More on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
Much as I am uncomfortable with the intellectual limitations of the religious element (and such limitations need to be challenged and critiqued), I cannot fault the deviotional approach. This is the original, esoteric, Integral Tradition. As far as I am concerned, this is the true Integral Approach, and all the others are pretenders. Yet it is also respected in the exoteric, non-gnostic, materialistic-postmodernist-inspired Integral community. Because Wilber speaks very highly of Sri Aurobindo (even if his understanding of him is only partial), that means that Aurobindonian ideas have been able to trickle through to even Orthodox Wilberian Integral theory (a bit like how Aristotle was able to enter Christianity via Aquinus perhaps)
There are oodles of sites here; the following is only a small selection:
The Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother - main site. "Introductions to Integral Yoga and to the people and centers who aspire to its golden promise".
Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Information about the ashram in Pondicherry, India, and its activities. Includes an image gallery.
Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry - official web site of the Sri Aurobindo Society in Pondicherry, India.
Sri Aurobindo Information - "Sri Aurobindo's yoga integrates the entire human potential including perfection of the mind, life and body under the control of the psychic being, or soul"
The Mother's Service Society
Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture (SAIoC)
The universal township established by the Mother
Auroville home page
Wikipedia page on Auroville
There don't seem to that many Aurobindonian bloggers around. A few are listed here.
Mirror of Tomorrow - blog by long time Aurobindo ashramite RY Deshpande, with discussion.
Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother - useful blog with lots of original quotations, discusses the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.
Savitri Era Learning Forum - Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. - Family of blogs by Tusar N Mohapatra. I won't give all of them, there are two many, but if you go to the first one, Savitri Era Learning Forum (or SELF for short), which was started in 2005, you can follow the links to the others. Posts a huge amount of material, often totally unsorted, of anything that appears on the Web that is in any way related to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, usually with editrorial comment in the headings only. Adopts a religious devotee approach.
Barindranath Chaki's Blog - prolific blogger, essays on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, very much devotional / inspirational. See also All choice, Barin Chaki - blogspot. Also there is Aspiration - community forum started by Barin, unlike most generic New Age/Spiritual forums it has a strong Aurobindoanian emphasis, at least when I last checked (in this Barin is more successful that I was; I found it very difficult to get much interest in Integral Transformation happening when I was running the Esotericism and Spirituality forum)
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga (SCIY) - Aurobindonian multi-authored blog and webzine based on the coming together of the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and intellectual/postmodernist social commentary in approach. Founded by Rich Carlson, it is one of the few examples of Aurobindonians engaging with secular modernity, although some would say it is too secular. Totally unlike all the other (devotional or religious) blogs listed here. Yet I cannot but feel that in losing the religion, the fire of intensity is lost as well in thr blandness of modernity. The ideal then (which I haven't seen much of in SCIY) is to combine the best of both, while avoiding the limitations of each.
Mirapuri - Mirapuri and Miravillage were founded on 15th August 1978 by the musician, cyberartist and futurist Michel Montecrossa on commission of The Mother.
Æon Group - A Corporation for Spiritual Renaissance - An international organization devoted to the promotion and distribution of the yogic works of the seer/cosmologist, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet - independent cosmology inspired by the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, who claims to be the avataric successor (yes, inflation) The associated Quantum Yoga / Supramental Cosmology website is by PNB student Lori Tompkins
Why Sri Aurobindo Is Cool From What is Enlightenment? Com -" A freewheeling tour through the fascinating life and work of one of the twentieth century's greatest evolutionary pioneers. by Craig Hamilton." (a disciple of Andrew Cohen) Complete online essay. This is a good introduction for people inspired by the vital rather than the mental, who don't know anything about Sri Aurobindo or the Mother but would be receptive to or uninterested in these ideas
California Institute of Integral Studies - founded by Haridas Chaudhuri, a student of Sri Aurobindo, the CIIS avoids the reliance on the teachings of a single individual that characterises the Integral University and other Wilberian orthodoxy. Basically, then, New Paradigm / Alternative / Transpersonal (Stan Grof) / Left-leaning / Aurobindonian
The Emerging Integral Culture - A Guide to the Emerging Integral Culture - page of links, emphasizes sustainability, ecology, Cultural Creatives and so on. Apart from that, and further links on Ecological Sustainability, there isn't much here, but it is an interesting page in that it shows how even today the Integral Paradigm is not limited to Wilberian ideology
State of the World Forum - project for global leadership and social transformation. from the website:
"State of the World Forum was founded in 1995 by Jim Garrison with Mikhail Gorbachev, who served as the Convening Chairman.... The Forum was established to create a global leadership network comprised of eminent individuals...drawn from the governmental, business and civil society sectors, committed to discerning and implementing those principles, values and actions necessary to guide humanity wisely as it gives shape to an increasingly global and interdependent world.
