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The Symbolic World is Real


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Thomas Steininger in dialogue with Jonathan Pageau

To Jonathan Pageau, stories and symbols are the source of meaning, consciousness, and the inevitable narrative structure of reality in which we live. In a time as raw and confused as ours—when the glut of information streaming through our smartphones is disturbing and apparently contradictory—Pageau speaks of universals and recognizable patterns that live in the symbolic world of our great spiritual traditions. Is this a romantic pull from our collective past or an opening to the future?

As an Eastern Orthodox Christian icon-carver and internationally successful YouTuber, Jonathan Pageau shows how life in the traditions is perceived as an “original participation” that is without a clear divide between natural and supernatural, self and world. Our scientific worldview only allows a world that is measurable and objectifiable. But in reality, we all live in a deeply symbolic world. As soon as we start to honor this again, reality shows its truly enchanted nature.

In this week on Radio evolve, Thomas Steininger talks with Jonathan Pageau about the truth of the symbolic world.