March 25, 2013

People operate with diverse systems of belief and we can live with this incoherence

Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty - Page 118 - Paul W. Kahn - 2011 - Preview - More editions In the postmodern world, the sources of fundamental belief, the diversity of metaphysical approaches, the conflicts between religious and secular outlooks, and even the conflicts between the biological and physical sciences are just too many and too deep to think that we can offer a single theoretical model to characterize the epoch. Perhaps we should say that we live in a “postepochal” age. We find that people operate with diverse systems of belief, which do not fall into any coherent order. We have discovered that we can live with this incoherence. The center does not hold, but things do not fall apart.

A dissertation that focused only on the thinker himself and not on some amount of contemporary application would not have been nearly as interesting to me; … I wanted it to involve some amount of constructive dialogue between the ideas of Śāntideva and of Martha Nussbaum…
Over the three years I’ve been writing here, possibly the blog’s most enduring concern has been the contrasting worldviews of ascent/descent and intimacy/integrity. I have tried to understand their contrasts fully so that any integration between them can be a synthesis and not merely a compromise – one of the key methodological points that arose at the dissertation’s end. I think the dissertation did a lot to help me spell out this problématique – this set of interrelated questions that animates my blog’s inquiries. So have I figured out any sort of answer or result to those questions? Hell, no. But ask me again in another ten years.

Every scripture, whether sacred or secular, will necessarily contain within it certain Truths or at least aspects of the Truth, which represent part of the universally available experience of mankind. At the same time, the specific circumstances, details, form of language and assumptions made in the expression take on the cloak of the specific period and situation in which it was brought forth. It is important, when trying to obtain any deeper sense or value from any scriptural text, to be able to distinguish between the “eternal” and the “temporal” aspects of the teaching. The eternal portions can have value and provide guidance to people of virtually any period or circumstance, and they tend also to harmonise well with the universal truths expounded in other scriptures. The temporal portions, being necessarily circumscribed and limited, will tend to be less applicable and less able to be understood by others, whether separated by time, space or circumstance…
Sri Aurobindo sets here therefore a measuring rod that takes us beyond the divisions of the mind and the disputes that are engendered by the intellect. It is necessary to find that which originates in higher levels of consciousness and which therefore has the capacity to unify the apparently conflicting aspects we find at the mental level.

Usually some pent-up emotion like love, as we understand usually, grievance against the ruler or society or some unknown love for Nature or the divine or some extraordinary feeling about life and surrounding gives birth to poetry. Good poetry must be a synthetic product of thoughts, ideas, dreams and visions grasped intuitively. Imagery, symbolism, subtle ornaments make the poetry enjoyable; pleasant to hear, beautiful to see. Whatever the force that dominates a poem a unique creation gives ananda. I do not think that efforts to write poetry to make propaganda of any sort, to make loud publicity in favour of religious belief or arguing through gross words make any poetry.
Any sentiment may be expressed through poetry but that must be free from the crude utterances though sometimes apparently crude ideas about love or anger or other violent feelings too may give birth to poetry if the emotion is properly used for the sublime lies in the lap of the crude physical sheath too.

Good Morning Hello It's Sunday , March 24 , 2013
Mantric words of Sri Aurobindo, voice of Dr C.S. Mukherji, Nijantik, 9/1 Lower Rawdon Street, 4.30pm.

Prayers to Sri Annai: Sri Aurobindo Devotees Trust, Sasi Balika Vidya Mandir, R.S. Puram, 9.30 a.m. and Sri Annai Meditation Centre, W7C, Kovaipudur, 4 p.m. 

