Sunday, January 26, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Amod Lele on 23 January 2014 at 9:28 pm said: That’s fair, Patrick.
I suspect my tone in the comment to Matthew above was too dismissive. I suppose part of it comes out of an article I published last year on Ken Wilber, whose own perennialism is very much like that of the Theosophists and leads him to gross misinterpretations of the traditions he studies – but I say that while being in very close sympathy with the overall aims of Wilber’s project.
Amod Lele on 23 January 2014 at 9:49 pm said: I agree with you that “those who are skilled or expert in a domain of knowledge or inquiry do in fact have a greater qualification in that regard than do other people.” I used “élitist” with respect to the Theosophists’ belief that they were the skilled experts on each tradition out there, as opposed to others well versed in any given tradition who’d spent far longer with it than the Theosophists themselves had. I suspect this may have reflected at least some amount of class prejudice.
It’s fair to say, though, that this kind of attitude is shared by a number of indigenous Indian traditions (especially Advaitins) and by many contemporary social-scientific scholars of religion – not least those who are determinedly anti-perennialist and anti-theosophical. (The common approach that even your fellow scholars, let alone everyday practitioners, are nothing more than “data”.)
Is caste system really India’s biggest problem? ~Guunjan अप्रैल 25, 2013 10S टिप्पणियाँ Quite frequently, someone or the other comes up with vices of caste system that is claimed to run along with the history of Hindus. But, is caste system really India’s predominantly Hindu society’s biggest problem? Has it ever been such? While this write-up is not intended to hurt anyone at all, a few questions must be raised by us all. Unfortunately, asking questions has become a rare trait that is also responsible for our perennial decay but that would be a different diatribe.
If caste system was or is one of the greatest problems of India, let us evaluate the impact of casteism, as called, with its effects on our society. A natural question arises whether we have had any caste based wars in India in her history. After all, if caste system “suppressed” disadvantaged classes, which have been an overwhelming majority, then there must have been public rebellion or wars against the minority but supposedly ruling upper castes.
History has ample evidences all across the globe of the uprising of downtrodden whenever suppression has continued for a long period of time. But, perhaps it will not be surprising for any of us that there have been no caste based wars in India! It would also not surprise that forward castes were not butchered when there was a king from lower castes... Hope it is also not surprising that quite a few of the greatest kings of India have all been from lower castes! ... The story doesn’t end in ancient India. Many Nayanar saints, Alwar saints, Balakdas, Ghasidas, Namdev, Ravidas, Dadu Dayal, Kabir, Kahar, Narhari, Tukaram and Tukdoji were all backward or scheduled caste in post-ancient India. This list is perhaps endless. After all, is spirituality limited to castes or class in Hindus? Apparently if one reads beyond left leaning authors, it is tough to find caste based “discrimination” prior to Islamic invasion early last millenium. Varna vyavastha did exist, so did castes, if you call it such, but caste-based discrimination doesn’t have any concrete evidence.
Sri Aurobindo had the advantage of not dealing with his own theory as a new category Posted by Tusar Nath Mohapatra, President @SavitriEraParty: Sri Aurobindo had the advantage of not dealing with his own theory as a new religious or political category which we are forced to do today. Lack of popularity, no doubt, is a severe disability for Sri Aurobindo's teaching but by no means for its worth or relevance for the future. Negligible success both on the spirituality & philosophy front after 63 years of Sri Aurobindo's departure forces us to be humble on claims. Dissonance between theoretical formulations and actual performance by people or organizations associated with Sri Aurobindo bogs scrutiny. Though seeming elitist or abstract The Mother & Sri Aurobindo actually strike at the most pertinent & intricate problems of human existence.
Ethical licence is implicit in Monarchy and as a legacy political parties do condone moral transgressions in Democracy. AAP has come of age! India is doomed until intellectuals need to be told about the importance of Sri Aurobindo's writings which they fail to notice on their own. Sri Aurobindo resisted bolstering the Nazi forces and despite all his patriotism, Netaji fails the test of aligning with Evolutionary arrow. Uncritical extolling of historical personages is fraught with risk and The Mother & Sri Aurobindo offer a safe guide https://t.co/gcMKxuuTYz
Leftist atheism, Nehruvian secularism, and RSS obscurantism are hurdles for full blossoming of Indian nationhood that Sri Aurobindo insists. Sri Aurobindo understands the ontological worth of religion for future Evolution of man and neither RSS-BJP nor AAP. http://t.co/syPMskdrN7 TOI edit is spot on on electoral arithmetic but forgets about the deeper issue of place of religion in nation-building which BJP-RSS stress. More than any particular religion or geographical territory Sri Aurobindo is concerned about the future man, his destiny & moulding society.
