July 28, 2012

Kumud ben of Sri Aurobindo Ashram passes away

Tweets 28m [इन संघियों ने जेपी आन्दोलन के सारतत्व को सिर्फ नष्ट किया, बल्कि उसके खिलाफ भी लगातार काम करते गए@kiran_patniak] …
[1h - Mihir Jha @Mihirkumarjha Why do i find people so much obsessed with Muslims/Hindus than the evils itself? Making a room 4 this in everything is absolute nonsense! Retweeted by Savitri Era Party]
1h [Sri Aurobindo wrote of a revolt of Spirit against Matter since Buddhism disturbed the balance of the old Aryan world.] …
[2h - Mihir Jha @Mihirkumarjha Sharing a pic of the Integral school we adopted in Cuttack. No, no teaching but helping kids learn their way:-)  ] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party -  View photo
2h [Stafford Cripps was dispatched to reach a deal and it fell through (Sri Aurobindo was ignored) Perry Anderson: …via @LRB]
2h [Sri Aurobindo has provided us the solution to the riddle of our lives... One Reality, unified, harmonious, complete.] … -  View media
18h [This mire must harbour the orchid and the rose, From her blind unwilling substance must emerge A beauty that belongs to happier spheres.]
18h [Sri Aurobindo says the sacrifice of the Vedas could mean sacrificing ones ego to the internal Agni or spiritual fire.] …
18h [Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine and The Synthesis of Yoga are published serially in journal Arya, 1914-1921] Goethean …
21h [Immediate effect of reading William Irwin Thompson is at least twofold: first one lapses into stunned silence, and then one wants to dance] 21h [a work of art, and man himself will become an organic art form.] From The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan, Playboy Magazine, March 1969 21h [harmony that transcends time and space, will sensuously caress and mold and pattern every facet of the terrestrial artifact as if it were] 21h [McLUHAN: I expect to see the coming decades transform the planet into an art form; the new man, linked in a cosmic...] …
[26 Jul - Levi Bryant @onticologist In Woolf's novels the subject emerges from a milieu, like D&G's third synthesis of desire or Whitehead's superject.] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
[26 Jul - DivyaJyoti @djjsworld Sri Aurobindo, in his Foundations of Indian Culture, envisioned a three-point programme for the ‘renaissance in...  Retweeted by Savitri Era Party]  View photo
[26 JulJaideep A. Prabhu @orsoraggiante - @SavitriEraParty Agree completely; it's just like religious/spiritual tunnel vision. @ihindu] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party -  View conversation
[26 Jul - Jaideep A. Prabhu @orsoraggiante - @SavitriEraParty I am, actually. You're right. But I don't take your proposition seriously either. Hence the flippancy @ihindu] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party -  View conversation
[20 Jul - Neelakantan @ecophilo Very soon, scientists will encounter the silent particle, due to be named Manmah-on that reports to the boss-on #badjoke] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
[23 Jul - Jeremy Johnson @shamansun A yoga turned, not toward transcendence, but the immanence of the soul brought to fulfillment in life, not beyond it: … Retweeted by Savitri Era Party]
[25 Jul - Tommy Pez Ⓥ @tommypez “If thy aim be great and thy means small, still act; for by action alone these can increase to thee.” - Sri Aurobindo … Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
[25 Jul - Pradeep Maheshwari @PKDEL From the group Significance of Flowers - as denoted by The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.  Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
24 Jul [both the Mother & I were very angry against Subhas for having brought the Japanese into India. Sri Aurobindo to Dilip] … -  View media
[2h - Pragmatix @RisingIndiawins -  The Divine Superman by Sri Aurobindo (around 1918)] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
[22 Jul - Jeremy Johnson @shamansun Similarly, Aurobindo opens up The Life Divine by describing that sleeping in life is secret spirit, and in us, secret divine consciousness.] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
[22 Jul - Mihir Jha @Mihirkumarjha An Introduction to Lok Manya Bal Gangadhar Tilak by Sri Aurobindo-I On his birth Anniversary:-) 
[22 Jul - Pragmatix @RisingIndiawins A gentle reminder to Right Wing Bose & BhagatSingh fans - both were left wing communists wanting an extreme secular state. Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
22 Jul [Rajesh Khanna was to a large extent a product of the Bengalis present in Bollywood at that time. -Sunayana Panda] …
[22 Jul - Sanjeev Sabhlok @sabhlok - @SavitriEraParty Hobbes! Have you read DOF? Let me know if you find PEOPLE in that book. It is about their ideas. ONLY. Period.] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party -  View conversation
22 Jul - @sabhlok Ideas come from specific persons and you mentioned Hobbes in the morning. I wonder if you are avoiding discussion on Sri Aurobindo.  View conversation
[21 Jul - Mihir Jha @Mihirkumarjha Kumud ben of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, who served as personal attendant to Mira Alfassa, The Holy Mother, passes away. RIP.] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
[20 Jul - Diego Bins @bobry219 The Life Divine (Hardcover): Sri Aurobindo's principal philosophic work, a theory of spiritual evolution culmina...  ] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party -  View media
[19 Jul - Layla Revery @ShamanMoonMiri Post-colonial, spiritual reflections by Sri Aurobindo <3 ] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party -  View photo
[19 Jul - Auroville Radio @AurovilleRadio In the series of Georges Van Vrkehem talks first one was dedicated True philosophy in West and East-the philosopher, yog  ] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
[20 Jul - pankaj bagaria @immortalindia C. R. Das Sri Aurobindo : If we have our own Government we could throw out the Mahant and settle the affair...  ] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party -  View photo
[20 Jul - Mihir Jha @Mihirkumarjha Guys in Chennai can make 15thAug Spl w a trip 2 Aurobindo Ashram, Pondi. Its his birth anni & u get 2 visit room where he did Tapsya 4 40yrs] Retweeted by Savitri Era Party
1m - Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty One-stop blog for curing all theoretical confusion and muddled thinking just a click away at Savitri Era Learning Forum - Posted by Tusar N. Mohapatra Location: Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

