Sunday, November 30, 2008

Something more than even the spiritual

A comment has been posted in reference to an article titled: The Path by Sri Aurobindo
Comment posted by: Tusar N. Mohapatra [1:27 PM]

This cryptic "something more" begs elaboration. [TNM]

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The way Sapta Chatushthaya is forced upon the readers of The Synthesis of Yoga is disconcerting

Re: An Entry from Record of Yoga by RY Deshpande
by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Sat 29 Nov 2008 01:18 PM IST Profile Permanent Link

Many thanks for the clarifications reiterating The Yoga and its Objects and Sapta Chatushthaya as belonging to an early stage. The way Sapta Chatushthaya is forced upon the readers of The Synthesis of Yoga (in its Note on the Text) is disconcerting. [TNM] Reply

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hubris and hegemony

[Thursday, September 07, 2006 Savitri Era is unputdownable
Sri Aurobindo, wrote Prof.
Sisir Kumar Maitra in 1942, has accomplished the “transfer of the leadership in philosophy from the West to India.” But what we witness today in 2006 is something entirely different. Why? The whole scenario is not devoid of politics and what is at issue is not philosophy but hegemony... Sri Aurobindo gave the most full-proof philosophy in the entire human history, but the Westerners are unwilling to accept him at the top... Why? Because Sri Aurobindo is an Indian and American hubris can’t digest this... Why? For Sri Aurobindo, as Dr Maitra decreed, stands tall on merit. Every intellectual, every journal and every University will have to swallow this cruel pill. No amount of racial or colonial resistance can suppress the supremacy of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. The whole world, whether today or tomorrow, must turn to it where all the whys are answered. (TNM696MMYP) Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 11:21 AM]

All kinds of verbal terrorism are being unleashed in an vain attempt to appropriate the legacy of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. American hubris is at its nefarious best right now and needs to be fought against. [TNM]

Thursday, November 27, 2008

V. P. Singh, the visionary passes away

V. P. Singh, the visionary passes away. Savitri Era Party dips its banner in his honour. [TNM]

Us "religion"; they "political"

[ Re: Explanation of my Stand wrt The Lives of Sri Aurobindo
by David Hutchinson
on Wed 26 Nov 2008 03:06 PM PST
Profile Permanent Link Another aspect to freedom of expression and writing is that religion (which we seem to be involved with here)... But the problem in this situation is that, again, a small group has set themselves up as judges for what needs to be changed, and have engaged in essentially political activities (not spiritual ones). by David Hutchinson on Wed 26 Nov 2008 06:24 AM PST Permanent Link]

Us "religion"; they "political"! [TNM]

If our aim is to reach "countless people"

[Heehs's book is bringing new awareness of Sri Aurobindo to countless people worldwide. -- Setting the Record Straight: An Open Letter from Michael Murphy
26 Nov 2008 03:18 PM PST
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Permanent Link]

What are the sales figures? If our aim is to reach "countless people" then why not adopt more efficient methods of persuasion? [TNM]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Democracy, evolution, and progress

[the "democratic" fetish is merely the zealous servant of the banks. Its real name, its technical name, as I have argued for some time, is capitalist-parliamentarianism...But we will resuscitate communism, in its new-found clarity. Badiou on the financial crisis Le Monde. posted by it 3:50 PM]

[David Harvey (whose book on The History of Neoliberalism I actually liked in some ways) asks Naomi “Why aren’t people more angry?” Angry about the bailout, the cronyism, and all the rest?... But in traditional leftist economic thought it’s still really all about managing people from a top-down engineering model. I can’t help but feel the Harveys and Kleins of the world secretly (or maybe not so secretely) are in some perverse way really drawn to people like Greenspan because that is what they wish they could be doing–controlling the great events from the top-down. Bailout Meets Marx
from Indistinct Union by cjsmith]

[What is the American mind, anyway? Tocqueville described Americans as natural Cartesians, even though most have never read Descartes. To consider a contrast, French thought falls under two types — the Cartesian, and the Pascalian. One stands for reason, the other for revelation; one for science, the other for piety; one for clarity, the other for passion. While Europeans have sentiments informed by literary traditions, the American is a man of rational principles. As a result, anybody can be an American; in principle there are no natural outsiders. Our story has been one unbroken, ineluctable progress toward freedom and equality. The Closing of the American Mind
from Thoughts, Books, and Philosophy by jhbowden]

[Sri Aurobindo's yoga is unique in that it integrates certain aspects of the phenomena of the Enlightenment, with its ideals of democracy, evolution, and progress that are Western in origin. Re: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo: the aggrieved victim Rich]

After a long time this rounded post by Richard Carlson, not uncontaminated though; but he is capable of producing far superior propositions, his skewed political stance notwithstanding. The genealogy he carelessly asserts here is factually inaccurate and Sri Aurobindo himself has dwelt upon at length on these specific points. [TNM]

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have thought deeply about human life

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have insisted on relying on an intuitive or spiritual solution to various problems besetting the human condition. But they were cautious not to advance the illusion that large masses of people are soon to be uplifted to spiritual heights. Nor they promised that by following their teaching for a few years, one can attain yogic powers and start dispensing spiritual solutions.

