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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Religion, more than a “private” matter

Michael and Jana Novak Britannica Blog - February 27th, 2007
There is much public evidence that the top Founders saw religion as considerably more than a “private” matter, even though all agreed that religion, at least the religion in which they were formed, requires that each conscience consult only the evidence available to each. Their practice was often public–we mean, in the official acts and discourse of the state–and at the same time respectful of the diversity of consciences...
There was no more need for the Constitution to mention God than to abrogate the great Christian principle of limited government: “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Most Christians even today regard immortal life as a communion with God, with their friends, and all those historical greats whom they admire–an everlasting conversation. So did virtually all the Founders in their brief asides on the subject.

Equating intellectual totalism with political or capitalistic totalitarianism

The Religious, the Spiritual and the Secular - A Review by Debashish Banerji by Debashish on Thu 19 Oct 2006 01:21 AM PDT Permanent Link
Undoubtedly, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother believe that their teaching leads to the Truth, but they do not expect all human beings to believe this, nor do they encourage their disciples to convince others of it. Without being overt, Minor directs some rational skepticism at Sri Aurobindo's Truth-claim as being based on no authority other than personal experience and the disciples' consequent need to accept his word for it.
Though Sri Aurobindo's Truth-claim does proceed on the basis of his personal experience, it also justifies itself through a hermeneutic analysis based on Veda, Vedanta and Bhagavad Gita. This again, is nothing new in the Indian spiritual context, Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhavacharya, Chaitanya and numerous others establishing their claims for Truth based on these same double foundations of experience and textual interpretation.
As for Sri Aurobindo's inclusivism, it does not obliterate its "others", but as Minor himself notes, is not averse to criticize what it considers their failings and limitations as seen from its own standpoint. Thus, they are not erased in his realization, and are free to hold their self-identifying differences. At the same time, Sri Aurobindo does show how these alternate traditions may be extrapolated into his own integral Truth, not losing themselves or being pre-empted in the process as in Advaita. The absolutism of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, encompassing Being and Becoming and all the historical approaches to a realization of Reality can undoubtedly be called a grand form of inclusivism.
Contemporary western thinking, operating in the wake of Hitler and Stalin and under the shadow of the Enlightenment's self-fulfilling prophecy of capitalistic globalization, is particularly fearful of and averse to grand narratives, equating intellectual totalism with political or capitalistic totalitarianism. But if the seeking for a total rational description of Reality characterizes the trajectory of western metaphysics, it is no less present in Indian philosophical systems either, with the difference, that the Indian systems rely not merely on the mind's plausible speculations on the nature of Reality, but on the power of a spiritual or supramental experience and its reproducibility. This is a critical distinction for two reasons:
(1) The Truth-claim of a mental model is not experientially fulfilling and is much more likely to seek its fulfillment in the "outside world" through a conversion or erasure of otherness, particularly if there is a teleology attached to it; while a "spiritual" or "supramental" Truth-claim directs its fulfillment "within", through individual practices aimed at reproducing universal subjective experiences.
(2) Whereas a mental rationality is constrained to view logical opposites as irreconcilable, a "supramental rationality" is under no compulsion to do so, appealing to an experience that transcends mind.
Thus, in a quotation of Minor from Sri Aurobindo, "... the Absolute, obviously, finds no difficulty in world-manifestation and no difficulty either in a simultaneous transcendence of world-manifestation; the difficulty exists only for our mental limitations which prevent us from grasping the supramental rationality of the co-existence of the infinite and finite or seizing the nodus of the unconditioned with the conditioned. For our intellectual rationality these are opposites; for the absolute reason they are interrelated and not essentially conflicting expressions of one and the same reality." [Minor, 26 quote from SABCL XVIII, 377]
Thus, Sri Aurobindo's "thought" and practice need to be located in an Indian philosophical tradition, whose epistemological bases are different from those of the West. It is a failure to recognize this or to give adequate credence to it that is the source of Minor's fear and skepticism and results in a perpetuation of a form of intellectual neo-colonialism.
Minor's consideration of the Mother and her founding of Auroville follows the same argument as that in the case of Neo-Advaita and Sri Aurobindo's claim for Truth. Minor points to the Mother's more trenchant distinction between "religion" and "spirituality" and her explicit disavowal of "religion" from Auroville. He goes on to document the formation of the township of Auroville, under the Mother's guidance and authority in 1968, and the important part played by the Sri Aurobindo Society in the fund-raising, organization and obtainment of Indian government and UNESCO support for the city.
Throughout this documentation, Minor brings to light the ambiguities relating to the categories of "religious", "spiritual" and "secular" that encircle all discussions relating to the city. He makes note of the Mother's claim for the basis of the township being "the Truth", by which she means the vision of Reality taught by Sri Aurobindo and herself. He explores the presentation of the idea to the Indian government and UNESCO and their resultant understandings. Here, he shows the strategic presentation of the project to the Government by the Sri Aurobindo Society, underplaying the specifics of Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's world-view and the location of Auroville within its teleology and amplifying the "secular" aspects of world harmony and environmental awareness. It also played on the "cultural hero" status of Sri Aurobindo in the "national" consciousness.
The Indian state, on its part, supported it for these reasons. It also satisfied its national agenda of playing an important role in UNESCO as a promoter of international understanding and cultural harmony, and hence, the government sought and obtained UNESCO support for the project. Minor points out that the Mother was well aware of the fact that the support of the Indian government and UNESCO had been given for the wrong reasons, promoting "tolerance", not "integration" [Minor, 107].
He quotes the Mother's message to UNESCO on February 1, 1972, as aimed at correcting this shortcoming by making a direct reference to the supramental: "Auroville is meant to hasten the advent of the supramental Reality upon earth. The help of all those who find the world not as it ought to be is welcome. Each one must know if he wants to associate with an old world ready for death, or to work for a new and better world preparing to be born." [Minor, 107 quoting from the Mother, Collected Works XIII, 221]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wealth in the mind of light

Flower of the week 16: Water Lily Series - {Blue Water Lily}
Egyptian Legend: In the beginning were the waters of chaos ... Darkness covered the waters until ... the Primeval Water Lily rose from the abyss. Slowly the blue water lily opened its petals to reveal a young god sitting in its golden heart. A sweet perfume drifted across the waters and light streamed from the body of this Divine Child to banish universal darkness. This child was the Creator, the Sun God, the source of all life. So the Primeval Water Lily closed its petals at the end of each day... Chaos reigned through the night until the god within the water lily returned. ... the Creator ... knew that he was alone. This solitude became unbearable and he longed for other beings to share the new world with him. The thoughts of the Creator became the gods and everything else which exists. When his thoughts had shaped them, his tongue gave them life by naming them. Thoughts and words were the power behind creation. -- The Waters of Chaos, Ancient Society
Significance given by The Mother: Wealth in the mind of light
Meaning: Open to all higher ideas
If you want to be a true doer of divine works, your first aim must be to totally free from all desire and self-regarding ego. All your life must be an offering and a sacrifice to the Supreme; your only object in action shall be to serve, to receive, to fulfill, to become a manifesting instrument of the Divine Shakti in her works.You must grow in the divine consciousness till there is no difference between your will and hers, no motive except her impulsion in you, no action that is not her conscious action in you and through you. Until you are capable of this complete dynamic identification, you have to regard yourself as a soul and body created for her service, one who does all for her sake.
Even if the idea of the separate worker is strong in you and you feel that it is you who do the act, yet it must be done for her. All stress of egoistic choice, all hankering after personal profit, all stipulation of self-regarding desire must be extirpated from the nature.There must be no demand for fruit and no seeking for reward; the only fruit for you is the pleasure of the Divine Mother and the fulfilment of her work, your only reward a constant progression in divine consciousness and calm and strength and bliss.
- Sri Aurobindo The Mother See Picture: Blue Water Lily posted by Ranjini @ 9:12 AM, Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Where the subconscious and the superconscious are both accommodated

