January 31, 2006

A power and a presence

SABDA Newsletter EDITORIAL June 2001
All will agree that the ease and comfort with which one can read a book cannot be matched by reading on a computer screen...When one gathers oneself in quiet concentration and takes a copy of Savitri in one’s hands, the answer is clear. This "material envelope" of what the Mother described as "The supreme revelation of Sri Aurobindo’s vision" can hardly be looked upon as an inert fragment of matter. One can feel the book charged with a power and a presence, perhaps without even reading a word. An unearthly glow radiates from the pages. One is already in the atmosphere of Savitri. For words are not merely words.
The Mother often spoke of the consciousness of material objects. The physical apparatus we call a book is the base and material support for the action of the higher knowledge contained in the words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Bathed in their Light, the very paper cannot but absorb the Consciousness, partake of the Presence, as it were, thus contributing to enhance the concreteness of the perception on the material plane. A book provides a permanent focal point on this plane for the concentration of the Rays of Light, a centre to house the Spirit. The perception of this characteristic seems to be most striking with old books — as if the constituent matter has absorbed that much more with the passage of time. The hand made paper of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram appears to lend itself especially well to this quality — with its porous nature it seems to take in more than just the elements.
As the Mother states in her conversation, every book carries something of the personality of the author, becomes a repository of his vibrations. Behind all external communication there is an occult exchange of forces. The Mother has said that thoughts are much more potent than what we believe them to be, they are concrete forces that tend towards realisation on the material plane. Thus a book can project the thought and personality of an author much more effectively than the aggregate of the words in it might suggest. Perhaps this is the hidden truth at the root of the perception of a book’s "intimate feel", mentioned earlier. After all, surely, there is much more to the Sikh tradition of worshipping the Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib, than meets the eye.

Reflection and research

A perennial problem that I have observed in journals and magazines of centres or individuals committed to particular Philosophies, whether Spiritual or Mundane, is the tendency to imitate and reproduce what its great thinkers or Masters wrote. It is indeed true that this re-printing and elucidation have a place, as their words and philosophy are often so comprehensive and powerfully expressed that it is important that magazines and journals have a section that contains the original inspiration of the Master or philosophy. Yet, we find more often than not, that the entire magazine is a reprinting and explanation of this philosophy, making of it principles to follow, rather than to experiment with, with no original reflection and research on those ideas.
I must admit that we as a centre are not entirely exempt from this challenge. It was to meet this challenge in our education programmes that we have put together a novel course design, methodology, and structure to encourage original and reflective research, and creativity in our students. The knowledge, if it is to become dynamic and influential even in one’s own life, must be living and fresh, from the fountainhead of our own reflected and original experience. This issue therefore gives me some joy, as it is a collection of some articles written by the students of my course, engaged with reflective and fresh research. I hope you enjoy reading them. The Gnostic Centre e-mail: gnostic@gnosticcentre.com Its vision is to grow into a future university that integrates the subjective and objective realms of knowledge - a larger perfection of knowledge and action, based on an inner core of self-discovery and self-mastery.

Madhwa and Sri Aurobindo

by D.Harish Kumar 02-March-2005 Home Page Similar Page
The philosophies of Madhwa and Aurobindo are identical in all respects , the differences is there only in form and not in essence. It is Madhwa's philosophy presented in the language of Yoga and occult and modern evolution. It is the kshatriya interpretation of Madhwas philosphy and also its most brilliant presentation of Ideas and Concepts of Madhwa. The Madhwas philosphy has both brahminical and kshatriya aspects to it, but the SI Brahmins have generally laid stress on the brahminical aspect, Mokhsa, acquistion of vedic knowledge and ascetism and morality, almost completely ignoring, especially in modern times the kshatriya aspect which enabled the Vijayanagar Empire to come into existence.
Aurobindo came to establish the kshatriya aspect of Madhwas philosphy. Madhwas philosphy can be used to establish an ideal wordly society as well as for Moksha purposes. The Kannada brahmins have chosen to concentrate primarily on Moksha completely ignoring worldy welfare.
In fact Madhwa in his commentary on the Isha Upanishad mantra says that one must know god as both the creator and destroyer and knowing him only as the creator is sinful. Knowing god as the destroyer frees us from worldy miseries and knowing him as the creator gives us Moksha. Aurobindo repeatedly stresses the destructive aspect of the Eternal Being in all his works.
In fact we see that Aurobindo has infact lifted many sentences straight out of Madhwas works , verbatim, and it should come as no surprise to us. We often quote Aurobindo as it is as it often not possible to better his presentation.
Madhwa gives a threefold interpretaion of the Rig Veda. According to him every suktha can be interpreted in three ways - adhidhaiva, adhibhautika and adhyatmika - that is physical, psyhcological and philosophical. Aurobindo too gives a two-fold interpretation of the Vedas and he has stressed, very much like Madhwa on the philosophical aspect over and above the ritualistic aspect as given by Sayana. He reveals this insight of his in his Magnum Opus , The Secret of the Veda.

The Historical Vision of K.D. Sethna

Pradip Bhattacharya August 14, 2005 Boloji.com
Sri Aurobindo, the seer of modern India, blamed new trails in several worlds of human enterprise and had followers of signal eminence in many of them. Some made their mark in more than one sphere of activity. Integral Yoga and Overhead Poetry are two such areas in which a number of luminaries have left their mark. No follower of Sri Aurobindo, however, has not only penetrated these areas but also ventured into territories such as science and history. Here is where K.D. Sethna, or Amal Kiran as he was named by his Master, stands distinctly apart.
This remarkable mind has taken virtually all knowledge for its domain and the clear ray of his piercing insight has probed not only profound issues of philosophy, such as the question of free-will or the spirituality of the future, but has investigated Einsteinian physics, detected Shakespeare's mysterious Dark Lady, Mr. W.H. and the Rival Poet, published 750 pages of poetry and followed the approach of Sri Aurobindo in plumbing the riches of European literature and the practice of Integral Yoga. However, that which is unique is his signal contribution to historiography. Here I shall not go into his remarkable investigations into Jewish history to fix the date of the Exodus, or into the question of the Immaculate Conception which patiently awaits a publisher of vision and courage.
My attempt will be to highlight Amal Kiran's deep-delving reconstruction of ancient Indian history. It is Sethna's characteristic that even in this most intellectual pursuit, the dissection of the vexed questions concerning the Harappa Culture, his inspiration is drawn from Sri Aurobindo. Repeatedly he returns to this fountain-head for sustaining his arguments, building firmly on his faith in the infallibility of the seer-vision of the Avatar of the Supramental. An implacable honesty is what places Sethna head-and-shoulders above scholars setting out to prove a preconceived thesis...This relentless dedication in the pursuit of truth and the uncompromising sincerity are features intrinsic to Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga which shine forth so radiantly in Amal Kiran.


