Episode 26 – 2 types of prayers | What should you pray for? (7 min)

Your perspective can be your prison or your power.

UNKNOWN

In some way, shape or form, we are surrounded by prayers.

Join me in this episode as I talk about the two primary types of prayers that we humans perform in our everyday lives, and let’s discuss whether there is enough motivation for switching from one kind to the other.

This can be a touchy subject for some people, so please take it with a pinch of salt.

And like I always say, if something doesn’t resonate with you, that’s when you need honesty the most.

Until next time.

Peace out.

What should you pray for? What are the 2 kinds of prayers human beings generally perform? Check out in episode 26 of The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

<OUTLINE>

00:00Intro
00:20What this episode is not about.
01:21The first type of prayer
04:28The second type of prayer
05:14The core message

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The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Spotify

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Most opinions we form in our lives have at least some connection (in some cases a lot of connection) to what we saw in our formative years.

The way you see your parents treat others lingers on in your subconscious when it’s your chance to act out.

The way you see your neighbours talk to each other influences what you consider to be right or wrong.

And so on…

Quite similarly, how you see religion, God, spirituality, etc depends to a great degree on what you learnt from your close ones in all the years they had a real chance to actually teach you.

And that impacts how you view prayers as well.

What should you pray for? What are the 2 kinds of prayers human beings generally perform? Check out in episode 26 of The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

Now even though our individual, subjective experiences must have been quite different growing up, there are various common threads that can be weaved across them. That is exactly what I try to do in this episode, focussing of course on the topic of prayers.

The obvious superficial similarities can be seen quite clearly by everyone. For eg – The words we use in our prayers, the tone in which we say them, the rituals we follow while saying them, etc – all of these nuances are picked up in our formative years from the ones around us.

There are some deep seated similarities which, though extremely important, can easily missed out unless triggered externally. This episode aims to be one such trigger.

Let me offer a few examples:

The stance you take towards the idea of prayers itself – whether the entire idea is rubbish or whether it is the single most important thing one must do daily or somewhere in between.
What you pray to – a God, which one of the Gods, the universe, etc.
What you pray for.
What you expect from your prayers.
Where your prayers come from.

In this episode, I aim to tackle these questions from the point of view of two different kinds of prayers that may not look very different on the outside, but are very different from the point of view of the actor(s) involved.

As I said in the very beginning of this page, our perspective matters a lot. And it can be a subtle change of perspective that can make a prison out of something powerful, or something powerful out of an apparent prison. That is exactly the stance we are taking in this episode.

Enough said I guess.

Let’s jump into the episode now.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

If the content you consumed here moved you, you might be interested in the section of my work that I dedicate to true spirituality and philosophy. The key narrative I build there is one of understanding, and not just believing. This is something I find particularly lacking in the religious community in the modern era.

If this resonates with you, check out my episode playlist dedicated to this topic here.

I aim to build more on this topic exclusively in the months and years to come.

Do I do it any justice?

Only one way to find out.

Dig right in.

Episode 25 – 3 ways to understand, identify and overcome confirmation bias | Cognitive biases #7 (10 min)

“Ever since I learned about confirmation bias I’ve been seeing it everywhere.”

JON RONSON

In this episode, I, Chetan Narang, walk you through the confirmation bias, which I believe is one of the most tricky cognitive biases primarily because of its ability to hide in plain sight even for the most self aware person.

I talk about where we can see this bias in our day-to-day lives.

I talk about some direct indicators for spotting it in our own thinking.

I talk about how we can guard ourselves against it.

And, I talk about why all of this is especially relevant in the modern day and age.

Plus, I throw in a funny anecdote or two because, why not?

I’ll see you in the playground.

Until next time.

Peace out.

How to be less biased in your thinking | Understanding, identifying and eliminating confirmation bias | Understanding human cognitive biases and logical fallacies | The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

(00:00) Intro
(00:30)What is confirmation bias?
(01:46)Some examples from our daily lives
(03:48)How to spot if your own thinking is biased
(06:35) Eliminating confirmation bias from your thinking
(08:38)Why all of this is especially important now

Check it out on your platform of choice.

