Covidian Philosophy Hour:Symbols & the Meaning Crisis, John Vervaeke & Jonathan Pageau

I’m not going deep into commentary on this one but it’s an important conversation. “The Meaning Crisis” is a good way to phrase our collective psychedelic experience and existential anxiety and fear. We don’t really have institutions of authority to fall back on to ease the fear. Government is dodgy at best, and that is meant on a global level, not just here in The United States. Organized religion has exposed itself as unable to explain the complexities of our world as they’ve been revealed. Faith requires eschewing knowledge and that’s as simple as it gets.

Falling back on pop psychology can be a slippery slope but this article from Psychology Today does a pretty good job in describing some of the manifestations of the meaning crisis:

The Crisis of Meaning

It’s not difficult to see why so many people have either lost touch with or entirely rejected spirituality and spiritual practice of any sort. It can seem empty or outwardly hypocritical whey weighed against what’s actually going on in our physical world. The two sides simply cannot be reconciled, so where does that leave us? This conversation gets into how digging back into some of the ancient practices can offer solutions without buying into it wholesale, or how it can all be integrated into the reality of the 21st Century.

The Rebel Wisdom channel on Youtube has been going deep on this topic for a couple years. They’ve not been shy about giving a platform to some controversial, if popular, public figures. Some of the conversations on the channel can be difficult to listen to, depending on your relationship with some of the guests and their philosophies. Yet the conversations are still important. This one is pretty darn good, and the Zoom format serves it well. With everything that’s going on in the world right now it’s also well-timed. It isn’t exactly a debate but the two men do have somewhat diverging approaches. Pageau openly endorses finding a solution in Chrisitianity and Vervaeke speaks against the exclusivity of any singular practice as the “right” path. Of course I lean closer to Vervaeke and that will be clear to anyone that knows me, but I’m not endorsing his views either. I’m endorsing the conversation and the forum to let similar conversations take place.

I may come back and give some commentary at a later point, or just continue it on another post, or it may just go back to music by later on this morning.

I will commit to remaining open to ideas though. I’m not immune to The Meaning Crisis and this level of distance and existential angst is not sustainable for anyone. If I’m not going to expire tomorrow then there’s going to need to be some solutions.

Sidenote: They mention the emergence of Zombie Mythology and both, from different angles, acknowledge that it has risen above simply entertainment. It’s a new mythology in their view that has resonated beyond culture and culture… it’s symbolic of a growing sense of impending doom and apocalypse. People have come to see it as a distinct possibility of an existential threat.

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