Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The "Self" Sri Aurobindo talked about may be illusory

Recently I came across this wonderful site which can quench the thirst for knowledge by way of discussing five books like Joe Henricho of the ‘collective brain’ fame does here. 

Savitri Era Learning Forum has in its Archives thousands of hints and links to innumerable sources of knowledge and alternative viewpoints which can be of immense help to learners without any ideological inhibitions. Understanding Sri Aurobindo is crucial.

VIP VAK: Kumar Utsav celebration by Odia Mahamanch

Islam is hated so promptly in India today but its role in the history of philosophy and evolution of Modernity is an interesting story.

Most are aware of Vidura but same can't be said about Vidula. Sri Aurobindo attempts [a free poetic paraphrase...translates freely in parts, in others makes some departures or adds, develops and amplifies to bring out fully the underlying spirit and idea.]

The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo is a modern day wonder which is unlikely to be surpassed in any foreseeable future. Both physics and biology are trying to come to terms with the prophecies made in it. But South Indians are forever fascinated by forts and temple architecture alas

It may be true that as social animals everyone is in need of others' appreciation or a sense validation but practice of yoga trains to be udasina, i.e., indifference and detachment. Besides, a significant variation in seeking appreciation between men and women can't be ruled out.

Expect a new version of Amar Akbar Anthony in a month or two showcasing #MeToo. Bollywood is always prompt in cashing in on such hot topics. However, no one should be held guilty before the courts say it in a majority verdict.

Old Bollywood numbers are an indispensable part of Puja celebrations. Jumma chumma de de is being sung in our Colony now followed by Laila o laila.

While rationale for individual fulfilment is presented elegantly, it's pertinent to consider and contextualise what Sri Aurobindo calls Collective Yoga that is no less relevant since "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main"

Men and women are different in a hundred ways and recognising this reality by rejecting the hypocrisy of equality is the remedy. Reconstituting systems and situations by catering to psychological necessities should be the priority than facetious portrayals in fictions and movies.

When someone refers to America or China, it's invariably their Govt. There is a paucity of conversations about their people, general life, and matters of human interest. Even a powerful visual medium like TV has failed to do justice with spreading awareness about far off nations.

Popularity is often assumed as an index of utility and value but Ramdev's Swadeshi campaign and Ekta Kapoor's TV serials - to take two examples - can't be rated as particularly salutary. Modernity arrived after one lakh years of human society and nurturing it is the duty of all.

Many devotees are ecstatically posting Sri Aurobindo's pen portraits of Four Powers coinciding with Durga Puja/Navaratri. But the most appropriate picture of The Mother is expressed in Radha's Prayer. No wonder Sri Aurobindo saw her as embodiment of Surrender when they met first.

Secularism is bad, Liberalism is bad, Modernity is flawed, and Political correctness is wrong. It's difficult to swallow such warped logic from enlightened-seeming wise men and women defending nebulous advantages of esoteric practices belonging to arcane traditions in India today

The teaching and Adventure of Consciousness of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is becoming increasingly relevant in the face of irrationalities espoused by Hindutva adherents. It is also an antidote against Marxist antipathy towards religion and Western disregard for anything Indian.

Most people are grossly ignorant of even what they eat and won't be able to distinguish between Carbohydrates and Proteins but would stoutly defend the efficacy of religious traditions and rituals uncritically out of sheer habit and herd mentality. Defending own thing is flawed.

The question is whether one should perennially be under the tyranny of some irrational rituals and superstitions just because his or her accident of birth. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo emphatically say no and show the way how to think logically and freely on Judeo-Vedic substratum.

Despite all our love and sense of gratitude towards a genius like Akshaya Mohanty, spreading awareness of the original composers or lyricists is necessary in the interest of truth and with a view to expressing respect to such creators in other languages whom an Odia may not know.

Shipra Riviera Durga Puja bags the First Prize in the trans-Hindon, Ghaziabad sector. Show is on.

Just like advertising increasingly elbows out news in newspapers, religious activity is encroaching on real estate more are more. Almost all places of tourist interest and natural beauty are cruelly defaced by ugly structures or statues. Reliance on physical symbols should halt.

