Thursday, September 30, 2010

Savitri and The Life Divine as guiding lights

Economists and their forecasts based on mathematical modeling suffered a severe drubbing in the wake of the recent financial meltdown. The SR/OOO camp attempted an upsetting paradigm shift in the arena of Western philosophy. The Heehs imbroglio exposed many fake faces and lowered the respect for the Westerners. Gadamer or Godard perhaps will never be short of fans, but the Asian upsurge is likely to push them outside focus.

Universities in India have admirably furthered the cause of Western culture and literature even at the risk of neglecting the indigenous diversity. What emerges from the melting pot of globalization in India is not at all clear at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century. For Savitri Erans, however, Savitri and The Life Divine will be the guiding lights for a long time to come where the East and the West cohere. [TNM]   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Derivatives in democracy

Derivatives in finance are well entrenched in India but the democracy in the country is yet to experiment with more deepening options like proportional representation and its many variants like the list system. Rajya Sabha can very well be constituted by this system based on the results of the Assembly elections held from time to time. Moreover, smaller groups have a chance of putting their representatives in the legislatures through this system bypassing the majoritarian hurdle. [TNM]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Das Gupta is a captive of Heehs camp

[All we did was to introduce the Commonwealth to Indian standards of hygiene and the Commonwealth became a gibbering wreck. The world is amazed only because it has always underestimated India’s destructive capacity, which is second only to India’s self-destructive capacity. Much Good from a Bad Games ]

[Before a community implodes or capitulates to its most extreme elements there is generally a loss of decency among those leading the charge against its more tolerant members. admin Posted September 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm Permalink]

[while they will exert themselves to quash rumors about their own actions/inaction as Ashram trustees, they are perfectly fine with rumors and gossip being spread about Sri Aurobindo. Comment posted by Govind]

By now it is clear that Das Gupta is a captive in the hands of Heehs camp and signs on dotted lines. He is also bound by the commands of his advocate dealing with the court cases. Pity that the head of such a haloed institution becomes a prisoner of such extraneous elements. [TNM] 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Let the error of Dr. Ambedkar be reversed

Dalit votaries usually get worked up against various provisions of Manusmriti. Paradoxically, they love to overlook that it is the Constitution of India that has permanently chained them to the age old derogatory identity under a new tag called Scheduled Castes. Despite the daring Hindu Code Bill promulgated more than half a century back, why they hark bark to Manusmriti is riddlesome.

Dr. Ambedkar awarded them the benefits of reservations which they vigorously defend. But clinging to the appellation Dalit or the lowest stratum of society comes with the bargain. Generation next is also forced by the parents into this identity against their wishes. Whether one can willingly opt out lawfully is also not clear.

The easiest route to be rescued from this mess is to embrace Savitri Era Religion. It has no past baggage and is futuristic in orientation. It is high time that the error of Dr. Ambedkar is reversed and the Dalits in India live as equals and with dignity. [TNM]  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

History torn between Heehs & Vrekhem

[One Cʘsmos: The Pneumatic Bleat By Gagdad Bob
In fact, nor did Aurobindo write any books, the 35 volumes of complete works notwithstanding. Come to think of it, this was one of the first things that intrigued me about him, in that he produced all of this material in a relatively brief period of time by merely downloading it from beyond, so to speak, with no real plan or preconceptions, and certainly no eye on the book-buying public.
Rather, he just sat there in his little room and banged it out.]

Thanks for elucidating the scenario as Vrekhem narrates them. But interpreting the past events has its own hazards as Heehs has demonstrated recently. [TNM] 

The Life Divine as antidote to intellectual logjam

[Get rid of our The State. Say "NO" to socialism; say "NO" to democracy too. Let us live in a "natural order" of Private Property, Private Money and Private Law. Let us run our cities and towns ourselves, without "politics."  We can hire a team of "city managers" to run cities under an elected Mayor - so we do not create a bureaucracy.  …
Politics in India is all about centralized, hierarchical political parties - and these are more like criminal organizations who conduct all their affairs in secret. We are fortunate in India that we have a lot of "free politics" - in journalism, among NGOs and so on. Our bane is the centralized political party - which is almost always a criminal gang. Politics - India's Bane from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik]

[Party politics is the most meritocratic profession of all in democracies. The partyless wonders Shekhar Gupta indian express: Saturday, May 02, 2009]

[One mystery of the first decade of the 21st century is the decline of democracy. … Democracies seemed blocked, as in Belgium, or corrupted, as in Israel, or parodies, as in Italy, or paralyzed, as in the Netherlands. … And democracy is still an idea worth the fight. Op-Ed Columnist - Democracy Still Matters - By ROGER COHEN, LONDON — September 20, 2010]

