john vervaeke

john vervaeke.png

intro’d to John via Jordan fb share:

I strongly recommend the entire Awakening from the Meaning Crisis series by John Vervaeke. It is the best thing that I’ve come across in many years.

We are now 19 hours (19 episodes) in and about half of the way though. My sense is that if you haven’t fully imbibed this work you won’t be empowered to truly collaborate on the future.


1\ i’m thinking red flag if we all have to take this in – ie: no train

2\ perhaps it’s the ‘collab on the future’ part.. if that’s what you really mean.. vs collab..  reading weinberger’s everyday chaos now.. and wondering how much we really need to be focused on and collab ing on the future

i don’t know.. i’ll try to watch them.. or at least take john in.. maybe it’ll change my mind

episode 19

22 min – augustine explains how christianity puts it all together in a story for us.. to interpret a world view.. in a sophisticated and compelling fashion

more compelling if that story.. is already in us.. which i believe it is.. it can’t be that we need 19 episodes or manuals.. that wouldn’t be equity (everyone getting a go everyday).. to me.. if we think we need training.. to me that’s a sign that we’re missing it

25 min – what if i could offer you the most profound.. sound.. healing.. et al .. would you not want this.. so.. why don’t you have it.. we know from science.. that’s what you want.. we know from history culture built it for us.. why don’t we have it.. is it irredeemably los

culture didn’t build it..

but we are lost/shell less.. and not lost forever.. ie: almaas holes law

we know..all.. but we still don’t know why it all comes apart.. we need to better understand the process/genealogy of loss

well.. try this: ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work making us like whales in sea world .. but we really don’t need to know that.. we just need to be set free (w detox embed) and trust our interconnectedness

on how long for standard of living to be recovered

that’s not the deeper issue.. dang

the value of well organized propositional issues is being discovered

then it’s not coming from within each person.. which it needs to be.. that’s what we’re missing..

what the world needs most is the energy of 7bn alive people.. not better manuals/propositions

47 min – how do we salvage this.. assimilate the two worlds..  christianity (faith/love) and science (real/reason)  – acquanis says.. the christianity world is real to .. we can explain it with reason and science and real truths


we need to quit trying to explain everything and start living

let’s try this: 2 convers as infra

51 min – science and spirituality divorced form one another (love and reason pulled apart).. acquanis is trying to save this by reforming fundamental grammar.. here’s the danger.. that acquanis didn’t foresee.. when you pull them apart.. spiritual becomes less and less real.. if no longer viable/livable to us.. then whole grammar/theology is not threatened to fall apart..

we’ll look at that the next time we’re together

so.. bring them back together.. embodiment et al is key

which is how we were made.. how we are meant to be..  the only way we-ness/equity will work

ie: undisturbed ecosystem: ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

so.. the ai that humanity needs: augmenting interconnectedness

of what is already in/among us


mar 2019 – 39 min video/convo w rebel wisdom – Jordan Peterson & the Meaning Crisis []

first 3 min tells diff between himself and jordan – since both have online cult followings

4 min – symptoms of meaning crisis: political/adversarial discourse; increasing bullshit (scientifically.. we’ve actually measured it); failing in faith/econ/institutions; default of cynicism; exacerbating health/opium crisis..

6 min – 3 orders that help to org.. need a framework that 1\ makes sense  2\ connects to reality/people  3\ gives sense of how to improve.. and of course we had a framework like that.. grand synthesis.. christianity and neoplatonism.. that collapsed in face of scientific framework..  so starts in the 12th cent..  but massively accelerating in the last 20 w computers/net et al

9 min – one thing i can talk about that jordan can’t.. how to we bring our cognitive/sci best so that we can integrate this spirituality w sci framework

10 min – on cognitive science.. how we make meaning as opposed to what that meaning (its structure) is.. wisdom is more about how than what we know..

12 min – encouraging that there is a meaning crisis.. people are definitely searching and frustration with what’s being offered..there’s lots of people working on this.. so i’m very hopeful

13 min – 9starts to say something.. and then says.. every academic thinks too highly of their own work.. so i’m trying to be careful here.. early said.. jordan has supported me.. so i don’t want to come off in any way dismissive of him)

14 min – trying to get a feel for how all these crises interact.. how is it self-orging/perpetuating.. because until we understand that difficult time to intervene.. if we don’t understand our one-attempts here and here.. i believe are going to constantly keep failing.. because the self org process is going to adapt and preserve it (the damaging part)

not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

17 min – trying to salvage what i can from axial age wisdom traditions.. to transform conscious/character/community.. born from and enmeshed in axial revolution – two world system.. and am trying to give it a grammar of transcendence that do not fit well w sci worldview.. i ask my students who are religious.. do you think what i’m making your religion dismissive.. and they say no.. they say you are being very respectful and what you’re doing is very valuable to me

of course

18 min – i’m trying to salvage from those wisdom traditions what we know and can learn about this meaning making process..

and more especially/importantly .. how to engineer/create systematic sets of psycho tech’s that afford the transformation/transcendence that people are longing for.. that’s what’s very important..t

indeed.. let’s try this: tech as it could be.. listening to every voice everyday in order to augmenting our interconnectedness.. with 2 convers as infra

