Monday, November 30, 2009

The path of honesty and morality

[I’m not sure exactly how to define a “perfect city,” but I guess that Auroville in theory, does a decent, if communist, job of it. You hand over your assets to the city upon joining, help your neighbors, are friendly to all, and live off the earth. Still though, the end of the walking tour of Auroville dumped us right into a gift shop with prices on homemade paper, organic tea, and pottery that would raise eyebrows anywhere. Ah, how capital prevails. Posted by Rianna ♥ at 3:55 PM Rianna Starheim, Coimbatore, November 29, 2009 7:53 AM]

[Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat said on Sunday the “glorious history” of the party in West Bengal had been tarnished by the greed for power and money of some.
He attributed the decline in the party’s fortunes in Bengal to “bourgeois influence on living standards”.
Greed ruining CPM in Bengal: Karat Hindustan Times Tanmay Chatterjee, Kolkata, November 30, 2009 Karat threatens stern action against 'moral deviations' in CPI-M Sify 'Party leaders and workers should strictly follow the communist values and living standards. If there is any deviation in principles and morals, stern steps must be taken again that,' he added. Bengal CPM wants cadres to stick to 'Communist lifestyle' Indian Express He also warned party members against deviating from the path of honesty and morality and added that it would attract stringent punishment. “All party members will have to strictly adhere to a lifestyle befitting a Communist,” the general secretary said.]

[It is also well known that the best darshan of Ramana was… at 4 in the morning, in the kitchen, cutting vegetables with him! I wish that ashramites and Aurovilians get such type of ‘illusion’, so that they do construction work, clean their house, do their beds, cut their vegetables – instead of hiring workers and servants! Mirror of Tomorrow Re: Sanatana Dharma XXVI—the Four luminous Powers and the Story of Creation
by paulette on Fri 27 Nov 2009 04:03 PM IST
Profile Permanent Link]

[Esalen. The word itself summons up tantalizing visions of adventure, of unexplored frontiers, of human possibilities yet to be realized. Home What is Esalen Massage? learn more The massage continues, seamlessly, wrapping the torso arms, legs, hands, feet, neck, and spirit into a united whole.
The practitioner brings a knowledge of strokes (many have roots in Swedish Massage), of muscles and bones, of movement, of listening to the body as well as the words. Prior to the session, he/she pays attention to his own physical comfort, and quiets down internal chatter to welcome inner guidance, or intuition. As he massages, the practitioner responds to the signs of relaxation: deepened breath, enhanced circulation, a sigh, perhaps flutters of the eyelids. Each session is unique, tailored by personal requests, comfort level, physical tension and release, the felt sense of intuition.
The effects of this intentional touch, loosely categorized as "wellness/stress management massage", range widely. For some, it brings a renewed sense of health and vigor, others may regain a sense of safety with regard to touch. Often old tension patterns break free and old emotions are released. It signals a return to one's nature, a switch from everyday consciousness into a calmer, more colorful space less inhabited by the constraints of time and place. An out-of-ordinary reality.]

All said and done, "the path of honesty and morality" will always remain ambiguous. [TNM]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Religion and marriage

[Is 'Hindu Atheism' Valid? A Rationalist Critique Of The 'Hindu ... By Ajita Kamal - For example Aurobindo Ghose emphasized that 'all great awakenings in India, all her periods of mightiest and most varied vigour have drawn their vitality from the fountainhead of some deep religious awakening' (Purani 1964: 81). ... Nirmukta Posted on 28 November 2009
Many Indians intellectuals who don’t believe in supernatural gods or powers fail to separate their non-belief from the ‘Hindu’ identity... Hinduism is a meaningless religious label... Religions have always benefited when the facts are ambiguous. One such religion-driven ambiguity is in the definition of the notion of religion itself. This is the first place to start any such discussion on religion. From a scientific point of view, we can define religion as a sub-group within a culture, possessing certain specific traits. The most fundamental of these traits is the strong group identity that religion strives to instill in its followers.]

