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View Article  Culture & IY Links
Our favorite websites relating to this category, CULTURE & IY:   more »
View Article  A Review of Dipesh Chakrabarty's "Provincializing Europe" by Amit Chaudhuri (London Review of Books)
(recycled): Dipesh Chakrabarty's book "Provincializing Europe" is an important theoretical study of colonialism and its legacies in India. While [many] works outline the atrocities and dleterious effects of colonialism abound, Chakrabarti, one of the founder-members of the Subaltern Studies movement in Indian (and world) history tells the story from the lesser known side of the strategies used by Indians (in colonial Kolkata) for making an "alternate habitation" of modernity - i.e. adapting it to their own uses. In doing this, he also makes a number of important theoretical points about cultural situatedness and conditions for effective cross-cultural dialog. This review, taken from the London Review of Books is by Amit Chaudhuri, a well-known younger Indian novelist and commentator.   more »
View Article  In memoriam Ron Jon Anastasia d. October 20th 2009



"Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep - he hath awakened from the dream of life - 'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep with phantoms an unprofitable strife." Shelley

With great sadness we announce the passing of Ron Anastasia who passed over into the greater life on Tuesday October 20th. Ron was the founding editor and inspiration for Science, Culture, Integral Yoga (SCIY). Without him this site would not exist. Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife Kim who did a remarkable job caring for him through the last year of his illness.

And death shall have no dominion
by Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.   more »
View Article  The Myth of the New India by Pankaj Mishra


In this article, Pankaj Mishra considers contemporary India's middle class myth of emerging economic superstardom. Is this a reality or a make-believe narrative swallowed as part of neo-liberal globalization with its own convenient interests? According to Mishra, "Many serious problems confront India. They are unlikely to be solved as long as the wealthy, both inside and outside the country, choose to believe their own complacent myths."   more »
View Article  White Noise - a book review by William E. Connolly


This book review by William Connolly, one of the most original political philosophers of our times, turns its attention on Stephen White's book Sustaining Affirmation, inflected with the sensibility of contingent and unpredictable becoming borrowed from Don DeLillo's novel White Noise. But much more than a book review, it is an engagement with White's text so as to affirm a number of positions held by Connolly himself, pertaining to his existential faith in immanent naturalism and the ontological condiitons for an evolutionary pluralism in the micropolitcs of contemporarary social life.

Connolly constellates his thought with what he calls the radical Enlightenment of Spinoza and a lineage he draws from this leading through Nietzsche, Bergson, Foucault and Deleuze. What one may see as common among these thinkers is the affirmation of a creative Becoming-without-Being or a Being as Becoming. That there is an infinte abundance to this which exceeds the human power of thought but to which thought can lend itself as an instrument of meaning and a part of its generous creative process, form core aspects of the faith which Connolly calls "immanent naturalism." Among the most pertinent causes driving this geneaolgy of postmodern thinking is the reaction against ontotheology, where a transcendental Being is inscribed with the name of God and assimilated into a fundamentalist metaphysics with an ideology, teleology, theology and normative boundaries to differentiate an inside and outside and institutional strutures to enforce these boundaries. Modernity is characterized by a displacement of the ideology of the Enlightenment onto pre-modern ontotheologies with a totalitarian scope in terms of absolute systemic knowledge and a cosmic-scaled will to power as technology. This ontology of the modern has also transformed mysticisms of the past into ontothelogies.

It will be clear from Connolly's text that he is hardly against the private affirmation of a faith in transcendental Being, but that this needs to be scrupulously rejected from becoming an ideology and needs to be subordinated to a practice of creative Becoming through openness to temporal proceses leading towards ever greater horizons of meaning and experience. -db   more »
View Article  An Imaginative Geography - Chapter One of "The Myth of Shangri-La" by Peter Bishop


As globalization strips the veil from the last inviolable topos of earth and real-time surveiilance renders every square unit of the planet physically transaparent in its utilitarian Google Maps and Star War strategies, the sacred plexuses of the earth also multiply in their resistant cultural geographies of surreal uptopia.

Peter Bishop teaches Communication and Cultural Studies at the University of Southern Australia. Bishop's entertaining and erudite analyses of contemporary material culture pry open the spaces where spirituality, imagination, cultural history and material practices intersect. In this first chapter from his book, The Myth of Shangri-La: Tibet, Travel Writing and the Western Creation of Sacred landscape, he presents the makings of a theory of sacred cultural materiality - the spiritual, psychological, aesthetic, cultural, historical, political, economic and geographic transactions which establish the utopian spaces of contemporary spiritual desire. - DB   more »
View Article  Conference: Fundamentalism and the Future


