October 13, 2011

Sri Aurobindo traces the potential journey of the soul

Internatal Journey of the Soul Through Vital Or Mental Worlds - Sri Aurobindo Studies on 13 Oct. 2011
At the time of the separation of consciousness from the physical body at the time of death, there is the soul and its formed mental and vital sheaths which now become free of the physical impediment. Sri Aurobindo traces the potential journey of the soul through a series of planes or worlds that successively become more subtle and refined as they move further away from the physical and into the vital and mental ranges that have been developed as capacities during the physical embodiment.
The first possibility is for the soul to move temporarily into what Sri Aurobindo calls the “subtle-physical” which has many of the characteristics of the physical world, but without the limitations imposed by physical existence. There are also life-worlds which embody the vital principle that helped to form and fix the vital life and personality of the embodied soul. In the life-worlds one would see the vital power predominant and not limited by the physical limitations. The vital forces which held the attention of the evolutionary soul in life will clearly have strong influence on the direction and focus after death, and the soul may, for a time, get caught up in one of these vital realms as a result. Eventually the soul, however, cannot be totally limited by the physical or vital sheaths. To the extent there was a strong mental or mental-spiritual development, the soul may spend some time in one of the corresponding worlds between births. One may also find that the soul traverses some of these worlds but cannot consciously participate in them if there was insufficient vital, mental or spiritual development in the immediately past lifetime to create a capacity of resonance with what is going on in those worlds. “Any residence of the soul in annexes or in its own constructions could be only a transitional stage of the consciousness in its passage from the physical to the supraphysical state; it must pass from these structures into the true worlds of supraphysical Nature.” The driving force will in any case be the “influences which have shaped his earthly existence…” Eventually all of these intervening stages must be overpassed so that the soul can move to its next evolutionary phase.

Powerful Words: Bennett - Larval Subjects on 12 Oct. 2011
In The Enchantment of Modern Life Bennett addresses some of the less attractive problems that emerge from the project of secularization, enlightenment, and disenchantment... Bennett’s worry is that the project of disenchantment generates a sense of meaninglessness (so nicely described by Nietzsche in The Gay Science when he discusses the death of God) where it becomes impossible to be ethically and politically committed to anything. What she seeks is a form of secular enchantment, of captivation with the world, that might propel and motivate us to ethically and politically engage with the world. In short, her idea is that ethical and political engagement require certain affects to be efficacious. Even Kant, in the Critique of Practical Reason had to appeal to a peculiar sort of affect (respect for the moral law) to account for our obedience to that law.

October 12, 2011

Ultimate questions of existence and causality

UNIVERSITY | 2:30 p.m. | Oct. 11, 2011 | By Clinton Wang
Philosophy conference questions everything
Philosophy professor Michael Della Rocca, who organized the conference, said the idea behind it emerged over coffee between physics professor Priyamvada Natarajan and theology professor Denys Turner “after we had walked out of yet another disappointing interdisciplinary talk.” They decided to create a new dialogue that would connect experts from their fields as well as philosophy, based on ultimate questions of existence and causality that shape all three fields, Della Rocca said.
“The hope is to initiate a significant and vital encounter among the three great magisteria dedicated to the pursuit of fundamental truth,” read the official statement.
The guests discussed the origin and nature of the Universe, time and creation, and whether their efforts to address these topics were futile.
By the end of the conference on Sunday, no verdict had been reached.
“But the absence of a consensus is a sign of a successful conference as are the connections between fields and people that were forged,” said Della Rocca.

Imagination as a Creative Force For Post ... - Sri Aurobindo Studies ...
Sri Aurobindo elucidates another possible location for the soul's sojourn after death, at least temporarily, and that is to reside in an artificial construct built by ...

August 25, 2011

Heidegger and Sri Aurobindo on Technology and Evolution

UHU Fall Semester On-Campus courses 2011 (Sep 14 - Dec 19) Start: September 14, 2011, 5:00 pm - End: December 19, 2011, 6:30 pm
1. Every Monday, 4.00 - 5.00 pm (18.09 – 19.12.2011) - Technology and Evolution - By Daniel Goldsmith, Professor of Philosophy, Dawson College, Quebec
The twelve-week course will take a multidisciplinary approach (using history, philosophy, anthropology, and film (2001: A Space Odyssey)) as a way of starting a dialogue about humanity's present and future relation to technology. We will see that technology is an excellent way to highlight the connections between the western humanistic tradition and Sri Aurobindo, and ask how technology is related to Integral Yoga and the future evolution of mankind. Along the way, we will use Martin Heidegger's thoughts on the subject to see just how difficult it is to approach this topic. We will explore Heidegger’s approach of  “phenomenologically reducing” this issue, and consider its parallels in the Indian philosophical tradition. Finally, we will also discuss several controversial viewpoints on technology as a way of raising questions of individual responsibility in an increasingly technologized world. Prior background in philosophy is helpful, though not required.

