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“Now here’s the thing. None of us are immune to this trauma. We just don’t think about it anymore. Or what we do is we’ll wake up at 3:00 AM in the morning, laying on our bed and think these thoughts and realize how disconnected we are from reality, how we believe in a scientific world view in which our meaning and purpose, ourself and the objects we interact with, the tables and chairs and cars and everything of that ilk is all ultimately not real. And all the purposes we’re striving for are not real. All the meaning we’re making, it’s not real. And then fundamentally I’m not real. You are not real.

Do you ever awake at 3 am and think I’m just very complex pattern of atoms. That’s all. That’s really there. Everything else is just an illusion. And everything that I’m doing, I’m doing for things that aren’t real, for a self that isn’t real, in a universe that doesn’t give a damn about me, is completely indifferent. It’s not that it hates me. It’s completely inert and indifferent to me.”

Excerpt taken from Episode 20 of John Vervaeke’s lecture series “Awakening from the Meaning Crisis”.

“Meaning is to have a nomological order that connects us to what is real, it is to have a normative order that connects us not intellectually, but existentially to what is good so that we can become better. Meaning is to have a narrative order that tells us how we can move forward through history, both collective and individual history. But what I’ve tried to show you is that these are not three separate things. They’re like the three dimensions of the space of meaning, the three axes of the space of meaning. […]

Imagine if I could offer this to you and make it deeply historically, scientifically and intellectually viable for you? What if I could offer to you a worldview that had the deepest scientific legitimacy, totally integrated with the most profound spirituality, no antagonism, no irrationality in it, could join seamlessly with a personal project of therapy of therapeutic change and healing, and sappy essential education, the cultivation of genuine wisdom and true self and self transcendence, in community with yourself, your world, your culture, and other people, would you not want this?

Is this irredeemably lost when we lost the Gnostic mythology. When we lost the axial mythology, the two worlds of mythology. When we lost the mythology of Christianity, are we now bereft forever?

So the short answer for a long series of arguments that are forthcoming is no, I think there is a response. That’s why this series is entitled awakening from the meeting crisis, not despairing because of the meaning crisis.

So here’s the question you now have to ask yourself: why don’t you have it? Because we know from science that’s what you want. We know from history that that’s what our foundational culture from the axial revolution built for us. Why don’t we have it?”

Excerpt taken from Episode 19 of John Vervaeke’s lecture series “Awakening from the Meaning Crisis”.