45 episodes

How do I live when I know I must die? Learning to Die is a show about exploring that question hosted by Ian Dunican and Ciaran O'Regan. They explore areas of philosophy, psychology, martial arts, culture, existential risk, and anything else that seems of interest and relevance to navigating a well-lived life. And, since Montaigne put it beautifully when he said "every man bears the whole form of the human condition,"

Ian and Ciaran can only hope that some of what they learn prior to returning their borrowed carbon to the Universe might be of benefit to you too.

Namaste Sapiens.

The Learning To Die Podcast Ian Dunican and Ciaran O'Regan

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

How do I live when I know I must die? Learning to Die is a show about exploring that question hosted by Ian Dunican and Ciaran O'Regan. They explore areas of philosophy, psychology, martial arts, culture, existential risk, and anything else that seems of interest and relevance to navigating a well-lived life. And, since Montaigne put it beautifully when he said "every man bears the whole form of the human condition,"

Ian and Ciaran can only hope that some of what they learn prior to returning their borrowed carbon to the Universe might be of benefit to you too.

Namaste Sapiens.

    #44 with David Keohan AKA Indiana Stones on the ancient art of Irish Stone Lifting

    #44 with David Keohan AKA Indiana Stones on the ancient art of Irish Stone Lifting

    I am joined by Ireland's stone-lifting ambassador, David Keohan, in this Learning to Die episode. We discuss the ancient practice of stone lifting in Ireland and many other countries globally, how it was a rite of passage for the youth, a challenge within the community and something to do for fun. Stone lifting is an art that was lost through 800 years under British occupation. Like many customs, aspects of culture and language that were lost during this occupation, Ireland is in a cultural revival, and David is leading the way by lifting stones. An element of Irish culture that was nearly lost, but David is on a quest to make stone lifting great again. This conversation undoubtedly enthused me, and I can't wait to dig more into this subject. The great thing about stone lifting is that it's free. Check out the episode and the links below.
    Items we discuss
    GQ article on David https://www.gq.com/story/the-quest-to-pick-up-the-lost-lifting-stones-of-ireland
    Irish Times Article on David https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/2023/10/29/indiana-stones-meet-the-man-bringing-back-irelands-lost-culture-of-stone-lifting/
    History of stones https://brigadoon.org.au/stalls-exhibitors/history-of-stones/
    Sean Urq https://www.instagram.com/seanurq/ from https://liftingstones.org
    Map of Irish lifting stones https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1588334600/map-of-irish-lifting-stones
    Follow David on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/_indiana_stones_/?hl=en>
    I hope this was useful. Please enjoy this episode of the Learning to Die podcast.  
    Check us out at www.learningtodie.com.au  for all episodes and links to the YouTube video versions.
    The YouTube version of this episode has a video and some slides.
    Contact us at ian@learningtodie.com.au or ciaran@learningtodie.com.au

    • 1 hr 11 min
    #43 The Guru, the Bagman & the Sceptic w Professor Seamus O’Mahony