July 24, 2012

Every person, a compendium of humanity

William James, Schleiermacher etc - Elizaphanian 30 Sep 2006 – by Sam Charles Norton In the development of the Romantic understanding, a key thinker is the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), who was strongly influenced by the Idealism of his time. Schleiermacher believed that the source of religion was an immediate feeling or consciousness, which is a precursor to rational awareness. 
Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (Stanford Encyclopedia of ...  by Michael Forster - 17 Apr 2002 – Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834) was above all following in the philosophical footsteps of one predecessor in particular: Herder. Schleiermacher's philosophy of mind … have their roots in Herder, … Some of Schleiermacher's most important philosophical work concerns the theories of interpretation (“hermeneutics”) and translation. Friedrich Schlegel was an immediate influence on his thought here. Their ideas on these subjects began to take shape in the late 1790s, when they lived together in the same house for a time.
Friedrich Schleiermacher - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (November 21, 1768 – February 12, 1834)
From LeibnizLessingFichteJacobi and the Romantic school Schleiermacher had imbibed a profound and mystical view of the inner depths of the human personality. His religious thought found its expression most notably in The Christian Faith, one of the most influential works of Christian theology of its time.
The ego, the person, is an individualization of universal reason; and the primary act of self-consciousness is the first conjunction of universal and individual life, the immediate union or marriage of the universe with incarnated reason. Thus every person becomes a specific and original representation of the universe and a compendium of humanity, a microcosmos in which the world is immediately reflected. While therefore we cannot, as we have seen, attain the idea of the supreme unity of thought and being by either cognition or volition, we can find it in our own personality, in immediate self-consciousness or (which is the same in Schleiermacher's terminology) feeling.
"By framing postmodernism as a cultural value system, integral writers can argue that they are including these values (environmentalism, minority rights, etc) and therefore have incorporated postmodernism into their outlook. They typically then equate modernism with progress and industriousness. So when they offer their integral (or post-postmodern) vision they basically end up advocating a modernist political and economic system with a more compassionate, supposedly postmodern, value system. And this, it is argued, is post-postmodern: transcending while yet including modernism and postmodernism." – Chris Dierkes writes. Bingo!

So my question is: is integral really a "higher harmonic" of modernity? Is this really an honest reflection of cultural evolution? Which, according to many theorists, is discontinuous and as Phipps does write in his recent book, "meanders" more than it progresses in a straight line. Unless I see the current, American integral thinkers really embodying postmodern "systems" and relationships (which integral thinkers are often not comfortable doing, starting with Wilber's highly mental/rational systemization of development), I think we have the right to be critical of their Modernist-Romantic theorizations. integral yoga « Evolutionary Landscapes  

