As a practicing psychologist I would like to say a few words on this. First, I am writing anonymously because I do not wish to involve myself in this controversy. I have no connection with the other commenting anonymously.
By stating that “There was nothing furtive about these encounters” the author is dispelling the suggestion that there was anything “furtive” between them. But why would he dispel it if he did not think or believe that his statement lent itself to interpretation, and that the thought that there was something “furtive” between them would actually arise in the mind of the reader. It is too patent. The author himself admits that the technique he has employed is, in his words, “anticipating and refuting objections”. “Aware of the sort of arguments that could be employed against their own positions” writers “deliberately engage with these objections in order to clear the way for a successful presentation of points that some readers might want to resist”.
So clearly the author is well aware of the objection of “furtiveness” between Mirra and Aurobindo being raised in the minds of the readers upon reading his description, and in anticipation of it, the author attempts to dispel it. In fact it is glaringly obvious that the insinuation is either romantic, sexual, emotional because in the subsequent paragraphs there is talk of marriage etc.
What is interesting is that the author clearly states that the “book was not intended for devotees” and that he was writing to academia. According to him “People in
If he anticipates “furtiveness” in the minds of these readers, surely he would have anticipated more than “furtiveness” or the “furtiveness” to have a more furtive connotation to the more traditionally minded reader. He has been willing to happily alienate his fellow-seekers, even jounce their sensitivities and potentially disrupt the harmony of the institution of which he is an integral part. It is naïve to not question the motives of the author in writing this biography.
Dr Ryder Posted by Anonymous to Savitri Era Open Forum at 12:53 PM, October 06, 2010
"From the point of view of yoga this is a clear attempt at perversion".
"Either way it doesn’t reflect well on him, his motivations, and his readers" is amply evident.
Again, in my opinion the institution must take some accountability for this book for allowing it pass through it. There ought to have been peer reviews or some checks in place before something as important as a biography of the founder is released.
From your comment it seems there are omissions by the author and therefore he has been selective in the dishing out of facts. That is not uncommon. In this book what he has done is shared both sides of the coin so to speak and left it to the reader to decide. This is the current trend of biographers and news media here, to be credible by presenting both the sides. The bias is on the positive side in the book. I believe the "negative" facts have been shared for the same reason - to appear credible and not necessarily to condemn Aurobindo.
There is definitely some manipulation here. Again it is very unusual for a member of an institution to write in this manner about its founder. It is fair to say that he is not particularly enamored of the founder. Posted by Anonymous to Savitri Era Open Forum at 10:52 PM, October 08, 2010