Since its inception, State of the World Forum has convened conferences designed for deep dialogue on issues of global importance; invited to these discussions individuals from a spectrum of disciplines and from around the world, including youth, in a spirit of collaborative inquiry and mutual respect; challenged all stakeholders to transform what they have come to know about the world into constructive actions, projects, Strategic Initiatives and independent organizations; and built a global coalition of leaders and institutions willing to work together in an integrative manner on issues of mutual concern."
Gaia Community — An Online Gathering of Environmentally and Spiritually Conscious People - large forum of people orientated around Spirituality Cultural Creative / Postmaterialistic ethos. Originally called Zaadz ('seed") and affiliated with Wilber's Integral Institute, it is now more of a standard New Age / New Paradigm forum. I used to post there a lot during the Zaadz days (and I still have a blog there, indeed it was my first blog), but most of the people I was in touch with left, or lost interest, and I don't have the motivation to join the forums there and make new friends; the reason being i'm so busy with my own creative work. Still, seems to be one of the better forums of this sort. Nicely interactive; friendly people.
I now use the term Mainstream Integralism to replace the earlier Wilberian, recognising that Wilberian theory and philosophy is only one stream (albeit the single most influential and important, of Mainstream Integralism.
Mainstream Integralism can divided into a number of generally friendly and allied streams, groups, and sub-movements, including both those centered around individual charismatic figures (Wilber, Beck, Cohen, Genpo...), and others.
The following list of the leading teachers and schools of integral philosophy is taken from Integral Evolutionary:
It is worth noting that a few of these figures are highly controversial; Cohen is an ambiguous/abusive guru, the evidence here would seen to be irrefutable; Gafni has been involved in sexual abuse link link and had to step down for a while because of this, but the situation is complicated and he and his followers deny the charges; Genpo Roshi charges thousands a dollars a day for his workshops, all of which is justified even by outsiders, which shows that all this "second tier" talk doesn't matter one little bit if people are still stupid enough to be taken in by such con-artistry.
Others however, have behaved more admirably. Wilber, despite his overblown ego and hyper-sensitivity to criticism, and despite the many temptations that must obviously come his way, has never been involved with any abuse, and this is something in his favour. Craig Hamilton is a former student and disciple of Cohen who went his own way, and apart from a couple of accusatory posts on WhatEnlighetnment??? in defence of his guru has never done anything untoward. Saniel and Linda Bonder are former students of another equally controversial but far more brilliant guru, Da Free John (who also used to be Wilber's guru), and have likewise gone their own way.
However, having said all that, I would also include the following link, on Andrew Cohen and the moral laxity of the mainstream Integral Movement in general Integral Abuse: Andrew Cohen and the Culture of Evolutionary Enlightenment - Be Scofield - April 27th, 2010 .
More on Ken Wilber
By "Orthodox Wilberian" I mean the indentification of Ken Wilber's and Don Beck's teachings with the Integral Community, and generally seeing Ken as the greatest philosopher of our time (if you think I am being sarcastic there, check out some of the statements on the Integral Naked forum).
Ken Wilber On-line - Wilber's home page, lists his books and has some on-line essays.
Integral Institute - a think-tank Wilber founded, wiki page. See also Integral University - Wilber's university; the curriculum all revolves around his own writings and philosophy, especially AQAL.
