Episode 1 – Introduction to The Unlearning Playground (6 min)

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

henry david thoreau (Walden)

There is an old Buddhist quote that says, “Learning to unlearn is the highest form of learning.

I, Chetan Narang, firmly stand by that quote as I introduce you to my podcast, The Unlearning Playground

More often than not, the biggest blocker standing between us and the truth is our idea that we already have it. Getting to the truth then, is more an act of unlearning falsities rather than learning anything new. This podcast is an attempt from my side to collate a whole bunch of things that one has to unlearn before starting to call oneself a mature adult in the real sense of the term. 

On the surface, this is a philosophy and spirituality podcast.

At its root, it is an everyday life podcast and my aim is to bridge the gap between our everyday lives and philosophy. And the tools I use for creating this bridge is modern scientific understanding of the world as well as ancient perennial wisdom majorly inspired from eastern spiritual traditions such as Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Hinduism, etc.

This episode is a brief introduction to what The Unlearning Playground is all about and what to expect from the content you’re about to consume.


 Dive right in.

Episode 1 Introduction to The Unlearning Playground, a popular philosophy and spirituality podcast by Chetan Narang

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This is the first episode in this podcast and I think a good way to kick off this show would be to spend a few minutes just walking you through what you can expect here, what is my vision for this podcast and what impact I think it can create.

Let me start with this. I think that at some point in your life, when you tend to become quite sure about the nature of things, two questions take up paramount importance:

  1. What have you assumed?
  2. What have you left out?

In the busy lives we lead these days, these questions take a backseat, or rather don’t even pop up unless triggered externally. This podcast aims to be one such trigger, and also aims to cover exactly these kinds of questions, the answers to which usually involve more unlearnings than we would be normally comfortable with.

As children and as rebellious teenagers, I’m sure we’ve all been in situations where we were fed up with adults being set in their ways and simply refusing to acknowledge where they might be wrong. Well, lo and behold, it doesn’t take much effort on part of the same teenagers to become the same inertia-ridden adults that they themselves were once so pissed off by. All they need to do is to never question the beliefs and the biases they hold currently. 

We can always point fingers at others and at our past selves. It is only when our currently held opinions come under the scanner that real understanding begins to dawn on us. So, if you are a child, a teenager or an adult, absorbing the content in these episodes should help you go inward, to look at your own biases, opinions and delusions, and hopefully even to unlearn them.

Unlearning not in the sense of purposefully forgetting something. But rather in the sense of letting go of our sticky ideas about it in the light of newly discovered truths.

Now in this manner, unlearning the falsities about something is quite the same as learning the truth about it; so I could have named this show “The Learning Playground” too. But you gotta do what moves you, and the word “unlearning” resonates much more with “my journey with the truth”; and hence here we are in The Unlearning Playground.

In his book Walden, Henry David Thoreau says, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” 

Now the ones at the branches have an important role to play too. But real revolution occurs when you go to the root. And that is what we wish to accomplish here. We will use the time spent here in this show to talk about philosophy, spirituality, religion, books, quotes, stories, God, Self and all that other jazz; and use them to get to the root of things, not merely to scratch the surface. 

If any of these terms trigger a reaction in you – positive, negative alike – this show is definitely for you. If they don’t, allow me the pleasure to introduce you to some of them.

We’re all together in this game of life, whether we like it or not. The playground is set, and while there might not be a single best way to play this game, there definitely are better and worse ways; there definitely are well-understood-eyes-wide-open kind of ways and eyes-open-but-still-deep-in-sleep kind of ways. Only you can say which side of the court you’re on at the moment. And the choices you make now, would determine where you end up heading.

Even if there’s only one voice in a million saying that there is a way to lead a better life, we must find it in ourselves to pay heed to such a voice, both for our own sake and for the sake for those around us. I hope this podcast can be one such voice.

All I ask of you is to listen to this content with an open mind and reflect on it with as much honesty as you can muster, especially if something in it does not quite resonate with you; after all, that is when we need honesty the most.

I think I have covered everything I wanted to cover in this introduction. If you wish to share my work with anyone who you think would find it useful, please feel free to share this introductory episode with them.

So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

I’ll see you in the playground. 

Let’s have a good game! 

Cheers!

Check out the episode on The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here

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