AS Seen On

By: Stephan Spencer


Andrew Daniel
“When you trust your hero’s journey and you show up in the world, magical aid appears. But if you just think of it without making any new choices, nothing’s going to change.”
Andrew Daniel

The path to awakening is often paved with challenges, setbacks, and profound realizations that shake the foundation of our perceived reality.

On today’s show, Andrew Daniel, an award-winning author, spiritual teacher, and director at the Center for Cinesomatic Development, shares his captivating journey from childhood struggles to spiritual awakening and the development of Cinesomatics – a groundbreaking feeling-based therapy. In our discussion, Andrew draws from his own experiences of overcoming adversity, homelessness, and the illusions of the ego. He explores the transformative power of embodiment, the importance of recognizing the “play” of life, and the paradoxical nature of duality within the context of oneness. He delves into the concept of NPCs (non-player characters) in the grand simulation, the wisdom of Alan Watts, and the significance of aligning with one’s true purpose. He shares insights on the manifestation process that led to his book winning the prestigious Nautilus Book Award and emphasizes the importance of taking inspired action while following your bliss. This thought-provoking conversation invites listeners to question their perceptions, embrace the journey of self-discovery, and awaken to the profound truths that lie beyond the veil of illusion. So without any further ado, on with the show!

In this Episode

    • [02:16]Andrew Daniel shares his origin story of awakening, including overcoming adversity and embodiment practices, which led him to write his book on awakening.
    • [16:38]Andrew struggles with homelessness and job insecurity, prompting him to a journey towards self-awareness and healing.
    • [22:55]Andrew reflects on his decision to cut ties with his biological father due to abuse and violence.
    • [29:19]Andrew explains the concept of non-duality, acknowledging both unity and diversity of existence.
    • [35:46]Andrew discusses paradoxes and the power of embracing them, while Stephan shares his perspective on NPCs in the simulation.
    • [40:03]Andrew describes his idea of NPCs in society, suggesting that some people are living on autopilot without engaging with the world around them.
    • [52:29]Andrew talks about how he was involved on the board for the downloads organization.
    • [57:18]Stephan and Andrew describe the idea that the universe will conspire as long as one is on a quest.

Jump to Links and Resources

Andrew, it’s so great to have you on the show.

Thanks for having me. It’s good to be here.

I’d love to hear your origin story—how you got into this and your awakening since you have a book about awakening.

I’ll give you the condensed version, and if there’s anything you want to dive into, just let me know. The gist is that my life had a bit of turmoil when I was young. We had some issues with my biological father when I was an infant, and that led to the courts and my mom getting custody of me. They had me when they were still in high school, very young parents. My stepfather came into the picture, sort of rescued us and moved us to the other side of the country. It gave us a much better chance.

Awaken to Your True Self by Andrew Daniel

However, with moving to a new school, one of the things that I had was warts on my fingers, and I was teased. This set into motion a massive life trajectory, and unbeknownst to me then, I took all of that personally, and I used that to suffer, and I used that to go into a victim mentality for the first two-thirds of my life. From first to twelfth grade, I was generally ostracized, bullied, teased, made fun of, picked last in gym class, food thrown at me, sitting alone or at the reject table during lunch. I was tripped in the hallway with my books falling. At the time, it felt much worse than it probably was in reality, but it was still enough to lead me to feel very depressed and nearly suicidal. I was very angry. I would be a teenager, crying myself to sleep, feeling like nobody wanted and loved me.

On top of that, because my parents were so young, there was a lot of money, which caused tension between them. Growing up with that was another thing that I was eventually faced with: overcoming different belief systems, behaviors and ways of seeing money. That led me to an essential turning point when I was about 17. It was either I end this by taking my life or going to school and taking other’s lives and just ending the pain somehow, or I do whatever it takes to figure this out. It probably wasn’t as crystal clear then as I’m saying it. It was probably a bit muddy, but there still was this turning point of, “I can’t spend the rest of my life like this, not having friends, screwing up every chance I had with girls, and hating myself.” And so, as you could guess, which option I eventually took was doing whatever it took to figure this out. 

This will set my age—but around 2004, very early Google. I remember getting onto my computer—a big CRT monitor and a clucky keyboard. It was probably still dial-up. I typed into Google, “How to be cool. How to get girls to like you. How to make friends.” It didn’t produce much, but after a few years of searching, I eventually found some things that showed me, “Oh, there’s something that you can do.” Those first things were very superficial. But they did do something.

You can learn manifestation and embodiment from books, but if they are not in your body and unable to take congruent action, they will not have the effect you think they will. Share on X

I had a friend who suggested I grow my hair out rather than cutting it short and spiking it up, which was very popular in the early 2000s. I did that. I was afraid to do that, yet people around me responded better. Girls found me more attractive, and I said, “Oh, you’re saying I can do something different. I can change my appearance and have people respond to me differently. Oh, my God, I had no idea.” That started me on a path of hope that I actually could do something to change the results of my life because up until then, I was living life as, “You do the best with what you have, and these are the cards you’re dealt. If people don’t like you, you’ll just have to live with that.” This told me that I didn’t. It said there’s a lot more you can be doing. 