March 16, 2013

Its ‘noble’ nature makes gold ‘useless’

Anthropologists Approve Ethics Code November 7, 2012 - By Scott Jaschik Inside Higher Ed - As a discipline, anthropology has at times been divided over ethics, with many in the field feeling shame over early work in the field that was used to promote imperialism and with more recent debate over whether it is appropriate for anthropologists to work with the U.S. military… The new code offers seven main principles:
  • Do no harm.
  • Be open and honest regarding your work.
  • Obtain informed consent and necessary permissions.
  • Weigh competing ethical obligations due collaborators and affected parties.
  • Make your results accessible.
  • Protect and preserve your records.
  • Maintain respectful and ethical professional relationships. 
Wealth and Money from Centre Right India by Sonam Agrawal
Barter comes into picture because not everybody is good at everything… Barter also exemplifies the concept of voluntary cooperation. People looking for their own benefit enter into an agreement without the use of force… Gold has high value density… In some sense the uselessness of Gold is one of the qualities that make it useful as money. The fact that gold does not react with anything else makes it non-perishable and so it can be preserved for eternity at very low cost. Its cost is actually only regarding its security. In fact, all of the gold ever mined on this planet remains as gold. Unlike diamond which is pure carbon and can be burnt at sufficiently high temperatures to give carbon di-oxide, gold virtually does not combine with any other element and can be purified from contamination at very low costs (you cannot get back a diamond from carbon di-oxide).Thus, its ‘noble’ nature makes gold ‘useless’ for any productive activity while makes it immensely useful as an eternal preserver of value… This stored or saved money is the ‘Capital’… voluntary cooperation in which two people or entities enter into an agreement to help each other in exchange for money or goods… Legal force might be initiated only if a violation of a voluntary contract occurs.
The other major point to differentiate between wealth and money is that while wealth deteriorates over time, money remains intact. The effect of this is that simply having money cannot give us our standard of living. Wealth has to be created, repaired and serviced. We may end up consuming all of our wealth and we’ll still remain with all our money, but that money would not be of any use; its use is only in enabling our transactions of what we produce. Thus we need to constantly work, if only to maintain our current standard of living.
It’s useful if more and more people work, according to their will, inclination and need. These issues are highly subjective and best left to the individual. But one cannot deny the fact that without working productively no increase in wealth is possible. You can put it anyway you like but at the end of the day it’s only the products and services that matter and enable our living. Of course, we would like to work less and worry less about our daily chores and popular perception would have you believe that we are too materialistic; In fact our material progress is what allows us to enjoy more of our lives and creative pursuits.

Nothing was more total throughout human history than the constant tyranny of daily subsistence.  Socially, this was expressed in human social interactions (“hermit” alternatives were biologically unproductive – those trying it, died out in one generation).  Only in cooperation have humans continued their propagation through the generations.  This requires, as Smith pointed out, the mediation of self-interest (not the ‘dictatorship’ a la Ayn Rand over others) in human contact, as represented by the classic common howlers in the neoclassical misreading of Smith’s “butcher, brewer, baker” example as “Max U” (see Deirdre McCloskey’s” brilliant rebuttal of ‘Max U’ thinking).  To which we can add the almost total unfamiliarity of modern theorists with Smith’s “Moral Sentiments” (how carefully did Polanyi read TMS?). Markets are but one form of social and individual exchange, and not the only one today, nor throughout human history. Smith understood that. 

The greatest mystery - Times Of India Sunil Khilnani Dec 19, 2011
Unfortunately, the power of the scientific method - its satisfying promise of certain knowledge - has emboldened many to see it as a universal method, as applicable to humans as the physical world. Some of the most fundamental forms of human creativity and activity - how we use language, our religious beliefs, economic exchange, morality itself - are increasingly studied by means of statistical models borrowed from a partial understanding of science.
Sometimes, significant patterns and shapes are revealed, while other times what's discovered may be more akin to the face a child detects in a cloud formation than a basic causal connection. One impulse of those who apply the scientific method to human activity is to reduce action, intellection and belief to instrumental functions. Religion and ethics, for instance, are viewed as serving evolutionary aims, the mind is seen as essentially a biological system, and ideas become neurological emanations.
The historical irony is rich. From its origins, human civilisation has been driven by an urge to escape the constraints of nature. The scientific method was a human invention designed to understand nature better, precisely so humans could escape its exigencies and expand the realm of their free action. Yet now, the method's intellectual rampage seeks to imprison us within nature - by telling us that any action we believe to be freely chosen is in fact determined and necessitated by nature's purposes. Thus generalised, scientific method is transformed into scientism: less a predetermined biological reflex than a superstitious, ideological choice about how to see the world.
Consider the discipline of economics - perhaps the most spectacular example of scientism's imperiousness. An obsession with modelling, market efficiency, individual rational expectations, and with pure technical prowess, has populated financial institutions with experts focussed on narrow imperatives. Certain of their ability to master uncertainty, they have in fact massively proliferated it - and as such bear a large responsibility for the crisis of the global economy.
Admittedly, policy economists are today deeply divided over how to get out of the crisis - some advocate severe austerity, others expansionist spending. But very few indeed have felt any need to examine the recent evidence and seriously question the foundations of their discipline. Those economists, and all aspirants to scientism, would do well to reflect on the physicists in pursuit of their fundamental particle. If firmly established, the Higgs boson will confirm extant theories of the nature of the physical universe.
If the CERN experiment disproves its existence, our view of the universe will be thrown into crisis. Physicists don't seem to shy away from that prospect, and some seem to be almost hoping for evidence that may upend the certainties of our world-picture. That openness to new uncertainty is the part of the scientific method that needs to rampage a little wider. The writer is director of the India Institute, King's College, London.