My problem is that my training as an analyst does not suffice to unlock the riddle of existence. While I believe that Freudian subconscious is the source of our biological and atavistic drives, I cannot also ignore the mystic’s description of the superconscious as the source of our highly evolved impulses. This means that one suffers not only from the repression of one’s biological drives but also can suffer from suppression of the sublime (Reddy, 1988).
This also means that to increase my repertory of counseling skills, I need a framework of reference where the subconscious and the superconscious are both accommodated in their proper places. This pursuit leads me to search for a model of Integral Psychotherapy (90). Soumitra Basu, Consciousness and its transformation Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 10:42 AM, Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Varuna fired my imagination

Heinrich Luders' posthumously published work Varuna fired my imagination and prompted me to come to close grips with the text of the Rigveda with eyes unclouded by the valuable but in many ways disputable work of earlier Vedists (p.273)... The philological work on which his conclusions are based is impeccable and even brilliant, as Paul Thieme acknowledges (281)... The work of interpreters like Bergaigne, Oldenberg, Bloomfield, Luders, Renou, Thiem and Gonda (are) of great interest(112)... I suppose, one can, with some ingenuity interpret all the Vedic deities thus, following Meillet's principle, already adumbrated half a century ago by Usener, that they are all deifications and personifications of abstract concepts (291)... [J.L.Mehta: 1990] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 11:04 PM, Saturday, October 15, 2005

A new view of Man as consisting of more than simply a brain will be emerging

INTEGRAL ECOLOGY James W. Patterson Sunday, February 25, 2007
In one of many contributions made by Sri Aurobindo, to what is now known as "Integral Ecology", was a reference to "Dharma", a term familiar in India, and in recent years known in the West as well. He said of this term that ones Dharma was "upholding of tradition and the fulfillment of one's social position and responsibility."
The relevant perspective I would like to expand upon just a bit is "ones social position and responsibility" and how ones view of this is determined not by ones cognitive choice alone, but as a subtle consequence of multiple and unknown processes working within the whole of oneself. In the fairly near future, a new view of Man as consisting of more than simply a brain will be emerging, and as this new perspective takes into account the "whole" of the human being, or what I refer to as the WRHB, for "Whole Resonant Human Being", what we traditionally considered "choice" will be much more complicated. As we discover the difference between the brain and the MIND for instance, we will have to determine which is responsible for our choice. Ones brain relative to the current matter at hand, or some subtle agenda being pushed by ones MIND which is coloring ones cerebral choice?
And as if the personal processing was not complicated enough, what will happen when this matter of "choice" moves into the legal arena? What determinations will we have to make as to guilt and innocence, for example? These are "future" problems and they relate to an evolving humanity seeking a greater understanding of previously unknown dimensions of those within it, just as the problems of our changing environment demand a more expanded and "integrated" understanding of previously unconsidered dynamics.
Sri Aurobindo, who was living the history of Eastern mysticism, spoke of a need for Man to awaken what he labeled a "super mind"as part of the natural Spiritual maturation of Man in his nation. His view was that this elevating of consciousness would rise within Man almost like a rising tide lifts all boats. The question I believe is not to doubt his view, which seems more reasonable than not, but to rather ponder whether this naturally rising consciousness might not need some help in keeping the timbers of the dock from crushing each other in lateral movement?First one must anticipate the rise of the tide... and this is probably not a "normal" thing to do since most people are quite busy living their present life and rarely consider what has not happened as yet. So, we are looking for those among us who tend to be "abnormal". To me the term "abnormal" has a different connotation that it may hold for you?
I simply mean those who are naturally pulled toward future looking. Those among us whose view is anticipatory rather than focused on what has just happened. Some do this intellectually and some do so via psychic precognition. The intellectual is speculative and based on assumption, while the other is speculative and based on facts that must be interpreted. Both are usually ignored by a world attempting to keep up with the present rate of evolutionary change.
There is a need to make common what has traditionally been of limited interest. That which philosophers have pondered for generations is rapidly becoming what the average human being must begin to ponder. But who will bring the highly speculative down to earth for common consideration? Sheer numbers makes this task difficult. One man in a small village yelling of a fire may awaken those close to him, but if it is the forest just outside of the village that is burning, more voices must be raised to sound the alarm to the entire village. But if many are misinterpreting a fog bank in the red of early morning...
There must be a training of specialists whose role is to teach others, who in turn will spread the word of both change, and how this change can be comprehended. To accomplish this task, the "specialists" must be Knowledgeable of more than just what the brain can know. And this is where the various realities that are being named today, with new and different names, must be found by those "unusual enough" to cognitively and empathically bring all this barely emerging body of awakening realities into an understandable whole. No small "responsibility" and certainly one requiring an unusual Dharma.
My own view of the future parallels that of Sri Aurobindo, and not unlike him, I too have looked to the Eastern mysticism and "insight" to discover that the more things change, the more they remain the same... not in appearance, but in basic and fundamental Reality. It is the emerging unknown within Man that the MIND within Man will try to run from, and in so doing cause Man to stumble and panic. It is the reinforcing of a subtle and flexible "upholding of tradition", of making change less frightening by the "specialists" that will allow Mankind to "fulfill its social position and responsibility"absent excessive pain and suffering.
The "specialists" must receive a training that is both intellectually substantial, and emotionally capable of removing them from the panic that those around them will insist they participate in. The only way to practically achieve this level of detachment is to eliminate fear of the unknown from within oneself. As one empties from "within" oneself the misperceptions of fear held within his/her MIND, into these spaces rush Consciousness as Knowledge, and it is this Knowledge that allows the "specialist" to touch others with understanding and cooperation. Surely the virtues of the future will be understanding and cooperation and the challenge lies in discovering who among us are the "specialists" of the future?
My next offering will attempt to identity the "specialists" among us, and to suggest what changes in their education might be required to "tap" the unique potentials within them if they are to guide us into a future that seems to be escalating relative to rate of change. Posted by James W. Patterson, Ph.D., Esogist at 2:30 PM

Be skeptical of our own skepticism

Foreword to James Gardner's "The Intelligent Universe," by Ray Kurzweil by rjon on Mon 26 Feb 2007 02:26 PM PST Permanent Link
Ray Kurzweil wrote this article as the introduction to James Gardner's new book, The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos. It's a good summary of Ray's latest thinking. Though its very techno-optimistic view is contrary to the post-modern skeptical flavor often presented on SCIY,
I've been following Ray's thinking for years and continue to be impressed with his erudite scholarship.. Bill Joy recounts his experience in a now well-known Wired Magazine article "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us," where he recounts expressing his skepticism to Ray at a break during a conference, and being blown away by Ray's incisive responses to each of his critiques. This conversation caused Joy to become a believer in the real possibility of Ray's projections, so much so that he dedicated the next few years of his life to campaigning for a voluntary "relinquishment" of AI research until humanity had evolved the moral wisdom to deal with what he believed were the inherent dangers of super-intelligent computers.
In any case, I believe it's an important function of SCIY to present viewpoints that are contrary to our own; to be skeptical of our own skepticism. (A reference to Garner's previous book, BioCosm, is posted here on SCIY.) Foreword to The Intelligent Universe by Ray Kurzweil

