Jonathan Rowson (Part 1) – Making Friends with Conflict, Metamodernity, Construct Awareness, and Other Ways of Facing the Current Metacrisis

Jonathan Rowson Deep Transformation

Jonathan Rowson, brilliant, driven, articulate, shines a bright light of understanding on the metacrisis we face today, what feeds it, and what could help us find our way through. What is metamodernity and what does it have to offer? Is the ecological crisis fundamentally an educational crisis? Can we grow into our problem rather than thinking of ourselves as “failing beings” as the climate collapses around us? From the metaperspective to the deeply personal, Rowson shares his wisdom, including life lessons he gleaned from being a chess Grandmaster, before becoming a philosopher, research fellow, nonprofit director, and author. Recorded on November 17, 2021.

“Let’s be careful what we’re talking about because we’re creating a world…”

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Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1

  • What are Jonathan’s daily practices (while also being very much “in the world” these days)? (05:37)
  • Being a cartological hedonist: intellectual mapmaking (10:27)
  • What does Christianity have to offer that we should be paying attention to? (11:58)
  • Becoming “construct aware” in the political spectrum and elsewhere: cultural progress depends on it (14:29)
  • The UK Brexit quagmire: what are we talking about when we say democracy? (18:32)
  • Why developmental psychology may not be the best lens to look at our culture and politics (20:15)
  • What is the most strategic contribution you can make? (29:45)
  • Progressive imperialism: assuming everyone is or could be on the same page—but conflict and opposition will always be a feature of the world (32:04)
  • Who is included in the word “we,” getting people to face up to the fallen nature of the world, and the Manichaean worldview (34:51)
  • The contemplative perspective and our fundamental state of delusion (36:30)
  • Underlying delusion in the progressive community that there is a fundamental “right” way or that we will come to a common agreement on issues like climate (38:28)
  • The imperative to mobilize to face the epistemic crisis as well as the environmental crisis (40:23)
  • How do we work together in a context where we may disagree and dislike each other: making friends with conflict (42:05)
  • The metacrisis, confusion, and the bottomless mystery: a time between worlds (45:08)
  • Carlos Castenada’s 4 traps for the person of knowledge: fear, power, clarity, old age (47:57)
  • Confusion is not necessarily a bad thing (48:35)

Resources & References – Part 1

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Jonathan Rowson Metamodernity

Jonathan Rowson, Ph.D. is co-founder and director of Perspectiva, an organization committed to understanding the relationship between systems, souls, and society in theory and practice, with a view to help overcome collective immunity to transformation in a time between worlds. He is also an open society fellow and a research fellow at the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity at the University of Surrey. He  was previously Director of the Social Brain Centre at the RSA, where he authored a range of influential research reports on behaviour change, climate change, and spirituality, and curated and chaired a range of related events. By background, Jonathan is an applied philosopher with degrees from Oxford, Harvard, and Bristol Universities. In a former life he was a chess Grandmaster and British Champion and views the game as a continuing source of insight and inspiration. His book, The Moves that Matter: A Grandmaster on the Game of Life, was published in 2019.

Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell

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