Free Buddhist Audio

Free Buddhist AudioOver here, Clemenza! Ever wanted to know about ‘General Systems Theory’ – one of those subjects you always hear vague things about yet never quite know what it actually is? Ever wondered why we seem to love a good gangster? Well, then this is for you! To tell the truth, we would have picked this anyway for the podcast because the title was just so good! But it happens to be an excellent and very full short talk by Khemasuri on a growing area of contemporary Buddhist philosophical thought. This one requires a bit of concentration – but it pays off with her passionately argued case for embracing personal responsibility and community engagement as a way of effecting social change in our troubled world. Just like “going to the mattresses”. But in a good way…

Talk given at the Buddhafield Festival, Devon, 2007


01 ‘Evolution or extinction’ by Sangharakshita (1971) – this talk as a response; the Buddha’s basic teaching and experience; conceptual constructions of a specific time and culture – ‘pratitya samutpada’ (‘dependent arising’) and ‘general systems theory’

02 The difference between causality and conditionality; Cartesian thinking – from the holistic to the mechanistic; conditionality through the whole of human culture and experience; properties of all systems; feedback mechanisms; systems evolving in complexity – evolution and change; points of instability – the possibillity of collapse; non-predictability and synergy

03 Repercussions for how we act; the Cartesian model of the world and its effect on behaviour; systems theory, actions and consequences; means and ends as the same thing

04 Social networks, systems and change; ‘event-triggering process’ – shocks to the system and creative response; change with a community of individuals; the properties of a living community

05 What the Mafia can teach us about supporting change; Fritjof Capra’s ideas on the criminal underworld’s success; what the Mafia does well as a community; towards an ethical underworld

06 What we can do individually and collectively; the revolutionary nature of the ‘metta bhavana’ meditation (‘development of loving kindness’); actions and consequences again; taking risks; different ways of doing community; collective change is not comfortable – the validity of strong emotions

07 The importance of passing on knowledge and promoting another vision of the world; diversity; don’t leave your values and principles at home; acting from the heart; the ‘infinite game’; profound personal feedback from your efforts

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Direct download: podcast25.mp3
Category:Free Buddhist Audio -- posted at: 6:40pm EDT