Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CIIS, Sri Aurobindo & the Practical Transformation of Human Consciousness


An Open Letter to Robert McDermott, Part III

Robert McDermott is president emeritus of CIIS, author of The Essential Aurobindo (1973), & program chair of CIIS's 'Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness' department.

 [Link to Part I or Part II]

30 August 2011

Dear Robert, Thanks for taking the time to reply to my 2nd letter. [Link to RM's response] I was left wondering why you wrote ‘NO’ regarding Haridas Chaudhuri being a Sri Aurobindo student. Perhaps you misread that part of my letter. He was a student of Sri Aurobindo and I was not implying that Sri Aurobindo knew anything about CIIS (especially considering his Mahasamadi was 5 December of 1950). I did find in my research that, as you write, Sri Aurobindo recommended Chaudhuri to Speigelberg for a position at the American Academy of Asian Studies (AAAS) in San Francisco. I also found an excerpt of a letter that Speigelberg wrote to Chaudhuri:
‘Aurobindo is the guiding spirit of this earth and the prophet of our age. I believe that the last most important contribution that Sri Aurobindo made before passing was to send you here.’
I did read directly from the CIIS website that CIIS was originally established as a branch of the Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF) which was known as California Institute of Asian Studies (CIAS) until 1980.

Here is some more history on that matter for you or anyone else interested in the back story of CIIS: ‘… a disagreement arose between some students and faculty who wanted to seek accreditation for the Academy, and others who opposed accreditation in the belief that it would limit their freedom of expression. Haridas Chaudhuri sided with the former group, and in 1968 he left the Academy [of Asian Studies], taking many of its students with him to continue studying at his Cultural Integration Fellowship. The Academy could not withstand this split, and soon collapsed. Meanwhile, the Cultural Integration Fellowship continued its educational activities with many students who had been at the Academy, and began to call its educational branch The California Institute of Asian Studies. In 1974 The California Institute of Asian Studies was incorporated separately as a private, non-sectarian, non-profit graduate school.’ (Excerpt from ‘The American Academy of Asian Studies’, CIIS Archives)

So I guess what I do not fully understand yet is how CIIS, being in its origin the ‘educational branch’ of CIF, has lost its close ties with CIF…. and also how CIAS/CIIS so quickly lost the sense expressed by Speigelberg that Sri Aurobindo ‘is the guiding spirit of this earth and the prophet of our age.’

Clearly this sense has not made it into CIIS’s current community as was spelled out in your words to me, ‘… I WISH YOU COULD UNDERSTAND THAT TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS INTEREST IN SRI AUROBINDO AND THE MOTHER AT CIIS IT IS DUE TO OCCASIONAL LECTURES ON THE FOUNDING VISION AND BASED ON BOOKS IN COURSES FOCUSED ON INTEGRAL PSYCHOLOGY.’

I suppose I have suspected for quite some time that there is little true interest in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s yoga at CIIS. Certainly the majority of the guiding faculty and staff of CIIS has not shared Speigelberg’s original sense (and perhaps Chaudhuri’s) of the importance and magnitude of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga.

You write, ‘… FROM ITS FOUNDING CIIS HAS BEEN PLURALISTIC, HONORING AND TEACHING MANY TEACHERS AND TRADITIONS.’

I see that is true. Alan Watts gives an interesting description of the original atmosphere in which CIAS/CIIS immerged, which gives a sense of this pluralism and of the transformation of consciousness which was the eclectic faculty’s and community’s concern.
‘The entrepreneur [Louis Gainsborough] who gave the initial funds for this project [AAAS] leaned to the view that it should be an information service at the graduate level. At the time this made sense, because American universities were largely ignoring Asian studies; their offerings at the undergraduate level were almost nil, and at the graduate level were mainly preoccupied with research. But Spiegelberg and I had no real interest in this nonetheless sensible idea of an information service about Asian culture, nor was this what really concerned Chaudhuri, Aiyar, and Tyberg. We were concerned with the practical transformation of human consciousness, with the actual living out of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist ways of life at the level of high mysticism: a concern repugnant to academics and contemptible to businessmen, threatening to Jews and Christians, and irrational to most scientists. Two professional fund-raisers cost us more than they raised, and the Ford Foundation shrugged us off with a shudder. Clearly, we were just another California cult trying to assume the mask of a respectable educational institution. But then ‒ only twenty years ago ‒ it was not as easy to see as it is today that when you make a powerful technology available to human beings with the normal form of egocentric consciousness, planetary disaster is inevitable. Moreover, the point had to be made that the egocentric predicament was not a moral fault to be corrected by willpower, but a conceptual hallucination requiring some basic alterations of common sense; a task comparable to persuading people that the earth is round rather than flat.
‘This was very largely the subject of discussion at the weekly colloquium of the Academy's faculty, at which Spiegelberg was the invariably provocative moderator, and which became an event increasingly attractive to San Francisco artists and intellectuals.’ ‒ Alan Watts (‘The American Academy of Asian Studies’, CIIS Archives)
It is just endlessly curious to me that this search for ‘the practical transformation of human consciousness’ did not take more advantage of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s teachings on the matter. I am now wondering if the faculty of AAAS, CIF, or CIAS interacted with the Mother at all before her passing in 1973. I have not seen any records on this. I have recently been reading from the Mother’s 1961 Agenda about her assessments of an organization called World Union, which makes me imagine that she would have felt similarly about the pluralistic mixture of teachings at AAAS and CIAS.
4 March 1961

‘Z was saying, ‘Nothing can be done unless we base ourselves EXCLUSIVELY on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and they are behind us giving support.’ And J. said, ‘No, no! We are not sectarian! We accept all ideas, all theories, etc.’ I replied, and as it happens, I said that Z was right, though with one corrective: he had been saying that people had to recognize us as their guru. ‘No,’ I said, ‘it’s absolutely useless – not only useless, I refuse. I don’t want to be anybody’s guru. People should simply be told that things are to be done on the basis of Sri Aurobindo’s thought.

‘Y asked me some direct questions, without beating around the bush, and I replied directly: ‘World Union is an entirely superficial thing, without any depth, based on the fact that Sri ‘Aurobindo said “the masses” must be helped to follow the progress of “the elite” – well, let them go ahead! If they enjoy it, let them go right ahead!’ ... I didn’t say it exactly like that (I was a bit more polite!), but that was the gist of it.

‘Now it has all fallen flat. They are carrying on with their little activities, but it’s absolutely unimportant.

‘These people aren’t even asked to understand what Sri Aurobindo has said but simply to participate. It’s a different matter for those in World Union, who are working for an ideal: they want to prepare the world to receive (laughing) the Supermind! Let them prepare it! It doesn’t matter, they will achieve nothing at all, or very little. It’s unimportant. That’s my point of view and I have told them so.

‘… at World Union they asked me what their mistake had been (they didn’t state it so candidly, but in a roundabout way), and I replied (not so candidly, either – not exactly in a roundabout way, but in general terms). I told them their mistake was being unfaithful and I explained that to be unfaithful means to put everything on the same level …. I told them, ‘Your error was in saying: “One teaching among many teachings – so let us be broad-minded and accept all teachings.”’ So along with all the teachings, you accept every stupidity possible.