[“I regret to say,” write Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1828, “that the present system of religion adhered to by the Hindus are not well calculated to promote thier political interests. The distinction of caste introducing innumerable divisions and sub divisions among them have entirely deprives them of patriotic feeling, and the multitude of religious rites and ceremonies and the laws of purification has totally disqualified from undertaking any difficult enterprise. It is, I think necessary that some change should take place in their religion at least for the sake of thier political advantage and social comfort.” How freedom movement is related to social and religious reform movement in pre independence India: An Analysis Posted by medieval
Medieval Weapons Nov28]

[Frame norms for inter-faith unions, girl requests SC Times of India - ‎Nov 27, 2009‎
"Directions are required and guidelines be given by the apex court in a Muslim or inter-religion marriage, so that peace and tranquility prevails for ...
SC notice to JK Govt on honour killing of youth by cops]

Welcome to Savitri Era Religion. [TNM]

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Spirituality divides

[The fact that the subjective age - which aside from Sri Aurobindo was conceived in many modernist writings of the late 19th and early 20th century - has not smoothly transitioned into a spiritual age, but rather an age of late Capitalism, post-modernism, post-humanism or whatever one wishes to call it, does not shed light on either the success of failure of the project of Integral Yoga, because as you say the current age in itself is equally an expression the multiple worlds at play within the infinite's self-conception. But this matter brings up an issue concerning a wider dialog of the yoga and culture, in that due to the turn that evolution of consciousness has made the uncritical assertion of a progressive spiritual evolution is problematic when applied to any collectivity.
Therefore, what is more fascinating -at least for myself- is the tension between these Utopian tendencies characteristic of the Modernist period (late 19th early 20th century) and the often dystopian, machinic, computational view of reality that defines much of the writing and art of late Modernism and the post-human period we find ourselves confronted with today. Although I dont see any widespread interest in such a dialog I am a bit heartened by the latest works of those trying to re-construct unifying narratives of hope out of the ashes of the ideological ruins of Modernity. (I especially liked how the Kroker's concluded Virilio in Obama's America) Re: Science, Culture and Integral Yoga :: Xul Solar by Rich on Sun 02 Nov 2008 Permanent Link]

[It seems to me that generally - identity is morphing (or if one would rather call it evolving) in some instances it is becoming more protean, pliable, elastic, - but in other instances it may becoming even more entrenched in its identification with the body and all that signifies, (ethnicity, nationality class,) One could ask I suppose if the forms of spirituality that are culturally co-evolving as part of this whole process of change sufficient or in fact ask: just how relevant words like spirituality are -when assigning them a value as a placeholder for a certain type of experience - when the very articulation of the word inevitably divides the world into that which is spiritual and that which is not? aka. Is there a way to overcome the binary process of languaging a world? Re: LACMA 111909 - Debashish Banerji Tony Clifton]

Richard Carlson (Tony Clifton), very sensitively, disputes the homogenizing propensity of notions like evolution and spirituality. As there can be no perfect answer to his objections within the human condition a la Gödel's theorem, Pascal's Wager seems to be the best bargain in the circumstances. [TNM]

Merits of unity and a common faith

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Barin Ghose, Dilip Kumar Roy, and Anna Bogenholm Sloane":

The picture Reddy paints gives an impression that Integral Yoga is Ashram bound and hence leaving it tantamounts to failure. Mercifully, his thesis is not wholly true.

Devine, on the other hand, links dogma with tyranny and that presupposition eliminates the merits of unity and a common faith. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Aurora Mirabilis at 8:29 AM, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ortega y Gasset does more with authenticity than Heidegger does

[speaking of likes and dislikes
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek
Speaking of likes and dislikes, I think that the best model of philosophical engagement would not be a neutrally distant critique, whether of the sneering or politely aloof variety.
What I really want to hear from a commentator is this: which aspects of the text commented upon do they most passionately enjoy and detest? This is one reason I’ve always loved Badiou’s book on Deleuze (in fact, it is my favorite Badiou text, and always has been). Badiou comes and lays his cards right on the table, telling us what he likes and dislikes about Deleuze, and how he thinks it differs from his own position. Nice job.] [
some disingenuous claims
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek
I’ve blogged before about ways in which people use adjectives dishonestly.]

