Monthly June 2016

JUNE 2016

Every publication is an event, a small event in the world of ideas and texts. Or at least, in one’s own world, of ideas and texts. Echo of the first event, the event of creativity, where intuitions and skeletons of sights mingle to give shape to a text, its offspring, subsequent event, the publication, is a submission to the outer world. It is a self-giving, a surrender, an exhibition accepting that no text is destined to be reader-less, and that no preconceived notion of an ideal reception should make up for the independent life and future of a creation.
But here, every publication has also become for me a unique exercise in meditation, as a focused set of practices, skills and decisions are explored to bring together a product till the point of satisfaction. And as I perform all these, reading my old lines, editing the words, connecting the dots of the years, to give a better chance to the intuitions of back then, or squeezing Google Images in search of the right pictorial anchors to tease an audience and thus hopefully offer a second life to my thoughts, on the back of my mind winds on a stream of images, memories of a time indiscernibly merging actual events and the strong, retrospective judgments explored through the years that followed them. Just like the Zen practitioner bringing his whole being higher by simply focusing on his body and on a flame, or the musician, loosing himself in the rigour of a chord, the technicalities of publishing an old piece have become their own materiality for me, their own support for an exercise of self-knowledge, and self-creation ; an oriented and curated effort of building a relation to one’s past that avoids the dual pitfalls of self-pitying and nostalgia. Appreciating, embracing the slow narration of growth foretold by our past, with the same patience that one has finally welcomed in the present of our hopes and aspirations.
Materiality and Ideas – here we are again, and I sometimes wish that my pages could say more, to indicate the unique and at time overwhelming flows that fill in my seas, below the tips of the icebergs which those Samvriti articles actually are. In the recent past, few months have been more dense than this June, and yet, it will also be remembered as one of the slowest phases from various aspects of our growth. Heavy enough for our consciousness is the revolution of the relativity of time, and indeed the same lapse can offer worlds of difference across instances, but this month has proven that this relativity can even be simultaneous. Bursts of ideas, of visions, of projections and of synthesis, compiling in a few minutes what probably remained enigmatically unsolvable for many years. And then, like a reflection in a lake, its opposite, the most destabilising inability to control time, to control body and to control oneself, to do the most essential activities, to keep one’s body healthy, or to read a few pages at a stretch. Tempted to call this, not without some inspiration, the pressures of time, punctured on the skins of our bodies and souls like a thorn bursting a tyre, or maybe, like one more stone making a heap, making a mountain.


Behind the Glim 6 December 2013
Reason and the Senses :
A Dialogue Between Buddhism and Christianity
30 November 2013
Out of the Circle : Kentron 17 February 2014

Behind the Glim

Behind the Enlightenment and its lumières : darkness. A small glim, but already enough to blind us. These many lights, popping from all sides — heritage of the Enlightenment and its impressive symbolics. Forever after, the metaphor is consumed and digested, and if the image behind it is made blurry by the flame, we consider that the contrast speaks for the background alone. But another process has already started. Recent historians in India have shown a path to think differently the Enlightenment, to transcend the duality of pre-modern and modern, and to reconceptualise the very hypothesis of historical periods altogether.

Introduction Part 1
Beams and Dims Blinding Lights : For the Love of Frames
Part 2 Overture
Of ‘Lightless’ Enlightenments :
Is India’s Modernity ‘in the Dark’ ?
On the Cohabitations of Exclusive Histories

Reason and the Senses :
A Dialogue Between Buddhism and Christianity

To do justice to the cultural heritage of any religion, one must not limit the study only to a philosophical enquiry. While philosophy may, as in this series, remain the spinal cord of a reflection on such a topic, one must also open thoughts to domains such as theology, sociology, political thought, history and gender study, among others. The present reflection is, thus, intended as an authentically interdisciplinary exploration of the two traditions, and such, around an angle, once again, which transcends the simplistic barriers of any single intellectual discipline : reason and the senses. . .

Introduction Part 1
An Encounter : Buddhism and Christianity Authorities : A Continued Dependency
Part 2 Part 3
Metaphysics : The Clash of Reasons Sexuality : (Avoiding) the Repression of the Senses
Part 4 Conclusion
Joining Reason and the Senses : the Mystics A Dialogue : Inside, Outside

Out of the Circle : Kentron
17 February 2014

Ethnocentrism is the feared ghost of the anthropologist’s good conscience. The colonial agenda of early anthropology, in the 19th century, would soon be complemented by the conscientious methodological and ethical concerns of mid 20th century ethnologists, within which the structuralist lineage would quickly acquire a leading position. Claude Lévi-Strauss displayed some strategic intelligence when acknowledging that his “theory of myth is itself on a par with myth,” that is, as Soper suggests, that we could perhaps “view the very quest for such objectivity as part of the mythology of the West”. Or was it the sign of a genuine empathy, an authentic foot of equality between western culture, necessarily the reference for him, and the faraway societies he was studying? . . .