Archive for July 2013
The Gita recognizes that the change of standpoint it calls for is something that occurs over time and through a series of steps. Therefore, we must be prepared to follow the Gita’s line of development to the end before trying to judge any specific step as the ultimate intention. In the early chapters, the Gita does not fully work out the concept of the Purushottama; rather it focuses primarily on what might be considered “next steps” to address the current need of Arjuna, and then systematically moves on to further developments.
Sri Aurobindo discusses the concepts: “He speaks as yet not at all in set terms of the Purushottama, but of himself,–‘I’, Krishna, Narayana, the Avatar, the God in man who is also the Lord in the universe incarnated in the figure of the divine charioteer of Kurukshetra. ‘In the Self, then in Me,’ is the formula he gives, implying…
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We live in an interconnected world in which all forms and beings have interchange with one another. In reality this is due to their unity, but for those living primarily in a consciousness of separation, it appears to be a “give and take”, an interchange, or even a mutual devouring. Sri Aurobindo summarizes the essence of this relationship: “All active existence must be in its inmost reality a sacrifice of works offered by Prakriti to Purusha, Nature offering to the supreme and infinite Soul the desire of the multiple finite Soul within her.” Regardless of the Divinity to whom we offer the sacrifice, which is purely dependent on the level of development of the being and thus, the level of recognition it can achieve, it is still an offering directed at that larger Reality of which all must partake.
The interconnection cannot be avoided: “…for existence is one and its…
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Consciousness develops in man from its earliest impulsions of desire and satisfaction of the demands of the ego, through an ever-widening appreciation of the larger context and framework within which the individual ego exists. We move to concern for others, for meeting needs of family, community, society, and eventually a recognition of universal and divine Powers and Principles, and an increasing understanding of universal Nature and the inter-relationship of all beings in a biosphere and ecosphere where we begin to understand that each one of us is part of that larger whole, and what we do affects that whole, and that the health of that whole affects the health of each one of us.
Sri Aurobindo provides an overview of this process: “Only when the individual being begins to perceive and acknowledge in his acts the value of the self in others as well as the power and needs of…
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The successive widening of the circles of awareness and action that develop the ethical, moral and religious principles to offset the hold of the individual desire-bound egoistic personality is a transitional phase, and remains within the province of the ego. In fact, while the ego is widened, it has not been overpassed or mastered; rather it has simply found a larger field within which to exercise itself, and new fulfillments to satisfy its now more subtle forms of desire.
The real and ultimate solution comes about when we are able finally, to move to a standpoint of universal Oneness and Unity, and recognize all existence as one Being, with all the consequences that flow from that standpoint.
Sri Aurobindo describes the process of attaining the perfect working: “That can only come when he perceives that the self in him and the self in others are one being and this self…
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Schelling and Whitehead were speculative philosophers. This appellative, like that of metaphysician or theologian, may carry with it certain baggage that those of a skeptical or positivist bent are wont to do without. But aside from those epochal moments when thinkers are suddenly inspired by speculative imagination, or by the break through of concept creation, or the influx of divine logos, I can’t see any further sources of genuine philosophical insight. We may as well admit we don’t believe in these possibilities anymore and let philosophy die. It’d be more honest to just call our actual endeavor that of “linguistic analysis” or “skeptical reflection upon factual evidence” or “techno-scientific transformation of nature” or whatever.
Whitehead, for one, was not ready to lay wisdom in her grave. In The Aims of Education, he wrote:
“In my view the creation of the world is the ﬁrst unconscious act of speculative…
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The traditional path of knowledge as a means of liberation has tended to lead away from the life of the world to a renunciation of worldly action and a dissolution into the infinite consciousness of the supreme Brahman. The traditional path of works has focused on dedicated actions to achieve specific goals, but again, has shied away from taking on the myriad actions and impulsions of the life of the world.
The Gita’s unique synthesis calls on us to act from knowledge: the knowledge of the illusory nature of the individual separated being acting under impulsions of desire to aggrandise the ego; to recognize the reality of the supreme,infinite and impersonal Consciousness that maintains all within it and is not disturbed by the actions of Nature.
The Gita at the same time enjoins us to carry out works, but not for the achievement of the fruits of action, or for…
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The Gita’s view of the sacrifice is based on the unity of all existence. This unity is the subject taken up and expounded by the Upanishads, in particular the Isha Upanishad and the Taittiriya Upanishad. In the Isha Upanishad, the seer states: “But he who sees everywhere the Self in all existences and all existences in the Self, shrinks not thereafter from aught. He in whom it is the Self-Being that has become all existences that are Becomings, for he has the perfect knowledge, how shall he be deluded, whence shall he have grief who sees everywhere oneness? It is He that has gone abroad–That which is bright, bodiless, without scar of imperfection, without sinews, pure, unpierced by evil. The Seer, the Thinker, the One who becomes everywhere, the Self-existent has ordered objects perfectly according to their nature from years sempiternal.” (Isha Upanishad, 6-8)
The Gita incorporates this knowledge into…
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