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E7 Low Trust In Academia, Medicine, Corporate Business

March 2024

58 minutes

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Episode Notes

Institutional trust is at an all time low and citizens in the "Western World" are participating less and less in society building. In this episode, we explore some of the reasons we have lost trust in academia, the modern medical model, and corporate businesses. We conclude with some thoughts on how to healthily reclaim our power and bring honesty back into the world.

Podcast transcript on

is a global, leadership-strategy consulting company. 3Peak creates the roadmap that aligns behaviours, relationships and Functional Human-Systems™ to achieve your business strategy.

Co-Founder holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and did extensive research in Consciousness, Trauma and Physical, Emotional & Mental Health in various Institutes and Research Centers around Europe.

Co-Founder is one of the most sought after therapists in the world, mastering diverse modalities and opening wellness centers in Istanbul, Santiago, New York and Berlin. Her approaches bridges transpersonal psychology, meditation, bioenergetics, family- and business-constellations and more.

Co-Founder has extensive experience advising Fortune 50 and FTSE 100 C-Suite Executives in leadership, strategy, team dynamics, and organizational change. Before coaching, Mino worked in finance, management consulting, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).


Mino Vlachos: Hello and welcome to the three peak master leadership experience. I am Mino and I'm joined by Dr. Mazen Harb and Krisana Locke. Together, we are the founders of 3Peak Coaching & Solutions, where master leaders build healthy systems. We created a company and we support businesses, both top executives and employees, to develop skills and to do training in leadership and wellness. Today's topic is on institutional trust. Over the last few years, if not decades, what we've seen across the quote unquote western world is a fall in the level of trust in public institutions, academia, medicine, business, politics. And researchers find that when people are more civic minded that they're actually participating in their institutions and they trust their institutions. It enables healthy democracy. And when we don't trust our institutions and we stop participating in society, that is when we run into trouble. So today, through the lens of our own experience and expertise, we're going to look at some of the areas where we've touched upon some of these institutions in our lives. It'll give us a chance to talk about our backgrounds, our bios, to explain a little bit of what we see within academia, medicine and business. So I'll actually begin with myself, and we're going to start with our university days. So I hope everyone is excited to talk a little bit about going back to academia. So for myself, when I was in university, I went to university in New York, I went to NYU. And to be honest, I found the experience in some ways marvelous, in some ways deeply frustrating. What I found was I was studying business and economics, that I took tremendous value in some of my more humanities classes, creative thinking, writing, things that really expanded the way I was thinking in life. But I also found it a deeply impractical education and I was struggling to apply what I was learning to my desire to have a career. And I found that over time I was actually in a rush to get out of school. I really wanted to get working, to apply what I was learning to be practical, and I wasn't finding that within the kind of academic institutions. So one of the reasons that I generally have a little bit of this hesitation with education is because I don't know if it'll be practical and applicable to what I'm doing. And at least in the United States, it costs a ton of money to get those educational experiences. So I've had a lot of people give me advice about go get a master's, go get a PhD, and I really just can't find it within my soul to do that because I don't know how it would directly benefit me or my mission in life or the jobs that I'm doing. So for me, these are some of the early experiences that to some extent, I started to feel like, I don't know if this kind of further education system is for me. And so I'm going to now ask Krisana. I know that you also went to university and you studied psychology. So if you can remember back to that time, what were the things that you enjoyed about your studies? And were there things that maybe just weren't quite right fit for you at that time?

Krisana Locke: What I enjoyed about my studies was at that time, in Australia, university was for free. So basically, I'll say from this moment, I was not looking for a career. I was not interested in where my career is going to go. So I did not have that trajectory. It was further education, and I was very interested in anthropology, behavior, and at an early start was inquiry into why with the mind and how humans function. So this is what I liked about it. But honestly, it was a whole totally different time then. And I'm sure if I had to pay for further education these days, which is now in Australia, it would be very important, there would be high pressure. Choose your career, choose where you want to be going for the future. So I was not future orientated. It was like, let's have a gap year where I went to. I am. I'm not so institutionalized with the effect on that with me. But I can understand it's a whole different game in Australia these days, very much. That's what I can say.

Mino Vlachos: Thank you. And what I noticed for myself was with economics, which is what I studied, that there was different schools of thought and they were competing with each other, different philosophies, let's call it this. And so in a weird way, it was economics, but there was almost like a political element and there was these camps that formed and they were kind of fighting with each other and arguing. And ultimately, when I got into the business world, none of that mattered because it's a much more practical, like how to make money, how to get certain things to work. And you studied psychology. So what did you notice in terms of the studies you did in psychology and how that applied now, when you're actually working with people, was it a complete kind of set of studies? Did you have to go do more studies or other training to round out what you were doing in life?

