Awakening from the Meaning Crisis is a lecture series by John Vervaeke. This site collects useful resources related to the series like transcripts, summaries, diagrams and explanations of the most important terms.

What is Awakening from the Meaning Crisis all about?

“The Meaning Crisis is at the root of modern crises of mental health, the response to environmental collapse, and the political system. We are drowning in “meaninglessness”. We feel disconnected from ourselves, each other, the world, and a viable future.”

Although the living standard of most people is nowadays much higher than ever before, the feeling that something important is missing is common. Phenomena like depression are widespread and many people struggle with existential angst. At the same time, ancient solutions of dealing with these issues like stoicism and mindfulness but also modern solutions like psychotherapy are becoming increasingly popular. While each of these frameworks offers psychotechnologies that have the potential to help this rearely happens because they’re misrepresented and misunderstood.

A proper understanding of the roots of the meaning crisis requires that we move beyond dogma and dive deep into areas like cognitive science, religion, machine learning, and philosophy.

“If anybody offers you an answer to this crisis in an hour I would wager that they are deceiving you, manipulating or they are in themselves significantly self deceived. […] Many people are talking about the meaning crisis, but what I want to argue is that these problems are deeper than just social media problems, political problems, even economic problems… they’re deeply historical, cultural, cognitive problems.” - John Vervaeke

While many people have recognized that there is a crisis, the discussion typically remains superficial. Notions like spirituality, wisdom, enlightenment, myth, meaning, and love are regularly thrown around, but in most cases there’s no depth to them. Without a deep understanding of these notions, we’re forced to see the problem in low resolution. And as long as we see the problem in low resolution, it’s impossible to find satisfying solutions to the meaning crisis.

Awakening from the Meaning Crisis is a lecture series by John Vervaeke that provides anyone interested in the subject with the necessary background knowledge. In the course of 50 lectures - each roughly one hour long - Vervaeke provides a whirlwind tour that gradually adds depth to all necessary terms and lays out how the ideas of thinkers like Plato, Socrates, Diogenes, Aristotle, Buddha, Jesus, Kant, Luther, Descartes, Hegel, Heidegger, and Jung can help us to get a better grasp of the current meaning crisis.