June 27, 2016

Goethean, Coolmel, eBuddha et al

Friday, February 01, 2008

Everything we think might be mistaken

Students shuffling out of the classroom after a discussion of Platonic realism and the possibility of transcendent, objective values independent of culture, history, and individual determination.
STUDENT: “This class is impossible.”
ME (Alarmed): “Why?”
STUDENT: “We come in here thinking we understand the world and now we discover that everything we think might be mistaken.”
Husserl begins with an obvious thesis – “look at the things themselves!” – yet in executing this project he unsettles our assumptions about what it is to experience the world and objects, opening a vast domain that continues to challenge central assumptions in cognitive science, psychology, the social sciences, etc.

  1. To say, thoughts are not ours..they are in this world from millions of years..let them come in and go out..leave them alone! thanks a lot for this wonderful articles ..Hope you need to shared this with face book!

    Art Cv

Monday, October 22, 2007

Give writing the highest priority

What Stops you from Writing? Written by tejvan from Net Writing on July 21, 2007 9 Comments Most bloggers know the importance of writing, but, to actually write as much as we would like can be difficult. It is not just about writing for our own blog; we should also try to occasionally write for other blogs or ezines. The more we can write, the more we can help our blog to grow. These are some of the common Stumbling blocks to writing and what we can do to overcome them:
1. Procrastination. Procrastination is easy on the internet. We have countless RSS feeds to read, forums to visit, blogs to comment on, youtube videos to watch…, the list is endless. If we are not careful hours can pass by and we haven’t actually achieved anything. If you find yourself procrastinating, you are not alone, but you do need to try and keep it under control.
  • Give writing the highest priority. Write an article, then allow yourself a bit of surfing. Don’t do it the other way round.
  • Set time aside for writing. E.g: Mondays 9-11am, I set aside only for writing.
  • Get away from the internet. My most productive writing periods are usually in airport lounges or on trains...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

2006 Blogger Awards by ebuddha

2006 Blogger Awards by ebuddha Lots of interesting blogs you haven't heard from.
But at any rate, my own personal choices for 2006 Best Integral Blogs:
Best New Blog - Integral Options Cafe
Best Integral Politics and Social Commentary Blog -
 Joe Perez
Best Integral Techie Blog - 
Best Integral Theory Ken Wilber blog - 
Indistinct Union
Best Integral Theory Non-Ken Wilber blog - SELF (Savitri Era Learning Forum) blog
Best Multimedia Integral Blog - Mark Davis Lippman
Best Art Integral Blog - 
Matthew Dallman
Best Group Integral Blog - (doesn't exist yet)
Best Non-Dual Blog - 
Mystery of Existence
Best Individual Writing Integral Blog - well, a lot to choose from - the sarcastic yet 
enthusiastic stylings of Stuart Davis, the passionately sober Vince, the resonant writings of Syntegral, etc., the wry intellect of The Human Bean - we got a competition!
Also, for blogs related to Integral that I would give awards for - 
Pop Occulture, LifehackerSteve Pavlina I know I am missing a LOT here, so I pass this on. Enlighten me! Vince, what are your integral nominations? by ebuddha on Tue 24 Jan 2006 04:42 PM EST Permanent Link
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Points to this site. Online reading and search on the works of the
Very good information on Ashram's organisation, how to visit Ashram, Where to stay etc.. Maintained by Archives department of the
Information on books. Maintained Sri Aurobindo Books Distribution
Information about Sanskrit department of the
Maintained by Delhi Ashram Branch.
Information on Sri Aurobindo International Centre of
Information on Sri Aurobindo International Centre of
Natural Essential Oils and Natural Essential Oil Incense, Incense Cones, Incense Holders, Incense Gift Packs,Perfumed Oils, Scented Candles,
Ashram's toors, travel and taxi
One must visit this site. Most feature rich contents. Maintained by an ardent
Maintained by Sri Aurobindo Society,
Maintained by
Site created by users in the 'auroarchive' email discussion group at ''
Exclusive site on Savitri by Sri
Information from Wikipedia, the free
Maintained by another ardent
The Sri Aurobindo Association of
Maintained by The Gnostic Centre,
Mirapuri is the humanistic-spiritual, european, free-consciousness City of Peace and Future Man in Italy founded by Michel Montecrossa on the basis of the worldpeace and progress ideals of Sri Aurobindo and Mira
Maintained by Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture,
Maintained by The Mother's Service Society,
Bernard's site for Sri Aurobindo and the
Matrimandir-Habra's site , situated in the district of North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. The site is also working for the youths by joining hands with the Youth Section of Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir , Kolkata . The site has a quarterly E-magazine "Progress" , Specifically for the
An online university offering programmes and courses in the philosophy and spiritual teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the
SAKSI is a Spiritual movement. The aim is to spread the message of Veda and Sri Aurobindo, which imparts awareness to lead a beautiful, harmonious, creative and happy life, individually and
Centre dedicates its work to the vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Among its activities are publication of bimonthly journal online "Aim"; it offers online Russian translation of the Introductory Course in Integral Yoga of The University of Tomorrow, Pondicherry. We have online library and open
Site dedicated to Sri Aurobindo and the Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles. The East-West Cultural Center - A California non-profit organization.
Links to Websites India's Rebirth by Sri Aurobindo
  1. Hi
    Thank u for attaching our address

    Please visit the site and give us ur much needed guidance.

10 August 2013 - Saattvic
One of the consequences of uprooting oneself from an environment where most of one's time was consumed by extremely taxing mental exercises into an environment where thinking is often viewed as more of a liability than an asset is that one is constantly reminded that one, quite simply, does not fit. One is an outcast, a freak for most of the inhabitants of this new environment. Often, surreal images flash into one's head - the inhabitants of this new environment have placed one into a cage, and charge tourists to marvel at the other-worldly being that is so unlike anything they know.

