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Summary of Rods talk on the Integral Approach to Knowledge 10_11_07

Author: Rod Hemsell

Last Updated: December 21, 2007

Summary of Rods talk on the Integral Approach to Knowledge 10_11_07

Excerpt from the talk:

"When we started speaking about the UHU about a year ago, Vladimirs emphasis was and has always been on establishing a platform for learning that will enhance self development and make possible the discovery of integral knowledge. The Vedic paradigm he has chosen as a kind of symbol of the different approaches to knowledge that we can adopt in order to move towards that discovery.

Rudy, on the other hand, often spoke about the purpose of UHU, the structure, why should we do this, what is the meaning of this project in relation to Auroville and to the world? We know the Mothers quotation that Rudy has excavated from the layers of attempts which says the university of human unity is or could be a key to the reason for Aurovile existence. We have the potential to create a forum that is a key or a pathway towards the meaning of Auroville, connections with the international zone are obvious bringing into the discovery of Auroville itself research, knowledge, energy from the world and giving back solutions, knowledge, light, inspiration. So we envisioned beginning the seminar this Fall by having presentations by different individuals and institutions in order to begin to discovery different approaches to knowledge, with the idea that an integral approach might eventually emerge, and that this would provide a platform for all aspects of Auroville to converge and for interest and expertise of all kinds in the world to relate to what we are doing here. Now, we have heard various distinct, sophisticated approaches to knowledge and self discovery.

If we look at the Vedic paradigm briefly, it is a paradigm of the faculties the faculties of consciousness are projected by Brahman in the universe and they are omnipresent. The interesting thing to me about this paradigm is that it is not just epistemological; if the faculties are omnipresent, it is also ontological. If we and everything in the worlds is made of the potentials of consciousness, then that enables the world to know itself. It knows itself through sight, speech, hearing, thought, aspiration, material organization. We are a material organization and we have sight, hearing, speech, thought, life force a force of aspiration for integrating consciousness into matter. As I have done in the past with Vladimir, I have projected structures of knowledge that emerge in accordance with the six faculties, for example, theoretical knowledge of all kinds (mind), culture, art, music, architecture (hearing), linguistics, language (speech), social relations of all kind, governments, economies (sight), bodies, physical and biological structures (matter), spiritual and psychological systems (spirit). There are interrelationships among all of these structures, as among the principles of consciousness; there is the internalization and externalization of the faculties. What is known by the knower through knowing is a unity. This concept transcends epistemology and ontology; it is an integrating principle of consciousness. The difference between mind and supermind, as Sri Aurobindo tells us, is that one is based upon division and the other is based upon unity: mind knows through difference, supermind knows through oneness. That oneness is not uniform, it is infinitely diverse but it knows that diversity as one; it doesnt need to break things down into categories as we have done. I have suggested that the functions of mind Sri Aurobindo describes in LD (p.939-944) are most relevant to our intention in creating an integral learning paradigm. We should be engaged in a learning process that facilitates the emergence from rational mind into intuitive mind. The intermediate is higher mind.


As I look at this paradigm I ask myself, Where is the integration? And where do we place the body-life-mind-psychic being-spirit paradigm, the evolutionary paradigm? Where are the planes in the Vedic paradigm, and how do we integrate them? We can easily project the evolutionary planes on the faculties paradigm but we do not integrate. We can be absorbed in understanding internally that the life world, and physical world, and mental world, and supramental world are in us and everything, and we are engaged in a process of refining the whole structure through aspiration and receptivity. Then we can be quite stuck in a kind of preoccupation with our own inner clarity about the universal structures, which doesnt necessarily connect us with those universal structures. What would be the new integral paradigm of Consciousness-Force where the dynamics of the real world, the external world, and the dynamics of consciousness are one its not a product of the real world, and that is not a precipitate of consciousness? In the new paradigm, Consciousness and the world are one. This is difficult for the mind habituated to difference and division. (presentation of the Wilber developmental paradigm)(summary of the spatial-temporal structures of consciousness paradigm of Gebser)" -Rod

Listen to the full audio presentation at: