Descriptions of Talks Recorded on CD — Christopher Largent
Nearly forty years ago, I began offering public seminars, and I have enjoyed discussions with participants from all over the country (and even from a couple of foreign countries). For years, I have been asked to give summaries of these discussions.
Of course, nothing is as much fun as being in the discussion itself. But a summary gives a flavor of the discussion and offers insights that keep the discussions going in our own minds and with our own friends. To that end, I offer these talks.
PLEASE NOTE that in autumn 2009, I offered a subscription series on an alternative approach to history, called 'The Big Picture Time Machine' — and this series is now complete and available.
Without a genuine history — more than just dull facts about wars and politics — we are like a sentence in a paragraph with the rest of the paragraph missing. What does our life mean in isolation? A real history adds the paragraph, the chapter, and the whole book, so that we see more and more about what the sentence means — what our lives really mean in the big picture. Please contact me directly for more information on this different look at how we got here.
I. LIVING IN OUR COMMUNITIES: THE ECONOMY AND DIALOGUE
1. How Do We Turn the Economy Around? (1 Hour)
Why does the economy seem to be collapsing? What can we do about it?
This one-hour talk ranges over the history of capitalism, showing how two opposite approaches to economics lead either to (a) inevitable crises or (b) prosperity. But these approaches represent strategies that we engage in everyday. Therefore, we can change them and thus the economy itself.
As classical Chinese philosophers wrote, by identifying the root of the problem, we can grow new trunks and branches. This talk shows how can we change our deep philosophies to guarantee our security and the prosperity of future generations.
2. The Art of Dialogue (1 Hour)
When we talk, do we really talk to each other? How can dialogue lead to deeper relationships?
This one-hour talk covers the basics of dialogue, drawing on William Isaacs' recent dialogue study (‘Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together’) and on the work of Douglas Stone and his co-authors at the Harvard Negotiation Project (‘Difficult Conversations’). Marshall Rosenberg's ‘Nonviolent Communication’ as well as Rupert Ross' work with native peoples in Canada (‘Returning to the Teachings’) get special focus, showing how gentle and open communication can be.
For learning how to use language to build relationships and communities, this is the talk!
3. Future Thinking (1 Hour)
Beginning in 2009, famed futurist Eric Garland (author of 'Future, Inc.' and president of Competitive Futures, Inc.) and I began to give talks on where world societies are headed. Eric focused on trends, and I offered a philosophical and historical context. In this one-hour summary, I review what Eric and I presented in January and July of 2009 — about what a sane future may look like and how we may get there.
II. LIVING IN AN EXPANDED UNIVERSE: INTUITION TRAINING, TIME AND PROPHECIES, ENLIGHTENMENT, KARMA, DREAM INTERPRETATION, ASTRAL TRAVEL, AND LIFE AFTER DEATH
1. Intuition Training (1 Hour)
How does intuition work? Can we train our intuition the way we train our intellects?
This one-hour talk explores new ideas about intuition and the brain. It then summarizes the different types of intuition and how each may be trained. For combining intellect and intuition to get a bigger perspective, to see things more whole, this is the talk.
2. Time, Prophecies, and Future-Seeing (1 Hour)
Is 2012 the end of the world? How do we count time, and how do we think about it? What does the future portend?
This one-hour talk ranges over time issues, focusing initially on the Mayan calendar's much-discussed end of the 13th baktun in 2012. Time expectations such as those around 2012 show us how we think about the future, including how future-anxiety is created and can be reduced.
The talk ends by reviewing history’s most famous prophecies, including those for our immediate future. And there’s some good news there.
3. Enlightenment – A Discussion (1 Hour)
What is enlightenment? How do we know what an enlightened being is?
Taking a philosophical approach to an ancient subject, this one-hour talk focuses first on the obstacles to discussing enlightenment. Then it looks at what enlightenment may be.
Two teaser notes: enlightenment may not be the function of separate individuals (there may be no such thing as an enlightened person), and the process of moving toward enlightenment is not mysterious.
4. What is Karma? (1 Hour)
How do we think about karma in the 21st century, and is this true to the original idea of karma? How does karma make us feel about ourselves?
In the context of destiny and empowerment, this talk clears up the confusion over karma. How we think about karma has been confused by Western notions of fate, sin, judgment, and flawed human nature. As a result, we end up with what India’s reformers of 2500 years ago called a cruel doctrine. And it makes us feel bad about ourselves and our lives.
This talk goes back to karma’s origins and offers a positive approach to ‘karmic’ living and acting in the world.
5. Dreams and Dream Interpretation (1 Hour)
What are dreams, and what do they mean?
