Monday, October 20, 2008

Violence against Peter?

Re: Thought Reform and Pondicherry
by ned on Sun 19 Oct 2008 08:31 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

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

"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"

Rich, is it true that there have been calls for violence against Peter? Has there been any actual physical violence against him, or just threats of it?


The Lives of Sri Aurobindo: Some devotees of Sri Aurobindo might be put off by Peter’s academic tone in this biography. After all, he never calls Sri Aurobindo an “avatar” or anything like that in it. Indeed, Peter paints Sri Aurobindo as humanly as he possibly can in this biography (which was partly because he wanted a university publisher in order to reach a wider audience, and partly because that’s his style — to be measured and detached) ... Peter Heehs’ The Lives of Sri Aurobindo from The Stumbling Mystic by ned [8:40 AM]


  1. "Measured and Detatched" - Sorry "Ned" - Peter Heehs does not come through measured or detatched. His personal venom and disdain for Sri Aurobindo and especially the Mother is evident in his words. Recently I heard a recording of his interview. It seemed like he enjoyed raising laughs talking derogatorily about the Mother (he speaks about he stopped Sri Aurobindo from smoking). He successfully made his fawning audience break into giggles. Well, you speak authoritatively about what Peter Heehs WANTED. Please refer the reading public to examples of his declared intentions.

  2. Well, Ned, judging from the very standards that you, Peter and the rationalist luminaries have set out (admitting no spiritual parameters) - Peter comes through as PATHETIC. India is going through a difficult phase - the Hindutva brigade is waiting to usurp every thing and make it their political agenda. The Ashram Trustees have innumerable problems right now. Peter Heehs owes a responsibility to Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He owes a responsibility to INDIA where he has lived for decades. Or is an "objective" rational writer exempt from all moral and ethical responsibilities? What do you have to say to that? Peter Heehs has put the Ashram in a terrible spot and the Trustees are finally to face the consequences of his actions. It is not whether he is right or wrong - the point is he has been irresponsible and why blame the "mob" if it resorts to stupidity - it is up to the more enlightened one to desist from actions that cause so much of divisions within a fine family. How is he better than RYD who caused "hatred". Peter Heehs as someone else has commented should have the temerity to quit on his own and make a public statement absolving the Ashram of all blame. Now the trustees are being blames. Dont they have problems of their own. Peter will have to face the karmic consequences of his action of being so irresponsible.

  3. Tusar, I just want to say that (a) I've taken my blog down, so please stop quoting things from it, and (b) I find it really disconcerting that you're constantly quoting things from my blog without ever asking my permission to do so (I suspect others must feel the same way too).

    As for the Peter Heehs controversy I have no personal stake in it nor do I care much about the emotional reactions people are having to his biography. He has his opinions and my faith in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is strong enough to not be affected by such trivial things. I do find it really sad that people who are *supposed* to be "spiritual" are resorting to such petty reactions and even to violence against Peter, if that's the case. It only shows the lack of actual spiritual experiences -- when you start having experiences you stop reacting like this.

  4. Ned, when you first started commenting on the Heehs book on the SCIY site you made some very heartening comments that suggested you were on the right track. But it now seems that you have been taken by Carlson's poisonous and highly aggressive stances. Even Debashish has been quite (unintentionally, perhaps) misleading with his arguments and if one is not careful it can be a slippery slope. For your own sake, I hope you will maintain the composure and mental attitudes that you had before Carlson started his nasty tirades.