by Stephen T. Naylor
Though he only has about a dozen hymns addressed to him in the Rig Veda, Varuna seems to be one of the most important of the Vedic gods. In pre-Vedic times, he was the supreme lord of the cosmos, the keeper of divine order, the bringer of rain, the enforcer of contracts. He is called omnipotent and omniscient; he is responsible for the sun to move in the sky, for day and night to stay separate, and for the earth to keep its form; he watches the flight of every bird, is present at every gathering, and knows every thought.
His name means "he who covers", and this probably refers to the sky. Varuna is the keeper of the cosmic order, a force called rta. It is rta which keeps everything working as it should, and Varuna's role as the one who governs rta makes him very important indeed. He is very closely linked to the god Mitra. Varuna is one of the Adityas and considered to be an asura, when those beings were still god-like and had not yet degenerated into demons. He is also associated with the moon and Soma, in Soma's incarnation as the drink of the gods. Varuna is seen as a white man in golden armor riding a Makara (a sea monster), holding a noose or lasso made from a snake.
Varuna is the keeper of the celestial waters, those which flow from the openings in the sky in the form of rain. He was worshiped with veneration and a healthy amount of fear, for as an asura Varuna did have his sinister aspects and was known to punish mortals who did not keep their word. He was the cosmic hangman and his usual method of punishment was to capture the offender with his noose. He was also a lord of the dead, a position he shared with Yama, and could confer immortality if he so chose.
In Vedic times, the worship of Varuna fell off as he was supplanted by Indra as king of the gods. One possible reason for this may go back to Indra's most famous exploit. When Vritra stole all the waters of the universe, the waters which Varuna was in charge of, it was Indra who had to fight the demon and get them back. It may have been because of this that Indra was able to supplant the overlordship of Varuna and become lord of the gods himself.
Varuna then became god of the oceans and rivers; still important, but with hardly the grandeur he once had. The souls of those who drowned went to him, and he was attended by the nagas. Varuna faded away with the ascendancy of Shiva and Vishnu. His lofty position may have lived on, however, for he may be the same as the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahura Mazda.
When life is purified, when mind is purified, the aspirant will be established in that vast and luminous Heaven. Varuna is the presiding Deity of vastness. The harmony and the union that came into existence from the infinite expanse of Varuna are the gifts of Mitra. Lord Varuna removes the limitation, isolation and disunion of our ordinary knowledge. He tears away the hostile force that compels us to remain narrow and small. Hence he is called Risadasam. And Mitra is our divine Guide. With his clear vision he unites all the objects together in perfect harmony. When an aspirant attains to the level of indivisible harmony in the infinite, in the limitless, he arrives at the fundamental Truth and his action then becomes the infallible manifestation of that Truth. Indra possesses pure intelligence. Behind him stand the two powers of the Infinite, Varuna and Mitra. Volume 8: "Vedic Hymns."

Sri Aurobindo

Homewritespirit.netAuthors → Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo, Indian nationalist, poet, philosopher and Spiritual Guru was born in Calcutta on 15th August 1872. Sri Aurobindo spent his formative years in England studying at St Paul’s and Trinity College where he excelled in the study of Literature and the Classics. In 1892 he returned to India where he became heavily involved in the Indian independence movement, he was a natural leader and one of the most radical nationalist politicians. Because of his radicalism, in 1908 Sri Aurobindo was arrested on suspicion of being involved in a bomb plot and was remanded in Alipore jail.
It was here in jail that Sri Aurobindo had significant spiritual experiences, he became aware of a divine inner guidance and also realised the omnipresence of God even in a darkened prison cell. Due to the commitment of Sri Aurobindo’s lawyer C.R.Das, Sri Aurobindo was released without charge. However this experience had changed Sri Aurobindo’s outlook. Henceforth he retired from politics and focused his energies on spirituality.
Sri Aurobindo travelled to Pondicherry, South India where he could practise yoga undisturbed. In 1914 he was later joined by a french women, Mira Richards who would later became known as the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Together they founded the Sri Aurobindo ashram, which began to attract disciples attracted to their dynamic reinterpretation of yoga.
As well as being a spiritual Guru to many disciples Sri Aurobindo was a noted poet, philosopher and writer. His main works were The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita and Savitri. Savitri was an epic work of poetry that he worked on for over 20 years.
Sri Aurobindo did not negate the world like Indian yogis of the past. Instead Sri Aurobindo affirmed that all life is Yoga; through a conscious aspiration it is possible for man to evolve into a higher consciousness – a consciousness of truth and inner harmony. Sri Aurobindo called this new consciousness the Supramental.
"Arise, transcend Thyself,
Thou art man and the whole nature of man
Is to become more than himself."
- Sri Aurobindo
A significant event occurred in 1947 when India attained full independence. This was a goal Sri Aurobindo had continued to aspire for, despite his retreat from politics. Independence was also achieved on his birthday 15th August. His speech about this momentous occasion can be viewed here: Indian Independence. For over 40 years, Sri Aurobindo worked tirelessly for his vision of a divine life on earth. Through his writings and poetry he left a legacy which reflected his hopes of a golden future for humanity. Sri Aurobindo entered mahasamadhi on Dec 5th, 1950.

January 30, 2006

वन्दे मातरम्

वन्दे मातरम्।सुजलाम् सुफलाम् मलयजशीतलाम्।
शस्यश्यामलाम् मातरम् वन्दे मातरम्॥
शुभ्रज्योत्स्ना पुलकितयामिनीम्फुल्लकुसुमितद्रुमदलशोभिनीम्।
सुहासिनीम् सुमधुरभाषिणीम्सुखदां वरदाम् मातरं॥वन्दे मातरम्।
The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo:
I bow to thee, Mother, Richly-watered, Richly-fruited, Cool with the winds of the south, Dark with the crops of the harvests, The Mother! Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight, Her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom, Sweet of laughter, Sweet of speech, The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss. [Posted on 30 JAN] कार्तिक रामनेन प्रेषितम् — ०९:००

Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture

CENTRE FOR STUDIES IN CIVILIZATIONS(CSC), which administers PHISPC, is an NGO registered on October 12, 1995 under the Societies Registration Act (XXI) of 1860. One of its main aims is to initiate and enact platforms to engage dialogues relating to civilization and related issues. The Centre further aims at conducting, promoting and facilitating studies and research in the broad areas of history, philosophy, culture, science and technology. It also undertakes and promotes research in relation to the past, the present and the future courses, contents, and trends of civilizations in general, and Indian civilization in particular.
The major activities of the Centre are as following:
  • To supervise and administer the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC), which is fully funded by the Ministry of Human Resources Development.
  • To plan and conduct the new sub-project called Consciousness, Science, Society and Value (CONSSAV), which has recently been approved by the Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development.
  • It is going to launch an interdisciplinary journal entitled Sandhan to be brought biannually.
  • To jointly publish with Penguin India, A Dictionary of Indian Philosophy
  • To organise monthly academic programmes in the forms of either symposia or talks by eminent scholars, spokesperson, bureaucrats, politicians, littérateurs, etc.


There is a total plan of publishing 50 (fifty) volumes of books/anthologies. Out of these, 30 (thirty) will be major volumes (in parts) and 20 (twenty) will be smaller books called 'Monographs'. So far 7 (seven) major volumes and 11 (eleven) monographs have been brought out. In the financial year 2001-02, seven/eight major volumes and one monograph will be brought out.


Another project of the CSC is the project of Consciousness, Science, Society and Value (CONSSAV). This has been considered as a sub project of the on going project of PHISPC. In this project attempts will be made to explore the role of consciousness in its various levels of awareness, in understanding and expounding the development of science, society and values. Consciousness as has been conceived and theorized in different traditions, or rather civilizations, will be studied and explored in detail.