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have thought deeply about human life and how to rescue it from the fetters of finitude and inanity. They were engaged in a life long endeavor to discover radical remedial measures despite full play of deficiencies in the disciples with whose collaboration they were exploring. The writings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, for most part, are concerned with practice of various disciplines for spiritual progress; but that, in no way, should create the impression that, they were not much bothered about common human life.

The breakthrough that they conjointly have been able to accomplish in the arcane realm of consciousness is not accessible to verification. Consequently, for this we have to believe, if at all one cares to, in their own words and advices. This is purely a belief system that has crystallized as a Religion over the years. There is, therefore, no reason why this lived-option be questioned, derided, or vilified. [TNM]

Monday, November 24, 2008

Savitri Era Religion has uncontested market space

[A Fractal-model for Change by Pravir Malik
Mirror of Tomorrow on Mon 24 Nov 2008 12:38 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos
The power to change things lies within us. Presented here are parts of a theory on how shifts in oneself can have profound shifts in corporations, markets, systems, and the world. It has been said - "Become the change you wish to see in the World". But the elaboration of how this is true may remain a mystery.]

[Blue Ocean Strategy is a business strategy book that promotes a systematic approach "for making the competition irrelevant."[1] It contains retrospective case studies and suggests theoretical approaches to creating "blue oceans" of uncontested market space ripe for growth. The book has sold more than a million copies in its first year of publication and is being published in 39 languages.[2] - Blue Ocean Strategy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia # What is BOS? The three key conceptual building blocks of BOS are: value innovation, tipping point leadership, and fair process.]

Savitri Era Religion has "uncontested market space ripe for growth" for "making the competition irrelevant." Let's resolve to march forward and spread the word. Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. [TNM]

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Savitri Era Party loves to believe in the power of now

[The joys of the order, the beauty of a certain transcendental discipline has to be experienced. It has to be felt and dissipated, not communicated. Leela Gandhi’s note on mongrelization of subjectivity and self-exile was amply present. Sadly, her utopian exhortation of fin-de-siecle divine friendship reflects little democratic give and take, not this day at least. Ecstatic Archaisms of Aurobindo Ghose - Prasanta Chakravarty The cultural-political trope of political vedantism must be recognized as a legitimate adversary for radical democratic politics in India.]

[It is in this sense that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother speak of India as "the guru of the world," not as the general people of India today represent it but as a potential which they should be under no illusion that they have reached.
Debashish on Sat 22 Nov 2008 06:24 PM PST Profile Permanent Link Re: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo: the aggrieved victim]

[At a time of momentous global change and evolutionary crisis, the world needs Sri Aurobindo's insights as never before. It seems to me that neither the Ashram nor India have the right to keep Sri Aurobindo to themselves or to confine the discourse on him within a particular devotional framework decided, as in the religions of the past, by a group of self-proclaimed guardians of the Truth. by Angiras on Sat 22 Nov 2008 09:50 PM PST Profile Permanent Link Re: Explanation of my Stand wrt The Lives of Sri Aurobindo]

[kaankshe said... I like the dialogue in the movie between Gurubhai and the minister about the petro industry .. listen carefully to the dialogue .. excerpts of the dialogue is given below ...
He says to the minister that I came here not to ask permission but for an opinion ... I have a load ( 500 Crore business ) and you tell me what to do with that .. its huge load that can kill or destroy anybody ..
1:51 AM ... When the history of our recent times is written the inexorable rise of Dhirubhai Ambani will be one of its more memorable chapters... There is no other story in India comparable with Ambani's.
Home page > Articles > The Original Guru Mohan Guruswamy January 25, 2007 Centre for Policy Alternatives - Published in HardNews]

Beware of those who attempt to snatch away the present from our hands. Savitri Era Party loves to believe in the power of now. Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. [TNM]

Skepticism in Sri Aurobindo

[Moral reflections Chandigarh Tribune - Stephen Phillips’s Skepticism in Aurobindo brings the volume to the late 19th century interpretation of the Indian tradition. One associates ‘mysticism’ rather than ‘skepticism’ with Aurobindo. Phillips suggests that his mysticism is a skeptical one (I would have thought the idea of a supramental consciousness was embedded in dogmatic metaphysics rather than skepticism which in Aurobindo is no more than a mildly superficial suspicion of others as authoritative).
Vijay Tankha Sunday, November 23, 2008
Indian Ethics — Classical Traditions and Contemporary Challenges Eds Purushottama Bilimoria, Joseph Prabhu and Renuka Sharma. Oxford.Pages 431. Rs 795.

[Ecstatic Archaisms of Aurobindo Ghose - Prasanta Chakravarty By Aditya Nigam “If hatred is demoralizing, it is also stimulating,” writes Aurobindo Ghose in one of his early essay titled On Nationalism after returning to India from England in 1893. This pithy, striking statement possibly sums up the moral basis of violence as a stimulus among the swadeshi revolutionaries. Kafila - The cultural-political trope of political vedantism must be recognized as a legitimate adversary for radical democratic politics in India. So intense is the attraction of this serene, gory and messianic radicalism that you tend to equate all micro-adversarial particularities in terms of one single enemy: the pluralist, even the culturally rooted one. The turn that Ghose’s Bandemataram took in the early years of the twentieth century effortlessly merged at one level with the political position of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay’s Sandhya, that outspoken radical-conservative magazine of the time in Bengal. So, how does one recoup a radical enough middle ground? For starters, how about celebrating tamas?]

