Monday, May 31, 2010

Between Jerusalem and Puducherry

Len Moskowitz May 30, 2010 at 11:09 am | Reply
Have you seen the film “Jews and Buddhism: Belief Amended, Faith Revealed”? In it there’s a clip of Ben Gurion being interviewed along with the Prime Minister of Burma, and they discuss religion.
It’s a shame Ben Gurion couldn’t find the gold buried in his own backyard.
I have a screener at home- I was the talking head for TJC showing. At some point I might post the documents of Ben-Gurions visit to a Buddhist monastery, his letter to various Buddhist leaders, and the Religious party’s protest.
Would you have liked him to follow the mekubbalim of the old yishuv and reject Zionism, army, and physical labor. Or would you have liked him to follow Rav Ashlag who met with Ben Gurion to make sure that the Jewish state would be communist, the only true Jewish economic system. Rav Ashlag also rejected the performance of the kavvanot.
I liked this piece becuase it brought in Bergman, Sadan, and the Theon society.
There is a paper entitled “Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Sri Aurobindo: Towards a Comparison” by Margaret Chatterjee that appeared in the book “Between Jerusalem and Benares: Comparative Studies in Judaism and Hinduism” edited by Hananya Goodman, SUNY Press, 1994. (I found it through a citation by Y. Mirsky.) It’s not a groundbreaking work on either figure, but it’s sort of interesting that it was written at all. 

 But all will not be lost if the teachings and works of the recent Spiritual Masters like Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Ramana Maharishi are publicized. Wendy Doniger and her likes can wave a few pages of the Rig Veda translated by half-baked knowledge and may shout the scripture to be primitive. But works like Aurobindo’s “The Secret of the Veda” written about a century ago is an antidote to such travesties. The Secret of the Veda obliterates the ignorance about the sublime Sruti. Sri Aurobindo decoded the inner meaning of the Rig Veda through such tools as philology and etymology. For example, Ashwa is not a horse but Energy/Force,  and Cow means Light/Illumination,  and Soma is not alcohol, but Divine Bliss. The yogi thus fetched the sublimity of the mystic poetry to the vicinity of a commoner. Similarly Swami Vivekananda  takes us to the Atharva Veda for the true explanation of the Shiva Lingam.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Inmates, though a few in number, take up the cause to bring back the administration on the rails

The inmates are broadly divided in the following group:
1) Inmates concentrating on Integral Yoga are not bothered about anything except to look into their own defects and opening them to the Mother for transformation:
2) Inmates, though much perturbed with the prevailing affairs in the Ashram, prefer to pray to The Mother for appropriate intervention, since the Ashram was Her creation:
3) Inmates vocal about the Trustees’ mismanagement, misdeeds and allowing unlawful and corrupt practices but do not want the in-house controversies to become public:
4) Inmates critical of the Trustees' actions but keep quiet apprehending vindictive action by the Trustees:
5) Inmates not concerned about anything except their personal needs and comforts:
6) Inmates close to the Trustees and recipient of undue favours are therefore their blind supporters:
7) Inmates work hard to impress the authorities or those close to these at of power to serve their unsatisfied desire to come to limelight and get into position of importance:
8) Inmates give vent to their feelings to outside devotees and persuade them to initiate actions including legal action remaining in the background:
9) Inmates, insignificant in number, disgruntled and perhaps frustrated out of non-satisfaction of their desire in the Ashram, with aim to settle personal score create ineffective ripples:
10) Inmates, though a few in number, take up the cause to bring back the administration on the rails:

The Trustees, taking stock of the above, became complacent and went ahead with their audacious act of defying The Mother’s specific instructions.