2.  Every Monday, 5.15 - 6.15 pm (18.09 – 19.12.2011) - An Introduction to Metaphysics: Heidegger and Sri Aurobindo, by Rod Hemsell
In this course we will review the basic concepts of metaphysics in the light of Heidegger and Sri Aurobindo. Both philosophers approached the understanding of truth and being from in-depth studies of their respective classical traditions: Greek and Sanskrit. And both arrived at remarkably similar concepts of the soul and of the importance of gnosis, as opposed to logical thought. We will follow their paths as closely as possible, without necessarily having a background in the classical languages, in order to learn about the basic structures of knowledge, truth, consciousness, and the methods of philosophy.
The primary texts will be Heidegger’s The Essence of Truth (1931-32) and Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine (Pt. Two, 1939-40).

3. Every Wednesday, 5.00 – 6.00 pm  (14.09 - 14.12.2011) - The Studies of the Bhagavad Gita: Karma Yoga by Vladimir Yatsenko:
This is a thorough study of the first six chapters of the Bhagavad Gita known as Karma Yoga. In these chapters the whole vision of the Karma Yoga is unfolded by Sri Krishna step by step. The ancient secret of the Sacrifice and the Psychology of Yoga of Works are revealed and explained in detail. The basic knowledge of Sanskrit and Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation are required for the better understanding and appreciation of the fundamentals of Yoga of Works.

August 21, 2011

Indra Sen, Kishore Gandhi, Madhusudan Reddy, Haridas Chaudhuri, & C.R. Goswami

INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRAL YOGA PSYCHOLOGY :: About Us > THE INSTITUTE :: Publications - Institute will have special emphasis on publications of research and scholarly work on Sri Aurobindo's and Mother's psychological system, The following are the list of publication activities. ...
Psychology itself has undergone several shifts. The place of spirituality in human psyche is being increasingly acknowledged. With the popularity of the transpersonal school in psychology, spiritual, mystic and occult perspectives are becoming subject-matters that need not only to be understood but also to be transfigured in practical terms. In this context, Sri Aurobindo's psychological thought implicit in his yoga (named Integral Yoga) needs a special and distinctive consideration because it is a departure from the traditional ways of thinking as well as a departure from the ascetic tradition in spirituality. Moreover, it brings as a central theme the concept of evolution of Consciousness. [12:52 PM]
IYP explores the ranges and depths of consciousness, its planes and parts, so as to construct an integral structure and model of human being capable of evolutionary growth. In the process it studies the hierarchy of consciousness as represented in the human being as well as in nature, the different beings in our depths, the aspects of personality and impersonality, time and timelessness, ego and beyond - ego principles. The emergent perspective not only helps us to understand the structure of the being but also to study psychopathology at different levels with the possibility of devising concomitant therapeutic modalities.
IYP's standpoint is that as its field and matrix is consciousness in its most global perspective, it cannot ignore the variegated pursuits of the human mind in its quest towards truth. Thus it not only studies spirituality and religion but also include in its ambit the psychological foundations of occultism, parapsychology and metapsychology. IYP will study the practical implications of the consciousness paradigm in ...
Our predecessors are stalwart-scholars and yogis who had the vision and foresight of acknowledging the inherent psychological insights in Sri Aurobindo’s thought. This illustrious list begins with the late Prof. Indra Sen, who published as early as 1944 an article entitled “A psychological Appreciation of Sri Aurobindo’s System of Integral Yoga” and culminates in Dr. A. S. Dalal’s landmark publication of “A Greater Psychology” in 2001.
Dr. Indra Sen used the term “Integral Psychology” in 1960 to denote Sri Aurobindo’s Psychological system but as Robert Gerard (in 1982) and Ken Wilber (in 2000) have been using the term for other things, the nomenclature “Integral Yoga Psychology” has evolved. Other predecessors include the late Kishore Gandhi who had been using class notes on this theme since 1966 at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the late Madhusudan Reddy whose book on Integral Yoga Psychology was published in 1988, Jobst Muhling who differentiated conventional Western Psychology from Sri Aurobindo’s psychology in 1960, the late Haridas Chaudhury who with F. Spiegelberg in 1960 published a Commemorative Symposium proceedings where the term “Integral Psychology” was first used, C. R. Goswami who used this term in 1989 and Lloyd Fellows who established an Institute for Integral Psychology in USA during 1970s under the inspiration of Late M. P. Pandit.

