The Happy Engineer Podcast

075: Stop Getting Stuck in Your Head by Integrating Science and Spirit with Dr. Daniel Harner

Do you struggle with analysis-paralysis? Overthinking?

Engineering leaders thrive on intelligence… But what do you do when you are stuck in your head?

In this episode, you will see what extreme intelligence combined with extraordinary heartfelt emotion looks like in my good friend, Dr. Daniel Harner.

Some people call Dr. Harner a psycho-spiritual mentor, therapist, healer, spiritual guide, wizard, Carl Jung 2.0, researcher and explorer. The truth is, Daniel is a blend of all of that.

Originally from Austria, he transplanted himself to Sedona, Arizona at the age of 24 in order to deeply immerse himself in the study and practice of psychotherapy and psycho-spiritual transformation and healing, alongside some of the world’s most esteemed psychotherapists, spiritual teachers, researchers, and healers.

Daniel holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He is the smartest person in the room, but he’s not stuck in his head.

So press play and let’s chat… as we discover how to integrate ourselves fully, both in science and spirit!

>> Then join The Happy Engineer Community online and get access to bonus content and coaching in our free group >>



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Previous Episode 074: Proof that Anything is Possible in Engineering Your Career and Life with Pete Wilson




Oh man, I was at a 10 out of 10 in my curiosity so many times during this conversation with Daniel. 

A doctorate in clinical psychology, two master’s degrees, a bachelor’s in psychology. So much heart and so much presence.

What an amazing man Daniel Harner is.

We really got into some theological, heady, heartfelt topics that can be tough to chew on. 

So I do encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the main ideas that piqued your curiosity, and letting that marinate and wash over you.

But anyway, I want to go ahead and give you something that’s a little bit more practical. 

Daniel talked about getting grounded, the importance of coming down from the ivory tower of our minds and allowing ourselves to get connected to these other parts of our being, our heart, our soul, our spirit.

Reclaiming your neutral place

If you will practice the exercise I am about to share with you, you will have a meaningful, tangible difference in the experience that you create in your life. 

You will begin to come back to that neutral, grounded place.

First thing is find a place where you’re alone and without distraction. 

Take a moment and notice where is there tension or stress in your body. 

Where are you tight? 

For me it’s always my neck and shoulders. 

But for you, it might be something different. 

Now, take some movement to release and relax. 

Roll the head side to side. Shrug the shoulders, do some arm circles. Twist the torso left and right. Whatever feels good. Touch your toes a couple of times.

These types of things move and relax. 

We want to release the tension from our physical body first, then sit down comfortably and close your eyes. 

Now, we are going to take 10 deep breaths. 

Breathe in through your nose. 

Fill the lungs all the way to the top. 

Exhale through the mouth, like a sigh.

Just let that air fall out of your lungs. 

10 nice deep breaths. 

Simply focus on your breath. Notice the feeling of air passing through your nostrils. 

Notice the pressure on your chest as you fill those lungs all the way to the top. 

Notice the sound of your exhale.

Just pay attention to all the little details of your breath. 

We’re going to do one simple exercise where we use our mind to assess what’s going on in our body. 

I want you to scan your body head to toe and simply ask, what am I feeling?

Not words of emotion, like feeling angry or feeling love, or feeling joy. I mean, literal feeling. 

Are you feeling a breeze blowing across your skin? 

Are you feeling pressure of your shoes being tied too tight?

Are you feeling the cold touch of metal on your skin from your belt?

What are you actually feeling on your body? 

Just get present to what you feel.

There’s no goal. There’s no expectation for this. It’s simply a practice of noticing that physical sensation in the body. 

And when you’ve finished scanning from head to toe, take one last nice deep breath in. Let it go. Be done, go back to your day. 

It’s that simple.

 If you’ll practice this grounding exercise, anytime you get overwhelmed, anytime you reach a place where your mind is racing or you feel trapped in your head, you’re overanalyzing, you’re overthinking, you’re in that paralyzing place where nothing seems to be working.

Take a break and go do this grounding practice. 

How you do anything is how you do everything

Daniel said that how you do anything is how you do everything, and he’s right.

If you are always in a place of stress and anxiety, if you’re overwhelmed and the way you do things is from a place of being stuck in your head and trying to solve every problem with only your left brain, then that’s how you’re going to show up in every area of your life.

You have to get to a point of being serious about this work if you want it to have a lasting difference in every area of your life. 

Do the grounding practice even when you don’t need to. 

It will change your life, I promise. 



Some people call Dr. Daniel Harner a psycho-spiritual mentor, therapist, healer, spiritual guide, wizard, Carl Jung 2.0, researcher and explorer. The truth is, he is a blend of all of that. He is originally from Austria but transplanted himself to Sedona, Arizona at the age of 24 in order to deeply immerse himself in the study and practice of psychotherapy and psycho-spiritual transformation and healing, alongside some of the world’s most esteemed psychotherapists, spiritual teachers, researchers, and healers. For him, there is no greater passion and satisfaction but to be unceasingly immersed in transformation and the realization of Truth, Beauty and Love. Daniel’s services are available to those who feel a burning desire and calling in their Soul go on a journey to return to Home within–to reunite with the Source of Love.

His formal education consists of several psychology degrees: a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Aside from his one-on-one work with clients, he is also an active researcher and author in the field of consciousness-based medicine and psychology and a member of the William Tiller Foundation for Psycho-Energetic Science, where he explores the frontiers of psychology, new-physics, and the healing arts.





Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: Welcome back, Happy Engineers, and I’m here today with Daniel, my good buddy. We’re in a mastermind together. It had such a pleasure getting to know you, even just in the last few days, some amazing time together. Daniel, welcome to The Happy Engineer Podcast, man. 

