The Hole at the Centre of the Meaning Crisis

What shape is the hole at the centre of the Meaning Crisis? In his lecture series Awakening from the Meaning Crisis, John Vervaeke zeroes in on the idea of “relevance realization”, which he argues is at the heart of intelligence, insight, general problem solving, connectedness, meaning and wisdom. A wise person, after all, is someone who can see the relevant information in any given situation without getting side-tracked by the irrelevant details.

Is the hole at the centre of the Meaning Crisis “relevance realization”-shaped? Does this mean we have lost the ability to deeply ascertain what is most meaningful in our lives? That we have lost the capacity to realize relevance? I would say yes and yes. Because these are ultimately the same thing. Although not synonymous, meaningfulness realization and relevance realization are obviously closely related. But what is behind this loss of relevance and meaning?

I think the simple religious answer is right: the hole at the centre of the Meaning Crisis is a God-shaped hole. God is the only thing that can ground and organise reality in a satisfyingly meaningful and relevant way. There is nothing more convergent or elegant than God. There is nothing more “multi-apt”. All things ultimately flow into God and flow out of God.

God is One. All things flow to and from the One (Plotinus). So within the One there is the Many. The One is also Three and the Three is also Seven. To remember the One God is also to remember the Triune God and the Sevenfold God. This is what the “God Mantra” does. It is a psychotechnology for remembering the fullness of God. Using the Christian Trinity, we can formulate it as follows:

God the Father = Parashiva

God the Son = Shiva

God the Holy Spirit = Shakti

This the first mantra, Parashiva Shiva Shakti. But the other three mantras are also associated with the Trinity:

God the Father = Amun Ra Atum Ka Ba Gaia Jah

God the Son = Mystic Shaman Warrior Monk Philosopher King Friend

God the Holy Spirit = Peace Love Goodness Beauty Truth Consciousness Bliss

When you remember the fullness of God at the heart of Reality, you fill the hole at the heart of the Meaning Crisis, and your relevance realization cognitive machinery starts working smoothly again.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33

However, if you are a non-theist and don’t care much for God-talk, you might prefer to call the fullness at the heart of Reality something like “optimal relevance realization”, which you could equate with spiritual “enlightenment” or “awakening”, in which case awakening is itself the solution to the Meaning Crisis, which I guess is Vervaeke’s point. Either way, whether you call it “God” or “Awakening”, as I said in my blog The Way Out, you are in a room without a roof and the only way is up.