December 31, 2009

Roger Anger – Research on Beauty – By Anupama Kundoo

Michel Foucault: Technologies of Self  ... Posthuman Destinies 
By rcarlson  There is precious little research that has been done in attempting to contextualize the inner technologies and care of the self discourse of Foucault in terms of Eastern practices of meditation and yogic sadhana. Similarly, Sri Aurobino’s integral yoga has been for far too long contextualized in the West as solely a metaphysical teaching from the mystic East that its larger social context – which can serve as a future oriented inner technology of the self whose chief concern is individual freedom – has been obscured to the post-metaphysical thinking of the Academy. 
Roger Anger – Research on Beauty – Architecture 1953-2008

By Anupama Kundoo. Published by Jovis Verlag GmbH, Germany. ISBN 978-3-86859-006-7. Available from Freeland. Price in India Rs 1600. Doubtless, it was because of The Mother. While a quarter of the book deals with Roger’s architecture in Auroville, one looks in vain to find something from Roger on his lifechanging interaction with The Mother, or on the content of Her discussions with him on Auroville. One reason for this might be that Roger would not talk about his experiences with The Mother, except when explicitly asked. But it also seems that it wasn’t the purpose of the author to go beyond Roger’s architecture and urban visions into his spiritual side. 
D. Perumal from Kottakarai village made Auroville his home from childhood onwards. In the early years of Auroville he roughed it out in many different communities, always ready to contribute with hard, honest work and never shied away from hands-on work. Over the years he grew to love mechanics – he worked with the Auroville Water Service for many years, helped Gilles put together water speedboats and dedicated three years working at the Matrimandir, finishing the spiral staircase amongst other things.
Narayan, who lived in Shanti near the Matrimandir, passed away on October 26. He was 89 years old. Narayan first came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1950. Circumstances called him back to his home in Bihar. When he returned in the early seventies, The Mother directed him to Auroville where he stayed ever since. He is remembered as a feisty, determined and devoted worker who, with his wife Bhavani at his side, dedicated himself to the Matrimandir and its area.

December 30, 2009

Seeing, Hearing and Touch, & their counterparts Thinking, Speaking and Feeling

  Yoga is nothing but practical Psychology...Sri AurobindoLogin     Register      

Related Links
Integral Sustainability Seminar Series - Course Schedule
Four Courses of UHU for the Fall Semester 2009 by Rod and Vladimir
ICIS Postgraduate online Programmes In Applied Integral Studies Certified by IGNOU
IPI announces two courses in Indian Psychology (2009 / 2010)
About the term "university"
Our Online Education Center is in progress...
As of now, the following four courses are being offered in study-group format in Auroville, which will soon become available also as online courses.

  • Introduction to the Vedic Studies in the light of Sri Aurobindo by Vladimir.
  • The Philosophy of Evolution (in two parts) by Rod Hemsell.
  • The Poetry of Sri Aurobindo by Rod Hemsell.
  • Philosophy of Language by Vladimir.
  • If we examine the faculties of our cognitive consciousness we will find that there are only a few fundamental faculties, as in the field of the Humanities there are only a few fundamental subjects. What determines this limited number of faculties and subjects is the very nature of our cognitive consciousness - that is we have only three accesses to reality: Seeing, Hearing and Touch, with their active counterparts Thinking, Speaking and Feeling.

December 29, 2009

Resurgence of religion both as a principle of political authority and a structuring presence in everyday life

Alberto Toscano on Marx and Religion from An und für sich by Adam Kotsko

Alberto Toscano has an article up that attempts to make the case for a continued relevance of the Marxian critique of religion in our “post-secular” era. It’s really excellent, as one would expect, and it brings out a point that I believe is especially important in light of the resurgence of the classic Enlightenment critique of religion in the guise of Dawkins, Hitchens, etc., namely that Marx is in many ways carrying out a “critique of the critique of religion.”
If we are to follow Derrida, religion itself can be regarded as paradigmatic of the processes of autonomisation mercilessly pursued by Marx throughout the domains of ideology and abstraction. As Derrida notes in Specters of Marx, on Marx ‘only the reference to the religious world allows one to explain the autonomy of the ideological, and thus its proper efficacy, its incorporation in apparatuses that are endowed not only with an apparent autonomy but a sort of automaticity … as soon as there is production, there is fetishism: idealisation, autonomisation and automatisation, dematerialisation and spectral incorporation’.[43]
But if the full development of a historical-materialist critique of abstractions, moving beyond demystification to constitution, allows us to think of a critical history of religion that would surpass the eliminativist position asserted in The German Ideology, we are still faced with the problem of the plurality of religions. Indeed, as Michèle Bertrand rightly notes, is it even possible to speak of ‘religion in general’? Though as theory, religion might answer to a relatively invariant human need to render the world intelligible, and as practice, to master it, this still does not tell us why ‘this religion has found a receptive terrain, why men have been sensitive to its message. A religion only exists to the extent that a social group declares its adherence to it, drawing from it certain practices, and so on. How is a religion born? Why does it gain followers? How does its audience grow?’[44] [...]