A Gujrathi Scholar who is my friend wearing a mask had produced a lengthy literary debate over tampering of Aurobindo's epic Savitri, and since literary circles must evaluate the other side this gets published here 
This is literary debate: this is what devotees say: a gujrathi scholar wrote this wearing the mask. Hence I don’t want to unmask him. As true democrat I took the responsibility to publish this since spineless devotees failed to place in public domain what for they are finding fault with Mr. Peter Heehs ? Let debate be in open forum…………I am not endorsing this nor I am backing them…….... N. Nandhivarman
from     Nandhi Varman to date 29 May 2010 06:21

Publisher’s Note: I am an atheist. I dont subscribe to the philosophy or ideals of Aurobindo. But being in Puducherry, I had supported the struggle for internal democracy and human rights within Ashram for more than 15 years. This struggle reported by local media and national press had yet to be compiled. I am placing all materials I have for the devotees to do that compilation. A devotee's comments on Ashram Rules, commented years before, is given below..... N. Nandhivarman Blogs - ASHRAM RULES X-RAYED 26 May 2010 Blogs - WHY INMATES FAIL in THEIR STRUGGLE ? 2 May 2010  
[...] To date 14 May 2010 12:11 subject Fw: Nandivarman message

In fact, given the logic of the existence of numbers as qualitative phenomena, each of which is connected to wholeness and the Supermind or unus mundus as the one-continuum, her challenge regarding the Matrimandir needs to be seriously ...
Any serious student of Sri Aurobindo's life and yoga will agree that his work represents a radical departure from all previous spiritual paths. It challenges thousands of years of traditional wisdom that regards a transcendence of the ...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Subbu's velvet glove

from D. Subbramaniam to date 25 May 2010 13:06 subject Another failed book and author
Dear Mr. Tusar Mohapatra,
It looks like some people just thrive on controversies. And this includes those who create them, those who react to them and those who propagate them.
If the Overman Foundation is a serious and credible institution, it is surprising that it should take the trouble to desperately locate and then comment on a controversial subject, particularly a book such as The Failed Prophet that is written  by a completely unknown and insignificant author. 
I live in Tamil Nadu and read Sri Aurobindo's books as well as books on related subjects and I have so far never even remotely heard of this author until today. I also enquired from some friends who share my intersts and just one one them had heard about the author in some vague way. In any event the book named The Failed Prophet seems to be a non-starter.
If people are really and seriously interested in following and upholding Sri Aurobindo's work, why do they need to directly or indirectly promote people such as Mr. Nandhivarman? He is of course, just like all of us are, entitled to his constitutional right of freeedom of speech and thought and therefore believe and write whatever he wishes. But why should the Overman Foundation or the SEOF play into hands and give him any importance and promote him? Is there a mutual interest being achieved by this sensationalism? Or is there a slogan-shouting match going on here where each one is trying to prove how righteous each one is?
Or are the Overman Foundation and the SEOF hand in glove with the author of this controversial book? How did they even get a copy of this book which is completely unknown and obscure, even on the internet?
Wouldn't we all be better off ignoring such non-existent issues instead of running around to first find them and thereafter paying any attention to them? Best Regards, D. Subbramaniam @ Subbu

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nandhivarman has changed the target of his attack to Sri Aurobindo

