The ground-breaking cognitive scientist and philosopher John Vervaeke returns for another dialogue. Here we pick up on and clarify our previous conversation and explore many new areas of interest. It’s never an easy thing to encapsulate these conversations into short sentences. And I don’t take myself to be doing that here… but!
This dialogue is titled on YouTube and in the graphic above ‘Tuning into wisdom’. The hope is that this catches a little more for those less acquainted with this project.
But one metaphor which has caught me recently is the ‘deep drums’. A gesture toward our inherent, fundamental capacity to orient in a time of flux, to catch the rhythm of a new tune of our becoming; an affective tempo for the re-affirmation of life in a mire of chaos and insecurity; a seed-germ of our transcendent capacity for finding connection again; the flicker of a portal ripe for embodiment to a land beyond.
In many ways this conversation speaks to a set of ideas, realised through embodied practice, presenced in vulnerability and hope, for the re-kindling of our collective spirit in a time of fear.
Discernment on the Way,
The role of dialogue as a response to the meaning crisis
Dialogue as a meta-psychotechnology — that which enables the curation and coordination of psychotechnologies (ways that we make sense of the world and cultivate wisdom)
Dialectic as the machinery to enter into distributed cognition and collective intelligence
“Just like individual intelligence needs to be exapted up into rationality and then that exapted up into wisdom, we need to take collective intelligence and ratchet that up into collective rationality and collective wisdom. […] That’s what I think we need in order to get to the meta-psychotechnology.” JV
– up to roughly 17mins
Theory and theoria, the musicality of dialogue, and meta-reflection on present dialogue
Accessing underlying functionality through phenomenology.
The logos in dia-logos – gathering together (logos) so that things belong together
Vulnerability and exposure – vulnerability as allowing things to penetrate into you.
Encouraging each other and encaring each other. So the vulnerability stays as a sensitivity rather than a hardening of defence because we’re overexposed.
We have to bring the depths of ontology into dia-logos. ‘Your deepest patterns of intelligibility, your deepest patterns of coping and sensemaking are always bound up with your deepest patterns of caring and concern and identification. So if we want this to have existential depth then we have to touch upon the ontological depths as well.’
Tipping towards aporia but not to horrify. We want to commit to the not knowing so that it becomes wonder and awe. This is also part of the dia-logos.
On circling plus philea sophia. 32 mins
From theoria back into theory 36 mins
Relevance realisation and loving transformation
Love, vulnerability, interesse (interesting – to be within)
Sacredness and the sacred
Making sacred and perfection
Value and limitations of narrative 57 mins
Transnarrative – buddhism taoism stocicism
Do we have to leave narrative behind?
Connection between the completion of narrative and perfection and the sacred
Atemporality, Plato, Bergson, Beauty
Whitehead, emanation and emergence
Dialectic as the ontological structure of reality
Modes of orientation
The urgency of our collective moment
Meta-stability – a state of criticality so that positive development is possible for us while also setting up a whole bunch of constraints and systems so we don’t over commit. Serious play allows us to taste and touch the criticality without the danger of catastrophic error.
Meta-stability and serious play
Ritual as a place of serious play
The joy and trauma of masculinity and femininity
Yin and yang
Adversarial to opponent processing
The need for healing
The importance of self-correction
About John Vervaeke
John Vervaeke PhD is an award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto in the departments of psychology, cognitive science and Buddhist psychology. He has published articles on relevance realization, general intelligence, mindfulness, metaphor, and wisdom. His abiding passion is to address the meaning crisis that besets western culture.