December 31, 2015

JKSHIM National Conference was inaugurated by Tusar Nath Mohapatra

Two days National Conference inaugurated at NITTE
Nitte: Justice K S Hegde institute of Management, Nitte has organized two day National conference on ‘Ethics and Governance in Management’ on Dec 29 and Dec 30, 2015 at its campus.
The 2 day National conference was inaugurated by Tusar Nath Mohapatra, Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum, Ghaziabad.
Speaking on the occasion he said, ‘People in our country always speak about the development of our country but how it is? will be the arising question for everyone. If we see the development of our country since 700 years, we can see lot of changes and a better society now’.
Later Dr G V Joshi, Professor and Convener of the conference briefed about the conference.
Founder and CEO, CimplyFive Corporate service Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru Shankar Jaganathan, Chairman of Academic council, JKSHIM, Nitte Dr N K Thingalaya, Co-convener, National Conference JKSHIM Prof. Sandhya Rao K.P and others were present.

Conference on 'Ethics and governance' - The Hindu
The Justice K.S. Hegde Institute of Management (JKSHIM) is organising a national conference on the theme 'Ethics and governance in management' at Nitte in ...

December 19, 2015

Truly a child and eternal portion of her consciousness

Overman” refers to Nietzsche’s conception of a man who has literally overcome himself and human nature. In essence, an Overman is one who has superseded the bondage of the human condition and reached a liberated state — one of free play and creativity.
This state can be seen as the state of the pure individual, a person unencumbered by the influences and authorities of society and other people. This person wills their own destiny, creates their own values, and dances with the game of life to thetune of their own spirit.
In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche writes of three spiritual metamorphoses that must be undergone for the individual to reach the state of Overman. These transformations are rather prescriptive in nature, and thus can be seen as a sort of guide to becoming Overman, or liberating one’s spirit. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Metamorphosis #1: The Camel
The first metamorphosis described by Nietzsche is that of the camel.
What Nietzsche is saying is that before one can become Overman, one must first bear a great many burdens. One must battle with fear, love, truth, death, confusion, thirst for knowledge, and all of the other aspects of human existence. The camel embraces these challenges in the name of duty and nobility.
Put another way, the camel does not run from life or distract itself from it. It greets life head-on and embraces the difficulties that it presents out of a sense of duty. In doing so, the camel is humbled and strengthened. Only through suffering these challenges does the camel gain the strength and resilience necessary to attain the next spiritual metamorphosis.

Metamorphosis #2: The Lion
Nietzsche goes on to describe how the camel ultimately enters “the loneliest desert” before becoming a lion. The lonely desert metaphor can be interpreted as follows: The camel has sought out and invited the struggles that life has to offer. In doing so, it has become alienated to a certain extent. It has become different from others and from the society that produced it; it finds itself questioning everything, both its worth and the value of its pursuits.
The desert can be seen as a place of existential crisis, where the camel ponders whether or not any universal laws or virtues exist to guide it and give it purpose. For Nietzsche, such universal virtues and absolute purpose do not exist. The camel is forced to confront this possibility, and thus, the camel must become a lion. 
The lion symbolizes courage, tenacity, disillusionment, and even rage. Only in this state is the spirit able to deliver the “sacred “No.”” The “sacred “No”” represents the utter rejection of external control and all traditional values. Everything imposed by other individuals, society, churches, governments, families, and all forms of propaganda must be denied in an empowered roar.
That is not to say that the lion believes all virtues and values imposed by such entities to be evil or corrupt. Indeed, they could be useful and good. However, it is the fact that they come from an external authority that requires their rejection. An Overman is an absolute individual, and thus must create his own values on his own terms.

Metamorphosis #3: The Child
After the lion has delivered the “sacred “No””, the spirit still must make one more transformation to become Overman. The spirit must become a child. 
The child elects to roll with life, dance and play with it.
Ultimately, for Nietzsche, pure creation arises from this state of play. When one can achieve a child-mind — a mind immersed in the moment and filled with wonder and playfulness — then one can will his own will, create his own virtue, and thus create his own reality. In undergoing this final metamorphosis, the spirit overcomes itself, conquers its world, and reaches the state of Overman. The spirit achieves liberation.