Mar 15-18, 2013 SACAC, New Delhi, an arts, communication and management institute of Sri Aurobindo Society, is organizing a festival of Akira Kurosawa films, titled Kurosawa Retrospective — Experiencing the Genius Akira Kurosawa. All world cinema aficionados are cordially invited. Hall of Divine, SACAC Campus, New Delhi | Integral Education - SACAC

Sri Aurobindo Society Focus Area Indian Culture Glimpses of the Sanskrit Sahityotsav Feb 22-24, 2013 Dussehra Maidan, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Recently, Dr Sampadanand Mishra, Director—Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Indian Culture (SAFIC),was invited as a special guest speaker at Sanskrit Sahityotsav, a grand Sanskrit Festival organized by the Madhya Pradesh Government in collaboration with Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi; Kalidasa Academy, Ujjain; and Sanskrit Promotion Foundation, New Delhi, to speak on ‘Challenges in the Development of Sanskrit’. The festival took place in Ujjain, the city of Mahakaleshwar in Madhya Pradesh, from 22nd to 24th February 2013. There were nearly 3,000 delegates invited from various parts of India. The Dussehra Maidan of Ujjain was pulsating with all the people communicating in Sanskrit. 

Dilip Datta, Trustee of the Ashram, has been siphoning Ashram funds to benefit his immediate family members. The Ashram Trust holds vast properties in Pondicherry, and since the Trustees keep all Ashram affairs hidden from the Ashram resident Inmates, they can get away with surreptitious sales of the Ashram’s lands and properties. There have been many land scams in the last 15 years in which the Trustees sold off Ashram lands purchased by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (or received by them as gifts) for the Ashram’s needs and future security. Each time Ashram land is sold off over 50% of the sale price is alleged to be received by the Trustees in cash and used for their personal benefits. 

