Debashish Banerji

Consciousness • Art History • Writing




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avanti used to say that while the birth of modernity in the west
was premised on the death of god
the birth of modernity in india
which was simultaneously the birth of its nationalism
was premised on the birth of god.
yes it is true in more ways than one;
the birth of modernity in the east
- in fact it began with japan before india
- japan the land of the rising sun
- japan which (according to okakura and the cultural mythos of the nation soul or swadharma)
preserves the essences of all the cultures of asia
even when they have themselves lost them;
japan just across the international dateline separating east and west
received the rebirth of the phoenix:
or rather the phoenix got substantially absorbed in trikaldrishti
and reappeared across the night of euro-america
as a new tapas of the cosmic purusha in japan.

of course within modernity there have been a number of nights of europe
or perhaps they were all greater or lesser lumps of dark matter in a generalized night
a night closer to ours is the one during which rabindranath died,
expecting a dawn from the east,
or at the end of which heidegger proclaimed only a god can save us
though like all his quasi nazi predecessors
he believed this savior must come from germany;
or the one in which japan herself lost her way
falling prey to the lord of nations.
truly a dark night,
night of the terrible ambiguity of true and false subjectivism.

the rebirth spans a twilight epoch an illogical crossing
just as the night that receives it swells and ebbs
like an expecting mother racked with good and bad dreams.
but to periodize the material conditions of modernity
we must look to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
combining both thunder and lightning which presage the knowledge-will of the sun
and the calm neutrality which precedes the first rays of the dawn
shingon and zen, bukkyo and shinto
the twin colors of the phoenix like the ashwin twins blazed
accompanied by the two younger of the four sisters, dakshina and sarama
heralding the appearance of usha the dawn.
it was to revivify the dead sun that they had come
or which is the same thing, to lure amaterasu from the cave.

thus in 1902 due to the cross-fertilizations of josephine mcleod
an american messenger like the alchemic mercurius
japan came to india in search of vivekananda
since in fact before the cosmic rebirth of the never same
it's germ takes material form in a space-time habitus
or seen as chronotope a situated becoming.

thus while the blur of the phoenix's wings in hyperspace
traced an oneiric hieroglyph of the symbol dawn in japan
the son-child was born in india, the theistic embodied divine
the literal rebirth of god as ramakrishna.
some people sri aurobindo has said
can change an age just by their presence.
india sri aurobindo has said
preserves that which preserves the world.
yes the birth of modernity in the east
the dream of the embodied logos
since that is the unfinished enlightenment
the condition of a divine life on earth
the evolutionary nisus urging towards the posthuman -
is premised on the rebirth of god from the ashes of the west
or from the demise of its own temporality, call it episteme, zeitgeist or yugadharma
rising like the proverbial phoenix.

but perhaps ashes and magic bird are not good metaphors
nor a second coming in an age when everyone has an avatar.
from the cold steel bone and stone of proud ruins hybridizing with silicon
have sprouted the jungle trees of machinic vitalism and mechanic materialism
conceptually circling the earth as a control society.
in a time-space without escape when/where
matter is engineered through nanotechnology
life is engineered through molecular biology
and mind is engineered through language,
the superman must master these three folds of the superfold.
no longer the dualism of the spiritual east and the material west,
god from germany, japan or india,
but the implosion of spirit in matter under the conditions of (post)modernity
thousands of people testing out the integral yoga in a thousand walks of life
will be needed to manifest the sun-word rising from the earth.


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