Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ontology as self-realization

[What strikes me after reading this post (and the one on the Alethetics of Rhetoric) is that what is revealed in an ontology might be more powerful by far than a moral theory, by providing a vista for self-realization rather than a didactic formula. Asher Kay]

[Latour contends that discussions about value are really discussions about matters of concern where the appearance of new actors, human or nonhuman, generate perplexity. Co(m)-plications
from Larval Subjects . Latour emphasizes the manner in which the appearance of new actors co(m)-plicates and per-plicates relations among entities in an existing network. In the former approach, for example, we get Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action, predelineating or pre-sup-posing norms governing discourse that must be there at the outset for discourse to take place. In the latter approach, by contrast, the moment of “matters of concern” or co(m)-plication is the appearance of a new actor such as massive cultivation of bovine livestock that require the clearing of rain forests and that significantly increase contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.]

[Re: On Universalism: In Debate with Alain Badiou by Etienne Balibar
Debashish on Sat 22 Aug 2009 09:08 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
There is much in this profound meditation on universalism that applies at all levels of engagement with that term, whether theoretical, political or spiritual. But I would like to draw attention particularly to the last paragraph, where Balibar is laying out the responsibility that comes with the territory... Integrality is a nuance on universalism which pushes its borders into the Transcendental and Absolute.]

[The word integral means for this paradigm recognizing the value of all of the stages... each emergence is absorbed in the next. It doesn’t just go away. So, the real trick for the integral paradigm is to realize, really and substantially, that the powers and potentials and forms of expression of each of the levels are ever-present. They are always there, and all are valuable. There is a way of looking at the developmental paradigm that is hierarchic. Spiral Dynamics - a philosophical perspective Tue, 02/03/2009 — Rod Hemsell]

[It is the search for a substantive rather than procedural democracy that protects citizens from majoritarian arrogance and ensures justice in a subcontinent where people have multiple identities.
Majoritarianism, whether in secular or saffron garb, continues to be a potential threat to Indian democracy. Regional rights were once thought to be a counterpoise to the anti-democratic tendencies of an over-centralised state. Regional parties run by petty and insecure dictators are proving to be as ruthless as the all-India partiepression of internal dissent. In such a scenario freedom of speech and expression remains the best guarantee of the future of Indian democracy.
Why Jinnah matters SUGATA BOSE Tuesday , Aug 25, 2009
The writer is the Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University

[Hell hath no fury like a Shourie unplugged Economic Times - ‎25 Aug 2009‎
on Monday experienced fresh convulsions when another leader, Mr Arun Shourie, threw a barrage of punches at the leadership's face. ... Throwing a virtual challenge to the party leadership to act against him for his utterances, he said: “So, you want to be Humpty Dumpty and make words mean what you say and act, then I presume you already have in your mind to act against me or anybody, so act.”
Treading cautiously after the criticism over the summary expulsion of Jaswant Singh, the BJP today sought a "clarification" from senior leader Arun Shourie]

Sri Aurobindo explained that evolution is not linear but spiral. Hence, a moral theory smoldered in the fire of politics cleanses the most and paves the way for the next level. [TNM]

Monday, August 24, 2009

Savitri Era Party needs 500 honest persons to serve the country

In a large and diverse democracy like India politics is bound to be a complex affair. But transparency and swift communication can make it much simpler for Savitri Era Party. Sincerity of purpose coupled with courage of conviction can easily persuade people for favoring the Party. Allegiance to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo will no doubt give it an edge. Futuristic outlook, further, would make it a darling of the young and the marginalized.

Savitri Era Party needs just 500 honest persons to serve the country. One in each constituency, and then we are not too far off from where one scents power. [TNM]

Can anyone ban a citizen's thinking

[M Alan Kazlev has left a new comment on your post "The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have already accomplish...": Personally I feel that the Heehs biography, despite its shortcomings, does contain much of value. Savitri Era August 16, 2009]

[JD(U) chief says he disapproves ban on Jaswant's book Press Trust of India - ‎ STAFF WRITER 16:29 HRS IST
New Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI)
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav told reporters here. When asked to comment on the ban imposed by Gujarat government on Jaswant Singh's book 'Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence', Yadav said, "I don't want to talk about any individual state government. In a democracy, there should not be a ban on any kind of writing, speech and expression. I don't approve of the ban."When pressed further to comment on whether he approves the content of Singh's book, Yadav said, "who am I to make judgements.]

[As he put it in perspective — the contents of the book were merely his views that were formed after reading certain documents of the pre- and post-partition era. Singh's assertions make a lot of practical, and importantly, legal sense. Can anyone ban a citizen's thinking as long as he expresses them in exercise of his right to freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution? Jaswant an outcast for BJP, but his book must not be
Times of India - 24 August 2009,
Dhananjay Mahapatra‎‎]

Tusar N. Mohapatra, Ghaziabad, says: An Indian reprint of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs published originally by Columbia University Press has been prevented by instituting court cases against the author in Orissa, thus compromising right to freedom of expression. [TNM] 24 Aug, 2009 l 0245hrs IST

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo are the anchoring principle of Savitri Era Party

There have been inquiries from several quarters as regards the manifesto of the Savitri Era Party. It is a valid query, yet just a habit. No political party runs by a pre-determined manifesto for ever. It is the people who unite voluntarily under the umbrella of a party identify the programme and policies on an ongoing basis. A manifesto is framed at the time of elections keeping in mind local conditions and concerns.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, however, are the first and foremost anchoring principle of the Savitri Era Party. The diverse facets of their hoary legacy needs to be engaged with, interpreted, and interrogated in the arena of lived reality at various scales of collective existence. Compartmentalizing different spheres of social life has cost us dearly and hence Savitri Era Party would seek an integral approach in polity as well as in governance.

