2017: The Philosophy Of Sri Aurobindo.

By Jerry Alatalo

“When men are unable to form an idea of distant and unknown things, they judge them by what is familiar and at hand. This axiom explains the inexhaustible source of all the errors about the principles of human nature. These errors are embraced by entire nations and scholars.”

Axiom 2 – Principles of a New Science Concerning the Common Nature of Nations (1720-1725)

– GIOVANNI BATTISTA VICO (1668-1744) Italian jurist, philosopher

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aurobindo-11Alphabet If sharing this information results in real positive, healing and beneficial effects for men and women anywhere on Earth, then the goal of this dissemination shall have been attained. For those unfamiliar with the renowned Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), this article focuses on his over-1,000 page writing “The Life Divine”, considered by most philosophical scholars as his greatest work.

For time immemorial human beings have raised questions, thought about and tried to describe their ideas on the ultimate meaning of Earthly existence. Such searching becomes particularly present during times of sadness, loss or grief, and at such times the highest works of philosophers through history provide true healing for the soul or spirit.

Philosophy has the following definition:

1. originally, love of wisdom or knowledge. 2. a study of the processes governing thought and conduct; theory or investigation of the principles or laws that regulate the universe and underlie all knowledge and reality: included in the study are aesthetics, ethics, logic, metaphysics, etc. 3. the general principles or laws of a field of knowledge, activity, etc. : as, the philosophy of economics. 4. a) a particular system of principles for the conduct of life. b) a treatise covering such a system. 5. a study of human morals, character, and behavior; hence, 6. the mental balance believed to result from this; calmness; composure.

May coming into contact with “The Life Divine” by Sri Aurobindo help genuinely answer those timeless, ever-present, supremely profound ultimate questions.

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Excerpt from “The Life Divine”:

Chapter I

The Human Aspiration

She follows to the goal of those that are passing on beyond, she is the first in the eternal succession of the dawns that are coming,—Usha widens bringing out that which lives, awakening someone who was dead. . . . What is her scope when she harmonises with the dawns that shone out before and those that now must shine? She desires the ancient mornings and fulfils their light; projecting forwards her illumination she enters into communion with the rest that are to come.    Kutsa Angirasa—Rig Veda.

Threefold are those supreme births of this divine force that is in the world, they are true, they are desirable; he moves there wide-overt within the Infinite and shines pure, luminous and fulfilling. . . . That which is immortal in mortals and possessed of the truth, is a god and established inwardly as an energy working out in our divine powers. . . . Become high-uplifted, O Strength, pierce all veils, manifest in us the things of the Godhead.     Vamadeva—Rig Veda.

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THE EARLIEST preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality.

The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of  Wisdom promises to be its last, —God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.

These persistent ideals of the race are at once the contradiction of its normal experience and the affirmation of higher and deeper experiences which are abnormal to humanity and only to be attained, in their organised entirety, by a revolutionary individual effort or an evolutionary general progression.

To know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness, to convert our twilit or obscure physical mentality into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace and a self-existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering, to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical necessities, to discover and realise the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation,—this is offered to us as the manifestation of God in Matter and the goal of Nature in her terrestrial evolution.

To the ordinary material intellect which takes its present organisation of consciousness for the limit of its possibilities, the direct contradiction of the unrealised ideals with the realised fact is a final argument against their validity. But if we take a more deliberate view of the world’s workings, that direct opposition appears rather as part of Nature’s profoundest method and the seal of her completest sanction.

For all problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony. They arise from the perception of an unsolved discord and the instinct of an undiscovered agreement or unity. To rest content with an unsolved discord is possible for the practical and more animal part of man, but impossible for his fully awakened mind, and usually even his practical parts only escape from the general necessity either by shutting out the problem or by accepting a rough, utilitarian and unillumined compromise.

