By Jerry Alatalo
r. Santosh Krinsky, editor of Sri Aurobindo Studies here at WordPress, has kindly given a positive response to our invitation to participate in an interview. Thank you Santosh for sharing your thoughts in the following words.
Question 1…) What was your primary motivation for entering the world of blogging on the worldwide web – on the internet?
Having heard for years how difficult it was for many people to delve into the writings of Sri Aurobindo, and their consequent lack of knowledge about the issues raised and covered in those writings, and having personally determined that I wanted to find a way to deepen my own appreciation by a steady, systematic review, I combined the intention of a daily study session with the idea of blogging to allow others to participate if they felt so inclined, in this process.
Question 2…) How would you describe yourself with regard to spirituality? What were some of the most memorable transforming points across the years (books, personal contacts, mystical experiences, etc.) in the developing of your current spiritual perspective?
I distinguish spirituality from any form of religious practice. For myself a spiritual life is about recognizing the oneness and inter-connectedness of all life and existence, and then working to transform thoughts, emotions, and actions to express the recognition of that oneness. During that process, the essential mystical experience is one that opens the heart and mind to the beauty and underlying harmony of existence, which can arise at any time and under any circumstances, whether in solitude walking in a forest, or in the midst of activity of daily life.
As to memorable transforming moments, the first time I was given a copy of Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine certainly counts as one of those moments. When I opened it randomly and read the first few paragraphs, I suddenly recognized a connection which has continued now for over 46 years! Another was when I was residing for a period of time at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry India in 1973 and experienced the Mahasamadhi of Sri Aurobindo’s co-worker The Mother in November 1973. The events of that time went deep into my psyche and helped me to take a new direction and attitude in my life.
Question 3…) What is your greatest wish for readers as a consequence after reading/considering your writings?
In the end, no amount of reading can replace the actual inner opening and practice of the spiritual principles. The daily blog post may be a way for readers to step out of their normal hectic lives for a few moments to reflect on how to integrate their spiritual quest in their lives, and if it has that result, I would be gratified.
Question 4…and final) Can you offer any advice to people having a difficult time dealing with government and media lies, especially as it pertains to so many average citizens who hold erroneous perceptions on important events and situations around the Earth.
I find this message from Sri Aurobindo to be essential: “live within, be not shaken by outward happenings”. The evolution of consciousness on the planet continues, just as life evolved out of matter, and mind evolved out of life, the next phase of development of consciousness is underway. One of the hallmarks of this process is the revealing and exposure of the falsehoods and deceptions that have built up under the framework of physical denseness, vital aggressiveness and mental separation. As the awareness of oneness takes hold, secrets get revealed and all people and institutions of society are impacted. Those holding power try to hold on using “any means necessary” which causes considerable short-term suffering. The ongoing force of the spiritual transformation however eventually will be able to gain the upper hand and usher in a new vision that treats the planet with respect, and which recognizes the oneness of all people and does not get bogged down in the mental distinctions of race, religion, gender, class, etc. which so burden all of humanity in today’s world.
Eventually the deceptions must be revealed. What is occurring in the modern world is essentially no different than what has happened throughout the vital and mental phases of human evolution, only that the powers of mass media and corporatism provide added leverage to those seeking to hold power over others and undertake the “self-dealing” that creates enormous suffering in the world for those who are prevented from having access to the world’s resources. Yet we see an ever growing force of “truth-consciousness” which is beginning to peel back the layers of obscuration and deception so that we become more aware of it. Awareness is the first stage for any real change of consciousness. Thus we can see that persistence and patience, understanding and goodwill, and providing an example of action from the state of oneness are the powers that each person who awakens at this critical juncture needs to put into practice. Speak truth, act with honor, hold goodwill and compassion in one’s heart, and have confidence that the evolutionary process proceeds apace to spread a new power of consciousness that will be able to bring forth the harmony that is so desperately needed in the world.
Actually one thing occurred to me that people everywhere can do along these lines:
People can take active steps to recognize the oneness of all of humanity by building bridges between people of different cultures and religions, sharing and appreciating what strengths each of them bring with them, and looking behind the differences to see the common humanity. This may involve visiting, participating in and honoring the practices of various religions or spiritual paths, reaching out to people who are disadvantaged and working actively to ease their suffering, as well as acting as a thought-leader in one’s own circles to counter-act bigotry and racism, class consciousness and prejudice with a deeper conviction and insight into the common circumstances of all humanity.
Similarly, working toward respecting all species who share the planet, and working toward respecting the planet itself and supporting actions that heal rather than destroy, that bring harmony rather than dissension, are all things that people of good will can do.
Thank you again, Santosh. Peace.