Economics is a key issue, but is said to be on autopilot in India that is likely to run through the next decade. So, till that time we may rest on our oars while turning our attention to clear the cobwebs of superstition, obscurantism, and statusquoism pervading the social sector and nurture a psychological propeller in favor of freedom and world union. [TNM]

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Badiou glosses over the religious register present at the beginning of Meillassoux’s work

[Marko Rinck Says: November 12th, 2006 at 4:30 am So if we, for instance, look at the teachings of Aurobindo and Almaas. Those teachings were revealed to them and after they conceptualized them it appeared that they were a synthesis of many different teachings and fields. In the case of Aurobindo it was, among others, all the different main forms of yoga, evolutionary theory etc. And with Almaas it is sufism, buddhism, advaita, developmental psychology and object relation psychology, among others. What I know from Almaas is that he did not set out to create a teaching like that. It was revealed to him and he found the similarities in those fields and theories and used those for conceptualization. I wouldn’t be suprised if it was the same with Aurobindo.
(Another interesting similarity is that they both formed a team with a woman to manifest these teachings. Very interesting to look at the interplay of Shiva and Shakti and its connection to the Creative Force there, but lets leave that for another discussion).
Open Integral]

[Andy Smith Says: December 29th, 2006 at 5:04 pm
Personally, I feel Gurdjieff is the most original teacher I have encountered, but I don’t feel the need to start a thread on him, or to convince others that he was the most realized man of all time. I would point out that he was teaching his students in Moscow about holarchy years before the term was even coined, about different brains half a century before Paul MacLean developed the idea of the triune brain, that his system specifically addresses questions of physiological events that occur during meditation, that he was virtually alone in suggesting that there is a limit to how many people on earth can realize higher consciousness, and so on and so on. I know he didn’t invent these and other ideas out of whole cloth, that he had his sources, but nevertheless I have never found ideas like these in the writings of others. I have personally confirmed some of his most important ideas, but like all great teachers, he encouraged his followers to be critical of him, and I am. I think this is a healthier attitude than what seems like total belief on your part that Aurobindo was infallible.
Open Integral]

[Logic and Transcendence is one of Schuon's more important books, if only because it's an actual book. Most of the rest of his books are simply collections of essays on a diversity of topics. The Interior Logic of Ultimate Reality
from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob]

[Why Sam Harris is My Kind of New Atheist
from ~C4Chaos by ~C4Chaos
It's no secret to readers of this blog that
Sam Harris is my personal favorite among the New Atheists... God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (Daniel Dennett and Robert Thurman Talk) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (Review: The God Delusion: Memes, Moral Zeitgeist, and Spiral Dynamics) Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett (Rupert Sheldrake On Daniel Dennett) The End of Faith (Review: End of Faith) by Sam Harris Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris (Review: Letter to a Christian Nation)]

[Fannie and Freddie question from Cafe Hayek by Russ Roberts
A question for the practitioners out there. If you were a mortgage originator in the early 1990’s before Fannie and Freddie created their automated software and before the internet, how did you determine if a loan was a “conforming” loan that could be sold to Fannie or Freddie?]

[Thursday, August 20, 2009 Obama would like you to see government as religion.
He addresses a group of religious leaders: “I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness,” Mr. Obama told a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders who support his goal to remake the nation’s health care system.]

[The work of Speculative Realists, from the beginning is very interesting for me, and they refer to me sometimes too. The rupture with the idealist tradition in the field of philosophic study is of great necessity today. We return to the question of realism and materialism later. Its a very complex question. The Speculative Realist position is the position where the point of departure of philosophy is not the relationship between the subject and object or the subject and the world and so on or what Quentin Meillassoux names correlationism. Badiou on Speculative Realism
Posted on August 21, 2009 by Ben Woodard//
Anthony Paul Smith, on August 21st, 2009 at 5:35 pm Said:
It is a little weird that Badiou glosses over the religious register present at the beginning of Meillassoux’s work. And his own.// Thursday, August 13, 2009
Interview with Nick Srnicek Paul John Ennis]

Five milestone events of the last three years have helped to remove the scales off our eyes on various fronts:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fair procedures have been brutally flouted

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Caustic history": Thanks Anon for alighting.

Even if we assume that all your statements are true, there are procedures to be followed before someone is declared guilty. Otherwise, yours is just another opinion bereft of any weight.

The most outrageous aspect is that fair procedures have been brutally flouted in both the cases. And no one is ashamed of the impropriety. This alone sends a shudder down the spine. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Savitri Era at 9:20 PM, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Search for World Union Day in UK, USA, Australia, and France

UK, USA, Australia, and France: the search for World Union Day is everywhere. [TNM]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cafeteria? no, Savitri Era? yes

[One Cosmos: The Absurdity of Absolute Relativity (12.27.08)
I do not believe in "cafeteria style" spirituality. It is more like being able to appreciate, say, Arvo Part, Dexter Gordon, Merle Haggard, ...]