Oriya luminaries

Honorary doctorates to four Oriya luminaries - Monday, January 30 Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of 39th Convocation ceremony on 28th January Utkal University has honoured four eminent Oriyas - by conferring honorary doctorates on them. They are former Chief Justice of India Ranganath Mishra, eminent writer duo Manoj Das , Jayant Mahapatra and vedic literature exponent Priyavrata Das. www.IndiaEduNews.net

The Forum for Vedanta and Science

From: Forum_For_Vedanta_And_Science-owner@yahoogroups.com To: tusarnmohapatra@mail.com Subject: Invitation to join the Forum_For_Vedanta_And_Science group Monday, 30 January 2006 07:45:11 vedanta_science@yahoo.com has invited you to join the Forum_For_Vedanta_And_Science group!
The Forum for Vedanta and Science (FVS) is the result of a humble effort of a group of students at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, who have felt the necessity to explore the ancient Indian science and spirituality from the perspective of modern science. FVS is inspired by the works of thinkers in India as well as abroad, who strongly advocated synthesis of science and spirituality.
  • In Indian tradition we had stalwarts like Vyasadeva, Kannada, Jiva Goswami, Srila Prabhupada,
  • and in the western tradition we have Newton, Faraday, Pasteur, Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and Planck.

The students in this forum are actively pursuing their interest in the common concerns of science and spirituality such as ethics, origin of life, universe and consciousness. In last few months many new members from various Universities and Organizations joined in the forum and actively helping in the works of Forum for Vedanta and Science (FVS). Please look in to the Forum For Vedanta and Science Representatives for help and guidance regarding the forum activities. http://www.geocities.com/vedanta_science/

The epiphenomenal view of mind

The Presence of Other Worlds In Psychotherapy and Healing
by Roger J. Woolger, Ph.D.This article is a partly edited transcript of a lecture given at the second Beyond the Brain Conference sponsored by the Scientific and Medical Network (UK) and the Institute of Noetic Sciences (US), held in St. John's College, Cambridge, England, August 21-24, 1997.
A further remark by Sri Aurobindo puts it similarly to Kabir. He says "all of the body is in the mind, but not all the mind is in the body. Nevertheless, I'm not entirely happy with this view of things because even Aurobindo and Kabir come close to substituting another spacial metaphor for the presence of spirit, soul or energy. Instead of being in the body, mind or spirit are now seen to be "outside" or "around" the body. This kind of picture used to be called, in philosophy, the epiphenomenal view of mind. It is the idea that mind is some kind of fuzz around the body, usually just "around" the brain. This is not very different from the view of spirit as the aura or the energy field that surrounds the body.
Now before I describe the more radical opposite viewpoint of spirit I must say that I have enormous respect for the extremely productive and enlightening work that the epiphenomenal or energy field model of mind or spirit has produced in recent years.
  • I want to mention in passing Elmer Green's extraordinary work of nearly 30 years at the Menninger Foundation in Kansas where he records vibrational changes in what he calls the biofield. He has successfully measured the fields of several practicing yogis, healers and shamans.
  • In the traditional Hindu teachings these fields are called the sthula or energy sheaths and there are hierarchies of them.
  • Barbara Brennan's book Hands of Light give us excellent clairvoyant images of these sheaths or fields as they relate to western concepts or energy blocks in the body discovered by Wilhelm Reich.
  • Another western version of the yogic doctrine is David Tansley's theory and practice of what he called Radionics.
  • In Tansley as in Brennan you will find descriptions of a hierarchy of subtle energy sheaths or bodies called the etheric, emotional, mental and higher bodies that surround the physical body. (Interestingly Tansley's picture was derived from Alice Bailey's esoteric works which include a theosophical commentary on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the locus classicus of Hindu teaching.)
  • Then there is the well known Russian work on the Kirlian Aura popularized in English by the excellent anthologies of Stanley Krippner and John White.
  • Recently in the Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network there has been reference to Professor Sarkar's concept of the microvita, minuscule elements of energy which he describes as the ultimate source of life.
  • In the world of hypnotherapy and birth regression David Cheek has independently introduced using the notion of cellular consciousness, the idea that memory is stored "in" the cells--a metaphor once again, but one that is becoming more and more popular.
  • In like vein, for many years psychotherapists who work with regression, psychodrama, rebirthing and other deep experiential therapies have been talking loosely of body consciousness--though in my own practice I have found myself more and more using the term "etheric memory or consciousness" in deference to the subtle body theory.
  • I should also mention the contribution to energy thinking made by Viktor Inyushin in Russia. This is a later derivative of the Kirlian work on the auric field which talks of bioplasm as the fifth state of matter--the others being solids, liquids, gases and plasma.

Inyushin defined bioplasm as follows: A living organism can be described as a "biological field" or a "biofield," a "field" being a region consisting of lines of force whichaffect each other. The biofield has a clear spacial formation and is separated and shaped by several physical fields, electrostatic, electromagnet, acoustic, hydrodynamic and quite possibly others inadequately explored. Clearly for Inyushin the biofield or the subtle energy field which is made up of bioplasm is a product of existing physical energy fields in the body. What we have here, we could say philosophically, is a kind of energy monism, where everything can be reduced to energy and derived from greater or larger energetic fields that exist here in the level of the physical world.

Of course, with our knowledge of radio waves, vibrational frequencies, microbiology and Kirlian phenomena it's not difficult to appreciate the appeal of such a model. It is always easier to explain what we don't understand in terms of what we do. Yet the biological metaphor of "bioplasm" is so patently reductive to a materialist paradigm that I'm afraid such thinking remains ultimately limited by its choice of language and metaphor. This is how science gets caught in a conceptual prison of its own making.

Right brain thinking.

