Saturday, March 31, 2007

Savitri Erans will march into the future

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo came upon the earth to establish the enduring rule of knowledge and truth. Their work is too multi-layered and multi-dimensional to be adequately judged within the normal historical perspective. Therefore a critical approach fails to bring out the significance of their contribution to the evolution of the human civilization.

While we swing between 9/11 and 21_21 at the most, they went on to imagine a whole new paradigm of integral living precipitating a lucid collectivity. Not out of any mechanical imbrications nor through artificial concoction, but as a natural transmutation of the present infirmities by organically seeking to overcome and embody harmony.

They are here to give credence to that certitude, to flesh out those inevitable possibilities. It is they who are leading the march and it is for us to stay reassured and follow unwaveringly. Another March is passing into the past; Savitri Erans will march into the future. [TNM]

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fighting out the modern day sophists

[In Buddhism and modern Rationalism we have the denial of God, the grand negation… [p.500] Buddhism views the same set of facts from the other end of thought. Not self-working material force, but a mass of subjective sensations is its reading of the universe. [p.496] Isha Upanishad, CWSA 17]
Sri Aurobindo is quite forthright in fighting out adversarial thought patterns. But it is an enigma as to why the modern day sophists are so sympathetic to their worn out arguments. [TNM]

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The universal is in undivided unity with this plurality

It was a pleasant surprise to locate the following in Hegel's Phenomenology [136] which has such a close resonance in Sri Aurobindo’s Exclusive Concentration [TNM]:

That within itself the universal is in undivided unity with this plurality means, however, that these 'matters' are each where the other is; they mutually interpenetrate, but without coming into contact with one another because, conversely, the many diverse 'matters' are equally independent.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

False subjectivism

larvalsubjects is raising important questions as to discourse and power but we already have the answers in Sri Aurobindo as pointed out by D. P. Chattopadhyaya. [TNM]

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Transforming and surpassing the self

Just like Kant’s Third Critique, the Volume-3 of The History of Sexuality by Foucault is also a much neglected treatise. The following quote from Arnold I. Davidson [Ed. Jan Goldstein] highlights Foucault’s spiritual agenda [TNM]:

I would claim, following Pierre Hodot, that one of the most distinctive features of that care of the self studied by Foucault…is its indissociable link with this cosmic consciousness; one philosophical aim of this care of the self is to transform oneself so that one places oneself in the perspective of the cosmic whole…[To] raise the self to a universal level, that place the self within a cosmic dimension that at the same time transforms the self, even to the point…of surpassing the self.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wherever my idea turned, there the ant

There are two interesting anecdotes regarding “movement of ants on the wall” in the Record of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo [23.1.1913 & 7.9.1913 vide Mother India, Oct’02]. Later on he writes in The Life Divine, “If we look…not at mass of quantity but force of quality, we shall say that the ant is greater than the solar system it inhabits.” [TNM]

Ontology deficiency

Epistemological indeterminacy is just a symptom of a deeper malady, viz., Ontology deficiency. For, as Sri Aurobindo tells, "You must know the whole before you can know the part" [Letters], and "Our way of knowing must be appropriate to that which is to be known" [The Life Divine]. [TNM]

Friday, March 23, 2007

Self-fulfillment and self-interest

Adam Smith surmised that one becomes the butcher, the brewer, or the baker out of self-interest but Sri Aurobindo affirms that the Psychic Being, in fact, chooses to become either a prince or a pauper. Further, Sri Aurobindo’s thesis of Exclusive Concentration permits the individual to carry on his business of life in the diminished light of eclipsed knowledge.

Man, as we think, acts always to his advantage, is thus a half-truth. Because he is forever dragged by the iron-law of ignorance and perforce commits mistakes and suffers losses to fulfill the agenda of the Psychic Being. [TNM]

Thursday, March 22, 2007

From Bande Mataram to Mahi, Bharati, and Aditi

Sri Aurobindo returned to India in 1893 and the following year he wrote a series of essays on Bankim Chandra Chatterjee expressing his unadulterated admiration towards him. This is taken up by people like Jyotirmaya Sharma to draw a cogent genealogy of Hindutva chauvinism.

