February 18, 2013

Hegel’s India and Sri Aurobindo's view of the West

Writing the Self: Diaries, Memoirs, and the History of the Self By: Peter Heehs
Protestant diaries replaced the Catholic confessional, but secular diaries such as Pepys's may reveal yet more about the self. After Richardson, novels competed with diaries and memoirs as vehicles of self-expression, though memoirs survived and continue to thrive, while the diary has found a new incarnation in the personal blog. 

What is the Meaning of "Integral"? Jack Crittenden     
Wilber's approach appears to have provided a coherent vision that seamlessly weaves together truth-claims from such fields as physics and biology; the eco-sciences; chaos theory and the systems sciences; medicine, neurophysiology, biochemistry; art, poetry, and aesthetics in general; developmental psychology and a spectrum of psychotherapeutic endeavors, from Freud to Jung to Kegan; the great spiritual theorists from Plato and Plotinus in the West to Shankara and Nagarjuna in the East; the modernists from Descartes and Locke to Kant; the Idealists from Schelling to Hegel; the postmodernists from Foucault and Derrida to Taylor and Habermas; the major hermeneutic tradition, Dilthey to Heidegger to Gadamer; the social systems theorists from Comte and Marx to Parsons and Luhmann; the contemplative and mystical schools of the great meditative traditions, East and West, in the world's major religious traditions. And all of that is just a sampling! Jack Crittenden Author, Democracy's Midwife [3:23 pm]

Walsh reviews Wilber's Sex, Ecology, Spirituality - CogWeb - The Spirit of Evolution by Roger Walsh - An overview of Ken Wilber's book Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution (Shambhala, 1995). Roger Walsh (MD) is a Professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, University of California College of Medicine, Irvine.
Periodically there arose spectacular individuals--St. Augustine, Meister Eckhart, Dame Julian, St. Teresa, the Rhineland mystics and more--in whom transcendence triumphed over institutional barriers and who thereby faced themselves and the Church with the difficult and dangerous task of reconciling conventional mythology with transconventional realization. However, despite the profound insights of such mystics, the power of conventional myth (for example, Church dogma) largely reigned supreme until the rise of modernity and the empirical scientific outlook during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Gilles Deleuze drew on a vast array of source material, from philosophy and psychoanalysis to science and art. Yet scholars have largely neglected one of the intellectual currents underlying his work: Western esotericism, specifically the lineage of hermetic thought that extends from Late Antiquity into the Renaissance through the work of figures such as Iamblichus, Nicholas of Cusa, Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno. In this book, Joshua Ramey examines the extent to which Deleuze's ethics, metaphysics, and politics were informed by, and can only be fully understood through, this hermetic tradition.

Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. 

When it begins to accommodate multiple registers and innovations, Guru English expands into a free-floating literary discourse that can tolerate a high degree of ambivalence. At this point, if I may invoke Michel Foucault, the range of the discourse makes visible characteristics that are not directly linguistic but also institutional and practice-oriented, and contextual to the deployment and manipulation of language as a material phenomenon with corresponding effects within social networks of power…
Writing to a positivist friend, Jogen Ghosh, in the late nineteenth century, the Bengali novelist Bankimchandra Chatterjee asserted, "anyone who wishes to address all Hindus must of necessity write in English." Bankim's most famous novel of religious atavism, Anandamath [Abbey of bliss], ends with the proposition that "imbued with a knowledge of objective sciences by English education, our people will be able to comprehend subjective truths." The point made by Bankim's conclusion, even if a hopeful stretch given empirical realities, was that the English language would, as a means of international access and especially scientific technocracy, objectively create the conditions where pan-Indian cultural unity could be discovered as a kind of remaindered essence. This adoption of English as a via negativa to the literary discourse of "subjective truths" is quite different from other plausible choices, such as Persian, which in Bankim's context had greater historical precedent as the language of Mughal bureaucracy and government, or Sanskrit, the sacerdotal language of the Brahman-dominated religious and cultural elites of the Hindu majority. We now find that there is an anomalous afterlife to Bankim's recommendation that he may not have anticipated: the circulation of Hinduism through English was probably an early alternative means--and continues to be an important vehicle--for the religious discourse of middle-class urban Hindus in search of their "subjective truths." The global transmission of Hindu and Buddhist thought eventually led to the rise of the self-proclaimed ethno-religious nationalist as well as the detached and Asian-influenced cosmopolitan. It might be worth considering the most provocative version of Bankim's thesis, that the use of English was indispensable to the defining of Hinduism as a universalist "spirituality" at the outset. This new articulation of spirituality cohered around several general assumptions brought to it by colonial discourses and practices, even as it undoubtedly made good use of preexisting practices and doctrines. This necessarily modern presentation of ancient practices explains the constitutive contradiction of Hinduism's national and cosmopolitan roles far more effectively than various empirical accounts that map the contingent coming together of a number of loosely related practices and identities under the pressure of British colonial rule…
The first chapter explores the impact of the orientalists and the resultant reaction-formation of a number of indigenous voices with diasporic appeal, including Brahmos such as Rammohun Roy and Keshub Chunder Sen, Vedantists such as Vivekananda, and yoga exponents such as Yogananda. These figures are neoclassical in that they reinvent continuous tradition under the sign of the advent of modernity. Through some of these individual cases, I narrate the existence of the discourse of Guru English from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century. It is indeed moot whether neoclassicism of this sort can ultimately be separated very carefully from Romantic nationalism.
More through a principle of convenience and slightly different philosophical emphasis rather than that of radical separation from the figures treated in the first, the second chapter examines the parallel implication of Guru English into a literary form of late colonial Romanticism. Writers such as Bankimchandra Chatterjee, Rudyard Kipling, Rabindranath Tagore, and Sri Aurobindo are shown to contribute richly to this enterprise, one that participates in the Janus-faced project of Romantic nationalism. Looking back atavistically, Romantic nationalism also generates a wholly modern idiom that is produced prosthetically. These important early figures are but the very beginning of a whole range of Indian and foreign romanticists and romanticizers of the subcontinent's religious wealth. The eternal rediscovery of Indian spiritual and religious mysteries continues unabated, whether in travelogues, tourist brochures, pulp fiction and media, or even occasionally in religious anthropology.

Yoga Journal - Jul 1975 - Page 3 Vol. 1, No. 3 - Magazine - Full view And it was for this purpose that he was sent to the United States in 1951 by his Guru, Hegel’s India the prophet of Integral Yoga. It was at this time that he, along with his dedicated wife Bina Pani, established the Cultural Integration Fellowship ...

Hindi poet and feminist scholar Savita Singh's reading of Ashis Nandy's version of Sri Aurobindo's life in his book Intimate Enemy is a classical, scholarly refutation of Nandy's critique of modernity and in a way suggests that ... 

Hegel’s India: Texts and Commentary (complete manuscript [ms.] under review at SUNY Press, NY). Co-edited with R. Mohapatra. 

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