One of the pleasures of reading Sri Aurobindo’s works is that such contradictions do not exist because he resolves every contradiction by tracing it to its Divine origin and reconciling it as part of a larger Truth.   He explicates how every principle has it’s play in a certain context but if we over-generalize, then it loses its value. […]
What can we glean from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on the Nature versus Nurture debate?  We are given the understanding that nature and nurture can be reconciled in the greater spiritual truth, that there is an soul within Man evolving towards Divinity.  This soul persists across incarnations, puts forth its own distinct personality in every life and is also influenced by the genetic makeup of the parents as well as by the prevailing Zeitgeist. […]
Intelligent Design raises valid questions about abiogenesis (i.e. how life arises out from inorganic matter) and speciation (i.e. how do new species arise) but is unable to satisfactorily answer them with a suitable teleology, other than to posit the existence of an extra-cosmic entity which must be managing the Universe.
On the other hand, Neo-Darwinism only examines the superficial evolution of forms, and remains unaware of the greater aeonic evolution of souls as they are reborn in progressively more complex forms, (plant, animal and human) as determined by the evolution of soul consciousness.
We present the synthesis of the above ideas as discovered in the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.  Speciation is explained by the fact that consciousness precedes form in evolution [12]. 

August 19, 2011

Passing away of Ranajit Sarkar and K.D. Sethna

Editorial 15 August, 2011
We have chosen to name this anniversary number a special issue on the Social and Political Writings of Sri Aurobindo as the bulk of the papers, with a few exceptions, concentrates on this theme. Readers will find special interest in the article by Paul Richard on Sri Aurobindo, taken from his book The Dawn of Asia published by Ganesh & Co. of Madras in 1919. The article has been translated by Sri Aurobindo himself.
In the intervening period since our last publication in April, we have witnessed the passing away of two of Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s dear children – Ranajit Sarkar in far away Amsterdam and KD Sethna, better known to all as Amal Kiran. Ranajit Sarkar, too, was a product of the Ashram and was its inmate for a long time before he moved and settled in the Netherlands. Readers may remember the excellent series on the Urvashi theme he penned for Sraddha, in which he compared the works of Madhusudan Dutt, Tagore and Sri Aurobindo on that particular subject. A person of great erudition and learning and a man of admirable human qualities, Ranajit-da was most humble, modest and self-effacing. 
Amal Kiran, born in Nov 1904, passed away peacefully in the Ashram Nursing Home on 29 June at the ripe old age of 106. He lived a long and full life. He joined the Ashram in 1927 at the young age of 23 and was christened ‘Amal Kiran’ or the ‘Clear Ray’ by Sri Aurobindo himself. One of the foremost sadhaks, a literary stalwart and a multi-faceted genius, his publications covered more than 50 books spread over a variety of subjects, notably literature and literary criticism. His voluminous correspondence with Sri Aurobindo on Savitri can be rated as the high-water mark of what true literary analysis ought to be. Like his Guru, Amal Kiran, too, possessed a keen and a wonderful sense of humour. ‘Age could not wither him nor custom stale his infinite variety’.

