May 30, 2009

Ensure that the vision of the great prophet of the 20th century is fulfiled

Saturday, May 30, 2009 The task is Herculean, the goal is distant and would take a long time to traverse Let all students and teachers of Sri Aurobindo’s school of thought resolve that they would not lose heart Renaissance man of India Deccan Chronicle May 30th, 2009 By Jagmohan

On the centenary day — May 30, 2009 — of Uttarpara speech, let all students and teachers of Sri Aurobindo’s school of thought resolve that they would not lose heart on account of current dismal scenario and would work with a renewed sense of mission to ensure that the vision of the great prophet of the 20th century is fulfiled. Undoubtedly, the task is Herculean, the goal is distant and would take a long time to traverse. But let us not forget that even the longest journey begins with the first step. Jagmohan is a former governor of J&K anda former Union minister 1 2 3 next › last » Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 1:25 PM 1:39 PM 1:43 PM

Sri Aurobindo’s Opposition Why the Indian establishment resisted him, MANGESH V. NADKARNI The Indian Express Thursday, March 21, 2002 12:17 PM

E Pluribus Unum by Lori Tompkins The Vedic realization of the One that is equal to the Many has been recalled by Indian sage Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950):. ‘We see that the Absolute, the Self, the Divine, the Spirit, the Being is One; the Transcendental is one, ... 12:17 PM

May 29, 2009

The goal is realisation of the Divine in the physical world

Integral yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Categories: Sri Aurobindo Integral thought

In the teachings of the Twentieth century Bengali philosopher-sage Sri Aurobindo, Integral yoga (or purna yoga, Sanskrit for full or complete yoga, sometimes also called supramental yoga) refers to the process of the union of all the parts of one's being with the Divine, and the transmutation of all of their jarring elements into a harmonious state of higher divine consciousness and existence.

Integral Yoga must not be confused with a trademark "Integral Yoga" of Swami Satchidananda.

Sri Aurobindo initiated and defined integral yoga in the early 1900s as "a path of integral seeking of the Divine by which all that we are is in the end liberated out of the Ignorance and its undivine formations into a truth beyond the Mind, a truth not only of highest spiritual status but of a dynamic spiritual self-manifestation in the universe." [citation needed]

He describes the nature and practice of integral yoga in his opus The Synthesis of Yoga. As the title of that work indicates, his integral yoga is a yoga of synthesis, intended to harmonize the paths of karma, jnana, and bhakti yoga as described in the Bhagavad Gita. It can also be considered a synthesis between Vedanta and Tantra, and even between Eastern and Western approaches to spirituality.

Textual sources: The theory and practice of Integral Yoga is described in several works by Sri Aurobindo. His book The Synthesis of Yoga, the first version of which appeared in the Arya, was written as a practical guide, and covers all aspects of Integral Yoga. Additional and revised material is found in several of the later chapters of The Life Divine and in other works. Later, his replies to letters and queries by disciples (mostly written during the early 1930s) were collected into a series of volumes, the Letters on Yoga. There is also Sri Aurobindo's personal diary of his yogic experiences, written during the period from 1909 to 1927, and only published under the title Record of Yoga.

No definitive method
Whereas Sri Aurobindo and the Mother taught that surrendering to the ‘higher' consciousness was one of the most important processes of the supramental yoga, neither established a universal definitive method for every practitioner of the yoga, due to the individual differences. Both left the open-ended question as to how the supramental consciousness would act and establish itself in Earthly life.

The aim of integral yoga: Integral development
Most yogas, except such paths as Natya Yoga, only develop a single aspect of the being, and have as their aim a state of liberation or transcendence. But the aim of integral yoga is the transformation of the entire being. Because of this, the various elements of one's make-up - Physical, Vital, Mental, Psychic, and Spiritual, and the means of their transformation, are described in great detail by Sri Aurobindo, who in this way formulates an entire integral psychology. The goal is then the transformation of the entire nature of one's being. Nothing is left behind.

The process...accepts our nature...and compels all to undergo a divine change...In that ever progressive experience, we begin to perceive how this lower manifestation is constituted and that everything in it, however seemingly deformed or petty or vile, is the imperfect figure of some element in the divine nature. – Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga, p.47)

Also distinguishing Sri Aurobindo's teaching from most other mystical paths is the need for transformation of the personal and relative nature. So the integral yoga is twofold; both a spiritual realisation of God or Transcendence or Enlightenment, and, through this, a complete change and transformation of both the inner and the outer nature. Through this double action, one is thus made able and fit to manifest a divine consciousness, and in this way becomes part of a divine work.

The Realisation of Supermind
Sri Aurobindo considered man's present mental consciousness to be a transitional stage in terrestrial evolution, and that our civilization is at the brink of an evolutionary leap or shift towards a greater or ‘supramental' experience and capacity.

With regard to supermind and mind Sri Aurobindo wrote, ‘There is an eternal dynamic Truth-consciousness beyond mind; this is what we call supermind or gnosis. For mind is or can be a truth seeker, but not truth-conscious in its inherent nature; its original stuff is made not of knowledge, but of ignorance.' [2]

Sri Aurobindo considered the supermind to be an all-organizing and all-coordinating principle of truth-consciousness secretly involved in the material creation and he saw its emergence as the next logical and inevitable step in terrestrial evolution.

May 28, 2009

The most significant and influential thinker of self-organisation in the past century was undoubtedly Friedrich Hayek

Against Self-Organization
from The Pinocchio Theory by Steven Shaviro
Life on earth is doomed, according to the biologist Peter Ward in his new book The Medea Hypothesis. This book is meant to be polemical and provocative; I lack the knowledge to evaluate its particular scientific claims. But just as a thought experiment, it is bracing.
Ward’s book is a critique of the quite popular
Gaia Hypothesis, originally developed by James Lovelock, which claims that the Earth as a whole, with all its biomass, constitutes an emergent order, a self-organizing system, that maintains the whole planet — its climate, the chemical constitution of the atmosphere and the seas, etc. — in a state that is favorable to the continued flourishing of life. Essentially the Gaia Hypothesis sees the world as a system in homeostatic equilibrium — in much the same ways that individual cells or organisms are self-maintaining, homeostatic systems. Gaia is cybernetically, or autopoietically, self-regulating system: continual feedback, among organisms and their environments, keeps the air temperature, the salinity of the sea, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, etc., within the limits that are necessary for the continued flourishing of life.
Ward’s Medea Hypothesis directly contests all these claims...

