January 26, 2008

Not to become too emotional or passionate when challenging materialism

Ulrich’s blog, Beyond Materialism, also has some good information, including the great tagline: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Having thus praised the journal, my one caveat is that we who consider ourselves spiritual aspirants, and particularly those of us associated with the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, must be very careful not to become too emotional or passionate when challenging materialism. This would also bias our own perspective more.
As the Mother said, one should do the right thing quietly and humbly. The title “Anti-Matters” struck me as a bit reactionary, to be honest, although I do realize that’s a pun and not meant to be taken that way. In any event, a world-affirming spirituality would never negate physical or material causation, but include it in a larger scheme. While I support those who challenge the gung-ho materialism of contemporary science, I feel this needs to be done in two ways. Even though we can say that consciousness can’t be reduced to brain or matter, that begs the question of whether it should also be asserted that consciousness can’t be fully abstracted or extracted from these things either. My friend Bob put it best: “What I’m saying is that mind/body dualism needs to be attacked from both sides. A completely nonphysical spirituality is just as suspect, in my view, as a completely spiritless materialism.”
This is especially important for those of attempting to represent the Aurobindoan viewpoint. Sri Aurobindo represents an authentic third position beyond the world-negating spirituality of the past, and the spirit-negating materialism of the present. The concept of embodiment is actually essential to the integral yoga — it is embodied spirituality par excellence in my opinion. On a personal level, I am particularly excited about exploring the overlaps between the findings of neuroscience and cognitive science, and integral yoga. I do not experience any contradiction here. So I would caution those who are writing for Anti-Matters that being non-materialistic does not mean being anti-materialistic... Posted by ned. Filed under Science, Notes and Speculations, Academic Philosophy.

1 comment:

  1. Nehdia Sameen (Ned) passed away on June 15, 2012