Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sri Aurobindo's paradigm

[To be fair, much of life works this way. We do not start out with argument. Long before we are able to reason and make arguments, we are immersed in a worldview we simply absorb, one we take for granted. This is the pre-philosophical world of “prejudices” in the Gadamerian sense, of “intuitions”, of Aristotle’s phainomena, indeed of common sense. We are in this world before we get to the first principles of any paradigm. Thus first principles are not first in a chronological sense – there is much that comes before them – but rather in the logical sense that demonstrative arguments follow from them. One may be convinced of the consequences of a first principle without having any understanding of the first principle itself.] ~Amod Lele

[So, is common sense rooted in principles, or do principles flow from common sense? And is common sense universal, or does it change from epoch to epoch, culture to culture, cable network to cable network? First, we had better define the term. Before looking it up, I would say that it must have to do with knowledge accessible to every normal man by virtue of being one. It is preconceptual, or archetypal if you are Jung at heart -- not quite knowledge, but ready to become so: pre-knowledge. In Bion's scheme, a preconception mates with experience in order to become a conception, and a conception goes on to become a grownup concept. ] ~Gagdad Bob

Sri Aurobindo was conscious of the poor response his writings receive in India and yet he persisted with his style and content. The Mother's conversations, similarly, are hardly read or discussed either in India or the West. So, nothing surprising as they introduce an altogether new paradigm that is too futuristic for the present generation. The burden of the past accentuated by Internet accumulation is so overwhelming that most are simply buried under it irrespective of interpolations and questionable authorships.

Students of Western metaphysics are discovering that their philosophy has not progressed much beyond Bergson, Alexander, or Whitehead. Sri Aurobindo's ARYA writings fall under the same timeframe which provides a formidable alternative. Sri Aurobindo's foray into the Veda, further, is an unparalleled adventure. The Mother's experiments with her body cells, similarly, forms a new interrogation of the human condition. To be conversant with these unknown territories needs curiosity and critical apparatus. But inculcating some sympathy and appreciation for Sri Aurobindo is essential at the outset. [TNM55]

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