Monday, September 24, 2007

Sri Aurobindo provided a "post-modern" commentary on society more than 80 years ago

084 rc. Should IY community practice Habermasian intersubjectivity? by ronjon on Sat 23 Jul 2005 02:21 PM PDT Permanent Link From: "Richard" Date: July 23, 2005 2:21:02 PM PDT To: Subject: well,..why (how) even talk about it'!!!
All intersubjectivity implies is how in a rationally ordered secular society men and women come to a common agreement and judgment. Therefore so in this context, in this day and age, I can find nothing to doubt about the utility of coming to such common agreements.
Now the reason that many of us maybe skeptical of these common agreements, including Sri Aurobindo especially in politics and secular democracies of our day and age, is that they do not really employ Habermas's methodology for achieving intersubjectivity. In short these "secular societies are most often "oligarchies" supported by the simulations and simulacra of mass media which have become effective tools of propaganda, and thus for the oligarchy to retain power. And it is true that Sri Aurobindo who in this context valued "social" democracies (at present Switzerland) over "individual" democracies ( at present USA) - goes on to say that such rational existence by common agreement will not hold long simply because the vitalistic demands of individuals and groups seeking their special interest would tear it apart. (Its amazing how he contextually provided a "post-modern" commentary on society more than 80 years ago)...
Why introduce Sri Aurobindo into a wider cultural context' In fact, there were two very good caveats which were mentioned at AUM concerning the potential for success in entering the public discourse, one made by Matthijs and one by Bindu. Matthijs spoke of the dangers of mistranslation of Sri Aurobindo's terminology which is endowed with a certain power of consciousness, and Bindu warned of the dangers of diluting Sri Aurobindo's message. (goodness knows we have all seen examples of this) (I also will add that although Matthijs has some caveats about the success of the project, that paradoxically I think he does manage to successfully find the appropriate language for engaging IY and science in his talks and writing)
Now these are very real dangers when one enters the intersubjective sphere of discourse. the problem of language looms especially large. And it was a hope of mine and I think of Debashish as well, that this forum may become an instrument of uncovering just such an appropriate language.
And here is the crux of the problem, and why I believe it is important to do so, Disregarding the fundamental issue that it may be in the best interest of the greater "planetary" culture to come into contact with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the other reason for engaging the IY in a wider context is quite simple; because if those who are attempting to sincerely practice the yoga do not find the appropriate language and engage in proper intersubjective public dialog, then others who are perhaps less sincere will do it anyway. And I would argue as Sri Aurobindo becomes even more relevant for the future evolution of mankind, he will be increasingly brought to public attention.
Simply stated if we don't do it, other will do it for us, and the results will be very mixed. People like Ken Wilber, Allan Combs, Andrew Cohen will in the absence of other more sincere voices become the popular spokespersons for interpreting Sri Aurobindo to the wider public. And although they may be well intentioned, I may add they will do so with the intent unconsciously or consciously of placing their own system on top of the heap... Keywords: SriAurobindo Posted to: Main Page

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