["Are there any boundaries?" America's most reknowned authority on religion, and author of Why Religion Matters, expounds his views on why religion does matter in the context of historical progress, personal perspective, and New Age thought. A Conversation With... Huston Smith, phd. MARCH, 2002
I have a chapter on that for spiritual personality types, but there is a .... the cafeteria style of just going for amorphous self-indulgent spirituality.]

[so whenever someone asks me whether i’m a Buddhist, i can now answer with a straight face: i’m technically a non-practicing Catholic who does Buddhist practice. Re: Secularizing Buddhism–Making it Accessible or Stripping the Roots?
from ~C4Chaos by c4chaos]

[Thirty percent of Americans call themselves "spiritual, not religious," according to a 2009 NEWSWEEK Poll, up from 24 percent in 2005. Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University, has long framed the American propensity for "the divine-deli-cafeteria religion" as "very much in the spirit of Hinduism." We Are All Hindus Now By Lisa Miller NEWSWEEK Published Aug 15, 2009 From the magazine issue dated Aug 31, 2009 3:18 PM]

Savitri Era Religion seeks to stop this rot by inviting people to savor the charm of an authentic and inventive religion. [TNM]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A tale of two Centenaries

[Hind Swaraj Centenary International Seminar — Welcome to Council
Social Development and Human Civilisation in the 21st Century
12-14 February 2009, India International Centre, New Delhi
Jointly organised by
Council for Social Development, India International Centre, DCRC, Delhi University, CPS, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Nelson Mandela Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia, ISHS, University of South Africa, REGGEN, Federal Flomenance University of Brazil
& Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Several institutions have come together to organise a major international seminar on the occasion of the centenary of Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj. The objective is to take Hind Swaraj as a vantage point and engage ourselves on some of the fundamental questions of our age and try to make a contribution to basic thinking on those issues. The following panels have been proposed to reflect on challenges of the 21st century from the perspective of people of Asia, Africa and Latin America.]

[Hind Swaraj Centenary Commemoration (1909 - 2009) - International Conference
“Hind Swaraj- Gandhi’s Manifesto of Nonviolence, Civilization and Forms of Violence: A 21st Century Agenda for Nonviolence”
* Review of nonviolent attempts against various forms of violence * An action plan for individual, family, community and nation * Presentation of action plan to H H The Dalai Lama with a request to lead a global campaign for nonviolence.
Swaraj Peeth Trust announces on the behalf of a group of eminent thinkers, intellectuals and activists a four-day international conference, 19th November to 22nd November 2009 in Delhi, to uniquely commemorate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s greatest work, his root text, Hind Swaraj.]

[Gandhi's new assassins Indian Express Tridip Suhrud
14 Feb 2009 ... This year we celebrate the centenary of Hind Swaraj amidst the gloom of global ... The second misreading arises when they seek to reduce Hind Swaraj to a Swadeshi manifesto. Hind Swaraj is a civilisational text. It argues that modernity seeks to make machines as measure of men. It is for this reason modernity is characterised as ‘black age’ or ‘Satanic civilisation.’ The purpose of civilisation for Gandhi is that it should allow each person to know oneself, and so doing we learn to rule ourselves. It is swaraj when we learn to rule ourselves. To rule one self is to be moral, to be just and have a sense of equability towards all religions. Hind Swaraj provides one of the most articulate critiques of the modern tendency to use religious identity as a ground for political mobilisation and violence that it inevitably breeds. Hind Swaraj also provides a fundamental meditation on the question of means and ends. It argues against the modern belief that ends justify the means. For Gandhi means and ends share an inviolable relationship. And therefore both means and ends have to be good, pure and virtuous. Finally, Hind Swaraj is an immensely hopeful text. It seeks not the destruction of England but wishes to rescue Europe from its modernity. It sees this as India’s unique possibility and challenge. The writer is an Ahmedabad based academic]

[100 Years of Sri Aurobindo on Evolution (complete text with links)
Richard Carlson on Thu 02 Apr 2009 09:24 AM PDT Permanent Link
As the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origins of Species take place this year, it is easy to overlook the fact that 2009 also marks the 100th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo's first major text on evolution and consciousness. In Process and Evolution and Yoga and Human Evolution (1909) Sri Aurobindo begins to comprehensively articulate his vision of human evolution. Just as Darwin's book became the foundation for a science of evolution, what has been called evolutionary spirituality can be traced back to Sri Aurobindo's work. Many are acknowledging this bicentennial year of Darwin's birth with a reassessment of his work in light of what we now know about evolution it therefore, also seems to be a good time to reassess Sri Aurobindo's vision of human evolution in terms of our contemporary understanding of the phenomena.
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
This paper seeks to penetrate the language and concepts Sri Aurobindo employs by making explicit a hermeneutic approach that attempts to extrapolate his thoughts from the early 20th century to the present. While interpreting Sri Aurobindo's writing in terms of contemporary theory is wrought with problems, it is essential if we are to develop a platform for dialog between his writings and today's complex understanding of evolution.]

