Ep. 36 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Religio/Perennial Problems/Reverse Eng. Enlightenment | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Ep. 36 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Religio/Perennial Problems/Reverse Eng. Enlightenment".


Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Intro (00:00)

Welcome back to Awakening from the Meaning Crisis. So last time we were continuing our examination of sacredness, the experience of sacredness, the schlirmacher side of things. And I was trying to develop an account of what symbols are, at least symbols insofar as they are distinct from signs, in a way of trying to understand the roles that symbols have in our understanding of sacredness. So I was presenting to you the view that symbols are a participatory machine.

Understanding Symbols And Their Significance

Symbols (00:55)

That's not the right word. Symbols are, the word I want is they're a participatory act. That's the word I want. They're a participatory act. And that that participation is has a connection to the activation of a profound kind of metaphor. By activating that metaphor, we are reaching backwards through our exhaptation and reactivating that material so that we can re-exact our cognitive processes and re-experience, re-appreciate, re-see, re-understand some aspect of reality. And that re-exactation makes the use of a symbol a deeply participatory transformative thing that we do. And that with a symbol we're activating all that re-exaptive machinery in order to hold something in mind so that we can see more deeply into it, be more in contact with it. And then I argued the point of that is ultimately to set up an anagogic process by which I am transformed so I can see through the symbol into reality and so that reality can speak through the symbol to me and that we get an anagogic flow happening. And I'm becoming deeply integrated. The world is becoming disclosed and that mutual reciprocal realization feels deeply sort of like love coupling to reality in a profound way. And so that symbols are in that sense designed to get me into a trajectory of trans framing. They're designed to in wonder open up the world and also grow me so that I can be in that larger world. And that points to how symbols are ecstatic, they're participatory, they're integrative, they're complex because they help to complexify me and disclose the complexity of the world in a coordinated fashion. And then I suggested to you that we understand symbols as mythos, that it's always a symbol and a story together and that the story points to the ritual and the ritual is also right there because the mythos is always enacted if it's going to bring about the transformations that it wants to bring about or that we want to use it to bring about. I think both of those are right.

The anagogic, participatory, and ecstatic nature of symbols (04:01)

We can use mythos to activate, accelerate, articulate and appreciate religion. And religio is inherently valuable to us so even that alone is going to be very valuable to us. But in addition, the act of seriously playing not only is it development of what we find intrinsically valuable because it's constitutive of our ability to value anything else or interact with anything we consider valuable, and the realization which is at the heart of religion, I've given you an argument for that, is constituted to it functions it is structured to function, it functions by being interested in itself, correcting itself, transcending itself, developing itself. So that's why we love the flow state, right? Not only is it optimal in this playing with religio like the flow state it's not only optimal in that it's getting us to be our best, we also find it to be an optimal experience because we're seriously playing with this intrinsically valuable machinery in a way that is constitutively intrinsically significant to us. And I propose that when we are using the symbol to get us to play with the machinery, the meta assimilation, the meta accommodation of sacredness, or at least the meta assimilation, the meta accommodation of the higher order relevance realization within sacredness then that's what we deeply mean by the experience of sacredness. And then I propose to you a proposal I need to return to now because I only initiated it last time.

The source of sacredness (06:12)

