Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Habermas famously pronounced modernity an “unfinished project”

“The peculiar tenor of current ideological campaigns against fanaticism derives from the smug conviction that ‘we’ are indeed enlightened, and the concomitant notion that the Enlightenment is something to be preserved rather than enacted, furthered or repeated. Especially prevalent is the idea that Enlightenment is something like a cultural patrimony (a ‘value’, precisely) which defines our civilization. It would perhaps be otiose to point out the many ways in which contemporary, rationalist visions originating in the French Lumière or German Aufklärungare systematically denied in the contemporary political panorama. If we can indeed speak of it as a project, much of the Enlightenment is not merely unfinished: it has been ignored, buried or traduced.”    Alberto Toscano, Fanaticism: The Uses of An Idea, Verso, 2010, p. 99 review forthcoming) Copyleft of Lenin's Tomb

Several decades ago, well before there had been any concerted effort among historians and sociologists of religion to trash the standard model of the “secularization thesis,” Jürgen Habermas famously pronounced modernity an “unfinished project,” and then proceeded to outline both the conditions needed to complete the project and the barriers that the twentieth century had thrown up in its way. This is obviously not the place to rehearse Habermas’s ideas, especially since so many others have done it well. . . . But, for the present purposes, I think we can usefully boil the conditions down to two.

Vellupillai Murugesu - 'An inspirational life' The Island Anil Tittawella, President’s Counsel
Vellupillai Murugesu (fondly known as "Freddie") passed away on Saturday 20th March 2010 at the age of 86. … Born a Hindu he later became an ardent follower of the teachings and the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. He was instrumental in creating the Sri Aurobindo Society and spearheaded the movement’s work in Sri Lanka.
Retirement, after such an assiduous career, might have been sadly anticlimactic, but Mr. Murugesu went on to derive much pleasure by concentrating his energies on the unfinished business of completing the Sri Aurobindo Centre and spent his days in meditation, teaching and propagating the philosophical teachings of Sri Aurobindo. Even in retirement and in a vastly different endeavour his appetite for perfectionism never waned. He was relentless in his pursuit and the result is the now completed Sri Aurobindo Centre. Like the law firm he created and fostered with much devotion he left a fine legacy in Colombo for the Sri Aurobindo Movement, which has evolved to be a fine seat of learning and meditation. 

Nandini Satpathy Fondly Recalled from Orissa Matters by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Nandini Satpathy had epitomized the determination against gender discrimination and was in her assertive best in the male dominated political scenario. In this respect she was the first in Orissa and one of the first few in India that have made their marks in applied democracy.
Orissa, to her credit, had, before emergence of Nandini, excellent leaders amongst the women like Sarala Devi, Rama Devi and Malati Choudhury. But, though legendary Gandhians, none of these leaders had ever been in assertive politics. […]
She was in fact a wonderful personality in politics. […] Her birthday was celebrated on 8th at the State Information Center she had founded in Bhubaneswar. The day had begun with an exhibition of her photos that are preserved by her son Tathagat Satpathy, M.P. and editor of Dharitri. In the evening, its auditorium was jam-packed to remember her and to hear eminent writer and activist Indira Goswamy as well as Sarojini Sahoo. Both of them, famous for emancipatory writing in interest of women, paid their rich tributes to Mrs Satpathy who had personified women emancipation even as they dealt with the unending psycho-physical trauma females are yet being subjected to in the male-dominated society. Juxtaposing the present time with the time of the formative stage of Mrs Satpathy, they praised her for having pioneered the rise of a new epoch where females feel free to face the challenge from the gender-supremacists.

Having come to read and know all that is written by Heehs on Sri Aurobindo, I feel and understand that an anti-Divine force is active in and through him, and in course of time, he will be swept away by the current and force of Time into oblivion! from ASPIRATION - Aspiration is a call to the Divine. — The Mother

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