Pages

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Life-enhancing effects of technology may play their part in preparing consciousness

Re: Re: Re: Re: Post Human Variations ('Imaginary' vs. 'Imaginal') Debashish Tue 30 Jan 2007 06:51 AM PST
If we look at this other aspect of technology in its extensions of the "human life" - averting catastrophes and illnesses and extending longevity - this may be more promising, along with its considerable and maybe fatal dangers (which again have no cures except through an organization and developoment of consciousness free of technological conditioning). Leaving aside for the moment the issue of capitalism, life-enhancing effects of technology may play their part in preparing consciousness for a future of consciousness, if the subjetive life can develop some importance in the idealisms of the human race. DB
Re: Re: Towards Globalisation RY Deshpande Tue 30 Jan 2007 06:49 AM PST
Hi Ron I did read your earlier comment in the context of discussion about Post Human Variations. Let me first say here that my present essay is regarding societal organisation, on a collective level, for an acceptable foundation for the higher powers to enter into the scheme of things. Our present system is based on fragmented aspects of Wisdom-Strength-Harmony-Perfection and this has to be first corrected. This is what Rich was referring to in one of his recent postings when he also referred to me. (We had a fruitful talk about it when he visited me about two weeks ago and we thought it worthwhile pursuing some of these themes in a systematic manner. In fact, as a beginning towards it, it is that which prompted me to post this article on globalisation.) We have the following passage in The Mother and that must be the basis for any truer progress in the opening of the ways of Infinity:...
Only when these four are founded can the higher powers come into play in the evolutionary process. The platform from which we have to collective address the issue is the social platform, which is different from the luminous golden occult cave wherein dwells the individual, the cave where some kind of spiritual nanotechnology could be worked out, kind of Aurobindonian alchemist’s pursuit picked up. But this discussion could be for another occasion, preferably independent of other cluttering things. RYD
Re: Re: Re: Re: Post Human Variations ('Imaginary' vs. 'Imaginal') Debashish Tue 30 Jan 2007 06:36 AM PST
Ron, Immersion experiences mediated by nano-tech do not guarantee either an universal receptivity or an universalized individual response. Prakritic instrumentation, however subtle it may plunge its injectors and deliver its messages/massages do not make non-dual experiences more avaliable to us imo, without a corresponding preparation of the subjective life. Immersion experiences may more effectively condition a generalized individuality but this is not the awakening of the purusha's will. On the other hand, without the awakening of the purusha, the effects of "hot" media such as nano-tech mediated immersions could be unpredictable, as for example, the uses made of Beethoven music by the Third Reich or its future decentralized exultations of violence in A Clockwork Orange. Savitri, recited by the Mother, has already become an item in a "globalized" fetish-cult which substitutes simulacra for individual responsibility or consciousness. Moreover, a point I was making is that globalized technology comes with its own strings attached - strings which dictate how we condition our consciousness to interface with it. More primary than a nano-tech mediated globalization is I believe the imperative of distancing ourselves from conditioning devices as intentional communities committed to a flowering of the subjective life. Such a habitus can then determine its own selective assimilations of technology governed by a premediatated alternate destiny. Immersion experiences could then be specific individual or collective choices thst serve the reception of awakened wills in a "cool" interactive life-manifold. In such a scenario, nano-tech may play a part and then it may not. DB

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sri Aurobindo is likely to say the intelligence of the cell

Jana Joined: 08 25 04 Posts: 1580 Location: Nirvana Mastery level 1Posted: 11/18/06, 9:06 pm Post subject: Re: A Wilberian contradiction? Lightmind Forums Forum Index
We could discuss this problem our entire lives you realize. Within a punishment-reward cosmology people normally sense Spirit and the spiritual as being something removed, revered and prone to dominate one into conformed silence. This is so in the fear based poverty consciousness paradigm that is prettymuch wholesale over the globe. We thus intuit God as a dictatorial parent, we the errent child and the Void as a place of purgatory for the sin of being born. Daily social interaction usually reinforces this model. We thus come into the world guilty until proven worthy through achieving enough sovereignty to break out of this cosmic egg.
From my own experience when Spirit quickens and Presence rises within us the filters between the subconscious-conscious-superconscious are penetrated. Thus we have more access to atomic superconducted consciousness from the primary perception level and this gives us radically expanded sensory and extrasensory abilities. In this sense going down into matter directly correlates to increased spiritual presence. Aurobindo is likely to say the intelligence of the cell, and the intelligence of the atom become consciously perceived. It is all energy anyway...matter, consciousness and void. My conception of it is thus...as we become more rarified and organized and all systems and cells in the body fall into synchronization there is a point at which bodymind drops off as the Void is directly perceived. It is the still lake of perfect perception idea ie: Pure awareness. Thus even if we can only view this in philosophical terms it appears to me that the zero-point energy and the Void of emptiness are indeed the same thing.
Of course in the punishment-reward cosmologies you will never gain adequate organic peace to come to the point of dropping bodymind and entering Void. Thus mythic religions are not true spiritual traditions because they fail to offer the ultimate.

Sri Aurobindo was to bring that tradition into a global context

Heru Joined: 08 25 04 Posts: 1342 Location: The Misty Pacific Northwest Posted: 11/30/06, 5:38 pm Post subject: The Illusion is Reality (for Broken Yogi) Lightmind Forums Forum Index
Yes, this has been done--especially in the last century or so, really starting with the Theosophists, then Rudolf Steiner, Aurobindo and into the 1960s, and now with Wilber's integral movement (for better or worse). It is a cultural movement that is only possible with globalization and, like global civilization, still in its infancy. But it is the future. This is why I find Ramana and Aurobindo to be an interesting contrast. As I said before, I see Ramana as something of a "quintessence" of the East, as if the great Vedic traditions were essentialized in him and his teaching. He is a gift of that heritage. Aurobindo, on the other hand, was trying, beginning, to bring that tradition into a global context. Steiner was coming at it from the Western mystery schools, but basically doing something similar to Aurobindo. Thus, Ramana was culminative inheritance of an older age, while Aurobindo and Steiner were harbingers of a new one.

The new brand of intuition, the integral insight

Sri Aurobindo: The Consummate Expression of the Indian Spirit of Synthesis
SWAMI SIVANANDA
And it needed the supreme cultural genius of a Sri Aurobindo, the like of whom the spirit and the creative vision of India alone can create, to give a yet bolder or rather the boldest manifestation to a synthesization of insights in philosophic, cultural and religious or spiritual wisdom and experience and to an invaluable integral conception of the triple Reality that the inquiring reason and metaphysical awareness of man encounters in creative endeavours against the facts and events of experience and reflection. Sri Aurobindo is indeed the consummate expression of the spirit of synthesis inherent in Indian culture.
Apart from the greatness we discern and admire in the uniqueness of the philosophic experience and statement of Sri Aurobindo, there is one thing more which needs and claims our recognition and consequent admiration, the fact that the methodology Sri Aurobindo had requisitioned as a means to his grasp of the fundamental facts of existence, of the great values of integral life, of the nature of the Divine in the human individual, the Divine in the universe and the Divine in its own timeless eternity and transcendentality, was constituted by no mere power of speculative reason, no mere philosophic vision, no building upon what has been handed over to him as his heritage, but by the intuition, the new brand of intuition, the integral insight that he had obtained in the seclusion of Pondicherry, in experience of the supernormal factors in the spiritual world, in an experimenting richness of personal sādhanā and siddhi.
With a joy that only a mother who has borne a genius-babe can know, India is proud of Sri Aurobindo and the phenomenon of his extraordinary contributions; but the profit accruing from the gifts of Aurobindo is not only its own, it is of all the world! May the spirit of Aurobindo shower its choicest blessings upon all mankind! The Integral Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo: A Commemorative Symposiumby Haridas Chaudhuri, Frederic Spiegelberg.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Towards Globalisation