Transactional Analysis (or TA as it is often called) is a model of people and relationships that was developed during the 1960s by Dr. Eric Berne. It is based on two notions, first that we have three parts or 'ego-states' to our 'personality, and secondly that these converse with one another in 'transactions' (hence the name). TA is a very common model used in therapy and there is a great deal written about it.
Parent, Adult and Child
We each have internal models of parents, children and also adults, and we play these roles with one another in our relationships. We even do it with ourselves, in our internal conversations.

There are two forms of Parent we can play.
The Nurturing Parent is caring and concerned and often may appear as a mother-figure (though men can play it too). They seek to keep the Child contented, offering a safe haven and unconditional love to calm the Child's troubles.
The Controlling (or Critical) Parent, on the other hand, tries to make the Child do as the parent wants them to do, perhaps transferring values or beliefs or helping the Child to understand and live in society. They may also have negative intent, using the Child as a whipping-boy or worse.

the Adult in us is the 'grown up' rational person who talks reasonably and assertively, neither trying to control nor reacting aggressively towards others. The Adult is comfortable with themself and is, for many of us, our 'ideal self'.

There are three types of Child we can play.
The Natural Child is largely un-self-aware and is characterized by the non-speech noises they make (yahoo, whee, etc.). They like playing and are open and vulnerable.
The cutely-named Little Professor is the curious and exploring Child who is always trying out new stuff (often much to their Controlling Parent's annoyance). Together with the Natural Child they make up the Free Child.
The Adaptive Child reacts to the world around them, either changing themselves to fit in or rebelling against the forces they feel. › correspondence_1
What three signs? If you refer to the four conditions (child, madman, demon, inert), it is not Ramakrishna who invented that. It is an old Sanskrit sloka bālonmāda piśāca jaḍavat describing the Paramhansa or rather the various forms of Paramhansahood. The Paramhansa is in a particular grade of realisation, there are others supposed to be lower or higher.
I have no objection to them in their own place. But I must remind you that in my Yoga all vital movements must come under the control of the psychic and of the spiritual calm, knowledge and peace. If they conflict with the psychic or the spiritual control, they upset the balance and prevent the forming of the base of transformation. If unbalance is good for other paths, that is the business of those who follow them. It does not suit mine. › texts › -sa-themother
A glad and strong and helpful submission is demanded to the working of the Divine Force, the obedience of the illumined disciple of the Truth, of the inner Warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood, of the faithful servant of the Divine. [...]
The last stage of this perfection will come when you are completely identified with the Divine Mother and feel yourself to be no longer another and separate being, instrument, servant or worker but truly a child and eternal portion of her consciousness and force. Always she will be in you and you in her; it will be your constant, simple and natural experience that all your thought and seeing and action, your very breathing or moving come from her and are hers. 

December 16, 2015

Challenging basic assumptions about who we are

What Kind of Creatures Are We? by Noam Chomsky - Columbia University Press (December 15, 2015)
Noam Chomsky is widely known and deeply admired for being the founder of modern linguistics, one of the founders of the field of cognitive science, and perhaps the most avidly read political theorist and commentator of our time. In these lectures, he presents a lifetime of philosophical reflection on all three of these areas of research to which he has contributed for over half a century.

In clear, precise, and non-technical language, Chomsky elaborates on fifty years of scientific development in the study of language, sketching how his own work has implications for the origins of language, the close relations that language bears to thought, and its eventual biological basis. He expounds and criticizes many alternative theories, such as those that emphasize the social, the communicative, and the referential aspects of language. Chomsky reviews how new discoveries about language overcome what seemed to be highly problematic assumptions in the past. He also investigates the apparent scope and limits of human cognitive capacities and what the human mind can seriously investigate, in the light of history of science and philosophical reflection and current understanding. Moving from language and mind to society and politics, he concludes with a searching exploration and philosophical defense of a position he describes as "libertarian socialism," tracing its links to anarchism and the ideas of John Dewey, and even briefly to the ideas of Marx and Mill, demonstrating its conceptual growth out of our historical past and urgent relation to matters of the present.