Western ethical tradition is distilled through four thousand years via the Arab route and Chinese tangent. Saussure's contribution to linguistics based on his study of Sanskrit however inaugurated postmodernist worldview leading to much nuance. Sri Aurobindo's lens is the safest.

Who do you think is “best” equipped to understand or interpret a cultural text? asks @MakrandParanspe and adds his preference. But the answer is not simple since most texts have already been translated in different languages and interpreted in diverse ways

Abnormal level of population and dual govt system is the bane of India. Languages form the basis of a nation as in the European countries but the States don't enjoy Sovereignty in India as a result people lack initiative & motivation to contribute their best. #Sabarimala is local

No amount of moderation can be the pretext for overriding the primacy and superiority of Constitutional rule. Hinduism, or for that matter, any religion mustn't impose its priorities by pushing mob wisdom as more legitimate as is happening in the case of #Sabarimala imbroglio.

That a temple is the home of the deity and therefore the rules and customs followed as per tradition should enjoy autonomy is a formidable and convincing-seeming argument. But the flaw is law is about human beings whose perceptions and interpretations alter with time. #Sabarimala

"If our backgrounds, hopes, dreams, languages, expressions, bodies and preferences are all different..." @neha_aks asks invoking the plurality principle but stops short of saying that there should be different rules or options too. Tradition is not supreme

No I didn't watch it DDLJ then. But the film I remember with equal fondness is: 
[Woh Saat Din (Those Seven Days) is a 1983 Hindi film directed by Bapu. Produced by Surinder Kapoor and Boney Kapoor Starring: Anil Kapoor; Padmini Kolhapure; Naseeruddin Shah] #23YearsOfTimelessDDLJ

Remembering the other K.K. Nair (Krishna Chaitanya) (1918–1994) of the five-volume Philosophy of Freedom fame is in order. Said [Sri Aurobindo's discussion of time and eternity is wholly derived from that of Boethius; Life Divine is watered down Plotinus.]

India is a populous country and it's easy to gather a crowd. If the occasion is religious then large congregations are spontaneous with immense scope for commerce plus content for media. Apart from economics deriving political benefit has also become mainstream. RSS has monopoly.

Any political player is prone to seek advantage from all kinds of situations but keeping a watch on the health of Democracy is also an additional responsibility. Now that RSS is part of the ruling dispensation this particular function needs to be addressed by some astute persons.

Great! Just read another nice word "sociability"
[It seems that if humans do depend so much on sociability and interaction, I expect great things to happen from the internet — and the huge and constant interaction of people and information that it allows.]

Fighting patriarchy and spreading awareness against misogyny is a modern day challenge but relying upon State apparatus for ensuring these or preferential treatment for women is another extreme. Organic and voluntary empowerment should be preferred to imposed impracticable goals.

Strangely, no one refers to Sri Aurobindo or his The Secret of the Veda. May be inconvenient truth!

In the case of many recent #MeToo accused, their daughters have been referred to but not always the sons which seems to be a bit skewed. [Also, in this case, the minister is married and is a father of grown-up daughters, so it is definitely not okay.]

A relevant thread by @vakibs of course without any influence by Sri Aurobindo's profound observations on the subject.

India comprises of multiple nations and myriad cultures. Most people are yet to be modern in their attitude and aspirations. Gender stereotypes are further strengthened through culture, religion, and tradition. Courts are doing a bit to dismantle their hold and must be supported.

India never saw Democracy during the last 7000 years and the British gifted it only 70 years back but is in its infancy. Political parties are doing their best to keep people bonded to myths, both ancient and modern. People exhibiting their freedom and autonomy can break all that.

Everything happens for the first time or nothing can be considered as a repetition. ("You cannot step into the same river twice" -Heraclitus). So, Democracy including the role of Judiciary is evolving by negotiating highly complex situations and navigating through wide diversity.

Books of Stephen Hawking, Fukuyama, and Huntington made huge impact before the arrival of Internet but no one can impress to such an extent any more. Old religions and scriptures seem to hold some appeal but only superficially. Hard-nosed seeking of material gains has taken over.

