Thursday, July 30, 2009

Science, Culture and Integral Yoga on the mountaintop

[Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Re: Yoga, religion, and fundamentalism in the Integral Yoga Community by Lynda Lester
Debashish on Sun 30 Nov 2008 03:42 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
Dear Ned, Let me speak for myself. "Inadequacies and flaws" are a given in what is known as "the human condition" and I cannot claim any other kind of condition for myself. But that said, I am not making any claim to stand for "truth" or against "falsehood." What I am standing for here is simply the right of ignorance to struggle for and discover knowledge. What I am standing against are knowledge-claims which try to force themselves on the world... Indeed, this is a judgment call, and I cannot speak for anyone else, only myself. From my sense of the stakes involved in this case, at this time and place, I feel called upon to take this stand. Our growth from "inadequacies and flaws" are not the better achieved on the mountaintop; it is through action that we must grow. (I know Koantum may say it is equally achieved on the mountaintop and I will not argue with that; for me, at least, it is "not better achieved" on the mountaintop). Reply]

[A Chronology of Modern Indian Art and Thematic Considerations By Debashish Banerji
Debashish on Tue 10 Mar 2009 10:25 PM PDT Permanent Link (Click this link to see the Contours of Modernity Picture Gallery) Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
The regime of modernity in India can be said to begin from the turn of the 17th/18th c. with the setting up of trading interests in Calcutta by the British East India Company. The British occupation of India swiftly replaced the indigenous miniature schools with naturalistic Company Painting and institutional forms such as art salons and art schools generated a new breed of Indian elite painters who turned to oils and water colors in a British style, though often with Indian subjects from myth, portraiture or landscape... Rameshwar Broota, on the other hand, distills a bleak essence of the human condition with his hirsute ape-like monumental forms standing blankly in dark landscapes. An unrelieved monotony and stark animality seem like unbreakable chains invisibly tied to this form of self, which is less national or individual than the global anonymous image of dehumanized modernity... While spirituality in the Indian context is justifiably seen by many as a trite buzzword or an essentialized form of cultural economy prioritized by Orientalists and used as a convenient device of modern self-labeling by nationalists, spiritual practices continue to proliferate in a variety of ways throughout the subcontinent and the quest for the liberation of consciousness from every form of subjection continues to be an individual possibility not merely for Indians but as an active discursive field available to the world. Contemporary Indian artists, while they have been wary of exotic or romantic definitions of Indian spirituality, have not kept themselves incubated from the expression of specific ideas, practices and experiences emanating from yogic traditions.]

[Here, he is saying (as per the reviewer since I have not read the book) that Science should make its "pure" seeking for Knowledge subservient to the human condition of suffering. Of course, Science, though it claims its "purity" and "freedom" from social concerns is already tainted by much worse than what the Dalai Lama is calling for, as has been brought home by contemporary philosopher-critics of the Enlightenment. More specifically, Science form the beginning obeys a hidden subservience to the purposes of Power - control, manipulation and exploitation for the possession and enjoyment of the object of scientific attention through Technology. If this is recognized, then "Science" should not find it difficult to uplift is subjection from the "rajasic" or "asuric" to the "sattwic" and "daivic" subservience that the Dalai Lama is suggesting. However, the dialog on compassion is an attempt to translate to a different cultural field the nomos of the Indic field of Knowledge. Here, Knowledge is subservient to the specific practical goal of an ontological transformation which answers to a proposed solution to the human condition. A field of modern subjetive Science can avoid the hubris and lack of the totalistic nomos of western objective Science by founding itself on these practical and dialogic bases. DB Re: "The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality" by the Dalai Lama Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
by Debashish on Sat 18 Nov 2006 04:22 PM PST Profile Permanent Link Reply]