Notes On Authors (Includes names of only those writers whose writings have not appeared in this journal before)
Ajai  R.  Singh M.D.   i s   a  Psychi a t r i s t   and Edi tor ,  Mens  Sana  Monogr aphs ,   ( He has written extensively on issues related to psychiatry, philosophy, bioethical issues, medicine, and the pharmaceutical industry
Aparna Banerjee is Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Calcutta. She is the Author of the book Explanation and Understanding in the Social Sciences (2002). Her research papers on Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy have appeared in reputed Journals and Books. One such paper entitled ‘Yoga and Knowledge’ is due for publication in PHISPC, Centre for Studies in Civilisation, New Delhi. She has also completed a UGC research Project on the Indian Caste System in 2007.
Monica Gupta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary Education, Gargi College, University of Delhi. She is also the academic Coordinator (honorary), International Centre for Integral Studies, Gnostic Centre, New Delhi. She is deeply influenced by the life and works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. She is in her research, teaching and personal practice engaged with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s vision of a future society and creation of new modes of knowing and being.
Neeltje Huppes was born in the Netherlands. An inner urge brought her to India and Pondicherry. She lived for 15 years in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch where she founded, together with Matthijs Cornelissen, a Research Centre for Integral Education, focusing mainly on teacher education. The urge for a more intense inner quest brought her back to Pondicherry where she is presently teaching in the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. She wrote Psychic Education, a Workbook, New Delhi, 2001. She has lectured in India and abroad on various aspects of Integral Psychology. In February 2006 she opened together with Matthijs Cornelissen the Indian Psychology Institute.
Paul Antoine Richard was born on 17 June 1874 at Masillargues in Languedoc, Southern France. After finishing school, he enlisted in the army, and in October 1892 was sent to North Africa, where he served for four years. Richard received his law degree from the Academie de Lille in July 1908. Before long he became a barrister at the Paris Court of Appeals. In February 1910 he joined the Ligue de Defense et de Propagande Republicaine Raddicale et Radicale-Socialiste. It was probably this party that sent Richard to Pondicherry in March 1910 on an electioneering campaign on behalf of Paul Bluysen, a candidate from French India to the Chamber of Deputies in Paris. It was in 1914 that he met Sri Aurobindo for the first time. Paul Richard wrote a few books  some of which were Au Japon, To the Nations, The Lord of the Nations, The Scourge of Christ, The Dawn Over Asia, The Challenge of the Future,  To India: The Messages of the Himalayas (1921), New Asia (1922), Messages from the Future, The Eternal Wisdom, The Seven Steps to the New Age. In November 1920, he left Pondicherry and went to Chandernagore; then he became a sannyasi and spent some time in the Himalayas. In 1967 Paul Richard breathed his last.
Radharaman Chakrabarti  Formerly, Vice-Chancellor, Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata. Currently Project Director, UNESCO Programme on ‘International Understanding’ at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata Shakuntala A. Singh Ph.D. is Principal, Reader and Head, Dept of Philosophy, K.G. Joshi College of Arts and N.G. Bedekar College of Commerce. She is also Deputy Editor of MSM. Her areas of interest are Indian philosophy, bio-ethics, logic, and the philosophy of science.

