Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hear and follow the voice of the inmost soul

Devotees throng Aurobindo Ashram to pay tributes to Mother › others › news Puducherry, Nov 17 (UNI) Thousands of devotees from all over the country and abroad thronged the Sri Aurobindo Ashram here today to pay tributes to the Mother, a leading disciple of Sri Aurobindo, on the occasion of her 42nd death anniversary.
A mass meditation was organised by the ashramites to mark the occasion .
The rooms used by Aurobindo and the Mother were thrown open for public darshan today. Posted at: Nov 17 2015 1:32PM

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Losers and sacrifice

The Guardian (blog) - ‎Marcus Browne Thursday 12 November 2015
The aim is to produce the reader you want for each story
“I think an author should write what the reader does not expect. The problem is not to ask what they need, but to change them … to produce the kind of reader you want for each story.”

50% of public opinion is shaped by fakes
“I am a philosopher; I write novels only on the weekends,” said Eco. “As a philosopher I am interested in truth. Since it is very difficult to decide what’s true or not I discovered that it’s easier to arrive at truth through the analysis of fakes.”
“I would say that 50% or more of public opinion is shaped by fakes. We are blackmailed by them,” he said.

Real literature is always about losers
Mullan later quoted one of his favourite lines from Numero Zero – “the pleasures of erudition are reserved for losers” – before going on to ask Eco why he chose to tell the story from the point of view of a thwarted character.
“Because that’s literature,” said Eco. “Dostoevsky was writing about losers. The main character of The Iliad, Hector, is a loser. It’s very boring to talk about winners. The real literature always talks about losers. Madame Bovary is a loser. Julien Sorel is a loser. I am doing only the same job. Losers are more fascinating.
“Winners are stupid … because usually they win by chance.”

January 29, 2014 Interview with Paul W. Kahn, Author of Finding Ourselves at the Movies - Hope Leman (@hleman)
Every movie imagines the possible through the construction of a narrative. An account of natural development does not include the possible. We don’t say that an earthquake was one of several possible events. We say it happened and it had to happen because of shifts in the tectonic plates that preceded it. A narrative does not work that way. A narrative always sets the actual against the possible. We are interested in human stories because of the choices made, but choice requires a belief that other possibilities were present – the choice could have been different.

A central argument of the book is that films show us the origin of the state in an act of sacrifice. This is a challenge to social contract theories that understand the state as solving a collective action problem: to advance the interests of all, without sacrificing the interests of any particular individual.

That is not what we see when we look at the representation of the political in films. Instead of a state advancing individual interests, we see a state for which individuals take up the burden of sacrifice. Films often pose the question: for what are we willing to give up the self? They always answer: for the sake of love, we will sacrifice the self. The state, in popular films, often appears to rest upon love and sacrifice, not contract and interest.

That the body might be given in act of sacrifice is exactly what pornography denies. Pornography relies upon a representation of a kind of ecstatic moment, but it is contained within the body. It is the ecstasy of pleasure – an extreme – not of sacrifice. For this reason as well, political drama always blends into family drama because both dramas are about the sacrificial character of love. Pornography, on the other hand, strips the individual away from family. Yet this idea is so difficult to sustain that pornography often falls back into a banal plot of reaffirmation of the traditional family once the exploration of the pleasures of the self alone have been experienced.

Love, I suggest in the book, may be the central theme of popular films. I have noticed lately that this seems more true of American than of foreign films. That probably tells us something about our optimism, the Christian roots of our culture, and our sense of what is most important in a life.

The center of these dramas of love remains the family – a common theme of television as well. I don’t think it is a matter of identifying films that are better or worse with respect to this theme. The strategy of the book is not to look for great or excellent films, but to pursue a kind of anthropological approach of looking to whatever is playing at the cinema.

Popular culture, after all, is not ordinarily high culture. A bad film, I argue, can tell us as much about ourselves as a good film in its choice of themes, characters, and problems to be resolved. As for enriching the experience of viewers with respect to the topic of love, my main suggestion would be to pay attention to the dynamic of sacrifice. One way we know who or what we love is to ask for whom or what we are willing to sacrifice. Films often explore just his question: for what will the subject sacrifice?

Movies involve us in a problem, a site of tension, and they ask, “What would you do?” Of course, they often represent this in fantastical ways, but so does religion speak of miracles and fables. The movies are always “preaching” to us not because they are trying to be didactic, but because we are eager for narrative. We come out of a movie with a sense that something has happened. We want to think about it. Thinking about the meaning of parables is, of course, one of our oldest experiences of religion.

Films interest us because they are both a result of and a reflection on free action. We don’t interpret a natural event; we analyze its causes. A free act is one that occurs for reasons. The meaning of a free act is a function of the reasons we assign to it. We might disagree about the reasons; we may be uncertain. Reasons, accordingly, call for interpretation.

