Thursday, March 24, 2005

Confronting Flatlanders

I been arguing with some exclusivist self-styled "skeptical" types at the discussion of Wikipedia's Human article. Just when I was about to give up, they put some proposals up. So if you're a member, you can vote for one.

Simultaneously, I've been arguing against creationists at the discussion of the Intelligent Design article.

It's a bit schizophrenic, with the humanists assuming that I'm a creationist because I won't accept that humans are nothing more than primates, and the creationists assuming that I'm an anti-religious type.

When you are being attacked by both the left and the right, it could mean that you're doing something right.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Observed without comment: Aurobindo smoked cigars.
I must tell you that I was born in a family in which nobody smoked: my father had never smoked and neither had his brothers - anyway, no one smoked. So since my early childhood, I hadn't been used to others smoking. Later, when I lived with artists ... Artists smoke, of course (it seems it gives them "inspiration"!), but I detested the smell. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to be unpleasant, but I detested it. Then I came here - Sri Aurobindo smoked. He smoked deliberately, he smoked in order to say: one can do the yoga while smoking, I say one can smoke and do the yoga, and I smoke. And he smoked. And naturally all the disciples smoked, since Sri Aurobindo smoked. For some time, I even gave them pocket money so they could buy cigars (they smoked cigars - it was ghastly!). Then I came to live in Sri Aurobindo's house, we spoke freely, and one day I told him, "How awful the smell of smoke is! (laughing) It's disgusting!" So he said to me, "Oh, you don't like the smell?" "Oh, no!" I said, "Not only that, but I had to make a yogic effort to stop it from making me feel sick!" The next day, he had stopped. It was over, he never smoked again.... That was kind. It wasn't on principle, it was because he didn't want to impose the smell on me. But I had never said anything: it was simply because he asked me just like that, while talking, so I told him. And when he stopped smoking, everyone had to stop too - smoking wasn't allowed anymore, since he didn't smoke anymore.
New integral blog: Generation Sit.
Writers on consciousness sometimes speak of people progressing from one level of consciousness to another. for example, one might move from a mythic consciousness (Piaget's con-op) to a rational consciousness (form-op). But I don't think that that's how it actually happens. We are all taking part in the same culture, and barring physical injuries, I think that most of us have similarly-working structures of consciousness. We just aren't using them all. So when someone moves from mythic to rational consciousness, he is merely realizing the rational. This is similar to the debate within buddhism regarding whether someone attains enlightenment or merely realizes that he is already enlightened.