The Unlearning Playground

Chetan Narang

An everyday life podcast by Chetan Narang designed to invoke deeper thinking on topics that usually get brushed aside because of our barely-questioned-yet-firm opinions about things, applicable in all stages of our lives and especially so when we start calling ourselves mature adults. These topics, and the complete perspectives about them, are quintessential to realise the truth about Life, the Universe and everything; and also to realise the freedom that we so dearly crave in our daily lives. We will use the time spent here to unpack questions ranging from the depths of philosophy, spirituality and religion to quotes, books and stories that merely point to them but are often misinterpreted, again due to our own limited perspectives. We'll use all this jazz to get to the root of things, not just to scratch the surface, trying to never lose sight of what's true in favour of what's comfortable. If any of these words 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. Follow along if you think it will be worth your time. If in doubt, only one way to find out - dig in.You can check out more of my work, details about one-on-one sessions with me and ways to get in touch with me on my website www.chetannarang.org. I'm always open for honest and engaging conversations.

0021 - Unselfing, letting go of your ego in the modern world
29-09-2022
0021 - Unselfing, letting go of your ego in the modern world
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. :P(00:00) - Intro(01:23) - Unselfing.social, by Maria Popova(04:41) - My musings on unselfingWell, let’s catch up in the playground.Until next time.Peace out.--------------Unselfing, by Maria Popova - of Maria's work - out all of my work on my website - one-on-one personal sessions for philosophical mentorship & counselling with me - with me, Chetan Narang, on Instagram here - The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here - for the beautiful soundtracks:"Dreamer" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"Reaching Out" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
0019 - Outgroup homogeneity cognitive bias | They are all the same
18-08-2022
0019 - Outgroup homogeneity cognitive bias | They are all the same
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 one of those cognitive biases that is 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.(00:00)    Prologue(00:45)    What are ingroups and outgroups?(01:34)    What is meant by outgroup homogeneity?(02:09)    A fascinating example(04:18)    Men vs Women(06:20)    Stereotypes & how to understand them(07:25)    EndingI had fun recording this episode.I hope you have fun listening to it.I’ll see you in the playground.Until next time.Peace out.--------------Check out all of my work on my website - one-on-one personal sessions for philosophical mentorship & counselling with me - with me, Chetan Narang, on Instagram here - The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here - for the beautiful soundtracks:"Dreamer" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"Reaching Out" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
0017 - Unlearning the attachment to victimhood
14-07-2022
0017 - Unlearning the attachment to victimhood
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 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.(00:00)    Prologue(00:39)    We are all humans, and victims at times(01:45)    Why unlearn victimhood?(05:24)    Our boundaries matter, and how(07:42)    A very important lesson for our time(09:59)    Internet & victimhood(10:46)    A beautiful Zen proverb(11:12)    Closing--------------Check out all of my work on my website - one-on-one personal sessions for philosophical mentorship & counselling with me - with me, Chetan Narang, on Instagram here - The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here - for the beautiful soundtracks:"Dreamer" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"Reaching Out" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
0016 - The framing effect | Cognitive biases | Pro life vs Pro choice | Wage gap | Critical thinking
30-06-2022
0016 - The framing effect | Cognitive biases | Pro life vs Pro choice | Wage gap | Critical thinking
The framing effect is one of the easiest cognitive biases to understand and make sense of. Join me, Chetan Narang, in this episode of The Unlearning Playground podcast as I walk through an easy explanation for the same.In addition to just talking about the framing effect, I talk about how it is very easily spotted in our modern day public discourse atmosphere via two frames or narratives that sway most of us enough to end up hating the other side of the argument.One of the topics I've picked up is a very hot topic these days - the whole pro life vs pro choice debate, the anti abortion vs pro abortion fiasco. I try to walk through this very controversial topic all the while trying to drive home the point of looking at all sides of the topic rather than simply picking a side and dehumanising the other.The other topic is another controversial one - Is there a wage gap between men and women in our society? Again, I explain how the framing effect can fog over our understanding of such simple yet very important topics of our times.(00:00)    Prologue(01:16)    What is the framing effect?(04:09)    What not to miss out here(05:16)    Trigger warning(06:07)    Abortions - The pro life vs pro choice debate(07:24)    The misogynist-power-grab frame(09:20)    The remorseless-baby-killer frame(10:17)    The nuances that need to be considered by both sides(13:58)    The wage gap - Women get paid less than men?(14:23)    The systemic-discrimination frame(19:10)    The outright-denial frame(20:20)    How to think about your frames?(21:34)    ClosingThis episode is another one in my series of episodes about cognitive biases that I run on this podcast. You can check out the entire series here - Understanding human cognitive biases | Critical thinking--------------Check out all of my work on my website - one-on-one personal sessions for philosophical mentorship & counselling with me - with me, Chetan Narang, on Instagram here - The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here - for the beautiful soundtracks:"Dreamer" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"Reaching Out" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