Index  To Authors  And Articles In Sraddha, August 2010 – April 2011
Alok Pandey Aug.’10, p.34, Feb.’11, p.17
Amal Kiran Apr.’11, p.15
Amalendu De Aug.’10, p.120
Anirvan, Srimat Nov.’10, p.11, Feb.’11, p.47
Anuradha Choudry Nov.’10, p.62
Arun Chatterjee Nov.’10, p.92
Asoka Ganguli Feb.’11, p.139
Dalal, AS Apr.’11, p. 139
Dasharathi Sengupta Aug.’10, p.103
Debashsish Banerji Aug.’10, p.67, Feb.’11, p.53, Apr.’11, p.18
Deshpande, RY Apr.’11, p.63
Kireet Joshi Aug.’10, p.14
Krishnaprem Feb.’11, p.11
Kundan Singh Aug.’10, p.128
Larry Seidlitz Nov.’10, p.120
Makarand Paranjape Feb.’11, p.73
Mathijs Cornelissen Feb.’11, p.118
Mother Feb.’11, p.7
Narad (Richard Eggenberger) Apr.’11, p.55
Pratyagatmananda Saraswati, Swami Aug.’10, p.10
Prema Nandakumar Aug.’10, p.41, Nov.’10, p.23, Feb.’11, p.39, Apr.’11, p.46
Prithwindra Mukherjee Nov.’10, p.134
Ramesh Chandra Pradhan Nov.’10, p.35
Ranajit Sarkar Aug.’10, p.168, Nov.’10, p.188, Feb.’11, p.14, Apr.’11, p.73
Richard Hartz Aug.’10, p.52, Apr.’11, p.98
Sachidananda Mohanty Nov.’10, p.165
Sampadananda Mishra Nov.’10, p.81S´
Sandeep Joshi Nov.’10, p.111
Sarnath Basu Nov.’10, p.17
Saurendranath Basu Aug.’10, p.181
Shraddhavan Nov.’10, p.174, Feb.’11, p.105
Sonia Dyne Aug.’10, p.95, Feb.’11, p.87
Sri Aurobindo Aug.’10, p.7, Nov.’10, p.7, Apr’11, p.7
Srinivasan, MS Nov.’10, p.152
Sunayana Panda Apr.’11, p.121
Tapan Banerjee Nov.’10, p.46
Usharanjan Chakraborty Feb.’11, p.131
Vladimir Iatsenko Apr.’11, p.24
Vrekhem, Georges van Aug.’10, p.142, Apr. ’11, p.126
Analytical Assessment of Death – Savitri Debate, An (Usharanjan Chakraborty) – Feb’11, p,131
Aswapati’s Yoga (Anirvan, Srimat) – Feb’11, p.47
Beyond Mind: A New Paradigm of Psychology…(Kundan Singh) – Aug.’10, p.128
Biographical Aspect of Savitri, A ( RY Deshpande) – Apr.’11, p.63
Bird-Image in Savitri, The (Ranajait Sarkar) – Apr.’11, p.73
Charles Darwin and Sri Aurobindo… (Tapan Banerjee) – Nov.’10, p.46
Country and Nationalism, The (Sri Aurobindo) – Aug.’10, p.7
Descent of Knowledge in Savitri, The (Sonia Dyne) – Feb.’11, p.87
Emotion and its Transformation (Larry Seidlitz) – Nov.’10, p.120
Epistemology of Perception (Sandeep Joshi) – Nov.’10, p.111
Everlasting Yes, The: Savitri, the Epic of Affirmation (Richard Hartz) – Apr.11, p.98
Five Martyrs of Bengal (Amalendu De) – Aug.’10, p.120
Genius of Civilisation (MS Srininvasan) – Nov.’10, p.152
Love and Death (Debashish Banerji) – Feb.’11, p.53
Lexicon of an Infinite Mind (Narad – Richard Eggenberger) – Apr.’11, p.55
Modes and Aspects of Self in Hindu Philosophy… (Arun Chatterjee) – Nov.’10, p.92
Mother and Her Work, The (Sunayana Panda) – Apr.’11, p.121
Mother’s Savitri Translations, The (Shraddhavan) – Feb.’11, p.105
Nation and Beyond – Aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s Political Vision (Dasharathi Sengupta) – Aug.’10, p.103
Newness of Savitri: an Interpretation (Asoka Ganguli) – Feb.’11, p.139
On Savitri – A Talk to a Young Disciple (Mother) – Feb.’11, p.7
On Savitri (Sri Aurobindo) – Apr.’11, p.7
Onward She Passed… Rejection as Described in Savitri (Matthijs Cornelissen) – Feb.’11, p.18
Path of Nachiketa, The (Alok Pandey) – Aug.’10, p. 34
Psychic Being, The: A Gift of Grace (AS Dalal) – Apr.’11, p.139
Rabidranath and Sri Aurobindo… (Saurendranath Basu) – Aug.’10, p.181
Reflections on Jouissance as Ananda (Prithwindra Mukherjee) – Nov.’10, p.134
Reviving the Vedic Aryan (Anuradha Choudry) – Nov.’10, p.62
Sadhana and Sahitya: the Early Years in Pondicherry (Richard Hartz) – Aug.’10, p.52
Sanskrit: A Language of Integral Perfection (Sampadananda Mishra) – Nov.’10, p.81
Savitri (Krishnaprem) – Feb.’11, p.11
Savitri and Satyavan: the Path to Immortality (Vladimir Iatsenko) – Apr.’11, p.24
Savitri, Bk I, Canto I: The Symbol Dawn (Debashsish Banerji) – Apr.’11, p.18
Savitri, Bk VI, Canto II: The Way of Fate and …  (Makarand Paranjape) – Feb.’11, p.73
Savitri: The Song of The Infinite (Alok Pandey) – Feb.’11, p.17
Science and Religion (Georges van Vrekhem) – Aug.’10, p.42
‘Seer Deep-Hearted’: A Metrical Fragment.. (Shraddhavan) – Nov.’10, 174
Spirituality and the Crisis in Contemporary…  (Sachidananda Mohanty) – Nov.’10, p.165
Sri Aurobindo and the Bengal Renaissance (Debashsish Banerji) – Aug.’10, p.67
Sri Aurobindo and the Mystery of Death (Anirvan, Srimat) – Nov.’10, p.11
Sri Aurobindo and the Veda (Kireet Joshi) – Aug.’10, p.14
Sri Aurobindo, Namaste (Pratyagatmananda Swaraswati, Swami) – Aug.’10, p.10
Sri Aurobindo on ‘The Two Negations’… (RC Pradhan) – Nov.’10, p.35
Sri Aurobindo’s Concept of Freedom (Sonia Dyne) – Aug.’10, p.95
Sri Aurobindo’s Commentary on Kenopanishad (Sarnath Basu) – Nov.’10, p.17
Theme of Urvashi in the Indian Renaissance, The (Ranajit Sarkar)-  Aug.’10, p.168, Nov.’10, p.188
To Savitri, the Wonderful Epic (Ranajit Sarkar) – Feb.’11, p.14
Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri (Prema Nandakumar) – Aug,’10, p.41, Nov.’10, p.23, Feb.’11, p.39, Apr.’11, p.46
What Arjuna saw: the Dark Side of the Force (Georges van Vrekhem) – Apr.’11, p.126
What Basically is Savitri? (Amal Kiran) – Apr.’11, p.15
What is the Significance of the Name ‘Arya’? (Sri Aurobindo) – Nov.’10, p.'11.pdf

