There's a sort of "poor man's" Horkheimer and Adorno that denounces-- based on The Dialectic of Enlightenment --the spirit of the Enlightenment, claiming that it was responsible for the Holocaust, the horrors of the Soviet gulags, as well as the colonial genocides. Indeed, discussions along these lines have often occurred here on the blog. In particular, I've often heard this line of deployed by the religiously inclined as a way of calling for a spiritual or divine supplement to keep beastly humans from killing others.
Posted March 25, 2013on:
The mental, vital and physical levels of consciousness are fundamentally limited by their basis in division and fragmentation. They see and categorize their understanding in a way that emphasizes the separateness of the forces at work and the consequences. This makes it impossible to understand the action of Karma in any comprehensive way, as such an understanding requires an integrating vision that can both see the parts and the whole of which they are elements.
We have completed our review of Rebirth and Karma by Sri Aurobindo.
The customary view of rebirth clearly leaves much to be desired. It is based, generally, on the idea that a specific personality will be reborn, and join up with the friends and family experienced in the current birth in another lifetime. It misses the inner rationale behind the entire process of rebirth, the growth, manifestation and evolution of the soul as a spark and “representative” of the Spirit involved in Matter for the expression of ever-greater forces of consciousness.
The Bhagavad Gita occupies a unique position in the spiritual literature of the world, as it is one of the most revered scriptures, while at the same time being an outstanding poetical expression, a philosophical masterwork, a visionary experience and a profound psychological text outlining key concepts in the practice of yoga as a methodology for the development of consciousness. …
The basic tendency and characteristic of the mind is to divide, analyze and classify. We use this power to great advantage in our attempt to harness powers of Nature, but we must also recognize that this power has its disadvantages, particularly when we try to address the meaning of life and our own spiritual development, things which require a unifying rather than a dividing intelligence.
The solution to the riddle of rebirth and karma lies in understanding of the secret intention that is working itself out through these mechanisms. Sri Aurobindo reviews this intention: "At first she is physical Nature building her firm field according to a base of settled truth and law but determined by a subconscient knowledge she does not yet share with her creatures.
It is a quite natural tendency of human nature to fixate on one issue to the exclusion of others. The mind, as a dividing and analyzing instrument, tends toward exclusive concentration. So it is easy to understand that when we once focus on the ethical principle, that it may be viewed as the "categorical imperative" of our human nature.
Sri Aurobindo acknowledges the role of the ethical principle, but he also puts it in context with other aspects of our nature that equally call for fulfillment.