July 29, 2015

Scales are tipped toward harmony

Posted on July 28, 2015
Check out this interesting post by my cousin, Seth Segall, over at the Existential Buddhist. The topics Seth discusses include whether consciousness is emergent from or intrinsic to the physical world, the place of values (human or otherwise) in the universe, and the variety of God concepts available to those willing to philosophize about such matters. Seth also compares the ideas of the 13th century Zen Buddhist monk Dogen, the 17th century Jewish philosopher Spinoza, and the 20th century mathematician and cosmologist A.N. Whitehead. 

I appreciate Seth’s pragmatic (in the Jamesian sense) approach to these questions. I do not pretend to any metaphysical certainty about the existence of the Whiteheadian or any other God. From my perspective, we inhabit a cosmos that is always on the edge of chaos with nothing guaranteeing continued peace, goodness, or beauty. I do believe these ideals are realized in the ongoing genesis of this universe to a degree far greater than mere chance, but I cannot go so far as to claim they are metaphysical necessities. I think the process-relational God articulated by Whitehead allows us to recognize the realization of these ideals as somewhere in-between utterly contingent and totally necessary. They are potentials freely realized by the creatures of this cosmos because of their intrinsic desirability. Nothing is to stop any particular being in some particular circumstance from desiring otherwise. On the other hand, Whitehead makes it clear that we cannot speak of a “cosmic order” without already assuming the realization of an ideal of beauty. For Whitehead, all order is aesthetic order. In other words, no beauty, no cosmos. So the fact that there is a cosmos at all is already evidence enough that the scales are tipped toward harmony. ~MS

By Hugh Colmer - Aurobindo Ghose, was an Indian nationalist, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He was a great influence in the Indian movement for independence from British rule, and then became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution. Sri Aurobindo characterized the term Overmind to encapsulate the consciousness of the greatest prophets the world has ever known. However he observed that the Overmind still has the potential to become a Nietzschean superman and believes we need another Consciousness rather than a Super- consciousness. His advice is to disconnect from gods and religions.

We have lived under the influence of these gods for thousands of years as their lives have been well publicized and glamourized through the voices of our prophets, religions, and sometimes through of our poets and artists. Even Jesus advised us to be as wise as serpents. Matthew 10:16 Did we take his advice? Obviously not for he said I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves. These wolves still keep us in the Matrix as they romanticized the gods and unbeknownst to them have been their PR agents.

One of the more controversial theories, sometimes called the "copycat thesis" -- suggests that many of the miracles, other life events, and beliefs about the supernatural status of Horus, an ancient Egyptian God, were fused into stories about Jesus as recorded in the New Testament. The life of Jesus was based on the lives of 50 sun gods who were all warlords. For if we read their mythology, which is really their history, we would not worship them or the rock stars that have taken their place.

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

July 27, 2015

Sri Aurobindo’s books present difficulty in grasping

Sri Aurobindo’s books attract many a scholar and devotees for the eloquence and novelty of thought. Yet they present difficulty in grasping not only for their English but also for the content and consciousness packed in them. However, mentored study of his vast and varied works could facilitate their deeper understanding. It is with this view that SACAR launches “intensive” research in Sri Aurobindo’s major works: The Life Divine, Savitri, The Synthesis of Yoga, The Human Cycle, Foundations of Indian Culture, Essays on the Gita.

Online Courses


The online courses offered at SACAR have been especially designed keeping in view that there are many seekers who wish to study the works of Sri Aurobindo systematically but are bound by distance and time to take on a full-fledged course by living on the campus. The online forum allows the individual to sit at home and study under the guidance of the facilitator who is available online.


These are certificate courses of 12 weeks each. They cover almost all the major works of Sri Aurobindo. If the student or a group of students has a special demand to study any specific course, we also design it according to his or her needs.


Our approach to teaching-learning is inter-disciplinary. Sri Aurobindo with his wide and vast vision has written on such varied subjects that nearly all the major disciplines of Arts and Humanities and a few of the Sciences and Management find their place of study and deeper analysis in his writings.


Essentially we believe that a teacher does not teach but only facilitates the learner to dig deeper into the area of his/her interest. Therefore, we address our teachers as facilitators. They are a group of highly qualified scholars of the works of Sri Aurobindo and have done a good deal of work in their own chosen field.


Essentially we believe that a teacher does not teach but only facilitates the learner to dig deeper into the area of his/her interest. Therefore, we address our teachers as facilitators. They are a group of highly qualified scholars of the works of Sri Aurobindo and have done a good deal of work in their own chosen field.


