LEFT-RIGHT: PART TWO [COSMOPOLITANISM, ETHNO-NATIONALISM, HEIDEGGER, NIETZSCHE]

September 9, 2017

In this podcast I compare and contrast cosmopolitanism with ethno-nationalism. I discuss the use of Heidegarian tropes by alt-right ideologues to justify their stance which regards cosmopolitanism as the cause of all the ills of the modern world. I show how this move is easily countered and that Heidegger's view of 'the self' can actually be used to counter the notion that cosmopoitanism leads to the modern carelessness with the environment and 'rootlessness'. What is missing from the alt-right reading of the Heideggarian human 'self', I argue, is the questioning nature of this 'self' which in turn leads to the yoga questions: 'Who and what am I?'. At the very least, if we are honest with ourselves, the answer is that of Diogenes the Cynic: 'I am a citizen of the world'. At the same time, the beauty of one's particularity is revealed, even as one might rhapsodically experience oneness with everything. I trace some of this path of thought through a brief discussion of Heidegger's relationship to Nietzsche, to whom he dedicated four thick volumes of reflection and criticism. [Free. 43 minutes.]

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LAO TZU: PART FIVE

August 25, 2017

In this podcast we consider Chapters 9 and 10 of The Tao Te Ching. Amongst themes we draw out are Lao Tzu's advice on meditation and how it is deeply practical and has ramifications for social organisation and politics, and the value of un-acquisitiveness, quietism and psychological balance for living a good life. [Free. 38 minutes.]

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LAO TZU: PART TWO

April 20, 2017

In this podcast, we engage with Chapters 2 and 3 of The Tao Te Ching. Themes include language and opposites, the pregnancy of emptyness, past, present and future times, human character and the nature of a sage, social organisation and meditation. [Free. 43 minutes.]

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LAO TZU: PART ONE

April 10, 2017

In this podcast, we comment on the first chapter of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. Though it is very short, this chapter covers an immense amount of ground, including the paradoxical nature of talk about the ineffable, the creativity of nothingness and the character of 'the sage'. We intend to comment on the entire text over time. [Free. 41 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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“EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED” - DIRK GENTLY

January 27, 2017

Inspired by Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, I consider things, connections, processes, language, metaphoricity, information and detective work [amongst other things]. Dramatis personae: Heraclitus, Parmenides, Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein. [Free. 23 minutes.]

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TRAVELLING LIGHT

June 1, 2016

We started this podcast with no topic in mind. Consequently it meanders from a consideration of the plasticity of mind through the matter of the historical variety of cultures and the character formations they produce and require, on through a story about our current situation in which consumerist capitalism requires hyper-individualism as the preferred human character, on through a narrative connecting discomfort with this plasticity with social conservatism and the metaphysics of stasis. Somewhere amongst this, we remember childhood and celebrate and recommend travelling light. [Free. 51 minutes.]

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CHAOS AND COSMOS PART FOUR

May 17, 2016

Here, somewhat belatedly, is the final part of Chaos and Cosmos, a talk given at Parkdale in 2015. The main thrust of this part of the talk is to abstract the practicalities implicit in the discourse thus far for practitioners of meditation and creativity. We also hear about Taliesin's shit-or-bust attempt to win the high priestess.

For the sake of intelligibility, I've pruned some labyrinthine Q and A and ribald interaction. The other three episodes are still on this site as you'll find if you go back a bit. [Free. 30 minutes.]
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ON THE BODY [PART SIX]: THE SENSES AND PROCESS

April 16, 2016

This is a meander which attempts to elucidate the senses and perception. We start off by saying why it is preferable to consider the senses as though processes rather than structures are primordial, as indeed our life-world and lived experience suggest. [The philosophical tradition largely considers the senses through a structural metaphor which understands the human being as like a camera and this is briefly taken issue with.]  The path of thought winds its way towards the intimation that the entanglement of the processes of nature, psyche, culture and consciousness which is human life allows the universe, potentially, to see itself. [Free. 59 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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