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About Philip

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  1. Jed McKenna On Selecting Teachers

    I'm of the opinion Jed McKenna's nothing more than a clever literary device. The books are quite satirical, in addition to having more than a few kernels of genuine wisdom. If he is indeed more than just a fictional character, my impression is he really doesn't take himself all that seriously. I've not laughed harder while reading a book about enlightenment than when I read the book quoted atop this thread. Well, maybe while reading Jitterbug Perfume ... Love Tom Robbins!
  2. Aurobindo Anyone?

    Yeah, this is interesting. I'm now a good bit of the way through The Integral Yoga. There appear to be a lot of the same thoughts in this book that are in Letters On Yoga. I think many of his letters were compiled and added to this text. He clearly says the transformation can go either way, and that in the end it will require both. The subtitle of the book The Integral Yoga is Sri Aurobindo's Teaching and Method of Practice. I have yet to see any actual practical advice, though again I'm barely halfway through it, so there's certainly time for that. His yoga seems to hinge on the encouragement of what he calls the Psychic Being. The psychic being is like a seed of the Divine Spirit. It is buried underneath the soil of the mental, vital, and physical. Once watered properly, it is the psychic being that helps engineer an ascent out of the mental, vital, and physical. The complete transformation then takes place as the Divine Spirit descends back down, filling the lower planes with Bliss, Ananda, what-have-you. Is this an accurate interpretation from your point of view, bindo? Anyone interested in this work should check out - All of it is available there free of charge. After I finish The Integral Yoga, I am really interested in reading The Secret of Veda. This is really heady stuff for anyone into mythology ala Joseph Campbell's Masks of God, or cultural anthropology in terms of developmental stages of the human race. Philip
  3. Aurobindo Anyone?

    Thanks for the specific reference. I'll post more here as thoughts arise ...
  4. Aurobindo Anyone?

    Sweet ... Thanks for the link to further reading! Does he or Mother indicate any particular meditative techniques for awakening the psychic being, and subesquently transcending the physical/vital/mental planes? Furthermore, he seems to describe the final descension as completely spontaneous. Is this your understanding of his description? Thanks.
  5. Ideagasms

    Not sure how the ascension is actually going, but his e-mails of late are pretty amusing. They could be completely legit ... I just tend to be skeptical about them. Earlier this month, he sent an e-mail saying he and Greta were going offline to meditate for three weeks straight, stopping only to eat, sleep, and screw. That e-mail then predictably turned into a sales pitch for one of his products, one for which he is temporarily dropping the price in half. About 10 days later he sends one that gives a pretty good description of meditation and gradual progress, of having an aha moment, then being drug back into the mental projections about said moment. The guy does talk a good game, but again, he's not really saying anything I haven't read elsewhere before. He does mention something about being able to leave your body, but he hardly sounds ascended. He then sends another e-mail about how he meditated for 9 hours straight that day ... I don't suppose I have any real reason to disbelieve the guy. He does give some decent pointers in this one that border on an original presentation. Of course, all of these e-mails end up as sales pitches, which is fine. I know that's the business model ... just something to be aware of. Finally, maybe a week ago or less, he sends out links to two responses (one his and one greta's) about all the "hate" going around. I dunno, it all rings a bit foul to me, cuz if I declare an offline sabbatical for meditation purposes until X date, I'm most likely not going deal with online issues until X date. So today I get one that says, thanks to the brilliant momentum of their meditations, he's putting everything in the ideagasms store on sale, saying, "I realize there is some kind of financial crisis going on all over the world, at least this is what I have heard, so hopefully this will cut people some slack. It will also give me another break and allow me to meditate for as long as it takes, so if you bought something at full-price, please forgive me for putting on these specials, and know that your hard earned money has allowed my wife and I to seek Enlightenment with very few distractions." I dunno, again, no particular reason to distrust the guy, but I find it comical and I'm glad I never spent any money with him. Prolly more than you needed to know, but that's where it stands with his search for ascension ... at least according to his newsletters. Philip
  6. Yeah, these are tough questions language is not really good at answering. In my experience, "what you are a sliver of" is all about your current vantage point. As modern physics has pointed out, it's impossible to understand a given observation without also understanding the instrument used to observe. As with the glass analogy, depending on what our vantage point is, the circle is a sliver of a glass, or it could be a sliver of a cross-section of my kitchen, or further, a sliver taken from a single plane cut out of my neighborhood. It just depends on how far out you want to go with it. Really everything we perceive is contextualized in some way. That's how I understand karma - as a vast web of contextual relationships, some of which are more closely related than others, depending on your place in space-time. As far as what we are actually slivers of, well there's probably not a conceptual object we can point to that would do it much justice, but many have been put forth. I like to think of it as the God-Process, Divine Light, or perhaps the Way? Philip
  7. Ideagasms

