Author: David Anthony Pittaway (page 1 of 23)

Podcast: Das and Clara on Shamanism, initiations, conscious living, meditation, and more

In this episode of The Perspective Project Podcast, Das and Clara answer my questions about their respective backgrounds (Das was born in Scotland and moved to Dubai at a young age, while Clara was born in South Africa and lived in Spain as a young woman) and about how they found themselves on their different Shamanistic paths in South Africa.

We cover a lot of thematic territory: initiations (what counts as an initiation), conscious and unconscious lifestyles, lineages, the questioning of everything, questions surrounding whether we self-direct in living consciously or are we tapping into something external to ourselves, personal epiphanies, the bolstering psychic abilities, ways of increasing our connection to all that is, connecting with heart, transformative experiences, starting with meditation and cultivating a practice… and more!

Warning: there is a cell phone buzz near the hour mark that comes back a few more times to haunt the recording. Cell phones are herewith banished from the recording area! 

Check out the work Das does at Instagram HERE and HERE

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Podcast length: 1 hr 15 minutes 

Podcast size: 53.4mb

Download podcast here (opens in new window, look for google download button, perhaps top right of page): Download

Article: A philosophical situation: democratic capitalism, the ecological crisis, and the issue of choice

Published in Acta Academica:


Democracy is an open system, while capitalism is a gated one. Yet the dominant global political economy is democratic capitalism. The presence of a gated capitalist core within democracy results in the political prioritisation of capitalist business as usual, thereby resisting substantive changes to the political economy because economic growth is a prerequisite of capitalism. Responses to some of the challenges facing humankind – challenges such as the ecological crisis, which has arisen in part from unrestrained economic growth – cannot occur if economic growth dictates the democratic political agenda. Acknowledging this open- closed problem means acknowledging democratic capitalism’s incapacity to deal with some of humanity’s current challenges, such as the ecological crisis. A pressing question arises: what does one do? Arguably, if ecological decline is to be slowed or averted, choices must be made that result in ways of thinking and ways of living notably different from those systematised under democratic capitalism. The need for choices incommensurable with democratic capitalism is a sign that a philosophical situation has arisen, because, as explained by Alain Badiou, part of the role of philosophy is to confront incommensurability. In positioning democratic capitalism (and its implications for ecology) against incommensurable alternatives, a full philosophical situation arises. Permaculture is an example of an arena offering such alternatives, and an outline of an implementation of permaculture principles is provided in order to illustrate what a potential remedial candidate entails.

Podcast: Mike Raimondo from Green Renaissance (Short Inspirational Films)

Thanks to Mike for a great conversation about the passion project that is Green Renaissance.

“We are a passionate collective of four creatives, on a journey to share positive stories. We make films that excite us – we call these our passion projects. Everywhere we look, we see a world filled with inspiration. Sometimes it’s capturing a conversation with someone who appreciates the true beauty in the world. Other times it’s meeting interesting people who are inspired by nature. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. With your help, we will be sharing at least one new film each week”.

Check out the amazing short films at

Support Green Renaissance at  

Podcast length: 1 hr 10 minutes

Podcast size: 51.4 mb

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Download podcast here (opens in new window, look for google download button, perhaps top right of page): Download

Podcast: Dan Cornick (Away With The Fairies and Amatola Trails, Hogsback)

Dan Cornick and I met up in Hogsback and had a conversation about his backpackers, aptly named Away With The Fairies, as well as his Amatola Trails business, the beauty of the mountains, and an interesting fairy experience he had at the backpackers…

Visit the backpackers site at Away With The Fairies

Visit the Amatola Trails site at Amatola Trails

Podcast length: 1 hour 3 minutes

Podcast size: 46mb

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Download podcast here (opens in new window, look for google download button, perhaps to right of page): Download

Podcast: Angie and Rod – Learning Clan

Angie Curtis and Rod Tritton are the brains behind the Learning Clan event. They kindly agreed to have a short conversation with me at the 2018 gathering.

Learn more about Learning Clan here: Learning Clan

Podcast length: 43 minutes

Podcast size: 37.9mb

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Download podcast here(opens in new window, look for google download button, perhaps to right of page): Download

Podcast: Bert Olivier on all things Philosophy

Bert kindly agreed to have another recorded conversation with me in order to elaborate on several topics that arose in our first podcast, which can be found HERE.  We also explored a variety of new topics not covered at all in the first discussion. The quality of the first recording is terrible, so I am relieved for the chance to have another go at recording Bert – the quality of this recording is incomparably better than in the first attempt.

