The Spiritual Challenge of the Metacrisis
Are you, like many of us, feeling a sense of overwhelm that you can’t necessarily ascribe to any specific cause? Do you feel weighed down or crushed by an indefinite existential dread? Do you feel your cognitive or emotional bandwidth is strangely limited without any obvious drain on your resources?
Welcome to the metacrisis!
What is the metacrisis? Jonathan Rowson, philosopher and co-founder of forward-thinking research organisation Perspectiva, defines it as:
“...the underlying crisis driving a multitude of crises, not just ecological collapse (which is certainly bad enough) but a range of governance and security issues, alongside global economic instability and inequality within countries, a steep rise in mental health problems and a decline in social trust... a civilisation-level wicked problem.”
This “underlying crisis” represents an existential challenge to our whole way of being human, and in turn our whole way of dealing with reality – a level of pressure on our emotional, psychological and physical systems that is unprecedented. But is there any way to effectively deal with such pressure?
When we find the courage to directly face this immense and deeply troubling moment in our history, we recognise that it is inconceivably vast and complex. So when we try to embrace it, despite our best intentions, we can all too easily fall into despair and hopelessness.
The challenge of the moment is surely finding a way to resist negativity and nihilism. Yet when we contemplate the scale of the problem, it seems beyond the reach of our usual coping strategies. For this reason, from one perspective at least, the metacrisis can be seen as a spiritual predicament – a spiritual emergency.
So how can we break the link between the metacrisis and the tendency toward nihilism and despair? How do we find and express hope and positivity? Is it possible to discover a posture that allows us to embrace what is essentially an impossibly vast problem for any one of us individually?
In this challenging talk and dialogue, Andrew Cohen invites us to look again at our capacity to embrace the unfathomable scale of the metacrisis. He will argue that we not only have such a capacity, but also a moral obligation to find and express this deep source of spiritual strength within ourselves.
An authentic message of hope and resilience is profoundly needed at such a critical time, and Andrew will show how it is possible to move beyond nihilism, bringing strength and positivity into the world in such a way that we can inspire others to do the same.
Daylight saving has now ended for the US and Europe. The local times for this event are as follows:
7am PST • 8am MST • 10am EST • 3pm UK • 4pm CET • 8:30pm IST
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