ON OPTIMISM

March 24, 2017

In this podcast, we take a look at optimism, invoking the help of Voltaire's satirical tale Candide (1759). We end up suggesting that the bouyancy that is the corollary of optimism might extract too high a price in the loss of realism that goes with wearing rose-coloured spectacles, and that dropping the half full- half empty binary might be what William Blake is suggesting we do when he tells us that 'energy is eternal delight'. [Free. 30 minutes.]

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THE BLUE PILL OR THE RED PILL? PART THREE: METAPHYSICS

February 22, 2017

In this podcast, we outline some of the resonances of The Matrix with metaphysics which we take to be the philosophical effort to characterise the being of beings as a whole. We particularly focus on Plato's myth of the cave and Descartes' radical doubt, regarding both of these as utilising the metaphor of human being as camera obscura and the real-apparent and subject-object distinctions. This is not as obscure as it sounds! [Free. 35 minutes.]

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THE BLUE PILL OR THE RED PILL? PART TWO: EXISTENTIALISM, CHOICE & FREEDOM

February 13, 2017

Part Two of our series on The Matrix attempts to characterise Neo's choice of the red pill in terms of the kind of human freedom posited by the existentialist philosophers. We draw particularly of Kierkegaard and Sartre. See the blue pill - red pill choice in this four minute clip: https://youtu.be/zQ1_IbFFbzA. [Free. 32 minutes.]

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THE BLUE PILL OR THE RED PILL? PART ONE: INTRODUCTION

February 8, 2017

This is the first of a series devoted to the philosophical resonances of the film The Matrix [1999]. We take it that many of the philosophical issues brought up in The Matrix boil down to the consequences of presupposing the binary 'real-apparent'. We outline how this is so in this introduction in preparation for forthcoming podcasts on the real-apparanet binary's entanglement with existentialism, metaphysics and politics. If you can't see the film, at least watch this brilliant four minute clip in which the hero Neo is given the choice between the red pill which will open him up to the reality of his situation and the blue pill which will keep him in a state of delusion: https://youtu.be/zQ1_IbFFbzA. [Free. 22 minutes.]

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SYNCHRONICITY

January 15, 2017

Synchronicity is the phenomenon in which we encounter meaningful coincidences. It tends to occur if we are in dialogue with our unconscious mind, whether through meditation or psychoanalytic types of engagement. In this podcast we consider the nature of this phenomenon and its possible use  for self-enquiry. The book Synchonicity [1952] by C G Jung and Wolfgang Pauli is drawn upon as is Jung's approach to the I Ching. [Free. 25 minutes.]

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CARLOS CASTANEDA’S PATH WITH HEART

December 21, 2016

This podcast takes its inspiration from the following quotation from Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan (1968): "Therefore you must keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions ... Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, the path is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you." [Free. 18 minutes.]

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CONSIDERING CULTS

December 11, 2016

In this podast we attempt to characterise 'cults' and identify psychological processes that sustain them. This broadens out a little into considerations of dominance and power dynamics in general. [Free. 30 minutes.]

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THE BELOVED

November 28, 2016

We launch this podcast with a reading of Rumi's poem Choose Love which serves as a perfect door-way into a discussion on love. intoxication, separation and oneness.

[Free. 21 minutes.]

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YOGA REGULATION? NO THANKS

September 13, 2016

This podcast addresses a situation current on planet Yoga in the UK and will be of special interest to UK Yoga teachers and teacher trainers. The situation I allude to is the decision made by a government licensed body [Skills Active]  in conjunction with the British Wheel of Yoga to institute a 'National Occupational Standard' [NOS] for a Yoga teacher. This was attempted 12 years ago and didn't succeed, most likely because of considerable opposition from the Yoga Community. I give an outline of the history and the players in this mad game and then demonstrate that Yoga should not be regulated by any governmental agency or narrow interest. Rather, I contend, it is necessarily diverse and therefore beyond the scope of regulation. I then give an account of the Independent Yoga Network which was set up 12 years ago in the face of the first attempt at NOS to defend freedom and diversity and promote Yoga.  [Free. 44 minutes.]

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MORALITY: CONTINGENCY, LOVE & SELF-ENQUIRY

September 4, 2016

This podcast is a ground-work for some future engagements we hope to make with this vast and important topic. We touch on the matter of the contingency or morality, drawing loosely upon Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals (1886). The formation of super-ego / conscience is sketched and the importance of child-rearing and educational practices is thus underscored. We recommend naturally occurring communism as a tendency to be encouraged within communities and enterprises and observe that the love will shout if only one enquires into one's entanglement with morality. [Free. 47 minutes.]

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