The Presence of Other Worlds In Psychotherapy and Healing
by Roger J. Woolger, Ph.D.This article is a partly edited transcript of a lecture given at the second Beyond the Brain Conference sponsored by the Scientific and Medical Network (UK) and the Institute of Noetic Sciences (US), held in St. John's College, Cambridge, England, August 21-24, 1997.
In talking about the presence of other worlds, I want to argue this morning for a multi-dimensional view of reality, that is the presence of many worlds, higher and lower which interact with the inter-penetrate this one. I have been forced to re-evaluate my view of imagination, my view of spirit, my view of transcendence. This is what I am going to share with you. For me, the heart of the healing problem and the heart of the problem of the challenge of this conference is how we think of the body and physical space and how we think of the spirit and on-physical space. My basic thesis about confusions here is that we are mostly stuck when we try to think from the left brain about these phenomena. We mostly get stuck in the metaphors of mind and spirit that are spacial, concrete and literalistic. Metaphors that prevent us from fully encountering spirit in it's pure form and from fully moving into the spiritual realm.
One solution to the problem of where mind, where spirit exists and what it's relationship is to matter was proposed earlier this century by the Indian mystic and philosopher Sri Aurobindo. He was actually drawing upon theosophical ideas of a very similar nature in the works of Madame Blavatsky. Aurobindo said (paraphrasing Blavatsky), If you are embarrassed by the word "spirit" think of spirit as the subtlest form of matter. But, if you are not embarrassed by the word spirit, you can think of matter as the densest form of spirit.4
We could symbolize what the quotation says in this way: From the Aurobindo and Blavatsky viewpoint if we are starting from matter and moving upwards, spirit is the finest or subtlest emanation or manifestation of matter. If we dare to take the spiritual viewpoint, then matter is the lowest or the densest form of spirit. Rather as physicist David Bohm has put it: "matter is frozen light."5
To my mind the culprit behind our bondage to materialism is the tiny little word "in". This innocent little word deceptively conceals a spacial metaphor that betrays its true allegiance to the materialist dogma, however holistic or spiritual we think we are. I believe that unconscious use of the word "in" sadly dominates and constricts much serious scientific thinking about energy and spirit.
Heidegger has said that science is based on an explanatory scheme designed to convert whatever is studied into something in space, located over there and subsisting separately from the over against us. It makes no difference whether the thing in question is a chair, a man, an atom, a sense datum, or a body. It is still in some sense there. And when it is out there it has things in it and it is "in" space. This is how we imagine objects.6
The spirit cannot be reduced to biological components, be they bioplasm, microvita or even etheric energy--which is not to say that spirit cannot manifest in forms perceived in this way. With most biological and materialist metaphors we end up mistaking the container--remember Kabir's pitcher in the water--for what it contains.
The spiritual dimension is other than and of a higher order than the energy fields that manifest in physical world. There is an intermediary crossover place where spirit manifests through the material world and a place moving in the other direction where conversely we can move through the material into the spiritual. In this intermediary world, this halfway place, is what we often experience as fields, a forces, as psychic phenomena, clairvoyant and subtle perceptions. I suggest that they come from a higher, not a lower source.
My solutions, my ways of getting out of the materialist position are twofold. They both entail a kind of going beyond, to use the phenomenologist Thevenaz's words, our presuppositions and "opening to a sense of wonder, opening to that which is bigger, greater and beyond us." Both these solutions entail metaphors and images but they are metaphors and images which I hope we can use consciously and not unconsciously. We can have metaphors and not allow the metaphors to have us.
We can move through higher realities, and higher realities can move through lower realities without being understood - because the laws and the dimensional forces that they operate with are quite different. You just need to push the reality up one dimension and you will see what I am talking about spirit. The other way that I want to suggest that we can move out of our one-dimensional thinking is to switch away from left brain - purely rational thinking, into right brain thinking.


An excellent book that summarises the whole extraordinary account of Supramentalised transformation is The Mind of the Cells, by Mirra's chief disciple and confidante, Satprem. Unfortunately this book, invaluable for bringing together under relevant headings the Mother's own accounts of her experiences, is also padded with Satprem's comments, which at time are inanely Darwinistic (or rather pseudo-Darwinistic); as if this spectacular transformation of existence were no more significant than the evolution or appearance of any of the innumerable life-forms to grace this planet - such as the first amphibian or first hominid.
Perhaps we should not judge Satprem too harshly for this reductionism; he is after all only expressing the inconceivable in terms of the current mythology of his day, just as the founders of Zoroastrianism and Christianity explained similiar phenomenon in the terms of the mythology of their day: miraculous intervention by an external supernatural deity. Both explanations are absurd, because they rely on limited human understanding to try to express or define the Infinite. But the Infinite, the Supreme, can only really be expressed or defined on its own terms.
And if we still do insist on pigeon-holing it, at least we should use the more sophisticated metaphysics of occult cosmologies, rather than those of religion or materialistic science. Here I have tried to let the experience speak for itself as much as possible, and only drawn parallels with theologies or metaphysical systems when they are obvious. The Mother referred to this other state of being not only as "the Supermind' but also more poetically or intuitively as "the divine state", "the all-powerful state", or someties just "love" or "that" [Satprem p.32] M.Alan Kazlev Kheper Home

Laboratory of Evolution

The research unit known as the "Laboratory of Evolution" was started in 1984 in one of the available spaces at Bharat Nivas, as a temporary location. In 1985, the LOE has become the LOE/CHU, thanks to the addition of a twin research unit, the Centre for Human Unity. The overall purpose of the joint unit is to be a centre of documentation and a dynamic focus for stimulating research, in Auroville and elsewhere, concerning further evolution of the human species, which Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have not only announced, but have opened the way for. Through the unit's name, people also have a constant reminder that the whole earth is a "laboratory of evolution".
The unit's most visible aspect until now has been its specialised library, covering the numerous topics related to the study of evolution, past and future, AS seen both from a scientific and a spiritual point of view in the light of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's evolutionary vision and work. The unit is welcoming people new to Auroville (especially students), who come with many questions about Auroville and its underlying vision. In the LOE/CHU they can find the complete works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, plus Satprem and many other "disciples". They can also find all the books written by Aurovilians themselves, and many other books and documents about the township. Besides this, a whole range of books, magazines and cassettes in many languages, about evolution, are available for lending, with the possibility of obtaining further information and advice if requested.
The research aspect of the unit has developed steadily over the years, and the various expressions of that research are now starting to attract more and more interest, from outsiders as well as from Aurovilians. On an ongoing basis the unit is engaged in the following research work:
  • Integral yoga and its confluence with the emerging new scientific paradigms in physics, biology, medicine, history, etc.
  • An index of 'Mother's Agenda', the 13 volume record of Mother's pioneering steps towards a conscious and transformed body, the future body which evolution is already now preparing for a transformed human species.
  • The secret consciousness in our body cells and how to awaken and develop it (a book is currently being written on this topic, and a number of workshops have been held).
  • Messages and other texts by The Mother about Auroville. These have all been put together into one large compilation, which individuals or working groups in Auroville can photocopy for their own use. Others just ask orally for what they need.
  • Development since many years of an innovative board game, "Gayatri": evolution played as 'the adventure of consciousness and joy' (Sri Aurobindo, "Savitri").
  • Flowers and consciousness.
  • Awakening of body consciousness through hatha yoga and martial arts.
  • Research on chakras.

One important area of research envisioned from the start needs to be added to what is already being done: the kind of scientific research which a "laboratory of evolution" ought also to do. For example, to experiment with the diverse biofeedback instruments which show the physiological effects that the various states of consciousness have on the human body. With the help of such devices, even children should be able to learn (to a certain extent) how to be, at will, in a specific state of consciousness, and how to communicate more consciously with their body.

