Synopses of some papers presented at the CIC Seminar "The New Dynamism of the Material and the Spiritual"
Author: Richard Hartz; Ram Sehgal; Olivier; Dr Alok Pandey;Georges Van Vrekhem; Ulrich Mohrhoff
Last Updated: February 19, 2008
To share a few texts/synopses of talks that have reached us
(as others come in, we will put them on the net)
Richard Hartz. This Little Whirling Globe
Over the ages, our consciousness has expanded and the earth has shrunk. Or so it seems if we look at the subjective side of what is now called globalisation. Globalisation is the culmination of a process that has been going on for millennia. The dispersion of humankind over every inhabitable continent is believed to have taken some fifty thousand years from when our ancestors ventured out of Africa. We have adapted to an extreme range of conditions by cultural rather than biological diversification, remaining a single species. Beginning around the end of the ice age, the centrifugal tendency was reversed. Branches of the human family, long oblivious of each others existence, were slowly relinked as the result of migrations, trade, conquests and religion. For better or worse, we have become connected in an ever-increasing interdependence.
Awareness of this interdependence has contributed to a changing perception of who we are. More and more, a sense of kinship with all of humanity has begun to outweigh our identification with any lesser group. Meanwhile our perception of the earth itself has changed. This, too, has happened over centuries; but in the last few decades it has accelerated, reinforced by photographs of the earth taken from outer space and by the formulation of the Gaia theory of the earth as a living system.
The perils of the global age are as great as its promise. They range from the danger of an ecological disaster to the possibility of a clash of civilisations. But globalisation is entering a new phase. If the non-Western world regains a position of equality and recovers its own values, it may contribute to the solution of problems that have been created largely by Western domination and exploitation of the earth and its inhabitants.
Ram Sehgal Can technology lead us to our goal?
Divine, the explorer, the innovator.
I continue to read news about companies that have been driven to bankruptcy. Financial papers tell us about countries that are unable to pull themselves out the mess. And ,in peoples lives,things sound even worse. An issue that comes to me when I start thinking about what is the real velocity of change and what should we do about it.
Globalization,knowledge explosion and its democratization and technology are converging in a manner as never before.Like someone in technology undertaking told me, I feel out-dated at the end of every day!
Man will continue to resist change-it is part of his nature. He interprets every single technological development as his discovery and the glory of his mental capabilities.Technology has become a fierce tool of competitive activities.Greed has gripped the world.His attempting to defeat the very purpose for which this pace of change has been created.
The Divine is exploring ways and means to direct man towards his ultimate destination.A few decades ago, things happened at much slower pace. Time for absorption was granted.Today the speed of change and the turmoil it is creating is a testimony to the new force and consciousness that is forcing the issue.Man is being thrown into situations which is meant to waken him up.
Sooner or later,he will have to give in to this mighty force.It is for him to make it eaiser for himself.
Olivier Can our Global Money System Transform?
"...Money is about to undergo a fundamental evolutionary step into community currencies. Conventional money as we know it has a built in architecture that leads to scarcity and centralization, and is not appropriate for dealing with today's global systemic challenges. Just as there are now millions of media outlets, currencies will follow this same evolution by shifting from centralized authoritative models to distributed ones that generate sustainability, and can handle to complexity of the modern world. Communities of all types will then be able to create their own currencies for their own marketplace and thereby liberate their wealth potential. This will become the most important evolution for society in the coming years."
As we can see from this introduction to an international seminar on alternative economics, leading researchers on financial models for the future agree that a profound mutation is underway. How can we recognize the morphing structures of new socio-economic systems ? How can we start using them in our everyday lives, assimilate and propagate new concepts for generating and exchanging real wealth, therefore participating in the transformation of the new world order rather than being subjected to it.