The Spiral Dynamics of Don Beck differs from the more traditional interpretation of his former co-worker Chris Cowan in incorprating Wilber-IV ideas (Wilber has since moved on and has now discarded the Spiral Dynamics model in favour of his own linear "Altitude" scale). Nevertheless remains an important influence in mainstream integralism because of strong business-management (not unexpectedly mostly in America, the showpiece of Capitalism) and socio-political activism (South Africa, Middle East) approaches.
Spiral Dynamics Integral - website of Wilber's co-worker Don Beck, whose ideas have been incoporated into Wilberian orthodoxy (and vice versa). Beck and his former coworker Chris Cowan have fallen out over Wilber, and also regarding the interpretation of Spiral Dynamics.
Andrew Cohen - home page - although based around the teachings and personality of Andrew Cohen, Cohen himself follows the orthodox Wilberian line. See also What Is Enlightenment? Magazine (now EnlightenNext), which Cohen edits. This includes a lot of excellent material. Established in the 1990s Andrew Cohen and associates, it began including articles related to integral philsophy around 2000. The magazine itself is not specifically Orthodox Wilberian, although you won't find any criticism of Wilber there either, and every issue includes a Cohen-Wilber interview.
Integral Ideology, important essay by Rich Carlson, showing how religious, neo-liberal, and neo-conservative ideology have infiltrated Integral philosophy
The Integral Movement Is A Lot Like Hollywood: Nobody Knows Anything - some perceptive observations on the orthodox Wilberian movement
By "Post-Wilberian" I mean that at one time these individuals and websites were associated with Wilber, but have since broken with him out of disillusionment with his personality or the limitations of his teachings. They still identify with the term Integral. Thus the Post-Wilberians continue the lineage that began with Da Free John. It goes as follows: From Da to Wilber and Sanuel Bonder, from Wilber and Beck (Orthodox Wilberian Integralism) to the post-Wilberians.
Integral World - website maintained by Wilber biographer, now critic Frank Visser includes well-written essays by both supporters and critics, originally mainstream Wilberian, but also includes a more diverse range of essays and interprations of Integral thought. However remains shackled by the theme of Wilber praise/criticism, and unable to fulfil the promise of a larger, postwilberian forum
Integral Options Cafe - William Harryman's blog offers a place to discuss things related to an integral worldview. Posts will deal with Buddhism, Ken Wilber, Spiral Dynamics, psychology, poetry, and Integral Theory. Bill invites comments, different points of view, and anything that can add to a civil discussion of Buddhist and integral ideas. Represents a different (perhaps complementary) Buddhistic approach to Integralism to mine (which is Aurobindonian)
Zero Integral (formerly Integral Praxis). Post-Wilberian non-sectarian multi-authored weblog devoted to gathering the most relevant and informative content flowing from the emerging integral community. . The multi-authored Integral Flow didn't last long, but Zero Integral continues to provides a diverse range of essays and links to all aspects of the Wilberian/Post-Wilberian Integral Movement.
Integral Theory Conference - about the biennial (every two years) Integral Theory Conference held at JFK University; the first one was held in 2008, the next will be in 2010. Mostly based on Wilberian premises, but may be open to alternatives. Organised by Mark Foreman and Sean Esbjorn-Hargens (co-auther of Integral Ecology); nice people. I was invited to attend, but as I live in Australia it is not practical at present re plane fares etc. Represents perhaps a certain academic-professional elitism in the integral community. Nevertheless, it does seem that the Integral Community and Wilberian theory is making inroads into academia, ironically at the same time the movement is fizzing out at a grass-roots level because of lack of authentic gnosis/spiritual presence. But certainly an iuntelligently presented Wilberian theory can provide a much needed answer to the excessively materialistic/reductionist approach of the consensus paradigm of secular academia, as well as a wide range of applications in many fields, such as business management/leadership, ecology, tertiary education, etc
Steve McIntosh, is a businessman, writer on Integral philosophy ( Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution (Paragon House 2007)), and independent voice within the mainstream Integral movement. From Integral World "He was an original member of the Integral Institute think tank, and has taught integral philosophy to a wide variety of audiences. An honors graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and the University of Southern California Business School, today McIntosh is president of Now & Zen, Inc., and director of The Project for Integral World Federation." See also Blog and Wikipedia biography.