August 16, 2011

SR/OOO as alternative to Creationism and Nihilism

For my own part, I’ve been fairly straightforward about showing my cards, both in my published works and here on this blog. As is well known, my orientation is basically “continental,” and basically Husserl/Heidegger-oriented at bottom– though in an unorthodox manner, and with quite a bit of Whiteheadian and especially Latourian influence. Unless you’re very skeptical of continental philosophy in general, or unless you’re one of those continentals who think all recent French philosophy is sophistry, I think it’s hard to escape the conclusion that in the post WW-II period Paris has been a unique dynamo, generating new figures and ideas at a dizzying rate. It’s not a question of worshipping that process; I happen to think that Heidegger still hasn’t been surpassed.
In any case, this sort of situating of the reputations of various authors is not a minor aspect of what we do, nor is it something to be passed over in polite silence so as to avoid invidious comparisons. It’s the very heart of critical intellectual life, as well as the very key to how we go about deciding what (among the thousands of books surrounding us) to read first and in greatest depth, and what we decide to skim and what to ignore completely. All of us are wrong in these decisions at times. All of us evolve over the years and change our tastes in one way or another. But there’s no avoiding the decisions. None of us load all philosophy books into an empty drum and choose our summer’s reading at random. We all have some sense, one that is constantly in development, of what we need to read and learn most urgently.
To turn now away from Berendzen and towards those who think Laruelle is more important than I have reason to think so far, there’s plenty of blog and journal room available to make your case. Let’s hear that case, rather than complaints about the messenger.
The democratization of information has now become at least technologically feasible, if not politically actual. I don’t think the rise of the blog signals the end of the university (or at least I should hope not), but it does mean that the individual is now shouldering a good deal more of the weight of human knowledge than before.
I am in graduate school myself, though I attend CIIS, an academically marginalized school started by an Indian yogi in the middle of the New Age capital of the world (Watts was once on the faculty). It is impossible for me to escape this context, even though I aim to think individually much in the spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

When I suggested in an earlier post that SR/OOO needs to unpack its theological and anthropological implications, I did so with the hopeful expectation that, were an object-oriented theology, psychology, or anthropology developed, it might provide a viable alternative to the philosophical exaggerations of Creationism and Nihilism alike. […]
I think Whitehead was struggling to secularize theology, such that science and religion–the study of nature and the worship of divinity–could mutually enhance one another, rather than being placed in irremediable conflict on either side of a universe bifurcated between Nature and Spirit. Bryant questions whether any good evidence exists for believing in God, but it seems that he is imagining a God who issues decrees and determines the future course of the universe in advance. Whitehead’s God has no such power, but rather is alike in kind to all other actual entities. God is with the world, not above it. God does not guarantee anything but the possibility of relevant and meaningful experience to every actual occasion. It is up to each actual occasion to decide upon its future based on its own subjective ends. There is little scientific evidence for the existence of a transcendent, law imposing God like the one Bryant is critiquing (I say “little” evidence only because of the way some physicists remain rutted in a non-historical paradigm that conceives of physical laws as arbitrarily imposed upon nature from beyond nature); but from Whitehead’s panentheistic perspective, the evidence for God is aesthetic and moral, not just scientific. 
That there is a Cosmos at all, rather than chaos, is evidence of Beauty’s participation in bringing the cosmic democracy of objects into (a still evolutionary and open-ended!) harmonization. That human beings are capable of struggling for Justice (even if it remains largely an ideal imperfectly realized) is evidence that God’s infinite love for each and every entity is ingredient in our more limited experience of entities. And finally, that human beings are capable of doing metaphysics and philosophy so as to reveal the inner workings of reality is evidence that a deeper Intelligence is involved in bringing forth both the knower and the known.