Both Darwinian natural selection and economic competition tend to be celebrated as optimizing processes. Stuart Kauffman, for instance, the great champion of “order for free,” or emergent, self-organizing complexity in the life sciences, has no compunctions about claiming that his results apply for the capitalist “econosphere” as well as for the biosphere (See his Reinventing the Sacred, chapter 11). The highly esteemed futurist Kevin Kelly, a frequent contributor to Wired magazine, has long celebrated network-mediated capitalism, analogized to biological complexity, as a miracle of emergent self-organization; just recently, however, he has praised Web 2.0-mediated “socialism” in the same exact terms.

But the most significant and influential thinker of self-organisation in the past century was undoubtedly Friedrich Hayek, the intellectual progenitor of neoliberalism. For Hayek, any attempt at social or economic planning was doomed to failure, due to the inherent limitations of human knowledge, and the consequent prevalence of unintended consequences. In contrast, and inspired by both cybernetics and biology, Hayek claimed that the “free market” was an ideal mechanism for coordinating all the disparate bits of knowledge that existed dispersed throughout society, and negotiating it towards an optimal outcome. Self-organization, operating impersonally and beyond the ken of any particular human agent, could accomplish what no degree of planning or willful human rationality ever could. For Hayek, even the slightest degree of social solidarity or collective planning was already setting us on “the road to serfdom.” And if individuals suffer as a result of the unavoidable inequities of the self-organizing marketplace, well that is just too bad - it is the price we have to pay for freedom and progress.

Hayek provided the rationale for the massive deregulation, and empowerment of the financial sector, of the last thirty years — and for which we are currently paying the price. But I have yet to see any account that fully comes to terms with the degree that Hayek’s polemical argument about the superiority and greater rationality of emergent self-organization, as opposed to conscious will and planning have become the very substance of what we today, in Europe and North America at least, accept as “common sense.” Were the anti-WTO protestors in Seattle a decade ago, for instance, aware that their grounding assumptions were as deeply Hayekian as those of any broker for Goldman Sachs?

I don’t have much in the way of positive ideas about how to think differently. I just want to suggest that it is high time to question our basic, almost automatic, assumptions about the virtues of self-organization. This doesn’t mean returning to an old-fashioned rationalism or voluntarism, and it doesn’t mean ignoring the fact that our actions always tend to propagate through complex networks, and therefore to have massive unintended consequences. But we need to give up the moralistic conviction that somehow self-organized outcomes are superior to ones arrived at by other means. We need to give up our superstitious reverence for results that seem to happen “by themselves,” or to arrive “from below” rather than “from above.” (Aren’t there other directions to work and think in, besides “below” and “above”?).

Whitehead says that every event in the universe, from the tiniest interaction of subatomic particles up to the most complex human action, involves a certain moment of decision. There are no grounds or guidelines for this decision; and we cannot characterize decision in “voluntaristic” terms, because any conscious act of will is a remote consequence of decision in Whitehead’s sense, rather than its cause. Decisions are singular and unrepeatable; they cannot be generalized into rules. But all this also means that we cannot say that decision simply “emerges” out of a chaotic background, or pops out thanks to the movement from one “basin of attraction” to another. No self-organizing system can obviate the need for such a decision, or dictate what it will be. And decision always implies novelty or difference — in this way it is absolutely incompatible with notions of autopoiesis, homeostasis, or Spinoza’s conatus. What we need is an aesthetics of decision, instead of our current metaphysics of emergence.

Biopolitics and political economy
from The Pinocchio Theory by Steven Shaviro
A new paper proposal:
In The Birth of Biopolitics, his 1978-1979 lecture course at the College de France, Michel Foucault makes a surprising turn towards the critique of political economy...

In taking a new look at Foucault’s lectures, I want to argue two points. First, that Foucault’s account of neoliberal rationality, centered upon the market, provides an important missing piece to a Marxist understanding of capitalism under the regime of flexible accumulation. And second, that Foucault’s own turn to the critique of political economy is, ironically enough, precisely what is missing from contemporary, post-Foucaultian accounts of biopolitics and biopower. My ultimate aim in this paper is to place biopolitics within the framework of capital accumulation and the contemporary regime of finance capital.

May 25, 2009

Exclusion of religion from educational institutions, and from the public sphere

`Secularism and the Hardening of Religious Identity'; Sonia Sikka, CSDS, April 21, 3 PM Rajesh Ramakrishnan rajeshr at Mon Apr 13 10:38:53 IST 2009
Tuesday, 21st April, 2009
Sonia Sikka will speak on
Secularism and the Hardening of Religious Identity
at 3:00 PM in the Seminar Room, CSDS, 29 Rajpur Road, Delhi – 110 054

The broad thesis of this paper is that practical operation of certain secular paradigms has an undesirable effect on the construction and negotiation of religious identities. This thesis is oriented towards political models that seek to exclude deliberation involving appeals to religion from the public sphere, whether these prescribe the wholesale privatisation of religion as a matter of individual conscience, or offer state recognition to multiple religious communities.

While these two procedures are in many respects very different, they both encourage members of religious communities to cordon off a critically important subset of their beliefs and values, and to treat this subset as if it were fixed and unrevisable, intrinsically unsuited to substantive discussion and debate. Such a process contributes to a reification and hardening of religious identities; it contributes, in fact, to the positioning of religious viewpoints as a matter of “identity.”

At the same time, the exclusion of religion from educational institutions, and from the public sphere in general, gives rise to a situation in which non-religious citizens are largely ignorant about religion, and unable to see in it anything but foolish superstition and a source of hatred and violence. This view of religion, it is suggested, is both false and unhelpful, serving to reinforce rather than to mitigate the dogmatism of the forms of belief it opposes.

Sonia Sikka is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of
Ottawa, Canada. Her primary research interests are in modern European
philosophy, philosophy of religion and philosophy of culture. She has
written extensively on Heidegger, Nietzsche, Levinas and other authors
in the continental tradition of philosophy. Over the past several
years, she has also published a series of articles on issues related
to cultural identity and pluralism within the thought of J.G. Herder.
At present, Dr. Sikka is working on the topic of identity
construction, with a particular focus on religious identities.