That the world in general views academics as freaks is something one had known in one's subconscious, but never really had to experience in person. One was lucky - when one was a child, one was too innocent to notice or care, and when one grew old enough, one happened to be surrounded by others with an academic bent of mind at St. Stephen's, at Oxford, and at the economic consultancies in London. Come to think of it, one was accused of being too academic even in London. Back in Mumbai, however, one is in a situation never encountered before - old enough to notice and care, and interacting mainly with people without an academic bent of mind. The consequences are startling, though, on reflection, somewhat understandable.

Here is a delightfully amusing definition of 'academic' from "adjective. learned or scholarly but lacking in worldliness, common sense, or practicality."

Though, at first glance, one could take offence at this, it is true that academics and non-academics, in general, think differently. And because they think differently, they behave differently. The only part of this definition that could, in one's view, reasonably be taken offence to is the implication that academics are somehow 'deficient' when compared to non-academics because they think and behave differently (in general). One would have thought that if the world has reached a place where people who look different are not regarded as better or worse but simply different, the same would apply to people who think or act different. Sadly, it seems, this isn't true.

The key to understanding the academic is to appreciate the way they think. One was (unwittingly) brought up to be an academic - one's mother constantly pushing one to question everything, to never do anything unless one was convinced it was the 'right' thing to do. Social constructs like 'listen to your teacher' never quite passed muster - one's questioning of one's teachers was subsequently defended in front of the very same bewildered teachers by one's mother. The academic's default stance is to question, to understand the logic behind an instruction or a conclusion, and to accept it if convinced it is reasoned.

Reasoning is attractive to the academic. It provides a (more or less) common framework that facilitates the advancement of knowledge. The attractiveness of reasoning is amplified because it can use abstract logical operators to derive inferences about situations or objects that are not directly observable, but which have bearing on things that are, in fact, observable and effect us. It can lead us to making generalised conclusions about relationships between observable things. Logic is the single most important tool that allows academics to reason.

Closely related to reasoning is the 'argument'. Now, detached from the social connotations attached to the word, wikipedia defines it simply as "an attempt to persuade someone of something, by giving reasons for accepting a particular conclusion as evident." An argument essentially involves two (or more) different starting points, and an attempt to find agreement. Amartya Sen wrote 'The Argumentative Indian' and made argumentation out to be a generally positive characteristic.

Sometimes, it is possible to agree on a definite conclusion - as when debating what the square root of two is. Here, the conclusion under contention can be reached with simple deductive argumentation - we start with a premise (XYZ is the way the square root operator works), apply an operator (XYZ, when applied to two, yields this number) and get a conclusion (this number must be the (positive) square root of two). We reach a logically certain conclusion.

Sometimes, however, it is impossible to reach a logically certain conclusion. This is because some things being argued about are influenced by some factors that are yet to manifest themselves, and are therefore uncertain. Here, argumentation is inductive - premises are used to provide support for, not absolute proof of, a conclusion. Here a person's estimation of the likeliness of various outcomes is often the person's past experience, or the limits of his/her knowledge. The movement towards agreement often arises in this type of argument through revelation of new information that might change the other person's estimation of the likeliness of various outcomes. Of course, no amount of new information in a conversation can lead to completely matching information sets available to two people - and so quite often estimations of likeliness of various outcomes remain incongruent. This is where academics usually 'agree to disagree'. And agreeing to disagree is a very favourable conclusion - it means that the points of difference are understood and accepted. There is no winner or loser in these arguments - they are dispassionate (or at least, meant to be, in an ideal world).

Of course, the main underlying methodological characteristic is accepting an argument only if its underlying reasoning is rigorous. This implies two things about the academic - s/he must be prepared to present the basis of her/his opinions in terms of an argument, and s/he must be willing to dispassionately accept arguments if they are rigorous.

To an academic, this is the way things are done. To non-academics, logical reasoning is not that important. In fact, many studies of how people interact in person reveal several kinds of reasoning based on informal logic, and some that are blatantly illogical. These kinds of reasoning are obviously anathema to the academic, because they leave too much scope for misinterpretation and disagreement. Logical reasoning is almost entirely responsible for the pool of scientific knowledge we possess, and the resultant benefits we enjoy. It is responsible in large part for the pool of non-scientific knowledge we possess, and the resultant applications. It is responsible for a computer screen being able to display this text in a manner that is recognisable to you. It is responsible for the principles of economic governance (which, incidentally, differ - inductive argumentation). It is responsible, interestingly, for several social customs even.

The key to understanding an academic is to understand that they think differently. What might appear to be a heated personal argument from the outside is more often than not simply the beautiful (and quite poetic) process of two people comparing premises and information sets in order to arrive at a common conclusion, or at least a common understanding of differences. What might appear to be an inflexible position is more often than not simply an opinion arrived at based on logical operations upon premises given the information available to the academic. What might appear to be someone attempting to show their superiority by forcefully putting their point across is more often than not simply an academic putting forward not just their opinion, but the whole argument they used to arrive at that opinion.

Academics aren't freaks anymore than people from different races are. And just as you don't begrudge a musician breaking into song once in a while, don't begrudge the academic breaking into inductive reasoning once in a while. Variety is the spice of life. Accept this as just another beautiful way someone can be different from you. 1 comment:

From an email on Jean Gebser from an acquaintance:
It is also important to understand that all of the structures of consciousness are active and integrating in the present moment, the ever–present origin. If you understand that you have a strong grasp on Gebser’s work, and you don’t get stuck applying the structures as if they are rational cookie–cutter patterns.

Gebser, of course, was a twentieth-century phenomenologist, a follower of Husserl, and one of the most important integral theorists of the twentieth century.

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