For essentially, all Nature seeks a harmony, life and matter in their own sphere as much as mind in the arrangement of its perceptions. The greater the apparent disorder of the materials offered or the apparent disparateness, even to irreconcilable opposition, of the elements that have to be utilised, the stronger is the spur, and it drives towards a more subtle and puissant (powerful; strong; mighty) order than can normally be the result of a less difficult endeavour.

The accordance of active Life with a material of form in which the condition of activity itself seems to be inertia, is one problem of opposites that Nature has solved and seeks always to solve better with greater complexities; for its perfect solution would be the material immortality of a fully organised mind-supporting animal body.

The accordance of conscious mind and conscious will with a form and a life in themselves not overtly self-conscious and capable at best of a mechanical or subconscious will is another problem of opposites in which she has produced astonishing results and aims always at higher marvels; for there her ultimate miracle would be an animal consciousness no longer seeking but possessed of Truth and Light, with the practical omnipotence which would result from the possession of a direct and perfected knowledge.

Not only, then, is the upward impulse of man towards the accordance of yet higher opposites rational in itself, but it is the only logical completion of a rule and an effort that seem to be a fundamental method of Nature and the very sense of her universal strivings. We speak of the evolution of Life in Matter, the evolution of Mind in Matter; but evolution is a word which merely states the phenomenon without explaining it.

For there seems to be no reason why Life should evolve out of material elements or Mind out of living form, unless we accept the Vedantic solution that Life is already involved in Matter and Mind in Life because in essence Matter is a form of veiled Life, Life a form of veiled Consciousness.

And then there seems to be little objection to a farther step in the series and the admission that mental consciousness may itself be only a form and a veil of higher states which are beyond Mind. In that case, the unconquerable impulse of man towards God, Light, Bliss, Freedom, Immortality presents itself in its right place in the chain as simply the imperative impulse by which Nature is seeking to evolve beyond Mind, and appears to be as natural, true and just as the impulse towards Life which she has planted in certain forms of Matter or the impulse towards Mind which she has planted in certain forms of Life.

As there, so here, the impulse exists more or less obscurely in her different vessels with an ever-ascending series in the power of its will-to-be; as there, so here, it is gradually evolving and bound fully to evolve the necessary organs and faculties.

As the impulse towards Mind ranges from the more sensitive reactions of Life in the metal and the plant up to its full organisation in man, so in man himself there is the same ascending series, the preparation, if nothing more, of a higher and divine life. The animal is a living laboratory in which Nature has, it is said, worked out man.

Man himself may well be a thinking and living laboratory in whom and with whose conscious co-operation she wills to work out the superman, the god. Or shall we not say, rather, to manifest God? For if evolution is the progressive manifestation by Nature of that which slept or worked in her, involved, it is also the overt realisation of that which she secretly is.

We cannot, then, bid her pause at a given stage of her evolution, nor have we the right to condemn with the religionist as perverse and presumptuous or with the rationalist as a disease or hallucination any intention she may evince or effort she may make to go beyond. If it be true that Spirit is involved in Matter and apparent Nature is secret God, then the manifestation of the divine in himself and the realisation of God within and without are the highest and most legitimate aim possible to man upon earth.

Thus the eternal paradox and eternal truth of a divine life in an animal body, an immortal aspiration or reality inhabiting a mortal tenement, a single and universal consciousness representing itself in limited minds and divided egos, a transcendent, indefinable, timeless and spaceless Being who alone renders time and space and cosmos possible, and in all these the higher truth realisable by the lower term, justify themselves to the deliberate reason as well as to the persistent instinct or intuition of mankind.

Attempts are sometimes made to have done finally with questionings which have so often been declared insoluble by logical thought and to persuade men to limit their mental activities to the practical and immediate problems of their material existence in the universe; but such evasions are never permanent in their effect. Mankind returns from them with a more vehement impulse of inquiry or a more violent hunger for an immediate solution.

By that hunger mysticism profits and new religions arise to replace the old that have been destroyed or stripped of significance by a scepticism which itself could not satisfy because, although its business was inquiry, it was unwilling sufficiently to inquire. The attempt to deny or stifle a truth because it is yet obscure in its outward workings and too often represented by obscurantist superstition or a crude faith, is itself a kind of obscurantism.

