What is the relevance of social theory and psychology for this crisis? Despite neoliberal dominance, we can hope for or fear crisis, rather than just an exception; but it is unwise to imagine science to harness these winds of change. Rather, a slow science may help cultivate the wisdom to address deeper crises such as those of climate or of democracy. Psychology is mostly pragmatic and matches the neoliberal 'business as usual'. Especially motivation psychology has been reduced to a pragmatics of self-regulation that blocks the question of meta-motivation: "Am I motivated for motivating myself?" Critical psychology addresses subjectivity and crisis; but on this issue, it is split up in essentialist humanism versus a post-humanism that avoids the issue. Ute Osterkamp's theory of needs for agency, for participating in forming and developing culture and community, can point a way. It offers a way to think of meta-motives as cultivated collectively, as the urge to participate, also in constituting, framing and transforming - and as basically dilemmatic and contradictory. Aesthetic practices and the current 'aesthetic turn' are taken up to unfold this. With Rancière, aesthetics is not simply 'the art of' performing given standards, but nor is it inscrutable as 'art for art's sake'. Rather, it is creating dissensus, clashing and transforming 'regimes of sense'. Aesthetic motifs can be ways to address and create meta-motives. This is illustrated by the use of aesthetics in attempts to transform addiction counselling in Copenhagen. Attending to motifs of aesthetic productions is a way to add 'deeper layers' to an otherwise thin and weak narrative of goal-direction. Conclusion: In the articulation of such practices, we can help cultivating the meta-motives to confront crises; this is a poetics of knowledge (Rancière), where we engage in communal processes of 'social self-sculpturing' (Stiegler) of passionate communities of care - also as viable alternatives to populism as ways to address the affective dimensions of politics that are often disregarded as we reflect the contributions of science (Mouffe).