December 31, 2016

There can't be any final explanation

Reimagining and Refashioning Integral Management - Tusar Nath Mohapatra, Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum (SELF) Ghaziabad

Savitri Era: There is no unmixed victory #SriAurobindo #DeMonetisation

By combing philosophy blogs from 2005 to 2016, I come to the conclusion that they are mere attempts and there can't be any final explanation

Plain & Simple: The concept of consciousness continues to resist elucidation #SriAurobindo

[the concept of consciousness continues to resist elucidation. ‘unsolvable’ aspect of the problem that interests me]

[Take the example of the story of Sharmistha, the princess, and Devyani. The lesson is, there is no unmixed victory]

Available online, The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs provides rare glimpses into history of freedom struggle.

Welcome to the age of anger | Pankaj Mishra

Savitri Era: NaMo has lobbed PoMo bomb by DeMo #SriAurobindo #DeMonetisation

Plain & Simple: Max Weber, Maslow, and Sri Aurobindo

Plain & Simple: Regressive, fundamentalist, and obscurantist groups based on contrived religious doctrines

[each country must be investigated to understand power, we turn briefly to the Indian scene.] ~Nirmalangshu Mukherji

@AudreyTruschke Best wishes. You might be interested in the just published Hegel's India. Thanks. @LangaMahesh

Savitri Era Party: Top tweets by Savitri Era Party #SriAurobindo #FiveDreams #FreeTheStates #DeMonetisation

rainbOwther: Reading The Life Divine will change your life #SriAurobindo #Life'sMystery #Evolution #MirraAlfassa

Let's now continue with our discourse on Dharma, now deal with the PRINCIPLE OF DIVERSITY IN UNITY – VIEWS OF SRI AUROBINDO.

5.26) The Supramental Time Consciousness
"A marriage with eternity divinised Time..."

"The first thing to do in the sadhana is to get a settled peace and silence in the mind." Sri Aurobindo. "It is...

Sri Aurobindo on Disarmament

Savitri Era Devotees: Finance and Politics
Mahatma Gandhi's aborted attempt to meet Sri Aurobindo by Sandeep Joshi. I n 1934, Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian freedom struggle, sought to meet Sri Aurobindo because they had never met in .

... idea was latent in the writings of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (especially Anandamath) and Sri Aurobindo, the devotion of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, ...

Free Press Journal-18-Dec-2016
'Spirituality is indeed the master-key of the Indian mind; the sense of the infinite is native to it. India saw from the beginning, —and, even in her ages of reason ...

The Indian Express-25-Dec-2016
REGISTERED ADDRESSES: Sri Aurobindo Bhawan, 28/352, Gudri Mansoor ... Yadav says the Agarwals lived at the 'old Aurobindo Bhawan' when the party ...

Daily News & Analysis-19-Dec-2016
For India, man is an agglomeration of physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual, fused into an integral reality, as articulated by Sri Aurobindo. As a result, the ...

Savitri Era Devotees: Money Power according to Sri Aurobindo and the Mot...

Savitri Era Devotees: Mysteries of Death according to Sri Aurobindo and ...

[My first encounters with Alasdair MacIntyre. 08 Sunday Nov 2015. Posted by Amod Lele] #KenWilber #Hegel

@Fact [We are before an extraordinary mystery, which could truly be a fairy tale. The fairy tale of the species.]

[Democracy requires a citizenship that meets, deliberates and interacts without fear and hatred. give people a voice

[Deleuze essay, Foucault on panopticism. Haggerty and Ericsson’s Surveillant Assemblage makes Deleuze’s argument, but is in an easier idiom]

This rationalist glorification of human ingenuity dovetails into an overall ontology that is too mysterious and beyond human comprehension.

[consciousness, belief & knowledge are interpersonal social devices; on par with values such as ethics & aesthetics]

Yearning-for-consciousness - part-I

Our brains don't fully mature until after we hit 30 via @MailOnline

Mind and Resistance: Everybody Loves a Good Fascist--Part VI

Marketime: In every reactionary there lies a bit of Don Quixote.

[In every reactionary there lies a bit of Don Quixote, pining for the Golden Age—and making a fool of himself.] ~ML

[“If one has to study philosophy one has to analyse Beckett’s Waiting for Godot first" Prof Shobhan Chowdhury Gomes]

[Tolkien, an author I love, including two remarkable Film Trilogies made by Peter Jackson from LOTR and The Hobbit]

[Philosophy must recognize that there can be more precision in a complex novelistic description than in abstract theoretical discourse] ~MCN

@gopikamisra @veenavenugopal Even the complain is a pretext to talk about the kid! May be, something ingrained due to evolutionary necessity

Listen Soulfull House Mix 2 Program by : Shamika

The Hindu-3 hours ago
For the truly peaceful soul, there's also Auroville and the Aurobindo Ashram to explore. If you're looking for some adventure, try scuba diving. Organisations such ...