Seems to be a season of Skepticism. [TNM]

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blog and frog and elephant

[Matsuo Bashô: Frog Haiku
The original Japanese:
Furu ike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto
Old pond — frogs jumped in — sound of water.
Translated by Lafcadio Hearn
pond frog plop!
Translated by James Kirkup]

The beauty of a blog is in its brevity, or so we suppose who prefer to take cover under the Kautilyan dictum of keeping mum being the strength of the unwise and Chaucer's to make virtue of necessity as inspiration dries up after half a line invariably every fine morning.

On the other hand we have RY Deshpande who returns with his Mirror of Tomorrow and Savitri: the Light of the Supreme whose “endless” elephantine essays ever bewilder like the “topless” towers of Ilion. Welcome. [TNM]

Just one book, The Life Divine

[Four Critiques of Badiou’s Ontology: Part 1
from Larval Subjects. I would argue that any and all materialist positions are committed to this thesis: Namely, to the thesis that it is the world, existence, that calls the shot, not thought... – and make no mistake, I believe he has made a profound contribution to ontology – ... Contrary to Badiou’s Platonist orientation of thought, I cannot help but adopt– at least at this point –an Aristotlean orientation of thought… That is, an orientation premised on things, objects, substances, rather than maths. larvalsubjects Says: November 22, 2008 at 12:35 am
One of Badiou’s central moves is to argue that ontology falls outside of philosophy and belongs to the domain of mathematics.
larvalsubjects Says: November 22, 2008 at 12:59 am Badiou’s move is to shift away from questions of access altogether to decision and what follows through a series of entailments from that decision. An axiom is a decision, something performed, not a given that is received. With this he introduces something entirely new into the history of philosophy– at least, to my knowledge –that only Spencer-Brown approaches in his theory of distinctions (i.e., distinctions not as something that are already there in the world, but rather as something drawn thereby allowing a world to come into being)... larvalsubjects Says: November 22, 2008 at 2:56 am (Deleuze, it might be said, is attempting to form an ontology that would both be consistent with the thesis that being is and that avoids this trap) ... I have a difficult time answering your question about Spinoza because his ontology is so wild and wooly. He really doesn’t fit any category. Certainly his position is perfectly consistent with a materialist ontology such as we find in Lucretius.]

Despite all reverence to such an “educational culture,” one feels impelled to recommend just one book, The Life Divine. [TNM]

It is much more profitable to start with a Vedic Yes than a Buddhist No

"Heehs has done a masterful job of pulling aside the veils of myth," writes Ellen Daly in a flattering review (The Lives of Sri Aurobindo review EnlightenNext Magazine). The skeptic is firm in his "belief" that there are "veils of myth" that need to be pulled aside and that is his prime task. Conversely, Sri Aurobindo, in all his works, questions this subversive tendency of the human mind, and pleads for overturning such a perspective. Invoking Pascal, one can safely infer that it is much more profitable to start with a Vedic Yes than a Buddhist No. [TNM]

Friday, November 21, 2008

Melanin and The Mind of the Cells

[Friday, November 07, 2008 9:48 AM Is "Suntanned" an Ugly Word for Blacks? Keith Josef Adkins
Barack is not suntanned, he's a man of African descent... But is the term "suntanned" an overt dismissal of Obama's African-ness or his blackness? Or is this just a jovial slip from someone who isn't aware of the tough social and political terrain one must journey when the skin is chock-full of melanin as opposed to just being tanned?
Posted By:
Hummingbird (November 9, 2008 at 2:58 AM)
Why is he even referring to his skin color anyway? I could think of tons of other adjectives to describe this awesome man having nothing to do with his skin color.]

Considering Obama's mixed-parentage, his victory would seem a semi-final (to borrow a pet notion of V.P. Singh). But the way this derivative has been leveraged in his brand-building is mind-boggling, for the corporal-actual has been privileged over the empathical with regard to cross-cultural sensitivity. [TNM]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unbearable Lightness of Humility

[Home Contatti / Contact us Sezione Italiana Links Notes on Savitri (BLOG) Events Contacts Who we are / What we are not:
The Savitri Study Center (Centro Studi Savitri, CSS) is a very small groups of friends sharing a common love for Savitri, for Sri Aurobindo and for the Mother.
The CSS in no way claims to represent Sri Aurobindo's vision, or to have any correct or complete interpretation of it. In no way it claims to have anything to teach. In no way it should be considered as a guide or an authority.
The CSS also does not claim to represent in any way those who have an interest in Sri Aurobindo's vision. CSS's activities are only intended for those who feel some kind of affinity with them. The web site is managed by Carlo Chiopris and Monica Pirazzoli. English Section]

Humility is deservedly a coveted virtue but if it reaches this level of lightness, then it becomes unbearable. There is no reason why a Center can't "claim to have anything to teach." [TNM]

