Archive for February 2013
Posted February 27, 2013on:
As we exercise our mental powers and will to achieve vital success in the world, we not only have to face the resistances stemming from our physical and vital nature, and the response of others with whom we interact and the social organization within which we move, but we also have to face a universal or cosmic force of evolutionary intention and development. This force essentially maintains the basic principles or laws of the universal manifestation, whether we understand or recognize them or not. While we may experience this in our lives, and talk of it as “luck” or “fate” or “necessity”, we do not often focus on or pay attention to this force and its operation.
Sri Aurobindo points out that the ancient Greeks had a great appreciation for this force and its operation on our lives and our destiny. It is “a Power that is on the watch…
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Posted February 18, 2013on:
Joshua Ramey’s excellent book and his recent explications on the blogosphere contain one puzzling feature. Despite the invocation of a “gnosis” based on”seeing beyond clear divisions” (p202) Ramey retains certain dualisms that hinder his message and limit its scope. For example he happily endorses Jacob Sherman’s contrast between “making oneself receptive” (baptised the “Hadot-Foucault” approach, although Foucault’s emphasis on “thinking differently” makes of truth itself a matter of non-recognitive creation) and “making oneself creative” (one could call this the “Klossowski-Deleuze” approach, although strangely Klossowski is absent from Ramey’s book). This he ties to the contrast between individual private ordeals and collective public ones. He finds Deleuze “conflicted” between an egalitarian rationalist impulsion and an élitist esoteric tendency.
These dualisms, and various others that crop up in the discussion, are foreign to Deleuze’s text. “Hermeticism” or “spiritual ordeal” leaps to the eye on every page that Deleuze wrote, from his dissolution…
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Posted February 11, 2013on:
Mahabiplabi Arabindo is a 1971 Bengali film (don’t worry, it has English subtitles) which covers the life of Sri Aurobindo from his return to India in 1892 to his retirement to Pondicherry in 1910. Angel Television has uploaded the movie on youtube in 13 parts. The duration of this movie is about two hours. I have added brief descriptions of the content before each clip below.
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Posted February 9, 2013on:
In our ongoing attempt to infuse moral significance into everything that happens in the world, we frequently imply that events and forces occurring in the physical world are “God’s retribution” for some failing on someone’s part. In this view, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes are a sign of some higher judgment upon us. Victims then cry that they do not know why “God did this to them”, or why the innocent children caught in the maelstrom were made to suffer.
Sri Aurobindo makes the point that when we remove this moral filter from our view, it becomes clear that the physical energy operates on its own principles and that it is not some kind of concious retributive machinery of God. “The flood” or “Sodom and Gomorrah” do not represent God’s judgment on humanity, but results of physical energy carrying out its natural functions regardless of who or what happens to be in…
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Posted February 9, 2013on:
We republish here a most insightful post by Debashish Banerji (with a comment by Angiras) as it appeared on iyfundamentalism.info nearly four years ago. It is well worth re-reading and reflecting upon it.
There was someone who once came across a book on great people. When he had finished about half the book, he came upon a chapter. After reading a few pages of that chapter, he was surprised to experience something he never thought was possible. He realized from within that
• there is a source of knowledge in man other than the mind
• that this source of knowledge has greater certitude than mind
• that the nature of this knowledge is not inferential but of a self-evident nature
• that this source was bearing witness to the existence of Truth, not relative truths
• that such Truth was what was staring him in the face from the…
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Posted February 5, 2013on:
The Object of the Question and the Objection to the Object
A few days ago, Joseph Kugelmass of The Kugelmass Episode tagged me to write a post on why I teach literature. Admittedly I’ve been behind the curve on this one. The discussion has now proliferated throughout the intellectual blogosphere (for a set of links to how this discussion has proliferated and her own interesting response, see Rough Theory here and here), and I am only now catching up on the posts. As for my delay in responding, I have no good excuses. On the one hand, I’ve been extremely busy, trying to balance teaching with the completion of two articles and two conference papers (shoot me now). On the other hand, it has been very difficult for me to think clearly of late as someone very close to me is very sick and I’m facing the question of…
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