Saturday, August 08, 2009

Particularistic self-identifications are part of the Divine project of diversification

[Re: Sri Aurobindo's Integral Education in Contemporary Higher Education
by Kepler on Tue 21 Jul 2009 08:17 AM PDT
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Debashish, nice article. DB: “Today, following the excesses of nationalism in a post-World War II era, ideas such as that of nation soul are likely to look more suspicious than they would have in an era of anti-colonial resistance. Nevertheless, Sri Aurobindo’s idea of the nation soul needs to be understood not as a chauvinistic or ahistorical essence but more properly as a cultural palimpsest, an accumulated subjectivity forming the intimate discursive basis of a living culture and seeded with its invisible preferential forms and questions of communication, expression and growth.” Even if one conceives of a nation soul as a spiritual reality in some collectivized sense analogous to an individual soul, that would therefore imply it is quite difficult to genuinely contact it and make it manifest in outer life, and that whatever its unique individuality, it remains fully based on conscious oneness with other souls, as well as with universal and transcendent reality. In any event as you point out Sri Aurobindo’s emphasis at the beginning of the 20th century (during his politically active work for Indian independence), on the nation soul of India, can have a different ring at the beginning of the 21st century. The seductive risk of mistaking an aggressive national ego for a national soul has been amply demonstrated.]

[Tradition and the rhetoric of right: popular political argument in ... - Google Books Result
by David J. Lorenzo - 1999 - evil is not absolute in Aurobindo's system because particularistic self-identifications, whether on the individual or cultural levels, are not in themselves wrong. They have epistemological worth and are a necessary part of the Divine project of diversification. The Divine wants individuals and cultures to develop themselves in unique ways as part of the process whereby the potentialities of material existence are exploited.]

Many people turn uncomfortable at the mention of "group soul" or "nation soul" which evidently ensues from a faulty ideological anchoring. [TNM]

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