Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It is the organization that should take the blame and not religion

[Although I find my inspiration in the texts of Sri Aurobindo and have derived inexplicable revelations from them, I do so in honoring the secular tradition I have grown up in -and which Sri Aurobindo endorsed as the best course for contemporary polity - by Rich on Sun 24 Aug 2008 Permanent Link Re: Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity--About Avatarhood]

[If on the one hand faith, sincerity and surrender are equivalent to tapahprabhāva of the ancient formulation, on the other the grace of the Divine Mother is dévaprasāda of it. But while in this formulation the aspect of the tapas-will is stronger, in Sri Aurobindo’s it is the psychic being which is more prominently coming forward. Integral Yoga cannot begin without these two—and one just accepts it or one has nothing to do with it. It is a stipulation which is psychic-born and it cannot be imposed from outside, neither by religion nor by philosophy nor by the argumentative mind not even by the life-force. When it is so much psychic-centred, there’s no question of it becoming a large-scale dogma of the masses, of it turning into a ritualistic or creedal religion, although anything can provide it help in the most unexpected way, including the stiff rationalist’s sincerity and his unswerving commitment to it. ~ by RY Deshpande on Tue 02 Sep 2008 Permanent Link Re: Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity--Can Integral Yoga become a Religion?]

[it is part of human nature to require mental symbols to hold on to their faith. In short, we have a tendency to be religious. Even though I had absolutely no connection with Vedanta or with spirituality before coming to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (I was quite happily agnostic), I too find myself sometimes resorting to behavior that would be seen as "religious" or "devotional". This is not a bad thing, in and of itself, as long as we recognize what all the mental symbols and rituals are: metaphors for the inner transformation. Where things become really problematic is when people start to use their preferred philosophy or spiritual teachers to push what is really a vital-emotional agenda, which they try to pass off as "spirituality". This involves prosyletizing, trying to convert others, preaching at every available opportunity, not being able to resist arguing, etc. etc. None of this is spiritual -- it has no connection with the equality and acceptance of all that one experiences when one comes into contact with the psychic being. It is all vital, and it is the vital in a very immature and crude state... But the point is to recognize these things as vital self-indulgence, and offer them up to the Mother for transformation. In short, inner transformation is a very difficult process. Getting distracted by these vital by-ways that lead us to dream of imposing our preferred grand narratives onto others is very deceptive and treacherous -- it could potentially lead to us getting possessed by vital beings (perhaps even those of an adverse nature) which could use us to pervert the higher Truth of the spiritual teaching (indeed I see this happening with those who are pushing a new "religion" in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's name). by ned on August 10, 2008 at 11:48pm Permalink ]

Many people are averse to institutionalized religion or organized religion, but it is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. It is the organization that should take the blame and not religion. Setting the organization right is a political and legal enterprise which seldom receives the attention it deserves. Writing a good constitution and right-sizing periodically various tiers of the management pyramid needs knowledge, courage, and disinterestedness. But it is not always that the executive does not perceive it as a threat, and as a result, the much needed reforms never happen. [TNM]

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