30 Dec 2010

Lives of Sri Aurobindo - page 253

In this short note, we cover another distortion in this book which no one seems to have caught.

This is the passage on page 253:
During their three month stay, Mirra underwent a profound inner development, but this was due more to Theon’s wife that to Theon himself.  Madame Theon was `a marvellous woman from the point of view of experience,’ although her intellect was rather ordinary.  Theon, on the other hand, had comparatively little experience, but an encyclopedic knowledge of things occult.  A few lines from him was enough to inspire his wife to write pages and pages of what today might be called channeled writings.  But these revelations, according to one French critic, were `written in such a bizarre manner that even the most cultivated men (unless they were themselves `Cosmic’) quickly abandoned the attempt to read them.’ Mirra was aware of the deficiencies of Madame Theon’s writing, but felt that this extraordinary woman was in contact with genuine sources of knowledge.( page 253)
In this passage, Peter Heehs, via the opinions of some French critic, has effectively dismantled Madame Theon's revelations.  Did the Mother actually think Madame Theon's writing was deficient ?  Let us go back to the primary source, which in this case is the Agenda.
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25 Dec 2010

The Writings of Sri Aurobindo: Comments Apropos of Extracts from the Lives of Sri Aurobindo—by Krish Patwardhan

The crux of the difficulty that Heehs faces is the age old antagonism between spirituality and materialism and his wanting to please both parties in order to promote his book. On the one hand, he is supposed to expound the larger spiritual point of view of Sri Aurobindo, which does not reject Matter but explains it in spiritual terms. On the other hand, he has to reflect the ignorance of the materialistic critic, who does not understand spirituality at all, for otherwise how could he expect the latter to take him seriously? This could have been done by first presenting the materialistic point of view and countering it with the larger spiritual truth, as Sri Aurobindo has done in the Life Divine. But Heehs does the reverse; he presents the spiritual truth and counters it with the materialistic view, so that he ends up downplaying Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy and criticising his works in a hostile manner for the sake of gaining sympathy from the materialist. [extract]

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9 Dec 2010

On the Mother's trip to Japan

The purpose of this article is to correct some misinterpretations in the Lives of Sri Aurobindo (referred to as LOSA hereafter) regarding the Mother Mirra Alfassa's trip to Japan.

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