[National Conference on "Psychology, Culture and the Ideal of Human Unity" Oct. 1-4, 2009 Department of Psychology, Delhi University. All communication regarding this conference may be addressed at: Dr. Suneet Varma, vsuneet@gmail.com 6:01 PM
A cursory glance at the history of social movements on the sub-continent reveal that over the centuries, some of the most prominent movements have had a spiritual foundation as their inspiration -- one that emphasizes the oneness of all humanity and which paves the way for lowering barriers along religion, caste, as well as gender lines. In particular, Buddhism as a socio-political movement, the Bhakti movement, the advent of Sikhism, and Gandhiji's mobilization of the masses for attaining independence, stand out as shining examples which enabled people with diverse social identities to come together. In contemporary India, many of the ashrams and spiritual communes provide us with vivid illustrations of people from diverse backgrounds -- in terms of nationalities, race, religion, caste, class, gender and age -- living and working together in great harmony, and at times mingling with local communities promoting inter-dependence. Such places stand out as islands in the ocean of conflict rampant all around us. It appears that the spiritual perspective on social psychological processes may serve to complement the social-identity theory for if inter-group conflicts can be reduced by enlarging the social categories used for identity, the spiritual dimension would serve to capture the experiential dimension of widening the categories which allows us to accept the other (out-group member) as one of us (in-group member)... Sri Aurobindo (1972; p.554) emphasizes that "A spiritual religion of humanity is the hope of the future.]

The dynamics of the ideal of human unity in a post 9/11 world is an immensely complex issue. While hosts of means are marshaled to this noble end, the teleological imperative is often lost sight of. India is yet to play its appointed role in the whole drama and Savitri Erans must prepare themselves to shoulder the burden. [TNM]

Sri Aurobindo has linked our individual psychology with the workings of the universe

[Home > Library > Literature & Language > Classical Literature Companion
harmony of the spheres or music of the spheres a Pythagorean concept (see PYTHAGORAS), harmony having cosmic significance for the Pythagoreans. It seemed to them, as to others, that the heavenly bodies (the spheres) must, like other large bodies moving at speed, produce a sound as they whirl through space, and that since the bodies move at different speeds they must each produce different (but harmonious) notes. Plato's version of this idea, expounded in the Myth of Er (Republic, book 10), is that on each of the eight concentric circles in which the bodies rotate stands a Siren uttering a note of constant pitch, the eight notes together making up a scale. Because the sound is with us constantly from birth and there is no contrasting silence we are unaware of it.]

[Divine Comedy... is an allegory telling of Dante's vision of heaven, guided by Beatrice, Dante's ideal woman. In the poem, Paradise is depicted as concentric spheres surrounding the earth... These are concentric and spherical, similar to Aristotelian and Ptolemaic cosmology. Dante admits that the vision of heaven he receives is the one that his human eyes permit him to see. Thus, the vision of heaven found in the Cantos is Dante's own personal vision, ambiguous in its true construction. The addition of a moral dimension means that a soul that has reached Paradise stops at the level applicable to it. Souls are allotted to the point of heaven that fits with their human ability to love God. Thus, there is a heavenly hierarchy. Home > Library > Miscellaneous > Wikipedia]

[Amazon.com: Dante and Sri Aurobindo: A Comparative Study of the ...
Amazon.com: Dante and Sri Aurobindo: A Comparative Study of the Divine Comedy and Savitri (9780391023918): Prema Nandakumar]

[The title of my presentation perhaps requires a little explanation: Savitri as a Key to Sri Aurobindo’s psycho-cosmology. “Psycho-cosmology” is my own coinage—a kind of shorthand term for what forms the conceptual basis of our research here—a basis which to Sri Aurobindo himself was of course not “conceptual”, but experienced. This coinage evokes two aspects that are of cardinal importance in Sri Aurobindo’s message. While he has explored and revealed the complexities of individual psychology with unprecedented completeness, he has at the same time linked our individual psychology with an explanation of the workings of the universe, giving the human individual a meaningful position in the cosmos.
At the beginning of Book Two of Savitri the protagonist, King Aswapati, the father of Savitri, has a vision of the many planes of consciousness rising like one of the temple towers that we see here in South India, with many levels, each peopled with their own beings, animals and houses, rising one above the other up into the sky... This “psycho-cosmology” is the consistent basis of all Sri Aurobindo’s major writings.
home authors subjects events Consciousness and Its Transformation Shraddhavan]

[Very roughly, the symbolic can be thought of as a sort of web thrown over the world that allows the world to appear organized, totalized, and well sorted into a system of categories. Here there is no better reference for understanding the symbolic than Levi-Strauss and, in particular, The Savage Mind and The Raw and the Cooked. Through the simple semiotic categories of the raw (nature) and the cooked (culture), contends Levi-Strauss, the “primitive” mind is able weave a web of signs and narratives that creates an interface between nature and culture. Through this activity, the alien world of nature becomes heimlich or a “home” with familiar coordinates and relations that we can navigate.
The unheimlich, by contrast, are those moments where this symbolic skein breaks down either through the appearance of some Thing that fits in none of these categories, or that paradoxically twists the categories... In the case of Levi-Strauss’s sorting of the world into the opposed categories of the raw and the cooked, the moment of the uncanny would perhaps lie in something raw (natural) that is nonetheless cooked (cultural), or vice versa.
Speculative Realism and the Unheimlich
from Larval Subjects . by larvalsubjects]