    #43 The Guru, the Bagman & the Sceptic w Professor Seamus O’Mahony

    In this episode, we are joined once again by Professor Seamus O’Mahony. Seamus is a doctor and a prize-winning author. He worked for many years in the NHS, returning to his native city of Cork in 2001, where he was a gastroenterologist and clinical professor until February 2020. His first book, The Way We Die Now, won the British Medical Association’s Council Chair’s Choice award in 2017.
    Purchase the book here https://www.amazon.com/Way-We-Die-Now-Medicines/dp/1250112796
    His second book, Can Medicine be Cured?  was published in 2019; purchase the book here: https://www.amazon.com.au/Can-Medicine-Cured-Corruption-Profession-ebook/dp/B07DKKVBL4 and his latest book The Ministry of Bodies, was published by Head of Zeus in March 2021.
    Purchase the book here https://www.amazon.com/Ministry-Bodies-Death-Modern-Hospital/dp/1838931929.
    He is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review of Books and the Medical Independent. He has written also for The Observer, the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, and the Saturday Evening Post. He is a member of the Lancet Commission on “The Value of Death” and is a visiting professor at the Centre for the Humanities and Health at King’s College London.
    In this episode, we discuss his latest book "The Guru, the Bagman and the Sceptic"
    https://seamusomahony.com/books/the-guru-the-bagman-and-the-sceptic-a-story-of-science-sex-and-psychoanalysis/ 
    You can purchase it here https://www.amazon.com.au/Guru-Bagman-Sceptic-science-psychoanalysis/dp/1803285656 
    I hope this was useful. Please enjoy this episode of the Learning to Die podcast.  
    Check us out at www.learningtodie.com.au  for all episodes and links to the YouTube video versions.
    The YouTube version of this episode has a video and some slides.
    Contact us at ian@learningtodie.com.au or ciaran@learningtodie.com.au
     

    • 1 hr 37 min
    #42 with Greg Bennick on Ernest Becker, Discourse and Denial of Death

    #42 with Greg Bennick on Ernest Becker, Discourse and Denial of Death

    Greg Bennick is BACK!!! For another great episode. Greg Bennick is the author of the upcoming official biography of Ernest Becker. Greg has been speaking on stages worldwide for over thirty years.  Greg is a performer thought provoker, punk rock singer, and world traveller who infuses ideas and action everywhere he goes. He is the Executive Director and founder of One Hundred for Haiti, a non-profit supporting development programs in rural Haiti, and he is a co-founder of the Portland Mutual Aid Network, which collectively supports the houseless and unsheltered community in Portland, Oregon. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
    Greg’s previous episode with us is https://learningtodie.com.au/podcasts/3-dolphins-to-wwii-with-greg-bennick-on-the-work-of-ernest-becker/
    Contact our guest Greg: https://gregbennick.com/
    Check out our research study on dreams, death anxiety and religion. Open to all >18 years https://dreamteam.study/
     
    Links from our discussion
    Podcasts
    Dr Rachel Menzies on her book about denial of death “Mortals” https://learningtodie.com.au/podcasts/27-dr-rachel-menzies-mortals-how-the-fear-of-death-shaped-human-society/
    Freeman Dyson and Stephen Blackwood: On the Freedom of Thought and Nature
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSbY8I-3338
     
    Books
    Ernest Becker books https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/ernest-becker/205137/
    Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind by Tom Holland https://www.amazon.com.au/Dominion-Making-Western-Tom-Holland/dp/1408706954
    Dr Iain McGilchrist “The Matter with Things” https://channelmcgilchrist.com/matter-with-things/
    Rene Girard, Scapegoats https://www.amazon.com.au/Scapegoat-Ren%C3%A9-Girard/dp/0801839173
    Yukio Mishima Sun and Steel
     
    People
    Ernest Becker https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Becker
    Freeman Dyson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson
    Alan Watts https://alanwatts.org/life-of-alan-watts/
    Yukio Mishima Sun and Steel
     
    Information: Religious affiliation in Australia https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/religious-affiliation-australia
    Academic paper: Riordan, D.V. The Scapegoat Mechanism in Human Evolution: An Analysis of René Girard’s Hypothesis on the Process of Hominization. Biol Theory 16, 242–256 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13752-021-00381-y
    Follow us
    Ciaran on Substack https://substack.com/profile/23799980-quarrelsome-life
    The YouTube version of this episode has a video and some slides.
    Contact us at ian@learningtodie.com.au or ciaran@learningtodie.com.au.
     