INTRODUCTION TO THE RAINBOW ECONOMY CONCEPT Most usually when we speak of economy we refer to a global financial system that functions on the base of money being created as debt (bank loans), for investment, speculation, markets exchanges and hoarding. Very few people have an understanding of how this system really functions. But even when we consider alternative economic principles in the form of mutual credits, local currencies, or the monastic/ashram organization of communal economies, we often struggle, unable to reconcile the different principles upon which these different structures operate within one society. The Raibow economy concept takes a new look and develops an understanding that identifies seven levels of economic principles that answer in an integral manner the overall needs of the human family and put them in a perspective that allows each of these economic principles to support and complement each other rather than to compete one against another.
This new understanding is built upon the ancient knowledge of the seven chakras system and their relation to specific levels of manifestation. It endeavors to relate these seven levels of manifestation to economic principles and explains their intrinsic mechanisms and inter-relations for intentional communities around the world.
Short definition of the seven levels in the rainbow economy:
1. The global common financial system in any presently known form, bank notes, credit cards, bank accounts, bonds, stocks, mortgages, mutual funds, etc.
2. The community deposit account (the Auroville cash account) which is the first layer
of community currency used for personal funds deposits.
3. The community activity and exchanges account (the Auroville kind account) which is the virtual system of exchange amongst community services, individuals and activities.
4. The monastic/ashram system (the Auroville Pour Tous distribution center) which provides for the basic needs of community members who contribute in recognized, meaningful ways to the collective through work, kind, or cash contributions.
5. The mutual credit system (ACCESS Auroville's Conscious Community Exchange System for Sustainability) which allows for individual exchanges of goods and services on a direct and personal level and is very suited for art, healing, education and freelance skills.
6. The gift economy (free services) which relates to the countless and unaccounted for, kind help we extend to our close friends and family members.
7. The economy of self (our personal spiritual connection) which refers to the amount and quality of time spent alone in dedication with our higher selves, as the preciousness of these moments often allows us huge savings of other life resources through inner intuitive guidance, insights and deep healing.
The integration of these levels of economic consciousness by human beings, whether living in intentional communities or not, allows for an abundance of everything needed for each and for all to experience a simply rich and beautiful life, and gives its adequate place in society to every economic possibility.
Dr Alok Pandey... A Greater Psychology of Man
'A long dim preparation is man's life,
A circle of toil and hope and war and peace
Tracked out by Life on Matter's obscure ground.
In his climb to a peak no feet have ever trod,
He seeks through a penumbra shot with flame
A veiled reality half-known, ever missed,
A search for something or someone never found,
Cult of an ideal never made real here,
An endless spiral of ascent and fall
Until at last is reached the giant point
Through which his Glory shines for whom we were made
And we break into the infinity of God.
Across our nature's border line we escape
Into Supernature's arc of living light.'
Psychology is very evidently an evolving science and if one may say so, based upon the evolution of psychology depends the evolution of other sciences. It is the study of man himself and therefore at once the easiest as well as the most difficult of all studies. It is the easiest because man is most intimate with himself and therefore knows himself with a directness as he knows nothing else in the universe. It is also the most difficult of all because man's being is far too complex for any oversimplistic formula and he is still to explore the limits and boundaries of his own nature. It is only a truism to assume that as man grows in an understanding of himself and his fullest potentials, so also will he grow in his understanding and relational dealing with the world around him. It is the arc and the clarity of our vision, the meaning and purpose that we give to ourselves and to life, that determines our knowledge of the world and the way we deal with it. A muddy vision focussed on one small point of our being naturally sees mud and the smallness of being everywhere. But a sight that spans horizons in a single sweep and reads the hieroglyphs of life coded in its intuitive calligraphy obviously sees a much larger being and a very different world. It is only natural though that being at the summit of nature's evolutionary journey, so far at least, man quite naturally assumes that he is the highest and therefore infallible with his instruments of knowledge. But we must not forget that man's evolution is not yet complete for the simple reason that unlike other species, he has not discovered his fullest possible and natural harmony within and without. We are still an infant studying in Nature's primary school that deals only with objects of mud and water. It is only reasonable to assume that nature's evolutionary energy is bound to press further and carry the present half-animal, half-human man beyond himself to the spiritual and the divine -man. It is this thought that serves as a backdrop to the search for a greater psychology for man.
