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Philip

Aurobindo Anyone?

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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.

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Will be glad to discuss he and the Mother's work. What would you like to know?

 

 

ralis

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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?

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He sees clearly how life evolved from matter, then mind from life. The next novelty would then be Spirit from mind.

 

I think this is nonsense. Sorry I don't want to post a full rebuttal. Too much work. Instead I suggest you read Mula madhyamaka karika for deconstruction of concepts that physicalists depend on.

 

http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/verses2.htm

 

It can be a hard text to understand, and it's better to get the book:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Fundamental-Wisdom-M...2680&sr=8-1

 

It's better translated and it has excellent commentary by a top notch guy. "Top notch" is my opinion based on reading the book.

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@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.

Edited by Philip

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@goldisheavy - What exactly makes you think Aurobindo is physicalist?

 

I wasn't talking about Aurobindo. I was replying directly to this quotation:

 

He sees clearly how life evolved from matter, then mind from life. The next novelty would then be Spirit from mind.

 

I don't care who "he" is. Life did not evolve from matter. Period. That's what I was replying to.

 

Also, just FYI, a physicalist is someone who believes that physical matter/energy is the only ultimately real substance. That stance is a pretty old one, and has been refuted by many Buddhist masters of the past.

Edited by goldisheavy

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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.

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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.

 

You've contradicted yourself in the same sentence. First you say your statement is not physicalist, and then you say life is built on matter. Doh! "Life is built on matter" is the core tenet of physicalism!

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I found a cool and very simple blog post that outlines a typical Western critique of physicalism (it's based on the concept of qualia): http://consciousnesshandouts.blogspot.com/.../lecture-3.html

 

In my opinion, this is not as Earth-shattering as what Nagarjuna writes in Mulamadhyamakakarika, but it's more approachable and still very insightful.

 

The whole point is that matter is not the basic building block of life. Matter is a delusion of mind.

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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.

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Okay, this is really the last thing I'm going to say to you goldisheavy.

 

If that's true, I don't see how informing me or others on this forum helps anyone.

 

You have basically defined physicalism/materialism correctly

 

Great, so we do have some common ground then.

 

, but saying biological life

 

I don't like how you describe life as "biological". You can see bodies moving around. If you look under a microscope, you can see other smaller bodies moving around. But calling all that "biological" brings some unnecessary physicalist connotations. It's entirely possible for life to look biological and yet not be biological at the ultimate level. In fact, one time I had a dream I was working as a virologist in a lab. I was using electron microscope and collaborating with a team of scientists, etc. So it's entirely possible to have an appearance of any kind. You can have a scientific/physicalist flavor of appearance without needing physicalism to be the ultimate reality behind it.

 

on Earth would not be here without physical stuff like atoms and molecules and what-not does not make me a physicalist.

 

Well, it does, kind of. :) It does. You have to distinguish appearances from essence. If you say that for us to be who we are right now requires AN APPEARANCE of matter, that's fine, and then you're not a physicalist! But if you say it requires matter and not just an appearance of one, then you're saying that matter is the key essence of this experience, and that would make you a physicalist.

 

I fully believe the walking/talking human body called Philip is dependent on matter,

 

Then you're a physicalist. Had you said that your body dependent on appearance or experience of matter rather than actual matter, I would not label you as a physicalist.

 

but I also believe there are a great number of things we can talk about that aren't, so I'm not a materialist.

 

If you're a dualist, that still means that Aurobindo is wrong. To a dualist the matter does not evolve mind. Rather, mind has its own essence separate and independent from matter. The only way Aurobindo's statement can make sense, is if you agree that the ultimate essence is matter, that matter is the primordial building block of life -- and that's a physicalist stance which I disagree with. You asked for an opinion. You got it. I disagree with Aurobindo. No biggie. I don't buy into Aurobindo's particular vision of evolution.

 

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?

 

Yes. We only need an experience or an appearance of atoms, but we don't need actual atoms or actual molecules. It simply has to look convincing to the mind but no more than that.

 

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.

 

First, it's not off-topic. Second, I am not bickering, but kindly offering you my opinion. I don't ask that you agree with me. I think it's cool if you disagree. I've looked up Aurobindo in the past and I wasn't impressed. I didn't like him as a thinker/mystic/whatever. I don't hate him. I am just indifferent or not moved by him at all.

 

Now don't be stubborn and please accept all opinions in all their diversity. I think you should have asked "Does anyone has a positive opinion about Aurobindo, and if yes, can you then and only then post it here?" Then I would have remained silent.

Edited by goldisheavy

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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.

Keep reading his work and pay no mind to gold he like to hear himself post

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Sri Aurobindo has been the guiding light in my life for the past fifteen years. There is none higher in my opinion. I found him through Mother Meera. (err, they found me).

 

His extensive writing explains the spiritual path in detail unmatched by any Master in the past, imo.

 

quieting the mind and awakening the psychic being are the first two steps.

 

His books are free online at Aurobindo.ru

 

I'll stop here before my enthusiasm for his work gets the best of me.

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quieting the mind and awakening the psychic being are the first two steps.

 

 

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.

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what is a good book to start with by Aurobindo?

 

I'd like to start reading work in regards to and beginning and grounded in the physical, and then moving up.

 

thank you

Edited by Pranaman

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You may be interested in a book called "Mind of the Cells; or Willed Mutation of Our Species" by Satprem.

It's about how Sweet Mother, (Sri Aurobindo's partner) was pulling down spiritual energy into her body in order to spiritualize it.

 

Otherwise, "Sri Aurobindo, or The Adventure of Consciousness", also by Satprem is probably the best book to read first when approaching Sri Aurobindo's work.

 

"Letter's on Yoga" is excellent too. The letters are replies to his followers question's about their spiritual practice. It's free online too.

 

In "The Synthesis of Yoga", he has a chapter on hatha yoga that is very interesting. I just apply it to qigong instead of yoga.

 

His way may be the opposite of what you are looking for though. He tapped in to the spiritual energy first and then pulled it down into the physical. At one point, he would walk up and down the stairs of his house, for hours at a time, in order to accomplish this.

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His way may be the opposite of what you are looking for though. He tapped in to the spiritual energy first and then pulled it down into the physical. At one point, he would walk up and down the stairs of his house, for hours at a time, in order to accomplish this.

 

 

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 Aurobindo.ru - 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

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I'm not sure what you mean when you say the transformation can go either way.

 

The Integral Yoga is a great book. I wouldn't even leave the house without that book, for many years.

A nice overview of his system is on page 211 - the central process of the yoga.

 

The psychic being is your individual Divine nature and as it grows it gradually takes over your sadhana so that it becomes more and more effortless.

 

He says awakening the psychic being first is the best way to go because it will allow things to go safer, and more smoothly. Going upward before going inward may give you more experiences but they won't necessarily change the nature unless the psychic being is brought forward first.

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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.

 

Most people tend to ignore the finale facts of their quest.

Even though I'm not quite sure about Aurobindo but at least the Mother arrived at the conclusion that enlightenment is not soulwork, either mental or spiritual but it a physical, biological, materialistic process and no one have a clue about it so no preparation will do! so

No Yoga will take you there

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The psychic and spiritual transformations take place first, followed by the supramental transformation which is physical divinisation.

 

The physical transformation cannot take place without the other two.

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On 3/27/2009 at 5:51 PM, Philip said:

 

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.

I am just wondering if anyone can give me any clues as where to look for practices linked to this ?

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Aurobindo was a nice read. He is a good philosopher. He had some level, but not a high one.

 

You just need to remember, whatever were his ideas, he failed at them.

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