189 episodes

Powerful conversations and interviews about real life psychology, philosophy, psychedelics, spirituality, social dynamics and much more.

Our mission is to entertain, provoke, inform, and make you question everything you think you know.

Have you ever been on the wrong end of “office politics”?

Or lost out to less talented people who are better at “playing the game”?

Join us as we our explore Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling study of the 48 Laws of Power, in which he lays bare the psychological principles that ultimately shape all human relations.

Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look at how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually.

Voices in the Dark Jon & Dre

    • Philosophy
    • 4.7, 39 Ratings

Powerful conversations and interviews about real life psychology, philosophy, psychedelics, spirituality, social dynamics and much more.

Our mission is to entertain, provoke, inform, and make you question everything you think you know.

Have you ever been on the wrong end of “office politics”?

Or lost out to less talented people who are better at “playing the game”?

Join us as we our explore Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling study of the 48 Laws of Power, in which he lays bare the psychological principles that ultimately shape all human relations.

Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look at how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually.

    The Laws of Human Nature 8: Three Core Beliefs And How To Disarm Them

    The Laws of Human Nature 8: Three Core Beliefs And How To Disarm Them

    This could be the most important Law of all: The Law of Defensiveness.
    At our emotional core, we're all desperately grasping onto three basic ideas – the sense that we're independent; that we are intelligent in our own way; and that we are, overall, a good and decent person. It doesn't matter that a lot of the time this isn't true – these ideas remain the cornerstones of our sense of self and we'll defend them to the last.
    Knowing this and learning how to manoeuvre our way around other people's internal narratives, we can finally begin to exert influence on the world around us.
    Robert takes the example of the rise of Lyndon Johnson. This prickly and driven young man was going nowhere fast in US politics, but once he learnt how to validate and play to other people's emotional needs, his ascent was nothing short of astonishing.
    What Johnson's story reveals is that effectiveness and influence isn't about having particular skills, abilities, or even about paying your dues. It's about making other people feel good around and about you.
    Robert reveals several key strategies to achieve this. First, we must play the role of the student: we must ask other people's opinions and advice, putting them at their ease and allowing them to feel seen and heard. So often we go through life trying to charm people with our own ideas, but this frequently backfires. When we stop talking about ourselves and what we think, we tune ourselves to other people's wisdom, experience and interests, opening the doors to deeper connection and ever greater possibilities.
    Most people also crave validation so badly that they can rarely turn it down. Once you become a source of that sweet nectar, you'll rarely have to ask for anything – they will want to do it for you.
    This rapidly starts to feel creepy and manipulative – but why? Jon and Andrea examine this disgust reflex because, when we look closely, this is how human relations work... we just spend a lot of our time ignoring it.
    Still, the ethics are confusing here. Are we merely making an unconscious habit into a conscious strategy, or are we lying in order to get what we want? Is this about finding ways to use people, or finding ways to connect and collaborate?
    Ultimately, this Law is about practical empathy and learning to put our egos on hold. Instead of building walls around ourselves, it's about going outside to explore the world and the people around us.
    It's also about the lessons we can learn from the Eagle of Resistance (tune in to find out what the hell that means...).
    Also Including: The power of the John Wick system Honesty as a blunt – and often offensive – instrument D&D rules for everyday life How to pay an effective compliment Ned Stark redeemed? Punishing passive aggression Get In Touch! Discuss the episode over on our Facebook Discussion Group And you can find us on Instagram and Twitter Or email us: hello@voicesinthedark.world Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Corona Chronicles, Black Lives Matter and Poetry

    Corona Chronicles, Black Lives Matter and Poetry

    It feels like we're living through a tipping point in world history. The year 2020 began with the Pope slapping a woman and the Australian wildfires (remember them?). That seemed dramatic at the time, but since then we've found ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, followed by mass protests that began in the US and are now spreading around the world.
    This episode we try to look behind the matrix: is anything really going to change as a result of the protests, or even the pandemic? Are politicians able or willing to change? And what should we be doing about it?
    As Trump sends in the army, Andrea thinks we're looking at a resurgence of Fascism. Is he right? Are we once again ignoring the warning signs as our grandparents did 100 years ago?
    We also respond to criticism we received for our last discussion of COVID-19. Are we just being armchair virologists, acting as if we know better just because we have a podcast? Well, we don't think so...
    Before the world goes down in a fireball of intolerance and disease, Jon wants to read you some poetry which has been making a positive impact on his life. David Whyte is an incredible poet and thinker – we hope his words will give you pause for thought amidst the chaos.
    Plus we contemplate the future of the podcast and what directions we might decide to take going forward.
    Get In Touch! And you can find us on Instagram and Twitter Or email us: hello@voicesinthedark.world Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.