Muddled maps, models and metaphors

The moment you slip into talking about ‘quarks’, ‘gluons’, ‘leptons’, ‘gauge symmetry’, ‘string variance’, the slippery slope into muddled maps, models and metaphors becomes such that truth becomes ever more elusive. The so-called search for a 'Final Theory' is so preposterous; I don't know even where to begin. It is the ultimate arrogance of our time that scientists even use such phraseology. As a scientist, I highly value the scientific methodology to discovery and make use of knowledge gained from it. Who can argue with the wonders of the modern world, the awe inspiring images of the Hubble Space Telescope, the discovery of extrasolar planets, or the latest high speed computers? I love all of these things, and we have the scientific method to thank for it. But we are talking apples and oranges here. Paul Hughes Editor, Future Hi Posted by Paul at January 13, 2006 12:10 PM

The system knows how to evolve

The real dangerous idea, which most people with scientific credentials apparently are afraid of thinking, is, in my words:
Life the universe and everything is all one system, which is self-organizing, intelligent and eternal. There's no outside to it. Nothing is separate from it. Whatever happens inside of it happens because it is in its nature to happen. It has no outside meaning, but it can create meaning. Its latent qualities might or might not get expressed, but when they do, it is because they're there. So, if something finds itself having self-reflective consciousness, it is because the whole system possesses the potential quality of self-reflective consciousness. Duh.
If oxygen and hydrogen mix and become water, that's because they already had the property of being able to do so. If something evolves, it is because the system knows how to evolve. If something is alive, it is because the system is alive. If somewhere in the system time and space exists, and at some "time" a scientist evolves and he decides that he has understood it all and it is all really dumb and random and meaningless and consciousness only exists in brains, except for that it doesn't really exist, well, he's right, makes no difference. It is all natural. Luckily it isn't that scientist, or some guy with a grey beard on a mountain, who's responsible for keeping the whole system working, or it really wouldn't last long. The whole system is much smarter than any brain that comes along at some point and has a short-lived fit of self-importance.
Doesn't matter what you call it. You can call it God, or Universe, or Physics, or Nature, Evolution or Mind or Consciousness. It is you, buddy! If you think not, you've become a bit confused by derivatives of your own abstract thoughts. Take a step back and touch Reality. Be conscious. Be very conscious! But don't get cocky. That little point of self-reflective awareness that you identify with, and which is enough to spin yourself into circles, is way, way, way smaller and more ephemeral than the big you who is all of existence, all of evolving spacetime, any dimension, any physical phenomenon, any potential phenomenon, all simultaneously, all forever. It is a lot smarter at running things than your little localized conscious focal point. You're not in control. But if you catch a ride on natural law, and go with the flows, you can go far, very quickly. Because the system works really well. It is self-regenerating. It is open source.
Well, that was my rant. But that maybe doesn't give you anything very practical to do with it. A truly dangerous worldchanging idea would be a meme you let loose, and it just breaks down the old fixed structures, and it guides the self-organization of something new and better. They don't come along all that often, but when they do, it doesn't really matter much what you think about it, as it pretty much happens by itself. It might be time for some ideas that actually change how we perceive ourselves and the world, where nothing will be the same again. Lots of people have commented on the Edge dangerous ideas thing. Like, I just noticed Dave Pollard's Blinded by Science. He wasn't very impressed either with the dangerousness of those ideas, and he has some alternative suggestions. Posted by Flemming January 11, 2006 at 01:48 PM Comments (35) Home Forums Future Hi Needs Your Support

Scientific study of human nature

Something radically new is in the air: new ways of understanding physical systems, new ways of thinking about thinking that call into question many of our basic assumptions. A realistic biology of the mind, advances in evolutionary biology, physics, information technology, genetics, neurobiology, psychology, engineering, the chemistry of materials: all are questions of critical importance with respect to what it means to be human. For the first time, we have the tools and the will to undertake the scientific study of human nature.
What you will find emerging out of the 119 original essays in the 75,000 word document written in response to the 2006 Edge Question — "What is your dangerous idea?" — are indications of a new natural philosophy, founded on the realization of the import of complexity, of evolution. Very complex systems — whether organisms, brains, the biosphere, or the universe itself — were not constructed by design; all have evolved. There is a new set of metaphors to describe ourselves, our minds, the universe, and all of the things we know in it. Welcome to Edge. Welcome to "dangerous ideas". Happy New Year. John Brockman Publisher & Editor Home About Edge January 12 , 2006


Future Hi: Turning On Higher Intelligence Paul Hughes
One of the primary inspirations behind this new site is that turning on higher intelligence is not only fun and joyous, it is absolutely necessary if we and our intelligent civilization are to survive the coming decades and expand out into the comsos. By higher intelligence I mean the whole enchilada, whatever that is - not just greater intellect, but greater everything, greater emotional sanity, more love, compassion, creativity, inspiration, and most especially the transcendent experience itself and it's infinite expanse so raved about by psychonauts, shamans and eastern/yogic practioners. As Dr John Lilly once said, "Science is the Yoga of the West, and Yoga is the Science of the East". The question then is this:
Is this higher intelligence (i.e. enlightement, satori, samadhi, zen) a product of our evolving brain opening new experiential neurological circuits, OR is there some kind of "objective" higher intelligence in the universe who we are starting to tune into, or both?
For the purposes of this site, it doesn't matter what the answer is. What matters is that these transcendent states are valid in themselves and what we do with them. Who cares whether such sublime experiences are arbitrary brain states produced by a flood of seratonin and endorphins or something else? As Hans Moravec has repeated often, simulated experience is for all philosophical purposes as real as non-simulated experience. And besides, how could we tell the difference? How do we know we are currently not in some kind of hyper-advanced "matrix" simulation or in the mind of a much greater entity?
My opinion is that the computational-nanotechnological metaphor presents us with a potentially huge increase in intelligence over the coming decades. It is becoming clear in the scientific community that the computational metaphor is the next big thing in science - a paradigm shift as Kuhn describes - a move from a strictly materialist point of view to a more computationalist perspective. Stephen Wolfram, a respected physicist and author of the program Mathematica and the new book A New Kind of Science is one of the spearheaders of this paradign shift. But it is still only a paradigm, a metaphor, the next metaphor, but certainly not the last. Science is slowly getting one step closer to hyper-intelligence, but hyper-intelligence as I have experienced it, transcensd this merely computational perspective, as it still does not acknowledge the transcendent experience itself. That's ok, as I think it's only a matter of time.
Strict empiricists such as Hans Moravec and Ray Kurzweil have both written books (I Robot: Mere Machine to Trancendent Mind and The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence) that have clearly taken the computatational metaphor to its logical extremes, ending their books with hints of a trancendent "spiritual" reality. You could consider it enlightenment unplugged from dogma and religion. But they stop just short of clearly acknowledging that. What I am talking about has nothing to do with whether you are an atheist, agnostic or theist, since it's pure experience itself, whose ultimate reality continues to remain a mystery.
Like Godel's Incompleteness Theorm, we may never know. It's possible we may discover these "spiritual" realities to be nothing more than brain chemistry. Even if that's the case, it does not make these expereinces any less valid. In the scheme of our evolution, of our planet, and our long-term survival, making such distinctions is irrelevant. The future of intelligence is an expansion into all of these states and beyond them. The future of intelligence is infinite.
Part of the purpose of this site is to bridge these gaps of understanding. That has been my underlying motivator behind my book, if I can get the damn thing finished. I'm not worried about the Leary-Wilson-Lilly visionary mysticals, they essentially get it, if lacking in sufficient scientific-computational rigor. No, the challenge is transmitting these hyper-dimensional "groove-love" spaces communicated to the hyper-computational transhumanists who haven't experience such things yet.
I think communicating this message is paramount, because it is these hyper-computationalist’s who are taking over the reigns of science and technological progress as we approach greater-than-human intelligence and decentralizing bio/nanotechnology. Higher intelligence by definition expands the number of alternative pathways available to us in which to apply solutions to pressing problems, which are only going to get worse unless we wake up and embrace more positive contexts. The sooner this “higher intelligence” is grokked the better our chances of us reaching utopia over oblivion. Posted by Paul February 23, 2004 at 01:02 AM Comments (9) TrackBack

