Jonathan Rowson (Part 2) – 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.

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

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Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2

  • What is metamodernity and what does it have to offer us? (01:04)
  • The “cultural between”: serious about the meaning of life (04:48)
  • The political “after”: an antidote to hyper modernity, returning to basic human sensibilities and a time-rich relationship with life (06:22)
  • The mystic beyond: a return to metaphysics (08:28)
  • What does “a time between worlds” mean? (09:32)
  • We’ve got to perceive the context clearly in order to orient ourselves: our interiors, our capacity for growth, bio precarity, technology innovation, and more (12:50)
  • On the nuances of confusion (14:27) 
  • Can we grow into our climate collapse problem rather than thinking of ourselves as “failing beings”? (17:07)
  • The importance of Bildung = transformative, civic, and aesthetic education (18:17)
  • Is the ecological crisis fundamentally an educational crisis? (20:18)
  • What chess taught Jonathan about life: jewels of wisdom from The Moves That Matter (23:42)
  • Concentration = freedom (25:31)
  • Making peace with our struggles: we’re always going to be a work in progress (30:38)
  • Successful underachievement and living with regret (35:42)
  • Living in an algorithm-driven culture (40:52)
  • Longing for a clearer sense of relationship with the divine, the cosmopoetics of life (43:59)
  • Our unbidden tears are the best of us (46:03)

Resources & References – Part 2

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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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