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have unambiguously stated that their ideals, teachings and the institutions that they have founded do not belong to any religion or religious body, in any name or form… For whatever is it’s worth – especially in the realm of spirituality – there is even a judgment of the Supreme Court of India, S.P. Mittal Etc. Etc. vs. Union of India, 1982 (, that has established that Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s ideals, teachings and the institutions that they have founded do not belong to any religion or religious institution.
There are numerous other instances where Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have unambiguously stated that their ideals, teachings and the institutions that they have founded have nothing to do with religion. There is even nothing in their teachings and works to suggest that they wanted their followers to create a new religion or establish religious institutions.
Nevertheless, Myths and Falsehoods that suggest that Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s ideals, teachings and the institutions that they have founded belong to some form of a new “Aurobindonian religion” continue to be spun, encouraged and propagated by some individuals or by groups that have similar interests. Persistent attempts to reduce Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s work – which they clearly enunciated belongs to the vast, non-religious realm of Spirituality – to a Religion, can be witnessed. This can be seen particularly in the dogmatic attitudes that are encouraged by those who wish to establish such a creed. For instance, the logic and culture of “hurt (religious) sentiments” and the polarization and exploitation of opinions based on such hurt feelings is gradually but systematically being cultivated in the Aurobindonian collective by those seeking to establish such a doctrine… and all that goes with it.
Just because some or even several followers of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother chose to follow their Masters by treading a path that is based on a religious sentiment, attitude or approach, does not mean that the Myth and Falsehood of such a new religion shall someday become a reality. For whilst the vastness of Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s ideals, teachings and their institutions can and do accommodate such religious attitudes and sentiments – without any intolerance whatsoever – so far they have however proved to be just too vast to get reduced to the limited confines of Religion in whichever name or form.
The reasons for which the creation of these Myths and Falsehoods is being attempted is left to the understanding of the reader. But it can be clearly affirmed that an “Aurobindonian religion” or a religion that is based on Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s teachings is a Myth which is nothing short of a Falsehood.

July 23, 2012

Women themselves want to be seen as seductive

He was the embodiment of romance, of that joy that comes from giving oneself to someone… But there was something in his voice and eyes that made his words go straight to his female fans’ hearts. Much of that persona was created by his directors like Shakti Samanta and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Rajesh Khanna was to a large extent a product of the Bengalis present in Bollywood at that time… It was their sentiments and thoughts that went on to make Rajesh Khanna what he was. Neither in Bawarchi nor in Anand was Rajesh Khanna playing a man in love. In these two films he was playing characters who were positive and creating happiness around them.
On every television channel the interviewees were being asked what made Rajesh Khanna so popular with women. The answer is very simple. The roles he played were always of men who were deeply romantic. In his films he put his lady love much above himself and was ready to do anything for her. He held her in such high esteem that every woman who watched him felt loved and respected. That is what is missing today from the screens. Women themselves want to be seen as seductive and are totally focused on their physical appearance because that must attract attention. In Rajesh Khanna’s films women were objects of adoration. India may have become wealthier than before but crimes against women are in the headlines every other day.
Aradhana and Amar Prem were out and out Sharmila Tagore’s films. And yet Rajesh is the one who shone so brilliantly because he was so worthy of the woman’s love. We are crying for the death of romance. Every woman in India wants her man to say that he can’t bear to see her tears. That is why the words “Pushpa, I hate tears.” have become almost an anthem. Please, can we have a little less violence and foul language and a little more affection and sweetness on the screens.

The tragedy of the Aurora massacre has now been before our eyes for a few days, piercing our hearts and unsettling our minds as we attempt to comprehend how and why this horrible event occurred… Sociologists, cultural theorists, and feminist scholars have written tirelessly of how our culture has become a culture of violence—not only violence but glorified and celebrated violence fed to our children and young people via video games, television, film, and various cultural narratives and gender stereotypes.
Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, taught that cultivating proper habits is crucial to one’s moral and intellectual development. According to this theory, a virtuous person is, among other things, one who has made intentional choices and who has engaged in purposed activities that enable him or her to both grasp (1) what it is to be courageous, generous, temperate, and the like, and (2) to actually live courageous, generous, and temperate lives.

But when these categories tell us what matter is made of, do they tell us what reality is made of? There is a certain circular sense in which reality is indeed made of matter; that is, material reality is made of matter. But not all reality is material. The testable phenomena of experimental psychology – behaviours and neurons – are material, but it’s more questionable whether subjective psychological phenomena, like emotions, are material. Even if one did wish to reduce those to matter, there are other things that cannot be so reduced. First among these is value, the subject matter of ethics, aesthetics and more…
But it’s still worth thinking with the premodern schemes to figure out those vitally important pieces of reality that cannot be reduced to matter and its movements. Science does not supersede them.
With that in mind, I want to return to the importance of categories for Aristotle and Rāmānuja. These two thinkers had a great deal in common. They each followed a thinker – Plato and Śakara respectively – who saw the everyday world of particulars as something of a problem, something to ideally be transcended in favour of a greater universal. Their own work tried to make room for that material world, but in a way that remained close to their predecessors. They were familiar with materialist worldviews – the Cārvākas, Democritus, Epicurus – but they understood the need for an understanding of reality that went beyond he material, as Plato’s and Śakara’s had done. A comprehensive scheme of categories allowed them to think the world – the whole world, not only matter.

