Wisdom Practices are Heretical to Modern Culture
Creatively synthesizing modern wisdom protocols
Your psyche will choose the path of least resistance, which will most likely devolve into a crisis of meaning at some point.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been obsessed with this thing called The Meaning Crisis.
I feel it coursing through the blood in my veins.
Everywhere I go I see exemplifications of this crisis.
Anxiety. Depression. Suicide. Gun violence. Fear. Burnout. Bullshit here. Bullshit there. Narcissism. More bullshit. Money-making schemes. Absurdity. Angst. Obsessions. Jealousy. Excessive guilt. Excessive shame and unworthiness.
Our psyches take the path of least resistance.
We dismiss psychotechnologies of the past that are difficult to grok.
We trash and delegitimize the historical ways of finding meaning.
Thinking that our binge-drinking, rave-going, escapism ways are equal to those traditions of the past.
Our humanist ideology (that humanity now is way more advanced and better than all previous societies, traditions, civilizations, religions).
We now know that the earth isn’t the center of the universe, so all the cultural traditions that existed before that must be false and untenable, right?
We’d rather act like our culture just sucks and there’s no way to make it better, then to reach to the wisdom practices that may actually change our outlook on life.
It all comes down to how you choose to suffer.
Let me explain.
You could suffer because life sucks and is meaningless or you could suffer while trying out novel ways of meaning-making and likely failing at it in the process.
You’re probably familiar with the concept of delayed gratification.
Yeah that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Gratify yourself now.
Indulge if you want for christ sake.
Just notice how you’re indulging.
Are you actually getting any satisfaction from the indulgence?
What would it look like to appreciate some guilty pleasures from time to time, but to genuinely get satisfaction from the pleasurable act.
Is it more meaningful or less meaningful?
How much wholeness do you feel afterwards?
Now, monitor meaning like this in all facets of life.
When you sat at your computer just now, how much meaning did you feel before and after the experience?
What if you did something creative on your computer instead of consumptive? Now what is your meaning dial reading?
If you’ve practiced meditation at all in your life, you know that this ain’t a piece of cake. But the subtle satisfaction you get from monitoring degrees of meaning IS the piece of cake.
Eventually you’ll course correct.
Eventually you’ll notice the ways that it feels culturally unacceptable to do the more meaningful thing than the less meaningful thing.
And nowwwww we’re getting somewhere.
Transformations in culture requires challenging the humanist ideology of modern culture.
We can either show up in support of the dominant cultural ideology or our existence can be a challenge to the structure of society itself.
Well, it’s not that black and white but you get the picture.
Where is the wisdom?
It’s out there.
Wisdom is real. It’s being practiced by millions of small cohorts of people.
Our job isn’t to invent meaning-making from scratch. No.
It’s to have enough sensitivity to see where wisdom is in the culture and to creativity enact, embody, display, and bring people together around these wisdom practices.
For example, if you notice that one community seems to do a great job at meaning built on human connection(like circling) and another community does a great job at subjective meaning-making(like zen and self-inquiry). Try combining them.
Create a new circling context where diad self-inquiry is done but in a fashion that the insights of the inquiry get circled into the group/another person.
Just an idea.
Well, that’s a wrap.