Noam Chomsky is professor emeritus of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs, and U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of more than one hundred books.

by Marjorie Hines Woollacott and Pim van Lommel
Marjorie Woollacott has written an intellectual adventure story of the highest order. Drawing on her own experience as a highly regarded neuroscientist and a long-term meditator, she skillfully and engagingly invites readers to reassess the common scholarly prejudice against parapsychology. In doing so, she brings us to the threshold of a genuine paradigm shift in thinking about the mind and the brain. (Thomas B. Coburn, visiting scholar, Brown University; president emeritus, Naropa University)

Marjorie Woollacott takes us on a voyage of discovery as she integrates her neuroscientific expertise and meditative insight. A candid, lively exploration in which scientific curiosity and spiritual seeking nourish each other, and in which mind is revealed to be much more than brain. (Paul Marshall, scholar of religion, and author of Mystical Encounters with the Natural World)

Marjorie Woollacott has written a gripping account of her evolution after an unexpected experience forced her to question her neurophysiological training and explore the scientific research on expanded consciousness. What she learned challenged her basic assumptions about who we are, and it may permanently change yours as well. (Bruce Greyson, Carlson Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia Health System)

Marjorie Woollacott provides an admirably lucid survey of the challenges various phenomena pose to the materialist paradigm, leading persuasively to a new worldview in which consciousness is primary. It is a wonderful introduction to this material, one filled not just with important information, but also with heart and considerable wisdom. (Jim B. Tucker, Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia Health System)

Marjorie Hines Woollacott, PhD, has been a neuroscience professor at the University of Oregon for more than three decades and a meditator for almost four. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and she coauthored a popular textbook for health professionals and has written more than 180 peer-reviewed research articles—several of which were on meditation, the topic that motivated her to write Infinite Awareness.

Drawing upon his expertise in interdisciplinary working and Wittgenstein-influenced approaches, Mikel Burley examines several interrelated phenomena, including purported past-life memories, the relationship between metaphysics and ethics, efforts to 'demythologize' rebirth, and moral critiques of the doctrine of karma. This range of topics, with rebirth as a unifying theme, makes the book of value to anyone interested in philosophy, the study of religions, and what it means to believe that we undergo multiple lives.

Deep Pantheism: Toward a New Transcendentalism Dec 15, 2015 by Robert S. Corrington
This book is a study in a new form of religious naturalism called “Deep Pantheism,” which has roots in American Transcendentalism, but also in phenomenology and Asian thought. It argues that the great divide within nature is that between nature naturing and nature natured, the former term defined as “Nature creating itself out of itself alone,” while the latter term defined as “The innumerable orders of the World.” Explorations are made of the connections among the unconscious of nature, the archetypes, and the various layers of the human psyche. The Selving process is analyzed using the work of C.G. Jung and Otto Rank. Evolution and involution are compared as they relate to the Encompassing, and the priority of art over most forms of religion is argued for.

Creatively expanding and integrating the ideas of Schopenhauer, Peirce, Jung, Jaspers and numerous others, Robert Corrington has fashioned a spiritual vision as powerful as it is inclusive. Outlining a pantheism which is nonetheless a dynamic and relational pluralism in the manner of William James, Corrington’s latest work culminates in a postscript in which his new Transcendentalism is compared with that of Emerson. This is a daring and rich contribution to contemporary theology. (Jonathan Weidenbaum, Berkeley College, New York City)

Robert Corrington has brought his evolving vision of “ecstatic naturalism” or “deep pantheism” to an impressive new level of insightful exposition and development in the pages of this book. Appreciatively, critically, and innovatively, he draws on diverse thinkers such as the continental philosophers Schopenhauer, Schelling, Husserl, Heidegger, and Jaspers, the American philosophers Peirce, James, Santayana, and Dewey, the post-Freudian psychoanalytic theorists Jung, Rank, Reich, and Kohut, and the Indian philosopher Aurobindo. 

His vision is complex and many-sided, and its principal focus is on sources of inspiration and empowerment—as well as of staggering sublimity—that lie fully and finally within nature itself in its twofold character of nature naturing and nature natured. Corrington is not satisfied with the surface manifestations of splendor and beauty in the outward face of nature, important as these are. He plumbs nature’s unruly depths of ongoing creation and destruction and finds within these depths, and especially at the roiling fissure between nature naturing and nature natured, a revelatory and transformative power that transcends the tendency to tribal antagonisms so often typical of past and present religious outlooks and practices. (Donald A. Crosby, Colorado State University)

Constructivism is a theory of knowledge[1] that argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. It has influenced a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, education and the history of science.[2] During its infancy, constructivism examined the interaction between human experiences and their reflexes or behavior-patterns. Jean Piaget called these systems of knowledge schemata. 