I do not engage the professional scholarship of film studies. Rather, the book addresses the questions that have always motivated philosophy: for example, freedom, faith, love, death, and justice. I hope readers will engage these questions and learn that they are still very relevant to our modern experience.

The Pinocchio Theory - Freedman on Mieville - I just finished reading Carl Freedman’s excellent book on China Mieville, which I can heartily recommend to anybody who’s interested in Mieville. The book ...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Seven books that shook the world

The Act of Creation is a 1964 book by Arthur Koestler. It is a study of the processes of discovery, invention, imagination and creativity in humour, science, and the arts. Wikipedia

The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects is a book co-created by media analyst Marshall McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore, and coordinated by Jerome Agel. Wikipedia

Small Is Beautiful - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered is a collection of essays by British economist E. F. Schumacher. The phrase "Small Is Beautiful" came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr. Wikipedia

The Tao of Physics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism is a 1975 book by physicist Fritjof Capra. It was a bestseller in the United States, and has been published in 43 editions in 23 languages. Wikipedia

A Brief History of Time - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes is a 1988 popular-science book by British physicist Stephen Hawking. It became a bestseller and sold more than 10 million copies in 20 years.Wikipedia

The End of History and the Last Man (1992) - Wikipedia

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay "The End of History?", published in the international affairs journal The National Interest. Wikipedia
Clash of Civilizations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Clash of Civilizations is a theory that people's cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. Wikipedia

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Robert Bellah, Roy Bhaskar and Abner Shimony

Robert Neelly Bellah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert Neelly Bellah (February 23, 1927 – July 30, 2013) was an American sociologist, and the Elliott Professor of Sociology, as well as Professor Emeritus at ...
Education - ‎Career - ‎Personal - ‎Works

The home page for Robert N. Bellah
The Institute's work is guided by a disciplined understanding of the interrelationship between the inner life and resources of American religious institutions and ...

A brief biography of Robert N. Bellah - Robert Bellah
A brief biography of Robert N. Bellah. Robert N. Bellah (February 23, 1927 - July 30, 2013) was Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of ...

Religion in Human Evolution by Robert N. Bellah - Robert Bellah
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age. By Robert N. Bellah. September 2011. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Religion in Human Evolution — Robert N. Bellah | Harvard ...
This ambitious book probes our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have imagined were worth living. Bellah's theory goes deep into ...

Robert Bellah, Sociologist of Religion Who Mapped the American ...
Aug 6, 2013 - Robert N. Bellah, a distinguished sociologist of religion who sought nothing less than to map the American soul, in both the sacred and secular ...

Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age ... › Books › History › Ancient Civilizations › Prehistory
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age [Robert N. Bellah] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Religion in Human ...

Roy Bhaskar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Roy Bhaskar (15 May 1944 – 19 November 2014) was a British philosopher, best known as the initiator of the philosophical movement of Critical Realism.

Roy Bhaskar obituary | World news | The Guardian › World › Philosophy
Dec 4, 2014 - Roy Bhaskar, who has died aged 70 of heart failure, turned to philosophy only after becoming an economics lecturer at Oxford University in the ...

Roy Bhaskar | The philosopher of critical realism
Roy Bhaskar (1944 - 2014) is a philosopher who is best known as the originator of the philosophy of critical realism and metaReality. He is currently World ...

Roy Bhaskar: Philosopher whose school of critical realism ...
Jan 29, 2015 - Roy Bhaskar was an outstanding philosopher who challenged established ways of thinking. Whereas most modern philosophy asks questions ...

The WSCR Archive: Roy Bhaskar: "Roy Bhaskar Interviewed"
Roy Bhaskar Interviewed. Questions by CHRISTOPHER NORRIS. Q. You have been thinking and writing about issues in the philosophy of science for around ...

Abner Shimony - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abner Shimony (March 10, 1928 – August 8, 2015) was an American physicist and philosopher. He specialized in quantum theory and philosophy of science.

Divine Action Topic: Shimony, Abner. “The Reality of the Quantum ...
In this paper, Abner Shimony describes two essential concepts in quantum mechanics. The first is the quantum state or wavefunction, which specifies all the  ... Abner Shimony: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks ...
The Large, the Small and the Human Mind (Canto) by Roger Penrose, Malcolm Longair, Abner Shimony and Nancy Cartwright (Apr 28, 2000). (18) ...

Abner Shimony, Quantum physics and the philosophy of Whitehead ...
by A Shimony - ‎1965 - ‎Cited by 35 - ‎Related articles
Yutaka Tanaka (2004). The Individuality of a Quantum Event: Whitehead's Epochal Theory of Time and Bohr's Framework of Complementarity In. In T. E. ...