The promises of Science, Social Science, and New Age optimism have wilted. Euphoria generated due to Social Media facilitating networking has evaporated, significantly. No example of any progress of society or principles for betterment of community is in sight. Commerce goes on.

There are any number of intellectuals now steeped in religion and Indian philosophy. Power has enabled them to express enormous optimism about the future. Of course they curse most other countries than India. But they rely on tradition and that is no sure foundation for Evolution

Restoring true Federal character of Indian subcontinent should be the priority so that languages get their due respect and local culture and knowledge systems are revivified. Central Govt is an anomaly and Democracy is dysfunctional; States must get Sovereignty and UN membership.

Rather, get Uttar Pradesh out of India as 22 crore people are capable of ruling themselves as a Sovereign country. India must turn into a Federation.

Scheduled castes leaders maintain that they suffer from social disparity despite economic progress. Hindutva adherents, similarly, can't get over the victimhood of hundreds of years of slavery. The solution, therefore, is to look ahead instead of listening to speeches on history.

Each person should be accepted as he is and not what he could or should have been. Sri Aurobindo is absolutely ahead of his times and it's necessary to imbibe his ideas, slowly, instead of remaining a prisoner of misleading impressions about him propagated by Marxist historians.

The pragmatic views of Peter Heehs regarding Sri Aurobindo as writer of "a shelf full of books" should perhaps be taken more seriously after a decade. No wonder, the Ashram supported him to the hilt with the realisation that the "Self" Sri Aurobindo talked about may be illusory.

The author is dead but each text including temple sculpture remind of Freud. Sex is local and contextual and hence all generalised conceptions of occurrence or deterrence are merely suppositions or entertaining conjectures. Culture however is layers of falsehood over naked Nature

A tweet is enough to express any truth but people seem to be slaves of the old habit of believing in long articles or books. There are umpteen exegesis on ethics but it's necessary to remember that only what is permissible or appropriate in public is discussed. Rest are private.

The gap between Art and Commercial films is no longer as wide as it used to be earlier, agreed the speakers.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

End endorsing Mythology

Tweets by @SavitriEraParty

It's simply impossible to imagine that the sea was very much the same millions of years before the appearance of the humans. The march of time, however, is so slow and yet, so short for the myriad aspirations that people harbour or the countless deficiencies they seek to conquer.

Science hasn't been able to say anything definite about the functioning of the world. All religions and their scriptures are suppositions. Those who take pride in the superiority of some text or philosophy should do introspection. Endorsing Mythology or speculation is no heroism.

Knowledge is a commodity and has its own utility. Its validity unfortunately is often derived from dubious authority. Self-interest and uncritical respect help perpetuation of unsubstantiated propositions. Refusing to believe in them should be the duty of every vigilant individual.

Just because someone has been saying something or believing in something, it's not necessary that he or she will have to do it for ever. Each educated person must conduct a rigorous review of his or her intellectual framework periodically and purge impaired furnishings ruthlessly.

Human beings are certainly a special category upon this planet but religious groupings are groping in the dark as regards knowledge about the universe. Rituals and imagined manipulation of the unseen worlds are not only arbitrary but also subversive of one's dignity and autonomy.

Looking at Sri Aurobindo as merely a revolutionary is the primary level. Remaining mesmerised within his web words is the second stage and a long one. The third is when one gradually comes out of that spell and starts realising why he wrote so much and actually goes beyond them.

Each one is wired in a specific way and chained to a certain spatial limits. So universality is an incoherent and inchoate concept. Ideas like Infinite or Perfection nevertheless persist and propel a sense of adventure and discovery. But most are unwilling to undertake the burden.

Education relies upon the past and emphasises on great men. But the task for each individual is to move beyond what has been achieved so far. Here the role of freedom and creativity come into play. Syllabus binds, teachers repeat; the student must break free, hew his new avenue.

Being conversant with Western philosophy is a necessity for proficiency in any field. Such a large number of people grapple with issues relating to current affairs but they neglect philosophy proper. This is the prime reason for poor quality of debate dovetailing to name calling.