by RY Deshpande on Mon 29 Jan 2007 05:01 AM PST Permanent Link
We understand globalisation essentially in terms of economics, commerce, industry and political dynamics; but there are basic social, religious, philosophical, scientific, cultural or idealistic aspects which often get sidelined in the respective discussions. The question of humanity in its proper sense, of harmonious life of happiness as expressed by mystics, sages, rishis, enlightened thinkers is hardly raised and seen in its deeper or far-reaching implications. Globalisation today is driven by a motive force and does not have its true or authentic content offered to the larger collectivity in the enduring values of the spirit. It is a mechanistic or, to use the modern idiom, a digital phenomenon. The identity of man with things material, the appreciation of the wonder that living reality in its thousand moods is, the recognition of the all-pervasive beauty in nature, or the sweep of cosmic thought, the subtlety of creative perception and expression have to be a part of the global perception.
There have to be different families and nations, there have to be different races, different languages, different arts, and even in the same kind of art different expressions, different games, different sports activities, different recreations; yet there can be a kind of genuine underlying globality in all our occupations. This world is not just a shrunken global village; it is one rich Family of God, vasudhaiva kutumbakam, as says the ancient scripture. In it each member of the family has his own unique soul, his own inalienable individuality and it is that which is valued most in the progress of the both. In the all-inclusive collective life is provided the scope for one’s own uninterrupted growth which, in turn, helps to grow itself, symbiotically helping each other. That is what true globalisation should mean. Are we nearer to it?...
If we are to see a purpose in the creation then that purpose would seem to be to live, even here, in the joy of God-awareness. Someone said, “Put God in your programme.” True, but please, also, let God have a programme for us—if there is none. Does he have one? In terms of post-human destinies surely there are possibilities. These possibilities will open more and more when our awareness of the intrinsic values of life start coming into focus. Will this happen? This ought to happen. Earth must transform herself and equal Heaven; or Heaven must descend into earth’s mortal state. This is what Sri Aurobindo the Yogi-Seer of Savitri reveals to us.

Pragmatism or utilitarianism is a fact of existence today; the possibility to widen its scope of action, to bring newer dimensions in its swift operative dynamics, is also an aspect of its broader and ennobling intention. The thetic and the anti-thetic have to meet and join in the synthetic. The division between the secular and the esoteric has to disappear; ‘this’ and ‘that’ must unreservedly merge into its happy oneness. The will of man, his reason, his emotion and sensibility, his deeper and purer intuition, the calm and silent promptings of his soul, and its unobtrusive persuasion, all have to be recognised and given a natural place in the scheme of cosmic functioning. The cry of the Rishi to lead him from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality, mrityormāmritam gamaya, in such an eventuality acquires another poignancy, a luminous poignancy. It becomes an imploration, to put in Sri Aurobindo’s phrase, for “bringing out the Infinite infinitely into form of being”.

That should lead us to understand the nature of a wholesome society which allows different aspects, collective as well as individual, to come together. Perhaps in it is the sense of an organisation that can meet a thousand demands without leading to conflicts. Man is at once a thinker and a warrior and a trader and a worker, the perfectionist of Time. Men might be thinkers or warriors or traders or workers, but all are founded in the inalienable nature of Man, the leader of humanity. The ancients saw in him harmonious expression of the spirit and promoted the social gains in that basic truth.
For them the formula was wisdom-strength-harmony-perfection—and what is there in it which we can dispute? Only when that is established is there a possibility of higher powers entering into the scheme of collective life, eastern or western, be it today or tomorrow, as it was in the deep past. Only then the meaning of globalisation in its full psychological contents can be asserted. Evolution of society with all its propensities has to reach this stage. Men have to arrive at Manhood in order to enjoy the gains of globalisation. The hope is, this will happen sooner than later. The hope is such post-human destinies will unfold by conscious awareness of what the manifesting spirit is proposing to do. RY Deshpande

The Integral Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo

The Integral Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo: A Commemorative Symposium
by Haridas Chaudhuri, Frederic Spiegelberg. 354 pgs. Contributors:
Haridas Chaudhuri, Frederic Spiegelberg Publisher: George Allen & Unwin Place of Publication: London Publication Year: 1960 Subjects: Ghose, Aurobindo,--1872-1950 Table of contents
CONTENTS PREFACE BY THE EDITORS 11
PART ONE: PHILOSOPHY
1.
HARIDAS CHAUDHURI: The Integral Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo 17
2. SATISCHANDRA CHATTERJEE: Mind and Supermind in Sri Aurobindo's Integralism 35
3. FREDERIC SPIEGELBERG: Sri Aurobindo and Existentialism 47
4. S. K. MAITRA: Sri Aurobindo and Spengler: Comparison between The Integral and The Pluralistic Philosophy of History 60
5. CHARLES A. MOORE: Sri Aurobindo on East and West 81
6. K. C. VARADACHARI: Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Philosophical Studies 111
7. ERNEST WOOD: The Concept of Integral Unity 120
8. RAYMOND F. PIPER: Cosmic Integration 124
9. R. S. SRIVASTAVA: The Integralist Theory of Evolution 133
10. N. A. NIKAM: The Problem of Creation: Concepts of Māyā and Līlā 143
11. RUTH REYNA: Integralism: A Philosophie Perennis 149
12. J. N. MOHANTY: Integralism and Modern Philosophical Anthropology 155
PART TWO: EPISTEMOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY
13.
NINIAN SMART: Integral Knowledge and the Four Theories of Existence 167
14. H. P. SULLIVAN: The Integration of Knowledge 174
15. INDRA SEN: The Indian Approach to Psychology 184
16. RICHARD P. MARSH: The Organismic Psychology of Andras Angyal in Relation to Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy of Integral Nondualism 192
PART THREE: YOGA AND ETHICS
17.
PITIRIM A. SOROKIN: The Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo 205
18. RISHABHCHAND: The Philosophical Basis of Integral Yoga 213
19. HAJIME NAKAMURA: Practice of Selfless Action 223
20. ANILBARAN ROY: Gītā, the World Scripture 231
21. JAY R. MCCULLOUGH: The Integral Approach in Sri Aurobindo and Jacob Boehme 239
PART FOUR: LITERATURE
22.
K. D. SETHNA: The Poet of Integralism 257
23. ARABINDA BASU : The Integration of Spiritual Experience 270
24. JUDITH M. TYBERG (JYOTIPRIYA): The Drama of Integral Self-Realization 284
PART FIVE: MISCELLANEOUS
25.
SWAMI SIVANANDA: Sri Aurobindo: The Consummate Expression of the Indian Spirit of Synthesis 297
26. T. M. P. MAHADEVAN: The Significance of Sri Aurobindo 299
27. SISIR KUMAR MITRA: The Nineteenth-Century Upsurge 303
28. SIDNEY KARTUS: World Unity 313
29. TARAKNATH DAS: The Political Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo 321
30. A. B. PURANI: Sri Aurobindo: A Brief Life- Sketch 332
NOTES ON THE CONTRIBUTORS 341
BIBLIOGRAPHY: A Complete List of all the Published Books of Sri Aurobindo in English 348