‘But if someone is taken in, it proves he’s at an elementary stage and unready.’
Ten years later (30 June 1971), she wrote in the same vein:
‘We’re receiving letters from all over with the “true knowledge” of what should be done according to Sri Aurobindo, and.... There’s such a mixture, things are all scrambled, oh!...

‘It is Falsehood putting on a mantle of truth in order to appear credible.’
For many years, I have had the idea in my head that CIIS was originally founded on Sri Aurobindo’s teachings and then veered off. But it seems from what you are saying and from what I have gathered in my research, that CIAS/CIIS was, pretty much from the beginning, like this ‘World Union’ endeavor described by the Mother in that CIIS founders simply mixed a limited understanding of Sri Aurobindo’s yogic ideals with the ideas other teachings and teachers that were considered the cutting edge of the transformation of consciousness at the time.

So from that point of view it does seem highly unreasonable and unrealistic to expect that CIIS would somehow now, after all these years of academic and intellectual pluralism/freedom, begin to give the Integral Gnosis/Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet any central importance.

But still, if the issues of the ‘practical transformation of human consciousness’ and developing an Integral perspective of world existence remains in the interests of the CIIS community, I am fairly certain that Patrizia’s teachings on Integral Gnosis, Supramental Truth-Consciousness, Vedic Wisdom, Sacred Geometry, the Enneagram, the Zodiac, Evolution, Geo-Cosmology and the Supramental Vision of Time would add much to CIIS’s knowledge base.

You asked where Patrizia lives and where I live. She is in the Palani Hills near Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu (Southern India) and I live in Marin County, 20 miles from CIIS. Whether Patrizia would actually be able to make the long trip from India to California to present at CIIS, I do not know. All I know is that if CIIS wants to maintain some real and meaningful connection with the Integral and Supramental yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (no matter how tangential), Patrizia should be invited to share her knowledge on the matter. If she cannot make the trip, then perhaps other means of transmission of knowledge can be arranged.

Wishing you the Best of Light in your pursuits, Lori

[Additional Note]
I forgot to address above, regarding the bit in my Letter #2 about 'Sri Aurobindo’s perspective that these incarnations [Christ and Buddha] were indeed evolutionary forces, in a sense, errors in consciousness that plunged humanity deeper into darkness and encouraged an escape from the material woes of the world for the past 2,000 years.' I was referring to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's perspective not yours. My thought was that this contrasted or didn't match your own perspective. I would like very much to read your introduction to The Bhagavad Gita and the West.

A Response from Robert McDermott RE: CIIS, Sri Aurobindo, etc.

Robert McDermott is president emeritus of CIIS, author of The Essential Aurobindo (1973), & program chair of CIIS's 'Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness' department.

[Here are the links to my first two letters to Dr. McDermott:
Letter #1 , Letter #2. A 3rd response will follow]

Dear Lori, I have replied below, in CAPS for easy spotting. Warmly, Robert

22 August 2011

Dear Robert, I will of course honor your request not to publish your responses to Robert Wilkinson and Patrizia and myself these past weeks.

>>THANK YOU.

I have been doing some research of my own to try to understand the lineage and affiliations of CIIS. I learned that CIIS was originally established in 1968 as branch of the Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF) which was established by Sri Aurobindo

>>NO. SRI AUROBINDO RECOMMENDED HARIDAS CHAUDHURI (AFTER K. D. SETHNA'S WIFE REPORTEDLY REFUSED THE OPPORTUNITY) BUT PROBABLY KNEW LITTLE OR NOTHING ABOUT THE INSTITUTION.

student Haridas Chaudhury in 1951 (the year after Sri Aurobindo’s Mahasamadhi).

>>HARIDAS AND HIS WIFE BINA LIVED IN CALCUTTA; HARIDAS WAS A YOUNG PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY AND A DISCIPLE. I BELIEVE HE MET SRI AUROBINDO ONCE. HE CAME TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ACADEMY OF ASIAN STUDIES, AT THE INVITATION OF FREDERICK SPIEGELBERG. THIS INSTITUTION, THE PREDECESSOR OF CIIS, WAS FOUNDED BY LOUIS GAINSBOROUGH, A GANDHIAN BUSINESSMAN. IT COLLAPSED IN THE MID-50s; HARIDAS AND BINA FOUNDED A NEW INSTITUTION, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF ASIAN STUDIES, IN 1968, WHICH THEN CHANGED ITS NAME IN 198I TO CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF INTEGRAL STUDIES.

CIF maintains close ties with CIIS

>> NOT SO CLOSE BUT WE ARE TRYING TO IMPROVE COLLABORATION.

and the Sri Aurobindo Association (a.k.a.  http://www.collaboration.org>) presided over by Lynda Lester.

>> PROBABLY, DEPENDING ON WHO IS TRYING TO LEAD CIF.

Lester, who you report that you do not know of,

>> I HAD NOT HEARD HER NAME UNTIL YOU MENTIONED HER.

spoke at the 2007 AUM conference that was co-hosted and co-organized and co-promoted by CIIS, wherein she lumped Patrizia in with fundamentalists who somehow retard the ongoing evolution of the Integral Yoga.

I see that you went to Pondicherry on a Fulbright scholarship in 1966 and in 1972 organized an ‘Auroville-inspired experimental community’ in upstate New York which was attended by, amongst others, Auroville founding member and author Robert Lawlor.

>> I WENT TO INDIA IN 1966 BUT HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF SRI AUROBINDO AT THAT TIME.I WENT AGAIN IN 1970 AND AT THE END SPENT TWO SEEKS AT THE ASHRAM AND VISITED AUROVILLE. I MET BOB LAWLOR AND HIS WIFE DEBBIE IN FORECOMERS AT THAT TIME.

Lawlor attended classes of Patrizia in Pondicherry, and yet despite his interest in sacred geometry/architecture, he did not, as far as I know, use his knowledge to speak out against the distortions of the Mother’s Temple design. Instead, he abandoned ship so to speak and went his own way.

>>BOB THEN STUDIED SACRED GEOMETRY AND THEN ANTHROPOLOGY; I LOST TRACK OF HIM.

The 1972 New York group also was attended by Julian Lines, the current east-coast coordinator of AVIUSA (Auroville International USA).

>> JULIAN AND I HAVE BEEN FRIENDS SINCE 1972.

On the AVIUSA board I also recognize ‘Constance’ (David Walker) from his dismissals of Patrizia’s work that I encountered from the Auroconf group en mass in 2006 (including the dismissals by Lynda Lester). Not just dismissal based on disinterest as you have suggested … there was slander and contempt in the mix, including the supposition that Patrizia is delusional, schizophrenic and such. In 2007, you were a panelist for the AUM conference with AVIUSA president Mary Alexander, Sri Aurobindo Ashram ‘educator and scholar’ Sraddhalu Ranade and CIIS president Joseph L. Subbiondo. This panel discussed the topic of ‘An Educational Curriculum for a Transitional Species’.

>> YES. THIS IS ALL I ATTENDED, JUST LONG ENOUGH TO EXPERIENCE AND FLEE FROM SRADDALU'S DOGMATISM, PRESUMPTION, AND ARROGANCE.

It seems from what you have written to Patrizia, Robert Wilkinson and me over these past weeks that you also, for reasons of your own, took your leave of the Aurobindo-Mother ship, circa 1976 and gave your attention fully to Steiner and Anthroposophy.

