What is the meaning crisis? with John Vervaeke

Estimated time to read: 3 minutes
“We have to give up the magic bullet.”

In this episode of the podcast, I talk with John Vervaeke, Doctor of Philosophy and award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto in the departments of psychology, cognitive science, and Buddhist psychology. We talk about his practice, his journey into meditation, his unique approach to western philosophy, eastern philosophy and evidence-based science. Various topics will be talked about including the psychedelic revolution, what enlightenment exactly is and what the higher states of consciousness entail.

Victor Swift, Jordan Peterson & John Vervaeke discussing the meaning of life.
Source: Mind Matter

Bridging the gap

John is passionate about bridging the gap between western philosophy, eastern philosophy, and evidence-based science. His practice includes a variety of methods and techniques. We go through his morning routine and talk about Tai-Chi, Qi-Gong, Pranayama, Vipassana, Metta practice, Prajna (a non-duality practice), Yoga and Lectio Devina. Don’t worry, we’ll dig into what some of those things exactly mean. Traditionally, Lectio Divina has four separate steps: read; meditate; pray; contemplate. We talk about the best way to approach this way of reading contemplative texts. John advised the book “Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina” by Michael Casey as an introductory read on how to approach this practice.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor john vervaeke
“Neuroenlightenment: John Vervaeke at TEDxUofT”

What exactly is the meaning crisis?

John talks about the meing crisis and zombies in the West. This theme of meaning has become very central in our podcasts. Finding your meaning, your purpose, your bliss. Even with the West turning away from religion, there is no way to turn away from meaning. Meaning is essential for our mental health and physical wellbeing in the process. We talk about what might be a way out of this crisis. The following quote mightdescribe perfectly what it entails:

“[Find]…what can we salvage, transplant and regrow from these [ancient] wisdom traditions so that we can cultivate a new ecology of practices that are directly engineered to be responsive to the meaning crisis so that we can awaken from it in a way that alleviates a lot of this suffering and perhaps give us some guidance towards how we can re-connect with a pathway both individually and collectively for seeking a flourishing way of life.”

– John Vervaeke
Brown Cathedral Interior
“Your meditative practice can be a source of self-deception.”

Give up the magic bullet

There is no way one thing is going to cure all. No one medicine or one way is going to save you and me from suffering. Instead, it’s a collection of approaches and methods that can benefit us. John calls for an examination of both Western and Eastern philosophy, it’s spiritual traditions and integrate it in our way of living. There is no need to return back to an old way. We can simply find a way to integrate this wisdom in our modern world and time. Whether it is Daoism, Catholicism or Paganism; it will have something that is worth extracting and applying in this time and place.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to know more about John Vervaeke, take a look at his YouTube:

If you’d like to talk about this podcast or have comments and ideas, please let me know by joining our community on Discord
Simply use @christiaan or send me a DM! I would love to hear from you.

With warm regards,

Christiaan Neeteson

This podcast is available on…
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Christiaan Neeteson
Christiaan is passionate about building a supportive, healthy and positive community. He hosts the podcast, creates meditative music and is the co-founder of Project Mindfulness.

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  1. Thank you for the podcast!
    Even if it intends to get wider audience, it would be nice to find this podcast on Archive.org (besides google and apple podcast), and to have a download at this page.

    Thank you so much


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