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At this point in human history, Western Civilization is in the midst of an enormous meaning crisis. Unlike earlier cultures that had ways of being guided by wisdom, Modernity—that unique product of the West—focuses on a kind of calculative knowledge that leaves us adrift in a meaningless cosmos. No wonder, after several hundred years of technical brilliance and calculated meaninglessness, we are suffering, says John Vervaeke, from a wisdom famine.
John Vervaeke is a professor of cognitive psychology and science at the University of Toronto. He became well known in some quarters of the internet with his 50-episode Youtube lecture series Awakening From the Meaning Crisis. In his work, John inspires many to see a new emerging integration between the latest findings of cognitive science and the deep human pursuit of meaning, which we also can call spirituality. More than that, John has begun to outline an ecology of practices that can cultivate the wisdom we are seeking—not as a return to the traditions but as a new integration of science and spirituality.
How can a new wisdom culture—a new ecology of wisdom practices—look like that is not in contradiction but in dialogue with the new insights and findings of cognitive science? In this week’s Radio evolve, Thomas Steininger speaks with John Vervaeke about how we can cultivate religion…without religion.