A New Synthesis of Yoga as a necessity to overcome the impasse of modernity - Skype - Track 406 (29 September 2008)

Kireet Ji: If you don’t have a question, I can put a question, is it allowed?

 Debashish: Certainly.

You know this problem that I am exploring with all of us here is a problem which requires a study of the Human Cycle, The Life Divine, Synthesis of Yoga and also that great book called The Supramental Manifestation on the Earth and I do not know if our friends who are here, I can get a background as to how much of these four books they are acquainted, so that you know whenever I come here on Friday evening on this table, I ask myself whether I am not taking too much of your time in expounding certain things but if I knew that you already have background of this or that or that it will help me to modulate myself and to not to bother you too much with something you do not wish to enter into. Now is it possible for me to have from each one of you some kind of an idea as to how much the thing I am dealing in regard to these books and what kind of treatment would you like me to follow so that you know I am always aware that everybody has pressure of time and I should not encroach upon anyone and one should not feel that somebody’s time is wasted. I would like to therefore to understand how much I should talk and on what to talk and to what extent you would like this to go on because this topic is of such a large measure that one can go on for one full year or one can finish in three lectures or four lectures because I want to receive from you as to what extent whether you would finish the exposition in the next two lectures or three-four lectures or what is your measure, I would be happy to learn about it, so that I can summarise or I can expand according to what you would like to have, anybody to answer this question?

Participant: No one else, I still don’t have any answer. I like the format very much, I am speaking for myself, I feel like the time we have is short, I have lots of free time so it may not be very representative but I really like the format that we have and I hate to put it into any limited type of framework. The place at which Debasish features for instances or reads to his book-group The Life Divine is I think very fine, I kind of like to see our workshop with you to just continue as long as it can.

Prof. Kireet Ji: Thank you I must assure that I will not like to go beyond at the most ten such sessions with you.

Participant: Ok.

Prof. Kireet Ji: Ok, is it a good measure for all the members here?

Debashish: Kireet Bhai actually if somebody wants to say something about it they are welcome, but I think you don’t need to feel constrained with any limited number of sittings on this Kireet Bhai because I also feel that we have embarked on this journey with completely open sort of ocean in front of us, so you know it is such an important topic and it really depends on the state of consciousness of those who are listening to you and to your own inspiration and what and how they would like to or we would like to collectively like to develop this, so I encourage you to just keep yourself open to the possibility of its developing as it you know enfolds itself.

Prof. Kireet Ji: All right. ………

Debashish: Also Kireet Bhai from my knowledge people are not speaking up, I just wanted to mention that from my personal interaction with all these participants that are gathered around you, they all have a fair amount of reading into all the texts that you have mentioned that we have actually most of these people have been, you know we sort of we have been studying Life Divine together for quite some time and also we have had occasion to study together various parts of Synthesis of Yoga as well as most of them have personally studied through Synthesis and you know The Human Cycle also, many of us have studied together; when I was leading study-groups in the Sri Aurobindo Centre in Los Angles. So most of them have also read it themselves and so what have around you are fairly well informed students of Sri Aurobindo, all who have read all the texts to some good degree and so their familiarity is fairly good. I think the level at which you are pitching your discussions is Kireet Bhai very, very nice and I think everybody appreciates them very much because it is extremely cogent and it brings us into an engagement with the real issues of what our problems today are and as you said provide the background for the full reception of Sri Aurobindo’s guidance.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: Good, well I’ll try to do my best and I’ll continue because I feel very happy myself to be talking about this. It gives me great opportunity to learn once again to go through these works.

Debashish: I wanted to since you know we have little time left, I wanted to make one more comment, you know regarding your today’s sort of lecture…….. I was mentioning that one aspect of what you addressed us with today was this beautiful sweep of Western philosophy in a nutshell pointing out how the problem of rationality and its various dimensions have been covered through the history of modern Western philosophy, I also wanted to touch briefly on this issue of post-modernism and is regarding sort of ultra-relativism of post-modernism……….I was saying that the problem of ultra-relativism which is ………I was speaking of the ultra-relativism as a possibility and also as you said draw into some kind of irrationality like this we can see that may be even in its beginning sort of the founder is Martin Heidegger and you know though he is a very brilliant philosopher for he can open us to spiritual directions as well. There is a faded law in his life, people talk about a lot which is that he became a member of Nazi Party, so you know all his philosophy could not prevent him from going in that false direction but also I think as a result of that the post-modern philosophers that have followed Heidegger have been very conscious and very critical of this particular aspect so that there is place within post-modernism itself, particularly against any form of dogma or any form of social control by rational or…. I was saying maybe within the movement of post-modernism there is a purification impulse and I was saying that maybe there is a internal movement within the form of philosophy itself and the purification could be seen how far it will lead out of you know what we might call a ultra-relativism and the possibility of, yes that is all Kireet Bhai…..

Prof. Kireet Joshi: I lost you but I would like to comment on what you said, can I?

Debashish: Yes, please.

Prof. Kireet Joshi: You know I think that if you all agree, we could spend some time next time on a brief survey, a brief survey that you can make on the history of Reason from modern times to post-modernism and in the light of the claims of religion and the claims of spirituality because it is a subject on which we all need to go into some depth to be able to understand how to come out of the impasse. Even if you have understood where the impasse is, you see the impasse is that Reason has led to the present condition and Reason is now not able to move forward as it ought to or it can and even if it can and ought to it still needs a supra-rational light. Now this is the basic point that we need to be precise about and that can be done if for example, you have made a very good study of post-modernism which I have not but I would like to learn from you something more about it and maybe that we can have a short discussion on what is Reason exactly. What is rationality and what is spirituality, it will be a good subject. It will be a good subject for example we have one session only on this subject, what is rationality and how we can, where it is arrested and how it is arrested and how it can move forward.

Debashish: I think that would be wonderful. I will not presume to give whole background, I can say a few words next time what is the movement of post-modernism and how it addresses the issue of rationality and as well as of irrationality both these and then we can proceed from there.

Riche: Because you know we are talking of post-modernism and relativism of knowledge, I would like to point out that just one part of the post-modernist programme, the other part is critique of power and power structures and the chief among them is the critique of the whole power structure and what we are calling machinery here. Then for the next time Debashish we can also consider not just the limitation of rationality but Sri Aurobindo talks about a progressive evolution and one can look back and see during the time he was writing that notions of progress, word meant the idea of evolution and of course since the two wars and progress sort of has led us on to the abyss of total destruction there is a huge critique in post-modernism regards this notion of progress, verses  progressive evolution and perhaps there could be something else that we can touch on next time how one sort of works with this idea of progressive evolution.