About Jeremy Lent
Jeremy Lent, described by Guardian journalist George Monbiot as “one of the greatest thinkers of our age,” is an author and speaker whose work investigates the underlying causes of our civilization’s existential crisis, and explores pathways toward a life-affirming future.
Born in London, England, Lent received a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and was a former internet company CEO.
His award-winning book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning, explores the way humans have made meaning from the cosmos from hunter-gatherer times to the present day.
His new book, The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe, offers a coherent and intellectually solid foundation for a worldview based on connectedness that could lead humanity to a sustainable, flourishing future.
He is founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering an integrated worldview that could enable humanity to thrive sustainably on the Earth. He lives with his partner in Berkeley, California.
Lent writes topical articles exploring the deeper patterns of political and cultural developments at Patterns of Meaning.
"Around twenty years ago, my life began unraveling around me.
I’d recently taken public the internet company I'd founded in a successful IPO during the internet bubble year of 1999. But my wife was developing serious health problems and I quit the company to look after her. Within a couple of years, the company was collapsing, and my wife’s health deteriorated further, leading to her eventual death.
The structures that had given my life meaning had shattered. But along with the loss, I noticed a glimmer of possibility: here I was in midlife, with the ability to consciously redirect my future. To where?
I knew, above all, I wanted my life to feel meaningful – but based on what foundation? I was determined to sort through the received narratives of meaning until I came across a foundation I could really believe in.
My drive to answer these questions led me to write both The Patterning Instinct and The Web of Meaning. It’s been a journey of many years, during which I dedicated myself full time to deep research in disciplines such as neuroscience, history, and anthropology, and to exploring the great traditions of Buddhism, Taoism, Neo-Confucianism, and Indigenous wisdom.
The Patterning Instinct explores the different patterns of meaning that cultures through history, including our own, have constructed. It reveals the underlying layers of our current dominant culture that is rapidly driving to destruction.
The Web of Meaning takes up where The Patterning Instinct left off, by laying the foundations for an integrated worldview with the potential to steer humanity on a pathway of long-term flourishing."
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