The present psychology is of course foredoomed to failure as it carries the seed of its own destruction within itself! For if man is nothing more than a dignified animal that has only somehow learned to reason and talk, then what is the validity of his knowledge that rests its head upon such an ignorant and unconscious base. What is the validity that man, a social animal understands this wotld better through his mental intelligence than the animal with his instincts? Especially so when we have lost many of the sensory capacities that animals have in a greater meassure than man. We have to instead rely on such indirect inferential conclusions as our reason draws based upon an imperfect data provided by our gross senses that are in many ways worse and only in a few aspects better than the animal world. Nay the present psychology with its heavy biological leanings goes still more absurd for it declares that man is nothing more than a bundle of nerves governed by some chemicals and regulated by the genes. The theorists of this scientific dogma are so blind as to be unable to see the inherent contradiction of this statement. For if it be true then what reliance can be placed upon anything that man claims to know. Do chemicals know, do genes know? As far as we know chemicals and genes neither know nor reason, they are simply and mechanically and unconsciously driven by certain other chemicals and triggers beyond their control. Yet man made up of the same chemicals and genes can think and reason and know. What is the validity that our neurons and the chemicals that fire them know anything about anything when the neuron does not even know about itself but simply responds mechanically to a triggering of impulses? The paradox here is that the thing explained is far beyond the nature of that which explains it. In fact if man is nothing or little more than a bundle of neurons and genes and chemicals driven only by blind instincts and animal desires then the very effort at knowledge becomes a meaningless pursuit. Why care to know if it is only to further the reign of our blind instincts and perpetuate the slavery to our desire-self? Why not simply go ahead and enjoy life grasping and possessing, devouring and preying all that we can till we too are preyed upon one day? Or worse still, why not simply keep ourselves happy by injecting some chemicals rather than take the trouble of going to schools and learning to live better. If what is told to us from the rooftops of psychology is true that man is nothing more than a chemically driven, genetically programmed animalcules, then we should not call robbery and theft and murder and drug addiction and rape as a crime. The criminal is then only practicing what our psycholgoical science is preaching! Man then is his most natural self when he plunders and loots without shame or guilt. And he is unnatural when his heart reaches out in sympathy for someone other than himself and his family or when he makes a concentrated effort at knowledge and aspires to make this world a better place or when the fires of idealism make him sacrifice all that he calls and knows as himself for a remote and distant ideal, or when he lifts his hands in prayer and adoration and falls in love with a face divine he has never seen or touched! Yet such is the mystery of our existence here that these are precisely the things that we instinctively admire most in humanity and wherever they are found our hearts and minds bow down in humility and gratitude and hope and faith fills our private worlds and enriches our inner life. It is this greater need that stirs in the human depths and finds its expression here and there that calls for a greater psychology, a psychology that sees beyond man, the mere gentic clod; beyond man, the mere social animal as he is presently called.
Of course it can be questioned that few and far between are the authentic realisations that surpass our humanity. How can we draw any general conclusions from that, as to whether they are simply a freak of nature or else a concealed but general possibility within man. So far the tendency has been to look upon these luminous ones as odd and eccentric, the abnormal and the anomalous whose lives make interesting study only because it is rare and cannot be replicated. But if men with great and authentic experiences of that which transcends our humanity have been few, there is every indication that the possibility itself is not so rare and given the right inner conditions and the ripeness of nature, the seed of spirituality can flower in human being despite all the difficulties. What we must be however careful about is to distinguish between the borrowed light of the mind that imitates from the authentic one, that which poses to understand while really knowing nothing at all of what lies beyond. The mind can quickly rush to build theories and demolish them with equal vigour. But if we wish to have something lasting and truly enduring in the realm of a new and greater psychology, then the psychologist must become his own laboratory. Instead of an indirect study of the unknown and luminous tracts that lie byond the organisation of our senses and our rational mind, the genuine student of psychology must be ready and willing to leap beyond thought to sight, from mere rendering of heavenly symbols in the forms of earth to a direct vision and perception of that which is symbolised. It is not by a statistical study and an analysis of 'others' experiences that a greater psychology will come to stay though that may be one of the starting points. It is by exploring oneself and reaching out beyond the arc of our present possibilities by the adventurers of the Spirit, by men who are willing to take the risks and tread the dangerous spaces of the soul, that a new and greater psychology will truly come into being, not merely as a body of intellectual ideas but as a fact of inner and outer life supported by our everyday waking experience. Such explorers of the hidden mysteries of man's deeper psychological existence are arising everywhere. They are willing to break free from the trappings of the old thought and its imposed boundaries of thus can it be and no further. It is these who are the psychologists of the greater psychology through whose sun-touched minds and illumined hearts we shall enter a new phase of our psychological understanding of man, not just man as he was but more importantly man as he can be.
