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.
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 outline and evaluate ancient and Cartesian mind-body dualism. We find both of these doctrines incoherent and life-negating and attempt to point towards more easeful attitudes towards the body and life itself. [Free. 29 minutes.]
We start this podcast with a discussion of the way that walking affects thought and how this significantly draws our attention to the physiological, biological correlation between thought and the living body. We go on to take issue with a variety of dualisms and fragmentary accounts of the human being that all inevitably end up dis-valuing the body. We point out the longevity and ubiquity of contempt for the body, encouraged by religious asceticism, and outline the joyous possibilities that open up when it is dropped. Dramatis Personae: Nietzsche, Robert Graves, Arjuna, Simon the Stylite. [Free. 25 mins.]
This is the first part of a series on the human body. It deals with various attitudes to the body found within yoga culture and texts and attempts to evaluate them against their usefulness for life. I also propose that the affirmation of the human body and the attribution of the highest value to it is essential to Yoga practice. Accordingly, the value of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika lies in the fact that it refrains from condemnation of the body whilst reminding us that "Hatha is for Raja". This recording was first put out on YouTube some time ago. We're repeating it here because it touches on many of the themes we want to explore in more detail in this series. [Free. 30 mins.]