Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Human subjectivity is instrumentalized and commodified

Myself: "When ordinary human beings like you and me can receive an Adesh, then why not the Avatar himself (who has come at a crucial turning point of the human evolution) cannot have a connection with the Divine?"
Ashramite: "Precisely! That is why I am asking who is Peter to refute this. I hear that he was a school dropout and a taxi-driver, so how did he enter the Archives of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and started calling himself editor and historian. He has even lied that he was the founder of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives. Why did not anybody oppose him?"
Myself: "He was opposed. I did it because I sensed that this man was uneducated and was working here with a hidden motive. But I opposed him after a long time. Long before me, eminent people such as Jugal-da and Pranab-da opposed him." +
Manoj Das Gupta, I ask on behalf of this candid young man as to whether this conspiracy to show that Sri Aurobindo's Adesh was false is part of your research through which your sponsored group of impostors is busy earning black money? Or is it that with the help of those who hate India and want to break up the Ashram, you wish to  spread confusion and falsehood on the spiritual legacy of Sri Aurobindo and perpetrate an even greater destruction? 26.03.2012 In the service of the Mother Sudha Sinha

So is your idea that … yoga is no longer primarily an inner practice but is now just as much a social and political one? … But it seems a very aggressive reification of the theory to make radical claims about there being no more such a thing as an inner life and consciousness independent of neo-liberal globalization (or whatnot)… No doubt yoga (especially IY) should not be seen as inner-only and isolated from political and other world forces. But yoga tends to work from the inside-out. However engaged in micropolitics one may be, surely it’s not yoga until certain experiences and realizations of the inner consciousness occur.

Even otherwise, there is a fundamental difference between “the ages” and “the present.” Human subjectivity in the present is instrumentalized and commodified to a much greater degree than ever before in the service of an impersonal world market and political forces of power leveraging these world machineries. The making of such a coherent world is accomplished not merely through objective machineries but through subject-making – i.e. producing subjects to maintain such coherence by determining their subjectivities through an infiltration and subjection of their “inner lives.” Our age has been characterized as the age of “flattening” because there is hardly any interiority left other than what the coherent techno-capital world market allows. What we call agency in such a world is also largely bound the enormous forces which make us subjects in this world. All this doesn’t feel familiar? Just postmodernist paranoia? Well, so be it. There is no waking the comfortable sleepers.
Yoga has always been a primarily inner practice and that has not changed. The question is what access do we have to interiority today if we are not to seek out the caves of the Himalayas (where also tourists with their commodities will invade us and use us for their advertisational works)? It is because Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were conscious of this that they tried to create alternate social spaces where the forces of modernity could be selectively engaged but made subservient to the needs of the inner life. Such a social choice made by them comes from a political awareness. If one can create such spaces today, that would be an example of a micropolitics. But what I’m saying is that it is not necessary to create such spaces, one may make an individual go of it but one has to first recover one’s inner life by understanding the forces that are presently girding the world ever more tightly and determining our subjectivities. This awareness and response is a micropolitics.
Micropolitics is not necessarily yoga. But arriving at an awareness of the conditioning forces of the political world today is a part of the “experiences and realizations of the inner consciousness” necessary to a yoga which includes life today… Seen as a practice of the self (which is what Foucault is talking about) it is a will-to-the-right, a tapas leading to ritam. Are not some of the primary qualities of Supermind – Truth, Right and Vastness (Satyam, Ritam, Brihat)? This is the truth of ethics, not some moral convention, which is exactly what Foucault is trying to get away from. 

We present below an article by the late Mr. C.V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore, and former Chairman of the Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. The article was written in the aftermath of the East Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 and the Russian debt default of 1998-99. It was first published in the February-March issue of the 'Mother India Journal' in 1999. In this article Mr. Nair explores the flaws inherent in the Western capitalistic system, or the "Washington Consensus", as it is exported to countries around the world. Quoting Sri Aurobindo's prescient words in 'The Human Cycle' and 'Synthesis of Yoga', apart from his poems and The Mother's words, Mr. Nair makes the case for how a flawed capitalistic system results in the economic resources of a nation being cornered by Big Business and it's affiliates in political power, and thus becoming what Sri Aurobindo calls the "occult rulers of its society".
The article assumes significance in light of the crisis of confidence plaguing several economies around the world today, with frustration against the corrupt nexus between Big Business and lawmakers spilling into street protests in many countries. The way out, Mr. Nair points out through the words of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, is for the economic activity of society to be influenced and governed through a higher state of consciousness - "the human condition without is very much the result of the human condition within.", as Mr. Nair says in the article.
Unpleasant though the consequences of the crisis that started in 2008 has been, one hopes this opportunity would be taken by nations around the world to effect the necessary changes to bring about a more inclusive and holistic world order - a world of compassion, peace and enlightenment that Sri Aurobindo and The Mother sacrificed so much for.

Indian politicians do not realise that India is actually on the verge of becoming a nation of victors, Zakaria said. In a freewheeling discussion at the ... 

Life is Production: On Deleuze’s Vitalism III Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: Monday, May 7, 2007 at 5:36 am
Sri Aurobindo’s ontology as delineated in his magnum opus, “The Life Divine” was spurred by the conception of Overman enunciated by Nietzsche. No wonder, he was involved in fighting Hitler from his retreat in Puducherry through his inner forces subsequently. Sri Aurobindo foresees a race of supermen endowed with divine potencies rather than vitalistic beings as speculated by Nietzsche.

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