[Education here is based on rote memorisation, with virtually no emphasis on creative thinking. Few schools here even teach the theory of evolution...
In large part because of the emphasis on memorisation over critical thinking, many here say, the quality of the education is poor. While countries in the region often spend as much or more than the world average per pupil, the results are frequently far below average.
Egypt, for example, once considered the intellectual capital of the Arab world, was recently ranked 124th of 133 countries in the quality of its primary education by the World Economic Forum, based in Switzerland. Other global assessments have provided equally dismal results. Harnessing Darwin to push an ancient intellectual centre to evolve Michael Slackman © 2009 The New York Times News Service]

[The secular liberalism of the nation-state has demanded conformity and obedience from Europe’s citizens. Upholding an abstract idea of the individual citizen divested of his religious and ethnic identity, this liberalism has not had an easy relationship with Europe’s ethnic and religious minorities, to put it mildly; the current obsession with Muslims, for instance, betrays a deep unease with expressions of cultural distinctiveness (previously exemplified in Western Europe by Jews). Pankaj Mishra, Beyond boundaries UAE / Friday, November 27, 2009 Abu Dhabi 6:56 AM]

[International Congress in Auroville “Spirituality beyond Religions”, 5-8 January 2010 Mon, 06/15/2009 - 11:42am — International Congress in Auroville, 5-8 January 2010 “Spirituality beyond Religions” A New Path to a Universal Cultural Dialogue]

Graham Harman blogging from Cairo holds a great promise for the East-West reappraisal. [TNM]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Imaginary seeker by visionary storyteller

[What we don't mock anymore : City City Bang Bang: Santosh Desai
TOI, 22 Nov 2009 ...
Have we lost our ability to mock people, to see through those who posture and preen and puncture these pretensions with a dose of sardonic irony? ... Successful sarcasm needs to be rooted in a grain of inescapable truth. It makes us squirm for we recognise its plausibility and even when we disagree with the result, we recognize the validity of its ingredients.]

[The Metamorphosis of a Sadhak-Scholar -- by Raman Reddy
from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs
We live in a strange and confused time. On the one hand, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have given us absolute certainty with regard to the general direction we should be heading in, that is, if we don’t want to get into unnecessary difficulties. On the other hand, their withdrawal from the physical world has opened up a tremendous scope for wrong interpretations of their teachings. No matter how well-read we are in this vast mental knowledge inherited by us, we flounder in uncertainty when faced with the practical problems of life. We realise that no amount of mere intellectual knowledge can replace the necessity of inner guidance, without which we are bound to lose our way in the difficult maze of life... This is exactly what has happened to our historian Peter Heehs over the last few decades of research in an Ashram dedicated to the transformation of human nature. It can happen to any of us, if we don’t take the necessary inner precautions and carry around our inner compass. I propose to outline the spiritual and intellectual journey of one such imaginary seeker whose life is similar though not the same as that of Heehs in the general circumstances of his outer and inner life.]

[The Mole and the Mountain -- by Alok Pandey
A mole was dissatisfied with its own stature. He had heard of the bear and the elephant who were apparently like him but much larger and stronger. Living in his burrow he had also heard of strange lands, of the mountains and seas, and experienced a mixed emotion of fright and wonder, doubt and faith. All this created an incre...
A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs - Nov 16, 2009][Alok Pandey's first letter to Peter Heehs
...for a mole to dig a hole in the mighty mountain and bring out a few strands of hair of some buried carcass and declare proudly to the world, “Here is my find, my exhibit! Come, come, I will tell you the secret of the mountain. You deluded jnanis, the mountain’s snow-summit may be doubted, as “I do not see it”; you sentimental bhaktas, the purify...
A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs - Nov 16, 2009]

Fiction to prove a pre-determined inference because facts are not enough perhaps. [TNM]

Latin phonics is unambiguous

[The Onion does England
How many centuries would it take for the various versions of English to become mutually unintelligible? It’s still not an everyday occurrence in England that I’m lost by what someone is saying, though it does happen... The newspapers in India sometimes already lose me: there are sometimes stories there in English that I don’t quite understand, for language reasons rather than knowledge reasons. They also display the phenomenon of language that is completely intelligible and correct, but rather archaic by the standards of American English ... I also still don’t understand words like “crore” and “lakh” in India, which you find attached to monetary amounts in news stories. I’ve looked them up before, but always forget how much they are. from Object-Oriented Philosophy - Nov 23, 2009]

[Unlike English, Latin has a one-to-one correspondence between its letters and the sounds the letters represent. (Spanish is also this way.) There is just one sound for the vowels (A, E, I, O, U) and the same for the consonants. And the letter names are in most cases basically identical to the sounds; in the rest, the letter names are very close. The Latin name for “B” is pronounced “beh”. So basically when one learns the letter name, one learns the sound it represents. I like how streamlined this is, and it struck me as potentially very effective for teaching, before I even tried it with my eldest.
The important principle here: Latin phonics is unambiguous.
Using Latin phonics to learn English (as well)
from The Daily Goose by Matthew
Around 18 months ago, my wife and I decided that we were going to home-educate our children.]