Chandigarh Tribune-02-Dec-2016
Rajya Sabha MP Dr Karan Singh has been re-nominated Chairman of the Governing Board of Auroville Foundation, an autonomous body ...

USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)-12-Dec-2016
Emerging in dialogue with a 'thought exhibition' held earlier in 2016, Reset Modernity!, edited by Bruno Latour, brings together nearly sixty ...
Mari Valdur – University of Helsinki
The majority of the contributors have been brought up, lived and worked in the Western parts of Europe. With the important task of resetting our perception, it is alarming that the tools and means for this are provided through such imbalance.
Latour as an anthropologist has worked with and within only a very limited part of society, making his whole project about those who are directly able to engage with or contribute to his thought. The ‘modern’ is taken up as a complicated term by a number of contributors; while Latour draws no lines in his definitions, his ‘modern’ belongs to the intellectual elite. The majority, if not totality, of the authors engage with the artistic or intellectual output of others, making this particular reader miss the plurality of voices of those ‘moderns’ unrepresented in their adaption to and sense-making of now.

New Vision-20-Dec-2016
Men fight, according to Socio-Psychologist Sigmund Freud, because of humanity's aggressive tendencies that cannot be suppressed but could ...

For people of my generation, Javeed Alam had become a legend in the 1970s. His marriage to Jayanti, following their Sapru House romance ...

The Indian Express-7 hours ago
Toned, slim bodies are invoked not only as proxies for health and energy, but also as indicators of self-control, discipline and efficiency. by 
Would non-White Indologists evoke such passions as the likes of Sheldon Pollock and Wendy Doniger or David Frawley and Koenraad Elst do ...
Frawley’s very personal translation turns Vedic hymns into a code that only “masters” (such as he) can decode after intense “sadhana”. Their views, according to him, are deeply insightful, intuitive, transcendental – and hence beyond academic challenge. [...]
Frawley has also popularised Vedic astrology on grounds that it is an ancient, spiritual and “superior” astrology, much to the delight of the Hindutva lobby. Anyone who challenges Frawley faces the wrath of his American Hindu followers who declare everyone who disagrees with their guru to be anti-Hindu, or a “colonised” Indian with superficial knowledge that is not based on “sadhana”.

23 hours ago - The greatest proponent of this State is Sri Aurobindo. His writings on India, particularly in his book The Renaissance in India, are inspiring and remind us of the great destiny that India embodies. We will ...

David Frawley Jan 01, 2017 - Yet this trend goes back to Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Lokmanya Tilak and India's Independence movement that challenged Eurocentric ideas of religion, culture and history. Mahatma Gandhi's criticism of ...
Hindu teachings, as in the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, have at their core a yogic pursuit of higher consciousness, including experiences beyond the human intellect and its limiting dualities. They hold that the physical world is but an outer aspect of a multi-dimensional universe of consciousness, with our inner self having many bodies and many births and ultimately extending beyond all time and space.
Pattanaik does not seem comfortable with such yogic spirituality, which Doniger and company routinely ignore or dismiss, though he throws a few Sanskrit terms around in order to sound traditional. He is particularly unhappy with my claim that Yoga sadhana should be part of any authentic interpretation of Hindu texts. Yet that is not merely my personal view, it is found in all the great traditions of India that emphasise meditation over mere book learning. If sadhana is not part of one’s study of Hinduism, one can only claim to have the view of an outsider.
4 days ago - There was a certain amount of misrule and evil during the reign of the Nandas. A powerful force. Aurobindo and Tilak · Sri Aurobindo, Mahomedans, and Hindu-Muslim Unity – Part 2. The Indian Councils Act of 1909 ...