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Spotify

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Stitcher

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Amazon Music

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Google Podcasts

Or listen on the custom player below

We humans are designed, in part of course, to be able to think quickly whenever a situation demands. But like a lot of mechanisms of our own thinking, this can come back to bite us in the most unexpected of ways.

How the confirmation bias works in our minds, is a brutal example of this latter kind.

The ability to think and react quickly can be quite handy in a lot of situations.

Picture a scenario where you’re attacked by a predatory animal for example. You’d hardly have time to analyse whether the animal means you harm or whether you’re projecting your own fear on its intentions. It could very well be game-over before that decision is made in your mind.

Or a simpler scenario where, let’s say, your car is making some noise. If you’ve been driving for sufficient time now, you may be able to intuitively (and very quickly I might add) gauge whether it’s a harmless commotion or a damn pandemonium that needs to be attended immediately. Labelling this aspect of our quick thinking as a bias isn’t necessarily the most fruitful one.

Not all quick thinking should be termed as biased.

However, there are a host of situations where a quick answer is not only not the best one, but is often the wrong one. And confirmation bias plays a vital role in such scenarios.

If you aren’t aware of how your own preconceived notions cloud what you interpret from a new piece of information, you are in for a treat in this episode of my podcast.

I talk about some examples from our day-to-day lives where the confirmation bias messes up our game.

Like most nuances of our minds, it is easier to see in others as compared to our own thinking. So, I also talk about some indicators on how to correctly spot it in both these scenarios.

And all said and done, I think this is one extremely tricky cognitive bias – one that we are never really ever rid of. In this episode, I also talk about some potent advice from my own experience that has helped me not fall prey to it in my everyday life situations.

If you sit and dwell on the content in this short 10-min episode, and I highly recommend that you do, you’d see how it is extremely relevant to a host of real situations we face almost on a daily basis – in our homes, in our offices, in our schools, in all of our relationships (personal, professional, casual, etc.).

So, without further ado, I recommend you get to the episode and digest it, and as always, do let me know if you have any feedbacks for me. I’m always looking forward to more of those – especially the honest kind.

Here you go.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

Episode 24 – Hope & equanimity | How to have more positive vibes (8 min)

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”

Cormac McCarthy (No country for Old men)

The new year is upon us, and with this being the last episode of 2022, I wanted to leave this year with a positive message for everyone listening.

The message this episode hopes to convey is one of hope, equanimity & having more positive vibes.

In the sensationalist times we live in, it’s almost as if everyone is rushing around trying to be the next big thing or do the next big thing or at least trying to know about what the next big thing is going to be.

To be able to be hopeful on a personal and a collective level in such an environment, and to maintain equanimity and composure, are no small feats indeed.

Let’s try to talk this through in this short, yet potent episode.

I’ll see you in the playground.

Until next time.

How to be a more positive person? A message of positivity, hope and equanimity for the new year | The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

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At the time of this writing, 2022 is about to end and a new year is upon us. I think that this episode, and the message it hopes to convey is one of extreme potency and significance considering the times we live in.

The episode features, in its first two minutes itself, one of the most moving stories I have had the pleasure of giving an ear to – Maybe, a short zen story. You may also know it as The story of the Chinese farmer.

I think the story has a lesson for all of us that’s two-fold.

HOPE

Life throws curveballs, ups and downs at all of us. No one, and I mean no one – not Jesus, not Osho, not Jiddu Krishnamurti, not Swami Vivekananda – no one can deny this.

Staying hopeful, and wise, in the downturns is what matters.

If you are in a downward curve right now, hang on and keep going – an upward curve is just around the corner.

EQUANIMITY

How you handle and respond to and deal with the different situations Life throws at you, is where the utility of being equanimous lies.

Equanimity does not just mean being calm and composed externally.

It’s rather better understood as an acceptance of the present moment, of the circumstances, of what is.

And then, acting out of love not fear.

How to incorporate more positive vibes in your life?

Incorporate hope & equanimity to the mix.

Here is a brief outline of the episode:

(00:00) – Intro
(01:22) – Maybe, a short Zen story
(02:32) – Hope
(03:42) – Equanimity
(05:50) – Why this is relevant in today’s world
(06:55) – Ending, on a positive note!