March 12, 2013

Never trust a man who dyes his hair

Tweets 21 hrs - Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty [in defending ethical revaluation while ... advocating compassionate giving and the prevention of wrongdoing, Śāntideva remains consistent.] 22 hrs [Latour may be a bit flippant at times, but his point is certainly not to “do everything he can to deny enchantment"] … 22 hrs [By contrast, others’ wrongdoing is beneficial to us, because it can help produce patient endurance.] #Śāntideva … 22 hrs [Property & personal relationships, things we would normally take as goods, are actually harmful to our flourishing, because of attachment.] 22 hrs [Ethical Revaluation in the Thought of Śāntideva - A dissertation by Amod Jayant Lele] … (pdf) - … 23 hrs [Towards a Spiritual Aesthetics of the Environment: Quality, Space, and Being in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, ISLE Vol.18, Issue 2, Spring 2011] 24 hrs [Those who are other-focused are happier... Happier people are more successful — and that’s causal, not correlative.] … Mar 11 - doubtinggaurav @doubtinggaurav Never trust a man who dyes his hair.  Retweeted by Savitri Era Party Mar 11 - Harsh Madhok @hmadhok It is our desire to cling to the past while grabbing at the future which has made the present too complicated.  Retweeted by Savitri Era Party  Mar 11 Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty At SELF our slogan is "Be Selfish" ... Judgment failures occur as a result, and our vigil for "Self-interest" skids. … Mar 11 [Smith said humans have the power of reasoning... Self-interest is far more complex than rationality.] -Gavin Kennedy. … Mar 10 [For Heidegger, by contrast, conscience is not God talking to me, but me talking to myself] Simon Critchley 20 July 2009 … -  View summary Mar 10 Racing round the universe riding on a mouse: The meditative mode of blogging - by Tusar N. Mohapatra … Om Sri Aurobindo Mar 9 -Vivek Dehejia @vdehejia To label those opposed to Modi's Wharton visit as "Indian sepoys" does no credit to Rajiv Malhotra nor his arguments.   Retweeted by Savitri Era Party -  View summary - Mar 10 kittu reddy @kitturd  via @wordpressdotcom Sri Aurobindo on ancient indian polity  Retweeted by Savitri Era Party  View media Mar 10 Sri Aurobindo admits the debt of materialism for making us free from superstitious beliefs … Savitri Era Learning Forum Mar 9 Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty Being pushed, willy-nilly, towards Hindutva camp is another danger @RajivMessage either overlooks or underestimates. … Mar 9 Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty [we must first become a nation of individual citizens, multi-hyphenated, yes, but also equal in the eyes of the law.] … - View summary Mar 9 [Confused liberals in India mix up classical liberalism, secularism and nationalism – and end up practising none of them.] @minhazmerchant Mar 9 [Ananthamurthy imposes a misleading mix of existentialism and the Marxist conception of society] -Sandeep Balakrishna … Mar 9 IIT Delhi workshop on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit by Prof John Russon and Prof Shannon Hoff (Canada) on 11th March 2013 (10 am: MS 610) Mar 9 santosh krinsky @santoshk1 Karma Is a Law of Spiritual Evolution  via@wordpressdotcom  Retweeted by Savitri Era Party  View summary Mar 8 [Sri Aurobindo and Tyagaraja attempt to capture the bliss of spiritual experience & unison.] -Murali Sivaramakrishnan … Mar 8 db Debashish Bose @db_DelAlpha @kshetragnya They are different persons, Aurobindo is a visionary willing to believe and try, Nirad C is a chronicler and commentator  Retweeted by Savitri Era Party  View conversation Mar 8 Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty [a person who is attuned to Sri Aurobindo’s consciousness just falls in love with his writing style.] by Sandeep … 9 hrs Hostilities between the Israelis and the Palestinians too will be resolved one day through the Savitri Era Religion. … 9 hrs Sri Aurobindo admits the debt of materialism. Postmodernism requires maturity. History-mythology. Auroville to Esalen 

Humans are not isolated in their self alone.  They act in social settings with other people and also have memories.  They live today in settings where the majority of people nearby are anonymous, not relatives or friends. (The ‘company of strangers’ was a great title recently).  In a small hunter/scavenger and gathering band they knew everybody intimately… We share by giving in order to legitimise our expectation of getting at some time in the future… The share motive (so-called altruism) was accompanied by the expectation of reciprocation in due course, and punished by exclusion from sharing in future (witnessed by Dunbar and observed by people today in work situations and, indeed in families). This simple facet of exchange by reciprocation is experienced today in inter-personal relations in the workplace, including university faculties (!) and is an element of behaviour relevant in developing influence among fellow employees. 

“So, my libertarian devotees of evolutionary psychology, you can’t have it both ways.  If feminism is wrong to think we can and/or should resist the dispositions that evolution has given us, then why is it wrong for defenders of the classical liberal order to think we can and/or should resist those dispositions when it comes to our evolved instincts toward the morality of socialism?  Or put the other way around:  if resisting our evolved moral instincts and obeying the rules of just conduct work to generate a civilized, cooperative economic order, why should gender issues be any different?” That is from Steve Horwitz.

Quotation of the Day…  from Cafe Hayek by Don Boudreaux … is from page 190 of Richard Posner’s 1995 volume, Overcoming Law:
“We all have the weaknesses of our strengths.  It is hardly a surprise that people who have powerful intellects tend to have an exaggerated faith in the power of intellect to solve social problems.  It is the same perspectival deformity that leads intellectuals to model democracy as a form of intellectual discussion or to set freedom of thought and debate far above economic freedom.”