[00:00:14] Daniel Harner: It’s an honor to be with you and all the people are listening.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:19] I’ll just speak briefly in, in acknowledgement of you because it’s been such a pleasure to spend this time with you, Daniel. You’re one of these leaders who just even virtually being in the room with has such a calm, confident, uh, putting me at ease with your energy and your presence. And I just love it.

[00:00:38] Zach White: I just appreciate so much that about you. And, anyway, I just wanna say that, man, you’re such a great guy to be around and what a pleasure to. Thank you. Thank you. That means a lot. So I wanna begin with just setting the stage. About all that you’ve accomplished in the academic side of your world, and, and there’s a lot we’re gonna cover today, both in the hard sciences and also some of the, energetic and mindful and spiritual side of life.

[00:01:08] But I wanted to just lay it out there, for the engineering leader listening, all the amazing work that you’ve done. Would you first just tell us a little bit about those academic credentials and your degrees and the research that you’ve been a part of, just to help us understand the, the breadth of work you’re really an expert in?

[00:01:23] Yeah, 

[00:01:24] Daniel Harner: absolutely. I just a brief, uh, bios. Um, so when I was 17, I had this realization that, people around me, Didn’t know as much as I thought they did. and when I was 17, I was just in school and I had this awareness that kind of disillusionment in a way, just like, well, they’re actually not as smart as I want ’em to be, and they don’t have as much wisdom, uh, as I need them to have.

[00:01:46] and that really set me up. set me on my own journey and I had to study philosophy psychology, and really I had to figure it out on my own, that was sort of the beginning of my journey, which led me then to study psychology at the University of Salzburg. I’m originally from Austria and got my bachelor’s and masters there and fell in love with a psychiatrist named, uh, David Hawkins in Sedona, and then moved to the United.

[00:02:14] because in school, in Austria and University of Salzburg, I didn’t quite, feel my hunger for the truth and for what I needed to know, to really feel like I’m growing up in a holistic way So in part my move to America was to learn from the best and from the greatest. and I, I got another master’s degree here in Arizona, Prescott College, and then I was fortunate enough to meet Dr.

[00:02:37] Daniel Harner: William, a tiller from Stanford University, who was a, a professor of engineering and material science. And in the, in the latest stage of his career, he got really interested in the interface between mind and living and non-living systems and how human intention can impact. experiments in a way because in science we often try to exclude the experimenter to make sure this is consistent across different settings and it same across different experimenters, so we kind of exclude the placebo effect.

[00:03:05] But he was really interested and can be systemically actually use the human intention as a scientific variable that we can include into the thermodynamic of variables, into the scientific framework of our time. So he was really kind of like a out of the box pioneer. And he was very esteemed and very smart, and I was, I was fortunate enough to be his last doctoral student and I worked with him on, uh, the impact of human intention on.

[00:03:32] Artistically influenced kids, like children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder and their mothers. So, so we were able to observe for one year how his technology that he developed, was influencing children and their mothers. And, uh, it was a very, a very positive influence. And we just published a paper actually.

[00:03:51] Last week. So it’s, uh, it just came out now. Yeah. So it took a while for us to, to find a journal that, that was interested and, and confident enough to publish our research because it is out of the box. And Dr. Tiller, before he went to study these effects with humans, he had experiments that showed how he could influence the raising and to decreasing of pH.

[00:04:12] By one unit, systematically. So that was his first, experiment, which is pretty cool. you pretty much, uh, raise and lower the pH of water. he, uh, shortened the time of the fruit fly maturation in, uh, vitro in, in vivo, and he increased the liver enzyme. and, several other experiments. But these are just to name a few.

[00:04:32] the research is done’s been amazing and, and he’s been featured in that movie. What Leap do we know? And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that, but, um, that’s, that’s a kind of fun movie to watch, especially for people who are new to this. 

[00:04:43] Zach White: Yeah. Yeah. So much we could unpack in that space. And just to make it clear, the, output measures of, p or your liver enzyme, et cetera, that piece makes sense, but that input the input of human intention.

[00:04:57] Yes. How, how was. Measured as an input. Could you just tell us really brief, like what were the things going into those experi? . Dr. Tiller wanted to make intention kind of like a, an independent variable in a way, right? Mm-hmm. rather than just a confounding variable, like make it a systemic, independent variable that we can sort of, Imprint.

[00:05:17] Daniel Harner: So what he did is like, he imprinted an, a human intention to an electronic device. And the electronic device then was a host for that intention. It’s called an intention host device. So it’s almost like that the, the mind was entangled with a physical substrate, and that was the, there was kinda like a simple, a simple device looking like that, looking most like a, like an iPod of some sort.

[00:05:38] Right. So, when that device with the intention was, was near water, the water would increase or decrease depending on what was imprinted on the device. That also worked when that device was sent to Australia, for example. And then in the lab in Australia, they were putting that, device near the water and it did the same thing.

[00:05:54] And it was also reproduced by having that device here in Arizona. And then the intention was to. Broadcasted intention at distance non locally to Berlin in a lab there. And the pH of water would raise or lower depending on the instructions there as well. so, and then, you know, that opened the gates for further research.

[00:06:12] It’s like, okay, if we can do this with water, this is also, can we do this on fruit flies? Can we do this on humans? You know, so it’s uh, very fascinating and I’m in the process of researching now how this, can be utilized to take off epigenetic age in humans because we now have tests that can actually tell you how your epigenetic is vis-a-vis your chronological age.

[00:06:34] So if we can shave off some epigenetic age of, of humans, like a year or two or maybe more, who knows? I mean, wouldn’t that be an amazing thing? you are decreasing aging by one year, every year you become, Im.

[00:06:48] Zach White: It opens up like what a moment right there. Do I chase that quite? Oh wow. Um, I wish we had time for us to all get PhDs in this conversation because this is so fascinating. But I know we don’t need to get too deep into the incredible work that you’re doing right now, but I can’t wait to to understand how the research goes that you’re about to embark on.

