The integrative Impulse: Sri Aurobindo's Experimental Praxis

For those who want to prepare for the Aurobindo reading, this lecture is very useful. The professor covers basic definitions, and explains clearly what Integral is all about, including a postmodern critique! A great comparative overview. This is the second lecture of a series.


Thanks, @johnnydavis54! Fyi, I took the liberty of fixing the title of the post, which I think maybe caught the first word of an intended line, then was truncated at “Since…”

For future reference, if you paste a YouTube link directly into the title of a new post, it should automatically pull in the title of the video as well as display the embedded player. I hope that helps! :wrench:

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This is totally brilliant - the first 30 minutes is a thorough and deep presentation of the basic ideas we are struggling to give form to across the Infinite Conversations site and activities! I have a few minor quibbles with strands of the argument, but not with the final conclusions. It also makes a compelling argument for reading Sri Aurobindo.

I also found these ideas dovetail directly with the comments I made earlier about Mickey’s article on Sloterdijk, which I found very “rationalistic” and overly simplistic compared to the complex unities talked about here by Banerji (and perhaps by Sloterdijk… I am still reserving final judgement on that!).

Thanks for posting this @johnnydavis54!


Since our old pal @achronon may feel left out of this Sloterdijk loop (we will get you to read Globes one way or another, Ed…stop resisting…), thought this video at the @25 minute mark references the latest stellar Cafe that @achronon has left churning with all other form of thought here and elsewhere.


Thanks for making that connection, Doug. I sense that there are many resonances between our Tuesday cafe and our conversation with Peter.

And thank you for sharing your charming verses about our beloved Spin-Meister! I do believe that you honored your intuition ( swoop!)by drawing me into your enchanted vision. That gives me permission to open up to deeper rhythmic formulations, underneath the polished surfaces of our discourse. It dont mean a thing if it aint got that swing. We right brained perceptual learners have to support one another.

“Infinity is the very property of the ONE…a Supra mental consciousnesses… and where does the Order of Infinity come from?”

I imagine that the study of the Hebrew alphabet has lots to teach us about Integral impulse.

And the presence of the Curmudgeon is with us always…


I love the way Banerji moves so gracefully between what the late Stephen Jay Gould called, " non-overlapping majesteria." The Integral impulse is bringing together the forces of art, religion and science while skillfully maintaining their unique differences. We can move through and between without bumping our heads on any glass ceilings, or falling into dialectical dysfunctions.This is the transparency, the diaphanous, that Gebser intuits is our next phase.

Could this be similar to what was referred to as post-dialectical? Is Peter engaging in this? When we give up the dialectical materialism of cliche Marxism and the Late Capitalist consumer mania, what do we have left?


In 1990, I announced at a conference of scientists that I had begun a 20-year plan to integrate science and the arts. Back then, it sounded monstrous, but by 2010 I had more than a million research dollars to do precisely that. In 2010, however, I stepped up my game, to integrate the spiritual into the science-art mix in a second 20-year plan. That also sounded absurd, to both scientists and artists, in an era which rejects the divine. But here I am, not halfway through that effort, and here we are, I am joined by many others (some of whom started earlier than I did) - my saving grace in all this hubris has always been that I was never doing this on my own. There is an intelligence in the world, and it carries me forward, like an ocean swell. Fortunately, I would never have got anything done on my own. And, obvoiusly, people like Aurobindo were doing this long before I woke up to its importance.


Whew! Talk about the technology tripping you up! I got to your post because the system alerted me to it presence (your @-reference to me in the text), and didn’t realize till after several hundred words of reply that there was much more to this thread than I first thought.

I’m now back at Square One – I think – where I belong.

I appreciate greatly your thinking of me, and I found the brief description of Deleuze and his bumbling mathematician rather charming. I couldn’t imagine him conceiving him as other than bumbling, even if I – and I presume Tenen – would argue it was choice, not accident. This has something to do with fundamental assumptions and presuppositions which most modern thinkers are inclined not to share. Gebser, Young, and Tenen ( and I suspect Aurobindo, and await confirmation in our eventual reading) are glaring exceptions.

Nevertheless, whether eternal curmudgeon or just good old-fashioned stubborn, I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that I’m going to dive into Globes. I don’t feel as left out as maybe I could, as I do follow the discussion threads of your readings. And, I will admit that if it weren’t for those of you who are personally involved, I might not have even got that far. My feeling is that if there is some illuminating, breakthrough insight in Sloterdijk, you folks will be the ones to find it.

You guys aren’t going to let me down, are you? :smiling_imp:


Ed, I like that you are able to play the role of the meta-person, which is sort of like an observer with an affective response. You can be at the edge of the process and report what we who are directly engaged in the process might miss. Your meta-perspective is appreciated.

By the way, I have ordered Stan Tenen’s book. Thanks again for the presentation. I dont feel that we have completed what was started. Maybe we can do a follow up in a future cafe?


Thank you for the kind words, John.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been feeling pretty “meta-” in general lately. In the discussion, a whole lot of names have been popping up, most of them I have heard in passing but most of whom I haven’t read myself (and probably won’t get to: my own stack of unread new books has grown by five just this week, including Lynnclaire Dennis’ The Mereon Matrix; it’s keeping my head pretty knotty, if you know what I mean: I could use a little less stimulus and a bit more response. ) One gets the feeling there’s a lot of movement in the waters.