Krisana Locke: Totally. I had to complete more studies and more training for myself as I went out into life, because for me it was much about my own life exploration and meeting life and meeting people and then discovering where I did lots of traveling, discovering what I needed to support myself and also to share with other people. One big trajectory at that time in my life that shifted. A lot of a big turn in my life was it was at the same time that my mother had cancer and she died of cancer. So in the middle of that, being an older sibling, it was the shift away from anything, from career or where do I go? It was very much about life and death. So for my early twenty s. The early 20, I was an older sibling, and that was more important than the death of my mother. So that did shape where I went in life, and it did shape about relating what is relationship. And also, so it shaped me to question at an early life, what is life, where am I going? And I had other priorities of really discovering what is the meaning of life for myself then. So I went into a life school. Now it's an adventure for me.

Mino Vlachos: And were there things that you picked up that. Let me put it this way. When you do support people, you do therapeutic support sessions. What are some of the things you picked up outside of the academic setting that you think enables you to support people that you didn't pick up in school?

Krisana Locke: Okay, so my approach with therapy, there's therapy, but at the foundation there is meditation. So this is really essential. And as you can see in traditional psychotherapy or counseling, they work with making a balance inside of the mind and help support people with their symptoms. And for me, I also was discovering, like, it's part of understanding what's going on in the mind. And I brought in lots of other approaches. I got very much interested in the humanistic psychology, and that is not where someone is ill or mentally ill, but the potential for the human. So the humanistic qualities of development of themselves and how to grow and how to grow in. To evolve into a lot of aspects of themselves. So this was my springboard into understanding this about consciousness. So at the basis I work with people, with, I'm not only working top, so this is the top. This is where traditional, classic therapy, which is good, I also include bottom, which is the body. So my approach started bridging the body and mind, and I went into approaches of neo reichian therapy, gestalt therapy, a lot of bioenergetics, and then from there, somatic work, somatic experiencing and family constellation work, so on systemically and different approaches to make a rounded universe of a person. So either if I'm working bottom, then we bring in top, where we bring some understanding but what I've discovered is we have to find a body mind balance, and also for the person to also start to self inquire, to understand themselves more. And so this is why I love that I have bridged western therapy, western approaches, with the eastern approach of meditation, where we look more at the qualities that a person has and the essential nature. So stepping from therapy into discovering your essential nature and your qualities to bring forth for your life. So this is my combination that I've been sharing for many years in the world with people, groups, business.

Mino Vlachos: Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. So now we're going to turn to our friend, who is a bit more institutionalized, to put it that way. So Mazen had the tenacity and the brilliance to go through the PhD, to publish papers, to be in academia fully. And I know you have a lot of a variety of different experiences, things that I'm sure you're very grateful for and really flourish from. But I know there's also some things that might not have been a great fit or really resonate with your soul as you went through those experiences. As you think about your time in academia, what are some of the things that you feel like aren't working that much? Where is the model? Maybe not as good as it could be.

Dr. Mazen Harb: The academic scientific model. It has lots of things that really is useful, it's really needed. But where I see there's lots of things that need to be improved is in the multidisciplinarity of and in science now more and more departments are start slowly to come together and really separate it. So we put biology on, even biology, there's so many fraction of biology, physics, chemistry. We are not yet in the multidisciplinary. In science there's few attempts bringing cognitive neuroscience with economy and law and decision making. There's few mixes here and there, but I really feel there's lots of competition out there because of the academic structure. It's very known word you have really to survive. So it's called publish or perish. And then when you start, it's either you publish or perish. Because if you do not publish, you won't be able to apply for grants, you won't be able to find new jobs, you won't be able to get money and fundings. So it brings really the survivalish feeling. So what I would like to say is how I started very much of a science. And I really was really eager to know more. It's just really the curiosity of knowing more. At certain point it ends up as survival to fight to compete. Competing is beautiful, but when I use here the word competing in an unhealthy way, so there's difference. Competing is not bad, but just there's a healthy competing and unhealthy competing. And mainly when there is survival, either you publish or try to find the ground to position or you don't. So this is what I would share at this moment.

Mino Vlachos: And I know with our company, three peak coaching and solutions, we've done some partnerships with universities and we've also approached other ones for potential partnership. And one of the interesting things that we've encountered is when we come and even we want to do it for free, right? Like we want to support them, give something pro bono. It's a gift. We just enjoy working with students, universities. We find that sometimes the faculty can really want to almost compete based on their models and their frameworks and their ideologies, and it's somehow better than ours. And why are we here to work with the university? Can you tell us a little bit about the kind of mentality or some of the mindsets, belief systems that folks in academia might occupy and why it goes into this kind of interesting relating dynamic?

