Sunday, September 28, 2008

Some people have even become so embolden as to try and have Heehs ejected from the Ashram itself

Rationalism and the yogic life by Debashish on Sun 28 Sep 2008 12:05 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Since the article on Peter Heehs book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" was pulled off the site by R.Y. Deshpande and with it, all its comments disappeared, I am here re-posting my comment on rationalism and the yogic life where I had tried to contextualize Peter's text and provide an example of a quote from his book which was otherwise being utilized to make the exact opposite point to that which it actually made: ...

Moreover, I agree with Rich that this obscuration has been engineered through partial and decontextualized quotations. In fact, one of the main quotes presented to make a case for the rationalist rejection of inner experience is just the opposite; it provides the grounds for a discussion on the limits of reason and psychoanalysis and the difficulties presented by mysticism, and attempts to arrive at a distinction between pathological and spiritual forms of subjectivity, particularly vindicating Sri Aurobindo's inner coherence and balance. Here I put down the complete quote. I do hope that after reading this, the intent of the author will be more clear and we can put a stop to this barrage of emotional incitement: ...

Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs
by Rich on Sat 27 Sep 2008 10:09 AM PDT Permanent Link

There is a movement of folks in Pondicherry who are so upset by the biography that Peter Heehs has written entitled The Lives of Sri Aurobindo that they have instigated a movement to discredit the author. Some people have even become so embolden as to try and have him ejected from the Ashram itself. The folks who have spurred this on have in the course of their attacks on Mr. Heehs openly distorted his text by decontextualizing portions of it or by a series of selective omissions to make it suit their own interpretation of events that facilitate their own story they wish to tell.

Because of this movement I have decided to post all the portions of the text that have been decontextualized or omitted and reprint them with corrections to demonstrate how the text from the book actually reads in its entire context. The portions of the text that have been lifted to suit the purposes of those with an agenda against the author of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo are in black, the missing portions of the text that are needed to give the entire context of the narrative are in red. As everyone will see there is a lot of red in the text.: ...

Re: Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs
by koantum on Sat 27 Sep 2008 08:48 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Thanks, Rich. Very timely. Hopefully it will restore some semblance of sanity. I am reminded of a note written by the Mother and, by her own account, inspired by the New Consciousness of 1969:

Why do men want to worship? It is much better to become than to worship! (Mother's Agenda, April 30, 1969)

As one who wants to become, I read Sri Aurobindo's books when I want to learn about the inner Sri Aurobindo, and I read Peter's refreshingly level-headed biography when I want to learn about the outer Sri Aurobindo. I don't mean this in a mutually exclusive sense. The outer Sri Aurobindo is an integral part of the inner. The hagiographies, which tell us more about their authors than about Sri Aurobindo, are for those who are content to worship — and to worship a figment of their imagination at that. No wonder they get upset if this clashes with reality.

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