December 26, 2016

Renovating democracy by innovating how communities engage

[Democracy requires a citizenship that meets, deliberates and interacts without fear and hatred. 
Ngaire Woods
Dean, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
When elected politicians hold referendums to give people a say, it is surely a sign that the foundations of democracy are weak. In Britain, as in many other democracies, people have their say in various ways. They form associations or join political parties or unions; they lobby; they write to newspapers; they take part in television discussions; they write to the Prime Minister; they vote in local, regional and national elections. They badger their local MP, church or school. If these no longer work, the solution is not to offer citizens the chance to answer a one-off question.
Referendum results are seldom a reliable indication of voters’ specific preferences in response to the one-off question. When in March this year New Zealand offered its citizens a chance to choose between two national flags, many voted for or against the design as a way of voting either for or against the prime minister (who had made his preference clear), or they voted for or against the process by which the selection was made.
Referendums, however, have more pernicious effects. They tempt politicians to replace their duty to make decisions carefully with a crude majoritarianism. Demo­cracies have derived ways to avoid this. Representative democracy requires politicians to balance competing interests and to take minorities into account. [...]
Worst of all, referendums permit politicians to avoid responsibility. [...] They might seem “democratically” to give people a voice but, in practice, they permit a difficult decision to be made without anyone being held to account.
Direct democracy is not a good solution to failures of representative politics. Representative democracy recognises that good decisions are not the result of simply aggregating individual preferences. Someone has to take responsibility for bringing together the interests, information and institutions required to decide. If politicians do the job badly, voters can throw them out of office. [...]
When politicians stoke fear and resentment between groups in their society, the result can be a vicious circle of conflict and violence. People become more scared to go to the same school or to live in the same area as those deemed the other. Yet it is precisely this mixing that reduces fear and makes social cohesion possible. When the lives of different groups are separate, their fears grow. In societies as diverse as Britain, the US and France, this is dangerous stuff.
As well as the risks of nativist rhetoric by politicians, social media and online interactions are reinforcing separation, creating echo chambers in which like-minded people endorse each other’s views.
Democracy requires a citizenship that meets, deliberates and interacts without fear and hatred. It requires organisations that give people a “voice” and a feeling that they have a stake and some influence in the system, just as early steps in political enfranchisement and organisation helped the US and the UK to preserve democracy in the 1930s. It also needs public spaces and debates in which people interact and discover communalities and differences that they would otherwise ignore.
Renovating democracy can take place by innovating how communities engage with political challenges and decisions. We do not live in a world where “post-truth politics” is inevitable. My academic colleagues in the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford have demonstrated the positive effects of getting citizens to engage and deliberate on substantive issues, and how this shifts voting away from personality politics – in locations from West Africa to the Philippines.
Equally importantly, democracy needs online innovation. Technologists, media companies and entrepreneurs must rethink the online spaces and social media that they have created and start reshaping them to help diverse societies cohere. When Microsoft created Windows, it created the possibility of multiple lenses or views of any issue. Why not build on that? A renovation of democracy should permit people genuinely to take back control as a diverse community, and to participate in a society and political system that holds together, rather than cracking apart.
This article first appeared in the 08 December 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Brexit to Trump

[Deleuze essay, Foucault on panopticism. Haggerty and Ericsson’s Surveillant Assemblage makes Deleuze’s argument, but is in an easier idiom]

By GAVIN WAX  12/26/16
In the 19th century, Scottish philosopher and historian Thomas Carlyle developed a theory of historiography which he coined "The Great Man Theory." This theory postulated that the process of historical examination is akin to a series of chronological biographies of these so-called "Great Men."

These great generals, artists, philosophers, theologians and entrepreneurs were the ones who truly had decisive impacts on society, rather than the other way around. Caesar, Muhammad, Shakespeare, Luther, Napoleon and Ford were not products of their time but the producers themselves. While this theory has largely fallen out of fashion within academic circles, it is still a useful conduit to examine the current political machinations.

@sabhlok Resurrecting Gandhi is surely an interesting but strange facet. Pushparaj V Deshpande advocates the same.

Religion and the new populism

Democracies will always bring forth populist movements when a broad cross-section of the democratic order feels, correctly or incorrectly, that their concerns are not being recognized by the establishment. For good or ill, these movements provide a corrective to the ruling order and call for reforms.
The new populism today is probably best understood in the plural form: populisms. Some versions of the new populism want the integration of immigrants to fail (such as the radical Identitarian Movement); others want it to succeed. It would be an error to lump all of these groups together. Most expressions of the zeitgeist are, however, essentially unified in their anti-establishment agenda. They are calling for an end to the politics of multiculturalism and demanding protections from the detrimental effects of globalization. They want to strengthen cultural, political, and economic borders, regulative powers, and national identities.