Indeed man has reached a breaking point in his inner life that we see symbolically translated in his outer life as well. There is a world-wide discontent and the edifices of old well-established norms are being brought down. There is a growing thirst for something new, something else than what we have experienced and felt and known so far. There is a growing sense of the purposelessness of life as Science has portrayed it and with it almost a collective existential crisis to find a true meaning and a deeper purpose. It is this search for a greater sense and meaning, a greater purpose of being, nay a greater being itself that is behind the search for a greater psychology. It is in fact not merely a mental search but an intuition that there is more to man than our Science dreams and our genes encode and our neurochemistry dictates; there is more to us than simply an animal past. Not just a tamed and a chained beast are we that lurks in the shadowy underbelly of our subconscous nature but also and even more importantly an imprisoned god who throbs within some deeper heart waiting for its hour of release. It is this need from within the human depths, this need to be what truly we must be, this imperative need for a spiritual evolution of man that drives the new movement of psychology, the psychology of the greater Self. What appears today as speculation and even imagination to many would be the living truth of tomorrow's world. For it is indeed the truth of today and as the truth of yesterday as well. To those who can see, the hints are everywhere, - in the records of the past, in the seekings of the present, in the logical extension of the evolutionary curve into the future. As more and more men feel the need of this greater Self, as more and more men begin to experience that which is concealed in our own depths, our present psychology is bound to naturally undergo a vast sea-change. Or it will be a psychology that would look from the depths to man's surfaces, from the heights to the abysses of nature, from the vastnesses to the narrow mazes and the deceptive and obscure vision of our sense-bound, desire driven physical mind.
What will be the nature of this greater psychology? First of all it will incorporate and try to understand not only man's visible surface existence but also the larger invisible portion. In a way the concept of the Unconscious is already an admittance of this fact that man's psychological life is lived largely below the surface. But the Unconscious would not be limited to the subconscious but also include the superconscious and the subliminal. Secondly this new psychology would include in its scope of study the many planes of consciousness and their forces and energies that influence us, directly or indirectly. With a study of these planes and their forces and energies we would discover new ways of understanding and dealing with human nature and the collective groupings of mankind. Next this new psychology would not be a psychology without a soul. For what we mean by this term is precisely that part in us which transcends nature and is its lord and master. It is the imperishable quality, the immortal self within us. A discovery of the soul is of cardinal importance in yoga. It is the secret center around which everything revolves. The ego cannot provide a stable ground on which to build a true individual and collective psychology with a universal appeal that can endure the flux and flow of time. It is around the soul and not the ego that man must rebuild his individual and collective existence if he has to even survive as a race. An ego-centric life carries the seed of its own destruction. A still bolder step needs to be taken since the discovery of the individual soul is only the first step. Man has within him the possibility not only of an individual but also of a larger universal and transcendent existence, of a cosmic consciousness as well. That cannot be known so long as we do not admit the truth of Consciousness as a fundamental common substrate underlying this manifold world. And if we come so far would we stop only at Consciousness and Force and not go beyond it to discover the Conscious Being who sleeps in the atom and smiles in the flower and shines in the stars. In other words a greater psychology would admit that the evolutionary journey of man is not yet over and that man conceals and can uncover within his being infinite possibilities. All our nature starts from the mud no doubt and that is why he feels the mud to be his natural home but it climbs to the sky. The old psychology freed us of the outer demons and the djinns but in doing so ended up only affirming the demon and the beast within man. It threw the demons out of the head labelling them as hallucinations of a sick mind but readily accepted them in his subconscious parts and even considered them to be our natural guests and permanent inhabitants. Nay they are the owners of the house of man and all his noble thoughts and high sublime feelings are mere temporary tenants who feign to be the householder. The new psychology will rid us of these demons even from the subconscious parts and restore the house of man to the gods nay to the One Divine who dwells within all beings and for whom the universe is a robe and man a masked divinity.