19 min – what i argue – in the series.. historical/sci component to solve this problem.. but what we don’t have is how we fit into that sci worldview.. we do not have a sci explanation of how we generate sci explanations.. to pursue truth.. you can’t pursue truth if you don’t have meaning

don’t think we need that.. because i don’t think explanations/truth are the focus of ie: eudaimoniative surplus

because both explanations and truth are like definitions.. dead once we pin them down.. and alive things.. self-org-ing things.. can’t be pinned down..

so i guess i would boldly counter that with.. you can’t live/be-alive if you keep pursing meaning with some sort of defined truth(s)

so we don’t have how we fit into that.. we have an account of that..

exactly.. let go of all the account ing ness

and that account will hopefully fit together all of those cartesian divides.. ie: mind/body.. but also help engineer sets of tech for something completely diff

ie: augmenting our-already-existing-but-lost interconnectedness

20 min – the meta crisis is self orging.. this complex org is also vulnerable to perennial problems of destruction/deception.. they can undermine our agency in powerful ways.. ie: addiction/despair

21 min – what i think solution will look like: from spiritual tutoring/guiding of psycho engineering meshed w new sci world view that deals w historical development that has led us to where we are now.. will sew us back up

historical development is so meshed in observing ie: whales in sea world.. that focusing on history .. esp as a science.. is non legit.. irrelevant to .. a nother way to live

22 min – for me.. key piece is cog sci in one sense to get an understanding of meaning making and situate that into a sci framework.. but also cog sci in its exemplification of a method of synoptic integration..bridging of diff discourses.. i think that’s a very relevant skill that is needed to bridge sci/active-world

24 min – when we move to idea of cognition as part of embodiment.. idea of software/hardware breaks down..  when a system is self-org-ing.. its function/development are also inseparable..  it develops by functioning

ie: undisturbed ecosystem: ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

26 min – strange thing that we think we have to separate reason and emotion.. fundamental diff between us and computers is we care

27 min – we have to give up idea that there’s a cog perfect form.. ie: can’t look at all possibilities like computer tries to.. (go w gut – paraphrase).. emotions are essential to cog agency

this is what we need to do now.. let go of the video series.. the lectures.. the need to explain.. and trust our gut.. what are 7b guts already craving.. let’s focus on that..

ie: maté basic needs

30 min – ai is going to make an impact on our existential self understanding.. greater than sci/industrial revolutions..t

only if we redefine this ai ness.. ai humanity truly needs right now is augmenting interconnectedness.. ie: 2 convers as infra

31 min – on liminal space – i don’t think a deeper sense to deeper reality is a mistake.. these higher states are really important to optimizing our how of cognition.. not the what (focus on the what has been our mistake)

34 min – i think one of things series is about is psycho tech and how they’ve influence our cognition

36 min – think about what literacy does to cog.. i can now store my thoughts external to me and come back later and revise them.. that massively increases the process.. i can link mine to yours.. et al..  all this means i could massively self correct my cognition

hosting-life-bitsness (output ness) using my (never just me) brain/idio-jargon/self-talk as data

38 min – there’s a cog cultural evolution.. .things we take as natural .. are from our culture..

that’s how we got to whales in sea world..  aka: not us

going to do 50 episodes.. we’ve already filmed 28


John and Jordan aug 1 2019 – part 2? – 1 hr – Vervaeke & (Green)Hall: Bullshit & Simulated Thinking


4 min – v: can’t really lie to yourself.. but we bs ourselves.. attention has this org capacity.. can deceive self by not paying attention how you are paying attention

8 min – g: distinction i try to make between simulated/real thinking.. based between habit/explore mode..particular form of habit mode that pretends as seeking mode.. then in simulated thinking

10 min – v: ie: confirmation bias – look like exploring.. but actually habit thinking.. this drives echo chambering..  so also.. an instance of bs

12 min – g: tainter’s work – collapse of complex societies.. 2 drivers.. 1\ s curves w habits of innovation – exploring for a while

14 min – v: same when study insect problem solving

g: 2\ difficulty of getting access to resource.. and 3\ making resource more fundamental to society

16 min – g: move from seeking to

20 min – g: gets into math and human predictability – ie: calculating w s curves et al.. when humans change their minds

ugh – they seem to be perpetuating habitual modes of thinking.. w all their calc references et al..

24 min – v: on addiction

27 min – v: they look like they’re exploring.. but what they’re actually doing is this process of intensifying the reciprocal narrowing of who they are and what their world can be

g: yes.. very good

sound like you guys.. just now

29 min – v: i think that you are trying to enact the reverse.. the reciprocal opening

g: exactly


55 min – v: you try to notice what you’re not changing across all the failures.. notice what’s invariant.. gives you good place to try for real change

what’s not changing.. we keep trying to rationalize/math-ize/predict/know/verbalize everything

58 min – g: john and i now are willing to take risks.. publicly.. and now recklessly.. hard to do

59 min – v: we need to do this together and we have to be participating in distributed cognition.. not just talking about it

won’t happen if we keep making it so verbally academic.. begs 2 convers as infra

1:00 – g: i experienced this a decade ago.. in conversation.. the building up of an insight.. leading to scary consequences.. individual goes thru shift.. limbic stronger.. so triggers part ready to change.. and reboots (habitual thinking)



on 2nd video of jordan’s civium project videos


john on convos


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Psychology and Cognitive Science Professor | Integrating science and spirituality to solve the meaning crisis