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Friday, January 5
by Ron on January 5, 2007 02:48PM (PST)
The Esalen Center for Theory & Research supports essential philosophic, academic, and research aims of the Esalen Institute. It evaluates frontier inquiry, creates networks of pioneering individuals, and works to catalyze new discoveries that promote personal and social transformation. It carries forward projects at the growing edge of philosophy, psychology, comparative religious studies, education, sociology, somatics, the arts, ecology, and related disciplines that bear upon transformative practice and the continued evolution of humankind. Among these projects are an archive of extraordinary human functioning and a bibliography of scientific research on meditation. ... more »
Wednesday, December 27
"The Only Journey There Is: An Exploration of Cosmic & Cultural Evolution," Robert Godwin Interview (WIE)
by Ron on December 27, 2006 05:22PM (PST)
Robert Godwin is ... an “outsider” thinker, and a masterful litterateur to boot. In his book "One Cosmos under God," he attempts nothing less than to reenvision the entire story of creation, both scientifically and spiritually, and audaciously and stunningly presents an often poetic, quasi-scriptural rendering of what a new cosmic narrative could be. It’s a book that breaks boundaries, thrills and teases, and ultimately makes very much sense in its Herculean embrace of cosmology, biology, quantum physics, psychology, anthropology, history, mysticism, theology, and more.
A practicing clinical psychologist, Godwin, in his words, became voraciously interested in everything at some point in his mid to late twenties. He also credits himself with having a synthetic versus analytic mind. So in order to make sense of what he was learning, he sought to find relationships and patterns among the truths he had gleaned from disparate fields of study. In short, he wanted to know. To that end, he recognized that the only way to grasp spiritual truths was through direct experience and he became a serious practitioner of Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga. One Cosmos under God is the result of what he discovered as a follower of the Indian sage’s teachings, together with the fruits of his relentless curiosity. ... more »
Friday, December 22
by Vladimir on December 22, 2006 04:53AM (PST)
There are many myths in the Veda which describe the Beginning of Creation from different angles or stages. Some of them start with the description of the Supreme Person, Atman, Self (4), others - of the Impersonal Spirit, Brahman (5), some start from Nothingness or Darkness (6), which they call “night”, ratri-, or apas, apraketam salilam (7), “dark waters”, or sometimes as mrityu (8), “death”, etc., etc. They all refer to different stages of Creation, where Darkness or Nothingness was depicted as our beginning, but not as our Origin. We can easily reconcile these myths, knowing that Darkness was the result of the Fall of the Supreme Light, (Involution): ... more »
Thursday, December 21
by Ron on December 21, 2006 05:15PM (PST)
This is a fascinating website. Ulrich Mohrhoff teaches math, physics, and quantum philosophy at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in Pondicherry, India. He has developed a new perspective re the ontological implications of quantum mechanics known as the "Pondicherry Interpretation," which has been called "startingly original." ~ ron
...Scientists are the myth makers of our time. If a story is believed by a large fraction of the scientific community, it becomes part of our (socially constructed) reality.
Take electromagnetic waves. Even if you agree with me that we cannot observe them directly, you will probably insist that we can observe them indirectly: their effects are all over the place.
But it isn't their effects. The jiggling of that charge over there isn't the effect of an electromagnetic wave acting on it. It is the effect of my jiggling this charge here. The rest — the generation of an electromagnetic wave here, its propagation, and its action on that charge over there — is a myth. ... more »
Friday, December 15
by Ron on December 15, 2006 06:12PM (PST)
Debashish asked me to post this review by Prema Nandakumar of J.K. Mukherjee's book: "The Ascent of Sight in Sri Aurobindo's Savitri."