The will to escape from a cosmic necessity because it is arduous, difficult to justify by immediate tangible results, slow in regulating its operations, must turn out eventually to have been no acceptance of the truth of Nature but a revolt against the secret, mightier will of the great Mother. It is better and more rational to accept what she will not allow us as a race to reject and lift it from the sphere of blind instinct, obscure intuition and random aspiration into the light of reason and an instructed and consciously self-guiding will.

And if there is any higher light of illumined intuition or self-revealing truth which is now in man either obstructed and inoperative or works with intermittent glancings as if from behind a veil or with occasional displays as of the northern lights in our material skies, then there also we need not fear to aspire.

For it is likely that such is the next higher state of consciousness of which Mind is only a form and veil, and through the splendours of that light may lie the path of our progressive self enlargement into whatever highest state is humanity’s ultimate resting-place.

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Professor Kireet Joshi (1931-2014) was a highly influential educator, prolific writer, and respected leader in India. The 20-minute video below is Part 1 of 44 (approximately 15-20 minutes each in length) of a course he taught on “The Life Divine” – available on YouTube for those interested.

Description from YouTube channel – “KireetJoshiArchives”:  Our Endeavour is the dissemination of the works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and to bring about a revolution in education as envisaged by them to build a resurgent India. Prof. Kireet Joshi has devoted more than 60 years to the study of the works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and for the cause of education.  We invite all who are keen to build a New India to avail freely from www.kireetjoshiarchives.com

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To read eBooks, download (free) software – “Adobe Digital Editions”:

http://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html

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To download a digital/eBook version of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophical masterwork “The Life Divine” for free, visit:

http://www.auro-ebooks.com/the-life-divine/

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(Thank you to KireetJoshiArchives at YouTube)

2017 World Resolution: End War Forever.

By Jerry Alatalo

“I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

– CHIEF JOSEPH

child-prayingAlphabet The gripping, searing and profoundly moving personal testimony of Stacy Bannerman during the recent People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War points out in a most powerful manner why war must become banished from this Earth forever. Perhaps people around the world can make ending war their collective, focused, top 2017 New Year’s resolution.

Ms. Bannerman is the author of “Homefront 911”. She was one of many men and women who testified during The People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War.

(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)

Words written by Ken Carey in his 1991 book “The Third Millennium” offer more texture and depth to the idea of making the banishment of war humanity’s #1 resolution moving into 2017. The following excerpt comes from Chapter 8 – “This Season’s Children” – in that extraordinary spiritual writing.

Clothed in words, what the grandparents, the ancestors say – it would be something like this. Do what we have always dreamed of doing but did not quite achieve. You do not know young ones what we had to work against, and how much easier we have made it for you. We feel as though we have almost done it; go one step beyond. Do what we have almost done – create a world where our descendants will not have to struggle and fight as we have struggled, as we have fought. A cooperative world, a peace filled world, created first in your hearts and homes. In our time this was our challenge; in your time it is yours. You see how well we met this task, this challenge.

We have done better than some, perhaps, and not as well as others. But it is no matter now. You are this season’s people. We speak to you children of the 21st century. Do not throw away your caution; do not open yourselves to those who would exploit you or deprive you of your rights, but please live with less fear than we did. The rights you enjoy today are here to stay. Armed struggle is not essential to the procurement of your daily bread; this much we have given you. There are still those who would take advantage of you, but they are fewer and less powerful than they were in our time.

The communication tools you have today make it far more difficult for those who would abuse power. Perhaps the most important lesson our lives have taught us is this:  you are always better off communicating with friends, with enemies, it makes no difference. Be open, honest… state your views as clearly as possible. Do not be afraid of giving away secrets. It is best to have no secrets; they are the source of much mistrust. Share with others who you are, your goals, your ambitions. We have found that on those occasions when we have communicated with our adversaries miracles have occurred across national borders, across racial lines, across economic and social barriers.