Dave Hutchinson, a long-time devotee and scholar of Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo and A New World
“Sri Aurobindo was an exceptional yogi of the last century, as well as a poet and revolutionary. Along with The Mother, he pioneered the Integral Yoga, a path that aims for the complete transformation of the individual, society, and the world.”
Sri Aurobindo, a spiritual teacher during the first half of the 20th Century, wrote and taught about the coming new world. Join us as we talk with Dave Hutchinson, a long-time devotee and scholar of Sri Aurobindo. Dave has written several articles and summaries of Sri Aurobindo’s major works. Dave has a background in nursing and presently works at the UC Davis Health System. Dave has studied and practiced yoga for 30 years, is past president of the Sri Aurobindo Association and has been the editor for the journal, Collaboration. He currently resides in Sacramento, California.
Listen here as Dave gives you valuable insites into the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. For more information about the life and teachings of Sri Aurobindo, go to: http://www.miraaura.org By jo posted on Monday, February 26th, 2007 Empowerment, General Topic

The traditional religious model is also a top-down one

Why can't religion be common cause?
MUKUL SHARMA The Economic Times TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2007
What can one say about developing a religion where the ultimate organising principle is not one derived from divine inspiration but, instead, relies on the wisdom and contribution of the masses? That it openly militates against the notion of an omnipotence? Or, that it tacitly underscores the importance of human divinity?
In the field of computer programming the concept is not new. It’s called open source design where the source code of a software is made available to the general public with either relaxed or non-existent intellectual property restrictions. This allows users to create self-generated content through either individual effort, or collaboration. The result of this meritocratic system — in one case at least — has been the operating system called Linux. On the other hand, the older and more established model is where the code is held invisible and securely sacrosanct by a handful of program creators residing in the body of an all-powerful corporate identity which cannot be questioned. Such as the Windows operating system of Microsoft, for instance. It’s a hierarchical system.
Similarly, the traditional religious model is also a top-down one where a body of clergy gets organised into successive ranks or grades with each level subordinate to the one above. It’s a religious rule by a group of ranked people. Alternatively, an open source religion would aim to make its creed inclusive, amenable to change and responsive to collective inputs, working on the assumption that every aware, conscious and sentient spirit is divine and has direct access to truth. Above all, there would exist no unnecessary authority figure — the idea being that groups are often smarter than the smartest people in them.
One example of such a religious movement is Yoism whose followers claim that their version of open source religion does not owe allegiance to any spiritual guide, but that rather the sense of authority emerges from the group via consensus. Critics object to such a movement being called a religion on those very grounds itself — namely, that it doesn’t talk about any revelation from the divine. They also say that it embraces a transitory view of reality which contradicts traditional notions of religion based on belief in fundamental truths. But what is the truth? And how can we be certain about its fundamentality? In fact, open source followers aver there always exists the possibility of one day discovering that all our current truths are wrong.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The tuning of the violin is not merely a physical but also a mental work

