64 episodes

in pursuit of meaning (philosophy and psychology)

Eternalised eternalised

    • Society & Culture
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in pursuit of meaning (philosophy and psychology)

    The Underground Man - Dostoevsky's Warning to The World

    The Underground Man - Dostoevsky's Warning to The World

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    Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote Notes from Underground in 1864 which is considered to be one of the first existentialist works, emphasising the importance of freedom, responsibility and individuality. It is an extraordinary piece of literature, social critique and satire of the Russian nihilist movement as well as a novel with deep psychological insights on the nature of man.  

    Dostoevsky’s most sustained and spirited attack on the Russian nihilist movement is voiced by one of the darkest, least sympathetic of all his characters – the nameless narrator and protagonist known as the Underground Man, revealing the hopeless dilemmas in which he lands as a result.  

    Notes from Underground attempts to warn people of several ideas that were gaining ground in the 1860s including: moral and political nihilism, rational egoism, determinism, utilitarianism, utopianism, atheism and what would become communism.


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    • 24 min
    The Hero's Journey - Experiencing Death and Rebirth

    The Hero's Journey - Experiencing Death and Rebirth

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    In his best-known work The Hero with a Thousand Faces published in 1949, Joseph Campbell describes the archetypal Hero’s Journey or “monomyth” shared by the world. The Hero’s Journey occurs in three sequential phases: separation, initiation and the return. In the climax of the myth, the Hero experiences a psychological death and rebirth. The death of an old aspect of one’s self and the birth of a new and more capable self, receiving insights and experience.  

    Joseph Campbell was influenced by Carl Jung’s analytical psychology and his extensive work in comparative mythology and religion covers many aspects of the human experience. The Hero’s Journey is not just a mythological story, but is deeply embedded within the human condition. It tells the story of a person encountering a difficult life problem and their journey in resolving it through personal transformation.   

    In therapy, patients who were introduced to the Hero’s Journey as a means of reconceptualising their disorder as a hero quest, rather than an external stressful task, shifted their attitude from passive to active, supporting them to become the “author of their own lives”. This has been clinically tested in a diverse range of issues, such as: anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, PTSD and psychosis.


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    • 13 min
    The Rise and Danger of Mental Illness in Modern Society

    The Rise and Danger of Mental Illness in Modern Society

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    Modern society has seen a massive spike in mental illness. Why could this be? We will be exploring the characteristics of modernity and associate it with the rise of mental illness. Modernity is associated by scientific and technological advancement, individualism and hedonism. The empowerment of the individual self is one of the most ramifying features of modernity.

    In The Myth of Mental Illness, Thomas Szasz suggests that many people who suffer from mental illness is due to the consequence of the attempt to confront and to tackle the problem of how to live. Modern man feels the weight of his freedom and responsibility to live his life, as Sartre asserts, we are “condemned to be free”. Kierkegaard says that one can get lost in the finite (becoming lost in the crowd) or in the infinite (a state of analysis-paralysis). Camus’s absurd person is one who has seen through the ridiculous repetitions of daily life (Sisyphean condemnation). When we do not have a “why” to satisfy our existence, we must search for alternatives or risk falling into an existential crisis.

    Nietzsche’s proclamation of the death of God engenders the most profound cultural, sociological and psychological repercussions, leaving many facing a crisis in discerning a meaning or purpose for their existence, leading to a sense of disorientation. Viktor Frankl tells us that we are living in an existential vacuum, the mass neurosis of modern times is the “unheard cry for meaning”.

    Modern man is in desperate need for the hero journey, described by Joseph Henderson. Carl Jung analyses the question: “What actually takes place inside the mentally ill?” Sebastian Junger tells us of he importance of a tribe which modern man lacks, and finally, Carl Jung describes the psychic dissociation in modern man.


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    • 19 min
    Nihilism - Friedrich Nietzsche's Warning to The World

    Nihilism - Friedrich Nietzsche's Warning to The World

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    Friedrich Nietzsche provided the first detailed diagnosis of nihilism as a widespread phenomenon of Western culture and warns the world of its consequences, most famously in the parable of the madman where he proclaims that "God is dead".  

    Nietzsche was concerned primarily with existential nihilism, where life as a whole has no intrinsic meaning or value. He defines nihilism as the “radical repudiation of value, meaning, and desirability." In other words, nihilism consists in an inability to find value and meaning in the higher aspects of this life and world. It empties the world and purpose of human existence.   

    In order to overcome nihilism, Nietzsche proposes a “revaluation of all values”, through concepts such as the Übermensch, the Will to Power and the Eternal Recurrence, seeking to replace the old values with new ones that focus on life-affirmation, rather than some beyond. He tells us to remain faithful to the earth.  

    In this episode, we begin with an introduction to nihilism followed by three different manifestations of nihilism throughout Nietzsche’s works: nihilism as despair, nihilism as disorientation and nihilism as a lack of higher values. We then discuss the formal distinction he makes of nihilism in the will to power as active nihilism and passive nihilism. Finally, we consider nihilism in modern man, answer the question: Is Nietzsche a Nihilist? And end with how to overcome nihilism according to Nietzsche.


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    • 18 min
    KIERKEGAARD: The Knight of Faith

    KIERKEGAARD: The Knight of Faith

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    The knight of faith is one of Kierkegaard’s most important concepts, which he discusses in Fear and Trembling under the pseudonym Johannes de silentio. He begins explaining the knight of faith through the story of Abraham and Isaac.   

    Although he has never found any knight of faith, he would not deny on that ground that they exist. He looks like any normal person, one detects nothing of the strangeness and superiority that marks him.  

    Before one can be a knight of faith, one must become a knight of infinite resignation, one who renounces that which he most loves in the world. The knight of faith makes the leap of faith and by virtue of the absurd, he renounces everything and regains everything, coming back to his original position through a double movement.  

    He compares both movements: the movement of infinite resignation and the movement of faith with the leap of a ballet dancer and gives the example through the story of a man in an impossible love with a princess.  

    The general message is that the notion of faith is so far cheapened that what is talked about is not properly called faith at all.


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    • 11 min
    CARL JUNG: The Dark Side of Mankind (Personal Shadow & Collective Shadow)

    CARL JUNG: The Dark Side of Mankind (Personal Shadow & Collective Shadow)

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    Carl Jung warns us against the dangers of the collective shadow (the unknown dark side of society) and urges us to develop our personal shadow (the unknown dark side of our personality) to be consciously aware of the collective shadow and not fall prey to it. We must acknowledge our personal shadow and enter into long and difficult negotiations with it through shadow work.  

    Allowing us to rescue the good qualities that lie dormant within us, which improves our lives and the lives of those around us. We can then face the collective shadow and take responsibility to address the denial of important issues and a lack of individual and collective initiative. Telling the truth is the most desirable way to deal with a difficult past, rather than dismissing the atrocities and having the shadow grow blacker until it can no grow no more, and thus history repeats itself.


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    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Blake and Spencer Get Jumped ,

Solid show!

Really liked the breakdown of famous thinkers. Honestly felt like a great classroom experience. However, just wish there was an intro.

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