EP 170 John Vervaeke and Jordan Hall on The Religion That Is Not a Religion

Jim talks with John Vervaeke and Jordan Hall about Vervaeke’s concept of “the religion that is not a religion”…

Jim talks with John Vervaeke and Jordan Hall about Vervaeke’s concept of “the religion that is not a religion.” They discuss the need to create a home for ecologies of practices, Jordan and John’s ongoing collaboration, the meaning crisis & our wisdom famine, meaning of life vs meaning in life, the category error of prioritizing propositions, limitations of the Axial Age religions, the two worlds mythology, a series of major conceptual involutions, the arising of social engineering, recursion & multi-part toolmaking, challenging the idea that the sacred is supernatural, the imaginal vs the imaginary, disambiguating notions of truth, defining sacred experience, the important & the dangerous, interpreting epiphanies, the ecological notion of rationality, living in the collapse of 19th-century epistemology, the Cartesian promise of certainty, defining religio & equivocation, relevance realization & fundamental connectedness, parallel interventions, the need for both meditative & contemplative practices, folk psychotechnologies, ecologies for communities, religion as the essence of culture, creating birth & death rituals, breastfeeding as religious practice, the question of scaling, creating developmental sequences & pedagogical continuity, embedding Metcalf’s law, how practices that increase relationship propagate themselves, the combinatorial feedback loop afforded by shit being fucked, a final sales pitch for young men, 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.

Jordan Hall is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Neurohacker Collective. He is now in his 17th year of building disruptive technology companies. Jordan’s interests in comics, science fiction, computers, and way too much TV led to a deep dive into contemporary philosophy (particularly the works of Gilles Deleuze and Manuel DeLanda), artificial intelligence and complex systems science, and then, as the Internet was exploding into the world, a few years at Harvard Law School where he spent time with Larry Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain and Cornel West examining the coevolution of human civilization and technology.