February 02, 2013

Meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo, Bergson, Heidegger, and Deleuze

THERE IS NO SHORTCUT TO HAPPINESS times of india - speaking tree By: Ramesh Bijlani on Feb 01, 2013
What it means is that happiness resides not in the car, but in ‘not wanting anything’. ‘Not wanting anything’ is an inner state to be cultivated, not a goal automatically reached by fulfillment of desires. The conclusion is that happiness is within us, not in the object outside. Let us take another example. A person goes and donates a unit of blood. That makes him happy. He has not got anything – in fact, he has given something. The person is happy because while donating blood he thought of another individual in need. In the process, he got so completely absorbed in somebody else’s need that he forgot what he himself wants. In other words, he was once again in a state of ‘not wanting anything’. Thus, to be happy, we need not get anything at all. In fact, the joy of giving is much greater than the joy of getting.
The above discussion exposes the two major flaws in the popular notion that happiness comes from getting things. One, happiness resides not in the things outside but within us; and two, true happiness comes from giving. But what we generally do is to look outside for happiness – in the objects that we want, in the work that we do, in the people to whom we are attached, in being healthy, and so on. All these are entities which are inconstant, unreliable, erratic and unpredictable. The objects that seem to give us happiness are perishable, the happiness they give is short-lasting, and the list of still more objects that we may want is endless. In case of a few fortunate ones, the work that they enjoy doing coincides with the work that they have to do for a living. Even these fortunate ones cannot go on doing the same work for ever: enforced ‘superannuation’ or bodily disability might force them to give up the work. People to whom we are attached do not always behave the way we would like them to. 

Understanding Medical Physiology - Page 876 - Bijlani - 2004 - Preview - More editions The basic text of integral yoga is The Synthesis of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo. CONCLUSION Yoga is an ancient system of Indian philosophy. Although its metaphysical aspects are complex, the fundamentals, as applicable to daily life, are quite ...

The meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy - Page 165 - S.K. Maitra - 1956 - This statement we can look upon as containing the essence of Sri Aurobindo's conception of yoga, as, in fact, the text of integral yoga. The first thing which it asserts is that yoga is a birth. It is not a dissolution, nor an absorption, nor a swooning away into the Divine, but it is a birth. That is to say, the human being retains his character as a human being, which means as a being with a body, life, soul and mind, and having a part to ...

Leather, Fur, & Legendary Joy: A Response from Joshua Ramey to Beatrice Marovich’s “‘We Dance These Beasts’: Capitalism, Animism, Believers of the Future” from An und für sich by Joshua Ramey
As anyone who knows me knows, I spend as much of my time as I can drumming or dancing (when I’m not reading and writing and teaching).  Part of why I was drawn to Deleuze in the first place was that he seemed to be one of the few philosophers willing to lend some language to what was crucial for me about movement and rhythm, conceptually as well as at the affective level, and willing to take the emendation of the affects as far as the emendation of the intellect toward the composition of a philosophical life.  Deleuze was always, in a typically French way, reticent about being anecdotal, and I think he knew how to be revealing enough without anecdotes.  I’m not quite that refined.  Beatrice has moved me to relay, anecdotally, an experience that, for me, forms a kind of legend for the defense of spirituality Beatrice is drawing attention to between the lines of my book…
At any rate, I have often thought to myself that from the 1960’s to 2013 the spiritual stakes of experimentation have changed:  what was an aesthetic choice, then, has become a survival strategy, now.  For those of us with anything left to experiment with, survival itself has become experimental.  In the context of endless and irremediable debts, of a totally debt-leveraged existence, everything is improvisation, everything is experimentation.  Existence itself is spiritual ordeal, for those who manage to survive the imperative to “invest in oneself” at the cost of everything, and at the cost of everything manage to pretend to be an “entrepreneur of the self,” while in fact this means to take on the weight of the world, the burden of the global, ever-imploding debt.

I would argue, however—with Laruelle’s theory of the fundamental autonomy of heresy and gnosis—that the reverse is the case, that it is orthodoxy that is more or less parasitic, in the long run, on religious experiences that are too wild, too intense, too idiosyncratic to regulate, order, and habituate.  (It’s true that Bergson’s view of religion is similar, but I don’t hold to Bergson’s ontology of development, which overemphasizes continuity). From that perspective, let me engage in some heretical theology.  The logic of exemplarity in standard Christian philosophy is a logic that attempts to provide limits or conditions for possible spiritual experimentation, in advance of ordeal. 
But from my perspective, and the perspective that I call “the hermetic Deleuze,” since every ordeal potentially is unlimited, any ordeal can exemplify any other, to the degree that it resonates with any other ordeal. This is where Bruno did not so much reject incarnationalism as rather accelerate it into a kind of terracarnationalism or cosmicarnationalism, a becoming-divine or being-divine of everything in relation to everything else.  This has obvious overtones of mystical theophanies such as Eriugena’s, and in alchemical theologies like Boehme’s. The problem with the “standard Christian philosophy,” as Bruno saw it, and as Deleuze put it borrowing a phrase from D.H. Lawrence, is that it is not yet ready “to have done with judgment.” 

(title unknown) from enowning Tomonobu Imamichi says The Book of Tea was there first. 
[Ito Kichinosuke, one of my teachers at university, studied in Germany in 1918 immediately after the First World War and hired Heidegger as a private tutor. Before moving back to Japan at the end of his studies, Professor Ito handed Heidegger a copy of Das Buch vom Tee, the German translation of Okakura Kkuzo's The Book of Tea, as a token of his appreciation. That was in 1919. Sein und Zeit was published in 1927, and made Heidegger famous. Mr. Ito was surprised and indignant that Heidegger used Zhuangzi's concept without giving him credit. Years later in 1945, Professor Ito reminisced with me and, speaking in his Shonai dialect, said, "Heidegger did a lot for me, but I should've laid into him for stealing." There are other indications that Heidegger was inspired by Eastern writings, but let's leave this topic here. I have heard many stories of this kind from Professor Ito and checked their veracity.] [The meaningfulness of the tea cup, in 1919. P. 83]

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