Four years ago, I had an existential crisis. But, last night, I had a realization about existential crisis videos:
My existential crisis ultimately ended up changing my life.
But, there didn’t seem to be a vast amount of helpful information available in late 2015 during my crisis. Honestly, there wasn’t even much great content out there in mid-2018 when I finally wrote about my crisis.
It’s amazing the difference just a couple short years can make.
I’m not sure if questioning and existential crises are becoming more common or if we’re starting to see a larger shift in consciousness (although these do seem like they are happening; I have a theory I’ll share in a future post).
Regardless, the quantity and quality of crisis content available today is increasing dramatically. This is great news as it’s bound to be a priceless resource for countless people on their journeys through life.
My initial crisis post is easily the most commented on article on this entire site with comments from people of all ages, backgrounds, and life circumstances. No matter who you are, I believe these four videos can be helpful guides on your own journey.
4 Existential Crisis Videos to Help You Find Purpose & Meaning in Life at any Age (on the 4th Anniversary of my own Crisis)
1. The existential crisis video series to watch if you’re ready and determined to truly tackle your existential crisis
There’s perhaps nothing better out there today than John Vervaeke’s 50-part YouTube series Awakening from the Meaning Crisis. If you’re serious about tackling your crisis head-on, Vervaeke’s series is a life-transforming gift to humanity. Yes, it’s 50, 1-hour videos, but 50 hours is a small price to pay when the typical career is 80,000 hours.
John Vervaeke is a Psychology and Cognitive Science Professor who is “integrating science and spirituality to solve the meaning crisis.” He’s taught the same ideas to 8,000+ students at the University of Toronto to change their lives.
Awakening from the Meaning Crisis covers a lot of ground including (but not limited to):
- Shamanism and altered states of consciousness including mystical experiences and psychedelic experiences
- Existentialism, Nihilism, and Artificial Intelligence
- Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, Jesus of Nazareth, Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha
- Modern figures like Jung, Nietzsche, Heidegger
- Current work being done by psychologists, cognitive scientists, philosophers, and neuroscientists
Here’s John’s personal story in a nutshell:
I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home. When I was fifteen, I read books that introduced me to Jungian, Hindu, and Buddhist philosophy. These shattered my commitment to Christianity because they introduced me to alternate world views. But they merely opened my mind without satisfying my heart because they didn’t give me a course of education and development. I felt lost for years–fallen down a chasm between the world I had left and the world I had not yet entered. I went to university hoping to find a solution to this deep crisis of meaning I was experiencing. When I encountered Socrates, I suddenly found my life purpose in pursuing wisdom as a response to the meaning crisis.John Vervaeke (1)
What is the meaning crisis?
Deeper than social media problems, political problems, even economic problems. They’re deeply historical, cultural problems. Getting out of this problem is tremendously hard and requires transformation in our cognition, culture, and communities…We have to reach even more deeply into the past to salvage the resources we can for such an amazing challenge…There are no easy answers. We have to be clear about the problem and clear about what potential solution might look like. So we can—together—awaken from the meaning crisis.John Vervaeke (1)
2. The existential crisis video to watch if you’re a recent graduate
Sometimes the most viewed commencement speech videos aren’t enough.
Ashley (aka “bestdressed”) says she’s been going through an “on and off existential crisis” ever since she graduated.
In the video, she covers:
- The complete lack of (real-world) milestones,
- The wonderful crushing infinite possibility of life,
- The deadly cycle of workaholism and consumerism, and more
Congratulations, you graduated! You did it. You’re free. Free from classes, and studying, and shitty dorm food. Free to travel, and work, and worry about paying the bills, and the crushing responsibility of complete control over your own decisions and happiness with no deadlines or milestones to look forward to until you get married or have kids or get divorced or die. Wait, what?Ashley (aka bestdressed)
3. The existential crisis video to watch if you’re open to the spiritual path of life
Russell Brand is probably the most well-known and recognizable person on this list.
You’re having an existential crisis because you’ve been turned into a consumer of commodities and therefore essentially you are an agent of commodification, a participant in economics and ideological systems that can’t interface with you as an individual…We’re dormant and unawakened…To solve it…you have to spend some time discovering what you believe to be the truth about yourself, you have to find mentors and a tribe, you have to find purpose in your own life and pursue it, and that purpose should be about the service of others.Russell Brand
4. The existential crisis video to watch if you want to go metaphysically deeper
This video covers the main content from Session 1 of Charles Eisenstein’s course “Metaphysics & Mystery” exploring the nature of reality, the meaning and purpose of life, and why are we here?
In the intro of the video, Lauren says:
It’s hard for me to even pay attention to the more earthly questions sometimes without these (deep metaphysical questions) being answered at least a little bit…There’s this very deep place in my heart that wants to know why I’m here…The most core place in me wants to be connected, to something that matters, to something bigger…There may not be answers, but I at least want to know what can be known about why I’m here, or why my life matters, or what the point is…Lauren Buckley
In response, Charles says:
This is the right question. And, the value of the question, ‘Why am I here?’ doesn’t depend on it achieving an answer. But, it drives a life process…The reason for life is life. The reason for life is to make more life. The reason for life is to bring more life into all that is. To make the universe more and more and more alive. That life is unfolding into greater and greater livingness…The point is to be part of the increasing livingness of life…The nature of reality is toward life. To become more and more alive…Please allow the service to life, this concept of I am life, therefore, I, like all life, am here to make the whole world more alive. Try that on and let that color your perceptions for awhile and see how that idea works on you.Charles Eisenstein
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed these four relatively new existential crisis videos. May they be signposts on your own journey.
Please let me know what resonated with you in the comments, or if you have other existential crisis, life purpose, or meaning of life videos that you’ve found life-changing.
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