May 24, 2009

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was a spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita

Books Photos Videos About Maharaj Navnath Sampradaya Nisarga Yoga I am That About Consciousness my True State Last days : Last Teaching Mahasamadhi Quotes The Publishers Links to Visit Contact Us Disclaimer

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita (Nondualism), and a Guru, belonging to the Navnath Sampradaya. Sri Nisargadatta, with his direct and minimalistic explanation of non-dualism, is considered the most famous teacher of Advaita since Ramana Maharshi. In 1973, the publication of his most famous and widely-translated book, "I AM THAT", an English translation of his talks in Marathi by Maurice Frydman, brought him worldwide recognition and followers.

According to Sri Nisargadatta the purpose of spirituality is to know who you are. His style is abrupt, provocative, and immensely profound, cutting to the core and wasting little effort on inessentials. His terse but potent sayings are known for their ability to trigger shifts in consciousness, just by hearing, or even reading them.

He talked about the 'direct way' of knowing the Final Reality, in which one becomes aware of one's original nature through mental discrimination, breaking the mind's false identification with the ego, knowing that "You are already That".

Here, you can download all the books of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in pdf. MANU has left a new comment on your post "Hemchandra's Bharat Sangeet (1870) and the politic...":

All the books of Nisargadatta Maharaj is available for free download here : All the main books, some of the books based on the main books, some traditional scriptures often mentioned by Maharaj, etc are available. Also see a collection of photos of Maharaj. Please check if you have missed to read any. If anybody knows about a book which is not listed here, please send me a copy, I shall include it. I've updated the site today with a new design, more books and photos. Manu Posted by MANU to Musepaper at 7:35 PM, May 24, 2009

May 23, 2009

Terry Eagleton’s “Faith, Reason and Revolution”

Opinion Today May 18, 2009 Think Again: Stanley Fish
Stanley Fish is a law professor and author
God Talk, Part 2
According to recent surveys, somewhere between 79 and 92 percent of Americans believe in God. But if the responses to my column on Terry Eagleton’s “Faith, Reason and Revolution” constitute a representative sample, 95 percent of Times readers don’t. What they do believe, apparently, is that religion is a fairy tale, hogwash, balderdash, nonsense and a device for rationalizing horrible deeds. Of course, there is more than name-calling to their antitheism; there are arguments, and the one most often made insists on a sharp distinction between religion and science, or, alternatively, between faith and reason. . . .
Read full post »

Reader Comment
"Science rests on this particular article of faith: the universe contains regularities, and human beings, through sense experience and reason, are capable of finding candidates for these regularities, and then testing them to see how they mesh with experience. I have no quarrel with religion, but I have a quarrel with particular adherents of some religions, who deny that there are regularities, or that the tests of such regularities give meaningful results. . . ." - Posted by mathprof, May 18, 12:25 a.m.
Read full comment »

May 22, 2009

Bimal Mohanty's ahwan

from bimal_mohanty <> to Sri Tusar N Mohapatra Ghaziabad <>
date21 May 2009 19:19 subject
In Search of God- Part 3

GREETINGS AND BEST WISHES IN YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. THE LATEST VOLUME OF THE SPIRITUAL WEB SITE (or : VOLUME 99, May 2009 ISSUE, has been published and uplinked with the article “IN SEARCH OF GOD –The Illusive one- Part 3”- If you visit the site, and have any observations to make, I shall be grateful.

There are also interesting questions from readers dealing with "God worship- does it improve our lot?”, “Understanding man and God?”, “Movement through many dimensions”, “Emptyness in life”, “Serving human beings” etc. You can also browse the previous articles by clicking on the ikon ‘articles’. Please share it with your friends and dear ones. God bless you - Sri Bimal Mohanty. (

PS – To continue spreading the benefit of AHWAN to all, we need your assistance if you please. Click on ‘special information’ on the homepage of If you do not wish to receive this information about future issues, please e-mail accordingly - Thank you.

If you wish someone to receive this information as compliments from you please indicate his/her e-mail address.
You can usher a qualitative change in your life, the spiritual way- the effective way. Visit the website or regularly. Share it with your friends and dear ones in any manner convenient- through discussing, speaking, writing, inter-netting.

May 16, 2009

Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World by Carole Lynne

Words by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother change my life May 15, 2009 Posted by Carole Lynne

One of the greatest gifts in my life have been the books written by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. I highly suggest their books to you, and I also suggest reading about my experiences with their books and the Ashram in chapters ten and eleven in my new book Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World.

One of the thoughts that stays with me as I sit and receive inspiration, is that We Are All One. Each one of us is a tiny speck of Divine Consciousness, and so our lives are really the living out of the “dreams” of a Greater Intelligence. When I remember this truth, I can let go of the busy-busy thoughts and go about my work with a more Divine purpose in mind. I may still accomplish the same tasks during the day, but my intentions are different, and my thoughts are different. This is a blessing, as I feel at peace within, rather than agitated.

Reading books by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother help me get back to my inner self once again.
Psychic Medium – Author Carole Lynne

May 15, 2009

The use of the defense should attract people and not repel them

from Dr. Sanity by Dr. Sanity

I have written quite a lot about psychological defense mechanisms on this blog, primarily because I think that a solid understanding of these critical psychological processes shed quite a bit of light on both individual and group behavior. To follow-up on the post from yesterday "In Defense of Psychological Defenses", I thought it would be useful to review how psychological defenses can either be "red flags" that alert a person (or an observer) about an underlying conflict; or they can be mature adaptations to life that bring pleasure and fulfillment, as well as enhance society.

There are three key books that I refer to repeatedly that have shaped my own understanding of defense mechanisms: Anna Freud’s The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense; and George Vaillant’s two books, Adaptation to Life and The Wisdom of the Ego. I can highly recommend all three books for anyone interested in these topics.

Before I tackle the question posed in the title of this post, I would like to provide some background and context on some of the research into psychological defense mechansisms.

Many people mistakenly confuse "pop" psychology--the kind of advice you read in supermarket tabloids and magazines-- with real clinical psychiatry; and the ideas of Freud, Kohut, Bion and other theorists, with those of modern, best-selling self-help gurus, who mostly oversimplify to the point of misrepresenting those psychological concepts and ideas. Between those people who worship the gurus and those who think anything from the psychological realm is a a load of BS, there is not a lot of understanding or appreciation of the importance of some of the basic concepts of psychology and their relationship to what we now understand of neurophysiology...