Earlier educational philosophies did not place much value on what would become constructivist ideas; children's play and exploration was seen as aimless and of little importance. Jean Piaget did not agree with these traditional views, however. He saw play as an important and necessary part of the student's cognitive development and provided scientific evidence for his views. Today, constructivist theories are influential throughout the formal and informal learning sectors. In museum education, constructivist theories inform exhibit design. One good example of constructivist learning in a non-formal setting is the Investigate Centre at The Natural History Museum, London.[citation needed] Here visitors are encouraged to explore a collection of real natural history specimens, to practice some scientific skills and make discoveries for themselves. Writers who influenced constructivism include:
John Dewey (1859–1952)
Maria Montessori (1870–1952)
Jean Piaget (1896–1980)
Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934)
Heinz von Foerster (1911–2002)
George Kelly (1905–1967)

December 15, 2015

S.K.Chakraborty, Aravindan Neelakandan, and Anurag Banerjee

Aravindan Neelakandan on how India has shaped the thinking of some of the pioneers in science & digital worlds
However, the connections between India and evolution of connectivity goes back to 1920s. In 1929, German physicist Werner Heisenberg, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, spent some time in India as  the  guest of Rabindranath Tagore. He had long conversations with the poet about science and Indian philosophy. He observed that some of the quantum mechanics ideas that seemed ‘weird’, like interconnectedness (not only is the behaviour of a sub-atomic particle affected by the simple act of being observed, but its behaviour can also affect how another seemingly arbitrary particle far away from the first one behaves) formed the very basis of the Indian spiritual traditions. After these conversations with Tagore, some  of  the  ideas  that  had  seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense. That was a great help for me,” Heisenberg told Fritjof Capra.
वेदांत रिसर्च सेंटर ने (रविवार, 4 अप्रैल को आयोजित कार्यक्रम में) प्रोफेसर एसके चक्रवर्ती को रांची न्योता है. पिछले वर्ष उन्होंने आइआइएम से अवकाश ग्रहण किया है. उनके कार्यों से इंडियन इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ मैनेजमेंट, कलकत्ता को नयी पहचान मिली. पूरी दुनिया में भारतीय मनीषा-परंपरा-आध्यात्मिक मूल्यों की आधुनिक प्रासंगिकता बतानेवाले ज्ञान केंद्र ‘मैनजमेंट सेंटर फार ह्यूमन वैल्यूज’(संक्षेप में एमसीएचवी), आइआइएम कलकत्ता के वह संस्थापक हैं. प्रबंधन के स्तर पर दुनिया की आधुनिक चुनौतियों के भारतीय समाधान की लेबोरेटरी. एक जीवित ॠषि की साकार मूर्त कल्पना. एक ऐसा संस्थान, जो आनेवाली आधुनिक दुनिया-पीढ़ियों की जरूरत बनती जायेगी.

भारतीय विजन, ॠषि परंपरा की ताकत जो पहचानना चाहते हैं, आधुनिक प्रबंधन की अवधारणा, उसकी सीमाएं या भारतीय चिंतन से विकसित उसके वैकल्पिक स्वरूप को जो समझना चाहते हैं, उनके लिए प्रोफेसर चक्रवर्ती का रांची कार्यक्रम एक रेयर अपारचुनिटी (दुर्लभ अवसर) है.

12-13 वर्षों पहले उन्हें पढ़ा. उनके लेखन-चिंतन का गहरा असर हुआ. किसी हद तक जादुई असर. ‘स्टेट्समैन’ में छपे उनके अनेक पुराने लेखों की कतरनें अक्सर उलटता हूं. वर्षों पहले ऑक्सफोर्ड प्रेस से छपी उनकी पुस्तक (1991) ‘मैनेजमेंट बाइ वैल्यूज’ की खास याद है. कलकत्ता से रांची लौटने की ट्रेन छूट रही थी. इसकी प्रति ढूंढ़ने के लिए दुकान-दुकान भटक रहा था. बाद में ऐसे ही ढूंढ़ कर दिल्ली से उनकी पुस्तकें ‘लीडरशिप एंड पावर’ (ऑक्सफोर्ड), ‘मैनेजेरिएल ट्रांसफॉरमेशन बाइ वैल्यूज’ (सेज पब्लिकेशंस), ‘वैल्यूज एंड एथिक्स फार आगनाइजेशन’ (आक्सफोर्ड) मंगवाई. ‘अंगेस्ट द टाइड’ (आक्सफोर्ड) पुस्तक प्रो चक्रवर्ती ने भेंट की.