[On the one hand, contemporary thought is saturated by new age obscurantisms such as those we find in Kaufmann’s brilliant and irritating At Home in the Universe, or some of the less attractive movements in ecological thought. These forms of thought enact the discourse of the master by preaching a sort of cosmic harmony that knows in advance that nature is a harmonious place where it is simply a matter of humans living in accord with nature. On the other hand, we have the reign of the correlationisms that place humans at the center of all relations, preaching that we can never talk of objects independent of their relation to human language, social forces, power, history, minds, etc. This discourse enacts the discourse of the master by suppressing the uncertainties that characterize objects and feeding us a bromide wherein we will always be able to trace unsettling objects back to human categories. Here philosophy remains Ptolemaic. We even get nice terms like “fundamental ontology” where the human necessarily precedes any other engagements. Object-oriented ontology, by contrast, presents a strange ontology where we never know what objects can do, where we cannot decide who or what is acting, and where there is no question of mastery because we’re perpetually caught up in imbroglios and controversies emerging as the result of strange new objects that demand to be heard. As such, onticology occupies the position of the analyst, refusing to say in advance what the world is or what objects populate it, instead siding with the remainders that do not fit with categories of mind or language, signs, encyclopedias, or any other pacifying bromides we might concoct to render the world heimlich. Speculative Realism and the Unheimlich
from Larval Subjects . by larvalsubjects]

[Complexity theorist such as Stuart Kaufmann (2007) and others at the Sante Fe Institute offer a new scientific paradigm that posits emergence instead of reduction, self-organization instead of natural selection in a complex reorientation from materialism to a view of nature that may resacramentalize her. While their new vision of the sacred does not conform to traditional spiritual narratives the approach of complexity theorist at least promises to lead us in a direction that over time may collapses the house of cards that materialist reduction is built on and toward an emergent conception of life, mind, and perhaps spirit as well. Science, Culture and Integral Yoga :: 100 Years of Sri Aurobindo on Evolution by Rich on Sun 23 Mar 2008 09:56 PM PDT Permanent Link Sri Aurobindo complex understanding and his particular way of articulating truth correspondences between matter, life, mind and the particular moment in history under pressure of transformation would not have necessarily avoided narratives of biological evolution that include natural selection, so long as everything is not reduced to natural selection.]

Semiology, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and deconstruction have armed us with myriad modern tools for grappling with the symbolic, yet their performative propensity depends on our willingness for participation and permitting the cosmic turbulence reaching a point of tranquility in a moment of harmony within us. [TNM]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sri Aurobindo's man in JNU

[We should thus be wary of any simplistic grand narrative of our identity as a nation. The Hindu : Magazine : India 62: Soaring high? Makarand Paranjape, Poet and Professor of English, Jawaharlal Nehru University
For Sri Aurobindo, a society, culture, or civilisation had to be judged by how developed its members were not just materially, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. That society or nation was successful whose citizens progressed integrally and found higher and higher levels of freedom and perfection. Today, who thinks of svaraj or self-realisation?
10:34 AM]

Paranjape remains an outsider in the ghastly Marxist bastion that is JNU. [TNM]

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Objects are the root of all Philosophy

[One Cosmos: The Negative Mysticism of the Left By Gagdad Bob One is naturally also reminded of Sri Aurobindo, especially since this is his 137th birthday. He too believed that man was a "God in the making," but what a difference! Let's meditate on some lines from his epically epic, ...]

[Composition of Philosophy. August 15.
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek
My unconscious doesn’t seem in the mood to start on Chapter 7 of L’objet quadruple, and it doesn’t feel like the procrastinating unconscious. It feels like the Fermi unconscious, when he was hesitating to use lead in his experiment, and randomly chose a piece of paraffin instead, leading to unexpected results. There are certain kinds of hesitation that are sending you a vague message that “something isn’t quite right yet.”]

Let's hope that some day the doctor realizes the significance of the date. [TNM]

It is never too late to start studying philosophy

[If the government represents symbolic Power of modernity, the Academy is the source of its symbolic Knowledge. Still, if this problem is recognized, it may be easier to implement alternate educational forms than alternate political ones. But this need not be the only direction in which such revisionary attempts can be made. The fertility of the social and spiritual ideas of Sri Aurobindo are certainly not exhausted and bear enagagement with the forces of technology, economy, polity and community in developing new ideals of life and lifeworld for contemporary populations. Revisionary urges must arise from within different constituencies of national life, if these are to assume revolutionary power and be effective in bringing about new social conditions. Re: Technology in a Global World by Andrew Feenberg Debashish Tue 11 Aug 2009 08:40 PM PDT]

[Why is there a decay and disinterest in engagement with the contemporary is something that needs deeper thinking when their founders wanted exactly the opposite. In the SA ashram politics was (is) completely forbidden. Did this insinuate for non participation in the contemporary national and international issues and exclusive concentration on spiritual endeavors. Or is the attempt by the founders an impossible task since there are too many missions to accomplish without focus? Re: Technology in a Global World by Andrew Feenberg rakesh Wed 12 Aug 2009 12:36 PM PDT]

[On the matter of the social experiements of tagore, Gandhi or Sri Aurobindo, it is my belief that the followers (and later generations) idoloze the founders and take their institutions as umbrellas under which they may find protection, seldom asking what are the conditions necessary to build such institutions or what ideas went into them and how can they be furthered in the changing world. This allows for a continuation of the life-activities of these institutions in more and more mechanical external grooves which fall into anachronism or are forced into compromises with established government or market forces. Unless internal revisionary critiques can form an ongoing culture of thought and change, such institutions can have little effect on the world or even their more immediate environment, outside of cosmetic changes. Re: Technology in a Global World by Andrew Feenberg Debashish Fri 14 Aug 2009 07:51 AM PDT]