I want to argue that art works enjoy a sort of autonomy from both their makers and audiences.  We know little about the author of the Epic of Gilgamesh or the creators of the French cave paintings, yet these things are still nonetheless able to resonate and act in the world.  There’s thus a way in which, I think, works of art are in excess of all contexts (author’s intention, historical setting, audience reception, etc); and it is because they are in excess of context that they are able to endure throughout the ages.  Works of art are perpetually escaping all historical and hermeneutic horizons, all regimes of attraction, and falling into new regimes of attraction modifying them in all sorts of ways.  They are examples of the Lucretian clinamen or swerve and are inexhaustible in their ability to produce swerves.  This is what the historicists and hermeneuticians miss in their approach to art:  the excess of art over any and all historical context or horizon, the constitutive being of art as clinamen.
This excess over every horizon is possible because art is a material being.  To my knowledge, Deleuze and Guattari do the best job of emphasizing the being of art as object or machine.  

What if we as a culture valued the cultivation of human virtues, intellectual, moral, and spiritual, rather than promoting essentialized views of masculinity and femininity that advance impoverished views both of males as brutes controlled by mere instinctual drives and females as inherently inferior rational creatures or mere objects existing for male sexual pleasure? Humans are far too complex for these oversimplified, facile, generalizations, whose supposed universal and “natural” properties are all-too-often the particular and constructed script imposed by those possessing the economic, political, and cultural “capital.”
So where do we go from here? Perhaps we should at least begin by asking the following questions: “What is freedom? How do our cultural, political, social, and “personal” habits shape us, and what kind of people are these structures, narratives, and personal choices shaping us to be?” Debate regarding the current gun laws is, no doubt, needed and tragedies like Aurora highlight why such dialogue must take place. However, we also need to interrogate the cultural narratives and socially acceptable forms of “entertainment” shaping the hearts and minds of Americans both young and old, as we engage in our mundane, so-called “normal” activities.

No country for women Livemint - THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2012. Salil Tripathi is a writer based in London. Your comments are welcome at
These actions invoke the worst images of Peshwa-era Pune, where tyrants enforced archaic rules, which Vijay Tendulkar captured in his play, Ghashiram Kotwal… Most men who should have stepped in to stop have turned their eyes away, expressing their inability to do anything, leaving Draupadi to the mercy of divine powers. And all that Krishna can do is to keep adding yards to her never-ending sari, prolonging the humiliation.
There’s a simpler solution: blindfold and restrain the men who can’t see women going where they want to go, wearing what they want to wear, doing what they want to do.
Break Her For The Goblet She Holds WOMEN: BIG CITIES Isn’t what a woman does her business alone? DEBARSHI DASGUPTAAMBA BATRA BAKSHI OUTLOOK MAGAZINE JUL 30, 2012
But as change seeps into most parts of the country, something that is making women break moulds, clashes are recurring with frightening regularity. Like other cities that have outgrown their shoes, Guwahati too is showing signs of trouble as it adjusts to this change.

Even before Mother’s so-called ‘demise’ friends, advisors, brokers, et al, slipped into the confidence of the Trustees adding to the yogic immaturity & spiritual unfitness of their decisions on admission, expulsion, punishment, etc. of ‘inmates’. The results of this association become obvious with even a cursory study of the quality & quantity of the inmates admitted by them, – the worst, in the opinion of one of Mother’s secretaries, being parasitical retirees who have made SAAT’s Ashram their “haven of splendid soft repose”. Posted by General Editor at 7/19/2012 09:25:00 AM

July 21, 2012

11 rue Simon-Crubellier, 36 Chowringee Lane

[Being-toward-birthdays from An und für sich by Adam Kotsko
I once wrote that Melancholia provides the only possible answer for what to do when you know for sure you’re going to die and yet you still have agency up until that moment. In that situation, where every action would be meaningless, there are no good options — indulging in one last pleasure would be hollow, pretending everything is normal would be pathetic, etc. The only possible choice is to make a gesture that is consciously meaningless, like the building of the shelter at the end of Melancholia.]