books on: (Ghose Aurobindo 1872 1950) - 42 results More book Results: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-42 >>
1.
The Integral Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo: A Commemorative Symposium Book by Haridas Chaudhuri, Frederic Spiegelberg; George Allen & Unwin, 1960 Subjects: Ghose, Aurobindo--1872-1950 ...Letters of Sri Aurobindo , First Series, 1950; The Renaissance...New York: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine...on The Gita , 1950; The Human Cycle...Black Ltd., 1950 , p. xii. of the...philosophy of Sri Aurobindo is a world-view...
2.
Tradition and the Rhetoric of Right: Popular Political Argument in the Aurobindo Movement Book by David J. Lorenzo; Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999 Subjects: Sri Aurobindo Ashram ...Auroville. As the legacies of Pondicherry's most-famous modern citizens--the revolutionary-turned-mystic Sri Aurobindo Ghose 1872- 1950 and his collaborator, Mirra Richard 1878- 1973, known as the Mother --the two institutions dominate the...
3.
Brothers against the Raj: A Biography of Indian Nationalists Sarat and Subhas Chandra Bose Book by Leonard A. Gordon; Columbia University Press, 1990 Subjects: Bose, Sarat Chandra--1889-1950, Bose, Subhas Chandra--1897-1945, Nationalists--India--Biography, Revolutionaries--India--Biography ...was young Aurobindo Ghose who became one of...Boses teenage years. Aurobindo, born in 1872, was taken when only...brother Barindra Kumar Ghose, Aurobindo began to make connections...undergraduate days Aurobindo Ghose was easily the most...
4.
A Short History of Philosophy Book by Robert C. Solomon, Kathleen M. Higgins; Oxford University Press, 1996 Subjects: Philosophy--History ...Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948 Nishida Kitaro 1870-1945 Bertrand Russell 1872-1970 Ghose Aurobindo 1872-1950 Max Scheler 1874-1928 Nikolai Berdyayev 1874-1948 Albert Einstein 1879-1955...
5.
Sources of Indian Tradition Book by Theodore De Bary, Stephen N. Hay, Royal Weiler, Andrew Yarrow; Columbia University Press, 1958 Subjects: India--Civilization, India--Religion, Pakistan--Civilization ...Tenets of the New Party, 719 ; The Message of the Bhagavad Gita , 723 AUROBINDO GHOSE: MYSTIC PATRIOT 725 The Doctrine of Passive Resistance, 726 ; Nationalism Is the Work of...More book Results: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-42 >> Top...encyclopedia articles on: (Ghose Aurobindo 1872 1950) - 1 result 1. Ghose, Aurobindo
Encyclopedia article; The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2004
GHOSE, AUROBINDO orobin do gosh, 1872 1950, Indian nationalist leader...Gita (1921 28, repr. 1950). See S. Mitra, The Liberator Sri Aurobindo, India, and the World...Contemporary Relevance of Sri Aurobindo (1973); R. A. McDermott...related resources Sri Aurobindo Ghose Learn about Questia

Voegelin, Ricouer, Bernard Lonergan, and Kierkegaard

kela Joined: 08 27 04Posts: 1807 Posted: 01/14/07, 9:23 pm Post subject: a few thoughts

according to the voegelinians, the other thing about modern ideologues, as "gnostics," is that they view the world as essentially bad (in contrast to the old testament -- "and god said it was good" -- and the platonists). this is related to their atttempt to bring heaven down to earth, to "redeem" the world, as it were. this, according to voegelin, leads to all the deformations of ideology. in other words, the "final solution" is result of the attempt to make the transcendent immanent.
i deal (or will deal) with this attempt to make the transcendent immanent among the neo-vedantins at my site. i make no normative claims however as to whether or not such a thing is necessarily a "deformation" of consciousness as voegelin claims. however, i think that voegelin has indeed found one of the marks of modernity in this idea "immanentizing" transcendent goods; that is precisely how vivekananda and aurobindo speak, and this fact makes them moderns, in this sense.
as for the politics of voegelin, the response to this kind of conservative is that his position merely reflects his attempt to maintain the status quo. it is not necessary even to invoke the ideal of progress, or the ideology of the "left" in general, to note that this kind of conservative is not interested in even the pragmatic or local improvement of the lot of man. "if things suck, well that's just the way things are and that's too bad," seems to be his take on things. that attitude is fine if you are born into privilege, but kinda sucks if you're not. i believe there is a book called "philosophers of consciousness" on voegelin, ricouer, bernard lonergan (a catholic hermeneut), and some others, kierkegaard i think.
Quotes of the Day (or, Only on the Ken Wilber Forum): "I am a fan of quality gibberish..." ~Theos

I don't believe in the Guru model as compatible with Western society

Where do I put my time and energy, myself literally? Chris Dierkes
This kind of spiritual practice is not being developed anywhere except by Andrew Cohen's people. Other spiritual traditions are doing their own beautiful work, but nobody, as far as I know (and I've looked pretty extensively) is doing structures and intersubjectivity as itself a teacher which is the corollary of stages. Again it's not everything but having awakened to (what I see as) its truth, I can't go for less than that.
I have no intention of joining that community. First off, I'm a Christian, my path is already established--I have been trying to incorporate aspects in without becoming syncretistic which isn't always clear...
I don't believe in the Guru model as compatible with Western society anyway. So I'm prejudiced out the gate. I would not recommend any Westerner to any Guru establishment (other than a basic Zen-like the teacher is just your spiritual teacher model), including Cohen. Wilber said that Cohen's voice (and teachings) needed to be heard--I took that seriously and also took it to mean to differentiate the teaching from the teacher/community. Same with Da.
But having gone there, who is with me? Or who I am with? Without a support, my strength is not enough and the collective gravity of life pulls the self down to a lukewarm place. I could of course practice traditional enlightenment, the Big Mind and all the Rest, but I frankly am "unmoved" by all that. The route has mostly become an escape hatch right now...posted by CJ Smith @ 6:23 PM 2 comments

