Friday, June 22, 2012

New light and force and life

from:  Jitendra Sharma to:      "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date:          22 June 2012 12:33 subject:         Ref.: Court Grants Injunction On Not Disturbing Radhikaranjan’s Classes
The environment should be conducive to learning, allowing the pupils sufficient space and liberty to interact with a teacher. If the chemisty is not good between staff, administration and pupils, what kind of teaching  will take place? In a tension-ridden atmosphere, only by Puducherry Court’s  interim injunction and under police protection, how will a teacher impart knowledge?
Have we forgotten Mother’s words? 
"Sri Aurobindo is present in our midst, and with all the power of his creative genius he presides over the formation of the University Centre which for years he considered as one of the best means of preparing the future humanity to receive the Supramental Light that will transform the elite of today into a new race manifesting upon earth the new light and force and life." - Inaugural Message of the Mother, 24th April, 1951
                                    - Dr. Jitendra Sharma

Someone inquired if Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had made any remarks on differences between men and women.  This is a compilation of remarks that I was able to find right now.  It addresses topics such as: What are the cosmic origins of gender?  Are women less polyamorous than men? Are women better at Yoga?  Can gender change across incarnations?  If I find more remarks, I will add them in the comments section to this blog post. (Since Sri Aurobindo lived in seclusion for much of his life from 1926-1950, disciples had to communicate with him via letters.  This has the unexpected benefit of leaving written records for later generations.)
(Women might get understandably outraged by Sri Aurobindo’s remark above that submissive women can have “abhimana”(ego).  It is not known what he was referring to but one can hazard a guess.  He might be alluding to the fact that people who have sacrificed something reluctantly make demands in other spheres of life as a form of compensation.   In Indian joint families, for instance, mothers who have sacrificed for their son feel entitled to control the life of their daughter-in-law and often do so.)
(Since Sri Aurobindo refused to admit any clear-cut gender differences, Nirodbaran decided to ask the Mother!   This is the advantage of having two Gurus.  You can play their remarks against each other.  Read on…) Related Posts
  1. The transmutation of sexual energy
  2. Sublimation of the sexual urge through Yoga
  3. The foundation of spiritual relationships
  4. Further remarks on sexuality
  5. What exactly is a “crush” or “love at first sight”?
  6. Four stages of human love
  7. How to choose the right life-partner
  8. Should women dress modestly? 
These kinds of questions can’t be addressed without applying a feminist framework in our day and age. I would argue that the reason why men find it so hard to stop sexualizing women (even when women are not trying to attract them) is because there is an actual social and cultural infrastructure (involving things like: a certain type of patriarchal marriage, prostitution, widespread access to pornography, a hypersexualized media, a particular way in which male-female relations are ordered) in most societies that encourages men to view women as little more than sexual objects and/or baby machines. Of course ultimately there are occult forces at work, but what are the cultural structures that perpetuate the kingdoms of these vital forces? And how can we build newer cultural structures that stop doing so?
Feminists have argued that sexuality has been specifically constructed to keep women politically subordinated to men and dehumanized throughout the ages, because women are seen as the objects of sexuality while men are seen as the agents of it. The sexual liberation movement in the West has almost totally watered down the original noble aims of feminism. The early feminists in the 1970s were actually totally opposed to this movement because they knew that sexual liberation, in practice, could never lead to anything other than the political and social degradation of women because of the historically and systemically unequal nature of male-female relations. And they were right.
By the way, if you look at some rare pre-patriarchal, woman-centered hunter-gatherer cultures in the world, where this sort of sophisticated patriarchal infrastructure does not exist (you could say these are pre-civilizational cultures), you find that women are often roaming around wearing very little clothing, but the men are not in a constant state of sexual excitement because of it. In fact they hardly seem to notice that the women aren’t wearing much. This sort of anthropological work has led me to conclude that the excessive sexualization of women by men is largely culturally constructed and not inherent to male nature at all.
So it’s all well and good to ask if women should dress modestly or not, and maybe in certain cultures they do have to dress up in a certain way as a pragmatic compromise with reality, but I think the real question is: how do you dismantle a (virtually universal) cultural infrastructure that, in the service of gender inequality, encourages men to see women as sexual objects, and encourages women to perform as sexual objects for men? And here the sexually libertarian culture in the West and the socially conservative culture in the Middle East and Asia strike me as being pretty much two sides of the same misogynistic coin that sees women, not as human beings, agents, and subjects, but as nothing more than sexual objects.

Though we never met in person (only via the miracle of the internet), Ned quickly became one of my closest friends, a constant inspiration to me, a hope to the world, a powerhouse of yogic transformation, and the most spiritually evolved human being i have ever had the privilege to know. This is a terrible terrible loss. :-( 

from: Tusar N. Mohapatra date: 21 June 2012 06:36 subject: Re: nehdia sameen
Oh so sad. She was young, yet so knowledgeable and perceptive. And her acute political stance. She remains a challenge and leaves an inspiring memory. [TNM55]

Note the following words—“presumably”, “does not seem”, “seems to have”, “may have”, “would have”. Is this history or guesswork? is this History or Speculation? Krish Patwardhan

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