Management, media, or even social sciences can train one as a well aware person but philosophy imparts the true foundation. Many assume that study of some ancient Indian texts is sufficient so far as philosophical grounding is concerned but it is a mistake. Swadeshi doesn't help!

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

It's really odd if Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Delhi branch lets out its sacred Meditation Hall for sundry gatherings. Seems like a regime change is underway!

Mohan Bhagwat giving recognition to worship of Sai Baba now forms the benchmark for addition to the list like Sri Aurobindo.
[एक भाषा किसी को समझ नहीं आती. हिंदी की ही कई अलग अलग बोली है - भाषाओं और देवी देवताओं की विविधता - नए नए देवी देवता आते रहते हैं. पहले साईं बाबा नहीं थे.]

Most concerns on Twitter are about two percent of the population. The rest take care of themselves but the disconnect is glaring.

Was stranded in Digha last night as hotels there are not permitting stay of single persons. This is highly insulting and discriminatory of the autonomy and privacy of those who travel alone, especially the senior citizens. Incredible India campaign must root out such sore areas.

For those who may not be aware @viryavaan is one of our brilliant minds well-versed in Sri Aurobindo. He has his own reasons to express extreme views but shouldn't be dismissed lightly. One may not agree with him but his sentiments need to be respected after RSS turning inclusive.

A staunch advocate of Dharma had once expressed his sympathy which when reaches its logical conclusion of legalization is, perhaps, the right solution to this problem relating to incidents of non-consensual nature.

[The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust has received many requests to set up a facility to receive donations online. Those wishing to make a donation to the Ashram may do so by visiting The site and payment gateway are secure, and data privacy is respected.]

Update: October 14, 2018

Sidhu has said something serious perhaps for the first time! High time to turn India a Federation by awarding Sovereignty to the States so that local culture and language receive due recognition, respect, and care. Bengali being nurtured after creation of Bangladesh is an example.

From Ram Janmbhumi movement to Sabarimala protests, the farcical face of ritual-based religion in India has traversed full-circle. Savitri Erans devoted to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo watch in gratitude the Masters' prophecy of religions being pulverized coming true brick by brick.

Life is complex and talent is rare. Reality is unpredictable but people long to fit the future as per their pet paradigms. Politically correct propositions are treated as given and normal whereas they are mere normatives. Both, Hindutva and Modernity suffer from false narratives.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Savitri Era Religion is the real option for the future

Felt like Mohan Bhagwat borrowing abundantly from my tweets in his reformulation of Hindutva, while listening to his speech today. So, how all those noble hopes materialise in the future is more important than the usual habit of digging out inconsistencies by citing past instances.

Sri Aurobindo is out of syllabus and so, one has to read him with own effort. Recognising value in his works is enough even if one doesn't understand much. His is a distinct voice than what Hindutva, Congress, or Marxists profess. The Ashram in Puducherry is merely one dimension.

Selling the message of Sri Aurobindo to dubious peddlers
For a few pieces of silver or crumbs of power
In luxurious vessels and comforting echo-chambers
With a view to sailing with the movers and shakers Is tempting but not worth attempting
For the reason, why should I compromise?
Vivekananda tried to raise a new religion around Ramakrishna and Nehru attempted the same around Gandhi. Both failed but count as important milestone in reforming Indian society. Savitri Era Religion with The Mother & Sri Aurobindo as inspiration is the real option for the future.
"Sri Aurobindo is uncompromising" Danino tells evocatively "he rejects humanism and all hopes for a more 'moral' human being as shallow and ineffectual, and insists on a fundamental change in human nature as the only hope for the species' survival." But AIT is his Achilles' heel!
So many are disappointed with Modi for going somewhat moderate but the credit goes to RSS for continuing Nehruvian consensus coupled with Kulkarni doctrine as backbone of our polity. Not permitting or promoting any cult around RW intellectuals or public figures is another feather.
Right understanding of Sri Aurobindo can't be uniform but a rigid textual presentation would be a misleading enterprise. His current affairs comments surely won't be valid in today's context as he was responding to Colonial rule and so should carefully be applied mutatis mutandis.
If the focus is on Sri Aurobindo, the right message can be put across depending upon one's study and thinking ability. Instead, if other agenda are pursued in tandem, then the communication is bound to be skewed. So, sincerity and loyalty are of critical importance. No admixture!
20th century science and philosophy opened the floodgates of uncertainty, incompleteness, undefinability, ambivalence, liminality, etc. But Hindutva looks at such higher education with suspicion and wants to hold its adherents hostage to dubious narrative of mythological fiction.
No one is born as a Hindu, Muslim, or Christian; nor these are racial identities. Religion is thrust upon one and every individual has the responsibility of coming out of its limitations and enjoy freedom as enunciated by The Mother & Sri Aurobindo in formulation of Integral Yoga.
Kings and Queens who ruled before 1947 had their own priorities and lines of self interest. Congress too pursued a similar policy leading to a distorted narrative. Hindutva eagerness to reverse and replace is not easy as its own version either faces aversion or causes revulsion.
After migrating to Puducherry in 1910 Sri Aurobindo avoided any direct political involvement and concentrated on philosophy and yoga. But strangely Hindutva enthusiasts keep on repeating the earlier period of his life instead of studying his mature writings available free online.
If the tradition were enough then there was no need for his writing so much, said Sri Aurobindo. If intellectuals don't understand the profound significance of his commentaries and visionary philosophy then the credit will pass to foreigners for teaching