OVERMAN FOUNDATION CONDEMNS THE BOOK ‘THE FAILED PROPHET’ May 22, 2010 at 6:47 am (Uncategorized) Following the controversy regarding the book The Failed Prophet, the Chairman of Overman Foundation Shri Anurag Banerjee has issued the following statement:
Before the storm revolving around Peter Heehs’ book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo could subside, another derogatory book on Sri Aurobindo written by N. Nandhivarman and titled The Failed Prophet has seen the light of the day. The author for a number of years has written on the ‘mismanagement’ of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust and its Trustees. But now he has changed the target of his attack from Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust (though he has devoted more than twenty five pages of this book to criticize the functioning of the Trust) to Sri Aurobindo.
Not only has the author revealed his the limited scholarliness (which too is full of misinterpretations) through this book but also his own ignorance of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy which he has rubbished. What Sri Aurobindo has done for 
India and the world, rather, the entire mankind, is known to all. Therefore it matters little if the author feels that Sri Aurobindo’s contribution is negligible. In a secular country like India where freedom of speech is a constitutional right every individual is free to express his views and the author of The Failed Prophet has made good use of his constitutional right. But it hardly matters what Mr. Nandhivarman’s views are about Sri Aurobindo. His is a lone voice which would surely get drowned in the ocean of reverence the entire world has for Sri Aurobindo. Men like Mr. Nandhivarman would come and go but the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother will go on till the aim of their yoga is achieved. This book can create a short-lived sensation (with some of its sentences like ‘Aurobindo Ghose had brainwashed a small tribe to dream they are supermen’ or ‘He could use the mastery of the language to mesmerize people but he failed to become a Super human being. He passed away like other mortals,’) among those who have little faith in Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy but just as no dark cloud can darken the radiance of the sun, no one and nothing can malign the greatness of Sri Aurobindo.
Let Mr. Nandhivarman be happy with his wrong convictions of the futility of the work of Sri Aurobindo. But we have no hesitation to proclaim that Overman Foundation condemns The Failed Prophet.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mohrhoff is no amateur

9 nemonemini 05/17/2010 2:35 pm
The idea of involution is problematical, discussed here:
10 Timaeus 05/17/2010 4:04 pm
I’ve already made a general statement about Hinduism in my comment on the May 15 post by Denyse, so I won’t repeat it here. Regarding Mr. Mohrhoff’s explication of the relationship of Hinduism to evolution, I find it muddy.
One of the problems is that discussions of evolution in a Hindu context often employ the term “evolution” equivocally. Sometimes it means something like “self-development” or “expression over time of an implicit nature”, and sometimes it refers to the psychological or biological development of the individual, rather than a cosmological or macroevolutionary process, and at other times several meanings overlap in unclear ways.
The problem goes back to the original meaning of “evolution” in English, which prior to the fusion of Darwin’s ideas with Spencer’s vocabulary (Darwin hardly used the term “evolution” in his earlier writings) meant something different from what it does today.
Thus, older translations of the Hindu texts may use the word “evolution” in a way that misleads the modern reader. Even modern expositions of Hinduism (like the one attempted by Mr. Mohrhoff) may do this.
I think the point that Mohrhoff is making is that the kind of self-unfolding of the physical and organic universe may be conceived in a way that is neither the random chance of Darwinism nor the intelligent design of Paley, but more like the development of an oak tree from an acorn. Thus, there is a design or plan, but not necessarily proceeding from a conscious intelligence, but more like an implicit intelligence. So later life forms might “evolve” from earlier life forms neither due to chance nor due to conscious steering by a man-like Deity, but due to an inner necessity. Of course, that inner necessity would ultimately be traceable back to the ultimate divine source of all being, Brahman, but Brahman does not stand to nature as a Creator-god does in Western religion. That is why he is distancing his Hindu solution from intelligent design. At least, that is my guess about his meaning.
Of course, one could argue that the unfolding or “evolution” of an acorn into an oak testifies to an implicit intelligent design, a kind of packed-in plan. Thus, if the evolution of the cosmos and life is like the development of an oak tree, or of a human embryo, etc., this “Hindu” solution could be thought of as an indirect form of intelligent design. But I don’t think Mohrhoff would accept that interpretation.
Generally speaking, I distrust discussions of evolution in relation to Eastern religions. Almost always I find they involve some distortion, because the writers or speakers have an inadequate understanding of modern evolutionary theory, or of Eastern religion, or of both, and frequently they are so eager to find connections that their scholarship is sloppy. I do not know of a first-rate *scholarly* treatment of Hinduism and evolutionary theory, and I think the lack of authoritative scholarly handling has allowed a lot of amateurs and dilettantes into the discussion. And while Mr. Mohrhoff may be a bright individual, I don’t think a German physicist is the right man to put together Sanskrit studies of the Upanishads with modern evolutionary biology. Nor does the editorial board of his journal strike me as filled with people who are highly qualified for such a project. T. 
11 Matteo 05/17/2010 11:08 pm
There is an affinity between atheism and Hinduism (at least as understood pantheistically) in terms of rejecting ID. It flows from the simple fact that both belief systems reject the maxim: “There is a God, and you are not Him”. 