Kittu Reddy's militaristic advocacy as if he were the sole oracle

the argumentative indian and historical revisionism by Rich on Sun 12 Mar 2006 05:56 PM PST Permanent Link
Sen laments the fact that an India whose traditions which were mentioned by Marco Polo as one in which speaking the Truth was paramount: “they would not tell a lie for anything in the world and do not utter a word that is not true” has been superseded by the political rhetoric of the Hindutva in their revision of Indian history. It is therefore discouraging to see the attempt of those in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville to peddle as authentic Kittu Reddy's revisionist The History of India: a new approach. Reddy who is on record as calling for the military invasion and occupation of Pakistan both disparages the great tradition of diversity and tolerance in India and the name of Sri Aurobindo himself, with his revisionist interpretations of historical events.
The notion of a Hindu holocaust at the hands of various warlords and rulers of Turkish, Persian and Arabic origin, - many of whom themselves were fleeing the slaughter and destruction of their own homeland wrought by the invasion of the Mongol hordes -, is one of the more egregious offenses against historical scholarship which Reddy commits. The equating of hundreds of years of Islamic invasions and the looting and pillaging of Hindu India with the five year slaughter of millions of European Jews by Nazi Germany is misplaced and not even metaphorically correct.
Reddy also leaves out some pertinent facts in his account of Hindu victim hood in medieval Indian history. Among the many things Reddy overlooks is the culpability of some Hindus in these attacks. It is a fact that Hindus often served in the armies of the Muslim invaders and some were indeed high ranking officers...
The tracing of the invasion of Islamic armies from the Middle Ages to the present need to force Pakistan down in a military ambit as Reddy advocated in his article on the Kargil crisis is the outrageous consequence of his interpretive framework. That Mr. Reddy's attempts to stamp Sri Aurobindo's name as the authoritative source for his peculiar insights and interpretations of Indian history is the frightening result of his line of ideological thinking.
Mr. Reddy's militaristic advocacy of what course present subcontinent or world polity should take are certainly in conflict with much that is in Aurobindo's major treatises on social and political thought such as, the Ideal of Human Unity and The Human Cycle. To be sure Aurobindo advocated the unity of the subcontinent and believed in the renaissance of Vedic culture however, its renaissance like the greatness of Hinduism itself was seen in its wide embrace of life and transcendent realization of unity within multiplicity. In my reading, while Sri Aurobindo was not a Gandhian pacifist, and even advocated resistance by whatever means necessary to ensure truth and justice persevered in the evolutionary advance of the species, he was simultaneously integral and global in his thinking and envisioned the placement of all nations and cultures within a harmonious world order.
Mr. Reddy's source material for his militaristic interpretations are often suspect. The taking of statements which Sri Aurobindo made (outrageously often taken from conversations and unpublished letters), prior to his death regarding world events in 1950 as proclamations of eternal truths, and prescriptions for actions to be taken now, during current world crisis, is an affront not only to political science and hermeneutics but to Sri Aurobindo's skills as a critical thinker as well.
Such ideological interpretations attempt to turn Sri Aurobindo from an integral yogi into an integral ideologue. The support of such revisionist position by high level figures in the Ashram and even Auroville speak more to personal political agendas and lack of critical thinking skills than to the legacy of Sri Aurobindo's social and political thought. It appears odd that there is little formal debate within these institutions regarding such historical revisionism.
One does not openly find in these institutions any longer the vibrant tradition of argument and skepticism ( which certainly were present during Sri Aurobindo's lifetime) which Sen hails as having served India so well over the centuries in trying to arrive at a view of society that speaks to the grand tradition of pluralism and tolerance which has constituted Indian society for millennium; a tradition that eschews communal hatred. The choosing of revisionist sides in the history debate by the Ashram and to an extent in some Aurovillian corners places both institutions at risk of sliding back into a reactionary religiosity, rather than moving toward the integral spirituality it's founders intended.
by Rich on Mon 17 Apr 2006 06:01 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link The problem with interpretation in Reddy’s essay is that it fails to heed Sri Aurobindo’s own writings on history and the forces of prakriti and evolution which drive it. Mr.Reddy’s assumption that Sri Auroibindo would advocated the same geo-political stance today as in 1950 is seriously flawed as a hermeneutical strategy. Sri Aurobindo was adamant in his assertion that nature which shapes the forces of history are never static but are ever changing and often contradictory in their movement, often making a first move in one direction only to reverse course leaving undone what was the first intention. Good and evil themselves are said by Sri Aurobindo to be shifting qualities. In his militaristic approach Reddy’s view seems to assume that evolution itself should be viewed in a Hobbsian manner as the struggle for existence, and granted many in the Pakistani army may also share this view but Sri Aurobindo had a different idea...
It should be noted that Sri Aurobindo’s own retirement from Indian politics was the result of a “change of mind” regarding the need to continue active resistance against the British. In fact, Mother and Sri Aurobindo were open to changing points of view depending on the changing state of the world and even their views in the conditions necessary for the time and presencing of the supramental descent changed over time. (10,000 to 300 years, primarily individual to collective effort)..
Here Reddy’s own words and references undermine his argument for a military ambit which he of course attributes to Sri Aurobindo. Because after the historical changes which had occurred on the subcontinent since partition and Sri Aurobindo’s passing the Mother seemed to believe that the decline of Pakistan would be the result of its own internal dysfunction. And indeed that Pakistan did dissolve and now there is a country named Bangladesh and not East Pakistan means she certainly was correct; indeed the partition has become unraveled. Not only that, there is widespread internal violence inside today’s Pakistan daily between Sunnis and Shias and between the immigrant and the wider community. However, in his Kargil essay the Mother’s words seem not good enough for the author because he refuses to believe her, or rather he refuses to believe that circumstance in a world in evolution do change. Because he ends his essay advocating a military ambit and among the sources of authority he cites is an unpublished letter from Sri Aurobindo in 1950!?...
Interestingly, a certain Hindutva faction in the Ashram often makes use of a phrase taken from Sri Aurobindo’s radio message of Aug 15, 1947 that: The partition of the country must go! (and I would argue with the dissolution of East Pakistan it is certainly not the same partition as in 1947) but the same faction neglect to also mention that after the phrase the partition must go Sri Aurobindo says: “ it is hoped by a slackening of tension by a progressive understanding of the need for peace and concord, by the constant necessity of concerted action. Even of an instrument of union for that purpose. In this way unity may come about under whatever form – the exact form may have pragmatic but not a fundamental importance.”
by Rich on Wed 19 Apr 2006 01:09 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link The fact, that he cites Sri Aurobindo as the chief religious figure and authority to support his politics of resentment, which he hopes to prosecute with militaristic fervor, is exactly the same politics practiced by Jihadis who justify their religious crusade according to the fatwa or this or that Shaikh or of the words of the prophet Mohammed spoken 1400 years ago. Only in Reddy's estimation it is Sri Aurobindo who has issued a fatwa against Pakistan which the loyal sons of Bharatvarsha must now persecute...
Sri Kanth asserts: “Hindutva seeks to evoke Indian nationalism, demands that Christianity and Islam not convert Hindus against their volition, or by enticement or force, that Hinduism not be sacrificed at the western altar of secularism etc etc. the challenge of Islam must be strongly faced and met.”
If one changes the statement and substitutes the word Christianity for Hinduism and America for India it almost reads like a statement which Pat Robinson or Jerry Falwell of the far American Christan right could have made...
Finally the intolerance which the militant Hindus have displayed in the destruction of the Ayohdya Mosque, the Gujarat and Mumbai riots in which thousands of Muslims (the majority of whom were innocent victims of communal unrest) were killed, along with the well documented merciless slaughter of several Christian missionaries does not exactly encourage one to believe that the followers of militant Hindu Nationalism and the politics of resentment, practice the same religion of tolerance which has been the enlightened legacy of what is called Hinduism. rich
by Rich on Wed 19 Apr 2006 07:02 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link And it seems you have indeed missed the absolute major point of all my post. In point of fact Kittu Reddy can hold any chauvinistic view he chooses. Although I think them misguided that is not the point, my problem is with Mr. Reddy's using Sri Aurobindo's good name to couch his own agenda in. He certainly is free to interpret history as he chooses, however if he advocates military action in which many innocent people can be killed IMO he should have the moral courage to affix his remarks with "This I believe". Moreover, he certainly should not sell his work as if he were the sole oracle who can now convey Sri Aurobindo's intentions 56 years after his passing as he does in his Kargil essay. Rich

