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LAO TZU 26

LAO TZU 26

August 10, 2020

In this podcast, we consider Chapter 39 of the Tao Te Ching. Once again, we see Lao Tzu moving from cosmology to the character of the ideal leader who has qualities arising out of meditation. Lao Tzu discerns forces of both disintegration and integration as aspects of 'the One', or the whole. Out of this discernment, we draw a characterisation of our own times. [Free. 37 minutes.]

LAO TZU 25

LAO TZU 25

July 23, 2020

In this podcast, we discuss Chapter 38 of the Tao Te Ching. This chapter offers a picture of the sage who has a mastery of wu wei, non-doing, which transcends conscience, rule following and adhering to the status quo as a source of goodness and the ability to rule. We relate this picture to current events and our political culture. [Free. 25 minutes.] 

LAO TZU 24

LAO TZU 24

July 21, 2020

In this podcast, we reflect on Chapter 37 of the Tao Te Ching. In this chapter, Lao Tzu once again attempts to characterise the Tao. From a fresh perspective, he describes the Tao as the ultimate exemplar of wu-wei, (non-doing), and recommends that people, including leaders, emulate it in this respect. He then describes the character of a person who has managed this elusive meditative task. We relate this to a criticism of consumerism which, though careful with desire, nevertheless eschews asceticism. [Free. 12 minutes.]

LAO TZU 23

LAO TZU 23

July 15, 2020

In this podcast, we discuss Chapter 36 of The Tao Te Ching. In this chapter, Lao Tzu offers a strategy based on the interactive dynamics of opposites which he recommends to the sagacious leader. The strategy is also employable by individuals to negotiate the conflictual aspects of life and the terrain of meditative experience. Since this chapter seemed more opaque than usual, we consulted three different translation of the Tao Te Ching. [Free. 25 minutes.]

LAO TZU 22

LAO TZU 22

July 10, 2020

This podcast offers a reading of Chapter 35 of the Tao Te Ching. It deals with the character of Lao Tzu's ideal leader who is a sage with connection to the Tao. We tease this out and relate it to modern leaders of the 'strong man' type and ideals of social organisation. [Free. 19 minutes.]

LAO TZU 21

LAO TZU 21

July 8, 2020

In this podcast we discuss Chapter 34 of The Tao Te Ching. In this Chapter, Lao Tzu describes the Tao as best he can, emphasising its low key and quietly stealthy operation of supporting, suffusing and embracing all things, including humans. We explore the explicit instructions for mediation that the chapter contains. [Free. 13 minutes.]

LAO TZU 20

LAO TZU 20

May 31, 2020

In this episode of our Lao Tzu series, we explore themes of judgement, desire, non-violence, and longevity: all in the light of Lao Tzu's meditation 'method' of aligning with the Tao. [Free. 24 minutes.]

LAOTZU 19

LAOTZU 19

May 3, 2020

In this podcast, we consider Chapter 32 of The Tao Te Ching. Here, Lao Tzu emphasises the ineffability of the Tao even whilst urging the sage/ruler to follow it if he is to be a good ruler who is able to care for the people well. The implications of the ineffability of the Tao for the nature of language, that it cannot exhaust the world with its names or propositions, is suggested in the text and we tease it out. [Free. 29 mins.]

LAO TZU 18

LAO TZU 18

May 2, 2020

In this podcast we reflect on Chapter 31 of The Tao Te Ching. This Chapter deals with the pity and tragedy of war and the terrible nature of weapons and how the sage does not celebrate them. The sage, instead, loves peace and quiet and recommends it to rulers and peoples. We relate this to our current situation in which over $1.7 trillion are spent per annum globally on the weapons of war and in which many senseless and highly destructive wars are fought. We conclude that Lao Tzu's lesson in this chapter is one we urgently need to hear. [Free. 21 minutes.]

LAO TZU 17

LAO TZU 17

April 27, 2020

In this podcast, we return to our long project of commenting on the Tao Te Ching. This time we comment on Chapters 29 and 30 which speak out against hubris in leaders. The character types of typical leaders is taxonomised and contrasted with that of 'the sage'. The sage, we are told, is without pride, false charm and greed and leads with a light touch. Consequently, his leading style avoids environmental destruction. Lao Tzu also speaks out against warlike behaviour in leaders and spells out the destructive consequences such as famine. We suggest that these lessons are very relevant  to our current political situation. [Free. 22 minutes.]

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