Monday, October 17, 2011

Unimpaired Ontology

[I’m going to begin this week not with God, but with Buddhism. Because I think one of the most deep and important elements of Buddhist tradition is precisely its atheism. That atheism is, indeed, a great part of what brought me to Buddhism in the first place. ...
You can be an agnostic or even an atheist and still be a Buddhist, because God or Gods don't figure. I still think this is something remarkable about Buddhism, at least in its Theravāda variant. Unlike Epicureanism, a similarly atheistic tradition which died out within a century or two, Buddhist tradition survived for thousands of years while denying that there were gods out there. And I don’t think it’s just me for whom this is an appealing point: in an atheistic age where we are more aware than ever of the hideous sufferings that befall our fellow human beings, and where Darwin managed to dispense with God as the explanation for life’s diversity, Buddhism provides the kind of wise and enduring tradition that the various theisms provide, without having that God at the core. ...
The Buddhist problem of value - Love of All Wisdom - by Amod Lele on Oct 17, 2011 2:32 AM]

Ontology, when constrained by either religious or ideological considerations, suffers impairment. When Levi, for instance, proclaims that he is a materialist, he ceases to be a diligent ontologist. Thus, honest pursuit of ontology defies preconditions. One's bias can surely be a starting point but reason goads to the right destination.

Sri Aurobindo himself has traversed through a massive bunch of arguments in The Life Divine and Essays on the Gita to arrive at the most logical inferences. Though developed within the ambit of Hindu scriptures, he unveils an ontology that is truly universal and comprehensive. Apart from answering the savants of the old, he successfully counters Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud et al. Even his contemporaries like Husserl, Heidegger, and Whitehead pale before the all encompassing integral vision presented by Sri Aurobindo. [TNM55]

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