Following a brief flurry of activity, these seem to have all died down. It happened to Integral Naked, to Integrative Spirituality, to Open Integral, and Open Source Integral; basically the mainstream Integral Community,is limited to commentary and Wilber criticism, and a few postwilberian musings. Once these are exausted, there is nowhere to go and nothing to do. This is why the development of a progressive Integralism is promising
Integral Naked - funky web site, features multimedia interviews, discussion forum, etc. Very "New Paradigm" Californian :-) What you won't find interviews with people who disagree with Wilber. The majority of the people on the discussion forums seem to be pretty uncritical in their devotion to Wilber, with only occasional voices of dissent (i.e. a religious site). After a period of activity, the community seems to have died
Integral Life: website A new attempt by the Wilberian community to establish itself, perhaps following the failure of Integral Naked. Some commercialism, which is to be expected. Orthodox Wilberian; (facebook) twitter - orthodox wilberian but active forum
Integral Visioning - while this website includes a lot of Wilberian material, the emphasis as shifted from the supportive to the critical; it can therefore be considered post-Wilberian rather than Wilberian. Included here are some essays that have also been posted on Integral World, and an early version of my New Integral Paradigm essay. There is also a wiki, which a number of people including myself have contributed to. Unfportuantely the wiki is no longer active,it was closed because limited number of contributers did not justify time & effort of reverting spam/vandalism. This is because "integral" is most associated with wilberian, and thw grass-roots wilberian community is very small.
Integrative & Integral Spirituality - while not officially associated with the Wilberian mainstream, this portal website nevertheless follows an orthodox and hierarchical Wilber-Beck paradigm. More mainstream than my own work, but still interesting. However the website is cluttered and the online community didn't develop, unlike Zaadz, a similar project that likewise began from a Wilberian origin but has become very successful, and also intellectually freer, although it didn't succeed commercially
Gaia com formerly known as Zaadz, on-line community originally affiliated with the Integral Institute, but much more diverse than just Wilber-supporters alone. Following the takeover by Gaia com, the integralist impetus has dissappeared and it became pretty much standard New Age. Sure that is Integral in the broad sense (I no longer distingusih between Integral, New Age, and Post-Materialism/Cultural Creative), but I could no longer get interested. Although the forum continued going strong, the people I communicated in the past have for the most part moved elsewhere. Unfortunately, although popular, the site was not commercially viable. Presumably replaced by special interest groups in facebook, twitter, etc
Open Integral Blog - at one time (in late 2006) it was hoped that this would be a post-Wilberian Blog for the Integral Community; as the impetus for this was actually Wilber's recent cultic behaviour; but the impetus faltered, other posters went elsewhere, and the blog now serves as Edward Berge's forum, basically Wilber + Derrida + Nagarjuna. Very academic, I find it dry. Update: most contributers drifted away, too dry and Derridean, only blog owner remains, no longer can be considered integral (unless integral = postmodernist philosophy, which ironically seems to be the case with Wilber's Integral Spirituality!)
Open Source Integral was an online forum and community, established by the Integral Research Group. Features a wide range of topics and discussion in relation to Integral thought, although mostly limited to the Wilberian approach. After some activity the energy seems to have dissipated; very little happens on the forum now. Update: another cyber ghost town following the disspation of the original wilberian excitement
Integral Thought (Wilber, Laszlow, Gebser, McIntosh, Aurobindo and Such) - facebook forum, little activity tho the stuff there is perhaps interesting, includes spam which shows no-one is currently maintaing the page so it can be considfered dead or near enough, note misspelling of "Laszlo"
Integral Geeks - twitter list
Evolutionary Landscapes - non-sectarian multi-authored blog that brings together traditional nondual spirituality and evolutionary integralism. To quote:
"This blog is an attempt to create a place where mysticism, philosophy, and evolutionary perspectives can mingle....There are many places on the web that focus just on Buddhism, or meditation, or perhaps some other specific practice. There are also lots of places that talk about the evolution of consciousness, but where do these two streams meet? This humble blog is an attempt to do just that. We encourage discussion on a variety of subjects because we believe they are not truly separate areas, and stirring them together in one pot might create something interesting. For instance, how is spirituality emerging in the 21st century, what does that say about where humanity is headed?