>> THE REASON WAS KARMA; WHEN I FOUND THE WRITINGS OF RUDOLF STEINER IN SPRING 1975 I RECOGNIZED A DEEP SPIRITUAL CONNECTION AND HAVE TRIED TO GROW IN THIS TEACHING SINCE THEN.

I write 1976 because you wrote Patrizia that you have given the last 35 years of your life to Steiner’s teaching and influence. I believe you gravitated more towards Steiner’s experience of ‘the centrality of Christ  ‒ in cooperation with Buddha and other spiritual beings in service of humanity and the earth’ [from ‘Anthroposophical and Transpersonal Worldviews’] rather than Sri Aurobindo’s perspective that these incarnations were indeed evolutionary forces,

>> YES

but represented, in a sense, errors in consciousness that plunged humanity deeper into darkness and encouraged an escape from the material woes of the world for the past 2,000 years.

>> NO. WHERE DID THIS COME FROM? I HAVE NEVER HAD SUCH THOUGHTS. SEE MY 80 PAGE INTRODUCTION TO THE BHAGAVAD GITA AND THE WEST (STEINERBOOKS 2009).

You write to Patrizia that there is no rejection at CIIS regarding her work, only ‘disinterest’, and you feel that hypocrisy is too strong and harsh of a word for your and CIIS’s failure in general to investigate as scholars and remain open to Patrizia’s teachings and integrate them into the CIIS curriculum (as you have done for so many others with far less credentials in the field of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga). But I feel that you are not fully taking into account the web of interconnections that ties you and CIIS to other groups who have intentionally ignored and dismissed Patrizia’s writings because they do not want their own Aurovillian ideal and their own understanding of the Integral Yoga to be challenged.This rejection has included book burning, defamation, blatant lies, and lies by omission.

>> I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THIS. ARE THEY THE SAME FANATICS WHO WANT TO BURN PETER HEES'S BOOK OR IS THERE ANOTHER GROUP OF FANATICAL AUROBINDO DISCIPLES?

You and CIIS are, involuntary as it may be, linked to these people in the web of time and space … and you are thus involved in the whole unfolding sequence and consequence.

>> I COULD GET INVOLVED IN THIS DESPITE LOW APTITUDE IN SACRED GEOMETRY AND COSMOLOGY OR I COULD CHAIR MY DEPARTMENT, TEACH MY STUDENTS, AND TRY TO FINISH MY BOOK, UNIQUE NOT ALONE: STEINER AND OTHERS.

And CIIS could play a progressive and proactive role in helping students consider the issues at hand for themselves, rather than continuing to foster an un-academic stance of disinterest. That is why I sent you Patrizia’s books in the first place and why I have sent you notes and links from time to time.

>> PERHAPS BUT I WISH YOU COULD UNDERSTAND THAT TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS INTEREST IN SRI AUROBINDO AND THE MOTHER AT CIIS IT IS DUE TO OCCASIONAL LECTURES ON THE FOUNDING VISION AND BASED ON BOOKS IN COURSES FOCUSED ON INTEGRAL PSYCHOLOGY.

You were ‘there’ (in the Integral Yoga field) in the last years of the Mother’s life and in the beginning of the choice made in Auroville to basically discard the Mother’s Supramental Gnosis and to build a community centered around a distortion of her temple vision. The Mother’s Temple was never actually built, yet to this day the community, including guiding members of CIF, AVIUSA, AUM and CIIS remain ‘disinterested’ in Patrizia’s attempts to share the Vedic measure and full meaning of the Mother’s original temple design. In 2005 CIIS offered a course abroad entitled ‘Auroville: Spirituality, Community, and Multiculturalism in South India’. The instructors – one of whom I knew via an unrelated course of study and who I had previously sent information regarding Patrizia’s Supramental Yoga – did not think it important to include any of the written works by Patrizia which expose the unpleasant truth that Aurovillians have distorted the Mother’s Temple and therefore simultaneously distorted the Integral and Supramental Gnosis. As far as the syllabus and the recommended reading is concerned,  there is no indication that someone name Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet exists  and presents her work as a continuation of the descent of Supramental Knowledge. Your book The Essential Aurobindo, however, did make it onto the required reading list.

What I am trying to bring into view is that whether your disinterest in investigating Patrizia’s work stems only from your devotion to Steiner, or also from some trace of bias that you carry on from your earlier associations/affiliations with people who still to this day are invested in shoving her work under the proverbial rug, the result is the same.

>> PERHAPS BUT IN THE REALM OF CONSCIOUSNESS, MOTIVES ARE IMPORTANT.

The result is that CIIS ‒ a school that is suppose to be founded on Sri Aurobindo’s yoga

>> THIS IS MISLEADING. FROM ITS FOUNDING CIIS HAS BEEN PLURALISTIC, HONORING AND TEACHING MANY TEACHERS AND TRADITIONS.

 ‒ has mirrored your own disinterest in actively pursuing Truth in matters of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s Supramental and Integral Yoga. I’m not at all saying this is all your fault. I do know it is not. I am just saying that perhaps if you had been more interested in actively investigating the Supramental Descent, which would be fitting for anyone occupying leadership positions at CIIS, then perhaps students of CIIS would have already had access to courses on subjects such as the Supramental Cosmology and Vedic Gnosis, the Sacred Geometry of the Mother’s Temple, and the Geometry and Integral/Supramental Vision of Time.

>> PERHAPS. I WILL TRY TO BE OPEN TO THIS KNOWLEDGE.

To close I will say that I certainly wish your exchange with Patrizia had gone better

>> PATRICIA'S EMAILS WERE QUITE ACCUSATORY DESPITE BEING UNINFORMED. IN FACT, THEY SHOW AN ALARMING LEVEL OF PARANOIA. I AM NOT INTERESTING IN CORRESPONDING WITH HER.

and I do appreciate your offer to meet with me. But for now I will have to decline because I feel that despite your personal disinterest, and despite the disharmonious exchange that just took place, it is Patrizia who you should invite to CIIS to explain her position and to discuss her work as an advance in Supramental and Integral Gnosis. If there is disinterest and nobody shows up for her talks,

>> WHERE IS SHE, AND WHERE ARE YOU?

then that will be that! But considering that CIIS has offered classes and hosted events of people that are unaware of, ignoring or denying her side of the story for many decades, it should ‒ in the spirit of fairness and academic interest ‒ host an event, perhaps a weekend or week of talks, wherein she is given space to share her story.

>> BUT NOT IF SHE WOULD RANT AND ACCUSE AS SHE DID IN HER EMAILS TO ME.

Respectfully, Lori Tompkins

>> YES, I SENSE YOUR RESPECT AND I FULLY RESPECT YOUR POSITION. THANK YOU FOR TRYING TO UNDERSTAND MY POSITION AND THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG CIIS, CIF, AND SOME AUROBINDO DISCIPLES.

[I am publishing this on my blog as an open letter]

>> YOU MAY PUBLISH MY REPLY IF YOU WISH.
 

Monday, August 22, 2011

CIIS, Sri Aurobindo & the Ongoing Evolution of the Integral Yoga


An Open Letter to Robert McDermott, Part II

Robert McDermott is president emeritus of CIIS, author of The Essential Aurobindo (1973), & program chair of CIIS's 'Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness' department.


