Saturday, May 9, 2009

Boycott the AUM conference this year as it will degenerate into a fundamentalist free-for-all

Re: Filio's response to Sraddhalu on the SAICE list
by Prapanna on Fri 08 May 2009 10:56 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

I do not know of any efforts to deprive Sraddhalu and Alok of entry visas to the USA to attend the AUM conference. However, if that were done, I personally would have no problem with it. In fact, one reason I am not going to AUM this year is that I don't want my attendance to justify their presence and their campaign against PH. The only reason to attend AUM this year would be to try to engage them in a dialogue, but it is quite clear they would not be open to an honest and open discourse. I don't want to go to AUM only to be shouted down by a vociferous minority. So, I am saddened to say, I think it is appropriate to boycott the AUM conference this year. The organizers could have surely chosen less divisive speakers, or at least could have additionally invited other speakers who could offer a different perspective. But, alas, they did not. I am concerned that this AUM will degenerate into a fundamentalist free-for-all, with little or no free discussion about this controversy...

Let us not ascribe to them asuric qualities and diabolic intentions. Let us not seek their incarceration or the banning of their written works. Public rebuke and reprimand, and the fundamentalist label, however, does not arise to these levels of impropriety and are entirely justified in this case, IMO.

I applaud the efforts of the moderators of the IY Fundamentalism blog, Aurofilio's efforts on the SAICE list, and everyone who have stepped up to counter this obvious fundamentalist attempt to co-opt the work and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for what I believe (speaking for myself) are less than noble reasons. Reply

by Tony Clifton on Fri 08 May 2009 08:46 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Ned, while I understand what you are trying to say regards protecting the reputation of SA/M, the reality of what you are proposing is to institutionalize censorship or create a thought police whose purpose would be to prevent someone from exercising their rights of free thought and free speech, and more importantly from following their own swabhava/swadharma that may be contrary to those of the larger group. To me the setting up of any censorship authority or committees to decide good taste is entirely contrary to the spirit of IY. That is an action that defines a Religious authority, Reply

by Debashish on Fri 08 May 2009 10:08 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

As you well know no two persons' spiritual progress or its needs are alike. Not are any two persons' temperaments, psychological compositions, psychic qualities or goals in life or seeking. How can you then ask for general answers to such questions? Who would give such answers? And what would be the use of such answers?

You see my drift - whoever gave such answers would be claiming to be "Mr. Everyman" and the only use of such answers would be the facilitation of a cult with lists of "do's" and "don'ts" and a structure of authority to enforce them. This is the reason that the field of Indian spirituality, at its best, has insisted on adhikara-vada - the right of the individual to follow his own path to spiritual growth and not the right of individuals or majority or minority groups to police the thoughts or feelings of others. DB Reply

by ned on Fri 08 May 2009 08:35 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

I agree that the letter being critiqued contained lots of distortions and inaccuracies, but should we not consider that perhaps those things were partially the result of the author being attacked and called a "fundamentalist" on an Internet website? I know that if there was a website calling me out by name and labeling me a fundamentalist, it would rile me up emotionally and probably make me lose my balance to some extent. I cannot label the anti-Heehs phenomenon as being "fundamentalism" across the board. Every individual who has taken a position against PH or the biography is not a religious bigot. I think we have seen some violent psychological reactions, which can't be excused, but more than fundamentalism what I think has been on display is conventional moralism. The "fundamentalist" tag is too harsh a label imho. Reply

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