Once I turned about 18, I moved and started a software company because, during that time, I was a nerd. I like video games, Dungeons & Dragons. I liked anime and computers, so I started web design and graphics. My cousin showed me Flash and Geocities—if anybody knows—when I was 14 years old. I got into all of that stuff. What I loved about it was that people on the Internet—AOL., instant messenger, forums, and IRC—didn’t know my reputation at school. They didn’t even know I was 14 years old. It was an amazing experience because I got to interface with other nerds and geeks like myself who weren’t based on my reputation at school. I got along with these people on online forums, and I could interface with something, a computer that didn’t attack me, that didn’t make fun of me, that set into motion a lot of my early career in design and programming.

Arthurian Romances by Chrétien de Troyes

When I was 18 years old, I started a software company. I wrote a particle effects and physics engine to create special effects for online media, games, movies, etc. At that same time, I was learning personal growth—self-help development, thinking and growing rich, how to win friends and influence people. All these classic things showed me, “Oh, there’s a whole corpus of ideas and materials I could learn that my parents had no idea about. School never taught me. The culture didn’t tell me.” It was like, “Oh, my God, I can do something about this. Maybe if I read enough books, learn enough stuff and do enough differently, I will get different results.” 

On top of that, I was learning how to be an entrepreneur. My family was not just regular stay-at-home moms and blue-collar dads. Bless them so much. I’m so grateful. They didn’t know about entrepreneurship or business. I had no one else in my family, so I had to forge my path. It reminds me of the Arthurian Romances when they went on the grail quests. They went to find the grail, and when they set out to adventure, they said it would be a disgrace to do it together. Each of the Knights of the Round Table went to the forest and embarked on their quest, where it was the darkest for them, where it was the most unthreaded, and they explored, they quested for that grail on their path, not a path laid by somebody else. I had some guidance through the books, mentors, and things like this, but I was forging my path and figuring it out. 

When I was writing my software, I literally had to invent my algorithms to do what I wanted to do. There’s probably some invented somewhere else. I just had no idea about it. I had to create the licensing platform to create the serial numbers and email, and I’m just like hodgepodging this duct tape and paperclips and super gluing this through code learning as I went. I basically just learned things as I needed them, rather than spending eight years at university learning it before I needed it, which I couldn’t afford anyway. So, I was forced economically to do this. It wasn’t like, “Hey, I want to do this alone. I do not want to have any guidance.” I just didn’t. I was alone as a kid; I was an only child for twelve years until my siblings were born. I spent a lot of time alone and didn’t have a lot of friends, a few here and there, but for the most part, not a lot. I knew what it was like to be alone, play alone, and have the people around me not understand me.

My dad worked for a gas company and has no idea about software, passive income, or any of these. From all my life experiences leading up to then, this set fertile ground for entrepreneurship. I ran that software company for about seven years. I wrote two versions of that software. We had Fortune 100 clients, and about 30,000 people downloaded it. It was pretty cool for an 18, 19, 20 year old. I still had no idea what I was doing. But that set me on the path of entrepreneurship and personal development because they went together. It’s like, “Well, I don’t know about this. I have to change my beliefs. I have to learn new things for myself to run this business.” 

The power is in the impossibility that meets the paradox.

The personal development and entrepreneurship journey were very intertwined. At the same time, I want to date girls and women. That desire was there, too. I was also learning, “How do you talk to girls? How do you deal with dating, relationships, and sexuality?” All of the curses and flaws of my childhood laid all the fertile ground to learn, transform, and heal as an adult. Then, I got into different trainings in personal development, transformation, therapies, and healing. As I continued that journey—I was about 21—I was introduced to healing. It was not just self-help and personal development where you learn and grow. This was more about healing.

It revealed that it wasn’t just I didn’t know how to be confident. It revealed that there was a lot of stuff in my past that caused me to be insecure. It was this very different reframe of, “Oh, it’s not just the pickup lines I use. It’s not just my sales tactics. It’s not just learning how to do better copy.” There are insecurities. There are actual things inside of me. These emotions and belief systems need to be healed. Those have a bigger effect than just changing my outfit or speaking differently. That set me on a journey of many different healing modalities, from regular talk therapy to coaches to a few, but some psychedelics to spirituality. I was learning meditation, mindfulness, and alternative medicine. That was another benefit that growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, so we didn’t go to all the fancy doctors and psychiatrists and all that stuff, which for me was a blessing because I personally am more of alternative medicine, holistic, natural approach than pharmaceuticals. That’s just my approach. And that ended up being a blessing—all of that coalesced to the end of my software company. 

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

When the iPhone came out, it kind of wrecked my industry, which was kind of okay because, at that point, I was much more interested in transformation and coaching and the healing arts and everything. That started my journey of transforming my business. “How do I now take all of the healing and lessons and wisdom and transformations that I’ve learned and help others?” That set me on a ten-year journey of trying to figure that out. The software was really easy, a very clear call to action, very clear value, and tangible—it’s right there, it’s not me. But now it’s me. I’m facilitating, I’m with people, “Who’s going to hire a 25-year-old to teach them about sex? Who will hire a 25-year-old to help them heal about their life issues?” I had a lot of things working against me, and there was still a lot that I had to learn and overcome in myself to be functional in that business. So that was a ten-year journey. 

During those ten years, I was homeless twice. A major online transformational company published me, and then three months later, I was homeless and learning these secrets to the universe. I was having all this awareness and healing, and yet I was sleeping in my car, and I had to transfer pennies, $0.73, from one bank account to another to afford a can of soup a night to eat. During that time, I lugged my giant iMac into the public library in Costa Mesa, plugged it in, and every day, I was working on a video launch sequence, which, in my mind, I was doing whatever it took. But in reality, I was just in complete denial. I was so caught up in my ego that I could not get a job. 

I applied for jobs, and they said, “Oh, so you want to be a waiter at 26 years old. What experience do you have? Oh, you have none. I see there’s nothing here in your resume. For the past six years, what have you been doing?” “Oh, I wrote a software program and ran a software company.” I couldn’t even get these minimum wage jobs to do it. I was overqualified and underqualified at the same time. As I was doing this—struggling and struggling, eventually, I came about with the help of a mentor because I had all of this wisdom in my head. I knew all of these things up here, but in my body, they were missing. My body told a different story. The embodiment, manifestation, and realization of that wisdom and knowledge were not in my body, so I couldn’t access it in real life. That ended up being one of the biggest breakthroughs—you can learn all of this stuff in the books and preach it, you can have all of this stuff up inside, but if it’s not in your body, you’re not able to take congruent action from that, then it’s not going to have the effect that you think. 

We’re each a drop in the ocean, and when one drop of the ocean attacks another drop in the ocean, it’s just the ocean attacking itself.

Being able to see literally in my own body, how when I moved my hand, when I walked, and when I interacted with other people, and seeing how I was passive-aggressive, I was narcissistic, I was running by ego, I was terrified, I was insecure, I was manipulating, I was doing all of this, what I would call shadow material. I had all the shadow material running, and I had no idea because I had just spent five years learning positive psychology to spin that differently, tell better stories, put a mask over that, and “fake it till I made it” kind of thing. It wasn’t until I was able to see that stuff in myself for myself that I could make that change that put me on another five-year journey of awakening. By awakening, I really mean waking up out of my illusions and fantasies, a more spiritual truth and a much more tangible, practical reality that I completely deny. 

The awakening process wasn’t just understanding that we’re all connected and that there’s something beyond our ego, but there are a lot of spiritual realizations that I woke up to. The most profound were the ones that showed my distortions of reality, that I was so far from the truth in how I saw myself in the world and the universe that it created tremendous suffering in my life. Back to the stories about being a victim when I was a kid, being made fun of and realizing my part, I played in all of that as I spent those years transforming and healing and breaking through that and transforming my body to the ground and embodying more feeling rather than heady escape, thinking everything in my life changed. Everything started working. 

The awakening process involved not only understanding that we’re all connected and there’s something beyond our ego but also that we are far from the truth.

That led me to write this book, Awaken to Your True Self, where I put in all of the biggest lessons I learned that made the difference between all the self-help I did for ten years and the things that actually broke me through. After I wrote that book, I published it, and it won the gold award of the Nautilus Book Awards in 2022. Then my business took off, and it’s helped tens of thousands of people. I started doing workshops and events and working with clients for the past few years, and that’s where I’m at now.

Awesome. Congratulations on your success and on the transformation you went through—an incredible journey. Do you think that you chose your biological father and that you guys chose each other before you incarnated?

From what I’ve seen, I imagine there are no accidents. I have no evidence or anything, but it’s very clear to me that there are no accidents, not even from my own life but from working with clients. Even the warts set into motion because I look back and think, “If that didn’t happen, what would my life have looked like staying on that side of the family?” I’ve only talked with him once as an adult. I just completely cut ties and was very glad and blessed to have taken that path.

When you say you cut ties, is that on your side or is that mutual?

Yeah. I was three years old, and there was abuse and violence. My mom had custody, and he was not treating her well. There was a mafia; it was crazy stuff. We literally moved back to where my stepfather and my dad grew up.

You said you had one contact with him in your adulthood. Was that something that you initiated, or did he initiate it?

Well, I guess my half-siblings, his daughters, found me on MySpace when I was 18, and they were teenagers, around 13 years old. I was just starting my software company and was like, “This is too much. I barely have a good relationship with my own family right now. I was just not ready to re-engage with all of that. I’m learning how to do a business. I wasn’t able to do it.” I kind of ignored that until I was maybe in my mid-twenties. I said, “I’ve been doing some healing work. I would probably regret never, at least just saying something.” So I reached out, got his number, and called him. We talked for 20 minutes. It was like the most awkward conversation ever. “Hi, I’m kind of your child and have never talked to you in 20 years.” We had pretty much nothing in common. It was just like talking to a stranger who happened to be a biological father. He was nice. He was fine. I appreciated him having the call. It created a closure, a touch point of, “Right, I did this. It’s not running me. I’m not afraid of it. I’m not hiding from anything. I did it. It was okay. How do I feel? I feel fine. It doesn’t change much. Okay, great. On with my life.”

The Little Soul and the Sun by Neale Donald Walsch

I had a foster father who was an alcoholic, and we didn’t get along. But in retrospect, now I see the perfection of all of it, including him. And I understand that this was for my highest and best good. One of the books that really, I don’t know, helped crystallize this for me is a children’s book by Neil Donald Walsh called The Little Soul and the Sun. Have you heard of it, or have you read it?

Yeah. Conversations with God.

It’s based on Conversations with God. If everyone is in your movie to assist you somehow, and it’s like a big positive conspiracy, we all forget who we are. We’re so embedded in the video game that we forget who we truly are. We’re just playing these roles. Some have to be villains to give us somebody to forgive so we can experience ourselves as forgiving. It’s hard. But it’s part of our path.

I found all these different sorts of even conflicting spiritual philosophies, and I was able to reconcile them and use a lot of them. This one helped me because it is more about the Hindu teaching of the world’s play. This is all a play. Play in both meanings, as in a giant movie. Then you think, “We’re children of God. What do children do? Children play.” We’re in a play. You understand that everything is meaningless and everything is the most important thing. We are a speck on a speck in the speckles of a galaxy in the infinite universe. We are absolutely nothing. And yet we are also the most important thing, the leading edge of the big bang of creation. 

We are the most important point of consciousness in history because we’re here, and it’s now so important to understand both. There’s another saying, “Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars” — Serbian Proverb. That sort of constant flux between these two yin and yang I found helped ground me into reality, both a spiritual reality and a material reality, which are the same thing.

It’s a balance because you have to be in both worlds simultaneously, in the physical and spiritual upper worlds. You must not forget your connection with God, but you must still pay the bills, handle conflicts and treat difficult people as emissaries, representatives of God because we’re all messengers of him.

Consciousness can do evil things, but it also comes in and stops those things with boundaries, love, and protection.

Exactly. It’s best to say it’s duality in the context of oneness. You understand we’re all God. We’re all children of God, however, you want to see it. There are still people doing evil things, and there are still things you can stop and say no to. It’s not living in a fantasy land. It’s in the reality that consciousness has free will. Consciousness can do evil things, but consciousness also comes in and stops those things and has boundaries, love, and protection. We have the ability to harm, to kill, to hurt, to abuse, and we cannot do those things and to stop those things. It took me a long time to bring these things together, which seem like paradoxes. 

There’s non-duality, right? You understand it’s non-diamond, which there is. There’s no good or bad. At the same time, there are still very clear differences between things that work and that are loving and things that are evil and don’t work. How do you reconcile that? That’s part of the awakening. That’s part of that process. It’s not an either-or, it’s a yes. If you are only up in the upper ascended kind of ways, you’re naive. You’re disconnected from reality like I was. That’s where I was. That’s when I said I wasn’t in my body. The stuff wasn’t embodied. You become dangerous.

Yeah. It’s like spiritual bypassing. You’re not really here. You’re unavailable for people who need you because you’re in the clouds—some fantasy world.

It’s really hard to change the world when you’re at the effect of it.

Exactly. People don’t realize it makes you dangerous because you’re not seeing the shadow. You have to see the shadow, but you see the shadow for what it is. It’s still an illusion, but you’re in the illusion, so you have to see it and see through it. That’s where the non-duality comes in. “Oh, no, I’m not going to hate this person. I’m not going to harm myself because the illusion hoodwinks me. I will acknowledge this illusion to protect myself and those I love and help humanity.” And at the same time, “I’m not going to be a victim of it. I’m not going to buy into the lie.” When you’re able to do both, there’s so much peace. You can be of so much service.

It’s really hard to help people, as you said when you’re up in the clouds bypassing, and at the same time, when you’re caught up in all the karma, when you’re caught up in the cycle, when you’re on that wheel of fortune going up and down, up and down, you’re a victim. You’re at the effect of all of life in the world. It’s really hard to affect, to change the world when you’re at the effect of it.

A leaf blowing in the wind.

Exactly. Some people use plastic bags in New York City.

You mentioned the leading edge of creation a few minutes ago. I remember hearing that from Abraham. I’m guessing you’re familiar with Abraham Hicks.

Yes. It’s been a while, but there’s certainly a lot of good stuff.

How do you reconcile a seeming paradox of duality? Good and evil and oneness. All that is God. It’s one, and there’s nothing independent of him.

The play part was very helpful. When you look at it as a movie, play, or performance, you don’t know you’re engaged while watching the best actors. If you think they’re the villain, or they’re the hero, or they’re the NPC, the non-player character, you’re convinced. You do such a good job, and it’s entertaining and engrosses you. You’re booing him and want to throw tomatoes at him because he’s evil; he’s the bad guy. But then, when the play ends, everybody comes out onto the front of the stage. Everybody holds hands, smiles and bows, and you clap for everybody. You clap for the villain, you clap for the hero, you clap for the NPC. While we’re here understanding that we are in physical time and space, we must understand that that is part of it, and we cannot bypass it. This is a cup that holds water. You have to see this. It’s also 99.9% empty space. Physics says, “Yeah, but there’s also an atomic, and then there’s even a quantum.” This is also Schrödinger’s cat kind of thing.

Awakening means waking up out of your illusions and fantasies, a more spiritual truth, and a much more tangible and practical reality that you are in complete denial of. Share on X

You’re not actually touching the glass because the electrons in your hand never get close enough to the electrons of the glass to touch physically.

That understanding of physics has also helped me understand my spirituality. It’s like, “Oh, it’s just kind of two different paths to get to the same conclusion.” If you look at some of the most notable scientists, they have a huge interest or belief in religion or spirituality. If you look at the history of priests, alchemists, scientists, astronomers, and artists like da Vinci, it was all the same. It was only because of the church. It was the church that forced the separation of the sciences and spirituality to avoid being hung in persecution. It kind of backfired. 

Now everything’s run by the “science,” and the old models of the church no longer match that. We have a huge disconnect between past mythologies that served for thousands of years and the hard evidence of what’s in front of us. I don’t think it’s the silver bullet of the atheist scientists that they think it is against spirituality because I think, more than anything, it proves a lot of these ancient texts. The computer binary that makes all electronic computer systems work was based on the Yi Qing. All of this stuff goes together. If you look at yin and yang, electron, proton, North Pole, South Pole, male, female, all in there, “God’s face is written upon nature.” There’s some phrase like that. If you have the eyes to see, you can see this. 

In every single paradox that I’ve experienced and come across, that’s where the power is.

These seem like paradoxes. “Well, I’ve had enough experience.” The things I’m talking about are mostly not beliefs for me. How do I know them and not just believe in them? It’s because I’ve experienced this. I’ve done this work with clients. I’ve done this thousands of times, and I can see these spiritual truths come through in my clients in the way they move. We have videos of people doing this, all of this experiential evidence firsthand that these things are true and work. I see what it looks like for somebody to only believe in their ego. That doesn’t work. I’ve seen what it looks like for people to try to ascend out of their bodies and live in a fantasy. It doesn’t work. It’s not true. I don’t come in with theories I project and force upon clients. It’s emergent. The things that I teach and the cinematic process that I do are part of an emergent modality. It’s an emergent approach, which means that everything we do comes from them actually working and happening for people.

I discovered these somatic archetypes in people. That’s how it came to be. I observed this stuff happening in people. We played, I experimented, I observed, and it was revealed to me that we have certain definitions in our mind, and then our body has its own definition. When they’re out of a relationship, when they’re different, that person always, 100% of the time, struggles with that in their life. I reconcile these paradoxes by understanding that in every single paradox I’ve experienced and come across, that’s where the power is. The power is in the paradox. Most people want to dissolve and eliminate that conflict of the paradox. They want to fix the paradox. They want to resolve it. It’s the opposite. You stay in the paradox. That’s where the power is. The power is in the impossibility that meets the paradox, and you find that “Oh, yeah, that’s true.”

Well, an example of that is I think people are opening up a little bit more these days. However, it’s still a big stretch for most people, this concept of an NPC, that there are people who are non-player characters, like in a video game, who are conscious, but they are not regular souls in the traditional context of a bunch of souls reincarnating in these plays, in these movies time and time again. But most of the people who fill our movie, our play, and our simulation are NPCs. They fill the set as extras. That’s really hard for most people to wrap their heads around. So they dismiss it. How did you conclude that NPCs exist in this play, movie, or video game?

Everything you need will present itself to you if you’re on the quest.

I’m unsure if I’ve taken it as far as you’ve taken it. There are a lot of things that seem like the most plausible things, right? Elon Musk talks about it. It is most likely a simulation. You look at computer graphics, and then you think about AI, and it’s like, “What is real anymore? What is actually real and what is not?” Then you go into your nervous system, translating what you see, and things get really walkie-talkie there. Then, you go into symbolism. Then, you go into the dream world. We do a lot of work around dreams and lucid shamanism. You’re like, “Well, reality is not what we’re told it is. There is something here.” I can’t necessarily define it, but I’ve had enough experiences that this is more than just a hallucination; so is all of that stuff. 

For me, the NPC idea has come from people rather than just nobody at home. They’re just going through life. It’s kind of like a more advanced sheep archetype. I’m careful not to go into a superiority in ego thing because it’s easy to say, “Oh, well, you’re all asleep.” That’s not what I’m saying. It’s more of the matrix metaphor of these people being plugged in. They’re so helplessly inured by the system that they will fight to defend it, and they just don’t realize they’re in the matrix. 

Are they a real body plugged into them? Yeah, but as far as their life goes, they’re not present. They’re not showing up. They’re just kind of on autopilot. There’s a movie with Ryan Reynolds called Free Guy. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. There’s also another movie called The Lego Movie, which was much better than I thought it would be, like The Matrix with Legos and Masonry. There’s so much in that movie, but these talk about people who are essentially NPC people who are just going on the script, and then something happens, and they wake up out of it.

I haven’t come necessarily as far to the conclusion that they’re not real people. Maybe they are, but that program hasn’t engaged in them. They’re just so living on autopilot like I was. It’s not that they don’t have an effect on the world because every single person, every single thing, makes this world this world. It wouldn’t be that. I wouldn’t be who I am 100% if it weren’t for you, if it weren’t for the barista, if it weren’t for what’s happening in Somalia, or whatever. 

Everything has a part, everything is valuable, and everything is there. It’s really important not to devalue that, and it’s also important to say, “Okay, this is what it is for me. It brings compassion because I’ve gone down the spiritual, elitist route of saying, “Oh, I know that we’re in a matrix. I know all this stuff. You don’t. Oh, you silly little peon. You’re clueless. The system runs you.” Meanwhile, some banker is running me right where he’s got his puppet strings on me. I eventually realized that the only way that this could serve is through compassion and understanding. 

I’m not one particular religion. I grew up Catholic, but I’ve studied many of them, and I pull from many different ones. Jesus was on the cross, and he said many freaking powerful stuff. One of them was, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know.” Some people can use that out of superiority and arrogance. I’ve done that. But I do my best to find that compassion for these people committing atrocities. Some of them know, but many people just don’t know. They’re born into pain, and they’re born into suffering. They’re born into abuse. If all you know in your life is abuse, have you really made a choice to be abusive? 

I personally feel that there are different levels of accountability; someone who “knows better” and makes a choice is held to a higher level of accountability than someone who doesn’t. That’s literally just born. If you look at some of these tribalistic places in these third-world countries, you literally see children from birth learning how to be terrorists. They just don’t know any different. Their parents are gods to them, and we just learn this stuff. Understand that most of us really just don’t know. There’s someone or something somewhere just looking at me and saying, “Forgive him, for he does not know.” 

I hope that that same grace is afforded to me in my blind spots, limitations, and weaknesses that I try to afford the world. That serves a lot more than going into everybody’s hallucination for me. It is true. But you have to understand that in the context of everyone’s God, we’re all the same thing.

We’re all different parts of our own paths, and it all plays into each other. We all need each other.

We’re each a drop in the ocean. When one drop of the ocean attacks another drop in the ocean, it’s just the ocean attacking itself. That’s when you get cancer, that’s when you have problems, and that’s when stuff doesn’t work. We’re all at different ripenesses on the tree, right? We’re all different parts of our paths, which all play into each other. We all need each other. You can’t have a victor without a loser. It just doesn’t work. You can’t have a hero without a villain, conflict, trial, shadow, or dragon. We need those dragons as much as they need us.

We need contrast. In order to appreciate the sun on a sunny day, we need rain, we need inclement weather.

And all of it serves. This was another lesson I learned: even the stuff that doesn’t serve right, even if the rainy day cancels your game or the person breaks up with you, even if you’re dysfunctional, even if you’re messing things up, and even if you’re not able to get things to work, it all still serves. You’re still learning from it. There’s always something there. Understanding all of this, if done correctly, should lead to peace. It leads from suffering to peace. If you do it incorrectly, it leads to nihilism. It just leads to suicide. Someone has a quote where it’s like the only real question in life is whether you kill yourself or not. That’s a certain way of thinking. That’s a way of relating to life and consciousness; some work, and some don’t.

Yeah. I think you’re into Alan Watts and his teachings. Is that right?

I’m actually an advisor for the Alan Watts Organization; I have worked with his son, Mark, for the past few years.

What are some of his most profound teachings from your standpoint?