O Force-compelled, Fate-driven earth-born race,
O petty adventurers in an infinite world
And prisoners of a dwarf humanity,
How long will you tread the circling tracks of mind
Around your little self and petty things?
But not for a changeless littleness were you meant,
Not for vain repetition were you built;
Out of the Immortal's substance you were made;
Your actions can be swift revealing steps,
Your life a changeful mould for growing gods.
A Seer, a strong Creator, is within,
The immaculate Grandeur broods upon your days,
Almighty powers are shut in Nature's cells.
A greater destiny waits you in your front:
This transient earthly being if he wills
Can fit his acts to a transcendent scheme.
He who now stares at the world with ignorant eyes
Hardly from the Inconscient's night aroused,
That look at images and not at Truth,
Can fill those orbs with an immortal's sight.'
* * *
Georges Van Vrekham The New Spirituality, or: The Aurobindian Revolution
In The Life Divine Sri Aurobindo quotes the triple statement of the Upanishads: Brahman is in all things, all things are in Brahman, all things are Brahman. The Upanishads, the foundation of Vedanta, have been a living source of spiritual inspiration since their formulation some three thousand years ago; yet the full scope of their significance was never put into practice until Sri Aurobindo dedicated himself to the implementation of their unadulterated message. In the meantime there had been Mahavir and the Buddha, Shankara and Christ, and a multitude of great saints and realized souls, but no religion or spiritual path teaches that Brahman, the Omnipresent Reality, is this old man and boy and girl, this bird, this insect and this shopping housewife, this jetliner, this cancer tumour and this self-immolating fanatic All spiritual paths and all churches point toward a hereafter, moksha, nirvana, and teach how to get out of this life or cycle of lives by what they suppose to be the shortest way possible. Matter is the anti-Divine, the body is a burden, a prison, a tomb. Individual escape out of this bad or illusionary sub-lunar world is the direct goal, after which all will be happiness and ecstasy in eternity. Yet to Sri Aurobindo, from the very beginning of his sadhana, a solitary salvation leaving the world to its fate was felt as almost distasteful. And he wrote about his Yoga: Even the Tantra and Vaishnavism end in the release from life; here the object is the divine fulfillment of life.
In the course of his sadhana, he gradually became aware of the dimensions of the spiritual innovation to be brought about by him. Matter and the Earth were no longer seen as something despicable in which the soul had descended by some accident or other. The statement of the Upanishad Matter also is Brahman was to be taken literally, and the physical universe was seen as the external body of the Divine Being. He wrote: Earth-life is not a lapse into the mire of something undivine, vain and miserable, offered by some Power to itself as a spectacle or to the embodied soul as a thing to be suffered and then cast away from it: it is the scene of the evolutionary unfolding of the being which moves towards the revelation of a supreme spiritual light and power and joy and oneness, but includes in it also the manifold diversity of the self-achieving spirit. There is an all-seeing purpose in the terrestrial creation; a divine plan is working itself out through its contradictions and perplexities
The evolutionary unfolding of the being became more than a naturalist scientific theory, it became a spiritual fact directly significant for the effort of the Yoga. Much of our bodies, life forces and mental capacities is shaped by evolution. We carry the development of life on the Earth not only in our visible body but deep in ourselves, where the past continues to be present and must be overcome if we want to advance into the future. The chakras represent the earthly and therefore cosmic evolution in us and are hierarchically ordered from below upwards, toward the levels which are worlds of consciousness above our present mental consciousness, to be integrated in the bodies of the future. True, in Sri Aurobindos Integral Yoga one has first to realize the psychic and overmental, spiritual realizations, but then, strengthened with these realizations, one has to descend into the nether regions of the subconscious, where are the dark roots of humanity.
