Chat with Peter Ragnar on Health and Longevity – with James Blacker

Peter Ragnar talks health, longevity and mindset. Peter is a world-renowned pioneer, author and speaker in the fields of life, health and spirituality, now enjoying – after many decades – what he describes as a lifestyle of quiet contemplation, solitude and silence.

It was once said of Peter; “I’ve often wondered how it would look if someone like Jack LaLanne or Anthony Robbins—whom I’ve always admired for their indomitable spirit, incredible self-discipline, and joie de vivre—became enlightened. When I discovered Peter Ragnar, I think I found out.”

This is a conversation that Peter and I had several years ago, around 2015, and I recently asked Peter if he was happy for me to share it with you, and so here we are.

In this conversation, Peter talks about the relationship between the mind, the body and health, outlines two different notions of personas and attitudes to health – each of which contain half of the full picture of an optimum approach to health, and even dips into philosophies around death, and how our relationship to the notion affects our health.

First, some housekeeping. Peter’s ‘Longevity Sage’ website is at; This includes a link to his latest Kindle book, Finding Heart: How to Live with Courage in a Confusing World.

YouTube Video Timestamps

00:00 Greeting

00:22 Finding spring water in a cave

02:22 Strength for Life with David Heard

03:19 The Gift of Health

03:45 How long we can stay in a healthy state?

04:00 The 1-2-3 of Health and listening to the body

05:07 Integral Life Practice

06:05 Dr Myron Wentz and Sanoviv Medical Institute

06:35 Lifestyle, health and disease

06:55 Powerful subconscious effect over body’s energy

08:08 Unbridled mental activity eats up energy

08:38 How to harmonize mind and body?

09:04 Chi, Prana, Energy or Life Force

09:55 How can I stop ageing?

10:40 Bio electric body and biomagnetic force field

12:33 The liver and anger; a stormy personality

13:37 Forced behaviour and habits

14:25 Health for the 21st Century

14:53 ‘Martini Man’ Example

15:27 Why dietary discipline might not give health

16:23 Guilt and the ‘Food Police’

16:51 Combining mindset and healthy choices

18:25 Genetically Modified Organisms Foods

19:21 What foods Peter eats

20:00 Where does the fear come from?

20:48 Judgement, approval and health

21:50 Life expectancy around the world

23:17 A reason for being alive

23:51 Nothing to prove

24:53 Thymus Gland and stress

25:09 Fear of death and effects on health

26:54 Thoughts on reincarnation

28:00 You’re not in control

29:02 Little answers to big questions

Transcript: Chat with Peter Ragnar on Health and Longevity

James Blacker: Hello!

Peter Ragnar: Hey there, James, it’s Peter! How you doing?

James: I’m great, thanks. Yeah, I’ve got a great visual on you as well; I’ve not got one of those myself.

Peter: Your voice is very clear right now.

James: Excellent!

Peter: Yes. Good reception.

James: So how are you doing?

Peter: I’m doing good, doing good, just er… we were cleaning out a spring in another cave that I found and a fellow that works works for us, he he’s leaving for a few weeks here and so we had to take the opportunity to do it today if we were going to do it.

James: Right.

Peter: …try to get the water tested out of that spring. But it’s an interesting cave, we just crawled down into it, actually the three dogs ran into it and disappeared back in the tunnel.

But it looks like a really good place to get some excellent water, and that’s one of the really important parts of health, is making certain that the water that you drink is of the highest quality.

So, you know, it’s always good to find new springs, new sources of it.

James: Is that what you mean by when you say you’re testing the water then?

Peter: Well, we’re going to have it tested to make sure to see what’s in the water and make sure that there’s not… there are no glutens at all in there.

I don’t know how there could be, but it’s good to test it. And then the other thing you want to test the water for is the dissolved solids.

So, you know, what is the rate of dissolved solids that you have in the water.

Some of the waters, even the waters that you buy, some of the spring waters, have a lot of stuff in them.

They may be pure but they have a lot of minerals and so we want to check on that, and, you know, that’s also to see how alkaline or acidic it may be, even though some of the best springs in the world, or the most renowned healing springs, have high acidity, which is interesting, too.

James: Right.

Peter: So, anyway, we’ll see what we come up with here. So I listened to the little program that you did with your friend on… the little clip about physical immortality, that was interesting.

James: Oh, on the wisdom audios with David Heard, the Strength for Life one?

Peter: Yeah.

James: Yeah, that was fabulous. Yeah, I worked with him. He founded the National Rehabilitation Centre for the Paralysed after a visit to Moscow in 93; there was a guy called Valentin Dikul who was a high wire artist in the Moscow State Circus who fell and broke his back.

