January 10, 2013

Heredity and environment cook uniqueness of each individual

We are born into the world as children of our parents, carrying with us a physical heritage from our ancestors which is called heredity. These traits are passed along in the DNA transmitted from the parents, and combined according to the dominant or recessive characteristics of the particular genetic interactions. This process therefore provides a basis for the continuity of the physical framework of our lives from generation to generation. The ability for genetic material to combine and create new combinations through the contribution of the two parents provides an enormous potential capability for individuation and new development in the newly born child.
This process of heredity, however, is not the sole factor in determining our lives. Once born into the world, we interact with an environment consisting of both the world at large, and the other beings with whom we interact. We are both influenced, and in our turn, influence the development of the community of life and existence and its development. We are part of the community and partake of the time-spirit within which we are born and live, carried along by the currents of that tremendous collective energy, but also doing our part to try to shape and move that collective existence.
While there is a debate about whether heredity or environment is more important in the development of the human being, and there are strong proponents of each view, it is clear that both are part of the legacy of the past, and the force of the present within which we have to take up our lives and become who we are meant to be. These two factors on their own however are not the whole story, although they provide us a clue. When we recognize that the very process helps to ensure “uniqueness” of each individual, we can see that the physical process supports the concept of the individual soul born into life.

Patterns of the Present is a profound and inspiring account of the present situation of mankind and the world it lives in. On the threshold of the new millennium, countless pages have been written on the meaning of our world and its possible development. The conclusion in most cases was depressing – man would become an automaton in a sci-fi world. The author puts the present situation of humanity in the perspective of the evolutionary vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. The result is a positive interpretation of the global situation. The meaning of history, the globalization of our planet, the values represented by East and West, their meeting and reciprocal fertilization, the future evolution of mankind – all these topics and more are presented here in a fresh, often surprising, perspective. Contents:
1. The Big Picture
2. The Avataric Field
3. East and West
4. Reason on Trial
5. Science, Scientism, Modern Technology
6. The Supramental “Catastrophe”
7. The Future of Humanity
The Belgian writer Georges Van Vrekhem explores these and other timeless questions in the light of Sri Aurobindos evolutionary concept and casts a refreshing new look on issues that have been the lasting preoccupation of seekers throughout the ages. This book contains the edited versions of eleven talks that Georges Van Vrekhem gave in Auroville in 2010 and 2011:
* Adam Kadmon and the Evolution
* The Development of Sri Aurobindo's Thought
* Preparing for the Miraculous
* What Arjuna Saw: the Dark Side of the Force
* 2012 and 1956: Doomsday?
* Being Human and the Copernican Evolution
* Bridges across the Afterlife
* Sri Aurobindo's Descent into Death
* Sri Aurobindo and the Big Bang
* Theodicy: "Nature Makes no Mistakes"
* The Kalki Avatar.

I mentioned this text, American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner, edited by my advisor Robert McDermott, a few months back. It has since been published. …
About the Author Robert McDermott, Ph.D., is president emeritus and chair of the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). His publications include Radhakrishnan (1970); The Essential Aurobindo (1974, 1987); The Essential Steiner (1984); (with Rudolf Steiner) The Bhagavad Gita and the West (2009); The New Essential Steiner (2009) and Six Pillars: Introductions to the Works of Sri Aurobindo (2012). He has also published on William James, Josiah Royce, M. K. Gandhi, the evolution of consciousness, and American thought.
Book Description American philosophy may have taken a wrong turn in the mid-twentieth century, when pragmatism gave way to a tradition of analytical philosophy that eschewed metaphysics as inherently meaningless and focused on the coherence or incoherence of linguistic structures. Nonetheless, many new sites of potential dialogue exist between Steiner and American philosophy.

Style « Larval Subjects 25 Apr 2008 – Hopefully I have enough “cred” to inveigh against “difficult books” (I am, after all, mired in the work of figures such as Deleuze, Lacan, Hegel, etc., who are the worst of the worst), but I have increasingly found myself suspicious of the “difficult work”… I wonder if terribly dense styles such as we find in figures like Deleuze, Lacan, Hegel, Derrida, etc., etc., etc., aren’t a form of intellectual terrorism… I’ve spent my fair amount of time defensively defending the writing style of figures such as Lacan, Derrida, Heidegger, Deleuze, etc., etc., etc. What I realize is that what I was defending was not their style but the value of their concepts and arguments despite their style. 12:19 PM - 4:22 PM
Alethetics from Larval Subjects Every great philosopher proposes a frame, a new window through which to encounter the world… We no less frame selections of the world than we are seized by selections of the world.  7:07 PM

A Must Read New Book on Friedrich Hayek from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by Gavin Kennedy - Eamonn Butler: “Friedrich Hayek: the ideas and influence of thelibertarian economist
Hayek’s life and legacy testify to the lasting power of ideas over the fleeting influence of individual politicians who, because they misunderstand the dynamics of human societies, normally promote the wrong ideas. Radicals of Left and Right believe they can change society by capturing the legislature to correct what they regard as society’s systemic errors. Hayek noted, sardonically, that if designed changes tried to change the world, we cannot be sure that the outcome would please either its designers or those affected by their changes.

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