[Here is an egg — the thesis; we then break the egg — this is the negation or antithesis, and make an omelet — the synthesis ... The use of philosophy - Page 207 - Hans Peter Rickman - 1973 - 220 pages - Preview]

[But the confrontation between capitalism and socialism in the last century was only the most recent in a long series of historical battles between the forces of freedom and individualism on the one hand; and the forces of tyranny and collectivism on the other. We are in the middle of a battle in that long war right now in the U.S. RATIONALIZING SOCIALISM'S FAILURE from Dr. Sanity]

[I agree with Talal Asad when he suggests that we should be studying the varieties of secularism. We must remind ourselves that the Western path to secularism is not the only path, and that other historical experiences may give rise to different sorts of secularism. China’s case is distinct from the Western path to secularism in three ways. First, there is a long premodern tradition of secular agnosticism in Confucian thought. Second, modern Chinese secularism was propelled by the colonial situation, a threat to nationhood posed by both Western and Japanese imperialisms. Third, there was Marxist discourse and the Soviet influence. The future of China’s past: an interview with Mayfair Yang from The Immanent Frame by Mayfair Yang]

Neat critiques of socio-political phenomena are suspect because the target of their attack is also part of the whole scenario contributing to the current outcome. No theory, for that reason, has the Archimedean advantage and hence indebted to its opposition as well as the overall milieu. Very few works are a combination of a thoroughgoing ontological system with an earnest socio-political vision like The Life Divine. Savitri Era Religion, therefore, has the potential to stir the imagination of the whole humanity that seems to be caught up in an intellectual logjam at present. [TNM]    

Sri Aurobindo resolves the riddle of this world

A century after Schopenhauer, Sri Aurobindo resolves the riddle of this world in a fashion that can’t be glossed over. Speculative and intuitive at the same time, his ontology has a tranformative dimension too which transports to a question-less zone. [TNM] Reply

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Saiceite in shining armour

as RYD has deliberately gone public and as his vulgar message is evidently being picked up by other equally notorious and gossipy websites, it is a little difficult to ignore this episode in the light of all that is happening around. - Aurofilio Schiavina, Wednesday, September 22, 2010 11:44 AM]

This name we have heard earlier and hopefully he is not a mask. Now that he has mustered courage to come overground as a knight in shining armour, we expect a good harvest of gossips to regale our regulars. Watch out! [TNM]  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nandhivarman stands vindicated

N. Nandhivarman has been consistently exposing the hollowness of the Ashram and Auroville administration for quite a while. Sadly such warnings from civil society sources were treated dismissively and many were eager to malign him. Now that the ashramites are divided and are locked in a legal battle, Nandhivarman stands vindicated. His volatile reports appeared before the Heehs imbroglio broke out and got buried in the process. It is high time that the brochures he has published receive due attention, leaving aside, of course, the portions pertaining to his objections as a rationalist (to which he is entitled). [TNM]

Thursday, September 02, 2010

OOOO gleanings

Levi kindly asked me to write an essay for the OOO anthology. Mine is called "BuddhistObjects." I happen to be here on this retreat with a few moments to ...]

I’ve lately been trying to start understanding Speculative Realism, a contemporary movement within “continental” philosophy. Speculative Realism is of particular interest to me because, it seems, it is one of the first philosophical movements whose social network is focused on the Web. (One of its leading thinkers, Graham Harman, has his own regularly updated blog.) This is not yet the future I’ve been starting to imagine where the Web replaces universities and book publishing as philosophy’s institutional locus, since most if not all Speculative Realists are academics. Still, it’s an interesting first step.]

This particular discussion has set me into thinking about my not-so-academic interest in Aurobindo as doubtful, as it indeed has nothing to do with my thesis, but is so very crucial to my understanding of Speculative Realism and ... at 10:37 AM]

[Object-Oriented Orientalism THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2010
Fine post from Amod concerning Speculative Realism, Ayn Rand (of all people), and the permutations of philosophy in China and India. He points out that Rand positions herself as a strong critic of Kant for some of the same reasons that the Meillassoux-inspired critique does: its too-strong separation between the human mind and the world of objects. Rand felt that in conceding that the mind could not grasp "the things themselves," Kant had surrendered to the forces of irrationalism; from here, it was spitting distance to the psychologism that Frege diagnosed in Husserl's first work, for instance.]