Peter: Oh.

James: Spinal cord injury. So David then went to Moscow with some students to find out what they did to use exercise therapy for paralysis rehabilitation so they founded the NRCP after that.

I worked with David then and I kind of had an idea that I wanted to do an audio series called ‘The Gift of Health’ back then, which would be; Exercise, Nutrition and then also Sleep came into it, and David said he really wanted to do the one on Strength for Life because… he’s similar to you, I guess, well, the same philosophy of attitude and no limits and… well, no artificial limits, and see how far it takes you.

Peter: Yeah. That’s what we’re doing, is pushing the envelope to see how long you can stay in a healthy condition and, you know, function optimally.

James: Yeah. So it was The 1-2-3 of Health which I came… David taught me to listen to my body, and after I did that for about four years, well I guess after about 6 months I started seeing that the mind would get in the way.

So listening to the body was all well and good, but sometimes I would not do what the body asked for because the mind’s got its own agenda and, you know, addictions with certain foods and such like.

So that kind of brought to together The 1-2-3 [of Health] which I discussed with him and said, you know, this listening to the body needs to be added to by differentiating between the needs of the mind and the needs of the body; that’s Stage Two.

And then Stage Three is that it’s all very well differentiating them if you [don’t] still allow your decisions and behavior to be those of the mind for the body, you know, where the mind hijacks the needs of the body; if you eat something because the mind’s hungry rather than the body’s hungry it’s not really what [the body] wants.

So the Third Stage kind of expanded into a whole area of personal practice.

And I come from the Ken Wilber area of Integral Life Practice; Mind, Body, Spirit and Shadow exercises.

But whatever it is really, it just seems to be whatever a person can do to get themselves in the state of being where the mind is calm and tamed and so the insights that you’re getting on what the body wants are actually being followed up, rather than ignored.

So I kind of… that really became my simple understanding of what brought health.

And I used to qualify it by saying approximately 95% of health, because I don’t know too much but it seems clear to me that there’s a chance that there are some diseases that are caused at birth and such like and couldn’t be necessarily totally perfectly defended from, simply by following The 123 of Health.

But by and large they could. I was working on the notion that…

There’s a guy called Dr Myron Wentz who founded Sanoviv [Medical Institute] on the Baja Coast, which is a medical facility that cures cancer and such like.

Peter: Sorry, what was that name, James?

James: Dr Myron Wentz.

Peter: Oh okay.

James: And I met him and watched one of his videos when he explained that a hundred years ago people were dying of Infectious Diseases; Tuberculosis, etc., and the doctors, at least in the Western World, the doctors have cured those and now people are dying of Degenerative Diseases.

And we’re kind of not meeting the doctors half way, because it seems to me there’s no cure for abdication of responsibility and not properly dealing with stress and overeating and, you know, a lack of emotional well-being that leads to all these things.

Peter: You know, that really has more power over the body than most people can appreciate, because even a lot of our motivation is subconscious; it’s not consciously accessed, and the part that is consciously accessed oftentimes is filled with a lot of stress, a lot of tension and even, you know, when people have time just to be able to sit.

But and let’s say they had nothing on the schedule; they feel rushed, they feel pressured that; “I gotta be doing something!”, and that sense that I have to be doing something burns up so much energy internally that could be used for your glands and your cellular structure and it’s learning to release all of those little… the little things that eat up the energy that we don’t even know that eat up the energy, whereas a lot of people’s subconscious is filled with these things that eat up energy.

And, of course, just mental activity of its own, which is essential in our world, if it’s unbridled, if it’s not controlled, it eats up a tremendous amount of energy that could be used by the physical body to keep it in an optimal state of health.

So there’s The Big Challenge.

James: Yeah.

Peter: How do I first access these areas that are not conscious to me?

How do I get them under control? How do I get my conscious mind under control?

And then how do I harmonize out with my body?

What do I do for my body that gives it the most amount of energy, the least amount of stressors, so it really basically is burning less energy?

And then have the mental reserve, having more energy than what you need.

So you put those two together and you’ve got plenty of Life Force, and basically, you know, depends on what methodology or philosophy you follow, this could be anything from, you know, you could call it Chi, you could call it Life Force, you can call it Prana.

I don’t care what you call it, it’s basically still energy and there’s ways of working with that energy.

And those are the things that I’ve found in my own research; how to work with energy; how to work with it mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – and how to harmonize all those areas so they all balance each other and, you know, that comes down to lifestyle.

