Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sri Aurobindo sought to present his insight of the Supreme through the medium of epic poetry

Mythoworlds Wednesday, May 6, 2009 m alan kazlev
I'm an eccentric esotericist, futurist, armchair paleontologist, animal and nature lover, vegan, creative writer, and geek. Here's my website. I also have a creative writing blog and a a Gaia com blog and profile. Those fully Enlightened Beings I know of include are Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Ramana Maharshi, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Andanamayi Ma, and Nityananda, among others. What matters is not the words, but the Presence. I am currently working on a book which will provisde a new interpretation of the Integral Paradigm, comparative Esotericism, Spirituality, sentient rights, and more. View my complete profile

Writing a modern Epic
One theme I am interested in exploring in my creative writing is higher consciousness presented through mythos in a manner that is easy to read.

Stories and movies in areas of my interest - fantastical fiction (on Wikipedia this is called Speculative fiction) - tend either to be very bleak and dark (horror genre in various forms), rationalistic (hard SF), pseudo-medieval (fantasy), or scientifically ridiculous (superheros). While I have no problems with any or all of the above genres, which can certainly be included to add spice and tension to the story, none constitute the themes of gnosis and empathy that are central to my present book The Integral Paradigm. A third theme, evolution, is certainly part of hard SF and especially transhumanist and singularitan philosophy, which is why these things interest me. But what about Divinization, as taught by Sri Aurobindo?

In short, mythos in popular culture tends to be at the level of the surface consciousness, the emotional being (romantic and wish-fulfillment), the mental being (especially rational as in SF), and the lower and most grotesque aspects of the astral (as in horror, crime, and other morbid subjects).

In the old days, attempts to describe the Transcendent through mythos (story-telling) rather than logos (philosophy) involved epic poetry and mythological tales of gods and so on. Good examples are the Hindu Mahabharata (which includes the Bhagavad Gita, the most revered work of mystical literature in Hinduism) and the Christian Bible. All of these were presented as objective fact. Hence it was believed as literal truth (and often still us) that Krishna picked up a mountain, Jesus ascended bodily to heaven, and so on. Since then, human consciousness has moved on, and religious fundamentalism is no longer credible (except to fundamentalists)

Sri Aurobindo sought to present his insight of the Supreme (and Divinization - the Supramental Transformation) through the medium of epic poetry, taking the old Hindu legend of Savitri and updating it. The result is a profound work, considered by many to be Sri Aurobindo's greatest, but, like almost all of his material, written in a heavy 19th century style of Romanticism that makes it almost impossible for the non-devotee and non-scholar to read, especially if, like me, you don't have an aptitude for poetry.

Are there then examples of epic mythoi that are accessible to the modern, attention-deficit, early 21st century mind?

Well, here we should distinguish between two types of mythoi, the old, cyclic Myth of the Hero (Joseph Campbell), and the newer form of evolutionary and Integral transformation (Divinization) described in Transhumanism (on the secular level) and by Sri Aurobindo (on the sacred level)... Posted by m alan kazlev at 5:01 PM 0 comments

New blog New blog! Whoopee! :-) First, a few words of explanation.

This is my third blog, and will probably be the most active one. As I'm mostly working on my nonfiction philosophical book The Integral Paradigm, it feels counterproductive at the moment to post anything on my second blog, called Integral Transformation. It's also hard to post much on my original blog (at Gaia com, formerly called Zaadz), mostly because the community I was in touch with there seems to have moved on, and I don't have the impetus to get involved in other projects and discussions there. I'd rather put the energy into the book.

At the same time, I'd like to explore creative writing ideas. This is an area I've been interested in on and off for years, but, as with my esoteric projects, no published books ever came of it. As my non-fiction book finally comes closer to completion (following many rewrites) I figured it would be good to also start thinking about fiction writing as well.

The two in a sense complement each other. In terms of archetypes, non-fiction is logos (rational and intuitive mind), and fiction mythos (imaginative or daydreaming). Both are different ways of telling a story.

Hence the title of this blog - mythoworlds. It is about worlds of the imagination, which will complement the worlds of intuition that esoteric philosophy refers to... Posted by m alan kazlev at 8:53 PM 0 comments

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