Oriental linkages with OOO can turn out to be a vibrant stream, but Oriental-OOO (OOOO) is a different branch altogether. The advantage is instead of scouring obscure tracts in weighty tomes for testimony, one can leisurely glean from the commonly used proverbs. [TNM] 

Peepul tree with roots above and branches down

I wanted to do a reading group on DeLanda’s New Philosophy of Society because his work has influenced my own thought nearly as deeply as Graham Harman’s object-oriented philosophy. …  At the outset, I’ll say that I am more or less on board with DeLanda’s assemblage theory. … Trees require rain, carbon dioxide, nutrients in the soil, a certain range of temperatures, gravity, and atmospheric pressures, sunshine, and so on in order to continue the adventure of their existence. Yet no one suggests that trees do not exist or that they are unreal because they draw on all sorts of entities in order to exist. …
The market begins, argues DeLanda, following Braudel, with small village markets. Here their power does not extend beyond the village marketplace wherein these transactions take place. In order for a market to expand, roads, boats, carriages, etc., must be built, linking smaller markets to one another, forming ever larger markets that contain a variety of different scales within them. DeLanda’s point is that linkages must actually be built and formed for these entities to arise.]

Leonard Read’s classic essay, “I, Pencil,” is justly celebrated as the best short introduction to the division of labor and undesigned order ever written. But it holds another, largely overlooked lesson as well: “I, Pencil” is an excellent primer in the Austrian approach to capital theory.
Read’s pencil describes its family tree, beginning with the cedars grown in northern California and Oregon that provide the wooden slats. But he doesn’t really start with the trees. He notes that turning trees into pencils requires “saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding,” and those things have to be produced before a pencil can be produced.
This is what Austrian economists call a structure of production. This structure is characterized by two closely related elements: multiple stages (distinguished by their “distance” from the consumer) and time.] 

Ontological formulations on a materialist framework forms an unenviable task for the current crop of philosophers. Their plight becomes all the more challenging as they are out to plug all the transcendental loopholes which their predecessors had willy-nilly conceded. Those versed in The Life Divine can easily appreciate that this is an impossible mission, an absurd dream. But then who can prohibit people from playing with words and chasing dreams! [TNM] 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Follow the teachings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo

[abdul lateef Posted August 24, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
I could not help to notice how bankrupt an idea that Hindu Nationalist have of figures like Vivekananda (and Sri Aurobindo) who wholly ignore the Cosmopolitanism that backgrounds their discourse and in so doing manage to cast a shadow upon their inclusive identities. In the case of Vivekananda and Aurobindo they valorize their Indian nationalism by doing violence to the universal message that both figures conveyed, compressing the multi-dimensional/multicultural textures of their teaching into a one dimensional fundamentalist play book. …
This form of zealotry facilitates egoic inflation so these actors begin to perceive themselves as spokespeople for the entire nation, projecting their religiosity onto national identity. In short their exclusivist politics conflate national identity with traditional religious devotional practices that valorize the guru.]

Nalanda University is destined to emerge as a strong instrument of soft power at two levels; for the rising Asia in relation to the West and for India in relation to Asia»]

[What is in a name? Anbumani Ramadoss
Caste names are an impediment to social justice and to the holistic development of India. A welcome trend in recent times is the increasing adoption of neutral generic names that do not pertain to any religion or caste.
It would be naive to assume that dispensing with caste names will lead to a casteless society. Caste names are only part of the problem rather than the solution. There is no pat solution for this dilemma. The adoption of generic names would be a small but definite step towards eradicating caste from this society.
To bring about a caste-free society, not only caste (brand names) but also the mindset of the developed sections towards their less fortunate brethren should change. Social justice can be achieved only when all sections of society have a level playing-field socially, educationally and economically. To bring about this change, we need to acknowledge the centuries of discrimination faced by the oppressed sections.]

Rewrite the Purusa-sukta Renuka Narayanan Indian Express Tuesday, April 15, 2003. 
The idea of hierarchy, according to Dumount, lies at the core of Indian society. Hierarchy as based on age, gender and caste, hierarchy which is sanctified by religion itself. “Greater” and “lesser”, the two categories that are crucially antithetical to a modern egalitarian society, are in fact embedded in Hindu social consciousness. …
Dalit historian Kancha Ilaiah has a suggestion. Just as the Vatican meets periodically to modernise catholicism, he says, the shankaracharyas should meet in conclave to modernise Hinduism. They should not only re-write the Purusa-sukta, but they should also decree that everyone, every woman, every tribal, every dalit, has the right to be priest of God and God is not the exclusive preserve of the brahmin. The event will have tremendous symbolic value, provide a turbine charge to India’s quest for modernity and Bhim Rao will at last be vindicated.  9:27 AM]

It is easy to project personal whims and wishes upon the future of a nation or civilization but the collective choice of a whole people hardly follows that narrow route. Instilling the ethical rationale in the minds of successive generations entails ceaseless education and grooming in the absence of which no firm outcome can be expected. Following the teachings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo alone can ensure a flawless society. [TNM]