Episode 0: Introduction to the Podcast
An inaugural 4.5-minutes spiel by me, that all hopefully has something to do with what the podcast might become.
Hello! And welcome to The Musing Mind Podcast - I’m Oshan Jarow, the host of these conversations that will explore the tangled relationship between consciousness, culture, and the emerging possibilities for how we might live in the 21st century.
This podcast is about exploring how new cultural systems might give rise to new kinds of consciousness, in the same way that exploring consciousness might give rise to new kinds of cultural systems. Consciousness and culture are these two emergent, complex phenomenon that are spiraling together, and as the world grows more complex, these two grow more interwoven.
And this is creating the need for a new kind of discourse, where contemplatives and cultural theorists come into dialogue with each other. Right, so people who explore the potentialities of consciousness, mixing their ideas with those who explore cultural design and organization - asking how we might engineer a positive feedback loop between consciousness and culture, so that each feeds, and enriches, and expands the other.
Because I think Zak Stein is right to say we’re living in a time between worlds, where new cultural rhythms are forming around new networked possibilities for collaboration, creativity, education, economics, and this growing sentiment for the democratization of abundance. And this is the shift - from scarcity to abundance - that I believe this new discourse between consciousness and culture has the potential to set off.
So I think of this podcast as a conversational space to explore this transition from what was, to what might become. In these liminal spaces between worlds, we need a healthy mix of the abstract, and the concrete. We need to cultivate existential creativity, and we need to talk about tax policy. So I’ll be speaking with all kinds of guests who stretch our collective imagination for what is possible, both as a species of sentient creatures trying to organize ourselves in more democratic, creative, and emancipatory cultures, and also as individuals, who experience this impossibly rich, and chaotic, and painful, but sometimes wonderful fact of being alive.
Because that’s what’s really so fascinating, so improbable, that we’re here at all, that we experience these brief blinks of wakefulness, that are, like Maria Popova writes, bookended by nothingness. Right, we’re these small bursts of sentience nestled into oblivion, surfacing into being, into a world that’s already going and doesn’t wait for us to figure things out before yanking us in.
And I think it’d be a shame to inhabit these brief and improbable lives, without exploring the most radical possibilities available. And as we move into a hyperconnected and networked 21st century that is buzzing with technology and new capacities, there’s this tantalizing potential for moving into a creative culture of democratized abundance, with a post-capitalist system that values the subjective experience of being alive more than capital accumulation for its own sake. And add in this whole new buffet of psycho and neuro-technologies, and the practice of meditation refracted through a different cultural lens - all this rolled together, the kind of probing of the possible, in a way that interweaves culture and consciousness, is where I hope to go with this podcast.
So with all that said, I’m thrilled to get this project going, thank you for being here, and let’s get started.