Thirdly, Sri Aurobindo had the revelation of the Supermind, the divine Truth-Consciousness. This is the consciousness in which all is one and is experienced as one, in the timeless immensities as well as in the time-bound sub-atomic materializations; it is the consciousness which eternally contains all in itself, manifests all out of itself and then takes all again into its bosom. This is the true mind of God behind the mysteries of the infinite and the infinitesimal confounding present-day science because it is incapable of widening its vision beyond the physical realm. And Sri Aurobindo saw that this Truth-Consciousness, however high or far or deep beyond or present mind, was the only basis to realize the next step in evolution for which the time had come. This knowledge first he had of time-born men.
Lastly, to work out his vision and his personal realizations of it, he had to establish a method which could be followed by others, a spiritual path which he called the Integral Yoga. For it had to contain the essence of humanitys spiritual achievements in the past in order to integrate them into a vision of the future. In this spiritual undertaking, in the working out of this new spirituality, he and the Mother stood alone. Time and again they have compared their pioneering effort to hewing a path in the jungle, advancing through constant danger into the unknown. For the mighty Powers-that-be, hostile to any new spiritual acquisition or change, become merciless when their reign is threatened and their dominant position on the Earth might come to an end. My gaping wounds are a thousand and one / And the Titan kings assail wrote Sri Aurobindo in his marvellous poem A Gods Labour.
All this together was -- and is -- the Aurobindian revolution. Revolution is often nothing more than an overblown word. But if initiating a new step in the terrestrial evolution, based on the materialization of a consciousness beyond our present mind and even imagination, and to be incorporated into a material being on the Earth if this is not a revolution, then what is?
It is but seldom realized that at the time of Sri Aurobindo and the Mothers early lives the coming of the superman was felt by many to be necessary and even imminent. The name of Friedrich Nietzsche, whose thinking Sri Aurobindo was very familiar with, will come to mind. But there was also Marx new homo economicus, there was the new atheistic and humanitarian man of August Comte, the Freudian and Jungian new man, and many more. Those were indeed the decades of an intense reaction of discontent against the dry rationality of the Enlightenment. This reaction would lead to fascism, which its own ideal of the new man, the man of the deed, and ultimately to Hitlers ruthless superman, the blonde beast.
Still the historical perspective should be extended much farther backwards in time. For if this was, and is, the moment of a new evolutionary creation which is the fulfillment of the evolutionary past and makes a quantum leap beyond it, it must mean that Nature had worked out all the preliminary stages on the Earth to their utmost possibilities. As the Mother said, there are long periods of preparation, but then there is the moment in which the evolutionary saltus happens. Todays humanity in upheaval is certainly significative of such a critical moment in its evolution.
The procession of avatars is well-known in Hinduism and, as Sri Aurobindo remarked, pictures the successive evolutionary stages perfectly. Sri Krishna declared in the Bhagawad Gita that the avatar comes at times when humanity is in crisis. The materialization of a new step in the evolution, like every birth, is a time of intensest crisis, qua importance exceeding by far the axis-times as defined by Karl Jaspers. The beings of an established level of evolution are themselves incapable of piercing the ceiling of their species, of going beyond the highest stratum of their materialization. Such a breakthrough can be effected only by a direct intervention from above, materially incarnated in a being which in India is known as avatar. Sri Aurobindo argues in one of his letters that between the hominids and homo sapiens there had to be an avatar, in that case Lord Rama. If so, there had to be an avatar to initiate the still greater leap between homo sapiens and the supramental being and we know the name: Sri Aurobindo-Mother. For the first time in the history of humanity a complete, double-poled avatar incarnated representing He and She, the male and female principle on all levels of existence and manifestation.
