Monday, October 20, 2008

Ethnic superiority and militancy of an aggrieved subject aligned with Hindu Nationalism against imperialistic claims

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism by Robert Jay Lifton
by
Debashish on Sat 18 Oct 2008 11:13 PM PDT Permanent Link Re: Thought Reform and Pondicherry
by Rich on Sun 19 Oct 2008 07:49 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Very important and timely post. Lifton has done classic studies of cults and mind control societies.Additionally he did a study called the Protean Self, human resilience in an age of fragmentation, which is the study of personality in an age of Information & Post Modernism.

Statements from this article can be certainly seen in the frenzy in Pondicherry directed against a scholar's biography of the founder of Integral Yoga, Some context local to that area in Pondicherry discussed here can be discerned in some of Lifton's finding as charging the current atmosphere of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram...

The leaders of the movement for excommunication of the author demand conformity to ideological commitments they judge culturally pure...

The cliche's used are familiar and in this case are masked in the guise of words such as “Falsehood” or “Truth“, “Vital or Mentalizing” and are often used by decontextualizing quotes from the Mother and declaring that: Mother said this or Mother said that...

Any attempt to approach founders or themes in Integral Yoga in a critical manner that is congruent with the thought patterns consciousness has evolved in the current episteme- are constrained by claims that the person is simply mentalizing it or is making imperialistic claims upon the ideologically pure, which in this case is aligned with Hindu Nationalism...

Invectives are hurled by those uncomfortable with critical inquiry accusing the author of using rationalism and secularism to attack their foundationalist interpretations. They denounce the author as Mr Objective! and in so doing denounce contemporary historiography in favor of the history of Blut and Boden...

One is not free to express ones feeling, for example, although Sri Aurobindo writes in the Future Poetry that appreciation of poetic forms most often conform to the aesthetic of an age or episteme, if one no longer swoons for poems and sonnets written in a language of a century ago which Sri Aurobindo's adapts to his visions - they are condemned...

Although Sri Aurobindo did not proclaim his own Divinity, it is demanded that the faithful invest him with such divinity. Although none can demonstrate miracles, it is demanded those faithful to the yoga believe in a narrative of Origins which is exclusively supernatural. The supernatural is the domain of a few to interpret. Interpretations are decoded in culturally privileged ways...

Demonstrated by the excommunication/censorship and physical attacks on the author of the Lives of Sri Aurobindo! ...

The few leaders of the intolerance movement claim sole access to the Truth and the right to interpret it. Their rhetoric couches an ethnic superiority and the militancy of an aggrieved subject evoking a right to respond, even with violence, to readdress the insults against their essentialist communal identity...

How else can one explain the actual exercise of mob violence against an individual accused of not sharing a totalizing vision of conformity? ...

This one is a bit or a mystery namely, the fact that the leaders of the excommunication movement, who claim the right to teach the practices of the yoga, and who apparently have very active meditation practices that help establish equanimity in the being, are the very folks inciting mob action against an author of a book with whom they do not agree.

P.S. The fact that the folks orchestrating the actions against a scholar claim to be scholars and teachers themselves, and are attempting to network with National and International foundations and academies that encourage open critical inquiry and tolerance reeks also of charlatanism.

The excommunication/censorship movement has been spurred on by those who should know better! If you are seeking international or national University accreditation, or you are in search of support and funding from any major foundations for “Free Progress Education”, or if you have taken your degree from any reputable academic institution and work on the tenure track, or write history and wish to remain credible with other historians, or you are a physician who consults with patients on death and dying yet incite others to violence, you all should remember the coming forth of the truth does have consequences... rc Reply Science, Culture and Integral Yoga [8:42 AM]

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