to Indians.
Most epics retell the Vedic dialectic of falsehood, suffering, and turbid consciousness taking Evolutionary journey towards Sat, Chit, and Ananda. No form of sectarianism is involved here; its universal, applicable anywhere in the world & inextricably linked to planetary destiny.
The problem with Hindutva votaries is that by being in a perpetual mode of vilifying several other sections of people, they choose to live in a false sense of perfection which is pure fiction. Confronting the whole range of human flaws is the challenge, as shown by Sri Aurobindo.
Admiring great men or some ideology should always accompany the thought how they evolved and how much struggle was involved. Even then, nothing was perfect and it was a work in process. At the same time, each one contributed to the mosaic. How many remember or read say, M.N. Roy?
Despite its flaws, Communism has compassion at its core. Denouncing it suits many but may be a mistake. No -ism has been found foolproof yet.
Looks like BJP is promoting Leftists by giving them and their work publicity so that they regain ground in Bangla and Mamata is cornered. But the whole episode has substantially robbed the Modi Govt of the liberal image that it had earned so assiduously during the last four years.
Off topic but Govt and RSS are really negligent in not having taken any such drastic step to promote your book !
English is so important even for Hindutva votaries ! And people are complaining of

!! India is a nation of infinite contradictions !!!
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Minhaz Merchant @MinhazMerchant Replying to @anupamdeb775 Rubbish. And yes, learn proper English not your pidgin version. Till then off you go
We were rather more concerned with the British rule in 1868 in school when May 1968 happened in France. The Hippie movement of course gave Dum Maro Dum song of Hare Krishna Hare Ram (1971). The intellectual repurcussions of May 1968 however had to wait three decades to reach us.
There are many studies now highlighting Bollywood's positive contributions. Worth exploring instead of blanket condemnation.
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Jyotika Virdi - The Cinematic Imagination: Indian Popular Films as Social History: Source: --...
Alienation, angst, and disenchantment are normal in Leftist scenario but our young, educated, and economically well off folks suffering perpetually from victimhood and ranting against libtards, sepoys, and urban-naxals is pitiable. They need Sri Aurobindo.
That Nehru was able to strike a balance between Communists and Communalists is rarely recognised. To say that he was a failure is certainly far from truth. Political disagreement shouldn't lead to blatant distortion of history and his role in laying a firm foundation of Democracy.
Surely a commendable series the metaphysical implications of which will lead to Sri Aurobindo as has been the case 100 years ago (in the pages of ARYA : 1914-22). By the way, Carlyle and Emerson were Nietzsche's inspiration in conceiving the Overman.
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Savitri Era Party