(title unknown) from Routledge India Originals's Facebook Wall ~ The Democratic Predicament: Cultural Diversity in Europe and India Edited by: Jyotirmaya Tripathy and Sudarsan Padmanabhan, Rs 895, Pages: 366. Both India and Europe have been undergoing a difficult process of negotiating cultural, religious and ethnic diversity within their democratic frameworks....

It is a quite natural tendency of human nature to fixate on one issue to the exclusion of others. The mind, as a dividing and analyzing instrument, tends toward exclusive concentration. So it is easy to understand that when we once focus on the ethical principle, that it may be viewed as the “categorical imperative” of our human nature.
Sri Aurobindo acknowledges the role of the ethical principle, but he also puts it in context with other aspects of our nature that equally call for fulfillment. There are the seeking for knowledge, the seeking for beauty and harmony, the seeking for Oneness which also represent aspects of our nature.

March 08, 2013

Postmodernism requires maturity and ability not to be bothered by confusion

If we can and must be severe critics of the Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so (Terry Eagleton, Ideology of the Aesthetic, 8).

Such an agglomeration of disparate names and terms may confuse a person who is keen to know what Postmodernism is all about, but again, such confusion need not weigh too heavy on him as the very spirit of postmodernism requires of him maturity and ability not to be bothered by confusion. “Perhaps to grow up,” writes Patricia Waugh, “ is to live suspended between the modern and the postmodern, resisting the temptation for resolution in one direction or the other” (9). Posted by Dharanidhar at 4:38 PM Thursday, February 14, 2013

Yes, it baffles me too. These opinions seem to emanate from “scholars” whose heads are loaded with complex literary theories. By contrast, a person who is attuned to Sri Aurobindo’s consciousness just falls in love with his writing style.

yes, there are some who continue to feel their presence and guidance. The contact is often fleeting and prone to distortions of the human mind so one has to be careful not to overinterpret and get excited about it.

The advice Sri Aurobindo gave varied depending on the individual. Generally speaking, those who are over-eager for experiences are asked to ignore them, while those who can get fruitful guidance from them are asked to pay attention

Jason, I am not implacably opposed to comparative mysticism. Its just that sometimes people draw spurious conclusions based superficial similarities. The Taoist-Vallar similarities could be possibly due to the spread of Buddhism in China.

It is difficult to learn meditation from a blog and more generally, over the Internet. The answer I provide to your questions could be wrong since I can’t perceive your personality. You need to start with some local guidance. At the least, you could visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry and buy the booklets by M.P. Pandit on meditation. That will answer many of the basic questions you are raising here.

As I already said, there is no instant Enlightenment. There will be ups and downs in the spiritual path. This piecemeal Q&A is not going to be helpful to you or me. You need to find a teacher who can teach you a specific method. You should enroll for a meditation course somewhere and go from there. Try the Vipassana course at or ask around for someone who can teach you.

You have to keep at it. Saints are not created in one day.

It may take several years before you see any positive effect. You have to practice without expectations. One must give up the mercantile attitude and practice solely out of love for the Divine. The Divine does not reveal itself to those who practice specific methods; rather, it reveals itself to those who are psychologically mature – who are kind, compassionate, selfless and live with equanimity and self-control. You might like to read this article on Obsessive-Compulsive spirituality

Just because she made some remarks does not imply that we should also study the topic with our rational mind. Her remarks came from a different plane of realization and may have been appropriate at that time in the presence of certain people who needed to know. The discussion may not be relevant today with a different audience… There are three points I can make on this topic:
1) Some of that information which has been recorded is probably hearsay… 2) She made contradictory remarks on the importance of past lives. At one point in her spiritual path, she was interested in them but later lost interest in the topic. WE have to determine what is good for us at this point in time… 3) She made remarks from a certain plane of realization. Unless we have reached the same plane of realization, it is a distraction to discuss past lives because we don’t really KNOW what we are talking about. We might as well discuss some imaginary nonsense.

Knowing one’s past incarnations might help but how does it help to know who Sri Aurobindo or the Mother were in their past lives? We were debating the value of the latter.

