#209 A Good Life


Conman David Krakauer Glenn lowry. Thomas Messinger Roberson Polski on L. Seth. Timothy Snyder and MAC mark. Anyway enjoy that. And as hit for housekeeping. As you know, I recently did a podcast on racism and police violence, and then I went onto the. Cheerful topic of existential risk. My next podcast is going to be on the ongoing threat of nuclear war, so it is a grim season. On the PODCAST. But today, there's a spot of sunlight. Because today! I'm speaking with Scott. Berry Kaufman about human wellbeing. Scott is the author of the book transcend the new science of self actualization. Scott is a humanistic psychologist. Who has taught at Columbia? University the University of Pennsylvania New York University. And elsewhere. He writes the column beautiful minds for Scientific American. And he hosts the psychology podcast. He's also written for the Atlantic and Harvard Business Review and his previous books include on gifted. Wired to create. Twice exceptional which he edited. and. He also edited the Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. Anyway, we cover a lot of ground in this episode. And talk about the difference between intelligence and creativity. About wisdom and transcendence. The history of humanistic psychology. Maslow's hierarchy of needs the connection between well being and ethics. Self esteem. PSYCHEDELICS and meditation. Peak and Plateau experiences. Mortality Salience. The Pre Trans Fallacy. Fear of uncertainty. Work and meaning. Intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards. Pathological Altruism. Intimacy versus belonging. To aspects of self transcendence. And other topics. I neighbouring you Scott, Barry Kaufman. I am here with Scott Barry. Kaufman Scott. Thanks for joining me. Thanks for having me on your show him. So. You've written a fascinating book titled Transcend the New Science of self actualization, and you also have a podcast of your own psychology podcast. Maybe we'll start with just a introduction to your. Background in psychology. What sorts of issues have you focused on? and and how do you describe your your work at this point? Share I think we have lots of mutual interests. When I first started off, I got my PhD in cognitive science and cognitive psychology, and was really interested in the tug mission of intelligence, and I started off in real traditional intelligence research, so studying I testing and I was absolutely fascinated with what are the cognitive processes underlying intelligence and an Iq, and then it branched off a little bit. To other forms of cognition, like in learning and unconscious learning I was curious, if unconsciously learning was related to conscious learning, and whether it was such a thing as unconscious intelligence that would correlate or not correlate with Iq, and that's what my dissertation was on, and then it moved onto creativity work and understanding the distinction similarities between intelligence and creativity, and then in the past four or five years. Years of really on into positive psychology and humanistic psychology, and try to understand above just our mind and intelligence. But how can we realize our whole being? You're not just one slice of us. He'll I. WANNA focus mostly on the the humanistic and positive side of things and talk about self transcendence and the furthest reaches of Human Wellbeing, but maybe we can take a moment to tie it to. Some of your earlier work. How would you differentiate intelligence, creativity and wisdom? Do you think that's things? Yeah, it's a great greg precaution. So intelligence I view as the we can just really shorthanded and say it's the ability to apprehend and perceive what is. And when I onto imagination, research defined imagination as the ability to relent perceive what could be and so I actually view creativity as a combination of intelligence and imagination. So creativity is having the ability to apprehend what is in really weren and understand the the real true nature of the world without any prior belief Sir are biopsies. But we have to go beyond that for creativity also have to have that foresight into what society could be what what could humans be come? You know and see creativity as as a combination of both intelligence and imagination that make sense. Creativity is somewhat paradoxical. It seems to me because if you're to creative right. If you're not obain any of the rules, will then it suddenly becomes worthless or next to worthless like you're. You're extracting meaning that he's either isn't there or is there only for you right, but can't be communicated to others, and so there is this sort of where. The psychedelic experience can become. Obviously not normative, and not all that useful, even though and I hope we'll talk about psychedelics as well. But how do you lose to? Yeah, yeah, how do you view they sort of rule following and and rule breaking with respect to creativity. And one of the key aspects of creative people in an eye to research project. I was working on this book with the journalist Cowan Gregoire. The book is called Wired Crete and was working on that I was trying to look to see what a creative people do. and. One of the most obvious things they do differently that they do things differently. They creative people are rule-breakers in the sense that maybe they're not necessarily provocateurs, and that's a different kind of role, breaking and I. I think it's important to distinguish between those who? Are Intentional like compulsive rule breakers, versus those who do it as a means to an end for greater meaning and and creative realization. So then were wisdom coming. Okay Wisdom. Is has been defined in lots of different ways. In the psychological returns been defined lots of non? PSYCHOTIC, but throughout the course of human history, but in my book transcend kind. That that's the climax at that's where we we end up, and in understanding what wisdom could mean from from a self, actualization, perspective, or transcendence, perspective and IV view wisdom as real encompassing this dichotomy transcendence that one of my favorite psychologist Abraham Maslow's talked a lot about. He said at the highest state of consciousness. Lots of economies that everyone else in our society is really interested and obsessed with and these false dichotomies, we be able to transcend them in some way and able to to see how everything is just part of a larger whole. This might even have to be a to make concrete. It could be like the distinction between selfishness. And Altruism you know at the highest level of consciousness if you're and being the hassle of motivation,

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