July 13, 2017

Science fails to tell anything about coming of new qualities

My reflection on Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's technique of meditation
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother elucidated a different way of overcoming this split. According to them, samadhi should not be a flight from outer consciousness. Consequently, it could serve as the space where the ordinary consciousness meets the higher consciousness and gets transformed. Our self has four distinct layers — physical (body), vitals (emotions and passions), mental (mind) and psychic (the dynamic representation of the Divine element within us). Meditation is a mental activity in which the mind is alert and the self becomes silent. But once out of it, other parts become active and function according to their inclinations. The Mother said this split can be resolved only when one meditates in an active and conscious manner and allows the psychic to take charge. 

First, a person must cultivate an aspiration for progress and meditation should be done to realise this objective. This longing should be so full of intensity that one is unable to think of anything else. 

Second, the individual should gather all the different layers of the Self and encourage them to concentrate together. This happens when our psychic being takes charge of consciousness and all parts of the Self realise that their basic role is to serve as instruments in the evolution of consciousness.

When all parts are receptive and work together harmoniously, an intense concentration is developed. Subsequently, the door to higher knowledge is opened and the split heals. Meditation isn’t an activity to be performed at a certain time in a particular manner. Sri Aurobindo believed that the number of hours spent in meditation and the technique followed had little correlation to spiritual progress. The aim should be to spend the day and perform all activities in a meditative stance and to practise concentration on the Divine in all that we do, in all circumstances. The aim is to arrive at a point where concentration on and remembrance of the Divine is effortless and become as central to our existence as breathing. The writer is a clinical psychologist THE SPEAKING TREE KOLKATA, JULY 2, 2017

On Wednesday, 12 July 2017, VINOD KUMAR SEHGAL wrote:
For acquiring knowledge and pursuing research in any field, mindset specific to that area is required. If you want to pursue in poetry, mindset required for developing a model/theory in QM is of no use. Similarly, for pursuing research in the Astral, Causal Worlds and Cosmic Consciousness thru subjective methodology of the spiritual discipline and Samaadhi etc, a different specific mindset is required. For a normal mundane task, say crossing a river, you have no way out but to trust an illiterate boatman ( but he is skilled in his task), so how one will cross the ocean of the world and reach cosmic consciousness if one will not trust a fully realized Guru who himself has crossed the ocean and is capable of taking the disciple also across the ocean? Therefore a mindset of "not trusting" is not applicable in the areas of spirituality. Neurobiological techniques of fMRI and EEG are of no use in the study/research of the state of samaadhi since

i) a few people who have really achieved the state of Samaadhi are least inclined to becoming a subject in such studies. Their purpose is purely spiritual. Just try and ask a Buddha or Aadi Shankaracharya of the modern age to be a subject in a neurobiological lab. Will he/she become a subject? The overall purpose of such people is purely spiritual and the reality of the astral, causal world and cosmic consciousness is self-obvious to them and they don't need any certification from any objective experimentation.

ii) Even if any of such person volunteer to come to a neurobiological lab for testing thru fMRI/EEG, neuroscientists will find Nothing in the brain of the state of Samaadhi, in which Astral/causal bodies and worlds are observed. Reasons? In the state of samaadhi, in which Astral body/World is observable, consciousness is almost completely withdrawn from the physical body/brain, so Astral Mind is decoupled from the Physical brain. Consequently, no signal of any experience of the Astral body/world percolates down to the physical brain resulting in NIL built up of any neural correlates. So what the neuroscientsits will find from fMRI/EEG? NOTHING.

Vinod Sehgal
Google Groups "Sadhu-Sanga Under the holy association of Spd. B.M. Puri Maharaja, Ph.D." group.
To view this discussion on the web visit

This is a fascinating and important debate. A quick naive summary: are the astral, causal and cosmic experiences just states of the neural networks of the brain, or are they metaphysical phenomena surpassing all mathematics and physics?

There is a third possibility, that they are just states of a more complex and intelligent neural network, pervading at least the entire earth, but still within a natural mathematical cosmos.