Beware: Tenen is not an easy read, but he’s worth the effort you have to put into it.

We can do a follow-up of my last spiel, of course, any time the demand concreticizes.


I have ordered The Mereon Matrix and it looks very juicy. Yes I think there is a tendency to cast too wide a net and not bring up very much that you really want. I do think sitting in a row boat on the lake with a fishing rod and lots of sun screen is a better strategy for an ecological catch. You get what you need and throw the rest overboard.

Choosing a text at the right time is a challenge as there is so much available. I think someone called this the Goldilock’s zone. Still it is easier to absorb if you have someone around to bounce the ideas off of. I like to think of my self as a sounding board. Feel free to bounce your ideas off me. I like the meta-perspective too.


Sorry, I am not able to find the pertinent announcement - can you tell me when and what the Aurobindo reading will be, please?


Aurobindo is planned for the spring, though no official anything. I think we are all awaiting this discussion “chapter” in our lives, impatiently posting here on this site to soothe our souls…please bring in any ideas, specific wishes/books/etc. pertaining to Aurobindo. We have only discussed reading The Human Cycle and or The Life Divine thus far…nothing set in stone.


Thank you Douglas,

It was last summer/autumn that I had made a mention to Marco about reading
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine specifically, but I am open to most

Paul Bogle

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Yes, @PaulBogle, your mention was on my mind. Let’s make it happen…after Globes. At ~200 pages/month, we’ll be done with that in May. I know we said Spring…but to give the philosophical Hubba Bubba blower his due, I would vote to allow for a closure and transition on this volume, before moving on. (I personally would still like to read Foams in 2019—but I confess, I’m a completist, and probably a sucker for punishment, or a bubble gum chewer, as the case may be.)

Perhaps we could begin planning for an Aurobindo kick-off meeting in June—or even some lead-ups in the Cosmos Café before then? For example, I would be keen discuss the explanations and critiques of the ‘Integral’ offered in the first 30 minutes of the video above.

I’m also curious: What would be the main differences, pro and cons, of The Life Divine vs. The Human Cycle (or both?—parallel track, distributed processing in the meta-mind?) as per a group reading? I could imagine a few more people being interested in a deep Aurobindo dive—especially if we couple it with our own experimental praxis in expressing the integrative impulse and/or realizing the Supermind. We might want to divide and (consciously) conquer (so to speak). :blush:


Life Divine first please. It is the most quoted book in most integral circles and the one Banerji references in his book on Aurobindo as most central.

If another book is chosen instead, I would prefer to read Savitri the big epic poem, and Banerji also comments on that.

I already own a hard copy of both books and would rather not search for anymore books until I get the ones I already have read.__


This is a tough decision. I know @johnnydavis54 has his mind set, and, with his persuasive skills, we will be easily swayed :grinning: One would have to start with Life Divine if we were to learn about Aurobindo ‘system’ as a whole. It’s a bit wordy (another 1000 pager), but would give us the big picture. The Synthesis of Yoga is one to read for personal “growth,” but not much on the “we.” The Human Cycle is more politically relevant than any other mentioned works, and my and probably @patanswer’s preference. I would like to see us touch on Aurobindo’s political life (though I know little about his involvement during that time) before jumping into his depth of spiritual searching, perhaps a Cafe Session or two on The Human Cycle would be enlightening. Also Satvitri is one that I think the group here as a whole would prefer to explore later, as it is a 700 page narrative poem. It may be the Eastern Divine Comedy

Another link to Aurobindo’s Collected Works

Also note: I am by no means an Auro-expert and generally intuit the readings without much explaining…In light of @achronon’s comment about books literally falling in your lap, The Life Divine did literally fall off the shelf as I reached for another…After reading first chapter “The Human Aspiration,” I was shwwoooped into the Auroworld…


Yes but the epic poem is perhaps a direct way to get to the shared interiors of the subtle realms.

I suggest that we read sections of Beyond Physicalism first ,which are short and contemporary, before we launch into Aurobindo.

I have waited this long to get around to this Life Divine, I guess I can wait around for another decade or two. I’m in no hurry.


I have a interlibrary loan copy of Beyond Physicalism, which I won’t have for much longer. But I also now have my own copy of Irreducible Mind—a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law! (Thank you, Amazon wish list. :pray: )

I would definitely want to read Life Divine—can’t resist the Big Books…and would certainly love to begin dipping into Savitri, even now, as inspirational material. But my curiosity is also piqued by the political relevance of The Human Cycle. I wonder how these various texts and divergent/convergent reading interests could all flow and gush forward together, with their respective rhythms. I trust the sea of the Supermind welcomes all incoming currents.


Following up on a couple to-do items that came out of the call:

:white_check_mark: I’ve changed the ownership of the Key Docs related topics from @mindful_ai to @care_save, which should better reflect the human authorship of these pieces.

:white_check_mark: Also, I added the tag #keydocs to the pertinent topics, so viewers can find them all on one page.