Saturday, May 5, 2007

If his claims hold up, they raise disturbing questions about Aurobindo

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: May 4th, 2007 at 10:45 pm I am appalled at the manner several careless remarks about Sri Aurobindo’s ontology have been pronounced here. I’d request restoring seriousness and genuine curiosity to understand the thought of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo and avoiding “for every one of your opponent’s arguments, make three counter-arguments (Joe Perez)syndrome.
Edward Berge Says: May 5th, 2007 at 6:35 am Tusar asked in the Desilet thread if kela would comment on Aurobindo. I’m putting something he said on the topic in this thread. Since kela said this over a year ago I’m hoping he’s made progress on his book and will share some of his ideas here, perhaps by starting his own thread?
From Lightmind Forum, 04/30/06, 3:47 am
I’m in the process of writing a book on Vivekananda and Aurobindo right now.
The inspiration for the project came from Elias about a month ago.
That’s why I like about this LightMind place. It’s somehow “current.” For a hermeneut like myself, who is interested in a kind of “observer participation” where the observer can even be transformed by those he encounters, this place is kinda cool.
Some of the best shit as to what Aurobindo actually thought can be found, I believe, in his letters. And I have been studying those.
He’s a modernist, I believe, and took to heart Hegel’s critique of India.
He’s very interested in “drawing down” what he calls the “Truth Consciousness” or “SuperMind”. I don’t think that Kenny really gets what he’s talking about here. It’s an interesting idea and it relates back to the issue of the authority of the Vedas and Shankara’s endorsement of which, as this “truth consciousness” relates to the Vedas.
As an idea, it’s an intangible thing at this point in my mind and I don’t want to dismiss it outright even though it is obviously problematic.
Much of this relates back to what I said in the Part I tract on The Context of Neo-Vedanta. Aurobindo is interested in “drawing down” gnostic wisdom into the world; in making it “practical”; in making “a difference.” That’s not an Eastern concern; it’s something new. And like Vivekananda, he is obviously influenced by Western style “interests” as to the application of knowledge (refer to Habermas).
As you may know, Aurobindo was political revolutionary before he became a mystic. I think he never really renounced his politicism even if he renounced his involvement in revolutionary politics. Look forward to my book. I plan to post chapters here before its publication.
Edward Berge Says: May 5th, 2007 at 7:46 am This idea of the descent of Spirit into matter, although according to kela “is not something eastern, it’s something new,” is certainly around in the “occult” orders of the last century. Which of course borrow symbolism from many western sources, including Christianity, some of which are millennia in age. For example, here’s a brief explanation of the seal of the College of Thelema. For a picture see the link:
This symbol was once the personal lamen of CoT founder Phyllis Seckler, and was later adopted as the official seal of the College of Thelema. Its symbolism is borrowed from the lamen of the Martinists; the Hebrew letter yod in the triangle is replaced by the eye of Horus. The Dove and chalice are borrowed from traditional Christian symbolism representing the descent of the Holy Spirit and a Chalice containing the sacrament of the mass.
Greg Desilet Says: May 5th, 2007 at 9:15 am In response to Tusar – my comments concerning Sri Aurobindo’s ontology were intended in the spirit of discussion and comparison of views – in this case between Aurobindo and Derrida. There is no disrespect intended in that.
However, my inclusion of Aurobindo in the list of spiritual leaders whose actions have been brought into question was based on a book by Geoffrey Falk. The chapter on Aurobindo can be found here:
I can’t verify the truth of his claims regarding Aurobindo but I have been able to get corroboration on his claims about a couple of other leaders listed in his book. Perhaps others who read this blog may have knowledge of his credibility they can share. If his claims hold up, they raise disturbing questions about Aurobindo.
Greg Desilet Says: May 5th, 2007 at 9:20 am Alan – you raise good points about the qualities of a “genuine guru.” See my post above (and the link listed) in response to your question about examples regarding Aurobindo. Do you know anything about the credibility of this author Falk?
Edward Berge Says: May 5th, 2007 at 9:41 am I know that Alan uses Falk as “evidence” in the case against Ken, so I am interested to hear Alan’s thoughts on Falk and the latter’s comments on Aurobindo.

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