Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Mother's remark about Hitler and Stalin

Gagdad Bob said... Interestingly, the Mother--Sri Aurobindo's collaborator--wrote of how Hitler was inhabited by a demon, or "asura," that would take control of him, whereas Stalin was actually a rarer type, in that he was literally without a human soul.I'll have to find the exact passage.
Bryan said... Hi Dr. Bob, Concerning the Mother's remark about Hitler and Stalin, does contemporary Western psychology have an explanation about what it means to be possessed by an asura on the one hand or not to have a soul on the other? Is an asura a particularly bad mind parasite?
Gagdad Bob said... Bryan--No, when you get into the realm of asuras, you're dealing with an entirely different ontology taking place on an another plane. There's a little footnote in my book to that effect, p. 285, f. 104. I spoke there only of higher entities. As for the lower ones, some people believe they are independent agents, others think they are quasi-independent human creations that have become detached from the psycho-cosmic system. When you look at the magnitude of nazi or Stalinist or Islamist evil, it seems to go beyond human bounds, beyond anything explainable by the categories and methods of psychology. Of course, psychologists can pretend they understand, But they're only pretending.
dilys said... Well, there seem to be people with especially discriminative levels of insight. I don't know the Mother, so have no opinion about her, but none of these taxonomies are impossible.
Gagdad Bob said... Bryan--The topic of the ontological status of evil is an important one. To a certain extent, it can only be illuminated by entering a tradition that talks about it and has a vocabulary for it. In other words, from the scientific viewpoint it's a de facto nonsense question. But so are most other matters of vital importance to human beings. posted by Gagdad Bob at 5:54 AM 20 comments
Tusar N Mohapatra said... It would be more appropriate to look at The Mother's identification of the four Asuras rather than selectively revile political adversaries...The emotions would be more nuanced once we recognise the perennial nature of the antagonism, best expressed in the Vedic imagery of Vritra, the serpent. The four Asuras represent an evolutionary road-block, they are yet to be annihilated. Only the Supramental Descent can handle that. The Mother simply asks us to collaborate, nothing more, nothing less.
Gagdad Bob said... Tusar-- You can wait for the Supramental Descent to vanquish evil. You can also wait for it to fix you breakfast in the morning. Something tells me you won't wait for the latter. Hunger is too important not to fight.
Will said... My new T-shirt reads: "I asked the Supramental Descent to prepare me a continental breakfast and all I got were these d*%# wheat thins."

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