Dr. Mazen Harb: Yeah, again a disclaimer. I really am sharing, not out of judgment, I'm sharing out of love for science, love for humans and understanding. At the beginning I became very cynical when I was inside. After four or five years, even more I became cynical because I was becoming frustrated. But now I really see it. And then I let go of the establishment research and I started to do more independent researcher. I became and I created my own things. I do consciousness research and many other kind of research, but I felt that's the best way so I can be free to discover and do my own way of science. The issue lays a lot in I came to science because of the beauty and the joy that science allows, a place of thoughts questioning why something is like that way, far from dogmas, because everybody's influenced from whatever the culture they come from. They're very influenced by the religion and the belief system that exists. For me, science was the reacting out or like my window away from the culture. That's very dogmatic in a sense, any culture, because of religion and norms and things. And then this is where I got disappointed in a way. But in a way it was my biggest learning and my biggest research. I went there with all a new look, a new vision. I was like bringing things up. And I realized when I was presenting things that was opposite to what's already accepted, I had lots of resistance happening and then even when I proved certain things that they're really scientifically correct and everybody could really say yes to it, I noticed there was, like, difference in identities. And I'm like, what is that? What's happening? Why people are unhappy? When we bring new way, approach new understanding of certain theories, when we bring a new perspective of a certain understanding. And then very fast, I got to understand I'm not dealing with science as I wished it to be. I'm still dealing with the same mindset that comes from cultures, belief system, religion, that really make people. And this is not a criticism. We need that to make us feel safe. Then I understand, oh, my God. Religion and culture and belief system, and all of that makes us feel safe within our own identity. But with time, it becomes, like, heavy. But actually it's a defense mechanism, or in a way, not defense, but in a way to really keeps us together as a person, but as to be part of the society where we belong to. But I was really sad and disappointed that science is like that, but then helps me really to understand why. And I realized we as a humans, we create certain understanding. So we go and then approach a scientifical question, but then we really need to believe in something. So in order to approach it, we start believing in it. And then once we have the hypothesis that it's really positive, and then we really stick to it, and then we start to build on a different hypothesis and another one, and then we put them together, and what we do not know, it creates an identity. And then when I used to come and then sharing the other version of it, I'm like, why? Everybody's fighting back? And I realized, oh, my God, they are confusing the hypothesis and science and philosophy and what we try to discover with their own identity. And that makes me even softer. Not at the beginning. At the beginning, I was very later on with time. Wisdom comes with time. At the beginning, fight comes. And then I discovered that science is dogmatic by nature, because the mind is dogmatic by nature to find an identity so to feel safe. Of course, those scientists are very well trained, so with time, they could let go of the other identity, be less dogmatic, and then move on to the new understanding. But by nature, science is to always question it and evolve. You cannot create an identity around something you discovered. You have always to question it. So for me, that's the hindrance, but also that's the acceptance with time, but that's also the wish for science. And scientists do not identify with themselves, with their discoveries, because that will limit the discovery itself and actually will make science, dogma and religion and culture.

Mino Vlachos: So what else? Share, not firsthand, experientially, because as I mentioned, I only did my undergraduate bachelor's degree in academia, but I can share, my father is a professor in academia, so I can share a little bit of some of the things that he's told me. His colleagues have told me things that I've gotten from that community. And for context, my father is a chemical engineer, he's a brilliant researcher, he's a prolific inventor. He has whatever, patents and this thing and that he's really done some incredible work on renewable energy sources and renewable biodegradable materials, like very cool things. One of the things I once asked him is he was whatever, in a bunch of CNN. Like he had this really amazing invention that I could talk about a different time, but okay, so you've made this amazing invention about how to turn plastic back into oil, like something that we thought was unbelievable and impossible to do. You're in the BBC. What happens now? And what he shared with me is that, well, honestly, not much, because the business world and the academia are very separate from each other. So he said the routes you can go are the scientists could start a startup and go out into the world and become entrepreneurs with that patent, but most of them are scientists. So yeah, that's a tough one. They can try to license it, but most of the corporations don't want to license from the universities for different reasons, one of which is control. They want to be able to control the patent. The other one is, from what I've heard, is just ego. Like, we want us to have the name on the discovery, but there's a communication block there. So a lot of great innovation actually is happening in these academic institutions and is not being filtered to the rest of our kind of society. So it's happening in these ivory towers, and brilliant stuff is happening there, but the commercial world is actually letting these opportunities completely go to waste. There's also a phenomenon where we see more and more research being produced, but the actual innovativeness is going down. If you look at actual innovative papers, there's a huge plunge that's happened, but the volume of papers is skyrocketing. So we're doing a lot more quantity as a society, but actually there's a lot less innovation happening. So we have these kind of incentive structures, like you said, publish or perish, but we haven't really systemically looked at what we're producing, and if it's the right stuff we're producing. I know Mazen, you've shared in the past that also, there's sometimes with the experiments, some of them are based on models of stress. So let's just maybe start with the animal model and tell me a little bit about the mice or rats and some of the philosophy around how we obtain data from those based in stress.

