Saturday, March 07, 2009

It is through action that we must grow

[Re: Larger Issues of "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" Controversy
by Tony Clifton on Sat 14 Feb 2009 04:40 PM PST
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"Medical Science has been more a curse to mankind than a blessing." While I hardly think medical science is without its share of problems and I can come up with my own long list of them, but that said I guess the above statement demonstrates why I am reluctant to quote from these aphorisms, because (not unlike some of Nietzsche's) - removed from the particular contextual inspiration in which they were jotted down- sometimes they just defy common sense. And I do agree that common sense is the last thing one should throw away when they begin yoga.]

[Re: Religious Nationalism and Transnationalism in a Global World by Mark Juergensmeyer
by Debashish on Sun 25 Jan 2009 04:17 PM PST
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Mr. Sane, Thank you for your comment. If your call is for us to avoid classification of present social contradictions, I would what is your basis for such a prescription. If the basis is a faith derived from what you perceive to be a prediction of the overcoming of all present social contradications in The Human Cycle, I must admit that I cannot share your optimism. Firstly, I do not read The Human Cycle (as any of Sri Aurobindo or the Mother's writings) as determinisms. It is not difficult to point to a number of utterances by both of them which are meant to impress upon the reader the sense of a contemporary crisis in world history and the urgency of human participation in consciousness towards its solution. Many of these utterances are, moreover, more ambiguous about the future of humankind than about the coming of a supramental race. Whether Sri Aurobindo is talking about the "human cycle" or the evolution of consciousness out of the Inconscient, there is no solace for a humanity content with astrologisms. All we can see is "a play of forces" and our part in it, a part we must play by discerning the trajectories of these forces. Of course, I will admit that at any stage we are constrained by our Ignorance and our primary endeavor is to push unceasingly towards the psychological sources of clear sight (dristi). If the basis of your prescription is such a dristi attained to by yourself, I am willing to take it more seriously, or at least give it greater weight of consideration. But if it is based on an unverified belief, then it can apply only to you as a heuristic during the process of coming to true knowledge. It can have no utility outside of that process. DB Reply]

[Re: Savitra: Reflections of an Evolutionary Activist: The Shadow of Fundamentalism in the Integral Yoga Debashish Fri 06 Mar 2009 01:33 AM PST Savitra, Thanks for bringing to attention so powerfully and incisively this major precedent to the present disharmony and the need to integrate these lessons in our personal and collective lives if we are to move ahead in the Integral Yoga. These events make us pause to reflect on the history of Integral Yoga as a collective phenomenon, particularly since the Mother's passing. What brings an element of deep pathos into this is that if these events could be filed away as simple cases of "human rights violations" perpetrated by brutes and criminals it would be easier to forget them, but enacted by those who, along with whatever manifestations of vital ego, may genuinely feel that they are "doing their best" to uphold the truth, it brings an ancient note of human sadness, of the lesson ever repeated and never learned, of human history laid waste by fratricide, civil war in the name of the knowledge of what God wants. The complexity of Sri Aurobindo's comprehensive vision, which does not enjoin any reductionist principle, such for example as non-violence, makes things even more difficult.
It is easy to justify any kind of action on the basis of this vast field of possibilities, while personally encompassing hardly a sliver of that consciousness. And I have no doubt that this is possible while maintaining a relation of deep devotion with the gurus and the divine. The problem is that a relation with the transcendent, however intense, if not extended into universality, turns easily into rabid fanaticism. If we lose sight of the larger dimension of evolving consciousness in the world and in individuals and phenomena all around us, we will have given the lie to that profound teaching which came to put an end to human ignorance and suffering and which graced us with an invitation.]

[Re: Larger Issues of "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" Controversy
Debashish on Fri 20 Feb 2009 12:37 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
1. It is a given that Sri Aurobindo and/or the Mother are the last authority on "what the Integral Yoga demands" at any time and place. If either of them intervened in any case of "free speech," it would be accepted as "the thing to be done" (krtavyam karma). My comments are made in a post-physical-presence-of-the-gurus era. There too, I do not wish to press the "free speech" argument for its own sake, but for the integrality of an evolving experience from the ignorant life to the divine life.]

[Re: Orissa court stays release of book on Sri Aurobindo (the next Satanic Verses -thaindian news)
Debashish on Sun 16 Nov 2008 07:09 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
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 hundred who welcome dharma-yuddhah to justify their twisted notions of the truth don't need my reinterpretation. They have already misappropriated it and are busy multiplying their numbers through methods of mass propaganda and other persuasive devices. Reply]

[Re: Yoga, religion, and fundamentalism in the Integral Yoga Community by Lynda Lester
Debashish on Sun 30 Nov 2008 03:42 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
Dear Ned, Let me speak for myself. "Inadequacies and flaws" are a given in what is known as "the human condition" and I cannot claim any other kind of condition for myself. But that said, I am not making any claim to stand for "truth" or against "falsehood." What I am standing for here is simply the right of ignorance to struggle for and discover knowledge. What I am standing against are knowledge-claims which try to force themselves on the world. You may argue that this is what "the avatar" has traditionally done - the restoration of truth mostly by force in a world where truth has become completely obscured. But to arrogate to oneself the authority and power of god without any visible sign of the unity and love of God, does not inspire the confidence to override the simple common-sense of human freedom of growth, which is difficult enough without willful injunctions and collective violences. You may also argue that it is none of one's business to take a stand against those who enact their violences against others, since they are at worst just as ignorant as ourselves (and at best avatars). Indeed, this is a judgment call, and I cannot speak for anyone else, only myself. From my sense of the stakes involved in this case, at this time and place, I feel called upon to take this stand. Our growth from "inadequacies and flaws" are not the better achieved on the mountaintop; it is through action that we must grow.]

[Why Realism? from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects Take, for example, the contemporary debate over evolution. The religious skeptic might concede the correlationist argument, claiming that at the level of phenomena or how things appear for-us, evolution is the only plausible conclusion. Nonetheless– and here I’m indebted to Meillassoux’s analysis in After Finitude –the religious skeptic can still point out that this knowledge is restricted to appearances, and that the level of things-in-themselves the world could be organized in a completely different way, along creationist lines. “Since we cannot know things-in-themselves,” the religious skeptic reasons, “there is no reason to conclude that things are as they appear.” Consequently, the correlationist move still leaves open wiggle room for faith trumping what our experimental investigation of nature tells us. 1:20 PM]

From common sense to things-in-themselves via krtavyam karma might seem confusing but there runs a very definite pathway for the human condition. [TNM]

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