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View Article  Welcome to the SCI-Y Home of Debashish Banerji

Welcome to the SCI-Y Home of Debashish Banerji

All postings, reflections, selections and writing projects by SCI-Y author Debashish Banerji are archived here in the following subcategory structure:

View Article  Integral Psychology – Theorizing its Disciplinary Boundaries

The following is a revised transcript of a talk given by me at the Cultural Integration Fellowship, San Francisco in 2008 and carried in the current edition of Sraddha, a journal of the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Kolkata.

In this, I bring into dialog the epistemic boundaries of the western academic discipline of Psychology and Sri Aurobindo's formulation of Integral Yoga, so as to reflect on the disciplinary formation of a field of Integral Psychology. What would such a field hold out and how would it impact the existing assumptions of both Psychology and Yoga? The insertion of such a discipline into the academy is not a trivial task. It is a project fraught with danger and possibility, which needs to be carefully negotiated. - db   more »
View Article  Sri Aurobindo's Integral Education in Contemporary Higher Education

Sri Aurobindo envisaged the goal of human becoming as a transformed society and civilization based on the expressions of an integral consciousness. However, in keeping with the collective dimension of this goal, a transformed society was envisaged by him not merely as the end result of individual transformations, but as the dynamically transforming life-context or field which would allow and facilitate individual transformation. Seen from this standpoint, the social discipline of education, meant to “socialize,” “in-form” and inculcate the cultural, knowledge and epistemological skills of the social habitus for individual engagement takes on a changed meaning related to a new phenomenology, epistemology and teleology of human and social becoming. Integral Education then becomes a socially acknowledged and authorized praxis of the Integral Yoga or at least the pedagogical condition for its social possibility and collective transformation.

Though much has been written and several attempts at implementation made to formulate Integral Education as a form of child education, the higher educational possibilities and ramifications of Integral Education have remained largely untheorized. This paper is an attempt to think through some of these possibilties and implementations. Debashish Banerji is the educational coordinator of The University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles.   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  A Chronology of Modern Indian Art and Thematic Considerations By Debashish Banerji
An Introduction to the history of modern Indian art along with an approach to its categorization, as expressed in the curatorial practice of the exhibition "Contours of Modernity" held at the SOKA University, Irvine from February-April, 2005 and curated by Debashish Banerji and Nalini Rao.   more »
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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 »
View Article  • Review of Sri Aurobindo and his Contemporary Thinkers
Following the publication of “Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo,” Indrani Sanyal and Krishna Roy of the Centre for Sri Aurobindo Studies, Calcutta have complied a set of eighteen scholarly essays on Sri Aurobindo and his contemporaries in the ideational context of what has been called the Bengal Renaissance. Sri Aurobindo’s physical involvement in the politics and culture of early Bengal nationalism was of relatively short duration (1905-1910), albeit an intense and all-sided participation which internalized the entire regional history of the movement and left a powerful creative impress in the milieu of its time and space. Moreover, the discursive background of this involvement continued to develop organically and find voice throughout his life in his subjective articulation just as his own situated contribution continued to resonate in later Indian nationalism. Thus this collection of considered interpretive contemplation fills an important need in our historical understanding. But more importantly, it is the post-colonial legacy of these engagements which draws us today by their fertile and future-gazing content, inviting reflection not merely for India’s but the world’s re-generation at a time of global ferment.   more »
View Article  • Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo, Ed: Indrani Sanyl & Krishna Roy
In spite of some surface infelicities, a very fine collection of essays on various aspects of Sri Aurobindo's "thought."

...The book concludes with an article “Sri Aurobindo – A Century in Perspective” by Aster Patel. Sri Aurobindo became the first principal of National College, Calcutta, now known as the Jadavpur College, about a hundred years ago. In the century which has elapsed since then, humankind has experienced its most intense period of collective growth and crisis throughout the world. Human consciousness is poised on a brink where it is faced either with the specter of oblivion, the horror of the abyss or a leap into another modality of being, the integral consciousness of the overman. Mediating this critical choice is the life and work of Sri Aurobindo, throwing a powerful beacon ahead of us into the century to come. Aster Patel draws out some of the implications of this work ahead of us in following the light of Sri Aurobindo in the coming century. Can we equal in consciousness the integral vision of reality which contemporary Science is indicating to our minds and our technological practice? Are we even ready to engage with the fullness of the term “integral”? How can we draw together our past and our present, our fractured personalities, our fragmented disciplines, our physical matter and our mental, vital and spiritual substance into the Oneness of integral being which Sri Aurobindo lived and wrote about? His integral consciousness is still fully alive in his words and each word is an invitation and a fire to kindle in us his life and reality. This is the ever-living fire of Heraclitus, the living legacy of the “thoughts” of Sri Aurobindo.   more »
View Article  A Second Response to Daniel Gustav Anderson's "Towards a Critical Integral Theory"
Sri Aurobindo is not just the "foundational thinker" of "Integral Theory" – in Anderson’s back-handed compliment “To adapt a meme attributed to Whitehead: if European philosophy amounts to a footnoting of Plato, Integral theory may very well amount to a conversation about Aurobindo.” As I proceeded to read I could see how this is possible if one takes Sri Aurobindo’s Vedantic darshan, Purnadvaita Vedanta (inseparable from its corresponding yoga, Purna Yoga) as a western style speculative metaphysics purporting to be a Theory of Everything, an ideology which maintains itself as Truth through the Will-to-Power and becomes the defining hegemonic ideology of late Enlightenment Neoliberalism through the production of its world-subjects, something perhaps possible. But to attribute the foundation of such an ideological field to Sri Aurobindo is, certainly a new wrinkle to the abuses/misuses of his text which seem to be multiplying lately (as for instance through left and right perceptions of it as the foundational text for Hindutva). ...   more »
View Article  Derrida the Movie - a Review by Debashish Banerji
"Derrida" - a 2002 documentary on the French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman is reviewed here by Debashish Banerji. In the course of the review the principal ideas and neologisms by this founder of the seminal reading practice termed deconstruction, are briefly introduced and the reflections on self, other, biography, deconstruction and singularity within the movie are discussed.   more »
View Article  Derrida, Death and Forgiveness by Andrew J. McKenna
Andrew McKenna's essay from the online journal "First Things" reviews Graham Ward's comparative study of the French poststructualist philosopher Jacques Derrida and the modern mystical theologian Karl Barth. In addition, McKenna also considers a late text of Derrida's "The Gift of Death" which pursues further the thinker's mystical and messianic approaches to the "secret", the "promise", the "future" and the "Other."   more »
View Article  Introductory Notes to "Hinduism"
These Introductory Notes on "Hinduism" (a body of Indian religious and spiritual systems which follow the primacy of the Vedas) by Debashish Banerji attempts a cross-cultural description of this complex field seen as an unified discourse. Aspects covered include productive dualities within Hinduism, textual history of Hinduism, major Puranic gods, Hindu practices and the Hindu temple.   more »
View Article  The Psychology of Creativity Course Outline
The initial draft for the course outline for the Psychology of Creativity course as presented by Debashish Banerji   more »
View Article  • The Religious, the Spiritual and the Secular by Robert Minor
In this slim paperback, Robert Minor sets out with a double intention: (a) to tell the legal story of the power struggle between the Sri Aurobindo Society and Auroville; and (b) an exploration of the legal and cultural epistemological ambiguities surrounding the terms "religion", "spirituality" and "secularism" and their shaping of the discourse of modern political contestation in India, as exemplified in the story of Auroville.    more »