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.]
Inspired by Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, I consider things, connections, processes, language, metaphoricity, information and detective work [amongst other things]. Dramatis personae: Heraclitus, Parmenides, Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein. [Free. 23 minutes.]
This podcast takes its inspiration from the following quotation from Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan (1968): "Therefore you must keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions ... Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, the path is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you." [Free. 18 minutes.]
Energy meditation outlined: as the anti-dote to dogmatism, as the revelation of the dance of things, as the loosening of identity, as the revelation of our perspectival condition. It's role in giving sparkle to letting-be, mind meditation is considered. Focused awareness is compared with spacious awareness. The koan of non-doing is encountered and the passion of life becomes the fuel for easeful meditation. The use of bardos of any kind (including those between moments) to leap into freedom is hinted at. [Free. 52 minutes.]
In his podcast, we consider the problems of negotiating the unprecedented access to information that characterises the modern age. We note that too much information becomes no information unless we have the means to evaluate what is relevant to our questions, to discern what is reliable and what not, and unless we have some grasp of interpretation and how it relates to states of affairs in the world. We go on to consider the struggle for the internet and the broad shape of the power which tries to determine and exploit our lives. [Free. 60 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.