Bert’s Thoughtleader page: Bert at Thoughtleader

Bert’s articles at Researchgate: Bert at ResearchGate

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Podcast length: 2 hours

Podcast size: 107 mb

Download podcast here(opens in new window, look for google download button, perhaps to right of page): Download

Article: “To learn healing knowledge”: Philosophy, psychedelic studies and transformation

Published in the South African Journal of Philosophy:

Note that I have a few full e-copies to share as part of the publisher’s terms and conditions. Use the contact tab in the header menu to request a full copy directly from me.


“Philosophical learning” may be summarised in Sobiecki’s fitting catchphrase “to learn healing knowledge”. This catchphrase is taken from an article on the use of psychoactive plants among southern African diviners. In the spirit of this link, I aim to challenge contemporary negative attitudes to the topic of psychedelics, and argue that there are good reasons for philosophers to pay attention to the role that the psychedelic experience can play in promoting philosophical perception. I argue first that the results of some contemporary studies affirm the benefits of psychedelic use in an “orchestrated guided experience”. Secondly, I argue that the aims of such “orchestrated guided experiences” are consonant with the nature of philosophical learning. Philosophy, understood as a learning practice, has a strong historical precedent and ties to contemporary indigenous cultural practices. Here I cite research into the use of psychedelics and the Eleusinian Mysteries at the origin of Western philosophy. Numerous cultures, ancient and contemporary, venerate psychoactive substances as agents of learning, healing, and transformation. Thus, contemporary mainstream philosophy may have opportunities to learn, or relearn, from southern African indigenous cultural practices. Considering the positive light in which the topic of psychedelics will be painted, I will conclude by suggesting that psychedelics have the potential to play an important role in fostering the deeply transformative “philosophical learning” that is the condition for positive social change. This makes the topic of psychedelics worthy of philosophical reflection.

Podcast / Talk / Lecture: Gil Germain, Thinking About Technology

This isn’t a traditional podcast (is there such a thing?), i.e. it’s not a conversation or interview.

It’s a talk / lecture by Prof. Gil Germain, recorded at Nelson Mandela University.

The focus of the talk is on some concepts and issues Gil covers in his book, Thinking about Technology: How the Technological Mind Misreads Reality.

No intro, no outro. Just the talk. It’s a pleasure!

Here’s one of my favourite quotes from the talk:

“As a human being, how do you maintain your humanity in a world that, in many ways, is robbing you of it? Baudrillard, at one point, half flippantly half seriously, says you have to shun anything that wants to care for you. All these enabling technologies, all these algorithms… They’re all well and good; it’s not as if they don’t do the job – that’s not the point. The point is they’re doing it for you. There are experts telling you what to do, what to say, what to eat. It takes, I think, a monumental effort of will to sort of push it back a little, to give yourself room to do your own thing, even if it results in you not making optimal choices. At least there’s some semblance of autonomy.”

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Talk length: 45 minutes (If you only have half an hour to listen, I suggest starting at 15:10 into the recording).

File size: 36.4 MB

Download podcast here (opens in new window, look for google download button, perhaps to right of page): Download


Podcast: Sean Martin on Blockchain

Sean kindly shared his extensive knowledge of blockchain with me. Very informative for newbies to the topic of blockchain (like me), as well as to blockchain and technology enthusiasts, and business-minded people in general. Considering the inevitability that blockchain will eventually be integrated into so many aspects of our technologically-mediated lives, this episode is a ‘must-listen’.

Visit Sean’s business website at

Podcast length: 1 hr 14 minutes

Podcast size: 63.3 mb

Support the podcast:

Download podcast here (opens in new window, look for google download button, perhaps top right of page):: Download

Article: Placing the ecological crisis in a broader context – the Orphic and the Promethean

Full article available here:


The historical prevalence of Promethean characteristics such as dominion and domination has resulted in a dispensation where exclusive pragmatism and habitual perception have steered human actions in directions that have resulted in an unprecedented ecological crisis. Christianity, reductionist science, pragmatic technology, and capitalism have homogenised discursive arenas, limiting the extent to which one can exercise negative freedom, and making ecological degradation unavoidable as a consequence of Promethean progress. Mechanisms exist that prevent changes toward ecologically-sensitive attitudes from rooting and spreading as remedies to Promethean attitudes. Alternative, Orphic attitudes, theories, and movements do exist, and they offer something of a response to Promethean attitudes underpinning the ecological crisis. Permaculture offers a down to earth, contextbound approach to establishing Orphic systems, while philosophy in two specific formats are tools to further broaden the context of the ecological crisis. These philosophical formats are, first, Badiou and Žižek’s outline of the role of philosophy “in the present,” and second, Pierre Hadot’s work on philosophy as a way of life. From the first, it is clear that philosophy cannot confine itself to humanity as it has been historically constituted, which implies that it cannot confine itself to the realm of the Promethean, which has dominated Western history. From the second, philosophy as a way of life entails a breakaway from Promethean, utilitarian, and habitual perception, and aligns itself with an Orphic form of consciousness.

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