Timaeus 05/16/2010 2:10 pm
Some comments have been made here about Hinduism. As I did graduate-level study of that religion, I thought I should make some points. […] If the speaker wanted to make the very general point that evolutionary ideas *can be found* in Indian thought — Hindu or Buddhist — I would have no objection. But to say that evolutionary ideas can be found in Indian thought is different from saying (1) Indian thought overall is evolutionary [in the modern Western sense] or (2) Indian evolutionary thought is historically responsible for Western evolutionary thought.
On the second point, while it is possible that some Greek thinkers came into contact with Indian thinkers, it is not certain (the ancient accounts of Pythagoras’s travels and so on are notoriously unreliable); and in any case, what we have left of Pythagoras is not evolutionary in a Darwinian sense. As for the proto-evolutionary ideas in Ionian thought and atomist thought, they are a logical outflow of materialism and atomism, and don’t require any hypothesis of Indian influence.
Almost any “big idea” is found in parallel forms around the world. That doesn’t show historical influence. There is no evidence that Darwin, Lamarck, etc. were thinking about Hinduism when they formulated their evolutionary notions. If they were thinking about ancient thinkers at all, it was probably the atomists or the Stoics, and both of those schools can be accounted for as home-grown phenomena of the West.
As for the other comment made by Ilion, that Christianity and Hinduism are in opposition, it of course depends entirely upon which features of Christianity and Hinduism you single out for comparison. There are important differences and important similarities. But both are opposed to all forms of purely mechano-materialistic thought insofar at they affirm a spiritual reality which cannot be reduced to matter in motion or laws of nature or chance.
A Hindu philosopher might easily be a “theistic evolutionist” of some sort, i.e., might believe that the universe in its physical aspect unfolds in accord with a set of material necessities, while affirming ultimate divine sovereignty over all that happens, and the freedom of the human soul to transcend material necessity through knowledge of the divine.
A Hindu thinker might even be able to accept, in some limited form, neo-Darwinian mechanisms. But the Hindu thinker would never agree with the interpretation put upon evolution by Dawkins, Coyne, etc., and still less with the sunny, “progressive” notion of evolution promoted by Huxley and others. Neither atheism nor “progress” in the Western sense are acceptable principles to orthodox schools of Hinduism.

25 Timaeus 05/18/2010 12:42 pm Zephyr @ 20:
Perhaps I made a hasty judgment about Mohrhoff and his associates.
From the description of their academic training given on the web site, it seemed to me that very few of them had any deep exposure to bona fide Indian thought, and that gave me the impression that they were dilettantes of a New Age variety. However, if you can verify that they are all serious scholars in their fields, then perhaps they have also taken the time to read serious works on Indian philosophy. So I’ll suspend judgment.
Nonetheless, I think it’s fair to say that any public arguments trying to link Indian thought with western science in general, or evolutionary theory in particular, ought to make substantial use of the texts of the Indian tradition. This can be done well or badly. On the related thread to this one, from a few days ago, I pointed out where someone had done it badly.
Capra, in the Tao of Physics, demonstrates a serious knowledge of Indian tradition. I cannot speak for his interpretation of modern physics, but he appears to understand the basics of Hindu and Buddhist thinking well, and to have consulted well-established secondary literature. If Mohrhoff knows the Indian tradition as well as Capra does, then I would listen to his suggestions with respect. T.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Unimagined levels of mixing and fusion of disparate world cultures

