this helpful

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  • SF Dev
  • 2017-03-29

An overview of the stupid hobbies of rich people

This review title should not strike anyone as controversial because in chapter 8 he literally uses the term "trickle down ecstasis" and it is only at this point that he talks about anything that is remotely useful to the average reader. Even at that point, he dwells upon the same boring themes that dominate the rest of his book, most chiefly, designer drug use. I picked up this book under the impression that this would describe the practices that have helped people and organizations innovate and succeed. However the author appears to have gotten the causal relationship reversed and he was too stoned to realize it; all he talks about is the stuff people with a lot of spare time and money end up doing with their excess resources. Perhaps the only exception to this is his description of Seal Team Six, which he puts at the beginning of the book likely because it's the only part of the book with any merit whatsoever. It's all utterly inane pseudo transcendence that I am completely bored of as someone who was raised in California. Nothing new at all. All of the studies are flimsy. This book sounds like a multi-hour long rant of a Burning Man attendee trying to explain why acting like a self-indulgent kiddult in the desert is somehow an admirable experience. It's actually harmful to imply that such "vehicles of ecstasis" can help people succeed to the extent the author does. I met several people who have already been fooled by this argument in the tech industry and I have achieved more promotions and more success than any of them without having to take a single "dab" of any chemical garbage. Dropping acid like Steve Jobs doesn't turn you into Steve Jobs; unfortunately, this book touches upon none of the characteristics that will actually make you a good engineer or business leader and skips straight to the dropping acid part and which is frankly demeaning and stupid. Great book for people who want to pat themselves on the back for their bad habits, not a great book for people who like well researched and balanced arguments that will stand the test of time.

103 people found this helpful

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  • houman_ag@hotmail.com
  • 2017-06-14

A waste of my time/money

Would you try another book from Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal and/or Fred Sanders?

Probably not.

What was most disappointing about Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal ’s story?

What I want from a book is new concepts, guidelines, anything meaningful that I can implement in life/business. What did I get from this book? Let's not go there.

What does Fred Sanders bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nada!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Stealing Fire?

The content of the book from cover to cover (that's actually not quite true. The book had some not-so-useful but interesting stories)

Any additional comments?

I have always finished all the books that I started no matter how boring they were. I never thought I'd pay for a book and not finish it, but Stealing Fire proved me wrong.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Fausto
  • 2017-03-19

No actual practices

This book was great for entertaining purposes and ultimately getting you to buy one of their programs online. If you are deep into your meditation practices and self realization journey don't waste your time. If you're new to the meditation world than this might entertain you and maybe motive you to do more research. 💙

27 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren L
  • 2017-06-11

Interesting but disappointing

Harnessing the performance - even life - enhancing power of altered states of consciousness? I so wanted to be blown away by this book. Unfortunately however, it disappointed more than not. It offers a bird's eye view of a purported global trend and although there were some very interesting insights into neurobiology, it is ultimately lacking as a consequence in depth. Claims feel exaggerated, the evidence unconvincing, hyperbole substitutes for substance. It reminded me of my adolescent quests for spiritualism and philosophy - for all the promise of the weighty tomes, I always came away empty-handed. Narrated well but very, very slowly in somnolent tones.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Coyne
  • 2017-04-27

Flow is the new enlightenment

A new way of viewing humanities journey to heal and enlighten our consciousness. Amazing book!

4 people found this helpful

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  • @K_Speckmann
  • 2017-03-11

One Needs an Open Mind for Inspiration and Flow...

A fascinating, yet controversial read.
This book may inspire or offend you. If you are more on the conservative or deeply spiritual side, parts of this most interesting book you might not like. I personally also wouldn't opt for doing the riskier things.
However, the collection of studies around "flow" or heightened mental states is fascinating. Group flow and meditation practice has been done for millennia, so there most probably is something to it. I will look further into these for myself and at work. Towards further success :-)

8 people found this helpful