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After Socrates

Episode 1 – Introduction

Welcome to After Socrates, a new series by Dr. John Vervaeke; Professor and award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto in the departments of psychology, cognitive science and Buddhist psychology.

In this introduction of the series, Dr. Vervaeke explains the differences between Imaginary and Imaginal, as well as the concepts of Predictive Processing, Reciprocal Interpretation, Dialogical Reflection, and the Salience Landscape.

Join Dr. Vervaeke as he attempts to follow “After” Socrates in a quest towards true and applicable wisdom.

Books mentioned:
The Art of Spiritual Midwifery | Stephen Faller
Philosophising the Dialogos Way Towards Wisdom in Education | Guro Hansen Helskog
Socrates: Quotes and Facts | Blago Kirov
Plato Quotes: 365 Quotes by Plato | B. Ashiedu
The Allegory of the Cave | Plato

Thinkers Referenced:
Guy Sengstock
Rafe Kelly
Dan Chiappe
Henry Corbin
Karl J. Friston
Mark Miller
Brett Andersen
John Russon
Peter Limberg
Tanya Luhrmann
Jack Kornfield
Søren Kierkegaard

Show Notes:
[0:00] Introduction to episode
[0:57] Circling: Is a multi-stage relational practice and unique transformational modality. It is a dynamic group process that is part-art-form, part-skillful facilitation and part-relational yoga. It is also a unique modality that can be practiced one-on-one. Although it is based on complex ideas, participating in it can be easy and fun for people at all levels of experience.
[6:20] “Imaginary” – Imagination as fantasizing. We often use it in reference to something unreal or illusory.
[6:20] “Imaginal” – Imagination to enhance perception and insight. Corbin’s imaginal world (or mundus imaginalis), drawn from the works of Islamic philosophers Suhrawardī and Ibn ʻArabī, is an order of reality that bridges between matter and spirit, the realm of imagination where we encounter the deeper patterns of being. “It is a function that permits all the universes to symbolize with one another.”
[8:51] Predictive Processing – In neuroscience, predictive processing (or predictive coding) is a paradigm of brain function that links perception to mental modelling: the brain generates a model of the environment and uses it to predict sensory input. These predictions are compared to the actual input received, and the errors are used to update the mental model. There is increasing integration between predictive processing and 4E cognitive science.
[17:25] Taoism – Tao is a Chinese word that is often translated as “way” or “path.” It is a fundamental concept in Taoism, a philosophical and spiritual tradition that originated in China. In Taoism, the Tao is the fundamental source and ultimate reality of all things, and is seen as the natural order and flow of the universe. It is not a deity or a personal God, but rather an impersonal force or principle that underlies and permeates all things.
[35:22] In Latin, the word “inventio” means “discovery” or “finding.” It is related to the verb “invenire,” which means “to come upon, find out, invent, discover, or devise.” “Inventio” is a powerful term because it can refer to an act of invention as both creation and recollection. This makes it very apt for describing Socratic midwifery.
[48:58] Sapiential is often used in reference to religious or philosophical texts that are considered to contain profound wisdom or insight. For example, the writings of ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, or the Hindu Vedas, could be described as sapiential.
[1:09:47] A salience landscape is the way a cognitive agent determines relevance through decisions about how to commit its attentional, and behaviour resources in a complex, dynamic, and self-organizing manner. These decisions and commitments result in certain information from the environment standing out more than other information such that the cognitive agent will only orient to certain aspects of objects and situations.
[1:10:00] The monkey mind is a Buddhist term that refers to various states of restlessness or distraction, i.e., “unsettled; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable.”

[1:24:33] Meditation is not a vacation. It is an education.

After Socrates is a series about how to create the theory, the practice, and the ecology of practices such that we can live and grow and develop through a Socratic way of life. The core argument is; the combination of the theoretical framework and the pedagogical program of practices can properly conduct us into the Socratic way of life. We believe that the Socratic way of life is what is most needed today because it is the one that can most help us cultivate wisdom in a way that is simultaneously respectful to spiritual tradition and to current scientific work.

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After Socrates Official Merchandise

The Official Merchandise for Dr. John Vervaeke’s After Socrates Series.

All proceeds go to The Vervaeke Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting research, innovation, and responses to The Meaning Crisis.