That is one aspect I never discuss on this blog because I think it is a needless distraction. The mind always hungers for more and more trivial facts and the adventurous vital loves to indulge in speculation. How does it matter who they were before? See my comment on a different blog post on this matter

The Mother’s remarks have no citation from the Collected Works either. It is astonishing that Roy Posner is publishing such unverified exaggerations on his website. Anyway, can’t waste time on such nonsense.

The human mind is intimately tied to the emotional being, so there will be days when all theories will seem false and nothing in the world will make sense. These phases of disillusionment disappear only when the Self (Atman) is found and the mind becomes quiescent. Until then, these theories and discussions are just a temporary support. Acceptance of reincarnation is not a prerequisite for the spiritual journey.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand what’s written on this page. Whether the Gods exist or not is of no relevance to the novice. As you develop deeper understanding of your inner movements, you will begin to understand everything else. Spiritual development is like an growing and ascending spiral, which starts from a bright point and gradually envelopes and illumines the surrounding areas.
In the beginning, one must focus on psychology (how should I live?) rather than ontology (what exists out there?). You have to read literature which motivates you to live better, which awakens introspection as well as the Atman within. If you have an affinity for Sri Aurobindo, start reading his works such as SavitriEssays on the GitaLife DivineSynthesis of Yoga or the Letters on Yoga. It may take a few readings to grasp his texts but keep trying because its worth it.

There was a time when I also had the same problem. This happens to everybody. We find it difficult to withdraw from the physical world because Rajas and Tamas have taken hold of the consciousness. Our consciousness is loaded with the residual vasanas gathered from many movies, bad eating habits, too much chatting, foolish friends, etc…  If there are too many thoughts, you should meditate with open eyes. Fix the eyes on the wall or on some imaginary horizon. This prevents the thoughts from running amok.

Concentrating on a video game generally makes the mind dull (exceptions can be made for flight-training programs). A game is a repetitive task where the mind does not rise above its rational level and remains self-absorbed. Concentrating on a difficult math problem or composing a piece of music/poem is qualitatively different because it raises and widens your consciousness above your body.
The simple definition of addiction is a habit that you can’t break easily. Most video games seem to trap you into a dazzling screen replete with exciting sensory stimulations. I would say its similar to an self-absorbed reading of a sexually-titillating novel from start to finish. Both are forms of concentration but they lead to no elevation of consciousness.

I am not really good at moderating so its hard to decide what to edit or delete. Maybe we should just stop the discussion here, because it has veered off the course.

It weakens nationalism and promotes internationalism. Peter Berger in his book “Many Globalizations” says people develop layered identities. On the inside, they remain attached to their birth culture while on the outside, they adopt the global consumer culture.

What gets quickly absorbed in India is the glamorized version of the American lifestyle as seen in sitcoms like “Friends” that run on television. The strict legal framework that underpins American society takes time to disseminate. 

They get educated in Western theories of feminism, post-modernism, etc. and then proceed to regurgitate and propagate those theories during their work. They have been taught that the West had to reject Christian dogma in order to become modern. Therefore, they assume that India must also reject Hindu tradition and become immoral in order to modernize. This is a false equivalence. Hinduism is not a religion in the sense of Christianity. In Hinduism, our lifestyle must be based on the theory of Trigunas (Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas). One must choose activities which are Sattwic in order to illumine the consciousness. It is ironic that at a time when Indian spirituality is creating a new wave of American Brahmins, American sexuality is being exported to India and creating a new breed of Indian Sudras. Two-way traffic indeed!

I was attempting to capture some of the thinking which has led to the current state. No theory can be general enough to cover the entire population of a country.

The American worldview is more practical and even Darwinian, I might add… OTOH, the Indian worldview is predominantly teleological. You are told that marriages are made in heaven, or that couples continue to meet across incarnations. That is why people stress marriage and consult horoscopes to determine compatibility and karmic connections.

After ridiculing Indian arranged marriages for many decades, American “experts” are now finding that such marriages can work!

Yes, when India was struggling, people were cynical and denounced their country, but as society prospers, people regain pride in their country because they need an identity and culture around which they can build their achievements. We observe the same phenomenon in Turkey and China.

