ML147: Anna Gát on Damascus Moments, The Challenges of 21st Century Adulthood and Resisting The Devil's Contract

Learn about so called Damascus moments that lead to personal transformation, the challenges of adulthood in the 21st century and the need to harmonise dreams and reality without making bad compromises.

ML147: Anna Gát on Damascus Moments, The Challenges of 21st Century Adulthood and Resisting The Devil's Contract

Anna Gát is the founder of the Interintellect, a global community and talent platform for public intellectuals that facilitates great conversations around anything.

I previously had Anna on the show back in episode 144  where we discussed her background,  how she built a thriving intellectual community in the Interintellect and the processes involved in facilitating great conversations. We also took down utility tyranny – the idea that everything in life has to be optimised or made more efficient.

As with any good conversation there were more threads that I wanted to pull on, so I asked Anna back onto the podcast to explore some of those in more depth.

In this conversation we spoke about:

- The moments that change lives – so called Damascus moments that lead to personal transformation – and whether these moments can be forced.
- The challenges of being an adult in an age where there are no clear transitions set out by society anymore and how we can manage that process ourselves.
- The notion of vocation – whether we all have something we're uniquely capable of, the process for discovering that and the need to harmonise dreams with reality.

I'm really impressed by what Anna is doing with the Interintellect and she's definitely spent a lot of time thinking about these questions in depth, so I'm sure you'll find this discussion valuable.

Show Notes

  • Introducing Anna [00:40]
  • What was the moment that led Anna to her religious epiphany? What realisations did this epiphany lead her to? [04:51]
  • Are religions arbitrary? What questions about religion did Anna raise to her younger self? [08:24]
  • Can we manufacture a Damascus moment? Is there a guarantee that seeking this moment will lead to a life-changing realisation? [10:02]
  • How do we distinguish between an adolescent and an adult? What are the challenges in breaking free from what society expects us to be? [12:19]
  • How should we measure our personal meaning? What are the things that we should be asking when it comes to personal choices and how we live our lives? [18:49]
  • Why do people assume that commitment means giving up? [23:02]
  • Does everyone have a unique quality that leads to their vocation? How innate are these qualities in humans? [23:58]
  • Anna discusses the theory of the devil’s contract: the fulfillment and the resistance [26:58]
  • What’s a more important moment than a Damascus moment? What question will catalyse our journey down the path that we want to take in our lives? [30:55]
  • Can we choose between public good and private good? Is it possible to choose one over the other when it comes to love and money? [33:27]
  • Closing statements [36:12]


🖥 The Interintellect

📄 As We May Adult

🐦 @TheAnnaGat