Past Meetups (40)

What we're about

Modelled on a meetup group I was a member of in Melbourne, I thought of starting this forum in Sydney for those who would like to have some rigorous discussion, debate and exchange on some of the big issues in life.

The meetup group is for those aged 35+ years and meets roughly once per month in Sydney, usually on a Sunday afternoon. The aim of this group is to create an environment and opportunity for members to engage in interesting face to face discussions.

Please read membership specifications at the bottom to see if the group seems a reasonable fit for you.

To give you some idea about this meetup group, below are some topics we may have for discussions:

1. I am Conscious

Do you believe that you choose or are you an unwitting agent of your unconscious? Dr Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (eminent neuroscientist) said, “Our mental life is governed mainly by a cauldron of emotions, motives and desires which we are barely conscious of, and what we call our conscious life is usually an elaborate post hoc rationalization of things we really do for other reasons.”

2. The Way We Live

Clive Hamilton (author of "The Freedom Paradox") suggests that one of the main problems of consumerism is the erosion of human values. Advertising, the sexualisation of children, the enormous influence of media.

3. Men and women

Some cultures have monogamy, some have polygamy. Some countries have an indulgent view towards extra-marital affairs, others have the death penalty. Bettina Arndt (famous Australian sex therapist) in her recent book "The Sex Diaries" suggested women have not understood the importance of the male sex drive and ought to be more active in providing sex to their partners. Esther Perel (author of "Mating in Captivity") explores the diversity of male and female sexual needs outside of a purely monogamous relationship.

4. Money, money, money !

Money does not make you happy. But is it a bad thing when it does?

"Money cannot buy peace of mind. It cannot heal ruptured relationships, or build meaning into a life that has none". Richard M. DeVos

"The lack of money is the root of all evil". Mark Twain

"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart". Jonathan Swift

"In suggesting gifts: Money is appropriate, and one size fits all". William Randolph Hearst

5. Conscious choice

There are many areas in life where choices are required - from which tooth paste to buy at the supermarket through to what sort of work one does.
Do you believe your choices are conscious? In what way yes or what way no?
What are the drivers to the choices you make and why?


- Aiming at those aged 35+ who have learned what only life experience can teach (paradox, contradiction, shades of grey).

- Themed meetings with a small numbers per meeting (max 10-12). Meeting usually goes for 2 hours.

- Keeping the group composed of people who are actively involved (e.g. rough guide min attendance once within a 6 month period).

- Open minded, respectful of each others' views, able to have a robust discussion, even in the midst of vehement disagreement.

- The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Hoping that such a group may venture into many topics of mutual interest.

- Meetings will have a small contribution charge to cover web site costs and room hire, where applicable.

- Due to limited space, members who are not attending meetings, nor visiting the site for 6 months will have their membership removed. They will be welcome to join again if their circumstances change.

Please feel free to use the group's Discussions page to organise other social activities/gatherings. If members got to know each other and want to organise additional things - terrific, post on the message board and see who else might like to go. I am also happy to take suggestions on ideas for other themes for meetings.

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