Best ofnluck, Paul
Paul Werbos
To view this discussion on the web visit 

Mathematics alone is not a theory. The basis for existence must be explained other than stating that its all is ad hoc, based solely upon a history of surprising observations. For this reason there have been at least a dozen related hypotheses developed for this purpose. There collectively are called quantum theory, there purpose being the validation of Quantum Mechanics... The is called the Engineering approach to physics. But eventually we have to reconcile theory with logic, which should not be that difficult once the simplest answers are not discarded out of hand which they often do. How long will it take for this simplicity of the universe to be realized? Hopefully not centuries. 

best regards
Forrest Noble
To view this discussion on the web visit

Sri Aurobindo does not build his system on this ground or that, nor is it claimed for his system that it is partly Indian and partly modern or western, but it is a whole in itself both in theory and practice. For practice, his own personal testimony is the basis; for theory, his own intellectual adequacy is responsible for unearthing the forgotten truths and secrets buried alive in the Vedic texts primarily, and sifting the right and precious materials from other general scriptures of India. ~T V Kapali Sastry (Lights on the Ancients) Posted by Tusar Nath Mohapatra at 12:19 PM › letters
Sri Aurobindo. Letters of Sri Aurobindo. Volume 3. Letter ID: 764. Sri Aurobindo — Roy, Dilip Kumar. June 17 , 1936. Passed a bad day – depressing, etc. Repelled bad suggestions. Resolved not to complain and ...
But to go firmly forward is the one thing to be done – so as to emerge in the end from the storm and mists of the nature.

Summary paper on Ganeri’s The Self - Philosophical Studies has recently published a short summary by Jonardon Ganeri of the project he has undertaken his ground breaking book, The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance.
“The function of consciousness,” Brian O’Shaughnessy observes in his marvelous book Consciousness and the World, “must be to link us attentively to the physical world that contains us…Attention ultimately functions as a sort of life-blood for a whole range of mental phenomena; or perhaps better expressed, as a kind of psychic space” (2002: 84, 277). [...]

My claim in The Self is that we need an account of selfhood which does not leave it inexplicable how experience can supply reasons for judgement, that is, saddle us with an unbridgeable gap between the experiential and the normative. My argument is that the self consists in the experiential relating itself to the normative, and I nd myself here surprisingly in agreement with Kierkegaard, when he speaks of a relation which is the “synthesis of the innite and the nite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity,” where “the self is not the relation but the relation’s relating to itself” (Kierkegaard 1983). Attempts to pay heed to one factor without the other are the source of that alienation which he terms “despair”. 

Kierkegaard, I think, was right about the form of the proposal but wrong about the relata. What I claim is that this explanatory demand is best served by a double aspect theory of ownership. The single fact of ownership has an experiential aspect and a normative aspect: facing the space of reasons, ownership is identication as contrasted with mere occurrence; facing the space of experience, ownership is subjectivity as opposed to anonymity. The fundamental project of The Self is to explore how we might understand the relationship between these two strands within the notion of ownership. [...]

And nally philosophers in the twinned schools of Nya¯ya and Vais´esika defended the self against Buddhist criticism primarily by stressing the ineliminability of the normative dimension, of commitment, responsibility, endorsement and reason in the synchronic constitution of selves. It is not as well-known as it should be that these thinkers went on to spearhead an early modernity in sixteenth and seventeenth century South Asia that was the philosophical equal of all parallel developments in Europe. "The final publication is available at”

new cover design for Pelican book - Lego! The new publication date is March 1, 2018. The book’s been done for awhile; it’s a marketing-related delay on Pelican’s end. By the way, visiting Pen...

Empathic Rationalism and Its Discontents - We all want our philosophies to be “cool.” Unfortunately, I’m afraid, some of us don’t measure up in that regard. Take Empathic Rationalism. It may be ...

