March 24, 2011

Sri Aurobindo is clearly the most prominent modern exponent and interpreter

We will shine: transparent futures of consciousness 

MA Sherbon - 2011
J Gidley - 2011 -
MA Sherbon - 2011
... 2 When you understand how Steiner did his research, it is also not surprising that his description 
of the multi-layered human being, from the most material layer to the most spiritual layer is very 
similar to that given by renowned Indian master, Sri Aurobindo Ghose. ... 

Integral perspectives on school educational futures

J Gidley… - 2011 -
... Some significant twentieth century and contemporary writers other than ilber who were working 
from a substantially integral perspective include Rudolf Steiner, Michael Polanyi, Jean Gebser, 
Sri Aurobindo Ghose, Ervin L sl , Ashok Gangadean, and illiam Irwin Thompson. ... 

Giving hope back to our young people: Creating a new spiritual mythology for Western culture

J Gidley - Journal of Future Studies, 2011 -
... (Wilber 2000b; Wilber 2003) Wilber's use of the Page 3. 3 term 'integral' draws on the work 
of cultural –historian Jean Gebser who in turn drew inspiration from Sri Aurobindo Ghose 
who coined the term 'integral education' in India in the 1950s. ... 
... As a scholar of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) and Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950) 
she examines societal evolution, contemporary social inequalities, and defines an inclusive
futuristic vision of human reality in both cosmic and social contexts. ... 

Indian Psychology and the International Context 

AC Paranjpe - Psychology & Developing Societies, 2011 -
... hard work by D. Matthijs Cornelissen.4 It is particularly auspicious that the conference was organ
ised by Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry, since Sri Aurobindo is clearly the most prominent 
modern exponent and interpreter of traditional Indian approaches to psychology. ...

A Dynamical View of the Personality in Evolution 

A Combs… - The Postconventional Personality: …, 2011 -
... Sri Aurobindo's fi (1971) writings, for instance, remind us again and again that the 
yogic transformation begins only when we acquire the ability to look down on the 
buzzing mechanistic mind from a position of dispassionate clarity. ...

... Sri Aurobindo Ghose considered, “This world is a vast unbroken totality, a deep solidarity joins 
its contrary powers.” The quintessential light of aetheric nature is also the Lightness of
Being.Aristotle again in Metaphysics,“Then comes the most difficult of all questions, whether ... 
... Also, the word “integral” harkens back to early 20th century Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo's 
(1990) concept of Integral Yoga, which called for a transformation of consciousness and the
ever-evolving experience of reality that includes the physical, the emotional, and the ... 

March 16, 2011

Responsibility and hypocrisy

Religion’s many powers from The Immanent Frame 

Excerpted from the afterword of The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere
Like Habermas, Taylor is concerned with identifying ways in which the public sphere can help to produce greater integration among citizens who enter public discourse with different views. Habermas stresses agreement and clearer knowledge while Taylor stresses mutual recognition and collaboration in common pursuits. But both see excluding religion from the public sphere as undermining the solidarity and creativity they seek. In different ways, Judith Butler and Cornel West ask about the limits of optimistic visions of the public sphere in which harmonious integration is the apparent telos.
Butler emphasizes occasions when it is impossible to achieve intellectual (or political) integration, including agreement on truth and value. Religious sources of ethical insight may matter enormously precisely when deliberation in the public sphere fails. Deep differences may remain—and remain troubling and troubled. Religion may provide a guide to action in the face of divisions it cannot undo. This is true especially when the realities of state power and geopolitics bring people into the same place, not necessarily by choice, and into social relationships, though they do not understand themselves to constitute a single people or polity. Pluralization is not always a challenge to be overcome.
Butler offers the idea of cohabitation as an alternative, or perhaps a crucial supplement, to that of integrative public reason. It is an understanding of what is both possible and ethically right that she draws from Jewish tradition, shaped by the historical experience of statelessness, subjection, and partial autonomy under states Jews did not control. The ethic of cohabitation thus has an internal relationship to being Jewish—and on this basis criticizing state violence that is at odds with cohabitation must be “a Jewish thing to do.” Butler sees this as more than simply distinguishing “progressive” Jewish positions from others, because it entails taking seriously the limits of any identitarian concept of Jewishness—of identifying Jews with a nation-unto-itself in the manner of much nationalist rhetoric rather than with the position of people always already engaged in relationship with non-Jews.

