Monday, June 29, 2009

Decency and consideration

[Jackson’s self-remaking can only be understood as a kind of Afrofuturist nightmare, a violent (to himself) leap into the posthuman. As Annalee Newitz puts it, Jackson “turned his body into a kind of science fiction story. He became an enhanced human, using plastic surgery and pharmaceuticals to change his face and seemingly his race as well. He became whiter than most white people, and his pale bandaged skin became his trademark.” Michael Jackson from The Pinocchio Theory by


Hasn't history taught us the error of burying our heads in the sand?

Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part A
by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Mon 29 Jun 2009 01:53 PM IST Profile Permanent Link
Each one of us is working for/attached to some organization/ideal or the other and one’s freedom/course of action is restricted to that extent. The life goals too goad to achieve, thus helping one to learn and evolve. [TNM] Reply

Even Carlson contributes his mite here. Heehs and Kripal too

Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part A
by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Mon 29 Jun 2009 12:40 AM IST Profile Permanent Link
The might of the leftist academy is not easy to fight. Let’s leave it there. Your more important question: “are the facts, premises and the conclusions correct and to what extent?” concerns theory and methodology i.e., both ontology and epistemology. Brilliant philosophers of the day are wrestling with these issues under the rubric Speculative realism. So let’s wait and watch.
As far as we are concerned, all riddles are resolved in The Life Divine. But they have had no chance to read it. It is bounden on us to wean them away. It’s a long haul and a multi-pronged enterprise. Even Carlson contributes his mite here. Heehs and Kripal too. [TNM] Reply

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Applications of integral yoga psychology: rhythms and cycles of breath and movement

[International Congress in Auroville, 5-8 January 2010
“Spirituality beyond Religions” A New Path to a Universal Cultural Dialogue
There is an emergent trend worldwide to explore the integral momentum of spirituality.
There is a growing awareness that although religious traditions continue to support ethical values, individuals need and are seeking a deeper personal understanding of the spiritual dimension.
There is an urgent need to account for an experience of transcendence that is inherent in the universal human potential referred to as “spiritual”.]

[SAVITRI IMMERSION WORKSHOP SERIES – SAVITRI SOLAR DOME – Crestone Colorado, by ROD: EXPLORATIONS IN breathing and its underlying rhythms and patterns, their interplay and bridging of body and mind - the sense of listening to oneself and the world around (its differentiation from mere hearing)]

A new religion based on Buddhist meditational practices seems to be in the offing. [TNM]

Setting the record straight after the damage

[Artistic expression and creative freedom must not be curbed excessively. The film must be judged as a whole and from the point of view of the impact... It was observed that the violent rape scene was "disgusting" and... The object was not to titillate the viewer but to arouse sympathy for the victim and disgust for the criminal. Nakedness does not always arouse the baser instincts. Tears, pity, horror and a feeling of shame are the reaction at the sadism and heartlessness of those who stripped her to rob her of dignity. thehoot.org]

[Lastly, how does it all reflect on the author, for the book indicates more his personality than that of his subject? As somebody put it so aptly, one can see in it a constant inner tussle between his admiration and sarcasm for Sri Aurobindo, which has resulted in a state of confusion and indecision with regard to his final assessment. One can admit that he has some respect for the Master as evinced by the oft-repeated strategy of setting the record straight after the damage he perpetrates, but he performs this act with a deep-seated grudge. ]

"The book indicates more his personality than that of his subject" is a contemptible observation. [TNM]

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Why blame the likes of Romila Thapar

Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part A
by
Tusar N. Mohapatra on Sat 27 Jun 2009 01:37 PM IST Profile Permanent Link

Why blame the likes of Romila Thapar when no one from our own stable has written any dependable history. So much so that bloomers litter even a post of a dozen lines. Quoting “the Master's words” is an affliction with us that distorts the context and contorts our view of the future. [TNM] Reply

Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part C
by
Tusar N. Mohapatra on Sat 27 Jun 2009 01:58 PM IST Profile Permanent Link

Lest the concluding lines appear a cruel joke, our slumdogs toiling to win an Oscar is perhaps an instance of saving grace. [TNM] Reply

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Alok never wanted a court case against Peter":

RYD demands full length articles. Anon demands a book. Such privileging over blog posts is unfair and anachronistic. [TNM] Posted to Savitri Era Open Forum at 4:55 PM, June 27, 2009

Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part A
by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Sun 28 Jun 2009 09:54 AM IST Profile Permanent Link
Dear Srikanth,
What you say about publishing is right, but blogs, thankfully, have altered the scene, which, I observe, you are yet to take seriously and contribute regularly. [TNM] Reply

Friday, June 26, 2009

Divine incarnation in its developmental aspects - a fetish

[The dear fellow ignores the significance of the trikaldristi that the Master had acquired. Sri Aurobindo could have easily observed his father's condition at the time of death. The Master wasn't some aging thoughtless fool dying of kidney failure. Re: Is it Imbroglio or Falsification?
by Angiras on Sat 27 Jun 2009 06:50 AM IST
Profile Permanent Link Reply]