All these perhaps look plausible and fitting for minds bearing a flair for linear history as the mystery of what happens on March 29, 1914 is overlooked. The Mother calls on Sri Aurobindo not only to validate the Bande Mataram poem authored by Bankim Chandra but also confirming the ageless Vedic aspirations addressed to Mahi, Bharati, and Aditi. [TNM]

An authentic Who’s Who for the Savitri Erans

Bradley’s attempt to play Hegel against Hegel;” that is how Sisir Kumar Maitra introduced F. H. Bradley to us. Now, Daniel Gustav Anderson (Of Syntheses and Surprises INTEGRAL REVIEW 3, 2006) has brought in the younger brother A. C. Bradley.

We have two D.P. Chattopadhyayas, two Kishor(e) Gandhis, and any number of Mitras and Maitras. It is time someone compiles an authentic Who’s Who for the Savitri Erans incorporating a disambiguation manual. [TNM]

Light from The Mother and Sri Aurobindo on complex socio-political issues

[Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to bring Dalits, others together, India - 6 Mar 2007 New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has initiated a process to bring about reconciliation between Dalits and upper caste Hindus. ...
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar takes up cudgels for the girl child Hindustan Times, India - 22 Feb 2007 Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday extended himself beyond simplistic spiritualism to push a variety of social issues bearing ...
Manipur may go Kashmir way, warns Sri Ravi Shankar Times of India, India - 22 Feb 2007 PATNA: Art of Living (AoL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has expressed concern over the continuance of a law in Manipur which forbids Manipuris from ...
Ravi Shankar initiative to eradicate untouchability, India - 8 Mar 2007 New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, in a new effort to end "untouchability" from Hindu society, Thursday called leaders from all ...
Sri Sri's mission isn't impossible Daily Pioneer, India - 10 Mar 2007 It would be easy to dismiss Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Truth and Reconciliation Conference of Dalits and Caste Hindus held in Delhi's Pragati Maidan on Friday ...
Sri Sri to bring Dalits, others together RxPG NEWS, CA - 7 Mar 2007 By IANS, [RxPG] New Delhi, March 6 - Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has initiated a process to bring about reconciliation between Dalits and upper ...
Sri Sri to bring Dalits, others together India, India - 6 Mar 2007 Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has initiated a process to bring about reconciliation between Dalits and upper caste Hindus. As part of the initiative, ...
Ravi Shankar to address the MLA's-MLC's in assembly annexe Hindustan Times, India - 23 Feb 2007 From the menace of snoring to the alleged American ‘dadagiri’, spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Friday prescribed antidotes to a wide variety of ...
GAIL takes to spiritualism to take on competition Zee News, India - 12 Mar 2007" What Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said is immensely important to GAIL today. Individualism should go. Gail cannot been seen as a player operating on margins. ...
Thousands of Hindus vow to end caste divide Andhra Cafe, India - 10 Mar 2007... the middle class...all joined hands here as spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar launched a campaign to end centuries of discrimination against Dalits. ...
Youth reform task for guru Calcutta Telegraph, India - 23 Feb 2007 23: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was given a task in Nitish Kumar’s Bihar today: transform Naxalite-affected Jehanabad into a “peace-loving” place. ...
Ravi Shankar teaches art of living to Bihar legislators Hindu, India - 23 Feb 2007... MLAs have mastered through their own devices, but today they were taught another kind of art - the art of living of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar. ...
Why Dominant Caste Hindus All of Sudden Started Opening Ups For ...Pakistan Christian Post, Pakistan - 11 Mar 2007 Where was Art of Living Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar all these years? Why he needs to wake up now and start calling Indian Dalits to compromise with dominate ...
Breathing techniques said to reduce stress Austin American-Statesman (subscription), TX - 18 Mar 2007 Started by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 1982, the Art of Living is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new goal of making America stress-free and ...
Maharashtra CM seeks spiritual help, India - 15 Mar 2007 The chief minister had earlier sought help from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation as well. "You can ask your question about the problem in the ...
Leaders pledge to unite against casteismTimes of India, India - 14 Mar 2007 The conference was initiated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation. Addressing the conference, he said, “Discrimination is not ...
PR, HR, CSR come together for corporate branding Economic Times, India - 26 Feb 2007 If your remote had paused on a business news channel one Saturday evening, you may have caught Venugopal Dhoot talking with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. ...]
A sampling of recent news items would give an impression that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has delved headlong into socio-political activism. Prisoned too long within the suffocating faith marketing by sycophant PR personnel, it is perhaps legitimate for him now to attempt re-inventing himself. One good thing about SSRS is that he has been able to maintain the simplicity of approach in his teaching all these years which is why he is popular today. But that turns out to be embarrassingly simplistic when he turns his gaze to socio-political questions.