Lessons from a Yogi by Anuradha Vashisht Life Positive Apr - Jun 2004 What is the nature of the journey the yogi makes from an ordinary life to one of mastery and realisation? In what Sri Aurobindo shared about his life and work, we have glimpses of the effort this journey entails
Mastery through attitude—how does this gospel apply to a yogi? In Sri Aurobindo we have an example of a person involved in the most demanding work (as a key leader of the freedom movement in early 20th century), physical hardships (imprisonment and solitary confinement), a person amidst the hue and cry of life, silently pursuing yoga-sadhana within. Not in an ashram or a secluded forest, but in politics and media, in courtroom and jail—these were the places of meditation and yoga for Sri Aurobindo.
Said he: “I spent the first part of my imprisonment in Alipore jail in a solitary cell and again after the assassination of Noren Gossain to the last days of the trial... I was carrying on my Yoga during these days, learning to do so in the midst of much noise and clamour but apart and in silence... My Yoga begun in 1904 had always been personal and apart; those around me knew I was a Sadhak but they knew little more as I kept all that went on in me to myself.”
Born perfect? Is a yogi born perfect? Does he also have to exert his will to overcome weaknesses in his nature so that the ordinary experiences of life become extraordinary, or is everything handed to him on a platter, and his only business is to meditate, invoke and receive? Though much is not available about Sri Aurobindo’s personal life, there are a few hints to the contrary. The yogi too has to ‘plod on’...Says Sri Aurobindo: “It took me four years of inner striving to find a real Way, even though the divine help was with me all the time, and even then, it seemed to come by an accident; and it took me ten more years of intense Yoga under a supreme inner guidance to trace it out and that was because I had my past and the world’s past to assimilate and overpass before I could find and found the future.“Why did not everything open up in me like the painting vision and some other things? All did not. As I told you I had to plod in many things. Otherwise the affair would not have taken so many years (30). In this Yoga one can’t take a shortcut in everything. I had to work on each problem and on each conscious plane to solve or to transform and in each I had to take the blessed conditions as they were and do honest work without resorting to miracles. …I was also noted in my earlier time before Yoga for the rareness of anger. At a certain period of the Yoga it rose in me like a volcano and I had to take a long time eliminating it.”
Another instance is present in an interaction with his disciple, Nirodbaran.Nirodbaran: “No joy, no energy, no cheerfulness. Don’t like to read or write—as if a dead man were walking about. Do you understand the position?”Sri Aurobindo: “I quite understand; often had it myself devastatingly. That’s why I always advise people who have it to cheer up and buck up.“I have borne every attack which human beings have borne, otherwise I would be unable to assure anybody that ‘this too can be conquered!’ At least I would have no right to say so…the Divine when he takes on the burden of terrestrial nature, takes it fully, sincerely and without any conjuring tricks or pretence… “The psychic being does the same for all who are intended for the spiritual way, men need not be extraordinary beings to follow Yoga. That is the mistake you are making, to harp on greatness as if only the great can be spiritual.”
In the world: How did Sri Aurobindo carry on with his spiritual practice in the midst of work like political action and all kinds of pressures? He says: “I wanted spiritual experience and political action together. I would not take up a method that required me to give up action and life.”“I first began on my own with pranayama, drawing the breath into my head. This gave me good health, lightness and an increased power of thinking. Side by side certain experiences also came. But not many nor important ones. I began to see things in the subtle. Then I had to give it up when I took to politics. I wanted to resume my yoga but did not know how to begin again.“When I came to Baroda from the Surat Congress (1907), Barin (Sri Aurobindo’s brother) had written to me that he knew a certain yogi—Lele… He (Lele) asked me to do nothing but throw away all thoughts that came to my mind. In three days I did it…I realised the Silent Brahman Consciousness. I began to think from above the brain and have done so ever since. Sometimes at night the Power would come and I would receive it and also the thoughts it brought and in the morning I would put down the whole thing word by word on paper.“In that very silence, in that thought-free condition, we went to Bombay. There I had to give a lecture at the National Union. So, I asked him (Lele) what I should do. He asked me to pray. But I was absorbed in the silent Brahman and so I told him I was not in a mood to pray. Then he said he and some others would pray and I should simply go to the meeting and make namaskar to the audience as Narayana, the all-pervading Divine, and then a voice would speak through me. I did exactly as he told me. On my way to the meeting somebody gave me a paper to read. There was some headline there which caught my eye and left an impression. When I rose to address the meeting the idea flashed across my mind and then all of a sudden something spoke out…”
Yet another instance:“From the balcony of a friend’s house, I saw the whole busy movements of Bombay city as a picture in a cinema show: all unreal, shadowy. That was a Vedantic experience. Ever since I have maintained that peace of mind, never losing it even in the midst of difficulties…. Before parting I told Lele: ‘Now that we shall not be together I should like you to give me instructions about Sadhana.’ In the meantime I told him of a Mantra that had arisen in my heart. He was giving me instructions when he suddenly stopped and asked me if I could rely absolutely on Him who had given me the Mantra. I said I could always do it. Then Lele said there was no need of instructions… Some months later, he came to Calcutta. He asked me if I meditated in the morning and in the evening. I said, ‘No.’…I had received the command from within that a human Guru was not necessary for me. As to dhyana—meditation—I was not prepared to tell him that I was practically meditating the whole day.“All that I wrote in the Bande Mataram and Karmayogin (nationalistic newspapers) was from that state. I have since trusted the inner guidance even when I thought it was leading me astray. The Arya (Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual monthly) and the subsequent writings did not come from the brain. It was, of course, the same Power working. Now I do not use that method. I developed it to perfection and then abandoned it.” (From Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo by A.B. Purani)
Finding balance“Two things are necessary in this yoga—balance and a strong hold on the earth. By balance I mean the different parts of the being adjusted to one another, or some steadiness, a quiet poise somewhere in the man—not an unsteady inner condition.“A strong mental being is also very necessary. Otherwise, when the experiences come the man turns upside down.… To combine the inner development with the outer would be ideal. Science, for instance, steadies reason and gives a firm grounding to the physical mind. Art—I mean the appreciation of beauty pure and simple, without the sensual grasping at the object—trains up the aesthetic side of the mind…. Philosophy cultivates the pure thinking power. And politics and such other departments of mental work train up the dynamic mind. All these should be duly trained with the full knowledge that they have their limited utility. Philosophy tends to become mere mental gymnastics and preference for one’s own ideas and mental constructions. So also Reason becomes the tyrant and denies anything further. But if the training is given to these parts with an understanding of their limitations then they may serve very usefully the object of this yoga. As I say, they must all admit a higher working in them.”
A perfect yoga requires perfect balance. “First of all I believed that nothing is impossible, and at the same time I could question everything.... A perfect yogi can have strong imagination and equally strong reason. Imagination can believe in everything while reason works out the logical steps.”
Moving within: On April 4, 1910 Sri Aurobindo arrived in Pondicherry where he was to remain till the end of his bodily life in 1950. This period has little to tell on the outside. As Sri Aurobindo himself said regarding an attempt to write his biography: “The attempt is bound to be a failure, because neither you nor anyone else knows anything at all of my life; it has not been on the surface for men to see. In my view, a man’s value does not depend on what he learns, or his position or fame, or what he does, but on what he is and inwardly becomes.”The 40 years at Pondicherry were a period of intense sadhana and groundbreaking work in the spiritual realms that were to produce permanent mutations in world events and the entire future of humanity and the earth. Sri Aurobindo’s attempt was for the whole humanity, for earthly evolution, to bring down a “principle of inner Truth, Light, Harmony, Peace into earth-consciousness”.
To escape into it and achieve moksha, liberation for his soul, was easy enough. But this was not the aim of his work. Nor was it to establish this higher divine principle only in the spirit, resulting in loss of spiritual status when one performed works in everyday life. Once established even at the lower planes of mind, vital (emotions, desires, energies of action) and physical, each and every act, thought, movement would reflect divinity, not only as a state of peace but in dynamic action. Sri Aurobindo’s own life was proof of this: “I had no urge towards spirituality in me, I developed spirituality. I was incapable of understanding metaphysics, I developed into a philosopher. I had no eye for painting—I developed it by Yoga. I transformed my nature from what it was to what it was not…not by a miracle and I did it to show what could be done and how it could be done. I did not do it out of any personal necessity of my own or by a miracle without any process…. I also did not do it by myself, if you mean by myself the Aurobindo that I was. He did it by the help of Krishna and the Divine Shakti. I had help from human sources also.”
A new consciousness: What was this work? “It is the higher Truth I seek, whether it makes men greater or not is not the question, but whether it will give them truth and peace and light to live in and make life something better than a struggle with ignorance and falsehood and pain and strife. Then, even if they are less great than the men of the past, my object will have been achieved. For me mental conceptions cannot be the end of all things. I know that the Supermind is the truth.…
“I am seeking to bring some principle of inner Truth, Light, Harmony, Peace into earth-consciousness; I see it above and know what it is—feel it ever gleaming down my consciousness from above and I am seeking to make it possible for it to take up the whole being into its own native power.... I believe the descent of this Truth opening the way to a development of divine consciousness here to be the final sense of the earth evolution…
“What we are doing at present is to make ourselves fit instruments for the higher Truth, so that when it comes down there will be the proper instrumentation for its working. We won’t reject life; we have to bring a new consciousness into the external work. Supposing I am preparing fish for the cats. That is not my Supramental work. But as it happens to be there I do it, so as to be able to do anything that is needed in the proper way, without mistake. The tuning of the violin is not merely a physical but also a mental work, while this work is infinitely more complex. We have not to do our work mechanically, we have to become conscious of the forces that are at work and find out those that make for success and those that make for failure. We have to bring about the right movement.
“Life has no ‘isms’ in it, Supermind also has no ‘isms’. It is the mind that introduces all ‘isms’ and creates confusion… A leader who thinks too much and is busy with ideas, trying all the time to fit the realities of life to his ideas hardly succeeds. While the leader who is destined to succeed does not bother his head about ideas. He sees the forces at work and knows by intuition those that make for success. He also knows the right combination of forces and the right moment when he should act.” Not only was this work possible, it was inevitable, for Sri Aurobindo believed that ‘the descent of this Truth opening the way to a development of divine consciousness here to be the final sense of the earth evolution’. And it was this that formed his special focus of concentration during the years at Pondicherry. lifepositive.com

A future based on the principle of becoming

After the Catastrophe is before the Catastrophe by Otto Ulrich by RY Deshpande on Sat 24 Feb 2007 11:26 PM PST Permanent Link
Rationalistic and narrow-minded approaches have long been suggesting that only an intelligent and technologically sound change of external circumstances can prevent the susceptibility to catastrophes inherent in “our” type of civilization. This vulnerability has been the subject of discussion since the sixties of the last century.

At present it seems that people like Johannes Scotus Erigena, Rudolf Steiner and Sri Aurobindo receive their due recognition. They have pointed out already a long time ago that it is crucial to provide opportunities for the human being to develop his/her inner being. Only those people who recognize and develop their inherent spiritual potential will be able to create a future based on the principle of becoming, a future which is humane and supportive of all life.