[Introduction Issues Yoga, religion, and fundamentalism in the Integral Yoga community
On Darshan day, for instance, there are huge crowds filing through the samadhi at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Also, many of us do regard Mother and Sri Aurobindo as direct incarnations of the Divine, and we do have altars with photos of Mother and Sri Aurobindo in our homes.
So, quick digression — is it wrong to be religious in this way, that is to feel a devotion to Mother and Sri Aurobindo? I’d say no, for various reasons. For those who have a strong faith, this type of devotion may bring deep, first-hand spiritual experience beyond mentality which is not superficial. Not all people need to approach the Divine through the mind; bhakti is an effective way to open to the inner consciousness — and that’s not religion, that’s yoga.
Opening remarks by
Lynda Lester for a panel discussion at AUM 2007 on fundamentalist tendencies in the Integral Yoga community. IY Fundamentalism]

[Introduction Standpoints Concerning The Lives of Sri Aurobindo
I have read so many books about Sri Aurobindo, so many books full of devotion, so many that exalted him as the avatar; indeed, I have held him to be the avatar from the moment I started Integral Yoga, and have never had a moment's doubt. This certitude goes far beyond mental belief; numerous times I have palpably experienced him as the Ishwara, pranamed to him, been ravished by his divinity. Which is to say, I am permeated by love and adoration for Sri Aurobindo, and doing his yoga is the meaning and purpose of my life... What this book gives is a closer look at divine incarnation in its developmental aspects... What all this shows is that even for the avatar, yoga means facing challenges and unknowns, conquering obstacles, and going forward with faith and perseverance -- sometimes against tremendous odds and apparent impossibilities. Sri Aurobindo wasn't born free from imperfection; he had a human nature. The purpose of his yoga is transformation of human nature; he was his own first guinea pig. Because it worked for him, we know it can work for us. In my mind, this one of the things that Peter's book illustrates: there is hope for us humans; we can succeed in the yoga. Sri Aurobindo has been there, done that, and proved it's possible. We don't have to feel bad that we struggle, that it's difficult to take the proper course of action, that we don't know what's going to happen — Sri Aurobindo went through the kind of trials and ordeals we face every day, and he conquered. Seeing how he evolved, step by tiny step, from humanhood to superhumanhood, seems to me to be most wonderful; a breadcrumb trail of how Sri Aurobindo's outer nature changed. Originally posted as a comment by Lynda Lester on
Debashish Banerji's Stand wrt The Lives of Sri Aurobindo. IY Fundamentalism]

Lynda Lester writes persuasively. If "we do have altars with photos of Mother and Sri Aurobindo in our homes," and if "the idea that Sri Aurobindo was the avatar and brought the truth to earth has been repeated so consistently for so long that it has become a strong mental formation, even a doctrine," then it surely is a religion. That Sri Aurobindo "was his own first guinea pig" and "evolved, step by tiny step, from humanhood to superhumanhood," is simply a fetish for the Western mind. [TNM]

Heehs imbroglio brings into relief the basic metaphysical chasm

[Panpsychism from The Pinocchio Theory by Steven Shaviro. In my last book, I wrote that Whitehead’s position, that all entities have a “mental” as well as a “physical” pole, needs to be distinguished “from the ‘panpsychism’ of which he is sometimes accused” (page 28). I now realize that this is entirely wrong; such a distinction cannot be made, because Whitehead’s position is, in a very classical sense, a panpsychist one... Few of us are willing today to take Descartes’ dualist route, however. So the question becomes: how do we explain qualia, or phenomenal experience, or consciousness, or “inner” experience, on a materialist or monist basis?]

[it seems to me that virtually every social grouping and institution in the Western world is in some sense continuous with Christianity — including capitalism (which we are given to believe we supposedly resist in “the church” through the sheer act of taking communion or something). And if capitalism is in some continuity with Christianity — meaning that Christianity bears some responsibility for the rise of capitalism, something that I think only bad-faith propagandists could wholly deny — then arguably the whole world stands in continuity with Christianity.
Obviously there’s not a complete absense of a normative ideal — anything that looks too much like being “merely liberal” is obviously suspect to these people — but the normative ideal itself seems to be heavily slanted toward the value of continuity as such. Just by adhering to tradition, we’re suddenly really subversive. Meanwhile, the occasional critiques of “the Enlightenment” and various other hints show that we’re dealing with a really strong view of the break represented by the advent of modernity — meaning that “the church” preserves the old good stuff as a kind of foreign body in a modern world that has completely rejected Christianity and self-originated as something completely and irreducibly different.
More on “the church”: continuity
from An und für sich by Adam Kotsko]

[Sri Aurobindo was a champion in this endeavor, basing his seminal work "The Life Divine" upon his large commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, Yoga, and Gita. That he was not promoting a 'western progression' idea against a world negating Indian civilization is evident from his and the Mother's very explicit and voluminous works on the central importance of India's civilization to the future evolution of human consciousness... Part (4) is the intellectual challenge started by Sri Aurobindo more daringly than anyone else and deserves to be continued. Language Hegemony and the Construction of Identity by Rajiv Malhotra
Copyright 2001, The Infinity Foundation]