Rick Lipschutz and Rod Hemsel

[Saturday, May 26, 2007 Fighting fallacies
It is quite stimulating that
Rod Hemsell has broached The problem of textual fallacies in Sri Aurobindo's world. His 2002 essay was instrumental in trouncing Ken Wilber and now he can take this problem head on in collaboration with other veterans. Obviously, spirited fights might ensue, but that will be all in the interest of the posterity and good academics. [TNM] 9:27 PM
Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 6:33 PM 0 comments Links
Thursday, November 09, 2006 Inevitability of Savitri Era religion
July 27 proclamation of the Savitri Era religion is fermenting mixed feelings among the adherents and admirers. After the expected initial resistance more reasoned debate is sprouting. The dialogue between Rod Hemsell and Debashish Banerji is quite illuminating in this context. It seems that both are not averse to the idea of religion and see it an inevitability.
Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 10:24 AM 0 comments Links]

It is curious that we are yet to hear Rod Hemsel on the curent controversy over Heehs' book. Like Rick Lipschutz he should also offer his guidance on the overall situation. [TNM] 8:39 AM 5:50 AM

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Three duties and eight ethical principles

[Adam Smith's quote is from The Wealth of Nations: “According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society.” Adam Smith... And Marathi Politics
from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik]

[Ethical Principles for the Intellectually Honest Critical Thinker
from Larval Subjects In the spirit of Martin Luther King, I have a dream! I have a dream that my philosophy students and myself might live passionately according to the following eight ethical principles:
Proposition 1: The intellectually honest critical thinker (IHCT) focuses not on the claim a person makes, but the argument by which the claim is supported...
Proposition 3: The IHCT never dismisses a claim as being an “opinion” or “subjective”, but politely asks for an argument in support of the claim...
Proposition 6: The IHCT strives for humility, modesty, and a lack of ego, struggling to separate one’s sense of self-worth from the need to always be right.
Proposition 7: The IHCT is charitable in her interpretation of the claims and arguments of others, striving to give them their most benign possible sense, avoiding the attribution of malicious motives, striving not to speculate about hidden motives, and providing missing premises where reasonable when they are not explicitly formulated...]

Smith's "three duties" and Sinthome's "eight ethical principles" are worth ruminating for the members of Savitri Era Fraternity when discourse in the time of conflict is being muddied with needless rancor. [TNM]

The phobia for religion and politics should melt

[What comes through more and more for me is the necessity for the recreation of civil society. More so than party building although that is a piece of the issue. Habermas and Taylor’s recent work on civic (and civil) reason I think is crucially important in this regard (I’m more Taylorian than Habermasian in some respects). Integral Politics Review from Last Night
Indistinct Union by cjsmith]

[The key is to have an ontology of forces, one in which nonviolence is not a reflection of nature, but rather a construction of nature. If there’s anything intrinsically wrong with Obama’s citation of Niebuhr above, it’s that it claims to reflect nature — certain ideals are of value, but cannot be expected to be actualized (thus Niebuhr on Jesus’s nonviolence). Nonviolence, then, is ontological, but as construction rather than reflection of being. Importantly, the same holds for “rights”. Rights, like nonviolence, do not preexist, they are created. A state must be forced to enforced rights. And this force comes not from natural rights, but from a (cell) politics that makes this force felt by the state. Theological Middle Names: Barack Reinhold Obama
from An und für sich by danbarber]

[If non-violence is a guideline, then who decides when the exceptional case presents? Who decides when violence is necessary? If one argues that each individual has the power to decide, than each individual is sovereign. And we are right back to the individualist anarchism, and we have failed to think an ethical anarchism. The question of decisionism needs to be confronted directly. Some thoughts on Simon Critchley and non-violence
from Critical Animal by Scu]

[Re: Orissa court stays release of book on Sri Aurobindo (the next Satanic Verses -thaindian news) Debashish Sun 16 Nov 2008 Yes, there are two ways - the bewildered way and the enlightened way, but Krishna is at no place saying to Arjuna, wait till you become enlightened and then only enter the battle. He is saying make the battle an occasion for your enlightenment...
the evolution of the divine includes the evolution of Power and this achieves itself through its victory over the falsehood (so long as that exists). This does not mean that one needs to be on the lookout for "cosmic war," or jump to conclusions about truth which needs to be defended. But then Gandhi's logic in his interpretation of the Gita, that Krishna is necessarily speaking to Arjuna about an internal battle only because the divine could not support violence, should also be avoided.
Re: Orissa court Debashish Tue 18 Nov 2008]

The phobia for religion and politics should melt. [TNM]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Power-grabbing agenda are valid democratic activities

[this is only a means to their end of ousting the present ashram management and establishing themselves as the official clergy of Aurobindonianity. Re: Competing Visions of History koantum Mon 17 Nov 2008]

[Bijan, Srikant, Bailochan, and you (PPR) are known to be following your own personal power-grabbing agendas. So stop pretending to be saviours of the Ashram, and get down to your respective sadhanas. -- S has left a new comment on your post "They steal other people's ideas and thoughts and..." 8:14 AM 4:12 PM2:05 PM]

[Obama’s victory is not just another shift in the eternal parliamentary struggle for a majority, with all the pragmatic calculations and manipulations that involves. It is a sign of something more... Obama’s victory is a sign of history in the triple Kantian sense of signum rememorativum, demonstrativum, prognosticum. Use Your Illusions Slavoj Žižek LRB 14 November 2008 Slavoj Žižek]