[It's interesting though, that in the genre of portrait painting, I have yet to come across a "subjective" interpretation of Sri Aurobindo or the Mother. It seems here that the closer to reality the painting, the truer to the "divine image." But then, if this "reality" betrays any "physiological blemishes", it is not considered satisfying. If there is anything to these cultural histories of taste, then we have to ask the question as to whether these are unchanging essences and "never the twain shall meet" or whether they can be related or even synthesized? And if the second is possible, is there only one way to relate and synthesize them or many? Contemporary western art practice also grapples with issues of this kind. The mid-19th c. saw a wholesale rejection of "naturalism" in art in favor of "subjectivism." But contemporary practice has come to assert that the "naturalistic" or "illusionistic" is no less subjective than the "expressionistic." The photographic signifier hides and discloses the subjective signified. Our practices of reading have tuned to an objective-subjective taste as a result. This indeed is one kind of synthesis and I find the Lives of Sri Aurobindo very successful in this regard. I find no lack of "spiritual look" in it, just another kind of representation which bridges the eastern and western tropes in one way. Perhaps our friends with the so-called "Indian look" can try to do the same in their own way, instead of this sad rejection and aggressive hostility? DB Re: Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
by Debashish on Thu 16 Oct 2008 09:24 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link Reply]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Riccardo Carlotto began his musical studies at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education

Violin-piano concert at Alliance Times of India - New Delhi, India TNN 27 July 2009 BANGALORE:

Bangalore School of Music (BSM) will present a concert featuring Ladislav Brozman (Switzerland) on violin and Riccardo Carlotto (Italy) on piano, on Juy 31, 7.30 pm, at Alliance Francaise in Vasanthnagar. The popular duo is part of the BSM's East West Festival of 2008.

Brozman, born in the former Czechoslovakia, started playing violin at the age of 7. His repertory comprises all the sonatas, solo sonatas and concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, besides violin works by Mozart, Beethoven, Tartini, Brahms, Saint Sakns, Debussy, Ravel and Prokofjeff. In 2002 he toured India and Europe with Swiss piano virtuoso Christina Zulauf.

Carlotto, born in Italy, began his musical studies on the recorder and piano at an early age at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in Pondicherry. He continued his studies of music in Spain, from 1989-1991, before studying at the Vienna University.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blogging is genuinely a new form of writing, thinking, and intellectual engagement

Thursday, July 23, 2009 Interview with Levi R. Bryant
Today we interview Levi R. Bryant, author of Difference and Givenness: Deleuze’s Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence and co-editor (along with Graham Harman and Nick Srnicek) of the forthcoming The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism. Many of you will also know Levi from his excellent blog Larval Subjects.

However, it could be said that the more recent shifts in my thought have very much been a product of my experience with blogging. Blogging is genuinely a new form of writing, thinking, and intellectual engagement when done properly. This point and blogging’s difference can be illustrated in terms of evolutionary theory.

One of the primary ways in which speciation takes place is through geographical isolation. Two populations of a single species come to be reproductively isolated for some reason or other and as time passes their phenotypes diverge and the respective populations become homogenous. It is really no different in traditional academia. You talk to people who share the same interests as you, you attend conferences devoted to your particular issue or thinker, you publish in journals devoted to your privileged thinker, and you read texts on your privileged thinker or problem. These are all forms of geographical isolation that lead to “academic speciations”.

This sort of isolation isn’t operative in the world of blogging. While you certainly encounter specialists in your particular area, you also encounter thinkers from entirely different disciplines, practices, and orientations and you have to find a way to engage with them that doesn’t assume the daunting scholarly apparatus of your particular thought-framework. You encounter all sorts of characters like satirists and trolls, but also housewives, people in business, activists, artists, politicians and all the rest... Posted by Paul Ennis. Labels: , , , ,

Larval Subjects July 28, 2009 Design Ontology Posted by larvalsubjects

My philosophical thought has changed fundamentally since I began blogging, as can be observed from the nature of my style when I wrote primarily on online discussion lists and in the early years of this blog. Part of this has been the evolution of my thought. Another part of this has been the nature of the medium itself. Discussion lists, for example, are organized around “master-thinkers”, so they tend towards scholarly discussion of the intricacies of that thinker or questions about where something might be found in the thinkers body of work.

