December 15, 2012

Pankaj Mishra's even handed interpretation of Sri Aurobindo's contribution

Nearly 200 years of western dominance are coming to a close, and, as predicted by Sri Aurobindo, “India will rise from the ruins of the western civilisation.” … The reality, that the west is in decline and many of its institutions are failing, has still not struck us and we will continue to try and imitate them – including dysfunctional family systems. We should recognise that we are a civilisation and not just a market. Today funds are in search of markets and not the other way round. Instead of heading global institutions, we should acquire them.
Civilisationally, we are nearer to the East than the West. We should take the lead along with others in the East to create alternative institutions to the World Bank, the IMF and the UN. The need is to recognise that the old debate about big business or big government is passé. Our ability to look beyond Marx and market into our thriving communities and bazaars will provide us answers to many issues.
Will India, as Aurobindo mentioned, rise from the ruins of the West? The author is Professor of Finance, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, and can be contacted at The views are personal and do not reflect that of his organisation.

I am in the process of finishing this excellent book by Pankaj Mishra and it is so nice to read an account of colonized movements for national self-determination the remains sensitive to historical context. Among others Sri Aurobindo is treated at some length in the book- The example below demonstrates an even handed interpretation of Sri Aurobindo's efforts to the struggle of Indian independence and the reader is left with a most favorable impression from Mishra's exegesis of the historical record. 

Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1919, “Apart from all phenomena of decline or deterioration we should recognise without any sophistical denial those things in our creeds ...

Rhetorical Swiss-knives: Part 3 by Siddhartha Chatterjee Dec 15, 2012
The main strength of any dogma, be it religious or political, lies in people’s willingness to submit to it without asking a question. So ask a question and don’t expect to be called an intellectual. If asking a question strips you of any credential then it is a credential we never needed in the first place.

(Body Drifts: A new book from Arthur Kroker) Arthur Kroker: In the same way that Nietzsche once said that all of his thought was posthumous, that is a form of thought that would only be fully understood later by those fully experiencing the sublimity and bitterness of nihilistic culture, Katherine Hayles's thought has the same sense of being fully ahead of its time, an intimation of an approaching posthuman condition the full complexity of which is not yet fully understood. 

We shouldn’t begin from the premise that posthumanism entails what is good.  It recognizes reality in recognizing that there are nonhumans with their own interests and that there are “aliens among us” already in the form of intelligent cognitive beings that might depend on humans but which are not themselves humans (a central theme of Kafka’s literature).

Racial and gender inequalities are orders, but few of us would say that they are good orders. As theorists such as David Harvey argue, economic inequality is geographically distributed.

In fact, modern day social scientists, such as Nobel Prize winning author Daniel Kahneman in his recent book Thinking, Fast and Slow has illustrated numerous instances where our “free choice” is conditioned by training, language, background and various propensities.

Here’s a hyperlinked outline of a long essay on Whitehead and scientific cosmology that I’ll post in sections. 

Kian December 15, 2012 at 2:27 am For what it’s worth, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is probably the most spiritually rewarding movie I’ve ever seen.

Satyajit Ray’s ‘Abhijan’ from I have just watched Satyajit Ray’s early film Abhijan and am still under the spell of the Master. The story is about a taxi driver who is of rajput origins and who now lives in poverty. He owns an old … finish reading Satyajit Ray’s ‘Abhijan’

Melancholia: first attempt by Steven Shaviro Nov 29, 2011
Here’s an abstract that I have just written on the subject of von Trier’s Melancholia. It’s my first attempt at getting a grip on what I want to say about the film. Black Swan by Steven Shaviro Jan 6, 2011
I really loved Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. It joins SpliceToy Story 3Scott Pilgrim, and Enter the Void as one of my favorite films of 2010.

On Friday, 14 December 2012, at 4 p.m. Shri Dhritindranath Mukherjee, better known as Togo in the Aurobindonian community, has passed on to the Beyond three days after his seventy-fifth birthday. Born to Tejendranath (the eldest son of the famous revolutionary Jatindranath Mukherjee alias Bagha Jatin) and Usha Mukherjee on 11 December 1937, he visited Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry at the age of ten with his parents and two elder brothers, Rothindranath and Prithwindranath in August 1948. Before he left for Pondicherry, he had told his chums that he would not return to Kolkata. The three brothers were so enchanted by the divine atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo Ashram that they decided to stay back at Pondicherry. 

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