Sanskrit, Odia and many other Indian languages too are like Latin. But one is helpless before English. [TNM]


A pleasant afternoon and I reach Delhi Ashram. A magnificent and majestic Meditation hall welcomes me. My heart fills with joy. But the memory of the old building which used to be my weekly haunt in the nineties spurs mixed feelings.

Sri Aurobindo’s symbol within a circle can stand alone as a logo, but juxtaposed to The Mother’s symbol it appeared to be an oddity and avoidable distortion. Inside, my jaw dropped on confronting the photographs of the Masters fixed so wide apart.

Ganesh Vandana on Siddhi Day seemed disconcerting, but, however, was enjoyable in the classical style. Then, she sang another Gajanan Stuti. Irritated, I headed for tea.

On asking for a coupon, the gentleman at the reception informed me that tea is free on Darshan Day. A glass in hand I went to the counter in the Dining hall but the lady refused as only lunch and dinner are free but not tea. Offended, I put the glass back and went to the reception again to buy a coupon. When I had tea and snacks finally, the taste obviously was bitter.

The March Past, the evocative Vande Mataram, and the lighting of lamps ceremony brought cheers. Not even 24 persons were present to witness when the function began. And this city is home to 12 million people, alas.

Fearing that the tea episode will fill my meditation, I left, foregoing the free dinner, perforce. [TNM]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Powerful reminders to pray for harmony

24 November, Siddhi Day will always be overshadowed by 26/11 deliberations. Similarly, 5 December, Sri Aurobindo's Mahasamadhi day falls a day before the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Anniversary of post-Godhra violence on February 28, 2002 in Gujarat also falls on the same day as the Auroville's foundation day. Powerful reminders to pray for harmony, indeed. [TNM]

Monday, November 23, 2009

Internationalist and inclusive

[Anyone is entitled to fantasise that the BJP would refashion itself as a Swatantra Party-like ‘liberal rightist party’ by shunning the RSS and mending and its doctrine. But politics doesn’t work on fantasies. The birth and growth of the BJP have been based on ideological grooming by the RSS. BJP can't break free from RSS
23 Nov 2009, C L Manoj, ET Bureau]

[The country needs liberalism in the mainstream of politics. This is the ideology that believes in the Free Market as the basis of co-operation and social harmony. The core belief is that there are greater gains to be made in co-operation and the division of labour than in warring; that we gain too when others gain. Further, this ideology is internationalist and inclusive – it seeks the whole of humanity under this market order. It wants none excluded. Free trade across political boundaries, peace, prosperity. Individual rights, individual liberty, individualism. The Politics Of Delusion
from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik]

[one of the most common mistakes that non-economists make about the way economies work is to assume that wealth-production is a zero-sum process... Economists learn early on that wealth-production in markets in which private property rights are respected is a positive-sum activity: everyone (including ‘the rich’) gets richer only by making others (including ‘the poor’) richer. Apologies to Paul Krugman
from Cafe Hayek by Don Boudreaux]

Welcome to Savitri Era Party. [TNM]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weighing in on WWI in 1914

[I wonder what the “late period” of Nietzsche would have been like. And that’s another interesting thought experiment… Nietzsche as a respected commentator in 1914, weighing in on WWI, a celebrated figure and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He barely missed living long enough to see the end of his obscurity. another thought while reading Schopenhauer
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek]

Sri Aurobindo embarks upon The Life Divine in 1914. [TNM]

Social Capital & Soft Power

[How to be a cultural superpower Home » Sunday TOI
Hard power can drive people away but soft power almost always brings them closer. This is why nations with big ambitions have always used cultural exports to enhance their clout. Shobhan Saxena November 22, 2009
] ['India is also rock & pop' Shobhan Saxena
Dr Karan Singh has worn many hats - maharaja of Kashmir, governor, ambassador, minister, scholar, writer. Now, as head of the ICCR, the 79-year-old Congress leader is leading India's softpower offensive. He talks culture, politics and pop exports to Shobhan Saxena.] [
Rs 150cr to hardsell India? Pavan K Varma
Only recently is India waking up to the real potential of 'soft power', that curiously Freudian expression coined by Joseph Nye.]