Interdisciplinary groups studying neurology, physiology and psychoanalysis are discovering how useful Freudian ideas are for understanding the way the brain works and to interpret the physiology, while offering a template upon which further understanding can be built.

I recommend an article in the May, 2004 Scientific American titled "Freud Returns" for an overview of this issue (article is available online only by subscription or purchase). In the article, Eric Kandler, the 2000 Nobel laureate in physiology states that psychoanalysis is "still the most coherent and intellectually satisfying view of the mind."

George Vaillant is a brilliant researcher who has spent most of his professional career studying psychological defense mechanism and collecting data over their use during the lifetime of many individuals. I can summarize some of Vaillant's conclusions based on his extensive research thusly:

• Psychological defenses are real and used regularly by everyone • These defenses can be reliably identified and analyzed • The “maturity” of a person’s defenses is positively related to mental health • This positive association between mature psychological defenses and mental health appears to be independent of gender, social class, culture, or educational level • Maturity of defenses also predicts a person’s satisfaction with life • Maturity of defenses predicts physical health up to about age 65. After that age, other factors (most likely genetic and biological) take over. • People with significant cognitive impairment (e.g., with IQ's less than 80; or someone who is brain-damaged) have demonstrably less mature defensive styles.

In order to be adaptive, a defense:

• should regulate, rather than remove affect – that is, instead of totally anesthetizing a person, the defense would just reduce the pain (and therefore make it easier to cope; rather than to avoid coping altogether) • should channel feelings instead of blocking them (i.e., allow a healthy expression of those feelings in a way that can discharge them in socially acceptable ways rather than keep them hidden and motivating behavior) • should be oriented to the long-term; and not simply short-term comfort or avoidance • should be oriented toward present and future pain relief; and not focused past distress • should be as specific as possible (i.e., be as a key is to a lock; not as a sledgehammer applied to a door) • the use of the defense should attract people and not repel them (Vaillant points out that the use of the mature defenses --i.e., humor, altruism, sublimation etc.-- is perceived by others as attractive and even virtuous; while the immature defenses are generally perceived as irritating, repellant, and even evil). Watch this video, for example, and try to imagine how many of the political leaders in either party could be this comfortable making fun of themselves. It is a sign of psychological health when a person can take his or her foibles and appropriately mock them in a pleasurable manner.

A discussion of the factors that influence the development of mature defenses and healthy adaptation can be found here.

May 14, 2009

Indian psychology as a phenomenon within science; its recent history

home themes authors research integral yoga by the way events inspirations links

Foundations "What is Indian Psychology?"
Indian psychology as a phenomenon within science; its recent history
Yoga and yogic knowledge in society, past and present
Articles based on specific literary sources
Philosophical foundations: the nature of consciousness

Social development "How can I make the society a better place to live and work?"
Social psychology; social development
Social work; community work
HRD; organisational psychology


Consciousness and Its Transformation, 2001 (by 25 different authors) Proceedings of The Second International Conference on Integral Psychology, which was held from 4 to 7 January 2001 in Pondicherry, India. The book contains an introduction plus the full texts of each of the 24 presentations. The topics include: integral psychology, integral psychotherapy, modern psychology and spirituality, integral yoga and the Indian tradition, epistemology and methodology, plus two experiential workshops.

Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology, 2002 (by over 80 different authors) The synopses of most of the 95 papers presented at the National Conference on Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology, which was held from September 29 to October 2, 2002 in Pondicherry, India.

Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness, 2004 (by 121 different authors) The synopses of the 121 papers presented at the National Conference on Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness, which was held from December 10 to 12, 2004 in Pondicherry, India

Indian Psychology: Theories and Models (by 124 different authors) The synopses of the 124 papers presented at the National Seminar on Indian Psychology: Theories and Models, which was held from December 26-28, 2007 in Bangalore, India

National Conference on Indian Psychology: Psychology, Culture and the Ideal of Human Unity October 1-4, 2009 Department of Psychology University of Delhi, Further information 6:01 PM

National Conference on "Psychology, Culture and the Ideal of Human Unity" Oct.1-4, 2009

Repected Colleague / Dear Friend,
I, on behalf of the Dept. of Psychology, University of Delhi, am organizing a "Conference on Indian Psychology: Psychology, Culture and Human Unity", during Oct.1-4, 2009.
Conference flyer is attached I extend a warm and personal invitation to you to attend the same.
I look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards,
IPSeminarFlyer.pdf [~92K]

Conference on Indian Psychology:
"Psychology, Culture and the Ideal of Human Unity"
October 1-4, 2009
Department of Psychology, University of Delhi

Kabira kua ek hai, pani bharen anek
Bhaande may hee bhed hai
Our paani sab may ek
[Sant Kabir Das]
The well is one, though water is filled by many
The shapes of the vessels (our bodies) are different
But the water (consciousness) is one
Chalo sakhi khele, kanhaiya sung holi
Apne, apne, bhavan say nikasi
Koyi savare, koi gori
Kanhaiya sung holi
Come my friends, let’s play holi with kanhaiya (inviting the divine to colour us in his colour)
They all emerged from their homes
Some fair, and some dusky (all become one)
Playing holi with kanhaiya all were dyed in the colour of love, and became one
*[Painting by Priti Ghosh, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry; reproduced with permission]

Framework and call for papers
We mean by Indian psychology an approach to psychology that is based on ideas and practices that developed over thousands of years within the Indian sub-continent. In other words, we use the word "Indian" to indicate and honour the origin of this approach to psychology: the origin of the underlying philosophy, the conceptual framework, the methods of enquiry, and the "technology of consciousness" that it uses to bring about psychological change and transformation. It may be useful to make explicit that we do not use the word "Indian" to localize or limit the scope of this approach to psychology: We do not mean, for example, "the psychology of the Indian people", or "Psychology as taught at Indian universities". We hold that Indian Psychology as a meta theory and as an extensive body of related theories and practices has something essential and unique to contribute to the global civilization as a whole.

In a world faced with increasing unrest and conflict, the only way out is by way of a change in consciousness - from a limited and fragmented self-consciousness to an all-encompassing and loving way of being. It is in this regard that formulations on the psyche emanating from Indian culture have a great deal to offer. Indian treatises on human existence and psychological functioning, while acknowledging the lower levels, focus much more on higher levels of consciousness and the means to raise consciousness from lower to higher levels. It is held, in the Indian view, that human functioning on the higher levels is more effective, reveals a more complete knowledge accompanied with greater feelings of oneness, harmony, joy and love, establishing in the process extraordinary levels of individual and collective harmony.

Indian depictions of human-beings focus on their inherent "goodness" deriving from the divine essence residing at the core of each being. The history of the sub-continent is replete with examples of how during different periods, people from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds lived together in harmony. This is not to deny that conflicts are not common place – in this regard India has had its share of war and violence – but what seems unique is the way differences between groups have been minimized, and at times even transcended. Thus the Parsis’ continue to have a prominent place in society, the Syrian-Christians retain their independent identity, as do the Sikhs and Muslims, to name just a few. In the post independence era, the Dalai Lama fleeing from Chinese oppressed Tibet was welcomed, supported, and provided with a home in India, which allowed him to create a base for Tibet’s struggle for autonomy in India.

The academic question then is – What is it in the Indian ethos that permits co-existence, mutual respect, and harmonious living of different groups? Part of the reason may have something to do with the Hindu worldview derived from the monism of the Advaita Vedanta emphasizing the origin of all existence in the one Truth, God or Brahman. This leads to the acknowledgement of the oneness of humanity and simultaneously the recognition of the Gods of all religions as rooted in the same Brahman. Thus Krishna notes in the Gita "Whomsoever you pray to, you pray to me." – by no way making claims to the supremacy of the Hindu God; rather, he asserts that all resides in Brahman. More generally, a genuine spiritual outlook fosters greater harmony and promotes a healthy and vibrant co-existence. It thus becomes important to examine what is it in spirituality that helps in reducing conflict.

Academic psychologists have shied away (with some notable exceptions) from enquiry in the spiritual domain, but interestingly, many among the founders of academic Psychology in India led double lives – they practiced Psychology as a western science in their professional lives, but in their personal lives they derived guidance and insights from traditional scriptural sources. Not only that, they even published in non-academic settings, writing on the efficacy and potency of Indian Spiritual Psychology. I suspect that the situation today is not very different.

A cursory glance at the history of social movements on the sub-continent reveal that over the centuries, some of the most prominent movements have had a spiritual foundation as their inspiration – one that emphasizes the oneness of all humanity and which paves the way for lowering barriers along religion, caste, as well as gender lines. In particular, Buddhism as a socio-political movement, the Bhakti movement, the advent of Sikhism, and Mahatma Gandhi’s mobilization of the masses for attaining the independence of India, all stand out as shining examples which enabled people with diverse social identities to come together. In contemporary India, many of the ashrams and spiritual communes provide us with vivid illustrations of people from diverse backgrounds – in terms of nationalities, race, religion, caste, class, gender and age – living and working together in great harmony, and at times mingling with local communities promoting inter-dependence. Such places stand out as islands in the ocean of conflict rampant all around us. It appears that the spiritual perspective on social psychological processes may serve to complement the social-identity theory for if inter-group conflicts can be reduced by enlarging the social categories used for identity, the spiritual dimension would serve to capture the experiential dimension of widening the categories which allows us to accept the other (out-group member) as one of us (in-group member). Thus Sinha (1998, p.20) notes:

The interrelatedness of the whole of humanity is stressed not only when one is enjoined to do good to others and regard the universe as one’s relation (basudhaib kutumbkam) but in the Upanishadic doctrine of ever expanding ego or the self, where one begins with concern for oneself and gradually expands one’s ego to encompass one’s community and ultimately the entire world. Similarly in one of the verses of the Mahabharat it is stated that for the sake of the clan one gives up the individual (person), for the sake of the village one gives up the clans, for the sake of the country (janpada) one gives up the village, and for the highest good one gives up the earth. Concern for others has been given the highest place and the target is the larger group.

Sri Aurobindo (1972; p.554) emphasizes that

"A spiritual religion of humanity is the hope of the future. By this is not meant what is ordinarily called a universal religion, a thing of creed and intellectual belief and dogma and outward rite. Mankind has tried unity by that means; it has failed and deserved to fail, because there can be no universal religious system, one in mental creed and vital form. The inner spirit is indeed one, but more than any other the spiritual life insists on freedom and variation in its self-expression and means of development. A religion of humanity means the growing realization that there is a secret spirit, a divine Reality, in which we are all one, that humanity is its highest present vehicle on earth, that the human race and the human being are the means by which it will progressively reveal itself here. It implies a growing attempt to live out this knowledge and bring about a kingdom of this divine Spirit upon earth. By its growth within us oneness with our fellow-men will become the leading principal of our life, not merely a principle of cooperation but a deeper brotherhood, a real and inner sense of unity and equality and a common life.
There must be the realisation by the individual that only in the life of his fellow-men is his own life complete. There must be the realisation by the race that only on the free and full life of the individual can its own perfection and permanent happiness be founded. There must be too a discipline and a way of salvation in accordance with this religion, that is to say, a means by which it can be developed by each man within himself , so that it may be developed in the life of the race. To go into all this implies would be too large a subject to be entered here; it is enough to point out that in this direction lies the eventual road. No doubt, if this is only an idea like the rest, it will go the way of all ideas. But if it is at all a truth of our being, then it must be the truth to which all is moving and in it must be found the means of a fundamental, an inner, a complete, a real human unity which would be the secure base of a unification of human life. A spiritual oneness which would create a psychological oneness not dependent upon any intellectual or outward uniformity and compel a oneness of life not bound up with its mechanical means of unification, but ready always to enrich its secure unity by a free inner variation and a freely varied outer self-expression, this would be the basis for a higher type of human existence".

Themes and deadlines
Against this backdrop the Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, is organizing the National Conference on "Psychology, Culture and the Ideal of Human Unity", to further the awareness and scope of Indian Psychology, especially in bringing about a lasting human unity. Typical sub-themes include:

  • The Ideal of Human Unity
  • Peace, and Development of Global Civilization
  • Bhakti, Love and Oneness of Humanity
  • Buddhist/Sufi/Christian Perspectives on Oneness of Humanity
  • Place of Love, Forgiveness and Compassion in Healing
  • Synthesis of Matter and Spirit, Science and Spirituality
  • Related topics from the Indian Psychology

With the idea of having an intensive dialogue and sustained sharing, it is proposed to have not more than 100 participants (50 senior and 50 younger ones). The aim is to have the participation of scholars in India and abroad, who are making serious and sustained contributions to the concerned areas (senior core group), as well as younger researchers, and students who are keen to work in this area, show promise, and seek guidance. A few individuals will be invited to speak on key themes. The remaining participants will be selected on the basis of invited abstracts or their keen interest in the key topics.

