Self-Actualization and Spiritual Self-Regeneration
by Raghavan Iyer
Available at Amazon.com
in both print version and eBook editions.
" The contemporary image of the self-actualizing man arose in the context of the broader concern among humanistic psychologists with a bold new departure from the pathological emphasis of a great deal of psychoanalytic literature since Freud. It is only when we see this model from a philosophical, and not merely from a psychological, standpoint that its affinities with classical antecedents become clearer. The distinction between the philosophical and psychological standpoints is important and must be grasped at the very outset.
The philosophical standpoint is concerned explicitly with the clarification of ideas and the removal of muddles. It seeks to restore a more direct and lucid awareness of elements in reality or in our statements about reality or in what initially seems to be a mixed bundle of confused opinions about the world. It is by sorting out the inessential and irrelevant that we are able to notice what is all too often overlooked. The philosopher is willing to upset familiar notions that constitute the stock-in-trade of our observations and opinions about the world. By upsetting these notions he hopes to gain more insight into the object of investigation, independent of the inertia that enters into our use of language and our ways of thinking about the world. By giving himself the shock of shattering the mind's immediate and conventional and uncritical reactions, the philosopher seeks to become clearer about what can be said and what cannot even be formulated.
There are perhaps six or so other instances of Mr. Judge's rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita extant, but in none of them will you find Prof. Iyer's superb work, Gita Yoga, one of the finest essays ever written on the Gita. This essay in buddhiyoga points to the ever-maturing bonds in the sacred relationship between the teaching of the Gita, the aspirant, and the guru, both within and without, and will be an invaluable treasure to which the student will frequently return over a lifetime of devotion to the quest for spiritual knowledge. "Any person who seeks the supernal radiance of the Invisible Sun, the ceaseless vibration of the Logos ensouling the unbroken lineage of the Fraternity of Enlightened Seers, must abide at all times with heart fixed upon the object of his devotion. He must be worthy of that total devotion, continually practising meditation, returning his mind whenever possible to its favourite subject of contemplation, the Logos that is the noumenal force behind the whole of life. Only then can he truly say that he has found the Krishna-Christos within himself."
Most of our statements are intelligible and meaningful to the extent to which we presuppose certain distinctions that are basic to all thinking, to all knowledge, and to all our language. Although these distinctions are basic because they involve the logical status of different kinds of utterance, their implications are a matter for disagreement among philosophers. By discriminating finer points and nuances that are obscured by the conceptual boxes with which we view a vast world of particulars, the philosopher alters our notion of what is necessary to the structure of language, if not of reality. However, as Cornford pointed out in "The Unwritten Philosophy," all philosophers are inescapably influenced by deep-rooted presuppositions of their own, of which they are unaware or which they are unwilling to make explicit. The philosopher makes novel discriminations for the sake of dissolving conventional distinctions. And yet, what he does not formulate - what he ultimately assumes but cannot demonstrate within his own framework - is more crucial than is generally recognised. Whether it be at the starting point of his thinking or at the terminus, the unformulated basis is that by which he lives in a state of philosophical wonderment or puzzlement about the world.
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