Alan Watts and Joseph Campbell, awesomely enough, both organizations have endorsed my book. This is really special because I acknowledge Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, and my other mentor in the book. It’s very special that both places have respected and endorsed what I’m doing. That’s very rewarding. But as far as some of Alan Watts profound teachings, the first one that comes to my mind, just because I like the way it sounds, is talking about this feeling of getting plopped onto the earth. Many people have felt like black sheep, or we are more, maybe more plugged in and tuned in. It kind of feels like the aliens stopped here for a pit stop, and they left while we were still in the bathroom. We’re just kind of dropped off here in this strange world where people are killing each other and fighting over insane stuff. It’s like, “I’m not from this place, this is crazy,” or “People don’t understand us.” 

Even in the womb, at birth, and in childhood, these feelings can be fostered. But what Alan Watts says is, “You didn’t come into the earth, you came out of the earth.” He says just as an apple tree, apples, the earth’s peoples, and whatever spiritual ideas of being made by God or the Anunnaki or whatever spectrum of origin story you have, this is very helpful to a lot of people of understanding that if you believe that you were plopped down onto the strange planet, you’re going to live a very different life, you’re going to relate to the world, to yourself and others in a very different way than if you realize you came out of the earth, that you’re a part of this place, that you’re not a stranger here, that you’re of it. I’ve seen that distinction and applied it to clients in psychosomatic work. 

You didn’t come into the earth, you came out of the earth. – Alan Watts

People who would come in as if they were aliens plop down here and walk around the space, lost, afraid, confused, pulling back, and everything’s a threat. They literally look like they’re walking through a foreign land. When I get them to shift that into saying, “You came out of the earth, you’re from the earth, right? The earth people you,” that whole relationship changes. Why would you want to change that? What was the point of that? Imagine going through life as if everything’s a threat and foreign, and you don’t understand things. You’re lost. Just practically think about what sort of results you’ll encounter from that perspective versus as if this was home, and it was safe, and you trusted it. It brought you forth, and you had a relationship with the land rather than being foreign to it. 

What kind of results in your life might you encounter during that path? I can guarantee 100% that the second path will be more functional. You’re going to be able to perform more functionally, more healthily, more in accord, more in ecology that way than the other way. The other way leads to much Western thinking about man versus nature. Man has to conquer nature. Man has to separate himself from nature, laws, and machines versus nature. I think all sorts of conflicts arise, not only from that, but that plays a part in whether we come from this place or just plopped into it, and we have to fight our way through it. Fighting your way through life versus being supported by life are two very different life paths. And I’ve seen the difference in people, and it’s night and day. That’s one of the ones that first come to mind that I see validated in my work with clients.

How did you end up being on the board of the Alan Watts organization?

Long story short, it was with my last mentor. There’s a small business, but it’s essentially a CTO kind of position. I was just involved in running all of the technology and systems from my experience in the past. I was asked to help with archiving his analog footage and audio, digitizing them, hiring a team, and managing them all. 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Here’s the serendipity. So, for my book, I was looking for quotes. If you read the book, one of my favorite parts about it is all the quotes I put in. They’re not willy-nilly b*llsh*t quotes. For each quote, I put in a lot of time and energy. They’re in between specific paragraphs for specific reasons. They start each chapter for a specific reason. They hold something for me and the reader. I have about three quotes from Alan Watts here. I was googling or editing for the accurate version of one of these quotes. I came across a Reddit thread where one of the employees said, “We have all this archive footage and need people to help with it.” I’m like, “What? That was literally my job for this exact role,” and I did that. So I reached out to him. I said, “I literally worked on this at the highest levels.” I got on a call, which led me to talk with Mark, and I basically came in and then just started. I came in, and it was fixed. I just really got everything solid and going again. It was literally because of this book. I was looking for quotes and serendipitously ran across that thread. I reached out, and we’re doing really cool stuff. We just released a new streaming platform with remastered 4k colorized versions of old Alan Watts videos, which is really cool stuff.

I know we’re out of time here. I have one last question. I’m really curious about how you got the Nautilus Book Award. Did you do something to submit for it? Was there some sort of serendipity or synchronicity that magically brought this about? Or is there a way not to game it but get on the New York Times bestseller list? There are ways that you can increase the chances that that happens. I’m just curious. What if anything occurred on your end to help bring this award about?

That’s a good question. The thing about being a bestseller versus an award winner is that you can’t game it. Your book could be crap, and you could get enough books bought and get onto some of these lists. It’s just how much you can sell or how much you can buy. Whereas an award like this, you have to go through a panel. I sent eight copies of my book to a panel that has been doing this for decades. Every person reads your whole book. You have to submit it yourself. There’s a fee to help pay for the people to do this—no way to game it at all; you don’t know the people. You don’t know their names. You can’t get a hold of them. It’s very legitimate. 

When you’re on a quest, magical aid will appear, and mountains will move when they wouldn’t move before.

