SELF-DECEPTION

October 27, 2017

In this podcast, I consider Wittgenstein's contention that "Nothing is more difficult that not deceiving oneself". I draw on resources from Heidegger, particularly the notion of "authenticity". I consider the role of projection in self-deception but temper that with Wittgenstein's and Heidegger's criticisms of Freudian psychoanalysis. I note that we can bullshit ourselves that we are not bullshitting ourselves and that this opens up an infinite regress. I suggest that Patanjali's practice of satya, truthful silence, may well cut through this problem, but that even if it doesn't, it is still a very great, emancipatory good. The discousre is clearer than I've made it sound! [Free. 29 minutes.]

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“CULTURE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND”

October 17, 2017

In this podcast, I reflect on Terence Mckenna's assertion that "culture is not your friend." I find that, indeed, culture as we know it today, frequently has ideological components, i.e. it plays a role in preserving and promoting social dominance hierarchies. However, it does have pragmatic possibilities, preserving ideas, crafts and technologies that have survival value. And, when not paralysed by conservatism, these possibilites can even develop beyond what can be achieved in a single generation, enhancing life. I argue also that culture has vital roles in entertainment and edification which can be usurped by ideology and which it is worth the effort to restitute. [Free. 25 minutes.]

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PARENTS

July 25, 2017

This podcast considers "making your peace with your parents" and why, if possible, it's a good idea. [Free. 20 ,minutes.]

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LAO TZU: PART THREE

May 5, 2017

In this podcast, we reflect on Chapters 4 and 5 of The Tao Te Ching. The cornucopean yet empty and ineffable nature of the Tao is further considered. The logic of the Taoist influence on the development of science in ancient China is explored. We also ponder how Freud's distinction between oceanic and super-ego religions is illuminated by Lao Tzu's account of religious experience. And more .... [Free. 39 minutes.] 

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FEMINISM 101

April 1, 2017

In this podcast, we roughly sketch out types of feminism including liberal, socialist, marxist and essentialist varients. We try to draw out the theoretical and practical difficulties encountered by these various approaches in the hope that a view of the terrain thus exposed might be useful to anybody currently struggling with the widespread and pathological back-lash to all emancipatory aspirations. [Free. 55 minutes.]

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THE BLUE PILL OR THE RED PILL? PART FOUR: POLITICS AND IDEOLOGY

February 28, 2017

In this podcast, we refer to the last scene of The Matrix in which Neo speaks directly to the hegemonic machines and explicitly draws attention to the political dimensions of the film. This scene invites us to understand the real-apparent binary as the opposition between the concrete political situation of slavery and exploitation and the ideological mystification which prevents the victims from throwing off their chains or even realising that they are in them. This leads us to a discussion of the attempts to make good the lacuna in Marxism around the details of ideological mystification by theorising a Freudian-Marxism. Dramatis Personae: Freud, Marx, Hegel, Lacan, Zizek, Fromm, Reich, Marcusse, Engels. The final scene [3 minutes 31 seconds] is here:-  https://youtu.be/aTL4qIIxg8A. See the blue pill - red pill choice in this four minute clip: https://youtu.be/zQ1_IbFFbzA. [Free. 39 minutes.]

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ON THE BODY [PART FIVE]: SEX, NATURE, CULTURE & ENLIGHTENMENT

April 1, 2016

As always this is wide-ranging. We discuss the nature of sexual arousal, sexual practices and the ideas people have about sex, attempting as we go to free ourselves from the conceptual straight-jacket imposed by the popular binary nature-culture. This naturally {!} leads to a consideration of sexual taboos and the transgression of them in Dionysiac/Tantric orgies and a fleeting analysis of the emancipatory potential of raw joy - ananda. We find it useful to identify two recognizable modes of consciousness aroused by sex. In one, fantasy is intensified. In the other fantasy is attenuated and 'immediate' sensations take over. [Free. 53 minutes.]

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ON RUTS: REPETITIVE PATTERNS OF THOUGHT, FEELING AND BEHAVIOUR & THEIR RAMIFICATIONS

March 1, 2016

This short ramble investigates 'ruts' or repetitive patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour and how some are necessary and others cause us to suffer and to be discontected from the glory of life. I make the observation that in many cases, such patterns are held in place by our very own expenditure of energy to the extent that they become a part of our identity. Refraining from this expenditure, i.e. relaxing and forgetting, is often sufficient to rlease us from the suffering of endless circling. [Free. 19 minutes.]

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THINKING ABOUT THINKING [PART FOUR]: ZEN MONDO AND THE USES OF UNREASON CONTINUED

February 7, 2016

This fourth part of our series THINKING ABOUT THINKING concludes the discussion on Zen mondo and the uses of unreason. [Free. 30 minutes.]

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HUMAN INTERACTIONS: POWER DIFFERENTIALS, MASTER-SLAVE LIVED EXPERIENCE, OPEN RECEPTIVITY TO THE OTHER

November 18, 2015

In this podcast, I start by considering the nature of a compliment. This opens the door onto all the questions that human interactions give rise to and I sketch out some of them. In particular, I consider mutual recognition and the distorting effect that power differentials have on it. I relate this to the nature of the ego in the psychoanalytic sense and suggest how things could be better. Contemplation of the Other in Patanjali's spare style is, I suggest, emancipatory and not difficult, though elusive. Rumi, amongst others, made this very point. [Free. 18 minutes.]

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