22 August 2011

Dear Robert,

I will of course honor your request not to publish your responses to Robert Wilkinson and Patrizia and myself this past week.

I have been doing some research of my own to try to understand the lineage and affiliations of CIIS. I learned that CIIS was originally established in 1968 as branch of the Cultural Integration Fellowship (CIF) which was established by Sri Aurobindo student Hardas Chaudhury in 1951 (the year after Sri Aurobindo’s Mahasamadhi). CIF maintains close ties with CIIS and the Sri Aurobindo Association (a.k.a. http://www.collaboration.org) presided over by Lynda Lester. Lester, who you report that you do not know of, spoke at the 2007 AUM conference that was co-hosted and co-organized and co-promoted by CIIS, wherein she lumped Patrizia in with fundamentalists who somehow retard the ongoing evolution of the Integral Yoga. 

I see that you went to Pondicherry on a Fulbright scholarship in 1966 and in 1972 organized an ‘Auroville-inspired experimental community’ in upstate New York which was attended by, amongst others, Auroville founding member and author Robert Lawlor. Lawlor attended classes of Patrizia in Pondicherry, and yet despite his interest in sacred geometry/architecture, he did not, as far as I know, use his knowledge to speak out against the distortions of the Mother’s Temple design. Instead, he abandoned ship so to speak and went his own way. The 1972 New York group also was attended by Julian Lines, the current east-coast coordinator of AVIUSA (Auroville International USA). On the AVIUSA board I also recognize ‘Constance’ (David Walker) from his dismissals of Patrizia’s work that I encountered from the Auroconf group en mass in 2006 (including the dismissals by Lynda Lester). Not just dismissal based on disinterest as you have suggested … there was slander and contempt in the mix, including the supposition that Patrizia is delusional, schizophrenic and such. In 2007, you were a panelist for the AUM conference with AVIUSA president Mary Alexander, Sri Aurobindo Ashram ‘educator and scholar’ Sraddhalu Ranade and CIIS president Joseph L. Subbiondo. This panel discussed the topic of ‘An Educational Curriculum for a Transitional Species’.

It seems from what you have written to Patrizia, Robert Wilkinson and me over these past weeks that you also, for reasons of your own, took your leave of the Aurobindo-Mother ship, circa 1976 and gave your attention fully to Steiner and Anthroposophy. I write 1976 because you wrote Patrizia that you have given the last 35 years of your life to Steiner’s teaching and influence. I believe you gravitated more towards Steiner’s experience of ‘the centrality of Christ ‒ in cooperation with Buddha and other spiritual beings in service of humanity and the earth’ [from ‘Anthroposophical and Transpersonal Worldviews’ (2001)] rather than Sri Aurobindo’s perspective that these incarnations were indeed evolutionary forces, but represented, in a sense, errors in consciousness that plunged humanity deeper into darkness and encouraged an escape from the material woes of the world for the past 2,000 years.

You write to Patrizia that there is no rejection at CIIS regarding her work, only ‘disinterest’, and you feel that hypocrisy is too strong and harsh of a word for your and CIIS’s failure in general to investigate as scholars and remain open to Patrizia’s teachings and integrate them into the CIIS curriculum (as you have done for so many others with far less credentials in the field of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga). But I feel that you are not fully taking into account the web of interconnections that ties you and CIIS to other groups who have intentionally ignored and dismissed Patrizia’s writings because they do not want their own Aurovillian ideal and their own understanding of the Integral Yoga to be challenged. This rejection has included book burning, defamation, blatant lies, and lies by omission. You and CIIS are, involuntary as it may be, linked to these people in the web of time and space … and you are thus involved in the whole unfolding sequence and consequence. And CIIS could play a progressive and proactive role in helping students consider the issues at hand for themselves, rather than continuing to foster an un-academic stance of disinterest. That is why I sent you Patrizia’s books in the first place and why I have sent you notes and links from time to time.

You were ‘there’ (in the Integral Yoga field) in the last years of the Mother’s life and in the beginning of the choice made in Auroville to basically discard the Mother’s Supramental Gnosis and to build a community centered around a distortion of her temple vision. The Mother’s Temple was never actually built, yet to this day the community, including guiding members of CIF, AVIUSA, AUM and CIIS remain ‘disinterested’ in Patrizia’s attempts to share the Vedic measure and full meaning of the Mother’s original temple design. In 2005 CIIS offered a course abroad entitled ‘Auroville: Spirituality, Community, and Multiculturalism in South India’. The instructors – one of whom I knew via an unrelated course of study and who I had previously sent information regarding Patrizia’s Supramental Yoga – did not think it important to include any of the written works by Patrizia which expose the unpleasant truth that Aurovillians have distorted the Mother’s Temple and therefore simultaneously distorted the Integral and Supramental Gnosis. As far as the syllabus and the recommended reading is concerned, there is no indication that someone name Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet exists and presents her work as a continuation of the descent of Supramental Knowledge. Your book The Essential Aurobindo, however, did make it onto the required reading list.

What I am trying to bring into view is that whether your disinterest in investigating Patrizia’s work stems only from your devotion to Steiner, or also from some trace of bias that you carry on from your earlier associations/affiliations with people who still to this day are invested in shoving her work under the proverbial rug, the result is the same. The result is that CIIS ‒ a school that is suppose to be founded on Sri Aurobindo’s yoga ‒ has mirrored your own disinterest in actively pursuing Truth in matters of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s Supramental and Integral Yoga. I’m not at all saying this is all your fault. I do know it is not. I am just saying that perhaps if you had been more interested in actively investigating the Supramental Descent, which would be fitting for anyone occupying leadership positions at CIIS, then perhaps students of CIIS would have already had access to courses on subjects such as the Supramental Cosmology and Vedic Gnosis, the Sacred Geometry of the Mother’s Temple, and the Geometry and Integral/Supramental Vision of Time.

To close I will say that I certainly wish your exchange with Patrizia had gone better and I do appreciate your offer to meet with me. But for now I will have to decline because I feel that despite your personal disinterest, and despite the disharmonious exchange that just took place, it is Patrizia who you should invite to CIIS to explain her position and to discuss her work as an advance in Supramental and Integral Gnosis. If there is disinterest and nobody shows up for her talks, then that will be that! But considering that CIIS has offered classes and hosted events of people that are unaware of, ignoring or denying her side of the story for many decades, it should ‒ in the spirit of fairness and academic interest ‒ host an event, perhaps a weekend or week of talks, wherein she is given space to share her story.

Respectfully,

Lori Tompkins





Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Letter to Robert McDermott Regarding the Supramental & Integral Yoga

[Robert McDermott is president emeritus of CIIS, author of The Essential Aurobindo, & program chair of CIIS's 'Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness' department.]

Hi again Robert, It was I who sent you several books of Patrizia's way back when. I believe my contact information came with them. I never heard from you and I have always wondered why I got no response and what happened to those books. I believe I requested that if you did not want to read them that they make their way to the CIIS library. I hope they did. Anyhow, I have approached CIIS in various ways (including through you) to try to open up a dialogue about her work, because I thought it would be appropriate for a school based on Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga to discuss a body of work that adds incredible depth and dimensions and new significance to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. I actually offered to teach a course at CIIS on the subject because I do have a master’s degree in Education and Curriculum development and I am one of the folks on the planet who is fairly knowledgeable about what it is Ms. Norelli-Bachelet has introduced in terms of the Supramental Descent. But alas no friendly doors seemed to open.

