October 05, 2012

Philo, Plotinus, Whitehead, & Sri Aurobindo

While pursuing ‘Indian Yoga for self-development’, Sri Aurobindo got the first contact with Vedic thought indirectly and as a surprise. During this stage, though his intent was not in finding the meanings of the mantrās, the secret that lay hidden in the Veda stood revealed to him. Then with this prompt, he went into deeper pursuits of the hymns, traditional knowledge, ancient usages and the Shastrās. He thus broke the seal over the age-old secret embedded in the language of the Vedas…
1. Before reading the Veda, he was none the different from majority of educated Indians. For them, the Upanishads were the most ancient source of Indian thought and religion and the Rig Veda in its modern translations was only an important document of Indian national history, seldom carrying any value for a living spiritual experience.
2. The figures of three female energies, Ila, Saraswati and Sarama that were revealed to him, represented faculties of the intuitive reason - ‘revelation, inspiration and intuition’. It was at this stage that he got partial clues more towards identity of name rather than identity of the symbol…
Sri Aurobindo’s approach was quite straightforward, not departing from simple and naturalistic sense of words or clauses. When this rule was applied, he found that not merely the separate verses but also the entire passages came into evidence. This made the whole character quite sound and the scripture presented the richest golden thought and the spiritual experience continuous.

Before she became the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Mirra Alfassa was a spiritual seeker like any other, reading books on mysticism, communing with nature, probing the recondite worlds of her dreams, meeting with fellow seekers, and generally exploring the mysterious intimations of a vaster consciousness that were being disclosed to her from time to time. 

I’m not so sure treating an actual occasion as a “bundle of prehensions” is at all faithful to Whitehead’s scheme. Maybe you arguing that some other aspect of his thought forces him into an inconsistency on this point? If that’s not what you’re suggesting, then I fail to understand how an actual occasion’s process of concrescence–which Whitehead insists is self-created and transcends the whole of the past universe in a moment of private self-enjoyment–could be reduced to a “bundle of prehensions.” Don’t forget Whitehead’s formula of Creativity: “the many become one, and are increased by one.” It seems to me you’re selectively ignoring Whitehead’s emphasis on the distinct and novel oneness produced by each occasion’s concrescence.
I think Bryant is making the same mistake about Whitehead that Harman makes. See my earlier post in response to Harman.

The meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy - Page 191 - S.K. Maitra - 1956 - The Double Trinity In Plotinus: I now come to the more philosophical parts of Plotinus' system. ... "all things are three and three is everywhere".12 Be that as it may, there is the double triad in Plotinus — the higher and the lower. ... I. p. 122 There are two things which are to be observed in SRI AUROBINDO AND PLOTINUS 191. Annual - Issues 5-8 - Page 148 - Sri Aurobindo mandir, Calcutta - 1946 - Sri Aurobindo mandir, Calcutta ... THE DOUBLE TRINITY IN PLOTINUS

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