    Nice post, Steve. For my own part, I was attracted to Stephane and ideagasms very recently, maybe a little more than a year ago, after coming across this very thread. Therefore, I'm coming at this from a bit of a different angle than some of you. You know, I found him intriguing. I thought he had some interesting ideas regarding spirituality. He also said more than a few things that cried foul. I also thought his products were overpriced. I was never part of any seduction or PUA community, so I don't know what the price-point for the rest of the market is like, but since I'm a multi-media producer in my day job, I know how cheap it is these days to put out quality audio and video products (especially if you do it yourself), so $100 for a DVD is more than I'm interested in paying. Also, not sure we can credit him with "bringing squirting to the masses." I found out about these techniques a good while before 2005 through other channels. There have been many such channels out there for some time. Still, the guy grew on me, if for nothing else, just as an interesting diversion. I must say I really dig the idea of the seven deadly sins as being "ego programs," though his black-or-white attitude about people being integrous or non-integrous always bugged me. Human development is far more complex than that. I'm still not sure how I feel about the watching the whole thing kind of implode like it has. He seems to defend himself in e-mails more often than not these days, and this whole meditation sabbatical he's supposed to be on, and meditating 9 hours one day ... I don't know, I'm calling BS on it. Part of me finds it funny, and as Steve points out, the controversy itself is attractive in some visceral way. However, I can't help but feel bad for the guy. I mean, props to him for putting himself out there. I hope he finds some peace in the midst of all this turmoil. Philip
  8. Aurobindo Anyone?

    Okay, this is really the last thing I'm going to say to you goldisheavy. You have basically defined physicalism/materialism correctly, but saying biological life on Earth would not be here without physical stuff like atoms and molecules and what-not does not make me a physicalist. I fully believe the walking/talking human body called Philip is dependent on matter, but I also believe there are a great number of things we can talk about that aren't, so I'm not a materialist. Am I right to infer from your comments that you really think biological life, conscious animals like human beings, could exist as we do without things like atoms, molecules of hydrogen, etc? Anyone have any thoughts about Aurobindo? It's unfortunate this thread has been hijacked by such off-topic bickering. Please accept my apology for my part in it.
  9. Aurobindo Anyone?

    Not sure how we got on this debate, really ... my statement is not a physicalist statement ... and clearly, biological life, as it exists on Earth, is built on matter. No matter, no biological life. That is a completely different statement than saying, as physicalists do, that nothing exists beyond observable things and their material constituents. Anyway, I was hoping we might discuss Aurobindo. Hence the title of the thread.
  10. Aurobindo Anyone?

    @goldisheavy - What exactly makes you think Aurobindo is physicalist? To even mention spirit at all goes against the materialist/physicalist stance, does it not? Furthermore, if I'm interpreting it right, Aurobindo believes the whole thing started with Spirit, and the fact that life rose from matter and mind from life means that those characteristics were "involved" in the previous layers from the very beginning.
  11. Aurobindo Anyone?

    So, I'm really enjoying the theory, but I have yet to read anything about the practice. I get that the individual sees a Divine Seed, if you will, in his/her being. After this realization, the work first becomes elevating consciousness above the physical/vital/mental planes toward Spirit, after which Spirit then descends into the being, completing the integral yoga. I think that's a good nutshell beginning. Is there any recommended practice in terms of mediation, selfless service, etc.? I really like the fact that his approach demands both ascendency and descendency. Also, he is truly an evolutionary yogi. He sees clearly how life evolved from matter, then mind from life. The next novelty would then be Spirit from mind. I believe he understands this whole process to have begun with a deep involution of Spirit into the manifest world, an involution that has resulted in this big brilliant evolution that is unfolding around us. Thoughts?
  12. Aurobindo Anyone?

    Anybody over here studied up on Aurobindo and the Integral Yoga? I'm reading some of his stuff now, and would love a little back and forth.
  13. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    "Fear of death only comes through the brittleness of the ego." - Ram Das "Yes, I have an ego and it looks similar to the one I dropped to, as you say, achieve nirvana. But then I came back all enlightened and everything, and I needed something to wear. I looked around and there's my discarded ego lying in a pile on the floor, so I slipped into it and here I am." - Jed McKenna "Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long." - Maharaj