Then in 2007 CIIS co-hosted, co-organized and promoted the AUM conference concerning the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother held at the Institute of Noetic Sciences that was billed as an effort to ‘identify, heal, and clear unconscious divisions and blockages; foster deep listening, mutual learning, and the cross-pollination of knowledge streams; expand boundaries, build bridges of trust and collaboration; develop a more integrated, effective, and applied sense of the term “integral”.’ Not only was no representative of Patrizia’s yogic knowledge invited to sit on a panel at the event (I would have been the likely candidate as I live in Marin County, close to both CIIS and IONS), but as far as I can gather, the only reference to her work were derogatory remarks by Lynda Lester ‒ a member of Auroconf and of the AUM Continuity Committee. In a panel discussion entitled, “Facing the Challenge of Fundamentalism and other Shadow Issues in the Ongoing Evolution of Integral Yoga”, Lester portrayed Patrizia and those who acknowledge the importance of her Supramental yoga ‘a small but aggressive group’ of fundamentalists ‘who are into esoteric numerology’; and there was conveniently no one invited to the panel to discuss/challenge the prevailing bias and ignorance on these matters. [See Lester's remarks in Collaborations, p. 22]

So it has been frustrating and deeply disappointing, to say the least, that no one at CIIS has wanted to open up classes or dialogue about Patrizia's 40 plus years of Supramental and Integral Yoga. One would think that if CIIS were true to its original mission, that its faculty, directors and associates would go out of their way to invite Patrizia, or those knowledgeable of her work, to discuss her position and her teachings. But that has not happened. Rather the CIIS community has reflected a yawning DISINTEREST. If you understood Patrizia's teachings and how essentially and absolutely important they are in terms of the Supramental Descent and Integral Gnosis, you would understand how such disinterest puts CIIS in a hypocritical position ‒  i.e. promoting the idea of Integrality and such, but having little real connection to Sri Aurobindo's Integral yogic vision and consciousness-force. I realize more clearly now from your latest emails that you really do not understand Patrizia's teachings at all and so naturally you have not been in a position to see the extensive damage ALREADY DONE over the past four decades by those who have distorted the Mother's Temple vision and by those who have chosen to bar or slant any mention of Patrizia's teachings on their Integral Yoga sites, curriculums and in their discussions about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

When I traveled to Pondicherry for the first time in January of 2000, within the first hour of my arrival I took a self-guided tour of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Visitor's Center which led me in chronological order through pictures and blurbs about the lives of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The tour ended with portraits of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in their old age and at that moment, while standing there at the END of the line, I was literally struck with the realization that their work was far from being done, and there was a third stage of the Supramental Descent to be carried out. I saw that a third picture was missing from the wall! I simultaneously realized the immense and epic difficulty that this third person/stage would have in overcoming the calcified story/religion that had already been created around Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. I sat in the courtyard and cried as if someone in my family had just died. All this was completely unexpected. I had no previous judgments or thoughts about the yoga having become calcified or stagnant, or about a third stage of the descent until that moment. I spent two weeks in Pondicherry, which sadly felt to me more like a tourist destination centered around the tombs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother than a place of serious and living yoga.

Then I moved on, by complete 'chance', to Kodaikanal. There I had some of the clearest revelations and most powerful spiritual experiences of my life, having no idea whatsoever that Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet existed or that she lived a few miles from where I was staying. When I arrived back in the USA a few months later, in San Francisco I found her book The Gnostic Circle on my sister's bookshelf. As I read it, it was astoundingly clear to me that the third stage of the descent was already in motion, and had been since the early 1970s, and true to my experience in Pondicherry, this ‘third’ had been thoroughly shut out of the Aurobindonian story. I knew that recognizing and experiencing the Supramental consciousness-force of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in the work of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet meant that I was bound to be something of a whistle-blower, drawing attention to the lie in the story of the Supramental Descent/Yoga that was being told in Pondicherry, Auroville and across the world. I am happily not a person who could simply sit on such game-changing information or continue on with my life/yoga as if nothing monumental had happened.

Predictably, those who want their organizations and mindsets to continue on, undisturbed by this new and/or incriminating information, have labeled me ‒ along with anyone who recognizes Patrizia's yogic lineage ‒ as a deluded cultish fanatic. Nonetheless, I attempt in my own ways to expose the lie that the Supramental Descent ended with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and to expose the lie that the Auroville temple is a faithful representation of the Mother's Supramental Vision for Her Temple ... mostly by attempting to bring greater exposure to the Supramental Gnosis that has streamed in through Patrizia's being for decades. It is impossible to expose the Gnosis without exposing the lies; and therefore it is impossible to discuss what I have learned of the Supramental Yoga without challenging or upsetting those who do not at all agree with what I have found to be true. But that is just how it is; and I know that these things will be duly sorted out in time, with the help of the Supramental Shakti and whoever She compels to stand up and discuss and debate the Supramental Knowledge as it has been presented. One thing that has become quite clear to me in the past decade is that arriving at the Truth of Sri Aurobindo's lineage and consciousness-force in the world is not a democratic process or a popularity contest.

I have sent you books and articles over the years, hoping you might be interested in the important issues at hand, or that you might somehow invite or encourage discussion of the topic of the continuing Supramental Descent at CIIS. I do understand now, from what you have written Robert Wilkinson, that you are not personally interested in the topic of the Supramental Descent at all ... which actually surprises me due to your position at CIIS, your authorship of The Essential Aurobindo, and the talk you are giving today on the 14th of August 2011 on ‘The Significance of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’ (billed as a celebration of Sri Aurobindo’s 139th birthday). But even putting personal interest aside, I believe those such as yourself who do somehow influence CIIS's philosophies and activities should make a sincere effort to incorporate the topic of the Supramental Gnosis and its most recent developments into CIIS's curriculum/field. Otherwise, CIIS’s connection to Sri Aurobindo continues to become ever more tenuous, inconsequential and disingenuous.

Please let me know if, in the spirit of open and honest debate, you are willing for your recent emails to Robert and your response to Patrizia’s email to be published on the PNB Questions and Answers blog, along with their own responses.

Warm Regards,
Lori Tompkins
San Anselmo, CA


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Have Auroville’s Failures made it a Danger to India and the World?


An article by Robert E. Wilkinson © 2011

‘Thousands of years ago we were already being promised the advent of a new consciousness, a new world, something divine that would manifest on Earth, but all that was really said was, “it will be, it will be.” [Well]… the Miracle has happened... A new world, yes, a completely new world is born and here. Yet even now, there are very few people who are aware of its birth and of the difference it brings into the world.’   The Mother

As the Age of Pisces drew to a close the Mighty God Vishnu, preserver of the universe, took human birth as the 9th in his Line of Ten Avatars. Under the impeccable control of Mahakala, the Time Spirit, his Avatar was born in Calcutta, India on August 15th, 1872. The birth of Sri Aurobindo, as he was later known, marked the beginning of the most important series of events in the history of our planet. It was, said the Mother, ‘a decisive action direct from the Supreme’ heralding the advent of a new consciousness and a completely new world.