[00:07:08] Thank you. Daniel. Could you really quick back up? You said something at the beginning. How you got into all this work and the research that you’ve done and the degrees that you’ve accumulated, that when you were young there was a lack of wisdom and insight around you. And I’m just curious, was there any moment or any story that comes to mind that really highlighted that gap for you and ignited this hunger to go and.

[00:07:37] This knowledge and this wisdom? Yeah, 

[00:07:39] Daniel Harner: I must say, you know, since I was very young, I was a spiritual child and I was very in awe of the beauty of the world and my parents and my environment. And at some point in my life, I think around age three, I got my wires crossed, and from then on I felt like, Some things doesn’t seem right anymore.

[00:07:57] it’s almost like if you would say, say like, I’m, I’m like a machine. You know, Like some circuits weren’t connecting anymore in the right way inside of me. I started doubting myself. I’ve started feeling alone and separate. I had trust issues, I had insecure attachment. I was worried 

[00:08:12] Daniel Harner: But that was with me, uh, for a very, very, very long time. And it was really the motivator for me to get into the human transformation field and to really ask like, what is the nature of human suffering? Why do we hurt? Why do we feel lonely? And how can we remedy that? Like how can we fix that? Right? So, so that since, since early on I had this urgency to heal, I had this call, I think this burning longing in my soul.

[00:08:36] To kind of find a remedy that that works for me and know that led me from philosophy to psychology to kind of like mind body physics, to, It really was the motivator for me to move to America because the formal education I have is great. You know, the PhDs and the master’s degrees and all the internships and all that.

[00:08:52] It’s wonderful. But I came really predominantly to America to be surrounded. Mentors. So where I could get the, the education that I didn’t get from my teachers in school, from my parents, from my friends and where I was from, from Austria, from the European sort of mindset. So I had always this longing to kind of go out and, and find something where I feel like these people get me and they can be like a ladder for me that I can use to elevate myself to.

[00:09:17] Where I wanted to be. So, and I moved to Arizona to study with Dr. David Hawkins, who used to be a, an amazing psychiatrist, but who also happened to be a, a mystic who in his later life, just completely ex. Explore the internal dimensions of the human psyche and soul. that’s, that’s what brought me over the pond from Europe to America.

[00:09:37] And, and that’s where my informal education started in a way, You know, I was, I was a student of David Hawkins. I was a student of Dr. William Tiller. I had, uh, the best, uh, union psychoanalyst as. Analyst for five years, Dr. Nathan Swart salon, and I was surrounded with other very amazing healers. And in some of them, you know, I’m, I’m currently coaching with Steve Hardison, who is one of the best or the best life coach on the planet.

[00:10:03] Yes. So mentoring under him for several years now. So I’m been really blessed to be here in America where forever grateful to be surrounded with so many beautiful people. And then also get to know you in the process as well. 

[00:10:14] Zach White: Yeah. It’s, I. I’m honored to even be considered in the same conversation as someone like Steve Hardison in the names you you’ve mentioned.

[00:10:22] But Daniel, something that I, uh, am responding to in the moment as you’re describing your journey. And I’m curious, your take on this, do you feel that the pursuit of the degrees and, and the knowledge and ultimately, the masters in counseling, psychology, the masters in psychology, the ma uh, doctorate in clinical psychology, do you think that those things.

[00:10:44] We’re simply a part of your journey to ultimately land in the place and around the people who you needed to be around to discover what you discovered or is what you learned in those, degrees. Really fundamental to the healing and the integration and the work that you’ve done. Like were they just part of the path and you’re seeking, but in the end it wasn’t really necessary to get to where you wanted to go, right?

[00:11:09] Or do you think? No, absolutely. Like that work was fundamental to my healing. Mm. 

[00:11:14] Daniel Harner: Yeah. I think what makes my journey kind of unique is that I was always looking for a holistic approach to life and for an overarching framework that can transcend everything, but also include everything. So for me, it was necessary to have the left brain education and also the right brain understanding the exterior dimension of proof and replicability, but also the, the inner certainty and the.

[00:11:38] empiricism that comes from living through certain developmental stages or difficulties in your own life that then become fabric of who you are. So the subjective and the objective, the science and the spirit or the soul and the,You know, what the science, you know. So for me it was always important to have both because I knew that in my path I needed to find a, a synthesis and I was a bridge builder in his life.

[00:12:00] Daniel Harner: This life was not for me to become a specialist in just psychology or a specialist in just science. For me it was. Okay. In this life, you, you get to be somebody that can be, connecting many disciplines and who can talk many different languages and not gonna go down rabbit holes in this life because I don’t have the time for it.

[00:12:18] But for me, it’s important to have like an overall integration of all these things they wanna be good at. As, as a human being, I want to be good as a thinker you know, and to be good at all that is, is it requires a lot of dedication and time and, and commitment to excellence. 

[00:12:31] Zach White: Mm. I love that. So for me, coming from the engineering background, I really resonate with the left brain, high pursuit and high value in my life of education and knowledge.

[00:12:44] Mm-hmm. , I love, I love to learn. I always said if I could just get paid to go to school all the time, I probably would’ve done that. nobody yet wants to do that for me. So hasn’t happened, but can you tell us. W this other side, you know, you used the words like soul. We’ve used the word energy a lot.

[00:13:04] We’ve talked about, you know, it’s psychospiritual or psycho energetic, activity. And can you just describe when we say, you know, the soul or we use these kinds of words, what are we talking about? 

[00:13:16] Daniel Harner: Yeah, that’s a really good question. You know, I don’t, many people don’t know that psychology was meant to be a science of the.

[00:13:23] psychology is the science of the soul and I, in, in ways I’m kind of like pretty passionate about that topic because I feel like, you know, where is the science of the soul? You know, what does it mean to have a science of the soul? Is there a science of the soul even possible? Right? and on that, we could do like a three hour podcast in itself, right?