[I also think Schopenhauer’s basic outline of the different periods of life is correct, though I wouldn’t put such a hopelessly pessimistic spin on them as he does. In particular, the idea that each person’s character shines best in one period of life is very strong, and it is perhaps also the case that each nation’s virtues are best suited to one particular historical era. (Like many people, I’m expecting Asian dominance of the world before too long.) more on Schopenhauer
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek]

International relations are fast altering and the East-West equilibrium is likely to display drastic makeover within a not so distant future. The momentum is said to be propelled by economics at the moment, but a deeper look would point at a range of Social Capital.

An apparent instance is the steadfastness of Japanese work ethic. Korean dexterity and Chinese resilience too have contributed to their respective prosperity. Overall, a resurgent spirit is at work all over Asia. But the challenge is to build on strong foundations of Soft Power.

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, through their joint venture, have heralded such a blueprint backed by some finest arguments set forth in superb prose (and poetry). No set of proposals – either past or present – can equal the brilliance of their recommendations. The imperative, therefore, is to follow or perish. [TNM]

Sri Aurobindo is more often quoted than read

[Adam Smith Quotations from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by Gavin Kennedy
Jonathan Schwarz writes in “A Tiny Revolution” (
HERE) ... I agree with Jonathan Schwarz that many people who write on Adam Smith are highly selective in their quotations from him, and also apparently unaware of the context in which his quotation appears. This suggests that Adam Smith is more often quoted than read in the original from which they quote. Jonathan concludes: “I assume these people just never read anything”, and I agree.]

The same fate, ruefully, has fallen upon Sri Aurobindo, it seems. [TNM]

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Deconstruction is an act of love

[New EU president writes haiku
Belgium’s unassuming prime minister and newly elected European Union president, Herman Van Rompuy, is getting his name known among poets in Japan for his apparent love of writing haiku...
Among the favorite haiku Van Rompuy has posted in his web site is what he wrote about his hair:
“Hair blows in the wind
After years there is still wind
Sadly no more hair.”
Van Rompuy is viewed by many as a modest intellectual, especially with his unkempt, thinning grey hair and spectacles.] [
EU explained]

[a sonnet from The Daily Goose by Matthew
The simple truth is that I long to be/The man beyond the tools friends say I have./Not that I would dispute the claims of ye/But rather should I cry or should I laugh?]

[we piece together the hybrid vocabulary/prepare the subjective topography of the posthuman/in rhizomatic encounters we expand/deconstruction is an act of love/the other swells like yeast from within/like east within west, west within east/we secretly prepare the subjective topography/of the confederacy of nations, ... by Debashish on Fri 20 Nov 2009 SCIY Permanent Link]

Welcome to the Republic of poets. [TNM]

The Ascent to Truth grew out of a painting made by The Mother

[The Mother (of Sri Aurobindo Ashram)‎ - Page 108 Prema Nandakumar - Biography & Autobiography - 1977 - 136 pages
As for the playlet, The Ascent to Truth, it grew out of a painting made by the Mother of the Hall of Aspiration. A group of people (the philanthropist, ...]

cf. Jacob's Ladder by William Blake (1757–1827). [TNM]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pyramids remind of physical immortality

Graham Harman (doctorzamalek) of American University of Cairo has a post on Egypt vs. Algeria at Object-Oriented Philosophy. The Mother's connection with both the nations naturally comes to mind on her Mahasamadhi Day. He also talks about Pyramids which remind of the ancient attempt of attaining physical immortality that The Mother has brought into focus in our times. [TNM]