Piaget, Wilber and Sri Aurobindo

Cognitive development is essentially a movement through Wilber's fulcrums of basic structures, which combines Piaget's early stages with Aurobindo's transrational stages. As Piaget's stage model ends, Wilber adds a transformation stage (vision-logic) before moving into Aurobindo's conceptions of psychic, subtle, causal, and nondual. Vision-logic corresponds to late Green/early Yellow in the Beck Spiral Dynamics model. The hallmark of this stage is the ability to hold and compare differing perspectives or points of view.
In the language of Spiral Dynamics, one must be able to read the whole Spiral and assume the worldview of any of the first tier vMemes at will to be truly integral or second tier. This is the "necessary but not sufficient" element of integral consciousness. There is more to being second tier than intellectual development, but second tier won't happen without the mental capacity to assume various and conflicting worldviews.
Development of the Self along the Spiral requires an ability to intellectually conceive of new ways of seeing the world. This is not to say that an integral experience is not available as a state of consciousness, because it is, but integral consciousness as the foundation of a worldview must be solidified as a stage and not a simple state, which is available to anyone at any stage of development.
So this brings me to what I think is the most important element to an integral relationship: the ability to access the observer self. The observer self is the part of ourselves that can step back and listen to our minds obsess about finances, or an annoying coworker, or whatever the wind of the mind is blowing into consciousness--to observe our own interior monologue. This part of our consciousness is more of who we really are than the stream of words we call the interior monologue will ever be. The observer self is the first authentic approach to finding the higher Self that resides beyond the realm of ego (Wilber's "witness"). posted by WH @ 10:49 AM William Harryman Location:Tucson, Arizona Saturday, January 28, 2006

January 29, 2006

Circle of understanding

The central notion of the circle of understanding says that the parts of a text must be understood in terms of the whole and the whole in terms of the parts in an unceasing circular movement. This implies that before we start with a part, we already have some vague notion of what the whole is about and an anticipation of its coherence and meaningful unity. As we make the to and fro movement between the parts and the whole, each yields a clearer and determinate meaning, a meaning moreover, which has nothing to do with the life and the mind or times of the author but solely with the matter which finds expression in the text, with an impersonal, intelligible and coherent sense. When we take up an ancient text, seeking to understand it and expecting it to speak to us, deep calling to our deep, we do so with certain presuppositions, inexplicit and unconscious, never with an empty, unprepossessed mind. (J.L.Mehta: 166) # posted by Tusar N Mohapatra Thursday, October 13, 2005: 5:23 PM

Involution / Evolution

Posted by Daniel O'Connor Comments (1) TrackBack (0)
Thanks to Marginal Revolution for raising the issue of evolution vs. creationism and offering this interesting perspective:
  • The scientific evidence for evolution is solid but it doesn't follow that creationism is irrational in the way that many evolutionists assume. Creationism follows rationally from theism. I recognize that this argument is not likely to please many people. The evolutionists fear to question the premise while modern/moderate theists fear to question the conclusion.Thus for someone who knows, really knows, that god(s) exists (and there are many people who claim to know that god(s) exists) then some form of creationism (see the extension) follows as a rational deduction from the premises. It's no point telling these people that creationism is unscientific because given the premise that god(s) exists creationism is scientific. If god(s) exists then evolution is almost certainly false, if not in every particular then surely in the grand claims of a undesigned nature.
I generally agree and I think Alex has his finger on two underlying value systems that have been described rather well by various psychologists, particularly Clare Graves and his students Don Beck and Chris Cowan, who designate them DQ-Blue and ER-Orange. Bottom line: People who see, think, judge, and act primarily through one or the other of these value systems will find it very difficult to resolve their ideological differences. More to the point, we are far more likely to find devout creationists centered at absolutistic DQ-Blue and devout evolutionists centered at multiplistic ER-Orange.
But what about the prospect of an integral theory that bridges and unites the essence of both evolution and creationism? What if the pattern that we observe as evolution was the explicit unfolding of an implicit pattern of latent potentials previously involved in the human and natural world? What if we and our world are simultaneously involved or enfolded Spirit and evolved or unfolded Matter, Life, Mind, etc.? This hypothesis was beautifully articulated nearly 100 years ago by Sri Aurobindo in The Life Divine. # posted by Tusar N Mohapatra Sunday, September 18, 2005: 3:44 AM 0 comments

January 28, 2006

As if only the great can be spiritual

"You think then that in me (I don't bring in the Mother) there was never any doubt or despair, no attacks of that kind. I have borne every attack which human beings have borne, otherwise I would be unable to assure anybody "This too can be conquered." At least I would have no right to say so. Your psychology is terribly rigid. I repeat, the Divine when he takes on the burden of terrestrial nature, takes it fully, sincerely and without any conjuring tricks or pretence. If he has something behind him which emerges always out of the coverings, it is the same thing in essence even if greater in degree, that there is behind others -- and it is to awaken that that he is here. The psychic being does the same for all who are intended for the spiritual way -- men need not be extraordinary beings to follow it. That is the mistake you are making -- to harp on greatness as if only the great can be spiritual." SRI AUROBINDO
posted Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 7:48 AM

Cognition issues

Friday, December 30, 2005
seeds {maybe some sprouts}: Designing for Embodiment
posted by Gert at 9:03 PM 1 comments
The Multiverse According to Ben: Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness
posted by Gert at 4:45 PM 0 comments
The Multiverse According to Ben: Immortality and the Potential Obsolescence of the Self
posted by Gert at 4:43 PM 0 comments

Savitri Era Learning Forum: Being No One
posted by Gert at 4:38 PM 0 comments
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Savitri Era Learning Forum: January 2006
posted by madhumita @ 6:23 PM 0 comments

Hobbes and Ryle, Kant and Sri Aurobindo

The Concept of the Poet in the Aesthetics of Sri Aurobindo
By Dr. Ranjan Ghosh Darjeeling Government CollegeUniversity of North Bengal(India)
Sri Aurobindo would brush aside as inadequate the tradition headed by Hobbes and recently given currency by Ryle by pointing to the complexity of the creative process. The notion of simple problem solving, particularly of the observable type, fails to account for creativity. Creative activity does not consist merely of the reshuffling of discrete elements of atomic contents and experienced forms into other combinations. The product of the creative mind is not a mere combination, but a creation in a sense that no behaviorist or mechanist can admit and remain true to his theories.
For Sri Aurobindo, aesthetic consciousness or creative imagination must imagine “difficult and hidden truths.” Arguing by his paradigmatic concept of mantra he would say that a metaphor or a symbol employed in the Vedic style is expected to convey a reality, as a revelative symbol of the unrevealed and hint luminously to the mind what for logical or practical thought would have ever remained inaccessible. The romantic view of imagination is that it is “a plaything and caterer for our amusement, our entertainer, the nautch-girl of the mind.” The artist must be a seer, “a revealer of hidden truths, imagination no dancing courtesan but a priestess in God's house commissioned not to spin fictions but image difficult and hidden truth” (Aurobindo, Human Cycle 8).
For Sri Aurobindo, the rational is surpassed and left behind by the genius, for the rational only constructs, but does not create. In this light one must better understand Kant’s celebrated view that creations of the mind which do not owe their origin in any way to the spiritual faculty in man (freedom and autonomy) are only a product of mechanical operations, of association of ideas, or even of mere lucky accidents. “Rule and precept are incapable of serving as the requisite subjective standard for...the aesthetic and unconditioned finality in fine art” (Meredith 212).
Kant finds the explanation of genius in “the supersensible substrate of all the subjects (unattainable by any concept of understanding), and consequently in that which forms the point of reference for the harmonious accord of all our faculties of cognition...” (Meredith 212).
Despite obvious differences between Kant’s and Sri Aurobindo’s respective philosophical positions, the points of accord also are striking. It may be noted in this context that Sri Aurobindo is not an advocate of reductionism. Though art or the aesthetic impulse, properly speaking, springs from the infra-rational parts of our being, it does seek the help of the rational. Reason lays down the laws of aesthetics, purifies our appreciation and improves our taste. Within restricted bounds, reason corrects and sets aright our aesthetic instinct and impulse, by making it self-conscious and rationally discriminative. The rational as such may not also be the artistic but it is the creator of our aesthetic conscience, judge and guide.
So the super-existentialist Sri Aurobindo, manifests a supra-normal familiarity with the intensities of our subliminal and supraliminal being. Spirituality for him is a much wider thing than formal religion. Art reaches its highest self expression when it is pressed into the service of spirituality. And spirituality denotes a threefold line of human aspiration – divine knowledge, strength, love and joy.