[Introduction > Overview
We, the creators of this site, are concerned about recent actions by a vocal minority among the followers or devotees of Sri Aurobindo, and reactions by impressionable masses inside and outside the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. There are signs of attempts to turn the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother into a religion with some of the characteristics of fundamentalism. IY Fundamentalism]

[Millenialism is the promise of an earthly paradise and a savior who will usher it in for all mankind usually under apocalyptic conditions slated for an indefinite calendar date. These elements of the savior, the date and the vision of a heaven on earth are the irrational handles exploited by religious leaders to rouse, unite and subject masses to their will. It may be useful to note that all these elements are present in some form in Sri Aurobindo's corpus, making it vulnerable to such cultic abuse by upstart gurus if they can find fertile social grounds of faithful masses willing to surrender their rationality for their authorized interpretation. DB Re: Apocalyptic Islam and Iranian Shi'ism by book review by Ray Takeyh (NYRB) / interview with Abbas Amanat (U Tube) Debashish Tue 23 Jun 2009 07:18 AM PDT]

If "arguably the whole world stands in continuity with Christianity," Savitri Era Religion too owes a few strands of genealogy to it. This hybridity (in the trivial sense) of Savitri Era Religion vis-à-vis the hybridity (in the postcolonial connotation) needs to be discussed threadbare instead of euphemistically relegated as a Synthesis, in the light of the Heehs imbroglio and its future implications.

More than colonial or political, the Heehs imbroglio brings into relief the basic metaphysical chasm twixt the East and the West. Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian dualism is yet to come to terms with Integral Advaita and the divine manifestation of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. [TNM]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spiritual Destiny vs. political literacy

Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part B
by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Thu 25 Jun 2009 07:25 PM IST Profile Permanent Link

The Heehs imbroglio has exposed how precarious it is to find the “righteous way.” India’s Spiritual Destiny will have to wait until we are politically literate, at the least. [TNM] Reply

Advani has emasculated the BJP

[Lessons from the 15th Lok Sabha elections
from Maxwell Pereira's Blog by Maxwell Pereira
Retired Justice David Annoussamy shared with me his analysis of the last elections to the 15th Lok Sabha: Lessons from the 15th Lok Sabha elections Money for votes Though there was tangible progress in many respects in the electoral process, distribution of money to voters continued unabated. Candidates were alert enough to take care of inflation and increased the rate accordingly.]

[Elections 2009: Read the Fine Print
from Friends of BJP -- Because India Deserves Better by rajesh
by GVL Narasimha Rao. If the Congress’s revival is not the reason for its stupendous success in the polls, what factors have contributed to its victory? The party benefited primarily from the decline and division in the vote share of its opponents... The scale of the Congress’s success has astounded everyone, including party bigwigs. The ‘wave’ in favour of the Congress, however, was invisible — because there wasn’t any.
It is the failure of the BJP and other parties to hold their own that caused the BJP’s defeat; not because of a serious challenge from the Congress. This should be the message for parties like the BJP. G.V.L. Narasimha Rao is a BJP political analyst.
(This article was first published in Hindustan Times on June 23, 2009.)
]

[Creation of Small States
from Friends of BJP -- Because India Deserves Better by rajesh
by Anish Tripathi
The time for the creation of smaller states has obviously come and BJP is largely seen as a party that is friendly towards the concept of smaller states, unlike the Congress, where it is a political stance (say depending on whether it needs TRS votes at that point in time or not)... Why can’t the BJP, a party committed to the cause of smaller states, take up this issue, to demand the establishment of a process, so that legitimate demands do not get stifled due to politics, and mindless politics do not create needless demands for states that are not viable?]

[BJP defeat is a defeat of BJP brand of journalism
from churumuri by churumuri
PRITAM SENGUPTA in New Delhi and SHARANYA KANVILKAR in Bombay write
: The stunning defeat of the BJP in the general elections has been dissected so many times and by so many since May 16 that there is little that has been left unsaid.
What has been left unsaid is how the BJP’s defeat also marks the comeuppance of a certain breed of journalists who had chucked all pretence to non-partisanship and made it their mission to tom-tom the party, in print and on air, for a decade and more...
However, the rise of the “muscular” BJP saw the birth of a “muscular” breed of journalists who unabashedly batted for the party’s politics and policies—without revealing their allegiance while enjoying its fruits “
lavishly“—in a manner that would have embarrassed even the official spokesmen of the “Hindu nationalist party”.]

[The political resolution bizarrely equates Hinduism with Hindutva. This was best avoided. Hinduism is about faith, which is by definition narrow and exclusive. Hindutva is about political mobilisation, which has to be inclusive and all-embracing. Waffle at BJP National Executive meeting
from Agent Provocateur by Kanchan Gupta. The party should have said:
Hindutva is rooted in India’s cultural and civilisational ethos, of which faith (Hinduism, Islam or Christianity) is only one inter-changeable component; it is representative of India’s identity as an ancient nation and a modern nation state; it links India’s past with its present and mirrors its aspirations for a better future. It defines Indianness or Bharatiyata. It is the cornerstone of cultural nationalism, the BJP's USP. It is rooted in egalitarianism, tolerance and compassion. It celebrates democracy. It harmonises differences. It rests on the principle of justice to all, appeasement of none.]

