Re: In Defence of the “Extracts from The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs”—Raman Reddy
by auroman on Sat 03 Jan 2009 11:50 PM IST Profile Permanent Link
IMHO, we need to understand the Western mindset to understand why most of them see this issue differently.
1) Those brought up in the West, or who have acquired a Western world-view seem to think that this book issue is some battle between freedom and repression, which it is not. If you tell them not to do something, they immediately cry out "censorship". The fight against communism and other forms of repression has colored their view of everything else.
2) The tradition in the West since the sixties sexual revolution is that "we must have an open discussion about everything". This extends to sexual matters as well "whats wrong with talking openly about sex?" or "lets give condoms to children instead of telling them not to do it". They don't see anything wrong with discussing Sri Aurobindo's sex life, even though it may seem offensive to Indian sensibilities.
3) There is no natural atmosphere of Bhakti in schools or homes. Prayer in schools is discouraged. Children are focussed on debates, sports and community leadership. That is why they might assume that all the people who oppose the book are being emotional or unreasonable. It is this background of lack of humility or Bhakti that we must consider.