Ousting present managements and power-grabbing agenda are valid democratic activities and there is no reason why one should shiver upon hearing any conversation on this. Investing one's trust in the virtue of status quoism is as much a symptom of inertia as an abiding faith in Perennial Philosophy. [TNM]

Monday, November 17, 2008

Taking up an achievable target initially is also important

from Tusar N. Mohapatra <> to PP Raghavachary <> date17 November 2008 16:59 subject Re: Debate

Dear Raghav,

As regards "change in the Management of the Ashram," I think the matter is embedded in legality. Hence, there is the need of preparing an approach paper first by locating the specific spots and examining their desirability as well as feasibility. Taking up of an achievable target initially is also important, and then it can easily be thrown for eliciting informed opinions. Thanks,

Yours fraternally, Tusar N. Mohapatra [4:12 PM]

Veracity of accuracy or sincerity

[Debashish Sun 16 Nov 2008 Re: Orissa court There is no preventing this struggle... Terms which have been misappropriated (and which will not go away however much one likes to close one's eyes to their existence) need to be reinterpreted. At least that's how I see it. -- Debashish Sat 15 Nov 2008 Re: Orissa court stays release of book on Sri Aurobindo (the next Satanic Verses -taindian news)]

[Without the benefit of advanced education, the writer accurately assessed the situation by virtue of simple sincerity -- Angiras Sun 16 Nov 2008 Re: Competing Visions of History in Internal Islamic Discourse and Islamic-Western Dialogue]

Now how to check the veracity of such magisterial pronouncements? Angiras being a pseudonym further complicates the matter. [TNM]

An enlightened democracy where the hierarchy of ideas prevails over hierarchy of men and women

[A: In the end it is always about ethics and all about personal values. That is why it is very important for every society to create checks and balances... A: Again I am a believer in the adage – performance leads to recognition, recognition leads to respect and respect leads to power... A: Infosys has brought pretty smart people together. Infosys has given opportunity for youngsters to come out with new ideas. Infosys has created a platform where meritocracy has prevailed... A: Infosys has brought pretty smart people together. Infosys has given opportunity for youngsters to come out with new ideas. Infosys has created a platform where meritocracy has prevailed. Infosys has put premium on innovation; we have created incentives for people who are innovative. Infosys has been an enlightened democracy where the hierarchy of ideas prevails over hierarchy of men and women... A: There is only one ingredient for innovation and that is the power of the human mind. As long as a company is able to attract, enable, empower and retain the best of the brightest, it will have a play. -- Narayana Murthy, Tue, Nov 11, 2008, CNBC-TV18 Moneycontrol » News » Murthy feels in the end it is always about ethics and personal values Speaking to Vallabh Bhanshali 5:30 PM]

Savitri Erans too should be "able to attract, enable, empower and retain the best of the brightest" in order to survive and show the way to the world. [TNM]

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Now that A-city has named the Panch-Pyare, one can be inquisitive about the disposition of the rest of the inhabitants of the B-city. Theory, if relates to flesh and blood men (and women, and children), then only can have any meaning; otherwise it’s mere highfalutin talk. [TNM]

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Religion has once again come to the forefront of political and academic controversy

[(title unknown) from Continental Philosophy by Farhang Erfani
Department of Philosophy 5th Annual Philosophy Graduate Student Conference
The Sacred and the Secular: Philosophy and Religion in the 21st Century
February 20-21, 2009 - Keynote Speaker: John D. Caputo, Syracuse University
The 5th annual University of Memphis Philosophy Graduate Student Conference will be held February 20-21, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee.
The conference will explore the relationship between philosophical and religious thought in the 2
1st century. The question of “religion” has long been central to philosophy; every canonical figure in the history of philosophy—from Plato to Aristotle, Augustine to Ockham, Descartes to Kant, and Hegel to Derrida—has recognized the central significance of questions of faith. This legacy provides the contemporary philosopher with a unique opportunity: the hope of a world unified under “secular reason” is in question and religion has once again come to the forefront of political and academic controversy. Philosophers must now confront these challenges by offering perspectives utilizing the rich resources at our disposal.
We seek philosophical papers investigating and interrogating the difficult terrain of religion, politics, and ethics... For more information, please contact one of the following conference committee members: Michael Burroughs (, Adam Lockridge (, Tim Golden (]
But why the Savitri Eran cream layer dreads discussing religion is perplexing. [TNM]

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sri Aurobindo or The Yogi of The Life Divine

[Re: Competing Visions of History Debashish Thu 13 Nov 2008 - R.Y. Deshpande is now on an "America tour" to spread the good word]

[An Integral Existence: An Emerging Perspective of Our Future with Aster Patel, Ph.D. Sunday, November 16, 2008 11:00 am Cost: Free Will Offering. Location: Auditorium, CIF, 2650 Fulton Street at 3rd Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118.]

[The International Gita Forum ( is scheduled to be held on the 16th of November 2008 at the PGP Hall, near Srinivasa Perumal Temple. Shri Prashant Khanna from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, New Delhi, will be one of the speakers at the forum. He is also scheduled to give two talks at the Sri Aurobindo Society, SIFAS building, 2A Starlight Road, 01-07, Singapore - 217755.]

