January 29, 2010

Dissent can be yoga

POSTHUMAN DESTINIES Science, Culture, Integral Yoga
These post on Simondon are extremely difficult to decipher however if one takes the time it may be a worthwhile enterprise, not only because of his influence on Deleuze, Steigler and Derrida, but because his work reveals (for lack of better terms) an integral thinker, with maybe enough Aurobindian resonance, regards theorizing a physical, vital, mental, psychic individuation, radical empiricism, whole/part relationship – which one may be able to contextualized in terms of nature yoga/purusha yoga – as to facilitate a very esoteric dialog. 
Howard Zinn 1922-2010 Posted by RCARLSON | Published: JANUARY 28, 2010
“The title of his memoir, he noted, best described his personal philosophy: “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.” …..
I think Howard’s legacy teaches us that dissent can be yoga. Injustice calls forth the integration of knowledge/power in a call to action. Social Justice and Sanatan Dharma are integral in Sri Aurobindo’s action. Zinn’s secular integration of justice and dharma, is a further evolution (cultural) of such action, that I believe Sri Aurobindo would have embraced. Its therefore ironic that the Heehs affair has given Howard’s “moving train” new relevance.
In Alternative Modernity, Andrew Feenberg continues his efforts to produce a critical theory of technology which develops philosophical perspectives to help us understand the immense importance and impact of technology within the contemporary world.
Every technical object undergoes a genesis. It is difficult, however, to define the genesis of each technical object, because the individuality of technical objects is modified in the course of the genesis. What we can do is to define technical objects with reference to the technical species to which they belong, but we can only do so with difficulty. 
Gilbert Simondon, a French philosopher, sees the individual as a process – through individuation rather than as fixed entity. Neither are matter or form fixed, as they too go through a process of development. The person then creates a sort of symbiotic developmental relation with its surrounding, both influencing each other in ‘becoming’. Years ahead of his time, and understandings in science, Simondon published his thoughts in L’individu et sa genese physico-biologique (The Individual and its Physico-Biological Individuation, 1964)
“This essay explores the relation between animality and biotechnology, focusing both on contemporary issues, such as “biodefence”, as well as historical issues, such as the Mediaeval bestiary. Animality—as the human capacity to “think the animal”—is found to exist within the networks and passages that both constitute and threaten social, economic and political life…..”
After the court cases were found to be without merit, and just when one thought a measure of sanity had prevailed in the controversy regards the publication of the Lives of Sri Aurobindo and its author Peter Heehs a new front for battle has opened up. In this instance Mr. Heehs visa and right to stay in India are under attack. And just like the attack on the book the instruments of warfare is the lie. The persistence of the attacks on Mr. Heehs in fact confirm Ashis Nandy’s view of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram that: “Increasingly and inevitably, it acquired the trappings of a well organized modern cult and of a church‑as‑corporation.”
What follows is the deconstruction of a recent report by R.Y. Deshpande regards Mr Heehs appearance in court to defend his Visa:
Continuing our look at the Theory of Evolution just slightly after its 150 year anniversary:
The New York Times announced that ‘the theory of evolution really does explain everything in biology,’ but that’s rather modest in the context of current celebratory hype. In now canonical versions, Darwin’s idea of evolution through natural selection – his ‘dangerous idea’ – was, as Daniel Dennett famously said, ‘the single best idea anyone has ever had’. 
The portrait Asish Nandy paints of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother, and the Ashram in Intimate Enemy is in many respects fascinatingly complex. The final conclusion that he draws on to evaluate the success of Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual politics is in fact stunningly original:
“In his own odd way, Aurobindo did try to recognize this on behalf of his culture. To trivialize both the English language and the categories popularized by nineteenth‑century Western social criticism, one could perhaps say that in the chaos called India the opposite of thesis is not the antithesis because they exclude each other. The true ‘enemy’ of the thesis is seen to be in the synthesis because it includes the thesis and ends the latter’s reason for being. It is Sankara’s Vedanta, carrying the clear impress of Buddhism, which finished Buddhism as a living faith in India, and not either Brahmanic orthodoxy or any state‑sponsored anti‑Buddhist ideology.64 Successfully or unsuccessfully, Aurobindo did try to evolve such a response to the West.” (Nandy)

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