I propose to you that we move off of sacredness and onto the sacred and a particular proposal as to what is the cause or the source of sacredness, the sacred and again I'm using that term because it's as neutral as I can find. And the proposal which again you don't find in some accounts of sacredness, the sacred that is the Tao I do not think is supernatural or absolute. The sacredness of Shunnata is definitely not, right? So when Prince Wu asked Bodhidharma what was, you know, what was holy about his doctrine and he keeps pressing Bodhidharma and he keeps saying no, no, not that, and then the prince gets upset and says well what is holy about your doctrine? Bodhidharma says nothing holy, vast emptiness. Shunnata is in that sense sacred but it's not holy, at least not in the sense of, you know, a supernatural source of righteous. So I proposed an alternative to that idea born from a critique. The critique was there's something wrong about trying to essentialize sacredness in the sacred, right? To say that the source of sacredness is something that is essentially relevant to us, absolutely unquestionably, undeniably relevant to us and that it is the culmination and the origin and the culmination of relevance. And then I proposed to you that that just struck me ultimately and I do mean this with as much respect. I mean this is, I hopefully regard it as a respectful criticism but nevertheless it's a criticism. I regard that as a category mistake. Relevance realization is not about detecting, finding something that's inherently relevant in the sense that it absolutely commands our attention. Relevance does not have an essence. It doesn't work that way. Relevance realization is intrinsically an evolving process. It functions by evolving and it involves in its functioning. Does that mean we should just dispense? No, because I propose to you a couple, well, I propose one thing and then I want to add another thing to it. I propose to you that there's a different way of thinking about sacredness that comports well with this idea of sacredness. There's an idea, a way of thinking about the source of sacredness that comports well with the picture of sacredness that I've tried to argue for, which is namely the idea of sacredness as the inexhaustible. The inexhaustible aspects of this reality. It's kind of like turning Kant on his head. This reality is always a source of wonder for me, not because there is an object that is specifically or absolutely has the claim on me of being the source of wonder. Every object, everything is combinatorially explosive, vast emptiness. Ultimately, there is a no-thingness to reality because everything is combinatorially explosive in terms of what it is. My processing, precisely because of the way it operates, has an inexhaustibleness to it too, a no-thingness to it, the eye that is never reducible. There is always the framing that is never capturable in the frame because the process of relevance realization is ongoing. It's inexhaustible because it can't stop. It's like a shark that if it stops swimming, it drowns. There's a deep transitivity. There's a deep participatory identification between the inexhaustible no-thingness in me and the inexhaustible no-thingness of reality. Vast emptiness, the Tao they can be spoken, is not the Tao. And so I can return again and again and again to the world. And again and again and again, there is the real potential in the world of sacredness. Now, why might people, now this is a conjecture on my part, I'm trying to offer an explanation and it is not intended to be a justification because that would be inconsistent with what I'm saying. But why is it that we might get this way where we get this? This is where it is to be found. And this is where I think we do need to be more charitable.

Religiaos Hieroglyphs (12:32)

Oh man, and I don't want to sound condescending. There is a real sense in which particular symbols, particular mythos, is indispensable for people. It might be, and in fact it's highly plausible if you think about it, given my own personal history, the way relevance realization has unfolded, the way religio is for here now, me, that certain symbols are indispensable for me to activate, articulate, appreciate, accelerate my religion. Those symbols may be indispensable for me because of the way my relevance realization machinery is evolving. They may be indispensable to my religion because of the kyros that is always part of my ongoing, see the problem with religio is it's a noun, right? But my ongoing religio, even saying my is wrong, right? Because that makes it sound like something I possess, the religio that my world and I participate in and co-emerge from. It may be to a certain set of individuals that these sets of symbols are indispensable. That makes sense to me. That is how relevance realization works. You may say that only through this mythos do I get the access I need to activate, accentuate, appreciate, accelerate, articulate my religio. I think that is a completely plausible hypothesis. I think therefore it makes sense to say for example that given the way this person's evolved fittedness is unfolded and the particular timing, the historical context that only this mythos gives them the access they need. And in that sense, maybe it's a Christian mythos, maybe it's a Hindu mythos, that mythos is indispensable to them. But here is what we shouldn't do. We shouldn't confuse indispensable to an individual, to a community, to a group, to a tradition. We shouldn't confuse psychocultural, cognitive cultural, in dispensability with metaphysical necessity. English is indispensable to me. I cannot communicate to you without it. Given this time, this place, my own history, where we are, the timing of things, English is indispensable to me. That doesn't mean that English is metaphysically necessary. It didn't exist and it will not exist at some point. And it is not some final, complete or absolute version. It is not the perfect language. It is not the final language. In fact, it performs precisely because it's continually evolving as a language so that it stays at least to some degree in touch with the world.

Relevance realization is not enough. (16:34)

I don't think we should confuse these. They are not the same. I do not think we should understand the sacred. We shouldn't do this.

The two types of realization are enough. (17:17)