  •  Principles of Integral Education
  •  Educational Thought in India
  •  Ancient Indian Education
  •  Holistic Education in the West
  •  Foundations of Indian Culture
  •  The Philosophy of Evolution of Consciousness
  •  The Psychology of Yoga
  •  Science of Living
  •  A Psychological Approach to Bhagvad Gita
  •  Secret of Indian Scriptures
  •  Rhythm of Social Development
  •  Towards Human Unity
  •  Poetry of the Future
  •  The Vision of the Future
  •  Self Management
  •  Integral Personality Development
  •  Research Methods in Philosophy and Transpersonal Enquiry

Internship Programme


Internship at SACAR is different than other professional internship programmes. This has been specially designed with two-fold intension
  •  To add an inner dimension to one’s life and professional course that one is doing;
  •  To study the chosen discipline with respect to Indian Culture and its relevance to the future of India.

Various disciplines in India these days are incorporating the best of the knowledge that the West provides and that surely brings the syllabi at par with the international standards. However, those cannot be blindly applied to the specific field in India for the simple reason that Indian cultural milieu demands an indigenous system to make it work. What then is the demand of our culture? For this students need to study Indian culture from a different perspective.
This perspective is provided by Sri Aurobindo in his writings on Indian culture, society, polity and the like. His vision of seeing things is new and at the same time it blends well with free-thinking minds of the day
We therefore invite the youth to explore this new dimension and add an inner perception to themselves and the world.

July 23, 2015

Psychology, Science, and Spirituality

Beyond Physicalism
Toward Reconciliation of Science
and Spirituality
Edited by Edward F. Kelly, 
Adam Crabtree, and Paul Marshall

Our book itself is the latest product of a fifteen-year collaboration involving an uncommonly diverse group of participants including scientists, scholars of religion, philosophers, and historians, among others. Brought together under the auspices of Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research (CTR) by its guiding spirit, Michael Murphy, we are in many ways representative of the sorts of people we view as our primary target audience—scientifically minded, intelligent adults with broad interests, who regard themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” in any conventional sense, and who are skeptical of the mainstream scientific vision sketched above but equally wary of uncritical embrace of any of the world’s major religious systems with their often conflicting beliefs and decidedly mixed historical records.
It took a long time and a lot of hard work for us to overcome sufficiently for practical purposes the deep stylistic and ideological differences that typically impede communication between scientific and humanistic scholars—the “two cultures,” in the terminology of C. P. Snow—and we have sometimes joked about our task being rather like that of building the transcontinental railroad.

Our current core group includes, in addition to the chapter authors identified below, Bill Barnard, Deb Frost, Bruce Greyson, David Hufford, Emily Kelly, Jeff Kripal, Gary Owens, Bob Rosenberg, Charles Tart, Jim Tucker, and Sam Yau. We thank all those who have read and commented on some or all of the chapters: these include Eben Alexander, Ross Dunseath, Bill Eastman, Jim Gilchrist, James Keaten, Fritz Klein, Jim Lenz, Jared Lindahl, Rafael Locke, Ohkado Masayuki, Binita Mehta, Andreas Sommer, and Vik Vad. Special thanks to John Cleese, Deb Frost, Gary Owens, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences for financial support of the project at various critical times, and to Steve Dinan and Frank Poletti for efficient organization and administration of our many meetings. Most of those meetings took place, appropriately, in the unique ambience provided by Esalen’s CTR community, operating as it does outside conventional academic boundaries, perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur.

Above all, we again thank Michael Murphy for initially conceiving this project, for bringing us together in the spectacularly stimulating environment of Esalen, and for his apparently limitless reserves of comradeship, wit, and wisdom.

First some history: our group came into being in 1998 under the auspices of Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research, focused initially on the considerable but still little-known empirical evidence for the possibility of postmortem survival (see following chapter; parenthetically, this gave rise to our nickname—“Sursem,” from “survival seminar”). We spent our first two meetings presenting and discussing the existing evidence for survival and surveying some possible alternatives to physicalism, and by the end of the second meeting a concrete plan of action had emerged. We saw clearly that our work needed to proceed in two overlapping stages: first, to assemble in one place the main lines of evidence demonstrating the empirical inadequacy of conventional physicalism; second, and even more challenging, to try to find some better conceptual framework to take its place.
An ideal vehicle for the first stage was available in the form of the extraordinary magnum opus of F. W. H. Myers, entitled Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death, published in 1903. Myers, one of the founders in 1882 of the Society for Psychical Research, had systematically collected evidence of human capacities that resist explanation in conventional materialist terms, and on that basis had advanced an expanded model of human mind and consciousness that was greatly admired by many leading contemporaries including William James. We were also aware that James himself had explicitly applied this model to his psychological studies of The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), and that he had gone on to explore possible further extensions in his late metaphysical work A Pluralistic Universe (1909). We therefore decided to take advantage of the impending centennial of Myers’s landmark contribution by revisiting and reevaluating it in the context of the subsequent century of relevant psychological and neurobiological research.
This turned out to be a mammoth project—far larger than we imagined at the outset—but it resulted in the publication in 2007 of Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century (Kelly, Kelly, Crabtree, Gauld, Grosso, & Greyson, henceforth IM), an 800-page behemoth that also included on CD a complete copy of Myers’s Human Personality itself (1,400 pages in two volumes) plus its five most significant contemporary reviews. Parenthetically, IM has subsequently been released in paperback without the CD, but all of that supplemental material and several other relevant scholarly resources are now freely available on the Esalen website at http://www.esalen.org/ctr.

