April 20, 2006

Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Aurobindo

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 What is Enlightenment? Issue 32 - Thoughts
By far the best article is the public Q&A and Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen. An inspiring piece. Despite his contention that he's just a pandit, Wilber consistently comes across as one of the best spiritual teachers living today. I found Cohen insightful as well.Choice points:
"New structures in consciousness are being laid down right now - they are just faint footprints on the face of the cosmos. So your behavior to the extent that you live up to your highest, is actually creating structures that future humanity will inhabit. Therefore choose your acts very, very carefully. Make sure that the next thing that you say comes from your highest self." - Ken Wilber
Cohen emphasized action from the ground of enlightened being. He took a small swipe at both Ram Dass and Eckhart Tolle: "Since the sixties, everyone's been talking about 'be here now', and now we have 'the power of now' - it's the same old thing. Personally, I think the last thing we need is more being here now. It's not enough." The dialogue had a strong emphasis on working toward unfolding God through our thoughts and actions.
My favorite AC quote in this vein: "When you realize that the universe can only know itself through the unique capacity for consciousness that you and I possess, suddenly it's not a burden to be alive. It's the greatest gift and greatest privilege to be a human being."
Elizabeth Debold stretches for a new model of femininity in "Beyond the Divine Feminine". I liked Debold's piece at the end on the call for a "new" femininity. She uses the example of Lucretia Mott as a woman with spiritual fire in her belly, a rabble-rouser - not your typical "let's sit down and knit our way to world peace" stereotype of women that was born out of the Industrial Revolution. I thought that observation was spot on. Beyond that, however, I thought the piece was flawed. Debold jettisons the idea of the Divine Feminine because it "[makes] the feminine superior". That's a conflation of the Divine Feminine with actual women and actual femininity - it's a context switch.
Sri Ramakrishna and Aurobindo were intoxicated with the energy of the Divine Feminine, and I don't think you can accuse either of these gurus of elevating women above men! The Divine Feminine is the closest way for us to approximate the Creatix, the power of birth and evolution as opposed to interruptive creation sui generis. It's much better to take the concept of the Divine Feminine back from the proponents of matriarchy than it is to accept the matriarchical interpretation of the Goddess and chuck the whole endeavor into the crapper.
Also, Debold manages to get away with talking about gender roles without ever once addressing the GLBT community, or discussing how male fear of homosexuality in the Western world might be preventing the very change she desires to see in men. How is it possible to discuss this topic today without incorporating that perspective? We need to see more writing on sexuality from the homosexual and bisexual community. (In other words: Buy Joe's book!)
Some stuff on reincarnation - whether there's physical survival of bodily death, and how we need to redefine rebirth in a postmodern context, free from the superstition and pre-science of the legacy traditions. Very interesting, but for some reason, the topic doesn't light a fire under my ass.Other interesting stuff in this issue that I haven't finished digesting yet... # posted by Jigdral Dawa @ 10:38 AM

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