[00:13:40] Sure. Right, Because like, okay, this like in psychology, they define the soul is like the science of human behavior. Like psychology is the science of human behavior, right? It’s like, but the soul is so much more, you know, the so always includes the interior dimensions as well, right? So as the, it’s like they say they have this trump qu in philosophy, right?

[00:13:58] That, you know, it’s subjective experience of something. Like what is the color red? Or what does water taste like? the subjective qualities that you cannot actually. Measure, like, give me a cup of love. Right. Can you give me a cup of love? Right. I mean, it’s that there’s things that we have that we have inside that we know to be true empirically on the inside, but they’re very hard to measure on the outside, for me, there has never been a really strict separation between the inner and outer, cuz they always knew that there was a really close relationship between how I was on the inside and how the world appeared on the outside.

[00:14:29] For example, when my heart closes, My world doesn’t appear very beautiful. My world becomes a place. boredom and, and, and disenchantment. And when my heart is open and when I feel love in myself, then I feel like everything’s beautiful and I have motivation and I want to do things in my creativity is sparked.

[00:14:45] You know? So there’s always a sense relationship that observed, you know, how can I have these highs and lows and how, how come life changes so quickly and how people respond to me depending what state of mind I’m in, right? So for me, I was always very, I was always observing things very closely because I wanted to figure out how all this works.

[00:15:02] and in a way, Outer and Dean are kind of separate dimensions, but in a way they’re also really closely related. Right? Yeah, yeah. But the research that I shared in the beginning with Dr. Tiller shows that overlap and. It’s almost like a chain, right? We have the physical layer on the outside, the three dimensional reality that Newton described in his books, and Einstein denoted with his mathematics, right?

[00:15:22] But the further we go on the subjective, the further the, boundaries become fuzzy between inner and outer. And it almost seems that the outer is kind of like a layer of the inner. the outer is almost like the final layer of the, of the inner. So the inner dimension is almost like an apri or like implicate order, like David Bone would say.

[00:15:38] And the outer is more like an explicate order, like something that’s more on the outside. It comes subsequent to what’s going on on the inside. don’t wanna get too complicated, but it’s like, uh, no, I think, 

[00:15:48] Zach White: yeah, it, it is a difficult topic and I, I appreciate, Well, you can, can geek out with, with us as engineers today.

[00:15:54] You know, I, I think there’s, of course we’re gonna want go deeper than we have time to go, but, The thing that I’ll just echo maybe to bring it back into the more pragmatic with what I do mm-hmm. is I continue to be astounded by how a change in someone’s inner world creates such significant impact in their outer world.

[00:16:15] Yeah. And, and we’re taught or unintentionally learned through culture and experiences that, things on the out. World need to change in order for us to experience something different in our inner world. You mentioned, you know, give me a cup of love. Well, if he’s like, If I want to experience more love, I need these things out, out here to change.

[00:16:35] Zach White: And you know, as a coach, the work I do with engineers is not just strategies for career growth, but a lot of times recognizing how this inner world needs to shift in congruence with what you’re saying you, you want, which begins with this being Absolutely. And I think. You’re so spot on that like the more you look at this question about hard science and the mind and this idea of the soft pieces of our heart, our soul, these, these emotional qualities of our life that are more difficult to measure.

[00:17:08] The more I look at the two, the more, inextricably linked, they seem to become. Yeah. My question for you next then is where does the body fit into this? So I always talk a lot about the mind and body connection. Yeah. how do you think about its role in what you just described a moment?

[00:17:27] I see it like a chain. Like I said, there’s a higher mind that’s really for us to really develop like philosophies and analyze the world and come up with models, how to predict things. it’s not the lower mind where we kind of kind of complain and criticize and charge, You know, there’s a higher mind, a lower mind, there’s a higher heart or a higher emotional domain in a lower emotional domain.

[00:17:46] Daniel Harner: So higher emotional. Like love and enthusiasm and compassion, right? LOA would be more like jealousy Inc. Greed and pride and, and fear and, and shame and things like that. And then you have a, you have a level lower, not meaning, like better or worse, but the body would be even a more denser layer of that chain.

[00:18:05] Right. and the body will be almost like the deepest part of the subconscious mind, if you wanna call it that, right? Yes. Okay. So, and that’s where most of the stuff gets stored too, that we don’t want to have in our mind and in, in our. So it gets pushed down and some people have then physical complaints or illnesses and things like that, which they call psychosomatic and psychology.

[00:18:24] so the body is kinda like the outer layer of the inner, the world, like Gary said. And that’s okay. Body’s in the way, kinda neutral. You know, it’s not good or bad. It’s uh, it’s like money. It’s not good or bad. It’s kind of like how you are being with it, right? And what you’re thinking about it and how you’re feeding it and how you’re nurturing it.

[00:18:40] it can be like a storage for everything that we think about and feel. that’s how I see it and that’s how I work with people too, that focus on their sensations in their body, focus on their feelings in their heart, and focus on their thoughts in their mind. Right.

[00:18:53] Daniel Harner: And then you have a higher domain even, which is spiritual. They call spiritual, which transcends all the parts and pieces and the relationships between parts and pieces. But is a, a place of union and unification. And transcendence. Right. So this would be the whole chain of being like until physics, for example, that I already described a little bit in the, that he would have a model like that.

[00:19:12] And psychology, it’s very, 

[00:19:14] Zach White: I love that. And what you’re saying, it triggers some work that I’ve been going through lately. I’m digging into Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work and this idea of the nervous system and the body as a deep part of the subconscious mind has really. Opened a lot of insight and, and wisdom around how important that work is in really addressing what’s going on in our subconscious and how that then manifests through the body.

[00:19:41] It’s really powerful with the work that, uh, his team is doing. All right, so let me. Get real practical for myself as an engineering leader and kind of taking this world that I could talk about it all day. I just could really dig in. But I wanna bring it home to some practical things that I see my clients struggle with and that I struggle with personally as an engineer.