Conference Announcement: Fundamentalism and the Future
Friday, September 11 and Saturday, September 12, 2009
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
A two-day conference will be held Friday, September 11 and Saturday September 12 on the topic “Fundamentalism and the Future.” The conference will be at the California Institute of Integral studies in San Francisco, hosted by the Department of Asian and Comparative Religions. The conference organizers are Rich Carlson, Debashish Banerji and David Hutchinson. Registration is free. For details on the conference, location, and registration, please see http://fundamentalismandthefuture.com

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View Article  Heidegger, Habermas and the Essence of Technology by Andrew Feenberg

Andrew Feenberg is the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology at the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University. In this article he considers the specificity of our Modern Age as Technology, as identified and theorized both by Martin Heidegger and Jurgen Habermas. Both these seiminal modern/contemporary thinkers, though marked by divergence in important respects, see Technology as the determining agent for modern subjectivity as a condition of subjection, alientaion, instrumentalization, homogeniety and social fragmentation. Feenberg here analyzes primary and secondary characteristics of Technology and indicates possibilties of technological reform in a post-industrial context to reintegrate culture, community, creativity and participatory improvization into world culture. One may note that though for the purposes of his own transformative discourse, Feenberg construes Heidegger and Habermas oppositionally as essentialistic in their characterization of Technology, in fact his reformative possibiltiies return us to Heidegger's view of the essence of Techne as Poiesis.

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View Article  • India and Europe by Wilhelm Halbfass
With the ascendency to Indian politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party, a plethora of literature has appeared paying serious attention to the phenomenon of "Neo-Hinduism" in India, and by and large relating it to fascist possibilities. This postcolonial literature, swelling the shelves over the last five years, has piggybacked onto a larger more international body of postmodern writing on nationalism and its dangers that has been growing in stridency ever since the pseudo-religion ...   more »
View Article  Economic Recovery? No Thank You

By Carolyn Baker
Something more fundamental — yes, cellular — occurs in my anatomy when I hear that the last two years of economic agony was merely a blip on the radar screen of the capitalist business cycle — yet another momentary whack from Adam Smith's "invisible hand".
I cringe when I hear the words "back to normal" because of what that means to me. "Normal" means hordes of Walmart shoppers stuffing cars and SUV's full of plastics from China and driving off to their suburban homes to devour or display them until the current fix wears off and their shallow, meaningless lifestyles demand yet another "mall injection". Normal means homeowners wearing several tons of house on their backs as they travel by car to jobs they despise to maintain mortgage, taxes, insurance, and upkeep. Normal means total oblivion to the polar bear whose heart exploded during the last half-mile of his frantic swim in search of any tiny chunk of ice on which he could rest in order to regain his strength and continue his quest for food. Normal means infinite patches of sickened brown trees devastated by the mountain pine beetle in an otherwise green Colorado forest. Normal means NASCAR and another nuclear power plant coming online and oceanic dead zones the size of countries. Did you hear? We're going back to normal — to parents working 80 hours a week while their kids become junkies, bulimic, or pregnant. Normal means slamming down more McDonalds Happy Meals chased with Red Bull and Prozac. Normal means that I have nothing to do with nature, and it has nothing to do with me, and furthermore, if I have anything to do with it, I'll do with it whatever the hell I like. Normal means that my reason for being is to consume, stuff my face, watch reality TV, obsess over celebrity gossip, chatter around the water cooler about pirates and tea parties, and grab a couple of hours of Ambien-induced sleep at the end of the day if I'm lucky.
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View Article  We're all getting sick of being bullied by bad values

The YouTube clip of Susan's angel voice soaring from the unkissed mouth of that scrunchy-faced, eyebrow-enforested, unprepossessingly dumpy representative of anonymous humanity was the third irresistible message to us all to get over ourselves.   more »
View Article  Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies - I
Some relections on the continuing issue of techno-capitalism and post-human futures by Debashish Banerji. This is a first fragment highlighting Moishe Postone's commentaries on the late writings of Marx.   more »
View Article  Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies III
The concluding section on Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies by Debashish Banerji continues its second installment's reflections on the Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence presented to us as the emerging destiny of post-Enlightenment Modernity and compares this destination with its appropriation and supercession in the Neo-Vedantic teleology of Sri Aurobindo. What are the differences, dangers and promises of these destinies and what are the conditions for achieving an alternate destination? ...   more »
View Article  Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies - II
This is a fragment constituting a continuation of Debashish Banerji's reflections on Techno-Capitalism as the epistemic regime of modernity and posible post-human futures at the eschatological cusp of history. Here the alignment of Marx and Hegel with the Enlightenment vision/teleology is contemplated and questions asked regarding a comparative alignment with the Neo-Vedantic teleology (if it can be called that) of Sri Aurobindo.   more »
View Article  Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity
This article attempts to sketch out Sri Aurobindo's contribution to the future of humanity as carried in his major texts. In doing so, it also tries to underline the cross-cultural nature of these texts and the disciplinary redefinitions implicit in them.   more »