    • 1 hr 44 min
    Episode #41 w Dr Neil Durrant on Nietzsche’s Renewal of Ancient Ethics, Friendship as Contest

    Episode #41 w Dr Neil Durrant on Nietzsche’s Renewal of Ancient Ethics, Friendship as Contest

    In this episode, we are joined by Dr Neil Durrant. Neil is a former Anglican minister turned philosopher. We discuss Neil's book "Nietzsche's Renewal of Ancient Ethics, Friendship as Contest" https://www.booktopia.com.au/nietzsche-s-renewal-of-ancient-ethics-neil-durrant/book/9781350298873.html.
    Nietzsche's Renewal of Ancient Ethics connects different strands in Nietzsche's studies to progress a unique interpretation of friendship in his writings. Neil Durrant explores this alternative approach to Nietzsche's ethics through the influence of ancient Greek ideals on his ideas, highlighting the importance of contest for developing strong friendships. Durrant traces the history of what Nietzsche termed a 'higher friendship' to the ancient Greek ideal of the Homeric hero. In this kind of friendship, neither person attempts to tyrannize or dominate the other but aims to promote the differences between them to stimulate stronger and fiercer contests. Through this exchange, they discover new heights-new standards of excellence-both for themselves and for others.
     
    Links discussed in this episode
    3 reasons not to be a Stoic (but try Nietzsche instead https://theconversation.com/3-reasons-not-to-be-a-stoic-but-try-nietzsche-instead-198307
    Fredrich Nietzsche https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche
    BBC documentary on Nietzsche Genius of the Modern World - Friedrich Nietzsche
    The 1-minute video in which "all white people" are declared racist:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAMofeTJpRk 
    Part 2/3 of Russell Walter's Nietzsche series in which he discusses "Agon":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WHAEIvtXN4
    Russell Walter's awesome video about Mishima:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEgBI8_R9l8&t=885s 
    Yukio Mishima Sun and Steel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukio_Mishima
    McGilchrist: The Coincidence of Opposites Iain McGilchrist: The Coincidence of Opposites
    Connect with Neil
    LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/neil-durrant-highered/
    Neil's website https://neildurrant.com/
    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/neildurrant/
    Twitter https://twitter.com/drneildurrant
    Substack https://neildurrant.substack.com/p/contempt
    Follow us
    Ciaran on Substack https://substack.com/profile/23799980-quarrelsome-life
    Check us out at www.learningtodie.com.au  for all episodes and links to the YouTube video versions.
    The YouTube version of this episode has a video and some slides.
    Contact us at ian@learningtodie.com.au or ciaran@learningtodie.com.au.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Episode #40 with Thomas O’Connor on Opposing the Corporate Capture of Food with Talamh Beo

    Episode #40 with Thomas O’Connor on Opposing the Corporate Capture of Food with Talamh Beo