Dr. Mazen Harb: So the animal model is a great model. It's a good start, yeah. To go on the good side of things. It's a great model, but it's a model. So it has its advantages and it has its limitation. It really helped a lot in producing tremendous results when it comes to a lot of the vaccination and an immune system and things like this. Because in mammals, we evolved in a certain way. We have similar evolution when it comes to the organs outside of the brain of a humans. That's what made it different, is the brain of the humans. Yet the brain of a mammal has everything that the brain of a human has. But then we really developed in the neocortex the ability to decognite, to think, to evaluate, and all of that, mainly on the prefrontal cortex. But we have mainly all, like even in the. When I worked on the brain, we have all the different regions of the brain that exist. The only thing about the models is like, imagine we created. It's more of how to say it. We take the animals out of the environment to really have less factors that will influence. And then we instill, we create certain methods, really, to bring stress in those animals. And then we go study certain things. I would really like to say that some of it is really, really helpful. It's really in the fundamental learning. What I enjoy most was like learning and memory understanding. Learning and memory understanding that the best way to make animals learn is either you motivate them or you stress them. Speak a lot about it. But that's to do with emotions and the formation of a memory. To consolidate the memory, you need emotions going, you consolidate it even more emotion comes either through a pleasurable thing. So through a motivating, rewarding thing, or through a stressful thing. The only thing is really outside of their environment, actually. And this is where the issue when we go and become too optimistic.

Mino Vlachos: Right?

Dr. Mazen Harb: So, learning, fundamental thing. It's amazing to learn the effect of drugs. It's amazing to learn. It's really immediate effect, the certain effect of things on learning. But then here, when it comes to more complicated things, I'll give an example. When we speak about obesity. Obesity is a good example. When it comes to physiological problem of obesity, energy expenditure and energy consuming. But when we come to the bigger problem of obesity, which is more complicated, it's very societal, it's very learned thing, this. We cannot reproduce in the lab. Even though I tried to reproduce certain things, it was fun, but I wouldn't say I reproduce everything. Drug addiction, the same way we can reproduce certain things, but we cannot reproduce the rest. Now the issue is, and I know probably why you asked the question. When we want to understand the effect of stress, it's very easy and good to understand the effect of stress in the animal models, because we see how it really influences the stress response system, how it influences the organs, how it really is very heavy on the organs, the hormonal system, the nervous system, the DNA, the epigenetics. We can learn really a lot cause and effect of things. Where we are short with is with the biggest topic of the society, which is like depression, psychosis, and all those things. So that's more on a mental issues, actually, mental and emotional issues. Here we get to be over optimistic in a sense of we really go simplistic. And then we try to create different models based on that simplistic, very effective animal model. But I would say it's still simplistic. And that's why, until this day, we're still really struggling with finding medicine that really helps in depression. We have everything that's in the market doesn't help with depression in a sense that to cure it, it helps it by maintaining, suppressing it to a certain degree that we're a bit functional, but it really numbs the problem. And we know very well the problem need to be addressed. So, yeah, I would like to say that again, it's really very deep topic and it's really case by case. So I would like to stick it to that.

Mino Vlachos: Sure. One thing, this is my anecdotal observation. So I'm not saying I'm actually right or it's true, but this is just what I've observed is, and I think there's some absolutely brilliant, amazing, very clear scientists. And I don't know if the problem is even with the scientific community or the way that's communicated to the public. But one of the impressions I have is that if we don't have evidence for something, then it's cast out completely. It's like, well, we don't have evidence to support that this is a beneficial intervention. So we don't believe in it at like, there's nothing that we can almost. There's no curiosity there. There's this negativity bias that I feel. So I'm going back to what Krisana shared with her beautiful background, where she learned all of these modalities and amazing things outside of the school system that have been the most potent, effective ways to support people. But I know that the sometimes scientific or academic model can look at that, especially probably 2030 years ago and say all those things are unscientific because we haven't chosen to ask if they're actually working or not. We haven't studied them, so they're unscientific. And that kind of like, I take meditation, for instance, for many years it was like we haven't actually studied meditation. So it's not something that we respect at all. So that's the ethos that kind of, if we're not curious, throw it out. And yet now, of course, science is catching up. So now we're starting to delve into the all incredible benefits of meditation that for folks that have been practicing it for thousands of years, we already knew. But now, okay, the western academic model is kind of catching up. But I think that lag period or the way it's communicated, shows some skepticism in people who are trying something, saying, actually, this really works for me. It actually works for many people. Why are you throwing it completely out? Why aren't you curious? Why aren't you really bringing an open mind to this? And it's my observation again, that when people interact with the academic model or the medical system and they're not able to get the support they need, then they have to find somewhere else. And typically that's been what I'll label this kind of alternative healing space. And this is where I think a lot of people do find genuine benefit and genuine healing. So now I'm going to kind of turn it to Krasana, who has such a varied experience across so many different modalities, has supported thousands of people. When people are kind of more frustrated with some of these kind of institutionalized, like the medical system, they have a problem. Maybe it's physical, maybe it's emotional, mental health, and they come to you. What do you think that you're able to support them with that maybe these other institutions have missed along the way.

