May 08, 2010

First become intimate with the innermost being

Jon Cogburn's Blog May 07, 2010 meditations on Harman and transcendental idealism Permalink [Two things to think about:
(A) And the potential ontological prize is huge. Phenomenology's (broken) promise of dissolving the problems of the external world and the mind-body problem will be redeemed. In this light I disagree with Gary Williams and see Alva Noe's enactivist philosophy of perception as actually being part and parcel of Harman's program.
I also disagree with Harman in seeing Dreyfusarian approaches to Heidegger as being part and parcel of the Harman's program. Again, this is because I separate two facets of his program:
(1) the radical externalization of scheme/content, and
(2) Harman's particular model of scheme and content. Dreyfusarian/pragmatist approaches to Heidegger can be reinterpreted in terms of (1).
(B) Maimon in many ways reintroduced Leibnizian tropes into post-Kantian German Idealism. It would be very interesting to compare the pressures for him to do this with the way that Harman's metaphysics ends up recapitulating Leibnizian themes.]

The Perennial Philosophy and the Mind-Body Problem iAware: By IntegralEric 
Sri Aurobindo, who witnessed the beginnings of psychoanalysis (and was, in fact, a contemporary of Freud's), advised his students to first become intimate with the innermost being (i.e., Soul) before attempting to tackle unconscious impulses. In his view, the innermost being was more causally efficacious—literally, of a higher-order domain—than the unconscious (fueled by the lower gunas), and was thus vitally needed in order to prevent the mind from being overwhelmed by the unconscious. In other words, for Aurobindo, Soul and Spirit were the attractors that pulled the development of the tumultuous mind out of tamas into rajas, then into sattva, and finally beyond the gunas altogether, into the cessation of limited mind.

            While this ontology has historically been established primarily by a phenomenological approach—a fact that severely hinders its credibility in a modern and postmodern world (with modernity’s distrust of subjectivity and postmodernity’s intersubjective relativity [e.g., “all truth is relative to its respective culture”]), its utilitarianism in solving the mind-body problem is readily apparent, at least to me, and difficult to ignore. Simply put, if the mind is not simply a by-product or epiphenomenon of the brain, then you and I are not merely victims of our brains. By training our minds, we can in turn change our brains in profound and stable ways. This understanding has the potential for revolutionizing the fields of psychology and psychiatry because it is able to remove sufferers of various psychological disorders from the “victim” list.

            In Vedanta, the body (annamayakosha and pranamayakosha) and the mind (manomayakosha) are viewed as temporal superimpositions upon Brahman—the Real, the very fabric out of which they arise and into which they must ultimately dissolve. Yet Aurobindo’s expression of Vedanta envisioned a descending of Immanent Truth-force (which he termed Supermind) into the mind and body, thereby catalyzing a transformation and transmutation of the same, all of which manifests as an evolutionary Transcendence into Spirit knowing itself as Spirit. These body and mind layers are transcended, included, and enfolded by still more encompassing layers: soul (vijnanmayakosha, or what Aurobindo referred to variously as the innermost being, the Psychic being, and the dream self) and spirit (anandamayakosha, the causal body, or the deep sleep self). 

No comments:

Post a Comment