So people ask, you know, okay well, you know, how can I stop aging?

How can I get that level of health? How can I achieve the… those physical goals that I have?

And I say it’s all about lifestyle.

Most people don’t get enough sleep, they don’t get enough water, they have too much stress and they can’t control their thoughts.

James: Yeah.

Peter: And when we address those, James, and put them in the proper sequence and, you know; 1-2-3.

James: Yeah.

Peter: Work with them, then we have a program that people can use in their life and see how they can get to fit into it.

James: Yeah.

What I found was particularly fascinating, because I mean, the fourth thing you mentioned there was “can’t control their thoughts”, and your post on Facebook was talking about… the body is bio electric, the force field around the body is biomagnetic, and then…

but when the mind isn’t at peace that disturbs the clarity and as you said there, I think it’s static in the body.

Peter: Yep.

James: So if we think of… if we think of… I use the phrase ‘Life Force’, I also it’s just my terminology is to use ‘wisdom’ to mean the kind of peace of mind that comes when you don’t identify with objects.

So what excited me was that it was almost getting to the point where we could define… we could scientifically define ‘wisdom’, or even recognize it in a physical or electro-physical expression, because of it’s difference between two [theoretical] bodies; one of which has got a mind of wisdom and one that’s got a [mind of] turbulence.

So the static would be having some kind of electrical effect, rather, not just a…

Peter: Oh yep, it is bioelectric and that’s… and of course, whenever you have static electricity in the body and it shows up in the energy body around the physical, around the skin and, you know, that can be photographed.

And if then when the photographs are taken it shows basically clouds, like storm clouds, like, you know, you get lightning and thunder in your aura.

And whenever you have a repeat – a repeated episode of that, the areas that that static electricity shows up at creates illness.

As a good example, if you see some dark clouds over the area of the liver, you usually see a lot of red and dark colours, and what that indicates is that, you know, you got a stormy personality, there’s a lot of anger there, because the liver stores a lot of anger.

And I, you know, that anger just basically eats up the Chi or Prana or Life Force.

And that’s just, you know, that’s just one of the areas from traditional Chinese medicine – a lot of focus is put on the kidneys, which take in the gonads, the genital organs and all of the difficulties that men and women have with that.

There’s the seed of life that’s being diminished and, you know, the health issues that people have with that is tremendous.

But again it goes back to thinking, too.

James: Yeah. Yeah, and the other thing that I noticed, or I’ve concluded is that the importance of thinking is that people… they think – ironically – they think that they can improve their health without changing their thinking – just by trying to.

They will force themselves down the gym, they’ll starve themselves to get slim and they’ll think that works, and then 6 weeks or 6 days later the whole thing ‘elastic bands’ back.

Peter: Yep.

James: And they come back to where they are. But they do the same thing again and again and again.

Society doesn’t yet have a major, shared understanding that that doesn’t actually work; that the key to health, therefore, is at a deeper level than that of forcing behavior.

Peter: Absolutely.

James: So that seemed to me, when the notion came up of ‘Health for the 21st Century’, that really seemed to me as the crux of the message that I wanted to get across to people, was that very fact that society as a general has to look above the level of forcing behavior as a very clear principle.

Peter: Yeah, it’s as much a behavioural problem as it is a habitual problem and, you know, the classic example that you see many times – here you got a guy, he’s 105 years old and he smokes a cigar every day and has his Martini at 3:00 in the afternoon.

Now you have someone that’s on a raw food diet, they fast, they’re fasting, they’re taking supplements, they’re doing yoga or whatever it may be and they look like death warmed over.

And you say, well, how can that be?

How can one person seemingly do everything from a dietary perspective in error, and the other one doing everything supposedly correct: What causes that?

Well a very small part of that is genetics. But that’s a very small part of it.

A major part of it is the mindset.

The one person who has the bad habits is enjoying his bad habits so much he’s not worried about it, he doesn’t care what you think about him.

He says; “Hell, I’ve lived to be 105 years old, why should I care about what you think?”, “…judge me about what I eat”.

And that sense of freedom to be who he is contributes greatly to his longevity.

Where the other person is wrestling with guilt; “If I ate the wrong thing”, or “Maybe the food police are going to come and check on me and find that I’m not eating all the right things or…”

You know, or they’re so worried about their food being poisoned that it becomes poisoned. Even the best food becomes a poison when you’re worried about it being poison.

James: Yeah.

Peter: And so, you know, these are the two sides of the issue.

Now you take an individual who has the mindset, who is… really has come to know who they are.

They don’t care what you think. But they realize also that there is a way to eat that is healthy.