Chapter 13, by Eric Weiss, provides a concise introduction to “transphysical process philosophy,” his extension of Alfred North Whitehead’s process metaphysics in light of the mystical philosophy of the modern Indian Tantric sage Sri Aurobindo, and shows how it can potentially accommodate most of our targeted phenomena. Important context for this chapter is provided by the comfort that many theoretical physicists have with the use of Whitehead’s system, updated as necessary in light of more recent developments in physics, as a possible way of rounding out the ontological side of quantum theory.

Meanwhile, we have placed on the Center for Theory and Research (CTR) website as supplemental material for this chapter a summary prepared by Mike of the main features of the case (http://www.esalen.org/ctr-archive/bp).

The early SPR took a special interest in such events, carefully collecting and documenting large numbers of cases, and produced as its first major work the landmark two-volume study Phantasms of the Living (Gurney, Myers, & Podmore, 1886), which is also freely available (thanks to Bob Rosenberg) on the CTR website. Enjoyed the preview? Buy now 

Decolonising Indology: Rajiv Malhotra on why he won't follow rules ...

Firstpost-from Swami Vivekananda to Veer Sarvarkar, from Gandhi to Sri Aurobindo, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, none of our living gurus and ...

Response to @firstpost's Sandipan Sharma on his article on @RajivMessage about "Hypocrisy of Hindus" on free speech http://t.co/NGYmBGPTTV

July 17, 2015

Sri Aurobindo gave a clear political ideal to the resurgent India

V. P. Varma - 1990 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
AUROBINDO. AND. GREEK. PHILOSOPHY. Sri Aurobindo (1872- 1 950) was a unique personality in modern India. For fourteen years he studied European literature and history in England. He was a professor of English literature at Baroda.

Shiva Kumar Mital - 1981 - ‎Snippet view
The sharp separation between the political and the non-political which we find inSri Aurobindo, is not traceable in Bosanquet. Althogh Sri Aurobindo partly resembles the Greek thinkers like Plato and Aristotle and Hegelians in advocating ...

The individual, Sri Aurobindo asserts, has the right to exist, satisfy and fulfil himself. Thus Sri Aurobindo's ... Art, poetry and philosophy in Greece and Rome, were cherished much more than political liberty or greatness. India accepted these  ...

In the pages of the Arya for seven years Aurobindo wrote prolifically on philosophy, literature, art, culture, religion and ... of the greatest relevance for students of cultural criticism, political thought and human values today is the one published ... of republican freedom in India's ancient past which turned out to be deeper and more resilient than in either Greece or Rome. Even after the drift in India. 33 Sri Aurobindo, The Renaissance in India (Calcutta: Arya Publishing House, 1946), 81.

M. P. Pandit - 1987 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
Chapter. I. Sri. Aurobindo. remarked that none could write on his life for it was not there on the surface for man to see. ... Was it not he who gave a clear political ideal to the resurgent India, channelized the nationalist aspirations into an effective ... Sri Aurobindo was there in England for 14 years during which he acquired great proficiency in the classical languages, Latin and Greek, and learnt a number of  ...

Sri Aurobindo - 1999 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
The Psychology of Social Development Sri Aurobindo ... of the vital man and his motives has been the whole significance of the great economic and politicalcivilisation of the nineteenth century. ... Greece and Rome laid stress on the three first alone, Asia went farther, made these also subordinate and looked upon them as  ...

the Landholders' Society.53 Similar ambivalence was evident in nationalistpolitics. ... Aurobindo Ghosh's comparison of the intellectual 'brilliance' of Bengali Hindus with that of ancient Greece. ... of Aurobindo Ghosh's rather curious and exceptionally westernised upbringing, see A. B. Purani, The Life ofSri Aurobindo.

