Seeking meaning in the modern world
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June 2016
– Trinity College, Dublin
Joe Griffin's suggestion for this year’s conference theme couldn’t be more relevant in today’s troubled world – as a recent human givens blog post highlights, meaning isn't just crucial for our mental health, it's crucial for our very survival too.
'Seeking meaning in the modern world'
Few leave this world without experiencing some level of suffering.
Since it is meaning that makes suffering tolerable (which is perhaps why we are driven to seek it) the theme of this weekend has critical relevance in these unsettling times.
We search in all directions for significance: in the language and behaviour of people around us; in nature; beauty; weather; science; religion; the arts; our work and play and in the pace of change. Without realising it, all the time we are looking to see if what has happened, is happening or might happen will impact on our ability to get our innate emotional needs met.
In modern times the old certainties have waned and the absence of adequate answers to the questions 'What is the purpose of living?' and 'What should I do?' and 'Why do I exist?' haunt many, giving rise to the 'illness' of meaninglessness, as illustrated by the upsurge in depression, anxiety, addiction and extremism in all its forms.
This conference explored meaning from many angles: Why do healthy children find the world intrinsically meaningful yet some of them grow up to become cynical and bored, or even kill themselves? And why do others end up finding meaning in crazy cults or by adopting destructive views that generate violent conflict and terror?
And why do our greatest moments of happiness seem to arise when we feel connected by love to others and the universe appears imbued with meaning, inspiring a sense of fascination, mystery and awe.
Explore our articles and interviews
Julia Welstead considers what we should really be giving this Christmas... and all year round too
In this article, Joe Griffin suggests that techniques which can yield immediate success, may share an underlying mechanism.
It took millions of years for the human mind to evolve into the self-forming creature we can now become. We have reached a watershed where exciting recent discoveries about how the mind/body system works enable us to understand the processes by which the human nature of a new child can successfully unfold to create an effective and fulfilled individual.
Carol Harper explores how we can use the insights from the human givens approach to protect and improve our children’s mental health – not only during the current crisis but for the long-term …
Joe Griffin explains why dreaming, and forgetting our dreams, fulfils a vital human need.
What does it take for lawyers to be able to defend the perpetrators of shocking or morally indefensible crimes? Denise Winn tried to find out.
Julia Welstead looks at why we care so much about body image
Green space, blue space, vitamin N, the great outdoors, animal therapy, the nature cure: whatever we want to call it and however we want to engage with it, most of us are aware that communing with our natural world is purported to be good for us. But why is time in nature so beneficial and how does it make us feel better?
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Join HG co-founder, Ivan Tyrrell, and HG Diploma tutor, Carol Harper for an in-depth look at our innate resources.
Date posted: 20/01/2022
This fascinating conversation is now available to watch.
Date posted: 10/01/2022