Re-establishing the nomological, narrative, and normative orders through the reconciliation of science and religion.
Brett, thank you for this very interesting article!
I am interested in the work of Vervaeke, Peterson, McGilchrist and others, and I appreciate very much how you have connected the dots between their works for me.
Reflecting on your article, it seems to me that being at the edge of chaos is also much related to Nassim Taleb´s work on antifragility. Taleb suggests, in my own words, that systems that are antifragile should combine and perhaps balance efficiency and resilience. In today´s world we focus, in his view, too much on the efficiency thereby largely ignoring the resilience part. Now I am thinking about it, could it be that the political spectrum (progressive - conservative but also change vs. tradition) reflect the same kind of opponent processing, so that -if we balance these two parts- we do the best relevance realization for society as a whole? This would mean that free speech is indispensible but currently unfortunately under threat. Curious about your thoughts on this.
Similarly, McGilchrist empasizes that, in Western societies, we rely too much on the LHS of the brain and too little on the the RHS. As a consequence, we (again) seem not able to do the best possible relevance realization, given that the RHS is crucial for checking whether our «maps of the world» ultimately make sense in the «real» world.
Finally, I wanted to ask you whether (some) gender differences may reflect opponent processes that are beneficial in, for instance, child rearing. I look forward to hearing from you!
Is the average person able to accept "the process itself is the goal" or does the Death of God break the average person's brain too much? In "democracies" I'd like to believe the former, but I wonder to what extent Noble Lies, however useful, can or cannot be abandoned in the future. There was a Charles Murray tweet a few months ago I can't find about his thinking there can only ever be six religious traditions on which the world can stand, and that all else rests on sand.
Brett thanks for this very powerful essay! A lot of questions and insights. What I find most impactful is the necessity for the human being to be part of the creative process to find meaning/relevance. This is true!
Thank you Brett for a profoundly insightful essay. I consider myself an aesthetic and philosophical patternist, yet I experience a paradoxical surge of creativity in my mind’s increased chaos at 2:00 a.m. Your interweaving and proposals provide a crèche of creative possibility!
Wow! What a delight to have someone recognize three of my favorite books in the same paragraph —Wright, Turchin and Stewart. I have never even read anyone else who mentioned Stewart's great book before.
Two suggestions. First, I am not sure that I would agree that either biological or cultural evolution "have a direction." Yes, there is a huge payoff to solving the dilemma of cooperation, but the vast majority of species never come close to solving it, and most societies do not grow or increase in complexity. Indeed., I would argue that 99.9% of all species and most societies have taken a direction that led to extinction. The breakthroughs to nucleated cells or multicellularity or social insect colonies are rare and special with, in some cases, hundreds of millions of years between breakthroughs. Most forager tribes didn’t become states, most states didn’t become nations, and so on.
Now it may be true that higher levels of coordination are possible, and fruitful in competitive environments. But saying that is the direction of evolution is like saying the direction of playing football is winning the Super Bowl. True in one sense, but misleading too, as most teams lose and most wanna-be players never even get on the field.
The second push back is that Wright's preferred term of "non-zero sumness" is super awkward and downright clunky. I would suggest something more elegant such as "coordination" which includes cooperation, altruism, complex interaction and even constructive competition.
Hope you don’t mind a few minor suggestions to a brilliant article.
Amazing, thank you! Helps explain and articulate much of the way I see the world, and expands on it beautifully too.
CG Jung say Christ was a symbol of the self. A symbol - rather that a sign, which only points - meaning we could say Christ is a meta pattern that we ourselves can participate in in order to co-create the world. Which you've kind of touched on anyway.
Hi Brett. Would love to interview you on the metamodern spirituality podcast. Let's talk. :)
Well I tried posting once before but I hadn't created an account yet, and so it didn't appear, and so I'm trying again, much more abbreviated this time. Excellent synthesis of highly relevant stuff! Just a couple of questions for ya: how can something capable of fine-tuning the universe over 200 different parameters, to multiple decimal points, be nothing more than some sort of groping creative force with no foresight into what it is trying to produce? Assuming that an infinite multiverse in which we just happen to be alive because our universe luckily fine-tuned itself accidentally, is an inadequate explanation? McGilchrist points approvingly, in The Matter with Things, to fine-tuning as pointing to something beyond the mechanical underlying and permeating the world, but insists he is not endorsing a designing God. Alternatively, if there is a designing God, why not fine-tune away at least SOME of the fiendish, diabolical parasitism and red tooth and claws rife throughout nature, as well some of the worst avoidable (by a desingning God) human tragedy and waste? The need for "opponent processors" and such doesn't cut it as an explanation. I was on a zoom conference devoted to the last chapter on the Sacred a few months ago, but was unable to pose any questions, so I'm hoping you can just dash off an answer in your spare time, not too much to hope for, is it? Lol.
Keep up the great work!