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Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana

I'm interested in whether there are pragmatic people or groups who have deviated from the traditional Buddhist path of (only) attaining nirvana and follow a more evolutionary or progressive approach similar to what Sri Aurobindo taught.  Briefly, Aurobindo claims to have attained nIrvana, but then experienced states of consciousness he explains as going beyond that, of accessing the supermind which is a higher self that is to be brought down to the material world to transform not only the individual, but eventually all of humanity.  This sounds very similar to western esoteric paths which seek to attain knowledge/understanding of their higher selves and of alchemical transmutation of this material world. 

I know there's a disagreement between the Buddhist notion of no self and Hindu claims of an essential Atman, but is there an equal dispute between the ultimate attainment of nirvana and Aurobindo's more, positive, for lack of a better adjective, notion of ultimate being?  Maybe something similar to Saguna Brahman which I haven't found the equivalent of in any Buddhist paths?  Are there pragmatic practices incorporating Bhakti and devotional methods not just to aid in the attainment of nirvana, but as a path in their own right towards the supermind or equivalent (ie not having nirvana as the ultimate goal)?  Maybe pragmatic yogi paths or western esoteric paths?  And, if so, is there a conflict between those and pragmatic practices modeled after the traditional Buddhist paths? 
   
My personal philosophical ideas from a transhumanist viewpoint, granted without justification through direct experience (I'm a novice meditator), has been leading me to think that Buddhism may be overemphasized in modern pragmatic circles exactly because it's such an effective tradition since the Buddha (or the early writings attributed to him) does such good job explaining the psychological tools.  

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/5/17 11:35 AM as a reply to haig.
Have you checked Dho?

edit: dho is this very same forum where is this post. 

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/6/17 2:31 AM as a reply to haig.
Hello haig, welcome to the dho!

What's your daily practice like? emoticon

What are your goals, why do you meditate?


________

(Sorry: I had edited out a question about philosophy while haig was already replying, which explains the slightly talking-past-one-another effect in the following post, which is entirely my fault.)

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/5/17 2:02 PM as a reply to neko.
Thanks, glad to be here.  I took up meditation (then gave it up unfortunately) 10 years ago to help with anxiety and depression, but now I'm pursuing it again as a means for spiritual growth and general mental health.  I'm currently reading MCTB and plan on incorporating Daniel's methods into my practices, but so far I've just been trying to do a daily 30-60 minutes of concentration meditation focused on the breath as well as some metta meditation.  I'm also reading Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine and Integral Yoga as he resonates so much with me philosophically, but I haven't seen as much emphasis on specific technique from him as of yet and am seeking people who have personally tested those types of practices.

To get into my personal philosophical foundations from which I'm coming from, I don't completely agree with the 'negative theology' of Buddhism, that the point of spiritual progress is to escape the cycle of rebirth through simply ending attachment to the world.  My transhumanist worldview, exemplified by Sri Aurobindo, may indeed lead to the end of rebirth, but not just as a means to escape suffering, but due to finally completing the goal which this universe has been created for, to uniquely manifest the glory of the unmanifested.  I think Buddhism misses the truth that suffering is not pointless, it is a birthing or growing pain which we endure as we create something greater.  I know that's a bold claim, and I'm ready to debate and iscuss it from a philosophical and scientific standpoint if necessary.

That being said, I'm attracted to Aurobindo's integral yoga and other paths which incorporate bhakti/devotional work, and am getting more familiar with the western esoteric traditions which seem to all be along these lines, but I'm apprehensive, as a pragmatist, to take up any of those practices without the same rigor that I see here at the dho.

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/6/17 2:34 AM as a reply to haig.
30-60 minutes a day is a very good foundation, keep it up!

About philosophy and metaphysics: We have only so much time in our life and brain power in a day. There is a trade-off between theory and practice, and it is just inevitable that teachers who spend a lot of time and energy talking about their view of "reality" will have less time to teach you their practices, assuming they could which is another question entirely. And even if they had practices to share, and the time to explain you all their practices and philosophies, you might not have the time to learn both the practice and the philosophy to the degree that you might be interested in.

One thing I have learnt from practicing, is that what I find philosophically compelling changes based on what I "see" during my practice.

So what do we do when we find a tradition that we like intellectually, but which gives us no useful and practical way to work with it? It has happened to me several times in the past, and these are my experiences: My advice, since you are a pragmatist... is to prioritise practice. Today you are a transhumanist? Tomorrow you might find that you are not as much of a transhumanist as you think you are today. Hypothesis: If you spend 30 minutes a day less on thinking that you are a transhumanist, and 30 minutes a day more observing the sensations of your breath, what will you lose? What will you gain?

Or, to be even more pragmatic in your philosophy: How do you know you are a transhumanist? Where exactly is this transhumanism in you, can you locate it? Is it a decision that you make? Something that has happened to you? Something you infer after the fact, by observing your thoughts? E.g. "oh, I am having this transhumanist thought now, funny! And I thought I was a nihilist!"

What if you are wrong, you think you are a transhumanist, but you are actually (say) an antihumanist? Even if you are, is it something you can change? What would it feel like not to be a transhumanist? Have you tried not being a transhumanist for a week and see if you like it more? Would you still be you if you removed the transhumanism in you?

Asking myself these questions pragmatically has been very useful for me, when I was dissatisfied with how labels interacted with life (or, didn't). I had different labels to deal with than "transhumanist", but I believe there may be universal results to be obtained irrespectively of the specific labels we have to deal with "karmically".

_____

EDITs: clarifications (bad habit, sorry)

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/6/17 7:38 AM as a reply to haig.
samsara or the rebirth circle could be circulatory system or something related.

emotions thoughts how we act al lare infulenced by homrones and such things.

the vedic, budhism cosmology could be the same system. Different organs overtime reproduce, their cells are replaced. Old vedic scriptures and budhist scriptures and others and such are describing processes in body. Possibly and likely.

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/6/17 9:24 AM as a reply to neko.
One thing I have learnt from practicing, is that what I find philosophically compelling changes based on what I "see" during my practice.
So what do we do when we find a tradition that we like intellectually, but which gives us no useful and practical way to work with it? It has happened to me several times in the past, and these are my experiences: My advice, since you are a pragmatist... is to prioritise practice.

I'm inclined to agree, but I also think that being a pragmatist means doing what works in the context of the bigger picture, not just what works at all.  So then understanding that big picture is just as important as long as seeking it is concomitently as pragmatic as the practice.

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/6/17 9:33 AM as a reply to haig.
haig:
I'm inclined to agree, but I also think that being a pragmatist means doing what works in the context of the bigger picture, not just what works at all.  So then understanding that big picture is just as important as long as seeking it is concomitently as pragmatic as the practice.

Absolutely! Particularly when we are working without a teacher, we need to devote quite some time to understand the theory, so that we can self-guide effectively. This could be another argument in favour of methods which provide instructions that are clear, compatibly with our current level of practice, btw.

Sorry I could not help with your questions more directly emoticon 

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/6/17 9:37 AM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
Old vedic scriptures and budhist scriptures and others and such are describing processes in body. Possibly and likely.

I respectfully disagree, but thanks for your input.

RE: Sri Aurobindo and the supramental states beyond nirvana
Answer
3/6/17 9:38 AM as a reply to neko.
Thanks for your help emoticon