Re-reading Savitri is ever a new experience. One may keep reading the epic for half a century like Jugalda, and each reading brings a fresh insight into the inexhaustible springs of the narrative. The process of ascent from an ordinary seeing to the spiritual vision in the higher ranges of thought and beyond as stated in Savitri is a fascinating phenomenon. Especially so, when Jugalda is our Paraclete. As always, Jugalda does not tease us with an impossible mystic diction. He is the ideal acharya who swoops down like the eagle in the classroom and then rises slowly and majestically past the green crests of life holding the hands of the reader-student. ... more »
Monday, December 11
by Debashish on December 11, 2006 12:30AM (PST)
Sri Aurobindo is not just the "foundational thinker" of "Integral Theory" – in Anderson’s back-handed compliment “To adapt a meme attributed to Whitehead: if European philosophy amounts to a footnoting of Plato, Integral theory may very well amount to a conversation about Aurobindo.” As I proceeded to read I could see how this is possible if one takes Sri Aurobindo’s Vedantic darshan, Purnadvaita Vedanta (inseparable from its corresponding yoga, Purna Yoga) as a western style speculative metaphysics purporting to be a Theory of Everything, an ideology which maintains itself as Truth through the Will-to-Power and becomes the defining hegemonic ideology of late Enlightenment Neoliberalism through the production of its world-subjects, something perhaps possible. But to attribute the foundation of such an ideological field to Sri Aurobindo is, certainly a new wrinkle to the abuses/misuses of his text which seem to be multiplying lately (as for instance through left and right perceptions of it as the foundational text for Hindutva). ... more »
Sunday, December 10
by Debashish on December 10, 2006 03:23PM (PST)
The two postings on Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies (I and II) generated a thread on the relationship between physical instruments of observation and knowledge in the scientific sense (microscopes, telescopes, nuclear accelerators), human organs of observation and knowledge (mind, intelligence, sense organs) in the cognitive / psychological sense and possible mutations of human consciousness in the ontological / phenomenological / epistemological sense (change of being, change of consciousness, change of modalities of knowledge). The last (possibilities of a change of modalities of knowledge) opened up a consideration of Sri Aurobindo’s phenomenology of supramental knowledge and its subsidiary action in human forms and instruments of knowledge – specifically sense-knowledge through the sense organs with the “sixth-sense” of the “sense mind,” manas in the Indian Sankhya formulation behind them at/as their origin and the supramental Samjnana further behind/beyond but with a concealed and subsidiary operation in/through manas. Here we are reproducing the relevant parts of this very fertile thread for focused consideration. more »
Wednesday, December 6
by Ron on December 6, 2006 11:51AM (PST)
RY Deshpande asked me to post this article for him:
Purusha Sukta in the Rig Veda (X: 90) celebrates famously the Sacrifice of the Purusha performed by the Gods, the Rishis and the Sadhyas, the accomplished celestial beings. All is established in the Sacrifice and therefore Sacrifice is the best means of achieving whatever has to be achieved, asserts a scriptural text. What did these sacrificers intend to achieve by performing the difficult sacrifice? the cosmic order, the possibility for growth, conquest, expansion, winning new grounds, making the law of the higher truth-existence operational in the universal functioning, instituting the dharma? Indeed, it was for that, and only by it could they themselves ascend to greater realms of immortality. It is in the Sacrifice of the Purusha, the Holocaust of the primal Being, Yajna of the Great Person that the incomparable deed was carried out. In an enterprising act, by making an offering of this Purusha himself, the Male who is the begetter of things in all the worlds was this Yajna completed. Its jubilation in the Rig Veda is a forceful triumph-song of the Creator poised for Cosmic Action,—“a profound composition,” as Sri Aurobindo says about it. ... more »
Friday, November 24
by Debashish on November 24, 2006 09:42AM (PST)
This article publihsed in Philosophy of Mind was among those read at the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, in Boston, Massachusetts from August 10-15, 1998. It presents an overview of Sri Aurobindo's ontology of Mind. more »
Thursday, November 16
by Ron on November 16, 2006 01:04PM (PST)
I've copied here part of the prior ongoing discussion re "Derrida, Death and Forgiveness" by Andrew J. McKenna. This part begins with Rich's posting about Herbert Guenther's book "From Reductionism to Creativity, rDrogs-chen and the New Science of Mind," and continues through a fascinating dialogue re systems theory, the Vedas & the Vedantic Method, Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Integral Yoga. - I noted Debashish's comment that he finds a lack in Buddhism (or Guenther's version of it) related to the "Divine Maya of Supermind." -- However, my personal impression is that the Buddhist ontology/method now has significantly more influence on Western intellectuals and opinion makers (especially Tibetan Buddhism, perhaps because of the work of the Dali Lama) than does Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga, which most Westerners have little or no awareness of.
