Author and journalist Brad Wetzler joins NOL to share his personal inspiration behind writing his upcoming nonfiction book about the art and science of spiritual awakenings. We discuss the interesting phenomenon of Jerusalem Syndrome and the profound effect holy places can have on some people, a few of his stories and experiences with self-proclaimed messiahs in Jerusalem, his research surrounding the connection between faith and mental illness, how the wiring in the brain changes as a result of regular spiritual practice, Brad’s personal shift from neutral journalist to spiritual author, and much more.
Brad is an author and journalist with twenty-plus years working at the highest levels of publishing. He’s written hundreds of articles and essays for top publications including The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, Newsweek, GQ, Wired, National Geographic Adventure, Men’s Journal, George, and Outside, where he remains a contributing editor. His book Real Mosquitoes Don’t Eat Meat (This and Other Inquires About the Oddities of Nature) was published by W.W. Norton’s Countryman Press and answers quirky questions about the natural world.
While working as a freelance writer, Brad traveled across America and around the world, interviewing people from all walks of life, including celebrities, politicians, professional athletes, explorers, spiritual gurus, and anarchists. He’s ridden the campaign bus with presidential candidates, broken bread with cult leaders, played polo with tech billionaires in India and pounded vodka shots with Russian cosmonauts. He’s floated up the Amazon, tailed explorers in Greenland, and surfed with zany fundamentalist Christian surfer missionaries in Indonesia.