Writing articles for journals tends to be a largely solitary exercise that involves careful engagement with scholarship and composition. Blogging, by contrast, involves a cacophony of voices, each with their own interests and backgrounds, hyperlinked cross-blog discussions, multiple forms of media, and so on. The medium in all these cases plays a formative role in the formation of content. [1:31 PM]

Jul 21, 2009 (title unknown) from enowning by enowning Critchley, B&T, week 7. The inauthenticity of blogging.

for Heidegger, inauthentic life is characterised by chatter – for example, the ever-ambiguous hubbub of the blogosphere. Conscience calls Dasein back from this chatter silently. It has the character of what Heidegger calls "reticence" (Verschwiegenheit), which is the privileged mode of language in Heidegger. So, the call of conscience is a silent call that silences the chatter of the world and brings me back to myself. [6:04 PM]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Francis Rothluebber moderated a panel highlighting the power of unity in action as experienced in the city of Auroville

City of the Dawn, Auroville, India - Awareness of Oneness: Seeing the Power of Unity in Action
By Noreen Kelly July 1, 2009
The New World is not only a possibility ~ it’s happening

City of the Dawn is a remarkable documentary about a modern, universal city with 2,000 people from 40 nations who have developed innovative and inclusive solutions in every aspect of human social life: caring relationships, participative government, arts and education, architecture and building materials, complementary medicine, reforestation, and sustainable industries. The city of Auroville in Southern India provides a demonstration of what is possible when people attempt to live together in a community beyond the boundaries of nation, religion, and race that separate us. Their experience raises questions about what can be accomplished on a broader scale when awareness of oneness drives our actions.

The film premiered at the Awareness into Action: The Power of Living as One conference, held on June 27, 2009, in Chicago, IL. “City of the Dawn” started with the desire of Francis Rothluebber to create a documentary about Auroville to demonstrate the power of conscious unity. Francis was formerly the director of Columbiere Retreat Center in Idyllwild, CA; president of the School Sisters of St. Francis, an international Franciscan community of more than 1,050 sisters and associates headquartered in Milwaukee, WI; and teacher and principal of Alvernia High School in Chicago. She was inspired to learn more about Auroville after reading the works of Sri Aurobindo on evolutionary spirituality and visiting the ashram of Mother Mirra Alfassa, who founded Auroville.

After the film showing, Francis Rothluebber moderated a panel highlighting the power of unity in action as experienced in the city of Auroville. The panel included current and former residents from Aurorville who share the challenges and accomplishments of living in conscious awareness of oneness as a community. Panelists included Jean-Yves Lung, Economist; Bhavana Dee DeCew, Community Organizer; Deepti Tewari, Educator; Julian Lines, Chair, Auroville International; and Bryan Walton, President, Auroville International USA and his wife Fanou.
Life in the city of Auroville:
- The Art of Giving (Gift Economy)
- No money
- No Police/Laws
- No dogma
- Unity first
- Your life is a school; we’re here to learn
- Perspectives, not ideologies
- Work for the joy of discovering new activities
- Free education
- Meaningful life
- Develop a deeper sense of seeing
- Go within
- The less I know, the more sure I am
- We come from a single consciousness
- Getting along; learning how to listen
- Change things by the power of the inner Spirit
- Hurrying … less time to Be
- Knowing is Being
- Be a willing servitude of Divine Consciousness
New Momentum for Human Unity
Francis Rothluebber organized New Momentum for Human Unity, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 2006. Its mission is to create a better life on and for this planet through the evolution of human consciousness and the transformation of human relationships, by encouraging mindfulness of our interconnection and by the power of selfless love. Through programs and projects that offer tools and resources, New Momentum intends to help people create the inner shifts - the changes in perspective and motive - that lead to changes in the world that will become evident in renewed and improved relationships with each other and the environment.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Haunting parable of love and destiny

The Circle of Fate (Hardcover) by Raja Mohanty (Author), Sirish Rao (Author), Radhashyam Raut (Author) Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Above the peaks of the Himalaya, Garuda, the divine eagle of the god Vishnu, sees the Lord of Death hastening toward an exquisitely beautiful little bird. He decides to save it and hides it away-but can death be cheated?
This haunting parable of love and destiny is illustrated in the delicate and ornamental Patachitra tradition of Orissa, eastern India.

Radhashyam Raut is a young painter, trained in the traditional art of Patachitra mural paintings of Orissa, where he lives and works.