More than any other author known to me, Nietzsche was “cool.” He dared call bullshit on “civilized society,” which every adolescent viscerally knows is largely full of it. It was in reading Nietzsche that I felt most at peace because he was telling me in the strongest possible terms that it was OK, indeed commanded, to feel alienated from modern culture. Marx, who I also read as a collegian, made vaguely similar arguments, but Nietzsche’s hit home so much better. He would point out the hypocrisy in religion, the stench of consumerism and pseudo-intellectuality ... in short, the cankers in culture. Nietzsche appealed to my sense that what is “highest” is actually lowest, and what is “lowest” is pointing the way to the highest – a path that has hardly been traveled but that is up to us, the “free-thinkers,” to create. [...]

we were meeting in the auditorium of the Washington Goethe Institute. (That wonderful place gave us free access to their auditorium for a number of years based on the idea that if Goethe were alive today and living in Washington DC, the first thing he’d do is create a society devoted to his favorite philosopher, the man who Nietzsche called his own “twin” – Spinoza.) Posted by Daniel Spiro at 8:47 A

phenomenology from 2009. could use some dusting off, but seeds were clearly there for what became my dissertation
Having thus established that language, despite the fact that its inauthentic and naturalistic use can and has obscured the life-world, nevertheless possesses the potential to become what Heidegger, after Hölderlin, called “the flower of the mouth” (thereby re-connecting human experience with the soil out of which it was born and will return), I can now proceed to uncover the earthly roots of consciousness by phenomenologically grounding the naturalistic abstractions of space, time, matter and energy in bodily (and earthly) experience. If I succeed, consciousness will no longer seem a transcendental ego precariously, if at all, related to an objective, external nature, but will have become a unique flower blossoming out of a living planet. [...]

Only a way of thinking/dwelling upon the earth that grants such melodies their say, and that safeguards their becoming, can save us from the total annihilation of ourselves and the rest of the community of life upon this planet.

[The Memory Bank » The Book The two great memory banks are language and money. Exchange of meanings through language and of objects through money are now converging in a single network of communication, the internet. We must learn how to use this digital revolution to advance the human conversation about a better world. Our political task is to make a world society fit for all humanity…

As for our times, the following trio capture something of what I have aimed for in this book: Castells’s The Rise of the Network Society (13), Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern (10) and Gregory’s Savage Money (17).]

[Stability and Change by larvalsubjects Dec 10, 2012
Philosophy scarcely has concepts of work and energy due to its idealist tendencies. For philosophy it is always a question of the intelligible, the conceptual, the idea, spirit. Philosophy is largely blind to work and energy because of the relative class position of philosophers. They seldom encounter the issue of building something, maintaining something, coordinating an organization, etc. They thus tend to separate form and matter, treating form (the idea/concept/essence) is the really real, ignoring the energy or work that goes into maintaining a form. As is always the case, there are exceptions to this rule: Leibniz, Nietzsche, Marx, Bergson, Deleuze, etc. But philosophy is nonetheless largely blind to the material work, the energy, required for form. It dreams of a world that is nothing but thought and that can be grasped in a glance by thought.]

[Life forbidden to walk unveiled the public ways: A Talk by RY Deshpande at on 04 December 2012
The freedom Life had in her own native region is curbed with the entry of mind. In that freedom there could exist extreme possibilities, of the denial of the material world or else the refusal of the ideal-spiritual. All became geometric, well-organized, systematized, as if there was everywhere a digital precision. Things had to be got done following regulations and protocols. Sort of Victorian restrictions governed moods and manners. Life, a young maiden, had to observe fixed etiquettes and social customs. The impetuosity, the vibrancy, the unbridled passion had no place in this world.]

[Comment on Practicing Yoga without a Guru by Sandeep
I was putting forth a more nuanced understanding of the topic based on interactions with many people.]

[The Need For a Moral and Spiritual Law of Being « Sri Aurobindo Studies
The moral, ethical and spiritual principles originate on a different plane than material substance, and thus, we must be able to eventually identify with and understand the native level of action of the energies operative on these other planes, in order to create a clear sense of the laws that are operative there.]