    • 1 hr 34 min
    The Laws of Human Nature 7: Why Do You Want To Get Rich Quick?

    The Laws of Human Nature 7: Why Do You Want To Get Rich Quick?

    Why do people get caught up in wild and implausible conspiracy theories, get-rich-quick scams and other tantalising pyramid schemes? As we learn in this episode, even brainboxes like Isaac Newton can't seem to resist the excitement that so easily overcomes our better judgement when we think we can shortcut our way to success.
    And that's the problem – it's exciting. The danger comes from our emotions: we are caught in the present, enslaved to our immediate hopes and fears. Robert helps us to pause and draw back from the desire for immediate (re)action. We need to learn to play the long game and stop living in the now.
    This is a double-edged sword, though: we mustn't get stuck in over-planning things either, or we lose sight of what truly matters... Jon unpacks his own history of paralysis by analysis, while Andrea highlights the underlying problem: If you're constantly terrified of making The Wrong Decision, then you either never choose, or never feel you made the right call.
    But what about when it comes to other people? When we're quick to judge, are we going with our gut, or are we just seeing what we want to see? We take a look at some strategies and tools to tell the difference – and in the process save your relationships, friendships, and indeed yourself from dubious business opportunities.
    Along the way Jon and Andrea reflect on their own major f**k-ups and offend all of China.
    Also Including: Horse and Sparrow Economics How do make conscious choices about risk Cobras in Delhi Jon offends all of China The modern mentor hustle Get In Touch! Discuss the episode over on our Facebook Discussion Group And you can find us on Instagram and Twitter Or email us: hello@voicesinthedark.world Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Corona Chronicles: Conspiracies, Censorship and Life under Lockdown

    Corona Chronicles: Conspiracies, Censorship and Life under Lockdown

    It’s Week 4 of Lockdown in the UK and we’ve got the band back together. Well, the duo. Andrea and Jon are back in the virtual studio to make some sense of a world awash with fear, confusion, conspiracy theories and lots of very bad science.
    What does the coronavirus mean politically, socially and culturally? How far should the state be involved in tackling the crisis? Are Sweden’s fears justified that any kind of lockdown opens the door to a totalitarian state that’d somehow be far worse than mass death? Andrea breaks down the science and the numbers (bad news, Sweden – you’re f****d).
    Despite that, Andrea is unusually optimistic about the world that might come after the crisis. What if breaking our routines or an unreflective faith in capitalism might lead us to build a more balanced, compassionate civilisation? How might that happen, and dare we believe it’s even possible?
    What the hell is going on with David Icke and conspiracy theories about 5G? In times like these, it’s hard to know what to think, and in the UK the authorities are clamping down hard on these ideas. But what about free speech? What’s the difference between censorship and ‘no-platforming’? Should we be supporting the principle of free speech, or should we be getting misleading fools off the airwaves?
    Away from the media, what are you doing during lockdown? There’s a strange sense of pressure to be super creative – to start all those projects you’ve been putting off for a rainy day… but is it really so bad (or ‘unproductive’) to just sit on the couch and rest?
    We also ask what The Black Swan has to teach us about the present moment and whether outsourcing your moral compass makes you a monster (like Batman).
    LINKS COVID-19 Trends for Italy, Britain, USA and Sweden Graph of Confirmed COVID-19 deaths Graph of Confirmed COVID-19 deaths showing relative change GET IN TOUCH! And you can find us on Instagram and Twitter Or email us: hello@voicesinthedark.world BE SILLY. BE KIND. BE WEIRD.