This is the Western model that Indians currently want to emulate. Large sections of India is currently enamoured by the desire to mimic the American lifestyle. There is lot of money flowing into the country and this has boosted people’s aspirations. They want to “act white“, to use African-American slang.

They both participated in the agitation which broke out after the 1905 partition of Bengal. Tagore was a sensitive poet who recoiled from the prospect of violence which arose out of mass resistance, while Sri Aurobindo was a fiery nationalist who was not afraid to shed the blood of the British in order to gain freedom.

The object of Yoga is to become the Object! As Jiddu Krishnamurti said: “The observer is the observed”.

Generally speaking, it is a good habit to remember and provide citations… Lastly, on a public forum, one has to become immune to misunderstandings and occasional abuse, so don’t worry about any allegations against you

Today the country is going through a churning process with different and opposite ideas claiming to guide the future of the nation. Some of these ideas are:  ancient values versus modern values, the role of woman in society, secularism and spirituality, violence and non-violence and so on. Different groups espouse different positions and a conflict has arisen. In this context this what Sri Aurobindo writes: […] It should be our duty to find out these fundamental motives or essential idea-forces and this inner commanding vision for our nation. This is urgent and the immediate need for India. Let us ponder on these deeply. Kittu Reddy

S´raddha - Sri Aurobindo Ashram PDF Nov 24, 2012 – Involution And Evolution: Some Conceptual Issues In The Contexts Of Indian Discourses - Murali Sivaramakrishnan
In a land like India with its heterogeneous culture and chequered history, the narratives linking place and humans are innumerable, couched in diverse perceptions and points of view, and filtered through multiple discourses over a long period of time. Geographically, historically and geo-psychically, Indian narratives afford pluralistic and complex readings. Philosophy, religion and poetry have a deep history in this part of the world, as much as oppression, domination, and ideologies of resistance and subversions. 7:57 pm

March 07, 2013

How to deal with exhaustion? spirituality is a surival tactic

Taking materialism seriously means attending to our understanding of the symbolic and imaginary are transformed as a result of what we learn about the real.  It means that we can no longer fully divorce these realms from one another, but have to attend to how they’re entangled.  And, of course, our idea of materiality is also transformed as a result of our understanding of the symbolic and the imaginary or the semiotic and the phenomenological.  Of course, at this point in history, I also feel that we need to attend a bit more to materiality than to the symbolic and imaginary. “Objects” and Institutions from Larval Subjects
The work of theorists such as Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Isabelle Stengers, Karen Barad, Stacy Alaimo, and Jane Bennett among others has all gone far in raising attentiveness to genuine materiality.  The same is true of media theorists such as Kittler, Ong, and McLuhan.  Catherine Malabou is notable in this connection with her work on neurology.  That said, critical theory has been overwhelmingly dominated by a focus on the phenomenological and the semiotic.  Making a little room for the material doesn’t hurt anything, but merely opens new vistas for understanding the mechanisms of power and devising strategies for resistance.

Deleuze’s incompletely conceived or even ill-conceived later vitalism might not be a symptom of his becoming-sentimental, but of a becoming-invulnerable, a drying out, a crack up. Perhaps this tells us something, those of us investigating the labyrinth of the spiritual sciences: the problem of the meta-pragmatic is not how to avoid sentimentalism but how to deal with exhaustion. I have already indicated that spirituality, as I deploy the term, is a surival tactic. It is what to do when confronted with being out of breath. Deleuze ended his own life: he could no longer breathe. He did not breathe without pain, for years. What an ordeal.

Adam Smith never taught anybody “to think of competition as an ‘invisible hand’ that guides production into the socially desirable channels”. He never mentioned ‘competition’ in relation to his use of the IH metaphor and neither was either case in which he used the IH metaphor remotely linked to competition issues.