We humans have this weird, but funny tendency to extrapolate and pay more attention to bad news when compared to positive or optimistic information. Have you ever noticed this in yourself?

If you keep an open eye and a curious ear around you, you’ll notice how the maximum screen time is always headlined by content that’s sensational, that keeps you glued to the screen, that captures your attention for a longer duration.

And nothing attracts us more than a prediction of how things are going to go bad real soon, and advices on what we should be doing about it.

Now that does make evolutionary sense – keeping an eye out for possible mishaps is basic 101 for survival. But letting our imagination go wild with it can pretty soon turn this feature into a bug that the human organism can no longer control, let alone use for its own good.

Not all fear is danger.

Rocco Jarman (https://eyeswideopenlife.org/)

And this is precisely why I think this is a timely episode for a lot of us. If you’re someone who takes a constant dose of social media, news, influencer content, etc on a regular basis – this episode is a good antidote for bringing yourself back to reality.

And it’s only 8 minutes long.

Do give it an open ear.

Here you go.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

Episode 23 – 4 key points about Diwali, crackers & Shri Ram (23 min)

All spirituality is the discipline to eliminate the unnecessary.

acharya prashant

Diwali is a festival of light and prosperity. We have all heard and read this line in our childhood textbooks, but what is its real significance? What is the real meaning of the festival of Diwali?

And then of course – the central question that occupies our social media around this festival – should we burst crackers on this day?

And going even deeper – what can we learn from the life of Shri Ram? What did that famous story Ramayana essentially represent?

I tackle these questions, and some more, in this episode, with a sincere hope that it resonates at least as much with you as it did with me.

I personally think this is one of my best episodes, given its timeliness and relevance to the way religion and spirituality is viewed and practised in the modern society these days.

Do I live up to these claims?

Only one way to find out.

Dig right in.

I’ll see you in the playground.

Until next time.

Peace out.

What is the real meaning and significance of Diwali? Should we burst crackers on Diwali? What does the life of Sri Ram teach us? | The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

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The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

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The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Amazon Music

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Or listen on the custom player below

As of the time of my writing this, Hindus all over the world have just finished celebrating the festival of Diwali. For millions of Hindu households across the globe, it is the pivotal festival in their calendar.

But every year around this time, especially since the last few years, there are quite a few questions that turn up and demand to be answered sincerely and convincingly.

What is the real significance and meaning of Diwali?

Should we, or should we not, burst crackers on this day?

What does the life of Shri Ram teach us?

In this episode of my podcast, I try to tackle these questions in the only way I know how to – as honestly as possible. And honesty in itself is a funny thing. Remember that beautiful quote by that beautiful poet David Whyte:

"Honesty is not found in merely revealing the truth, but rather in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are."
P.S. I build on this quote in a video on my YouTube channel here – do check it out.

So yes, back to the topic at hand. In this episode, I try to walk through these questions as honestly as possible. Of course, not stopping at what could be hard to talk about or listen, or in the modern lingo, not stopping at what could be triggering!

I think there are lessons in this episode that both followers and non-followers of religions and rituals can very easily pick up on and apply to their everyday lives outside of the domain of the discussion here.

If you’d have noticed, I used a quote from Acharya Prashant at the top of this webpage. Even in this episode, I do talk about the stance this man takes when it comes to the question of Diwali and Shri Ram. I think it is one of the most potent meditations I have heard in recent times. He is truly a gem of a teacher in all regards and must be appreciated. I hope it resonates with you too.

To time it in the episode, the section where I talk about this is close to the 17th minute.

Here is an outline of the episode for easier reference:

(00:00) – Intro
(00:47) – Diwali & the backdrop
(02:50) – The question of crackers
(04:12) – My personal stance on crackers
(07:40) – Some common(?) sense
(08:16) – The faults in others
(10:20) – It is all a ploy
(12:12) – It is a ritual after all
(13:20) – Should we do this on Shri Ram’s day?
(16:10) – The real light & prosperity of Diwali
(21:08) – Ending

Check out the complete episode now.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

Episode 22 – 5 examples where patterns = delusions | The Gambler’s Fallacy | Cognitive biases #6 (10 min)

Facts are not everything. At least half of the game is knowing how to handle the facts.

