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John Vervaeke joins Jim for the final episode of a five-part series examining the ideas put forward in Vervaeke’s popular YouTube series, Awakening from the Meaning Crisis. They discuss relevance’s lack of essence, sacredness as inexhaustibility, separating cognitive indispensability from metaphysical necessity, religio & the perennial problems, whether Enlightenment++ principles can offer a place to stand, the need for new symbols of self-transcendence, reverse-engineering Enlightenment, mindfulness practices as serious play, the “religion of no religion,” signal detection theory, a “collective dynamic Socrates,” rationality’s malleability, active open-mindedness, and much more.
John Vervaeke is an Associate Professor, in the teaching stream. He has been teaching at the University of Toronto since 1994. He currently teaches courses in the Psychology department on thinking and reasoning with an emphasis on insight problem solving, cognitive development with an emphasis on the dynamical nature of development, and higher cognitive processes with an emphasis on intelligence, rationality, mindfulness, and the Psychology of wisdom. He is the director of the Cognitive Science program where he also teaches courses on the introduction to Cognitive Science, and the Cognitive Science of consciousness wherein he emphasizes 4E (embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended) models of cognition and consciousness. In addition, he teaches a course in the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program on Buddhism and Cognitive Science.
He is the director of the Consciousness and the Wisdom Studies Laboratory. He has won and been nominated for several teaching awards including the 2001 Students’ Administrative Council and Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students Teaching Award for the Humanities, and the 2012 Ranjini Ghosh Excellence in Teaching Award. He has published articles on relevance realization, general intelligence, mindfulness, flow, metaphor, and wisdom. He is first author of the book Zombies in Western Culture: A 21st Century Crisis, which integrates Psychology and Cognitive Science to address the meaning crisis in Western society. He is the author and presenter of the YouTube series Awakening from the Meaning Crisis.