Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What is Enlightenment? Issue 32 - Thoughts

Other interesting stuff in this issue that I haven't finished digesting yet...

One wonders why nobody at "What is Enlightenment?" refers to Sri Aurobindo's spiritual companion, the Mother, Mirra Alfassa, who wrote quite a few essays on the problems of feminism. The Mother is absolutely uncompromising in her assertion that gender is a product of our lower nature and the minute we start to transcend that nature, these masculine-feminine distinctions disappear.

Mirra herself was an incredibly dynamic woman, raised as a positivist atheist in France, and very comfortable with higher mathematics, philosophy, painting, and music. She later on, of course, came to be known as the "Sweet Mother of Pondicherry" where she was the spiritual companion of Sri Aurobindo and considered by him to be an incarnation of the Divine Mother. The Mother was not just a highly compassionate and all-inclusive being, but also a highly pragmatic person, who set up the community of Auroville and the Center for Education at the Ashram, complete with martial arts studios and sports courts. You could never stereotype Mirra as "feminine" -- she had transcended these human labels totally.

In my opinion, one of the greatest contributions of the queer community to the spiritual vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is its merciless deconstruction of gender.

An interesting essay by the Mother is called "The Problem of Woman", which you might be interested in:
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