TRUST

September 23, 2017

This podcast is a meandering analysis of trust, starting with the question 'What does it mean when I say, "I trust you."?'. It covers considerations of character, predictability, and behaviour which lead on to a criticism of behaviourism and a phenomenological analysis of the ways we appraise character. The role of trust in exchange, promising and social organisation is outlined with a nod towards Nietzsche's polemical considerations of 'the mnemotechnics of pain'. A picture of our culture as a culture of mistrust emerges and this is illuminated by a tiny story conncocted by Wittgenstein. I also consider the atom of trust which is a possible relationship between two individuals. I conclude that trust takes a leap of faith, and though it might be irrational, life without it is barren. [Free. 35 minutes.]

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CONTRA NOS: TALK GIVEN IN LONDON AGAINST THE NATIONAL OCCUPATION STANDARD FOR A YOGA TEACHER

January 23, 2017

This is my contribution to a public meeting put on by the Independent Yoga Network [IYN] to clarify the attempt being made by BWY and Skillsactive to institute a National Occupational Standard for a Yoga Teacher in the face of concerted and reasoned opposition from key players in the UK Yoga Community.  The meeting was held on the 14th January 2017. I am introduce by Ellen Lee, Chair of the IYN. Other presenters were Swami Ambikananda Saraswati [Traditional Yoga Association], Jim Gough [IYN Treasurer], Nick Elwell [BGi Insurance], and Satish K Sharma [General Secretary, National Council of Hindu Temple (UK)]. The complete proceedings, which run to over 3 hours, will be available from the IYN online magazine, namaskaram, shortly. [Free. 22 minutes.]

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FOLLOWING YOUR OWN WYRD

January 7, 2017

Alan Watts recommended 'following your own wyrd' as a strategy for living. In this podcast we enquire into this matter. [Free. 35minutes.]

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UTOPIA - HOW & WHY DOES IT HAUNT THOUGHT?

September 22, 2016

In this podcast, we run with the the observation that 'thought is haunted by utopia'. In passing we discuss literary utopias and dystopias, revolutions, and the effect of intimations of vulnerability and mortality on human future thinking. [Free. 53 minutes.]

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ON THE BODY [PART FOUR]: THE BODY DIES

March 17, 2016

The body dies. In this podcast we critically reflect on the existential and cultural consequences of the fact of life that the body dies. [Free. 36 minutes.]

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HEALTHY THOUGHT? WHAT IS IT, IF ANYTHING?

February 21, 2016

In this podcast we chew on the notion of 'healthy thought'. Whilst seeing that the notion can be used ideologically as a conformist moral cudgel, we consider the idea that certain patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour can cause unnecessary suffering to self and others. [Free. 38 minutes.]

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NIETZSCHE, GURDJIEFF AND DISGUST AT MAN

January 1, 2016

In this podcast, we discuss Nietzsche's 'disgust at man' and Gurdjieff's 'horror of the situation'. Both of these, it seems, are due to a propensity on the part of humans to succumb to mass hypnosis, which can nevertheless be avoided. [Free. 32 minutes.]

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WAR & PEACE (’GIVE PEACE A CHANCE’)

December 6, 2015

This is a rant against war and the culture of the war machine. It starts off with the presupposition that every sane person desires a peaceful world, now and for future generations. It then ranges quite wide, describing the military industrial complex in terms of its costs relative to those of creating and maintaining peace, arguing against the notion that war is 'natural' and attempting to expose the ideological character of most of the media discourses around current and past conflicts. It concludes that peace must be given a chance. [Free. 39 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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IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR THE HUMAN SPECIES?

October 27, 2015

In addressing this pressing question, we consider what a 'yes' answer would be like. Firstly we ask, 'what is hope anyway?' This leads us on to considerations of violence, equality, freedom, desire, future thinking, evaluation and the role of big stories in human destructivity. [Free. 45 minutes.]

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