[radha rajan: advani's bjp is gandhi's congress
jun 24th, 2009 From: Radha

If we remove the blinkers from our eyes and study our country's history from around 1890, it strikes us forcefully that the BJP today is Advani's BJP and Advani's BJP is the Gandhi Congress siamese twin. Advani has so emasculated the BJP as Gandhi emasculated the Congress and so despotic is advani's control of the BJP as was Gandhi's despotic control of the Congress that the BJP thinks there is no life beyond and after Advani just as the Congress thought then that there was no life beyond and after Gandhi. Gandhi destroyed Hindu political assertion and Advani is doing the same.
The Congress created, or shall we say the accepted culture for the Congress was that the Congress will be always headed by Gandhi clones or mortals desperately trying to be Gandhi clones. Ditto with Advani... We have rejected Advani, his coterie, Sudheendra Kulkarni and the new-cults. I dont want a Gandhi clone, I dont want another failed INC now masquerading as the BJP.
The Congress at least, true to its origins has gone back to being led by an European Christian. The BJP as it is today, will at best not even be a clone but a cheap imitation. RR
Posted by nizhal yoddha at
6/24/2009 11:15:00 PM]

[DR. SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE MEMORIAL DEBATE COMPETITON
Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation is organizing a debate competition for the youth of Bengal on the topic- Nationalism Is The Key To Regain Bengal’s Pride. The competition will take place on the 5th of July on the occasion of 109th birth anniversary of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee.
read more http://www.indiannationalism.org/ , http://www.theideology.org/ , http://www.deendayalupadhyaya.org/ , http://www.drsyamaprasadmookerjee.org/]

Post-election Potpourri. [TNM]

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On to an Integral, Indistinct Union

An avalanche of astute Ontological ruminations arrived today. [TNM]

Keeping antenna oriented in the political direction

[Now, RSS chief says Hindutva all-inclusive
Indian Express - Arun Sharma Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 2345 hrs IST ‎Jammu: ‎
After BJP leader L K Advani projected Hindutva as a tolerant and accommodative philosophy, it was time for the RSS chief Mohan Rao Bhagwat to toe the same line.
“To call one a Hindu, one need not leave anything — neither religion nor identity,” Bhagwat said while addressing the Rashtriya Jagran Sabha (national awakening meet) at Jammu University here on Tuesday afternoon on the death anniversary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder-president Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee. “Hindutva says that all can live together. It is tolerant and accommodative. It does not have hatred towards any faith,” said the RSS chief.]

Politics is a great teacher, and because of the BJP, RSS is learning to reinvent itself. Savitri Erans, similarly, should keep their antenna oriented in the political direction to remain relevant and contemporary. [TNM]

Everything in the world thinks

[Panpsychism from The Pinocchio Theory by Steven Shaviro
In my last book, I wrote that Whitehead’s position, that all entities have a “mental” as well as a “physical” pole, needs to be distinguished “from the ‘panpsychism’ of which he is sometimes accused” (page 28). I now realize that this is entirely wrong; such a distinction cannot be made, because Whitehead’s position is, in a very classical sense, a panpsychist one. Moreover, panpsychism is a respectable philosophical position, and not something that anyone needs to worry about being “accused” of.]

If only all authors so confessed the wrongs wrought by them. [TNM]

Kepler disappoints

[“Spirituality without faith”: Authentic spirituality involves an emotional response, what I will call the spiritual response, which can include feelings of significance, unity, awe, joy, acceptance, and consolation. Such feelings are intrinsically rewarding and so are sought out in their own right, but they also help us in dealing with difficult situations involving death, loss, and disappointment. The spiritual response thus helps meet our affective needs for both celebration and reconciliation.
But what might evoke these states? Spirituality often involves a cognitive context, a set of beliefs about oneself and the world which can both inspire the spiritual response and provide an interpretation of it. Naturalism.org
Spirituality without faith
from Open Integral]

A Matter of Mind by J. Kepler (Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Tue 23 Jun 2009 Permanent Link) is a huge disappointment. His assumption that some are in possession of pure reason and are propelled by it, is a myth. Most, on the contrary, act reflecting some "Progressive Personality Disorder" (Cognitive Disorder of Progressives: Rewritten: 4:10 AM) or other. [TNM]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Concentrate on facing the challenges posed by the external adversaries

[The only way to clear the mess is by an integral return to the Source. We have the same problem in Auroville, where some people look at me as a fundamentalist. Paulette 11:37 AM]

The crisis in BJP seems to have blown over as the party veered round to sticking to its core competence. Savitri Erans, similarly, may move forward and concentrate on facing the challenges posed by the external adversaries. [TNM]

Saturday, June 20, 2009

We have borrowed it from Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Dayananda Saraswati