During their time on earth, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother worked tirelessly to bring down this new consciousness and create appropriate forms for its physical manifestation. The most important of these forms was the Mother’s plan for a Vedic Temple which was to be built according to the ancient science of ‘Vaastu Vidya’ at the center of the microcosmic world, which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had founded in Pondicherry; the point where its axial power could establish itself and bring harmony to the earth. But owing to the ignorance and bad faith of her disciples the Mother’s plan for her temple was systematically destroyed. One by one the elements of its sublime design were altered until not one was left intact.1 And when this abomination began to take form in concrete and steel, its mutilated dimensions began to produce calamitous effects in the field of its occult influence generating disunity and a palpable distortion of consciousness that continues on to this very day. The disciples who rejected the Mother’s plan and those who continue to live under the toxic influence of the aberration built in her name, express an almost blind resistance to the new Supramental consciousness. And because of the tamasic intransigence of these so-called devotees who have usurped control of Sri Aurobindo’s work and message, Vishnu’s Line remains unrecognized and unacknowledged and its incomparable influence on the earth’s evolution is virtually unknown.

Today  the ‘City of Dawn’, named for Sri Aurobindo and designed by the Mother to be the living embodiment of this new consciousness, has failed utterly to live up to its promise. Rather than being a microcosm of human unity under the governance of the Divine, Auroville has become a botched experiment, a ward of the State and a stronghold of dogma and orthodoxy working at cross purposes to Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s express commands. What was intended to be the soul of their New Creation and cradle of the Supramental Being has instead become a wasteland of consciousness radiating confusion, distortion and disunity throughout India and the World. And if Sri Aurobindo has said, ‘whenever a single soul is realized, there is a tendency to an extension of the same divine self-consciousness in other individual souls of our terrestrial humanity’, what kind of extended terrestrial effect might we expect from Auroville’s obfuscation of the Gnostic realization for the last 43 years?  Anyone familiar with the occult principles which the Mother observed throughout her life, and of which she was the greatest adept, will immediately recognize why Auroville’s continuing failures have made it a danger to the world and a willful impediment to Indian unity.

As we explore the genesis of Auroville’s failures we find that it follows an old and familiar pattern found in many spiritual communities. It is a well known fact that lesser mortals rush to fill the void and absence of authority once the guru departs. What inevitably follows is the formation of a cult that seizes the guru’s teachings and crystallizes them into a rigid mental dogma over which they preside as ‘owners’ of the new truth. It is widely known that this is exactly what took place after the passing of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. What was intended as a place for the realization of human unity, unending education and an aspiration for the highest truth quickly became a closed camp. Realization soon gave way to dogma and instead of the hierarchy of consciousness that the Mother envisioned, rule by the many of the lowest calibre became the norm. Qualities of goodwill, sincerity, a constant aspiration to know the truth and a willingness to submit to it, aptitudes demanded by the Mother of those living in Auroville, were supplanted by a rigid mental tyranny stamping out any opposition to the orthodoxy imposed by the usurpers.2 Under this cultish oppression all discussion stopped, thoughtful challenges to the ills of orthodoxy were rejected out of hand with the added insult that whoever disagreed with them was ‘deluded’, ‘schizophrenic’ or worse.

To illustrate just how intolerable this situation has become, one of Sri Aurobindo’s more thoughtful devotees, Harish Kumar, wrote an Open Letter to the entire Aurobindonian community asking why there is such a lack of meaningful discourse among serious students of Sri Aurobindo’s life and Yoga. Citing an article by Thea (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet) regarding the revelation of the Supramental Formula contained in Sri Aurobindo’s very own symbol, Kumar writes:
‘…Thea's cosmology has proven empirically that Sri Aurobindo is Vishnu's 9th Avatar according to rigorous Vedic prescriptions, she has proven that Sri Aurobindo's most conclusive victory was the process of his death and return, what exactly that means in the Supramental Manifestation, and why it was necessary. She has presented the Formula he cemented in his own symbol and shown how it has worked meticulously in India particularly through two Lines, Solar and Lunar, and how the entire development of the new independent India has taken place according to His Formula.

Yet, we neither see an enthusiastic acceptance nor an informed criticism of her works. Why exactly are her prescriptions wrong? What exactly is the mechanism of the operations of Supermind, if not the one explained by Thea? We do not hear anything on these lines. Instead all we hear is mindless accusations levelled against her, ad hominem attacks, false charges and accusations of self-glorification from self-styled spokespersons of the community…’
To read the Full Text of Harish Kumar’s
‘OPEN LETTER TO THE AUROBINDONIAN COMMUNITY’

To date, there has been no response to Harish Kumar’s letter. His important observations and questions have been answered by the Aurobindonian community with a stunning silence. Of course, having rejected the existence of a Supramental empiricism and its attendant symbol language the community of devotees has NO UNDERSTANDING and NOTHING TO REPLY. This is the pathetic state of those claiming to be at the forefront of the most important spiritual work in human history. Yet these same people continue to hold themselves out as the final authority on Sri Aurobindo’s work and message.3 Their unexamined self-importance proceeds from an arrogant intellectual egoism that sees nothing yet thinks it knows all. It is the same brand of mental hubris that provoked the Mother to write the following about the disciples who rejected her temple plan:
  “…what they see is all mental, They do not know. Who is there that knows? It is only when one sees. There is not one of them who sees...’ The Mother, Matrimandir Dialogues
It goes without saying that nothing has changed since January 1970 when the Mother made this remarkable observation. Today, no one in Auroville SEES and to disguise this self-evident fact, they have closed ranks and adopted a strategy of stonewalling and denial. And since the takeover by the Indian government in 1988, they are now accountable to no one. But the predictable fate of any ‘closed system’, as Auroville has now become, is a terminal collapse. Like a stagnant pond, its atmosphere has become toxic and grows more poisonous every day. And without the constant aspiration for and vibrant exchange of knowledge that the Mother demanded, it is simply impossible to keep the surrounding environment alive.  The most poignant example of this stagnation malaise is revealed through Auroville’s failure to its children. In a 2010 report written on the youth of Auroville by Carissa Devine, a Fulbright-Nehru scholar, we find the following statement:
‘…Auroville has not reached where it is supposed to be, and despair is a constant threat to its citizens, especially to its own children. Children are amenable; they are curious and teachable. That being said, they are a vivid reflection of the living culture in which they grow. But instead of having faith in Auroville, it seems that most of its offspring are barely holding on to hope… The old won’t let go, they won’t let the youth make their mistakes...Workshops and dialogue seem futile, we have done this. It is something bigger. We have gone through this process and the stubborn dogmatic attitudes stay....Even if you have six months training [to join an influential committee], they dogmatize you; if you don’t understand like them, you’re out!” Instead of feeling empowered and encouraged to express their creative will, they are feeling the weight of bureaucracy, a deadly stagnation for any society.’  