Krisana Locke: One thing is important that I do first. If they, I really need to know what symptoms they have and if they're taking any drugs or they need to be with a doctor or be taking medication, generally I support people to continue with that, but because I'm not going to tell them, go off all your medications and come and work with me and all the approaches, you'll be healed or your symptoms. So my approach is to look at the person, to see the person and see where they are missing, to get in contact with another dimension of themselves through meditation and through approaches that connect the body and mind. So with the medical model, it's a model where you're sick, you're classified, you have something, you have a symptom, you have a disease, and then it's labeled and you feel this is an identification or even depression. People would come and would want to work with me, or even in process work, or they would tell me I have depression. I would say to them, do you have depression now or you've had depression? So some people would say to me, oh, probably four or five years ago, I had depression. So they're not even aware of episodes. We're not just components and pieces. It's to understand, to really self inquire to themselves, to see themselves in a whole space. So when I'm working with people, with my approaches, I bring in the life energy of the body. I bring also the aspect for them to understand, to reflect back to them what are their issues or why they've come to self inquire with themselves, but to gain access to their own healing properties inside their body and mind and to step out of their beliefs, to step out of understanding a lot of hangups and issues from early childhood, conditioning, also lifestyle and the way they treat their body and the way they're living their selves today. So I bring them into another type of awareness for themselves. And then in this approach, I also bring in the aspect of meditation and even in corporation and also in the medical world today and in science, mindfulness. Mindfulness is a term used now. And basically, mindfulness is becoming aware of the physical sensations, your emotions, and becoming aware of thoughts. So this approach of mindfulness is now accepted. There's another dimension that goes further into than mindfulness is to go to step out of the thinking box of the mind and to step into out of duality and into this state of beingness, which is presence, resonance, and consciousness. So when we're locked into our mind, aware, locked into issues with our body, we have to find a new way to understand how meditation can help us to step into our true nature, our sensual nature, our qualities, and our life energy that is always there. So the basis of a lot of my work is bridging these therapeutic approaches to a person to come back into their wholeness.

Mino Vlachos: Thank you. So I'll share pretty candidly that for a lot of my life, I experienced, I'll call them mental health challenges. Like, I really struggled with myself and my emotions, and I was very unregulated in my emotions and, I don't know, brought a lot of suffering and misery upon myself for no reason. And I tried many different things. So I went to psychotherapy, talked about it. I tried antidepressants at one point, and whatever. They had some help, some support, but it was like I was able to almost mask. So I had some functionality. But the moment those were gone, then I just kind of returned back to that baseline of really struggling. And then it was through the work that I did with the two of you in Tantric, energetics, Mazda and Croissant, the personal development work that you offer. It was the first time that I was able to get to the roots of some of the things that I was grappling with. And I took care of the roots. And from there, they haven't really been topics anymore. So it's not like I masked something or it became functional, like something felt like it actually healed. And therefore I could then move through my life without it being something I carried with me anymore. So, Mazen, I know that you're bridging these worlds you come from. I know they're considered separate, even though they're probably not different, because we're all just humans. But you came from this scientific, academic world, and then you went into what I'll call this kind of. Again, it's a weird label, but alternative healing scene. There's something outside of the institutionalized kind of medicine system, where you offered a lot of support to people, and you worked a lot with Krisana to support people. When you think about some of those things that we can offer outside of the institutions, or at least thus far, what do you see as helping people, supporting people, that is a bit different than what might be offered in the traditional medical model.

Dr. Mazen Harb: I would even say the importance of academia in. I wouldn't call it outside, and then inside, I would call it, we're going more and more toward there.

Mino Vlachos: Okay.

