July 21, 2011

Hobbes, Hegel, Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari

In the context of this post (how the pursuit of science can help in yoga), there are certain points that Binu Mukherjee made in a recent talk which deserve to be enumerated here. Binu Mukherjee grew up in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and is currently Emeritus Professor of Physics at Royal Military College of Canada.
1) Science develops the power of reasoning. It makes the mind modest, aware of its limitations, and makes it refrain from entering into regions beyond its ken. The mind becomes a willing partner in quietening itself and opening to higher methods of getting to the truth
2) Science is a co-operative exercise. Papers are written in first person plural. Your work builds on previous work. This reduces personal ego.
3) One realizes the impossibility of making strictly correct measurements and knowing the truth. One comes face to face with the nature of uncertainties in the physical world. Furthermore, in Quantum mechanics, one learns that the process of measuring itself disturbs the quantity being measured. As a result, one discovers that Nature is not real but an illusion. The fundamental particles in empty space give the illusion of solidity, liquidity, etc There is an inherent unknowability which parallels the hidden truth that always exists behind the the phenomenal world.
4) Science develops the quality of detachment. One learns to have an open mind without preconceptions or predilections, and to think independently of the baggage of one’s personal history.
5) A developed mind is able to discern between the revealed truth and the lower parts of the mind, and learns to appreciate the universality of truth.
6) The inner discipline which is instilled through Yoga makes one impervious to external evaluation or peer pressure which arises in the field of science. Binu discovered that the “more he offered his work to the Mother, the more successful he became”.
This is not an entirely accurate transcription but I think I have captured the gist of it. The talk is on youtube

Style « Larval Subjects 25 Apr 2008 – Hopefully I have enough “cred” to inveigh against “difficult books” (I am, after all, mired in the work of figures such as Deleuze, Lacan, Hegel, etc., who are the worst of the worst), but I have increasingly found myself suspicious of the “difficult work”. On the one hand, I read texts in the sciences that express extremely complex ideas in very basic prose. Somehow I’m just unwilling to concede that what Hegel is trying to talk about is any more difficult or complex than what the biologist, complexity theory, economic social theorist, ecologist, or quantum physicist is attempting to articulate. This leads to my concern. I wonder if terribly dense styles such as we find in figures like Deleuze, Lacan, Hegel, Derrida, etc., etc., etc., aren’t a form of intellectual terrorism.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not referring to the quality of their concepts or arguments. What I am referring to is a general writing strategy that demands so much work on the part of the reader in the art of interpretation, that by the time you’ve managed to make heads or tails of what Lacan is arguing or Hegel is seeking to articulate or Deleuze is seeking to theorize, you have so much invested that you simply cannot think critically about that figure. 
Does this mean I cease to read such figures or reject them out of hand? No. I do believe they hide secrets. … I’ve spent my fair amount of time defensively defending the writing style of figures such as Lacan, Derrida, Heidegger, Deleuze, etc., etc., etc. What I realize is that what I was defending was not their style but the value of their concepts and arguments despite their style. 12:19 PM

Pondicherry, all endowed with "natural religion" and "natural honesty," … I spent three happy years in my youth, and where my "intellectual journey" began, … It was here that I first discovered that a "natural order" exists.
My intellectual journey has been a long and pleasant one. It began by doubting Thomas Hobbes' dictum in Leviathan that, without a State, there would ensue "a war of each against all" and life would be "nasty, poore, brutish, and short." I have carefully studied this book. Many years ago, I published its refutation in the Times of India, under the title "Hobbes' Mistake: The Rational Case for Anarchy." This article has been preserved here.

Appeal to people's self-interests, never to their mercy or gratitude. The 48 laws of power Robert GreeneJoost Elffers - 2000 - 452 pages - Preview Cunning, instructive, and amoral, this controversial bestseller distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. The 48 Laws of Power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Laws 1:28 PM 

It might be appropriate to close this investigation with precisely such an example, drawn from the writings of Sri Aurobindo. “But I do not insist on everybody passing through my experience or following the Truth that is its consequence. ...”

Re: Union with our Inner Being MICHAEL MIOVIC mmiovic@... 
For those who are open, Greece is still a treasure trove of mystical experience, and one can still experience the so-called "ancient" Gods in their inner or yogic reality in many spots--Delphi, Cape Sounion, at the Parthenon, Olympia, some islands, and many other spots both natural and man-made.  The re-discovery of these Gods and Goddesses still awaits the birth of the next cycle of European civilization. 

Well a student of Glenn’s talks about it here, but only in practice terms. The proof being experiential. Of course to get Glenn’s pov you can read his books — the first two being the most important — which are very well-researched but not fully cited in line. The rest is down to actual practices, but those are not the same as the ones recommended by Aurobindo.
Comment by Sandeep Thomas McEvilley’s talk on ‘The Shape of Ancient Thought’

(title unknown) from enowning - John D. Caputo on Martin Hägglund‘s Radical Atheism, from The Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 11.2.
Badiou‘s use of St. Paul, whom he interprets in terms of the truth-making event, while dismissing the actual content this event (the resurrected Christ) provides a more recent example. This leads to the question of which came first, the religious form of life or the philosopheme, the ontology or the "unavowed" theology. It was considerations of just this sort that led Derrida to speak of a religion without the doctrines and dogmas of religion, and this lay behind his musings on the relative priority of the messianic and the concrete messianisms or the "unavowed theologemes" that lay behind philosophy.

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