It was a pure manifestation. It was a pure choice. I wrote out that I won the award for this book. I printed out, made Photoshop copies of the New York Times bestseller list, and put my name up there. I envisioned it; I chose it. That’s how I wrote the book. I reached out not only to the whole website but also to my categories. I reached the number one bestseller on Amazon in the US and the UK. It’s being translated into other languages. All of that was a choice. I chose that, and I felt it in myself. When the email came, it said, “Congratulations. You won gold.” I smiled, called my parents, and we celebrated. But I wasn’t surprised because even if they said, “Hey, you didn’t win,” I’d be like, “Yeah, I did.” I knew this was an award-winning book; I just owned it and felt it. Then it came to be. As far as manifesting, I just wrote the best book I could write, one that I thought could help most people. I have been doing this long enough to know it was pretty good. It’s not like other books.

You also knew to submit it for the award. That’s where manifestation can sometimes fall short. It’s like, “I want fewer bills, more checks, and more checks showing up.” But you’re not actually out in the world doing things to bring that forward. You can’t just sit on the couch and do nothing; you submit it for that.

You have to show up, just like the Alan Watts thing. I was out in the world. I was engaging. I was on a quest. I was in a vision. I was on my hero’s journey, and this stuff presented itself. One of the things I learned from Joseph Campbell is that all of these things will present themselves—everything you need. I don’t only believe this; I’ve experienced it time and time again. It is unquestionable to me. Everything you need will present itself if you’re on the quest. If you’re, as he said, following your bliss, it doesn’t mean going and doing cocaine because that makes you feel good. What really lights you up is that holy grail quest. When you’re on that quest, magical aid will appear. Mountains will move when they wouldn’t move before. This is divine. This is the hero’s journey. This is the human experience. When you trust that, go into it, and show up in the world, that’s when all of this stuff happens. If you sit on your couch in your head thinking about it, without changing anything or making any new choices, nothing will change.

It reminds me of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and how, in the book, it’s described that the universe will conspire to bring about your personal legend as long as you’re on that quest, as long as you’re journeying on this personal legend. But if you abandon it, then, you know, all bets are off. 

When you can see both the shadow and illusion, there will be so much peace, and you can be of so much service. Share on X

Like the guy at the very end who didn’t get the treasure, I actually just listened to that for the first time with my girlfriend a few months ago.

It’s a great audiobook. Jeremy Irons is such an incredible narrator.

It was really good. I’m like, “Yeah, this is all true.” For me, it was like a retroactive, a retrospective one. This literally just tells me everything that just happened in my life, which I think was cool because if I had read that at the beginning of the journey, it would have seemed more fantastical. It would have seemed almost more like fantasy or fiction. But since I’ve lived stuff like that, I’m like, “Oh, yeah, that’s a principle. That’s the truth. That’s a teaching. Oh, wow. It’s all there.”

It’s all magic—amazing. I appreciate you staying a little longer for this interview. How do our listeners get in touch if they are interested in reading your book or learning from you, going through your Cinesomatic modality or methodology?

Very simple— Then is the link to the Center for Cinesomatic Development website. You can get my book and a free life map that helps you have a creative vision for yourself and embody it. I’m not on social media or anything like that.

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I’m excited for our listeners to apply some of these lessons in their lives, reveal more light in the world, embark on their own hero’s journey, or continue that if they’re already in the middle of it.

Well, thank you for offering me the space to share and giving me that opportunity to speak about this stuff. I appreciate it.

Thank you. And thank you, listener. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.

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Checklist of Actionable Takeaways

?Embrace the journey of self-discovery and be open to profound realizations that challenge my perceived reality.

?Recognize that embodiment and aligning my actions with my inner wisdom is crucial for genuine transformation.

?Cultivate compassion and understanding, even for those who may seem unaware or act in ways I disagree with.

?Stay grounded in life’s paradoxes and conflicts, and embrace the impossibility, as they hold the key to true power and growth.

?Approach life as a grand play or simulation, but engage fully while maintaining a sense of childlike wonder.

?Seek inspiration from diverse spiritual philosophies and reconcile seemingly conflicting ideas through direct experience.

?Follow my bliss and trust that the universe will conspire to support my personal legend when I commit to the quest.

?Practice non-attachment while taking inspired action in the world to manifest my desired outcomes.

?Embrace the duality within the context of oneness, recognizing the interplay of light and shadow in my journey.

?Cultivate a beginner’s mind and remain open to learning, growing, and expanding my perspectives.

?Visit to explore Andrew Daniel’s work and offerings, including access to his book Awaken to Your True Self, information about his groundbreaking Cinesomatic methodology, and a free life map tool to help me envision and embody my creative aspirations.

About Andrew Daniel

Andrew Daniel is an award-winning author, spiritual teacher, and director at the Center for Cinesomatic Development. He is the founder of Cinesomatics®—a feeling-based therapy utilizing video feedback and movement to assess and resolve stuck somatic, psychological, and emotional patterns. This work is held online and in-person internationally, from NY to London, Tuscany to Switzerland.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments, or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Stephan Spencer, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.


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