[00:20:01] And the phrase that comes to mind for me is get out of your head. Mm-hmm. , You know, a lot of times what my coach has said to me and what I’ve said to my clients, Like, Hey, we need to get out of your head. Yeah. You’re just trying to solve this problem with the left brain only and we’re not gonna think our way out of a problem.

[00:20:23] We thought ourselves into like, let’s get out of our head. Yes. can you maybe take that statement and if, if you would agree, like, is that something that can happen to us and what’s really going on there? Yeah. And what’s the anecdote? Like where do. go? Or how do we begin to shift into a different mode if we’re stuck in our heads?

[00:20:42] Daniel Harner: Yeah. Right, Right. So my approach to healing and, coaching and, psychotherapy, I call psychospiritual. And I call it that because it includes both the domains of psychology and spirituality, and the domain of psychology would include the elements of masculine and feminine and what you just just described with you being in your head and you being into analytical would be more denoted as the masculine aspect of life.

[00:21:07] It’s about analysis, it’s about isolation. You know, it’s isolating things so you can look at them, you know, and it’s about separating things and about controlling things and predicting things, which is a great way to ensure survival, right? It’s a great way for us men to make sure that we, uh, have a target and we hit the target and for us to get out and get something.

[00:21:25] You know, that’s the real underlying program, uh, underneath that. And there has lots of benefit. and has a lots of limitations as well, but the feminine does. He comes in, you know, and kind of sws around all this stuff and it kind of just, uh, points out the weaknesses and flaws in that system.

[00:21:40] It’s just like, well, how come you talk this language? I’m talking this language. Like, can, um, well, how come you live on Mars and I live on Venus, right? So like, get outta your head, like learn a different language, learn a different way of being, like understand the emotional language, right? So it’s like, Yeah, I can be in my ivory tower and be really good and like, almost like in a spaceship, Bruno.

[00:22:03] And then just be really good at looking down on the earth and saying, This is what’s going on down there. You know a lot about life, but you don’t know what it’s like to be in life. So it’s like looking at a river. And telling you everything about the river, but you don’t know what it’s like to be in the water.

[00:22:17] so in my work, I really, when I work with men, particularly because women don’t, women don’t have that issue so much. They’re usually come and complain about their husbands and say, How come my husband doesn’t? He doesn’t, doesn’t, doesn’t talk like you do. It’s like, well, yeah, it’s. Cuz I don’t know. I mean, this is just my, my calling I guess, and my purpose in life, But yes, it’s about drawing the men in the Iver Tower down into the river of life so you can learn how to swim and surrender to an energy current that should not be controlled and predicted, and that has an intelligence of its own and just learn how to trust that.

[00:22:48] So I’m, so I’m painting this picture for you now, so this is what I have been doing in my own work, you know, since I was young, you know, and when I grew up, it’s like I had to capitalize on my. Being a man and being very smart, but then also compliment myself with another way of being that is completely different.

[00:23:03] Daniel Harner: And also learn to be there and learn how to build a home in that and now on that planet as well. And then dance in between. And to have fun with both and to use. whenever it’s needed. It’s almost like shifting gears in the cars. You wanna just drive your car in one gear all the time, right? You wanna make sure you can shift back and forth depending on what’s needed.

[00:23:21] When you talk to a child, you wouldn’t necessarily talk to them like an engineer all the time. They call that love and logic, right? You gotta make sure that you’re sort of adjusting with empathy to a level of development where the other person is at, right? So it’s about flexibility, It’s about fluidity that we want to have, right?

[00:23:37] So get out our heads. Yeah. I can’t get outta my head and have fun, playful, out of control, non predicted. But I can also get into my head and get really good in my strengths, again, in, in that, in that area. So it’s not about either work, it’s about both hand. 

[00:23:50] Zach White: Yeah. So you’ll appreciate this story and my wife’s gonna really hope that I pay attention while we’re talking right now because Yeah, I am.

[00:23:58] The guy just described, so, you mentioned this kind of ivory tower of our minds that we go up into and. I think back to my first marriage, which for those who know my story, you know, married and divorced and that was a really pivotal time for me going through that. But I remember when the marriage started to struggle, you know, the first thing I did was went out and bought three or four books about marriage.

[00:24:22] You know, started going up into my ivory tower of my mind and trying to figure out how to be a better husband, figure out the problem and, the description you just gave. learning a lot or knowing a lot about life or, you know, for me, in that situation, I was trying to know about marriage with this belief that somehow from that place I would be able to make it all work.

[00:24:51] But all of the real problems were happening in my marriage, , and I didn’t actually have the courage or the understanding. To get out of the tower and get into the marriage. Yeah. And deal with it. And you know what, maybe marriage is a good domain for us to use as an example or anything that you think’s an easy, practical application, Daniel, but yeah.

[00:25:13] Can you, like what would it look like in real life, in real practice to come out of the, looking down about, you know, mind masculine energy. And to drop into being in that place, like what’s actually happening. ironically, this is me being in my mind right now asking you the question, but how do I do it?

[00:25:37] Daniel Harner: Yeah, whenever we use something defensively, it’s never a good thing because some people can use their emotions defensively to maneuver through life. Some people can use their mind defensively and to maneuver through life. You know, it’s almost like we use it to hide from something. We use it to avoid something.

[00:25:54] We use it to not be confronted with something that would be intimidating or challenging for us, and for someone really confident in their ivory tower or in their mind, you know, they’re, they’re not, , they’re afraid of stepping down the ladder and getting touched by life. It’s almost like we are afraid of being touched in an intimate way by life.

[00:26:11] You know? because at some point life has touched us in a way that wasn’t pleasant. Yeah. And then we said, All right, that was too painful. I am gonna just stay my mind because I know I’m saved there. You know, and women or the feminine or alive can bring things to us and sometimes in an uncanny, super intelligent fashion, almost like water going to the cracks, you know, it’s like I was gonna find that little spot where it’s like, Oh no, not there.