Dr. Mazen Harb: One of those things, when I was doing my research, I discovered, was complaining that it's not multidisciplinary, like health should become multidisciplinary, and realized that when I was doing my PhD. So, I don't know, probably 1012 years ago. Australia, for example, is one of those nations that they really went far into taking care of cancer patients. And they don't take care of cancer patients just by giving them chemo or just drugs. And then it's very holistic. So the word holistic is very first. It's not understood. It's not a religious word, it's holy. Holistic is mean. Take all the part, the whole part of the body brain system to put it together. So approaching issues, disorder, diseases, from a holistic point of view. So to use the word alternative, I bet within a few years to come, this word alternative will disappear. And because it doesn't, scientifically, it cannot be casted out, because literally we're still speaking about the body brain system. Now, what helped me and supported me to support folks out there and mainly myself first, through the science I did, I realized there's a way to bridge them. Those things are one and the same. One is more structural. Academia, science is very more structural. Let us go. It's more of a masculine in its aspect. Of course, we overstretch it and we try from it to extrapolate everything, which is we reach some limitation. The other one, it's more feminine. It's aspect like the alternative scene. Then it's yoga, it's meditation. So you have lots of people who are from the mind, from business, make fun of the alternative scene. And you have the alternative scene despise and hate and want to fight against the establishment, but they put establishment, they're really equating to business, to money. Things are really confused. So we have here two camps, but those camps exist within us. And then here I realized coming like, actually we need both and there's no way beyond it. So hence, when I start working with people and with myself first is to give people back the gift of their own self empowerment. I don't give them empowerment, I gift them the guidance toward there, which is self understanding, self knowing your body, your brain system, self understanding, self knowledge of the self. And this is not complicated. I'm like, what? I'm like, this is not complicated. That's pure science. That's pure facts. That's pure understanding. Why it's so important, you have to know that most our fears and when you said you were unregulated and mental health is because we're afraid what's happening, and we do not know. So most of our fears come from our ignorance of the body brain system. I'm like, then we can tackle it at least half of the problem. So when I start even working, you start working with tantra energetics, and we explain the basic facts, how the body function, how the stress system function, how the brain and emotions functions, and how constantly they are communicating with each other. So for me, and then what I would like to share here the biggest understanding. Once you start to know and understand how your body function, how your brain functions, how your emotions functions and how to deal with them. You already went so far away in self healing because you start to bring awareness. There is no self healing without awareness. And the moment you allow someone to heal you, that mean you are not aware what's happening, you put your power away because nobody has the capability to heal you. Everybody has the capability to open this space for you to really allow the body to heal itself again. See, that's a self understanding. And that's why in all mental and emotional health, we let go of our power, we give it away, we give it to institution, and one day we revolt against it, and then we stop taking the benefit of it. There's so much benefit in institution. But the problem of institution, what goes alone and then ignores everything, that's intuition, understanding, alternative healing, alternative modality, the importance of self default mode of the body to self heal itself through stillness, through breathing, through all of that. But anyhow, science is catching up and I really end up on a disposal. Science is very much catching up. Folks in science are start to understand. Actually more and more people are doing this. Let me go check it. And they're brilliant scientists out there. The only problem is, yeah, the whole society had to wait for scientists, but we had to lead the way for scientists to catch up, because the more they catch up, the more it becomes true and accept in society. So we cannot go without the academia, we cannot go without the scientists, but we have to work together, so the scientists catch up the opposite way around.

Mino Vlachos: It's interesting that there might be almost this relating dynamic where I'm going to oversimplify a bit, but what it sparked in me is that we give our power to the institution. So I'm at the mercy, really. I'm like full faith, full trust. Then something doesn't go my way, I feel betrayed, and then I go into this rebellion and I'm against the institution, I'm fighting the system. But the seed of it was really that I was almost too much trusting or too much relinquishing my power to this entity or these people that are outside of myself to begin with. So in some ways it's a tough but good lesson. And I'm going to now bridge it, because you started to talk about the business world. So I'm going to now bring in the business world. So I'll give again a little bit of my background on this, which is I politically and mentally. When I was a teenager, I went very much into this kind of like libertarian cult. I don't know what to call it, but it's very much like I went to these programs and school programs and summer things and read the books. And I really was obsessed with this notion of business is great, business is good. Business is like this enlightened, amazing thing. I don't know. I went really hardcore, very deep into this topic, and I was like, for years really attached to this concept of the most efficient thing is a business. It's better than government, it's better than nonprofit, it's better than everything. I was like a fanatic, right? So it was my own religiosity coming out. And then when I got my first job in management consulting and I was doing mergers and acquisitions, I went to one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and I was tasked with helping to sell off a business that they were selling. So we were basically trying to carve out this little piece of the company and sell it to another company. I was in charge of HR. That was what I was given. And what I needed to do was first put together a list of employees. That was it. Like the employees that worked in this business that we were going to sell off so that we could give the name of the employees and the amount of employees this other company was about to receive. And I thought, of course, we're going to go into a system. We're going to type in the whatever. We're going to download the list. What? It'll take five minutes, ten minutes. Took me four months. Four months to get a list of employees who worked at this company. And I'm telling you, I worked like a dog. Like, I was working like 1215, 16 hours just to get a list of employees and where they lived and how much they were getting paid. These systems within the company were so dysfunctional. And this is a company that everyone's heard of. You likely have some of their products in your medicine cabinet. They make both drugs, but also household products. And just seeing the sheer inefficiency, the sheer kind of dysfunction within the company from just an operational standpoint, it blew my mind. And that was the singular experience that led me to believe that my ideology, that kind of libertarian religiosity, was complete bullshit. That all these concepts I had about business being so efficient. And what I realized is that when you get to a certain size, your inertia is so big, you can keep stumbling forward kind of forever because you are a massive. It would take something very catastrophic to really take your legs out from under you. That shattered my kind of thing. So then I kind of had a little bit more of a healthy relationship with business. Of like it's a human system, so it's just as kind of messy as any other system. It's not something to kind of hold up as this incredible thing. It has its own problems. Now, of course, there's a lot of people, like we already mentioned, who probably despise business and are coming from a different standpoint where they're saying it's the worst thing on the planet. It's horrible. It's terrible. So somewhere we need to kind of meet in the middle. I know. Mazen, you've mentioned when you compare academia with business, there's some things we can actually admire about business. In what ways do you feel like business people might be more honest than academics?