[Life A User's Manual - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  By 1975, Bartlebooth is 16 months behind in his plans, and he dies while he is about to finish his 439th puzzle. Ironically, the last hole in the puzzle is in the shape of the letter X while the piece that he is holding is in the shape of the letter W. The Destiny of Percival Bartlebooth, or the Ultimate Truth of Jigsaw Puzzles 18 Nov 2011 – By Rastko Antic At the heart of ‘Life: A User’s Manual’ by Georges Perec is the destiny of Percival Bartlebooth, a foreigner with a secret — a secret long kept from the reader (revealed almost at the precise centre, like everything else about the book it is mathematical). THE BARTLEBOOTH FOLLIES - New York Times 15 Nov 1987 – LIFE, A USER'S MANUAL By Georges Perec. Translated by David Bellos. Like many of the other stories in ''Life,'' Bartlebooth's weird saga can be read as a parable (of sorts) about the efforts of the human mind to impose an arbitrary order on the world. Again and again, Perec's characters are swindled, hoaxed and thwarted in their schemes, and if there is a darker side to his book, it is perhaps to be found in this emphasis on the inevitability of failure. Even a self-annihilating project such as Bartlebooth's cannot be completed,]

Kant retired from teaching in 1796. For nearly two decades he had lived a highly disciplined life focused primarily on completing his philosophical system, which began to take definite shape in his mind only in middle age. After retiring he came to believe that there was a gap in this system separating the metaphysical foundations of natural science from physics itself, and he set out to close this gap in a series of notes that postulate the existence of an ether or caloric matter. These notes, known as the Opus Postumum, remained unfinished and unpublished in Kant's lifetime, and scholars disagree on their significance and relation to his earlier work. It is clear, however, that these late notes show unmistakable signs of Kant's mental decline, which became tragically precipitous around 1800. Kant died February 12, 1804, just short of his eightieth birthday.]

He wasn’t exactly abandoned and certainly not abused. He lived with his brothers in England so he did have some family life in that sense, in addition to contact via letters from his father. Lack of maternal love may have possibly left him withdrawn but I wouldn’t characterize that as trauma.

In Anand, just before he enters Ramesh Deo’s office, there is a close-up of the swinging door, and the crowd went berserk upon just seeing the door in Dushman, when he woos Bindu and tilts his cap, the entire cinema hall screamed; in Amar Prem, when he sings to Sharmila on the studio created Hooghly, young and old alike sighed… and with Waheeda again on the Hooghly, the real one this time, and the two of them as star-crossed as any lovers could be and in his thick sweater, he made a fashion statement which even the downcast beauty of Waheeda’s unbelievable eyes could not match.
He was my hero - always will be - it is as simple as that. The relationship between a hero and his fan is the most sacred relationship in the film world and for me, it will always be a late afternoon in early ’70, and David and I are cycling through the fields from Jagadhri to Yamunanagar to see Aradhana at Yamuna Talkies.

Intelligent Design lacks a suitable teleology

Quite true. It is possible to reach a state where one becomes oblivious to one’s environment. Those who live in the vital need good weather to stay cheerful, but those who live in the psychic don’t care about it. In the initial stages, it is helpful to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of city life but later on, one has to accept to live in all conditions with equanimity.
Too much of good weather can also be detrimental to spiritual growth, because it influences the mind to become excessively optimistic about one’s spiritual condition. from Comments for IYSATM by Sandeep
If you had too much good weather, you might never get depressed or not very often. The invigorating air inflates your inner being and makes you mistake vital happiness for deeper psychic experiences. This is just something I concluded after observing some practitioners with polyannish views of spiritual life.
As for the hustle and bustle being detrimental to meditation, it is based on apocryphal evidence of another practitioner. The type of exposure required varies from person to person depending on the stage of their sadhana. There were people who were allowed by SA&M to experience the world outside the Ashram, while others were discouraged from doing so.

