People operate with diverse systems of belief and we can live with this incoherence - Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty - Page 118 - Paul W. Kahn - 2011 - Preview - More editions In the postmodern world, the...1 month ago
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
In view of the fact that multiple anonymous comments in a thread make confusing reading and it becomes difficult to track who is telling what and to whom, only comments bearing some name/pseudonym/identity will appear in future. [TNM 011110 SEOF]
Wednesday 14 March 2007
Man not just as a worker and skilled craftsman, or a participant in commerce and industry, or a warrior and a conqueror, not even as a man of study and learning, an artist or a philosopher or a scientist, but as a man who is in search of life given to the affirmative spirit unfolding his own further possibilities, with post-human prospects in every branch of his occupation is the one who has to arrive and take charge of his destiny, a destiny which is not a fixed goalpost, but which itself widens, and deepens, and moves towards the unknown of the unknowable.
The spectacle we witness today is a spectacle of what Sri Aurobindo calls “economic barbarism” at the service of the vital man, the “blonde beast” in the arrogance of his achievements. We are in an age dominated by industry, commerce and economics in which everything else is subservient to them. “The opulent plutocrat and the successful mammoth capitalist and organiser of industry are the supermen of the commercial age and the true if often occult rulers of its society.” Today the ambition of this superman, this “blonde beast” has grown to a ubiquitous frightfulness, to a peril-ridden scale, and fraught with increasing mischief.
It is even argued that we are reaching the End of History, as says Fukuyama, and globalised capitalism would bring about unending progress. Surely of this big endeavour a worthwhile contribution is the collective organisation, of distant lands and seas coming together; but the loss is bigger, in the sense that it has totally deindividualised, dehumanised the human species. We are full of hubris and self-assertive arrogance, and a certain kind of intimacy and associative value that makes life warm and endearing is altogether lacking in our relations. It has become efficient sans enjoyment...
We seem to experience another cycle. We have raised the Statue of Liberty on one coast; we should build the Statue of Responsibility on the other. The world is a little village, perhaps as was planned by Hippodamus; but it does not seem to flourish. What Matthew Arnold complained of the "strange disease of modem life" seems to plague it, and plague it without any prospects of a cure. Diagnosis could be the "intellectuals' epistemological disintegration"; however, there doesn't appear to be a sure and dependable prognosis.
Matthew Arnold complained of modem life but it has been so all along; it was so even during the brief periods that marked the golden ages of history. The Age of Belief, of Adventure, Reason, Enlightenment, Ideology, of Analysis have somehow got compressed in a relatively short span of some 500 years of the Western civilisation, a civilisation dominating the present-day society throughout the world. Yet the Age of Anguish wheeled through them all, through all those 500 years. Can the relentless wheel be halted? Can mankind as a whole be redeemed?
“Modem capitalism, according to Marx, is the penultimate stage in the historical process of evolution by class-conflict. It is one more stage in a series governed by the same principles which determine the whole course of evolution at all stages. But, surprisingly, after the overthrow of capitalism by a last revolution, the whole process and the laws governing it are obliterated and in the final stage man will be freed from materialistic determinism and the dialecties of class-struggle. This is the socialist millennium in which man will be emancipated from the inexorable laws of material nature and will forever happily live in a classless and stateless society! How this wondrous change will occur remains a mystery which Marx has never tried to explain." This is what Kishor Gandhi wrote just a few decades ago in his Social Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the New Age. But is there someone else who will explain it?...
The goal of development, argues Amartya Sen, is the expansion of human capabilities that will give people freedom to do the things that they value. There cannot be any dispute with the proposal. But if that should win a freedom which is going to be a license to do whatever is conceivable in a vitalistic formulation, including the imposition of democratic ideals on the unfit and the unprepared, then of this great endeavour it can hardly be considered as a desirable gain. That should rather urge and push the society to erect the Statue of Responsibility at the very earliest. Indeed, values should be the first objective. But what are, or what defines, values?...
We have to move first towards that spiritual society founded on the fourfold principle of wisdom-strength-harmony-perfection, the enduring principle of the present cosmic working. It is on that foundation that other powers of the spirit can manifest in human life. Sri Aurobindo’s yoga-tapasya was concerned with it, with the manifestation of the higher powers of the spirit. It is in it, in the unfolding of the spiritual truth going beyond the fourfold order, that we must live and progress. When this happens, then we will have fulfilled ourselves. RY Deshpande