The withdrawal of Sri Aurobindo will always remain a mystery to us. It is too luminous, too occult, too profound for any human faculty to comprehend or feel or grasp. Yet in our own foolish way we can continue to narrate it as an ordinary mundane story or event, give a “factual” account. The best example of this foolishness is in The Lives of Sri Aurobindo…

The claim is, the author would maintain, to be just objective. But in the objective realm itself even the most scientific thinking is governed by values. To say that facts are all is a fallacy for the simple reason that they do not mean much. There is always the driving urge to get at the underlying principles of things and processes. In the combination of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen is the appearance of water which carries none of the values of the constituents. Science is not in a position to tell anything about the coming of new qualities, new properties. But the quest of science is to get down to it. However, we have absolutely no notion of any such quest in the Lives though its author is living in a spiritual institution for about four decades and is writing an account of a spiritual colossus. The pity is, he is not even open to the spiritual revelations made by him or his collaborator, the Mother. He seems to be oblivious of what the Mother has all along been saying about Sri Aurobindo. One may ask the question “why?”; but unless that opening, that call is there one cannot expect to see the “value” as against the “fact” in the life of the Yogi. 

It is this lack of deeper and intuitive perception which makes The Lives of Sri Aurobindo a bogus biography. I can affirm this even if a thousand Ashish Nandys and Debashish Banerjis and Gautam Chikermanes and Pratap Bhanu Mehtas are going to applaud it, drum it up in the public and in the frivolous non-scholarly media bazaars for propagandist gains. Who cares about the drumfish when they start applying the doctrine of Freedom of Expression selectively? I’ll simply advise them, if they care to heed it, to read the Mother carefully and perceptively if they value values. What wonderful depths are there in her revelations about Sri Aurobindo’s withdrawal! their evolutionary meaning and consequences! Who knows? Who knows?

Intuition And The Limits Of Reason: A Cross-Cultural Study Seminar "A" Consciousness and Knowledge: Scientific and Spiritual Perspectives Delhi Sundday, December 12, 2010 Session V : 12.30-13.00 Abstract Author Hartz, Richard
The success of the scientific method in unlocking the secrets of the physical universe has given the typical modern mind a confidence in the power of reason that is almost without precedent. Historically, the spread of European rationalism coincided with the temporary decline of older cultures where intuitive approaches to knowledge were highly valued. But the ascendancy of the West now appears to have been a passing phase. Meanwhile civilization has been plunged into a crisis for which science and its offshoot, technology, seem largely to blame. As the prestige of rationalism is eroded, recent scientific and cultural developments have stimulated a revival of interest in intuition.

Before considering the scope and reliability of intuition, we have to clarify what we mean by it. Philosophers, psychologists and mystics in the East and the West have defined intuition in various ways. For some it is an inferior faculty whose operations, however indispensable, are liable to mislead us if not corrected by the rational intelligence. Others see intuition as a higher kind of knowledge for whose influx intellectual activity is only a preparation. In either case, reason and intuition play complementary roles. Science bases itself on the rational analysis of empirical data, yet paradigm-shifting discoveries often come in intuitive flashes. Spiritual teachings depend on intuition for their deepest revelations, but these are commonly supported by psychological observation and metaphysical thinking.

Western “epistemologies of limitation” discourage us from recognizing the access of intuition to unconditioned knowledge beyond the reach of the mind and senses. In the shadow of scientific materialism and the Western domination of global culture, intuition has fallen into comparative neglect. But even in the West there have been prominent thinkers in the last century or so – including William James, Henri Bergson and Alfred North Whitehead – who have assigned a high value to intuition. More recently, the power of intuition has been studied by researchers in transpersonal psychology. Cognitive psychology has also enhanced our understanding of the workings of intuition. Asian “epistemologies of enlightenment” favour the flourishing of spiritual traditions that foster intuitive insight. These traditions have adapted to changing times, creatively assimilating modern ideas such as that of evolution.

In India, for example, Swami Vivekananda spoke of an ascending scale from subconscious instinct to conscious reason to super conscious intuition. A similar but more detailed theory of the evolution of consciousness, from the infra-rational through the rational to the supranational, was formulated by Sri Aurobindo. His writings contain an exceptionally comprehensive treatment of the subject of intuition, accounting for the apparently contradictory conclusions of several other psychological, philosophical and spiritual systems. Thus Eastern philosophies and the practical disciplines associated with them offer attractive alternatives to the limiting assumption that the reasoning intellect represents the summit of human possibilities. Posted by Tusar Nath Mohapatra at 10:48 AM

No comments:

Post a Comment