Fyodor dostoevsky (crime & punishment)

The gambler’s fallacy is one of those logical fallacies of the human psyche that is equal parts hilarious and equal parts serious.

As you’ll see in this episode, the examples I provide while talking about it are almost laughable and ridiculous at times. But the impact it has on our everyday lives is uncanny. And that makes this a very important episode in the series of my episodes on human cognitive biases and logical fallacies.

For the entire series, please hop on to the playlist here.

It is a short and sweet episode, like most others in my podcast. 😛

Hope you experience as much resonance listening to it as much I did while creating it.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

I’ll see you in the playground.

Until next time.

The gambler's fallacy | Cognitive biases and logical fallacies in human psychology | The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

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The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

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Or listen on the custom player below

The human psyche is full of cognitive biases and logical fallacies. Do not, for a second, let someone convince you that that is not true for you. It’s true that spotting an error in somebody else’s judgments and/or decisions is much easier than doing the same for your own self. But that should not lead you to thinking that you are somehow free of making the same lapse in judgment someday.

The gambler’s fallacy is one such logical fallacy of our minds that is quite easy to spot in someone else’s position, especially if you yourself are not too attached to that position yourself.

However, as is the case with most potent truths, the real nectar of understanding it is in discovering it in one’s own thinking and day-to-day rigamarole.

My aim with this podcast episode (which is only 10 minutes long btw) is to explain, in very easy-to-understand language, what this fallacy stands for, what are the ways in which you can identify it in your own thinking and how you can try to overcome it in your everyday interactions.

Below are a set of frequently asked questions about this topic. I have tried to answer them out in an easy manner, but for a detailed understanding, I would highly recommend going through the episode itself. Like I mentioned above, it will be 10 minutes worth spending on the internet.

What is the gambler’s fallacy?

The tendency of a person to consider that future outcomes of a random event are dependent on the outcomes seen for the same/similar events in the past.

What is an example of the gambler’s fallacy?

If ten consecutive coin tosses result in HEADS, it is a very human thing, and also a biased thing, to consider that the chance of the next toss resulting in a TAILS is higher. This is a simple and the most common example of the gambler’s fallacy.

How do you fight the gambler’s fallacy?

Becoming more self aware, and opening yourself up for honest and engaging conversations with people who can correct you, is one way to position yourself such that you do not fall prey to the gambler’s fallacy, especially where it matters. This is actually applicable on all human cognitive biases and logical fallacies.

In addition to this episode, for the curious listener, I would also advise a playlist of similar episodes that I run on my podcast. It is a series where each individual episode is dedicated to a particular cognitive bias and/or a logical fallacy, and I try to walk you through it in an easy-to-digest sort of a manner. That is quite the generic theme of The Unlearning Playground podcast as well as much of all of my work really.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

Episode 21 – 1 very important message for our time | Unlearning, unselfing & letting go (11 min)

Man suffers because he takes seriously what the Gods made for fun.

ALAN WATTS

Unselfing – what a term, isn’t it? I think there’s something about that prefix – “un”. Letting go, unlearning, unselfing.

Ours is the time of the ego – rampant, self-indulgent ego. Selfies, personalised feeds, personalised ads, personalised everything – almost all good products, but almost all terrible if left unchecked or unsupervised.

And isn’t that true for our times? We have let the idea of our “selves” go too far – far more than we ourselves can handle it. And that is impacting not just our public discourse and our politics, but also our relationships and our everyday lives as we speak.

However, we also live in the time of Understanding – a fully encompassing, discerning Understanding. And one core precursor to that Understanding is a detachment from the cobweb of the self, of the ego.

Which is where I bring to you the idea of “Unselfing”.

I came across this term in a very recent article a friend had shared with me. All the details to the article and the author are below in the show notes. It is a must read, just as this episode is a must listen. 😛

Until next time.

Peace out.

Unselfing | Iris Murdoch | The need for letting go of self obsession and narcissism | The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

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“Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe.”