[00:26:34] Please. And I’ve been there before. I don’t want, I don’t wanna do this. So, so, yes. So it’s like, thank you life, thank you. Feminine, you know, thank you wife. You know, for pointing out to me where I still have room for growth, not in my engineer mind, but in my. Almost like, My emotional landscape, but also in my somato sensory landscape.

[00:26:53] Kinda like the bodily sensation landscape. Okay. So it’s almost like when you’re ready, when we are very much in our higher mind, we need to learn how to be more in our hearts and more in our bodies. So, and that’s really how you do it. You are. You’re allowing yourself to just relax and release in the present moment.

[00:27:08] Not trying to go upstairs, but to take the elevator down and stay downstairs as much as you can. So people say that it is kind of like grounding work, I’ve done a lot of grounding work in my life to just make sure that even though I wasn’t feeling safe, and even though I might felt anxiety by.

[00:27:23] Exposed to something that was uncomfortable. I, I was just calming my nervous system down over and over again. Right. Yeah. Just like, I can do this. It’s safe. It’s right. It’s just a person over there. It might look like a demonn or like a, a witch, but, it’s gonna turn into my wife again at some point.

[00:27:39] Zach White: Oh my, I mean, I’m really, I’m really convicted by this because I absolutely, Still to this day, fall victim to that pattern of using the mind for defense, to protect myself from the hard things or the uncomfortable, painful moments. And so I really appreciate you sharing that. is there any simple practice or behavior or tool that you would give to somebody if they.

[00:28:05] Begin to taste this idea of a grounding or you know, the elevator down where you might encourage someone to begin? 

[00:28:12] Daniel Harner: It depends how strong it’s, For me, the most important thing was to make this a real priority in my life because I didn’t make it into a priority in my life. I would actually still lie to myself and escape in very, sneaky ways.

[00:28:23] Okay. So for me it was like, okay, this needs to be real important for me because if I don’t get this figured out, I actually don’t have a life. I had to make this really important. So for me, there was no dabbling with it. So for me, it’s like how I am doing anything is how I do everything. So if I’m not having a good conversation with my wife or my girlfriend, then it means a lot how I show up in my business or how I work out.

[00:28:43] it’s about being present. So making a real commitment to say, You know what? I’m going to do my best today to just be really present with myself if I can just be with. Breath. Okay. Can I just be with my breath? Like, can I just remember to relax and release throughout the day?

[00:28:58] Daniel Harner: That’s very simple, but not easy to do because we want heart problems to, to fix, you know, This is a simple problem, but it’s, it’s not easy. So yeah, just relaxing and releasing. Is a super important tool and you can do it in a myriad of ways by either sitting down or laying down or going into nature or listening to an audiobook or just getting a massage.

[00:29:19] You know? And I do it all like, this is my life. I mean, this is what I do 24 7. Like I never not do this. I’m always in this mode, because it’s like a lifestyle for me and I train myself to be that. It’s a way of being for me. To be in surrender and to be in acceptance and to be in a loving state all the time.

[00:29:37] You know? And if I feel like I’m kind of getting clogged up with material I don’t like, I relax and release and come back to baseline, basic protocol over and over again. It’s just like five steps, It’s always the same. Always the same. And that’s what clients pay me. We have $50,000 a year for is, you know, just, just for me to kind of remind them, you know, this is the same thing over and over again.

[00:29:56] You know, you’ll end up being in a really be. Place within yourself. You could just keep doing those 

[00:30:01] Zach White: things. Yes. We talked the other day about this, and I think it’s important to bring it up here. We’ve covered, there’s this left brain, right brain, masculine, feminine. There’s the, the grounding versus the higher level thinking and these, So for me growing up, it was really hard to understand.

[00:30:22] That these can coexist. Mm. And earlier in our chat you talked about this idea of, of integration and how it comes together, and can you just talk a little bit about that concept and what you’ve discovered about these paradoxes or seemingly opposite ways of being and how that fits into our life? Carl 

[00:30:40] Daniel Harner: Young used to say that without the opposites, there’s no energy flow. It’s almost like there needs to be a plus and a minus for energy to flow in life. So in the initial stages, you’re going to feel discomfort by feeling touched in two ways at the same time, because it’s distracting, right? You just wanna focus on one thing.

[00:30:56] But, but to have like two things at the same time, it’s almost like. Frying your circuits in a way, overloading your nervous system in a way. So only relaxing and releasing and surrendering and grounding and doing the shadow work is really going to help to create a big enough space inside of yourself so both can be moving through you at the same time.

[00:31:15] you have to delete some files from your hard drive. You know, you have to clean up the disc because if there’s too much stuff on there, it will, it will give, give you too much noise and too much resistance, so you have to let go and release, like you have to empty yourself out so you can have this pure energy flow within you again.

[00:31:30] Daniel Harner: That will be masculine and feminine. They even call it an Indian philosophy as like the spine, you know, being surrounded with two different energies, almost like the cadus, you know, where it just, the snake-like, staff, you know, that that’s, uh, energy flows up with two different currents.

[00:31:44] It’s almost like that, you know, once that energy is established, that union is established, it creates a lot of joy inside of you and a lot of. Energy inside of you and you would never trade that piece in that love for anything else. Like It’s a wealth and a beauty that, that cannot be paid in money.

[00:31:59] it’s like, it’s an independent happiness, independent of the world. Yeah. And that, that’s the goal that you get at the end of the hero’s journey because to walk to to, to get there is gonna throw everything at you. There will be disappointments, triggers this, I mean losses, um, life not working out the way you want it to.

[00:32:16] Daniel Harner: And that’s all risk for the mill for this, And that’s the only way to reach that place of integration is to just say yes to life and let life teach you, and let life grow into the man or the woman or the spiritual being that you are. to become that, it’s a mixture of psychology and spirituality that I just described.