Cosmic Solidarity: Divergence and Reconciliation

As our two world-historical streams--the Abrahamic and Brahmanic--meandered and ramified, they took very different courses before arriving at oddly similar conclusions. In the West, science pursued the material world down to the atom, eventually smashing it to discover a realm of unbroken wholeness flowing beneath our misleading perceptions of duration and solidity. Vedanta proceeded in the opposite direction, tracing the ego back to its source, and then smashing it to discover another vast realm of unbroken wholeness and unity beneath our illusory individual egoic identities.
In the West, Kant and later Schopenhaur took metaphysics as far as the Western dualistic paradigm would allow, to the threshold of the noumena, the unknowable ultimate reality that lay hidden behind our perceptions. That is, they maintained that we could only know the phenomenal world, the one revealed by our senses and categories of thought. Whatever lay outside those categories was utterly unknown and unknowable to us. Schopenhaur went a little further than Kant, in that he felt that the noumenon could be revealed to us in moments of aesthetic exaltation, especially through music. But Schopenhaur never imagined that we could ever actually break through the walls of the ego and know the noumenon directly. That is, until he discovered the Upanishads.
Dr. Reddy, like me a student of the Indian sage and mystic Sri Aurobindo, writes that "Mankind has benefitted broadly by the two central spiritual streams which were complementary to each other. The one that watered the West has been essentially the aspiration for the salvation of the world, the emancipation of humanity [through] the descent of God's grace.... The [stream] that was perfected in the East and especially in India was the liberation of the individual through his ascent into the Divine himself. An exclusive stress on the first results in preoccupation with the material world, whereas the all too exclusive preoccupation with individual liberation leads to complete disregard of the world of humanity. An integration of these two ways, a wider and luminous fusion of their insights, will provide a tangible and enduring basis of spiritual life on the earth." posted by Gagdad Bob Tuesday, October 25, 2005 at 8:15 AM

Scholars as Gnostic Diplomats

Kripal, Jeffrey John 1962- "Comparative Mystics: Scholars as Gnostic Diplomats" Common Knowledge - Volume 10, Issue 3, Fall 2004, pp. 485-517 Duke University Press Excerpt Common Knowledge 10.3 (2004) 485-517 [Access article in PDF] Scholars as Gnostic Diplomats Jeffrey J. Kripal Project MUSE See How Do I Get This Article?
It is not difficult to see why Ulrich Beck's cosmopolitan viewpoint would inspire dissent. In a time of religious violence, fundamentalist politics, and attempts to erase historical memory on behalf of ethnic self-interest, it is easy to forget that, not so long ago, intelligent and pragmatic people could hope for a global worldview and even a global spirituality to emerge. It is worth remembering. It is worthwhile resisting the cynicism that comes from knowing that cosmopolitan hopes were at their highest during the colonial era. But however unwelcome the contact (unwelcome, often, on both sides), colonialism brought divergent cultures into intimate relationships whose results were not wholly or finally negative. One result was that brave souls around the planet came to believe that the conflicts among cultures, religions, and "final vocabularies" could eventually be transcended.
The positive results tended to be scholarly and to center on religion. In 1950, the postcolonial turning point, Raymond Schwab argued that the human venture had been ennobled and transformed during an "Oriental Renaissance" (1680-1880) when scholars labored diligently, if imperfectly, at the project of translation and religious interpretation. "Few people today," Schwab wrote, "seem to have heard of Anquetil-Duperron or Sir William Jones or what they set out to accomplish in India in the eighteenth century, but they have drastically altered our ways of thinking nonetheless. Why, then, is the fact generally unknown?"

Husserl and HRM

The transcendent character of the company
Bengt Gustavsson, School of Business, Stockholm University
International Journal of Human Resource Development and Management, vol. 3, no. 1, 2003, pp. 17-28
This paper discusses an alternative HRM-model based on a transcendent perspective of human consciousness. Drawing from the rich descriptions in the European and Indian philosophical traditions, the problems of identification of the self with the outer objects/definitions are highlighted. It is argued that the real and true self is found in the transcendent self, free of empirical content. The qualities of the transcendent self are the transcendent character of the individual. It is also argued that the transcendent character can be seen on macro-levels, e.g. in an organization. The transcendent consciousness is claimed to be inter-individual and the degree to which the transcendent is enlivened sets the frame for the organization and its behaviour. Empirical studies have indicated the individual as well as organizational transcendent character.
The ancient Indian tradition, unlike the European counterpart, has many contemporary proponents in emphasizing a tran­scen­dental conscious­ness. Well-known in the West are for example Krishna­murti, Rama­krishna, Vivekana­nda, Yogananda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Auro­bindo, and Chopra [[20]].
If, however, a consciousness paradigm includes a transcendent level, as discussed above, we must add the inter-individual, aspect of consciousness. Husserl, for example, claims that in the transcendent “I experience the world and the others in me within the framework of my transcendentally reduced pure consciousness-life”. Thus, from the pure consciousness we experience the rest of the world at a subliminal level; not in object-related terms, but in transcendent, experiential and intuitive terms. The experience is in other words inter-individual – an experience of a level of consciousness common to all human beings. If we are to speak about organizations in terms of this paradigm, the inter-individual feature of the transcendent makes it highly relevant to analyse in collective, or organizational, terms. The experience of the transcendent consciousness is suggested to “enliven” its qualities on the macro-level, i.e. the organizational/societal in threshold patterns [[42]].
The discovery of the company’s human potential
The problems and paradoxes of much of the present day’s HRM-practices is that it want to introduce new knowledge, new ways of thinking and be on the frontiers of knowledge in the field. And yet, the field is continuing to change and new practices must be introduced and new demands are made on the employees to adapt to the latest practices. This knowledge and these practices are not necessarily erroneous or misleading, but how many more changes in the mental cognitive knowledge structures can an individual endure?
In this article I have introduced a perspective of the human being based on the wisdom of European and Indian thinkers on the ground state of the human consciousness, the transcendent consciousness. The perspective basically says that our self is not our thoughts, which, to use Kant’s words, are objects or limited representations. Our true self is that objectless subjectivity, full in itself, common to all human beings, available by experience only, and setting the frame for the collective consciousness of the organization.
A transcendent character of the organization, or to use Husserl’s word, an egological organization, is a quality and also an ideology [[46]]. The quality is seen as the degree of transcendent consciousness that is reflected in the collective consciousness of the organization, which can be seen as the transparent perception of the organizational members. The transparent perception is the ability to balance the tendency to identify with the non-self, i.e. the object of perception and empirical definitions, with the self, i.e. the transcendent being. This balance is the key to avoid falling prey to trends and definitions set by the environment, while at the same time unleashing the employees’ full human potential. The alternative is that we become prisoners of our reified concepts; of illusory perceptions of a complex reality, just like the shadows on the wall in Plato’s cave are illusions of a reality unknown to the cave dwellers [[47]].
HRM-practices focussing on creating object-related perceptions only, will contribute to the illusory shadows of the world instead of empowering its employees to make the shadows transparent. This was apparent when I studied the Swedish Post Office in its attempts to create a consumer consciousness in the cashiers [[48]]. In spite of the good rationale for such action, the program was based entirely on pre-formulated dogmas of good consumer oriented behaviour, and failed to relate to the cashiers inner world. The program was apprehended as alien shadows of another world and failed completely.
The ideology of a transcendent character of an organization is that urge and ensuing policies and actions of the leaders and the employees in the organization toward non-reifying actions and transcending behaviour. Whether this would consist of regular meditation, constant reflection and critical analysis, and/or any other action is difficult to say, as we have too few contemporary examples of organizations with an ideology of a transcendent character. We have even fever studies of such organizations, which is needed to gain more understanding of transcendent characters.
Finally, there is also a great need for theoretical development in the area. As organizational theorists, I believe we should pick up the baton from the great thinkers in the past to apply and develop their ideas in our times. I believe both the mankind and the organizations will benefit from such development.

