Thursday, June 21, 2012

Goodbye Ned

Nehdia Sameen, a PhD student in psychology, was born in Pakistan and completed her bachelor's degree (Honours) in computer science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
She received a Fulbright award to pursue a master's degree in psychology at New York University. When she applied to SFU's PhD program, one of her NYU supervisors called her "the single most talented student I have worked with in my career thus far."
She began her studies at SFU in Fall 2011, and displayed an exceptional passion for her work and its potential to make the world a better place. In her own words, she hoped "not merely to fully comprehend the human animal from a scientific perspective, but also to guide the development of balanced, civilized societies with sustainable institutions around the world."
We're deeply sorry to report that Nehdia passed away suddenly on Friday, June 15, of a brain haemorrhage.
Dr. Tim Racine, her graduate supervisor, says:
Nehdia Sameen embodied the sort of balance between head and heart that is critical in any person of excellence. She was also a consummate scholar who was not confined to one narrow research area or particular way of looking at things. What struck me the most about her was how much she had interwoven her personal and professional life.
I became fond of Nehdia quite quickly; her passion for her work and the world around us is a rare and beautiful thing. Nehdia leaves behind a variety of finished and unfinished work of very high quality. The people in my Department who knew and worked closely with Nehdia in the last year will miss her sorely. The people who had not yet become acquainted with Nehdia have lost the opportunity to know an exceptional human being.

Darlene Joy, Nehdia Sameen, Bill Flick, Rahul Balusu, Aubrey Hornsby, Shari Hindman, and Catherine Scrivens stop for a group photo at AUM 2008.

While such comparativist discussions are necessarily oversimplifying, they do allow for the potential to see the overall projects of Sufism, Advaita Vedanta, and Buddhism as having many strong commonalities, something which has been advocated and recognized by figures within these traditions, such as the famed Vedantic scholars Swami Vivekananda and Ananda Coomaraswamy, Sufi scholars like Seyyed Hossain Nasr, western Sufi converts such as Rene Guenon and Frithjof Schuon… Then again, it does seem that the only reason why Brahman would have for giving rise to the world of maya would be precisely to lead it to liberation from its limitations, and the work of Sri Aurobindo, a Neo-Vedantist, works to integrate Vedantism with an evolutionary approach to the world.

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