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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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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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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A CRUEL DECEPTION: THE MANUFACTURE OF DISCONTENT AND THE SPIRITUAL SUPERMARKET

August 26, 2016

In this podcast, I take issue with a couple of examples of a common new age trope that promises the fulfillment all your desires easily if only you partake of this or that snake oil. I assert that this idiocy both exaggerates and underestimates the promise of meditational quietness given that its motivations lie in a quest for profit and influence. The discussion briefly explores will, desire, the tendency to wish-fulfillment fantasy and suggests what the real possibilities for meditation might be. [Free. 18 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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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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CHAOS AND COSMOS PART THREE

October 11, 2015

In this, the third of four episodes of Chaos and Cosmos, we discuss the process nature of reality and how this impacts on boundaries. We entertain the idea that the dancing and insubstantial nature of boundaires is interpreted for practical reasons and to a large extent through language, which projects a stasis onto the flux of existence by valuing some lines in the swirl of stuff over others. Our sense of separate identity is just such an interpretation made under the yolk of grammar and socialisation. This can be glimpsed in an investigative meditation but is rendered obscure by cultivation in the name of morality, spirituality and/or particularity. There's audience participation. The previous two episodes are still here - you might have to scroll down! [51 minutes. Free.]

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