14 | Asceticism, tribalism, communication, and character, with Joshua Feister

Topics: Growing up middle class in America. East vs West philosophy. Instagram (and social media) comment sections. Capitalism and Neo-liberalism. “Cynical distance.” Yoga. Global poverty. The primacy of negativity on social media. The complexity of instant, global, and text-based communication. “De-platforming” and hate speech. Free speech rights vs protecting feelings. The Conservatism of Progressivism.

Show 14 of the Dialogues podcast

Understanding what is going on in the world today seems simple. One only needs to open up an app or their social media platform of choice to see these answers. A google search will easily organize this for you with nice drop-down tabs. Celebrities, billboards, blue check-marks, and our neighbors on the campaign trail are eager to offer this answer – provided that you understand the urgency of donating to their cause, campaign, like-count, or bottom-line.

The world is easy, convenient, made fresh to order, and it’s just for you. We are wealthier, more powerful, more effectively free, and have greater access to resources and information than at any time in history. Yet conflict, despair, and anxiety remain.

If I may be so bold, maybe the greatest and most efficient sales pitch in history is incomplete in solving the riddle of the human condition. Maybe the existential view is right, that our reach exceeds our grasp, and that this is a permanent condition of life.

Today I am very happy to be joined by Joshua Feister. Two weeks ago, Joshua was a stranger making insightful comments on my Instagram posts. Now, he’s a guest on the Dialogues. 

Joshua is a Yogi and a meditator, an entrepreneur and a teacher, an aspiring philosopher, and a global citizen. He received his Bachelors in Psychology from Michigan State University and has worked as a therapist, an English Teacher, a Yoga instructor, and a social worker. He is now starting an NGO in India, with the mission of developing isolated villages through sustainable profit generation and cultural exchange. He currently lives in Michigan.

I like speaking with anyone who has a powerful story to tell, a great idea to share, or simply a wide range of knowledge and experience. And that is a perfect aim for what happened here. We discussed the existential burden and much, much more.

I hope you’re prepared for a wide-ranging discussion.

Recorded on October 29, 2018, and published on the 2nd of November.

You can follow Joshua on Facebook at Josh Feister, or on Instagram @asceticgluttony.

About The Dialogues

The philosophical dialogue is not merely a literary style, but an approach to thinking, reasoning, exploring, and educating. 

More and more, it seems we no longer have dialogue, debate, and discourse, but orders, authority, and rigidity. 

This series is meant to revive the style and approach in keeping with the philosophical tradition. Join me in reviving and rebuilding the ancient Agora, using the tools of the 21st century.

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