We’re living in the most prosperous time in human history with more material abundance and comfort — and yet something just feels… off. This week,and take a trip to the heartland to find out what that something is.
In this special live recording from the Lyceum Movement’s Tallgrass Ideas Festival in Iowa, Shadi and Sam join political theorist Susan Laehn to grapple with whether a sense of meaning precedes or succeeds happiness. With the live audience jumping in with comments and questions, the three delve into the balance between personal desires and finding collective meaning in a society. Then there is the question of whether freedom, to be truly “free,” requires constraint. On this there may be some differences.
In the full episode (for paying subscribers only), Shadi, Sam, and Susan take on the increasingly challenging question of how to balance individuality and community. There are dangers of going too far in the latter direction. As one audience member challenges the panel, many have fled societies because there was too much communal feeling. And then the Crowd finishes with a conversation about the role of love. It might sound corny, but trust us—it’s not. How can there be meaning without love? And is it possible to have a deeper love—with the unconditional forgiveness that that sometimes calls for without God.
Welcoming the Other: Student, Stranger and Divine, by Susan Laehn (Amazon).
“A Radically Condensed History of Post Industrial Life,” by David Foster Wallace.
Escape from Freedom, by Erich Fromm (Amazon).
Friendship as Sacred Knowing: Overcoming Isolation, by Sam Kimbriel (Amazon).
Wisdom of Crowds is a platform challenging premises and understanding first principles on politics and culture. Join us!
Listen to this episode with a 7-day free trial