Breakthroughs of understanding have occurred. We came to respect those with whom we spoke, and they came to respect us. These are the friendships that have served us well in our lives. Agreement is less important than respect, for with respect agreement may one day occur but without it agreement is impossible. Honesty and openness will earn you respect. The times we fought when we did not need to fight we lost both the fight and potential friends. Count everyone a potential friend, then do what you can to make that friendship real.

Communication is a power much greater than confrontation – do not lose sight of that.

We have seen, as all the elders of our race have seen, that there is no scarcity of resources. The only scarcities have been of love and of imagination. As long as the sun shines and rivers flow, as long as the winds blow and ocean waves lap on these shores, there is no shortage of energy nor is there any thing over which to fight. Unless perhaps your basic needs are denied by another’s greed, then we would say yes defend your rights, but speak first. First use all your wit and ingenuity to avoid the conflict. Then if you must, defend what you must, but know you may well lose as much as you will gain. Use force only in defense and only as a last resort. There is no cause but defense that justifies violence.

No nation whose people are motivated for any reason other than defense can win a war in the present climate of the world. Perhaps this was not always true, but the wise ones among us have noticed this, and whatever its cause it is reality for the times in which you live. Can you understand? This is the real news. Consider what it means. No nation desires to lose a war, and if only a defensive war can be won we will not launch a war. Can nations battle in mutual defense?

If your youth pumps passion through your blood and you desire an arena in which to test your spirit fire turn to the athletic field, to the Olympic Games, to amateur and professional sports, to baseball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, curling, skiing, sailing, bicycling, dancing, cross-country racing… The options before you are endless.

Choose the field that best suits your nature; compete to your heart’s content. Enjoy the pursuit of excellence, compete in marketplaces and music halls, in fields and amphitheaters, but if you seek to enjoy your lives do not compete on the battlefield. Leave behind the old world’s greatest bane. Do not kill, do not destroy, do not main, murder and ruin. In the end you but do these things to yourselves – there are no others.

Let your competition be light-hearted and friendly. Celebrate the diversity of excellence. We have lived that you might know a brighter world. Do not throw away the promise we have given you; if you turn to violence in any of its forms you betray those of us who have gone before you and those of us who follow.

There are no winners in violent confrontation – only losers and more losers. Do not let the pursuit of excellence in your chosen field blind you to the excellence of another. See the same spirit in them pursuing the same excellence to which you aspire. Appreciate them in the same way you appreciate the skilled opponent who helps you hone and develop your skills. Appreciate them as you would a partner, a coach, a trainer who helps you transcend what you thought were your limitations.

These attitudes, simple though they are, lie at the heart of the world we want you to know.

Praying For Time.

By Jerry Alatalo

Alphabet Artist George Michael (1963-2016) wrote “Praying For Time” and performed the song in 2011 at Royal Albert Hall, London.

 

Do you think we have time?
Do you think we have time?

These are the days of the open hand
We will not be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we’ll take our chances
[*1] I sang twenty years and a day
But nothing changed
The human race found some other god
And walked into the flames

[*1 Original lyrics:
‘Cause God stopped keeping score
I guess somewhere along the way
He must have let us all out to play
Turned his back, and all God’s children crept out the back door]

And it’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it’s much too late
Then maybe we should all be praying for time

Do you think we have time?
Do you think we have time?

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say “what’s mine is mine and not yours”
I may have too much but I’ll take my chances
[*2] I sang twenty years and a day
But nothing changed
The human race found some other god
And walked into the flames

[*2 Original lyrics:
‘Cause God stopped keeping score
You cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you
That he can’t come back
‘Cause he has no children to come back for]

It’s hard to love, Jesus there’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it’s much too late
So maybe we should all be praying for time

Do you think we have time?
Do you think we have time?
Lord, give us time…

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(Thank you to James Anderson at YouTube)