[Sri Aurobindo Society of HK has organised a talk by Mr Prashant Khanna from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi branch, on Friday 21st November '08 at the Visual Arts Centre, 7A Kennedy Road, HK at 6.30 to 8.30 on the subject of "Evolution in Science & Spirituality".]

[Toward a Science of Consciousness 2009, Hong Kong: Investigating Inner Experience Brain, Mind, Technology Hong Kong, China, June 11-14, 2009 Program Committee Sraddhalu Ranade - Sri Aurobindo Ashram 1:10 PM]

The most sacred dates are approaching. Let's remember with Aju Mukhopadhyay:

To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.

Sri Aurobindo Or The Yogi Of The Life Divine- 9th installment- To Thee Our Infinite Gratitude Epic India: Culture

Retirement of sadhak-executives

[Can one then think of a maximum number of terms as an MP or MLA? If retirement has logic everywhere, why not in politics too? Bibek Debroy Indian Express > Edits & Columns > Friday, 14 November 2008 When we are young Perversely, in post-reform India, a premium on age has crept back. The writer is a noted economist]

Such a stipulation is also an urgent necessity now in all our organisations connected with the name of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. [TNM]

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Savitri Era Party proposes to propel the nation’s heartbeat to a never before wavelength

India is waiting; eager to listen the liberating words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. People have become utterly tired of hearing the deceptive parody of nationalism and humanitarianism. All shades psephological permutations have been bandied about to win crumbs of power bereft of any ideological commitment. Our recent history has been a sad story of the caravan of usurpers, their political expediency, and blinkered vision.

Savitri Era Party proposes to propel the nation’s heartbeat to a never before wavelength. A new knowledge, a new courage, and a new rage to erase the errors of the past are our promise. Nothing can prevent us from marching forward; and the time starts now. [TNM]

We shall have to walk the talk and achieve something tangible

from Tusar N. Mohapatra <> date 9 November 2008 13:01 subject Re: mutilating TRUTH

Many thanks for expressing your support for my views. But that is not enough. This time around, we shall have to walk the talk and attempt to achieve something tangible. Not only the model of change has to be thrashed out, but also the modality for change has to be worked out. Adequate strategizing for surmounting legal and institutional impediments that would abound has to be put in place. I propose that a seven member committee be constituted for this purpose. Thanking you, Tusar N. Mohapatra [9:09 AM]

from Tusar N. Mohapatra <> date13 November 2008 12:33 subject Re: So called intellectuals......

Thanks for the invocation from Savitri, and expressing the certitude that "The stage is set." As you know people a bit intimately, it would be unfair to expect them to switch at once over to new tricky roles. Especially when the overall situation is no less complex and confusing. So, setting forth the goals as well as priorities is important.

No need to invest all our hopes upon the same set of known names. A whole multitude of unknown aspirants is waiting in the wings and needs to be harnessed to an organizational hierarchy. And for that we have to convince ourselves first to come under the yokes. Things can move fast if instead of talking as individuals, we interact with respective designations. [TNM] Yours fraternally, Tusar N. Mohapatra

Sattwa will return to reign and sow order

[I was on a flight from Frankfurt. I saw two young men in their late or mid-20s who were travelling by the first class, and I was slightly surprised. I had gone to attend a board meeting and it was a huge bank, and they pay. That is fine. But these were 25 or 26-year old people and they were travelling first class. What does it mean? It means we have created a value system that says you are a success if you travel by first class, you are a success if you own a flashy car, you are a success if you own a big house, etc. That is why, in fact, I suggested at Davos a few years ago that we need to create a system where we can rank world corporate leaders based on their respectability. -- Narayana Murthy Moneycontrol » News » CNBC-TV18 Tue, Nov 11, 2008]

[Why do schoolteachers get paid a pittance and bankers get million dollar severances? Why do IIM graduates get higher starting salaries than the salaries earned after 20 years of teaching by the very professors who taught them and made them worthy of being hired in the first place?... On what basis do we get paid for the work we do? What determines the monetary worth that our toils merit? ... Many years ago, fresh out of management school, I remember telling my aunt how much I earned. It was a pittance compared to what management graduates earn today. Even so, her genuinely bewildered question to me was, 'What exactly do you do to earn so much?' It was and continues to be a good question. -- Santosh Desai Proximity is key to raking it in TOI 9 Nov 2008, City City Bang Bang]

What we are witnessing at present is a phenomenon which can be called, the Collapse of all Calibration. It is not exactly transvaluation of all values but a chaotic and anarchic vehemence against hierarchy that is at play. The vital is shuffling with a vengeance but Sattwa will return to reign and sow order. [TNM]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The greatest fruit of the war years is The Life Divine

World Marks 90th Anniversary of WWI but the greatest fruit of the war years is The Life Divine, which the world is yet to be aware of. [TNM]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kyunki Mahanta too was an Obama

[On Obama from Continental Philosophy by Farhang Erfani
Judith Butler, “Uncritical Exuberance”
Jacques-Alain Miller, “Obama: Métis or Hermaphrodite?”]