You have ancient Rig Vedic incantations on one channel, a tango and salsa influenced Bollywood dance on the next and a discussion of the Indian IT scene on third and so on. The Indian mind of the 21st century is a highly contextual filing system. Every moment invokes a particular context and perspective. One moment you're praying to the fire gods, the next moment you're debugging your cell phone.
I think India is striving for completeness in a way that makes the US's earlier attempt look like a joke. In religion, you have a baby Jesus shrine on a major intersection, the Muslim call for prayer at 5AM every day, and innumerable Hindu temples, Sikh shrines etc. all over the place. All the religious forces are here clamoring for attention. On one channel you have GOD TV, the next one is MAA TV etc.
In music, you have hip hop fused with Indian ragas with some rap and salsa beats thrown in. There's plenty of jazz-raga fusion going on and there's also a fairly nascent rock scene emerging. I got a chance to play with a roadside band in Bangalore a few weeks ago to promote the standingonfish blog which was a lot of fun. If all goes well - and this is a big if - India should have a developed full spectrum culture in about 100 years with unimagined levels of mixing and fusion of disparate world cultures.

The crucial extra element that Aurobindo brought to Indian philosophy/mysticism is a collective aspect of spirit. While he describes communion, union and identity with Spirit in a manner that is similar to Vedanta, he later articulates the descent of the Supermind along with the creation of a new Man and a new advanced society. The Mother (Mirra Alfassa) attempted to carry out this program and helped found Auroville - a model for such an advanced society. In recent times, this theme has been further developed in a (constructive) postmodern direction by Ken Wilber and his followers. 
The ashram in Pondicherry is also immaculate. Due to The Mother's influence, it has beautiful floral arrangements. In contrast to Ramana Maharishi's ashram, it has much smaller meditation spaces (at least public ones). Through some contacts, we managed to get passes to go to the upper floor of the ashram and observe the living quarters of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother since these have been preserved. You're greeted by the exhortation "Cling to the Truth" as you climb the stairs.
I tried to meditate while sitting in the presence of Aurobindo's portrait and was rewarded with an unexpected communion with his rather arresting eyes when I opened my own and looked up after the meditation. The area surrounding the ashram is very well kept and maintained - in sharp contrast to the squalor in Tiruvannamalai - and this is no doubt due to the "descent of the Supermind" community-centric philosophy and The Mother's influence. The meditation areas left much to be desired though.
In conclusion, and on a somewhat downbeat note, I felt that these spirits had really departed. Both ashrams have a mausoleum-like feel and no new leaders with anything close to these personalities have emerged. Tough act to follow I must admit. I'm going to check out Auroville the next time I'm in India

Zaadz: Anand’s blog » Daniel Stoljar in his book "Ignorance and Imagination: The Epistemic Origin of the Problem of Consciousness" argues that consciousness is logically supervenient on the physical, i.e. experiential facts can be "read off" from more basic physical facts and laws. David Chalmers in his book, "The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory" argues that consciousness is not logically supervenient on the physical, i.e. experiential facts cannot be read off from more basic physical facts and laws. [...]
 I read Wilber in "Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution" as upholding a dual aspect theory. Later when Gregg Rosenberg came out with his brilliant book "A Place for Consciousness: Probing the Deep Structure of the Natural World" which laid out a sophisticated, panexperientialist foundation for consciousnessand causation, I thought that the problem of experience was solved - finally.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rise above personal beliefs in order to seek a harmonious integration and synthesis

from aurosatya vrata to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 11 May 2010 18:26 subject Controversies
Dear Mr. Mohapatra,
I am writing in response to Mr. Timmerman’s concern about the continued raking up of controversies, particularly the re-posting (and re-cyling) of old and probably obsolete messages that serve the purpose of keeping the fire of some controversies raging on the SEOF and other related websites.

It is evident that the purpose of a controversy is to find fault with those who are on the receiving end of the controversy. It is also evident that as long as there are people, particularly large and diverse groups of people, there will always be differences of opinion which are likely to lead to controversies. And that is why controversies are a rather common phenomenon and are not unique to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.