Dr. Mazen Harb: When I was in science. When I was in science, it was more of like, okay, I'm better than in business. Because here I'm doing something good for humanity. I'm really improving society. And then business is bad and all of that thing. But then I saw the sheer competition and the publisher perish and then the identities and the dogmas going out there. And then I realized, actually business is super honest. Because you come here, you're paid for the job you have to do. And then either you deliver or you don't deliver. So for me in business, there is no mumbo jumbo and just crap things. It's sincerity. Funny, I'm using those words. I'm here to do this job. Either you deliver or we don't. It's very exposed. It's very clear. There is respect of the exchange of money and then of what your capabilities. So the competition where I ran away, I continued in science because I didn't want to compete in the business world. But I realized as an employee in the business world, I have to do my job. The competition was in science. I'm like, oh my goodness, it's a different place.

Mino Vlachos: Yeah.

Dr. Mazen Harb: So this is why I really appreciate about business is the vision, the clarity of the vision, the mission to sticking to it. And yeah, it's easier, it's more clear, clean, organized.

Mino Vlachos: And of course, Kusana, we can say there's also the other side of it. Right? Some things that businesses, of course, maybe not getting right. Like we know that it's not always sustainable and in good relation with the planet. Sometimes there's dysfunction amongst the employees. I know when we've talked, it was something that struck you as we started our work with three peak, was how people would talk about needing transparency, and then we would ask them for honesty and we wouldn't be able to get it. So as you look at these corporate systems and you think about honesty, transparency, what have you observed and what might be some hindrances within the corporate environment when it comes to honesty?

Krisana Locke: I discovered when I was starting to work more and more in business world, corporate world, there's a lot of business words that go around like transparency. And when I would ask, so what is it that you want to have transparent? And it was like I had hit someone with a sledgehammer. It was like, oh, my God, I can express, or what do I see? And I don't think they really understood that what they wanted to share or what they needed is to be transparent, to be honesty, to be honest. First of all, I think people don't understand what being honest is. So there's a fear to be honest, and there's also a label of honesty. So I know businesses are not. Some businesses don't work with honesty. They work on a dysfunctional organizational model because it hasn't been set up in the beginning with core principles and core values and a core foundational structure that will move through and will allow the company to thrive and not survive, because it's more about making more profit than caring for also the people inside of the company. So things get out of balance. So there's dishonesty about how a company is functioning or moving, and I find them. Well, that's a difficult question for me at this moment, really to, I really would have to think about it. But I think in companies, one has to look at themselves first to see where am I befooling myself? Where am I deceiving myself? Where am I in this work? I'm not even liking to be there, but I have a desire, I have a future outcome that I will get somewhere and I'll be a lot happier or really to be honest with themselves, why they are being dishonest in their function or so in their business. So I would start there and then to also talk about my company is dishonest when themselves haven't even looked, to see in themselves where they're also playing in the game or contributing, to not being honest, to stand up and to be courageous and also to be in the role and to do the skills and to try to develop. But I'm going too existential about honesty in companies.

Mino Vlachos: I'll add a little bit to that, what I've observed, and we wrote a nice article about this through our company, threepeak. So we'll publish that in the show notes. My perception is that there's this tension between what I want individually. So what is kind of helping me? And I'll call that, without judgment, selfish, because we all have to be, to some extent, selfish to survive. And then there's something about what is good for this entity as a whole, and then what is good for things beyond the boundaries of this entity, like the planet. And it's okay, I think, for an employee to be selfish, to say, this is an exchange, this is what I give you, this is what you give me. The thing is, as we grow into leaders and we're leading employees or we're leading the entity as a whole, we have to take a shift to think about what's good for this company in the long term versus what's good for me in the short term. I think that's a big tension that leaders hold, is that toggling between the self and the entity, the self and the planet. And how do you really make decisions that are for the good of everyone and not just me? From there to your point, Krisana, I think, can you even just be honest about that versus having all these idealistic slogans and mottos and just being like, look, just be honest with yourself. First. I've heard leaders that I've worked with, we've worked with that say, well, this company is never going to change. So I have to lie. It's the only way I can do is I have to lie, I have to manipulate, but without taking any responsibility, that I'm actually going to choose to play into this game. And these are leaders, these aren't employees, but they're leaders who say, I'm going to play this game, I'm going to lie, I'm going to deceive. And one thing that I noticed was I had a lot of friends I met when we were in the, whatever, I don't know what to still call it, kind of more alternative scene. People who are more against society, against institutions, against corporations. And they would see me, I was coaching people in pharmaceutical companies. So leaders in these top pharmaceutical companies, and they would ask me these questions of, like, are they plotting? Are they plotting to ruin the world and destroy the world? Are they out here to, whatever, ruin society? And I would say, I genuinely haven't seen any of that. I think they're people. They're normal people who have no awareness of what they're doing, no inner awareness. They aren't self aware of their decision making, their desires and the things that end up happening, I find, are more of negligence than of I'm going to commit something and destroy someone on purpose. Negligence being it's not my problem, or I'm going to just put it under the rug, or I'm just going to look out for myself, I'm going to do a white lie, because it just helps me in this moment. Those things, when you multiply them by 10,000 people, 50,000 people, 100,000 people, those white lies end up adding up, and those create a lot of rifts in the system and dysfunction in the system. But it's rare that you have a pure machiavellian person who is out to totally destroy society. It's people. The same people that we talked about in academia, the same people we talked about in the medical system, the same people that are in the alternative healing scene, same people that are in business. We're all just people. So we're all operating under similar kind of pressures, demands, awareness gaps. And when we can come together and actually work on ourselves, bring some awareness, then across every system, some shift will happen. And so I began by saying this is a topic about trust in institutions. Well, trust is a byproduct of honesty. So somewhere we're not being honest in these institutions, and we can say it's the institution's fault, or we can see how each one of us is participating in those institutions and the honesty we are bringing. So it's not about casting a finger and blaming and saying someone else messed up. It's about how we can take responsibility for how we are honest. And then those systems will transform. And so, with a few more minutes, Krisana, please share what you'd like to. Sounds like you have something to share.