Marx leaves behind the critique of the religious form taken by a state in which man contemplates and is dominated by his own alienated species-being, to undertake the far more insidious ‘religion of everyday life’.[72] In this respect, and in spite of Marx’s draining of real autonomy and real history from religion in The German Ideology, there is considerable truth to Jacques Derrida’s indication regarding ‘the absolute privilege that Marx always grants to religion, to ideology as religion, mysticism, or theology, in his analysis of ideology in general’[73] – if by privilege we understand the necessity of the religious ‘analogy’, for grasping the process of autonomisation that characterizes a society, that of capitalism, in which men are dominated by abstractions. This domination needs to move beyond the state-form and into the everyday of production, consumption and circulation, where men ‘have already acted … before thinking’.[74] 

It is only thus, by tracking the emergence of real abstractions out of social relations, that the tradition of anti-theological criticism whence Marx himself originated may be truly surpassed. This criticism was trapped by a fantasy of omnipotence, whereby the mental critique of abstractions, the impious mastery of ideas, sufficed to dispel them. As Marx wrote of Stirner: ‘He forgets that he has only destroyed the fantastic and spectral form assumed by the idea of “Fatherland”, etc., in the brain … but that he has still not touched these ideas, insofar as they express actual relations’.[75] Only a study of the religion of everyday life will realize for Marx the project of moving from the criticism of Heaven to the criticism of Earth. [...]

This very insight was the object of a brilliant, if beguiling, fragment by Walter Benjamin, precisely entitled ‘Capitalism as Religion’.[77] In contemporary theory, it has been consistently advocated, from a Lacanian and Marxisant standpoint by Slavoj Zizek, who has revisited the theory of commodity-fetishism as the basis for a theory of the ‘secular’ endurance of belief, for instance in the ‘faith in money-value’ whereof Marx speaks in vol. 3 of Capital. In light of Marx’s theory of fetishism, Zizek reads the predicament of Western capitalist societies as follows:

Commodity fetishism (our belief that commodities are magical objects, endowed with an inherent metaphysical power) is not located in our mind, in the way we (mis)perceive reality, but in our social reality itself. … If, once upon a time, we publicly pretended to believe, while deep inside us we were sceptics or even engaged in obscene mocking of our public beliefs, today we tend publicly to profess our sceptical/hedonist/relaxed attitude, while inside us we remain haunted by beliefs and severe prohibitions.[78]

Zizek’s position dovetails quite nicely with Benjamin’s conviction that capitalism is a ‘purely cultic religion’ (the rituals of this purely ‘utilitarian’ religion include sale and purchase, investment, stock speculation, financial operations, and so on). 

December 28, 2009

Inner Man, human destiny, and creative living

Quest for the Inner Man Joseph Vrinte 
Integral Movement: Integral Movement. Integral yoga, California Institute of Integral Studies, Spiritual evolution, Integral psychology, Integral ecology, ... Post-postmodernism, Quantum mysticism 
Transcendence and Transformation: Writings from the California Institute of Integral Studies Vern Haddick 
REVELATIONS: an anthology of spiritual artwork, poetry and prose by Students from the California Institute of Integral Studies 
Integral yoga;: The concept of harmonious and creative living Haridas Chaudhuri
Beyond religion, cosmos is one family: Address at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Chicago, 2 September, 1993 V Madhusudan Reddy 
Meta-history: The unfoldment and fulfilment of human destiny V Madhusudan Reddy Footnotes to the Future
Meditations on the Mother V Madhusudan Reddy The alchemy of her grace: Grateful reminiscences
Purushottama yoga: London talks on " The life divine " V Madhusudan Reddy 
Celebration Future: The Next Millenium V Madhusudan Reddy Savitri: Epic of the Eternal
Yoga of the rishis: The Upanishadic approach to death and immortality V Madhusudan Reddy 
Seven studies in Sri Aurobindo V Madhusudan Reddy Sri Aurobindo's philosophy of evolution
Introducing mankind on the march: The movement; an evolutionary history of human civilisation and a vision of man's destiny 
Sri Aurobindo: The supramental avatar V Madhusudan Reddy Values and value theories in the light of Sri Aurobindo
Champaklal, lion of light and love V Madhusudan Reddy 
The Vedic epiphany, an exposition and celebration of the inaugural dawn in the light of Sri Aurobindo