Materialism, seen as the child of the Age of Enlightenment and as an epochal phenomenon, has always been and still is orientated towards that which has become, which means that which is already dead. Is it possible that a new and free perspective will finally overcome materialism and its life-threatening contradictions and catastrophes – a perspective which can rise above the inevitable dire consequences of one-dimensional thinking in order to create a different future rooted in global thinking and global respect?
Dr. Otto Ulrich, born in Germany, is social scientist and physical engineer. In the eighties he was several years engaged in international energy politics. Today he is narrative writer of an intercultural story: www.koenigin-europa.de and game-designer. (See http://www.sciy.org/blog/_archives/2007/1/6/2627445.html)

Jung knew better than anyone else in our time who Hitler really was

During the war I published a magazine in favour of the Axis, called La Nueva Edad ("The New Era"), and then suddenly I met some SS and a little later my Chilean Master, who revealed to me the secret roots of Hitlerism and "who" Adolf Hitler really was: a magician who had the power to come voluntarily out of his body and communicate with other unbodily beings...
We know that Jung recognized National Socialism as a resurgence of the Wotan "Shadow" of the Germanic folk. Did Jung view the release of this archetype as a positive or a negative phenomenon?
I think that this Swiss professor knew better than anyone else in our time who Hitler really was. In the book of Professor McQuyre, Jung Speakinqs, published by Princeton University Press, three interviews of Prof. Jung on Hitler are reproduced. One is in the Observer of London, another in an American newspaper and the third in the Radio Berlin, at the end of 1938. In these interviews Jung stated that Hitler was possessed by the collective unconscious of the Aryan race. This means that Hitler was the spokesman of the whole Aryan world. In order not to repeat the same, I can tell you that I studied and explained this extraordinary situation in my book Adolf Hitler, the Last Avatara, published in Chile...C. G. Jung compared Adolf Hitler with Mohammed in an interview given before the war.
Editor's Notes: Jung's theories on the collective unconscious lent themselves readily to National Socialist and other volkisch philosophers. Indeed, Jung himself had written,
"No doubt, on an earlier and deeper level of psychic development, where it is still impossible to distinguish between an Aryan, Semitic, Hamitic, or Mongolian mentality, all human races have a common collective psyche. But with the beginning of racial differentiation, essential differences are developed in the collective psyche as well. For this reason, we cannot transplant the spirit of a foreign race in globo into our own mentality without sensible injury to the latter, a fact which does not however, deter sundry natures of feeble instinct from affecting Indian philosophy and the like."
Weltanschauung livejournal userinfo archive journal archive An Interview With Miguel Serrano [Feb. 25th, 200710:51 pm](from The Flaming Sword No. 5, February 1995) (c) 1995-1998 Realist Publications PO Box 1627, Paraparaumu New Zealand. Miguel Serrano served as Chilean Ambassador to India, where he studied and practised the teachings of the Tantras of Saivism (followers of Shiva).

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Mother has created a special concentration of energy in Auroville to accelerate the yoga of evolution

Shraddhavan believes that, even if the aspiration to live a spiritual life is there, most of us still live like ordinary human beings most of the time, while some of us seem to be doing nothing else. “Our own ‘Aurobindonian' brand of spirituality is not strongly enough expressed here. It is still not a sufficiently dominant strand in our collective life,” she says.
“One reason is historical,” says Shraddhavan. “Some people miss having a living guru who gives daily guidance. And we had a difficult past when Auroville broke away from the Ashram.” She refers to the early days of Auroville when there was a strong feeling in some that all that was available from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram was just mumbo-jumbo; that all that was needed was The Adventure of Consciousness or Mother's Agenda. At the same time, there was a tendency to a zealous and excessive use of quotations, which resulted in a kind of ‘Mother-said' syndrome. Moreover, quotations were often used by people who themselves were not living up to what they quoted. Says Shraddhavan, “As a kind of inheritance from those years, some Aurovilians, and Auroville's youth in particular, developed a disgust and do not want to hear any more speeches about The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Many Aurovilians also have developed a healthy reluctance to speak about something they feel they cannot live up to. We do not want to be marked as a sect, we do not want to preach, and in consequence, we leave people free to their own inner development – but perhaps fail to pass on information about our own inspiring experiences that would be helpful to others.”
Another reason is that Auroville's path of Karma Yoga is probably not sufficiently understood. The Mother, in Her last message to Auroville, stressed that the particular yoga Aurovilians are supposed to be doing is Karma Yoga, which has as focal point the surrender of all one's activities to the Divine. But many people need help to understand and practice this path, and there is no one in Auroville who offers it. Individuals are left to themselves. Perhaps for this reason quite a few Aurovilians and Newcomers feel the need to visit other gurus or attend other disciplines. In recent years, Savitri Bhavan has been inviting lecturers from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and elsewhere, and their courses are increasingly well attended. “Those who have grown up in the Ashram carry something special,” says Shraddhavan, which is perhaps one of the reasons for the growing attendance. Another one may be an increasing inner need.
Finally there is the aspect of collective yoga. Says Shraddhavan: “I believe that The Mother has created a special concentration of energy in Auroville to accelerate the yoga of evolution. When she talked about collective yoga, she conveyed not only that everybody who connects gets affected, but also that the force field acts like a churn, making all that needs to change rise up. This may be one of the reasons why Auroville seems such an impossible society at times, with so many problems surfacing.” auroville.org/avtoday/May_2006 - Carel

Friday, February 23, 2007

Why leave out half of the picture?

Tusar N Mohapatra said... What was the state of the society in India at those ancient times? That'd give a rounded picture of the human situation. 2/22/2007 10:52:00 PM
Minke Whale said... I see what Tusar is getting at. The focus on Jewry as the main locus of human spiritual advance leaves out the Indus Valley chain of religious thinking, one that extended from 3000 BC to today and has had an effect on Asiatics similar that of the Hebrews on the Occidentals. So what gives? Why leave out half of the picture? 2/22/2007 11:40:00 PM
Gagdad Bob said...The state of India 3,000 yeara ago? Not sure, but judging by what it was like 300 years ago, probably not too good. India was transformed by the Judeo-Christian descent of British colonialism. The rule of law is a tad better for the average Indian's spiritual development than the caste system and suttee. This is not to say that Judeo-Christian spirituality cannot use a boost from Vedantic principles, but first things first. 2/23/2007 04:22:00 AM Gagdad Bob said...I mean, if Tusar doesn't like the West, he can stop using his computer any time. Not to mention anti-biotics, the telephone, airplanes, and 99% of other modern inventions. 2/23/2007 04:25:00 AM
interested said...One more India dig Who produced Genesis as a scripture? Who produced the Kama Sutra as a "scripture"? Having said that I believe that India is a very promising country thanks very much to the British. Next goal is to trace the arc of Salvation through Great Britain don't you think Bob? 2/23/2007 05:20:00 AM
Van said... India wasn't too well off 300 years ago, but chiefly because it was absolutely devasted 1700 years ago by the muslim hordes in what historian Will Durant called THE bloodiest episode of conquest in the history of Man. Not to paint them with lost-edenic-lenses, but prior to the muslim invaders, this was a country that had sporting events comparable to the Super Bowl (un-televised of course) with audiences in the thousands for philosophical debates... but afterwards little more than barbaric ruination. The situation was only interupted and began to be salvaged with the ascent of Brittish Colonialism, which for all of it's 'shortcomings', was supremely better than the dark age Raj system. (Hmm 80 posts, no politics... hmm) wv: npumjoet - no comment 2/23/2007 01:12:00 PM
See links to this post
Phase 1 Sacrifice "There are many good books on mankind's practice of human sacrifice -- again, it is our "default" religion -- but perhaps the best one is Violence Unveiled by Gil Bailie, because he places it in the context of the overall arc of ... posted by Bob @ 2/22/2007 10:19:00 PM
Plato or Aristotle hardly reflected the average mentality of the time One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin. There are many good books on mankind's practice of human sacrifice -- again, it is our "default" religion -- but perhaps the best one is Violence Unveiled by Gil Bailie, because he places it in the ... posted by Tusar N Mohapatra @ 2/22/2007 09:55:00 PM <<>

