I, for one, have no problem with the fact that others can have a different reading than mine. Such a reading could be critical of the way in which the author has presented his subject. It could also question whether the subject ought to have been taken up at all or not. It doesn't need members of yoga ashrams to voice such criticisms.
Founders and authorities of postmodernism, such as Jacques Derrida have also raised serious issues regarding the place and value of biographies. Questions such as whether biographies should be written or whether the author should or should not have written such a book given his status as an ashramite can be discussed and remain opinions which may be interesting to some and uninteresting to others.
Nobody in this forum questioned that right. But just like reading the book itself, it should not be incumbent on anyone to participate in these discussions. And certainly, if those interested in these questions are motivated by the need to cause harm to the writer, I cannot support that. For me, questions of whether a person should write something or not and under what circumstanes have no interest, unless such writing is of a propagandist nature and aimed at convincing others of a binary viewpoint leading to fundamentalist camps of "us" and "them," in which case I will oppose such writings and actions, as I am doing here. DB
by Debashish on Sat 18 Apr 2009 01:12 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
TC: Sri Aurobindo who viewed history in terms of ever widening circles of progress argued for the process of cultural evolution in which society trended from conventional religious to subjective secular to spiritual anarchy. He privileged the values of a secular democracy above a society dedicated to conservative religious practices, just as he would a spiritual anarchy -if we were fortunate enough to get there in the distant future- over the merely secular social democratic state.
DB: This is a very important insight that should not be lost sight of when talking about the relative values of the ashram community either. One could say that the ashram community, when Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were in the body was socially subject to their absolute control as a voluntary condition of the yoga. But at the same time, the ideal for which this control was exercised was one which stood to empower individual freedom beyond all its conditionings, so that a true spiritual anarchy would be the utopian realization of such a society. The aim of this society as one of a growing individual freedom has to be kept in sight.
After the physical passing of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, no individual or group of people has the right to claim control over the community because it has not been voluntarily given. And if a set of conevntions, practices or principles are sought to be prioritized by some as the basis of such absolute control, this is a human interpretation posing as "the guru," unless such principles have been bought into voluntarily by the members of the community due to their authorization as rules by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Beyond this, the ashram community (as with Auroville) must stand as a social experiment moving from a democratic spirituality (with the common intent of following the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, each in his/her own way) to a true realization of spiritual anarchy. And this even apart from what you mention about the law of the land. Reply
by Debashish on Mon 20 Apr 2009 07:29 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
The reification of spirituality into conventional morality and the rise of teachers who impart the comforting assurance that they possess Knowledge based on such repeated moral buzz-words, is a gradual process, which need not announce itself "by beat of drum" (to adapt one of the Mother's colorful similies from an obverse context). The "significant evidence" has not been lacking for those who have been watching the growth of this phenomenon. Orthodoxy replaces spirituality imperceptibly without contest until it is challenged by a publc act of individual interpretation. No such thing can be allowed of course, when the teachers have closed the gates on any personal approach not authorized by them. Reply 12:03 PM