Of course, these are linked. The inexhaustible source of perspectival, participatory, procedural and ultimately propositional intelligibility. We may have, I think it's reasonable that, in fact, I think it's highly plausible that a certain mythos is indispensable for an individual, a group, a community, a tradition. But that should not be confused with metaphysical necessity, nor should it license the idea that that adheres in some supernatural entity or thing. The shark being the way the shark is indispensable to the shark's capacity to survival. But that doesn't mean that that is the final, finished, absolute form of fittedness. In the world and the capacity for biological adaptation, the process of evolution means that there's an inexhaustibleness to life's capacity for fittedness. That, to me, is a reasonable alternative to understanding sacredness than to think of it as in hearing in some final, absolute. So, if we could give up the confusion of indispensable with metaphysical necessity, if we could give up identifying the sacred that which generates sacredness as the supernatural, then we would not have to be committed to a two-world mythology for accessing sacredness, the deep connectedness of a liggia. Now, that in and of itself is not, that's not the response to the meaning of Christ. That's insufficient. That is, and I mean this, this is the first step. The first step is to try to understand the machinery of connectedness and understand it in a way that allows us to disconnect it from a metaphysical essentialism. Disconnect it from the supernatural and its commitment to a two-world mythology. Instead, understand it in a fashion that is completely integratable with science. Because if you remember, this is all grounded in a naturalistic interpretation of relevance realization. This would be an account that restituates us back within that scientific worldview, while also giving us a way, a deep way of talking about experiencing sacredness, deep connectedness, deep self-transcendence, deep transformation, etc. Now, I need to do a lot more work. That's why this series is not yet finished. I need to show how this model of relevance realization does address the historical issues. I've opened already suggesting that to you. But how does it help to address where we got to historically, the historical factors? But there's another thing that I've been alluding to that we also have to address, and they are integrated together. And now that I have this theoretical machinery, I can talk about it better. Because we now have, I think, a more careful way of understanding the meaning crisis. This marker is not good. So we have, and we did this in the first half of this series, we have the historical factors that basically have unharmed us toward a worldview attunement, all the stuff we've been talking about. And of course, they need to be addressed. And part of how we can awaken from the meaning crisis is we have to respond to these historical factors. We have to come up with a way of rearticulating our worldview in which we can get back that sense of deep connectedness, what I've been calling in the last couple of lectures, sacredness, that kind of deep connectedness that affords the satisfaction of our sense of being in contact with the world. And affords self transcendence, affords meaning in life in a profound way. So can this view give us something analogous to what the three orders, we've got to get to that. That's how we respond to the historical factors. But you're starting to see how it might do that. We're starting to see how we can get an account of sacredness that can fit into the scientific worldview and fit us back into it. We need to do more on that. But you're getting a beginning of that. But there's something else now that's coming to the fore that we need to address, which is the structural functional analysis of meaning making, what I've been calling the scientific analysis, because I think that's fair in contrast to the historical analysis. It's also disclosing something else. And we've seen this all the way along. And I've been hinting at it. Because the machinery of meaning making, of course, also is the machinery that is going awry when people are experiencing a sense of meaninglessness. Remember the core argument that the very machining that makes you adaptive is the machinery that makes you vulnerable to self-deceptive, self-destructive processing. The very machinery of our relevance realization that is making all of this deep connectedness possible for us. It's also the machinery that can go horribly wrong. We've already seen that. I want to start talking about the perennial problems. You've seen examples along the way, but I want to bring them out more. I want to develop that thesis about how the very machinery that makes us adaptive is the machinery that makes us prone to self-deceptive, self-destructive. Behavior. Here's what I want to argue. I want to argue that all cultures, all people in the sense of being participants in their culture, not necessarily every single individual. But all cultures cross time, place, history. People are prone to perennial problems. These are ways in which the machinery of relevance realization can drive them into meaninglessness, despair. The idea is that inherent in the machinery that makes us adaptive is inescapable vulnerabilities to self-deceptive, self-destructive patterns that can deeply undermine our religion, the agent-arena relationship, such that we experience meaninglessness, absurdity, alienation, etc. We fall into despair. These are perennial because they are inherent in our machinery. Now, cultures and individuals, communities, at multiple scales, what people have developed is they have developed sets of psychotechnologies, the colleges of practices that help alleviate the suffering of these perennial problems. So, for example, in India, you have the rise of Buddhism, as a set of psychotechnologies for dealing with Dukkha, etc., dealing with modal confusion.