C. JoyBell C.

That, to me, sums up the utility of that age-old idea of letting go.

When I first came across the article I have talked about in this episode, the words immensely resonated with me. It was probably the first time ever that I heard the word unselfing, but the 2-3 minute read was quite enough to get the idea across. And also the overall utility of it. And let me tell you, it’s not a new idea either. Eastern philosophical traditions such as the Advaita Vedanta, Zen Buddhism, etc have focussed on nothing but, at the core of their teachings and messaging.

However, in the times we’re living in, the idea is more relevant than ever. Our modern modes of living – all the personalised feeds, all the selfies, all the personalised ads – are contributing to strengthening the ego, to strengthening the separation that is the basis of the ego.

And while the ego is an important mechanism of the functioning of the human organism, it is a terrible master. And that, more than anything, is an absolutely striking reality of our time. To quote the article (only a teaser):

"Somewhere along the way, in the century of the self, we forgot each other. We forgot this vast and wonder-filled universe, of which we are each but a tiny and transient wonder."
- Maria Popova (unselfing.social)

The central idea should not be something alien to someone who’s familiar with my work. Quite a number of my podcast episodes have been directed to this very same idea. For a refresher, here are a few episodes that you could check out as a sister content to this episode and this article I talked about here.

Well, enough said and done. I’d recommend you to get into the episode and give it a listen. A narration of the article is included in the episode itself, but if you wish to read it beforehand, here’s a link to it again – unselfing.social by Maria Popova

The entire episode is only an 11 minute listen. And it’s absolutely worth it.

I’ll see you in the playground.

To more unlearning and more unselfing.

Until next time.

Peace out.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

Episode 20 – 3 suggestions on coping with the low phases of Life | Depression help (17 min)

Trust me, faking to be strong is far worse than admitting to be weak.

virat kohli

Everyone goes through the highs and lows of life – no matter what social situation they’re in, no matter how much privilege others perceive in their life situation, life has its highs and lows for everyone.

By their very definition, the low phases of life are more difficult to navigate for us. Join me in this episode as I talk about a few general dos and don’ts during such times.

Of course, any specific advice has to be tailored to the individual situation at hand, but my aim here is to cover a few general principles that form the bedrock of a lot of subjective advice that everyone can benefit from.

I’ll see you in the playground.

Until next time.

Peace out.

How to cope with depression and the low phases of life | Suicide prevention | The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

Check it out on your platform of choice.

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Spotify

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Stitcher

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Amazon Music

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Or listen on the custom player below

When Jimmy Kimmel, host of the popular late night American TV show Jimmy Kimmel Live, hosted Anthony Hopkins, he asked him a question that really stuck a chord with me. Anthony was close to 80 years old at the time, and Jimmy asked him if there is a single piece of advice he would like to share with the audience based on the sheer amount of time he has spent on the planet!

And Anthony Hopkins, very easily replied back saying, “Just keep going. Never give up.

How beautiful, right? And how powerful! Especially in terms of the topic we’re talking about in this episode – depression help and suicide prevention.

You see, all of us have low phases in our lives. If you’ve lived long enough, you know that to be true. All of our lives are akin to sine waves – they have ups and downs, crests and troughs. The low phases, by their very definition, are more difficult to navigate for all of us. And in the lowest of our low phases, the thought of simply ending it all and just giving up can seem to be a viable option – or worse yet, can seem to be the only option at times.

It is at these situations when we need to exercise our conscious choice to not act on such thoughts, and rather, just keep going. Because no matter what, the sine curve does come back up. It has to. And if you are at the lowest of your lows, it can’t get any worse – it’s going to only get better.

And even if you don’t believe that last bit, acting as if that’s the case is a much better choice than not.

In this episode of my podcast, I talk about three general dos and don’ts for depression help and suicide prevention. The core aim, if there is one, for this episode, is to propagate the idea that there is a better choice available than ending it all – there always is.

Having said all that I said in this episode and on this page, I still feel that any real help and advice we need in those tough low phases of our lives have to be specific to our particular life situations and not simply based out of a motivational quote or an inspiring piece of literature someone’s read. So, if you or anyone you know is in need of such advice, I know I can help. All the details for getting in touch with me personally, even if for a single one-time call and other nuances, are available on the talk-to-me page.