So lets break rituals, and instead live and act in the spirit of things

Feb 22 2007, 10:34:42 PM IST in category [Thoughts & Philosophy]
Though I have been to Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Society, Pondicherry many times, it was the first time that I got the opportunity to visit The Mother's room on Her birthday - 21st February. Day before the Darshan, I got a chance to listen to the ongoing talk-series on Savitri by Dr. Anand Reddy in the Hall of Harmony, Ashram School. He utilizied last fifteen minutes to enlighten and to prepare the audience to not treat "Room Darshan" as a "Ritualistic Room Darshan", in fact he expressed his reservation against the use of the word "Room Darshan".
Let us take example of a simple pranam. When a person goes to temple or samadhi or any such pious place, he/she bows down before the deity/guru and in many cases, such a movement is largely ritualistic. One may wonder...how? Usually, when there is a deep aspiration or when a prayer rises from the heart (and not mind) or when expressing gratitude or any feeling of surrender, the body will automatically participate and its culmination will be a pranam, such a pranam is a non-ritualistic one, instead when the pranam is directed by the mind upon seeing the deity/guru, it becomes a ritualistic pranam. So lets break rituals, and instead live and act in the spirit of things.
Every once a while we have the habit of treating ourselves to good things that we enjoy and most of the times we would like ourselves to be in comfort zone of operation. However, we need to be harsh with ourselves and then only can we progress in our lives. I believe that this not only applies to the spritual sphere of individual's development, but in all the spheres of individual's progress be it Professional, Soft Skills etc... to name a few. In my view, to be harsh means to introspect (all thoughts, actions, interactions, and professional work that we carry out on daily basis) and give a ruthless unsympathetic self-feedback, this in turn will enable us to make right choices and act decisively next time around. So, how about turning - "being harsh" in to a habit?
Never before have I come across such a crisp and concise explanation which I found in the book: The Mother Volume 3 - Questions and Answers. I have noted this down here:
"You are to be conscious of yourself, you must awake to your nature and movements, you must know why and how you do things or feel or think them; you must understand your motives and impulses, the forces, hidden and apparent, that move you; in fact, you must, as it were, take to pieces the entire machinery of your being. Once you are conscious, it means that you can distinguish and sift things, you can see which are the forces that pull you down and which help you on. And when you know the right from the wrong, the true from the false, the divine from the undivine, you are to act strictly up to your knowledge; that is to say, resolutely reject one and accept the other. The duality will present itself at every step and at every step you will have to make your choice. You will have to be patient and persistent and vigilant - 'sleepless', as the adepts say; you must always refuse to give any chance whatever to the undivine against the divine."
Indeed, such jolts are needed to shake people (including me) so that they become more introspective and point inwards towards deeper self-scrutiny. Comments [1]
Comments: Hello Mr. Dalal, Very well protraited saying on your article above. A inspiring one it is indeed. With best regards H.Vyas Mumbai. Posted by Hemang Vyas on February 23, 2007 at 11:50 AM IST #

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In the Mother’s War Sri Aurobindo took full charge of the situation

Re: 05: A Many-hued inner Dawn by RY Deshpande
on Wed 21 Feb 2007 09:51 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
Does it not remind us of Douglas Bader, the legless British pilot shooting down Nazi planes in the Battle of Britain? His squadron's first sortie during the Battle of Britain was on 30th August 1940, which shot down of 12 German aircraft over the Channel in just over an hour. Bader himself was responsible for downing two Messerschmitt 110. His 23 victories made him the fifth highest ace in the RAF. Bader advocated the concentration of fighters into large packs, an experiment that paid off, and his special unit knocked down 152 German planes in a month. After screening the movie Reach for the Sky: The Story of Douglas Bader, the Mother said: “That is exactly the kind of determination one must have to practise the yoga of integral perfection.” (7 June 1963)
During the early phase of the War, Hitler was marching triumphantly with his panzer divisions destroying Paris. “Having won the Battle of France decisively,” reports Nirodbaran, “Hitler now turned his attention to winning the Battle of Britain. He fixed 15 August 1940 as the day on which he would complete his conquest of Western Europe and broadcast from Buckingham Palace. When Sri Aurobindo heard of this he remarked ‘that is the sign that he is the enemy of our work…’ But 15 August turned out to be a turning point for Britain. On that day 180 German planes were shot down in British skies… A month later, on the same date, 15 September 1940, Sri Aurobindo said smiling: ‘England has destroyed 175 German planes, a very big number. Now invasion will be difficult. Hitler lost his chance after the fall of France. He has really missed the bus!’ ” Another force was set up against him.
In the Mother’s War Sri Aurobindo took full charge of the situation. Behind Hitler’s success he saw the working of a powerful Asura in the task of “enslavement of mankind to the tyranny of evil.” This would have been a setback for the course of spiritual evolution for which Sri Aurobindo was working. None knew about it. The Last Turn was well negotiated. Not only did he apply his yogic force when such catastrophic events were taking place; he and the Mother also made a monetary contribution to the War fund. In their letter to the Governor of Madras dated 19 September 1940 they declared: “We feel that not only is this a battle waged in just self-defence and in defence of the nations threatened with the world-domination of Germany and the Nazi system of life, but that it is a defence of civilisation and its highest attained social, cultural and spiritual values and of the whole future of humanity. To this cause our support and sympathy will be unswerving whatever may happen; we look forward to the victory of Britain and, as the eventual result, an era of peace and union among the nations and a better and more secure world-order.”
Who in this land of ours had the idea of the disaster that was waiting for mankind in the victory of the Nazi way of life, of Hitler’s running over nations and countries? None. It seems that we had lost our heads and our souls. If at all, there was the charismatic appeal to the gullible to side with the devil in his doings. The one who had proclaimed himself as the Lord of the Nations, the Asuric power of Falsehood, had found in Hitler his perfect instrument in the gruesome task of annihilation of the world. Here was Mahatma Gandhi with the ethico-religious mind recommending submission to the Falsehood that was at the basis of this dark creation. His Times letter in July 1940 addressed to the Britishers runs as follows: “I want you to fight Nazism without arms, or, if I am to retain the military terminology, with non-violent arms. I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these but neither your souls nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.”
Putting such an ultra-Christian doctrine on the highest pedestal of ethical excellence, making it an eminent principle of administration in the daily mode of life of the individual as well as of a whole society is not only to dwarf them; in fact, in its cruellest sense it is to turn all towards anti-humanity. And what is the efficacy of such a doctrine in its functioning? It sucks away the life-blood of a nation; it strangles the spirit of freedom and happy enterprise; it kills with a dark knife the very soul of man.
A great humane and respectable virtue meant for another kind of pursuit is converted into a deadly weapon of destruction to push everything into the abyss of spiritual oblivion, into the sunless worlds that are enveloped in blind gloom, andhena tamasāvratah, as the Isha Upanishad would declare. Was the Mahatma promoting the Rule of the Asura? It seems so, if not consciously and deliberately but unwittingly. Did not the same thing happen at the time of Cripps’s Mission in 1942? Woe to the nation who turns its blind eye to the Rishi dedicated to the Divine cause. India’s willing participation in the War effort was necessary and the British Prime Minister of the time, Winston Churchill, had made a proposal through Sir Stafford Cripps to the Indian leaders with the possibility of Dominion Status to the country after the War. But it was turned down. This Last Turn led to a calamitous result. We are reaping fruits of it even today and we don’t know how long we shall. RYD

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The absolute reality and the concept of unity in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy

Charu Sheel Singh Bookseller: Vedams eBooks (P) Ltd (New Delhi, ., India) Price: US$ 15.92 (ISBN: 8126111267) 237 pp.
Contents: The advent of Sri Aurobindo: his message to India and the world/ Karan Singh.
I. Literature:
1. Lakshya in Sri Aurobindo's poetry/Prema Nandakumar.
2. Sri Aurobindo's theory of poetry and Shakespeare/R.S. Pathak.
3. Sri Aurobindo's Savitri as a spiritual epic/G. Nageshwara Rao.
4. Arwind Ki Kavya Chetna/Ram Murti Tripathi.
5. An exquisite excellence: the poetic technique of Sri Aurobindo/Purnima Mehta.
6. Baiji Prabhou and The Red Badge of Courage/Goutam Ghosal.
7. Savitri: Sri Aurobindo's spiritual romance/R.K. Singh.
8. Aristotle's concept of Hamartia and Sri Aurobindo's Rodogune/R.N. Rai.
9. Beyonding the phenomenal: psycho- spiritual exploration and Yogic transformation in Sri Aurobindo/S. Murali.
10. Fictions of the original: polysemic nature of Aurobindo's Vasavadutta/ K.M. Pandey.
11. Sri Aurobindo as a writer of English prose/Sah Jagat Narain.
12. Sri Aurobindo' s aesthetic and Mandala literary theory/Charu Sheel Singh.
II. Philosophy:
13. Aurobindo's philosophy: its relevance in the present Indian education scenario/K.P. Pandey. 14. Some problems of synthesis of Western and Indian stand-points in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy/H.M. Joshi.
15. The absolute reality and the concept of unity in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy/G. Sundara Ramaiah.
16. Sri Aurobindo's contribution to philosophy/U.C. Dubey.
17. Theory of nationalism and human unity in Sri Aurobindo's political philosophy/Om Prie Srivastava.
18. Sri Aurobindo: the master and the guide/Ram Rishi Shukla.
19. Report on proceedings of the national seminar on Aurobindo's home-coming centenary

Sri Aurobindo's philosophy as well as his poetry and plays

Sri Aurobindo: Critical ConsiderationsO. P. Mathur ISBN: 81-7977-022-2 Publisher: Prakash Book Depot, Bareilly Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 272 Price: Rs 300 . (Now available with SABDA)
This anthology of essays by eminent scholars attempts to fill a need "for a book which could project as many as possible of the major aspects of Sri Aurobindo's multi-faceted achievement." The various contributions cover both Sri Aurobindo's philosophy as well as his poetry and plays.
Contributors include:
O.P. Mathur, Former Professor and Head, Dept of English, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
Vibhakar Dabral

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It is only the external form of the revelation that differs

Posted on Apr 17th, 2006 by M. Alan Let's face it, there is no way I am going to suddenly believe that every other philosophy and teaching in the whole world is 100% wrong and only a literalist, fundamentalist very narrow and word for word literal reading of the New Testament is absolutely true, and that that is the one and only Divine Revelation in the entire cosmos for all time. It's just not going to happen! Likewise, no way in the world will R. broaden his understanding to accept that other faiths have equal authenticity and Truth. And should he even do so? He has his spiritual path, it is right for him. Who am I, why do I have the arrogance, to question that?
Also, why am I even bothering? I know it is just the “vital being” (Sri Aurobindo), and samskaras from a past life (probably my 19th century English life, when I was raised a British Israelite), getting me stirred up. Oh, how tempting it is to argue, to debate! And how futile!!! And it's not just me that falls prey to this. I set up several email forums and we see this all the time; the original Peace and Tranquility is lost and people get stirred up in mental arguments, thus losing sight of the Light of the SoulSo in the end I politely said to R., we have to agree to disagree, goodbye, (he still sends me stuff though)
Anyway, after I had written that, and turned off the computer, and went to bed and was reading Sri Aurobindo's Synthesis of Yoga, and what do you know, just the part I was reading happened to have an exact description of the True Essence, the True Light of what Christianity and all these other monotheistic religions are saying!!! ...
And where does all this leave Sri Aurobindo's beautiful summation of belief in God? And where does it leave R., a sincere, well-meaning, good-natured guy with an inflexible evangelical mindset? Well, one possible explanation is as follows.The original experience, the innert core and essence of Christianity, is true, and good, and Light, and it is how Sri Aurobindo describes belief in God. And this is the same for the Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Wiccan, whoever. It is only the form of the external form of the revelation that differs.
Posted on Apr 8th, 2006 by M. Alan And it was all part of the craziness because everyone in the universe had descended to this one world, which as The Mother points out is the locus of transformation (see her quotes and my comments at The Earth as the Focal Point for Cosmic Transformation) and this is where it is all to be decided. But this world is already so crowded, and almost everyone (except for a tiny few) are caught in their own concerns, and there is so little receptivity or nature or wilderness left.This experience of despair and feeling the auras etc only lasted for a short time, a minute or a few minutes, because I realised that the only thing that can be done, in this tiny, crowded, precious, unique, vessel of cosmic transformation that is our world, is to offer everything up , offer it all up to the Supreme, all the despair and all the rest, and be a center for transformataion.
Because the transformation can only come from within, and it won't be the ego or the outer being that can save the world and transform the cosmos (tikkun in the language of Jewish mysticism).So once you switch to that consciousness it is ok, you are no longer centered on the surface being; instead you are centered more on the higher self, what Sri Aurobindo (following The Mother, following Theon) calls the Psychic Being, the Divine Center. Even if it isnt the full Psychic Consciousness, it is still that the outer being has been touched by the Divine Center, and hence has shifted away from its own center of gravity to a larger center of gravity...
It is only through becoming selfless centers of aspiration for the Supreme, so that it is not we who do these things, but rather the Divine (or call it what you will, Cosmos, Godhead, Tao,…I only use the words “The Divine” for sake of coinvenience following Sri Aurobindo and the Mother) working through us, unfolding the Divine Plan with us as selfless co-creators (so selfless that one cannot say “I”)…. It is only in this way that there can be the Victory of the Supreme in and as the material cosmos. Access: Public 6 Comments views (527)

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's teachings has been transforming my subcsonscious

4 days later Bob said Alan, Congratulations on turning 49. Before you know it you will have to collect your pension! All of this should make us aware that with every second which passes our life is getting shorter, and shorter. We are not here forever, and I hope you will put your nose to the grindstone with your projects. I am counting on you to be successful with your book projects but you do seem to continually change your mind, and revise them!
It might be a good idea to put a note in them saying that you have this tendency so that people will understand any lack of consistency! Above all it is now time to get something into print (no more procrastination please!). Just one book to start with is enough to get things going. The second one can come after. You must try, and fully establish yourself more, and more as a serious philosophic-esotericist…so to speak!!
A book (s) would do you credit on this matter. I must say I do not fully understand Theta Therapy. At least it has helped you which is good thing, and your experience with Gangaji has been likewise. I am glad to see that Aurobindo, and the Mother are still playing a great part in your life….and long may this continue. Robert You have to be a Zaadz member to post comments. Login or Join now!
Need to spend more time writing my books Posted on Feb 20th, 2007 by M. Alan Hi all
The last couple of days I've had a computer problem which hopefully is straightened out now (although i won't know for sure until tomorrow!). But as with all such crises, this one comes at the right time - in terms of my spiritual development and guidance - and gives a message. So it is upto me to listen to what the message is. In fact I have been thinking for a while that I really need to spend more time on my books and less time online. Already my theta work (I'm just using the term “theta” for convenience, as I've already merged the technique with my own revelation based on elements of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's teachings) has been transforming my subcsonscious, clearing out all the built-up dregs and self-limitations...
Interestingly, after logging on today I noticed my associate Robert's comments after my previous blog post. And really what he is saying is exactly what I feel, so I'm taking this as a confirmation and encouragement.