We extend a warm invitation to you attend the seminar, and to send an abstract of the paper that you would like to present at the conference by e-mail to, latest by June 30, 2009 (for complete papers the deadline is August 15, 2009). We will confirm acceptance of your paper for presentation at the conference, after reviewing all the abstracts, by July 10, 2009. For all queries, write to

Prof. Anand Prakash *** Dr. Suneet Varma
Head of the Department *** Reader
Seminar Director *** Seminar Coordinator
Sinha, D. (1998). Changing perspectives in social psychology in India: a journey towards indigenization. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 1: 17-31.
Sri Aurobindo (1972). The Ideal of Human Unity. SABCL , Vol. 15.Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press.


National Conference on Indian Psychology: Psychology, Culture and the Ideal of Human Unity
October 1-4, 2009 Department of Psychology University of Delhi,
Further information

May 09, 2009

I don’t think you get Kant right–I think he’s more of a strawman for you

16 Responses to “Developmental Systems Theory, Plasticity, Neurology, and Culture”
Bryan Says: April 16, 2009 at 3:23 am

I think the way you’ve quoted me above is really misleading, since it cuts out the most important part of what I said: that last bit is, as far as I’m concerned, more the commentary of a person who follows your blog than a real theoretical critique (perhaps why it was excerpted…).

Anyhow, I think you’ve misinterpreted what I meant by “distasteful.” I think you tend to assume that any criticism you receive is automatically because everyone else is so immersed in their false consciousness qua correlationism that they can’t understand the true depth of your insights. For one, I’m not “immersed in cultural studies”: I’m an undergrad history major with some knowledge of Lacan and German Idealism–I’ve never really cared for anything related to cultural studies and it always struck me as ideologically suspicious and mostly self-indulgent.

Second, my point was clearly directed at your rhetoric, not the fact that you’ve begun to discuss neurology. Personally, I find neurology really fascinating–something of my best friends in college are neuroscience majors or neuroscientists, and all of what they say is very intriguing, so much so that they’ve gotten me to read quite a bit of research related to the field.

What I find slightly repugnant is your shift into language like “The Kantian says…” (as you use even in this post), or “The correlationist says…” As if all these positions are so self-evident and clear. I don’t think this is the case, and I think that this kind of rhetorical gesture suggests something deeply troubling about your recent “conversion” (maybe in the religious sense?) to object-oriented philosophy. In other words, in the past several months, your way of describing your positions and communicating with other bloggers strikes me as deeply Christian: you have the true faith, we’re all left out of heaven, banished into the limbo of correlationism. It’s a little bit arrogant. I only decided to post because I thought it was worth pointing out–it’s a kind of rhetorical disposition that is, in my opinion, deeply unsuited for an analyst.

larvalsubjects Says: April 16, 2009 at 3:51 am Bryan,

Thanks for the comment! Of course you are correct in identifying certain rhetorical and textual strategies at work in my discussions. These are designed to produce certain disidentifications and open alternative possibilities of thought. Moreover I’m eulogizing these alternative approaches as a rhetorical technique of seduction. As I described myself in a recent post, I am a fundamentalist evangelical atheist materialist, so your charge of being Christian is largely correct. I apologize for not quoting you in full, though I did link to your original quote. I’m perplexed by your remark about cultural studies. Certainly Zizek falls into the domain of cultural studies. All of this aside, vis a vis your criticisms of the manner in which I’m simplifying the Kantian and the correlationist, would you level a similar critique against Lacan’s discussions of ego-psychology, Piaget, or Chomsky?

Bryan Says: April 16, 2009 at 4:31 am

1. I’m not sure you’ve succeeded at that goal of disidentification. Generally speaking, any position that requires the construction of an entire universe of strawmen is suspicious and suggests a huge amount of libidinal investment in what its attacking, rather than the critique itself. Thus, for example, Kierkegaard’s critique of Hegel reveals less about Hegel’s philosophy than about the need for Kierkegaard to have a strawman who goes by the name of “Hegel” (there’s an excellent book on this by Prof. [not comedian] Jon Stewart, but anyhow…). Basically, I think you’re on the wrong track as far as rhetoric goes.

2. I disagree that Zizek is cultural studies, although your language is ambiguous (”falls into the domain…”). This is usually the reading of Zizek that people come away with when they’re not at all deeply engaged in his work and become distracted by the flashy pop culture examples. The fact is, the pop culture analyses are all subordinated to making Lacan and German Idealism understandable. Adrian Johnston’s book, *Zizek’s Ontology*, provides probably the best case of elucidating this point, but even a brief encounter with Zizek’s *Tarrying with the Negative* makes it clear that his main focus is not cultural studies. A much better description would be the reactualization of German Idealism through Lacanian psychoanalysis.

3. I don’t think Lacan simplifies ego psychology (would you honestly claim otherwise?), and as for Piaget and Chomsky, I’m not familiar enough with either. The difference between your argument about correlationism and Lacan’s is that, despite all of the name calling, Lacan’s criticism of ego-psychology is actually quite rigorous (as in Seminars I, II, and III), and also really damning because he gets it right. The same is true of Kant’s critique of Hume and Leibniz. All in all, we may forget exactly who Kant or Lacan or even Marx were criticizing in their texts, but we’ll never forget the critiques, because their critiques are invaluable and will stay with us for a long time.

On the other hand, I don’t think you get Kant right–I think he’s more of a strawman for you.

Realism and Correlationism: Some preliminaries from Grundlegung by Tom

Over at Larval Subjects, Now-Times and Perverse Egalitarianism there has been a fractious debate regarding realism which has gone on for some time. This is in the wake of ’speculative realism’ coming to increased prominence, under the influence of Quentin Meillassoux, Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant and Graham Harman. This realism has been contrasted with a correlationist position, which is taken to infect much contemporary philosophy.

Meillassoux introduced the term ‘correlationism’ to describe a non-realist position which claims that “we only ever have access to the correlation between thinking and being, and never to either term considered apart from the other.” (AF: 5) ...