[From: "M Alan Kazlev" to " Tusar Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com Re: Savitri Era Learning Forum: The message of this mighty spiritual path Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 07:51:01 +1000 Hi Tusar... Consider Philosophy, Art, Education, Yoga, Evolution, the science of consciousness, phenomenology, comparative spirituality, Indian culture, world politics, economics, religion, history, the New Age movement, etc etc and the way that the teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo are applicable in each of these areas. After all their teachings are truly universal, truly "integral" as Wilber would say, so, being in this way universal they are relevant everywhere... nameste alan 2:59 AM]

[from "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com to Raaye kripatirtha97@yahoo.com
date 12 Jun 2008 18:11 subject Re: Sri Aurobindo.
Dear Debabrata babu,
I can't understand why you are so emphatic about a hiatus between poetry and philosophy. All our scholars - from NKG to RYD - handle them with equal ease, and the same should be the case with you. It is not a question of "our liking," but what we grow into because of "Their liking."
Let me tell you one thing categorically: If one is not reasonably conversant with Western Philosophy, then his study of The Life Divine is partial, superficial, and simplistic. Therefore, there is no escape and it is never too late to start studying philosophy. All the best,
Yours fraternally, Tusar

[from "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 13 Jun 2008 19:18 subject Re: Sri Aurobindo. But let us also not forget the fact that there are formidable disagreements amongst us that need to be thrashed out, and in public. Fed with hagiographic literature all the way, many of us have accepted their own suppositions as truth and abhor debate.]

[Socrates in Plato’s dialogues is obviously always sarcastic and mocking to some extent. But that is not what makes someone a troll. Zizek is also sarcastic and mocking at times, but is clearly not a troll. Why not? Because Zizek has a project. He guns people down in passing, for merely tactical reasons. His whole point in existing is not just to knock other people down, or to stage duels in the presence of witnesses and score points before their eyes. Sarcasm and criticism are not yet trollish traits... Socrates is not tearing people down for the sake of tearing them down. Socrates has a theory, a “project”. The theory of the Platonic Socrates is the rather paradoxical theory that the logos of anything is somehow deeper than any of the attributes that can be ascribed to it... In short, Socrates’s constant cut-downs of his interlocutors are made in the name of a positive thesis: that only love of wisdom is possible, not wisdom. That the quest for definitions is paradoxically doubled by the impossibility of obtaining any. why Socrates was not a grey vampire
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek]

Philosophy permeates all discourse on "technology, economy, polity and community" at present. Savitri Erans must endeavor to ground their thinking with latest critical tools. [TNM]

Dialogue between the Father of the Nation and the Teacher of the Nation

[Early 20th c. nationalism in India well understood this fact and sought for the social forms of such alternates in new life-affirming formulations of an ashram ideal. We thus have Rabindranath's Shantiniketan, Sri Aurobindo's ashram and Gandhi's or Vinobha Bhave's ashrams or social experiments as beginnings towards such radical rethinkings of habitus and ideology in engagement with the world dominating drive of Modernity. But to bear effect, such efforts must be sustained, on-going and diversified. This has not happened. Nehru was only too eager to make India a player in the global market and the Soviet five year planning proccess to maximize structures of economic modernization. The original experiments of Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, Gandhi and others, after the departures of their founders, have slipped to an inconsequence, where either something is preserved at the cost of anachronism and refusal to enagage with contemporary forces or some kind of uneasy alliance or compromise between pre-modern and contemporary social forms is being practiced. Re: Technology in a Global World by Andrew Feenberg Debashish Tue 11 Aug 2009 08:40 PM PDT]

[Gandhiji leads fast, boycotts I-Day Express Buzz - Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Sriram Karri 16 Aug 2009
Mahatma Gandhi led a host of freedom fighters, who after much deliberation, decided not to celebrate Independence Day, instead marking it with prayers and a hunger sit-in and passing a special resolution to write to Parliament on changes they want in the way India is run... The petition, ‘Security for Common Indians First, Politicians Last’, was signed by all major revolutionaries of the freedom struggle, including Rash Behari Bose, Barin Ghosh, Jugantar party revolutionaries like Raja Subodh Mallik and Bagha Jatin... Social reformers, spiritual leaders and intellectuals, including Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Ramakrishna Paramshamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Subramania Bharathi, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Syed Ahmed Khan and Sri Aurobindo asked Indians to include social reform, spiritual upliftment and building a fair and just society as part of their agendas for material betterment and national progress. The earliest Parliamentarians including Dadabhai Naoroji, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai appealed to the oppressed to not wait for instruments of justice to reach them, and instead stand up for their rights and declare swaraj within their own individual spheres of existence.]

[Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi visited ‘Gandhi Ghat’ in Barackpore in North 24 Parganas district. He also went to Haidar-e-Manzil, the house on the city’s eastern side, where Gandhiji sat in a 73-hour-fast to stop communal riots in August 1947. The Governor placed wreaths at the statue of the Father of the Nation in central Kolkata. At the Aurobindo Bhavan, he placed a wreath at Sri Aurobindo’s statue to mark the birth anniversary of the revolutionary.
'Maoists hamper development' The Hindu News » States » Other States KOLKATA, August 16, 2009]

The erudite Governor can initiate a dialogue between the intellectual legacy of the Father of the Nation and the Teacher of the Nation. [TNM]

Saturday, August 15, 2009

That is truly working for tomorrow. Tomorrow it will be like that

[Mirror of Tomorrow Re: 15 August 2009—Darshan Message
Tusar N. Mohapatra on Sat 15 Aug 2009 07:07 PM IST Profile Permanent Link
(25 May 1970 What must be done to pull the country out of its difficulty ? Sri Aurobindo has foreseen all the troubles and he has given the solution. Just now we are approaching his Centenary; it seems arranged, you know, divinely arranged, because this would be a wonderful occasion to spread his teaching all over the country: the teaching, the practical teaching, his teaching about India, how to organise India, the mission of India. It seems to me that taking the Centenary as an occasion, his teaching could be spread all over the country with a little more organising − so that his ideas get spread. Those people who are interested can take it up and teach it, hold meetings and give the light and the knowledge to the people. It is a wonderful occasion. And it is only this that gives a clue to all these difficulties. About all that has happened and all that is happening now, he has said clearly that to go back to it is useless. We must give the country its true position, that is, the position of relying on the Divine. Naturally, this is at the other end of what people try to believe now. But Sri Aurobindo explains it in such a way that even those who are against it can agree. You understand? He has found a way of saying it which can be understood by everybody. That’s the only solution, as far as I can see; it is the only solution. All the rest will mean complication, contradiction and fighting. Just now we have two years in front of us to organise a kind of demonstration of what he was teaching. And this is above politics, you see. It is not a question of party, it’s not that: because some are for it, others will naturally not be. It is above all politics. It is to organise the country beyond politics. And it is the only way. In politics it is always fight and ugly fight − ugly. And it has become so bad. He was telling me always that things would become worse and worse, because it is the end of this age. We are entering into an age where things must be organised differently. It is a difficult time because of that. Page - 426 ... Pull the consciousness up, up, above party. And then, naturally, certain people who couldn’t come into political parties − that ! that is truly working for tomorrow. Tomorrow it will be like that. All this turmoil is because the country must take the lead, must go above all these old political habits. Government without party. Oh, it would be magnificent ! Page - 428 Document: Home > E-Library > Works Of The Mother > English > Words Of The Mother Volume-15 > 11 May 1967) Reply]

If only we shared The Mother's enthusiasm "to spread his teaching all over the country." [TNM]

Lori deplored

[Saturday, August 15, 2009 Addendum: Vishnu in the Mother’s Symbol and in Sri Aurobindo’s 'The Secret of the Veda'
Addendum to
Waving the Flag of Cosmic Ignorance in the Face of Sri Aurobindo and the Vedic Tradition of Avatars
Vishnu in the Mother’s Symbol and in Sri Aurobindo’s The Secret of the Veda]

The Mother’s Symbol has been mutilated and disfigured by Lori Tompkins [12:01 AM] which we deplore. [TNM]

Relating Indian realities to world history

[Thursday, July 06, 2006 Drain-inspector's Report-2
The Myth of the New India By PANKAJ MISHRA
NYTimes.com Homepage: July 6, 2006
This week India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, made it clear that only a small minority of Indians will enjoy "Western standards of living and high consumption."
5:56 PM]

[The Myth of the New India by Pankaj Mishra. In this article, Pankaj Mishra considers contemporary India's middle class myth of emerging economic superstardom. Is this a reality or a make-believe narrative swallowed as part of neo-liberal globalization with its own convenient interests? According to Mishra, "Many serious problems confront India. They are unlikely to be solved as long as the wealthy, both inside and outside the country, choose to believe their own complacent myths."
Debashish on Sat 15 Aug 2009 12:24 AM PDT Permanent Link
The Myth of the New India (The New York Times, July 6, 2006) By Pankaj Mishra
INDIA is a roaring capitalist success story." So says the latest issue of Foreign Affairs; and last week many leading business executives and politicians in India celebrated as Lakshmi Mittal, the fifth richest man in the world, finally succeeded in his hostile takeover of the Luxembourgian steel company Arcelor. India's leading business newspaper, The Economic Times, summed up the general euphoria over the event in its regular feature, "The Global Indian Takeover": "For India, it is a harbinger of things to come — economic superstardom." Science, Culture and Integral Yoga]

[The movement of New Journalism founded by creative writers like Norman Mailer moves between objective and subjective realities to push the reader into a creative engagement with the lifeworld. Such engagements can change public expectation and bring new concepts into currency through words and phrases. There are some Indian writers who have moved in this direction. Two names I can think of are Pankaj Mishra and Pico Iyer. Arundhati Roy, some of whose wrtings have been carried on sciy, has been an important commentator, relating Indian realities to world history and the larger forces structuring modernity. Contemporary Indian novelists are also trying to engage its inner social structures, but here, imo, the power of critique has yet to find its voice. Re: Technology in a Global World by Andrew Feenberg
Debashish on Fri 14 Aug 2009 07:51 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link]