Verinder Grover - 1993 - ‎Preview
8 ASIATIC DEMOCRACY Sri Aurobindo Asia is not Europe and never will be Europe. The political ideals of the West are not the mainspring of the political movements in the East, and those who do not realize ... in a state of transition from the old Aryan civilization of Greece and Rome to one less advanced "and enlightened.

Essays on the Gita. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1997. ———. The Life Divine. Twin Lakes: Lotus Press, 1990. Balot, Ryan K. 'The Virtue Politics of Democratic Athens'. In The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Political  ...

Nand Kumar - 2003 - ‎Full view
And such type of analysis is more than enough to prove that as a critic Sri Aurobindo has fine, discriminating mind. ... caught in the maelstrom of Indianpolitics.2 This Greek myth suited best to his temperament and the requirement of the time.

Sri Aurobindo began his study of the Rig Veda with a classical Greek and Latin background, an extensive knowledge of the ... One of the foremost Indian philosophers of the twentieth century, Sri Aurobindo was also a political activist, a mystic,  ...

social and political power of oppression; the traditional symbols bulbul ( nightingale) and gul (rose) and bdghbdn (gardener) suggest the poet, ... The only major non-Muslim poet to use Perso-Arabic themes with ease and poise is the versatile Sri Aurobindo. ... languages most conspicuous of whom was Radhanath Ray who revolutionized Oriya poetry by adapting several Greek legends with great skill.

For this reason a brief survey of Sri Aurobindo's thoughts on this issue are most helpful to us at this step of the journey as we approach the noosphere's imminence. ... He thoroughly mastered Latin and Greek went on to study Italian, French and Spanish. ... He became a political firebrand, urging his fellow revolutionaries and the tepid Indian political leaders of the time on towards unity and independence.

U.N. Gupta - 2004 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
Sri Aurobindo has aptly remarked that culture "is a way of life of a group of peoples, consisting of learned patterns of behaviour ... The notion includes the group's belief, values, language, political organization and economic activity as well as its equipment, ... On European mainland, the English, French, Spanish, German, Czech, Polish, Italian, Serbian or Greek are different for their cultures variations.

Herman Siemens, ‎Vasti Roodt - 2008 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
Rethinking Nietzsche's Legacy for Political Thought Herman Siemens, Vasti Roodt ... claims that the Greeks and the Chinese had originally been ffrya-s too but that they had lapsed from ffrya standards and ... When, during India's freedom struggle, philosopher and freedom fighter Sri Aurobindo Ghose (1872–1950) wrote in  ...

Peter Heehs - 2013 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
Evolution: SriAurobindo. Darwin rarely wrote about the future course of evolution. Such matters lay beyond his scope and he was content to ... the key not only to the poetry of Wordsworth, but also the philosophy of Spencer, the sociology of Comte, and the political thought of Mill. ... Aurobindo returned to India fourteen years later with a mastery of Greek, Latin, French and English literature and a general  ...

Greeks into Europe and other invaders into the Middle East — began pouring through the Khyber Pass into the fertile ... Some scholars trace division of the population into rigid social castes to the conquerors' determination to preserve sharp political and economic distinctions between ... "The Mother is the consciousness of the Divine," writes a modern Indian scholar, Sri Aurobindo, "or it may be said, she  ...

2011 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
6 To a question in 1926 about the possibility of assimilating Muslims in India, Aurobindo answered in the affirmative but put forth a condition. No longer ...India has assimilated elements from the Greeks, the Persians and other nations.... Nationalism was a religion; or rather religion was the only politics of the nation. By 1939, Aurobindo's utterances on Hinduism and Hindus seemed to SRI AUROBINDO 71.

During his thirteen-year stay in England, Aurobindo achieved high academic honours, but, as he himself put it, he "felt no call for the ICS. ... a great politicalleader but also as a journalist — the papers with which Aurobindo was associated being "Bande Mataram" and "The Karmayogin". ... In the court, it was not the Magistrate whom I saw. . .it was Sri Krsna. ... one Mr. Beachcroft who was at Cambridge with Aurobindo and had stood second to him in Greek.5 Aurobindo emerged from  ...

Sugata Bose - 2011 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
... 172; final showdown with, 180, 213; German compromise with British and, 216; Hitler's support for, 91; Indian loyalists of, 51–52; map ... tactics and, 140; common prayer proposal for soldiers, 226; democracy and, 73; rational philosophy and, 26; religious minorities, 326; ... See also entries for specific religions “Renunciation” (Pearse), 60 Revolution and revolutionaries, 55, 68; Aurobindo as inspiration,  ...