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]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Like Milton, Aurobindo is a world-class poet and mythmaker, and a theologian to be taken seriously

"Such a Body We Must Create:" New Theses on Integral Micropolitics
Daniel Gustav Anderson

Anderson: New Theses on Integral Micropolitics
INTEGRAL REVIEW December 2008 Vol. 4, No. 2

119: Hobbes’s (1996) proposal for the establishment of a Christian commonwealth represents one of many explicit instances of this, where theology is openly described as a means of force, a means of subjective and social control. The ideological task of making these social controls into doctrines of natural science, presenting them as cosmic physical laws from above rather than as social forces, forecloses any appeal to the supernatural in the form of prophecy or dream-vision for moral or spiritual authority from below.

Hobbes recognizes and addresses this threat in his hypothetical commonwealth, observing that "he that pretends to teach men the way of so great a felicity," that is, one who claims to speak on behalf of Spirit, "pretends to govern them" (p. 288). Hobbes, then, establishes theological means to control, curb, and cage this threat to its own government, and the age of prophecy is declared closed. The relevance of vision and prophecy as a charismatic gesture is an unspoken subtext of Thesis Eight. Readers familiar with prophecy as a literary conceit will not be surprised to see that both natural-theological and prophetic gestures can and do arise in the writings of the same poet or thinker (Spenser, Milton, Blake, Yeats, Aurobindo), even in the same sentence, in dynamic tension.

120: As with so much else in integral theory, this is anticipated in the work of Aurobindo Ghose. Like Milton, Aurobindo is a world-class poet and mythmaker, and a theologian to be taken seriously (and not only by the faithful); also like Milton, Aurobindo is a problematic political and cultural critic. [...]

124 To give one example, Wilber (2001) claims it is "slander" to point out the racist overtones in Aurobindo’s writings (p. ix). But as I show in Anderson (2006), Aurobindo’s writings are more complex than Wilber seems willing to admit on the subject of race; it is not unfair to Aurobindo to insist he was among other things a product of his time, and that flickers of this time are legible in his work. By analogy, one can find moments of explicit racism in the writings of Mark Twain, even as Twain’s project was broadly and intensely anti-racist—and to say so amounts to critical honesty about Twain, not a slander to his legacy.

Anderson: New Theses on Integral Micropolitics
INTEGRAL REVIEW December 2008 Vol. 4, No. 2
Daniel Gustav Anderson is pursuing a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at George Mason University.
His concerns include critical theory, ecocriticism, meditation, and early modern English culture.
Email
dander5@gmu.edu

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Nizan, P. (1971). The watchdogs: Philosophers of the established order (P. Fittingoff, Trans.). New York: Monthly Review Press.

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