Does Kant’s position get fairly characterised by the new realists? A lot of acrimony has resulted from the attempt to answer this question in discussions between Levi, Alexei and Mikhail. Both sides are now pretty entrenched, and that is when they are on speaking terms. I don’t want to reignite these ‘Kant wars’ but I will offer some comments on this issue in the next few posts.

PG Diploma in Audio Technology of one year duration

Sri Aurobindo Centre For Arts & Communication (SACAC), New Delhi

Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication (SACAC), a unit of Sri Aurobindo Society, has started a new PG Diploma in Audio Technology of one year duration with effect from the academic year 2009-10. The course is designed to develop Sound professionals with in-depth understanding of the principles of audio and acoustics. The students will be trained in live recording, mixing/mastering, acoustic design, sequencing, dubbing and so on."

Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication", was earlier known as Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication. The new name will encapsulate the scope of the centre's activities in a better way. SACAC also offers one year PG Diploma programmes in Advertising & PR, Journalism in English and Hindi, Film & TV Production and Creative Photography.

SACAC intends to bring in positive changes in the way future media professionals and artists look at the realms of arts and communication. In line with the Centre's philosophy, special efforts are being made to integrate its scope of activities to a larger audience by regularly organising festivals, exhibitions and symposia. These events work as a platform where SACAC students can interact with other aspiring professionals to showcase their talents, exchange ideas and network to create likeminded groups who can make a difference in the media industry.

In May 2008, SACAC had organised "Beyond the Present - a national level symposium on art and expression" as a prelude to the purpose of media. In Dec. 2008 "Twilight" was organized for the second time, which is the first film festival exclusively meant for short films in India. "Vimarsh" - a series of lectures, has been started to act as a platform to discuss topical and socio-cultural issues. For further information please visit . 7:09 PM

May 08, 2009

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother left behind a huge body of work on yoga and psychology

India World Re-discovering Indian psychology - Hindustan Times Maria Wirth, Lifepositive, Press Trust Of India First Published: 3/1/2007

Indian psychology has been invisible as a subject in Indian academia. But exist it does, preserved in ancient texts and scriptures. At a recent conference, professors and students of psychology dwelt on this 'sophisticated, rich and practical' body of India's wisdom that concerns the human being and the enormous potential he carries.

When two German magazines, Yoga Aktuell and Advaita Journal, expressed interest in a report on a conference on Indian psychology, I was convinced of the demand for the subject in the West. Off I went to Pondicherry, a state in southern India, to attend the conference on 'Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology' a month ago.

Pondicherry was home to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who left behind a huge body of work on yoga and psychology. He had stated: "Yoga is nothing but practical psychology." Sri Aurobindo's vision of an impending change in the consciousness of humankind prompted the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology to ask Dr Matthijs Cornelissen from the Netherlands to organise this conference.

He has lived in the ashram for almost 30 years and values the Indian tradition. During his lectures on Sri Aurobindo's vision of psychology in America and Europe, he noticed that there is a big demand for teachers of Indian psychology in the West. The many conference sponsors included the Indian Council of Philosophical Research and the Infinity Foundation of USA.

It drew 160 delegates from different universities and institutes from India and abroad, and over 80 papers were presented. In his keynote address, Prof Ramakrishna Rao, president of the Institute of Human Science in Vishakapatnam (India) and former vice-chancellor of Andhra University, said: "Isn't it ironical that there is no Indian psychology in any of our great universities?"

May 07, 2009

Foucault’s critique of suprahistorical principle which guides history teleologically

Dialoguing with Foucault on History: Must We Banish All Suprahistorical Principles ?
from Per Caritatem by Cynthia R. Nielsen

In Foucault’s essay, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,” one of his main points is that history should not be guided by any overriding criteria from outside of history.

Hegel of course is an example of one engaged in the approach to history that Foucault condemns. According to Hegel, history is the unfolding of Spirit in which Spirit becomes increasingly conscious of itself and increasingly more free etc. A person operating under this methodology starts with a certain metaphysical assumption or theory and selects those events that support his/her theory. We see this at work in Hegel’s read of history in which anything that happens to contradict his vision of the telos of history is simply not part of the account. In other words, Hegel, while narrating history simultaneously and selectively erases and deletes history in order to substantiate his thesis.

Hegel isn’t the only one who falls prey to Foucault’s critique. It seems that any philosophical or theological position that advocates a suprahistorical principle which guides history teleologically would likewise be guilty. As Foucault explains, genealogy “rejects the metahistorical deployment of ideal significations and indefinite teleologies”[1] (”Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,” 242).

In other words, Foucault’s genealogical approach to history rejects any factors or principles that come from outside of history or that are not rooted in history. One the one hand, Foucault’s critique is absolutely valid and makes excellent sense. For example, Hegel’s account of the unfolding of Spirit in history, his ridiculous (not to mention racist) accounts of Africans and other people groups and the ultimate realization of absolute Spirit in modern Prussia fails to do justice to the complexity of history and historical events.

On the other hand, is it not possible to incorporate Foucault’s warnings against contorting history into our theoretical molds while still allowing for a suprahistorical principle, or as Christians claim, a God who transcends the historical process (yet who also entered into that process in the Incarnation) and guides history to end? In other words, perhaps the complexity and contrapuntal nature of our in-time, historical existence can be acknowledged without having to deny God’s involvement in and providential guidance over the course of history. Why must the two be mutually exclusive?

Perhaps this is what biblical theology attempts to do by distinguishing between first (diachronic) and second (synchronic or synthesizing) readings of Scripture. That is, Christian exegetes have to be careful not to allow second reading synthetic conclusions to flatten unduly the terrain of the first reading material. In other words, we shouldn’t be too quick to harmonize the tensions in Scripture, as the diachronic dissonances might themselves be revelatory and instructive.

For Sri Aurobindo, spiritual devotion is through the Mother

For Aurobindo the Advaito-Buddhist teaching of liberation is a side issue or preliminary path and only one possible state of Liberation, for Wilber it is (in a rather Aristotlean manner) the goal and end of both the individual spiritual path and also the telos to which the cosmos is evolving, even if the phenomenal world, being stuck in samsara, can never get there.[15] (sect. 3-viii.)

Aurobindo refers to only four generic stages (matter, life, mind, and Supermind which is the Absolute), whilst Wilber has about twenty distinct subdivisions (albeit within similar general divisions) through which consciousness has to evolve.