Tusar Nath Mohapatra on 25 January 2014 at 7:01 am said:
Demarcation between philosophy proper and history of Indian philosophy has been deep since the arrival of Sri Aurobindo in the scene. This year marks the Centenary of his magnum opus “The Life Divine” and other original works like “The Secret of the Veda.” The Evolutionary dialectic of his Integral Ontology seeks to establish a universal template of philosophy that acts as applied psychology as well by suitably incorporating poetic aesthesis. So, not to include him in the list would be an injustice to the future of human civilization and education. [TNM55]
For those who reach Sri Aurobindo through the Ken Wilber route, it is the other extreme. They are continually administered sedatives in small doses so that they never are Sri Aurobindo enthusiasts. All kinds of prejudices are fed to them in a sinister fashion to belittle the Great Master. In a way, it is the revenge of Theosophy that Sri Aurobindo fought a century back returning in a new avatar.
Thus, Wilber is the greatest threat at the moment in the west to build up of any mass attraction for The Mother and Sri Aurobindo and their immortal works. That is, of course, no cause to be disheartened for the Savitri Erans. The English reading public there can some day be motivated to taste the nectar that is Savitri. And from then on there would be no looking back. In the meanwhile, may our aspiration and action match! Posted by Tusar Nath Mohapatra at 5:42 AM
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Perhaps the problem with periodisation is similar to the one I have been exploring with evolution. The metaphors and structures we employ are outdated and under-sophisticated. We can take a leaf from the book of physical archaeology. For example an archaeologist may talk about the “Iron Age”, but the Iron Age began at different times in different places. In India ca. 1000 BCE. In Australia or my home in New Zealand, there was no natural transition from Stone Age to the use of metals, no Bronze or Iron Age. This does not mean that Iron Age as a general category is meaningless. As a general term it is useful since cultures change in predictable ways when they discover how to work with iron and steel. If we have anxiety about categories then it might be well to read about how they work. George Lakoff’s, Women, Fire and Dangerous Things is an excellent introduction to a useful approach to categories and what they represent.
The Unintended Reformation: Genre, method, and assumptions posted by Brad S. Gregory More than 60 reviews of The Unintended Reformation have appeared since January 2012, including forums in four journals (Historically Speaking, Church History, Catholic Historical Review, Pro Ecclesia), in addition to the multiple sessions that have been devoted to the book at professional conferences. The responses here at The Immanent Frame add another ten. I am grateful to my colleagues for their responses, to Jonathan VanAntwerpen and The Immanent Framefor hosting them, and for the opportunity to reply. I am gratified the work has provoked discussion and debate that shows little sign of abating. I am also pleased that most reviewers have acknowledged the book’s ambition and erudition, and that some regard it as an important analysis of modern Western history comparable to Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age or Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Less satisfying (although not unpredictable) has been the ways in which the book has been misread, misunderstood, and misrepresented by some reviewers, including some respondents here.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Tusar Nath Mohapatra on 13 January 2014 at 8:46 am said:
Aware of the constraints of not straying outside the texts and syllabi, let me mention for the sake of discussion that later day philosophical formulations contain many ingenious notions like Sanghita or Loka-Sangraha to predicate emancipation. The problem of rebirth itself undergoes substantial transformation in the hands of Sri Aurobindo and hence antiquity of sources shouldn’t be the only criteria for ontological veracity. [TNM55]
That remark is directed at how politics is thought in critical theory, not what’s going on out there in the world. So much of our critical theory– and there are exceptions –seems to only recognize some variant of semiopolitics.
Truth be told, as my thought has evolved the issue of correlationism had fallen off the radar for me. Somehow the debate had come to seem too “philosophical” to me, too “scholastic”, too remote from what interests me: understanding why social assemblages are organized as they are, how power functions in social assemblages, and what we might do to address that power and change things.
# Love of All Wisdom [Cross-posted at the Indian Philosophy Blog]
I am increasingly getting the impression that the debates over Orientalism in Asian traditions have taken a new turn, and one very much for the better. Few books of the twentieth century have made as much impact as Edward Said’s 1978 Orientalism. It is particularly striking that even though Said’s book was entirely about the Middle East, it has been a major scholarly landmark in the study of South and East Asia.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
|We Have Never Been Modern by Bruno Latour|
|One Cosmos under God: The Unification of Matter, Life, Mind and Spirit by Robert Godwin|