James: Yeah.

Peter: And they embrace that because, not because they have to, just because they want to.

And they do these things out of something that just brings them pleasure.

James: Yeah.

Peter: That person doesn’t age.

That person now maintains their vitality because it’s that balance point between these extremes, and they found it.

And then they’re content, they’re happy.

Now if you can teach that… if you can teach people how to come over to that balance point and get rid of their guilt, get rid of their compulsive obsessive disorders and basically screw their head on in a better way, you know, then you got something.

James: Yeah. So you’re saying that the Martini Guy has got half of the answers but you wouldn’t necessarily want to end there, you’d still want to balance that with the awareness of the value of certain foods and such like.

Peter: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean you look at… you certainly don’t want to eat the foods that are genetically modified organisms. I mean, you know, there’s too much information about that.

There’s things you don’t want, you just don’t want to put in your body. But it’s not because you’re afraid of the foods, it’s just that you have found a better way to live.

James: Yeah.

Peter: And a great example, I mean, that I can eat, I eat out of my garden because the food tastes better; it’s more delicious; it’s tastier; I mean it satisfies you in a way that non-organic food can’t.

James: Right.

Peter: And so you make the choice because you want to make that choice.

And you know I was doing a seminar at one time and people were asking me about foods and I said; “I’ll anything – if I want to” and they looked at me strangely as though, “But you’re a… you’re a vegan, you’re raw, you’re… you eat raw food: What do you mean you eat anything?”

And I’d say if I thought it would improve my health I’d eat it.

James: Yeah.

Peter: Whatever it is.

James: Yeah.

Peter: That it’s not a religion. It’s a results [thing]…

James: Because the thing that always comes first is that whatever you do you don’t do it from a position of fear.

Peter: Say that again, James?

James: Whatever decisions you do make, you don’t make them from a position of fear!

Peter: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, and so where does the fear come from?

The fear isn’t physical, though it shows up physically.

The fear first starts in the head. It starts with your attitude and what you expect other people may say.

In other words, will they like me? Will other people like me because I’m this way?

And this is why we join clubs, why we get into movements – we want friends, we want to be liked.

And if we don’t do what everybody else is doing maybe we won’t be liked! Ut-oh! You know, now you got the tension.

And if you can get out of that, break out of that, because everybody really loves someone who’s their own person.

James: Yeah.

Peter: That’s the crazy part about it – just be who you are and, you know, you’re free of judgement then.

But that’s the… that, by the way, is probably the worst thing you can do for your health, is to get into judgement – or be afraid of being judged.

James: Yeah. Yeah.

I know, I always found it with the… when people would talk about the guys who are 100 years old and smoked and drank and all that kind of thing, it always used to upset me – I mean that’s an exaggeration, but… because they would then hold that up as an example, saying; “Don’t worry about, you know, this food isn’t important and that food isn’t important”, but I could always see that it was an absolutistic view, that it was, it was only taking on some of the information rather than seeing the whole picture.

And, of course, what they were ignoring was that for every guy who gets to 100 smoking and drinking, there are another 99 in the morgue.

Peter: Yeah.

James: Or something like that.

Peter: So when you look in and you see that, you know, in the United States here, in America, you know, 77 years of age is the average age of mortality rate for men, and, you know, that’s ridiculous.

James: Yeah.

Peter: Of course, 100 years ago back in the turn of the century, was 47, which was ridiculous.

James: Wow, 47!

Peter: In certain countries like India, I think India is 54 or 56.

Some of the African countries, the average age is like in the 30’s – it was in Cambodia, I think, was like 37, 38, if I remember correctly.

But you know, also consider the stress that war and famine and, you know, tribal hatred has.

So it comes back to how your head is put on there; what you’re thinking, what are your fears, what are your hopes?

And that’s very important, too, you know, if you have a hopeful attitude, if you got things to do that excite you, and you have the freedom to do it you’re going to live a long time anyway, no matter where you are.

James: Yeah. Yeah, just because there’s a reason for being alive.

Peter: Exactly.

James: So the universe created you and merged with the universe you’ve got a purpose for it.

Peter: Right. And, you know, you don’t have to be obsessive about it. You can relax with it, you can say, “Hey, I’m my own person, I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to live the life that I want to live, that suits me.”

I mean you don’t have to do something great. You don’t have to push yourself, though sometimes it’s fun to do that.

You know, when you have nothing to prove you, you prove a whole lot.

Peter: Yeah, and doesn’t also, when you stop worrying about how you come across and all that kind of thing, also, I believe the shoulders relax, so the nervous system must be able to function optimally, rather than when everything’s held tight and together and constricted…

I’ve read that the the immune system is just a circulating nervous system.