I think I’ll end this page with another one of those beautiful quotes that can be life-changing if you let them.

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”

Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

Episode 19 – 3 examples of stereotypes in our everyday life | Understanding and overcoming outgroup homogeneity effect | Cognitive biases #5 (8 min)

Know all the theories, master all the techniques.
But as you touch a human soul, be just another human soul.

Carl Jung

The human mind has a tendency to over-homogenize its outgroups. Statements and narratives that generalise and stereotype our outgroups seem to be more easily acceptable to us than we would expect from our rational selves.

Join me in this episode as I talk about the outgroup homogeneity bias. I know it’s a bit of a mouthful, but it is a cognitive bias that’s actually very fascinating once understood properly.

Like most of my episodes, I talk about how to go about understanding this cognitive bias in simple and easy-to-understand language. And I also cite examples from our everyday lives where this bias creeps in and holds us back from being the best we can be.

I had fun recording this episode.

I hope you have fun listening to it.

I’ll see you in the playground.

Until next time.

Outgroup homogeneity effect in human psychology | They are all the same bias | The Unlearning Playground podcast by Chetan Narang

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The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

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Or listen on the custom player below

“We don’t see the world as the world is, we see it as we are.”

Anais Nin

I always quote this powerful one liner whenever I have to make someone understand the importance of talking about and getting a grasp of their own biases. Our thoughts, our narratives, our perceptions, our biases – they form the basis of how the world seems to us. And if we aren’t aware of this truth, we start to assume that our world view is the correct world view.

As Daniel Kahneman talked about in his bestselling book Thinking, fast and slow – The human mind tends to work on the principle of WYSIATI (What you see is all there is). We do not know what we do not know. And hence, it’s important to understand and unlearn the falsities in what we do know.

While it is a bit of a mouthful, the outgroup homogeneity effect is one of those cognitive biases that is quite easy to understand. For starters, I have jotted down a few questions that might pop into an inquisitive reader’s mind about the same.

What is meant by outgroup?

A person’s outgroup is defined as a group the lies outside of the boundary of that person’s identity. For instance, for a woman brought up in a Hindu household in India, the groups ‘men’, ‘Christians’, ‘Italians’ are her outgroups.

What is outgroup homogeneity?

Outgroup homogeneity can be understood as the tendency of the human mind to see its outgroups as much more homogeneous than its ingroups. For instance, Americans may see themselves as a very diverse group, while at the same time considering a group of other nationals such as Australians or Indians as a very homogenous or similar group of people.

What causes outgroup homogeneity?

I think one of the chief causes for outgroup homogeneity can be attributed to the fact that it’s easy. It simplifies the overall narrative in a person’s mind if certain narratives about an outgroup are considered to be generally applicable to the entire group.

What are some examples of outgroup homogeneity?

Indians may see themselves as a very diverse group of individuals, while at the same time considering a group of other nationals such as Russians or French as a very homogenous or similar group of people.

In this episode of my podcast, The Unlearning Playground, I build on this bias of our minds using everyday life examples and an easy-to-understand language that facilitates easier absorption. That, I believe, is the hallmark of my podcast anyway.

Make sure to check out the episode on your platform of choice here.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

As a follow up to this episode, I’m sure my playlist on Understanding human cognitive biases would appeal to the eager listener. Check it out here.

Episode 18 – 3 things that are wrong with religions today, and how we can solve them (22 min)

No one listened to the Buddha, that is why we have Buddhism.

unknown (maybe Jiddu krishnamurti)

In the modern world, there are three broad kinds of issues we face when it comes to perceiving and talking about religion, god and spirituality.

Join me as I walk you through these three problems and how we can go about solving them. After all, the greatest merit in pointing out problems lies in at least trying to put forward solutions too. That’s exactly what I’m doing in this episode.

The content here is not specific to any single religion, or even any specific train of thought. I claim that it is applicable to all the religions out there.

Is that too much to claim?
Only one way to find out.
Dig right in.

I’ll see you in the playground.

