A Zen master was asked,"What is the Tao?" He replied, "Your everyday mind." How can this be? Shouldn't the Tao be something exhalted, unlike the most ordinary everyday mind? In this podcast, I attempt to dissolve this conundrum in the hope that it may help someone. [Free. 15 minutes.]
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.]
This podcast is almost a review of Rob Urie's Zen Economics (2016). The thesis of Urie's book is that contemporary economic theory is a pseudo science which functions as an ideological mystification of consumer capitalism and bases itself on a spurious metaphysical conceptualisation of the human being along Cartesian lines. Urie marshals Zen and the work of Heidegger to mount his criticism with interesting results. [Free. 44 minutes.]
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.]
In this podcast, we comment on the first six aphorisms of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. The podcast stands alone but is also intended to supply the background to a practical weekend to be held at The Parkdale Yoga Centre, Wolverhampton on October 22nd - 23rd 2016. This weekend is ideal for yoga teachers, dedicated practitioners and open-minded beginners in Yoga.
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.]
This fourth part of our series THINKING ABOUT THINKING concludes the discussion on Zen mondo and the uses of unreason. [Free. 30 minutes.]