Darwin’s theory of evolution proposes that all life on earth has evolved from a common ancestor, that there is individual variation within every species, and that evolution is mediated by the process of natural selection due to which, in due course of time, certain traits become established in the species due to ‘survival of the fittest’.
During Darwin’s time, the field of genetics was in a nascent stage, with his contemporary Gregor Mendel, now known as the father of modern genetics, just initiating cross-breeding experiments on pea plants.  The study of genetic traits has now substantially expanded into the development of the booming field of genetics.    Today, Darwin’s theory of evolution has been integrated with Mendelian genetics to form what is called Neo-Darwinism or the evolutionary synthesis.  Evolutionary biology now recognizes that aside from natural selection, other evolutionary mechanisms such as adaptation, genetic drift, gene flow and speciation are also involved in evolution; it differentiates between microevolution and macroevolution.[7]  The theory of evolution is expanding to encompass evolution of minerals as well.  Scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory have observed that minerals have also become more complex with time. They have found that the mineral kingdom co-evolved with life, and that up to two thirds of the more than 4,000 known types of minerals on Earth can be directly or indirectly linked to biological activity.  Today there are about 4,400 mineral species but 4 billion years ago, there were only a dozen minerals on Earth.[8]
Neo-Darwinism has been challenged by the movement known as Intelligent Design(ID), whose primary contention is that Darwin’s theory does not explain the ‘irreducible complexity’ seen in Nature.  ID posits the existence of an extra-cosmic entity which must have created the world, as adduced by the latent intelligence seen in various instinctive mechanisms found in Nature.  It must also be mentioned that ID is derived from and sustained by an earlier movement known as Creationism, which sought to invalidate Darwinian evolution by proposing that the world was created as described in the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis in the Bible.
Now we will briefly outline, based on the works of Sri Aurobindo, what we perceive to be the synthesis between scientism and literalism – between Neo-Darwinism and Intelligent Design.  The Universe can be seen as a Manifestation of the Divine, a conscious Being evolving itself through self-extension in Time and Space for the purpose of self-discovery and joy.  The Upanishad gives us the illustrative analogy of a spider spinning a web out of itself.  Sri Aurobindo identified a double movement of involution and evolution in which Spirit first involves itself through self-absorption in the Inconscience to create Matter and then Matter evolves the latent Spirit within through the mechanisms of Life-principle(Vitality), Mind-principle and so on [9, 10].   The Divine has become the Universe; it has split itself into souls in order to take part in self-finding.  It clothes itself in new forms (minerals, plants, animals and man) that are developed in successive stages to represent new forces breaking out of primordial Inconscience.  In a nutshell, we can say that the Universe was created by a “Differentiation of Consciousness” and in its upward evolutionary movement, it tries to recover the lost unity through an “Integration of Consciousness”. Therefore, it can be said that the Universe is involved in a giant “Calculus of Yoga” course.
Sri Aurobindo contextualizes Darwin’s trope ‘survival of fittest’ while discussing the development of  the Life principle (i.e. vitality).  Sri Aurobindo identified three stages of existence: the dumb will of energy, the urge to possess, the urge to love.  These three stages correspond to the three defects perceived in individualized evolving life-forms: death, desire and incapacity.   The dumb will of energy is observed in the first stages of life, where the subconscient will in primitive life-forms is driven by purely mechanical laws.  The second stage is exemplified by higher life forms which are driven by the instinct to live, and this necessarily induces in them the principle of struggle as well as adaptation to the environment.  The third stage is discerned in collective packs of animals which exhibit primal form of love and band together to survive.   The preservation of individuality is moderated with the necessity and desire for interchange and fusion with other individuals.   These three principles are also inherited and visible in the early stages of human life.  As Sri Aurobindo points out, it is struggle for vital development in evolution which was expressed in Darwin’s theory of evolution…
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].  There exists what is denoted as the ‘generic prototype’ behind every species, which is like a mold; it creates the general form that every member of the species will manifest.  What evolutionary biologists describe as sudden variation or mutation of the species and whose cause or genesis they are at a loss to trace, is precisely due to an occult change in the consciousness and will of this prototype [13].  Behind the physical world, there exist gradations of occult worlds in which the subtle sheaths which correspond the physical body seen on earth are first prepared and embodied by the reincarnating soul.