In League With Sri Aurobindo's Vision And Integral Yoga - Editorial ...
There is not the slightest doubt that our society will have to undergo a reconstruction which may amount to revolution, but it will not be for Europeanisation as the ...

August 10, 2011

Sri Aurobindo is a golden Vessel

5.0 out of 5 stars Our Future Self, July 26, 2011 By John Pellicci (Palm Beach Gardens, United States) - See all my reviews - (REAL NAME) This review is from: The Life Divine - U.S. edition (Hardcover)
Aurobindo is a golden Vessel. His words convey thoughts of the most sublime and supreme that a human is given to think and become. His depth of realization and breadth of learning continues to leave me aghast. This magnum opus dethrones and perfects the intellect, opens the being to higher ranges and transmissions to the effect of developing the necessary mental architecture for the radical uplift and trans-human amplification.

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Look at yourself and the world from a different angle, October 10, 2005 By Yajnavalkya "Tim" (Hetfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews This review is from: The Life Divine (Paperback)
This is a difficult book to read. Let us be under no illusions about that. It is verbose, repetitive and massive in its scope: tackling virtually the entire gamut of issues that philosophy traditionally deals with. But by the time you have finished reading the book (it took me three months to finish) it would have transformed the way you live your life. You may not agree with Aurobindo, and in fact, he probably does not want you to blindly agree with him, he would much rather that you think things out for yourself; but one thing that he certainly does is to question the 'commonsense' view of the world: the view of the world that we build up using bits of unexamined,untested, received, 'truths'. Take just one such 'truth': We believe--or at least we have done so ever since Descartes--that Matter and Consciousness are two separate things. Aurobindo puts forward the suggestion that the two are actually one and the same entity, only they are in different states being: somewhat like Ice and Steam being different states of water. If we concede that matter may be a form of consciousness, only in an inert state, all sorts of consequences would follow: especially with regard to our attitudes towards the environment.
As I had said earlier, the scope of the book is massive. Its three parts can be roughly divided into Ontology (where he discusses the Nature of the Cosmos), Epistemology (where he discusses the nature of Knowledge (& Ignorance), and the problem of Evil--which he attributes to Ignorance: a consequence of Ahamkara or ego-centricism) and finally, in the last part, he provides a broad, general direction for living our lives in accordance with our revised view of the world (Ethics). However, the book is not tightly structured (If you are looking for a book like Wittgenstein's Tractatus you will find yourself truly frustrated) it is loose, repetitive, and disjointed. Possibly because it was originally written as a series of essays and published monthly in a magazine called the Arya (between 1914 to 1919). He must have had to repeat himself because his original audience would have forgotten a point that he would have made five years ago. But the cumulative effect of the repetitions is that his ideas have a tendency to gradually seep in and sink into your mind, rather than strike you as a sort of brilliant epiphany.
Aurobindo's philosphy is ultimately rooted in ancient Hindu Vedic thought. In the course of the book, Aurobindo tackles Marx, Darwin, Nietzche, Freud, Hegel, Feurbach, (plus a whole range of European philosophers) and his idea is to adapt their philosophy to the 'Truth' as expressed by the Seers of the ancient Vedas. Does he succeed in doing so? I don't know. That is for professional philosophers to decide. For me, the book has been a revelation, the scales have dropped from my eyes: I see things differently now. Hopefully, I will continue to do so for a while before the snares of living in a modern city finally engulf me once again. Haven't they said that we can't stand to face the truth for too long?