In a recent newspaper article he quite approvingly mentioned the name of Sri Aurobindo and that shows his humility. It is hoped that he receives and reflects more light from The Mother and Sri Aurobindo in his new found engagement with complex socio-political issues. [TNM] 10:56 AM

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Abcd of Philosophy

Philosophy in its purity should be able to tell us the mystery of certain basic issues, which may be termed as the Abcd of Philosophy. They are our Aim, Birth, Choice, and Death. In the philosophy laid down by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo we find complete explanation of these phenomena issuing from an integral ontology. And that is the anchor the Savitri Era religion is proud of. [TNM] 3:01 AM

Philosophers abound but no philosophy

[One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin: The other day I read an intelligent comment by a poster on another site. I don't even remember the topic, but his point was that medicine is not a science but an art. Specifically, it is an art that utilizes and incorporates science, but nevertheless an art. I immediately related to this characterization, as I think it adequately summarizes the difference between, say, a Ken Wilber and me. I am not suggesting that my posts are works of art, only that the process of writing them is much more analogous to the way art is produced, in that I am essentially calling things up from the wider realm of consciousness as such, somewhat like a spider that spins an external production out of its own substance -- which it then inhabits.
We all do this -- that is, crawl around in the psychic webs we spend our lives spinning -- some of us more consciously than others. But where does the material for the web come from? As ShrinkWrapped has noted on many occasions, the most naive and clueless people are those who believe that their minds are completely rational, and that their psychic webs are spun out of "pure reason." posted by Gagdad Bob at 3/18/2007 07:21:00 AM 34 comments One Cosmos]
When Hegel said, "the real is rational and the rational real," Schelling, who was Hegel's initial inspiration, turned against him inaugurating a century of fulminations against Hegel. The antipathy continues till this day although no one before or after Hegel has formulated a comprehensive metaphysics in the West.
Gadamer invoked Humboldt to say, "A language-view is a worldview"[TM]. Deleuze and Guattari invoked Spengler to say, "A rule of grammar is a power marker"[TP]. Are these pronouncements satisfying? It is simply amazing how such aphoristic affirmations with inchoate ontologies are tolerated and their authors valorized.
In the postmodern scenario philosophers from Derrida and Deleuze to Zizek and Ziporyn are lapped up as their writings are poetic in nature and akin to literary criticism. They are like cleverly contrived collages; works of avant garde art in a sense. But where is the philosophy? [TNM]

Monday, March 19, 2007

A mystery to illumine the aeons ahead

On March 31, 1910, Sri Aurobindo leaves Chandernagore for Kolkata and from there to Puducherry. There are several versions of the story which read like a thriller. In a matter of days he would be meeting Paul Richard who too arrives for a short visit. And then unfolds a mystery to illumine the aeons ahead. Glory to the Savitri Era! [TNM]

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Savitri Era religion is a robust contender for the future

The varied body of writings left by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo constitutes the foundation of the Savitri Era religion. Fresh exegetical material is being added on an ongoing basis through various periodicals, books and blogs. On the praxis front, meetings, seminars and celebrations are a round the year phenomenon occurring all over the globe. Plus performances in the field of art and culture, participating in camps and pilgrimage are also common. Add to it all the educational as well as economic activities undertaken at the centres.
And what is concealed from the public view is the personal sadhana and swadhyay by countless devotees. All these combinedly make the Savitri Era religion a robust contender for the future. There is nothing to be ashamed of this and let’s not hesitate to call a spade a spade. [TNM]

