Enlightenment Without the Bullshit

I have a great interest in Zen. Now, Zen is not a religion or belief-system of any kind nor is it a philosophy as such. It is a way and view of life. The practitioner of Zen seeks to attain enlightenment---I’ll have more to say about that shortly---through a direct and intuitive insight. Zen is difficult for Westerners to understand as it does not belong to any of the formal categories of modern Western thought. Now, what is enlightenment---without the bullshit?

Dealing with Major Depression: Managing Malignant Sadness

(Talk given to the Existentialist Society, Melbourne, on 2 June 2015.)

This talk is a revised and expanded version of one I gave in January 2013 to the Melbourne Unitarian Church; and that in turn was based on an article I first wrote in 2003.

Please note that I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but just someone whose life has been profoundly affected by depression. So although I know a fair amount about my own depression, this does not mean that I can speak with authority about other people's depression. Indeed, my experiences have taught me that, where depression is concerned, what is right or wrong for one person may be wrong or right for another.

Political philosophy and Nihilistic_Self-responsibility Amidst Increasing, Irreducible diversity

Presentation to the Melbourne Philosophy Forum, June 7, 2015

Political philosophy and an additional theory of political change

John Anderson--Philosopher and Controversialist Extraordinaire

'There are only facts, i.e., occurrences in space and time.'--John Anderson, 'Empiricism,' Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, December 1927, p 14.

Mindfulness and Mysticism

The essence of the mystical experience is this---to see, feel, or otherwise know that you are or have become one with all that is. One with the ‘wholly other.’ The mystical experience involves more than just feeling. It usually takes the form of some direct and immediate and unsolicited apprehension of something wonderfully immanent or transcendent (or both) that is both self-sufficient and of ultimate significance (at least to the recipient of the experience if not others as well).

Plotinus, that great Neoplatonist philosopher of the ancient world, expressed it this way:

A Rational Faith: Humanism, Enlightenment Ideals, and Unitarianism

This paper looks at the influence that Humanism, itself infused by and with Enlightenment values and ideals, has had on liberal religion in the form of Unitarianism.

An address delivered at State Parliament House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on 20 June 2014, in connection with World Humanist Day 2104 Australia--Symposium--'Enlightenment: The Roots of Humanism'.

Knowledge and the Singularity

How the exponential growth of knowledge is both creating a singularity and may at the same time provide some way
to avoid or manage the singularity crisis

Presentation to the Philosophy Forum, May 3, 2015

Epistemology of Metrology and Language

The seven current, proposed and/or soon to be implemented measures of physics are:

Originally the second was 1/(24 * 60 * 60) of the day ; a problem was the Earth's rate of rotation was found to be slowing down. There were others so now:

"The second, s, is the unit of time; its magnitude is set by fixing the numerical value of the ground state hyperfine splitting frequency of the caesium 133 atom, at rest and at a temperature of 0 K, to be equal to exactly 9 192 631 770 when it is expressed in the unit s^-1, which is equal to Hz."

A Philosophical and Spiritual Approach to Recovery from Addiction

The therapeutic approach discussed in the attached article, which has been called ‘self illusion therapy,’ draws on both Eastern and Western insights including but not limited to the teachings of Buddhism and the work of the English neurologist John Hughlings Jackson, the Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget, the Australian addiction psychologist Jim Maclaine, and the philosophers David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and P F Strawson.

Progressive Religion

Mine is a religiously liberal and non-dogmatic faith---faith meaning living with courage, confidence and conviction---drawing on the wisdom of all world religions as well as the insights of science, philosophy, art, music and literature. Mine is also a skeptical faith, for I have always affirmed that every idea is to be tested and every stone turned over.

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