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece meant for everyoneOctober 5, 2005 By Tusar N. Mohapatra "Savitri Era of those who ... (Indirapuram, India) - See all my reviews This review is from: The Life Divine (Paperback)
It is a difficult read, no doubt, but this is one book which each and every educated person must read; doesn't matter if it takes a lifetime. If one reads three pages a day, it'll take one year to finish the book; that is the kind of patience the book demands, but it's worth it and extremely rewarding. Logistics overcome, comes the barrier of prejudice; several of them: India, Hindu, Ashram, Philosophy, Spirituality, New-Age etc. But what is needed is an absolutely open mind and the book becomes a pure Life's User Manual. 
The book itself is a Univeresity that breathes universality. During the course of reading, one gets attuned to many related areas and ideas by way of allusions and comparisions. It also solves progressively one's long-held doubts and discords. Besides, in whichever profession one is, it helps to improve on the practical aspects. Further, the poetic beauty of the text enhances the sheer pleasure of reading even while the insights gained expands one's sense of mundane existence. Two other booklets, "The Mother" and "The Mind of Light" or "The Supramental Manifestation upon Earth" are essential supplements, lest one's understanding of the author is prone to be lopsided.

August 06, 2011

Increasing meaningful uploading.

How computers can cure cultural diabetes - opinion - 05 July 2011 - New Scientist The networked computer offers an antidote to the junk culture of broadcasting. Why not choose the healthy option, says Peter Lunenfeld

All animals download, but only a few upload anything besides faeces and their own bodies. Beavers build dams, birds make nests and termites create mounds, yet for the most part, the animal kingdom moves through the world downloading. Humans are unique in their capacity to not only make tools but then turn around and use them to create superfluous material goods - paintings, sculpture and architecture - and superfluous experiences - music, literature, religion and philosophy. Of course, it is precisely these superfluous things that define human culture and ultimately what it is to be human. Downloading and consuming culture requires great skills, but failing to move beyond downloading is to strip oneself of a defining constituent of humanity. […]
The challenge the computer mounts to television thus bears little similarity to one format being replaced by another in the manner of record players being replaced by CD players. It is far more profound than that, because it can bring about a radical break from the culture of television and a shift from a consumption model to a production model.
This is a historic opportunity. Fifty years of television dominance has given birth to an unhealthy culture. Created like fizzy drinks and burgers by multinational conglomerates, the junk culture of broadcasting has turned us into intellectual diabetics. The cure is now in our collective grasp. It involves controlling and rationing our intake, or downloading, and increasing our levels of activity - uploading. Not to break it down too much, watching is ingesting is downloading and making is exercising is uploading.

August 02, 2011

Sri Aurobindo gave him the emblem with a Garuda

“If there is a single seminal experience in his intellectual development,” Lelyveld writes, it occurs in 1894 when Gandhi receives a copy of Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You. The book is Tolstoy’s late-life confession “of a passionate Christian creed, founded on individual conscience and a doctrine of radical nonviolence.” Gandhi’s embrace of Tolstoy’s ideas would later lead the Bengali revolutionary Sri Aurobindo to quip that Gandhi “is a European — truly a Russian Christian in an Indian body.”

Study on Bharati The Hindu
Bharati's association with VVS Aiyer and Aurobindo went a long way in strengthening his will to pursue his goals — a casteless society; the uplift of the downtrodden; and the emancipation of women. Bharati's early years, his marriage at an early age ...

The book, which has a brief introduction to each chapter, provides cross-references to the Upanishads and commentaries by Acharyas like Adi Sankara and other eminent men such as Gandhiji, Tilak and Aurobindo. The book makes a wholesome reading. ...

These are the set of people who have never read even the bhagvad-Gita, the works of the world famous scholar Sri Aurobindo or the testimonials of the famous ... 

Sri Aurobindo, in his inspiring poem Savitri, emphasises the need to undergo the pain in order to redeem the other sufferers as follows. ... 

In the words of Sri Aurobindo: "All the stormiest passions of man's soul he [Madhusudan] expressed in gigantic language." Madhusudan Dutta's major works ...

C. S. Shastri, a Chartered Accountant from Chennai went to Sri Aurobindo and ... In reply to this request, Sri Aurobindo gave him the emblem with a Garuda, ...

As you mention Germany's example and Nazi time: Read Sri Aurobindo and his book, the Human Cycle. It describes quite well why Germany was falling into ...

Update: 16-Feb-16
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.