Sri Aurobindo inverts Alienation to Aspiration

[(title unknown) from enowning by enowning
Eva Brann on how metaphysics got to be
In modern times the Romantics were certainly preoccupied with diffuse feelings of searching longing and pleasurable reminiscence. But it was only in 1844, when Kierkegaard published The Concept of Anxiety, that the intentionlessness of mood was made explicit and put to philosophical use. This anxiety would in the twentieth century become what might be called its paradigm mood. Kierkegaard, observing that the concept of anxiety is ignored in psychology, says that “it is altogether different from fear and similar concepts that referred to something definite, whereas anxiety is freedom’s actuality as the possibility of a possibility”. “Freedom’s actuality” describes a presentiment of a capability—an as yet unfixed sense of a freedom to be free. This was Adam’s condition before the Fall, a “dreaming” state of innocence, before he knew the difference between good and evil. In that dream state of uneasy repose, Adam has “indeed nothing against which to strive.” At this point Kierkegaard has recourse to the verbal trick that will have great consequences in Existential philosophy: The “nothing” which Adam has to strive against in the mood of dreaming anxiety turns into an intentional object. “But what effect does nothing have?” Kierkegaard asks. “It begets anxiety.” Thus the inherited sinfulness of the human race originating in Adam’s fall is conditioned not, as in the tradition, on the perversion of the will, the rational faculty of desire, but on a mood, an affective sense of the freedom to be possibly bad. ‎
Heidegger adapts for his essay this Kierkegaardian transmutation of the nothing that anxiety “is about” into a meta-physical Nothing. The mood (in German Stimmung, “attunement”) of anxiety opens the human being to Nothing. In their uncanny alienated indifference to existence, beings as a whole distance themselves from us. The human foothold in existence is gone. Anxiety is revealingly about the Nothing that environs existence. Thus anxiety becomes our access to the wonder of beings. We realize, we feel, that they are something and not nothing: Anxiety is the fundamental metaphysical feeling.]

[A Psychoanalytic Defense of Realism from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects‎
If Bhaskar refers to this form of argument as the “epistemic fallacy”, then this is because, in his view, it renders our actual engagement with the world incoherent... Bhaskar’s thesis is that when epistemology makes this move our practice becomes incoherent... Now what makes Bhaskar’s transcendental argument so delicious is that he inverts the nature of transcendental arguments. Where transcendental arguments tend to trace the transcendental conditions of possibility back to mind or some variant of the social and proceed based on the question “what must our cognition be like for this sort of experience to be possible?” or “what must language be like for this form of experience to be possible?” or “what must society be like for this form of experience to be possible?”, Bhaskar instead asks “what must the world be like for science and our daily practice to be possible?”]

[Epistemologt, philosophy of history, philosophy of mind Hegel's term for a consciousness that desires complete knowledge of itself but cannot obtain it. Hegel believed that self-consciousness proceeded in history from pre-history (the struggle for recognition) to Greece and Rome (Stoicism and skepticism) and medieval Christianity (unhappy consciousness). At the stage of skepticism, consciousness claims that all knowledge is relative to the subjective point of view. However, to make this claim meaningful, it must be assured that there is a universal point of view to see that all knowledge is thus relative. As a result, a skeptic has to admit that he is unable to justify these beliefs outside of his own contingently held point of view. He has a divided form of consciousness, with a tension between its subjective and objective points of view. Here skepticism gave way to the stage of unhappy consciousness. Such a consciousness is internally divided, for it has to assume both points of view. It is the consciousness of separation between man and nature and between man and man. Christianity's message is a call to men to restore the lost unity of consciousness by bringing their subjective points of view into line with the impersonal eye of God. In general, the unhappy consciousness describes a form of life in which people's conceptions of themselves and of what they claim to know involves ... unhappy consciousness : The Blackwell Dictionary of Western ...]

Sri Aurobindo inverts Alienation/Anxiety/Angst to Aspiration. Prescribed as a paramount principle of Integral Yoga's triple formula, it nonetheless denotes a perpetual hiatus to be overcome. "In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana" is how he saves it from dualistic perplexity. [TNM]

Dogma need not be denigrated

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Devotionalism is not the only possible approach to...":

Personally, I have disagreements with the last line. Dogma or not, it is for the individual to choose; why should it be denigrated and who do we turn to for a certificate? [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Savitri Era Learning Forum at 7:25 AM, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

An indispensable work

[The lives of Sri Aurobindo - Google Books Result
by Peter Heehs - 2008 - Religion - 496 pages Biographers usually focus solely on Aurobindo's life as a politician or sage, but he was also a scholar, a revolutionary, a poet, a philosopher, a social and ...]

Thanks to Google Books, I read a few pages of the book for the first time this morning. The impression I gathered was it is an indispensable work.