Aurobindo taught the transmutation and divinisation of matter (“Supramentalisation”)[16], while Wilber in typical Buddhistic style teaches its transcendence; a teaching he presumably derives originally from his guru, Da Free John (Adi Da). (sect. 3-ix)

Aurobindo acknowledges and describes supra-physical as well as physical realities, whereas Wilber rejects “metaphysics” and includes all “higher” levels in the physical (“intra-physical”).[17] (sect 2-ii, 2-iii)

Aurobindo sees the Absolute or God as being multifaceted, incorporating theistic as well as monistic elements[18]; whereas Wilber insists instead only on a simple acosmic or shunyavada Zen-type mode to describe “Spirit” and the “Nondual” stage,[19] with all other experiences (Psychic, Subtle, etc) as less complete than that. (sect. 3-vi)

For Sri Aurobindo, spiritual devotion is through the Mother, while according to Wilber the Mother represents an archaic mythological and at best the “psychic” (pre-subtle) state.[20] (sect. 3-iii)

And so on. And although Wilber certainly regards Sri Aurobindo

M. Alan Kazlev is a self-taught esotericist and metaphysician, science fiction writer and fan, amateur biologist and palaeontologist, and student of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's teachings and yoga. His website is at and he can be contacted at alankazlev (at) ihug (dot) com (dot) au (sorry – problems with spam!)
Historical and Comparativeuse of "Integral"
Towards a Larger Definition of the Integral, Part One
Alan Kazlev

In the end, pure existence (God) can be neither stated nor deduced logically

Strange Constellations from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects

Here we have this dialogue among such different perspectives, yet there’s a fascinating cross-fertilization. Graham, for example, has mentioned that he’s read Kripke’s Naming and Necessity more times than any other work of philosophy, and after he told me this I could see it in every furrow of his thought. What strange cross connections and what promising new vectors of thought. Toscano put together an anthology on Badiou entitled Think Again – which, I felt, was a brilliant title for our time –but perhaps our time is the time of “start again”.

Re: The former Incarnations of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother—by Anurag Banerjee
auroman on Mon 20 Apr 2009 09:30 PM IST Profile Permanent Link

Ah! You should read the works of Dr Ian Stevenson who died recently. He did painstaking research on reincarnation. He even found cases where wound marks caused by murder in previous lives appeared as birth marks in this life.

New Films on practice of the Integral Yoga from Sri Aurobindo Yoga Website by VladNesh
Dear friends!

Two new films: “Depression and Enthusiasm” and “How to open head centres” are added to the page “The Integral Yoga Practice”. These films explore two important objectives in Yoga - transformation of the Vital and opening the head centres to the Mother’s Force. You can see these films on the page: “The Integral Yoga Practice”

David Hutchinson, Debashish Banerji and Rich Carlson Respond to Sraddhalu
from Science, Culture and Integral Yoga™ by Debashish

We do not question the right of people to have opinions; what we question is the right to impose these opinions on others. The website demonstrates that this attempt to impose opinions and beliefs upon others, along with its corresponding demonizations of the author is tantamount to fundamentalism and contrary to the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. We question the moral and spiritual purpose in censoring the opinion of a scholar by seeking punitive actions in courts of law, and the legitimacy of such a legal approach in any spiritual endeavor, least of all that of Sri Aurobindo.

Some things I've been reading: Cheshire, Butalia, Kakar, Dharwadker, and Malik
from The Middle Stage by Chandrahas

Lastly, here is an essay, "Mistaken Identity", on changing attitudes towards issues of individual and group identity by the British writer Kenan Malik, whose work I always read with care

("Historically, anti-racists challenged both the practice of racism and the process of racialisation; that is, both the practice of discriminating against people by virtue of their race and the insistence that an individual can be defined by the group to which he or she belongs. Today's multiculturalists argue that to fight racism one must celebrate group identity. The consequence has been the resurrection of racial ideas and imprisonment of people within their cultural identities.")

Malik is also the author of the recent book From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy, and some the arguments made in that book – that Rushdie's opponents may have lost the battle, but they have won the larger war against free speech – are presented here in "Shadow of the Fatwa"

("Critics of Rushdie no more spoke for the Muslim community than Rushdie himself did. Both represented different strands of opinion within Muslim communities. Rushdie's critics spoke for some of the most conservative strands. The campaign against The Satanic Verses was not to protect the Muslim communities from unconscionable attack from anti-Muslim bigots, but to protect their own privileged position within those communities from political attack from radical critics, to assert their right to be the true voice of Islam by denying legitimacy to such critics. They succeeded at least in part, because secular liberals embraced them as the authentic voice of the Muslim community.")

More Agamben Notes: Il sacramento del linguaggio, §§22-29
from An und für sich by Adam Kotsko

§22. This section discusses so-called “ontological arguments” for the existence of God. Agamben claims that what’s really at stake in Anselm’s argument is that id quo maius cogitari non potest is the most fitting name for God — which ammounts to “that experience of language in which it is impossible to separate name and being, speech and thing.” Agamben highlights the places where Anselm explicitly mentions saying “God” (or the definition) as well as the original title Fides quaerens intellectum, which seems to link it up with the oath. The name of God, then, represents “the status of the logos in the dimension of the fides-oath, in which nomination immediately realizes the existence of that which it names.” He then says that Alain of Lyle and Aquinas do basically the same thing with the argument. In the end, pure existence (God) can be neither stated nor deduced logically: it can’t be signified, only sworn. A footnote discusses the place of the name in Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. Ultimately, we have to have faith in language.

[Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate by Terry Eagleton - Product Description:

Terry Eagleton's witty and polemical 'Reason, Faith, and Revolution' is bound to cause a stir among scientists, theologians, people of faith and people of no faith, as well as general readers eager to understand the God Debate. On the one hand, Eagleton demolishes what he calls the 'superstitious' view of God held by most atheists and agnostics, and offers in its place a revolutionary account of the Christian Gospel. On the other hand, he launches a stinging assault on the betrayal of this revolution by institutional Christianity. There is little joy here, then, either for the anti-God brigade - Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens in particular - nor for many conventional believers. Instead, Eagleton offers his own vibrant account of religion and politics in a book that ranges from the Holy Spirit to the recent history of the Middle East, from Thomas Aquinas to the Twin Towers.