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Friday, March 16, 2012

Show me someone who can provide details of experiences

Kep: Surely fanatical narrowness and disturbed emotion is no characteristic of psychic emergence as ever articulated by Sri Aurobindo or the Mother. Rather they are characteristics of an undeveloped and ego-dominated vital-emotional nature sorely in need of just such psychic purification.<
It also signals a wrong turn on the path of Bhakti Yoga- the dangers of which both SA/M warned about when taken to fanatical extremes – and Bhakti Yoga is often mapped on to the path of the psychic being. Therefore, I can see why SA was cautious about psychic in the Synthesis and privileged opening to sources above the mind.
Deb: The Mother’s presence and power acted strongly to bring forward the psychic being and her action effected the purification. Sri Aurobindo wrote that the Mother by her look put one in contact with the soul and by her touch connected the psychic to the surface consciousness.<
Whatever the truth of the above statement, I would also argue it is the insertion of Bhakti Yoga in relationship to the physical presence of the Mother that helped cultivate an atmosphere that over time has facilitated the development of fanatical extremism in certain followers.

Comment posted by Govind Re: What Jugal told me about Record of Yoga - Mirror of Tomorrow
It is the very abstruse nature of the notebooks that allow others to misuse them as the proverbial pandora's box. PH has liberally misused the account in his book (e.g. mistranslating ahaituka maithunananda as spontaneous erotic bliss), quickly followed (actually preceded in terms of sequence of publication) by Kripal in his delusional deciphering of some sort of pseudo-trantric eroticism from these...

More broadly speaking the less yogically inclined in the community are playing up these notebooks and siddhis contained in them almost as some kind of an alternative TO Yoga, by which I mean union with the Divine vs. mere acquisition of this or that power separate or divorced from that union. Michael Murphy is on record (no pun intended) saying that it was when he came to know of these siddhis that his interest in Sri Aurobindo was rekindled and that it was the "Aurobindo of the record", or something of the sort, that really appealed to him. If these worthies were content to just live in their own little worlds then it would be OK. But as PH has demonstrated they want to recast the whole life of Sri Aurobindo in their own image. And their primary method of attack is to use Mother Sri Aurobindo's words selectively to project their own distorted shadows on Them.

Comment posted by Sandeep Re: What Jugal told me about Record of Yoga - Mirror of Tomorrow
One would have to be "born for Yoga" (be given the Sankalpa - Divine mission) in order to relive the experiences written in the Record of Yoga. The vast majority struggle all their life with basic problems - what meditation practice to use, how to keep the mind silent for more than a few minutes, how to awaken the psychic, how to control food intake, etc.  There are a few who delude themselves in imagining that they are having supramental experiences, but that is to be expected.

Andy Smith Says: December 29th, 2006 at 2:51 am Tusar, I hope your previous post was not intended to be an example of Aurobindo’s description of spiritual states. It may be very nice poetry, but it’s not very original, there are countless writers before him who have said much the same thing: boundless, infinite, rapture, drunkenness, etc. And not just mystics, there have been many writers/poets who were not enlightened, who did not submit themselves to a long and arduous discipline, who were capable of saying things like that.
In addition, these passages, like so many other descriptions I come across, are about a final state, they say nothing about what one experiences on the way, which is where virtually every seeker spends virtually all of his or her life. The day to day reality of the seeker is not much about rapture and bliss, it’s more about suffering, conflict, confusion and despair, about learning the consequences of our actions, the relationships between what we do and what we experience, the preciousness of energy, and so much more that I rarely find gurus writing about. You will forgive me for believing the reason they don’t write about such things is because they haven’t lived through them. 6:51 PM