[Nationalism means India first without getting embarrassed or apologetic for our Hinduness. The situation demands a better solidarity and not further divisions. It requires an intellectual commitment to India as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo. We must prove ourselves worthy of it. Who falls if India rises? - The Right View - Tarun Vijay 20 May 2009 (The author is director of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation)]

[What is the “real” Hindutva? First, you must understand Hindutva is not something the RSS has created for us to be able to rethink it, change it, or remodel it. We have borrowed it from Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Dayananda Saraswati. This country has a particular identity which we describe as Hindutva — not just us, it has been described as such for millennia. We are trying to strengthen that identity.
But what is this “identity” everyone is supposed to bow to? It is very positive. Today, nations are looking for their true historical identity, which may have been camouflaged by other historical developments. People are writing about reinventing entire nations. In 2003, Samuel Huntington asked the question, “Who are We?” America is rethinking its identity as a nation: is it just a melting pot or is it more? Hindutva has been misunderstood. We want to remove these misconceptions. That’s why I am interacting with you.
What are these “misconceptions”? To project Hindutva as a narrow, fundamentalist ideology is misrepresentation. We welcome everybody.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spokesman Ram Madhav talks to SHOMA CHAUDHURY about some of these issues — WRITER’S EMAIL shoma@tehelka.com
From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 25, Dated Jun 27, 2009
'New-Age Gurus Are The New Form Of Hindutva' Tehelka - New Delhi, India]

Ram Madhav is oblivious of the fact that it is not easy to reconcile the views of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Dayananda Saraswati. Hindutva: Exploring the Idea of Hindu Nationalism by Jyotirmaya Sharma is doing the trick, it seems. [TNM]

Friday, June 19, 2009

Online discussion forum with suitable policies against censor

[Sri Aurobindo was a contemporary of Ramana Maharishi and was also an Indian mystic. He is well known for trying to integrate evolution and consciousness along lines similar (but not identical) to Teilhard de Chardin. Aurobindo and Ramana died in the same year - 1950 - but never met since Aurobindo could not leave Pondicherry - a French colony - at that time. (He would have been arrested and imprisoned by the British if he had.) The crucial extra element that Aurobindo brought to Indian philosophy/mysticism is a collective aspect of spirit. While he describes communion, union and identity with Spirit in a manner that is similar to Vedanta, he later articulates the descent of the Supermind along with the creation of a new Man and a new advanced society. The Mother (Mirra Alfassa) attempted to carry out this program and helped found Auroville - a model for such an advanced society. In recent times, this theme has been further developed in a (constructive) postmodern direction by Ken Wilber and his followers. The ashram in Pondicherry is also immaculate. Due to The Mother's influence, it has beautiful floral arrangements. In contrast to Ramana Maharishi's ashram, it has much smaller meditation spaces (at least public ones). Through some contacts, we managed to get passes to go to the upper floor of the ashram and observe the living quarters of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother since these have been preserved. You're greeted by the exhortation "Cling to the Truth" as you climb the stairs. I tried to meditate while sitting in the presence of Aurobindo's portrait and was rewarded with an unexpected communion with his rather arresting eyes when I opened my own and looked up after the meditation. The area surrounding the ashram is very well kept and maintained - in sharp contrast to the squalor in Tiruvannamalai - and this is no doubt due to the "descent of the Supermind" community-centric philosophy and The Mother's influence. The meditation areas left much to be desired though.In conclusion, and on a somewhat downbeat note, I felt that these spirits had really departed. Both ashrams have a mausoleum-like feel and no new leaders with anything close to these personalities have emerged. Tough act to follow I must admit. I'm going to check out Auroville the next time I'm in India. Departed Spirits - Ramana Maharishi and Sri Aurobindo from Zaadz: Anands blog by Anand
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[My very strong feeling is that Shared Spaces are the way out. If you look at the conflicted relationship between government and corporations, what stands out is the way both try and grind the ordinary citizen to dust. But in the information age that we are surely in, it is the second person, P2P, social networking or the shared space culture in general that is ascendant. Unfortunately, we are still technologically way behind the curve in terms of the user interface infrastructure necessary to foster the building of shared spaces - with the sorry state of virtual worlds and social networking sites (like this one) helping me buttress my opinion. And, we don't even know how we build up culture or the second person in general when you remove traditional structures such as family, tribe, church and team. This is likely to be a bigger stumbling block before we can realize that the space between public and private is vast and encompasses both. End of an Era: Public, Private and Shared Spaces from Zaadz: Anands blog by Anand
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, , , , , , , ]

Scores of serious issues concerning the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the devotees have come up for discussion during the last one year. Apprehensions on many fronts have been expressed in broad strokes in the course of the Heehs imbroglio. All these problems are political in nature and many arise for the want of ideological fine tuning. The Lives lapse by the Ashram has done enormous damage to the legacy of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. Not only vigilance is stepped up, but also commensurate mechanism needs to be put in place so that such things don't recur.

