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The Philosophy of Consciousness: Hegel and Sri Aurobindo

The Philosophy of Consciousness: Hegel and Sri Aurobindo

The Philosophy of Consciousness:
Hegel and Sri Aurobindo

An investigation into the nature and evolution of consciousness through the lens of various philosophers, culminating with the experiential philosophy of Sri Aurobindo.

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The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

Emile Durkheim - The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

One-hundred years after its first publication, we resurrect here a scholarly tome written by one of the foremost fathers of sociology, Émile Durkheim. Much of Durkheim’s work was concerned with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity; an era in which traditional social and religious ties are no longer assumed, and in which new social institutions have come into being. The “modernity” of one-hundred years ago seems quaint to us today but the questions Émile sought to explore and answer then are perhaps even more urgent today. In The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Durkheim lays bare the roots of human religiosity through an in-depth examination of the most primitive forms of religion then known on the very edges of an ever-encroaching “modernity”. Through this look at “primitive” man, perhaps we can find a deeper understanding of our own soul, what its needs are, and what drives it.

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Sri Aurobindo and the Logic of the Infinite

Rod Hemsell - Sri Aurobindo and the Logic of the Infinite

Sri Aurobindo and the Logic of the Infinite

About this book, the author, Rod Hemsell says, “Most of these essays were collected in 2003, a few recent ones have been added to this edition in the sections on philosophy and mantra, but obviously the earliest already contain the same basic insights that underlie the more systematic studies that I have done since 2008, after reading Sri Aurobindo for forty years.”

On the cover of the first edition, Georges Van Vrekhem wrote, “Not only are there in the essays which constitute this volume the philosophical landscapes the author has been and continues exploring, there is also the testimony of his practical commitment to the realization of a better world. As Sri Aurobindo wrote, the whirlpool of the present globalisation may well be the disorienting transition to the unity of humanity, necessary for the realization of the next step in evolution. After all, if evolution is a fact, why would it stop at the human species? It is in this perspective that Auroville, the City of Dawn, the most daring utopia of them all, has to be seen, and it is to the working out of this ideal that Rod Hemsell is contributing with his life. This is a thinker who dares to walk on the roads of infinity and find on them his fulfilment.”

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The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

The Two Sources of Morality and Religion by Henri Bergson

The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

In the spirit of Darwinian evolution, Henri Bergson, with this volume, makes the philosophical argument that morality and religion are the “natural” and necessary products of man’s evolution. With a look which extends back some 2,400 years to the ancient Greek philosophers, Bergson traces the evolution of man’s instinct, intelligence and intuition and shows how necessary their interactions were in the development of human societies, morality and religion and he looks ahead to the shapes they must take if man is to survive himself.

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The Philosophy of Evolution

Philosophy of Evolution by Rod Hemsell

The Philosophy of Evolution

As presented here, The Philosophy of Evolution, is a compendium of lectures presented by Rod Hemsell at the University of Human Unity in Auroville in 2008, 2009 and 2012. The main thrust of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga has always been toward an active participation in the human evolution and this is the defining concept which set Sri Aurobindo and the Mother apart from all others in the very beginning.  With his extensive knowledge of philosophy and numerous philosophers and his familiarity with current science, Rod is able to guide the reader through the development of thought in these disciplines and shows us the place that Sri Aurobindo has staked out for us as the enlightened forerunner he was. These lectures are not a difficult or tedious ascent to airless heights, rather, they are instructive explorations of the broader base camps surrounding the mount; it is left to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to guide us in our ascent. However, with this exploration of the terra firma, we become ever more confident that our guides to the snow capped peaks actually do know whereof they speak.

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Creative Evolution

Creative Evolution by Henri Bergson

Creative Evolution

Philosophers are thinkers of a different order than ordinary folks and Henri Bergson is no exception to that rule. In the spirit of, and yet not in lock step with, Darwinian evolutionism, Bergson makes here his philosophical argument for a continuous, creative evolution. Invoking the ancient philosophers, drawing on metaphysical precepts and enlisting the aid of an interested Nature, Bergson describes a view of evolution which would be summarily rejected by the pure materialist camp. Although the language is somewhat quaint, being translated from the French of 100 years ago, and not altogether easy to read, the reader is ultimately lead to conclude that Bergson’s intuition has indeed taken him to a perch that gives him a broader view of our reality.

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The Philosophy of Religion

The Philosophy of Religion by Rod Hemsell

The Philosophy of Religion

The material in this book is a transcription of a series of twelve lectures presented by Rod Hemsell at Savitri Bhavan in Auroville, India. With broad brush strokes highlighted with interesting and intricate detail, Rod paints a rich historical portrait illustrating the evolution of philosophical thought and its impact on religious doctrine which extends over a twenty-four hundred year span. The underlying theme, of course, is the slow and steady evolution of human consciousness flowing along many separate streams of thought springing forth from the fount of human experience while growing in knowledge. The depth of this discourse is not at all overwhelming; however, we are no longer wading in the kiddie pool here. In these lectures, Rod has introduced a number of familiar characters and ideas and he has also introduced several others who may not be so well known, all of which invites the reader to follow up with investigations of their own. Rod’s treks along ancient pathways draw us along to discover the great, underlying similarities between the major religions of today that might otherwise go unnoticed and he convinces us that such was always inevitable since we have been dealing with universal truths all along.

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