प्रो चक्रवर्ती के लेख ताजा हवा के झोंके जैसे लगे. बिल्कुल मौलिक विचार. विकास की शुद्ध भारतीय अवधारणा. उन्हें पढ़ते हुए बार-बार प्रो आर्नाल्ड टायनबी की उक्ति याद आयी. स्वतंत्र होने की दहलीज पर भारत खड़ा था. पश्चिमी विकास मॉडल, यूरोपीय-अमेरिकन जीवन शैली-मूल्यों के अंतर्विरोध सामने आ चुके थे.

इस पश्चिमी अध:पतन के बीच टायनबी ने कहा कि संकटग्रस्त दुनिया को पूरब (आशय, भारत से) से रोशनी मिलेगी. पर भारत में गांधी की आभा अस्त होते ही विचारों-मूल्यों के स्तर पर दुनिया को नयी रोशनी-आभा देनेवाला तेज पुंज-लौ मद्धिम होता गया. भारत के लिए आदर्श हो गया ‘टायनबी का संकटग्रस्त यूरोपियन-अमेरिकन जीवन मूल्य. विकास माडल.’ 56 वर्षों तक पश्चिमी राह पर यात्रा के अनुभव साथ हैं. भ्रष्टाचार, भारत का नया जीवन मूल्य है. इसी संस्कृति की उपज. सोचने-समझने-विजन में भारत अपना अनूठापन खो चुका है.

Full text of statement issued by 46 academics against "leftist" historians

The Hindu-17-Nov-2015 Dr. Dilip K. Chakrabarti , Emeritus Professor, Cambridge University, UK; ... S.K.Chakraborty , former professor, Management Centre for Human ...

Swarajya-05-Dec-2015 The Tantraloka, considered to be the seminal exposition on Tantric Shaivism was written by Sri Abhinavagupta in the 11th century, ...

The Hindu-03-Dec-2015 Come January, Sangh Parivar-related organisations are set to celebrate the literary and spiritual contributions of Abhinavagupta, a prolific ...

The Rainbow Bridge: A Comparative Study of Tagore and Sri ... › 
Rabindranath and Sri Aurobindo were formally introduced to each other in 1906 at Calcutta. Soon they became colleagues at the newly formed National College (under the National Council of Education) at Calcutta; while Sri Aurobindo was associated with it as its first Principal and professor of history, Rabindranath served the college as the professor of Bengali. When Sri Aurobindo was arrested for the first time in 1907 for publishing seditious articles against the British Government in the Bande Mataram journal, Rabindranath wrote his famous poem Namaskar (Salutations) acknowledging the former’s profound sacrifice and expressing his own reverence for Sri Aurobindo. After Sri Aurobindo was released from imprisonment due to lack of evidence, Rabindranath paid him a visit at the residence of Raja Subodh Chandra Mullick in Wellington Square. As per reports available, he had embraced Sri Aurobindo and told him with a tender smile: “You have deceived me, Aurobindo Babu.” Sri Aurobindo answered: “Not for long, I assure you.” (Charu Chandra Dutta, My Friend and My Master, Sri Aurobindo Circle, Eight Number, p. 137, 1952)
Sri Aurobindo retired from active politics in 1910 and made Pondicherry the cave of his tapasya where he devoted his time to intense sadhana. There was no direct contact between Rabindranath and him till 1928 when Rabindranath—on his way to Colombo—sent a telegram to Sri Aurobindo and expressed his eagerness to meet the secluded yogi at Pondicherry. It is noteworthy that Sri Aurobindo had withdrawn into complete seclusion after November 1926 and neither did he grant private interviews to individuals nor did he appear before the public except on Darshan days. But he made an exception when he received Rabindranath’s telegram and agreed to meet him. Rabindranath arrived at Pondicherry on 29 May 1928 and was ushered to Sri Aurobindo’s apartments by Nolini Kanta Gupta, the Secretary of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Though Rabindranath spent half an hour in the company of Sri Aurobindo, nothing is known about the talks they had. However, Rabindranath penned his experiences of meeting Sri Aurobindo in two articles in English and Bengali which were published in The Modern Review and Probasi respectively both edited by Ramanananda Chatterjee. 
Anurag Banerjee
Founder, Overman Foundation.
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