About the Author: Raja Mohanty has written and illustrated ten books, many of them made by his own hand from adaptations of Chekhov stories to 'silly tales' for children. He teaches courses in design and visual arts at the Industrial Design Centre of Mumbai's IIT, and is involved in several projects on Indian art and cultural traditions. [Prof. Raja Mohanty]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blemished Revised Edition of Savitri

An hour comes when fail all Nature's means—an Editorial Issue
RY Deshpande on Thu 16 Jul 2009 02:17 AM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

In many places Sri Aurobindo scans ‘inspires’ or ‘desires’ with three syllables, trisyllabic though generally they are disyllabic; so too could be taken ‘hour’ as ‘ho/ ur’. As far as rhythm is concerned, it is a matter of one’s taste and association, one’s predilections also; nor can there be any strict formula everywhere for the same poet; it could depend upon the situation. Then, while in the ‘arrival’-line there is a strong ‘r’-alliterative effect, in the ‘comes’-line the additional ‘m’-alliteration brings a kind of self-closing poetic result. Nor is this line that kind of a mantra in which nothing can be changed, the exact word in the exact position. There is neither the inevitability of ‘arrives’ nor of ‘comes’.

And yet there is a problem... One way of looking at the situation, as vehemently suggested by the upholders of the ‘arrives’, the editors of the blemished Revised Edition, is as follows. [...]

We have argued about some of these aspects in Editing Savitri—a Brief Discussion but a more detailed look into it is essential. This can happen only if there is access to the archival documents. Until then one can only point out uncertainties in the revised text and leave the matters at that. Savitri: the Light of the Supreme Recent Articles
An hour comes when fail all Nature's means—an Editorial Issue
An hour comes when fail all Nature's means—and there is the help
An hour comes when fail all Nature's means
Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate—arrival of the fated day
Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate—a story written long ago
Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate—a Query
Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate
The Issue—a Synoptic Rendering
The Issue—Related Letters from Sri Aurobindo
The Issue—as summarised by AB Purani
The Issue—Complete with Paraphrased Text and the Mother’s Explanation
The Issue—Paraphrased Text and the Mother’s Explanation [5]
The Issue—Paraphrased Text and the Mother’s Explanation [4]
The Issue—Paraphrased Text and the Mother’s Explanation [3]
The Issue—Paraphrased Text and the Mother’s Explanation [2]
Recent Comments
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Re: Re: Re: Typal being born as Human being by RY Deshpande
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The Melodrama of Difference (Or, The Revenge of the Colonized) by Jean Baudrillard Debashish Wed 15 Jul 2009 03:29 PM PDT

What I have scrupulously avoided and consider as illegitimate in the many commentators who continue to do it, is a flattening of the mystery of the Unknowable by "explaining" it. This is more so the case with Sri Aurobindo than anyone else. Meditations are meant to be meditated on. Poetic writing is an engagement with the Other and bears the sensible imprint of the Other. This is what makes it speak in so many tongues to so many people and not exhaust itself.

Baudrillard's piece here is perfectly coherent once one catches the Idea behind it. In detail it may take some time to unravel, but that's what staying with a text is about. Just as Shiva destroyed the three worlds with one arrow, Baudrillard's text achieves its powerful ramifications with one Idea which yet retains its silence. DB Re: The Melodrama of Difference Debashish

Friday, July 03, 2009

Sri Aurobindo deserves more attention than he has managed so far

#1 Tusar N. Mohapatra URL July 25, 2007 12:32 AM
Sri Aurobindo is excluded from the author's list of recommendations. His Savitri is a marvel. [Savitri Era Learning Forum: The Life Divine should sometimes also ...]
#2 Vivek URL July 25, 2007 03:10 AM
Aurobindo does not find mention because as a poet he is quite an unknown entity; perhaps he deserves more attention than he has managed so far, but fact of the matter is that the poets I mentioned here are not only the most celebrated authors in their languages, in most cases they are the most influential thinkers, writers, poets of their age and their appeal is universal.
I should have included Valmiki, Ved Vyas, Ovid, and some Chinese poets as well as poets from many other languages.

Vivek Sharma is a Pushcart nominated poet, an engineer with a PhD, a career scientist and an Indian-American writer. His work is published or forthcoming in Poetry, Atlanta Review, The Cortland Review, Kartika Review, Bateau, etc. He contributes columns and verses to Divya Himachal (Hindi newspaper in India) and his research is published in science journals. Vivek spend his childhood in Himachal Pradesh, undergraduate days in IIT Delhi, doctoral days in & around Georgia Tech, Atlanta and is currently a postdoctoral research associate in Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (MA). Vivek's first collection, "Saga of a Crumpled Piece of Paper" (63 poems, English) will be published by Writers Workshop, Calcutta in 2009.