In this first part of your series on evolution, you have brought Intelligent Design and the Anthropic Principle into alignment with Sri Aurobindo's views on evolution. Whereas the ID movement undoubtedly takes its roots in the Christian Right and Creationism, and it is very unlikely that Sri Aurobindo would have any support for those roots, the arguments of ID need consideration by themselves for their possibilities of extending the reductionism of purely materialstic theories. In other words, would the ID hypothesis be completely rejected by the Auorbondonian view or would it lend itself to adaptation beyond its Christian or Abrahamic foundations? 
The principle arguments for ID consist of irreducible complexity (Behe, parts of a living organic unit are all necessary and needed to have evolved together); specifed complexity (Dembski, coexistence of complexity and specified meaning implies intelligent creator); and anthropic precision (Guillermo Gonzalez, constituents of the universe are related in a fine-tuned precision to support human life on earth; Granville Sewell, negative entropy of evolving complexity in life forms). 
Of course, al these have been challenged by the Darwinians and shown to be either non-exclusive or non-provable or not unprovable as explanations. But if knowledge is to be taken as not reducible to rational proof and alternate forms of knowledge are to be cultivated towards a future of knowledge by identity, then forms of intuition need to be given their place and value. In the Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo often directs or turns an argument based on natural or phenomenological intuitions. The kinds of intuitions used by artists or poets in making judgements may seem impossibly subjective to arriving at universal truths, particularly of the material world, but poets and philosophers like Goethe and Giordano Bruno developed a cross-disciplinary view of knowledge, which gave them access also to a new material science. 
Science itself, for that matter, is based on an intuition of a rational description of the world, reducible to one or at most a system of very few laws. This intuition takes its root in more primordial intuitive perceptions of the precision of numbers and proportions in the natural world, established by Egyptian and Greek geometers such as Pythagoras or Indian astronomers. The "fine-tuned precision" argument of ID may not be too far out of line with this intuition, though the question of what is concluded from it is of prime importance. The visual intuition that products of human technology (eg. the airplane) remain a functional assemblage of parts, while living things (eg., a bird) exist as irreducible units of conscious being is one that may align itself to the irreducible complexity and specified complexity arguments of ID, and opens a window on the Platonic world of invisible ideal forms which seek visible manifestations on earth. This kind of intuition also points towards discontinuity in evolution, each species evoking in mind an image of discrete distinctiveness, which is what Indian (and from them, East Asian) artists were supposed to contact in contemplating forms (rupa-bheda, sadrishya). All this need not immediately suggest an Intelligent Creator, though it does suggest the immanent, cosmic and transcendent presence of Intelligence manifesting in the material universe. 
The Anthropic principle privileges life on earth, but in its exclusive variety, as per its name, it privileges human existence as the meaning of the universe - the universe exists for the appearance of Man on earth. This resonates out of the Biblical "Man is created in the image of God." Here not only is there a divine creator, this creator has prepared the stage for his own appearance. The human being is potentially this appearance but it is only through his own incarnation as His Son, Jesus Christ, the perfected human archetype that the human potential becomes realized. Thesitic evoluitionism is also based on this mythology, with the difference that in the orthodox ID version, which is a cover for Creationism, the human being appears without any precedent, while in Theistic Evolutionism, God gathers his constituents from scratch (dust, inconscience) developing more and more complex forms of consciousness and meaning, pyramiding to the appearance of the human.
This version bears comparison with the Vedic view of the sacrifice of Purusha and the Vedantic view of man being made in the image of God. In the Aitareya Upanishad, the gods (faculties of knowlege) drop into the inconscience, marked by the absence of God and seek a creature to enter into. Prajapati marhsalls before them the cow, the horse and the human and they choose only the human as adequate saying "Oh, truly well fashioned." The Purusha who projected his organs of knowledge and the objects of these organs from these organs now reverses the operation with the fashioning of a being within the objectivized world which will house his own powers of knowledge and be able thus to gaze back with identity completing the circle of nun-dual darshan. The human being here however is also only potentially made in God's image and needs to use the power of conscious evolution, yoga to grow beyond this stage. The true image of God which he is to embody is captured more completely in the Gita. It is hardly human and apocalyptic to the degree of utter incomprehesibility to the human. It encompassess all creatures born and unborn, living and non-living forms, all forms and the formless, the benevolent and the terrible creation, preservation and destruction swirling time towards its unreachable ultimate. But most importantly this all-form is a Person, the One and Supreme Person, purushottama.
In terms of the Integral Evolution of Sri Aurobindo, this Transcendental Person is both beyond and within the cosmos and its elements as the Intelligence pressing on the creation from above and pushing for expression from below. In its immanence, governed by Supermind, it subjects itself to the slow random processes of natural selection and survival of the fittest, but not without the jumps only possible through the taking up of nature's approximations by ideal pre-existent forms and consciousnesses from above. In the human it arrives at the first sense of enduring personhood. But if such a process is to fulfill itself it cannot be through the human (even though the human becomes its launching pad), but through the yet alien gatherer of creatures into its incomprehensible body, the transdencent-immanent-cosmic Person self-multiplied in its infinite portions. DB 

