These “loaded” words are not arguments, but slander. In the letters attacking Peter Heehs, some of the adjectives used to describe the author, his mind or consciousness, and the book itself are: malignant; perverse; dark and perverted; dangerous; destructive; petty; shallow; small, narrow and diabolic. His intentions or designs, which the writers claim to know, are said to be: sinister; horrific; diabolic; perverse and harmful; cunning; nefarious.Some of these words are frequently repeated. He is said to have “gone way beyond any decency”; “sinned much by his defiance of all spiritual norms”; “played into the hands of the hostile forces”; etc. He “goes down to the dirty cellar” to “look for a blockage in the sewage system so that he can gleefully and perversely report it to the world at large”; his“road to fame is open through the backdoor, nay the sewage pipe through which some choose to enter a palace.” He is called “Peter Pettigrew also known as Wormtail”; he is compared to animp or a mole; his work is hailed by rats, bandicoots, lizards and serpents.
This declamatory stripping of a person’s humanity is designed to incite mob hatred and violence.
1. Religious Fundamentalism:
2. Intellectual Freedom:
3. Spokespersons of Truth:
4. Need for Reconciliation:
(a) Can a critical attitude towards Sri Aurobindo and the Mother be permissible in the Ashram, leave alone tacitly being encouraged as it is being done now?
(b) Does the book truly represent Sri Aurobindo’s life and does justice to His Works?
5. Tolerating Different Approaches:
6. Hindutva Influence:
7. Anti-Western feelings:
9. Moral and Religious Policing:
10. Who is the authority?
12. A Logical Fallacy:
(i) PH decontextualized Sri Aurobindo’s writings, quoting them in bits and parts from here and there, so did those who quoted from his book.
(ii) PH is a representative type of humanity but then so are the others.
(iii) PH has analyzed Sri Aurobindo critically (and without a heart) with the lens of a scientific objectivity. The same is being done to him by others.
(iv) PH has intolerance towards other approaches dubbing them as hagiography, dogma, etc. So also others are being dismissive about his approach.
(v) PH has intellectual freedom to write what he wants, so also others are exercising their freedom to criticize him.
(vi) PH has been critical and dismissive towards Sri Aurobindo’s works, so also have been people been towards his work.
(vii) PH has called Sri Aurobindo names (some would have thought he was a megalomaniac, coward, liar, etc); so also have others done the same to PH, called him names.
(viii) You feel love for PH and are defending him, so also we feel love for Sri Aurobindo and are defending him. Or to use your language, you believe and stand for certain mental values such as vital and intellectual freedom. We believe and stand for certain spiritual values such as devotion and surrender when you take up the yoga (not otherwise).
I am not saying that ‘tit for tat’ is a very yogic thing. All that I am doing is to point out a logical fallacy in supporting PH’s personal actions. What should have been done instead was a discussion on the book itself.
14. Representative Type:
Posted by Raman Reddy at 12/14/2009 06:16:00 PM