The Room of Lives

by Neel

I am Neel (, physics and neuroscience PhD (India/USA). I explore people's life stories and visions across many topics, but frequent interests are science, spirituality, mind and mystery.

Podcast episodes

  • 60 · Navy SEAL · Mental Health, Eye-Tracking & the Self

    60 · Navy SEAL · Mental Health, Eye-Tracking & the Self

    ‘I have really suffered mentally, and from mysterious chronic illnesses, which I believe are all an illness of the interface between body and mind: the nervous system.‘As a kid, I had panic moments of fixating on my death, and would actually kick, punch and scream. On ketamine, my self disappeared, and I was left puzzled: what is awareness without a vantage point that it’s emanating from?’Former Navy SEAL Chris Irwin was the first subject of my eye-tracking experiments at the new Psychedelics Research and Therapy Center at UT Austin. He has created the Rare Sense podcast and blog that shares his mental health journey. We talk about mysterious chronic illnesses, then I explain my eye-tracking experiments, and we discuss EMDR therapy. We then talk about our fears of death, and the self disappearing with psychedelics or spiritual practice.

  • 59.2 · Israeli Military Reporter · Travel and its Lessons

    59.2 · Israeli Military Reporter · Travel and its Lessons

    'India was an intense and diverse chaos. I learned to say no to people in a way I never thought I would. But I also had the best time with the locals than any other country. As a Jew, we have the first monotheistic religion. Your polytheistic perspective is so different. In Judaism we read interpretations of religion a lot. But India is the birthplace of direct yoga and meditation.'I once told a friend that I would feel lonely while traveling. He said, there’s being alone and experiencing your true self because you are not compromising. Then there’s loneliness, when your constant high expectations of experiences and socialization are not met. Being alone is the default, and if you learn to be comfortable with it, anything else is extra.'Idan Yarom shares his experiences of backpacking through southeast Asia, including India, and the life lessons on communication, perspective, challenges and loneliness that these journeys have taught him.

  • 59.1 · Israeli Military Reporter

    59.1 · Israeli Military Reporter

    'In Israel, you are summoned to the military at 17. They have psychological tests to see if you’re mentally sound to hold a gun. Some people try to fake mental problems to avoid the military, so the system is very skeptical even when you do have real mental issues. I got into the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson unit that reports military news. I’ll say we try our best to tell the truth. I would travel solo to random bases and interview people, and sometimes got the craziest stories with just a couple of questions.'After that I worked at the Tel Aviv Institute on national security. This last decade was one of the safest for Israeli security. Since 2019 we had about 5 elections, and Palestine was not a central topic in any of them. But there is a big difference in our perspectives. In Palestine they observe the Nakba day like a catastrophe or Holocaust, which in Israel is our independence day, the happiest day of the nation. Both sides have legitimacy, and we need to find a way to make it okay, but I don’t see a solution right now.'Idan Yarom shares his experience as a military reporter in the Israeli Defense Forces and working at the Tel Aviv Institute on national security, then provides a recent history of Israel and Palestine.Related: episode 7.2 · Life and Resistance in Palestine

  • 58.4 · Hot Takes on Reality · Shape-shifting Universe

    58.4 · Hot Takes on Reality · Shape-shifting Universe

    In science we make observations and extrapolate to natural laws that we believe are eternal. But what if the algorithm of the universe is constantly changing?Link to my music: Causal Diamond

  • 58.3 · Hot Takes on Reality · Oil & Water

    58.3 · Hot Takes on Reality · Oil & Water

    At a recent camping trip, I share how I have traversed from the world of scientific reason and objective truths, to spiritual, unprovable, even paranormal truths. I would love to bridge these worlds, but it seems like they have intrinsic properties that make them want to stay separate, like oil and water.