Krisana Locke: I just would like to know from you, what is the opposite of honest for you.

Mino Vlachos: For me, there's like different degrees to it, but I would say it begins with, if I don't know what's motivating me, then I feel already that I'm not honest with myself. So if I wake up in the morning and I just, whatever, go about my day without thinking about what am I feeling and what's my motivation, then I don't really know why I'm acting the way I am. So I could be acting out and not really understand why I'm acting out and throwing stuff at everyone around me. That, to me, is a form of dishonesty, because I'm not honest with what my behavior is being driven by. Then I also find dishonesty can have different layers where I purposely hide or manipulate the truth to get an outcome out of someone else. So that to me, is another layer of dishonesty is there's someone out there and I must do something so that they do exactly what I want them to do, which is politics, manipulation. I consider that dishonesty. Those are probably the inner and the outer forms. Would you have different perspective or definition on that Persona?

Krisana Locke: No, I'm in par with you. So it's a lot about self deception of the self being aware of, like I'm deceiving oneself. So even a company, is it an honest company? Someone can ask, is it an honest company or are they deceiving one? So I was just questioning to you, just wanting to know your understanding of honesty.

Dr. Mazen Harb: Before we depart, actually, I would like also to say some words. I like that each one of us shares something small to close. I really want to put the attention on. We can call it trust in institution, we can call it establishment, we can call it government, we can call it the parents, we can call it everything we want. But something has to be known that we share in common more what we really think we share. Everybody's trying to really take care of themselves and their families. That's the motivator that everybody wake up and go to work. Doesn't matter where they work. It's our judgment. Oh, they work in a tobacco company or they work in an alcohol company. This is our judgment for themselves. They want to feed their children, bring money to educate their children for taking care of themselves. Some people need more money than others to feel safe. Some people enjoy in finding more money, and they find ways for money that gives them enjoyment and safety. So we go criticize establishment. But what we're not knowing is that we're criticizing people. And when we're criticizing people, that mean we're criticizing ourselves. We start to see, separate ourselves from the environment we live in. The environment we live in and we see is nothing more than extension of us and our perception of it. And then the more and more we start to understand. That's why today I could not criticize now the science, nor that I'm like in the past. I know in our discussion I had lots of criticism. Now I'm not able. Because in everything the intention is positive. This is everything that starts. But then everyone comes and we read everyone trying to survive. Everyone's trying to survive. And that's why you have pressure, you have stress. Everyone's trying to take care of themselves. For me, that's the basis of it. It's easy to judge. It's easy to blame, but by doing this, we're separating ourselves, we're putting our power away, and then we're playing a victim role they did to us. And this is very difficult. So here they wish to really, everyone take full responsibility by knowing the self, by knowing the body, by knowing the brain system, and start taking care. And you will notice, by and by, your perception of those things that you hated in the past will start shifting. And actually, this is how we start to change society, by changing our perception and see how we can collaborate to make a better system for our children to live in and grow in.

Mino Vlachos: Thank you. And so I'll add my last little piece, which is very small, which is awareness and systems. When we bring awareness to the self, and we really build systems that incentivize the right things and work in a healthy way, we will get the outcomes we want. But you cannot change the system until you change yourself. So start there. We're all people. We're all humans. No one is catastrophically evil or angelically good. We're all the same person, doing all these different tasks in different places. So let us have some grace and empathy, compassion for our fellow human, and look to ourselves to see what we can change in the society. And so with that, we bring this episode to a close, a topic we can always revisit. And I want to thank everyone for listening.