‘Losing faith in faith: A brief examination of the youth in Auroville’,
Carissa Devine - Fulbright Nehru scholar, 2009‐2010
[bold emphasis mine]

The thoughtful comments of this exceptional scholar testify to the unhealthy atmosphere in Auroville that is afflicting its children with hopelessness and despair. But Ms. Devine’s honest and objective appraisal of the situation barely scratches the surface of the underlying problem because the author does not have the keys to that Gnosis which would allow her to understand the situation at its core. For the most thorough analysis of Ms. Devine’s observations I have included a link to Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s commentary for students of the New Way.

 A Commentary for students of the New Way on:
LOSING FAITH IN FAITH:
a brief examination of Carissa Devine’s report on the youth in Auroville

To read the Full Text of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s commentary

One could go on and on cataloging the problems of Auroville, its lies, fraud, and disobedience but the basic facts remain that after the passing of the Mother in 1973, there was a complete breakdown of order. Unremitting conflict between the SAS (Sri Aurobindo Society) and other factions led to charges of fraud, misuse of funds and lawsuits that finally concluded with the management of Auroville being taken over by the Indian government through a 1988 act of Parliament. This was against the explicit wishes of the Mother who had written earlier:
‘I do not know who told you that – but there is a misunderstanding somewhere because to hand over the Management of Auroville to any country or any group however big it may be is an absolute impossibility.’ The Mother, in a handwritten note, 1970, Chronicles of the Inner Chamber, p. 10.
But by this time, the Mother’s wishes were routinely ignored and Auroville was fully under the control of forces of deception, distortion, and misdirection that had lodged themselves at the heart of her new creation. In the years that followed every publication that issued from the Ashram or Auroville misrepresented the epochal work that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had come to achieve. And because it represented such a dire threat to their pretentions of authority, Auroville’s new rulers vehemently denied the continuation of Sri Aurobindo’s line and fostered the perception that He and the Mother had failed in their missions. In spite of their irrefutable bona fides, any mention of a Third and a Fourth in their line were and continue to be denied, suppressed or ridiculed by the Auroville elites. With only the blind to lead the blind the ignorance and toxicity of the community grew progressively worse. This fact was recently highlighted by the controversial book written in 2008 by Peter Heehs entitled The Lives of Sri Aurobindo.  In the pages of this shameful text the author reduces his Guru to a ridiculous caricature and de-contextualizes his life and work in virtually the same manner that the Mother’s disciples systematically destroyed her temple.4 This has made it abundantly clear that nothing of truth or value can emerge from the black hole of consciousness that Auroville has now become.

On February 28, 1968, over 5000 people from 121 countries and 23 Indian states assembled in what was then the outskirts of Pondicherry and listened to the Auroville Charter being read out by the Mother. Today, the utopian township that was designed for 50,000 citizens has now dwindled to an adult population of barely 1,700 residents.5 We must ask ourselves WHY has a community that began with such promise failed so miserably?  WHY are the children of Auroville suffering from hopelessness and despair? WHY were the disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who so generously supported their work defrauded of over 35 crores of rupees ($8 million USD) poured into the construction of a Matrimandir which was knowingly misrepresented to the public as faithful to the Mother’s original design? And WHY were the repeated attempts by persons of knowledge to correct this travesty and hold open and transparent hearings on the sacred dimensions of the Mother’s temple stonewalled and denied by the Auroville elites; people with vested interests who feared having their deceitful activities exposed to the light of day? The unavoidable answer to these questions is that for 43 years Auroville has been under the influence of ignorant forces hostile to the success and fulfillment of the Mother’s vision. If it were otherwise, given the incomparable wisdom that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother brought into the world, Auroville would be the most successful spiritual center on earth. But the facts do not lie, what we see in Auroville today is the truth of WHAT IS. And this leaves us no option but to agree with the Mother’s disgust and the statement she made about Auroville shortly before her passing.
‘Auroville will become what it must be: only if and when the people living there will stop lying.’  The Mother, Mother’s Agenda, 1973.
One of the great Sufi teachers of our time made a prescient statement that goes to the very heart of the issues raised in this paper.  Describing the complex challenges of our times, Bulent Rauf, known to his students as Hamid wrote:
‘...It is those who have reached the knowledge of their essential unity with God who will forge the way and build a new world. Before this new world can be brought into being, however, it is said that there are to be two confrontations. The first confrontation will be between those who know and those who do not want to know and the second will be between those who know and those who will have to know.’  Hamid   [bold emphasis mine]         
The first of Hamid’s confrontations between those who know and ‘those who do not want to know’ is going on now with Auroville and the Aurobindonian community. The second confrontation, with those ‘who will have to know’ must be with the leaders of India.

As one of the greatest seers of all time, the Mother had a unique insight into the occult realities of India and the godhead that it represents. India is the natural habitat of Vishnu’s avatars and, as the center of our Aquarian age, the one place on the earth that could extend their yogic achievements out into the world. Looking deeply into India’s soul the Mother wrote the following:
‘INDIA is a divinely chosen country with a unique spiritual heritage. She is not the earth, rivers and mountains, nor simply the collective name for the inhabitants of this land. India is a living being, conscious of her mission in the world and waiting for the exterior means of its manifestation… India alone can lead the earth to peace and a new world order.’ The Mother:  Words of the Mother. [bold emphasis mine]   
But for India to realize this unique destiny and embrace her mission as light of the world, her leaders must be willing to open themselves to the incomparable wisdom that Sri Aurobindo and his line have unveiled. They must also discover the truth of India’s more esoteric realities and apply this knowledge toward the recovery of her true dharma. The first step of this journey must begin with a clear understanding that the origin of India’s destiny and the means of its external manifestation is written in her ancient Soul. As Thea, third in Sri Aurobindo’s line explains:  
‘The destiny of India is guided by a power that descends directly from the world of the Truth-Consciousness; but unless the nation recognises this, it can only respond to a leadership of a lesser force and suffer the ensuing consequences.’  Thea, The New Way, 1981.
An indispensable part of the recognition that Thea mentions is an appreciation of the principles of a new Indo-centric Cosmology by which India is revealed as the Soul of the Earth. When the dynamics of this New Cosmology are understood, Auroville and the Ashram will immediately be recognized as microcosmic examples of the disunity and corruption that presently afflicts India herself. Moreover, they will be SEEN as a cautionary tale of the fate that befalls an individual, state or nation who rejects the truth and imperatives of their own Soul. If this degradation is to be corrected, Auroville must be brought into line with the demands of Truth and the needs of Indian Unity. There must be an immediate end to the obstruction and lies and full and open hearings must be held on the Matrimandir that has been so disingenuously put forward as true and faithful to the Mother’s original Vedic plan. The consequences of continuing inaction in these matters raises the spectre of a wider calamity for Auroville, India and the World. As the Mother warned:
‘Before dying, falsehood rises in full swing. Still people understand only the lesson of Catastrophe. Will it have to come before they open their eyes to the truth? I ask an effort from all so that it has not to be. It is only the truth that can save us; truth in words, truth in action, truth in will, truth in feelings. It is a choice between serving the truth or being destroyed.’  A message issued by the Mother on 26 November, 1972
Any thoughtful person cannot help but recognize that we have reached a major evolutionary turning point. We are living through the terminal stages of an old and dying world. But the New World is born and here, just as the Mother said, only it remains unknown, unrecognized and unattainable for most because the obscurantists in Auroville have suppressed the very knowledge that makes that New World visible. What is required for its realization is a determined effort from all to secure this new knowledge and move joyously into the future as conscious collaborators with Earth's emerging Soul.