December 09, 2015

People are creations of society or the Divine?

Quotation of the Day… by DON BOUDREAUX on DECEMBER 9, 2015
More fundamentally, consumers’ tastes are not exogenous or “given” to the market system. (What would have been your ‘taste’ or ‘preference’ for smart phones had you lived in the 12th century?) Consumers’ tastes are very much a product of not only the society and culture of which they are a part but also of the economy in which they participate. Yet contrary to people on the left (and to many on the right), this ‘endogeneity’ of consumers’ tastes and preferences is not a bug of the entrepreneurial market, it is a feature. [...]

It’s curious and telling that today a disproportionate amount of the skepticism to capitalist advertising and marketing comes from people on the political left. It’s curious and telling because this skepticism implies that each individual somehow has ‘real’ tastes and preferences that are independent of society – tastes and preferences that the individual, as such, possesses ‘naturally.’ A large chunk of the ‘real’ individual, in this mistaken view, exists independently of society. Society, therefore, can only support or distort the individual’s ‘true’ preferences and goals.

In contrast to this leftist view, those of us who are steeped in the Smithian-Austrian-Hayekian-Buchananite tradition understand that people are creations of society. And so we don’t sound the alarm the moment we discover that this taste or that preference has been ‘sparked’ or ‘changed’ by some activity of entrepreneurs. 

Adam Smith never said anything like: ‘the common good emerges when everybody works for their own selfish interest’... In fact, Smith never spoke favourably of selfishness. Richard confuses him with Ayn Rand (1960s) or even Bernard Mandeville (1734). They both lauded selfishness (Rand by making it a virtue and Mandeville by making it a social compulsion – ‘private vice, public benefits’). But not Adam Smith; he called Mandeville's theory 'licentious'.

Adam Smith never endorsed a policy of, or the behaviour of, greed. That is to confuse Adam Smith with Bernard Mandeville, author of the Fable of the Bees, 1734 (written over the years 1704 to 1737), who made greed a private vice but a public good. 

I have long had an ambition which, I am slowly realizing, is unlikely to be fulfilled. It is an ambition suggested in this blog’s title: the idea of putting together all the major philosophical traditions of the world into a full synthesis. Ken Wilber’s work has to date been the most valiant attempt anyone has made to fulfill that ambition. But I have argued in many ways that this attempt has failed. It must fail, in the perennialist form Wilber’s work takes: to claim that all the world’s wisdom (or “religious”) traditions are basically saying the same thing. That claim makes the attempt at putting the traditions together much easier. It is also false.

If I ever was a perennialist like Wilber, it would have been a very long time ago, before I started serious study of any traditions. I’ve never thought a synthesis would come that way. A true synthesis would need to be dialectical. But to offer a dialectical synthesis of all traditions seems pretty close to impossible. There is just too much out there. One can certainly love all wisdom, enjoy it, delight in it. But I don’t think one can actually know all wisdom well enough to put it all together in one lifetime. And one lifetime is all any of us has.

I’ve recently been closely studying Alasdair MacIntyre‘s work because I think he’s thought through these questions of comparative method more thoroughly than most. [...] At this point one might ask the question of how exactly traditions are to be counted – a question on which MacIntyre provides less guidance than he should. I go back and forth on this, but the number of traditions I might identify myself in seems to vary between two and five.

The five traditions in question would be Theravāda Buddhism, Madhyamaka Buddhism, Aristotelianism, utilitarian empiricism and historicism – springing above all, respectively, from the thought of Buddhaghosa, Śāntideva, Aristotle, David Hume, and G.W.F. Hegel (or even MacIntyre himself).