Mystic vs. skeptic

anthonyjaycee (anthonyjaycee) wrote, @ 2006-01-27 01:57:00 spiritual science Integral Theory: This is pretty much what I'm going for, at least ideally-- bringing science and spirituality together. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_%28philosophy%29 Integral theory (philosophy) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Integral theory is comprised of those philosophies and teachings that seek a comprehensive understanding of humans and the universe by combining scientific and spiritual insights. According to the Integral Transformative Practice website, integral means "dealing with the body, mind, heart, and soul." Integral theory can be seen as a reaction against rationalism and materialism. It introduces instead a more universal and holistic perspective. Proponents view rationalism as subordinating, ignoring, and denying spirituality. Ken Wilber, one of the most important contemporary integral thinkers, begins by acknowledging and validating mystical experience, rather than denying its reality. As these experiences have occurred to humans in all cultures in all eras, they are accepted as valuable and not pathological. Integral theorists like Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin, Wilber, and others argue that both science and mysticism (or spirituality) are necessary for complete understanding of humans and the universe.
(Post a new comment) moriarty6 2006-01-27 05:14 pm UTC (link)
Not to ask a silly question, but what do integralists mean by "mystic"? Are they using the word simply as a catch-all term for inexplicable subjective experience, or are they postulating the actual existence of a nonmaterial plane that all of these methodologies are supposed to point towards?
(Reply to this) (Thread) anthonyjaycee 2006-01-27 08:28 pm UTC (link)
Hmmm... Well, I can't speak for this level of specifics for the integralist community at large, since my approach is more one of "I know how I operate, and I'm trying to see what matches up to me." But I do have a couple thoughts on the matter.Firstly (though I don't think this quite answers your question), I'd suppose that the best generally agreed on definition of "mysticism" would be as described here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism
Secondly, my own analysis of what you asked... From my perspective, "catch-all" and "inexplicable" tend to indicate something along the lines of "these experiences are all out there, and we're looking at them separately" and "nonmaterial plane" tends to indicate that these are all connected, deriving from the same source. Now, I myself am working towards unifying all these types of things in my own understanding, basically in a consistent, underlying science. So I think that fits in with the nonmaterial plane approach. Hmmmm... The nature of integral theory itself definitely looks to be attempting to unify things in a similar way. So, I think what's going on is that both sides of what you're asking about are being addressed-- they (and I) want to be expansive enough to include all manner of inexplicable subjective experiences, but at the same time, they (and I) want to bring all these together into a unified understanding.
(Reply to this) (Parent) spiritofnow 2006-01-27 11:03 pm UTC (link)
Hi -- found you while browsing through skepticaldebate. Hope you don't mind me friending you -- I am also studying Integral theory. :-)
(Reply to this) (Thread) anthonyjaycee 2006-01-28 01:00 am UTC (link)
Friending is fine; the more, the merrier. :) Sometimes I feel like I'm a pariah on skeptical debate... I don't agree with what I would call the groupthink of the greater scientific community, so I seem to continually find myself debating with people who say things like: "There's no hard evidence for that" (when there is, and they just haven't even looked for it) or "All people who believe in psychic abilities are charlatans and fakers" (which is a obviously an inaccurate generalization). But anyway, I've spent enough time pondering the deep stuff, and trying to resolve matters of spirit within a logical framework, that I can generally hold my own in such debates... and refer people to books that back me up well, when needed.
My favorite books to recommend in this realm (as you probably saw me mention on there) are The Holographic Universe and The Field. Also, I write a lot on here that's related to all this as well, which fit my "spiritual science" tag. There's probably some stuff of mine on here that you'd like, and some stuff that you wouldn't be as excited about, but I figure I'd recommend it in general. You can skim through however much you'd like of it here: http://anthonyjaycee.livejournal.com/tag/spiritual+science
(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) spiritofnow 2006-01-28 02:10 am UTC (link)
I'm quite new to mysticism -- used to be a bit of a hard-headed skeptic myself until my kundalini awakening last year (if you've read my userinfo you can read a bit about my journey). You can read a description of my experience here: http://www.geocities.com/to_be_broadcast_live/revolution.htm Thanks for the link, will go through your journal entries. :-)
(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) anthonyjaycee 2006-01-28 02:42 am UTC (link)
I'll have to check out your description and user info.It's kind of funny, but I actually haven't had any OBE's, NDE's, or a Kundalini experience myself. So, I feel like I'm missing out greatly on much of what many could take as "real proof." But I read a lot about a lot of related things. And I am very intuitive, so I'm great at channeling information from spiritual entities, and communicating with them intuitively in general... I just can't "prove that they're real." (But they do really help with the journal writing and the novel writing; that's tangible.) Plus, I get a lot of "hmmm, that was highly unlikely" types of signs that show up in my life. It does all add up, but I still feel like I'm missing out on some of the more powerful specific spiritual experiences that many have...
(Reply to this) (Parent) (Anonymous) 2006-01-28 02:15 am UTC (link)
By the way, for one of the best sites on the Internet synthesizing science and spirituality, check out: http://www.kheper.net The mailing list is great, too. Alan Kazlev, who runs the site, is extremely well-versed in both science (especially paeleontology) as well as esotericism. (Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread) spiritofnow 2006-01-28 02:16 am UTC (link) Whoops, that comment above was me. :-)