January 15, 2013

Darwin, Alfred Wallace, Gabriel Tarde, and Sri Aurobindo

Women On the path - bookmyevent.com - a series of talk in collaboration with the India Habitat Centre - Insights into Contemporary Feminine Spirituality with Ameeta Mehra 16th January, 2013 7:00 pm Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110003
A researcher and practitioner of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Ameeta Mehra will speak about her spiritual practice and work that are based on the dictum, ‘All Life is Yoga’.  She is chairperson of the Gnostic Centre, Delhi, and is on the governing board of Auroville, an international township for human unity. She has written about and facilitated courses on integral yoga philosophy, integral education, and management.

Posted by RY Deshpande on Fri 20 Feb 2009 04:12 AM Permanent Link But the focus on facts could have its own relevance and value, I suppose. ~ RYD
Posted by RY Deshpande on Tue 17 Feb 2009 07:52 PM Permanent Link But there are moments when one has to be, out of good necessity, verbose also. Perhaps I fall too often into that kind of trap. But finally one cannot make a fetish of either. They each have functional roles and if they serve the respective purpose well, they must be acceptable in their own right. In any case, follow your inclination and please get going; your contribution to this important topic will be valuable—and there’s no doubt about it. ~RYD 
Posted by Kepler on Tue 17 Feb 2009 02:58 AM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link
Here’s a question: what if one did want to know, as objectively as possible, all that could be documented about Sri Aurobindo’s external life, not in order to critique, reduce, or explain his spiritual greatness by mundane details, but rather because one has a deep love for Sri Aurobindo, and finds everything one learns about the actual external life he led is filled with sweetness and brings an increasing sense of closeness.
Posted by Kepler on Thu 19 Feb 2009 09:51 PM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link
But consider the much less important, but still interesting (to some of us), attempt to get at all the available external documentation of, for example, Sri Aurobindo’s outer life in Baroda, i.e. what he did, where he went and when, whom he associated with, what they recorded as their impressions of him, etc. Would the empirical, critical, “scientific” historian’s approach to this specific task produce more reliable results than a hagiographic one? I personally do appreciate the results of the rationalistic approach to this “documentation of external facts” about the saint’s life, meaning just those facts that actually were “on the surface for others to see”. I think the raw tasks of collecting, evaluating and presenting the available physical data, do lend themselves to the empirical, rationalistic approach.

The way Peter Heehs wove falsehood so magisterially while latching on to the objective label must make us realize how sacrosanct the bare facts are at this juncture. Even Vivekananda presented a doctored picture of Ramakrishna, says a fresh book by Jyotirmaya Sharma. [TNM55]

Perhaps the most intriguing questions for most of us are those that relate to the operation of the law of Karma. We want Karma to conform to our mental notions of right and wrong, or to fit within a pattern that satisfies our desires. We expect to find some kind of “legal system” that operates the law of Karma and to find thereby that our moral, ethical, religious or mental notions are supported and justified by the action of Karma. The law of Karma however is not a law framed by the mind of man, but a law of the Spirit that has manifested the complexity and subtlety of the entire creation. 

Unknown God - The Times of India 20 Jan 2012 – Book Review: Title: Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God Author: Georges Van Vrekhem Publisher: Amaryllis Pages: 292. Price: Rs 595
For those keen on Darwin, the book is a treat. In the latter half of the book, Von Vrekhem brings in various other arguments and strands: the human genome project, attacks on the ignorance of scientists in religious matters, the anthropic principle, the debate of science and religion, the intelligent design theory, and huge dollops of Sri Aurobindo -- whom alone he seems to unquestioningly accept. Although it shifts the focus away from Darwin and the evolution debate, it is just as penetrating and as interesting as the scientific theories and arguments — and indeed, as the rest of this book.
This book is in fact a spell-binding history of the search for the ways evolution, even before or at the time Darwin. The chapter on Alfred Wallace is outstanding…  - Jyotsna Mohanty, in The Advent 
The book narrates the relevant events in the history of 'Darwinism', the most popular of the several theories of evolution. What is nowadays generally labelled as Darwinism hardly resembles what Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, but is the result of scientific developments that are at times considered anti-Darwinian. The book analyses and clearly discerns between the theories of creationism and intelligent design. The author highlights how much of the Darwinist view and the present controversies over evolution results from the exclusively Judeo-Christian background of Western thought. He makes the necessary difference between religion and spirituality. Finally, he expounds the still little known evolutionary vision of Sri Aurobindo, Eastern in origin, but synthetic in its application.

It is commonly believed that the French sociologist Gabriel Tarde allows even for inanimate objects such as chemicals, atoms, and stars to be topics of sociology. This article claims otherwise. Tarde is an arch-reductionist for whom nothing exists below the tiniest micro-level of the cosmos. His theory of monads is by no means an adequate sociology of medium- or large-sized things. Show full item record Related Items By Author:

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