Peter: Yes.

James: So if people, again, that’s yet another way that whether the thoughts are calm or not is going to be affecting that as well.

Peter: Yeah, whenever you’re stressed the Thymus Gland shrinks.

James: Right.

Peter: It could shrink half its size under high stress. And that controls your immune system.

So you basically dial down your immune system. Pretty simple.

James: Yeah, and we were talking about how essentially the key is just not fear, and so a subset of that, I guess, must be living – ironically – living without fear of death?

Peter: Yes!

James: Right.

Peter: Yeah. Absolutely. And that is the biggest thing… you see that’s… when you start talking about… when people talk about physical immortality, or, let’s put it this way, a more acceptable term is ‘Radical Life Extension’, you’re talking about radical life extension.

You will live long when you’re not constantly worried about dying.

James: Yeah.

Peter: And because to worry about death, or even have to prove something…

See here’s my objection to a lot of folks who accept this concept of physical immortality, that they’re trying to prove it.

That’s not something you prove, you just live long.

James: Yeah.

Peter: Just continue living.

James: That defeats the object, doesn’t it, because the whole… if the whole purpose of it is to enjoy the life, so if you’re proving it then you’re postponing the action of enjoying life.

Peter: Yes. And you’ll see, even on our Facebook site, that, you know some people are so touchy about it, because it’s become a new religion. It’s become their religion. That’s not my religion.

James: Yeah.

Peter: You know, if I meet death tomorrow then I can say, “Well, it’s been a good party, great, bye!” You know, I’m done. It’s not, it’s no big thing.

Because, you know, conscious awareness, the conscious awareness that you had when you came into this life – even though you didn’t know half the stuff or a fraction of the stuff that you know now – you still were consciously observing what was going on.

You get to the point where you go out of this body.

And here you could go back – possibly – into another body and you’re being born again and you’re looking …and you still have the same Consciousness.

The Consciousness… and that’s different from your mental state. You’re still conscious.

James: Right.

Peter: And now you start adding new experiences as a filter and then, you know, we go through the whole thing again maybe.

James: I’m fascinated by your use of the word ‘maybe’, because I was going to ask you, getting rid of the fear of death either happens one of two ways: Either you believe in reincarnation – or reincarnation as everybody, or you just don’t worry about it because you realize there’s no value to be gained from worrying about it and controlling what you can’t control?

Peter: Yep.

James: It’s the latter, right.

Peter: Yeah, you know, you’re not in control of it anyway, so don’t worry about it, to heck with it.

James: Yeah, so there’s only negatives to be gained from fearing death.

Peter: I mean, you know, you don’t need another life raft to try to hold on to.

And, you know, people will go from being raptured and taken up into the clouds to go to heaven, to, “Okay, well I have another body and now I’m reincarnated”, …

…and then other people worry; “Well, will I come back as a bug or will I come back as a bird?”, and hey, you’re here now.

James: Yeah.

Peter: You know, why create another religion, that’s only going to cause the same degree of anguish and discomfort as the more fundamental one did for you… you don’t need crutches.

James: Yeah. No distractions from pure being and pure consciousness.

Peter: Yeah. Being conscious… is your answer.

James: Yeah.

Peter: Your conscious awareness puts you in a place that you don’t need little answers to big questions.

And you’re okay, because the questions then dissolve and you’re no longer burdened by the questions.

James: Yeah.

Peter: You’re really free.

James: Yeah.

Peter: And because it’s not an issue, and because you’re not afraid, because you don’t have to fight for it, you can have it.

I stay, I personally I stay young because I don’t care whether I stay young. Yeah.

James: I think I do the same.

Peter: Yeah. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody.

Okay, well, we got a lot to think about and I’ll let you get to bed and I’m going go look for some supper here that my wife, Katrina, is fixing.

James: Excellent. Fabulous.

I know, because you go to bed at 8pm, don’t you, so me being up at what’s now quarter to 10 is rather curious.

I’m working on the changing the sleep hours and such like, but it’s kind of, I’m I’m kind of with the Martini Guy at the moment on that bit, I’ve got to not judge myself for it – as with a couple of things I eat, but it’s getting there.

Peter: Good, good.

James: Great stuff. Thank you for joining me tonight, it’s fabulous to talk to you, and please pass on my love.

Peter: I sure will. James, have a beautiful evening and it’s great talking with you.

Kissing Consciousness, Potten End, Herts, HP4 2SH. United Kingdom


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