Meaning Crisis (27:56)

This is broadly, we have practices for cultivating wisdom and pursuing enlightenment or salvation. The meaning crisis emerges, I would argue, when historical factors have undermined, and that's what I tried to show you in the history, have undermined a worldview, a tradition, delegitimatize a language, a cognitive grammar, made obsolete, or made dismissive practices, sets of psychotechnologies, so that this undermines this. The historical factors lead to the undermining of the whole ecology of practices and psychotechnologies and cognitive cultural grammar that people have created in order to respond to the perennial problems. So, we need to do two things. And now it's where we're going to start drawing the historical and the scientific together. Is this account that I'm trying to argue for, for relevance realization as our meaning making machinery, and for understanding sacredness in terms of religio, a higher order form of relevance realization? Can I also use that machinery to give, and I've tried to suggest how this is possible, to give a response to the historical factors? I'm going to try and do that in terms of what's called third generation or 4E cognitive science, and I'm already doing that, and I'm also, I'm already been exemplifying it to throughout this course. But right now I want to do something else. I want to take all this machinery of relevance realization and religio and sacredness, and I want to use it to talk about how we can address the perennial problems. I want to do something that's at the core of a cognitive scientific project. This sounds pretentious and maybe heuristic and I hope it's not. I want to reverse engineer enlightenment. I want to understand what the perennial problems are, and using this machinery, what are the practices, what are the processes we can use in order to address the perennial problems. That's what I'm going to take enlightenment to mean. The enlightenment is the set of practices that ameliorate the perennial problems and alleviate us from the distress and the suffering that they inflict upon us. I already suggested the possibility of that when we talked about higher states of consciousness and trying to give a cognitive scientific account. But now I want to take that deeper. Because to awaken from the meaning crisis is not just to have a theory. It is not even to have a good scientific historical theory. It is to have an understanding that helps afford and facilitate the process of transformation that we need to undergo in order to awaken from the meaning crisis. I have failed if what I'm doing will not ultimately lead to ways in which you in your life can respond to how the perennial problems might be gnawing away at the fabric of meaning in your life. I want to concentrate on that. I want to concentrate on trying to reverse engineer enlightenment. If I can take that and situate it into this account of sacredness and relevance realization and show how that fits into our scientific worldview and you can see how this is potentially coming together, then we have a way of awakening from the meaning crisis. Not as an absolute final answer. It's ridiculous. But it's a way of maybe getting the process of awakening from the meaning crisis started. All right. Let's think of relevance realization and religion. We can think about there's a functional aspect, a structural aspect, of course, and a developmental.

Relevance Realization and Development (33:41)

All of this has been seen throughout this series. Of course, the functional aspect is ultimately the relevance realization. There's sort of three central features, the way it's which it's self organizing. Right. And then there's aspects of self identification and self reflection. The structural has to do with the whole meta meaning of the agent arena relationship. The developmental. I'll come back to because I need to unpack these more before I can talk more about that. But we've already seen how intrinsically developmental relevance realization and religion are. Okay. The self organizing aspect. How can that go awry? Well, I've already made, I think, a very good case for that for you. That's parasitic processing.

high self deception (35:08)

When we get into that those complex cycles that take on a life of their own and take life from us complex patterns of self deception and self destruction. Self identification. What we know with that is that's modal confusion. What about self reflection? Well, I haven't talked about that very much. So I need to talk about that now. This goes to some important work done by Velman and others. So we have to go back again to the work of Harry Frankfort and Frankfort's notion of a wanton. A wanton is a being, acts in a wanton fashion that acts completely impulsively. And so the idea is if I just act completely impulsively, I'll actually lose my agency because my impulses are often in conflict with each other. They undermine each other. Think about Plato and the inner conflict. Right? So what I need to do is I need to step back and reflect in order to try and get the coordination and integration. And reflection actually helps reduce my wantonness. See, when I'm enmeshed in a perspective, here's a particular perspective, right? I am enmeshed in its salience landscape, how it's making me care, how it's motivating and arousing me. So when I'm thirsty, right, when I'm thirsty, I'm seeing the world thirstily. Right? So things having to do with water and all become salient, I'm drawn in, right? That's to see the world thirstily. But I can do a transparency opacity shift.

buddhas box (37:14)

I can actually step to a different perspective in which I'm aware of my thirst. Now I'm not, this perspective is not thirsty. This is thirsty, but this perspective, for example, is curious. Oh, that's what thirst is like. Now, my motivational machinery is not driven just by thirst. It is driven by a curiosity. And what happens is I start to gain some relief from the compulsion of immediacy and urgency of my thirst. I'm using thirst, why the way? Because that's also a metaphor in Buddhism for craving. Right? So, right, if you're at the bottom and you don't, if you don't do any self-transcendence, you are awash in impulsiveness. And self-destructive wantonness. And as I start to move up away, as I self-transcend, I start to regain agency. But as you may expect, you can't simply maximize this. And this is Vellman's point. It's an excellent point. As I open up, this is the reflectiveness gap. I get a gap by reflection. As I open up this reflectiveness gap, I'm gaining agency. But if I keep opening it up, do I keep enhancing agency? No. Because then you get into the problem that is typified beautifully, by the way, in one of our great tragedies, namely Hamlet. Hamlet is always reflecting, and he's always reflecting on his reflection. And so he's always stepping back and looking at, always stepping back and looking at. And so he becomes incapable of acting. He's tremendous because he is gifted, right? His tremendous powers of reflection and self-transcendence are actually making him incapable of acting.

