Archive for December 2013
The philosophical framework of the Gita is not intended to simply educate the intellectual faculty; rather, it is intended to provide insight to the ultimate goal of freeing oneself from the limitations of the lower nature and thereby allowing the higher Nature to carry out pure, powerful action to support the intention of the universal Being manifested in the world.
When we hear that we need to act from the “intrinsic nature” we tend to confuse the action of the lower nature with the true sense of the term “Swabhava”, which relates to the higher Nature, unclouded and undefiled by the desire-soul of the lower Nature or the play of the three Gunas which operates there.
Sri Aurobindo explains: “Then, freed so from the ego personality, we can find the relation of the true individual to the Purushottama. It is one with him in being, even though necessarily partial and…
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Posted December 27, 2013on:
I’ve just submitted my dissertation proposal for review. Click on the title below for the PDF.
I welcome suggestions, critiques, sources, and/or extensions.
Basically, I’m doing a comparative study of the philosopher Friedrich Schelling, the esotericist Rudolf Steiner, and the mathematician and cosmologist Alfred North Whitehead. In particular, I want to interpret their respective “etheric” ontologies (Schelling’s “world-soul/universal organizing principle,” Steiner’s “etheric formative forces,” and Whitehead’s “evental ether/Creativity”) as typical of the process-relational imagination.
The plate above, a painting of the Philosopher’s Tree, is from Splendor Solis, an alchemical treatise published by Solomon Trismosin in 1582.
Posted December 27, 2013on:
Whether one looks in the yoga texts of India or one reviews the spiritual practices adopted by seekers around the world, we see, consistently, the recognition that the seeker must find a way to overcome the powerful urges and desires that draw out the senses and entangle the seeker in the illusory satisfactions of fulfillment of desire. Desire can take many forms, and the most egregious forms have come to be called generally various types of sin. While different cultures may define the specific term “sin” somewhat variably, the essential point is that extreme desires drive one to actions which are dissipating, degrading or harmful, physically and/or psychologically.
In the West, we see various schools of discipline including monastic austerity, stoicism, philosophical distance, devotional prayer, and various forms of meditation, along with others. In the yoga texts, particularly in disciplines such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, this has been codified into…
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The concept of “evil-doer”, within the context of the Gita and its focus on the evolutionary development of the spiritual, higher consciousness in life, is based on the clear distinction between those who are slaves to desire and the fruits of desire, who are wedded to the results brought about by predominance of Tamas and Rajas, and those who aspire to a higher life, a higher law and a higher nature, free from this attachment to desire and taking on the characteristics of a spiritual being with purified senses, mind and aspiration.
The Gita’s statement makes it also quite clear that attainment does not come through the enslavement of the desire-mind to the forces, actions and results of the tamasic and rajasic-driven impulses. Sri Aurobindo describes the situation: “The evil-doer cannot attain to the Supreme because he is for ever trying to satisfy the idol ego on the lowest scale…
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As noted, there are various impulsions and forms of devotion possible, most of which are based in the consciousness of the ego and its own limited view of self-interest, whether to avoid or escape suffering, or to obtain the fruits of enjoyment and pleasure. The Gita makes it clear that even these very limited forms are accepted and responded to according to the measure of the devotion and the focus of its seeking.
From the human perspective we like to make distinctions of this sort, and then judge based on them; yet, from a different standpoint, it is clear that the immensity, complexity and variety of forms of the Divine Being necessitate that seekers start where they are, take their first steps, and grow into a wider understanding along the way. Even if the first steps are entirely ego-based, they nevertheless point the seeker in the right direction, provide some…
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