Friday, August 10, 2007

Dialoging with the world is what is required today, not the drawing of protected boundaries

Re: Untold Potentialities: India and the Third World. by Richard Hartz (2) by Debashish on Thu 09 Aug 2007 10:57 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link On the issue of cultural specificty and continuity of habitus which Mr. Sane has raised, there is an important distinction to be understood. Cultural specificty and continuity of habitus are not genetic realities, they are historical realities, to some extent accidental, at least from the human viewpoint. We could, of course, affirm the idea of a nation-soul, as Sri Aurobindo does, but we have to read Sri Aurobindo carefully, even when we wish to do this.
  • Which nations have souls?
  • How long does a nation need to be in existence to have a soul?
  • What are the boundaries of the nation with a soul?
  • Can these be equated with political boundaries?
  • Or religious boundaries?
  • And who will decide what are the cultural boundaries?
  • Are these fixed?
  • Or do these include new emergences we cannot predict?

These are some of the questions to be considered if one wishes to tread this dangerous territory. The souls of nations, just like the souls of individuals, manifest historically in time and use circumstances to emerge into the manifestation. Of course, a continuity of habitus or the boundaries of discourse exist within cultures which have developed forms of specificity. The point of fostering such continuities, made by Mr. Sane is well taken.

At the same time, it must be recognized that the emergence of a living consciousness which handles this habitus powerfully and creatively in dialoging with the world is what is required today, not the drawing of protected boundaries to identify a sect(ion) or cult(ure) as a privileged fossil. DB

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