Andy Smith Says: December 29th, 2006 at 5:04 pm Tusar, Ken Wilber was never my hero, I am not now and never have experienced grief because of his recent rants. I am not “willing and eager” to believe that others have not lived through what I consider universal experiences, I came to this belief only after many, many years of great resistance. Eventually, one has to believe what one sees, not what others claim.
I have read some Aurobindo, perhaps I will read more, but what I have seen so far I just don’t find that compelling. To me, these are the words more of a thinker, a philosopher, a systematizer, rather than a mystic. As I said before, I respect him as a great man, probably one of India’s greatest, and I particularly think his time in jail greatly enriched his spiritual drive. I have no problem if others find he speaks best to them, different teachers for different people. But when you and Alan claim that he was the greatest realizer of all time, that he solved philosophical questions that had eluded others, I think you are going overboard, and need to be called on it. And when you cite poetic descriptions of the kind that others have expressed from time immemorial as evidence of realizing higher states, then many people not even considered mystics would also have to be recognized as great realizers.
Personally, I feel Gurdjieff is the most original teacher I have encountered, but I don’t feel the need to start a thread on him, or to convince others that he was the most realized man of all time. I would point out that he was teaching his students in Moscow about holarchy years before the term was even coined, about different brains half a century before Paul MacLean developed the idea of the triune brain, that his system specifically addresses questions of physiological events that occur during meditation, that he was virtually alone in suggesting that there is a limit to how many people on earth can realize higher consciousness, and so on and so on. I know he didn’t invent these and other ideas out of whole cloth, that he had his sources, but nevertheless I have never found ideas like these in the writings of others. I have personally confirmed some of his most important ideas, but like all great teachers, he encouraged his followers to be critical of him, and I am. I think this is a healthier attitude than what seems like total belief on your part that Aurobindo was infallible. [Andrew P. Smith, who has a background in molecular biology, neuroscience and pharmacology, is author of e-books Worlds within Worlds and the novel Noosphere II, which are both available online. His website SCIENCE VS. SPIRIT is devoted to the question: "how to integrate experiences of higher states of consciousness with the established body of scientific knowledge."] 7:37 AM 

Andy Smith Says: December 27th, 2006 at 8:30 pm The problem is, anyone can claim experiences that are not found in second hand sources, but just because they aren’t, there is no way of validating the experiences. I have had many experiences that I am quite sure are authentic, but I don’t ask anyone to believe me just because I say so. One difference between mine and Aurobindo’s is that I can give very specific descriptions of experiences that occur on the way to realization. I don’t see a lot of this in Aurobindo’s writings. Most of his writings seem to be couched in very broad and abstract generalizations. As I have said before, the devil is in the details. Show me someone who can provide details of experiences, no matter how much limited by language, and I will listen. But even then, most such descriptions have been recorded by individuals in extreme isolation, who didn’t seem to understand that awakening is an external as well as internal process.
Your very use of “intermediate zone gurus” suggests to me that you are a priori buying into Aurobindo’s scheme, and then using it to invalidate anyone whom, according to that scheme, is not enlightened. I could always claim that I have found a scheme in which the highest state described by Aurobindo is just another intermediate way station. As I said before, this strikes me as a game of “my highest state is higher than your highest state”. Adi Da, of course, loved to play this game. Non-duality seems to offer a way out of this bind, but that of course is hardly original with Aurobindo.
Any alleged guru has people who have known him/her who are prepared to praise him/her to the skies... The distinction you are missing here is necessary vs. sufficient. Lots of authorities don’t abuse their position. The Pope doesn’t. Does that make him enlightened? Aurobindo’s disciple Chaudhuri didn’t. Did that make him enlightened? Is someone a great President or great leader because he doesn’t abuse his position? I would say that is a necessary basic quality, hardly evidence by itself of great leadership or knowledge. Tendency to abuse is largely a personal trait. Many people are relatively free of it, that doesn’t mean they have some special knowledge. Some people have to struggle with it, and I will grant you, with great spiritual powers come great temptations. Being able to master these temptations I think is valid evidence of some kind of knowledge, but if you don’t know how much power the person has, you aren’t in a position to gauge how great are the temptations he/she must deal with.
Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for Aurobindo. I certainly have no problem with discussion of his ideas on the forum, and if they are inspiring to you and others, more power to all of you. But in this area, I think anyone can and should be criticized. As Joe says, “If it were possible to define “perfect,” then I think it’s safe to say there’s never been a fully perfect human being in every sense, horizontal and vertical, every stage/state/line, etc. For me, it only makes sense to talk about gradations of human development and persons on paths, not enlightened beings.” And: “I would NEVER ever trust a guru whose human flaws weren’t evident, because that would surely be a sign that they are psychologically disassociated beings, not enlightened.” Ken, of course, has made this point many times. Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 27th, 2006 at 11:05 pm Sri Aurobindo’s details of experiences are available in his two volumes of “Record of Yoga.” 11:12 AM 

Postmodern spirituality, A dialogue in five parts Part III: The Postmodern Mind – And Its Future Roland Benedikter II: THE RESULT: THE EMERGING OF THE TWO “I”'s Question: Yes, exactly that is the question of the postmodern, “fragmented” subject.
You should always remember: Yes, the “two I's” are increasingly produced by postmodern culture, but still not consciously. It's a little bit like the famous advertising sentence of Nike: Postmodernists (and their academic paedagogics) “just do it”; but they don't know exactly what they are doing. They do it out of a strong impulse of equality and liberation, and they generally just wanna see what will be the outcome. That is what most postmodernists would call “a proceeding that is not speculative, but empirical”. 12:52 AM

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