The Divine takes on a material body in what could be called metaphorically an avataric field. This consists of a preparatory period leading up to his appearance. Then there is his presence on earth when he lays the foundations of the change he has come down to bring about, always against impossible odds because he has come to do the impossible. While the decisive change is taking place only a few humans are aware of his presence, and fewer still are aware of the implications of his work. When the avatar has left his earthly body a transitory period follows, often of great confusion. And finally comes the time of the accomplishment of the evolutionary or spiritual change, perceptible to all and having a permanent impact on the destiny of humanity as a whole.
We are in the transitory period between the presence of the avatar and the concrete realization of his purpose. Our strength is in our faith, unreasonable or maybe grotesque in the eyes of those who do not have the call to participate consciously in the Great Change. One of the keywords of the Integral Yoga is surrender because, having dedicated our lives to the Work, we accept that the ultimate realization the transformation of the body -- will not be ours in this life. But to support our faith there is the presence of Sri Aurobindo and of the Mother for the task of the avatar is not limited by his and her physical incarnation; and we can inwardly open to the supramental force, manifested in the Earth-atmosphere in 1956, and its deputy, the force descended in 1969 to enable the realization of the overmental, transitory being. Trying to become transitory beings (overwomen and overmen -- surhommes) is, according to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the task given to us.
In the physical sciences it is a rule that a theory should prove its validity by making predictions that can be tested. Is Sri Aurobindos theory of the supermind only a grandiose illusion, or will humanity die out before anything like the apparition of the supramental being can happen on our planet? Sri Aurobindo has made predictions. In his writings in the Arya, later published in book form, one can read that: 1. India had to become free; 2. Asia had to awake; 3. humanity had to become one; 4. the Indian spiritualty had to spread in the whole world; 5. the humans species would be succeeded by a new species of supramental beings. It should be borne in mind that these predictions were made during the First World War and its immediate aftermath, when reasonable people could only consider them as chimaeras. In 1947, in a text to be broadcast on the occasion of Indias freedom, Sri Aurobindo summarized these predictions himself and called them his five dreams.
When one considers what has become of these dreams at present, one cannot but agree that all five have become reality to a considerable degree. Thus they may be held to be a rational justification of Sri Aurobindos previsions of the future. He wrote that a next evolutionary step is inevitable, a statement which, considering the evolutionary process, can only be doubted because of fear that our Earth might not survive its present predicament. But the fundamental cause of this predicament is precisely the Umwertung aller Werte, the revaluation of all values required to create the new, as yet unknown ones. In this so-called post-modern period of a humanity caught in the vortex of its unification, Sri Aurobindos vision provides us with the interpretation of the apparent chaos.
Mentally conditioned by the physical sciences, few people still believe in miracles, but I know of two which are historically proven. The first is Jeanne dArc, the young French village girl who, at the head of rowdy medieval armies, defeated the English, put her king on his throne, and told her judges frankly: Je suis venue de par Dieu I have come from God. The other miracle is Auroville, the utopia of all utopias, which after forty years in quasi impossible circumstances and despite all ordeals, is still there and growing.
Ulrich Mohrhoff "As far as longing can reach..."
There is a spiritual tradition at the roots of western civilization. It found its expression in the teachings of Parmenides and of his student, Empedocles. Significant parallels exist between these teachings and the
Vedic and Vedantic scriptures of ancient India. As we owe the recovery of the original meaning of the Vedas to Sri Aurobindo, so we owe the recovery of the original meaning of the works of these pre-Socratic philosophers to Peter Kingsley. I shall focus on Parmenides, who thanks to Platos deliberate travesty of his teaching is now widely regarded as the inventor of rationalism and the grandfather of western philosophy. Plato and Parmenides agreed that there is a reality beyond the deceptive appearances, but it was Plato who created the fiction that this can be rationally ascertained. The real Parmenides insisted that what gets us there is
(i) our longing, the intensity of which determines how far we can go,
(ii) the realization that truly we know nothing, and
(iii) the help of the divine Creatrix.