I would not wish to belong to a universe that I was able to fully comprehend

Quantum Physics, abstractquant-ph/0611261From: D. M. Appleby [view email] Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 01:56:12 GMT (14kb) Concerning Dice and Divinity Authors: D.M.Appleby Comments: Contribution to proceedings of Foundations of Probability and Physics, Vaxjo, 2006
Einstein initially objected to the probabilistic aspect of quantum mechanics - the idea that God is playing at dice. Later he changed his ground, and focussed instead on the point that the Copenhagen Interpretation leads to what Einstein saw as the abandonment of physical realism. We argue here that Einstein's initial intuition was perfectly sound, and that it is precisely the fact that quantum mechanics is a fundamentally probabilistic theory which is at the root of all the controversies regarding its interpretation. Probability is an intrinsically logical concept. This means that the quantum state has an essentially logical significance. It is extremely difficult to reconcile that fact with Einstein's belief, that it is the task of physics to give us a vision of the world apprehended sub specie aeternitatis.
Quantum mechanics thus presents us with a simple choice: either to follow Einstein in looking for a theory which is not probabilistic at the fundamental level, or else to accept that physics does not in fact put us in the position of God looking down on things from above. There is a widespread fear that the latter alternative must inevitably lead to a greatly impoverished, positivistic view of physical theory. It appears to us, however, that the truth is just the opposite. The Einsteinian vision is much less attractive than it seems at first sight. In particular, it is closely connected with philosophical reductionism.
Full-text: PostScript, PDF, or Other formats
A large part of the philosophy of the mind consists of various rather unconvincing attempts to understand how the brain, conceived in reductionist terms, can give rise to consciousness. One of the reasons I am interested in the epistemic point of view is that I feel that when properly developed it may lead to a much more satisfactory, non-reductionist way of thinking about the mind-brain relationship.
The ambition to “know the mind of God” is not realistic. But I would go further than that. I would question whether the idea is even attractive. Suppose one really could comprehend the universe in its entirety. Might this not be found a little cramping? If the universe really could be comprehended in its entirety it would mean that the universe was as limited as we are. It seems to me that living in such a universe would be rather like trying to swim in water that is only six inches deep.
Groucho Marx once said that he would not want to belong to a club that would have him as a member. In a similar vein, my personal feeling is that I would not wish to belong to a universe that I was able to fully comprehend. Against this vision, of physics as knowing the mind of God, I would like to set another: physics as swimming in water that is a great deal deeper than we are—perhaps even infinitely deep. koantum matters 18 February 2007

Integrative spirituality is central to the revelation of authentic teachers like Sri Aurobindo and The Mother

Stages ofhigher consciousness: From surface consciousness to divinisation
Integral Esotericism - Part Seven
Alan Kazlev
The various inner states of existence (i.e. anything beyond Gross / Asiyatic) may also be pertinent to an understanding of the Intermediate zone or region (described by Sri Aurobindo), which constitute states of realisation between the true infinite inner divine plane and the more limited and imperfect outer or superficial planes and being. Everything from the subtle to the transcendent, if considered or mistaken for the authentic egoless liberation and enlightenment, could be included under the Intermediate zone. This is explained in the above diagram, which also incorporates the four-fold Vedantic and Theonist division and Aurobindonian Integral psychology and metaphysics...
By Integral Spirituality I mean transformative practice leading to the Integral enlightenment and eventually the divinising of the individual nature and the collective and ultimately global evolution. Integral Spirituality seems to be absent from the Wilberian movement, as Wilber's book of the same name actually refers to the newest iteration of his intellectual philosophy. However, integral or integrative spirituality of some form is central to the revelation of authentic teachers like Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and more recently A.H. Almaas (however there are other authentic teachings who still taught a more one-sided approach, such as the enlightened sage Ramana Maharshi). I interpret Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's Integral Yoga as the paradigmatic and most comprehensive example of Integral Spirituality, but this is not to deny the validity of other paths as well.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Many subjects referred to in The Qur'an have a bearing on modern knowledge

CELESTIAL ORGANIZATION By Dr. Maurice Bucaille
The information the Qur'an provides on this subject mainly deals with the solar system. References are however made to phenomena that go beyond the solar system itself: they have been discovered in recent times. There are two very important verses on the orbits of the Sun and Moon:
--sura 21, verse 33: "(God is) the One Who created the night,and day, the sun and the moon. Each one is travelling in an orbit with its own motion."
--sura 36, verse 40: "The sun must not catch up the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. Each one is travelling in an orbit with its own motion."
Here an essential fact is clearly stated: the existence of the Sun's and Moon's orbits, plus a reference is made to the traveling of these bodies in space with their own motion. A negative fact also emerges from a reading of these verses: it is shown that the Sun moves in an orbit, but no indication is given as to what this orbit might be in relation to the Earth. At the time of the Qur'anic Revelation, it was thought that the Sun moved while the Earth stood still. This was the system of geocentrism that had held away since the time of Ptolemy, Second century B.C., and was to continue to do so until Copernicus in the Sixteenth century A.D. Although people supported this concept at the time of Muhammad, it does not appear anywhere in the Qur'an, either here or elsewhere...
The Sun: It is more difficult to conceive of the Sun's orbit because we are so used to seeing our solar system organized around it. To understand the verse from the Qur'an, the position of the Sun in our galaxy must be considered. and we must therefore call on modern scientific ideas. Our galaxy includes a very large number of stars spaced so as to form a disc that is denser at the centre than at the rim. The Sun occupies a position in it which is far removed from the centre of the disc. The galaxy revolves on its own axis which is its centre with the result that the Sun revolves around the same centre in a circular orbit. Modern astronomy has worked out the details of this. In 1917, Shapley estimated the distance between the Sun and the centre of our galaxy at 10 kiloparsecs i.e., in miles, circa the figure 2 followed by 17 zeros. To complete one revolution on its own axis, the galaxy and Sun take roughly 250 million years. The Sun travels at roughly 150 miles per second n the completion of this. The above is the orbital movement of the Sun that was already referred to by the Qur'an fourteen centuries ago. The demonstration of the existence and details of this is one of the achievements of modern astronomy...
In the Sixth century B.C., they defended the theory of the rotation of the Earth on its own axis and the movement of the planets around the Sun. This theory was to be confirmed by modern sciece. By comparing it with the case of the Pythagoreans, it easy to put forward the hypothesis of Muhammad as being a brilliant thinker, who was supposed to have imagined all on his on his own what modern science was to discover centuries later. In so doing however, people quite simply forget to mention the other aspect of what these geniuses of philosophical reasoning produced, i.e. the colossal blunders that litter their work. it must be remembered for example, that the pythagoreans also defended the theory whereby the Sun was fixed in space; they made it the centre of the world and only conceived of a celestial order that was centered on it.
It is quite common in the works of the great philosophers of antiquity to find a mixture of valid and invalid ideas about the Universe. The brilliance of these human works comes from the advanced ideas they contain, but they should not make us over look the mistaken concepts which have also been left to us. From a strictly scientific point of view, this is what distinguished them from the Qur'an. In the latter, many subjects are referred to that have a bearing on modern knowledge without one of them containing a statement that contradicts what has been established by present-day science.
The Bible, The Quran and Scienceby Dr. Maurice Bucaille [Extracts from the book "The Bible, The Quran and Science" by the famous French physician Maurice Bucaille]