January 30, 2007

Since no one culture has a monopoly on truth-seeing

Re: Post Human Variations by Richard Carlson
by RY Deshpande on Sun 28 Jan 2007 06:54 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
I understand what you are trying to say, Deba, but even there I will take a different stand. It is the power of truth-seeing that uses the faculty of imagination, like any other well-developed human faculty, and not the other way around. The Vedic poetry is all that, and everywhere so; so of course is Savitri. RYD

by Rich on Sun 28 Jan 2007 08:38 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
Actually if you boil it down, the "power of truth-seeing" proceeds from the organ of meditation e.g."imaginito vera" at least that is my interpretation after some twenty odd years of studying Corbin's esoteric Sufism . I should also add that since no one culture has a monopoly on truth-seeing, it should not surprise us to find cross-cultural accounts which poet the phenomena by using different metaphors. Interesting also is that 600 years before Edward Said raised the issue of the exoticism of the East by the West in his book Orientalism that the Persian Sufis were referring to the journey to the "Orient" as a mystical journey toward the soul, and contrasting this with the profane journey to the "Occident" as leading to the surface world of sensory experience. Although I am mostly sympathetic to Said, obviously this metaphor of the "Orient" is much more complex than certain post-colonial accounts of cross -cultural differences ascribe. rc

by Debashish on Sun 28 Jan 2007 09:13 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
Both these comments of RY and RC are profoundly interesting to me. I agree with you RY that Truth-seeing uses the imagination. Truth-seeing in the Aurobindian corpus is an aspect of the Divine Sense (see the posting on Instruments of Knowledge and Post-Human Destinies), an impersonal and supramental power which can act directly but this may act also through various forms of individualized imaging - here the psychic imaging. Cultural differences, as for example the variations in function, symbology and iconography between Greek and Vedic gods may also be due to such individualized receptions.
Rich, I find particularly interesting your comment on the history of Sufi "Orientalism" vis-a-vis Edward Said. Perhaps one strand of colonial Orientalism can be traced to this Sufi history though what complicates the Orientalism of 18th/19th c. Europe is its co-existence with colonial mercantile/religious/political hegemony. Said's "Orientalism" has been criticized for its homogenizing of the phenomenon. In my own approach, I have seen these two strands, the mystical and the predatory, as a dialectical pair generating the productive force of European Orientalism. DB

by Rich on Sun 28 Jan 2007 11:09 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
Let me also briefly post a quote taken from an important essay by Ashram archivist Richard Hartz which I hope to post on SCIY soon. The quote is from Ibn' Arabi one of the most important figures in Corbin's medieval Sufism and one whose method of illumination was in cultivating imaginito vera. Corbin has written an important text called "creative imagination in the Sufism of Ibn' Arabi" Speaking of the experience of Divine that transcends mere belief Ibn' Arabi says: * "It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible."
This is why I suggest that while it is important to parse differences in approaches to spiritual experience -which I have attempted to highlight in Sri Aurobindo and Mothers experience of evolution - it is also essential that we recognize the affinities of inner experience across cultures and epochs.. * (In Hartz the Forgotten 9/11 and the Clasp of Civilizations: Ibn ’Arabi, Futûhât al-Makkiyya, cited at http://ibnarabisociety.org/. rc

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