[00:32:32] You know, it’s a spiritual 

[00:32:33] Zach White: path. Mm-hmm. . I love the connection to what you said from Carl Young, you know, the world of psychology and, and here from an engineering lens, this idea of without opposing poles, energy doesn’t flow. I mean, that’s, linear circuits 1 0 1, this idea that without a differential in message.

[00:32:49] Yeah. the electron’s flowing, from one pole to the If it’s at the same level, nothing moves. Right? There’s no electricity there. And it’s a perfect metaphor that we can measure and see in the world we live in as engineers all day. Yes. And so it makes perfect sense that that’s true in these other domains.

[00:33:09] just like it’s. In, in engineering and physics, 

[00:33:12] Absolutely. And in tiller physics, you know, when we combine the emotional domain and the mind domain or the, where the masculine and feminine, if you wanna just sort of roughly equate those things in that way, then, but by having coherence and a synergy between those two, areas of being, then you create, an amazing, an amazing coherence effect that that will then transcend and include.

[00:33:35] the two domains, but you create something greater and that, that’s where psychospiritual comes in, right? Because psycho spiritual is really the, the unification of the opposite. So it becomes one thing, right? it’s about unification that’s the secret sauce in a way, because that’s where miracles happen.

[00:33:52] the miracles are kind of things that’s almost like defy logic in a way. It’s almost like synchronicity where the in and the outer world are moving along so synchronously that it’s almost feels like it’s a dream. And that can happen and that can happen to anybody who’s playing with these kinds of, alchemical relationships between in and out and masculine, feminine and mine and hard and things like that.

[00:34:12] Zach White: Mm-hmm. oof. I, I know words like miracle. Trigger a lot of engineers. It’s like, okay, that’s, I don’t, that’s not real. That’s not, this is all synchronicity, like uhoh. Daniel just went off into the wilderness to sing Kumbaya and all this. Wo absolutely. but I just wanna echo that, Daniel is a scientist at heart.

[00:34:35] You know, so the work you’ve done, like this isn’t just. I saw something anecdotally once, and I’m drawing all these crazy conclusions from it. Like, there’s measurable real outcomes in your physiology, in your psychology, in your, inner and outer worlds. And I just think it’s so cool. I mean, and today consider this like a taster.

[00:34:53] You know, we don’t have time to get PhDs in it today, but, uh, 

[00:34:56] Daniel Harner: Yeah, absolutely. And it should always be pragmatic for you and to people who are listening. Right. like try it on and see how it works. Like try it on like an engineer. Like, like I’ve, I’ve tried all these things on, I’ve tried different psychologies, I’ve tried different ways of thinking and being and working my body and my heart, you know, and at the end of the day I didn’t, I didn’t copy anything out there because nothing like one to one.

[00:35:19] Copying something has really brought in success to me. I just had to make it a fabric of my own being. And make sure it works in my life. Like, don’t keep anything that doesn’t work. and at the end of the day, you can measure how something works by the results you get by living according to those things.

[00:35:33] Right? and it worked, worked for me, you know, And that’s why I’m here, to share it with other people so they can see what I’m doing, and then they can take it or leave whatever they feel is useful for them, you know? that’s what life’s about. 

[00:35:46] this might be a little bit disjointed, but I, I feel like it’s connected in some ways and I just am so curious about your perspective because of everything that you’ve shared and just who you are.

[00:35:55] Zach White: Daniel, and this is the Happy Engineer podcast, and happiness is a very controversial topic for a lot of people. Right. how is happiness created? What is it? How do you get it? You know, what does it really mean to be more happy? What do I have to do to be happy? Oh, forget. What you’re doing at all, just, it’s all something inside you.

[00:36:14] There’s a lot of dialogue about happiness. So would you be open to sharing your perspective about happiness, what it is or how to get it or just What’s been your journey in relationship to 

[00:36:26] Daniel Harner: happiness? Well, first I wanna say this axiom that I think is true is that two things can be true at the same time.

[00:36:31] on the one hand, I think it’s totally true that happiness can be a 100% baseline in your. You can be a hundred percent happy all the time, and at the same time, I think in order to get to a place like that, I think it’s also important to embrace the journey of the ups and downs and the peaks and the valleys and smelling the roses or the flowers along the path.

[00:36:52] Daniel Harner: You know, because there will be moments where you are not going to be happy, but you going to, you, you have a choice to be content with not being happy, if that makes sense. It’s almost like once, once we make happiness, a carrot in front of our nose that we kind of constantly chase. It’s almost like an elusive endeavor.

[00:37:08] we have to go. And we’re the world like a loose garment. So not a heavy cloak, but a loose, loose garment. And when you do that, I think happiness will find you rather than you finding happiness. So it’s almost like life will come to you more than, you don’t have to go after life and chase life and make it happen all the time.

[00:37:25] Daniel Harner: You’ll be met halfway. And happiness is like something that that will, that will meet you and find you. Love will find you, but you’ll have to make yourself into a recipient of that energy. Okay? So for me to been lots of stretches in my life where I was not, those moments I needed to have to learn what it takes to be happy.

[00:37:43] Almost like I had to make sure that I go to differ

Do you struggle with analysis-paralysis? Overthinking?


Engineering leaders thrive on intelligence… But what do you do when you are stuck in your head?


In this episode, you will see what extreme intelligence combined with extraordinary heartfelt emotion looks like in my good friend, Dr. Daniel Harner.


Some people call Dr. Harner a psycho-spiritual mentor, therapist, healer, spiritual guide, wizard, Carl Jung 2.0, researcher and explorer. The truth is, Daniel is a blend of all of that. 


Originally from Austria, he transplanted himself to Sedona, Arizona at the age of 24 in order to deeply immerse himself in the study and practice of psychotherapy and psycho-spiritual transformation and healing, alongside some of the world’s most esteemed psychotherapists, spiritual teachers, researchers, and healers.


