October 29, 2006

Reification and sedimentation of Sri Aurobindo's work

Re: Re: Reflections on THE IDEAL OF HUMAN UNITY By Debashish Banerji by Rich on Wed 25 Oct 2006 09:24 AM PDT Permanent Link
Seems like we are following the usual course of misunderstanding inherent in considering Sri Aurobindo's writing in the same conversation in which other methods of intellectual inquiry are probed. I guess I should also make it clear that I understood this conversation going two places:
1) To identify a manner of discourse which could be fromulated to allow the presentation of Sri Aurobindo's system of integral yoga and transformation, in a language which could be legitimized in academic situ. It was in no means an effort at reducing Sri Aurobindo's message to criterion defined by postmodernist discourse . In this respect I do find some break throughs were (are) achieved (at least from my limited vantage point) The issues Deb raised of cross cultural hermeneutic arising from the Indic darshanic seeing, and the references to comments by Gayatri Spivak about legitimizing subaltern belief systems by accepting them on their own terms was for me highly insightful, and I think a small opening from which one can proceed in this direction. (To me finding such methods of cross-cultural intersubjective discourse regards the yoga is a raison d'etre of SCIY)
2) To address the problem of the reification and sedimentation of Sri Aurobindo's work in current doxa pervading the institutions which are founded on his vision. In this regards yes, I think it is important to subject the doxology which is now assciated with his teachings, to the methods of deconstruction. Unless one can legitimize these critical methods of inquiry within SA's institutions, my own belief is that they will continue on their way in creating a new religion. A religion whose metaphysical presentations will lend themselves only to interpretation by those with status and power in said institutions which are cloaked in their own cultural agenda. Hinduvta is one example. On the other hand the train of this conversation can also be useful to interupt and correct interpretations by contemporary commentators on consciousness like Ken Wilber who also cloaks his understanding of Sri Aurobindo in an academic language which appropriate many post-modernist references. I certainly dont think anyone here wants to leave this job up to him. And finally there is a need to address the mischaracterizations of leftist (and or/ marxist) who deliberately falsify SA works to set up their straw man thesis of communalism in India. The work of Jyotirmaya Sharma falls into this category
(although I do not wish to again appear sanctimonious, in my pronouncements I also see this as a founding vision of SCIY) rich

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