In the particular context of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, I have observed that people on either side of the divide (of controversies), claim to defend and represent the best interests of their Masters, that is The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Isn’t it ironical therefore that Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s followers and disciples fail to apply the principles of the Integration and Synthesis of Yoga and Life that have been imparted by their Masters?

Why is it that particularly those who initiate and fuel controversies, allegedly to defend the best interests of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, fail to rise above their personal beliefs in order to seek a harmonious integration and synthesis of views and opinions? Why is it that those who trigger and stoke controversies forget these important principles of their Master's advise and instead continue to try to assert (and even impose) their opinion on those who might have a different approach, belief or outlook on the same issues?

But, without wanting to take sides, I would like to share the observations that the existence of controversies however indicates at least two things.

Firstly, it shows that the Aurobindonian collectivity is diverse, varied and heterogeneous. I personally do not see this as a short-coming and instead value this and find it very representative of Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s principles and approach. And I believe that if instead of wasting one’s time, energy and resources on emphasizing the differences and controversies that may exist, one spent them on finding ways and means of synthesizing and integrating these differences of opinions and approaches, we would all do a real and greater service to our Masters by achieving a harmonious unity in diversity.

Secondly, whether we like or not, all institutions and organisations are imperfect and there will always be some people who believe that they are aggrieved by this. Even during Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s time, there are numerous instances of aggrieved members (well documented in many of the letters that were written during their time). So, is it reasonable to blow out of proportion the grief that some of the members are feeling and put the entire blame on an institution or its leaders? Will there ever be a perfect institution or organization as long as it is populated and criticized by imperfect members?

Therefore, shouldn’t those who are outside of the institution of the SAA Trust and who find fault with it refrain from poking their nose into the internal affairs of the SAA Trust (and therefore mind their own business), instead? And shouldn’t those who are part of the institution and are aggrieved by it, consider whether they are not wiser to find an inner solution to their problem - as The Mother would repeatedly recommend to the many laments that she would receive from the Ashram inmates - instead of making it into a controversy that results among other things, in the washing of dirty linen in public?

I can therefore only end by asking what good does one really achieve by raking up controversies? And are there other more constructive and positive ways of dealing with differences of opinions? Best Regards, S.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I know you like controversy on your website

from August Timmermans to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 7 May 2010 14:47
subject posting outdated posts
Dear Mr. Tusar,
I am not the only one who finds it frustrating to see you reposting outdated emails, presenting them as if they are part of today's discussions or disputes. Would you not think that such old posts belong to the past, especially when it concerns not more than a personal statement or personal impression? The writer of such an old post lives currently in the present and might have changed his opinion by now. You do not check this out with the writers if they still agree with their earlier statements.

I write this as your current reposting of an email that dates 7, July, 2008, by Seth Farber on his personal impression of the book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo highlights some controversial issues in the book that others have painstakingly analysed and addressed in their decent reviews that have been published over the past 2 years, and such reviews took much more time and effort than the email that obviously was written by Mr. Farber as a casual email to you. Maybe Mr. Farber would now agree with the many extensive analyses of the book that exist today, than keeping to his own conclusions. He may of course not, but we both don't know.

I know you like controversy on your website and you can do with your website whatever you like, but does this really serve a progressive production of thoughts when you take disputes back to where they all began, point zero? August Timmermans