[A conservative could never write a book with the title, The Politics of Meaning. Politics for a conservative is more like garbage-collecting: it is a dirty job; somebody has to do; it would be better if nobody had to do it; and we should all lend a hand in getting the dirty job done. But there is little by way of meaning, immanent or transcendent, in garbage collecting and sewage disposal: these are things one gets out of the way so that meaningful activities can first begin. We are not totally committed to defeating the totally committed who would defeat us
The Conservative Disadvantage Posted at 12:37 PM in Conservatism, Leftism and Political Correctness, Politics Maverick Philosopher: In Praise of Blogosophy by Bill Vallicella 9:31 AM 9:54 AM]

[Thomas Sowell once wrote that the that political left have a major "investment in failure":
Domestically as well as internationally, the left has long had a vested interest in poverty and social malaise. The old advertising slogan, "Progress is our most important product," has never applied to the left. Whether it is successful black schools in the United States or Third World countries where millions of people have been rising out of poverty in recent years, the left has shown little interest. Progress in general seems to hold little interest for people who call themselves "progressives." What arouses them are denunciations of social failures and accusations of wrong-doing. THE SOCIALIST UTOPIA AWAITS !
The collapse of the global left is due to its pervasive intellectual and moral bankruptcy.
Dr. Sanity by Dr. Sanity]

Human civilization has marched forward through the process of evolution and rival political camps fight to take credit without being awake to the underlying forces that propel it. That indoctrination can thoroughly subjugate the human mind is the most tragic and paradoxical aspect of human affairs. [TNM]

Truth and morality are real assets

[Setbacks will become assets later, says VS
Indian Express - ‎Shaju Philip Tags : V S Achuthanandan, CPM Politburo Posted: Friday, Aug 14, 2009 at 0419 hrs Thiruvananthapuram:
Clearly indicating that he has not lowered the guns after his suspension from the CPM Politburo, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Thursday said the obstacles amidst the fight for the cause of the public at large were not true setbacks. “Such routs will turn to be the real assets during the uninterrupted fight for truth and morality,” he said.
Inaugurating a conference of the Kerala Working ...]

Strange that the Chief Minister is being hounded for standing for "truth and morality” in public life. [TNM]

Safeguard freedom of expression and religious freedom in India

[International Hindu - Freedom of expression and religion important for US
Washington (PTI): The Obama Administration on Friday said freedom of expression and religion is important for the United States, but refrained from making any comment on the a US body putting India on "watch list" for religious intolerance.
"You know, freedom of expression and religious freedom we think are hallmarks of stable, progressive societies in the 21st century. It is obviously important to us," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley said at the daily State Department press briefing.
Early this week, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom, an independent US body, put India under "watch list" for religious intolerance. India, a thriving secular democracy, has termed it as regrettable.]

Savitri Erans must unite to safeguard "freedom of expression and religious freedom" in India. [TNM]

Friday, August 14, 2009

We are expected to grow from partiality to integrality

[Amartya Sen on justice: How to do it better The Economist Aug 6th 2009 From The Economist Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
AT THE disputed crossroads where economics and ethics meet stands Amartya Sen, a Nobel-prize-winning economist who thinks like a philosopher. In a dauntingly impressive flow of books and papers over 40 years he has done much to change both disciplines for the better, humanising the one, bringing content from the real world to the other... But he believes that theory, to be of use, must keep its feet on the ground. Modern theorists in his view have drifted too far from the actual world... Mr Sen wants to humanise canons of “maximising” rationality; behavioural economists, much in fashion, aim to ditch them altogether. 8:46 PM]

Well, Amartya’s book serves as a celebrity endorsement for certain facets of life regarding which people are seldom concerned. However, the idea that justice, like truth, must conform to the context in our journey “from partiality to integrality” has been elaborately dealt with by Sri Aurobindo almost a century back. [TNM]

Funds Gautier

[NEW YORK: Noted French journalist and writer Francois Gautier who has made India his home and propagation of Hinduism his cause and mission for over three decades, is currently traveling across the US to raise funds through his foundation, FACT-India, for the setting up of an Indian history museum in Pune, India... SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service 07/08/2009 11:09:00. Gautier: For Hindus living in the US, whether fist or second generation, it is important that they carry their Hinduness. It is a special privilege to be born a Hindu, because you inherit the knowledge which is very ancient and very practical.]

One can say any damn thing for funds. [TNM]

Wilkinson wants me to go back to 21st Century BCE

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have already accomplish...":

One who has mortgaged his intelligence to an astrologer, Robert E. Wilkinson is not exactly the ideal person to engage with in a debate, but his quasi-academic tone is quite enticing. Wilkinson wants me to go back to 21st Century BCE, but I have no intention to do so. I believe in the future and in every word of the Five Dreams delineated by Sri Aurobindo.

Thanks to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo I feel liberated from all past religions and their tangled mythologies. Yes, I admit, that’s a great convenience. Born in a free country, I have the right to believe in my own beliefs, and no one need be troubled for that. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Savitri Era at 2:18 PM, August 14, 2009 Posted to Savitri Era Open Forum at 2:21 PM, August 14, 2009 "Placing Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on incomparab..."

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Placing Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on incomparab...":

Your sphere of work is somewhat separate from mine and I am not convinced about its value. Moreover, I find no motivation to enter an alien territory nor have the inclination to master all branches of knowledge. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Savitri Era Open Forum at 7:45 PM, August 14, 2009