Cover art for podcast Below the Line with James Beshara

Below the Line with James Beshara

155 EpisodesProduced by James BesharaWebsite

Host James Beshara is an angel investor, advisor, founder, & general startup-helper in Los Angeles, CA. He has started three companies, sold one (Tilt; acq by Airbnb), and invested in multiple billion-dollar startups in his career. Now he's talking openly and honestly with others about what's going … read more


#138 — Mind, Meaning, and You — Dr. John Vervaeke 

Dr. John Vervaeke is an associate professor at the University of Toronto, where he teaches courses on thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and cognitive development. He also frequently teaches a course on neuroscientific cognitive scientific theories of consciousness. In addition to his work in cognitive science, Vervaeke is also interested in bridging the gap between spirituality and science. He has created several video series on these topics, including Awakening from the Meaning Crisis and To Awakening from the Meaning Crisis Round Two.

Awakening from the Meaning Crisis

"The mind is between you and the world in a fundamental way. And that you shouldn't think of your mind just as between your brain and the world. But the way in which your brain is in your body is fundamentally relevant to the way in which your brain connects to the world. And you have to understand your mind as the intersection of those two connectivities, how you are connected to your body and how you're connected to the world. And that's where the mind actually is."

John Vervaeke, PhD believes that the mind is not just between the brain and the world, but also between the brain and the body. He says that the mind is a dynamic, self-organizing process that is constantly adapting to its environment. He also believes that the separation of cognition and emotion is a false dichotomy, and that both are deeply interwoven. Finally, he believes that the mind is perpetually susceptible to self-deception, and that wisdom is the ability to overcome this self-deception.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. The mind is not just in the brain – it is also between the brain and the body, and between the individual and the world.

2. Emotions and cognition are deeply intertwined, and neither can be understood in isolation from the other.

3. Most of our knowing is non-propositional – it is knowing how to do something, rather than knowing that something is true.

4. A rapid fire summary of some of the greatest philosophical minds of the last 2500 years including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Buddha, Jesus Christ, St. Augustine, Plotinus, Henry Corbin, Carl Jung, and more.

Hit the show hotline and leave a question or comment for the show at 424-272-6640, email James questions directly at or follow us on Twitter @ 

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About your host, James:
James Beshara is a founder, investor, advisor, author, podcaster, and encourager based in Los Angeles, California. James has created startups for the last 12 years, selling one (Tilt, acquired by Airbnb), and invested in a few multi-billion dollar startups to date. He has spoken at places such as Y-Combinator, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, TechCrunch Disrupt, and has been featured in outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and Time Magazine. He’s been featured in Forbes, Time, and Inc Magazine’s “30 Under 30” lists and advises startups all around the world. All of this is his “above the line” version of his background. Hear the other 90% of the story in the intro episode of Below The Line.

“Below the Line with James Beshara" is brought to you by Another Podcast Network.

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