KPFA Radio 94.1 FM presents
Jeremy Lent & Joanna Manqueros
The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe
Tuesday, August 10, 2021, 7 pm PT
Rethinking values based on science and traditional wisdom Indigenous, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions have held for millennia that all life is interconnected. Modern science has now validated their insight. What does this mean for how we should live? This groundbreaking new book weaves together the latest scientific findings and age-old philosophical insights to show how some of our most ingrained beliefs about human nature and the world are mistaken—and offers a powerful alternative to help us heal a planet in peril.
Who am I? Why am I? How should I live? These are some of the oldest questions humans have grappled with. In our modern, high-tech society we may seem to have the answers. After all, hasn’t science shown that humans are hardwired for selfishness? That we are separate from nature (which is ours to exploit)? That we do best when left alone to pursue our own individual goals? In his new book, THE WEB OF MEANING: INTEGRATING SCIENCE AND TRADITIONAL WISDOM TO FIND OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE award-winning author Jeremy Lent answers with a resounding “no”—not because he doesn’t like these conclusions, but because the latest science shows them to be false. What’s more, he argues that it is those ingrained but faulty beliefs—first conceived as far back as the 17th century and since updated with ideas like the “selfish gene”—that underlie the environmental and social unraveling now threatening our very survival.
But THE WEB OF MEANING isn’t just a challenge to outmoded beliefs. It is an invitation to a new worldview that integrates insights from some of the world’s great wisdom traditions with modern science to offer a new way of thinking about ourselves and the world that is both intellectually sound and spiritually vibrant. In this far-reaching and boundary-defying book, Lent, described by Guardian columnist George Monbiot as “one of the greatest thinkers of our age,” weaves together the latest research in neuroscience and evolutionary biology with Buddhist, Taoist, and Indigenous wisdom, and shows how these seemingly disparate streams of thought are eminently compatible. He argues that, taken together, they are key to facing the existential problems of the 21st century and can lead to a flourishing future for all.
Jeremy Lent, born in London, England, received a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and was a former internet company CEO. His award-winning book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, explores the way humans have made meaning from the cosmos from hunter-gatherer times to the present day.
Joanna Manqueros (pronounced Man Care Os), LCSW, is a counselor in Richmond, CA, and she currently practices at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. She also hosts Music of the World the first Saturday of every month, a celebration of the global music which heals and revives us, including Nada yoga, North Indian Classical, and live concerts of all genres, from African acoustic to Gnawa, American bluegrass to Mexican traditional, electronica to Qawwali.