The dialectic between mystical and predatory aspects

Re: Hindu Nationalism: Origins, Ideologies, and Modern Myths.
by Debashish on Sun 28 Jan 2007 09:55 AM PST Profile Permanent Link I do not know what Bhatt means by characterizing Hindu nationalism as “a dense cluster of ideologies of primordialism” - perhaps he is talking of divine origin myths, but a much more nuanced view of Hindu nationalism is offered by Wilhelm Halbfass who uses the phrase "cluster of traditions" to characterize the history of Hindu self-identification evolving through time and persisting through cultural transformations of the kind that Bhatt also recognizes
To study "Hindu nationalism" as a political/religious/cultural/spiritual plural discursive phenomenon with its unique and evolving social manifestations (far exceeding in scope any nostalgic ideology of primordialism or monolithic essentialism) one has to trace its history carefully at the least from the Gupta period in India. A contemporary state-sponsored Hindutva can form only one strand of such a discourse. DB
by Rich on Sun 28 Jan 2007 10:34 AM PST Profile Permanent Link Well at least it seems that Bhatt has attempted to parse Hindu Nationalism with a more refined hermenuetic instrument than the reductive methods of authors such as Jyotimaya Sharma, who appear to trace the phenomena back to a sampradaya; a guru lineage of Hindu nationalist. I also think it extremely important to recognize what Halbfass categorizes as "a cluster of traditions" regards Vedantic or Hindu identification. Too often modern commentators (even those I largely agree with such as Pankaj Mishra) simply dismiss Hinduism as a social construction based on European ideas of nationalism. (somehow I see this tendency as akin to the post-colonial notion of Orientalism which as Deb eloquently put it does not recognize the dialectic between its mystical and predatory aspects) rc

Halbfass' account is only a "caricature"

neo Joined: 08 25 04 Posts: 2474 Posted: 01/05/07, 9:44 am Post subject: Culture and integral Yoga for kela. Happy new year de kela Here is a link to a review of Wilhem Halbfass´s book "India and Europe" . I presume you have read it, and I want your opinion about that essay written by a hindu college of yours. .sciy.org/blog/_archives/2006/9/27/2367727
kela Joined: 08 27 04 Posts: 1807 Posted: 01/14/07, 10:04 pm Post subject: a good review...written by someone who appears to know their stuff. but clearly written from the point of view of one of the "true believers" (as the second half of the review reveals). this observation: Quote:
But Halbfass' exclusive selection of Shankara and a few Buddhist thinkers (all examples of an excessive dependence on logic) to make his point of the absence of "experience" as a basis of thinking in Indian philosophy is a gross over-simplification that caricatures the rich and complex field of traditional Indian thought. Though Halbfass draws attention to Bengal Vaishnavism in a footnote when dealing with Debendranath Tagore's deviation from Rammohun Roy in trusting to the primacy of his experience, we find no mention of either Vaishnava, Tantric or Shaivite sources in his discussion of "experience" in Indian tradition. Why this prioritization of Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism?
is excellent, except the bit about "logic." it has f-all to do with "logic" (a charge that reveals the author's new-age slant) and has everything to do with attempting to justify scriptural authority. i thought much the same as the above when i read halbfass and this is precisely what i would like to address at my site someday. i think that much the same can be said for the idea of "inclusivism"; there too, a kind of continuum can be drawn up. personally, as i have noted here before, i think that various modernist movements draw upon and transmute, in various ways, certain tantric notions. various dichotomies, practising/talking; pundit/sage; and experience and its various contrasts, represent adaptations of tantric ideas and ideas from other pre-modern movements that opposed the mainstream brahmanic culture.
it is indeed not as black and white as halbfass seems to suggests in his short articles. of course, he knew this; he was going for a particular effect. to be fair to these topics, each would require separate monographs. halbfass is, perhaps, justified with the experience contrast insofar as people like vivekananda claim to be giving an accurate account of advaita vedanta. but i think halbfass' account it is only a "caricature" if one actually believes that that is the whole picture. i doubt that halbfass actually thought that he was presenting the whole picture. so, "potentially misleading" might be a better description.
the second half of the review, where aurobindo is dealt with, is less interesting and sounds defensive. kela Lightmind Forums Forum Index -> World of Ken Wilber

McDermott's two "Essential" books on Rudolf Steiner and Sri Aurobindo

Heru Joined: 08 25 04 Posts: 1339 Location: The Misty Pacific Northwest Posted: 01/22/07, 4:19 pm Post subject: Wilber and CIIS. I recently read an interesting article by Robert McDermott, Anthroposophical and Transpersonal Worldviews, the only piece I could find on the internet that discusses the relationship of Anthroposophy and Transpersonal Psychology in any depth. Anyways, I remembered McDermott's name for his two "Essential" books on Rudolf Steiner and Aurobindo, as well as that he was involved in some imbroglio six or seven years ago with Ken Wilber.

Ken Wilber, a mere footnote in cultish American religions

Tom A. Says: January 28th, 2007 at 2:01 am BTW, I am reading a book by Anthony Storr about cult leaders, called Feet of Clay, from a few years back. Various cult leaders are profiled, and each is unique, but often Storr addresses a personality quirk of a leader and generalizes it as a common thread for those profiled. A chapter re Wilber would fit right in for an updated edition.
Edward Berge Says: January 28th, 2007 at 10:34 am Tom, Let’s face it, while I’d agree that Ken, Stuart and I-I are a bit scary in terms of being a cult there is absolutely no comparison with Bush and Cheney. The former are a miniscule cult that have virtually no influence in world affairs. (Or in much of any affairs, for that matter.) The latter have real power and are killing human beings for oil profits. That you can make such a comparison probably has more to do with you than with them. It doesn’t even work as hyperbole, and I tend to hyperbolize a lot.
The elephant in this room January 28th, 2007 (posted by Edward Berge) I posted the below in the Lightmind forum but it’s a question I’ve also been asking myself a lot lately. Care to explore our answers?
I really enjoy the discussions in here, as there are some bright, educated minds discussing topics of interest to me. The one thing though that nags at me is that it’s focused on responding to Ken Wilber. Many here have proven time and again that Ken is inadequate to handle the philosophical or poliitcal (or any) issues of the day, so why do you focus on responding to him? He really seems to be an insignicant player on the world stage when it comes to these ideas and he’ll likely be a mere footnote in cultish American religions some day, so what motivates everyone here to spend so much time refuting him? Really, I’d like to know. Posted in Uncategorized 2 Comments » show comments »