I meant to post this back in August when Levi Bryant finally started blogging again, but it somehow got stuck in my drafts (a veritable grave yard of unfinished thoughts and undead ideas!). The philosophical spirit Bryant expresses in his writing is rather unique in its capacity to inspire me to resist. I am very grateful to him for this. So many of my posts on Footnotes2Plato have been provoked by the ideas he has shared on Larval Subjects. I’ll add another to that long list.

In his post on the trauma of speculative realism (etc.), Bryant draws on a passage from Foucault’s Archaeology of History to link the essential structure of myth to the synthetic activity of the subject, that is, to the “temporalizing activity of the subject capable of forming a totality for itself in how it links historicity and futurity in the formation of a present” (Bryant’s words). [Speaking of the present, those in the Bay Area should join us at CIIS tonight for a lecture on Foucault’s life and works by Jamie Socci.

He argues that all prior forms of consciousness (i.e., ideologies) were possessed by the drive to mythologize, that is, to long for a lost origin. Speculative realism (etc.), finally, has exorcised humanity (or some posthuman object formerly known as a human subject) of this possession, freeing ‘us’ to contemplate the fact that ‘we’ are already dead. The enlightened speculative realist no longer believes in ghost stories, not even the ghost story called human subjectivity.

There is much I agree with Bryant about. I align myself with the same “minor” tradition in the history of philosophy that he hints at. I also seek to undermine “the self-present mastery of the subject” and take every opportunity I can to remind myself and others that “we live in the orbit–-in the astronomical sense of the word–-of things that exceed us.”

For precisely these reasons, I am drawn to the work of Schelling (no doubt a heterodox thinker not easily categorized by Western philosophical norms). His early Naturphilosophieand later positive philosophy of mythology and revelation were a century ahead of their time as a forerunner of depth psychology. [...] Joshua Ramey and Daniel Whistler discuss the implications of Schelling’s philosophy of mythology in their essay “The Physics of Sense: Bruno, Schelling, Deleuze” (2014).

For the integral Yoga, the end result of the Yoga of knowledge is not a dissolution into the vast impersonal Brahman; rather it is the unification of the Impersonal with the Supreme Personality. Sri Aurobindo describes three steps in the relation between the individual seeker and the personal aspect of the Divine. [...] The yogic process does not focus on an intellectual appreciation or understanding; rather, it emphasizes that a realization that takes up our existence and our conscious awareness into this new status is what is required.

The human mind separates the experience of the Transcendent, the unmoving Absolute, the Silent Impersonal from the apparently contradictory experience of the manifested world of forms, beings and forces. The materialist takes the position that the Personal, as embodied in the world of forms and forces is the reality and there is nothing else beyond. The practitioner of the Yoga of knowledge, the seeker of the Infinite sees the Impersonal as the only reality and the world of forms is considered to be something illusory and ephemeral. Usually these two are considered to be opposite extremes that cannot be reconciled to one another. Sri Aurobindo has taken the stance, however, that there is an Omnipresent Reality that not only unifies these two apparent contradictory views, but exceeds them and transcends them. [...]

The human mind operates by analyzing, dividing and parsing out information into distinct and separated categories and types. This is a knowledge that seeks out differences and fixates on them. Sri Aurobindo holds that the true knowledge, however, is the knowledge that unites and unifies, that finds ways to incorporate and embrace the apparent contradictions through a higher synthesis that resolves the conflict. [...] The individual forms do not exist independent of the Oneness. The Oneness is not destroyed because of the existence of these various forms within it.

Here are some recommendations of books to read that in some way or other challenge materialism. This is from Dr. Larry Dossey. Among his recommendations, I would particularly cite 
  • Smith’s “Beyond the Postmodern Mind”, 
  • Radin’s “Conscious Universe”, 
  • van Lommel’s “Consciousness Beyond Life”, 
  • Carter’s “Parapsychology and the Skeptics”, and 
  • Tart’s “The End of Materialism.” 
  • Perhaps the best of all – though a challenging read, heavily researched – is Kelley’s "Irreducible Mind.” 
Edward F. Kelly, ‎Adam Crabtree, ‎Paul Marshall - 2015 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
Physicalism versus quantum mechanics. In Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics (3rd ed., pp. 245–260). Berlin: Springer.