Such an agglomeration of disparate names and terms may confuse a person who is keen to know what Postmodernism is all about, but again, such confusion need not weigh too heavy on him as the very spirit of postmodernism requires of him maturity and ability not to be bothered by confusion. “Perhaps to grow up,” writes Patricia Waugh, “ is to live suspended between the modern and the postmodern, resisting the temptation for resolution in one direction or the other” (9). Posted by Dharanidhar at 4:38 PM Thursday, February 14, 2013

Do you want fame and success in India? It is not that hard if you know what to do. Here are seven simple techniques that can make your career more fulfilling and make you more popular than ever before! 
2 hrs - Jaideep A. Prabhu @orsoraggiante The Indian electorate loves a little hypocrisy, some false modesty and arrogance:  @TheJaggi on Modi, MMS, and Rahul  View summary 
1 hr - Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty [Seven distinctive features of Indian secularism -alternative definitions for Western welfare states] Rajeev Bhargava …
1 hr we are engaged in a process of refining the whole structure through aspiration and receptivity.] -Rod at UHU Seminar …
2 hrs If we can and must be severe critics of Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment that has empowered us to be so. -Terry Eagleton] 3 hrs Sixteen needs: … -  View summary

A revised transcript of a talk given at the Cultural Integration Fellowship, San Francisco in 2008 and carried in the February 2010 issue of Sraddha, a journal of the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Kolkata. In this, I bring into dialog the epistemic boundaries of the western academic discipline of Psychology and Sri Aurobindo's formulation of Integral Yoga, so as to reflect on the disciplinary formation of a field of Integral Psychology. What would such a field hold out and how would it impact the existing assumptions of both Psychology and Yoga? The insertion of such a discipline into the academy is not a trivial task. It is a project fraught with danger and possibility, which needs to be carefully negotiated.

Ji-Hyae Park - 2008 - Preview ... “If we can and must be severe critics of the Enlightenment, it is the Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so” (8). Indeed, the ways in which nineteenth-century aesthetic critics conceptualize art enable them to conceptualize ...
At the Intersection: Cultural Studies and Rhetorical Studies - Page 309 Thomas Rosteck - 1999 - Preview - More editions In one direction, theory is the critique of Enlightenment; in another, it is its expression. "If we can and must be severe critics of the Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so" (Eagleton, Ideology of the Aesthetic, 8). Or, as Adorno and Horkheimer declared, "the Enlightenment must consider itself if humanity is "not to be wholly betrayed.
Who Killed Shakespeare?: What's Happened to English Since the ... - Page 67 - Patrick Brantlinger - 2001 - Preview - More editions "If we can and must be severe critics of the Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so" (Eagleton, Ideology of the Aesthetic, 8). Or as Adorno and Horkheimer declared, "the Enlightenment must consider itself" if humanity is "not to be wholly betrayed.
The Cultural Life of the Early Polyphonic Mass: Medieval Context ... - Page 24 - Andrew Kirkman - 2010 - Preview As Terry Eagleton has put it, “If we can and must be severe critics of Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so.”69 And as Gombrich observed of Burckhardt, the strength and influence of his perspective derive from ...
Northrop Frye: The Theoretical Imagination - Page 200 - Jonathan Hart - 1994 - Preview - More editions If we can and must be severe critics of Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so. Here, as always, the most intractable process of emancipation is that which involves freeing ourselves from ourselves. (1990:8) Here...
Serious play: the cultural form of the nineteenth-century realist ... - Page 168 - J. Jeffrey Franklin - 1999 - As Terry Eagleton observes in a more general vein, "If we can and must be severe critics of Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so" (Li 8 ) . Indeed, the dangers of replicating Arnold's blindnesses are strongest for ...
"An innocent way out": the literature and politics of cultural ... - Page 191 - Carrie A. Tirado BramenStanford University. Program of Modern Thought and Literature - 1994 - If we can and must be severe critics of the Enlightenment, it is the Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so" (Ideology of the Aesthetic 8). Although Eagleton remains rather vague about the criteria for determining which elements are ...
What is an author? - Page 45 - Maurice BiriottiNicola Miller - 1993 - If we are able today to be critics of Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so. The subject as self-authoring is in any case a peculiarly tragic, self-thwarting creature. It knows only two ways of coping with external ...
JOBS - Volumes 11-12 - Page 131 - Florida State University. Dept. of English - 2002 - ... free themselves. lt is worth remembering Terry Eagleton on the topic: "lf we can and must be severe critics of Enlightenment, it is Enlightenment which has empowered us to be so." Davies is certainly an accomplished scholar and authority ...