This is the first of a series devoted to the philosophical resonances of the film The Matrix . We take it that many of the philosophical issues brought up in The Matrix boil down to the consequences of presupposing the binary 'real-apparent'. We outline how this is so in this introduction in preparation for forthcoming podcasts on the real-apparanet binary's entanglement with existentialism, metaphysics and politics. If you can't see the film, at least watch this brilliant four minute clip in which the hero Neo is given the choice between the red pill which will open him up to the reality of his situation and the blue pill which will keep him in a state of delusion: https://youtu.be/zQ1_IbFFbzA. [Free. 22 minutes.]
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.]
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.
In this podcast a specific instance of the authoritarianism that often accompanies spiritual culture is treated critically. Listeners are urged to value their autonomy and hone, not repress, their critical faculties because both of these are conditions for spiritual inquiry to take place at all. [Free. 15 minutes.]
In this podcast we chew on the notion of 'healthy thought'. Whilst seeing that the notion can be used ideologically as a conformist moral cudgel, we consider the idea that certain patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour can cause unnecessary suffering to self and others. [Free. 38 minutes.]
This podcast is the third part of our series THINKING ABOUT THINKING. In it, we deal with the uses of unreason, particularly focusing on Zen mondo. This is a big topic so we have also dedicate part four of the series to it. We touch upon the dialogues of the Buddha, Bodhidharma,and Joshu and the works of Nagarjuna, Wittgenstein and Freud. [Free. 1 hour 15 minutes.]
In this short second part of the four part series on thinking, I outline a taxonomy of types of reason derived from Habermas'. [FREE. 17 minutes.]