The Many Lives of R.C. Dutt by Meenakshi Mukherjee is also an interesting recent publication as “a prism which refracts the relationships between the West and India, colonialism and nationalism, elite and subaltern Indians, literature and history and much else.” [TNM]

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quo vadis, Koantum?

[Ulrich Mohrhoff has, until recently, taught physics and quantum philosophy at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE) in Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry), India.
He received his education (in physics) from the
University of Göttingen, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India... He has published numerous articles on these subjects. He is also the managing editor of AntiMatters, an open-access e-journal addressing issues in science and the humanities from non-materialistic perspectives.
He can be reached via
this email address. This Quantum World Home The Author]

It appears that Mohrhoff is no longer with SAICE. [TNM]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

After the eggs and rotten tomatos thrown at her

The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger "reads like a long letter by an ignorant tourist with some pretensions to scholarship," remonstrates Debashish Banerji [Thu 12 Nov 2009 Science, Culture and Integral Yoga]. One expects of him equal honesty on Heehs' weighty tome.

Banerji, thankfully, offers a corrective to the tomfoolery of Bibek Debroy who had proclaimed colourfully, "Doniger’s is an amazingly breathtaking book in its sweep... As far as I am concerned, four books from my bookshelf have now been dislodged (A.L. Basham, Agehananda Bharati, Percival Spear, Romila Thapar) to make room for this one and this is reflective of the content. It is a great book." [IE » Columnist » Om School » Saturday 10 October '09]. [TNM]

BJP should follow Sri Aurobindo

The genesis of BJP from the dual membership issue has now come to haunt the party itself. It became a multibagger by attracting floating supporters when came to power by sewing up the NDA with TDP crutch. Ideological consistency gave way to expediency and opportunitism. Obviously, such flippancy can't work for ever.

The party needs a robust ideology now, and instead of banking on borrowed icons, BJP should follow Sri Aurobindo. [TNM] [Comments By Tusar N. Mohapatra 11/12/2009 11:30:00 AM Home > Opinion > Columnists > Neerja Chowdhury > Does Advani deserve this? Expressbuzz: 10 Nov 2009]

Tusar N. Mohapatra,
President, Savitri Era Party.
Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum. [SELF]
SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram,
Ghaziabad, U.P. - 201014, Ph: 0120 -2605636

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Graham Harman’s Schopenhauerian moment

[Gratton responds on Derrida from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek
When I was 25, it was possible to get really drunk on a new book, to feel sensations of euphoria and to feel that the world was turned-upside down. A decade and a half later, it’s not the same thing: I can really admire and appreciate and be stunned by new books, but it’s no longer ever like falling crazily in love. I have my own position now, so I’m immediately sizing up strong and weak points of any book I read in what I hope is a fairly balanced fashion, not thinking: “oh man, this is it” like at 25. So in a sense, it’s too late for me to be a convert to anything.
11:57 AM]

Graham Harman’s wistful nostalgia for his youth decodes as a mild strain of midlife crisis seeping in. In the next few years, the meaning of life question is likely to torment him more often. Then he will be compelled to split his “position” into two logical streams:

  1. Career oriented ontology (COO) - as a teacher, author, and blogger; &
  2. Truth seeking ontology (TSO) - for his own life and personal growth.

The former, evidently, will harden further consistent with his present admission. But in the second arena, he can keep his options open. He may start with familiarizing himself with Indian philosophy and savor his Schopenhauerian moment, but avoid digging too deep into the black hole.

Right away, then, he can take a flight to Sri Aurobindo to fathom the director behind the universe of objects/actors. The speculative turn, thus, may turn out to be the spiritual turn, as happened in the case of Roy Bhaskar, and it’s not a bad proposition either. [TNM 1:00 PM ]

The Life Divine is the greatest philosophical book

[In my opinion, the two greatest philosophical books of the 20th century are Being and Time and Process and Reality. (Husserl’s Logical Investigations is close to that league, but there’s no way to do little bits of it in a 300-level class.) Levinas is a personal favorite of mine, and as a sort of ex-Heideggerian I admire Levinas’s unique blend of admiration/critique when it comes to Heidegger, and you all know as well I regard Levinas as the most innovative reader of Heidegger we have. That’s the way to get beyond Heidegger, not the other French ways. But alas, Levinas has been pigeonholed as a pious rabbi droning on about the Other. That’s OK; it will pass.
And I also do think that Naming and Necessity is one of the greatest works of 20th century philosophy. If it were longer and covered more topics it would rise even higher on the list, and is already probably one of the best five. (And for someone with my background, that’s saying something.)
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek]