Sunday, January 28, 2007

We encourage uneasiness for it often precedes opportunities

Re: Re: Post Human Variations by Richard Carlson Rich Sun 28 Jan 2007 12:34 AM PST Which is why we encourage uneasiness for it often precedes opportunities ...And here you have presented some promising semiotic roads we could go down, ... However regarding the authenticity of experience, these descriptions Corbin provides of the “intermediate worlds” of soulmaking are taken from experiences of yogic-poets of the “Orient” from whose biographies Corbin narrates: Stretching from Zarathustra to Suhrawardi, Ibn’ Arabi, Fayz Kashani, Ahmad Ahsai, Kahn Ibrahimi.
I am again not sure one has to be a Structuralist to perceive certain similarities and affinities between experiences of the intermediate worlds of visionaries be they Zarathustra, Dante, Shakespeare, Blake, Suhrawardi, Ibn’ Arabi, and “some descriptions” which the Traveler of Worlds recites in Savitri. It seems to me that reports of similar psychic terrain and topography in those doing intense sadhana is a verification rather than refutation of inner experience. One should however recognize that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s experience of material instantiation is an evolutionary advance from the imaginal 8th or 9th Climes of Shi-ite theosophy in its syncretism with Mazdean angelology. Theirs is not only the experience of the yogi-poet but the yogi-pioneer as well.
  • Material instantiation takes on a completely new meaning after SA/M and it is precisely the importance they lay on material instantiation which leads me to questions concerning of technology?
  • Are we simply patterns of information to be harvested for computation or are we material instantiations of psychic beings?

It is SA/M insistence of maintaining a poise of intuitive discrimination and psychic discernment which leads me to interrogate the imagination of technology. In an world increasingly permeated by ubiquitous computing and the tyranny of code what happens to creative imagination? Can we perceive a vanishing point beyond which purusha disappears into the calculations of prakriti? Descriptions of imagination should also be further refined here: “Imaginito vera” is more properly described as an “organ of meditation”. It is from “imaginito vera” e.g. meditation that its “organ of perception” or “active imagination” arises, and to which it leads back to, if it is properly effectuated.

As far as I can discern Corbin’s translation of “active imagination” appears to fall along the same mental/intuitive axis as Sri Aurobindo’s use of creative imagination, which also emerges from the silent intensity of meditative aspiration. I think we could all agree that without creative imagination the evolution of homo sapiens would have been stifled long ago. So the topic does have merit in Aurobindian studies of Culture and Evolution as he demonstrated in Future Poetry. But of course more fundamental to the worlds well being than even “active imagination” is the intensity and purity of the instrument of meditation “imaginito vera”, or the field, from which the creative movement emerges. Here again is a description of the intermediate worlds and the Earth of Hurqalya: ...
I think we all could also agree that one must be especially careful when translating and interpreting the categorical taxonomy and imaginative topography of different cultures, epochs and individual experiences. However, if I were to attempt to poet a translation which accounted not only for similarities, but also for ruptures between the Mazdean/Sufi discourse and that of Sri Aurobindo, it would certainly take account Sri Aurobindo’s view of spiritual evolution and I’d venture to say that the “evolutionary” chasm Sri Aurobindo and Mother crossed over was to make Flesh (on this terrestrial earth) “the Earth of Resurrection”.
Re: Post Human Variations by Richard Carlson Debashish Sun 28 Jan 2007 04:01 AM PST
RY, I was playing along here with the taxonomy of Corbin, which undoubtedly, has been developed with different goals, siddhis, in mind than those of the Integral Yoga, but we may see an overlap. In the passage I quoted, it is not the yogi-poet's "imagino vera" but that of Savitri in her psychic journey that I am referring to. And the imaging power here described (as also in Crobin, I believe) is a perception or truth-seeing, not an imagination in the mental sense. DB

My uneasiness with some terms and linking them with Savitri

Re: Post Human Variations ('Imaginary' vs. 'Imaginal') Debashish Sat 27 Jan 2007 07:56 PM PST Thanks for the illumining clarifications on Corbin's Sufi-inspired imaginito vera and archetypal earth. In Savitri, this kind of imaging power of the soul related to a "true earth" which holds the "meaning" of the earth of human experience is touched on in the canto where Savitri finds her soul. The environing scene is one of the world of the gods but quotidian scenes of earth-existence are assimilated to this higher realm in terms of the evolution of the Divine (The Finding of the Soul, Book Seven, canto Five)...
Re: Post Human Variations by Richard Carlson RY Deshpande Sat 27 Jan 2007 09:28 PM PST
Frankly, this discussion is a little beyond me but my uneasiness with some terms and linking them with Savitri prods me into it. In poetry there are several things—simile, metaphor, symbol, image, simulacrum, representation, ideation, etc, etc. Their use in different contexts has different connotations. But in mystic poetry they acquire an altogether different status, particularly so when they are used by an accomplished mystic poet; add to that the exceptional case of a yogi-poet. I wonder whether we can really apply terms like imagino phatastica or the mundus imaginalis, or whatever else in his case.
There is no question of imagination with him,—which is not to mean that he has no power of imagination. Actually, what he sees that he describes. To put it very crudely, he is just reporting his observations. To put it in better acceptable terms, it is a disclosure, it is a revelation that comes to us as if it were an image. Debashish has given one beautiful example of the rock-hewn temple through the gates of which Savitri is entering into the sanctum sanctorum where her soul dwells. There are many other examples in Savitri but here let me quote just one, connected with the world-pile “erect like a mountain chariot of the Gods”: (p. 98) ...
What I am trying to say is that, the Yogi-Poet is not just transcribing his experiences in images or creating new myths for his purposes; he is rather narrating something in which he is living, with the intimate knowledge coming from identity, at times in his consciousness even creating those things in their living truth. But, finally, iconopoeia is only one aspect of poetry with the other two, logopoeia and melopoeia accompanying them. RYD

What would drive our research if not capitalism?