0015 - Understanding reincarnation, rebirth and karma
16-06-2022
0015 - Understanding reincarnation, rebirth and karma
For almost all of us, the way in which we perceive the idea of reincarnation, rebirth and karma - both believers as well as skeptics - is limited.Join me, Chetan Narang, in this episode of The Unlearning Playground podcast to go into the depth of understanding these heavy terms. We unpack what these terms do not mean, what are the misconceptions surrounding them in our everyday interpretations of them, what we need to let go to actually digest the nectar of what they were always meant for.I try to provide a nondual explanation of reincarnation, rebirth and karma that is in line with an understanding of Life that does not warrant any belief or faith or bias - all you need to do is to sit with these words in the most honest way possible, especially when they do not resonate with you. That is, after all, when we need honesty the most.All said and done, let's get into it.I'll see you in the playground.(00:46)    Karan, Arjun & superficialities(03:36)    Why understand reincarnation?(05:18)    The ocean of Life(10:59)    The rebirth game worth the candle(13:54)    The nectar of Karma(16:50)    Ending--------------Check out all of my work on my website - one-on-one personal sessions for philosophical mentorship & counselling with me - my discourse on what love looks like - my playlist on Understanding God, true spirituality, religion and philosophy - with me, Chetan Narang, on Instagram here - The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here - for the beautiful soundtracks:"Dreamer" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"Reaching Out" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
0014 - Quotes and misinterpretations | How to be more practical with words
02-06-2022
0014 - Quotes and misinterpretations | How to be more practical with words
So much of our waking lives revolve around words that we barely get time to think about what is the right relationship to have with our own words.We interpret everything – all the quotes we read, all the videos we watch, all the podcasts we listen, all the conversations we have, all the social media posts we consume – all of it passes through the mental models engrained in our minds.The path from these interpretations being just interpretations to them becoming truths should be one we carefully travel, especially when it matters.It is not these quotes that are limited, it is our interpretations of them that limit the world we see.Join myself, Chetan Narang, in Episode 14 of The Unlearning Playground Podcast where I talk about how can quotes, words and our own interpretations of them limit us and our understanding of our world.(00:23)    Prologue(02:28)    Words & misinterpretations(03:44)    Acharya Prashant vs Me - What vs How(09:27)    Advaita Vedanta and how to be more practical with words(12:20)    Do what feels right?(14:26)    Discernment(15:36)    Closing - an invitation--------------Check out all of my work on my website - one-on-one personal sessions for philosophical mentorship & counselling with me - with me, Chetan Narang, on Instagram here - The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here - for the beautiful soundtracks:"Dreamer" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"Reaching Out" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
0013 - How important is money?
06-05-2022
0013 - How important is money?
Money is not everything but it is something.  While most of us agree on this basic statement, we still do not quite understand what is the right relationship to have with money.How much money is too much money?How much money is enough?What is the right way to think about money?These are some questions that remain perpetually unanswered for a lot of us, in the busy lives that we lead these days. With the employee performance appraisal season right around the corner in the Indian economic cycle, money is definitely one of the hot topics flowing around. And there wouldn't be a shortage of questions and concerns that pop up in our minds about it.Am I getting paid enough?Should I switch jobs?Will that promotion make it all worth it?Should I look out to get a higher salary or benefits?All of these are important questions. And there are better answers to them than "It depends." or "It's all relative". We just need to open our eyes and see things the way they are, not the way we think they are. Let's spend some time doing just that.Tune right in.I'll see you in the playground.(00:00)    Highlight(00:42)    Why this topic?(03:10)    A quote (and a lesson) from the 1800s(05:58)    The modern predicament of discontentment(11:43)    The need to wake up(12:25)    Advice #1 - Externalisation(13:38)    Advice #2 - Limits(15:10)    Advice #3 - Comparisons(16:51)    An extremely important unlearning(17:42)    A short zen story(19:35)    Closing--------------Check out all of my work on my website - one-on-one personal sessions for philosophical mentorship & counselling with me - with me, Chetan Narang, on Instagram here - The Unlearning Playground YouTube channel here - for the beautiful soundtracks:"Dreamer" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)"Reaching Out" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License