Thursday, June 18, 2009

Truth of being must govern truth of life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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