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LAO TZU 47

LAO TZU 47

May 5, 2022

In this podcast, we reflect of Chapter 60 of The Tao Te Ching in which Lao Tzu recommends a light touch on the part of rulers if destructivity is to be minimised in society. A light touch is possible when rulers and / or their advisors are aligned with the Tao and the processes of existence and life as they act through human beings. We relate Lao Tzu's recommendations to our current political state and the ever present realisation that governments do bad things even whilst some collective focus is necessary for our species survival. We examine variations on this insight found in neoliberal economic thought, Marxism and the anarchism. [Free. 36 minutes.]

INSECURITY IN OUR TURBULENT TIMES

INSECURITY IN OUR TURBULENT TIMES

February 24, 2022

This podcast is a wide-ranging consideration of individual, psychological  insecurity and material, collective insecurity and the relationship between them. We make our observations in the context of current events, especially the war in Ukraine, global  warming, and financial meltdown, whilst drawing on inspiration from process philosophers like the Buddha, Heraclitus, Whitehead, Watts, Nietzsche, Marx and Lao Tzu. We draw on a brief discussion of the sublime and the beautiful to help us identify the emancipatory comportment to our intrinsic vulnerability and mortality. [Free. 50 minutes.] 

LAO TZU 41

LAO TZU 41

September 15, 2021

This podcast deals with Chapter 54 of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. In this chapter, Lao Tzu once again outlines his meditative method and indicates how it might produce benefits not only to the individual but to several interlocking systems, namely the family, the village, the nation and the world. The benefits arise out of a clarity of seeing which in turn generates a  understanding of the processes of psyche and social existence. [Free. 20 minutes.]

LAO TZU 40

LAO TZU 40

August 26, 2021

This podcast deals with Chapter 40 of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. We concentrate on the amazing relevance this chapter has to our current political, economic and spiritual emergencies. In a few short lines, Lao Tzu diagnoses the condition of the working people of his time as subjection to violent and militarily oriented 'robber barons' whilst they themselves are the creators of value and the necessary goods to sustain life. This is exactly our condition too. Lao Tzu offers a meditation to counter the fragmental [non-holistic, non-systemic thinking] which is the ideological counterpart to a kleptocratic economy. [Free. 29 minutes.]

LAO TZU 37

LAO TZU 37

May 29, 2021

In this podcast we discuss Chapter 51 of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. This chapter deals with Lao Tzu's vast vision of the cosmos and its origins. We suggest that this vision is acquired through a particular meditation which we recommend as both useful to us collectively in our current situation and as a beautiful and sublime good in its own right for individuals. [Free. 15 minutes.]

LAO TZU 34

LAO TZU 34

March 24, 2021

This podcast engages with Chapter 47 of The Tao Te Ching which deals with solitude and meditation. The style of meditation alluded to is a letting be rather than a cultivation and gives rise to an intuitive knowledge, a sense of the bigger picture. We suggest how acquaintance with this wonderful meditation can produce social goods and is sorely needed in these interesting times. [Free. 16 minutes.]

THE DRY TINDER OF RESENTMENT & OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMANCIPATION - INTERESTING TIMES 25

THE DRY TINDER OF RESENTMENT & OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMANCIPATION - INTERESTING TIMES 25

March 6, 2021

Borrowing a metaphor from Chris Hedges, I consider the UK body politic as rather like a bulk of dry tinder waiting for a random spark to ignite a conflagration of unrest.  I suggest that both Brexit and the COV19 pandemic are intensifiers of this flammability. I treat the matter as having economic and cultural-ideological dimensions, particularly lighting on recent trade union activity in the UK. The recent UK budget receives some attention, particularly the 1% pay rise offer made to health service workers and the angry response that the health professionals made to it. I make suggestions as to how the broad left might not be caught disorientated the day after the inevitable sublime moments that are now waiting in the wings. This involves the judicious use of the utopian imagination to co-ordinate the many strands of progressive activism. [Free. 43 minutes.]

FREUD’S INFLUENCE ON US GOVERNMENT & BUSINESS

FREUD’S INFLUENCE ON US GOVERNMENT & BUSINESS

February 15, 2021

This podcast ranges wide over the uses of Freud's insights for manipulating mass thinking and behaviour on behalf of the state and corporations. We review Adam Curtis' four part documentary  The Century of the Self (2002),  as a way in. There is particular focus on the work of Freud's nephew Bernays, the father of modern PR and advertising and author of Propaganda (1928). We also draw attention to philosophical problems with Freudianism, particularly those noted by Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Though standing alone, the podcast is also groundwork for future podcasts on the psychopathology of fascism.

The Century of the Self available on YouTube. Episode 1- https://youtu.be/DnPmg0R1M04

REASON ON REASON 3 - QUESTIONING IN THE AGE OF REASON

REASON ON REASON 3 - QUESTIONING IN THE AGE OF REASON

January 13, 2021

In this third podcast in the series Reason on Reason, I investigate the rise of questioning during the Enlightenment and the accompanying scepticism towards ecclesiastical, theological and political authority. The main part of the podcast is analysis and comment on Kant's newspaper article of 1784, What is Enlightenment? This article exposes a tension between the promise of the new questioning for knowledge and it application and the possible impacts this movement could have on social cohesion. Other dramatis personae include Voltaire, Hume, per-cursor, Locke, and Blake for the ensuing Romantic back-lash. [Free. 32 minutes.]

RAW THOUGHT - BREXIT & COVIDIOCY

RAW THOUGHT - BREXIT & COVIDIOCY

November 30, 2020

In this episode of RAW THOUGHT  we reflect on a couple of recent developments in current affairs, namely the state of Brexit negotiations and the arrest of 150 protesters against COVID19 restriction in London this weekend. [Patrons only. 34 minutes.] 

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