    • 1 hr 36 min
    Coronavirus Cast – Laughing in the Dark

    Coronavirus Cast – Laughing in the Dark

    We're living through some damn strange times. We wanted to release something to stay connected with you and to share some thoughts on the current Coronavirus crisis and its effects.
    Jon shares an article he's written about the vital role of humour in helping us to cope with and make sense of crisis, and why all those dark memes you might feel guilty for laughing at are actually essential for keeping us connected and (more or less) sane.
    Let us know what you'd like to hear right now. Do you have questions, topics, or other ideas that can spur is into recording action! Drop us a line:
    Get In Touch! And you can find us on Instagram and Twitter Or email us: hello@voicesinthedark.world Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.

    • 30 min
    The Laws of Human Nature 6: Why Are You Always Dissatisfied?

    The Laws of Human Nature 6: Why Are You Always Dissatisfied?

    In this episode, Robert Greene forces us to confront our inherently covetousness nature: we always want what we don't have. And yet, if we do get those things, we rapidly fall out of love with them. Why does possessing something make our enjoyment of it fade? Why is the grass always greener on the other side, no matter how often we jump back and forth over the fence?
    Jon has experienced a lot of this recently. Nomadically wandering the globe was often stressful and demanding, and he found himself longing for stability and being closer to his friends. But, just a few months after settling back into the UK, he finds himself looking back at rose-tinted memories of life on the road. Context changes everything: the parts of us which are undernourished in any setting start to shout the loudest for attention. Is there a way to balance these competing desires?
    But this is about more than wanting physical things. We also do this with people! It's easy to become taken for granted if you make yourself too available to others; if you lay all your cards on the table; or if you act 100% predictably all the time. It's time to change things up and become more mysterious and elusive.
    This Law of Human Nature is closely connected to several of the 48 Laws of Power: Law 4: Always Say Less Than Necessary, Law 8: Make Other People Come to You – Use Bait if Necessary, and Law #16: Use Absence to Increase Respect & Honour. We humans just can't seem to help ourselves – when something seems scarce or just out of sight, we clamour to possess it, to unlock its mysteries.
    But what if being mysterious and playing games just isn't your nature? What if we're so bombarded these days by people being either ultra mysterious or ultra vulnerable that we're forgetting something crucial. We need to be more sensitive to context: tricks and tips about being mysterious and distant might work if you're playing networking or seduction games, but they are far less effective if you're trying to build deep interpersonal bonds. Doing a vanishing act and refusing to open up can be toxic for friendships, and, in truth, not even that good for business relationships (especially when dealing face-to-face).
    Ultimately, our innate covetousness – our desire for change and for more – can be harnessed for good. It can drive us to grow, to learn, to have new experiences and use our imaginations as a springboard into the future. The danger is that we just keeping looking for change and never enjoy what we have when we receive it
    People often say that, after climbing some kind of mountain in your life you realise it's lonely at the top. But wait a minute – what actually happens when you climb a mountain is an incredible, exhilarating sense of achievement and peace as you stop to take in the view. The trick is not to think about the next mountain, but to take the time to appreciate where you are, here and now.
     
    Also Including: Why Coco Chanel was the master of this Law Struggling to Say Less Than Necessary when asked direct questions Are crowds reassuring or terrifying? How money and the internet ruin everything Mysterious sex Get In Touch! Discuss the episode over on our Facebook Discussion Group And you can find us on Instagram and Twitter Or email us: hello@voicesinthedark.world Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.

    • 1 hr 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

Pho. Bolo. H. ,

A mirror on the mind

I recently discovered this podcast and I find it very insightful and wise. These are young men who are wise beyond their years, who obviously draw from from deep seated intellectual curiosity and achievements. I am impressed with this podcast and plan to explore of it.

mikes1018 ,

This podcast is really good I wish they kept going

I think there’s a huge market to be had in dissecting Roberts books especially The Laws of Human Nature.

vivienyoung ,

Humane, funny, authentic

I realy love the authenticity and humor that John and Dre bring to their exporiations of what it means to be human, as well as their erudition - both classic and culturally current. Thanks for the voice, even the light, in the dark.

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