Dr. Bruce Damer
If you asked people on the street "who do you think is going to help propel humanity out into outer space?" chances are many of them would say Elon Musk. Maybe someone would mention Jeff Bezos, or even Robert Bigelow; maybe one of them would even claim the true bringer of the new Space Age will be Tom DeLonge and his To The Stars team - in which case you should probably buy that dude a coffee, because chances are he's at least $200 poorer...

But if I were to say that perhaps the one name which will be recorded in History books as being heavily responsible for lifting humanity out of our Earthly cradle is Bruce Damer, most people would likely react the same way.

"...Bruce Who??"

Dr. Damer is not a household name, and he's definitely not your average scientist. For starters he evidently looks like a relic of the Hippie movement, which seems apt considering he's not only a regular participant in Burning Man and other New Age festivals, but he was also a good friend of the late Terence McKenna

Also unlike your average scientist, Bruce is a polymath and has his fingers in too many pies: From helping NASA design space missions and figuring out ways to effectively harness and exploit deep space asteroids, to co-publishing papers exploring the very origin of Life on our planet - unlike the current model situating the oceans as the place where the proverbial Primordial Soup was cooked, what he proposes instead is that land-based geysers like Yellowstone were ideal for 'booting up' a system in which inorganic matter gradually acquired the energetic processes we commonly see in organic chemistry - what he calls the 'probability engine'.

Yes, Bruce Damer is a 'whole picture', 'big ideas' kind of thinker. But what really propels him into a different orbit, is that he doesn't shy away from admitting he's part of those gifted individuals who are able to acquire insight through non-rational methods: He's a mystic.

In this fascinating 3-hour+ conversation over at Tangentially Speaking - one of my favorite podcasts!- which is totally worth every second of your time, he and TS host Chris Ryan go over an impressive tapestry of different scientific and philosophical subjects, while also bringing up some personal aspects of Bruce's life which help to give an inkling about his impressive mental prowess; like his ability to enter what he calls the 'endo state' in which he can imagine entire landscapes and mechanical systems up to the last minute detail, which greatly reminded me of Nikola Tesla's capacity to fully visualize the diagrams of his inventions - not just all the moving parts, but also 'seeing' how they would function when the machine was fully operational. Eat your heart out, Sherlock!

Here's Bruce giving a presentation about the origin of Life and Consciousness at the Science and Non Duality (SAND) conference in 2017:

I first heard about Bruce thanks to the Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast, but after listening to the Tangentially Speaking episode (twice!) I can confidently say he's now become a new personal hero of mine. He's part of those rare breed of shamanistic academicians like Rupert Sheldrake, Dennis McKenna and Dean Radin: those who are capable of "moving between worlds" to help create a much needed bridge between materialistic science and spiritual mysticism.

These are the kind of people who are laying the grounds for a viable solution past this era of chaos and confusion, so that one day our mutant descendant will inherit the Earth... and beyond.