Dag2 : Helden en waarheid

Zaterdag 8 oktober 2022
Being a Human: Is 'civilization' necessary for human freedom?
(English speaking) 16:00 – 16:45 h
Charles Foster (In-person appearance)
16:45 – 17:00 h
Charles Foster
Talk: The world according to Noam Chomsky
(English speaking) 17:00 – 17:25 h
Noam Chomsky (Livestream)
Feico Deutekom speelt Philip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Hania Rani
17:30 – 17:55 h
Feico Deutekom
18:00 – 18:20 h

Talk: Freedom, a country at the end of history
(English speaking) 18:20 – 19:05 h
Lea Ypi (Livestream) Professor in Political Theory in London School of Economics, expertise in Marxism & Critical Theory.
19:05– 19:20 h
Lea Ypi(Livestream)
Talk: On absolute and relative truth
(English speaking) 19:25 – 20:10 h
Richard Baker Roshi & Nicole Baden (In-person appearance)
20:10 – 20:25 h
Richard Baker Roshi & Nicole Baden (In-person appearance)
20:25 – 21:00 h

21:00 – 22:00 h
Slavoj Žižek (In-person appearance)
22:00 – 23:00 h
Slavoj Žižek
Meeting at the winebar
23:00 – 23:30 h

Charles Foster

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is hard to sum up. Not only has he been professor in linguistics for almost 70 years, but he has also been active within numerous other fields such as philosophy, cognitive science, history, social criticism and political activism for almost as long.

Noam Chomsky is sometimes credited as the “the father of modern linguistics” because of the way his early work revolutionised the field by treating language as a uniquely human capacity and he is considered one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He is one of the most cited scholars alive and has published more than 100 books across various disciplines.

Weaving between the world of academia and popular culture, Chomsky has also gained a reputation for his often radical political views, which he himself describes a ‘libertarian socialist’. He is a leading critic of U.S. foreign policy, neoliberalism, contemporary state capitalism and mainstream news media and Chomsky’s ideas are highly influential in the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movements.

Lea Ypi

Lea Ypi is an Albanian author and academic and currently a professor of political theory at London School of Economics.

Ypi grew up in one of the last Stalinist outposts of Europe: Albania. An isolated country where communist ideals had officially replaced religion and a place that was almost impossible to either visit or leave. But to Lea Ypi it was still home and her upbringing under communism until its fall in 1991 turned her into a relentless questioner of what it means to be really free. In October 2021 she published the book “Free” – a memoir of the end of Communism in the Balkans – where she traces the limits of progress, the burden of the past as well and the space between ideals and reality.

“Free” was chosen as a book of the year by The Guardian, Financial Times and numerous other newspapers.

Richard Baker Roshi & Nicole Baden

Richard Baker Roshi is a world-famous Zenmaster with a stylish Character.
He was already active in the sixties and seventies in San Francisco during and after the Beat Generation.
He was befriended with Alan Watts he Beatport.
He was the founder of the great Zencenter in San Francisco and the restaurant chain: Greens which was an instant success.
Baker Roshi combined a quality as an organizer and Zenmaster in one person which is and was rare.
some conflicts arose from that mindset, but If there is anybody alive who combines all these qualities and can turn them into a discourse of tremendous depth, it is Richard Baker Roshi.

Zen teacher Richard Baker was born in Maine in 1936. He studied architecture and history at Harvard College and in 1960 left the East Coast for San Francisco. A year later he began studying Zen with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. In 1962, Suzuki Roshi established San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC), the first residential Zen center in the West. In 1966, SFZC expanded to include the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, where Zen practice adhered to the traditional modes of a Japanese Soto monastery. Shortly before his death in November 1971, Suzuki Roshi installed Richard Baker as the abbot of the extended community. Over the next twelve years, Baker Roshi’s work included the founding of the Green Gulch Zen Practice Community in Marin County, the Tassajara Bread Bakery, and the Greens Restaurant. In 1983, under pressure from senior members of the community, and amid accusations and subsequent denials of sexual and financial misconduct, Baker Roshi resigned from his position as abbot. The rift between Baker Roshi and SFZC remained bitter for many years and still lacks resolution.

After leaving San Francisco, Baker Roshi started the Dharma Sangha, with centers in Germany, Austria, and Crestone, Colorado. For the past six years, Baker Roshi and his companion, Ulrike Greenway, have divided their time between the United States and Europe. His forthcoming book, Original Mind: The Practice of Zen in the West, will be published by Riverhead Books (Putnam).

Compare these words with the commentary in block 9 of Tim Parks : The spread mind

Baker Roshi: First, just because Buddhism is called a religion and Christianity is called a religion, and so forth, one cannot assume that they occupy the same territory in a culture. For example, Buddhism offers no contradiction to science, it has no problem with science at all, so the deep and fundamental split between science and the humanities that we’ve known in the West simply doesn’t exist with Buddhism.

Sugata: You mean the fear that science would displace God, or jeopardize the construction of who we think God is?

Baker Roshi: Yes, that just doesn’t exist in Buddhism. Also, going back to India before Buddhism, the basic conceptual position that Buddhism grew out of is that the exterior world and the interior world are the same—share the same reality or actuality. Whatever reality is, that’s what we are. We don’t live in the world as in a house. The house is us, and the house is in us. Nowadays, contemporary physicists are asking a similar question: If this is the way physics describes the world, then how should this affect my life? And Buddhists are saying, If this is the way the world is, then this must be the way we are too. So that’s why it overlaps with science. So many of these processes of studying ourselves and others are drawing on Buddhism because it offers the most developed technique of studying consciousness especially our own.

Feico Deutekom

Feico Deutekom is a Dutch pianist, singer and arranger. He is specialized in the work of contempory composers such as Philip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Lang. Early on in his life introduced to music his father, a jazz musician, Feico studied the works of classical composers before turning more towards minimal music and neo-classical music.

Co-founder of the Attacca Ensemble, Feico has toured together with harpist Lavinia Meijer all major stages in The Netherlands.

Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek hardly needs an introduction.

He is regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of our time, although he would certainly not say so himself. There are many different ways to describe him, and he is being called both a ‘Marxist’ and a ‘rockstar philosopher’ – often in the same sentence.

What makes Žižek so interesting is that he knows how to trace the values ​​of the present time such as 'woke' and 'populism' back to their roots to show the values ​​they conceal. Reality is not very real for Žižek, it is just a construction consisting of symbols, which can only be regarded as relatively real.

When Žižek talks about the many political crisis of our time he does not just repeat what others have already pointed out but instead he gives an original interpretation of the world that becomes visible when you look past the clichés.

These thoughts and insights put him in the forefront of many of our time’s debates – whether it is about identity, sex, popular culture, power or war. His most recent book is “Hegel in A Wired Brain” and to understand Žižeks vision is to understand a piece of a possible future – whether or not that future is one we would want to be a part of.

The video below is a recent conversation between Žižek and Harari on the topic of the increasingly unclear difference between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’.