Rig-Veda and not Nagarjuna

[This is therefore a thoroughly post-metaphysical, post-Kantian spirituality. It shuns ontological levels of reality for postmodern levels of consciousness (which are real as phenomenological occasions ultimately revealed as Spirit's potential for transcendence and known directly by a good broad science). This type of post-metaphysical spirituality was most clearly announced in the East by the Buddhist genius Nagarjuna, who used a transcendental dialectic similar to Kant's (although Nagarjuna discovered it fifteen hundred years before Kant) to demolish belief structures and radically deconstruct myths in order to make way for direct experiential evidence (or science in the broad sense). Thus, where myth and dogma are the material of metaphysical, pre-Kantian spirituality, direct experience and deep science are the material of post-metaphysical spirituality. As I stated in the introduction to SES: "If metaphysics means thought without evidence, there is not a metaphysical sentence in this entire book."
Hence, Habermas states that "there is no alternative to postmetaphysical thinking," I agree entirely. But what Habermas does not yet appear to realize is that this is exactly the foundationless foundation for a postmetaphysical spirituality of direct spiritual experience disclosed in postrational waves of consciousness development investigated by a good, deep science of those who have demonstrated developmental competence in those dimensions and confirmed by a reconstructive science of the entire range of human lifespan development. On the Nature of a Post-Metaphysical Spirituality Response to Habermas and Weis Ken Wilber]
Almost seems like a paraphrase of what Sri Aurobindo writes except for the fact that he would hark back to the Rig-Veda and not Nagarjuna. And the notion of Post-Metaphysical so rhetorical here! [TNM]

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Self-organizing complexity

[Law becomes more complex and less rigid, Process more plastic and less mechanical when there comes in the phenomenon of Life, and yet more is this so when Mind intervenes with its subtlety; an inner freedom already begins to intervene and, the more we go within, the soul's power of choice is increasingly felt: The Life Divine Volume-19 > Rebirth And Other Worlds; Karma, the Soul and Immortality]
[All cosmic existence is a complex harmony and does not finish with the limited range of consciousness in which the ordinary human mind and life is content to be imprisoned. Being, consciousness, force, substance descend and ascend a many-runged ladder on each step of which being has a vaster self-extension, consciousness a wider sense of its own range and largeness and joy, force a greater intensity and a more rapid and blissful capacity, substance gives a more subtle, plastic, buoyant and flexible rendering of its primal reality. For the more subtle is also the more powerful,—one might say, the more truly concrete; it is less bound than the gross, it has a greater permanence in its being along with a greater potentiality, plasticity and range in its becoming. : The Life Divine Volume-18 > The Ascending Series Of Substance Page-257]
"Law becomes more complex and less rigid" and "the more subtle is also the more powerful,—one might say, the more truly concrete" are major governing principles so far as technology is concerned. Not to get overwhelmed by the complexity surrounding us, therefore, is the saving formula as an inner freedom is in operation all the while and "He does not sleep." [TNM]

Matter vs. memory

[Matter is a creation, and for its creation the infinitesimal, an extreme fragmentation of the Infinite, was needed as the starting-point or basis...Subdivide the visible aggregate or the formal atom into essential atoms, break it up into the most infinitesimal dust of being, we shall still, because of the nature of the Mind and Life that formed them, arrive at some utmost atomic existence, unstable perhaps but always reconstituting itself in the eternal flux of force, phenomenally, and not at a mere unatomic extension incapable of contents. : The Life Divine Volume-18 > Matter Page-238]
In contrast to the definite nature of memory, mind is capable of endless shredding and thereby infinite creation as can be seen from the cited passage. For, where the mind telescopes into the spirit, or vice versa, are impossible to ascertain and hence erecting watertight compartments in this arcane arena is simply foolhardy. [TNM]

Toe the Mind-of-Light line

Sri Aurobindo has dealt with the theme of memory at length in three chapters of The Life Divine but it is difficult to speculate whether he was also responding to Bergson’s Matter and Memory. However, in stating that "the law that deprives us of the memory of past lives is a" great convenience, he hints at the finitude of our surface personality as well as the futility of superficial epistemological devices that we love to hone.