[Nietzsche is not the standard bearer for atheism. Whilst Nietzsche rarely spoke
specifically on Islam, his admiration for it is in sharp contrast to his criticism of Christianity.. Nietzsche felt inclined to be so generous towards Islam] Nietzsche and Islam, Roy Jackson (2007)
Classification is common to all knowledge systems and various schools of Indian philosophy harness it to the hilt. Sri Aurobindo on the contrary prefers the synthetic method and perceives things through what he calls knowledge by identity obviating necessity for strict arguments.
There is no assured means of accessing higher echelons of Consciousness spelt out by Sri Aurobindo. But reading his epochal works like The Life Divine, The Human Cycle, or SAVITRI generates a sense of loftiness within one. Mantric power of language and vocabulary is at work here.
Hindutva has popularised a juvenile zeal for seeing India as a superpower. The vision of Sri Aurobindo however transcends such militaristic/materialistic conception to posit the high ideals of Veda and adventure of Consciousness as supreme goal. This is universal and for everyone.
Sri Aurobindo's birth centenary was celebrated with much enthusiasm in 1972. But those born after it can't be said to be aware of his philosophy and literature. How he steals a march over his contemporaries like Bergson, Whitehead, Heidegger, Gebser, et al is worth detailed study.
Modernity ushered in an era of civility for winning in the war of ideas. Sri Aurobindo has left behind a huge inventory of ammunition with which to attack ideological foes. Marxists succeeded in eclipsing Sri Aurobindo from academic discourse but are facing Hindutva onslaught now.
Many are using the pictures of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo or their Symbols as their DP without giving a thought whether it's proper. No one can dispute with their devotion but it will be better to remove them if they truly understand the deep significance and respect the Masters.

Aurobindo’s Opposition
Why the Indian establishment resisted him
MANGESH V. NADKARNI The Indian Express Thursday, March 21, 2002…
remains ever relevant but fighting the Devotees of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo has become an additional burden & unenviable task!
Repeating for nth time that my tweets are addressed towards the general audience, especially those with a philosophical or academic bent of mind, and not the Devotees of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo many of whom usually dislike my opinions and expressions. So, no nitpicking please!
Those romanticizing Hindu past want no truck with the West but we follow it in political philosophy, law, and governance. So, instead of spreading hatred, the right approach is to identify areas where our soft power has an edge. Sri Aurobindo is definitely an asset to be marketed
Despite all tall claims Hindutva intellectuals continue to suffer from victimhood and inferiority complex. For Indian philosophy proper is not their forte nor they identify with. Puritan approach prevents them from appreciating hybrid & integral formulations like Sri Aurobindo's.
Indian Constitution and education system, including Hindi cinema, have contributed to produce people with modern outlook without belief in Mythology. Current ruling dispensation and it's ecosystem want the process reversed but it will take another seventy years sans any assurance
This divergence with hardcore Hindutva is tough to bridge and hence ambivalence prevails. It is of course a question of individual evolution and one-size-fits-all ideology can't be enforced. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo therefore preferred tolerance and flexibility in such matters.
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Arunudoy ভট্টাচার্য
Replying to @Ajan245 @From_Himalaya and 5 others
That's what Bengal gave birth to or took it forward. What is Kundalini & arousing of the same.Who says god is in idols or books or rituals or customs or concrete buildings. It's within us,the realisation is within us or why would the revolutionaries sing Bandemataram & read Gita.
Perfection is the closest sense of any notion of God and hence religious narratives are merely indicative. The task is to transcend - borrowing a phrase from Sri Aurobindo - the Valley of the False Glimmer. So no other option than throwing away the lens lent by dominant religions
Our thoughts and feelings often enter without permission based on our memory system. Further, we lack control on events involving us. Amidst so much involuntary activities, Yoga is actually Your Own Godward Adventure. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo don't prescribe any fixed procedure
Epic tweet encapsulating the deep dichotomy akin to what Mark Lilla calls the Great Separation in The Stillborn God: "that the West discovered with the help of Hobbes a previously unknown option." In the context of Sri Aurobindo however the question is how much of past is enough?
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Alo Pal
Replying to @RoyHirakesh @ajitdatta and 3 others
Believe me we're all conscious to be contributors of a movement that's way bigger than us. Sri Aurobindo is representative of the distillation of the essence of our past and look towards the future. Yes we've rejected those that selfishly and irrationally shame us on our past.