Friday, March 16, 2007

Sri Aurobindo’s agenda to spiritualize the world of form

Edward Berge Says: March 15th, 2007 at 2:06 pm And to do so requires a deep engagement with the not only with the nonconceptual or “spiritual” but with the world of form. In a sense it’s very much like Aurobindo’s agenda to spiritualize the world of form. And once again this includes (while transcending) the mental. Here are some excerpts from Integral Spirituality (draft) clarifying these points:
Cognition is the great dirty word for these individuals. “That’s too cognitive” means “that is not spiritual.” In reality, it’s almost exactly the opposite, as Traleg is indicating. In that regard, notice that “cognition” is actually derived from the root gni (co-gni-tion), and this gni is the sameas gno, which is the same root as gno-sis, or gnosis. Thus, cognition is really co-gnosis, or that which is the co-element of gnosis and nondual awareness. This why Traleg is saying that cognition or co-gnosis is indeed the vehicle of our spiritual path. (Incidentally, this is why, as wesaw, developmentalists repeatedly have found that the cognitive line is necessary but not sufficient for ALL of the other developmental lines, including feelings, emotions, art, and spiritual intelligence—exactly the opposite you would expect if the anti-intellectualist and anticognitive stance was right.*) p. 135
In Sanskrit, this gno appears as jna, which we find in both prajna and jnana. Prajna is supreme discriminating awareness necessary for full awakening of gnosis (pra-jna = pro-gnosis), and jnana is pure gnosis itself. Once again, cognition as co-gnosis is the root of the developmentthat is necessary for the full awakening of gnosis, of jnana, of nondual liberating awareness. So the next time you hear the word “cognitive,” you might hesitate before labeling it anti-spiritual. As a short sidebar, it particularly helps when we realize that developmentalists viewcognition as the capacity to take perspectives. Role taking, or taking the view of another person, is something you can only do mentally or cognitively. You can feel only your own feelings, but you can cognitively take the role of others or mentally put yourself in their shoes(and then you can feel their feelings or empathize with their point of view). So cognitive development is defined as an increase in the number of others with whom you can identify and an increase in the number of perspectives you can take. pp. 135-6.

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