******

For a full and comprehensive analysis of the New Cosmology, India’s unique role in the world and the means of its global manifestation, I have included a link to my article:

INDIA & The New Cosmology
An Analysis of Critical Present Events in the Light of Gnosis
To read the Full Text of Robert E. Wilkinson’s essay:



Notes & Comments:

1 The Matrimandir and the History of its Deformation: - The Matrimandir Dialogues 31.12.69-17.1.70:  http://www.aeongroup.com/momtem.htm  While the facts of the destruction of the Mother’s Vedic Temple plan are beyond dispute, her devotees continue to hide behind a wall of impenetrable dogma refusing to discuss the issues that are indispensible for and provide access to the entire Supramental revelation. 

2 Tyranny of Orthodoxy: In 1971 Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet moved from Rome to Pondicherry where she worked in close proximity to the Mother absorbing the supramental knowledge that She was giving out and that finally culminated in the plan for Her Temple. Patrizia was an active member of the Ashram, writing books, teaching classes, contributing articles to Mother India magazine and developing important relationships with many of the older sadhaks involved in Sri Aurobindo’s work. After the Mother’s passing in 1973, Patrizia became intimately involved in the activities surrounding the construction of the Matrimandir and in 1977 she wrote a 48 page memorandum for Ashram circulation only entitled ‘What is wrong with Matrimandir – A survey of its first six years, the effects it has produced and their world wide implications’. This memorandum detailed the entire Matrimandir saga from its inception with the Mother’s explicit instructions as to its meaning and construction as well as a chronology of Her followers systematic destruction of the Mother’s plan. Patrizia’s refusal to accept the distortions to the Mother’s true design earned her the enmity of the Auroville elites who, to this day, have done everything in their power to eliminate any mention of Patrizia from the ‘official’ historical record. In spite of her 16 books and hundreds of articles on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the Supramental Cosmology, Sacred Architecture and the Vedic scriptures, many of which have been warmly received by the Ashram Trustees and made part of the permanent record of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, you will find no mention of Patrizia on any of the Sri Aurobindo websites or the lengthy historical record of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s work carried on Wikipedia. After numerous attempts to correct the Wikipedia record and cite Ms. Norelli-Bachelet’s indispensible and ongoing contributions to their work, her students discovered that their carefully documented and respectful postings were systematically deleted by Wiki editors. In discussions that followed it was learned that members of the Auroconference group openly hostile to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet and her work had influenced much of this dismissive activity with regard to postings about Ms. Norelli-Bachelet.  

Example of Authoritarian Hypocrisy: In 2007 Lynda Lester, president of the Sri Aurobindo Association and a member of the All USA Meeting (AUM) Continuity Committee co-hosted a panel discussion at the California Institute of Integral Studies entitled ‘Facing the Challenge of Integral Yoga Fundamentalism’. Her opening remarks read as follows, ‘Sri Aurobindo and [The] Mother did not want to found a new religion… but we do see a few examples of fundamentalism …’. Lester then proceeded through a list of four offenders the last of which is ‘a small but aggressive group of people following Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet who are into esoteric numerology and claim the Matrimandir is a temple of falsehood because the measurements are wrong.’ A conference billed by AUM as an opportunity for greater transparency to heal divisions, and build bridges of trust became yet another occasion to demean, denigrate, and deny anything that would reveal their long standing incompetence and bad will.  Ignoring the Mother’s own criticisms that her followers, ‘… do not know... There is not one of them who sees’, Lester continued in that tradition by glibly rejecting an entire field of knowledge that the Mother singled out in her Agenda as essential to making the Supermind knowable. When the Mother wrote in her Agenda of the Supermind being intelligible through Number, Planets and Principles’, she was referring of course to the ancient language of cosmology. But today, those of us who have bothered to study Plato and Pythagoras and appreciate how PNB has raised this sublime knowledge of measure to the level of a non-speculative Supramental empiricism, are considered by Lester and her cronies to be ‘fundamentalists’ and outside the bounds of Aurobindonian orthodoxy. It should also be noted that Number theory, while important as the Mother suggested, does not constitute the whole of PNB’s work as Lester tries to imply. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet is the most prolific and widely published author on the subject of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in the world today. She is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Rig Veda and has published 16 books and hundreds of articles on Yoga, Myth, Time, Cosmology, Geo-politics, Sacred Architecture and the Vedic scriptures, many of which have been carried in India’s most prestigious newspapers and journals. She has been a keynote speaker at conferences around the world and also at a number of Indian national conferences on Vedic Culture and Cosmology, most recently the 2010 First National Conference on Panchanga Ganitam, sponsored by the Hindu Dharma Archarya Sabha. This is hardly the CV of a fundamentalist as Lester would have us believe. For Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s full curriculum vitae see: http://patrizianorellibachelet.com/TNWblog/?page_id=42  

4 The Heehs Betrayal: In an attempt to defend the shoddy scholarship behind The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, Peter Heehs excuses himself from what should have been the only genuine concern of his biographical research by claiming that the revelation of Sri Aurobindo as the 9th Avatar of Vedic tradition was a distracting hagiographic idealization in which he had no real interest.

‘…What about the assertion that Aurobindo was an avatar? I can’t say that the question interests me very much. Aurobindo never claimed the distinction for himself, and I don’t think anyone alive is in a position to say one way or the other…’ (Peter Heehs, from the Columbia website) 

For persons of knowledge, the arrogance of this statement is simply breathtaking. Unfortunately it reflects a long standing attitude of the Auroville Brahmin who claim to ‘adore Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’ while simultaneously suppressing their work. It is as if the Vedic tradition of the Avatar is meaningless, even though it is sanctified by the Gita in Sri Krishna’s own words, and Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s as well. Moreover, Heehs’ contention that no one alive today is in a position to say one way or another belies an embarrassing lack of research on his part or, more likely, a calculated decision to ignore the volumes of objective proofs that have been published by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet and accepted as part of the permanent record of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives; an organization which lists Heehs as one of its founding members. 


Given the voluminous and non-speculative proofs of Sri Aurobindo’s Avataric credentials on file in the Ashram Archives and Heehs ready access to this material, his only reason for making such a disingenuous statement is that he, like his cronies in Auroville, know that the Supramental proofs of Sri Aurobindo’s avatarhood also include the irrefutable credentials of the Third in the line as well as the details of Sri Aurobindo’s rebirth as the Fourth. Moreover, they know that any acknowledgement of these objective proofs would mean an immediate end to the rule of orthodoxy and its stultifying dogma that has reduced this most important spiritual work of the age to an arrogant, fundamentalist and elitist cult.


It is as if a cadre of hard line Tibetan Buddhist fundamentalists had taken over the Potala Palace and refused to acknowledge the rebirth of the next Dalai Lama so they could continue to indulge their self-important pretentions as the unchallenged leaders of their faith. 


It is clearly time for this ignorance and hypocrisy to come to an end. For a detailed introduction to Sri Aurobindo’s Avataric credentials, see: http://circumsolatious.blogspot.com/2011/06/sathya-sai-baba-counterfeit-avatar.html 


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Census: - Auroville population June 2011 - http://www.auroville.org/society/av_population.htm