A centralized online discussion forum is required to be launched with suitable policies against censor. A vibrant community is possible if conversation within it is also vibrant. The centenary of Karmayogin today should leave us in no doubt about its necessity. [TNM]

Dr. JP’s crystal gazing

[2014 belongs to the Lok Satta, Asserts Dr. JP
from Jayaprakash Narayan's Blog by tnsatish
If the Lok Satta Party sticks to its values without any compromise, the year 2014 definitely belongs to it, asserted party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today. “And the political calendar too favors the fledgling party”.]

Astrological prediction is the last thing we expect from Dr. JP of the Lok Satta Party. [TNM]

Kelamuni unimpressed by Sri Aurobindo

[Da is not the only person to note the "logic" of this kind of movement. This "movement" is also described by the Japanese Buddhist scholar Nagao in his various articles on Madhyamika and Yogachara. This emphasis upon immanence is taken over by the Tantric schools such as the Vajrayana and Kashmiri Shaivism, both of which were heavily indebted to the Yogachara, and melded with the generally "world-centric" orientation of Tantrism. Historically, what the Vajrayana does is take the "three-fold turning" over from the Yogachara and apply it to a kind of "pseudo-historigraphy" so as to justify Tibetan Buddhism. There, inn the self-understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, we find the three "yanas," Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana, where we once found the three "turnings."Something very similar could be done with the Hindu traditions of Samkhya, classical Advaita Vedanta, and Kashmiri Shaivism. One could probably extract just such a conception from the works of Abhivanagupta, who speaks of the Shaiva Kaula dharma as "transcending and including" all other traditions, including classical advaita vedanta, just as the elephant's footprint obliterates the tracks of all other animals. Wilber, Nirvanasara, and Teleology in Indian History
from Gaia Community: kelamuni's Blog by kelamuni]

[The Question of the Status of the World in Advaita Vedanta
from Gaia Community: kelamuni's Blog by kelamuni
The question of the status of the world is one of the basic questions on the menu of Indian philosophical topics. It is a question that is particularly associated with the so-called "illusionistic" or "idealist" schools (Madhyamika, Yogachara, Advaita Vedanta) but it is also important for those "realist" schools that oppose them. The terms "maya-vada," "vijnana-vada," and "shunya-vada" all reflect the priority of the question of the nature of the world for these schools, since each term is an expression of their respective answers to the question (illusory; of the nature of consciousness; empty).]

[This same Socratic theme of knowing one's limitations reappears in the works of Kierkegaard, and here we find the other dominant "figure" in the West: that of Jesus. Here, the issue becomes not so much whether or not Kierkegaard's contemporaries are sages, but the degree to which they can be called "Christians". Kierkegaard sets an almost impossible standard here; indeed in his version of the "imitation of Christ" the only true Christian can be Christ himself. Just as Socrates finds no true sages among his peers, Kierkegaard finds no true "Christians". We might say that for the ancients, the image of the "sage" functions entirely as a kind of "transcendent norm". Sage-hood lies beyond the grasp of the mere mortal, but it is something that should be striven after nonetheless. While sage-hood functions as a kind of transcendent norm that can only ever be approached asymptotically, the practical paradigm becomes that of the lover of wisdom, represented by the figure of Socrates (and other figures such as Pyrrho, Diogenes, Epicurus, and so on). Two of the characteristic features of this general teaching of the ancients can be said to be the teaching that the lover of wisdom is a composite of both wisdom/knowledge and folly/ignorance, and that the lover of wisdom unceasingly engages in enquiry (zetesis; skepsis)... This "pedagogic" virtue is an expression of his "care" or "compassion" (karuna) for other beings. In the Mahayana, this "compassion" appears as a kind of sister virtue alongside that of "wisdom" (prajna). The entire practical edifice here is designed to efface the individual practitioner's conception of himself as a "sage" or "buddha", and to replace that conception with the idea that one can only ever be "on the way" to Buddha-hood. In this sense, the "bodhi-sattva" can be said to be analogous to the classical Western ideal of the "lover of wisdom". Is there an analogue to the ideal of the "love of wisdom" in the Upanishadic traditions? The approximate semantic equivalent of "jijnasa" may be loosely analogous. This term means the "desire to know" - the prefix "ji-" denoting the so-called "desiderative" case. This important term appears at the beginning of both the Brahma Sutras and the Samkhya Karikas, and it would appear to be an indicator of the so called "path of knowledge" (jnana-marga). On Sagehood and the Love of Wisdom
from Gaia Community: kelamuni's Blog by kelamuni]

In the seamless narrative of Kelamuni the contribution of Sri Aurobindo, it seems, is either negligible or dispensable. [TNM]

Savitri Era Party vs. BJP

[The political Congress disowned in the public domain all that had inspired the freedom movement—the worship of Mother India in “Vande Mataram” of Maharishi Bankimchandra which made thousands to sacrifice their life and youth for the nation’s freedom; the goal of “Ram Rajya” set by Mahatma Gandhi for independent India which inspired millions to follow him; the ideal of “spiritual nationalism” which Swami Vivekananda had articulated as the core of India; the spirit of Sanatana Dharma which Maharishi Aurobindo saw as the very nationalism of India. The failure of the Congress created the need and the space for the Jana Sangh. The Jana Sangh was ideologically no Hindu Mahasabha, which was the pre-independence adversary of the Congress; in fact, it had repudiated Mahasabha’s views. S Gurumurthy BJP fills the ideological space forsaken by Cong‎ - Livemint: Thu, Jun 18 2009. 12:16 AM IST Respond to this column at feedback@livemint.com S. Gurumurthy is a commentator on political and economic issues and a former convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch.]