by Kepler on Sat 28 Mar 2009 04:36 PM PDT |  Profile |  Permanent Link
“Human progress” clearly refers to a highly complex and many-sided phenomenon, and any definite assertion regarding its overall character will likely be open to easy counter examples. And Sri Aurobindo no doubt had a subtle and nuanced way of describing his own view of the subject. But my point was that if want to specifically highlight that “human progress itself is very probably an illusion” sentence as a key statement by Sri Aurobindo of his own view, I think that's likely incorrect. 
Again, between para 3 that ends with the sentence “it may be as well before proceeding farther to formulate succinctly the line of thinking which makes such a construction possible”, and para 12 which begins “This is a line of reasoning that has a considerable cogency and importance, and it was necessary to state it, even if too briefly for its importance, in order to meet it”, are 8 paragraphs in which he is giving voice to the anti-evolutionary view. From para 12 on he then deals with those objections and asserts his own views. The illusion quote comes in para 10, in the midst of the articulation of the anti-evolutionary ideas. To help see this, look at this sentence from para 5: 
“Man is the summit of this ignorant creation; he has reached the utmost consciousness and knowledge of which it is capable: if he tries to go farther, he will only revolve in larger cycles of his own mentality. For that is the curve of his existence here, a finite circling which carries the mind in its revolutions and returns always to the point from which it started; mind cannot go outside its own cycle,—all idea of a straight line of movement or of progress reaching infinitely upward or sidewise into the Infinite is a delusion. If the soul of man is to go beyond humanity, to reach either a supramental or a still higher status, it must pass out of this cosmic existence, either to a plane or world of bliss and knowledge or into the unmanifest Eternal and Infinite.” 
Surely he is not here asserting as his own view that the soul of man must pass out of this cosmic existence to reach a higher status! Even later in para 10 itself (the same one with the illusion quote), you can read this: “Nothing warrants the idea that he will ever hew his way out of the half-knowledge half-ignorance which is the stamp of his kind”, which hardly sounds like the way Sri Aurobindo typically presents his own view of the spiritual possibilities of humanity. 
Regarding the much later para 19 which has the “It cannot truly be said that there has been no such thing as human progress”, it's of course true that the prior sentence says “It may be conceded that what man has up till now principally done is to act within the circle of his nature, on a spiral of nature movement, sometimes descending, sometimes ascending,—there has been no straight line of progress, no indisputable, fundamental or radical exceeding of his past nature: what he has done is to sharpen, subtilise, make a more and more complex and plastic use of his capacities”. In fact these two sentences together look like a direct reference back to that earlier illusion paragraph. He is now articulating his own view and “conceding” the “no straight line of progress”, “no radical exceeding” elements of the earlier quote, but then pointing out its flaws in the following “It cannot truly be said that there has been no such thing as human progress” sentence. 
Note again I'm not trying to assert some view of human progress different from the one you are writing about (although I might later after reading your entire article :) I'm just suggesting caution in asserting that one particular illusion quote in the LD as being Sri Aurobindo's statement of his own view in his own words. Kepler 

July 20, 2012

By reading The Life Divine one is veritably reborn

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17 Jul - [Sri Aurobindo’s complete absorption of Western education marks beginning of his quest for the vital truth about man.] …
17 Jul - [Veiled are the high gods always lest there should dawn on the mortal Light too great from the skies and men to their destiny clear-eyed] SA
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Sandeep says: May 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm Sri Aurobindo married a young girl because he was following the custom in those days. Even if he wanted to marry a woman of his age and education, he wouldn’t have found one because there would have been none around. In Hindu society a hundred years ago, all girls were married off before the age of 14 because it was considered inauspicious to do otherwise. In 1890, the British introduced an age of Consent act to raise the minimum age from 10 to 12. Sandeep says: July 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm
The 1901 Census of India conducted by the British government makes it evident that it would have been near impossible for the 28-year old Sri Aurobindo to find a woman of his age and education. The orthodox society of his time advocated marriage at around the age of 15 for girls. Poem Written on the Occasion of Sri Aurobindo's Marriage

An Economy of Souls :orsoraggiante After  you can't tell me #CRI folks live an unexamined life. Proud of logical no-histrionics debate on sensitive issue
Nonetheless, the new battlefront for religious wars has to be the archives, libraries, and conference halls rather than the pulpit. Ideas of Hindu philosophy, or any philosophy, are far better served by stringent scrutiny and dissemination through philosophy syllabi worldwide than by dogmatic priests; they will certainly reach a wider audience. This will weaken the hold of the dogmatists, the superstitious, and the ritualists, basing Hinduism on logic and rationality than blind faith. Hindus claim that this is the default position of their beliefs, and Hindusim has shown the remarkable ability to reform itself in the past. So what is stopping the chanters and circumambulators now?