The Life Divine "is the greatest achievement of Mankind! It is the greatest philosophical book ever written and in the best English Language ever written too. By N.H. (CYPRUS) - September 25, 2005 Permalink." [TNM]

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Green hot air

[Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part Y by Pravir on Sun 08 Nov 2009 08:55 AM IST Profile Permanent Link
Some thoughts on Green: This may mean the erection of alternative forms of currency beyond monetary, and the creation of an alternative financial and stock market system that focuses on other attributes, perhaps drawing more direct inspiration from the underlying fourfold order. Pushed to its limits Green could also mean that which in the final analysis is most sustainable. In here perhaps there is tremendous opportunity to re-create or new-create based on the multidimensionality of the fourfold motive forces. Naturally all this can provide a huge field for India to exercise leadership.]
by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Sun 08 Nov 2009 09:09 AM IST Profile Permanent Link
I don't sense remotely anything you write here in Indirapuram. Are we living in the same country?

Tusar N. Mohapatra,
President, Savitri Era Party.
Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum. [SELF]
SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram,
U.P. - 201014, Ph: 0120 -2605636 INDIA Reply
by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Tue 10 Nov 2009 02:48 PM IST Profile Permanent Link
“The art of the possible” is a classic definition of politics, but your version of “possibility” defies all sense of proportion. If your post is simply poetic, then one can enjoy the verdant inspiration behind the “fictional creation” but such a luxury, I presume, is certainly not intended. Further, the yardstick with which you measure “The trend of global economic development” seems to be defective from which flows a flawed prophecy.
My request is to be careful with facts and figures while operating in the public domain so that we earn some credibility and not be seen merely as dreamy-eyed recluses. [TNM] Reply
The above post has been unilaterally and arbitrarily deleted by R.Y. Deshpande from mirror of tomorrow which I protest. Such fascist instincts are really frightening. [TNM]

Friday, November 06, 2009

Political nullity

The following offers an apposite backdrop to The Bourgeois and the Samurai by Sri Aurobindo that promptly pricks conscience:
  • "Hegel also offers the first polemically political definition of the bourgeois. The bourgeois is an individual who does not want to leave the apolitical riskless private sphere. He rests in the possession of his private property, and under the justification of his possessive individualism he acts as an individual against the totality. He is a man who finds his compensation for his political nullity in the fruits of freedom and enrichment and above all in the total security of its use. Consequently he wants to be spared bravery and exempted from the danger of a violent death." [The concept of the political - Google Books Result by Carl Schmitt, George Schwab - 2007 - Philosophy - 126 pages]


Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo are a compelling benchmark

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo are a compelling benchmark. Their words and action constitutes a decidedly reliable guidance in charting out a course for a fulfilling life. The life’s journey is no longer a mere medley of passions but trudges toward an enviable destination. This sense of transformation of the routine life into a meaningful one, in fact, works wonders.

Human life, at its core however, is an embodied one. The meandering itinerary from cradle to grave proceeds from moment to moment, from footmark to footmark. The frail body harboring a tenuous life-breath encounters shipwrecks, tsunamis, and super-cyclones. Not only physically, but also in the emotional landscape; whereupon the faith wavers, the grip dwindles.

Alternative ontologies come forward to cash in on the situation. They promise easy amelioration and swift rehabilitation. Many well-heeled brands proclaim their disdain for anything beyond this observable world. Wealth creation and march of technology is sought to be the creed. Some others peddle astrology, numerology etc. by posturing acquaintance with the galaxies. The individual is taken in at times and realizes his folly after a long detour.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, therefore, insist on steadfastness. This is secured in two ways: devotional loyalty and rational conviction. The former method can be intense and sovereign, but susceptible to occasional coup. Rational conviction, on the other hand, is deduced from a coherent ontology. Built brick by brick with logic; love and loyalty lend the cementing.

The temptation to make do with a manageable ontology is always there. Folk songs and film dialogues, parables and proverbs are a rich source of ontological propositions which appeal to the sentiments. Friendly conversations often turn ontological battle grounds reflecting ideological tussle. Sticking to the right ontology, therefore, is the challenge. [TNM]