History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Bennett, schopenhauer and the resurgence of classic indic philosophies

February 17th, 2017 · No Comments


One of the puzzles of modernity is its slump into the Iron Cage mentality and the failure to produce a robust psychology of man. Actually, kant and schopenhauer arrived at the threshold of doing that and stopped. As schopenhauer sensed kant has stumbled into the terrain of the ancient advaita but without fully completing his novel version. But the various New Age movements flooding the West have attempted to produce a rival or substitute. There can be no inherent reason why this can’t make a contribution to modernity: the ancient idea of santana dharma suggests that beside our ‘eonic effect’ with its cogent elucidation of modernity there can also exist streams of cultural history that resurface in successive epochs. Surely this has been the case with some parts of the New Age movement. Our macro effect shows that our historical system rarely repeats itself and certainly allows ‘timeless’ entities to demonstrate a new recurrence. That might help to sort out the confusion of psychologies as rival for the ‘secular’ sphere. A good example is the figure of ramana maharsi and his generation of a current form of Advaita. That figure is entirely modern in his timing and his ‘teaching’ is one and the same timeless doctrine that resurfaces over and over again in india. Its association with hinduism is spurious and the material is far more ancient than the ‘aryan’ hinduism with its vedic graft.

In fact kant and schopenhauer, especially the latter, come to the threshold of rediscovering that ancient subject and then stopped just short. What a strange situation. But it would seem that the ‘ancient’ advaita will fall like a seed into the ground and become the source of a new formulation for the global future. The current new age brands are already clogging with confused elements asking a new and future recasting, and some reckoning with the issues of modern physics (there is a large and confused literature, check out youtube, on this).
There is another author, whom we have discussed many times here, who most remarkably produce a seminal modern version of so-called samkhya and it is almost unfair to refer to it as samkhya: j. g. bennett, the writer in question, picked up a sufistic version of that legacy and ran with it producing an almost unrecognizable and stunning fertile matrix of thought that just might also, after falling into the ground as fertilizer, generate a new schopenhauer/scientist who can master its essential core for a rendering in the future of science. We have linked to a critique of the bennett’s work at the start of this post.
I am considering a version of that text as a commentary, and the issue in any case is the demonstration of the false duality of the ‘spiritual’ and the ‘material’ in favor or a unified ‘material’ framework of universal materiality (with some ideal elements). It merely shows that the reactionary confusions of anti-modernist spirituality are an unnecessary holdover of deadened traditions and that a future version of a timeless teaching might help to produce a more robust secularism.
Meanwhile we have shown how bennett’s system shows a distant resemblance to dialectical materialism and the latter shows how the core ideas of triadic systems have actually found a home on the left, a very strange circumstance.

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