Any causal or panoptical hypothesis put forth by some worthy, therefore, needs to be scanned for its level of inspiration. Toying with ideas is one thing but TOE another. [TNM] 5:01 AM

Friday, March 16, 2007

Savitri Era is the most reasonable religion

Many people find it fashionable to say they are atheists and perhaps harbour a secular outlook. But most people are under the sway of one religion or the other. These geriatric religions carry their affair on the basis of fantastic mythologies, superstitions, legends and lies. Their Jurassic worldview fails any sort of ontological scrutiny. The masses suffer them because they were born into them and find no alternative.

Savitri Era is the most reasonable religion. It has the most acceptable metaphysics/ontology and is global in its outlook. Presently it is dominated by a certain elitism but gradually common people will make it their own. [TNM]

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No one else can match the Savitri Era

[Having witnessed the powerful influence of Nazi propaganda during his days as a member of the Hitler Youth, Pope Benedict xvi is well aware of the mind-controlling power of effective communications psychology. Under John Paul ii, and now Benedict xvi, hundreds of thousands of youth have turned out at the annual Roman Catholic youth festivals. The pope knows that herein lies the future of the effort of the church to captivate and hold the minds of the upcoming generation—and the future of Roman Catholicism...The Vatican is winning the religious media war hands down! By Ron Fraser 2:53 PM 2:30 PM]
The Vatican, with its enormous resources, might inundate the world with propaganda, but for the Savitri Erans the Internet is the right ammunition at the moment. After all, it is a war of knowledge and learning where no one else can match us. [TNM] 9:17 PM 1:29 PM

Easterly to Writerly

[People act based on their value systems and needs, some/many of which by the standards of what is labeled rational are deeply irrational. The irrationality is to assume people are always working in their own rational self-interest and that such rational self-interest even if achieved across the board automatically brings harmony to the parts. But that only partial critique aside, it is a deep work. posted by CJ Smith @ 8:04 PM 1:43 PM]
Chris Dierkes has brilliantly linked our irrationality to the incompleteness. And therefore perhaps The Life Divine. [TNM]

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wake up to the bliss of reading The Life Divine

Larval Subjects is ecstatic to confess "For me, Hegel’s Science of Logic has always been the great white whale, Ulysses, or Finnegan’s Wake of philosophy." [8:05 AM] while Kenneth Rufo prefers to revel in his intellectually stimulating "conversion" to Buddhism. [8:56 AM]
But deprived as they are of the unalloyed bliss of reading The Life Divine, Savitri Erans can only sympathize. [TNM]

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Revaluation to revolution

While Edward Berge is trying to fathom Sri Aurobindian penumbra, Joe Perez has began his journey into the wonderland of The Life Divine. Bon Voyage! [TNM]

Friday, March 09, 2007

No one stirred us to the core more than Baudrillard

No one stirred us to the core more than Baudrillard. From Marx’s “All that is solid melts into air,” Nietzsche’s “Transvaluation of all values,” and “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold” of W.B. Yeats to the procession of Sign-value, Seduction, and Hyperreality, it has been like roaming in dizzy heights. Good bye, the impossible story-teller! [TNM]

Bhajakrushna Sahu is no more

Saroj Kumar Patnaik from Rourkela informs that Bhajakrushna Sahu is no more. Bhaja bhai, as he was fondly addressed by everyone, has been an organizer of Sri Aurobindo Study Circles in the Western part of Orissa for more than three decades. He was working even before Madhu bhaina (Madhusudan Mishra) started touring Western Orissa. Presently, he was working at the State level along with Anadi Charan Swain and C.H. Nirakar. [TNM]

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I say that you have to be a fanatic

[Whenever I am invited to give lectures, I say that I can either tell you about the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo or about the practice of it. About the philosophy, I explain the evolutionary aspect and say that the Aurobindonian vision is the most broad-minded there is. But if I am talking about the practice of Integral Yoga, I say that you have to be a fanatic—totally focused—otherwise it is pointless. - Georges Van Vrekhem Life Positive, November 2001 7:47 PM]
It was Georges Van Vrekhem who in his Beyond the Human Species or Beyond man first dwelt on forcefully on the aspects of divinity of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo and their miraculous interventions. He repeated these themes in his Mother: The Story of Her Life and Patterns of the present. And from these seeds perhaps have germinated the brave new idea of Savitri Era. Get right or get left. [TNM]