The Problem with the New Atheists from Larval Subjects . 

Recently I’ve found myself reflecting quite a bit on religion and critiques of religion such as you find in folks such as Dawkin, Hitchen, Dennett, and so on. [...]
I think the new atheists fundamentally miss the social dimension of religion. What is forgotten is that religion is not simply a set of claims about the world, but it is also a set of relationships among people. When a believer entertains whether or not to sacrifice a belief, they are not merely raising the question of whether they should shift from treating one set of beliefs as true to treating them as false– for example, switching from belief in young earth creationism to evolutionary theory –no, they are entertaining questions about their place in a network of social relations involving family, friends, and all sorts of other people. In the suburbs of Dallas, for example, people tend to live very alienated and isolated lives. Back yards are fenced in. Garages are on the back of houses entailing that when you’re fiddling about in your garage you no longer easily encounter your neighbors. People seldom tend to walk out on the sidewalks or even spend much time outside. I get the sense that churches function as a sort of supplement, forming a community that overcomes the problem of communities not forming organically in the cities. It is not unusual for my students to tell me that they and their families spend four to five nights a week at their church. In these circumstances, a shift in belief does not merely entail the revision of a belief system, but also carries the very real possibility of exile (and I mean that in the strong sense), from one’s family, friends, and support network. Heightened awareness of this could lead to both a better understanding of why religious discussions are so often pervaded by such heated affect and why argument has such poor traction in persuading others to abandon particular beliefs. Such awareness of this dimension of religious practice would also lead to a very different set of strategic concerns. Rather than focusing on belief and its truth-value, it might raise questions of how alternative communities, alternative networks, might be formed to soften the blow of exile. When Dawkin, for example, focuses on the truth of belief and all of its negative consequences, he speaks from a well established social position filled with a network of supporters in the form of colleagues, friends, and so on. He doesn’t notice that he’s imploring others not simply to abandon their beliefs, but to abandon their networks… And for what? To live in isolation, loathed by those they love? If this network question can’t be answered and solved, there’s very little that such critiques have to offer.

Words and Deeds Baltimore City Paper - Andrea Appleton 

James Miller's Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche is not, I fear, “a page-turner,” as a blurb on the back of the hardcover would have it. [...]
Consequently, every tale Miller tells about him is accompanied by a healthy dose of skepticism. Whether or not they’re all true, Diogenes emerges as a fascinating figure, worlds away from the usual dry tale of the man with the lamp. Believing in the simple life, Diogenes lived in a clay wine jar the size of a tub and begged for food. He believed that any action that was appropriate in private ought also to be appropriate in public. Thus he is said to have masturbated in public, and once, following a long discourse on virtue, reportedly squatted and defecated in front of the crowd.
One could dismiss such colorful details as fodder for the prurient, but they serve to show that the man apparently walked his talk. And that connection between word and deed seems in large part to be Miller’s interest in writing biographies of these men. Not surprisingly, he uncovers a good deal of hypocrisy. Rousseau—who offered his own life up as an example of how a man should live—repeatedly impregnated a woman he refused to marry and then gave their progeny up to an orphanage where children regularly died. (A contemporary called him a “moral dwarf on stilts.”) Augustine was a “youthful heretic [who] spent his adult life attacking heresies,” Aristotle supported a tyrant, and Seneca colluded in matricide. Later philosophers tended to reveal their own foibles in their writings, undercutting potential accusations of hypocrisy, and in some cases built their own codes of conduct around such self-examination. Miller traces this evolution of thought to Emerson, who had a famous retort for critics: “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

March 04, 2011

How can we know what she intended

Other worlds and inner domains 

5 Dec 2009 by Tusar N Mohapatra
Having said that, it would be honest to admit that I (and, I presume, most of us) have no conscious access to the other worlds and the inner domains that Sri Aurobindo has delineated. No amount of languaging gymnastics, therefore ...

So how can we know what she intended then and what she intends now for Auroville’s material development? Ultimately, the only way to know this for sure is to attain to the same consciousness as hers. Failing this, however, (and I assume that most of us do fail in this) there may be other indications.  ...

In the absence of unmistakable clues like this perhaps our wisest method, if we feel we need to ‘update’ or interpret Mother (and, let’s face it, we are doing it all the time), is first to try to understand the spirit or the principle behind some of her proposals.