What is wrong with religions in the modern world? Atheists vs theists. Join Chetan Narang in Episode 18 of The Unlearning playground podcast

Check it out on your platform of choice.

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Spotify

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Stitcher

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Amazon Music

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Google Podcasts

Or listen on the custom player below

There is a very powerful quote that you’ll find at multiple pages on this website. Here it is again:

If we ever hope to glimpse the true nature of the divine, we must unlearn everything we have been taught about god.

THE 14TH CENTURY CHRISTIAN MYSTICAL TREATISE, ‘THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING’

A first look at this quote always leads to the interpretation that it is meant for people who are followers of one religion or the other. However, I would like to put forth the idea that this quote is not just true for theists, or believers. This quote is also equally true for the atheists, the agnostics and also for the ones who claim to say that they don’t know enough or even care enough to have a foot in the game.

All the above opinions about religions and God are incomplete.

And more than anything, that is the central theme of this episode of The Unlearning Playground Podcast.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

As a follow up to this episode, I’m sure my playlist on understanding God, religion and spirituality would definitely appeal to the keen listener.

Here you go.

Until next time.

Peace out.

Episode 17 – 3 reasons to unlearn victimhood & why it’s important today (12 min)

If you don’t heal what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.

UNKNOWN

It appears to me that in the present day and age, our entire society seems to be rigged with this virus of victimhood. And that is a real problem.

An old quote of mine reads, “More than being identified with the victim in your story, be identified with the observer of it. The latter is closer to the truth.

In this episode of The Unlearning Playground, I expand on what I mean when I say this.


Like most of my everyday-life advice episodes, this one is also centred around wisdom that’s applicable to and is pragmatically focussed on our day-to-day lives.

And you’ll also see why this is quite a necessary collective message for our times too, because like I just mentioned, if you look closely, we seem to be collectively rigged by this virus of victimhood.

If I was to summarise the need for this episode and the message therein, I would summarise it in this beautiful quote whose author I am unaware of, “If you don’t heal what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.”


Tune in to the episode to know more and know better.

And please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe and leave a rating/review for the podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

I’ll see you in the playground.

Until next time.

Peace out.

If you don’t heal what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you. Join Chetan Narang in this episode of his everyday life philosophy podcast The Unlearning Playground as he talks about how to overcome trauma and unlearn our attachment to victimhood.

Check it out on your platform of choice.

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Apple Podcasts

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Spotify

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Stitcher

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang on Amazon Music

The Unlearning Playground Podcast, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang, on Google Podcasts

Or listen on the custom player below


Hurt people hurt people.

If only we could realise how much this statement is true, and how much this applies not just to others but to our own lives as well!

Victimhood, like most things in life really, requires discernment of the highest order.

You see, all of us undergo some sort of trauma in our lives. This could be related to incidents or situations from our childhood, could be triggered by stuff we grew through as teenagers or adults, and so on. The ups and downs of life ensure that all of us see difficult times, that all of us are in situations when we are can’t help but feel like victims.

Now as we grow up and start to call ourselves mature adults, a major chunk of our work lies in outgrowing this trauma and the accompanying victimhood, a process you can very easily call healing.

And I know that some of us don’t like to use terms such as trauma and victimhood for our own life situations, but I still hope you’re getting the gist of what I’m trying to convey. Call it whatever you want, coming out of the identity that such situations build within us is a part of growing-up-101.

And this is especially important advice for our times. If you are at all active on social media these days, you can really see this pattern emerge out of the conversations that we have publicly these days – people on all sides of all possible dichotomies fighting it out to lay their claim on the trophy of who is the biggest victim there ever has been. Whether it is the conservatives or the liberals, the men or the women, the Hindus or the Muslims, the Indians or the Pakistanis, the gays or the straights – everyone has one hand on the “trophy” of victimhood these days.

Surely there could be victims on both sides of all of these dichotomies, of course!

But if the mere fact that you are on one side as opposed to the other is making you feel like a victim, therein lies your work, my fellow human!

Someone very wise once said, “If you don’t heal what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.”

If you let it, these few words have the power to trigger a change in you that your future self will thank you for.

I hope this episode can do so too.

Get into it.

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here