This blog is also "non-sectarian," meaning we are interested in the world's contemplative and mystical traditions, but our site is not themed around any one of them. The same can be said for many of thinkers on the evolution of consciousness. We'd like to create a place where we can talk about Ken Wilber, Jean Gebser, Terrence McKenna, and Sri Aurobindo alongside Meister Eckhart and Dogen Zenji."
Integral Diagrams - very cool collection of diagrams, by Stephen Lark. Mostly Wilber-Spiral Dynamics (hence many variations on a few specific themes like AQAL and the Spiral Dynamics stages), but there are also a few others, including some of my own. If a picture's worth a thousand words, this has to be multi-volume work. Or maybe it's just because I've always loved cosmic diagrams that I love all this stuff
Integral Evolutionary - One man's journey on the Integral Development and Evolutionary Spirituality scenes. - blog by Marc Beneteau.
"My goal is to bring together all the information that I have researched (and continue to research) about integral development, with the objective of furthering my own and other's development through this maze. There are lots of books, audios, groups and seminars, and it's hard to figure out what is actionable, what works, what is an authentic spiritual path, and how this compares to other more traditional spiritual and religious paths both Eastern (i.e. Buddhism) and Western (i.e. psychotherapy, Landmark Education, etc). I hope to answer some of these questions in this blog – at least for me, the goal being to examine each practice (to "bring it down to earth") in terms of its effectiveness in accelerating human development, reducing suffering, saving the planet, and fulfilling fundamental human needs. "
Integral (spirituality) - a wide range of "integral" perspectives, on Wikipedia. This page follows the "Integral is bigger than Ken" position. Many thinkers listed on this page are not traditionally considered Integral. However if one assumes that "Integral = Aurobindo, Wilber, and everything that is shares elements in common with either or both" than they can indeed all be thought of in that manner
Since 2000, a number of publications have developed around the theme of Integral philosophy - mostly Gebser, Whiethead, Wilber, Beck, and others (as well as Buddhism etc), very rarely Sri Aurobindo or Teilhard. These also helped further define the Integral Worldview. This information adapted from Wikipedia (see above link).
Kosmos journal, one of the first Integralist journals, a glossy magazine established in 2000. Affiliated with the United Nations, and features Don Beck, Ervin László, Ashok Gangadean, Michael Gorbochev, and many others. Some material available on the website
The Integral Leadership Review - free online publication, also founded in 2000 (also there is the subscription journal 'Leading Digest'' and books on integralist leadership). Traditional Wilber-Beck philosophy, but not affiliated with the Integral Institute.
Integral Review - peer-reviewed free on-line journal, established in 2005. Described as a "transdisciplinary and transcultural journal for new thought, research, and praxis." Wilber, Gebser, and postmodernism are influences, although the journal is not directly affiliated with the Integral Institute. Some essays intersting, but many very dry and academic in feel.
Conscious Evolution - another peer-reviewed free on-line interdisciplinary forum; has a stronger esoteric-transpersobnal, less dry and formal, approach. Allan Combs is co-editor
Journal of Integral Theory and Practice - quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal established by the Integral Institute in 2003 with its first issue appearing in 2006, a little material online. Doctrinally strict Wilberian, only considers mscholarly essays on AQAL theory. Wilber is on the booard of editors and so can vet anything he doesn't approve of. However they did publish a paper by Steve McIntosh, a "strong positive" (in the Visser scale) critic-supporter of Wilber. Also of mention is the Integral Research Center, a grant giving mixed-methods research center based on Wilberian Integral Methodological Pluralism.