[Obama launches new website from Open Integral by Edward Berge
The Obama campaign used technology in unprecedented ways to achieve its goals. Such will continue in Obama’s Presidency. He’s launched a
new website to interact with the POTUS again in unprecedented fashion. Finally, a President with a brain, a heart and who knows how to use contemporary media to communicate with us.]

[larvalsubjects Says: November 9, 2008 at 6:27 am From the standpoint of ideology critique, I tend to be suspicious of declarations such as those we find in Obama where the self-interests of groups are set aside in the name of a “we”. Such moves tend to obscure and hide the real of antagonism, making it more difficult to articulate and engage. The Spinozist in me is also nervous about dismissals of self-interest. Marx’s analyses certainly did not unfold along the opposition of altruism and self-interest, but were an analysis of self-interest pertaining to different classes through and through. Without some dimension of desire in the Lacanian sense and conatus or the will to endure in one’s being, engagement and critique seems to fall apart and we’re left with normative approaches that tend to function as masked interest.]

Having observed the "Prafulla Kumar Mahanta" syndrome two decades ago, we have never been enthusiastic about Obama from the very outset. But tolerating the promotional hype consistently for the last two years has been really painful just like sitting forcibly through a Kyunki episode. [TNM]

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sauvik must read The Life Divine; it is never too late to learn

[The term "symbolic exchange" was derived from Georges Bataille's notion of a "general economy" where expenditure, waste, sacrifice, and destruction were claimed to be more fundamental to human life than economies of production and utility (1988 [1967]). Bataille's model was the sun that freely expended its energy without asking anything in return. He argued that if individuals wanted to be truly sovereign (e.g., free from the imperatives of capitalism) they should pursue a "general economy" of expenditure, giving, sacrifice, and destruction to escape determination by existing imperatives of utility... Bataille and Baudrillard presuppose here a contradiction between human nature and capitalism. They maintain that humans "by nature" gain pleasure from such things as expenditure, waste, festivities, sacrifices, and so on, in which they are sovereign and free to expend the excesses of their energy (and thus to follow their "real nature"). The capitalist imperatives of labor, utility, and savings by implication are "unnatural," and go against human nature." Jean Baudrillard (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)]

[On Austrians... And Against the Chicago School
from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik: All statistics are necessarily “historical,” in that they are measurements of past events. Unless backed by sound theory, no one can predict anything about the "uncertain future" from mere data... Theories matter. Theories are the link between sensation and perception. We do not “perceive” reality correctly if our minds are full of wrong theories. Just as the man-on-the-street sees a bonny baby and concludes it is a “problem” because his mind is full of Malthusianism. Or a Marxist looks upon entrepreneurs as “exploiters of labour.” According to the Austrian school of Catallactics (I no longer use the word “economics”), the pathway to knowledge in the Science of Exchange is through introspection. That is, we look inwards into our own minds. The Chicago school looks outwards at reality, measuring it to find laws. This is an imitation of Physics. It is “scientism.” It merely mimics science. The Austrians look for “laws of thought” that are common to all human beings, because all human beings possess the human mind. And this mind has an unchanging “logical structure.” Once we discover the laws of thought in our own minds, we have the means of understanding “human action” – because all human action in market exchanges is deliberate, and therefore guided by these laws of thought.]

Sauvik's ontology stops at the "unchanging logical structure” of the "the human mind" but he should probe further. He must read The Life Divine; it is never too late to learn. [TNM] 10:27 AM

Distinguishing between devotion and subversion

[CFP: Foucault and St. Paul from Continental Philosophy by Farhang Erfani
Call for Papers – Special Edition of The Journal of Cultural and Religious Theory
‘Foucault and Saint Paul’
The French philosopher Michel Foucault has been cited in relation to Saint Paul from a number of different critical perspectives. In the early 90’s, Stephen D. Moore and Elizabeth Castelli have used Foucault’s early work to analyse the notion of power within the Pauline epistles, allowing them to adopt a critical perspective on Paul. More recent scholarship, such as the work of Halvor Moxnes, has tended to focus on how Foucault’s later work on the care and ethics of the self found in first and second century Greek philosophy might provide insight into Paul’s understanding of the self. In this case, interaction between Foucault and Paul is seen more as a dialogue than as a critique of Paul by Foucault. In this special edition of JCRT, we hope to focus on a truly dialogical approach to Foucault and Paul. In order to accomplish this, we aim to provide a panoramic view of the various critical ways in which the two thinkers have been engaged. To this end we invite articles and reviews on any aspect of this ‘dialogue’ between Foucault and Paul.]

