November 23, 2012

Sri Aurobindo gives a collective element to spiritual quest

Dr. Lingis was interviewed by Edyta Niemyjska on November 23rd, 2012 © Alphonso Lingis and Figure Ground Communication. 
Alphonso Lingis is an American philosopher, writer and translator, currently Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. He specializes in phenomenology, existentialism, and ethics… His latest books are The First Person Singular (2007), Violence and Splendor (2010) and Contact (2011).
I wrote something about the temples of Khajuraho in India that I had visited. After that, I decided I needed to write about the things that moved me most deeply… The concept of imperative in that book came from Merleau-Ponty and from Levinas.

Sometimes, people who are raised in an atheistic environment in the West mistakenly declaim obeisances before the Samadhi and relics as signs of a recessive “religion” rather than progressive “spirituality”.  Obviously, the word “religion” connotes different things to different people.  In the West, “religion” implies obesiance to an ethical, anthropomorphic, extra-cosmic God while “spirituality” implies finding the spiritual light within.  As a result, bowing to any external entity automatically summons subconscious anxieties of “Yoga turning into a religion”. In India, where the sharp cleavage between “religion” and “spirituality” never existed, spiritual seekers have long recognized the potency of vibrations emitted by the Samadhi and the relics of a departed sage… It is crucial to develop some contact with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, who continue to exist behind the veil, because it can provide you with a measure of protection from the kinds of yogic illness seen earlier.

Tweets 1h Sangeeta Goswami @SangeetaRG In #SriAurobindosYoga, fulfillment of d consciousness, the urge for perfection is not confined to few individuals but extend to the masses.

What were the major strands in his writing? Just to enumerate a few, he corrected the widespread but erroneous idea that there is a dichotomy between worldly life and spiritual life. Worldly life can, and should, be lived with a spiritual attitude. Hence, Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual philosophy, which rejects no part of the being, finds application in education, healthcare, management, and just about any worthwhile human activity. Secondly, man is a transitional being. If the evolution so far is any indication, future evolution will take consciousness to a level beyond that of mental consciousness, which has reached its peak in human beings.
Evolution beyond the mental level can be accelerated by more and more of us engaging consciously in raising our consciousness. This gives a collective element to spiritual quest. Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual philosophy was given a practical shape in his Ashram by the Mother, who was born in France but after coming here in 1920 did not leave Pondicherry for even a single day till she left her body in 1973. Although Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did not leave Pondicherry physically once they were there, their influence has spread throughout the world, and is growing with time. (24 November is celebrated as Sri Aurobindo’s Siddhi Day)

I must say that I was disappointed with the scholarship in this part-serious, part-frivolous effort by Heehs… In his book, Peter Heehs made ample efforts to focus on the trivial: in four places, he refers to supposed pockmarks on Sri Aurobindo’s face. In five places, he describes Aurobindo as short – around five feet, four inches – and in a way that is disparaging… Heehs descends to mischievousness when he tries to portray a romantic relationship between Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual collaborator, the Mother. 

Rhetorical Swiss-Knives : Part 2 from Centre Right India by Siddhartha Chatterjee - Conspiracy Theory
When Web 2.0 took off, internet was suddenly filled with numerous blogs, forums etc. Gone were the days of BBS, yahoo groups or google groups. For a brief period, some of us hoped that internet will make information sharing easy and it will open newer frontier in terms of discussion and engagement. We forgot that internet users are parts of the society, when they come to the keyboard they come with all the baggage society managed to fill them with already. Therefore, you can have m number of sites explaining the scientific cause of eclipse, but then you will have n number of sites explaining how it is all a conspiracy to keep public from knowing “real truth” whatever that may be…
In our childhood, grandmotherly figures used to tell us about the fantasy stories where charming handsome princes used to kill demons to rescue princesses or their own parents. That tradition may have been lost in the age of small families, video games and cable tv. That is not the point however. As we grew up, we tried to match those simple stories against the real world. Part of the reasons growing up is a painful process because those simple narratives do not live up to the complexities of the world. Figuratively speaking, those charming prince look-alike seem to have a deal with the devil, beautiful princess look-alike appear to be more interested to hook up with dangerous bad boys than being rescued from them and those who look like heroes from one angle looks like villains from another.
This is the twilight zone modern civilization often lands us into. In left’s world-view that so strongly relies on black-or-white mode of thinking, there is no answer for this twilight zone. The simpler narrative that relies on stereotype straw-figures like CIA/corporate/fascist etc is alluring to the teenagers and students because they just began to deal with the real world. Eventually, most of them grow out of it. That is why the famous saying about being a communist at 20 and leaving communism at 40 is so popular… Left’s toxic conspiracy theories take shape and mutate in this fertile ground of imagination and shape a very twisted and distorted world view that many of my co-citizens share. 

The Chaitanyamayi Trust and the Sri Aurobindo Society are organising an exhibition of rare photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother from November 25 to...

We are happy to release the book Talks by Nirodbaran at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education on 23 November 2012 in the Hall of Harmony, Sri ... 

No comments:

Post a Comment