Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Questioning of tradition and engagement with contemporary global culture

[The social location of this experiment in an ashram composed of residents practicing the Integral Yoga makes many features of the Integral Education practically effective. The teachers are familiar with the epistemology and terminology of Sri Aurobindo’s teaching as lived and experienced or at least intimately intuited realities and as aspects of their life practice, and translate these realities into education as part of a seamless habitus. Such a close community could run the danger of unconscious religious cultism in its pedagogy, and in spite of the Mother’s insistence on freedom of choice for the students, the conventionalized forms of address and practice relating to Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and the Integral Yoga, seem indeed to have subsumed the educational habitus. Moreover, the mentorship practice has not gone deep or far enough either in pushing the boundaries of the faculties of knowledge or of an integrally expressive engagement in the curriculum or of a penetrating and informed assimilation and questioning of tradition and its engagement with aspects of contemporary global culture or civilizational values and lifestyles...

Again, though the factors mentioned above make the ashram habitus ideal for the social practice of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s Integral Education, the insular and insulated nature of such a setting tends to distance the faculty from contemporary currents in thinking, having an effect of making the courses anachronistic and ahistorical, thus diluting the potential for students emerging from such a system to become creative agents for civilizational change in the contemporary world. An informed critique of modernity and its discontents, of neo-liberalism, neo-colonialism, technology and culture, globalization or post-national capitalism, patriarchies, superpower politics and ecological imbalance in the light of the revolutionary vision and teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the power to offer and shape solutions to the critical evolutionary crisis of our times is not much in evidence among the alumni of this institute.
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga by
Debashish on Mon 20 Jul 2009 09:00 AM PDT Permanent Link
Debashish Banerji] [Life Divine Colloquia via Skype SCIY Home of Debashish Banerji]

Now that blogs have come to signify alternative outlets of knowledge diffusion, the deficient role of brick-and-mortar institutions can be pardoned. Students and teachers associated with The Mother & Sri Aurobindo are yet to be aligned to the wavelength of this new medium though. [TNM]

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