venllman and reflective (39:47)

As Vellman says, he becomes disconnected from the motivational machinery of interacting with the world. He loses agency. See, as I open up, here's agency. Here's the reflectiveness gap. As I open it up, I gain agency. But as I push it too far, I lose it. Now, of course, you tempted the Canadian response, "Oh, I'll just stay in the middle." And remember that never works, right? Because how much I need to be towards this end, and how much I need to be towards that end, is going to be very contextually sensitive. The problem with this is, how do I optimize this? How do I get the involvement, the immersion of the wanton? How do I get the flexibility, the self-correcting capacity of Hamlet? How do I get them together? How do I optimize them together? So this is the problem of the reflectiveness gap. Of course, the fact that it's an optimization problem tells you that it's immediately enmeshed with relevance realization. Because another way, another trade-off, remember there's trade-offs, we saw it between exploring and exploiting, there is trade-offs between generalizing and specializing. Another trade-off is you're constantly trading between stepping back and looking at your cognition to monitor it, and stepping through and being involved with intervening in the world. There's a trade-off relationship between them. It's also part of relevance realization. What about metamining? Well, there's three I want to talk about. absurdity, we've talked about some of these, this one already, anxiety, alienation. All of these, of course, show up in Domiside, because Domiside is the loss of the agent-arina relationship. So alienation, of course, is when the connectedness between you and other people is lost. Absertivity is when the connectedness between you and the world is lost, and absurdity can be pushed into, of course, horror. And you're finding a particular mystery, when you're finding a particular absurdity deeply mysterious, so it's drawing you in, right, on such that your ability to make sense and get a grip on the world is being deeply thwarted, that's horror. And of course, anxiety, remember it's not the same as fear. Anxiety is ultimately when you are disconnected from yourself in an important way. The two, the problems we've faced on here are ones we've talked already before. This is existential inertia. When you're trapped in a worldview and you can't get out of it, you can't activate an agogae and move to a new worldview, or existential ignorance, right? You're indecisive, you can't, you don't know what you're going to lose if you go through the transformation. You don't know what you're going to miss if you don't, right? This is existential entrapment. So let's talk a little bit about, I talked a lot about this and this, I explained this. We know a lot about the anxiety, the inner conflict, we've got aspects of the alienation. I've been talking about, I've talked about this already, but this, which I've alluded to many times, we need to talk about this because it points to something really central and important. A very important article on this is by Thomas Nagel, it's called The Absurd. It also talks about it in his book The View From Nowhere. And what I want to try and show you is how much absurdity is a perspectival participatory. All of this is at the level of right, perspectival participatory knowing, but this in particular. First of all, Nagel does something very, very important in The Absurd. He talks about how we behave as if the absurd is a result of our inferential processing. And we purport to give arguments that lead to the conclusion of absurdity.

Nagel: percentage of life (45:27)

