Friday, October 3, 2008

Heehs distances himself from his subject and accepts scepticism as his starting point

Re: Peter Heeh's other book by Rich on Thu 02 Oct 2008 07:19 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Before the controversy of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo SABDA, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press extolled his book on Sri Aurobindo called Nationalism, Religion, and Beyond Here is their review:

It is not easy to grasp the full depth and wideness of Sri Aurobindo's thought—not only for the public at large, but even for his admirers and followers. Dazzled by the light and vividness of his main propositions, we often fail to perceive the subtler shades of meaning in his complex arguments...

Well-researched, factual and dispassionate, yet immensely readable, they help make Sri Aurobindo's thought more accessible to academic audiences. Heehs has understood and mastered the art of writing for this difficult and demanding group of readers. First and most important, he respects their right to learn about Sri Aurobindo without being pushed, directly or indirectly, out of their current and often secular world-views. Sri Aurobindo has a lot to offer even when measured by purely objective and scientific standards of achievement...

Throughout the anthology, Heehs remains focused on the needs of readers who may view the claims of spirituality with scepticism. Therefore, as in his other books, Heehs distances himself from his subject and accepts scepticism as his starting point. Aware that his readers need to know not only what Sri Aurobindo had said but also why, he has carefully selected passages which stand as mini-arguments on their own, yet mutually support and throw light on each other, woven into the larger argument of the chapter or section...

Overall, Heehs has managed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that, however sceptical our initial approach, so long as it remains fundamentally unbiased, Sri Aurobindo will always break through as a unique and original thinker with something to offer to all, not just to those with overt spiritual inclinations. And if secularists cannot accept him in toto, yet they will surely enjoy his thought-provoking analyses of the burning social, political and cultural issues of the day. For his ideas have withstood the test of time; even after a century they resonate in us more deeply than many contemporary theories. — Marcel Kvassay (SABDA. This review is written in his personal capacity. May 2006)

Banning Books, Censorship in the 20th Century (ALA) by Rich on October 2, 2008 01:49PM (PDT) Permanent Link

Due to the controversy over The Lives of Sri Aurobindo with many in the Aurobindo Ashram either screaming loudly or conspiring secretly to ban the book, I thought it was a good idea to put some context to the issue by exploring the history of book censorship. So I am reprinting here a list of some of the more notable banned or challenged books from the 20th Century. Its a history which unfortunately we seemed doomed to repeat in the 21st. more » Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Leave Comment Permanent Link

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