Re: Post Human Variations ('Imaginary' vs. 'Imaginal')
by Debashish on Sat 27 Jan 2007 03:33 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
Ron, The "idyllic scenario" you present where "technology has disappeared into the human" is a seemingly non-dual world mediated by nano-technology. Moreover, you write that in this world "Commodification in the form of physical products is minimal, because we've grown beyond that." I find difficulties in imagining such a world (whether with the imagino phatastica or the mundus imaginalis) because of the two kinds of dualities and the nature of intermiscience of technology and capitalism I have pointed to in my postings on "Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies."
To start with the last, without the driving power of greed, the ignoble motivation of capitalism, it is difficult to think of this flash-point of technological history. What would drive our research if not capitalism? Stalinistic or Hitlerian governments? That would be a prospect far more frightening than neo-liberal globalization. The collective will towards human godhood? Without some desire motivation for the vital ego or some imposed coercion it has been impossible to mobilize the collective will of even small numbers of humans leave alone of the human race so from where can we expect this disappearance of collective apathy in the interests of Science and its global offerings? But even accepting for a moment that by some miracle "[c]ommodification in the form of physical products is minimal, because we've grown beyond that" - i.e. we have outgrown capitalism, what does this mean? Can nano-tech give us a non-dual world-experience?
The answer coming from the integral realization of Sri Aurobindo and that of the accumulated wisdom of Vedantic phenomenology is a resounding "no." No, because tech, whether nano or otherwise is ultimately a modeled reality, a more or less serviceable fragment masquerading as the integrality, not the non-dual knowledge underlying the appearance of Matter or of the totality of Universe or of the equivalence of Subject and Object.
Moreover, no, because a silicon intelligence as the substrate of non-duality has its own conditioning restrictions proper to its ontology - an essence which will always remain "different" from the essence of the human. This is the story of human "civilization" through the millenia - a story of ascent, decline and disintegration and repetitions under innumerable guises but doomed to be a labor of Sisyphus because it is the history of Mind trying to control Life - an ultimate impossibility since the laws of these two cosmic principles co-habiting the world and the human are radically discontinuous.
Finally, no, because the "idyllic scenario" you speak about is one which leaves the individual consciousness as a "consumer" of "universality" (a prime target for future capitalism), not as an universalized individuality. The human here remains dependent on extended prakritic instrumentation of a dubious non-duality and any such dependence is an objectification and commodification of the human. Unless we can be identified with purusha, as RC has brought out in his posting and take posession of the universe through identity in consciousness, we will only be the producers and recepients of imagino phantastica since mundus imaginalis, the Universal Subjective cannot be simulated by prakritic means however holistic but needs realization through becoming the One free of mediation. DB

by Rich on Sat 27 Jan 2007 01:51 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
The language of the Mazadean angeology of Corbin's inspired Sufism, would suggest that the soul has its own occult physiology chiefly expressed in its organ or perception which Corbin refers to as imaginito vera or active imagination. Although creative imagination finds its source here, the highest function of this organ of perception is to symbolize events in this world with their instantiations in other occult universes, chiefly among these is what he refers to as the archetypal earth (Earth of Hurqalya) of which this planet we know is but a faint echo. The development of this vision requires the cultivation of a subtle organ of perception that resides on a plane which materialist technology has no access (nano-technology included). To put it in Bertrand Russell's philosophical terminology, it is an organ of perception of a different logical type than any technological apparatus - which merely extends our gross earthly senses - can facilitate.
Moreover the transmutation of matter into the reality of its spiritual correspondences can only be accomplished by elevating sense data or sensual experience through this organ of the soul's perception. Here is a brief summary I have made, of the imaginal process whose goal is to facilitate the appearance of the angel. The angel has two aspects which are expressed as the individual soul (anima) and the soul of the world (anima mundi) From Corbin's masterpiece Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth -from Mazdean Iran to Shi-ite Iran - (Princeton University Press Bollingen Series)
1)The organ of sight is active imagination
2)Because of the psychic effects it produces in him who meditates and interiorizes it, is essentially carried out in the Earth of Hurqalya. (archetypal earth)
3)Alchemy transmutes the terrestrial elements into the subtle elements of the Earth of Hurqalya
4)The active imagination will not produce some arbitrary , even lyrical, construction standing between us and reality but will on the contrary function directly as a faculty of knowledge just as real as the sense organs. The organ is however not a sensory faculty but an archetypal image The property of the Image will be precisely that of effecting transmutation of sensory data, their resolution into the purity of the subtle world, in order to restore them as symbols to be deciphered
5) It changes the physical datum impressed upon the senses in a pure mirror, the things and beings of the earth raised to incandescence allow the apparition of their angels to penetrate to the visionary intuition.
6) The world of archetypal images is an intermediary world in which transmutation of the ephemeral into spiritual symbols take place and which, by virtue of this the world where the resurrection of bodies is effected
7) The angel takes shape exactly at the point where sensory data are raised to the diaphanous state of the active imagination rc

Fragments of consciousness

December 09, 2006 Discussions elsewhere
fragments of consciousness a weblog by david chalmers
Elsewhere on the web, there have been a number of recent discussions that may be of interest to readers of this weblog, some of which I've been involved with. Berit Brogaard has made a number of interesting posts about two-dimensionalism: e.g. Chalmers on De Re Epistemic Ascriptions, 2Dism and Epistemic Extension, Modal Adverbials, and Another 2D Puzzle. The last two of these have had lively discussions that have clarified a number of issues. Eric Schwitzgebel posted on Chalmers on "Modal Rationalism", again with a lively and useful discussion thread. Pete Mandik's work-in-progress blog has hosted a discussion of Brendan Ritchie's paper "Dualism and the Limits of Conceivability", as well as a lively thread on Hyperbolic Mary. Wo has a post on Conceivably Possible Zombies. Esa Diaz Leon has a post on Stoljar on actors and zombies and two on my paper "Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap". Robert Howell at Brain Pains has two posts on Daniel Stoljar's "Categorical Phenomenalism", with a reply by Stoljar. As always, Conscious Entities has a lot of interesting material on consciousness. And Mixing Memory has a fine zombie music video.
Update: See also a very interesting exchange between John Bengson, Adam Pautz, and others at Close Range on Being Aware of Uninstantiated Universals. Also, Berit has a new post on 2D and Context-Sensitive Predicates. December 09, 2006 in Web Comments (0) TrackBack (0)

Philosophers working on consciousness

October 22, 2006 More people with online philosophy It's been about a year since I posted an update here concerning the page of people with philosophy papers online. In the meantime, the list has grown a lot, thanks as ever to Ming Tan's help. The new additions include some well-known philosophers working on consciousness, such as Janet Levin, Joe Levine, Martine Nida-Rümelin, and Scott Sturgeon.
Other additions include Brad Armendt, Lynne Rudder Baker, Berit Brogaard, Ruth Chang, David Christensen, Eros Corazza, Garrett Cullity, Stephen Davies, Eric Dietrich, Ron Endicott, Peter Gardenfors, Carl Gillett, Clark Glymour, Chris Grau, Paul Griffiths, Alan Hajek, Lloyd Humberstone, Peter van Inwagen, Kevin Kelly, Berel Dov Lerner, Peter Lipton, Pascal Ludwig, David Macarthur, Ishani Maitra, Genoveva Marti, Alyssa Ney, Mark van Roojen, Joe Salerno, Samuel Scheffler, Gila Sher, Mandy Simons, Peter Slezak, Isidora Stojanovic, Patrick Suppes, Charles Travis, Kadri Vihvelin, Joan Weiner, Josh Weisberg, and Dean Zimmerman. Plus many others, along with many updated and moved pages. For another source of online papers on consciousness (both science and philosophy), check out the ASSC ePrints server. October 22, 2006 in Papers, Website Comments (1) TrackBack (0) fragments of consciousness a weblog by david chalmers

Saturday, January 27, 2007

For a former emergentist such as myself, it took a very long time to finally accept that Chalmers was right