So we give an argument like, well, what I do now doesn't matter because it won't make any difference to people a million years from now. This is, so I'm made insignificant by the vast expanse of time. And Nagel points out that argument doesn't work because if what's happening now is irrelevant, notice my language to people a million years from now, the symmetry applies. Their opinion of me a million years in the future is irrelevant to me. It's complete symmetry. If I make no difference to them, they also should make no difference to me. It can't matter to me because I can't matter to it. Well, what people are pointing to is they're so small, they're so brief. Well, Nagel says, well, if you existed for millions and millions of years, would that make your life more meaningful? In fact, isn't it the very real possibility that existing for a very long period of time would make your life absolutely absurd? If your smallness in reality makes you feel absurd, makes you insignificant, then would your life be more meaningful to you if I blew you up to the size of a galaxy? Why would that do anything? And as Wolf has argued in her book, Meaning in Life of White Matters, the sense of being bigger is actually a metaphor for being connected to something larger than oneself. And that's ultimately a metaphor for being connected to something that has a value independent of my valuing of it. And we're going to come back to that because that's at the core of sacredness. Because there's a problem for all of these. So what's going on with absurdity? If it's not really being generated by these arguments, what are the arguments doing? Well, he's basically saying the arguments are after the fact expressions of absurdity, not before the fact generators of absurdity. Well, I might, you know, oh, my life is made absurd by the fact that I'm going to die. You can't experience being dead. How can that be relevant to you? Well, I won't exist. You didn't exist a million years ago. Is that particularly relevant to you? Now, notice what I'm doing. I'm not trivializing your experience. I'm trying to say that the arguments aren't generating it because the arguments are ultimately invalid. So let's drop out of propositional knowing. And we, don't we know that that's right? We've had this whole argument that relevance realization, the meaning-making processes are below the propositional level. Below the level of our inferences and our beliefs. So at the level of procedural and ultimately perspectival and participatory knowing. Let's take an example. So, Nagel gives an example. Now, he wrote the article in the 80s, and that was way before cell phones, and like people had voice recorders. Which is a very different time. Very, very different time. But he gives the example of what he calls everyday absurdity. An example goes like this. Tom is on the phone, and he calls. He's been all day. Just, "Ahh, I got to do this. I got to do this. I'm going to call Susan. I'm going to tell her that I love her. I got to do it. I've been working on this all day, working himself up. And I thought, "Oh, it's good room. We sort of, we got a friendship." But I might be losing a friendship, but I might be gaining a lover. And, "Oh, this is happening." Right? So, he picks up calls, Susan. He picks up calls, Susan. He hears the phone, he picks up, click, and he goes, "Susan, don't say anything at all. Before you can say anything, I have to tell you. I love you. I love you, Susan." And then he hears, "Susan is not here right now. Please leave a message at the tone." "Peeep." And it's kind of funny, and it's kind of sad at the same time. And humor has, humor can overlap with absurdity. In fact, you can get a lot of humor by playing with absurdity. Monty Python, you know, was, those guys, that troop was talented in that. What's going on in humor points to what's going on in absurdity. What's happening is a clash of perspectives. We have Tom's perspective, and from within his perspective, his action is deeply meaningful. But the machine gives us the perspective, an impersonal mechanical perspective, in which his actions make no sense. They have no meaning. Absurdity is a clash of perspectives. Because, of course, that's why it overlaps with humor. Because in humor, what you do is you play between a clash of perspectives, and then you resolve it by a trick, by an equivocation. Right? You play with two different perspectives. That's why it's a punchline. You were in this perspective, and then you suddenly shifted to this one, but not in some incongruous way, but in a way that you can ultimately make sense of. But, of course, absurdity doesn't always, and very often does not overlap with humor, because the perspectival clash can be one that we can't ultimately resolve with humor and make sense of. The clash instead is a raw clash of perspectives, and we experience just the incoherency, just the loss of connectedness.

Exploring Absurdity

absurdity (52:43)

So absurdity is this clash of perspectives. That's why it can become horror. Because this perspective, the perspective that I'm looking at, if I look at this perspective from the perspective of all of time in history, what's relevant, and here, is undermined there. There's a clash in these perspectives. So, what do we need to do? We can see how all of this machinery, all of this, is ways in which the adaptive nature of religion and relevance realization is also making us pray to vulnerable, to losing our agency, to suffering distress, to experiencing horror, meaninglessness, absurdity, being trapped, being deeply confused, overwhelmed by parasitic processing. These are perennial problems, because the very machinery that is making us adaptive is making us always susceptible to them. We can't jump over our own shadows.

Addressing Perennial Problems

Respond to perennial problems (54:13)

Now, what I want to do next time with you is can we use the very same machinery of relevance realization and see how we could engineer a comprehensive response to all of these perennial problems. Because I would propose to you that any developmental change, any development of our perspectival participatory and procedural knowing, that affords a response, a reliable response that immediately rates and even alleviates the perennial problems, that is a good candidate for enlightenment. Instead of making enlightenment as this unachievable superlative that only the superhuman beings in the distant past can achieve, what's the use of that? Let's make enlightenment what it might be difficult, but let's not do that. Let's acknowledge the difficulty with an understanding that actually facilitates us being able to respond. Let's, I'm going to stipulate that enlightenment is the developmental process that gives us reliable, amelioration and alleviation of the perennial problems. And I'm going to show you next time how that can be explained with the theoretical machinery of relevance realization and religio. Thank you very much for your time and attention.

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