Jung war

7 May 2010 ... and acknowledge the value of Norelli-Bachelet's [Thea's] claims. David Johnston: Eros is a kosmogonos, a creator and father-mother of ... Mirror of Tomorrow :: Main Page ... of Numbers and Unity of Spirit and Matter (Part VI-A)—by David Johnston ... by way of manipulating living numbers and then Norelli-Bachelet's [Thea's] ... 
Not only the two times Norelli is mentioned she is mentioned in tandem with the Mother [Thanks David Johnston, too kind of you! The Mother should feel honored, we know who Norelli claims she is!!!], but to dispel all doubts her pupil-prodigal son triumphally concludes, “I acclaim the intrinsic value of the Mother’s achievement and Norelli-Bachelet’s [Thea’s] esoteric use of numbers regarding the measurements of the inner chamber of the Matrimandir”!
Was it worthy to do witch-hunt for Peter Heehs, alive or dead – to end up glorifying Norelli and starting a new crusade against the measurements of the Matrimandir’s Chamber? Please check that my name appears, not some “Anonymous”. I want everybody to know that the only Aurovilian compelled to comment on psychic/overmental/supramental Jung (a sheer projection of David Johnston’s fantasies), and now Norelli and the Matrimandir’s Chamber, rejects this machinerie on behalf of the entire Auroville. Nobody in Auroville wants to hear about Patrizia Norelli, but she has found a fertile ground in “Mirror of Tomorrow”, where her two watchdogs and [not so ex] coordinator are free to glorify the “Goddess”, Matrimandir included!!!
Is it true that Pranab has left his body because of a monstrous titanic force threatening the Ashram and Auroville? It certainly looks like. Paulette

Circumsolatious: Sri Aurobindo's New Yoga & the Inadequacy of ...
9 Feb 2010 ... [Responses to: David Johnston's - 'Jung's Psychology of the Living God ....soon be posting in which Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea) writes ... Circumsolatious: February 2010 Other Letters from Skambha by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet...... Response to Part I: Let me begin by saying that David Johnston has made an admirable ...
Time and Imperishability 1 Book Review |
Reviewed By David Johnston. During 1985 And 1986, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet Wrote A Series Of Insightful Essays That Have Now Been Collected Together In A ...
Having read David Johnston's presentation on the Mirror of Tomorrow blog ..... “I refuse to read anything coming from Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet...

Strange that Heehs leaves it dangling

From to date 7 July 2008 08:40 subject Sri Aurobindo, Stephen Phillips book, Heehs biography Seth Farber, Ph.D. New York
Dear Tusar,
I am obviously not a professional philosopher but I have a keen interest in metaphysics and eschatology–in salvation. I am a renegade psychologist in the tradition of the radical psychiatrist R D Laing, as you can see from my website.
   Have you reviewed Heehs book yet? I just read it with keen interest. What a excellent book. I have a few quibbles. First he overlooks Savitri which has autobiographical as well as philosophical significance. Obviously judging from Savitri, Aurobindo was a man who had some experience of romantic love–as well as the tragedy of death. One must conclude that this tragedy impinged upon his own life. Can one also not conclude that Aurobindo had “fallen in  love” with Mira Richard? How else can the kind of union Aurobindo asserted he had established with the Mother be attained? And we know that relationship had a profundity greater than mere sexual love and affection about which Aurobindo was dismissive. Aurobindo’s response to Paul Richard which Heehs reports (for the first time, I think) that if the Mother wanted he would marry her (!!!) is indeed provocative. Strange that Heehs leaves it dangling–it is hardly consistent with the usual relationship between guru and disciple–although Heehs' no comment seems to imply (with Aurobindo) that it is. Quite remarkable. Don't you think?
    In the light of these omissions it is not surprising, albeit disappointing, that Heehs also omits a discussion of the idea of physical immortality that is connec ted, I submit, into the idea of romantic love. In the kingdom of death love is doomed.  Is this not the meaning of Savitri for modern man/woman?  Have you read Vladimir Solovyov whose ideas seem to parallel Savitri?
   Aurobindo was correct: an biography of him had to remain strangely incomplete because so much about this enigmatic figure remained  below the surface–as even Heehs’ excavations have confirmed.    I look forward to any thoughts you may have on my musings above.
   Thanks for your website. I hope it is possible and not difficult for you to reestablish the link to SP’s book. Namaste. Regards, Seth