[Judith Butler on Obama
The election of Barack Obama is historically significant in ways that are yet to be gauged, but it is not, and cannot be, a redemption, and if we subscribe to the heightened modes of identification that he proposes (”we are all united”) or that we propose (”he is one of us”), we risk believing that this political moment can overcome the antagonisms that are constitutive of political life, especially political life in these times. There have always been good reasons not to embrace “national unity” as an ideal, and to nurse suspicions toward absolute and seamless identification with any political leader. After all, fascism relied in part on that seamless identification with the leader, and Republicans engage this same effort to organize political affect when, for instance, Elizabeth Dole looks out on her audience and says, “I love each and every one of you.”
Read the rest here. from Larval Subjects] 10:27 AM

[Devotion can grow as one's understanding of who They are and what They have done increases, but to make it a prerequisite is an exclusionary practice tantamount to religion. Re: Representing Swami Vivekananda: Some Issues and Debates By Makarand Paranjape Debashish What is Critique? An Essay on Foucault's Virtue By Judith Butler Debashish]

Distinguishing between devotion and subversion is of primary importance. If devotion or a common faith serves as a cementing factor for self-defense and also offers joy of identity and affiliation, then nothing else can replace that role. It is part of the package; take it or leave it. [TNM]

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Perennial prevarication

[American Transcendentalism: A History by Philip F. Gura Reviewed ...
by Debashish ... German Romanticism, Enlightenment Philosophy and other sources, continues to flow like an invisible river under the surface of American capitalism, inspiring a vision of the future convergent with that held up by Sri Aurobindo. ...
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga - Permanent Link]

[Going beyond external forms
by m alan kazlev Well, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother - the two most Radical Evolutionary Realisers - were the ones who initiated the Integral Paradigm. Not just intellectually, but perhaps more radically occultly and esoterically as well. ...
Integral Transformation -]

It is abominating for the Savitri Erans to compare The Mother and Sri Aurobindo with others and treat them as just one of the many. [TNM]

Identity and bargaining

[Post-Identity Politics?
from Larval Subjects. Political theory and politics are always two different things. Change comes from the ground itself and those that organize and force power to capitulate. Theory creates weapons that can both help us to understand these strange new movements– these rumbling and unheard voices so unlike the platitudes that populate the ruling ideology that clogs the airwaves and newspapers –and can help to formalize these movements, intensify them, and create weapons for them. Today one of the most vital tasks is to once again put economics on the table as a site of politics, shifting away from the endless politics of identity.
larvalsubjects Says: November 9, 2008 at 4:50 am Ryan, I think you’re misconstruing my argument here. I did not make the claim that Obama won because of the economy, though certainly the current housing and Wall Street woes contributed to his victory. Rather, I made the claim that the election of Obama presents the opportunity to shift the focus of political struggle to economic issues. I think Nick makes the point nicely when he underlines that there’s a brief window of opportunity here to shift the grounds of debate. American politics has been dominated by the cultural and semiotic register for decades. It has revolved around questions of identity and group affiliations. This was true for much of this election as well. As a result of this focus, economic issues have been largely invisible. Sure, we talk about taxes, incomes, investments, etc., but we do not talk about the system of capital as such and what underpins it. It is taken as an unstated given and treated as a natural force that need not even be spoken and which is outside of the political altogether. Instead we content ourselves with analyzing culture, identities, promoting various rights, etc. What is interesting about economy is that it draws a transversal line across these competing identities, opening a space where the cultural and semiotic recedes into the background, and a shared site of struggle becomes possible. In many respects I see the focus on identity– whether it be religious, ethnic, gender, national, etc –as a sort of symptom in the psychoanalytic sense responding to global flows of capital that turn “all that is solid into air”. The distraught agent reterritorializes on identity as a last refuge in a world that is perpetually changing, precarious, and being undermined, and sets about locating an enemy as the sources of this precariousness.]

[Why economists should study the origins of bargaining?
from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by Gavin Kennedy
Having presented part 1 of my paper, The Prehistory of Bargaining: a multi-disciplinary approach’, to the EAEPE in Rome, I had a conversation later with one of the participants about why I worked on such a subject, it being distant from the normal concerns of economics... I began the work almost accidentally while pondering why economists had so little to say about the ubiquitous behaviours of negotiation, which dominate human relationships, and not just in commerce. While teaching and writing about negotiation for many audiences, I had consumed fairly early on the sum total of books and papers appearing within the modern discipline, beginning with Zeuthen (1931) and Hicks (1931), Nash (1950) and onwards... Smith himself had much to say about how bargaining may have emerged with, for exampe, his parable of the deer and beaver hunters transacting by ‘higgling and bargaining’ to find a satisfactory ratio for their exchange. I was not satisfied that this was more than an attempted ‘explanation’ for an imaginary exchange for another purpose. That is why I widened my search beyond economics to history, eventually to prehistory, to evolutionary psychology, to anthropology, to sociology and beyond. Some part of this work is contained in my paper, ‘The Prehistory of Bargaining: a multi-disciplinary approach’, Part 1 of which you may download from the Lost Legacy Home page.] 11:52 AM

[You're right, Tim. I didn't see this coming. And I wasn't alone. People a lot smarter than I am didn't see it coming either. So what happened?
I should mention first that the few people who did see it coming were not necessarily any wiser than anyone else. Some of them had predicted nine of the last five recessions. A stopped clock is right twice a day. Even those who claim to have foreseen this mess couldn't make the case well enough to alarm very many other people. Where was I in 2005? (by Russell Roberts)
from Cafe Hayek] 12:39 PM

Chandrayaan-1 has entered the lunar orbit, and very advanced computing power is behind its success. But strangely, with the same level of computing and mathematical models, economists as well as analysts, not only failed to predict the current financial meltdown, but also are incapable of forecasting its future trajectory. [TNM]