[RSS itself is an idea, more than merely an organisation. It signifies an alternative socio-economic philosophy. Egalitarianism is the core guiding value for RSS and its affiliates... BJP leaders should do soul searching not only on ideology but also on the image-deficit of its leadership. It should not be a hostage of journalistic thinking, of those whose understanding of the RSS is skin deep. RSS could not be used even by the Hindu Mahasabha in 30’ and 40’s when its leaders Hedgewar and Golwalkar were little-known personalities in comparison to tall Hindu ideologues like VD Savakar, Dr B S Moonje or Bhai Parmananda. Even in 1978-79, the Janata Party faced the dual membership crisis and the demand for dissolution of RSS was raised. RSS remained uncompromising. BJP cannot make any concession on its social philosophy. Its present suffering is a forerunner of a long due ideological and organisational consolidation. Rakesh Sinha Posted: Friday , Jun 19, 2009 at 0131 hrs IST IE » The courage of conviction The writer is associate professor, Delhi University and biographer of RSS founder Dr K.B Hedgewar]

[Sinha is right about one thing though – the BJP-RSS is left of center. The reason for that is not because they have thought about it. It is because they have conceded the debate to the leftist’s. They talk in the language of the left – on terms set by the left. Their objective is to simply be accepted by the left and for the abuse to stop. They do not mind being the lesser devil – as long as they are not called so.It is what happens when you focus on shakha-drill and not enough on developing ideas. It gets you great soldiers– but it does not get you great generals The suicide of Gandhian Socialism
Posted by Ghost Writer at
6/18/2009 06:19:00 PM]

Savitri Era Party has its ideological moorings set sans any muddle headed peroration.

Karmayogin rolled out of the press on 19th June 1909, a hundred years ago. Savitri Erans carry forward the unfinished agenda. [TNM]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Truth of being must govern truth of life

[Our theory of the integral knowledge admits Mind as a creative principle, a power of the Being, and assigns it its place in the manifestation; it similarly accepts Life and Matter as powers of the Spirit and in them also is a creative Energy. But the view of things that makes Mind the sole or the supreme creative principle and the philosophies that assign to Life or Matter the same sole reality or predominance, are expressions of a half-truth and not the integral knowledge. It is true that when Matter first emerges it becomes the dominant principle; it seems to be and is within its own field the basis of all things, the constituent of all things, the end of all things: but Matter itself is found to be a result of something that is not Matter, of Energy, and this Energy cannot be something self-existent and acting in the Void, but can turn out and, when deeply scrutinised, seems likely to turn out to be the action of a secret Consciousness and Being: when the spiritual knowledge and experience emerge, this becomes a certitude,—it is seen that the creative Energy in Matter is a movement of the power of the Spirit. Matter itself cannot be the original and ultimate reality. At the same time the view that divorces Matter and Spirit and puts them as opposites is unacceptable; Matter is a form of Spirit, a habitation of Spirit, and here in Matter itself there can be a realisation of Spirit. Page – 664 Location: Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > English > The Life Divine Volume-19 > The Integral Knowledge And The Aim Of Life]

[Our metaphysical knowledge, our view of the fundamental truth of the universe and the meaning of existence, should naturally be the determinant of our whole conception of life and attitude to it; the aim of life, as we conceive it, must be structured on that basis. Metaphysical philosophy is an attempt to fix the fundamental realities and principles of being as distinct from its processes and the phenomena which result from those processes. But it is on the fundamental realities that the processes depend: our own process of life, its aim and method, should be in accordance with the truth of being that we see; otherwise our metaphysical truth can be only a play of the intellect without any dynamic importance. It is true that the intellect must seek after truth for its own sake without any illegitimate interference of a preconceived idea of life-utility. But still the truth, once discovered, must be realisable in our inner being and our outer activities: if it is not, it may have an intellectual but not an integral importance; a truth for the intellect, for our life it would be no more than the solution of a thought-puzzle or an abstract unreality or a dead letter. Truth of being must govern truth of life; it cannot be that the two have no relation or interdependence. The highest significance of life to us, the fundamental truth of existence, must be also the accepted meaning of our own living, our aim, our ideal. Page – 666 Location: Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > English > The Life Divine Volume-19 > The Integral Knowledge And The Aim Of Life]

