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  • Ethan Chia

Transjective Rationality: Reflections on Theatre-ritual-movement ecology of practices

Having followed John Vervaeke’s work for the past year, I was very well aware of the amount of knowledge and wisdom that he would be bringing to the table. Half a decade or so of research is no small feat, but compared to his sixfold multiplier, I wanted to bring as much as I could to the table to advance the 21st Century axial project. That said, context is king.


“We have to be Socratic midwives to each other.”

This interview was to introduce John and the wider international wisdom community to TIAMAT through the vocabulary of cognitive science and performance practice. But I also wanted all of us involved to be able to enter into Dialogos. While appropriate for context, I would like to show up during the next talk in a more listening space. Having aired the practice out on the table, speaking about it in relation to the meta-crisis of meaning steps closer to the boundary of what I know I do not know.



I felt there were multiple points in the conversation where I got extremely excited, Tamaki calls it my “Otaku mode”. It’s true though, that I didn't really have to explain specific terms made thoughts flow easier and connect faster. And I feel that because it does not happen that often, I experienced the verbal and intellectual equivalent of G-force. I questioning where that comes from draws up feelings of generally being routinely in positions of higher capacity, whether implicitly or explicitly. And so, not having to be the custodian of anyone's development in the room gave me a sense of more freedom. I’m starting work on tempering that without sacrificing clarity and will keep monitoring it. While I have gotten feedback that clarity was not lacking during the conversation, I do feel that for myself, more simplicity was needed. It is tricky to not reduce key ideas through metaphor, but I will experiment with that. Fortunately I can trust my compatriots to let me know if they need clarification.


But the babies are still in the tubs.

For the next conversation, I’ve been contemplating and researching pedagogical practice in relation to the meaning crisis. Particularly around the decontextualization, objectification and disembodiment of wisdom practices. I did speak about this briefly in another interview on The Inner Sense channel, but this is something I definitely would like to explore further, in my own work. Not least because it directly impacts my facilitative capabilities, but also because I have a hunch that this phenomenon has very direct effects on traditional practices and their sustainability and development.



My sense of it is that just having certain headers that can be riffed around would give me some guardrails. Even if none of them show up during the discussion, knowing they are there brings me some comfort. I suspect that will ease my tensions. Loosely, I’ve been contemplating:


-The Age of the Facilitator

-Facilitation as a wisdom practice

-Bushido or The Way of the Samurai by Nitobe Inazo as documenting the exaptation of martial virtue to moral virtues

-Pedagogical frameworks of wisdom practices


This is a short reflection in the interest of being accountable to an audience and keeping track of how I show up for events/interviews. I would like to thank everyone that engaged with the content, watching it, commenting on it, emailing us to have a chat. It really made us feel like part of a larger, healthier community. Bless you all, and see you soon!



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