December 25, 2016

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, A.K. Ramanujan, and Noam Chomsky

I  do  not  claim  that  everything  that  Sri  Aurobindo  wrote as  criticism  was  of  the  highest  order.  But  I  do  say  that  most  of  what  he wrote  was  written  in  a  spirit  of  defiance  and  opposition  to  Britain,  the colonising  nation.  In  this  spirit  he  attempted  to  pull  down  a  great  deal  of what  Britain  prided  in.  He  emphasises  on  the  failures  of  some  of  the most  distinguished  English  poets: [...]
Thus  whereas  he  imbibed  some  part  of  his understanding  of  poetry  from  British  poets  and  critics,  he  made  a conscious  effort  to  oppose  and  sometimes  even  belittle  them.
Vivek  Kumar  Dwivedi Professor  of  English University  of  Allahabad,  India   IRWLE  VOL.  6  No.  II    July  2010 

Indian Nationalism and Sri  Aurobindo – Part II (Continued from the previous issue) S´raddha-   November 2016
Sabita  Triapthy, Nanda Kishore Mishra
Sri  Aurobindo believed that love has a place in politics, but it is the love of one’s country, — for one’s countrymen and for the service of the motherland. Appearing in an age of political turmoil when the nation was evolving in India, Sri  Aurobindo gave a new dimension to the concept of nationalism not only to the Indians but to the world. His concept was neither political nor mechanical, but moral and spiritual. He wanted to show a new path to the world. For him, the essence of nationalism was the ideal of human unity.

Vidya Nand Garg: The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo

Assorted Tweets:
Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty  Nov 22
Future needn't be defined by past writings or belief; even science doesn't offer any firm standpoint. Life and the world are mysteries still
Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty  Dec 7
There is not a single text or philosophy which can satisfactorily explain the mystery of life and the world or the working of the Universe.
Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty  Nov 23
Succumbing to psycho-physical methods in the guise of Yoga and philosophical system-building might seem normal but it's not without hazards.
Someday Modi will build his own statue proving JJ a visionary and Mayawati a prophet. For Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, autobiography was aswarga!

The late AK Ramanujan, one of the finest scholars of Indian literature, and a poet, wrote a brilliant, informal essay published in 1989 titled, “Is there an Indian way of thinking?”
Among the many gems in this essay is a notion that all Indian thinking is context-sensitive, as opposed to the Western way of thinking that creates thoughts that claim to be context-free. Health expert @rmantha2

Shakespeare, economic theorist. His work was shaped by the market. And that work, in turn, influenced the… #News

Milton, sci-fi inventor

On sentience, sapience and speciesism 
Finally managed to write this, after a lot of deliberation and reading.

After finding the effect of antivirus, antibiotic and immune system, concept of protecting "all life" looked quite strange to me!

From Philosopher to Ironman: How and why I took on the world’s toughest triathlon

[some of Noam Chomsky’s recent views are also problematic in the perspective on fascism I am trying to develop.] ~NM
Mind and Resistance: Everybody Loves a Good Fascist--Part VI
[consciousness, belief & knowledge are interpersonal social devices; on par with values such as ethics & aesthetics]

[In every reactionary there lies a bit of Don Quixote, pining for the Golden Age—and making a fool of himself.] ~ML

[How should we teach critical thinking? Peter Ellerton, Lecturer in Critical Thinking, University of Queensland] via @wef

[unrealistic assumptions such as the belief in a perfectly rational, utility-maximizing, autonomous individual.]

The human body, far from being a passive vessel for whatever we choose to fill it with, is a busy chemical plant, transforming and redistributing the energy it receives. Its governing principle is homeostasis, or the maintenance of energy equilibrium (when exercise heats us up, sweat cools us down).
Ian Leslie, the author of Curious: the Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It, is a regular contributor to the Long Read. Twitter: @mrianleslie Thursday 7 April 2016 

A methodical programme of physical exercises can turn our muscles into steel, our legs into powerful wheels and our heart into an extraordinary pumping machine. But that would not really be a forward march but a sliding back to a left behind past. The physical consciousness has however not only the imprints of the past but also and more importantly the blueprints of the future. It is in this evolutionary direction that we need to develop the hardware of the body. 

poise and harmony upon the struggle and apparent chaos, to vindicate a victory for peace, love and harmony over the principle of war, discord and struggle« (ibid.: 53). The fascinating and inherently problematic nature of such a possibility is the crux of Aurobindo«s philosophy for our purposes. The figure of the Kshatriya is ...
'the ideals of the race cannot be vindicated', 'the frame of society cannot be maintained' (Aurobindo1997:451 ). But while saying this categorically Aurobindo also warned equally categorically against āsuric perversion of the Kshatriya ideal. Right in the Essays on the Gita such warnings can be found. For example, in the ...