Daniel holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He is the smartest person in the room, but he’s not stuck in his head.


So press play and let’s chat… as we discover how to integrate ourselves fully, both in science and spirit!

ent grades first before I can go to or go on to the next grade in school. life sometimes tells you how are you being with your not happy heart? How are you being with your not happy thoughts? Can you be loving towards the part inside of you that’s not happy right now?

[00:38:00] And the more often you do it, the more you’re gonna become love. And when you become love, you’re gonna be a hundred percent happy. You know what I. 

[00:38:07] Zach White: the way that this has shown up in my journey, Daniel? Mm-hmm. and I, I love what you shared, by the way. It’s really powerful, changing the script around. What makes me happy, so for engineers listening to this, maybe it’s, you know, when I get this promotion, then I’ll feel happy, or, when I make more money and can change my lifestyle to this level, then I’ll be happier.

[00:38:33] Or when I get that additional week of vacation and I can go to The Bahamas, then I’ll be happy and mm-hmm. , we create the carrot in front of our nose that you described. Yeah. And what I found, If I would break that script of when this, then I can be happy. Yes. And allow myself to be happy.

[00:38:53] Now that thing actually comes quite a bit faster. every single time. You know, just to give yourself permission to experience the benefit of the thing you don’t have yet now. And then those things start to flow, you know, into our journey even quicker, which has been really. 

[00:39:10] Daniel Harner: The distinction might be helpful here for the people who are listening between what you just described between a conditional happiness versus an unconditional happiness, right?

[00:39:20] Because the more conditions you have, I can guarantee you, the more reason you give yourself to be upset and be unhappy. The less conditions you have and the more looser you are and the more like, Easy going around. The more surrendered you and the more playful you are, the more happy you’re gonna be. You might get what you want, you might not get what you want, but you’re still gonna be happy on the inside.

[00:39:36] Right? That’s the goal, to make yourself an independently, uh, an independent space within yourself. And life will be much more successful as a result of that too. it’s, uh, killing two birds with one stone. Yeah. . 

[00:39:48] Zach White: So cool. So cool. Well, Daniel, I, I think, we answered some great questions today and my guess is probably opened up a lot of new questions for the engineering leaders out there.

[00:39:58] And I know I have a lot of questions I can’t wait to ask you in our future conversations, but where could someone go if they. Curious and maybe that engineering them wants to come down from the ivory tower and have a conversation or get to know Daniel and your work. Maybe connect to the research you’ve done, the incredible papers that have been published.

[00:40:18] where can someone go to get a little further in knowing who you are? 

[00:40:22] the best way to contact me is just to go to my website, which is uh, daniel, and you can send me a text, call me or, or email me. Those are the best ways how to get ahold of me. I’m not very present on social media at the moment, so somebody is curious and following up on a question or asking more about what I do, and it’s the best way to get in touch with me on that.

[00:40:43] Zach White: Perfect. Well, we’ll make sure that’s linked up in the show notes so for listeners, you know where to find that. Click in and we’ll make sure to get you all the info on how to spend time with Daniel. And I truly mean this from the bottom of my heart. You will never regret spending time, with this man and the incredible work that he does as a coach, as a researcher, everything that he brings into this life.

[00:41:04] Just to be around Daniel, we’ll change your life. So please do that. Daniel, I believe great engineering. You know, everybody listening wants to be great engineers, great coaching. The work that you do, it’s true that questions lead, answers follow and we spend a lot of our life in pursuit of great answers.

[00:41:24] You know, I wanna have certain things and outcomes and results, so we wanna ask great questions. Mm-hmm. , if the engineering leader listening to this wants. reach that unconditional happiness and have some of the shifts and transformations you talked about today, what would be the best question that you would lead them with?


[00:41:43] Daniel Harner: I think that the best value, the best bang for your buck in terms of 80 20 principle or whatever, you know, that’s just always ask yourself. So always ask yourself, what’s the most loving thing? Or what would, what would love do in this situation, right? Cause most clients want to have something be spoon fed.

[00:42:02] You know? It’s like, what should I do? and it’s like, Let’s slow down. Let’s ask ourselves, what’s the most loving thing to do? What would love do in this, in this equation here? And then usually they connect to that part in yourself. That’s wise and compass. Not the short term thinking, but the long term and slow thinking process.

[00:42:19] Society yourself. So I, I do this myself. If I feel like I have 10 millions of questions and I don’t know what to do, I slow down and I say, What’s the most loving thing to do right now? And most of the time it comes crystal clear and it’s very simple. And it’s, it’s it’s wonderful tool. I have something in my body that I am familiar with, that feeling of emotion. It, we, it wells up and it stops, you know, right at the top of my throat and it just happened right now. I feel really drawn to that. That is a powerful question. 

[00:42:48] Yeah. Coming from the hearts, you know, coming from the heart, bringing, bringing something a problem or a person into your.

[00:42:55] and then from that place, it’s easier to, to, to, to tackle the problem that you’re facing cuz then you are coming from an open heart and your mind will work much better. what would love to make that your question will, will make life much easier and will make your wife much happier or your husband much happier.

[00:43:12] Daniel Harner: So will be, be, uh, perfect combination of the mind and the heart and that it’s always gonna lead to the result of that is always. 

[00:43:20] Zach White: So good. And you know, I coach all engineers and I’ll just say, To compliment this. It’s just as powerful to ask that question at work as it is in your marriage or at home. Luna, it doesn’t matter if you’re writing code at Meta on a really important project.

[00:43:39] I really believe a hundred percent that this applies in every domain. That is so, so good. Well, Daniel, thank you again for your time, your generosity and your heart, the love that you share with me and with our listeners today. can’t thank you enough for the time. 

[00:43:53] Daniel Harner: Thank you for letting me be there with your audience and, uh, I hope this created a lot of value for 

[00:43:58] Zach White: the people who listen.

[00:44:00] No question. Until next time, Thanks, man. Thank you.