Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Akashvani: Of mangoes & Mohenjodaro and why brahmacharya broke the logjam

Evaluating Democracy—by Ghazia Aslam and Wasim Q Malik Comment posted by: Akash
You get the government you deserve. (-Tocqueville/Jefferson/Shakespeare?)
With respect to Pakistan, not having a positive identity is one of the main contributors to not having an identifiable government.  If Islam is the identity, disappointment will continue because "first-class" Muslims such as Saudi Arabians will continue to treat Pakistan as "second-class".  Society has to do work to forge an identity.  For example, is Mohenjodaro a part of the identity (leave aside the intervening 4000 years)?  Is the silk route part of the identity?

21 February 2010—Darshan Message Comment posted by: Akash
Let's take the life of Buddha.  By secluding him from childhood, was his father following his own freedom or was he imposing on young Sid.  When he left, was he exercising his own freedom or imposing on the palace?  Had he stayed on but followed his own line of development without regard to princely norms - freedom or imposition?  Preaching after enlightenment - freedom or imposition?  Ashoka taking up Buddhism and sending ambassadors, formation of the Sangha, resurgence of Hinduism - freedom or imposition?  [Because what Mother says applies in so many senses and at so many levels, I said it was "deep".]

Sri Aurobindo’s Marriage—a discussion Comment posted by: Akash
Too many things are mixed up here.  Gita dealt with action, not evolution.  Are you saying that Sri Aurobindo's Life Divine (the expression) or his fundamental experience itself would have been substantially different if it had been done before Darwin?  What is your opinion on intelligent design as a post-Darwin movement?  Would a post-Internet Life Divine be substantially different?  Did farmers not know how to produce Basmati rice and Alphonso mangoes before Darwin?  Are you suggesting that Sri Aurobindo, being post-Darwin, was looking for a natural selection way towards the next step in human evolution? Bringing this back to the topic of the thread, how did his insistence on brahmacharya as a necessary element of his yoga square with the transmission of information from generation to generation using genes?  Or are you suggesting that since a hundred years have passed and some new "conceptual and linguistic material" has got developed, we must now update Sri Aurobindo's original works and still pass them off as his own?  Just trying to understand your precise point.

And I can't help but notice that you haven't elucidated the relevance of the Gita to your point :-).  Like I said, I was not sure where you were going, and still am not - hence the multidimensional guesses.
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother came to effect a breakthrough in the logjam of the process of evolution.  They synthesized everything known and done up to that point useful to them (which included Darwin), and then forged ahead with their work.  The relevance of farming is that had Darwin not preceded, the essentials of hereditary transmission and selection were well known, which they would have synthesized.  The relevance of brahmacharya is that the logjam they broke was to shift from heredity to cellular transformation.
You have too high an opinion of "human life on earth" - if humanity cannot consciously collaborate in Nature's next step, if human life cannot make it its purpose to follow the yoga of the Supermind, it will be cast aside.  Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's work was to enable the next step *inspite of* humanity and certainly not for humanity but for the Divine - but hey, if at least a few individuals can help, then why not prepare them (= write the Life Divine, letters, flowers, music, etc.).
Yes, a general level of development of Nature is necessary to prepare the next step, but "progress in the instrumental stuff of human mental knowledge" is mostly mental chewing gum and may color "new expressions of spiritual knowledge" but hardly cause it.

I am relieved you are driven by a completely understandable curiosity.  It is one thing to be curious about Sri Aurobindo's views on later developments.  It is quite another to suggest (if you were so doing) that a specific scientific advance caused Sri Aurobindo's yoga.  It is like suggesting that the development of the notation of formal logic caused clarity of thought.  Once we open this door, it then starts to feel natural, perhaps necessary, to update his original works with later developments or sensibilities.  I hope you agree that we should not update the Gita, for example, to meet the needs of today's conscientious objector or wielder of scientifically advanced weapons.
The standard ways of dealing with the curiosity you experience are to write an imaginary dialog or a dissertation on the new new thing in light of Sri Aurobindo's Life Divine, or whatever, *in one's own name*.
By the way, your "a major expansion in human conception can play a role in facilitating a new expression of spiritual truth" is now terribly nuanced - you will excuse me for trying to sort out if you are implying cause or correlation or curiosity.

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