[Marko Says: May 2nd, 2007 at 2:29 am Hi Alan, I would propose the distinction between Integral philosophies and Integral teachings. I see that in the Integral community the two are not enough delineated while I think it helps to do so.I found this little explanation of the difference between teachings and philosophies by a professor of the university of Virginia in an article on concsiousness: http://www.faculty.virginia.edu/consciousness/
“A metaphysical philosophy is a purely conceptual structure that is presumed to be a logically self-consistent description of some aspect of reality. It does not necessarily include techniques for experiencing this reality. A philosophy is different from what we shall call a teaching. The purpose of a teaching is to help a student to know a reality, no matter whether it is phenomenal or noumenal. Since the emphasis is on knowledge rather than on logic, a teaching may use whatever concepts and techniques work in bringing the student to the desired knowledge. A teaching often will have a philosophical basis, but there is no particular requirement to adhere rigidly to it.” 8:48 PM]

[My own understanding of Integralism, for example, is informed by the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, which is central to my worldview and spiritual practice. Thanks to these insights I am able to transcend the Cartesian subject-object (or interior-exterior) and individual-collective dichotomies that characterise Wilber's (and hence Integral sensu stricto) work. And this means that my definition of Integral is not reducable to AQAL. Evolutionary Allies: An Integral Approach
M. Alan Kazlev]

[As a last thought, since I have it in front of me, David Harvey in his book Spaces of Hope has a nice description for what I think integral work ought to be doing: "to find ways, against all odds, to bring together all the various highly differentiated and often local movements into some kind of commonality of purpose." It's about talking with people and listening to them, not so much about talking down to them and "organizing their freedom," as the liberatory superholon is presented to do in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (SES). ANDERSON Nonviolence of Nonmetaphysics An Interview with Daniel Gustav Anderson 12:50 PM]

Metaphysical philosophy when blended with experience undergoes a metamorphosis to turn into integral knowledge. [TNM]

Pankaj Vohra remembers Sri Aurobindo

[Shankkar Aiyar's Blog BJP's Hamlet Moment
For a party born in April 1980, mid-life crisis and the consequent existential questions have visited the BJP rather early.
Read MoreHindus want to celebrate their strength, not wallow in misplaced victimhood and majoritarianism.]

[Is BJP on verge of a split?
17 Jun 2009 by Pankaj Vohra The recent developments within the BJP are perhaps first pointers to a split in a party started in 1980 by members of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh with the blessings of the RSS... It has never tried to project Swami Vivekanand or Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts in a concerted manner...11:50 AM ]

[If the BJP wants to succeed? by Neeraj Gupta on Jun 18, 2009 11:43 AM Permalink Hide replies 11:50 AM
If BJP wants to succeed it must shun away the ideology of Hindutva and take up Hindu Nationalism of Vivekananda and Aurobindo.]

[Atanu Dey on India's Development » Blog Archive » The Lesson that the BJP needs to learn
17 June 2009 “What exactly is 'Hindu nationalist' about the BJP?” asks T V R Shenoy in an excellent ...]

[‘The only person to blame for BJP loss is Advani’
11 Jun 2009 by churumuri The Tehelka article by Sudheendra Kulkarni, the Belgaum-born, Kannada-speaking, left-winger turned right-wing ideologue, examining the reasons for the defeat of the BJP in the elections has kicked off a raging debate of the sort the BJP ...]

[the saga of sudheendra kulkarni
by nizhal yoddha sudheendra kulkarni has been responsible for two BJP defeats -- 2004 and 2009 (of course, for the moment not paying attention to the EVM fraud). he has been the mole responsible for the 'jinnah was good' remark by advani, as well as the ...]

['Only a vertical split in the BJP can save the BJP' « churumuri
The BJP has been getting plenty of free, unsolicited advice—much of it well deserved, ...]

[BJP Revival: Suggestions
6 Jun 2009 by Rao Sharma says the process of reinvention could involve a split within the BJP. “It is the law of nature that you can’t survive if you don’t split,” he says. “I advocate a vertical split in the BJP, between pro-reformers and those who want ...]

As far as I remember Pankaj Vohra never mentioned the name of Sri Aurobindo in his column. The crisis in the BJP seems to be teaching everyone. [TNM]

George Fernandes transformed the BJP

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: HT Blogs June 18th, 2009 at 12:58 pm
Asian Age New Delhi, June 12, 2005 “JD-U is the Jinnah winner” By Arati R. Jerath Commented By Tusar N. Mohapatra - on 6/17/2005 9:31:51 PM

The genesis of the seemingly crisis dogging the BJP today can be traced to a decade or so back. It was George Fernandes, who, from the secular camp, first befriended the BJP untouchables and seduced them onto the path to power. By shedding its three stings, BJP was emasculated enough not to ferment further religious hatred. Obviously, Gujarat was an embarrassment.

The present Jinnah episode is only leading to a climax as directed by George Fernandes. Fernandes is the Trojan Horse and has a hidden agenda. By transforming the BJP and its top leaders, he has done a yeoman’s service to his fellow countrymen. Whether or not he has followed the narrow path hewed by his leader, Lohia, he has saved the country from enormous communal turmoil. So, Fernandes is the most deserving candidate for the BHARAT RATNA award. [TNM http://marketime.blogspot.com/2005/07/asian-age.html [Reply] June 18, 2009 12:54 PM 9:33 PM 11:50 AM]