    “I know more now than I ever knew before, it’s far worse than I ever imagined it could be, but I actually have more hope now than I ever had that we can actually do something about it.”
    These are the words of our guest today, Thomas O’Connor. Thomas is a farmer and small business owner from Kerry, Ireland, and a spokesperson for the Irish farming organisation Talamh Beo https://talamhbeo.ie
    Ciaran and Thomas discuss
    geopolitical instability and feeding people in times of global supply chain disruptions
    food security vs food sovereignty
    the importance of animal-inclusive food systems
    the role of soil health
    how to make Irish farming make resilient
    what regular people can do to improve food sovereignty, and much more.
    Feel free to start listening/watching straight away. However, if you’d like to know more, the writing below is a 2-3-minute read by Ciarán that offers some background information.
    Why is a philosophy podcast like ours doing an episode on farming? On one level, it is very simple: “No Farms, No Food”. This is a slogan of the Dutch farmers who are being scapegoated as villains, and who have even been associated with the “far right” by the influential journalist George Monbiot. Monbiot, an anti-livestock and pro-technology vegan activist who want us to eat hyper-processed fake meats made using “precision fermentation”, did an interview recently on Politics Joe in which he used the phrase “far right” at least a dozen times when discussing the Dutch farming protests. Moreover, he explicitly linked support for the farmers with Nazi “blood and soil” ideology. This is madness. The Dutch farmers feed millions and millions of people at a time of increasing geopolitical instability and worsening global food shortages. Thomas Fazi, in a recent piece for Unherd, brilliantly outlines key points around the attacks on farmers worldwide. He also explains the global consequences of “the Dutch government’s proposal to cut nitrogen emissions by 50% in the country’s farming sector by 2030”, at a time when “almost a billion people around the world are still affected by hunger”. And Vandana Shiva, the Indian environmentalist, social activist, and author, has also offered support for the Dutch farmers. Shiva recently described what is going on in Holland as a “farmers-citizen movement”, and said that citizens of the Netherlands “don’t want their economy, their land, their country hijacked” by massive financial interests who want to centralize control over food and land because this “is where the future profits are seen by the billionaires.” And as can be seen in Ireland too, with continued attacks here on the agricultural industry that seem to have no regard for where our actual food will come from, the Dutch are the canaries in the coal mine.
    Then on another level, farming isn’t just about the production of Calories. “Whose food you eat,” says Thomas in our chat, “their slave you are.” Thomas unpacked this statement throughout our discussion when he described how Talamh Beo, which means “Living land”, focuses on food sovereignty rather than just food security. While food security is about ensuring you have a minimum caloric value to stay alive, food sovereignty is about much more than that. Food sovereignty is about local production, nutrient-dense food, and culture, which all relate to wider ecological stewardship. This focus on food sovereignty is inspired by La Via Campesina.  
    La Via Campesina (LVC) is affiliated with farming organizations worldwide and has hundreds of millions of members. LVC represents the small-scale farmers who produce the majority of the world's food, and who have come together to resist corporate capture by big business. In a position paper from 2021 on the UN Food Systems Summit, LVC shines a light on the corporate capture they are pushing back against: “We believe it is essential to oppose the corporate capture of food systems becau

    • 1 hr 41 min
    Episode #39 with Ciaran and Ian on the Meta and Poly Crisis

    Episode #39 with Ciaran and Ian on the Meta and Poly Crisis

    In this episode, Ciaran and Ian sit down to have a chat on numerous topics to kick off 2023.
    Links to people and things we discuss in this episode
    • Bernardo Kastrup is the executive director of Essentia Foundation. His work has been leading the modern renaissance of metaphysical idealism, the notion that reality is essentially mental. He has a PhD in philosophy (ontology, philosophy of mind) and another PhD in computer engineering (reconfigurable computing, artificial intelligence) https://philpeople.org/profiles/bernardo-kastrup
    • Anna I. Krylov, The Peril of Politicizing Science, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2021 12 (22), 5371-5376 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c01475. Read the paper here for free https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c01475
    • Bertrand Russell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell
    • Jordan Ernest Burroughs (born July 8, 1988) is an American freestyle wrestler and former Folkstyle wrestler who currently competes at 79 kilograms and previously competed at 74 kilos. In freestyle, he was the 2012 Olympic gold medallist, is the reigning and a six-time world champion (nine-time medallist), three-time Pan American Games Gold medallist, four-time Pan American champion, and four-time US Open national champion, and has made the US World or Olympic Team on 11 occasions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Burroughs
    • Oil protesters appear in court after throwing soup at Van Gogh painting https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/15/oil-protesters-appear-in-court-threw-soup-van-gogh-painting.html
    • Martin Shaw https://drmartinshaw.com/interview/
    • John Moriarty https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Moriarty_(writer)
    • Decoding Jung's Metaphysics: The Archetypal Semantics of an Experiential Universe https://www.amazon.com.au/Decoding-Jungs-Metaphysics-Archetypal-Experiential/dp/1789045657
    Check us out at www.learningtodie.com.au  for all episodes and links to the YouTube video versions.
    The YouTube version of this episode has a video and some slides.
    Contact us at ian@learningtodie.com.au or ciaran@learningtodie.com.au.

    • 1 hr 23 min

Customer Reviews

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2 Ratings

Nick Perth ,

Great podcast!

The Learning to Die podcast is a must listen for anyone who wants to learn how to make the most out of their life!

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