What helps you make meaning in challenging times? As you confront COVID, the climate crisis, and all of the challenges we discuss on this show, what helps you avoid nihilism or fundamentalism, and instead access healing, inspiration, and connection?
Today on Your Undivided Attention, we're joined by anthropologist and writer Jamie Wheal. Wheal is the author of Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex and Death In a World That's Lost Its Mind. In the book, he makes the case that in order to address the meta-crisis — the interconnected challenges we face, which we talked about in Episode 36 with Daniel Schmachtenberger, we must address the meaning crisis — the need to stay inspired, mended, and bonded in challenging times. Jamie argues that it doesn't matter whether we're staying inspired, mended, and bonded through institutionalized religion or other means as long as meaning-making is inclusively available to everyone.
What we hope you'll walk away with is a humane way to think about how to address the challenges we face, from COVID to climate — by enabling us to make meaning in challenging times.
Jamie Wheal is an anthropologist, author, and leading expert in evidence-based peak performance. He’s the founder and Executive Director of the Flow Genome Project -- an international organization dedicated to the research and training of human performance. Wheal is the author of two books: Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work, and most recently, Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex and Death In a World That's Lost Its Mind.
Jamie has advised clients ranging from the U.S. Naval War College and Special Operations Command to the Young Presidents' Organization, and his work has been covered in outlets including The New York Times and WIRED.
Website for the book, which contains links to research cited in the book along with tools for building our own versions of Meaning 3.0
Culture architecture toolkit designed to help us find inspiration, healing, and connection for ourselves, our communities, and the world
National Geographic article about the study of what Wheal calls "prehistoric IMAX's" -- the discovery that cave art is often closely connected to the acoustic properties of the cave chambers in which it is found
Book by anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar, which contains his research on the trance dances of the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert
Profile picture frame — distrust of authority and COVID vaccination
Venn diagram #1 — considering COVID's implications for public health, the economy, governmental power, and social justice justice
Venn diagram #2 — racial justice and non-violence