This talk takes a look at the history of dream interpretation, surveying the fascinating roles dreams have played in human life. It summarizes traditional ways of interpreting dreams, offering a short course on how each of us may work with our own dreams.
6. Astral Travel: Can We Park Our Bodies and Take a Trip? (1 Hour)
What is astral travel, and what does it mean that we may be able to go out of our bodies?
Having an out-of-body experience (OOBE), or astral traveling, has been reported in cultures as far back as we have histories and all over the world. But it still sounds odd to those of us who do not consciously go out of our bodies regularly.
This talk takes a look at the phenomenon of OOBEs and some of the accounts that lead individuals and entire cultures to take astral travel very seriously.
7. Life After Death (1 Hour)
Is there life after death or not? Can we prove either position? And if there is life after death, what might it be like?
This one-hour talk surveys views about the afterlife: on one hand, the materialist position that nothing survives death, and on the other hand, the metaphysical position that at least some form of consciousness continues after death. It looks at the suggestive evidence for the latter (since by definition, no evidence exists for the former): near-death experiences, stories collected by researchers, and past lives retrieved during hypnotic regression.
Finally, the talk closes with a brief description, from cultures that take the afterlife seriously, of what we might experience if we live in (or die to) the next dimension.
8. Psychic Protection (1 Hour)
We know that things are working out as they should. We also know that we can use all the help we can get. This one-hour talk looks at the big perspective that allows us to protect ourselves without feeling paranoid. Balancing big-picture optimism with here-and-now caution, we can use specific visualizations — several provided here — to feel more secure in our lives.
III. SEEING A LARGER WORLD: FINDING AND USING PHILOSOPHICAL TOOLS
A. Seeing through Enlightened Eyes: Atomism vs. Holism (1 Hour)
One of the most important tools anyone can have to understand what’s going on in the world is that of worldviews. There are basically two different ways of looking at the world, and this talk summarizes those. The category of worldviews is the fundamental key to all clear thinking.
B. Watching Processes Unfold: The Sevenfold Creative Order (1 Hour)
Odd as it sounds, human processes follow a specific order, unfolding in seven stages (plus or minus two). If we know these, we can handle our projects and relationships (even romantic relationships) much more creatively.
For instance, this philosophical tool keeps us from being fooled when the challenge stage (stage 2) occurs between two people, which we often mistake for the end of a relationship.
And the sevenfold order helps us look ahead and strategize for future stages of any project.
C. Looking Down from Olympus: The Four Levels of Consciousness AND How Understanding and Action Evolve (1 Hour)
Three simple thinking tools — the four levels of consciousness, the fourfold ‘cybernetic feedback’ order, and the spectrum of action — show us how understanding and behavior develop.
With these three (and the sevenfold order given in another talk), we can keep ourselves from being ‘dumbed down’ by one-dimensional analyses of our lives. As a result, we can engage more fully in both thought and action.
D. Thinking Clearly: Avoiding Logical Fallacies (1 Hour)
Often, we feel frustrated in discussions. We may not seem to see something clearly. Or more often, our discussion partner says something that just seems off. But we cannot put our finger on why.
This talk explains common fallacies in reasoning and so offers us valuable tools for discussion. Being familiar with these fallacies enables us to think more clearly and not be confused by illogical arguments. And when it comes to thinking, this clarity is lots of fun.
E. Discovering Our Inner Brilliance: The Twelve Stages of the Mystic Path (4 Hours)
What is mysticism? Are mystical experiences limited to a special few, or may any of us have such experiences?
Based on the book, ‘Love, Soul, and Freedom: Dancing with Rumi on the Mystic Path,’ this four-hour talk summarizes the stages of discovering our own ‘inner mystic.’ The special gems here are Rumi’s poems, many of which appear within the discussion of the mystic path.
IV. TRAINING OUR SYMBOLIC CONSCIOUSNESS: SYMBOL SYSTEMS AND HOW THEY WORK
A Quick Way to Learn the Basics of Psychological Astrology (4 Hours)
Can learning astrology be fun? Over the years, many clients have requested astrology in an easy-to-learn format. While mastering any discipline takes years, most requests are for the basics only.
So, using the non-fatalistic approach of psychological astrology developed in the 20th Century, this talk offers a quick overview of an ancient art.
If you order a single CD, the price is $45, which includes my shipping the CD to you.
If you order two or more CDs, you pay only $35 each, which includes shipping.
If you order six or more CDs, you pay only $25 each, which includes shipping.
NOTE: There is a special sale price for the astrology and mysticism series: $110 for all four hours. And please inquire about two new series, one based on the "Merlin Awakening" seminars and another based on the "Big Picture Time Machine" approach to history (mentioned above). Thanks!
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Chris Largent, 610-444-3430, email@example.com.
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