Consciousness Anand Rangarajan 07.26.2006 permalink
The person who has done the most (in my opinion) to resurrect the problem of consciousness and bring it back to the forefront of analytic philosophy is David Chalmers. Chalmers has achieved two very important and unrelated things.First, he overpowered Daniel Dennett in a knockdown, take no prisoners metaphorical battle. (This battle was also a generational conflict in that it pitted a boomer against a Gen-X). Two of the very best books on consciousness in the 90s were Daniel Dennett's _Consciousness Explained_ and David Chalmers' _The Conscious Mind_. Dennett's book is about the best you can do if you wanted to fit consciousness into the existing scientific framework. In retrospect, Dennett's deconstruction of the self - as a “center of narrative gravity” wherein the one and the many are simply two focal endpoints in perspective - is brilliant in the way it uses deconstruction as a tool to accommodate consciousness.
In sharp contrast, Chalmers - after exhaustively searching for a way for scientific materialism to be true - comes to the conclusion that consciousness cannot be explained in the current scientific framework.Second, Chalmers in the course of showing that consciousness cannot be accommodated in the present natural order, also comes to the conclusion that almost all varieties of emergence cannot be sustained either except for a radical emergentist view wherein consciousness 'pops out' at a certain level of complexity. (All other forms of emergence are shown to be fundamentally inadequate.) Radical emergence becomes rapidly unpalatable when you carefully examine it in this light. For a former emergentist such as myself, it took a very long time to finally accept that Chalmers was right and that one must look elsewhere for a fundamental theory. Tagged with: Chalmers, Dennett, consciousness, emergence, materialism, complexity

Weak perspectivism is different from strong absolutism

Perspectivism Anand Rangarajan 09.03.2006 permalink
I've been reading ”Nietzsche's Perspectivism” by Steven D. Hales and Rex Welshon lately. Tremendous book. Especially for people caught in a naiive relativist trap - y'know where “It's all relative anyway” said in a vague, unfocused tone for maximum effect. The effect in this case being the throbbing of a particular vein on my forehead followed by the vein threatening a walkout.
First, Hales and Welshon formulate a version of strong perspectivism which is (approximately)“Every statement is true in some perspective and untrue in another.”Still somewhat vague. Hales and Welshon's notes unpack this asFor all x, there exists a y and there exists a z such that P(x) implies [R(y) and R(z) and T(x,y) and the negation of T(x,z)]where P is a one place predicate “is a statement”, R is a one place predicate “is a perspective” and T is a two place predicate “is true in.”If strong perspectivism is true in all perspectives, then there exists a statement that has the same truth value in all perspectives, namely, the strong perspectivism statement above. Big problem since that would mean that strong perspectivism is absolutely true. Oops.
Hales and Welshon, after carefully diagnosing this problem, go on to formulate a version of weak perspectivism which is (approximately)“There is at least one statement such that there is some perspective in which it is true and some perspective in which it is untrue.”Hales and Welshon's notes unpack this asThere exists an x and there exists a y and there exists a z such that P(x) and R(y) and R(z) and T(x,y) and the negation of T(x,z) is true.
Weak perspectivism is different from strong absolutism. The authors go on to point out that weak absolutism (the negation of strong perspectivism above) and weak perspectivism are consistent. That is, they can co-exist happily since weak absolutism implies that there could be statements which have the same truth value in all perspectives and weak perspectivism implies that there is at least one statement that has different truth values in some perspectives.Great stuff, right? There's a lot more. Check it out. Tagged with: perspectivism, Nietzsche, weak, strong, absolutism, relativism

The Riddle of this World and The Life Divine

Re: 03: The Foreknown and Fatal Morn RY Deshpande Sat 27 Jan 2007 06:27 AM PST
Evil at Life's Afflicted Roots A Sanskrit prayer invokes good auspicious things to all, sarvéşām bhadram astu vah. The Mother’s supplication to the divine Master is: “May all beings be happy in the peace of Thy illumination!”
But the roots of life are afflicted by evil and the question that always haunts us is, how does God permit evil, if God is all-good, summum bonum? give rise to evil, summum malum? can a perfect creator cause imperfection in his creation? in the divine’s world arise the undivine?
But we see good and evil, perfection and imperfection, divine and undivine under life’s duress and not in the freedom of the spirit. It is human reason that gets baffled at the dichotomy appearing in front of it, not only in evil and good, but also in truth and falsehood, ignorance and knowledge, pleasure and pain, light and darkness, life and death, everywhere. “Is this your God who created pain, evil, falsehood, error, sin, the whole dark-skinned brood?”—effectively asks Savitri’s disturbed mother Malawi to Narad who has announced the death of Satyavan one year after the marriage. Is this your God…. The Mother would say, it is a bad question. Malawi was asking a bad question. What she can rather ask is, how has this happened in his world?
Sri Aurobindo answers it in his Riddle of this World and of course in The Life Divine. But before we see that, let us have a look at the best formulations that have tried to give an exposé of the same.
For Plato the question of good and evil was positional, arising out of our ignorance of things. Spinoza does not find real difference between good and evil; he took a relativist’s position and thought good and evil as subjective experiences of the individual, and that there is complete identity of spirit and nature. According to him, there are three kinds of evil: physical, moral, and metaphysical. In the last limitation is the cause of evil.
Christian philosophy has, like the Hebrew, uniformly attributed moral and physical evil to the action of created free will. Man has himself brought about the evil from which he suffers by transgressing the Law of God, on obedience to which his happiness depended. Evil is in created things under the aspect of mutability, and possibility of defect, not as existing per se: and the errors of mankind, mistaking the true conditions of its own well-being, have been the cause of moral and physical evil. Adam in the Garden of Eden used his free-will, due to excessive love for Eve as Milton says, and paid the price for doing what he was told not to do, told not in uncertain terms.
Use of free-will in a state of imperfection is bound to lead to such disastrous consequences. For correcting such wrong-doings crucifixion is the precious remedy. If existence is fundamentally evil, then the only way to overcome it is by abandoning it altogether, by Nirvana, by going into the impersonal state. Such a view could lead us to the extreme philosophy of pessimism. Greek thinkers, however, considered that distrust and doubt could be overcome by wise and virtuous conduct; they were positivists.
For Plato God was blameless (anaítios) and the cause of evil rested with the imperfection of the material existence. But if evil is due to two opposing hostile principles, as we have in several religions, for instance in Zarathustran Ormuzd and Ahriman, independent of each other, then the talk of possibility of a better world will be meaningless. The extreme position will then lead to the evil as inherent in Matter, with good in God, making Matter and Spirit irreconcilable. In the presence of permanent evil the retributive justice of religion becomes anathematic to reason. The sin of mankind arising out of his free-will passes on the buck to it.
I contrast to such dualistic formulations, monism views evil merely as an interaction of human agency with nature, making nature as the begetter of evil. Haeckel’s extreme materialism in which substance or matter is the basis of all things has no place for any other cause for the appearance of evil. In the theory of pragmatism the world is what we make. Going beyond good and evil, Nietzsche-like, the future man will get endowed with the will-to-power, making him the master of everything. When such a man, Nietzsche’s superman with titanic power arrives, there will be no evil. But the occult truth of the presence of evil is beyond mental formulations. It is present at Life’s afflicted roots. This is what the Yogi-Poet sees and tells, sees and tells because he has experienced it so.