My questions are:
1) Is Buddhism in fact somehow lacking in its ontology and/or its methods, compared to those presented by Sri Aurobindo as Integral Yoga? If so, why has it become so much more well known in the West than Integral Yoga?
2) Is there anything those of us who are partial to Sri Aurobindo's approach can do to increase its influence in the West?
3) Is there a possible integration between Buddhism and Integral Yoga, perhaps along the lines hinted at by Debashish as a "gnosis ... which involves entire realms of practice through transformed ontologies (the triple transformation) ?" ~ ron more »
Wednesday, November 15
by Ron on November 15, 2006 01:52PM (PST)
Part 1 was, after the two introductory cantos which set up the central conflict of Savitri, the story of Aswapati, the Traveller of the Worlds, who explores all the levels of Consciousness and beyond, and calls down the Missioned Soul, Savitri. ... more »
Friday, November 10
by Debashish on November 10, 2006 09:39AM (PST)
This is a chapter on Evolution from R.Y. Deshpande's just published book based on Book VI of Sri Aurobindo's "Savitri, The Book of Fate" - which deals with Narad's Arrival at Ashwapathy's kingdom of Madra. Deshpande reviews here the philosophical approaches which try to explain Becoming in the Cosmos, the meaning of Time and human destiny. His wide-ranging contemplation includes the nature of Time as seen through determinism and probability in the debates of Science, early Greek phulosophy in Heraclitus and Paramenides, Kant's reflections on the limits of rational knowledge and empirical experience and more recent evolutionary thinkers, such as Nietzsche, Bergson, Samuel Alexander and Teilhard de Chardin, before settling on Sri Aurobindo's philosophy of Integral Non-Dualism. more »
Friday, October 27
by Ron on October 27, 2006 03:10PM (PDT)
I've taken the liberty of re-posting here all of the comments ("Replies") to Debashish's earlier posting: "Reflections on THE IDEAL OF HUMAN UNITY By Debashish Banerji." -- My reasons:
1) The set of responses in this thread was getting so large that we were starting to experience some oddities in BlogHarbor's reply functions.
2) I was concerned that we could delete the entire thread due to some technical or human error, thus losing this fascinating & important discussion.
3) By posting all of the comments as this article, we can go back in and re-format them if we wish; e.g., correcting typos & adding italics for quoted passages.
PLEASE CONTINUE OUR REPLIES ON THIS TOPIC HERE, IN THIS ARTICLE, NOT IN THE PREVIOUSLY POSTED ONE.
~ ron more »
Monday, October 9
by Debashish on October 9, 2006 11:33PM (PDT)
In these last chapters of The Ideal of Human Unity, Sri Aurobindo draws together the threads that he has introduced earlier in the work, leading to his conclusion. Though Jan Smuts was yet to coin the word "Holism" to encapsulate the idea that a directed tendency towards the formation of ever-larger aggregates is observable in Nature, each such distinct stage marked by the presence of an identity and properties exceeding those of the sum of their parts, Sri Aurobindo's model of History follows this course. Indeed, this teleology follows naturally from Sri Aurobindo's master-idea of the progressive manifestation of intrinsic spiritual Oneness in Time, expressing itself politically as the drive towards world-union. more »
Saturday, October 7
by Debashish on October 7, 2006 11:53PM (PDT)
Detachment in a spiritual sense is the development of another dimension within us, a dimension which coexists with our active personality but is outside of it. It is to find an inner freedom, to discover a part of the being that cannot be touched by external circumstances or by the outer being’s activities – a separation within between what we know as ourselves in the world and something which is intrinsic and connected to an infinite being, a sort of an immutable witnessing. more »
A Review of Dipesh Chakrabarty's "Provincializing Europe" by Amit Chaudhuri (London Review of Books) Debashish
AntiMatters vol 3 no 4 is out koantum
Classicism, post-classicism and Ranjabati Sircar’s work: re-defining the terms of Indian contemporary dance discourses by Alessandra Lopez y Royo Debashish
LACMA 111909 - Debashish Banerji Debashish
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Within the limits of capitalism, economizing means taking care - Bernard Stiegler
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Within the limits of capitalism, economizing means taking care - Bernard Stiegler